Prosperity plan out for feedback
The Marlborough District Council will start a series of meetings tomorrow to discuss the council's proposed economic development vision.
Councillors signed off a work plan that will see the council build community support for a programme to move Marlborough towards a more innovative and higher-wage economy.
As part of this "smart and connected" work, councillors and staff will meet with wine research centre staff and associated companies tomorrow. That will be followed by a meeting with the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce and Grow Marlborough on Monday, and with community groups working in health and education, and police on Tuesday.
More meetings, including public meetings, will be organised over the next few months, with a report due back to council in October.
The vision can be summed up as: "Over the next decade, Marlborough will become a globally connected district of progressive, high-value enterprise, known for our economic efficiency, quality lifestyle, desirable location and natural environment. Marlborough will be smart and connected."
A report written for the council community and financial planning committee meeting yesterday said the vision related to all council's activities and also to the activities of others in the region.
It said it was intended to begin discussion with all sectors of the Marlborough community to get their feedback on the vision and how it can be achieved.
"Marlborough has a production and relatively low-wage economy. The proposed vision is for Marlborough to develop an innovative economy. This is about adding value to what Marlborough produces and not simply increasing volumes. It means new kinds of businesses, more skilled jobs, and increasing incomes.
"Learning how to add value to our products and services will translate to higher earnings in the economy and higher earnings for individuals in Marlborough."
The proposals were greeted enthusiastically by councillors.
Marlborough mayor Alistair Sowman said the programme was ambitious, but could result in something that could make a difference.
Councillor David Dew said he didn't think anyone would disagree with what was proposed. "It's good high-level stuff."
However, the council would need to be "quite forceful" to make sure things happened.
Councillor Trevor Hook said the vision would need buy-in by all councillors at the start. "This isn't one person's vision, or two persons' vision. It's what the council is doing as a whole."
Councillor Jamie Arbuckle said it would need the buy-in of the wider community too.
Councillor Jessica Bagge said she would like to see it evolve into a partnership between the council and private businesses.
- The Marlborough Express