Responses to consultation on the Draft Macclesfield Borough Economic by wyf14327


									  Appendix 1

  Summary of responses to consultation on the Draft Macclesfield
  Borough Economic Development Strategy
  Amendments to the strategy (appendix 2) have been added in italics.

  Macclesfield Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise

1. Overview

  Welcome the preparation of the Strategy, which indicates recognition of the
  importance of wealth creation. As in the regional and sub regional strategies, the
  strategy should continue to emphasize ‘investing in success’ to protect and grow
  the economic prosperity of the Borough.

  Three areas need reinforcing:

      The need to ensure sufficient supply of available land for employment

      The need to ensure a sufficient supply of housing to meet the needs of those
       employed in the Borough

      The need to ensure sufficient investment in transport infrastructure

2. Specific comments:

  Action Plan : Objective 1

  (i)Chamber comment

  The Chamber emphasise the need for face to face business support in addition to
  on-line communication. Encourage MBC and other agencies to channel appropriate
  enquiries through the Chamber’s ‘route to market’ business support.

  MBC Response

  Add to EDS 2 ‘Action’ column : ‘(iii) Signpost appropriate enquiries to MCCE to
  access face to face business support services

  (ii)Chamber comment

  The implementation of Action Plans for town/village centre requires active support
  and prioritisation by Borough / County services, otherwise delivery will be
MBC Response

 Delivery requires the support of many partners and stakeholders. The Town and
District Centres Strategy Action Plans under preparation will need to build in
recognition that aspirations may need to be tempered by resource realities.
Partners will need to be creative in accessing alternative resource channels. Add to
EDS 6 ‘Delivery’ column: ‘CCC, private/voluntary sectors’.

(iii)Chamber comment

 Support to the proposed feasibility study for an international school. A timetable
should be set.

MBC response

Support welcomed. Given the likelihood that this will be pursued at the regional
level with the involvement of Manchester City Council and University of Manchester,
it is not appropriate at this point in time to set a timetable for the study. Further
discussions are necessary to establish the intentions of the Manchester agencies.

(iv)Chamber comment

Actions to support tourism, particularly business tourism should be added

MBC response

To date tourism promotion within the Council has been delivered separately from
Economic Development. However from 1 April 2006 restructuring has brought
tourism promotion under the Planning and Development Directorate, which will
enhance opportunities for collaboration.
Add new Activity EDS 7: ‘Tourism’. Under ‘Action’ column add : ‘Work with the
Cheshire & Warrington Tourism Board and Peaks & Plains of Cheshire to promote
tourism opportunities benefiting the local economy’. Specific proposals will emerge
following the appointment of the new tourism officer and development of
collaborative working with the Cheshire and Warrington Tourism Board.

(v)Chamber comment

The skills component could be strengthened by:
    Exploiting opportunities presented by the new Business Link structure (from
      April 2007) to ensure businesses get excellent business support
    Exploiting opportunities presented by Macclesfield College’s Centre of
      Vocational Excellence in Aerospace Engineering
    Developing Leadership and Management in SME’s
    Supporting collaborations between schools and colleges to enable students
      to access a broader curriculum
    Encourage continuous development/re-skilling of the workforce to anticipate
      demographic change
MBC response

Whilst these aims are supported in principle it is felt that other agencies, such as
the Learning & Skills Council and Cheshire County Council, are better placed to
lead on issues such as the development of Leadership and Management in SMEs
and collaboration between schools and colleges. At this stage it is not clear how
the detailed aspects of the new Business Link structure will affect business support
in Macclesfield. However it is suggested that support for the actions of appropriate
agencies be included as well as a commitment to work with the Chamber and other
bodies to maximise the opportunities to Macclesfield presented by the new
Business Link operation.
Add to EDS 2 ‘Action’ column: (v) In conjunction with MCCE and other appropriate
agencies, seek to maximise business support opportunities arising from the new
Business Link structure (April 2007).
Add to EDS 5 (formerly 4) ‘Action’ column: (ii) Support the work of the LSC, MCCE,
Macclesfield College, Job Centre Plus and CCC in providing the necessary
workforce skills for Borough employers.

