I'd like to introduce myself as the new Chair of the Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, and to thank Councillor Chris White for his significant contribution to our sector.
Welcome to the March edition of the Culture, Tourism and Sport bulletin.
This is an increasingly critical time for council-funded and supported libraries, museums, sport, culture and heritage services. The Local Government Association (LGA) is here to help you to meet the challenges and exploit the opportunities that our sector faces – from adapting to budget pressures, to new delivery models, the challenges of the Localism Act and the implications of health reforms. In particular, we have piloted a new support offer for councillors leading sport and libraries, hosting seminars to assist portfolio holders with leading transformational change and developing responses relevant to local situations.
We've received very positive feedback from councillors, with events quickly reaching capacity, and will be rolling out this approach over the next few months so that even more of you can benefit.
I am also looking forward to seeing many of you at the LGA's annual culture, tourism and sport conference in Cardiff on 7 and 8 March. I am delighted that speakers include Hugh Roberston MP, Sports Minister, David Moorcroft, former athlete and Chair of the 2012 Games partnership in the West Midlands, and Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund. The conference is also an unrivalled opportunity for you to access the latest innovation in our sector, to share experiences and to take advantage of Cardiff's wonderful cultural, heritage and sporting offer. It's not too late to book your place – please visit the LGA website for more information.
I look forward to working with you and please do not hesitate to let me know your thoughts and suggestions on any aspect of culture, tourism and sport, email@example.com.
Councillor Flick Rea
Chair, LGA Culture, Tourism and Sport Board.
The LGA and ACE have chosen 13 successful projects which will receive Â£230,000 between them to explore innovative, locally appropriate and enterprising ways of working to build 21st century library services. We will be sharing the learning from these projects so keep your eye on future newsletter issues. ACE have also launched a consultation on the future of libraries, please do share your responses with the LGA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACE have launched a new Â£37 million fund to improve participation in the arts. Over three years the creative people and places fund will fund around 15 programmes of activity to develop new approaches to arts experiences for local areas not currently engaging with the arts. This can include museums and libraries where they are providing arts-based activities and opportunities. Applications are now open and you must register your intention to apply with your regional office by 23 March 2012. The fund is open to arts and non-arts organisations, and the LGA is pressing ACE to encourage applicants to fully involve local government.
Local Leaders provides communities and individuals across the whole of the UK with the opportunity to get access to ideas, hints and tips to organise their local celebrations. By working with the London Organising Committee's Local Leaders team you can inspire and support local activity in your area and the team wants to work with you to signpost resources and publicise local stories.
The LGA has been working with councils and their communities to find any bureaucratic sticking points which may still exist in event organising and ways of overcoming them. In March we are launching an online forum where councils can share experiences and ideas and community groups can raise any issues they've come across locally. A DirectGov website has also been launched where residents can enter their postcode and be directed straight to their local council's website to find advice on holding a street party in their neighbourhood.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have launched the GREAT campaign, a new tourism campaign to be run by VisitEngland. The campaign will advertise some of Britain's most iconic buildings and locations in 14 major cities across the world and aims to attract more visitors to the UK as well as encourage the UK population to holiday at home.
The Henley Review of Cultural Education was published this week, including a new national plan for cultural education. It aims to ensure that all children especially those from poorer backgrounds, are able to access the arts. The Department for Education (DfE) will invest more than Â£15 million over three years to implement the report's recommendations while a number of DCMS arms'-length bodies will be be involved in funding and running schemes. The LGA support the promotion of young people to explore the arts but call for DCMS and arms-length bodies to fully involve local government in decision making and running of these schemes.
The latest release of the Taking Part survey has been published and is available on the DCMS website. The Taking Part survey is a continuous annual survey of adults and children living in private households in England. It provides reliable national estimates of adult and child engagement with sport, libraries, the arts, heritage, museums and galleries. The survey shows record levels of engagement with the arts and attendance at heritage sites, museums and galleries since the survey began in 2005.
Last week the LGA gave oral evidence to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee's inquiry on library closures. The committee heard how the LGA are supporting councils to modernise library services through peer mentoring, sharing good practice and supporting library portfolio holders. The committee also heard how the LGA are calling for the modernising of the present Libraries and Museums Act and removal of the superintendent role of the Secretary of State to better allow councils to modernise their library services to be fit for the 21st century.
