Agenda for Culture, Tourism & Enterprise Overview & Scrutiny Committee on Thursday, 13th November, 2008, 4.00pm

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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1, Hove Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Julia Riches, Scrutiny Support Officer 

No. Item




    29a     Substitutes


    29.1    Cllr Steve Harmer-Strange for Cllr Carol Theobald

                Cllr Mo Marsh for Cllr Pat Hawkes


    29b     Declarations of Interests


    29.2    Cllr Bill Randall declared he had a personal interest as he was on the Board of Same Sky. Cllr Melanie Davis declared she had a personal interest as she was on the Board of Brighton Carnival. Cllr Mo Marsh declared a personal interest as she was on the Board of the Brighton Dome and involved in Festival Ltd.


    29c     Exclusion of Press and Public


    29.3    In accordance with section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, it was considered whether the press and public should be excluded         from the meeting during the consideration of any items contained in the agenda, having regard to the nature of the business to be transacted and the nature of the proceedings and the likelihood as to whether, if members of the press and public were present, there would be disclosure to them of confidential or exempt information as defined in section 100I (1) of the said Act.


    29.4    RESOLVEDThat the press and public be not excluded from the meeting.




    Minutes of the meeting on 25th September 2008 (copy attached).


    30.1    Cllr Averil Older attended the previous meeting, but was absent from the list of those present.


    30.2    RESOLVEDthat the minutes of the meeting held on 25 September 2008 be approved and signed by the Chairman, subject to the above amendment.




    31.1    There were no Chairman’s communications.



    No public questions have been received.


    32.2    There were none.



    No written questions have been received.


    33.1    There were none.



    Discussion and question and answer.


    34.1 The Chairman welcomed the Cabinet Member for Culture, Recreation and Tourism. The Cabinet Member outlined his portfolio which covers: Royal Pavilion and Museums; Library Services; Arts and Tourism; Venues; and Sports and events


    34.2    In addition, he was the lead for the Cabinet on European and International development. He noted that these services were hugely important to the city – they were a key part of what shaped Brighton and Hove today. He described a number of recent significant successes, including:

    ·        The Chinese Whispers exhibition in the Museum

    ·        The White Night event in October

    ·        The launch of the new tourism website on the Visit Brighton Website


    34.3    The Cabinet Member told the meeting that he produced an update of the achievements within his area every six months and offered to email this to Committee Members.  He described the key challenges facing the services as:

    ·        Generating significant levels of income in a serious economic downturn, including supporting tourism;

    ·        Rising energy costs.


    34.4       He welcomed the opportunity to work with the Committee and cited the Foredown Tower as an example of the Committee and Cabinet Member working together successfully.  The Cabinet Member then informed the Committee that, following their comments and those of others, the charges for Baby Boogie at the Jubilee Library had been dropped.  He offered to share with the Committee both the new Directorate Development Plan and a new vision statement for the services, once they have been completed.  The Chairman emphasised the importance of working with the Cabinet Member. The Cabinet Member offered to return to the Committee to attend future meetings.


    34.5    RESOLVEDthat the Cabinet Member be thanked for his attendance and be invited to attend future meetings.



    This is an information item – presentation by Richard Russell, Director of Communications at the Arts Council.


    35.1    The Chairman welcomed Richard Russell, the Director of External Relations and Development from the Arts Council, England.  The Director gave a presentation on the work of the Arts Council, which is a national arts development agency with nine regional offices. The office for the South East was based in Brighton.  Their mission was getting ‘great art for everyone’. The recently published corporate plan focussed on developing a robust and vibrant arts community and promoting the value of the arts.


    35.2    Extensive consultation took place last year in the form of the ‘Arts Debate’. This led them to focus on the quality of the experience of engaging with the arts and involve as many people as possible. The corporate plan was then devised to fuse excellence in arts and engagement in arts.  The Arts Council’s four main priorities were:

    ·        the visual arts- building on the excellent work such as the development of new galleries in Eastbourne and Margate

    ·        support for the digital arts - to communicate the arts and new art forms

    ·        opportunities for children and young people to access art

    ·        capitalising on the opportunities offered by 2012.

    Other priorities include supporting deaf and disabled artists and aiding festivals and carnivals in the region.


    35.3    The Director expressed his support for the appointment of Anish Kapoor as the new Guest Director for the Brighton Festival. He thought this could lead to it becoming the most important arts festival in the country.


    35.4    He then outlined the funding provided by the Arts Council.  They provided regular funding to around 60 organisations in the region in Brighton & Hove which amounts to around £7m over three years including the Festival. They also run an ‘open access’ programme of grants for arts projects.  Brighton received around 20% of this money regionally which translates to around £1m per year.  The Arts Council also had ‘managed funds’ which was a small pot of money to invest in strategic projects.


