A Regeneration Programme update

Yesterday evening, Clare Chester, the Regeneration Lead for Havant Borough Council and East Hants District Council, presented an update on progress of the Regeneration Programme to the Operations and Place Shaping Board of Havant Borough Council.

We’ve been here before, of course, so we were keen to see just how much progress has been made since Clare came aboard. Back in March 2019 when the Cabinet approved the delivery plan for the Plaza car park development, we did rather question the level of detail in the plan. That was published twenty months ago and based on the content, we should by now have seen significant progress on the Plaza car park site.

Here’s Clare’s presentation. A word of warning, it’s a fine example of the communication style associated with the ‘Shaping our Future’ initiative and the link at the foot of that post might be useful while you’re listening. (Skip on to the 24 minute mark if you just want to see the presentation of the ‘new’ ‘Delivery Plan’, but don’t build your hopes up too high)

Fortunately, the technology held up for Clare’s presentation, and for much of the next half hour of questions from the board it was pretty reliable until gremlins started to creep in on Councillor Lloyd’s BT line. If you can’t spare the time to listen to the whole 36 minutes, dip in and out of the schedule using the guide printed below the video.

Questions from the Operations and Place Shaping Board.
1:30How much delay has there been to these projects? At what point will we be able to see whether this is a viable programme?
3:36How big is your team Clare? (It’s tough counting as far as three and a half…)
4:00“A nice town in Surrey” (That will be Addlestone then)
5:32Brockhampton West – What is the plan for this site?
(Note that the Cabinet Paper referred to can be seen here.)
8:00Questions on status of Waterlooville in the plan
14:00“I’m finding this a bit hard to get hold of” “Where’s the detail?”
16:54Questions about the £4m purchase of the Meridian Centre a year ago
21:00“Mood music” – There’ll be jam tomorrow…” and “Build Back Better” gets quoted!
22:10Beryl Francis questions funding for Leigh Park
25:00West Beach and the impact of coastal erosion, and the Billy trail
26:00(Interruption while Chairman finds her headphones…..)
27:15Meeting restarts… West Beach and Billy Trail continues
29:54Brockhampton West – Intention was that the money raised from sale of the site would be ring-fenced for Regeneration. Is this still the case?
31:14What does a ‘Watching brief on Waterlooville’ actually mean?
32:15Plaza car park – possible partnership with Brick by Brick?
34:09It all goes rather pear shaped for Cllr Lloyd….
34:45And then we talk about “green roofs and Singapore”…

After a short while, the meeting resumes, picking up where it left off but with Cllr Howard voted into the chair to stand in for Cllr. Lloyd, who was still missing in action so to speak.

0:00Meeting resumes, a new temporary chairman is voted in.
2:45Clare continues to answers the questions
5:00Councillor Lloyd reappears and proposes the motion “We would meet again in a quarter, in February, and at that meeting we would be shown the Development Plan and the Key Performance Indicators on each major project”
6:40Voting starts….
7:30Motion passed – Unanimous
8:00Meeting closed.

So there we have it, a lost opportunity to actually press for answers for some of the more searching questions. The Regeneration Programme can has just been kicked another three months down the road.

As far as Key Performance Indicators go, some of the basics wouldn’t go amiss:

  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Programme and Project Milestones
  • Key external dependencies
  • Key project dependencies
  • Costs – Planned vs Actual
  • Schedule dates – Planned vs Actual
  • Resource usage – Planned vs Actual
  • Risk Log
  • Issue Log

We could go on but we doubt that anybody is listening.

While the Regeneration Programme appears to be contemplating its navel, the bulldozers appear to be preparing to ‘regenerate’ parts of East Street and The Pallant. The left hand and the right hand seem to have little connection.