CHECKLIST FOR JOINING THE PTL SCHEME by 9AR01Vl

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									       ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY REGENERATION
                  CABINET BOARD

                            31 JANUARY 2008

   DIRECTORATE OF EDUCATION, LEISURE & LIFELONG
                    LEARNING

 REPORT OF THE HEAD OF PARTNERSHIP & COMMUNITY
             DEVELOPMENT - R WARD

                    INDEX OF ITEMS

     PART 1 – Doc. Code: ECRB-310108-REP-EL-RW


SECTION A – MATTERS FOR DECISION
Report Item                              Page No     Wards
                                                     Affected
1. The Orangery Price Increase 2008/09        2-6    All

2. Passport to Leisure Scheme                 7-11   All

SECTION C – MATTER FOR MONITORING
3. Cultural Strategy Update                12-28     All




ECRB-310108-REP-EL-RW             1
PART 1, SECTION A, ITEM 1

THE ORANGERY PRICE INCREASE 2008/09

Purpose of Report

To seek Members approval on the proposed fees and charges for the
Orangery, for the forthcoming financial year.

Background

Due to increasing costs in supplies generally, it is necessary to increase
the fees and charges for the Orangery. The proposed charges for 08/09
are outlined in Appendix 1, including the existing fees and charges.

Financial Implications

Income will increase by 7% to meet increased costs in line with corporate
budget assumptions.

Recommendation

That the proposed fees and charges for 2008/09 as listed are approved.

Reasons for Proposed Decision

To maximise income generation, and the need to quote these fees and
charges in advance to customers hiring the facility.

List of Background Papers

None

Wards Affected

All

Officer Contact

Matthew Crowley - Access Managed Services Manager
 01639 763422
 m.crowley@npt.gov.uk




ECRB-310108-REP-EL-RW                2
COMPLIANCE STATEMENT

FEES AND CHARGES 2008/09 THE ORANGERY

Implementation of Decision

The decision is proposed for implementation after the three-day call in
period.

Sustainability Appraisal
      Community Plan impacts
      Economic Prosperity                    -     positive
      Education & Lifelong Learning          -     positive
      Better Health & Well Being             -     positive
      Environment & Transport                -     positive
      Crime & Disorder                       -     positive

      Other Impacts
      Welsh Language                         -     positive
      Sustainable Development           -          positive
      Equalities                             -     positive
      Social Inclusion                       -     positive

Consultation Under Forward Work Programme
There has been no requirement under the Constitution for external
consultation on this item.




ECRB-310108-REP-EL-RW               3
Proposed Orangery Hire Charges.
                                                        +7%
Details                        Existing charge Proposed charge
                                 2007-2008       2008 – 2009
                                   £ / day         £ / day

Weddings                            525             562

Conferences / Seminars              525             562

Concert / Craft Show/               735             786
Fashion Show

Trade Fair                         1050             1123
Setting up / dismantling            420              449

Filming                             735             786

Vehicle Launch                      630             674

Use of Grove / East Pavilion        290             310

Civil Wedding only                  525             562

Internal Charges
Conference / Seminars /             185             198
Meetings

Schools and Charities
Hire of Orangery, set up and      185             198
function days




ECRB-310108-REP-EL-RW                   4
Proposed Catering Charges
                                                  +7%
Details                      Existing      Proposed
                             Charges       Charges
                            2007 - 2008   2008 - 2009
                                 £             £

Soups & Starters               5.00          5.35
                               6:15          6.58
                               6.30          6.74
                               6.50          6.95
                               6.55          7.00
                               7.10          7.60
                               7.60          8.13
                               9.45         10.11

Main Courses                  17.05         18.24
                              17.85         19.09
                              18.20         19.47
                              18.65         19.95
                              19.45         20.81
                              19.70         21.07
                              20.75         22.20
                              20.75         22.20

Children’s Menu                6.60          7.06
                               7.00          7.49

Platter of Welsh Cheese
(per table)                   40.00         42.80

Wedding Decorated             35.20         37.66
Buffet

Buffet Selection
Chef’s Choice                  8.40          8.99
5 items                       10.50         11.23
7 items                       13.15         14.07

Hog Roast                     15.00         16.05
(Evening Only)

Luncheon Menus                22.10         23.64
                              23.10         24.71
                              24.70         26.42




ECRB-310108-REP-EL-RW                 5
                                           +7%
Details                    Existing      Proposed
                           Charges       Charges
                          2007 - 2008   2008 - 2009
                               £             £
Round of                     2.25          2.41
Sandwiches

Deserts                      6.80          7.28
                             7.35          7.86

Coffee and Petit Fours       3.15          3.37

Welsh Cheese (per            7.35          7.86
person)

High Tea                     7.35          7.86

Tea or Coffee                1.30          1.39

Tea or Coffee and            1.60          1.71
Biscuits

Tea, Coffee and Mints        1.45          1.55

Tea or Coffee & Welsh        1.85          1.98
Cakes

Glass of Squash              0.65          0.70

Glass of Orange Juice        1.00          1.07

Jug of Orange Squash         3.50          3.74

Jug of Orange Juice          6.60          7.06

Bottle of Ty Nant            3.70          3.96
Sparkling / Still Water




ECRB-310108-REP-EL-RW               6
PART 1, SECTION A, ITEM 2

PASSPORT TO LEISURE SCHEME

Purpose of Report
To seek Members approval for the implementation of a revised Passport
to Leisure (PTL) scheme in all facilities managed by Celtic Community
Leisure.

Background
A Passport to Leisure (PTL) scheme has been in operation since 1996
which has allowed persons in receipt of benefits to access discounted
leisure activities within Neath Port Talbot. The criteria and information
relating to benefit description and eligibility that is currently operating
has not been reviewed or changed since 1996 and is consequently very
out-dated. This in turn may, in some cases, have led to some people who
now receive more recently introduced benefits not being able to access
the scheme, and conversely, some on higher incomes being able to apply
under the out-dated criteria.

CCL, after lengthy consultation with officers of the Council’s Welfare
Rights Section and One-Stop Shop, have compiled revised eligibility
criteria which will ensure that those persons on the lowest income will
now be able to take advantage of the discounts.

Comparisons have also been made with neighbouring authorities to
ensure that similar benefit eligibility applies. The revised benefit criteria
along with the required ‘proof requirements’ are attached as Appendix A.

The revised eligibility criteria is comprehensive and will encompass those
persons most disadvantaged in respect of means tested benefits. CCL has
recognised that there is a considerable amount of cross-border usage of
facilities by residents of neighbouring authorities (e.g. from Clydach and
Ystradgynlais of Pontardawe facilities, Hirwaun at Vale of Neath Leisure
Centre, Maesteg at Cymmer Swimming Pool). Consequently the revised
scheme does not limit application to residents of Neath Port Talbot only.
Furthermore, the new application process allows children of benefit
claimants to also receive a junior PTL which will allow discounted rates
at playschemes etc.

In effect the revised criteria will mean that the greatest subsidy will be
made available to those who most need it and are least able to pay full or
concessionary rates for leisure activities.

Conditions of the PTL scheme are also attached as Appendix B.

ECRB-310108-REP-EL-RW                 7
It should be noted that the revised criteria and associated promotional
leaflets will be specific to CCL managed facilities only.

The actual ‘PTL’ card issued to applicants will remain as a manual card
issue until a revised ICT system can be implemented. However, it is the
intention to make PTL cards available at all CCL facilities upon the
launch of the new criteria so removing the obstacle / excuse of the
transport barrier (to larger sites) as may be the case at present.

Consequently by revising the criteria and increasing the number of local
outlets where PTL cards can be accessed there should be an increase in
take up of the scheme by individuals who traditionally have demonstrated
low participation levels of physical activity.

It is planned to conduct in depth staff training to ensure detailed
understanding of the PTL programme by front line staff. In addition, a
promotional launch will be arranged to publicise the revised scheme to
the target groups in conjunction with appropriate parties e.g. Welfare
Rights Unit, Communities First etc.

Recommendation
It is recommended that:

   1. The revised Passport to Leisure scheme be approved and
      implemented in all facilities managed by Celtic Community
      Leisure.

Reasons for Proposed Decision
To ensure those of greatest financial need and least able to pay full or
concessionary rates for leisure activities have access to a revised Passport
to Leisure Scheme.

