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Cabinet Committee Meeting - Thursday, 29 August 2019 at 10.00am
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TOPIC: Cabinet Committee Meeting - Thursday, 29 August 2019 at 10.00am

Cabinet Committee Meeting - Thursday, 29 August 2019 at 10.00am 1 month ago #1

  • RM64
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CABINET

A meeting of the Cabinet will be held in the Council Chamber, East Renfrewshire Council Headquarters, Eastwood Park, Giffnock

on Thursday, 29 August 2019 at 10.00am.

You can read the Agenda/papers here -

www.eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=24989&p=0


I would encourage all East Renfrewshire Council Tax Payers/Residents to ask their Councillors that all these Committee meetings are Webcast and made available for viewing at their own convenience.

You should not have to sit in a Public Gallery at a date and time of the Councillors choosing.

You should be able to view these committee meetings at a time convenient to you.

Re: Cabinet Committee Meeting - Thursday, 29 August 2019 at 10.00am 3 weeks, 3 days ago #2

  • RM64
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------ Original Message ------
To: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Sent: Tuesday, 27 Aug, 2019 At 16:25
Subject: Cabinet meeting on 29 August 2019 - Agenda Item 3 - Trust End-Year report

Hi Alan

I refer to the East Renfrewshire Council Cabinet meeting on 29 August 2019 and in particular Agenda Item No: 3 - Report by Director of Education EAST RENFREWSHIRE CULTURE AND LEISURE END-YEAR REPORT 2018- 2019

The Cabinet is asked to comment on and approve this report.

I am writing to you as you are my Councillor and you are a member of the Cabinet Committee to ask that you do comment on this report regarding the omission of details regarding Big Wave Media and the spend of £67,577.04 and the failure to deliver the promised benefits.

The only mention of Big wave Media is in the report (Appendix A) provided by the Trust -

'2018/19 saw the business development programme, begun with Big Wave.......'

The only sum given by ERCLT for this contract was for £24,000.00.

However, from a FOI request for payment invoices, ERCLT have paid at least £67,577.04 to Big Wave Media -

31/12/2016 - £13,435.32
31/03/2017 - £1,435.32
30/04/2017 to 30/11/2018 - 20 monthly payments of £2,635.32 = £52,706.40

Total - £67,577.04

It is of great concern that this contract has now cost East Renfrewshire Council tax payers nearly 3 times(£67,577.04) the original sum of £24,000.00 and has failed to deliver the promised benefits.

It is also of great concern that the Director of Education fails to mention this in their report.

It is also of great concern that The Director of Education and The Trust has failed to publicly publish any of this information and that it has only come to light via Freedom of Information(FOI) requests, reviews and appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner.


The Chief Executive of the Trust has admitted the failings of the contract -

'However, net financial growth has been below original forecasts.

(In 2018 gym membership was 13.9% up on the prior year, but this was only a third of the target suggested by BWM.)


Some conflicting advice from BWM highlighted that the methodology was increasingly at odds with the reality of ERCL’s situation and structure, as well as the particularities of our market and competition, and both the strategic direction and progress reporting was becoming skewed by this.'


In a Report to East Renfrewshire Culture & Leisure Board on 26 February 2019(via FOI, initially withheld by the Trust but eventually obtained on review) The Chief Executive said -


'However, net financial growth has been below original forecasts.

Whilst we still use BWM for marketing and promotions, their Sales Director’s project management role has been brought in house at a saving of £22,000 p.a.

Key Issues

1. Demand analysis undertaken across the organisation highlighted a number of issues impeding progress, including Venue Managers only being able to allocate 10% of their time to the project.

That time was consumed by the two-day meetings and compiling the reports, rather than the business development activities intended to drive growth.

Similar issues were experienced with other staff groups.

2. Whilst the initial forecasts promised a marked improvement in the bottom-line performance akin to a step change for both gyms and fitness and swimming, the reality is that improvement has been incremental.

(In 2018 gym membership was 13.9% up on the prior year, but this was only a third of the target suggested by BWM.)

3.The two-day monthly meetings, whilst time consuming for both operational and senior staff did have considerable value in the first year, with coaching and insight accompanying external challenge to drive change effectively.

By the second year colleagues felt the meetings were increasingly ineffective and inefficient, and training, coaching and insight had diminished to the extent they were protracted reporting and discussion forums.

4.The proprietary tools, whilst helping to change practices and work cultures in a number of teams very successfully, seemed derived for operating models that had different structures generally, and greater levels of staffing, particularly in front of house roles, or in support roles such as sales, communications and marketing.

5.Some conflicting advice from BWM highlighted that the methodology was increasingly at odds with the reality of ERCL’s situation and structure, as well as the particularities of our market and competition, and both the strategic direction and progress reporting was becoming skewed by this.

In 2018 we held review meetings with the Sales Director of BWM in spring, summer and autumn to discuss these issues and possible solutions.

In December we trialled a remodelled meeting and reporting structure, and project management approach and in discussion with staff groups decided to continue with the programme, but without the input of the BWM Sales Director, at a saving of £22,000 p.a.'


In the interests of balance and in order that East Renfrewshire Council Tax Payers can have confidence in the Cabinet, I would appreciate that at the meeting you comment on -

- the omission of mentioning Big Wave Media and the cost and terms of this contract in this report,

- the omission that the cost nearly tripled from £24,000.00 to at least £67,577.04,

- why a saving of £22,000 p.a was not worthy of a mention by the Director of Education in their report,

- or more correctly, why it is now seen as a saving of £22,000 p.a.(when it actually cost at least £67,577.04),

- why East Renfrewshire Council Tax Payers were not provided with this information in the Director's report


Big Wave media were picked(without tender/competition?) for their expertise in this area but as the Chief Executive has admitted they failed to deliver.

Again, it is of great concern that The Director of Education should omit all of the details of Big Wave Media from this report.

If there is to be any balance or due diligence and East Renfrewshire Council Tax Payers are to have confidence in the Cabinet, then I would ask that you do comment on this report at the Cabinet Committee meeting by raising and asking and commenting on the above.

Your help with this matter is much appreciated

Thanks
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