Agenda item

Growth Point Governance and Delivery (Agenda item 9)

Report of the Executive Member for Economic and Commercial.


The Director of Services provided Members with the background to Thetford Growth Point and highlighted the recommendations on page 38 of the report.


Following the submission of the Thetford prospectus – Programme of Development by Breckland Council to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in October 2007 an announcement of funding was made in December 2007.  Thetford had been awarded £1,946,579 capital/£203,980 revenue for 2008/09 with an indicative allocation of £3,644,758 capital/£285,572 revenue for 2009/10 – 2010/11.  As this was a new funding system, CLG could only confirm 2008/09 awards at this stage.


The Chief Executive explained that Thetford Growth Point was about delivering the right outcomes for its residents and this report was to invite Members to accept the recommendation from the DCLG.  A joint Member Steering Group had been established that comprised County, District, Town and Parish Council representation to allow for engagement and co-ordination between the various tiers of government in relation to the growth and regeneration of Thetford.  The Group had been broadened to include the necessary community, public and private sector stakeholders and national and local government organisations and had been called the Thetford Growth Point (Shadow) Partnership Board.  The establishment of this Board would enable the right decisions to be made for Growth Point.  Breckland Council would remain the accountable bodies in terms of financial arrangements and monitoring.  Organisations represented on the GP Board would be the accountable body for funding that they secured, managed and spent on behalf of their organisations for the GP programme. 


The Chief Executive asked Members to focus on the model illustrated at Appendix 1 of the report which, if agreed, would enable the Board to move forward and deliver in a timely fashion. 


The Executive Member for Strategic Alliance felt that it was exciting to be provided with funding to be able to get on and deliver Thetford Growth Point and he urged Members to accept the recommendation.


Members were reminded that they would still have the opportunity to call in any decisions.


The reasons for the recommendation were that the success of the Thetford Growth Point programme could only be achieved if the Council took the lead with the involvement of all key stakeholders.  This included the public and private sector and community stakeholders.  Each Growth Point area had its own unique set of priorities and challenges and there was no magic formula, model or approach that would suit everyone.  The shadow LDV as described within the report had drawn on both internal Council and external best practice models in its construction and officers believed this was the best vehicle to achieve the objectives of the Thetford GP Programme in the very short term and as they were understood at this point in time.


RECOMMEND to Council that:


1)           the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) offer of Growth Point funding as set out in the report of £1,946,579 capital and £202,980 revenue for 2008 to 2009 and an indicative allocation of £3,644,758 capital and £285,572 revenue for 2009 to 2010 in accordance with Section 4(C) of the Council’s Financial Regulations and Finance Procedure Rules Section 3 Budget paragraph 4 be accepted;


2)           CLG Growth Point (GP) be allocated funds as set out in (1) above for use as the core budget for the Thetford Growth Point programme;


3)           the Shadow GP Local Delivery Vehicle (LDV) Structure Model as set out in the report be approved and that it be adopted as the appropriate informal vehicle for the initial governance and delivery of the Thetford Growth Programme in the short term;


4)           that the Leader and Executive Members representing the Council on the GP Board be given the necessary legal and corporate constitutional delegated powers available to make decisions on behalf of the Council and commit budgeted resources outside the Committee process but remaining subject to the Council’s normal call in procedures;


5)           that Breckland Officers prepare a business plan on the suitability of the Shadow LDV Structure on behalf of the Council and GP partners and submit the business plan to CLG for approval and possible funding by 1st April 2008;


6)           the recommendations in the report prepared for the Council’s General Purposes Committee meeting on 30th January 2008 for the recruitment of the core delivery posts both within the GP Delivery Team and Council Teams be agreed.

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