Venue: Cabinet Suite - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions
Contact: Laura Powick
To note any apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Cllrs Paul James.
There were no substitutes at the meeting.
To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 5 September 2018
The minutes of the meeting held on 5 September 2018 were agreed and signed as an accurate record of that meeting.
The following corrections were made at the meeting: -
a) GFirst LEP Update - Dev Chakraborty (Deputy Chief Executive of GFirst LEP) clarified that his update to the committee included an update on the Local Industrial Strategy
b) Gloucestershire Local Nature Partnership (GLNP) Green Infrastructure Policy Pledge - Mike Dawson (Chair of the GEGJC Senior Officer Group) gave an update on the signing of the Green Infrastructure Pledge by the 7 district authorities. He confirmed that, following the GLNP Conference held in October 2018, all 7 authorities had signed up to the pledge.
Declarations of Interest
To note any pecuniary or personal interests.
No declarations of interest were made at the meeting.
Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee
To receive an update on the work of the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee (GEGSC).
Vice Chairman of the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Kevin Cromwell, gave an overview of the work of the scrutiny committee.
He confirmed that one of the committees’ local held meetings had been held at the Cheltenham Borough Council Offices on 31 October 2018. A review of the outcomes of this meeting and the meetings held at Tewkesbury Borough Council and Cotswold District Council would be considered in March 2020, following the conclusion of the cycle of meetings held at each of the 6 local authorities.
The scrutiny committee meeting planned for later that day had been cancelled and would used as a work planning session involving the Vice Chairman, GCC (Gloucestershire County Council) officers, and lead members, Cllrs Joe Harris and Kate Haigh. The next scrutiny committee meeting would be held at the Forest of Dean District Council Offices on 14 February 2019.
Seeking advice on the Government Call for Evidence Landscapes Review Consultation, the Committee was advised it would be for each local authority to make individual submissions to the consultation. Committee Chairman, Cllr Lynden Stowe, stressed the importance of each authority making a submission before the consultation deadline at the end of December 2018.
To consider a report on the progress of European Social Funded (ESF) skills and employability projects, the work of the Gloucestershire Employment and Skills Board and other related employment and skills initiatives for Gloucestershire.
Pete Carr, Lead Commissioner: Skills and Employment, gave an update on the progress of the European Social Fund skills and employability projects and the Gloucestershire Employment and Skills Board (GESB).
Key priorities for the Employment and Skills Board included; apprenticeships; stronger links with schools, colleges and local businesses; improved careers support for schools; and input to the Gloucestershire Local Industrial Strategy.
The committee noted that the next Employment and Skills Board meeting would be held on 13 December 2018, at which it was hoped new members from the private sector would help strengthen contributions from this area, and assist in developing a more balanced representation. Ongoing work with district authorities continued, for which regular updates would be provided at future meetings.
The committee welcomed the proposal to use additional ESF funding to focus on the high rate of permanent exclusions from schools in Gloucestershire. It was noted that at the last board meeting, there had been a request to engage in discussions with secondary schools on this escalating problem.
Acknowledging concerns about the need to become more effective in the sharing of information between the districts, the committee noted the intention to explore opportunities on how to better share information on the GESB Action Plan and on adopting a more joined approach to responding to consultations and initiatives from which the county might benefit as a whole.
Committee members were asked to consider how best to improve the situation in order to manage the expectations of district councillors and officers and to submit their ideas to Pete Carr for future discussions. It was also suggested that the Senior Officer Group consider how best to maximise resources for the sharing of information between the districts.
A member expressed concern about the perceived emphasis on academic ability and achievement in contrast with the development of non-academic skills. It was agreed the points raised during the discussion should be referred to the Senior Officer Group for further consideration.
a) A report on the Gloucestershire Growth Deal Programme, including the progress of some of the Growth Deal funded projects, and
b) An update on the Local Industrial Strategy for Gloucestershire
Dev Chakraborty (Deputy Chief Executive of GFirst LEP) gave an update on the Gloucestershire Growth Deal Programme, including the progress of some of the Growth Deal funded projects and an update on the Local Industrial Strategy for Gloucestershire. Attached to the report were the most up to date spreadsheets for the Growth Deal Programme (reporting for the period up to 30 September 2018).
The documents can be viewed on the GFirst website at the following link: http://www.gfirstlep.com/projects/
It was noted that, in terms of the Growth Deal, there had been no significant change since the report presented at the previous meeting, (5 September 2018).
To date, the LEP had ‘out turned’ £56.2m from a total of £101.7m. Actual spend was £52m. Recent highlights included confirmation of a £27m investment in the Merrywalks re-development; planning approval for a second phase of student accommodation at the Blackfriars site (providing a further 190 student units) and confirmation of the Skyborne commercial pilot training centre at Gloucestershire Airport.
The Gloucester Transport Hub had fully opened; the funding agreement for the Cheltenham Spa Railway Station Scheme was signed and scheme design approved; the GlosCol Cinderford Campus was fully opened and the Hartpury University Agri-Tech Hub (Tech to Plate) had been approved for funding, with the agreement due in December.
Reporting on the Gloucestershire Inward Investment Bid (a joint bid between Gloucestershire County Council and the district councils) the Deputy Chief Executive advised the committee that recruitment advertisements for three new posts had been advertised for commencement in January 2019. The deadline for submitting applications for the posts was 22 November 2019. District council colleagues had been asked to participate on the interview panels.
The GFirst LEP Annual Review was held at Hartpury College on 14 November 2018. Three key requests were made during the review. They included; requests for volunteers to work with schools across the County; requests to join one of the GFirst sector specific business groups and volunteers; and requests to engage with the LEP on the development of the Local Industrial Strategy for Gloucestershire. Approximately 60 people had pledged their services.
Included in the LEP Review had been consideration of the Government LEP Boundary Review. The Gloucestershire LEP has stated a preference to remain in the current geographical position. Completion date for the boundary review would be March 2020.
The committee noted several pieces of work for which members were asked to share news of the publications with district council colleagues. One piece of work was to consider the Local Transport Plan, for which members were asked to encourage district colleagues to submit views. In addition, it was suggested the district authorities consider making a submission to the Local Industrial Strategy.
Government funding for a new government position, ‘Senior Research Manager’ was noted. Again, members were encouraged to share this information with district colleagues.
Outlining the anticipated timelines for some of the pieces of work, the Deputy Chief Executive suggested members maintain a watch and brief to keep themselves informed of ... view the full minutes text for item 159.
To consider a Gloucestershire Economic Growth Capital Investment Pipeline (GEGCIP) mapping public face update.
Claire Edwards (GCC Team Leader - Economic Growth & Strategic Planning) gave an update on the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Capital Investment Pipeline (GEGCIP). (The pipeline was previously known as the Gloucestershire Infrastructure Investment Pipeline).
Members were informed that the Capital Investment Pipeline (CIP) document would be used to monitor the strategic infrastructure pipeline and to assist in considering which projects require resourcing as potential priority bids for future funding opportunities.
Having recently undergone an in-depth period of review by the Senior Officer Group, the updated CIP included a revised list of categories to identify which projects might be considered suitable for investment. The categories included: innovation; skills and employment; business environment; infrastructure (including energy and digital); housing; regeneration/place shaping and others.
Furthermore, the recent review and mapping exercise pilot had resulted in a number of recommendations for the committee to consider; these included;
a) Visible fields to relate to project name (description); category; theme; current position; cots; timeframe and owner;
b) Out of date projects to not feature on the public facing tool until they are updated (to avoid reputational risk); the online public version to be updated every 6 months (as a minimum)
c) To work closely with the LEP; a revised Expression of Interest form will be agreed to capture new project proposals that fit the re-defined growth enabling criteria listed – this will be a standard approach irrespective of whether an enquiry or opportunity comes via the LEP (or public sector partners) to ensure a single pipeline can be developed and maintained;
d) The next phase of the CIP to look to add in impacts and a portfolio approach to allow a larger set of interlinked projects to be funded, and a process for prioritisation.
Data from the CIP would be made available to members and updated through the GEGJC.
The document is a live document and will continue to evolve. The committee was advised to contact report author, Jonathan Medlin, if assistance in understanding the mapping was required.
The committee noted the report and suggested the Senior Officer Group consider how best to improve and develop the pipeline. It was agreed that, subject to the agreement of the Senior Officer Group, the early stages of the pipeline development for the Gloucestershire Local Industry Strategy be progressed.
Members were advised that it was the responsibility of the individual authorities to ensure the Senior Officer Group was updated on changes to the CIP. The programme to be shared as a joint arrangement between the district and borough councils.
Information on who would be representing each authority would be required.
The report recommended that the CIP mapping tool be accessed via a link from the GCC Strategic Infrastructure Webpages (including guidance on how to use the map). At the time of the meeting, the webpage had not been produced. Members were asked to provide their individual links to provide access to the webpages. It was anticipated a soft launch of the mapping tool would be made in early 2019.
Strategic Planning Co-ordination
A verbal update from Mike Dawson, Chief Executive of Tewkesbury Borough Council and Chair of the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Joint Committee Senior Officer Group.
Mike Dawson, Chair of the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Joint Committee Senior Officer Group, updated members on the work of the Strategic Planning Coordinator.
