BBC 5 Live
Tony Ploszalski was interviewed recently by BBC Radio 5 Live with regards to the participation legacy from next year’s Olympics. So much of the legacy debate has focussed on the built facilities that increasing participation has been forgotten. In Singapore in 2005, Coe and Co promised that the lasting legacy would be greatly increased levels of activity, club membership and volunteering. However, not a single penny of the £12 billion 2012 budget has been allocated to sports development.
In these times of financial crisis, local authority sports development budgets are being cut drastically and local clubs are being expected to take up the slack. This is fine in the leafy shires but in Peckham, Bootle or Manningham this is unlikely to happen. Never mind though, it’ll all be over in 12 months. The top brass will get their MBEs, Coe will go back to parliament and the circus will move on to Brazil. No-one will ever monitor the legacy promises which will be quietly forgotten.
It can’t be just us at PLC who are frustrated by the increasing use by local authorities of electronic tendering portals. These might work very well if a council is buying commodities such as road grit or motor mowers but they don’t work for consultancy.
Commissioning consultants is straightforward. You identify your needs, write a brief, speak to the consultants about the brief and receive their proposals. You then select the one who has the best understanding of what you are trying to achieve. None of this can be done properly through an electronic portal which totally precludes the all important pre-proposal conversation between client and prospective consultant.
More and more authorities are becoming more and more risk averse and so falling into the hands of procurement professionals (oxymoron?) who really do not understand leisure consultancy. This is to the detriment of good consultancy and good leisure development.