Venue: Council Chamber - County Offices, Kendal, LA9 4RQ. View directions
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Mr C Hogg, Mr M Hawkins, Mr S Haraldsen and Mr J Kane.
To note any changes of membership to the Board.
It was announced that the Mr J Kane would fill the vacant seat as the Board’s representative from Copeland.
DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST
Members are invited to disclose any disclosable pecuniary interest they have in any item on the agenda which comprises
1 Details of any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.
2 Details of any payment or provision of any other financial benefit (other than from the authority) made or provided within the relevant period in respect of any expenses incurred by you in carrying out duties as a member, or towards your election expenses. (This includes any payment or financial benefit from a trade union within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.
3 Details of any contract which is made between you (or a body in which you have a beneficial interest) and the authority
(a) Under which goods or services are to be provided or works are to be executed; and
(b) Which has not been fully discharged.
4 Details of any beneficial interest in land which is within the area of the authority.
5 Details of any licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy land in the area of the authority for a month or longer.
6 Details of any tenancy where (to your knowledge)
(a) The landlord is the authority; and
(b) The tenant is a body in which you have a beneficial interest.
7 Details of any beneficial interest in securities of a body where
(a) That body (to your knowledge) has a place of business or land in the area of the authority; and
(b) Either –
(i) The total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body; or
(ii) If that share capital of that body is of more than one class, the total nominal value of the shares of any one class in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest exceeds one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that class.
In addition, you must also disclose other non-pecuniary interests set out in the Code of Conduct where these have not already been registered.
A “disclosable pecuniary interest” is an interest of a councillor or their partner (which means spouse or civil partner, a person with whom they are living as husband or wife, or a person with whom they are living as if they are civil partners).
There were no disclosures of interest made on this occasion.
EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC
To consider whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any item on the agenda.
RESOLVED that, the press and public not be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any items of business on the agenda.
To consider a report detailing the CLEP Annual Delivery Plan (copy enclosed).
The Executive Director – Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) took members through the 2019/20 Annual Delivery Plan which demonstrated the governance and strategy planning expectations of the CLEP.
The Delivery Plan was a new requirement for 2019/2020 as part of the response to the “Strengthened Local Enterprise Partnerships” report.
It was explained that the following were considered key indicators of performance for the 2019/20 Delivery Plan:-
· Supporting the creation of around 650 new jobs
· Levering in around £35 million of investment
· Creating and refurbishing 15,935 sqm of premises
· Helping the delivery of 145 new homes
Members asked for further explanation of the key indicators and sought assurance that the CLEP were on track to meet the targets. It was recommended that Members view the Growth Deal which provided a cumulative update on CLEP performance against agreed targets. The Executive Director highlighted areas where targets were exceeded including premises creation/refurbishment and also identified two areas which had seen slower growth than predicted. Members were assured that those two outcomes, job creation/safeguarding and new homes, were the main focus going forward. It was also explained to members that the CLEP would review projects which failed to deliver on their expectation for job creation.
Members asked for clarification on the make-up of the Investment Panel. It was explained that the panel was made up of representatives from the both the public and private sectors and was chaired by the Deputy Chair of the CLEP, further detail was given about district and county representation and members were told where they could find additional information. A question was raised about the organisations commitment to diversity and whether the Chief Executive would seek to reflect this in representation of the Investment Panel. Members were assured that the CLEP were committed to delivering diverse representation.
The Chair of the CLEP described the organisations clearly defined rules regarding the declaration of interests and contextualised the progress made in implementing the new governance structure. Members praised the work of the Chair and Chief Executive in developing and improving the standard of the CLEP’s new governance structure.
Members sought assurance that members of the CLEP would do as much as possible to ensure the success of the business case to the Department of Transport (DfT) to support the ‘Energy Coast’ Rail upgrade.
Members were asked whether there was scope to carry out work that was previously removed from the work programme if for example there was extra funding unused at the end of the financial year. It was explained that proposals are constrained by regulation which states they must be completed within the financial year if however the proposal was in line with this criteria then there would be scope to do it.
When discussing Local Growth Fund projects it was AGREED that a response be provided regarding outcome figures for Furness College in relation to the Skills Capital 1 project.
Concerns were raised about Borderlands and the relationship between Barrow and wider Cumbria. The Chair of the ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
To consider a report by the Chief Executive, CLEP (copy enclosed).
With reference to the Local Assurance Framework the Chief Executive - CLEP outlined the following key points and how they related to the identification of new projects:
· Loosely or undefined schemes would not be considered for funding – projects need to be developed in a robust manner and compliant with the principles of HMT Green Book.
· Projects seeking less than £0.5m would likely be discouraged unless there is a clear and justifiable rationale for doing so.
