Minutes for Development and Information Overview and Scrutiny Panel meeting, Jan 4 2010, 5.00PM official page
Venue: Committee Room, Council Offices, Sleaford
Contact: Debra Duke ext 2236Items No. Item
Apologies for absence and filling of casual vacancies.
Apologies were received from Councillor Mrs Woodman MBE
Declarations of Interest
To receive declarations of interest (if any). Members may also declare an interest when the item is considered or as soon as it becomes apparent to them. If a Member requires guidance on this issue please could they contact the Monitoring Officer or a Member Services Officer in advance of the meeting.
Councillor Mrs Overton, pursuant to the Local Code of Conduct, declared a Personal Interest with regard to Minute 65, Tourism Service Review, as she was a County Council representative on Mrs Smith’s Cottage.
To receive questions from Members and the public.
There were no questions.
To approve, for accuracy purposes only, the minutes of the meeting held on 25 November 2009.
The minutes of the meeting held on 25 November 2009 were approved as a correct record
To consider the current Forward Plan (copy attached). The decisions relating to the Development and Information Overview and Scrutiny Panel are shown highlighted.
The Panel considered and noted the Forward Plan.
The Chairman to move:
That under Section 100 (A) 4 of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items on the grounds that it is likely, that if they were present, there could be disclosed to them exempt information as defined in the relevant paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.
Vote: Not contested.
RESOLVED: That, under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the consideration of the following Minute on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information, as defined in the relevant paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.
Tourism Service Review
Attached report that was presented to the Executive Board meeting on 3 December 2009.
The Panel considered a confidential report on a review of the Tourism Service. The report had been considered by the Executive Board at a meeting held on 3 December 2009. The Executive Board had resolved to support the changes to the service set out in Option 2A and that this be subject to formal consultation with affected employees, their representatives, this panel and other stakeholders.
Members of the Panel were invited to question the Chairman of the Executive Board and the Officers in attendance on the issues and options considered in the report. The following major issues were covered:
· Questions were raised concerning the Thrive project, which was a County wide initiative looking at arts provision
· Which officers had undertaken the Tourism Service Review; and who the stakeholders were
· Members were informed that the £40,000 of budgetary savings could be generated from staff savings and from the use of the building
· It was confirmed that the savings of £40,000 were included in the figures for the Target Budget meeting
· Approximately £6,000 per annum could be generated by utilising the office space vacated by the TIC
· A letter had been sent to the stakeholders and a copy of the response from those who had replied were in the members’ agenda pack. In response to a question, Members were informed that the Council would be unlikely to receive any financial commitment from the stakeholders
· Some Members were concerned about the closure of the Tourist Information Centre as they considered it provided an opportunity to sell other tourist attractions and highlight nearby visitor centres
· Members discussed the possible use of transferring some of the visitor centres to Leisure Connection however the panel was advised that it was considered inappropriate at this time due to ongoing projects to improve some of the facilities
The Panel noted that tourism is embedded in the Council’s Corporate Priorities and continues to play a vital role in local economic life. Tourism is incredibly important to the District and should continue to be developed, as it plays a key role in promoting North Kesteven as a visitor destination and in supporting tourism related businesses.
The Panel considered that tourism is of strategic importance and should continue to be developed and improved with a new focus that should embrace the entire District. The proposed closure of the Sleaford Tourist Information Centre as detailed at Option 2A of the report should not solely be focused on providing a budget saving. The rationale should also include improvements and enhancements to the service and providing a more cost effective option in the current economic climate. The Panel concurred with the Executive Boards decision to consult on Option 2A as the preferred option but considered that the recommendation should be changed to reflect the view that ‘the changes will bring about an improvement in service and provide a more cost effective option.
That the Executive Board be advised that Development and Information Overview and ... view the full minutes text for item 63.
Date of Next Meeting
An additional meeting of the Panel will take place on Monday 18 January 2009. This meeting has been arranged to consider the Sleaford Car Parking Strategy before the Executive Board consider the report on 21 January 2009.
The next scheduled meeting of the Panel will take place on Wednesday 3 March 2009.
The next scheduled meeting of the panel would be held on Wednesday 3 March 2010 at 5pm in the Committee room, Council Offices, Sleaford. An additional meeting would be held on Monday 18 January 2010 to consider the Sleaford Car Parking Strategy.