Agenda Item No. 5


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment): 14th April 2015


Report of the Director of Development Services


Leisure Management Contract


Purpose of the Report

1.         The purpose of this report is to provide a year two report on the performance of the Leisure Management Contract.


1.         That Committee notes the performance of Parkwood Community Leisure.

2.         That a year 3 performance report be presented to this Scrutiny Committee later in 2015

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To note the performance of the contractor in year 2 of the contract.

2.         To enable the Committee to be regularly updated on the performance of the Leisure Management Contract.


2.         The Council's Leisure Management Contract was awarded to Parkwood Community Leisure and commenced on 1st August 2012 for a period of ten years with the possibility of a further five year extension.  The award of the contract followed an extensive procurement process and set out to significantly reduce the revenue cost of the Council's leisure centres' operation.

At its meeting on the 5th November 2013 the Committee recommended to receive a report on the performance of the Leisure Services Contract on an annual basis (Scrutiny minute 554 refers).

Relevant Issues and Options

3.         Attached at Appendix A is the Annual Report received from Parkwood Community Leisure.  Additional information provided by Parkwood is also attached at Appendix 'A'. Contained within the original Annual Report are details of performance  relating to key performance information Parkwood Leisure are required to provide to the Council under the terms of the contract.  As a result of an examination of the information provided, combined with the more rigorous monitoring arrangements now in place, further information was requested from Parkwood Leisure which is the Addendum to Appendix 'A'.

4.         The report highlights various successes since Parkwood was awarded the contract.  These include an increase of 45% in fitness members, an increase in casual badminton bookings of 43% and an increase in party bookings of 17%.

5.         Year 2 of the contract has also seen completion of Condition Survey works which have included major replacement of the heating and ventilation systems in Barry and Penarth Leisure Centres, significant electrical works in all centres and repairs to roofs at various centres.  The leisure centres are now in the best condition they have been in for approximately twenty years.  Ideally, further works are required to changing areas but at present funds are not available to facilitate this work.

6.         During year 2, the contract with Parkwood Community Leisure has built upon the successes during the first year of operation. That said, Members will be aware that one significant problem encountered during the past year was the fire at Penarth Leisure Centre which has had a detrimental effect on attendance levels at Penarth swimming pool and also impacted on the programme of swimming classes at the centre. 

7.         Representatives from Parkwood Leisure will also be present at the Scrutiny Committee to answer any questions.     

8.         As members are aware a new contract monitoring system has recently been established.  The approach has been to provide a checklist which concentrates on the key requirements of the contract documentation and is broken down into four significant areas, namely; Financial (protecting the investment), Property (protecting the asset), Leisure Service (protecting the customer) and Employment (protecting the workforce). The checklist has been shared with Parkwood Leisure and discussed during contract monitoring meetings. A team approach to monitoring has also been established by bringing together specific officers from within the finance and property departments in addition to the Leisure department under the management of the Director of Development Services.  This group is currently meeting quarterly with representatives of Parkwood Leisure and also separately on a monthly basis to ensure a robust approach to contract monitoring.  A briefing session on Leisure contract monitoring has also taken place with Members of the Committee facilitated by the Section 151 officer and the Director of Development Services.  The Leisure and Tourism Operational Manager is continuing to meet with Parkwood Leisure on a monthly basis in addition to the above arrangements.

9.         The year three report from Parkwood Leisure is expected to follow the format of the checklist but for year two the checklist was being completed at the same time as Parkwood Leisure was compiling its annual report.   The majority of contract conditions are being complied with at present, although some areas of weakness have been identified, primarily within the Financial and Property aspects of the contract.  Efforts are however, being made to rectify these areas and regular meetings continue to be an important aspect of the partnership approach being developed between Parkwood Leisure and the Council for the operation of the Leisure Centres.

10.      In addition to the annual checklist a customer research project has been undertaken by gaining the opinions of Vale of Glamorgan staff that use the facilities.  The results of this exercise are currently being evaluated, but in general they demonstrate satisfaction with the service although significant mention is made of the condition of the changing rooms.  Whilst Parkwood Leisure is responsible for cleaning and maintenance of changing areas, any refurbishment would be the responsibility of the Council.  .  Preparation is also advanced on a wider satisfaction survey via the Council's website.  Other initiatives are also under consideration and will be reported at a future date if adopted.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

11.      Under the terms of the contract, Parkwood Community Leisure is now paying the Council for the delivery of this service.  The sum paid to the Council will further increase at the end of year 3.

12.      There are no direct resource implications for the committee to consider at this time, other than to confirm that the resource implications of the monitoring arrangements are being met from within existing budgets

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

13.      Many of the improvements carried out as part of the Condition Survey works increased the effectiveness and efficiency of major items of plant within the leisure centres.  This is intrinsically linked to the Council's sustainability and climate change objectives.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

14.      This report, last year reported that the actual contract had still to be formally signed.  It can now be confirmed that the contract has now been fully completed.  A variation allowing Parkwood Leisure to subcontract to Legacy Leisure was recently agreed by Cabinet and is currently being progressed, which will result in further savings for the Council.

Crime and Disorder Implications

15.      Meaningful sports and leisure opportunities are now proven to have a positive effect on crime and disorder issues.  The improvements made to facilities and the additional services now offered in the leisure centres can only be beneficial in terms of providing additional constructive opportunities for physical activity.  

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

16.      Parkwood Community Leisure has continued to demonstrate its commitment to equal opportunities during year 2 of the contract.  

Corporate/Service Objectives

17.      The provision of services discussed in this report is integral to the Council's health and wellbeing objectives.  The Leisure Management Contract also demonstrates the Council's commitment to working in partnership to deliver high quality services to its customers.  

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 content of this report as the issues are Vale-wide rather than Ward specific.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

20.      Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

Annual Report received from Parkwood Community Leisure.


Contact Officer

David Knevett, Operational Manager, Leisure and Tourism.  Tel. 01446 704817


Officers Consulted

Head of Finance

Operational Manager, Legal Services

Operational Manager, Property

Operational Manager, Human Resources

Sport and Play Manager


Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services