Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Windmill Street, Gravesend DA12 1AU. View directions
Apology for absence was received from Cllr Helen Ashenden and Cllr Jordan Meade. Cllr Frank Wardle and Cllr Les Hoskins substituted respectively.
Robert Hooker (LCSA 2020) also gave his apology for absence.
The minutes of the meeting on Monday, 25 November 2019 were signed by the Chair.
Declarations of Interest
Cllr Mochrie-Cox and Cllr Peter Scollard declared an interest as they were the Council’s appointed representatives to the GCLL Board. Cllr Shane Mochrie-Cox declared another interest as he was on the board of the Gr@nd.
The Chair welcomed the Managing Director (GCLL) and the participants from the Local Councillor Shadowing Award 2020 to the Committee. He asked the participants to raise their hand if they wanted to participate in the discussion throughout the course of the meeting.
The Managing Director (GCLL) gave a presentation to Members on the Leisure Centres in Gravesham (please see supplementary).
Following the presentation, the Managing Director (GCLL) fielded questions from the Committee:
· The GCLL group would be more than happy to attend any sessions with the minority ethnic groups within Gravesham to inform them of the services available and accommodate their needs as best as possible. Working with Councillors would allow groups to be reached that may normally have barriers in place for GCLL
· The issue of reaching maximum capacity resurfaces annually and both Cygnet and Cascades have almost reached their maximum capacity; the car parks at both sites are always full and many cars have had to park on pavements and grass verges to gain access. The two buildings were built in the late eighties and weren’t fit for the amount of footfall that they see today. The centres attract 20-23% of the population which is much higher than the national average 14% of members from local communities and any new investment into the Leisure Centres would have to take capacity and parking into consideration
· The average length of gym membership in the UK is approximately seven months and GCLL are bucking that trend as Cascades average membership is thirteen months and Cygnets average membership is closer to sixteen months. However there was always room for improvement and GCCL would continue to improve their services to entice people to keep their memberships
· With regards to recognised eating disorders such as anorexia, the GCLL had worked with two members previously suffering with that disorder and helped them to get healthier, gain more confidence and employment. The GCLLs ambition was to target eating disorders under the mental health agenda as part of the long term vision for the future of the partnership
· The medical gym membership at both leisure centres was offered at a reduced rate of £31.00 a month
· Determining the opening times for different age groups has been a challenge to the GCLL and the current 18:00pm kick out time for under 16s has been implemented to as there have been incidences with some under 16s putting adult members off due to their lack of seriousness and not using the equipment properly etc. However, the Managing Director (GCLL) would take that comment back to his group and ask for the opening times to be reviewed
· The chair fit session for older users has been supplemented by NHS funding resulting in it only costing £3 per session; users of the class do not need to be gym members however if anyone still cannot afford the fee then they should get in contact with GCLL to see if there is scope to discuss further funding from the NHS or other sources. ... view the full minutes text for item 26.
To present the Members of Community &
Leisure Committee with an update against the Performance Management
Framework, as introduced within the council’s Corporate Plan,
for Quarter Three 2019-20 (October to December 2019).
Members were presented with an update against the Performance Management Framework, as introduced within the Council’s Corporate Plan, for Quarter Three 2019-20 (October to December 2019).
The Assistant Director (Communities) explained that a report will be submitted to the Committee at the end of each quarter showcasing the performance figures for each policy commitment that relates to the Community & Leisure portfolio. The new reporting style was adopted as part of the new Corporate Plan and included a lot more contextual information against each policy commitment.
The officers went through the report page by page in order for Members to be able to comment on each policy commitments performance:
1. Create stronger neighbourhoods:
The Assistant Director (Communities) advised that the figures in the report related to the reporting of crime offences and incidents of anti-social behaviour; a fuller report with greater detail will be reported to the next Crime & Disorder Committee on Tuesday, 17 March 2020.
The January Crime & Disorder Scrutiny Committee received an update from the Kent Police Chief Inspector in respect of the positive impact that the additional Police resources deployed in Gravesend are having during the day and his desire to have an additional police presence in the Town during the evening. The day time Town Centre ‘beat’ officers had made a great impact in the Town by tackling criminal behaviour and the level of incidents had decreased.
