Community Facilities Access Policy | City of Casey
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Approved: 4 December 2018

Community Facilities Access Policy

Version 1.1

1. Purpose

Council is committed to the provision of community facilities that meet residents’ needs for community services and community engagement.

This Policy defines Council’s position and provides a consistent approach to the fair, transparent and appropriate management of the diverse range of community facilities that are owned or managed by Council in the City of Casey and are available for hire.

2. Definitions

Council

means Casey City Council, being a body corporate constituted as a municipal Council under the Local Government Act 1989

Councillors

means the individuals holding the office of a member of Casey City Council

Council officer

means the Chief Executive Officer and staff of Council appointed by the Chief Executive Officer

Council owned

means a facility owned by Casey City Council, including those built on crown land where Casey City Council is the Committee of Management.

Council managed

means a facility that is managed and/or operated by Council staff

Hire agreement

means an agreement used for casual occupancy (e.g. casual booking for a short term up to 12 months)

Lease agreement

means an agreement used for exclusive occupancy (the tenant has sole use of the premises)

Licence agreement

means an agreement use for a non-exclusive occupancy

(Council may grant the use of the premises to another party for joint occupancy

Committee of Management (COM)

means the Committee which manages the business of the facility. COMs are made up of volunteers from the community.

Spaces for hire

means the space available for hire at various community facilities owned and managed by Casey including but not limited to: community and commercial kitchens, office space/consulting rooms, meeting rooms and multi-purpose community rooms

Council services

means Council managed services that are provided from

Council community facilities including maternal & child health and kindergarten services

 

Internal recharge

means the fee that a Council department is charged for the hire of space within a community facility.

3. Scope

This Policy applies to all groups, organisations and individual hirers currently accessing community facilities and all groups, organisations and individual hirers who will access spaces for hire in the future at existing and new Council owned or managed community facilities.

This Policy includes facilities where spaces are available for community hire:

  • Casey Youth Hub and Youth Information Centres
  • Community Centres and Hubs (managed by Council)
  • Family & Community Centres (also known as Family & Children’s Centres, Children’s Centres, Family Resource Centres, Kindergartens and Maternal & Child Health Centres)
  • Public Halls and Senior Citizens Centres (managed by Council)
  • Sporting facilities (managed by Council).

The spaces for hire within Council facilities excluded from the scope of this Policy include those that are not available for community hire or not owned by Council and/or managed by Council staff, including:

  • All Leisure Centres including those managed externally such as Casey ARC, Casey RACE, Endeavour Hills Leisure Centre, Doveton Pool in the Park, Berwick Leisure Centre, Casey Indoor Leisure Centre; those under contract including the Shed Skate Park; and those managed by Council, including Myuna Farm, the Old Cheese Factory and Wilson Botanic Park Berwick
  • Bunjil Place
  • Community Centres, Public Halls and Neighbourhood Houses and Community Learning Centres (managed by COMs)
  • Council owned buildings covered by lease and license agreements
  • Libraries (managed by the Casey-Cardinia Library Corporation or COMs)
  • Senior Citizens Centres (managed by COMs)
  • Sporting facilities (operating under lease agreements)
  • Old Shire Offices, Cranbourne
  • The Factory

4. Context

A community facility is a focal point for community interaction; a place where people can build relationships and a community identity; where residents can meet and carry out activities; a place that strengthens the life of a community; and where residents can access community services.

The City of Casey views the sustainable use of spaces for hire as integral to the Casey community having access to a variety of social, cultural, educational and recreational opportunities. The provision of hirable space contributes to enhancing community connection and is consistent with Council’s vision.

Community facilities are recognised as an important means of creating capacity within the community.  Council is commited to ensuring a transparent, equitable and consistent approach to the development of new and existing multipurpose community facilities. This Policy has been developed to:

  • Define Council’s policy position relating to access to spaces for hire in community facilities.
  • Ensure that Council provides a consistent and transparent approach for access to and management of community facilities across the organisation.
  • To enable the appropriate, equitable and fair allocation of spaces for hire .
  • Optimise opportunities for local communities to access facilities for social, cultural, recreational and other activities as required.
  • Promote, encourage and facilitate multi-use intergenerational centres.
  • Encourage and support existing organisations and activities and the emergence of new groups and activities that respond to community needs.
  • Encourage groups and organisations that improve individual and community health and wellbeing to utilise community facilities.
  • Ensure that the needs of the community are reflected in this Policy.
  • Balance Council’s financial capabilities with its responsibility to contribute to the fulfilment of community needs.
  • Optimise the use of the community facilities and maximise the outcomes from Council’s financial and community investment.

Strategic Direction

This Policy aligns with the following key City of Casey policy documents:

  • Council Plan 2017 - 2021
  • Casey C21 - Building A Great City
  • Community Development Principles
  • Community Service Organisation Guiding Principles
  • Community Facilities Plan
  • Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2017 - 2021
  • Accessibility Framework for Action 2018 - 2021
  • Casey’s Future – A Plan for Children, Young People & Families 2017 - 2021
  • Joint Use Agreement Policy
  • Leisure Facilities Development Plan Policy
  • Property Strategy
  • Leasing and Pricing Policy

5. Policy

5.1 Access and allocation

Guiding principles

Guiding principles underpin and enable achievement of the Policy objectives. In prioritising access to community facilities, Council will have regard to the following principles:

  • Appropriate

Council facilities will enable the delivery of an appropriate mix of Council and community programs, activities and services in response to local need that will provide social, health and wellbeing outcomes to the Casey community.

Assessment of applications for hire will include consideration of the suitability of the facility and the surrounding community and compatibility with other users in the facility for the type of hire requested.

Council may refuse or limit access to a community facility if the intended use does not support the strategic direction of the Council Plan, this Policy, and the overall best interests of the broad Casey community.

  • Equitable and Fair

Council is committed to delivering, developing and providing spaces for hire where all community members can access services and information,  and feel connected to their community free of discrimination and according to need.

The allocation of spaces for hire will be reasonable with respect to the range of users. Council may limit the use of space by some groups/organisations to ensure that facilities are not dominated by one type of user group and that they can best meet the needs of all residents

  • Local Priority

Groups and organisations that live, work or have a connection with Casey residents and those that service the local community surrounding the facility (including regional groups and organisations providing services for Casey residents) will have priority over groups and organisations providing services for people outside of the municipality.

Priority of access

  • Priority One – Direct Council services

Services directly provided by Council will have primary and exclusive use of Council’s community facilities where appropriate and be given the highest priority in their access and allocation. (This is not applicable to staff meetings.) However, this does not exclude these facilities from being accessed by the community if available.

Where an increase in demand is identified resulting in the need to increase Council’s capacity to deliver services, Council may need to cancel existing hire agreements with community users. Council will attempt to offer alternative options for existing hirers and support them to relocate to alternative facilities. For example, hirers may be required to relocate from multipurpose community spaces to allow Council to deliver additional kindergarten services to meet community needs. Table 1 details the definition of a primary user.

  • Priority Two – Community

This category consists of not-for-profit community-based groups and funded organisations and agencies that service community members that live, work or have a connection with the City of Casey. Hirers that fall within this category will have priority of access to spaces for community hire over those that fall within priority three, but after priority one. Table 1 details hirers applicable for the community rate.

  • Priority Three – Standard

This category consists of commercial and private hirers conducting activities including for the purposes of deriving a profit. Hirers that fall within this category will have access for hire where priority one and two users are not using these spaces. Table 1 details hirers applicable for the standard rate.

Emergency management

If the City of Casey Municipal Emergency Management Plan is enacted, Council has the right to access all Council owned facilities and to enter and remain in these buildings without prior notice and for the duration of the emergency.