· CLEP would not contribute more than 75% of total project costs and for skills capital projects, more than 50% unless in the case of exceptional circumstances.
· CLEP would only contribute towards the capital costs of projects.
The Chief Executive – CLEP informed members that of the 2018/19 funding £6.057m was spent which meant that the Growth Deal had been fully delivered. For 2019/20 a total of £6.818m was on track for delivery. There had been claims totalling £1.949m paid to projects in Quarter 1, representing 28.59% of the annual total. It was explained that in preparation for the next financial year there was £8.215m assigned provisionally to projects which were in development. Members were told that for the current financial year there was now £5.707 in unallocated funding following withdrawal of North Shore Hotel development.
A discussion took place regarding housing demand as well as the role of local authorities and developers in planning and building. The Chief Executive – LEP explained the scope of the promoting Cumbria strategy which aimed to encourage people from out of county to move, work and start a family in Cumbria.
A question was raised about the resilience and suitability of business sites around Cumbria within the context of the changing climate. The Chief Executive assured members that much was being done to safeguard jobs and workplaces. It was confirmed that issues relating to the changing climate would be identified in any planning process and be mitigated against.
The discussion turned to the opportunities that should arise from the ‘green energy’ agenda and the major role that the CLEP had in promoting the production of clean energy. Members heard how the CLEP would continue work with a number of businesses and continue to make contributions to the county-wide climate change group.
It was RESOLVED that, members note the report.
To consider a report by the Chief Executive, CLEP (copy enclosed).
A presentation will be provided detailing Strategic Objective 1 of the Local Industrial Strategy.
The Chief Executive – CLEP updated members on the development of the People, Employment and Skills Work Programme for Cumbria’s Local Industrial Strategy. It was explained that the People, Employment and Skills Strategy Group, one of the CLEP’s sub-board governance bodies, were responsible for driving forward the response to the challenges in relation to People and Skills.
The following priorities were highlighted:-
· Making the best use of available talent
· Developing and retaining higher level skills in our economy
· Creating the future workforce and skills to meet the needs of our economy
· Developing our future leaders and managers
· Addressing worklessness and youth unemployment
A discussion took place about career and skills strategy and the opportunities that could arise to provide a platform for the youth voice. Members sought assurance from the CLEP that skills needs would be addressed through the input and contribution of Further and Higher Education professionals. The Chief Executive assured members that the board had very good representation from the relevant skills sectors.
A further discussion took place in relation to the retention of Cumbria’s skilled work force and then a question was asked about how Cumbria could nurture entrepreneurs and increase the rate of business start-up. The Chief Executive explored the strategies which would create the atmosphere for attracting and retaining innovation, she highlighted the CLEPs work to secure premises and ensure access to superfast broadband.
Members and the Chief Executive – CLEP shared concerns over the age group of 18-24 year olds and the need to solve the issue of ‘worklessness’ on an individual level whilst promoting the strategy of inclusive growth. The Chief Executive explained an offer that had been made to teachers to endorse Cumbria as a location for educational professionals to live and work.
It was RESOLVED that, members note the report.
Update on Mid-Year Review
To consider a report from the Chief Executive, CLEP (copy to follow).
The Chief Executive – CLEP provided an update to members on the outcomes of the Mid-Year Review.
She explained to members that the purpose of the review had been to reflect on the progress of actions which arose from the 2018/19 Annual Performance Review and from the Annual Delivery and Improvement Plans and to show case the progress on delivery of Strategic Economic Objectives and Programmes as well as to identify the major milestones, projects and challenges expected in 2020-21.
In terms of governance performance the following was identified:-
· Performance Review 2018/19 – acknowledged that all actions have been closed.
· Establishing the Company - now up and running as a standalone company as required in Strengthened LEPs
· Compliance Check – no issues identified
· Accountable Body’s Perspective – CCC confirmed pleased with progress made by CLEP on their governance changes and compliance with HMG guidance
In terms of delivery performance the following risks were highlighted:-
· North Shore – advised BEIS project was being withdrawn
· Port of Workington – noted that development issues need to be resolved asap or funding may be clawed-back
· Citadels – dependent on MHCLG decision on SOBC
· Barrow Waterfront – outcomes risks noted and dialogue with BAE for a new manufacturing facility would explore this
Members were informed that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) had noted the plans CLEP had in place to ensure the Growth Deal funding would be spent by March 2021, including the recent expression of interest exercise.
Members were advised of an update to the Brexit Impact Assessment. It was AGREED that the Brexit Impact Strategy be shared with the Board.
DATE AND TIME OF NEXT MEETING
To note that the next meeting will be held on Tuesday 3 March 2020 in Conference Room A/B, Cumbria House, Botchergate, Carlisle.
The next meeting of the LEP Scrutiny Board will take place on 3 March 2020 at 14:00pm.