Agenda and minutes

Culture and Communities Scrutiny Panel - Thursday 15th July, 2021 1.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber

Contact: Susie Blood 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.


There were no Declarations of Interest received at this point in the meeting.


Minutes - Culture and Communities Scrutiny Panel - 15 April 2021 pdf icon PDF 138 KB


The minutes of the Culture and Communities Scrutiny Panel held on 15 April 2021 were submitted and approved as a correct record.


The Chair thanked the S Bonner, Democratic Services Officer for his support over the last year and also thanked Councillor Lewis for taking the Chair role during his absence.


Overview of Service Areas pdf icon PDF 721 KB

Geoff Field, Director of Environment and Commercial Services, and Richard Horniman, Director of Regeneration and Culture, will be in attendance to provide an overview of their service areas.


The Director of Regeneration and Culture provided the Panel with an overview of the Services he was responsible for.


As part of the presentation the following points were made:



    The Director was responsible for the Regeneration and Culture Directorate.

    In terms of Regeneration, this comprised of Economic growth, Infrastructure, Planning, Capital Projects, Design Services and Housing, and these areas were examined by the Economic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel.

    Cultural Services was managed by Charlotte Nicol and broken into 3 main areas. Venues - encompassing the Town Hall, Middlesbrough Theatre and Newham Grange Leisure Farm, all of which attracted high visitor numbers; Museums, namely the Dorman and the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum and Open Spaces including Stewart and Albert Parks.

    Cultural Services also covering a range of events including the Orange Pip Market and Christmas events such as the Reindeer Parade. It also contributed to events such as the Mela and Discover Middlesbrough.

    The service also has a small leisure function (1 officer), which was a contract with Sports and Leisure Management (trading as Everyone Active) as well as playing field provision.

    The Service was also responsible for Teesside Archives, and was currenyly operating out of Exchange House. The Archives were in a process of significant change, as the front end staff would be moving to the Dorman Museum (to occupy the Education space) and the backend would be moved to Spennymore to be placed in specialist storage. This would bide time in orde

    Lastly, within Cultural Services, they operated Arts Development, although this was quite a small area at present.



    The Town Hall and Theatre had been closed for 12 months. The Town Hall has been rented to the University and Teesside Courts however there was still uncertainty over the future programme, for example, shows have been booked in, however they have had to be cancelled at late notice due to a member contracted Covid or having to self-isolating.

    All other venues are in a similar position, for example Newham Grange Leisure Farm has been running on Skelton staff due to Covid and self-isolating.

    No events have taken place in the Town, although there are some scheduled in September and the Director hoped these can go ahead as planned.

    The Director also advised that there it was inevitable that it might take time to build up public confidence. Performances that have taken place has been done under social distances measures, however there has also been some outside performances which have proved successful.


In terms of 2021/22 priorities, the Director outlined the following:


    Returning audiences safely, following Government Guidance but also using common sense.

    There is a challenge to retain customer interest. There has been a lot of performances online, however during the second lockdown, customers have lost interest in digital media and wish to get their lives back to normal.

    A major priority is to restart events, and the service will ensure there are done as safely as possible.

    The Director made reference to the opening of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21/3


Setting the Scrutiny Panel's Work Programme 2021/2022 pdf icon PDF 511 KB


The Chair presented a report, the purpose of which was to assist Members of the Panel to consider and agree its work programme for the 2021-2022 Municipal Year.

A list of topical issues and the suggestions received in respect of the scrutiny panel's remit were contained in the submitted report. It was suggested that the Scrutiny Panel should select two topics for full review along with several updates.

In addition there was one review from the previous year to be completed as follows: Cultural events in Middlesbrough.

Members discussed the topics suggested in the report.

Following the discussion, Panel Members agreed the following topics for review:

Main Topics:


1.       Enforcement in Middlesbrough and its impact on crime and anti-social behaviour in Middlesbrough.

2.       Middlesbrough’s struggling highstreet


The following updates would also be provided:


1.    Operation Phoenix.

2.    Regulatory Investigative Powers (RIPA).

3.    Preventing Terrorism.

4.    Community Safety Partnership.

5.    Selective Landlord Licensing.

The Democratic Services Officer outlined that she has received information from a scrutiny colleague in Stockton, which worked to support the Cleveland Police and Crime Panel meeting.  The Panel were currently undertaking a review to look at Cleveland Police Communications Strategy and have developed a ward councillor survey to capture views of councillors across Cleveland. The Panel were asked their views on whether they would like to take part in this survey.


AGREED that:


1.       The information provided was received and noted.

2.       That the councillor survey as part Cleveland Police and Crime Panel investigation on Cleveland Police Communications Strategy be circulated to ward councillors once made available. This would be incorporated in the terms of reference to the review on Enforcement in Middlesbrough.

2.    The topics and reviews listed above, would be submitted to the Overview and Scrutiny Board for approval.



Proposed Meeting Schedule - 2021/2022 Municipal Year pdf icon PDF 13 KB


A proposed schedule of meeting dates for the Culture and Communities Scrutiny Panel for the 2021-2022 Municipal Year was submitted for the Panel's consideration.


AGREED that the proposed meeting dates for 2021-2022 were approved.


Any other urgent items which in the opinion of the Chair, may be considered.