**Read SOS Scrutiny Questions HERE**
* NEWS FLASH * READ LATEST NEWS HERE **
Residents Not Worth a Penny a Day More...
Arlene Phillips signs SOS Petition More.....
Bury Council Ignores own rescue plan More....
Your help is still needed the Longfield Suite is still under threat- if you want to help the SOS campaign please contact:
Kevin Hodges: 07963 488446
Where Does Your Councillor Stand
Every Bury Councillor has been invited to share their views with you, on the future of the Longfield Suite.
Find out what your Councillor has to say, or does not say - on the future of your Longfield Suite: ** HERE **
Read the invitation E-mail ** HERE **
On Sunday 6 December 2009, between 12:30pm to 12:45pm. Nearly 300 local residents and user groups braved the cold weather to take part in the Link Together To Save The Longfield Suite event.
With a symbolic joining of hands, three generations of user groups, joined together as a community to send a clear message to Bury Council leaders:
Off Our Longfield Suite
The Scrutineers ^^
Group questions not answered by the Assistant Director of Operations
May I refer the panel to Appendix D The Customer Analysis Charts; I would like to draw your attention to the source of income pie chart. It is clear to see that Bury Venues only generates 1.5% income, which is slightly better than the Yellow pages.
of the fact an entry in Yellow Pages costs nothing, does Bury Venues offer
good value for money when it costs the Council Taxpayer nearly £400,000
My question refers to Page 7, Para 7.3 of the report, in which it states:
to SOS correspondence & FOI requests impacts directly on the resources
of Council Staff to focus on delivering the business plan for the Longfield
Suite. As these FOI requests were processed by the Legal Department, what
relevance has this to Bury Venues delivering the Business Plan?
With respect to page 1, paragraph 2.3 where the recession is referred to, I would like to draw the committees attention to the following:
At the Full Council Meeting of December 15th 2010 a member of the SOS Group raised concerns about the limited choice of events that took place over the 2010 festive season. Having studied the Audited Accounts for that period, I can reveal to the Committee that the total income for Christmas Eve, Boxing Day & New Years Eve for the Longfield Suite was £3.199.
Yet on Friday
February 11th a mere six weeks later a Tribute Night generated £9,500
in income. Did the recession take a day off on February 11th - Or are
the Longfield Suites Losses down to the high proportion of events staged
by Commercial Operators who are NOT charged a negotiated Commercial Rate
to ensure all overheads and administration costs are met.
Mr Chairman: My question refers to Page 7, Para 7.6 of the report, in which it states:
The direction of civic halls as a commercial business or a community service requires further development.
The 2007 Best Value Review of the Civics Suites identified a service with no strategic direction and other authorities and competitors were ahead of the game.
My question refers to page 4 paragraph 3.3, which states the meeting chaired by KPMG cost £7,300. This meeting lasted one hour. We wish to make it perfectly clear the SOS Group did NOT ask for this meeting, as you will see from the evidence provided tonight.
Audit Commission Act 1998, electors have the right to inspect the accounts
of the Authority and question the Auditors. If this provision incurs a
charge of £7,300 per hour shouldnt this be made clear to the
My question refers to page 7 paragraph 8, last bullet point which states:
To support employing a dedicated Officer assigned to developing new business marketing and promotion across all venues as a 12-month pilot.
Is the Head
of Civics not already employed in this capacity according to his job description?
Does the proposed employment of a dedicated officer indicate
unsatisfactory performance by the present post holder at Bury Venues?
^^ TOP ^^
SOS Handout ^^ BACK ^^
The document below was handed out the meeting. If you want a copy of the supporting evidence please email support@saveoursuite .com.
To the Committee Members from the SOS group 20/07/2011
With reference to the Internal Scrutiny 20th July 2011" The Longfield Suite Business Plan Update," we would like to draw your attention to the following:
to Page 4, Paragraph 3.2:
to Page 4, Paragraph 3.3
Commission Act. 1998 states: electors have the right to:
In the public announcement printed in the press, there is no mention of a charge for this service. (See Council_announcement_doc2). In addition, correspondence between Mr T Rees (KPMG) and Ivan Lewis MP no charges were mentioned. Why then did our meeting with KPMG result in a charge of £7,300 for a one-hour meeting? The detailed work resulting from this meeting; the production of minutes, getting them approved by Mr T Rees (KPMG) and generating the matters arising document was DONE BY US, a group of volunteers. We require a full detailed breakdown of this charge.
The issues regarding central re-charges were not resolved (see minutes/matters
The Assistant Director (EDS) was actioned to check on our claim that the Commercial Operators were being provided with a security guard at a cost of £67.50 and this was NOT reflected in the hire charge, this was strenuously denied by the Assistant Director (EDS). Eventually, the Head Of Strategic Finance informed us that we were CORRECT; the Council Taxpayer was footing the security bill for the security for Commercial Operators. To date, we have not been informed if this practice is still continuing. Extrapolating the cost of this one item for the Longfield Suite yielded a cost to the Council Taxpayer of £12,000.per year. This has been allowed to happen for years. Officers were also sanctioned; Better comparative data to be obtained, by benchmarking the Longfield Suite against other venues. Charges/hire rates to be reviewed against actual running costs. (See minutes/matters arising docs).
NOTE: All supporting documentation will be sent electronically tomorrow morning.
Our Suite Group 20/07/2011
^^ TOP ^^
Re: The Longfield Suite Prestwich
We are writing to offer you some free publicity courtesy of the Save Our Suite campaign website (www.saveoursuite.com).
Members of the Save Our Suite campaign object in the strongest terms to Bury Council's proposal to "reconfigure" the Longfield Suite.
Clearly there are some common sense changes, which need to be made in order to make the Suite more profitable. As you know, Bury Council staff presented these changes to the council's Resource and Performance Scrutiny Commission back in 2007. As far as we can tell, many of the changes have still not been implemented almost three years on.
The Longfield Suite is precious to many local people both as a source of civic pride (its wonderful dance floor and reputation) and for the health and well-being benefits offered. Any "reconfiguration" of the Suite's dance floor will remove many of these benefits from a town, which has no public pool or leisure centre. This will undermine the council's aim of making Bury "the healthiest borough in the North West".
Consultation tells us time and time again that local people want to retain the Suite. In view of what we may be about to lose, we believe the people of Prestwich and Whitefield have a right to know which of the borough's elected representatives are fighting to preserve this well-loved asset.
We intend to publish on our website a list of all councillors who are supporting local people by opposing "reconfiguration" of the Longfield Suite's dance floor. We will gladly include any supporting statement you care to make, as long as it makes your position on this issue crystal clear.
Please respond by 28th February 2010 if you would like to be included on this list.