CEO Forum

CEO Forum Action Points

Many thanks to those Members who were able to attend the CEO Forum on Friday and many thanks to Vicky Sutton of Wales Netball for arranging the St Peters Hall facility. The WSA wanted to draw the members attention to two news stories that have been released since the Forum on Friday.

Welsh Government’s upcoming draft Budget

All businesses in Wales will benefit from new rates support from the Welsh Government to help with the effects of rising costs. A package of support worth more than £460m over the next two financial years will be announced in the Welsh Government’s upcoming draft Budget. £140m will support businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors. Eligible ratepayers will receive 75% non-domestic rates relief for 2023‑24, a rise from the 50% relief provided in 2022-23. Please view the Welsh Government statement here.

Powys County Council Considering Leisure Centre closures

All Powys leisure centres could have an extended break over the Christmas and New Year period, and some could be temporarily closed until 31st March to counter escalating energy costs. The action is being proposed by Powys County Council and not-for-profit leisure operator Freedom Leisure in response to the cost-of-living crisis and a catastrophic increase in energy costs and will be considered by Powys County Council’s Cabinet today.

Proposals in detail

  • Christmas closure of all leisure centres December 23 – January 3, 2023
  • Temporary closure of Llanfair Caereinion, Llanfyllin and Presteigne (to the public): December 23 – March 31, 2023 (swimming pools closed to public and schools)
  • Temporary closure of swimming pools at Llanidloes, Rhayader and Builth (to the public and schools) December 23 – March 31, 2023
  • All Saunas to close
  • Leisure Centre fees & charges to increase for some activities from January 1, 2023

Action Points following CEO Forum, 09.12.2022

WSA Cost of Living Impact Forum

We all recognise the success of the sector coming together during the Coronavirus pandemic, through the WSA steering groups. Following the much-needed discussion on Friday at the CEO Forum and the concerning presentations delivered by Ian Derrick (BoE), Jennifer Huygen (CLUK) and Rhys Jones (GLL); the WSA will host a Cost-of-Living Impact Forum on Wednesday 11th January 2023 at 2pm. This will be held remotely to make the meeting as accessible as possible. We would be grateful for the attendance of as many CEO’s & member points of contact as possible due to the important nature of this forum, so please make every effort to attend.

Athlete Campaign

At the CEO forum we discussed an Athlete Campaign in support of CLUK’s and WSA’s political ask and we have articulated these asks below. Please could NGB’s work with their comms leads to galvanize athlete support and notify the WSA with any published material so we can collate and share?

  • We want Public leisure and culture to be recognised as vulnerable sectors, and for the UK Government to commit to an extension of the energy price cap to cover leisure and culture services. We recognise that this is a Westminster decision and understand that a decision may be forthcoming before Christmas. If this goes against our sector, the energy cost increases will force even more closure of facilities in the next financial year. If the UK Government commits to specific measures England, we must see these replicated in Wales.
  • We want Government commitment to directly fund an uplift in revenue funding available to public leisure in Wales. This cannot be absorbed into the wider Local Government settlement, as has happened since the end of the local government hardship fund.
  • We want Welsh Government and the WLGA to commit to working towards making public leisure a statutory service in Local Authorities in Wales. Protecting service delivery for future generations.
  • Considering the cost-of-living crisis, we want Welsh Government to extend the Non-Domestic Rates relief for the sport and leisure sector – this has been done to 75% but we would like to know  for how long this will be in place and whether additional funding can be provided.

We do appreciate that you are all busy running your own sports but are grateful for your collective time and voice on these critical issues as they will sadly impact on all sports, when operators and LA’s have to make very difficult decisions going forward.

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