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Leisure Trust - Charity or Secret Society?
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TOPIC: Leisure Trust - Charity or Secret Society?

Re: Leisure Trust - Charity or Secret Society? 2 years, 3 months ago #67

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East Renfrewshire Culture & Leisure Ltd

(A company which is a Scottish Charity (Scottish Charity Number SC0045726) incorporated in Scotland under the Companies Act with company number SC486489)

Minute of a Meeting of the Board of Trustees of East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure Ltd.

St Johns Conference Room, Barrhead,on Wednesday 4thMarch 2020 at 3.30pm

Present:
Professor Grant Jarvie (Chair) (GJ)
Andrew Allan (AA)
Council Leader Jim Fletcher (JF)
Councillor Barbara Grant (BG)
Councillor Colm Merrick(CM)
Councillor Paul O’Kane(PO)

Attending:
Anthony McReavy, Chief Executive (AMcR)
Karen Storie, Director of Finance and Commercial Services (KS)
Mhairi Shaw, Director of Education ERC (MS)
Barbara Clark, Chief Accountant, ERC(BC)
Moira McFadden, Head of Communities and Arts (MMF)
Angela Burgess(minute taker)(AB)

Apologies:
Steven Larkin (SL)
Dr Noreen Siddiqui (NS)
Rob Crusher (RC)
Margaret McCrossan, Head of Accountancy ERC (MMc)

1.Welcome & Introductions

The chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.

2.Preliminaries (including apologies and quorum)

Apologies were received from Rob Crusher, Dr Noreen Siddiqui, Steven Larkin and Margaret McCrossan.

The Chair confirmed there are no Declarations of Interest.

3.Minutes of previous meeting

These were discussed and approved by the Board.

4.Matters arising

Actions from previous minutes were discussed.

Action 4
A robust discussion took place regarding the agreement of a shared vision with the Council for culture and leisure services.

GJ has written to the Leader of the Council to arrange a future meeting and is waiting for a reply.

GJ asked for any items the Board wish him to discuss at this meeting.

Action 5 –complete

Action 7

2019/2020 Outturn Forecast to be refreshed in early 2020 –this will be discussed in Item 7b.

Revised Budget for Approval in February Board meeting –this will be discussed in item 7c.

Interim FAR Meeting to be considered in early 2020 –meeting took place on 4 February therefore this action is now closed.

Whistle-blowing Policy to be presented to February Board –This will go to the next HR, Health and Safety and Appeals Committee, and thence to the Board.

Action 12
Away Day Follow-up to be progressed.

Staff Awards evening has been set for 1stMay.

Two sessions are being arranged within the next 4-6 weeks for discussions with staff regarding results of Staff Engagement Survey.

AMcR will send invitation to Board Members to attend these sessions.

New Leisure Centre – The Council Steering Group has been arranged, including representation from the Trust.

The Exec will arrange a separate discussion with Board Members to consider the ideas for the centre.

5.Head of Communities and Arts Presentation

MMF gave a presentation on the transformation of the Theatre over the last 2 years including:

Showing live streams from National Theatre Live, National Opera House and Ballet productions.

Very successful Panto with great reviewsand sales

Working with other Scottish theatres to arrange combined events where a performer may come to Eastwood then go to other theatres making it more financially beneficial for them

Performances to attract all customers including a show with sign language, a relaxed performance that sited people with special needs.

Future shows are being arranged for people with dementia.

Key milestones include significant increase in ticket sales, sell out shows, motivated team.

MMF took questions.

Coronavirus

As MMF is the Chief Incident Officer for the Trust on the Council’s Resilience Management Team she spoke to the Board regarding the Coronavirus explaining that the Senior Management Team had met last week and have reviewed operating procedures, increased cleaning and availability of hand sanitiser in venues; and issued guidelines to all staff.

These will be updated as and when required.

Front-facing staff are encouraged to follow the official guidelines including washing hands more often.

The Trust is following Government advice and operating as usual, but will review this in the light of changing advice and events.

MMF left meeting at 4.45pm.

6.Chief Executive’s Q3Scorecard and Business Performance Update

AMcR presented the Q3 performance results.

Libraries total attendance is not recorded at present but the methodology of attendance recording is being assessed as part of the Audit plan.

There have been issues with IT recently which are not fully resolved.

Gym memberships were down in this period but the promotion in January has been exceptionally successful, so this will feed through into figures in the next quarter.

7.a.Report by Director of Finance and Commercial Services –Internal Audit 2 Year Plan

It was proposed at the FAR meeting in February that an internal audit plan for the next 2 years would be devised.

