Agenda and minutes

Culture and Visitor Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 27th July, 2017 7.00 pm

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

No. Item



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    The Committee to be notified of any substitute members.


    The Committee was notified that Councillor Ray Wootten would be substituting for Councillor Mrs. Judy Smith for this meeting only.



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    Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Brown and Forman.


Disclosure of interests

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


    No interests were disclosed.


Action notes from the meeting held on 23 May 2017 pdf icon PDF 150 KB

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    The action notes from the meeting held on 23 May 2017 were agreed as a correct record and their contents noted.


Updates from the previous meeting

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    Committee members reviewed actions captured in the action notes of the meeting held on 23 May 2017:


    ·         The copy of the heritage report for the St. Wulfram’s area of Grantham to be circulated to members.

    ·         The list of the current culture and leisure offer available within the district would form the basis of the Cultural Strategy, which was on the draft work programme. The baseline information would be provided for members as strategy work was being brought forward.

    ·         A previous suggestion had been made that the Committee could hold a meeting in Wyndham Park Bowls Club so that they could see the park; as an alternative it was suggested that the Business Manager for Venue and Facilities could arrange a tour of the park for any interested members.

    ·         The Shakespeare in the Park event held in Wyndham Park in July 2017 had been successful with 900 tickets sold across three performances. Costs for the project were met from Heritage Lottery Funding and ticket sales.

    ·         An additional 100 temporary car parking spaces had been provided for Shakespeare in the Park. Officers reported that these temporary arrangements had worked well and no complaints had been received about parking in streets close to the park.


    Members asked that their thanks to the team responsible for the Shakespeare in the Park event be recorded.


Overview and Scrutiny Committee remits pdf icon PDF 96 KB

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    Report LDS224 of the Chairman – Culture and Tourism Overview and Scrutiny Committee



    The Community Engagement and Policy Development Officer was invited to present report number LDS224 on the remit for the Committee. The report followed the Committee’s discussions on 23 May 2017 about topics that it would like to consider. These suggestions had been aligned with the remits of the Cabinet members for HR and Cultural Services and Retail and Visitor Economy. From these, generic headings had been developed from which the Committee’s work programme would be formed. If agreed by the Committee, the remit as listed at paragraph 1.6 of the report, would be added to the Council’s Constitution. Members noted that the remit needed to provide sufficient flexibility to allow the Committee to draw from the widest selection of items for its work programme.


    The Committee agreed its remit as listed at paragraph 1.6 of report number LDS224.


Culture and Tourism Overview and Scrutiny Draft Work Plan pdf icon PDF 62 KB

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    To consider the potential work programme for the Culture and Tourism Overview and Scrutiny Committee



    The Committee was invited to consider the draft work programme, which was circulated with the agenda. The document was a work in progress and would form the basis of a calendar of items for the Committee.


    Members asked that acronyms and abbreviations used in the document should be written in full or a glossary attached. The Committee also asked whether there were any items that should be a priority for them and needed to be that reflected in the date that they were due to be considered. Members asked for the work programme to be populated with target dates for consideration based on the Committee’s scheduled meetings. Some flex needed to be built into the programme to accommodate any issues arising during the year


    One Cabinet Member stated that the portion of the work programme that related to festivals should also include a festival for Bourne. The Leader also informed the Committee of the anticipated process for the production of the new Cultural Strategy, which he stated was a priority. It was his intention that the document would contain a brief overarching vision, with strands for different themes including sports, art and heritage, each with their own action plan. A dedicated officer would be brought in to the lead the development of the strategy to work with and engage with organisations and individuals. Following from discussion at the previous meeting, he reiterated that the development of the strategy would begin with engaging communities within South Kesteven to find out what they wanted and how the Council could facilitate that (e.g. direct delivery, working in partnership with other organisations or supporting the community). Investment in culture would then be prioritised in the context of meeting the strategy objectives. He added that the Committee could expect an update report at its next meeting with the current position and proposals for consultation.


    Members were interested in the way the Council would engage with communities as part of the development of the Cultural Strategy, recognising the importance of making any engagement meaningful. Through this approach, consultation would shape the strategy, rather than asking the public for their opinion on a finished document.


    One member noted that Grantham Civic Society was active and keen to work with the Council and prove a useful partner for the heritage strand of the Cultural Strategy. Members from other parts of the district added that civic societies were also active in their areas and a question was raised about potential opportunities for those civic societies to work together.


    Members congratulated the Venues and Facilities Team on its ongoing work and successes in developing the Meres Leisure Centre as an entertainment venue. One member asked about the Leisure Centre in the Deepings. Discussions were underway regarding the future of the site and the Leader promised to provide an update report for members at the Committee’s next meeting on 14 September 2017.


