New Chair-person required for Taunton Strategic Advisory Board

Taunton Strategic Advisory Board (TSAB) Would like to hear from individuals who wish to apply for the vacant Chair-person role

We are ambitious for the future of Taunton, with a comprehensive programme of developments planned. This includes upgrades to infrastructure, new space for business and innovation, new communities and green spaces and plans to further enhance the town centre. This ambition and approach recently saw Taunton awarded the prestigious Garden Town status, the first town in the South West.

The Board’s membership of senior stakeholders from the public, private and voluntary sectors reflects it role in shaping the overall economic, social and environmental wellbeing of Taunton. The purpose of the TSAB is to collectively shape Taunton’s long-term development and success as a growing, sustainable, healthy and prosperous Garden Town for current and future generations.

In this capacity, the Board’s interests will be on supporting the realisation of the vision for Taunton, and strategic matters covering inter-related themes such as:

  • Delivery of housing, employment and economic growth
  • Major infrastructure & regeneration schemes
  • The quality of the environment, social, health & cultural issues
  • Skills, education and lifelong learning
  • Innovative solutions through design and new digital technology

A Growth Prospectus for Taunton – ‘Growing our Garden Town’ – has recently been published. This document provides a ‘refreshed’ growth vision and sets out our commitments as a recently designated Garden Town, so that this can be communicated clearly to Government and others whose support is essential to delivery.
It is also intended to ‘re-galvanise’ our key partners, most of whom we are already working closely with to deliver our growth ambitions. The document sets a wide-ranging agenda for Taunton as a newly designated Garden Town, encompassing economic, social and environmental dimensions. Full Terms of Reference for the Board can be found here: Terms of Reference

To view the document and read more about the vision, please visit our new investment website: https://www.investtaunton.co.uk/the-vision/ 

The ideal candidate must be:

  • Passionate about the future of Taunton
  • An independent and effective Chair-person – experienced in working with senior representatives of a range of diverse stakeholder groups and partner organisations
  • Able to inspire and support the Board to effectively fulfil the roles and responsibilities, and ensure the group remains focussed on its overall purpose.

The Board typically meets four times a year, for approximately two hours. It is anticipated that the chair will be prepared to perform the role for up to five years.

Timeline & process:

To register your interest in this vacancy, please:

  • Provide by e-mail a copy of your resume with a covering Expression of Interest letter by 31 August 2018 to Dan Webb at TDBC: d.webb@tauntondeane.gov.uk.
  • Your Expression of Interest letter should outline the following:
    • What qualities, experience / skills you would bring to the role of Chair of the Taunton Strategic Advisory Board, if appointed
    • A brief description of your association with Taunton and your relevant business connections
    • Please clearly indicate where you see you can inspire and lead the Board and its agenda to shape Taunton’s long-term development and success as a growing, sustainable, healthy and prosperous Garden Town for current and future generations
  • A small panel comprising TDBC, plus two other members of the Advisory Board, will consider expressions of interest, hold interviews and decide on the most suitable candidate.
  • The aim is to recruit the new chair over the summer period.

Should you have any queries or wish to have an informal chat about the TSAB, please contact Dan Webb on 01823 219457, or e-mail d.webb@tauntondeane.gov.uk

High tech parking signs unveiled

THE first Variable Message Signing (VMS) boards are being unveiled in Taunton as work on changing the parking regime in key town centre car parks moves forward.

The signs are being unveiled by Taunton Deane Borough Council, working in partnership with Somerset County Council and contractors SWARCO and WSP.

The council is introducing pay on exit and VMS in seven central car parks as it invests £1.2m to make it easier for people to find vacant parking slots – and to make a payment when they leave, rather than when they arrive. VMS will also be linked to Taunton’s two park & ride sites.

Pay on exit will be introduced in the following car parks: Orchard, High Street, Tangier, Canon Street, Wood Street, Castle Street and Enfield. The changes, being introduced car park by car park to minimise disruption, are planned to be completed in August.

Cllr John Williams, Leader of the council, said: “We committed £1.2m to implementing this initiative to make life a little easier for the motorist and to underline our commitment to Taunton Deane’s economy.

“The new electronic signs will help people find where space is available in some of our busiest car parks while pay on exit means they pay for the time they have parked, rather than pay for time they think they might need.

