Venue: Virtual Meeting
Welcome and Apologies
The Chair, Gemma Smith welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Apologies for absence were noted as above.
Declarations of Interest by individual Members in relation to any item of business on the agenda
terThe Chair declared an interest in the ‘Active Travel Bridge’ project to be considered at agenda item 8 – ‘Getting Building Fund (GBF) programme Project Approvals’.
Councillor Tim Cheetham declared a non-pecuniary interest for Item 8.
Urgent items / Announcements
On behalf of the Board, the Chair congratulated Councillor Johnson on recently being elected the Leader of Sheffield City Council.
The Board noted that Councillor Johnson would now be Co-Chair of the Housing and Infrastructure Board, in place of Councillor Dore.
Public Questions on Key Decisions
Following the Board’s recommendations, the MCA had approved three schemes (Sheffield Heart of the City Breathing Spaces, Rotherham Town Centre Masterplan and Century BIC Phase 2) with a total value of £8.18m from the Getting Building Fund (GBF).
It was agreed that the minutes of the previous meetings of the SCR Housing Board and SCR Infrastructure Board held on 22nd October 2020 are an accurate record and may be signed by the representative of the Head of Paid Service.
C Blackburn introduced a report to provide the Board with an update on progress with preparing the SEP Growth Area Economic Blueprints being developed with Local Authorities and the key emerging priorities for each of the areas.
Members were reminded that the former Infrastructure Board on the 3rd July 2020 resolved to support the development of Economic Blueprints in each of the Growth Areas identified by the Strategic Economic Plan. This work had evolved from a series of SEP workshops undertaken with Local Authorities before the Covid19 outbreak.
The intention of the Economic Blueprints are to provide an integrated ‘place based approach’ for accelerating the growth and regeneration of the SCR’s key Growth Areas; including both setting out the ‘vision’ for the areas and identifying a robust pipeline of infrastructure scheme ‘packages’ for each area, which can be ready for delivery as part of the future capital pipeline.
The eight SEP Growth Areas had been identified as follows:
· Doncaster Town Centre, Waterfront & Station Gateway
· Rotherham Town Centre and Growth Corridor
· Sheffield City Centre
· Goldthorpe, Thurnscoe & Bolton upon Dearne
· Stainforth Unity
· Barnsley Town Centre
The GatewayEast Economic Blueprint had already been developed and endorsed by the LEP.
The Board noted that early draft Economic Blueprints had been developed for: Goldthorpe, Doncaster Town Centre, Rotherham Town Centre, Eastwood and Templeborough and Sheffield City Centre, and work was ongoing with Local Authority officer teams to further develop them. Initial meetings had taken place during December 2020.
The remaining three Economic Blueprints for Barnsley Town Centre, Stainforth/ Unity, and AMID, would start to be prepared in January 2021.
The Board noted the ‘next steps’ were also highlighted and discussed.
The Board welcomed and confirmed their support for the Economic Blueprints.
Due to the cross-over of priorities contained within the Economic Blueprints, the Board suggested that at an appropriate time they should also be presented and discussed with the other three MCA Thematic Boards. ACTION: C Blackburn
On behalf of Homes England, T Hawley said that the Agency would be available to provide any help and technical expertise to the MCA and Local Authorities in the co-development stage of the Economic Blueprints.
RESOLVED – That the Housing and Infrastructure Board:
1. Noted the Growth Area Economic Blueprint update summarised in Annex 1.
Noted the proposed process and next steps for progressing the further development of the Growth Area Growth Area Economic Blueprints.
C Blackburn introduced a report to provide an update on progress with the Housing Fund (Brownfield) and requested the Board’s endorsement of the Strategic Business Case for the programme and to give approval for the revenue fund allocations.
The Board was reminded that, in June 2020, the Government had launched ‘A New Deal for Britain’ which was a key part of the Government’s Strategy to rebuild Britain following Covid 19 and support the economic recovery across the UK. As part of this strategy, £40.3m of capital funding and £841k revenue funding had been allocated to the MCA for supporting the development of housing schemes on brownfield land over the next 5 years.
Appendix A to the report provided the Board with the Appraisal Panel summary for the Housing Fund (Brownfield) 5 year Programme Strategic Business Case (SBC) for consideration, with a view to recommending it for approval by the MCA. The SBC included the Early Deliverable pipeline schemes.
