Full Council to consider alternative ways of delivering Sport and Culture in Aberdeenshire

Members of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning & Leisure (EL&L) Committee yesterday gave their reaction to a report outlining the different ways the council might deliver Sport and Cultural services in the future.

Following agreement from the committee earlier this year that alternative delivery models be considered, council officers and external consultants have been investigating a series of options which include:

- The creation of a charitable trust, wholly owned by the council, which would deliver sport and cultural services on its behalf

- An enhanced version of the status quo, through which those services would continue to be directly delivered by the council

- Outsourcing the delivery of the services to a private company

- The creation of a public-private partnership

- Continuation of the status quo

Committee members yesterday gave their comments on the options ranging from full support of individual models to highlighting risks and concerns potentially associated with others.

The overall business case outlining the different options will now proceed to full council for discussion by all councillors in November, with the additional recommendation from EL&L Committee that councillors consider the most appropriate form for a public consultation on the matter.

The committee also agreed that Community, Learning & Development services provided by the council should be removed from the scope of any future work looking at alternative ways of delivering services.

Chair of committee, Cllr Alison Evison, said: “I welcome all the comments made by committee members – we had a frank and open discussion which allowed us to listen to each other’s views on what is a very important and significant subject.

“We all agreed that in order to be able to sustain the services we currently provide we have to consider other ways of doing things.

“Our comments will now be incorporated in the report to full council which is expected to be discussed in November, including more detail about the way any alternative model might be governed.”

Vice-chair of the committee, Cllr Charles Buchan, said: “There was unanimous agreement that our CLD teams, who work closely with schools and colleges, be removed from any further consideration as part of this project.

“Committee members also agreed that all councillors should have the opportunity to consider the most appropriate way to engage with members of the public on how we deliver these services in the future.”