    35.5    The Director noted that they enjoyed a very good relationship with Brighton & Hove City Council. He emphasised the importance of continuing to support the arts in the city, both through advice and funding. One example he highlighted was the Council’s continuing support of the Brighton & Hove Arts Commission (a model of good practiced) – with whom we jointly established the White Night festival. He also encouraged the Council to continue with its national leadership role in fostering creative ideas. 


    35.6    The Director concluded by saying that although these were difficult economic times, it was crucial to carry on supporting the arts as they are a distinctive feature of our international image.


    35.7    A question was asked about the possibility of having a specialist art gallery in the city and any advice on how this might be considered.  The Director explained the origins of the Turner Contemporary Gallery in Margate and noted that such galleries would require a public subsidy of up to £2m per year. Following a question on the role of the Arts Council in the Cultural Olympiad, the Director commented that this would offer many opportunities, in particular in commissioning outdoor works. The Arts Council were also very keen to profile deaf and disabled artists given the paralympic movement began in the South East region.


    35.8    RESOLVEDthat the Director of External Relations and Development be thanked for his informative presentation.




    36.1    The Head of Arts & Creative Industries gave a presentation on public art and planning (see minute book). She showed a number of images of the different forms of public art in the city and described how they came about.  She also briefly outlined the policy framework which operates nationally, regionally and locally.  The city’s public art policy has been recognised by the Audit Commission as very good value for money and has received extra money because of this.


    36.2 The Head of Arts & Creative Industries outlined how the public art in the city contributed to the corporate priorities, by supporting the economy and providing a better living environment. She then outlined the ‘negatives’ in this area, namely that public art suffers from perception issues and it is a subjective area. She noted that often the process of deciding and commissioning the art through community engagement was one of the most valuable. However this very important part of public participation was often not recognised.


    36.3 Questions were asked about the planning process and then how the formula is used to calculate the funds available for public art.  It was suggested that there seemed to be confusion at times in planning meetings over how the money was allocated and what it could be used for. The Head of Arts & Creative Industries replied that they were trying to work more closely with planning colleagues and there was a need to be more explicit in each planning application as to what would be done. Members also stated that it would be helpful to receive follow up information on the outcome of projects.


    36.4 Following a question, the Head of Arts & Creative Industries explained that the public art was commissioned following a competitive tendering process.  The meeting heard that the involvement of schools was a positive step and 15 schools had been involved in creating public art totalling around £150,000. A website was in the process of being developed to allow members of the public to go on virtual tours of such art installations.


    36.4 RESOLVEDthat the Head of Arts & Creative Industries be thanked for her presentation.


LIBRARIES PLAN 2009-2012 pdf icon PDF 117 KB

    Report of the Director of Cultural Services (copy attached).

    Additional documents:


    37.1 The Head of Libraries and Information Services introduced the report.  She ran through the Annual Library Plan and highlighted how the issues raised by Committee Members at the Scrutiny workshop had been incorporated.  There are seven priorities in the plan and these had been amended to reflect Members’ concerns.  For example, they were looking at regenerating three local libraries and were looking at the possibility of adjusting opening hours. In response to concerns over attracting new people into libraries, they were looking at a new marketing programme to emphasise library services.  Regarding the development of book stocks, there is a regular annual increase for funding books.


    37.2    The Head of Libraries and Information Services told the Committee that the consultation period had been extended to 31 December and that the report would go to Council on 29 January 2009. Included in the Libraries Plan is a review of the Mobile Library and Equal Access Services, and further proposals on these are being prepared. These proposals will be put out for public consultation next year, and would come to the Committee for consideration.


    37.3    In answer to questions, the Head of Libraries and Information Services informed the Committee that the additional purchasing power was around £130,000 and there were increasing discounts on books.  A lower fee had also been renegotiated in the contract.  Following a question on the consultation process and the progress of the report to Council, the Committee was told that any changes would be within the detail of the plan. They would also be highlighted in the covering report that went to Council. Concerns were expressed about the possibility of extending the opening hours of libraries and making them more consistent. The Head of Libraries and Information Services said that it could possible to alter the opening hours for some community libraries, but that these changes must be affordable. In community libraries such as Coldean, the intention is to build on the relationships with community groups to enable the community to use the facilities out of hours.


    37.4    During a discussion on the use of libraries for health information, it was suggested that the libraries team liaise with the team involved in the Health Impact Assessment.


    37.5    RESOLVED

    (1) to endorse the Libraries Plan 2009-2012 and forward it on to full Council for adoption;

    (2) to receive the results of the review of equal access services and mobile library services at a future meeting.




    Report of the Director of Cultural Services (copy attached).

    Additional documents:


    38.1    The Performance Analyst introduced the report which provided an overview of the new local performance and assessment frameworks.  From April 2009 a new assessment framework for councils and their partners came into effect – the Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA). This represented a shift in emphasis from assessing the council as an organisation to how well it acts as a leader within partnerships.


