Cllr Guest introduced B Russell, the Dacorum project manager on the item. B Russell then gave a presentation to the Committee, based on the information contained within pg 16 of the agenda pack. He said that the three year project had been a fantastic success, and highlighted that 90% of the activities launched as part of the project remained self-sustainable. He confirmed that in view of this success, DBC intended to apply for a further grant from Sport England, as well as working with other local authorities. He also noted that the project was awarded ‘Community Project of the Year 2016’ at the Herts Sports Partnership Awards, as well as silver award for the national marketing campaign.
Following on from this, B Russell introduced the Sports and Physical Activity Strategy; the purpose of this was to demonstrate DBC’s commitment to delivering high quality sporting provision to all. Again, he provided a presentation based on the key information set out in pg 17 of the agenda pack. B Russell invited questions from the Committee.
Cllr Birnie asked about the decision not to award Sportspace the leisure centre contract; what would be the impact upon this strategy? B Russell said that it would have no impact as DBC would be working with the leisure operator as a key partner, irrespective of who it was. Cllr Hicks highlighted that Sportspace still administered the XC and Little Hay Golf Course, therefore they would still remain a stakeholder. B Russell agreed with this point.
Cllr England asked about the cycle paths, in particular the gaps in the network. B Russell that this would be considered as part of the action plan with members of the project board which would include members of Hertfordshire County Council (HCC). He acknowledged that Dacorum’s cycle infrastructure was relatively poor, but noted that Dacorum had a number of very wide pathways, which presented an opportunity to amend these to cycle paths.
Cllr England also asked about the consultation with stakeholders; how wide would this go? B Russell said they conducted focus groups with residents, as well as a more in depth consultation with key partners such as hospital, Sport England, Public Health, HCC as well as sporting clubs. Cllr Guest confirmed that it would be helpful for the Committee to receive feedback via email regarding the strategy. Cllr Guest also added her personal support of the strategy, endorsing the significant positive effects of exercise.
Following Cllr Birnie’s question, B Russell confirmed a numbers of ways this project had been communicated, including flyers, social media, on the screens in Hemel town centre as well as Community Centre’s. In addition to this, Cllr Birnie also suggested Radio Dacorum as another way of publicising activities.
Cllr Guest highlighted that 2018 was the year of Physical Activity; she said she would email B Russell, Cllr Neil Harden (PH Holder for Residents and Corporate Services) and County Cllr Richard Roberts (Executive Member for Public Health & Protection) to discuss the best way to promote this.
Cllr Guest thanked B Russell for the presentation, and for answering the Committee’s questions.