(vi)Chamber comment

Cheshire & Warrington Economic Alliance should be added to the list of partners in
the ‘Action’ and ‘Delivery’ columns for EDS 9

MBC response

Add CWEA to respective columns

Action Plan : Objective 2

(i)Chamber comment

Supply of available employment land is insufficient to meet long term needs based
on the evidence in the Macclesfield Property Study. This makes it imperative that
the South Macclesfield site is evaluated to determine its economic viability. If
unviable then there should be acknowledgement of the need to identify alternative
employment land. The Chamber supports the proposal to provide managed
workspace/incubator facilities on the South Macclesfield site but believes that other
locations should also be considered. Accessing ‘ring fenced’ resources from CCC
following the sale of Venture House, Macclesfield, should be explored to support
such a project.

MBC response

Paragraphs 4.40 to 4.44 acknowledge the lack of available employment land and
the urgent need to bring forward land at South Macclesfield for employment
development. This is fed through into the Action Plan which proposes a Feasibility
Study to assess its viability (EDS 9). It is also suggested that the Feasibility
Study/Property Study feed into the Local Development Framework, including a
review of the distribution of employment land in the Borough. The LDF is the
appropriate arena to determine the need for additional employment land.

Amend EDS 10 ‘Outcomes’ column : after ‘Financial viability established’, add ‘If
unviable, identify alternative options through the LDF process’. Amend EDS 11
‘Outcomes’ column : after …..‘at South Macclesfield employment site’, add ‘ /other
locations. Financial support from CCC to be pursued to progress suitable projects.’

Action Plan : Objective 3

(i)Chamber comment

Lobbying for rail infrastructure should be added to the proposed activities

MBC response

Add new EDS 16 to cover this point (see Action Plan)

(ii)Chamber comment

There is a need to develop additional car parking in town centres and rail stations

MBC response

Addressing the issue of car parking requires taking a balance between Government
policies promoting an emphasis on more sustainable forms of transport than the
car, and appropriate local provision to meet shopper, residents, commuter and
business needs. A detailed Action Plan to deliver a Car Parking Strategy is being
progressed by the Borough Council. This will also feed into the Town and District
Centres Strategy Action Plans to be progressed under EDS 5.
Amend EDS 17 ‘Action’ column : add ‘Develop Car Parking Strategy Action Plan for
the Borough.’

(iii)Chamber comment

Active support and lobbying for the M6/A556/M56 improvements should be added

MBC response

Amend EDS 15 ‘ Activity’ column : Add ‘M56/M6/A556 improvements/traffic

Action Plan: Objective 4

(i)Chamber comment

Actions to support tourism should be added to support this objective. Town/village
centre action plans should also refer.
MBC response

More appropriate to include tourism support under Objective 1.Add new EDS 7
‘Activity’ : ‘Tourism support’. Add to ‘Action’ column: ‘Work with the Cheshire &
Warrington Tourism Board and Peaks & Plains of Cheshire to promote tourism
opportunities benefiting the local economy.’

Action Plan : Objective 5

(i)Chamber comment

MBC should explore whether actions emanating from the LSP could be cross
referenced in the Economic Development Strategy to create greater focus of effort
on the areas of deprivation in the Borough. MBC should consider surveying areas of
deprivation and encourage property owners to improve them.

MBC response

The areas of priority for the LSP have still to be finalised and it would be premature
at this stage to link specific actions. However the Strategy recognises that the LSP
is the lead body for progressing regeneration activity for areas of deprivation. The
Strategy proposes appraising current regeneration activity led by the LSP to
provide baseline evidence which can be used to inform future activity.

