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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 24 March 2014

 

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

 

Future Regeneration Partnership Working Arrangements in Barry - Review and Options Appraisal

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To consider options for future regeneration partnership working arrangements in Barry following the conclusion of the Welsh Government's Barry Regeneration Area Programme.

Recommendations

1.         That the proposal outlined in paragraph11 (Option 5) of this report be approved.

2.         That the Director of Development Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation be given delegated authority to implement Recommendation 1.

3.         That a progress report be presented to Cabinet in no more than twelve months time.

4.         That this report be forwarded to Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) for information.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To ensure that future engagement and partnership working is proportionate and will serve to assist progress.

2.         To enable the continuation of regeneration partnership working arrangements in Barry.

3.         To monitor progress.

4.         To keep Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) apprised.

Background

2.         The Barry Regeneration Area Programme was launched by the Welsh Government in March 2010.  A total of £9.8m of Welsh Government investment was allocated to the Programme, which was initially intended to run for three years (April 2010 - March 2013 inclusive).  However, following the spending review by the United Kingdom Government, this allocation was re-profiled over four years and the programme will therefore close at the end of March 2014.  

3.         In July 2010 the Welsh Government established an advisory, cross-sector partnership known as the Barry Regeneration Area Partnership Board (BRAPB) to advise on the implementation of the Programme, specifically, by making recommendations to Ministers about how to deploy the Welsh Government regeneration funding available between April 2010 and March 2014, and by overseeing the work of Welsh Government officials on the Barry Regeneration Area team.  The members are appointed by the Minister for Housing and Regeneration (up to 31st March 2014).  The current Chair (up to 31st March 2014) is the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation.    

4.         The Programme closes at the end of March 2014 and the secretariat arrangements currently provided by the Welsh Government is being withdrawn.  Cabinet on 16th December 2013 were presented with a report on the work being undertaken on the Council's bid under the Vibrant and Viable Places programme in light of the decision by the Welsh Government in September 2013 that the Council's Stage 1 bid had not been successful, and resolved (Minute C2132 Resolution 4):

T H A T a further report be presented to Cabinet prior to the end of March 2014 to consider options for future partnership working arrangements on regeneration in Barry following the conclusion of the current Welsh Government Regeneration Area in March 2014.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.         Given that regeneration schemes can take a decade or more to implement, the regeneration agenda in Barry has been the focus of programme management and governance change over many years.  What follows (paragraphs 6 - 9 inclusive) is a summary of the key programme management and governance arrangements.

6.         Barry Joint Initiative 1992-2007

This was a Joint Initiative between Associated British Ports (ABP) and the Welsh Development Agency (WDA) to direct and manage the redevelopment of the 190 acres around Barry No.1 Dock.  The Joint Initiative operated via a Strategic Management Group (SMG) made up of representatives of ABP and WDA.  A Liaison Committee (with representatives from ABP, WDA, local authorities and lay representatives) was also established to receive observations and to spread information about the project.

7.         Barry Joint Venture (Barry Action) 1994-2005

The Joint Venture consisted of Vale of Glamorgan Borough Council, South Glamorgan County Council and the WDA.  Activities of the Joint Venture focused on Barry Island, Barry Town Centre and Barry Docks and were directed by a Joint Venture Board consisting of members and staff from the partners organisations.  A WDA Project Manager coordinated the activities of an officer project team.  The WDA’s representatives on the Joint Venture Board and the Joint Venture Project Manager also participated in the Barry Joint Initiative through the SMG.

8.         Barry Regeneration Partnership 2005-2010

This was a cross-party, cross-sector partnership established by the Vale of Glamorgan Council as the lead partner.  The Barry Regeneration Partnership was established for information sharing; policy development; and, policy refinement purposes.  Representation consisted of members and staff from the Vale of Glamorgan Council; Welsh Assembly Government; private sector (Dow Corning, Scafftag and Holton Road Traders); and a local interest group (Pride in Barry).  Activities were coordinated by a Technical Officer Team chaired by the Director of Environmental & Economic Regeneration / Head of Economic Development & Leisure.

9.         Barry Regeneration Area 2010-2014

Following the declaration of the Regeneration Area in March 2010 the Welsh Government, as the lead partner, formed an advisory cross-sector partnership BRAPB.  At inception in July 2010 representation consisted of public sector (Welsh Government and Vale of Glamorgan Council); private sector (Dow Corning and Newydd HA); voluntary sector (VCVS); and, local interest groups (Barry College and Pride in Barry).  At the end of 2013 membership had increased and consisted of public sector (Welsh Government, Vale of Glamorgan Council and Barry Town Council); private sector (Barry Island Traders, Waterfront Consortium and Newydd HA); voluntary sector (VCVS, Waterloo Foundation and Charity Bank); and, local interest groups (Capital Region Tourism, Cardiff and Vale College, Cardiff and Vale UHB and Pride in Barry).  Activities are coordinated by a Welsh Government Programme Director.

 

10.      The focus going forward is likely to be on delivery, and on getting optimum benefits for Barry, the Vale of Glamorgan and the South East Wales City region from the funding opportunities set out in Barry: a centre of growth and opportunity and the emerging Delivery Plan (Minute C2132 Resolutions 3 refers).  Progress with the emerging Delivery Plan is subject to a separate report to Cabinet in the near future.  The BRAPB has been worthwhile for the life of the Welsh Government's Barry Regeneration Area Programme.  That said the Programme closes at the end of March 2014 and the secretariat arrangements currently provided by the Welsh Government is being withdrawn.  With this in mind it does seem in some senses unwieldy for the Council to extend the life of the BRAPB in its current form beyond this point.  It is therefore more fruitful for the Council, as lead partner for Barry: a centre of growth and opportunity and the emerging Delivery Plan, to look at other arrangements to ensure that future engagement and partnership working is proportionate and will serve to assist and not delay progress.

11.      The following policy documents are considered highly relevant when considering options for future partnership working arrangements:

·         Welsh Government's regeneration framework Vibrant and Viable Places (March 2013) and the policy emphasis on partners from across the sectors working together to optimise the regeneration benefits from all investment programmes;

·         the Corporate Plan 2013-17 in terms actively promoting effective, participative systems of governance; and,

·         the Community Strategy 2011-21 in terms of achieving sustainable communities by involving local people, meeting their needs and providing a good quality of life.

 

The following options are identified for consideration.

 

Option 1: BRAPB is disbanded at the end of March 2014.  Beyond the end of March 2014 formal decision making is by Council Members and/or the Council’s Management Team as the Vale of Glamorgan Council is lead partner for Barry: a centre of growth and opportunity and the emerging Delivery Plan.  An annual stakeholder event would be held to achieve place-based discussion with local interest groups, residents, local businesses and potential investors.  Option 1 is not favoured as it does not meet the requirements of the policy documents outlined above.

 

Option 2: BRAPB continues unchanged in terms of membership beyond the end of March 2014 with the Vale of Glamorgan Council providing a secretariat.  That said formal decision making is by Council Members and/or the Council’s Management Team as the Vale of Glamorgan Council is lead partner for Barry: a centre of growth and opportunity and the emerging Delivery Plan.  An annual stakeholder event would be held to achieve place-based discussion with local interest groups, residents, local businesses and potential investors.  Option 2 is not favoured as the context and rationale for partnership working has changed as a result of the conclusion of the Barry Regeneration Area Programme and a new rationale is needed which needs to flex and change according to external conditions, including a new funding regime and the need to access alternative and varied forms of funding.

 

Option 3: BRAPB is disbanded at the end of March 2014.  Beyond the end of March 2014 a new cross-party, cross-sector partnership is formed for information sharing and advisory purposes.  The Vale of Glamorgan Council would provide a secretariat for the new partnership.  That said formal decision making is by Council Members and/or the Council’s Management Team as the Vale of Glamorgan Council is lead partner for Barry: a centre of growth and opportunity and the emerging Delivery Plan.  An annual stakeholder event would be held to achieve place-based discussion with local interest groups, residents, local businesses and potential investors.  Option 3 is not favoured as the context and rationale for partnership working has changed as a result of the conclusion of the Barry Regeneration Area Programme and a new rationale is needed which needs to flex and change according to external conditions, including a new funding regime and the need to access alternative and varied forms of funding.

 

Option 4: BRAPB is disbanded at the end of March 2014.  Beyond the end of March 2014 a Programme Board is formed by the two lead partners namely the Vale of Glamorgan Council and the Welsh Government. 

The rationale for forming a Programme Board is that the Council as lead partner for Barry: a centre of growth and opportunity and the emerging Delivery Plan requires a governance structure aligned to the Council's overall leadership and approach.  The inclusion of the Welsh Government is justified for two reasons.  Firstly, as successor to the WDA they have considerable land purchase interests in Barry such as the Innovation Quarter; and, secondly a significant number of projects within the emerging Delivery Plan will be applying for Welsh Government funding through Vibrant and Viable Places and other grant programmes.  The Programme Board is therefore favoured as it will enable both the Council and the Welsh Government to effectively plan their expenditure and make subsequent applications for funding more straightforward.  The Programme Board would also direct and manage the implementation of Barry: a centre of growth and opportunity and the emerging Delivery Plan

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council would provide a secretariat for the Programme Board.  An annual stakeholder event would be held to achieve place-based discussion with local interest groups, residents, local businesses and potential investors.  The limitations of Option 4 extend from a reliance on an annual stakeholder event and are expanded on below in Option 5.

