This report and appendices summarises how the Council performed during 2018/19 on the delivery of the two priorities relevant to this Committee: ‘Medway: a place to be proud of’ and ‘Maximising regeneration and economic growth’.
The Committee received a report setting out performance in Quarter 4 and end of year for 2018/19 for the key measures of success and projects relevant to this Committee.
A Member referred to LRCC4a (Number of jobs created and safeguarded) and sought clarification as to whether the 200 jobs created but awaiting confirmation at Amazon had been included in the 535 jobs created/protected against the annual target of 300. It was confirmed that these had not been included as the final number of jobs created had yet to be confirmed.
The Committee acknowledged the £25,000 secured by Greenspaces Development to deliver a Pocket Park at Chatham Town Hall Gardens, and stated that this was a good example of partnership working. The Committee asked that its appreciation be extended to the Head of Greenspaces and his staff both within Greenspaces and at the Country Parks for their work.
A Member referred to the Dickens 150 celebration in 2020 and suggested that the Council may also wish to work in partnership with others to mark the celebration of the life of William Cuffay which would be of international interest. The Director for Regeneration, Culture, Environment and Transformation and Deputy Chief Executive agreed to pursue this further and to discuss with the Member direct.
A Member referred to the loss of a number of trees in Chatham Town Centre and requested that a briefing note be provided setting out the rationale for the loss of these trees. The Director for Regeneration, Culture, Environment and Transformation and Deputy Chief Executive advised that as part of the Chatham Placemaking works, some trees required removal but confirmed that a tree planting programme was proposed and he agreed to provide a briefing note on this issue.
A Member referred to the improvement works at Chatham Railway Station, a project being undertaken by the Council in partnership with Network Rail. He expressed the importance of communication to residents, businesses and commuters as to the progress of regeneration works and drew attention to the detailed communication panels at the Command of the Heights regeneration site. He stated that ideally this level of communication should be consistent across Medway regeneration sites. The Director for Regeneration, Culture, Environment and Transformation and Deputy Chief Executive noted the comments and acknowledged the importance of effective communication and engagement at regeneration sites.
In response to a question, the Director for Regeneration, Culture, Environment and Transformation and Deputy Chief Executive outlined in detail the extensive level of engagement at both Member and officer levels on the skills and employability plan.
A Member referring to transport and public realm improvements in Strood, and in particular the planters and tree pits that had been installed and, in the light of the discussion on an earlier item concerning the use of herbicides, he requested that appropriate root protection and weed suppression measures be put in place. The Director for Regeneration, Culture, Environment and Transformation and Deputy Chief Executive agreed to take this on board.
The Committee noted the Quarter 4 and end of year performance of measures used to monitor progress against the Council’s priorities and noted that:
a) The Director for Regeneration, Culture, Environment and Transformation and Deputy Chief Executive will consider the potential of marking the life of William Cuffay in 2020.
b) A briefing note will be circulated on the removal of a number of trees in Chatham Town Centre and information on the proposed tree planting programme.