Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Guildhall, High St, Bath BA1 5AW

Contact: Ian Hird 

Link: Webcast video is available

Items
No. Item

1.

Evacuation Procedure

In the event of a fire, please await direction from staff who will help assist with the evacuation.   Please do not return to the building until instructed to do so by the fire warden(s).

 

Minutes:

The Chair thanked Bath & North East Somerset Council for hosting the meeting, welcomed attendees to the meeting and introduced his colleagues:

  • Mayor Marvin Rees, Bristol City Council
  • Cllr Toby Savage, Leader, South Gloucestershire Council
  • Cllr Dine Romero, Leader, Bath & North East Somerset Council

 

The Chair welcomed Cllr Dine Romero to her first meeting of the committee.

 

At this point, the Chair thanked former Bath & North East Somerset Council Leader Tim Warren for his services and contribution to the West of England Combined Authority, drawing attention to the instrumental part he had played in negotiating the devolution deal with central government. He also recorded his congratulations to Tim Warren on the CBE awarded to him recently in the Queen’s birthday honours.

 

The evacuation procedure for the venue was then announced by the Chair.

 

The Chair then informed everybody present that the meeting was being recorded and that the recording would be available to view after the meeting on the Combined Authority website. Any individuals present who did not wish to be filmed were asked to indicate this.

 

2.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

It was noted that apologies had been received from Professor Steve West, the Chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership, and Cllr Stephen Clarke, Chair of the Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  The Chair welcomed Cllr Winston Duguid to the meeting (attending on behalf of Cllr Clarke) and congratulated him on his appointment as Vice-Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

3.

Declarations of interest under the Localism Act 2011

Members who consider that they have an interest to declare are asked to: a) State the item number in which they have an interest, b) The nature of the interest, c) Whether the interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest, non-disclosable pecuniary interest or non-pecuniary interest. Any Member who is unsure about the above should seek advice from the Monitoring Officer prior to the meeting in order to expedite matters at the meeting itself.

 

Minutes:

Mayor Rees and Cllr Savage each declared an interest in relation to agenda item 14 (Adult Education funding allocations 2019/20) relating to the fact that their respective authorities were providers of adult education services.

 

4.

Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 158 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting as a correct record.

Minutes:

The committee RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the committee held on 1 & 15 February 2019 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

5.

Chair's Announcements

To receive any announcements from the Chair of the West of England Combined Authority Committee.

Minutes:

The Chair shared the following news about the Combined Authority’s recent activities:

 

  • The West of England Careers Hub had been extended to every school and college, including special schools. The Hub worked to improve careers advice and work experience for pupils, inspiring them to be ambitious and help prepare them for their future careers.  7 major employers were signed up to become Cornerstone Employers as part of the Careers Hub: Babcock, Defence Equipment and Support, The Cabinet Office, Hargreaves Lansdown, Edwards Vacuum, Galliford Try and Womble Bond Dickinson would all be investing time and resources to support local schools and colleges with their careers education.

 

  • The West of England Low Carbon Challenge Fund had been launched to help small and medium-sized businesses improve their energy efficiency and support community energy projects.  This new fund would help businesses make their buildings and activities more energy efficient, and support community energy projects to deliver renewable energy.

 

  • The Future Bright skills programme was continuing to make a real difference to people’s lives, boosting their skills and improving their career prospects through tailored career coaching, funded training and support.

 

  • In April, the Secretary of State for Transport had committed an extra £31.9m to complete the funding needed to reopen the railway to Portishead and Pill. This formed part of the ambitious MetroWest rail plans which would see the opening of new railway lines and stations, benefiting residents and helping the region to prosper while reducing congestion and air pollution.

 

  • Innovation was coming forward from the ground-breaking 5G Smart Tourism research and a showcase event had been held in March.  The 5G Smart Tourism project was being extended, including being used at this year’s Bristol Harbour Festival - trialling how 5G could be used to enhance the visitor experience, as well as supporting the event organisers to manage safety at the festival. The West of England was the UK’s leading smart city region and the work being taken forward on the use of 5G technology had transformational potential in a number of areas, ranging from assisted living to motoring to air quality.

 

6.

Comments from the Chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership pdf icon PDF 51 KB

To receive any comments from the Chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership.

Minutes:

It was noted that the Chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership Board, Professor Steve West had given his apologies for the meeting.  Comments submitted for this meeting by the Chair, setting out an update on the Local Industrial Strategy, LEP Board recruitment and the proposed constitutional changes referred to as part of the Annual Business Report (agenda item 11) had been circulated.  The committee noted these comments, copies of which would be available to view on the Combined Authority’s website.

