Agenda item

Events Scrutiny Commission: Draft Report

Contact for Information: Gary O’Key, Senior Democratic Services Officer; 020 7926 2183, gokey@lambeth.gov.uk

 

Minutes:

Councillor Mary Atkins, Overview & Scrutiny Vice Chair and Chair of the Events Scrutiny Commission, introduced the item by stating that:

 

·         The report was a result of a great deal of work by four councillors over a number of months

·         The commission came about as a result of debate over the use of public parks and open spaces for commercial events, not just in Lambeth but also more widely. It was felt that local councillors had a vital role to play in balancing competing interests and ensuring that commercial activity in public spaces delivered maximum benefits, not just to the Council but to the community more widely

·         The commission considered a great deal of detailed research and best practice to arrive at its findings and recommendations, which were presented for consideration by the committee

·         She believed it was a very good report and hoped Members would endorse it

·         She thanked the Senior Democratic Services Officer for his work in supporting the commission

Councillor Nigel Haselden, Commission Member, added that:

 

·         He was pleased to be given the opportunity to be part of the commission

·         The four members of the commission reflected a range of geographical areas, backgrounds and perspectives and worked well together

·         He hoped the report would help shape policy in this area

·         It was important to deliver high quality cultural events while maximising benefits

·         He expressed gratitude to the Senior Democratic Services Officer for capturing and shaping the arguments and findings

·         The stakeholder consultation event referred to in the report played an important role in influencing the recommendations

Members discussed the report and made the following points:

 

·         It was good to see reference made to the climate emergency and minimising environmental impacts

·         It was queried whether part of the income for events could be ring fenced for accessibility improvements to parks and open spaces

·         It was asked what steps were taken to engage with young people who might attend the types of events referred to. Councillor Mary Atkins responded that a number of young people had been invited to the stakeholder event and input had been sought from the Young Lambeth Cooperative. While only one young person had attended the consultation, their comments were very valuable and were augmented by other related contributions – for example, from councillors reflecting back the views of young people in their areas, and by a venue owner who catered for many event goers

·         It was suggested that the impact of certain recommendations – particularly numbers 1, 3 and 5 – could be strengthened and made more lasting by changing the wording to state that the Council “must” carry out the suggested action, rather than “should”

In response to the report, Councillor Sonia Winifred, Cabinet Member for Equalities and Culture, and Kevin Crook, Assistant Director, Neighbourhoods, stated that:

·         Lambeth was well versed in delivering events which reflected the borough’s communities

·         The programme of events was not just the work of the Council but was a joint effort with volunteers and community groups

·         Parks and open spaces played an important role in promoting health and wellbeing

·         The 2016 Events Strategy was being reviewed and a refreshed version was due to be produced next year to cover the period 2020-25. A Green Events Guide had also been produced

·         Whilst the recommendations were generally welcomed, there were minor concerns over the feasibility of a small number of them – for example, the cost implications of impact statements (recommendation 5). It was noted that full responses, including timescales and resource implications, would be set out in an action plan when the report was taken to Cabinet

·         An accessibility analysis of all park facilities had been commissioned

RESOLVED:

1.    To approve the report for presentation to Cabinet subject to consideration of the following comments:

-          The potential for ring-fencing funds for accessibility improvements to parks and open spaces

-          The possibility of strengthening recommendations 1 and 3 to say “must” rather than “should”

 

Supporting documents: