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Agenda item

Cabinet Representative

Minutes:

Cllr Fleur de Rhé-Philipe, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Strategic Planning, introduced her portfolio.

 

South Wiltshire Core Strategy

This had been approved by Wiltshire Council at Full Council and subsequently adopted.

 

Draft Wiltshire Core Strategy

This was out to consultation for the third time (the consultation can be accessed on this link) and would be presented to Cabinet and Full Council in June 2012. It was hoped that the Wiltshire Core Strategy would be adopted by the end of 2012.

 

Once the Wiltshire Core Strategy was in place work would start on local plans. Officers would be available to help villages, should they wish to, work on Neighbourhood Plans, etc.

 

Employment

The level of unemployment was much lower in Wiltshire (2.2%) than the national average (4%) over the past three years. Youth unemployment was also lower in Wiltshire (8%) than the national average (5.9%).

 

A local enterprise partnership led by the private sector had been set up with Swindon. There were representatives from different sectors and organisations including Wiltshire Council, Education and the Armed Forces. This had attracted over £9m investment into the county to be used for a loan scheme to help develop new jobs.

 

Apprenticeships were booming in Wiltshire with a very successful “100 apprentices for 100 days” scheme.

 

Good news

The Maltings and Car Park in Salisbury had been earmarked for redevelopment. A developer had come forward and plans would be made available for consultation. Salisbury had also been identified as one of the best performing business areas.

 

It had been announced that the buildings of RAF Lyneham (following relocation to RAF Brize Norton) would be used for defence and technical training for all services.

 

The Wiltshire Chamber of Commerce had been allocated £1m to be used for small businesses experiencing difficulties or start up businesses.

 

Questions and comments included:

 

·         Ensure procedures are in place for Village Design Statements as soon as the Wiltshire Core Strategy is approved – assurance was offered that every effort would be made. Additional officers would be available to help villages meet the new requirements. Every spatial planning officer would be responsible for a specific area.

·         Confusion over the current government guidance with regard to the Core Strategy and the Localism Act – seminars and development events were currently organised for Wiltshire Councillors and the services concerned were aware of the need for information for Town and Parish Councils. Adequate events would be organised to ensure communities received the necessary information.

 

·         Doubts over the strength and value of modern apprenticeships – it was clarified that education was part of the apprenticeship scheme. For example apprentices were currently working for Wiltshire Council and training to become accountants. Cllr Chris Devine added that in many cases apprentices attended College a couple of days alongside their work placement.

 

·         Concerns over the extra demand on water resources created by new housing / industrial development – Wiltshire Council was very aware of this issue and in consultation with providers such as Wessex Water. Consideration of water provision was included in the Wiltshire Core Strategy.

 

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