Plans laid to reduce £10.29m annual leisure costs

New approach to Moray leisure facilities being planned.
New approach to Moray leisure facilities being planned.

A NEW APPROACH to management of council-owned or supported leisure facilities in Moray is being put before members at Wednesday’s Full Council meeting.

Against a background of rising costs and severe budget pressures, Kim Paterson, the Sports Development Officer at the local authority has prepared a discussion paper that presents for options for future management of facilities.

The paper highlights that it will cost Moray Council £6.79million in maintenance costs for their community centres, swimming pools, pavilions, libraries and town halls over the next five years.

Annual staffing costs are running at £2.63million for the 223 staff employed, while non-domestic rates accounts for £271,900. Against that, income generated from the facilities in 2015/16 was £1.74million. Total expenditure on all costs in 2015/16 came in at £10.29million.

Looking to the future, Ms Paterson present four possible options for discussion – the Status Quo, but with a new service-level agreement being created for the Moray Leisure Centre, a Council-managed service where all facilities including Moray Leisure Centre is centrally managed, an Moray based Arms-Length Organisation (ALO) established to manage all facilities, or an externally based ALO similar to that adopted by Highlands Council.

At this stage Councillors are not being asked to make any final decisions, but they are being asked to approve business case options required for a review of facilities in the region.