Regeneration Cabinet Member – Minutes – 7 March 2013

40        (21) EU FUNDS – TRANSITIONS REGION – The Director of Places submitted a report which sought approval to lobby further the UK Government to support the creation of a category of Transition Regions in the next round of EU Funds (2014-2020), and gain support of the lobbying for North Lincolnshire (as part of the East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire total population and GDP figures) to be included within the Transition Regions.

It was explained that Transition Region status for EU Funding for North Lincolnshire would help increase growth and jobs, which would be enhanced through match funding, using the money as a loan or equity rather than a grant to enable it to be recycled a number of times.

Resolved – That the lobbying for Transition Region status to include North Lincolnshire and to promote the Open Letter to the EU from all proposed UK Transition Regions be supported.

41        (22) PROMOTING NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE AT REGIONAL SHOWS IN 2013 – The Director of Places submitted a report which outlined the plans for 2013, to promote North Lincolnshire as a visitor destination.

It was explained that officers and elected Members had attended the Lincolnshire Show to promote North Lincolnshire as a visitor destination for nine years and a regular clientele base called in each year to find out about the latest attractions and events.

In 2011 council had attended the Waddington Airshow for the first time. This two day event attracted over 125,000 people from across the UK, with many planning their holiday around the event and staying in the local area.

At both events the aim was to:

  • §  Raise awareness of North Lincolnshire as a destination
  • §  Promote the area as a place to spend quality leisure time
  • §  Promote the quality markets and shopping
  • §  Gather data to use for future marketing
  • §  Increase the number of day visits and short breaks, bringing money into the local economy

A 16 page booklet, the ‘North Lincolnshire Great Attractions Guide’ had been      produced and would be given out at the shows and major events.

Resolved – That the report be noted.

42        (23)  NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE PARTNERSHIP – The Director of Places submitted a report to provide information about a new partnership working arrangement proposed between North Lincolnshire Council, Jobcentre Plus and North Lindsey College, with the aim of supporting people back into work and encouraging investment and growth.

It was explained that there were currently 4,606 people claiming Jobseekers Allowance in North Lincolnshire (4.35% of the working age population), which was well above the national average, and that the latest data indicated a further upward trend due to redundancies announced at Lloyds TSB Mortgage Unit, Comet and the pending closure of Kimberley-Clark.

The cabinet member was advised that a working group had been established with the three partners and a terms of reference was being developed, which would set out how the partners would work together for the good of these groups.  The partnership would provide a joined-up approach to funding, training and recruitment for future inward investors and businesses looking to grow and would provide a recruitment service to new and existing employers to find talented, suitable staff.

It was anticipated that by working together, the partnership would potentially have a bigger impact in helping both people and businesses in the local area.

Resolved – That the Council further develops the partnership working with Jobcentre Plus and North Lindsey College and that by doing so, support people back into work and businesses to invest and grow.

43        (24)  RAISING THE PROFILE OF NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE – The Director of Places submitted a report which sought consideration of a number of marketing and promotional opportunities.

The report identified that modern industry and commerce were extremely varied and successful in North Lincolnshire and the economy showed a real diversity with a wide skills base in a number of key sectors.  These included metals and engineering, logistics, chemicals, and food and drink. The area was a base for no fewer than five power stations, two major oil refineries providing 27% of the UK’s oil refinery production, over two dozen multinational companies and many more British companies.

North Lincolnshire’s central UK location and extensive transport infrastructure had established the area as a global gateway for logistics and distribution. This unique position provided businesses’ with a major competitive advantage and easy access to 370 million customers in Europe and 40m people in the UK within a four hour drive.  The ports at Killingholme and Immingham were reported to be the busiest in the UK.

It was proposed to deliver a range of new marketing and promotional activities across North Lincolnshire to support the delivery of investment and growth.  It was explained that there were real opportunities to promote North Lincolnshire as an area of growth and investment through advertising and promotional activities.

Further details were outlined within the report and appendix.

Resolved – (a) That the activity outlined in Appendix 1 to the report be approved, and (b) that any art work as and when it is completed be approved.

44        (25)  REGIONAL GROWTH FUND – ROUND 4 – The Director of Places submitted a report to inform the cabinet member of the bidding process for Round 4 of the Regional Growth Fund, and sought approval to investigate potential bids and submit applications if viable propositions were identified.

It was explained that the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) was a £2.6 billion fund operating across England from 2011 to 2016.  It supported projects and programmes that levered private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment.  The first 3 rounds had allocated £2.4 billion which would lever in over £13 billion of private sector investment and create and/or safeguard over 500,000 jobs.  Round 4 was now open for applications with an allocation of £350m.

The closing date for applications was 20 March 2013 with the criteria and objectives for round 4 remaining the same as in previous rounds.

Details of previous round successful bids were detailed within the report.

Resolved  (a)  That the Council actively progresses expressions of interest for the following projects and attends the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) workshop in February:

·         Business Support Package for the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) Programme

·         Airport Related Activity

·         Kimberly Clark Site

·         South Humber Gateway Site

·         University Technical College (UTC) Delivery

and, (b) that a further report be submitted to the March meeting should a full bid be progressed under Round 4.

45        (26)  RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME FOR ENGLAND LEADER PROGRAMME – TRANSITION FUNDING – The Director of Places submitted a report to provide an update on the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) Northern Lincolnshire LEADER Programme, and sought approval to bid for transition fundingto continue to support the Local Action Group until the new programme was determined post 2014.

The Council acted as the accountable body for the Northern Lincolnshire RDPE LEADER Programme which secured £2.4m for rural communities across the North and North East Lincolnshire areas.  It was reported that the programme had operated exceptionally well and was on schedule to spend its full allocation of funding before the end of the programme by March 2014.

The new round of EU funding for the RDPE had yet to be determined with discussions and consultations ongoing.  It had however, been confirmed that there would be a gap between the current programme finishing and the new programme commencing.

Subsequently, concerns had been raised that the expertise gained over the programme both through employed staff and the volunteers on the Local Action Groups would be lost during this period.

In response, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food had announced an allocation of transition funding for 2014 to maintain or create capacity during this period.

The Cabinet member was advised that the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) would manage the arrangements to progress the transition funds and that the Northern Lincolnshire Rural Local Action Group have indicated their desire to continue to operate as a Local Action Group and to bid for future RDPE monies in the new programme.

Resolved– (a) That the Council continues to act as accountable body for the Northern Lincolnshire Rural Local Action Group, and (b) that the Council, along with the Local Action Group, applies for transition funding post March 2014.

46        (27)  BBC STARGAZING LIVE 2013 – The Director of Places submitted a report to inform the cabinet member of the regional BBC Stargazing LIVE event that was held at Waters’ Edge Visitor Centre in Barton in January 2013, and looked at the success of the event and the benefits it brought to North Lincolnshire.

BBC Radio Humberside first approached North Lincolnshire Council in November 2011 to stage a modest partner event at Waters’ Edge Visitor Centre for which they had some funding for promotion and activities. The first event on 16 January 2012 attracted around 1500 people.

On Tuesday 8 January from 6pm-10pm the 2013 Stargazing LIVE event was held across both Waters’ Edge and The Ropewalk. It was estimated that between 2250 and 2500 people attended, travelling from across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

The aim was to provide something that would interest both the experienced stargazer and the novice.  It was reported that despite the cloudy weather, the evening was a huge success, not least due to the enthusiasm of the staff and volunteers involved.

Further details of the event were outlined within the report.

Resolved – That the report be noted.

47        (28)  NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE UNIVERSITY TECHNICAL COLLEGE –  The Director of Places submitted a report to provide an update on the development of the North Lincolnshire University Technical College (UTC).

A UTC provided unique opportunities and experiences for its students and achieved this by working with businesses alongside delivering the national curriculum.

It was explained that an Advisory Board was in place to lead on the development of the UTC for North Lincolnshire.  This involves key stakeholders which included: University of Hull (Education Sponsor), Able UK Limited (lead Business Sponsor), North Lindsey College, Tata Steel, Clugston Construction, Centrica and Total, with the Council was providing a supporting role.  The Advisory Board was chaired by a representative of the University of Hull.

An initial public consultation was undertaken in October 2012, which demonstrated significant support for the development of a UTC in North Lincolnshire.

Resolved – (a) That the contents of the report be noted; (b) that the Council continues to provide appropriate expertise and skills to the Advisory Board, and (c) that the support provided by the council be reviewed should the bid for a UTC prove successful.

48        (29)  WARD PROFILES POPULATION CHANGES – The Director of Places submitted a report to inform the Cabinet Member of the Census 2011 ward profile population changes.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) completed the latest Census in May 2011 and had released the first set of data, which included high level population data by ward, age and sex.  The population in North Lincolnshire was recorded as totalling 167,446.

The data released to date from the 2011 Census was available for use on the North Lincolnshire Data Observatory, and the population by ward showed that all wards, with the exception of the Bottesford Ward, had grown since the last Census.

Resolved – That the latest Census data relating to the ward population changes in North Lincolnshire be noted.

49        (30)  BUILDING CONTROL PERFORMANCE REVIEW 2012 – The Director of Places submitted a report to inform the Cabinet Member on the performance of the Building Control service in 2012.

Building Control was required to produce an annual performance review for the ISO external auditor.  The review highlighted the difficulty in achieving income targets due to the recession and that an additional £70,000 income had been achieved through cross boundary working and other additional commercial services to customers.

The review also highlighted excellent performance results, which included 100% overall customer satisfaction for a second year running.

Resolved – That the content of the Building Control Performance Review 2012 be noted.

The corresponding report of the following item (Minute 50refers) contains exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

30        (31)  BROADBAND DELIVERY UK – Business support – The Director of Places submitted a report to provide the Cabinet Member with an update on the Business Support Element of the European Regional Development Fund BDUK bid, and sought approval for the delivery mechanism of the Business Support.

It was explained that the Northern Lincolnshire Broadband Project was investing in digital inclusion and access to super-fast broadband to support homes and business throughout Northern Lincolnshire.  The project started in 2012 and completion was programmed for late 2015.

It was intended this would go a long way towards eliminating the so called ‘digital divide’ across communities.  The project has set a target of 90% and possibly rising to 96% (pending government funding) of all premises to have superfast broadband availability by 2015.

Resolved –  (a) That the delivery of the business support element of the ERDF BDUK bid be endorsed and approved, and (b) that the decision to create a project sub-group to oversee the delivery of the business support element of the ERDF BDUK bid be approved.

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Where there is no report this is because it is exempt, as it contains information which is considered to be of a confidential nature, as detailed in the Local Government (Access to Information) Act.