Agenda, decisions and minutes

Greater Cambridge Partnership Executive Board
Thursday, 10 November 2016 4.00 p.m.

Venue: Council Chamber - South Cambs Hall. View directions

Contact: Graham Watts  03450 450 500 Email: democratic.services@scambs.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

No apologies for absence were received.

 

The Executive Board APPROVED the co-option of Mark Reeve as a Member of the Board.  Mr Reeve have been acting as a substitute at previous meetings and had now been formally nominated as the Local Enterprise Partnership’s representative on the Board.  The Local Enterprise Partnership would consider the nomination of its substitute or alternate representative in due course.

2.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 356 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting held on 13 October 2016 as a correct record.

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting held on 13 October 2016 were confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record, subject to the following amendments:

 

·         the replacement of the second paragraph at minute number 4 in relation to a question by Carolyn Postgate where Councillor Francis Burkitt referred to University and College landholdings with the following:

 

‘Councillor Burkitt responded to the suspicion that the University might be seeking large scale greenbelt development by the back door by remarking that the landowners of the non-West Cambridge part of the West Fields were certain colleges rather than the University.  Mr Coates correcting him, stating that the University was a minority landowner alongside the majority college owners.  Councillor Burkitt accepted the correction.’

 

·         the removal and addition of words to the paragraph at minute number 9 which commences ‘with regard to the suggested hybrid of options recommended by the Local Liaison Forum …’, so that it reads as follows:

 

‘With regard to Scotland Farm, Councillor Burkitt made the point that this represented a site on the very limit of the greenbelt which he thought was worthy of consideration.  He highlighted, however, that some thought would need to be given to whether that meant the busway should instead sit north of the A428.’

 

With regard to minute number 3 and Councillor Burkitt’s declaration of interest, he noted it had been suggested that he should have also declared the work that he and his employer undertook as a debt adviser to the University and certain colleges.  In 2012 his employer advised the University on a £350 million bond issue and in 2013 it advised 17 colleges on a £150 million debt private placement, for which the firm received fees.  These transactions were in the public domain and Councillor Burkitt was part of the team providing this advice.  The firm had no retainer or on-going relationship or work with the University or colleges, or any expectation of future work.  Councillor Burkitt had judged that, because the work was some years ago, in the past, closed and not on-going, it did not need disclosing at the meeting.  He felt it prudent to place this on public record.

3.

Declarations of interest

To receive any declarations of interest from Members of the Executive Board.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

4.

Public questions pdf icon PDF 174 KB

To receive any questions from members of the public.  The standard protocol to be observed by public speakers is attached.

Minutes:

Question by members of the public were asked and answered as follows:

 

Question by Hans Hagen

 

Hans Hagen said that Cambridge Biomedical Campus partners were concerned about the lack of progress in resolving the M11 Junction 11 bus lane issue, noting that the City Deal’s Forward Plan included an item on this issue.  They were disappointed to see that this had slipped to consideration by the Joint Assembly on 1 December 2016 and subsequently the Executive Board on 8 December 2016.

 

He outlined that their understanding was that a separate bus-only slip road from the motorway to the Trumpington Park and Ride was no longer a favoured option, but that the junction could be improved to ensure the smooth flow of buses and cars from the motorway to the Park and Ride.  If this option were to be pursued, he understood that it would be considerably cheaper and faster to implement than the original slip road option. 

 

Mr Hagen emphasised that the need for an improved junction was time critical, making the point that Papworth Hospital would start commuting to the Biomedical Campus from April 2018 and that partners planned to run a bus service to cater from them and other users of the site from the end of 2017.  The take-up of that bus service would depend on it being reliable and fast.  He said that without improvements to Junction 11 there was a significant risk that the increased traffic from April 2018 would result in long tailbacks from the Junction onto the M11. 

 

He therefore asked the Executive Board whether it could take steps to ensure that there was no further slippage of consideration and resolution of this issue and that it was taken forward as a standalone tranche 1 project, rather than as a subset of the Western Orbital project.

 

Bob Menzies, Director of Strategy and Development at Cambridgeshire County Council, confirmed that the report scheduled for consideration by the Joint Assembly and Executive Board on the M11 and the Western Orbital would include timescales for taking the respective schemes forward, together with the outcome of discussions that had occurred with Highways England. 

