Agenda and minutes
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Declarations of interest
There were no declarations of interest.
Purpose: to confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Oxfordshire Growth Board held on 30 November 2017.
The Board confirmed as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Oxfordshire Growth Board held on 30 November 2017.
Purpose: to receive communications from the Chair
The Chair announced that the local authorities in Oxfordshire had been awarded £36m from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) Marginal Viability Fund for specific development projects.
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 Friday 26 January 2018 by the Chief Executive of the host authority. 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 Wednesday 31 January 2018 by the Chief Executive of the host authority.
Petitions on matters directly relevant to matters in which the Board has powers and duties must be received before 5pm on Friday 26 January 2018 by the Chief Executive of the host authority. The representative of the petitioners may speak. Petitions are referred without discussion to the next meeting.
Questions, petitions and notice of addresses should be submitted to the committee secretary at email@example.com or delivered/ posted to the Chief Executive at Oxford City Council.
In accordance with the public participation scheme the Chair invited those who had submitted questions to speak to the Board.
The Board had before them:
· written questions submitted by
Colin Thomas on behalf of CPRE Oxfordshire
Charles Mathew, Oxfordshire County Councillor for the division of Eynsham
· and written responses from the Chair.
Colin Thomas asked a supplementary question and the Chair responded.
Councillor Mathew asked a supplementary question and Councillor Hudspeth responded.
Full details of the written and supplementary questions and responses are in the supplement to these minutes.
Purpose: to update the Board on the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal and the development of the delivery plan, prior to a formal report and the outline delivery plan being submitted to individual Councils in February for agreement.
This will be a verbal update with a presentation: there may be a report published after this agenda.
Caroline Green reported that Government’s feedback on the final draft of the Delivery Plan was expected shortly and then each council would be asked to consider and decide whether to approve the Deal and Delivery Plan at a series of special co-ordinated council meetings in February.
In approving the Deal councils would be cognisant of the fact that the proposed draft revised NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) could impact the planning freedoms and the arrangements for the JSSP agreed within the Deal , The Deal brings significant investment in several work strands supporting housing and infrastructure , productivity including skills.
Kevin Bourner, Homes England, outlined the ongoing work on the HIF bids and noted that the Deal puts Oxfordshire in a relatively advantageous position with regard to the HIF Forward Funding Bids. A decision on shortlisting for these bids was expected in March
Board members commented that:
· The Deal was a good start, if with limited funding, and a credit to the work by officers, and was ready to put to each council for consideration.
· The funds should be seen as a down-payment.
· There were concerns over potential changes resulting from the revised NPPF including the impact of any new flexibility.
· The Board needed to ensure that there was no penalty for failure to meet targets due to uncontrollable factors and officers were asked to ensure appropriate wording in the Deal to this effect
· Considerable progress had been made since the announcement in November but the detail and delivery mechanism was not certain yet. Methods for calculating successful delivery were key. The Board welcomed the fact that there was potential for further funding since the Deal whilst significant was only a small percentage of the requirements and did not for example address the costs of non-transport infrastructure.
The Growth Board resolved:
1. to note the ongoing conversations around the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal and delivery plan and the comments at this meeting
2. to endorse the progress made on the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal and recommend this to the Oxfordshire Partners subject to satisfactory completion of the Delivery Plan.
Purpose: to provide an operational programme update. A representative of OXLEP will provide an update
Nigel Tipple gave an update on the progress on projects within the City and Growth Deal; and reported that the Environment Agency and partners were still confident the flood alleviation channel could be delivered as planned.
The Growth Board noted the report and the operating plan update.
Matters arising from OXLEP
A representative of OXLEP will provide a verbal update about the work of the Partnership, covering matters not dealt with earlier the agenda.
Nigel Tipple gave an update on the work of OxLEP.
In summary he outlined:
· Work on funded projects in the Local Growth Fund 3 programme was progressing at a good pace
· There was good progress on remaining Local Growth Fund 1 and Local Growth Fund 2 projects and on City Deal projects as highlighted in the programme reports,
· BEIS (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) had confirmed 2 years of funding from BEIS for extended support for the Business Growth Hub
· EU funds running to 2020 were in place including EU social fund programme for developing apprenticeships and working with those far from the workplace: in Oxfordshire about 19,000 people were not working while 16,000 of those were not registered as seeking work.
· OxLEP was piloting The Local Industrial Strategy response, and was starting work towards an agreed delivery-focussed plan to mutually reinforce the Growth Deal over the summer, aiming to submit for funding to start 1 March 2019.
Councillor Price reported that the Local Government Association were putting pressure on the government to set out how the EU funded programmes would continue after 2020.