List of Background Papers
N/A

Wards Affected
All

Officer Contact
Neil Thomas – Co-Ordinator of Sport and Active Living
01639 875629 n.g.thomas@npt.gov.uk



ECRB-310108-REP-EL-RW                8
                                                                                            Appendix A
                                              Celtic Community Leisure

             STAFF GUIDANCE - CHECKLIST FOR JOINING THE PTL SCHEME
             ► Application form fully completed
             ► Photos – two passport sized with name on back
             ►£3 fee per applicant
             ► Proof of benefit (see below)
             ► Proof of address for all applications.*
             ► Proof of age – i.e. aged 17 – 59 inclusive. (4 -16 yrs inc. and 60+ yrs entitled to
             concessionary rates only unless they are a child of those in receipt of eligible benefits (and
             named on benefit claim) or aged 60+ and in receipt of eligible benefits, proof of age still
             required in theses cases)
             * NB Applicants do not need to be resident within NPT to apply – there is a significant
             level of cross border usage of leisure facilities.

NAME OF              BENEFIT PROOF REQUIRED                             ADDRESS PROOF REQUIRED.
BENEFIT
A) Housing           Recent letter from relevant Housing Benefit        Official Proof of address. E.g. recent utility bill,
Benefit              department confirming receipt of benefit.          bank statement, child benefit book/letter etc.
B)Council Tax        Recent letter from relevant Council Tax            See above.
Benefit              department confirming receipt of benefit.
C) Income            The award letter, or book or a recent letter       See above.
Support              confirming receipt of benefit.
D) Job Seekers       The award letter or a recent letter confirming     See above.
Allowance            receipt of benefit.
(Income Based.)
Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based) can only be proved by showing the entire three-page benefit statement letter that
is issued when first in receipt of benefit, or by an Agency stamped A5 white Passport To Leisure confirmation form. If
no proof can be shown than the applicant may be in receipt of another qualifying benefit. (Council Tax Benefit/ Housing
Benefit.)

E) Guaranteed Pension      The award letter or a recent letter confirming     See above
credit                     receipt of benefit
F) Working Tax Credit      The award letter and NHS Tax Credit                See above.
& Free NHS                 Exemption Certificate showing customer is in
Treatment (Dental,         receipt of benefit and free NHS Treatment
optician as well as        (Dental, optician as well as prescriptions)
prescriptions).            (credit card size and HC2 Certificate.)
G) Child Tax Credit &      The award letter and the NHS Tax Credit            See above.
Free NHS Treatment         Exemption Certificate showing customer is in
(Dental, optician as       receipt of free NHS Treatment (Dental,
well as prescriptions)     optician as well as prescriptions)
H) NHS Low Income          The HC2 Certificate for NHS Treatment              See above.
Scheme.                    (Dental, optician as well as prescriptions)
I) Partner or child of     Proof that they are included in the benefit        See above.
someone on benefit.        claim.
J) Youth Training /        Letter from employer confirming that they are      See above
Employment Training.       on a Youth Training or Employment Training         * NB this category entitled to concessionary
                           Scheme.                                            rate in Swansea - discuss
K) Full                    An NUS card with or an official letter from        See above.
time                       your University on headed paper confirming         * NB this category entitled to concessionary
students                   full time education status.                        rate in Swansea - discuss




             ECRB-310108-REP-EL-RW                           9
Please Note: WORKING TAX CREDIT (without NHS Exemption Cert), CHILD TAX CREDIT
(without NHS Exemption Cert), CHILD BENEFIT, INCAPACITY BENEFIT, SEVERE
DISABLEMENT ALLOWANCE, DISABILITY LIVING ALLOWANCE, or PENSION SAVING
CREDITS – none of these named benefits or allowances qualify for Passport to Leisure in their own right.
NB – AS FROM 1st APRIL 2007 all residents of Wales are entitled to free prescriptions so it is vital
that the NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate is produced in relation to F), G), and H) above.




            ECRB-310108-REP-EL-RW                       10
                                                                                Appendix B
Celtic Community Leisure Passport to Leisure Scheme

Terms and Conditions

● a PTL card is only available to those individuals who are eligible under the criteria
listed – ie in receipt of the identified benefits or allowances, are a partner / child of the
eligible applicant living at the same address and named on a benefit claim.

● The passport must be produced at the facility / venue on every occasion of use.
Failure to present a valid PTL card will result in full admission fees being applied.

● The passport provides recipients with reduced charges at Celtic Community Leisure
managed facilities to which the general public have access.

● The PTL card requires renewal 12 months after the date of issue. It is valid until the
expiry date shown on the card and cannot be renewed until that date.

● Proof of eligibility (under the criteria in operation at that time) must be provided at
the time of purchasing or renewing a PTL card.

●In the case of loss or damage to the PTL card, the cardholder must reapply for a
replacement (and satisfy the eligibility criteria at that time) and pay the £3 fee.

● PTL cards are available from the venues / centres listed earlier (Celtic Community
Leisure sites and One Stop Shop, Neath Civic Centre)

●If the cardholder changes their name, status or address, the card should be returned
to the issuing centre for amendment.

●The information provided by Celtic Community Leisure in this leaflet is for
guidance only and the right to withdraw facilities without notice is reserved.

● PTL cardholders should ask at the appropriate facility for relevant details of
availability and current prices.

● Celtic Community Leisure reserve the right at its absolute discretion to withdraw a
PTL card and the benefits of use to any person who either does not conform with any
of these conditions, provides incorrect information with the intent of defrauding Celtic
Community Leisure, or does not abide by all the arrangements related to the scheme,
including any misuse or abuse of staff, facilities or equipment provided by Celtic
Community Leisure.




ECRB-310108-REP-EL-RW                        11
PART 1, SECTION C, ITEM 3

CULTURAL STRATEGY UPDATE

Purpose of Report
To receive the updated Cultural Strategy for Neath Port Talbot.

Background:
Council received a report in May 2007 outlining the progress made in
terms of the Authority’s Cultural Strategy for 2004-9. This report
updates members on the revisions made to the Cultural Strategy as a
result of targets already met and changing demands.

Wards affected
All

List of background papers
Report to Economic and Community Regeneration Board May 16 th 2007.
Neath Port Talbot Cultural Strategy

Officer Contact
Mr. J. L. Ellis, Coordinator Cultural Services.
Telephone: 01639-899829. E-mail: j.l.ellis@npt.gov.uk




ECRB-310108-REP-EL-RW              12
NEATH PORT TALBOT CULTURAL STRATEGY

Contents


1.   Cultural activities and venues in NPT

      1.1   Arts Development Service
      1.2   Special Events
      1.3   The Library Service
      1.4   The Museum Service
      1.5   Other NPT locations
      1.6   Festivals and Fairs
      1.7   The Archive Service
      1.8   Family and Local History Societies
      1.9   CyMAL

2.   Key Issues

3.   Taking the Cultural Strategy forward

4.   Consultation and Monitoring




ECRB-310108-REP-EL-RW             13
1.         Cultural activities and venues

1.1        Arts Development Service

Neath Port Talbot CBC’s Arts Development Service consists of
Community Arts, and the three theatres (The Gwyn Hall, Princess Royal
Theatre and Pontardawe Arts Centre). The aim of the service is to provide
a broad range and high level of quality events and participation aimed at
residents, of and visitors to, Neath Port Talbot. The service also offers
advice to arts organisations and voluntary groups across the county
borough.

1.1.1 Community Arts

Complementing the work of venues are the activities undertaken by
Community Arts, the purpose of which is to provide for all age groups,
opportunities for engagement. Recent examples include out of school
activities, film production by teenagers from the Borough and two books
of reminiscences.
The Arts Development Service, through the involvement of the
Community Arts Development Officer and/or the three theatres, has also
worked with schools and the youth service across the county borough.


      Development Plan
      1.      To increase outreach and education programme across the
              county borough
      2.      To expand artistic programming and activities.
      3.      Further develop links with related organisations such as the
              Archive service depending on externally funded project
              opportunities.
      4.      To further develop cross border working.
      5.      To work with other local authorities and the Arts Council of
              Wales to establish an Arts Mark for schools in Wales.

1.1.2 Venues

The Authority’s Cultural Services Section directly manages three
theatres: the Gwyn Hall in Neath, Princess Royal Theatre in Port Talbot
and Pontardawe Arts Centre.



ECRB-310108-REP-EL-RW                   14
The Princess Royal Theatre is situated in Port Talbot Civic Centre and
plays an important role as a venue for civic functions. In addition, it has a
theatre capable of accommodating over 800 people which is used for a
range of popular events such as pantomime and popular music. Recently,
links have been developed with ethnic groups who have used the theatre
for a range of cultural activities.


Pontardawe Arts Centre is a multi purpose venue, which offers a wide
range of activities from snooker to sculpture, cinema and theatre. The
Arts Council of Wales currently supports it as a revenue client and its
location in the Swansea valley, makes it a natural centre for Welsh
cultural events.

