Agenda item - Chairs Communications
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- Meeting of Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee, Thursday, 18th June, 2020 4.00pm (Item 3.)
3.1 The Chair gave the following communications:
“As a new chair, I’d like to put on record how the I want to approach the next few months. This Committee is key to the Council’s anti racism work. I also want to support recovery from COVID, including supporting our events and creative industries, as well as champion healthy and active lifestyles.
I intend to lead on and champion our commitment to anti-racism and engagement work. I intend to focus on actions rather than words. As a start, I issued a detailed statement last week, which outlined our action plan to work closely with BME communities to create and deliver an anti-racism strategy. We are of course all against racism and inequality in all its forms, but as a council we need to do more than be against racism – we need be an actively anti-racist council, and proactively challenge racial inequality. We all have a role to play here. We have already met with Operation Black Vote and with the council’s internal leadership network. In addition, the leader, the labour team and I have had a number of conversations with residents and their representatives, as no doubt the other members of the committee have. We will bring back a report to this committee in September outlining what progress we have made, and the next steps.
During Refugee week I am delighted to announce that Brighton & Hove Libraries have been successful in their Library of Sanctuary application. This is only the second library service in the country to receive the award so a great achievement. The review panel was unanimous in concluding that Brighton & Hove Libraries fully met the conditions to be granted a Sanctuary Award following their application in December.
The award of Library of Sanctuary status demonstrates our cities’ commitment to offer sanctuary to refugees and asylum seekers in Brighton & Hove.
Healthy and active lifestyles
Sport and physical activity is very important to both the physical and mental health of the city’s population. The Sport & Leisure Service will therefore continue the development of events that encourage such activity ,we will review the ageing stock of sports facilities to seek investment to improve the quality of those facilities and provide new ones. We will work closely with Public Health to develop a new Sport & Physical Activity strategy for the City.
A preferred leaseholder to undertake rewilding at Waterhall Golf Course, provide an events venue and educational centre was approved at Policy & Resources Committee on 23rd January 2020. This followed a recommendation from the TECC Committee at the January meeting. The preferred leaseholder has indicated that the events venue would not be financially viable and therefore will not be in a position to complete the lease negotiations, as per their bid.
However, the preferred leaseholder would still like to see rewilding take place at Waterhall Golf Course and would like to support the council to achieve this aim by funding instructing ecological studies to progress the potential re-wilding process. These studies are essential to determine the best conservation management plan for the site. Furthermore, this would enable potential applications for Countryside Stewardship Grants to manage a variety of habitats including for species rich grassland.
The council’s Cityparks Service will assess if it is feasible for the service instead to undertake the management of the rewilding. A report on that assessment will be brought to the TECC Committee in September. In addition, consideration will be given to the options in relation to use of the site that would be complementary to rewilding including the clubhouse. In the meantime the site will be managed by the Cityparks Service but with minimal resources allocated.
Over the past months VisitBrighton has continued to disseminate the latest tourism related COVID-19 government guidance and funding streams via a twice-weekly newsletter to tourism businesses and stakeholders
The team have worked in partnership with VisitBritain, VisitEngland and Tourism South East on the development of recovery campaigns and with Brighton and Hove tourist business to prepare a post-lockdown marketing campaign. We continue to liaise with conference and event’s organisers to re-schedule events, ensuring business is retained in the City for the recovery period.
From 8 – 10 May VisitBrighton hosted Big BrightOnine Weekender, bringing together the best of Brighton’s virtual festival performances, reaching 209,000 people.
VisitBrighton have partnered with United We Stream which aims to showcase our world class cultural talent, live streaming bands, DJs, singers and performers.
The labour team and I have (virtually) met with numerous residents, community and business representatives, over the last month, and we will continue to do so, to help support this Committee’s urgent recovery work on equalities, communities, culture and tourism.”
3.2 Councillor O’Quinn addressed the Committee and gave the following communication:
“The city’s creative and cultural sector should and does have our wholehearted support because of its enormous value to the city both economically and socially. We need to work especially hard to support this sector in the coming months as it has been devastated by the Coronavirus Emergency. Much work is already being done by the Brighton and Hove Arts and Creative Industries Commission, in partnership with the council, to get this sector back on its feet again. People involved in the Arts and Culture are being directed to the Business Grants available and to the Discretionary Small Business Grant. Indeed, a workshop was held last Thursday by an events company to help those involved in the events industry to apply for the Discretionary Grant. Networking is being encouraged even more and a highly focused move to track down relevant grants, and the council have a vital role to play here.
I think we are all aware that to quote “culture is the lifeblood of a vibrant society, expressed in the many ways we tell our stories, celebrate, remember the past, entertain ourselves, and imagine the future. Our creative expression helps define who we are and helps us see the world through the eyes of others. For individuals everywhere, culture is also a means of expressing creativity, forging an individual identity, and enhancing or preserving a community’s sense of place. In children and young people, participation in culture helps develop thinking skills, builds self-esteem, and improves resilience, all of which enhance education outcomes”.
Residents of Brighton and Hove participate in culture in many ways—as audiences, professionals, amateurs, volunteers, and donors or investors and this summer it is hoped that many outside events will be organised for people, especially young people. Even a Storytelling session organised by a local café with outside space in a park can be a valuable to culture in the city. It is good to hear that South East Dance is designing an extended programme for young people this summer in order to provide some structured and focused activities until more schools reopen in the Autumn.
Culture and the Arts provides important social and economic benefits to the city. With improved learning and health, increased tolerance and inclusion, and opportunities to come together with others, culture enhances our quality of life and increases overall well-being for both individuals and communities, a fact which is well recognised by the Arts and Creative Industries Commission and the Council.
To quote “Culture helps build social capital, the glue that holds diverse communities together. It fosters social inclusion, community empowerment, and capacity-building, and enhances confidence, civic pride, and tolerance. Cultural engagement also plays a key role in poverty reduction and communities-at-risk strategies”, something which is at the heart of the council’s policies thus I heartily support this NOM.”