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Cabinet Decision: 16th December 2010
Title of Item/Report
EIT Review of Sport, Leisure and Recreation
- Report of Arts, Leisure and Culture Select Committee
Record of the Decision
Cabinet considered a report presenting the finding of the Arts, Leisure and Culture Select Committee following the EIT review of Sport, Leisure and Recreation.

The review formed part of a three year programme of EIT (Efficiency, Improvement and Transformation) reviews covering all services provided by the Council. The programme aimed to ensure that all services were reviewed in a systematic way to ensure that they were provided in the most efficient manner, provide value for money and identify opportunities for service improvements and transformation.

The review examined services which aim to provide a wide variety of high quality and accessible leisure and recreation opportunities for residents and visitors to the Borough. These included Sports Development, Countryside and Greenspace, Parks and Countryside Management and Maintenance (Care For Your Area), Children and Young People’s Strategy, and the relationship with Tees Active. The recommendations included a number of efficiencies and savings that had been identified, and also measures to undertake future work with the aim of reducing the level of the Council’s Management Fee that was provided to Tees Active.

A number of estimated savings would be achieved by the implementation of the Committee’s recommendations. Recommendation 2 would produce savings of £122,924, recommendation 3 would save £25,000, recommendation 4 would produce savings of £15,000 and recommendation 5 would produce savings of £33,880. Recommendation 6 was subject to the generation of additional income from the delivery of the new business plans for Billingham Forum and Tees Barrage International White Water Course and would lead to a saving of 200,000 based on a reduction in the level of the Tees Active Management Fee provided by Stockton Council; the element linked to the consolidation of river-based activity on the Tees Barrage site (£100,000) would be realised from 2012-13.

Recommendation 1 was subject to further discussion however it was projected that the saving could be approximately £25,000. In relation to recommendations 7, 8 and 9, the precise level of savings that would be achieved was also subject to future work.

Following consideration by Cabinet an action plan would be submitted to the Select Committee setting out how approved recommendations would be implemented detailing officers responsible for action and timescales.


1. The Council should transfer management responsibility for Billingham Beck Valley Countryside Park and Cowpen Bewley Countryside Park from the Council to Tees Valley Wildlife Trust (TVWT), subject to agreement with TVWT, and that further consideration be given to the transfer of other countryside sites to alternative providers as appropriate;

2. The Countryside Ranger Service be reconfigured to focus on maintenance activities in future and therefore cease educational activity;

3. The £25,000 research element of the Countryside and Greenspace Professional, Consultancy and Hired Services budget be removed;

4. The Countryside and Greenspace Environmental Development budget be reduced by £15,000 per annum;

5. That, in line with the expected cessation of external funding streams for direct delivery, the Sports Development team should be reduced and re-focussed in order to provide a service based on strategic commissioning as outlined in the report;

6. The efficiencies identified by Tees Active be supported, including the withdrawal from the Castlegate Quay facility (and its transfer to an alternative appropriate river activity tenant) and consolidation of water-based and river-related activity at the Tees Barrage location, and staffing measures linked to the re-opening of Billingham Forum;

7. A further review of Tees Active’s financial position be undertaken in the summer of 2012, once the full earning potential of the new facilities has been realised and allowing for a full year of trading in the new facilities, with the expectation that further reduction in subsidy would be realised from April 2013;

8. Further work be undertaken in order to explore the options for the joint commissioning of Tees Active in partnership with one or more Tees Valley local authorities.

9. if, following implementation of the measures in relation to improving trading (recommendation 7), and joint commissioning (recommendation 8), the consequent reduction in the Council’s subsidy to Tees Active is insufficient, consideration should be given to options for service reduction.
Reasons for the Decision
As part of the Council’s EIT Programme, the Committee had undertaken the review with the aim of identifying options for future service provision that deliver efficiency savings and where possible sustain and improve high quality and accessible sport, leisure and recreational services.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Councillor Lupton and Councillor Mrs Womphrey declared a personal non prejudicial interest in the item entitled EIT Review Sports, Leisure and Recreation as they were members of the Tees Active Management Board
Details of any Dispensations
Not applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
By no later than midnight on 24 December 2010.

Date of Publication: 20 December 2010

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