Development Plans for the Venues

1. Complete investigations on the remaining structure of the Gwyn Hall.
2. Further develop links with the Friends of the Gwyn Hall.
3. Explore the setting up of Friends groups in the Pontardawe Arts
   Centre and the Princess Royal.
4. All Council run theatres in the County Borough should be equipped to
   provide Described and Signed performances by 2008.
5. All venues should be capable of allowing wheelchair users to access
   dressing rooms and to take part in performances on stage by 2009
6. Incorporate the recommendations of the Neath Port Talbot’s audit
   section in 2007



Arts Development Service

1. To produce a marketing strategy in 2007/8.
2. To produce programming strategy in 2007/8




ECRB-310108-REP-EL-RW                15
1.2   Special Events

The County Borough provides and supports a broad range of special
community events including the Neath, Port Talbot, Margam and
Pontardawe festivals and Christmas celebrations. It seeks to empower
local communities to hold locally community events such as the Guy
Fawkes celebrations, where grants are provided to bona fide organisations
to hold risk assessed fireworks displays.
Special events are noticeably well attended in the County Borough and
provide an important vehicle in pursuing the Community Plan’s
objectives in terms of economic prosperity and confident communities.

1.3   The Library and Information Service

In accordance with statutory requirements, Neath Port Talbot CBC
provides a library and information service, which is delivered through
branch libraries, mobile libraries, and a specialist services to children, the
elderly, and those with special needs. A range of services is provided in
libraries, which include lifelong learning support, recreational material,
heritage resources and materials and information. Increasingly, these
services are facilitated through the free use of Internet linked computers.

Neath Port Talbot was the lead authority in the implementation of an all
Wales reader development initiative called Estyn Allan, which was
supported by the Arts Council of Wales for the period 2002/5. Since that
date the County Borough has provided a high profile programme of
reader development events often in partnership with neighbouring
authorities.

One outstanding achievement is the Toy Library, which is a unique
library facility in Wales. Through external funding from Cymorth, the
Toy Library has established a growing service to playgroups,
childminders and Out of School clubs in the County Borough by
providing play opportunities and access to material, which positively
supports disability and ethnic issues. This service complements the Under
5s initiatives that are currently undertaken by the Library Service.




ECRB-310108-REP-EL-RW                16
Development Plan
The main focus of public library development in Neath Port Talbot is
contained within the plan to meet the Welsh Public Library Standards.
Currently there is a need for investment of approximately £350,000 in
order to comply with key targets in terms of staffing and stock purchase.


   1. Consulting with users and non-users in order to effect service
      improvement in all areas including support for arts and culture.
   2. Improving remote access to the service for all via an on-line
      catalogue and investigation of other remote access issues.
   3. Maintaining a Community Information Service which includes
      current information on local events.
   4. Supporting the council’s Welsh Language Policy.
   5. Ensuring support of disadvantaged communities by providing a
      socially inclusive service.
   6. Providing opportunities for early learning.
   7. Providing access to a wide variety of resources suitable for all ages,
      interests and abilities.
   8. Supporting local publishing and celebrating local writers’
      achievements.
   9. Delivering a Reader Development programme.
   10.Supporting and developing the knowledge economy.
   11.Preservation and access to material of local historical and cultural
      interest.




ECRB-310108-REP-EL-RW               17
1.4 The Museum Service

The County Borough currently runs two museums. The Neath town
museum at the Gwyn Hall was relocated to Neath Leisure Centre in 2007
as a result of the major refurbishment of the Gwyn Hall. This location is
seen as temporary, pending the development of an integrated heritage
centre in the town, which would include a new library and archive and
heritage facilities. The industrial museum at Cefn Coed in the Dulais
valley is a major centre for the preservation and display of anthracite
mining in Wales. With its underground gallery and display of machinery,
it cares for both the general visitor and more serious researcher. The
Authority also supports the South Wales Miner’s Museum in Afan
Argoed Forest Park, a museum dedicated to depicting the life of the
miners and their families in the South Wales valleys.

The Museum Service has an education officer who has established a
vibrant programme of educational activities, which is offered to schools
and colleges across the county borough, as well as members of the public
who are engaged in lifelong learning.

Development Plan

      1.      Further development of successful education and outreach
              programme.
      2.      To further develop links with Arts Development and Library
              services.
      3.      Support the development of the South Wales Miner’s Museum.
      4.      Increase digitisation of artefacts,


1.5        In addition to the venues directly run by Cultural Services, Neath
           Port Talbot CBC has a number of other locations, which
           significantly contribute to the cultural life of the area.




