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Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Lisa Homan and Andrew Jones.
Roll-Call and Declarations of Interest
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There were no declarations of interest.
To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 16 July 2020.
The minutes of the meeting held on 16 July 2020 were agreed as an accurate record.
In relation to the action of the previous meeting, Councillor Rowan Ree highlighted he had not received information on the following: Action: That Gerry Crowley provide the Committee with a copy of the Council’s proposed response to the new Government Guidance on Housing Allocation for the Armed Forces.
The Clerk confirmed this information would be circulated outside the meeting.
That, the minutes of the meeting held on 16th July were agreed as a correct record.
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The Chair confirmed that some general questions on the minutes of the previous meeting had been received from Marie Thomas, Resident Lancaster Court and a written response would be sent to her in due course.
No public questions were received on the Progress Report on Upstream. Five questions were submitted in advance by various representatives of Arts Groups on the Arts Commission Update and these were addressed during the meeting.
This is a progress report on Upstream’s work since it last reported to the PAC in September 2018.
Prema Gurunathan, (Managing Director – Partnership for Growth and Innovation - LBHF & Imperial College) introduced the report which set out the progress on Upstream’s work since it last reported to the Policy Accountability Committee (PAC) in September 2018.
Councillor Rowan Ree referenced the September 2018 meeting, when the committee discussed working with large firms that were headquartered in the borough, and how transport links and the supply of affordable housing were proven ways of encouraging companies to locate within the borough. In turn, this influx of people created spending which supported local businesses. Councillor Rowan Ree asked if the Authority had considered how this might be affected with the current prevalence of working from home. In response, Prema Gurunathan explained Upstream had been in contact with some of the larger firms informally about their return to work plans (which varied). Laboratory based businesses had seen some staff return to work, but most other business were still working from home. Prema explained that Upstream were going to issue a survey to businesses shortly, to ascertain what their return to work plans were and what the implications of phased returns might be.
In the longer term, Councillor Ree asked whether the Authority had thought about how this behavioural change (of working from home) had affected the offer to larger firms. In response Prema Gurunathan explained that more residents commuted out of the Borough than came in, which was the net flow. Some larger firms based in Zone 1 in central London were looking at reducing their footfall and costs and so were actively looking at the opportunities provided by the borough (including its connectivity, availability of some affordable housing and reduced costs).
Highlighting some of the work which was being undertaken by the Industrial Strategy Board, Prema explained that a working group was currently investigating the opportunities to develop more neighbourhoods where residents worked, lived and played, which were also referred to as ‘15-minute neighbourhoods’.
The Chair thanked Prema for the report and commented that it was clear there were a great number of initiatives that Upstream had developed. Touching on the 2018 PAC meeting, the Chair commented that interesting and creative speakers had been encouraged to get in contact with science and tech-based businesses and he asked how this had developed. In response, Prema commented that Upstream ran two networking events per month (apart from August and only one in December) and highlighted the activities of the Deep Tech Network (research-based technology businesses) which Upstream had created in partnership with Imperial’s Chemistry Department and Enterprise Division. Examples were also provided of the networking and funding opportunities which arose from the Deep Tech network.
The Chair asked if examples could be provided of those businesses which had engaged with the Deep Tech Network and subsequently decided to relocate to the borough or whether this was still in its infancy. Prema confirmed that developments were still in their early ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
This report provides an update on the work of the Arts Commission.
Thomas Dodd (Arts Development Officer, Economic Development, The Economy) introduced the report. He explained that since the Committee’s last update, the Council’s Arts Commission had transitioned online with a revised programme to address the sector wide impacts of Covid-19. It was noted that two sessions had been held online, with the Commission’s remaining five sessions projected across the next quarter and its findings due for publication by the end of 2020.
On the 26th May 2020, the Commission met to explore the theme of ‘Arts & Culture in Extraordinary Times’. Commissioners were asked to report on their observations of the impact of the crisis on Hammersmith and Fulham, and the wider arts and cultural sector.
The Chair thanked Thomas Dodd for the overview and invited questions from the Committee.
Referencing the 2018 EHA PAC meeting on the Arts Commission, Councillor Rowan Ree explained that the Committee had highlighted the need to involve young people in the arts / cultural offerings (in terms of access or providing them). He commented that the report before the Committee suggested that none of the Arts Commission evidence gathering sessions had focused on young people and none of the Commissioners appeared to be representing young people or youth groups / schools. Specifically, he asked what was being done by the Commission to harness the enthusiasm of young people. In response, Yvonne Thomson (Interim Strategic Manager, Economic Development, The Economy), explained that several people on the Arts Commission worked with young people and in terms of the expert witnesses, the Bush and Lyric theatres had been involved, which did lots of work with young people. The Commission had also spoken to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art(LAMDA). Yvonne highlighted that Hammersmith and Fulham had been successful in gaining a London Borough of Culture Impact Award which was based around young people, using music as a medium. One of the Commissioners is involved in music production, taking music from the bedroom scene into studios, and overall, the Culture Impact Award meant that the borough was working with hundreds of young people, so the Arts Commission had been mindful to involve young people. Councillor Rowan Ree thanked Yvonne for the update and asked that future reports include these types of updates.
The Chair mentioned the timetable of the Arts Commission, its reporting schedule and requested that the Committee have sight of the Arts Commission’s final report
Action: That officers ensure the Committee considers the final report of the Arts Commission at an appropriate EHA PAC meeting, early in 2021.
With regards to the timeframe for the Arts Commission, Yvonne confirmed there were five further Arts Commission meetings planned. Pre-Covid, the Commission had hoped to hold a large public consultation meeting where the draft recommendations could be considered, but given current circumstances, these plans had needed to be altered. As a result, the next meeting would involve about fourteen community representatives which had been nominated by members of the Commission and this group would provide their ... view the full minutes text for item 6.