AFTER surviving a vote of no confidence arising from his misuse of Council IT, on Monday disgraced IPPG Chair and Council Deputy Leader Rob Lewis presented a major paper to his Cabinet colleagues regarding the County Council’s approach to encouraging, planning and staging major events in Pembrokeshire.
Cllr Rob Lewis said: “We have been fortunate to secure a five year agreement with Ironman which is also supported by the Welsh Government. “The Welsh Government requires us to have an event strategy and it is crucial that our strategy supports theirs. “Many of these events were well supported on a local basis and it is important that we take high class opportunities to publicise our county to a wider audience. “In the past Pembrokeshire wasn’t recognised as a location for major events. It is now and there discussions ongoing about future events.” Cllr David Pugh added that hotels were booked up with athletes doing training for future events such as Ironman Wales. Pembrokeshire County Council are also Core partners on the Destination Pembrokeshire Partnership. This partnership has been established to deliver strategic improvements in tourism. The Core Group of the partnership is drawn from the key organisations involved in tourism in Pembrokeshire, namely Pembrokeshire County Council, Pembrokeshire Tourism, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, PLANED and the South West Wales Tourism Partnership. The Partnership has developed a comprehensive Destination Management Plan to drive incremental development and growth, particularly outside the peak summer months. The Plan’s objective is to “Develop and support a sustainable events programme” Events, if of significant size, format and stature, are considered as playing an important role in stimulating year round tourism. The Destination Management Plan identifies a number of examples of how this can be achieved, including: • Supporting applications for major events funding for strategically important events held in Pembrokeshire; • Focussing on events relevant to local product strengths e.g. food, environment, outdoor activities, heritage and culture; • Identify a point of contact for event organisers to consult local authorities and conservation organisations to identify the best location and dates; • Develop Pembrokeshire as a destination for high-end sports events. While the strategy focuses on major events, IPPG leader Jamie Adams stressed the importance to support smaller community events and said that the policy should not overburden them. Agreeing with his leader, Cllr Elwyn Morse expressed the hope that the new strategy would support Sport Pembrokeshire when they organise community based events.