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Item 1

Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism (DMAST) opened the meeting, welcoming attendees.

Item 2

DMAST outlined the challenges and significant funding pressures and invited attendees to highlight their particular concerns on arts, sport and tourism in the third sector. 

Hazel Lloyd informed the DMAST that a letter had been sent to MfSJ which sets out key points and the impact on the third sector. Attendees were appreciative of the challenges, however, wanted to highlight the consequences of decisions made. Contracts are being frozen/not uplifted in addition to a reduction of public giving and reduced funding. 

Mathew Williams raised the potential impact on communities. There are concerns that increased fees and charges will have a knock on effect on the public. He also highlighted that local authority and revenue decisions could impact community assets, for example, grass pitches and maintenance. We should expect rationalisation on assets such as this. 

All agreed that the third sector supports the health agenda, but perhaps the value of investment is not understood.  Attendees were asked to consider funding with strategic opportunities. We have to prioritise funding therefore how do we balance this with long term sustainability goals.

Decision makers need to consider the preventative services that the third sector brings and how these can help avoid long term health implications. 

Item 3

Glyn Roberts provided an overview of the overnight visitor licencing scheme. The proposals would look to enhance consumer confidence, monitor the sector and how it operates and support the industry better.

A consultation has been undertaken as well as industry events in order to better understand the potential benefits and stakeholder engagement is continuing to mitigate any negative impacts before the final policy is published. 

DMAST highlighted this is very much a policy in development and asked attendees to consider how the scheme could support the third sector. 

Attendees raised concerns over how this would be applied to faith groups. Not for profit groups could be faced with a financial burden to apply for licences and meet set standards. They asked for confirmation the scheme would apply to commercial enterprises only. 

DMAST clarified the policy is about ensuring standards. Work needs to be undertaken to identify commercial operations and any potential exemptions need to be developed. 

WG officials agreed to meet with attendees separately to further understand how the groups operate.

Item 4

Challenges faced by third sector organisations and listed buildings was discussed. Many churches for example are experiencing difficulties meeting requirements and are often seen as liabilities not assets.

Grant aid/funding is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain. WG officials provided an overview of schemes available that can offer support. 

DMAST advised WG wants to work with owners of listed buildings to protect heritage, recognising the vital work of the third sector which allows communities to engage.