Agenda Item No.
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
CABINET: 8TH APRIL, 2013
REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT): 12TH MARCH, 2013
“ LEISURE CENTRE PARTNERSHIP PROJECT (DDS) –
The report provided the Committee with an update on the progress of the Leisure Management Partnership Contract with Parkwood Community Leisure. The Chairman advised that prior to the meeting, on 22nd February 2013, Members of the Committee together with the Cabinet Member and Chairman of Corporate Resources had undertaken site visits to Barry, Cowbridge, Llantwit Major and Penarth Leisure Centres in order to witness the work that had been undertaken and the ongoing work at the premises. As a result of the visit the Operational Manager advised that a request had been made for the Committee to receive details of recent energy saving initiatives that had been introduced into the Centres and this information was attached at Appendix A to the report.
The report further outlined that the tender submitted by Parkwood Community Leisure fully complied with the requirements detailed in the Invitation to Tender documentation and as a result several major initiatives had been introduced during the first seven months of the partnership. These included a major investment of £1,000,000 in Barry and Penarth Leisure Centres, funded by the Council, which was available to all potential partners on the proviso that the overall contract price would benefit in excess of £1,000,000 during the ten initial years of the partnership. Parkwood Community Leisure had used this money to create new fitness suites in both Barry and Penarth, the creation of a new exercise studio in Penarth and significant work on the development of a café in the foyer of Barry Leisure Centre (due to open in April 2013).
In addition, Parkwood Community Leisure had also provided new gym equipment and created a new catering service in Penarth. The catering area was not included in the contract submission but had been provided as an additional facility.
Work had also been completed on a new fitness suite for Llantwit Major Leisure Centre which had been funded by the Council, again on a payback principle, which had been detailed in the completed contract documentation.
The £2,000,000 allocated by the Council to address issues associated with the condition surveys commissioned as part of the contract process had been partly spent on items such as roof repairs and electrical works. Discussions were currently ongoing between Parkwood Community Leisure and Council officers on how the remainder of this allocation would be spent.
Other significant initiatives introduced by Parkwood Community Leisure since the commencement of the partnership agreement included a new fitness class timetable at all sites, with more classes now being offered than previously, the introduction of (Sway) dance classes for children and young people, significant investment from Parkwood on new spin bikes, a refreshed learn to swim programme and new branding initiatives such as Café Vita and "Expressions" health and fitness.
The Operational Manager advised that as a result of the above usage of the Centres was increasing at significant rates and more staff were employed by Parkwood Community Leisure, in the Vale of Glamorgan, than the Council employed at the point of transfer. Complaints had also been low, with possibly the greatest difficulty being experienced with pitch bookings, which were a late variation to the contract.
The Chairman and Committee Members took the opportunity to thank the Operational Manager and Democratic Scrutiny Officer for the arrangements made for the site visits which they had found extremely helpful and useful and which had given an excellent insight into the partnership with Parkwood.
In addition the Operational Manager advised that it was important to note that the Barry and Penarth Leisure Centres were the two busiest Centres that Parkwood operated. The Chairman stated that the report was positive and that Parkwood had made great strides with the refurbishments that were being undertaken. However, whilst undertaking the site visits Members had become aware of recharging issues within the Council but, as the matter was not within this Scrutiny Committee’s remit, the Chairman suggested that he discuss the matter with the Chairman of Corporate Resources.
Following consideration of the report, it was
(1) T H A T the Chairman, with the approval of the Scrutiny Committee, be requested to discuss the issue of Council recharges with the Chairman of the Corporate Resources Scrutiny Committee.
(2) T H A T the report be referred to Cabinet for information in view of the good progress that was being made at the Centres.
Reasons for recommendations
(1) In order for the Council to consider a way forward to progress any recharge issues.
(2) The Committee considered that the report provided a good update on the partnership with Parkwood and that the Cabinet should be informed accordingly of the progress to date.”
Attached as Appendix - Report to Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment): 12th March 2013