Agenda item

Update on Leeds 2023 Year of Culture

To consider the report of the Chief Officer Culture and Economy which, together with a presentation to be provided at the meeting seeks to update Members on the LEEDS 2023 programme and which also seeks to gather input and support from Elected Members and residents.


The Chief Officer Culture and Economy submitted a report which, together with a presentation provided, sought to update Members on the LEEDS 2023 programme and which also looked to gain input, feedback and support from the Community Committee.


In attendance for this item were Pam Johnson (Head of Culture Programmes, Leeds City Council); Emma Beverley (Director of Programmes, Leeds 2023), Chris Ansell (Head of Creative Learning and Engagement, Leeds 2023).


Members received a presentation providing information on the Leeds 2023 journey to date, with details on the delivery vehicle and current financial position being provided.


The presentation also provided further detail on:-

·  the approach which was being taken towards ensuring that Leeds 2023 provided a strong and wide ranging legacy for local communities, the city and beyond;

·  the vision, mission, goals and values for Leeds 2023 and the partnership working which was being undertaken to achieve this;

·  proposals regarding the programme of events, with it being noted that there would be something ‘in every ward for everyone’;

·  an overview of the work which had taken place in the Outer North East Community Committee area to date;

·  the recruitment of the 33 Neighbourhood Hosts, and the dedicated role which they would undertake for their Ward;

·  the provision of a community grants programme;

·  the need for volunteers in every Ward and community in order to deliver the programme and the opportunities intended to be provided for that;


In conclusion, Ward Members’ support was requested in terms of being able to tap into their detailed knowledge and insight into the local communities they represented, and also in helping to raise awareness of the opportunities arising and events to be delivered, with local ‘Roadshow’ details being provided.


A discussion regarding the proposals and presentation then followed, which covered the following key areas:-

·  The work which was being undertaken to raise awareness in the area, with Members highlighting the need to ensure that any communications were timely and effective and that key local resources, such as schools were targeted – with particular reference being made around awareness for the upcoming Roadshows;

·  Members noted the Council’s total net financial commitment for Leeds 2023 and in response to an enquiry about the number of sponsors which had been approached and the potential for reducing the Council’s financial commitment further, it was noted that 45 sponsors had been approached, and it was noted that work continued in gaining further sponsorship opportunities. In conclusion, officers undertook to provide Members with updated information on the number of potential sponsors which had been approached, and separately, officers also undertook to provide Members with further information regarding Leeds’ Gainshare allocation from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority;

·  Further details were provided on Members’ comments and enquiries regarding the envisaged legacy from Leeds 2023, and how it would be used as a catalyst to promote the city nationally and internationally moving forward, with further details being provided on how the success of such matters could be measured. The Committee also discussed the effectiveness of Leeds’ self-promotion, with information being provided to Members about the platform that Leeds 2023 would provide for this;

·  The process by which volunteers would be recruited for the delivery of events and what that would entail, with Members highlighting the importance of engaging with the well-established volunteering arrangements, the community and charitable bodies and cultural organisations and events which already existed across the area that could provide significant experience in the delivery of Leeds 2023;

·  The potential for the Neighbourhood Host and infrastructure created for Leeds 2023 to be ustilised to deliver existing community events moving forward, and the benefit of connecting local Ward Members with their Host when appointed;

·  The provision of an information pack for Ward Members;

·  The need to ensure that the programme of events was inclusive and representative of the communities within, and heritage of the area, with the example of the need to represent the Jewish community in the Alwoodley area being provided;

·  In considering the ‘hyper local’ approach being taken, Members highlighted the diversity that existed within each Ward and the significant number of individual communities and Parish and Town Councils that existed across the Outer North East area, and the need to ensure that all were engaged as part of the Leeds 2023 initiative and that a bespoke approach would be required to meet their different priorities. In conclusion, it was suggested that Leeds 2023 and the Neighbourhood Hosts made contact with the Parish Council Forum;

·  Members received an update on the actions being taken to work with Leeds’ twin cities in order to promote the initiative internationally, with Members highlighting that some villages had twinning arrangements also, which would need to be taken into consideration;

·  Members discussed the activities which had been undertaken in the Outer North East area to date, and emphasised the need to ensure that the activities in the area moving forward were accessible to all;

·  Specifically regarding the Neighbourhood Hosts, Members were provided with further details on the opportunities that would be provided to the individuals recruited to those roles. Members highlighted the need for the appointment of those Hosts to be made without delay;

·  Responding to an enquiry, Members received an update regarding the ongoing discussions taking place with bus companies regarding accessible public transport provision to events, with Members welcoming further information on such matters when it became available;

·  In response to an enquiry, the Committee received an update regarding the work being undertaken around the bidding process and the potential hosting of Eurovision in 2023;

·  Regarding the provision of a Community Grants Programme, Members considered the appropriateness of how that programme was to be delivered, highlighted the importance of ensuring that appropriate governance measures were in place around such matters and emphasised the benefit and experience that local Ward Councillors’ involvement could bring, even on a consultative basis. Whilst being provided with further information and reassurance on such matters, it was requested that the views raised by Members be conveyed to the relevant parties, as appropriate.


In conclusion, the recommendations within the submitted report, subject to the inclusion of two additions, were moved by Councillor Stephenson, and seconded by Councillor Harrand, which was agreed by the Committee, and as such, it was



(a)  That the contents of the submitted report together with the accompanying presentation, be noted;


(b)  That the Committee write to the relevant Director requesting that the number of ‘Neighbourhood Hosts’ for the Harewood Ward be increased to two, to acknowledge the significant geographical size of the Harewood Ward and the disparate communities within it, with it being highlighted that the cost of an additional Host should be affordable from within the initiative’s overall budget;


(c)  That the Committee write to the relevant Director and relevant Executive Member(s) requesting that the Outer North East Community Committee Members be directly involved in the recruitment process of the Neighbourhood Hosts for the Outer North East Wards, given that Elected Members are democratically accountable for taxpayers’ money, in order to ensure the best and proper use of such monies in the appointment of those Neighbourhood Hosts.


(Councillor Firth joined the meeting at the commencement of this item and Councillor Harrand left the meeting at the conclusion of this item)

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