Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Windmill Street, Gravesend DA12 1AU. View directions

Contact: Committee Section 

Items
No. Item

6.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

No apologies for absence were received.

 

7.

To sign the minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 140 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Overview Scrutiny Committee held on Thursday 08 June 2023 were agreed and signed by the Chair.

 

8.

To declare any interests which members may have on the items contained on this agenda. When declaring an interest members must state what their interest is.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

 

9.

Call Ins - Item called in from the Cabinet meeting on Monday, 26 June 2023; Item 7 - Events Review

The Chair of the Overview Scrutiny Committee has called in the following item for the meeting on Thursday, 06 July 2023, 7:30pm: -

 

Item 7: Events Review

 

Reason:

 

·         To examine the impact of the proposed savings.

 

·         To determine how far the recommendations will support the growth of the local economy.

 

Cabinet Member: Cllr Lauren Sullivan – Cabinet Member, Communities

 

Officer: Jamie Izzard – Director (Communities)

 

(Please ensure you have access to the Cabinet agenda for 26 June 2023 previously circulated to Members)

 

Minutes:

In agreement with the Chair, the Committee started with item 6 on the agenda.

The Director (Communities) presented Members with the Events Review report. The purpose of the report was to look at the expenditure of events that were across a number of different teams, such as Leisure, Town Centre and Community Engagement.

Through this review, they were able to identify a total £103k in savings, reduced from the general fund. £40k of these savings were against previous underspends and the cancellation of small events. The remaining £63k was saved by moving expenditure from the general budget to the Enterprise Zone and using this to fund certain activities. Some events relied upon sponsorship, such as the fireworks, with Swale being the previous sponsor. However, work was being done to secure a new sponsorship.

The Director (Communities) and Cllr Sullivan (Cabinet Member for Community and Leisure) fielded questions from the committee and explained the following:

  • The measurement of success from events was not strictly an economic outcome. There are social measurements, alongside measures such as footfall data which provided evidence that such events were increasing in attendance.
  • Previously, the Christmas events had been spread across a longer period of time, and this had demonstrated little impact on footfall in 2022. With a bigger event in the space of one weekend, footfall numbers were likely to increase.
  • The economic measurements of success were not just based on the success of local businesses, but through increasing the number of visitors to the borough. This could be measured through a partnership with Visit Kent, and thus widening that economic impact.
  • The remaining events were based on footfall data. If the data was low, it was less likely for these events to go ahead. A public consultation had not been held in relation to the proposed budget reduction.
  • Under the new budgets, the Gravesham in Bloom event was not going to be funded other than through the town dressing element.
  • The cost of staffing was not included within the budgets. The core events team consists of 3 to 4 members of staff.
  • As a one-off grant, community organisations can apply for grant funding.
  • The aim wouldn’t be to only strive for social outcomes but to move towards better economic ones through reviewing the timing of events, and encouraging businesses to stay open and benefit from them.
  • Gravesham Borough Council will not always be the provider of local events, but they can help enable smaller events to take place.
  • A review was done on the charging structure of public spaces, but they were not currently looking to make a profit, but instead were looking to reclaim those spaces.
  • Most complaints relating to events were regarding noise, which needed to be taken into account.
  • The Director (Communities) was confident that the events team, as well as other member of staff, were well equipped to deal with the proposed event review. Additional funding for staff overtime was not included in the budget.
  • When members expressed confusion regarding the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Future Scrutiny Topic Reviews

Minutes:

The committee held a brief decision on topics for scrutiny review and suggested the following:

 

  • Green Spaces – In specific spaces that were owned by Kent County Council. The review would explore the ways in which the spaces were being used and/or neglected. The focus of the review was encouraging the use of green spaces and tree planting.
  • Post Pandemic Domestic Violence – Specifically relating to the breakdown of families and the impact this has on children and their wellbeing, education and sleep.
  • Cleaning Up Urban Areas – A review would explore the ways in which cleanliness in the rural areas of the borough could be improved.
  • Engagement with Planning Services – Councillors were contacted frequently regarding planning applications; a review would look into the engagement with planning issues.
  • Governance Framework of Rosherville Ltd – A review would include looking into the governance framework of Rosherville Ltd ensuring it was fit and robust enough to succeed in the future.

 

The abovementioned topics would be presented to Management Team for consideration.