Venue: Committee Room 1, Marmion House, Lichfield Street, Tamworth, B79 7BZ. View directions
Contact: Democratic Services 01827 709264
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of Members’ interests (personal and/or personal and prejudicial) in any matters which are to be considered at this meeting.
When Members are declaring a personal interest or personal and prejudicial interest in respect of which they have dispensation, they should specify the nature of such interest. Members should leave the room if they have a personal and prejudicial interest in respect of which they do not have a dispensation.
There were no declarations of interest.
Update from the Chair
There was no update from the Chair other than to thank the Vice-Chair for chairing the last meeting.
(To receive an update from Executive Director, AccessAble)
The Chair invited the Leader of the Council to introduce the Executive Director, AccessAble.
The Leader of the Council reported to the Committee that he had received a presentation on the services provided by AccessAble at a Staffordshire county council meeting, following which he had received a further briefing from AccessAble with the Chief Executive. The Chair of this Committee had agreed that this could be a relevant area for this Committee’s oversight and development.
The Executive Director introduced the organisation, its history since formation 20 years ago and its key driver to provide more information to more people to overcome the fear of the unknown when visiting new places. An overview of the services provided in terms of detailed access guides, route guides, Street and Quarter guides was provided as well as an explanation as to how the detailed access guides were detailed, factual and user driven and how the data was collected by AccessAble’s teams of experienced surveyors utilising a standardised format and with quality assured processes.
In terms of the organisation’s work with local authorities, it was reported that AccessAble worked with around 100 local authorities, and that this work aimed to improve independence and inclusion for residents and so improving overall health and wellbeing, to improve tourism and economic development in the area, including by encouraging longer visits to areas, and to help support improvements particularly when work was undertaken on assets.
The Committee received an overview of the AccessAble website functions to show the level of detail contained within the guide for individual locations. The Committee also viewed examples of how this website could be integrated with the Council’s and other local websites. As part of any process to survey sites, AccessAble would organise engagement events to seek the views of local groups.
The Committee sought and received clarification in the following areas:
1. Any issues posed by listed buildings. In this regard, the Executive Director reported that the aim was to provide factual information about sites.
2. The lack of sites listed on the AccessAble app in Tamworth at the current time. It was acknowledged that there was a cost associated with completing the access surveys which would need to be met. It was noted that there could be a role for both the council directly and as a facilitator with local visitor attractions to encourage their involvement.
The Committee considered how it could help focus the sites which could be considered for inclusion on the site, noting that it would be important to ensure that all the council’s public buildings were included as well as appropriate open spaces. The Chair suggested that he circulate to members an initial list of buildings for consideration.
The Committee agreed that a working group should be formed, comprising Councillors P Brindley (Chair), R Claymore, M Greatorex and J Faulkner. This group would report back to the full committee as required.
The Committee thanked the Executive Director for her informative presentation.