Posted by: westlancashirerecord | December 23, 2016

WLBC To Extend The Existing Leisure Services Agreement

In a proposed new policy that will shock observers of the Beacon Park Golf Course landfill shambolic development, and the secret yet lucrative dealing of private developer income due to the “Commercial In Confidence” deal done by the old Tory regime, the Labour controlled council is preparing an extension of the Leisure Services Agreement.

The proposed policy is an agenda item at the Cabinet Meeting on 10 January 2017, and some details are provided below. Observers of the horrendous landfill exercise on the old Golf Course driving range beacon312-004 and the useless new 9Hole course9hole2  will wonder what is going on within the Leisure and Wellbeing Services department of WLBC.

New Leisure Facilities And Procurement Of Leisure Partnership; “To seek Cabinet approval to engage specialist consultants to undertake a financial viability appraisal and options for financing for new leisure provision in Skelmersdale and Ormskirk, to enter into discussion with North Meols Parish Council regarding the future of Banks Leisure Centre and to initiate discussions with the current leisure provider regarding an extension to the leisure services agreement.

“That the Director of Leisure and Wellbeing and the Borough Treasurer, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder gageny for Leisure & Human Resources and the Portfolio Holder for Finance be authorised:- To agree and conclude all necessary arrangements with the current leisure provider to enable an extension to the Leisure Services Agreement in accordance with para 9.4 of the report, to include entering into any leases, amendments to agreements, and the giving of any notifications/notices which may be required to effect any extension.

“The formation of a project board to provide oversight and support for the project and project team is important, the project board consists of the Director of Leisure and Wellbeing, Director of Development and Regeneration, Borough Treasurer, Borough Solicitor and the Deputy Director of Leisure and Wellbeing.

“The existing operational leisure services agreement and the relationship between West Lancashire Community Leisure Limited (a registered charity) the operating partner Serco Leisure Operating Limited sercolife and the agreements between WLBC and Serco Leisure Operating limited for maintenance and Serco Paisa for capital investment have proved beneficial for the Authority. The current arrangements were agreed in 2004 and since then other types of operational partnership structures have been formed and should be considered. A new type of management arrangement and or variations of the current agreement may provide additional benefits and opportunities.

“Members of the Cabinet Working Group were advised of the current relationship with Beacon Park golf course, which was added to the operational leisure services agreement in 2012. Members were also informed of the options and restrictions for Banks Leisure Centre, that the facilities at Banks do not belong to the Borough Council and are leased from the Secretary of State for Health with a renewal of the lease in 2021.

“That members allocate up to £50,000 funding from the major projects reserve to undertake a financial viability assessment on the proposed facility mix for the new leisure facilities. Identifying the new leisure facilities in Skelmersdale as the priority site and the options for the viability and replacement of the facilities at Park Pool Ormskirk. The financial viability assessment to consider the options put forward to maximise income potential and identify a financial model/s for financing the construction costs. Including an assessment/identification of grant funding and external financing options.

“Although preferable to secure two new leisure facilities at the beginning of a new partnership arrangement, it may not be financially possible to afford either. As part of the viability assessment, Skelmersdale would be considered likely to be the priority site while a full replacement for Park Pool may need to be considered at a future date. 9.3 That discussions be commenced with North Meols Parish Council regarding the options for a community partnership to manage the day to day operation of Banks Leisure Centre.

“That negotiations commence with West Lancashire Community Leisure Limited and the leisure operating partners Serco Leisure Operating Limited for the extension of the current leisure services agreement pongnose, for the reasons set out in section 7 above. Including making any notifications/notices which may be required to effect any extension to the partnership arrangement. This would allow for options for transitional funding agreements to be agreed, to allow for the development of two new facilities and the potential transfer or closure from the arrangement of Banks Leisure Centre.

“In order to progress with an initial financial viability assessment it is proposed to allocate up to £50,000 to engage specialist consultant/advisors, with funding to be allocated from the major projects reserve.

“The Council financial position is that it is required to make significant revenue savings over the next few years. Any negotiations will need to be structured so that the current revenue cost of operating the services under consideration by the project team, is significantly reduced or if commercially viable provide the Council with a surplus position.

“Although preferable to secure two new leisure facilities at the beginning of a new partnership arrangement, it may not be financially possible to afford either. The financial viability assessment will need to look at the option of affordability and viability for both sites and the option of one site being taken forward.

“The extension of the current leisure services agreement would, without any changes to the current service levels or agreements, provide savings from the fixed capital investment payments of £338,640 per year for a two year extension. Additional savings could be achieved by negotiation, particularly if options for the leisure centre in Banks could be removed from the operation.

“It is likely that the Council will be required to provide both the land and capital investment as part of the development of new facilities, particularly if it also seeks to significantly reduce or remove the revenue cost of the day-to-day operation of the facilities. The extent of any capital and revenue funding will be determined as the project and evaluation of the facility mix and negotiations proceeds”.


  1. Labour- no different from the vile tories?

    • In respect of the relationships with Serco, apparently not. What is it about this company, robbed taxpayers on £multimillions in the claims for tagging dead and imprisoned criminals, that still leaves them benefitting from public money as in West Lancashire?

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