Venue: Phoenix Chambers, Phoenix House, Tiverton
Contact: Sarah Lees Member Services Officer
Link: audio recording
Apologies and Substitute Members
To receive any apologies for absence and notice of appointment of substitutes.
Apologies were received from Cllrs N V Davey, E Lloyd and J Wright.
Public Question Time
To receive any questions relating to items on the Agenda from members of the public and replies thereto.
There were no members of the public present and none had registered to ask a question in advance.
Declaration of Interests under the Code of Conduct
Councillors are reminded of the requirement to declare any interest,
including the type of interest, and reason for that interest, either at this
stage of the meeting or as soon as they become aware of that interest.
No interests were declared under this item.
Members to consider whether to approve the minutes as a correct record of the meeting held on 13 January 2022.
The minutes of the meeting held on 13 January 2022 were confirmed as a true and accurate record and signed by the Chairman.
To receive any announcements that the Chairman may wish to make.
The Chairman stated that whilst the J27 / J28 report being presented today was useful in terms of confirming the current position, for the next meeting he wanted the PDG to discuss the potential economic benefits of junction development and for this to be a focus for the Group going forwards. He referred to ‘blue sky thinking’ and Members of the PDG giving officers a steer as to what the Council could achieve. It was accepted that this discussion may need to be held in Part II due to the commercially sensitive nature of the topics discussed.
Junction 27 and 28 Report (00:08:00) PDF 137 KB
To receive a report from the Director of Place. At the January 2022 Economy PDG meeting, a request was made for an update on work being undertaken to progress opportunities for business growth by development at the motorway junctions. This report therefore seeks to present an update in relation to work underway in relation to Junctions 27 and 28, and opportunities that exist therein.
The Group had before it, and NOTED, a report * from the Director of Place. At the January 2022 meeting, a request was made for an update on work being undertaken to progress opportunities for business growth by development at the motorway junctions in Mid Devon. This report presented an update in relation to work underway in relation to Junctions 27 and 28 and opportunities that existed therein.
The following was highlighted within the report:
Discussion took place regarding:
It was AGREED that a report would be brought back to the next meeting providing an update and allowing an opportunity for ... view the full minutes text for item 53.
Workshop summary (00:45:00) PDF 399 KB
To receive a summary of the informal workshops that have been held by the Economy Policy Development Group over recent months.
The Group had before it, and NOTED, a summary of the work * which had been undertaken at recent workshops.
The Chairman stated that the workshops had been very useful and had provided an opportunity for Members to direct officers as to their thoughts, concerns and aspiration but they had also presented a challenge for the Economic Development team who were experiencing resource problems. He hoped that there would be less presentations going forward and more policy and development work so that available resource could be focussed where it was needed.
Note: * Workshop summary previously circulated; copy attached to the signed minutes.
Economic Development Team verbal update :00:16:00)
To receive a verbal update from the Economic Development Team Leader regarding the work of the team.
The Group received a verbal update from the Economic Development Team Leader regarding work undertaken by the team. This included the following information:
The workload of the team had been dominated by a series of unforeseen challenges. At the beginning of January there had been a fire at the Tiverton Business Park and a need to respond and find accommodation for three Mid Devon businesses at short notice.
The period had also been dominated by:
Over the last couple of months, the team had been asked to prioritise the administration and management of the latest Covid 19 related Business Grants.
All three grants schemes were now coming to an end, but they had generated a huge amount of administrative and work
Visit Mid Devon – This was a partnership with the TIC / Museum for 2 years managing the website and social media channels.
This Committee received a report in September last year about the work of the team on the Taste Mid Devon campaign in support of local food producers and hospitality businesses. The team had hoped to bring an update report to this committee, but due to the unexpected demands on the teams time this had not been possible.
The website had been a useful tool to support the leisure, tourism and hospitality businesses this year. In order to help businesses through the recovery period the Council had offered free business listings on the website. It had enabled the team to build a good relationship with the sector and identify how the team could help them going forward. The team had recruited 136 Mid Devon businesses to date, including eateries, attractions and accommodation providers, which was the sector hit hardest by the pandemic.
The team had secured funding from the ‘Welcome Back’ grant to create, design and install four visitor boards across the district. One unique board for each of the main towns sits in the long-stay car park and provides information about the local area, promoting the facilities and town centre businesses e.g retail and eateries (town centre focused).
The team were planning a business event for our leisure, tourism and hospitality businesses in May, with a number of guest speakers promoting support services and tips for the future (trends following the pandemic).
Community Support Activities
Over this period the team had continued to co-ordinate various strands of support for residents impacted by Covid19 or by the increasing squeeze on household incomes. This had included co-ordinating the Government funded Household Support Fund, Self-Isolation Support and Monday and Debt Advice
Asylum Seekers Initial Accommodation
In January, and at extremely short notice, the team were informed that Mid Devon would ... view the full minutes text for item 55.
Chairman's Annual Report for 2021 - 2022 (00:58:00) PDF 217 KB
To receive a report from the Chairman of the Economy Policy Development Group summarising the work of the PDG for 2021 – 2022.
The Group had before it, and NOTED, a draft report * from the Chairman summarising the work of the Group and the Economic Development Team over the past 12 months. A copy of the final report would be submitted to full Council at their meeting on 27 April 2022.
Note: * Report previously circulated; copy attached to the signed minutes.
Identification of items for the next meeting (00:59:00)
Members are asked to note that the following items are already identified in the work programme for the next meeting:
· Election of Chairman
· Election of Vice Chairman
· Start time of Meetings
· Economic Recovery Plan
· Covid Economic Response Update Report
· Performance and Risk Outturn Report
· Revenue and Capital Outturn Report
· Skills and training paper (to be confirmed)
Note: This item is limited to 10 minutes. There should be no discussion on the items raised.
The items identified for the next meeting were noted, however, the Chairman reiterated a request for future meetings to be more focussed and proactive in terms of policy development particularly in relation to J27 and J28 development.