Agenda item - Chairs Communications
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- Meeting of Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee, Thursday, 9th March, 2023 4.00pm (Item 54.)
The Chair gave the following communications:
Well, here we are, it’s final TECC of this term. It’s been a pleasure being on the committee over the past few years, and I’ve really enjoyed working with my co-chair Steph over the past 2 and half years. We are the first administration to bring in co-chairing and I think we have proven that it can work well. I hope other members have enjoyed it too. It’s a diverse set of roles that we look at and we have done a lot over the last few years, and I just thought I’d give a quick run-down of things that we have been able to agree as a reminder.
· For culture, we have agreed our annual events schedule, which continues to support the fringe, festival, pride, and other large events, and have supported new events in the city such as the Christmas market. We have agreed our Public Arts strategy, as well as the ABCD cultural recovery plan, which has successfully invested over £500k in the sector and will continue in the new Cultural Alliance being set up. Culture is a key part of tourist attraction and so this also links into our Tourism Recovery Strategy which has been important in helping the cities visitor economy find its feet after the pandemic.
· On equalities, we receive regular updates on the councils work to tackle racism, and it’s great to see that the anti-racist strategy is finally coming later in this agenda. We have worked closely with the CAG on this and we would like to thank Stephanie Prior for her insightful input at these meetings. The accessibility strategy has also had a lot of work over the recent months and will be coming to next committee. The committee has also brought forward strategies to tackle VAWG. We have agreed to seek accreditation to be a White Ribbon organisation with a 3-year action plan which we are working towards and have been able to agree how the new burdens funding from the DA Act will be spent in the city. There was the unfortunate case of Rise losing its contract in 2021 but after the campaign about that, Cllr Steph chaired a cross-party group to look into this and has created recommendations for the future provisioning of that service. Finally, some other things that Steph has been involved in our reaccreditation as a City of Sanctuary, which has been taken alongside our Inclusive Cities Taskforce work.
· We have also taken forward work on sports facilities and the Sports Facilities Investment Plan was agreed and is progressing via the working group. This has included additional facility developments at Withdean (3G pitches, Padel tennis and a Soft Play project) and plans for the development of a brand new sports centre in the West of the city is progressing- we have been engaging with local community groups and regular centre users and are distributing marketing materials to promote key messages and our new webpages and an expression of interest process launched last month to identify other potential sites across the city that could be suitable for our new leisure centre. We expect a site to be chosen later in the year.
· Our action plan for community wealth building has been agreed at January committee
· Seafront- reviewed and refreshed the beach chalet policy and agreed feasibility study for new chalets which came back to state preferred option of new chalets in Saltdean which will be taken forward.
· Community Safety Strategy coming later today and thanks to ongoing presence of Sussex Police at these meetings.
· Libraries- a new libraries strategy was agreed with a wider consultation on this. We have maintained our commitment to libraries as best as we can over recent difficult years.
· Third Sector Investment Programme- thanks for CVS partners for ongoing work and valued input into our budget and attendance of Jo at out committee meetings.
· Last but not least, we have been active in the planning policy role of this committee, we have agreed the city plan part 2, progressed neighbourhood plans, including designating two new areas, agreed on moving to CIL and the governance on that, and the pot of that is growing and will be ready for distributing later in the year, as well as protecting our local parades with A4D and renewal of our Biodiversity and Nature Conservation SPD.
So, a lot!
I did want to thank the members from other parties on their willingness to engage constructively on these matters and I think we can always get more done by being collegiate.
Today, alongside the anti-racist strategy which I’ve already mentioned we have a few important reports and just wanted to mention about the lifeguard's service. This is something I spoke about in the budget and unfortunately, it’s something we have considered as a cut this year, having previously ruled it out. In an ideal world, no one would reduce the service, but with budget cuts we have had to review all proposals and decided this service could be run in a more efficient way. Part of the report discusses long term options, and to be clear, we hope that there could be increased numbers in future years if external funding can be fund and partnership agreed. For this year, there are extra mitigation measures in place and a risk-based approach but I’m sure this report will be debated later and get the attention that it deserves.
I normally try to mention a few upcoming things to add to your diaries.
Brighton Marathon taking place on Sunday 2nd April which we are really pleased to see return after we managed to save the event at last minute after its organisers went into administration. Then in May the city will welcome back the fringe and festival. Please check out the events scheduled, it’s always my favourite time of the year, and alongside the Spiegeltent on the Old Steine, there is the Rotunda Theatre in Palmeira Square, a new site north of St Peter’s called Caravanserai, and …
We also thrilled to welcome hundreds of delegates to various conferences over the next few months including from 26-28 March 2023 when we will be hosting the European Meetings and Events Conference in the City, which VisitBrighton secured, attracting over 200 global meeting planners. VisitBrighton continue to attract people to the city and have been able to generate well over £1 million in PR over last 3 months. We are expecting another busy year!
Finally, just wanted to mention that The Kingsway to Sea project has started and so expect to see more work on that over the next months, starting with the enabling works, hoarding and construction of the Outdoor Sports Hub. The project is expected to be completed by this time next year- all very exciting. There is improvement work happening across the stretch of our seafront, from proposed new chalets in Saltdean, the black rock project, Sea Lanes, plans for Madeira Terrace in place right the way along to West end of Hove. So, it’s not like things aren’t happening!