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June 2020 HGB Public Document Pack

Published: 3 July 2020


Agenda for a meeting of the Hertfordshire Growth Board to be held via Teams Teleconference on 2 June 2020 at 9.30 to 11.30 am


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
O Mapley, Hertfordshire County Council
S Bijle, Hertsmere Borough Council
A Roche, 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

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

Hertfordshire Growth Board
P Dell, Director – Hertfordshire Growth


1. Apologies

2. Minutes
To confirm the Minutes of the Board meeting held on 7 April 2020

3. Hertfordshire Growth Board – Programme update
Programme Updates from Political and Chief Executive Leads:
• MHCLG Engagement Workstream
• Hertfordshire Southern East – West Growth Corridor Programme Board
• Hertfordshire East – West North Growth Corridor and NEC Joint Planning Update

4. Hertfordshire Growth Board – Hertfordshire growth and recovery prosepctus 2020 (working draft)
Confidential item- not for future publication due to the confidential and developing nature of the strategic matters the report and appendices deal with

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

6. Hertfordshire Growth Board – Communications updates
Will include a short presentation by 3Fox

7. Hertfordshire Growth Board – Hertfordshire local enterprise partnership economic update
Presentation – Neil Hayes, Hertfordshire LEP (verbal update)

8. Standing items

South West Herts Joint Plan
S Marshall, Dacorum Borough Council (verbal update)

Single Housing Investment Fund – Harlow Gilston Garden Town update
P Dell, Hertfordshire County Council (verbal update)

9. Date of next meeting
The next meeting will be held on 7 July 2020 16.30 to 18.30 via Teams Teleconferencing unless advised otherwise.

10. Any other business
If you require further information about this agenda please contact Elaine Manzi, Democratic and Statutory Services, Hertfordshire County Council on Telephone 01992 588062, or email 





1. Apologies

Apologies for absence were received from Owen Mapley, Chief Executive, Hertfordshire County Council and Cllr Morris Bright, Leader, Hertsmere Borough Council



2. Minutes

The Minutes of the Board meeting held on 3 March 2020 were confirmed as a correct record.

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/Hertfordshire LEP – Presentation on current economic situation 

Prior to the presentation being received, the Chairman advised the Board that recent communications with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) in the light of concerns raised by the COVID-19 pandemic  had highlighted the need for the work of the Growth Board to continue in order to support the revival of the economy.

It was explained that it would be necessary to review the existing interventions of the Growth Board, and relationship with other programmes such as the Town Deal Fund to ensure that investments were being targeted in the areas of most need.

In response to a Board Member question, assurance was received that the communications with MHCLG had been undertaken as immediate emergency high level contact in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Joint working through the Hertfordshire Strategic Co-ordinating Group was happening and the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) would continue to take a lead role in economic support and recovery.

Board Members received a presentation highlighting the current global, national and local economic situation.

The Board were concerned to learn of the considerable impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had made on the economy, but noted that China, where the pandemic had started, were beginning to experience some economic recovery, which offered some positivity for recovery in other countries. The presentation also highlighted the areas of the UK economy that had been most affected, including retail, leisure and tourism, and how this had led to a 75% increase in Universal Credit claims.

Board members were advised that locally, the retail and tourism industries had been most affected by the economic downturn, with Hertfordshire being registered by LEP as 5th in the top 10 areas in the UK experiencing the most job losses. 

It was noted that approximately a third of the Hertfordshire workforce commute to London for work, and self employment in the county is proportionately higher (13.6%) compared to the rest of the UK which averages at 10.8%.

Board Members attention was also drawn to individual areas of the county more affected, for instance, Broxbourne, where 12% of the workforce worked in food, leisure or retail, compared to an average of 5% countywide.

In response to a Board member comment, it was confirmed that the house building, and construction industry activity was currently stalled, but to date is was unknown whether this would affect property prices and therefore willingness to undertake future construction within the county. A suggestion that unemployed construction workers could be utilised to work on the larger projects as identified by the LEP was noted.

The Board discussed and noted the pressures of recruitment and retention to the care market due to the in parallel increase in recruitment to supermarkets and farms with the increase in demand in the food supply chain.

Members noted the details outlined in the presentation. It was agreed that the presentation would be circulated to Board Members after the meeting with the caveat that it should not be further circulated due to confidential nature of the information.

4. Hertfordshire Growth Board/Hertfordshire LEP – Reviewing our current programmes to support economic recovery

Members received a presentation outlining the current programmes agreed by the growth board, with the view to reviewing these for their contribution to stimulate economic growth and recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic impacts had receded. 

The Board were reminded that MHCLG had expressed the need for Herts Growth Board placed based work to keep going, and Board Members were encouraged to continue to be ambitious, recognise the global significance of Hertfordshire economic assets and to support recovery through the joint work already being undertaken.

In response to a Board Member query, it was confirmed that there were very limited funds available to mitigate any losses to projects caused by COVID-19.

Board Members noted the increasing reliance on digital technology and resilience at this present time and discussed the potential of these being prioritised in  growth and recovery programme in the future.

The Board recognised and supported the need for the focus of work to be channelled towards supporting the more deprived communities and employment sectors within the county.

It was agreed that the Board would consider the presentation in detail outside of the meeting and feedback any comments to Patsy Dell and Neil Hayes as appropriate.


5. Hertfordshire Growth Board Programme – Implementation progress update. 

Board Members received a report outlining the progress of the Growth Board programme since the previous meeting. 

The Board acknowledged that since the previous meeting, the MHCLG had redirected the work of the programme to consider how the Growth board would support the economic recovery in the county post COVID-19.

Board members were disappointed to learn that the national Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) Bids for Brookfield and Broxbourne had been unsuccessful, but were pleased to learn that Homes England had given encouragement for these projects to now be rolled into the Board’s deal proposition as potential accelerated housing projects

It was confirmed that Harlow Gilston Garden Town had secured a funding commitment of £172m from HIF.

In response to a Board Member question, it was explained that whilst the Secretary of State had indicated the need for devolution and change and to work with other authorities on joint ventures including through development corporation and other delivery models, the details of how this ambition could be achieved were not yet clear.



  • Noted the progress across the workstreams over the last four weeks;
  • Noted the feedback from Government through MHCLG and other contact;
  • Agreed to consider the report in more detail outside of the meeting and give feedback on the programme priorities including any implications that need to be incorporated as a result of the CV19 crisis and the need to plan for future economic recovery.


6. Hertfordshire Growth Board – Capacity and resourcing plan

The Board considered a report outlining the future resources and capacity plan for the Hertfordshire Growth board

Members of the board welcomed the news that Patsy Dell from Hertfordshire County Council had been seconded into the role as Director  – Hertfordshire Growth and would be supporting the Growth Board work full time.

The Board acknowledged that due to the impact of COVID-19, the work programme outlined at point 2.8 had been delayed.


Leaders noted the paper and agreed:

  • The Chief Executives Group continue the establishment of the dedicated delivery team as set out in 2.5 and 2.7. of the report, including agreeing details of roles, responsibilities, recruitment, hosting and contractual management; supported by the Director role.
  • Funding for the delivery team and associated Growth Board activities as set out in Appendix A (from the Growth Board Growth Fund/retained business rates pilot).

7. Hertfordshire Growth Board – Communications 

The Board received a report outlining the progress on communications since the last meeting of the HGB. It was acknowledged that work in this area had been delayed or disrupted due to the impact of COVID-19.

Board members were advised that officers had written to Grant Shapps, MP regarding the work of the Board but the subsequent meeting had been cancelled due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

Reassurance was received that further work, as outlined at section 3 of the report, would be undertaken in the area of communications and an update would be presented to the Board at its next meeting on 2 June 2020. 

