The Committee considered the report presented by the Health Improvement and Community Relations Manager which provided an update regarding the performance of Active4Today for the financial year ending 31 March 2020.
It was reported that the Company had traded positively in 2019/20. Company turnover had increased slightly by a modest 0.64% however, this should be considered positively in light of the challenges the Company encountered such as the loss of the swimming pool at the Dukeries Leisure Centre and more latterly the impact of Covid-19 which led to the closure of all sites to the public at the close of play on 17 March 2020. Accordingly, the efforts of the Company should be recognised in respect of its positive trading position despite these challenges, which were not within the control or influence of the Company.
During the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020, the financial statements showed that the Company recorded a net operating deficit of £56,788 factoring in the full management fee payable by the Council of £121,220. It was noted, that £224,994 was spent on repairs and renewals on the Council’s Assets and £223,548 was paid to the Council in support charges. The trading position moved from a small surplus of £22,453 down to a deficit of £3,311 which was a swing of £25,764 this was due to a combination of increased VAT charges and reduced turnover. Within the accounts the provision for pension deficit was now shown as a net liability in the Balance sheet and was in accordance with generally accepted accounting treatment. The Company’s earmarked usable reserves, as at 31 March 2020 stood at £396,819 a decrease of £3,310 on the balances held at 31 March 2019.
It was reported that Members further agreed at the 19 November 2019 Leisure & Environment Committee to review the payment mechanism within the Service Contract so that there was single payment mechanism either to or from the Company, with no separate clause for sharing in the ‘operating surplus of the Company’. Under normal operating circumstances that approach would be appropriate, however, the onset and subsequent impact of Covid-19 caused significant financial challenges for the Company and it was agreed by Policy & Finance Committee, under Urgent Delegation Powers, on 24 April 2020 to release the retained 50% management fee for 2019/20 and the first instalment of the management fee for 2020/21 (£60,610) and the management fee to provide strategic support to Southwell Leisure Centre Trust (£80,850) to ease cash flow and to reduce anticipated financial hardships that an extended closure would cause the Company.
Appended to the report was the following information: The 2019/20 Annual Management Report provided by Active4Today; Active4Today Directors’ Report and Financial Statements outlining the period of trading; Active4Today Key Performance Indicators 2019-20; and an overview of sports development activities.
AGREED (by 7 votes for with 1 abstention) that:
(a) the positive performance of Active4Today in 2019/20, be noted;
(b) the operating agreement between the Council and the Company was under review and any significant changes to the agreement be brought to a future meeting of the Committee;
(c) the impacts of Covid-19 on the Company’s performance would be closely monitored and proposals to support the Company through the pandemic would be brought to a future meeting of the Committee; and
(d) the proposed reported Key Performance Indicators be noted.