The Scrutiny Support Officer presented the draft final report on the Alternative Delivery Models for Sports and Leisure Services. The Scrutiny Support Officer outlined the purpose of the meeting which was to consider the draft Final Report the Alternative Delivery Models for Sports and Leisure Services, and add appropriate conclusions and recommendations.
The Sport and Leisure Operations Manager and the Strategic Commissioning and Procurement Officer were in attendance at the meeting to provide any further information requested by Members of the Panel.
The overall aim of the scrutiny investigation was to consider the various options for an alternative management model for the delivery of sport and leisure services and to express a view on the proposals. A number of areas had been identified as of interest to the Panel in undertaking the review which included:
The current position regarding the proposed future service delivery model for sport and leisure services in Middlesbrough.
What lessons the Council could learn from neighbouring authorities with experience of implementing alternative models of management.
The progress to date with the development of the new iconic Sports Village at Prissick and potential impact on other sport and leisure facilities across the town.
The Scrutiny Support Officer gave a detailed summary of the final report, highlighting that the management options were as follows:
Re-configuration of In-House provision.
Establishment of a Local Trust to provide the service.
Procurement of the service from an established Trust.
Panel Members had expressed a range of views on the future delivery options at previous meetings.
In relation to the potential savings to the Council, it was clarified that Redcar and Cleveland Councils contract with Sports Leisure Management (SLM) had resulted in savings of £400,000 per year in running their leisure centres, which was a 33% saving on the previous annual operating costs. However, the Council still paid a subsidy to SLM in the form of a management fee.
With regard to whether the Council or Contractor would fund capital investment in buildings and services, it was explained that this would depend on the contract and was varied across the country.
The Panel had previously requested details of the anticipated savings under each of the proposed models. Whilst the expectation was to reduce the subsidy as much as possible, with the aim of sport and leisure services becoming self-sustaining in the future, it was confirmed that projected figures were not yet available. Work was underway currently to produce valuations based on the current years budget. The savings identified for sport and leisure by The Change Programme were £2.4 million over three years.
A Panel Member referred to a situation where a Trust had to ask for further funding from the Council due to being unprepared financially for the recent rise in fuel costs. The Trust had requested additional funding of £40,000 in order to continue operating. It was confirmed that formal contracts would be in place to cover such circumstances. The contract process would ensure that all possible risks were fully understood and appropriate mitigation was in place.
Concern was raised in relation to the location of the Sports Village with regard to the present existing high volume of traffic on Marton Road. It was confirmed that a Traffic Impact Assessment had been completed in relation to the Sports Village, Marton Road and Ladgate Lane and that there was no vehicular access to the Sports Village from Marton Road. Work had been carried out on Ladgate Lane to widen the access and a new road had been constructed which would provide access to the Sports Village, a new housing development and an 1100 space car park for staff working at James Cook University Hospital. In addition, a new train halt had been installed at the hospital.
AGREED as follows that:
1. The draft Final Report on Alternative Delivery Model - Sport and Leisure Services and the information provided at the meeting was received and noted.
2. Details of the anticipated savings under each of the proposed models would be presented at the earliest opportunity. 3. Following receipt of the information requested in 2 above, the Panel would agree their conclusions and recommendations for inclusion in the draft Final Report.