Agenda and minutes

Growth, Economic Development and Communities Cabinet Committee
Thursday, 9th May, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Darent Room, Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone. View directions

Contact: Georgina Little  03000 414043

Media

Items
No. Item

141.

Membership

To note that Mr D Brazier has replaced Mr P Homewood as a Member of the Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members noted that Mr D Brazier and Mr N Collor had joined the Committee in place of Mr P Homewood and Mr P Messenger.

142.

Apologies and Substitutes

To receive apologies for absence and notification of any substitutes present

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Mr A Hook, Mr R Bird attended as a substitute.

143.

Declarations of Interest by Members in items on the Agenda

To receive any declarations of interest made by Members in relation to any matter on the agenda.  Members are reminded to specify the agenda item number to which it refers and the nature of the interest being declared

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest received.

144.

Minutes of the meeting held on 7 March 2019 pdf icon PDF 133 KB

To consider and approve the Minutes as a correct record

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was a discussion about the accuracy of the minutes, and it was agreed that approval of the minutes would be deferred for consideration at the next meeting of the Growth, Economic Development and Communities Cabinet Committee on 26 June 2019.

145.

Verbal Updates by Cabinet Members and Corporate Director

To receive verbal updates by the relevant Cabinet Members and Corporate Director

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

1.    Mr Hill, OBE (Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services) provided an update to the Committee on the following:

 

(a)  On 22 March 2019, Mr Hill attended a meeting in Folkestone to formalise the gifting of artefacts from Folkestone library to Folkestone Town Museum having recently received accreditation. The museum showcased a number of artefacts including the Master Collection of Fine Art and skeleton of the Anglo-Saxon woman. Mr Hill commended Folkestone town for its achievement of creating a high-quality museum.

 

(b)  The Jasmin Vardimon Dance Studio had successfully obtained a £3 million grant from the Arts Council and plans had started to take shape.

 

(c)  A three-week local engagement had commenced in libraries which encouraged service users to review the devised options for the new library opening hours and express a preference. Mr Hill assured the Committee that the Libraries, Registration and Archive service was keen to tailor the library opening hours to what the local community wanted, and that a three-week local engagement would help to inform and deliver a framework best suited to customer need.

 

(d)   Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services had its fifth annual PEEL (Police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment. Mr Hill was pleased to announce that out of the three categories, Kent Police achieved one ‘good’ rating for its effectiveness and two ‘outstanding’ ratings for its efficiency and legitimacy. Mr Hill commended the forces performance and had written to the Chief Constable on behalf of Kent County Council to congratulate Kent Police on their achievements.

 

2.    Mr Dance (Cabinet Member for Economic Development) provided an updated to the Committee on the following:

 

(a)  Kent County Council received its first enquiry for a hydrogen plant to be built in the county which would be operated by wind power. Mr Dance said that he was keen to engage with the District Councils to gain their perspective on the proposal for a hydrogen plant and would keep the Committee informed of any updates.

 

(b)  The Government had responded to the National Infrastructure Commission’s recommendations and agreed that the UK had to deliver full-fibre connections to the premise. Mr Dance assured the Committee that work had commenced within Kent County Council to ensure that future broadband contracts met the governments requirements and that KCC was in the best position to access the funding stream in order to help deliver a full-fibre network across the county. Mr Dance informed Members that a briefing would be held at a later date.

 

3.    A Member of the Committee requested that the artefacts that were removed and restored in other museums as a result of the Ramsgate fire be offered back to the original town.

 

4.    Cabinet Members noted the request.

 

5.    RESOLVED that the verbal updates be noted, with thanks.

146.

The Government's response to the Thames Estuary 2050 Commission and generating "good growth" in the Thames Gateway pdf icon PDF 157 KB

To note the paper and opportunities including plans for a major launch with partners to promote and further unlock the potential of the Thames Estuary.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr P Carter, CBE (Leader and Cabinet Member for Health Reform), David Smith (Director of Economic Development) and David Godfrey (Policy Adviser) were in attendance for this item.

 

1.    Mr Godfrey introduced the report that set out the Government’s response to the Thames Estuary 2050 Commission that was published on 25 March 2019 which included an update to Members on the successful campaigns that had been undertaken with local partners to inform it. The Government’s response included support for the Crossrail to Ebbsfleet transport link; the launch of a strategic communications campaign to promote the Thames Estuary for inward investment; and the joint appointment of an independent Thames Estuary Envoy to Chair the Thames Gateway Strategic Group. Mr Godfrey outlined the proposed next steps to be taken in response towards generating “good” economic growth in the Estuary.

 

2.    As a supplement to this, Mr Carter reiterated the need for increased inward investment, specifically around the promotion of the Crossrail to Ebbsfleet rail extension which would be central to supporting growth in the Thames Estuary through the high speed rail links to new destinations across London and in addition, would help to reduce road congestion through the promotion of rail travel. Mr Carter assured the Committee that work continued to be done with local partners to promote and create a federated governance structure through the appointment of the Estuary Envoy which would support key stakeholders, including local and central government officials with delivering the vision of the Thames Estuary. Mr Carter recognised that there had been very little traction in terms of infrastructure investment, however, was pleased to announce that momentum had since be regained to promote the Estuary as a national geographical priority which would deliver growth and success to the whole of the UK economy.

 

3.    The Leader and officers responded to comments and questions as follows:

 

(a)  Mr Carter confirmed that the appointed Independent Thames Estuary Envoy should be someone with an extensive network of contacts that could be utilised to support the delivery of the Thames Estuary vision. An ideal candidate was yet to be identified and he welcomed suggestions from the Committee.

 

(b)  In response to Members concerns around the speed of progression, Mr Carter proposed that a large proportion of the money would be invested into the Thames Estuary campaign to promote inward investment, with a strategic and streamlined governance process implemented to ensure quick traction. Mr Godfrey informed the Committee that a large extent of the work on governance had already been agreed; it was intended that the next step in the process would involve one final meeting to confirm the agreed priorities and then for work to commence.

 

(c)  With regards to concerns around the impact of the housing and commercial developments and the need to support growth within the communities with improved rail services, Mrs B Cooper (Corporate Director of Growth, Environment and Transport) informed the Committee that she sat on the officer group and the Crossrail to Ebbsfleet group with Paul  ...  view the full minutes text for item 146.

147.

Thames Estuary Production Corridor pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To receive a report on the Thames Estuary Production Corridor.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

David Smith (Director of Economic Development) and Sarah Wren (Principal Project Officer) were in attendance for this item.

 

1.    Mr M Hill, OBE (Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services) introduced the report that set out the success of the Thames Estuary Production Corridor and in particular, highlighted to Members the successful £4.3m bid to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) Cultural Development Fund which would help deliver phase 1 of the Thames Estuary Production Corridor in Kent and Essex. Mr Hill commended the success of the concept and welcomed the report.

 

2.    Supplementary to Mr Hills’s comments, Mrs Wren addressed the key aspects of the report which highlighted the Thames Estuary as a world class leader for production in the creative and cultural industries.  Over 100,000 creative industry workers lived in the Estuary, however, half of those worked elsewhere: the Production Corridor initiative aimed to build on that strength. Over £200m investment had already been delivered over the last decade into large scale creative production facilities, with 150 creative and cultural focussed projects planned or were already underway. The concept of connecting 21 higher and further education institutes with a creative industries specialism would provide a globally relevant laboratory for R&D and innovation in the creative sector.

 

By 2030 investment would deliver 50,000 jobs and a surplus of £3.7bn GVA, which in turn would create the UK’s densest concentration of creative production activity. A successful £4.3m bid to the DCMS Cultural Development Fund would deliver Phase 1 of the Thames Estuary Production Corridor in Kent and Essex. The bid was one of only five successful bids nationally, and the only successful bid from the South East.

 

The Production Corridor was highlighted in the Government’s response to the Thames Estuary 2050 report and the University of the Arts London’s successful Strength in Places Expression of Interest to increase productivity in the screen, stage and the performing arts in the Estuary, would lead to a full bid for £25m in  September 2019. The inclusion of the Thames Estuary Production Corridor narrative was cited as a ‘significant factor’ in success at EOI stage.

 

3.    Officers responded to comments and questions as follows:

 

(a)  With regards to the level of support received from Essex and North Kent, Mrs Wren assured the Committee that there had been over £200m of investment in the cultural infrastructure from both South Essex and North Kent over the last 10 years to support the growing ambition of the Thames Estuary Production Corridor.

 

(b)  In response to the development of Key Performance Indicators to measure the success of the Thames Estuary Production Corridor, Mr Smith referred members to the table 2.3.4 in the report which listed the seven work streams and said that each of those would have Key Performance Indicators to demonstrate how they would have succeeded. Advice had been sought from a consultancy agency on how best to deliver the work streams and the literature supporting this would be made available to the Committee.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 147.

148.

Developer Contributions pdf icon PDF 173 KB

To receive a report which explains the background to developer contributions, how contributions are calculated and collected for the Council and how these are then used.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Nigel Smith (Head of Development) was in attendance for this item.

 

1.    Mr M Dance (Cabinet Member for Economic Development) introduced the report that set out developer contributions, the process used to calculate and collect developer contributions; and the final stage in terms of how they were then used.

 

2.    Mr Smith said that there were a number of challenges and constraints within the context of the national legislation on Planning Policy which made it more difficult to secure developer contributions. The first issue was that s106 contributions were entirely predicated around capital provision for infrastructure and could not be applied as revenue; the second was in relation to viability whereby the developer would make a case to the Planning Authority that they could not afford which Kent County Council would then have to risk manage through viability assessments, a deferral or overage of payments or where appropriate a shared use of space; and the third issue was in relation to the existing Community Infrastructure Levy which limited the number of development contributions to five. Whilst Kent County Council had been successful in limiting the impact of the pooling restrictions through the delivery of projects in multiple phases, Mr Smith said that the Government was due to be making an announcement later in the year which proposed an amendment to the regulation to remove the pooling restriction.

 

3.    Mrs Prendergast (Member for Maidstone Rural East) attended the meeting and expressed her concerns regarding developer contributions, specifically in relation to those Districts that had adopted the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) charging schedule. The Maidstone district was forecast to see 10% of the projected growth during the plan period up to 2031 and potentially a further 7,000 new homes as part of the local planning review which would total 50,000 new residents who would need access to a number of services. Mrs Prendergast read aloud a letter that had been written by Maidstone Borough Council which said:

 

“The Council forecast of the expected cost of the required infrastructure to support growth in the plan period would be circa £100 million. The infrastructure delivery plan identified other funding resources such as Local Enterprise Partnership money (and KCC) to assist in financing this requirement where there remains a gap of £38 million. The adopted CIL rates in the Maidstone Borough Council charging schedule could generate net receipts of around £19.8 million to go towards reducing this gap. It has never been estimated that CIL would fund the whole of the infrastructure required.”

 

Mrs Prendergast said that where it was a statutory requirement for Maidstone Borough Council to produce the infrastructure, she sought clarification as to where the Kent County Council funding element would be coming from to fund the financial gap as there was no commitment to provide capital investment for new developments. A particular issue remained around the governance of planning decisions as Kent County Council were not involved in the meetings where those discussions were had by the District Borough to prioritise  ...  view the full minutes text for item 148.

149.

Growth, Environment and Transport Performance KPIs 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To receive a report that sets out the proposed indicators which will be reported within the Growth, Environment and Transport Dashboard for 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Richard Fitzgerald (Head of Performance & Analytics, Strategic Commissioning – Analytics) and James Pearson (Head of Libraries, Registration & Archives) were in attendance for this item.

 

1.    Mr Fitzgerald introduced the report that set out the proposed indicators that would be reported within the Growth, Environment and Transport Dashboard for 2019/20. Mr Fitzgerald said that an extensive amount of work had been carried out to review the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and associated targets, particularly in relation to the Libraries, Registration and Archive service, however, welcomed comments from the Committee on the proposed indicators and any changes they wished to make.

