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Recreation and Cultural Services Committee

MINUTE of MEETING of the RECREATION AND CULTURAL SERVICES COMMITTEE held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Thursday 5 October 2000 at 4.00 pm.

Present: Councillors IAN ANGUS, STEPHEN LESLIE, BILL CROWE, JACK GIBB, ALISTAIR GRAY, The Hon R J LESLIE MELVILLE, JOY MOWATT, ROB MURRAY, GEORGE NORRIE MBE and HELEN OSWALD.

Apologies: Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillors PETER NIELD and SHEENA WELSH

Councillor ANGUS, Convener, in the Chair.

 

1. EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS

The Committee resolved, in terms of Standing Order 27(2), that the public and press be excluded during consideration of item 2 below, so as to avoid disclosure of information which was exempt in terms of Part 1 of Schedule 7A to the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, paragraphs 6, 8 and 9.

2. HAND ARM VIBRATION SYNDROME

With reference to Article 3 of the minute of meeting of the Contract Services Committee of 3 October 2000, there was submitted Report No 1005/00 by the Contract Services Manager advising the Committee of the ongoing progress in assessing and minimising the risk of hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) to Contract Services and Recreation Services staff and requesting approval to appoint the City of Sunderland to carry out HAVS assessments for the next financial year.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed to note and approve the contents of the Report.

3. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 17 August 2000 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

With reference to Article 17 of the minute of meeting, the Convener advised the Committee that, in light of the recent action taken by the Road Haulage Association, it would not now be advisable to display their posters on Council vehicles as this would be contrary to law as breaching the Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity.

The Committee noted, with regret, that it would not be possible for the Council to proceed with the display of these posters.

RECREATION SERVICES

4. PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT AND SAFETY SURFACING PROGRAMME - EARLY ACTION PROPOSALS

With reference to Article 11 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 1 June 2000, there was submitted Joint Report No 1125/00 by the Director of Recreation Services and the Director of Property Services seeking authority for implementation of safety improvements for equipment in play areas across Angus.

The Report indicated that a programme of replacement and refurbishment of existing play areas had been developed as a result of a risk assessment exercise across the 118 playgrounds for which the Recreation Services Department was responsible. The risk assessments had identified a number of areas which required early action in terms of their safety requirements and these were outlined in the Report. It was proposed that the action be completed within the available resources and that, as the details were prepared, the local member would be consulted. This was the first phase of the programme and further consultation on details for the second and following phases of work would be on-going and subject to a further Report.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to the preparation of detailed proposals and their implementation for the required safety improvements, at the playgrounds listed in the Report, within the available financial resources and in consultation with local members; and
  2. to instruct the Director of Recreation Services, in consultation with local members, to continue to prepare the details for a second phase of safety improvements and in conjunction with the relevant officers, the development of the appropriate funding package.

5. MONIFIETH SEAFRONT IMPROVEMENTS

With reference to Article 8 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 7 October 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 1126/00 by the Director of Planning and Transport and the Director of Recreation Services presenting the findings of the study into the development and enhancement of the seafront at Monifieth and setting out the proposed programme for consultation and implementation of the concept proposals.

The Report indicated that the seafront at Monifieth represented a major environmental resource and incorporated a number of local leisure uses. These acted as attractions for both locals and visitors but parts of the seafront area had suffered from a lack of investment over recent years. The proposed masterplan outlined in the Report attempted to address this in a pragmatic manner within an achievable timescale. Further, the focused approach advocated would make an immediate impact by enhancing the quality of the environment of what was commonly perceived as the seafront and would provide a much improved range of play facilities, whilst retaining the popular traditional facilities. There were, however, a number of important issues which would have to be addressed, particularly in relation to the consultant’s suggestions for the Tayview Caravan Park. Consultation with the public and the affected owners would be required before coming to a conclusion on the acceptability of the proposed masterplan.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to note the findings of the study into the development and enhancement of the seafront at Monifieth, as outlined in the Report;
  2. to note the financial implications of proceeding with the works;
  3. to undertake consultation with the public and other interested parties; and
  4. to await further reports on the outcome of the consultations.

6. ANGUS MILLENNIUM FOREST ­ VISIT BY FUNDING PARTNERS

With reference to Article 10 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 1 June 2000, there was submitted Report No 1127/00 by the Director of Recreation Services seeking approval to provide hospitality at the visit of funding partners for the Millennium Forest, the funding partners being the Millennium Forest for Scotland Trust, the Forestry Authority, Scottish Natural Heritage, Angus Environmental Trust and Angus Council.

