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Barry regeneration survives wellbeing act audit

Words: Roger Milne
Barry / Shutterstock_1083544193

A Wales Audit Office assessment highlights shortcomings in the Vale of Glamorgan’s regeneration work in Barry – but notes that it is meeting the spirit if not the full requirements of the Well-being of Future Generations Act.

A pioneering report concluded that although the council has made progress in addressing housing demand, it “recognised the need to apply longer-term considerations to support long-term sustainability of communities”.

The Welsh watchdog also said the council should consider “wider societal trends to inform its plans” and suggested that there should be an opportunity to review the sustainability of its long-term strategy for economic regeneration.

In addition, it pointed out issues with preventative measures to curb further economic decline. The report noted that “different people had different views on what they are trying to prevent across the organisation, and the root causes of problems”.

But the review made it clear that much of the council’s work met the provisions of the act. The Audit Office noted “significant progress in improving the supply and quality of housing and transport infrastructure, which has the potential to provide longer-term benefits for local communities”.

It also praised the use of data to support long-term thinking and agreed the sustainable development principle had been applied in the local development plan.

A Vale of Glamorgan Council spokesperson said: “The report in question relates to the Well-being of Future Generations Act, not the sustainable development principle, and contained a number of positive conclusions as far as the council is concerned.

“It recognised that regeneration work in Barry was in keeping with the spirit of the act, while also highlighting some areas for improvement.

“As always, we fully take on board the report findings, but would point out that the majority of the regeneration activities reviewed began long before the implementation of the act in 2015.”

Image credit | Shutterstock