Leisure Centres Annual Review
Report of the Head of Community Services
The Head of Community Services spoke to the report and handed over to the Contract Manager for Everyone Active to give a presentation providing an overview of the performance of the leisure partnership between May 2021 to April 2022.
In response to a question in relation to the free activity provision, it was confirmed that this was included in the Activ8 programme and provided a range of activities for children which included swimming.
A Member raised several concerns that had been received from residents including the entrance system which seemed poor, the tired squash courts and the unfinished sauna. Officers confirmed that there were some teething problems when the new leisure centre was opened, and these had now been rectified. In relation to the entrance system, it was a card swiping system which was being abused by some of those with membership cards, therefore work has been carried out to tackle the problem and improvements should be seen in the coming months. In relation to the squash courts, officers reported that this was a multi-use space which was used for clubs during school holidays, which initially was not being covered correctly and resulted in some markings, and this has now also been rectified. In relation to the sauna, it was reported that it was opened slightly later than the full centre opening but had been operational for some time.
A Member questioned the need for the public to pay to fund a facility such as the new leisure centre, especially as there was no data available to indicate how far it reached. It was proposed that in future, information such as: what was being done to reach people that needed to use the facility, whether GP referrals worked and do those referred attend sessions. It was also noted that there were no longer dedicated swimming sessions for those with disabilities or children on the spectrum as there were at Hermitage Leisure Centre. Officers responded that the facilities offered across the district were essential to achieve the Council’s health and wellbeing priorities, and that the leisure offer available was one of the best in the region. Members were informed that following the recovery from lockdown, the service was now moving onto the next stages of the plan which was to measure the impact on the community and the shaping of the service moving forward to include specific sessions for those groups of people that needed them. More measurable information would be available in future updates. Members were also reminded that the new leisure centre was only one part of the health and wellbeing offer to residents and the role of the NWLDC Health and Wellbeing team was to help the residents that needed access to sport and physical activity opportunities the most to be able to access them, either within the community or the leisure centre, with the support of Everyone Active where appropriate.
A comment was made in relation to the temperature of the new leisure centre pool as some feedback received from residents to Members was that it was too cold. A Member felt that it was important to have a hot pool for those with medical needs. Officers stated that the pool temperature was just under 29 degrees, which was at the higher end of the required temperature range and no complaints had been received to date. Pools with a higher temperature for medical needs, such as a hydrotherapy pool, was not a specification for this centre and therefore was not something that could be provided. It was noted that the temperature of the pool was not something that could be altered quickly to allow different temperatures for different sessions.
A Member commented on the great facility available to residents and was pleased to see that after a recent visit, users could still book and pay for sessions at the centre as well as online. It was acknowledged that there was a number of medal winning athletes from the district and it was suggested that an honours board be erected in the leisure centre to recognise them.
A request was received for another tour of the leisure centre for members to mark the year anniversary of it opening, it was felt that it would be beneficial, especially for those that did not attend the first tour before it opened. Officers agreed and confirmed that it was the intention to continue to organise annual tours for Members.
It was moved by Councillor J Geary, seconded by Councillor J Legrys and
The performance of the Leisure Partnership with Everyone Active for the period May 2021 to April 2022 be noted.
- Leisure Centres Annual Review Scrutiny Report, item 60. PDF 798 KB
- Appendix A, item 60. PDF 141 KB
- Appendix B, item 60. PDF 13 MB
- Appendix C, item 60. PDF 1 MB
- Everyone Active - Contract Year 3 - Presentation, item 60. PDF 2 MB