 

Councillor Francis Burkitt was very keen to address this particular junction in view of the reasons set out in the question.  He himself had met with landowners and spoken to officers and highlighted that South Cambridgeshire District Council had also passed a motion in support of this project. 

 

Councillor Burkitt expressed his frustration, however, that he had been continuously saying that the Board needed evidence to justify the proposals and said that, so far, there had been a significant lack of evidence provided.  Regarding the Biomedical Campus partners’ proposal to run a bus service for employees, he called for factual information outlining how many buses they envisaged running, how many people would potentially use them and the locations where employees were travelling from as this would assist the content of the report and create a stronger argument for supporting the business case associated with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Petitions pdf icon PDF 7 MB

To receive the following petitions:

 

·         Petition by Pete Howard regarding the Cambridge access and congestion scheme – 9137 signatures.

 

·         Petition entitled ‘keep Cambridge open for business’ by Neil MacKay regarding the Cambridge access and congestion scheme – 507 signatures.

 

Copies of the full petitions can be found with the agenda pack for this meeting on the City Deal website at www.gccitydeal.co.uk under ‘meetings and minutes’.

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Executive Board NOTED two petitions received in relation to city centre access and congestion and DEFERRED consideration of these petitions to the meeting of the Board scheduled to be held on 25 January 2017, to coincide with a report on city centre access and congestion scheduled for submission to that meeting.

 

Minutes:

The Executive Board NOTED two petitions received in relation to city centre access and congestion and DEFERRED consideration of these petitions to the meeting of the Board scheduled to be held on 25 January 2017, to coincide with a report on city centre access and congestion scheduled for submission to that meeting.

 

6.

Reports and recommendations from the Joint Assembly

To receive any reports or recommendations following the meeting of the Joint Assembly on 3 November 2016.

Minutes:

The Joint Assembly had met on 3 November 2016 and it was agreed that the Chairman of the Assembly would present any recommendations or comments from that meeting at the relevant item.

7.

City Deal Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To consider the attached City Deal Forward Plan.

 

(Changes to the Forward Plan document made since the previous meeting are purposely highlighted using tracked changes).

Decision:

The Executive Board NOTED the City Deal Forward Plan.

Minutes:

The Executive Board considered the latest version of the City Deal Forward Plan, noting those changes made since the last meeting.

 

Councillor Francis Burkitt queried the item on the City Deal’s tranche 2 programme scheduled for consideration at the next cycle of meetings and asked what this would entail.  Tanya Sheridan, City Deal Programme Director, explained that the item would set out a proposed timescale and methodology for considering the prioritisation of schemes for inclusion in that programme.  She also made reference to the devolution proposals and made the point that if the seven local authorities in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough agreed to a deal it may be necessary to consider how that investment aligned with the City Deal.

 

Tanya Sheridan also highlighted that, as part of the tranche 1 programme, the Board had made a decision to develop tranche 2 schemes early in order that they were ready for development and could be delivered as soon as that further funding became available. 

 

In terms of initial timescales, it was anticipated that analysis of scheme prioritisation subsequent to tranche 2 being considered at the next cycle of meetings would be brought back to the Joint Assembly and Executive Board for approval in the autumn 2017.  Councillor Burkitt requested a more comprehensive Forward Plan for future Board meetings in order that items such as this scheduled for consideration in the autumn of 2017 were clearly set out.  He cited examples such as the Smart Cambridge project, the Greenways project and the transport schemes at Histon Road and Milton Road where he felt it should be clearer in the Forward Plan when updates or reports on these issues were due to be reported back to the Joint Assembly and Executive Board. 

 

Councillor Burkitt suggested including an item on on-street parking, further to a question by Nicki Marrian earlier at this meeting, by way of an update of progress.  It was suggested that this could be included as part of the City Deal progress report in March 2017, but Councillor Burkitt was of the view that this should be an item in its own right.

 

With regards to Histon Road and Milton Road, it was noted that the Local Liaison Forums associated with these transport schemes had met on 8 November 2016 and would be meeting again two or three times before early December.  Officers confirmed that they were aiming to bring a report on these schemes to the Joint Assembly and Executive Board at the January 2017 cycle of meetings.

 

The Executive Board NOTED the City Deal Forward Plan.

8.

City Deal progress report pdf icon PDF 369 KB

To consider the attached progress report.

Decision:

The Executive Board NOTED the City Deal progress report and separate report in respect of the Smart Cambridge programme.

Minutes:

The Executive Board considered the City Deal progress report, together with a separate report in relation to the Smart Cambridge programme.

 

Tanya Sheridan, City Deal Programme Director, presented the update and reported that construction of the extended A10 cycle scheme had recently commenced.

 

Councillor Francis Burkitt referred to the update on payment by results and asked when information would be shared regarding the awarding of the contract.  It was noted that it should be possible to communicate this to Board Members next week.

 

The Executive Board NOTED the City Deal progress report and separate report in respect of the Smart Cambridge programme.

9.

The Chisholm Trail pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To consider the attached report.

Decision:

The Executive Board:

 

(a)        NOTED the scheme progress being made in terms of planning approval, land procurement and stakeholder engagement.

 

(b)        APPROVED construction of phase one of the scheme, subject to gaining planning permission.

 

(c)        DELEGATED powers to approve the construction contract and selection of contractor for phase one.

 

(d)        SUPPORTED the continuation of land negotiations.

 

Minutes:

The Executive Board considered a report which provided an update on the Chisholm Trail cycling scheme.

 

Mike Davies, Team Leader (Cycling Projects) at Cambridgeshire County Council, presented the report and reminded the Board of the following principles of the route:

 

·         it was a direct and pleasant route with improved journey ambience;

·         it linked to key destinations and trip generators;

·         it was inclusive, supporting people with disabilities;

·         it was safe and avoided traffic;

·         it provided seamless links to green spaces;

·         it supported multi-modality.

 

Mr Davies added that the key principle behind this scheme, and the City Deal programme as a whole, was to make active modes safe, convenient and the logical choice over private car, highlighting the wider benefits as being improved public health, assisting to address congestion, better air quality and more reliable journeys.

 

Councillor Roger Hickford, Chairman of the Joint Assembly, reported that unanimous support was given to the recommendations contained within the report upon consideration by the Assembly at its meeting on 3 November 2016.  He outlined, however, concerns expressed by Assembly Members in relation to phase 2 of the scheme regarding negotiations with Network Rail over the proposed purchase of land.  These negotiations had taken some time to date and it was unclear when a final decision would be made by Network Rail as to whether or not the land would be available for the phase 2 scheme.  An alternative approach had been suggested by officers, as outlined in the report, which featured a bridge.  The Assembly was informed that the proposed bridge would begin and end in new housing developments, but Councillor Hickford questioned how this new bridge could be delivered alongside and be linked into these new housing developments given the respective timescales.  He emphasised the importance of knowing as soon as possible whether Network Rail would be willing to sell the land in order that officers, the Joint Assembly and the Executive Board could understand whether or not investigating other alternatives was necessary. 

 

Councillor Francis Burkitt highlighted that, as with the A10 cycleway scheme and Foxton rail crossing discussed earlier at this meeting, Network Rail were again a factor in the scheme’s development.  He questioned whether the Member of Parliament for Cambridge may be able to offer some assistance. 

 

Mr Davies confirmed that discussions were still ongoing but highlighted that he, together with other officers from the County Council, would be meeting on-site in Cambridge with senior representatives of Network Rail in three weeks time.  He agreed to seek to progress these discussions as part of that meeting, but said that the added support of Members of Parliament and the Executive Board would be welcomed should this prove unsuccessful.

 

Mr Davies confirmed that the bridge was essentially an alternative option to the original proposal, something that he felt was right to start planning for given

the uncertainty around the availability of Network Rail’s land for phase 2 of the scheme.  The specific location of the bridge on the plan set out in the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Building a locally responsive skills system - progress update pdf icon PDF 570 KB

To consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Executive Board AGREED to:

 

(a)        Extend Form the Future’s contract for a further 12 months, from September 2017 to August 2018.

 

(b)        Set aside £160,000 for the academic year 2017/18 and assume a continuation of funding for a brokerage service in 2018/19 at approximately the same funding level.

 

(c)        Review the focus and targets for the period 2017/18 and begin contract negotiations along these lines;

 

(d)        Set aside £35,000 for the period January to December 2017 and assume a continuation of this into 2018 to develop Career Champions in schools.

 

(e)        Endorse the approach to progressing with the development of Labour Market Information to inform the Information Advice and Guidance for young people, adults, providers, parents and employers and support the work of the Local Skills Service and National Careers Service.

