Agenda and draft minutes

LCR Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 13th July, 2022 2.00 pm

Venue: Authority Chamber - No.1 Mann Island, Liverpool, L3 1BP. View directions

Contact: Lisa Backstrom 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Appointment of Chair for 2022/23

To appoint the Chair of the Liverpool City Region Overview and Scrutiny

Committee for 2022/23.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

          The Chief Legal and Monitoring Officer, Jill Coule opened the meeting and invited nominations for the appointment of Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for the 2022/23 Municipal Year.

 

          Councillor Steve Radford was nominated for the position of Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for the 2022/23 Municipal Year which was agreed by the Committee.

 

          RESOLVED - That Councillor Steve Radford be appointed Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for 2022/23

 

Councillor Steve Radford

Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee

(in the chair)

 

 

 

 

2.

Appointment of Vice-Chair for 2022/23

To appoint the Vice-Chair of the Liverpool City Region Overview and Scrutiny

Committee for 2022/23.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

          The Chair, Councillor Steve Radford invited nominations for the appointment of Vice Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for the 2022/23 Municipal Year.

 

          Councillor Pat Moloney was nominated for the position of Vice-Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for the 2022/23 Municipal Year which was agreed by the Committee.

 

          RESOLVED - That Councillor Pat Moloney be appointed Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for 2022/23.

 

 

 

 

         

 

 

3.

Chair's Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Chair of the Committee, Councillor Steve Radford reported that the following Councillors were not re-appointed to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and wished to place on record a formal vote of thanks to those Members for their service on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee in 2021/22:-

 

            Councillors Michael Haw, Patrick Hurley, Adrian Jones, Dennis McDonnell, John Morgan, Geoff Pearl, Anna Rothery and Sir Ron Watson CBE.

            The Chair also took the opportunity to welcome the following newly appointed Councillors to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee:-

            Councillors Robert Austin, George Davies, Sam Gorst and Brian Spencer.

 

 

 

4.

Apologies for absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

          Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Edna Finneran, Julie McManus and Brian Spencer.

 

 

5.

Declarations of Interest

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest received.

6.

Minutes of the meetings held on 20 January 2022 and 12 April 2022 pdf icon PDF 184 KB

To consider the minutes of the meeting of the Liverpool City Region Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 20 January 2022 and the inquorate meeting of the Committee held on 12 April 2022.

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

          The minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 20 January 2022 and the notes of the inquorate meeting held on 12 April 2022 were approved as a correct record.

 

 

 

 

7.

Verbal Update from Metro Mayor S Rotheram

The Committee will receive a verbal update from Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, echoed the sentiments of the Chair with regard to the retiring and new Members.  He indicated that his update would be brief but members could contact him separately if they had questions that was unable to answer at the meeting.

 

            The Metro Mayor updated on his activities since the previous meeting, including and significant milestones.

 

            He reported that the second iteration of the ‘Community Environment Fund’ awarded grants to a total of 38 projects from the budget of £0.5m. It was a huge success the first time around as it connected individuals with their local communities and encouraged action at a ‘grassroots level’ to tackle climate change. He advised that he had contacted Councillors who had successful projects in their area and he hoped to visit as many of those projects as possible to in the coming months.

 

            The Metro Mayor moved on to talk about transport.  He referred to the recent issues with Merseyrail trains and cancellations on the network due to wheel bearing faults.  There had been a higher than usual number of faults within a short timeframe. Services were now back to normal but the Metro Mayor had asked for a thorough investigation to be carried out to ensure that lessons could be learned for the future.

 

            The Metro Mayor added that these issues with the old Merseyrail fleet highlighted the importance of getting the new trains operational as quickly as possible. Over the next few months the old trains would be replaced with a state of the art fleet of new trains which were the most accessible in the whole Country. He reported that talks had concluded and an agreement reached between Merseyrail and the RMT Union for the second person to be on board every train when they come into service and the method of dispatch of those trains. This represented real progress and meant that the roll-out of the new trains across the network by the end of the year.

 

            The Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram referred to his recent announcement regarding the capped bus fares to take effect later in the year.  The £2 was to encourage the use of buses in the City Region. He mentioned his aspirations for a ‘London style’ integrated public transport system as a genuine quality alternative to the car and expressed his disappointment at the recent announcement by some Bus Companies regarding cutting back services. This was as a result of the government's Bus Services Support Programme funding coming to an end in the next few months.  With the cost of living crisis, it was likely that more people would need to use public transport so reducing the cost of bus fares would provide support over the next three years as part of the Bus Service Improvement Plan.

 

            The Metro Mayor reported that he had been visiting different areas around the City Region was due to attend the opening of the brand new Shakespeare of the North Theatre in Prescot, a 450 seat  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Appointments of Scrutiny Members to the Audit and Governance Committee 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 139 KB

To consider the report of the Monitoring Officer.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

          The Committee considered the report of the Monitoring Officer relating to the appointment of scrutiny members to the Liverpool City Region Audit and Governance Committee for 2021/22.

 

          Jill Coule, Chief Legal and Monitoring Officer reported that nominations were sought for four members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee comprising of two Labour Councillors, one Liberal Democrat Councillor and one Conservative Councillor to sit on the Audit and Governance Committee for 2022/23.  In addition, nominations were also sought for four substitute members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee comprising of two Labour Councillors, one Liberal Democrat Councillor and one Conservative Councillor.

 

          It was reported that a nominated was awaited from the LCR Conservative Group so this position was currently vacant.

 

          The following Councillors were nominated for appointment as Members and Substitute Members of the Audit and Governance Committee for 2022/23:-

 

Members

Labour – Councillors Edna Finneran and James Hansen

Liberal Democrat – Councillor Pat Moloney

Conservative – Councillor David Burgess-Joyce

 

Substitute Members

Labour – Councillors Robert Austin and Tricia O’Brien

Liberal Democrat – Councillor Brian Spencer

Conservative – LCR Conservative Group nomination

 

          RESOLVED – That the following members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee be appointed to the Audit and Governance Committee for 2022/23:-

 

Members

Labour – Councillors Edna Finneran and James Hansen

Liberal Democrat – Councillor Pat Moloney

Conservative – Councillor David Burgess-Joyce

 

Substitute Members

Labour – Councillors Robert Austin and Tina O’Brien

Liberal Democrat – Councillor Brian Spencer

Conservative – LCR Conservative Group nomination

 

9.

LCR Overview and Scrutiny Committee Workprogramme 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 230 KB

To consider the report of the Statutory Scrutiny Officer.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered the report of the Statutory Scrutiny Officer which sought consideration of proposals which would inform the development of the Committee’s work programme for 2022/23.

 

            Jill Coule, Chief Legal and Monitoring Officer presented the report and referred to the Appendix to the report which detailed the proposed work programme. The programme was drafted following the remote work planning session held on 29 June 2022 and information rolling forward from previous Committee meetings by way of progress updates.

 

            Members of the Committee were asked if they wished to comment on the content of the programme.

 

            Councillor Christine Howard asked if any member or group had a request to add topics to the work programme during the year could that be raised through Officers.

 

            The Chair, Councillor Radford was comfortable with members adding to the work programme during the year but felt it was appropriate for this to be discussed through the Chair, Vice-Chair and Labour Group spokesperson in order to maintain balance of items on agendas.

 

            Jill Coule, Chief Legal and Monitoring Officer advised that there was an opportunity for an agenda setting process where items for the work programme or specific meetings were discussed prior to consideration by the Committee which would involve Councillor Howard as the nomination spokesperson for the Labour Group.

 

            Councillor Howard was supportive of this process and asked for a schedule for the agenda setting meetings.

 

            Jill Coule responded that now that positions had been allocated the meetings could be arranged.

 

            The Chair, Councillor Radford also invited feedback from the Conservative Group.

 

            Councillor David Burgess-Joyce thanked the Chair and supported Councillor Howard’s point. 

 

            The Chair indicated that he wished to create a flexible but balanced approach and welcomed feedback from group members.

 

            RESOLVED – That the work programme for 2022/23 be agreed.

 

10.

Apprenticeship Task and Finish Group - Final Report pdf icon PDF 239 KB

To consider the report of the Statutory Scrutiny Officer.

 

                                                                       

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered the report of the Statutory Scrutiny Officer which set out the report of the Apprenticeship Task and Finish Group for consideration and endorsement ahead of submission to the Combined Authority.

 

            Rob Tabb, Policy Lead for Employment and Skills provided a brief overview as the report was discussed in detail at the previous inquorate meeting of the Committee in April 2022.  The notes of that discussion was set out in detail in the agenda papers.  He proceeded to highlight the following:-

 

·         The report looked Apprenticeships at the time of Covid in April 2021, the challenges and issues and what could be done to address those;

·         A number of issues were situational and context specific and things had moved on since then,  but some remain long standing; and

·         The conclusions to the recommendations were summarised into two particular areas – communication and promotion and data and monitoring and these were set out in paragraphs 3.5 and 3.9 of the report.

 

            Rob Tabb advised that the recommendations of the Task and Finish group were set out in section three of the report. Subject to approval by the Committee, the report would be submitted to the Combined Authority for consideration at a future meeting and an implementation plan would then be developed. The Committee would then consider an update report in September 2022.

 

            The Chair thanked the Members and Officers involved in the working group.

 

RESOLVED - That:

 

(i)        the report and recommendations of the Task and Finish Group on Apprenticeships be endorsed; and

 

(ii)       that  the recommendations be considered at a future meeting of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

 

 

 

11.

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Corporate Plan 2021-24 Q4 Performance Report 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 664 KB

this report provides an update on the LCRCA Corporate Plan 2021-24 for the period up to Quarter 2 2021/22

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered the report of the Executive Director of Corporate Services and the Portfolio Holder for Policy, Reform and Resources which provided an overview of the performance of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Corporate Plan 2021-24 for Quarter 4 and provided an indication of any key risks to performance during the year.

 

            The report also included the following elements:-

 

·                performance against the 5 Corporate Plan Priorities and Developing our Organisation for Quarter 4 2021/22; and

·                report performance against the Corporate Performance Measures for Quarter 4 2021/22.

 

Stephen Littler, Corporate Performance and Research Manager advised

that the next report would be considered by the Committee in January 2023 as reporting was now on a 6 monthly basis. At the end of the first year of reporting the position was healthy.  He added that the outcome was a new set of data and a new monitoring and evaluation framework was being developed.e added

 

 

            Councillor Trisha Long referred to page 77, paragraphs 5.3 and 5.5. She expected there to be more detail included in relation to climate change and social value, given that they were important issues.

 

            Stephen Littler advised that it was possible to get a fuller picture and there was now a specific report on social value as a separate activity. Work was taking place to improve on those elements of reporting

 

            Jill Coule provided assurance that each of the activities in the Plan captured those elements as it weaved through each priority. It may be possible to provide something more topical to reassure members on that particular point.

 

            Councillor David Burgess-Joyce referred to page 75 and light of the Metro Mayor’s earlier comments could there be a potential for performance on the Cleaner priority to be affected as a result of external influence beyond his control.  Also in relation to the multitude of colours which were somewhat confusing.

 

            Stephen Littler took the comments in relation to colours on board.  In respect of the cleaner priority, there were a huge variety of different projects, some were progressing well and some not. Transport was privately operated and now that we had a Combined Authority, the Metro Mayor was able to influence and push things harder. He indicated that he could share the data which sat underneath.

 

Councillor Christine Howard referred to RAG status and where it stated that there was no data. She asked what was being put in place over next year to ensure the data was available.

 

            Stephen Littler indicated that comments from the Committee enabled him to question why the data wasn’t available and for systems to be put in place to enable more monitoring and evaluation. A new framework was being developed for consideration by the Executive Leadership Team which involved a much more thorough look at data collection and monitoring.

 

            Councillor Pat Moloney referred to the Hydrogen Bus Project and the unsuccessful Zebra bid and asked for more detail on it. He also mentioned the prototypes which would be available  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) pdf icon PDF 299 KB

To consider the report of the Executive Director for Investment and Delivery

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered the report of the Executive Director for Investment and Delivery and the Portfolio Holder for Policy, Reform and Resources which set out the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities (DLUHC) allocation of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) to the Liverpool City Region.  The report also set out the Liverpool City Region (LCR) Combined Authority’s Investment Plan in response to that allocation.

 

            Raph Miller, Assistant Director, Investment informed the Committee that the UKSPF was a replacement for former European Union funding streams which the LCR were previously in receipt of.   UKSPF was a key funding source to support the UK Government’s Levelling up agenda. The regional allocation represented a loss in funding of around 45% for the LCR in comparison to the previous European Structural Investment Funds. He also referred to the ‘Multiply’ Programme which aimed to improve adult numeracy across the Country funding for which was part of the UKSPF allocation.

 

            Raph Miller advised that the Combined Authority was required to submit an Investment Plan to the Government for approval by 31 August 2022 with an anticipated approval date of October 2022 and the plan was detailed at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

            Questions/comments were invited from Members of the Committee.