 

Option 5 (a line diagram is attached at Appendix 1: Option 5 addresses the limitations of Option 4 in terms of stakeholder engagement.  In Option 5 the effectiveness of the Programme Board is strengthened by links with an Expert Panel/Advisory Group to promote good practice, equality and innovation and a Cross Party Group, which could include Barry Town Council, to support effective communication and joint working.  This Cross Party Group has met on two separate occasions since the Council meeting on 25th September 2013 and was established following the debate that was held at that meeting of Council.  It is envisaged that this group will continue to meet regularly as this new method and structure of working is progressed.  

The Expert Panel/Advisory Group would provide independent advice and recommendations to the Programme Board within a remit agreed by the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation in consultation with the Director of Development Services.  Appointment to the Expert Panel/Advisory Group would be by invitation following an open call for expressions of interest.  Membership of the Expert Panel/Advisory Group will be sought from those with expertise in the field of regeneration and specifically in one or more of the following areas: innovative finance initiatives; the housing sector; the tourism sector; the business sector; the retail sector; health and well-being; community regeneration; the third sector; transportation; and, the further and higher education sector.  Ad hoc contributions and attendance of others may be necessary to ensure the expedient delivery of Programme Board business.

 

The Senior Responsible Owner (Director of Development Services) will be responsible for the implementation of Barry: a centre of growth and opportunity and the emerging Delivery Plan; the coordination of activities including resource requirements; ensuring consistency between projects and activities; and, ensuring that properly tested proposals are adopted into planning policy.

 

In terms of project management, projects led by the Vale of Glamorgan Council will be developed and delivered in accordance with the Council's Corporate Project Management methodology.  Projects led by a partner organisation or the private sector will be subject to their own internal project management arrangements, but where appropriate will be monitored through the Senior Responsible Owner / Programme Board to ensure coordination over the whole programme.

 

12.      Communication will be a significant part of future engagement and partnership working in Barry.  One aspect is ensuring effective two way communication with key partners with up to date information.  The other is to manage expectations whilst communicating a positive and progressive message about the emerging Delivery Plan and achievements to a wider audience of local interest groups, residents, local businesses and potential investors.  This calls for a system of partnership working which needs to flex and change according to external conditions and a financial climate that is and will continue to be tough.  With this and the criteria set out at the beginning of paragraph11 in mind, Option 5 is favoured and recommended for approval. 

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

13.      There are staff resources in place from within the Directorate budget to facilitate the proposal outlined in paragraph 11 (Option 5) of this report.  That said there are likely to be significant feasibility and design costs involved in developing many of the unfunded projects identified in the emerging Delivery Plan to a point where the necessary funding is in place for implementation.  This cost would need to be borne by either the Vale of Glamorgan Council or other relevant sponsoring body.  There is currently an allocation of £300,000 per year in the Capital Programme (Barry Regeneration - Project Development Fund) up to the end of 2017/18 for those unfunded projects identified in the emerging Delivery Plan and others that are yet to be identified but are consistent with Barry: a centre of growth and opportunity.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

14.      There are no sustainability and climate change implications associated with this particular report.  That said regeneration has implications for the sustainability of communities, especially when integrated with planning, housing and transport issues.  By way of example, investment in new developments and facilities can reduce the need to travel.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

15.      There are no legal implications associated with this particular report.  That said decisions by the Vale of Glamorgan Council as lead partner for Barry: a centre of growth and opportunity and the emerging Delivery Plan are made through the constituted Council, Cabinet, Lead Member and Committee structure.

Crime and Disorder Implications

16.      There are no crime and disorder implications associated with this particular report, although successful regeneration activity will result in a reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

17.      There are no specific equal opportunities implications associated with this particular report, although successful regeneration can lead to improved access to services and facilities and foster community cohesion, a factor which figures in Barry: a centre of growth and opportunity.

Corporate/Service Objectives

18.      Regeneration requires broad action across a range of Departments and Service Areas and this is reflected in the content of both the Corporate Plan and Service Plans.

Policy Framework and Budget

19.      This is a matter for Executive Decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

20.      The Council’s Stage 1 application was reported to Cabinet on 29th July 2013 (C1442 refers) and referred to Economy and Environmental Scrutiny Committee for information purposes on 3rd September 2013.  All Councillors were sent a copy of the bid by email on 23rd July 2013.

21.      Ward Members have not been consulted on this report as it relates to multiple wards and is non-specific in nature.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

22.      Economy and Environment.

 

Background Papers

Cabinet Report - 29th July 2013 (C1442 refers)

Cabinet Report - 16th December 2013 (C2132 refers)

Welsh Government - Vibrant and Viable Places: new regeneration framework (March 2013)

Corporate Plan 2013-17

Community Strategy 2011-21

 

Contact Officer

Dave Williams - Principal Regeneration Officer - Tel: 01446 704753

 

Officers Consulted

Principal Lawyer (Property and Contracts)

Accountant (Resource Management)

Countryside & Economic Projects Operational Manager

Manager - Barry Communities First Cluster Team

Head of Performance and Development

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services

 

 

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