Rent increases 'surprise' cricket board
RENTAL fees for Derby City Council's cricket pitches are set to rise – to the surprise of the organisation which oversees the county's club game.
Council papers have been released saying that Derbyshire Cricket Board (DCB), which had been liaising with the authority on behalf of the more than 20 affected clubs, had "agreed the new prices".
But Dave Jepson, of the DCB, said this was not the case. The city council had previously wanted to save £20,000 in its budget for 2013-14 by handing the cost of maintaining its six pitches entirely over to users. But the council instead decided to save the cash by "deleting vacant ground maintenance posts".
A report now drawn up for by council officers says: "The cricket prices have increased to take into account the budget savings that have been proposed for cricket maintenance. The cricket prices have been agreed with user representatives and it should be noted that this increase is likely to be shared between 22 players."
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But Mr Jepson said: "Given that it had been previously agreed that any budget cuts related to the maintenance of cricket pitches had been deferred until 2014, Cricket Derbyshire is somewhat surprised at the level of increases to be imposed in 2013 and the reasons given for this.
"Whilst our negotiations had included an element of price increases to help defray any budget shortfall, from 2014 onwards, no firm figures had been agreed."
From April 1, the authority wants to raise the rental fee from £37.80 to £55 for weekly evening matches after 5pm, and from £52.20 to £66 for weekday, weekend and public holiday games.
A final decision on the prices will be made at the authority's leisure and culture cabinet member meeting on Thursday.