At the end of our previous post on the external consultancy which Havant Borough Council’s Regeneration team have been paying for, we asked this question:
“Which local consulting organisation boasted to its prospective clients in 2019 that it had produced a masterplan and investment approach aimed at revitalising and re-positioning the town centre of Havant?“
The answer is here:
They’re clearly a bright bunch of people who “combine extensive public sector knowledge and understanding with private sector pace and ingenuity.” They “provide a cost-effective service” by working “in collaboration with clients and their partners”.
Good stuff eh?
With their “internal dedicated team members” that work alongside their “framework of professionals and technical experts” they are able to to provide a service that fully understands local authority cultures and issues and is adept at addressing the concerns of local communities whilst maintaining a private sector drive and ingenuity that ensures they get things done.
Their clients clearly are:
Helen Briggs, CEO of Rutland County Council – “RegenCo has been an absolute pleasure to work with because of their day-to-day experience and acute understanding of local authority and community issues and their combination of private sector drive and efficiency with public service ethos.”
Julian McLaughlin, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Authority – “the flexibility and realism being shown by RegenCo is being matched with their high quality of staff, delivery in a forward-looking style and always with a smile.”
It’s worth taking a look at their brochure, click on the image below:
Note the copyright date on the brochure – 2019. EHDC-RegenCo were already trumpeting their achievement at producing a “masterplan aimed at revitalising and re-positioning the town centre of Havant” two years ago. We’d all like to see it please! Perhaps EHDC-RegenCo could also explain what they think the difference is between a Vision, a Masterplan and a Delivery Plan? It seems that our understandings differ.
While we always knew that we had, at best, only 50% of the attention of the HBC/EHDC staff, most of whom are now employed by East Hants District Council, it now seems that the percentage is smaller. The HBC Director for Regeneration and Place, and some of his team are clearly expending a proportion of their effort on selling their services to other councils up and down the country to help fund and maintain a critical mass of skills.
We understand HBC’s need to collaborate with neighbouring authorities and would be the first to applaud their achievements with Coastal Partners, who under Simon Jenkins’ executive leadership already lead critically important work with neighbouring councils at Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport. If the HBC/EHDC/RegenCo team put a fraction of the effort into external stakeholder engagement that Coastal Partners do, we’d be rather more sympathetic.
We also understand the need to share staff and services across the two councils, HBC and EHDC, but we are increasingly concerned that the Regeneration effort, already hampered by the lack of synergy between the communities served by HBC and EHDC, is also being watered down by the need to sell their services.
This is the most positive spin we can put on explaining why this is the sum total of the progress we’ve seen for Havant Town Regeneration, despite a masterplan clearly existing since 2019?
If this concerns you, contact your elected councillors and ask them to step up the level of scrutiny they undertake on your behalf.