Agenda Item No


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Cabinet Meeting: 23rd July, 2012


Report of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation


Barry Cluster Communities First


Purpose of the Report

1.             To provide an update as to the current position with the Barry Cluster Communities First Bid, recently finalised and issued to Welsh Government.  The report also advises of the next stages in the progression of the Bid.


1.             THAT the work to date on progressing a Communities First Cluster Bid be noted and endorsed.

2.             THAT a copy of this report be presented to the Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee for information.

3.             THAT a further update be presented to Cabinet and Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee as the Bid is developed further following discussion with Welsh Government.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             The report is for noting and to endorse the Bid submitted to Welsh Government on the 28th June 2012

2.             To apprise the Committee of the current position.

3.             To keep Cabinet and Scrutiny Committee updated as to progress on the Barry Communities First Cluster.


2.             The Communities First (CF) scheme/programme is a Welsh Government (WG) programme that has been in existence since 2002.  Since that time there have been two CF areas in Barry.  The Gibbonsdown CF area was expanded to include Court in 2008 and the Castleland CF area evolved from Thompson Street at the same time.  Both areas are managed by Vale of Glamorgan Council and Partnership Boards.   

Relevant Issues and Options

3.             In terms of the future of the CF programme, WG has requested a new Cluster programme based on the most deprived 20% of Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs) in Wales and this approach will commence in October of this year.  Bids were required to be submitted for new Clusters on or before June 29th.

4.             In terms of Barry, the proposed Cluster is based on Castleland (1+2), Cadoc (1, 3+4), Court (3), Gibbonsdown (1, 2+4) and Buttrills (2).  These areas are shown on the map attached at Appendix 1 with details of the LSOAs at Appendix 2.  The population of the proposed Cluster stands at just over 15,500.

5.             In terms of work done to date, the CF Team now sit within the new Directorate of Development Services.  This is considered beneficial in that it allows synergies to develop with a number of other relevant initiatives and policies, not least the Barry Regeneration Area, Housing Renewal, new development opportunities and links with transport issues.

6.             An initial expression of interest was submitted to WG in April of this year.  This was in the form of a Cluster Indicator Request form which detailed the proposed LSOAs to form the Barry Cluster.  This allowed WG to issue a reference number for the Cluster and allowed work to proceed on making a full submission.  Since that time discussions have been held on a regular basis with WG officials, not only specifically relating to CF, but also in terms of linking the Barry Cluster proposal with the work being undertaken on regeneration.

7.             There has been a significant amount of consultation and stakeholder involvement to collect evidence for the proposal.  This included a Cluster Stakeholder event on the 18th May, a Community Consultation event on 28th May and since this, further discussion with WG officials.  The Council has also been allocated Consultant’ support to assist in drawing up the proposal.  The matter was also presented to the Local Service Board on the 20th June 2012 and the Council's Corporate Management Team on the 27th June 2012.  In addition it is worth noting that the application has and continues to be developed in collaboration with partners which maximises the opportunities to add value to existing service provision and initiatives such as families first, with links established with health bodies and agencies such as the Citizens Advice Bureau and Careers Wales.

8.             In terms of programme detail, the programme is based on three themes, namely Learning, Prosperous and Healthy Communities.  To this end the proposed CF Cluster will work with partners to address these areas but also ensure that existing provision is not duplicated, and benefits from added value.  The proposal application required the following:

·               A description of the proposed Cluster;

·               Confirmation as to the lead body (intended to be the Council);

·               An overview of the Cluster Programme, identifying projects and initiatives under the three themes of Prosperous, Learning and Healthy Communities;

·               Details in terms of intended outcomes under each theme, the national indicators, an assessment of the baseline situation and key partners;

·               Under each theme, a series of action plans are specified;

·               A Community Involvement Plan is to be provided identifying communication methods;

·               A staffing structure to set out identifying numbers of staff engaged and setting out job descriptions for the staff.

A copy of the Bid has been made available in the Members Room and includes full details of the matters listed above.

9.             In terms of the next steps, there will now follow a further development of the Bid in July and August, with the potential for review any time up until October.  In this regard the WG officials have continually stressed that the process is iterative and that there will be a need to discuss and develop the proposal after the Bid submission date of June 29th.


Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

10.        The Bid proposal has been put together by existing officers from within CF with input and guidance from officers within the Directorate of Development Services and a Consultant appointed by WG.

11.        In addition, clarification has recently been received from WG that existing CF arrangements will continue for up to an additional four month period (to January 31st 2013) in areas where a Cluster application has been submitted by 29th June 2012.  There will be an expectation that the new successful Cluster areas will be fully operational by January 31st 2013.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

12.        None arising out of this report although the Council will act as an employer for the posts proposed to be created, if the Cluster Bid is successful.  The CF programme is a three year programme that runs from 1st April 2012.

Crime and Disorder Implications

13.        The CF programme will have actions that are relevant to issues relating to crime and disorder as well as enhancing the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of people and communities.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

14.        The CF programme will include actions that seek to provide equality of opportunity.

Corporate/Service Objectives

15.        CF has links to key corporate objectives relating to economic and social wellbeing and regeneration.

Policy Framework and Budget

16.        This report is a matter for Executive decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

17.        The programme proposal has been developed in full consultation and involvement with the community through a series of events.  In addition the Ward Members of the Communities First Cluster wards have been consulted on the report.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

18.        Economy and Environment

Background Papers

Information and correspondence relating to the Welsh Government Communities First Programme


Contact Officer

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services - Tel 01446 704611.


Officers Consulted

Mike Jones - Business Manager

Director of Finance, ICT and Property

Dave Williams - Principal Regeneration Officer

Legal - Committee Reports


Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services