Saturday 13 July 2024
 13.4°C   NNE Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Council / Summer holiday school caravan park idea ‘unviable’ mainly due to start-up costs

THE IDEA of offering caravan users the chance to park at Shetland’s schools during the summer holidays has been ruled out as “unviable”.

The proposal was mooted by council officers as a way of generating extra income for the local authority.

But in an update due to be given to Shetland Islands Council’s education and families committee next week, the costs are said to outweigh the benefits.

It comes after a review was carried out to explore the idea.

“However, the working group which was convened to consider the proposal concluded that it was unviable – largely in terms of the start-up costs involved versus the income generated during what would be a very short season, but also due to the bureaucracy surrounding the licensing and planning permission processes, again for limited gain,” the report to councillors said.

The report also confirms that at the end of quarter one of 2023/24 the council’s children’s services department had met £665,000 of a savings target imposed at the start of the financial year.

Nearly £400,000 of vacancy savings has been identified from budgets in areas like teaching, children’s social work, early learning and childcare and sports and leisure.

A move to maximum class sizes in Shetland primaries will also save £158,000. A further report to establish the formula for schools will go in front of a future committee meeting.

However, to balance the agreed budget, £1.1 million of savings are still to be identified.

Based on the average employee cost within children’s services, a further 9.4 full-time equivalent staff members would need to be vacant for the next nine months to cover the remaining vacancy factor.

All council departments were tasked with exploring ways to find savings when the 2023/24 budget was set earlier this year.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

 

Stopping swimming lessons for secondary pupils will save £23,000, whilst £10,000 has been identified through reducing play area refurbishment.

A part-time steward post at the Islesburgh Community Centre in Lerwick has also been removed, saving £17,000.

Meanwhile in the Islesburgh cafe recruitment of staff continues to be a challenge, with the opening hours reduced during the first quarter of the year as a result.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.