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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 06/03/2007

Summary & Purpose
This report, which was considered by the Leisure Special Interest Group at its meeting on 26th February 2007, updates members on progress in implementing the approved Leisure Facilities Procurement Strategy and in particular on developments relating to the provision of a new leisure centre for Godalming in conjunction with a commercial operator and Guildford Rugby Club.



[Wards Affected: All]
Note pursuant to Section 100B(5) of the Local Government Act 1972

(Exempt) Annexe 1 to this report contains exempt information by virtue of which the public is likely to be excluded during the item to which the report relates, as specified in Paragraph 3 of the revised Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, namely;-

Summary and purpose:

This report, which was considered by the Leisure Special Interest Group at its meeting on 26th February 2007, updates members on progress in implementing the approved Leisure Facilities Procurement Strategy and in particular on developments relating to the provision of a new leisure centre for Godalming in conjunction with a commercial operator and Guildford Rugby Club.

Environmental Implications:

The Leisure Strategy will deliver improvements to the existing leisure facilities including updating the plant and machinery which will have a positive impact on the environment.

Social/Community Implications:

Improvements to the sport and leisure facilities will improve the quality of experience that visitors to the centre will have.

E-Government implications:

There are no direct e-government implications arising from this report.

Resource and legal implications:

The Leisure Strategy involves the procurement of a significant management contract. The turnover of the five leisure centres is around 4million per year. The contract would be for 15 years and would include delivering major capital investment. The financial, legal and risk implications are included in a separate section later in the report.


1. At its meeting on 12th December 2006, the Council resolved to instruct officers to start working-up detailed proposals for facility options for Waverley’s five leisure centres and to commence negotiations with DC leisure Ltd on the 15 year contract. The Council resolution is at Annexe 1.

2. Since the Council meeting in December, officers in conjunction with Capita Symonds have been developing the detailed contract documentation and output specification, which will form the basis of the negotiations with DCL. A project group has been established with officers from Leisure, Finance, Audit and Legal working collectively on the implementation plan.

Progress on Negotiations with the Commercial Operator and Guildford Rugby Club

3. Following the Council meeting in December officers have met with the Rugby Club and the operator on two occasions to progress discussions relating to the option for developing new leisure facilities on the Rugby Club Site.

4. In light of the Council’s resolution that any proposals must allow for all-day access to health and fitness facilities in Godalming, officers have revised the proposals in option 3b by extending the community pool facility on the rugby club site to include a health and fitness facility of the same size as the existing facility within the leisure centre (approx 2,100sq ft). Members may recall that the original proposal located the health and fitness facility on the Broadwater school site. It is the officers’ view that to provide all day access to health and fitness on the school site would be unfeasible and some Members at the December Council meeting also expressed this view. The new proposal is to relocate this facility within the community pool.

5. The Executive Committee of the Rugby Club have now had an opportunity as a collective to meet with the operator and officers from Waverley to discuss in detail the proposals outlined for Godalming under Option 3b. The initial proposal provided the club with a clubhouse of approx 10,000sq ft and reconfigured their training pitches exchanging one for an alternative pitch on the school site. This was necessary to allow sufficient space and capacity on the site for all the proposed built facilities. However the Club have now rejected this option and do not support any proposals which result in the loss of playing pitches. In addition they do not support any proposals for a clubhouse of less than 13,000 sq ft. due to their growing needs. The club currently have planning permission for the expansion of their existing clubhouse to 13,000 sq ft.

6. Given the increased footprint to accommodate the larger clubhouse and the pay as you go community health and fitness facilities on the site, the size of massing in totality has increased significantly beyond the size of the initial proposal brought to Members in December. In light of this additional massing and the lack of available space on the site, officers in conjunction with the Rugby Club and the operator proposed two alternative schemes in an attempt to accommodate the required facilities on the site and keep the talks progressing.

Financial and Legal Implications

7. There are many financial implications of developing this Leisure Procurement Strategy and a detailed financial model was presented to Members in December. There are also significant legal implications with the complex contract negotiations required. Members will be kept up to date as the position develops through the negotiation stage.

8. In terms of the joint development option at Godalming involving the Rugby Club and the commercial operator, Members will recall that the outline proposal presented in December was financially advantageous compared to the option for a comprehensive improvement project at the Godalming Leisure Centre site. However, the changes to the Rugby Club proposals detailed in this report are likely to impact adversely on Waverley's financial position with additional capital costs required. When further details are known, officers will model the impact and report back at the appropriate time.


9. At its meeting on 26th April 2006 the Council instructed officers to discuss with Serco Leisure Ltd an early surrender of the Cranleigh Leisure Centre contract to enable the start date for all centers to be co-terminus, and report back with any terms identified by Serco. Officers have now met with the Director of Leisure for Serco.

Update on current refurbishment Proposals at Godalming and Farnham

10 Prior to the adoption by Council of the Leisure Facilities Procurement Strategy officers had identified major refurbishment requirements for both Farnham and Godalming, with 300,000 and 817,000 budgets allocated respectively. Given that the Council may be in a position to award a new 15 year contract to include major refurbishment (and in relation to Godalming may pursue a new facility in partnership with the Rugby Club and Commercial Developer) in the short term, officers have only commissioned essential items as set out in the original refurbishment programmes and delayed major elements which may be included as part of the negotiated contract. A schedule of the works commissioned to date for each site is set out in Annexe 2.

Risk Assessment

11. There are many risks associated with a project of this complexity, duration and value. The officer project group, supported by Capita Symonds, has a live implementation risk assessment running as a key element of the ongoing management of the project.

12. Members were presented with details of the key project risks in December. In particular, the risks associated with pursuing the joint development option at Godalming involving the Rugby Club and the commercial operator. As detailed earlier in this report, the recent discussions with these organisations have introduced a more challenging scenario and a higher risk profile.


13. Good progress is being made with regards to the implementation of the Procurement Strategy. The revised option now being considered for Godalming adds to the complexities of the overall process and is likely to require much more time to reach agreement. It is evident from the discussions to date that there are additional challenges emerging with the option to develop the facilities in Godalming at the Rugby Club site. In light of the issues outlined in this report Members of the SIG were requested to advise the Portfolio Holder on whether to progress discussions with the Rugby Club, Commercial Operator and Guildford Borough Council to work up a development for Godalming Leisure facilities to consider in parallel with the alternative Godalming Leisure Centre improvement proposal.

Leisure Special Interest Group

14. The Leisure Special Interest Group, at its meeting on 26th February, received a presentation from the Capita Symonds Project Manager who summarised the contract process and key dates leading through the committee process to Council in July this year.

15. The SIG noted that the Waverley Officer Project Group was working closely with Capita Symonds on the implementation plan leading to the detailed contract documentation and output specification. Members were advised that the construction element of the contract would be set and controlled within clear parameters for building design and specification and timescale for redevelopment, including the service element.

16. The SIG were concerned that the risks associated with a project of this complexity, especially with regard to the Godalming element, should be thoroughly assessed. Members were advised that a live implementation risk assessment was part of the ongoing management of the project.

17. Members were reminded of the decision by Council in December to work up two detailed proposals in tandem for the Godalming element. This presents particular risk issues at that site and members would have all the details for the decision on the two options in the summer.

18. The SIG were concerned that discussions on the pricing structure should continue with DC Leisure for the duration of any contract period to ensure flexibility and that there should be the option to continue and expand the IN2 (Passport to Leisure) discount card.

19. Members noted the discussions that had taken place so far with the Commercial Operator, Rugby Club and Guildford Borough Council including issues identified concerning the extent of massing and car parking. After detailed consideration of the current position, Members agreed that discussions should continue. Officers would report any major developments to the next meeting of the SIG.

20. The SIG received a presentation from DC Leisure which detailed the company’s background and extensive experience in the leisure field.

21. The Leisure Special Interest Group noted the progress made to date on implementing the Leisure Facilities Procurement Strategy.


It is recommended that the Executive notes the progress of discussions.

Background Papers (DoEL)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.


Name: Julie Maskery Telephone: 01483 523432
E-mail: jmaskery@waverley.gov.uk

Name: Graeme Clark Telephone: 01483 523236
E-mail: grclark@waverley.gov.uk

comms\Special Interest Groups\2006-07\096 Leisure SIG A 26.3.doc