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Agenda item

Service Level Agreement - Dartford Rugby Ltd

Summary:

 

To consider a proposed Service Level Agreement between the Council and Dartford Rugby Ltd.

 

Recommendation:

 

That, subject to the Dartford Rugby Club agreeing to enter into a Service Level Agreement with the Council, on the terms set out in Appendix A to the report, the Council grant funds the Club the sum of £15,000 (fifteen thousand pounds) for the period 8 October 2019 to 7 October 2022.

Minutes:

The Policy and Corporate Support Manager presented a report which detailed the proposed service level agreement between the Council and Dartford Rugby Ltd (the Club). He explained that the Club had taken a lease from the Council for the new community rugby facility at Stone Lodge but that the Club had taken the facility from the Council as a shell and that it was now incurring significant costs in fitting out the facility. This included substantial outlays in terms of stocking the bars and kitchens, furnishing the bars and banqueting areas, making provision for utility bills, and for the maintenance and ultimate replacement costs of the artificial pitch at the end of its ten year lifespan. The Club had a detailed business plan to achieve this and had appointed a facilities manager to develop the business. In view of the substantial opportunities for community development, it was proposed that the Council would make a one-off enabling grant of £15,000 to the Club. The Club’s objectives included promoting rugby across Dartford’s communities, ensuring that the new facility was available to the community as a whole and helping the Council to achieve its objectives in terms of sport and health. In addition the Club had a detailed plan for community involvement in place and ambitious plans for developing the Club as a community business and promoting sporting diversity. The Club had developed a youth programme, including assistance for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, and was keen to drive the Club forward through youth involvement. It was also strongly promoting its social membership and inclusivity and had been out leafleting in the community to encourage people to come to the Club and get involved. The Club had welcomed the one off grant from the Council to help them to move forward at this crucial development stage and the SLA clearly set out the Council’s expectations in return for this assistance and also contained provisions in terms of monitoring performance and producing an annual report. He also noted that the Council’s Healthy Living Co-Ordinator was already using the facilities as a base for activities to promote health and wellbeing.

 

Members welcomed the grant and SLA but one Member wondered whether a one-off grant of £15,000 covering three years was actually enough. The Policy and Corporate Support Manager explained that the grant had been discussed with the Club and that they were satisfied with the arrangement and welcomed the support which would help them move forward to develop the Club further. They would produce an annual report which could be shared with Members if they so wished in similar fashion to the reporting arrangements for the Orchard Theatre and Fairfield Leisure Centre. In terms of the amount of the grant, this would effectively help to kick-start the Club, and the Club had set itself ambitious growth targets which was why it was in its own best interests to promote itself as widely as possible and in all parts of the community. It was strongly pursuing youth involvement as this also opened up the Club to families and other support networks as well, which worked to everyone’s advantage and would help to deliver the Council’s aspirations. A Member asked what activities the Club was undertaking to promote participation by girls as well as boys and how it was looking to remove barriers to participation. The Policy and Corporate Support Manager explained that the Club already ran a number of women’s teams, that it had projects for supporting participation by single parent families, leafleting the community and encouraging people across the social spectrum to use the facilities in order to make the Club a success.  

 

The Cabinet Advisory Panel strongly endorsed the recommendations contained in the report.

 

Supporting documents: