Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 24th January, 2018 10.30 am

Venue: Committee Room A, Wellington House, Leeds. View directions

Contact: Ruth Chaplin 

Items
No. Item

28.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors P Davey, P Kane and B Rhodes.

29.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Councillor Ellis declared an other interest (not comprising a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest) as a member of the Yorkshire Regional Flood and Coastal Committee.

30.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

Minutes:

There were no items on the agenda requiring the exclusion of the press and public.

31.

Minutes of the Meeting held on 4 January 2018 pdf icon PDF 283 KB

Minutes:

Further to minute 27, ‘Update and Review of New Governance Arrangements’, Councillor Baker asked that the following points be added:

 

·         The need to ensure members are aware of any delegated decisions taken and in this regard, further information was requested in respect of the Cycle City Ambition Grant programme and the resurfacing of the canal tow path between Hebden Bridge and Todmorden.

·         The arrangements for remuneration of LEP Board Chairs was discussed and members were advised that a revised suite of governance documents, including members’ allowances, was to be considered by the LEP Board on 16 January 2018. The LEP Board would also be considering the MIPIM 2018 programme.

·         The need for inclusive growth to be considered in all projects was stressed.

 

Resolved:  That, subject to the amendments above, the minutes of the meeting held on 4 January 2018 be approved and signed by the Chair.

32.

Oxford GB2 Loan Working Group Report pdf icon PDF 298 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Groves asked if it would be possible to defer consideration of this item until information included in an email sent the previous day had been taken into account.  The email had been sent by Leeds City Council’s Chief Executive to the Combined Authority’s Managing Director and the Leeds members of the Committee.

 

In considering Councillor Grove’s request, members expressed their concern that the email had not been sent to the Chair of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee or all members of the task and finish working group in advance of the meeting.  Following a discussion the consensus was that the agenda item should be considered and that the working group convene at the end of the meeting which would provide an opportunity for them to read the email and amend the report to the Combined Authority if necessary.

 

The Committee considered the report on the findings of the task and finish working group on the loan to Oxford GB2.  It was noted that the review had now been completed and members discussed the summary of key findings and the proposed recommendations to be made to the Combined Authority for improvements to processes and systems.  It was recognised that significant, robust measures had already been introduced to improve processes and decision making and these provided rigour and challenge, supporting the assurance process now in place.

 

The committee thanked the working group for their commitment to the task and to the Combined Authority officers who had supported the process.

 

Resolved:  That the recommendations of the task and finish working group be provided to the next meeting of the Combined Authority for consideration, subject to the members of the working group considering if any changes should be made in light of the email provided.

33.

Economic Services - Business Grants pdf icon PDF 288 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report which provided information relating to grant approvals made between 1 April 2015 and 30 November 2017 for programmes delivered by the Economic Services directorate.

 

It was noted that the Combined Authority was one of a number of organisations providing grant support to businesses within the Leeds City Region.  Members discussed the key areas of business currently being delivered and in development and details of the business grant programmes currently being delivered were outlined in the submitted report.  An infographic of the current Combined Authority business support model was attached at Appendix 1 and additional information was also provided including at Appendix 5, a tracker for projects approved in 2015/16 for the Business Capital Expenditure Grants and for all approved Resource Efficiency Fund projects. 

 

Members were given the opportunity to ask questions and, in welcoming the report and information provided, suggested that it would be helpful to have an overview on the procuring and awarding of contracts, outputs and outcomes.  The need to measure increased productivity across the districts was also emphasised.  It was agreed that further updates would be provided on a six monthly basis with a level of individual detail.

 

Resolved:  That the report be noted and further updates be provided on a six monthly basis.

34.

Transport Committee - Priorities & Spend

Councillor Keith Wakefield, Chair of WYCA Transport Committee will attend.

Minutes:

The Committee was given a presentation which set out the background to the Combined Authority’s transport functions in respect of priorities and spend.

 

Councillor Keith Wakefield, Chair of the Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, attended the meeting and gave a presentation which provided members with an overview of the work of the Transport Committee over the last year.  He highlighted the current and future transport issues, priorities and challenges and members debated several topics including:

 

·         The importance of Inclusive Growth - this would be considered as part of each project and included in every funding stream.

·         Air quality - members were assured that the types of vehicles used outside clean air zones would be monitored.

·         Maximising the benefits of HS2 for the City Region including jobs and the importance of sub-regional connectivity.

