Agenda and draft minutes

Joint Enterprise Delivery Committee - Thursday 9th May 2024 2:00pm

Venue: Oak Room, County Buildings, Stafford. View directions

Contact: Chris Ebberley  Email: chris.ebberley@staffordshire.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Appointment of Chairperson

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Minutes:

Resolved: That Councillor Alan White be appointed Chairperson of the Committee for the ensuing year.

 

2.

Appointment of Vice Chairperson

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Minutes:

Resolved: That Councillor Ashworth be appointed Vice-Chairperson of the Committee for the ensuing year.

 

3.

Apologies for absence

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Minutes:

There were no apologies received on this occasion.

 

4.

Declarations of interest

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Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made on this occasion.

 

5.

Chairperson's update / Terms of Reference

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Minutes:

The Committee received an update from the Chairperson regarding the Terms of Reference of the Joint Enterprise Delivery Committee.

 

The Chairperson noted that the Joint Enterprise Delivery Committee was a new body, created to oversee the responsibilities of the upper tier local authorities for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, following the transfer of the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) functions. The County and City Councils had a strong history of working together on various business support programmes, funding streams and the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone, which had benefited the local economy.

 

It was highlighted that since 2010, there were over 75,000 more jobs and over 72,000 more residents with a degree level qualification in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, while the number of people with no qualifications had fallen by over 55,000.

 

It was noted that the LEP had played a major role in the economic successes of the local area, and the Joint Enterprise Delivery Committee put on record its thanks for all the work of the LEP, particularly the people who had represented the private sector businesses.

 

Resolved: That the report be received.

 

6.

Key Decisions

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6a

Post Local Enterprise Partnership Delivery Arrangements pdf icon PDF 130 KB

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Minutes:

The Committee received a report from the Vice-Chairperson, summarising the agreed responsibilities of the Joint Committee, which will form the work programme for the committee over the coming year and will include the delivery of an Economic Strategy for the area, together with proposals for the use of reserves that have been built up by Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SSLEP) which are to be transferred to County Council as the Accountable Body for the SSLEP and managed through the Joint Committee.

 

It was highlighted that the Committee had an opportunity to set out the vision and aims for the local economy over the next decade, building on the collective ambitions and achievements of the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent local authorities. It was expected that the new joint Economic Strategy would be a key document for accessing future funding streams from the government, and therefore it was imperative to be clear on what the local economy needed and wanted to achieve.

 

The Committee wanted to ensure that it continued working proactively with the local businesses and partners and would engage with them over the coming months to shape the economic strategy and the economic decision-making process.

 

The LEP had transferred its reserves to Staffordshire County Council as the accountable body, and the committee would have the remit to decide on how to use this funding for further economic programmes. The Cabinets of both authorities had already agreed to use some of this funding for the Growth Hub, Careers Hub and Local Visitor Economy Partnership programmes.

 

Councillor Watson noted that the decision made by our Cabinets ensured two years of funding for the Growth Hub, and was looking forward, with optimism, to the opportunity to appoint the right people to deliver positive results for the City and County.

 

Councillor Philip White highlighted that the interests of the City and County Councils were tied in geography. The decision to end the LEP was made by Government, but working together, as people of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, and seizing the opportunities that came with the new delivery arrangements was a pleasure to be part of.

 

Resolved: The Joint Enterprise Delivery Committee (hereinafter the “Joint Committee”):

 

(a) Notes the responsibilities of the Joint Committee that have already been agreed by both authorities, and the new responsibilities for the delivery of an Economic Strategy and business voice function for the area.

 

(b) Notes the current level of reserves transferred from the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SSLEP) following the already agreed funding decisions on the Growth Hub, Careers Hub and Local Visitor Economic Partnership (LVEP).

 

(c) Agrees to the use of the Post-LEP Funding to deliver these responsibilities as set out in paragraph 9 of the report, with any significant variation to be agreed by the Joint Committee.

 

(d) Delegates responsibility for the Post-LEP Funding detailed in paragraphs 9 to 11 of the report to the Assistant Director for Business & Enterprise of Staffordshire County Council, in consultation with the Assistant Director – Strategy, Economy and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6a

6b

Legacy programme reporting pdf icon PDF 113 KB

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Minutes:

The Committee received a report regarding the responsibility for the future management of the Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Getting Building Fund (GBF) programmes; and progress made by LGF and GBF schemes to date.

 

The Local Growth Fund and Growing Places Fund programmes that had been managed by the SSLEP had been hugely successful in supporting businesses to survive and thrive and allowed the investment in key infrastructure projects, supporting the delivery of jobs and homes across the area.

 

In total the LEP approved 57 projects which must be monitored and reported to Government on for Quarters 3 and 4 of 2023/24.

 

Of the 57 projects:

·         17 had completed delivery and achieved all outputs;

·         10 had completed delivery, but were yet to achieve all outputs;

·         23 were still in progress and being actively monitored;

·         7 had withdrawn from the process.

