Penarth Council-Tax Payers are to underwrite the provision of free wi-fi [i.e. free wireless internet connections for mobile phones, iPads and lap-tops] on the beach front at Barry Island.
The Vale of Glamorgan Council has signed a contract for a commercial firm to provide the complimentary wi-fi service at the expense of Council-Tax Payers from later this month – but no such service has been considered for Penarth Esplanade.
The Vale Council says it hopes the introduction of free public-access wi-fi across Barry Island beach front should “help improve tourism”
The Vale council is also hoping it will improve “the take up of the beach huts” .
The 24 huts were available to rent from Easter 2015 to February 10th 2016. Out of a possible 7,512 rental days available (313 days X 24 huts) the council says that a total of only 233 bookings were made over the entire period. That’s an occupancy rate of less that 4% and generated only £8,026 of revenue – less than the annual amount of council-tax payers’ money that is required to maintain the huts each year.
The council considered placing the Beach Huts into the hands a commercial concessionaire – but in the end decided to carry on renting the huts itself.
The Vale now hopes that the new wi-fi service will eventually enable members of the public to rent the mostly-unused beach huts on line.