Agenda item

Leisure and sports pitches requirements


The Assistant Director – Countryside & Leisure informed Members that Full Council and Cabinet had formally adopted the Leisure and Built Facilities Strategy 2021-31 and its Action Plan. There were currently significant challenges in meeting the completion deadlines for each priority within the Action Plan. There were also requests for support to help deliver new sports pitches in Honiton and hosting and taking forward the Cranbrook Local Delivery Pilot programme funded by Sport England.


There had been no identification of additional resources both in terms of staffing capacity and new budget allocations. Therefore, it was recommended to carry out a high-level options appraisal of the actions within the Leisure Strategy to develop a costed Implementation Plan with possible options for affordable delivery. This would provide the Council with the necessary financial information to make strategic decisions on what it may wish to deliver from the Strategy going forward. This was one of the recommendations from the recent Peer Review undertaken in conjunction with the Local Government Association.


The Deputy Leader wished to thank the district’s MPs Simon Jupp and Richard Foord for their continued support and efforts for making sure East Devon gets the government funding it was entitled to and not to lose out on any. He hoped that they were fully behind the council in doing what they could for sports and recreation for East Devon residents and asked them to carry on supporting the council to deliver these vital amenities.


Discussions on recommendations 2 and 5 were debated confidentially in the private part of the meeting.


RESOLVED that Cabinet:

1.     Approves the appointment of Strategic Leisure to carry out a high-level options appraisal of the Leisure & Built Facilities Strategy 2021-31 with an Implementation Plan, and possible options for delivery to inform decisions on the affordability of the Council’s current and future leisure provision.


2.     Approves the request to create posts for the 2024/25 financial year for the Community Connector, Community Builder and Project Manager posts to support the Sport England Local Delivery Project within Cranbrook, whilst seeking ongoing funding for the three posts to widen the programme to other areas of East Devon to help deliver the wider priorities within the Leisure & Built Facilities Strategy 2021-31.


3.     Approves the request to create a post for a Strategic Leisure Enabler Lead role for the District, to take forward the strategic options for leisure provision in conjunction with wider partners and stakeholders.



4.     To approve funding from the Council’s General Fund Revenue budget of £85,000 to help support the Estates team with the priority 1 actions identified within the Leisure Strategy action plan on stock condition surveys and renegotiating existing dual use facility agreements.


5.     The provision of a budget of up to £76,974 for the 2024/25 financial year to fund the Community Connector, Community Builder and Project Manager posts, subject to there being a review of future provision and funding. That delegated authority be given to the S151 officer in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance, Portfolio Holder for Culture, Leisure, Sports and Tourism and Cllr Kim Bloxham, to agree the arrangements for hosting and the performance management regime.


6.     The provision of a budget of £57,756 inclusive of 30% on costs to fund the Strategic Leisure Enabler Lead role.



To enable the Council to agree a position on what and where to prioritise its future investment in its leisure facilities and activities, that were identified within the Leisure and Built Facilities Strategy 2021 -2031 and the draft Playing Pitch Strategy 2024.

Supporting documents: