September 2016 Board Meeting round-up
Amazon in Rugeley kindly hosted the meeting and General Manager Mark Hemming provided an introduction. The meeting was followed by a tour of the fulfilment centre.
Chair – The Board recorded its thanks to Andy Street for his significant personal contribution to the development and delivery of the GBSLEP’s agenda whilst Chair. It agreed that Steve Hollis should become Chair until the Board’s AGM in June, subject to endorsement by the LEP’s nine local authority Leaders who form the Supervisory Board.
Brexit – The Board received an update on work being undertaken to identify key areas where the region wants to lobby the Government to secure the investment and support needed to ensure that the region remains “open for business”.
European Structural & Investment Funds – The Board received an update on work being undertaken to maximise European Structural & Investment Funds coming to the LEP area as part of the current programme to 2020.
Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) consultation – The Board discussed the feedback received to the consultation on the draft SEP and agreed that a final revised version be published by November. A document setting out the LEP’s responses to the feedback received would be issued at the same time.
Local Growth Fund – The Board received an update on the LEP’s current Local Growth Fund programme. It also agreed the approach to prioritising project proposals for Local Growth Funds secured through the LEP’s Growth Deal 3 bid submitted to Government at the end of July pending announcement of the LEP’s allocation around the Autumn Statement on 23rd November.
Business rates relocalisation – the Board agreed the LEP’s response to the Government’s consultation on the systems and procedures through which it will implement its commitment to allow local government to retain 100% business rates retention, which include a proposal that business representatives on LEPs approve Mayoral proposals for an infrastructure levy.
‘The Skills Engine’ – The Board received a presentation on ‘The Skills Engine’ – a concept developed by Birmingham City University for addressing the major skills challenge in the LEP area that would involve a major collaboration between HE, FE, private training providers, employers, local authorities, LEPs and the West Midlands Combined Authority. The Board agreed to support ‘in principle’ further development of the proposal with further details to be brought to a future meeting.
Young People – The Board agreed a proposal to increase the involvement of young people in the LEP. This included a proposal that an additional place be created on the LEP Board for a young person and for young people to be appointed to the sub-boards too. An open recruitment process to fill these positions will commence in November.