Agenda and minutes

Mayoral Combined Authority Board - Tuesday, 18th October, 2022 3.00 pm

Venue: South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, 11 Broad Street West, Sheffield S1 2BQ


No. Item


Welcome and Apologies

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Cllr Read welcomed everyone to the meeting and informed them of the Mayor’s apologies due to illness and Covid-19 exposure. Other apologies were noted as above.



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The Chair acknowledged the passing of Cllr Jim Andrews, the long-serving former Deputy Leader of Barnsley Council last week. The Board offered their condolences to his family and friends.


Members noted that the previous meeting was postponed due to the death of the late Queen. They paid tribute to her and her life as one of service, dignity, kindness, thoughtfulness, and humour as told by many private anecdotes that emerged after her passing. The Chair offered his condolences to the Royal Family and welcomed King Charles III at the beginning of a new era for our region and our country.


Since the last meeting, members noted that Peel Group had decided to wind down aviation services from Doncaster Sheffield Airport from the end of October. The MCA and Doncaster Council were continuing to do everything they could to find a way forward. The Chair noted that the Mayor remained steadfast in his commitment to an ambitious plan for Doncaster and South Yorkshire, and his commitment to fighting Peel Groups decision until the last moment.


The Board recognised the work of Dr R Adams, the outgoing Deputy Chief Executive of the MCA, as this was her final meeting in post. Dr Adams has served the MCA for over a decade and was central to the creation of the MCA itself. Members joined together to thank Dr Adams and wish her every success in the future.


Urgent Items

To determine whether there are any additional items of business which by reason of special circumstances the Chair is of the opinion should be considered at the meeting; the reason(s) for such urgency to be stated.

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Items to be Considered in the Absence of Public and Press

To identify where resolutions may be moved to exclude the public and press.  (For items marked * the public and press may be excluded from the meeting.)

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Members noted that Item 17 Appendix 3 was restricted from the public. It was agreed that the webcast would be paused, and members of the public in the room would be asked to leave when this item was discussed.


Voting Rights for Non-constituent Members

To identify whether there are any items of business that apply only to the South Yorkshire Members of the Mayoral Combined Authority, ie, where it would not be appropriate for non-SY Members to have voting rights.

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Declarations of Interest by individual Members in relation to any item of business on the agenda

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Members declared their interest in any item relating to their boroughs.


Reports from and questions by members

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Receipt of Petitions

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The Chair invited Ms Own to introduce her petition, which was presented in person at the Mayor’s 100 Days Event and had 211 signatures.


Ms Own presented her petition to prevent the number 5 bus from being removed from service. She added that this bus was the only bus to run through the Wensley Estate and was a vital link to Firth Park and Sheffield City Centre for the elderly, disabled and vulnerable.


As Chair, Cllr Read read out a response given to him by the Mayor.


The Chair noted that following the closure of Powell’s bus company in August, the MCA sought to intervene and protect as many of their services as was possible. Cawthornes expressed an interest in this and another service, however due to limited vehicle and driver resources available were unable to run all trips on the current timetable. This meant that departures at 06:55, 07:55 15:18 and 16:28 from Firth Park, along with the return trips from Moorfoot would no longer run. The response added that the transport system was broken and allowed operators to walk away, leaving taxpayers to step in and prop up services. MCA Officers continued to undertake the assessment into bus franchising, as a route to a long-term solution for the public transport network.


A petition was presented by Dr Joan Miller of the South Yorkshire Climate Alliance. The petition had 267 signatures and asked the Mayor to find the funds to retrofit South Yorkshire homes in fuel poverty to reduce energy use, carbon emissions, reduce energy bills, provide warmer and healthier homes and create long term local employment.


On behalf of the Mayor, Cllr Read responded to Dr Miller and stated that with the Cost-of-Living crisis the importance of warmer, healthier homes was clear. He added that the scale of the challenge should not be underestimated as the housing stock in South Yorkshire is some of the least energy efficient in the country and despite the good work being done by Local Authorities, there was much more to do. The Chair added that at a regional level, the MCA did not have the funding necessary to deliver retrofit at scale as this would require billions of pounds.  However, he offered Dr Miller assurance that officers are working on retrofit programmes and will continue to explore mechanisms to scale this up for the benefit of our communities and businesses.


Public Questions

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Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 260 KB

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RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on the 25 July 2022 be agreed to be a true and accurate record.


Budget and Business Planning 2023/24 Update pdf icon PDF 472 KB

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The Chief Financial and s73 Officer introduced this report which provided an update on the development of a business plan and accompanying budget for the forthcoming financial year. It built upon the report received by the Board in July, containing the latest expenditure and income forecasts.


RESOLVED that members noted the latest budget forecasts.


Bus Services Update pdf icon PDF 443 KB

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The Executive Director for Infrastructure and Place presented this item. The report provided an update to the board on the latest position regarding changes to the South Yorkshire bus network.


The report also highlighted the implications of the recently announced Bus Recovery Grant (BRG) extension for a further six months and the options of utilising additional funding and reserves to protect bus services from commercial cuts informed by a public consultation on bus priorities. Members noted that the MCA had committed as much reserve money as possible to secure bus services until July 2023.


Cllr Houghton opened up a discussion into the need for a sustainable transport service which protects key routes for the community. Members added that the reduced bus numbers were having negative effects on their constituents, including social isolation. Members suggested the needs for the entire system to be considered to avoid duplication of means of transport and ensure all  communities are catered for. Officers agreed and confirmed that work was ongoing.


RESOLVED that the Board:

1.    Approved the use of up to £7.2m of reserves to support bus services to the end of July 2023.

2.    Noted that non-statutory school services have been successfully protected for a period of two academic years by drawing on the MCA’s financial reserves.


Tram Future Operating Model pdf icon PDF 503 KB

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This item discussed the Tram Concession with South Yorkshire Supertram Limited (SYSL) which is due to expire on the 21st March 2024. The Director of Public Transport Development asked the board for a decision to be made on the future tram Operating Model to allow for a timely and seamless transition in March 2024.


Members referred to the previous item’s discussion on the need for a sustainable transport network which avoids duplication of services. They highlighted that this would also limit the money being lost by the buses and tram.


ACTION: The Executive Director of Infrastructure and Place to present a report to Members on a sustainable transport vision which includes both the bus and tram networks.


Members highlighted the need to ensure there is a return on the tram investment and that this is monitored closely going forwards.


ACTION: The Director of Public Transport Development to report regularly to the Board to discuss the return on the investment into the tram network.


RESOLVED that Board members:

1.    Authorised the MCA to establish an arm’s length wholly owned subsidiary company (NewCo) to operate the Supertram system (with effect from 22nd March 2024).

  1. Agreed to receive further reports regarding the financial sustainability as soon as modelling work is concluded.


South Yorkshire Investment Zone - Status Update pdf icon PDF 599 KB

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The Government had set out a policy intent to work in partnership with places across the country to develop Investment Zones. South Yorkshire MCA was one of 38 MCAs and Upper Tier Local Authority areas that indicated an intention to work with Government on the development of an Expression of Interest (EoI). The Assistant Director of External Affairs briefly reminded Members of the Investment Zone work they were consulted on prior to the submission of an Expression of Interest to the Government on the 14th October 2022.


Members noted that there is a strong expectation that Investment Zones will bring forward a mix of both commercial and residential development. The freedoms and flexibilities and wider advantages on include:


a)       Speeding up planned development and simplifying new opportunities.

b)       Providing time-limited tax incentives to encourage new investment.

c)       Wider infrastructure and development opportunities.


Cllr Houghton noted that Barnsley were happy to be part of the submission and felt that it could be a good levelling up tool if used properly to boost the economies in places that need it.


RESOLVED that Board members agreed that in order to meet the Submission deadline of 14th October 2022, the Board noted the submission of an EoI, which had been agreed with the Local Authorities prior to submission.


Cost of Living and Economy Report pdf icon PDF 524 KB

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The Chief Finance and s73 Officer presented this report which investigated the cost-of-living challenges; which were deepening with inflationary pressures worsening. The report noted that the significance of the crisis demanded a regional response to complement those actions being proposed by national Government.


The report noted that whilst these immediate interventions can be delivered in the short-term, consideration was needed around how MCA resource could be deployed to support the post-recession recovery, ensuring South Yorkshire’s businesses and communities were well placed to bounce-back.


A lengthy discussion was had between Members and Officers around the Bus Cap proposals, with some concerns around driver shortages and bus patronage raised. Cllr Read, as Chair of the Transport and Environment Thematic Board, noted that the Boards number one priority was increasing bus patronage and they believed the cap on fares would help this.

A discussion took place about the appropriateness of investing in a price cap at the same time as services were being lost. It was noted that regardless of funding, some services could not be procured due to driver shortages. It was therefore agreed that officers would examine whether there were opportunities to use funding to address driver recruitment and retention issues that were affecting the MCA’s ability to procure withdrawn services.


ACTION: The Executive Director of Infrastructure and Place and the Corporate Director of Business and Skills to present a report to a future MCA on the plan to recruit more Bus Drivers in the region. Within this report Members will receive figures on bus patronage and bus driver shortages.


RESOLVED that the Board:

1.    Approved the proposal for the early release of Shared Prosperity Fund allocations ahead of formal Government processes.

2.    Approve the earmarking of up-to £2m of windfall budget surplus to fund a package of cost-of-living measures.

3.    Approved the development of an immediate package of measures as detailed in paragraphs 3.1-3.11 of the report.

  1. Delegated authority to the MCA Chief Executive in consultation with the Mayor and Leaders to enter into transactions.


Education Skills and Employability Board Programme Updates pdf icon PDF 349 KB

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The Deputy Chief Executive introduced this report to the Board, which provided an update on the progress of the Multiply programme and sought support to secure additional funding from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) to deliver Individual Placement and Support in Primary Care (IPSPC). The Board was asked to endorse clarification to the definition of the Adult Education Budget (AEB) grant funded provider base.


Members noted that the Working Win programme had helped more than 4000 people in South Yorkshire and mentioned how well received the Multiply programme was in their Boroughs. Cllr Houghton expressed his desire for local intelligence to be used for the Working Win programme to drive it forwards based on local need.


RESOLVED that the Board:

1.    Noted the MCA’s Lead Authority role and the progress of the Multiply programme.

2.    Endorsed the MCA’s application to secure funding for the continuation of the South Yorkshire Working Win programme.

3.    Endorsed the recommendation of the ESEB to clarify the definition of the Adult Education Budget (AEB) grant funded provider base.


Programme Approvals pdf icon PDF 535 KB

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This item was deferred to the end of the meeting due to featuring a restricted item. The Chief Finance and s73 Officer introduced this paper which requested approval for the progression of three capital schemes subject to conditions set out in the Assurance Summaries and three project change requests. The report also sought acceptance of the Enhanced Partnership Officer funding from the Department for Transport (DfT).


An in-depth discussion was had around the £26m of Gainshare capital funding that had been made available for financial years 2022/23 and 2023/24. The CFO reminded the Board of the decisions taken in January and March 2022 to phase the release of Gainshare funding, with £26m of capital resource being made available over the next two years to support deliverable schemes ahead of Place monies being made available from 2024 onwards. The CFO further reminded the Board that a number of principles had been agreed around the use of this funding, including that distribution of the money would be made on an equitable basis.


It was noted that whilst new schemes were being developed there were inflationary pressures across the programme for which resource may be required.


The Chief Executive re-assured Board members that officers were in active discussions with Local Authority Chief Executives and other officers about the use of this money. It was agreed that these conversations would continue, and this item would be brought back to the Board as appropriate.


The Board also discussed the merits of scheme D0036 in the light of market conditions. It was agreed to progress the due-diligence activity and revert to the Board on conclusion of that work.


ACTION: Members to receive an update on the use of the capital funding made available through the Renewal Fund.


RESOLVED that the Board considered and approved the:

1.    Progression of “Thriving Town Centre” FBC to full approval and award of £3.6m grant to BMBC subject to the conditions set out in the Assurance Summary attached at Appendix 1 to be funded from previously committed Gainshare capital funding.

2.    Progression of “Canon Diagnostic Suite and Arena” FBC to full approval and award of £1.4m grant to Canon Medical Systems Ltd subject to the conditions set out in the Assurance Summary attached at Appendix 2.

3.    Progression of D0036 Strategic Business Case to FBCsubject to the conditions set out in the Assurance Summary attached at Appendix 3.

4.    Three change requests.

5.    Acceptance of a £0.66m grant from Department of Transport (DFT) forEnhanced Partnership Officer Funding.

6.    Delegated authority be given to the Head of Paid Service in consultation with the Section 73 and Monitoring Officer to enter into legal agreements for the schemes covered above subject to funding being available.


Appointment of Independent Audit, Standards and Risk Committee Member pdf icon PDF 481 KB

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This report sought the approval of the appointment of an independent member to the Audit and Standards Committee in order for the committee to be properly constituted and ensure that the MCA can function effectively.


RESOLVED that the Board approved the appointment of Dave Philips as an independent member of the Audit, Standards and Risk Committee.


Delegated Authority Report pdf icon PDF 215 KB

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RESOLVED that Members noted the decisions and delegations made.