Agenda and minutes

Prosperous Staffordshire Select Committee
Friday, 15th December, 2017 10.00 am

Venue: Oak Room, County Buildings, Stafford

Contact: Julie Roberts  Email: julie.roberts@staffordshire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

64.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were none at this meeting.

65.

Minutes of the Prosperous Staffordshire Select Committee held on 14 November 2017 pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED - That the minutes of the meeting of the Prosperous Staffordshire Select Committee held on 14 November 2017 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman.

66.

Economic Growth Capital and Development Programme pdf icon PDF 221 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member for Economic Growth

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Select Committee received a report and presentation on the work and progress of the Staffordshire County Council Economic Growth Programme.

 

Economic growth was a key priority for the County Council, directly contributing to the priority population outcomes for Staffordshire’s people to be able to access more good jobs and the benefits of economic growth.  Moreover, economic growth underpinned all of the Council’s priority outcomes, helped to secure long term financial stability and was a key contributing factor in the wider determinants of health.  Despite a strong reliance on sectors which could have been particularly vulnerable to the recent economic downturn, Staffordshire’s economy had coped well, and claimant unemployment (at 1% of the working age population in October 2017) in particular has remained well below the averages of Great Britain (1.9%) and the West Midlands Region (2.3%) in the same period.

 

The County Council was playing a key role in helping to achieve the ambitions of the Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SSLEP), which was seeking to create 50,000 jobs and increase the Gross Value Added (GVA) of Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire by 50% over a ten year period.  Overall employment in Staffordshire had increased by around 19,000 jobs between 2011 and 2016, and the total economic output of Staffordshire (as measured by GVA) had increased by around 6.7% between 2011 and 2016 from £14.3 billion to £15.2 billion.

 

The total financial value of the Economic Growth Programme (including projects where initial work or interventions had been completed) was around £385 million, of which around £56 million was County Council investment.  “Live” projects within the Programme currently totalled around £256 million, and were funded from a range of sources including the SSLEP (Growth Deal and City Deal funding), the County Council’s capital programme, and contributions from private sector developers.  This represented an excellent level of funding leverage, with around £15.35 worth of funding secured from every £1 of County Council investment in the “live” projects of the Economic Growth Programme.  Since the Programme commenced in 2014, eight employment generating projects with a total value of over £130 million had been completed to date, and their outcomes were now being tracked.  Between them, these projects were anticipated to create over 13,000 jobs when they have been fully built out and developed.  To date, around 5,600 jobs had been delivered on these sites, around 40% of their anticipated total long term employment potential.  The residence of people working on these sites was related to their geographical location, connectivity and wider travel to work patterns.  Alongside employment creation through physical infrastructure, the Programme had a strong focus on improving skills outcomes and attainment, and since the commencement of the Programme some 1,340 traineeships and apprenticeships had been delivered from the completed Advanced Manufacturing Hubs projects.

 

Members considered the details of two case studies which had been successfully delivered as part of the Programme, Redhill Business Park and Bericote Four Ashes.

 

Members questioned the effects that leaving the EU, and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 66.

67.

EU Funding and European Social Funding pdf icon PDF 220 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member for Economic Growth

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Select Committee received a report and presentation on the work and progress of the Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire LEP (SSLEP) EU Funding programme.  

 

The SSLEP EU Funding programme formed an important and integral part of the County Council’s Economic Growth Programme.  The County Council was a key stakeholder in the EU Funding programme through the delivery of its own funded projects and programmes and also working with key external partners such as District Councils, Keele and Staffordshire Universities, FE Colleges, the Chamber of Commerce, business support and training providers, private sector businesses and a wide range of other partners from the private and voluntary sector.  The EU Funding programme was managed, on behalf of the SSLEP, on a day to day basis by the County Council’s External Funding Manager, in partnership with Stoke on Trent City Council, working closely with the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.  The governance of the EU Funding programme was provided via the SSLEP ESIF Committee which tracked the progress of key projects, oversees the financial and outcome progress of the programme overall and provides a view of the local strategic fit of all applications submitted at each bidding call.   The Economic, Infrastructure and Skills Management Team received monthly updates on progress on the EU Funding programme and considered any matters of importance, by exception, that require attention and direction.  This information was then summarised to the Senior Leadership Team and Cabinet on a monthly basis through the Transformation Programme and any issues escalated as and when necessary to corporate management and executive level for resolution.

 

Although EU Funding had been contributing to economic development and skills projects and programmes in Staffordshire for over 35 years, at nearly £137m the current level of EU Funding was by far the largest amount the area had ever seen.  The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding of £77m focused on business support, infrastructure and Low carbon.  The (ESF) funding of £55m on skills, employment support and inclusion, and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and LEADER funding of £5m on support for rural businesses.  Despite BREXIT, all EU funding would still be contributing to the Economic Growth Programme beyond the date that the UK leaves the EU provided funding contracts are in place, even  as far ahead as December 2023.  Current levels of commitment of EU Funding in Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire were among the highest across the UK.  Currently 73% or £99m was committed across all funds and there was confidence that the remaining £38m would be allocated, 12 months ahead of the BREXIT date (March 2019), with projects and programmes ready to come forward during 2018.  Although commitment levels were high, spend and output profiles at a project and programme level must be maintained to ensure that EU Funding was retained.  To date, just £7m of the £99m committed had been claimed.  However, a number  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.

68.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 287 KB

Minutes:

The Select Committee received a copy of their 2017/18 Work Programme.  Members were informed that the Working Group on Elective Home Education had now been established, and would meet on 12 January 2018.

 

RESOLVED – That the Work Programme be noted.