Agenda and minutes
Venue: Scaitcliffe House, Ormerod Street, Accrington. View directions
Contact: Ben Caulfield
Apologies for Absence and Substitutions
Apologies were received from Councillors Patrick McGinley, Susan Hayes and Noord Aziz. Councillor Bernard Dawson substituted for Councillor Aziz.
Declarations of Interest and Dispensations
There were no declarations of interest or dispensations.
To submit the minutes of the Special Scrutiny Committee held on 27th September for approval as a correct record.
Recommended - That the minutes be received and approved as a correct record.
The minutes of the last meeting on 27th September 2022 were submitted and approved as a correct record, with no questions from Committee members.
Resolved - That the minutes from the Special Scrutiny Committee meeting on 27th September 2022 be approved as a correct record.
To respond to the request from the Special Overview and Scrutiny Committee for a general update on the Council’s LUF bid and UKSPF allocation.
Recommended - That Communities and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee note the report.
The Leader of the Council presented the report to the Committee on Levelling Up. He highlighted that the bid was submitted on schedule. Details of what the bid included were outlined in the report, involving improvements to the Market Hall, Burtons Chambers and Market Chambers. The outcome of the bid will be known before Christmas.
The Leader referred to the Levelling Up bigger picture, including progress with the Local Plan, which will see a large scale development bringing aspirational housing to Huncoat Garden Village and the Leisure Transformation Project.
The Chair asked the Leader what was intended as the remit of this Committee. Was it to Scrutinise the levelling up bid, or was it to have input into the general levelling up of the area? The Leader indicated that he felt the Committee had a role to play in the bigger picture of levelling up of the area.
The Leader suggested the Committee may wish to scrutinise opposition views on the local plan at a future date.
The Leader highlighted the following in terms of levelling up the area:
- Housing strategy including use of brownfield sites (former Huncoat power station as an example) where they are available
- Strategic employment development close to the M65
- High quality housing and jobs integral to keeping people and attracting people to live in Hyndburn
- External funding availability dictating which projects are brought forward at certain times
Councillor Khan said he agreed that investment is required in housing and employment and he was supportive of the Local Plan. He suggested that the Council could communicate its intentions better in order to get a more positive response from the public. The Leader agreed with this, however, he pointed out that consulting with the public was not always straight forward, as the public often engage more if they are against something rather than if they are in support of it.
Councillor Khan said a lot of positive work is going on unseen and that we need to get better at showing the positive work. The Leader responded that positivity is high amongst local business leaders and stakeholders and the politics is causing negative issues.
Shahed Mahmood asked why the Local Plan has taken so long to develop. The Leader responded that the Local Plan is a long term strategic document that is developed to a timeline and follows on from the previous local plan.
Councillor Bernard Dawson said that people have a right to object to a Local Plan, and no plan will ever be created which is supported by all politicians.
Councillor Kahn asked what “Plan B” was is the levelling up bid was unsuccessful. The Leader responded that the projects put forward for the Levelling Up bid are 3 of many plans for the town centre. The Council will continue to look for funding to deliver these and other priorities for the town. Councillor Britcliffe also pointed out that our current focus should be optimistic based on a successful bid.
Shahed ... view the full minutes text for item 373.