Meeting documents

TDBC Full Council
Tuesday, 11th December, 2018 6.30 pm

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Considered report previously circulated, concerning the work of the Heart of the South West (HotSW) Joint Committee.


In January 2018, the HotSW Joint Committee was formally established by the

Councils and organisations involved since 2015 in the devolution partnership.  The Committee was tasked with improving productivity across the HotSW area in collaboration with the HotSW Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and other organisations as necessary.  


The Committee which was Chaired by Councillor David Fothergill, Leader of Somerset County Council (with Councillor John Tucker, Leader of South Hams District Council as Vice-Chairman) had met formally three times in 2018, in March, June and October.  


In addition to this, the management structure that sat behind the Committee and involved Chief Executives and senior officers from across the partnership had met regularly to drive the business of the Committee.


The report summarised the progress made by the Committee over recent months in key areas of activity which included:-


·         Influencing the Government;

·         Approval of the HotSW Productivity Strategy;

·         Endorsement of the Delivery Plan;

·         The preparation of an Opportunities Prospectus;

·         Housing - an agreement to work closely with Homes England and the Government to successfully deliver the ambitious housing programmes that exist across the area;

·         Working with the National Infrastructure Commission to secure Government funding for a Growth Corridor Study;

·         The formation of a Brexit Resilience Opportunities Group to research and advise on the opportunities and risks to the HotSW; and

·         Setting up a Sub-National Transport Bodyto work with the Government to deliver investment in the Region’s major transport infrastructure. 


The report also set out actions proposed in the coming months, particularly:-


1)    The development of an Investment Framework for the Delivery Plan so that priorities for delivery and project opportunities could be delivered via investment from a range of sources; and

2)    Reviewing the roles and functions of both bodies through a governance review to acknowledge the revised and enhanced focus given to LEPs by the Government.  


Further reported that the inclusion of the HotSW LEP area in the second wave of areas to benefit from working with the Government to develop their Local Industrial Strategies (LIS) was a considerable achievement for the Joint Committee and the LEP.


By working closely with the Government to develop our LIS it was hoped to be able to jointly agree the long term transformational opportunities that would help deliver the ‘asks’ specific to our area and influence wider Government policy and delivery.  


LIS’s would focus on the foundations of productivity and identify transformational opportunities with partners across Ideas, People, Infrastructure, Business Environment and Place.


Noted that the LEP’s proposed timetable was to have the final LIS agreed between the LEP and the Government by June 2019.  To enable the development of the LIS to be taken forward at pace, and to demonstrate alignment with partners across the area, it was proposed that local authority input was developed, coordinated and signed off by the Joint Committee.  Approval was therefore sought from the constituent authorities to formally delegate the Council’s responsibilities for contributing to and signing off the HotSW Local Industrial Strategy (LIS) to the Joint Committee.


The report also provided details of the Joint Committee’s budgetary position to provide assurance that it was operating within its budget. These details included:-


a)    A summary of the Committee’s current budget position for 2018/2019;


b)    A Budget and Cost Sharing Agreement which was a development of the Inter-Authority Agreement agreed by the constituent authorities at the time the Committee was established; and


c)    An indicative budget request for 2019/2020 to the constituent authorities, as set out below:-


·         County Councils - £10,500

·         Unitary Councils - £4,000

·         District Councils and National Parks £1,400.


Resolved that:-


a)    The progress report setting out the work of the Heart of the South West Joint Committee since its establishment in March 2018 be noted;


b)    The development and endorsement of the Heart of the South West Local Industrial Strategy be delegated to the Joint Committee (noting that final approval of the Strategy rested with the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership and the Government);


c)    The Budget statement for 2018/2019 set out in Appendix B to the report be noted and that in accordance with the decisions taken at the time the Committee was established, the Shadow Council would be asked to make an annual budgetary provision to meet the support costs of the Joint Committee in line with the Taunton Deane and West Somerset 2018/2019 contributions.  Final clarification on any additional 2019/2020 budget requirement would be provided following the completion of the review of the Joint Committee’s role, function and management support arrangements and development of its work programme for 2019/2020; and


d)    The Budget and Cost-sharing Agreement set out in Appendix B to the report be agreed.


Supporting documents: