I have been pushing hard to ensure that the Community Buildings being delivered as part of the Kingsway Development are not abused by Gloucester City Council in terms of profiteering. I got a partial success, as the rent for the Kingsway Community Centre was halved. However, I have also been putting the same argument for the Sports Pavilion too, and the Officers within the City Council have finally acknowledged my logic, and the Pavilion is being competed at a Peppercorn (nominal) rent. That is brilliant news and is a reflection of what we can achieve together.
The whole fiasco came about when the current administration thought it would be a good idea to charge £11,000.00 per year rent for the Kingsway Community Centre. After some active campaigning and representations to the responsible Cabinet member and local Councillor at the time, Fred Wood, the rent was reduced. Whilst Fred and I had differing views on the reasoning behind the rent, as heard on our respective interviews on BBC Radio Gloucestershire (He believes that charging rent will make the selected provider deliver a high quality service, I believe that the rent was just a Kingsway Tax for something that te City Council are getting for free) he was good enough to listen and meet me half way. While a good result, I would still like it reduced to peppercorn rent, because, as I have previously outlined, even at this level the rent is a scandal.
However, I am really very pleased that the users of the Sports Pavilion will be able to focus on the provision of the facility for local residents and not have to charge them any more than is necessary to deliver this essential community asset. Given the progress of the build, I’m looking forward to getting on the Trim Trail, and maybe even a go on the BMX track.
Just in case your not aware, the Pavilion will provide Football and Rugby Pitches, Cricket Ground, Tennis Courts, a Trim Trail with Obstacles, a BMX track and the Pavilion itself which has changing rooms and large halls to facilitate what’s going on. There are so many people talking about developing exciting clubs and groups on the back off this Sports Pavilion that its going to be brilliant.