Agenda item

Fusion Lifestyle’s 2017/18 Annual Service Plan for the management of the council’s leisure facilities.

Background Information

The Scrutiny Committee has asked for this item to be included on the agenda for pre-decision scrutiny.  A Fusion Lifestyle performance report for 2016/17 will be presented at a future committee meeting.


Why is it on the agenda?

The City Executive Board will be asked to approve the report at its meeting on 11 May 2017. This is an opportunity for the Scrutiny Committee to make recommendations to the City Executive Board.

Who has been invited to comment?

·         Cllr Linda Smith, Board Member for Leisure, Parks & Sport;

·         Ian Brooke, Head of Community Services;

·         Lucy Cherry, Leisure and Performance Manager.





The Head of Community Services presented the report.  He highlighted the positive progress made in leisure participation since Fusion Lifestyles took over the running of the leisure centres in 2009. He explained that the targets remain ambitious; they are challenging but not impossible.


Cllr Smith, Board Member for Leisure, Parks & Sport outlined the key focus areas for the forthcoming year these include:

·         Increasing participation

·         Reducing carbon emissions at centres in particular Hinksey Outdoor Pool where they hoped to use a Pool cover to reduce loss of heating. The logistics for how this would work would be a challenge for Fusion – (size and shape of the pool).

·         The Free U17 swimming classes needed more promotion at the individual pools

·         Keen to see progress of a crèche facility at Ferry.


The Head of Community Services said the Scrutiny Committee could offer changes to the report – to an extent.


The Committee made the following comments:


They would like to know the number of individuals using the facilities rather than the number of visits. The Committee were concerned the same people were visiting the facilities and skewing the results. The Head of Community Services said that visits were the benchmark used but we could review the usage. Moving people onto reward cards to capture this data would be paramount.


They would like to see added to the key areas how Fusion plans to improve disability facilities at the centres. The Head of Community Services said encouraging inclusiveness was a fundamental objective of the Fusion contract.


They enquired what the geographic spread of the users at each facility was. Fusion’s Sports and Partnership Group Manager said that people were using multiple facilities across the city.  Which facilities are the former users of Temple Cowley Leisure Centre going to?


Increased usage is great but there is a trade-off between usage and cleanliness.


The Committee suggested including some of the feedback from user groups regarding performance in the report next year.


Queried whether it would be more meaningful to consider the Annual Service Plan alongside the performance monitoring document.


Asked what strategies are used to encourage usage in the off-peak periods. Cllr Smith said that the usage data is constantly being reviewed and that she reviews performance data every month.


In terms of GP referrals; are GPs working with Fusion actively.  Fusion’s Sport and Partnership Group Manager said GP referrals vary across the city. His new role is responsible for improving this. Fusion also works closely with Sport England and various mental health services.


Asked if it was feasible for city residents to get cheaper membership than people outside of the city? Cllr Smith said it was worth considering; the U17 free swimming classes are for residents only.


The Scrutiny Committee made the following recommendations to the City Executive Board:


  1. That the City Council, in partnership with Fusion Lifestyle, resolves the issue of whether or not to capture the numbers of individual leisure centre users (as far as practicably possible) in addition to the numbers of visits, either by coming forward with a plan for doing so or providing reasons why not.


  1. That the Service Plan includes a greater emphasis on improving disabled access to leisure centres.


  1. That in future years Fusion Lifestyle Service Plans can be presented to the Scrutiny Committee for pre-decision scrutiny alongside performance data for the previous year.  This is likely to mean the service plans going to CEB for endorsement in June rather than May in future years.


The Committee also requested geographical and seasonal information about leisure centre usage as part of the annual performance report, as well as feedback from user groups.


Cllr Tidball left the meeting at 18.35

Supporting documents: