Local Industrial Strategy Cover Report
- Meeting of Economy and Place Policy and Scrutiny Committee, Wednesday, 16 October 2019 5.30 pm (Item 25.)
This report informs Members of the developing Local Industrial Strategies (LIS) covering West Yorkshire, York and North Yorkshire and to outline where each Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is with their LIS and the opportunities for City of York Council to engage with the development process.
Members considered a report which informed them of the developing Local Industrial Strategies (LIS) covering West Yorkshire, York and North Yorkshire. The reports also outlined where each Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) was with their LIS and the opportunities for the council to engage with the development process.
The Chair advised that the representative from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) had been invited but was unable to attend the meeting. The Chief Operating Officer for York, North Yorkshire and East Riding (YNYER) LEP, City of York Council (CYC) Corporate Director Economy and Place and CYC Head of Economic Growth were in attendance at the meeting to participate in discussions.
The Chief Operating Officer for YNYER LEP explained the background to LIS in the national context, noting the cross cutting themes regionally which included a focus on the natural assets in terms of two national parks, the heritage assets in York and the North Yorkshire coast.
The Head of Economic Growth noted the different foci of the two LEPs and advised that consultation would inform the draft LIS to be submitted to the government at Christmas. The Corporate Director for Economy and Place reported that officers had made sure that York was represented in both LEPs. He was asked whether there had been an assessment of the risk of being forced to choose one LIS and stated that officers were not in a position to respond but in terms of the approach to central government would be led by Member decision making. As part of this, Members would be fully advised as part of their decision making process.
The Chief Operating Officer for YNYER LEP advised that the future success of the York and North Yorkshire geography was dependent on relationships between Leeds and the Humber. Whatever the outcome of Member decisions, the strength of the relationship with Leeds and Humber was the best it could be in terms of collaboration on a number of projects. He added that businesses would operate where there were opportunities for business and that people would go where the jobs were irrelevant of drawn boundaries.
The Head of Economic Growth was asked if there were any local authorities in a similar position to York and he confirmed that there were other local authorities both LEPS or in two LEPs having to make difficult decisions.
In response to a question concerning the merger talks, the Chief Operating Officer for YNYER LEP stated that the merger talks continued positively and as devolution talks continued, the LEP merger talks would continue at a similar pace. It was important that the LIS recognised the distinctive characteristics of places. Regarding the timeline for the merger, both LEPS were to hold board meetings by end of November. The challenge for both LEPs was the need to make sure their governance arrangements were compliant.
The Head of Economic Growth was asked whether there was scope to widen participation in economic development, for example through the establishment of an economic development partnership board. He explained the structure of the CYC Economic Growth Team and added that at the Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning’s Decision Session the following day there was a decision to be made concerning engagement with partners across the city regarding inclusive growth.
The Corporate Director for Economy and Place was asked about the breadth of input of York into Leeds LEP compared to YNYER LEP. He explained the scale of the two LEPs in terms of capacity adding that there was a light touch approach to the cultural side of both LEPS. He then explained the differences between the two LEPs noting that both had different styles.
A Member gave feedback on the opportunity for participation with Leeds LEP and the Chief Operating Officer for YNYER LEP offered to feed this back.
In response to a question on the health economy, the Chief Operating Officer for YNYER LEP responded that the sectoral opportunities for the health economy in the industrial strategy was related to the question of scale because in North Yorkshire, York was the big concentration of population whereas in West Yorkshire, York was a city on the edge of large urban conurbations. He added that York had been involved with Leeds LEP on discussions around health technology.
The Chief Operating Officer for YNYER LEP was asked where transport and HS2 fit in to the LIS. He explained that physical and digital connectivity was important to both and that the transfer to a Smart region was particularly important to physical connectivity, and needed to support environmental and climatic challenges that are around. He added that HS2 was part of discussions on connectivity around the wider region as part of the Northern Powerhouse, Transport for the North and other initiatives. He was then asked for an update on devolution and explained that there had been a change in government focus. He was asked and gave an update on clean growth as an area of commonality in the two draft LIS.
Resolved: That the information on the development of the Local Industrial Strategies for West Yorkshire, York, North Yorkshire and East Riding be noted.
Reason: To inform members about the development of the Local Industrial Strategies.