Sunday, August 22, 2010

Are these Corporate Objectives too stringent?

Many public buildings, such as Leisure Centres, Public halls and village halls run with a public subsidy. The whole idea that these will run at a surplus doesn't work. I am therefore surprised the Town Council has made the following promises:
The ECC is supposed to be self sufficient within 12 months. But what does self sufficient actually mean? To me this must mean the ECC must produce a surplus that not only covers all the expenses but also the loan repayments and interest on the building. Not forgetting any money needed for repairs and refurbishment.
Each year the Town Council has a trading account section in the Annual Accounts. To ensure this promise is achieved the Town Council will have to do similar for the ECC.

I feel these targets are unachievable and, whilst laudable, will mean pressure is put onto a service which cannot be met. The 5 year programme to cut the Priory Centre programme could work if the number of staff are cut. But Councillors like to interfere over fees and charges. When the HDC Leisure Centre has a subsidy of £600,000 plus a £2.9 million loan at £145,000 pa in interest plus capital repayments of £58,000 a year.

When the subsidy for the Priory Centre is put into context it is minimal against what is thrown at other public buildings. It is unlikely the Priory Centre will every be profitable. Accept the Priory Centre won't be profitable and stop wasting time and energy in chasing this unobtainable dream.

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