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Paper 6 - 23 July 1999 Meeting

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

23 July 1999

REGIONAL CULTURAL CONSORTIUM

Report by the Policy Manager

RECOMMENDATION

That HIOW's nomination of Councillor Freddie Emery-Wallis, CBE, DL, FSA, for the post of Chairman of the Regional Cultural Consortium for the South East by the Association be confirmed.

SUMMARY

1. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is establishing regional cultural consortia (RCCs) for each region of England. The new RCCs are being established to work alongside the regional development agencies and within the general purview of the regional chambers or assemblies.. This move follows an announcement by the Minister (Chris Smith MP) last December.

2. Nominations for the Chairs of the RCCs were invited from "regional interests" by 30 June. The Local Government Association asked all its members to put forward councillors' names through their local associations. Hampshire County Council put forward the name of its Chairman, Councillor Freddie Emery-Wallis, CBE, DL, FSA. No other nominations were received, and having consulted the Chairman and Vice-Chairman, the Honorary Secretary put his name forward on behalf of HIOW.

The Role of the Regional Cultural Consortium

1. The following is taken from the draft framework for the purpose and scope of the RCCs as set out by the DCMS:-

"The consortium's role is to support the region's cultural and creative interests, bringing them together to ensure that they play a full and coherent part in contributing to increased prosperity and enjoyment of life in the region.

It will

provide the main focus and channel for debating, representing and developing the whole spectrum of cultural and creative interests in the region

encourage and promote a cross-cutting approach in order to develop a regional cultural strategy for achieving regional and national objectives

champion the role of the cultural and creative interests

assist improved delivery of cultural services

To achieve this the consortium will

work with regional partners including the Chamber, the Regional Development Agency (RDA), Regional Planning Body and the Government Office (GO)

involve all interested parties through full consultation

Each consortium will establish its own objectives and work programme but its tasks will include

producing, monitoring and regularly updating a cultural strategy for the region, which

- forges links between the strategies of participating organisations and with local cultural strategies and the RDA regional strategy, and

- furthers government objectives such as social inclusion, regeneration, and sustainable development, including DCMS objectives for access, excellence and innovation, education and fostering the creative industries

promoting public appreciation of the contribution of culture in the region

organising research and gathering information

considering the options for improved services through joint working within the region and with adjoining regions

advising the RDA and other organisations in the region on the relevance of the cultural and creative sectors to their work

providing a coherent framework of regional cultural priorities to inform Lottery distributors' strategies and within which Lottery bids can be assessed

advising government on regional cultural issues and specific related subjects eg education

co-operating as appropriate on major regional cultural events such as an international festival or Commonwealth Games".

Membership and Composition

2. "The consortium is an independent advisory body drawing in representation from a wide range of interests including local government and the creative industries. Beyond the core membership, it is for each consortium to decide in the light of the regional identity which cultural and creative interests should be covered. The approach should be a broad and inclusive one and need not be constrained by DCMS's own remit. For example interests in countryside recreation such as walking and water recreation, can be regarded as natural components in some regions. The Board will be expected to represent the full span of interests.

3. Board members are appointed to serve the interests of the cultural sectors as a whole. All members must have some relevant experience or knowledge. All appointments should be made on the basis of a job specification and having regard to the desirability of considering candidates of different genders and ethnic diversity. Members should be appointed for not more than three years and appointment should normally be renewable for one further term. After the first term of three years, however, the Chair may discuss the question of reappointment with nominating bodies having regard to the desirability of bringing in new members whilst achieving continuity."

4. The Board will consist of not less than 15 and not more than 25 members. The Chair will take the lead in consulting widely within the region as to the size of the Board. In determining the composition of the Board, it will be important to balance the arguments for inclusivity against the risk that a larger Board will find it more difficult to reach and implement decisions. No strict composition is laid down as this would restrict the ability of the regions to make relevant appointments. The aim should be to achieve adequate representation from the cultural sectors, local authorities and other relevant interests including the private sector. The creative industries should be represented. Consideration should be given to including members who will bring a fresh approach. Representatives would be appropriate from a variety of spheres including any of the following: architecture, broadcasting, film, lottery distributors, countryside recreation and natural heritage, education, the voluntary sector."

5. Local authority members will normally comprise between one-quarter and one-third of the total. The South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) will be invited to nominate a member. Other members will be nominated by regional arts, museums, tourist, heritage, sports and library services. The Chairman will take a major role in consulting appropriate organisations and appointing other Board members.

DCMS Support

6. The DCMS will provide initial support in establishing the consortium and facilitating its contacts with SEEDA and the South East England Regional Assembly (SEERA). 15,000 is allocated in the current financial year towards set up costs and 5,000 in each of the next two years for each RCC. Additional costs will need to be met by participating organisations.

NICK GOULDER 
Policy Manager

Last update: 11/10/2000
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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