Decision Maker: Chief Executive
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Since central Government ordered the closure
of public leisure facilities on 20th March 2020, Parkwood Leisure
has received no income from the three leisure facilities it
operates on behalf of NDC under the North Devon Leisure Contract
and Tarka Tennis Centre Contract. Other than benefiting from the
Government furlough scheme, Parkwood (like other leisure operators
in the UK) are exempt from most of hte Government's Covid-19
emergency support packages. Despite 97% of their staff being
furloughed and utility consumption reduced ot a minimum at the
leisure facilities, the North Devon Contract is currently losing
between £35, 000 to £40, 000 per month. The current
leisure and tennis centre contracts expire on Sunday 3rd May 2020
and without financial assistance from NDC to cover the losses
outlined above, Parkwood will not be in a position to enter into
the interim contract arrangements (as previously agreed at the
March 2020 Strategy
Option one has been agreed on.
Option 1 - The maximum amount of support
Parkwood is requesting to cover contractual losses for the next
month is £40,000. This sum can be vired from an existing,
leisure centre Response Maintenance budget into a leisure subsidy
code and made available to pay to Parkwood upon application. Any
payment made to Parkwood will be subject to the terms and
conditions of the interim contract, which follows the principals fo
the Governments Procurement Policy Notes 02/201 (PPN 02/20) on
supplier relief during the Covid-19 crises. These terms mitigate
against contractors claiming relief from local authorities without
them first exhausting all other options for assistance and ensures
they are not financially better off than they would be when
operating under normal conditions. The interim contract also
dictates that the authority will only make a payment if it has the
financial means to do so.
The maintenance budget from which the £40,000 will be taken is currently used for both leisure facility and theatre repairs. The budget should still be adequate to cover repairs for the rest of the financial year but there is a low risk that the budget will be insufficient if we experience a high number of unexpected maintenance issues. If the funds and financial assistance are not made available, Parkwood will not be in a position to enter into the interim contract and leisure facilities will either have to close indefinitely or be run in house by NDC from Monday 4th May 2020. Keys will be handed back on Monday and NDC will become responsible for running the facilities in house with immediate responsibility for all utilities, rates, maintenance and staffing. This is likely to exceed the £40,000 per month costs associated with providing support to Parkwood.
Option 2 - Re-tender an interim, 18-month contract to run the facilities. It is unlikely any provider would be interested in tendering for such a short contractual period (particularly in light of the current Covid-19 crisis).
Option 3 - Close the facilities indefinitely and no longer provide leisure services. Closing the centres is not considered acceptable.
Publication date: 18/05/2020
Date of decision: 30/04/2020