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Crowthorne Parish Council

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Parish Office
Morgan Centre
Wellington Road
Crowthorne RG45 7LD

Telephone
01344 771251

Email
clerk@crowthornepc.org.uk

Crowthorne Parish Council

01344 771251

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TRL Site Redevelopment Home
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TRL Site Redevelopment

The TRL Project

Introduction

As you are probably aware, Legal & General Homes (Communities) Ltd (L&G) are developing the former TRL site in Crowthorne, and Bracknell Forest Council (BFC) has asked Crowthorne Parish Council (CPC) to lead in managing the Stakeholders’ Group and the work on the Community Hub, the on-going management of which will be the responsibility of CPC post build.

  1. The development on the former TRL site is possibly the most important issue and biggest opportunity that has been presented to Crowthorne for a generation. As such, we have one chance to get it right.
  2. It is a development in Crowthorne, and BFC has asked CPC to be the lead agents on their behalf. We are subsequently inviting other interested bodies, such as CVAG and WWPC, to be involved in both the Stakeholders’ Group and the Community Hub Working Group as we believe that a team approach embracing all affected residents to be the correct way forward.
  3. It is our commitment to build an effective team of the representatives of those interested parties to work with L&G and its subcontractors to deliver an exemplar, and the Social Value element, as outlined below, is an important part of that.
  4. In our discussions with L&G, we have agreed that the Stakeholders’ Group will not be a public meeting, or host to a cast of thousands, nor will it purely be a platform for L&G to inform the community what is happening. For it to have the greatest value, it must be a two way street, and our team will have a responsibility to present its views and the views of the Crowthorne community and make valuable and valued input to the Stakeholders’ Group.
  5. For that reason, we will be talking to all interested groups about their potential input, and asking them to nominate their official representative and reserve. We would further like to create a core team that would shape the overall strategy, with the ability to respond at short notice to any events or changes.
  6. We have also developed a Communications Strategy, so that we can present a cohesive and consistent message. What we wish to avoid is individual action that could well jeopardise the success of this project, with kneejerk activity that has not been agreed by the team.

Given the importance of this project to Crowthorne long after L&G and their teams have gone home, we intend that we get it right, which entails us forming an effective team and doing things in an ordered manner.

Social Value Charter

The Social Value Act of 2012 now requires all public service organisations to ‘consider’ social value when awarding services contracts. This is an act that requires all public authorities to have regard to economic, social and environmental well-being in connection with public services contracts; and for connected purposes. As a concept, social value seeks to maximise the additional benefit that can be created by procuring or commissioning services, above and beyond the benefit of merely the services themselves. Organisations engaging with the public sector either through procurement or planning need to consider how they report their contribution to local communities (i.e. social value).

Legal & General are committed to implementing Social Value as an added value contribution to the contract for the former TRL site, and have employed “The Social Value Portal”, CEO Guy Battle, to ensure that Crowthorne and Bracknell benefits from the Social Value that can be inherent in this development.

In fact we intend to go one better than that, and that is to create the first Social Value Charter in the UK, and for Crowthorne to be an exemplar to the UK for how to do business in the public sector.

Legal & General recognise that the way they spend £300m (approx.) over 10 years in developing the site could have a wider benefit to the community beyond the direct provision of 1,000 homes, primary school, community centre etc.

An obvious example of “economic benefit” is that contractors on the site could be required to reserve a certain number of apprenticeships (bricklaying, carpentry etc.) for local people, thus providing enhanced career prospects for Crowthorne youngsters.  Or where possible, contracts could be directed towards local businesses to benefit local traders, indirectly providing more local jobs.  (This might even reduce the amount of air pollution as people wouldn’t be commuting as far…).  

The first step in developing the “Community Charter” is for the community to work together to identify the key challenges facing us and then to come up with ideas about how these challenges might be addressed.

Step two identifies further ways that our community could grow and get stronger in terms of “economic”, “environmental” or “social” benefits – and then set targets (called “measures”) to make the charter a practical tool.  So in the above example, the measures could be the number of apprentices created, or the amount of money spent with local businesses.

Whilst the initial impetus may come from L&G purchasing power, the concept only works when the “community” takes ongoing ownership of the charter, sets the high level direction and crucially recognises that this is a team effort between L&G, local businesses, community groups), local government and other agencies.  Crowthorne Parish Council (CPC) has agreed to “own” the charter so now the process needs to start in identifying community needs, benefits and associated measures / targets.

