A ‘SHORT sharp review’ into the future management of the borough’s leisure services has been agreed by the council’s overview and scrutiny committee.
Focusing on the Abbey Stadium, the aim will be to look at the successes and failures of other local authorities which put their leisure facilities out to tender or kept them in-house.
The project is being drive by committee chairperson Councillor Jane Potter (Con, Astwood Bank/Feckenham) who said she hoped the review would help the council come to the right decision over the future of the services.
“We have a fantastic resource in the Abbey Stadium and I think we can do more with it than we are at the moment and so we will be putting together what is basically a questionnaire looking at what other councils have done and learning from their experiences and seeing if they can benefit us,” she said.
The council has been examining for some time a number of options for leisure services, including putting it entirely in private hands, running it through an ‘arms length’ organisation or trust and keeping it in-house.
Coun Potter cited the example of Stratford district council where leisure facilities in Stratford, Studley and Southam are outsourced to the company Everyone Active which runs it on their behalf.
“They have done a tremendous job in Stratford and are now offering a much better service,” said Coun Potter.
However Coun Joe Baker (Lab, Greenlands) said the review risked duplicating work already being done by council officers.
Despite this the scheme was approved and aims to report back its finding by December of this year.