Gravesham Community Leisure Ltd
The Chair welcomed the Managing Director (GCLL) and the participants from the Local Councillor Shadowing Award 2020 to the Committee. He asked the participants to raise their hand if they wanted to participate in the discussion throughout the course of the meeting.
The Managing Director (GCLL) gave a presentation to Members on the Leisure Centres in Gravesham (please see supplementary).
Following the presentation, the Managing Director (GCLL) fielded questions from the Committee:
· The GCLL group would be more than happy to attend any sessions with the minority ethnic groups within Gravesham to inform them of the services available and accommodate their needs as best as possible. Working with Councillors would allow groups to be reached that may normally have barriers in place for GCLL
· The issue of reaching maximum capacity resurfaces annually and both Cygnet and Cascades have almost reached their maximum capacity; the car parks at both sites are always full and many cars have had to park on pavements and grass verges to gain access. The two buildings were built in the late eighties and weren’t fit for the amount of footfall that they see today. The centres attract 20-23% of the population which is much higher than the national average 14% of members from local communities and any new investment into the Leisure Centres would have to take capacity and parking into consideration
· The average length of gym membership in the UK is approximately seven months and GCLL are bucking that trend as Cascades average membership is thirteen months and Cygnets average membership is closer to sixteen months. However there was always room for improvement and GCCL would continue to improve their services to entice people to keep their memberships
· With regards to recognised eating disorders such as anorexia, the GCLL had worked with two members previously suffering with that disorder and helped them to get healthier, gain more confidence and employment. The GCLLs ambition was to target eating disorders under the mental health agenda as part of the long term vision for the future of the partnership
· The medical gym membership at both leisure centres was offered at a reduced rate of £31.00 a month
· Determining the opening times for different age groups has been a challenge to the GCLL and the current 18:00pm kick out time for under 16s has been implemented to as there have been incidences with some under 16s putting adult members off due to their lack of seriousness and not using the equipment properly etc. However, the Managing Director (GCLL) would take that comment back to his group and ask for the opening times to be reviewed
· The chair fit session for older users has been supplemented by NHS funding resulting in it only costing £3 per session; users of the class do not need to be gym members however if anyone still cannot afford the fee then they should get in contact with GCLL to see if there is scope to discuss further funding from the NHS or other sources.
· The pool at Cygnet was built in 1973 and the pipework was encapsulated in concrete so determining the conditions of the steel pipes was not possible; the condition was likely not very good. However, the building is technically owned by the Council and the Council would have to consider any major refurbishments as part of the partnership.
Cllr Hayre praised the work of the GCLL with the Sikh Community explaining that the women only sessions were very popular and often had big ques to use the Jacuzzi during those times.
Cllr Aslam requested that the Chair, in partnership with the GCLL, investigate ways of working with the Muslim community in Gravesham in order to make them better aware of the facilities and sessions available.
In reference to refurbishment of the leisure facilities, the Chair advised that a report will be submitted to Cabinet at the appropriate time to indicate what the Council’s intentions were with refurbishment or the possible building of a new leisure complex.
The Committee thanked the Managing Director (GCLL) for an informative presentation and applauded all of his hard work encouraging Gravesham’s residents, especially people suffering from type 2 diabetes, to visit the Leisure Centres more often to improve their lives through exercise and nutrition.