Council considers bringing the running of leisure facilities back in-house

Council Leader Phil Bialyk has announced that he wants the running of the city’s leisure facilities to be brought back under the control of the City Council.

The current leisure contract with operator Legacy Leisure runs out in September, and the Council had been in the process of procuring a new operator.

But, due to the impacts of Covid-19, councillors will now consider ending that procurement process and bringing the services back in-house.

Staff working at the city’s leisure sites, which are currently closed due to coronavirus restrictions, would transfer to the employment of the City Council under the plan.

A paper explaining the move is being brought to Executive on 7 July, and a recommendation is expected to be made to Council on 21 July.

Cllr Bialyk said: “We wish to bring this service back under the control of the City Council, effectively bringing it back in house.”

He said the current conditions of employment for leisure staff transferring to the Council would be protected. 

Cllr Bialyk said: “We look after our employees, we will work with the trade unions to ensure new staff are well looked after and welcomed into the Council.

“By bringing the services under the control of the Council, we will be responsible for the maintenance of the buildings, the staff and for the provision of the activities. This gives us greater flexibility and over the coming months we will reach out to residents to find out what they want to see for their facilities in the future.

“It is early days, but I really want to return this service back to the council so we can better respond to the needs of the people of Exeter.”

The Exeter Daily