Venue: Civic Suite - North Warehouse - Gloucester City Council. View directions
Contact: Sophie Benfield
Chair, Cllr Kevin Cromwell, to welcome everyone to the meeting and to explain the purpose of the discussion.
1.1 Chair of the Committee, Cllr Kevin Cromwell, opened the meeting by thanking Gloucester City Council for hosting the Committee.
1.2 It was explained that the purpose of the meeting was to focus on issues relating specifically to the economic agenda for Gloucester City and for members to consider proposals on how engagement between the Gloucestershire First Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Joint Committee, the Joint Scrutiny Committee and the District Authorities might be improved.
1.3 The Chair informed members that this was the final local meeting and in March the Committee would be considering an outcome report which would address all local meetings and issues raised.
To note any apologies.
Apologies were received from Cllrs Stephen Davies, Gina Blomefield (Cotswold District Council) and Jim Dewey (Stroud District Council).
Cllr Patrick Coleman was present as a substitute for Cllr Gina Blomefield.
Apologies were also received from Colin Chick and Simon Excell.
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.
No declarations of interest were made.
To receive a presentation on the economic growth agenda for Gloucester City Council.
a) Presentation (30 minutes)
Lead members and officers from Gloucester City Council to present information on key issues and concerns affecting the economic growth and development of Gloucester City 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 (Gloucester) growth related issues.
c) Questions and Answers (40 minutes)
An opportunity for the members of Gloucester City 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.
The presentation for this section can be found at Annex A
4.1 The Chair invited Cllr Paul James, former Leader and Cabinet Member for Regeneration and the Economy for Gloucester City Council, to open the first section of the meeting, a presentation from Gloucester on key issues and concerns affecting the economic growth and development of the City.
4.2 The Committee heard that the regeneration of the City has been the best part of a 20 year project, dating back to the first major scheme as the opening of the Oxstalls Campus in 2002 to form part of the University of Gloucestershire.
4.3 The majority of the regeneration was focused around Gloucester Docks and Quays area, and the Council were conscious efforts needed to be redirected to the City Centre going forward.
4.4 Members heard from Slides 4 to 6 about the economic challenges the City had, and how the Council saw its role in addressing those.
4.5 David Evans, City Growth and Delivery Manager, gave an overview of the main economic challenges facing the City.
4.6 The Committee heard a snapshot view of Gloucester’s economy (slides 8 and 9). They were advised that unlike the national picture, Gloucester had a mixture of large, traditional employers which were double that the South West average and new SME’s in emerging industries. This mixture means Gloucester is highly exposed to the changing nature of productivity and the decline in traditional sectors.
4.7 There was a higher than average proportion of the population who were economically active, however, qualification rates were low across the board meaning the local population may not be able to take full advantage of growth in new industries requiring technical skills.
4.8 The City have produced an Economic Growth Strategy 2018-21 which analysed what was happening in the City now and then how in the future to stimulate growth development, increase skills and improve the place that is Gloucester through investment.
4.9 Slides 10-16 gave an overview of the three key areas of focus; Business, People and Place, with a cross cutting objective of ‘Impact’, ensuring all growth benefits Gloucester’s residents.
4.10 Ian Edwards, Head of Place, presented on the current initiatives.
4.11 It was stressed the need to work in partnership with all local authorities in Gloucestershire and the GFirst LEP, to tackle economic growth challenges together and develop regeneration together.
4.12 Slides 20 to 23 showed the Committee several of the regeneration projects in Gloucester over the last two decades.
4.13 Members were informed that the next stage of regeneration would focus on the City Centre and beyond. They were facing a huge challenge with the changing role of retail which was bringing a change of balance in the City. Gloucester needed a to provide a new experience which encouraged visitors to spend more time there.
4.14 The Council was taking a leading role in the redevelopment of the City Centre through its recent acquisition of three shopping ... view the full minutes text for item 4.