Agenda and minutes

MCA - Mayoral Combined Authority Board - Monday, 25th January, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome and Apologies

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Minutes:

The Mayor welcomed everyone to the meeting and he introduced the Members present.  Apologies for absence were noted as above.

 

The Mayor expressed his thanks to Councillor Julie Dore, who had now stood down as the Leader of Sheffield City Council (SCC) after 10 years of serving the people of Sheffield.  Councillor Dore had lead SCC through incredibly difficult times, and she had always been a champion for the city and the people that she represented.  He wished Councillor Dore and her family all the best for the future.

 

The Mayor formally welcomed Councillor Bob Johnson, the new Leader of SCC and Kate Josephs, the new Chief Executive of SCC to their first Mayoral Combined Authority meeting.

2.

Announcements

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Minutes:

The Mayor addressed the meeting in relation to Storm Christoph, and he expressed his thanks to everyone involved in the preparatory work that had recently been undertaken.  The MCA was grateful for the herculean effort of more than 600 staff from across the four South Yorkshire local authorities together with South Yorkshire Police, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Yorkshire Water, the Environment Agency, local residents and the communities to reduce the threat to life and property following the multiple flood warnings that had been in place across South Yorkshire.  The MCA would continue to support this important work in every possible way.  The Mayor and the Leaders of the local authorities were determined to continue their work to secure the investment which would help to prevent a repeat of the devastating scenes that had occurred in the hugely damaging floods that had battered South Yorkshire in November 2019.

 

In collaboration with the Environment Agency, the MCA had secured £80m from the Government towards funding some of the identified flood prevention and protection schemes.  The Mayor and the Leaders of the local authorities were determined to work together to secure the remaining £125m from the Government, to fully protect homes and businesses within South Yorkshire.

 

Members noted the emergency efforts had taken place during the ever-present dangers of Covid-19.  Schools had closed to all but the vulnerable children and those of essential workers, many businesses had been forced to close and health services had been stretched to the very limit.  This was a situation that would remain for the foreseeable future and required everyone to do all that they could by staying at home and to keep safe.  At the moment, in comparison to some other parts of the country South Yorkshire was faring better in terms of infection rates, although South Yorkshire’s rates remained too high with significant pressures on its hospitals.  It was imperative to remain on guard and stay vigilant.

 

The Mayor was conscious of the public servants and key workers that continued to put themselves at risk, who were working harder than ever to deliver day in and day out for the good of the communities, including those working for the NHS, social care, supermarkets, local shop staff, bus, tram, train and delivery drivers.  On behalf of the MCA, the Mayor offered his thanks and gratitude for all of their continued efforts.  In order to make their hard work count, the Mayor urged the residents of South Yorkshire to stay at home, to follow the rules that were in place, and to stay safe in order to lower the infection and hospitalisation rates.

 

The MCA was working hard to provide its own £30m business support package, which would make a difference and help to keep the businesses of South Yorkshire afloat so that they would be ready to grow again following the emergence from the crisis; further support would be needed.  It was important that the Government implemented the correct support and provided the MCA and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.

3.

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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Minutes:

Members were informed of the means by which the meeting would be

conducted, to be compliant with appropriate legislation and pursuant of SCR’s own Constitution.

4.

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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Minutes:

RESOLVED – That agenda Item 24 entitled ‘Freeport Bid Submission’ be considered in the absence of the public and press.

5.

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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Minutes:

It was noted that Non-Constituent Members were welcome to participate in the discussion of every item on the agenda.

6.

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

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

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Minutes:

Councillor Johnson declared an interest in the matters to be considered at agenda Item 16 entitled ‘Implications of the Spending Review’ in relation to the Sheffield Heart of the City Breathing Spaces Scheme, by virtue of being the Leader of Sheffield City Council.

 

Mayor Jones CBE declared an interest in the matters to be considered at agenda Item 24 entitled ‘Freeport Bid Submission’ by virtue of being the Mayor of Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council.

 

Councillor Sir Houghton CBE declared an interest at agenda Item 24 entitled ‘Freeport Bid Submission’ in relation to the matters to be discussed regarding Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, by virtue of being the Leader of Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council.

 

Mayor Jarvis MBE declared an interest in the matters to be considered at agenda Item 23 entitled ‘Mayoral Remuneration’ by virtue of being the Mayor of the Sheffield City Region.  The Mayor stated that he would leave the meeting for the duration of the agenda item.  He commented that it was his great privilege to serve the people of South Yorkshire as the Mayor, which he had done so unpaid since he had been elected in 2018.  During that time, he had worked relentlessly alongside his fellow local Leaders to complete the devolution deal, secure significant investment for South Yorkshire’s people, businesses and places, and he had represented the region through the most challenging of circumstances.  He stated that should the MCA approve the Independent Panel’s recommendation, that he would utilise the salary to support those organisations that had helped to hold the communities together during the Covid-19 pandemic, and those that had made a valuable contribution to lives within South Yorkshire.

7.

Reports from and questions by members

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Minutes:

None.

8.

Receipt of Petitions

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Minutes:

The meeting received a 38 signature petition from Mr Paul Gwiazda. The petition was in regard to a bus stop on Handsworth Road in Sheffield where it was reported that buses failed to switch off their engines whilst waiting time.  Mr Gwiazda had supplied an impact statement.

 

The Mayor expressed his thanks to the petitioner for bringing the issue to his attention.  Members noted that air and noise pollution affected the quality of life, to which a commitment had been made to become a net-zero carbon economy by 2040, to make South Yorkshire a greener and better place to live, work and visit.  He would request the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive to respond to the petition directly, as he considered it to be best placed to address the issue.

9.

Public Questions

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Minutes:

A question was received from Mr Nigel Slack who addressed the Authority as follows:-

 

“As a Tutor for the Workers Education Association (WEA), you will not be surprised that I am interested in the content of the report at Item 13. It does however concern me that the levels of funding available for Adult Education is woefully inadequate considering the impact of Covid-19 and the now evident significant and negative impact of the Brexit Trade Agreement.

 

This change to devolved funding for Adult Education is concerning for the WEA as it may disrupt the ability to work with adults in communities in SCR, particularly the most disadvantaged. The WEA is well-placed to contribute to the Mayor’s plans to date and is, I know, working with Local Authorities and Colleges to develop a coherent Adult Education response.

 

Decisions made around adult learning may mean that the WEA's flexibility and responsiveness to meet the challenges around unemployment, digital exclusion and poverty, key elements of all 4 Lots as described, are hampered, as Community Learning funding is a vital enabler of this work.

 

1.      Has MCA talked directly to providers like the WEA and will the grant agreements with Colleges and Councils ensure that WEA and others can continue to deliver the quality courses they currently offer within that devolved programme?

 

2.      Will the MCA Framework Agreement be sufficient to enable providers to survive this new devolved funding dynamic, considering the generally 'flexible' nature of such Framework contracting?

 

3.      What provision is to be made for Adult Learning that is not directly aimed at the world of work but which contributes to the general wellbeing of residents through lifelong learning and particularly adult learning in the fields of Arts, Culture & Heritage?”

 

The Mayor stated that as part of the devolution deal that had been agreed with the Government last year, the MCA had secured the devolution of the Adult Education Budget (AEB) expected to be worth £36m per year from 2021/22 to South Yorkshire, allowing adult education provision to be tailored to meet local needs in the coming years.  The MCA was presently preparing to commission provision from 1 August 2021, including undertaking a procurement process, to ensure that the funding devolved to the region was utilised to deliver the best outcomes for the residents of South Yorkshire.  Given the additional challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, the MCA would clearly have welcomed a greater level of funding.  The Mayor added that along with the local authority Leaders, he was in constant contact with the Government to lobby on behalf of the region to make the case for additional funding in respect of skills and education.  Over the coming years, the MCA would assess the needs of the region and develop the programme of interventions to meet those needs.

10.

Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 261 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the previous meeting held on

16 November 2020 were agreed as an accurate record of the meeting.

11.

