rink will return to Burnham despite £8,000 loss in first
skating rink will return to Burnham-On-Sea's town centre later
this year, despite making an £8,000 loss last Christmas,
town councillors decided last night (Monday, March 7th).
synthetic skating rink, which was set up in Burnham's Lynton Road
car park for a month over the festive season, was funded from
£16,000 of council tax payers' money via a Town Council
Peter Burridge Clayton from organising group BEST (Burnham Events
Social Team) said: "The rink was a wonderful facility that
brought extra people into Burnham and gave many families a lot
of enjoyment over the Christmas period."
while Cllr Phil Harvey praised the volunteers' efforts, he told
Monday's meeting: "The total income from the rink was £29,500,
of which £17,500 was due to grants from the Town Council
and Sedgemoor. The total expenditure was £20,846."
of the skating rink was expected to produce a revenue of £11,172
but the actual figure was £6,637 so there was a significant
over-estimate of the income that was going to be received."
figures we had last September turned out to be very optimistic.
Instead of the rink actually making a profit, it actually made
a loss in the end of about £8,000. The outcome was not as
good as we had hoped for."
we look at the presentation we had from BEST last September, the
accounts show they actually paid £1,000 for radio advertising
when they expected to get that free. Also, £4,800 of advertising
income around the skating rink did not materialise and they only
had £1,400 in the end."
we did say back at last September's meeting was that the grant
would be given on the proviso that 'if there was insufficient
profit from this year and therefore next year could not go ahead,
the income could come back to the Town Council'. The Town Council
minutes stated that 'if the event does not take place in future
years' all money in the bank account up to the grant amount will
be returned to the Town Council."
continued: "I don't want to put a dampener on what has happened,
but if next financial year continued on the same basis, then the
£8,000 that is left would be spent. We would therefore have
spent £16,000 over two years for two months of a skating
rink. If that's what the council want that's fair enough, but
I do think we should pause and look at things in a bit more detail."
I propose is that at this stage the £8,000 is placed in
an earmarked fund and then we only release the money to BEST once
we have received from them a costed plan for 2016 which we think
I don't want to do is say 'OK, you lost £8,000 this year
but we don't mind you losing another £8,000 next year. I
don't think that's what the people of this town want us to do.
The figures in the first year of operation are bound to be a bit
out, but I think they were a lot out."
propose that we claw the money back and put it in an earmarked
fund and then await a realistic costing for this year's event
before we release it."
Peter Burridge Clayton, who represented BEST at the meeting but
did not vote, responded: "The £16,000 that was given
last year in grant funding was basically for the rink itself and
staffing the rink. That amount actually came to £17,070
which we funded ourselves, but all the extras such as the generator,
fencing, marquee, advertising and everything else was funded by
BEST themselves." Burnham-On-Sea.com
working with other groups, he added that because the skating rink
"is not in the Town Centre it was felt that we could cope
without progressing or using the Town Centre Manager." He
went on to say that BEST felt it had worked with the Chamber of
amount of income we created was £15,000 which is achievable
again. We do have quite a bit of support, or BEST has quite a
bit of support."
rink this year will be at a considerably reduced cost - we have
been offered a bigger rink in the region of £7,000, therefore
there is a great saving there and we will also make a big saving
on the staffing costs which were £4,000."
disappointing to hear the word 'lost' - the seafront fireworks
cost over £8,000 a year for a 20-minute show but this is
a wonderful facility for the people of our area and that's what
it cost. If this Town Council doesn't want an ice rink at no extra
cost to the tax payer this year then so be it and the money will
be returned but we lose a wonderful facility for the town."
Janet Keen said: "I entirely agree that it has been a marvellous
thing. We have been exalted in many directions to always promote,
assist and encourage any form of activity that brings visitors
to the town any time of the year."
Harvey's proposal is too serious and to be taken as a vote without
due and deeper consideration and I would ask that his proposal
be deferred to the next Policy & Finance Committee or the
next Town Council because the figures are simply too large."
Louise Parkin added: "As the only member of the Town Council
in the leisure and tourism business, I don't have a problem with
these figures in general. If I do something new I don't always
expect to see a profit for a couple of years at least. Several
mistakes were made, notably in advertising and I believe that
will be rectified this year. The larger size rink will increase
the number of people who will want to go as there were a few complaints
that it was quite small so that will help to rectify things."
personally would like to see the rink uncovered - I think ice
skating outdoors is more of a spectacle. If the weather's hideous
you can't do much but there's a lot more of the time when you
Nick Tolley added: "Hat's off to BEST for the unpaid work
and effort they put in to put a 'seed' in this town that we can
cultivate and grow. Nobody expected that the money would be turned
into a profit by February. A couple of observations - the rink
is wonderful for Burnham, and the Lynton Road car park was shut
off for half its total area even though the extra rides planned
there did not arrive and that led to a loss of revenue. Personally,
I sincerely hope the rink does happen again and that it continues
Bill Hancock said: "All things like this are very hard to
get off the ground in the first year and I was against this at
the time but I must congratulate the team on what they've done.
They've got their foot in the doorway now and rather than delaying
this until a later meeting, let's give them the agreement now
to get on and go. It takes months to get sponsors and funding
Martin Cox added: "The first year is always a difficult year
but they have proved they have support by raising £12,000
on top of the council money and I was impressed at the support
shown. Children and adults enjoyed the event. I would be happy
to let them have a second year."
Hoggarth said: "The report is better than I anticipated.
Cllr Harvey is quite right to point that several items are missing
that were pointed out at last September's meeting. I think there
is a difficult balance here between trying to make sure that if
we go forward with it, that next year's event is really better
than the one that happened. I don't think it's incorrect to say
that there should be scrutiny but a discussion about what went
right, wrong and what could be done better and to quantify the
Burridge-Clayton responded: "If we get the go-ahead tonight
we would be delighted to come back and work with the council and
if there's any experience that can be given to us then we will
be more than happy to take it."
Paul Young added: "If we can put our heads together on this
I think it can be a great success."
asked whether BEST has considered buying a rink, to which Cllr
Burridge-Clayton said: "Yes, we have looked at buying one
from Switzerland which costs £40,000 and are waiting for
details on a cheaper one in China."
Kate Lawson added that she was pleased to hear that ice hockey
could be played at the rink in the future, benefiting local sports
voted in favour of allowing BEST to retain the £8,000 towards
the costs of running the rink for a second year, with the proviso
that there is full communication and involvement with the Town
Council on the plans.