Portas Pilots Bid Funding
Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Submission to Government on Portas pilots.
A report by the Director for Regeneration, Housing and Planning informed the Cabinet that In 2011 Mary Portas had been commissioned by the Government to undertake an independent review of high streets. In December 2011 - The Portas Review had been published with a number of recommendations. One of which had been to create a series of Town Teams for retail areas.
On 4 February 2012 the Government announced ‘Portas Pilots - Prospectus: an invitation to become a Town Team’ to co-ordinate innovative approaches to the issues raised in the Portas Review. The Government was inviting bids into a £1 million fund, to become a Town Team, from all areas of the country. The Government would select twelve pilots with up to £100,000 funding available for each.
The bids had to be submitted, in a partnership approach, between retailers, landlords, local community, Local Authority and partners. The Local Authority must agree to be the accountable body for the fund and also submit a statement that the project would secure value for money for tax payers.
The Cabinet was advised that the Council had received a number of draft bids from local groups. A summary of the draft bids was included in the report (Section 2).
The Cabinet was asked to agree the principle of the Local Authority acting as the Accountable Body for any funding which may be granted, if any of the bids were successful, for up to £100,000 per bid.
The Cabinet was then asked to agree that due to the very tight timescale for the bids; that the Director of Regeneration, Housing and Planning, in consultation with the Leader of the Council/Portfolio Holder, be authorised to finalise the statements on securing value for money for taxpayers in the use of the grant to accompany final bids for submission to the Government on 30 March 2012. This was to allow the groups as much time as possible to finalise their bids (including producing a video), within the framework of their draft bids outlined below, before submission to the Government.
Councillor J Green informed that he would like to see local traders getting involved with this initiative. The Council had allocated £500,000 in its budget for this purpose. Consequently, he asked officers to contact local traders to try to get them involved in what could be done to bring about improvements to shopping centres etc. as it was the role of the Empty Homes Team to bring buildings back to life.
(1) the Cabinet endorses the submission of the five ‘Portas Pilot’ bids to the Department of Communities and Local Government to Government on 30 March 2012;
(2) the Cabinet agree to the Director of Regeneration, Housing and Planning, in consultation with the Cabinet Portfolio holder to have delegated authority to agree the submission of the final bids to the Government, within the framework of the draft bids summarised in the report (section 2);
(3) the Cabinet agrees that the Local Authority will be the Accountable Body for the funding of up to £100,000 for each bid, if successful and the money be allocated in line with the Council’s accounting policies;
(4) the Cabinet agrees to the Director of Regeneration, Housing and Planning, in consultation with the Cabinet Portfolio Holder preparing a statement for submission to the Department for Communities and Local Government which states that the Council will secure value for money for the tax payer in the use of the grant; and
(5) the Cabinet agrees that should any further bids be submitted to the Council prior to 30 March deadline, the Director of Regeneration, Housing and Planning, in consultation with the Cabinet Portfolio Holder/Leader, be authorised to finalise any additional statements on securing value for money for taxpayers in the use of the grant.
Report author: Strategic Director: Regeneration and Environment
Publication date: 20/03/2012
Date of decision: 15/03/2012
Decided at meeting: 15/03/2012 - Cabinet
Effective from: 28/03/2012