St Neots Leisure Centre Management Committee: expired April 2009
Thursday, 12 February 2009 3:00 pm
Proposed venue: St Neots Recreation Centre, Barford Road, Eynesbury, St Neots
Contact: Mrs Jessica Walker, Trainee Democratic Services Officer, Tel No 01480 387049/e-mail: Jessica.Walker@huntsdc.gov.uk
of the meeting held on
No declarations were received.
LEISURE CENTRE MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT
The Committee considered a report by the Head of Administration and General Manager, Leisure Centres (a copy of which is appended in the Minute Book) summarising proposals to change the way in which the joint provision of Leisure Centres were managed and funded in the future.
The Head of Administration explained that although the Management Committee had successfully managed the Leisure Centre at St Neots since 1986, the present funding and governance arrangements had become outdated and could no longer be justified.
The Committee was informed of proposals to delegate the budget for educational use of the Leisure Centres to the secondary schools and to primary schools that used the centres’ pools. Schools would retain priority usage of the majority of the pool and certain other facilities during term time school hours for which they would be charged an hourly rate with any time that the Centre was not being utilised by the schools being sold to the public by the District Council. Members were informed that the County Council would continue to meet a proportion of capital repair costs.
It was reported that under the new proposals, responsibility for management of the Centres would be exclusively undertaken by the District Council, which obviated the necessity for retention of the Management Committees. The Committee was advised that the changes would achieve annual savings in excess of £20,000 in external audit fees, plus the administrative costs of servicing meetings and preparation of separate accounts.
Having regard to the existing priorities of both the County and District Councils to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce childhood obesity, it was proposed that an active leisure forum be established comprising representatives of both authorities and the Governing Bodies of the Secondary Schools where the Centres were located. The suggested terms of reference were set out in an Annex to the report now submitted.
It was explained that Executive responsibility for the Leisure Centres would revert to the District Council's Cabinet, but to assist the Executive Councillor for Leisure and to ensure a local focus for community representation it was proposed that one district councillor from the notional catchment area should represent each Centre and become the first contact at Member level for issues relating to centre staff and users.
The Committee was informed that while the Management Committees would be wound up with effect from the end of the financial year, the delegation of budgets by the County Council to the schools would not take effect until September 2009, and new agreements would be prepared between the District and County Councils and the District and the School Governing Bodies. It was reported that subject to the Cabinet's decision, this would be the last regular meeting of the Committee with a final meeting in early April to confirm the minutes and formally conclude the business of the Committee. It was therefore
(a) that, subject to the approval of the recommendations in the attached report by the cabinet, a final meeting of the management committee be ... view the full minutes text for item 30.
2008/09 REVENUE MONITORING AND 2009/2010 REVENUE BUDGET
Consideration was given to a joint report by the Treasurer, Leisure Centres’ Co-ordinator and Centre Manager (a copy of which is appended in the Minute Book) giving details of the estimated outturn for the current year in the budget for 2009/2010. With regard to the projected outturn for the current year, Members noted that there had been a decrease of £47,000 in net expenditure when compared to the original budget with net expenditure in 2009/2010 expected to be £69,000 higher than the original budget for the current year.
CENTRE MANAGER'S REPORT
The Committee received and noted the contents of the Centre Manager's report (a copy of which is appended in the Minute Book). In so doing, comment was made as follows:-
(a) Performance Indicators
Members noted that the number of live card holders stood at 426 below target which the Centre Manager attributed to the recent pool closure and the target being too ambitious when compared against previously high numbers of card holders.
Conversely it was reported that direct debit and annual members stood at 971, which exceeded the target.
(b) Admissions and Income
The Committee was presented with details of admissions for activities at the Centre for the past quarter. Particular attention was drawn to public swimming figures which had increased by 1,000 when compared to the same period in 2006/07, which was the last period that the pool had been fully open.
(c) Indoor Sports
Members were pleased to note that income and admissions for indoor sports had exceeded target by almost 3%, despite the permanent closure of the badminton court and daytime closure of a squash court, due to refurbishment works. It was reported that as dry-side parties continued to struggle due to the economic downturn, prices would be dropped in an effort to regenerate interest.
(d) Synthetic Pitches
Members were encouraged to note that synthetic pitches were exceeding income targets by 13%. As the pitches had been closed for three weeks due to the recent poor weather, this would have an impact on income but it was anticipated that the end of year target should still be met.
(e) Bars and Café
It was reported that the bar and catering facilities were the only area not achieving targets. Plans to alter the service were being refined as part of the redevelopment of the dry side facility.
Members were informed that admissions were slightly higher compared to 2007/08. Although it was becoming difficult to retain members due to the current economic climate, cancellations and take-up of direct debits were being monitored closely. When questioned on the remit of Impressions advertising, the Impressions Brand Manager informed Members that advertising was not restricted to the St. Neots area and that this extended as far as Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.
It was noted that savings on employee expenditure were being eroded by the increase in wages for casual staffing, particularly at the swimming pool due to increased admissions.
The Committee was advised that following completion of a district-wide staffing review, recruitment for the redesignated posts of Operations Manager and Operations Supervisor was underway, which would facilitate further development of the service and provide staff with a better opportunity to progress through the establishment.
Members were pleased to note a saving of just under £60,000 on premises expenditure, which was attributed to the timing of utility bills and the Centre's attempts to save money to offset any shortfall in income from the redevelopment project.
(i) Net Expenditure
The Centre Manager reported a saving of ... view the full minutes text for item 32.
MANAGEMENT OF HEALTH AND SAFETY AT LEISURE CENTRES
The Committee received and noted a report by the Leisure Centres Health and Safety Co-ordinator (a copy of which is appended in the Minute Book) outlining areas of work undertaken at the Centre since the previous meeting and summarising accidents which had been reported in that period. In referring to the number of accidents in the pool shower area, it was reported that there had been no further slips by customers since the installation of additional drainage.
The Committee was advised that new guidelines were expected from the Health and Safety Executive relating to sunbeds. It was confirmed that sunbeds would be phased out of all Centres in due course when equipment required replacement. In the interim Members were assured that the Leisure Centres had always followed HSE guidelines in relation to sunbed usage.
DATE OF Last MEETING
noted that the last meeting of the Management Committee would take place on