Wednesday, 24 October 2012
OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY
OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY PANEL 23rd OCTOBER
INTRODUCTION - ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
TDC Leader - Cllr Clive Hart
"Setting the Direction for Economic Growth in Thanet is phase One of the council’s three-phase approach to developing our local economy.
Phase One: Setting the Direction. This is the actual consultation document in front of us this evening. This document recognises the nature of the Thanet economy and sets out a strategic vision for developing the area’s potential.
Recognising the key issues facing our economy, this document proposes a vision and strategic direction that could realise our full potential. It summarises the economic context of Thanet, identifies the sectors of the economy that are important to Thanet or have the potential to deliver growth and outlines the areas where support is required to help business of any size and in any sector prosper in Thanet.
Statistical information – such as population and age figures – set the backdrop for the document. This information is further complemented by details of Thanet’s natural and historical assets – including the area’s maritime heritage.
All areas of economic activity are covered by the document – including health, arts, construction, financial and scientific – among others. And there is particular reference made to the ‘green’ economy.
Other factors, such as gross weekly wages, housing and unemployment are also covered.
The document outlines the areas of the economy in most need of support, and also identifies employment sectors where growth is expected in future.
Support for the visitor economy and green industries form pivotal points in the initial, Phase One document, which highlights the success of Ramsgate as a centre for offshore wind energy.
Phase Two: Understanding the Opportunities.
Will translate the strategic direction into detailed actions and policies we need to fully understand the requirements of businesses, the opportunities that exist and what we need to do to capture them. The consultation process is part of this phase.
Phase Two will build upon feedback from the first phase and influence the dialogue of all those engaged in economic growth.
Phase Three: Action and Policy.
Reactions to the priorities put forward in the consultation document, and feedback from those directly involved in industry through the engagement process, will be used to inform the development of specific actions and influence other policies to make sure we capture the opportunities that are available.
Phase Three will bring together all strands of employment expertise to produce a shared delivery plan which will help unlock growth and prosperity.
Thanet’s local economy is driven by many complex factors, and there are often strong links between seemingly disparate sectors. Therefore our approach to economic growth is phased, because that enables us to develop economic growth through an intelligent methodology.
Most importantly, the phase one document we are discussing tonight is a firm basis for discussion but is certainly NOT the completed strategy.
Our aim is to have the most inclusive process possible and thereby to produce the very best strategy possible. We are a genuinely inclusive administration and we want to encourage contributions from all stakeholders to inform our process.
Our administration most certainly has a very INCLUSIVE approach to Economic Development for Thanet. With this in mind we are very pleased to have a Thanet Regeneration Board helping to advise and support our TDC strategy.
The Thanet Regeneration Board is a partnership brought together by Thanet District Council. Its aim is to collaborate to ADVISE, support and deliver jobs and skills across Thanet. Several members were appointed to the board before we took control of the council and we will work with all board members for the benefit of Thanet.
This joint approach brings together national, regional and local best practice, experience and expertise to benefit Thanet residents and visitors.
The Board, meeting quarterly, is supported by officers from Thanet District Council. The first chair is the former Chief Executive of SEEDA (South East England Development Agency), Pam Alexander.
I’m pleased to learn only today that through our targeted and focussed consultation we have also had our phased approach generally endorsed by a group of our major employers here in Thanet.
I’d like to thank Rob Hetherington for all his work on this strategy. Rob started with the council in the same week I became leader and I know he’s been immersed in this process from that time.
Chairman, to make this strategy happen, we need to fully understand the requirements of businesses, the opportunities that exist and what we and our partners need to do to deliver those opportunities for Thanet".
Cllr Clive Hart - TDC Leader.
Published by Thanet Labour Group Press Office, 44 Northdown Road, Margate, Kent, CT9 2RW.