Consideration was given to a report that provided members with details of progress in meeting the duty for a Local Economic Assessment.
It was explained that the sub-national review of economic development and regeneration (SNR), completed by HM Treasury in 2007, identified a new duty for local authorities to complete a Local Economic Assessment.
This was currently progressing through legislation as part of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill and will become a requirement from April 2010 and was expected to be completed within the following six months. The evidence base established would be used to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the local economy and hence inform comprehensive area assessment, local area agreement targets, local development framework and to underpin a range of local strategies. The document would also enable more effective representation for the borough in sub-regional and regional plans such as the Tees Valley City Region Business Case and the Integrated Regional Strategy.
Working with the Tees Valley Joint Strategy Unit (JSU) and to early guidance, officers from Stockton Council have been identifying the statistical evidence base and collating details from partners.
It was noted that the JSU was producing the Tees Valley version to an accelerated timetable and in advance of the duty requirement. A final draft would be prepared for November so that it could be used to support the revisions to the Tees Valley City Region Business Case that had become necessary as a result of the current impact of the economic downturn.
A full dataset was being prepared that takes advantage of the freely available information through government statistics. This would be prepared in partnership with [email protected]
and the JSU economic forecasting team. It was important the Council did not replicate the sub-regional detail but provide a greater local focus, drilling down to neighbourhoods to show how the pockets of deprivation and affluence were influencing the economic growth of the borough.
Close working alongside sub-regional partners would ensure that the impacts these had on the wider economy were effectively considered in the sub regional and regional assessments, giving best representation of the strengths and opportunities that we had locally.
A draft document would be made available for comment prior to the final draft being presented to Cabinet.
It was considered essential that the assessment took into consideration the wider views of the business community and did not rely on statistical evidence alone. Direct input would be solicited from businesses and business forums and partnership arrangements established for future input. Whilst the assessment would be a council document to meet the required duty, Stockton Renaissance would be fully involved in the process of completion, monitoring and revision.
1 the work completed to date and the process for finalising the local economic assessment be noted.
2. the involvement of Stockton Renaissance in the preparation of the Local Economic Assessment be agreed
3. the final document be presented to Cabinet
To assure members of the progress in meeting the new duty for a local economic assessment.
Councillor Nelson declared a personal non prejudicial interest in the item entitled Local Economic Assessment as he served on the Board of Stockton and District Advice and Information Service.
Councillor Cook declared a personal non prejudicial interest in the item entitled Local Economic Assessment as he .