Issue - meetings

Audit Wales review of Town Centre Regeneration

Meeting: 09/11/2021 - Environment & Economy Overview & Scrutiny Committee (Item 39)

39 Audit Wales review of Town Centre Regeneration pdf icon PDF 104 KB

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That the Audit Wales recommendations be noted and the proposed response to Audit Wales be approved.


The Chief Officer (Planning, Environment & Economy) introduced a report to consider the key recommendations of the Audit Wales review of Town centre Regeneration and the Council’s response.  He provided background information and advised that the report set out the six recommendations; three of which local government was asked to respond to.  The response to each recommendation was detailed in the report.  Appended to the report was the Audit Wales self-evaluation tool and the Council’s responses to the questions.  The Chief Officer presented the report.


Councillor Owen Thomas commented on the detrimental impact of closed/ unoccupied shops in town centres and asked if something could be done to improve the appearance of the abandoned buildings.


Councillor Sean Bibby spoke of the resilience of some local businesses which had coped with the challenges of the pandemic better than expected and had been well supported by the Council.  He also said he was encouraged by the upsurge in demand for retail outlets in the high street in his own Ward and thanked the Chief Officer and his team for the financial support and assistance provided to local traders.   He asked if data could be provided on the vacant unit rate for each town centre.  The Chief Officer Bibby thanked Councillor Bibby for his positive comments and said the evidence of improvement on vacancy rates on units in town centres was due to recognition of the need to support local businesses and the attraction of shopping in local areas and people taking the opportunity to develop their entrepreneurial abilities.  The Chief Officer said a report on the local economy would be submitted to the January meeting of the Recovery Committee and that he would request that information on vacancy rates be included.


Councillor Chris Bithell referred to section 1.05 in the report and commented that the training from the Welsh Government had been helpful and the assistance and advice provided would be taken on board to achieve best outcomes for town centres.


During discussion, the Chief Officer responded to the comments raised by Members around the importance of supporting town centre markets and the opportunities that can arise for local communities due to the success of small traders expanding their business in the future.


The recommendation was moved by Councillor Owen Thomas and seconded by Councillor Paul Shotton.




That the Audit Wales recommendations be noted and the proposed response to Audit Wales be approved.