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Agenda and minutes

The Former Cabinet Member for Cultural Services and Sport from May, 2009 to July, 2010
Wednesday, 2nd December, 2009 9.00 a.m.

Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham.

Contact: Debbie Bacon, Senior Democratic Services Officer - Ext. 2054 

Items
No. Item

35.

Minutes of the previous meeting held on 10th November, 2009 pdf icon PDF 21 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet Member held on 10th November, 2009 be signed as a true record.

 

With regards to Minute No. F30 the Cabinet Member was to discuss this with his fellow Elected Members.

36.

Minutes of a meeting of the Play Pathfinder Project Board held on 13th November, 2009 pdf icon PDF 18 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the minutes of the Play Pathfinder Project Board held on 13th November, 2009.

 

Reference was made to proposals for play facilities at both Swinton and Wickersley and it was suggested that the relevant officer contact the Cabinet Member with an update.

 

Resolved:- That the minutes held on 13th November, 2009 be received.

37.

Minutes of a meeting of the Clifton Park Restoration Project Board held on 13th November, 2009 pdf icon PDF 16 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the minutes of the Clifton Park Restoration Project Board held on 13th November, 2009.

 

Resolved:- That the minutes held on 13th November, 2009 be received.

38.

Customer Care - 1st July to 30th September, 2009 pdf icon PDF 45 KB

Emma Hill to report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report presented by the Customer Services Standards Co-ordinator which detailed performance statistics for Quarter 2 (July, to September, 2009), against the Customer First Charter and suggested recommendations for improvement where necessary.  Within the Customer First Charter there were five minimum standards, each underpinned by a number of targets.

 

The report set out clearly in detail information relating to:- 

 

·              Developments.

·              Self-Monitoring.

·              Customer Service Excellence.

·              Statistical Information.

·              Recommendations for improvement.

·              Comparisons with other Directorates.

 

In terms of Culture and Leisure Services it was noted that there had been seven complaints since April, 2009, with the latest one concerning the closure of the Civic Theatre bar after productions.  There was the opportunity for the bar to be kept open with the cost being met by the organising society.

 

Resolved:-  That the contents of the report be noted.

39.

Yorkshire and Humber Environmental Data Network pdf icon PDF 135 KB

Carolyn Barber to report.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report presented by the Green Spaces Manager, which provided Members with an introduction to the purpose of the Yorkshire and Humber Environmental Data Network and how the Council may become involved.

 

The purpose of the Yorkshire and Humber Environmental Data Network (YHEDN) was to meet the requirements for the robust environmental evidence base needed to support the strategic objectives set out in the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) and the Regional Biodiversity Strategy.

 

The Yorkshire and Humber Regional Biodiversity Strategy (RBS) had been produced by the Yorkshire and Humber Biodiversity Forum (which included Natural England, the Environment Agency, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Regional Assembly and the RSPB).  Regional biodiversity strategies have been produced in response to the Regional White Paper 2002, which stated that they should be one of ten strategies produced within each regional planning framework.  The region’s biodiversity strategy would sit within the Integrated Regional Framework.

 

Further to advice from Yorkshire Forward Yorkshire and Humber Environmental Data Network was currently being established as a Community Interest Company (CIC).  A Community Interest Company was a non-profit organisation which operated for the benefit of a named community, whereby members agreed to enter into a joint venture under certain conditions, which were set out in the company’s articles of association. In the case of the Yorkshire and Humber Environmental Data Network, the members would be the organisations who recorded and shared information about the natural environment in our region.  The Yorkshire and Humber Environmental Data Network articles would govern how the directors would be appointed, how the network would operate and would explicitly state that neither the network nor another member would compete for local business.

 

Once the Yorkshire and Humber Environmental Data Network Interest Company was in place it would be opportune for the Council to formally engage with the company as a member and it was proposed that the Yorkshire and Humber Environmental Data Network representatives be invited to meet with the Council to discuss the benefits and implications of membership with a view to agreeing formal involvement.  Formal engagement would enable the continuation of the existing benefits received and would provide access to additional IT products and services as well as support to achieve appropriate standards and quality control processes.

 

Discussion ensued on the benefits to the Council, the delivery of information and the cohesion of records.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the contents of the report be noted.

 

(2)  That agreement be given to the arrangement of a meeting between representatives of the Yorkshire and Humber Environmental Data Network and the Council.

40.

BMX Track at Thorpe Hesley pdf icon PDF 37 KB

Phil Gill to report.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report presented by Green Spaces Manager, which detailed, investigations following receipt in March, 2009 of a petition by 207 children in Thorpe Hesley who felt that a BMX track was needed within the village, possibly at Barnsley Road, to help meet local demand for improved recreational facilities for children.  It was noted that the village lacked adequate children’s play facilities.  It was also suggested that a BMX track would help to tackle childhood obesity in Rotherham North Assembly Area who had the lowest life expectancy for males and females in the borough.