 

            Councillor Tricia O’Brien asked how far down into community would this funding actually get into in practice. In relation to the ‘Multiply scheme’, consultation was mentioned. Had there been any consultation with local Councillors and how was the message going to reach the Community.

 

            Rob Tabb, Lead Officer for Employment and Skills who was involved in the development of the ‘Multiply’ programme recognised that it had come forward at short notice so there had not been a full extensive consultation as would take place usually. There were four online and in person events online for ‘Multiply’, in addition to those consulted on UKSPF.

 

            Rob Tabb agreed with the point about messaging was right. Feedback received indicated that it was more effective getting to where people were was critical. As well as the local Voluntary and Community Sector, many Local Authorities had existing family learning delivery. Once that provision was added to, communication would take place with elected members across the City Region to help get the information out.  

 

            Councillor David Burgess-Joyce referred to page 147 of the agenda papers and expressed his disappointment in the figures. Was anything being put in place to support start-up businesses to continue.

 

            Raph Miller responded and highlighted it as a key challenge with poor business survival rates and how can we improve businesses’ opportunities to survive and grow. Engagement was taking place with Chambers of Commerce, Federation of Small businesses and the CBI as part of the consultation process but it was also about how the plan was implemented was just as important.

 

            Councillor Pat Moloney asked about the shortfall in funding per annum which he suggested was around £15 - £18m and did that include inflation.

 

            Raph Miller thought the figures were correct and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

The Liverpool City Region Spatial Development Strategy Engagement Proposals pdf icon PDF 228 KB

To consider the report of the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Spatial Planning and the Executive Director for Policy, Strategy and Government Relations.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered the report of the Executive Director for Policy, Strategy and Government Relations and the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Spatial Planning which set out the progress of the Liverpool City Region Spatial Development Strategy (SDS) to date and the proposals for the next non-statutory engagement process.

 

            The Chair, Councillor Steve Radford asked for reports to be clearer and written in plain English as he found that the content of the report was hard to follow, even though he had some experience with planning matters

 

            Jill Coule, Chief Legal and Monitoring Officer informed the Committee that this report was about the process in relation to the SDS which was one of the few statutory functions which the Combined Authority was legislated to carry out. She undertook to feedback on the comments regarding the clarity of the report.

 

            Jill Coule advised that as part of the Corporate Plan a strategy would be submitted to Government by the end of the three year period. As part of the journey, a number of non-statutory consultations were being carried out by in order to make the process as accessible and inclusive as possible in its formative stage.  She added that the Combined Authority had won awards for its earlier engagement on the SDS.

 

            Jill Coule added that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee would be involved in the process of the development of the strategy in the future as part of the statutory consultation. At this stage the Committee would be provided with briefings to inform the process.  It was also an opportunity to look at planning differently and include by design climate change and social value.

 

            Jill Coule indicated that she would be able to answer any ‘process’ questions that members may have or any ‘content’  questions could be forward to Mark Dickens, Lead Officer for Spatial Planning to respond.  There was also the option to include this item in the Committee’s work programme going forward.

 

            Councillor Tricia O’Brien indicated that she would like to be briefed.  She also suggested that list of acronyms would be helpful when reading through the report.  She asked who the ‘cohort of respondents’ were going to be.

 

            Jill Coule responded and advised that she could ask Mark Dickens to provide a breakdown of the engagement undertaken so far which included sections of the community who would not ordinarily be included in the consultation and reached out to specific groups.  She undertook to ask Mark Dickens to provide this information to members.

 

            Councillor Mancyia Uddin asked about the award winning engagement process, in particular what that involved so that information could be utlised by the LCR Constituent Local Authorities.

 

            Jill Coule advised that engagement was undertaken with a number of groups face to face, in particular elderly residents and representatives from minority ethnic groups.  A specific consultant was used for the engagement process in order to make the process accessible for different groups. Again, she undertook to ask Mark Dickens to prepare some information  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Chair's Closing remarks

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Chair, Councillor Steve Radford referred to a request from an elected member to look at the timing of Committee meetings.

 

            Councillor Radford indicated that a through consultation had taken place regarding venues and timings with the agreement for meetings to take place on Wednesdays at 2pm. He asked if anyone had additional comments or feedback regarding this to communicate those to Officers.

 

            The Chair concluded by stating that the date of the next meeting was Wednesday, 7 September at 2pm in the Authority Chamber, Mann Island and he looked forward to seeing everybody on that date.