Agenda and minutes

Gloucestershire Economic Growth Joint Committee
Wednesday 20 March 2019 11.30 am

Venue: Cabinet Suite - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

To note any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllr Paul James (Gloucester City Council) and from Cllr Tim Gwilliam (Forest of Dean District Council).

 

Cllr Colin Organ substituted for Cllr James  as representative for Gloucester City Council.

 

Apologies were also received from Mally Findlater and David Owen from the GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership. Dev Chakraborty (Deputy Chief Executive) attended the meeting as representative of the LEP.  

 

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 120 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 21 November 2018

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting on 21 November 2018 were confirmed as a correct of that meeting.

 

Mike Dawson, Chair of the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Joint Committee Senior Officer Group, referred to the Government Call for Evidence ending on 18 December 2018, seeking evidence on the statutory purposes of National Parks. The call for evidence forms part of the government review to consider National Parks and AONB’s in England, including the role of National Parks and AONB’s in relation to other places designated for environmental purposes.

 

Members recalled the request by the Joint Committee to the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee to undertake a review of the ‘impact of the aspiration lodged by the Cotswold Conservation Board to achieve National Park Status for the Cotswolds AONB’.

 

Noting the current position of government investigations into National Parks, it was agreed to await the outcome of the Glover Report in Autumn 2019 before taking a decision on whether to engage in this piece of work. Publication of the report will coincide with the 70th Anniversary of the 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act.

 

It was confirmed that the majority of the District Council’s, (with the exception of Cheltenham Borough Council), had submitted a response to the call for evidence.

3.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any pecuniary or personal interests by members.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made at the meeting.

4.

Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee

To receive a verbal update on the activities and work plan of the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee. 

 

Minutes:

Cllr Kevin Cromwell, Chairman of the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee, gave an update on the activities and work plan proposals of the committee.

 

He informed the committee that a work planning session involving lead opposition members and senior officers had been held on 21 November 2018. At that meeting, it was suggested the following topics form part of the Scrutiny Committee’s 2019/20 work plan.

 

·         An update from GFirst LEP on local activities relating to Brexit

·         Vision 2050 (including an update on the Cotswold Waterpark Trust)

·         Issues impacting on the future of the High Street

·         Mobile Phone Connectivity

 

On 14 February 2019, the committee met at the Forest of Dean District Council Offices, where members received a presentation on local arrangements relating to the economic growth and regeneration of the District and on the work of the Forest Economic Partnership. Topics considered at the meeting included: road congestion; rail strategy; broadband/mobile black spots; employment issues; and education.

 

The next local meeting will be held at Stroud District Council on 30 October 2019. .

 

Noting the request for an update on local preparations following the Brexit referendum in June 2016, members were informed that, in recent months, the Scrutiny Committee had raised increasing concerns about the lack of information on how the County might be preparing for the impact on the economic climate of Gloucestershire following the Brexit decision (if any) on 29 March 2019.

 

Whilst it was accepted information was limited, members remained anxious to explore the uncertainties surrounding the Brexit decision. It had therefore been agreed that a discussion would form part of the agenda at this afternoon’s scrutiny committee meeting.

 

Cllr Cromwell thanked Cllr Stowe (as Chairman of the Joint Committee) and Mike Dawson (as Chairman of the Senior Officer Group) for attending the scrutiny meeting to note the discussion.

 

Seeking the views of the Joint Committee, Cllr Cromwell, was informed discussions were being held at local level and would be shared at wider level pending any developments.

 

Responding to questions on the role and function of the scrutiny committee in response to Brexit and other scrutiny work plan proposals, Head of Democratic Services, Simon Harper, presented information on proposed changes to the County Council’s Scrutiny function at the County Council.

 

Members were advised that a Peer Challenge undertaken at the County Council in June 2018 had identified the need to review the Council’s scrutiny arrangements in an aid to improvement and to ensure effective and transparent governance.

 

With the agreement of the County Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee on 28 September 2018, members were invited to attend and participate in three workshops, led by Ann Reeder from the Centre for Public Scrutiny. Ann Reeder facilitated at both sessions with support from Paul Dean, former Statutory Scrutiny Officer at East Sussex County Council, and John Cade, Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV) and former Director of Scrutiny at Birmingham City Council. 

 

From the review, a number of key principles had been identified:

           

a)    There should be ‘parity of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Gloucestershire Local Nature Partnership (GLNP) pdf icon PDF 89 KB

To receive a presentation on how the Gloucestershire Local Nature Partnership (GLNP) can support the local economic prosperity of Gloucestershire.

Minutes:

Doug Hulyer (Chairman) and Jackie Jobes (Partnership Manager) from the Gloucestershire Local Nature Partnership gave a presentation on the Partnership’s (GLNP) new strategy and activities to support local economic prosperity.

 

The GLNP is funded by partner contributions, including Gloucestershire County Council, the 6 district councils and GFirst LEP.

 

The committee supported the intention for the GLNP to compile, test and apply the Partnership’s Integrated Environmental Mapping Tool (IEMT) for the design and delivery of sustainable economic growth in the county as part of a Phase 1 Pilot scheme.

 

Phase 1 of the pilot will have a strong focus on the environmental impacts of water, working closely with the Environment Agency. It was hoped this initial phase will provide a powerful reflection of the possibilities to deliver multidisciplinary benefits and drive further investment in the second and third stages of the process, as well as funding ongoing management and maintenance.

 

The report was noted.

6.

GFirst LEP Update pdf icon PDF 71 KB

A report from the Gloucestershire First (GFirst) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

 

The committee to receive an update on the delivery of the Growth Programme; preparations for developing a Local Industrial Strategy and progress of the new LEP/local authority sponsored Inward Investment Programme.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Dev Chakraborty (Deputy Chief Executive of GFirst LEP) gave a detailed 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 31 December 2018).

 

The documents are available on GFirst LEP’s website at the following link: http://www.gfirstlep.com/projects/

 

The committee was advised of the requirement to decarbonise the used to heat buildings and for industrial processes( i.e not reliant on fossil fuel gas or oil) by 2040. It was explained that every existing building (domestic & non-domestic) would need to be upgraded to at least an EPC rating of C by 2035, and the upgrading of fuel poor homes to at last a C by 2030. All new developments in the county will be required to be net carbon negative and smart-energy enabled from 2020.

 

The committee requested email updates on the issue as developments progressed. In the meantime, members attention was referred to the Gloucestershire Sustainable Energy Strategy, available online at;

https://www.gfirstlep.com/downloads/2019/gloucestershire-energy-strategy-2019.pdf   

 

The report was noted.

 

7.

Gloucestershire Business Rates Pilot Update pdf icon PDF 128 KB

To update the committee on the progress of the Business Rates Pilot 2018/19 and to agree a process for the future allocation of funding. 

Minutes:

Andrew Cummings, Head of Finance and Section 151 Officer at Stroud District Council updated the committee on the progress of the Business Rates Pilot 2018/19 and the process for the future allocation of funding. 

 

The Committee noted the forecast for 2018/19 and 2019/20 and approved the process for the allocation of funding based on the criteria presented at the meeting and as outlined in the minute text below: -  

 

Eligibility Criteria and SEDF Application and Assessment Process:

 

      i.        Any project/request to have a significant strategic economic growth focus, and to clearly demonstrate the economic benefits and contribution it is likely to make in supporting the delivery of growth of the local economy and communities;

 

    ii.        SEDF is revenue funding, so will be available to support a range of initiatives and projects such as direct support for economic growth projects, partnership support, enabling commissions of economic research, intelligence, feasibility studies and providing pump priming funding contributions or essential leverage to support the delivery of broader local economic projects/programmes. 

 

   iii.        Access to the fund to principle stakeholders only. The Local Authorities and Local Economic Partnership and any project or funding request will require a clearly identified sponsoring lead organisation/contact

 

   iv.        Any initial ideas/proposals will need to complete an Expression of Interest template, to be submitted for consideration by the GEGJC Senior Officers Group, at a relevant meeting. This mirrors the same approach adopted for consideration of new projects for the Gloucestershire Capital Investment Pipeline (CIP). 

 

Decision/Approval of Funding:

 

      i.        Projects will need to be prioritised if requiring one off, or fixed term funding

 

    ii.        The Committee may require a formal agreement and/or apply binding conditions to any approved funding, to which the applicant body will be required to agree prior to any release of funding

 

   iii.        Any project requests considered appropriate and supported by the GEGJC Senior Officer Group for funding consideration by the Joint Committee to be incorporated into the papers of the next meeting as part of the Business Rates Pool Report. Where appropriate, officers to make comments on the validity and priority of the bid against other potential commitments, for Members to consider. In addition, it is to be acknowledged that formal application requests for funding consideration may be made by Local Authority Members direct to the Joint Committee, where justified.

 

    iv.            Any approved funding requests will be subject to the confirmation of sufficient funds being available in the SEDF pot, during the relevant financial year, by the Council CFOs.

8.

Strategic Planning pdf icon PDF 93 KB

The committee to consider -

 

1)    An update on the progress of the strategic planning process for Gloucestershire (report attached); 

 

2)    The Barriers to Development Action Plan and Planning Development Charter (report attached)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mike Dawson Chair of GEGJC Senior Officer Group gave an update on the status of the strategic plans progressed by the Gloucestershire authorities and the levels of growth identified and planned for within them.

 

The committee noted the update and the progress on strategic plan making by the Gloucestershire authorities, the amount of growth being planned for and the progress of key delivery projects.

 

9.

Strategic Project Delivery Update

To receive verbal updates on the progression of key strategic growth projects at local councils

Minutes:

The Chairman sought agreement on how to report the progression of key strategic growth projects at each local authority. The committee agreed it would be more useful to receive the information as a short report provided by each authority rather than a verbal update.

10.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To consider the updated committee work plan and suggest items for consideration at future meetings.

Minutes:

The forward plan was noted and agreed.

11.

Future Meeting Dates

To note that the Committee is due to meet on the following dates in 2019:

 

Wednesday 5 June 2019

Wednesday 4 September 2019

Wednesday 20 November 2019

 

The start times of meetings may be subject to change (at the new start time of 11.30 am). This will allow the meetings of the Strategic Planning Leader’s Board meeting to be held at Shire Hall the same day.

 

Minutes:

It was agreed to maintain the revised timings of the three economic growth related meetings for future meetings.