This report describes the work of the Economy Group, sets out the Arun Economic Development Strategy 2020-2025 Action Plan and proposes future priority projects.
The Group Head of Economy provided members with an overview of the report before them and reminded members that the report sets out the Arun Economic Development Strategy 2020-2025 action plan and proposed a number of future projects for their consideration.
The Leader of the Council expressed that he was delighted with the report before them, however, he proposed an amendment to the recommendation 2 to read;
that officers explore the resources required to
progress the priority projects and this is reflected in the 22/23
budget process. Also agree that more resources are required
in the current year to progress projects and that this can be met
though resource switching.
officers to refine the list of priority projects (Appendix D)
working through a Members Working Party and develops a
prioritisation formula for these projects.
This was duly seconded by the Chair. During debate the following points were raised by members:
§ a plea to ensure that the Council works with the Town Centre and its Planning Committee and to review what other Councils have done, in particular to look at the approach that Chichester District had taken
§ a query on the priority given to the Arun Cycle way and should this be reviewed and moved to a high priority
§ to also work with West Sussex County Council to make improvements across the district together
§ a variety of suggestions were made by members regarding Appendix D, some of which were, Beach Huts seen as a quick win, palm trees along the promenade at Bognor Regis, the upper floors of the Arcade in Bognor Regis and the need to utilise this space and do something with it whilst retaining the ground floor units, more consideration on what to do with Bognor Regis Town Hall as it was felt that this could be better utilised.
§ It was also asked if the Sunken Garden proposals to improve the area were supported by the administration
§ Concern was raised regarding the amount of money that could end up being spent on partnership consultants and could this money be better utilised.
The Group Head of Economy provided answer to the questions asked and the Chair stated that as the seconder of the recommendations and given the thorough debate that had taken place, this was an example of exactly why setting up a Working Party was not needed.
1) the Economic Development Strategy 2020-2025 Action Plan (Appendix C) and instructs officers to progress its delivery be approved.
2) that officers explore the resources required to progress the priority projects and this is reflected in the 22/23 budget process. Also agree that more resources are required in the current year to progress projects and that this can be met though resource switching.
3) officers estimate the resources (both capital and staffing costs) that may be needed to progress each project and brings a report back to this Committee for further discussion.
4) officers prepare, in partnership, a concise Town Centre(s) Strategy for 2022-2025.