The Panel are asked to consider the update regarding the progress of the Leisure Transformation project and the contract management of Everyone Active.
Nick Smith, Head of Leisure at Bracknell Forest Council and David Love, Area Contract Manager, Everyone Active, gave members an update regarding the progress of the Leisure Transformation Project and the contract management of Everyone Active.
Members were informed the 10 year contract, from 1 March 2018, gave the Council a guaranteed monthly management fee (rising in 2019) and would result in a new fitness suite, additional studio space and a renewed café and reception area at Bracknell Leisure Centre. It was hoped this would lead to an increase in footfall. These improvements would not have been possible without the partnership with Everyone Active.
Challenges to date were related to maintenance issues which, in turn, had led to a rise in complaints. Some maintenance issues related to pre-project work and could not be carried out in a timely fashion but had now been completed. To resolve these issues the previous Director of Environment, Culture and Communities had met with the manager of Everyone Active and morale was now purported to have increased and there had been a decrease in the number of complaints both to Everyone Active and to the Council.
Measures to ensure improvements continued included quarterly reports from Everyone Active to the Council; mystery visits from an independent company; weekly meetings to monitor the contract and the introduction of seven mini events to ask customers what issues they had still. The Council had recently received a report from the independent company responsible for the mystery shoppers, which was the same company used when Bracknell Leisure Centre was Council controlled, and found Bracknell Leisure Centre achieved a higher score than ever before.
Nick Smith, Head of Leisure, informed members that whilst improvements were being made the Council audit department would audit the management of the contract next year, which was early, to see if changes were required to the management of the contract.
Members were asked to note the Council still owned large assets at Bracknell Leisure Centre, Coral Reef Waterworld and Devonshire Golf Complex and were still responsible for the fabric of the buildings and major plants/equipment. Everyone Active were responsible for maintenance so the Council would scrutinise their records to ensure maintenance was up to standard.
David Love, Area Contract Manager, Everyone Active, noted Coral Reef Waterworld numbers were good at the moment.
The following issues were discussed and responses given:
· Concern expressed about the maintenance of the artificial pitches at Bracknell Leisure Centre as a walking football group had complained to a Councillor about the artificial grass ‘coming out in lumps’. Nick Smith, Head of Leisure, said the pitches had only recently been installed so it would be a maintenance issue rather than requiring replacement and agreed to monitor this in the coming months. David Love, Area Contract Manager, Everyone Active, said he had spoken to the bookings team at Bracknell Leisure Centre that day about the pitches and confirmed they were being swept as per the requirements stated in the contract. He thought it was an issue with people wearing the wrong shoes and they intended to put up additional signage to ensure people wore the correct footwear on the astro pitches.
· Youths had been seen hanging around in the reception area and being abusive. David Love, Area Contract Manager, Everyone Active, explained they were public buildings but that issues such as these were being monitored and there were actions they could take if this became a recurrent issue, such as additional security officers. He also noted there were CCTV cameras installed in the reception area.
· Figures showed the number of people attending Devonshire Golf Club and junior courses had decreased and queried if it was related to the removal of the paper version of the brochure. David Love, Area Contract Manager, Everyone Active, said the weather had affected Devonshire Golf Club during the spring due to unseasonal snow and rain but had picked up over the summer and were yet to show in the statistics. Junior courses were being actively promoted and it was one of their internal Key Performance Indicators. They were putting up large posters within buildings as well as increasing their online publicity of these courses.
· The closure of Edgbarrow Sports Centre to the public during school hours had not seen the majority of customers transfer to Bracknell Leisure Centre but it was hoped the £2.8m investment would attract more customers in the future.
· Members commended Everyone Active for having stands at the ‘Summer of Fun’ event run by Bracknell Forest Council and the enthusiasm of staff on the stalls.
· There had been problems originally with bookings at Coral Reef Waterworld but Everyone Active had transferred their bookings system to a third party which had resolved issues. There had also been maintenance issues with the flumes and they had been switched off at times, although this was rare. Flumes were ordinarily turned off during non-peak times (school hours).
· Members requested a quarterly report be brought to the Panel containing complaints and compliments and how issues were going to be resolved.
· Damian James, Assistant Director, Contract Services, to bring a quarterly report to the Panel outlining complaints and compliments received by Everyone Active regarding the leisure facilities they manage on behalf of Bracknell Forest Council and how issues were being resolved.