 

There were few dedicated BMX tracks in Rotherham.  However, the borough’s principal facility of this sort was located at Little Common Lane in Kimberworth, also in Rotherham North Assembly Area, approximately 3.5 km from Thorpe Hesley.  However, it was understood that parents of young children were unwilling to allow them to travel to Kimberworth.

 

The Play Pathfinder Programme identified the Barnsley Road site as a location for a new equipped children’s play area, planned for installation during 2009-10.  However, there had been some uncertainty over the summer months about the suitability of the site following representations from local residents who were concerned about existing nuisance behaviour issues in the area.  Any progress would also be dependent on how new play facilities could be accommodated alongside existing playing pitches.  Consequently, a decision on whether such a facility could be developed on the site, and where, was not resolved until the Play Pathfinder Project Board confirmed in September, 2009 that the play area should go ahead, subject to existing football pitches being relocated. 

 

The outcome of the above deliberations had been awaited in considering how to take forward the BMX track proposal, which were taken in conjunction with the concerns expressed by residents about anti-social behaviour and the additional maintenance needs and management of the facility.

 

Discussion ensued on the request by the community group at Kimberworth who were now finding it extremely difficult to maintain the facility and had approached the Council for support.  The Council were not in a position to provide support and as a result were unable to take forward the proposals for a further BMX track in Thorpe Hesley.

 

It was, therefore, suggested that a meeting be brokered between the lead petitioner and the lead from the community group to see if they could work together and find a suitable way forward in managing the current facility.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the contents of the report be noted.

 

(2)  That no further development of the proposal takes place unless a means to maintain and manage a BMX track could be identified

 

(3)  That a reply be sent to the lead petitioner explaining the Cabinet Member’s decision.

 

(4)  That a meeting be brokered between the community group in Kimberworth and the lead petitioner to see if they were able to offer any assistance or support in managing the current facility.

41.

October Budget Monitoring pdf icon PDF 33 KB

Fiona Earl to report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report presented by the Senior Accountant, which set out performance against the revenue budget for the Environment and Development Services Directorate as at the end of October, 2009 and provided a forecasted outturn for the whole of the 2009/10 financial year.

 

Pressures within Sports and Recreation total (£60k) included arrears of costs at pools (£15k) and solicitor costs (£18k).

 

Additionally, unbudgeted security costs at Ulley Reservoir (£27k) have been incurred.  Culture and Heritage have a forecast net under spend of £12k. There were savings of (£3k-) in Museums and Libraries Management due to staff vacancies and savings within Libraries (£4k-).

 

It was noted that the Culture and Leisure Service was continuing to work on achieving savings offered as part of setting the budget for 2009/10.

 

Resolved:- (1)  That the current forecast year end outturn position of an overspend of £449,000 for the Environment and Development Services Directorate based on expenditure and income as at October, 2009 be noted.

 

(2)  That this report be referred to the Regeneration Scrutiny Panel for information.

42.

Rosehill Skate Park pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Andy Lee to report.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report presented by the Operations Manager for Green Spaces, which set out details to confirm that funding had been secured to provide a concrete skate park at Rosehill (Victoria) Park, Rawmarsh.  This facility was not identified on the original park masterplan produced in 2005 but had come as a result of consultation work carried out by Groundwork Dearne Valley.  Subsequently a suitable location within the park now needed to be identified and agreed upon.

 

Four potential locations were identified for the skate park and each of the site options were investigated and allowed for a proposed racquets centre to be built should this proposal receive approval in due course.

 

The potential sites were:-

 

A.      North of the park adjacent to the new play area and bowling green.

B.      North of the park on the eastern side of the main path running to Thorogate.

C.      North of the park at the rear of the existing tennis courts.

D.      North side of the main pedestrian entrance from Warren Vale.

 

Each location had both advantages and disadvantages to consider.

 

The option preferred by those present at the site meeting was Option C.  Option D was also felt to have some merit by the Ward Members present. It was felt that options A and B were less suitable as they were closer to residential properties.

 

A decision on location needed to be reached as soon as possible so that sketch plans could be drawn up and submitted for planning approval.  Assuming this was granted it was hoped to send the project out to tender by the end of this year.  It was anticipated the project would be completed by Spring, 2010.

 

Discussion ensued on each of the potential sites and the location of the proposed racket centre and agreement reached that the most suitable location being that of Option C.  It was suggested that all Ward Members and Rawmarsh and Parkgate Action Group be informed accordingly of the decision.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the construction of a concrete skate park in Rosehill Park be approved.

 

(2)  That consideration be given to the proposed options for locations within Rosehill Park and Option C (north of the park at the rear of the existing tennis courts) be approved.

 

(3)  That notification of the preferred option be sent to all Ward Members and Rawamrsh and Parkgate Action Group.

43.