Members were informed that 2 meetings of the Senior Officer Group had been held, plus 2 meetings of the Strategic Planning Leaders Board. It was proposed that an informal agreement document be produced as a ‘statement of common ground’ to support the planning process at each of the local planning authorities. The document would be updated over time to encompass any new developments.
The committee was asked to endorse the proposal to adopt a statement of common ground approach. Subject to the committee agreement, officers to produce a draft proposal for consideration at the next Strategic Planning Leaders Board meeting and approval by the individual local authorities.
In supporting the proposal, (to adopt a ‘common ground approach’), members stressed the importance of linking the draft statement to the Vision 2050 programme and to the county’s spatial planning process, (for the period to 2050 and beyond).
The committee noted the update and endorsed the proposal to draft a statement of common ground for consideration by the Strategic Planning Leaders Board.
To receive an update on the status of the Business Rate Pool and the governance arrangements of the Strategic Economic Development Fund.
David Stanley, (Accountancy Manager at Stroud District Council) gave an update on the Gloucestershire Business Rates Pool (GBRP) and Strategic Economic Development Fund. The GBRP was set up to maximise the business rate income retained within the County and to support the economic growth within the geographic area overseen by the LEP. The Pool is led by a management team represented by the Chief Financial Officers from each of the district authorities.
It was noted that the existing 100% business rates pilot was due to end on 31 March 2019. An application for Gloucestershire to be considered as a 75% pilot area was submitted to Government in late September 2018, with successful pilot areas due to be announced in early December 2018.
The committee received an update on the cumulative amount of funding generated by the Business Pool to the Strategic Economic Development Fund (SEDF). The award of funds, (involving discussions with the Chief Executives and Leaders of each participating local authority), is subject to the unanimous agreement of each member of the Business Pool.
Members were reminded that each Joint Committee member needed authority from their respective councils to make decisions on behalf of that authority in relation to the GBRP and to the SEDF. Members accepted this requirement but requested that sufficient notice was given for them to consider the decision they would be required to make.
At the time of the meeting, the cumulative amount of funding generated by the GBRP for the SEDF since 2013/14 was £1.134 million, with £0.798 million of this amount arising from the 2017/18 pool outturn position, (these funds will be available to be drawn upon from January 2019.
The forecast position for the amount of funding generated in 2018/19 indicted £2.9 million would be available to the SEDF from the 100% Business Rates Pilot. It was noted that the level of business rates retained and the SEDF share of the business rates pilot would need to be derived from pilot members’ estimates of the rates collection forecast.
To reduce the level of risk associated with backdated appeals and the possibility of having to make refunds, the committee noted the advice of the Business Pool Management Team, advising that ‘resource allocation’ decisions on pilot funds should be made following the announcement of the 2018/19 outturn position in April 2019. This would enable the respective councils to make decisions following clarification of the amounts of business rates to be retained or distributed. Funding from the business rates pilot would not be available until the 2019/20 financial year.
Members recalled that at the September committee meeting, the GEGJC had agreed to consider the following ‘in principle’ funding requests, based on a report to this meeting.
a) County Council and LEP economic intelligence work costs;
b) Business case for improvement works to Junction 10 of the M5 Motorway
c) County Council committee costs
In addition, the committee to give consideration to the process for considering and prioritising future funding and investment requests, where it was ... view the full minutes text for item 162.
To suggest items for discussion at future meetings.
The Forward Plan for the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Joint Committee was circulated at the meeting. Members were asked to consider the work plan and send any comments to Mike Dawson or Claire Edwards after the meeting.
a) In addition to the items incorporated on to the forward plan, the committee was asked to include a review of the aspiration to achieve National Park Status for the Cotswold AONB to the Joint Committee work plan. In considering the request, it was suggested that a progress report on the outcome of the Glover Report Call for Evidence assignment be provided by the Cotswold District and Stroud District Councils at the next meeting. In addition, an update on the item to be included as a standing item to form part of the committee work plan.
b) A member asked for an update on the Cyber Security Facility West of Cheltenham Project at the March meeting. The request was noted with a suggestion that a general end of year update be provided, reporting the progress of all plans, (including the West of Cheltenham Cyber Security project), at the March meeting. An update on the Cheltenham Cyber Security Project will be included in the Strategic Planning Co-ordination item at the next meeting.
Future Meeting Dates
To note that the Committee is due to meet on the following dates:
Wednesday 20 March 2019
Wednesday 5 June 2019
Wednesday 4 September 2019
Wednesday 20 November 2019
All meetings start at 10.00am (this allows meetings of the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee to take place on the same day).
The committee noted the dates of forthcoming meetings:
Wednesday 20 March 2019
Wednesday 5 June 2019
Wednesday 4 September 2019
Wednesday 20 November 2019