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Agenda item

Cotswold Water Park Project Update


To provide an overview of the Cotswold Water Park Project

To provide an update on progress



That the Committee reviews overall progress of the project


The purpose of this report was to provide an overview of the Cotswold Water Park Project and an update on progress.


The Chair temporarily adjourned the meeting for five minutes to enable the officer’s presentation to be linked to the display screens.


Following the meeting being resumed, the Business Manager for Localities, Philippa Lowe introduced the Cotswold Water Park Project Overview that provided an update on the work that had been carried out.  


The Committee noted that a strategic multi-agency approach had been taken to encompass the multiple boundaries, and definitions that applied to what was known as ‘The Cotswold Water Park’ (CWP). The largest of these being Natural England’s, ‘National Landscape’ definition, through to smaller individual ‘Sites of Special Scientific Interest’.


The Committee noted that Ecological and Climate Change emergencies had been declared by Councils, and the CWP was considered to be a place that could play a significant part in addressing these issues.


The Committee noted that with the increase number of visitors using the CWP following the easing of the lockdown there had been an increase in the number of incidents of anti-social behaviour and littering.


The Committee noted that there was a focus project on funded projects that could be developed, implemented, and delivered by December 2022, using available resources. Testing and learning as this work progresses would inform current and future priorities and project phases.


The Committee noted the 4 strategic elements of the project were: Nature, Communication and Education, Tackling Wider Issues and Active and Sustainable Travel. A summary of what had been achieved within the first 3 of these elements was provided by the Business Manager, Localities, and the Sustainable Transport Officer, Hannah Fountain provided an overview of the Sustainable and Active Travel element of the project, what had already been delivered and what further work was planned.


The Committee asked how the mandate for the project had been initially put together and whether it had been approved at Committee.  The Business Manager for Localities confirmed that, although the project had not been to Cabinet, the priorities had been agreed at early partnership group meetings, and these had been developed through the Council’s project management processes.


The Committee commented that a number of transport initiatives that could have been included in the project, had been missed (e.g. the canal, the Fairford/Lechlade railway, the Thames Pathway etc). The Business Manager, Localities stated that the scope of the current phase of the project extended to funded projects that could be completed within a defined timescale (December 2022), and further initiatives could be included in future consultations and considered in future phases once funding had been identified and secured.


The Committee noted that the project had been externally funded and not directly funded by Cotswold District Council (CDC), although the Council had enabled the funding to be focussed on priority areas.


The Committee noted that the project had worked in partnership with the Cotswold Lakes Trust and with consideration for their plans and priorities, in order to maximise funding opportunities and ensure work and effort was not duplicated.


The Committee noted the £130,000, ‘Contain Outbreak Management Fund’ (COMF) funding that had been provided through the County Council, and that this was held separately from CDC budgets and accounts. Regular accounting reports had been returned to ensure the funding was utilised appropriately on the agreed priorities.


The Committee noted that the Ward Member for Siddington and Cerney Rural, Councillor Evemy welcomed the project update and thanked the officers, and Councillor Layton (the lead Member for the project) for the work that had been, and will be, completed for Ward residents within the CWP and for visitors outside of the district.


The Committee noted the Ward Member for South Cerney Village, Councillor Layton’s update on the successful partnership groups that had worked well together to deliver such important improvements. A detailed personal view of the positive impact the project had local residents of South Cerney and the Cotswolds was also presented.


RESOLVED:  The Committee noted the overall progress on the project.

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