Venue: Authority Chamber - Mann Island. View directions
The minutes of the meeting held on 29 October 2014, having been circulated, were taken as read and signed as a correct record.
The Panel considered a report of the Lead Officer – Scrutiny, on the first scrutiny review undertaken by Panel Members on the topic of European Funding.
A detailed overview on the current position in relation to European Funding had been presented to the Panel by Alan Welby, Director for Key Growth Sectors at the LEP and Martin Eyres, Head of European Affairs at Liverpool City Council at the initial scrutiny session in January 2015.
The Panel then drew up a scoping document to provide focus to the review, and then attended two information gathering sessions which examined each of the aspects of the review in detail. At the final ‘wrap up’ session on 17 March 2015, the Panel agreed a series of recommendations and comments to be presented to the Combined Authority for consideration and response.
The attached appendices contained detailed information on each stage of the review, the evidence gathering sessions, together with a series of recommendations.
1) the report and recommendations be approved; and
2) the Combined Authority be requested to consider those recommendations, and report its response to the Scrutiny Panel.
The Panel received a presentation from Mike Palin, Chief Executive, St Helens Borough Council, on the Liverpool City Region Growth Plan and Strategic Economic Plan.
The Panel was advised that Government wanted Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP’s) to have a Growth Plan, a high level and long term document which identified priorities and a strategic approach to specific projects and activity. LEP’s were also required to have a Strategic Economic Plan (SEP), which provided the project-level detail; both documents together were designed to tackle the deficit, support the re-balancing of the City Region’s economy and create jobs.
Four Strategic Projects were identified within the Plan:-
· Liverpool City Centre;
· LCR Freight and Logistics Hub;
· LCR2 Energy (Low Carbon Economy); and
· Access to the Port of Liverpool.
The Panel, in discussion, raised the following issues:-
· Officer capacity within the constituent authorities to deliver the outcomes in the Plan;
· Security of the 2015/16 finance offer and uncertainty on funding beyond that date, which would not be known until after the General Election;
· Whether money allocated for one purpose could be transferred to other projects;
· Details of Year 1 projects;
· The Low Carbon Strategy ; and
· The level of engagement with Members in providing the Plan.
Mike Palin responded to Members’ questions.
RESOLVED; That the presentation be received and a further report be brought to the Panel in twelve months’ time, outlining progress against the Plan’s objectives.
The Panel received a presentation from Mick Noone, Operational Director, Policy, Planning and Transportation, Halton Borough Council, on the Transport Plan for Growth.
The Liverpool City Region (LCR) Combined Authority’s Transition Plan and Transport Protocol set out a requirement to produce a joint strategic framework and delivery plan. The Transport Plan for Growth had been developed to create a single strategic framework and delivery plan for the LCR, and was integral to, and supportive of, the City Region work being undertaken. It set the direction for greater collaboration and for future joint working across the City Region.
In discussion, the Panel noted the following:-
· The linkages between improved health and better air quality;
· The positive role which Liverpool John Lennon Airport had in the region; and
· The Merseytravel bus strategy.
RESOLVED: That the presentation be received and a further report be brought to the Panel in twelve months’ time, outlining progress against the Plan’s objectives.
The Panel considered a report of the Lead Officer, Scrutiny, which sought Members’ views on the Panel’s future Work Programme.
The Panel was reminded that, at its meeting on 29 October 2014, it had identified four areas that warranted scrutiny activity. The first, on European Funding had now been concluded (minute 9 referred). The three remaining areas were:-
· Skills and Learning/Leadership;
· Housing; and
· Affordable Transport.
1) Topic Groups be formed to examine each of the three areas;
2) Panel Members be invited to indicate which of the Topic Groups they would wish to be part of (bearing in mind that the Constitution requires representation from four of the constituent authorities on any Group); and
3) the Lead Officer – Scrutiny, be asked to look at the resource requirements to support such a programme and to develop an overall Work Programme for the Panel for 2015/16.