Agenda and minutes

Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Scrutiny Board - Thursday, 10th September, 2020 2.00 pm

Venue: Microsoft Teams

Items
No. Item

21.

ROLL CALL

To confirm attendance the Democratic Services Officer will carry out a roll call.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Mr J Bainbridge, Mr R Ashcroft, Ms C Bell, Mr P Dew, Mr K Hamilton, Mr M Hawkins, Mr C Hogg and Mr J Kane.

22.

MEMBERSHIP

To note any recent changes in membership.

Minutes:

Members were informed that Mr P Dew had replaced Mr B Shirley and that Mr P Baker had be appointed to replace Mrs M Robinson.

23.

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.

 

Note

 

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).

 

 

Minutes:

There were no disclosures made on this occasion

24.

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.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that,                 the press and public not be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any items of business on the agenda.

 

25.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Trust held on 3 March 2020 (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that,                 the minutes of the previous meeting held on 3 March 2020 be agreed as an accurate and complete record 

26.

FUNDING LANDSCAPE OVERVIEW pdf icon PDF 134 KB

To consider a report from the Chief Executive – CLEP with the purpose of providing an overview of the economic funding landscape in 2020.

Minutes:

Members considered the report from the Chief Executive – Cumbria LEP (CLEP) which presented an overview of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and detailed the work that CLEP had been doing to ensure that all available funding was made available to Cumbria businesses to support them through the economic challenges.

 

The Chief Executive – CLEP described how the CLEP had focused its initial activity on identifying and promoting interventions that could help to protect jobs. The main support intervention was the Government implemented Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which was introduced on 1 March 2020 to support those businesses that had their operations affected by COVID-19. Members heard that the CJRS was very widely taken up nationally, with Cumbria having a slightly higher take up at 34% in comparison with the national average of 32%. South Lakeland and Eden’s rates for example were the highest rates in the country. It was said that the scheme had helpfully preserved jobs but could present serious risks once the programme closed at end of October.

 

Government also introduced the Self Employed Income Support Scheme to provide support to self-employed individuals with trading profits of up to £50,000 and who had been adversely affected by COVID-19. Data released by HMRC showed that there was estimated to be 24,800 potentially eligible self-employed people in Cumbria, of whom 18,200 (73%) had made claims by 30 June totalling £50.4m. This was an increase of 1,300 claims since May. The highest volume of claims came from residents in South Lakeland (5,000), which also had the highest take-up rate in Cumbria (75%). The lowest take-up rates were in Copeland (71%) and Eden (72%).

 

The mandatory closure of the retail, leisure and hospitality sector was particularly significant for Cumbria, given the structure of its economy and high rates of employment in these sectors. The business rates relief schemes were therefore helpful to Cumbrian businesses who received payments of £173.295m from a total initial allocation of £208.915m as of 23 August 2020. Payments across Local Authorities varied from 68% to 90% with the Cumbria-wide average being 83%.

 

The role of BERRG was highlighted in identifying business that had fallen through the cracks in terms of eligibility. Since then £10.076m had been made available for these Cumbrian businesses.

 

The Chief Executive – CLEP provided a brief overview of the additional grant support schemes which were made available and which included the following:-

 

  • Bounce Back Loan
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
  • Future Fund
  • Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme
  • Corporate Financing Facility?

 

The sector specific schemes for hospitality were also highlighted, these included:-

 

  • Eat Out to Help Out
  • Reduced VAT

 

The Chief Executive – CLEP then informed members that during the pandemic CLEP had continued to deliver the Growth Deal programme to ensure that all funding could be effectively spent by 31 March 2021, when the current funding period would formally end. The remaining funding available for 2020/21 was £11.695m for 2020/21 and plans were in place to ensure that all  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.

27.

RESTART, REBOOT, RETHINK - A PLAN FOR CUMBRIA'S ECONOMIC RECOVERY pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To consider a report from the Chief Executive – CLEP with the purpose of providing information on the development of the Restart, Reboot, Rethink Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered the report from Chief Executive – CLEP which provided an update on the draft plan for Cumbria’s economic recovery. The Chief Executive – CLEP began by explaining the formation of the Business and Economic Response and Recovery Group (BERRG). Cumbria LEP’s Chief Executive was invited to Chair BERRG, once it was stood up in late March 2020.

 

BERRG’s Terms of Reference included the requirement to produce Cumbria’s economic recovery plan. A first draft of “Restart, Reboot, Rethink – A Plan for Cumbria’s Economic Recovery” was presented to BERRG at its meeting on 11 August. The draft at Annex A of the report had been provided to the LEP Scrutiny Board for review and comment, to inform the next stage development of the Plan.

 

The Chief Executive – CLEP commented on the rising levels of unemployment in the county and the contraction of the economy which was 1.6% above the national average at the time. However, she also highlighted the many great opportunities for Cumbria as part of the ‘rethink’ initiative.

 

A question was asked regarding the declining work age population in Cumbria and a discussion took place in which it was suggested that what Cumbria needed was a more responsive and flexible skills system so as to reskill workers from different sectors and link opportunity to need.

 

Specific questions were then asked about the potential for Walney airport to be considered as a free port whereby members heard that guidance was still to be received from central government which would provide clear criteria on the implementation of free ports. It was then reinstated that if Walney met this criteria then it would be considered.

 

A discussion then took place regarding the structure of the draft document and whether the opportunities in offshore wind and nuclear could be better integrated to highlight Cumbria’s position as a potential base for the manufacture of large precision components for both wind turbines and module reactors. The Chief Executive – CLEP informed members that the new draft document did better integrate the ideas under the Diversify to Thrive theme.

 

Members noted the report and agreed the priorities to be included in the next draft of the Recovery Plan.

 

28.

DEEP DIVE - TRANSITIONS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE pdf icon PDF 300 KB

To consider the report from the Chief Executive – CLEP with the purpose of providing a deep dive into support for transition of young people from secondary education to the world of work through employment, Further and Higher Education.

Minutes:

Members considered a report from the Chief Executive – CLEP which provided information on how the CLEP supports the transition of young people from secondary education to the world of work through employment, Further and Higher Education.

The Chief Executive – CLEP explained that the LEP’s People Employment and Skills Strategy Group (PESSG) was the thematic arm of the Cumbria LEP Board on all employment, education and skills related issues, providing advice and recommendations to the CLEP Board on future investment. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, PESSG surveyed young people across Cumbria to develop a clear understanding of the challenges that they were facing. This survey generated over 700 responses, with the headline findings as follows:

 

·              90%+ indicated that COVID-19 had not caused them to re-think the next step in the learning journey

·              further information was required to facilitate the next step in their learning journey

·              concerns about having to complete work in time

·              concern about delays in Apprenticeships

·              Some respondents were concerned about going back to work or into College

 

Members were informed that in response to a question about what would be most helpful, young people requested:

 

·         More communications and support about their learning programmes and next steps

·         Clear guidance from learning providers

·         Details on what opportunities would be available in September

·         Support and encouragement with work

·         Reassurance regarding next steps

 

Members raised concerns regarding access to post 16 education and asked to what extent transport is a barrier entry. This opened up into a discussion about higher and further education and transport provision. The Chief Executive – CLEP recognised the challenge inherent in Cumbria’s geography but stated that the key was in partnership work to find new and innovative solutions.

 

The LEP Scrutiny Panel noted the work of Cumbria LEP in supporting the effective transition of young people into the next stage of their career journey.

The Chair of the Board then thanked the Chief Executive and the Chair of the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership.

 

 

29.

DATE & TIME OF THE NEXT MEETING

The next meeting is due to take place on 8 March 2020 at 14:00pm the venue is TBC.

Minutes:

The next meeting of the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Scrutiny Board is due to take place on 8 March 2021.