Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet - Wednesday, 10th May, 2023 4.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1 - Civic Centre

Contact: Anne Jenkins  Governance Team Leader


No. Item


Apologies for Absence

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Declarations of Interest

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Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 118 KB

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The Minutes from 12 April were accepted as a true record.


Shared Prosperity Fund pdf icon PDF 168 KB

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The Leader introduced the first agenda report on the Shared Prosperity Fund.


In April 2022, the UK Government published details of the new £2.6bn Shared Prosperity Fund which sought to support the Government’s Levelling Up objectives.


These objectives aimed to:

Boost productivity, pay, jobs and living standards by growing the private sector

Create opportunities and improve public services

Restore a sense of community, local pride and belonging, and

Empower local leaders and communities, especially in those places lacking local agency.


To achieve this, the Shared Prosperity Fund focussed on three investment priorities, namely:


o   Communities and Place

o   Supporting Local Business; and

o   People and Skills

o   There was also a fund called Multiply, which focused on improving adult numeracy skills.


The Shared Prosperity Funding was allocated across the UK on a needs-assessed basis and the 10 Local Authorities in the Cardiff Capital Region received a combined allocation of over £230m, and a further £48m for Multiply.  Newport was allocated just over £27m for core spend and a further £5.6m for Multiply, for the period April 2022 until the end of March 2025.


To draw down this funding, all local authorities within the Cardiff Capital Region were required to develop a single collaborative regional investment plan. At July’s Cabinet in 2022, Cabinet agreed to endorse the submission of the regional investment plan by the Lead Authority.


Whilst the decision was taken in July last year, there were significant delays from UK Government in the approval of the regional investment plans and the development of formal agreements for governance arrangements.


The Leader reported that these issues had been resolved, but some 10 months of delivery from Year 1 of the programme has been lost. Nonetheless, there had been some SPF spend in 2022/23.  The report noted that nearly £700,000 was being claimed for Year 1 for several projects and Cabinet were asked to endorse this spend.


Whilst it was noted that the significant delays experienced to date meant the spend was below the total Year 1 allocation, UK Government had recognised this and confirmed that underspend would be carried over into Year 2.  The Lead Authority is required to submit a credible plan which demonstrates how the rolled over funding will be spent in the current financial year. Further details of this are contained within the report.


A significant amount of work has gone into ensuring that the fund was managed and monitored in an appropriate way through robust internal governance arrangements,


Given the need to proceed at pace with the delivery of the Local Investment Plan, Cabinet was asked to agree a range of delegated functions to specific Officers and the creation of an internal board which comprised relevant senior officers from across the Council. Agreement relating to specific projects would be undertaken in consultation with the Leader, as the Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Strategic Investment and respective Cabinet Members would be kept up to date through briefings with relevant Service Area leads.


The Leader drew colleagues attention  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Pillgwenlly Master Plan pdf icon PDF 136 KB

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The Leader turned to the next report on the agenda, the Pill Master Plan. The cover report and link to the Master Planning document were included in the agenda pack.


One Newport, with the support of Welsh Government, commissioned an urban design and master planning organisation called The Urbanists to work with partners, businesses, and the community, in order to develop a challenging and aspirational Master Plan for Pill.


This followed concerns raised by Pill residents regarding a number of issues within the Ward.


A social enterprise called MELA Cymru were also involved in the work and undertook an in-depth community engagement exercise within the area.


The plan focused on a series of Community Ambitions and also recognised work already underway within the area.


Cabinet was asked to approve the strategic intentions, developed following extensive engagement with Pill residents, businesses, and partners, of the Master Plan.


Work began on the Master Plan in November 2021 and included a significant amount of community engagement, with 51 one to one interviews with key community stakeholders, 14 engagement events with targeted groups, 2650 individuals reached though social media and Pill Connects, and views gathered from 605 people from diverse backgrounds.


Following analysis of the geographic space, retail and service provision, green space, and community safety indicators, three Community Ambitions aligned to the community and business feedback were formed:


·        Improved green and public spaces

·        Better business and shopping offer and environment

·        Mix of community and youth facilities


The report also recognised work already underway, which evolved over the course of the work. This included Safer Pill, which reprioritised work following the results of the community engagement undertaken and continued to be jointly led by Newport City Council and Gwent Police.


The Master Plan also included work to improve communications, tackle fly-tipping and refuse, improve housing, provide better support and engagement for businesses, and improve the physical environment and green spaces.


The Master Plan was agreed by One Newport and must now be adopted by each partner.


The Leader felt it was important to reiterate, that Cabinet was agreeing to the strategic intentions of the Master Plan and to align decision making to the aspirations of the community, as detailed within the Master Plan.


The Leader added that Cabinet must ensure that it continued to work together as partners to identify and attract external funding to help support the delivery of key projects identified within the Master Plan. This is a long-term commitment and Cabinet must ensure that it continues to engage with the community to develop planning and achieve change.


Crucially, Cabinet will not over promise and under deliver for residents.


Comments of Cabinet Members:


§  Councillor Davies agreed that this is vital work to improve Pill and make it a prosperous place in which to live. Councillor Davies remarked that it was great to see the community ambitions realised with a key focus on quality of life for both children and adults Councillor Davies welcomed this, including prioritising play and youth community facilities  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


NCC External Pressures - Cost of Living pdf icon PDF 141 KB

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The Leader presented the latest update on the main external pressures facing the council, businesses, residents, and communities to Cabinet.


The cost-of-living crisis continues, with a report from the Office of National Statistics released last week stating 95% of 450 food items in the consumer prices inflation basket increased in price in the past year, some by close to 50%. 


In addition, the base rate remained higher than last year’s average.


In the context of areas noted in the report, collaborative working with partners across the city remained a priority. The multi-agency cost-of-living event in the Riverfront on the 26 April attracted approximately 180 of residents who were able to access advice and guidance on managing finances, income maximisation and support with household expenses.


The Leader urged residents experiencing difficulties to contact the council for information and signposting on the advice and support available; in person, by phone or by visiting the support and advice pages on the Council website. 


As Members would see in the report, a recent survey of the Involve Citizen’s Panel found approximately three quarters of the people who responded (164) said they were very or a little worried or anxious about the cost-of-living crisis.


Newport schools continued to support the most vulnerable children and young people and were planning ways of supporting families during the May half-term holiday and bank holidays. Schools would also be facilitating the dissemination of seven days’ worth of food vouchers to those families entitled to free school meals.


The Leader added that it was a privilege to visit St Julian’s Primary School where they had the Big Bocs Boyd in place which helped support those families in need at the school and the community. This initiative was educating young people, not only on food waste but also social responsibility and developing numeracy skills.  The Leader reflected that this was a fantastic initiative and was delighted to see that other primary schools in Newport would also be implementing this initiative. The Leader had recently visited Maindee Primary School and they were almost ready to open their shop.  At every level, Newport City Council was supporting and doing everything they could to help people.  If there was anyone facing any challenges, the Leader urged them to come forward as the help would be in place for them.


Comments of Cabinet Members:


§  Councillor Harvey mentioned the stark reality that 77% of residents were concerned about the cost of living and reiterated that residents must reach out for help from the Council. The Cabinet Member thanked the Leader for acknowledging the work taking place in her portfolio, and also wanted to acknowledge the support from staff who went above and beyond, looking after everyone in Newport.  Residents could telephone 01633 656656 or contact their ward councillor to reach out for help and support to make life a little less stressful.


§  Councillor Davies thanked the Leader for mentioning St Julian’s School, the Cabinet Member was a governor there since 2002 and Chair since  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Work Programme - 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 95 KB

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