·         The challenges of working with a reduced budget and how this will be communicated to the public.

·         Delivering strategies.

·         Young people - concessionary fares and improving flexibility with bus operators.  Members stressed that buses must be punctual and reliable to encourage young people to use them.

·         Rural services - their social value and importance for getting young people in remote areas to education and jobs.

·         Engagement with the private hire community to promote/encourage tender bids, particularly for rural areas, was discussed.

·         Working closely with planning departments and developers to ensure public transport/cycling needs are considered as part of any applications.

·         The success of park and ride schemes was noted.

·         Ticketing & information – reducing the cost of information by promoting self-service.

·         Cycling – it was noted that although the current CityConnect funding stream was ending, work was ongoing with District Councils to maintain the impetus.  Members stressed the preference for segregated cycle lanes where possible.  For example, the importance of a cycle lane between Hebden Bridge and Todmorden on the canal towpath was highlighted and it was reported that funding options were being investigated.

 

Resolved:  That Councillor Wakefield be thanked for attending the meeting and for the informative discussion.

35.

Assurance Framework - Annual Review pdf icon PDF 279 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report which provided an update on progress relating to changes proposed to the Leeds City Region Assurance Framework arising from its annual review, and with the recently issued review of Local Enterprise Partnership Governance & Transparency (October 2017). 

 

It was noted that the LEP has secured Growth Deal funding and the Combined Authority, as the accountable body, had to ensure there are robust, transparent and accountable processes in place to support the budgets and programmes for the LEP and the Combined Authority. 

 

The Assurance Framework has to be updated annually and published on the Local Enterprise Partnership’s website.  The Committee discussed the latest draft which was attached at Appendix 1.  The Overview & Scrutiny’s SEP Delivery Working Group had discussed this at their recent meeting and offered a level of challenge to the approach taken and were content with the current progress.  It was considered worthwhile for the Working Group to continue with its scrutiny to ensure it remains fit for purpose as this was a ‘live’ document.

 

It was noted that the changes to the LCR LEP’s governance arrangements which were approved on 16 January 2018 had been reflected in the document.  The draft Assurance Framework had been discussed at the recent LEP Board and would also be considered by the Governance & Audit Committee and the Combined Authority at their forthcoming meetings.   Members were asked to forward any comments on the draft document to Rachel Jones, the Combined Authority’s Programme Manager by mid-February.

 

Resolved: 

 

(i)         That the reasons for revising the Leeds City Region Assurance

           Framework as set out in the submitted report be noted.

 

(ii)        That any feedback or comments on the draft document be provided

           by mid-February 2018.

36.

Forward Programme of Work pdf icon PDF 264 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the work programme for the coming year and agreed that the following items be included on the forward plan of work for 2018/19:

 

·         Flood alleviation (follow up of actions from the report)

·         Branding

·         Transport for the North

·         Economic Services – Business Growth – Update to be provided on a six monthly basis

 

It was noted that Devolution would remain a standing item on each agenda and that the programme could be supplemented by any further items as they were identified during the year. 

 

The Committee also noted the forward agenda plan for the Combined Authority which was attached at Appendix 1.

 

Resolved:  That the work programme for future meetings be noted.

37.

Items for Feedback to WYCA

Minutes:

It was noted that the Committee’s report on the findings of the Working Group on the loan to Oxford GB2 and proposed recommendations would be considered by the Combined Authority on 1 February 2018.

38.

Devolution

A verbal update will be given.

Minutes:

The Committee was provided with an update on the latest position in respect of devolution discussions since the last meeting. 

 

Members were advised that there was a strong consensus for a ‘One Yorkshire’ deal with 18 out of 20 Yorkshire Leaders in agreement.  An all-party parliamentary group (APPG) meeting and a meeting of the Yorkshire Leaders Board had been held on 12 January 2018 in York at which the desire for a Yorkshire mayor by 2020 had been confirmed. 

 

The Committee discussed the financial gains a deal would bring to the City Region and also the current status of the Sheffield City Region deal in respect of its legislative position and the proposals made to them by Government.  It was noted that the mayoral election for the Sheffield City Region was due to be held in May 2018.

 

A meeting had been requested with the Secretary of State and it was hoped that this would be held towards the end of February 2018.  A further update would be provided at the next meeting.

 

Resolved:  That the update on devolution discussions be noted.

39.

Items for Information

Minutes:

There were no items for information.