Docstoc

ABERDEEN CITY COUNCIL

Document Sample
ABERDEEN CITY COUNCIL Powered By Docstoc
					                                  ITEM
                                  PAGE



                          ABERDEEN CITY COUNCIL

Name of Committee         :   Full Council

Date of Meeting           :   13 February 2008

Title of Report           :   Sports Transformation Programme

Lead Officer              :   Belinda Miller
                              Head of Service Economic and Environmental
                              Sustainability

Author of Report          :   Gail Penman, Strategist (Arts, Culture, Heritage & Sport)
                                    (81) 4614
                                    gpenman@aberdeencity.gov.uk

Other Involvement         :   Kath Beveridge, Corporate Director, Strategic Leadership
                              David Leng, Head of Service, Culture and Learning
                              Fiona Wedderburn, Culture and Leisure Strategy Officer
                              Caroline Walker, Sport and Recreation Officer
                              Chris Mellor, Culture and Leisure Strategy Officer
                              Jan Falconer, Strategist (Environmental Sustainability)
                              Neil Bruce, Service Manager (Culture & Leisure) Central
                              Brian Morgan, Service Manager (Communities) Central
                              David Wright, Service Manager (Communities) North
                              Jane Nicklen, Service Manager (Communities) South
                              Continuous Improvement, Service Design & Development
                              Stakeholder events took place during November,
                              December 2007 and January 2008. Participants included
                              front line staff, partners, unions, and Elected Members.

Consultation undertaken   :   All Elected Members
with                          Corporate Management Team
                              City Chamberlain and City Solicitor
                              Extended Corporate Management Team
                              All Operational Support Managers
                              Service Managers Culture and Leisure, and Communities
                              Operational Staff working in sports services
                              All Strategists, Strategic Leadership
                              Trade Unions
                              Active Aberdeen Forum
                                            ITEM
                                            PAGE

Summary of Report

This report seeks to improve the quality of our sports services from a customer perspective,
while ensuring improvements in efficiency of delivery, therefore achieving significant revenue
budgetary savings of approximately £1million per year, in the medium to longer term. This will
ensure that Aberdeen City Council, in terms of sports delivery, has the best possible opportunity
to deliver its vision of being recognised as a leading Council in Northern Europe by 2010.

The report seeks to ensure that the high level aims and objectives of the draft Sports Strategy,
“Fit for the Future”, which was approved by Policy and Strategy Committee on 11 December
2007 are deliverable in the current financial context.

Areas for improvement that are specifically considered in this report include:

   •   Review of Bookings and Lettings
   •   Review of Charging Policies
   •   Review of Operations
   •   Appraisal of different mechanisms available for delivering sports services.

The key findings of the above areas of work include:

   •   The need to consolidate disparate bookings, lettings and charging policies and
       procedures to meet the requirements and expectations of our customers
   •   The need to fill gaps in knowledge and support for front line staff which are preventing
       staff reaching their full potential.
   •   The identification of significant potential financial savings and quality improvements that
       may be achieved by changing the current in-house delivery mechanism.

Some of the recommendations identified may be considered controversial, and may indeed cost
more in the short term. However, the report demonstrates that the proposed programme of
improvements will, when implemented together, ensure that Aberdeen City Council delivers a
sports service that is “fit for the future” in terms of long term affordability and exceeding
customer expectations.

Recommendations

That the Committee consider and approve the recommendations of the Transformation
Programme and instruct officers to proceed with the following actions:

Bookings and Lettings
   1. Implement a single integrated bookings system
   2. Progress the procurement of a Leisure Management System as a priority
   3. Investigate the options for deployment of Janitorial Cover
   4. Investigate different options for staffing facilities where appropriate
   5. Rationalise venues available for hire through a strategic approach to the administration
       of bookings.
   6. Develop and implement a standardised charging system based on type/category of
       facility.
   7. Develop a charging policy which defines user categories and priorities
   8. Standardise quality assurance requirements of groups applying for facilities
   9. Sign up to 2006 Accord for the Protection of Children in Scottish Sport by 2009
   10. Carry out and implement an Access to Leisure Review

Sports Transformation programme                 2
                                           ITEM
                                           PAGE


Operational Delivery
   11.Develop a comprehensive training programme for all sports staff that includes customer
      care and marketing, and ensure all front line staff are appropriatly trained on an ongoing
      basis.
  12. Review and implement new staffing structures to ensure local leadership / ownership and
      development pathways and align staffing structures with programming to ensure the
      efficient deployment of resources.
  13. Carry out facilities audit and develop investment plan / facilities strategy (including
      identifying opportunities for rationalising sports facility stock and utilising renewable
      energy sources where possible).
  14. Market test / benchmark grounds maintenance services and review the operations of the
      in house grounds maintenance teams including their method of pricing works.
  15. Implement clear, consistent and simple processes for sports facility repairs and
      maintenance and empower and encourage frontline staff to take responsibility for repairs
      and maintenance.
   16.Implement a customer feedback system, including regular surveys and ongoing
      consultation with users and non-users, and review service provision in light of customer
      feedback.
   17. All sites to develop a business / marketing plan (with support from Corporate
      Communications) involving all site staff in its development to ensure ownership.
   18. Identify resource to be responsible for keeping the sports sections of the City Council’s
      website up-to-date
   19. Provide regular events for sports staff for networking and communicate – e.g. biannual
      service planning workshops.

   Sports Management Options Appraisal
   20. Transfer ACC sports facilities into an arms length organisation taking account of external
      specialist legal and financial advice.
   21. Appoint appropriate resource to manage this process.
   22. Establish a Project Board to drive the project forward. (Council to select appropriate
      Elected Members for the Board)

    Short Term Actions from “Fit for the Future” (not already covered in above):
    23. Carry out programming review
    24. Develop marketing strategy for City’s sports services
    25. Increase opportunities for participation through the provision of sports grants and
    partnership sports fund (£75k each).
    26. Set realistic operational efficiency targets including NS Area and City-wide targets
    27. Develop framework for identifying target sports
    28. Develop a sustainable workforce strategy
    29. Continue to support the Active Aberdeen Forum




Sports Transformation programme                3
                                            ITEM
                                            PAGE

Links to the Community Plan and to Vibrant, Dynamic & Forward Looking
This Report relates to the delivery of the Council’s priorities contained in the Policy Statement,
“Vibrant, Dynamic and Forward Looking Council”: Campaign for a state-of-the-art competition-
standard 50m swimming pool for Aberdeen, with fair funding from the Scottish Executive;
Complete the development of the Regional Sports Facility; Increase participation in sport,
provide support for athletes and reward excellence; Ensure high quality, well managed sports
facilities in Aberdeen, Recognise the contribution of Sports, Culture and Arts to promoting the
area as a tourist destination; Recognise the role of Sport and the Arts in tackling anti-social
behaviour.
The report also relates to the Arts, Heritage and Sport strand of the Community Plan,
specifically in relation to the Sports, Leisure and Recreation vision of developing Aberdeen as
an “Active City”.

Implementation

On approval of the recommended options, Strategic Leadership and the Area Teams with the
support of Continuous Improvement and other services will produce and implement detailed
action plans within agreed timescales.

Once implemented, the process for monitoring the strategy will be via the corporate
performance management system, including supervisory meetings, ECMT Performance Board;
CMT Quarterly Review; Citistat; Area Committees, and ultimately the Continuous Improvement
Committee. Where solutions are not delivering the required results, the reasons will be
scrutinised and the approach adjusted accordingly.

Resource Implications

People                     :    The       Sports    Transformation    Programme        includes
                                recommendations that will have significant people implications.
                                The success of the programme will be dependent on fostering a
                                culture that is motivated by the opportunities provided by the
                                drive to transform public services.

                                The approval of recommendation 20 would involve the transfer
                                of sports staff to a new arms length management organisation
                                using TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings).

Finance                    :    The Sports Transformation programme has identified areas
                                where potential revenue savings can be made and spend to
                                save initiatives implemented (as per section 6). These savings
                                will be utilised to ensure that the full benefits of the Sports
                                Strategy are delivered.

                                Overall in the medium to longer terms the efficiencies identified
                                are approximately £1.2million per year. Delivery of this will
                                require a short term spend of approx. £300,000 over two years.

                                Other direct revenue costs total £150,000 per year for sports
                                grants and partnership funding (will replace existing budgets of
                                £19,000 (Sports Grants) and £25,000 (Dons in the Community)
                                and this is necessary to tangibly improve the services offered
                                that are being delivered.

Sports Transformation programme                 4
                                        ITEM
                                        PAGE

                            While the outcomes of the estates strategy are not yet available,
                            capital funding is already allocated to delivering the Sports
                            Strategy in the non-housing Capital Programme: £500,000
                            2007/08; £1,000,000 2008/09; £1,000,000 2009/10. In addition
                            there are also allocations in the Non-Housing Capital
                            Programme for the following specific projects: Regional Sports
                            Facility; 50 metre Swimming Pool; Hazlehead Pavilion and
                            Pitches; Aulton Pitches; St Machar Pitch.

Systems &               :   The bookings and charging review will have systems and
Technology                  technology implications, as may other areas of the programme.
                            The procurement of a Leisure Management Information System
                            has already been agreed by Council and funding is available in
                            the Non Housing Capital Programme for this project. Support is
                            required from Continuous Improvement for this project.

Property                :   The Sports Transformation Programme did not include a
                            detailed sports estates strategy, however the requirement to
                            develop a sports estates strategy is a key high priority
                            recommendation arising through the transformation programme.

Other Equipment         :   No other equipment implications are anticipated at this time.

Other                   :

Other Implications
Health & Safety         :   All recommendations implemented will operate within relevant
                            Health and Safety policies and guidelines.

Risk Management         :   The risk of not proceeding with these recommendations may be
                            that sports services become unsustainable, and the Council
                            may not achieve Best Value.

Human Rights/           :   The Sports Strategy aims to promote equality of access to
Equalities/Diversity        sports services and overcome the barriers to participation in
                            communities of interest in Aberdeen. All implementation plans
                            will require to adhere to the Council’s Equalities Policies.

Equalities Impact       :   It is not considered at this point that an equalities impact
Assessment                  assessment will be required.

Sustainability          :   The Sports Strategy and corresponding transformation
                            programme aims to achieve the sustainability of sports services
                            in Aberdeen by developing capacity, identifying efficiency
                            savings and attracting funding.

Environmental           :   The Sports Strategy and corresponding transformation
                            programme promotes an environmentally conscious approach
                            to building new and improving existing sports facilities and
                            promotes environmentally aware purchasing of sports
                            equipment.

Social                    :  The   Sports   Strategy   and   corresponding    transformation
Sports Transformation programme             5
                                        ITEM
                                        PAGE

                            programme seeks to develop opportunities to participate in
                            sport for all communities in Aberdeen. The impact that
                            participation in sport has on promoting social inclusion has been
                            well documented. Providing affordable access to local leisure
                            facilities can contribute to the local community environment.

Economic                :   The Sports Strategy and corresponding transformation
                            programme seeks to contribute to improved health productivity
                            in Aberdeen’s workforce, along with aiming to provide high
                            quality sports facilities and activities to visitors which improves
                            Aberdeen’s image and encourages people to visit the City.
                            Establishing the sporting aspect of the City’s economic and
                            twinning links can help to further develop links between
                            Aberdeen and its key economic partners.

Construction            :   Construction requirements arising as a result of the strategy and
                            transformation programme will be developed with sustainability
                            in mind.


Signature               :




Sports Transformation programme             6
                                           ITEM
                                           PAGE

Main Considerations

1.    Introduction / Executive Summary

1.1   This report seeks to improve the quality of our sports services from a customer
      perspective, while ensuring improvements in efficiency of delivery, therefore achieving
      significant revenue budgetary efficiencies of approximately £1 million per year, in the
      medium to longer term. This will ensure that Aberdeen City Council, in terms of sports
      delivery, has the best possible opportunity to deliver its vision of being recognised as a
      leading Council in Northern Europe by 2010.

1.2   This evidence based report seeks to ensure that the high level aims and objectives of the
      draft Sports Strategy, “Fit for the Future”, which was approved by Policy and Strategy
      Committee on 11 December 2007 are deliverable in the current financial context.

1.3   Areas for improvement that are specifically considered in this report include:

      •   Review of Bookings and Lettings
      •   Review of Charging Policies
      •   Review of Operations
      •   Appraisal of different mechanisms available for delivering sports services.

1.4    The recommendations in the report also include those actions that have been identified
      in “Fit for the Future”, but have not been identified as a direct result of the areas above.
      These recommendations are essential in terms of improving the service that we are
      providing: By putting in place some of the recommendations but not all, there is a risk
      that not only will the strategy fail to be delivered, staff morale and customer satisfaction
      may be significantly damaged.

1.5 The key findings of the above areas of work include:

      •   The need to consolidate disparate bookings, lettings and charging policies and
          procedures to meet the requirements and expectations of our customers
      •   The need to fill gaps in knowledge and support for front line staff which are
          preventing staff reaching their full potential.
      •   The identification of significant potential financial savings and quality improvements
          that may be achieved by changing the current in-house delivery mechanism.

1.5   Some of the recommendations identified may be considered controversial, and may
      indeed cost more in the short term. However, the report demonstrates that the proposed
      programme of improvements will, when implemented together, ensure that Aberdeen
      City Council delivers a sports service that is “fit for the future” in terms of long term
      affordability and exceeding customer expectations.

1.6   The sports transformation programme includes an intensive programme of data analysis
      and consultation and is part of a wider initiative that seeks to identify service
      improvements which will ensure the City’s residents receive the best possible services,
      within the challenges of the current funding climate. Other services, which have been
      involved in this programme, include: Children’s Services; Adults Services; Environmental
      Services; and Waste Services.



Sports Transformation programme                7
                                           ITEM
                                           PAGE

2.    Methodology

2.1   The Transformation Programme has developed recommendations for service
      improvement based on evidence. The methodology (Appendix 32: Transformation
      Programme Methodology) for the Transformation Programme for Sports included the
      following:

2.2   Data Analysis
      Sports delivery data was collected, collated and analysed to identify trends and issues:

         o   Financial Monitoring Statements
         o   Admissions
         o   Facility usage levels
         o   Operational recovery rates
         o   Subsidy per admission
         o   Staffing rotas and structures
         o   Job descriptions
         o   Vacancy levels and absences
         o   Details of planned and unplanned closures at facilities
         o   Details of recent investments, repairs and maintenance at sports facilities
         o   Details of investments, repairs and maintenance required as identified by Duty
             and Area Managers

2.3   Meetings with Service and Area Managers
      The purpose of these meetings was to discuss the findings of the data analysis. This
      included identifying the factors that had contributed to the trends and issues identified
      and generate recommendations as to how these trends and issues might be tackled.
      (Appendix 14: Service and Area Manager Meetings)

2.4   Booking and Lettings
      A series of one to one meetings were held with key staff responsible for the operation
      and management of the current educational letting and sports bookings process. A set of
      questions were sent to Area Sports Managers and Area Facilities Managers and the
      responses included in the overview.

      Relevant documents were collated, reviewed and benchmarked with a sample of local
      authorities.

      Two national organisations, sportscotland and Children 1st were consulted for
      comparative information and advice.

2.5   Workshops with sports staff
      Staff across the Sports Service were invited to workshops including frontline facility staff
      such as Leisure Attendants, development staff such as Sports Development Officers and
      Active Schools Co-ordinators and management staff. Participants identified the main
      issues that face sports services and how these issues could be addressed while
      considering impact, cost and risk. (Appendix 13: Workshops).

