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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

Regeneration Partnership Working Arrangements in Barry - Progress Report

 

Purpose of the Report

1. To outline the progress made with regards to regeneration partnership working in Barry following the report to the meeting of Cabinet on 24th March 2014. 

Recommendations

1. That the progress made with regards to implementing the new regeneration partnership working arrangements in Barry since March 2014 be noted.

 

2. That the Feedback Report on the Forum held on the 25th November 2014 attached at Appendix 2 be noted; issued to all delegates for information; and, published on the Council's website.

 

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

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. To monitor progress.

 

2. To monitor progress and keep delegates and interested parties apprised.

 

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

Background

2. On 24th March 2014 Cabinet considered a report on options for future regeneration partnership working arrangements in Barry following the conclusion of the Welsh Government's Barry Regeneration Area Programme.  At that meeting Cabinet (Minute C2265 refers) resolved:  

(1) That the proposal outlined in paragraph 11 (Option 5) of the 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 12 months' time.

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

 

3. For ease of reference a line diagram of the new regeneration partnership working arrangements that were approved by Cabinet on the 24th March 2014 is attached to this report at Appendix 1.

 

4. On 1st April 2014 Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) considered the above mentioned report and resolved (Minute 992 refers):

(1) That the report be accepted and that future progress reports be presented to the Scrutiny Committee as and when available.

Relevant Issues and Options

5. The main headlines arising from the last twelve months are set out below in paragraphs 6 - 15 (inclusive).

Barry Regeneration Advisory Group

6. The Advisory Group held its inaugural meeting on 16th July 2014 following a call for expressions of interest in May/June 2014.  Membership -for a two year term- is listed on the Council's website.

http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/working/regeneration/Barry-Regeneration-Advisory-Group/Barry-Regeneration-Advisory-Group.aspx

 

At the above mentioned meeting it was recommended that a strategic overview was needed to refresh regeneration activities and align them with emerging policy drivers.  Members of the Advisory Group were invited to a strategic overview workshop meeting on 24th September 2014 and several key points emerged, which are that:

(1) Strategic Trajectory in the Cardiff Capital Region: Barry is amongst the best placed -arguably the best placed- to contribute positively to the City Region approach.  The following key strengths were identified:

i. Connectivity (especially by rail)

ii. Supply of brownfield housing land at The Quays - Waterfront Barry and the capacity of the town to grow sustainably

iii. Quality of life opportunities in the town as defined by an outstanding waterfront setting with its marine and lifestyle assets

(2) Strategic Objectives and Investment Aims: 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. 

(3) Community Capacity: Community capacity and an inability to access opportunities is an issue especially in disadvantaged areas in the town.

(4) Perception: It was felt that the strengths listed above can become the cornerstone of a positive brand and role for the town in the Cardiff Capital Region.

(5) Resources: Public spending cuts will continue into the next UK parliament.  This will impact on future regeneration funding opportunities afforded to the Council and partner organisations.

(6) Priority (tourism offer): Improve the tourism offer in Barry by developing stronger relationships with the third parties who control key land and sites in order to make the marine setting more productive for activity based tourism.

(7) Priority (partnership working and community engagement): Maximise the community outcomes of investment in the form of social, economic, environmental and health benefits.  The land-use planning system was identified as a means of achieving this but it was also recognised that an opportunity now exists for greater partnership working and community engagement.

(8) Priority (gateways and surplus land): Develop stronger relationships with the third parties who control key land and sites.  Specific reference was made to the condition of gateways to the town such as Port Road and Cardiff Road; the Old Harbour; and, surplus land at a number of the train stations.

(9) Priority (strategic partners): Actively engage with strategic partners such as Welsh Government; Cardiff and Vale College; Cardiff Capital Region Advisory Board; St Athan-Cardiff Airport Enterprise Zone Advisory Board; Waterfront Consortium; Barry Town Council etc. to develop and promote the strategic position of Barry.

(10) Priority (traditional shopping areas): Future investment in areas such as High Street / Broad Street and Holton Road should concentrate on measures to improve movement and connectivity between the old and new areas of the town.

 

7. The Advisory Group supported the preparation work leading up to the Forum on 25th November 2014 and several members actively shared their knowledge and experience on the day free of charge as workshop facilitators and panellists.  The next meeting of the Advisory Group is in March 2015.

Programme Board

8. Over the past twelve months the Council and Welsh Government representatives have worked closely at different spatial levels.  For example, there is neighbourhood intervention in the form of Communities First and the Tackling Poverty Fund programme; and, there is strategic intervention in the form of the Cardiff Capital Region and the St Athan-Cardiff Airport Enterprise Zone.  Welsh Government representatives also attend the Advisory Group as observers. 

