27 February 2008

Dear Councillor,

In pursuance of the provisions of the Local Government Act, 1993 and the Regulations thereunder, notice is hereby given that a POLICY REVIEW COMMITTEE MEETING of Penrith City Council is to be held in the Passadena Room, Civic Centre, 601 High Street, Penrith on Monday 3 March 2008 at 7:30PM.

Attention is directed to the statement accompanying this notice of the business proposed to be transacted at the meeting.

Yours Faithfully

 

 

Alan Travers

General Manager

 

BUSINESS

 

1.           APOLOGIES

 

2.           LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Leave of absence has been granted to:

Councillor Greg Davies - 3 March 2008 to 6 March 2008 inclusive.

Councillor Jim Aitken OAM - 3 March 2008 to 6 March 2008 inclusive.

Councillor Ross Fowler OAM - 3 March 2008 to 6 March 2008 inclusive.

Councillor Steve Simat - 3 March 2008 to 6 March 2008 inclusive.

 

3.           CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES

Policy Review Committee Meeting - 18 February 2008.

 

4.           DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Pecuniary Interest (The Act requires Councillors who declare a pecuniary interest in an item to leave the meeting during discussion of that item)

Non-Pecuniary Interest

 

5.           ADDRESSING THE MEETING

 

6.           MAYORAL MINUTES

 

7.           NOTICES OF MOTION

 

8.           ADOPTION OF REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATION OF COMMITTEES

 

9.           MASTER PROGRAM REPORTS

 

10.         URGENT REPORTS (to be dealt with in the master program to which the item relates)

 

11.         QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

 

12.         COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE


POLICY REVIEW COMMITTEE MEETING

 

Monday 3 March 2008

 

table of contents

 

 

 

 

 

 

meeting calendar

 

 

confirmation of minutes

 

 

master program reports

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEETING CALENDAR

February 2008 - December 2008

 

 

TIME

FEB

MAR

APRIL

MAY

JUNE

JULY

AUG

SEPT

OCT

NOV

DEC

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Ordinary Meetings

7.30 pm

4

10

7

5v

2

14

4

1ü

13^

10

1

25

 

21

 

23*

 

 

22

20

 

15

Policy Review Committee

7.30 pm

18#+

3

28

19#

16

7

18#+

15@

 

17#

8

 

31@

 

 

 

28

 

 

 

 

 

 

#    Meetings at which the Management Plan ¼ly  reviews are presented.

^     Election of Mayor/Deputy Mayor [only business]

#+  General Manager’s presentation – half year and end of year review

@   Strategic Program progress reports [only business]

v   Meeting at which the Draft Management Plan is adopted for exhibition

ü    Meeting at which the 2007/2008 Annual Statements are presented

*     Meeting at which the Management Plan for 2008/2009 is adopted

 

 

-                 Council’s Ordinary Meetings are held on a three-week cycle where practicable.

-                 Extraordinary Meetings are held as required.

-                 Policy Review Meetings are held on a three-week cycle where practicable.

-                 Members of the public are invited to observe meetings of the Council (Ordinary and Policy Review Committee).  All meetings start at 7:30pm.

-                 Should you wish to address Council, please contact the Public Officer, Glenn McCarthy on 47327649

 

 


UNCONFIRMED MINUTES

 OF THE POLICY REVIEW COMMITTEE MEETING OF PENRITH CITY COUNCIL HELD IN THE PASSADENA ROOM, PENRITH

ON MONDAY 18 FEBRUARY 2008 AT 7:39PM

PRESENT

His Worship the Mayor Councillor Greg Davies, Councillors Jim Aitken OAM, Kaylene Allison, Lexie Cettolin, Kevin Crameri OAM, Mark Davies, Ross Fowler OAM, Jackie Greenow, Karen McKeown, Susan Page, Garry Rumble, Pat Sheehy AM, Steve Simat (arrived 7:55pm) and John Thain.

 

APOLOGIES

PRC 1  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Jackie Greenow seconded Councillor Garry Rumble that apologies be received and accepted from Councillor Steve Simat.

 

LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Councillor David Bradbury requested Leave of Absence from 18 to 22 February 2008 inclusive.

PRC 2  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Garry Rumble seconded Councillor Jackie Greenow that that the matter be brought forward and dealt with as a matter of urgency.

His Worship the Mayor, Councillor Greg Davies, ruled that the matter was urgent and should be dealt with at the meeting.                  

PRC 3  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Garry Rumble seconded Councillor Jackie Greenow that Leave of Absence be granted to Councillor David Bradbury from 18 to 22 February 2008 inclusive.

 

CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES - Policy Review Committee Meeting - 10 December 2007

PRC 4  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Pat Sheehy AM seconded Councillor Ross Fowler OAM that the minutes of the Policy Review Committee Meeting of 10 December 2007 be confirmed.

 

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 Councillors Pat Sheehy AM, Karen McKeown, Jackie Greenow and Ross Fowler OAM declared a Non-Pecuniary Interest in Item 2 – Penrith Performing and Visual Arts Ltd – Annual Report and Board of Directors as they are Directors on the Board of the Penrith Performing and Visual Arts Ltd.  They reserved the right to speak and vote on the matter.

  

MASTER PROGRAM REPORTS

 

The City as a Social Place

 

Councillor Steve Simat arrived, the time being 7:55pm.

 

2        Penrith Performing and Visual Arts Ltd - Annual Report and Board of Directors         

PRC 5  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Pat Sheehy AM seconded Councillor Susan Page

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Penrith Performing and Visual Arts Ltd - Annual Report and Board of Directors be received

2.     Councillors Jackie Greenow and Karen McKeown, John Mullane, Dennis Rice and Fiona Steel be appointed to fill vacancies that occurred at the second Annual General Meeting of the Penrith Performing and Visual Arts Ltd.

3.     Council agree to underwrite the operation of Penrith Performing and Visual Arts Ltd until the presentation to Council of the Penrith Performing and Visual Arts Ltd Annual Report for 2007/08.

4.     Council congratulate the Board of Penrith Performing and Visual Arts Ltd on their success and achievements over the twelve months to the end of June 2007.

 

3        Memorandum of Understanding with Sydney West Area Health                                    

PRC 6  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Ross Fowler OAM seconded Councillor Garry Rumble

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Memorandum of Understanding with Sydney West Area Health  be received

2.     Council endorse the Memorandum of Understanding for the Strategic Partnership Agreement between Sydney West Area Health Service and Penrith City Council.

 

Councillor Susan Page left the meeting, the time being 8:29pm.

 

Councillor Susan Page returned to the meeting, the time being 8:31pm.

 

4        Modification, Extension or issue of Operational Consents for Deferred Commencement Determinations of Development Consents that were determined by the Ordinary Council Meeting      

PRC 7 RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor John Thain seconded Councillor Pat Sheehy AM

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Modification, Extension or issue of Operational Consents for Deferred Commencement Determinations of Development Consents that were determined by the Ordinary Council Meeting be received.

2.     The new procedures outlined commence immediately, as reflected in the new practice note and incorporated into the community consultation section of the draft City Wide DCP 2008.

 

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

Councillor Kevin Crameri OAM left the meeting, the time being 8:31pm.

 

Councillor Kevin Crameri OAM returned to the meeting, the time being 8:34pm.

 

1        2007-2008 Management Plan - December Quarter Review                                            

7  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Jim Aitken OAM seconded Councillor Susan Page

That :

1.    The information contained in the report on the 2007-2008 Management Plan - December Quarter Review be received

2.    The 2007-2008 Management Plan Review as at 31 December 2007, including revised estimates identified in the recommended budget, be adopted

3.    The proposed budget reallocations and amendments to tasks detailed in the report be adopted.

 

The City In Its Environment

 

5        Biodiversity Action Plan                                                                                                     

PRC 8  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Garry Rumble seconded Councillor  seconded Councillor Pat Sheehy AM that the information contained in the report on the Biodiversity Action Plan be received.

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

6        Proposed Policy on 'Advertising on Council Premises'                                                    

PRC 9  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Ross Fowler OAM seconded Councillor Lexie Cettolin

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on the proposed policy relating to ‘Advertising on Council Premises’ be received

2.     The proposed policy relating to ‘Advertising on Council Premises’, as shown in the Amended Draft Policy Document appended to this report, be adopted

3.     The managers of all Council controlled premises, including section 377 Committees, be informed of Council’s policy relating to ‘Advertising on Council Premises’.

 

7        2008 Local Government Remuneration Tribunal Review                                                

PRC 10  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Ross Fowler OAM seconded Councillor Steve Simat

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on 2008 Local Government Remuneration Tribunal Review be received

2.     A submission be made to the Local Government Remuneration Tribunal supporting the Local Government and Shires Association of NSW submission on the 2008 review of fees payable to mayors and councillors.

 

 

There being no further business the Chairperson declared the meeting closed the time being 9:10pm.

    


 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

 

The City in its Broader Context

 

1        Submission to the Department of Planning on the draft North West Subregional Strategy

 

The City as a Social Place

 

2        Penrith City Children's Services Co-operative Ltd.

 

The City In Its Environment

 

3        Heritage Incentive Fund 

 

The City as an Economy

 

4        Economic Development and Employment Services Review

   

 


 

 

 

 

THIS PAGE HAS BEEN LEFT BLANK  INTENTIONALLY


The City in its Broader Context

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

1        Submission to the Department of Planning on the draft North West Subregional Strategy

 

 



Policy Review Committee Meeting

3 March 2008

The City in its Broader Context

 

 

The City in its Broader Context

 

 

1

Submission to the Department of Planning on the draft North West Subregional Strategy   

 

Compiled by:                Paul Battersby, Senior Environmental Planner

Authorised by:             Roger Nethercote, Environmental Planning Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Council’s preferred positions and priorities relevant to Western Sydney growth and development are considered by governments, regional forums and regional organisations in their own policy development.

Critical Action: Engage with Local State Members, Ministers, government agencies, Councils of the region, WSROC and other regional associations concerning the supply of infrastructure and services, employment and sustainable housing delivery to the region.

     

Purpose:

To advise Councillors of the key planning issues arising from the Department of Planning's draft Strategy for the North West Subregion, particularly with respect to the implications for Penrith.  The report recommends that the Council endorse a submission to be forwarded to the Department of Planning.

 

Introduction

The NSW Government has established a tiered planning framework to set the directions and guide development of the State.  That framework comprises the State Plan: A New Direction for NSW, which defines the overarching goals and outcomes that shape public policy; the Metropolitan Strategy which outlines the development of Sydney as a City of Cities; and Strategies for each of the identified Subregions of Metropolitan Sydney. These provide more detailed guidance in linking local and state planning issues to deliver the outcomes sought by the State Plan.

 

The Department of Planning (DoP) has recently placed the draft Subregional Strategy for the North West Subregion on public exhibition. This Subregion comprises the five local government areas of Penrith, Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Blacktown and Baulkham Hills.

 

The government has indicated the draft Strategy is part of an ongoing process to manage growth in the North West and aims to provide certainty for the community, local government, industry and business by identifying areas for future growth, items of infrastructure and key places for state and local government action.  The Premier’s vision statement for the draft North West Subregional Strategy has been prepared on the basis that well-managed growth will strengthen and enhance the North West as an attractive place to live, work and visit and highlights the need for development to be managed sustainably.

 

A copy of the North West Subregional Strategy was forwarded to Councillors under separate cover on 30 January 2007

 

The DoP intend to hold a ‘meet the planner’ community information evening at Council on 28 February 2008.  The draft Strategy is on public exhibition until 28 March 2008.  DoP has invited submissions.

 

Overall, the general intent of subregional planning to identify key directions and actions to deliver the outcomes identified by the Metro Strategy is strongly supported as is the nomination of Penrith as a Regional City.  However, the draft Strategy raises a number of issues of concern which are outlined in the following sections of the report.

 

A submission to the DoP on the discussion paper is being prepared, and must be submitted by Friday, 28 March 2008.  It is recommended that a submission, prepared along the lines of the issues raised in this report and those raised at the Councillor Briefing on 11 March 2008, be endorsed.

Aims of Subregional Planning

Following the adoption of the Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney (Metro Strategy) in late 2005, the State Government embarked on the implementation process, including the preparation of 10 sub-regional strategies to guide development over the next 25 years.  To date, the DoP has prepared and exhibited 8 draft sub-regional strategies for the:

 

·      North West Subregion

·      North Subregion

·      Inner North Subregion

·      North East Subregion

·      East Subregion

·      South Subregion

·      South West Subregion

·      West Central Subregion

 

These draft Subregional Strategies set the Key Directions for their respective localities and identify Key Actions to deliver identified outcomes, with a primary focus on housing and employment.

 

The principal aims of subregional planning are indicated to be:

 

·      To provide a forum for councils to allocate the local distribution of housing and employment capacity targets based on the principles of the Metropolitan Strategy, and to work together on complementary future directions especially in centres crossing local government area boundaries;

·      To provide for balanced growth among LGAs to build upon regional strengths and bolster opportunities;

·      To identify the future role of Strategic Centres and Corridors, as well as Towns, Villages and Neighbourhood Centres in relation to the overall structure of the metropolitan area; 

·      To focus coordinated State agency involvement and asset management with respect to strategic centres and corridors including providing a basis for the prioritisation of investment;

·      To assist planning for investment in regional facilities, within and between subregions.

2031 Vision for the North West Subregion

By 2031, it is intended that the North West Subregion will have:

 

·      Well-functioning, newly developed areas;

·      Strengthened existing areas with improved accessibility and services;

·      A diverse range of job opportunities to support growing residential areas and promotion of subregional self-containment;

·      A range of vibrant and liveable centres where people can live, work and access services;

·      Greater public transport use supported by major transport infrastructure investment;

·      Active agricultural production and resource industries.

Key Directions and Key Actions of the North West Subregional Strategy

The draft Strategy has identified 7 Key Directions for the North West Subregion with nominated Key Actions for each Direction.

 

1.   Plan to meet employment and housing capacity targets.

This direction seeks to deliver an additional 80,000 dwellings (excluding 60,000 in the North West Growth Centre) and 130,000 jobs across the subregion, of which 25,000 dwellings and 28,000 jobs have been slated for delivery in the Penrith LGA.

 

The Key Actions to deliver these targets are:

·      Provision of sufficient zoned residential, commercial and employment land to meet housing and employment capacity targets;

·      Protect and enhance strategic employment lands through development of an Employment Lands SEPP;

·      Undertake strategic planning for the Western Sydney Employment Hub and the Western Sydney Employment Lands Investigation Area;

·      Provide for a significant majority of new dwellings in strategic and local centres;

·      Improve the subregion’s performance with respect to ‘jobs closer to home’.

 

2.   Develop Penrith as a Regional City

Penrith is identified in the Metro Strategy as a Regional City. As such, it will be a major focus for development to ensure it fulfils its role as an employment hub and service centre for Western and North Western Sydney.

 

The Key Actions to deliver these targets are:

·      Implement the Cities Taskforce plans for Penrith and consider the recommendations of the Centres Reinvigoration Report.;

·      Investigate opportunities to strengthen connections between the UWS Penrith Campus, Nepean Hospital and Penrith City Centre;

·      Prepare a structure plan for the North Penrith Defence Lands to complement the existing City Centre and the Penrith City Centre LEP.

 

3.  Strengthen the role of Centres

      Centres Policy is a significant component of Sydney’s urban planning.  The Metro Strategy identifies a range of centre types.  Concentrating activities in centres improves access to facilities and services, makes better use of existing infrastructure and promotes sustainable transport and healthier communities. 

      The Key Actions to deliver these targets are:

·      Incorporate the established centres typology in Council’s LEPs;

·      Investigate opportunities for Blacktown Major Centre to emerge as a Regional City over the next 25 years;

·      Consider planning for housing growth in centres, compatible with the relevant centre’s employment role;

·      Support sufficient supply of commercial office sites in strategic centres.

 

4.  Improve access to, from, and within the Subregion

      The Region’s transport system supports economic growth by getting people to jobs and services in an efficient, safe and reliable manner.  The transport system must provide access to activities in different locations and at different scales.

 

      The Key Actions to deliver these targets are:

·      Coordinate the implementation of the North West – CBD – South West Rail Link;

·      Implement the Integrated Network of Strategic Bus Corridors progressively with improved bus priority on all corridors;

·      Extend transport networks to support the North West Growth Centre.

 

5.  Protect rural and resource lands

      The North West Subregion contains some of the most important agricultural and resource lands in the Sydney region.  These areas contribute to the economic base of the Subregion and play an important role in supplying fresh food and natural resources such as construction materials.

 

      The Key Actions to deliver these targets are:

·      Apply sustainability criteria for any new greenfield land release areas; 

·      Establish a rural resource lands working party to identify a metropolitan-wide approach to the ongoing protection and management of rural resource lands.

 

6.  Promote the environmental and scenic qualities of the Region.

      The North West Subregion contains significant environmental, heritage and resource assets.  A key challenge for the Subregion is to accommodate the desired growth in a sustainable manner.

 

      The Key Actions to deliver these targets are:

·      Consider regional biodiversity matters to inform LEPs;

·      Manage the impacts of tourism on the natural environment;

·      Protect and manage regionally significant open space, bushland and foreshore reserves.

 

7.  Improve access to open space and recreation opportunities.

      The open space and bushland areas within the Subregion form a significant part of Sydney’s recreation and natural biodiversity assets. A key focus of the Strategy is to provide and improve access to quality recreation spaces.

     

      The Key Actions to deliver these targets are:

·      Develop new facilities in the northern precincts of Western Sydney Parklands;

·      Develop precinct plans for new park improvements along South and Ropes Creek through the Metropolitan Greenspace Program.

The key directions and key actions are commented on in the following section of the report.

Commentary on Key Issues

The Subregional Strategy has identified 7 key issue areas, which were identified in the Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney, that influence the growth and development of the North West Subregion. These issues are:

 

1.   Economy and Employment

2.   Centres and Corridors

3.   Housing

4.   Transport

5.   Environment, Heritage and Resources

6.   Parks, Public Places and Culture

7.   Implementation and Governance

 

1.    Economy and Employment

 

The draft Strategy has identified the following key directions for the continued development of the economy and delivery of jobs within the Subregion:

 

·           Plan for additional 130,000 jobs

·           Protect Strategic Employment Lands; and

·           Strengthen existing industry clusters.

 

The draft Strategy states these key actions are to be achieved by the following actions:

 

·           Provide suitable commercial sites and employment lands in strategic locations;

·           Increase innovation and skills development; and

·           Improve opportunities and access to jobs for disadvantaged communities.

 

The additional 130,000 jobs across the Subregion will be achieved by establishing employment capacity targets for individual Local Government Areas (LGAs) within the Subregion.  In this regard the draft Strategy has slated an additional 28,000 jobs for delivery in the Penrith LGA.  These targets will be reviewed as part of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) Regional Employment Strategy (RES) currently being carried out for the North West and West Central Subregions.

 

Comment

Council Economic Development group has identified opportunities arising from the Employment Planning Strategy for the City for approximately 40,000 new jobs to be created across the City up to 2031.  That would be made up of around 18,000 jobs in new release areas, 11,150 in St Marys Town Centre and Penrith City Centre, 8,600 in the Western Sydney Employment Hub, and 2,250 in other locations including existing industrial precincts.

 

There is both opportunity and indeed an imperative, to press for higher employment delivery in the City than the targeted 28,000 jobs, particularly to ensure that we continue to narrow the gap between the growing resident workforce and local job accessibility.  The employment strategy for Penrith identified the framework and likely sectors in which new job opportunities would be created across the City.  These initiatives collectively can provide for more significant employment growth in the City than the jobs target indicated in the draft Strategy.

 

Importantly, the Western Sydney Employment Hub (WSEH) and the Western Sydney Employment Lands Investigation Area are strongly advocated in the Strategy as key strategic employment initiatives for which the DoP is advancing planning.  These employment areas will provide significant jobs growth for Penrith, as well as the wider North West and South West Subregions. 

 

The expanded WSEH precinct will provide substantial impetus to redressing the approximate 70,000 jobs shortfall which is likely to emerge from planned growth in the North West and South West Subregions. It will however be critical for these new employment areas to be delivered in logical stages and effectively integrated with other principal activity hubs within the region and to Penrith as an emerging Regional City.  It will also be crucial that there is a strong commitment by Government to ensuring an appropriate roll-out of infrastructure to support the intended growth in these new employment precincts, and their linkages to the wider Subregions.

 

These issues will be informed by the Regional Employment Strategy currently being coordinated for the North West and West Central Subregions by WSROC.

 

The draft Strategy recommends that Councils consider opportunities for the establishment of business parks within their LGAs. Council has previously considered this use as appropriate within the Penrith Lakes Scheme and the WELL Precinct.  It would be relevant for Council to submit that these two release areas should be identified for this purpose and their potential for promoting/developing the ‘learning cities’ initiatives.  Learning cities and regions seek to sustain economic activity through various combinations of life-long learning, innovation and creative uses of information and communication technologies.  These principles are strongly consistent with Council’s adopted WELL Precinct Strategy.

 

The draft Strategy proposals to strengthen existing industry clusters through embedded skills development in major redevelopment projects, increased integration of employment and housing markets and encouragement of emerging business are supported.  However, the draft Strategy does not address skills development generally and actions should be included in the Strategy to integrate Local, State and Federal initiatives in this area.

 

2.    Centres and Corridors

 

The draft Strategy has identified the following key directions for the development of established and emerging strategic centres and corridors of activity:

 

·           Implement the Cities Taskforce plans for Penrith

·           Strengthen connections between the UWS Penrith campus, Nepean Hospital and Penrith Regional City

·           Plan for Housing Growth in Centres well serviced by public transport and compatible with the centre’ employment role

·           Support sufficient supply of commercial office sites in strategic centres

·           Prepare a structure plan for the North Penrith Defence Lands to complement the existing City Centre and the draft Penrith City Centre Plan

 

The draft Strategy states these key actions are to be achieved by the following actions:

 

·           Provide places and locations for all types of economic activity and employment across the Sydney Region;

·           Increase densities in centres whilst improving liveability;

·           Cluster businesses and knowledge-based activities in strategic centres;

·           Concentrate activities near public transport; Protect and strengthen the primary role of economic corridors;

·           Focus development in renewal corridors to maximise infrastructure use where demand and opportunities exist; and

·           Recognise the role of enterprise corridors as locations for local employment.

 

Comment

It is pleasing that the identification of Penrith as a Regional City is given prominence in the draft Strategy, and will be a major focus for development to ensure it plays a vital role as an employment hub and service centre for Western and North Western Sydney. 

 

Council, in conjunction with the Cities Taskforce, has developed and adopted a Vision, draft LEP, draft DCP and draft S94 Civic Improvement Plan for Penrith City Centre.  The LEP for the City Centre was gazetted on 1 February 2008.  The LEP provides the framework to deliver an additional 10,000 residents and 10,000 jobs in the City Centre over the next 25 years.  A draft S94 Civic Improvement Plan for Penrith City Centre was prepared which identified a series of infrastructure improvements to support future development in the Centre.  We are awaiting clarification over the process for endorsement of that Plan from DoP.

 

The Metropolitan Strategy identified the need for the Government to use its assets and investment to support strategic centres, including regional cities.  Specific reference was made to the Government Asset Management Committee prioritising relocations of Government offices to regional cities and maintain their existing presence in other centres.  The draft Strategy, although mentioning future infrastructure commitments will be included in updates to the State Infrastructure Strategy, does not clearly enunciate new initiatives as suggested under the Metropolitan Strategy to support Penrith as a new Regional City.  The draft Strategy references the preparation of a Centres Reinvigoration Report which, when finalised, should incorporate specific initiatives to support the future growth of Penrith’s Regional City. 

 

Council’s adopted Centres Hierarchy incorporates the centres typology established in the Metropolitan Strategy.  Beyond Penrith’s nomination as a Regional City, the draft Strategy identifies the important role for St Marys as a Town Centre servicing the surrounding area. Most of the other centres in Penrith fall into the Village, Small Village and Neighbourhood Centre categories.

 

However, the draft Strategy does not adopt Council’s Centres Hierarchy.  Although reference is made to Council working with UWS and the Department of Health to investigate opportunities to strengthen connections between the UWS Penrith campus, Nepean Hospital and Penrith Regional City, it is of concern that the WELL and Kingswood/Nepean Hospital Precincts have not been nominated as Specialised Centres as per Council’s previous requests to DoP.  These precincts are important in assisting the development of Penrith as a Regional City, and in attracting other specialised employment and educational uses to the area.  There are also a number of discrepancies as to the scale of the smaller centres and lack of identification of future centres, such as those in ADI and Penrith Lakes.  The DoP should be requested to amend the draft Strategy to address these discrepancies.

 

The draft Strategy highlights the opportunity presented by the North Penrith Army Land and recognises the need for a structure plan to be developed in collaboration with DoP, Department of Defence (land owner) and Council.  A report was presented to Council in September 2007 which outlined renewed strategic planning objectives for the site supported by DoP.  These objectives support the mix of land uses provided for in Council’s adopted planning arrangements.  However, there is recognition that the housing density as originally proposed should be increased to take better opportunity of the adjacent rail station and city centre location.  Council deferred consideration of the strategic directions pending further details on the fundamental differences between those and the adopted planning arrangements for the land.  We will be arranging further discussion with the Department of Defence and DoP with a view to further clarify the process for the Federal Government’s disposal of the site and the consideration of future development opportunities. 

 

3.    Housing

 

The draft Strategy has identified the following key directions for meeting the future housing needs of the Subregion:

 

·           Accommodate housing needs of existing and future communities;

·           Plan for 140,000 new dwellings;

·           Support population growth; and

·           Provide zoned capacity for a significant majority of new dwellings to be located in strategic and local centres, and performs well against this target for the State Plan.

 

The draft Strategy states these key actions are to be achieved by the following actions:

 

·           Ensure adequate supply of land and sites for residential development;

·           Plan for a housing mix near jobs, transport and services;

·           Renew local centres;

·           Improve housing affordability; and

·           Improve the quality of new development and urban renewal.

 

The additional 140,000 new dwellings to be delivered across the Subregion will be achieved by establishing dwelling targets for individual LGAs within the Subregion.  In this regard the draft Strategy has slated an additional 25,000 dwellings for delivery in the Penrith LGA.

 

Comment

Council’s current planning strategies for the City can generally satisfy the targets identified in the Strategy.  We are currently planning in Penrith to deliver by 2031 around 25,000 new dwellings.  The recent dwelling opportunities study undertaken by the i.d group identified opportunities for approximately 13,500 new homes in urban release areas, 3,500 in established residential areas and 8,000 in strategic and local centres.

In our view, Council can put in place effective planning strategies to provide for the proposed new dwelling target.  It is clear DoP is urging for the majority of new housing to be located in strategic and local centres.  This needs to be balanced against the significant new urban release program which will deliver around half of the targeted dwellings in Penrith.

 

The draft Strategy’s proposal to support population growth through provision of a mix of housing types, improving the affordability of housing, redeveloping and regenerating Department of Housing stock and improved urban design outcomes are supported.

 

It is noted that the Metro Strategy objective to prepare an initial NSW affordable housing strategy by mid 2006 has not been delivered.  It is important that the State Government provide leadership on the delivery of affordable housing and provide a framework for consistent application across the region.  This framework, model or guideline could be provided in a State Environmental Planning Policy or through the Local Plan Template.  We understand the Centre for Affordable Housing has provided the Government with a model for consideration.

 

However, improving the affordability of housing should not be at the expense of Council’s ability to provide the essential services and facilities required to meet the needs of the existing and future residents.

 

The draft Strategy recommends that the DoP consider incorporating provisions to facilitate housing for seniors and people with a disability in the Local Plan Template. This action is supported provided such provisions are developed in consultation with local government and are founded on the research work recently undertaken in this area by the Sustainability Unit of the DoP.

 

4.    Transport

 

The Region’s transport system supports economic growth by getting people to jobs and services in an efficient, safe and reliable manner.  The transport system must provide access to activities in different locations and at different scales.

 

The draft Strategy has identified the following key directions to facilitate the access required to support the economic growth of the Subregion:

 

·           Connect the North West Growth Centre;

·           Implement the planned North West Rail Link;

·           Connect the Western Sydney Employment Hub to public transport services; and

·           Integrate transport and land use opportunities.

 

The draft Strategy states these key actions are to be achieved by the following actions:

 

·           Improve transport between Sydney’s centres;

·           Improve the existing transport system;

·           Influence travel choices to encourage more sustainable travel;

·           Improve transport decision making, planning, evaluation and funding;

·           Ensure sufficient port capacity is available to serve Sydney;

·           Improve efficiency of all types of freight movements in Sydney;

·           Connect the regions and economic gateways within the greater metropolitan region; and

·           Minimise the adverse impacts from freight movements.

 

Comment

The draft Strategy places strong emphasis on the delivery of the North West Growth Centre in terms of a focus on accessibility and the need for new transportation systems. Whilst this is an important facet of the Strategy, there does not appear to be any identified emphasis given to providing enhanced linkages between Penrith, the Regional City designated to serve the North West, and other major activity nodes within and beyond the subregion, other than by way of the roll out of the identified strategic bus corridors which reinforce established access routes between Penrith and Blacktown.  Of particular concern is the lack of accessibility between Penrith and both the North West and South West Growth Centres and the lack of recognition of the need to construct the Werrington Arterial.

 

Although the Western Sydney Employment Hub (WSEH) is identified as a focus of economic activity, there does not appear to be any identification of the need to ensure it has effective transport connections to the M7, in particular through the construction of the Erskine Park Link Road. Whilst the need to provide public transport services to the WSEH has been acknowledged in the draft Strategy, the strategic bus corridor (Penrith-Blacktown South) does not extend south to connect with the WSEH.  In our view this would be a critical piece of transport infrastructure, as would extending the bus corridor along the proposed Erskine Park link road.

 

The proposed Western Sydney Employment Lands Investigation Area will also generate needs for effective road and transport connections back to Penrith and other centres, including serious consideration of a northern extension of the proposed South West Rail link. 

 

The draft Strategy indicates that the State Government will develop freight strategies setting out improved efficiencies for, and lower impacts from freight movements in Sydney.  Options have been identified for the establishment of intermodal freight terminals at Moorebank and Eastern Creek.  The Minister for Planning approved such a facility at St Marys adjacent to the Western Rail Line.  This facility has not been constructed, but it should be identified as an option for consideration in the draft Strategy.

 

The NSW Government’s investment commitments for infrastructure for the next 10 years are identified in the State Infrastructure Strategy released in May 2006.  Perusal of the Strategy indicates that it does not include significant infrastructure required to accommodate the desired future development of Penrith as a Regional City, particularly the road network infrastructure identified in the Penrith Arterial Roads Study (PARS).  Infrastructure such as quadruplication of the rail line, the Werrington Arterial, the UWS Railway Station, extension of Jane Street and the ADI to Penrith Station Transitway have not been identified and should be included in draft Subregional Strategy and the State Infrastructure Strategy.

 

The State Infrastructure Strategy links government agency service priorities with the Subregional Strategies and the State Budget and is reviewed every two years to reflect infrastructure delivery priorities.  It is imperative that the review process aligns State Government expenditure with contemporary infrastructure demands.

 

 

5.    Environment, Heritage and Resources

 

The North West Subregion contains significant environmental, heritage and resource assets.  A key challenge for the Subregion is to accommodate the desired growth in a sustainable manner.

 

The draft Strategy has identified the following key actions to ensure the future development of the Subregion is undertaken in a sustainable manner:

 

·           Apply Sustainability Criteria for any new greenfield land release areas;

·           Identify a Metropolitan wide approach to protecting and managing rural resource lands;

·           Consider regional biodiversity matters to inform principal LEPs;

·           Manage the impacts of tourism on the natural environment; and

·           Protect regionally significant open space, bushland and foreshore reserves.

 

The draft Strategy states these key directions are to be achieved by the following actions:

 

·           Establish targets for sustainable growth;

·           Protect Sydney’s natural environment;

·           Achieve sustainable use of natural resources;

·           Protect valuable rural activities and resource lands;

·           Adapting to climate change; and

·           Conserve Sydney’s cultural heritage

 

Comment

The principle of integrating sustainability criteria in the land use planning process for the Subregion is supported and has been implemented by Council through the adoption of Council’s Sustainability Blueprint for Urban Release Areas. The Blueprint incorporates sustainability criteria for our new residential areas, within an identified and coordinated framework for the City.

 

There is concern that the sustainability criteria recently developed by the Department of Planning has led to direct approaches to the Department for ad hoc urban rezoning proposals. This outcome is not supported as it bypasses Local Government, does not facilitate the orderly and economic development of land, does not consolidate existing and identified urban lands or draw together proposed living and employment centres. Rather, the Metro Strategy and accompanying Subregional Plans should be regularly reviewed to inform the Metropolitan Development Program and the Employment Lands Development Program and eliminate the pressure for ad hoc speculative responses to development driven rezoning proposals. 

 

The draft Strategy indicates that protection of the natural environment is a prime responsibility of Local Government and Government Agencies, supported by planning legislation and technical guidelines.  However, a key issue for the Subregion is the effective on-going management of the Hawkesbury-Nepean river system. The draft Strategy proposes that the Catchment Management Authorities co-ordinate a regional approach to improving the health of the Subregion’s waterways. Council has advocated that Government should provide a single authority to be responsible for, not merely coordinate the on-going management of the river system.

The draft Strategy’s promotion of biodiversity assessments at a regional scale early in the planning process is supported. In this regard, the biodiversity value of the Department of Defence Orchard Hills Armaments Base and the former Air Services site need to be identified in the Subregional Strategy and opportunities examined for linkages with existing biodiversity corridors.

 

The completion of regional biodiversity mapping is crucial to implementing biodiversity assessments at a regional scale. At this point regional biodiversity mapping is not at a depth to support biodiversity certification and Council’s lack the appropriate resources to effectively ground truth natural areas. The Subregional Strategy should clearly identify and propose mechanisms for conserving significant native bushland areas in the subregion. That should also include processes for funding acquisition programs and ongoing management mechanisms.

 

The North West Subregion contains some of the most important agricultural and resource lands in the Sydney region.  These areas contribute to the economic base, employment opportunities and cultural mix of the Subregion.  Rural lands within the Subregion also play an important role in supplying fresh food and natural resources such as construction materials.

 

The Department of Planning is preparing a Metropolitan Rural Resource Land Policy which will be informed by the Rural Resource Lands Study (2006) commissioned by Western Sydney Councils including Penrith City Council and FutureWest, a WSROC study that considered strategies to protect agricultural lands in Western Sydney. 

 

The proposition to continue to allow a process whereby any land owner can advance a rezoning proposal on rural lands direct to the Government for consideration, which is at odds with Council’s planning strategies for the City, remains an issue of some concern. Councillors will be aware that there were recent examples of this process which in effect bypassed Council consideration. In our view, the Subregional Strategy should provide, as its principal aims state, greater certainty as to the extent and location of land available for urban purposes. 

 

It is crucial that the Department finalise and release the Metropolitan Rural Resource Land Policy to protect viable agricultural pursuits, direct continued urban growth and eliminate ad hoc development driven rezoning proposals.  It is imperative that this Policy is supported by mapping that delineates the ‘urban growth’ boundary as recommended by the Rural Resource Lands Study (2006).

 

It is intended that the DoP establish a Rural Resource Lands Working Party to identify a metropolitan wide approach to the ongoing protection and management of rural resource lands.  In this regard it should be recognised that ‘planning mechanisms’ are not the sole means of protecting rural resources.  Such mechanisms should be supported by other legislative and financial measures that properly ‘value’ rural lands’ contribution to the economic, social and environmental fabric of our community.  The current uncertainty associated with the future of our rural lands is a major impediment to investment in rural activities.  Given the extensive rural lands in the City it is relevant that Council seek participation in this working party.

 

 

The State Government, and as a consequence Local Government, is required to implement the National Climate Change Adaptation Framework as a way of preparing for and managing the risks associated with climate change.  The draft Strategy indicates Council’s need to consider the latest available information when planning for natural hazards including climate change in their principal LEPs.  These actions are supported and Council currently identifies natural hazards and appropriate risk management measures in its broader planning policies.

 

Accommodating growth puts pressure on cultural and natural heritage and a consistent approach is needed to balance growth and change while conserving places and streetscapes of heritage value.  The draft Strategy encourages Councils to review their heritage strategies to reflect contemporary provisions and provide consistency across the State.  Council has recently completed a review of the Penrith Heritage Strategy which will be implemented through Stage 1 of the Local Plan process.

 

6.    Parks, Public Places and Culture

 

The draft Strategy indicates that at the regional scale there is adequate land set aside for recreation purposes.  However, it does recognise that more emphasis needs to be placed on improvements and facilities in the infrastructure to cater to the growing demands of the subregion.

 

The draft Strategy has identified the following key directions to improve access to quality parks, public places and community facilities and celebrate the cultural identity of the Subregion:

 

·           Develop new facilities in the northern precincts of the Western Sydney Parklands; and

·           Develop precinct plans for new park improvements along South and Ropes Creek.

 

The draft Strategy states these key actions are to be achieved by the following actions:

 

·           Increase access to quality parks and public places;

·           Provide a diverse mix of parks and public places;

·           Improve Sydney’s major sporting and cultural event facilities; and

·           Enhance cultural life and tourism precents.

 

Specific mention is made of the importance of improving access to and improving the quality of Regional Open Space in the Subregion through the Western Sydney Parklands Trust, the Growth Centres Commission and the Metropolitan Greenspace Program.

 

Comment

The draft Strategy proposals to improve the accessibility of the Western Sydney Parklands and undertake enhancements to the South and Ropes Creek corridors are supported. However, a management structure has not been identified for the South and Ropes Creek corridors.  The recreation and environmental values contained in these corridors is significant and requires careful management and enhancement over the long term.  The Western Sydney Parklands Trust established by the State Government to oversight the establishment and management of the parklands system comprised along the Eastern Creek corridor, provides the most logical management model for managing South and Ropes Creeks corridors. 

 

Whilst the strategy refers to the Penrith Lakes Parklands, it does not make specific recommendations for its delivery and development.  In our view, the Strategy should include specific key actions to establish an appropriate management authority and prepare a structure plan for delivery of Penrith Lakes Parklands.

 

The draft Strategy indicates that undeveloped open space in public ownership needs to continue to be released to reduce pressure on existing developed regional parks.  The draft Strategy notes that as the population grows there will be a need for family orientated parks and facilities to be provided which serve a broad range of recreation needs.  The draft Strategy also mentions that of the total open space of the NW Subregion, 96% is regional open space (316,397 ha) and 4% is local open space (14,792 ha).  Bushland in the Subregion accounts for 98% of total open space whilst 2% is suitable for a wider range of open space/ recreation uses.  It is not clear in the Strategy, however, whether the quantum of both regional and local open space across the Subregion is adequate to accommodate the projected population targeted in the Strategy and this will need to be clarified.

 

The draft Strategy encourages Councils to enhance the provision and quality of local open space and consider mechanisms to increase the capacity of local sports fields to a district level.  Reference is also made to North West councils investigating the provision of additional multi-purpose indoor and outdoor sports facilities to meet the needs of the current and future populations of the Subregion.  In this regard, Council’s recently adopted PLAN Study, Open Space Action Plan and Open Space S94 Plans have provided targeted actions to enhance the provision and quality of local and district open space in the City.  However, on 12 October 2007 the Premier announced the Government’s intention to restrict the use of S94 to fund the provision of local infrastructure.  Such action will significantly impact Council’s ability to deliver the cultural and recreational outcomes proposed by the draft Strategy and place at risk the delivery and embellishment of previously identified and needed infrastructure.

 

It is relevant for Council to submit that the Government’s intentions with respect to S94 are at odds with and inhibit the cultural and recreational outcomes sought by the Metropolitan and Subregional Strategies.

 

7.    Implementation and Governance

 

The draft Strategy has identified the following key directions for implementing the North-West Subregional Strategy:

 

·           Align subregional and local planning with the Strategy aims;

·           Improve State Government involvement in strategic places and projects;

·           Inform State Investment priorities;

·           Ensure stakeholder involvement;

·           Consider funding, pricing and project delivery

 

The draft Strategy states these key actions are to be achieved by the following actions:

·           Align sub-regional and local planning with strategy aims;

·           Improve state involvement in strategic places and projects;

·           Inform state investment priorities;

·           Consider funding, pricing and project delivery

·           Keep the Strategy current; and

·           Ensure stakeholder involvement.

 

The DoP will monitor the performance of the Subregional Strategy with a view to informing local decisions and ensuring delivery of identified outcomes. Dwelling and employment capacity targets are to be reviewed on a 5 year basis and the Strategies amended accordingly.

 

The State Infrastructure Strategy links government agency service priorities with the Metro Strategy and the State Budget and is reviewed every two years to reflect infrastructure delivery priorities.

 

Comment

The draft Strategy is based on ‘supply’ or ‘capability’ driven targets. That is, it is founded on the capacity of LGAs to deliver sustainable housing and employment opportunities. Our concern is that the ability to meet both housing and employment targets in a subregional or regional capacity does not necessarily address our own identified existing and emerging needs.

 

While a ‘demand’ analysis may have underpinned the preparation of the broader Metro Strategy, it is important to understand the demand/need for housing and employment opportunities within the specific LGA or subregion in order to ensure the plan will address, not just extend or carry forward, established housing or employment inadequacies.  This is clearly the case in thinking about Penrith as a Regional City serving the wider Subregion.  It will also be relevant to consider the implications for the South West Subregional Strategy which has also been recently placed on public exhibition.

 

As can be seem from the table below, the six growth councils in Western Sydney, namely Penrith, Blacktown, Baulkham Hills, Liverpool, Camden and Campbelltown, are targeted to contribute the most significant proportion of growth for the North West and South West Subregions.  More housing growth is slated for Penrith, Blacktown and Baulkham Hills outside the North West Growth Centres than that proposed within it.  However, the draft Strategy’s focus on infrastructure delivery appears to concentrate on the Growth Centres.

 

LGA

Dwelling Target

Jobs Target

Penrith

25,000

28,000

Blacktown

21,500

45,000

Baulkham Hills

21,500

47,000

North West Growth Centre

60,000

Included in above LGA targets

 

 

 

Liverpool

13,328

35,000

Campbelltown

24,653

26,000

Camden

10274

26,000

South West Growth Centre

100,000

Included in above LGA targets

Total

276,255

207,000

Metro Strategy

640,000

500,000

 

These 6 growth LGA areas of Western Sydney will deliver 43% of the dwellings and 41% of the jobs required by the Metro Strategy and the State Plan. Given that the urban growth foreshadowed in these LGAs will be largely derived from new urban release areas, it is apparent that there will be significant infrastructure requirements to support this growth out to 2031 as foreshadowed in the draft Strategy.

The State Plan identified the important need for closer collaboration between Local and State Government Agencies in planning for future urban growth and determining priorities for the critical infrastructure required to underpin that growth.  This was to occur in regular forums with the Regional Coordination Management Groups of Agency senior representatives and Local Councils.  Unfortunately, this dialogue has not occurred to date. A clear framework needs to be established to facilitate these forums.

 

Given the regional city role for Penrith, it is imperative that a stronger engagement with State Government occurs to ensure that the priorities for accommodating growth in the City are identified and agreements reached for their delivery.  In our view, this would be best served by establishing a forum for the six major growth LGAs in Sydney to input into Government Agency programs at the subregional level to ensure that the principal strategy directives, particularly the proposed housing and job targets, are able to be effectively implemented.  In this regard, it is relevant for Council to request Government for a closer engagement on these issues.

 

The draft Strategy indicates the Cities Taskforce will continue to work with Council to plan for the Regional City.  Of critical importance is the need for the State Government to commit, as flagged in the Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney, to adequate investment and infrastructure support to deliver the stated role of Penrith as a Regional City providing a diverse range of services and facilities to the broader North West Subregion.  Clearly, a long-term strategy is required and should not limit itself to the delivery of the civic improvements identified in the City Centre planning process. 

Conclusion

The Department of Planning should be congratulated on developing a Subregional Strategy for the North West which aims to provide greater direction and certainty and actions for the delivery of the Metropolitan Strategy objectives.  The draft North West Subregional Strategy is an aspirational document the general intent of which is to identify key directions and actions to ensure the anticipated growth of the subregion will be well managed, strengthen and enhance the North West as an attractive place to live, work and visit.  These objectives are strongly supported.

 

However, there is a range of existing infrastructure deficiencies which are required to service the current population needs in the City which do not appear to be remedied by the draft Strategy.  Indeed, the additional growth quotient targeted for Penrith and the wider North West and South West Subregions will no doubt exacerbate these infrastructure deficiencies.  There is little confidence that existing deficiencies in services and infrastructure and the demands of growth will be effectively addressed. 

 

Although, as outlined in the report, Penrith can accommodate the projected jobs target, there would appear to be in the order of a 70,000 jobs deficit emerging in the North West and South West Subregions.  The recent State Government initiatives relating to the expanded Western Sydney Employment Hub and the proposed Western Sydney Employment Lands Investigation Area would appear major contributors to redressing this emerging jobs deficit. 

 

There would appear to be a lack of integration between planning for the North West and South West Subregions, as evidenced by the absence of clear connections and transport links between these two substantial growth centres.  As outlined in the report, Penrith, as an emerging Regional City, remains largely disconnected from the North West Subregion it is intended to serve, as well suffering a lack of connectivity to the South West.  It will be crucial that there be stronger integration in the planning for the Subregions, particularly in relation to the development of the strategic response for the Western Sydney Employment Hub expansion.

 

These matters compel a much closer dialogue for the growth Councils within the North West and South West Subregions with Government, particularly with senior Government agency representatives, ranged around achieving agreement on the Government’s priority program for infrastructure and service delivery across these Subregions.

 

In addition, there are a number of other key issues that require resolution in finalising the draft Strategy.  In summary, these include:

 

·      The need to press Government for higher employment delivery in the City than the Strategy target of 28,000 jobs;

·      Inconsistency between the draft Strategy and Council’s adopted Centres Hierarchy;

·      Failure to identify significant infrastructure required to accommodate the future development of Penrith as a Regional City, particularly quadruplication of the rail line, the Werrington Arterial, the UWS Railway Station, and the Penrith Station Transitway;

·      Uncertainty of the future of rural lands and the impediment that has to investment in rural activities;

·      Continuation of the practice whereby individual landowners can advance a rezoning proposal directly with the Government;

·      No specific recommendations have been made to establish an appropriate management authority or prepare a structure plan for delivery of Penrith Lakes Parklands; and

·      The Government’s intention to restrict the use of S94 to fund the provision of local infrastructure are at odds with and inhibit the cultural and recreational outcomes sought by the Metro and Subregional Strategies.

·      The draft Strategy also does not provide for closer collaboration between Local and State Government’s as advocated by the State Plan. Stronger engagement with State Government needs to occur to ensure that the priorities for accommodating growth in the City are identified and agreements reached for their delivery. 

 

These issues outlined in the commentary contained in the report would be appropriate for Council to include in its submission to the Department of Planning.

 

The Council’s Briefing Session to be held on 11 March 2008 will provide a further opportunity for issues of concern to Council to be identified.  It is suggested that any additional mattes of relevance to Penrith identified at that briefing be also included in Council’s submission to the Department of Planning. 

 

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Submission to the Department of Planning on the draft North West Subregional Strategy be received.

2.     Council endorse the presentation of a submission to the Department of Planning, based on the matters outlined in this report, in response to the exhibition of the draft North West Subregional Strategy.

3.     Council write to WSROC and to the five Councils in the North West and South West Subregions advising them of the key concerns outlined in the report and seeking their support for greater dialogue with Government agencies over the provision of infrastructure and services to the Subregions.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

There are no attachments for this report.  


The City as a Social Place

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

2        Penrith City Children's Services Co-operative Ltd.

 

 



Policy Review Committee Meeting

3 March 2008

The City as a Social Place

 

 

The City as a Social Place

 

 

2

Penrith City Children's Services Co-operative Ltd.   

 

Compiled by:                Janet Keegan, Children's Services Manager - Operations

Authorised by:             Steve Hackett, Director - City Services   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Services are provided to meet the diverse needs of families and to support the development of children.

Critical Action: Provide support for the Penrith City Children's Services Co-operative (PCCSC) to deliver Council's Children's Services to meet the current and emerging needs of families and children.

 

Presenters:                   Max Friend - Chairman, Penrith City Children's Services
Co-operative - Report on Fifth Annual General Meeting of the Board
    

Purpose:

To provide details to Council following the Fifth Annual General Meeting of the Penrith City Children's Services Co-operative (PCCSC).  The Chairman will be making a brief presentation to this meeting.  The report recommends that the information be received and that Council underwrite the operations of the PCCSC for a further period of 12 months.

 

Background

The Penrith City Children’s Services Co-operative (PCCSC) was formed in 2003 to manage Long Day Care, Pre School and Out of School Hours services sponsored by Council.  The structure is a Board of 15 members including 7 parent representatives, 3 Councillors, 1 staff representative, 3 community representatives and a representative of the General Manager.  The Board meets on a bi-monthly basis and operates under Council delegation as a non-trading Entity.  The Board looks at broad policy matters, sets the direction for Children’s Services and makes major decisions that affect the provision of children’s services.  Parent Advisory Committees at each service level provide valuable input into the operational aspects of individual services. 

 

The fifth Annual General Meeting of the Board was held in October 2007.  The Chairman of the Board will be in attendance tonight to make a short presentation which will focus on:

 

·    The past Year

-     Highlights

-     Financial position

-     Issues arising

·    The Year Ahead

 

Following are reports extracted from the Annual Reports.

 

 

 

 

Chairman’s Report

 

“During 2006/2007, children’s services has had to face many challenges which have included increased market competition and falling utilization rates which has had a negative impact on the year end financial status. Added to this, we have struggled with recruiting skilled and qualified staff in the areas of Director and Early Childhood trained Teacher positions.  In an effort to address some of the challenges, the Board along with the leadership and management team, have been undertaking a review of staffing models, marketing initiatives, human resource (HR) practices and business processes across children’s services. 

 

 

Children’s Services has moved to a business model approach for the management of centres with Directors and Co-ordinators being held more accountable for their services.   The Centre Directors and Co-ordinators have been provided with opportunities to professionally develop and gain the skills to become small business managers via the Front Line Management training course and other programmes. 

 

Streamlining of processes and policies has occurred within children’s services in the last 12 months to achieve consistency in practice, maintain and improve upon corporate governance and ultimately to achieve the Vision and Mission of the PCCSC.  There have been many highlights within Children’s Services in the last 12 months and this report provides a snapshot of some of these. 

 

·    The appointment of a Senior HR Officer dedicated to the Children’s Services Department.  This appointment has enabled progress to be made on the streamlining of HR practices.

 

·    The Board is committed to ensuring that facilities are upgraded to enable the provision of safe, aesthetically pleasing environments for children, families, staff and visitors.  Some of the upgrades have included bus replacements, playground upgrades at Kindana, Carita, Jamisontown, Cook Parade, Platypus Playground and Rainbow Cottage, Tandara, Werrianda, Yoorami and Stepping Stones playground design, Rainbow Cottage and Tandara upgrade to security systems, whitegoods replacements at various centres, Yoorami and Blue Emu internal painting, Erskine Park Children’s Centre extensions and the commencement of Tamara building extensions.  The total cost of upgrades in this financial year is approximately $934,774. 

 

Erskine Park Upgrade

 

Children’s services has continued to maintain strong partnerships with external partners to ensure that practice within and across our centres remains contemporary and of high quality.  Some of those partnerships are:

 

·    University of Western Sydney Nepean – Professional Experience

·    Macquarie University – STaR (Special Training and Research) project

·    Department of Community Services – Building Relationships

·    Families NSW

·    MASC (Management and Sustainability Committee) – Information Technology in Cranebrook project.

·    Corporate Partners for Change 

·    Kinjo CollegeHakusan, Japan

·    Braddock play session – Braddock Primary School

·    Active After Schools programme

·    Child Care Links at Kindana Children’s Centre 

 

Acknowledgement of quality services has been achieved through the following mechanisms:

 

·    Accreditation

·    Licensing

·    OSHCA (Out of School Hours Care Award) to Penrith City Council recognizing Council’s contribution to Out of School Hours care within the community

·    Successful applications for Pre School Investment and Reform Plan funding for some of our Pre Schools has provided an opportunity to decrease Pre School fees for the 2006/07 financial year and increase opportunities for families to access the economic needs funding 

·    Submissions for SCAN (Supporting Children with Additional Needs) special project funds have been successful in 3 centres.  The projects include the employment of a staff member to work with the Filipino community, the employment of an Occupational Therapist to assist children with speech and languages problems and the introduction of a social skills programme 

·    Sixteen projects have been completed from the Children’s Services Business Plan across all four areas relating to leadership, people, resources and quality 

 

 

 

 

The above highlights are a reflection of the dedication and motivation of our professional and experienced teams of staff who strive to achieve excellence in care delivery to the children and families who access our services.  On behalf of the members of the Board, I would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all staff for their commitment, motivation and loyalty to Penrith City Children’s Services in achieving the excellent outcomes in education, recreation and the efficient day to day management of the services. 

 

This Annual Report presents two sets of financials.  The first, Statutory Reports, present the operation of the Co-operative as a separate legal entity as a non-trading Co-operative.  The second, Management Reports, detail the operations of those services managed on behalf of Council for the year ending 30 June 2007.

 

The services managed by the Co-operative had an operating deficit from Ordinary Activities of $224,000 (2006 $60,000 surplus) compared to a budgeted surplus of $158,000.  The deficit for 2006/07 was achieved from expenses from Ordinary Activities of $12,953,000 (2006 $12,255,000) an increase of 5.7% and revenue from Ordinary Activities of $12,729,000 (2006 $12,315,000) an increase of 3.4%. 

 

Expenses from Ordinary Activities

 

Employee costs of $11,299,000 (2006 $10,692,000) an increase of 5.7%.  Employee costs, excluding those costs funded by grant programmes, were under budget by $58,000.  Employee costs represent 87% of the total cost of operating the services.    Expenditure on materials and contracts and other expenses were $1,654,000 (2006 $1,483,000) an increase of 11.5%.

 

The Out of School Hours services also have commitments to repay capital expenditure undertaken by Council for the provision of buses needed by the services to pick up and deliver children to and from school.  These buses are funded on a rolling replacement programme which sees each bus replaced every five years; two buses are programmed for replacement each year.   The centres have an annual commitment of $8,100 per centre.  Kindana OOSH is also repaying funds advanced for an extension to the centre undertaken a number of years ago at the rate of $6,700 per year.  The combined cost of these commitments is $80,000. 

 

Charges to parents for the provision of care were $7,322,000 (2006 $7,032,000) an increase of 4.1%.  Government funding for Child Care Benefit and Economic Needs Funding was $3,815,000 (2006 $3,706,000) an increase of 2.9%.  Combined revenues for the provision of care was $11,137,000 (2006 $10,738,000) an increase of 3.7%.  This was however $428,000 below budget expectations. 

 

Government grants utilized for operational and specific programmes expenditure was $1,578,000 (2006 $1,555,000) an increase of 1.5%.    Utilisation rates are the key drivers to revenue generation and financial viability of the services.  For each of the service types, utilization achieved in 2007 is listed below compared to the utilization anticipated in budget deliberations and the utilization achieved for the 2005/06 financial year.    

 

Service Type

2007 Utilisation

2007 Budget

2006 Utilisation

Long Day Care

86%

91%

88%

Pre School

56%

67%

61%

B&A Care

67%

60%

61%

Vacation Care

51%

52%

43%

 

Penrith City Council Contribution

 

In addition to their Ordinary Activities, the services managed by the Co-operative entered into arrangements with Penrith City Council for funding global expenditure programmes to be funded from centre operations or reserves established before the creation of the Co-operative.  These arrangements fall into one of two categories, the first being contribution to ‘pools’ of money held on behalf of the services for future purposes. The Co-operative’s commitment to add to these pools for 2006/07 was $227,000 (2006 $272,000).  The second category provides expenditure of pre-Co-operative reserves or fundraising reserves for specific projects or programmes.  For the year ended 30 June 2007, the amount of funds spent from these reserves was $251,000 (2006 $211,000).

 

Despite budgeting for a surplus from Ordinary Activities of $158,000 the commitment to provide pooled funding of $227,000 resulted in a budgeted deficit of $69,000 for the Co-operative for the year.  Council agreed to support the Co-operative by providing funding for this shortfall of $69,000 (2006 $81,000) in recognition of the community obligations provided on its behalf by the centres.   These commitments between the Co-operative and the Council are reflected in the items shown in the Income Statement and change a $224,000 deficit into a $633,000 deficit. 

 

 

The reported deficit of $633,000 can be reduced to $413,000 Pre-Co-operative reserves of $199,000 specifically kept to fund expenditure and net fundraising reserves of $21,000 have also been expended.    This new deficit of $413,000 represents 3.2% of the total revenue generated for the services.  This deficit is primarily the result of reduced revenue due to lower than anticipated utilization levels for the services mentioned earlier in this report.  Had budgeted utilization levels been achieved, this deficit would have been a surplus of $15,000. 

