Venue: Committee Room, Council Offices, Urban Road, Kirkby-in-Ashfield
Contact: Lynn Cain Email: email@example.com
Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary or Personal Interests and/or Non-Registrable Interests
No declarations of interest were made.
that the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 9 February 2023, be received and approved as a correct record.
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the inaugural meeting of the Outward Focus Select Committee, a revamped version of the previous Scrutiny Panel A. The ‘Christmas Lights’ topic had been added to the Select Work Programme by the Principal Select Committee at its first meeting in June 2023 due to the fact that the Council’s current contract for Christmas Lights provision was due to end in 2024.
The Scrutiny Research Officer presented the report and took a few moments to outline the main remit of the Committee to the new Members present at the meeting. The Leader of the Council had initially suggested the topic as he had felt it was an opportune time for Members to consider the Council’s future requirements for Christmas light provision and to provide valuable feedback to the Place Team in preparation for negotiation of the contract later in 2023.
(At this point in the proceedings, Councillors Gordon Mann and Lee Waters entered the meeting at 6.36pm.)
The Council’s Assistant Director for Regeneration then gave an overview of the current Christmas Lights contract which focussed on the three main town centres with a yearly budget cap of £50k. Initial discussions outside of the meeting in respect of the new contract, had revealed hopes for the Christmas light provision to be extended to further areas (i.e. Huthwaite, Stanton Hill and the Rurals) but this could potentially dilute the budget provision to accommodate each additional area in future years.
In respect of the previous Christmas displays, responses had been very positive with the 3D designs proving to be extremely popular. Discussions with the County Council’s Procurement Team would be commencing in September 2023 regarding the specifications for the new contract tender process. At this point it was mooted that some Member involvement in the early tender specification discussions might be useful to enable officers to get a steer on what is required going forward. At the present time there were no plans to extend the £50k yearly budget for the new contract.
Each year the Christmas lights were on display for around 6 weeks and this was tied into the Council’s switch on events at the end of November and early into December. It was acknowledged that the cost of electricity for the displays over the Christmas period was not part of the contract award but it had not proved to be excessive and was paid for separately by the Council.
A suggestion was made for the Christmas Lights display to be extended to the Rurals and Members were advised that all the proposed changes/additions to the new contract would be included in the new specification (forming part of the invitation to tender) once agreed by the Cabinet.
The Committee then discussed some of the issues that had been faced by the Council with some display lights failing and Christmas trees being vandalised over the Christmas period. The response to fix the problems had sometimes been slow and this had caused some derision/complaints from residents over social media. ... view the full minutes text for item SA.3