REPORT TO COUNCIL
5th September 2012
1.Middlesbrough Municipal Golf Centre Academy
1.1Members may recall that a Golf Academy was set up at Middlesbrough Municipal Golf Centre 18 months ago to help local people interested in golf reach their full potential. At the moment, the focus is on young people.
1.2I am pleased to report that there has already been an outstanding sporting success. Four young golfers from the Golf Academy competed in the Yorkshire Union Junior Club Championship on 8 July 2012 at Wike Ridge Golf Club. The team won the competition after competing against other more established clubs as far south as Sheffield. The young men are Ryan Elliott, aged 16, Josh Tibbett aged 15, JoeCrockett aged 15 and Joe Drury aged 15. Ryan produced the best individual score of the tournament, so he is the Yorkshire Junior Champion and Middlesbrough had a double win.
1.3The Middlesbrough Academy Team will now go on to represent the Yorkshire Union at the national finals in Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire on the weekend of 24August 2012. The team achieved the right to compete at the Yorkshire Regional Final by earlier winning the Teesside Union Junior Golf Championship at Saltburn on 6 June 2012. Two other young people Sam Warrior and M Jacobs from the Middlesbrough Golf Academy came third at the Tournament in Saltburn.
1.4Prior to the Middlesbrough Golf Academy being established two of the winning team had never played golf before which shows how much effort the young golfers have put into their recent success. I am most grateful for the help given by the sports development officer, onsite golf pro, the private golf club and golf centre staff who have helped make the Academy so successful so quickly. I wish the team well in the national finals.
1.5I was also pleased to hear at a recent Municipal Golf Centre Consultative Committee that the golfer representatives were full of praise for the first class condition of the greens and fairways. There has been considerable investment in time and materials to install drainage to tackle long standing flooding problems. Up until two years ago, the course was closed or part closed for 70 to 80 days a year due to flooding. Even after the extensive rainy period from April to July this year when many outdoor events have been cancelled, the course has only been closed for 5 days since January2012; a remarkable record.
2.Newham Grange Leisure Farm
2.1Newham Grange Leisure Farm has been a working farm since the 17th Century. The site is also a significant leisure and educational resource, which attracts up to 40,000 visitors a year. The leisure offer includes rare animal breeds on display, a barrel train, children’s tractors, a willow maze, a new enhanced indoor play area and pony rides. Micro piglets are a new animal attraction, which add to the other unusual animals including miniature horses, alpacas, llamas, chinchillas and wallabies. Middlesbrough College has recently designed and constructed a crazy golf course in the Farm as a student project and this opened last month.
2.2An action plan to increase income and cut costs following investments in refurbishment has helped to increase income by 50% and reduced the Council's annual revenue subsidy from £130,000 to £60,000. However, the Council's longer term budget savings plan identifies a £60,000 annual saving from 2013 and options to achieve this are being discussed .
2.3I will keep Members informed of developments, which will involve consultation with the Farm's Consultative Committee, which I chair.
3.Local Food Celebration 2012
3.1A Food Celebration event was held as part of the Middlesbrough Sports’ Mela in Centre Square on Saturday 14 July. The Celebration, organised by Middlesbrough Environment City (MEC) in partnership with the Council, built on the success of the Town Meal held in previous years. It was made possible through funding from the Cabinet Office Social Action Fund. The main themes for the day were healthy living and the promotion of One Planet Living.
3.2The event featured healthy cooking demonstrations by Middlesbrough College, Community Protection staff and Multicultural East Middlesbrough. In addition, MEC’s new 'Grow It, Cook It, Share It' project provided cooking demonstrations using local, seasonal vegetables. Over 200 recipe cards featuring dishes prepared on the day were distributed. Cooking activities were complemented by MEC’s growing projects, including activities for children. Other stalls included the Middlesbrough Cycle Centre, on hand to assist with cycle repairs and maintenance advice, Fairtrade tasters and energy efficiency and water conservation advice. Over 600 low energy light bulbs were distributed, together with “Hippos” that reduce water usage in toilet cisterns and other water saving devices. The Type 2 Diabetes project was also represented, raising awareness of the illness, particularly amongst BME communities.
3.3Funding is already in place for a larger Town Meal event next year, again through support from the Social Action Fund.
4.Southlands Leisure Centre Success
4.1Southlands Leisure Centre has gone from strength to strength since the Mayor's decision to keep the venue open. The venue finished the financial year with over 200,000 visits, and a surplus to budget of £40,000. To date, Southlands has seen more visits than the same time last year and income is improving.
