Agenda item

Leisure Services Contract - To Follow


Councillor Patel (Cabinet Member for Customer Services, Leisure & Sport), Craig McArdle (Strategic Director for People) and Louise Kelley (Interim, Chief Operating Officer for PAL) presented the Leisure Services Contract report and highlighted the following key points:



the Leisure Services Contract with PAL had been in place for approximately two months taking over from Plymouth Active;



significant progress had been made since the leisure services contract was presented to the scrutiny panel three months ago; the contract started on 1 April 2022, the TUPE of 215+ staff had taken place and was a big undertaking and Louise Kelley had been appointed as Interim Chief Operating Officer for PAL. It was considered that there was still a lot of work to be done, all whilst working through a difficult trading environment for leisure services.


Members discussed:



it was considered that effective communication had not taken place with local people; it was considered that local engagement was important to the success of this contract; it was responded that a marketing manager had recently been appointed and work with the local community would take place;



who the community representatives would be on the governance board; it was responded that the draft terms of reference for the board would be circulated within the next fortnight and social media would be used to advertise positions;



where did the electricity from the solar panels from the Life Centre go to? It was responded that the electric got recycled into the budget of energy consumption; nothing went back to the grid;



what was the coverage of the health and safety audit and did security still work at the Life Centre? An incident had recently taken place with some young lads being attacked; the health and safety audit was of industry standard and was against the policies in place at the building. Security guards did work at the Life Centre at peak times and when the circus was at Central Park;



was the Council’s sports facilities in danger of closing due to the lack of availability of chemicals for the water? It was responded that the council was aware of the national chemical shortage and was making plans to have appropriate supplies;



why was reference to Plymstock swimming pool not made in the report? It was responded that this was managed by Leisure East Devon;



what was the budget for the project? It was responded that the budget for Leisure Management was £5m, and the contribution from the Council was through a contract – there were risks around energy and membership;



it was requested that an update was made at the next Performance, Finance and Customer Focus Overview and Scrutiny Committee detailing full profit and loss for each facility, along with appropriate actions plans for recovery/ mitigation;



were officers aware of energy costs and could a breakdown of price per kilowatt be provided? It was responded that this could be provided as part of the deep dive into the project;



what were the expected levels of membership for the facility? It was responded that this could be provided as a deep dive into the project;



if the Council was unable to facilitate engagement to the ‘satellite’ sport and leisure centres would they be sold and when Plymouth Active Leisure was set up was there a consideration for bringing in tennis courts/ bowling clubs into the contract? It was considered that officers had missed a lot of income generation there; it was responded that tennis courts and bowling clubs were not considered. In terms of sustainability of the centres were brought into the contract so they were more sustainable.


The Committee agreed that –



a report would be provided at the next meeting to consider financial profit and loss for each leisure facility, including membership details, investment information and opportunities and risk (part 2 report required);



Officers consider the feasibility of bringing all of the Council’s leisure facilities into one contract to enable better management and potential cost saving opportunities.





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