Councillor: Field fee rises unsporting

JANINE RANKIN
Last updated 12:00 26/04/2013

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Registered team sports players are carrying more than their fair share of the cost of keeping Palmerston North's sports fields in shape, says city councillor Vaughan Dennison.

The fees for sports grounds are going up again from the summer of 2013-14.

The increase is 2.5 per cent, linked to the consumer price index.

Cr Dennison said the annual increase was an unfair burden for organised sports.

"Registered player team membership is going down, and they are paying the ground fees.

"But there is a lot more informal sport going on, and those people don't pay at all."

It is a plea Cr Dennison has made in the past, and as before, his opposition to the increasing charges was voted down at the council's finance and performance committee this week.

The city council aims to recover up to 19 per cent of the cost of sports field maintenance from users, but at the moment the charges cover less than 6 per cent.

There is no charge for fields used exclusively for junior sports. The most expensive grounds are Fitzherbert Park, at $3761 this summer season, and Memorial Park, where the charge will be $3778.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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