The Tourism Red Tape Taskforce has reported to Tourism Minister, John Penrose MP. The report recommends a number of reforms to make it easier for businesses to maximise the economic benefits of tourism. The LGA has welcomed the report's aim to stimulate the visitor economy by cutting red tape. We supported a number of common sense proposals and emphasised that tourism is a local issue with local government working in partnership with business to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy.
Delegates at the recent LGA Licensing conference unanimously rejected DCMS proposals to deregulate events below 5,000 people. Councillor Chris White, then Chair of the LGA Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, said "Councils are fully in favour of making it easier for people to hold concerts, plays and public events, but numbers are not the only factor in determining risk. I welcome the minister's offer to consider the conference discussion in the DCMS consultation analysis." In response, Chris White wrote to John Penrose feeding back on the discussion at the conference.
Delegates also heard from the Home Office on implementation plans for the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act, generating hot discussion on changes to temporary event notices. Two-thirds of the audience favoured introducing them in time for the Jubilee and Olympics.
Culture, tourism and sport annual conference
7-8 March 2012 | Cardiff
Keynote speakers at this definitive event for councillors and senior officers leading culture, tourism and sport services include Rt Hon Hugh Robertson MP, Minister for Sport and the Olympics and Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Shadow Deputy Prime Minister.
Physical activity: the changing shape of public health
13 March 2012 | London
Increasing participation in physical activity leads to improved health and wellbeing outcomes. This LGA conference aims to help councils get people active through understanding the new public health and physical activity landscape – by learning how they can best join up initiatives and work with partner agencies to deliver their goals and local targets or simply as part of an understanding of the benefits of active people.
Annual Tourism Constituency Day
16 March 2012 | London
As part of the English Tourism Week events, the annual Tourism Constituency Day is an opportunity local for tourism businesses to invite their local MP to visit their premises in order to gain a better understanding of the benefits that tourism brings to the local economy.
As part of the Libraries Development Initiative, the LGA and Arts Council held a free one-day seminar to share learning and hear innovative methods of redesigning library services. Councillors attending the event said it assisted them by sharing ideas on how to develop responses relevant to their own local situations. Look out for case studies on the Knowledge Hub soon.
The LGA has launched a self-assessment guide to help councils undertake successful review and change processes in library services, based on lessons learned from the Future Libraries programme.
LGA have a 2012 Games network where its members receive an Olympic and Paralympic e-bulletin. These bulletins keep members up to date with the latest news on the Games and ways councils can get more involved in 2012 Games activities. The network also allows councils to share good practice and concerns about the Games, which LGA can then take forward on their behalf. If you would like to be part of this network, please email your details to email@example.com.
Herefordshire Council and Gloucestershire County Council have committed major investment in high-speed broadband in rural areas. The councils have confirmed their joint contribution of Â£13.5 million to Borders Broadband, one of the UK's first rural broadband pilots. This investment match-funds the Government's allocation and the private sector is also expected to make a major investment to create a comprehensive infrastructure for faster broadband services.
This review makes a series of recommendations intended to streamline the non-planning consents that developers need to secure alongside planning permission. DCMS are intending to consult the sector on this in the summer. However, we have been given the opportunity to send DCMS our early comments to share the consultation. We would be interested to hear your views on the proposals, particularly the proposed use of accredited agents. Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Myths that supermarket chains have a greater role to play on high streets than diverse local shops have today been exposed by a new opinion poll. Nearly eight in 10 local people believe that local producers (79 per cent), such as a butcher or baker, are critical to the future success of their high streets. While local shops polled strongly, less than half of local residents (47 per cent) believe that supermarkets had a role to play in the future success of high streets, the LGA/ComRes poll found.
The LGA is calling for the half-century-old legislation which references gramophone records to be brought into the 21st century of the internet. In its response to the Government's inquiry into library closures, it warns that as long as local authorities are bound by the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964, which states the principal function of a library is the borrowing of books, they will forever be hamstrung in their efforts to modernise services. To effectively manage having their budgets slashed by 28 per cent, councils and their communities need to be freed from outdated legislation to find solutions which both save money and ensure residents keep receiving quality library services.
30 January 2013