Author Topic: Your Leisure is going to be put outside the council - what does it mean to you?  (Read 8984 times)

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Offline Mickraker

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A swim could be more expensive for the next 99 years to pay the rent to the council :-\

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/10708119.Who_will_run_our_leisure_centres_/


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Offline jennyb

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A swim could be more expensive for the next 99 years to pay the rent to the council :-\

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/10708119.Who_will_run_our_leisure_centres_/


I had read some suggestions that the lease terms being discussed were either 99 or 999 years.

I am led to believe that the only information that can be relied upon is the actual lease document.

As these are publically owned facilities on publically owned land it is only reasonable that the public have sight of all of the evidence being used by the LA in support of this 'endeavour'.

It takes wisdom to know what you know and wisdom to know what you don't know and when to call in those who do. Often the people who do know will advise that evidence and research are very helpful when making decisions. Who knows it might even save a bit of money.

Offline Outoftowner

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Isn't it strange that SBC feel that they have sufficient knowledge and business acumen to run a building maintenance company (SCS) a Public Transport Company (Thamesdown Transport) a Wi-Fi company (Digital City) a school design and build company (Class Solutions) and a Solar Electricity farm at Wroughton airfield but don't feel able to continue running those facilities where they have total control, have all the finance figures and historic records, own the buildings and are the employers of the staff?

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Stick with what you know."

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Outoftowner
What's it all about?

Offline jennyb

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Isn't it strange that SBC feel that they have sufficient knowledge and business acumen to run a building maintenance company (SCS) a Public Transport Company (Thamesdown Transport) a Wi-Fi company (Digital City) a school design and build company (Class Solutions) and a Solar Electricity farm at Wroughton airfield but don't feel able to continue running those facilities where they have total control, have all the finance figures and historic records, own the buildings and are the employers of the staff?

"Dear Sir,
Stick with what you know."

Luv,

Outoftowner

I attended a Scrutiny meeting ( in 2012 I think?) at which Cllr Moffat remonstrated with the then leader of the Council Cllr Bluh regarding open and green space.

Cllr Moffat spoke eloquently and passionately about previous members of SBC ( in all it's manifestations) of all political parties who had done much to ensure that residents of Swindon had access to open and green space and leisure facilities.

If I recall correctly he stated that no leader of this LA had the authority to get rid of that which had taken over 100 years to develop and retain.

I do not recall that Cllr Bluh was moved by this.

Shabby.

Is the future of Swindon currently in the hands of those who know the price of everything but the value of nothing?
It takes wisdom to know what you know and wisdom to know what you don't know and when to call in those who do. Often the people who do know will advise that evidence and research are very helpful when making decisions. Who knows it might even save a bit of money.

Offline Richard Symonds

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One thing is for certain is that with continually shrinking Council responsibilities it begs the question as to why we need 57 Councillors and a lot of very highly paid executive officers to oversee an ever shrinking responsibility?

When are they going to offer up the Civic as office space?

When is Thamesdown Transport going to be sold?

Can anyone else think of what we might flog off to support ever more political Boll@@@s?

Why oh why did we spend a penny on the LINK if we are going to hand it over to someone else?

and finally this administration seems to be very good at wasting our Money and failing to gain our Approval for these very final plans which when implemented cannot be altered!! 


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Offline Spunkymonkey

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According to the adver article, SBC made a loss of £1.5 million on leisure centres and golf courses last year and a further £6 million of repairs are required.

Despite this, SBC think that a private company will take them on and make a profit.

The staff would presumably be TUPE'd across, so the only change would be the management. So is this an admission that current management is failing.

Offline Tobes

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The staff would presumably be TUPE'd across, so the only change would be the management. So is this an admission that current management is failing.

Unambiguously 'yes' I'd have to guess!
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline Muggins

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Isn't it strange that SBC feel that they have sufficient knowledge and business acumen to run a building maintenance company (SCS) a Public Transport Company (Thamesdown Transport) a Wi-Fi company (Digital City) a school design and build company (Class Solutions) and a Solar Electricity farm at Wroughton airfield but don't feel able to continue running those facilities where they have total control, have all the finance figures and historic records, own the buildings and are the employers of the staff?

"Dear Sir,
Stick with what you know."

Luv,

Outoftowner

I attended a Scrutiny meeting ( in 2012 I think?) at which Cllr Moffat remonstrated with the then leader of the Council Cllr Bluh regarding open and green space.

Cllr Moffat spoke eloquently and passionately about previous members of SBC ( in all it's manifestations) of all political parties who had done much to ensure that residents of Swindon had access to open and green space and leisure facilities.

If I recall correctly he stated that no leader of this LA had the authority to get rid of that which had taken over 100 years to develop and retain.

I do not recall that Cllr Bluh was moved by this.

Shabby.

Is the future of Swindon currently in the hands of those who know the price of everything but the value of nothing?

Add to that the funding they have received from various places and the *partnership work done to provide and spend on those open spaces over successive councils.

*Those partners might not be too happy about any changes.

Richard. I don't consider the work to be done by the councillors is the important factor, but how many they have to represent. 

The 'savings' should come from how much remuneration they get for doing the smaller job.  In fact they seemed to act smarter and sharper when there wasn't so much remuneration. And when they didn't think they knew better than the officers they employed to do the legwork  for them. 

The last thing we want is less people representing us, we just want better quality to go with the quantity!
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Richard Symonds

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According to the adver article, SBC made a loss of £1.5 million on leisure centres and golf courses last year and a further £6 million of repairs are required.

Despite this, SBC think that a private company will take them on and make a profit.

The staff would presumably be TUPE'd across, so the only change would be the management. So is this an admission that current management is failing.

If the management are failing FIRE them!!  Quite simple really unless, of course, there are other reasons.

