North East Lincolnshire Council has today approved changes to fees for the management of council-owned sports pitches.
The decision to increase fees only relates to events which require council attendance outside of normal operating hours to complete tasks such as unlocking changing rooms, litter picking and cleaning – and does not affect pitch hire costs.
The majority of football clubs using council land manage weekend games without additional support from council staff and only pay a pitch fee, which is not proposed to be increased by more than inflation.
Councillor Matthew Patrick, portfolio holder for environment, said: “Sport and healthy activity is one of our highest priorities moving forward despite austerity levels that have been placed on our council.
“The council has worked closely with representatives currently using council-owned football pitches.
“Clubs have expressed a preference to work with the council to manage their games independently on weekends – avoiding additional charges for council attendance.
“We have reviewed options for better cost recovery for discretionary tasks to safeguard a good quality service for grounds maintenance within the current budget position.”
Cllr Patrick added: “There has been some confusion among the community about the increase in fees.
“I’d like to clarify that the larger increase in sports pitch fees is not for the cost of pitch hire, but for events that require council attendance out of normal hours to complete tasks such as unlocking changing room, litter picking and cleaning.
“Having consulted with the most regular users of our pitches, I am pleased to say that they were relieved that we are not and never were looking to double pitch fees, the meeting ended with their full support on this matter.”
The changes to sports pitch fees are set to be in place from 1 April, 2019.