A Board member comment that not all Board Members supported the ‘More for Life’ branding was noted. It was advised that consideration would be given to reviewing this as well as the timing for any future campaign, particularly looking at the sensitivities in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leaders are asked to note the progress, reasons for the amended milestones and give any feedback on progress and next steps. 


8. Standing items of business

8A South West Herts Joint Plan
Board Members were pleased to learn that £540k of capacity funding had been received from MHCLG to progress work in this project area.

The Board were also interested to learn that the plan had been shared on social media with 3,200 people viewing it in the previous two weeks.

Members noted the update.

8B North, East and Central (NEC) Herts Joint Planning activities

The Board acknowledged that there had been limited progress in the area due to the impact of COVID-19.

Board Members were interested and pleased to learn that it had been suggested that the East West North Growth corridor and NEC Joint planning work should be merged as far as possible into a single workstream, rather than separately as before. Recognised that the detail of this was still to be discussed with all partners before this change could be confirmed.

Members noted the update.

8C Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) Bids: Update

Members were reminded that Harlow Gilston Garden Town had successfully received a funding bid from HIF, and although unsuccessful, MHCLG had advised officers to consider placing the Baldock and Brookfield sites forward as ‘growth deal acceleration sites’, which offered hope for their future development progress

In response to a board member question, it was confirmed that officers had contacts within Homes England and would now work to strengthen the communication channels to enhance progress on the Baldock and Brookfield sites, further to the recommendation from MHCLG for these to be growth acceleration sites.

Members noted the update.


9. Date of next meeting

The next meeting will be held at 9.30 am on 2 June 2020 at County Hall or by Teams Teleconferencing (to be advised closer to the date).


10. Any other business

None recorded.

Agenda item 3 - Growth Board Programmes Update

Report Author: Patsy Dell, Hertfordshire Growth Board (Tel: 07949 887794)

1. Purpose of report

At the last Hertfordshire Growth Board Leaders received an update on the high-level reviews taking place of how both the work of the Growth Board and the Local Industrial Strategy (led by the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)) would best contribute to economic recovery in Hertfordshire. Leaders agreed that all parts of the current Growth Board programmes would be gateway reviewed for Covid-19 recovery potential. 

This report will update on overall progress with the key Growth Board programmes including the roll out of the Covid-19 reviews.

Updates on the Growth Board workstreams are covered in this or other reports on this agenda as follows:

  • Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) Workstream – engagement with Government to advance the Hertfordshire proposition (this is dealt with through agenda item 4 – Draft Growth and Recovery Prospectus 2020)
  • Growth Corridor programmes
  • Accelerating Housing Delivery Project Group (Item 5 on this agenda)
  • Communications Workstream (Detailed update at Item 6 on this agenda)

2. Overall Growth Board Work Programme Update

By way of recap, the March 2020 HGB meeting agreed priority work for the next 6 – 9 months (at that time the period of focus for negotiations with HM Government) including: 

Meeting the commitments set out in the letter to the Secretary of State from January 2020 on behalf of all Leaders;

Responding to feedback from MHCLG meetings to secure HM Government support (level of ambition, what can be achieved in next 5 years, delivery and devolution new models);

An initial portfolio of prioritised corridor delivery projects known as ‘Wave 1’ including:

  • Where detailed Business Cases for infrastructure interventions could be developed in time for Spending Review (SR2020) (i.e. before summer recess)
  • Progress that can be made over the next 0 – 5, 6 – 10 years development and delivery window;
  • Projects which will contribute to accelerated outcomes: employment sites, jobs and housing delivery (with increased affordable housing availability).

As set out previously, these agreed priority programmes and projects are now also being gateway reviewed for their contribution to Covid-19 recovery.

3. Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) Workstream

The MHCLG workstream Leaders group are meeting on 26 May 2020 to review progress with the development of the draft prospectus document, the components of the Hertfordshire offer and the timeline as currently understood for on-going engagement between Hertfordshire and MHCLG officials. The draft prospectus document and the timeline for its discussion with officials is at item 4 on the HGB agenda.

Through the most recent contact with MHCLG we have been encouraged not to lose pace on the work on our growth deal proposition and in developing Hertfordshire’s contribution to national and local economic recovery. There will be a further contact call with MHCLG ahead of the Growth Board and feedback on the main points from that discussion will be given at the meeting. A meeting with the lead MHCLG Deputy Director to discuss the Hertfordshire prospectus is booked for later in June 2020.

Research into the scope, powers, flexibilities and freedoms of other delivery bodies/development corporations has started – this will help to inform future discussions on what might be an appropriate delivery model that could be promoted for the Growth Board. A briefing note on this is also attached at item 4 and it is proposed that a workshop session is convened with all Leaders and Chief Executives later in June 2020 to consider these issues and options.

4. The Hertfordshire Investment Fund

The work on the Hertfordshire Investment Fund (exploration of a potential regional impact fund) has been part of the MHCLG workstream and like all other parts of the HGB programme needs the impact of the Covid -19 situation considering. Chief Executives are undertaking this review and it is proposed that the principles of this fund are also considered at the future Leaders and Chief Executives workshop session mentioned above.

5. Updates on Corridor Growth Delivery Programmes and workstreams

At the last HGB Leaders agreed the set of ‘Wave 1’ projects/programmes below would be the priority for the next 6-9 months. As noted above these are now being reviewed for post Covid-19 contributions to economic recovery:

Driving Economic Growth
Growing Science & Technology Sector
Growing Creative & Screen Industries

Driving Housing Delivery
Accelerated Housing Delivery Programme (North)
Accelerated Housing Delivery Programme (South)
New Settlements: Hemel Garden Communities and Harlow & Gilston Garden Town

Driving Sustainable Transport
Mass Rapid Transit programme
Watford Junction Interchange

Driving Environmental Sustainability
Hertfordshire wide sustainability programme
SE Herts Carbon Reduction & Air Quality Programme

6. Update on Southern East – West Growth Corridor Programme

The corridor group of Leaders and  Chief Executives (CEx’s) met on 13 May 2020 to look at progress made and initiate a high-level review of the southern corridor programmes. All projects and programmes were felt to remain important and with scope to contribute to recovery and the longer-term place-based ambitions originally identified for the Growth Board work. A mini gateway review of each of the key projects is being undertaken with the project leads (updates will be given at the Growth Board if helpful) A programme board approach is being established for the overall corridor work with dedicated programme and project management support now in place. 

7. Update on East-West North Growth Corridor Programme and North, East and Central Joint Planning work

Since the last Growth Board the intent to combine the above workstreams under a single programme approach (as far as possible) has now progressed. Chief Executives are meeting after the Growth Board to plan a workshop review and to resolve the remining operational issues necessary to implement this change. The creation of a new programme board to mirror the arrangements being put in place in the Southern Corridor will be investigated and the high level Covid/gateway reviews of the projects within the programme will be undertaken.

8. Update on Place Narrative, Branding and Communications workstream

Detailed update is provided at item 6 on this agenda.

9. Update on Growth Board Accelerated Housing Delivery Programme

The update on this work and the recent outputs to feed into the MHCLG negotiations is at item 5 on this agenda.

10. Update on Growth Board Programme dedicated staffing and resources

Leaders will remember that the secondment to the Growth Board Director role was confirmed at the last meeting. The secondment to the two days per week communications lead has been offered to Lucy Gravatt from the LEP and she will start shortly.

Programme and Project Management support to the overall programme steering group as well as the growth corridors is being provided by Roger Barratt, Tobias Barker and Elisabeth Whomsley.

It will remain important that in-kind capacity from the teams across the Hertfordshire partners that are engaged on this wider work programme remain available and committed to the timescales for delivery of the programme outputs. 

11. Next Steps

The reviews at programme and project level being undertaken across the Growth board programme will be completed shortly. Each programme area is also updating timeline and outputs milestones as part of the implementation of more formal programme and project management processes across the Growth Board work.

12. Recommendations

That Leaders:  Note the overall progress across the Growth Board programme and individual workstreams since the last meeting including the Covid reviews that are taking place at programme and project level

Agenda item 5 - Accelerated housing delivery programme update

Report Author: Jon Tiley, Head of Spatial Planning and Economy, Hertfordshire County Council

1. Purpose of Report

As has been set out in previous reports to the Board, a key dimension of the offer to be made to Central Government, to attract enhanced investment, freedoms and flexibilities, will be the acceleration of planned housing delivery. 

In this context, with the support of all partners the Housing subgroup of the Growth Board have been co-ordinating a programme of work in recent months which has attempted to identify opportunities for accelerating housing delivery in the County.

This work has now reached the stage where there is a reasonable degree of confidence about the sites that have been identified, the interventions highlighted and the numbers of potentially accelerated homes that this generates. The next steps will be to share this information with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) as part of the discussions about the Growth Proposition. Before that happens the views of the Growth Board are sought on the information that has been collected.

2. Background

The context for the work that has been undertaken on accelerated housing delivery is set by the Growth Board Housing and Communities Policy Statement, which has previously been agreed by the Board. (HGB March 2020) The headlines of that agreed policy statement identify a number of key issues as being priorities for action: –

  • Dealing with increasing and continuing housing demand in Hertfordshire
  • Delivery of large and complex sites
  • Meeting changing needs
  • Increasing the speed of delivery
  • Providing quality, affordable homes
  • Creating quality places

The work on proposals for acceleration has been taken forward in two main stages. Stage 1 commenced with an analysis of overall housing needs in the county together with an analysis of all housing sites of greater than 50 units, that either had planning permission or were in Adopted or emerging local plans. 

The assessment of housing need is extremely dynamic and changes according to the latest projections and the methodology guidance emerging from Central Government. Having reviewed the options the conclusion was agreed by the Housing Sub Board that the best working number to aspire to in terms of housing delivery was the estimate of the Objectively Assessed Housing Need (OAN) which was established in 2019. This figure would result in a housing target to 2031 of just under 100,000 dwellings, consistent with the overall working figure for Hertfordshire (unadopted Local Plans numbers accepted).

A series of meetings then took place with Planning officers in each District to identify a first cut list of sites with the potential for acceleration. This initial discussion focused on what the realistic delivery trajectories of candidate sites were and then what interventions were needed to accelerate that delivery. Some of the issues identified were generic ones associated with strategic issues such as difficulties with getting local plans progressed and adopted; issues of resources and expertise to take forward complex sites; and challenges posed by the development industry particularly in relation to viability challenges and the cost of infrastructure. These issues have all been captured and will be referenced in discussions with MHCLG as appropriate.

Having identified an initial list of sites in each District, Round 2 sessions were arranged this time with Local Authority teams comprising Planning, Housing and Property officers. The emphasis of these meetings was in particular to focus on whether the right sites had been  identified; the details of how sites could be accelerated in the next five years including preliminary costings of infrastructure and other interventions; affordable housing numbers for each site and the potential for enhancement; and as Covid 19 impacts started to be felt, which sites might have the best potential for a quick start to support economic recovery.

All Round 2 sessions have now been completed and officers feel that the methodology in the approach to this work is reliable and robust. Officers across the county are continuing to work on the information which sits behind the headline figures.  The numbers will therefore continue to be refined but there is confidence in the headline numbers that have been assembled. The presentation to the Board on this Agenda item will include the most up to date figures. Subject to Leaders’ approval, these are the ones that it is now felt can be shared with MHCLG.

The headline figures are that a range of sites amounting to over 30,000 dwellings have been identified as having some potential for acceleration across the county. Critically there appear to be the opportunity to accelerate the delivery of just over 8000 units into the first five-year period up to 2024. Of these units approximately 27 % would be anticipated to be affordable housing, although there may be opportunities to increase this as individual sites are progressed. A summary table is attached as Appendix 1.

