The role of Local Authorities in leading Place-making

CCLOA, working with Local Government Association (LGA),  have compiled a suite of case studies that shares best practice and aims to help Local Authority senior decision makers understand their role in driving forward the Place-making agenda. 

Read more: The role of Local Authorities in leading Place-making

Sport England - Strategy Development

Sport England has launched their new strategy to tackle inactivity;cCLOA has been involved in helping to shape the approach and will continue to challenge on what we consider to be critical issues moving forward.

Read more: Sport England - Strategy Development

Cultural White Paper and Countries of Culture Inquiry

The DCMS has published the long awaited Culture White Paper, the first strategy for arts and culture in more than 50 years. 

DCMS has also launched an inquiry into funding for culture in England’s regions and sub-regions.  The Countries of Culture inquiry will focus on the regional impact of local authority settlement on the cultural sector; new funding models for culture and use of lottery funding; cultural partnerships; skills, management and infrastructure; accessibility and engagement; and the value and impact of culture in the regions.

Read more: Cultural White Paper and Countries of Culture Inquiry

Financial Settlements for Culture & Leisure 15/16 and beyond

52 local authorities responded to our survey in March, which aimed to establish the cumulative impact on culture and leisure budgets and gauge the general response to the challenges faced by the sector locally. 

The findings show that whilst cuts have been made, quite often the reductions have come hand in hand with solutions to save money or increase income.  The result is that the majority of culture and leisure services remain in a relatively healthy state, with services provided in a more focused way to support wider council outcomes. 

Read more: Financial Settlements for Culture & Leisure 15/16 and beyond

Improving culture, arts and sporting opportunities through planning

In recent years culture, arts and sport have been widely used to drive regeneration, build cohesive communities and change the way that places are perceived.  Major cultural projects have been used successfully to boost economic development & regeneration and increase community cohesion. However, smaller-scale initiatives, such as a local community helping to design and look after a play area, commission a public art project, or rejuvenate a library, can also play a significant role.

cCLOA have been working with The Town & Country Planning Association (TCPA) and other partners to develop a non-statutory planning guide in response to the new planning framework to better help illustrate these positive planning outcomes.  

Read more: Improving culture, arts and sporting opportunities through planning

Health & well-being

The transfer of public health from the NHS to local government and Public Health England (PHE) was one of the most significant extensions of local government powers and duties in a generation. It represented a unique opportunity to change the focus from treating sickness to actively promoting health and well-being. 

In recognition of the vital role culture and leisure play in improving the health and wellbeing of local communities, cCLOA have published a guidance document that aims to help commissioners and providers of culture and leisure services in England understand and engage more effectively and collaboratively with this key agenda.

The guidance aims to improve understanding about the structures, frameworks and outcomes relating to public health and has been welcomed by Public Health England, National Institute of Clinical Excellence, LGA, Sport & Recreation Alliance, Arts Council England, Sport England and CIMSPA.  You can read their supportive statements here.

cCLOA believes that proactively responding to this agenda provides an opportunity for the sector to position itself as a key part of the solution and Iain Varah, Chair of cCLOA said

“Our document highlights the importance of collaborating on the health and wellbeing agenda and is the starting point to further reposition leisure and culture in the current financial local government climate. To achieve this, local authorities will need to work closely with their leisure and culture providers, voluntary groups and organisations to support and enable them to welcome people with the poorest chances of good health outcomes.  For some authorities this will mean repositioning their cultural services so that they become more focused and better targeted.  Local authority leisure and cultural services were born out of the 1875 Public Health Act; Victoria Park Hackney, which opened in 1845, and was a direct result of public health concerns and sanitary conditions, as was the first Public baths in 1842 in Fredrick Street Liverpool.  Improving health and wellbeing is a global problem, but it has local solutions and is now back in the responsible hands of local authorities.  We hope this document acts as a mandate for shared action.”

Download The role of culture and leisure in improving health and wellbeing.

We have also developed a self-assessment to enable you identify what stage you are at and to help you plan your approach.

The role of culture & leisure in improving health & well-being - self-assessment for practitioners

As part of this work we have gathered a series of case studies to highlight how culture and sport can help to tackle unhealthy lifestyles, address the social determinants of health, offer cost effective approaches, bring creative solutions and engage communities, families and individuals in managing their well-being. 

Read more: Health & well-being

Future direction for arts, museums and libraries.

Arts Council England (ACE) is the lead development agency for the Arts, Museums and Libraries.  Arts Council England supports a range of activities from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections.  They have stated that, between 2011 and 2015, they will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1 billion from the National Lottery to help foster the arts “for as many people as possible across the country”.  This funding is aligned to the priorities within the refreshed version of their 10-year strategy, Great art and culture for everyone.

Following on from the report Rebalancing our Cultural Capital, which highlighted an imbalance between arts funding for London and the regions; pointing out that central government spending per head on culture in London was nearly fifteen times greater than in the rest of England in 2012/13, the Culture, Media and Sport Committee is conducting a general investigation into the work of ACE.  They are examining the economic and artistic criteria that underpin funding decisions and whether the geographical distribution of funding is fair.

Executive Member Polly Hamilton collated the views of cCLOA members and submitted a response on behalf of our association.  You can read the submission here.

Read more: Future direction for arts, museums and libraries.

Crime and Anti-social Behaviour

It has long been recognised that culture and sport have an important role to play in preventing young people becoming involved in crime and anti-social behaviour.

In response to this the National Culture Forum and cCLOA have produced a new policy document entitled The role of Culture and Sport in reducing Crime and Anti Social Behaviour.

Read more: Crime and Anti-social Behaviour