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Meeting of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 15/09/2003
Provision for a Stand-Alone Theatre for Waverley - A Scoping Report



Summary & Purpose
This report outlines the potential scope and process of a review into provision for a stand-alone theatre in Waverley. The report suggests that the review be conducted in a way similar to a parliamentary select committee. The first invitations for written evidence would be issued in October 2003. However, the review would require independent research for which there is no budget.

Quality of Life Implications
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APPENDIX E
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

ENVIRONMENT AND LEISURE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
15TH SEPTEMBER 2003

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Title:
PROVISION FOR A STAND-ALONE THEATRE FOR WAVERLEY – A SCOPING REPORT

[Wards Affected: N/A]
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Summary and purpose:

This report outlines the potential scope and process of a review into provision for a stand-alone theatre in Waverley. The report suggests that the review be conducted in a way similar to a parliamentary select committee. The first invitations for written evidence would be issued in October 2003. However, the review would require independent research for which there is no budget.

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Quality of life implications – social, environmental & economic (sustainable development):

This report outlines proposals for the conduct of an in-depth review and as such has no quality of life implications. However, the subject under review – provision of a stand-alone theatre in Waverley, potentially has significant quality of life implications. The level of these implications, both positive and negative, will be assessed as the review progresses.

E-Government implications:

Individuals wishing to submit evidence to the review will be invited to do so, by e-mail if they wish.

Resource and legal implications:

The review will be largely conducted within existing resources, although to increase the objectivity of the review independent research, into demand for a theatre in Waverley, will be required at a cost of 10,000 or more – there is no budget for this sum. Any potentially legal implications will be assessed as the review progresses.

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Introduction

1. At its meeting of 7th July 2003, this Committee agreed two items to be included on its work programme as being suitable for in-depth review. One of those items was provision of a stand alone theatre in Waverley and a scoping report on the issue was requested for this meeting.

2. The inclusion of this issue on the committee’s work programme touches on the closure and proposed demolition of the Redgrave Theatre in Farnham and any review of theatre provision in Waverley must address the history of the Redgrave Theatre.

Scope of the Review

3. It is suggested that the fundamental question to be answered is:

Is the provision of a professional stand alone theatre in Waverley feasible and sustainable? Should such a theatre be:

a) a receiving theatre

b) a repertory theatre, or

c) a producing theatre?

Does sufficient demand exist to support a stand-alone theatre in Waverley?

What level of public subsidy would be required to support a theatre in Waverley?

Would public subsidy be available?

Where would be an appropriate location for a stand-alone theatre in Waverley?

The review process

4. It is suggested that the review be conducted along the lines of a parliamentary select committee investigation. This sort of investigation would see a process and timetable as follows:
i) Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Committee issue a press release inviting all interested
parties to submit written evidence to the Committee.

ii) Officers to identify specific sources of information outside the Borough for example South
East Arts, other theatres and issue specific requests for information/evidence.

iii) Independent, professional research to be commissioned into demand for a theatre in
Waverley
iv) Deadline for receipt of written evidence.
v) Written evidence assembled and circulated to members of the Committee

vi) Chairman and Vice-Chairman to agree witnesses to be invited to give oral evidence to the
Committee.
vii) Oral hearing

viii) Consideration of the Committee’s Draft Report
ix) Publication of Final Report

5. Members may wish to include an additional stage between January and March 2004 to consider whether or not the Committee has seen and heard enough evidence, and if necessary to hear further witnesses. If this were to be the case then the Draft Report would be likely to be considered in May/June 2004.

Resources

6. Independent professional research would cost an estimated 10,000 or more and there is no budget provision for this sum. Should members wish to proceed with this review then the Executive must be asked to approve a supplementary estimate for the costs of research. The resources necessary to undertake this review will be provided from within existing budgets. Most of the support work will be undertaken by the two Overview & Scrutiny Officers within the time allocated to Overview & Scrutiny work and other officers of the authority will prepare their evidence to the Committee within existing workloads. Any professionals invited to give expert evidence to the Committee would be offered reimbursement of their expenses and these sums must be found from within existing budgets.

Recommendation

It is recommended that

1. the committee agrees to undertake an in-depth review as to whether the provision of a stand
alone theatre in Waverley is feasible and sustainable;

2. that the review be conducted in accordance with the process and timetable set out above; and

3. that the Executive be asked to approve a supplementary estimate of 10,000.

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Background Papers (DoF)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972)
relating to this report.

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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Louise Goodfellow Telephone: 01483 523092

E-mail: lgoodfellow@waverley.gov.uk

Comms/O&S3/03-04/021