ECRB-310108-REP-EL-RW                  18
Development Plan

   1. Build on the success of the 2007 Margam Festival to expand the
      range of events on offer, whilst maintaining the high standard of
      performance.
   2. Provide at least one major artistic/cultural event e.g. pop concert,
      orchestral concert per year.


1.6 Festivals and Fairs

A key area of cultural provision and support within Neath Port Talbot is
achieved through its support for Festivals, which are popular local events
that promote a sense of cultural identity, economic well being and social
inclusion. They provide vital opportunities for local artists and performers
to engage with the public. The Authority is responsible for the annual
Margam Festival and supports the festivals at Neath, Port Talbot and
Pontardawe. Neath Port Talbot CBC also actively supports Neath
September Fair, which is one of the oldest in Wales and holds a range of
cultural activities.

A key question for the Authority is the extent of its support for festivals
within the County Borough. Clearly support needs to be related to how
outcomes can contribute to the Aims and Objectives of the Authority.

Our proposed criteria for supporting festivals are that they should: raise
the profile of the area; contribute to economic well being; provide
opportunities for local artists and performers; contribute to the support
and development of the Welsh language and culture; have proactive open
access policies; and are committed to innovation and excellence.

1.7 The Archive Service

Archive resources are currently provided through a joint working
arrangement with the City and County of Swansea and a close working
relationship exists between the Archive and Library services. In Port
Talbot library for example, there is an archive access point permanently
staffed by members of West Glamorgan Archive Service. Similarly in
Pontardawe library, a part time access point is made available. Libraries,
museums and archives work closely together in the provision of heritage
services to the public.,


ECRB-310108-REP-EL-RW                19
1.8 Family and Local History Societies

Neath Port Talbot CBC promotes the activities of all local history
societies in the County Borough. Each area of the Borough has a society
that is responsible for the collection and preservation of material. The
oldest established society in the County Borough is the Neath Antiquarian
Society, which has an unrivalled collection of artefacts and printed works.
The Society is a very active organisation with a large membership. Based
at the Mechanics’ Institute in Church Place in Neath, they share premises
with the Archive Service.

Growing in number are family history societies, who use resources in
libraries and museums to undertake genealogical research.

1.9 CyMAL

On October 17th 2002 Culture Minister Jenny Randerson announced the
creation of a new strategic and advisory body for museums, libraries and
archives called CyMAL, which set up on April 1st 2004. Neath Port Talbot
CBC was one of the first in Wales to respond to national trends in
establishing a Cultural Services section that embraces libraries and
museums, together with theatres and community arts. Already there are
early benefits in grouping together these areas of public service and, it is
our intention to further develop the synergy that exists in these related
areas of heritage and culture.


2. Key Issues for Neath Port Talbot in the delivery of a Cultural
   Strategy

    Inclusion
     Arts, heritage and culture have the potential to enrich the lives of
     all people regardless of age, social background, or economic status.
     It is the aim of the Strategy to create the opportunity for as wide a
     participation and enjoyment of the arts and heritage as possible.




ECRB-310108-REP-EL-RW               20
   Reaching People
    A variety of strategies will be used to enable cultural services to be
    used by as many people as possible. Vehicles for this will include
    the Youth Council the Older Persons’ Forum and the Disability
    Forum.

     Crucial to this is marketing and promotion. A marketing strategy
     has been produced for theatres and this will be regularly reviewed.
     The involvement of children and young persons in heritage and
     cultural activities is seen as crucial. Accordingly, partnerships
     have been developed with school, colleges and youth services to
     identify and respond to changing demands.

   Equal Opportunities
    The Cultural Strategy fundamentally supports the right of equal
    opportunities for all individuals and groups to participate in arts
    and heritage activities. As a local authority in Wales, Neath Port
    Talbot aims to provide access to cultural events in both Welsh and
    English. It is further recognised that the County Borough is made
    up of people from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. The
    Authority seeks therefore to actively celebrate diversity.

   Access
    The location of facilities and the opening hours crucially affect
    public usage. The Authority will constantly review its policy in
    order to provide maximum opportunity for participation. Neath
    Port Talbot CBC’s libraries and museums have free entry. The
    pricing policy of theatres will be undertaken in accordance with
    local circumstances and commercial influence to encourage
    accessibility wherever possible.

     The Night Out scheme, which is supported by the Arts Council of
     Wales, helps local communities promote their own entertainment
     in local facilities. The Authority aims to support this scheme
     throughout the Neath Port Talbot area.

