Agenda and minutes

Culture, Tourism & Sport Board - Wednesday, 12th June, 2019 1.00 pm

Venue: Smith Square 3&4, Ground Floor, 18 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3HZ. View directions

Contact: Anna Jennings  07584273764 / Email:

No. Item


Welcome, declarations of interest and terms of reference


The Chairman noted apologies from Cllrs Carl Les (Con) and Dhanisha Patel (Lab).


The Chairman noted Cllr David Jeffels (Con) as a substitute.


Paul Bristow (Arts Council England) and Kurt Janson (Tourism Alliance) were in attendance as observers.


The Chairman introduced Cllr Peter Golds as the new Conservative lead member, and thanked Janet Walton and Geoffrey Theobald for their service to the Board.


There were no declarations of interest.



Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 153 KB


Cllr Faye Abbott, Matthew Lee and Rishi Shori requested that their apologies to be noted for the previous meeting.


The minutes of the last meeting were agreed as a correct record.



Actions list pdf icon PDF 75 KB


Members noted the summary of actions from the last Board.



Arts Council England presentation: Paul Bristow


The Chairman introduced Paul Bristow, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Arts Council England. Paul gave a presentation to the Board about Arts Council England’s new 10 year strategy and work to engage with rural communities. He emphasised the role of local government as a key strategic and delivery partner to Arts Council England.


Paul spoke about how place determines cultural opportunity and how engagement with the arts varies across the country. He briefed the Board on Arts Council England’s strategies for achieving its mission in rural communities, including through regular data and evidence rural reviews to understand geographical differences and challenges.


He outlined particular priorities, such as providing support and networking opportunities to more isolated organisations, and the importance of touring to bring culture to rural areas. He also spoke about how culture can contribute to social mobility, employment and economic growth.


Paul explained the consultation process for the 10 year strategy to the Board, and requested that they participate in the open consultation from 24 June.


Members asked questions about and discussed:

·                     Promoting culture’s role in local industrial strategies 

·                     Engagement with two-tier authorities and metropolitan districts (including a recommendation that Arts Council England engage with the District Councils Network)

·                     Engaging with young people and education

·                     Supporting organisations to make high quality funding bids

·                     Regenerating and develop town centres, particularly their culture and leisure offer

·                     Links to health and wellbeing in Arts Council England’s work.




Officers to circulate Arts Council England strategy consultation details to the Board and portfolio holders to encourage participation. 


Cultural Strategy in a Box commission pdf icon PDF 93 KB


The Chairman introduced the paper, which outlines a proposed narrative, scope and budget for the Cultural Strategy in a Box project in preparation for inviting tenders to deliver it.


The Chairman invited Arts Council England to collaborate on the commission, and proposed a future Sport Strategy in a Box commission.


Members discussed the commission, including challenges experienced by councils when devising a cultural strategy, current support, and how this would interact with existing cultural strategies. The Chairman emphasised that the role of the document would be to support interested councils to develop their own cultural strategy and to outline key considerations and methods of approach.


The Board voted to unanimously support the Cultural Strategy in a Box commission and to invite Arts Council England to be involved.




Officers to procure bid to deliver project.


Tourism Alliance presentation: Kurt Janson


Cllr Geraldine Carter introduced Kurt Janson, the Director of the Tourism Alliance. Kurt gave a presentation to the Board about the tourism sector deal and proposals for a tourism levy.


Kurt explained the four strands of the tourism sector deal: skills development, extending the season, improving connectivity and establishing tourism zones. He outlined the progress which has been made with securing Government interest in and recognition of the tourism sector.


Kurt introduced the Hospitality APPG report and key industry statistics, including the large fall in local authority tourism funding, which in Tourism Alliance’s view means the current model needs to change. Kurt explained the concerns of the tourism industry with regard to a tourism levy, especially the low proportion of taxable visitors (compared to day visits and overnight stays in private accommodation), how it could discourage the most valuable visitor patterns, and comparison with international VAT and tourism taxes.


He emphasised the need to channel tourism-generated VAT back into the sector through local investment, and outlined potential options such as a VAT reduction combined with creating a tourism tax, increase in local business rates retention, and using BIDs.


Members asked questions about and discussed:

·                     Tourism Alliance’s potential options to invest profits back in the sector

·                     The evidence base for tourism tax as a deterrent to visitors

·                     The importance of encouraging domestic tourism.




Board to consider further work in the new year on tourism funding, including a national conversation about a tourism levy.


