PROPOSALS to outsource the day-to-day running of Harrow’s leisure facilities and libraries are due to be discussed this evening (Thursday).
Members of Harrow Council’s cabinet committee are recommended to award John Laing a contract to run the 10 branches on Harrow Council’s behalf and 13 on Ealing Council’s behalf.
Simultaneously they will consider a recommendation to hire Sports and Leisure Management to take over from GLL social enterprise the management of Harrow Leisure Centre, Hatch End Swimming Pool and Bannister Sports Centre in a tri-borough agreement that includes buildings in Brent and Ealing.
Council borrowing of £1.7million would pay for new gym equipment, branding and signage, and dry-side changing facilities to compliment the wet-side changing rooms.
Paul Najsarek, corporate director of community, heath and wellbeing, wrote in his report to councillors: “The three boroughs are collectively set to achieve over £20million worth of savings over the 10 years of the leisure contract and the five years of the libraries contract.
“The partnership provides a basis for lower contract management costs and will provide more seamless access to facilities, particularly for residents in parts of the borough that are close to the boundaries with Brent and Ealing.”
Both new arrangements would begin in September and last five years for the libraries and 10 years for the leisure services.
They could save the council a combined £570,000 a year, Mr Najsarek’s report said.
The councils are looking for Sports and Leisure Management to provide: “High quality, affordable and accessible opportunities for sport and physical activity that will increase levels of participation, particularly by children, young people and under-represented groups, and to enable and encourage more people in the three boroughs to lead a healthy active lifestyle, contributing to better public health outcomes including reduced obesity levels.”
Councillors would additionally seek “continuously improving leisure service and annually improve user satisfaction levels”.
These two contractual decisions were originally due to be taken by the Labour cabinet committee on May 9 until that meeting was postponed because the previous day nine Labour councillors, including leader Councillor Thaya Idaikkadar, split to form the Independent Labour group that is now running the authority as a minority administration.