2.6   Staff survey
      A staff survey provided those who were not able to attend the consultation workshops
      with the opportunity to input into the Transformation Programme and to provide the
      anonymity that generates more open and honest responses. (Appendix 17: Staff Survey)

Sports Transformation programme                8
                                            ITEM
                                            PAGE

2.7    Operational Review
       The operational review of three facilities (one in each area) involved an initial
       assessment of the venue from a customer perspective, and included discussing
       objectives and perceived difficulties with the operational staff. (Appendix 18: Operational
       Review.)

2.8    Customer Survey
       A customer survey was conducted in August 2007. Different survey methodologies were
       used to reach different audiences. These included street surveys in Union Street, Torry
       and Garthdee; surveys via the City Council’s web site; and self completion surveys in the
       sports and community centres. There were1274 responses to questions about frequency
       of participation, reasons for non participation and sport/physical activity preferences.

2.9    Gap Analysis
       A gap analysis was carried out as part of the customer survey. Respondents were asked
       to rate different aspects of sports facilities in order of importance for them. Respondents
       were then asked to rate Aberdeen City Council facilities against the same criteria to
       determine the extent to which Aberdeen City Council is meeting customer expectations.

2.10   Benchmarking with Sport and Leisure Trusts
       The Transformation Programme for Sports also involved a review of sport and leisure
       trusts in Scotland. This included examining trust documents such as contracts, business
       plans, service level agreements and annual reports and benchmarking visits and
       telephone interviews took place with seven local authorities and the sport and leisure
       trusts they had incorporated. (Appendix 33: Benchmarking with Trusts and Local
       Authorities).

       Officers used the information obtained in the benchmarking visits and interviews to
       identify the risks and opportunities of incorporating a sport and leisure trust to run local
       authority sports facilities and services. These risks and opportunities were then applied
       to the specific context of Neighbourhood sports delivery in Aberdeen City. From this the
       positive and negative implications of a sport and leisure trust for Aberdeen City Council
       were identified in order to formulate the recommendations in relation to a sport and
       leisure trust for Aberdeen City.

       NOTE: This report uses the word “trust” as a generic term to describe a range of non-
       profit making charitable companies incorporated to manage sports facilities. The term
       “trust” can commonly apply to three separate kinds of independent organisation: (1)
       charitable company limited by guarantee (most commonly used by local authorities when
       setting up independent companies); (2) Industrial and Provident Societies (shareholding
       entities with employee or community involvement); (3) Unincorporated Charitable Trust
       (created by a philanthropic donor or a group of individuals who have unlimited personal
       liability for the trust.)

2.11   Consultation with Trade Unions
       The draft Sports Transformation Programme report was issued to the three main Trade
       Unions that have sports staff in their membership. This follows two briefing meetings for
       Unions that were held in March and October 2007 at which the Sports Management
       Options Appraisal and Sport and Physical Activity Strategy were discussed. At the time
       of issue no formal response to the consultation for this document has been received. Any
       Union responses that are received will be issued as a late paper for consideration by Full
       Council in conjunction with this report.

Sports Transformation programme                 9
                                              ITEM
                                              PAGE

2.12   Transformation Programme recommendations
       The recommendations outlined in this report are the product of a review of the data, the
       information provided at Service and Area Manager meetings, the Workshop data and
       responses to the staff and customer surveys, gap analysis, benchmarking exercise and
       bookings and charging reviews.

3.     “Fit for the Future” – A Draft Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Strategy for
       Aberdeen City Council

3.1    In Scotland, sport in recent history has been a legislative requirement of local authorities
       as first stipulated by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 which formally
       recognised that local authorities had a role in making provisions for sport, the arts and
       heritage. The Local Government and Planning (Scotland) Act 1982 requires local
       authorities to:

       “Ensure that there is an adequate provision of facilities for the inhabitants of their area for
       recreational, sporting, cultural and social activities.”
                                              [From ‘Sport and Local Government in the New Scotland’ published in 2001 by
                                                 sportscotland on behalf of COSLA, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities]


3.2    Currently, the Government’s objectives for sport in Scotland are articulated in Reaching
       Higher – building on the success of Sport 21. (Appendix 39: Reaching Higher) This
       strategy outlines the Scottish Government’s vision for sport, which was first established
       in Sport 21, Scotland’s national sports strategy 2003 – 2007, as follows:

              To make Scotland:
              • A country where sport is more widely available to all;
              • A country where sporting talent is recognised and nurtured; and;
              • A country achieving and sustaining world class performances in sport.

              The two outcomes that Reaching Higher seeks to achieve are:
              • Increasing Participation
              • Improving Performance

              The national priorities for sport in Scotland as outlined in Reaching Higher are:
              • Well trained people
              • Strong organisations
              • Quality facilities
              • Providing the pathway*
              * means by which a beginner can access regular sessions in their chosen sport to
              allow them to continue to participate and / or progress to a more elite level

       The challenge that underpins the outcomes and priorities for sport in Scotland as
       outlined in Sport 21 and Reaching Higher is:

              •   by 2020, to have 60% of adult Scots taking part in sport at least once a week.

3.3    Nationally and locally, there is considerable progress to be made in terms of increasing
       regular participation in sport. Aberdeen City Council’s draft strategy, “Fit for the Future”
       outlines how the City Council plans to meet this key objective.


Sports Transformation programme                   10
                                           ITEM
                                           PAGE

3.4   A further key national policy document that is relevant for Aberdeen City Council’s sports
      services is Let’s Make Scotland More Active: A Strategy for Physical Activity which
      was produced in 2003 by the Physical Activity Task Force, established following the
      publication of the White Paper Towards a Healthier Scotland. (Appendix 40: Let’s
      Make Scotland More Active). “Let’s Make Scotland More Active” sets out the following
      vision for Scotland:

            •   People in Scotland will enjoy the benefits of having a physically active life.
            •   And has the following goal:
            •   To increase and maintain the proportion of physical active people in Scotland.

      The Physical Activity Task Force outlines the links between health and physical activity,
      in particular the recommendation levels of physical activity for adults and children that
      are required to achieve health benefits. These are:

            •   Adults should accumulate (build up) at least 30 minutes of moderate activity on
                most days of the week.
            •   That children should accumulate (build up) at least one hour of moderate
                physical activity on most days of the week.

      The Physical Activity Task Force has set the goal of 50% of adults aged over 16 and
      80% of children aged 16 and under meeting the minimum physical activity requirements
      by 2022.

3.5   Locally, the local policy context for Sports is the objectives set by Dynamic, Vibrant &
      Forward Looking Aberdeen’s policy document:

      1. Campaign for a state-of-the-art competition-standard 50m swimming pool
         for Aberdeen, with fair funding from the Scottish Government.
      2. Complete the development of the Regional Sports Facility.
      3. Increase participation in sport, provide support for athletes and reward
         excellence.
      4. Ensure high quality, well-managed sports facilities in Aberdeen.
      5. Recognise the contribution of Sport, Culture and Arts to promoting the
         area as a tourist destination.
      6. Promote the City as a tourist destination.
      7. Recognise the role of Sport and the Arts in tackling anti-social behaviour
      8. Promote the health and well-being of pupils through healthy eating and
         exercise including …… and regular access to swimming.
      9. Encourage walking and cycling in our city….

3.6   Community Challenge 7 of the City Council's Corporate Plan is “An Active City” which
      states that:

            “Aberdeen City Council will work with the people of Aberdeen and its Partner
            Organisations to ensure that all our citizens have the maximum opportunity to gain
            access to and participate in a wide range of sports and leisure activities, both
            formal and informal.”

      Currently the Corporate Plan is under review.



Sports Transformation programme               11
                                            ITEM
                                            PAGE

3.7   Aberdeen City’s Community Plan also has a Sport, Leisure and Recreation strand with a
      vision of developing Aberdeen as an “Active City”. The Transformation Programme for
      Sports will contribute to achieving this vision and delivering against the following key aims
      outlined in Aberdeen futures:

         o To improve opportunities for people of all ages and visitors to our City to become
           involved in recreational activities, leisure pursuits and a wide variety of sports.
         o To work together with our City partners to plan, develop and enhance sports,
           leisure and recreational facilities across the City.
         o To work with our city partners to attract investment for sports, leisure and
           recreation programmes and facilities across the City. We also want to attract
           investment in people so that we can work together to provide financial assistance
           for talented athletes to allow them to train and compete.
         o To encourage participation and develop active communities through coaching,
           leading and volunteering opportunities across our City.

      Currently the Community Plan is under review.

3.8   At the Policy & Strategy Committee of 11th December 2007, Fit for the Future –
      Aberdeen City Council’s Draft Sport and Physical Activity Strategy was approved for
      public consultation. (Appendix 41: Fit for the Future)

      “Fit for the Future” has five key objectives for sport and physical activity in Aberdeen:

         1. Promote and increase opportunities for participation in sport and physical activity
            by all communities of interest in Aberdeen.
         2. Provide a high quality range of sports facilities in Aberdeen.
         3. Maximise social, educational, health and economic benefits of sport and physical
            activity in Aberdeen.
         4. Develop and sustain pathways which nurture local, regional and national sporting
            people to reach their potential.
         5. Raise the profile of sport in Aberdeen.

      The actions outlined in Fit for Future align closely with the recommendations of the
      Transformation Programme for Sports. The action plan in section 6 of this report includes
      high priority actions from Fit for the Future that align with the Transformation
      Recommendations and that are required to be delivered in the short-term to deliver
      Aberdeen City Council’s sports strategy.

3.9   Overview of Current Service Provision

      Aberdeen City currently provides opportunities for participation in sport and physical
      activity for both residents and visitors to the City, through the provision of a range of
      sports facilities and programmes.

      The Council works in partnership with external agencies e.g. Governing Bodies of Sport,
      sportscotland, Aberdeen Sports Council and the Grampian Institute of Sport to deliver
      national initiatives locally and promote and develop sport.

      The current stock of City Council managed sports facilities include seven sports centres,
      nine swimming pools, four golf facilities and sixteen outdoor sports facilities: providing
      opportunities for football, cricket, bowling, tennis and putting. In addition, the Council has

Sports Transformation programme                 12
                                             ITEM
                                             PAGE

       a national standard ice arena, an indoor tennis centre, an artificial sand based hockey
       pitch and four synthetic Multi Use Games Areas, (part-funded through the Big Lottery).

       Recently, the Council has made a significant investment in pitches and pavilions, at
       Aultons, Hazlehead and Rubislaw (Hazlehead and Aultons also received sportscotland
       lottery funding).

       A number of trust facilities have been built using capital investment from a range of
       sources including the City Council, sportscotland and the Big Lottery. These sport
       specific facilities, are situated in different areas across the city, with Transition Extreme
       Sports Centre located in Neighbourhood Services (Central Area), Curl Aberdeen located
       in Neighbourhood Services (North Area) and Aberdeen Snowsports Centre located in
       Neighbourhood Services (South Area).

       Robert Gordon University opened RGU: SPORT in 2003, a state of the art multi sport
       facility that is available for both community and student use. Currently, Aberdeen
       University and Aberdeen City Council are developing a Regional Sports Facility, due for
       completion in 2009.

       The, Reorganise, Renovate, Rebuild Project is currently in progress and will
       establishment of ten new builds, with significant facilities for sport and physical activity.
       The first phase will be complete in 2009.

       There are also a significant number of privately operated sports facilities within the city,
       providing a range of activities for both residents and non-residents.

       The City Council through Sports Development Officers and Active School Co-ordinators
       provides opportunities for children and young people to participate in a range of sport
       and physical activities by providing a structured and progressive programme from
       beginners through to elite performers. In addition programmes of activities are provided
       by both these services and Community Learning and Development staff for all ages and
       abilities encouraging lifelong participation and positive benefits to health

       Sports development and Active Schools provide the opportunity for the development of
       volunteers and coaches by providing a range of training and education courses and skill
       development opportunities. In addition the development of sports clubs and
       organisations is supported by providing guidance and encouraging the adoption of a
       quality assurance system.

       There are 6 full time city based sports development officers, three full time part funded
       Regional sport specific officers in cricket, curling and hockey and a team of sports
       coaches and swim teachers.

3.10   Key actions arising from Strategy
       There are a number of key actions arising from “Fit for the Future”. Many of these are
       covered in the detail of this report, however other actions that are not specifically
       covered, but are still critical to ensuring the delivery of the strategy and helping Aberdeen
       City Council achieve its vision of becoming a leading local authority include:

       •   Programming review – we need to continually review the service that we are
           delivering to ensure it is meeting customer requirements and expectations. This
           action is linked to ensuring customer feedback systems are in place.

Sports Transformation programme                 13
                                             ITEM
                                             PAGE

      •     Marketing strategy for City’s sports services – in order to ensure a clear
            marketing, branding and promotional direction for the City’s sports services, it is
            important that a holistic marketing strategy is developed.
      •     Increase opportunities for participation through the provision of sports grants
            and partnership sports fund – currently the sports grants budget is only £19,000
            per year. Due to this insufficient amount, the fund is not widely promoted, and
            therefore only those who know about the fund apply to it. These groups may not be
            the ones that are necessarily best placed to deliver on the City Council’s objectives.
            By increasing this budget to £75,000 per year, linked to clear funding objectives, the
            City will be in a better position to ensure that a difference is made. In addition, the
            strategy supports the move away from sport specific development delivered by the
            Council to a partnership approach. Current examples of this partnership approach
            include Grampian Coaching Partnership, support for the Dons in the Community
            Programme, and a partnership approach towards rugby development. To date this
            has been achieved and funded in an ad hoc way, and it is recognised that a specific
            budget for this purpose is required.
      •     Operational efficiency targets– staff at sites and within neighbourhood areas need
            to have realistic targets to work towards to ensure that services continue to improve
            in efficiency.
      •     Framework for identifying target sports – target sports will ensure that the City
            Council’s limited resources are targetted in a planned way. A framework is required to
            identify these key sports that may change over time as Council and social priorities
            develop.
      •     Sustainable workforce strategy – there are mechanisms that can be put in place to
            ensure that we continue to have a market for new staff. A workforce strategy,
            developed with support from skills active will put in place mechanisms such as
            planned and structured work placement schemes which will help ensure a
            sustainable workforce.
      •     Active Aberdeen Forum – Active Aberdeen is the community challenge forum
            responsible for driving up sport and physical activity in the city. Consisting of key
            sports service providers and stakeholders (public and private), this forum is
            invaluable in terms of bringing together expertise.

      Recommendations
      • Carry out programming review
      • Develop marketing strategy for City’s sports services
      • Increase opportunities for participation through the provision of sports grants
        and partnership sports fund (£75k each).
      • Set realistic operational efficiency targets including NS Area and City-wide
        targets
      • Develop framework for identifying target sports
      • Develop a sustainable workforce strategy
      • Continue to support the Active Aberdeen Forum

4.    Analysis of current performance

      4.1      Booking and Lettings

               4.1.1 Background

               The review of the letting of educational establishments has been an outstanding
               action since the year 2000. A number of Letting Review Groups have been
Sports Transformation programme                  14
                                          ITEM
                                          PAGE

            established since that time, however the required review has never been
            completed or recommendations implemented.

            More recently in May 2007 a locally determined value for money study on school
            lets was carried out by the Council’s external auditors with reference to work
            related to the 3Rs project. This study sought to determine the adequacy of the
            school letting procedures and establish whether the letting income covered the
            expenditure incurred.

            The current draft Aberdeen City Council Sport and Physical Activity Strategy, “Fit
            for the Future”, approved by Policy and Strategy Committee in December 2007,
            has as one of its objectives:

            •   “ Develop programming of all facilities that benefits as many people as
                possible such as community access to school facilities in the evening.”

            4.1.2 Bookings and Lettings

            There are currently two different bookings and lettings policies operating with in
            Aberdeen City Council for sports facilities. (Appendix 1: Bookings Comparison
            Table). These disparate policies relate to educational establishments, managed
            by the former Education Department; and sports facilities managed by the former
            Aberdeen Leisure section of the Contracting Services Department. These
            management arrangements were inherited from the former Grampian Regional
            Council and Aberdeen District Council, prior to the establishment of Aberdeen City
            Council. The responsibility for managing both bookings and lettings currently lies
            with Neighbourhood Services (North Area).

            4.1.3 Educational Establishments

            The current letting policy with in educational establishments was set in 2000.
            (Appendix 2: Letting of Educational Establishments.) There are three main
            categories of users:

            •   Internal – Use by the school or community learning
            •   External – Use by a wide range of Youth/Adult cultural and sporting
                organisations
            •   Corporate –Aberdeen City Council clinics or surgeries held by Aberdeen City
                Councillors, Members of Parliament and local Health Councils

            Priority of access in educational establishments is given to the schools own extra
            curricular programme.

            Priority of access within the external category is given to Youth Organisations.

            Currently the responsibility for the approval of lets within education establishments
            lies with the Head of Establishment or their designated member of staff.

            4.1.4 Sports Facilities

            The booking policy for sports centres continues to operate under the principles
            established with the introduction of CCT (Compulsory Competitive Tendering),
Sports Transformation programme               15
                                          ITEM
                                          PAGE

            although a number of amendments have been made over the years by officer
            working groups to introduce a more flexible approach that meets customer’s
            requirements. There are three main categories of let type:

            •   Quarterly Let – 13 week block booking
            •   Special Event – Maximum of 8 week block booking
            •   Casual – any other booking (up to 6 days in advance).

            Priority of access is not clearly defined and operates on a first come basis for
            quarterly lets with existing customers being given priority (Appendix 3: Quarterly
            Lets – Conditions of Hire and Application).

            The responsibility for the authorisation of block bookings lies with the Area
            Manager Sports, while other bookings are authorised by the Duty Manager of the
            facility concerned.

            The current operation of two systems is not citizen focused and results in
            confusion and inequality with regards to both access and cost. This has been
            raised by sports user groups at feedback meetings over a number of years and
            highlighted by a range of officers at the transformation workshops (Appendix 13:
            Workshops). It is considered that these disparate policies may be preventing
            facilities being used to their optimum capacity, preventing individuals and
            community groups participating and potentially reducing income to the Council.

            Evidence gathered during the Sportstat process (Appendix 24: SportStat - Facility
            Usage), suggests that there is scope to increase facility usage during off peak,
            and sometimes peak, hours. In addition in the Customer Survey, (Appendix 20:
            Customer Survey - Booking Feedback), of the 42 responses provided in relation to
            booking procedures, 38 suggested that there is room for improvement.

            Supporting evidence is also available from the gap analysis that was conducted
            as part of Aberdeen City Council’s sport and physical activity survey (Appendix
            21: Customer Survey - Gap Analysis): Respondents were asked to rate how
            important easy booking procedures are to them when choosing a sports facility;
            the average response was 3 out of 5. Respondents were then asked to rate
            Aberdeen City Council sports facilities against the same criteria. The response for
            easy booking procedures was 1 out of 5 suggesting that the City Council’s
            booking procedures are not meeting customer expectations.

            The opportunity exists to improve the process to be more customer focussed.

            Recommendation:
              • Implement a single integrated bookings system.

            4.1.5 Bookings / Lettings Management System

            The process for both systems is time consuming, with a considerable amount of
            paperwork involved in the actual processing of applications. The lettings system
            utilises a database programme to record the lets processed, however, it is limited
            in the type of management and financial information that can be easily provided.
            Sports facilities are able to obtain some management information from an
            Electronic Point of Sale system operated via the till at the facility, however, the

Sports Transformation programme              16
                                          ITEM
                                          PAGE

            reports provided by these systems provide insufficient management information to
            inform officers as to the type of customer using the facilities. In 2005 a project
            team was established to progress the procurement of a Leisure Management
            Information System. There has been a delay in moving this project forward,
            however, the funding secured for the project has been carried forward (£120,000
            from Non-housing capital programme). This opportunity to combine a more
            effective and efficient management information system with a more customer
            focused booking system should be taken as soon as possible. The workshops
            held in November and December 2007 reflect that this is a priority with officers.
            (Appendix 13: Workshops)

            Recommendation
            • The procurement of a Leisure Management Information system should
              be prioritised within the Council’s corporate priorities.

            4.1.6 Educational Lets

            The lets in educational establishments currently operate between the hours of
            6.00p.m and 10.00p.m during the week and at varied hours at the weekend.
            Currently the operation of these lets require janitorial services to be present and
            responsible for the security of the building and the health and safety of the
            occupants. This type of work is not reflected in the job description for a janitor
            (Appendix 5: Job Description for Janitor) and therefore is paid at enhanced
            overtime rates at an average cost of between £10.86 and £12.31 depending on
            the grade of the janitor. The budget for janitorial overtime attributed to lets is on
            average £200,000 more than the income generated by lets.

            Year              Janitorial            Letting Income        Difference/
                              Expenditure                                 Subsidy Required
            2004/05           £499,000              £284,000              £215,000

            2005/06           £485,000              £240,000              £245,000

            2006/07           £459,000              £251,000              £208,000

                        Table 1: Annual difference between janitor costs and income received
                                              Data Source: Resources Management 06/12/07

            NB. The information in table 1 does not show any costs attributed to energy costs
            associated with lets within establishments. However the draft report of an external
            audit carried out in May 2007 provides additional information with regards to
            energy costs, (Appendix 6: External Audit, Henderson and Loggie) confirms that
            the major direct cost is for janitorial overtime. Feedback from Facilities Managers
            and further detailed discussion confirms that there is a need to review the working
            patterns of the janitorial service. (Appendix 7: Meeting with Facilities Manager)

            The average cost for a sports leisure attendant is £6.09 per hour, and it may be
            possible to utilise leisure attendant staff for some sports lets, particularly in
            relation to outdoor pitch lets. This could generate a saving of up to £6.22 per hour.
            In addition, a risk assessment may identify possibilities for some sports lets, clubs
            and responsible user categories to have key holder access. [Note that the hourly
            costs quoted do not take into consideration the potential outcomes of EP&M).

Sports Transformation programme               17
                                             ITEM
                                             PAGE


              The majority of the educational establishments are available for let and this can
              lead to a situation where a number of buildings are open, each providing access
              to one let only.

              There will be ten new buildings established in Aberdeen City through the
              Reorganise, Renovate and Rebuild Programme (Appendix 8 Project Builds). The
              secondary schools are due to be completed by October 2009, with the first of the
              Primary schools to be complete by Easter 2009.

              There will be a significant number of quality facilities within these new buildings
              including both indoor and outdoor sports provision. (Appendix 9 Facility Provision)

              The management of these facilities will be the responsibility of the appointed
              contractor. They will operate the building and have responsibility for both the
              janitorial and cleaning workforce.

              Aberdeen City Council, as part of the contract agreement, has bought 1,000 hours
              per building or 10,000 hours, known as bank hours, across the estate for let/use.
              The conditions of hire and cost of these hours to let will be made in accordance
              with the current Educational Letting Policy 2000 or under the terms of any
              subsequent letting policy that may be established through the Transformation
              Programme.

              A policy for the security and non school use protocol is in draft form at present and
              determines that there shall be a permanent presence by the contractor during the
              bank hours.

              The 3R’s Project Team indicate that consideration should be given to a realistic
              pricing structure that reflects the condition and quality of the new stock. The
              current discount scheme could be better realised by groups applying to relevant
              grants to support their requests.

              The capacity of the new buildings to accommodate a range of lets may negate the
              requirement to have as many educational establishments in the same area open
              for let.

              In order to adopt a best value approach a more planned approach is required with
              regards to maximise the use of buildings and introduce a number of operational
              management options.

              Recommendations
          •   Investigate the options for deployment of janitorial cover
          •   Investigate different options for staffing facilities where appropriate
          •   Rationalise venues available for hire through a strategic approach to the
              administration of bookings.

              4.1.7 Charges

             There are currently two pricing policies in existence for the hire of facilities within
             the current booking and lettings procedures. This is confusing for the customer
             and leads to inequalities with regards to cost and facility access. This has been
             highlighted on numerous occasions through the regular sports users group
Sports Transformation programme               18
                                           ITEM
                                           PAGE

            meetings (Appendix 4: Minute of Cricket Users Meeting) and through officer
            feedback at the transformation workshops (Appendix 13: Workshops).

            4.1.7.1. Charges in Educational Establishments

            At present in Educational establishments there is a single scale of charges
            covering the letting of premises to all categories of users, including discounted
            rates for eligible groups and free lets for specific groups. The use of educational
            establishments for clinics and surgeries by Aberdeen City Councillors, Members
            of Parliament and local health councils is charged to the Corporate budget. The
            eligibility for inclusion in this category has been amended over the years and a
            number of organisations now utilise this budget. There is an opportunity to review
            this budget in line with best value to ensure that it is allocated accordingly.


            The charges are based on the size and type of the facility for hire. Where the
            lessee books more than one unit of accommodation for the same time period in a
            single establishment on any one day, the subsequent charges attracts a
            significant discount.

            Both the draft report recommendations of the external audit (Appendix 6: External
            Audit, Henderson and Loggie) and benchmarking with other local authorities
            indicate that this is an area that requires to be reviewed to ensure Best Value.

            4.1.7.2 Charges in Sports Facilities

            The wide range of charges within the sports facilities reflect the diverse range of
            activities provided and include membership schemes and season passes. The
            main categories of user are Junior and Adult, with the junior charge generally 50%
            of the standard rate. Discounted rates are standardised for sports development.
            Discounted rates for Council staff are offered as part of the employee welfare
            scheme, with discounts reclaimed from a central budget. An Access to Leisure
            scheme exists to provide reduced access rates for Aberdeen citizens aged over
            60 years and disadvantaged individuals and groups (Appendix 10: Access to
            Leisure Leaflet).

            Charges in the sports facilities are also discounted according to patterns of use
            and offer both peak and off peak rates.

            An annual research study of local authority charges for sports participation in
            Scotland, undertaken by sportscotland, the national agency for sport, provides
            benchmarking information with regards to all other local authorities in Scotland.
            The report for sports charges for 2007/08 suggests that Aberdeen City Council
            charges are generally with in the minimum to mean range of the 32 local
            authorities in Scotland.(Appendix 11: Sports Charges sportscotland 2007/08).

            Initial recommendations were approved by the Education and Leisure Committee
            (March 2005) and implemented from August 2005, to standardise charges for
            sports pitches in the city. This was well received by the football associations in the
            area. It is considered that an opportunity exists to increase income, ensuring
            access in line with social inclusion and providing a more user friendly equitable
            pricing policy.

Sports Transformation programme               19
                                          ITEM
                                          PAGE

             Recommendations
         •   Standardised charges to be developed and thereafter implemented based on
             type/ category of facility.
         •   Charging policy to be developed defining user categories and priorities

             4.1.8 Access to Leisure

             The Access to Leisure scheme was introduced by the City of Aberdeen District
             Council in 1990 and adopted by Aberdeen City Council in 1996. The aim being to
             encourage participation in sport and activity by those individuals and groups
             regarded as being disadvantaged, through the removal or reduction of costs
             associated with participation.

             In September 2007 the migration of the scheme to the Accord card began. This
             allows Access to Leisure membership to be held on the Accord/National
             Entitlement Card. From 1 March 2008 old style access to leisure cardboard cards
             will not be valid.

             The concessionary scheme operates in a range of Sport and Leisure Facilities
             with in the City, but does not include Educational Establishments. (Appendix 10:
             Access to Leisure Leaflet) The budget for the reclaim of the sports facilities and
             activities costs associated with this scheme lies with in the Miscellaneous
             Services budget.

             There are some discrepancies within the existing scheme which do not appear to
             align with its purpose, i.e. discounted teas and coffees. These discrepancies
             require to be considered as part of a wider review.

             Financial Year       2004-05              2005-06              2006-07

             Reclaim for Sports
             Facilities and     £299,330               £283,109             £262,541
             Activities

                                                      Table 2 Annual Sports Reclaim Charges
                                               Data Source, Resources Management 07/12/07

             Information on other local authority concessionary schemes is produced in the
             annual research study of local authority charges for sports participation in
             Scotland, undertaken by sportscotland, the national agency for sport. (Appendix
             11: Sports Charges sportscotland 2007/08) However robust benchmarking will be
             undertaken as part of any Access to Leisure Review.

             The opportunity exists to review the scheme and explore the options of extending
             its use to all educational establishments.

             Recommendation
             • Implement a review of the Access to Leisure Scheme

             4.1.9 Bookings / Lettings Quality Assurance



Sports Transformation programme              20
                                              ITEM
                                              PAGE

                There is inequality between the two booking and lettings policies with regards to
                conditions of hire and requirements of groups to demonstrate their eligibility as a
                user group.

                For Sports facilities, groups making bookings for coaching activities are required
                to provide evidence of appropriate insurance and coaching qualifications.
                Whereas for educational establishments, no such evidence is currently required,
                nor is there the requirement to prove eligibility of user category.

                The opportunity to introduce a more standardised approach to quality assurance
                exists with regards to legislation in line with Child Protection issues (2006 Accord
                for the Protection of Children in Scottish Sport). Many other local authorities have
                already taken this approach (Appendix 12: Other Local Authorities Bookings
                Policies).

                The 2006 Accord aims to ensure that all stakeholders in Scottish sport and
                organisations which are primarily concerned with the care, welfare and protection
                of children, fulfil their responsibilities to protect children and young people from
                abuse, harm and exploitation in and through sport. The Child Protection in Sport
                Steering Group encourage all organisations to sign up to the 2006 Accord.
                (Appendix 43: 2006 Accord for the Protection of Children In Scottish Sport)

                Aberdeen City Council is in the initial stages of supporting clubs to adopt Clubcap,
                a Club Accreditation Scheme that has been developed in partnership with
                Grampian Coaching. Clubcap supports and encourages sports clubs to adopt
                good practice in child protection, coaching standards and club management
                procedures.

                Recommendations
            •   Standardise quality assurance requirements of groups applying for
                facilities.
            •   Sign up to 2006 Accord for the Protection of Children in Scottish Sport by
                2009

      4.2       Operational Delivery – Staffing

                Staffing has emerged as a recurrent theme both in the data collected and in the
                meetings and workshops held with staff.

                4.2.1 Recruitment and retention

                A breakdown of vacancy levels by Neighbourhood Service Area in 2005/2006
                compared with 2006/2007 can be found in Appendix 25: Vacancy Level Analysis.
                This demonstrates considerable variations in vacancy levels across the two years.
                Vacancy levels varied from an average 8.7% staff surplus in Neighbourhood
                Services South in March 2006 to a 35% staff shortage in the same
                Neighbourhood Services Area in December 2006. This confirms Area Manager’s
                reports of difficulties in sustaining any reductions in vacancy levels that have been
                achieved. During Transformation Programme meetings with Service and Area
                Managers, high and fluctuating vacancy levels were attributed to difficulties
                retaining and recruiting staff. Staff concluded that high/ fluctuating vacancy levels
                lead to facility closures (Appendix 17: Staff Survey). A detailed breakdown of the

Sports Transformation programme                   21
                                           ITEM
                                           PAGE

            types of recruitment and retention difficulties can be found in Appendix 15:
            Recruitment and Retention Issues.

            4.2.2 Training

            A breakdown of leisure staff training processes (Appendix 31: SportStat Training)
            demonstrates that an “induction training programme” is in place for leisure staff.
            Additional training, including the European Computer Driving Licence,
            Recruitment and Retention and Line Management, that would better equip Duty
            Managers for their role and prepare Leisure Attendants and Supervisors for the
            role of Duty Manager is available but not as part of the core training programme.
            Service and Area Managers reported in Transformation Programme meetings
            (Appendix 15: Recruitment and Retention Issues) that due to the high level of
            vacancies and the associated difficulties in finding staff to cover absences it is
            often not possible to make staff available for training.

            4.2.3 Morale

            There is cumulative evidence that staff morale is low. Firstly, the vacancy levels
            data in (Appendix 25: Vacancy Levels Analysis) suggests that staff retention is a
            problem by the fluctuating vacancy levels in all three Neighbourhood Service
            Areas. This suggests that large numbers of staff are leaving; Area Managers
            confirm that this is the case.
            Further examples of the pressures that Duty Managers feel under and the de-
            motivation of staff to clean or provide good reception service were highlighted
            during the operational review that was undertaken as part of the transformation
            programme (Appendix 18: :Operational Review).

            4.2.4 Development Opportunities

            During Transformation Programme meetings, Area Managers reported that
            staffing structures are flat and do not facilitate career progression from Leisure
            Attendant and Lifeguard level to Duty Manager, Area Manager and beyond.

            Area Managers also report that difficulties finding staff to provide cover for staff to
            attend training mean there is a lack of training opportunities for staff seeking to
            acquire the skills necessary to progress.

            In addition, Area Managers report (Appendix 15: Recruitment and Retention
            Issues) that pressure to recruit means there are staff in post that lack adequate
            training or experience to confidently fulfil the requirements of their role.

            4.2.5 High Overtime Costs

            A breakdown of overtime costs by Neighbourhood Service Area (Appendix 26:
            Overtime Analysis) demonstrates that, although overtime costs for sports services
            have been reduced from £600,359 in 2004/05 to £557,872 in 2006/07, overtime
            costs are still over £500,000 representing approximately 14% of the Council’s
            sports staffing costs. (Although overtime costs in sports services include weekend
            enhancements and Public Holiday costs as per staff Conditions of Service;
            fluctuating vacancy levels drive up overtime costs because staff require to be paid
            overtime to cover vacant posts.)

Sports Transformation programme               22
                                           ITEM
                                           PAGE


            Recommendations
            • Develop comprehensive training programme for all sports staff that
              includes customer care and marketing and ensure all front line staff are
              appropriate trained on an ongoing basis.
            • Review and implement new staffing structures to ensure local leadership
              / ownership and development pathways and align staffing structures with
              programming to ensure the efficient deployment of resources.

      4.3   Operational Delivery – Sports Facilities

            The condition of the City’s sports facilities has consistently emerged as a barrier to
            the effective delivery of sports services. There is a perception, amongst sports
            staff, that the City has too many facilities that are not fit for purpose and require
            high levels of investment, repairs and maintenance. In terms of swimming pool
            provision Aberdeen City has been shown, in data taken from the 2001 census that
            was presented to the Scottish Parliament on 4th July 2005, to have a greater
            provision of pools per head than other comparable Scottish cities. (Appendix 38:
            Pools Provision). A robust facilities audit is required to test this assumption
            including ascertaining levels of investment required into existing facilities stock in
            the short, medium and longer term.

            Short and medium term repairs, maintenance and investments identified by Duty
            and Area Managers in the three Neighbourhood Service Areas (Appendix 19:
            Investment Identified). The estimated £4 million+ costs have been generated from
            estimates provided by local suppliers. It is expected that a full facilities audit will
            identify further works that are required especially structural works.

            There is evidence that charges for in house supporting services such as grounds
            maintenance are significantly over that which would be charged by another
            provider. The grounds maintenance of the City’s sports service amounts to over
            £2million annually (Appendix 27: Grounds Maintenance Costs). The City’s golf
            facilities cost from £250,000 - £500,000 a year to maintain (for each facility). The
            current grounds maintenance charges are based on the rates set in 1995 when
            CCT (Compulsory Competitive Tendering) contracts were established for grounds
            maintenance. Since 1995 there has been an annual increase in grounds
            maintenance charges according to inflation until 2003 when rates were capped to
            achieve Best Value and comply with the Local Government Act 2003. The fact
            that grounds maintenance costs appear inflated is due to the legacy of CCT.
            There is a need to review the unit cost of grounds maintenance functions such as
            grass cutting to establish the real cost of the service in Aberdeen City. For further
            details on grounds maintenance contract charges see Transformation Report
            Environmental Services. Benchmarking with sport and leisure trusts demonstrate
            that grounds maintenance at other golf courses is significantly less expensive, for
            example one trust reported that grounds maintenance expenditure on a premier
            golf course had been increased from £30,000 to £200,000 to fund significant
            improvements in addition to maintenance.

            Cleanliness of facilities is a frequent area of customer dissatisfaction and there is
            evidence (Appendix 18: Operational Review) that this is linked to low staff morale
            and lack of training. In Aberdeen’s sport and physical activity survey that was
            undertaken in the summer of 2007, of the135 people out of 1073 that commented

Sports Transformation programme               23
                                            ITEM
                                            PAGE

             on the cleanliness of the City Council’s sports facilities 68% were dissatisfied
             (Appendix 22: Customer Survey – Clean Facilities).

             Energy costs are significant (£1million per annum) (Appendix 28: Energy Costs).
             With unpredictable gas prices it is advisable to look at energy efficiency and
             renewable energy measures for the City’s sports facilities. Initial expenditure could
             be offset by significant reductions in energy costs. The City’s Energy Management
             issues are outlined in more detail in the Internal Waste and Energy section of the
             Environmental Services Transformation Programme.

             There is also evidence to suggest that communication could be improved between
             the central repair team service and Neighbourhood Area sports services. Sports
             services felt that the central repairs service is not meeting the sport specific repair
             needs of their facilities (Appendix 16: Repairs, Maintenance and Investment
             Issues). and Shelter and Environment who run the central repairs service attribute
             (in a meeting with Strategic Leadership) the difficulties encountered by the
             Neighbourhood Service Areas to a lack of communication and understanding of
             processes and procedures The resulting unplanned facility closures are a cause
             of customer complaints. (Appendix 17: Staff Survey). For example, in one
             instance, a swimming pool was closed for a total of 5 days to repair the lighting
             and in another instance a facility had to be closed for an entire day to repair two
             switches. Although the loss of income in a pool closure is minimal, estimated
             £1,400 for the 5 day pool closure, such closures are detrimental for customer
             relations. (Appendix 29: Repairs Examples).

             Recommendations
             • Carry out facilities audit and then develop investment plan / facilities
               strategy (including identifying opportunities for rationalising sports
               facility stock and utilising renewable energy sources where possible).
             • Market test / benchmark grounds maintenance services and review the
               operations of the in house grounds maintenance teams including their
               method of pricing works.
             • Implement clear, consistent and simple processes for sports facility
               repairs and maintenance and empower and encourage frontline staff to
               take responsibility for repairs and maintenance.

      4.4    Customer Care / Marketing / Vision / Focus

             Initial findings from the customer survey show a general lack of customer
             satisfaction. For example, of the 140 people who commented on the cost of
             Aberdeen City Council sports facilities, 71% indicated that they found the City’s
             sports facilities to be too expensive. Aberdeen City Council’s sports pricing
             structures are comparable with the rest of the country (Appendix 11: Sports
             Charges sportscotland 2007/08) which suggests that people do not feel they are
             getting value for money. Similarly, of the 67 people that commented on the staff at
             Aberdeen City Council sports facilities, 67% perceived that the staff lacked
             specialist knowledge and a commitment to customer care (Appendix 23:
             Customer Survey - Staffing).

             Customer satisfaction is linked to a general perceived difficulty in sustaining/
             increasing admissions. In 2006/2007 Aberdeen City Council moved up a quartile
             in the Statutory Performance Indicator (SPI) for the number of attendances at
             indoor sports facilities per 1000 population (Appendix 42 06/07 SPI Rankings).
Sports Transformation programme               24
                                           ITEM
                                           PAGE

           However, the City moved down a quartile for the number of pools attendances per
           1000 population. This is reflected in Appendix 30 which shows that sports
           admissions (indoor and pools combined) either remained static or decreased in
           2006/07. The SPI increase has been attributed to the fact that, on the
           recommendation of external audit, in 2006/07 educational establishments were
           included in the City Council’s sports SPI calculations for the first time. Projected
           admissions figures for 2007/08 in Appendix 30 suggest that the City will see an
           increase in overall sports admissions, however also shows some facilities
           continue to experience difficulties in sustaining and increasing admissions levels.

            Customer care standards in front line staff, may be due to inadequate training
            opportunities, mentoring and low morale. In addition the poor customer
            experience is exacerbated by a perceived lack of effective marketing of facilities
            and customer friendly information and systems. Inefficient systems mean that staff
            have to spend considerable time on paperwork, reducing the time available for
            training and development (in customer care).

            Duty Managers report that they do not feel they have been sufficiently trained in
            marketing and the use of performance and financial information (Appendix 18:
            Operational Review). There is also evidence that Area and Service Managers also
            share the views expressed by staff during the site visits (Appendix 15:
            Recruitment and Retention Issues).

            There is evidence to suggest that there are programming and access issues
            across the service. In the Transformation Programme Workshops, staff involved in
            sports service delivery reported difficulties in finding the funding to pay for facility
            hire. When this is considered alongside facility usage information, this suggests
            that there is an opportunity to align services to off peak times at reduced rates.

            In meetings with Service and Area Managers, two issues were identified in
            relation to programming. Firstly, efficiencies could be achieved through smarter
            programming whereby programme types are grouped by facility and time, for
            example having all clubs sessions at a particular facility and public sessions at
            another facility. Secondly, Duty Managers lack training and experience in the
            sports development side of facility management and are therefore not realising
            the potential of the City’s facilities to encourage and further sports development
            through access to facilities and support for clubs and programmes such as Active
            Schools. (Appendix 14: Service and Area Manager Meetings)

            In addition there appears to be a lack of co-ordination/ communication between/
            within sports services and a lack of focus and consistent vision between services
            in each neighbourhood area and strategic leadership. This issue emerged in all of
            the Transformation Programme Workshops whereby Sports Staff and
            Management across the three Neighbourhood Service Areas and Strategic
            Leadership felt there was a need for more co-ordination and communication
            across the services.

            Recommendations
            • Implement a customer feedback system, including regular surveys and
              ongoing consultation with users and non-users, and review service
              provision in light of customer feedback.


Sports Transformation programme                25
                                            ITEM
                                            PAGE

             •   All sites to develop a business / marketing plan (with support from
                 Corporate Communications) and all staff at the site to be involved in the
                 development of the plan to ensure ownership.
             •   Allocate resource to be responsible for keeping the sports sections of
                 the City Council’s website up-to-date
             •   Provide regular events for sports staff to network and communicate –
                 e.g. biannual service planning workshops.


5.    Sports Management Options Appraisal

      A number of Local Authorities in Scotland have incorporated trusts to manage their
      sports facilities to benefit from financial savings, operational efficiencies and greater
      scope to focus on sports service delivery. In November 2006 the Sports Strategy
      Working Group requested a Sports Management Options Appraisal in relation to
      Aberdeen City Council’s sports services.

      PMP, a sport and leisure consultancy, were commissioned to carry out this appraisal at
      the beginning of 2007. The appraisal assessed the different sports management options
      available including evaluating the advantages and disadvantages for sports delivery and
      the extent to which they would enable best value to be delivered. Some City sports
      facilities are already delivered through a trust and options are being developed for other
      facilities that include the incorporation of a trust. The appraisal considered the merits of
      rationalising the creation of numerous small sports trusts by incorporating a large multi-
      sport trust. (Appendix 34: Sports Management Options Appraisal).

      The report identified four possibilities for the future management of the Councils sports
      and leisure services: Continued In house; Trust; Partnership with an existing trust;
      private sector (i.e. private management contractor.

      These options were evaluated in line with the Council’s corporate and sports service
      priorities. These priorities included: the requirement for high quality services delivered in
      the context of a financially prudent organisation; enhancing the Quality of Life and health
      of citizens in Aberdeen; enhancing participation rates in sport by all communities; and in
      the context of the current stock of sports facilities.

      The appraisal also involved a performance and operational review which identified
      (among other things) the following potential areas for improvement:

      a) With the exception of our golf courses, the majority of the Council’s sports facilities
         require above average public subsidies in respect of admissions and opening hours.
         Cost recovery is also below average across most sites.
      b) All Council sports facilities have higher staffing costs than the national average (as a
         percentage of income), suggesting that our facilities may be over staffed.
      c) Most of our health and fitness facilities are performing poorly in terms of income per
         station against national benchmarks.

      In the analysis, PMP identified potential National Non Domestic Rates (NNDR) savings
      for Council sports facilities of approximately £580k per year, if the facilities were to be
      moved to a trust with charitable status (80% rates relief).

      PMP also utilised input from a VAT specialist which identified a possible £133k saving,
      which could rise by a further £76k if Hazlehead Golf Course were to be included in a
Sports Transformation programme              26
                                           ITEM
                                           PAGE

      trust. (N.B both Hazlehead Golf Course and Westburn Tennis Centre were excluded
      from this appraisal due to their involvement in separate projects.)

      Potential NNDR and VAT savings, linked in with new Central costs, savings of existing
      central costs, set up costs, and potential improvements in operational efficiencies
      resulting from moving to a charitable trust, were calculated. The report concluded that
      these new costs and savings (assuming a 7.5% increase in operational efficiency) would
      generate savings of approximately £1.234million per year. (A 1% improvement in
      operational efficiency would reduce this to approx. £900k per year).

      The analysis concluded that for financial and other service reasons, moving to a
      charitable trust as a sports management deliverer would be the preferred arrangement
      for Aberdeen City Council Sports Facilities.

     A report of potential options for the future management and operation of Aberdeen City
     Council sports facilities was considered at the Education and Leisure Committee meeting
     on the 24th April 2007 (Item 25). The committee resolved to instruct the Head of Service
     to undertake detailed feasibility work on the option report findings and report this to the
     future Committee meeting once the City Chamberlain has been able to verify the data in
     the options appraisal.

      A further review of the four management options including benchmarking with sports and
      leisure trusts and Local Authorities in Scotland has since been undertaken which
      concluded that there are opportunities to realise savings (up to £1.2million), improve
      operational recovery rate, improve service delivery, attract investments and improvement
      staff morale by moving to an arms length method of service delivery for sports facilities.