 

2.    Officers responded to comments and questions and follows:

 

(a)  Mr Fitzgerald confirmed that the indicator EPE16 (Median number of days to resolve priority Public Rights of Way faults), was to be retained as part of the Directorate Dashboard.

 

(b)  Mrs Holt-Castle (Interim Director of Environment, Planning & Enforcement) informed Members that indicator DT14 (Public Rights of Way faults reported by the public online) worked well as a performance indicator when activity was in a steady state, however, when incidents of severe weather arose the public would often revert to using telephones to report a fault rather than the online reporting tool which resulted in a less meaningful set of statistics. Therefore, the Directorate proposed that the indicator would be used to monitor performance at an operational level but remove it from the directorate dashboard presented to Members at Cabinet Committee. Mrs Holt-Castle noted the request made by the Committee to reinstate indicator DT14.

 

(c)  Mrs B Cooper (Corporate Director of Growth, Environment and Transport) said that the proposals for the process of monitoring the progress of the Strategic Delivery Plan were being developed by the Strategy, Policy, Relationships and Corporate Assurance team and would be presented to the Committee at a later date.

 

(d)  In response to queries regarding indicators EPE02 (value of criminal activity) and EPE03 (value of items prevented from entering market by Trading Standards), Mrs Holt-Castle informed the Committee that these had been removed as Key Performance Indicators but would be kept on the dashboard as activity indicators. Mrs Holt-Castle explained to Members that the activity of those indicators was outside the services control and entirely dependent on external factors that could not be influenced by Kent County Council. Mrs Holt-Castle noted Members request for further information around the number of successful convictions as a result of indicator EPE02 and EPE03.

 

3.    RESOLVED that the proposed indicators and associated targets be noted.

150.

19/00041 - Regional Growth Fund - Transfer of Funds to Thurrock Council pdf icon PDF 83 KB

To comment and endorse, or make recommendations to, the Cabinet Member for Economic Development to agree;

 

(a)    that administration of and funding-decision authority for the monies previously recovered from companies based in Thurrock and handled via the Tiger Scheme, be transferred to Thurrock Council for management via their own new business loan scheme; and

 

(b)    that authority be delegated to the Director of Economic Development to take appropriate actions, including but not limited to, entering into legal agreements as necessary to implement this decision.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

David Smith (Director for Economic Development) and Martyn Riley (Programme Manager (Business Investment)) was in attendance for this item

 

1.    Mr Smith introduced the report which set out the proposed decision to transfer to Thurrock Council, the authority to oversee the use of funds recovered from the Tiger loan repayments obtained from Thurrock companies, to support local small and medium sized enterprises in its local authority area.

 

2.    Members commended Jacqui Ward who had recently retired from her position as the lead officer.

 

3.    RESOLVED that the proposed decision (19/00041) to be taken by the Cabinet Member for Economic Development to agree:

 

(a)  that administration of and funding-decision authority for the monies previously recovered from companies based in Thurrock and handled via the Tiger Scheme, be transferred to Thurrock Council for management via their own new business loan scheme; and

 

(b)  that authority be delegated to the Director of Economic Development to take appropriate actions, including but not limited to, entering into legal agreements as necessary to implement this decision,

be endorsed.

 

 

151.

19/00042 - Kent County Council Acting as Enforcement Body for Local Planning Authorities pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To consider and endorse, or make recommendations to the Cabinet Member for Economic Development on the proposed decision to approve the principle of delegating the authority to act as the enforcement body for District and Borough S106 obligations subject to a range of conditions, to the appropriate officer; the Director of Economic Development. Examples of relevant S106 obligations may include those relating to community development, sports provision and open space.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

David Smith (Director for Economic Development) and Nigel Smith (Head of infrastructure) were in attendance for this item.

 

1.    Mr N Smith introduced the report that set out the legal process for Kent County Council, as the upper tier authority, to act as the enforcement body for district and borough councils. Mr N Smith explained that where a district or borough act as a developer for their own land, this may result in them being the applicant, landowner and the Local Planning Authority. In order to avoid a conflict of interest, the districts sought legal advice and identified the preferred option whereby Kent County Council would become the enforcement body.