    38.2    The Performance Analyst explained that the Local Area Agreement (LAA) was at the heart of the new performance framework. The LAA comprised 35 negotiated targets, 16 statutory targets and a set of local indicators.  Additionally, there was the National Indicator Set (NIS), which was published as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review 2007, consisting of 198 outcome focused indicators.


    38.3    It was explained that the Management Team (TMT) and the Cabinet monitor organisational performance through the quarterly Performance Improvement Report. It was suggested that the Committee could receive the quarter 2 update at the meeting on 5 February 2009.


    38.4    Questions were asked about the timing of the performance reward grant and the impact of the economic downturn.  The Performance Analyst told the Committee that the situation regarding the performance reward grant should be clearer by the February update. In light of the economic downturn, discussions were underway with the Government Office for the South East (GOSE) on resetting targets.  It should be recognised that targets may not be met.


    38.5    RESOLVED - that the Committee take a quarter 2 update at the meeting on 5 February 2009 and a year one update after June 2009.



    Report of the Director of Environment (copy attached).


    39.1         The Head of Sport & Leisure explained that today’s report was a precursor to the presentation to Committee in February 2009. He said that the comprehensive audit had involved 130 facilities in the city. The summary today did not contain a sport by sport audit, but this would be covered in February. This audit would enable the following:

    ·                    Planning sporting provision

    ·                    Making better use of existing facilities

    ·                    Improving facilities in local areas

    ·                    A database of facilities to maintain, update and inform future plans


    39.2         When asked whether the Audit was connected to planning for 2012, the Head of Sport and Leisure confirmed this and saw 2012 as an opportunity to improve the profile of sport and increase opportunities which would potentially help to improve facilities across the city. It was then confirmed that a report will go to Cabinet on 20th November regarding the short term use of the King Alfred. Following a question about why the audit did not include the in-house facilities of companies, the Head of Sport and Leisure advised that the audit focussed on facilities open to the public.


    39.3    A request was made for a map to be included in the February presentation that shows the geographical locations of all the sporting facilities. The Head of Sports & Leisure agreed to provide this map, if it was technically possible. The purpose would be to show which areas are under-provided with facilities.  Members asked if the Council was to receive any of the £30m funds announced to build new facilities. The response was that any such allocation would go to the Children and Young People’s Trust as it is part of ‘Building Schools for Future’ programme. If the programme provided the new school sports facilities it would be hoped that they would be accessible to the wider community.


    39.4    RESOLVED –

     1) that Members note the contents of this report

    2) that Members note that the conclusions of the sports facilities audit will be used to inform the review of the sports and leisure strategy.





    Report of the Director of Cultural Services (copy attached).

    Additional documents:


    40.1    Members were provided with an updated version of the report that contained the completed implications paragraphs (for copy see minute book). The Head of Arts & Creative Industries then explained to members that a significant level of activity was taking place in the region, as well as nationally, to prepare for 2012. Members were warned that the Olympics could cause visitor numbers to decrease in 2012 and then improve in 2013. Members were encouraged to provide any suggestions as per recommendation 4 ‘as to any activity that might be included in any future programme, or other potential partners to be included.’  


    40.2         The 2012 Co-ordinator highlighted a number of high profile events, including the Cultural Olympiad weekend. It was announced that there will be an Aqua Festival in March 2009, linked to the introduction of free swimming for the over 60’s.


    40.3         It was suggested that the Brighton Festival could have an Olympic Theme. Members requested an update on the rolling programme of events in April 2009.


    40.4    RESOLVED -

    1) that the committee notes the contents of the report and endorses the activity to date;

    2) that the committee endorses the partnership approach adopted at every level and the streamlined focus on supporting activity that increases participation and/or raises the profile of the city;

    3)that the committee recommends full involvement of the local authority in the establishment of the citywide partnership board via the Public Service Board.




    Report of the Director of Strategy and Governance (copy attached).

    Additional documents:


    41.1         Members began by agreeing to postpone both the Business Retention and Museum Strategy workshops until the New Year.


    41.2         The Chairman introduced the idea of an ad-hoc panel. He suggested that one potential subject was supporting and developing green industries in Brighton & Hove. This had been the subject of a motion to Council that had been passed unanimously. He described a very successful meeting about Green Jobs that had been held on 10th November 2008. He explained that the focus of any ad-hoc panel on this subject would be on enterprise rather than the environment.


    41.3         Another potential subject was a review of sports facilities in the city.  It was agreed that as the Committee would receive a further report on sports facilities at its February meeting, the discussion of an ad-hoc panel on this subject should be after the February meeting.


    41.4         RESOLVED-

    (1) that members note the amendments to the work plan for 2008/9

    (2) that members agree to the establishment of an ad-hoc panel on  supporting and developing ‘green industries’.  



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