Five major projects promised by BCP FuturePlaces for the new year
THE chairman of the BCP Council’s independent regeneration company has promised details of five major projects in the new year.
BCP FuturePlaces has been criticized for its apparent lack of progress and doubts over whether it is likely to offer a return on the council’s £8million operating loan.
Speaker Lord Bob Kerslake, the former head of the civil service, pledged more openness and consultation in an address to councilors on Thursday evening.
He said he understands the criticisms which include a lack of public openness about published meeting minutes and the public having seen no business case since the company was founded last year.
He confirmed that the deputy leader of the PCO council, Philip Broadhead, had now left the board and said that once other directors were found, the leader of the council, Drew Mellor, would also leave his position. position within the company.
“There’s huge potential in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, huge opportunities, it’s already a great place…but it could do better,” he told the Oversight and Review Board of the place.
“We need to improve some buildings and provide more housing, accessible to people with different incomes.”
He said the guidance needed for such projects was hard to come by for council staff, who also had other jobs to do.
“Last year for FuturePlaces was a year of set-up – our goal is to present four or five drafts for business case approval to cabinet in January,” he said, adding that he hoped the business would become something everyone valued and worth the expense.
He said the £8million loan facility offered to the company by the council had not been spent and he did not intend all of it to be.
“We intend to recover this cost through the development of programs and the added value they produce,” he said.
Lord Kerslake proposed to hold cross-party meetings every three months.
He said a revised overall business plan should be produced by February or March.
Cllr Andy Hadley pleaded for all interested councilors to get involved, not just ward councilors where projects were planned.
He also called for finding uses for the sites while waiting for the final development projects to be finalized.
Cllr Mohan Iyengar welcomed the commitment to greater transparency, warning that meetings may need to be more frequent than quarterly once programs start to emerge.