   Disability Discrimination Act
    The Authority is aware of its requirements. It seeks therefore to
    provide through its venues, theatres, libraries and museums access
    for all persons and the safe and full enjoyment of its facilities. This
    is supported by a programme of events in the venues aimed at
    people with disabilities.



ECRB-310108-REP-EL-RW              21
    Consultation
     Cultural services comprise front-line activities that directly impact
     with the public. It is essential therefore that if the service is to
     remain relevant and responsive to changing demand, that regular
     and meaningful public consultation is undertaken.

    Quality of Experience
     Neath Port Talbot CBC’s Cultural Services aims to provide the
     public with a valued service in libraries, museums and theatres
     through outreach programmes. Key indicators such as complaints,
     return visits and customer loyalty will be identified and will
     contribute to the evolving way in which the service is delivered.

    Monitoring and Evaluation
     The level of customer satisfaction will be regularly monitored. We
     will determine a set of relevant Performance Indicators for
     libraries, museums, theatres and the arts. These include not only
     statutory indicators but also those that have been developed in
     response to local circumstances e.g. the use made of libraries by
     young people in the fourteen to seventeen age group.

The current provision of cultural activities in Neath Port Talbot is strong.
Within NPTCBC’s Cultural Services these strengths include: a committed
and passionate workforce; a commitment to quality; a number of regular
high profile events and festivals; a number of areas with well-defined
heritage and local culture; venues offering a broad range of
entertainments, one of which is supported by ACW as one of its network
of premier artistic venues in Wales. The area can also lay claim to a high
level of pride and aspiration in artistic and cultural activities at both
professional and amateur levels.

Without doubt, there are areas for development. These are, in the main,
linked to issues of geography, such as pockets of social deprivation across
the county borough and the fact that some facilities in Neath Port Talbot
suffer from the proliferation of venues in adjoining boroughs. In some
cases however, the effect has been positive, for example the development
of a distinct programme of events with a powerful local flavour
(Pontardawe Arts Centre).




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It is now necessary to find more inventive ways of approaching joint
working, especially given the diminishing levels of lottery and external
funding. Neath Port Talbot CBC can no longer be looked to as sole
provider and supporter of cultural activities in the area. The need
therefore to establish a working partnership with other cultural providers
is stronger than ever, with a strong emphasis on outreach and education.
Other areas for attention include:


        Audience development
        The use of non conventional venues, e.g., pubs, community centres
        Working with non-Borough providers
        Community profiling
        Research into ‘disposable time’


3.       Taking the Cultural Strategy forward

The county borough is responsible for a high level of direct cultural
provision in the form of theatres, museums, libraries and information,
outreach programmes, parks and general leisure amenities. However, to
increase the potential benefit to those living and working in, as well as
visiting, the Neath Port Talbot area, NPTCBC will explore strengthening,
establishing and expanding working relationships with a number of
agencies and organisations, with a view to creating a solid framework for
co-ordinated delivery. Financial restraints will inevitably mean that
competing claims for limited resources will be resolved by assessing
priorities.




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Opportunities for development and partnership working

Although many of these already work either independently and/or in
partnership with sections of the council, there are a number of
opportunities, which exist to further develop and influence future delivery
of culture within NPT through increased joint working.

(a)   The development of Aberafan Seafront
      The development of the Aberafan Seafront project includes input
      from NPT Economic Development and Arts Development services,
      and is being carried out with a strong focus on the design of the
      area, led by a visual artist. This activity will develop in pace with
      the overall project.

(b)   Public Art strategy
      Although a number of significant pieces of public art have emerged
      in places such as Port Talbot, Briton Ferry and Margam Park, there
      is a lack of coherent approach across the county borough to the
      planning and provision of public art. An opportunity therefore
      exists for Cultural Services to work with other Authority
      departments in the development of a public art policy.

(d)   Twinning
      The Arts Development team has worked successfully in past years
      in partnership with the Youth Service. One of those partnerships
      has been the Youth Exchange, which has led to a number of fruitful
      exchanges and youth led projects.

(e)   Improving health and wellbeing
      Culture can contribute to the well being of communities across
      NPT by supporting and sustaining cohesive communities through:
      local festivals, activities in community centres and celebrating
      local traditions and beliefs. Culture is just as important for people
      with disabilities, and access to the full range of activities is a
      priority, as is providing access to individuals and/or communities
      who experience isolation, exclusion or deprivation




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(g)   Cultural Economy – artists and facilities
      The cultural sector is one of the fastest growing economic sectors
      and in some parts of Wales is a significant wealth creator.
      According to the DCMS, the creative industries in the UK generate
      revenues of around £112.5 billion and employ some 1.3 million
      people. Exports contribute around £10.3 billion to the balance of
      trade, and the industries account for over 5% of GDP. In 1997-98,
      output grew by 16%, compared to under 6% for the economy as a
      whole.