The current estimate of the cost involved in achieving this acceleration over the first five years is approximately £178 million. The total so far identified over the whole period is approximately £280 million (It should be noted that the major infrastructure costs associated with Hemel Garden Communities and Gilston are excluded from this calculation and are dealt with as individual project proposals for the East-West corridor).

Finally and in addition, the first cut of sites offering some potential to be brought forward even more quickly in response to Covid Recovery initiatives currently stands at 39 sites (see Appendix 2). At this stage this information does need to be treated with caution, in that this was an initial response from District Council officers over a period of several weeks and circumstances may have changed within each Authority. The housing numbers that could be delivered from these 39 sites are also being confirmed.

In terms of the trajectory for increasing the delivery of dwellings, this site by site-based analysis, with all the sites being put forward by individual Authorities, would deliver an increase in delivery rates to reach the OAN annual target rate by 2024. However, as can be seen in the summary table at Appendix 1, potential sites and housing numbers start to fall off after the first five years. This is completely understandable and simply reflects that the further we look into the future the more difficult it becomes to be certain about delivery issues of sites. This is particularly a problem for the large number of green field and often Green Belt sites which are currently identified in local Plans which are at various stages of progression, but which have not yet been adopted.

This has the consequence of making the delivery trajectory fall away in later years if we simply rely on the sites so far identified. To counter this, and to deliver a trajectory to 2031 which takes us to the overall target of 100,000 new homes, presentationally we are proposing that we simply add back in the larger sites which are currently identified in emerging local plans, but which are yet to be confirmed formally. This would be for the period post 2024.

3. Next steps

Work is continuing on refining the data sitting behind these headline figures. In particular, it is acknowledged that some of the information on potential costs of interventions still requires some work on certain sites, although the numbers which have currently been collected are considered reasonably robust for this stage of the process.

It is proposed that these headline numbers are used in the next stages of discussions with MHCLG, so that a good indication of the potential that exists in terms of accelerated delivery can be given. It is likely that as negotiations with MHCLG progress over the summer that a further round of work to refine the details of costs and acceleration of particular sites will be required. 

As stated earlier whilst an initial piece of work has been done to identify potential Covid-19 early economic recovery sites, this is an area which does require further work reflecting the dynamic nature of the housing market as it responds to the economic shock of Covid-19. It is suggested that at this stage the information so far collected in this area is treated with caution and is updated in response to the types of information sought by MHCLG.

The next steps with this work will also need to include reaching out to discuss acceleration of these sites with all of our major housebuilding partners across Hertfordshire. 

4. Recommendations

 Growth Board is asked to

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

Agenda item 6 - Communications update

Report Author: Patsy Dell, Hertfordshire Growth Board Lucy Gravatt, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership

1. Purpose of Report

At the last meeting, we reported that all communications input to this workstream had been diverted to Covid-19 and therefore it had not been possible to complete the work to the original timeline. This report updates on progress since April 2020 to get the Growth Board branding and website presence established.


2. Update on Growth Board Communications and Branding work

Since the last meeting and particularly over the past three weeks, work on branding/place narrative has been reviewed in the light of  Covid-19 and new actions identified allowing this workstream to progress with pace. As Leaders will recall from the last meeting, launch of the Hertfordshire More for Life branding is on hold temporarily but interim branding is still needed to enable website presence and other work requiring a visual identity for the Growth Board to proceed.

A new visual identity has now been created for Hertfordshire Growth Board but also designed to be complementary to and support, at a date to be agreed, the roll-out of the More for Life campaign messaging. This branding can be deployed across all brand touchpoints including internal and external communications and social media.  Leaders will see a short presentation of the new identity at the HGB meeting.

This new visual identity will be available for use after the HGB on 2 June 2020 and will be used on the HGB microsite and in new HGB branding guidelines to be shared with all HGB member comms leads across the Hertfordshire partners.

The domain name  has been purchased and the microsite is currently in development. Subject to final hosting arrangements being confirmed, it is expected to be fully operational by July 2020. In the interim, HGB Board Papers will be published on the Hertfordshire County Council site. A new Twitter handle has also been created @hertsgoodgrowth.

We are pleased to report that following interview Lucy Gravatt will shortly be taking up a 12-month secondment (two days a week) as communications lead for the Growth Board work.

With the addition of dedicated resources, an HGB communications and engagement strategy can be completed once the initial branding and microsite work are fully implemented. Additional comms resources can also be deployed to ensure key HGB milestones are communicated.


3. Activities April-May 2020

Table 1 provides an update on the key operational activities identified in the last report and in section 3 a roll forward to July 2020. All milestones and work are being kept under review.

Table 1: Operational Communications activities – April to May 2020

Investigation of the benefits of hosting a specific briefing session at Westminster for Hertfordshire MPs

Original Milestone: Under review

Completed/Comments: The Trailblazer for Growth event at the House of Commons on 26 March 2020 has been re-scheduled for 5 November 2020.

Briefings for key public sector and business partners to be prepared, agreed and circulated. Need for any further formal stakeholder engagement events on top of this to be identified.

Original Milestone: Under review

Completed/Comments: This forms part of the place-branding narrative and will be a key strand of the HGB Communications & Engagement Strategy

Development of a bespoke HGB communication strategy, joint media communication protocols and approach.

Original Milestone: Under review

Completed/Comments: This work was not progressed due to COVID-19. Now that a dedicated communications resource has been secured, this can now be developed once the branding and microsite work is fully underway.

Creation of a website presence for the Growth Board

Original Milestone: The current commitment to publish approved HGB minutes and agenda papers would require capability for publication to be in place from the June 2020 HGB meeting.

Completed/Comments: The microsite is being developed and is expected to be fully operational by July, subject to hosting arrangements being confirmed. As an interim measure, Hertfordshire papers will be published on the Hertfordshire County Council site after this Board Meeting.

HGB place narrative and boilerplate pieces to be signed off by HGB Comms Group leads

Original Milestone: 2 June 2020

Completed/Comments: This has been completed but needs to be re-evaluated in light of COVID-19 and revised place narrative report.

Complete centrally updated MP/researcher and district CEX/Leader lists

Original Milestone: 2 June 2020

Review of evidence gathering questionnaire

Original Milestone: 2 June 2020

Completed/Comments: Needs to be reviewed in light of COVID- 19.

Microsite/branding and asset development update

Original Milestone: 2 June 2020

Completed/Comments: Completed once hosting queries finalised

Comms lead briefing session on how to deploy HGB messaging to be scheduled as part of training programme

Original Milestone: Under Review

Completed/Comments: The training programme has been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19.  No future date has yet been set but should be aligned with the go-live date for the microsite and deployment of HGB branding guidelines.


4. Next Steps – June-July

Commence roll out of HGB branding on internal and external print, partner and digital communications
Mid-June 2020

Circulate revised HGB narrative and boilerplate to HGB Comms Workstream for sign-off
Mid-June 2020

Collate all HGB narrative; news archives, board papers, video assets; partner profiles/related projects to populate HGB microsite ahead of go-live date.
Mid-June 2020

HGB Microsite user testing
End June 2020

HGB Microsite preview
9 July 2020

HGB Microsite go-live date
10 July 2020

Comms lead briefing sessions on how to deploy HGB branding guidelines
10 July 2020

Establish dates and format for series of virtual roundtable/stakeholder HGB webinars
10 July 2020

HGB Communications & Engagement Strategy
Mid/end July 2020


5. Recommendations

Leaders are asked to:

  • Note the progress and reasons for the amended milestones and give any feedback on progress and next steps, and
  • Give any feedback on the new visual identity and HGB branding presentation.