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Scrutiny Committee to Examine Research Into Residents' Perception of Leisure Facilities - 26 October 2010.

posted 19 Oct 2010, 08:47 by David Gilroy

On 26 October 2010, the Overview and Scrutiny (Public Services) Committee for St Albans City and District Council will consider the results of research into the reasons for residents’ low satisfaction levels with leisure facilities in the District.

In June, the Committee commissioned research to investigate why only 43% of participants in the 2008 Place Survey said that they were satisfied with the sport and leisure facilities in the District.  The Place Survey provides information on residents’ perceptions of their local area and the services they receive.

The Council has since conducted three focus groups with twenty-six residents of varying ages recruited from the Council’s community panel.  Participants were taken from the wards of Clarence, Sopwell, St Peter’s and Marshalswick North, where the lowest satisfaction levels in the 2008 Place Survey were recorded.

The research found that there was an appreciation of the value for money offered by the Council’s sports facilities.  While there was an awareness of the Council’s plans to replace Westminster Lodge in 2012, there was felt to be a need for improvements to be made to the existing facility in the mean time.

The research also showed that there was a need for more information to be made available to residents about the District’s leisure facilities, including arts venues, and their programmes of events and classes and any arrangements for concessions.  It was suggested that this could be provided through a “What’s On” website and a presence on online social networks, such as Facebook.

Cllr Julian Daly, Chair of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny (Public Services) Committee, said: “We asked for focus groups to find out why there are such low satisfaction levels for sport and leisure facilities in the District.  I am looking forward to seeing the results of the research and the suggestions that come from it.”

Members of the public can attend the meeting which will take place at 7pm at the Council’s Offices, St Peter's Street, St Albans or watch the meeting online via the Council’s website.