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Tennis club says new fees threaten survival

Aug 7th, 2012 | By | Category: Latest News, News

HANDS-ON: Wynton Tennis Club member Suzie Tocker on a typical working bee. Image: Supplied

A SMALL family tennis club could close because its rent may be increased 173% by Wellington City Council.

Wynton Tennis Club is one of 111 organisations warned by the Council that their reserve ground rent will go up.

The club and others impacted by the change met council last month, and some are expected to make oral submissions to council at its strategy and policy committee meeting on Thursday next week.

The new rental model would suit bigger organisations, says Wynton president Max Tie.

“We don’t have the same revenue stream,” says Mr Tie, whose club is on the border of Karori and Northland.

The club’s rent will rise from $280 annually  to $764.

Although they have money saved for renovations, Mr Tie predicts it will not last the next 10 years at the rate the fence, netting and asphalt needs replacing due to vandalism.

He says the asphalt field costs around $11,000 every few years to repair.

Mr Tie says constant vandalism means the club struggles already, and the council does nothing about.

“The council has never spent a cent on it.”

The tennis court charges $30 a year for membership, with maintenance costing around $25,000 a year.

The small club has relied on volunteer work for help and fundraising, with Mr Tie fixing the ripped nets and broken fences himself.

Tie says he struggles to think of how the proposed cost came about.

“How does an 87% increase in subsidy make our rent triple,” he says, referring to to proposed draft leases policy which states that the rental changes represent an 87% increase in subsidy for local organisations.

Councillor Andy Foster says the subsidy figure is based on a full market rental for reserve ground leases which were assessed at $750,000.

The total rentals will increase from $58,000 to $98,000.

“What’s being proposed is just a just a different way of doing it,” says Mr Foster. “There will be some winners and some losers.”

He says the new draft is designed to be more equitable for everyone, including a rise in in rent for council owned buildings.

The $48,000 dollar increase across all grounds will be spent on other services provided by the Parks and Gardens department of the council.

“Without the increase in subsidy, some of the other facilities provided by Parks and Gardens Services would not be sustainable.”

Mr Tie worries about what will happen with the vacated space if they cannot afford to keep it open, and believes it would turn into a graffiti spot.

“Some people just want to play with family and friends, and that’s what we offer now.”

Sarah Holden, chair of the Creswick Residents Association, says local residents are upset.

“It’s just an example of the poor service we get.”

Council spokesman Richard MacLean says the council stresses it is only a draft policy.

He also says vandalism is the responsibility of the leaseholder. not the council, but they offer services to help.



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is a Whitireia journalism student.
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  1. Lets save all these clubs by getting people who are passionate about teaching tennis or any sport. Also the club members must play a more important role in the growth of the club. this is what Im doing at my club in kobe,japan.

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