“This has long been an aspiration for the council and I am delighted to see it come to fruition.”

Cllr Roger Habgood, Executive member for planning policy and transportation, added: “Taunton is growing and, as a Garden Town, we don’t want to see people having to drive around, wasting fuel, time and adding to pollution, in the search for a parking spot.”

Cllr Mark Edwards, Executive member for business, said: “Our traders have been supportive of this new system as it will make life easier for visitors, shoppers and those who do business in Taunton. This will remove the stress of having to return to the car in their allocated time, and allow shoppers to enjoy their experience in Taunton.

“I am grateful for the support we have received from our local businesses and from the partners we have worked with throughout.”

Cllr John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “This project has been an excellent example of collaborative working between two authorities and I’m pleased to see it going live. VMS signs are a welcome addition to the town and should help prevent wasted journeys by directly guiding drivers to available parking spaces.”

The first sign was unveiled in Priorswood Road, Taunton, on the inbound approach, and is one of nine to be provided in key locations, signposting drivers to the seven pay-on-exit car parks and the two park and ride sites.

Coal Orchard application

TAUNTON Deane Borough Council has received a detailed planning application for development on land at Coal Orchard in Taunton.

The application is for a mix of uses including restaurants on the waterfront, retail units, gym, apartments all complemented by public space allowing access to the river.

The site already has outline consent so this application will complete the planning process providing more detail to the earlier, outline application. If granted this will allow works to get under way in early 2019.

This application forms the first phase in the development of the Coal Orchard site. This will be complemented by a refurbishment of the Brewhouse which together will create a new place on the river with culture at its heart.

The applicant is the council`s own business development team working in partnership with Mace. They have submitted a range of supporting documents.

The application – reference number 38/18/0185 – is available for inspection at Taunton Deane Borough Council’s offices in Belvedere Road, Taunton, and online at www.tauntondeane.gov.uk

The public has until Friday June 22 to comment on the application – this can be done by letter, by email or online at www.tauntondeane.gov.uk

CRICKET WORLD CUP 2019 FIXTURES ARE RELEASED

EXCITEMENT BUILDS AS ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP 2019 FIXTURES ARE RELEASED

• England to open ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 at The Oval against South Africa on 30 May
• Lord’s will host a record 5th ICC Cricket World Cup final on 14 July
• India will take on rivals Pakistan at Old Trafford on 16 June
• England play five time and current World Cup champions Australia at Lord’s on 25 June

