To receive a report from the Group Manager for Performance, Governance and Data Security providing Members with an update on performance against the Corporate Plan and local service targets for 2020-21 as well as providing an update on the key business risks.
The Group had before it, and NOTED, a report * from the Group Manager for Performance, Governance and Data Security presenting it with an update on performance against the Corporate Plan and local service targets for 2020-2021 as well as providing an update on the key business risks.
The contents of the report were outlined with particular reference to the following:
· This was the second performance report in the current year.
· There had been limited progress on conducting counts for empty shops.
· Two of the new aims in the Corporate Plan were being progressed, these were:
o Work with local stakeholders to initiate delivery of the new garden village at Culm. An engagement meeting had been held including the Connecting the Culm project.
o Work with developers and DCC to deliver strategic cycle routes between settlements and key destinations.
Discussion took place regarding the empty shops within the towns:
· It was explained that there were 5 more shop vacancies in Tiverton and 2 more in both Crediton and Cullompton than last year.
· The Shop Front Scheme had enabled improvements to the appearance of some shops in Gold Street, Tiverton.
· National business chains had been affected by the pandemic such as ‘Carphone Warehouse’ who had now pulled out of Tiverton. However, several new businesses had opened up in Market Walk which was encouraging.
· Several businesses had opened up within Tiverton with the ‘green agenda’ at the heart of what they offered. Hot desking was also taking place in various premises.
· An update regarding the premises previously occupied by Londis was not available at the current time.
· The question was asked as to whether the free parking offered within the town had had an effect on footfall? This was being regularly reviewed and the number of vends being analysed. Current signs were encouraging but concern was raised as to what would happen in the winter when people would be required to queue outside in inclement weather. This would need to be addressed.
· The use of school art work to brighten up shop fronts which were looking shabby.
· The end of the furlough scheme having an effect on the number of empty shops.
· What was being done to encourage new businesses to Mid Devon? It was explained that a number of media campaigns were underway trying to raise the profile of Mid Devon’s towns.
· Nationally, the number of shop opening hours had reduced with many remaining closed at the start of each week. This was also being seen within Mid Devon towns. Concern was raised for the sustainability of businesses going forwards as a result of this and the fact that this may lead to a rise in the number of empty shops.
It was AGREED that further discussion take place at the next meeting regarding the number of empty shops, the ‘health’ of businesses within the towns and town centre regeneration generally given the current circumstances of the pandemic and local responses to it.
Note: * Report previously circulated; copy attached to the signed minutes.