Agenda and minutes

Mayoral Combined Authority Board - Monday, 31st July, 2023 10.00 am

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


No. Item


Welcome and Apologies

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The Mayor welcomed attendees to the meeting and apologies were noted as above.



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Since the previous meeting, Government had confirmed South Yorkshire as the UK’s first Investment Zone, supported by £80m of funding. The Mayor welcomed this announcement, which had been publicised alongside the news that Boeing would also be investing a further £80m in the region.


The start of the month had also seen the launch of the innovative ‘Pathways to Work’ project, led by Barnsley MBC in collaboration with the MCA, which aimed to identify solutions for Barnsley residents who had barriers to work.


Work had been ongoing to reform the MCA and improve internal governance arrangements. The Mayor noted his sincere thanks to members of the now dissolved thematic boards for their efforts and dedication to the MCA and South Yorkshire.


The Mayor acknowledged the passing of Lord Bob Kerslake who had contributed so much to South Yorkshire and the country. The Board offered their heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.


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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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 interests in items relevant to their own Authority areas.


Reports from and questions by members

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Receipt of Petitions

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Public Questions

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Minutes of the meeting pdf icon PDF 257 KB

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RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 5 June 2023 be agreed as a true and accurate record


Police and Crime Commissioner Next Steps pdf icon PDF 147 KB

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The Board received an update on the progress of the transfer of the Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) functions to the MCA.


Discussions with Government officials were ongoing, and the MCA was awaiting a response from Ministers confirming their support for a transfer of PCC powers to the Mayor in May 2024. Once a response was received, work would begin to draft the required statutory instruments and ensure that they are appropriate to South Yorkshire circumstances.


The Mayor thanked the office of the current PCC as well as Government for their engagement on this issue.


RESOLVED that the Board:

  1. Note progress to date, including the response awaited from the Home Secretary and Secretary of State for the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Agree that the MCA Board will receive a further update at the September Board meeting.


Amended MCA Constitution pdf icon PDF 116 KB

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Following agreement at the previous meeting to implement new governance arrangements, the amended MCA Constitution was presented for Members’ consideration.


These new arrangements incorporated the dissolution of the thematic boards and the creation of portfolio policy areas to reflect MCA priorities and functions with the Mayor and four Leaders as portfolio holders.


Other amendments included:

·       Changes proposed by the Audit, Standards & Risk Committee to their Terms of Reference;

·       A proposal to increase the threshold for Key Decisions related to capital spend to £1m;

·       The deadline for submission of public questions to the MCA Board being reduced to 3 days prior to the meeting to increase transparency.


The Director of Law & Governance advised that further amendments to the Constitution would be required should the PCC functions be transferred.


The Board agreed to remove the diagram at 3.6 of the proposed Constitution due to accuracy.


RESOLVED that the Board approve:

  1. The removal of the diagram at 3.6 of the proposed Constitution as agreed;

The amendments to the Constitution as set out in track changes to the appended version of the Constitution.


Statement of Accounts 2021/22 Update pdf icon PDF 147 KB

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Members were updated on the progress of the Statement of Accounts 2021/22.


The Executive Director of Resources & Investment informed the Board that due to further delays, it was now expected that the Accounts for 2021/22 would not be available for approval until September at the earliest. He advised that delays in external audit were systemic across the country, at present, only 27% of audits had been completed nationally. 


It was anticipated that the auditor would issue an unqualified opinion with no matters to report on value-for-money considerations.


He added that the draft accounts for 2022/23 had been reviewed by the Audit, Standards & Risk Committee and published for public inspection.


RESOLVED that the Board note the update provided.


Quarter 1 Budget Update & 2024/25 Budget Planning pdf icon PDF 238 KB

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The Executive Director of Resources & Investment provided an update on the budget position after Quarter 1 of 2023/24.


At Quarter 1 there were a number of prominent budget matters:

·       The budget had been refreshed to accommodate the bus and tram investment proposals and associated funding package;

·       Capital programme activity had slipped further due to inflationary pressures;

·       Higher cash balances and rising interest rates were expected to lead to further Treasury Management windfall, some of which was recommended to be invested into the above bus proposals;

·       Inflationary pressures and labour market pressures were biting in some areas with difficulties in recruitment prominent, and an expected £1m pressure arising on the cost of the national concessionary travel scheme; and,

·       Subject to Government consents and legislation, the prospect of a Mayoral election in May 2024 would lead to costs being incurred in the current financial year.


In response to questions, Members were advised that no decisions had yet been made around the financial implications of the transfer of PCC powers and functions, but local authorities would be consulted as negotiations progressed. With regards to the costs of the proposed 2024 election, the MCA was engaged in discussions with Government about a possible contribution towards this, but also had provision to cover these expenses if no Government funding was forthcoming.


RESOLVED that the Board approve the revised budget estimates.


Tendered Bus Service network approval and changes to SYMCA travel concessions pdf icon PDF 187 KB

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The Board considered how best to protect as much of the region’s bus network as possible within the limitations of available funding.


DfT had allocated the MCA £3.1m of BSIP+ for 2023/24 which was expected to repeat in 2024/25. Combining this with additional funding from the MCA, a total of around £17m was available over the next 2 years, which fell significantly short of the amount needed to maintain all services.


Members expressed their discontent at the challenges facing the region’s bus network, noting that South Yorkshire’s ability to protect bus services was severely compromised. The Government allocation of £6.3m was around 50% less than previous grant funding settlements and considerably lower than the BSIP and BSIP+ allocations seen elsewhere, some of which were in excess of £100m.


