Charities charged for using council land

PUBLISHED: 13:30 17 December 2010

Archant

CHARITIES will be charged for using council-owned land during fund-raising events.

A range of sites around Weston will be subject to the new charges, including the Beach Lawns, promenade sites, the town’s beach, Grove Park and Clarence Park.

The land had been free to use for charities but from January 1 local charities will be charged £75 per day and registered national charities will have to pay £130 per day.

The Mercury reported last month how dedicated fund-raiser Keith Palmer, who has been holding charity motor events on the Beach Lawns for 41 years, had slammed the proposals.

He described the council’s plans as ‘shocking’ and said this could be the end for many charity events which have historically been held on the authority’s sites.

A spokesman for North Somerset Council said in November: “Up till now all charity-linked events get the land for free despite considerable work going into the administration of the event by NSC.

“In the current financial climate this is no longer sustainable especially when some of these events charge entrance fees etc.”

The council’s executive rubberstamped the plans this week.

It agreed to increase a number of fees and charges including conference and meeting rooms at the Campus in Highlands Lane, leisure activities at sports centres and use of community halls and venues.

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