The Borough Council and the County Council enjoy good relations at a political and operational level and have achieved much working together on a wide variety of projects in recent years. However, both are complex organisations, each with its own procedures and priorities and inevitably operational issues crop up which could be tackled better and faster.
The District Deal signed in 2015 is not a legally binding agreement but a short, clear statement of the Councils’ shared commitment to work together in key areas.
The Deal has two main parts:
· A commitment to focus the combined efforts of both councils on delivering key strategic projects;
· An agreement to improve the way the Council’s work together to make sure that we deliver the best quality outcomes possible for residents and businesses
The original Deal focused on the “Big 8” projects in Ashford, a series of regeneration projects across the district in which the two Councils are working together to deliver more effectively, as well as new ways of working across a range of agendas.
This focus has helped to deliver several projects where both Councils share an interest – achieving the funding needed for both the Ashford station signalling and for M20 junction 10a; and signing the legal agreements to bring forward development at Chilmington Green are all prime examples.
In addition to these projects, there were several examples of improved operational working. There are other areas where lessons have been learned and are being applied to improve working. In some areas of both Councils the District Deal is not fully understood and hence does not always attract the priority it deserves.
Decision type: Key
Reason Key: Affects more than two Electoral Divisions;
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Division affected: Ashford Central; Ashford East; Ashford Rural East; Ashford Rural South; Ashford Rural West; Ashford South;
Notice of proposed decision first published: 15/06/2017
Decision due: Not before 12th Jul 2017 by Leader and Cabinet Member for Health Reform
Reason: In order that the proposed decision can be published for a minimum of 28 days, in accordance with statutory requirements
Lead director: Katie Stewart
Department: Growth, Environment & Transport
Contact: Katie Chantler, Project Manager Tel: 03000 417046 Email: katie.chantler@kent .gov.uk.
KCC’s Corporate Management Team and Ashford Borough Council have been consulted in the development of the proposed Deal. The Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee and Growth Economic Development and Communities Cabinet Committee will be asked to endorse or make recommendations to the Leader in making the decision. The local KCC members will also be consulted.
Financial implications: The ‘District Deal’ in itself does not require additional financial resource; for the most part it is about changing how both authorities deploy existing resource. There are no financial implications beyond each authorities’ existing budgets.
Legal implications: The ‘District Deal’ is not a legally binding document – it is a statement of political intent to tackle a range of project delivery challenges and to improve the ways the two Councils operate together.
Equalities implications: There are no equalities impacts arising from the proposed decision.