Agenda and minutes

SCR - Local Enterprise Partnership - Thursday, 16th January, 2020 11.00 am

Venue: 11 Broad Street West, Sheffield S1 2BQ

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome and Apologies

Minutes:

Members’ apologies were noted as above.

 

The Chair took the opportunity to congratulate colleagues in respect of the recent progress made to determine the detail of the SCR Devolution Deal and facilitate movement towards public consultation on the matter.

2.

Declarations of Interest

·         In relation to any agenda item

·         In relation to any activity since the last formal meeting

·         In relation to any forthcoming activity

Minutes:

None.

3.

Notes of Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 249 KB

Minutes:

The notes of the previous meeting were agreed to be an accurate record. 

4.

Strategic Economic Plan Update pdf icon PDF 101 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report was received to present an update on the progress of the SEP following the discussions at previous LEP Board meetings.

 

Members were provided with an overview of the document’s contents and received a presentation of the draft.

 

It was noted a more complete draft will be circulated as part of the papers for the forthcoming SCR MCA meeting.

 

Commentary was provided on what has changed from previous iterations of the draft, noting these are based on various lessons learnt, and that the latest draft is more engaging of the needs and expectations of our stakeholders and partners and capable of facilitating new ways of working.

 

An explanation of the proposed vision was provided, noting this is based around the 3 core components of growth, inclusion and sustainability.

 

How the SEP will fit with and provide strategic direction for the SCR’s suite of strategies and plans (directly and indirectly) was explained.

 

Members questioned the proposed short timeframe for the submission of comments on the draft and agreed this was undeliverable. It was agreed to extend the feedback window from 1 week to 1 month, noting this will still facilitate the intention to engage government in respect of our intended strategy over the summer.

 

When received the next version of the draft, the Board requested early sight of the comments made by members, particularly where these may conflict, to facilitate a rounded discussion on the matter at the next meeting (March).

 

Members expressed an expectation that the Strategy, once finalised will be readable and understandable to a wider audience and avoid trying to be ‘too much to too many people’.

 

Members criticised strategic approaches that try to allocate ‘things to places’, questioning the validity of this approach and proposing that such cluster based mechanisms are too restrictive for unknown future developments.

 

Members acknowledged the inherent complexities that bringing together a document of this nature entails and thanked the Executive officers for what they have achieved so far. However, it was suggested the proposed vision was straining attempts to be kept within 1 sentence and may benefit from some additional sentence structure, potentially using this as a means to say something positive about our expectations for each core component. 

 

The meeting considered what might be the most apposite role of the LEP Board going forward to support the Strategy and its implementation. It was suggested this role would be most predicated towards determining the SCR’s business case for future local growth programmes and priorities in light of the content of the SEP.

 

RESOLVED, that the Board members will be afforded 1 month to feedback on the current draft, ahead of further consideration of all changes at the next meeting, with the intention to delegate the sign-off of the draft SEP for consultation to the Mayor, LEP Chair and SCR Chief Executive following this exercise.

5.

SCR Draft Energy Strategy pdf icon PDF 161 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report was received to present the revised draft SCR Energy Strategy. It was noted this takes into account the steer and comments of the SCR Infrastructure Board.

 

Members were presented with the background and context to the Strategy, the process taken to prepare the draft, consideration of what matters are of greatest pertinence to our locality, the evidence base collated and the proposed goals and policies (to drive clean growth and decarbonisation in our local businesses whilst maintaining competitiveness, to promote investment, to improve energy efficiency and to accelerate the transition towards ultralow emission vehicles)

 

A timeline for how the SCR might achieve its net zero carbon ambition was provided.

 

Members thanked officers for the work that has gone into preparing the draft. It was suggested practically everyone wants to realise a low carbon economy and this is a clear way the SCR LEP can play its part in achieving that vision.

 

It was suggested that of primary concern must be the need to develop costed actions rather than just un-costed strategic ambition, and be able to keep up with the national agenda to ensure the SCR can build on its industrial and advanced manufacturing heritage in attracting and developing the new jobs associated with new markets and sectors.

 

Questions were raised regarding whether the draft is trying to say too much for both energy generation (and the low carbon economy) and energy usage (and the reduction of the region’s usage to net zero) and whether the focus here should be primarily centred with energy generation.

 

It was suggested that pending the development of costed actions and identified sources of funding, the Strategy should be best viewed as a ‘statement of intent’.

 

The meeting considered the importance of having proper plans and actions in place that will help people understand and respond to what will be the right things to do to address climate change.

 

Consideration was given to how the issue of fuel poverty should be best referenced in the narrative. It was suggested that whilst this may not be a direct component we need to be absolutely mindful of it as a major social problem with the propensity to greatly affect the strategy’s ambition if not addressed.

 

Members questioned the ‘green heart of Great Britain’ concept and suggested efforts need to be made to avoid appearing to tell people how to run their lives.

 

It was suggested the Strategy needs to be realistically couched and demonstrate the SCR as a region in transition that can do better, rather than something we will never achieve.

 

Consideration was given to the effect of national policies and the requirement for an economy that is better and fairer for everyone if people are to be convinced to give up their car within a nearer timeframe.

 

Examples were cited for other regions, nationally and internationally, that are ahead of the SCR in terms of their transition towards a low carbon economy, and what has been done (that the SCR could mirror) to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Local Growth Fund and Programme Demand pdf icon PDF 157 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report was received to provide an update of the current LGF programme position, the available headroom and the current level of over programming.

 

The report made recommendations to reduce the number of schemes in the pipeline thus reducing the over programming and also recommended the actions to be progressed with schemes in contract or with funding approval that are not progressing in accordance with the milestones agreed and are deemed to have a high risk of slipping beyond the life of the LGF programme.

 

The meeting was provided with an explanation of the various factors being mitigated as part of the management of the programme and assurances that despite the management of an over-programme position, there are safeguards in place to prevent any risk of over-commitment.

 

Members were advised of a slight adjustment to the figures which had developed since the publication of the papers.

 

Members asserted opinion that underspends must be avoided at all costs and therefore endorsed the Executive’s usage of the over-programme as a means of maximising spend.

 

Further information was provided with reference to the four schemes recommended for removal from the pipeline.

 

RESOLVED, that the Board:

 

  1. Approve the removal of four schemes from the pipeline thus reducing the over-programming position.

 

Approve the return of one scheme with funding approval to the pipeline to increase the available headroom.

7.

Local Growth Fund Programme Update pdf icon PDF 156 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report was received to provide an update on the 2019/20 LGF current outturn position and the impact on the LGF programme.

 

It was noted the report shows significant fluctuations from predicted spend at the start of the year such that a potential underspend is currently forecast.

 

The paper also presented the contents of the Quarter 2 2019/20 DELTA Dashboard monitoring form, submitted to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) on the 22nd November 2019 deadline.

 

Members were advised that further monitoring and claims processes would be introduced for the rest of the financial year to maintain regular contact with scheme promoters to ensure the year-end position is appropriately managed and to mitigate and risk of year-end underspend.

 

RESOLVED, that the Board:

 

  1. Notes the predicted 2019/20 LGF outturn position, and supports any remedial action it would wish to see to mitigate any negative impact on the LGF programme

 

  1. Notes the submission of the Q2 2019/20 DELTA Dashboard to MHCLG and its contents

 

  1. Supports the imposition of a monthly claims protocol and also weekly update reports to Chief Executives and Directors of Finance.

 

8.

Budget Update pdf icon PDF 251 KB

Minutes:

A report was received to update the Board on the progress made in developing the draft LEP and MCA revenue budget for 2020/21 in the context of a 5-year financial strategy.

 

The meeting was provided with a detailed explanation of the main points of the Strategy in respect of income, staffing, treasury management and other core revenue budgets

 

Members noted the intention to use some reserves next year to balance the expected revenue deficit.

 

It was noted work has been undertaken to further quantify the assumptions and expectations of the Mayoral Capacity Fund.

 

Members requested that sufficient notice be given of any intention to convene further budget workshops.

 

RESOLVED, that the LEP Board members note the progress to date in developing the draft LEP and MCA revenue budget for 2020/21 in the context of a 5-year financial strategy.

9.

Mayoral Update pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Minutes:

The Mayoral update was provided for information and comment.

 

Members queried what the outcomes of the bus review exercise might be, beyond what has been recognised through similar reviews. It was noted the strength of this review is that it will present the Review Panel’s actual recommendations rather than just observed findings.

 

Members requested early sight of the report prior to its formal presentation.

 

Regarding the Culture and Music initiative, it was confirmed activities are aligned with work being led by Welcome to Yorkshire.

10.

Chief Executive's Update pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Minutes:

Provided for information.