Agenda Item No 6


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment): 12th March, 2013


Report of the Director of Development Services


Leisure Centre Partnership Project


Purpose of the Report

1.             The purpose of this report is to update the Committee on the progress of the Leisure Management Partnership Contract with Parkwood Community Leisure.


1.             That the Committee note the report.

Reason for the Recommendation

1.             To note progress made to date on the Leisure Management Partnership Contract.


2.             Following a comprehensive procurement procedure, Parkwood Community Leisure commenced a management contract for the Vale of Glamorgan's leisure centres on 1st August, 2012.

Relevant Issues and Options

3.             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 have been introduced during the first seven months of the partnership. 

4.             These include 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 has 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 now open in April 2013).

5.             In addition, Parkwood Community Leisure has also provided new gym equipment and created a new catering service in Penarth.  The catering area was not included in the contract submission but has been provided as an additional facility.

6.             Work has also been completed on a new fitness suite for Llantwit Major Leisure Centre which has been funded by the Council, again on a payback principle, which has been detailed in the completed contract documentation.

7.             The £2,000,000 allocated by the Council to address issues associated with the condition surveys commissioned as part of the contract process has been partly spent on items such as roof repairs and electrical works.  Discussions are currently ongoing between Parkwood Community Leisure and the Council officers on how the remainder of this allocation will be spent. 

8.             Other significant initiatives introduced by Parkwood Community Leisure since the commencement of the partnership agreement include 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.

9.             As a result, uses of the leisure centres are increasing at significant rates and more staff are employed by Parkwood Community Leisure, in the Vale of Glamorgan, than the Council employed at the point of transfer.

10.        Complaints have been low, with possibly the greatest difficulty being experienced with pitch bookings, which were a late variation to the contract.

11.        Members of this committee recently visited the main sites included in the partnership agreement and a request was made for details of recent energy saving initiatives introduced into the centres.  Details of these are attached at Appendix A.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

12.        There are no direct resource implications associated with this report.  To date, there have been no financial variations to the agreed contract.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

13.        As detailed in the report, the Leisure Service is very aware of the need to reduce carbon emissions where possible. This can also have the added advantage of reducing costs in certain instances.  Where possible, energy saving schemes have been introduced as detailed in Appendix A.  From a sustainability perspective, encouraging participation in sporting and/or physical activity, can also add to community cohesion whilst at the same time encouraging a wider adoption of healthy life style choices such as walking and cycling, thereby cutting down on the use of private cars for local trips. 

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

14.        There are no legal implications associated with this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

15.        Meaningful sports and leisure opportunities are now proven to have a positive effect on crime and disorder issues.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

16.        Equality is a key element of the Council's contract with Parkwood Community Leisure.  The Council's Sports and Leisure Service is committed to delivering the Council's equal opportunity policies and the requirement on the partner organisation to do the same is included in the contract documentation.

Corporate/Service Objectives

17.        The provision of the services discussed in this report is integral to the Council's health and wellbeing objectives.  In addition, the additional employment opportunities being offered by Parkwood Community Leisure in the Vale of Glamorgan are in line with the Council's economic development objectives.

Policy Framework and Budget

18.        This report is a matter for executive decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

19.        No Members have been consulted on the contents of the report as the issues are Vale-wide rather than Ward specific.  

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

20.        Economy and Environment.

Background Papers


Contact Officer

Dave Knevett, Operational Manager, Leisure and Tourism.  Telephone number 01446 704817.

Officers Consulted

Committee Reports

Head of Finance

Operational Manager, Legal Services

Operational Manager, Parks and Open Spaces

Operational Manager, Property

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services