Agenda and minutes

Culture and Visitor Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 8th September, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber - South Kesteven House, St. Peter's Hill, Grantham. NG31 6PZ. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 

No. Item


Comments from Members of the Public

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    To receive comments or views from members of the public at the Committee’s discretion.


    No comments were received.


Apologies for absence

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    All Committee Members were present.


Disclosure of Interests

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    Members are asked to disclose any interests in matters for consideration at the meeting.


    There were none.


Action Notes from the meeting held on 22 June 2021 pdf icon PDF 152 KB

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    A member raised a concern regarding the Tourism Strategy Update and the timeframe on which the report would be presented to the Committee. Officers confirmed that there had been a recent transition of officers in the team and gave an assurance that this would be dealt with as a priority once the new employee was in place.


    It was proposed, seconded and AGREED that the minutes of the meeting held on 22 June 2021 be confirmed as a correct record.




Action Notes from the extraordinary meeting held on 3 August 2021 pdf icon PDF 146 KB

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    It was proposed, seconded and AGREED that the minutes of the meeting held on 3 August 2021 be confirmed as a correct record.



LeisureSK Ltd Performance Report, September 2021 pdf icon PDF 248 KB

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    The Director of Growth and Culture presented the report to Members. This included an overview of the performance in relation to LeisureSK Ltd since the commencement of their management of the council’s leisure centres in January 2021. The delivery of the Council’s priorities set out in the Corporate Plan (2020 to 2023) remained a key focus. The main details were outlined as follows:


    -       Customer throughputs were approximately 50% of their number pre-covid, although, it was gradually improving.

    -       Grantham Meres Leisure Centre was still being used by the NHS as a Covid-19 Vaccination Centre which had supported a highly successful vaccine rollout within Lincolnshire.



    One Member raised their concerns over when the facilities at the Deepings Leisure Centre would re-open and felt that this had a negative impact on the leisure provision across South Kesteven. The Chairman confirmed that this had been debated at length at the meeting of Full Council on 2 September 2021 and a full update on Deepings Leisure Centre would be provided to Members at a joint meeting of the Finance, Economic Development and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Culture and Visitor Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee. No date for the meeting had been set but it was due to take place in November 2021.



    Members discussed their concerns over the cleanliness and standards of the Council’s Leisure Centres and queried how often the LeisureSK team monitored and visited all the centres to ensure standards were being met and maintained. A query was raised regarding the cleaning rotas following comments made from public regarding cleanliness.


    The Leisure Officer present highlighted that as part of the LeisureSK contract, the team visited the centres at least once a month and the frequency of those visits would start to increase. It was also highlighted that informal visits and spot checks take place. The Leisure Officer spoke of the importance of the rota and highlighted that hourly checks were completed by staff.


    One member raised their concerns over the results from the public satisfaction survey. It was queried what would be done to address the low satisfaction rate of Stamford Leisure Pool when Deepings Leisure Centre had the highest satisfaction rate but was now closed, with residents from The Deepings now being advised to travel to Bourne and Stamford. Officers confirmed that following feedback, all customers were invited to attend customer forums where feedback could be addressed and there would be ongoing questionnaires to see if customer satisfaction was improving.


    Another Member raised a query regarding the sample size of the customer satisfaction survey and how the data was captured of which the Leisure Officer would send additional details to the Committee following the meeting. Officers confirmed that an online survey had been conducted for the customer satisfaction survey independently and that the number of customers who responded was available to Members. It was highlighted that the team were exploring other options as to how they could receive feedback.


    The Leisure Officer highlighted that the LeisureSK  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.


Sport and Physical Activity Strategy

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    The Director of Growth and Culture presented the report which set out the Council’s draft Sport and Physical Activity Strategy. It was reported that developing and adopting a Sport and Physical Activity Strategy was a commitment within the Council’s Corporate Plan. The Strategy aimed to positively impact the health and well-being of people in the district and to reduce any barriers to participation, helping tackle the inequalities seen in all aspects of health and well-being.



    A Member highlighted that a key theme in the Strategy was to ‘invest in our leisure facilities to ensure the needs of customers are met’. The Member raised their concerns of the recent closure of Deepings Leisure Centre and reinstated their view that no commitment from the Council had been given to re-open the existing leisure centre or build a replacement.


    The Chairman spoke of the previous extraordinary Full Council meeting which had previously taken place where this matter was discussed at length. The Chairman stated this would soon be discussed at a joint meeting with the Finance, Economic Development and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Culture and Visitor Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee.


    Members noted the action plan and considered whether the actions could be achieved.


    One Member discussed whether the funding of grants for community groups would be applicable for communities that did not have facilities available and whether transport services could be provided for residents to access leisure services to ensure affordability and accessibility.


    Officers confirmed that the Strategy mentioned ‘outreach work’ meaning other leisure activities that took place in rural areas and utilised green spaces. The Officer highlighted that ongoing projects were taking place with Lincolnshire County Council.


    Members discussed the importance of inclusion from the Council and that they would like to see more ‘joined up thinking’.


    Officers confirmed that they were working with Active Lincolnshire who were already updating their club and activity finder, which would include activities in the Council’s leisure centres and sport clubs in the community.


