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Agenda Item No. 5

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment): 14 January 2014

 

Report of the Director of Development Services

 

Changing Economic Circumstances: Supporting Businesses in the Local Economy

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To provide the Committee with a comprehensive report on the issues raised following the Scrutiny Committee meetings held with local businesses and key stakeholders.

Recommendations

1.         That the progress to date and the report be accepted and referred to Cabinet with any comments.

2.         That the Committee confirms its support to continue to engage with local businesses and key stakeholders on a regular basis and Members consider ideas for the format for future events.

3.         That a further report be presented to the Committee in July 2014 outlining the suggested format of such an event to be held in either October or November 2014.

Reasons for Recommendations

1.         To apprise Members of the issues and responses made following evidence gathering meetings with interested parties.

2.         To continue to hold discussions and engage with key stakeholders and consider the format for future events in order to maintain added value.

3.         In order to agree a format and date for the future meeting.

Background

2.         The Scrutiny Committee has held a number of meetings with local business representatives, interested parties and key stakeholders to obtain views, comments and suggestions in view of the current climate of changing economic circumstances.  The Committees view being that it is essential for evidence to be gathered from representatives of various bodies in order to assist the Council in considering ways to mitigate the effects of the economic downturn on local businesses.  This Committee has also since the Local Government elections 2012 recommended that similar exercises be continued to be repeated in future years to explore ways to aid local businesses

3.         The first meeting held by the Committee took place in 2009 the second in 2011, and the more recent meeting of its type was held on 9th April 2013. The minutes of each of the meetings have been reported to the Committee previously with the view that a final report would be prepared in order that the views expressed and the Council responses could be contained in a concise document which is now attached at Appendix A to this report. 

4.         Cabinet itself also in 2012 agreed a report which detailed a number of business liaison activities that would take place as well as acknowledging that on an annual basis a meeting would be held by the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) to consider the economic situation and business issues.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.         This report provides the Committee with an overview of the meetings that have taken place to date and the comments and issues raised, together with officers' responses in relation to suggestions made.

6.         The last meeting held in April of this year welcomed a considerable number of stakeholders who were afforded the opportunity of addressing the Committee. A similar event of this nature is also further proposed but Members of the Committee have requested that the format for such be reconsidered in order to allow for sufficient debate to take place.  It is suggested that the next event takes place October / November 2014 and that a suggested format be reported to the Committee in July 2014 for its consideration.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

7.         None directly as result of this report.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

8.         None directly attributable to this report although economic development, business support and planning issues do contribute to the principle of sustainable development when applied appropriately.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

9.         None directly as a result of this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

10.      None directly attributable to this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

11.      None directly attributable to this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

12.      One of the outcomes in the Corporate Plan is that the Vale of the Glamorgan has a thriving economy supporting cohesive sustainable. 

Policy Framework and budget

13.      The report is within the Council's policy framework and budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

14.      None as this is a Council-wide issue.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

15.      Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

Reports of 9th and 16th April 2013: Changing Economic Circumstances: Supporting Businesses in the Local Economy

Minutes Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) - 2009, 2011 and 2013.

 

Contact Officer

Mrs. K. Bowen, Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer

Mr. R. Thomas, Director of Development Services

 

Officers Consulted

Mr. B. Guy, Operational Manager

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services

 

 

 

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