Agenda and minutes

Gloucestershire Economic Growth Joint Committee - Wednesday 20 November 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Committee Room - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions

Contact: Jo Moore 

No. Item



To note any apologies for absence.


Apologies were received from Cllr Joe Harris (Cotswold District Council) and from Cllr Tim Gwilliam (Forest of Dean District Council).


Cllr Harris was represented at the meeting by Cllr Tony Dale and Cllr Tim Gwilliam by Cllr Bernie O’Neill.  


Minutes pdf icon PDF 3 MB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 4 September 2019 (attached)


The minutes of the meeting held on 4 September 2019 were confirmed and signed as a correct record of that meeting.


Draft Local Transport Plan Stakeholder Consultation Events  


A member asked if the request to hold local authority briefings on the Local Transport Plan (LTP) had been actioned? It was announced that district councillors would be notified of the dates after the meeting. Following the announcement, the details below were confirmed. District councillors will be notified of the events via their local democratic service teams.


LTP Consultation Launch – 16 January 2020 (4pm) Shire Hall, Gloucester

Cheltenham Borough Council - 28 January 2020 

Cotswold District Council (South) - 6 February 2020     

Gloucester City Council - 10 February 2020 

Stroud District Council - 13 February 2020    

Tewkesbury Borough Council - 25 February 2020     

Cotswold District Council (North) - 5 March 2020           

FODDC District Council - 16 March 2020           


Declarations of Interest

To receive any pecuniary or personal interests by members.


Cllr Steve Jordan declared a pecuniary interest in item 8 b) 4 (request for funding from Cheltenham Borough Council in respect of the Cyber Central Project).



Digital Connectivity pdf icon PDF 1 MB

An update on the delivery of broadband infrastructure under the Fastershire Broadband Programme. The presentation to include an outline of the revision of the current Broadband Strategy to cover the period 2019 – 2022.


Matt Smith, Operational Manager for the Fastershire Broadband Project, gave a detailed update on the progress of the inter-authority agreement between Gloucestershire County Council and Herefordshire Council for the deployment of superfast broadband across the two counties. The agreement was made in 2011.


Please refer to the attached document to view the power-point presentation for this item. 


Members noted the success of the project, including receiving an award for having the greatest public sector impact at a recent conference.  Through its work with BT and Gigaclear, plus a host of other smaller providers, it was confirmed that the Fastershire project had been successful in extending superfast broadband access to 94.6% of premises in Gloucestershire. Moreover, Fastershire had been acknowledged as being at the forefront of the new full fibre revolution, with each rural district in the county placed within the top 20 rural areas with such access. Noting the data making comparisons


It was confirmed extensive work would be ongoing, moving east to west across the county, and building on the success of the Cotswold District being accredited as an area with the fastest average download speed of anywhere in the UK. Detailed information was provided on the work due to be completed in 2020/21.


Noting concerns about those areas of the county where download speeds were not as fast as would have been hoped, members were assured that the desired level of access was anticipated to spread across the whole of the county over the course of the next two years. It was confirmed that plans were already in place to address issues affecting the Forest of the Dean. It was confirmed that, over the course of the next few months, a ‘glut’ of properties across Gloucestershire were about to ‘go live’ with Superfast Broadband.


Drawing attention to the Fastershire Broadband Strategy 2019-22 and the next stages of deployment, officers advised members that 2019-22 was anticipated to be an important period for the project. During this time, it was likely the two counties would be recognised as the most digitally connected areas in the UK. It was hoped this achievement would promote more economic growth and unlock the potential for attracting new investment to the County.


The Fastershire Broadband Strategy 2019-22 makes reference to a new vision statement, detailing the ambition to ‘enable all residents and businesses in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire to access the connectivity they need and to encourage people to use faster broadband to work online; boost business growth and achieve potential’. Stage 5 of the new strategy to promote opportunities via Business Support Grants and following introduction of a new Community Scheme, offering direct grants to local communities to invest in broadband solutions. 


The Fastershire Broadband Strategy includes the following objectives: -


Coverage – to continue to increase superfast broadband coverage across two counties through a mixture of contracts and grants;


Inclusion – to support residents and businesses to make the most of the broadband network through skills training, awareness raising and enabling community led  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Public Health Annual Report pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To receive a report (Healthonomics - Tackling Health Inequalities through Inclusive Growth) from the Director of Public Health at Gloucestershire County Council.

