Venue: Authority Chamber - No.1 Mann Island, Liverpool, L3 1BP
Contact: Charles Yankiah
Appointment of Chairperson
Councillor Dr John Pugh nominated Councillor Carl Cashman to be the Chairperson of the LCR Overview and Scrutiny Committee for the remainder of 2018/19.
This was seconded by Councillor Sir Ron Watson OBE
A vote was taken with the Labour Councillors abstaining.
RESOLVED that Councillor Carl Cashman be appointed as the Chairperson of the LCR Overview and Scrutiny Committee for the remainder of the municipal year 2018/19.
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Jimmy Jackson, Tom Anderson and Mary Rasmussen.
Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
To consider the minutes of the previous meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 5 September 2018.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the previous meeting of the LCR Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 5th September 2018 be approved as a correct record.
Councillor McGlashan enquired about the representation to Government regarding the Quorum.
Jill Coule, Monitoring Officer informed the Committee that representation had been made to the Government on behalf of the Liverpool City Region by the Centre for Public Scrutiny having conducted a consultation exercise with all the Combined Authorities and an expected response and draft guidance was expected by the end of December 2018. Once received the response and draft guidance would be shared with the Committee.
To consider an update from the Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram.
The Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram provided an update relating to his work over the period of September – December 2018 and he highlighted the following: -
· The launch of the Strategic Investment Fund
· Apprenticeship Travel Card
· The launch One Front Door
· Giants final visit
· Living Wage Week
He also informed the Committee that he had a number of site visits to Cammell Lairds and various Foodbanks across the City Region in Wirral, Halton and Liverpool.
Members enquired about the launch of the One Front Door and its benefits to the smaller boroughs of the region and how the value would be measured.
Steve Rotheram informed the Committee that the One Front Door was an internal brand for the City to represent and promote each district. It would be beneficial to the entire city region and would provide and produce growth in every borough through investment, funding and marketing with a number of possibilities and opportunities across the region. It is the best strategic fit for investment for the City Region and all the City Region to compete against the key cities and countries.
Members enquired about the disability access across some of the stations in the region that have deep staircases and no access for wheelchairs and prams and wanted to know what was being done.
Steve Rotheram informed the Committee that he was aware of the situation across the stations and understood the reasons for not wanting to travel around the district and the region, but that the special rail grant of £64m had been cut and those discussions were being held to see what could be done with a more integrated public system.
Members enquired about the City Centre fund and how it would work and following the Giants visit, what would be happening next.
Steve Rotheram informed the Committee that he had recently been to London and had spoken to the Treasury Minister and was advised that there would be investment in addition to the Town Centre Investment Fund and there would be opportunities to work with Local Authority’s and the Combined Authority to see innovative ways to regenerate town centres. He stated that the Combined Authority invested in the Giants and provided funding and it was a massive boost to the Arts and Culture for the City Region. All 6 Districts have something to offer the City Region and with the Borough of Culture 2018 being in St Helens and for 2019 the Borough of Culture going to Wirral, it was another opportunity for the spotlight to be shone on the City Region.
Members questioned the criteria for seeking investment and the practicalities of the criteria and whether there was an element of “weighting” within the criteria and how the Bus passes would work for the Foodbank and the Apprentices.
Steve Rotheram stated that the travel for apprentices would have no restrictions and they would receive a pass which would be funded by the Bus Alliance (Stagecoach and Arriva) and would be well advertised. The ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
To consider the appointment of two substitute member’s (One Liberal Democrat Councillor and One Conservative Councillor) to the Audit and Governance Committee.
The Committee considered a report relating to the appointment of scrutiny members to the Audit and Governance Committee presented by Jill Coule, Monitoring Officer.
RESOLVED that Councillor Carl Cashman (Liberal Democrat Councillor) and Councillor Tom Anderson (Conservative Councillor) be appointed as the substitute members to the Audit and Governance Committee.
Portfolio Lead Update - Councillor Phil Davies
To receive a presentation from Councillor Phil Davies (Wirral), Portfolio Holder: Inclusive Growth, Economic Development, Digital and Innovation portfolio, which provides an update of key progress within this remit.
The Committee received a presentation from Councillor Phil Davies (Wirral), the Portfolio Holder for Inclusive Growth, Economic Development, Digital and Innovation as part of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. He highlighted the following: -
· The remit of his portfolio and the workplan;
· The portfolio 9 objectives that divide into foundations and activities;
· The key deliverables for the portfolio including –
o Investment Strategy
o One Front Door
o Local Industrial Strategy
o Launch and Commitment of Strategic Investment Fund Round 2
o Town Centre programmes
o Inclusive Growth Principles and Models
o Audit of Public Purse
o Digital Infrastructure Delivery
o Innovation and Commercialisation Initiatives
Members enquired about the Community Wealth Fund and the implication that every local authority in the region would have the same ambitions to trade, achieve efficiencies, double-up on wages and production and how could local people benefit from the wealth across the region.
Councillor Davies informed the Committee that workshops were being organised for January/February 2019 with the Centre for Local Economic Strategy who specialised in community wealth issues. A number of issues would be looked at including who benefits from the wealth fund, benefits to local businesses, social enterprises and community interest companies & mutuals’.
Members enquired about the Strategic Investment Fund and commented that some thought would need to be given to improve the capacity of locally based businesses and not just to give contracts to local people, because the business owners usually lived outside the City Region. So it would need to be well researched, top-notch, productive and world competitive and be able to produce strategies and business support that would be effective. There was some concern expressed about the Combined Authority (CA) developing policies and strategies and not involving districts and linking authority officers into the process.
