Cabinet - Tuesday, 23rd February, 2021 6.00 pm - Agenda and minutes

Venue: Remote meeting - link to view the meeting is below

Contact: Chris Todd, Democracy and Community  on 01252 398825 or e-mail:

No. Item



To consider Report No. OS2101 (copy attached), which sets out options for the future provision of leisure services across the Borough, following the expiry of the current contract with Places for People Leisure on 31st March, 2021.

Presented By: Cllr Maurice Sheehan, Operational Services Portfolio Holder

Additional documents:


The Cabinet considered Report No. OS2101, which set out a range of options for the Council’s Farnborough Leisure Centre and Aldershot Indoor Pools Complex, following the expiry of the contract with Places for People Leisure on 31st March, 2021. The Chairman welcomed Mrs Katherine Everard, Committee Member of Rushmoor Indoor Bowling Club and Cllr C.P. Grattan, on behalf of the Council’s Labour Group, both of whom had requested to address the Cabinet on this issue.


The Cabinet heard from Mrs Everard, who was speaking on behalf of the Rushmoor Indoor Bowling Club. Mrs Everard brought the Cabinet’s attention to the written representations that had been submitted. Mrs Everard raised further points including:


-           that the absence of a leisure centre in Farnborough town centre would adversely affect footfall in the town centre generally;


-           that the indoor bowling facility and leisure centre contributed positively towards the Council’s priorities relating to health and wellbeing;


-           that the Club considered there was a lack of evidence in relation to the case for the leisure centre not reopening; and


-           that the Club felt that little progress had been made towards the identification of an alternative site for an indoor bowling facility, following the closure of the existing facility.


The Cabinet then heard from Cllr Grattan, who was speaking on behalf of the Council’s Labour Group. Cllr Grattan requested that, should the decision be made not to reopen the leisure centre, that all clubs currently connected to the leisure centre would be given every practical assistance to find alternative facilities. The Group also considered that, in that circumstance, any staff employed by the Farnborough Leisure Centre would be treated sensitively and the redeployment would be considered wherever possible.


The Report was presented by Cllr M.L. Sheehan, Operational Services Portfolio Holder. Members were informed that the leisure sector had been severely affected by Coronavirus restrictions and that Government guidance in relation to transition from lockdown indicted that leisure centres would not be allowed to reopen for a further six to nine months. Negotiations had taken place with People for Places Leisure in relation to a further extension to the contract to open and operate the Farnborough Leisure Centre once this was allowed but it was considered that this option carried unacceptable financial risks to the Council. Negotiations had also taken place with Places for People Leisure over the reopening and operation of the Aldershot Indoor Pools Complex, once this was allowed. Details of the negotiation processes were contained within the Report. Members were reminded that the Council was in the process of carrying out a feasibility study for a new combined Leisure Centre and Civic Hub within the Farnborough Civic Quarter development site. The Portfolio Holder stated that the Council would work towards the Aldershot Lido opening for the 2021 season, subject to the Government’s restrictions in place at that time.


The Council’s Chief Executive informed Members that a petition of 2,741 signatures against the leisure centre not reopening had been received. Whilst this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.