Agenda and minutes
Venue: Board Room, Council Offices, Coalville
Contact: Democratic Services 01530 454512
Apologies For Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor M Specht.
Declarations of Interest
Councillor M B Wyatt declared a non-pecuniary interest in any reference to Coalville Town Centre as a business owner.
Councillor J Geary declared a non-pecuniary interest in item 5 – Capital Projects Update as a regular supporter of Coalville Town Football Club and a founder member of Mantle Lane Arts.
Councillor J Legrys declared a non-pecuniary interest in reference to Hermitage FM due to his voluntary involvement with the organisation.
To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 10 October 2017
Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting held on 10 October 2017.
The Chairman reported that a letter had been sent to Leicestershire County Council on 1 November regarding the state of road signage around the district. The outcome was that he and the Leisure Services Team Manager had been invited meet with officers to identify genuine areas of concern.
It was moved by Councillor J Legrys, seconded by Councillor R Adams and
The minutes of the meeting held on 10 October 2018 be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
Report of the Cultural Services Team Manager
The Cultural Services Team Manager presented the report to members, highlighting that all events for 2017 had been delivered within or under budget, and the income received for the two key events of Picnic in the Park and Christmas in Coalville had ensured that those events had been delivered well within budget.
Christmas in Coalville
The Cultural Services Team Manager reported that the Christmas in Coalville event on 2 December had been well attended and partnership working had been positive. Following the comments made at the previous meeting, the entertainment had been increased to a wider area of the town to include Memorial Square. She advised that officers had engaged with 134 town centre businesses on the Friday following the event, and 89% of businesses had reported a positive or neutral impact during the event, and although 51% of businesses would prefer the event to be held in December, 72% said they would prefer to avoid a clash with the event in Ashby if possible. She added that the Ashby event was highly likely to be held on 1 December on 2018 which would cause a clash. She asked members to consider whether they wished to bring the event forward to 24 November. She reported that there had been good social media activity during the event and a high number of impressions around Twitter, which was double the average number of tweets clicked on, liked or replied to. She thanked the Communications Team for their support with this. She added that comments and suggestions made on social media following the event were also being considered and were generally positive.
Councillor M B Wyatt stated that having spoken to local traders, they felt it was the worst ever event from a business perspective. High Street in particular was deserted and local shops reported less footfall and a reduction in takings. He added that Belvoir Road was equally badly affected and Memorial Square was under-utilised. He commented that people had said that if they had to choose between attending the Coalville event or the Ashby event, they would choose Ashby as it was a better event, and this was not due to the dates clashing. He reported that some of the businesses on High Street had not been contacted at all. He referred to comments made by an officer about the lack of a Town Council in Coalville. He stated that he felt there was no co-operation between the businesses and the council, and he had lost all heart in trying to put a positive spin on the event. He said that the feedback from residents was that the council was failing.
Councillor D Everitt stated that he was inclined to agree with some of those comments, and added that the music event did not seem to have the same appeal as the previous year. He commented that the weather on the day was also very cold.
The Cultural Services Team Manager explained that attendance had increased from the previous year, and ... view the full minutes text for item 20.
Report of the Leisure Services Team Manager
The Leisure Services Team Manager presented the report to members and provided an update on ongoing projects.
Owen Street Recreation Ground
The Leisure Services Team Manager reported that if the lights were upgraded, they would require an upgrade to 180 lux as opposed to the current 120 lux, which meant that it wouldn’t be possible to upgrade them utilising the current lamps as the existing columns and masts would be unable to support the lamps and the electricity supply would be insufficient. He outlined the current health and safety issues with the floodlights as the glass was falling out and replacement covers were not available. He highlighted the differing opinions from the contractors as to whether all the columns needed to be replaced or just the base columns, which would have an impact upon the cost of the replacement. It was anticipated that the cost of refurbishment would be £35,000 - £45,000. He highlighted the opportunity to replace the existing 6 columns with 4 columns, which would cost an additional £7,000. He explained that £50,000 was allocated towards this project in the Capital Programme and the football club was prepared to raise funding of £5,000 towards the project. He reminded members that ultimately the floodlights were the council’s asset and responsibility, and as they were posing a health and safety risk he felt the council was obligated to replace them.
Councillor M B Wyatt expressed concerns regarding the level of expenditure and added that not everyone in Coalville was a football fan.
The Leisure Services Team Manager emphasised that this issue was more about health and safety and if someone was injured, the cost to the council would be significantly in excess of the cost of replacement.
In response to questions from Councillor P Purver, the Leisure Services Team Manager advised that the earliest date the football club could apply for funding from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund was 2020 and an upgrade to 180 lux would be sufficient to cover a further two promotions.
In response to a question from Councillor D Everitt, the Leisure Services Team Manager explained that the increased cost of upgrading to 4 columns rather than 6 was due to the re-siting of the columns and rerouting of cabling.
Councillor J Legrys stated that he was conscious of the health and safety risks however members did not yet have all the facts and consequently were unable to make a recommendation. He felt that this needed to be considered as a matter of urgency.
The Leisure Services Team Manager suggested that members may wish to consider delegating the decision as waiting until the next meeting of the Working Party may prejudice the completion of the works out of season.
In response to a question from Councillor N Clarke, the Leisure Services Team Manager advised that to upgrade with four columns rather than six would cost an additional £7,000. Clarification was being sought following the differing views of the contractors and he suggested that if only the ... view the full minutes text for item 21.
Report of the Leisure Services Manager
The Leisure Services Team Manager presented the report to members, highlighting the current forecast underspent which represented a contribution to balances of just under £13,000. He explained this was mainly due to an increase in burial income of £7,000. He reminded members that it was prudent to retain 10% level of reserves and highlighted the slight increase in reserves forecast which could be allocated to a project.
Councillor M B Wyatt stated that he had spoken with a few local businesses and residents who had expressed support for the ides of ringfencing additional funding for events. He suggested that members may wish to consider increasing the precept and asked how much income an increase of 0.5% would generate.
The Chairman referred to the Cabinet report on the improvements for Marlborough Square which suggested that a minimum of 4 events would be taking place next year. He expressed interest in the funding arrangements for these events.
Following a discussion on the possibility of increasing the precept, it was agreed that the Leisure Services Team Manager would investigate this further and provide information to members.
Councillor M B Wyatt explained that he had asked the Monitoring Officer to look into whether the meetings of the Working Party could be open to the public. The Chairman stated that he had no problem with opening meetings to the public. Councillor D Everitt commented that this would be in line with parish councils.
a) The 2017/18 P8 position and forecast outturn be noted.
b) The draft budget for 2018/19 be noted.