Agenda item

Rubicon Leisure Business Plan 2023/24


The Interim Director of Finance and Resources presented the Rubicon Leisure Business Plan 2023/24 for the Committee’s consideration.


The Committee was informed that the Rubicon Leisure Business Plan linked to a number of the Council’s strategic purposes.  In particular, the objectives detailed in the business plan would help to support the Council’s strategic purpose “Live Independent, Active and Healthy Lives” as well as corporate priorities relating to financial stability, sustainability and providing high quality services.  There were nine key themes in the business plan and all of these would support the Council’s strategic purposes.


There were a number of important considerations in relation to these themes, including the importance of health and safety, which was key to the effective delivery of Leisure Services.  The company’s Workforce and Engagement Strategy was also significant in relation to training and motivating staff.  In the Leisure industry, there were certain training requirements for key staff which had to be addressed as part of their continuing professional development, including the need to train and re-register lifeguards every year.


A review was in the process of being undertaken with respect to the governance structures for Rubicon Leisure Limited.  This would take into account existing Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with support services and it was anticipated that the review would result in improvements to service efficiency.


The content of the Rubicon Leisure Business Plan 2023/24 demonstrated that the company had a well thought through direction of travel.  A key role of the Shareholders Committee would be to determine whether Members were happy with this proposed direction of travel for the company.


After the presentation of the report, Members discussed the content of the Rubicon Leisure Business Plan 2023/24 in detail and in doing so commented on the following matters:


·             The progress that had been achieved by Rubicon Leisure Limited since the company was introduced.

·             The remaining issues with service delivery that still needed to be addressed. 

·             Financial expenditure by the Council in recent years to support Rubicon Leisure Limited.

·             The recent appointment of a new Managing Director for Rubicon Leisure Limited and the need for the outgoing interim Managing Director to share knowledge and expertise with this new member of staff prior to his departure.

·             The targets detailed in the Rubicon Leisure Business Plan 2023/24 and whether the company was already on track in terms of aiming to deliver the goals detailed in the plan.  Officers agreed to raise this with the company.

·             The different organisations involved in managing the lake at the Arrow Valley Park and the various lines of responsibility.  The Committee was informed that the Council managed and maintained the park, Rubicon Leisure Limited maintained the countryside centre and the Sailing Club had an agreement in place with the Council in respect of use of the lake.

·             The potential for further clarification to be provided to the Shareholders Committee in respect of legal restrictions on use of the lake. 

·             The quality of the water at the Arrow Valley Lake and the impact that this could have on potential use of this site moving forward.

·             The potential for the lake to be classified as an area for bathing in order to trigger action by relevant partner authorities that would result in an improvement to the water quality.

·             The need for Rubicon Leisure Limited to deliver services and activities that enabled the Council to address objectives detailed in the authority’s Leisure and Culture Strategy, which had been approved in 2022.

·             The potential for Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to be included in the Rubicon Leisure Business Plan to enable the Shareholders Committee to measure the company’s performance.


In concluding discussions in respect of this matter, Members agreed that representatives of Rubicon Leisure Limited should be invited to attend the following meeting of the Committee to address a number of the actions that had been raised during consideration of the item.




1)          the Rubicon Leisure Annual Business Plan 2023/24 be approved; and


2)          representatives of Rubicon Leisure Limited be invited to attend the following meeting of the Committee to address the points raised during consideration of this item.


(During the consideration of this item, Members discussed matters that necessitated the disclosure of exempt information. It was therefore agreed to move to exclude the press and public prior to any debate on the grounds that information would be revealed which related to the financial and business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)).



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