On Wednesday May 14, at a Full Council meeting, East Lindsey District Councillors approved the setting up of a charitable organisation in its bid to continue to deliver its leisure, health and cultural services.
The move is expected to save tax-payers at least £1million over its first five years, whilst protecting and maintaining the existing services in the hope of saving more money long term.
Last year the Council commissioned a report from Winckworth Sherwood Law to consider the options available for providing the Council’s leisure, health and cultural services, which includes leisure centres.
The report recommended that the services are provided by a charitable trust, also known as a non-profit distributing organisation, to be set up by the Council.
It is estimated this route will enable the Council to make savings of £1million over five years, whilst also creating potential new funding opportunities that are not currently available to a Council. It is hoped this will not only secure the future of the services, but will also allow for increased investment in them.
The Council’s Portfolio Holder for Culture, Leisure and Tourism, Councillor Adam Grist, said: “It is clear that although leisure centres, a theatre and a wider cultural programme are discretionary services, they are highly valued by local residents which is why we want to safeguard these services and give them the means to access further funding than we, as a Council, can’t at present.”
“When facing ever diminishing central government funding, it is vital that we look at how we can safeguard these services. A trust arrangement would achieve this. This is about maintaining and improving the services for the future.”
The Council will shortly begin the process of selecting a board of trustees and directors for the new company, and any suitably skilled and interested candidates are encouraged to email Mark Humphreys via firstname.lastname@example.org to register their interest.
ELDC say that residents will see no difference to these services as they are transferred to a Trust, and it is hoped that the Trust will be up and running by January 2015.