Issue - meetings


Meeting: 29/10/2019 - Health Overview & Scrutiny Sub-Committee (Item 14)

14 LEISURE CENTRES pdf icon PDF 159 KB

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It was noted that the Council’s contract with its leisure centre services provider (SLM) brought a surplus to the Council. The Council was also committee to increasing the number of leisure centres with for example the new Hornchurch leisure centre due to open in September 2020. An extension had also been added to the Central Park leisure centre as well as an outdoor facility which had been introduced at the Noak Hill Sports Park. A feasibility study was also in progress regarding establishing a leisure centre in the south of the borough.


SLM and heir trading name Everyone Active had won the 20 year leisure contract in 2016 and it was hoped to considerably increase the use of digital innovations such as booking activities on-line. It was also wished to introduce a cashless environment at the leisure centres. There had been almost 2 million visits to Havering’s leisure centres in the last year.


The service had received 1,883 attendances at leisure centres as part of health referral programmes in the last year. Numbers of swimming attendances had also increased, in contrast to national trends. Concessionary rates were offered with for example free gym use for residents under the Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Service. Monthly leisure centre membership was relatively expensive for London but did give access to all leisure centres in Havering and Barking & Dagenham. Prices for swimming were relatively cheap compared to other local centres and free swimming was available for over 50s and under 8s.


Officers were keen to accept more referrals as part of healthy lifestyles programmes (including self-referrals) and additional staff could be recruited for this work if required. Sessions had also been successfully introduced at leisure centres as part of the cardiac rehabilitation scheme. A pilot tier 2 weight management programme had resulted in 10 of 11 people completing the course and 9 of these losing weight. It was now planned for 4 of these courses to be run per year. A pilot session for a cancer rehabilitation scheme at a leisure centre had also been fully booked.


Data could be made available on weight loss, health improvements etc due leisure centre attendance. Other sessions available included dementia gym sessions, sport for confidence for disabled adults and disabled swimming sessions. Partnership work had also taken place with Havering MIND which had trained leisure centre receptionists and whose service users accessed the sports hall during daytimes.  Healthy vending machines had also been introduced in the leisure centres and more health foods been put on display in the centre cafes.


Attendances at leisure centres had all increased year on year with for example casual swimming up 7.6% and group exercise bookings up 7.2%. Some 40-50 people per day accessed with over 50s swimming and a second session had been introduced at the Sapphire Leisure Centre in Romford. The cost of this was borne by SLM.


It was noted that Healthwatch Havering research had shown that 75% of local people thought that physical activity was important or very  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14