There are still uncertainties around the anticipated project to regenerate Port Royal: for example:
Nevertheless, reassurances have been given that any such questions will be addressed once the ‘Reference Group’ meets – a group charged with ‘advising’ and ‘managing’ the Scoping exercise.
The following questions have been sent to the Town Clerk – the pivotal officer in the process – by the Vision Group – who will be on the Reference Group, together with:
> the Chairs of the following organisations: Sidmouth Town Council, Neighbourhood Plan Group, Sid Vale Association, Chamber of Commerce
> x2 Sidmouth Town Councillors, x2 Sidmouth District Councillors, County Councillor
> Officers of the two Councils
QUESTIONS: SCOPING STUDY
28th September 2016
There further points arising, now that more information is available:
STC [Agenda incl TOR and Project Brief http://www.sidmouth.gov.uk/images/Agenda_STC-050916.pdf ]
[Minutes: 5th September: http://www.sidmouth.gov.uk/images/Mins-STC-050916.pdf]
EDDC Cabinet [Agenda paper: 14th September: http://eastdevon.gov.uk/media/1845110/combined-cab-agenda140916final.pdf]
[Minutes: 14th September: http://eastdevon.gov.uk/media/1856707/140916-cabinet-mins.pdf]
Reports in the press
[the Herald: 9th September: http://futuresforumvgs.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/plans-for-port-royal-anticipating_18.html]
[the Herald: 16th September: http://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/home/scoping_study_given_green_light_by_district_1_4699248]
[the View from Sidmouth: 20th September: http://www.viewnews.co.uk/port-royal-set-regeneration/]
1) To what extent is the Study simply concerned with gathering quantitative evidence (“fact-finding”); and to what extent will it also be covering qualitative research (“public consultations”)?
2) To what extent will the Study determine the ‘scope’ of the overall Port Royal Regeneration Project – that is, over the entire life of the Project?
3) Will the end of the Study mark Gateway One? In which case, as outlined by Officer Alison Hayward at her presentations to the STC and NPSG, will it be impossible to revisit any of the elements of the Study, either quantitatively (“fact”) or qualitatively (“opinion”) – or to reconsider the scope of the Project once Gateway One has been passed?
4) With reference to the Herald article of 9th September, what exactly is meant by ‘proposals’ – are the Project/Reference Groups and both Councils expected to come up with ‘proposals’ to determine the direction, scope and nature of the overall Port Royal Regeneration Project; or are the ‘proposals’ limited to how the information will be presented only in the Study?
5) How will the selection of the consultant be decided and will this process be made transparent to all stakeholders?
6) Who will the consultant be employed by and where will s/he have office space?
7) Who will s/he report to?
8) Will it be the responsibility of the Reference Group or of the Project Group to determine the nature and scope of the support from Officers and external consultants? And what exactly is meant by ‘support’ from officers and external expertise – who exactly and which Group will be providing direction for such support? (See STC Minutes of 5th September)
9) To what extent will the Study and larger report be ‘set out’, led and determined by the Consultant(s)? (See the View form Sidmouth of 20th September: “the two councils will be commissioning the Scoping Study so that experts can set out the key issues and way forward towards a detailed plan for the future potential for Port Royal”)
10) Is it probable that the consultant(s) employed to contribute to the Study will be kept on for the entirety of the Project, should their contribution prove satisfactory to all parties?
11) When and how will the Town Council be selecting its own two representatives to the Reference Group; and will one of these be the same representative who will sit on the Project Group?
12) What powers will the Reference Group have with regard to the Scoping Exercise and how will these differ from those of the Project Group?
13) What will be the working relationship between the two Groups?
14) Who will chair each Group?
15) Which Group will report to which other body?
16) When will each Group convene for the first time?
17) How will it be determined how often each Group will meet?
18) Will each Group provide Minutes – to be made available to members of both Groups (ie, not initially publicly available), but providing an accurate record of discussions had and decisions made?
19) With reference to the STC Chair’s comments that the Study will be determined by the elected representatives, will the Members sitting on the Project/Reference Groups have the final say on any decisions or recommendations to be made by these Groups, above those of officers, consultants and stakeholders?
20) Who will “manage the delivery of the Project Plan” – the officers, consultants, the Project Group or the Reference Group? (See STC TOR Point 2.4, 5th September)
21) How will the results from the NPSG’s ongoing (as of 28th September) Business and Special Interest Group Questionnaire be incorporated into the Study?
22) If the NPSG’s Second Residents’ Questionnaire fails to be completed and analysed before the Study is complete, how will the public’s opinions on Port Royal be incorporated? (See Cabinet Paper of 14th September: “The NPSG is keen to contribute to the consultation work of the Scoping Study and it is hoped that the timing of its next questionnaire will be able to include a question regarding people’s ideas about what they would like to see in a renewal plan for Port Royal.”)
23) Which Group will determine and manage the other public consultation exercises for the Study, as specified in the TOR and Project Brief?
24) Will there be further substantive consultations carried out beyond the Study as part of the Port Royal Regeneration Project?
25) How will the position of an eventual Port Royal Regeneration Project be affected by the recommendation from the District Council’s Scrutiny Cttee? (See Cabinet Minutes of 14th September: “45 Minutes of the Scrutiny Committee held on 7 July 2016: Minute 10 – Scoping specific examples of public engagement and consultation identified by the committee:
“2. that consideration be given, for the purposes of greater transparency, to the Exmouth Regeneration Board being constituted in a similar format to the current Asset Management Forum, whereby the Board meetings are held in public with a private session for dealing with confidential/commercially sensitive information as required; and that new Regeneration Boards be constituted in the same format.”)
26) How do how the Councils intend to be ‘more open and inclusive’ and in what ways have the Councils ‘leant lessons’ from the Exmouth regeneration project? (See the Herald of 16th September: on the District Council’s Cabinet meeting, quoting a senior District Councillor: “Councillor Phil Twiss said: ‘We want to include as many people as we can, in every way we can – we weren’t perfect in Exmouth and we have all learnt lessons from that – we have to be more open and inclusive.’)