This has now been reviewed and approved by the Board.

b.2019-20 Q3 Financials and Commentary

The financials were taken as read, with an overview of the key points provided by KS.

c.2020-2021 Draft Budget Update

KS provided an update to the draft budget presented to the Board in November, including a summary of the overall movements.

A change to the issued paper was discussed.

Following the publishing of the Council budget papers last week, ERCL have been required to make a further £30k savings over and above the £401k already required.
(The income previously received from Environment for lease on the Foundry office space has been reduced by £30k. Although the area could in theory be leased or let for up to £20k, this has not been done as yet.)

This moves the overall ERCL budget from a forecast surplus to a small deficit.

Since this change happened after the window for raising budget pressures with the Council closed, the Board would not approve the revised budget and asked BC to take back to the Budget Strategy Group for further consideration of funding.

d.Financial Policies -Contract Standing Orders and Reserves Policy

AMcR presented the contract standing orders.

A discussion took place on the Reserves Policy and how the proposed level of reserves could be calculated and it was agreed that the current proposed methodology was acceptable.

The Board approved the updated policies.

8.2019/2020 Pension Valuation Financial Assumptions.

The Board approved the proposed salary inflation assumption for the 2019/20 Pension Valuation.

9.Proposed Board Meetings dates for 2020/21

The Board members agreed dates for 2020/21.10.

Declarations of Interest

Board members are asked to complete the Declarations of Interest required for audit purposes.

11.AOCB

AMcR informed the Board that Mhairi Shaw is retiring in August therefore her last board meeting will be in June 2020.

AMcR informed the Board that the Council are in the process of carrying out a Best Value Review of the Trust – the draft will be circulated in due course.

Action Points
Agenda Item/Action/ By

4
Action 4 from Dec meeting –GJ waiting for reply from Leader of Council and would like to know what items need to be discussed a meeting.
GJ / All4

4
Action 7 from Dec minutes – Whistle-blowing policy going to Council end of March – a board member will take responsibility after this.
AMcR

7c
Revised Budget for Approval in June Board Meeting
AMcR/ KS


You can read the published minutes here -

www.ercultureandleisure.org/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=26301&p=0

You can read previous minutes here (scroll down page)-

www.ercultureandleisure.org/about

Re: Leisure Trust - Charity or Secret Society? 2 years, 1 month ago #68

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Extract from

EAST RENFREWSHIRE COUNCIL24 June 2020Report by Chief Executive COVID-19 ACTIONS - UPDATE

Culture and Leisure Trust

30. In response to the global Covid-19 pandemic, and government advice regarding attendance at public leisure and culture facilities, ERCL closed all of its buildings to the public and suspended its programmes on 18th March.

Customer payments were suspended and/or refunded from that point, and the only culture and leisure services that continued were those delivered online, free of charge.

ERCL staff stepped forward as volunteers to support critical services elsewhere in the authority, especially those delivered by Health and Social Care; as part of the Council’s Crisis Response, including the Humanitarian Aid programme; or in support of continuing education services for the children of key workers throughout the lockdown.

This included a free-of-charge holiday programme over the Spring holidays.

31. From the 19th March staff began to be placed on furlough under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, with ERCL continuing to pay 100% of their full pay and benefits.

This included casual and temporary staff, so as to retain staffing complements for the recovery phase.

(To date 90% of roles have been furloughed including half of the Trust management team.)

32.Planning for recovery and relaunch of culture and leisure services, and for the delivery of a holiday programme to support vulnerable children and the children of key workers throughout the summer break is well underway.

Governance activities, including Board and Sub-Committees, have continued throughout this period via virtual meetings

Re: Leisure Trust - Charity or Secret Society? 2 years, 1 month ago #69

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'As set out on another report on today’s agenda, it is currently estimated that ERCLT may require additional support of around £2.5m in 2020/21 on the basis that premises do not reopen until September /October at the earliest.'


EAST RENFREWSHIRE COUNCIL

24 June 2020

Report by Head of Accountancy (Chief Financial Officer)

EAST RENFREWSHIRE CULTURE AND LEISURE TRUST – CONFIRMATION OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT

PURPOSE OF REPORT

1. The purpose of this report is to approve the issue of a letter to ERCLT confirming the Council’s ongoing financial support for the Trust.

RECOMMENDATION

2. Council is invited to approve the issue of a letter to ERCLT confirming the Council’s ongoing financial support for the Trust’s activities.

BACKGROUND
3. ERCLT is an Arm’s Length External Organisation (ALEO), reported within the Council’s annual Group Accounts.

4. Under the terms of the Management Agreement between the Council and ERCLT, the Trust is obliged to provide culture and leisure services to the Council for the benefit of the public.

