Decision details

Contractual Relief Payments to the Councils Leisure Provider: Reference: D24/20

Decision Maker: Leader of the Council

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


To address a request for financial assistance from the Council’s leisure services provider Breckland Leisure Limited.


1)     That contractual relief provided under the contract for the qualifying change in law (closure of leisure centres) is effective from the period in which legislation was enforced (21st March 2020) and to extend no further than the end date of the enforced closure.


2)     That the normal monthly unitary charge will continue to be paid in full, as required by the contract


3)     That the Council offers, under the contract, to make additional monthly relief payments to the contractor for a sum of £16,711.08 for April 2020, and similar waiver/payments in other qualifying months based on invoices for costs incurred being reviewed on a month-by-month basis.


4)     That the offer be subject to the following terms and conditions along with any other terms advised by the Council’s lawyers:


a)     Monthly review & reconciliation of invoices, with the Council being able to terminate the payments/waiver of income at such time as it determines at its absolute discretion


b)     That payments are subject to full transparency/open book accounting on the Contractor’s part


c)     That the Council has a right to recover any amount by which the contractor may have been unjustly enriched and/or such amount that the contractor has failed to avail itself of from support that it could reasonably have been obtained elsewhere.


Reasons for the decision:

As a result of the Covid-19 crisis and the subsequent Coronavirus Act 2020, which enforced closure of the Council’s leisure centres, the Council’s leisure operator Parkwood Leisure Limited has written to the Council to request financial support.


The contract and the Councils Solicitor have confirmed that the closure is a qualifying change in law under the contract, for which the Council is required to make a monthly relief payment to the contractor.


In order to safeguard the contractor’s position, and future delivery of the contract and leisure services, the decision cannot reasonably be deferred.


The Corporate Contracts and Procurement Manager has scrutinised the figures submitted by the contractor and has consulted both Finance and Legal Services. Having confirmed that the figures are reasonable and subject to open book accounting, an urgent decision is now required to process payment.


Alternative options considered:

·        To provide contractual relief payments to the Council’s Leisure provider

·        Not to provide contractual relief payments to the Council’s Leisure provider

Urgent item?: Yes

Publication date: 19/06/2020

Date of decision: 19/06/2020

Accompanying Documents: