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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 3rd December 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.  The report also advises of the next stages in the progression of the Bid and seeks authority to accept the grant.

Recommendations

1.         That the Director of Development Services be given delegated powers to accept the grant offer from Welsh Government, implement the programme; enter into service agreements as appropriate and recruit staff, in consultation with the Managing Director and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation.

2.         That the Director of Development Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation establish a Communities First Cluster Partnership Board.

3.         That this report be referred to the Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee for information.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         In order to deliver the programme.

2.         In order to establish Governance and Community buy-in.

3.         To apprise the Committee of the current position.

Background

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.

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 was intended to 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 approximately 15800.

5.         I reported to Cabinet on 23rd July, outlining the work done to date on progressing the bid and Cabinet has endorsed the submission of such, (Minute No. C1782 refers) and the role of the Council as lead body.  A copy of the bid was made available to Members at that time.

6.         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.

7.         Since the submission of the bid in June of this year, there has followed a further development of the Bid from July through to date.  In addition, officers have met with WG officials to respond to queries and matters of clarification. At the time of writing WG has informed officers that the bid is successful and a formal written offer is awaited.

8.         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.

9.         In addition, a funding extension has recently been received from WG for an additional four month period (to January 31st 2013).  There will be an expectation that the new successful Cluster areas will be fully operational by January 31st 2013.  The CF programme will run until March 2015, although extensions may be available in due course.

10.      The bid submitted seeks a total of £1.4 million over the programme period.  This figure will vary as programmed amendments are needed.  This is a 100% grant and includes a contribution, limited to 10% of the programme, towards the Council's management costs (i.e. towards existing management staff costs).

Relevant Issues and Options

11.      Once the bid has been agreed by WG there will be a period of staff recruitment to allow the CF arrangements to come into being in January 2013.  The bid includes a total of 11 staff, although two of these may be employed by a partner organisation.

12.      There will be a need to appoint a new CF Cluster Board.  A consultant is currently working on proposals and options for governance.  A key issue is to achieve a participative and partnership approach which allows full and meaningful engagement within the cluster area.  A Joint Board of the two existing CF Partnerships has considered proposals during the transition period.

13.      Arrangements are being made to locate the new team within the cluster area.  One of the favoured options is to locate the team with the Gibbonsdown Community Enterprise Centre.  The advantage of such an option is that it is located in close proximity to many potential parties and beneficiaries.

14.      Synergies with other policies and interventions is vital in order to explain the opportunities afforded by wider development and regeneration activities, as follows:

 

·               Ensuring that staff within the Directorate and working on key development and regeneration initiatives are fully conversant with the objectives and actions of the CF team (and vice versa).

·               Ensuring that the work of the LSB Regeneration Partnership is fully conversant with the CF priorities (and vice versa).

·               Ensuring synergies between the work of the Communities First Programme and the Barry Regeneration Area, Castleland Renewal Area, Employment Training, new development opportunities and housing renewal work, including the Welsh Housing Quality Standard, to ensure that activity and investments can be focused and deliver tangible benefits to Communities First residents and communities.

·               Effective financial monitoring is also vital to ensure the success of the new cluster arrangement.

 

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

15.      The project is 100% grant funded and provides a net contribution towards management costs.  Up to 11 officers will be recruited to deliver the programme.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

16.      The project aims in part to achieve a more sustainable local economy.  In addition, there are synergies with wider regeneration initiatives such as links to employment in new schemes and developments.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

17.      The Council will be required to enter into a grant agreement with Welsh Government and a Service Level Agreement will need to be entered into with any partner organisation.

Crime and Disorder Implications

18.      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)

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

Corporate/Service Objectives

20.      CF has links to key corporate objectives relating to economic and social wellbeing and regeneration, as well as links to housing quality and renewal.

Policy Framework and Budget

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

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

22.      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 Communities First Cluster wards have been consulted on the report.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

23.      Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

Information and correspondence relating to the Welsh Government Communities First Programme.

 

Contact Officer

Bob Guy, Operational Manager Countryside and Economic Projects

 

Officers Consulted

Business Manager, Corporate and Customer Services

Head of Finance

Principal Regeneration Officer, Development Services

Legal Services

 

 

Responsible Officer:

 

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services

 

 

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