 

7.

Comments from the Chair of the Combined Authority's Overview and Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 64 KB

To receive any comments from the Chair of the Combined Authority’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Minutes:

As advised earlier at the meeting, it was noted that the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Stephen Clarke had given his apologies for this meeting.  He had though submitted comments on behalf of the committee in relation to the following issues:

1. A request that the Combined Authority should declare a Climate Emergency.

2. Comments on the constitutional changes set out in the Combined Authority Annual Business Report (agenda item 11); specifically, a request that individuals should be permitted to ask oral supplementary questions at Combined Authority committee meetings in respect of the replies they received to written questions.

 

The comments were presented at the meeting by Cllr Winston Duguid, Vice-Chair of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee.  These had been circulated in advance of the meeting and would be available to view on the Combined Authority web site.

 

In response to the comments submitted relating to climate change / emergency, the Chair commented as follows:

 

  • A huge amount of work was taking place across the region and the West of England had already made a strong commitment to clean and inclusive economic growth.
  • Figures from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy showed a reduction in carbon emissions across the West of England Combined Authority region by 35% since 2005. The reduction was achieved while the region’s economy grew by 46% according to the Office of National Statistics. This demonstrated that economic growth could be achieved alongside ambitious carbon reduction through working together as a region and the Combined Authority had launched schemes and invested in projects to build on this success.
  • As part of this approach, a £4.2m West of England Low Carbon Challenge Fund had been launched to support business in adopting energy efficiency measures, along with community energy schemes.
  • The Combined Authority also hosted the South West Energy Hub, a £3.5m project funded by the government to increase the number and quality of local energy projects across the south west. 
  • Work was also taking place to tackle congestion and improve transport options, encouraging people to leave their cars at home
  • The need to address poor air quality and take action against climate change was fully recognised as a key challenge by all the leaders of the Combined Authority.

 

8.

Items from the Public (petitions; statements; questions) pdf icon PDF 4 MB

If you wish to present a petition or make a statement at this meeting, you are

required to submit this by 12 noon on the working day before the meeting by email

to democratic.services@westofengland-ca.gov.uk   For this meeting, this means that your petition/statement must be received inthis office by 12 noon on Thursday 13 June 2019.

 

If you wish to ask a question at the meeting, you are required to submit the

question in writing to democratic.services@westofengland-ca.gov.uk by no later

than 3 working days before the meeting. For this meeting, this means that your

question(s) must be received in this office by the end of Monday 10 June 2019.

 

In presenting any statements at the meeting, members of the public are

generally permitted to speak for up to 3 minutes each. The total time available

for this session is 30 minutes so at the discretion of the Chair, speaking time

may sometimes be reduced depending on how many public items are received.

Please note that all public items will be circulated in advance of the meeting to

the committee members.

Minutes:

3 questions had been submitted in advance of this meeting, as follows:

 

  1. Gordon Edwards - subject: Transport functions / local bus services
  2. Cllr Clive Stevens (Bristol City Council) - subject: Annual business report (agenda item 11)
  3. Cllr Carla Denyer (Bristol City Council) - subject: Climate change / emergency

 

The Chair advised that written replies had been sent to all questioners in advance of the meeting.

 

5 statements had been received in advance of the meeting, as follows:

 

  1. David Redgewell - subject: Transport issues
  2. Christina Biggs - subject: MetroWest / other transport issues
  3. Cllr Martin Fodor (Bristol City Council) - subject: Climate change/emergency
  4. Cllr Mark Bradshaw (Bristol City Council - subject: Annual business report (agenda item 11) – Transport Board proposal
  5. Cllr Clive Stevens (Bristol City Council) - subject: Business Plan annual report (agenda item 15)

 

At the invitation of the Chair, and in accordance with the constitution, those in attendance were given the opportunity to present their statements.  It was noted that the full text of the statements, and questions/replies had been circulated to committee members in advance of the meeting and would be available to view on the Combined Authority’s website.

 

9.

Petitions from any member of the West of England Combined Authority Committee

To receive any petitions to be presented by any member of the West of England Combined Authority Committee.

 

Minutes:

No petitions had been notified for this meeting.

 

10.

Deputy Mayor of the West of England Combined Authority - to note the appointment

Minutes:

The committee RESOLVED:

 

  • That the appointment of Cllr Toby Savage, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council as Deputy Mayor of the West of England Combined Authority be noted.

 

11.

Annual Business Report pdf icon PDF 3 MB

Report enclosed.

Minutes:

The committee considered a report (agenda item 11) setting out the 2019/20 annual business report.