      There are associated risks including: ensuring Council objectives are met; appointing a
      visionary chief officer; potential concerns by trade unions; legislation changes; and
      ensuring social inclusion and neighbourhood priorities are met. However there is
      evidence to suggest that these risks can be mitigated via a robust process including
      effective communication and detailed and considered service level agreement.


      5.1   Review of the four sports management options available to Aberdeen City
            Council

            5.1.1 Continued in-house management

            The options for continued and improved in-house management of the City’s sports
            facilities have been explored in the Booking and Lettings and Operational Delivery
            sections of this report. These have demonstrated that there is considerable scope
            for service delivery improvements.

            5.1.2 Partnership with an existing trust

            The sports management options appraisal considered whether any of the City’s
            existing sports trusts would be in a position to take on the management of the
            City’s sports facilities. The two trusts considered were Garthdee Alpine Sports and
            the Special Purpose Vehicle that is being incorporated to manage the new
            Regional Sports Facility.


Sports Transformation programme               27
                                           ITEM
                                           PAGE

            Garthdee Alpine Sports Trust
            This is a relatively small single sport trust that was established in April 2007 to
            manage Garthdee Sports and Alpine Adventure Park. PMP identified three
            aspects of Garthdee Alpine Sports Trust that prevent it from being a suitable
            management vehicle for the City’s numerous wet and dry sports facilities:

            Length of operation      As a newly established Trust, the effectiveness of
                                     Garthdee Alpine Sports Trust has yet to be proven over
                                     time.

            Size of trust            Garthdee Alpine Sports Trust was set up specifically to
                                     manage a single facility. It would not have the staffing
                                     and operational capacity to manage the City Council’s
                                     sports facilities.

            Specialisation of        Garthdee Alpine Sports Trust has been established as ski
            Trust                    specific trust whereby Board Members have a high level
                                     of specialisation in skiing. A large multi-sport trust
                                     requires Board Members to have knowledge of managing
                                     a broad range of sports facilities to appreciate the scale
                                     and complexities of such a trust.


            The same issues would apply to Transition Extreme Sports that has been
            incorporated since the sports management options appraisal was undertaken.
            Like Garthdee Alpine Sports Trust it is a small sport specific trust that would not
            have the capacity to manage the City’s numerous sports facilities.

            Aberdeen RSF Ltd
            As part of their sports management options appraisal, PMP asked the University
            of Aberdeen’s Director of Sport, whether the Aberdeen RSF Ltd (the arms length
            organisation set up to manage the Regional Sports Facility) would have the
            capacity to manage the City Council’s sports facilities. It is possible that this body
            would potentially have the expertise and capacity to manage other City Council
            sports facilities. However, University of Aberdeen have in meetings and
            discussions made their strategic position clear that they (as a 50% shareholder of
            Aberdeen RSF Ltd.) would not be interested in managing the entire portfolio of
            City Council facilities.

            Given that the City’s existing sports trusts have neither the capacity nor the
            strategic desire to manage the City Council’s sports facilities, this is not a viable
            option worth investigating any further.

            5.1.3 Private sector management, e.g. private contractor

            There are no Local Authorities in Scotland that use private management
            contractors to manage their entire stock of sports facilities. (Private contractors
            are sometimes used to manage part of a facility or service, example the fitness
            suites in Renfrewshire Leisure are managed by Leisure Connections.) While some
            Local Authorities in England do use private contractors (i.e. Lambeth Borough
            Council), most of these are in the South East of England, and are not considered
            comparable for benchmarking. Therefore, it is difficult to assess the merits of

Sports Transformation programme               28
                                           ITEM
                                           PAGE

            using a private contractor, especially the extent to which a private contractor can
            deliver the Council's corporate objectives.

      5.2   Feasibility study into the opportunities and risks of establishing a sports
            trust in Aberdeen City

            Officers benchmarked seven sport and leisure trusts and three local authorities
            (Appendix 35: Sport and Leisure Trusts) to identify the opportunities and risks of
            moving to a trust in the context of the specific sport delivery challenges faced by
            Aberdeen City Council. The following research techniques were used:

            •   Benchmarking questionnaires
            •   Documentary evidence such as Trust websites, annual reports, funding
                agreements and business plans
            •   Telephone interviews
            •   Face to face interviews with senior and chief officers
            •   Presentations made by Trust representatives at the VOCAL (Voice of Chief
                Officers for Culture, Leisure and Community Services) conference in
                September 2007.

            For reasons of commercial confidentiality, the names of the trusts and Local
            Authorities investigated have not been used in this report.

            The research focussed on the following key aspects of sports service delivery,
            including a risk analysis of each aspect:

            •   Financial implications of transfer to a sport and leisure trust
                   VAT and rate savings
                   Investment in facilities
                   Revenue costs to the Council
            •   Council control
            •   Staffing
            •   Service delivery
                   Sports Development
                   Social inclusion

            5.2.1 Definition of 'trust'

            The trusts investigated by officers have the following key characteristics:

            •      Company limited by guarantee this means that Board Members are not
                   personally liable for value of the company should it cease to trade
            •      Company incorporated by Local Authority for the purpose of managing
                   Council-owned sport and leisure facilities and services
            •      Company has charitable status to benefit from rate savings (also a driver
                   for social inclusion agenda)
            •      Local Authority retains ownership of facilities and lease them to the trust,
                   usually peppercorn lease lasting 25-50 years
            •      Company receives revenue grant funding from the Local Authority that is
                   supplemented by own revenue generation from admissions and other
                   funding sources

Sports Transformation programme                29
                                           ITEM
                                           PAGE

            •      Company often establishes wholly owned trading subsidiary to generate
                   additional income that is invested back into charitable body of main trust.

            5.2.2 Overall findings

            All the Local Authorities consulted, asserted that the advantages of delivering
            sports services through a trust outweighed the disadvantages. However, they
            stressed that some problems and issues are inevitable in managing services
            through a trust and provided recommendations as to how best to avoid the pitfalls
            they had encountered.

            Although each of the trusts investigated had been established using a very similar
            structure, a key research finding was that considerable differences exist between
            each trust investigated and between each Local Authorities' experience of using a
            trust to manage their sport and leisure facilities and services. This report identifies
            the key factors that were found to be most influential in determining the success or
            failure of a sports and leisure trust in meeting Council objectives:

            •      Chief Officer leading the trust and their commitment to the Council’s
                   objectives
            •      Rationale for establishing trust (savings versus outcomes)
            •      Specifications for service delivery

      5.3   Financial implications of a transfer to a sport and leisure trust

            5.3.1 VAT and rate savings – opportunities

            Trusts achieve VAT and rate savings that cannot be generated by Councils.
            Where trusts are registered as charitable organisations they can claim 80% relief
            on National Non-Domestic rates. The service payments paid to Trusts by Councils
            are not VAT exempt which means that trusts can claim back VAT on their
            expenditure.

            Trusts A, C and D investigated were incorporated primarily to generate annual
            VAT and NNDR savings for the local authorities involved. The need to invest in
            sports facilities and generate efficiency savings had prompted the Local
            Authorities involved to consider their options in terms of rationalising facilities or
            transferring them to a trust.

            Like Aberdeen City Council, all of the local authorities investigated had
            undertaken a sports management options appraisal. Trusts A, C and D which are
            some of the larger trusts investigated (those with a similar number or more
            facilities than Aberdeen City) report that they realised or exceeded the VAT and
            rate savings predicted in their respective appraisals. These savings are currently
            in excess of £1 million per annum for the two Local Authorities with the largest
            trusts.

            Trusts can also be structured to maximise VAT savings. For example, separate
            trading subsidiaries can be set up to run those operations, such as catering and
            retail, that fall outwith the remit of the trust's charitable status. As the surpluses
            gained are re-invested back into the main charitable body of the trust, the
            presence of a trading subsidiary does not jeopardise the trust's charitable status.

Sports Transformation programme               30
                                          ITEM
                                          PAGE


            Similarly, the allocation of operational remits across the Council and trust can
            reduce VAT costs. Councils and trusts are subject to different VAT charges;
            therefore the careful allocation of responsibilities can reduce these charges. For
            example, Council B undertakes all repairs over £20,000 on behalf of its sport and
            leisure trust as its VAT charges on repairs are lower than those of the trust.

            5.3.2 VAT and rate savings – risks

            The main financial risk in incorporating a trust to manage sport and leisure
            facilities is future changes in legislation. However, a key VAT tribunal that was
            won by three Local Authorities demonstrates the legality of the trust structure has
            been scrutinised, tested and found to be robust. (Appendix 36: VAT Tribunal)

            In this tribunal, the HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) questioned
            whether the revenue payment given to the trust by local authorities can be
            standard rated in VAT terms. If these payments are not standard rated, the trust
            cannot realise VAT savings by claiming VAT on its expenditure. The HMRC
            understood the local authority's revenue payments to be a grant and therefore
            VAT exempt, however it was successfully argued that local authorities pay their
            trusts for the provision of services, which is not VAT exempt.

            Despite this, officers noted that not all trusts maximise the potential VAT savings
            available to them. For example, instead of Council A undertaking VAT exempt
            repairs, Trust A pays VAT on its maintenance and improvement works and factors
            these VAT costs into the business plans they present to Council A.

            The worst case scenario for those local authorities that have transferred their
            sports facilities and services to trust management, is that any significant changes
            in legislation may mean that sports facilities and services have to be brought back
            in to in-house management. This has happened in at least one Scottish local
            authority; however the decision to bring sports facilities back under Council
            management was political rather than a response to legislative changes. The
            trusts and local authorities investigated were confident that legislation would not
            change so far as to entirely remove the VAT and rate savings for trusts with
            charitable status, however this would always remain a risk.

            Although confident that major legislation changes would not mean the end of sport
            and leisure trusts, there was a sense of unease about the impact of small
            changes in legislation. For example, a recent ruling that spas and saunas are not
            VAT exempt means that trusts offering spa and sauna usage as part of their
            membership packages face considerable VAT bills. To avoid paying VAT on its
            membership packages, Trust D is now removing spas and saunas from these and
            asking customers to pay for these services separately.

            This change in legislation suggests that trusts are being closely scrutinised and
            that activities that do not strictly relate to sport and physical activity may be
            subject to different VAT rules. This could potentially have an impact on
            admissions because spas and saunas are included in membership packages as a
            marketing tool to compete with the private sector and meet today's increased
            customer expectations.


Sports Transformation programme              31
                                           ITEM
                                           PAGE

            An additional legislative issue that is beginning to emerge is the impact of EU
            legislation in relation to procurement: Local Authority D is currently assessing
            whether its sport and leisure trust meets EU procurement rules. Clarification is
            required to determine whether EU law may require the Council to go out to tender
            regularly to ensure that the trust is delivering best value. This could significantly
            impact the way local authority sport and leisure services are delivered, as trusts
            are typically seen as a long term delivery vehicle for sports services whereby the
            trust can invest in and improve facilities, acquire knowledge of the local
            community and develop their business and community activities over time.
            Regular tendering will be a disincentive to investment and development.

            5.3.3 Further to the decision of the Education and Leisure Committee in April
                  2007, the extract below contains the City Chamberlain’s considerations of
                  the financial assumptions used the options report:

            “The advice contained within the PMP report touches on the amount of VAT and
            NNDR savings the Council could achieve by transferring sporting facilities to a
            trust. The position on the recovery of the NNDR is dependent on gaining
            charitable status, and is likely to be successful.

            In relation to the VAT savings that could be achieved the PMP report does not
            deal with this in any real detail. Clearly this is a highly complex area of VAT law
            and initial investigations have identified a number of potential scenarios that
            indicate different VAT positions. A major flaw in the PMP report is that it does not
            address the possible level of capital investment that may be undertaken and the
            impact that this would have on the overall VAT position.

            There is also no analysis of the potential impact on the Council's own VAT
            position, or indeed on the potential application of the capital goods scheme. All
            this leads to the conclusion that the figures quoted as savings for VAT should be
            treated with extreme caution at this point in time.

            Should the Council wish to go down the route of a trust a detailed business plan
            should be drawn up that addresses all of these issues to determine the optimum
            structure that should be adopted and Clearly identifies a robust financial position
            for a new trust, and as a consequence the likely level of funding that will be
            required from the Council.”

            5.3.4 VAT and rate savings – implications for Aberdeen City Council

            In the analysis of management options, PMP identified potential NNDR savings
            for Council sports facilities of approximately £580k per year, if the facilities were to
            be moved to a trust with charitable status (80% rates relief).

            PMP also sought input from a VAT specialist which identified a possible £133k
            saving, which could rise by a further £76k if Hazlehead Golf Course were to be
            included in a trust. (N.B both Hazlehead Golf Course and Westburn Tennis Centre
            were excluded from this appraisal due to their involvement in separate projects.
            The VAT savings associated with Westburn Tennis Centre were not calculated
            separately as PMP advised the additional savings generated by the Tennis Centre
            would not be significant.)


Sports Transformation programme                32
                                            ITEM
                                            PAGE

             Potential NNDR and VAT savings, linked in with new Central costs, savings of
             existing central costs, set up costs, and potential improvements in operational
             efficiencies resulting from moving to a charitable trust, were calculated. The
             report concluded that these new costs and savings (assuming a 7.5% increase in
             operational efficiency) would generate savings of approximately £1.234million per
             year. (A 1% improvement in operational efficiency would reduce this to approx.
             £900k per year).

             The analysis concluded that for financial and other service reasons, moving to a
             charitable trust as a sports management deliverer would be the preferred
             arrangement for Aberdeen City Council Sports Facilities.

             The experience of other local authorities suggests that VAT and rate savings on
             the scale of those identified in PMP's sports management options appraisal report
             could be realised by a transfer of all of Aberdeen City Council sports facilities to a
             trust. Aberdeen City Council could therefore expect to see VAT and rate savings
             in the region of £789,000 if Hazlehead Golf Courses were included in the transfer
             and £713,000 without Hazlehead Golf Courses.

             There is also potential for a potential sports trust to establish a successful trading
             subsidiary that covers retail and catering. Plans are being developed to establish
             some of the City's sporting facilities as Regional Centres of Excellence. These will
             attract local, regional and national visitors whose experience can be enhanced by
             appropriate catering and sports specialist retail facilities.

             While this report recommends moving to a trust, as part of the implementation
             plan, to minimise the risks outlined above, it is recommended that in-depth VAT
             and legal advice is obtained. This is, firstly, to determine the exact level of
             savings a trust would achieve and secondly, to find a robust trust structure that
             meets with HMRC approval. It is also recommended that advice is sought on the
             impact of EU procurement legislation on a potential trust.

             5.3.5 Investment – opportunities

             The trusts investigated had either provided local authorities with opportunities for
             financial efficiency savings or they had given Councils greater scope for
             investment in sports facilities than would otherwise have been achievable.

             All trusts investigated had seen a greater level of investment in sports facilities
             following incorporation of the trust. In addition to local authorities having the scope
             to invest their NNDR savings, the trusts investigated had invested their reclaimed
             VAT in facility repairs, maintenance and improvements. Local Authorities A and C
             reported that the incorporation of their sport and leisure trust had provided the
             opportunity to develop a long-term sports and leisure facility investment plan.

