A report from the Executive Director – Place is attached. (Key decision – reference number 5088)
Councillor Nesil Caliskan (Leader of the Council) introduced the report of the Executive Director – Place seeking approval of an Economic Development Strategy 2020-2030.
1. That this was a 10-year Strategy that would support the Council’s economic development goals, as highlighted in the Council’s Plan and vision for the future of the Borough.
2. The challenges faced by the Borough which had been accelerated and increased through the Covid pandemic. The Borough needed to maintain and develop a strong local economy which was sustainable and supported local communities and residents; and, provided the right skills and opportunities.
3. The Strategy would assist in managing the changing town centres and high streets in the Borough post Covid and recognised the importance of the creation of high-quality employment and skilled local workforce.
4. The Council would continue to explore and seek all available funding opportunities to support the economic development of the Borough.
5. The 4 key themes of the Strategy as set out in the report covering: high quality employment; people; places; and, culture.
6. The Council would seek to build on the benefits and opportunities as a London Borough. The Strategy would align to the Council Plan and other Council strategies and initiatives including the recently agreed Culture Strategy for the Borough. This Strategy was well-timed.
7. The cultural and economic developments taking place in the Borough with the TV and film hub being established at Meridian Water together with the provision of a skills academy which would benefit young people in the Borough. Good progress was being made.
8. In response to a question raised, Members were advised the work that the Council had undertaken in distributing Government grants to eligible businesses in the Borough in response to the pandemic, the work and funding involved had been significant. The council was continuing to work hard to contact eligible businesses and provide all possible support to them in order to support the local economy.
9. That the decline of town centres and high streets was a national issue. This Strategy would help to attract investment to the borough and the diversification of the high street to include for example culture and leisure facilities as well as retail. This provided a clear policy framework to seek future funding. A strategic approach would support bids for project and investment funding such as the recent successful Good Growth Fund bid for Angel Edmonton, as set out in the report.
10. The potential funding streams that would continue to be explored as detailed in the report.
11. The Council would continue to work closely with other London Councils and a co-ordinated approach would be pursued with the GLA and the London economy as a whole. The initiatives coming forward from the Mayor of London and GLA were outlined to Members. Positive and exciting policy developments were emerging with a clear plan for recovering from the economic impact of the pandemic.
Alternative Options Considered: None, the Council had committed through its Council Plan to the creation of an economy that works for everyone, create more high-quality employment and to do this required a clear strategy with supporting actions.
DECISION: The Cabinet agreed to
1. Approve the Economic Development Strategy provided in Appendix 1 of the report.
2. Delegate to the Executive Director of Place, in consultation with the portfolio holder for Economic Development, authority to make minor edits and finalise the presentation of the Strategy.
Reason: NOTED, the detailed reasons for the proposals as set out in paragraphs 5 to 13 of the report.
(Key decision – reference number 5088)