Agenda and minutes
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Declarations of interest
Purpose: to confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Oxfordshire Growth Board held on 1 February 2018.
The Board confirmed as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Oxfordshire Growth Board held on 1 February 2018 (with minor corrections to acronyms).
Purpose: to receive communications from the Chair.
The Chair announced:
· The Board welcomed the Government’s confirmation that two of Oxfordshire’s bids to the Housing and Infrastructure Fund (HIF), Didcot Garden Town and West Oxfordshire Garden Village, near Eynsham, have progressed to the next stage and detailed business plans will now be developed.
· The Housing and Growth Deal and the delivery plan had been agreed by all 6 local authorities and with government. Work on the delivery plan was underway as were the appointments of an overall programme director, programme leads for each delivery strand and other key staff.
Members of the public may ask questions of the Chairman of the Growth Board, or address the Growth Board on any substantive item at a meeting, subject to the restrictions set out in the public participation scheme.
The total amount of time allowed for public participation at a meeting shall not exceed 30 minutes unless the Chairman consents to that in the interests of the proper conduct of the business of the Board.
A person speaking to the Board may speak for up to 3 minutes. The Board members may ask questions for clarification.
Asking a question
Questions (in full and in writing) must be received before 5pm on Wednesday 21 March 2018. A written or verbal answer will be provided by the Chairman at the meeting. The questioner may ask a supplementary question directly related to either the original question or the reply received.
Addressing the Board
Notice of a wish to address the Board must be received before noon on Monday 26 March 2018.
Petitions on matters directly relevant to matters in which the Board has powers and duties must be received before 5pm on Wednesday 21 March 2018. The representative of the petitioners may speak. Petitions are referred without discussion to the next meeting.
Questions, petitions and notice of addresses must be submitted to the committee secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org or delivered/ posted to the Chief Executive at Oxford City Council, c/o Committee and Members Services (Law & Governance), Oxford City Council, St. Aldate’s Chambers, St. Aldate's, Oxford OX1 1DS.
In accordance with the public participation scheme the Chair invited those who had submitted questions or registered to give an address to speak to the Board.
The Board had before then:
· written questions submitted by
o Sue Haywood on behalf of Need not Greed Oxfordshire
o Michael Tyce on behalf of CPRE Oxfordshire
· and written responses from the Chair.
Sue Haywood read her submitted question, the Chair read the response, she asked a supplementary question and the Chair responded.
Michael Tyce read his submitted question, the Chair read the response, he asked a supplementary question and the Chair responded.
Oxford City Councillor Andrew Gant addressed the Board.
Oxfordshire County Councillor Charles Mathew addressed the Board.
Full details of the written questions and responses and summaries of the supplementary questions and responses and the addresses are in the supplement to these minutes.
Purpose: there will be a presentation about the Oxford - Cambridge Corridor from a representative from Highways England.
Matt Stafford (Project Director for the Ox-Cam Expressway, Highways England) gave a presentation to the Board on the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway project; key milestones, and strategic objectives.
In his presentation he:
· outlined the strategic context for the expressway as a whole and the ‘missing link’ 50km (30 mile) connection between the M4, M40 and M1, emphasising the scale of this scheme;
· outlined the strategic objectives, as the scheme had to provide value for money and significant benefits:
1. connectivity and creation of an integrated corridor
2. economic growth and improving access to employment and facilities
3. future-proofing including innovative and sustainable technology
4. and wider economic and environmental benefits including separating through and local traffic, providing adequate links to local destinations, and supporting transport modes other than private petroleum fuelled car;
· outlined the assessment criteria: resilience, reliability, shortened journey times and reduced congestion, support for potential growth along the corridor, impact on environment;
· outlined the consultation and desk-top evidence gathering undertaken to this point (a third of the way through the process for establishing the business case) including understanding traffic movements and geographical/ geological/ statutory designation/ land use constraints and features;
· explained that stakeholder and public views would be taken into account but were not given disproportionate weight in the evidence;
· described the options for the corridors through which the expressway would pass, with common areas from the M4 to Abingdon and then east from the M1, and three options for the section from Abingdon to the M1;
· explained the consultation phases and timetable for the project: the corridor being chosen mid-2018; formal public consultation on the shortlist of proposed routes within the chosen corridor in Autumn 2019 with an announcement in Autumn 2020; and construction from 2025 to 2030, subject to funding;
· explained engagement with several stakeholder groups and special interest groups (including a forum and stakeholder reference group) and the relevant All Party Parliamentary Group; and the request for considered feedback from local authorities along the wider corridor area.
The Chair permitted questions from Michael Tyce, CPRE representative, as set out below.
1. Are the options for the corridors now restricted to only those shown with all other options outside these areas shown in the presentation now rejected? For example has the original option ‘S4’ which ran south of option A been rejected?
A: The only corridor routes now under consideration are as shown in the presentation.
2. How is the ‘preservation of the rural character’ taken into account as this has not been discussed explicitly?
A: the rural character is part of the consideration, and is one of the objectives when assessing the wider environmental impact of each corridor.
3. Will the A34 form part of the expressway, as the treatment of this in the the maps is unclear about the inclusion of the A34 and the stretch over Boars Hill?
A: we are still considering the inclusion of the A34 – there is no decision as yet but if corridor routes B or C ... view the full minutes text for item 69.
Purpose: to update the Board on progress with the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal (the Deal), agreed between Government and the Oxfordshire partners earlier this year and to seek approval of the year one programmes for infrastructure and affordable housing.
i. That the Growth Board notes the progress towards the Housing and Growth Deal Milestones as set out in the Delivery Plan; and
ii. That the Growth Board endorses the year one programmes for affordable housing and infrastructure delivery as agreed by the Oxfordshire Partners.
The Board considered a report on progress with the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal (the Deal), agreed between Government and the Oxfordshire partners and the proposed year one programmes for infrastructure and affordable housing.
Caroline Green introduced the report and the Year 1 infrastructure and affordable housing delivery plans and milestones agreed by the partner authorities.
She reported in her presentation and in answer to questions that:
· the Deal was now moving into the implementation phase, and the first posts to create the capacity and resources to deliver this were advertised and appointments made;
· the delivery plan would be updated to take account of the outcome of the Housing Infrastructure Fund bids and other future funding deals, which if successful (so financing became available for those currently allocated Deal monies) would allow projects lower down the list to be funded by the Deal;
· the Year 1 plan was based on the criteria in the report and the agreed OXIS projects and deliverability and some funding was allocated to enhance projects already scheduled or underway to ensure early gains from the Deal programme;
· a more fully balanced 3-year programme would be developed
· the draft Statement of Common Ground for the JSSP would be presented to the April meeting: this would remain draft until the new NPPF was in place and then, subject to any consequential changes, would be put to each district council for adoption;
· alongside this the outcome of work with MHCLG on planning freedoms and flexibilities would be presented to the Board and adopted by partner councils in July;
Kevin Bourner, Homes England, noted that this was the first such Growth Deal. Homes England was conducting high-level ‘due diligence’ on the delivery plan and would undertake an agreed monitoring role, including understanding the links between OXIS and housing delivery and how these affected milestones.
Board members commented:
· There was an absence of any measure of success or measure of identifying the specific benefits arising from the Deal, and noted that internal and public targets for delivery and achievement would be set.
· In terms of mitigating the impact of developments, the detailed relationship between S106 agreements, CIL, and subsidy from the Deal and other funding needed to be understood: but it was noted that at a general level this this could not be set out in detail as it depended on individual scheme’s negotiations.
· It was crucial to have the correct skill and knowledge in place to ensure delivery was possible.
The Growth Board resolved:
i. to note the progress towards the Housing and Growth Deal Milestones as set out in the Delivery Plan; and
ii. to endorse the year one programmes for affordable housing and infrastructure delivery as agreed by the Oxfordshire Partners.
Matters arising from OXLEP
A representative of OXLEP will provide a verbal update about the work of the Partnership, covering the Local Industrial Strategy and matters not dealt with earlier the agenda.
Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive of OxLEP, reported:
1. Discussions had taken place with BEIS and MCHLG on the productivity strand of the growth deal
2. OxLEP were working on their Local Industrial Strategy (LIS) over the course of 2018 to develop a unique proposal based on the county’s strengths in response to the government industrial strategy for adoption in March 2019.
3. A review of the LEP itself had shown that oversight and statutory compliance was up to date and adequate: new members of the Board had been appointed to replace two members standing down;
4. The Harwell link road opened on Friday 28 March; improvements at Didcot station were well underway;
5. Work on the STEM skills and innovation centres was progressing well.
The Board noted the update.
Purpose: the Growth Board’s Forward Plan is attached for information.
Recommendation: that the Board note and comment on the Forward Plan.
The Board noted the Forward Plan and list of decisions to come to future meetings.
Purpose: to update the Growth Board on progress towards Local Plans adoption across the county.
Recommendation: that the Growth Board note the report.
The Board noted the update on progress on each district council’s Local Plan.
Sub-national Transport Body (STB) proposals
Purpose: to receive a verbal update from officers.
Bev Hindle, Oxfordshire County Council, gave an update from the recent STB meeting and ongoing work and answered questions, making the following points:
· Discussion covered innovation, activity and transport across the whole region, and the requirement to emphasise the necessity of including the whole M4-A34-M40 link stretch in consideration of the proposed expressway route.
· The Board discussed the difficulty of providing views as a transport body on proposed options, without the full evidence base, and in light of the immediate disquiet of local residents.
· Highways England ad not updated their processes to adequately reflect the existence of the STB.
· The emerging route of the expressway would have an impact on the emerging JSSP, although the timetables for these did not correspond.
· Currently Network Rail and Department for Transport were developing the rail connectivity study in isolation as a technical study without considering the wider economic case. The STB and Growth Board’s representatives continued to press the need for involvement in this: the Growth Board could take a pro-active role in the study.
Councillors commented that
· The A34 was the route with the highest impact on all areas: Highways England’s stated wish to separate local and through traffic on this route was welcomed.
· If the county was expected (as seemed to be the case) to match-fund rail improvements, then the whole county should benefit. Rail improvements would unlock economic opportunity but there was a need for more local as well as central stations to achieve this.
The Board noted the update.
Oxfordshire Rail Connectivity update
Purpose: to receive a verbal update from officers.
The Board noted there were no updates.
Updates on matters relevant to the Growth Board
Growth Board members and officers may verbally update the Board on progress on matters previously before the Board for consideration, listed in the work plan, or relevant to the Board’s future decisions.
This is for the sharing of information and no decisions will be taken.
There were no updates.
Dates of next meetings
Dates for future meetings are:
From 2.00pm to 4.00 pm in the Old Library in Oxford Town Hall.
26 April 2018 (extra meeting)
11 June 2018
Then hosted by South Oxfordshire District Council - Meeting Room 1, 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, Milton, OX14 4SB
Dates provisionally set as:
31 July 2018
25 September 2018
27 November 2018
29 January 2019
26 March 2019
4 June 2019
The Board noted the meeting dates including that of 26 April 2018.