The level of financial support to allow the Trust to do this is set out in the Council budget each year

The terms of the financial support can however be amended by agreement in terms of Clause 26.1 of the Agreement which states:

“Other than pursuant to Part 4 of the Schedule, the terms of this Agreement shall not be amended or altered except by mutual agreement in writing by the duly authorised representatives of the Council and the Company”.

5. As part of the external audit of ERCLT’s accounts for 2019/ 20 the Council is required to confirm its ongoing financial support for the Trust as a going concern.

6. It is not unusual for auditors to seek such assurances from Councils and it is entirely reasonable for the Council to confirm its ongoing financial support for the Trust to continue to provide and develop services in line with existing plans in the coming year.

In particular, the Council routinely confirms each year in its own annual accounts to guarantee any pension deficit of ERCLT.

7. ERCLT operated within budget from its establishment in July 2015 until 31 March 2017, however during 2017/18 an additional contribution of £225,000 was required from the Council.

An independent review of the Trust’s financial arrangements was carried out in 2018 with an agreed action plan being progressed.

Performance has since improved and a surplus of £291,000 was reported for 2018/19.

REPORT
8. For 2019/20 ERCLT’s draft accounts again show a surplus of £725k.

Despite the satisfactory financial performance for 2019/20 however, a letter of comfort is still required by the Trust’s external auditors as next year’s budget is not yet certain.

The situation is exacerbated by uncertainty as to the length of facility closures and related income loss during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

As set out on another report on today’s agenda, it is currently estimated that ERCLT may require additional support of around £2.5m in 2020/21 on the basis that premises do not reopen until September /October at the earliest.

9. The Head of Accountancy has delegated powers to issue a letter of comfort to the Trust each year, provided that the draft accounts for the previous year demonstrate a surplus.

Given the unprecedented circumstances of the current pandemic and the potential additional support required by ERCLT in 2020/21 however, it was considered that approval to issue the required letter of comfort should be obtained from Council.

10.As in previous years, we will continue to monitor the Trust’s financial position throughout the year.

11.The proposed letter (attached as Appendix 1) confirms the Council’s ongoing support for planned activities whilst requiring the Trust to continue to take all possible actions to operate within budget.

It also gives assurances that the Council will work together with the Trust to access available funds and will support ERCLT’s ongoing sustainability.

The letter requires to be issued to ERCLT in advance of their Finance and Risk Committee meeting on 4 August 2020 and therefore approval is being sought from the Council now.

FINANCE AND EFFICIENCY

12.The Council’s budget plans for 2020/21 are under review as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the support required by ERCLT will form part of this review.

CONSULTATION
13.The Director of Education and the Chief Legal Officer have been consulted on this matter.

PARTNERSHIP WORKING
14.The Management Agreement sets out the arrangements for partnership working between the Council and ERCLT.

CONCLUSIONS
15.In view of the Trust’s timescales for finalising the audit of the 2019/20 accounts it is necessary to obtain Council approval for the issue of a letter of support to ERCLT.

16.Letters of comfort will continue to be required in future years, even when the Trust is operating at a surplus.

RECOMMENDATION
17.Council is invited to approve the issue of a letter to ERCLT confirming the Council’s ongoing financial support for the Trust’s activities.

Cabinet contact: Councillor Tony Buchanan, Leader, ext 3108
Report Author: Margaret McCrossan, Head of Accountancy, ext 3035
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Key words: ERCLT, financial support, Management Agreement


The Directors East Renfrewshire Culture & Leisure Limited
St Johns Annex
18 Commercial Road
Barrhead
East Renfrewshire
G78 1AJ

25 June 2020

Dear Trustees

Funding Arrangements

The terms of the Management Agreement between the Council and East Renfrewshire Culture & Leisure Limited (ERCLL) state:

“26 General Other than pursuant to Part 4 of the Schedule, the terms of this Agreement shall not be amended or altered except by mutual agreement in writing by the duly authorised representatives of the Council and the Company.”

So as to provide the required assurance that ERCLL is operating as a going concern, however, the Council confirms its commitment to the ongoing financial sustainability of ERCLL for the period to 31 August 2021 and beyond.

In these challenging times, it is essential that we work together to minimise any losses incurred and to access any available external funding to support losses as a result of closures, cancellations and downturn due to the crisis.

In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic the Scottish Government has announced a package of measures to support businesses, communities and the economy.

Whilst we continue to work through these measures and understand the implications for the Council, please assure your Board that we will work together to access all such available funds and that East Renfrewshire Council will take the necessary steps to support ERCLL and to ensure your ongoing financial sustainability.

Specifically, in order to support the delivery of services by ERCLL in accordance with the standards set out in the Management Agreement entered into between East Renfrewshire Council and ERCLL and revised as required, we agree to provide such additional funding as ERCLL may require to support these trading activities.

However, the Council expects and seeks assurance that ERCLL will take steps to minimise costs and limit the level of overspend wherever possible.

I trust that this provides the assurance that you require.

Yours faithfully
Margaret McCrossan
Head of Accountancy
East Renfrewshire Council

Re: Leisure Trust - Charity or Secret Society? 2 years, 1 month ago #70

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------ Original Message ------
To: "Stewart, Iain (C & L)" < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Sent: Sunday, 21 Jun, 2020 At 21:24
Subject: Re: ERCL - Board Meeting 23 June 2020

Hi Iain

Will the Board meeting be taking place on 23 June 2020 as scheduled?

Will the meeting be recorded?

Is the Agenda available?

Keep well.

Thanks


------ Original Message ------
From: "ERCLT Business Support" < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Sent: Tuesday, 23 Jun, 2020 At 09:17
Subject: ERCL - Board Meeting 23 June 2020

Thank you for your email dated 21 June 2020.

The board meeting is scheduled to take place on the 23 June 2020.

There will not be an audio recording of the meeting, there will be a note taken.

I attach a copy of the agenda.

Iain Stewart
Support Services Manager
East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure Limited

Re: Leisure Trust - Charity or Secret Society? 2 years, 1 month ago #71

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This is a first - An Agenda published before a meeting !!

East Renfrewshire Culture & Leisure Limited
Board Meeting
Via Microsoft Teams
on Tuesday 23rd June 2020 at 3pm
Ref/ Agenda Item/ Time
1. Welcome and Introductions 5 mins

2. Preliminaries (including Apologies, Declarations of Interest & Quorum) 5 mins

3. Minutes of the Meeting of 29 April 2020 10 mins

4. Matters Arising 5 mins

5. Chief Executive’s Q4 Scorecard & Business Performance Update 15 mins

6. Report by Chair of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee (FAR)
a) Wylie & Bisset Audit Planning for 2019/20
b) 2019-20 Draft Financials including balance sheet
c) 2020/21 Draft Budget and high level forecast
20 mins

7. Report by Chair of the HR, H&S and Appeals Committee 10 mins

8. Risk Register 10 mins

9. ERCL Recovery Plan 20 mins

10. ERC Best Value Review of ERCL 15 mins

11. Press and PR (issued separately) -

12. AOCB 5 mins

Date of Next Meeting – Tuesday 18th August 2020

Re: Leisure Trust - Charity or Secret Society? 2 years ago #72

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------ Original Message ------
From: "ERCLT Business Support" < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Sent: Monday, 13 Jul, 2020 At 13:41
Subject: ERCL Board Meeting

Thank you for your e-mails regarding the publication of minutes.

I can confirm the minutes approved by the ERCL Board on the 23 June 2020 should be available on the East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure Trust website in the next few working days.

You can access them here.

Yours sincerely
Iain Stewart
Support Services Manager
East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure Limited
www.ercultureandleisure.org



------ Original Message ------
To: "ERCLT Business Support" < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Sent: Monday, 13 Jul, 2020 At 11:26
Subject: Re: ERCL - Board Meeting 23 June 2020 - Please reply

Hi

Your 3 working days have passed and I have had no response.

Would appreciate response to my requests of 24 June and 3 July.

Thanks


------ Original Message ------
From: "ERCLT Business Support" < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Sent: Friday, 3 Jul, 2020 At 10:47
Subject: Auto Acknowledgement

Thank you for your e-mail. We will respond to your enquiry within three working days.

Regards
Business Support Team
East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure Trust
St John's
18 Commercial Road
Barrhead
East Renfrewshire G78 1AJ
Tel: 0141 577 3900
Fax: 0141 577 3901
www.ercultureandleisure.org


------ Original Message ------
To: "ERCLT Business Support" < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Sent: Friday, 3 Jul, 2020 At 10:43
Subject: Re: ERCL - Board Meeting 23 June 2020
Hi Iain

As requested below, would appreciate if you can let me know when the minutes will be available.

Keep well.

Thanks

------ Original Message ------
To: "ERCLT Business Support" < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Sent: Wednesday, 24 Jun, 2020 At 21:33
Subject: Re: ERCL - Board Meeting 23 June 2020

Hi Iain

Would appreciate if you can let me know when the minutes will be available.

Keep well.

Thanks
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