Wokingham Borough Council’s decision-making executive agreed last month (October 27) to consult for eight weeks on the draft Leisure Strategy.
The borough council needs a Leisure Strategy to guide the specification and procurement of a new leisure centres’ operational contract that will be introduced in May 2018 for the next 10 to 15 years. The new leisure contract needs to be openly tendered to give the best value and service for Wokingham Borough residents, who may wish to use different venues for different facilities.
The procurement process is in its preliminary stages, but is expected to begin in December.
As part of the draft Leisure Strategy consultation, residents are being asked what the council can do to encourage them to be more physically active, what prevents them from being active and what the perfect leisure facility looks like.
Cllr Angus Ross, executive member for environment, said: "The council’s vision is ‘a great place to live, an even better place to do business’ so by having a strategy for sport and leisure this will, in part, demonstrate our contribution to this vision. We want to provide residents with high quality leisure facilities that will improve or sustain health and wellbeing."
Whilst the contract(s) would cover the operation of the borough council’s leisure facilities, the buildings also require improvements to ensure they provide the best value in operational terms as well as the safest and most accessible facilities. For example, major improvements are required at Bulmershe Leisure Centre in Woodley and the Carnival Pool in Wokingham will be upgraded to include a new multi-purpose sports hall as part of the town centre’s regeneration project.
Cllr Ross added: "Moving forward, we must ensure appropriate leisure facilities available across the Borough, whilst also ensuring funds are used wisely whether they come from our taxpayers or via developer contributions. Feedback from this consultation will be valuable in producing the final Leisure Strategy and I encourage all residents to take part."
The strategy also aims to set out the high-level vision for the council, including what it wants to achieve, national sport and public health guidelines that should be met, health and wellbeing indicators as well as economic development.
The executive will consider the final Leisure Strategy at its meeting in January 2017.
Leisure Strategy consultation
Anyone wishing to take part in the consultation (closing date Friday December 23) or would like to find out more about the leisure strategy can do so on the council's website. Residents can also visit one of the drop-in information stands planned across the borough this November and December (details below).
Anyone who takes part in the consultation will be entered into a prize draw to be in with a chance to a year's family membership for any 1-Life leisure centre.
Drop-in information events
- Monday 21 November at Loddon Valley Leisure Centre from 4pm to 8pm
- Thursday 24 November at Dinton Pastures Country Park from noon to 2pm
- Thursday 24 November at Bulmershe Leisure Centre from 4pm to 8pm
- Sunday 27 November at Wokingham Carnival from 9am to 5pm
- Tuesday 29 November at California Country Park, Finchampstead from noon to 2pm
- Tuesday 29 November at St Crispin's Leisure Centre, Wokingham from 4pm to 8pm
- Sunday 4 December at Woodley Carnival, from 9am to 4pm
- Wednesday 7 December at Carnival Pool, Wokingham, from 4pm to 8pm