Now private business are in it to make money and one of the ways they will do so will be to increase prices, so we could lose both way firstly lose control of an asset and secondly pay more for it or thirdly get a worse service.

Any one of these three is just plain unacceptable, unless you are a member of the Free Spending Administration that is!!
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Offline Mickraker

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The list is pretty comprehensive and will be across Swindon it includes Moredon Broome Highworth Haydon Centre Dorcan Centre Croft Sports Centre and Link. With the Oasis already gone the family silver cupboard will look bare   :-\
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Offline Muggins

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Thing is - are they selling them off? Or just seeking management with a lease and rent, in which case they are not selling them off, just leasing them. In which case they come back in house, if the management goes wrong.

It's been on the cards since the days of Compulsory Competitive Tendering, when one of the knowledgeable officer told us that we needed to get our community feet under the tables of our community centres or all of our centres might be put out to tender and the management could be anyone (he used Nabisco biscuits Germany - as an example). Apparently at the time Swindon ranked 5th in the national record for owning its own leisure facilities and there was, as he put it, no hiding place.  How they got over that at the time I don't know.

I suspect that the Leases will remain with the Borough or at least the lease on the land they stand on. Example: Penhill British Legion, where the building was built by the RBL but the land was still the Boroughs, now it is closed and wrecked it has reverted to the Borough and will do doubt be a prime site for social housing development! 
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Richard Symonds

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The list is pretty comprehensive and will be across Swindon it includes Moredon Broome Highworth Haydon Centre Dorcan Centre Croft Sports Centre and Link. With the Oasis already gone the family silver cupboard will look bare   :-\

And the Swindon Card not worth the plastic it is written on!!
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Offline Bankrupt Idiot

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According to the adver article, SBC made a loss of £1.5 million on leisure centres and golf courses last year and a further £6 million of repairs are required.

Despite this, SBC think that a private company will take them on and make a profit.

The staff would presumably be TUPE'd across, so the only change would be the management. So is this an admission that current management is failing.

The problem is Kiss Gym (Formally Nationwide Building Society), David LLoyds(Formally Motorola Carpark), Next Geneation(Formally a school field?) Fitness First West Swindon (Formally Nissan Garage) Fitness First East Swindon(Formally Audi VW Garage) DW Fitness (Formally a farmers field) 24 Hour Gym(formally waste land?) Not to mention the gyms at the holiday inn and devere all built from the 90's onwards.

Don't foget that all the "Historic Gyms" in swindon have also paid their price and closed eg Everybodies, Trax/Centre Fitness and Genesis/MKV.

Offline Muggins

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And those that belonged to SBC were supposed to make up the difference for those who could not afford to pay for private gyms.  In fact they were not built for 'exercise' as such, but to provide swimming opportunities, you got the exercise walking to them and at work.
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Richard Symonds

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And those that belonged to SBC were supposed to make up the difference for those who could not afford to pay for private gyms.  In fact they were not built for 'exercise' as such, but to provide swimming opportunities, you got the exercise walking to them and at work.

And how is that going to be achieved when it is 'privatized' M?

And in Privatizing I mean not run by the Council M!
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Offline Bankrupt Idiot

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And those that belonged to SBC were supposed to make up the difference for those who could not afford to pay for private gyms.  In fact they were not built for 'exercise' as such, but to provide swimming opportunities, you got the exercise walking to them and at work.

The problem is fitness is moving away from competative sports into a type of solo direct excercise. People used to book a 5 a side pitch or a tennis court to get fit, they now put on their ipod and get on a tread mill or exercise bike and maybe lift a few weights.

Also you can't use the pool at the link most of the time, unless you are either under 16 and part of a swimming club, mother and a toddler, can't swim, etc. Private gyms that have pools open them to all members all of the time.

When I was a Leisure Passport Holder, I used to have to go to the link to weight train, then the oasis to have a swim and then had I wanted a Sauna or Steam Room I would have had to go to Milton Road, though I would have to check my calendar as there were men only and lady only nights. (I was advised not to even do the men only nights). They just can't compete with the modern all access one stop shop gyms that are being custom built today(They are even building their own sports halls now such as Next Generation and David LLoyds.)

The days of the Oasis and Link as fitness hubs are well over and they need to change their strategy to deal with the modern world. Either the council has to take the hit, or they have to reduce the size of the facilities.  Shifting them on will only move the problem to someone else, who will in the end close parts of these places and run different operations out of them anyway.


Offline Mickraker

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If its competition that drives sports or leisure requirements which are changing in this day and age. Then if  it's just a swim with the family that people want and to use a sauna and health suite the Olympiad has it all under one roof. A swim at lime kiln in RWB is just as convenient for some in Swindon as a swim in the link pool  :-\
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Offline Geoff Reid

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I don't hear anyone talking about a reduction in my council tax bill yet.....


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Offline Geoff Reid

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I don't hear anyone talking about a reduction in my council tax bill yet.....

My point being, that even the most ardent supporter of the Swindon Conservatives 'Greek Fire Sale' economic policies will at some point realise that they are still paying council tax at its highest level but seeing the lowest level of municipal provision ever.

£90+ Millions of debt for vanity and Rodopoly schemes, buy they can't se the sense in developing Broome Manor to partially address the housing crisis and funding for the repairs to leisure facilities which should already have been done except for the previous leaders preoccupation with shiny, expensive baubles, pissoirs and piss poor paving.


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Offline Mickraker

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My point being, that even the most ardent supporter of the Swindon Conservatives 'Greek Fire Sale' economic policies will at some point realise that they are still paying council tax at its highest level but seeing the lowest level of municipal provision ever.

It could be that money may be saved as there will be no need of a political wossaname for leisure - surely  :-\
My non aggresive posts are my own opinion and represent me, myself and I only!