Agenda item

Fees and Charges Pricing Strategy 2023/24


The Assistant Director for Street Scene and Leisure presented the report to the Committee, he confirmed it covered the fees and charges for all services in the remit of this Committee.


The Chair queried whether all boules clubs are paying the same.


The Recreation and Leisure manager confirmed the fees and charges for bowls are the same for all. There may be a difference in the price if they lease the building. He confirmed that most of the bowls clubs in Thurrock are now self-managed and pay a £1 peppercorn rent to the Council as they maintain the bowls greens themselves.


The Assistant Director for Street Scene confirmed the Council are trying to regulate the use of Thurrock’s Parks and open spaces. Fitness companies or personal trainers can register for a license to use the parks and open spaces and in return the Council will help them with social media and promoting their business.


The Recreation and Leisure manager raised that the challenge Thurrock has

is they don’t have enough pitches. On grass you can only play for 8 hours a

week to protect the grass. There are no flood lights for evening play. 3G

pitches allow for more hours of play.


Councillor Muldowney commented that the Council are supposed to be encouraging people to be more active yet they are imposing rises above inflation for those who do use the facilities in a cost of living crisis. Councillor Muldowney raised that the fees and charges for bowls for over 60’s has gone up 20%. Councillor Muldowney also noted the goal posts have been removed.


The Recreation and Leisure Manager confirmed that none of the bowls teams pay this as they are almost all self-managed however they do still need to include the figure in the spreadsheet. Previously, the bowls clubs paid the fees and charges and the Council maintained the boules green. This wasn’t cost effective for the Council therefore the Bowls clubs decided to take this over. He also confirmed that on football sites when goal posts are left out there is a lot of damage so they have to remove them to stop this. If they made a surplus they could keep the goal posts out and re-seed the area around the goal post. He also confirmed that Thurrock Council’s fees and charges are lower than other boroughs. If clubs book using the seasonal rate they get around 3 games free. Clubs want the pitches to be high quality and this takes time and investment. The pitches are oversubscribed. He also confirmed that a recent Sport England Active Life survey has shown a 0.5% increase in the borough of people who are active. Thurrock has previously been one of the most inactive boroughs in Essex. If Thurrock had more sites, physical activity of residents could increase.


Councillor Byrne responded that most personal trainers have 4 clients who they charge around £5 a session for, therefore they are only earning around £20 for an hour and may not be able to afford the license fee.

The Assistant Director for Street Scene and Leisure clarified that individuals can exercise in the park for free however, if people are charging others for training this would be different. The fees allow for a one year subscription.


Councillor Arnold stated there is a difference where small businesses are using parks and open spaces for free. He queried if the increases are more about cost recovery than profit and if there is a surplus he asked what happens to it.


The Assistant Director for Street Scene and Leisure confirmed the main goal is cost recovery. They would like to increase the quality of outdoor sports for residents to encourage them to do more. For those who the licenses will apply to, the money recovered will go into improving facilities.


Councillor Muldowney queried in relation to the recommendation 1.2 whether they are anticipating the Director Delegated Authority will be needed?


The Assistant Director for Street Scene and Leisure responded that it was difficult to say however it is in there in case it is needed.


Councillor Muldowney confirmed that she is not in favour of any prices above inflation.


The Chair queried the wording of recommendation 1.2.


The Assistant Director for Street Scene and Leisure confirmed he would take this back for the wording to be looked at.


Councillor Muldowney confirmed she also did not agree to recommendation 1.1 and requested a vote on both recommendations.





1.1      That the Cleaner, Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee note the revised fees, including those no longer applicable; and comment on the proposals currently being considered within the remit of this committee.


In relation to recommendation 1.1 Councillor Byrne, Councillor Muldowney and Councillor Chukwu did not agree. Councillor Redsell, Councillor Arnold and Councillor Pearce agreed with the recommendation.



1.2      That Cleaner, Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee note that director delegated authority will be sought via Cabinet to allow fees and charges to be varied within a financial year in response to legal and regulatory requirements.


In relation to recommendation 1.2 all members of the Committee confirmed they did not agree with the recommendation.


Councillor Jefferies left the meeting at 21.10


Supporting documents: