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SPORT SURVEY


SPORT COPING WITH THE CUTS


could be 25-40 per cent smaller in finan- cial terms by 2014. A recent survey by the Chief Cultural


S


and Leisure Officers’ Association (CCLOA) – aiming to provide a snapshot of the financial environment for culture and leisure services – was returned by 82 of the 200 councils the organisation repre- sents in England and Wales. The survey provided information on


reductions in budgets for 2011/12 and looking ahead to 2012/13. Around 40 per cent of authorities


will be setting budgets for culture and leisure in line with the overall 21 per cent local government comprehensive spending review reduction. However, 16 authorities (20 per cent of respondents) are making savings of more than 15 per cent across consecutive financial years, which combines to reductions of around 30 per cent. The message is that culture and leisure budgets are being hit by a greater proportion of cuts in around 20 per cent of authorities. From what we know of our sector it


can be suggested that savings of this level and speed are rarely achieved through ‘back office’ functions: the quality and the range of frontline service provisions are being affected. It also seems likely that charges are being increased, thus increas- ing the barrier to participation.


port – along with arts, libraries and museums, parks, play and tourism – is facing a decreas- ing public sector budget, which


Sport faces unprecedented challenges from reductions in public spending, but Olympic legacy and the government’s health agenda offer major opportunities. John Bell asks whether sport can rise to the challenge?


New ways of working More than 50 per cent of the authori- ties which responds to the CLOA survey stated they were currently undertaking or considering alternative delivery mod- els. In 27 councils, transformation of the delivery of culture or sport services was already underway. The main alternative delivery models are: • Externalising service delivery through a private contractor or trust • Sharing services with another local authority • Transferring assets to a community group • Sharing assets with another service provider (i.e. co-location) While private sector externalisation


was cited as a priority option for consid- eration in 28 per cent of local authorities responding to this question, the trust model is favoured and is currently being planned or is underway in 41 per cent of local authorities. Sharing services with another local


authority is underway for 13 per cent of respondents with another 24 per cent considering it as an option. Transferring assets to community groups and sharing locations with other service providers are


24 Read Sports Management online sportsmanagement.co.uk/digital


also being considered as viable options by around 39 per cent and 36 per cent of local authorities respectively. In summary, it would appear that all


options for transformation are being considered by authorities; only one re- sponding local authority was not proactively reviewing at least one alter- native delivery model.


Sector-led improvement As part of the localism and accountabil- ity agenda, sport will no longer have to achieve success through measures such as National Indicators. Accountability will be to communities and customers and the emphasis will be on delivering better outcomes more efficiently. Support is available to assist sector-led


improvement through: • CCLOA • Local Government Improvement and Development • Local Cultural Improvement Network • County Sports Partnership Network


CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES


So what opportunities will be available for sport over the next few years, while


Issue 3 2011 © cybertrek 2011


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