2. Actively enforce environmental standards:
The Assistant Director (Communities) explained that the policy commitment related to a narrow definition of environmental enforcement and the fixed penalty notices issued for littering and fly-tipping, etc. Two additional Safer Place Officers have now been employed enabling the team to expand the areas covered in Gravesham; they issued FPNs for environmental issues but they also covered a breadth of other duties such as homelessness and anti-social behaviour.
In response to several of the LCSA participant’s questions regarding footfall and events in the Town, the Assistant Director (Communities) explained that:
· Incidents do tend to take place in some parts of the Town Centre, and more needs to be done to address the perception of crime, especially in the evening.The team that undertook the evening and night time economy audit in November 2019, were surprised to see how quiet the Town was on a Friday night. Increasing footfall and promoting the range of restaurants and entertainment that the town has to offer would make the town feel more safer in the evening
· In total there are 55 CCTV cameras in public spaces in and around the Town Centre which are monitored from the main control room
· In order to increase footfall, further events needed to be held within the Town Centre. The summer cinema evenings on Community Square demonstrated what can be achieved and were very well received. Evenets, such as the annual fireworks bring people out into the Town Centre and additional footfall
· The bars and restaurants that were most popular were scattered around the Town and more needs to be done to promote what ... view the full minutes text for item 27.
Youth Democracy Scheme
The Chair invited the participants of the Local Councillor Shadowing Award 2020 to share their thoughts about how the award was going and if any improvements could be made.
The participants of the Youth Democracy Scheme had encountered no problems completing their Local Councillor Shadowing Award and were very appreciate of the Scheme.
Molly Hepburn stated that one improvement to the Scheme would be to create a link on the Council’s website that would allow all participants to download the schedule of events and any other associated documents. The link would be updated with any changes or additional events making it easier for the participants to know exactly what was happening and plan accordingly.
Members were informed of the Council’s involvement in partnerships that were within the remit of the Community & Leisure Cabinet Committee.
The Assistant Director (Communities) advised that the current partnerships that most directly related to the work of the Community & Leisure Committee were listed at 2.1 of the report.
The Chair applauded the work of the partnerships explaining the importance of working with the groups as they were the fabric of the Borough providing safety, community spirt and representing many ethnicities, religions and social groups.
Market Working Group
The Service Manager (Theatre & Customer Services) gave an update to the Committee on the first meeting of the Market Working Group.
In the summer of last year, the findings of the Market consultation were shared with the Committee and an agreement was made to create a Member working group to review the full results, discuss the future of the Market and create a Strategy to guide its development.
The findings of the meetings were supposed to be reported back to this Committee meeting however there were circumstances which prevented that; the first meeting only took place a few weeks ago and the second meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, 11 February 2020.
The first meeting discussed what Members wanted to see compared with what the public wanted to see and there was a general agreement that the street food offerings and special events were the most popular part of the market.
Additionally, it was noted that the current opening times may have hindered footfall so later opening times will be investigated to allow families and young people to access the street food stalls after school and in the early evening.
The Service Manager (Customer & Theatre Services) assured the Committee that the group’s findings and draft Market Strategy will be submitted to the next Committee meeting in March.
The LCSA participants were invited to share their views on the Market and how it could be made more appealing to the younger generation.
The LCSA participants outlined the following key points:
· The street food stalls have the current biggest appeal to young people and the offering needs to be expanded further
· The weekday and weekend opening times need to be extended to allow young people to access it afterschool and later on weekends
· There needs to be more of a consistent approach with the stalls so that they were there every week and more variety with the independent stalls to provide a better offering
In response to the points the made, the Assistant Director (Communities) and the Service Manager (Customer & Theatre Services) explained that:
· Sunday trading times have to be adhered too but the later opening times for weekdays and Saturday will be reviewed at the Market Working Group meetings and fed into the Market Strategy
· Originally there was an outdoor market in the Market car park however that no longer takes place due to the development that will be carried out by Reef over the next three years
· Plans for regeneration of the Eastern and Western quarters can be shared with the participants to show what is planned for the sites. The open air car park will be replaced by a car park structure
· There is not enough daily footfall for traders to maintain all the permanent stalls and the pop up stalls only attend the Market during specified events such as the Vegan Market Day. The Council are actively seeking to fill the vacancies within the Market; the direction of the Market will be laid out within the Market Strategy ... view the full minutes text for item 30.