             5.3.6 Investment – risks

             Investigations into sport and leisure trusts demonstrate that the savings generated
             by trusts are only part of the solution to the challenge of old and tired sports
             facilities. Trusts A, C, D and E are funding smaller repairs and improvements such
             changing room renovations and gym extensions. Trusts are more likely to fund
             works that will have a direct positive impact on admissions income in order to
             recoup their costs and continue investments.
Sports Transformation programme                 33
                                            ITEM
                                            PAGE


            Establishing a trust does not eradicate the need for significant capital investment
            on the part of the Council. Generally, local authorities fund larger more costly
            works such as repairs to roofs and new builds. Such works will be in part funded
            through rate savings and potential efficiency savings.

            5.3.7 Investment – implications for Aberdeen City Council

            A stock condition survey of the City's sports facilities is recommended to
            determine their short, medium and longer term capital requirements. Currently the
            level of investment required for City Council facilities is estimated at over £4
            million (capital) (Appendix 19: Investment Identified). The predicted annual
            revenue savings from a potential sport and leisure trust are approximately £1.23
            million.

            Customer feedback provided in the sport and physical activity survey suggests
            that public perceptions of Aberdeen City Council's sports facilities are that they
            are old and tired. Reports from managers during transformation programme
            meetings indicate that in addition to a smarter appearance, urgent repair and
            maintenance works are required, for example to heating and ventilation systems.
            (Appendix 14: Service and Area Manager Meetings)

            Given that establishing a trust will potentially considerably reduce, but not
            eradicate, the requirement to invest in the City's sports facilities, it is
            recommended that the City's sports facilities are rationalised prior to transfer to a
            trust. A reduction in the size of the City's sport facility stock will reduce the level of
            savings achieved by a trust, however revenue costs will also be reduced providing
            further funds that could potentially be invested.

            It is further recommended that the Council utilises an opportunity to invest in
            energy and water efficiency and renewable energy technologies. Energy costs in
            06/07 were almost £1 million for the City's sports facilities and many heating and
            ventilation systems in these sports facilities require urgent repairs or upgrades.
            New technologies would reduce energy costs in the future thereby providing
            considerable revenue savings and enhancing the Council's image as a leading
            Council in terms of CO2 reductions and innovations in energy consumption
            reduction. This would require officer capacity in terms of investigating
            technologies for sports facilities and overseeing their installation.

            5.3.8 Revenue costs to the Council – opportunities

            The trusts investigated had achieved greater levels of operational efficiency than
            had been seen under local authority management. This was attributed to a trust's
            scope for a greater focus on sports service delivery including operating
            efficiencies such as efficient staffing structures, marketing and responsive
            customer care to drive up admissions. Many of the officers interviewed had
            previously worked for local authorities and report that the corporate obligations
            had previously diverted their attention from sports delivery. A trust enables a very
            detailed focus on sports delivery and allows officers to identify exactly what is
            needed to improve service delivery both in terms of efficiency and quality.

             Operational recovery rates (ORR = income as a percentage of expenditure) in
             Aberdeen City Council were 39.5% in 2006/2007. In comparison, ORR at sport
Sports Transformation programme            34
                                           ITEM
                                           PAGE

             and leisure trusts A and D are currently over 65%. These trusts have increased
             operational rates by over 30% over a number of years; however even within the
             first few months of trading there was an upward trend in ORR. The other trusts
             and local authorities investigated were unable to produce ORR data for their
             sports services when they were under local authority management.

             Trusts have three main ways of increasing ORR. Firstly, investments in facilities
             justify price increases for customers who are able to pay. Secondly, trading
             subsidiaries maximise income from secondary expenditure. Thirdly, the fact that
             the trust is separate from and accountable to the Council tends to increase
             accountability for and ownership of financial management processes. This in turn
             generates a different and arguably more business-oriented culture whereby
             trading at a deficit is not an option and measures have to be identified to ensure
             that this does not happen.

             A number of the trusts investigated had reduced their operating income by
             reviewing the support services provided by the Council. Many had either brought
             these services in-house, for example by developing specialist in-house IT or HR
             teams or they had tested the market and found external contractors to provide
             more efficient and cost effective services.

             The local authorities investigated had not used the increased operational
             efficiency of their sport and leisure trusts to generate revenue efficiency savings.
             Instead increased operational efficiency had allowed service improvements and
             expansion. However, local authority revenue funding of trust-run sports services
             had increased below the rate of inflation suggesting that trusts offer local
             authorities control over revenue funding of sports facilities. Trusts also tend to
             build up a reserve fund which provides some degree of financial security for both
             the trust and local authority.

             Trust E reported that a significant percentage of their income was from external
             funders such as the Big Lottery and other charitable trusts. However, this was not
             the experience of Trusts A and D who reported that external funding was minimal.
             There was a correlation between the level of external funding and extent to which
             sports development and social inclusion objectives had been incorporated into the
             trust's core business. Those that were operating and delivering in partnership to
             meet these objectives are more likely to attract external funding to do this.

             5.3.9 Revenue Costs to the Council – Risks

             The level of revenue funding provided to the trust by the Council can be one of the
             main sources of tension. Trusts tend to improve on and expand the services
             specified in the contract between themselves and the Council. These enhanced
             services operate with a higher level of income and expenditure than the services
             provided under Council management. When efficiency savings are required of
             trusts by Local Authorities, the trusts report difficulties in identifying efficiency
             savings as they are already operating at optimum efficiency and their improved
             version of Council services is more expensive to deliver.

             The trust’s perceptions of Council revenue funding also constitute a potential risk
             to the Council. Trusts A, C and E use the surplus generated through secondary
             expenditure and income from full-paying customers as the means through which
             social inclusion and sports development are funded. However, Trust D considers
Sports Transformation programme               35
                                             ITEM
                                             PAGE

             the revenue funding provided by Local Authorities to cover the sports
             development social inclusion components of its operations. This latter perception
             locks the Council into revenue funding commitments as any efficiency savings will
             immediately impact negatively on its more vulnerable residents and reduce sports
             development activity.

             Another risk of sport and leisure trusts to the Council as a whole is that they
             represent a loss of income for services such as payroll, IT, legal and Human
             Resources as per Trusts A and D.

             5.3.10 Revenue costs to the Council – implications for Aberdeen City Council

             A recommendation from the local authorities and trusts investigated is that all
             services provided by the trust should be costed and specified in detail within legal
             contracts between the trust and Council. These costings should reflect inflation
             and the unpredictability of energy costs. Where services have been costed and
             quantified, more informed decisions can be made as to what to prioritise, cut or
             scale-back when efficiency savings are required.

      5.4    Council control of Sport and Leisure Trusts

             5.4.1 Council control – opportunities

             Although sport and leisure trusts are incorporated as separate companies, local
             authorities have a number of mechanisms through which they can ensure that
             trusts deliver the required sport and physical activity outcomes.

             Although the Board of trustees is required to have a minority of Council
             representatives in order to be recognised as a separate company under Charity
             Law, the way the trust Board is structured can maximise Council control. Trust B
             has opted to split the functions of the Board whereby a Board with a Council
             minority is responsible for financial matters, and a Board with a Council majority
             decides on strategic and operational matters relating to the trust.

             Another means by which Council control can be achieved is to ensure the
             trust produces a detailed business plan for review on an annual basis and
             prior to undertaking any repair or improvement works. Similarly detailed
             Service Level Agreements (SLAs) can outline the exact remit of the trust's
             activities and establish the targets the trust is required to meet.

             Trusts A, C, D and E produce extensive performance and financial
             management information and are being measured against a very extensive
             set of quantitative and qualitative performance indicators covering
             admissions, customer satisfaction, club development and social inclusion.
             Some local authorities have established monitoring and scrutiny
             committees to monitor the performance of their sport and leisure trusts.

             Council control can also be achieved through short-term leases, break clauses
             within leases and penalty clauses within contracts. However, the local authorities
             investigated report that they have not had to penalise or with hold funding from
             their trusts.

             5.4.2 Council control - risks
Sports Transformation programme                36
                                           ITEM
                                           PAGE


            The trust and local authority officers interviewed stressed the importance of
            maintaining good relations between the trust and local authority. A situation where
            a Council majority on the Board is required or where the Council needs to
            penalise the trust is to be avoided as it suggests the trust is not delivering Council
            objectives. In such situations, Elected Members on the trust Boards A, D and E
            also report that they experience conflicts between their role as trustees and
            Councillors.

            Trusts A, D and E stressed that the crucial factor in determining Council trust
            relations and ultimately the degree of Council control over the trust is the
            appointment of the Chief Officer of the trust. A Chief Officer is required who
            understands Local Authority sports service delivery and can work with Council
            officers and Elected Members to run the trust to deliver Council objectives. The
            Chief Officer must be able to integrate the business acumen that is associated
            with trusts with a comprehensive programme of community and sports
            development. With a Chief Officer of this calibre in post, the trust can function
            successfully as a delivery mechanism for Council objectives. Those interviewed
            recommend giving a trust that is performing well a degree of flexibility to develop
            and flourish.

            Trust D illustrates that there is a considerable risk in having a Chief Officer in post
            who does not consider the trust to be a delivery mechanism for Council objectives.
            The fact that the trust is a separate legal entity to the Council means that a Chief
            Officer has the scope to deliver their own agenda. This risk is further compounded
            by one of the advantages of trusts, namely the fact that Council subsidies form the
            smaller proportion of the trust's income and can mean the Council is perceived to
            be the weaker stakeholder in the Council trust agreement. At best this causes
            tensions between the trust and Council means the Council has to invest more
            officer capacity to monitor the trust. At worst, the trust can, as a legal entity in its
            own right, begin to challenge the Council, for example by using Council revenue
            funding to cover the depreciation of the Council's stock or by challenging the
            ownership of investments it has made on behalf of the Council. To mitigate this
            risk, it is recommended that a robust recruitment process is undertaken for the
            appointment of this Chief Officer.

            5.4.3 Council control – implications for Aberdeen City Council

            The implications of the risks to Council control are that the choice of Chief Officer
            is crucial. Similarly, contracts and agreements have to be drawn up very carefully
            to take into account risks and eventualities that may arise from a deterioration in
            Council trust relations.

            The local authorities investigated also advised that it is important to retain control
            over the selection of Board Members. Where the trust has sole responsibility for
            selecting Board members, this represents a significant risk to Council control in
            instances where trust and local authority objectives do not align.

            5.4.4 Summary of Council control based on Trusts investigated




Sports Transformation programme                37
                                              ITEM
                                              PAGE

Area of activity            Council           Means through control is / is not maintained
                            control
Investment                                    Council requires business case and investment
                                              plan prior to approval
Strategic direction                           Council devises strategy
Day to day operations                         Trust has responsibility for day to day running.
                                              However Council can make suggestions through
                                              regular liaison meetings and            no major
                                              disagreements were reported with regard to day to
                                              day running
Pricing                                       Trust reports changes in pricing to Council prior to
                                              discussion by Trust Board

      5.5    Staffing of Sport and Leisure Trusts

             5.5.1 Staffing – opportunities

             The trusts investigated had all been staffed by transferring Council staff using
             TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings) arrangements. Staff terms and conditions were
             protected for between three to five years following the initial transfer. There were
             no reported redundancies during the transfer process and the main staff changes
             highlighted were at senior management level whereby Trusts A and E opted for
             open recruitment and the re-structuring of their senior management team. Trust D
             transferred the Council's entire sports service staff and structured their senior
             management teams according to staff strengths and interests.

             All of the trusts investigated report that staff morale is good with low levels of
             sickness absences, grievances and disciplinary proceedings as compared with
             Council management of the service. The trusts investigated reported no difficulties
             in recruiting and retaining staff. A number of trusts reported a staff turnover of
             15% and attributed departures to there not being enough promoted roles available
             to those wishing to progress their careers.

             Trusts C and E managed to maintain good staff morale during the transfer
             process and attributed this to an effective communication strategy that kept staff
             well informed throughout the process.

             All trusts and local authorities investigated reported that the transfer to a trust had
             impacted positively on staff training and development with corresponding benefits
             in service delivery and customer satisfaction. The trusts reported that trust
             management had given more scope to focus on staffing structures, training and
             development. The trusts had implemented staffing structure changes including the
             creation of marketing and IT posts. The quantity and range of staff training has
             also been increased.

             The trusts also reported that the trust structure enabled staff to have more
             ownership of facility and financial management. This was attributed to both the
             smaller scale of the trust and the scope to focus solely on sports service delivery.

             5.5.2 Staffing – risks



Sports Transformation programme                 38
                                           ITEM
                                           PAGE

            Trusts B and D reported brief strikes or challenges by Trade Unions because
            some Trade Unions had reservations about the principle of transferring services
            from local authority management to an un-elected organisation. Those trusts that
            had experienced opposition report that relations with the Trade Unions improved
            once the trusts were established, staff morale was good and there had been no
            radical changes to their terms and conditions following the end of TUPE. The
            benchmarked trusts also report that union membership amongst their staff is
            relatively low.

            Trusts A and D reported a decrease in staff morale prior to and during the transfer
            process. This was attributed to the change and uncertainty inherent in a transfer
            from local authority management. There were also reports of tensions between
            trust and local authority staff who had previously worked together in one
            organisation. However, once staff had adapted to their new roles these tensions
            subsided. Those staff that had worked for local authorities for the longest period
            prior to the transfer to a trust tended to experience the greatest level of difficulty
            with the transfer because for them it represented the greatest level of change.

            5.5.3 Staffing – implications for Aberdeen City Council

            Aberdeen City Council sports staff have already been briefed on the sports
            management options appraisal and the Trade Unions representing sports staff
            have been invited to discuss the options appraisal on a number of occasions.
            Should the decision to transfer the City Council's sports facilities to a trust be
            taken, it is recommended that a communication strategy is developed. Staff
            require an outline of the timescales and processes involved, assurance of TUPE
            and details of how a transfer to a trust may impact on them and their role.
            Involving staff at an early stage will help to maintain staff morale at a time when
            morale is low due to the cumulative change and uncertainty generated by the dis-
            aggregation and Equal Pay and Modernisation processes combined with
            SportStat and the Sports Management Options Appraisal.

      5.6   Service Delivery through Sport and Leisure Trusts

            5.6.1 Service Delivery – opportunities

            All trusts and local authorities investigated report that service delivery improved as
            trusts provided the scope to focus on sports service delivery and have a business-
            oriented approach to operations. Areas of improvement that were identified
            included:

            •      customer care and customer satisfaction
            •      staff development
            •      IT and management information infrastructure
            •      financial management
            •      performance information and reporting
            •      facility maintenance and improvement

            Sports and leisure trusts are also reported to be much more responsive to
            customer needs and trends than local authority services can be. This is due to the
            smaller scale of the trust and that there are fewer delays in implementing changes
            and improvements: small changes can be directly implemented whilst most

Sports Transformation programme               39
                                           ITEM
                                           PAGE

            important changes are discussed by the trust board as opposed to going through
            the local authority Committee process.

            The trusts investigated provided evidence of improved service delivery in the form
            of customer satisfaction statistics and admissions figures. These showed that to a
            large extent trusts had succeeded in improving levels of customer satisfaction and
            had maintained and increased admissions levels.

            5.6.2 Service Delivery – risks

            The trusts investigated highlighted that they are subject to many of the service
            delivery challenges experienced by local authorities. For example, they face
            considerable competition from the private sector coupled with high customer
            expectations. With greater levels of investment and with more scope to focus on
            sports service delivery, trusts are arguably better placed to compete with the
            private sector than local authorities. However, the success of the trust at
            maintaining and increasing admissions levels will depend on the level and type of
            private sector competition.

