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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 1st July 2013

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

The Rural Events Network

Purpose of the Report

1. To introduce Cabinet to the Rural Events Network and the proposed changes to the Network

Recommendations

1. That Cabinet consider and approve the suggested changes and fees to the Rural Events Network

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. To seek authorisation of the suggested changes to the Network.

Background

2. In 2009 the Council's Events Officer in partnership with Creative Rural Communities, created the Rural Events Network (REN). The Network is open to groups and individuals interested in the development and delivery of quality events held within the rural Vale of Glamorgan. The informal Events Network is free to join currently and aims to call together all rural event organisers to:

 Network, work together and share information and best practice

 

 To take advantage of a free stock of event equipment

 

 

3. The Events Officer provides members with up-to-date information and guidance for event planning and also holds regular meetings in venues within the rural Vale.

The REN currently has more than 100 members made up of local event organisers and groups covering a wide spectrum of events in the Rural Vale, these include:

 

Cowbridge Food and Drink Festival

Llantwit Major Victorian Fair

Llandow Community Group

Wick Fete Committee

Cowbridge Charter Trust

St Donats Arts Centre - Christmas Fair,

Vale of Glamorgan Show

St Athan Community Group

 

 

4. Members can currently loan out a range of event equipment for free for up to a period of 7 days. The use of this equipment can save event organisers money. The equipment is currently stored at PPL, Sully Moors Rd, Barry, however the equipment will be moved to the Docks Office to be stored in a container in the outdoor compound, by the end of April. The Events Officer will then co-ordinate the pick up and return of this equipment from the Docks Office. This change of location will also mean that equipment can be checked over for damage on return. A list of equipment available is provided in Appendix A and the network also has a website www.ruraleventsnetwork.com.

Relevant Issues and Options

5. The network has been funded by the European Agricultural Fund via the Welsh Government, with small contributions from the Council's Corporate Events Budget. As from December 2013, the funding support from the Welsh Government will end. The Network has used this Welsh Government funding to purchase and replace the event equipment and to hire venues for meetings.

6. Currently members of the Rural Network are not charged a fee to join or to loan the equipment. In order to make the Network sustainable and self sufficient in the future and ensure the stock of events equipment is maintained, the introduction of an Annual Member's fee is proposed, with the suggested amount of £50 per organisation.

7. At present when members collect the equipment to loan, they are asked to complete and sign a Loan Terms and Conditions Form. The form advises users that the use of the equipment is done entirely at their own risk and they are fully responsible for any loss or damage. Some damage to equipment has taken place and it is now suggested that members are required put down a refundable bond before certain high value equipment can be loaned. It is therefore recommended that a bond to the amount of £500 would apply to the hire of the Spiderdome and the loan of 10 or more gazebos and this would be paid by cheque, which would be retained pending safe return of the items. It is hoped this bond would give members more of a feeling of responsibility towards the equipment and reduce damage.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

8. The Rural Events Network is currently funded by the European Agricultural Fund via the Welsh Government and administered by Creative Rural Communities. However as this funding ends in December 2013, there is a need to raise income in order to self support the project.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

9. The Council's Event Team is aware of the Council's commitment to sustainability and try to enforce this message to the Rural Events Network members. Events supported by the Rural Event Network can also add to community cohesion whilst at the same time encouraging a wider adoption of healthy lifestyle choices.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

10. Depending on the nature of the event, event organisers must give consideration to health and safety at the event and provide risk assessments and appropriate insurance. Other considerations will include such matters as obtaining the appropriate traffic orders and confirming that the appropriate licences are in place. The Events Officer can advise Rural Events Network members on the above.

11. When loaning out a large amount of the Network's equipment or one of the more expensive pieces, such as the Spiderdome, at present members are required to cover this equipment with their own insurance. The Vale of Glamorgan's own insurance covers all REN equipment with a set excess of £500.

Crime and Disorder Implications

12. Members of the Rural Events Network are encouraged to work closely with the local police when planning events to ensure public safety. Large events in the Rural Vale may also attend the Council's Safety Advisory Panel and a representative from the South Wales Police attends the Panel. Well organised events reduce the potential for crime and disorder and assist in creating strong communities

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

13. Where possible, events supported by the Rural Events Network are accessible to everyone and will benefit all sectors of the community. 

14. All Rural Events Network literature produced by the Council is bilingual.

Corporate/Service Objectives

15. Events will raise the profile of the Rural Events Network, the Council and the Vale of Glamorgan, as well as contributing to regeneration objectives.

Policy Framework and Budget

16. This is a matter for Executive Decision by Cabinet

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

17. No consultation has taken place as this is a Vale wide issue.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

18. Economy and Environmental.

Background Papers

None.

Contact Officer: Sarah Jones - 01446 704737

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager Leisure & Tourism

Operational Manager Countryside and Economic Projects

Tourism and Marketing Manager

Principal Rural Regeneration Officer - Creative Rural Communities

Programme Development Officer - Creative Rural Communities

Senior Rural Regeneration Officer - Creative Rural Communities

Principal Lawyer

Principal Accountant

Responsible Officer: - Rob Thomas, Director of Development Service

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