5.2 Fees and charges Hire rates

Community rate

Fees and charges are calculated based on cost recovery to include the operational expenses incurred during the hire (including administration, utilities and a component of depreciation depending on the age of the building), cleaning and consumables associated with the hire. A minimal surcharge is applied for on-site support depending on the level provided. Table 1 details hirers applicable for the community rate.

Standard rate

Fees and charges are calculated based on cost recovery to include the operational expenses incurred during the hire (including administration, utilities and depreciation depending on the age of the building), cleaning and consumables associated with the hire. A surcharge (greater than the community rate) is applied for on-site support depending on the level provided. Table 1 details hirers applicable for the standard rate.

Further subsidy

Particular hirers within the community rate may have part or all of their hire costs waived. This subsidy will be determined at the responsible manager’s discretion based on assessment criteria approved by the department manager.

Consideration will be given to the type of programs / services provided by the hirer, the level of external funding or their capacity to raise funds and provided it is consistent with Council policy and supports the strategic direction of the Council Plan.

Council’s subsidy is accounted for and recorded to the responsible manager’s budget, which is reported on annually through Council’s budget process.

Table 1 - Definitions of hirers

Hire rate category

Definition

Examples

 

 

 

 

Community Rate:

 

Community Service Organisations and agencies.

 

Not-for-profit community based groups and organisations that service community members that live, work or have a connection with the City of Casey and possess articles of incorporation or charity status.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Council services and programs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Council and staff meetings.

Community Service Organisation (CSO): Not for profit organisations and agencies that respond to specific community issues through the delivery of services.

 

Member based organisation

Any community based group or organisation whose primary objective is to provide services and activities to the benefit of their membership.

 

Community group

Any community based group or organisation whose primary objective is to provide and engage in accessible services and activities that benefit the local and broader Casey community.

 

Health care providers

Health care providers providing services via Medicare rebates with no gap fee.

 

Partnerships

Programs, services, information sessions, events and activities co-facilitated, in support or operating in partnership with Council.

 

Faith services and programs

Faith and religious groups and organisations providing community programs that are inclusive and accessible

to all community members.

 

 


Where Council staff provide programs and/or services direct to the community. This does not include Maternal and Child Health age and stage consultations or Kindergarten.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not for profit organisations and agencies such as counselling services, disability services, support services, welfare agencies and schools.

 

Sports clubs, service clubs such as Lions, Rotary etc. and social enterprise.

 

Neighbourhood house community development program, public halls, playgroups, toy libraries etc.

 

Faith and cultural groups providing services and community programs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Youth programs, Allied health programs, Dads Matter, Home and Community Care (HACC), Social support / Planned Activity Group (PAG) programs, supported playgroups.

 

 

Bookings for City of Casey staff for meetings and workshops, training and development, community information sessions, events and activities.

 

Council, and Council Committee Meetings called by Council or Councillors in the

course of Council business will be exempt.

 

 

 

 

 

Standard Rate:

 

Commercial and private hirers conducting activities for the purposes of deriving a profit.

 

 

Commercial:

An organisation conducting activities for the purposes of deriving a profit.

 

Private:

Invitation only activities that are not available to the general public or for community benefit.

 

Private health care providers with a gap fee to clients.

For profit registered training organisation (RTO), commercial business activities, accredited and pre-accredited learning.

 

Private celebrations and functions, body corporate meetings and business activities.

 

Private providers such as private speech / occupational therapy and counseling.

 

State and Federal Government agencies including Electoral Office.

 

Commercial/business including small and micro business.

6. Administrative Updates

It is recognised that, from time to time, circumstances may change leading to the need for minor administrative changes to this document. Where an update does not materially alter this document, such a change may be made administratively.

Examples include a change to the name of a Council department, a change to the name of a Federal or State Government department, and a minor update to legislation which does not have a material impact. However, any change or update which materially alters this document must be by resolution of Council.

7. Review

The next review of this document is scheduled for completion by 31 December 2022.