About 540 fees and charges for recreation and sports facilities in the urban area and the New Territories will be aligned from August 1 according to the principle that the lower rate will prevail, a spokesman for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) announced today (July 19).
These items include admission fees and hiring charges for public swimming pools; hiring charges for tennis courts, indoor basketball courts, squash courts, football pitches, table-tennis tables, indoor badminton courts, bowling greens and facilities at water sports centres as well as charges for holiday camps.
"The department provides a wide range of leisure facilities and services involving nearly 1 000 fee items. Most of these fees and charges were inherited from the two former municipal councils and their rate levels and related arrangements varied. Under the fee alignment arrangements, the fees and charges in the urban area and the New Territories will be standardised, based on the lower of the current levels," the spokesman said.
Upon the alignment, fees and charges for individual recreation and sports facilities will be lowered, ranging from a few dollars to over $100. For example, the admission fee for public swimming pools in the New Territories at peak hours will be adjusted from $20 to $19 while the hourly hiring charge for basketball courts with air-conditioning in the urban area at non-peak hours will be reduced from $236 to $120.
The spokesman said that members of the public who make advance bookings to use the leisure and sports facilities on or after August 1 could pay the new fees.
"The department will also introduce non-peak hour rates in the urban area with reference to the charging mode in the New Territories," the spokesman said.
In addition to recreation and sports facilities, the eight licence fees and charges for public bowling-alleys, public skating rinks and billiard establishments in the urban area and New Territories will also be revised on the same principal that the lower rate will prevail. The new fees have been implemented today (July 19).
For details of the new fees and charges, members of the public can visit the LCSD website (www.lcsd.gov.hk) . They can also check out the information at LCSD venues or ask the staff there.
Furthermore, about 280 fee items of community recreation and sports programmes provided by the LCSD will also be aligned based on the lower of the current levels. The new fees will be implemented for those programmes commencing on or after October 1. These programmes mainly include recreation and sports training courses and competitions.
For the remaining 170 or so fee charging items which are more complicated, such as those for commercial, non-designated and non-sporting uses of facilities, their alignment or adjustment will be considered upon the completion of the current fee alignment exercise, the spokesman added.
In his 2013 Policy Address, the Chief Executive announced that the Government would introduce legislation to align fees and charges for leisure facilities and services in the urban area and the New Territories based on the lower of the current levels. The relevant regulations include the Public Health and Municipal Services (Fees and Charges) (Leisure Facilities) (Amendment) Regulation 2013 and the Public Health and Municipal Services (Fees and Charges) (Places of Amusement Licences) Regulation under the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Chapter 132). The regulations were published in the Gazette on May 24 and approved by the Legislative Council.
Ends/Friday, July 19, 2013
Issued at HKT 17:45