Members of the Board
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 Giles-Medhurst, Three Rivers District Council
P Taylor (Mayor), Watford Borough Council
T Kingsbury, WelwynHatfield 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
The following substitutions were noted:
Karen Collett for Peter Taylor (Watford)
Jamie Day for Chris White (St Albans)
Scott Crudgington for Owen Mapley (HCC)
Norman Jennings for Neil Hayes (LEP)
Tom Pike for Matt Partridge (Stevenage)
Geoff Muggeridge for Jo Wagstaffe (Three Rivers)
The Chairman welcomed Anthony Roche to the Board, succeeding David Scholes as Chief Executive of North Herts District Council.
The Chairman also welcomed Stephen Giles-Medhurst to the Board. It was noted that Cllr Giles-Medhurst, as Deputy Leader of Three Rivers, would be permanently representing Three Rivers District Council on behalf of its Leader, Cllr Sarah Nelmes.
The Minutes of the Board meeting held on 7 July 2020 were confirmed as a correct record.
Admin note: Due to the guests present, these were considered at the end of the meeting to allow for the efficient running of the meeting.
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. Feedback from MHCLG Deputy Director John McManus and Harry Roberts Head of Local Delivery on Hertfordshire Growth Deal discussion
The Board welcomed John McManus, Deputy Director at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, and Harry Roberts, Head of Local Delivery, to the Meeting. Other MHCLG and Homes England team members joined the meeting to observe the first item, Colin Lovegrove, Adam Serroukh and Sian Hughes.
The Board were pleased to hear the positive feedback and supportive comments from Mr McManus and Mr Roberts regarding the work that Hertfordshire had been doing on its Growth Prospectus including during the Covid period and positive engagement of officers with officials in the last 6 months with regards to the work.
It was highlighted to the Board that the direction of travel for central government was to revive the housing market post COVID and as such officers were encouraged to increase the focus of the structure of the bid to concentrate on short term rather than long term housing development and delivery.
Further to discussion, advice was received that it was important to continue with the growth plan irrespective of any potential devolution plans or outcomes of the Spending Review, which were as yet unknown. Some assurance was received that the success of the Board’s plans would not be affected by any future decision regarding devolution.
Further to a board member comment, it was acknowledged that consideration should be given to ensuring that a broad and sustainable range of housing (i.e. affordable, or to accommodate special needs) should be part of the development plans.
It was further acknowledged that due to the broad range of affluence within the county, central government should widen their ‘levelling up’ agenda to reflect such local disparities rather than just a national north/south divide.
Members noted the feedback from MHCLG.
4. Hertfordshire Growth Board (HGB) Growth Board Programmes Update
Board members received a verbal update on the programmes being undertaken by the Growth Board.
The Board were pleased to learn that the Hertfordshire Growth Board microsite was now live and a series of webinars were now taking place to promote and increase understanding of the purpose and work of the Growth Board.
The Board were advised that good progress had been made on the Southern East-West corridor programme and a meeting on the 28 July 2020 had discussed the various projects being undertaken or being planned, including planning for 2050 targets.
Leaders noted the overall progress across the Growth Board programme and individual workstreams since the last meeting.
5. Hertfordshire Growth Board (HGB) Growth Board Programmes & Growth
Board members considered a report outlining considerations regarding the future governance arrangements of the Board, exploring the possibility of the Hertfordshire Growth Board becoming a Statutory Joint Committee.
In response to member concerns, it was acknowledged that not all district councils had a scrutiny process and as such consideration would need to be made as to how those district councils would undertake this requirement. Officers would follow up with further advice to the September Growth Board meeting.
Some Board members also expressed reservations about making any decisions regarding governance until the outcomes of the devolution and spending review were known, however, they acknowledged the need to move to a formal process in this area.
In response to a Board Member query, it was confirmed that a representative from the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership would continue to be present on the Statutory Board.
It was also agreed that consideration would be made to allow Leaders to appoint substitute members of the board if Leaders were unable to attend a meeting due to sickness or absence.
Further to a vote using the MS Teams chat function Leaders and the LEP Chair unanimously agreed:
- Moving the Growth Board to a statutory joint committee in Autumn 2020
- The Hertfordshire Monitoring Officers Group being asked to prepare Terms of Reference, common committee reports and advise on the steps needed to implement the joint committee and future scrutiny arrangements.
- All councils and the LEP taking the necessary decisions through their individual processes to be able to implement this change within the desired timescale.
6. Hertfordshire Growth Board (HGB) – MHCLG Workstream: Growth and Recovery Prospectus 2020 (working draft version 8) and Sequenced Delivery Plan
Not for future publication because of the confidentialand developing nature of the strategic matters this paper deals with.
7. Standing items
South West Herts Joint Plan
It was noted that a further online engagement event was being planned for this stage of consultation, and there had been a lot of ‘hits’ to the website and subsequent feedback from interested parties.
8. Date of next meeting
It was agreed that the date of the next meeting would be 8 September 2020 at 9.30am
9. Any other business