 

In discussion, it was noted that briefings would be arranged for Cllr Savage and Cllr Romero on the detail of the proposed governance and constitutional changes.

 

In light of this, the Chair advised that it was not considered appropriate for a decision on the proposals to be taken at this meeting, other than in relation to the meeting dates set out in Appendix 2.

 

The Chair then moved, seconded by Cllr Savage:

 

That the committee RESOLVE:

To approve the calendar of meetings at Appendix 2, the remaining aspects of the report to be deferred to the next meeting.”

 

The Chair then moved to the voting on the motion.

 

The committee RESOLVED:

 

  • To approve the calendar of meetings at Appendix 2, the remaining aspects of the report to be deferred to the next meeting.

 

12.

Combined Authority and Mayoral budget outturn report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 334 KB

Report enclosed.

Minutes:

The committee considered a report (agenda item 12) setting out the draft revenue and capital financial outturn position for the Combined Authority and the Mayoral budget for the 2018/19 financial year.

 

The Chair highlighted the following points:

 

·         Appendix 1 set out the Mayoral Fund’s draft revenue outturn position for the 2018/19 financial year, which was £1,555k lower than the revised budget, largely due to slippage on grant funded feasibility projects.

·         Appendix 2 set out the Combined Authority’s draft revenue outturn position for the 2018/19 financial year, which showed a net surplus in the year of £976k. The report recommended the transfer of the surplus to various reserves.

·         Appendix 3 outlined the draft capital outturn position for the 2018/19 financial year.  The report explained the reasons for the slippage, which would be carried forward into 2019/20.

·         The report also explained the current procurement exercise for the provision of future ICT services and recommended delegation of the final contract award.

 

The report recommendations were then moved by the Chair and seconded by Cllr Savage.

 

The Chair then moved to the voting on the recommendations.

 

The committee RESOLVED:

 

1.    To note the Mayoral Fund and West of England Combined Authority revenue and capital budget draft outturn positions as set out in Appendices 1, 2 and 3.

 

2.    To approve the transfers to reserves as detailed in paragraphs 2.2.7 and 2.2.11

 

3.    To delegate responsibility for entering into a new ICT service provision contract for the West of England Combined Authority, subject to identification of the required budget, to the West of England Combined Authority Chief Executive in consultation with the West of England Combined Authority Section 151 Officer.

 

13.

Investment Fund report pdf icon PDF 834 KB

Report enclosed.

Minutes:

The committee considered the latest Investment Fund report (agenda item 13).

 

The Chair highlighted the following points:

 

·         The report proposed Investment Fund scheme assessment criteria as shown in appendix 2.

·         The report also sought approval of an overall funding envelope (comprising the Investment Fund and the Transforming Cities Fund) of £350m for the period up to March 2023.

·         The proposals would enable a number of key projects for the region to be taken forward to the next stage of development, including Business Cases for:

-       CribbsPatchway cycle links package

-       The Realising Talent early intervention and support project for people not in education or training

-       The South West Institute of Future Technologies project

-       CribbsPatchway MetroBus extension

-       Strategic Park and Ride feasibility funding for Yate.

·         The report also sought an allocation of £20m to Quantum Technologies Innovation Centre+ subject to Full Business Case and due diligence.

·         The report also included a number of other allocations to take important projects forward. In overall terms, the proposals in the report reflected the Combined Authority’s ambition to drive forward projects which would bring significant positive improvements and impacts for the region’s residents.

 

The Chair also advised that following discussion with all the authorities, there was a proposed amendment to recommendation 16 of the report.

 

Cllr Savage moved, seconded by Cllr Romero:

That recommendation 16 be amended to read:

“To allocate £500,000 to develop Outline Business Cases for Strategic Park and Ride subject to approval of a Feasibility and Development Funding Application; and to earmark £3.5m for the delivery of Yate park and ride subject to completion of Business Cases as required.”

 

The Chair also advised that following discussion with all the authorities, there was a further amendment to add an additional recommendation 24 to the report.

 

Cllr Romero moved, seconded by Cllr Savage:

That an additional recommendation 24 be added as follows:

“To approve that the first £20m of any drawdown against the Land Acquisition Fund, subject to the level of funding available, is reserved for strategic schemes within Bath & North East Somerset within the current financial year.”

 

 

In relation to recommendation 7, Cllr Romero asked for further detail and clarification about the due diligence that would take place in terms of the proposed allocation of £20m to Quantum Technologies Innovation Centre+ project and the underwriting of a further £14.974m subject to Full Business Case and necessary due diligence.

