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					MINUTES OF TOURISM AND REGENERATION OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY
          COMMITTEE MEETING - 3RD SEPTEMBER 2009

Present:

Councillor Wynne (in the Chair)

Councillors

Brown         Evans        Owen

Cox           Jackson      Price

Mrs Delves Mineur          Mrs Taylor

In attendance:

Ms H. France, Executive Director, Tourism and Regeneration
Mr A. Cavill, Assistant Director, Enterprise and Business Development
Mr J. Donnellon, Assistant Director, Built Environment
Mr D. Garrett, Chief Executive, ReBlackpool
Miss N. Wyatt, Mr P. Legg, Mr T. Coglan, Mr P. Cross and Mr J. Walker, Tourism and
Regeneration Directorate
Mrs S. Shaw, Chief Executive Directorate
Miss G. Atkinson, Business Services Directorate

Councillor Mrs Callow, Cabinet Member, Tourism and Regeneration
Ms S. Parkinson, Blackpool Gazette
Miss V. Clarke, The Cupcake Company

1. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

There were no declarations of interest on this occasion.

2. MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 18th June 2009

The Committee agreed that the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 18th
June 2009 be signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

3. DECISIONS TAKEN BY THE EXECUTIVE AND CABINET MEMBER

The Committee considered the decisions taken since the last meeting of the Committee
by the Executive and Cabinet Member for Tourism and Regeneration.

A discussion took place with regard to Executive Decision EX/40/2009, ’Marton Moss
and the M55 Hub’. The Cabinet Member advised that the Council had applied for
government funding to develop 2,700 new residential properties to achieve the Council’s
housing needs, as required by central government.

The Committee agreed that the items be noted.
MINUTES OF TOURISM AND REGENERATION OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY
          COMMITTEE MEETING - 3RD SEPTEMBER 2009
4. FORWARD PLAN

The Committee considered the Forward Plan, Summary of Key Decisions, for the
Tourism and Regeneration Directorate.

The Committee agreed that the items be noted.

5. MARKETING AND PERFORMANCE

Miss Wyatt, Head of VisitBlackpool, presented the Committee with an outline of the
marketing activity and specific marketing of events that had been co-ordinated by the
Council’s VisitBlackpool division from June to August 2009.

With regard to general marketing, Miss Wyatt advised that VisitBlackpool had focused
on the development of the Short Breaks brochure which had received a 67 per cent
increase in demand between June and August 2009 when compared to the previous
year. A Blackpool weather channel had been developed on the You Tube web site to
promote the town’s microclimate and assist visitors to plan their day prior to arrival in the
resort. This had been publicised through a variety of media and had achieved an
estimated editorial value of £397,000.

A copy of a 12-page supplement was circulated at the meeting which included Blackpool
resort information, scheduled events, visitor attractions and information on transport,
accommodation and dining. The supplement had been included in the Yorkshire and
North East local press. In addition, 10,000 new VisitBlackpool pocket maps had been
created in conjunction with ReBlackpool which would be distributed to visitors and
displayed in the Tourist Information Centre.

Miss Wyatt provided the Committee with an outline of the television campaign that had
been recently launched as part of the North West Development Agency’s Seasonal
Boost campaign, and information on the media airtime schedule which had commenced
on 29th August 2009. In addition, the new VisitBlackpool web site was currently being
developed and would be designed to have greater functionality and simplify user access
and navigation. The web site had experienced a 31 per cent increase in unique visits
since the previous year. In response to questioning from the Committee, Miss Wyatt
advised that the VisitBlackpool web site gathered user information through surveys and
mailing lists to collate a visitor database for future marketing purposes.

With regard to events marketing, Miss Wyatt presented a summary of each of the
specific marketing activities that had been undertaken to promote Blackpool’s recent
events, such as the 4th annual Armed Forces and Veteran’s Week, Blackpool Nocturne,
RAF Air Show, the United Dance Organisation (UDO) Street Dance and Ride the Lights.

A discussion took place with regard to the RAF Air Show and it was suggested that
VisitBlackpool work closely with the RAF to develop the event to Category One status to
achieve an enhanced ground assets display and generate recruitment opportunities for
the RAF.

In response to a question raised, the Committee was advised that a large section of the
Promenade would be closed on 6th September 2009 for the World Fireworks
MINUTES OF TOURISM AND REGENERATION OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY
          COMMITTEE MEETING - 3RD SEPTEMBER 2009
Championship event. To assist this and alleviate congestion issues, VisitBlackpool
ambassadors would be directing visitors to suitable car parks and Blackpool Transport
Services had agreed to cease the tram operation for one hour during the event.

The Committee agreed to note the presentation.

Background Papers: None.

6. LOCAL ENTERPRISE GROWTH INITIATIVE

Mr Legg, Head of Enterprise and Employment, presented an update on the
implementation of Blackpool’s Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (LEGI) and the
achievements of the scheme at the end if its second year.

It was reported that the initiative had delivered an excellent set of results and that the
local delivery partners were proud of their achievements. Blackpool had been
recognised by the North West Development Agency for its work by short listing it for the
Enterprising Britain 2009 competition. A copy of a LEGI publication was circulated at the
meeting which had been used to promote and raise awareness of the initiative on a
national level. In Blackpool, the scheme represented a £14.7m investment over a four-
year period and therefore further significant successes would be achieved over the
remaining two years, particularly focusing on supporting new and existing business and
helping people to return to work.

The item continued with a presentation from Miss Clarke of The Cupcake Company,
Church Street, which summarised her experience of establishing a small business with
the assistance of LEGI. Miss Clarke provided an outline of her career background and
the rationale to commencing self-employment. She advised that LEGI had provided her
with financial assistance, business guidance and emotional support in establishing her
business which had been launched nine months ago. The small business club –
Blackpool Business to Business (BB2B) – also enabled her to share concerns with other
small businesses, have access to friendly support and share skills and knowledge.

In response to questioning from the Committee, Miss Clarke advised that the business
had achieved positive progress over the past nine months. The company specialised in
homemade cupcakes, sandwiches and soups using local produce, together with outside
catering for functions and events. The company had already established a strong
customer base with many regular clients. Miss Clarke operated the company with the
assistance of her mother, yet it was anticipated that should the business continue to
grow, they would require an extra member of staff and they hoped to recruit a catering
apprentice from the Blackpool and Fylde College.

The Committee congratulated Miss Clarke for the success of her business and felt that
her achievement was a testament to the LEGI scheme and the support of the Council’s
Enterprise and Employment section.

Mr Legg proposed to organise a short tour for the Members so that they could visit a
range of LEGI funded projects and meet beneficiaries to provide a further insight into the
work being undertaken.
MINUTES OF TOURISM AND REGENERATION OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY
          COMMITTEE MEETING - 3RD SEPTEMBER 2009
The Committee agreed to note the update report and to undertake a tour of the LEGI
projects.

Background Papers: None.

7. STREET TRADING SCRUTINY

Mr Coglan, Head of Quality Standards, provided Members with an update on the
outstanding recommendations included in the Street Trading Scrutiny Action Plan. He
advised that illegal street trading had continued to decrease since the implementation of
new staffing rotas within the Quality Standards division and more robust enforcement
procedures.

It was reported that legal advised had been received to the effect that should the support
of all of the other Lancashire local government authorities be guaranteed, the alteration
of the definition of a pedlar in the County of Lancashire Act 1984 would still remain
unfeasible. In light of this, Recommendation 1 would need to be implemented through
Parliament as a Borough of Blackpool Act and would include costs of an estimated
£80,000. It was suggested that as a result of the significant decrease in illegal street
trading, it may not be a prudent allocation of the Council’s financial resources and
therefore the Committee agreed that it was no longer necessary to pursue this
recommendation.

With regard to Recommendation 3, Mr Coglan advised that Operation Anchor had been
launched with colleagues from within the Council and Lancashire Constabulary to tackle
problematic and persistent beggars. The eight most problematic individuals had been
identified and would be targeted for proactive intervention and enforcement. The
Committee was satisfied with the outcome of this recommendation.

In response to questioning from the Committee, Mr Coglan advised that the Department
for Work and Pensions (DWP) would continue to grant benefits to individuals who had
been convicted of vagrancy offences. The Council would be negotiating with the DWP to
resolve this issue more effectively and explore the possibility of utilising Proceeds of
Crime legislation against persistent professional beggars. The Council would also work
closely with local authorities within Lancashire to share information on individuals that
may have been dispersed to neighbouring areas as a consequence of Blackpool’s zero
tolerance approach. The Committee was advised that the Quality Standards division
worked very closely with the relevant support agencies to differentiate between
professional beggars and those that were genuinely homeless.

The Committee agreed to note the update report and that the Street Trading Scrutiny
Action Plan was now complete.

Background Papers: None.

8. BLACKPOOL RESORT MASTERPLAN

Mr Garrett, Chief Executive, ReBlackpool, provided the Committee with an overview of
the recent Strategic Review of the Urban Regeneration Company, together with an
update on each of the Blackpool Resort Masterplan projects.
MINUTES OF TOURISM AND REGENERATION OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY
          COMMITTEE MEETING - 3RD SEPTEMBER 2009
In addition to the report, Members were advised that the Comedy Carpet for
installation at the Tower Headland was now in production off site and would be brought
to site over the next few months. Public realm opportunities were currently being
considered for the open space surrounding Manchester Square and a progress update
on this scheme would be presented to a future meeting of the Committee.

