Considered – A report by James Farrar, Chief Operating Officer of the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership regarding performance against the LEP delivery plan.
The key points from the presentation are as summarised below:
· Overall delivery remain is on track, except of items which are dependent on issues outside the control of the LEP
· The LEP secured £15.4m from the Getting Building Fund of which £7.7m was spent in 2020/21 leaving a target for 21/22 of £7.7m. It is envisaged that all of the grant will be delivered by the end of the financial year
· A Labour Market Information toolkit has been completed and a Training Session delivered to Career Leaders in schools and colleges, with a focus upon Key Stage 3 and 4 students (11 to 16 years of age)
· Continue to work with local businesses and education providers so that the local economy is able to respond to economic shocks and labour shortages, such as HGV drivers
· There is a strong focus upon the development of a skilled, local workforce that can meet current needs but is also well placed to meet future demands
· There are opportunities to place North Yorkshire and York at the centre of the national de-carbonisation programme and it is one of the few areas within the UK which has the potential to go beyond net zero
· The LEP continue to play a role as an advocate for the area and encouraging investment inwards. Recently, this has included work around the possible re-location of the Great British Rail headquarters to York
· A national review of LEPs is underway by Government to set out the future role of LEPs. The review has been integrated into the Levelling Up White Paper, which is expected to be published in February. At present, there is a lack of clarity over access to future funding
· The LEP is involved in Local Government Re-organisation locally, in particular the economic regeneration work stream.
There followed a discussion, the key points of which are summarised as below:
· The LEP has been engaged in the work of the Rural Commission and its report and recommendations
· Part of the work around carbon reduction has involved mapping out the electric supply and generation infrastructure in the county, as part of understanding the impact of an increased demand as a result of the move from heating oil and gas and petrol and diesel vehicles to electric power
· The Convention of the North will be held in Liverpool on 8 February 2022
· The LEP is engaged in discussions about the development of the Olympia Park site in Selby
· Further work could be done to ensure that a framework is in place for the accurate measurement of progress with the de-carbonisation programme
County Councillor David Staveley asked what regular and in-depth scrutiny was being done of the work of the LEP, over and above the annual reports to this committee.
James Farrar said that a scrutiny meeting was planned for February but acknowledged that the scrutiny arrangements may need to be reviewed.
County Councillor David Goode queried whether the outstanding £5m in grants not spent would actually be spent in this financial year.
James Farrar said that he was confident that all of the grant monies will be spent in year. There would also be an opportunity to do a capital switch with the Council, if needed.
County Councillor Stanley Lumley said that there was a need to develop skills locally so that local people saw the benefits of economic development and that skilled workers were not simply brought in from outside the county to fill vacancies.
James Farrar said that the LEP continued to work with local universities and colleges of further education to map current and future skills vacancies to existing training provision. He said that it was important that people were helped to meet their economic potential and that local people were supported to stay in the county and development their skills.
County Councillor Stanley Lumley summed up and thanked James Farrar for attending the meeting.
1) That James Farrar comes back to the committee in 12 months to provide a further update.