Working Win Extension pdf icon PDF 152 KB

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Minutes:

A report was submitted which sought the approval of the MCA Board to accept £3m grant and approval to enter into a partnership agreement with NHS Clinical Commissioning Group to procure and contract the appropriate provider(s) to deliver the programme. The paper sought delegated authority to the Head of Paid Service in consultation with the Section 73 Officer and Monitoring Officer to enter into legal agreements required for the programme.

 

Members noted that the innovative health led employment trial Working Win had so far supported over 3,060 South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw residents, with mild to moderate mental and/or physical health issues to move into paid work or to sustain employment which was at risk because of their health issue.  The business case to extend the programme for a further year had recently been approved by the Department for Work and Pensions.

 

RESOLVED – That Members considered and accepted:-

 

i.     The Work and Health Unit c£3m grant funding for the Working Win Programme subject to due diligence on any conditions of award.

ii.    To enter into a Partnership Agreement with Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in order for the Working Win programme to be procured as an NHS contract, as stipulated by the Work and Health Unit on terms to be agreed by the Head of Paid Service.

iii.   Delegated authority be given to the Head of Paid Service in consultation with the Section 73 and the Monitoring Officer to enter into a legal agreement for the scheme covered above.

12.

Housing Fund (Brownfield) pdf icon PDF 151 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report was presented which provided an update on the progress in developing the Housing Fund (Brownfield) 5 year programme and to seek endorsement of the Strategic Business Case for the programme.  Both the Housing Fund (Brownfield) Prospectus and the Strategic Business Case for the programme had been recommended by the Housing and Infrastructure Board for approval by the MCA.

 

RESOLVED – That Members:-

 

i.       Approved the Housing Fund (Brownfield) Programme Strategic Business Case (SBC), noting the initial Early Deliverable schemes.

 

ii.      Approved the Housing Fund (Brownfield) Prospectus.

 

Noted the ongoing activity to develop the full 5 year programme scheme pipeline.

13.

Adult Education Budget Commissioning - Update pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report was submitted which provided an update on the progress with the preparations for commissioning the Adult Education Budget provision in readiness for devolution of funding from 1 August 2021.

 

It was expected that the total value of AEB to be devolved to the MCA would be c£38.5m, of which c£36m would be AEB and c£2.5m would be additional money for the Level 3 provision as part of the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee.  Confirmation of the exact value of AEB was anticipated to be received from the DfE in January 2021.

 

RESOLVED – That Members noted the progress in commissioning skills and employment provision using the Adult Education Budget.

14.

Strategic Economic Plan pdf icon PDF 105 KB

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Minutes:

A report was submitted which presented the final Strategic Economic Plan (SEP).  The SEP had been endorsed and approved by the LEP Board and it would sit with the other MCA policies and strategies.  The SEP would guide the economic ambitions for the next generation.

 

The Mayor commented that the development and completion of the SEP had been a long and complex process which had involved many officers and stakeholders.  He expressed his thanks to everyone that had contributed their efforts to this important document.

 

RESOLVED – That Members agreed the Strategic Economic Plan.

15.

Programme Approvals pdf icon PDF 132 KB

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Minutes:

A report was presented which sought approval of one Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) scheme with a total value of £2m, and for delegated authority to be given to the Head of Paid Service in consultation with Section 73 and the Monitoring Officer to enter into legal agreements for the scheme.

 

The Sheffield Heart of the City Breathing Spaces Project would enhance the city centre by creating three new spaces including a pocket park, a vibrant small square on Carver Street and expansion of the Peace Gardens between the Town Hall and the proposed new hotel on Pinstone Street.

 

RESOLVED – That Members considered and approved:-

 

i.     Progression of Project ‘Sheffield Heart of the City Breathing Spaces’ to full approval and award £2m grant from the Transforming Cities Fund to Sheffield City Council subject to the conditions set out in the Appraisal Panel Summary Table.

ii.    That delegated authority be given to the Head of Paid Service in consultation with Section 73 and the Monitoring Officer to enter into a legal agreement for the scheme.

16.

Implications of the Spending Review pdf icon PDF 150 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report was submitted which summarised the announcements within the Government’s Spending Review as it related to the agenda of the MCA, and for Members to consider the potential implications.

 

The Mayor referred to the MCA submission that had been made in September 2020 to the original Comprehensive Spending Review, which had then been reduced to a one-year Spending Review.  The submission had been based on the MCA Renewal Action Plan.  As the priorities of the MCA had remained unchanged, the Mayor had submitted a further representation to the Treasury in readiness for the March 2021 Budget announcement, which had set out the MCA’s seven key interventions to kickstart the journey towards a stronger, greener and fairer South Yorkshire.

 

Councillor Sir Houghton CBE welcomed the input that had been made into the March 2021 Budget, although he suspected that much of this would already be in place from the Government.  He considered that the revenue aspect of the spending review for the local authorities would be incredibly important, not just for the provision of services, but to ensure that the local authorities still had the staffing capacity to work up projects and programmes for the economic recovery that was hoped to be underway by Autumn 2021.  It was important for the Government to also recognise the revenue and the services that mattered to areas such as South Yorkshire, together with revenue implications of building up the capacity to undertake matters.  The details of a Shared Prosperity Fund and a Levelling Up Fund were still to be produced, together with the longer-term implications of the gain share funding.  He considered that a programme of projects was required to be developed in line with the Strategic Economic Plan and to kickstart the recovery in the short term, with one set of projects and programmes to take the MCA and South Yorkshire forwards.

 

The Mayor agreed with the valid points made by Councillor Sir Houghton CBE, and he considered that his sentiments would be shared by all of the Members.

 

Mayor Jones CBE concurred with the comments made by Councillor Sir Houghton CBE.  She considered that the short term funding did not help when pulling the capital programmes forward and that it would not be beneficial for the whole area.  She added that by joining all of the different funding types together would assist all of the areas and the SCR moving forwards.  It was necessary to continue to pull them together in a coherent way.

 

RESOLVED – That Members:-

 

i.     Considered the issues arising from the Spending Review as they related to the MCA.

ii.    Noted the letter sent from the Mayor to the Chancellor regarding the March 2021 Budget.

17.

Budget and Business Plan Development 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 264 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report was presented which provided an update on the progress towards the finalisation of an integrated MCA Business Plan and Budget for the forthcoming financial year.  The report sought approval for the South Yorkshire Transport Levy and the proposal to not set a Mayoral Precept.

 

Members noted that every financial year the MCA Group was required to set a balanced budget alike with other public bodies and local partners.  The MCA was mid-way through a Group wide integrated business planning process.

 

RESOLVED – That Members:-

 

i.       Approved the South Yorkshire Transport Levy for financial year    

  2021/22.

ii.      Approved the proposal to not set a Mayoral Precept for financial year     

  2021/22.

iii.     Noted the proposal to freeze local authority subscriptions for financial   

  year 2021/22.

i.        Noted the forecast scale of consolidated Group spending power in the   

forthcoming year.

ii.      Noted the intention to bring the final Group revenue budget and capital

programme for approval to the MCA’s March 2021 meeting.

18.

Budget Revision 3 pdf icon PDF 353 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report was submitted which provided revised budget forecasts to the end of the financial year 2020/21. The report recommended the adoption of the budget estimates and adjustments to budgetary ceilings.

 

The economic disruption that had been caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant fiscal response from the Government had significantly changed the MCA’s capital and revenue budgets over the course of the year.  A third budget revision exercise had been undertaken at the end of November 2020 to ensure that the MCA’s financial plans remained aligned to the business priorities.

 

 

RESOLVED – That Members:-

 

i.       Adopted the revised budget estimates.

ii.      Noted the key conclusions of the mid-year treasury report.

Noted the slower than forecast pace of the capital programme.

19.

Geographic Focus and brand of the MCA and future collaboration with the MCA's non-constituent authorities pdf icon PDF 170 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report was presented which provided an update on the work underway with Non-Constituent Member Authorities to agree future arrangements for collaboration and engagement, and to confirm whether Members’ wished in principle to begin the preparatory work for rebranding of the MCA as the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (or variant thereof).