The Report indicated that the Angus Millennium Forest had commenced last year, with Phase I in Arbroath and Phase II in Montrose, Brechin, Carnoustie and Kirriemuir last winter. The final Phase would take place this autumn, primarily in Monifieth and Forfar. It was proposed to invite the funding partner representatives to visit the scheme as part of National Tree Week, from 22 November to 3 December 2000.

The Committee agreed to note and approve the contents of the Report.

7. SPORTS SPECIFIC ­ DISABILITY DEVELOPMENT OFFICER

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 15 April 1999, there was submitted Report No 1128/00 by the Director of Recreation Services advising the Committee on the work of the partnership funded sports specific post for disabled sports development.

The Report indicated that the Development Officer for sports and recreation for people with disabilities had been established in 1999 as a 12 month fixed term appointment with contributions from Scottish Disability Sport through the Royal Mail, "Ready, Willing and Able" programme, and Angus Council Education, Recreation and Social Work Departments. The post had made a tremendous impact both at local and national level with highlights and successes outlined in the Development Officer’s annual report, a copy of which had placed in the Members’ Lounge, for information.

The Report concluded that it was important to continue to support this post and build on the early successes that had been achieved through the postholder and the work of Angus Disability Sport. The Recreation Services Department would continue to provide the supporting mechanisms for the Development Officer and would continue to provide the Committee with updates on the services which he provided.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report;
  2. to note that the annual report by the Disability Development Officer was available in the Members’ Lounge; and
  3. to note the continuation of the post of Development Officer for Sports and Recreation for People with Disabilities for a further fixed term of 12 months.

8. SPORTS SPECIFIC ­ FOOTBALL DEVELOPMENT OFFICER

With reference to Article 5 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 15 April 1999, there was submitted Report No 1129/00 by the Director of Recreation Services advising the Committee on the work of the partnership funded sports specific post for football development.

The Report indicated that the post of Football Development Officer had been established in 1999 with funding being provided from a number of internal as well as external sources. The funding was for three years with contributions from the Scottish Football Association, through a Partnership Agreement, Sportsmatch from Sport Scotland, the four senior Angus Football Clubs, Angus Council Education and Recreation Departments and Angus Council Policy Led Budgeting.

The Committee heard a presentation by David Shankland, Football Development Officer, who highlighted the tremendous impact both at local and national level that his post had had. He also outlined plans for future developments in this specialised area which linked with the work taking place across Angus and beyond. Football development continued to expand and had the added advantage of agreed funding for a further two years.

Having thanked Mr Shankland for his interesting and informative presentation, the Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report and
  2. to note that the annual report by the Football Development Officer was available in the Members’ Lounge.

CULTURAL SERVICES

9. PARTNERSHIP ACCESS TO THE INTERNET TRIAL

There was submitted Report No 1131/00 by the Acting Director of Cultural Services seeking the Committee’s approval to enter into negotiations with Chivers to set up a three month trial at Brechin Library of their Internet kiosk access system known as Pielink.

The Report indicated that Chivers had approached the Cultural Services Department with a proposal to install, for a three month period free of charge, their Internet kiosk access system known as Pielink at any library within Angus. The kiosk was a fully self-contained coin operated unit which would be supplied free of charge by Chivers and would allow customers access to Internet and e-mail at a cost of £1 per 15 minutes. In return for installing and operating Pielink, Chivers expected to generate income of £50 per week to cover their costs, with the Library receiving 20% of any revenue in excess of £50.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report; and
  2. to approve a three month trial of Pielink at Brechin Library.

10. SUMMER READING SCHEME

There was submitted Report No 1132/00 by the Acting Director of Cultural Services advising the Committee of the success of the Summer Reading Scheme.

The Report indicated that the Cultural Services Department had promoted the Scheme, known as "The Reading Relay" to encourage increased library use by junior members. The Reading Relay was part of a National Summer Reading Programme to promote reading and to boost Recreation and Cultural Services Minutes and circulation in which libraries encouraged children to read six books over the summer holidays. The Scheme had been primarily directed at primary school aged children who completed a reading card for each title in the relay. Those who completed the course had been rewarded with a certificate and a medal at an awards ceremony in their local library. The Scheme, which had been launched on 16 June 2000 and had run until 11 August 2000, had proved to be very successful at all libraries, with the numbers of children entering and completing the Relay detailed in the Report. The success of the Scheme, and the obvious enjoyment experienced by all the contestants, ensured that Cultural Services would promote a similar scheme next summer.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

11. TRADITIONAL MUSIC OF ANGUS INITIATIVE

With reference to Article 11 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 18 November 1999, there was submitted Report No 1133/00 by the Acting Director of Cultural Services updating the Committee on the Angus Traditional Music Directory and the continuing development of the Angus Traditional Music Initiative in partnership with the Scottish Tourist Board, Scottish Arts Council and the Angus and Dundee Tourist Board.

