Agenda and minutes

Culture and Visitor Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 16th November, 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 were notified that Councillor Ray Wootten was substituting for Councillor Judy Smith.



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    An apology for absence was received from Councillor Stephen Benn.


Disclosure of Interests

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


    None disclosed.


Action Notes from the meeting held on 14th September 2017 pdf icon PDF 111 KB

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    Action notes from the meeting held on 14th September 2017 were agreed as a correct record and their content noted.


Updates from the previous meeting

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    Thanks were given to the Service Manager Venues and Town Centre Management for having the foliage cut back on the Welcome to Grantham sign on the Barrowby Road. It was enquired whether signs could be replaced on Manthorpe Road as they seemed to have been removed. The Leader of the Council replied that there was a proposal in the budget, if approved, for additional new signage and replacements. Signage was within the portfolio for the Cabinet Member for Retail and Visitor Economy, a signage strategy was planned although it was noted that there was limited resources so work would need to be prioritized.


    The Chairman informed the Committee of various events that she had attended including the St Wulfram’s sacred space common ground project launch which would be very beneficial to the town and the heritage in the St Wulfram’s area. The Hindu Festival of Lights and Celebrate the Nation at the Jubilee Life Church in Grantham. There had been a very successful Halloween event at Wyndham Park in Grantham which had been attended by 4,500 people. A further Christmas event was planned on 10th December 2017 at the park. The turning on of the Christmas lights would take place on 26th November in both Grantham and Stamford.


    The Leader of the Council referred to the St Wulfram’s sacred space common ground project which he had also attended and which showed the potential benefits that heritage brings. The church was an important part of any heritage initiative in the centre of Grantham. He referred to the Councillor Briefing that was taking place on Monday (20th November 2017) at which Members would receive an introduction to InvestSK. The economic growth of an area was not just about building houses and infrastructure, the economy also relied on culture and heritage making places a great place to be and live. The Leader also commented on the importance of green spaces stating that Wyndham Park in Grantham was an amazing park and he had put forward a budget proposal for additional spend in this area.


    A Member from Deepings referred to the Garden Pumpkin competition that had recently been held in the Deepings and had been a great success. The success of the competition had led to a growth in the trade of the garden nursery. A family run café had also benefitted from marketing associated with the competition.


Historic England

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    Presentation by Paul Bodenham, Local Engagement Advisor from Historic England.


    Members received a presentation from Paul Bodenham who was the Local Engagement Advisor for the East Midlands for Historic England, a public body that championed and protected England’s historic places, they were also a statutory consultee for planning applications. 


    The presentation focused on heritage within South Kesteven under the following headings:


    -       Why did we care about heritage

    -       How did we care about heritage

    -       How we could exploit the benefits of heritage


    There were a large number of historic places within South Kesteven. Historic England worked with owners offering their expertise to look after them and help then to continue to survive. What people cared about within their area made the place, gave a sense of attraction and worth, a sense that they belonged. There were over 2,000 designated assets on the register within South Kesteven including parks and gardens as well as a number of Grade I and Grade II listed buildings. The landscapes within South Kesteven were very distinctive, some areas had a similar feel to the Cotswolds and areas such as Stamford had a more cosmopolitan culture.


    A diagram was circulated to Members which showed the value and impact of heritage and the historic environment.  The components listed within the diagram covered:


    -       Tourism which South Kesteven had a distinctive offer to exploit

    -       Education Skills

    -       Sense of Place

    -       Personal development

    -       Environmental life

    -       Quality Life

    -       Regeneration Development


    Each component contributed to an area’s sense of belonging, pride, quality, vibrancy and a sense of place, these heritage values translated to economic and social values.


    Within the East Midlands, heritage directly contributed to Gross Value Added by £715m in 2015, this was a significant figure with heritage tourism accounting for 2% of the GDP and was increasing as more people visited heritage properties. Evidence suggested that people were attracted to living within conservation areas and willing to pay the extra price to do so with one in four businesses stating that the historic environment was an important deciding factor in where they were located. 