The Way Forward

The way forward consists of two separate stages:

To canvas as many people and organisations as possible as to what they see as the Opportunities and Threats, and the Strengths and Weaknesses of our community, and to create a vision for how we wish the community to develop over the short to medium term. This is being done by a survey which has been made as widely available as possible, via Websites, Facebook Pages, the Crowthorne Eye and other relevant publications, and hard copy available across the Parish. If you have already completed this, thank you. If not you will find the URL on the Crowthorne Parish Council website, detailed below. Hard copies are also available for the Parish Office and the Library.


Communications

  1. Crowthorne Parish Council website has this dedicated page where all relevant information can be found.
  2. L&G has a dedicated website. www.legalandgeneral.com/homes
  3. If there are other websites that you think might want to carry the message, please let the Parish Office know. clerk@crowthornepc.org.uk or 01344 771251.

2.   Facebook

The Parish Council has a dedicated Facebook page that will carry up to date news items about the development, called Crowthorne Parish Council TRL Site. This site is feeding news items to other Crowthorne-specific Facebook pages, to ensure that we get a consistent and timely message out to us many residents and interested parties as possible. If you administer a Community Facebook Page, please let us know.

Should you have any comments, please direct them through the Parish Office as above.:

Cllr Bruce McKenzie-Boyle
Crowthorne Parish Council

1.

The second stage is holding working groups or seminars embracing the key interest groups within our community, which could include the traders, other businesses, both SME and large enterprises, faith groups, schools, lobby groups e.g. CVAG, and of course, involved and interested residents. These are being arranged during late February and March, and are primarily but not exclusively, organised around the distinct common interest groups, but it is more important that people and organisations take part, than that groups be kept separate, and therefore anyone is invited to attend any session that is convenient for them. The details of these workshops will be available on the Crowthorne Parish Council website, and will be announced on our Facebook Page.

2.

Join the conversation about how to build a sustainable future for the Crowthorne community and help to turn that into action by designing the first Community Social Value Charter in the UK!

https://socialvalueportal.typeform.com/to/yKKetr

If you are interested in getting involved, please either register your name and whatever organisation you represent at the Parish Office @ clerk@crowthornepc.org.uk or 01344 771251

3.   TRL Stakeholders Group

L&G have organised a Stakeholders Group so that interested Community Groups can communicate directly with L&G and can get regular updates on progress. This has now met four times, and the minutes for the last two meetings can be seen on the links below….

3rd Crowthorne Stakeholder Meeting Minutes >>

4th Crowthorne Stakeholder Meeting Minutes >>

4.   TRL Community Hub Working Group

Part of the deal struck between Bracknell Forest Council and L&G is that, as part of the development, L&G will provide a custom built Community Facility or Hub. This facility will be run by Crowthorne Parish Council as an additional facility to The Morgan Centre and The Parish Hall. It is the intention that such a Hub will increase the facilities available to Community Groups and interested parties. To do this we have two important pieces of work to do:

  1. To form an accurate picture of what is already available in Crowthorne, so that we can avoid undue overlap, while offering increased capacity where needed. We will be surveying all the public facilities in the next few weeks to build an accurate list of available activities.
  2. To form and accurate understanding of what additional capacity is needed for existing activities, and what additional activities would be popular, and which we could provide within the planned building.

1.   Websites

This will entail further surveys, but clearly the more information and opinion we can gather, the better will be the result. Therefore, please complete the surveys when they are available, starting with the Social Charter on indicated above in The way Forward, point 1, for which the URL is:

https://socialvalueportal.typeform.com/to/yKKetr

The TRL Community Hub Working Group has met twice so far and the minutes of those meetings can be found on the link below…

Delays in the building programme have resulted in a delay in completing this work, but we now have a need to move forward rapidly and will be looking for your input as soon as we can get the surveys available.

TRL Community Hub Working Group Minutes 12 July 2016 >>

Have you completed the Survey yet?

Join the conversation about how to build a sustainable future for the Crowthorne community and help to turn that into action by designing the first Community Social Value Charter in the UK!

https://socialvalueportal.typeform.com/to/yKKetr