Cabinet received a report from the Cabinet Member for City Centre Management and Tourism and the Cabinet Advisor for City Centre Management and Tourism.
It was advised that Culture and Leisure services were long established priorities of the Council and a Cultural Strategy had been published five years ago to deliver its priorities up to 2014.
Recognising the need to take a fresh look at its approach and priorities to develop a new culture strategy, the Council had developed a refreshed strategy, as set out within the document ‘Peterborough Culture Strategy 2015-2020’.
The purpose of the report was for Cabinet to consider the refreshed strategy and to recommend its adoption to Council.
Councillor Casey introduced the report, highlighting the main issues contained within and the developmental journey of the Strategy. He further highlighted that should the Strategy be approved, a Culture Board for the city would be convened and the necessary work would be planned in order to deliver the identified priorities, reporting back on progress to Cabinet in due course.
Cabinet debated the report and key points raised and responses to questions included:
· The Strategy had not been written by Vivacity as it was a Council document. The Council needed to take a lead on the vision and development for the Strategy and to own and monitor the outcomes for the city;
· The mobile libraries had been un-affected by the recent cuts. This was positive for the rural villages;
· The pathway for young people was extremely important within the Strategy and the Heritage Skills Programme was already being successfully delivered, with two intakes into the programme;
· There would be creative apprenticeships and creative internships, coordinated by Peterborough Regional College;
· One of the main strands within Heritage was education. Numerous events were held at the Arena as well as the work that was undertaken at Sacrewell Farm;
· There was a need for the continuation of the dying arts, such as thatching and dry stone walling;
· The Strategy contained a strand called ‘Community Bridge Builders’, delivered by Peterborough Presents. This was to upskill community leaders, who in turn could assist people in their community to build their skills;
· A core delivery group called ‘Culture Peterborough’ was proposed, supported by a wide group of stakeholders, to take ownership of the Strategy and through to the next phase, the action plan;
· The Strategy highlighted a significant investment in culture and leisure in the city, contrary to reports in the press;
· The Strategy had been constructed in such a way that it should have no financial impact upon the Council, instead being delivered by a broad range of groups;
· The Council was looking to reduce the service fee from Vivacity, however since 2012, the Council had invested just under £800k into Culture, with legacy expected to come out of all investments. No additional funding was required;
· Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) were leading the heritage skills programme and a key partner in delivery;
· Creative engagement and participation formed part of the Strategy; and
· There were a vast array of events held in the city centre, these being great opportunities for celebrating diversity in the city.
Cabinet considered the report and RESOLVED:
To approve the Peterborough Culture Strategy 2015 – 2020 and to recommend its adoption to Council.
REASONS FOR THE DECISION
To approve the proposed Peterborough Culture Strategy, replacing the current strategy which expired at the end of December 2014.
ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS CONSIDERED
The only alternative option considered was to not revise the Strategy, however this would mean an outdated document, lacking focus on the Council’s current priorities.
Councillor Hiller, Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Services, took the Chair for the next item.