Agenda and draft minutes

Remote Meeting, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership Board
Wednesday, 10th June, 2020 2.00 pm

Venue: Due to Covid-19, this meeting will be held remotely and will be livestreamed here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCazjNSGpqZZT41Vibn2ZK9A/live (copy and paste the link in your browser)

Items
No. Item

1.

Opening Remarks

Minutes:

The Chair opened the meeting which was the first formal meeting of the LEP Board since February, and the first of the LEP Board meetings to be carried out remotely using Zoom technology. 

 

Members had been sent a copy of a protocol clarifying how the LEP’s Procedure Rules apply to a remote meeting and set out some guidance on the formalities of how the meeting would be managed.  Members would be given the opportunity to speak and their views would be sought on each item. The meeting was also being livestreamed to allow the public to view the meeting.

 

The increase in prominence of the Black Lives Matter movement was discussed and the Board welcomed the steps the Combined Authority is taking to reduce racial inequality in the organisation and the wider region.   

2.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Judith Blake, Denise Jeffery and Keith Aspden and Tom Riordan.

3.

Declarations of Interest

In accordance with the requirements of the LEP Board Members’ Code of Conduct, members have an obligation to review their register of interests before each meeting and to declare any interests.

 

If an interest has not been entered onto the LEP’s register, then members must disclose the interest at any meeting at which they are present and where they have a disclosable interest in any matter being considered and where the matter is not a sensitive interest.

Minutes:

In accordance with the requirements of the LEP Board Members’ Code of Conduct, Members were reminded of their obligations to review their individual register of interests before each LEP Board meeting and to declare any interests.

 

Helen Featherstone declared an other interest in respect of agenda item 7, COVID-19, and advised that YSP had benefitted from the rate relief grants from Wakefield Council but would not be seeking any additional grants or loans.

4.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

Minutes:

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

5.

Minutes of the meeting held on 25 February 2020 pdf icon PDF 252 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 25 February 2020 be approved.

6.

Notes of the Conference Call held on 1 April 2020 pdf icon PDF 163 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:  That the notes of the conference call held on 1 April 2020 be approved.

7.

Economic Reporting pdf icon PDF 153 KB

(Led by: Alan Reiss, Author: James Hopton)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board considered a report of the Director of Policy, Strategy and Communications which provided an update on the latest activity and business intelligence around understanding the impact of COVID-19.

 

Members discussed the latest developments which were outlined in the report and the weekly Leeds City Region COVID-19 Monitor attached at Appendix 1. This primarily focussed on the economic impacts and was compiled using a number of official and unofficial data sources to present the latest intelligence. 

 

Work was ongoing to understand the current and potential future impacts in more detail and opportunities for future developments that can enhance the resilience of the economy and provide growth potential were being explored.  This included work to understand the challenges for people returning to work.

 

Resolved:  That the report be noted.

8.

COVID-19 pdf icon PDF 256 KB

(Led by: Brian Archer, Author: Henry Rigg)

Minutes:

The Board considered a report of the Director of Economic Services on COVID-19.

 

Members considered the continued delivery and development of products and services in response to COVID-19.  They discussed the challenges facing the region and the response work and recovery planning which is being overseen by the West Yorkshire Economic Recovery Board.  Work had commenced with partners to create a regional economic recovery plan which will be kept under review as further information, intelligence and decision making occurs.  This would also need to complement the plans developed by local authorities. 

 

It was noted that regular meetings were also being held between the four Yorkshire and Humber LEP Chairs and representatives of all the major banks in the region. 

 

Members highlighted and discussed the problems being faced by all sectors.

In noting the summary of support and products being provided to businesses, it was acknowledged that funding had not yet been identified for the development of recovery related products and difficult decisions on priorities will need to be made. The products being considered focussed on advice and funding for business recovery. This included support for businesses to innovate and diversify, to build digital capacity to enable effective remote-working and more support for pre-start and start-up firms.  The importance of maintaining skills and supporting the younger age group who will be badly affected by the cuts in all sectors was also highlighted.

 

In noting the transport update, it was reported that emergency funding for bus services was in place until August and for rail, until September. Discussions are being held with the Department for Transport seeking clarity of further funding and investment.  Councillor Blake and the Metro Mayors had written to the Secretary of State recommending that all public sector funding for buses be directed through local transport authorities including the Combined Authority. The need to lobby support for the aerospace industry was also highlighted as this not only provided connectivity to the North but also employment including high paid roles and apprenticeships in the region. 

 

The Board noted the update in respect of the impact of COVID-19 on the organisation and the detailed work being undertaken to consider the financial impacts of the pandemic on the Combined Authority.  Forecasts and options are to be considered by a meeting of the Budget Working Group and a report will be taken to the next meeting of the Governance and Audit Committee.

 

Resolved: 

 

(i)         That the progress on the delivery and development of products and

services in response to the COVID-19 crisis be noted.

 

(ii)        That the position with regard to the impact of COVID-19 on the bus

industry and organisation be noted.

9.

Panel and Committee Reports pdf icon PDF 353 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board discussed and noted the Panel reports which were presented for information. It was reported that several new panel members had been appointed following the recent recruitment exercise and they had been welcomed by the Panel Chairs at their meetings.

 

Members noted the significant areas of activity outlined in the Business Innovation and Growth Panel update, particularly in respect of the role of innovation in supporting both the clean growth agenda and the region’s economic recovery.  A Digital Board meeting had been held and a report setting out the challenges and opportunities would be brought to the next meeting. The importance of digital inclusion was highlighted as large numbers of the workforce were now focussing on remote working and it was considered that implementation of the MIT REAP work across the wider city region would be beneficial. Other areas of work included the preparations for the soft launch of the Connecting Innovation Programme and West Yorkshire Innovation Network and the report also provided an update on the Productivity Pilot, the Strategic Business Growth project and trade and investment activities.

 

The Employment & Skills Panel had met on 4 March 2020 and a workshop  held in April following the agreement of a devolution deal for West Yorkshire.  The deal had included the devolution of the Adult Education Budget (AEB) which would provide additional funding of £63 million per annum subject to meeting readiness conditions.  It was noted that apprenticeship starts had suffered because of the pandemic and this was a national issue which needed to be addressed by Government.  The Board discussed the Levy Transfer support provided and it was reported that the issue of apprenticeships and internships had been raised at a recent meeting between Universities UK and the Secretary of State for Education. 

 

It was noted that due to COVID-19, the meetings of the Green Economy Panel and Place Panel had been cancelled.  However informal virtual meetings had been held to ensure the Panel members were up to date on the activities underway relating to tackling the climate emergency and devolution and the Panel Chairs outlined how the work was progressing.

 

The Inclusive Growth and Public Policy Panel had held a workshop in February and the report provided an update on the progress made in developing the draft Strategy Inclusive Growth Framework.  It was recognised that inclusive growth is a key priority for the West Yorkshire Economic Recovery Strategy and the Board discussed the Inclusive Growth Framework which will be reviewed to consider what changes are necessary in light of COVID-19.  Members considered this work should be prioritised and would welcome the opportunity for a wider discussion on this important issue.

 

In respect of the LEP Capital Programme (Investment Committee) update, the Board noted the current impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the implementation of the programme.  The report provided details of the year end performance of the LEP capital programme and outlined the position as at the end of 2019/20 and Table 1 summarised total expenditure on the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Governance Report pdf icon PDF 240 KB

(Led by: Caroline Allen, Author: Julie Haigh)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board considered a report of the Director of Corporate Services on governance arrangements which:

 

·         Provided the LEP Board with a final update on the process to seek new private sector members for the Combined Authority’s advisory panels.

·         Sought agreement to recommend to the Combined Authority, the proposals outlined in Appendix 1 in respect of private sector membership of the advisory panels.

·         Sought approval to extend both the Board and advisory Panel terms of office of Amir Hussain.

 

It was reported that all discussions and appointments panels had now been completed and a full and final reflection of the private sector membership for each advisory Panel was provided at Appendix 1. The LEP Board endorsed the proposals and the Combined Authority will be asked to approve the following recommendations at their next meeting:

 

·         To nominate Stephen Barker to the Business Innovation & Growth Panel for a term of office to 30 June 2023, with a further three year option.

·         To nominate Claire Paxman to the Employment & Skills Panel for a term of office to 30 June 2023, with a further three year option.

 

In addition it was agreed that Amir Hussain’s LEP Board term of office be extended for a further three years to 30 June 2023. 

 

Resolved:

 

(i)         That the LEP Board recommend to the Combined Authority the nomination of Stephen Barker to the Business Innovation & Growth Panel and Claire Paxman to the Employment & Skills Panel.

 

(ii)        That Amir Hussain’s term of office be extended for a further three years to 30 June 2023.

11.

Developing a LEP-wide response to Tackling the Climate Emergency pdf icon PDF 268 KB

(Led by: Alan Reiss, Author: Jacqui Warren)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board considered a report of the Director of Policy, Strategy and Communication on the development of a LEP-wide response to tackling the climate emergency.

 

It was acknowledged that whilst the final impact of COVID-19 on the Leeds City Region would not be known for some time, the challenge for the city region to become net zero carbon by 2038 remained the same.  It was however acknowledged that target dates to become net zero carbon did vary across different geographies and that Transport for the North’s target was 2050 which Members considered should be more ambitious and aligned with the Leeds City Region’s target of 2038. 

 

Members discussed the ongoing work to tackle the climate emergency and the scale of the challenge which was outlined in Appendix 1. The report detailed a proposed approach to ensure the LEP and its advisory panels develop responses to tackling the climate emergency.  A carbon emission reduction pathway study has been commissioned in order to help the Leeds City Region understand how to meet its 2038 target and the study will outline possible decarbonisation pathways for all major sectors within the city region. 

 

It was recognised that all the advisory panels play a key role in tackling the climate emergency and they should be given the opportunity to input into the development of a preferred pathway. The draft approach and suggested action areas for each Panel to consider were endorsed and these were listed in Appendix 2. It was noted that the list is not exhaustive, and the Panel Chairs were asked to highlight where there were any gaps. It was also suggested that the Business Communications Group be active in raising awareness in the business community, particularly within the SME environment. It was proposed that Simon Pringle arrange an online session for any LEP Board member who would like further information about the background, ongoing work and the challenges being faced in tackling the climate emergency.  It was also agreed that each Panel nominates a ‘climate champion/advocate’ to be responsible for ensuring that tackling the climate emergency is fully considered in all decisions and new opportunities are considered and implemented where appropriate.

 

The Board noted the work of the Zero Emission Transport Working Group which comprised of members of the Combined Authority’s Transport Committee and Green Economy Panel.  The working group are inputting into the development of the emission reduction pathways work and will review the initial results.  They will oversee the decarbonisation of the transport sector and provide regular updates to the Transport Committee and Green Economy Panel.

 

It was noted that this will be a continuing topic area and there will be significant financial implications due to the scale of the tackling the climate emergency.  

 

Resolved:

 

(i)         That the importance of the Emissions Pathways study in determining how the City Region can meet its net zero carbon ambitions by 2038 be noted.

 

(ii)        That the LEP Board endorses all panels playing a significant role in tackling the climate emergency  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Corporate Performance pdf icon PDF 134 KB

(Led by: Angela Taylor, Author: Louise Porter)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board considered a report of the Director of Corporate Services which provided an update on a range of corporate and governance matters.

 

Members noted the summary provided in Appendix 1 of the progress in respect of the 2019/20 Corporate Plan and LEP Annual Delivery Plan.  This also included the headline strategic risks which highlighted the impacts of COVID-19 in respect of the financial implications, the ongoing ability to deliver as intended against key corporate objectives and the delivery of frontline and business as usual services.

 

There is a requirement to produce an annual LEP financial statement and these figures will be used to complete the 2020/21 LEP Annual Delivery Plan. Work has been ongoing to finalise the LEP Annual Delivery Plan and Review document and final approval will be provided by the Chair of the LEP Board and the Managing Director. It was noted that draft annual accounts for 2019/20 have been published pre-audit and it was intended that the final accounts be approved by the Governance & Audit Committee on 30 July 2020.  The pre-audit LEP financial statement was attached at Appendix 2 and this will be finalised at the conclusion of the audit. 

 

In respect of internal audit, it was reported that no audit assignments specifically on LEP activities have been completed since the last meeting.  A copy of the draft 2020/21 Audit Plan which was agreed by the Governance & Audit Committee was attached at Appendix 3.

 

Resolved:  That the report and draft LEP financial statement be noted.

 

13.

Calendar of Meetings 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 202 KB

(Led by: Angela Taylor, Author: Caroline Allen)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board considered a report of the Director of Corporate Services on the proposed calendar of meetings for the LEP Board for 2020/21 and the dates for panels appointed by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (Combined Authority) which report to the LEP Board and other committees.

 

Resolved:     That the calendar of meetings proposed for the LEP Board for 2020/21 as detailed in Appendix 1 of the submitted report be approved.

14.

Minutes of the meeting of the Combined Authority held on 6 February 2020 pdf icon PDF 203 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:  That the minutes of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority held on 6 February 2020 be noted.

 

15.

Minutes of the meeting of the Combined Authority held on 16 April 2020 pdf icon PDF 267 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:  That the minutes of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority held on 16 April 2020 be noted.

16.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 14 July 2020 at the earlier start time of 1 pm.

Minutes:

The next meeting of the LEP Board will be held at 1 pm on Tuesday 14 July 2020.