4.2The refurbishment of the outdoor pitch at Southlands Leisure Centre is having a significant impact on the development of football in East Middlesbrough with four times as many visits from April to June compared to the same period last year. Leisure managers are confident that the pitch will achieve the income targets set in the business plan as well as supporting community development and youth engagement. The pitch was refurbished with a £100,000 contribution from Middlesbrough Council as matched funding towards £300,000 grants from other partners including the Football Foundation and FA. The East Middlesbrough Football programme is delivered in partnership with North Ormesby Junior Football club and Unity City Academy.
5.Middlesbrough Cycle Circuit
5.1Members may recall that the £750,000 Circuit is a flagship scheme and legacy of the Middlesbrough Healthy Town Programme and was built with 100% grant funding from British Cycling, NHS Middlesbrough and the Healthy Town Programme. The Circuit is proving popular with a variety of groups and promotional work will continue to maximise the opportunities available.
5.2The Circuit hosted a number of events recently including the North East Youth League, which regularly attracts riders from all over the North East. Cycling Development North East have held a six week race series for both youth and adult racing. The League 2000 series competition just keeps getting stronger with over 80junior riders participating. In May and June, the Circuit hosted two 24 hour charity events. In July, the Circuit hosted the Middlesbrough Schools Level 2 and Level 3 competitions as part of the Tees Valley Schools Games.
5.3During August, the Middlesbrough's Children with Disabilities team will host a fun day for the children and Daisy Chain are booked to hold a fun day again for children and their families with disabilities. Both groups are taking advantage of the inclusive bike deals on offer.
5.4The Circuit is working with Middlesbrough Cycle Centre to teach children to ride a bike. Two local clubs continue to use the Circuit as their base; these are Cleveland Wheelers and Stockton Wheelers. Both clubs offer coaching for local residents.
5.5Local residents are welcome to use the Circuit free of charge during selected periods by checking the Middlesbrough Council website or calling the helpline direct on 07876 137592.
6.Rainbow Changing Village Progress
6.1Refurbishment of the changing village was delayed as the contractor ceased trading and an Administrator was appointed. This has caused inconvenience to some customers as the refurbishment work stopped and the area was sealed off to meet legal requirements. Signage was put into place to keep customers informed. The staff have managed this difficult situation really well and I am told that customers have been very understanding. Further refurbishment is planned to add improved facilities for disabled customers.
7.Sport and Leisure - Facebook
7.1The Sport and Leisure Service have opened a social media page on Facebook. A page has been developed for each leisure site following a period of internal training and practice sessions prior to the 1st August go live date. Facebook will help enhance communication with customers, develop health message posts with the aim of increasing participation in sport and to raise the profile of the Council. Newham Grange Leisure Farm has run a very popular Facebook page for two years. The plan is to invest in social media communications to engage more effectively with customers
8.Olympic Dawn Run
8.1The Sport and Leisure Service hosted a special ‘5km Dawn Run’ on 18 June to complement the departure of the Olympic Torch Relay from Middlesbrough. The event was limited to 300 runners and all the places were booked within a week. The 300 runners lined up on Vulcan Street at 5.45am all with their commemorative T-shirts on and made their way out to Middlesbrough College and onto the Riverside Stadium before returning to the Transporter Bridge where they cheered the Torch bearers and were also filmed live on the ITN Daybreak show. The event showed Middlesbrough as an enthusiastic and active sporting community, ready to get involved with the Olympics and celebrate physical activity.
9.Olympic Sports Zone
9.1‘Sports Zone’ takes place in Centre Square, Middlesbrough every Wednesday afternoon between 3pm - 6pm. The ‘Sports Zone‘ uses the space in front of the town centre library to provide a range of informal activities including, volleyball, cricket, table tennis, swingball, football, fencing and athletics. Each week attendance at ‘Sports Zone’ has grown and participants are truly reflective of the social and cultural diversity of Middlesbrough, many of them are people we would not otherwise engage in physical activity on a regular basis.
9.2‘Sports Zone’ is taking place daily through the Olympic and Paralympic Games providing more people more opportunities to be more active. It adds vibrancy to Centre Square and encourages more people to come along and watch the games. By way of example cycle rides departed from Centre Square and returned in time to see the conclusion of the men’s Olympic Cycling Road Race.
10.Stroke Rehabilitation Sessions
10.1The Sport and Leisure Service have been delivering the ARNI (Action through Rehabilitation from Neurological Injury) programme for over a year. This is an intensive exercise intervention that works with people who have suffered from stroke. The course uses exercise to enhance the process of ‘neurological rewiring’ training the brain to take over the work-areas of the parts damaged through stroke. Results of the programme have been exceptional, making a real difference to people’s lives and confidences. To create some sustainability and continuation, staff are working with former participants and family members to develop a constituted group. The Stroke Activity Improvement Group held it’s first session at Southlands Centre on 19July. This was well attended and it is envisaged that the group will continue to support residents who have been through the ARNI programme.
