Consideration of the Portas review

Philip John made this Freedom of Information request to Lichfield District Council

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The request was successful.

Dear Lichfield District Council,

The Government-commissioned Portas review includes a number of recommendations, including some aimed at local authorities.

I would like to know what consideration Lichfield District (LDC) Council has made of these recommendations.

Specifically;

1. Has LDC considered putting in place a "town team" to oversee strategic development of Lichfield City Centre?

2. Does, or has LDC considered, giving business rate concessions to new local businesses? If so, please provide details of the value of those concessions and eligibility criteria.

3. Has any consideration been given to parking charges? Specifically to providing free parking in Lichfield City Centre?

Please provide all evidence relating to the above questions, including internal meeting minutes and e-mails.

I would prefer all information electronically in Rich Text Format (RTF) or Microsoft Word Document (DOC) if easier. PDF is not desirable.

If one part of this request can be answered sooner than others, please send that information first followed by any subsequent information.

If FOI requests of a similar nature have already been asked could you please include your responses to those requests.

If you need any clarification then please email me. Under your section 16 duty to provide advice and assistance I would expect you to contact me if you find this request unmanageable in any way so we can negotiate how best to proceed.

I would be grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received this request, and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Yours faithfully,

Philip John

Generic - FOI, Lichfield District Council

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Generic - FOI, Lichfield District Council

Dear Sir

Please see below the collated responses to your FOI: -

REQUEST 336 COLLATED RESPONSES

2. Does, or has LDC considered, giving business rate concessions to new
local businesses? If so, please provide details of the value of those
concessions and eligibility criteria.

There are no rate reductions available for new businesses locating in
the Lichfield District Council area.

1. Has LDC considered putting in place a "town team" to oversee
strategic development of Lichfield City Centre?

3. Has any consideration been given to parking charges? Specifically to
providing free parking in Lichfield City Centre?

The strategic development of Lichfield city centre is co-ordinated by
the development services team in close liaison with Lichfield District
Venture, an arms length organisation established to deal with the
landlord issues associated with the development of strategic capital
projects and public realm improvements involving Council land and
premises.

In addition, the Portas report was discussed at a recent meeting of the
Lichfield City Centre Coordination Group (LCCG). This meeting was
attended by a number of city centre traders together with relevant
stakeholders, such as LDC operations, development, communications,
tourism and town-safe officers; the local police authority; South
Staffordshire College; Three Spires Shopping Centre Manager and highways
representatives. Other business support organisations such as the
Chamber of Trade, were also in attendance.

The LCCG meeting considered establishing a town team and possibly a
business improvement district (BID). It also discussed LDC and city
centre traders jointly planning events and promotions for the Queen's
Diamond Jubilee, the Olympic Torch Relay and a series of tourism and
trade events throughout the year.

The group recognised the requirement to assess current parking charges
and the need to increase footfall to Lichfield City. This could be
achieved by significantly improving the promotion of city trading and
events to visitors and local residents, by seeking funding for a town
promotions post and the potential benefits of an associated fund towards
the cost of better advertising. This would be further developed as a
proposal working with the Tamworth and Lichfield Business and Economic
Partnership (BEP) and the emerging actions from the Town Centres and
Place Promotion themes within the BEP's business led Economic Strategy.

Businesses were keen that the new cashless parking system (payment by
text) be promoted to shops and it was agreed that a leaflet should be
prepared by the council to help make customers aware of this option.

Generally speaking there was little consensus that free parking free
throughout the city was a solution on its own and businesses felt that
tackling promotion was the highest priority. The issue of parking
charges will however remain on the agenda and businesses were pleased to
see that there had been no increase in charges since 2008. Businesses
have advised the council that the existing short wait free spaces in the
city centre should be retained.

I hope these answers are of assistance to you.

Kind regards

show quoted sections

Many thanks for your time, much appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Philip John

Generic - FOI, Lichfield District Council

Thank you for your correspondence relating to Freedom of Information.  All
requests will be logged and forwarded to the relevant Officer(s) for their
response to you.

 

Under the Freedom of Information Act, you are entitled to a response
within 20 working days.

 

Regards

This e-mail and any attachment(s), is confidential and may be legally privileged. It is intended solely for the
addressee. If you are not the addressee, dissemination, copying or use of this e-mail or any of its content is
prohibited and may be unlawful. If you are not the intended recipient please inform the sender immediately and
destroy the e-mail, any attachment(s) and any copies.

All liability for viruses is excluded to the fullest extent permitted by law. It is your responsibility to scan or
otherwise check this e-mail and any attachment(s).

Unless otherwise stated (i) views expressed in this message are those of the individual sender (ii) no contract
may be construed by this e-mail.

Emails may be monitored and you are taken to consent to this monitoring.