 

2.    The officers responded to comments and questions as follows:

 

(a)  Mr N Smith acknowledged the typographic error in the report where it identified the Leader as the decision taker, however, he confirmed that the proposed decision was due to be taken by the Cabinet Member for Economic Development.

 

(b)  With regards to whether all district and borough councils had agreed to the proposal, Mr N Smith explained that each request made by a district or borough council for Kent County Council to act as the enforcement body would be determined on a case by case basis. Mr N Smith informed the Committee that the only site that would have currently been applicable to such measures was the Otterpool Park development in Folkestone.

 

(c)  Mr N Smith said that the proposed decision was based on the legal advice received from Invicta Law, and upon review of the specific case in question, the most transparent and less complicated option was for Kent County Council to act as the enforcement body for the Local Planning Authority. There was a range of other legal options available to the district council, one of which was that the district could enter into a planning obligation by leasing the land to a developer/ third party which would have then allowed the district to enforce the S106 obligations as the Local Planning Authority. However, based on the legal advice and various applicable options, Kent County Council deemed the proposed decision (as set out within the report) to be the most legally viable. It would however be the responsibility of each Local Planning Authority to seek legal advice and to determine which option was legally compliant.

 

 

3.    RESOLVED that the proposed decision (19/00042) to be taken by the Cabinet Member for Economic Development to approve the principle of delegating the authority to act as the enforcement body for District and Borough S106 obligations subject to a range of conditions, to the appropriate officer; the Director of Economic Development (examples of relevant S106 obligations may include those relating to community development, sports provision and open space), be endorsed.

 

152.

Kent and Medway Enterprise and Productivity Strategy Progress Update pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To receive a report which provides Members with a further update on the development of a Kent and Medway 2050 Enterprise and Productivity Strategy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

David Smith (Director of Economic Development) and Johanna Howarth (Deputy Director of Economic Development) were in attendance for this item.

 

1.    Mr Dance (Cabinet Member for Economic Development) introduced the report that provided Members with a further update on the development of a Kent and Medway 2050 Enterprise and Productivity Strategy. Mr Dance commended the officer’s work and the input from the Working Group (Chaired by Mr S Holden) which had been reflected in the positive feedback received from the East Kent Leaders.

 

2.    Mr Holden was invited to address the Committee as the Chair of the Leaders Working Group and reiterated the commendations to the officer for the detailed and evidenced based piece of work. A workshop was held on 7 May 2019 attended by a number of key stakeholders to review the evidence gathered to date, address any issues and questions regarding the Strategy and how Kent County Council intended to respond to those over the short, medium and longer term.

 

3.    Mrs Howarth said that the report provided Members with continued visibility on the progress of the work carried out to date and highlighted three key aspects; the first was the appointment and progress of Arup (a multinational consultancy service) whose programme of work was due to be finished in June; the second was the engagement and input from key local and regional stakeholders to build consensus around the principle issues and local context against which the strategy should respond; and to conclude, addressed the next stage in the development process which involved pulling all the evidence and proposed actions together to form a coherent framework that could then be shared and discussed within the appropriate forums to ensure a continued and collaborative progression of the strategy. Mrs Howarth informed the Committee that the work to date ensured that Kent County Council was in the best possible position to bid for government funding to support the Kent and Medway Enterprise and Productivity Strategy over the short, medium and longer term.

 

4.    Officers responded to comments and questions as follows:

 

(a)  With regards to environmental change, Mrs Howarth assured the Committee that there had been a number of discussions around the external drivers of change that would impact the economy over the short, medium and longer term and said that the quality of the environment had been addressed as part of the Strategy.

 

5.    RESOLVED that the report be noted.

 

153.

Turner Prize 2019 and Open Golf 2020 - Legacy Programmes pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To note the impact of the County Council’s investment and role in securing and delivering these two internationally prestigious events; and the planned-for wider community impact from both events.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Stephanie Holt-Castle (Interim Director of Environment, Planning and enforcement) and Tony Witton (Culture and Creative Economy Manager) were in attendance for this item.

