Future of sports pitches to be discussed by Council Committee

(Pic: Bridgend Athletic RFC via Twitter)

A public consultation is likely to take place soon on the future of sports pitches and pavilions in Bridgend county, as Bridgend Council seek to save up to £500,000 from leisure services over the next two years.

This is according to a report submitted to a scrutiny committee (pdf), due to be discussed on Wednesday (5th September 2018).

There are (by my count) 46 sports pitches, sports pavilions/changing rooms and bowls pavilions provided by BCBC (pdf). BCBC currently makes just over £93,000 a year from fees to sports clubs etc. to use these facilities, but spends £452,000.

Fees rose/will rise by 4% for 2018-19 (pdf) and officers say current charges are “mid-range” for a Welsh local authority.

Some sports clubs have expressed an interest in taking over the running of some sports pitches and pavilions under the Community Asset Transfer programme, but to date, only two clubs are at an advanced stage – Bryncethin RFC and Caerau FC.

The report says BCBC want to move towards “full cost recovery” for its maintenance of sports pitches and pavilions.

In English, that means instead of the 80% subsidy BCBC currently provide in many cases, they intend to charge whatever it takes to cover all of the costs. That could see an acceleration of the Community Asset Transfer programme (to town/community councils and/or sports clubs) or a massive hike in fees (which could put the future of some sports clubs at risk).

Subject to Cabinet approval later this month, a public consultation will take place (affected sports clubs will be written to directly) and if the new policy is agreed it could be introduced from April 2020.

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