    Investing in the historic environment brought more visitors to local areas and encouraged them to spend more. Cultural industries were 29% more likely to be found in a listed than a non-listed building which enabled strategies to be put in place to help regenerate towns. A strategy that helped to yield benefits such as negotiating good constructive conservation to maintain heritage for the public benefit was vital and this could be seen in Stamford, which was the first conservation area.


    For an area like Grantham a townscape assessment was desirable to understand the environment of the town, what the town had, how it was valued and how it would be cared for and enable the public to enjoy the benefits. Historic records could help to underpin the understanding of “place” and how it evolved over time. Heritage festivals and heritage school programmes like those recently held in Stamford helped to encourage the younger generation to participate.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.


Cultural Strategy pdf icon PDF 101 KB

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    Report SLPD013 from the Chairman of the Culture and Tourism Overview and Scrutiny Committee.



    Members had been circulated with report SLP013 which concerned updates and outcomes following the two workshops that had been held to help develop the Council’s new Cultural Strategy. Discussions through the workshops had provided a clear set of overarching aims and also a number of strands, the four main strands being:


    -       Heritage

    -       The Arts

    -       Sports

    -       The Sciences


    A number of cross cutting themes were also identified where the Council could potentially add value to activities within local communities and support improvement in the cultural offer. It was recognised that engagement may only occur with those organisations that were already known to the Council however, the recommendation contained within the report asked for the Committees support for the outcomes following the workshops and also recommended to Cabinet that an expert resource was commissioned to help development the Cultural Strategy and provide guidance. 


    The inclusion of “The Sciences” within the main strands was questioned together with including tourism within the Cultural strategy. It was commented that the district had a large science heritage due to Sir Isaac Newton and this should be celebrated both past and present. Tourism was seen as an essential element to growth and therefore should be looked at separately to culture which was more heritage and arts based. Further discussion took place on innovation and advances in technology currently being used within the district at an agriculture level which contributed to “The Sciences” strand and how the Council could support organisations and build on the “The Sciences” connections to highlight its heritage making it an attractive place to live. We needed to focus on what we were proud of in the past and how this could be focussed on for the future. A slight amendment to the proposed recommendation was suggested to include additional internal resources which Members were happy to include.




    That the Cultural and Tourism Overview and Scrutiny Committee supports the outcomes from the two workshops and recommends to Cabinet that an expert resource is commissioned, together with additional internal resources, to help develop the Cultural Strategy and provide the necessary strategic guidance to the Council’s cultural activities.



Visitor Economy Strategy pdf icon PDF 89 KB

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    Report SLPD014 from the Cabinet Member for Retail and Visitor Economy



    The Cabinet Member for Retail and Visitor Economy submitted report SLP014 which gave the context for, and the process by which, the Council’s new Visitor Economy Strategy would be informed and developed. It was proposed to hold interactive workshop sessions similar to those held in connection with the Cultural Strategy with both Members and external organisations and stakeholders to help inform and develop the strategy.


    Members were in agreement with the proposed way forward. It was hoped that a workshop could be arranged before the end of the calendar year.




    That workshops be arranged for the Culture and Tourism Overview and Scrutiny Committee to inform the development of a Visitor Economy Strategy.




Location of Meetings

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    The Committee to consider future meeting locations.


    The issue had been raised by Councillor Ashley Baxter who had requested that council meetings be held around the district during the municipal year. The issue had been raised at the Communities PDG in 2016 at which it had been voted against. Since the agenda for the meeting had been circulated the Member had submitted a motion concerning the issued which would be debated at Council on 23rd November.


    The motion stated:


    This Council pledges to hold at least one formal meeting (e.g. an Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting) in each of the 3 smaller towns (Stamford, Bourne and Market Deeping) during each calendar year.


    The Chairman indicated that she had no problem in taking the Committee to an alternative venue in the district. The other Members present felt that it was up to the discretion of the Chairman if the meeting was held at a different location.


Close of Meeting

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    The meeting closed at 8:40pm.


    The next meeting would be held on 18th January 2018.