Agenda and minutes

Regeneration, Culture and Environment Overview And Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 22 January 2019 6.30pm

Venue: Meeting Room 9 - Level 3, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham ME4 4TR. View directions

Contact: Ellen Wright, Democratic Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

723.

Chairman's Announcements

Minutes:

At the commencement of the meeting, the Chairman referred to the recent sad passing of Councillor David Carr.

 

He informed the Committee that Councillor Carr had represented Rainham North Ward since 2007 and had served on many Council Committees and represented the Council on a number of outside bodies during his time as a Councillor.

 

The Committee held a minute’s silence in memory of Councillor David Carr.

 

The Chairman also welcomed Dawn Hudd, Assistant Director, Physical and Cultural Regeneration to her first meeting of the Committee.

724.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Hicks and Williams.

725.

Record of Meeting pdf icon PDF 123 KB

To approve the Record of the Meeting held on 6 December 2018.

Minutes:

The record of the meeting held on 6 December 2018 was agreed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

 

A Member referring to Minute 594 (b) commented that the information requested from Medway Commercial Group (MCG) had yet to be circulated to the Committee. In response, the Chairman advised that officers were pursuing this with MCG as a matter of urgency.   

726.

Urgent matters by reason of special circumstances

The Chairman will announce any late items which do not appear on the main agenda but which he has agreed should be considered by reason of special circumstances to be specified in the report.

Minutes:

There were none.

727.

Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Other Significant Interests pdf icon PDF 212 KB

Members are invited to disclose any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Significant Interests in accordance with the Member Code of Conduct.  Guidance on this is set out in agenda item 4.

 

Minutes:

Disclosable pecuniary interests

 

There were none.

 

Other significant interests (OSIs)

 

There were none.

 

Other interests

 

There were none.

 

728.

Attendance of the Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Services pdf icon PDF 210 KB

This report sets out progress made within the areas covered by the Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Services Councillor Doe which fall within the remit of this Committee.

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

Members received an overview of progress on the areas of work within the terms of reference of this Committee and covered by the Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Services, Councillor Doe as set out below:

 

·         Archives

·         Armed Forces Covenant

·         Events and Festivals

·         Greenspaces

·         Heritage

·         Leisure Services

·         Sporting Legacy

·         Theatres and Arts

·         Tourism

 

The Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Services, Councillor Doe responded to Members’ questions and comments as follows:

 

·         Armed Forces Covenant/Employer Defence Recognition Award – In response to a question as to how the Council could move from a Silver to Gold Employer Defence Recognition Award, the Portfolio Holder outlined initiatives currently being pursued. He also outlined the importance of promoting the work of the armed forces and in particular referred to the Freedom of Medway bestowed upon C Company 3rd Battalion of Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment in 2018 and the HMS Medway due in 2019.

 

·         Castle Concerts  - A Member commented that the information supplied within the report on the Castle Concerts contained less detail than in previous years and, in particular, lacked information on ticket sales. He referred to the low level of ticket sales in 2018 and questioned whether the Portfolio Holder considered that the format of the concerts had become stale.

 

In response, the Portfolio Holder informed the Committee that although ticket sales had been disappointing in 2018, one concert had sold out and therefore the concerts were still popular. Unfortunately, attendance at the other concerts in 2018 had been affected by inclement weather and World Cup fixtures. He did not support the view that the format of the event had become stale.

 

The Portfolio Holder pointed out that the limited capacity of the Castle grounds meant that it was not possible to attract artistes that command a high performance fee as this would make the ticket prices exorbitant. He assured the Committee that high quality acts were being approached for 2019, one of whom had already signed.

 

The Director for Regeneration, Culture, Environment and Transformation and Deputy Chief Executive advised the Committee that a briefing note providing full information on ticket sales at the 2018 Castle Concerts had previously been circulated and he offered to re-circulate this to all Members of the Committee.

 

A Member expressed concern that the dates of the World Cup fixtures would have been known in advance of the Concerts and therefore it would have been prudent to change the dates of the concerts so as to avoid a clash.

 

A Member questioned why the Portfolio Holder had not acknowledged that the Council’s decision to ban individuals from taking their own alcohol to the Concerts in 2018, with the exception of the Proms, had likely affected ticket sales and he asked whether this ruling would be reversed in 2019.

