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October 2020 HGB Meeting – Minutes

Published: 18 December 2020

Members of the Board

Council Leaders
L Cocking, Broxbourne Borough Council
A Williams, Dacorum Borough Council
L Haysey, East Herts District Council
D Williams, Hertfordshire County Council (Chairman)
M Bright Leader, Hertsmere Borough Council
M Stears-Handscomb, North Hertfordshire District Council
J Day substitute for C White St Albans City and District Council
S Taylor, Stevenage Borough Council
S Giles-Medhurst, substitute for S Nelmes – Three Rivers District Council
K Collett (Deputy Mayor) substitute for P Taylor, Watford Borough Council
T Kingsbury, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

Council Chief Executives
J Stack, Broxbourne Borough Council
S Marshall, Dacorum Borough Council
R Cassidy, East Herts District Council
S Crudgington, substitute for O Mapley, Hertfordshire County Council
S Bijle, Hertsmere Borough Council
A Roche, North Hertfordshire District Council
A Foley, St Albans City and District Council
T Pike, substitute for M Partridge Stevenage Borough Council
G Muggeridge substitute for J Wagstaffe, Three Rivers District Council
D Nolan (Managing Director), Watford Borough Council
R Bridge, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership
N Hayes, Chief Executive
M Bretton, Chairman
Neil Routledge – Vice Chair

Hertfordshire Growth Board
P Dell, Director Hertfordshire Growth

Other Officers
Mark Kemp, Director Hertfordshire County Council
Jon Tiley Hertfordshire County Council

1. Apologies

1.1  None.

2. Minutes

1.1 The Minutes of the Board meeting held on 8 September 2020 were confirmed as a correct record.


3. Presentation – Overview of South East Herts Economic recovery proposals

3.1 The Board received a presentation on the South East Herts Economic recovery proposals and key projects in the Borough of Broxbourne. SE Herts is one of the more economically challenged areas in Hertfordshire at the current time and a work-steam has been designed to help support economic recovery and secure increase employment opportunities with higher paid jobs.

3.2 An overview of five projects was detailed to the Board:
• Park Plaza West – South of Broxbourne which could create up to 10,000 jobs over the next 10 years.
• Park Lane Bridge and Railways Station – connecting employment and homes with a new station. Early positive outcomes being seen.
• North of Park Place – the development of a new business park and high-tech starter centre. The land has been transferred to the Council with construction due to start July 2021 and completion/opening November 2022.
• Brookfield – consisting of Brookfield Garden Village which would host a 3FEe primary school and Brookfield Riverside, a new town centre with significant leisure and retail units.
• Waltham Cross Town Centre – has had two council land acquisitions since 2018 and will see regeneration taking place in coming years.

3.3 The Board heard that the Local Plan had now been agreed and that economic growth and development was at the forefront of the plan’s ambitions.

3.4 The Board discussed the development of the land at Maxwell’s Farm and noted that the development was in the early stages and that the LEP were assisting with the plans. Board Members were encouraged to share any good working relationships with developers used in other areas of the county.


3.5 Board Members noted the presentation.

4. Presentation – Hertfordshire Economic Recovery Plan

4.1 The Board received an update from the LEP on the Economic Recovery Plan for Hertfordshire.

4.2 Board Members heard that unemployment rates remained stable across Hertfordshire, with only a marginal change seen as a result of Covid-19, however this may increase as furlough comes to an end. Other threats facing Hertfordshire included the move towards exiting the EU.

4.3 Recovery Plan next steps included refreshing the Skills Strategy, creating a new enterprise and investment strategy and policy development around the digital economy. Framework for growth and international trade would be developed with a Growth Advisory Panel established to scope key lines of enquiry and to review connections with industry.

4.4 The LEP were thanked for the science and technology work workstream and it was noted that the need for advanced manufacturing skills had been highlighted and that joint work was ongoing with North Herts College. Board Members noted that programmes of work were being developed to meet the demands of developing sectors of the UK economy.


4.5 The Growth Board noted the presentation.

5. Hertfordshire Growth Board (HBG) Programmes update

5.1 The Board considered a report on the overall progress of the key Growth Board programmes and noted the headlines of where the projects were at as detailed within the appendix to the report.

5.2 The Board noted that the Northern Growth Corridor Programme Board had been working hard to catch up with Southern and that good work had been coming forward, with a completed statement of common ground and progress being made on the joint planning collaboration work. All programmes were moving forward with planning issues being worked through.


