Agenda and minutes

Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday 30 October 2019 1.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Stroud District Council

Contact: Jo Moore - 01452 324196 

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome

Chairman, Cllr Kevin Cromwell, to welcome everyone to the meeting and to explain the purpose of the discussion.

Minutes:

1.1       Chairman of the Committee, Cllr Kevin Cromwell, opened the meeting by thanking Stroud District Council (SDC) for hosting.

 

1.2       It was explained that the purpose of the meeting was to focus on issues relating specifically to the economic agenda of the SDC and for members to consider proposals on how engagement between the GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Joint Committee, the Joint Scrutiny Committee and the Local Authorities might be improved.

 

1.3       The Chairman informed members that, from the discussion, an outcome report would be produced, incorporating the responses to any questions considered at the meeting.

3.

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 McCloskey declared an interest as a non-executive director of Publica.

4.

Stroud District Council pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To receive a presentation on the economic growth agenda for Stroud District Council.

 

a)    Presentation (30 minutes)

 

Lead members and officers from Stroud District Council to present information on key issues and concerns affecting the economic growth and development of Stroud District Council. Scrutiny committee members will be invited to ask questions.

 

b)    GFirst LEP Update (10 minutes)

 

GFirst LEP to give a verbal update on current (Stroud) growth related issues.

 

c)    Questions and Answers (40 minutes)

 

An opportunity for the members of Stroud District Council to ask questions on the work of the Gloucestershire First Local Enterprise Partnership, (GFirst LEP), on current and anticipated growth related projects relating to the local area.

 

Please submit any written questions to

sophie.benfield@gloucestershire.gov.uk by 10.00 am on Friday 25 October 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

3.1       Cllr Dewy as the Stroud representative on the Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee introduced Kathy O’Leary, the Chief Executive at SDC to open the item. Members heard how unique and exciting the future of Stroud was for the Council, and the Committee were shown a short film that showcased the highlights of Stroud:

 

http://www.visitthecotswolds.org.uk/film/

 

Presentation 1

 

3.2       Andrew Cummings, Strategic Director of Finance, was introduced to give the Committee an overview of economic growth in the area (presentation at annex 1).

 

3.3       The Committee heard that the overall Stroud’s economy, as with many areas, had both opportunities and challenges. They have an economy which is dominated by manufacturing with very large organisations such as Renishaw being based in district. On the other hand, it also has a large number (80%) of very small businesses which do not attract business rates and have less than 10 employees.

 

3.4       Slide 4 showed the Committee an annual survey of how satisfied residents and businesses were to live and work in the district. The graph displaying these results showed Stroud well above the Local Government Association national average on both, reaching between 94-96%.

 

3.5       It was advised that the Council’s Corporate Delivery Plan had recently been refreshed for the following year which now included a key focus on the economy. There had also been an update of the procurement strategy to include a focus on social value, the climate emergency and the Unite Construction Charter. The Community Banking initiative also supported the economy by helping to provide funding to small businesses and individuals in the area who are unable to find it elsewhere.

 

3.6       Members were shown a picture of a site at Littlecombe which was one of the largest regeneration sites in Gloucestershire, offering both residential homes, community hospital and employment space.

 

3.7       Slide 7 outlined challenges that would need to be considered going forward. As with the rest of the County, there is a clear challenge around demographic, with the recent ONS statistics showing in the next 25 years that the working population in Stroud will rise by 2.6% whereas those retired will rise by 56%. In addition, the average house price in Stroud is just over nine times the average salary in the area. Meaning residents in the area often work outside to be able to afford the property and those working in the area often live outside. This also increases the reliance on public transport.

 

3.8       To finish the presentation, there was a summary of opportunities that lie ahead for Stroud.

 

Presentation 2

 

3.9       Next there was a presentation from Mark Russell, Head of Planning Strategy, who gave an overview on the Stroud Local Plan Review (presentation at annex 2).

 

3.10    It was explained that the current local plan for SDC was adopted in November 2015 and they were currently in the delivery phase for this plan. Since 2015, the Council have started to deliver 5,500 houses, with an additional 500-800 due in the future. They have delivered 25 hectares  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.