The Cabinet Member for Planning, Investment and New Homes, Councillor Matthew Bennett, introduced the report and noted that the creative and digital industries (CDI) accounted for over 22,000 jobs in Lambeth. Despite this the percentage of jobs in Lambeth in the CDI sectors was lower than the London average and the CDI Strategy had been developed to address this. The Strategy celebrated Lambeth’s unique diversity and sought to tackle inequality by delivering inclusive growth. Councillor Bennett explained the five key objectives and actions before thanking the Head of Business, Culture and Investment, Matt Blades, for his work on the Strategy.
Cabinet Members then made the following comments:
· The Strategy would help to deliver economic growth across Lambeth and was welcomed by councillors in both the north and south of the borough. It was commendable that inclusive growth, as recommended by the Equality Commission, was an integral pillar of the Strategy.
· The CDI Strategy fitted into many other Council agendas and clearly demonstrated that Lambeth was a destination to do business.
· Members asked how the Council was working to provide enough office space in the borough to support growing businesses. In response, Matt Blades explained the ties between the CDI Strategy and the Local Plan. Lambeth had recently introduced two Article 4 directions that helped to protect office space and the Strategy provided evidence that could be utilised by the Planning Policy team to consider further Article 4 directions. Officers were also looking to develop affordable workspace policies to support clustering. It was also noted that ward level engagement had taken place to ensure all parts of the borough were referenced in terms of opportunity for growth.
The Chair praised the cross-departmental working demonstrated in the CDI Strategy and thanked officers for their work.
It was RESOLVED:
1. To approve the Lambeth Creative and Digital Industries Strategy for Growth.
2. To agree that, where relevant, service areas across the Council take account of the Strategy in the production of new policy and strategy.
3. To agree that the Council should continue to work collaboratively with our communities and business partners in delivering our priorities and achieving inclusive economic growth that benefits Lambeth’s residents and businesses.