To provide Members with an update to ensure positive trends are continuing (Report of Executive Director – Place enclosed)
Consideration was given to the report of the Executive Director Place, which provided members with an update on the Swimming Pool and Leisure Facilities Task Group, to ensure that positive trends were continuing.
The Panel had received a six-monthly update at its last meeting, and had requested a further report to this meeting to ensure that the improved trends had continued, following the change in contract provider.
The report provided information on the continued improvement in trends - improved customer feedback; increase in usage of 3%; continuous month on month figures at the Castle Swimming Pool; the sauna had been renovated and was now open again; and there had been no closures of the swimming pool due to staff availability. Officers were continuing to monitor the contract, and an audit of leisure contract management was due to be undertaken.
Members considered the information, and the following issues were raised:
· Members commented that the level of feedback still seemed very low when compared with the number of users. In addition, when using the facility, there had been no clear evidence of comment card, or that verbal feedback was noted.
o Officers advised that they would feed this information back to the contractor
· The report provided no feedback on the indoor bowls club.
o Officers advised that information on all sites would be provided within the next update.
· Members stated that it was important that regular inspection visits were undertaken, and that the contractor was not aware of these dates beforehand. Could the Panel be provided with a list of dates in that past that inspections had taken place, to ensure that there was no pattern to the visits, and that visits were taking place.
o Officers confirmed that inspection were taking and place, and that they were staggered. The information requested would be provided as part of the next update.
· Could newer technology (tablet/iPad) be used to provide feedback? Feedback forms could be custom built to gain useful data to inform the way ahead.
o Officers responded that they would take this suggestion back to the contractor however, it was there decision as to how they obtained data and the Authority could only suggest ideas.
· When the new contract had been agreed, members had been advised that it would be cost neutral and financially beneficial to the Council – when would information supporting this be available?
o Officers advised that the contract had currently been running for six months, and that the information requested could be provided after the contract had run for about a year.
· Members were now aware that the leisure facilities had not been left in a suitable state by previous contractor – why had the Authority not been aware of this before they had left the site. A report on this issue was requested for a future meeting.
o Officers replied that work on the dilapidation schedule was progressing, but that this work would continue for some time. Information around this issue was currently commercially sensitive, and a report would be provided when appropriate. Members were advised that the Council could not evaluate the full condition of the building until the previous tenant had left, but that this was standard practice.
· Members accepted the officer’s response, but still requested that a full explanation be provided to a future meeting.
a) That the content of the report be noted; and
b) That a further update report be presented to the Panel in six months time, on 18 March 2020.