Agenda and minutes

Places Leisure Eastleigh Consultative Group - Tuesday, 11 October 2011 7:00 pm

Venue: The Park Suite, Fleming Park Leisure Centre, Passfield Avenue, Eastleigh

Contact: Julia Roy, Democratic Services Officer Tel: 023 8068 8133; Email:  julia.roy@eastleigh.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes of Previous Meeting and Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 16 KB

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 5 April 2011 were agreed as a correct record. 

 

Matters Arising:

 

It was queried whether physiotherapy/massage was available at the Centre.  The Area Manager confirmed that a physiotherapist who also provided massages was available and the suggestion was made that more publicity should be given to this facility.

 

Councillor Hughes advised that he was meeting with the Police to discuss vandalism in the near future and would welcome a report on previous vandalism to the pitches at Fleming Park.  The Sport and Active Lifestyles Manager agreed to provide this.

2.

General Management Report pdf icon PDF 15 KB

Minutes:

The Sport and Active Lifestyles Manager introduced a report containing updates on major projects, attendances, current initiatives and customer comments in relation to Fleming Park.

 

Major projects between March and August 2011 included:

 

·  roofing works to resolve the problem of a leak in squash court 1, with the installation of new floors in courts 1 and 2 scheduled for December 2011;

·  the implementation of the recommendations contained in the results of a survey of both pools;

·  major repairs in the overflow car park;

·  conversion of the upper poolside into a hairdressing salon.

 

An update was provided on progress with the Fleming Park Development Plan, which had been delayed due to other work priorities. 

 

The consultation data received was being analysed and it was hoped that the Plan would be complete within the next six months.  The Plan would encompass the building, the pitches and the former golf course.  The latter area was already a well-used space and the Plan would allow for running, walking and a cycling loop. 

 

A decision was needed around the built environment, which would be considered with the Civic Offices site, as the Council would be moving to the town centre in the next couple of years.  The accommodation, pavilion and dryside changing rooms would be looked at with a view to providing more flexibility.  Different surfaces would be considered in the dryside area to allow, for example, an ice rink, hockey and other activities.  Thought would be also given to the engagement of the teenage market, for example with extreme sports, the refurbishment of the gym and the provision of a fitness and gym trail on the former golf course.  

 

In July, 288 photovoltaic panels had been installed on the leisure centre roof at a cost of £185,000.  They were set to generate over 62,000 kWh per year, which would be sufficient to power 18 homes annually.  The scheme would help the Council reduce its CO2 emissions as well as provide an income stream.  The Solar Energy Scheme had been officially opened on 2 September by the Eastleigh MP the Rt. Hon. Chris Huhne and information panels giving details about the performance of the scheme were located in the extended café area.

 

The results of the car park survey in the summer supported the views of Council officers and DC Leisure staff that Fleming Park’s car park was being used by bona fide loyal customers who valued the facilities.  There was no supporting evidence for the introduction of car parking charges at this time.

 

Total attendances had fallen by 3% compared with the same 5 month period the previous year.  Approximately 50% of this decline occurred in April and could partially be attributed to customers taking extended holidays over Easter and during the Royal Wedding. 

 

As the free swimming scheme was still in operation last year, there had been a comparative decline of 6% for swimming over the same period this year, which equated to 6,000 visits.

 

A serious decline had been seen in 5-a-side football attendances, largely due to competing facilities being cheaper.

 

Attendances at the 5.O sessions continued to rise and aerobics figures had been boosted by popular classes such as Zumba.

 

The most frequent comments in early March related to the new Zumba classes, as members objected to paying for these in addition to their membership fees.  In addition, a serious malfunction had occurred in May with the air temperature in the Main Pool and new lifeguarding positions had been introduced in July/August.  These issues had all been resolved.  Problems with the showers in the Pavilion Changing Rooms had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.

3.

Proposed Scale of Charges from January 2012 pdf icon PDF 45 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Sport and Active Lifestyles Manager, an appendix to which contained charges for facilities at Fleming Park proposed jointly by Borough Council officers and DC Leisure managers. 

 

The overall target yield for increases was set by the Council and the figure for 2012 was a minimum yield of 5%.  However, some charges would be below and some above this figure, depending on a number of factors. 

 

The proposed charges took into account Cabinet’s agreed budget guidelines, together with a number of other factors such as usage trends, operational costs, recent investment, competitors’ pricing policies and the customer’s ability to pay.  It was acknowledged that the current economic conditions had affected customers’ disposable income, but equally DC Leisure continued to incur the rising costs of energy, staff and maintenance.

