Agenda and minutes

Economy and Development Select Committee - Thursday, 9th December, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: County Hall, Usk - Remote Attendance


No. Item


Declarations of Interest


To be recorded as and when appropriate.


Public Open Forum

Select Committee Public Open Forum ~ Guidance


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There were no representations from members of the public present at the meeting.


Usk and Woodside Master Plan pdf icon PDF 362 KB

Additional documents:


The Head of Strategic Projects introduced the report, explaining that the draft Usk and Woodside Improvement Masterplan had been jointly commissioned by MCC and Usk Town Council (UTC) in 2018, initial work beginning in 2015 relating to traffic management issues. ARUP consultancy had undertaken the work with a working group consisting of MCC Members, officers, Usk Town Council and Llanbadoc Community Council the commission. He explained there has been wide consultation through stakeholder events to bring us to the position we are in today of bringing this to you for pre-decision scrutiny. The report included details of specific projects and an improvement and action plan, which we recommend is formally adopted by MCC, as it has by the other partners involved. For MCC, it is helpful to have a wider plan with short, medium and long term goals and it enables us to own the objectives, along with Usk Town Council and Llanbadoc Community Council. He advised that having a structured plan is welcomed by national government and it helps when bidding for future funding, however, officers are not underestimating the challenge of finding funding for the delivery for some of these ambitious projects.


The chair thanked the officer for the concise outline of the report and invited members:


Member Questions:


·         With structural funds disappearing, how quickly can we expect new funding streams to enable us to progress?


Depends on which projects we take forward. Active travel funding could cover public realm and transport projects but opportunities are quite dynamic, so if we were to consider for example the redesign of Bridge Street or Twyn Square, funding streams would be active travel and transport funding. Sometimes funding cones available at relatively short notice, so having clear plans in place and ideas, would put is in a very good position.


·         Would the old civic amenity site be a quick win, an opportunity possibly for some markets and parking? Will there be additional parking around the prison when the road has been resurfaced.


I understand bids have been received to understand it’s market value in order to determine its future, but it hasn’t currently been sold. In terms of the area by the Memorial Hall, there would hopefully be provision there but there are draining issues to address.


·         In terms of parking, can I just clarify what we would be envisaging people do? Are we anticipating people visiting but not by car, using public transport?


The parking strategy has been considered in the past for all towns and we may need to revisit this as a whole in terms of charging, but also determining how the car park is used. It’s been an ongoing problem to balance the needs of residents and those visiting for leisure or work and is likely to need to be undertaken at some point to determine what is right for each town.


·         How would you differentiate between regeneration projects and public realm projects?


The lines between the two are rather blurred, as are the funding streams, but  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Strategic Procurement pdf icon PDF 244 KB


The officer introduced the report by explaining that this was a position update following a detailed report being brought to the committee earlier in the year. She reminded members that the Cabinet had agreed in July 2021 that the Council’s would enter into a mutually beneficial Delegation Agreement with Cardiff Council, for the discharge and provision of our strategic and operational procurement services. The committee was being invited to scrutinise progress including the development of an associated training plan for Officers.


The officer explained that early changes had been realised and she thanked Cardiff’s Head of Procurement and our Procurement Manager for their hard work in achieving these so early. She presented the key points outlined in the report and drew members attention to the progress section, reminding the committee of the objectives and anticipated outcomes of this partnership working initiative. 


The chair invited questions from members.


Member Questions: 


·         What are the early wins for Monmouthshire in this collaboration?


We have been able to bring some of the experience and knowledge we’ve developed over the last few years in Cardiff to assist Monmouthshire in the challenges going forward. We have started To develop a procurement strategy but to date, have focussed n developing seven clear objectives to provide a clear sense of direction of travel, for example, decarbonisation, social value, which are very challenging. We would like to help MCC accelerate their work, by drawing on our experience and lessons learnt, so that MCC doesn’t have to go through the same learning curve. For example, in Cardiff, we have undertaken Carbon Modelling, so that will be to MCC’s advantage.  The ‘Toms Model’, which is concerned with achieving social value is something Cardiff has been at the forefront in introducing in Wales and we are starting to see the fruition of this work.   The attention to detail around some of MCC’s spending for example, until now, there haven’t been the resources to examine this in such depth and this has given us the opportunity to undertake this important reflection.


·         The most important thing in my view is the resource to be undertake this detailed analysis and it’s clear that we didn’t have the ability to be able to analyse the detail.  It’s not all about saving money, although there will be opportunities to save money, it’s about realising the value of the money that is spent. I would like this committee to take a role in looking at these contracts in detail at a future point to see a return on investment.  I think there is huge potential and we are moving in exactly the right direction in maximising the value of the public’s money.


·         I am particularly interested in how you would make spend more accessible through business and the third sector, do you have any examples?


There aren’t any specific benefits we could highlight yet, but your contract procedure rules when redrafted for example, sought to require service areas to seek to include local business in opportunities. Some of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Economy and Development Select Committee Forward Work Plan pdf icon PDF 503 KB


The chair drew members’ attention to the Special Meeting of the Economy and Development Select Committee that would be held on 14th December at 2pm to discuss the Replacement Local Development Plan.



Council and Cabinet Work Planner pdf icon PDF 190 KB


The committee noted the report but did not highlight anything needed particular scrutiny that hadn’t been taken into account in developing the Select Committee’s work programme.


To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 478 KB


Next Meeting

Tuesday 14th December 2021 at 10.00am – Special Meeting of the Economy and Development Select Committee.


Thursday 3rd February 2022 at 10.00am – Ordinary meeting of the Economy and Development Select Committee.


3rd February 2022 at 10.00am.