Agenda and minutes

Remote meeting, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership Board
Tuesday, 14th July, 2020 1.00 pm

Venue: Due to Covid:19 this meeting was held remotely

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


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


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.


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.


For transparency, Simon Pringle asked for it be noted that he was now an associate fellow of Chatham House, participating in research.


Exclusion of the Press and Public


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


Minutes of the meeting held on 10 June 2020 pdf icon PDF 144 KB


Resolved:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 10 June 2020 be approved.


Economic Reporting pdf icon PDF 46 KB

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

Additional documents:


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


Members discussed the latest developments which were outlined in the report and the weekly Leeds City Region COVID-19 Monitor attached at Appendix 1. It was noted that the data from the Office for National Statistics included in the report did not yet reflect the reopening of non-essential retail and the hospitality sector and the Board recognised the challenges being faced by the tourism and culture sectors.


It was noted that work was continuing to understand the potential future impacts of COVID-19 on the local economy.  The cashflow issues being experienced by some SMEs, the importance of the employment hub and the skills to future economic prosperity and support for enrolled apprentices were amongst several areas highlighted.  The detailed modelling work will provide local level insights and the report outlined a summary of provisional results of the analysis to date which did show that there will be differing impacts across West Yorkshire.


Resolved:  That the report be noted.


Covid-19 - Economic Recovery Plan pdf icon PDF 90 KB

(Led by: Alan Reiss, Author: Alex Clarke)

Additional documents:


The Board considered a report of the Director, Policy, Strategy and Communications which provided an update on the COVID-19 economic recovery plan following discussions and input from the Panels.


Members discussed the key areas to be addressed in the recovery plan,  including the need to focus on inclusive growth and capitalise on the opportunity to embed the climate behaviour changes seen during the crisis.

The emerging draft recovery plan has also been shared with the Panels which had given them the opportunity for comment and a summary of their input was attached at Appendix 1.


It was proposed that a draft plan will be considered by the Combined Authority and will be kept under review as the implications of the pandemic develop to ensure priorities remain relevant.  It will align with the plans developed by local authorities as well as the Transport Recovery Plan, which was being led by the Transport Committee, and other regional plans including health. 


Resolved:  That the direction of the emerging economic recovery plan be endorsed.


Panel and Committee Reports pdf icon PDF 182 KB

Additional documents:


The Board discussed and noted the Panel reports which were presented for information.


Members noted the update of the recent meeting of the Employment and Skills Panel including progress and ongoing activities in respect of devolution of the Adult Education Budget (AEB) and the work being undertaken for the refresh of the Employment and Skills Plan. 


It was reported that a meeting of the Green Economy Panel had been held on 7 July 2020 and a verbal update was provided on the discussions held on items including the West Yorkshire Emission Reduction Pathway, White Rose Forest Plan and devolution and green infrastructure standards trial. An informal session had also been held to consider the Economic Recovery Plan and the Panel had considered the progress being made to develop the environment and carbon priorities of the Plan and associated products and programmes.  A copy of the Emission Reduction Pathways reports which had been considered by the Green Economy Panel had been circulated to Members.  The findings of the study were discussed and the LEP Board supported the next steps to be taken in the Emissions Pathways work which will inform future decisions about how to tackle the climate emergency and become a net zero carbon Leeds City Region.


The Inclusive Growth and Public Policy Panel had met on 15 June 2020 and had reviewed its role, particularly in the context of the economic response and recovery issues around the pandemic.  The purpose of the Panel had been discussed and it had been recognised that its role should be developed to support the other Panels and Committees.  It was suggested that Inclusive Growth champions be identified for each Panel to help ensure that thinking and challenge around inclusion, equality and diversity is embedded across the LEP’s work.  It was also considered that an ambitious action plan was needed to deliver inclusive growth in the region and that there was potential for the Panel to further develop its monitoring role.


In respect of the LEP Capital Programme (Investment Committee) update, the Board noted the indicative LEP capital programme for 2020/21 which was detailed in Table 1 of the submitted report. With regard to the Growth Deal Programme, it was reported that the Cities and Local Growth Unit are currently undertaking a review to establish, given the current COVID-19 crisis, the contractual status of projects and the risk of slippage.  The release of the remaining spend will be subject to a satisfactory outcome of the review and a decision is expected in September 2020.


The Panel Chairs were thanked for their updates.


Resolved:  That the Panel reports be noted.


Digital Board pdf icon PDF 71 KB

(Led by: Alan Reiss, Author: Sarah Bowes)

Additional documents:


The Board considered a report of the Director, Policy, Strategy and Communications which provided an update of the work of the Leeds City Region Digital Board.


It was noted that the Digital Board was established in June 2019 to provide oversight of activities under the Digital Framework. A review of the effectiveness of the Board had been undertaken and it was considered that the Digital Board should continue as a working group and be the key route for advice on all digital matters.  However it was proposed that membership of the Board should be strengthened to improve representation and diversity of input, and this should be undertaken in consultation with existing Panels, local authority colleagues and Yorkshire Universities.


Members noted that the review had also set out the need to strengthen the Digital Board’s role in all digital matters across the City Region.  The Digital Board has 3 sub groups  beneath it: the Local Digital Skills Partnership (LDSP), which had been established as part of the devolution agreement, the Collaborative Skills Partnership and the Made Smarter Board.  It was reported that the LDSP, via an outcome of the devolution deal, had a funded post attached to it which will help co-ordinate the Partnership, supporting the work of the Digital Board and further information on the integration of the LDSP with the Digital Board was attached at Appendix 1.


Members highlighted the importance of digital, particularly in the COVID-19 recovery and it was noted that the Digital Board was considering the opportunities post-COVID-19 on the aspirations within the Digital Framework. It was suggested that the Digital Board should have better connectivity with the advisory Panels with reports on digital activities being brought to future LEP Board meetings. 




(i)         That the proposed Local Digital Skills Partnership integration with the Digital Board and strengthened membership proposals be supported, including better connectivity with the Employment & Skills Panel.


(ii)        That the LEP Board supports greater alignment between the Digital Board and the Inclusive Growth Panel, Place Panel and Green Economy Panel.


Future Approach to Commercial Investment pdf icon PDF 136 KB

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


The Board considered a report of the Director of Economic Services on the future approach to commercial investment.


The report provided an update on the revised to the commercial investment project and Members discussed the next steps for implementation in light of the dramatically changed economic landscape because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  It was agreed that Phase three of the planned programme, although intended to implement the agreed elements of phases one and two,  now should be reviewed. Details of the workstreams were outlined in the submitted report which would be further considered by the Director of Economic Services in the light of the changing Covid situation.


It was noted that feedback from each Board/Panel will be used to build on the advice from Deloitte to help shape the final Investment Strategy which will be brought to a future meeting of the LEP Board for approval.


Members noted the details of the Strategic Business Growth Programme and the Board agreed to the proposed allocation of £300,000 from the returned capital on the Growing Places Fund as match-funding for the Strategic Business Growth 2 programme.




(i)         That the revised project plan be noted.


(ii)        That the LEP Board approve £300,000 of the returned capital to be used as match-funding to support the LEP’s Strategic Business Programme Phase 2 in order to support 500 high growth businesses up to the end of March 2023.


Minutes of the Meeting of the Combined Authority held on 21 May 2020 pdf icon PDF 47 KB


Resolved:  That the minutes of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority held on 21 May 2020 be noted.


Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on 3 September 2020 at 12.00 pm followed by the Awayday.


The next meeting of the LEP Board will be held on Thursday 3 September 2020.