Please note the case study is based on key issues facing sport organisations but Cottam Borough Council is a completely fictional organisation.
Cottam is a fairly small city with a population of 135, 000. Its City Council has recently undergone a major restructure with the aim of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of services. A major impact has been on sport which had been a directorate in its own right; it is now to be merged with other services to create a larger Cultural Services Directorate. The former Head of Tourism, Arts and Heritage has been appointed as Corporate Director of Cultural Services, the former Director of Sport applied for the post and was unsuccessful and has taken up a job with another local authority.
The Directorate is made up of the following services with each having a Head of Service: • Tourism, arts and heritage • Sport and recreation • Libraries • Youth Service
The sport services provided by the City Council are:
• 3 sports centres - one large multi use facilities near the city centre with 25m swimming pool, 6 badminton court sports hall, aerobics studio and gym. The other two sports centre are in the suburbs to the north and south of the city and have a 4 badminton court sports hall each, aerobics studio and gym. • A non –residential outdoor activity centre set on the banks of a river that was developed from an old mill building in 2009. It caters for canoeing, kayaking, raft building, orienteering, high ropes, abseiling and bushcraft activities. • Various sports development initiatives targeting young people, people with disabilities and the elderly. They also work closely with schools and voluntary sports clubs. • Events has been a growing area of work for the sports team with recent activities including a Cottam 10K and half marathon, cycle races and other sport and exercise related events.
With regard to the changes in sport there has been some restructuring. Prior to the restructure there had been separate departments for sport development and sport facilities, these have now been merged into one department which now consists of 3 teams – facilities, development and events. The former Head of Sports Development has been appointed to the overall post of Head of Sport and the former Head of Sport Facilities has taken early retirement. Both the Senior Sport Development Officer and the Facilities Area Manager held those positions in the old structure but they have moved up a point on the pay scale due to now also being head of their section and part of the sport and recreation leadership team.
Jill Downward has been in post for 1 month and is beginning to realise the key issues facing her. As head of Sports Development she had always had difficulty in working with the facilities team in terms of them providing appropriate space for sports development activities. In her new position she does now realise the pressure they are under in terms of income generation, but she also realises that they view her with some suspicion given the previous battles she has had with them. In the last month she has also found that they are somewhat demotivated and are being less flexible than they need to be with the sports development team.
She has different issues with the sport development team. Obviously she knows them well as their former head of service but she has found that the expectation is that she will always support them in the battles over facilities. She is now