Agenda item

Long Term Plan

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


Mr Taylor explained that a meeting had taken place with DLUHC on Monday 25th March 2024, with an update circulated to the Board. This included an introduction providing an update on progress made on the development of the Long-term plan, since the discussion at the last Board meeting on 25th January 2024.


The note was split into three sections, including:

  • Governance requirements and arrangements for 1st April
  • Long-term Plan development activities since the last board meeting
  • Next steps to develop Long-term Plan for 1st August 2024.


As Dewsbury had an existing Town Deal Board, it was agreed that this Board would become the Town Board, in line with the December 2023 DLHUC guidance around the formation of a board.


To ensure the membership of the Board reflected the community, the Chair had engaged with Town Deal Members to confirm if they wanted to be part of the new Town Board.  The Chair also sought nominations for new members and initiated contact. 


Guidance from DLUHC advised that town boards should have a membership of around 15 members, the addition of new board members meant that there would be at least 20 members.  The Chair had confirmed that the larger number would only be in place for a short-term whilst the plan was developed. As part of the board effectiveness review in October 2024, the size and structure of the Board would be reviewed.


The Chair of the Board confirmed that Sophie Johnson had been appointed as Deputy Chair of the Town Board.


A draft Terms of Reference had been circulated to Board Members ahead of a Long-term Plan meeting on 7th March. Comments and suggestions raised by Board Members were noted.  Using the feedback and following engagement with DLUHC, the Terms of Reference had been amended and endorsed by the Chair on 22nd March 2024.  During discussion, the Board raised concerns around the lack of clarity and status of the board, what powers the Board had and what decisions were retained by the Council. It was noted that the amended Terms of Reference addressed those concerns and would be brought for consideration/ratification by the new Town Board in the meeting in May 2024.


Since the Board Meeting in January 2024, a number of workshops had taken place to raise awareness, share ideas and start to develop a list of potential interventions.  The sessions had helped to identify ideas and potential interventions which would need to be refined and assessed to identify areas that met priorities and were deliverable within the funding. 


The Long-term Plan needed to be underpinned by an understanding of the priorities for the wider community.  In the meeting on 25th January 2024, Board Members noted their support to progressing community engagement and an update on progress was provided at the meeting on 7th March 2024.  Kirklees Council had contacted seven companies. Five companies had expressed an interest with deadlines for responses being Tuesday 16th April 2024.


Work was underway to establish an evidence base, by combining this evidence base with local perspectives through the engagement, local priorities and locally relevant outcomes would be able to be identified.


A detailed programme of tasks and activities to ensure the Long-term Plan was developed and submitted for 1st August was under development with the Board receiving a summary of the key next steps.


Mr Taylor also advised on the area of the board and that this would not deviate from the suggested area put forward by DLHUC.  Officers also advised that it was their strong recommendation that as part of the long-term plan process investment was concentrated into the town centre to maximise impact.


Referring to the note circulated earlier to the board, Mr Taylor confirmed that all details of the new board would be passed to DLHUC to ensure compliance with the deadline set by the guidelines.


The Chair advised that other than the statutory Board Members, Members who sat on the new Town Board represented sectors and not organisations.


RESOLVED: That the update be noted