Decision details

Decision Maker: Corporate Director (Economy & Place)

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The service has reviewed its fees and charges for leisure, with proposed increases broadly reflecting expected inflationary increases in the cost of providing the associated service e.g. staff costs along with supporting emerging cost pressures within the facilities.
Leisure services require subsidy with the proposed fee increases in this report, supporting towards ensuring the cost to the public purse remaining within the agreed framework, set out annually by Full Council. The Council is operating its Sports Facilities in line with the Council’s emerging Sport and Activity Strategy to support the health and wellbeing of residents and the wider benefits provided to the wider community. This also includes supporting national strategic agendas, as set out by DCMS and Sport England, which the Council’s emerging strategy underpins. As highlighted in the attached report, the increase in fees and charges will also support additional, emerging cost pressures which relate directly to the Council’s Sports Facilities. This includes some urgent items to ensure the Council can provide services at Clacton Leisure Centre. Without these essential repairs taking place, there is a possibility of an interruption to the service.
Income from fees and charges form an important element of the budget and the financial sustainability of the Council as set out in the long term forecast.
Similarly to previous years, Departments have been asked to review their fees and charges on an individual basis as changes may need to be made to meet specific aims or strategic objectives or in some cases in response to external factors such as market forces.
The review of fees and charges has been set against the following key principles:
•general inflationary increases where possible or lower where appropriate / justified
•amounts rounded for ease of application, which may result in a slightly above inflation increase.
•on a cost recovery basis as necessary
•reflect statutory requirements.
•increases where market conditions allow
•to meet specific priorities or service delivery aims / objectives
As highlighted earlier in the attached report, the Council continues to face a number of significant financial challenges in 2024/25 and beyond. It is therefore important that fees and charges are considered against this context and to maximise income opportunities where possible, albeit whilst balancing the various issues highlighted above.
Income budgets included in the detailed estimates will reflect any required changes from the proposed fees and charges set out in the attached report.
The Council does not provide its leisure facilities as a business activity, but for the purpose of supporting residents to increase levels of physical activity, to contribute towards health and wider social benefits.


To implement a revised set of fees and charges for the Sport and Leisure Service, as set out in the accompanying report and detailed pricing spreadsheets (Sport Facilities Fees and Charges and Princes Theatre Fees and Charges 2024-25). The full pricing structure is published together with this decision.
These fees and charges will be implemented from 1st April 2024* and the list of services covered are as follows:
-Sports Facilities
-Princes Theatre Hire Charges
*Note : Membership charge increases, will not be implemented on 1 April with the other fees and charges, but as follows:
8th April – Revised Membership Charges will apply for new customers.
1st May – Revised Membership Fees will be implemented for existing Members.
This is due to providing sufficient notice periods for customers.

The Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Public Realm concurred with the Assistant Director (Economic Growth and Leisure)'s decision.

Alternative options considered:

Option 1 - A full review of alternative pricing was considered, to ensure all implications of the new pricing structure were tested.
Option 2 - Officers also considered the implications of not increasing charges to the prices agreed for 2023/24. Due to significant rising associated costs, this was not considered viable.

Publication date: 28/03/2024

Date of decision: 28/03/2024

Accompanying Documents: