Please note: Included within this report (Appendix A – page 249), and printed on grey paper, is exempt information, which is not for disclosure to the press and public by virtue of Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).
If this is to be debated, the Cabinet will be asked to consider it in camera, having first resolved to exclude any members of the press or public present.
(Link to Council Priorities: Community Wellbeing – supporting communities to become healthier)
The Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture introduced the report that provided an update of progress in the procurement of the Leisure Management Contract and detailed the shortlisted companies who would be invited through to the Invitation to Tender stage in September 2019.
The Cabinet was reminded that the current Leisure Management contract, which was managed by Places Leisure and which was due to end on 14 August 2021, included the Xcel Leisure Complex, Hurst Pool and the four remaining public halls, namely King Georges Hall, Elm Grove Hall, the Cecil Hepworth Playhouse and Vine Hall. The Synthetic Turf Pitch (STP) and pavilion contract was also managed by Places Leisure and was co-terminus with the current Leisure Management Contract.
At Cabinet in March 2019 it had been agreed that the Xcel Leisure Complex, Xcel Sports Hub, Synthetic Turf Pitch (STP) & pavilion, and Hurst Pool would be re-let as one Leisure Management Contract for a period of 10 years with the option to extend for an additional 5 years. This contract would commence in August 2021. It had also been agreed that the new contract would include a break clause to allow for a refurbishment or new build leisure facility to address the future of Hurst Pool which was reaching the end of its useful life.
The Portfolio Holder provided a brief update in respect of the procurement of the contract and it was noted that the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) Notice had been dispatched on 1 July 2019. The Cabinet was pleased to note that expressions of interest had been received from 24 companies and all of the companies had been invited to attend a tour of the sites on 17 and 18 July 2019. Following the tour, a number of the companies had submitted Selection Questionnaires (SQ) which had been evaluated by officers and Strategic Leisure to ascertain due diligence and quality responses. Having passed the SQ stage, four companies would go forward to the Invitation to Tender stage in September 2019.
The Portfolio Holder also reported that in order to support the re-tendering process there had been an increase in the professional costs of £75,000 which it was proposed would be funded from the Corporate Initiatives and Contingency budget for 2019/20.
On consideration of the report, the Deputy Leader invited Councillor B.J.F. Cheyne to address the meeting in his capacity as Chairman of the Leisure Facilities Member Reference Group. Councillor Cheyne provided a comprehensive update in respect of the work to date of the Leisure Facilities Member Reference Group. He reported that discussions had taken place in respect of concessionary pricing, the current More Card scheme, and options available for the future of Hurst Pool. With regard to concessionary pricing, he reported that at the last meeting of the Group, Members had considered that any increases in concessionary charges should be based on CPI rather than RPIX within the new contract in order to reduce the financial impact on the end user. Councillor Cheyne also advised that a tour of facilities operated by those companies that had progressed to the Invitation to Tender stage would be arranged shortly for Members of the Reference Group. He also took the opportunity to thank the Leisure and Cultural Services Team for the huge amount of work that had been undertaken to date in respect of this contract.
(a) the information set out in the report relating to the Leisure Management Contract procurement process be noted, including the contract management proposal to retain operational control of concessionary pricing (any increases in such charges above CPI to be reported to Cabinet for approval as part of the annual budgetary process); and
(b) the increased professional costs be noted at an estimated cost of £75,000 to support the re-tendering process, and the Corporate Initiatives and Contingency Budget for 2019/20 be used to fund these costs.