Local authority cuts: Never let a good crisis go to waste, says leisure expert
JP Lennard
JP Lennard
JP Lennard
Leisure Opportunities
Job search
Job Search
see all jobs
Latest job opportunities
Aston University
Competitive Salary
Aston, Birmingham
Wiltshire Council
£19,264 - £20,043 pro rata
Wiltshire
star job
RockReef Ltd
Competitive DOE
Bournemouth
Stevenage Leisure Limited
Letchworth, Hertfordshire
Lake District National Park
c£20,500pa + pension + great benefits
Brockhole on Windermere, Lake District

Local authority cuts: Never let a good crisis go to waste, says leisure expert

Job opportunities
Coach Gyms
Self Employed
location: Leeds, Yorkshire, United Kingdom
more jobs

The tough choices faced by cash-strapped local authorities present a major opportunity to transform the way leisure is delivered to all sections of society.

That’s according to Sarah Watts, chief executive of facility development specialist Alliance Leisure, who says leisure providers and local authorities should “never let a good crisis go to waste.”

Further cuts to local authority budgets in chancellor George Osborne’s recent Spending Review, were met with broad dismay by the local authority chiefs, who reiterated warnings of a major black hole in council budgets which will impact the provision of public services such as leisure.

Graeme McDonald, director of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (Solace), said: “Without more fundamental change to how local services are paid for and provided, the support individuals and communities receive will be drastically curtailed.”

But despite the significant challenges to sustaining leisure offerings in the face of strained budgets, Alliance’s Watts believes there’s “a real opportunity to seize the moment” and overhaul the current status quo.

“In the municipal leisure sector we have been guilty of accepting a polarised view as to what sports centres should be, often resulting in high levels of revenue subsidy,” said Watts.

“Coupled with an historic lack of ongoing investment in ageing infrastructure, the result is a toxic mix of expensive and unsustainable facilities which don’t resonate with the physical, social and health needs of the communities they serve.”

The Alliance Leisure CEO said whether a facility is operated by the local authority, a trust, or a contractor, providing a wide range of relevant services will be key to safeguarding a site’s future. The forthcoming implementation of the Universal Credit will present significant financial challenges to those in society who are most vulnerable, added Watts, meaning that the need to offer activities that attract all members of society to participate in physical activity has never been greater.

“To coin a phrase, ‘Never let a good crisis go to waste.’ Let us now consider how we can innovatively transform leisure assets to provide relevant activity opportunities to all sections of society in an affordable and sustainable way,” said Watts.

“If we don’t, the probable consequence could well be a dramatic reduction in local authority leisure provision.”

Sign up for FREE ezines & magazines
The tough choices faced by cash-strapped local authorities present a major opportunity to transform the way leisure is delivered to all sections of society.
SAR,HAF,FIT,IND,PHR,CON,PUB
6328_514132.jpg

More News

1 - 15 of 43,660
21 May 2022
Go Fit has been selected by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) as an example of best practice for public–private partnership collaboration (PPP). ... More
19 May 2022
Ness, a US startup that is developing a range of wellness-driven credit cards, has launched its first product, the Ness Rewards app, with longer-term plans ... More
19 May 2022
Following a history of supporting US military and service members, F45 has announced a new initiative called F45 After, which offers US military personnel exclusive ... More
19 May 2022
Scruffy Dog Creative Group and Simtec Systems have partnered to launch a new immersive trackless dark ride featuring the popular Mattel IP, Fisher-Price. The ride's ... More
18 May 2022
Hyatt is piloting private gyms in five of its US hotels as part of its Stay Fit Private Fitness programme. The exercise spaces are located ... More
17 May 2022
A young girl has died following an incident at the David Lloyd gym at Capability Green, Luton. According to the BBC, police were called to ... More
Fitness On Demand
Fitness On Demand
17 May 2022
New fitness franchise, Circuit Society, has signed its first London location in Bayswater. The 3,000sq ft (280sq m) micro-gym, run by franchisee Liz Benjamin, will ... More
16 May 2022
Active Nottingham, part of Nottingham City Council, has released a children’s book called Can We Splash? to encourage more parents to take children swimming. The ... More
13 May 2022
The new £42m Moorways Sports Village will open its doors to the public on Saturday 21 May. The community-focused development is the result of a ... More
11 May 2022
Fitness industry veteran Harm Tegelaars has returned to the fitness industry by joining the board of directors at Hussle. Tegelaars founded the Cannons Group in ... More
11 May 2022
Planet Fitness saw its Q1 2022 revenue increase by 66.9 per cent (to US$186.7m) on 2021 – the latest sign that the US fitness market ... More
10 May 2022
Sport England and UK Active have signed a five-year partnership agreement which will see the two organisations tackle inequalities within the sport and physical activity ... More
Les Mills
Les Mills
10 May 2022
Planet Fitness is offering high-school students free access to any of its 2,200 locations in the US and Canada from 16 May to 31 August. ... More
10 May 2022
A visitor attraction celebrating the history of the Scottish parish of Gretna Green – and its heritage as a destination for 'runaway marriages – has ... More
09 May 2022
How can organisations, including health club and leisure businesses, decarbonise, generate clean energy and harness attitudes of 'energy sobriety' to reduce CO2 emissions? These are ... More
1 - 15 of 43,660
JP Lennard
JP Lennard