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REPORT ON PROGRESS ON BUILDING OF LEISURE CENTRE PROPOSAL SHERBURY
To: M. Smith, Head of Analysis of Proposals
From: N. Rafie, Proposal AnalystDate: 1st May 2015
There is dissent in the town of Sherbury, Wealdshre County which has been linked to the apparent lack of leisure amenities and facilities in the town itself. Several social issues have been identified such as an increasing crime rate as well as cases of gangs and alcoholism mostly pertaining to teens of Sherbury which has been blamed on the previously kentioned lack of amenities and activities to do in town. As a countermeasure to the social issues and the lack of facilities, Sherbury has decided to start to look at the possibility of building a Leisure Centre.
There is a severe lack of leisure amenities and facilities, in particular those that cater to young people and this has been deemed the root cause to the social issues that are becoming apparent in Shersbury.
According to police reports there have been an increase in the amount of criminal cases in Sherbury specifically cases involving vandalism and drunk and disorderly behaviour involving the teenage demographic. They have seen an increase of 32% and 24% respectively. It has to be noted that the increase for teen drunk and disorderly behaviour was seen within the last 12 months.
There is growing concern with social workers regarding a surge in teenage alcoholism and roaming teenage gangs present at the town centre and housing estates. The social workers attribute these growing social issues to “boredom derived from little or nothing to do in the evenings.
There are only two youth clubs in the town, both of which are oversubscribed. Denial of entry has been met with attempts to disrupt the youth clubs’ activities by older teenagers.
The local weekly newspaper, The Sherbury Chronicle has been campaigning for improvements in leisure facilities over these last 6 weeks. The paper has utilised their medium to campaign with scathing editorials with headlines such as “Council Fuddy-duddies forget their youth.
Readers of the Sherbury Chronicle have changed their views regarding the issue have changed from sympathetic to condemnatory due to the correspondence the readers and the paper have which has been labelled as “Lively”.
Town Councillors of Sherbury have been actively canvassing for the building of a leisure centre in order to provide for they consider the town to be sorely lacking amenities.
Sherbury Town Councillor James Hillingdon referred to the current situation as a “shocking state of affairs” pointing out that Sherbury has nothing to offer its young people in the evenings but violent films in its local cinema and alcoholic beverages from its ten central public houses at a recent council meeting.
There have been cases of local sports clubs and associations making representation to councillors and to County Hall officials.
Some Sherbury sports enthusiasts are travelling thirty miles or more in order to find the amenities that they seek.
There are existing sports facilities in Sherbury however they predominantly provide for outdoor sports.
There are also sports facilities that are provided for indoor sports in the community hall however this is reportedly over crowded.
There have been several activities that have been suggested for inclusion in any future Leisure Centre include table tennis, badminton, basketball, tennis, swimming, judo, karate, volleyball, ten-pin bowling, snooker and billiards, gymnastics and for older members yoga, relaxation classes and keep fit together with a club room for darts dominoes and quieter activities.
A rough projection for the building of the leisure centre has been estimated at £1.8 million
Two sites have been identified as suitable for the leisure centre the first at Charles Bowley Recreation Park in Northern Sherbury and the second in Central Sherbury.
There are many options available for the funding of the project, increasing council tax in conjunction with securing government grants as well as funding from the Lottery Commission.
There are local sports associations that have suggested possible fund raising activities.
The Chief Executive of the Council has formed a working party that is made up of representatives from the Planning Department, Architectural Department, Community Liaison office and Spots Advisory Office due to mounting pressure.
The working party is tasked with investigating the need for a leisure centre, make projections regarding building and maintenance costs, make suggestion with regard to location and make proposals concerning the types of activities it should house and the layout of various halls and rooms as well as provide a set of recommendations to be submitted to the Council for debate.
- CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
It is safe to say that the root cause of the social issues that are affecting Sherbury is centred on its young people and the lack of amenities and lack of activities which they can expand their energies on.
There are facilities and youth clubs in the town that do provide activities for young people however due to their size and lack of facilities it is not enough to provide for all of them. This often leads to conflict between those who are already involved with the clubs and those who are not. This in turn may exacerbate the increasing crime rate as the disruption of club activities may lead to even less people being involved with the clubs.
The only activities to do in town such as watching movies and partaking in the consumption of alcohol are contributing even more to the advent of the social issues in Sherbury such as vandalism, gangs and teenage alcoholism.
The lack of facilities is not only facilitating the increase of social issues in Sherbury, it is also making it highly inconvenient for many sports enthusiasts who have to travel a considerable distance in order to access facilities that allow them to partake in their sports. This inconvenience can also be considered a loss to the local economy for Sherbury as these potential consumers now bring their business to other towns as well as a loss of the potential to groom local talent in terms of competitive events.
All in all I think that Sherbury should proceed with the building of the leisure centre as this would solve many of Sherbury’s current issues. It has to be noted that while it will help deter the effects of the social issues in Sherbury it has to be used in conjunction with other policies as well as understanding that the project will take time and its effects will take time to be seen. So patience will need to be exercised by the Sherbury council as well as its residents.
Although the cost of building of the centre is quite high (£1.8 million) it has to be understood that the social costs will be even higher with crime rates increasing as well as teens turning to alcoholism and gang behaviour, the social repercussions of not doing anything will be higher than the actual financial costs.