 

1.    Mr Hill, OBE (Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services) introduced the report that provided an update to Members on the Turner Prize 2019 and Open Golf 2020; two high profile events of international reputation which would bring significant media interest and income into the county. Kent County Council was working with partners on a county-wide basis to maximise opportunities afforded by both events through coordinating marketing and presenting coherent visitor offers to raise the profile of the county as an attractive place to live, work and visit. A significant amount of work had already been undertaken in conjunction with Dover District Council to improve visitor capacity at Sandwich station ahead of the Open Golf and work continued to be done to ensure successful delivery of the two major events.

 

2.    Mr Witton highlighted the significance of the two events and Kent County Council’s responsibility in generating greater income via the visitor economy and was working in close partnership with Visit Kent and the Turner Contemporary to maximise visitor footfall into the county during the two planned events. Mr Witton also announced that since publication on the paper, the four artists had been shortlisted for the Turner Contemporary Prize award and Kent County Council was in the process of liaising with Turner Contemporary regarding the exhibitions that were due to be in place from September 2019 to January 2020.

 

3.    Mrs Holt-Castle informed the Committee that Dover District Council was the lead authority for the Open Golf Championship and that Kent County Council was the co-presenting authority.  However, Mrs Holt-Castle confirmed that Kent County Council was the lead authority for sport, transport and rail elements of the two events and said that a community event was due to be held in Sandwich at the end of May 2019 to reveal the transport plan. Mrs Holt-Castle referred Members to paragraph 3.6 of the report that outlined the sporting legacy and said that the R&A were working to improve cross-generational interest through offering free tickets to everyone under the age of 16 and subsidised tickets to everyone under the age of 25 attending the Open Golf Championship. Kent County Council had managed to secure three series of The Open Golf Championship through to 2036, which provided an opportunity for the County Council to look at how it would use that sixteen-year window to maximise golf tourism within the county.

 

4.    Officers responded to comments and questions as follows:

 

(a)  In response to Members queries around the level of engagement with schools, Mr Witton said that the educational learning aspect of the Turner Prize was not featured in the report as it was the responsibility of the Turner Contemporary to liaise with schools. He assured the Committee that that the Turner Contemporary provided a comprehensive learning programme and would engage with all schools throughout the county to promote  ...  view the full minutes text for item 153.

154.

The EXPERIENCE project pdf icon PDF 96 KB

To receive a report that sets out the EXPERIENCE project.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Stephanie Holt-Castle (Interim Director of Environment, Planning and enforcement) was in attendance for this item.

 

1.    Mrs Holt-Castle introduced the report that set out the EXPERIENCE project which through the submission of the INTERREG bid, aimed to provide the tools and infrastructure required by partners to capitalise on the emerging trend of ‘experiential tourism’ which addressed issues of seasonality in the visitor economy. Mrs Holt-Castle highlighted to Members the key points throughout the report, specifically in relation to Interreg and partners contributions, the five core work streams of the project and the intention to provide an annual report to the Committee, which was subject to the project receiving approval for Interreg funding.

 

2.    Officers responded to comments and questions as follows:

 

(a)  In response to queries regarding the membership of The Area of Natural Outstanding Beauty (AONB) Partnership, officers agreed to circulate a membership list to the Committee.

 

(b)    With regards to the choice of other partner agencies, Members were informed that a collaboration of key agencies would increase the probabilities of securing the Interreg funding. Therefore, whilst France was deemed to be the most appropriate partner country due to its existing tourism agencies and close working relationship with Visit Kent, the EXPERIENCE project aimed to draw-in international and European targeted tourism.

 

3.    RESOLVED that the report be noted.

 

155.

Work Programme 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To receive a report by General Counsel that gives details of the proposed Work Programme for this Cabinet Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the work programme be noted, subject to the inclusion of the following items for future consideration:

 

(a)  an update on the sailing of the Mayflower;

(b)  an update on the economic impact of operation BROCK; and

(c)  an update on the deficit of agricultural workers in Kent and the economic impact of this