Agenda and draft minutes
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An apology of absence was received from Cllr Gurjit Bains and Cllr Greta Goatley (Vice-Chair). Cllr Gary Harding subbed for Cllr Gurjit Bains.
Under officer attendance on Page 3 of the minutes, it was noted that there was a typo; it should be ‘Woodville’ instead of ‘Woodwille’.
The minutes of the meeting on 27 September 2018 were signed by the Chair.
Declarations of Interest
No declarations of interest were disclosed.
To present Members of the Community Services
Committee with an update against the Performance Management
Framework, as set out within the council’s Corporate Plan
2015-19, for Quarter Two 2018-19 (July – September
Further to minute 46 (27/09/2018), Members were provided with an update against the Performance Management Framework, as set out within the Council’s Corporate Plan 2015- 19, for Quarter Two 2018-19 (July – September 2018). Appendix two to the report provided Members with an overview of the council’s performance during that time period.
The Assistant Director (Communities) advised the Committee that it was a standard report that is brought to the Committee every quarter to update them on the performance of the work carried out within the Portfolio. He gave a brief overview of the layout and what the performance measures and performance indicators were, advising the Committee that they would go through the report page by page.
Deliver an improved leisure offer; activities and facilities that increase sporting participation rates and address local health inequalities
Following a question on why the Boditrax unit is free to use, the Leisure & Resilience Manager advised that the machines were brought in by GCLL approximately twelve months ago; originally they made the first time use of it free and then charged thereafter. However, it was not fully utilised by the public due to the charging aspect so it was made inclusive of the membership price. It is seen as an additional tool to help members for example to lose weight and achieve their goals.
With regard to the large drop in numbers for PI 12 ‘Number of Active Gravesham Attendees’; there was a multitude of reasons such as, the loss of Danielle Lock to adoption leave right at a pivotal time in the year. She would help to organise and deliver many events and her leaving did impact the team’s performance and size of overall programme. Another reason was that many of the activities were run by partner agencies that didn’t hold as many sessions as originally intended. Due to those reasons the summer programme was condensed so that it could be delivered effectively however next year it should be able to be brought back to its full potential.
Establish a programme of targeted community events and engagement opportunities to develop a more cohesive community
Praise was given to the Community Involvement Officer on the organisations of the Community Litter Picks in the Borough as it encouraged residents to take pride in their areas and added value to the Community. It was asked if the information could be fed out more often and bit earlier in the year to encourage more residents to hold schemes in their wards.
The Community Involvement Officer advised that it was too cold and dark at the moment for many residents to take part in litter picks however the ‘Great British Clean’ occurs annually in March. Typically Spring time is the best time to start the litter picks and Gravesham would start to encourage Members and the public to hold them again during that time period.
The Assistant Director (Communities) advised that the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Conference was held in conjunction with local Alzheimer’s and Dementia support groups and ... view the full minutes text for item 51.
To inform Members of the Community Services
Committee of the council’s involvement in partnerships that
are within the remit of the committee.
The Committee was informed of the Council’s involvement in partnerships that were within the remit of the Committee.
The Council is increasingly working in partnership with local organisations, groups, other public, private and ‘third sector’ bodies to achieve both its objectives for the local community and contribute to the achievement of the Council’s strategic objectives.
The Assistant Director (Communities) stated that the current partnerships that directly relate to the work of the Community Services Committee were as follows:
· GO TRADE
· Gravesham Arts Council
· Gravesham Gateway
· Thames Defence Heritage
GO TRADE and Gravesham Gateway were marked as significant; the definition in the report said that a significant partnership was: a partnership for which there is a council resource provision of £10,000 or greater or one that is fundamental to the delivery of a strategic objective within the council’s Corporate Plan. Without this effective partnership therefore, the delivery of Gravesham Borough Council’s key corporate goals would not occur.”
Concern was raised by a Member that the report was not a true reflection of the Council’s partnerships as he felt that the Committee had many more which were not listed such as Cohesion Plus and Elizabeth Huggins Charity. It was felt that the definition of partnership should be amended so that more organisations were accepted as Partners within the portfolio in order to recognise the benefits that the organisations not listed bring to the Council in achieving their core objectives. Outside Bodies were also appointed to by Members at Annual Council so the Bodies within the portfolios remit should also be included such as the Regatta Committee.
The Assistant Director (Communities) explained that there is a longer list of partnerships within the Register, however they are all split by Portfolio and there are a number which fall under the Leader’s Portfolio thus why they do not appear in this report, e.g. Cohesion Plus.
The Assistant Director (Communities) did assure the Committee that a review on the Partnerships Register has begun and that he would pass on the Committee’s comments about Outside Bodies on which Members are representing the Council The Assistant Director (Communities) asked that Members email the team if they have any other organisations (that aren’t Outside Bodies) which they think should be included within the Partnership review. The Committee requested the item come back to the Committee before Purdah begins next year.
Following on from those points, a Member requested that the organisations, as they are in receipt of public funds, attend the Committee every two years to discuss with the Committee their achievement’s, the work they have been doing and how they have benefited the wider Community. It would give them the opportunity to receive help from Councillors as well and advise the Council on what has been successful and what hasn’t been as successful.
Concern was raised over the Gateway Strategic Partnership as KCC, in the near future, could possibly slash their funds and stop contributing to the partnership; Members stated that it delivered real value to the Council ... view the full minutes text for item 52.
Members were provided with an overview of the events programme organised by the Leisure Team and Community Involvement Team in 2018 including major outdoor events, the
Summer Fun programme and the community events.
The Committee was shown two brief videos created by Gravesham Borough Council showcasing the Remembrance Day service and the Riverside Festival in Gravesend.
Members were very appreciative of the fact that the Council decided to cancel the fireworks in light of ‘Benny the Beluga’ residing in the River Thames where the barge would be located, however they did question whether or not another suitable venue could have been found.
The Chair advised that she had a meeting with the Director (Communities) to discuss the possibility of a different venue. The Leisure & Resilience Manager further explained that the PLA (Port of London Authority) informed the Council two weeks before the event that they couldn’t give permission for the fireworks to be fired from the river due to ‘Benny’. They also advised against anywhere in near proximity to the river such as the promenade because the Council could be liable if anything was to happened to the whale.
Cascades was originally used to host the fireworks many years ago, but due to the increasing amount of people that attend the display (between 12000-15000), the area is not suitable for the amount of traffic that would ensue. Additionally there were concerns over that amount of people trampling the football pitches and causing disturbances to the houses opposite Cascades. Gravesend Rugby Club and Gravesend Grammar School both potentially offered their respective fields but it was concluded that the same issues would apply there as with Cascades. The Leisure & Resilience Manager added that the public recognised the prom as the regular venue and the event would also require road closures, funfair placements and food vans, so anywhere but the promenade would be a logistically difficult
Following a question, the Leisure & Resilience Manager explained that as far as he was aware the donation from Swale Heating to fund the Fireworks display had been designated for future use due to the cancellation.
The Committee heaped praise upon the two videos shown, especially the very poignant Remembrance Day Service and wanted it noted that Members were very grateful for all the hard work officers had put in over the course of the year. The sheer amount of voluntary work that had been given to the events for the year was very commendable and the Committee recognised all of the effort that was put in to make Gravesham have the best event programme in Kent. One Member also praised the work that had been done to accommodate people of all disabilities at the events stating it was very good to hear all the positive feedback from disabled members of the public. The Committee asked that the two lead officers pass their thanks to the teams for a job well done and also suggested a reward be considered for the officers involved such as an extra days ... view the full minutes text for item 53.