To receive a presentation and update on the management contract and performance from CBC Officers and Everyone Active (Sport and Leisure Management Ltd), followed by questions and answers
Due to the nature of the discussions within the above item, should Councillors wish to scrutinise financial issues or aspects of any contractual arrangements in specific detail, the meeting may need to move to Part B (Exempt item) as this may be viewed as financially/commercially sensitive.
Members received a presentation from representatives from Everyone Active (Sport and Leisure Management Ltd), the Head of Major Projects and Commercial Services, Partnership Services Manager, Senior Leisure Officer together with the Cabinet Member for Wellbeing on the leisure management contract together with the performance and changes that Everyone Active had focused on recently, which included:
· A brief background to the contract. The key elements had been aiming to provide high quality services, stronger links with schools, raising the profile of the town through sport and reduce the subsidy to the council.
· The current operators and CBC shared a vision and there was an opportunity to work in partnership. It was highlighted that that there remained a strong focus on health and wellbeing, sports development and customer service, whilst re-investing in the facility.
· During the transition period regular support was provided through a ‘buddy system’ to ensure ongoing assistance and collaboration.
· Since managing K2 Crawley the main outcomes had been increases in attendance, particularly in junior activities, participation in over 50s activity, disability sport and the talented athlete programme.
· Partnership work with Crawley Wellbeing had continued and there had been further development with vulnerable groups.
· Further investment had occurred including work on signage/branding, specialist equipment, sports hall inflatables and virtual group exercise.
· K2 Crawley hosts many local, regional, national and international events, and whilst acknowledging the impact some of the events had on the local community, work also continued with partners and businesses to both minimise impact and maximise success.
· K2 Crawley was generally a very efficient building however further measures have been taken to reduce the carbon footprint and work was continuing ongoing.
The Commission were then treated to presentations from Katie–George Dunlevy (Paralympian Gold Medallist and World Tandem Cyclist) and Gary Lee (Crawley Town Lifesaving Club - World Class Status). Dunlevy, a multiple World medallist and double World Champion commented on the importance of sport as it aided not only physical activity but also mental wellbeing and confidence. Gary Lee continued by informing Members that Crawley Town Lifesaving Club was seen as a regional centre. Its aim was to turn normal members of the public into qualified lifesavers and to teach people vital skills that saves lives. Members had competed at many championships across various counties winning multiple European and World titles. Both endorsed the facilities at K2 Crawley which fully supported individuals in their training, allowing them to compete in their fields locally, regionally and nationally.
OSC Members held a question and answer session with the representatives from Everyone Active and Officers from the Council. The issues raised and the key responses included:
· Car parking during events and the impact on regular users. It was confirmed that due diligence was undertaken and there was always a balance to be struck when events took place. It was acknowledged that parking was a challenge, particularly on event days, however a banding system was in operation together with the use of overflow car parking which had proven successful. The alternative means of travel were recognised by the number of cycle racks and the local transport system had resulted in a positive effect on the parking situation.
· Staff satisfaction and the challenges faced within the first year. The first 6 months of operating a new site was always challenging but this had quickly settled down. There had been a desire for cross training individuals and a keenness for personal development.
· Future engagement and outreach work with schools. It was discussed that the Sports Development Plan covered activities including outreach work, for instance sports events in local parks, working with the Wellbeing Team and the junior weight management programme.
· Increased participation in the over 50s and how to publicise to various groups. It was noted that social media was the most powerful tool in terms of marketing. However ‘word of mouth’ was ensuring the walking activities remained the most popular with increased attendance. There was a need to build relationships and engagement with individuals that may not regularly use the facility, particularly for a new activity.
That the Chair thanked the representatives from Everyone Active, Katie-George Dunlevy and Gary Lee for attending and for the informative discussions that had ensued. The Commission welcomed the update and noted the strong and successful partnership working.