Agenda and draft minutes

Southport Town Deal Board - Tuesday 4th August, 2020 8.30 am

Contact: Rebecca Johnstone 

Items
No. Item

49.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies were received from:

 

Robert Agsteribbe

Mark Basnett

Michelle Brabner

Therese Patten

Greta Fenny

Ian Raikes

Graham Robson

 

Please note that the meeting took place via Teams video calling.

 

50.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received.

51.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 147 KB

Minutes:

Amendment required to 8/7/20 minutes to confirm apologies from Alex Hatchman.

 

No other comments or corrections received and signed off as a true record. Any matters arising are covered in the agenda

52.

Public Consultation Report

Minutes:

Richard Laming (RL) gave an overview of the draft consultation report. Due to the volume of responses there are still a few detailed responses which need analysing before the report can be finalised.

 

Headlines and context

·         2000 online questionnaires completed. One of the biggest single responses Turley have seen.

·         836 additional comments

·         36 detailed responses

·         5 phone calls

 

Profile of respondents gives context to the responses:

·         The age profile was largely working age cohort.

·         The under 18’s didn’t really engage, which is not surprising as it is difficult to engage with younger people in this way.

·         Overwhelmingly resident response and small number of visitors and businesses.

 

As it gathered pace the consultation other groups were formed on single issues such as the save STCC Facebook Group (over 5000 members).

 

Turley are working out a way to include/register these responses into the consultation, but must be mindful of GDPR regulations, so will be anonymised and might be some commentary on their impact.

 

Top 3 responses for each theme:

 

World Class Waterfront:

·         Improve range of all-weather attractions and at Pleasureland.

·         Animating the Marine Lake

·         STCC

 

Thriving Town Centre:

·         Focus retail on a smaller footprint

·         Replace loss of department stores with other uses

·         Invest in the public realm

 

Thriving economy:

·         Invest in all-weather attractions

·         Secure future of STCC

·         Developing visitor hub at Ainsdale on Sea

 

Green and Clean:

·         Investment in restoration of historic parks – in particular Botanic Gardens

·         Interchange – people understand the interchange would encourage active travel and public transport

·         Investment in Ainsdale on Sea – nature conversation and celebrate this

 

Better connected:

·         Desire for better rail connections

·         Interchange

·         Road junctions at Meols cop

 

Will be able to demonstrate to government that we have asked for opinions and actively engaged. It shows in the number of responses and will show movement from long list to short list of projects.

 

Recurring responses in comments which weren’t areas Turley had looked at include:

·         Omission in address the lack of amenities on Southport beach – on reflection this should have been addressed and will be going forward.

·         A number highlighted the importance of events to the town – events programme wasn’t consulted upon, but many see the economic benefits of this and more events throughout the year

·         Buisness – several responded something needed for young entrepreneurs – this isn’t start up space, thinking about micro businesses and accessible work space

·         Parking – perceptions of car parking in the town by different groups. Want better distinction between short and long stay and reflected in the pricing structure

·         More modern multi storey car park and have it close to the interchange

·         Accessibility to all – many responses from people with mobility impairments who place importance on street parking and close to shops – these voices need to be listened to and taken into account

·         Cycling – this risen up the political and policy agenda – an idea to create a cycle boulevard and more space for cyclists was supported, but suggested that existing cycle lanes are  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52.

53.

Masterplan Interim Update

Minutes:

RL presented an overview of the work since the last meeting and in light of the emerging priorities coming form the consultation responses. 

 

He noted that the Masterplan is not a blueprint for development and is not designed to be prescriptive or specific when for example describing ‘space for attraction’. The Masterplan needs a long shelf life in order to have maximum value for the commission.

 

RL advised that the final public Masterplan might not be as detailed as the plan shared today, to avoid people getting too hung up on the specific details it shows.

 

The drawings shared show broad use and strategy and the extent of the opportunity and potential for development in the future. Yet there will need to be careful messaging around this, as it will not all happen at once and will be gradual change. It includes difficult sites which may evolve in the 30 year time scan.

 

The Masterplan demonstrates to government and stakeholders that there are opportunities to address issues which have been raised in the consultation and that there are previously developed sites and also underutilised sites which can be used

 

RL advised that although there are distinctions in use shown in the Masterplan, these are not rigid quarters and that areas should intermesh with one another.

 

Comments from chat:

Alex Hatchman gave her support for the Masterplan

 

54.

Project Prioritisation

Minutes:

SW introduced the confidential draft long project list noting that the qualitative aspect of the bid and the narrative on the vision is as important. The narrative to the whole bid has to feel like Southport throughout – it has to pass the “tippex test”.

 

SW stressed the confidentiality of the project list is important as they are only project ideas to support discussion and conversation in respect of what the boards priorities and responding to the consultation responses. It is the funnel from a longlist of ideas to a short list which will make up the Masterplan/TIP. SW advised that it has been confirmed that there is a maximum of £50m we can bid for if we want to get the greater opportunity, therefore the draft Masterplan will include options to bid for more that £25m for the Board to agree. The bid will also include background on methodology and how the decision on the longlist of projects was achieved.

 

SW added that the revenue and capital implications do need to be considered including solutions which may generate revenue funding, which can fund other projects or ongoing operational costs which cannot always be covered by the local authority.

Regarding level of detail, a project such as the STCC will have a lot of detail to include in the bid, whereas other projects will be less developed and have less detail.

 

SW asked for views from the board on the project list and the nominal priority they have been assigned. Looking for perspective from board and a broad consensus.

 

Comments from the board:

 

Rob Fletcher (RF) noted that STCC links into many of the other projects and will stimulate the activity in other areas.

 

AN added that it although it is an important project, but other enabling projects also need to take place for it to be successful.

SW agreed that the sequencing of projects is important. The narrative of bid needs to paint the picture for investors and show progressed conversations on match funding for projects, but guidance suggests that it is not prerequisite to have match funding confirmed at time of bid submission.

 

PH agreed that STCC is a critical project as it supports other businesses and a driver for out of season business and the current site is falling behind the competition. He also noted that it is the conference centre which is the economic driver rather than the theatre – JB  agreed with this point. 

 

RF noted that post Covid people will likely be more flexible where they live and work so this is a great opportunity for Southport.

 

SW asked what the Board feel about projects away from the town centre such of the Ainsdale gateway and The Sands

 

AH noted that her preference would be for fewer, but bigger projects that have impact and can be driven hard

 

JB disagreed with this point and thinks there should be a wider range of projects if more business can be bought in and that there is  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.

55.

Next Steps

Minutes:

SW requested that Board members continue their good work of raising the profile of the ongoing consultation. The shape of TIP and bid will continue to be developed, with a balance to be struck on the projects proposed. Will revert to the board with a narrowed list of quantified projects, so if any Board members have any feedback to make offline please send through.

 

SW confirmed that the council continue to engage with other funding opportunities both public and private.

 

SW stressed that the next few weeks are critical for the submission and this is an exciting opportunity. He also thanked the Board for their continued time and support.

 

56.

AOB

Minutes:

None raised.

57.

Date of Next Meeting

Tuesday 15th September 2020, 8:30am

Minutes: