A PLAN to encourage and attract more events in Liverpool’s parks is set to be considered by the Cabinet.
The first review of its type for a decade is recommending that a consistent process is introduced for organisations wanting to use the city’s green spaces.
The audit was recommended by the independent Strategic Green and Open Space Review Board, chaired by Simon O’Brien, to help generate money for the maintenance and improvement of sites, offsetting cuts in Central Government funding.
Councillor Wendy Simon, Assistant Mayor and Cabinet member for culture, tourism and events, said: “We are fortunate to have many stunning parks in our city, and we welcome events that bring them to life and attract people in to them.
“It can only be right and proper that events which make a profit from the public space whose maintenance is paid for by council tax payers make a financial contribution for using it.
“This is about setting out a clear scale of charges and making sure that we give community groups and charitable organisations a fair deal.
“We have already trialled some of the charges and have built the feedback we have had into the recommendations.”
A sliding scale would be introduced, depending on the location and size of the event, with smaller community events not being charged a site fee, and reduced rates for some organisations such as registered charities.
Councillor Steve Munby, Cabinet member for Highways and City Services, said: “More than 60 percent of our budget has been taken away from us by Central Government since 2010, and this means less funding to maintain our parks and open spaces. Put simply we have to find new ways of maintaining our parks.
“We have taken a really good look at what other big cities do and we think we have come up with a sensible set of proposals which puts a consistent and transparent pricing structure in place.
“Inevitably, any event has a knock on cost to council taxpayers as they fund maintenance of parks year round, so that has to be reflected in the hire charge.”
Charges will also be introduced for activities such as professional photography shoots, helicopter landings and small pop up marketing events, while organised walks and talks and personal trainers will have to apply for an annual permit.
Also being considered in the medium term is the introduction of a simple to use online application process, similar to one used by Liverpool Film Office for filming applications from production companies.
The report will be considered by Cabinet on Friday 9th February.