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Key council department set to build for the future

A TEAM which plays a key role in some of Swansea Council's most high-profile activity is preparing to become even more effective.

The council's planning and city regeneration service helps drive success in areas such as City Deal major regeneration projects, the Local Development Plan and economic development.

It also specialises in development management, conservation and design, strategic planning and natural environment, and city centre management.

A review of the service recommends changes which will allow staff to help continue developing a vibrant and viable city centre, a thriving economy, a healthy urban and rural environment, and sustainable development in local communities.

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Major Projects, said: "The proposals build on the service's strong foundation. 

"They introduce new ways of working to increase efficiencies to help generate new income, ensure the service is fit for the future and could deliver gross budget savings of £280,000, if approved.

"They aim to maintain momentum in delivering the City Deal and the city centre regeneration programme."

Cllr David Hopkins, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Commercial Opportunities and Innovation, said: "The department's review - which included getting the opinions of key stakeholders from inside and outside the council, and comparison with other UK councils - was carried out as part of our Sustainable Swansea programme, which aims to modernise the council and reshape our services to meet the needs of residents now and in the future - while making planned and structured savings."

Recommendations include keeping the service in-house and undertaking a number of team mergers and restructures. The service has approximately 150 employees, 20% of whom are grant or externally funded.

The council's cabinet is due to discuss the proposals when it meets on August 17.

Did you know?

Staff in Swansea Council's planning and city regeneration service:

  • Generated income of £4.7m in 2016-17.
  • Secured external funding for Swansea of around £115m from 2007-20.
  • Process more than 2,000 planning and related applications every year. 
  • Achieve Swansea Market occupancy levels of around 96-97%.
  • Led the achievement of the city centre's night-time economy Purple Flag status
  • Win high levels of customer satisfaction for Swansea Mobility Hire.
  • Won honours in the Welsh National Procurement Awards.
  • Recently submitted the Council's Local Development Plan for examination
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