BOROUGH OF BARROW-IN-FURNESS OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE ECONOMY AND REGENERATION Meeting, 5th October, 2004 at 2.00 p.m. (Committee Room No. 4) AGENDA PART ONE 1. To note any items which the Chairman considers to be of an urgent nature. 2. To receive notice from Members who may wish to move any delegated matter non-delegated and which will be decided by a majority of Members present and voting at the meeting. 3. Admission of Public and Press To consider whether the public and press should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any of the items on the agenda. 4. Disclosures of Interests and any declarations under Paragraph 16: Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules (Party Whip). 5. Apologies for Absence/Attendance of Substitutes. 6. Confirmation of Minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny – Economy and Regeneration held on 7th September, 2004 (copy attached). 7. Matters Arising. (D) 8. Disabled Access. (D) 9. Planning Enforcement. (D) 10. Urban Design Framework. (D) 11. Derelict Land. (D) 12. Community Plan Priorities. (D) 13. Tourism in Barrow Borough, Key Trends and Performance. (D) 14. Keeping Our Future Afloat Campaign – Minutes 16th August, 2004. NOTE (D) - Delegated (R) - Referred Members on Committee Councillors Garnett (Chairman) Irwin (Vice-Chairman) Callister Forbes James Williams Part One OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – (D) Economy and Regeneration Agenda Item Date of Meeting: 5th October, 2004 8 Reporting Officer: Policy Review Officer Title: Disabled Access Summary and Conclusions: The draft report for this review has been completed. Recommendation: Review the report and agree any changes. Scrutiny review into accessibility for disabled people Summary The Overview and Scrutiny Committee- Economy and Regeneration have identified Barrow Borough Council’s performance against BVPI 156 and their preparation for revised guidelines for Disabled Discrimination Act apply from 1st October 2004 as an area of concern. They discussed their concerns with the Director of Regeneration who updated them on the current position and current proposals for delivering improvements. A number of issues were identified and the Director of Regeneration developed proposals to address these issues. Introduction The Overview and Scrutiny Committee- Economy and Regeneration have identified Barrow Borough Council’s performance against BVPI 156 as an area of concern. Although the value of 26% is in the mid-fifty percentile it has not improved during the last four years and is below Barrow Borough Council’s own target of 40%. In addition revised guidelines for Disabled Discrimination Act apply from 1 st October 2004 and the Overview and Scrutiny committee believe that it would be appropriate to review Barrow Borough Council’s approach to disabled access at this time. The Chairmen of the committee proposed that instead of identifying a work group, the whole committee should be involved in the review and the other members supported this. Report Scope Councillors Garnett, Irwin and James met with the Director of Regeneration and the Building Control Manager to agree a scope for this review. The Director of Regeneration outlined Barrow Borough Council’s approach to preparing for the new Disabled Discrimination Act legislation that comes in to effect in October 2004. He emphasised that the new guidelines are focussed on reasonableness and that the Council is currently taking that approach. The committee supported this approach and agreed that appropriately qualified officers should make the decision as to what is reasonable. The outcome from this review should be that Barrow Borough Council has policies in place to support the decision making process and that there is a mechanism in place for resolving any issues that may arise. In addition there should be a commitment by the Council to improve performance against BVPI 156. Methodology Interview staff to identify the officer with accountability for assessing disability issues. Determine Barrow Borough Council’s current arrangements for improving accessibility for disabled members of staff and members of the public. Co-opt a member of the Barrow and District Disability Association onto the committee to obtain a more a balanced view. Examine the Council’s current procedures relating the Disability Discrimination Act. Interviews Councillors Garnett, Irwin and James met with the Director of Regeneration and the Building Control Manager. The Chairman asked the Director of Regeneration what the Council’s position was regarding the new DDA legislation? The Director of Regeneration informed the Members that a number of steps had been taken to upgrade existing buildings; most significantly the Council had commissioned a specialist audit of Barrow Town Hall. The report from this audit had identified and prioritised some improvement suggestions, a number of which have been implemented resulting in a significantly improved level of access to services for disabled people. An audit of the other Council owned, public buildings were conducted in 2000 and a list of the status of those buildings was prepared, however, since then a number of improvements have been implemented. He agreed to review this list with the Building Control Manager and the Design Services Manager to determine the current position. A identify a proposal for improving that position. Members raised concerns that it is not clear which officer currently has specific responsibility for disabled access, the Director of Regeneration agreed with this stating that since the recent retirement of the former Building Control Manager the Council did not have a formal disabled access officer. Members asked how the Council supported disabled members of staff? The Director of Regeneration replied that each case would be dealt with on an individual basis and that measures would be put in place to accommodate their disabilities. The Members also raised concerns regarding the Council’s performance against BVPI 156 (The % of authority buildings open to the public which are suitable and accessible to disabled people) this is currently 26%. The Director of Regeneration believes that the current improvements being made to the Town Hall and proposed changes to a numbers of community centres will have a positive impact on that value. Proposals The Director of Regeneration reported the following proposals to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Economy and Regeneration at their meeting on 7 th September 2004; Margaret Burrow from the Barrow and District Disability Association attended this meeting. The Building Control Manager should made access officer and being given appropriate training to support the role. A formal and recorded access philosophy be developed for Barrow Borough Council Access statements for all public buildings owned by Barrow Borough Council are prepared. An access team comprising of the Director of Regeneration, the Building Control, the Designs Services Manager and the Estates Manager supported by the specific venue manager and a representative from the Barrow and District Disability Association should develop the access statements. In advance of Capital Programme project being agreed, Disability Discrimination Act issues are reviewed and appropriate solutions be incorporated into the project design. The access team will prepare quarterly progress reports and submit them to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Economy and Regeneration. Service managers and “frontline” staff continue to be updated with changes to DDA legislation and Barrow Borough Council’s approach to providing access to the public. Margaret Burrows from the Barrow and District Disability Association supported in principal Barrow Borough Council’s approach based on reasonableness and supported the proposals made by the Director of Regeneration. Conclusion Having reviewed the available information the Committee were satisfied that Barrow Borough Council employ a sensible approach to disabled access, although this isn’t always visible. They were pleased with speed with which the Director of Regeneration responded to issues and support the proposed actions. Recommendations The Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Economy and Regeneration agreed to support the proposals made by the Director of Regeneration and recommend to the Executive Committee that they are implemented. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Economy and Regeneration agreed to receive quarterly reports from the access team, monitor the impact of the proposal and review them if necessary. Part One OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – (D) Economy and Regeneration Agenda Item Date of Meeting: 5th October, 2004 9 Reporting Officer: Policy Review Officer Title: Planning Enforcement Summary and Conclusions: The scope for this review has been agreed and is described below. Recommendation: Note and comment on the scope for the review. Confirm attendance at the training session. Report Councillors Garnet and James met with the Assistant Director of Regeneration and the Development Control Manager to agree the scope for this scrutiny review. The Develop Control Manager stated a fact that is often misunderstood “ It is not an offence to carry out development without first obtaining planning permission”, however, if subsequently an Enforcement Notice is served then it is an offence not to comply with the enforcement notice. He also informed the work group that there were a number of alternative steps that could be taken before serving an Enforcement Notice on a development that had been carried out without planning permission. In view of the information provided by the development Control Manager the work group agreed the following scope for the review. 1: Study the available documentation relating to planning enforcement, this includes “Enforcing Planning Control” from the Planning Policy Guidance Document. The Enforcement Concordat The Annual Enforcement report to the Planning Committee This information has now been circulated to members of the work group 2: Review recent enforcement cases to understand how the guidelines are applied. 3: Interview officers to understand the processes used to determine the course of action taken if an unauthorised development is identified. 