Memorandum by Devon and Cornwall Business
Council (GRI 27)
My Council have been involved in a number of
Urban Regeneration Initiatives on a local basis, sub-regional
and regional level.
We have experienced considerable difficulty
in resolving tensions between specific local initiatives and the
framework already established for local or structure plan policies.
This has been particularly evident where the
administrative boundaries do not coincide with travel to work
areas; for example, Plymouth fits within the Devon Structure Plan
Area, but draws 25 per cent of its labour force from East Cornwall.
It is also clear that the speed of change within
the Structure Plan process can seldom react quickly enough to
the dynamics of regeneration initiatives.
We have positively identified the needs to take
business groups into the regeneration process from the outset
and have found specific encouragement from City Growth Strategy.
It has also proved necessary at the inception stage to "ring-fence"
public sector and private sector funding. The engagement of business
groups needs to be extended to evolve a social enterprise strategy.
Wider engagement with a broad range of community
groups in our experience results in undeliverable wish lists and
protracted delays in identifying a clear focused programme.
In order to ensure sustainable development in
areas of multiple deprivation, we have established that this can
only be achieved by a "top-down" and "bottom-up"
process. This, in our experience, is the only way to improve GDP
and average income streams.
We have no experience of the closure of regeneration
initiatives as none of the schemes we are currently involved with
have reached this stage. Equally, none of our schemes have yet
fully demonstrated outputs and measurable levels in order that
the information can be used as part of a long-term strategy. It
is clear that the holistic basis utilised by City Growth have
extracted the best practice from a range of earlier initiatives
and that this can provide a clearly defined delivery mechanism
to a broad range of interest groups. It has also identified the
weakness of many programmes which lack accurate and up to date
economic and social intelligence.
It is our view that sufficient information is
now available through the Regional Development Agencies to identify
when, where and how new initiatives should be deployed.
We would welcome the opportunity of making a
direct submission to your committee if this was felt appropriate
and time permits.