The Head of Culture presented the above report details of which had been previously circulated to Members. The purpose of the report was to update Members on the success of the Halloween Festival in 2017 and to outline plans for development of the Halloween Festival 2018 and to seek approval to move forward with procurement processes required.
Councillor Cooper thanked the Head of Culture for the comprehensive update report on the Halloween Festival for 2017. He said that it was encouraging to note the recommendation to set-up a wider Halloween planning group for this year’s event. He added that in terms of performance the previous year, the event had exceeded all expectations of success rate. He also referred to the ongoing discussions with Tourism NI as referred to within the report and stated that he hoped TNI Officials would continue to provide assistance to ensure a successful application for International Event Funding so to attract international markets to the City and District.
Alderman Hussey thanked the Head of Culture for the comprehensive report. He referred to the proposed extension to the dates of the programme (31 October – 3 November 2018) and queried if consideration was given towards the Castlederg Apple Fair event, scheduled to take place the previous weekend (26October 2018).
The Head of Culture explained that Officers were mindful of the date of the Castlederg Apple Fair and would ensure that this event would be promoted as the first event to lead into the main Halloween Events scheduled the following weekend.
Councillor O’Reilly also thanked the Head of Culture for the detailed report. He acknowledged the involvement of all staff in the Halloween Event, not only in the planning stages but during delivery of the event on the ground. He welcomed the proposed extension of representation on the planning group to include Members and queried the nomination process.
The Head of Culture explained that an informal request for representation on the advisory group would be made to all Members of Business and Culture committee in due course.
Councillor Reilly concurred with the previous speakers remarks. He further referred to the development of the programme and suggested the inclusion of Council facilities for example, St Columb’s Park as a location for a Ghost Story trail.
The Chair echoed the sentiments from Members. She said that it was encouraging to note that the event had international recognition. She referred to the previous year community events that had been delivered to an excellent standard and looked forward to this year’s programme of events.
Recommended i) that a wider Halloween planning group be set up to include Members as outlined.
ii) that the procurement processes outlined within the report be approved in order to allow successful contractors to be engaged and commence work to meet the deadlines required for the event. Council are asked to pre-approve the appointment of selected organisations or companies, subject to all the existing procurement processes of Council. Officers will report back with an update report and record in the register of decisions. Other smaller items will be procured by way of quotation request subject to existing policy and procedures. All other items listed are covered on current annual tenders.