County Councillor Andrew Lee introduced the revised Plan for Economic Growth. He confirmed the revised Plan would replace the previous Plan approved in 2018. He drew attention to the list of the Council’s successes since that time as highlighted in the revised Plan
County Councillor Andrew Lee also confirmed the revised Plan introduced some new themes alongside the traditional economic drivers, which included attracting new businesses and investment. It also picked up on the ‘Living Well’ theme, aimed at ensuring young people in particular had the skills they needed to play a full part in society and the local economy.
The ongoing work with the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) was noted, together with the opportunities to develop new economic activity linked to the low carbon economy which reflected the Council’s ambition to becoming net carbon zero by 2030.
County Councillor Andrew Lee reiterated the Council’s commitment to supporting businesses as they emerged from the pandemic, which included seeking investment from Government funding programmes such as the Levelling Up Fund.
Matt O’Neill, Assistant Director for Growth, Planning and Trading Standards confirmed that the LEP, District Councils had been consulted, and that the revised Plan had been informed by feedback from the Transport & Economy Overview & Scrutiny Committee.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie drew attention to two significant schemes in the A59 corridor not listed in the report that had been supported by the LEP i.e. the £10m investment to improve train services between York & Harrogate, and the ongoing extensive improvement works to Junction 47 of the A1M, to cater for large scale commercial and housing development along the A59 corridor.
County Councillor Paul Haslem drew attention to the significant work of the Council to reduce its carbon footprint and questioned why it was not reflected in the Climate Change Impact Assessment attached to the report, which showed as neutral. He also suggested carbon footprint should be a key performance indicator for the Council.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie highlighted the carbon reduction benefits associated with home working, and the commencement of consultation on a number of Active Travel Fund Schemes across the county, aimed at improving facilities for walking and cycling and reducing the space for motor vehicles.
All members voted in favour of the recommendations in the report, and it was
Resolved – That the revised Plan for Economic Growth be approved.