MVDC & DTP Agreement
DTP: Strategic and Working and Relationship with MVDC
DTP supports the MVDC Economic Prosperity Strategy, and seeks to ensure that opportunities for Dorking are integral to its delivery. Unlike Leatherhead, Dorking has few large commercial employers, and none in the heart of town. Dorking is an SME town, ideal for start-ups, small businesses and the service sector. DTP represents those employers and those opportunities, and should be formally represented within MVDC’s strategic development programme.
The BID has a five-year term, and is now at about the halfway point. In order to justify its retention for a second term, it needs to be able to demonstrate to levy payers that it is not only delivering for them operationally, but that it is working with MVDC to assure the strategic economic future of the town.
This will entail a balance of enhancing and continually reinvigorating what makes the town “special” (eg blend of independent and mainstream retailers), but also delivering new opportunities that will move the town on (eg budget hotel, enhanced public transport, development opportunities).
The BID has to deliver solutions for today, but also opportunities for tomorrow. It can do this most effectively through close cooperation and shared decision-making with MVDC.
Given the limited resources (human, operational, relevant experience) available to both MVDC and DTP, any duplication of effort should be avoided. The responsibilities of MVDC’s Prosperity/Economic Development function are very broad, and decision-making/action should be shared with DTP, not duplicated; mutual, not siloed. DTP can achieve more as a trusted partner to MVDC than it can as a body that is seen as mitigating the council’s actions (historic perspective from some levy payers).
DTP represents businesses, and businesses move swiftly to address opportunities and challenges. In order for Dorking to be a “can-do” town, MVDC and DTP should be prepared to move quickly, test options, and make decisions.
Matters that would be treated in this manner would include parking, markets, event management, traffic management, landlord/tenant relationships (and void-filling). All of these examples have a strategic as well as an operational aspect, but all can be incrementally and operationally improved and driven forward, beneath a broader strategic umbrella. Sometimes strategizing everything risks making the perfect the enemy of the good, and trial and error less attractive than sitting tight and doing nothing. Working together, with clearly agreed and understood relationships and accountabilities, DTP and MVDC can change this.