Additional documents:


The committee received a presentation of a report, (Healthonomics - Tackling Health Inequalities through Inclusive Growth), from Sarah Scott, Director of Public Health at Gloucestershire County Council.


Key actions from the report included:


a)    The Joint Committee were asked to endorse the recommendations included in the report to ‘address the challenges and opportunities of driving inclusive growth in order to tackle health inequalities and increase productivity’. Feedback was requested on the following ambitions, (made to partners across the system to deliver as a joint venture). Action by – Committee Members


1)    The Health and Wellbeing Board to set out its position on inclusive economic growth and its benefits to health (and vice versa) and seek to influence and align its strategy and actions wherever possible with those of economic development partners, particularly GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).


2)    GFirst LEP, in the development of the Local Industrial Strategy and other key strategies and plans, consider the recommendations of this report and set out its plans to ensure that everyone in Gloucestershire can contribute to and benefit from local growth. Representation by GFirst LEP on the Health and Wellbeing Board would support this.


3)    GFirst LEP and the Employment and Skills Board should consider their role in tackling social mobility and promoting inclusive growth. Key partner organisations should cooperate to undertake a ‘deep dive’ of Gloucestershire’s social mobility indicators, to better understand areas for focus and trends of concern and agree a joint approach to increasing social mobility. In the meantime, partners should continue to focus efforts around school readiness to maintain the early improvements being seen.


4)    Public Health and Local Planning Authorities should continue to work together with other partners in housing, transport and other infrastructure specialists to maximise opportunities to build

healthy communities with a thriving and inclusive economy.

This should make sure that there is a strong understanding of inequalities amongst planners and other partners, and that actions taken to create healthy places benefit people from all socio-economic backgrounds.


5)    Businesses and public sector partners should consider how ‘good work’ in Gloucestershire could be measured and encouraged amongst local employers. Plans to improve the flexibility of the workplace should seek to make sure that this is available to all, wherever possible.


6)    Local anchor institutions should consider how they can lead by example in delivering inclusive growth through their employment and spending power. There may be an opportunity for the One Gloucestershire Integrated Care System (ICS) to play a key role in this at a local level.


b)    The Joint Committee noted the progress of the Cheltenham Borough Council’s ‘no child left behind’ piece of work and agreed to make reference to the work as a measurement of how the county, (as a joint exercise), ensured disadvantaged children were being cared for.


c)    The Director for Public Health welcomed the suggestion that the Employment and Skills Board consider how to ensure a commitment from organisations involved in major developments to provide/invest in delivering  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Local Nature Partnership (LNP) Infrastructure Policy Pledge pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To receive an update from the Local Nature Partnership (LNP) on the introduction to Natural Capital Mapping.


The committee received a detailed presentation from Matt Whitney, Partnership Manager for the Gloucestershire Local Nature Partnership, (LNP) on proposals relating to the creation of a Natural Recovery Network Map and the background to an expression of interest/request for funding from the Strategic Economic Development Fund (SEDF).


The request for funding was considered at item 8 b) 2 of the agenda.





Cyber Central Update

An update on the Cyber Central Project


The committee received a presentation from Tim Atkins, (Manager Director for Place and Growth at Cheltenham Borough Council), on proposals to support the development and promotion of Gloucestershire as the UK home of cyber tech industry and the delivery of significant numbers of high value jobs, increasing productivity and driving business rates growth.


The request for funding was considered at item 8 b) 4 of the agenda.


Business Rate Pool Funding pdf icon PDF 142 KB

a)    To receive an update on the Business Rate Pool (report attached);


b)    To consider the following funding requests: -


1)    Rail Investment Strategy, (ratification of the in-principle decision agreed at the Economic Growth Joint Committee meeting on 4 September 2019) (Appendix 1);


2)    Request for funding from the Local Nature Partnership (LNP) in respect of Natural Capital Mapping (Appendix 2);


3)    Request for funding from the Central Gloucestershire City Region Board (Appendix 3 - document to follow)


4)    Request for funding from Cheltenham Borough Council in respect of the Cyber Central Project (Appendix 4 – document to follow)

Additional documents:


Andrew Cummings, Section 151 Officer at Stroud District Council, gave an update on the Gloucestershire Business Rate Pilot Pool and the Strategic Economic Development Fund.


The following requests for funding were made at the meeting: -


1)    Rail Investment Strategy, (ratification of an in-principle decision made on 4 September 2019) (Appendix 1);


The committee considered the request for funding made at the Economic Growth Joint Committee meeting held on 4 September 2019  for the commissioning of a Rail Investment Strategy (RIS) for Gloucestershire. The study will underpin GCC’s priorities for rail investment in the County and inform the ongoing review of the Gloucestershire Local Transport Plan (LTP). It will also form a key part of the emerging Local Industrial Strategy (LIS).


Subject to agreement from a meeting of the Gloucestershire Chief Executives Group on 10 June 2019, and the in principle agreement of this committee on 4 September 2019, the committee: -


RESOLVED to provide the additional £70,000 required in order to complete the proposed two phased approach for the Rail Study Commission.


2)    Request for funding from the Local Nature Partnership (LNP) in respect of Natural Recovery Mapping (Appendix 2);


Seeking clarification on the statutory obligations of government legislation, (25 Year Environment Plan, Industrial Strategy and National Planning Policy Framework), and the amount of government funding anticipated for the proposals, (including anticipated maintenance costs), the committee deferred this item for further consideration. The decision to be considered at a reconvened meeting to be arranged in February 2020.


3)    Request for funding from the Central Gloucestershire City Region Board (Appendix 3)


The committee noted an expression of interest for funding from the Strategic Economic Development Fund (SEDF) to fund the commissioning of work proposed by the newly established Central Gloucestershire City Region Board.


If successful, the request for funding to be used to assist in providing additional capacity and resources from which to support the strategic aims of the Board and the ambitions of Vision 2050. A key function of the Board would be to develop a vision for the future of Gloucestershire to 2050 and beyond. The vision to be incorporated into a high level masterplan, (a key document setting out the growth aims and priorities of the county), and to provide guidance on the development of future spatial and strategic plans.


An expression of interest was made in respect of £500,000 funding. Governance arrangements from which to manage the funds would be developed, including the ability to recruit the necessary staff support that might be required. Administration costs, fund holding and staff provision to be allocated to one or more partner bodies and funded jointly.


The outcomes of the investment, including key milestones of delivery, to be reported to the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Joint Committee and to Leadership Gloucestershire, (as the sponsoring and advisory body for the Programme Boards).  To date, no new funding for this work had been received. Emphasis was placed on the understanding that the investment  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


GFirst LEP Update pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To receive activity reports on the work of the Gloucestershire First (GFirst) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), including updates on: -


a)    The Gloucestershire Growth and EU Funding Programme and

b)    Local Industrial Strategy (LIS) Consultation



Additional documents:


Due to insufficient time at the meeting, it was agreed to defer this item for consideration at a reconvened meeting to be arranged in February 2020. 


After the meeting, an email was circulated to members inviting the committee to consider the report circulated with the agenda, (published at item 9 of the agenda for the meeting on 20 November 2019), and submit any questions to Written responses to the questions would be provided.


The committee to note the update and ask any questions at the reconvened meeting on 4 February 2020.


Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee

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


Cllr Kevin Cromwell, Chairman of the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee, gave a brief update on the work plan of the committee.


Cllr Cromwell confirmed that, on 4 September 2019, the Scrutiny Committee had participated at a meeting at the Gloucester Growth Hub, where members received information on the work of the GFirst LEP and an update on the Local Industrial Strategy. On 18 September 2019, a further (joint) committee meeting was held in association with the members of the GCC Environment Scrutiny Committee to consider the Draft Local Transport Plan.


An localised meeting was held at the Stroud District Council Offices on 30 October 2019, with presentations on growth issues affecting Stroud District, Carbon Neutral 2030 targets and spatial planning proposals. 


At the scrutiny committee meeting to be held later that day, the committee would receive an update from Mobile UK on mobile connectivity and an update on the newly created Vision 2050 Programme Boards. 



Future Meeting Dates pdf icon PDF 71 KB

a)    To note the dates of meetings in 2020; 


18 March 2020

3 June 2020

16 September 2020

18 November 2020


b)    To consider the committee forward plan and suggest items for consideration at future meetings


c)    To receive an update on proposals for briefing the committee on local growth projects, including the introduction of a ‘Local Strategic Growth Project Update’ template (attached).





Additional documents:


The dates of the meetings arranged in 2020 were noted:


18 March 2020

3 June 2020

16 September 2020

18 November 2020


A review of the process for considering the work of the district/borough authorities at future committee meetings and an update of the committee work plan to be considered at the reconvened Economic Growth Joint Committee meeting to be arranged in February 2020.