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September 2020 HGB Meeting – Minutes

Published: 22 October 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

The following substitution was noted: Neil Routledge for M Bretton Herts LEP.

2. Minutes

The Minutes of the Board meeting held on 4 August 2020 were confirmed as a correct record.

3. Hertfordshire Growth Board (HBG) Programmes update

The Board considered a report on the overall progress of the key Growth Board programmes.

The Board noted that the programme boards were firmly established and individual projects across the overall Growth Board programme were at differing stages with their implementation and progress. On the communications update, a second webinar had taken place during August which had received good attendance and feedback had been positive. The webinars had been helpful in promoting the work of the Growth Board; a third Webinar had been arranged for 10 September with the subject matter covering planning for recovery.

In terms of the north east and central corridor, very good progress was being made with regard to the development of the northern growth corridor programme and the joint strategic planning activities. The work in progress documents had been circulated, along with the statement of common ground and the draft scoping report, which leader colleagues and Chief Executives had been asked to review. An update against the key programme had been appended to the report which looked at the science and technology around climate change and sustainability projects.

With regard to the Southern corridor, the Board noted that each of the projects had been checked for anything missing; additional resource requirements etc. Further details had been provided with the agenda papers. It was considered that there were a wide range of projects which were “oven ready”, but others that were innovative and long term.

The Chairman considered the list of projects for resetting the southeast economy an exciting opportunity and questioned if it was appropriate for the Growth Board to have a better understanding of those opportunities, as many members had a degree of familiarity within certain areas; for example a “deep dive” to appreciate initiatives across the south eastern region/Borough of Broxbourne would be welcome.

During discussion, it was mentioned that HCC had held a webinar for interested parties at the commencement of its procurement of a master developer for its land holdings in Baldock. The employment land in that holding represents a unique opportunity due to being in the Stevenage/Baldock/Cambridge life sciences corridor, on the Thameslink route and A1M and could offer an opportunity for the delivery of sustainable homes given the proximity of HCC’s holding to the station, to the centre of Town, and links to employment land. For developers, this would represent a greenfield opportunity to deliver post Covid-19 employment space.

The Leaders noted the overall progress across the Growth Board programme and individual workstreams since the last meeting.

Action: Resolved.

4. Hertfordshire Growth Board – MHCLG Workstream: Update on Growth and Housing Deal discussions


5. Hertfordshire Growth Board (HGB) Growth Board Programmes & Growth

The board considered a report regarding the proposed Governance Framework and matters of relevance in moving the Growth Board to a Statutory Joint Committee with associated Scrutiny Function.

The Growth Board discussed the Integrated Governance Framework document in detail noting the key points in the proposed Terms of Reference and Standing Orders including that for legal reasons the LEP representatives would not have a voting option once the Board moved to a Statutory Joint Committee status and requested the following amendments to Appendix 1:

  • Broxbourne Borough Council to Borough of Broxbourne where mentioned
  • Term of Office – Legal to check use of wording ‘rescinded’ – should the word ‘replaced’ be used?
  • Page 3 – 3.2 each constituent council shall appoint a substitute
  • Chairman – 2-year Term of Office; 1 Consecutive Term; Chairman to have casting vote to be included as per Local Government Act 1972; however, terms to include the Committee Chairman with the HGB convention that the Chair will not use the casting vote
  •  2 Vice-Chairmen
  • Quorum of 9 members
  • Varied times of meetings to remain
  • To take place on an 8-week basis from 2021
  • Public questions to relate to the business of the Growth Board only and public questions to include one written answer with one supplementary at meeting based on a time limit. On a first come first service basis. 30 minute maximum for overall public question period
  • Timings for public questions to be submitted 5 clear working days and limit to number of questions
  • Petitions to relate to the business of the Growth Board only
  • Terms to be reviewed at Annual General Meeting
  • The Scrutiny Committee to meet every 8 weeks, ahead of the growth board meetings
  • Scrutiny petitions to relate to Growth Board business

The Board requested circulation of the final version once completed. Also, a Q & A document to be created for the public on how to engage with the Growth Board and particularly answering the question: if the introduction of an S101 committee prohibited or supported any particular option for local government structures (two-tier or unitary) in the future.

Action: Resolved.

The Leaders/LEP Chairman agreed:

a. to support the establishment of the Growth Board Statutory Joint Committee and Scrutiny Committee this autumn, in time for the December Growth Board (as rescheduled) to take place under the new arrangements;
b. the Growth Board Statutory Joint Committee and Scrutiny Committees are established using the Integrated Governance Framework attached at Appendix 1 (subject to c below);
c. the Growth Board Director in consultation with the Chief Executives Coordinating Group to complete the preparation of the final version of the Integrated Governance Framework (to the extent of correction of any minor typographical, grammatical or other inconsequential matters to finalise the document) by the end of September;
d. the Hertfordshire Monitoring Officers Group and the Growth Board Director in consultation with the Chief Executives Coordinating Group to complete the preparation of the common committee report by the end of September.

6. Standing Items

South West Herts Joint Plan
The two key studies were nearing completion and the next stage would be engaging leaders on the progress of the joint strategic plan. Meetings will be scheduled for October for Leader and Chief Executives to set the objectives for the SGOS and MMS and also the joint strategic partnership programme to prepare a separate response to the white paper to be signed off by the JSP members.

7. Date of next meeting

Tuesday, 13 October 2020 at 16:30 via Teams

Patsy to check December dates due to a clash of commitments with some members.

8. Any other business