Re: An alternative
"the councils didn't insist on a computerised record of who had used the gym"
Woo, I know the answer to this one, having just completed my CYQ Level 2 fitness instructor training (yes an IT geek that teaches fitness too).
The reason the councils keep that data, is because of the prevalence of these particular adverts you might recognise:-
"Been involved in an accident in the last 5 years? Had a trip or fall? Regardless of blame call 0800-blood-sucking-lawyers. No win, no fee".
The council owned centre I have been training at has 15000 members of varying degrees. It's impossible to track that many members, and whether they attended a particular class within the last 5 years, unless it is held on computer. If it wasn't stored, every tom dick and harry would be claiming their £3000 average no win no fee from the local council, for injuring themselves in a class they hadn't actually attended.
It's sad but true. There is an awful lot of people out there willing to lie to make a quick buck. I've had to maintain my own PARQ database for the private classes I take outside of the leisure center for the same reason.