Agenda item

Long Term Plan for Towns - HM Government 4:35 - 4:45

Contact: David Wildman – Strategic Partnership Lead, Town Centres,

                                           Simon Taylor -Head of Town Centre Programmes.


The Board received a presentation from David Wildman, Strategic Partnership Lead on the Long-Term Plan for Towns that explained that Dewsbury had been identified to received £20million over the next 10 years and summarised the key points from the guidance and Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) feedback, along with the overview of the 3 investment themes and timescales.


During discussion, the Board raised questions regarding the deadline of 1st April 24, and what plans were in place for community engagement. It was noted that the re-established Board had to be in place by 1st April 24 and that engagement was not required to have taken place by 1st April 2024. There would be a requirement for the Board to meet prior to the March meeting to discuss engaging a team of people to undertake the community consultation.


Mr Wildman advised the three themes of the Long-Term Plan were Safety and Security, High Streets, Heritage and Regeneration and Transport and Connectivity.  Investment was expected across all themes, with safety and security being the greatest priority depending on the local priorities. A list of ‘on menu’ and ‘off menu’ interventions were provided stating that ‘off menu’ interventions could be included if supported by a business case. The Board noted that the list of ‘on menu’ interventions tended to sway towards revenue items. With the Local Authority having to make very difficult decisions on non-statutory requirements, a question was asked how that would fit with the menu of items.  Ms Bartholomew advised that the funding was not to swap out the Councils revenue, an understanding of the Councils revenue spend across Dewsbury was required, and how that could be maximised alongside the Long-Term Plan investment. The Board noted that anti-social behaviour was an issue and asked if enforcement in trading standards could be considered.  Ms Bartholomew advised that enforcement could be considered and suggested that colleagues in licensing and enforcement give an overview to the Board at a future meeting to help understand what is taking place and when the investment themes have been decided how that will fit in.


Mr Wildman explained the timescales of the Board membership which needed to include a senior member of the police, along with areas of focus/key areas and the date the plan had to be submitted to Government. The Board asked if Dewsbury Town Deal Board was to morph into the Long-Term Plan, if the timescales would be met, and what the priority area for Dewsbury was, it was agreed that the priority geographical area for investment of the Town Board would be circulated to Board Members.  It was noted that the Board had to ensure that the dates were met, some workshops would take place in between the formal Board Meetings.


A discussion took place regarding the consultation with the community, it was noted that the consultation should be led on themes, where members of the public could comment on the themes and put forward what was most important to them. The Board also noted that the director of external affairs at Kirklees College had been invited to speak to the Board in the March meeting about a campaign that Kirklees college wanted to undertake oh how to get more young people involved in Dewsbury.


Mr Wildman explained that the government encouraged use of existing Town Deal Boards to avoid duplication and help accelerate development of the Long-Term plan, to add skills and ensure the right people were on the Board to fully reflect the priorities of the town. The Board asked a question regarding decision making of the Long-Term Plan Board, Ms Bartholomew advised that the guidance provided stated that Kirklees Council should empower the Board to become a decision-making body and would be reflected in Terms of Reference.  The Chair advised that Terms of Reference would be in place before the board became a fully instituted body.


Mr Wildman explained that www.mentimeter,com would be used to help gather views from attendees, it was noted that this was for Board Members only and not officers, questions to help gather input was on:

  • Board Membership
  • Vision
  • Priorities
  • Support needed
  • Engagement
  • Co-design


During conversation, the Board explained that Bolton had already been through a similar experience and suggested that the Board visited Bolton. 


The Chair of the Board explained that workshops would take place prior to the March 24 Board meeting.







    (i)        That Mr Wildman be thanked for his presentation,

  (ii)        That the priority geographical area for investment for the Town Deal Board be circulated to Board Members.

 (iii)        That Licensing and enforcement colleagues provide an update at a future meeting on anti-social behaviour within Dewsbury and how the Long-Term plan themes fit in to work taking place.