Tourism Skills report


Ian Leete, Senior Adviser, introduced the final report of the tourism skills project which is due to be launched at the LGA annual conference on 3 July, in the conference plenary session on addressing skills challenges.


Members approved the final report, and emphasised the need to ensure this work feeds into broader priorities such as social equality and career progression. Members spoke about the value of entry level opportunities to develop soft skills and experience.


Members recommended a comprehensive communications strategy is developed to ensure the report is widely disseminated, including to local authority leaders, broader skills programmes (including other LGA work in this area), LEPs, BEIS and the tourism sector.




Officers to develop communications strategy to follow launch.


Social prescribing pdf icon PDF 224 KB


Anna Jennings, Adviser, introduced the paper which outlines a series of proposals for how the Board can support councils to contribute to social prescribing, particularly through the use of their culture and sport services.


Anna explained social prescribing as a growing NHS priority, and the importance of ensuring there are high quality voluntary sector and local authority services for link workers to refer people to. She highlighted examples in the paper of how councils can use their libraries, museums, parks and leisure centres to deliver social prescribing, and briefed the Board on plans to commission a guidance handbook and run a conference to support this programme of activity.


Members asked questions about and discussed:

·                     The importance of prevention (including influencing NHS spend in this area)

·                     Partnership work with the NHS, Arts Council England and the LGA Community Wellbeing Board

·                     Building integration with health partners and creating culture change in organisations to understand the connection between art, sport and wellbeing

·                     Voluntary sector organisations as a delivery partner

·                     Broader wellbeing role of culture and leisure services, and how this can promote both service investment and a healthier population.


The Board approved the proposed actions outlined in the report, and recommended Stevenage and Coventry as areas of existing social prescribing good practice.


The Board nominated Cllrs Peter Gold and Faye Abbott to act as social prescribing representatives.




Officers to progress this work as agreed by the Board.  


Museums handbook


Ian Leete, Senior Adviser, introduced the museums handbook, which has been created with Arts Council England as a response to the government’s Mendoza review to help councillors and heads of service maximise the local impact of their museums, as well as explore locally appropriate opportunities for commercialisation, efficiencies, or new operating models. He outlined plans to launch the report at the culture, tourism and sport workshop at the LGA annual conference in July.


Board members confirmed they are content to proceed with publication, and recommended that the launch is accompanied with an executive summary which builds enthusiasm about the possibilities of museums.




Officers to arrange final design and launch plans. 


Annual report pdf icon PDF 203 KB


Anna Jennings, Adviser, introduced the annual report which provides an overview of the issues and work the Board has overseen during the past year. It sets out key achievements in relation to the priorities for the Culture, Tourism and Sport Board in 2018/2019.


Members requested that the report includes more emphasis on the annual conference and excitement about the achievements of the Board. The Board noted the achievements against the 2018/2019 priorities.




Officers to update report as directed.


Improvement update pdf icon PDF 174 KB


Nicola Haymes, Adviser, introduced the report which summarises the current improvement offer to the sector and contracts with Sport England and Arts Council England. She thanked all the Board members who have been involved in delivering the improvement work.


Members suggested that the leadership essentials course is updated, particularly with regard to culture. Nicola explained that work is ongoing to develop this.


The Board confirmed their ongoing support of the Transforming Leadership Fund bid and noted the activity of the team.


Outside bodies report pdf icon PDF 160 KB


The Chairman introduced the report which provides updates on meetings the Board’s appointees to outside bodies have attended and the LGA’s work with outside organisations.


The Board noted the updates from the outside bodies and work taken part by fellow members.


Cllr Richard Henry gave his apologies for the July meeting of the London Marathon Charitable Trust.




Officers to note that Cllr Geraldine Carter has attended two meetings of the Tourism Alliance. As proposed by Cllr Carter, officers to help Tourism Alliance as required with facilitating connections to central Government.


Cllr Barry Lewis to circulate information about the English National Parks programme.


Any other business


The Chairman asked for suggestions from the Board for 2020 Culture, tourism and sport conference location, stipulating that the location will need hotel availability, good transport links, an interesting study tour and funding for dinner. Members noted that recent regional spread of locations means that the South may be preferable for 2020.


Ian Leete asked the Board if they wish to support the FA campaign for funding for local football pitches. The Board expressed their concern about the target of everyone living within 15 minutes of a football pitch, particularly in rural areas, but otherwise were willing to support the campaign. 


The Chairman thanked the officers and the Board for all their hard work and dedication during the year.




Members of the Board to contact Ian Leete with location suggestions for the culture, tourism and sport conference.