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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting 15th October 2012

 

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

 

Vale of Glamorgan Agricultural Show - Vale of Glamorgan Council Business Breakfast, Feedback Report and Business Liaison Activities

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To outline the feedback obtained during the Business Breakfast and Workshop session held during the Vale of Glamorgan Agricultural Show on the 22nd August 2012.  The report also sets out proposals for future business liaison activities and networking.

Recommendations

1.         That the success of the Council's Business Breakfast held at the Vale of Glamorgan Agricultural Show be noted.

2.         That a delegate feedback report on the Business Breakfast held on the 22nd August 2012 be issued to all delegates for information.

3.         That further focussed events be held to consider key themes or topics at regular intervals throughout the year with delegate feedback reports being provided as necessary.

4.         That a copy of this report be referred to E&E for information.

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         The report is for noting.

2.         To inform delegates of the outcome of the event held on 22nd August 2012.

3.         To enable meaningful engagement to be fostered with regard to economic development and related activity in the Vale of Glamorgan.

4.         To keep the E&E Scrutiny Committee apprised of the situation.

Background

2.         In March 2012 Cabinet considered a report on Business Liaison Activities in the Vale of Glamorgan and resolved that future business networking initiatives be undertaken to include the use of web based applications such as "linked in" and business user groups alongside a series of other events, some of which had already been established, as follows:

·                The Leader's Business event at Dyffryn Gardens held during the Summer period.

·                The Annual Vale of Glamorgan Show Business Breakfast, with relevant guest speakers and topics being a focus for discussion, to take advantage of the holding of an important event in the Vale calendar.

·                The Built in Quality Awards evening, held in January every year to celebrate success in the Vale of Glamorgan construction industry.

·                The Annual Extraordinary Economic and Environment Scrutiny Meeting that considers the economic situation and business issues.

·                The Retailer's Forum which deals with specific town centre issues.

·                In addition, it was resolved to seek to provide one further networking event, geared specifically at businesses to supplement the Leader's event at Dyffryn and the annual Vale Show Business Breakfast.  It was indicated that the third networking event targeted at the business sector takes place at or around St David's Day.

3.         Having regard to the above, this year's Vale of Glamorgan Show was held on the 22nd August and the Council took the opportunity to hold a Business Breakfast, the objectives being to:

(1)          Develop ongoing relationships and dialogue with the business and tourism sectors of the Vale of Glamorgan.

(2)          To facilitate discussions between tourism and non-tourism businesses in the Vale of Glamorgan.

(3)          To capture the input from the two sectors to inform future activity of the Council's Creative Rural Communities, Regeneration, Tourism and Economic Development Teams.

4.         The event commenced at 9.30 am with presentation by Phillipa Davies (Mrs Motivator) and a subsequent workshop session facilitated by Philippa Davies.  That workshop session was based around two questions, namely:

(a)          What is really good about the Vale that we should be promoting and,

(b)          What are the gaps, either in provision or in links that might make existing facilities more effective?

5.         During the morning participants on each table were asked to consider the questions posed and to feedback relevant comments.  Each table was hosted by a Cabinet Member and an officer of the Council who assisted in the feedback sessions.  A wide range of representatives were present and this ensured that the discussion was lively and feedback relevant and thought provoking.  In this regard, this business breakfast differed from previous years' events as a consequence of involving a more participative and engaging format.

 

Relevant Issues and Options

6.         The feedback from the event is in the process of being presented as a delegate feedback report and it is the intention to issue the report to all delegates who attended the business breakfast.  That delegate feedback report will be finalised and circulated at the Cabinet meeting on the 15th October and will also be published on the Council's website.  In brief, the responses to the two questions can be summarised as follows:

What is good about the Vale that we should be promoting?

Delegates referred to many attributes, which in summary can be grouped together as follows:

·                Attractive countryside with areas of natural beauty.

·                Excellent location, in close proximity to centres of population and the capital city of Cardiff.

·                The All Wales Coastal Path was seen as a significant asset.

·                Diversity of the offer to visitors, ranging from the coast, through to the countryside with many landmarks and villages and towns, all with their own characteristics and attributes.

·                Barry Island was seen as a strength that should be promoted.

·                Redevelopment opportunities, especially based around Barry Waterfront.