The Appraisal Panel had confirmed that, as a whole the Housing Fund (Brownfield) programme provided good value for money. The programme had an overall Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) of 1.06, based on the Early Deliverable pipeline of schemes.
The Board noted that, following ongoing work with Local Authority Housing Directors, the schemes listed in paragraph 2.3 of the paper were those that were being progressed as ‘Early Deliverable’ schemes, some of which were intended for funding approval consideration before the end of March. These include the schemes that had been submitted for funding from MHCLG’s Competitive element of the Brownfield Housing Fund. Following an announcement from MHCLG, it was confirmed that the schemes had been unsuccessful.
In advance of the announcement, the MCA Executive had worked with the relevant Local Authority sponsors to work on developing scheme Full Business Cases (FBCs). It was anticipated that some of the schemes would be presented at the next Board meeting for consideration for investment.
The Board’s attention was drawn to the table presented at paragraph 2.5 of the report. The table provided Members with the proposed initial revenue allocations to help accelerate business case development of the next pipeline of schemes for 2021/22. The intention was for revenue funding to be capitalised at the point of a capital scheme approval; to be revolved back into the revenue ‘pot’ to support project development for further housing pipeline schemes in the 5 year programme.
The Board considered and approved the revenue funding allocations set out in paragraph 2.5 for accelerating the delivery of the 2021/22 pipeline schemes.
Members noted that work was ongoing with Local Authorities to develop a 5 year pipeline of schemes, as part of the Fund Conditions was to inform NHCLGby June 2021 of the proposed 5 year programme. Proposals for the pipeline of both capital and revenue schemes would be reported to future Board meetings for consideration.
Following ongoing activity, should it be considered that there may not be sufficient schemes to meet Fund targets and ambitions, consideration would be given to the ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
C Howard introduced a report which requested the Board’s approval for two schemes with a value of £2.08m Getting Building Fund (GBF) and to give approval for delegated authority.
On 30th June 2020, the MCA had been awarded £33.6m GBF to invest in ‘shovel-ready’ projects that will provide stimulus to local economies. The funds needed to be defrayed by 31st March 2022, which allowed an 18-month delivery window.
The Appraisal Panel Summary Table attached at Appendix A to the report asked the Board to take a decision whether to support the proposal of a GBF grant of £0.580m to Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council to deliver a Goldthorpe Strategic Land Assembly project. The grant would be utilised for land acquisition and associated costs such as legal fees, site surveys and planning application fees for an employment site at Goldthorpe.
The project builds on the M1 Junction 36 Phase 2: Goldthorpe scheme which had been funded through Local Growth Fund to make highways improvement works towards the eastern end of the M1 Junction 36 economic growth corridor.
The GBF project would deliver the first stage of a three stage land assembly strategy and would provide a catalyst for securing up to 99.31 acres through stage 2. Stage 3 for the remaining 77 acres is part of the long term strategy.
The project was considered to have a good strategic fit with the SEP (Strategic Economic Plan) and RAP (Renewal Action Plan). The proposal aims to accelerate delivery of the wider economic development which is consistent with the aims of GBF.
The project was estimated to deliver a Benefit Cost Ratio of 30:1 based on the GBF contribution. On this basis the GBF investment offered good value for money.
The project was considered able to deliver within the GBF timeframe, with some initial activity already underway. Planning permission for the new access roundabout to the site is expected to be submitted in June 2021 and acquisition of land expected to be completed in September 2021.
The project was recommended for approval with conditions of planning approval and completed procurement to satisfy before entry into contract.
The Board considered and approved the project for award of a £0.580m grant from the GBF.
N.B. At this point in the meeting, the Co-Chair, Councillor Johnson assumed the position as Chair for the Board’s consideration of the ‘Active Travel Bridge’ project.
G Smith took no part in the discussion or voting thereon.
The Appraisal Panel Summary Table attached at Appendix B to the report asked the Board to take a decision whether to support the proposal of a GBF grant of £1.5m to Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council to deliver an active travel bridge over the railway linking Penny Pie Park and Pogmoor Recreation Ground to complement and enhance the delivery of the approved A628 Dodworth Road/Broadway Junction Improvement scheme.
The bridge aimed to open green spaces for local residents, improve a housing sites viability and provide a safe crossing point for school children and other members ... view the full minutes text for item 8.
C Blackburn introduced a report to provide the Board with an update on South Yorkshire’s flood risk priorities and consideration of the scope of a South Yorkshire Wide Catchment Plan.
