To receive updates on the following:
Both the Leisure Task Group and the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field Task Group had comprised members of both the Performance Monitoring Panel and the Policy Development Panel. Policy Development Panel members had therefore been invited to attend this meeting to receive updates on the current position of both Task Groups.
Leisure Task Group
Consideration was given to the report of the Assistant Director Community which provided an update on the work undertaken regarding the future provision of Leisure Services.
The Task Group had presented an interim report to Cabinet on 7 October 2014, where it was resolved:
· 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
· That the Corporate Management Team (CMT) 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.
CMT considered a report identifying strategic issues relating to future provision of leisure services, and its view was that the development of a full Business Case should form part of a wider transformation programme that was currently being developed for the Council, and that an analysis of new and existing data should be completed immediately.
Local media had expressed an interest in surveying the public to gauge their views on leisure provision, and this was undertaken in November 2014. The outcome of this work was summarised within the report,
· 127 responses were received, 111 of which were current members of the facilities;
· Questions asked related to:
o Satisfaction – Levels of satisfaction relating to customer service; value for money; programming/activities on offer, facilities/equipment on offer; and cleanliness.
o Usage – which of the facilities were used
o Desired changes – respondents were given the opportunity to identify ‘desired changes’
o Additional comments – respondents were given the opportunity to make additional comments to the points covered in the survey.
Members had been keen to understand how previous research conducted in the district could be utilised. This information had been used as a comparison for the more recent data. However, comparing this data to previous data collected by the Authority in August 2007 was problematic for a number of reasons:
· The sample size in the recent survey was not great enough to produce statistically significant values and therefore may not represent an accurate picture;
· The data was collected from specific groups of people, i.e, those who received and read the local paper and users of the facilities who were also encouraged to respond;
· Data collected previously by the Authority was almost 8 years old and therefore may also be unreliable. However, the sample size used in 2007 was 728 and this research, whilst dated, did provide a wider opinion of the community as the methodology used ensured a mix of feedback from a broader cross section of the population, different age groups, users and non-users.
The difference in data received from both surveys did however suggest changes in usage of the facilities, what the public expected, and that an increased number of respondents felt that it was important to provide a new leisure centre in South Holland.
Members considered the information provided, and the following issues were raised:
· How would leisure be reflected within the Transformation Programme?
o The Community Development and Health Manager responded that with regard to leisure provision, there were a number of projects and initiatives, some included within the Corporate Plan and some that were larger in resource needs. High level objectives would be included within the Transformation Programme, which was currently in its infancy, and would ultimately be presented to Council to be ratified.
· What timescales were involved with the Transformation Programme? Was leisure provision no longer a priority?
o The Portfolio Holder for Localism, Economic Development and Big Society responded that a number of projects had come forward within the new Corporate Plan, including provision of leisure facilities. High level objectives were being considered, these could be built on and prioritised in June/July 2015. Leisure provision was still a priority – the Chief Executive had wanted to ensure that the Corporate Plan was in place first.
· What had the CMT involvement with the Task Group’s recommendations contributed to the process? It did not appear to have moved the issue forward in any way.
o The Community Development and Health Manager responded that CMT had advised that leisure provision would be looked at urgently once the Transformation Programme had been agreed. It had highlighted the risk of the impending expiration of the current contract at the leisure centre.
· What was the next step?
o The Portfolio Holder for Localism, Economic Development and Big Society responded that the information provided by the Task Group and from the survey had produced a small baseline. The issue would be taken forward after the District Council elections when it would be decided if this was a priority. Information would have to be gathered, the work of the Task Group had been valuable and had provided some of the base work already.
· Who would set future priorities?
o The Portfolio Holder for Localism, Economic Development and Big Society advised that the new administration, following the District Council elections, would set future priorities. The issue was not currently a priority as base information was needed before funding could be applied for. Priorities within the new Corporate Plan were wide ranging and needed to be channelled into more detail.
o With regard to Leisure, intelligence was continually being gathered. Information gathered to date would be held in a ‘Knowledge Hub’ ready for the new administration. As Leisure was within the Corporate Plan, it would ultimately be prioritised.
· If the Cabinet had felt that the cost of a fuller survey, as recommended by the Task Group, was too high, could LEP money not have been used to fund this?
o The Portfolio Holder for Localism, Economic Development and Big Society felt that it may not be possible to link the leisure facilities issue to LEP funding as this funding was linked to economic growth. It could be possible to apply funding from other sources such as Lottery or European funding.
a) That the report of the Assistant Director Community be noted; and
b) That leisure provision must be a priority for the Council, and must be considered as a priority by the next administration following the District Council Election.
Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field Task Group
The Community Development and Health Manager provided members with an update on how progress would be made with the recommendations of the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field Task Group.
A Work Programme had been drawn up with 26 actions to address the 15 recommendations made by the Task Group. These were all to be completed by the end of April 2015. Each action had been allocated to an appropriate officer with a deadline date. Some actions had already been completed, others were underway. The Work Programme would be circulated to all members of the Performance Monitoring and Policy Development Panels.
With regard to the gates to the Field, members were advised that an amount had been included within the budget figures, and that a tender process would have to be undertaken for the works. The best value for the work required had to secured.
a) That the update report be noted;
b) That the Work Programme to action recommendations of the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field Task Group be circulated to all members of the Performance Monitoring and Policy Development Panels; and
c) That a further update on progress be provided to the Performance Monitoring Panel and Policy Development Panel in six months time.