    The Chairman highlighted that the Deepings had a fitness “trim trail” on Jubilee Park that had recently been installed and could be used as a focal point for some community activities which could be initiated by the Council.


    One member highlighted that the County Council operated the Call Connect service and noted the possibility for this to be used to enable the Deepings community to access leisure centres in Bourne or Stamford.

    The Director of Growth and Culture highlighted that Lincolnshire County Council are currently working on a bus improvement strategy which could provide opportunities to integrate into the Sport and Physical Activity Strategy.


    It was proposed, seconded and AGREED that Cabinet be recommended to adopt for the draft Sport and Physical Activity Strategy as the Council’s strategic document to underpin the corporate priority of Healthy and Strong Communities.



Update report on Grantham High Street Heritage Action Zone Project pdf icon PDF 242 KB

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    The Director for Growth and Culture introduced and presented the report which updated the Committee on the latest position regarding Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zones scheme.


    The Heritage Action Zone Project Manager gave a presentation to the Committee, with key points noted as follows:


    -       The scheme would run until April 2024

    -       It focussed on the core of the retail town centre within the conservation area and areas around St Wulframs church and Grantham house that held the majority of Grantham grade one listed buildings.

    -       Total funding from Historic England was £887,000

    -       Over the four year period, around £376,000 had been match funded by SKDC.

    -       Nationally across England, 48% of retail premises were historic properties.

    -       104 listed buildings/monuments were currently within Grantham’s Heritage Action Zone.


    One Member asked how it was determined which properties were to be looked at in the scheme and how that would affect new shops coming into the town centre. Officers confirmed that Historic England had an eligibility criteria on the properties, restricted to those built before 1939 which limited certain areas of the town centre. The Officer highlighted that the team would be updating the shop front design guide.


    Another Member raised a query on the plans to move this scheme onto the rest of the District and if the funding was eligible for other areas of South Kesteven.


    Officers confirmed that as part of the Corporate Plan, this scheme would be looked into being extended to other parts of the District.


    The Officer highlighted that the Grantham Community Heritage Association operated Grantham Museum. They were part of the cultural consortium programme and the team was working with them to look at how community engagement work and the wider cultural work, together with specific work on projects, could be more collaborative.


    The Chairman noted the possible opportunity of the national Heritage Lottery Fund for Grantham museum and whether there was to be a separate organisation to deal with the museum.


    The Heritage Action Zone Project Manager highlighted that this was a possibility. However, careful consideration would have to be taken in regards to the Grantham Heritage Action Zone and the cultural programme as the national heritage lottery fund currently contributed and there is a risk of double funding.


    Officers highlighted that this had potential to be considered as a legacy project that could run alongside each other.


    Members thanked officers for their impressive work on this scheme.


    It was AGREED that the report and presentation be noted.




Work Programme 2021 - 2022 pdf icon PDF 200 KB

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    The Chairman highlighted the review of local outdoor markets and it was AGREED that a working party be established to take this forward. The working party consisted of Councillor Paul Fellows, Councillor Penny Robins, Councillor Mrs Judy Smith, Councillor Judy Stevens, Councillor Jill Thomas and Councillor Amanda Wheeler.



    The Committee received and noted the Work Programme 2021-2022.



Arts, Culture and Events Service - Service Review and Staffing Restructure pdf icon PDF 265 KB

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    Appendix 2 of this report contains exempt information as defined under paragraphs 1 and 2 of Schedule 12A, Section 100(a)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972. The press and public may be excluded from the meeting during consideration of this document on the grounds that, if they were present, exempt information could be disclosed to them.

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    The Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy presented a report which updated Members with a final copy of an independent review of the Arts, Culture and Events Service. The Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy assured the Committee that no arts venues were at risk of closure.


    The report addressed the additional information requested by Members, which included:


    -       The financial challenges facing local government.

    -       The review undertaken by sports, leisure and cultural consultancy, which was not reliant purely on hard data.

    -       Key members of the arts team had shared their knowledge since the  publication of the report.

    -       Strong desire to ensure a vibrant programme was maintained and developed.

    -       Continuing with an existing level of subsidy that ran to around 11% of the Council’s total budget being unsustainable.

    -       The staffing structure needed to represent value for money and be more fit for purpose.


    It was proposed, seconded and AGREED


    -       That the Committee, over the next year, reviews the three centres (Bourne, Grantham and Stamford), with a view to determining a future operating model to enable the Council to decide on the direction of the Arts, Culture, and Events Service in terms of objectives, who to target and the development of key performance indicators.


    -        For Officers to return to the Committee during the next year with more detail regarding the different ways the Arts, Culture and Events Services could be delivered in the future.



    -       At the appropriate time, that the Committee supports the preparation of an amended Arts and Culture Strategy to clarify exactly what it is the Council wishes to achieve.


    In considering the final recommendation contained within the report and the associated appendix, it was proposed, seconded and AGREED that the press and public be excluded from the meeting during the discussion of this item of business due to the likelihood that information that was exempt under paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) because it contained information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).


    It was proposed, seconded and AGREED that the Committee recommends Option 2 to Cabinet, as set out in the report, as a proposed staffing restructure for the Arts and Culture Event Service.




Any other business which the Chairman, by reason of special circumstances decides is urgent

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    There were none.




Close of meeting

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    The Chairman closed the meeting at 12:04.