Agenda and minutes

Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday 20 October 2021 1.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interest

Members of the committee are invited to declare any pecuniary or personal interests relating to specific matters on the agenda.

 

Please see note (a) at the end of the agenda.

 

Minutes:

Cllr Roger Whyborn noted that he was a Director at the Cheltenham airport.

2.

Local Transport Plan Review pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To receive a presentation on the recently adopted Local Transport Plan. This will be a joint item with members of the Environment Scrutiny Committee who have been invited to join.

 

Members to note that the Plan cannot be amended or updated at this point, this item serves only to develop both Committee’s understanding of its content.

Minutes:

2.1       The Chair welcomed members of the Environment Scrutiny Committee who had joined to consider this item. Simon Excell (Lead commissioner for Strategic Infrastructure) and Luisa Senft-Hayward (Transport Planning team Manager) presented this item and Members noted the following points:

 

·         The LTP is an important policy document that the County Council is statutorily required to produce. The latest Plan was adopted in March 2021 and due to the obvious overlap between both the Economic Growth and Environment Scrutiny Committees, both had been involved in its development.

·         The purpose of today’s presentation was to provide on update to members on the schemes and strategies included in the Plan, and to highlight the current challenges and opportunities, especially during a time of unprecedented change.

·         The current Plan had undergone a two-year review prior to its adoption in March 2021. The review considered:

§  the latest national, regional and local priorities and policies

§  to strengthen climate change agenda

§  to reflect adopted local plans and their infrastructure requirements

§  to look forward to new time horizon to 2041

§  to integrate with Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIP).

·         The consultation process for the Review received a good response rate (slide 3). It was clear that climate change, lack of sustainable travel choices, social isolation and high C02 emissions were the biggest concerns for residents.

·         The LTP’s overarching objections was to create a resilient transport network that enabled sustainable economic growth by providing travel choices for all, making Gloucestershire a better place to live, work and visit.

·         This was supported by the following main objectives which aimed to address key challenges: Climate change; Congestion; Social inclusion; Health and Sustainable Growth.

·         The Plan period had been extended to look towards 2041. It was envisaged that future transport would be integrated, smart and innovative with the emergence of new technologies and modes of transport e.g. e-bikes.

·         Its carbon neutral target had also been set for 2041, which, in order to achieve, land use and transport planning would need to be integrated to ensure that new developments allowed people to live and travel sustainably.

·         It was also important to accelerate the implementation of electrical vehicle (EV) charging points, as well as more attractive public transport services and cycling routes that allowed for convenient mass cycling.

·         Slide 6 outlined the schemes focused on delivering active travel which included the West of Cheltenham Walking & Cycling Improvements Scheme, Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans and the Gloucestershire Cycle Spine.

·         Just before adopting the LTP, the Government released a new strategy for cycling called Gear Change. This new strategy outlined a transformative approach to cycling being led by LTN1/20 requirements.

·         Slide 7 outlined the schemes focused on delivering public transport improvements. This included schemes such as the Arle Court Transport Hub, demand responsive transport trials in the Cotswolds and Forest of Dean and the creation of a Bus Service Improvement Plan (this was due to be finalised on 31 October 2021).

·         Slide 8 outlined the delivery  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.

3.

GFirst LEP Item pdf icon PDF 3 MB

To consider the attached paper on the Getting Building Fund Programme Overview & Project Case Study - GREEN Skills Centre Berkeley

Additional documents:

Minutes:

3.1       The Chair welcomed Neil Hopwood (Projects and Infrastructure Manager for GFIRST) to present this item and Members noted the following points:

 

·         The Getting Building Fund Programme was a government initiative which aimed to ‘kick start’ the economy following the first COVID-19 lockdown. GCC were able to bid for this funding and put forward the following five projects for grant funding:

o   Minster Innovation Exchange

o   Cyber Incubation Units – Gloscol

o   Gloucestershire Applied Digital Skills Centre – Cirencester

o   Digital Innovation farm – Hartpury

o   Construction Skills Accelerator Centre – AccXel

·         Slide 3 summarised the 5-year output targets for the Getting Building Fund Programme which included a focus on creating jobs, commercial, education and skills floor space, plus providing better support to new learners and businesses looking to grow.

·         Slide 4 summarised the Getting Building Fund Programme Project Investment figures.

·         The Minster Innovation Exchange project at St Mary’s Church in Cheltenham was outlined. The scheme would create a Growth Hub for Cheltenham which would include an incubation and business development space, broadly orientated to the cyber sector. It also intended to have an incubation space for the creative industries which would see the development of an auditorium space to seat 300. Slide 7 outlined the objectives for this project.

·         The Cyber Incubation Units project at Gloucestershire College (Cheltenham Campus) opened in September 2021 and was designed to work in harmony with the institute of technology.

·         The Applied Digital Skills Centre at Cirencester College was outlined. It was noted that this will transform Cirencester College’s capacity in supporting new T-Levels. The centre was expected to open in March 2022 and would look to be enrolling 450 students a year in digital T-levels.

·         The Digital Innovation Farm at Hartpury looked at integrating traditional farming practices with digital technology.

·         The AccXel Construction Skills Centre in the Forest of Dean would be one of probably only two facilities that would exist in the UK that could provide initial skills and up to Level 3 Operator skills in the construction industry.

·         The GREEN Skills Centre (SGSC) provided the opportunity to build on the Science & Engineering Legacy of the Magnox Programme. Slide 14-16 outlined the grant funding for the GREEN Skills centre. Slide 17 summarised the evolution of the project so far, and finally Slide 18 outlined the challenges involved in this project.

 

3.2       There was a question on how officers ensured they got value for money during competitive tendering. It was advised that throughout the process, there were a number of requirements that officers must meet when selecting projects to fund. A key part of this being that, even though the LEP through its Board and Investment Panel selected the projects most suitable for the funding in question, the actual funds sat with the Accountable Body (GCC). This meant that each decision was subject to significant legal process.

 

3.3       In recent years there had been more emphasis on the need to meet social value requirements within funding allocation. The Merry walks (Five Valleys)  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Work Plan pdf icon PDF 49 KB

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

Minutes:

The Chair requested that if members had any areas they wished to suggest for future consideration to contact Democratic Services.