 

The Local Growth Fund was announced in 2013 and had brought together several national funding streams, allocated to LEPs through a Growth Deal agreed with the Government. In addition, the Getting Building Fund was a £900m fund announced in 2020 with the intention of supporting economic recovery during and following the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds had been hugely successful in supporting a vast range of projects to be delivered.

 

Councillor Philip White specifically noted that the Local Growth Fund had supported the delivery of:

 

     Employment sites including Liberty Park in Lichfield, Bericote Four Ashes in South Staffordshire, Redhill in Stafford and Chatterley Valley in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

     Major infrastructure schemes including the Stafford Western Access Route, and the Lichfield Southern Bypass.

     Skills infrastructure projects including investment in capital equipment and new advanced manufacturing hubs at South Staffordshire College, Stafford College and the JCB Academy.

     Town centre regeneration schemes including within Tamworth and Rugeley.

     High-quality business premises including refurbished and new space at our enterprise centres in Cannock and Silverdale.

 

A project relating to the Western Extension of the i54 South Staffordshire employment site, where significant investment on the site, with the major international company Fortune Brands Innovations, was highlighted as an exemplar of the Getting Building Fund.

 

Councillor Ashworth raised the investment in the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone, and the regeneration of “Building 5”, found within the Spode Complex, both within Stoke-on-Trent, which would not have happened without support from the Local Growth Fund.

 

For the record, Councillor Alan White, confirmed that the Committee was complemented with a range of senior officers from both authorities, who would support the Committee to ensure that any decision made, would be appropriate, measured and deliverable.

 

Resolved: That the Joint Enterprise Delivery Committee (hereinafter the “Joint Committee”):

 

(a) Notes that Staffordshire County Council (SCC) and Stoke-on-Trent City Council (SoTCC) has now taken over the responsibility for the Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Getting Building Fund (GBF), to be overseen by the Joint Committee, as part of the transfer of responsibilities from the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SSLEP).

 

(b) Notes that the management of these programmes requires frequent reporting to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6b

6c

Growth Hub pdf icon PDF 116 KB

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Minutes:

The Committee received a report concerning the future financing of the Growth Hub and seeking their approval to the draft Growth Hub Annual Report.

 

The committee discussed the status and future plans of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub, a service that had provided support to local businesses and residents. It was noted that the Growth Hub had delivered significant benefits since its inception but had faced challenges due to the uncertainty over the funding and role of the LEPs.

 

The Committee welcomed the confirmation of the Government funding for the Growth Hub until March 2025, and the ringfencing of the same amount from the LEP reserves as a contingency. This would allow the Growth Hub to be funded for a two-year period. It was noted that it would be welcomed if Government could consider a longer-term funding stream for these activities.

 

The Committee expressed its satisfaction with the recruitment of a new Growth Hub Manager, who would be starting their position in June 2024, and would lead the development and delivery of an ambitious longer-term plan for the service.

 

The transfer of the responsibility of the Growth Hub to the local authorities meant that there was now a requirement to deliver the relevant Government reporting requirements, including the completion of an Annual Report. The draft 2023/24 Annual report was presented at Appendix 1 to the report for the Committee’s approval.

 

Resolved: That the Joint Enterprise Delivery Committee (hereinafter the “Joint Committee”):

 

(a) Notes that Staffordshire County Council (SCC) as the accountable body is to receive £298,250 through the Growth Hub core grant for the delivery of the service in 2025/26.

 

(b) Notes that SCC and Stoke-on-Trent City Council (SoTCC) have agreed to ringfence £298,250 of reserves transferred from the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SSLEP) to be held as a contingency for the operation of the Growth Hub, allowing an additional year to be funded should the Government grant not be available for 2025/2026 or any subsequent year.

 

(c) Approves the draft Growth Hub Annual Report (appendix 1 to the report) and delegates responsibility for the finalisation and submission of the Stoke on Trent & Staffordshire Growth Hub Annual Report to the Head of Funding Business & Enterprise (SCC), Strategic Manager – Economy, Culture & Museums (SoTCC) and Senior Finance Business Partner (SCC).

 

(d) Delegates responsibility for the completion and submission of the Schedule 1 and Schedule 3 to Government to the Head of Funding Business & Enterprise (SCC), Strategic Manager – Economy, Culture & Museums (SoTCC) and Senior Finance Business Partner (SCC).

 

7.

Date(s) of next meeting(s)

Thursday 28th November 2024 3.00pm

Thursday 6th February 2025 3.00pm

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Minutes:

Resolved: That the following dates and locations for future meetings of the Committee be noted:

 

·         Thursday 28th November 2024, 3.00pm – to be held at the Stoke-on-Trent City Council Offices.

 

·         Thursday 6th February 2025, 3.00pm – to be held at the County Buildings, Stafford.