 

In response, the Portfolio Holder advised that the decision to ban individuals from taking their own alcohol to the concerts in 2018, with the exception of the Proms, complied with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 728.

729.

Attendance of the Portfolio Holder for Inward Investment, Strategic Regeneration and Partnerships pdf icon PDF 203 KB

This report sets out progress made within the areas covered by the Portfolio Holder for Inward Investment, Strategic Regeneration and Partnerships Councillor Rodney Chambers, OBE which fall within the remit of this Committee.

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

Members received an overview of progress on the areas of work within the terms of reference of this Committee and covered by the Portfolio Holder for Inward Investment, Strategic Regeneration and Partnerships, Councillor Rodney Chambers, OBE as set out below:

 

·         Inward investment

·         Strategic Regeneration and Planning

·         Strategic Partnerships

·         Local Growth Fund

·         Medway Ambassadors

·         Heritage Champion

 

The Portfolio Holder for Inward Investment, Strategic Regeneration and Partnerships, Councillor Rodney Chambers, OBE responded to Members’ questions and comments as follows: 

 

·         Future High Streets Fund – In response to a question, the Portfolio Holder outlined the basis of the Government’s Future High Streets Fund and explained the process by which Unitary Authorities, Metropolitan Boroughs and London Boroughs could bid for funding to support and fund local areas’ plans to make their high streets and town centres fit for the future.

 

He stressed that each local authority was only permitted to place one bid in the first tranche with the potential of placing a second bid in 2020. The maximum level of funding available was £25 million per scheme but it was anticipated that the majority of individual schemes would be supported by funding in the region of £5 - £10 million.

 

The Portfolio Holder advised that both Chatham High Street and Gillingham High Street met the scheme’s criteria. However, as only one bid was permitted, Chatham High Street which had ranked highest on the Fund’s eligibility criteria would be promoted.

 

The Fund was not retail centred but provided opportunities for housing development and changing the cultural offer, including the generation of an evening economy.

 

Final bids were due to be submitted in August 2019 and the outcome was expected in late 2019/early 2020.

 

A Member commented that Medway had a number of High Streets and was therefore at a disadvantage in being restricted to one bid. In response, the Portfolio Holder confirmed that Gillingham High Street would be submitted in the second round of bids. He also confirmed that Rochester High Street would be eligible for consideration under the Heritage High Street element of the Fund but the criteria on this element of the Fund had yet to be released.

 

·         Britton Farm Mall Gillingham – A Member requested an update on the bid for funds for Britton Farm Mall.

 

The Portfolio Holder advised that two bids had been submitted for funding from the Local Enterprise Partnership, one of which related to Britton Farm Mall, which he hoped would be successful and a response was expected in mid-February.

 

·         Strategic Regeneration and Planning – A Member referred to the various strategic regeneration schemes in Medway and advised that residents were concerned as to the effect that these schemes would have on congestion. The Portfolio Holder advised that whilst he noted these concerns, there was a need to provide housing and regardless of whether or not individuals lived in a town or close to public transport links, people wanted use of a car.

 

A Member referred to the development of Rochester Riverside and expressed concern that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 729.

730.

Petitions pdf icon PDF 160 KB

To advise the Committee of any petitions received by the Council which fall within the remit of this Committee including a summary of the response sent to the petition organisers by officers.

 

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Committee received a report advising of those petitions received by the Council, which fell within the remit of the Committee, including a summary of the responses sent to the petition organisers by officers. No petitions had been referred to the Committee for consideration by the lead petitioners.

 

It was noted that one petition referral request had been withdrawn as the issue had been resolved following a site meeting with the Assistant Director Front Line Services and Ward Councillors.

 

Decision:

 

The Committee noted the petition response and appropriate officer action set out in paragraphs 3 and 4 of the report.

 

731.

Work programme pdf icon PDF 86 KB

This item advises Members of the current work programme and allows the Committee to adjust it in the light of latest priorities, issues and circumstances. It gives Members the opportunity to shape and direct the Committee’s activities over the year. 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Committee considered its work programme for the remainder of 2018/19.

 

Decision:

 

The Committee noted the current work programme and agreed that Medway Commercial Group Ltd be invited to attend the meeting of this Committee in October 2019 for further scrutiny.