Interim report of the Leisure Task Group
Consideration was given to the report of the Leisure Task Group containing recommendations which had been approved by the Policy Development and Performance Monitoring Panels.
The Performance Monitoring and Policy Development Panels had established the Joint Task Group on 30 April 2013. The Terms of Reference for the Task Group has been agreed at its first meeting on 21 January 2014, which were as follows:
· Establish what leisure provision the District Council presently provides, examining costs, resident satisfaction and competitiveness in order to identify ways of increasing income or reducing expenditure;
· To understand what the District Council wishes to provide and what the public and major employers need; and
· To examine the options for future provision either to be supplied by the Council, the private sector or shared management.
It had been agreed that the Leisure Task Group would provide an interim report to the Panels and Cabinet during the autumn of 2014, with the anticipation of a final report to Cabinet in February 2015.
The Chairman of the Task Group presented the interim report to the Cabinet, and the following issues were raised:
· Stating that the facilities were ‘not fit for purpose’ was not in context with some other comments within the report which stated that the facilities were well used. The language on this issue should therefore be reconsidered.
· The work of the Task Group was generally good, and where it was leading was helpful. The Authority had to be prepared in plenty of time before the current contract expired in 2018.
· Had the results of a previous review of leisure facilities undertaken in 2012 been utilised? The Authority should not duplicate work that had already been undertaken if some of this information was still valid.
· Had the Task Group looked into how a new/refurbished facility could be sustainable? The Chairman responded that consideration had been given to this when visiting other facilities and that this would be one of the areas in the next phase of the Task Group’s work.
· One of the recommendations within the interim report was that a provisional sum be provided to the Task Group in the sum of £20,500 to allow a full consultation exercise to be carried out. . Cabinet were concerned at this level of expenditure at this time and wanted further consideration of the previous research to take place..
· Care should be taken with questions to be asked of the public within the survey in order that expectations were not raised.
· Leisure facilities did not necessarily have to be provided by the local authority. Consideration should also be given to its provision by the private sector.
· It was suggested that consideration be given to including provision of new/refurbished leisure facilities within the Corporate Priorities, however, the Leader was uncomfortable including it here at the moment. He suggested that the Corporate Management Team look at the interim report and the issues raised within the discussion of it, that this be fed into the work of the Task Group, and that a further report be presented to the Cabinet in due course.
a) That at present the interim report of the Leisure Task Group be noted for the work undertaken to date, but the recommendations not be accepted; and
b) That the Corporate Management Team look at the interim report and the issues raised within the discussion of it, that this be fed into the work of the Task Group, and that a further report be presented to the Cabinet in due course.
(Other options considered:
Reasons for decision:
· To inform Cabinet of the work of the Leisure Task Group to date; and
(The Public Protection Manager left the meeting at 7.20pm, following discussion of this item.)