Quarter 2 Council Performance 2018/19
The CEB at its meeting on 18 December will consider the consider the Council’s performance for Quarter 2 of 2018/19.
This item provides an opportunity for the Committee to consider the report, together with some additional Fusion Lifestyle data, and make recommendations to the CEB if it wishes.
The Committee considered the Q2 Council Performance report, together with some additional Fusion Lifestyle data.
Q2 Council Performance report
The Committee and Member Services Officer drew attention to minor corrections to one indicator and a clarification of a commentary in relation to another received since publication of the agenda.
There was disappointment that only three of the indicators provided demonstrated year on year improvement. In many cases staff shortages contributed to the difficulty. Staff sickness, something which the Committee had discussed recently, remained a concern and it was agreed that the Committee would consider the next quarterly performance report to check for improvements, before deciding whether or not there was a need to invite the relevant Board member to discuss the issue. In cases where performance is not on target it would be helpful to have an indication if the target would be met by year end. The electoral registration target is an annual measure and the value of reporting it on a quarterly basis was doubtful. Data about Business Rate appeals would be helpful.
The Head of Community Services introduced the data provided by reminding the Committee of the challenging environment in which Fusion Lifestyle was operating, with particular reference to the competition from budget gyms, opportunities for free outdoor activity and rising wage costs (the Oxford Living Wage has been paid, as a minimum, from the outset). Staff turnover was an issue which Fusion sought to counter with a training programme to encourage retention. There had been good progress with targeting particular groups of customers; both data capture and accuracy were improving; and the customer satisfaction rate was 87% overall.
Mark Munday, said the Company’s ambition was always to add value and the many packages available from Fusion Lifestyle meant that simple comparisons with other providers (in terms of cost of membership) were rarely fair. Some of these packages represented particularly good value for money and provided a wider participation offer than competitors and a young person taking swimming lessons, for example, would be entitled to free swimming sessions during public sessions. Fusion had an ongoing marketing and promotion campaign via social media and elsewhere. There would be a campaign in the New Year to capitalised on the traditional increase in gym membership at that time. Fusion participated in a scheme for Social Prescribing, Exercise on Referral, with clinical practitioners. The offer provides low cost access to leisure facilities. There was currently a waiting list for entry onto the scheme.
Concern was expressed at the state of decoration and maintenance in some centres. There was concern too about the robustness of some of the data provided. It was suggested that it would be helpful to have more precise data about centre use, disaggregated to show the number of individuals (as distinct from just the number of visits) and, in turn, more detail about those individuals.
The Committee expressed concern at Fusion’ apparent financial weakness as evidenced by the record at Companies House and a loss in the last financial year. Mark Munday acknowledged that the previous year had been very challenging for Fusion. The current year was better and improvements were evident. The financial position was shared with officers at least monthly.
The Head of Community Services said he recognised that some aspects of provision were unsatisfactory and officers were working closely with Fusion locally and with the Fusion senior executive team, to address concerns. He registered a note of caution about the requests for further disaggregated data. The information currently collected was set against national benchmarking data. In the absence of a readily available means of gathering the additional data now asked for, the costs associated with it would be considerable. The focus should, rather, be on addressing the areas of concern.
Councillor Smith, as Board Member for Leisure and Housing, said that she and officers met Fusion Lifestyle representatives on at least a monthly basis to review and challenged the company’s performance as necessary. She noted that the swimming provision was particularly good and that more work needed to be done to publicise that in schools. Fusion were also taking steps to improve the way in which their performance data are captured.
The Leisure and Performance Manager explained that the initial field work for the additional audit scope (to test the robustness of Fusion Lifestyles financial and participation accounting), was progressing with an independent auditor who expected to present findings and recommendation to Scrutiny Committee in January 2019.
- Q2 Scrutiny Performance report v1, item 69. PDF 97 KB
- Appendix 1 - Fusion Lifestyle Performance Dashboard, item 69. PDF 313 KB