Issue - meetings

Freedom Leisure Performance Review

Meeting: 26/09/2022 - Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Item 7)

7 Freedom Leisure Performance Review OSC22-040 pdf icon PDF 137 KB

For the Committee to receive the latest review of Freedom Leisure.


Reporting Person – Steve May

Additional documents:


[Note: Items 7 and 8 were presented and discussed together]. 

Steve May, Leisure Services Manager, presented the annual Freedom Leisure Performance Review. 

It was noted that Covid had continued to affect the running of the Freedom Leisure contract, for periods of the year it had been necessary to reduce capacity at the Leisure Centres and in classes.  Despite the continued impact of Covid, Woking’s leisure services had recovered to a greater degree than the national average reported by Sport England.  It was recognised that the opening of Eastwood Leisure Centre had contributed to this recovery. 

Freedom Leisure had paid a management fee of £240,000 to Woking Borough Council in the 2021-22 financial year.  This was compared with a payment of £690,000 before the pandemic.  The Committee asked what the likely return would be for the current financial year.  It was hoped that the payment for the 2022-23 year would be close to the pre-Pandemic amount. 

The Committee raised concerns over the number of accidents across the sites and enquired why the threshold before further investigation took place was 0.10%.  Steve confirmed that 0.10% was an industry standard.  The primary source of accidents was the Inflatazone.  Most accidents were minor and were resolved with the application of a plaster.  Joanne McIntosh informed the Committee that she presented an annual Health and Safety report to the Standards and Audit Committee that included accidents at the Leisure Centres.  It was noted that any more serious accident would need to be investigated by Environment Health.  The Committee asked for an analysis of the most serious accidents to discover if there was a trend or if they were increasing. 

Members of the Committee questioned the need to reline the running track at Woking Sportsbox.  The work, which involved repainting the track lane lines, was required to ensure the track continued to meet national standards. 

The collaboration work between Freedom Leisure, Woking Borough Council and the NHS had continued to develop.  The physiotherapy department at St Peter’s Hospital was providing appointments and classes at the Leisure Facilities.  Work was being undertaken to see how the leisure facilities and their instructors could provide support to long-Covid sufferers.  A trial had recently started in conjunction with Surrey University and St Peter’s Hospital to provide ‘prehab’ services, measures to prepare people for forthcoming surgery.  The aim of the trial was to see if improving their fitness before surgery aided recovery and outcomes. 

The Committee wished to know what incentives there were for Freedom Leisure to make business improvements.  Steve May advised that incentive came in part from Woking Borough Council’s satisfaction and what impact that would have when deciding on a future contract.  Incentive was also derived financially; the more business Freedom Leisure attracted, the greater their revenue was. 


That the report be noted. 


Meeting: 12/09/2022 - Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Item 7.)

7. Freedom Leisure Performance Review OSC22-040 pdf icon PDF 136 KB

For the Committee to receive the latest review of Freedom Leisure


Reporting Person – Steve May

Additional documents: