Recommendation: That the Panel considers the content of the draft Final Report and agrees conclusions and recommendations for submission to the Executive.
A copy of the Draft Final Report on Middlesbrough Regeneration Post Covid-19 had been circulated with the agenda.
Members provided recommendations for inclusion in the Final Report.
During discussion an issue was raised in relation to traffic congestion in Middlesbrough and the Vice Chair undertook to pursue this with the relevant service area on behalf of the Panel.
1. the following recommendations were approved for inclusion in the report:
A) Whenever opportunities arise, and in line with the hierarchy of need identified in the Local Implementation Plan (LIP), the Council should seek to ensure that it is easier, safer and more convenient to walk, cycle or use public transport, rather than travelling by car by:
• Providing additional cycle routes.
• Implementing traffic free zones.
• Working with public transport operators to increase local provision.
• Reviewing existing road networks to identify particular instances of traffic congestion at peak times and address these through the LIP to encourage further economic growth.
B) Whilst it is acknowledged that there have been a number of impacts on the approval and publication of Middlesbrough’s revised Housing Local Plan due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Scrutiny Panel asks the Executive to ensure that the revised Local Plan is adopted as soon as practicable and by no later than March 2022.
C) In line with the Middlesbrough Council’s ambition for the town to be net carbon neutral by 2039, use the Middlehaven developments as an opportunity to explore, promote and encourage the use of green renewable energy both with Developers and as a selling point for potential investors.
D) Consideration should be given to extending the Urban Pioneers Scheme, or encouraging similar developments, to provide more live/work accommodation in Middlesbrough, given the shift to increased home working during the Covid-19 pandemic.
E) The Council should ensure that green spaces around the Middlehaven developments are regularly maintained and attractive to prospective new residents and businesses. One suggestion is that hard-standing surfaces or laybys are built into development masterplans rather having grassed verges. This could also save the Council expenditure on maintenance of and/or repair of more traditional grassed surfaces next to roadways.
F) The Council could consider collaborating with the local community to encourage ownership and maintenance of public spaces (if appropriate) in Middlehaven to promote pride in the area.
G) By working closely with Broadband Providers, the Council should seek to ensure that all areas of Middlesbrough can have access to superfast broadband by 2025 at the latest, and that residents and businesses are not disadvantaged by lack of provision given the increased reliance on digital technologies post-pandemic.
H) The Council should consider developing a multi-purpose venue in the town, which can accommodate entertainment. A venue which attracts the best entertainers in the world will encourage people from across the UK to visit the area, stay and spend, boosting the local economy. The Captain Cook Shopping Centre would be an ideal location for an eSports gaming venue as evidenced by the Culture and Communities Scrutiny Panel in a recent Final Report on Cultural Events.
2. the Report was approved by the Panel.
3. subject to final approval by the Chair of the Panel, the Report would be submitted to Overview and Scrutiny Board for consideration.