 

(f)        Begin negotiations with Cambridge Regional College to develop an outcome based activity plan that would support businesses to understand the changes in relation to apprenticeships and the levy and carry out Training Needs Analysis to help businesses to identify their skills needs.

 

(g)        Endorse a revised approach to how progress was measured towards the 420 apprenticeship starts and gain agreement from the Skills Funding Agency and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to this approach.

 

(h)        Endorse this approach to recording and monitoring the additional skills related to outcomes in the City Deal.

 

Minutes:

The Executive Board considered a report which reviewed the progress made from September 2015 to August 2016 against the skills related commitments articulated in the City Deal agreement.

 

Stella Cockerill, Skills Lead from the City Deal Partnership, presented the report which focussed on the following three key areas:

 

  • a review of the performance of the Local Skills Service, facilitated by Form the Future;
  • a review of progress against the skills related commitments in the City Deal;
  • a review about the way progress was measured in the future.

 

It was noted that the skills related commitments undertaken, which were general as opposed to being focussed on STEM based growth sectors alone, included the following:
 

  • creation of a locally funded skills team to work with small and medium enterprises in the area to develop training plans and act as co-ordinators to ensure training aligned with employer need;
  • establishment of a skills action plan for each of the priority sectors, including identifying the apprenticeship framework offer;
  • creation of locally funded adult careers teams to enhance information advice and guidance in growth sectors based on strong labour market information;
  • developing labour market intelligence to inform the provision of information, advice and guidance for young people, providers, parents and employers;
  • working closely with the National Careers Service local offer.

Over five years, from 2014/15, it had been agreed that the City Deal would deliver:
 

  • 420 additional apprenticeships to support growth sectors;
  • 50 more employers engaging with schools and colleges;
  • 25 more employers engaging with traineeships;
  • 150 more employers raised awareness of apprenticeships.
     

The Skills Service had undertaken one full year of delivery and an evaluation of the first year of the skills programme was appended to the report.  Stella Cockerill reported that the Service had demonstrated a good level of engagement with employers and schools, with indications to date showing that this was working and making a difference.  She highlighted that the position nationally in relation to skills and apprenticeships had changed significantly since the City Deal agreement was first made.  She made the point, in respect of growth areas, that recognition had to be given to the fact that businesses themselves would set out where they needed to grow, therefore meaning that some of the 420 additional apprenticeships would not necessarily fit into the STEM based growth sectors originally selected as priorities for the City Deal.  She added, however, that on a more wider perspective all apprenticeships still supported local economic growth.

 

Councillor Tim Bick, Member of the Joint Assembly, provided an update on behalf of the Assembly’s Skills Sub-Group which had operated as a sounding board in the preparation of this report and the recommendations contained within, which it supported.  He said that the report brought forward a strategic view of what was trying to be achieved and provided a model for discussing the skills thread of the City Deal as it moved forward. 

 

Councillor Bick reported that the City Deal had established a wider view of the Skills Service as a result  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Greater Cambridge Housing Development Agency - six month update pdf icon PDF 454 KB

To consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Executive Board NOTED the report.

Minutes:

The Executive Board considered a report which provided an update on the work of the Housing Development Agency.

 

Tanya Sheridan, City Deal Programme Director, presented the report and highlighted the following activities that had occurred during April to September 2016:

 

·         establishment of governance arrangements;

·         approval of the 2016/17 business plan;

·         recruitment to the staff team;

·         commencement with delivery of the committed programme of schemes;

·         working to secure housing grant under the proposed devolution agreement;

·         securing approval for and working to set up an investment partnership for Cambridge City Council.

 

Tanya Sheridan reported that 63 houses had been built as part of the programme so far, with four other sites where building work had commenced on new housing, which included affordable housing.

 

An updated appendix had been circulated which corrected the figures relating to Gamlingay confirming that, of the 14 dwellings, 10 dwellings were market homes and 4 dwellings were affordable homes.

 

Councillor Francis Burkitt was disappointed that a graph had not been included within the report to illustrate how delivery compared to the City Deal’s target of 1,000 additional homes.  He felt that this would be the best way to demonstrate progress against the target and reiterated his request for this to be included as part of future update reports.

 

Councillor Burkitt queried reference in the report to the County Council withdrawing some of its schemes from the Housing Development Agency.  Councillor Ian Bates provided reassurance that the County Council was still supporting the Housing Development Agency, with three schemes in the current programme as set out in the report.  It had withdrawn four of its schemes, with one also having been withdrawn early in 2016. 

