Regional Cultural Clout for City Council

Winchester’s reputation as one of the leading cultural centres in the South East has been strengthened in recent weeks with the news of two important regional appointments for City Council representatives.

Following an intensive selection process by Arts Council England, South East, Cllr Patricia Stallard has joined sixteen luminaries from the arts world to become a member of the South East Regional Arts Council.  Patricia is Winchester City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Heritage, Culture and Sport, and has a keen interest in the arts.  A trained singer, she has taken the lead role in many amateur productions, achieved success in local music festivals, and appeared in numerous theatrical and dramatic productions. She has organised theatre workshops and also chaired and organised a week-long music festival.  She is on the board of the Theatre Royal Winchester and, earlier this year, initiated the first Cultural Conference for the Winchester District.

Cllr Stallard - who worked formerly at the University of Portsmouth, as Course Director for the MSc and MA Education and Training Management programmes - joins Arts Council England, South East at a time when funding constraints have led to some significant changes in the way it operates.  She said:

“I hope that my background will enable me to challenge and support the Arts Council in a way that is genuinely helpful to the organization itself and to the many artists and organizations across the region who look to it for funding, advice and advocacy.  I also hope to bring ACE,SE ‘home’ to Winchester and the wider county, by providing an effective two-way communications between the Board and the local arts industry.”

Meanwhile, an election held among all the local authority tourism services in the South East led to the appointment of Winchester City Council’s Eloise Appleby as the Chair of the Regional Destination Managers’ Forum and Board Member of the region’s official tourism agency Tourism South East.  Eloise is the Council’s Head of Economic and Cultural Services, and has headed up the award-winning tourism team for the Winchester District since her arrival in 2001.  She joins Tourism South East at a time of major change, along with a brand new Chair and Chief Executive.  Eloise said:

“This is a really exciting time for tourism in the region.  With the London 2012 Games ahead of us to provide both a catalyst and a deadline for new initiatives, there is a real buzz about the sector.  As a region, we are aiming to ‘welcome the world’ for 2012, which means helping businesses of all shapes and sizes to make the most of a potentially massive tourism legacy from the Games.”

Eloise joins Winchester City Council’s Cllr Therese Evans, the Shadow Portfolio Holder for Heritage, Culture and Sport, on the board.  Cllr Evans is the elected representative of all the local authorities in the region, and is in her second term of office.

John Williams, Chairman of Tourism South East, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Eloise as Chair of the Destination Managers’ Forum and as a new member of the Board.  She will bring invaluable experience and expertise at a time when tourism funding in the South East continues to be stretched. We are sure that Eloise will be able     to help encourage Destination Managers to work together to promote economic revival through tourism in every part of the South East”

Winchester City Council, which enjoys Investors in People status, encourages its staff and Members to get involved in regional and national networks as part of their professional development, which in turn ensures that local residents are able to benefit from the highest levels of service from the Council.