·                Opportunities for active leisure and tourism based around the Vale's heritage.

·                Good access to a range of transport links that provide access to Cardiff and the strategic transport network.

What are the gaps, either in provision or in links that might make existing facilities more effective?

·                The need for targeted investment, especially in regard to road infrastructure.

·                The need for "all year round facilities", with wet weather attractions seen as vital.

·                The need for improvements to the Airport, especially with regard to the range of flights into and out of the Airport.

·                The need to enhance gateways, with an emphasis on the public realm, signage and branding.

·                Improved marketing on a regional and national level which would lead to more effective promotion of the Vale of Glamorgan as a destination.

·                In terms of marketing, the opportunities exist to sell the fact that the Vale of Glamorgan is perfectly positioned to benefit for the status of Cardiff as a capital city.

·                The need to strengthen the vitality of the town centres was raised as an issue.

·                More effective use of the web to market the Vale of Glamorgan as a destination.

·                The need for a focused approach to events in order to benefit from a key event or events, with reference being made to the benefits realised from events such as the Vale Show and Eisteddfod.

·                A key message was the need to define the Vale of Glamorgan in branding terms in order to be successful.

7.         The above represents a summary of the feedback and greater detail is being worked into a feedback delegated report, which as stated above will be provided to all delegates.

8.         In terms of taking the work and feedback forward, the views of the delegates will inform the work of the Council, especially in relation to the key areas of marketing and branding, the management of the natural and built environment and the way in which we work with our partners in promoting the Vale of Glamorgan.  Of particular relevance is the fact that the Council is in the process of commencing work on a Destination Management Plan and the feedback received from the Business Breakfast will assist in informing work on the Plan.  It is envisaged that further workshops could be established on this important subject.

9.         In addition to the facilitated workshops held on the day, delegates were asked to provide feedback as to the value of the event and the results have been promising.  In this regard, all respondents found the delegate packs useful and all but one respondent indicated that they would like to attend future events.  In terms of detailed feedback two thirds (66%) of the respondents indicated that they would have preferred to have more time to network at the event.  In terms of future events, respondents suggested topics that included the promotion of the Vale as a tourism destination, working together to market the Vale of Glamorgan and the role of Cardiff Airport.  These suggestions very much link to the need to commence work on a Destination Management Plan for the Vale.

10.      Having analysed the feedback received, it is considered both appropriate and relevant that the success of the event should inform decisions as to the format, nature and frequency of future events.  As a consequence the intention is to hold similar events, based around specific topics during the next twelve months and beyond.  This will allow focused discussions on key themes and will help to inform the decisions of the Council in moving forward on key issues relating to business in the Vale of Glamorgan.

11.      In moving forward, I therefore do not propose an Evening Business event at Dyffryn, as in previous years.  I remain to be convinced as to the usefulness of such an event.  As stated above, it is my preference to concentrate on more focused events, such as the one held at the recent Vale of Glamorgan Agricultural Show.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

12.      The Business Breakfast was funded from within existing budgets.  Any future similar events will need to be funded from within budget and any initiatives to be progressed will need to have resource implications identified as relevant.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

13.      The promotion of the Vale of Glamorgan area for investment will have sustainability implications that will need full and detailed consideration as part of the wider consideration of issues.  By way of example the location of tourist or visitor attractions will need to consider transport links as well as links to services and other facilities so that the implications on climate change can be minimised.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

14.      None directly attributable to this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

15.      None directly attributable to this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

16.      There are no direct equal opportunities implications relating to this report, although the provision of tourism and events in the Vale of Glamorgan need to be accessible to all sectors of the community and will need to be marketed in Welsh as well as English.

Corporate/Service Objectives

17.      The holding of the Business Breakfast allowed the opportunity to network with businesses and partners.  The ideas emerging also feed into the Council's consideration of future direction on tourism and related investment in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Policy Framework and Budget

18.      The matter is a matter for executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

19.      As the issues are not specific to one particular ward, no Member consultation has been undertaken on the content of this report.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

20.      Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

Facilitator feedback and networking notes from Business Breakfast.

 

Contact Officer

Rob Thomas

 

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager Countryside and Economic Projects

Operational Manager Leisure and Tourism

Tourism and Events Manager

Principal Economic Development Officer

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services