Lydney Leisure Centre
The Group Manager for Customer Service to give an oral update on the leisure strategy as it relates to Lydney.
The Group Manager for Customer Service presented an oral update on the leisure management plan as it affected Lydney. He included the following points.
Cllr Hogan expressed concern at the haste to move the school to academy status and the short consultation period, which he believed ended before the end of July. He asked what guarantees there were regarding the council’s investment in the leisure centre, given that its partner would no longer be another local authority but a private company. He also thought it better to delay the project if there were any risk to the council’s investment.
Cllrs Martin, Bevan and Pugh expressed similar concerns.
Cllr Robinson confirmed that no money had been committed and that the cabinet would make a decision regarding investment later when considering a detailed business plan. He believed that the assets were protected, but would check.
The group manager stated that the council currently had a joint use agreement with the county council, which included clawback clauses. Any change in governance arrangements at the school would not affect that agreement. The council would need to be sure that its investment was protected.
Answering Cllr Winship the group manager said that the preferred option for the fitness centre work would not disrupt its use. Once agreed by the cabinet the work would probably take 12 to 16 weeks.
Cllr Whitburn asked what effect the two private fitness facilities had on the leisure centre fitness centre, particularly the one newly opened.
The group manager replied that with the first opening, the impact had been short-lived and the council’s facility had regained its market. The two now complemented each other. He also believed that the new facility was different again and not a direct competitor to the council’s offer. The council offered packages that included swimming and health and fitness options at a competitive rate. It also included activities from its GP referral scheme, for which all GPs in the district had signed up.
Cllr McMahon asked how much revenue profit was achieved on the fitness suite. He said that members had been told that benefits would be seen in less than five years without the need for modernising.
The group manager replied that in broad terms it would be £20,000 better off as a worst case. There was no need to modernise the actual equipment used in the fitness suite. When considering the income-sharing arrangement in terms of the base budget the five-year payback was possible. He would discuss the matter separately with Cllr McMahon.