      Integral to this is active support for professional artists, their
      environment and the range of opportunities with which they are
      presented, both in terms of training and creativity. Opportunities
      clearly exist for the development of a programme of support aimed
      at professional artists resident in Neath Port Talbot. Work needs to
      be undertaken aimed at increasing the amount of external funding
      for cultural activities in Neath Port Talbot.

(h)   Regeneration
      ‘Community arts are one of the best ways to regenerate people as
      well as places, helping those who live in deprived areas believe in
      themselves and what they can do – as individuals and as a
      community. Self confident communities are better equipped to
      make economic and social progress.’
      Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Arts and Regeneration, proposals to
      the National Assembly of Wales

      The work achieved by the Community Arts Development Officer
      demonstrates how community arts can enrich the lives of those
      taking part in projects aimed at enhancing social and community
      cohesion.

(i)   Lifelong learning

      Lifelong Learning is the concept for education from cradle to
      grave. There are already fruitful working partnerships between
      Arts Development initiatives and the Youth Service. Areas for
      further development include:




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      To address issues of training and development of artists and
       cultural sector professionals based in Neath Port Talbot
      To train and develop young people to choose a career within the
       cultural sector
      To support learning action centres, particularly those situated in
       library premises.
      For the implementation of the Library Service’s Literacy Policy
      For engaging in robust partnerships with other education providers
       e.g. ATLIS to create a holistic approach to learning via formal and
       informal routes.
      To encourage the community at large to view libraries as centres
       for personal development through an awareness of their local
       heritage and culture and for participation in reading groups.
      To maintain existing partnerships to further joint objectives e.g.
       Adult Learners Week, which includes a cultural dimension in terms
       of developing artistic skills

4. Consultation and monitoring

Comment is invited from the public on any aspect of cultural provision in
Neath Port Talbot. It is envisaged that the Cultural Strategy will be
updated and amended on a regular asis to take account of changing
circumstances.

Consultation will happen on a number of levels:

1.      Within the Authority:
        (a) Staff
        (b) Management
        (c) Members

2.      Externally:
        (a) Stakeholders
        (b) Local authorities

3.      Target groups include:
        (a) Young people
        (b) Older people
        (c) Arts practitioners
        (d) Multi-cultural communities
        (e) Welsh speakers
        (f)  Access groups


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List of Organisations Consulted

On September 2nd 2004 a public meeting to discuss the draft strategy was
held in the Council of Voluntary Services Headquarters in Neath, which
was attended by a large number of individuals and representatives of arts
and cultural organisations operating in the County Borough.

A copy of the Draft strategy was made available to the following
organisations.

Afan Arts Centre
Arts Council of Wales
Amman Valley Enterprise
Cardiff Arts Marketing
Celtic Leisure
Chartered Institute of Libraries and Information Professionals
CILIP (Cymru)
Communities First (Neath Port Talbot)
Council of Museums, Archives and Libraries in Wales (CyMal)
Dulais Valley Partnership
Estyn Allan
Friday Group
Glynneath Training Centre
MASC
LLAN and NASH
National Library of Wales
National Museums and Galleries of Wales
Neath Antiquarian Society
Neath Arts Club
Neath Green Party
Neath Citizen’s Advice Bureau
Neath Photographic Society
Neath Port Talbot Access Group
Neath Port Talbot Council for Voluntary Services
Neath Town Centre Forum
MEWN
Pontardawe Festival Committee
Port Talbot Historical Society
Skewen Historical Society
Rubicon Education Services
Valley Arts Marketing
Voices in the Vale
Voluntary Arts Wales

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Unison
Urdd Gobaith Cymru
Wales Assembly Government

How will it be monitored and amended?

   a) Through regular report to Council
   b) Through focus group review
   c) Through partnership evaluation


If you would like to comment on this strategy, please contact:

Co-ordinator Cultural Services
Cultural Services Headquarters
Reginald Street
Port Talbot SA13 1YY

Telephone 01639 899829
FAX 01639 899152
E-Mail j.l.ellis@npt.gov.uk




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