Sport and Active Recreation Strategy 2005 - 2008 pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Jackie Thornhill, Manager Sport and Physical Activity, to report

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report presented by the Manager for Sport and Physical Activity, which provided an overview of the current Sport and Recreation Strategy (2005 – 2008) detailing some of its achievements and outlining how the new Strategy was being developed.

 

The report also identified a key future challenge for the Culture and Leisure Service and in particular highlighted the need to consider how to deploy the available resources in order to address national priorities and indictors.

 

The strategy had enabled the Culture and Leisure Service to monitor progress on a number of key outcomes, as well as implement processes to establish a robust system for collecting, managing and reporting data.

 

Further information was provided on:-

 

·              Key Achievements.

·              The Rotherham Wide Approach.

·              Timescales for Action.

·              National Priorities and Indictors.

 

The Sports Development Team front line delivery was limited by resources and capacity, but by re-focusing its work on delivering the six themes and partnership development, the Sports Development Team had more potential to deliver on the new Strategy and further impact on the national performance indicators.

 

Discussion ensued on the challenges facing the service and impact on children and young people when there would be more focus on adult participation, which was an area of importance for Sport England mainly due to the enormous drop off of post school/college.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That officers report in back in January, 2010 once the new Sport and Recreation Strategy was in draft from.

 

(2)  That the need for and potential impact of reducing the focus on children and young people in terms of service delivery and performance indicators be noted.

44.

Future of Sports Development Workforce pdf icon PDF 40 KB

Jackie Thornhill, Manager Sport and Physical Activity, to report

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report presented by the Manager for Sport and Physical Activity, which outlined the pressures on the Council’s Sports Development Team in terms of people resources and the restraints of sustainable development with short-term funded posts.

 

The philosophy of the Sports Development Team was to work in partnership towards building sustainable programmes, thereby creating regular opportunities that were accessible to all members of the community. There were many examples where activities have been successfully transferred to a club, instructor or community group following sports development intervention or support.

 

The current Sports Development Team was established in April, 2004. It consisted of six mainstreamed officers, whose remit was to increase active participation in sport and physical activity, in order to contribute to the Council’s corporate objectives.

 

In order to ensure the team was able to broaden the impact on Rotherham communities substantial additional funding from external sources had been brought in to support projects and provide additional people who could deliver activities and opportunities in communities.

 

Externally funded projects tended to be short-term and, therefore, periodically affected project delivery.  Unfortunately, some posts were short-term funded and nearing the end of their contract period and whilst the team were trying to secure further funding to extend these posts it was extremely difficult to re-fund existing projects.

 

It was unlikely in the current climate that additional mainstream funding would be identified.

 

If all of the externally funded posts came to an end there would be a significant impact on the Sports Development Team’s capacity to develop and deliver sport and physical activity opportunities in local communities.

 

A reduced capacity to develop and deliver was likely to restrict the Culture and Leisure  Service’s ability to impact on national and local indicators, in particular NI8 (adult participation in sport) and also NI199 (young people’s satisfaction with parks and play areas).

 

Future external funding opportunities, which might support this work, were difficult to predict, but the team would continue to seek out all possible sources in order to enhance its capacity to carry out sports development work across the borough.

 

Discussion ensued on the significant impact on the Sports Development Team’s capacity to develop and deliver sport and physical activity opportunities in local communities. 

 

It was noted that a reduced capacity to develop and deliver was likely to restrict the Culture and Leisure Service’s ability to impact on national and local indicators.

 

Future external funding opportunities, which might support this work, were difficult to predict, but the team would continue to seek out all possible sources in order to enhance its capacity to carry out sports development work across the Borough.

 

 

Resolved:-  (1) That the report and potential impact of reducing external funding on service delivery and performance indicators be noted.

 

(2)  That officers report back on the outcomes of external funding issues in twelve months time.

45.

Rotherham Children’s Book Festival pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Jackie Hird to report.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report presented by the Reader Development Manager, which outlined how Rotherham Children’s Book Festival was a borough wide annual literature festival programmed for children, young people and their families and used libraries and other community spaces as venues.  The aim of the Festival was to inspire creative reading and writing and encourage a love of books amongst the young and those who cared for them. An overarching objective of the Children’s Book Festival was to build audiences for literature.

 

It was the intention to sustain and develop the Festival into the future.  Books, reading and stories would be a pivotal focus for the development of all Festival activities.  The continued engagement of current partners and the investigation of new partners would widen libraries, schools and community involvement.

 

The increased involvement of the Schools Library Service in Festival activity would promote Rotherham Children’s Book Festival to a wider audience and help frame the content and relevance of events.

 

Increased family reading activity and public facing events in libraries would encourage participation in local cultural activity.

 

2010 would be the 10th anniversary and would take place at the end of June and last for around one week.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the contents of the report be noted.

 

(2)  That a commitment in principle to sustain and develop Rotherham Children’s Book Festival be approved.

 

(3)  That the Library and Information Service continue to explore sponsorship options.