5.3 The Leaders noted the update in Appendix 1 and the overall progress across the Growth Board programme and individual workstreams since the last meeting.


6. Hertfordshire Growth Board – MHCLG Workstream: Update on status of Growth and Housing Deal discussions


7. Hertfordshire Growth Board – Growth Board Joint Committee timetable and implementation update

7.1 The Board reviewed a report which provided an update on the progress with the proposed Integrated Governance Framework and implementation of the Growth Board Statutory Joint Committee. The report detailed the process for each Council to take the proposal via their democratic process and the timescales.
7.2 The Board noted the importance of continuing the process to become a Joint Committee and the role the strengthened governance would play in signalling the unity around joint working and collaboration in Hertfordshire, importantly to Government and business. The Joint Committee would also increase openness and transparency and highlight and increase awareness of the role of the Board.

7.3 Updates since the previous discussion were noted, with officers confirming that the formation of the Joint Committee was being proposed to commence on 26 January 2021, if agreed via due processes. The Board also were advised that the scrutiny function should now commence in line with any growth deal funding to ensure there was a clear scrutiny work programme.

7.4 Whilst there was majority support from Leaders for the Joint Committee structure and the importance of keeping the momentum going to show Hertfordshire’s commitment, there was also a concern raised by one Leader regarding changing the governance structure prior to a growth deal being obtained. The Board noted that there was a clear message of encouragement from MCHLG to continue with the process in order to be in the best position to bid for a deal in the new year.

7.5 In relation to the question of a partner wishing to join the joint committee at a later date, legal officers confirmed that the Joint Committee must have a fixed date of establishment. Further, if any councils chose not to join at the initial set up, after that point all Board Members would have to take such a request to join the Committee back through their democratic process to amend the Committee membership at a later date.

7.6 A further report to constitute the joint committee would be presented to the Growth Board on 17 December 2020.


7.7 The Leaders/LEP Chair agreed:
a. To proceed with securing the partner approvals necessary for implementation of the Growth Board Statutory Joint Committees as agreed at the September 8th Growth Board;
b. The first Growth Board Joint Committee to take place in early 2021 under the new arrangements set out in the Integrated Governance Framework attached at Appendix 1;
c. The implementation of the Growth Board Scrutiny Committee to be aligned to MHCLG confirmation of a Growth and Housing Deal.

8. Growth Board Work Programme 2021 – proposed approach

8.1 Growth Board Members noted that it was proposed to use the some of the December Growth Board meeting for a workshop to review and reflect on the work programme for 2021.


8.2 The Growth Board agreed to review the work programme at the December 2020 meeting.


9. Growth Board Joint Response to consultation on the ‘Planning for the Future’ White Paper

9.1 Board Members reviewed a report which set out the Growth Board’s proposed response to the Government’s consultation on fundamental reforms to the planning system.

9.2 Board Members commented on the changes to the standard methodology for calculating housing as detailed at 2.81-2.82 of the report and noted concerns regarding the use of a nationally set algorithm and the implications this would have on local housing requirements.

9.3 The Growth Board supported the statement of lack of recognition for Elected Members and also noted the need for the public to have the ability to contribute on planning.

9.4 Officers to update the Growth Boards response as discussed and circulate to Members before sending to Government.

10. Standing Items

South West Herts Joint Plan

10.1  The Board heard that a joint submission on the white paper had been agreed and was to be in line with the final response from the Growth Board.

10.2   Discussions will be held with Sports England in due course regarding amenities for the area.

11. Date of next meeting

11.1 Tuesday, 17 December 2020 at 09:30 via Teams

11.2 Dates being tested for Hertfordshire Growth Board 2021/22 were noted as:

Tuesday 26 January 2021– 16.30 – 18.30
Tuesday 30 March 21 – 9.30 – 11.30
Tuesday 22 June 21 – 16.30 – 18.30
Tuesday 7 September 2021 – 9.30 – 11.30
Tuesday 2 November 2021 – 16.30 – 18.30
Tuesday 25 January 2022 16.30 – 18.30

12. Any other business

12.1 It was noted that it was Rob Bridge and Sally Marshall’s last Board meeting. They were thanked for the great job they have both done in supporting the joint working of the Board and its progress since it was established.