Agenda and draft minutes

Downs Committee
Monday, 21st November, 2016 2.00 pm

Venue: City Hall

Contact: Norman Cornthwaite 

No. Item


Apologies and introductions pdf icon PDF 127 KB


Apologies were received from Councillor Clare Campion-Smith


Everyone introduced themselves.



Membership of the Downs Committee pdf icon PDF 42 KB

To note the names of persons appointed to serve on the Downs Committee for 2016/17 Downs year.


Resolved – that the revised Membership of the Committee be noted.



Confirmation of Chairing Arrangements pdf icon PDF 41 KB

To confirm, for information, the arrangements for Chairing of the 2016/17 Downs year.



Resolved – that the appointment of the Master for 2016/17 be noted.



Retiring Members of the Committee pdf icon PDF 37 KB

To note the retiring Merchant Venturer members of the Committee- Andrew Densham and Dayrell McArthur - and to note that a letter of thanks for past services will be sent by the Democratic Services Officer on behalf of the Committee.



Resolved – that the retirement of Merchant Venturer Members be noted and a letter of thanks be sent to them.


Dates and Times of Meetings pdf icon PDF 39 KB

To approve the dates and times for meetings of the Downs Committee for 2017.


Resolved – that the Meetings be held on the following dates:               


Monday23rd January 2017 at 2.00 pm

Monday10th April 2017 at 2.00 pm

            Monday 3rd July 2017 at 11.00 am (at Merchants Hall)

            Monday 25th September 2017 at 2.00 pm

            Monday 20th November 2017 at 2.00 pm (AGM)


Delegations pdf icon PDF 43 KB

To approve delegations for 2016/17.



Following a debate it was        


Resolved –


Events on the Downs:


(1) that the arrangements relating to the Events Sub Group specified in the report be agreed, except that the number of Members on the Group by increased by one Councillor and one Merchant Venturer;


(2) that the arrangements relating to Other Events specified in the report be agreed, except that the word “in consultation with” be removed and replaced by the word “by”;


Catering Concessions on the Downs:


(3) that the wording in the report be deleted and replaced by “Matters relating to catering concessions (between meetings of the Downs Committee) to be decided by the Master of the Society of Merchant Venturers and the Lord Mayor”; and 


            Minor Maintenance and Access Matters:


(4) that the Strategic Director of Neighbourhoods be authorised to enter into agreements in relation to minor maintenance and temporary access matters.



Minutes of last meeting pdf icon PDF 173 KB


Resolved – that the Minutes of the last Meeting be agreed as a correct record and signed by the Lord Mayor.


Declarations of interest


There were none.


Public Forum

To consider items of public forum sent to the Downs Committee.  Interested parties can submit a written statement of approximately one side of A4 to the Downs Committee by sending it to Democratic Services no later than 12.00 noon on Friday 18th November 2016 .


The following Statements were received and noted:


1.      Susan Carter and Peter Weeks – Zoo Parking

2.      Mrs G Evans – Use of The Downs

3.      Vicki Cracknell – Cycling on The Downs

4.      Robert Westlake - FODAG


A copy of the Statements is contained in Minute Book.



Downs Management and Events Report pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Additional documents:


Sarah Tyler and Melissa Inman introduced the report and summarised it for everyone.


Fees and Charges


Concerns were expressed about the level of fees charged for the use of The Downs for various events. It was considered that The Downs Committee should look to maximise the level of income that it can achieve and not be necessarily bound by the Council’s Fees and Charges Policy.


In response Melissa Inman stated that the BCC Fees and Charges are being reviewed; negotiations are still taking place with event organisers for Events on the Downs in 2017; and the figures shown in the report relate to 2016.


Parks Budget


It was noted that Gemma Dando had met with some Members of The Downs Committee but that no conclusions have been reached. Members considered that proposals need to be brought to January Meeting of the Committee to enable the views of the Committee to feed into the Budget process and influence decisions.


Massive Attack Concert September 2016


Tom Paine introduced his report and summarised it for everyone.


Clifton Suspension Bridge Contractor’s Compound


Concerns were expressed about the request for another compound being situated on The Downs. It was also noted that the Committee had previously agreed to a charge of £200 per week for allowing temporary compounds on the Downs be approved but that the Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust be allowed an exemption from paying the £200 per week, provided that the specified period for a temporary compound to be in place is not exceeded.


Resolved – (1) that the financial context for the management of the Downs be noted;


(2)     that approval be granted for the BCC Legal Team draw to up an agreement between BCC and Merchant Venturers for zoo temporary car park on Ladies Mile, subject to planning permission for this car park being in place;


(3)     that the proposals for future filming and events/interactions and de-briefs on events be noted and agreed, and that the listed small-medium events taking place on the Downs be approved in principle;



(4)     that the application for the music event of The Downs 2017 be referred to the Events Sub Group for consideration and for the Event Sub Group to present recommendations at the next full Committee Meeting; and


(5)     that the siting of the Clifton Suspension Bridge Contractor’s Compound be agreed subject to the following:
(a)The exact times to be specified, ideally 4 months not 6 months;

(b)No charge to be made to the Bridge Trust for the compound however, if the compound remains beyond the specified end date a charge of £200 will be made per week (equating to £28.57 charge per day);

(c)  Solid cladding is to be painted dark green (no decorations by local school will permitted);

(d)   Any graffiti to be painted out by contractors asap.


Finance Report pdf icon PDF 212 KB


Concerns were expressed that the report was not received until the day of the Meeting and that nobody was in attendance to present it.


Resolved – that the report be noted.


Avon Gorge and Downs Seasonal Education Officer's Report for 2016 pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Additional documents:


Mandy Leivers introduced the report and summarised it for everyone.


Resolved – that the report be noted.


Any Other Business


Following a discussion, it was agreed that it would not be appropriate to accept the offer of a £10,000 contribution from amember of the public.



Date of Next Meeting

The next Meeting is on 23rd January 2017 at 2.00 pm and will be held at City Hall.


Monday 23rd January 2017 at 2.00 pm.