/ Parking charges at South Stack (Gogarth)
RSPB are intending introducing a £5 parking charge at the South Stack carpark.
Parking will still be free for RSPB members.
I wonder how they propose to administer it? Pay and display; card or coin? or a manned ticket booth? What about climbers arriving early or finishing late? What sanctions for those who don't pay? Will the carpark be locked out of hours?
> I wonder how they propose to administer it? Pay and display; card or coin? or a manned ticket booth? What about climbers arriving early or finishing late? What sanctions for those who don't pay? Will the carpark be locked out of hours?
Fair questions, but I do not care about the answers (except for one) because I will be very happy to pay 5 quid to park at South Stack and to support the RSPB. (The one question I care about is "Will the carpark be locked out of hours?" - and I presume there will be a sign erected about this)
£5 to call in for a coffee to meet your mates before deciding to drive round to North stack?
Free parking at the end pf the road blocked in by bird watchers not wanting to pay?
I’d rather not pay, but wouldn’t begrudge paying it too much either.
To be honest I’d probably join up, I’d probably not go in the cafe as much though as I normally go in to “pay my way”.
I'm not opposed to paying £5 to park for a full day, but just need some common sense. Eric's café charges for parking but not for a brief stop at the café. In the thread on FB there is a picture of the new sign, charges apply between 9 am and 5pm (presumably rangers' working hours?) and no overnight parking allowed - how will that work? Membership is £48 per year=10 visits
I don't know that they actually need the money.
2017 income £140.6 million ; costs £36.1 million.
Maybe a worthy cause but I know charities who need my money more.
Hi Tom, I’m assuming you’re quoting from this page https://www.rspb.org.uk/about-the-rspb/about-us/how-the-rspb-is-run/trustees-report-and-accounts/
The cost of £36.1 million is the cost to the rspb that comes from generating that income e.g RSPB members get a quarterly magazine, gift and free entry in return for their membership and the cost of employing staff to look after legacies etc.
if you go to the bottom of the article it shows that the rspb spent £98.9 million on conservation in that year. There is a surplus but as a charity they legally must retain enough cash to keep the organisation going for 16 weeks if all income stopped. I must admit that they haven’t made that very clear in this statement and they maybe should clear that up.
Someone wanting a simple summary of their financial status might wonder why the £98.9 million "spent" on conservation does not come under the heading of "costs", in that case.
Because the 'costs' context you are looking at is the figure for the managemsnt costs of raising charitable income - so that the charity can show donors how much of each £ they give is 'wasted' on costs / overheads rather than going to the charities stated end goal of conservation.
Its interesting is this whole charity thing. If you gift aid, your tax goes from the Revenue to the RSPB. Whilst I think it smashing that people support birds, not really sure that people should be able to take the money that was going to the state for NHS and Pensions and roads and things to go to what they chose.
Or, to look at it another way, the government doesn't spend anywhere near as much as I would like on conservation, overseas aid, cancer research etc.
Letting me have a small say in where some of my tax goes makes the use of that money more democratic, whilst at the same time funding things that otherwise the government might be forced to pay for fully out of general taxation (Mountain Rescue, for instance).
(Technically, of course, the money donated to charity is not regarded as 'income' so tax isn't payable on it, so the money was never the revenue's in the first place)
> £5 to call in for a coffee to meet your mates before deciding to drive round to North stack?
> Free parking at the end pf the road blocked in by bird watchers not wanting to pay?
Chances are most of the bird watchers will be RSPB members.
May I suggest meeting your mates elsewhere (it's very hard to come at South Stack from different directions after all), reduce the number of cars in the carpark by car sharing and have the "where shall we climb?" discussion on route?
I have no problem at all giving the RSPB £2.50 (remember, car share) to go climbing for the day.
> Or, to look at it another way, the government doesn't spend anywhere near as much as I would like on conservation, overseas aid, cancer research etc.
I do take your point. However some people may consider that as we live in a democratic society, its up to our elected government to decide how money is spent. With gift aid it gives richer people more of a say over how that money is spent than poorer people.
As I said above ian I’m happy to pay for a day’s parking. The issue with the cafe is not just self centred but example of ill thought out plan by rspb. The road will be jammed with cafe users and short term parkers unwilling to pay £5. Most of the car park users are neither climbers nor bird watchers. Read the comments on the Facebook page to get an understanding of this
It's a very interesting philosophical point. In practice, it's probably a more pertinent issue in the US than the UK where there is a long established tradition of (taxpayer assisted) philanthropy by the rich and mega-rich.
Anyway, I'm slightly surprised that there does not seem to be any maximum limit on the gift aid claimable as long as it is less than whatever UK income tax you would otherwise pay.
However, back to the main issue - is the RSPB more interested in conserving the environment or running a tourism business?
From it's statement on FB you could be forgiven for thinking it's a bit too preoccupied with the latter. There was much talk about "increasing visitor numbers" and "high quality facilities" and not much detail relating to its conservation efforts. There isn't even a token effort to greenwash the proposals by spinning them as encouraging car sharing or by offering free parking for electric vehicles.
Overall, probably not going to be a good PR move for the RSPB.
> some people may consider that as we live in a democratic society, its up to our elected government to decide how money is spent
Where would those people draw the line? Should all our income go to the Government, whop can then give us back their approved choice of food?
> Will the carpark be locked out of hours?
I contacted the RSPB who have just told me that the car park will not be locked at any time.
Don't give them ideas!
Still a surplus of more than 5 million though?
> Still a surplus of more than 5 million though?
In line with there legal obligations.
Hi, I have set up the petition as I believe that a £5 charge is too much for many of the locals to take. Many of us pop to South Stack, maybe to take a few photos, take in the view and sometimes support RSPB by using their cafe. I'm not opposed to a charge outright and it is fair to say that this is a national charging structure that has been passed down from above. It would be more reasonable to have a charge staggered by duration of stay or even an annual 'Friends of South Stack/Ynys Lawd' pass where the proceeds are split between the RSPB and the 'not for profit' company who run the lighthouse. Or people could redeem a lower charge against cafe spend. Please sign the petition and hopefully you will see there an update with a photo of some climbers that I took. https://www.change.org/p/rspb-no-to-carpark-charges-at-south-stack-ynys-lawd Many thanks
Any update from the planning meeting?
Hi Kevin, sorry for the delay. The planning committee elected to make a site visit and therefore we anticipate that they will discuss the applications for parking machines at the car parks at South Stack, at the next planning meeting. We are sending a representative to speak at that meeting but he can only object on matters of planning, rather than the scale of the charge.
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