RESOLVED that the MCA Board, within the levels of transport budget approved at the January 2023 MCA Board, approve the following:

  1. Delegate authority to MCA’s Acting Executive Director of Transport, in consultation with the MCA Chief Executive and the Mayor of South Yorkshire, to award tendered service contracts that deliver a stable and sustainable tendered services network for a period of approximately 2 years. The contract awards are to be executed in accordance with the service prioritisation and contract award principles set out in Appendix A and Appendix B respectively;
  2. Increase the child concessionary fare (for those aged under 18) on bus and tram journeys from 80p per trip to £1 per trip with effect from 1 November 2023;
  3. Remove the discretionary concessionary fare for persons aged 18 to 21 (Zoom Beyond) on bus and tram journeys with effect from 1 November 2023;
  4. Continue the fare cap on tram services in South Yorkshire (funded locally by the MCA) through to 31 October 2023 at £2.00, rising to £2.80 for around 1 year from 1 November 2023 until the end of November 2024.
  5. Note that the DfT funded cap on bus fares has been extended to the end of November 2024 (not October 2025 as originally reported), with an increase from £2.00 to £2.50 from 1 November 2023.



South Yorkshire Investment Zone Proposal pdf icon PDF 179 KB

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The Corporate Director of Growth, Business and Skills introduced an item on the South Yorkshire Investment Zone (IZ) Proposal.


At Spring Budget 2023, it was announced that 8 Mayoral Combined Authorities, including South Yorkshire, had been invited to co-design IZ proposals with government. 


Submissions were required to identify a lead sector and a spatial core to be built around an existing cluster with close links to research institutions. As regional propositions were expected to be based on existing strategies and evidence, South Yorkshire’s primary sector and geographic rationale is built on the work undertaken by the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID) project group, the Strategic Economic Plan and associated evidence bases.


The MCA had identified advanced manufacturing as the region’s lead sector and proposed that the spatial core span from Rotherham town centre to Sheffield city centre. In addition, opportunity sites had been identified in Doncaster and Barnsley.


Board Members welcomed Government’s investment in South Yorkshire and saw this as recognition of the region’s strengths in areas such as clean energy, green aerospace, and medical technology. The Board considered that the IZ would be key in bringing businesses to the region and driving economic growth.


RESOLVED that the Board:

  1. Endorse the recommended Lead Sector for the South Yorkshire Investment Zone, as advanced manufacturing defined expansively to include linked sub-sectors such as digital and health;
  2. Endorse the proposed geographical focus for the South Yorkshire Investment Zone;
  3. Endorse the suggested governance models for the South Yorkshire Investment Zone;

Note the progress and direction of travel on the Investment Zone interventions.


Getting Building Fund Delivery pdf icon PDF 770 KB

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The Board received an update on the delivery and progress of the Getting Building Fund.


A number of projects had now been completed, including:

·       Barnsley College Digital Innovation Hub – Phase 2;

·       Century II Business Centre (Rotherham MBC);

·       DN Colleges Group - Digital Infrastructure & Construction Space;

·       Barnsley Town Centre Public Realm (Barnsley MBC);

·       New Active Travel Foot/ Cycle Bridge (Barnsley MBC).


RESOLVED that the Board note the progress and positive impacts within South Yorkshire communities, as a result of the investment of the Getting Building Fund.


Programme Approvals pdf icon PDF 250 KB

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The Board considered the progression of 3 schemes subject to conditions and 1 change request as well as the acceptance of 2 DfT grants and onward award.


RESOLVED that the Board approve:

Brownfield Housing Programme schemes

  1. Progression of “Skyhouse Waverley Central” from FBC to full approval and award of £1.3m grant to Sky-House Co. (White Rose) Limited subject to the conditions set out in Assurance Summary A1;
  2. Progression of “Goldthorpe Housing Project” from OBC to FBC and approval for award of £2.53m grant to Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council subject to the conditions set out in Assurance Summary attached at Appendix A2;

Transport Programme Schemes:

  1. Progression of “West of Doncaster Balby” from Full Business Case (FBC) to full approval and award of £3.44m grant to City of Doncaster Council (CDC) subject to the conditions set out in Assurance Summary A3;
  2. Approval of change request “Barnsley Civic/Market Gate Bridge” detailed in 1.10 Grant Acceptance;
  3. Acceptance of £2.49m “Local Authority Capital Allocations 2023/24” grant from the Department of Transport (DfT) and onward award;
  4. Acceptance of £3.1m “Bus Funding and Cost of Living Support for Bus Users” grant;

Delegated Authority:

  1. Delegate authority to the Head of Paid Service in consultation with the Section 73 and Monitoring Officer to enter into legal agreements for the schemes above;

Delegate authority to the Head of Paid Service in consultation with the Section 73 and Monitoring Officer to approve the release of development cost funding in line with the Assurance Framework.


Thematic Board Minutes and Action Logs pdf icon PDF 411 KB

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Members reviewed the minutes and action logs from the final meetings of the 4 thematic boards.


The Mayor and Chief Executive commended Members of the thematic boards for their hard work and commitment and thanked them for their invaluable contributions to South Yorkshire. A letter of thanks had been sent to all Members and LEP Board Members who served on the Boards.


RESOLVED that the Board:

1.    Approve the final minutes of all Thematic Board meetings as true records;

2.    Note the Action Logs for each Thematic Board.


Delegated Authority Report pdf icon PDF 60 KB

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The Board was provided with details of:

·         Decisions and delegations made by the MCA;

·         Decisions and delegations made under the Officer Scheme of Delegation.


RESOLVED that the decisions and delegations made under delegated authority up to July 2023, be noted.