Conservatives Attack Labour’s Unsporting Fees Increases
Reading Conservatives have attacked inflation-busting proposals to increase fees and charges for the Borough’s sports facilities. In a report approved by the Labour Cabinet meeting tonight the following increases were voted through:
Tennis – adult court hire – up 35.34%
Tennis – junior court hire – up 29.87%
Swimming courses – up 15%
Diving courses – up 15%
Trampolining courses – up 15%
Gymnastics courses – up 15%
Yoga courses – up 15%
Swimming – adult pool entry – up 10%
Cycling – up 10%
Athletics – up 10%
Football – adult block 5+ teams – up 9.92%
In addition all fitness classes, including circuit training, pilates, mini soccer, aerobics and Tai Chi are being increased by 5%, as are other football, cricket and bowls charges. Mooring charges are to increase by over 73%!
In total these increased charges are designed to raise over £135,000 from sports people in Reading. However, somewhat bizarrely many of the increases are not predicted to raise any additional revenue, presumably because of the anticipated decline in usage.
Conservative Group Leader Cllr Tim Harris said, “This summer London successfully hosted the Olympic Games with a stated ambition to ‘inspire a generation’. However, it seems that Labour in Reading is determined to price people off sports pitches and out of their fitness classes.
This is short-sighted both for the impact it will have on the next generation of potential Olympians and Paralympians and for the health impacts. Every person deterred from participating in sport is a person who is more at risk of obesity and the consequent burdens on the NHS. In this Olympic year, when the economy is still struggling, we would have expected the administration to have frozen sports charges.”