4: Attend an enforcement training session for members of the Planning Committee that is being delivered on 12th October. OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – (D) Economy and Regeneration Agenda Item Date of Meeting: 5th October, 2004 10 Reporting Officer: Policy Review Officer Title: Urban Design Framework Summary and Conclusions: The draft report from Gillespie’s will be available in mid-October. Recommendation: Agree to review the draft report and identify a date for scoping this review. Report The draft version of the Gillespie’s report defining the Urban Design Framework will be presented to the Director of Regeneration and the Local Plans Officer at a workshop on 14th October. The report will then go out to public consultation during the first week in November prior to a final report being published at the end of the year. I have requested a copy of the draft report, which I will circulate to this committee upon receipt. I suggest that we review the report and arrange a meeting to agree the scope of this scrutiny review in advance of this committees next meeting scheduled for 9th November. OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – (D) Economy and Regeneration Agenda Item Date of Meeting: 5th October, 2004 11 Reporting Officer: Policy Review Officer Title: Derelict Land Summary and Conclusions: The draft report for this review has been completed. Recommendation: Review the report and agree any changes. Introduction The Overview and Scrutiny Committee: Economy and Regeneration recognises the benefits of Barrow’s ambitious regeneration programme in terms of sustainable employment and better quality of life. They feel that by developing a better understanding of regeneration as a whole and by reviewing specific parts of the regeneration strategy that they can support the programme. One of the key elements for the success of the regeneration strategy is ensuring that the derelict land reclamation programme is aligned to the regeneration priorities. For the purposes of the review the phrase derelict land would include Derelict Underused and Neglected Sites (DUNS). A work group from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Economy and Regeneration comprising of Councillors Williams and Forbes supported by the Assistant Director of Regeneration and the Principal Officer – Overview and Scrutiny carried out a review into the derelict land programme. The Policy review Officer was co-opted into work group part way through the review. The objectives of the review 1: To assess the effectiveness of the current programme for reclamation of derelict land in the Borough. 2: Assess the contribution of derelict land reclamation to public sector capital regeneration programmes in the town and if the current reclamation programmes can deliver sufficient land to meet these strategies. 3: To make recommendations on how the current programme and working arrangements for reclamation of derelict land in the Borough can be improved. Report Scrutiny approach At the scoping meeting it was agreed that the review should focus on the processes and agencies involved rather than the individual parcels of land and their potential uses. It was established that Cumbria County Council was the statutory authority for land reclamation Reclamation can be undertaken for “hard end usage”, residential or industrial purposes or “soft end usage” parkland or leisure areas with no commercial value. Potential sites had to be included in the County Council’s land reclamation programme Barrow Borough Council’s main role is as a landowner and to access funding through the Heart of Barrow partnership. To enhance the work groups understanding of derelict land reclamation Mike Baker from West Lakes Renaissance gave a presentation on the role that Urban Renewal Companies play in land reclamation and the types of funding that were currently available. The work group also met with Richard Moore, a Development surveyor for Cumbria County Council who answered questions on the role that the County Council played in derelict land reclamation. This reaffirmed that once a regeneration project had been approved the County Council was the driving force for land reclamation and that Barrow Borough Council only played supporting roles, which is typically that of the landowner. Mr Moore also explained the approach to accessing funding for land reclamation emphasising the in order to qualify for funding the land has to be in the ownership of the local authority (external funding is available for this purpose) and has to be defined as derelict (not capable of beneficial occupation without a significant amount being spent on improving it). The work group visited “hard end use” sites at Channelside and the proposed Dock Redevelopment site to develop an understanding of work that had already been completed and the potential issues for proposed land reclamation. The work group also visited “soft end usage” sites including a proposed sports field on Mill Lane (Walney), a conservation area on West Shore and woodland walks at Sowerby Wood. The work group were impressed with scale and the quality of the work that had been completed and were unaware that a number of these projects were being undertaken. During these site visits the Assistant Director for Regeneration highlighted the issues associated with these sites including shared ownership and potential contamination. The work group visited Halton Borough Council who has an excellent record for reclaiming land that had previously been used by a number of chemical and heavy industries. It is acknowledged the Halton Borough Council is leading the way nationally in the use of alternative Technologies to reclaim sites that are so highly contaminated that they are unviable using traditional reclamation techniques. Halton’s Urban Renewal Programme is co-ordinated by the Major Projects Department, which was set up by Halton Borough Council to drive forward urban renewal activities. A significant amount of reclamation and regeneration work is conducted through Widnes Regeneration Ltd, a joint venture company formed by Halton Borough Council and St Modwen Developments Ltd. The Urban Renewal Programme benefits from Halton’s position as Unitary Council as there are fewer barriers to driving forward improvements. It was clear throughout the presentation and site visits that this was a key factor in Halton’s successful regeneration programme. In addition Halton’s position adjacent to Northwest England’s major transport routes was a major contributory factor in Halton’s ability to secure private sector funding. It was clear throughout the review that there were major factors relating to the purchase and reclamation of derelict as shown in figure 1. Figure 1 Relocation of existing businesses Purchase of land for reclamation Reluctance to sell Shared ownership Industrial contamination Suitability of land for reclamation Planning approval for reclamation Some pockets of underused land may be occupied by small businesses and the relocation of these businesses can be an issue particularly if they are low profit margin businesses that cannot afford the financial burden of relocating to more expensive sites. Some funding is available to support the relocation, however, some business are reluctant to move. Some landowners are reluctant to sell derelict land for a number of reasons, which include personal planned future use of the land or retaining the land until it increases in value. In instances where large tracts of land are in joint ownership the purchase of strategic pockets of land may be difficult because the landowners become aware of the potential increase in value of their land and are reluctant to sell. Once the land has been purchased there may be issues relating to obtaining planning permission particularly if it is a site of special scientific interest (SSSI). The Assistant Director of Regeneration produced a table of key derelict sites, which form part of the Regeneration programme; this is detailed in table 1. Table 1: Currently being updated Conclusion 1: The work group recognised that a number of very successful derelict land reclamation programmes had been completed within the last 10years although these had not been well advertised. 2: That the derelict land reclamation programme was a key factor in the delivery of the major Regeneration programmes in the Borough. There would be little value in reviewing the reclamation of derelict land as a separate entity and that progress of land reclamation should be viewed in the context of the regeneration project as a whole. The selected regeneration company manages these projects and these arrangements are currently working successfully. 3:Although Barrow Borough Council’s status as a second tier District Council means that we only play a supporting role in land reclamation, it was agreed that we should take responsibility for monitoring the progress of the land reclamation programme to ensure that it is aligned to the public sector regeneration programmes. 4: There are a number of sensitivities relating to the purchase and reclamation of derelict land and these have a significant impact on the ability to define clear timescales for regeneration projects. Recommendations 1: The Overview and Scrutiny Committee Economy and Regeneration receives progress reports from the regeneration partnerships on a 6 monthly basis and reviews them in line with other Regeneration Partnership reports to determine the progress that is being made. Any concerns will be forwarded to the Executive Committee. Part One OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – (D) Economy and Regeneration Agenda Item Date of Meeting: 5th October, 2004 12 Reporting Officer: Policy Review Officer Title: Community Plan Priorities Summary and Conclusions: The Council is committed to improving it’s performance management arrangements. This includes provided the Overview and Scrutiny committees with project management milestones for key projects. Attached are the 2004/05 milestones for Regeneration and Life Enhancement projects. Recommendation: Review the information and agree to monitor progress. Report See graphs below BARROW REGENERATION PROJECTS 2004-2005 MILESTONES Project Funding Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4 Barrow Park HLF 1. Agree Phase II tender 3. Bandstand 6. New Steps 9. Cenotaph 2. Let Contract 4. Pavillion 7. Soft Landscaping 10. Playground 5. Lake works 8. Paths Pye Motors WLR Acquire Site Town Quay WLR 1. Agreement with ABP 3. Complete Civil and 4. Maintenance and Morrisons Landscape Works Contract 2. Public Access Urban Design WLR 1. Issue Baselines 4. Final Framework Framework 2. Present Options 5. Issue Draft 3. Draft Framework 6. Final Report Gap Funding URF 1. Practical Completion 4. Re-pay NWDA Travelodge 2. Hotel open 3. Complete land transfer Gap Funding URF 1. Erect Steel Frame 2. Complete shell 3. Fit out 4. Open Store Stollers Furness Business URF 1. Complete Civil Works 2. Market Properties 3. Let 10% of factories 4. Let 50% of Park Phase I & II factories Project Funding Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4 Astra Cinema URF 1. Tender work 3. Remove Asbestos 4. Demolish Building Demolition 2. Let Contract 5. Erect hoardings Astra Cinema URF 1. Assess Designs 2. Display and 4. Appoint Design Design Group Presentations Team 3. Report to Executive Committee Astra Cinema URF 1. Submit Funding 2. Appoint Team 5. Issue Tender Design Application 3. Submit Planning Documents Development Application 4. Working Drawing and Specification Barrow URF/NWDA 1. Complete Site works 2. Market Sites 3. First Private Sector 5. Complete First Employment Site Development Private Sector 4. Agree Site Scheme Disposals Market Offices URF/ERDF 1. Relocate shop tenants 3. Open Main Entrance 4. Complete Works 5. Market Offices BBC 2. Start on-site 76 