 

Councillor Gilby commented that the Leaders of the Non-Constituent Member Authorities welcomed the work undertaken by Dr Smith and the other Chief Executives.  She considered that it was very important to reach an effective collaboration and joint working with the MCA to ensure that the levelling up of the country as promised by the Prime Minister was delivered.  North Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire were still a vital part of the SCR, to which the economic geography remained the same.

 

Councillor Sir Houghton CBE referred to the change in the Government’s stance on city regions.  He considered it important to maintain the collaborative working to ensure that relationships were kept as effective as possible.  The BMBC economy was split in both the north and south of the borough, which included collaborative working with West Yorkshire.

He emphasised the need to ensure that the relationships were kept as effective as possible.

 

The Mayor stated that it was important to ensure that effective working arrangements were in place with neighbours in every direction.

 

RESOLVED – That Members:-

 

i.       Made a decision in principle to rebrand the MCA so that necessary preparations could occur for rebranding timed to follow May’s local elections.

Identified any issues that they would like to be considered as part of the exercise underway on future engagement with Non-Constituent Authorities.

20.

Appointment of SYPTE Non-Executive Director pdf icon PDF 84 KB

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Minutes:

A report was presented for Members to consider the appointment of a Non-Executive Director of the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive

 

Members noted the requirement by law for the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive to have between two and eight Directors appointed by the Combined Authority.  At present there were eight Directors (two PTE employed directors and six non-executive positions) with each South Yorkshire District and the SCR Mayoral Combined Authority having one senior transport officer appointed and the Chief Executive of Barnsley MBC chairing the Board.

 

RESOLVED – That Members agreed that Dan Swaine, the newly appointed Director of Economy and Environment of Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council be appointed as a Non-Executive Director of the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive.

21.

Assurance and Monitoring & Evaluation Framework pdf icon PDF 192 KB

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Minutes:

A report was submitted which updated the Members on the policy updates that the MCA was required to conclude prior to the end of the financial year; namely the Assurance Framework and the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.  The report also highlighted any known issues that were to be addressed and provided an indicative timeline which highlighted when further detailed information would be presented for Members’ consideration and decision making.

 

RESOLVED – That Members:-

 

i.        Considered the documents and policies to be updated and the indicative timeline for progression to the MCA Boards and on to National Government.

Reviewed the draft Monitoring and Evaluation Framework and provided feedback on any additional developments that Members would wish to be considered.

22.

Delegated Authority Report pdf icon PDF 82 KB

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Minutes:

A report was presented which provided Members with an update on the decisions and delegations made by the MCA which were in addition to those made under the Scheme of Delegation, and the decisions and delegations made by the Thematic Boards.

 

RESOLVED – That Members noted the decisions and delegations made.

23.

Mayoral Remuneration pdf icon PDF 137 KB

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Minutes:

At this point in the meeting the Mayor had left the room and

Councillor Sir Houghton CBE took over the role of Chair of the meeting.

 

A report was submitted to propose the recommended level of remuneration/allowance for the role Elected Mayor and for the MCA to determine the level of allowance payable to the Mayor.  The Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority (Functions and Amendment) Order 2020 provided that the MCA could pay an allowance for the role of Mayor and Deputy Mayor following consideration of a report produced by an Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP).  This aligned the SCR MCA to all other MCA areas.

 

Councillor Sir Houghton CBE reiterated that the Mayor did not intend to take the Mayoral remuneration but that instead this would be utilised to support good causes within South Yorkshire.

 

 RESOLVED – That Members:-

 

i.       Endorsed the establishment of the Independent Remuneration Panel    and that their reasonable time commitment be remunerated.

ii.      Determined the remuneration payable to the incumbent Mayor considering the Independent Remuneration Panel’s recommendation that the appropriate allowance payable for the role of City Region Mayor was £79,000.

iii.   Agreed that the allowance would be payable from 28 July 2021 being the date that the legislation allowed an allowance to be payable from.

iii.      iv.   Agreed that no allowance would be paid for the Deputy Mayor role.

v.   Agreed that the remuneration be reviewed in April 2023 and every 4 years thereafter.

 

24.

Freeport Bid Submission

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