The provision of activities will enable the youth to expand their energies on activities that are productive and will hopefully help the youth gain a sense of identity from something positive rather than having to end up in a gang or turning to alcohol.
Sherbury needs to ensure that they are able to deal with their social issues directly rather than putting all their hopes on the leisure centre to make the issues go away. Sherbury needs to increase security as well as enforce new laws that make sure that the teens will not have access to alcohol too freely. Maybe something along the lines of increasing police patrols in areas that have been frequented by these gangs as well as restricting the public houses from selling alcoholic beverages past a certain time for those who are below the age of 20.
The existing youth clubs need to be nurtured and aided further in order to help reduce the effects of social issues. Considering the fact that there are already established Youth Clubs in Sherbury, the council would not have to do any actual work other than maybe fund the clubs in order to increase their capacity to take in new members. By expanding the capacity of the clubs as well as providing them new operating quarters in the new Leisure Centre, the council would be killing two birds with one stone, providing activities for the youth as well as gaining occupants for the centre.
Establishing the Leisure Centre will benefit the local sporting community greatly and they understand this with many local sports associations supporting the proposal as well as offering to help fund the project. The council would do well to remember this as the town will benefit greatly should the local sports associations flourish as this will allow the town to produce talent from youth who now have something productive to be involved with. It also has to be considered that the previous situation where Sherbury sports enthusiast were traveling far in order to access sports facilities, the building of the leisure centre may well attract enthusiast from other towns as well. This will help the not just strengthen the sporting community but aid the local economy as well.
Out of the two locations, I would suggest the council build it in the Northern Suburbs as a central location, while good for businesses in the area may not have enough space to include all the possible activities that can be provided by the centre as well as not being able to provide enough parking space for users of the centre.
3. a) Opening - The opening of an interview is what will set the tone for the rest of the interview, it is in the opening of an interview where the purpose of the interview is made clear therefore. Once the purpose of the interview is made clear the process is made much more easier as all parties will understand why they are there and what it is expected of them.
The opening will establish the tone and atmosphere of the interview as well as indicate the level of formality or informality that the interview will take. By setting the tone of the interview, interviewees can be put at ease, or unease according to what the interviewer wants. It is in the opening where the flow of the interview is decided.
Questions – In an interview there are two simple rules of thumb, ask the right questions and listen to the answers. An interviewer should prepare the questions that should be asked in order to elicit information from the interviewee that is desirable and therefore making the interview productive.
Pacing of the questions should be controlled carefully as important information may be glossed over or leading to the interviewee digressing. As previously mentioned It is paramount for the interviewer to be able to ask the right questions, however it equally as important for the interviewer to ask at the right time.
Closure – Closing the interview is as important as opening it, for it is in the closure where all information should be summarised, leading to an easy confirmation of information and determining whether the objectives of the interview have been met.
It has to be noted that the position of both parties are clarified at the closure of the interview. Whether a compromise or agreement has been made or not and clear communication of this from both parties will further enable whether further action should be taken and if so, in what form. It is in the closure that decisions should be made only if one or both parties have the authority and information to make it.
Follow Up – Once the interview is finished it is important for the interviewer to proceed to assimilate the information gleaned from the interview. The information should be recorded properly in order to build up a record of the interview and the interviewee thus making any future attempts to locate information regarding the interview or interviewee much easier.
A decision needs to be made following the interview, and this is easier done once all in formation is assimilated thus any determination of any decision can be made as a result of the interview will be more concise and easily made. Also any actions that were agreed upon during the interview should be followed up on.
Polite – It is important for those working in customer service to be polite to the parties they are dealing with. Staff members need to be able to talk properly with good manners in order for the calling party to leave the conversation feeling as though they were dealt with in the proper manner. Even when a customer calls to complain it is important that the staff members maintain their composure and still be polite therefore diffusing a potentially explosive situation and having the complaining party leave the conversation without any resent and feeling better.
Knowledgeable – Staff members need to have information that pertains to the subjects that calling parties will be inquiring about, whether this be young people, fitness, the facilities or the centre itself and other information that can be considered relevant to these subjects. Therefore being able to provide the right information to the inquiring parties and having answered their questions satisfactorily is exactly what they need to be able to do. Because a lot of inquirers will not have the information or even incomplete information therefore rendering them unable to make an informed decision as to whether or not they should or can utilise the facilities that the centre provides.
Informative – As a lot of calling parties will be inquiring to many subjects as well as ask for advice, personnel need to be able to answer the calling parties to the best of their abilities. This would mean that the staff members have to know what they are talking about as well as be able to explain properly and clearly therefore understanding that having the calling parties leave with understanding how to utilise the information given by the staff member is just as important as having the inquiring party leave with the right information.
Understanding – As a lot of parties calling in will be complaining it is important that the staff be able to listen and understand exactly what the party is calling to complain about. And although the staff themselves may not agree with what the customer is complaining about, that is beside the point, hey need to be able to make the complaining party feel better about the situation, and being understanding will ensure that the staff member be able to choose the right words in order to do so. However, it is also important for the staff member to follow up with these complaints and not just offer empty apologies should the complaints be valid.
Loquacious – As the job involves a lot of answering questions and in general talking, the staff members need to be able to talk well. Therefore being able to keep a conversation going while at the same time ensuring that they are answering the inquiries or listening to complaints is a core requirement for the job, this is because while a good listener will have all the right information, someone who is able to talk to the calling parties will help the calling party feel as though as they are being treated well.