Memorandum by Department for Culture,
Media and Sport in response to oral evidence session 16 October
2001 (PPG 24)
At its hearing on 16 October, the Committee
requested further information on local cultural strategies and
in particular how many local authorities have such strategies,
the extent to which parks, open spaces, sport and recreation were
included in local cultural strategies and some examples.
The Department issued guidance "Creating
Opportunities" giving strong encouragement to Local Authorities
to develop Local Cultural Strategies by the end of 2002.
These strategies will help local authorities
to express their own cultural visions and priorities in response
to the needs and aspirations of local communities. They will provide
a strategic overview, recognising the role of cultural services
in tackling the wider objectives of social inclusion, regeneration,
lifelong learning and healthier and safer communities.
In terms of scope "culture" has a
wide inclusive meaning. The guidance states that "`Culture'
should be taken to include such activities as arts, sports, libraries,
museums, heritage, archaeology, archives, architecture, crafts,
children's play, reading parks, tourism, countryside recreation
The existence of a local cultural strategy is
a Best Value Performance Indicator (BVPI). The definition for
the indicator is that the strategy should accord with the Department's
guidance covering the wide range of cultural services indicated
The returns for the BVPI 2000-01 indicated that
22 per cent of local authorities had completed their strategy
and therefore those strategies should include consideration of
sports, parks and open spaces.
Many more local authorities are currently developing
their local cultural strategies to meet the end of 2002 deadline.
In a survey undertaken in January 2000, 242 authorities indicated
that they were developing a local cultural strategy.
The Department has not asked local authorities
to forward copies of their local cultural strategy when published,
but has seen a number. Examples from the strategies of Hounslow,
Wigan, Nottinghamshire and Newham are attached at Annex A giving
an indication of how sport, parks and open spaces are included.
The Local Cultural Strategy must link with other
plans and strategies as well as the strategies of partner agencies.
One way many cultural strategies are achieving this is by taking
a thematic approach, addressing non sectoral issues such as social
inclusion, young people, healthy living and life long learning.
The general relationship is likely to be an
iterative one where the local cultural strategy informs and impacts
on other strategies and which then in turn, inform and impact
on future reviews of the local cultural strategy. The strategy
is not set in stone and should be a "living" document.
This is necessary as strategies develop at different paces.
Where a partnership approach has been used to
develop an area's local cultural strategy this should provide
a group which can influence and advise the Local Strategic Partnership.
Newham's local cultural strategy "Reasons
to be Cheerful" is a thematic strategy based on themes of
the Council's corporate plan to be delivered through partnerships.
The strategy sets out the ways in which culture contributes to
the Council's vision for 2010 to make Newham a place where people
choose to live and work. Examples of objectives/actions for sports,
parks and open spaces from the action plan are as follows:
to create a critical mass of sporting
and leisure activity of regional significance in and around the
Royal Docks; and
review waterside access issues for
walking, cycling, informal creation etc.
Hounslow's local cultural strategy "Creating
our Future Together" is a thematic and geographic based strategy,
built on partnerships. It links with other council action plans
on regeneration, community development, health improvement, lifelong
learning, social inclusion, community safety, transport and sustainability.
The strategy sets out objectives and actions within geographic
areas linking them to the themes, indicating the partners involved
and sets milestones. Examples of objectives/actions for sport,
parks and open spaces are as follows:
ensure that the existing cultural provision in the Borough receives
investment and improvement to meet the needs of the Borough residents
by working with major public, voluntary and commercial organisations.
This will include specific proposals for the redevelopment of
libraries at Feltham, Heston and Chiswick, improvements to community
facilities in Heston and Isleworth, new recreation buildings at
Heston, commercial health suites at Feltham, Hounslow and Chiswick
and new or improved parks and accessible open spaces such as Heston
Park, Chiswick House Grounds and Gunnersbury Park;
for healthto provide
information and interpretation material for the Borough's parks
and green chains to encourage walking; and
for lifelong learningin
partnership with private sector business to extend the interpretation
and information regarding the borough's open spaces, museums and
heritage, utilising where appropriate volunteers such as the Hounslow
Wigan's local cultural strategy "Northern
Soul" incorporates a cultural charter for Wigan with six
strategic priorities, based on increasing participation, access
to information and enhanced communication, best use of exiting
facilities and development of new ones, promoting the role of
culture in personal development and community regeneration, developing
a positive image for the borough, and focussing on the needs and
aspirations of young people. Examples of objectives/actions for
sports, parks and open spaces from the action plan are as follows:
innovative approaches to the development of cultural and sporting
activities in areas of deprivation. Help people to get discounts
at local sport, recreation and leisure facilities. Develop a Disability
of new sports facilities in Leigh. Development of a parks strategy.
The strategy for Nottinghamshire "Buiilding
on Success" was developed through a consortium approach for
the county, the city and all district authorities. It is thematic
based around objectives for economic and social regeneration,
life long learing, environmental sustainability and the development
of physically and intellectually healthy communities. Examples
of objectives/actions for sport, parks and open spaces are as
for environmental sustainabilityto
regenerate urban parks and country parks as cultural centres;
for economic regenerationto
maximise the potential of the County's history and culture for
tourism. To revise the county tourism plan and develop and implement
a strategy for environmentally friendly tourism eg walking, horse
riding, rambling and cycling.