EDDC Leisure Strategy
The Service Lead – Countryside and Leisure advised the Forum that there was a need for a Leisure Strategy as the last one had been produced over 15 years ago when the leisure service was run in-house. He stressed that despite the absence of a Leisure Strategy a lot of work had already been done in terms of delivering the physical and mental health wellbeing activities taken under the Public Health Plan.
The Service Lead – Countryside and Leisure requested the Forum to consider 2 important questions to help them decide how they would like to approach the strategy and to think carefully about the direction of the strategy:
1. The scope of the leisure strategy, and
2. Whether the forum wants to look at the strategy at a higher strategic level or a fine grained level which would go into a lot more detail.
Members noted that Peter Gilpin had contacts through Sport England’s accredited consultees that can help the Leisure Strategy
Peter Gilpin stressed to Members the importance of a having a Leisure Strategy to help with funding bids so that National Governing Bodies can identify local authority priorities.
The Chair concurred with Peter’s comments and highlighted a lot had happened in 15 years including a brand new town.
The Chairman welcomed comments and heard extensive debate from the Forum Members and Non-Forum Members about whether the LED Monitoring Forum was the right forum to develop the Leisure Strategy. In response the Strategic Lead for Governance and Licensing advised it was Cabinet’s responsibility to authorise the advice needed to deliver it and for this forum to scrutinise the LED function. In response the Leader’s comment about the possibility of adding the Leisure Strategy to the Cabinet agenda for 6 January 2021, the Strategic Lead for Governing and Licensing suggested the minutes for this meeting to be added as a late item so there was a record that Cabinet had endorsed the idea.
Other key points made by members included:
· Suggestion made to refer to the Overview Committee;
· It will be a mistake for the Forum not to show initiative as it has been 15 years since the last Leisure Strategy;
· The public need to see a commissioned piece of external work to verify the healthy relationship between this council and LED.
· The Forum’s focus needs to be on the strategy of LED and how that fits into the overall strategy for leisure development as a council;
· Need to be clear on the role of the Forum;
Auditing of LED monthly claims
The Strategic Lead for Finance updated Members on 2 consultancy firms being considered for the auditing of the subsidy claim. He advised the preferred option was the Sport England, due to their expertise and their willingness to part fund up to £5,000.
Councillor Millar, a non-forum member welcomed the discussions with Sport England and said it was value for money.
That the Strategic Lead for Finance progress with Sport England to engage consultancy to help with the immediate checking of the LED additional subsidy claim be endorsed.
RECOMMENDED to Cabinet:
That Members pursue a new Leisure Strategy.