- Meeting of Coalville Special Expenses Working Party, Tuesday, 12th October, 2021 6.30 pm (Item 13.)
- View the declarations of interest for item 13.
- View the background to item 13.
Report of the Cultural Services Team Manager
The Cultural Services Team Manager presented the report to members with specific reference made to Christmas in Coalville. She advised that the budget allocated to miscellaneous events would be moved to the Christmas budget to allow more to be delivered at this year’s main event on 27th November but also other Christmas events throughout the festive period.
Reference was made to the proposed events programme and the associated budget for 2022/23 and she advised that the Christmas lights had been ordered and are due to be installed shortly in time for the ‘switch on’ event on 27 November. She asked the Group to promote and invite applications for funding from community groups as there was still a healthy amount of funding available having taken into account the number of applications and approvals to date.
The Chairman invited comments and questions.
Councillor M Wyatt advised that he had received some very positive feedback in respect of the drive in cinema and looked forward to seeing this continue in coming years. Disappointment was expressed that the Steampunk event did not go ahead and hoped this would be remedied going forward. Councillor Wyatt asked why the date of 27 November had been selected for the Christmas ‘switch on’ event as it had been earlier in previous years. He was advised that the Steampunk event had been affected by a number of factors not least Covid and the availability of a suitable location; but that this was very much still a consideration for a future event going forward. Councillor Wyatt was further advised that the date of 27 November for the Christmas event was not discordant with previous years as the event is held on the fourth Saturday of the month with attempts also made not to clash with the event in Ashby. This date is not negotiable at this late stage as the performers and external providers have been booked. Councillor Wyatt expressed his disappointment that the Ashby event took precedence over the Coalville events but he was advised that this was not the case. The dates had been arranged so as not have a clash of events.
Councillor J Legrys referenced the ‘Coalville by the Sea’ event and the disappointment felt by many over the pricing and quality of the event and that he understood that alternative providers would be sourced in the future. He considered it inappropriate for the current provider to have left the sand to be collected by council officers and not to have processes in place to clear it up themselves. The Cultural Services Team Manager acknowledged that the event delivered by the third party was not to the standard that would have been strived for had the Council delivered it and his concerns were noted; but it was acknowledged that in order to achieve this, there is a subsidy from the Coalville Specials fund in the sum of £4,000 which negates the need to charge entry or make some commercial decisions that a third party would need to make in order for it to be financially viable. Members were reassured that the removal of the sand was at no cost to the Council as this was reclaimed from the third party organiser.
Councillor Legrys agreed with the earlier comments about the success of the cinemas, both in the park and the drive in. He advised that he had received some concerns about the noise and light emanating from the event but the positivity far outweighed the negativity in terms of these events.
Councillor J Geary referenced the budget for this year’s Christmas event and the increased budget in order to make it a bigger event in lieu of the one which did not take place last year. He was concerned that this may build up expectations for future years. He also acknowledged that next year would quite likely see the opening of the new Marlborough Square and considered that this would require a big opening event. He asked for assurances that a budget was in place for new Christmas lighting for this area of the town. These assurances were provided and details were referenced in the report.
Councillor M Wyatt sought clarification on this issue as he considered that, as Marlborough Square was an open space within the district, then any funding for this area should be provided from a corporate budget as opposed to the Coalville Special expenses budget. In response to this, it was suggested that Paul Wheatley, Head of Economic Regeneration, be invited to a future meeting of the Group to explain how the work around the Marlborough Square and Coalville regeneration project aligned with the work of the Coalville Special Expenses Group.
Councillor E Allman asked whether, in light of the Steampunk event not going ahead, there were other events in the pipeline at the Snibston Colliery site. It was noted that the Steampunk idea had not gone away but consideration needs to be given to the location, timing and linking the site with the town centre.
Councillor A Bridgen suggested that charity collections be invited where events were free to enter.
Councillor M Wyatt sought assurances that picnic in the park would return in 2023/24. He was advised that this was in the gift of members; as they would decide how they wished to spend the budget.
It was moved by Councillor E Allman, seconded by Councillor J Geary and
The Working Party noted:-
- The progress update on 2021/22 events.
- The update for Christmas Lights 2021/22.
- The proposed events programme and associated budget for 2022/23
- The update for 2021/22 Coalville Special Expenses Community Grant Scheme.
ACTION – That Paul Wheatley, Head of Economic Regeneration, be invited to a future meeting of the Group to explain how the work around the Marlborough Square and Coalville regeneration project align with the work of the Coalville Special Expenses Group.