Prices WILL rise says Fenland’s Cabinet as it ignores scrutiny committee’s advice

SOME leisure centre fees will rise next year after councillors rejected a committee’s advice and pushed ahead with increases.

Fenland District Council’s overview and scrutiny panel made a recommendation to not increase fees and charges for 2012 at their meeting last month.

However, at a Cabinet meeting today, councillors opted to push forward with planned price hikes which could boost Fenland’s income by up to �30,000.

Councillor John Clark said: “There’s never a right time to increase fees but this service we provide costs us money and we have to try and reduce the council’s costs.

“Slight increases - matched with inflation - can be applied to those activities that are not quite so price sensitive.”

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The panel, chaired by councillor Pop Jolley, will still have the chance to ‘call back in’ the proposed changes which could see increased costs for using Fenland’s swimming pools in Wisbech, March and Whittlesey.

Phil Hughes, head of leisure services, had warned that “any significant increase in prices” were likely to lead to “fewer participants and reduced income levels”.

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However, the council is already about �20,000 behind expected income for 2011/12, up to October 31, with �1,115,815 pouring into the council’s coffers, rather than the predicted total of �1,135,138.

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