Duke Street URF 1. Examine tenders 3. Monitor Contract 5. Complete Works 6. Let Offices 2. Let Contract 4. Market Offices Purchase Pontoons URF 1. Place Order Install Pontoons Bells Acquisition URF 1. Complete 3. Agree relocation of Negotiations Fax-a-Snack 2. Complete Sale Project Funding Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4 Entrepreneur URF/ERDF 1. Implementation 3. Submit Applications 5. Acquire Centre Group Approval for URF and ERDF Waterside House 2. Agree terms and funding 6. Tenders for work valuation of 4. Agree Design and 7. Agree Waterside House Specification management with F.E. A590 Junction URF 1. Agree details with 4. Submit URF Improvement CCC – Highways application to Board Agency 2. Commission H.A. to Design Scheme 3. Implementation Group Approval TARGETS FOR LIFE ENHANCEMENT PROJECTS Project Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4 Hindpool Urban Park 1. Complete consultation 2. Prepare Summary 5. Complete sketch 6. Appoint CCC to exercise. Prepare Report. scheme and cost implement scheme and proposals for Public 3. Commission Initial estimate. make funding Exhibition Design application for Land 4. Carry out site survey Reclamation Grant. Prepare Tender Documents and obtain tenders. Furness Business Park 1. Prepare Planning 2. Circulate Brief to Development Brief F.B.P. interested developers. Abbotswood 1. Ground Investigation 2. Prepare scheme 3. Obtain Funding Report. and submit LRP Approval Funding application Urban Design 1. Issue Baselines 4. Final Framework 7. Submit Report to Framework 2. Present options 5. Issue Draft Report Executive Committee 3. Draft Framework 6. Issue Final Report Refurbish artificial pitch 1. Obtain Tenders 3. Complete work at Leisure Centre 2. Let Contract Partnership for 1. Finalise Brief 3. Appraise tenders Composting 2. Invite tenders 4. Report to Executive Committee 5. Let Contract Part One OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – (D) Economy and Regeneration Agenda Item Date of Meeting: 5th October, 2004 13 Reporting Officer: Assistant Director (Regeneration) Title: Tourism in Barrow Borough, Key Trends and Performance Summary and Conclusions: The report contains an overview of the trends in economic growth to the Borough through tourism over the past 4 years which has proved to be consistent and sustainable. The report also recommends adoption of a local performance indicator for tourism. Recommendation: That the report and statistics contained therein be noted and the suggested LPI be agreed. Report All of the Local Authorities in Cumbria and Cumbria Tourist Board require information on tourism performance. This data is achieved through a tourism economic activity monitoring system (STEAM) which provides an indicative assessment of the volume and value of the tourism economy, although it should not be taken as an exact measurement of the size of the tourism sector. Thus STEAM quantifies the local economic impact of tourism, both from staying and day visitors. Information on occupancy percentages each month for each type of accommodation, bed stock for each type of accommodation within the areas to be surveyed, attendance at attractions/major events by month and TIC visitor figures by month are collated and fed into the model. STEAM figures are produced a year in arrears therefore the 2003 figures have just been received. Cumbria has adopted the STEAM model for many years and set out below are graphs showing economic trends for the four year period 2000 –2003. For members information, Barrow is compared to the other districts in Cumbria. Over these four years Barrow has shown steady growth in tourism across all sectors. The first graph shows tourism revenue. Revenue includes visitor spend on accommodation, food and drink, recreation, shopping and transport. The next graph identifies the annual number of visitor days spent in each area. Visitor days are calculated by multiplying staying visitors by average length of stay and adding day visitors. Tourist numbers is a count of all visitors annually without taking into account the length of their respective length of stay. % Change in Tourist Numbers between 2000 & 2003 25.0 20.0 19.2 15.0 % Change 10.0 9.1 9.0 8.4 7.3 6.1 5.7 5.0 0.0 -0.2 Allerdale Barrow Carlisle Copeland Eden South Lakes LDNPA Cumbria -5.0 Employment trends are provided in the form of full time equivalents. The employment indicated in this report is only that generated by estimated visitor spend and does not include residents’ spend. % Change in Em ploym ent betw een 2000 & 2003 16.0 14.1 14.0 12.0 10.9 11.2 10.0 8.3 8.0 7.1 7.0 % Change 6.0 5.1 4.0 2.0 0.0 Allerdale Barrow Carlisle Copeland Eden South LDNPA Cumbria -2.0 Lakes -4.0 -3.8 -6.0 The outputs in the graphs are shown as percentage increases/decreases since 2000. Appendix A shows the numeric values of the different measurements of the volume and value of the tourism sector in Barrow for 2003. Tourism Local Performance Indicators Much of the regeneration funds being invested in the area are geared towards increasing the tourism sector of the economy. Trend information on the volume and value of the sector is therefore an important indicator of the success of regeneration programmes and the STEAM figures give the Borough Council an opportunity of developing a measurable local performance indicator. Of the suite of information published by STEAM, I recommend the LPI should be the annual percentage growth in tourism revenue and the target should be an annual growth of 1%.
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