Agenda item

Performance review of Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) 2022-23

Joint Scrutiny Committee is to consider the performance of Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) in delivering the joint leisure management contract for the period 2022/23 and make any comments before a final assessment on performance is made by Cabinet Members with responsibility for Leisure.




Cabinet Member for Leisure Centres and Community Buildings (Vale), Councillor Debra Dewhurst, and Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing (South), Councillor Maggie Filipova-Rivers, were present to introduce the report and answer questions.

Supporting officers present were Leisure Facilities Team Leader, Property Assets Manager and Head of Development and Corporate Landlord. GLL representatives present were Gary Starkey and Kevin Williams.


Councillor Filipova-Rivers introduced the report. GLL had been contracted with since 2014. There were differences between South and Vale, but the contract was shared. The management fee had changed for South – a reduction was made due to the Covid support package - see paragraph ten of the report.

Contextually, the reporting year was a Covid recovery year, with impacts still being felt. Energy costs had been the newest development, with little government support (although a new funding scheme was being developed). Uncertainty was still an issue, but to the credit of both councils and the work of GLL, we had kept all services running for residents. The only exception was some tweaks to opening times when needed. Decarbonisation schemes were picking up momentum, which was positive, supported by successful funding bids and contributions. There was a strong relationship between council officers and GLL staff, which was based on check and challenge, with regular meetings held to challenge performance and have frank discussions about challenges to delivery.


Comments to officers and Cabinet members were as follows:

  • Congratulations was given on customer usage. Cabinet member explained that KPT2 differed for customer usage, depending on whether people are pay-as-you-go or had a membership and what facilities they use. GLL representative also explained that “warm places” would have been a free service that would not have been for members only. The social value of these schemes was noted.
  • The difference between subscriptions pre-Covid and now would like to be understood. Cabinet member explained that the rate was down. Noted that GLL had become a living wage provider as well.
  • Cabinet member for Vale explained that Vale memberships lost subscriptions from corporate memberships – during Covid, people worked from home and those memberships were lost.
  • A member raised issues with Faringdon Leisure Centre complaints, and that the standards varied across the districts and wasn’t reflected in the KPT for complaints to the council (KPT8). It was explained that a national customer service team had been put into place and had seen improvements from the previous system of trying to call a centre directly.
  • Poor scores for food and drink – may seem unimportant but could have a big impact on how a customer may feel about their experience of their visits in data surveys. This would need ongoing conversations.
  • Concern over the large variation in centres and whether an overall KPT was fair. Could centres be grouped? GLL could bring appendices to the next performance report to committee to show KPT breakdown per centre.
  • Cabinet member explained that for costs related to energy – GLL was picking up those costs as the councils outsourced the risks. Savings from decarbonisation would be to GLL utility costs.
  • Discussion around Covid package repayments. Ben Whaymand explained the utilities situation was GLL’s costs and was not considered when the deed of variation was set as it wasn’t an issue. Ben  was taking a report to CEAC/CEEAC in December on decarbonisation, including large and small projects and changes. The Salix grant projects were a whole building approach (to have insulation needs addressed, not just an air source heat pump).
  • Discussion was had around financial reporting on joint use.
  • Abbey sports centre water leak – it was a main water pipe that had split under the reception and was not a quick fix. Leaking half a litre per second.
  • Praise given on other community uses of the centres and reaching out to diverse groups with their programming (e.g. asylum welcome).
  • A member discussed the sensory challenges at leisure centres and potential programmes for those with sensory needs. GLL representative had explained that there were some programmes that touched on this.
  • A member discussed concerns over drowning risk for groups who statistically swim less / don’t learn to swim in their youth. GLL representatives would consider this.


Members debated the need to reassess the customer satisfaction rating as a member made a proposal that the assessment made in the report should be revisited, considering the varying performance of individual centres (for example, reported complaints). It was explained that the current KPTs needs to be adhered to contractually, and it was how GLL were contracted to be assessed at present. Members then agreed that the assessment should remain as it was.



Committee accepted the performance rating in the report of the Head of Development and Corporate Landlord and provided the comments above. Committee would like officers and Cabinet members to work with GLL to:

1. Consider how we look at customer satisfaction as a whole, and

2. Provide a granular look at individual centres in future reporting, where the KPT can be appropriately broken down to that level. This would be for officers to decide the format and what was achievable.



Supporting documents: