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The purpose of this report is to evaluate problems within Humewood Borough leisure services.

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1.0 Executive Summary The purpose of this report is to evaluate problems within Humewood Borough leisure services. In order to do this, two important stakeholders were identified (disabled and low-income) as the most excluded groups within Humewood. A number of research techniques have been proposed to assess the extent of their exclusion and also provide suggestions as to ways of increasing their engagement with the leisure services. 2.0 Introduction A review of other leisure services has been conducted to provide a context for any evaluation of Humewood's leisure centres, and included in the form of a literature review. The objectives of Humewood Borough have been included in the hierarchy of objectives to provide an understanding of the borough's aims, so it knows what services to provide. Humewood Borough's problems have also been identified. 2.1 Literature Review A comparison with Birmingham City Council (49 Leisure Centres) Handsworth facilities: Junior Football Academy Information about swimming facilities (prices, times, days etc) Disabled access to majority of facilities Information about gymnasium (prices, times etc) Kickboxing Exercise (Aqua tone, Boxercise etc) Lessons for swimming Leisure card (incentive to join, half price) for which there is criteria i.e. disability, income, students etc. Procedure for comments written in various languages Ref: Birmingham City Council (2003) A comparison with Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council (9 Leisure Centres) Harry Mitchells facilities: Cycling club Equal opportunities (comments etc) Gym Fitness sessions Service Charter (to improve service) Leisure Pass No disabled access for upstairs Sport Holiday Camps Sandwell Borough Council (2003) Leaflet 2.2 Assessment of the Problem To begin this report an analysis of the problems within Humewood has been conducted and included below. Problem: * Council overspent annual budget * Decided to recover some of the loss by taking money that is used for the public leisure services * Possibly as a result some of the leisure centres will have to close * Is it still the 'Leisure For All?' * Need a strategy to improve performance How did council get into this state? ...read more.


2. They assist the respondent because thinking about the reply options has already been carried out. 3. Data analysis is made easier as there is no request to code up a myriad of open-ended responses.' Ref: Hague, P (1993) Disadvantages: Assessment through this method will also have weaknesses these include how the researcher has little control over how and when the survey is completed, there is a statistically low response rate. To combat this and to prevent confusion for the recipient the questions need to be relatively simple, also reminders may need to be sent as it is unlikely that the receiver will make completing the questionnaire a priority. "Postal and e-mail surveys are likely to have lower response rates, and possibly poorer answers because the respondent has no one available to answer any queries; but may allow a higher number of people to be surveyed" (Blaxter, 2001). Targeting access groups: Access to the disability listings would allow us directly to conduct our survey. It is relatively cheap to conduct a questionnaire assessment, so there is a case for distributing widely (this would also give us an idea of the proportion of the local community that is disabled) 10 questions - quantitative To help improve the response rate for the survey, keeping the questionnaire quantitative is essential. A grading system of 1-10 gives some flexibility allowing easy analyse of the answers, which may be used in a presentable format to identify not only trends in the answers, but also how answers to each of the questions relate to one another. (e.g. is their a relation between how they rate the leisure service and how much they expect to pay). Where as using scales can measure "some aspects of the respondent's behaviour" but "can suffer from being over-used and therefore causing frustration to the respondents." (Hague, 1993). 5 questions - qualitative There are only a few qualitative questions used in the questionnaire. ...read more.


The internal stakeholders may include the operational level staff, management at all levels and board members. 9.0 Evaluation In order to solve the problems identified earlier in this report, a wide variety of research techniques will be employed. Two important stakeholders were identified (disabled, and low-income) and three different research techniques were used to target each group. This gives the report a greater chance of engaging the identified groups. The report is however, constrained by both time and finance. Also, as with all research, the validity and reliability of any collected data has to be questioned. Although every measure has been taken to avoid unreliable data, the potential of its occurrence should still be recognised. Measuring reliability and validity Reliability can be confirmed by repeating research after some lapse in time. In order to get a more reliable study, the research could try to gain consistency; this is through re-wording the questions and conducting the research again, which might/might not yield the same results. As for validity, which looks at how truthful/honest the respondents are, five aspects would need to be considered, these are: face value, (how good is the method used), the content, (this could be done through an independent observer), concurrent, (how far the findings are comparable to the standard measures), predictive, (does the data allow scope for predicting), and constructive, (whether the survey has any real value or meaning). 10.0 Recommendations and Conclusions Much has been suggested as to what the best course of action for Humewood Borough council to take will be, but one thing is clear. It is essential to begin researching the problems in-depth as soon as possible, which is why it is recommended that Humewood Borough conduct further research on the lines of the methods suggested in this report. Once the extent of the problem can be assessed from the findings of this research, the process of increasing equity in Humewood leisure services can be started and the council can move a step closer to the achievement of its mission statement. 12. ...read more.

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