With regard to the Further Education campus site, Mr Garrett advised that the site was
assembled for development and ReBlackpool was currently exploring potential funding
options with Blackpool and Fylde College and KPMG.

A discussion took place with regard to recent developments between English Heritage,
Blackpool Council, ReBlackpool and Leisure Parcs on the exploration of potential uses
for the Winter Gardens. Mr Garrett advised that negotiations between the partners had
experienced a number of difficulties, particularly appertaining to different perspectives on
how the Winter Gardens could be used in the future; however these had now been
resolved and positive progress had been achieved towards understanding the
complexities of the venue and the sensitivity that was essential towards
future development of the venue. He explained that all parties now acknowledged that
the Winter Gardens needed to have a commercially robust and sustainable venture
while preserving the heritage of the site.

Ms France, Executive Director for Tourism and Regeneration, advised Members that the
partners were currently developing a Winter Gardens Conservation Plan to achieve a
comprehensive analysis of the site. This would facilitate a better understanding of which
elements of the site needed to be retained from a heritage perspective. Ms France was
confident that the partners had worked positively together over the past six months to
achieve a shared vision for the Winter Gardens and therefore did not feel that it was
necessary for the Council to pursue any legal action that would have a detrimental
impact on negotiations. The Committee was advised that there were a number of flexible
development options for the Winter Gardens that would not compromise its integrity and
would make sensible, yet sensitive, use of the site.

The Committee stressed the importance that future proposals for the use of the Winter
Gardens were effectively communicated across the whole elected membership of the
Council, with the opportunity for Members to be involved in a comprehensive
consultation exercise. It was suggested that the Committee could appoint a Working
Group to receive information, monitor ongoing proposals and consider future plans for
the Winter Gardens. In response, Mr Garrett advised that at present the partners were
still developing a better understanding of the Winter Gardens site and that the
Committee would receive regular updates on progress achieved and future proposals,
once these had been identified.

In response to a query raised, Ms France reported that the Council was still exploring the
possibility for the Victoria and Albert Museum to develop an exhibition in Blackpool,
particularly focusing on an appropriate venue. It was anticipated that the current analysis
of the Winter Gardens would facilitate an assessment of whether the venue could
accommodate alternative uses, such as the Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition.

With regard to the St John’s Square development, Members were informed that the
additional drainage surrounding the site was now complete and that the
MINUTES OF TOURISM AND REGENERATION OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY
          COMMITTEE MEETING - 3RD SEPTEMBER 2009
paving installation was scheduled to commence on 8th September 2009. It was
anticipated that the entire site and surrounding streets would be completed by 1st
December 2009.

In response to a query raised, it was reported that the cost of the hoarding surrounding
the site of the demolished Yates’s building had been £20,000. Ms France explained that
there were significant complications appertaining to the land ownership of the site and
issues with land insurance that may require the building to be reinstated to its original
specification. In light of this, it would take a considerable length of time to fully resolve
and therefore it was essential that the site was securely surrounded in a positive way.
Ms France advised that the art work on the hoarding was weather proof and therefore
could be reused in the future.

A discussion took place with regard to the trial of the artificial beach on St. Chad’s
headland and the disruption that it caused to Blackpool Transport Services on the
tramway system. The Committee was advised that the trial was undertaken to assess
the impact on the surrounding infrastructure, such as the tramway, and that the
exercise had highlighted a number of key issues that would assist in the effective
development of the headland areas along the Promenade.

With regard to the surrounding edges of the piers, Mr Garrett advised that the immediate
area fell under ownership of Leisure Parcs, with the remaining area under ownership of
Blackpool Council, and that both parties would be consulted and negotiated with in
respect of redevelopment proposals surrounding the piers.

The Committee agreed to note the update report.

Background Papers: None.

9. LOCAL AREA AGREEMENT

Mrs Shaw, Performance Manager, provided the Committee with the Performance
Monitoring Report for the Local Area Agreement (LAA) which highlighted the end of year
position for 2008/09 and Quarter One data for 2009/10 relating to Goal One, ‘Improve
Blackpool’s Economic Prosperity’.

The Committee was advised that Appendix One provided an outline of LAA targets and
performance for the period 2006/07 to 2008/09. It was reported that of the
15 performance targets, four had been indicated as amber and therefore would require
further verification of the data. The performance indicator highlighted as red,
appertaining to the percentage of residents who felt that anti-social behaviour was a
problem in their area, had failed to achieve target and therefore the Performance
Reward Grant of £410,332 for this measure would not be received.

