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Public performance reports

Leisure and culture

The Council Plan Connect, outlines our objectives for 2017-22.  Connect ambitions and objectives should not be seen in isolation, they interact with each other and as we achieve success in one, we move closer to success in others.  In delivering our vision to ‘improve the quality of life of everyone in South Lanarkshire’ our ambitions show how our work links with our partners including our Community Planning Partners. 

Each year we produce an Annual Performance Report which details how we have performed in achieving our Connect objectives. To complement the Annual Performance Report we have created a suite of individual Public Performance Reports which focus on key areas of council business.  This report outlines the performance of our leisure and culture services - covering sport and leisure, country parks, golf, outdoor recreation facilities, cultural venues, community halls, museums, the arts and libraries - and how they link to our ambition to ‘Improve health, care and wellbeing' and 'Make communities safer, stronger and sustainable'.    

Leisure and culture

The council has an important role to play in promoting the health, wellbeing, and learning environment of the population of South Lanarkshire.  This is achieved through the provision of community learning and recreational activities within our museum, libraries and arts centres and through the promotion of healthier lifestyles via our sports and leisure centres.  These services are delivered by South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture (SLLC) which was set up in 2010 to operate leisure and culture services on behalf of the council.

In 2016-17, our leisure and culture services continued to attract people to its facilities and services and reported annual attendances of over 8.6 million.  This represents an encouraging year on year increase of just under 1%, and redresses the 5.6% decline in attendances which we reported in 2015-16.  Figures show that both the Cultural Services and the Outdoor Recreation and Country Park Service recorded increased attendance levels, whilst it was the opposite in the Libraries and Museum Service and Sport and Physical Activity Service, where attendance levels continued to decrease. 

The popularity of the Activage scheme, aimed at encouraging over 60’s to become more active, continued to grow, with membership of the scheme, as well as the use of facilities by these members, both reporting increases.  Despite a drop in usage by concession card members, a total of 1.57 million general ‘concessionary use’ attendances were recorded by members of our ’Leisure for All’ concession scheme, our Over 60’s Activage scheme and our Under 16’s reduced price scheme for local clubs.  During 2017-18, we will work even harder at encouraging people to lead more active lives, with a central part of our marketing activities involving an increased focus on social media.

More information about SLLC, including the SLLC Annual Report, can be found via the following link SLLC - About us.

Sport and physical activity

SLLC is responsible for the operation and management of 23 indoor leisure facilities including nine swimming pools, an ice rink, and two athletics tracks. Through its development work, the service aims to increase opportunities for individuals to get engaged in physical activity.  This is achieved through working in local schools and communities, in partnership with clubs, volunteers, sports councils and national governing bodies.

There are a number of indicators collected and reported that show the extent to which our facilities are being used:

Attendance at facilities managed by the Sport and Physical Activity section of SLLC – Target 3.1 million

What this means This indicator shows the attendance figures at facilities managed by the Sport and Physical Activity section of SLLC – this includes swimming pools and other indoor sports and leisure facilities.
Why this matters This indicator measures the extent to which the council is achieving its aim of encouraging everyone to participate in activities which will lead them to a healthier lifestyle and which will ultimately have a positive impact on the health outcomes of the residents and visitors of South Lanarkshire.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17    Are we improving?
SLLC 3.337 million 3.156 million 2.992 million No
Scotland N/A N/A N/A
How we have performed in improving this public service In 2016-17, annual attendances at facilities managed by the Sport and Physical Activity section of SLLC were 3.5% below our annual target. This can be attributed to a continued decline in gym memberships and uptake of fitness classes, as well as a slight decline in sports club usage.  In addition to this, the continued closure of East Kilbride Ice Rink for refurbishment impacted attendance figures, together with other facility closures for essential maintenance work.

 

Cost per attendance at sports facilities  – No target set

What this means This indicator calculates the cost per attendance at sports facilities and is a good measure of our efficiency in providing services.
Why this matters Attendance figures show us how much our pool and indoor leisure facilities are used.  This indicator shows us how successful we are at increasing attendances at sport facilities and the value for money achieved in doing this.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17     Are we  improving?
SLLC £2.20 £2.23 £2.21 Yes
Scotland £2.96 £2.92 £2.81
How we have performed in improving this public service In South Lanarkshire, the cost per attendance at sports facilities is lower than the Scottish average figure and lower than the previous year.  Tight budgetary control is helping to maintain the cost of this service.

Satisfaction with leisure facilities
The Scottish Household Survey shows that the percentage of adults satisfied with leisure facilities decreased to 72.3% from 74% in the previous year, and was lower than the Scottish average of 74%.

However, some caution should be taken with this Scottish Household Survey data as not all people surveyed are direct users of the service, and the sample size for the survey is small.

South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture carries out its own satisfaction survey and, unlike the Scottish Household Survey, this survey asks for feedback from residents who have used the service.  In 2016-17, service users reported a 96% satisfaction rate with all SLLC facilities and SLLC received 88 Excellence in Customer Service nominations.

Outdoor recreation and country parks
SLLC is also responsible for outdoor country parks and outdoor learning and adventure, including over 130 sports pitches, an indoor synthetic pitch, 12 bowling greens, six golf courses, a Golf Development Centre, a water sports centre and seasonal activities, including tennis and putting.

Attendance at Outdoor Recreation and Country Parks services – Target 2.1 million

What this means This indicator shows attendance figures at the council's outdoor recreation and country parks service.
Why this matters Like the indicators above, this indicator measures the extent to which the council is achieving its aim of getting more and more people taking part in sporting and leisure activities.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 Are we improving?
SLLC 2.110 million 2.104 million 2.226 million  Yes
Scotland N/A N/A N/A
How we have performed in improving this public service An 11% increase in attendances at Country Parks helped offset a 5.9% decrease in usage at Outdoor Recreation facilities (predominantly football pitch usage) and a 14.2% decrease in golf usage, the latter mainly due to course closures to allow maintenance/improvement works to go ahead.

Libraries and museums

Within South Lanarkshire, there are 22 public libraries, all with ActiveIT Learning Centres (free internet access), a mobile library serving the rural communities, and a home delivery service.  We also provide reference and enquiry services, family history and genealogy resources, and online library services.  Working in partnership with key stakeholders to improve the learning experience for children and young people, the service makes a significant contribution to the Curriculum for Excellence agenda. 

SLLC directly manages two museums: Low Parks Museum which includes Hamilton Mausoleum.  However, like the library service, the work of the museum service extends further than this: from working closely with schools in the provision of learning programmes and activities off site, to informal learning opportunities provided through holiday activities, family activities, adult learning and special events.  The museum collection includes 150,000 objects which feature in temporary and permanent exhibitions.

Number of library and museum visits – No target set

What this means This indicator shows the extent to which library and museum services are reaching their potential service users.
Why this matters

This indicator measures the extent to which the council is achieving its aim of encouraging everyone to take part in cultural or learning activities which make them feel better, sometimes healthier, but always happier.  Learning is not confined to classrooms or educational establishments.  It can take place in museums and libraries.

Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17    Are we improving?
SLLC 1.480 million 1.280 million 1.233 million  No
Scotland  N/A N/A  N/A
How we have performed in improving this public service

The overall decrease in attendances of around 47,000 in 2016-17 can be attributed to the drop in the number of customers using East Kilbride Central Library during the closure/refurbishment of East Kilbride shopping centre.  Despite this, attendances at libraries remained over 1.2 million, whilst attendances at Low Parks Museum and Hamilton Mausoleum reported an increase of 7.2%, taking the Museum Service’s annual attendances to just over 27,000.

Cost per library visit – No target set

What this means This indicator calculates the cost per library visit and is a good measure for evaluating the efficiency of the service provided.
Why this matters

Libraries are no longer just about borrowing books, but have developed into a multi-function service.  This measure captures the cost for any visit – whether to borrow books, internet use, reference use etc.  Comparing costs with other councils helps us understand where variations occur and why they exist.

Comparator 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17   Are we improving?
Our performance and how we compare SLLC £3.54 £3.72 £3.67 Yes
Scotland £2.45 £2.45 £1.97
How we have performed in improving this public service South Lanarkshire Council’s cost per attendance at libraries fell in 2016-17 due to a reduction in staff numbers and staff hours and reduced library opening hours.  However, the cost is still higher than the Scottish average figure.  The library service will continue to market its services in order to attract and retain customers.
Satisfaction with libraries: This indicator is derived from the Scottish Household Survey.  Compared to the previous year, the level of satisfaction with libraries has decreased in the year from 72.7% in 2015-16 to 69.33% in 2016-17.  This is below the Scottish average (74.67%).

However, some caution should be taken with this Scottish Household Survey data as not all people surveyed are direct users of the service, and the sample size for the survey is small.

Cost per museum visit – No target set

What this means This indicator calculates the cost of museums and galleries managed or supported by councils, per visit.
Why this matters Increasing the use of museums by both personal visitors and through other enquiries (for example: schools, events) are important indicators of the value of museum services.  This indicator shows us how successful we are at increasing attendances at our museum and the value for money achieved in doing this.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17   Are we improving?
SLLC £2.90 £2.71 £3.14 No
Scotland £3.33 £3.04 £3.15
How we have performed in improving this public service In South Lanarkshire, the cost per museum attendance is higher than the previous year.  This is largely due to a reduction in visits resulting from the closure of the David Livingston museum for refurbishment and reduced attendances at Chatelherault Visitor Centre.  Despite this, our cost per visit is still lower than the Scottish average.  A number of initiatives are being undertaken in 2017-18 and beyond which should increase the number of museum visits going forward.

Satisfaction with the museum: This indicator is derived from the Scottish Household Survey.   Compared to the previous year, the level of satisfaction with the museum has increased in the year from 67.3% in 2015-16 to 70% in 2016-17, but is below the Scottish average (72%). 

However, some caution should be taken with this Scottish Household Survey data as not all people surveyed are direct users of the service, and the sample size for the survey is small.

Cultural services

SLLC is responsible for the management of five cultural venues, namely; The Town House Hamilton, Rutherglen Town Hall, East Kilbride Arts Centre, Village Theatre East Kilbride  and Lanark Memorial Hall.  As well as the major venues, SLLC manages over 70 community halls, integrated community facilities/community wings and the letting of schools for community use. 

Attendances at cultural venues – No target set

What this means This indicator measures attendances at cultural venues including halls, schools and arts venues.
Why this matters Our aim is to get more and more people taking part in cultural activities which make them feel better, sometimes healthier but always happier. By taking part, individuals can become more creative, healthy and enthused. 
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17   Are we improving?
SLLC 2.150 million 2.028 million 2.184 million Yes
Scotland N/A N/A N/A
How we have performed in improving this public service Attendances across all areas of the Service (venues, halls and school letting) show improvement in comparison to 2015-16, with annual attendances at school lets reporting a 10.8% increase to 604,000. Attendances at community halls rose by 9.2% to just over 1 million, whilst attendances at cultural venues rose 2.2% to 562,000.

Customer consultation

Throughout 2016-17 SLLC undertook several forms of customer feedback and self evaluation to ensure its very high standards of service are maintained.  This included a programme of mystery shopper experiences conducted by a combination of local service users who feedback on their personal experience of our service, together with a programme of externally organised professional mystery shoppers who target specific areas of the business. 64 mystery visits were conducted: 50 customer visits and 14 external mystery shopper visits.  As in the previous year, the findings enforced that our staff are our very best asset, creating a friendly, welcoming atmosphere in facilities. The high levels of cleanliness, the variety of activities offered to customers, and the quality of our golf courses were also cited very highly.  Areas highlighted for improvement included better signage to some facilities and some general maintenance across facilities; although facilities are operating well, several buildings are tired from day to day wear and tear and inevitably invite comment from customers.

Although SLLC seeks many forms of feedback, our customers are our priority. General customer feedback is collected on an ongoing basis across the Trust through an Exit Interview process which recorded a customer satisfaction rate of 96% for 2016-17.  The ‘Have Your Say’ procedure ensures customers have a clear pathway to communicate with us where they prefer a more formal process.  Through this process, there were 503 recorded comments and complaints for 2016-17, a drop of 17% on the previous year, with only eight complaints escalated to a ‘stage 2’ and 97.5% of all recorded issues resolved at the frontline.  The areas of most concern to our customers related to programming, maintenance, staff performance and communication, all of which have reduced on the 2015-16 figures by 1%, 31%, 1% and 21% respectively.

We listened to what our customers said and as a result we have made some improvements; through staff training we have raised staff awareness of accessibility restrictions within facilities, ensuring all customers are advised appropriately to allow us to accommodate any specific needs of groups/individuals with mobility issues.  Staff and coaches were also retrained on the importance of strict adherence to the scheduled timetable of activities to avoid any customer disruption, and of the importance of including a proper warm up/cool down before and after exercise.  Baby changing facilities were provided within Ballerup Hall which were not previously available, and we have reduced the price for Football Star Parties in light of reviewing customer feedback.  We have also identified ‘quiet times’ at East Kilbride Central Library for customers who prefer a more sedate experience.

Finally, we have reinstated equipment as requested at Lanark Lifestyles and repaired faulty equipment across several facilities to ensure customers receive the highest standard of service during their visit.  Furthermore, we have increased the frequency of maintenance to pathways at James Hamilton Heritage Park, repaired pot holes in Calderglen Country Park and lighting in the car park at Hamilton Water Palace.

Whilst we can often turn complaints into opportunities to improve our service, the Excellence in Customer Service scheme allows our customers to recognise staff who have impressed them in the course of carrying out their duties.  In total, 88 nominations were received during 2016-17, broken down as follows:

Excellence in Customer Service nominations 2016-17
  Individual Team
Cultural 4 5
Libraries 28 17
Sport and physical activity (SPA) 16 10
Outdoor 0 8
Total 48 40

Areas for improvement and action

We will take forward the following key area for improvement:

  • introduce new activities designed to encourage people to adopt healthier lifestyles; at the same time delivering on the budget commitments identified for 2017-18

Further information

Resource Plans are prepared each year by all Resources to outline the key developments they intend to take forward in the year.  Performance and actions relating to leisure and culture services can be found in the Community and Enterprise Resource Plan.

Twice a year, performance reports are presented to council committees on progress against the Resource Plans. In addition, reports detailing progress against the Council Plan Connect objectives are prepared – see Quarter 2 and Quarter 4 performance reports for further information. More information on our objectives can be found in the Council Plan Connect and also the Annual Performance Report.

The information contained within this report reflects the position based on the data available at the time of publication (March 2018)