The Growth 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 Growth Board considered the updated Forward Plan setting out reports and decisions arising from the draft delivery plan for the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal.
Members noted that the timetable for the Joint Statutory Spatial Plan was very ambitious and depended in part on the contents of the as-yet unpublished new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The Forward Plan may therefore need to be amended in light of the NPPF.
The Growth Board noted the report setting out their Forward Plan, noting that this would be updated to reflect changes arising from the awaited NNPF and delivery of the planning functions of the Deal.
Purpose: to update the Growth Board with progress towards Local Plans adoption across the county
Recommendation: that the Growth Board note the report
The Board considered the report setting out the progress towards adoption of Local Plans and noted that South Oxfordshire District Council had delayed submission of their plan until it could be assessed against the new NPPF, and that the statutory 6-week notice period for submission had not been given.
The Growth Board noted the report.
Purpose: to receive any updates.
A late report setting out information about the Government’s proposed Rail Connectivity Study for Oxfordshire is attached.
The Growth Board is recommended to:
2.1 Work with Department for Transport, Network Rail and Oxfordshire train operators to develop a brief and complete the Government’s announced Rail Connectivity Study for Oxfordshire; and,
2.2 Provide the governance framework and accountable body role (via Oxfordshire County Council) for the project from conception to completion, including establishing an Oxfordshire Growth Board Rail Sub-Group; and,
2.3 Agree to consider providing some element of local match funding in the form of officer capacity to support the completion of this project.
Members and officers had given evidence to the newly established Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge all-party parliamentary group, and saw this as a useful way of overseeing the processes and decision making.
The consultation on the expressway was set out and would run in parallel with the technical studies. The plans showed he stretch from the M40 to Cambridge but the Board was emphasising the need to connect to Oxford and beyond, and the need for sub-corridor connectivity. The corridor route would be decided in Sumer 2018, public consultation on the route within the corridor would be in Autumn 2019 in two phases, with construction starting in 2025.
Councillor Cotton, who is chairman of a group of leaders of local authorities in the corridor area; Councillor Price; and Nigel Tipple reported on the work on the corridor:
· Corridor leaders had sent a letter welcoming the NIC report and setting out options for on governance and management of the corridor, and received a clear message from NIC that they want to see progress that local authorities can be creative in tackling issues.
· Work on the corridor would be taken forward by the MHCHLG who were seeking a meeting with LA leaders.
· In the budget statement there was a request for LEPs to prepare a collective industrial strategy. LEPS were commissioning work building on Central Bedfordshire’s work on the corridor; a brief was ready to circulate; and requisite meetings set up.
· There was a commitment to fund rail improvements between Bedfordshire and Cambridge by mid-2020s.
The Board noted that a collective vision of the possibilities, ambition for, and potential of this project should be developed by local authorities and managing boards.
The Board considered a late report and recommendations submitted by Bev Hindle (Strategic Director for Communities Oxfordshire County Council) setting out information about the Government’s proposed Rail Connectivity Study for Oxfordshire as a result of a meeting held a few days earlier.
Bev Hindle reported that meeting had agreed that a sub-group of the Growth Board and an appropriate governance mechanism may be the most appropriate mechanism to support the Oxfordshire Rail Connectivity Study. The final decision lay with the Department of Transport.
The Growth Board noted proposals in the report to:
1. Work with Department for Transport, Network Rail and Oxfordshire train operators to develop a brief and complete the Government’s announced Rail Connectivity Study for Oxfordshire; and
2. Provide the governance framework and accountable body role (via Oxfordshire County Council) for the project from conception to completion, including establishing an Oxfordshire Growth Board Rail Sub-Group; and
3. Agree to consider providing some element of local match funding in the form of officer capacity to support the completion of this project.
Sub-national Transport Body (STB) - update
Purpose: to receive verbal updates if necessary.
Bev Hindle (Strategic Director for Communities Oxfordshire County Council) reported on discussions about wider infrastructure including superfast cable networks and internet access.
Members of the Board:
· Reported that a consultation about major roads not controlled by Highways England was underway and asked for all councils to consider and respond, as there needed to be serious investment in the major roads such as the A40 and A420 that local authorities could not provide alone.
· Commented that ICT network and broadband infrastructure were crucial for successful businesses but an investment in hardware was not accompanied by an appraisal of its use. The STB would be able to drive this and give consistency in approach across the corridor
The Growth Board noted the discussion and 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:
27 March 2018
11 June 2018
All meetings are to be held 2.00pm to 4.00 pm in the Oxford Town Hall, Old Library.
The Board noted the meeting dates.