            Another challenge shared by trusts and local authorities is the varying trends in
            overall participation in sport and physical activity in Scotland (Appendix 37: Area
            Variations in Sports Participation sportscotland) coupled with changing trends in
            the types of sports activities that are popular. Trusts A, D and E report sustained
            or increased admissions levels, Trust C has seen a decline in admissions. Trusts
            A and D have invested resources to maintain falling swimming participation rates.

            The process of transfer to a trust can mean a temporary risk to service delivery.
            Trust E report that the transfer was remarkably seamless with little change in
            operations apart from a new staff uniform. However Trusts A, C and D report that
            during the first few months of operation there were difficulties relating to financial
            management and staffing. Although these difficulties did not impact directly on
            service delivery, those involved report that it was a couple of years before the
            benefits of a trust were realised. The difficulties reported were resolved through a
            focus on financial management and staff development as the basis on which
            service delivery was then developed and improved.

            5.6.3 Service Delivery – implications for Aberdeen City Council

            Trust D reported that improved service delivery depends primarily on having fit for
            purpose facilities in which to provide sport and leisure services. Aberdeen City
            Council may not realise some of the benefits of a potential sport and leisure trust if
            the necessary investments are not made to bring its facilities up to a standard
            where they meet customer expectations and are considered fit for purpose.

            In addition to investment, a major consideration for Aberdeen City Council in
            establishing a sport and leisure trust is the extent to which a trust can operate
            within the City's neighbourhood services structure. There are no examples of
            sports and leisure trusts that deliver sports services within a similar
            neighbourhood structure that can be used to assess the risks and opportunities
            for Aberdeen. However, investigations identify nothing to suggest that a sport and
            leisure trust would not be able to operate within the City's neighbourhood
            structure.

Sports Transformation programme               40
                                              ITEM
                                              PAGE

              Prior to transfer to a trust, it is recommended that the principles and operational
              practicalities of trust-run service delivery within the neighbourhoods be considered
              in some detail to incorporate the desired outcomes into the trust's legal framework
              and service design. At present, in addition to being more responsive to local
              community needs, neighbourhood service area sport services, according to
              officer's accounts, find themselves competing for funds and customers. Any trust
              agreement would have to promote equity and prevent competition between
              Neighbourhood Service Areas.

              As long as the individual neighbourhood’s requirements can be articulated, then
              these requirements can be included in the legally binding service level agreement
              (SLA) with the Trust.

              Given the issues and solutions identified by staff through the Transformation
              Programme, a sport and leisure trust that is incorporated in Aberdeen City may,
              like some of the trusts investigated, encounter some difficulties relating to staffing
              and financial management. However, there is nothing to suggest that these
              cannot be resolved.

              To minimise the impact of private sector competition, it is recommended that prior
              to a transfer to a trust, the City Council identifies exactly what market it is trying to
              reach so that the trust can be set up accordingly.

              To maximise the potential for operational efficiencies in a transfer to trust, it is
              recommended that the SLA specifies standards of training and competence in
              financial and performance management.

       5.7    Sport and Leisure Trusts and Sports Development

              5.7.1 Sports Development – opportunities

              Opportunities for sports development in a sport and leisure trust can be found
              where the rationale for transferring Council facilities and services to a trust is
              strategic and operational improvements, rather than financial savings. Where a
              trust is incorporated with the sole objective of delivering a set of outcomes that
              include sports development, a sports development function is more likely to be
              central to the trust's design and operations.

              Local authorities A, C and E had either transferred their Sports Development
              Officers to their sport and leisure trusts or recommended this as the preferable
              option for the delivery of sports development. The main reason for including a
              sports development function within a trust is free and priority access to facilities for
              sports development activities. Where a local authority’s sports development
              function is separate from its sport and leisure trust, Sports Development Officers
              encounter difficulties gaining access to facilities due to the competing demands on
              facilities. Local authorities also have to pay facility charges if their sports
              development function is separate to the trust. This risk can be mitigated through a
              robust SLA.

              5.7.2 Sports Development – risks

             Where the rationale for establishing a sport and leisure trust is primarily efficiency
             savings, sports development is less likely to be central to the trust’s operations as
Sports Transformation programme                41
                                             ITEM
                                             PAGE

            in Trusts A and D. Under Charity Law a sport and leisure trust with charitable
            status will have the purpose of:

                   “The advancement of public participation in sport”.

            However, this can be achieved through the provision of sports facilities to the
            public; arguably there is no incentive for a sport and leisure trust to deliver on
            sports development objectives.

            Local authorities A and D also report that their sport and leisure trust neglects
            Club Development because it is more cost and labour intensive than simply
            increasing public participation in sport.

            5.7.3 Sports Development – implications for Aberdeen City Council

            If sports and club development are to be included in a potential sports trust, these
            two functions of the trust will have to be central to all legal agreements, business
            plans and Performance Indicators to ensure the trust delivers against sport and
            club development objectives.

            Where the decision is taken to retain sports and club development functions within
            the Council, it is recommended that clauses regarding access for these activities
            are written in to all agreements with the trust.


      5.8   Sport and Leisure Trusts and Social Inclusion

            5.8.1 Social inclusion – opportunities

            All of the trusts investigated offered concession rates for target groups such as
            those over 60, young people and those on means tested benefits. Trusts also
            have closely monitored targets for admissions within these target groups and
            marketing strategies to increase participation amongst these sectors of the
            population. Trusts A and D have reported considerable successes in increasing
            participation amongst young people at a time when participation rates amongst
            young people are a cause for concern.

            Trust D also asserted that the purpose of sport and leisure trusts is to provide a
            value added service. It was argued that in order to deliver pricing concessions to
            target groups local authorities could close their facilities and pay the private sector
            to provide subsidised admissions to target groups. However, the majority of trust
            staff are former local authority employees who are seeking to deliver value added
            corporate objectives; they argue that a trust has to provide more of a
            developmental function than merely increasing admissions.

            Trusts A, D and E were found to have developed successful and innovative
            partnerships within local authority departments and external agencies. Examples
            are GP referral schemes and working with Social Care departments on physical
            activity programmes that are design to reduce care needs and costs.

            5.8.2 Social inclusion – risks


Sports Transformation programme                42
                                           ITEM
                                           PAGE

            Trusts tend to use zero based budgeting as opposed to operating on the basis of
            deficit funding. Such an approach tends to promote a more business-like
            approach that is characteristic of trusts. Local authority D expressed concern that
            this business-like approach detracts from the social inclusion element of sports
            service delivery. Officer’s investigations identified examples of free swimming for
            the 60+ age group not being marketed because it does not generate admissions
            income. Officers, however, found a correlation between the aspirations of the
            Chief Officer of the trust and the level of adherence to social inclusion objectives.

            5.8.3 Social inclusion – implications for Aberdeen City Council

            Social inclusion is considered one of the strengths of Aberdeen City Council’s
            Sports Services (Appendix 17: Staff Survey); therefore it is important that this
            strength is retained in a transfer to a trust.

            Officer’s investigations have demonstrated that sports and leisure trusts can
            deliver on objectives other than merely generating admissions. These include
            sports and club development, and social inclusion. The risk of a purely business-
            oriented approach must be minimised through the appointment of a Chief Officer
            of the trust who is committed to delivering Council objectives. Similarly, the remit
            of the trust must be robustly detailed in all legal documentation and include the
            target groups, the trust is required to work with, and the activities it is required to
            undertake. If these activities are costed both the trust and local authority have an
            understanding and transparency regarding the financial implications of these
            activities.

      5.9   NOTE: Following consultation, the University of Aberdeen’s Director of Sports
            Development has intimated that Aberdeen RSF Ltd., the company set up to run
            the Regional Sports Facility, may interested in running some of the local City
            Council Sports Facilities as part of their company, e.g. Linksfield and Aulton which
            would provide a “sports village”.

    Recommendations
    • That ACC sports facilities are transferred into an arms length organisation taking
    account of input from external specialist legal and financial advice.
    • Authorise the appointment of a resource to lead this process.
    • Authorise the establishment of a Project Board and select Elected Members for the
    Board.

      5.9   Transfer to a trust – process, costs, risks and timescale

            If Aberdeen City Council were to decide to transfer its sports facilities to a trust,
            the process of transfer from the initial sports service review to signing of leases
            and service level agreements could take a year or more. In addition, the
            experience of other sports trusts in Scotland has highlighted that staffing issues
            and legal challenges require to be overcome before the benefits of having a
            sports trust can be realised.

            The key elements of the process and timetable are:




Sports Transformation programme               43
                                               ITEM
                                               PAGE


Remit         Action                                                          Timescale
Service       Sports Service Review to determine what facilities and services Feb – Mar 08
Review        are to be included in transfer to trust

              Establishment of City Council Project Team to lead and oversee Feb 08
              transfer process

              Report to Resources Management with associated costs of Feb 08
              setting up a trust

              Appointment of resource to manage the transfer process         Mar 08

              Appointment of legal and tax advisers                          Mar 08

              Development of trust structure                                 Mar 08

              Approval of trust structure                                    Mar - Apr 08

              Development of terms of transfer and associated legal Mar - Oct 08
              documentation

              Approval of terms of transfer and legal documentation          Nov 08

              Incorporation of trust                                         Aug - Oct 08

              Application for charitable status then NNDR relief             Aug – Dec 08

              Business planning including considering VAT, central support Apr 08 – Aug 09
              service implications.

              Approval of business plans                                     Nov 08

              Negotiation of grant agreements                                Aug - Oct 08

              Initial consultation with Unions and staff                     Apr 08

              TUPE transfer list developed                                   Apr 08 – Mar 09

              Development of staffing structures and Board including Apr 08 – Dec 08
              establishing senior management team / Board, agreeing job
              descriptions and person specifications, recruiting and training
              staff / Board members.




Sports Transformation programme                  44
                                                 ITEM
6.     Draft Implementation Plan – Projects and Areas of Work
                                       PAGE

Recommendation           Key Actions                                   Responsibility       Link to       Risk     Timescale    Resource Implications
                                                                                            Sports T.P.
1. One single            •   Identify resource to drive Project        Neighbourhood        Bookings      Medium   February     A staff resource will need
integrated bookings          through to completion                     Services/            and                    2008         to be found within limited
system implemented       •   Convene Working Group                     Strategic            Lettings                            capacity which will have
                         •   Implement booking system                  Leadership           Review                              implications for the
                             concurrently with the City Council’s                                                  March 2008   delivery of other key
                             Leisure Management Information                                                                     tasks.
                             System (see below)                                                                    August       Costs covered by LMIS
                                                                                                                   2009         budget allocation.
2. The procurement of    •   Reconvene LMIS Project Board              Strategic            Bookings      High     February     No direct budgetary
a Leisure Management     •   Identify Lead Officer/resource for        Leadership/          and                    2008         implications, however
System should be             project through to completion             Neighbourhood        Lettings                            staff involved in Project
prioritised as part of   •   Complete tender process including         Services/            Review                 February     Board and delivery will be
Corporate Priorities.        consultation with frontline operational   Continuous                                  2008         diverted from other key
                             staff on the City’s LMIS requirements     Improvement                                              tasks.
                         •   Purchase, test and implement LMIS                                                                  £120K allocation for
                         •   Workforce training in new LMIs                                                        August       LMIS, however costing
                                                                                                                   2009         was done in 2005 and
                                                                                                                                costs may have increased
                                                                                                                                Any additional
                                                                                                                                expenditure incurred in
                                                                                                                                purchasing the LMIS
                                                                                                                                should be offset by
                                                                                                                                Increased efficiency.
3. Investigate the       •   Review Janitorial resources at each       Neighbourhood        Bookings      Medium   March 2008   Within remit of existing
options for                  site/with each Neighbourhood Service      Service Facilities   and                                 staff resources.
deployment of                Area                                      Managers             Lettings                            Anticipated that budget
Janitorial Cover         •   Identify efficient ways of deployment                          Review                              savings can be achieved,
                             within Neighbourhoods and Areas                                                                    however cannot be
                         •   Communicate and consult with staff                                                                 quantified prior to review.
                             and Unions                                                                            June 2008
                         •   Identify any budget efficiencies and
                             implement
                         •   Investigate the options of a flexible
                             working pattern for Janitorial Services
                         •   Review current working practice
                         •   Explore new rotas/shift patterns
                         •   Consult with staff and Unions
                         •   Identify any budget efficiencies
                                                                                                                   December
Recommendation            Key Actions                ITEM                  Responsibility   Link to       Risk     Timescale    Resource Implications
                                                     PAGE                                   Sports T.P.
                          •   Prepare report for Committee                                                         2008
4.Investigate different   •   Conduct risk assessment in                   Neighbourhood    Bookings      Low      March 2008   Within existing staff
options for staffing          conjunction with review of Janitorial        Services         and                                 resources.
facilities where              cover (see above)                                             Lettings
appropriate               •   Communicate and consult with staff                            Review
                              and Unions
                          •   Identify whether any of the City’s                                                   August
                              facilities would be suitable for the                                                 2008
                              introduction of a Key Holder System
                          •   Identify whether any of the City’s
                              facilities would be suitable for the
                              introduction of Leisure Attendants on
                              duty, e.g. at Sports Pitches
5.Rationalise venues      •   Analyse usage patterns for previous          Neighbourhood    Bookings      Medium   December     Within existing database
available for hire            years in educational establishments          Services         and                    2008         and staff resources.
through a strategic       •   Identify opening patterns of facilities in   ( North Area)    Lettings
approach to the               Areas as part of the Programming                              Review
administration of             Review below.
bookings                  •   Consider the implications of new
                              builds and facilities available through
                              3R’s project
6.Standardised            •   Identify Lead Officer/ Resource              Strategic        Bookings               March 2008   Lead Officer identified will
charging system to be     •   Identify criteria for categorising           Leadership in    and                                 be diverted from other key
developed and                 facilities                                   collaboration    Lettings               June 2008    tasks.
implemented based         •   Consult with users of facilities on          with             Review                 August
on type/ category of          proposed charges and categories              Neighbourhood                           2008
facility                  •   Implement new charging system                Services
                              based on facility categories                                                         August
                              established                                                                          2009
7.Charging policy to      •   Identify resource to lead project to         Strategic        Bookings               June 2008    Lead Officer identified will
be developed defining         completion                                   Leadership in    and                    August       be diverted from other key
user categories and       •   Define eligibility criteria for access to    collaboration    Lettings               2008         tasks.
priorities                    Corporate Budget                             with             Review                 October
                          •   Identify categories of users and             Neighbourhood                           2008         Anticipate that significant
                              priorities of access                         Services                                Jan 2009     income generation can be
                          •   Consult with user groups                                                                          achieved however cannot
                          •   Identify requirements for Sports and                                                 August       be quantified prior to
                              Cultural Grants to encourage target                                                  2009         review
                              groups to apply for assistance
                          •   Prepare report for Committee


Sports Transformation programme                                                   46
Recommendation              Key Actions                ITEM                  Responsibility    Link to       Risk   Timescale    Resource Implications
                                                       PAGE                                    Sports T.P.
                            •   Implement new charging policy
8.Standardise quality       •   Identify resource to lead project to         Strategic         Bookings      High   April 2008   Lead Officer identified will
assurance                       completion                                   Leadership        and                               be diverted from other key
requirements of             •   Identify standards to be implemented                           Lettings             August       tasks
groups applying for         •   Identify support mechanisms for                                Review               2008
facilities                      groups to reach required standards
                            •   Support Clubs to become part of              Neighbourhood                          August
                                ClubCap Accreditation Scheme                 Services                               2009
                            •   Implement new policy
9.Sign up to 2006           •   Prepare Action Plan                          Strategic         Bookings      High   August       Within Officer capacity
Accord for the              •   Identify gaps to be progressed               Leadership        and                  2008
Protection of Children      •   Identify Good Practice                                         Lettings
in Scottish Sport by        •   Identify support mechanisms for              Neighbourhood     Review
2009                            sports clubs and organisations to            Services
                                reach minimum standard
10. Implement an            •   Identify resource to lead project            Strategic         Bookings      Low    March 2008   Lead Officer identified will
Access to Leisure           •   Develop Working Group consisting of          Leadership/       and                               be diverted from other key
Review                          key partners                                 Neighbourhood     Lettings                          tasks
                            •   Define scope of project                      Services (North   Review               August
                            •   Incorporate initial findings of charging     Area)                                  2008
                                review into Access to Leisure Review         Accord Team
                            •   Consult with existing and potential
                                Access to Leisure Users
10. Develop a               •   Identify capacity within Resources           Neighbourhood     Operational   High   March        Staffing capacity required
comprehensive                   Management to support                        Service   Areas   delivery             2008         may be diverted from
training programme              Neighbourhood Services with                  with    support   staffing                          other key tasks
for all sports staff that       development of a training programme          from
includes customer           •   Training needs analysis           through    Resources                              April 2008
care and marketing,             consultation with staff and operational      Management
and ensure all front            review                                       (HR)
line staff are              •   Review of training available through                                                May 2008
appropriatly trained            Council and major training providers
on an ongoing basis.            such as universities, colleges and Job
                                Centre Plus                                                                         June 2008
                            •   Identify resource to deliver the training
                                including Sports Services, ACC
                                Central     Training      or    specialist
                                resources                                                                           August
                            •   Develop and role out training                                                       2008
                                programme and schedule


Sports Transformation programme                                                      47
Recommendation             Key Actions               ITEM                  Responsibility      Link to        Risk   Timescale    Resource Implications
                                                     PAGE                                      Sports T.P.
                           •   Identify staffing resource with lead                                                  September
                               responsibility for implementing and                                                   2008
                               monitoring sports facility staff training
                               within each Neighbourhood Service
                               Area
                           •   Develop opportunities for mentoring                                                   Ongoing
                               as a means of staff development with
                               support from Skills Active                                                            Ongoing
                           •   Identify cover to enable staff to attend
                               training as part of review of staffing
                               structures and cover arrangements
12. Review and             •   Continuation and extension of staffing      Neighbourhood       Operational    High   March 2008   Potential budget savings
implement new                  review and career progression work is       Service    Areas    delivery                           realised.
staffing structures to         being undertaken in relation to Duty        with     support    staffing
ensure local                   Manager staff.                              from    Strategic
leadership /               •   Consultation with staff regarding what      Leadership                                June 2008
ownership and                  staffing structures would operate best
development                    in terms of value and quality of
pathways; align                service.
staffing structures        •   Communication and consultation with                                                   July 2008
with programming to            Unions
ensure the efficient       •   Report to Committee with revised                                                      August
deployment of                  staffing structures                                                                   2008
resources.                 •   Link to programming review and
                               incorporate outcomes of, facilities
                               audit in Summer 2008.                                                                 September
                                                                                                                     2008
13. Carry out facilities   •   Resources Management to ensure a            Strategic           Operational    High   June 2008    Staffing capacity to be
audit and then                 sports facility audit is scheduled in to    Leadership,         delivery   -                       identified
develop investment             their programme of work as soon as          Resources           Facilities                         Potential budget savings
plan / facilities              possible.                                   Management                                             realised
strategy (including        •   Review outcomes of facilities audit.        and                                       September    Staffing resource may be
identifying                •   Cost benefit analysis of investments        Neighbourhood                             2008         diverted from other key
opportunities for              required.                                   Service Areas                                          tasks
rationalising sports       •   Review/ Analysis of sports provision                                                  November
facility stock and             by other sectors in the City.                                                         2008
utilising renewable        •   Consideration of priority sports, sport
energy sources where           and physical activity strategy and
possible).                     local needs to rationalise stock and                                                               Potential        efficiency
                               prioritise investment.                                                                             savings realised
                           •   Consideration      of      findings   of                                              December


Sports Transformation programme                                                    48
Recommendation           Key Actions               ITEM                 Responsibility    Link to        Risk   Timescale    Resource Implications
                                                   PAGE                                   Sports T.P.
                             rationalisation     of      educational                                            2008
                             establishment lettings                                                             March 2008
                         •   Identify a resource to undertake
                             project looking at feasibility and
                             funding issues in relation to energy
                             efficiency and renewable energy                                                    From
                             measures at sports facilities.                                                     January
                         •   Agree and roll out energy efficiency                                               2009
                             plan
                         •   Appoint “Energy Champion” within                                                   March 2008
                             each facility who will receive training,
                             develop and encourage energy
                             efficient practices and monitor utility
                             costs
                         •   Develop 50m pool in Aberdeen
                         •   Complete development of Regional                                                   By 2012      As per NHCP
                             Sports Facility                                                                    By 2009
14. Market test /        •   Develop specifications for grounds         Resources         Operational    High   Feb – Mar    Within existing    staffing
benchmark grounds            maintenance at sports facilities.          Management        delivery   -          08           resource.
maintenance services     •   Ensure that these specifications are       and               Facilities
and review the               costed not higher than comparable          Neighbourhood
operations of the in         benchmarks                                 Service Areas
house grounds            •   Shelter     and    Environment      and
maintenance teams            Resources Management to map
including their method       processes and structures of grounds
of pricing works.            maintenance
15. Implement clear,     •   Improve communication between              Neighbourhood     Operational    High   Feb 08       Within existing    staffing
consistent and simple        Shelter and Environment and Sports         Service Areas     delivery   -                       capacity
processes for sports         Services.                                                    Facilities
facility repairs and     •   Agree processes
maintenance and          •   Incorporate processes into staff
empower and                  training
encourage frontline
staff to take
responsibility for
repairs and
maintenance.
16. Implement a          •   Marketing Officer to work with             Neighbourhood     Customer       High   ongoing      £10k (biannually) required
customer feedback            Research and Information Team and          Service Areas /   Care      /                        for survey.
system, including            Neighbourhood Service Areas to             Strategic         Vision    /                        Ongoing        consultation
regular surveys and          design customer feedback questions         Leadership        Marketing /                        within existing resource.


Sports Transformation programme                                                49
Recommendation             Key Actions              ITEM                Responsibility   Link to       Risk     Timescale     Resource Implications
                                                    PAGE                                 Sports T.P.
ongoing consultation           in ACC sports branding                                    Focus
with users and non-        •   Pilot feedback system
users, and review          •   Roll out of system across facilities
service provision in           with appropriate staffing briefings
light of customer          •   Identify resource to collate responses
feedback.                  •   Establish processes to incorporate
                               customer feedback into service
                               provision
                           •   Bi-annual customer survey
                           •   Consultation through neighbourhood
                               networks
                           •   Specific consultation with over 50s
                               age group
                           •   Active Communities Officers to
                               involve different stakeholders in
                               informal sports development groups.
17. All sites to develop   •   Service, Area and Duty Managers to       Neighbourhood    Customer      Low      From April    Within officer capacity.
a business / marketing         meet with Corporate Communications       Services/        Care      /            2008
plan (with support             to identify way forward                  Continuous       Vision    /
from Corporate             •   Training programme to address gaps       Improvement      Marketing /
Communications)                in knowledge re marketing and                             Focus
involving all site staff       business planning
in its development to      •   Initial consultation with staff re
ensure ownership.              business / marketing plan
                           •   Development of business / marketing
                               plan with staff involvement
18. Allocate resource      •   Identify resource and processes          Strategic        Customer      Medium   Feb – Mar     Staffing capacity impact
to be responsible for                                                   Leadership       Care      /            08
keeping the sports         •   Workforce training required                               Vision    /
sections of the City                                                                     Marketing /
Council’s website up-                                                                    Focus
to-date.
19. Provide regular        •   Identify small working group to drive    Strategic        Customer      Medium   Start   Mar   Within officer capacity.
events for sports staff        forward staff events                     Leadership and   Care      /            08
to network and                                                          Neighbourhood    Vision    /
communicate – i.e.                                                      Service Areas    Marketing /
biannual service                                                                         Focus
planning workshops
20. Transfer Aberdeen      •   A leading and visionary Chief Officer    Strategic        Sports        High     February      £250K
City Council sports            is appointed to manage the arms          Leadership       Manageme               2008
facilities into an arms                                                                  nt Options

Sports Transformation programme                                                50
Recommendation            Key Actions            ITEM                Responsibility   Link to       Risk   Timescale   Resource Implications
                                                 PAGE                                 Sports T.P.
length    organisation        length organisation                                     Appraisal
taking   account     of   •   Robust Communication strategy to be
external     specialist       prepared
legal and financial       •   Detailed Service Level Agreements to
advice.                       be prepared

21.Appoint                                                           Strategic        Sports        High   February    £50K
appropriate resource                                                 Leadership       Manageme             2008
manage this process.                                                                  nt Options
                                                                                      Appraisal
22. Establish a Project                                           Strategic               High
                                                                                      Sports   February   Within officer capacity
Board to drive the                                                Leadership          Manageme 2008
project forward                                                                       nt Options
(Council to select                                                                    Appraisal
Elected Member
representation on
Board.)
SHORT TERM PRIORITY ACTIONS IDENTIFIED IN “FIT FOR THE FUTURE” (BUT NOT DIRECTLY ARISING THROUGH TRANSFORMATION PROG.
23. Carry out           • Programme sports facilities to include NS                       Low  Ongoing    Within existing resource
programming review        priority access to pupils at selected              Programmi
                          facilities                                         ng                April 2009
                        • Include community access to school
                          facilities
                        • Review opening hours, rationalising
                          where this will create minimum impact                                April 2009
                          to the community.
                        • Consultation      with     current  and                              June 2009
                          potential facility users regarding
                          proposed programming.
                        • Communication and consultation with
                          staff and Unions regarding proposed
                          staffing of new programme.
                        • Report to Committee on new
                          programme
24. Develop marketing • Include marketing City’s sports CI & NS              Customer     Low  Aug 2008   Within existing resource
strategy for City’s       facilities                                         Care, vision
sports services         • Sponsorship/ advertising strategy                                    Sept 2008
                        • Implementation of strategy                                           onwards
25. Increase the        • Develop a clear structure setting out SL           Programmi Med     April 2008 £150k per year
opportunities for         criteria and priorities for support                ng,


Sports Transformation programme                                             51
Recommendation           Key Actions              ITEM                Responsibility    Link to       Risk   Timescale    Resource Implications
                                                  PAGE                                  Sports T.P.
participation through    •   Provide support for grassroots sports                      Bookings,
the provision of             development through sports grants.
sports grants and        •   Support      Grampian       Coaching
partnership sports           Partnership
fund (£75,000 each)      •   Implement      Club     Accreditation
                             Programme (to improve quality)
                         •   Develop database of clubs which can
                             be updated by clubs in Aberdeen
                         •   Work towards establishing a regional
                             sports partnership
                         •   Support sport specific development
                             on a regional basis.
26. Set realistic                                                     Strategic         Business      High   April 2008   Within officer capacity
operational efficiency                                                Leadership    /   planning
targets including NS                                                  Neighbourhood
Area and City-wide                                                    Service Areas
targets
27. Develop              •   Report to Sports Strategy Working        SL                Investment           By 1 April   Within existing resources
framework for                Group                                                      Plan                 2008
identifying target
sports
28. Develop a            •   Support Skills Active in seeking to      SL & NS           Training      Low    ongoing      Within existing resource
sustainable workforce        professionalise sport.
strategy                 •   Work with partners to develop,
                             support and promote sports related
                             placements,      secondments       and
                             exchanges.
29. Continue to          •   Encourage key sports providers in the    SL & NS           Customer      Low    ongoing      Within existing resource
support the Active           City to meet regularly to identify                         Care,
Aberdeen Forum               opportunities, tackle barriers to                          Vision
                             hosting events and build capacity.




Sports Transformation programme                                                 52
                                           ITEM
                                           PAGE
Appendices

APPENDICES WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST. PLEASE CONTACT FIONA WEDDERBURN ON
814627 OR EMAIL fwedderburn@aberdeencity.gov.uk TO OBTAIN COPIES OF THE APPENDICES YOU
REQUIRE. PLEASE NOTE THAT SOME APPENDICES ARE CONFIDENTIAL DUE TO THE INCLUSION OF
COMMERCIALLY SENSITIVE INFORMATION AND THEREFORE WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE TO THE
PUBLIC.YOU WILL BE ADVISED REGARDING CONFIDENTIALITY WHEN YOU RECEIVE THE APPENDICES
YOU HAVE REQUESTED.


1. Booking Comparison Table                                   p. 14

2. Letting of Educational Establishments                      p. 14

3. Quarterly Let Conditions of Hire and Application           p. 15

4. Minute of Cricket Users Meeting                            p. 18

5. Job Description for Janitor                                p. 16

6. External Audit, Henderson/ Loggie (Confidential)           pp. 16,18

7. Meeting with Facilities Manager                            p. 17

8. Project Builds                                             p. 17

9. Facility Provision                                         p. 17

10. Access to Leisure Leaflet                                 pp. 18, 19

11. Sports Charges – sportscotland 2077/08                    pp. 19, 20, 23

12. Other Local Authorities Bookings Policies                 p. 20

13. Workshops                                                 pp. 8, 15, 16, 18

14. Service and Area Manager Meetings                         pp. 8, 24, 34

15. Recruitment and Retention Issues                          pp. 21, 24

16. Repairs, Maintenance and Investment Issues                p. 23

17. Staff Survey                                              pp. 9, 21, 23, 43

18. Operational Review                                        pp. 9, 21, 23, 24

19. Investment Identified                                     p. 22, 33

20. Customer Survey – Bookings Feedback                       p. 15

21. Customer Survey – Gap Analysis                            p. 15

22. Customer Survey – Clean Facilities                        p. 23
                                            ITEM
23. Customer Survey – Staffing              PAGE                   p. 23

24. SportStat – Facility Usage                                     p. 15

25. Vacancy Levels Analysis                                        p. 20, 21

26. Overtime Analysis (Confidential)                               p. 21

27. Grounds Maintenance Costs (Confidential)                       p. 22

28. Energy Costs (Confidential)                                    p. 23

29. Repairs Examples (Confidential)                                p. 23

30. Admissions                                                     p. 24

31. SportStat Training                                             p. 21

32. Transformation Programme Methodology                           p. 8

33. Benchmarking with Trusts and Local Authorities                 p. 9

34. Sports Management Options Appraisal (Confidential)             p. 25

35. Sport and Leisure Trusts                                       p. 28

36. VAT Tribunal                                                   p. 30

37. Area Variations in Sports Participation sportscotland          p. 40

38. Pools Provision                                                p. 22

39. Reaching Higher
    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2007/03/07105145/13 p. 10

40. Let’s Make Scotland More Active
    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2003/02/16324/17895) p. 11

41. Fit for the Future (draft)                                     p. 12

42. 06/07 SPI Rankings                                             p. 24

43. 2006 Accord for the Protection of Children in Scottish Sport   p. 20




Sports Transformation programme                54

				
DOCUMENT INFO