Monmouthshire County Council has approved the establishment of an Alternative Delivery Model (ADM) to secure a viable and sustainable future for its tourism, leisure, culture and youth services. The new model will ensure these services are able to thrive and respond to the current and future needs, expectations and aspirations of Monmouthshire’s communities. A report discussed in cabinet on 29th January was ratified today (Thursday, 15th February) by a special meeting of the county council.
The decision marks the conclusion of a lengthy and wide-ranging appraisal of options to provide a secure future for highly-valued services instrumental to the well-being and life chances of residents, businesses and visitors to the county.
The model will allow the services to operate in close partnership with the council under the auspices of a trading company following the Teckal principle. This states that the local authority must control all shares in the company and must also exercise effective day-to-day control over its affairs. This structure will provide full accountability for the council through the management agreement, while enabling the ADM entrepreneurial freedom and ensuring that the organisation operates as efficiently as possible. It also gives the benefits of independent charitable status for some of its delivery.
The model will encompass the county’s leisure, culture, outdoor education, countryside, youth services as well as the management of premises that provide our tourism offer. The council provides leisure services from four sites with outdoor educational activities at three centres and runs cultural and tourism services in Abergavenny, Monmouth, Caldicot and Chepstow. In addition, the council’s countryside service oversees a large public rights of way network as well as recreational sites providing outdoor opportunities for Monmouthshire’s communities and visitors.
The launch for the new model is anticipated to be 1st October.
County Councillor Bob Greenland, cabinet member with responsibility for tourism and leisure said: “This measure encompasses probably the biggest change in service delivery during the term of this council. Increasing financial pressure has required our tourism, cultural, leisure and youth services to cut back on their costs so we can prioritise the vital fields of education and social services. Budgets have been reduced from £6.5m in 2010 to a current £4.4m but tourism, cultural, leisure and youth services are necessary for the well-being of our communities – and we can cut no further without the threat of reduced services, closures and job losses.”
He continued: “Members of the public are concerned with receiving good public services and I believe the groundwork carried out in the past two years to deliver this model will result in the best possible outcome. The agreed changes in structure will give these services the confidence to plan ahead with assured budgets.”
For further details about Monmouthshire’s ADM for tourism, leisure, culture and youth services contact Head of Tourism, Leisure, Culture and Youth Services Ian Saunders – IanSaunders@monmouthshire.gov.uk or telephone 07876 545793.