Somerset has been awarded three games at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 as the tournament returns to England and Wales next year.
The opening fixture at Taunton will be played under the soon to be installed floodlights when Afghanistan face New Zealand on Saturday 8th June 2019. The second fixture will be highly anticipated by all when the current champions face the winners of the Champions Trophy with Pakistan v Australia on Wednesday 12th June 2019. Finally, Taunton will host Bangladesh v West Indies on Monday 17th June 2019.
England will play the opening match of the ICC Cricket World Cup England and Wales 2019 at The Oval against South Africa on 30 May 2019.
The tournament will culminate in a record fifth final at a packed Lord’s Cricket Ground – the Home of Cricket – on 14 July 2019.
Edgbaston and Old Trafford will host semi-finals on 9 and 11 July, respectively and Old Trafford will host the much-anticipated India v Pakistan match on 16 June 2019.
In total, 11 venues will be used for the 12th edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup. Lord’s and The Oval will be used in London, in addition to Edgbaston, Old Trafford, Bristol County Ground, Cardiff Wales Stadium, The Riverside, Headingley, Hampshire Bowl, Trent Bridge and The County Ground, Taunton.
The ECB was awarded the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in 2006 following its withdrawal from the bidding to host the 2015 World Cup. This is the first time that a ICC Cricket World Cup has been held in the UK since 1999. ECB hosted the first three ICC Cricket World Cup tournaments in 1975, 1979 and 1983.
Somerset CEO Andrew Cornish is delighted with our fixtures: “Somerset County Cricket Club are honoured to be a host venue for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Today’s announcement of the finalised fixtures brings in to sharp focus exactly what cricket fans can expect to enjoy in June next year.
“To open our fixtures with a day/night game will be outstanding. An international match under lights featuring the team who finished as runners up in the last tournament is the perfect way for us to showcase what Taunton has to offer.
“To be able to follow that fixture with a clash between the current World Champions and the Champions Trophy holders is a genuine feather in the cap for us.
“Given our links to the West Indies over the years, I am sure that their visit will also prove to be hugely popular with cricket fans in the region and, of course, further afield.
“We saw in 2017 with our IT20 that the appetite for International cricket here in the South West is enormous. That match proved to be of huge benefit to the local economy as a whole and it is excellent news for the whole region that these matches will be held in Taunton next summer.
“I am in no doubt that these matches will be hugely memorable for everyone who attends, and we are delighted to be part of what promises to be a genuine festival of cricket.”
Cllr Mark Edwards, Deputy Leader of Taunton Deane Borough Council, said: “It’s brilliant to be part of all the cricket celebrations for next year’s Cricket World Cup. Sports fans can be assured of a very warm welcome and we hope they enjoy visiting this beautiful part of the world. The cricket ground itself is in the heart of the town – a wonderful setting for a world competition.”
Steve Elworthy, the ECB Tournament Director, added: ‘‘Today’s announcement of the schedule is another important moment in the build-up to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 – the moment that the tournament comes to life for teams and cricket lovers across the world. This is the flagship event in one day cricket.
“There are some fantastic head to head fixtures – England v Australia at Lord’s and India v Pakistan at Old Trafford as well as England v India at Edgbaston spring to mind. As organisers we can promise the teams and fans we will work hard to provide the perfect stage for this event.
“Because of the UK’s diverse population, every competing team will also be guaranteed a ‘home crowd’ every time they play at some of the most iconic cricket grounds in the world.
“The Cricket World Cup is the 3rd most watched global event and has huge interest and appeal amongst cricket fans. Our ambition is to grow the game and deliver the greatest ever cricket celebration and with that in mind we have very carefully developed our ticket prices. The prices have been tested with thousands of fans over the last 6 months, we have used external experts and consulted widely to ensure that they are good value vs other global sporting events. The prices balance accessibility with delivering the investment required to deliver a world class event. All revenue is invested back in the game to grow cricket. Notably, we have will offer:

• 80,000+ tickets at £20 (over half of the group stage matches)
• 200,000+ tickets at £50 or less
• Child tickets at every match, starting from £6
• Family of 4 for £52

After facing South Africa at The Oval, England will then play ICC Champions Trophy 2017 winners Pakistan at Nottingham on 3 June, Bangladesh at Cardiff on 8 June, the Windies at Southampton 14 June and Afghanistan at Old Trafford on 18 June.
In the all-play-all 10-team format, England will conclude their first-round matches against the 1996 champions Sri Lanka at Headingley on 21 June, then Australia at Lord’s on 25 June, India at Edgbaston on 30 June and New Zealand at Durham on 3 July.
Reigning champions Australia start against qualifiers Afghanistan at Bristol in a day/night fixture on 1 June, the ICC Champions Trophy holders Pakistan will play the 1975 and 1979 ICC Cricket World Cup winners West Indies on 31 May at Trent Bridge in their first fixture while India’s opening game is against South Africa on 5 June at Southampton.
The full schedule can be accessed here.
Fans will have the opportunity to be the first to apply for tickets during the Cricket Family Ballot, which opens at 10AM on Tuesday 8 May.
Members of the Cricket Family can pre-register their accounts from Tuesday 1 May in preparation for the ballot, which will remain open until 8pm on Friday 1 June.
Those eligible for the Cricket Family Ballot will receive a specific URL via email in the coming few days.
Ticket prices for each ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 fixture can be found here
Details about Hospitality packages will be released later this summer on cricketworldcup.com
Register to be part of the Cricket Family Ballot by signing up here ahead of 8 May.

Council proposes to support YMCA project

Taunton Deane Borough Council is poised to add its support to a scheme to transform an empty eyesore into a multi-purpose venue with a host of economic and social benefits.

Somerset Coast YMCA plans to turn the vacant Great Western Hotel at Taunton railway station into a buzzing boutique hotel, a base for new, start-up businesses, café/restaurant, conference and networking space – all linked to creating training and skills for young people.

The YMCA has a track record in social enterprises – The Beach Hotel in Minehead and Barley Wood House in Wrington, near Bristol – creating live training for people while delivering a financially sound business.

The Borough Council is planning to support the Great Western Hotel project by providing a £675,000 secured capital loan that will be repaid over 25 years. Other funding towards the enterprise has been secured by the YMCA, including £500,000 from the Hinkley Point C Community Impact Mitigation (CIM) fund, £135,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £106,000 from the Rail Heritage Trust.

Key elements of the project include:

Creation of a premises hosting a training and skills partnership delivering 10 new jobs, 12 apprenticeships, 10 traineeships and many volunteering opportunities
The hotel will be transformed from a currently vacant office space to a modern hotel attracting new customers to Taunton and its surrounds, and specifically supporting the business community
Creation of 15 boutique hotel rooms
Café/restaurant, conference space which can accommodate 125 and broader meeting and collaboration space. This element will be based in the ground floor being branded as “The Exchange”
Business hub, co-working spaces and Incubator units situated in the basement and ground floor areas. These spaces will be let flexibly and allow for short term and long term arrangements. The space will offer superfast broadband, a hosted reception and a series of weekly events for those using the spaces and be branded as “the Platform”
Councillor Mark Edwards, Deputy Leader of the council with responsibility for business development, said: “The Great Western Hotel is in a key position at the entrance to Taunton railway station – a real gateway into our county town.

“Once redeveloped, the new station entrance will open out opposite the building. The Great Western Hotel will therefore be a highly visible presence for those coming to Taunton. The redevelopment of this building is closely linked to our wider Taunton regeneration plans while providing hands-on training opportunities.

“It’s a brilliant way of providing a space where businesses can set up, collaborate and thrive. That’s exactly what the business community has told us is needed in Taunton.

“I hope that we, as a council, will support the proposal for a commercially-based loan to help enable this exciting and innovative project become a reality. Somerset Coast YMCA has worked immensely hard to secure a range of funding to breathe new life into this important site.”

The proposal for the loan will be considered by the council’s corporate scrutiny committee on 26 April 2018. Members’ views will then be fed into the decision-making process.

PROGRESS FOR FIREPOOL AS PLANNING CONSENT IS GRANTED

Taunton’s Town Centre regeneration took a major step forward yesterday, when the revised outline plans for the £105m scheme to transform the Firepool site were approved by Taunton Deane Borough Council’s Planning Committee (14 March 2018).

Firepool is an integral part of the wider economic regeneration plans for Taunton with the potential to create in excess of 1,700 jobs as well as providing office, hotel and residential accommodation and supporting waterfront leisure and retail outlets. The recent planning consent follows many months of detailed consultations between lead developer, St. Modwen, and relevant statutory consultees.

Commenting on this landmark decision, Pete Davies, Commercial Director for St. Modwen, said:
“As a regional and national developer with a strong track record in creating sustainable new communities, we are continually striving to transform places to create better futures. This positive outline planning decision will now enable us to work alongside Taunton Deane Borough Council to provide one of the largest mixed-use schemes in the South West and a lasting legacy for the town.”

Cllr Mark Edwards, Deputy Leader of Taunton Deane Borough Council and responsible for business development, said:
“We have a proud history – but we are looking to a prouder future. This scheme to transform Firepool will make the most of our superb riverside environment and create a regional destination for retail, business, leisure and culture for generations to come. It will include high quality pedestrian and cycle links between the railway station and Coal Orchard, and from there into the town centre. This reinforces much improved access to these areas which are themselves coming forward for regeneration as part of our wider Taunton Garden Town Strategy.”

Cllr John Williams, Leader of the Council, added:
“I know how much people want to see this largely derelict site developed. It is key to our overall Garden Town strategy that puts the River Tone back at the heart of the town and, most importantly, will provide new jobs and facilities for our residents. It will also cement our place as a regional centre with excellent links to London and beyond. Taunton is one of the fastest growing towns in the region, the only Garden Town in the South West and has the advantage of excellent road and rail connections, top quality schools and further education, first class medical facilities, great urban open spaces and superb countryside and coast on its doorstep. We need to be competitive and provide high quality facilities to attract continued inward investment and satisfy the needs of its growing population and the mix of uses proposed achieves just that.”

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