Venue: Remotely via Teams
Declarations of interest
The following Member made a declaration of interest at the
commencement of the meeting:
Cllr S Rahaman Re: Tourism Update Report 2022 as he works in a restaurant on the Aberavon Seafront in Neath Port Talbot
To select appropriate items from the Cabinet Board agenda for pre-decision scrutiny (reports enclosed for Scrutiny Members)
The Committee chose to scrutinise the following Cabinet Board items:
Tourism Update Report 2022
Members were provided with an update report on Tourism within Neath Port Talbot County Borough.
Reference was made to the engagement, reach and likes on social media. Members were interested to see the reach the marketing campaign had outside of the County Borough, and asked if there was a breakdown, geographically, of some of that data, in particular in relation to social media followers. Officers confirmed that they would look into what data could be pulled together; however, Members were asked to keep in mind that the campaign had only been running for four months during the winter period. Officers would circulate the data once it had been collated.
The circulated report detailed that Members and stakeholders would be invited to take part in workshops as part of the process, to devise the new Destination Management Plan; and subject to procurement, the new plan should be in place by summer 2022. Members asked when the workshops would be taking place. It was highlighted that the contractor for the workshops had yet to be appointed; once appointed the arrangements would be put in place in terms of timescales. Officers explained that if restrictions were still in place, the workshops would be held online; if possible, they will be held face to face.
The Committee asked if Officers could monitor the use of the electrical hook ups that were in place across the County Borough; and if it was identified that they were used frequently, asked if it would be possible to look into other places across the County Borough, which could benefit from electrical hook ups.
In regards to the public transport links to tourism, it was asked how the Council was encouraging visitors to get to Neath Port Talbot (NPT) via public transport, and how the Council was engaging with the various transport operators. Officers highlighted that public transport both to travel to, and around, the destination was a key consideration for visitors, however there were various issues with availability and frequency of services for a lot of Councils. It was stated that there were significant costs involved in subsidising services, and difficulties in persuading people to use the public transport network, as sometimes it provided difficult to get to places and/or it would take a very long time; the provision needed to meet the needs of visitors and be convenient for them to use. Despite the issues, Members were informed that the Council had worked with Bay Trans who had put together a series of 'Walks by Bus' using public transport within NPT; the Council was also currently working with Great Western Railway, and the area was to be included in their forthcoming campaign, both with posters at train stations/on trains and on social media. It was highlighted that these issues were not unique to NPT; a lot of other areas in Wales were in a similar positon, especially where Authorities have a mix of ... view the full minutes text for item 2.
Reference was made to the workshops for the Destination Management Plan, and how the Committee would be involved in this work going forward; Officers were asked to keep Members informed of this.
A discussion took place regarding the matter of air quality, which was a topic included in the remit of this Committee. Members were asked to email the Head of Planning and Public Protection to clarify their concerns, and to highlight what further information could be added to the annual report on air quality.
Members noted the Regeneration and Sustainable Development Scrutiny Forward Work Programme for 2021/22.