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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 23rd July 2012

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development

 

National Eisteddfod 2012 - Llandow, Vale of Glamorgan

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To update Members on progress in relation to the organisation of the event, to be held at Llandow, in August of this year.

Recommendations

1.             That progress to date be noted.

2.             That a copy of the report be referred to Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee and that a copy be sent to all Town and Community Council Clerks.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             The report is for noting.

2.             To apprise all Town and Community Council's and the Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee of progress to date.

Background

2.             Reports on the Eisteddfod have been presented to Cabinet on the 16th March 2011 and 4th January 2012.  Members were then informed that a Working Party had been established under the Chairmanship of the then Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration in order to progress arrangements.  This Working Party has met regularly since that time, although it has been chaired since the beginning of this year by the Director of Development Services (previously as Head of Planning and Transportation).

3.             The National Eisteddfod 2012 will be held between the 4th and 11th August at Llandow.  The site totals some 120 acres and is in the ownership of a number of land owners.  The total cost of staging an Eisteddfod is estimated to be £3.6m of which approximately 25% is contributed by the Welsh Government (WG) and the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA).

4.             The Working Party referred to above includes representatives of all the relevant departments of the Council and invitations have also been extended to other relevant persons such as Dr. Dylan Jones who chairs the Local Executive Committee.  This Executive Committee has been set up to make the local arrangements for cultural events in relation to the Eisteddfod and one of its prime purposes is to raise some £300,000 towards the Eisteddfod.

5.             As outlined in the report presented on 4th January 2012 the following key milestones have already been achieved:

·               The Proclamation Ceremony was held in June 2011 in Barry and was considered to be a successful event.  It was at this event that the official announcement was made that the 2012 Eisteddfod was to be held in the Vale of Glamorgan and the Ceremony involved a procession along Holton Road from King Square and a Ceremony and events at Gladstone Gardens.

·               The Council also had a presence at the 2011 Wrexham Eisteddfod.  A Council display area was set up, the main purpose being to give information in advance of next year's event in the Vale of Glamorgan.  The Stand was well received and a large number of people visited, with information being given on local attractions and accommodation.  Contact numbers and web information was also given and there followed a period of significant demand for local accommodation for the period during the event.

·               The Council had also agreed to sponsor and procure the Eisteddfod Crown and the Crown was presented to Dr. Dylan Jones, Chair of the Local Executive Committee at a reception on the 30th May hosted by the Mayor of the Council.

·               At the time of writing, the work has now started to lay out the site at Llandow, in readiness for the event.

6.             A plan of the Eisteddfod location and the proposed layout of the site is provided in Appendix A.

Relevant Issues and Options

7.             In terms of ongoing work and planning, the following is an outline of the key issues that have been and are currently progressing to ensure the event is a success from the Vale of Glamorgan's perspective.

8.             The development of a Transport Strategy, including signage, car parking arrangements, access to the site, linkages to the railway station and public transport arrangements are well advanced.  To this end the Council has since the last report to Cabinet procured a bus service to link the Maes with trains arriving and departing Llantwit Major train station, as well as the Town Hall, Cowbridge.  Information relating to the bus service has been made available on both the Council's and Eisteddfod's web site.  In addition, traffic management arrangements relating to the access in and around the site to include car parking, camping and caravan sites and Maes B (the Youth field) have been finalised.  The routing of traffic from the strategic highway network is seen as a critical aspect in the planning for the event and this is being concluded in liaison with the Eisteddfod and officials from Welsh Government and neighbouring Councils.  At present it is planned that traffic arriving from the east and north will use Port Road and the B4265 to Llantwit Major, thereafter taking the Llantwit to Cowbridge Road to the site.  Traffic arriving from the west will leave the M4 at junction 35 (Pencoed) and access the Vale of Glamorgan via Ewenny, travelling along the B4265 towards the site.

9.             Discussions are taking place with colleagues within Visible Services and Housing Directorate to ensure that cleansing and highway maintenance and verge cutting is programmed and scheduled to reflect the holding of the event in early August.

10.        Work has progressed in planning for the Council's Pavilion.  Each year the host authority is offered the opportunity to establish its own Pavilion and to set up exhibitions and content which reflects the local authority area.  Discussions with the Eisteddfod organisers to identify a site on the Maes have been concluded and ideas in relation to content for the Pavilion are well advanced.  It is important not to attempt to accommodate too much information/exhibition material within this Pavilion but to mainly concentrate on the aspects of the Vale of Glamorgan which are most likely to continue to attract visitors for the future.  In this regard, the theme for the Pavilion will be coast and country and officers are now also concluding a schedule of activities to take place within the Pavilion during the week, all of which have links to the locality. The Council will also be responsible for on-site sports events and these are being coordinated through the Council's Sports Development Team and will include a range of sports including rugby, football, tennis, badminton and netball.  In addition your officers are in the process of producing welcome packs for distribution to attendees at the Eisteddfod, as well as camping, caravanning and other accreditation sites within the Vale of Glamorgan.