Councillor Davies informed the Committee that the Single Investment Fund has been subsumed within the CA into the Strategic Investment Fund. He stated that all strategies and plans are on the CA website for all to access and there have been successful member/officer meetings with all 6 Local Authority’s involving the Chief Executives, Leaders, Directors of Regeneration and the Economic Development portfolio holders who meet regularly.
The Committee noted the update from the Portfolio Holder for Inclusive Growth, Economic Development, Digital and Innovation, Councillor Phil Davies (Wirral) and thanked him for his attendance.
To consider a report from Lorna Rogers (Head of Mayoral CA Delivery Programme) regarding the One Front Door.
The Committee considered a report from Lorna Rogers (Head of Mayoral CA Delivery Programme) relating to the One Front Door (OFD) who highlighted the following to the Committee: -
· Combined Authority mandated to conduct a review of investment services;
· Feedback from investors and investment practitioners was that current landscape is confusing and fragmented with inconsistent data;
· There is a focus on place based marketing and inward investment;
· Developed a draft proposal for a revised service offer which was approved by the CA in October 2018;
· Finalising the business plan and delivery model in December 2018 for implementation and delivery in Quarter 1 in 2019;
· Current inward investment provision;
· Principles and benefits;
· Proposed delivery model; and
· Delivery output.
The Chair, Councillor Cashman enquired if there had been any friction between the Local Authority’s and the Combined Authority because of the proposal.
Lorna Rogers informed the Committee that there were no reported frictions and it had been well received across the region. Conversations and relationships were already being built and the City Region was prepared to have one consistent message about the City Region and investment opportunities being sent out from the region.
Members enquired about the data capture and how the planning application process would work across the Local Authorities.
Lorna Rogers informed the Committee that the team would be marketing itself when up and running and to date there is no LCR data available about the number of enquiries and conversions. Planning Applications would continue to be dealt with by Local Authorities, but this would need to be clarified.
Members enquired about the composition of the OFD Board, what the OFD Team structure would be and the associated costs.
Lorna Rogers informed the Committee that the composition of the Board had not yet been agreed, but would be happy to feed that back to the Committee at a future meeting. She also stated that a workshop was held in August 2018 with representatives from the 6 Local Authority’s, existing businesses and investors and the feedback relating to the team structure was that it needed 5/6 posts including a marketing manager, account managers, a team leader and administrative posts and would cost about £300k per annum.
Members commented that the OFD was a really good idea and would market and sell the entire region through one enquiry which could then be directed to the best possible fit among the 6 districts.
Members stated that approximately 60% of the budget was staff costs and if there were any intentions to levy businesses.
Lorna Rogers informed the Committee that levying the businesses had not been considered, but there would be start-up costs for the OFD incurred in the first year for the OFD. She also stated that there would be cost savings involved by reducing duplication, concentrating efforts and directing services etc.
Members enquired about how performance of the OFD would be measured and how it would be developed.
Lorna Rogers informed the Committee that there would be key performance indicators in place ... view the full minutes text for item 8.
Air Quality Action Plan Update
To receive a verbal update from Huw Jenkins (Policy Lead – Transport) relating to the Air Quality Action Plan.
The Committee receive an update from Huw Jenkins (Policy Lead – Transport) relating to the Air Quality Action Plan. He highlighted the following: -
· January 2018 – Overview and Scrutiny Committee agreed to establish a Task and Finish Group on Air Quality;
· June 2018 – Task and Finish Group make recommendations to the Combined Authority;
· Air Quality issues continue to grow at national and City Region level;
· Proposed actions in response to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee;
· Actions being implemented;
· Task Force being established; and
· Action Plan to be reported back to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee by March 2019.
Members commented that the work and scrutiny done by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee last year had made a difference and will make a difference in the future with the Action Plans and the Task Force on Air Quality being established.
Huw Jenkins congratulated the Committee on the work it had done and stated that it was time for it to all come together and see the real value in the entire process.
The Committee noted the update from Huw Jenkins and thanked him for his attendance.
To consider an update relating to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Workshops and Task & Finish Groups that have been organised for the remainder of the municipal year 2018/19.
The Committee considered an update from Kirsty Pearce (Director for Policy and Strategic Commissioning) and Jill Coule (Chief Legal and Monitoring Officer) relating to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Workshops and Task & Finish Groups that had been organised for the remainder of the municipal year 2018/19.
Kirsty Pearce informed the Committee that the Housing Workshop held on 28th November was well attended and received by members and the feedback to date had been very positive. She informed the Committee that there were 2 more workshops scheduled for 2018 including EU Funding/Brexit and Tourism, Culture & Marketing the Region on 12th and 17th December respectively. However, she notified the Committee that due to staff being off sick that the 12th December workshop would need to be swapped with the 23rd January 2019 workshop (Careers Service).
Jill Coule informed the Committee about the Budget process for 2019/20 and sought agreement from the Committee to have a Special Budget Meeting on 30th January from 10:15am to scrutinise the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Budget 2019/20.
Members enquired about the amount of time Councillors had been committing to Liverpool City Region meetings and activities and requested that some sort of time keeping be adopted to track members involvement and attendance.
RESOLVED that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee: -
a) agrees the revised version of the Work Programme for 2018/19;
b) notes the changes to the EU Funding/Brexit Workshop and the Careers Service Workshop; and
c) agrees that a Special Budget Meeting for the Overview and Scrutiny Committee be held on 30th January 2019 from 10:15am and that members be sent invitations accordingly.
Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be held on Wednesday 6 March 2019.
The Committee noted that next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee would be held on Wednesday 30th January 2019 for a Special Budget meeting.
Any Other Item(s) Which The Chairperson Deems to be of an Urgent Nature