This report provides an update on the successful establishment of LeisureSK Ltd and the submission of the Business Plan for 2021/22.
Appendix 3 to this report is exempt under paragraph 3, Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) because it contains information relating to the financial or business affairs of an individual or organisation. Should Members wish to discuss to contents of the appendices, a resolution to exclude the press and public will be required.
The Committee received a report on the Business Plan for LeisureSK Ltd for the period January 2021 to March 2022 which followed on from the Business Plan endorsed by the Companies Committee in October 2020. It had been necessary to revise the original five year financial projections to take account of the third national lockdown, in addition the first year of trading had been extended to include January 2021 to March 2022 to align with the Council’s budgeting process. Due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19 it was difficult to accurately predict the income and expenditure for LeisureSK Ltd over the initial 15 month period.
The financial projections contained within the Business Plan had been developed in conjunction with the Council and supported by Sports and Leisure Consultancy, (SLC). The financial performance of the leisure centres pre Covid-19 had been used as a baseline. Adjustments had been made to take account of the leisure centres recovery following the previous extended period of lockdown in the summer. Assumptions had also been made in relation to the financial projections around when the leisure centres would re-open and when the job retention scheme would end.
As more information became available the Directors of LeisureSK Ltd would monitor the Business Plan and ensure that appropriate steps were taken to limit the Council’s financial exposure.
Confirmation was given in respect of the Board of Directors and the Committee were notified that the Non-Executive Director, David Monkhouse had been appointed and joined the Board in January 2021. Reference was made to one of the appendices to the report which gave information on the new Non-Executive Director.
A question was asked about the recruitment process for the Non-Executive Director to which the Deputy Leader, the Leader of the Council and the Head of Leisure Services replied.
A question was asked about the responsibilities of the Non-Executive Director and whether or not there were any exemptions. It was requested that details on the responsibilities of the Non-Executive Director be reported back to the Committee.
A report on the responsibilities of the Non-Executive Director of LeisureSK Ltd be submitted to the next meeting of the Committee.
A brief debate on whether or not to go in to closed session at that point in the agenda was held and it was stated that the meeting should be in open session for as long as possible.
Reference was made to pages 61-66 of the agenda pack which one Member felt was unnecessary, but thanked the Officers for the preparation work that had gone into the Business Plan for LeisureSK Ltd. Reference was made to the news that had been given the previous day in respect of the leisure centres and when they would be open. It was confirmed that the leisure centres would be opened as soon as it was safe to do so having regard to all the current regulations in place and the Board of Directors for LeisureSK Ltd would be looking at plans to do this.
Comments were made in respect of the pricing strategy for pool charges and the size of the facility particularly in respect of the Stamford pool. The comments were noted and it was stated that this would be discussed at the Board meeting.
The Chairman stated that the decisions around the company were more than strict, commercial and financial decisions. There was also the broader benefits to the public’s wellbeing, and he asked how the Committee was to monitor and track the success of LeisureSK Ltd.
The Chief Executive replied that currently a Leisure Strategy was being drafted by the Leisure Team. LeisureSK Ltd was not just profit and loss, but had a wider remit as it also catered to the mental and physical wellbeing of residents. A report would be going to the next meeting of the Culture and Visitor Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee where they would be looking at performance metrics for LeisureSK Ltd and other Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s).
The Chairman asked if the information could appended to future reports to enable the Committee to understand the targets and direction of travel for LeisureSK Ltd.
Key Performance Indicators to be appended to LeisureSK Ltd reports in the future.
15:12 It was proposed, seconded and agreed to exclude the press and public during this part of the meeting because of the likelihood that exempt information as defined in paragraph 3,of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) would be disclosed to them. This is because the papers contained information relating to the financial or business affairs of an individual or organisation.
15:38 back in Public session
The Chairman stated that one of the recommendations from the exempt session was that the Non-Executive Director, David Monkhouse be asked to attend a meeting of the Committee to answer questions on the operational assumptions made within the Business Plan for LeisureSK Ltd.
That the Non-Executive Director of LeisureSK Ltd be invited to attend a future meeting of the Committee to answer questions on the operational assumptions made within the Business Plan for LeisureSK Ltd.
The proposals as outlined within the report were then voted on by exception.
1. To approve the Business Plan for LeisureSK Ltd to cover the period January 2021 to March 2022.
2. To undertake formal scrutiny to assess the performance of LeisureSK Ltd against the Business Plan twice a year.