To consider the proposed Arts and Culture Strategy
Shirley Boyt declared an interest in this item, and therefore did not participate in the discussions.
The Committee received a report, set out in agenda pages 11 to 24, which set out the proposed Arts & Culture strategy for the Borough.
The report outlined the consultation that had been undertaken regarding the proposed strategy, and the changes that had been made as a result. Some of the changes included contextualising the strategy within the frame of the Covid-19 (C-19) pandemic, reference to the declared climate emergency including a commitment to ensure that the aspiration to be carbon neutral is fully factored in to implementation plans and related activities, and the inclusion of one of a desired outcome being that of new and enhanced cultural venues.
Charlotte Haitham Taylor (Executive Member for Regeneration), Grant Thornton (Senior Specialist Economic Prosperity & Place), and Robin Cops (Vice Chair of the Arts & Culture Alliance) attended the meeting to answer Member queries.
During the ensuing discussions, Members raised the following points and queries:
· Would the northern Parishes be included in the Arts and Cultural Alliance (ACA)? Executive Member response – The ACA would welcome the contribution of the northern Parishes, as well as all other areas of the Borough. All Town and Parish Councils had been contacted as part of the development of the proposed policy, and it was hoped that more communities within the Borough would join the ACA as time progressed.
· Were we reaching out to people of an older generation? Executive Member response – The consultation had seen a far greater response rate from people of an older generation rather than those from a younger generation. As such, part of the action plan involved reaching out to younger people was seen to be a key action moving forward. The action plan had picked up issues including social isolation of older people, and therefore aimed to reach out to such individuals.
· It was noted that the ACA really valued the local knowledge from within specific communities, and welcomed engagement from across the Borough.
· It was noted that the proposed strategy was a framework, which aimed to identify gaps in the current support and provision of arts and cultural events, institutions and communities across the Borough.
· Which were the five Town and Parish Councils that had responded to the consultation? Officer response – A conclusive list would be provided outside of the meeting.
· Winnersh Parish Council would like to be involved in the ACA, was this planned? Executive Member response – All Towns and Parishes were welcomed and encouraged to get involved, and this included Winnersh.
· What considerations and adaptations had been made to the proposed strategy as a result of the C-19 pandemic? Executive Member response – Both the strategy and the action plan had been adapted throughout the course of the pandemic. Both the strategy and the action plan will be reviewed every 6 months during the pandemic and recovery stage, and then every year afterwards.
· How was the proposed strategy being prioritised ... view the full minutes text for item 77