11.        In terms of staffing the Pavilion, work has already been undertaken in ensuring an appropriate level of staffing for the event and to ensure that the Council's Pavilion is well staffed throughout the event.

12.        Liaison with Town and Community Councils is well underway, and the Eisteddfod organisers have already provided briefings on how Council's can become involved in decorating their communities and assisting with presenting the Vale of Glamorgan in a positive manner.  To this end, Council officers have been in liaison with the Eisteddfod organisers on the issue of decoration as this is one way in which the Council and Community can demonstrate a commitment to the event.

13.        The Council's Events Panel has continued to meet throughout the lead up to the Eisteddfod which has considered all the regulatory aspects relating to an event of this scale, including critical input from the Council on issues relating to health and safety, food standards, traffic management and emergency planning.

14.        Finally, at the time of writing this report, work is underway with the Council's press office to ensure that an appropriate level of publicity is generated locally, in relation to several key issues relating to the Eisteddfod.  In particular, information will be made available to advise of the public transport links to the site, and the promotion of the same.  Likewise, information is to be made available on the traffic management and traffic routing arrangements that are proposed.  Finally, publicity material will also relate to the theme of the Council's Pavilion and also the nature of the events planned by the Council both in terms of sport and also at the Council's Pavilion itself.

15.        Marketing and media relations for the Vale of Glamorgan Eisteddfod are being undertaken by the National Eisteddfod's in-house communications team, with support from the Vale communications team and tourism/events marketing officers.  The Vale Council communications team has undertaken several promotions on behalf of the Council to raise the profile of the Vale Eisteddfod, including pages on the Council's website, featuring all the latest press releases and newsletters from the Eisteddfod, and a regular Vale Council column in the Eisteddfod newsletter.  There has been positive press coverage gained for events such as the Council's donation of the Eisteddfod Crown and the handover of the Italian Trophy.  Regular items about the Eisteddfod have also appeared in the Council's e-newsletter and as the event draws closer the Council's Facebook and Twitter accounts will feature bilingual posts about the event and this will continue throughout the Eisteddfod.  A page advertisement is planned in the Glamorgan Gem's official Eisteddfod supplement as is advertising in Welsh language publications.  In the weeks immediately prior to the event, press releases, Council website, e-newsletter, social media and internal communications will be used to promote the Eisteddfod, Council activities at the event and any public information regarding the event.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

16.        The main expenditure arises in relation to the organisation of the Eisteddfod itself in August and the main costs are associated with the procurement, construction and staffing of the Pavilion and the costs associated with transport management arrangements which have an impact on the local highway network.  Likewise there has been a cost of circa £10k to procure a bus service to link the Maes with the Llantwit Major Rail Station and Cowbridge High Street.

It is intended that the staffing costs in relation to the planning for the event and attendance at the Eisteddfod Pavilion will be met, wherever possible, from existing departmental budgets.  It is difficult to establish the total costs to the host authority of the Eisteddfod as this varies considerably by location.  However, it is understood that previous Councils have spent in the order of £150k and it was reported in January 2012 that this authority will need to find this total sum and it was proposed in January 2012 that an Eisteddfod Reserve Fund be set up for the purpose.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

17.        All legal and regulatory issues have been and continue to be addressed via the Working Group and Events Panel.

Crime and Disorder Implications

18.        Security and other arrangements at the site are being discussed and have been agreed as necessary.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

19.        This is essentially a Welsh language event but the holding of the Eisteddfod in a predominantly English speaking area will give opportunities for participation at the Eisteddfod of English speaking visitors as well as those learning Welsh.

Corporate/Service Objectives

20.        This complies with the objective of encouraging tourism and visitors to the vale of Glamorgan.

Policy Framework and Budget

21.        This report is a matter for Executive decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

22.        No specific consultation has taken place as this is a Vale-wide issue

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

23.        Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

None relevant.

 

Contact Officer

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services - Tel. 01446 704630

 

Officers Consulted

Claire Evans - Tourism/Marketing Manager

Sarah Jones - Events Officer

Linda Brown - Corporate Equalities Officer

Steven Arthur - Principal Engineer, Traffic Management

Alison Cummins - Communications Manager

Debbie Spargo - Principal Civil Protection Officer

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services

 

 

 

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