Agenda and minutes
The Former Cabinet Member for Cultural Services and Sport from May, 2009 to July, 2010
Tuesday, 27th April, 2010 10.00 a.m.
Venue: Eric Manns Building, 45 Moorgate Street, Rotherham. S60 2RB
Contact: Debbie Bacon, Senior Democratic Services Officer - Ext. 2054
Resolved:- That the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet Member held on 30th March, 2010 be signed as a true record.
Consideration was given to a report presented by Steve Hallsworth, Acting Director of Culture and Leisure Services, which detailed the proposal from Grange Park Golf Club to increase charges for season tickets, above the amount that was agreed in the terms of their lease.
Having carried out a benchmarking exercise Grange Park Golf Club identified that their charges were considerable less than comparable courses in the region. In order to sustain the playing facilities and support further investment in the golf course Grange Park Golf Club would like to gradually increase their charges for season tickets, bringing them in line with similar golf courses in the region. The report set out in detail the comparisons that have been made.
The proposed prices would apply to Rotherham residents only. It was further proposed that customers who resided outside the borough were charged a premium. The current proposal was to charge a premium to non-Rotherham residents of around 10%. Any premium would be based on market forces, but would be capped at 25%.
Discussion ensued on the assumed price increases in 2013/14 and how they compared with average charges, which in turn may lead to dissatisfaction and/or complaints from users. It was, therefore, suggested that this be monitored and reviewed annually.
Resolved:- That the proposed increase to season ticket prices be approved in principle, but that this be reviewed on an annual basis in order to closely monitor the impact and the proposed price increase for the following year.
Consideration was given to a report presented by Lisa Broadest, Principal Officer Archives and Local Studies, which detailed how the Archives and Local Studies Service took part in a Survey of Visitors to UK Archives in 2009.
The satisfaction level (very good and good) for the overall service had risen since 2007 to 93.2% and was above the UK average (89%). Helpfulness and friendliness of staff also rose to 97.7% along with quality and appropriateness of staff advice to 100%.
In order to address the areas for improvement, Rotherham Archives and Local Studies would over the next five years:-
· Progress its action plan to develop the content of its webpages.
· Continue to add and upload information to its on-line catalogue.
· Review its copying services.
· Develop an audience development plan including an offer to schools.
· Consult with its users and non users on opening hours and affect changes where possible.
The survey also confirmed the economic impact of users coming to Rotherham Archives and Local Studies and approximately 70% stated they use local shops and services, whilst 21.7% ate out locally during their visit. The latter figure had, however, decreased by 11% since 2007 and further information would be required in order to analyse this in more depth. The current financial situation would bear this out.
The survey also asked users what they felt archives contributed to society and the majority felt very strongly that they created opportunities for learning, preserve their culture and heritage whilst over 50% of users felt archives strengthened family and community identity. There was less awareness that archives also supported the right of citizens and administration and business activity and the service would need to undertake more work around this issue.
Finally, the survey asked for details about demographics. The majority of users of archives within the UK fell within the age group 55+ and Rotherham was no exception (65.9%) with the largest proportion, aged 55-64. Rotherham had, however, seen an increase of usage by those aged 20-24 of 4.9% since 2007, above the regional and UK averages.
Archives were also still mainly used by white people and this must be addressed taking into account the demographic trends of Rotherham’s diverse community.
Discussion ensued on the webpage contents and how valuable information passed on by members of the public could best be incorporated.
Resolved:- That the report be received and the contents noted.
Consideration was given to a report presented by Lisa Broadest, Principal Officer Archives and Local Studies, which set out details about the abolition of the South Yorkshire County Council in 1986 and the establishment of a committee to oversee the collection and preservation of the county wide archives, which was and still was administered by Sheffield City Council.
Since the withdrawal of Rotherham and Doncaster Councils in 2005 and 2008 respectively, the original agreement ceased on 1 April, 2009.
During 2009, Rotherham Council received notification following various discussions that the South Yorkshire Leaders agreed to fund the continuation of the service as far as the county wide (or indivisible) records were concerned. A new agreement was drafted, which was sent to the Legal Officers in the four constituent authorities and presented to the South Yorkshire Joint Committee on Archives on 25th March, 2010.
