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Sports and Leisure transfer

Frequently asked questions - a circular from 

Paul Ely

Head of Commissioning

Leisure Services

  1. Why did the Council decide to transfer the management of its leisure centres to an external operator?

The Council undertook a review of its options for the future management of leisure centres in 2010.

This concluded that the Council could make substantial savings, secure investment in the facilities and improve service quality by transferring management.

This could be achieved through differences in the treatment of National Non Domestic Rates and VAT and because of the expertise available for organisations specialising in leisure management.

  1. Which facilities are included in the transfer?

The main contract is for the management of Tottenham Green Leisure Centre, Park Road Leisure Centre and Broadwater Community Centre.

For these facilities Fusion Lifestyle, the new operator, will enter into a 20 year contract with the Council.

White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre is also included but only for a 3 year period as the Council is seeking an alternative solution for this facility.

  1. What will the impact be on fees and charges?

The Council has protected concessionary pricing for people on low incomes and the pricing policy for usage by sports clubs. For all other pricing, the prospective operators have been given flexibility to set prices based on local market conditions.

Fusion have put forward proposals for £14.74m investment in new and improved facilities and also to undertake all required maintenance works throughout the 20 year contract period.

  1. What improvements will take place in the facilities?

 Plans for Park Road Leisure Centre include: refurbishment of the pool, a moveable floor for

the diving pool, expansion of the gym, a health suite, three new studios, improvement works

to the Lido, cafe relocation and complete redevelopment of the pool changing rooms.

 

Plans for Tottenham Green Leisure Centre include: a new cafe and soft play area,

a new teen zone with interactive games and dance, a new spa, expansion of the gym,

new dry changing area, interactive water feature for under 5s, new multipurpose and spin

studios, complete redevelopment of the pool changing rooms.

Both centres will benefit from renewable energy provision through use of combined heat and

power.

Broadwater Farm Community Centre will also get a new fitness suite and further office

space.

  1. How has resident need and demand been taken into account?

As part of the tendering process, the Council provided a lot of background information including the Community Strategy, Public Health Reports, National Benchmarking Strategy and information about existing usage.

To supplement this, the bidders have undertaken their own independent research to enable them to understand what will work in Haringey.

  1. How will local people be able to express their views about the service going forward?

The new provider will undertake a range of initiatives including user and non user forums, complaints procedures, and user research to ascertain how well they are providing the service.

In the event that users are not satisfied with the service offered by the provider, they can then ask the Council to investigate.

  1. Who are Fusion Lifestyle?

Fusion Lifestyle are specialist operators of public facilities who are managing facilities in 9 of the 33 London Boroughs.

They are a registered charities so any surplus arsing from their trading is reinvested back into public leisure provision.

  1. How will the Council manage the performance of the operator?

The Council has tendered the management of its facilities via a contract and services specification.

Should the operator not adhere to the requirements of the contract specification, the Council has various measures to be able to rectify this including:

  • Issuing a warning notice

  • Deducting payments from the contractor

  • Issuing a default notice

  • Ultimately terminating the contract

  1. Property/ownership issues

The Council will continue to own the facilities and will enter into a lease arrangement at a peppercorn rent with Fusion.

Fusion will not make any physical changes to the facilities unless these changes are approved by the Council.

  1. What risks will remain with the Council?

The main risks that will remain with the Council are:

  • Increases above 3% in the statutory rate for Employer’s pension contributions.

  • Increases of above 10% in the cost of utilities (gas and electric)

  • Latent defects in the construction of the buildings excluding the presence of asbestos.

  1. Implications for existing staff

All 93 staff (59 fte) across the 4 sites, including White Hart Lane will transfer to the new operator in accordance with TUPE regulations.

The new operator will also be given ‘Admitted Body’ status to the Council’s scheme.

  1. When will the new contract commence?

On 1st December 2012

  1. What consultation and engagement has taken place with users and will be undertaken going forward?

Meetings have been held at all of the leisure facilities during the procurement

process to provide information and respond to users questions.

Looking ahead, Fusion will meet with users and stakeholders in October to inform them about the proposed improvements as well as any other relevant matters.

Thereafter, once they are operating the facilities from 1st December, Fusion will hold a customer forum at each facility every 3 months.

  1. Will Fusion pay the London Living Wage?

Fusion has agreed to pay LLW in accordance with Council policy.

Tags: fusion, haringey, park road pool

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