Supply of Housing

(i)Chamber comment

The Chamber have identified this as a particular priority which is not addressed in
the Action Plan. There is insufficient supply for people employed in the Borough and
if not addressed, will compromise wealth creation. ‘Affordable housing’ needs to be
affordable for new and recent graduates entering the employment market. An
adequate supply of housing supports sustainable economic development by
minimising commuter traffic into the Borough.

MBC comment

Cheshire Structure Plan requires 3,100 new dwellings to be provided 2002 – 2016.
Because of the rate at which permissions and windfall sites have come forward
there are only 600 sites from 2002 to be found to meet this target. This has led to
the introduction of the Restrictive Housing policy to ensure the Structure Plan target
is met. However the emerging Regional Spatial Strategy is suggesting a higher rate
of housing provision for the Borough and if adopted would lead to adjustments in
housing provision and phasing. The Council is also now required to ensure a 5 year
supply of land is maintained. The Restrictive Housing policy is also being used to
address the affordable housing issue (identified in paragraphs 4.85 – 4.88 of the
Draft Economic Development Strategy, which acknowledges the effects on the
economy of a continuing shortfall). The policy is seeking to achieve 100%
affordable housing on some sites and the Council has a corporate task to provide at
least 100 affordable housing units per year. This may mean that a higher
proportion of affordable housing is negotiated on housing sites than in the past.

It is accepted that the affordable housing issue should be referenced under
Objective 1 of the Action Plan. Add new EDS 3 :’Activity’: ‘Encourage and support
the delivery of affordable housing’

Cheshire County Council

    The County Council commend the Borough Council on an excellent strategy,
     particularly the accurate analysis of the issues affecting the local economy
     and use of high quality and relevant research data.

    Support and assistance will be given to the Borough Council through the
     annual review of the Strategy

    CCC is happy to work with the Borough to address the reduction in the new
     business formation rate.

    CCC support the SRES proposal to address the affordable housing issue

    Support for the Economic Development & Enterprise block of the LSP

    Support the Borough’s work on the South Macclesfield Employment site in
     terms of feasibility and possible incubation scheme

    Support for ‘ Made in Cheshire’ initiative and continued inward investment
     support noted.

    The support of start ups by CCC through grant aid to MCCE to be noted.

MBC response
The support of Cheshire County Council is welcomed.
In respect of start up support add ‘CCC’ to the ‘Delivery’ column of EDS1 in the
Action Plan.

Suggested amendments by CCC to the Action Plan

(i)CCC comment

Include Key Account Managers (KAMs) in EDS 2 and MBC financial contribution.

MBC response

Under EDS 2 ‘Action’ column, point (iv), add ‘KAMs’ to ‘Delivery’ column and ‘£500
06/07’ to ‘Funding/Resources’ column.

 Add new para 4.19 : ‘The Borough Council is also continuing to work with the
CWEA’s Key Account Manager (KAM) whose purpose is to establish relations with
companies of importance to the local economy to advise of business support
services, and facilitate this where needed.’
(ii) CCC comment

Include CWEA as ‘Delivery’ partner for International School project (EDS 7)

MBC response

Amend as requested

(iii) CCC comment

Include CCC, MBC in ‘Funding/Resources’ column of EDS 9

MBC response

Relates to assessment of the reports findings, not to the funding of the report.

(iv) CCC comment

Include technical support and facilitation of NWDA property enquiries by CCC in
‘Action’ column of EDS 12

MBC response

Amend as requested

(v) CCC comment

MBC to support extension of ‘Made in Cheshire’ initiative for further 3 years via
DEFRA and NWDA (under EDS 20)

MBC response

Amend as requested

Manchester Airport

MA comment

Support for the clear vision of the Strategy, and is an objective of much of the
Airport’s own activity. However disappointed that there is no recognition of the role
of the Airport as an economic engine for the regional, sub-regional and local
economy. The Airport is treated as a transport matter rather than the economic
opportunity that the Airport offers.

MBC response

Manchester Airport has long been recognised by the Borough Council as an
important economic driver for the region and local economy. There are references
to the importance of the Airport in the SWOT analysis recognising the advantages
of proximity and business opportunities arising from growth of the Airport. However
is accepted that this should be emphasized more in the text of the Strategy.
Add new para 4.20: ‘The presence of Manchester Airport on the Borough boundary
brings major benefits to the local economy, providing around 2000 jobs for Borough
residents, access to international markets, tourism opportunities, and supplier chain
benefits. It is also a major asset in a global economy and of particular importance to
the strong knowledge economy in the Borough.’ Add to para 4.71: ‘Proximity to an
expanding Manchester Airport is a major advantage, bringing tourism opportunities,
particularly business tourism, to the Borough.’

MA comment

The Manchester City Region Development Programme emphasizes financial
services and life science industries as especially valuable assets, which are very
strong in the Borough. This is also recognised in the Sub Regional Economic
Strategy, which highlights the importance of the Airport to the ‘North East Cheshire
Growth Engine’ . This is overlooked in the Borough Draft Strategy and furthermore
there is no direction or leadership from the Borough Council on how to link growing
businesses with skill enhancement and the promotion of neighbourhood renewal.

MBC response

References to Financial services are made in the Strategy in paragraphs 4.13 and
4.17 and there are also acknowledged as a key strength in the SWOT analysis. The
importance of pharmaceuticals (Life science sector)) is highlighted in paragraphs
4.16 and 4.18, and acknowledged in the SWOT analysis. The Borough Council
works in partnership with other agencies to address skill needs and neighbourhood
renewal. For example the implementation of the Learning Zone will improve
vocational and academic educational opportunities. The Council is also leading on a
project to bring forward a major employment site at South Macclesfield which if
realised could link with the Learning Zone in terms of skill development needs, and
initiatives to continue the regeneration of the adjacent Moss Rose estate.

MA comment

No clear direction on how the regeneration objectives can be achieved or clear
measures of success. It is important to have targeted actions.

MBC response

Regeneration initiatives and targets will emerge from the LSP, which will act as the
lead body in progressing these. These are at an early stage and will be
incorporated into a review of the Strategy.

MA comment

It is important to have a joined up approach to economic development, spatial
strategy and transport infrastructure. The LDF should recognise the need for
available employment land and set out an allocation to capture that arising from the
Borough’s principal assets, including economic activity generated by Manchester
Airport. The Strategy is inward looking with too much emphasis on the status quo. It
is at odds with the economic development agenda set out in the Northern Way
Strategy and Manchester City Region Development Programme.

MBC response

The Borough Council is opening up employment land at Parkgate Industrial Estate
in partnership with a developer, and is seeking to do the same at South
Macclesfield. If the latter cannot be progressed there will be a need to assess
alternative options including the need for additional allocations. This will be
progressed through the LDF. The Strategy operates within a strategic planning
restraint framework where growth potential has to be balanced by environmental
policies and support for the regeneration of the Manchester conurbation. The
emerging Regional Spatial Strategy, within which sit the City Regional Development
Policies, will not be adopted until 2007, and will feed into a review of the Borough
Economic Development Strategy.

Comment from a Resident

Comments relate mainly to car parking provision in Knutsford Town Centre. Car
parking provision is at crisis point and there should be a policy to prevent any
development that cannot provide all necessary car parking on site. The shortage of
parking deters shoppers and thus effects the economic viability of the town centre.
There are too many A3 users and a policy should be adopted to prevent any further

MBC response

The car parking issue is acknowledged and will feed into the LDF preparation and
the forthcoming Car Parking Strategy Action Plans and the Knutsford Town Centre
Action Plan. Current Local Plan policies restrict the amount of A3 uses to protect
vitality and viability. This will be reviewed in the LDF.

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