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Local Government Policies

Local Government Policies

How do local government policies affect regeneration? Local interest groups have their role to play and urbanisation is a major factor as well. In urban areas and rural areas, there are different strategies for regeneration, such as retail-led plans in Stratford, London, compared to a focus on outdoor and leisure tourism in Wales. Let's delve into how local area developments are dependent on local government policies, in the hope that we can prevent any Negative Impacts of Regeneration. Keep on reading to learn more about the local government environmental policy, local government policy making and more.

List of local government policies

There are a number of policies that are important in the context of regenerationin particular, policies that allow for the development of spaces.

Planning permission is a formal document issued by the local council that allows development on a particular site. "Planning gain" can be used to act as leverage to get permission to build a larger-scale project (for instance, new private homes), if the developer provides a certain amount of affordable housing or makes improvements to roads or parks in the area.

Planning laws are based on the policies of the "development plan" of national interest. However, this could become problematic when activities such as fracking for shale gas, quarrying, or building new roads could be considered when usually they would not be allowed.

Local government environmental policy

Some policies specifically pertain to the environment, namely conservation areas and greenbelt lands.

Conservation areas are protected areas due to architectural and historical importance or environmental conservation. National parks have strict planning regulations to preserve the land, however, there are some that have small scale developments and commercial schemes.

Greenbelt land is an area surrounding larger cities in which building is prohibited. It is a protected green area which is usually farmland.

Local government policy making

When it comes to major regeneration projects, it is the local council's job to work with local interest groups and lead the projects to success. There are sometimes disagreements such as local businesses striving for economic growth that lead to demolishing old buildings and the local residents have a sentimental attachment towards the historic buildings which develops into a campaign to save them.

State and local government politics and public policies

In 2004, a Parliamentary Select Committee wrote a report about the use of historic buildings as a foundation for regeneration projects as they reinforce a sense of community, contribute to the local economy and can act as a catalyst for improvements of a wider area. Instead of treating them as artefacts, relics of a bygone age, new uses should be housed by the building with sensitive adaptations.1

Case study - Aylesbury

The Waterside redevelopment project is a case study of regeneration and depicts some of the conflicting factors that can occur during the process. This development project was led by Aylesbury Vale District Council in 2003. It was a canal basin regeneration scheme to replace the Bucks Herald Printing Press, former police stations and old county offices. There were some delays as the Environment Agency pointed out the contamination of the land which used to be a coal-fired power station and an oil depot.

Local Government Policies, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, StudySmarterFigure 1: A statue of Ronnie Barker looks at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Daniels, Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA-2.0

The development started with the demolition of a 1960s car park, the construction of the 47 million pound, Waterside Theatre and the Aylesbury campus of the first tertiary education provider, Bucks New University. There have been chain restaurants such as Nando's and Gourmet Burger Kitchen moving to the development. There was a 2.2 percent increase in footfall since 2013 after the changes. The plans for more retail shops and restaurants to open have been met with resistance from other established businesses in the town center.There has been controversy over some of the proposed plans to demolish some of the town's historic buildings such as the old County Hall and offices, police station and Judge's lodging. Due to the campaigns by local organisations such as Aylesbury Society and the Grade 2 listings of the Court Buildings and Judge's Lodging, the local council agreed to preserve the buildings and convert them into restaurants and hotels. Now the plans for regeneration focus on the surrounding landscape to better pedestrian and transport access.

Local government policies on partnerships

Local governments are instrumental in encouraging innovation and investment with both companies within the UK and overseas companies. Local councils work with the major stakeholders in the area to create a range of incentives to attract and sustain companies that may raise the reputation of the town. This partnership between the public and private sectors has helped with regeneration.

For these partnerships to work, there are players who must work together.

Chambers of commerce are organisations that represent business and industry in a local area and work with both the local and national governments to invest in infrastructure, education and skills training. Conversely, trade unions or labour unions represent the workers within industries. Unions try to ensure workers have fair pay and safe working conditions. Their support is vital to companies who want a good relationship with their workers. Educational establishments, such as trade schools or universities, produce skilled workers for businesses and as such are important key partners.

Additionally, as regeneration deals with change, there are local groups such as environmental groups, historical preservation societies, and wildlife groups that need to be included so that any change does not cause unintended negative consequences locally.

Local government roles and responsibilities for education policy and practice

Cities and towns have worked with major universities such as Cambridge, to commercialise research by providing infrastructure for both established technology companies and innovative start-ups with pioneering new research. Investment towards the various support ranging from telecommunications, power supply, intellectual property law, and shared banking services are made. The focus has been on high-tech and medical technology companies that thrived even through the 2008 recession, examples being Claritest and Spectral Edge in the Norwich Research Park.2

Case study - Cambridge Science Park

Cambridge University has focused on utilising its scientific expertise to encourage growth across the area. Innovation hubs such as Cambridge Science Park and St John's Innovation Centre house start-up companies and large TNCs such as Toshiba, Microsoft and AstraZeneca as well as the Royal Society of Chemistry so as to benefit from the technological expertise that the university can provide.

Reacting to this, Oxford (which didn't have the infrastructure to provide an environment to support such companies and businesses), started to take a much larger role in local decision-making. Housing to accommodate the potential workers were built and Oxford Science Park and Begbroke Science Park were constructed on the outskirts of the city to work with Oxford University.

Oxford Science Park houses start-up bioscience and computer hard and software companies. In 2014, Oxford City Deal confirmed a 30 million pound Government commitment towards scientific research.3 Through this, a part of the Innovation Accelerator at Begbroke Science Park was funded. This encouraged high-tech, medical and aerospace engineering alongside computing and robotics.

The return of investments into these hubs can be seen in the town centre as the 1960s Westgate car park is being replaced by a 500 million pound shopping centre and a second railway line to London was constructed. Also, the first commercial flights starting from Oxford airport to Edinburgh in 2016, shows that it has become an important destination.

Local government policies and contemporary regeneration strategies

Regeneration strategies are designed to attract business investment and workers from many different places to both create new vibrancy and expand upon the existing strengths of an area.

Urban areas

Within urban areas, a great emphasis may be placed on personal shopping, or retail. Major shopping facilities, such as Westfield in Stratford or Meadowhall in Sheffield, are designed to attract visitors who are interested in retail.

Some urban sites enshrine historical events or experiences that are unique to the city. Heritage tourism includes attractions such as Titanic Quarter in Belfast and Hartlepool's Maritime Experience. Similarly, some cities promote art and culture. Tourists may be attracted to artistic venues like the Baltic Art Gallery and Sage music center in Gateshead.

Many cities have professional sports teams. Sports can encourage retail spending and can generate local pride and fellowship. Some cities may even host national or international sporting events. For example, London hosted the 2012 Olympic Games and the 2002 Commonwealth Games took place in East Manchester.

Case study - Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

This case study shows the change that happened in an area of London that is seen as a successful redevelopment. After the Olympic and the Paralympic Games in 2012, the former Olympic Development Authority (ODA) began a comprehensive redevelopment of the Olympic Park. Engineering companies took the temporary venues to create new permanent infrastructures to make a lasting legacy of the Olympics. This site opened as Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2014.Local Government Policies, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, StudySmarterFigure 2: The Olympic Swimming Pool and the Abseil in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Kumar, Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA-4.0

Rural areas

There are many factors a local government must remember when considering regeneration in rural areas.

Media themes, including the influence of popular TV programmes such as Heartbeat in North York Moors or Poledark in Cornwall, can create tourist trails: people may want to visit these areas to connect with the vistas from their favorite series.

Rural areas offer the possibility for outdoor pursuits that are not always accessible in the city. This includes hiking, cycling, camping, or rock climbing; visiting unusual or unique natural landmarks or parks; or even wildlife viewing. In Wales, some old slate quarries have been converted to Zip World, a zip-lining facility.

Farms have also started to diversify their sources of income. Some private farms have shifted focus from food production to agritourisminviting people from urban areas to get a glimpse of farm life. Farms may host campsites, shops, or holiday cottages with the support of public funds.

Local Government Policies, Levant Mine, StudySmarter

Figure 3: Levant mine, a shooting spot for TV series Poledark in Cornwall, Nilfanion, Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA-4.0

Local Government Policies - Key takeaways

  • Local government policies reflect on the key roles that local interest groups play when making decisions in regeneration with various regeneration strategies specific to their needs.
  • There are particular local government policies that influence the development of spaces such as planning permission, greenbelt land and conservation areas.
  • How the local council works with local interest groups in preserving what they feel is important for the place is key to successful regeneration.
  • Local government policies are able to include partnerships with the private and public sectors. This can lead to developing sympathetic business environments as a strategy for regeneration.
  • Urban and rural regeneration strategies include retail-led plans, tourism, leisure and sport.

References

  1. The House of Commons - publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved from https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmselect/cmodpm/cmodpm.htm
  2. Norwich Research Park. Retrieved from https://www.norwichresearchpark.com/
  3. Oxford University Science Enterprise Centre opens for business. University of Oxford. Retrieved from https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2017-03-20-oxford-university-science-enterprise-centre-opens-business

Frequently Asked Questions about Local Government Policies

In the UK, there is a bill called the Localism Bill that sets a series of measures which has the potential to move the powers away from the central government and towards the local people. 

A policy in local government is guidelines to guide decisions and achieve rationale outcomes on a local scale. 

Social care, schools, housing and planning and waste collection are the 4 major responsibilities of the local government.

Through thorough existing policy analysis, clarifying what is to be achieved and a realistic delivery plan.

Final Local Government Policies Quiz

Question

What are local government policies?

Show answer

Answer

Local government policies reflects on the key roles that local interest groups play when making decisions in regeneration with various regeneration strategies specific to their needs. 

Show question

Question

Give two examples of  local government policies.

Show answer

Answer

- Planning permission = is a formal document issued by the local council that allows development on a particular site. "Planning gain" can be used to act as a leverage to give permission to build on a larger scale project for instance of new private homes, if the developer would provide certain percentage of affordable housing or improvements on roads or parks around the area.


-Conservation areas = are protected areas due to architectural and historical importance or environmental conservation. National parks have strict planning regulations to preserve the land however, have small scale developments and commercial schemes.


-Greenbelt land = is a surrounding green area around larger cities in which building is prohibited. It is a protected green area which is usually farmland.


-Planning laws = are based on the policies of the "development plan" of national interest, however this could become problematic when activities such as fracking for shale gas, quarrying and building new roads could be considered when usually they would not be allowed.


Show question

Question

Who do the government have to work with in order to create local government policies?

Show answer

Answer

When it comes to major regeneration projects, it is the local council's job to work with local interest groups and lead the projects to success.

Show question

Question

How can historic buildings play a part in regeneration projects?

Show answer

Answer

In 2004, a Parliamentary Select Committee wrote a report about the use of historic buildings as a foundation for regeneration projects as they reinforce a sense of community, contribute to the local economy and can act as a catalyst for improvements of a wider area. Instead of treating them as artifacts, relics of a bygone age, new uses should be housed by the building with sensitive adaptations.

Show question

Question

Why did the plans for more retail shops and restaurants for the town centre of Aylesbury during the Waterside redevelopment project fall through?


Show answer

Answer

The plans for more retail shops and restaurants to open have been met with resistance from other established businesses in the town center. 

Show question

Question

What were some of the controversies during the Waterside redevelopment project?

Show answer

Answer

There has been controversy over some of the proposed plans to demolish some of the town's historic buildings such as the old County Hall and offices, police station and Judge's lodging. Due to the campaigns by local organisations such as Aylesbury Society and the Grade 2 listings of the Court Buildings and Judge's Lodging, the local council agreed to preserve the buildings and convert them into restaurants and hotels. Now the plans for regeneration focus on the surrounding landscape to better pedestrian and transport access.

Show question

Question

Who are the players within the public and private sector that work together for regeneration?


Show answer

Answer

- Chamber of Commerce = organisations that represent business and industry in a local are and work with both the local and national governments to invest in infrastructure, education and skills training.

-Trade unions = represent workers in industries over issues such as pay and working conditions. Their support is vital to companies who want good relationship with their workers.

-Education =  educational establishments produce skilled workers for business and are important key partners.

-Local groups = as regeneration deals with change, there are local groups such as environmental groups, historical preservation societies and wildlife groups that need to be included so that the change does not cause negative local consequences. 

Show question

Question

How have cities and towns worked with universities?


Show answer

Answer

Cities and towns have worked with major universities such as Cambridge, to commercialise research by providing infrastructure for both established technology companies and innovative start-ups with pioneering new research. 

Show question

Question

Give an example of cities and towns working with major universities.

Show answer

Answer

-Cambridge university has focused on utilising its scientific expertise to encourage growth across the area. Innovation hubs such as Cambridge Science Park and St John's Innovation Centre house start up companies and large TNCs such as Toshiba, Microsoft and AstraZeneca as well as the Royal Society of Chemistry so as to benefit from the technological expertise that the university can provide. 

-In 2014, Oxford City Deal confirmed a 30 million pound Government commitment towards scientific research.² Through this a part of the Innovation Accelerator at Begbroke Science Park was funded. This encouraged high-tech, medical and aerospace engineering alongside computing and robotics. 

Show question

Question

How did Oxford Science Park affect the city of Oxford?


Show answer

Answer

The return of investments into these hubs can be seen in the town center as the 1960s Westgate car park is being replaced by a 500 million pound shopping center and a second railway line to London was constructed. Also the first commercial flights starting from Oxford airport to Edinburgh from 2016, shows that it has become an important destination. 

Show question

Question

How does a retail facility help in regeneration?


Show answer

Answer

Major shopping facilities such as Westfield in Stratford or Meadowhall in Sheffield which are destinations to bring people to an area just as much a place to shop.

Show question

Question

How does sports and leisure help in regeneration?

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Answer

Regeneration can develop because of sporting events such as the London 2012 Olympics in Stratford or the 2002 Commonwealth Games in East Manchester. 

Show question

Question

How does heritage tourism help in regeneration?

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Answer

Historical sites and attractions such as Titanic Quarter in Belfast and Hartlepool's Maritime Experience bring people to the area.

Show question

Question

How did the Olympic and the Paralympic Games in 2012 lead to regeneration in London?

Show answer

Answer

After the Olympic and the Paralympic Games in 2012, the former Olympic Development Authority (ODA) began a comprehensive redevelopment of the Olympic Park. Engineering companies took the temporary venues to create new permanent infrastructures to make a lasting legacy of the Olympics. This site opened as Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2014.

Show question

Question

Give examples of regeneration in rural areas.


Show answer

Answer

- Media themes = Influences of popular TV programs such as Heartbeat in North York Moors or Poledark in Cornwall, creating tourist trails. 
-Outdoor pursuits = Hiking, cycling and rock climbing in the Peak District or Zip World in Blaenau Ffestiniog's old slate quarries in Wales.

-Farm diversification = Private farms have shifted focus from food production to camping, shops and holiday cottages with the support of public funds.

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