Venue: Park Suite 1, Fleming Park Leisure Centre, Passfield Avenue, Eastleigh
Contact: Jon Brown, Asst. Head of Legal & Democratic Services Tel: 023 8068 8124 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Minutes of the meeting held on 15 October 2013 were agreed as a correct record.
The replacement badminton posts and nets had now been installed.
The all-weather pitches had been made good, and patched up in a number of areas, but would not be replaced at this time ahead of the proposed redevelopment.
Dave Bowen was overseeing the artificial bowls green surface project. The appointment of contractors was now in progress, however, the replacement would not take place until the end of the competitive bowls season as requested by the club. More would be reported on this at the next meeting of the Consultative Group.
Following the withdrawal of public health funding, a successful grant application had meant that three year funding from the community activation fund had been secured. This meant that a ‘Heath Activator’ role could be carried out by Marianne Cairley and her HealthWorks Team; and a new ‘Sports Activator’, Harry Lee, had now been appointed. This meant that continued, strengthened links with the GP referral programme could be rolled out as well as a cancer rehabilitation course. It was hoped that the three year vision would attract further funding in time.
The gym only membership had been launched three months ago, and was being taken up in line with expectations.
The option of a running / athletics track had been rejected by the Open Spaces Project Board (working group of the Eastleigh Local Area Committee) when presented by Dave Francis, EBC Landscape Architect. It was seen as being too formal for the park (old golf course area). It is still being considered whether it should be presented as an option within the current consultation document. Whilst it had been decided not to specify it as such, as Members had to look at the site as a whole and maximizing best use of it, views and expressions of interest on this would be welcomed as it was all still out for consultation. Andy Thompson stressed the need for the governing body, British Athletics, to support the project as funding (via Christine Benning the local Development Officer) had not been successful in the past for the J track (training facility at Wyvern College). He urged the Running Club to open a dialogue with British Athletics as a third party funder would be essential for a project of this scale. It was noted that the Open Spaces Project Board had not ruled it out and was very much in the mix.
Presentation on New Fleming Park Leisure Centre
Andy Milner, EBC Local Area Co-ordinator and Interim Project Manager for the proposed redevelopment, gave a presentation on the proposals and the current situation. It was noted that the current 1970s build would require around £7m essential maintenance over the coming few years. As such, it was considered timely to look to build a new, state of the art facility; that would increase participation; and make stronger connections with the surrounding open space. The focus would be on ‘what we do well’ (swim and gym) and thus not take financial risks whilst making the space as flexible as possible to respond to changes/trends in the leisure industry as they arise.
There were a number of key messages that Andy was keen to stress, namely that there would be no loss of green space; increased revenue would be used to help meet building costs; the centre would never actually close; and there would continue to be free parking (although should this be abused eg by commuter parking, then this might need to be revisited).
Tenders (for a single stage design and build) were due in early October, and the all-in budget was in the region of £18-23m. The new centre would be south of the site, with the current site opened up / forming a link to the existing car park. The project would be made possible by working in partnership with Places for People Leisure, who had opened a number of new centres across the country over the last few years and with whom the Council had a long standing relationship. It was planned that construction would commence in Spring 2015, with the new centre open in time for the 2016 Olympic (after which the existing building would be demolished).
Andy set out the latest indicative thinking in respect of the attributes of the new centre; this included a 25 x 17m 8 lane pool (1.8m depth); a 10 x 20m learner pool with adjustable depth to 2m; 150 station gym; 2,500m2 of sports hall; 650m2 of studio space; 4 squash courts, glass backed with a possibility of dividing walls to make better use of the space in quieter periods; café area with concessions; climbing wall; spa; and the retention and upgrading of outdoor facilities.
Andy concluded by saying that he was happy to come and meet with groups either individually or collectively as required, in order to ensure that what was being worked up meant the needs of users were being met as far as was possible within the scale of the project.
