Report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath.
Members considered a report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath regarding the proposed fees and charges for sports facilities and services provided at Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood & Queen’s Park for 2019/20 and the proposed fees and charges for Weddings and Civil Ceremonies for 2020/21. The following points were made:
· The Superintendent advised that the fees and charges had already been to the Hampstead Heath Sports Advisory Forum meeting on 10 September 2018 and the feedback was reflected in the minutes.
· It was noted that fees were largely remaining constant, but a new section had been added (Remediation Deposit) which would cover charges incurred by events, e.g. water, electricity, etc, and this was linked to the Events Policy.
· A Member (Highgate Society) noted that the proposed charge for a junior cricket pitch did not appear to be correct and the Superintendent agreed to check the figure.
· A Member queried whether the proposed cost of day tickets for swimming were too expensive for families on a low wage, as you can swim in the ponds for free. The Chairman advised that the costs were benchmarked with other public swimming venues in London. It was noted that concessions were available for low income families which was explained in the report.
· The Chairman highlighted the local season option which was encouraged and would generate savings.
· In response to a query regarding swimming fees, the Chairman advised that signage was currently unclear, and that consultation was ongoing with swimming groups who were committed to encouraging people to pay. The Superintendent added that a system to apply for season tickets online and make phone and contactless payments were in development and it was hoped this would improve payment and season ticket sales dramatically.
· It was suggested that payment points be located by the lifeguards.
· A Member recommended indicating onsite how much is spent on the facilities as an encouragement to people to pay.
· Members were advised that the busy summer period had brought significant learning for the future. The Chairman suggested considering half day shifts used by other swimming venues to prevent people staying all day.
RESOLVED - that:-
· The Hampstead Heath Consultative Committee, Highgate Wood Consultative Group and Queen’s Park Consultative Group discuss the proposed fees and charges for 2019/20 and 2020/21, as set out in Appendix 1 of this report;
· The views of the Hampstead Heath Consultative Committee, Highgate Wood Consultative Group, and Queen’s Park Consultative Group be conveyed to the Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood and Queen’s Park Committee at their 28 November 2018 meeting.