Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Town Hall, High Street, Maidstone

Contact: Poppy Collier  01622 602242

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


It was noted that apologies had been received from Councillor Mrs Stockell.



Notification of Substitute Members


It was noted that Councillor Perry was substituting for Councillor Mrs Stockell.



Urgent Items


There were no urgent items.



Notification of Visiting Members


Councillor English indicated that he wished to speak on Agenda Item 11 relating to the report of the Head of Commercial and Economic Development – Tourism Destination Management Plan Progress Update and Agenda Item 12 relating to the report of the Head of Commercial and Economic Development - Review of Maidstone Culture and Leisure (MCL) Festivals and Events 2016.  Councillor Daley indicated that he wished to speak on Agenda Item 12.



Disclosures by Members and Officers


There were no disclosures by Members and Officers.



Disclosures of Lobbying


It was noted that all Members had been lobbied on Agenda Item 12 – The Review of Maidstone Culture and Leisure (MCL) Festivals.



Minutes of the meeting held on 1 November 2016 pdf icon PDF 55 KB


RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 1 November 2016 be approved as a correct record and signed.



Presentation of Petitions


There were no petitions.



Questions and answer session for members of the public


RESOLVED:  That the questions from members of the public would be taken when Agenda Item 12, the report of the Head of Commercial and Economic Development relating to the Review of Maidstone Culture and Leisure (MCL) Festivals and Events 2016 is considered as the questions all related to that item.



Exempt Items


RESOLVED:  That the items on the agenda be taken in public as proposed.



Report of the Head of Commercial and Economic Development - Tourism Destination Management Plan - Progress Update pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Additional documents:


The MCL Marketing and Sales Manager presented the progress report on the Destination Management Plan – Action Plan.


The committee was informed that there had been a meeting of tourism businesses and stakeholders the day before, which was one year on from the launch of the Tourism Destination Management Plan (TDMP).  The event included a presentation by Kent County Council on the new cycle path and an update from Visit Kent.


It was noted that figures released from Visit Kent on the economic impact of tourism (based on 2015 data) had revealed the following:-


·  60 million visitors had visited Kent

·  There had been 373,000 staying trips in the borough, which equated to 1.241m staying nights

·  £67m was spent by staying visitors (with an average spend of £179 per visitor)

·  3.8m day trips were made with a spend of £122m, with an average spend of £32 per day visitor

·  The total spend by visitors in the borough was estimated at £189m.


The committee was reminded that the Destination Management Plan (DMP) was adopted by the Committee in July 2015 and the accompanying three year action plan was also endorsed.


The key successes to date were:-


·  The Shared Story toolkit (available online)

·  The creation of an Online Image Library (available online for tourism businesses to download images and for the media as well)

·  Online Events Planning Calendar

·  Design and Installation of the new Historic Interpretation Panels in the town


It was noted that more key activities had been added to support the Tourism Destination Management Plan, these included:-


·  New iconic photography to support the Shared Story (many more would be added in the future).  There were around 150 images still to go on the site which are specifically designed for tourism and marketing purposes.

·  Promotional videos showing the attraction of visiting the borough

·  Development of a new website, Conference Maidstone to support Business Tourism and the wedding venues

·  Development of a new Museum website

·  Development of accommodation, events and attractions widgets

·  An application has been made to Highways England to change the signage on the M20 from Park and Ride at Junction 6 to tourism signage


The MCL Marketing and Sales Manager also updated Members on the key actions of the four groups that had been established.


During the discussion, the following points were noted:-


·  That the committee were pleased with the progress made. 

·  That a succinct list would be produced by officers to show what activities had been completed/achieved during year one in a future report in order that Members could see the overall position.

·  There was a need for Parishes to get more involved in the  countryside group. This could be undertaken through Kent Association of Local Councils.

·  There were 4 rural information points identified (Staplehurst, Yalding, Lenham and Headcorn).  However, there had been difficulties in finding suitable sites as the model used by Tourism South East stated that these should be local businesses/cafés that are open 6/7 days a week which could support tourism and has parking  ...  view the full minutes text for item 95.


Report of the Head of Commercial and Economic Development - Review of Maidstone Culture and Leisure (MCL) Festivals and Events 2016 pdf icon PDF 131 KB

Additional documents:


1)  To continue to support Proms in the Park but look for alternative funding to reduce the Council’s contribution and delay the decision on the introduction of ticketing for the next 12 months;

2)  To develop a new 2-3 days multi-cultural event and food festival and outsource it to an external provider with a reducing subsidy over 3 years so it becomes self-financing and potentially profitable to the Council; and

3)  To approve the amendments to the Festivals and Events Policy relating to the noise levels and frequency of events with the proviso that Category A is reduced to up to 2 events a year for a maximum of 6 days, but should an additional significant opportunity arise the Chairman and Vice-Chairman be consulted with a view to bringing it to the Committee for approval.


The Chairman advised Members on the process that he intended to take for the item:-


·  The Officer would introduce the report

·  Councillor Revell would be asked to give a statement and then leave the meeting for the duration of this agenda item due to his Other Significant Interest

·  The Committee would receive questions from members of the public

·  Statements would be read by Mr Ken Scott from Maidstone Area Arts Partnership and Mr Gurvinder Sandher from the Mela

·  Visiting Members would be asked to speak and then the debate would be opened for the Members of the committee.

Councillor Revell informed the Committee that he had been contacted by the legal department earlier in the day who had advised him that they felt he had an Other Significant Interest which should be disclosed as he resided in the Park.  For example, the frequency of concerts and the associated noise levels may affect the value of his property.  He stated that whilst he did not accept that he had such an interest, he advised that he would leave the room after he had delivered his statement.

The MCL Marketing and Sales Manager introduced her report on the Review of the MCL Events and Festivals 2016. The Officer advised that the report concentrated on two culture and leisure events that the Council supports financially and provides officer resources for and information related to two other major events that were held on Council land.

The committee was informed that festivals and events directly supported the Council’s Festivals and Events Policy, Economic Development Strategy and Tourism Development Management Plan and are one of the key growth areas that attract visitors to the borough.  It was noted that there were over 638 events registered on the Visit Maidstone website in 2016, 58 of those being main events and over 33 were hires of Mote Park. 


The committee was appraised about the large events held in Mote Park which were run by external organisers, these included the Big Day Out and Ramblin’ Man. 


Councillor Revell was then asked to make his statement which included the following points:-


·  That he did enjoy the type of music being played at the Ramblin’ Man Concert but the noise levels were a problem.  He also declared that he had received a free ticket for the event.

·  That music festivals such as Glastonbury are held in rural locations but the music events in Mote Park are in an urban area surrounded by residential properties on all sides.

·  That when sound travelled voices disappear and all that can be heard is the deep thumping of the music beat.

·  Could the noise level be set at a lower level, say at 55dB.

·  That the independent sound engineer paid for by Ramblin’ Man, not the Council and was not invited to the site until it had all been set up and therefore his advice on how the set up should be was irrelevant.

·  That in the centre of the location the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 96.


Duration of Meeting


6.30 p.m. to 10 p.m.