The Board noted that, following the November 2019 floods, the Mayor and South Yorkshire Local Authorities Leaders jointly submitted a Business and Infrastructure Resilience Flood Priority Programme for South Yorkshire with an investment ask of £271m to protect over 2,800 businesses and 10,300 homes. The Programme was shaped by lessons learned from the flooding in November 2019 and was designed to invest in new infrastructure and natural flood management measures to mitigate this type of flood event from happening again.
Since then discussions had taken place between the Mayor/Leaders and the Government which culminated in a South Yorkshire Flooding Roundtable hosted by the Secretary of State on the 8th October 2020.
Following the Flooding Roundtable in October with the Secretary of State, the Mayor and Leaders submitted a package of ‘shovel ready’ schemes (could start on site within two years) to the Secretary of State for funding support, which it was proposed would be supplemented by £5.5m of MCA investment. A response on this proposal from the Secretary of State was awaited.
The Board suggested that a reminder letter be sent by the MCA to Secretary of State to ascertain if funding support would be available. ACTION: C Blackburn.
The Board was informed that the Environment Agency (EA) programme incorporated 26 of the 27 South Yorkshire Priority Programme schemes including work to address severely flood affected areas like Bentley and Fishlake, as well as a £40million Nature Based Solutions programme covering the whole Don catchment.
The Government had announced a doubling of investment for flood defence schemes, known as Grant in Aid (GiA), in its March 2020 budget. Nationally, this will see £5.2 billion of investment over the next 6 year programme between April 2021 and to March 2027. In light of this, the Environment Agency (EA) had been working with local authorities to refresh its spending programme for South Yorkshire.
More details will be available in early 2021 on the revised funding programme and the sequencing of the investment over the six year programme period. The programme would be refreshed each year to take account of changes to projects, manage emerging risks and capitalise on any new opportunities.
Annex 2 to the report set out an early draft Scope for preparing a new Catchment Wide Flood Plan for South Yorkshire led by the Environment Agency, in conjunction with the MCA Executive, local authorities and other key stakeholders.
The aim in the first instance would be to develop a draft Plan by early Summer, with key milestones being reported to future meetings of this Board for input and comment.
It was proposed that the Housing and Infrastructure Board and the South Yorkshire Flood Risk Partnership Board would be the key partnership Board’s which would provide input as the Catchment Wide Flood Plan is developed.
The Board welcomed ... view the full minutes text for item 9.
C Howard introduced a report and accompanying performance dashboard to provide Board Members with up to date performance information on the Infrastructure programme delivered on behalf of the LEP and MCA.
The Board noted that the MCA was continuing to complete the delivery of the Infrastructure package of investment that currently comprised of 49 schemes.
The Board was made aware that three schemes had indicated that the impact of Covid would mean that they are at a high risk of not meeting their spend target for the year and therefore submitted change requests to move a proportion of their claims into 2021/22. The change requests had been agreed by the MCA on 16th November 2020.
A further two projects had been identified as being at Amber/Red Risk due to the delays incurred as a result in the Covid-19 pandemic. A total of twelve projects had been identified as being at amber risk.
Assurance was provided that monthly reviews with all project partners were being undertaken with regards to the impact of the Covid-19 crisis and all red, red amber risks on spend, delivery and outcome profiles, with change control applied as necessary. Monthly review returns were expected to be received from all delivery partners on Friday 8th January 2021, to confirm (or otherwise) if their schemes were still on-target to complete delivery by 31st March 2021.
The Board requested that assurance be circulated by email to confirm if all outstanding infrastructure schemes were still on-target to complete delivery by 31st March 2021. ACTION: C Howard.
The Board noted that Getting Building Fund (GBF) dashboards would be presented at future Board meetings.
The Board asked if the format of the Infrastructure Dashboard could be amended to allow the document to be printed on A4 paper. ACTION: C Howard.
RESOLVED – That the Housing and Infrastructure Board scrutinised the performance information provided.
C Blackburn presented the Board’s Forward Plan for Members’ information.
RESOLVED – That the Housing and Infrastructure Board noted the contents of the Board’s Forward Plan.
Any Other Business
Councillor Cheetham asked if consideration could be given to allow local authority officers to attend and observe future Board meetings in order to provide support to their elected Members.
The Board agreed that consideration of this request should be undertaken by the Co-Chairs in liaison with the MCA Executive. ACTION: G Smith, Cllr Johnson. & Mark Lynam