 

The Group noted that:

 

·  Charges for football on the artificial surfaces were high in comparison to local competing facilities.  It was proposed that these prices be either frozen or have a low percentage increase.  This “market-led” approach had also been applied to the peak charges for badminton, squash and indoor football;

 

·  Netball facilities had become popular and the current charges were comparatively low when considering the numbers participating in each hire; 

 

·  The gym market was extremely competitive and the pricing wars were continuing.  The introduction of two budget gyms in Southampton was also a threat and it was prudent to freeze the membership again and to recommend only minor increases in the casual rates; 

 

·  Adult swimming attendances had fallen whilst deep water aquatherapy had risen in popularity and should be priced in line with other fitness classes;

 

·  Some of the proposals might seem high in percentage terms, but were not a large amount in actual money. 

 

Although charges had been “rounded up” to the nearest 0 or 5, it was queried whether they could be “rounded” again to end in 0, in order to make payment easier for both customers and reception staff.  The Sport and Active Lifestyles Manager agreed to investigate this before taking the report to Cabinet.

 

It was AGREED that the report be noted.

4.

Update from Clubs

Minutes:

Gym Members: Edward Szary reported that;

 

·  Gym users were pleased with the quality of instruction and considered the prices reasonable;

·  A number of concerns had been raised around cleaning and the fabric of the building.  These particularly related to Studios 1 and 2 and the Health Suite;

·  The stereo system in Studio 2 was intermittent and the lyrics to some of the piped music in the gym changing rooms were unacceptable.  The General Manager agreed to investigate all of these issues and also confirmed that new gym equipment was currently being considered, possibly in consultation with users.

 

5.0 Club:  Cath Abraham reported that:

 

·  The litter bins in Studio 1 were still often very full;

·  The REACT Games were to be held at Fleming Park on 3 November.  This was a competition involving teams from leisure centres across the region who took part in various activities, gaining points.  A cup was awarded to the team with the most points.  There were two groups: over 50s and over 65s.

 

Ballet: Lynne Massey reported that:

 

·  Numbers were constant and business was good;

·  The studio problems previously reported had been resolved;

·  A small gala had been held in July which had raised £1,500 for Children In Need;

·  Exams were to be held in April 2012.

 

Tennis: Richard Cutler reported that:

 

·  The summer had been a good season for the Club;

·  There were currently 210 regular users, of which 80% were non-members and 60% children. 

·  It was pleasing to see that tennis was to be included in the Development Plan discussions;

·  The booking system was now very good.

 

Bowls: Dave Moore reported that:

 

·  The 2011 season had now finished and Council officers were to be thanked for their support, in particular regarding problems with the green;

·  It was pleasing to note that no charge was to be made for the car park at the moment;

·  17 new members had joined the Club;

·  Successes this season included the following Men’s External Honours: Hampshire Singles Champion (second year in succession), Hampshire Pairs Champions and Runners Up, London and Southern Counties Pairs Champions, Southampton and District Pairs Champions, Hampshire Club Championship Runners Up and Southampton Open Tournament Triples Champions.

 

EDSAD: Paul Kirkpatrick reported that the swimming club had purchased a new hoist, which enabled people to be moved from the teaching pool, to the main pool. The teaching pool had warmer water and provided confidence to learners, but the club could no longer afford to hire this pool from 18 October 2011, when the funding received from the Eastleigh Disability Leisure Access group ceased.  The Area Manager and the Sport and Active Lifestyles Manager agreed to discuss possible further finding provision.

 

Eastleigh Running Club: The Democratic Services Officer tabled a report from Colin Jones.  Points included:

 

·  The club continued to grow steadily, with currently 260 members;

·  A 10 week course for complete novices and those who had limited running experience had been offered earlier in the year, and as a result the club now had four qualified coaches;

·  The marked out 400 metre grass track on the old golf course had been used for training during the summer and the golf course grounds had been  the venue for two races organised by the club involving Hampshire running clubs.  The grounds had also been the location for the County’s Cross Country Championships;

·  During the winter evenings the club was limited to using local streets which were adequate for steady runs of 3 to 10 miles but not for interval and speed sessions;

·  Two club members had been established as amongst the best athletes  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Date of Next Meeting

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting was confirmed as 3 April 2012.