Issue - meetings
Leisure Performance Update
The Scrutiny Committee in September considered a paper on leisure performance that was written in response to questions asked by the Committee in July.
Why is it on the agenda?
The Committee requested more detailed responses to their questions and invited the Board Member and Head of Service to a future meeting to discuss these in more detail.
Who has been invited to comment?
· Councillor Linda Smith, Board Member for Leisure, Parks & Sport;
· Ian Brooke, Head of Community Services;
· Lucy Cherry, Leisure Performance Manager.
Mr Nigel Gibson addressed the Committee. He said that benchmarking was merely a tool to support increasing prices. He felt the customer satisfaction comments were handpicked to show only good comments, and that no work had been done to track which leisure centres the former Temple Cowley pool users were now going too.
The Head of Community Services and the Leisure and Performance Manager presented the report. The Head of Community Services said that at the start of the Fusion contract 800,000 visits to the leisure centres took place annually, now it was up to1.4m. The annual cost to the Council was nearly £2m at the beginning of the contract and now it is nearly zero.
Fusion is a non-profit social enterprise organisation and there is a surplus sharing principle in the contract with the Council. Most surpluses made are invested back into the centres.
Benchmarking with other authorities is used to ensure prices are competitive and comparable with the market rate. Prices are reviewed annually and scrutinised by the Leisure Partnership Board. Prices are regularly reviewed and tested and have in some cases reduced.
Users are involved in the Leisure Partnership Board and the Council wants to strengthen this to get more users involved.
Fusion doesn’t just rely on customer comments and complaints but is proactive at collecting user feedback. Council Apprentices have also recently contributed to actively seek feedback from younger users.
The Committee made the following comments:
Cllr Fry said that the user group he attends use to have a large number of maintenance complaints which has gone down significantly
The Head of Community Services said that no centre has a maintenance backlog. The budget is available, but the challenge is finding the time to repair things as the centres are busier which leads to more wear and tear.
Cllr Lygo asked about the progress made in providing healthy food at the centres. Cllr Smith, Board Member for Leisure and Sport said that a trial of healthy vending machine had been promising. Fusion’s contract with their providers for vending machines and food and beverage concessions are up for renewal at the end of 2017 – so at that point we could look at a wider offering of healthier food.
Cllr Fry asked about the user group figures in the report. Are they correct, because the figures suggest the focus should be on young people?
The Head of Community Services agreed and said activities are provided to young people through the youth inclusion programme. He said that social return on investment (SROI) is built into the Fusion contract and it is their responsibility to show how social impact can be measured.
Cllr Henwood asked if the customer satisfaction comments were from the reference group or general public and could we see the survey results?
The Leisure and Performance Manager said they came from a selection of surveys including the monthly customer comments, national benchmarking surveys and proactive feedback requests.
Cllr Simmons said that Council had invested £14m in ... view the full minutes text for item 82