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June 2020 HGB Meeting – Minutes

Published: 3 July 2020

Minutes of the meeting of the Hertfordshire Growth Board on Tuesday, 2 June 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
M Bright, Hertsmere Borough Council
M Stears-Handscomb, North Hertfordshire District Council
C White, St Albans City and District Council
S Taylor, Stevenage Borough Council
S Bedford, Three Rivers District Council
P Taylor (Mayor), Watford Borough Council
T Kingsbury, Welwyn and Hatfield Borough Council

Council Chief Executives
J Stack, Broxbourne Borough Council
S Marshall, Dacorum Borough Council
R Cassidy, East Herts District Council
S Bijle, Hertsmere Borough Council
D Scholes, North Hertfordshire District Council
A Foley, St Albans City and District Council
M Partridge, Stevenage Borough Council
J Wagstaff, Three Rivers District Council
D Nolan, Watford Borough Council
R Bridge, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

Local Enterprise Partnership
M Bretton, Chairman
N Hayes, Chief Executive

Hertfordshire Growth Board
P Dell, Director – Hertfordshire Growth

1. Apologies

There were no apologies for absence.

2. Minutes

The Minutes of the Board meeting held on 7 April 2020 were confirmed as a correct record subject to a minor amendment at 5.3. This currently reads:

‘Board members were disappointed to learn that the national Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) Bids for Brookfield and Broxbourne had been unsuccessful…’

This will be amended to: ‘Board members were disappointed to learn that the national Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) Bids for Brookfield and Baldock had been unsuccessful….’

The Chairman advised that papers for this and immediate future meetings would be published in the public domain on the county council’s website here once the meetings had taken place:

It was noted that in due course the papers would be published on the Hertfordshire Growth Board’s website once it had been developed.

Admin note- due to the fact that the meeting was held virtually, the minutes of the meeting will be signed by the Chairman at the next non virtual meeting of the Committee.

3. Hertfordshire Growth Board - Programme Update

The Board received a report providing an update on overall progress with the key Growth Board programmes including the roll out of the Covid-19 reviews.

The Board were interested to learn that officers would be meeting John McManus from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) on 1 July 2020.

The Board welcomed the news that Lucy Gravatt had been appointed as the Hertfordshire Growth Board Communications Lead on a part time basis.

It was reported to the Board that good progress had been made on the Hertfordshire Southern East – West Growth Corridor Programme, and gaps where work or development was required had been identified.

The Board were pleased to learn that the East-West North Growth Corridor Programme and North, East and Central Joint Planning Programme had now been merged and the first meeting was to take place before the next Growth Board.

It was noted that work was also being undertaken in several other areas of the programme, including planning for the impact on local employment numbers and work on climate change and sustainability.

In response to a Board Member challenge, assurance was received that the costings for the programme would be presented to the next meeting of the HGB through the quarterly budget report.

The Board noted the overall progress across the Growth Board programme and individual workstreams since the last meeting including the COVID-19 reviews that were taking place at programme and project level.

4. Hertfordshire Growth Board – Hertfordshire growth and recovery prosepctus 2020 (working draft)

Confidential redacted minute

5. Hertfordshire Growth Board – Accelerating housing delivery project group update

The Board considered a report outlining opportunities to accelerate housing delivery across the county.

In response to a board member challenge that any plans for housing needed to include social as well as affordable housing it was acknowledged that this was a consideration that would need be incorporated .

Assurance was also received that officers in the county council’s adult care services department, were working with district planning teams to consider accommodation development for adults with learning disabilities.

In response to a board member question, it was confirmed that officers had sufficient information to support the initial work on the exploration of development of new settlements within the county.

The board discussed the issue of the viability of housing development schemes, and the importance of the need for viability assessments was acknowledged.

The Board

  • Noted the work that had been carried out on the Accelerated Housing Delivery proposal,
  • Agreed that the emerging conclusions regarding potential accelerated housing numbers, trajectories and intervention costs, be used in initial discussions with MHCLG.

6. Hertfordshire Growth Board - Communications update

Members received a report updating progress since April 2020 to get the Hertfordshire Growth Board branding and website presence established.

The Board received a presentation outlining the proposed branding for the Hertfordshire Growth Board. This was unanimously received favourably by members.

The delays in the communication activity targets due to the impact of COVID-19 were acknowledged by the board.

The Board

  • Noted the progress and reasons for the amended milestones and give any feedback on progress and next steps, and 
  • Gave positive feedback to proceed with the new visual identity and HGB branding that had been shared in the presentation.

7. Hertfordshire Growth Board – Hertfordshire local enterprise partnership economic update

The Board received a presentation outlining the economic update since the last meeting of the board.

The board acknowledged the figures presented that beginning of the impact of COVID-19 on the county with a predicted £35bn economic downturn in GVA and an estimated 80-100,000 job losses.

The Board agreed that a significant focus of work would be to support the county through recovery from the post-Covid recession, predicted to last 3 years.

Members noted the presentation.

8. Standing items of business

8A South West Herts Joint Plan


Members were advised that at a future meeting of the board, they would receive the results of a strategic growth study.

The Board noted the update.

8B Single Housing Investment Fund – Harlow Gilston Garden Town update

The Board learn that officers had received a contracting letter from Homes England and confirmed that this now enabled a start to be made on the contracting stage.

The Board noted the update.

9. Date of next meeting

The next meeting will be held at am on 7 July 2020 at 4.30pm at County Hall or by Teams Teleconferencing (to be advised closer to the date).

10. Any other business

None recorded.