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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 23 February, 2015

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

Barry: A Centre of Growth and Opportunity - Progress Report

 

Purpose of the Report

1. To outline how the various initiatives and proposals contained within the Council's Vibrant and Viable Places Stage 1 Strategic Outline Programme bid, Barry: A Centre of Growth and Opportunity have been progressed.

Recommendations

1. That the progress being made with various initiatives and proposals contained within Barry: A Centre of Growth and Opportunity be noted.

 

2. That a copy of this report be referred to Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) for information.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. To monitor progress, maintain momentum and continue to build upon recent successes and renewed private sector interest.

 

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

Background

2. On 16th December 2013 Cabinet considered a report on the work being undertaken on the Council's Vibrant and Viable Places Stage 1 Strategic Outline Programme bid Barry: A Centre of Growth and Opportunity over the three financial years 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17.  This was in light of the decision taken by the Welsh Government in September of that year not to progress the bid to Stage 2 of the assessment process.  At the above mentioned meeting Cabinet (Minute C2132, Resolution 2) resolved:

(2) That further reports detailing how the various initiatives and proposals contained within Barry: A Centre of Growth and Opportunity are being progressed be presented to Cabinet in due course.

 

3. Following a request for consideration Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) also considered the above mentioned report at the meeting on 11th February 2014 and resolved (Minute 823 refers):

(1) That the Committee also be presented with the reports which would detail how the various initiatives and proposals contained within Barry: A Centre of Growth and Opportunity would be progressed.

 

4. When the Council was notified that its Stage 1 bid for Vibrant and Viable Places funding had not progressed to Stage 2, the Welsh Government also announced that the Council should be eligible for a ring-fenced fund aimed at tackling poverty.  In April 2014 the Minister for Housing and Regeneration announced that the Council would be eligible for £1m in capital funding (known as the Tackling Poverty Fund) over the three financial years 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17. 

 

5. The Council received guidance on how to apply for this funding on 12th June 2014.  The guidance stated that local authorities should put forward a project or programme of projects which is consistent with the Stage 1 Strategic Outline Programme bid i.e. Barry: A Centre of Growth and Opportunity.  A request for the use of emergency powers to submit an application was authorised on 23rd June 2014 to coincide with the Welsh Government's deadline for submitting the application.  The grant award letter was issued by the Welsh Government on 29th July 2014.

 

6. On 28th July 2014 Cabinet received a report outlining the programme of projects that formed the basis of the Tackling Poverty Fund application.  At the above mentioned meeting Cabinet (Minute C2419 refers) resolved:

(1) That the content of the report including the budget proposals set out in paragraph 7 be noted.

(2) That subject to Welsh Government approval of the Council's application for Tackling Poverty Fund, the capital programme is amended to include £333k for 2014/15; £418k for 2015/16; and, £249k for 2016/17.

(3) That subject to Welsh Government approval of the Council's application for Tackling Poverty Fund, the amendment to the Housing Renewal Policy 2014 referred to in paragraph 6 (Appendix 4) in the report be approved.

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

 

7. Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) also considered the above mentioned report at the meeting on 2nd September 2014 and resolved (Minute 334 refers):

(1) That the contents of the report and the proposals in relation to the Tackling Poverty Agenda within the Settlement of Barry be noted.

Relevant Issues and Options

8. In light of the passage of time and the level of funding available it is unsurprising that projects have had to be adjusted from the original proposal either in terms of scope or timescales or both. 

 

9. Attached at Appendix 1 is a status report in the form of a table which sets out each investment aim and the proposal that was included in the Stage 1 Strategic Outline Programme bid submitted in July 2013.  Appendix 1 identifies where it has been possible to take forward a proposal and if so by what means.

 

10. In terms of the projects that are noted as not progressing at this stage, further work will be undertaken to determine if a funding stream can be identified or whether the project is still considered as being required or viable. 

 

11. Alongside setting out how the various initiatives and proposals contained within Barry: A Centre of Growth and Opportunity have been progressed, significant progress has been made over the last twelve months with regards to regeneration partnership working in Barry and this is the subject of a separate report to this Cabinet.  It is worth noting that a strategic overview undertaken with the Barry Regeneration Advisory Group in September 2014 concluded that "The strategic objectives and investment aims in Barry: a centre of growth and opportunity are still fit for purpose and essentially function as project selection criteria".   With this in mind the Council will continue to work with the public, private and third sectors to develop proposals and align schemes with the wider priorities and investment aims for the area as set out in Barry: a centre of growth and opportunity.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

12. There are no direct financial implications from this report.  Where a budget has been identified the funding has come from two sources, the Council's Capital Programme (either Project Development Fund or section 106 contributions) and the Welsh Government (either Tackling Poverty Fund or Renewal Area grant).  It is worth noting however, that a number of schemes e.g. the Pump House, are now being delivered by the private sector.  In addition, other smaller schemes are being progressed through section 106 funding; the best example of this being the refurbishment of various parks and play areas within Barry.

 

13. That said public spending cuts with austerity measures continuing into the next UK parliament will have an impact on future regeneration funding opportunities afforded to the Council and partner organisations.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

14. None attributable to this report.  However regeneration activity can contribute positively to the sustainability and climate change agenda.  Such issues will be considered as part of individual project development.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

15. In procuring and appointing any contractor and/or external advisor in connection with the proposals and projects identified, regard must be had as applicable for the Council’s Procurement Policy and Guidance.  As appropriate, any procurement process will involve the use of the Council’s standard terms and conditions of contract or industry standard terms and conditions of contract, which will serve as the basis for any contractual arrangements with third-party suppliers/providers.

 

16. Furthermore, where the proposals and projects identified involve making bids for external funding, it will be necessary to ensure that all terms and conditions attached to the external funding offer and grant are complied with and that the Council’s Procedure Note on Grant Funding is followed.

Crime and Disorder Implications

17. None attributable to this report.  However regeneration activity can contribute positively to the reduction in crime and disorder.  Such issues will be considered as part of individual project development.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

18. None attributable to this report.  However regeneration activity can contribute positively in terms of access requirements.  Such issues will be considered as part of individual project development.

Corporate/Service Objectives

19. There is broad agreement both in Wales and across the UK that regeneration is a comprehensive process, which aims to tackle a combination of social, economic, physical and environmental issues and that it is focused on areas of disadvantage, particularly those where the market alone cannot deliver improvement.  Regeneration therefore requires broad action across a range of Departments and Service Areas and in terms of Barry this is reflected in the content of both the Corporate Plan 2013-17 and Service Plans.

Policy Framework and Budget

20. This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

21. The actions and activities identified in this report contribute to a significant number of priorities, objectives and actions in the Corporate Plan 2013-17.  Consultation with Ward Members and third parties will be commensurate with the feasibility, design and implementation requirements of the project. 

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

22. Economy and Environment

Background Papers

Corporate Plan 2013-17

Vibrant and Viable Places, Stage 1 Strategic Outline Programme bid - Barry: A Centre of Growth and Opportunity (reported to Cabinet 29th July 2013)

Vibrant and Viable Places, Tackling Poverty Fund application (reported to Cabinet 28th July 2014) 

Contact Officer

Dave Williams - Principal Regeneration Officer - 01446 704753

Officers Consulted

Principal Lawyer, Legal Services

Accountant, Resource Management

Operational Manager (Countryside & Economic Projects)

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services

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