 

9. Clearly it is mutually beneficial for both parties to work closely given the history of joint working and the legacy of land purchase interests.  However, now that the new arrangements have had time to bed down it has become clear that the Welsh Government must remain impartial when it comes to the local governance and implementation of the Vibrant and Viable Places policy across Wales.  No further action will therefore be taken to progress this aspect of the new arrangements.  

Cross Party Group (Group Leader Briefing)

10. Briefing meetings for Group Leaders are held on a quarterly basis.

Barry Regeneration Annual Forum

11. The inaugural Forum was held on 25th November 2014 at the Memo Arts Centre, Barry.  The aim of the event was to consider the next steps for Barry following the close of the Regeneration Area programme earlier in 2014; and, to examine the emerging challenges and opportunities for Barry and its communities.  The event was attended by more than eighty delegates from the public, private and third sector along with local residents and representatives from community groups in Barry. 

 

12. Comments made during the event have been captured in the Feedback Report attached to this report at Appendix 2.

The main conclusions to emerge from the event are that:

(1) The event brought different elements together and confirmed that there is an appetite to get involved in regeneration projects and activities.  One of the key themes to emerge from the day was that more can be achieved by working together and that the right people need to be involved. 

(2) That said the event confirmed that the regeneration challenge in Barry is about different things.  There is the inherent problem of disadvantaged areas in the town and the challenge of breaking the cycle of deprivation.  But there is also the opportunity to improve and raise the quality of the towns marine and lifestyle assets and in doing so enhance the strategic positioning of the town in the Cardiff Capital Region.  Furthermore, there is also the opportunity to harness and add value to private sector interest and investment in the town.

(3) In terms of governance and local leadership, concerted action is needed to align schemes with the wider priorities for the area as set out in Barry: a centre of growth and opportunity. 

(4) For the promoters of nationally / regionally significant projects such as Cardiff Capital Region, St Athan - Cardiff Airport Enterprise Zone and The Quays - Waterfront Barry, there is a need to engage proactively with local leaders to set out how these schemes will drive forward plans to improve the lives and opportunities of local people and unlock growth.

(5) Overall it was felt that the event marked a turning point in terms of engagement and capacity building.  That said it was also felt that from here on communication and coordination will be key in determining whether momentum is lost or gained.

(6) Moving forward, the local policy direction will need to continue to be flexible and adaptable with austerity measures continuing into the next UK parliament.  It is now up to local partners and service providers to think creatively, corral resources and work collaboratively.

 

13. In terms of feedback, delegates were issued with feedback forms and overall the responses were favourable.  The Forum was seen as worthwhile by the majority of those who provided feedback with many indicating that they would welcome the opportunity to attend a follow up event.  Many delegates also highlighted the opportunity to network and build new contacts as one of the main benefits of the day.

 

14. In terms of the next steps, the workshops and the panel discussion focused on areas of work within Barry: a centre of growth and opportunity.  The observations and contributions captured in the Feedback Report attached to this report at Appendix 2 will be used by the Council; the relevant partnerships; and, partner organisations and assist them in taking forward their priorities. 

 

15. In response to specific feedback further consideration will be given to:

i. broadening the demographic of delegates for future events;

ii. making better use of the local media to publicise future events;

iii. making better use of social media to share information and coordinate activities;

iv. reviewing the format, frequency and scale of future events; and,

v. tailored future engagement events with an emphasis on targeted spatial areas and/or groups.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

16. The Advisory Group, Cross Party Group and Forum are funded from within existing budgets.  Any future events will need to be funded from within budgets and any initiatives to be progressed will need to have any resource implications clearly identified.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

17. There are no sustainability and climate change implications associated with this particular report.  That said sustainable communities can be achieved by involving local people, meeting their needs and providing a good quality of life.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

18. 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 are made through the constituted Council, Cabinet, Lead Member and Committee structure.

Crime and Disorder Implications

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

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

20. 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.  That said general interest information was produced bilingually for the Forum. 

Corporate/Service Objectives

21. Regeneration requires broad action across a range of Departments and Service Areas and this is reflected in the content of both the Corporate Plan 2013-17 and Service Plans.  Furthermore, the Corporate Plan advocates actively promoting effective, participative systems of governance.  Similarly the Community Strategy 2011-21 makes reference to achieving sustainable communities by involving local people, meeting their needs and providing a good quality of life.

Policy Framework and Budget

22. This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

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

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

24. Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

Cabinet Report - 24th March 2014 (C2265 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 - 01446 704753

 

 

Officers Consulted

Legal (Committee Reports)

Finance Support Manager (Resource Management)

Operational Manager (Countryside & Economic Projects)

 

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services

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