 

Chris Malyon, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Chief Finance Officer, explained that the County Council had its own housing development company and it was therefore a decision for the company as to how it procured its schemes.  He emphasised that the Council’s housing development company was different to the City Deal’s Housing Development Agency in that the company would be able to acquire land and build houses and that it would cover the whole of the county rather than specifically the Greater Cambridge area, whereas the Agency was effectively a project management company.

 

Mark Reeve shared Councillor Burkitt’s concerns regarding the County Council withdrawing schemes from the programme as it appeared to him that the authority was no longer prepared to use the City Deal’s Housing Development Agency.  He felt that the two entities were doing the same thing and that there was a conflict.  Mr Reeve made reference to the proposed devolution deal and the further monies it would make available to support housing in particular, stating that a joined up approach was necessary.

 

Councillor Herbert agreed that alignment was a key issue, but made the point that geography would also be a key consideration.

 

Mr Malyon reiterated that the County Council’s housing development company was different to the City Deal’s Housing Development Agency for the reasons cited above.  It would be able to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

City Deal Financial Strategy - 2016/2020 pdf icon PDF 609 KB

To consider the attached report.

Decision:

The Executive Board APPROVED the Financial Strategy of the City Deal Partnership.

 

Minutes:

The Executive Board considered a report which set out a proposed Financial Strategy for the City Deal partnership.

 

Chris Malyon, Chief Financial Officer at Cambridgeshire County Council, presented the report and highlighted the following proposals that would form the foundation to the City Deal partnership’s Financial Strategy:

 

·         the City Deal partnership would continue with operational and programme proposals;

·         the operational budget would be funded through New Homes Bonus and interest in balances;

·         the programme would be funded through the City Deal Grant, Section 106 Agreement funding and any other funding sources directly attributable to projects within the programme;

·         use of New Homes Bonus to fund transport infrastructure investments within the programme would need specific approval of the Executive Board;

·         the cost of providing support services, such as finance, democratic services and legal costs, would be resourced from the operational budget;

·         the local councils would retain all New Homes Bonus funds until they were required;

·         the accountable body would allocate interest on net cash balances to the operational budget;

·         any proposal for new investment would be supported with a robust business case proportionate to the size of investment required and set out how the proposal achieved the agreed aims of the City Deal.

 

Councillor Lewis Herbert, Chairman of the Executive Board, was keen that the City Deal managed the transport related aspects of the City Deal’s finances with other contributions such as Section 106 Agreement funding and other additional grant funding or external funding streams.  He was also keen to ensure that the New Homes Bonus element was managed transparently in view of it having to be accounted back to each partner Council as providers of that aspect of the City Deal’s budget.

 

Councillor Francis Burkitt highlighted a funding gap in the first tranche of the City Deal programme, consisting of approximately £20 million, but also referred to possible Section 106 Agreement contributions in the report of approximately £40 million for the first tranche of the scheme.  He made the point that if this Section 106 Agreement contribution was not received, there would actually be a £60 million funding gap in the tranche 1 programme.

 

Mr Malyon explained that the projections for the Section 106 Agreement contributions had been calculated based on assumptions and understandings of when developments were expected to occur.  He highlighted that there was a difference in funding of a programme compared to cash received and made the point that the report referred to the overall funding position.  Mr Malyon added that the Board may need to consider taking a decision to borrow against receipts in the future before Section 106 Agreement funding was physically received, which he said was normal practice for the County Council when developing transport schemes for example.

 

Councillor Burkitt asked when the Board would need to take a final decision regarding which underfunded aspect of its tranche 1 programme would need to be removed should additional funding streams not be identified, principally around the £20 million shortfall that was currently identified.  Mr  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

City Deal financial monitoring pdf icon PDF 258 KB

To consider the attached report.

Decision:

The Executive Board NOTED the financial position as at 30 September 2016.

Minutes:

The Executive Board considered a report which provided an update on the City Deal’s financial monitoring position for the period ending 30 September 2016.

 

The Executive Board NOTED the financial position as at 30 September 2016.

 

Prior to closing the meeting, Councillor Lewis Herbert, Chairman of the Executive Board, reported that this would be Graham Watts’ last meeting of the Board.  Mr Watts had supported the governance and administration of the Board since its inception in 2014 and Members of the Board put on record their thanks to him.