The Panel are to receive the Future High Streets Fund Draft Business Plan.
Contact: C Kerr 01480 388430
With the aid of a report by the Service Manager – Growth (a copy of which has been appended in the Minute Book) the Future High Streets Fund Draft Business Plan was presented to the Panel.
In introducing the Business Plan, the Executive Councillor for Housing and Economic Development informed the Panel that the Council were looking to submit the Business Plan to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government by 15th March 2020 and that the accompanying report listed the proposed interventions outlined in the Business Plan. In addition, Members were informed that the Services Manager – Growth attended a meeting at St Neots to present the Business Plan.
Councillor Chapman opened his remarks by praising the what the Officers and the Executive Councillor had done and stated that the Business Plan offered St Neots an opportunity to revitalise the town centre, although there were still challenges (e.g. congestion and shops closing) and the Councillor was disappointed that the proposed bridge scheme had been cancelled. Councillor Chapman added that if the housing developments in St Neots were to be successful then the town needed to be an attractive place for people and seek to serve their basic needs. In response the Executive Councillor stated that although there were challenges, St Neots was a town that had potential and that the Business Plan sought to repurpose the town centre. In regard to the bridge scheme, the issue was that the benefit to cost ratio fell below the acceptable limit, which was disappointing as £1m had been spent on developing plans.
Councillor Gulson commented that in regard to losing the bridge scheme, there appeared to be proposals contained within the Business Plan that mitigated for that.
As the Chairman of the St Neots Masterplan for Growth Steering Group, Councillor Wells addressed the Panel and stated that the Business Plans were a good piece of work and that they sought to build on the location of St Neots.
The Executive Councillor was asked by Councillor Gaskin for thoughts on options that were considered but not proceeded with such as the Little Paxton bridge. In response the Executive Councillor stated that the Little Paxton bridge was outside the area in terms of the Business Plan, however other groups were considering the idea. In addition the Panel was informed that the theory behind the idea of placing car parks on the edge of the town centre was to encourage people to stop their car journey on the outside of the town centre and therefore have a better experience inside the town centre.
Market Place pedestrianisation was raised and the Executive Councillor stated that pedestrianisation of the Market Place would be good for the town centre, however it was challenging as there would be local resistance.
A Member commented that the Business Plan was good piece of work which aimed to attract additional footfall or retain existing footfall.
Councillor Morris addressed plans for pedestrian and cyclist access on the bridge into the town centre ... view the full minutes text for item 62
To receive a report from the Service Manager – Growth on the Future High Street Fund.
Executive Councillor: R Fuller.
Contact: C Kerr - (01480) 388430
The Cabinet has noted the work to date with the Future High Street Fund and has delegated authority to the Service Manager – Growth, after consultation with the Executive Leader and Deputy Executive Leader and Corporate Director (Place), to finalise the preparation of and submit the draft Future High Street Fund Business Plan for St Neots to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on behalf of the Council.
By way of a report by the Service Manager – Growth (a copy of which is appended in the Minute Book) the Cabinet were acquainted with the options being put forward for consideration by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) for future funding in relation to the Future High Street Fund (FHSF).
Having been acquainted with the background to the report and the planned investment in and around St Neots over the ensuing years, the Cabinet were informed that the Fund would provide a major opportunity to help respond and adapt to the changes together with those affecting St Neots High Street. Furthermore, it was noted that the town had been chosen by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority as the first market town to go through the master planning approach.
The Cabinet noted the involvement of the St Neots Master Plan Steering Group and were informed that the Group would continue to be engaged as the Draft Business Plan was developed. In noting the timeframe for submitting the Plan to MHCLG by 15th March 2020, the Cabinet were advised that the report would be considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Panel (Performance and Growth) at their 4th March 2020 meeting. Having expressed their support and extended their thanks to Officers for their hard work and efforts in developing the Draft Business Plan, it was
that work to date on the draft Future High Street Fund Business Plan for St Neots be noted that delegated authority be given to the Service Manager – Growth, after consultation with the Executive Leader and Deputy Executive Leader and Corporate Director – Place, to finalise the preparation and submission of the draft Future High Street Fund Business Plan for St Neots to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on behalf of the Council.