Mistakes over loss-making events ‘must not be repeated’ says MCC as future of events team is decided

By Saul Cooke-Black   |   BBC local democracy reporter   |
Friday 27th July 2018 5:14 pm
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MEASURES will be put in place to ensure mistakes which led to loss-making events in Monmouthshire are not repeated, a meeting has heard.

Monmouthshire County Council’s cabinet voted to approve a ‘hybrid’ approach to its events programme at a meeting on Wednesday.

Cllr Bob Greenland, cabinet member for innovation, enterprise and leisure, said it is important that the council continues to organise events but at the same time lessons must be learned.

The council’s in-house service incurred losses in each of the last three years, including a £140,000 overspend in 2017.

Cllr Greenland told the meeting: “Speaking to members it is quite clear there is overwhelming support that we continue to organise events for the county.

“They have huge benefit by bringing in extra visitors, putting the county on the map and providing entertainment for residents.

“But we must ensure that mistakes are not made that lead us into the position we got last year.”

Following an unfavourable audit, the council commissioned an independent review into the events and special projects team.

An events promoter with 15 years’ experience of working with local authorities carried out the review and suggested seven ways in which events could be run in Monmouthshire.

A hybrid model, in which the authority could cherry-pick the best parts of each of the suggestions, was approved at the meeting.

The model will see the council’s events team take a “proactive approach” co-ordinating the events programme and work with partners on major events.

An annual budget of £32,000, from the council’s ‘underutilised’ redundancy provision, will be used to support the event programme for 2018/19.

The option will be reviewed after 12 months and will also be scrutinised during the year.

Council leader Peter Fox said he favoured the option.

“People crave for the types of things we have put on in previous years,” he said.

“There’s an appetite and we are blessed in Monmouthshire with places where we can host these things.”

Cllr Penny Jones, member for social care, safeguarding and health, said the move to a hybrid model was a “step forward” and stressed the importance of reviewing progress.

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