Agenda Item No.












The Welsh Government had requested that the future of the Communities First programme would require a new Cluster Programme based on the most deprived 20% of Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs) in Wales and this approach would commence in October 2012.  Bids were required to be submitted for a new Cluster on or before 29th June, 2012.  The proposed Cluster group for Barry would entail Castleland (1+2), Cadoc (1, 3+4), Court (3), Gibbonsdown (1, 2+4) and Buttrills (2).  The population of the proposed Cluster stood at just over 15,500.


Following the recent Senior Management reduction exercise, the Communities First team would now be situated within the new Directorate of Development Services.  This was considered beneficial in that it allowed synergies to develop with a number of relevant initiatives and policies, not least the Barry Regeneration Area, housing renewal, new development opportunities and links with transport issues. 


Initial expressions of interest were submitted to WG in April of this year and was in the form of a Cluster Indicator Request form which detailed the proposed LSOAs to form the Barry Cluster.  This allowed WG to issue a reference number for the Cluster and allow work to proceed on making a full submission.  Since that time, discussions had been held on a regular basis with WG officials, not only specifically relating to Communities First but also in terms of linking the Barry Cluster proposal with the work being undertaken on regeneration.  The Council had been allocated Consultant support to assist in drawing up the proposal with the matter also being presented to the Local Services Board and the Council's Corporate Management Team in June 2012.  It was also noted that the application was being developed in collaboration with partners which maximised the opportunities to add value to existing service provision and initiatives such as Families First, with links established with health bodies and agencies such as the Citizens Advice Bureau and Careers Wales.


In regard to the programme detail itself, the programme was based on three themes, namely Learning, Prosperous and Healthy Communities.  A copy of the bid had been made available in the Council's Members' Room and included full details of the matters referred to in the report.


The next steps would require further development of the bid in July and August, with the potential for review any time up until October 2012.  To this end, WG officials had continued to stress that the process was imperative and that there would be a need to discuss and develop the proposal after the bid submission date of 29th June.


This was a matter for Executive decision.




(1)       T H A T work to date on progressing a Communities First Cluster Bid be endorsed.


(2)       T H A T the report be referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) for consideration.


(3)       T H A T a further report be presented to Cabinet and Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) as the bid is developed further following discussion with Welsh Government.


Reasons for decisions


(1)       To monitor progress in respect of the matter and to endorse the Bid submitted to Welsh Government on 28th June, 2012.


(2)       To apprise the Committee of the current position and to allow a view to be expressed on the matter.


(3)       To keep Cabinet and Scrutiny Committee updated as to progress on the Barry Communities First Cluster."




Attached as Appendix - Report to Cabinet: 23rd July, 2012