Association for Public Service Excellence
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Leisure participation - SL0163/171013
We are keen to track the participation in swimming and leisure over the last 3 months.

Please can you give your quick view on whether the following are going up, flat-lining or decreasing:


  • under 16?
  • Adult?
  • Over 60’s?

Leisure Centre Users Segmentation – SL0162
This local authority is currently undertaking a leisure centre user need assessment to inform their next leisure centre strategy. They would be interested in hearing from colleagues about:

  • What user groupings you have used and analysed
  • What you have based these user groupings on e.g. demographics, social economic factors etc.
  • What key conclusions you have drawn for each of these user groups in your needs analysis.

Any information and advise you are able to offer would be very much appreciated. All those who contribute to this network query will receive the collated feedback report.

Swimming Pool Safety SL0160/140613
A member authority has recently undertaken a comprehensive review of its swimming pool safety

They are seeking recommendations for a suitably qualified consultancy to audit this work:

  • Review the current safety audit
  • Carry out an independent review of safety
  • Provide a gap analysis for future safety improvements

Can you please forward potential consultancy names and contact details. If you have used safety consultants for your own facilities, a copy of the tender specification and an idea of cost.

Employment of Sports Coaches SL0159/140613
A member authority is seeking to review the way it employs sports coaches and fitness instructors.

  • How do you currently employ sport coaches and fitness instructors?
  • Contracted?
  • Casual?
  • Self employed?
  • If contracted what terms and conditions do they have?
  • Do you pay market supplements?
  • If casual, do you have plans to change this? If yes, what are these plans?
  • If self-employed, how do you procure their services?

Pricing response to Welfare reform SL0157/130513
A member authority is considering reformulating its pricing for leisure in the light of recent welfare reforms (introduction of universal credit and discontinuation of other benefits)

Have you considered the impact of welfare reform as part of your most recent reviews of pricing?

What changes have you made as a result?

Wild swimming SL0158/130513
A member authority is seeking to establish a coherent policy on wild swimming.

With the summer months approaching there is a fear that allowing some to swim in lakes will encourage those less safety conscious:

Do you have a policy on swimming in lakes?

If so how is it enforced?

Disabled Fitness Programmes – SL0156/300413
A member authority is seeking to encourage increased gym participation by disabled users.

They are seeking details of gym programmes (ideally gym and fitness-based), primarily (but not exclusively) for participants with physical disabilities.

Culture/Leisure Smart Card Scheme - SL0157/160413
This Local Authority is a City Council looking into introducing a smart card scheme for cultural and leisure facilities/activities where residents using the card would receive benefits such as concession pricing, preferential bookings and lower prices. 

They are interested in hearing from local authorities who have already launched a smart card scheme and have the following key questions:

  • Under what principles was the leisure card scheme launched? E.g. Part of an anti-poverty strategy/equal access, raising visitor numbers etc.
  • What facilities/activities does the card cover- just leisure or just culture or a mix of the two?
  • How has the local authority developed the uptake and use of card across their council area and how does the local authority manage the smart/leisure card scheme day to day?
  • How much did it cost to develop, launch and manage the scheme and do you have any top tips on how to develop, launch and manage the scheme on a limited budget/staff resource?

What have been the outcomes? E.g. Encouragement of a healthy lifestyle, improved health and wellbeing etc.

Induction courses at leisure centres - SL0155/260313
This authority is considering removing the requirement for an induction session with a coach for those coming to one of their gym’s for the first time.

They would like to know:

  • Whether others insist on an induction course for new joiners?

PLEASE RESPOND EVEN IF THE ANSWER TO THIS IS ‘NO’. If ‘YES’ please answer the following questions:

  • Whether it is always a qualified coach that gives the induction?
  • Do customers have to book a time for induction?
  • How they handle those with previous gym experience who wish to opt out?

Cafe's in parks and outdoor leisure/sports facilities – SL0154/240113
We are interested in hearing from those authorities who provide or lease café facilities in their parks and outside leisure facilities:

  • Number of cafe facilities operating
  • Number operated in-house operated
  • Number leased/licensed to an external provider and if so who
  • Detail on required provision re menu, seasonality of opening times etc.
  • Best practise to maximise income generation

Centre banking and administration – SL0153/100113
A member authority runs a wet and dry leisure facility.

They would like to know the following:

  1. Who banks the takings?
    • Specific back office cashier
    • Back office admin function
    • Duty Supervisor
  2. Who employs the Administration and \ or Reception Teams?
    • Directly employed and reporting to site management
    • Supplied through internal support services and centrally managed

Promoting excellence in public services

APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not for profit unincorporated association working with over 300 councils throughout the UK. Promoting excellence in public services, APSE is the foremost specialist in local authority frontline services, hosting a network for frontline service providers in areas such as waste and refuse collection, parks and environmental services, cemeteries and crematorium, environmental health, leisure, school meals, cleaning, housing and building maintenance.




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