Agenda and minutes
Venue: County Hall, Usk - Remote Attendance. View directions
Declarations of Interest
The committee agreed to record any declarations of interest as and when appropriate in discussing the reports.
Town Centre Regeneration: To review the re-opening towns adjustments made in response to the covid-19 pandemic and to consider future regeneration and placed based approaches
The Senior Officer introduced the topic by explaining that following the covid 19 pandemic, there is a need to consider future regeneration of town centres and placed based approaches, whilst maintaining some of the adjustments made in response to the covid-19 pandemic. He explained that we have the opportunity to conduct a review after approximately a year of having instigated changes in town centres to consider what has worked well and how best to support businesses. There may be grant funding streams to be explored and discussions needing to be held with businesses on new projects. The officer led members through a presentation/series of slides in which he explained some of the adventurous steps taken to support social distancing in each of the towns. The report also provided a detailed account of the engagement that took place with businesses and the council’s response to changes announced by Welsh Government with very short notice. The various initiatives to restrict traffic, widen footpaths, install planting and barriers to support social distancing and banners to encourage the ‘shop local’ campaign were discussed in detail. The officer confirmed that whilst there are things we could do differently if we had to do this again, overall, the measures implemented were very successful. The chair thanked the officer for the comprehensive explanation of the measures taken in the different towns and invited members to ask questions.
In the report, you have referred to projects that
may be subject to grants, who decided which would go ahead and how
are the finances of those scrutinised?
This would be a decision delegated to the Chief Officer, but we would engage with scrutiny members on the progress annually. One of the key factors for us to consider is the deliverability of the projects within specific timescales.
· I can recall the closure of Cross Street in Abergavenny many years ago, which left the area quite deserted so my concern is relating to how we can encourage people when the weather isn’t favourable.
Electric heating and canopies for the outdoor seating is something we would need to consider and the maintenance of this. Feedback has suggested people would use these outdoor spaces if they are dry and warm. Also, there’s the ongoing maintenance of the planters and the town council has been very helpful in terms of maintaining these and watering.
· Are the shelters on Cross Street permanent or temporary and please can you ensure ward members are involved in discussions in addition to town and community councils so that we are briefed when asked.
Yes, we can improve our engagement with members on this and will do so from hereon. The shelters are temporary and no decision has been made on those at the moment, but we will be engaging on it and so far feedback has been overwhelmingly positive in relation to Cross Street and also Frogmore Street.
· You have done a fantastic job over a long period of time and I want to acknowledge that. I’m ... view the full minutes text for item 2.
To confirm the date and time of the next meeting as 16th September 2021