 

In response, the Combined Authority S151 finance officer advised that the following points would need to be fully addressed in terms of the due diligence to be undertaken for this project:

 

(a)  There will be full consideration of state aid implications given the level of funding requested by a private organisation - to include assessment of the project outputs against priorities for the region and impact of funding for the region as a whole.

(b)  A value for money assessment of the outputs from the proposal will be undertaken to confirm that funding at the level requested is reasonable.

(c)  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Adult Education Budget funding allocations 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 530 KB

Report enclosed.

Minutes:

The committee considered a report (agenda item 14) providing an update on the devolved Adult Education Budget application, assessment and allocations process for the 2019/20 academic year, and which recommended provider funding allocations for the devolved Adult Education Budget for the 2019/20 academic year.

 

It was noted that Mayor Rees and Cllr Savage had declared interests (see item 3 above).

 

The Chair highlighted that the report included:

·         Background information on the Adult Education Budget and the devolution of this funding to the Combined Authority.

·         An update on the application appraisals process that had been followed.

·         Recommendations for devolved provider funding allocations for the 2019/20 academic year.

 

The Chair also advised that following discussion with all the authorities, an amendment was going to be proposed to recommendation 2.

 

The Chair then moved the following amendment, seconded by Cllr Romero:

 

That recommendation 2 be amended to read:

“To delegate authority during this academic year to the West of England Combined Authority Chief Executive Officer, in consultation with constituent councils’ Chief Executive Officers to make:

-       In-year exceptions funding decisions.

-       In-year growth funding decisions.

-       Decisions on provider re-allocations at mid-year and end-of-year points.”

 

The Chair then moved to the voting on the recommendations as amended.

 

The committee RESOLVED:

 

1.    To approve the proposed funding allocations for the devolved Adult Education Budget during the 2019/20 academic year.

 

2.    To delegate authority during this academic year to the West of England Combined Authority Chief Executive Officer, in consultation with constituent councils’ Chief Executive Officers to make:

-       In-year exceptions funding decisions.

-       In-year growth funding decisions.

-       Decisions on provider re-allocations at mid-year and end-of-year points.

 

15.

2018/19 Business Plan annual report pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Report enclosed.

Minutes:

The committee considered an information report (agenda item 15) setting out an annual assessment of the Combined Authority’s Business Plan for 2018/19.

 

The Chair highlighted that the report included:

 

·         A summary of key projects and activities delivered during 2018/19 that supported the objectives of driving inclusive growth, supporting the region’s businesses to grow, fostering innovation and investing in infrastructure.

·         A detailed section reporting back on each of the activities included in the 2018/19 Business Plan.

·         Details of the Local Enterprise Partnership delivery plan which was focused on specific metrics for LEP funded activity, including the Local Growth Fund, Growth Hub and Invest Bristol & Bath.

·         A summary of the risks associated with the delivery of the Business Plan and their mitigations.

 

Mayor Rees commented that moving forwards, it would be essential to drive both inclusivity and sustainable economic growth through the Business Plan and the Local Industrial Strategy.

 

Cllr Romero welcomed the commitment to clean and sustainable growth, and suggested that the increasing demands locally around climate change / emergency should be reflected in future reporting.

 

The committee RESOLVED:

 

-   To note the report.

 

16.

Professional Services Framework procurement process pdf icon PDF 415 KB

Report enclosed.

Minutes:

The committee considered a report (agenda item 16) setting out the proposed Professional Services Framework procurement process.

 

The Chair highlighted that the report sought approval for the approach that the Combined Authority and its partner authorities would take in procuring a Professional Services Framework to secure support to assist the delivery of the Combined Authority capital investment programme and other authority-specific projects.

 

The report recommendations were then moved by the Chair and seconded by Cllr Romero.

 

The Chair then moved to the voting on the recommendations.

 

The committee RESOLVED:

 

1.    That approval be given to the West of England Combined Authority to publish tender documents which will formally commence the procurement process to establish a West of England Combined Authority led Professional Services Framework.

 

2.    That approval be given for the approach to this procurement which is compliant to the Public Contracting Regulations 2015. This procurement is being conducted on Most Economically Advantageous Terms – the combination of highest combined quality and cost scores. Once the procurement process is complete, the committee will be asked to approve the outcome at which stage the decision will be to award or not to award.

 

17.

Information item - decisions taken at this meeting pdf icon PDF 221 KB

Details of the decisions taken at this meeting and the draft minutes of this meeting will be published on the West of England Combined Authority website as soon as possible after the meeting.

Minutes:

In closing the meeting, the Chair advised that details of the decisions taken at this meeting and the draft minutes of the meeting would be published as soon as possible on the Combined Authority website.