Agenda item

Oldham Community Leisure - Contract


Consideration was given to a report of the Strategic Director, Communities and Reform which sought:

  • To update the Cabinet with the current position of the Oldham Community Leisure (OCL) (including GloGym) as a result of Covid 19. 
  • Agreement to pay OCL loss of income without prejudice, based on a contractual position, due to a forced closure of its facilities as a result of Covid-19 for the period of the 1st April 2020 through to the 24th July 2020
  • Agreement that ongoing dialogue with OCL was required during operational recovery to ensure it continues as a going concern in the most efficient and effective manner.

Oldham Community Leisure (OCL) delivers the leisure offer through operating leisure centres owned by the Council, one private venture and a wider community offer.  This was contracted through the Council (except the private venture).

The Covid-19 situation had presented a number of significant issues for Leisure and Sport.  This included the cancellation of all team sport activity from all National Governing Body of Sport.  In addition, a forced closure of all leisure facilities.  Therefore, OCL’s Leisure facilities had been closed since close of play of the 20th March 2020 including its GloGym facility (the private venture).  The Government prohibited reopening until the 25th July 2020.

Improving the health of our communities was even more important currently and in particular for those residents and communities that were vulnerable.

During lockdown OCL, as a social enterprise, had been extremely supportive of our community response to support our most vulnerable residents.  This had included them offering Oldham Sports Centre as a venue to operate the foodbank from and staff to support this.  The Leader placed his thanks on record for the staff at OCL for their assistance an the hard work undertaken to open the facilities.

Ongoing conversations had taken place with OCL to understand the impact of the Closure and Covid 19 and the mitigations they have put in place.

  • Job retention scheme (furlough) – OCL have had a maximum number of staff on furlough from first date of mandatory closure across OCL & Wellbeing Leisure in order to maximise the amount of financial support from central government.  95% of OCL staff have been initially furloughed, with wages topped up to normal earnings (due to pension risk), saving circa £0.160m per month. 
  • GM position – Other GM authorities, albeit they have differing contractual arrangements, are in a similar position to Oldham and are looking to support their Trusts.
  • Contractual obligations - There were both legal and financial complexities associated with this contract for both the loss of income claim due to the sports centre closures and how the Council can work with OCL during operational recovery.
  • Impact - Next Steps Operational Delivery – The Government announced that Leisure Centres could reopen from the 25th July 2020.  Following meetings, it is clear OCL would be able to open for this date and in particular because of the work they have done during lockdown to safely open.  OCL had put in place plans for a safe opening and the Council has also supported through its Public Health team.  An area by area analysis on sites had been undertaken and appropriate assessments on numbers allowed in each space and alternate use of some spaces along with new safety signage was in place.  



Options/Alternatives considered

Further detail was set out in the report in the commercially sensitive report detailed at Item 19 of the agenda.


RESOLVED – That the Cabinet would consider the commercially sensitive information contained at Item 19 of the agenda before making a decision.


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