Public performance reports

Leisure and culture

The Council Plan Connect, outlines our objectives for 2017-22.  Connect Priorities 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 Priorities show how our work links with our partners including our Community Planning Partners. 

For daily updates, stories and what’s going on in your area, visit our information and news website South Lanarkshire View.

Each year we produce Annual Performance Spotlights which summarise how we have performed in achieving our Connect Priorities. To complement these, 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 this links to our objective to encourage participation in physical and cultural activities.

Note: Some 2020-21 performance and results were impacted by Covid-19 pandemic.

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.

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

SLLC is responsible for the operation and management of 22 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 2.839 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 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21    Are we improving?
SLLC 3.004 million 2.839 million 0.199 million No
Scotland N/A N/A N/A
How we have performed in improving this public service In 2020-21, attendances were severely affected by the closure of sites and restricted programmes operating within the appropriate Government guidelines and the South Lanarkshire Council Covid-19 Recovery Plan due to the pandemic. Some SLLC staff were redeployed to assist with the Covid response, therefore some buildings remained closed due to both staffing/financial pressures. One very positive point to note was the key role SLLC contributed working in close partnership with all agencies to provide vital services throughout the area.

Satisfaction with leisure facilities

Data from The Scottish Household Survey is not yet available for 2020-21, and although customer feedback is very important to SLLC, we were not able to fully measure satisfaction in 2020-21 through our usual Exit Interview process due to the closure of sites and restricted programmes operating with minimal staff and others redeployed to assist with the Covid response.  However, SLLC conducted an online survey during 2020-21 to assess if our customers were accessing the virtual programme of activities established to help support users during lockdown periods. 649 people responded, 548 (84%) directly related to our Sport and Physical Activities Service, with an overall 86% of respondents rating activities as excellent or good.

Outdoor recreation and country parks
SLLC is also responsible for outdoor country parks and outdoor learning and adventure, including over 104 sports pitches, an indoor synthetic pitch, 12 bowling greens, six golf courses, a water sports centre and seasonal activities, including tennis and putting.

Attendance at Outdoor Recreation and Country Parks services – Target 2.253 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 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 Are we improving?
SLLC 2.279 million 2.253 million 1.567 million No
Scotland N/A N/A N/A
How we have performed in improving this public service In 2020-21, attendances were severely affected by the closure of sites and restricted programmes operating within the appropriate Government guidelines and the South Lanarkshire Council Covid-19 Recovery Plan due to the pandemic. Some SLLC staff were redeployed to assist with the Covid response, therefore some buildings remained closed due to both staffing/financial pressures.  One very positive point to note was the key role SLLC contributed working in close partnership with all agencies to provide vital services throughout the area.

Within South Lanarkshire, there are 23 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 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 – Target - 1.395 million

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 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21    Are we improving?
SLLC 1.392 million 1.395 million 0.471 million  No
Scotland  N/A N/A  N/A
How we have performed in improving this public service

In 2020-21, attendances were severely affected by the closure of sites and restricted programmes operating within the appropriate Government guidelines and the South Lanarkshire Council Covid-19 Recovery Plan due to the pandemic. Some SLLC staff were redeployed to assist with the Covid response, therefore some buildings remained closed due to both staffing/financial pressures. One very positive point to note was the key role SLLC contributed working in close partnership with all agencies to provide vital services throughout the area.

Satisfaction with libraries and museums: Data from The Scottish Household Survey is not yet available for 2020-21, and although customer feedback is very important to SLLC, we were not able to fully measure satisfaction in 2020-21 through our usual Exit Interview process due to the closure of sites, and restricted programmes operating with minimal staff and others redeployed to assist with the Covid response.  However, SLLC conducted an online survey during 2020-21 to assess if our customers were accessing the virtual programme of activities established to help support users during lockdown periods. 649 people responded, 26 (4%) directly related to Library and Museum Services, with an overall 86% of respondents rating activities as excellent or good.

SLLC is responsible for the management of five cultural venues: 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 68 community halls: 46 community halls/centres; 8 community wings; 9 community managed halls and 5 integrated community facilities.

Attendances at cultural venues – 1,968 million

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 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21   Are we improving?
SLLC 2.166 million 1.968 million 0.147 million No
Scotland N/A N/A N/A
How we have performed in improving this public service

In 2020-21, attendances were severely affected by the closure of sites and restricted programmes operating within the appropriate Government guidelines and the South Lanarkshire Council Covid-19 Recovery Plan due to the pandemic. Some SLLC staff were redeployed to assist with the Covid response, therefore some buildings remained closed due to both staffing/financial pressures.  One very positive point to note was the key role SLLC contributed working in close partnership with all agencies to provide vital services throughout the area.

Under normal circumstances we would regularly undertake various forms of feedback to gauge both our performance and customer perception of service delivery, linked with ideas for possible product development. Performance is generally measured through a programme of internal auditing across all sites, professional mystery shopper visits, through existing customer feedback from an Exit Interview process and via our more formal ‘Have Your Say’ comments and complaints policy.

However, the Covid-19 pandemic throughout 2020-21 severely impacted our monitoring programmes, and with many facilities closed following government guidelines, all planned programmes of auditing and mystery shopper visits were postponed and have not yet resumed. These processes remain under review and will resume when it is safe and practical to do so.  In the meantime, essential communication has continued with both virtual and physical Health and Safety updates/visits undertaken to ensure standards are maintained and services are safe to operate.

External verification of the standards of both our facilities and the service we deliver is evidenced through VisitScotland awards.  Working closely with private businesses, public agencies and local authorities, VisitScotland work to ensure that visitors experience the very best of Scotland and that the country makes the most of its outstanding tourism assets and realises its potential. 13 sites are currently accredited through the awards. In addition, the cafes within Rutherglen Town Hall and Low Parks Museum are accredited to the Healthy Living Award, having met the necessary criteria

Rating Venue
3 Star Accredited Rating

Blantyre Leisure Centre

Calderglen Country Park

James Hamilton Heritage Park

Strathaven Leisure Centre

4 Star Accredited Rating

Chatelherault Country Park

Carluke Leisure Centre

Hamilton Water Palace

Low Parks Museum

South Lanarkshire Lifestyles Eastfield

South Lanarkshire Lifestyles Lanark

Lanark Memorial Hall

5 Star Accredited Rating

Town House Hamilton

Rutherglen Town Hall

There were 52 formal complaints recorded throughout the year. Over 90% of all issues raised were resolved at our frontline with only four escalating to ‘stage 2’ of our process. The top five areas of concern to customers were based around customer error 11 (21%), policy issues 6 (11.5%), communication 5 (9.6%), customer behaviour 5 (9.6%) and staff performance 5 (9.6%).

Our less formal Exit Interview process continued to monitor customer satisfaction as and when we were permitted to operate, a satisfaction rate of 98% was achieved for 2020-21 (although the number of interviews undertaken were reduced considerably).  Given the severe restrictions and heightened safety measures implemented to protect both staff and customers we were able to deliver safe, high quality services throughout these difficult times which is reflected in the excellent customer satisfaction rate recorded.

SLLC conducted an online survey during 2020-21 to assess if our customers were accessing the virtual programme of activities established to help support users during lockdown periods. 649 people responded with 86% rating activities as excellent or good.

As always, our staff have worked tirelessly to ensure customers feel confident about returning to use facilities and several customers thanked staff for getting facilities open, expressing their delight at being back with the resumption of more activities.

Customers praised staff for their attention to detail regarding excellent hygiene processes in place. A customer was also very grateful for the outdoor classes continuing during the partial closure which greatly helped with their physical and mental welling.

One customer got in touch to say what a great initiative it was that our library staff were delivering books to children during lockdown saying, 'With kids being so isolated and most learning and leisure activities revolving around screen time, it was great to receive a batch of books expertly chosen by the children's library team'.

As we begin to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic our focus will be on business recovery and the continued provision of support to our communities. To do this we will continue to work closely with our main funding partner, South Lanarkshire Council, as well as a range of other partners as we develop new models for the delivery of our services in a post pandemic world.

A Cross Party Working Group (CPWG) on SLLC, consisting of senior South Lanarkshire Councillors, was tasked with determining how the council would like to see the services we provide on their behalf being delivered. This group has now completed its work and the resulting outcomes have been agreed by the council. These include providing SLLC with more autonomy in setting commercial pricing, the introduction of a new governance model and expanding SLLC’s role as a community planning partner.

With Board approval, this will herald a new dawn for our organisation and represent the biggest change in our direction since SLLC was originally formed in 2010. The approval of these outcomes provides us with the opportunity to build a new future for our organisation, particularly as we recover from the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on the services we deliver.

 In addition to the above key documents, 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 Priorities 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 Spotlights.

Local Government Benchmarking Framework  (LGBF) allows councils to work together, to use performance information in a way which will help understand variations, share knowledge, expertise and good practice, with a view to making improvements. At the core of the framework is an agreed suite of performance indicators. We report the results for these indicators, over time, on the website. Additionally, you can compare our LGBF results with other councils' using the mylocalcouncil tool. Not all local authorities are alike and so family groups of eight ‘similar’ councils have been set up for comparison purposes. Workshops take place throughout the year to discuss the indicators and results – South Lanarkshire Council is actively involved in these discussions.

The information contained within this report reflects the position based on the data available at the time of publication (February 2022)