Asset & Estate Management, Sport, Leisure & Culture Cabinet Member – Minutes – 26 April 2012

54      (54) LEISURE GRANT AID APPLICATIONS – The Director of Infrastructure Services submitted a report seeking consideration of applications received by the council for financial assistance.

The key points of the report were that –

  •  There were two different leisure grant aid schemes.
  •   There were eight applications for grant aid to consider against the scheme criteria and available funds

The report highlighted that the Sports Grants to Individuals scheme helped athletes selected to national teams/squads.  The maximum grant was £500 towards travel and training costs and free off peak access to fitness centres and swimming pools in council run facilities.  Only those sports recognised by Sport England were eligible.

The Leisure Capital Grant Programme scheme helped community sport, arts or heritage capital projects.  The most granted was normally £15,000.  It was explained that Groups could apply for one grant of up to £30,000 in any five-year period if the total cost of the project was more than £60,000.

The applications received met the criteria in the relevant grant aid scheme for assistance up to the level shown in the attached table.

Resolved – That the recommended level of grant support, set out in appendix 1 to the report, be approved.

55      (55) 92 OSWALD ROAD, SCUNTHORPE – SURPLUS PROPERTY – The Directors of Infrastructure Services and Corporate and Community Services submitted a joint report seeking approval to declare 92 Oswald Road, Scunthorpe, surplus to requirement of the service.

Until recently, the property located at 92 Oswald Road, Scunthorpe, accommodated the Registrars service and the Health, Safety and Welfare team.  The Register Office had moved to the Civic Centre and the Health, Safety and Welfare team would shortly be moving to Hewson House.  The property would then be vacant.

Infrastructure Services were not aware of a need for any further council use for the building, which had been advertised internally, as was usual practice.

Resolved – (a) That the property be declared surplus to the requirements of the services, and (b) that if no alternative use be found internally, the building be placed on the market.

56      (56) COMMUNITY ASSET TRANSFER POLICY – The Director of Infrastructure Services submitted a report seeking approval of the Community Asset Transfer Policy.

The council had always responded positively to community groups who wished to take over the management of council assets.  Examples of successful asset transfers included:

  •                     Community Centres
  •                      Baysgarth House Museum, Barton upon Humber
  •                      Barton upon Humber Youth Centre
  •                      The Minster Centre, Scunthorpe

Recent government policy had encouraged asset transfer; the ‘Quirk Report’ was a recent example.  The Localism Act 2011 would introduce the ‘Right to Challenge’ and the ‘Right to Buy – Assets of Community Value’.  This would require councils to consider applications from community groups who wished to take over the provision of council services, or the management of surplus buildings.

Although the council had a good track record in this respect, it was not always clear to community groups how they should approach the council.  Therefore, a policy had been produced to explain:

  • How asset transfer worked
  •  How qualifying organisations could proceed
  • How to get support

The policy and application form were attached to the report at Appendices 1 and 2.

Resolved – That the Community Asset Transfer Policy be approved.

57      (57) GREAT BRITISH STORY EVENT – NORMANBY HALL COUNTRY PARK – The Director of Infrastructure Services submitted a report briefing the Cabinet Member about the proposed Great British Story Event, and seeking approval to waive the admission charge to Normanby Hall Country Park on Saturday 23 June 2012, to enable to the event to take place there.

BBC2 would launch ‘The Great British Story: A People’s History’ in the near future.  This was a landmark history programme that would tell the story of Great Britain and Northern Ireland through the lives and experiences of real people, past and present.  It would include an 8-part TV series and accompanying events over the course of the broadcast.

Alongside the TV series BBC Learning would hold history themed events across the country.  The BBC had approached the council with a view to hold one of the events at Normanby Hall Country Park.  If the event took place, Radio Humberside would broadcast live on the day, and it was hoped that Look North would also cover the event.  The BBC would list the event on their database of Things to Do which they would promote during the TV series.  The BBC was also producing posters and press releases.

Resolved – (a) That the proposal to hold the Great British Story Event at Normanby Hall Country Park be supported, and (b) that the waiving of admissions charges to the park on Saturday 23 June 2012 be approved.

The corresponding reports of the following items (Minutes 58 to 59 refer) contains exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

58      (58) PROPERTY TRANSACTION SCHEDULES – The Director of Infrastructure Services submitted a report for consideration, and where necessary, approval of a schedule containing the terms of all recently negotiated property transactions.

The schedules covered both operational and commercial property.

Resolved – That the schedule appended to the report be approved.

59      (59) THE PODS – STAFFING – The Director of Infrastructure Services submitted a report seeking approval of the Pods staffing establishment.

The Pods opened to the public on 4 July 2011, replacing Scunthorpe Leisure Centre.

A business plan was produced to successfully manage the Pods.  Since opening, the Pods had performed strongly against the targets identified in the business plan and had made a significant overall difference to the performance of Sports Facilities.

The Pods opened using staff transferred from Scunthorpe Leisure Centre.  To meet minimum staffing levels overtime was offered to contracted staff and a large number of casual workers were employed.  As a result the council relied heavily on the goodwill and commitment of staff to maintain the service.

A robust, sustainable staffing structure was now required to allow the council to maximise the performance of the Pods.  Full details of the proposed staffing structure, including financial implications, were contained in the report and accompanying appendices.

Resolved – That the staffing establishment, set out in the report and accompanying appendices, be approved.

Note: Reports are in Portable Document Format (PDF) and therefore require a suitable reader to view them. A reader can be downloaded free from the Adobe website (full instructions for downloading the reader are provided on the site).

Where there is no report this is because it is exempt, as it contains information which is considered to be of a confidential nature, as detailed in the Local Government (Access to Information) Act.