The Report indicated that the first Phase of the Angus contribution to the Angus Traditional Music Initiative had been to audit traditional music activity in Angus and to disseminate the findings appropriately, the results of which had been published in July 2000 as the Traditional Music in Angus directory. The directory had been made available to the public through Angus libraries and Angus and Dundee Tourist Board web sites.

The Report further indicated that consultation with the project partners had resulted in a clear focus for Phase 2 of this project by directly promoting a series of traditional music sessions/performances throughout Angus in October and November 2000. Phase 2 had been greeted with enthusiasm by all partners and members of the traditional music community. As it was likely that, should this initiative be successful, it would continue to attract funding in 2001/2002, audience levels and the impact on the sessions would be closely monitored.

The Committee agreed to note the terms of the Report.

12. RESOURCES FOR LEARNING IN SCOTLAND APPLICATIONS

There was submitted Report No 1134/00 by the Acting Director of Cultural Services informing the Committee that the Cultural Services Department had applied for funding through the Resources for Learning (RLS) in Scotland grant aid scheme to fund three digitisation projects. In addition Cultural Services had entered into local and national partnerships to promote a further four digitisation projects.

The Report indicated that Resources for Learning in Scotland, which was a partnership of the National Library of Scotland, National Archives of Scotland and the Scottish Cultural Resources Access Network, had invited applications to participate in grant-aided projects designed to create a digital resource base representing the cultural, social and economic heritage of Scotland. The deadline for submission had been 10 August 2000 and Cultural Services had submitted three projects for funding, these being Virtual Archive, the digitisation of the Angus Pictish Heritage Trail and the digitisation of the Ancient Sculptured Monuments of Angus. A brief summary of each project was outlined in the Report.

The Report advised that, in addition to the above projects, the Department had also agreed to make collections in the libraries, museums and archive available to several partners in order to jointly access RLS funding. These projects, which were outlined in the Report, were being led by partner organisations.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

13. PUBLICATION OF HISTORIC FORFAR

There was submitted Joint Report No 1135/00 by the Acting Director of Cultural Services and the Director of Planning and Transport advising the Committee of the publication of "Historic Forfar" by Historic Scotland with the support of the Cultural Services and Planning and Transport Departments of Angus Council.

The Report indicated that Historic Scotland had funded the Scottish Burgh Survey, a project which had studied the history and archaeology of Scotland’s historic burghs. Although the main aim of the survey had been to advise local authority planning departments, museum curators and developers on areas of archaeological interest, the publications would also be of interest to the general public and academics.

"Historic Forfar" traced the fortunes of the burgh from early medieval times to the present. The history and archaeology of the town were described, as were its historic buildings and the origins of its street names. Copies of "Historic Forfar" had been placed in the Member’s Lounge for information, as well as the public libraries, the Meffan and the Planning and Transport Department.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report;
  2. to note that copies of "Historic Forfar" had been placed in the Members’ Lounge; and
  3. to instruct the Acting Director of Cultural Services and the Director of Planning and Transport to take account of the findings of "Historic Forfar" in future developments in Forfar and in the interpretation of the Burgh.

14. NATIONAL CULTURAL STRATEGY

There was submitted Report No 1009/00 by the Acting Director of Cultural Services advising the Committee of the publication of the Scottish Executive’s National Cultural Strategy entitled "Creating Our Future, Minding Our Past". The publication identified four strategic objectives, each of which had three key priorities and were outlined in the Report.

The Report also indicated that Angus Council, in its new Corporate Plan, had identified the need to produce a Cultural Strategy for Angus. In this connection, the Chief Executive had asked the Acting Director of Cultural Services to lead a short-term Working Group consisting of the Director of Education, Director of Recreation Services, the Director of Finance and the Economic Development Manager (or their representatives) to produce an Angus Council Cultural Strategy against a blackcloth of the National Cultural Strategy.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report;
  2. to note that a copy of the National Cultural Strategy had been placed in the Members’ Lounge; and
  3. to note that the Chief Executive had asked the Acting Director of Cultural Services to lead a Working Group to produce an Angus Council Cultural Strategy.
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