Steep price rise planned for all-weather sports pitch

The cost of hiring an all-weather sports pitch in Helensburgh could be more than doubled over the next four years.

Argyll and Bute Council officials say they want to add consistency by the change – which would see costs in Oban reduce over the same period.

The price per hour of the full pitch at Hermitage Academy is currently £23.70 – councillors are recommended to increase this to £30 next year, with further increases bringing the price to £55 by 2018/19.

Prices currently range from £15.27 in Dunoon and Rothesay to £57.95 in Oban; under the proposals the price at all six of the council’s 3g pitches would be the same by 2018/19.

A report by executive director of community services Cleland Sneddon states that most customers hire third pitches and the maximum increase for this per session would be £3 – but he does concede that income may fall because people are unwilling to pay the higher fees.

The proposed prices rise full - click to enlarge image.
The proposed prices rise full – click to enlarge image.

“The current charging arrangements have developed historically on an ad-hoc basis related to local circumstances, and require rationalisation in order to ensure equitable charges and access for customers,” the report adds.

“The current charges for Helensburgh reflect the historical arrangement from the previous Hermitage Academy where the synthetic pitch had a volunteer management committee who set charges.

“As the NPDO-operated pitch was a replacement for an existing all weather pitch at the school site the existing charging arrangements that had been set and managed by the original voluntary group were continued.”

The changed prices would need to be agreed on Thursday by members of the council’s policy and resources committee.

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