Agenda item

Cabinet Member Report - Tourism, Leisure and Culture

To consider an update from the following Cabinet Portfolio Holder on current and proposed priorities within the remit of the Portfolio, including risks, challenges and opportunities:


·       Cllr Mohan Iyengar, Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Leisure and Culture


Questions to the Portfolio Holder are invited in advance from all non-Executive councillors to inform the discussions with the Board, please submit questions by Monday 22 February 2021.

Please note that the areas of the Council covered by this Portfolio are:

·       Seafront-resort development,

·       tourism development,

·       franchises/concessions,

·       major events,

·       sports & exercise,

·       arts & culture and libraries.


A briefing report from the Portfolio Holder is attached to this agenda for consideration by the Overview and Scrutiny Board


The Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Leisure and Culture presented a report, a copy of which was circulated to Board members and which appears as Appendix 'A' to these minutes in the Minute Book. The Chairman advised the Board that the purpose of the item was to help generate ideas for the future and consider those issues which the Overview and Scrutiny Board would want to get involved in or consider further. 


The Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Leisure and Culture outlined the key points from the Portfolio, the future projects which were coming forward and areas where the Overview and Scrutiny Board may become involved and add value. The Portfolio Holder gave a presentation to the Board a copy of which appears as Appendix ‘B’ to these minutes in the minute book and also provided a response to the questions which had been submitted by other Councillors in advance of the meeting. A copy of the questions and responses formed part of the presentation. A number of issues were raised in the subsequent discussion including:


·     Clarification was sought on the income received from seafront tenants

·     The delivery of the cultural compact, how this would be organised, whether it would be outsourced to either private organisations or community groups and the budget available for delivery.

·     Promotion of exercise within the BCP area including advertising and marketing, links to public health and to those not normally engaged with it.

·     Providing small leisure providers with opportunities for funding the establishment of small projects and grassroots delivery

·     Local residents’ concerns regarding Mudeford Beach Development and the need to be careful in terms of how the resort is marketed in the future.

·     Support for grassroots sports and the Council as landlord to many organisations, offering any incentives to clubs restarting and the impact Covid has had.

·     Clarification was also sought on the resort management plan for future tourism and readiness for visitors post lockdown. There was concern that the plans were not being taken through Cabinet. There would be an all Member briefing and proper governance would be ensured. Issues were raised concerning deploying resources, trigger points and communications.

·     Transfer of sites to communities and the Portfolio Holder’s position on a community asset transfer protocol.

·     Air festival issues - including timing, greater involvement by different partners, carbon offsetting, making it a greener festival and increasing involvement over a larger area to help reducing crowding in light of the pandemic including the airport.

·     Queen’s Park Golf Course – The Portfolio Holder advised that he was aware of the issue raised and it needed resolution

·     Bath Road North Car Park redevelopment as a leisure/cultural space. The Portfolio Holder undertook to look into this issue.


A non-Board member commented on the availability of toilets on the seafront and in open spaces. It was noted that for people to be use these facilities for recreation and exercise toilet provision was necessary. The Portfolio Holder advised that other than on the seafront toilet provision was the responsibility of the Environment, Cleansing and Waste Cabinet Portfolio. It was noted that a lack of facilities should not be a hindrance to those wanting to partake in exercise. However, toilet provision was not cheap.  A non-Board member asked about the reducing single use plastics in seafront catering outlets. The Portfolio Holder commented that he took the environmental responsibility seriously but that it was a difficult time due to Covid regulations to be able to introduce something like this. A non-Board member asked about the restoration of sports facilities in Baiter Park and about ways of developing the air festival.


The Portfolio Holder went on to outline the responses to questions which were submitted prior to the meeting and which were included as part of the presentation.


The Chairman thanked the Portfolio Holder for his report and commented that there was a lot for the Board to consider in this area.



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