    Discussion turned to the tourism agenda and the potential for ‘quick-wins’ by cutting back hedges that were obscuring signs  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.


The Deepings Literary Festival

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    Short presentation by Councillor Judy Stevens.


    Councillor Stevens had been invited to make a presentation to Committee about the inaugural Deepings literary festival which had taken place between 28 April and 30 April 2017. She began by showing a montage of photographs taken during the festival that reflected the range of activities and events. She had also prepared a brief report on the outcomes of the festival, which was circulated at the start of the meeting.


    Councillor Stevens summarised the festival report, highlighting that the area of greatest expenditure related to authors who spoke in schools, they did, however reach a large audience. She stated that the event had involved the whole Deeping community as well as attracting visitors from outside the area. Local businesses had also actively supported the festival, with two making produce for sale that had a literary theme. Other local business made contributions to support the festival by providing venues, goods, services and sponsorship. She reported that local business had benefited in excess of £13,500 based on actual spending associated directly with the festival.


    She added that were there to be a future festival there was a willingness to hold it for an additional day; as an indication of the appetite for the event, members were advised that most events had been fully booked prior to the festival with the remainder being booked while the festival was in progress. It was suggested that more could be made of the link with poet John Clare who had lived in the nearby village of Helpston, and local links with other authors including Reverend Charles Kingsley who wrote ‘The Water Babies’. Members also discussed how culture could provide a medium to help people understand their communities, including the roles played by individuals known nationally.


    Some discussion ensued on the legacy of the festival, which included an ongoing calendar of events co-ordinated through the library and a production of Macbeth at the Waterton Arms. The library co-ordinated events would all be advertised through the Deepings Community Library Facebook page.


    Members of the Committee congratulated Councillor Stevens on the festival noting the work of volunteers from across the Deepings and the support they received from the Council’s Venues and Facilities Management and Communications teams.


    The Council, through the Committee would have the opportunity to see how it could provide support to the Deepings community so that they could grow and develop the festival. There was also an opportunity for members to identify any lessons-learned and apply to other, similar projects. One example of how the Council might add value to festivals while letting local communities retain ownership was providing access to the expertise of experienced officers; the literary festival had provided a good example for this model.


Stamford Georgian Festival - overview of the forthcoming event pdf icon PDF 92 KB

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    Report FM0009 of the Cabinet Member for HR and Cultural Services.



    Members received a presentation on the Stamford Georgian Festival which would take place between 21 September 2017 and 24 September 2017. The presentation was accompanied by report number FM0009, which had been circulated with the agenda. It reminded members of the outcomes of the 2015 festival, including the number of visitors, the average spend per head, the number of visitors that came from outside Stamford and the impact on the local economy. In 2017 the aim was to increase the number of visitors by 5% and the average amount spent per person from £55 to £58. The press launch for the festival was scheduled for 28 July 2017.


    Events that had proven successful at previous festivals were being repeated, including carriage rides, re-enactment events on the Meadows, period traders (with 70 town centre market stalls having been booked on both the Saturday and Sunday) and dances. Some new pieces had also been commissioned including the ‘Great Georgian Science Show’ which provided a link to the Gravity Fields Festival in Grantham. A heritage skills market would also take place as part of the festival.


    The Stamford Bull Run had been a major part of the previous festivals and had involved ‘chasing’ the bull around the streets of Stamford to The Meadows, where it was burned. For the 2017 festival the focus would switch to ‘finding’ the bull, which would be processing around the town centre. The procession would culminate in Red Lion Square, keeping visitors in the town centre. The procession would tie in with an Illuminati performance with All Saints Church being used as the backdrop for an animated and narrated 3D projection bringing the story of the bull run to life. The evening would culminate with a firework display from the roof of the church.


    Members learned that since the report had been produced, the Council had been awarded an additional £19,174 of LEADER funding. £20,000 funding (the maximum amount possible) had also been awarded by Leisure in the Community, which was the charity responsible for the Council’s leisure provider.


    The Committee was advised about the increased number of partners who were supporting the festival, including for the first time, Stamford Endowed Schools. Other partners included Stamford Town Council, the Rotary Club, New College, the Women’s Institute and the Federation of Small Businesses. Members asked about the nature of contributions made by Stamford Town Council; the Council opened the town hall and provided free tours for visitors, free use of the Meadows and other in-kind support.


    Reassurance was also provided that the project team was working closely with safety specialists to ensure that appropriate measures were in place to manage any large crowds so that visitors could enjoy the festival safely.


    Following the last festival members asked a number of questions about car parking arrangements. In 2015 use of a park and ride service had been trialled however roads were blocked in the town centre which meant that buses were hindered. For 2017 a park and walk model would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.


Close of meeting

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    The meeting was closed at 20:14.