The cost for 2009/10 was to be contained within the overall Cultural Services budget. A recommendation by the South Yorkshire Joint Committee on Archives that a cash standstill +1% be approved by the South Yorkshire Leaders meeting for 2010/11 and this would also be contained within the overall Cultural Services budget.
Resolved:- That the redrafted South Yorkshire Joint Committee on Archives be signed with an agreement for a three year withdrawal notice.
Consideration was given to a report presented by Lizzy Alageswaran, Principal Officer, Community Arts, which set out information about the Awarding of Grants for Community Arts Projects, in accordance with the scheme approved by Members at a meeting held on 3rd February, 2004.
This was the seventh year of this small arts grants scheme, managed by the Community Arts Service, resourced by funds originally routed through Arts Council England.
This year there were eighteen applications from seventeen applicants, a slight increase on last year. Four of the applicants had not applied before. The applicants were requesting a total of £13,690, to contribute to total project costs of £160,887. Most of the groups would be applying for additional funds to support their projects, or were using the FAIR grants as match funding on which to base applications to Arts Council England and other funders and to lever funds into the Rotherham area. Several of the groups were working to support priorities identified by Community Arts over the last year, such as development of dance by children and adults, as well as the Arts Strategy.
Groups from all wards were being encouraged to apply, though priority was given to those within disadvantaged communities.
The award recommendations were suggested on the basis of whether the projects supported creative activity, whether the project would support the sector through the employment of local artists, or whether the project would raise the profile of Rotherham as a cultural destination and improve the perception of Rotherham and the quality of life.
Nine of the recommended applications focused on work with children and young people and five included activities for families. One project supported work with older people. Two projects specifically supported activities with people with disabilities. Two of the projects were to work with children or adults towards Community Cohesion.
Discussion ensued on the increased interest in the northern and central areas of the borough with few applications received from the southern area of the borough. It was suggested that contact be made with each Area Partnership Manager within the Area Assembly Teams to forge links to avoid any duplication and to raise awareness.
Resolved:- (1) That the grant applications outlined in the report be approved.
(2) That information be shared with the Area Assembly Teams.
Further to Minute No. 82 of the meeting of the Cabinet Member held on 30th March, 2010, consideration was given to a further report presented by Elenore Fisher, Cultural Services Manager, which detailed how the main storage facility operated by the Museums, Galleries and Heritage Service was flooded by contaminated mains drainage water on Monday, 25th June, 2007.
The Service had recently been asked to look for potential savings across this fund as a contribution to the overall Culture and Leisure outturn for 2009/10. A report was submitted to Cabinet Member on the 30th March 2010, where a decision was deferred pending further information.
Bearing the elements in mind and subject to the discussions that had also taken place, the proposal was to reaffirm the original intention of the insurance settlement and continue to implement the flood recovery project in its entirety.
Further discussion took place regarding the relative risks of the potential loss of Accreditation of the Museum’s Service. The Service had recently been re-inspected, but no decision had as yet been received.
Resolved:- (1) That there be no contribution from the insurance settlement to the overall Culture and Leisure outturn for 2009-10.
(2) That the full amount of the insurance settlement be used to replace, preserve or conserve the collections damaged or destroyed by water and to reinstate the school loans service.
(3) That the Museums Service produce a report detailing the progress of recovery from the floods.
Exclusion of the Press and Public
The following item is likely to be considered in the absence of the press and public as being exempt under Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended March 2006) (information relates to finance and business affairs):-
Resolved:- That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act (information relates to finance and business affairs).
Approval of Tender Shortlist
Further to Minute No. 38 of the meeting of the Boston Castle Project Board held on 26th April, 2010, consideration was given to a report that sought authority to approve the tender shortlist for Boston Castle Restoration. This would allow an Invitation to Tender to be issued on 30th April, 2010.
The report set out in detail the procurement procedure, preferred contract arrangement, Notice of Contract, Level 1 and Level 2 process of evaluation and the concluding list of six contractors being recommended for inclusion on the tender list.
Discussion ensued on the selection process, assessments of financial viability and the opportunity for feedback for those companies not selected.
Resolved:- That the shortlist of six contractors as set out in the report be invited to tender.