‘Increase in budget will safeguard the future’

The Lakeside cafe and play area at Hemsworth WaterPark.
The Lakeside cafe and play area at Hemsworth WaterPark.

Councillors in Hemsworth will increase spending at the town’s Lakeside Cafe and soft play area by almost £40,000 in the next financial year.

Hemsworth Town Council agreed earlier this month that its budget would increase from £500,000 to £630,000 for 2013-14, a rise of 26 per cent.

As part of the increase, spending at the Lakeside Cafe and play area at Hemsworth Water Park will go up from £30,800 to £70,664.

The council said the increase was to fund staff wages and plug a shortfall in expected income at the facility.

Coun Tony Upson, town council chairman, said: “We are still in the first year at the Lakeside. It only opened on March 17 last year so we had nothing to base last year’s budget on - all we could do was our best estimate.”

Tina Pattinson, town clerk, said she predicted that the play area at the cafe would bring in around £20,000 in 2012-13, but the income estimate has dropped to around £7,000 for 2013-14.

Coun Upson added: “The reduction of income in the play area does not mean it isn’t being used it’s because not everybody is paying. But it would cost too much money to take on a member of staff just to make sure everyone is paying. We are actually pleased with how it has done.”

Two extra members of staff as well as additional seasonal employees will also be taken on.

Mrs Pattinson said: “We are restructuring the staff so that we have two supervisors and four cafe assistants.

“It’s our seasonal staff that have increased because last year we had to get people in.”

The council has also budgetted for a loan of approximately £90,000 for a new roof after it was vandalised last year.