A NEW loyalty card will give Coventry residents discounts to the city’s exciting attractions – but has prompted fears it is one step closer to a Godiva Festival charge.
Coventrians can sign up now to the GoCV scheme and get discounts on a growing number of activities and venues, including the city’s new waterpark The Wave.
Offers will continue to be added to the card by Coventry City Council and its partners as they become available.
Anyone living in the city, in the postcode areas of CV1 to 6, will be eligible to receive a card once they have registered.
Council leaders previously suggested it as a potential way to enable free entry for city residents to the Godiva Festival, if a small charge for outsiders was introduced.
Leaders say the potential charge, if introduced, would not come in until 2020 at least.
But Leader of the Coventry Conservative group Councillor Gary Ridley told us: “That’s what this is really all about.
“This is about them introducing a charge on the Godiva Festival from 2020.
“How long is it before they charge everyone for this? And then the UK’s largest free festival, it’s gone, it’s not that anymore.
“But it also means introducing a different pricing policy from people who live in the city from people who live outside of it.
“I understand only people who live within Coventry will be able to apply for it so therefore by definition it is a visitor tax.
“So they will have to pay higher fees to use Coventry’s services than people that live here.”
Deputy leader councillor Abdul Salam Khan said: “We want to welcome visitors to Coventry and while the Godiva Festival is a great event for local residents, we have no plans to treat local people and people from outside the city any differently.
“So Coun Ridley’s claims that the GoCV card is creating a visitor tax is absolutely wrong.
“Worse than that, promoting this negative and incorrect view could actually be damaging our city’s reputation.”
Cabinet member, public health and sport Councillor Kamran Caan said: “Go CV will also replace Passport to Leisure and Learning and provide additional discounts for people on low income.
“It is really important that venues like The Wave are accessible to everyone and that’s why this card is so important.
“I am looking forward to hearing about new venues which will join the scheme making the Go CV card a must have for all the family.”
Residents can sign up at www.go-cv.co.uk.
People can then pick up their Go CV card from their local CV Life centre at The Alan Higgs Centre, Xcel Leisure Centre or Centre AT7.