New simplified pricing and booking arrangements to use facilities at Leeds City Council community centres are set to be introduced from May 1 2015.
This follows approval by the council’s executive board last year which gave the go-ahead to a revised pricing structure and lettings policy being implemented at community centres across the city after concerns the current system was both confusing and complex to the public when attempting to book facilities. In putting together these proposals, the council consulted and took on board a number of recommendations from the Resources and Council Services Scrutiny Board.
Overseen by local Community Committees, the new arrangements will see prices set for commercial organisations and a reduced rate for community groups. Three different pricing points will cover the following facilities; Large Rooms - generally Halls, Delivery space - all other rooms and Kitchens for food preparation. As before, each Community Committee will be able to, where appropriate, offer free lets to local residents, groups and organisations. Processes will be set up in each area for the local approval of free lettings. It is estimated that approximately 75% of the 300 plus current regular lettings across the portfolio are currently let for free.
Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:
“It was pretty obvious from the continued representations that we were receiving from councillors, residents, groups and organisations across the city that the pricing and lettings policy to use facilities at our community centres was complex and neither coherent or joined up. It was for these reasons, that following a review, we drew up proposals to make the system easier, and I am delighted that following approval by the executive board, we are now in a position to implement these changes from May 1 2015.
“Members of our Community Committees, who are vastly experienced in knowing what the individual needs’ are of residents and groups in the areas they represent, will take on the overview of facilities at our community centres and also crucially set out how free lets are allocated. Providing somewhere where a diverse and wide-range of local groups and organisations can access facilities that usually they would not be able to afford is a very important part of our community centres’ role, and this is indicated by figures that show around 75% of regular lettings are currently made available for free.
“With continued pressures on the council’s budget, we want to ensure that our community centres are being used as much as possible and are also providing the best possible service and facilities to local residents. I believe the simplifying of pricing and booking arrangements will have a very important part to play in helping us achieve these goals. I look forward to discussing this further with the Resources and Council Services Scrutiny Board on 27 April.”
Notes to editors:
The new pricing charges that were agreed by executive board are as follows:
|Commercial Rates||Community Rate|
|Large Rooms generally Halls||£25.00 per hour||£10 per hour|
|‘Delivery space’- all other rooms||£12.50 per hour||£5 per hour|
|Kitchens for food preparation||£5.00 per hour||£1 per hour|
Not included in the arrangements are Blackburn Hall, Morley Town Hall and Yeadon Town Hall, due to the different activity that takes place in these buildings, compared to standard community centres. It has been proposed therefore that the arrangements for these buildings stay the same at the current time.
A report detailing the new pricing and lettings policy at Leeds City Council community centres will be discussed on April 27 2015 at Leeds Civic Hall by the Resources and Council Services Scrutiny Board.
For media enquiries, please contact;
Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578