Appendix Two provided an outline of the level of Performance Reward Grant that was
attached to each measure and Members were advised that the measures indicated in
amber would receive the Grant, which would take the total forecast to be awarded to just
over £4 million.
MINUTES OF TOURISM AND REGENERATION OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY
          COMMITTEE MEETING - 3RD SEPTEMBER 2009
With regard to Appendix Three, Mrs Shaw advised that this provided information on LAA
Two performance monitoring information which was now divided into the
respective goals of the Council’s Sustainable Community Strategy. The Committee had
been provided with the performance information that related to Goal One, ’Improve
Blackpool’s Economic Prosperity’ as this fell under the responsibility of the Tourism and
Regeneration Directorate. The Committee was advised that the end of year data for
2008/09 was not yet available from central government and therefore performance
monitoring of the shared national indicators was not possible at present. In light of this,
Appendix Three only demonstrated performance information relating to the local
indicators that were specific to Blackpool. Mrs Shaw informed the Committee that the
government had agreed to a degree of flexibility for the targets relating to indicators NI
153, NI 166 and NI 171 due to the impact of the economic recession.

In response to a query raised, Mrs Shaw advised that the data to assess the percentage
of residents who felt that anti-social behaviour was a problem in their area had been
collated through a specific survey that had been undertaken three times per year for the
past three years and had been distributed to 1,200 households across the borough. The
results of the final survey that had been completed in February 2009 had been used to
calculate the final performance figure, as detailed at Appendix One.

The Committee agreed to note the report.

Background Papers: None.

10. CAR PARKING STRATEGY

Mr Walker, Acting Transport Policy Manager, advised the Committee that the Council
was currently developing a Car Parking Strategy for implementation across the borough.
The overall aim of the strategy was to make the most efficient and effective use of
Blackpool’s existing parking resources. The Committee was asked to consider the
proposed framework for the strategy and consider any other areas that they would like to
recommend for inclusion.

In response to a query raised, Mr Walker advised that during the last five years of the
Local Transport Plan there had been a number of developments to improve bicycle
parking across the town and that Transportation Services were currently working closely
with the Council’s Planning department to ensure that long-stay bicycle parking provision
was integrated in future building designs to encourage increased cycle use. It was
reported that Victoria Hospital currently had a number of bicycle lockers and that
Palatine Leisure Centre, Blackpool Sports Centre and Moor Park swimming baths
also had a lockable design, though those did not include an enclosure facility.

A discussion took place with regard to the closure of Church Street. Mr Cross, Head of
Transportation Services, advised that the Tower Headland would become a public realm
space that would hold up to 20,000 people and therefore it was essential for the area to
have safe and direct links to the Town Centre. In light of this, there was the possibility
that traffic flow along the Promenade may be remodelled and so Church Street had
been temporarily closed as an exercise to assess the impact of alternative traffic flows.
Mr Cross acknowledged that the closure had coincided with the closure of the bus route
MINUTES OF TOURISM AND REGENERATION OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY
          COMMITTEE MEETING - 3RD SEPTEMBER 2009
through the St. John’s Square redevelopment which had resulted in buses being
diverted to Talbot Square, causing occasional congestion.

The Committee agreed to recommend that the following areas be considered in the draft
car Parking Strategy:

      Recreational vehicles and the impact that they had on residential streets due to
       the Pay and Display charging system along the Promenade.
      Residents Parking schemes and how the Council could adopt a more proactive
       response to particular issues.
      Commercial vehicles that were parked on residential streets.

The Committee agreed to note the report and to receive a presentation on the draft car
Parking Strategy at a future meeting.

Background Papers: None.

11. COMMITTEE WORKPLAN

Miss Atkinson, Senior Democratic Services Adviser, presented Members with the
updated Committee Workplan.

The Committee agreed to consider an item at the next meeting of the Committee
regarding the Council’s proposal to implement a Traffic Order on Lower Walk. The
Committee also agreed to receive a presentation at a future meeting on ongoing
discussions and proposals for the Winter Gardens.

With regard to the Retail Economy Working Group, it was reported that the final set of
recommendations had been agreed and that the draft final report was currently being
considered. It was anticipated the report would be presented to the Committee for
consideration and approval at the next meeting on 8th October 2009.

The Committee agreed to note the updated Workplan.

Background Papers: None.

12. DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The Committee noted the date of the next meeting on Thursday 8th October 2009,
commencing at 5.00 p.m. in Committee Room A.




Chairman

(The meeting ended at 6:58 pm)

Any queries regarding these minutes, please contact:
MINUTES OF TOURISM AND REGENERATION OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY
          COMMITTEE MEETING - 3RD SEPTEMBER 2009
Georgina Atkinson, Senior Democratic Services Adviser
Tel: 01253 477164
E-mail: georgina.atkinson@blackpool.gov.uk

				
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