The meeting then discussed the possibility of extending the pool size in order to attract other water-based sports as well as being able to host galas etc. It was recognized that the Sport and Recreation Strategy sought to reward excellence and that a balance had to be struck between recreational swimming and competitive inputs. Andy also confirmed that access and usage for the less-abled and disabled, with the intention of making the facilities more inclusive (much would come out in the detailed specification, but going beyond minimum standards was key).
There was also a vision to make the centre easier to clean and maintain, for example through the choices on finishes. Much had been learned over the years and from other centres. It was also confirmed that the BREEAM excellent standard must be achieved, which includes maximising renewable energy in line with Council policy.
The Chairman thanked Andy for his informative presentation, and looked forward to more detail at the next meeting.
Update from Clubs
Fitness / Gym users were reporting a high level of satisfaction, seeing the centre as good value for money with friendly, helpful staff. Cleanliness was sometimes an issue on Sunday morning in the upstairs studio and there had been an issue with regard to getting tickets for some classes. FPLC representatives offered to follow these points up. It was noted that there had been no consultation with users regarding the new steam room, and that some design issues could have been addressed by this.
5 – 0 Club – Ann Hardy started by saying that all was going well with the Special Needs Club; membership now having doubled. There had been a number of complaints from 5 – 0 Members regarding excessive queuing on weekday mornings, where two receptionists were often on the phone. Ann had found that some Members avoided reception / paying and went straight to their classes. Kinetica Members, who just needed to collect a ticket, also by-passed reception at peak periods which could make the sessions look less well attended or popular than they actually were. It was noted that better access control would be addressed in the new build. Lack of car parking spaces was sometimes an issue, and commuter parking had been witnessed, but it was noted that there were often spaces around the side and back of the centre.
Eastleigh and District Sports Association for the Disabled reported a stable membership for the swim club and hoped that more members would be coming through.
Dance classes were ever popular, a number of performances for charity were being held.
Eastleigh Sub Aqua Club now had 50 Members and used FPLC pool for training purposes. It was hoped more numbers of people and groups would share facilities.
FP Judo Club used the centre on Saturday mornings and had a sister club running at The Hilt on Thursday evenings (located there as there was no room to house the session at FPLC). It was a long-standing club comprising 8 coaches (5 at Level 2 and 3 at Level 1). Last November, the Club received a national award for Best Club from the British Judo Association which took into account the coaching policy, its inclusive approach (such as with special needs members) and overall strategy and direction. In the Hampshire Open Competition, a number of medals had been won. The Hampshire Games had been a huge success and Steve York and Stephen Kemish asked that thanks in particular be recorded in the minutes for Janine Pickering’s hard work and excellent organization on this, which was greatly appreciated.
It was noted that the mats were very tired at the centre, but it was hoped they could last until the new build. There were now over 100 members, with around 60 attending on a Saturday.
FP Lifesaving Club continued to run their Saturday sessions with 30 members and 4 teachers now in place. A number of new qualifications were being pursued, recognizing a range of levels. One of the lifeguards was complementing her membership with related study at Winchester College. The club also progressed related Duke of Edinburgh skills development. Pat Tarry was delighted to announce that the Club had also won a prestigious cup in recent months.
Eastleigh Running Club – Charles Free advised that membership currently stood at 300. One of the Eastleigh ladies, Sam Aplin, had recently competed at international level for Team GB in the World Duathlon Championships in Spain and won a silver medal. Members were involved with organizing the Eastleigh parkrun, which took place every Saturday morning at Fleming Park. The ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
Any Other Business
It was requested that minutes from the Consultative Group be distributed earlier than at present (currently they were circulated with the next agenda). In addition it was requested that Clubs submit their reports by email to the Democratic Services representative attending the meeting to save time and ensure accuracy.
Date of Next Meeting
The next ordinary meeting is scheduled for 14 October 2014.
It was noted that the next meeting of the Consultative Group had already been timetabled for 14 October 2014 in order to consider the annual fees and charges report. An update on the new build could be given at this meeting as well, but a more substantial briefing would be required later on in the year, but prior to the March 2015 meeting, once the successful tenderer had been appointed and the building specification was being worked up into more detail.