Thursday 5 June 2014

East Devon, the retail sector and questions about job creation: "How we can help meet the needs of business into the future in a world of enterprise and entrepreneurism..."

Following pieces on employment parks, retail outlets and development:
Futures Forum: Is the economy picking up in the South West? ... Or, "Jobs boost for construction sector..."
Futures Forum: Desperately seeking suitors for SkyPark
Futures Forum: "The new build for the western growth area of the district will provide much-needed business and employment for the young families as they set up new homes."
Futures Forum: What is the difference between a 'business park'... and a 'retail park'?
Futures Forum: What is the difference between a 'business park'... and a 'retail park'... Part Two

... here's a comment from the EDA blog today - on the questionable promises made by supermarkets and other 'big developers' when it comes to job-creation:


5th June 2014
Anyone else get tired of reading puff jobs on supermarkets, fast food restaurants, etc saying “100 new jobs created” or “20 jobs” … when it turns out most of these jobs are either zero hours contracts or for 3 hours or 10 hours? Three or four of these “jobs” don’t even make one job. Maybe five or six or more are equal to one full-time post.
Then you go into said supermarket and see lines of self-serve tills or you see queues going outside the fast food shop due to “staff shortages” where the staff never seem to materialise.
Perhaps these companies should have to say how many FULL-TIME equivalent staff they are promising and should then be monitored by Trading Standards!
But seriously, the constant boasting and the house-building that is meant to go with these so-called jobs is seriously skewed as the low hours workers can never aspire to owning them but the big businesses just continue to be economical with the truth.
“Thousands” of new jobs? Not quite. Today’s rant! | East Devon Alliance

The District Council is facilitating the development of a supermarket at its former business centre:

HONITON: Supermarket plan on the way

4th June 2014
By Jack Dixon.


A planning application to build a supermarket at Heathpark is likely to be submitted “this year,” a report has revealed. The site, which is owned by EDDC, had been tipped as a potential location for the district authority’s new headquarters, before a switch to Skypark emerged as the preferred option earlier this year. Soon after the decision was made, rumours that the land could be sold for development surfaced. In March, EDDC leader Paul Diviani confirmed that a supermarket was “chasing” the site.

And a report, to be presented to East Devon District Council’s cabinet this week, has confirmed that negotiations with a developer have taken place and an application is now being prepared. The report says: “February 2014 cabinet and council reports agreed the selection of Terrace Hill as preferred developer for EDDC’s former SITA depot site on Honiton Heathpark and authorised officers to enter into a conditional contract with Terrace Hill. Officers have been in further negotiation with the developer involving the project manager and council legal team and we are now agreeing contract terms. This will enable the developer to begin the process of preparing their planning application for a supermarket development. We anticipate that an application will be made later this calendar year.”

As part of the development of the site, the East Devon Business Centre will be vacated and EDDC has already agreed to review its approach to provision of business space across the district. The report continues: “The question of succession to EDBC has given us the opportunity to look again at how we can help meet the needs of business into the future in a world of enterprise and entrepreneurism very different to that when the Heathpark Business Centre first opened its doors. Lead members for business and officers have carried out a tender exercise and interviewed four different consultancies. The chosen company, Carter Jonas, will begin their work shortly, gathering evidence over the next few months and report back their findings and recommendations by September 2014 at the latest.”

View From Online - News from West Dorset, East Devon & South Somerset

Meanwhile, a leading supermarket chain hopes to move into Exeter:
Asda hope to make 'positive' announcement on opening Exeter store soon | Exeter Express and Echo

And Mid Devon promises to go ahead with its plans for a retail park north of Exeter, despite a recent setback to its plans:
Blow to ‘disastrous for Exeter’ junction 27 development after landowner says he won’t sell to developers | Exeter Express and Echo
Exeter MP claims 'damaging and unsustainable’ out of town shopping complex would be ‘disastrous’ for Exeter | Exeter Express and Echo 

Whilst there's continued controversy about a new supermarket on Exmouth's estuary:
A decision not to be taken lightly - Exmouth life - Exmouth Journal
Exmouth traders worried about seafront development | East Devon Alliance
Corporate Watch : CHECKOUT CHUCKOUT : 6 - Directory of local campaigns | Corporate Watch
New supermarket among top priorities for Exmouth | Exmouth Live

And yet there are still questions about the District Council's understanding of 'business' and 'enterprise':

... not a mention of the Business Task and Finish Forum (examining the influence of the disbanded East Devon Business Forum, Chairman – disgraced ex-councillor Graham Brown).

Overview and Scrutiny Agenda – meeting 12 June 2014, 6.30 p.m. Knowle – very little overseeing and almost no scrutiny and two elephants not in the room | East Devon Alliance
Futures Forum: Crony capitalism and lemon socialism in East Devon........ The costs of "substantial growth and expanding business"

Alternatively, 'we can help the needs of business' by supporting SMEs:
Futures Forum: Keep Trade Local... the campaign from the Federation of Small Businesses
Futures Forum: The power of local government to determine the future of high streets
Futures Forum: Foreign Direct Investment ... vs ... supporting locally-owned small businesses

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