Have your say on the future of Tameside’s sport and leisure assets
Active Tameside is a charitable trust that manages leisure services on behalf of the Council. The Trust has fulfilled a vital role during 2020, providing continued support to schools during lockdown, and supporting our most vulnerable residents through its targeted programmes.
Like many local authorities, Tameside Council is having to make difficult decisions in the light of the extremely challenging economic climate brought on in part by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic necessitated the closure of all Active Tameside facilities on 20th March 2020 until the re-opening of some centres in July, followed by subsequent reclosing. This resulted in a loss of almost £1million a month in lost trading income to Active Tameside. Through government business grants, staff furlough schemes, VAT holidays and business resilience insurance, Active Tameside has tried to mitigate this situation.
Active Tameside is required to make efficiency savings alongside other Council services so that the Council can produce a balanced budget for 2021/22 and in future years. The current financial position of the Council plus the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has meant the current model of delivery of sport and leisure facilities is not sustainable. The Council is facing a budget gap or more than £28m in 2021/22 and an overall gap of more than £35m by 2025/26. It currently pays a management fee of more than £1m per annum to Active Tameside to run its leisure facilities. All aspects of spend and budgets are being reviewed by the Council as it has to meet its statutory obligation to set a balanced budget.
The commitment of the Council to deliver and commission services that help improve the borough’s health and wellbeing remains as strong as ever but the drop in income and member demand as a result of the ongoing pandemic, means Active Tameside and the Council are looking at new ways of delivering these services.
A Sport and Leisure Review has been undertaken across the leisure estate including financial performance of facilities (2019/20) and usage. The review proposes initial cost-saving measures aimed at achieving financial sustainability. The Council has developed these cost-saving proposals in partnership with Active Tameside and propose the withdrawal of Active Tameside services from Adventure Longdendale, Active Oxford Park and Active Etherow.
We want to hear your views on how these proposals might affect you and how we could continue to deliver health and wellbeing services to the local population. This survey has two parts: we first ask for your views on Active Tameside facilities as an Active Tameside user, and then we ask you to consider the proposals about how best to manage the leisure estate in the future.
Before completing this survey, please read the detailed background information here.
Please share your thoughts with us by taking part in this survey. The closing date is Friday 26th March 2021.