Issue - meetings

Meeting: 08/11/2019 - Cabinet (Item 68)

68 Matters Referred to the Cabinet by a Committee - Reference from the Resources and Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee - A.4 - Review of the Business Case for the Future of Publicly Owned Leisure Centres within the District pdf icon PDF 251 KB

To enable the Cabinet to give consideration to recommendations made by the Resources and Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee in respect of the above.


RESOLVED, that Cabinet notes the Resources and Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s recommendations and endorses the joint response of the Portfolio Holders for Corporate Finance and Governance and Leisure and Tourism thereto.


Cabinet was informed that, at the meeting of the Resources and Services Overview and Scrutiny (RSOS) Committee held on 14 October 2019 (Minute 30 referred) that Committee had received a presentation from the Council’s Head of Sport and Leisure on the development of the proposed Business Case for the future of publicly owned leisure centres within the District. He had advised the RSOS Committee that later in this calendar year there was intended to be consideration by Cabinet of a 10 year Strategy for sports facilities in the District as provided by the Council. The underpinning themes of the new Strategy were reported as:


(1)    Securing the financial sustainability of the Council’s leisure and sports facilities.

(2)    Seeking to harness the work being undertaken with Sport England to break the cycle of inactivity and consequential health problems and design services that will align with the outcomes of the project.

(3)    Adjusting the service offer and pricing policy to respond to the changing market in leisure facility provision nationally and attract more users.


He had also pointed out to the Committee that the agreement for joint use facilities in Brightlingsea, Harwich and Manningtree had a term that would come to an end in the next 2-3 years. 


The RSOS Committee had been advised that the Football Foundation had identified the appropriateness of 3rd generation artificial pitches (3G pitches) in Clacton, Harwich and Walton and that the Council would work with partners to respond to the Foundation’s assessment.


In addition, each project under the intended Business Case for the future of publicly owned leisure centres within the District would need to be separately assessed and approved in the same way as the project for asset investment for Clacton Leisure Centre had been when it had been considered by Cabinet on 11 October 2019. 


Several Members of the RSOS Committee had asked questions about the financial basis of the proposals on Clacton Leisure Centre asset investment.  Likewise there were questions about the timing of the project in view of the peak in gym memberships occurring in January each year.  There were concerns expressed about the absence of consultation with Members and users of the Centre about the proposals and issues such as disabled access to different areas within the Centre based on the proposals.  Questions also spanned the potential for use of the photo-voltaic cells on the roof of the Centre to generate electricity.


There had been further questions around procurement and contract management for the project; given the previous experience of works at the Centre (a lift near the Spa Pool that failed to work repeatedly).


The Head of Sport and Leisure informed the Committee that there had been some slippage in the scheme programme and that it was now unlikely to commence at the end of November 2019.  The duration of the project was reported as being five weeks.


The RSOS Committee had decided to recommend to Cabinet that:-


(1)       That the asset improvement works to Clacton Leisure Centre as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 68