Agenda item - Valley Gardens - Events

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Agenda item

Valley Gardens - Events

Report of the Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture

Decision:

That the Committee:

 

1)           Note the provision of facilities to support events within Valley Gardens Phase 1&2 scheme.

 

2)           Note that the council’s Outdoor Events Team and event organisers will be engaged to further develop plans for Valley Gardens Phase 3 during the detailed design stage. 

 

3)           To note that the that the Annual Events Calendar will be proposed at the relevant Tourism, Development and Culture meeting to ensure forward planning for locations events during the construction phase.

 

4)           Agree to urgently re-establish the cross-party member and stakeholder Valley Gardens working group as a task and finish group. The group will be reviewed at regular intervals with stakeholders in terms of its purpose to ensure it remains effective.

 

5)           Request officers to bring a report to the next Committee meeting to agree the Terms of Reference for the task and finish member working group

Minutes:

8.1         The Committee considered a report of the Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture that provided Members with an overview of the provision for events in Valley Gardens and assurance that the design work for Valley Gardens Phase 3 would continue to ensure the area could cater for events. The report was requested by the Committee in response to a deputation considered at its previous meeting in March 2019.

 

8.2         On behalf of the Green Group, Councillor West moved a motion to add a recommendation 2.4 and 2.5 as shown in bold italics below:

 

2.4    Agree to urgently re-establish the cross-party member and stakeholder Valley Gardens working group as a task and finish group. The group will be reviewed at regular intervals with stakeholders in terms of its purpose to ensure it remains effective.

 

2.5    Request officers to bring a report to the next Committee meeting to agree the Terms of Reference for the task and finish member working group

 

8.3         Councillor Lloyd formally seconded the motion.

 

8.4         Councillor Hamilton stated his support for the motion.

 

8.5         Councillor Wares stated that it was disappointing that such pressure had needed to be applied by the opposition groups to receive the information detailed in the report. Councillor Wares stated that there had been a fundamental flaw in planning Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project whereby instead of creating an event space that could be used as a park, focus had been on creating a green space that could also be used as an event space. This had created difficulties for the events sector that was a key part of the city economy. Councillor Wares stated that it was not too late to correct this for Phase 3. Councillor Wares stated that it was disappointing that an amendment was necessary to create a stakeholder group. Councillor Wares noted for the record that his support of the motion in no way indicated support for the preferred Phase 3 option that his group continued to oppose.

 

8.6         Councillor Moonan stated that event space was important to the city however, equally as important was creating open space and making improvements to the public realm and transport infrastructure. Councillor Moonan stated that people would use the open space every day rather than for a few weeks or months of the year and it was correct that the space design incorporate that.

 

8.7         Councillor West stated that the report had been requested was because there were threads of concern from the events sector and the problems that may occur. Councillor West stated that the Fringe Festival, Spiegeltent and The Warren was essential to the city and there was a risk that those events may leave for somewhere else due to their lack of involvement in the changes being made under the Valley Gardens Phase 3 project. Councillor West noted his concern that the completion deadline for the groundworks was April 2020 and any slippage to that timetable would cause significant disruption to the events hosted in the Gardens. Councillor West asked for certainty and assurance that the timetable would be followed, and the works completed in time.

 

8.8         The Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture stated that officers were very alert to the timetable of works and in particular, providing certainty for the events programme in 2020 and beyond. The Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture stated that officers would be meeting with events organisers in July to review the 2019 events programme and to look ahead to the programme for 2020. Furthermore, he had met with the Chief Executive of the Fringe Festival last week to discuss and provide assurance on the events plan for 2020.

 

8.9         Councillor Wares noted that as the preferred option had now changed meaning the cycle lane had been moved from the east side to the west side, there was now a conflict with the event access point area. This would mean the lanes would need to be closed during events and those closures needed to be clearly advertised to the public.

 

8.10      In relation to the re-investment bonds, Councillor Brown noted that there had been historic incidents where an area had not been made good following an event and asked for assurance that issue would be monitored given the scale and cost of this particular project.

 

8.11      The Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture stated that the matter had often been raised at the Tourism, Development & Culture Committee and there would be a report submitted to their meeting in September on the matter. The Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture supplemented that the Events Team did monitor the issue and the bonds were withheld where an area was not returned to a suitable condition,

 

8.12      The Chair then put the motion to the vote that passed.

 

8.13      The Chair then put the recommendations, as amended to the vote that were agreed.

 

8.14      RESOLVED- That the Committee:

 

1)           Note the provision of facilities to support events within Valley Gardens Phase 1&2 scheme.

 

2)           Note that the council’s Outdoor Events Team and event organisers will be engaged to further develop plans for Valley Gardens Phase 3 during the detailed design stage. 

 

3)           To note that the that the Annual Events Calendar will be proposed at the relevant Tourism, Development and Culture meeting to ensure forward planning for locations events during the construction phase.

 

4)           Agree to urgently re-establish the cross-party member and stakeholder Valley Gardens working group as a task and finish group. The group will be reviewed at regular intervals with stakeholders in terms of its purpose to ensure it remains effective.

 

5)           Request officers to bring a report to the next Committee meeting to agree the Terms of Reference for the task and finish member working group

 

The meeting was adjourned at 6.30pm and reconvened at 6.45pm

 

Supporting documents:

 


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