Agenda and minutes

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

No. Item




An apology for absence was reveived from Cllr Gurjit Bains. Cllr Frank Wardle attended as her substitute.


Introduction from the Chair


The Chair introduced the Committee explaining that he would prefer Members to save the theatre for Council and that Cabinet Committees were run on a more collegiate process during which ideas and concerns could be discussed.


Minutes of the meeting of the Community Services Cabinet Committee held on 5 March 2019 pdf icon PDF 81 KB


The minutes of the meeting of the Community Services Cabinet Committee held on Tuesday, 5 March 2019 were signed by the Chair.


Declarations of Interest


Cllr Scollard declared an other interest as he was currently working with The Gr@nd.

The Chair noted the many members of the Committee were also the Council’s representatives on outside organisations and declared an other interest as and when these appeared.


To consider whether any items in Part A of the agenda should be considered in private or those (if any) in Part B in public.




Overview of Service Areas within Community & Leisure pdf icon PDF 138 KB

To provide the Committee with an overview of the service areas included within the Community & Lesiure portfolio.

Additional documents:


The Assistant Director (Communities) introduced the report which gave an overview of the service areas which fell within the remit of the Committee and its terms of reference. He highlighted that the Committee was outward looking, diverse and community based. The contact details of key officers had been included in the report together with hyperlinks to previous reports over the last year that gave more details on subjects Members might be interested in.

The slide presentation shown during discussion on this item can be accessed via the link set out below:

Sports Development

The Leisure & Resilience Manager advised that the team comprised of Danielle Lock – Recreation Officer, Amit Hayer – Leisure Events Officer and himself. The team was responsible for a range of leisure facilities, some directly controlled by the Council and some contracted out, as well as a range of different activities.

Members’ attention was drawn to a 2017/18 survey undertaken by Sport England Active Lives which showed that Gravesham was one of the lowest performing areas in Kent. The team was working to decrease the number of residents doing no exercise and to increase the percentage doing some exercise. It was noted that this survey did not include children and it was acknowledged that there were high levels of obesity amongst school age children in the Borough. The Leisure & Resilience Manager agreed to make the children’s survey available to Members.

It was confirmed that the activities included in the Sport England survey included water based activities such as swimming, sailing and kayaking.

The Woodvilles

The Service Manager (Customer & Theatre Services) advised that the theatre focussed on a number of areas including theatre shows, private hire, the areas in the theatre available for use and work ensuring the theatre was family friendly, used by the community, the development of education and outreach initiatives and the volunteer programme.

The following points were raised during discussion on this item:

·         Staff were commended on the variety of shows at The Woodville and a tribute was paid to the hard work of the volunteers who were an asset to the theatre.

·         The Community Rate Scheme meant any community group could apply for a 50% discount on normal hire prices for events held on Sundays to Wednesdays. The Gifted Young Gravesham event fee was currently under discussion in relation to fees for this year’s event taking into account a change in their need for technical support.

·         The possibility of private hire for weddings held on Sundays was raised and the officer explained that there had previously been a long term hire by a church on a Sunday which had restricted the hire for weddings. However, the church had now moved to its own premises and The Woodville was now available for private hire on Sundays. A question was raised in relation to the gap in funding caused by the loss of the long term hire on Sundays and the Committee was advised that this had caused a significant loss. However,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Town Centre Events Programming pdf icon PDF 88 KB

To seek the Committee’s views on the programming of events in the Town Centre.

Additional documents:


The Assistant Director (Communities) introduced the report which sought the views of the Committee on the programming of events in the Town Centre. He advised that officers were focussing on events which supported the town centre given the challenges being faced by high streets and the recognition of the role of events in encouraging an increase in footfall. It was also hoped that events would help to re-introduce people to their town centre. A number of opportunities were being considered in an effort to differentiate Gravesend from other competing centres such as Bluewater, Stratford etc. New residential developments were coming forward in the area and new residents needed to be encouraged to use the town centre. The evening economy was mentioned which had more of a food offer rather that a night club offer.  Members were advised that events were constrained by budgets and the number of staff who volunteered to support such events. There was a calendar of events which included those led by other organisations such as Hope & Glory, Cohesion Plus, Vaisakhi and the Waterfront Weekend.

The following points were raised during discussion on this item:

·         With regard to the oncoming Charles Dickens anniversary, it was suggested that the Tourism & Town Twinning Manager meet with Visit Kent with a view of having a special event at Gads Hill.

·         The Christmas world record attempt might this year include people dressed up as snowmen/women or alternatively, a themed fun event.

·         A suggestion was made to have pop-up events/parades whenever an individual or team won a trophy or medal. Members were advised that this had been proposed in the past but had not always been taken up.

·         Food orientated events were also suggested as were dressing up, WWII memorial events, tea dances etc and also to include local businesses and the Borough market.

·         The Service Manager (Customer & Theatre Services) advised that monies from the Controlling Migration Fund would be soon be utilised to hold international food and music events using the market as the focal point. This would also take in community cohesion and working against hate crime and would include local businesses and groups.

·         A suggestion was made to set up another Member working group to work towards enhancing foot-fall, utilising the frontage of empty shops on a particular day of the week and drawing upon ideas for events and activities that had been well received in other towns.

·         The Chair asked officers to consider the need to use consistent dates for annual events so visitors and residents could easily remember when the event takes place.


The Assistant Director (Communities) welcomed all thoughts and ideas and recognised the need for intent and good planning to make things happen.


The Chair supported the idea of Members feeding in ideas to officers and encouraged a constant dialogue. He preferred this approach to that of the suggested working group at this time. He asked that Members recognise that the Council was constrained by budget and the availability of staff.


            RESOLVED that the report  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.