11.Tees Valley School Games
11.1The Tees Valley School Games took place on 11 and 12 July across a variety of venues in Middlesbrough including Clairville, The Neptune, Ormesby Table Tennis Club and The Cycle Circuit. These Games are one of the showcase events in the Tees Valley London 2012 Legacy Action Plan. Over 1,500 young people across the Tees Valley competed over the two days. The School Games are the culmination of a programme of training and competition, which have been held in Tees Valley Schools during the past year. Middlesbrough's teams competed with distinction across all events, winning the wheelchair basketball and the Year 7 netball. I was very impressed by the whole organisation, the enthusiasm and standard of our students who were competing.
12.Sports Mela 2012
12.1The Middlesbrough Mela was able to go ahead in Centre Square on the weekend of 14 July as ground saturation at Albert Park prevented the event from progressing there as planned. The Sports Mela had a split location; a schools football festival was played on pitches at Beechwood Social Club whilst the main event proceeded in Centre Square. Over 1,000 players and spectators enjoyed the football competition with ex footballers Peter Beardsley and Willie Donachie presenting prizes. Centre Square was a buzz of activity as people got the chance to try out mini tennis, cricket, boxing, table tennis, volleyball, trampolining, circus skills, hool-a-hooping and football. These activities were delivered by local clubs.
12.2There was a full programme on the performance stage including Big Dance 2012 where professional groups performed for the watching public. There were also performances from acro dance, tap dancing, belly dancing and disabled dance groups as well as boxing demos and music performances from local groups. An estimated 10,000 people attended the day, many of whom participated in some kind of physical activity, as well as browsing through the numerous stalls and sampling the wonderful foods.
13.Active Health for Health Workers!
13.1The Sport and Leisure Service has been supporting staff at James Cook University Hospital to become more active. The South Tees NHS Trust have secured funding to enable greater levels of physical activity by their employees that have been selected through a consultation exercise with hospital staff. Activities include Badminton sessions and fitness classes. A new running group has been established in Stewart Park. Nineteen hospital workers attended the first session and feedback has been very positive. All participants will be supported to engage with Parkrun® and the Middlesbrough Tees Pride 10km road race in September.
14.Clairville Hosts Olympic Athletes
14.1The Sudanese Olympic team undertook their final preparation and acclimatisation for the London 2012. The team of seven athletes spent over three weeks in the North East using facilities at Clairville and Albert Park to complete their training. Whilst in the area the team were able to get involved with some community activity including an open training session and question and answer session with the public. They also attended a civic reception.
15.1I am pleased to report that the renovation work on the Fountain is due to be completed in August.
15.2The Pavilion building took centre stage in the CBBC Olympic Challenge television programme, which went out live on the BBC just before the opening ceremony for the Olympics on Friday 27 July. This was based on a series of pre-recorded programmes shown in the week leading up to and culminating in a special live broadcast from Albert Park. Hundreds of children and parents/guardians attended this free event. The programme included a DIY SOS style renovation of the Pavilion by a group of local schoolchildren aided by the CBBC Art Attack team and council officers. The "reveal" of the inside of the building was part of the live event on the 27July. The event will be used as a platform to explore more effective uses for the Pavilion building which was much in need of renovation.
15.3The Community Garden project is ongoing. There are 11 mini allotments and more will be developed as funds become available.
16.1The new visitors centre and cafe are now in full use and bookings for training rooms are being taken. The Keep Britain Tidy 'national parks quality award' was achieved by Stewart Park. This means that Middlesbrough now has six sites with Albert Park, Pallister Park, Linthorpe Cemetery, Fairy Dell, and Hemlington Lake and Recreation Centre.
16.2Middlesbrough Theatre and Heartbreak Productions arranged for the first outdoor production of The Railway Children in the new events area in June. Despite bad weather it was well attended with good feedback. On 29 July, the Chapterhouse Theatre Company presented the tale of matchmaking, marriage and merriment with "Emma" adapted by Laura Turner from Jane Austen. Photography and garden design/skills courses are planned for later this year.
16.3The Stewart Parkrun® started on 7 July with over 100 people attending. Parks staff are working with the organisers to ensure this weekly event becomes as successful as the Albert Parkrun®. Middlesbrough is the only town outside London which has more than one Parkrun®.
17.Health and Wellbeing Board
17.1The Middlesbrough Shadow Health and Wellbeing Board held their first meeting on the 6 June 2012. The meeting, which was joint between the Shadow Board and the Health and Wellbeing Executive, was chaired by the Mayor. A development day for the Shadow Health and Wellbeing Board and the Health and Wellbeing Executive was held on the 26 July 2012, to identify priorities for the Health and Wellbeing Strategy. The four priorities identified are: