The Director of Planning Development and Transportation submits a report to provide the Scrutiny Commission a summary of the LLEP activity over the past 12 months.
Members of the Commission are recommended to note the report and pass any comments to the Director for Planning Development and Transportation.
The Assistant City Mayor for Policy, Delivery, Communications and Levelling Up introduced the item and noted that the LLEP had delivered tremendously although there was an uncertainty on their future as the government had not been clear on defining their role.
The Interim Director delivered a presentation providing the Commission with an overview of the annual report.
As part of the discussions, it was noted that:
· In response to the concern raised with polluting projects, the benefits of the schemes and the use of resources. The Director of Planning, Development and Transportation noted that the government assess all applications submitted on environmental footprints and most schemes are required to be net0
· Materials with the smallest environmental impact are sourced and used and the funding was invested wisely
· Members took the opportunity to congratulate the LLEP for the impressive progress that had been delivered
Members queried what the Freeport would be, how it would operate and what impacts this would have on businesses in Leicester and Leicestershire. The Interim Director for the LLEP noted that the Freeport was a virtual freeport covering a wide area and had flexible boundaries where businesses could opt in. Although, moving slowly, discussions with partners were ongoing with shared visions and objectives and that the LLEP would do its best to represent views of Leicester and Leicestershire businesses. The Assistant City Mayor for Policy, Delivery, Communications and Levelling Up noted that he was not yet supportive of this as there had been no involvement in the governance and what impact it would have on local business.
In response to Members concerns in the increase in NEET, Apprentice dropouts and elder people out of the labour market, it was noted that that it was important to have the right schemes available for people aimed at their needs and understanding the business needs was important to attract the right people for the opportunities available. With real time information available through advisors this helped support interventions put in place.
The Assistant City Mayor for Policy, Delivery, Communications and Levelling up noted that Kickstart schemes cannot be short term and needed to be designed for the long term. It was important to get young people the experience from a young age and having short term schemes did not provide the experience they needed. With the launch of the Youth Advisory Board and continuous supported schemes managing young people would enable young people to deliver more success.
The Chair took the opportunity to thank the Interim Director for the report and queried what information was available on the demographic breakdown of who was benefiting. It was noted that although it was difficult to get the breakdown of demographic data, this had now been commissioned through DMU. Furthermore, as a growth hub, work was ongoing to increase the reach into a diverse background. The success of the Peer Networks programme has been able to get more people involved by encouraging the business community to communicate and facilitating networking.
1) That the LLEP be thanked for the report, and
2) That the report be noted.