Agenda item - Chairs Communications
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- Meeting of Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee, Thursday, 17th June, 2021 4.00pm (Item 3.)
3.1 The Chair gave the following communications, there has been a change on the make-up of the TECC committee. Councillor Nemeth has left TECC. He has been on this committee in its different various guises and titles over the years, and I’d like to thank him for all his work as the Conservative Group spokesperson. So, I’d like to welcome Councillor Brown instead to the committee. From the Labour Group we are being joined by Councillor Childs so welcome and on the Green benches we welcome back Councillor Rainey, and welcome Councillor Littman.
We have a big agenda today, and a number of public questions, including a number on RISE. Councillor Grimshaw and I were very pleased to receive the 30k-storng petition supporting RISE earlier in the year. We pay tribute to the campaigners, some of whom will be meeting later when it comes to public questions.
At the last TECC we agreed to establish a Member Working Group to look further at the commissioning of domestic abuse services in the city in, and to focus on how we could avoid another similar situation arising whereby a very well respected and trusted partner in the city such as Rise has lost funding. The first scoping meeting is scheduled for 5th July. In the meantime, much work and discussion has been ongoing to bring forward the proposals detailed in today’s MHCLG funding paper, later in the agenda.
This month marks the start of Pride celebrations across the globe, marking the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Sadly, again there is to be no Pride in the city this year, meaning not just huge financial loss to the city’s hospitality and LGBTQ sector, but also a loss in visibility to our communities. Trans Pride has also been suspended, which is the UK’s longest running, biggest Trans event, attracting many thousands of people. To show solidarity with the city’s LGBTQ+ communities and to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, we are looking to fly the new inclusive pride flag from Hove town hall for the 3 days, showing solidarity to our LGBTQ+ employees and communities, being proud allies and supporting visibility across the city.
We have also recently had the results from a citywide impact survey carried out by LGBT Switchboard to gauge the impacts of Covid & lockdowns on our LGBTQ communities, business and health outcomes. This will be shared with in the next couple of months.
I would like to draw committee Members and the public’s attention to a new fund totalling 300k specifically aim at supporting the work of Black and Minority Ethnic, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, disability and women’s community and voluntary groups in recognition of the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on these residents. Deadline for applications is 31st July. More information is available on the council website.
The Srebrenica Memorial week takes place from 4th to 11th July, when we commemorate the more than 8000 Muslim men and boys who were murdered during the genocide. It is a time to pay tribute to those who lost their lives, and to say never again, reaffirming our commitment to stand against all form of hate in our City and elsewhere. We will be looking to honour the victims and survivors by holding a minute’s silence at the next Full Council meeting in July, and throughout out the week raising awareness on our social media. We continue to work with the Upstanders Network which brings diverse communities together to tackle hate and encourage all hate incidents to be reported to our Community Safety Team, or to the police.
This is Refugee Week which happens every year in the run-up to World Refugee Day on 20th June. The city council is marking the week with a news story about our work with unaccompanied asylum seeking children, acknowledging the hard work of foster carers and publicising the need for more foster carers to work with young people who have arrived in the UK, having fled war and persecution in their home countries. As members are aware, the city council has recently recommitted to being a City of Sanctuary and continues to participate in the government’s UK resettlement programme. Officers are, as ever, more than happy to talk to private landlords interested in supporting us in this rewarding project.
Despite the national delay in Step 4 of the roadmap, Libraries will be able to reopen more fully from Monday 21st June although certain restrictions must remain in place. The opening hours are changing so that Jubilee Library will be open 7 days a week and Hove Library 6 days a week. Eleven of the community libraries will open for between one and three staffed days, with Libraries Extra unstaffed access in most of them on the other days of the week. For the time being, all libraries will close at 5pm each day and details are on the website.
As part of a NHS initiative, from Monday 21st June there will be an award winning HIV/STI Vending machine in the foyer at Jubilee Library for HIV/STI self-tests. The machine will be a good alternative for people who don't want a kit turning-up at their home address, or who just see the machine and think it's a good idea to screen.
I must say that it has been great to welcome culture back into the city after a year away. We have already put extra funding into cleaning-up the city and investing in Green priorities to enhance the look and feel of the city and make it the best welcome possible.
The Brighton Festival was the first festival to proceed coming out of lockdown in the UK and a great success with over 100 events over the 4 weeks with 20,000 ticketed attendees and 300 freelance artists and technicians employed to deliver it. A huge thanks to Andrew Comben and guest director Lemm Sissay for kicking things off.
The Brighton Fringe this year will be the biggest fringe in the UK. All TECC members were invited by the director, Julian Caddy, to tour around the venues and see the amount of work that goes into managing these events. It was a great tour and really eye-opening to see just what goes into it.
The Royal Pavilion and a selection of our museums, now managed by the Royal Pavilion and Museums Trust, are open again and we still have items from the royal collection on loan from Buckingham Palace as well as The David Bowie exhibition to enjoy.
We were looking forward to welcoming back the Park Runs in the city. However, with the delay in getting to step 4 of reopening, Park Run have decided to push this back until the 24th July. In addition, the Brighton Half-marathon, which was scheduled to take place at the weekend will now be taking place later this year on 10th October.
I know that it has been disappointment that the Prince Regent Swimming Pool has remained closed since it’s flooding. Freedom Leisure and the council have been working hard to get this reopened. There was significant damage caused and there has had to be a large-scale refit of the electronics and reopening is now scheduled for Monday 12th July. This demonstrates the need for further investment in our sports facilities and we’ve been working on the report for the sports facility’s investment plan over the past months. Ordinarily this would have been presented to TECC Committee for endorsement but due to the COVID restrictions and in order to avoid duplication of debate, we’ve passed this directly onto P&R for a decision. Co-chair Councillor Osborne, is hoping to be involved in the board which we are recommending is set-up to take forward actions on this with urgency.
And last month we were able to look forward to next year’s women’s Euros and to launch our legacy programme with our partners. On top of the 3 games which will be hosted at the Amex, including one England game, we are hoping to use the opportunity to inspire change and build a new generation of players, coaches, referees and fans.