Issue - meetings
Greenfield Valley Museum Heritage Park visit and presentation
- Enc. 1 - Internal Audit report , View reasons restricted (69/2)
(a) That the update and presentation be noted; and
(b) That the Committee receive an information update every six months.
The Chief Officer (Planning, Environment & Economy) introduced an update on progress to address the recommendations of the Internal Audit report on the governance, funding and operating arrangements at Greenfield Valley Heritage Park.
The Access & Natural Environment Manager gave a presentation covering the following:
· Scope of Audit
· Audit - areas managed well
· Audit - areas for further improvement
· Key changes in 2017/18
· Business Plan objectives
During the presentation, the Manager explained a number of key developments such as the appointment of an admin/finance officer to support improvements to back-office systems and the move to a more integrated model under the Planning & Environment portfolio. As part of structural changes, the two Team Leaders were undertaking a key role in publicising countryside activities, improving site presentation and increasing public engagement, particularly via social media. Governance arrangements had been strengthened by the recruitment of four new Trustees and retention of some of the former Trustees to provide support through the transitional period. The three year business plan would form the basis of the revised management agreement and ensure that the needs of the partnership were being met. The Manager said that the previous challenges were recognised and advised that there was now a positive working relationship between the team and the Trustees to work together to achieve the same objectives.
As Cabinet Member, Councillor Carolyn Thomas expressed her appreciation for the work done and future plans to raise the profile of the site.
Councillor Shotton thanked officers for the report and highlighted the need to publicise the park, particularly to tourists visiting from abroad. It was explained that marketing was an important element of work by the team using existing links and creating new ones to develop a long-term strategy, and that the new website was due to go live.
Councillor Chris Dolphin spoke about the level of appreciation and support for the park, commenting that issues had only arisen in recent years. He raised concerns about the findings of the audit report and questioned actions being taken on the governance arrangements, adding that minutes of the Board of Trustee meetings should be accessible. He commented on the implementation deadline for the audit recommendations and expressed disappointment at the lack of detail in the covering report which he hoped would be addressed in the next update. He referred to the negative impact on the community arising from the previous decision to remove fishing pegs from the pool at the site to prevent fishing.
The Chief Officer clarified that September 2017 was the deadline by which the Trust had been required to give a commitment to take on board the recommendations from the audit report which had been included on the agenda to show transparency. Internal Audit would be monitoring actions and report back to the Audit Committee in June 2018. The Board of Trustees included some new members with important skills to support the development and sustainability of the site. To retain a level of continuity, some of the former members had agreed ... view the full minutes text for item 69