Feedback on Economic Prosperity

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Feedback on Economic Prosperity

What people told us about the aim for economic prosperity.

Outcome: Flourishing local enterprise, increasing jobs and skills

More than 9 out of 10 respondents agreed with the action for stimulating new inward investment, events that will attract visitors and skills training and the creation of apprenticeships and workplace opportunities.

Nearly 9 out of 10 respondents agreed with the action on supporting new commercial development.

7 out of 10 public respondents agreed with the action on new employment sites and business premises at NE Bexhill and 3 out of 10 disagreed.  Local businesses and organisations were almost without exception in agreement.

The most selected highest priority was for skills training.  This attracted strong agreement from local businesses and organisations.  It was also selected as the highest priority by more than one third of the public respondents.

In second place for selection as a priority was new inward investment, (e.g. 3 out of 10 public respondents).  This was followed by events (e.g. 1 in 5 public respondents).  And 1 in 10 public respondents supported new commercial development and only 4% found NE Bexhill to be a priority.

Most suggested projects/additions are:

  • Promoting businesses and schools getting together and doing more for soft skills training for employment, apprenticeships (including businesses having apprenticeship partnerships) and identifying how more young people can come out of schools fit for employment.  Specific mention of manufacturing and construction skills and developing entrepreneurialism in young people.
  • Supporting SMEs with networking opportunities for small businesses and opportunities for partnerships of town centre businesses to do things like joint purchasing, reduction in business rates.
  • Create more sites/premises for businesses by firstly surveying and identifying all possible brown sites, considering Robertsbridge Mill, Sawmills at Sedlescombe, NE Bexhill, Brookland Road in Rye, creating a range of premises particularly for start-up businesses and innovative, creative, higher paying employers such as technology, encouraging larger businesses/employers.
  • Considering environment in all new business developments and promoting development of environmentally friendly such as in tourism.
  • Activity that supports the new ways of working such as working from home with occasional commuting.
  • Include young people in future events and planning.

 

Outcome:  Town centre improvement

More than 9 out of 10 respondents agreed with all of the actions.

6 out of 10 public respondents prioritised 'revitalising the commercial, retain and evening economy' over the other actions.  This was even more supported by local businesses and organisations.  One in four people selected 'promoting Bexhill, Battle and Rye as places to visit'.  Less than 2 in 10 people selected 'reducing anti-social behaviour in public places' as their priority action. Note extensive comments elsewhere that most people feel safe living in Rother, with one or two exceptions.

Suggested additional projects were:

  • Develop, in partnership, town centre strategies for Battle and Rye and possibly Robertsbridge
  • Farmers market support
  • Maintain historic buildings and village greens
  • Grants for more flats over shops
  • Most of the other suggestions are specific to Bexhill, only new suggestions are included and not anything that is already covered in the Bexhill Town Centre Strategy.
  • Refurbishment of Marina
  • Amendments to text
  • Traffic management review
  • Charging for on street car parking and reducing charges in car parks

 

Outcome:  Improvement of road, rail, bus and broadband networks

More than 95% of the public agreed with the actions 'A21 improvements', 'rail and bus improvements', 'safer roads' and 'superfast broadband'.

8 out of 10 agreed with a rail halt at Glyne Gap.

Nearly two thirds of the public agreed with the Bexhill Hastings link road and just over one third did not agree.

All businesses and local organisations agreed with all the actions except one disagreed with the link road.  The strongest agreement was for rail and bus improvements.

Priority for the actions was split.  The most supported actions for top priority are superfast broadband, rail and bus and the A21 corridor.

Suggested additional projects were:

  • Addressing empty and derelict sites
  • More long term but affordable parking in Rye
  • Cycling studies, more cycling routes, development of a destination cycle route "the 1066 Cycle Route" Pevensey to Hastings
  • Reduce overcrowding on buses and trains at peak times, including more carriages
  • Improve bus service to rural villages, particularly for workers who don't work 9-5
  • Faster rail service to London, Brighton, Ashford, etc.  Support HS1 and Javelin, through partnership working.
  • Reduce car parking charge in DLWP car park when parking for over 3 hours, to encourage use
  • Improve road surfaces
  • Improve A259, A27 and the east-west routes, more dual carriageway, bypass for Little Common, improve roads Brighton to Dover
  • Public transport that produces minimal pollution
  • Better, more car parking at railway stations to encourage rail use
  • 20mph speed limits, limit speed through road design and not fines, and reduce street furniture/signs
  • Villages to get superfast broadband first
  • Better communication to the elderly on local transport
  • Remove vehicles from pavements to improve safety and encourage people to walk.
  • More road safety campaigns
  • All new developments to include cycle paths, walking and similar routes through them
  • Work with employers and public transport operators to develop discounts for travelling to work on public transport
  • Build closer links with Gatwick Airport, one of the area's advantages, need to make more of it.
  • Support expansion of Lydd Airport
  • Active Transport should be called Active Travel, or deleted altogether as not our project
  • Glyne Gap project should be Marsh Link instead

 

Outcome:  Prosperity Through Sustainable Tourism

98% public agreement with the action 'marketing 1066 country', which was the most popularly selected for highest priority for the public but not for local businesses and organisations

96% public agreement with 'events for visitors', this was the second most popular top priority by public and was the most popular top priority by businesses and organisations.

3 out of 4 of the public agreed with championing the aspirations of DLWP, 1 in 4 did not, businesses and local organisations were in agreement.

7 out of 10 supported the Camber Masterplan as a premier tourist destination but 3 out of 10 did not, very few of the public thought this was a priority area and no businesses found this to be a priority area.

Suggested Additional Projects were:

  • Battle Greenway
  • Romney Marshes Sustainable Access Strategy
  • Tourism supporting local creative and craft activities
  • Promote lesser known coastal areas
  • Development and use of Egerton Park
  • More accommodation, quality hotel, preferably in town centre
  • Tourist Information Centre in Bexhill, preferably in DLWP
  • Develop small and medium sized conference facilities in Bexhill
  • Work with South Downs National Park
  • Provide outstanding national facilities for one selected sport
  • Thassolosophy centre
  • Naturism beach
  • Sustainable events in Bexhill
  • Branding of East Sussex for Inward Investment
  • Improve 1066 marketing, in Rother as well as promoting Bexhill and Battle
  • Work with other events in the area, e.g. Hastings, Wealden, and put in events when there is a gap in the calendar.

 

Outcome: Manage Spatial Development Through Local Development Framework

More than 9 out of 10 people agree with the actions 'sustainable economic development' and 'more community engagement'.

Just under 7 out of 10 agree with 'more flexible and user-friendly planning arrangements'.  3 out of 10 disagree.

More than half of all respondents put 'more community engagement' as their top priority.  4 out of 10 selected economic development.  Only 4% selected planning arrangements as a top priority.

We had some comments that there was a lot of jargon and this section was not understandable to some people.

Most of the comments on economic development are covered under other sections (the aim is repeated with an action that says exactly the same thing).  Maybe this is why this section has fewer comments than others.

Suggested Projects were:

  • Look again at Rye Marina
  • Considerable debate over whether developments should only be where there is infrastructure already and when there should be attention paid to creating more infrastructure when creating the development.
  • Brownfield sites developed
  • Beeching Road (already in Bexhill Town Centre Strategy)
  • Tidy up Rye Harbour approach
  • Sustainable holiday and tourism accommodation
  • Other sites from Local Plan
  • Partnership working to source funding for regeneration projects
  • Site allocations project
  • High Weald Management Plan, partnership support in planning how to protect and develop the High Weald area.
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