 

Penrith City Children’s Services believes strongly in the provision of quality services and to ensure that this aspect of the service is delivered, it continues to staff its centres above the required benchmarks.  However, this is becoming a daily challenge with the increased workforce shortages of suitably qualified staff. 

 

The continued compliance with Licensing Regulations and Accreditation Standards related to Long Day Care Centres and, more recently, to OOSH services, is testimony to the skill, motivation and dedication of our centre staff and the support provided by the internal Children’s Services Co-ordination Unit.

 

Equitable fee structures have been achieved for the 2006/07 financial year with one fee being charged to each service types (except for Tamara).

 

Affordability continues to be the driving factor for utilization levels across all service types.  Lobbying and advocacy continues to be on the Board’s agenda to ensure that subsidies are keeping pace with the increasing costs of providing children’s services.    The year ahead is shaping up to be one that will hold many challenges as we struggle to ensure our services remain viable within a climate of increased competition within the market, legislation and regulation requirements and the maintenance of a skilled and available workforce.  The 2007/08 year will be one of change with the introduction of the Child Care Management System, the implementation of OOSH Regulations, the introduction of the new Accreditation system for Long Day Care and OOSH services and the proposed changes for children’s services in the area of food handling by the NSW Food Authority. 

 

In conclusion, I would like to thank the parent advisory committees who work tirelessly in supporting individual centres and my co-Directors for their valuable input to the continued operations of the Penrith City Children’s Services Co-operative.   Finally, I would like to acknowledge the support of centre staff and the Officers of the Co-ordination Unit who enable us to strive for excellence in service delivery and ensure quality services are maintained.”  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Children’s Services Manager Operations Report

 

“The fifth year of management of Children’s Services by the Penrith City Children’s Services Co-operative has seen the streamlining of systems within and across the services.  A business model approach to ensure services remain viable has been undertaken with the establishment of business meetings where the operational aspects of each business type is scrutinized and Directors and Co-ordinators held accountable and responsible for the overall management of their centre.   

 

In 2006/07, the Board adopted the Children’s Services Five Year Business Plan which underpins the Board’s Strategic Plan.  The business plan was developed using the balanced scorecard approach which is a business planning tool that enables organizations to clarify their vision and strategy and translate them into action.   It provides feedback around internal business processes and external outcomes in order to continuously improve strategic performance and results.

 

The business plan addresses the four key areas of leadership, people, resources and quality.  Aligned to these four key areas are the financial, customer, business processes and learning and growth perspectives. The Children’s Services business plan has been aligned to both Council’s Management Plan and the Board’s strategic plan.  The business plan details the Vision, Mission, Values and Culture of Children’s Services and the projects that will be undertaken in the ensuing months.  The Children’s Services Manager Operations and the Children’s Services Co-ordinators have attended staff meetings between October and December 2006 to introduce the plan and discuss the direction of Children’s Services into the future.   

 

The new management model and structure for Children’s Services that was reported last year has been working extremely well with a more business focus approach to services being applied, a Human Resource Officer recruited to the Department and the advocacy and lobbying being segregated from the everyday operations of the service.  The centres are working together more closely as one organization instead of the silo approach and a consistent approach across the organization is being adopted on all levels of management and service delivery. 

 

As indicated last year, Children’s Services is continuing to struggle in attracting skilled and qualified staff.  This issue is not unique to Penrith Children’s Services but one that needs constant attention in order to ensure quality services are maintained and continue into the future.  In an effort to make positions more attractive, we have undertaken the initiative of offering 0-12 Aide and Assistant positions.  This initiative will, over time, remove the split shift roster that currently occurs in OOSH services with the expectation of making these positions more appealing to the market.  It is anticipated that staff will become more skilled by working across the age groups, provide variety in the workplace and assist the Directors to ensure ratios are met and skills optimized to continue to provide quality service delivery.  Council has generously provided a $5,000 scholarship to support Children’s Services in the 2007/08 year to support staff with professional development.    

 

 

This year has been particularly difficult in recruiting suitably qualified and skilled Directors for the services.  In an effort to manage this situation, we have provided opportunities for staff to act in these roles providing them with on-the-job experience and support whilst in these positions.   These staff should be commended for taking up the challenge in an environment that is exceptionally dynamic, is undergoing constant change and is regulated and scrutinized on many levels.   This year staff members have been supported to professionally develop through educational assistance and internal and external workshops, conferences and in-service education.  With the support of Council’s Education Assistance programme, the following staff have undertaken studies in the 2006/07 financial year:

 

·    5 staff – Diploma of Child Studies

·    4 staff – Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood)

·    3 staff – Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood)

·    4 staff – Post Graduate Certificate in Special Education

·    1 staff – Bachelor of Indigenous Studies

 

Further to the Education Assistance scheme, a trainee programme exists to encourage and support people with an interest in child care.  On completion of their traineeship, trainees have an opportunity to apply for permanent employment or join our relief staff team.  Several trainees have taken up these options and are gainfully employed in our services.  In an effort to provide further opportunities and encourage child care as a career choice, Penrith Children’s Services is entering its second year with the Corporate Partners for Change programme.  This initiative was introduced into children’s services with Penrith Council being a lead agency in the programme in August 2006.  The project is an initiative of the Office of the Minister for Western Sydney and is funded by the Department of Education, providing employment opportunities for people who are looking to return to the workforce, looking for a career change and for those who have been out of the workforce for an extended period.  Eight of the 15 students were placed in our centres with three students going on to further employment opportunities either through the traineeship programme or relief staffing system.  

 

Support to improve access for children with additional needs has been provided by the Commonwealth funded ISA (Inclusion Support Agency) that up-skills staff to develop service support plans to include children with special needs into mainstream services. Financial support to facilitate access has been provided through the State Funded SCAN (Supporting Children with Additional Needs) program, the ISP (Intervention support program) from the Department of Education and the Federal Inclusion Support Subsidy Scheme.  Penrith City Children’s Services have supported 71 children with interim and long-term funding.  However, this funding only contributes partially to the replacement cost of staff with the difference being attributed to the services. The vision of the Penrith City Children’s Services Co-operative is a “commitment to ensure early childhood experiences have a positive and profound outcome for the current and future development of Penrith City citizens who form our social and intellectual capital”. Services such as the Inclusion Support Agency support this vision; however it must be noted that these types of services come at an initial cost but reap benefits to the community, families and the children as that child progresses through life.

 

Children’s Services Trainees

 

Partnerships are seen to be integral in the development and delivery of quality services and to this end children’s services work very closely with the Macquarie University and the University of Western Sydney.  As reported last year, staff in three centres are heavily involved in the STaR project which aims to educate staff in the management of children with special needs. This project assists staff in gaining valuable skills on how to include children with special needs into mainstream childcare services. Preliminary analysis of the program is indicating an improvement in children’s developmental milestones as a result of the STaR program.

 

Providing students an opportunity to apply shared knowledge in childcare centres through an innovative “community hub” learning model has continued in partnership with the University of Western Sydney.  Centre staff, continue to have an opportunity to be involved in community practice circles and lectures to ensure that their skills are current and that contemporary practice is maintained.

 

Children’s Services has developed a very strong relationship with its Friendship City Hakusan in Japan with 29 students from Kinjo College spending a day in centres in the month of February, providing children with a taste of Japanese culture and child related activities. 

 

Children’s Services has hosted visits by politicians including the current Minister for Families and Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation, Ms Jenny Macklin. These visits provide opportunities to advocate for children’s services.  

 

Japanese Student Visit

 

The Internal Co-ordination Unit was successful in receiving Pre-school Viability Funding for three out of eight Pre School services. This funding has enabled fees to be reduced slightly and for economic needs funding to be increased. As a result of this there has been a slight increase in the Pre School enrolments.

 

As indicated by the Chairman’s report, this year has been extremely difficult in achieving a break-even budget for Children’s Services. This can be partly attributed to the costs in providing the Inclusion Support Programme which is only partly funded by Government. The remainder of the cost is applied to individual services and is applied as a loss to the financial statements.  Another very important factor that determines the income level of all centres is utilization. This year has seen the affect of market forces as the Penrith local area sees increased competition with more and more private centres opening creating a greater choice for parents.  Increased costs to staffing, maintaining buildings to meet licensing and the general costs of living have all attributed to this less than favourable outcome for the 2006/07 financial year.

 

The leadership team has been working with centres and the Occupational Health and Safety team to ensure that we provide safe environments for staff, children and families. To this end centres conduct safety checks every day in their centres, there is an OH&S inspection conducted by members of the OH&S committee of Council and management holds regular meetings with the OH&S Council officer to ensure injured staff are returned back to the workforce as soon as practicable on a return to work program. Children’s Services work place injuries have remained static over the last three years. The majority of injuries continue to relate to manual handling.

 

In May of this year Children’s Services submitted an application to the 2007 OOSHCA (Out of School Hours Childcare) Awards for the recognition of commitment to school age children.  The submission was based on Emu Village and Council’s contribution to supporting school aged children.  I am pleased to report that Council won the Local Government Award and Emu Village received a Commendable Award. The Award was won on the basis of Council’s commitment to school aged children and their families, support for quality environments in the Local Government Area, innovation and initiative and relationships with other children’s services in the area.

Council Presentation 2007

 

A special thanks to all the staff involved, without dedicated and motivated staff these types of acknowledgements would not be achieved.

 

The 2007/08 year will be a year of greater challenge with the introduction of the Child Care Management System due to commence roll out in January 2008, the revised Accreditation system for Long Day Care and OOSH services to also commence in January 2008, and the introduction of the OOSH Regulations to be introduced sometime next year.  In an effort to reign in our expenditure a thorough review of all child care services, staffing models and the use of relief staff will be undertaken as well as a review of all income streams and financial systems to ensure that we come as close to budget as possible.

 

 

The management team would like to extend its thanks to the Board for its commitment, vision and support over the last 12 months. The next 12 months will be a year of challenge as we continue to compete with market forces, legislative requirements and workforce issues. However, with the Board’s ongoing support and enthusiasm Penrith City Children’s Services will continue to strive for excellence in leadership, quality and safety across all services.

 

In conclusion acknowledgement of the service provided by centre staff to the children and families cannot go by without special thanks. Without the dedication of our staff the service provided would not be at the level that we require or that the children and families have come to expect.  Many staff go that extra mile to ensure that children, families and co-workers are afforded the best possible environment to encourage a safe, happy, caring and learning environment.”

 

 

 

 

Challenges Ahead for the Penrith City Children’s Services Co-operative

 

Throughout the past year, the Board of Directors has considered information on the current issues facing children’s services and has responded accordingly through budget measures, system changes and direct action, such as lobbying Commonwealth and State Governments in relation to funding matters. 

 

The Board has recognised that a number of substantial and fundamental challenges lie ahead in the management and delivery of children’s services in the years to come.    It has undertaken significant work to address many of these, including:

 

·    Continuation of facility maintenance and upgrades to ensure compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements

·    Lobbying Commonwealth and State Governments in relation to planning matters, funding issues and affordable fees

·    Realigning the leadership and management team

·    Adoption of a business model for children’s services

·    Increased marketing to profile Children’s Services in the Penrith LGA

·    Introduction of Direct Debit

·    Monitored adherence to the fee payment and billing policy

·    A review of supplier management

·    Establishment of a Vision, Mission, Values and Culture for Children’s Services

·    Establishment of a Quality Framework    

 

There is no doubt that these are challenging times for children’s services.  In addition to the work already undertaken by the Board to address the financial operations, the following has since been achieved or is under consideration:

 

·    Realignment of Cooinda Pre School operations to a three day a week model

·    Investigations of the operations of Koolyangarra Pre School from a traditional Pre School model to a child and family model.  (Until such time as a more appropriate and viable model is found Koolyangarra Pre School ceases to exist.)

·    Co-location of St Marys Children’s Centre and St Marys Occasional Child Care Centre (SMOCC)

·    Streamlining of Clerical Assistant hours

·    Development of cluster sites

·    Funding streams clearly identified and monitored for income and expenditure

·    Robust accountability systems put in place

·    Rotational relief staff system trial

·    Development of a strategic report including current and future demographic data and a review of current service provision, which will identify viable and non-viable services, and inform the way forward 

 

 

Board of Directors

 

No significant changes in the state of affairs of the company occurred during the financial year.   Council should note that, at the fifth Annual General Meeting, as per the Rules of the Penrith City Children’s Services Co-operative, Susan Day, Gaye Trevaskis, Stacey Parker, Ross Fowler, Jackie Greenow and Steve Hackett were endorsed as continuing Directors.  Mr Max Friend was re-appointed Chairman and Stacey Parker Deputy Chairman.  Council’s Director-City Services, Mr Steve Hackett, is the General Manager’s representative and Company Secretary.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Penrith City Children's Services Co-operative Ltd. be received

2.     Council agree to underwrite the operation of Penrith City Children’s Services Co-operative Ltd until the presentation to Council of the Penrith City Children’s Services Co-operative Ltd Annual Report for 2007/08. 

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

There are no attachments for this report.  


 

 

 

 

THIS PAGE HAS BEEN LEFT BLANK  INTENTIONALLY


The City In Its Environment

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

3        Heritage Incentive Fund 

 

 



Policy Review Committee Meeting

3 March 2008

The City in its Environment

 

 

The City in its Environment

 

 

3

Heritage Incentive Fund    

 

Compiled by:                Josephine Bavatu, Environmental Planner

Shari Hussein, Development Enquiry Unit Co-ordinator

Authorised by:             Paul Lemm, Development Services Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: The City’s heritage is being protected and conserved.

Critical Action: Develop and implement compliance and regulatory programs to protect the visual amenity of the City.

     

Purpose:

To provide a status report on the 2007/2008 Heritage Assistance Fund and inform Council of the status outcome of the applications received. The report recommends that the information be received and that Council approve the recommended funding allocations as provided in the report.

 

Introduction

The 2007/2008 Heritage Assistance Fund is a new initiative under the 2007/2008 Management Plan to protect and conserve heritage. It has been set up to financially assist the owners and lessees of domestic scale (houses, sheds, garages etc) heritage items such as buildings, houses and archaeological sites. The fund offers a grant for repair and maintenance work to properties listed in the Penrith Heritage Local Environmental Plan (LEP) as heritage items and items in heritage conservation areas. Potential heritage items (not currently listed) have an opportunity for funding in subsequent funding years. 

Background

Aim of the Fund

 

·           Encourage the repair and maintenance of domestic scale heritage items and promote a positive community attitude to heritage conservation;

·           Provide a mechanism to achieve the conservation of specific elements that are considered important to an area such as streetscapes, fences, timber buildings or heritage items located within the Penrith Local Government Area (LGA);

·           Promote a greater awareness, understanding and appreciation of heritage within Penrith City.

 

Funds are limited to $3,000 per project. Applicants will have to demonstrate that the proposed works are essential to maintaining the significance of an item, that is, the work is appropriate from a heritage point of view.

Project Status

The following tasks have been carried out to establish and conduct the 2007/2008 Heritage Assistance Fund:

·           July 2007 - Liaise and gather information from the NSW Heritage Office on establishing a local heritage assistance fund for Penrith;

·           July 2007 - Investigated similar Heritage Funding Programs in other local government areas;

·           August 2007 – Established Heritage Assistance Fund Guidelines;

·           September 2007 – Established Heritage Assistance Fund Application Form;

·           September 2007 – Established flowchart and process for the Heritage Assistance Fund;

·           October 2007 – Advertisement on the Local Newspapers;

·           7 December 2007 – Closing date for applications;

·           31 January 2008 – Applications assessed at Council;

·           25 February 2008 – Report to Council;

·           March 2008 – Following recommendations from the above meeting, applicants will be advised accordingly.

Eligibility for Funding

·           Projects which involve the repair, maintenance or alteration to a domestic scale (houses, sheds, garages etc) heritage building.  Projects can include structural works through to final external painting. These include fences, verandahs, roof cladding and decorative detail; 

·           The item should be a heritage item or in a heritage conservation area listed under the Penrith Heritage LEP 1991;

·           All owners or lessees are eligible (excluding council and other government departments).

 

Funding will not generally be provided for the following:

·           where funding is reasonably available from another source or where substantial government assistance has been provided;

·           where the applicant has yet to complete other assisted projects (beyond the timeframe given).

Funding Criteria

These following criteria needed to be satisfied for projects to be eligible for funding:

 

·           Projects that conserve the identified heritage significance of the item;

·           The applicant's ability to demonstrate technical and financial responsibility with regard to the project, and demonstrate ability to complete the project within 6-12 months after approval from Council;

·           The degree to which the applicant will financially contribute to the project;

·           Projects that clearly complement broader conservation objectives, eg projects that implement key findings of heritage studies or conservation plans;

·           Projects which would encourage the conservation of other heritage items;

·           Projects of demonstrated value to the community, eg the restoration of an important local heritage house;

·           Projects that are highly visible to the public, eg the replacement of a verandah to a building in a main street location;

·           Projects subject to conservation controls where the owner is able to show  hardship arising from conservation work required to the item;

·           Urgent projects to avert a threat to a heritage item.

Funding Schedule

Application for funding was open from 2 November 2007 until Friday 7 December 2007. Applications were assessed against the eligibility and assessment criteria contained within Heritage Assistance Fund Guidelines on Thursday 31 January 2008.

 

The funding will be issued at three stages as follows:

Stage 1 - $1,000 issued upon lodgement of development application (DA)

Stage 2 - $1,000 issued upon approval of DA

Stage 3 - $1,000 issued upon completion of works

 

The Heritage Assistance Fund guidelines (Attachment 2) and flowchart (Attachment 4) are attached for your information.

 

Consultant

Development of heritage properties can be complex and usually requires professional design skills. Applicants will need to appoint a consultant that is a registered architect (ideally with heritage experience). A list of consultants for the Heritage Assistance Fund is made available at Council.  If applicants wish to use a different consultant it will be at the discretion of the selection panel.

Funding Applications

There were 20 applications received for the Heritage Assistance Fund. The applications received have been listed and tabled as per below:

 

No.

Project Site

Heritage Status

Project Summary

 

Estimated cost of works

Amount of grant sought

 

1

26 Commonwealth Crescent, North St Mary’s.  

Conservation Area

~  Paint exterior of the house in its current colours (peachy pink and white)

~  Paint the gutter

~  Repair the three bedrooms, fix windows, fly screen and security screen to patio door.

$3,600

$3,000

2.

22 Warwick Street, Penrith

Conservation Area

~  Replace timber boundary fence on the northern boundary with a traditional timber fence.

$7,000

$3,000

 

3.

 

219 Stafford Street, Penrith

Conservation Area

~  Repair / replace the western boundary fence with a wooden paling fence (from the street to where the garage starts). Fence: 1.8m high, treated pine and rails and palings would be hardwood. 

$2025

$2025

 

4.

 

11 Griffith Street. North St Mary’s

Conservation Area

~  Painting of the outside part of the house

$2900

$3000

 

5.

 

29 Liddle Street, North St Mary’s

Conservation Area

~  Replacement of original earthenware pipes with PVC and treatment of exit roof. 

$3,190

$3,000

 

6

 

31 Liddle Street, North St Mary’s

Conservation Area

~  Replace rear and side boundary fences with colourbond fencing.

$3,000

$3,000

7

27 Liddle Street, North St Mary’s

Conservation Area

~  Repairs to structural floor and roof timbers.

~  Replacement of door frames and window sills (termite infestation)

~  Cleaning and repainting of corrugated roof, repair of loose cladding, installation of air vents in brick foundations and termite barrier.

 

$3,000

 

8

 

193 Maple Road, North St Mary’s

Conservation Area

~  Painting the outside wall of the house with existing green shade.

$2,970

$3,000

 

9

 

183 Maple Road, St Mary’s

Conservation Area

~  Replace roof (asbestos sheet) of garage with colourbond metal sheets in heritage green.

$2,900

$2,900

10.

18 Princess Mary Street,

St Mary’s

Heritage Item

 

~  Reconstruction of the front verandah. It includes demolition of the infill panels and replacement or restoration of the timber structure and decking where necessary.

~  Repair to corrugated metal bullnose roof and roof plumbing.

$9,500

$3,000

 

11.

 

53 Castlereagh Street, Penrith

Conservation Area

~  Paint exterior of the building,

~  Replace part gutters (with existing colours)

$2,500

$2,500

 

12.

 

4 Warwick Street, Penrith

Conservation Area

~  Remove and replace existing rotten cladding from southern wall with new weatherboards and install waterproof sacking, and also replace missing louvered vent

$3,700

$3,000


 

 

13.

 

 

29 The Crescent, Penrith.

 

Conservation Area

~  Guttering and down-pipes

~  Front verandah fence

~  Rebuild entranceway at front gate

 

$12,210

 

$3,000

 

 

14.

 

13 Pages Road, St Mary’s

Heritage Item

~  Replacement of rusted through roof gutter on part of building facing Putland Street.

$3,000

$3,000

 

15.

 

24 The Crescent, Penrith

Conservation Area

~  Repair rust damage, remove flaky paint, treat bare metal and repaint roof and guttering on dwelling (including free standing kitchen area)

 As per quote

$3,000

 

16.

 

24 Lemongrove Road, Penrith 

Conservation Area

~  Repair leaking roof, install roof at higher level with down-pipes & guttering.

~  Replace old damaged pergola. 

$5,000 - $6,000

$3,000

 

17.

 

1, 3,5,19 Bundarra Road & Factory Road, Regentville 

Heritage Item

~  To erect a fence around the property. (Applicant to erect the fence as stated)

$4,101.90

$3,000

 

18.

 

32 Nixon Street, Emu Plains

Heritage Item

~  Re-point two sandstone walls and increase sub floor ventilation.

$3,272.50 to $4,327.50

$3,000

 

19.

 

377-429 Fairlight Road, Mulgoa

Heritage Item

~  Remove & replace guttering on eastern section of house and install down pipe to connect with underhouse line to the Well.

$5,000 - $8,000

$3,000

20.

706 Castlereagh Street, Castlereagh 

Heritage Item

~  Repair works to the front verandah

Not provided

Not provided

 

Assessment of 2007 Applications

Applications were assessed by a panel on 31 January 2008.  The 20 applications were carefully assessed against a set of criteria that were developed to support the effective assessment of applications. After careful consideration against the identified criteria, 9 projects and a one pilot project totalling $30,000 have been recommended for funding. The selection process is summarised in Attachment No.1

 

The table below is a summary of the 10 projects recommended for funding including the pilot project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

No.

Project Site

Heritage Item or Conservation Area

Project Summary

 

Estimated cost of works

Amount sought

 

1.

26 Commonwealth Crescent, North St Mary’s. 

 

Conservation Area

~  Paint exterior of the house and gutter

~  Repair three bedrooms, fix windows, fly screen and security screen to patio door.

Painting $3,600

$3,000

 

2.

 

219 Stafford Street, Penrith

Conservation Area

~  Repair western boundary fence

$2025

$2025

3.

27 Liddle Street, North St Mary’s

 

 

 

Conservation Area

~  Repairs floor and roof timbers.

~  Replacement of door frames and window sills

~  Installation of air vents

~  Clean and repaint corrugated roof & loose cladding

 

 

$12,210 - $13,000

$3,000

4.

18 Princess Mary Street, St Mary’s

 

 

Heritage Item

~  Reconstruction of front verandah.

~  Repair to bullnose roof and roof plumbing.

$9,500

$3,000

 

5.

 

4 Warwick Street, Penrith.

 

Conservation

Area

~  Remove and replace existing rotten cladding from southern wall with new weatherboards and install waterproof sacking, and also replace missing louvered vent

$3,700

$3,000

 

6.

 

29 The Crescent, Penrith 

 

Heritage Item

~  Guttering and down-pipes

~  Front verandah fence

~  Rebuild entranceway at front gate

$12,210

$3,000

 

 

7..

 

29 Liddle Street, North St Mary’s

 

Conservation Area

~  Replacement of original earthenware pipes with PVC and treatment of exit roof. 

$3,190

$3,000

 

8.

 

1, 3,5,19 Bundarra Road & Factory Road, Regentville 

 

 

Heritage Item

~  To erect a fence around the property.

$4,101.90

$3,000

 

9.

 

32 Nixon Street, Emu Plains

Heritage Item

~  Re-point two sandstone walls and increase sub floor ventilation.

$3,272.50 to $4,327.50

$3,000

 

10.

 

377-429 Fairlight Road, Mulgoa

Heritage Item

~  Remove & replace guttering on eastern section of house and install down pipe to connect with underhouse line to the Well.

$5,000 - $8,000

$3,000

 

Applications not recommended for Funding

Many of the applications not recommended for funding offered essential heritage conversation works, but failed to address details and schedule of the proposed works, and quotes for the proposed works. Those applicants that were unsuccessful will be invited to reapply in the 2008/2009 program.

 

However, as an appreciation for their involvement in the funding program, each will be given a “Heritage Maintenance Manual from the NSW Heritage Office; titled “How to carry out work on heritage buildings and sites”. The manual is a brief practical guide on how to care for heritage buildings and sites.

Conclusion

The Heritage Assistance Fund provides an education tool for heritage property owners in enhancing their knowledge and skill in maintaining their property thus taking positive ownership of their property and strengthens positive partnership with Council. The Heritage Assistance Fund also provides a vital mechanism in promoting heritage management and conservation thus enhance quality design and development outcomes.

 

The Heritage Assistance Fund is intended to be held bi-annually. This not only achieves a continued focus on management and conservation of the City’s heritage but demonstrates Council’s commitment and role in valuing the City's history now on behalf of the community for the future.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Heritage Incentive Fund  be received

2.     Council approve the recommended funding allocations as provided in this report.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1. View

Heritage Assistance Fund Guidelines

5 Pages

Appendix

2. View

Heritage Assistance Fund Application Form

3 Pages

Appendix

3. View

Heritage Assistance Fund Flow Chart

2 Pages

Appendix

4. View

Heritage Assistance Assessment Matrix

3 Pages

Appendix

  


Policy Review Committee Meeting

3 March 2008

Appendix 1 - Heritage Assistance Fund Guidelines

 

 

 





 


Policy Review Committee Meeting

3 March 2008

Appendix 2 - Heritage Assistance Fund Application Form

 

 

 



 


Policy Review Committee Meeting

3 March 2008

Appendix 3 - Heritage Assistance Fund Flow Chart

 

 

 


 


Policy Review Committee Meeting

3 March 2008

Appendix 4 - Heritage Assistance Assessment Matrix

 

 

 



  


The City as an Economy

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

4        Economic Development and Employment Services Review

 

 



Policy Review Committee Meeting

3 March 2008

The City as an Economy

 

 

The City as an Economy

 

 

4

Economic Development and Employment Services Review   

 

Compiled by:                Bijai Kumar, Local Economic Development Program Manager

Authorised by:             Alan Stoneham, Director - City Strategy   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: The City’s business community, learning institutions and training institutions are working in an integrated way to strengthen and develop the City’s local economic base.

Critical Action: Work with appropriate economic partners on developing mutual understanding and support for a common agenda for action.

     

Purpose:

To inform Council of the deliberations and recommendations of the Councillor Working Party established to review the delivery of Council's economic development and employment services.

The report recommends that a single external entity combining the functions of the Penrith Valley Economic Development Corporattion (PVEDC) and Council's Economic Development Department be established to deliver Council's economic development and employment services.  The report further recommends that a Steering Committee comprising Council officers and PVEDC representatives be set up to provide advice to Council on the compostion of the new entity.

 

Background

In the first part of 2007, Glenmore Park Stage 2 landowners commissioned a report on a citywide employment development strategy to address a major jobs shortfall in the development. The primary purpose of this report was to quantify a reasonable contribution in lieu of the direct delivery of jobs.  Part of the report suggested that the current structure of organisations and responsibilities relating to economic development in Penrith was not the most efficient.  This triggered some initial investigations to determine if a full review of operations and efficiencies was prudent and, if so, what the procedural option might be.  The preliminary investigation resulted in a recommendation to Council for the creation of a Councillor Working Party.

 

At its Policy Review Committee meeting of 9 July 2007, Council resolved:

 

·        A Working Party comprising the Mayor, Councillors Ross Fowler OAM, Susan Page and Jackie Greenow, and all other interested and available Councillors be established to undertake a review of options available to Council to deliver citywide economic development and employment services covering the roles and functions of Council’s Economic Development Department and the Penrith Valley Economic Development Corporation (PVEDC);

·        Council invite representatives of the PVEDC to join the Councillor working party in an advisory capacity;

·        Council invite representatives of the Centre Associations to participate in the review in an advisory capacity.

The PVEDC and the Centre Associations were consulted on the purpose and scope of the review and agreed to participate in the review, nominating the following individuals for the advisory group:

 

Representing the PVEDC (in an advisory capacity)

John Bateman, Chairman; Steve Willingale, Board member and Acting CEO; Steve Welsh, Board member; and Paul Wakefield, Board member

 

Representing the Penrith City Centre Association (in an advisory capacity)

Gladys Reed, Centre Manager; and Owen Rogers, Chairman

 

Representing the St Marys Town Centre Association (in an advisory capacity)

Peter Jackson Callaway, Centre Manager; and Jack McLeod, Committee member

 

In addition to the Council officers with economic development expertise, it was decided that Council’s Acting Internal Auditor oversee the research and compilation of reports to the Working Party.  This would provide the Working Party with an independent perspective. Furthermore, to assist this function, the services of Associate Professor John Gray, who is Director of Engagement at the University of Western Sydney, were engaged to support the research role with a focus on how economic development is practised internationally.

A team of Council officers, headed by the Director - City Strategy, was established to assist with the review. This team was assisted by Associate Professor John Gray.  In addition, the PVEDC was asked to nominate representatives to join the team to assist in research and compilation of information to be assembled for consideration by the Working Party.

 

The Working Party recognised at the outset that the review provided an opportunity to address a number of fundamental issues or themes which are seen as integral to the review process and its outcomes. These covered, in the first instance, questions about improved efficiency and meeting the interests of Penrith ratepayers and citizens, as well as the expectations of our economic and regional partners. The review also needed to demonstrate that any proposed change will result in the effective delivery of ongoing economic and employment services advice to Council. Finally, every opportunity would be taken to explore the range of models that exist, with the view to assessing their relevance to the local conditions and dynamics of Penrith’s evolution as a regional city.

Outcomes of the Review

The Councillor Working Party met on four occasions over the last six months.

 

At the first meeting, the Working Party considered the terms of reference [TOR] proposed for the review, and agreed to expand the TOR to incorporate the roles of the two Centre Associations and other organisations which have a role in economic development. This was in addition to the roles of Council’s Economic Development Department and the PVEDC as resolved by Council at its meeting of 9 July 2007. The amended and full TOR as adopted by the Working Party is outlined below:

“To make recommendations to Council on the most efficient and effective structure for delivering citywide economic development and employment services in Penrith taking into account the unique challenges and opportunities faced by the City, its business and residents.

 

In order to achieve this, the Working Party will: 

·     review the roles and functions of Council’s Economic Development Department, the Penrith Valley Economic Development Corporation (PVEDC), the City and Town Centre Associations and other organisations which have a role in economic development in the city;

·     examine the range of models, both national and international, employed by cities and regions for the facilitation of economic development services; and

·     consult with other business organisations, including the PVEDC and the Centre Associations and others as appropriate.”

 

In the sections below we discuss the outcomes of the review with reference to each element of the TOR: 

·        Review the roles and functions of Council’s Economic Development Department, the PVEDC, the Town and Centre Associations and other organisations which have a role in economic development in the city

 

Local Governments and regional organisations across Australia have increasingly embraced economic development as a core component of their strategic program designed to increase the welfare of their residents and communities and to position cities and regions as key regional, national and global players. While the objectives of economic development facilitation are essentially the same - encouraging high levels of investment and expenditure capture, a diverse, export oriented and robust industry base, sustainable and meaningful employment for residents and a high quality of life - no two locations are alike. Economic development outcomes that may well suit one town or region will not necessarily reflect the aspirations of businesses, governments and communities in another.

 

In the context of Penrith, Economic Development (ED) encompasses a whole range of activities and functions most of which are outlined above. These range from capacity building through such initiatives as planning for employment lands and economic research, to attracting external investment by formulating an inward investment strategy and providing business support services. It is important to recognise, however, that the key principal agencies driving ED in the city are Council and the PVEDC, together with the Penrith Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Business Enterprise Centre and in some measure the two Centre Associations.

 

As the City’s key business organisations the Chamber and the Business Enterprise Centre (BEC), have a long history of business association in Penrith, while the BEC has expanded its services to the Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains. The Chamber has over 500 members and is one of the largest business chambers in NSW. The two organisations have the scope, capacity and the membership to provide a full array of business services with additional resources. The BEC was selected by the new Commonwealth government for launching its small business support program in the region. The Centre has received a funding commitment from the Commonwealth of $350,000 per annum recurrent funding to expand its operations and provide a more diverse range of services to small businesses.

 

The Centre Associations have a key role in promoting retail trade and delivering training programs for retailers and their staff. However, the concept of Business Improvement Districts, or BIDS, is providing a fresh approach to managing the development of city centres in the USA and England. Also, cities like Boulder in Colorado have incorporated city regeneration programs as an essential part of their economic development and city vitality programs.

 

·        Examine the range of models, both national and international, employed by the cities and regions for the facilitation of economic development services

 

Local governments have adopted different models for delivering their economic development agenda, models which are informed by the locality’s unique set of economic development imperatives, and which can best meet the current and future needs of businesses, the development industry, prospective investors, Council and the broader community. The models vary widely, ranging from a basic project focused in-house model, facilitated by Council with its key partners, to an independently funded external model, and can be classified into the following three categories:

1.       Direct provision of services by Council staff (the in-house model);

2.       Provision of services by a related organisation (ie one where Council has representation on the board) – sometimes called an external model;

3.       Provision of services by independent organisations (where the control by Council is limited to contractual terms or by adjusting financial support).

Council officers consulted extensively with their counterparts in Parramatta and Wollongong City Councils on their models, as well as with the Commercial Response Unit established by Wagga Wagga City Council. These three Councils represent the full spectrum of the most contemporary service delivery models described above. The Parramatta model is an in-house model where Council is fully responsible for economic development, as compared to Wollongong Council, which decided last year to externalise its economic development functions to leverage funding from a range of partners in the region. The Wagga Wagga model on the other hand is a fully outsourced model with Council appointing a private company to provide economic development services.

 

As a result of a Council decision to transform the Economic Development and Employment Committee into an independent, corporate entity, Penrith saw the creation of a “split” model with economic development functions shared by Council and the PVEDC. Council’s own Economic Development Department is responsible for new business investment, planning for employment lands and implementing a number of local and regional employment related initiatives, as well as positioning the city and town centres as generators of future wealth, through a range of development opportunities covering commerce, with a focus on knowledge based jobs, recreation and culture, learning and other forms of mixed-use developments. The PVEDC on the other hand became responsible for growing the city’s businesses by engaging with key business and learning organisations and government agencies responsible for business growth and development.

 

The Penrith City model thus combines both the in-house and independent models with funding provided by Council for the operation of two separate entities. The current “split” system of delivering economic development services came under some scrutiny by Professor Ed Blakely and the Planning Research Centre team from Sydney University. They stated a case for rationalisation and streamlining of how Council delivers its economic development agenda to meet Penrith’s role and obligations as a regional city, and to maximise the opportunity for undertaking major project initiatives presented by the significant funding contribution from Glenmore Park Stage 2 landowners.

 

The Working Party considered the current structure and recognised that it has inherent weaknesses resulting in the inefficient use of resources, duplication of effort and absence of coordinated and strong leadership to direct economic development to meet Council’s job creation agenda. The Working Party further agreed that structural change is necessary to address these deficiencies and to develop economic capacity to meet the needs of a growing and evolving regional city. In addition, the Working Party noted that such change should be driven by business leaders who represent both Penrith’s existing industries and those industries which will contribute to the city’s future economic growth. The Working Party noted that such business representation is critical for Council to receive contemporary advice on a range of matters such as market conditions and investment drivers etc which will greatly assist Council in accommodating the needs of the market and investors in major planning decisions.

·        Consult with other business organisations, including the PVEDC and the Centre Associations and others as appropriate

 

The TOR adopted by the Working Party was provided to Council’s major economic partners, listed below, for their views on the future directions for Penrith and the region it serves:

 

·        Greater Western Sydney Economic Development Board

·        Department of State and Regional Development [Western Sydney Office]

·        NSW Business Chamber [Western Sydney Council]

·        Penrith City and District Business Advisory Service [BEC]

·        Penrith City Chamber of Commerce

 

The economic partners generally supported the review undertaken by Council, recognising Penrith’s role as a regional city and its significant obligation for job creation. There was a clear recommendation emerging from most partners that Council should consider establishing a single, identifiable entity for delivering economic development services.

 

In addition to a written submission, the President of the Chamber of Commerce, Ms Judith Field also made a verbal submission to the Working Party at its second meeting. Ms Field emphasised that business organisations such as the Chamber had a major role to play in economic development which should be recognised and enhanced through the review process. The Working Party received a presentation on the Parramatta partnership model from that Council’s Economic Development Manager, Mike Thomas.

 

The representatives of the PVEDC and the Centre Associations were provided with copies of the report and all other information made available to the Working Party and had every opportunity to contribute to the deliberations of the Working Party at all its four meetings. At the request of the Mayor, Councillor Greg Davies, they were also invited to make written submissions on their preference for an economic development model that would achieve the objectives of Council, given the decision taken by the Working Party that the functions of the PVEDC and Council’s Economic Development Department be combined.

The following comments were provided by the two Centre Associations and the PVEDC:

 

·        St Marys Town Centre Association

The St Marys Town Centre Association has stated a preference for one ED body controlled by Council. Appointing an outside agency can result in many problems such as time delays, members of the board having their own agenda, and ED decisions by an outside body will still have to be ratified by Council. An external agency will not be cost effective as proven by past experience with Council losing control of ED decisions and becoming responsible for decisions taken by an outside agency. A streamlined Council ED body working at the coalface with co-opted qualified members will achieve the best results. The desired results would be achieved with a business plan in place with appropriate key performance indicators.

 

·        Penrith City Centre Association

The Penrith City Centre Association is advocating for the establishment of a new independent entity, a company limited by guarantee. The organisation would have a senate style board set up with a three year tenure. The board positions would be filled by calling for applications to be determined possibly by an independent external panel, with past board members having the opportunity to re-apply. The Board of the new entity would have representation from leaders in the commercial business sector, Council and community organisations.

 

·        Penrith Valley Economic Development Corporation

The PVEDC Board’s submission is outlined below:

 

-       There should be one body that promotes and manages economic development within the City of Penrith and this body should be external of Penrith City Council.

-       The external body should incorporate at least the current Penrith Valley Economic Development Corporation and the Council’s Economic Development Unit.  We don’t necessarily suggest that the new external body should be an expanded PVEDC but rather an external body which has a broad representation at the major industry sectors in the City of Penrith.

-       The new external body should be a strategically based organisation with a global view and hold both short term and long term goals. So as to avoid confusion amongst potential developers, investors etc. it should be the major ‘go to’ entity in respect to issues concerning economic development within the City.

-       Our Board considers that the critical mass and economies of scale that will emerge from the confluence of the PVEDC and the Council’s Economic Development Unit would provide an appropriate vehicle to help create the 40,000 plus new jobs required to be generated within the City by 2021.  In saying this, and given that it is proposed that at least 25% of these new jobs are proposed to be generated within the CBDs of Penrith and St. Marys, it is also the Corporation’s view that the existing City Centre Associations will need to broaden their role in terms of their involvement in economic development within the City.

-       Whilst our Board has over recent months examined a number of models which could be potentially adopted in the establishment of a new external body it does not at this time have a preference for a specific model and believes that this issue needs to be considered in more detail.  To that end our Board believes that it would be extremely fruitful to continues its dialogue with the Council in respect to potential models for delivery of the outcome sought via the creation of a new external body to promote and manage economic development within the City of Penrith.

 

At its last meeting on 20th February 2008, the Working Party also considered a report by Councillor Susan Page on the international conference on “Valuing Economic Development- Policy, Investment and Delivery” which she attended in Cardiff, UK from 10-11 October 2007. Councillor Page also met Councillors and staff members at Liverpool City Council, Eden District Council, Lancashire County Council, and with officials of Cumbria region to discuss economic development issues. The full report by Councillor Page is provided at Appendix 1.

 

The Conference covered such issues as devolution of economic development to regions; balancing the knowledge economy and sustainable communities objectives; valuing the legacies of economic development; employment and productivity; and the benefits of migration. Councillor Page also attended a workshop on “accessing business finance-supporting growth companies” which was presented by a director of Pricewaterhouse Coopers. The English experience suggests that the main source of business finance for growth companies continues to be seed capital, venture capital, grants and loans/debt, tax credits etc all of which require public sector intervention. There is however significant duplication in this area, locally, regionally and nationally, and this has resulted in confusion for businesses and is exacerbated further by the lack of an overarching national assessment of the impact of such support. The speaker also highlighted the problem of accessing business finance and better use of funds, with the need for tailored quality advice provided to management teams to enable them to plan and manage growth.

 

The speaker called for further rationalisation in providing funding support to maximise the impacts to the economy. He has suggested that public intervention should focus on building capacity in the provision of business support services; proactive use of performance indicators that are better aligned with policy; and considering unlocking and building capacity in private sector services with regions rather than creating new or enlarged public sector support services.

 

The Working Party noted that this has relevance to our local situation where business organisations such as the Chamber and the Business Enterprise Centre have the capacity to provide such services to “growth” businesses.

 

After the Conference, Councillor Page met both Councillors and officials from Liverpool City Council; Lancashire Council; Eden District Council; and the Cumbria Region to discuss a range of issues including economic development. Councillor Page met with senior Council staff to discuss the outcomes of her visit and presented a significant amount of material she collected from the conference and her meetings with the various councils she visited on her trip. A listing is provided in her report in Appendix 1.

Recommendations of the Working Party

The Working Party considered the various options presented to it and has recommended that Council consider the creation of a single external economic development entity which combines the roles and functions of the PVEDC and Council’s Economic Development Department. The Working Party also recommended that any structural change in the delivery of economic development be underpinned by the following key principles which emerged from its deliberations and in consultations with the PVEDC and the Centre Associations:

·        That job creation remains the key driver for economic development initiatives in the City as demonstrated in the “Jobs Challenge:2031” paper presented to the Working Party;

·        That future funding for economic development be linked to and be accountable through job creation programs and initiatives;

·        That Council continues to have an ongoing role in providing leadership and strategic directions in economic development with the new entity having a key role in the provision of contemporary advice and input in this process; and

·        That the board of the new entity comprise industry leaders representing key existing and future industries which will contribute to economic vitality and jobs growth in the City and the region.

The Working Party considered at length the role of the Town and City Centre Associations in economic development given the focus of Council’s job creation efforts in the two centres and what potential synergies would arise from the proposed changes in delivering economic development services through a single entity. After consultations with the Associations’ representative the Working Party recommended that the Associations be consulted further regarding their existing and future role in economic development and their relationship with the new entity. The Mayor, Councillor Greg Davies indicated that he would lead these consultations with the two Associations.

The Working Party consistently recognised the role and contribution of the business community and institutions in injecting a new dynamism and contemporariness in shaping the City’s economic future and attracting business investment. To this end, the Working Party considered the value of having strong industry representation on the board of the proposed entity, both from industry sectors that dominate the local economic landscape, and also those industries which are likely to become major contributors in the future. The Working Party has recommended that the following industries and businesses be considered in the make up of the proposed new board:

·        Manufacturing

·        Retail

·        Transport and Logistics

·        Creative industries, arts and culture

·        Construction and development

·        Heath, well being and the environment

·        Education, training and the trades

·        Industries of the future- business, finance, insurance, information and communications technology etc

·        Small and medium sized businesses ( to be represented for example by the Chamber of Commerce or the Business Enterprise Centre.)

 

The Working Party further recommended that a Steering Committee, comprising Council officers nominated by the General Manager, together with representatives from the PVEDC, be established to develop a blueprint for implementing the outcomes of the review, covering the following issues:

·        legal and governance;

·        selection criteria for board members;

·        staffing and recruitment;

·        accommodation;

·        level of funding and accountability for funding received from Council;

·        the key functions of the new entity, including the reassignment of Council’s economic development functions and those conducted by the PVEDC;

·        outcomes of the consultations with the City and Town Centre Associations; and

·        a timeframe for implementation.

 

The Steering Committee will begin its work soon after Council ratifies the recommendations of the Working Party and will present its report to Council in late April or early May 2008. Its work will be guided by the principles established by the Working Party.

Conclusion

In reviewing Council’s future role in economic development and job creation the Working Party assessed the key attributes of a number of local and international economic development models which covered both in-house and external models as well as an example of an outsourced model adopted by Wagga Wagga City Council. The Working Party consulted extensively with both local economic partners as well as a range of external partners such as the Department of State and Regional Development and received strong support for the review process.

The Working Party noted the independent advice provided by Ass Prof John Gray that local economic and social conditions and challenges often determined the model most appropriate for communities that wished to engage in economic development. It was recognised at the outset that the key challenge facing Penrith was job creation and that this objective would be best served by creating a single external entity that combines the functions of the PVEDC and Council’s Economic Development Department.

The Working Party also noted that for the entity to be successful in delivering jobs outcomes it must have the guidance and contribution of our business leaders who are better attuned to market conditions and the investment climate and can bring greater contemporariness to Council’s leadership role in economic development.

The Working Party considered the role of the City and Town Centre Associations in economic development, particularly in the context of major job creation targets for the centres, and noted that further consultations with the Associations are warranted to assess their relationship with the new entity and to bring greater cohesion in the delivery of economic development services in the City.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Economic Development and Employment Services Review be received

2.     A single external entity combining the roles of the Penrith Valley Economic Development Corporation and Council’s Economic Development Department be established to deliver Council’s economic development and employment services

3.     The Board of the new entity comprise industry leaders representing key existing and future industries which will contribute to economic vitality and jobs growth in the City

4.     The Penrith City Centre Association and the St Marys Town Centre Association be consulted regarding their existing and future role in economic development and their relationship with the new entity

5.     A Steering Committee comprising Council officers nominated by the General Manager and Penrith Valley Economic Development Corporation representatives be established to develop a blueprint for implementing the outcomes of the review and that the Committee be guided by the principles adopted by the Working Party

6.     A further report be presented to Council on the recommendations of the Steering Committee covering the issues identified by the Working Party, and including the outcomes of the consultations with the Town and Centre Associations.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1. View

Report on "Valuing Economic Development - Policy, Investment and Delivery" Conference

6 Pages

Appendix

  


Policy Review Committee Meeting

3 March 2008

Appendix 1 - Report on "Valuing Economic Development - Policy, Investment and Delivery" Conference

 

 

 

Valuing Economic Development – policy, investment, delivery Conference

Cardiff 10/11th October 2007

 

Report by Councillor Susan Page

 

1.      Valuing Economic Development Conference

 

Wednesday 10th October

 

·     Does devolution make a difference? Professor Brian Morgan

 

Devolution can make a difference to Economic Development [ED] by providing ways to improve prosperity of a region, sustaining communities, fairness and equality and bringing more open and democratic processes. Devolution does have pluses and minuses and its impacts are stated below:

 

·     It helps in developing a more mature political culture

·     Produced highest proportion of women (50%) in an elected body

·     Introduced cross cutting themes such as equal pay and sustainable development

·     Provides potential to create greater electoral involvement although only 40%       voted in Welsh election

·     Also provides potential to produce a significant economic dividend

·     Helps focus on greater prioritisation of public expenditure to help close the   prosperity gap

 

In considering devolution there is need to consider the huge growth in public spending since 1999. The Welsh and Scottish GDP and employment, for example, has become much more dependant on the public purse.

 

There is also a need to consider the phenomenon of “Crowding Out” which occurs when government expands it borrowing to finance increased spending etc as a result of which private sector investment is exposed to higher interest rates ( in other words it is crowded out of the market for funds). There are a number of examples of crowding out:

 

·     Financial crowding out cannot occur in Wales or Scotland because they do not have tax raising or borrowing powers

·     Other mechanisms can crowd out private sector investment, including high wage differentials

·     Wales stands out as having the lowest pay rates in private sector compared with almost the highest in the public sector

 

Productivity considerations are also crucial in this discussion. This has two key aspects

·     Lower levels of productivity within the public sector

·     The impact that a large public sector can have on the productivity of the private sector itself

 

Finally prioritisation of public sector spending has not been focused enough on economic development issues but more on the ‘vote winning’. In developing a way forward it would be facile to argue that the unprecedented increases should now be followed by equally massive reductions in spending as this would be hugely destabilising to the economy.

However there is a need to reduce the increase in public spending to below the increase in national income and to champion efficiency gains which will free up resources. It is not unusual for the public sector to spend it all while the private sector does not.

 

National Development Plans are important is considering devolution. Two examples are provided below:

 

·     Irish – ambitious investment plan. 57% of public, private and EU funds targeted on education, roads, public transport and waste services

·     English Devolution – noticeable absence of any significant measure of devolution outside London

 

There is a growing awareness that “our cities are back: competitive cities make prosperous regions and sustainable communities.” City regions today:

 

·     Emphasize the enhanced roles cities and regions play in the boosting of the UK’s economic growth, especially its poor productivity

·     However cities are now asked to play an awesome array of tasks with few mechanisms to mobilise resources, public and private necessary to disseminate with a focus on the strategic planning

 

An elected city – regional mayor is the key in unlocking growth although it is wholly unrealistic to expect this single political innovation. Also the policy context in which ED now operates raises a number of issues and constraints:

·     Public problems and issues increasingly spill over the organisational and institutional boundaries

·     People affected by global warming

·     Accountability of multi level governance is not clear

·     Cross boundary issues

·     Increased complexity

·     Problems are intractable

·     Inability to identify single groups to fix the problem

 

The key challenge facing Economic Development as we head to the 21st Century in reflected in the quotation below:

 

 “No single actor, public or private, has the knowledge and information required to solve complex, dynamic and diversified problems; no actor has an overview sufficient to make the needed instruments effective; no single actor has sufficient action potential to dominate unilaterally”- Kooima

 

·     Balancing the knowledge economy and sustainable communities objectives

 

Some of the key issues that were covered included:

 

·     A culture of greater spending

·     Deprivation versus prosperity

·     Housing affordability as a national problem.

·     Creating a nation of commuters. See  john.fisher@localfuture.com

·     Economic well-being versus quality of life

·     A disconnect between economy and society

 

·  Valuing Legacies of Economic Development

 

There is a significant skills gap simultaneously with unemployment. This a key focus for economic development in London

 

Thursday 11th October

 

·     Employment and Productivity

 

A key consideration is place or geography. There are basically two objectives:            

·     Generate jobs

·     Generate increased productivity

 

Note: 7 million adults don’t have numeracy skills of kids leaving primary school, an 11 year old. While there is much discussion on skills development there is little being achieved in terms of delivery.  Skills are recognised as the important driver of productivity.

 

·     Migration Benefits: Academic Presentation

 

·     High immigration-migrants keep wages low, young people move/migrate for work.

·     Has it worked? Has migration strategy led to economic growth? The answer is “no”. Service industry relies on migrant workers and the pertinent question is if migration is just allowing us to compete for a few more years longer and if it simply provides a short to medium term answer.

·     Access to finance is one component of business support. The support may aim to achieve broader economic, environmental, social or cultural goals. However, the main aim can be to support entrepreneurs or businesses.

·     Public funding support for businesses is currently under review. Government is looking for evidence to support the provision of funding/business support and link to policy/outcomes to ensure that duplication is not taking place. There are still large numbers of schemes and gateways and innovative business are struggling to find set-up support. Simplification of business support is necessary.

·     Access to finance is a key area of business support and this includes debt finance, risk capital, innovation finance, capital investment grants. Public sector support networks are intervening across most areas.

 

·  Workshop: Accessing Business Finance – supporting growth companies presented by    Ken Poole Director of Pricewaterhouse Coopers of the Public/Private advisory team.

 

The issues covered included the following:

 

·     A need to look at barriers and identify other approaches to improve the linkage between financial assistance schemes and policy. Guidance for evaluating applications for funding is also important.

·     In England there is a minority of people who want city living. London lives on a permanent inflow of skilled people whom they do not need to keep as next years graduates will head towards London.

·     Main sources of business finance has been seed capital, venture capital, grants, loans/debt, corporate venturing, tax credits all of which require public sector intervention

·     Similar services often delivered by different public sector bodies unaware of each other’s services. There is duplication regionally, locally and nationally, often competing for business, which leads to confusion from clients. There is no overarching national assessment of the impact of support of the economy.

·     Some ten schemes provide funding for innovation and while progress has been made there are still market failures. While there are government backed schemes that address market failures these are however failing to hit GDP targets.

·     Accessing business finance is a key barrier to growth as it is not just about the availability of finance but associated business development services. Access to and better use of this funding and support is thus crucial. Management teams need to be able to plan and manage growth and to understand the priorities of private investors. Quality advice needs to be tailored and targeted

·     In evaluating applications for funding it is vital to behave like an investor; think like a venture capitalist or a banker. Investors are faced with huge amount of business plans, and it is important to have checklists that can signal warning signs.

·     Warning signs to watch for include assertions and hype in a business plan, plan that lays out facts and facts not useful or necessary to the application, insufficient competitor analysis, lack of financial details, insufficient financial projections, no references to shareholders agreement, no risk analysis whether they be market, technology, management and legal, if it is too long or too technical. There is need to look for a focused strategy.

·     There is a need for further rationalisation. Public sector intervention priorities will be focused on capacity building in business support services. Proactive use of performance measures to ensure interventions are more closely aligned with policy. Consider unlocking and building capacity in private sector services with regions rather than create new or enlarged public sector support services

 

The various levels of governments that are involved include:

 

·     Parish Councils

·     City Councils / District Councils

·     County Councils

·     Regional Councils

·     National Government

·     European Union


 

2.        Meeting with Councils and Regional Authorities

 

Monday 15th October 2007.

 

·     Liverpool City Council.

 

Meeting with the Chair of the Economic Development and Regeneration Committee and relevant senior officers. On site visits to Kensington Regeneration Project an area of long term deprivation and Paradise St a major development in the centre of Liverpool City. There is an Economic Development Unit within the council as well as a separate corporation driving economic development within the city.

 

LCC initially co-ordinated the set up of the Economic Development Corporation and have a strong link and relationship with the Corporation which now runs itself.

 

Tuesday 16th October 2007.

 

·     Lancashire County Council.

 

Meeting with the Deputy Leader and other Labour Councillors. Took part in a workshop looking at the ways in which communicates with its residents on issues considered quite sensitive, for example single sex schools. They have a female leader, deputy leader and chairman. They have a high level of migrants and therefore associated migrant’s issues. There is an Economic Development Unit within the Council and as with Liverpool they have a separate corporation.

 

Wednesday 17th October 2007.

 

·     Eden District Council

 

Meeting with the Chief Executive Kevin Douglas.

 

Attended an event as part of their Local Democracy Week whereby senior students attending the council chambers and questioned a panel of local leaders including councillors and the media. Toured the new and most impressive Contact Centre that previous Mayor Cr John Thain opened by telephone with Customer Services Manager Linda Methven. Meeting  with Keith Morgan, Chairman of Eden District Council. Also met with the local media and with Andrea Hines, Economic Development and Tourism manager and went over the Economic Development Plan for Eden District.

 

Thursday 18th October 2007.

 

·     Cumbria Region

 

Meeting with Mark Hodgson of Cumbria Vision to discuss tourism/economic development issues with a regional perspective.  The region also has a corporation similar to that of Liverpool and Lancashire.

 

Conclusion

 

The Economic Development Corporations were set up as a result of an issue arising that needed to be addressed. They were not set up as and are not now running as generic based corporations. These corporations have the flexibility to deliver when something needs to be done in these cities and do not have to go through a 3-5 year process of changing LEP’s, DCP’s, etc. They have the ability to deliver the needs for the community at the time it is needed not years later, this makes these developments attractive to the private sector investment needed to deliver the needs of the city.

 

 

List of Documents Provided to Council

 

·     Eden District Council- Inward Investment Strategy

·     Developing the Economy of Eden- A ten year plan

·     England’s Northwest- Regional Economic Strategy 2006

·     Lancashire County Developments Ltd- information pack

·     Mapping Economic Regeneration in the Cumbria Region, July 2007

·     An Economic Masterplan for West Cumbria

·     Cumbria Economic Plan

·     West Lakes regeneration magazine, Issue one

·     Kensington Regeneration annual report 2006-07

·     City of Liverpool- highlights for 2008

·     Welcome to Liverpool- information pack

·     A Strategy for the Heads of the Valleys 2020

·     Report by PriceWaterhouse coopers on delivering excellence in the Welsh public sector

·     The Cardiff Economic Strategy 2007-2012

·     Cardiff Community Strategy- 2007-2017

·     Various magazines from Conference organisers, Institution of Economic Development

 

 

  


 

 

The City Supported by Infrastructure

 

 

There were no reports under this Master Program when the Business Paper was compiled


 

 

 

 

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Leadership and Organisation

 

 

There were no reports under this Master Program when the Business Paper was compiled