Agenda item

Fusion Lifestyle's Performance Report - 2016/17

Background Information

Fusion Lifestyle is the Council’s leisure partner. The Committee has requested an annual report on Fusion Lifestyle contract performance.

Why is it on the agenda?

For the Committee to scrutinise Fusion Lifestyle contract performance. The Committee is asked to note the report and provide feedback.


Report to follow

Who has been invited to comment?

Councillor Linda Smith, Board Member for Leisure, Parks & Sport;

Tim Sadler, Executive Director for Sustainable City;

Mark Munday, Divisional Manager, Fusion Lifestyle.



The Director for Sustainable City presented the Annual report. He highlighted that:

·         Participation levels  had fallen

·         Free swimming sessions for the under 17 had been well attended

·         Customer satisfaction levels were high

·         Introduction of healthier alternatives were to be offered in the vending machines.


The Divisional Manager for Fusion Lifestyle said that in the last year, participation levels for bonus card holder had reduced. This was due to a combination of leisure centres being renovated and the opening of several low cost gyms in Oxford which are offering cheaper prices for gym users than Fusion. Fusion’s business plan is not to match them on price but to focus on value. By providing good quality facilities, continuing to staff the centres and offering a wide range of activities which are attractive to the whole family.


The steeper decline in participation levels of bonus users in deprived areas has led to Fusion offering a cheaper offer for users of the Leys Leisure Centre. There is a higher rate of casual users in deprived areas. This data is not captured by Fusion.


The Committee provided the following feedback:


The Committee requested a breakdown of the participation rate, activity and ethnicity per leisure centre.


Given the market has changed and participation levels are falling, is the current Council contract with Fusion still working?   The Director for Sustainable City said that the impact on falling participation rates is more of a financial concern for Fusion than the Council. There are no financial implications for the Council as the Council no longer pays Fusion an infrastructure grant or user subsidy.  If the trend continues, Fusion might get worried about their business model.


The Committee asked to see participation figures for all council funded leisure activities. The Sports Development Manager said that data was available and she will make sure it is sent to the committee.


Both Fusion and the Council will be running marketing campaigns to promote Fusion’s range of activities.


GP referrals are still happening and Fusion has trained more staff so that more GP referrals can be accepted. It is a perennial struggle to maintain GP referrals and encourage surgeries to refer people. It was suggested the GP referral form was too cumbersome to fill out.  Officer to review this and report feedback to GPs.


Fusion has the same target as the Council to reduce CO2 emissions each year by 5%. We are getting to a stage where more expensive schemes are needed to meet this target. This year LCD lighting has been installed at Ferry Leisure Centre and a pool cover for Hinksey is being considered.


Concern was raised about BME usage at leisure centres particularly the women’s only pool session being staffed by men which has discouraged users. The Divisional Manager for Fusion Lifestyle said that it was Fusion’s intention for female staff to run female only sessions however, occasionally it can’t be due to sickness etc. 

The Committee asked whether Fusion could make the pool private during women only sessions to encourage participation. Fusion would need to look at the participation levels for these specific sessions before committing resources.


The Divisional Manager for Fusion Lifestyle said Fusion needed to do more to promote family membership. He said Fusion could do a postcode analysis targeting BME families’ participation in leisure centres.


The Committee asked whether the bonus concession membership include children who are carers. The Divisional Manager for Fusion Lifestyle said he would have to check and would discuss including them if they are not already covered.


The Committee NOTED the report

Supporting documents: