Delivering the Vision
– Updated 12 May 2022 –
The team behind the Vision is exploring the scope to establish an oversight Board that will take the Chorlton Vision forward. No final decisions have yet been made and we will be engaging with Manchester City Council to secure their recognition and support for the Board. The likely functions for Chorlton Vision Board are:
- Priority action planning/setting: assembling a short-list of priority actions from the long list set out here, that should be implemented in the short /medium term.
- Issue highlighting and progress-chasing: picking off day-to-day issues of concern that crop up and advocating action among stakeholders.
- Grant decision-making: advising local grant makers on applications for funding (for example the Neighbourhood Investment Fund).
- Influencing planning/licensing: advising Manchester City Council on planning and licence applications for commercial schemes in Chorlton.
- Supporting suitable development: working with developers and advising on best approaches to community-friendly, people-focused development that supports the Vision.
- Bid lead: acting as primary partner for grant applications for development in Chorlton that are aligned to the Vision (where no other, more appropriate body exists).
- Engaging local residents and businesses: undertaking consultation/information gathering exercises to assemble local opinion on issues relevant to the Vision.
- Acting as a secretariat for local traders groups: providing administrative support to a Chorlton-wide traders group to drive up membership and explore future options such as a Business Improvement District (or similar).
- Commissioning marketing and public artwork: leading on the design of commissions and decision-making for materials to promote Chorlton.
- Monitoring change: reporting on data and intelligence on footfall, vacancy rates, trading conditions etc to measure progress in delivering the Vision.
- Refreshing local strategic priorities: an annual review will allow changes to the Vision, reflecting emerging local opportunities, threats and aspirations.
- Supporting and facilitating strategic projects: providing backing to others, including community groups, commercial organisations and developers that support the objectives of the Vision.
Attributes of Successful Governance for Chorlton Vision
The composition of the Board would be agreed in the coming months if we get the backing we seek from the City Council. We anticipate that the Board will have between nine and twelve places and membership will be built around the following principles:
- Representative of Local Interests: the Board would need to have balanced membership that can represent the main stakeholder constituencies behind the Vision ie
- Employers: traders based in Chorlton
- City Council: elected councillors and city council officers
- Community: community groups and (potentially) resident/neighbourhood groups
- Service Providers: housing providers, schools and GP/health practices
- Reflective of the Vision Issues: the Board needs to be able to draw on insights across the spectrum of the issues it engages with and be able to involve beneficiaries affected by its projects/initiatives.
- Recognised Authority and Status: the Board and its members need to be able to engage with and influence investors and organisations delivering schemes and services in Chorlton, and have the backing of Manchester City Council and local groups to secure resources and influence decisions that deliver the Vision.
- Intelligent Decision-Making: the Board needs to be able to receive information on local matters and be able to use the data/intelligence to make objective decisions that support the Vision.
- Ability to Operate Independently in the Best Interests of Chorlton Vision: board members need to be able to contribute to debate and decision-making for the benefit of the whole of Chorlton and the priorities set out in the Vision (and be ready to declare interests where they represent a potential conflict with the Board).
It is vital that the Vision has an impact and makes a difference to Chorlton and the issues highlighted. Each action supported under the Vision will be expected to provide reporting on its progress and achievements against an agreed set of measures. The Chorlton Vision Board will also track change on a set of key indicators that reflect the central goals of the Vision.
Proposed Vision Indicators
A series of core indicators will be monitored to track the central impacts of the Vision:
- Number of empty units
- Number of businesses trading locally
- Footfall in the district centre
- Investment secured in new development and upgrades
- Air quality in the district centre
Steps should also be taken to explore scope for a wider indicator of local sentiment to be established, that provides regular insight into local people’s views of the progress Chorlton is making against its Vision.
The Steering Group that has created this draft Vision will now:
- Move to become a shadow Chorlton Vision Board and establish longer-term governance arrangements for the oversight and delivery of the Vision.
- Engage Manchester City Council to secure adoption of the Vision and recognition of the Chorlton Vision Board as its guardian.
- Undertake a project prioritisation exercise to identify the relative urgency with which the long list of actions in the Vision will be progressed.
- Agree a further programme of local community and business engagement to build additional buy-in for the Vision and refine its focus to ensure it reflects local priorities and opportunities.