A way forward for leisure services
The next stage in the possible reshaping of Erewash Borough Council’s sport and leisure services will now go ahead after borough councillors gave the green light to go out to tender.
A Full Council meeting last night (Thursday 8 March) agreed the move and also approved a tender document which sets out the key principles expected of any potential bidder to deliver a best value service for tax payers.
As part of the tender specification, the council would retain ownership of the buildings and still have considerable control over leisure centre opening hours, prices, concessions, activity programmes and has also built in protection for local clubs and organisations that use the facilities on a regular basis.
The council has carried out an independent review of possible options for the delivery of leisure services and a market test carried out last year revealed potential significant savings.
Councillor Carol Hart, Leader of Erewash Borough Council, says:
“At the heart of this process is our commitment to make sure that the leisure facilities and services are protected and open to everyone. If a tender contract is agreed, then we firmly believe that bringing in the right expertise will ensure that our residents are provided with a successful leisure service that is both efficient and good value.
“We have to find a way forward, our sport and leisure services are currently costing around £2m a year after income is taken into account – something which we are finding increasingly difficult to support in what are financially challenging times for local authorities.”
A final decision on awarding a contract for sport and leisure services will be taken by councillors at a future Full Council meeting.