Agenda and minutes

Venue: Warspite Room, Council House

Contact: Hannah Whiting  Email:

No. Item


Declarations of Interest

Councillors will be asked to make any declarations of interest in respect of items on the agenda.



Minute Number



Councillor Raynsford


Had a share in Pennon South West Water (something customers were offered).

Disclosable Pecuniary

Councillor Goslin


Employed by the University of Plymouth, which was part of Destination Plymouth




Minutes pdf icon PDF 110 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting held on 13 September 2023.


The minutes of the meeting held on 13 September 2023 were agreed as a correct record.



Chair's Urgent Business

To receive reports on business which in the opinion of the Chair, should be brought forward for urgent consideration.


There were no items of Chair’s urgent business.



Destination Plymouth progress report on visitor economy and Visitor Plan pdf icon PDF 718 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Jemima Laing (Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care, Culture, Events and Communications), supported by David Draffan (Service Director for Economic Development) and Amanda Lumley (Chief Executive, Destination Plymouth), introduced the item and highlighted the following points:


a)    The Visitor Plan 2030 established a strategic growth direction for the economy and played a pivotal role in driving the recovery of the visitor economy in the city post-COVID-19;

b)    The Visitor Plan continued to act as a key strategy in growing and positioning the city’s brand, amplifying the good work to date and positioned the city as a desirable place to live and work as well as visit;

c)    Plymouth’s ‘Britain’s Ocean City’ branding, developed in 2013, proved to be a great success nearly 10 years later, effectively altering the perception of the city for visitors;

d)    Destination Plymouth would work on further developing the original brand strategy to continue growing Plymouth’s identity;

e)    The new mission would be to promote nationally, and internationally, Plymouth’s position and reputation as Britain’s Ocean City, working with key city partners and companies to market Plymouth in support of sustainable economic growth;

f)     The four main priority work streams would be Brand, Visitors, Growth Sectors and Partnerships;

g)    Destination Plymouth Limited had been accredited to bronze standard by The Green Tourism International Accreditation Scheme which set standards in line with UN sustainability goals;

h)    A new strategy was established to facilitate and support an increased number of third-party events in the city  resulting in an uplift in the numbers of visitors attending events;

i)     Plymouth City Council’s (PCC) marketing team secured support from Babcock International for Armed Forces Day and the Rehabilitation Triathlon and new sponsorship for the British Firework Championships from AECOM, Brittany Ferries, Plymouth City Bus and Moxy Hotel;

j)     An article in Timeout identified Plymouth as one of the top 14 most underrated destinations in the world;

k)    10 cruise vessels were welcomed into Plymouth in 2023, doubling the numbers from 2022 and would be looking forward to 20 visits in 2024;

l)     Destination Plymouth had been working with PCC Employment and Skills team to secure funding from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for a Skills Development Manager for the visitor sector;

In response to questions, it was explained:


m)  The Hotel Demand Study in 2022 identified a gap in the market for additional serviced accommodation, and conversations had been held with hotel developers to look at strategic part of the city to close that gap;

n)    13 hotel projects were on the books, and 3 were delivered whilst 10 were yet to come;

o)     PCC events team had worked with services across the city to ensure safety for large events including encouraging the public to use the Park and Ride to disperse some of the pinch points;

p)    Destination Operations Group meets monthly and would review issues around pinch points to mitigate it and ensure measures are in place to relieve pressure;

q)    The Brand Development Group had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.


Economic Intelligence and Insight pdf icon PDF 679 KB

Additional documents:


Toby Hall (Project Manager for Economic Development) introduced the item and highlighted the following points:


a)    Total employee numbers had risen significantly since 2014 to 116,000 in the city in 2022, showing an increase of 8,000;

b)    Unemployment rates peaked during COVID;

c)    Pre-pandemic unemployment rates were above UK average in Plymouth but since August 2020 Plymouth had a lower than UK average unemployment rate;

d)    3,500 job listings had been posted every month with a clear upward trend;

e)     In 2023 Plymouth had over 6,300 Enterprises which showed consistent growth despite the impact of the pandemic;

f)     Female wages had risen significantly in the past 5 years, starting to close the gap between male and female wages as male wages had remained stagnant, however there was still a gap between male and female wages;


In response to questions, it was explained:


g)    Tina Brinkworth’s (Head of Skills and Post 16, Education, Participation and Skills) Skills and Education report would be added to the work programme;

h)    More information could be circulated to the Committee on the levels of earnings in Plymouth in comparison to the wider South West Region and UK.


Water Quality pdf icon PDF 161 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Tom Briars-Delve (Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change), supported by Kat Deeney (Head of Environmental Planning), introduced the item and highlighted the following points:


a)    Due to having a Victorian ‘combined sewage system’ waste water from toilets and sinks and surface water from drains and gullies end up in the same system meaning would there be a large storm, dirty water would back up into homes or open spaces;

b)    A system had been introduced as a safety valve to release pressure into certain waterways, this had last been activated most recently at Eastern Kinds on 4 November 2023;

c)    South West Water had committed to reducing spills from overflows to an average of 20 per year by 2025 across the region;

d)    Agriculture estimated 75% of sediments polluting waters;

e)    The Climate Impact Assessment Wheel, including an aspect on ocean and waterways, had been launched and would be used for any business cases worth over £250,000 to consider the impact it would have on the ocean;

f)     Partnerships with PCC, South West Water and the Environment Agency had been created to align capital projects such as sustainable urban drainage;

g)    PCC had been lobbying South West Water for greater investment primarily through the Water Fit Programme to spend on strategic impactful projects;

h)    Recommended bringing Water Quality to Select Committee to further scrutinise the issue.

In response to questions, it was explained:


i)     Due to having the National Marine Park and being Britain’s Ocean City, Plymouth would want to be at the forefront of South West Water’s WaterFit programme;

j)     Good news stories for Plymouth: Innovative work happened with businesses regarding Marine Technology, Plymouth Sound had the first National Marine Park in the country, most sites had been rated good or excellent in the Bathing Quality Water Assessments;

k)     Working with South West Water, PCC would look at green and nature-based solutions to holding and cleaning large amounts of water as the historical solution was pipes and tanks;

l)     The Environment Agency classified Plymouth Hoe West and East as excellent.

The Committee agreed to:   


1.    Note the report;

2.    Agreed to establish a Select Committee by March 2024 focused solely on Water Quality, inviting key stakeholders and user groups to provide evidence for consideration and review.



Tracking Decisions pdf icon PDF 181 KB


The Committee agreed to note the tracking decisions document.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 121 KB


The Committee agreed to note its work programme.