Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Decision Made
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Consideration of extension options to the existing management
That authority to the
Director of Change and Communities in consultation with the
Portfolio Holder for Culture and Leisure be delegated to negotiate
and implement the agreed recommendations at detailed in the exempt
appendix be approved.
That enhanced performance measures alongside the
contract extension with associated financial consequences for any
failure to meet expected standards of customer care and cleanliness
That negotiations be undertaken to front-load
capital investment into the sports centres be agreed.
That any contract extension be made contingent upon
an agreed phasing of revenue payments and capital spend with any
failure to meet this agreement being regarded as a breach of
contract be agreed.
That work be undertaken to explore alternative
arrangements for delivering the contract be agreed. That reports be brought back to Cabinet as
detailed below be agreed:
The relative merits of contracting with a leisure
operator, partnering with another authority/other authorities and
in-house/arms-length provision of the contract.
Options for reducing the carbon footprint of the
Council’s leisure centre; and
Recommendations for future leisure provision taking
account of the state of the market and projected future trends and
the benefits of any linkages with voluntary and community sector
organisations, parish and town councils and with parks and
REASON FOR DECISION:
To allow the continuation of sports provision across
the Borough whilst maintaining a sustainable level of operation
over the medium term.
Report author: Gary Stevenson
Publication date: 29/07/2021
Date of decision: 29/07/2021
Decided at meeting: 29/07/2021 - Cabinet
Effective from: 06/08/2021
This decision has been called in by:
Councillor Ben Chapelard who writes For the reasons as set out by Councillor David Hayward"
Councillor Hugo Pound who writes For the reasons as set out by Councillor David Hayward"
Councillor Luke Everitt who writes For the reasons as set out by Councillor David Hayward"
Councillor David Hayward who writes We request a call-in of the Cabinet decision for the following reasons:
OSPR 12.6.1 - Inadequate consultation with stakeholders prior to decision:
The decision to extend the contract was taken before adequate consultation with a range of significant stakeholders, all of whom are primary users of the Sports Centre facilities and some of whom have expressed an interest in jointly managing facilities.
Neither the CAB nor the Cabinet received any information about discussions with Paddock Wood Town Council, Cranbrook & Sissinghurst Parish Council, Jarrett Tennis, Tunbridge Wells Monson Swimming Club or Tunbridge Wells Triathlon Club, all of whom are ‘significant stakeholders’.
OSPR 12.6.2 - The absence of adequate evidence on which to base a decision:
The decision to award an extension to the contract was made upon incomplete information.
The report to the CAB and subsequently Cabinet only provided options relating to extending the contract with Fusion Lifestyle Ltd. Notwithstanding the contract is coming to an end, no in-depth consideration was put forward regarding other options.
The Cabinet could not therefore take into account the possibilities of:
• Outsourcing to a private company (hybrid trust) for example Parkwood, Places for People, SLM and Serco etc.
• Using an existing charitable company (NPDO) for example GLL, TMActive etc.
• Using a trusted local partner through a negotiated settlement, TMActive.
• In-house Management with all or part of the facilities and services returned to Council direct management. Notwithstanding it is admitted there are council employees with experience.
• Creating a new company, a local authority controlled company (LACC) or Joint Venture Company (JV).
• Creating a new Non Profit Distributing Organisation (NPDO) or Co-operative and charitable incorporated organisation (CIO).
• Transfer of Assets such as a Community Asset transfer or long-term lease with or without restrictions.
• The sale of the assets or facilities to a third party for a capital receipt with the possibility of restricting use to sports and leisure.
• Mothballing the facilities.
There was no suggestion of risk regarding:
• Other local authorities which have contracts with Fusion deciding not to provide funding to Fusion, impacting on the viability of Fusion as an organisation.
• Leisure users not returning, or not returning at the levels projected resulting in additional cost requests from Fusion.
• Fusion not following Government guidance, resulting in a public health concern.
• Fusion approaching this Council and the other councils for financial support in 2022/23.
• The CLBILS loan to Fusion Lifestyle Ltd of some £13m being defaulted.
No consideration was given to providing clear targets for the response to customer enquiries and demonstrate delivery against those targets.
OSPR 12.6.6 - Insufficient consideration of legal and financial advice:
There was no reference to Fusion's financial status for the preferred extension option.
The three proposed options did not sufficiently demonstrate their true cost to the council."