Water park will not charge for entry

PUBLISHED: 09:00 04 December 2010

Weston Town Council's Water Park. Children having fun in the water.

Weston Town Council's Water Park. Children having fun in the water.

Archant

WESTON’S new water park will remain free of charge next year, it was decided this week.

Town councillors were considering introducing an entry fee at the popular attraction to fund supervision of the park and its maintenance.

But members of the authority’s Community Services Committee decided at a meeting on Monday that entry should be free throughout 2011 – but agreed to introduce a charge for use of the toilets.

Councillor John Ley-Morgan, addressing the committee, had said he felt a ‘reasonable per capita’ fee should be established at the park.

He added: “I thought from the very start we should be charging.

“We have a responsibility to the public there. We have no means of exercising control over numbers at present.”

However the committee felt there were too many ‘obstacles’ in the way of introducing a fee, including the need for extra staffing, handling and transferring money, and installing fencing around the perimeter of the park.

Instead of employing staff to take cash they agreed to taking on seasonal grounds staff, which would maintain the attraction and supervise the site.

Committee chairman Ian Porter said: “We have listened to what the public said.

“There were concerns about the litter picking side of it and about supervision.

“It needs someone to oversee it at certain times and a couple of people with hi-visibility coats on could offer that.”

The committee decided that extra fencing should not be placed around the Melrose Place site, despite concerns about antisocial behaviour in the park at night.

Councillor Pauline Priestman said: “I think it is ugly and would be spoiling something that is in a conservation area.”

The committee also voted in favour of removing existing railings on the front wall of the park, which, it believes, had not been installed to a satisfactory standard.

Members agreed to look into replacing the railings at a cost of around £11,200 and ‘recoup’ the cash from the original contractor.

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