Information on public speaking is available online
One member of the public had registered to speak at the meeting.
Mr Mike Goodman commented that it was disappointing that this was the first time a resident had spoken at a meeting of the LED Monitoring Forum, and he hoped his contribution would add value to the leisure debate. In his statement, Mr Goodman raised a number of points and questions:
· Had the Forum discussed the social value aspect of LED Community Leisure in Devon, estimated projections of which were set out in LED’s published accounts in March 2021, and the key role of leisure provision in public health?
· Could the Forum confirm that the Leisure Strategy, once completed, would include a detailed equalities report?
· Would the new Leisure Strategy be completed by May 2022, and would it be taken to full Council?
· Would the excellent facility at Exmouth Pavilion continue to be maintained, as part of the new Leisure Strategy, given that it is costly to EDDC?
· A document is published showing high-level Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for LED; i) is the Forum informed of a more comprehensive list of KPIs?; ii) can these be made public?; iii) what benchmarking was used with other authorities when completing the KPIs?; and iv) will the KPIs be changed after the Leisure Strategy is adopted?
· Could the Forum confirm that detailed or abridged LED management accounts are discussed, albeit not in open forum?
· Once agreed, would the Leisure Strategy form the basis for any negotiations concerning the LED Community Leisure contract?
· These were challenging times for the leisure industry; Mr Goodman suggested a plan is put in place to drive down operating costs and increase revenue in order that LED becomes less reliant on EDDC in the future, in making up financial shortfalls.
In responding to Mr Goodman, the following points were made:
· Whilst members of the public had not registered to speak at previous meetings of this Forum, 845 people had responded to the public consultation for the Leisure and Built Facilities Strategy, which was a good number for a local council.
· The LED Social Value report was discussed at length at a previous meeting of the Forum (minutes of the 14 September 2021 meeting refer).
· A draft Leisure Strategy is expected from Strategic Leisure in May 2022, including advice on inclusivity, access and equalities considerations.
· The Exmouth Pavilion will form part of the Leisure Strategy and/or the updated Culture Strategy; until these documents are completed, it is not possible to state whether EDDC can maintain the facility without extra cost.
· The LED KPI report sets out trends concerning LED activities. Once completed, the Leisure Strategy will identify outcomes that can be translated into meaningful KPIs but without the strategy, any KPIs the Council could ask for would be somewhat arbitrary.
· Detailed LED management accounts are received by the Forum and form part of the discussion around subsidies; due to commercial sensitivities, these accounts are discussed in private session. It was noted that, as a registered society under the Cooperative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, LED’s accounts are available through the Financial Conduct Authority Mutuals Public Register.
· EDDC has an excellent record of providing leisure facilities, particularly throughout the pandemic at a cost to EDDC of £1.9 million, and without any financial support from central government, demonstrating the competence of officers and willingness of members to continue to provide leisure facilities in the district.
The Chair thanked Mr Goodman for his contribution to the meeting.