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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 16 June, 2014

 

Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation

 

Welsh Government High Streets Campaign

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To advise Cabinet of the launch of a Welsh Government High Streets Campaign and to promote lead High Streets for participation in the Campaign.

Recommendations

1.         That the Welsh Government High Streets Campaign and the holding response of the Director of Development Services be noted.

2.         That the proforma and covering letter attached at Appendix 3 be agreed as a further formal response to Welsh Government.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         In order to apprise Cabinet of the High Streets campaign.

2.         In order to provide a further formal response to the High Streets campaign.

Background

2.         On 7th April, the Welsh Government Deputy Director for Homes and Places, corresponded with the Council on the High Streets Campaign.  A copy of the letter and Annex is attached at Appendix 1.  The letter sets out the background to the campaign, referring to the Vibrant and Viable Places regeneration framework and the commitment on behalf of Welsh Government to support Welsh High Streets.  The letter also refers to the fact that a Task and Finish Group has been established to advise Welsh Government on the campaign to give prominence to High Street/Town Centre regeneration.

3.         Welsh Government asks that Councils consider the initiative and asks that individual Councils support the Campaign.  They seek local High Streets, where events and visits can be focused to promote "Town Centres".  Any lead High Streets can then be included in the campaign and potentially in national publicity.  A proforma is attached for the use of respondents.

Relevant Issues and Options

4.         In terms of the campaign and the need to respond to it by 12th May 2014, at Appendix 2 is a letter of response issued by the Director of Development Services.  That letter refers to a number of initiatives and also lists events that are already planned at certain High Streets and Town Centres.  The response is a holding response in advance of the issuing of the proforma as requested by Welsh Government.

5.         Members will recall that a significant element of the Council's Vibrant and Viable Places submission included Town Centre regeneration within Barry, with elements of the Council's submission relating to Holton Road and High Street/Broad Street.  Members will also be familiar with the work undertaken to date in Barry as well as the regeneration of Boverton Road in Llantwit Major.  In Cowbridge, new investment has taken place on the former garden centre site with the construction of a Waitrose Store, whilst in Penarth there has been considerable progress in the Esplande with the refurbishment of the Pier Pavilion building.  Furthermore, many events are held in Town Centres throughout the year that are either facilitated or supported by this Council, examples of which include various Festivals in Penarth, Cowbridge and Llantwit Major as well as a full programme of events at Barry Island.  Finally, the Town Centre Framework also promotes the use of events as a means of regeneration and increasing interest in Town Centres throughout the Vale of Glamorgan.

6.         The campaign clearly provides for an opportunity to promote Town Centres in the Vale of Glamorgan.  The correspondence from Welsh Government makes it clear that promotion will involve being used in national campaigns and where the High Streets in question will be used for visits.  As a result, whilst the proforma requirements request prioritisation of High Streets, the additional response over and above the response already issued by the Director of Development Services, seeks to justify inclusion of our various Town Centres and visitor destinations according to already planned and scheduled events as well as links to other policy initiatives, such as regeneration, tourism, events and renewal.  This is a reflection that the Town Centres in the Vale of Glamorgan have differing attributes, challenges and opportunities.  The suggested proforma is attached at Appendix 3.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

7.         Responding to the High Streets campaign has been achieved within the Directorate budget.  Any specific initiatives will need to be fully costed, prior to agreement and planning.  Any additional funding would need to be identified as and when required.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

8.         The promotion of the Town Centre reduces the need to travel and promotes the effective and beneficial use of sites and buildings.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

9.         None directly attributable to this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

10.      None directly attributable, although successful initiatives in the High Streets could serve to reduce incidences of crime and disorder.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

11.      The promotion of the High Streets and Town Centre retail areas can promote equality of access to services and facilities other than by car to areas further afield.

Corporate/Service Objectives

12.      Promotion of High Streets and Town Centres link to the Corporate Objective of Regeneration.

Policy Framework and Budget

13.      This is a matter within the Policy Framework.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

14.      None undertaken as this is a report which deals with a number of areas of the Vale of Glamorgan.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

15.      Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

Welsh Government High Streets Campaign letter.

 

Contact Officer

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services - tel. 01446 704630

 

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager Legal Services

Finance

Operational Manager, Countryside and Economic Projects

Operational Manager, Planning and Transportation Policy

Director of Visible Services and Housing

Principal Officer (Business and Employment)

Principal Regeneration Officer

Town Centres Development Officer

 

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services

 

 

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