Agenda and minutes

Economic Prosperity Sub Committee - Tuesday, 22nd March, 2022 6.00 pm

Venue: Room 0.01, Quadrant, The Silverlink North, Cobalt Business Park, NE27 0BY

Contact: Michael Robson  Email: democraticsupport@northtyneside.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

EP26/21

Appointment of Substitute Members

To be notified of the appointment of any Substitute Members.

Minutes:

There were no substitute members reported.

EP27/21

Declarations of Interest and Dispensations

You are invited to declare any registerable and/or nonregisterable interests in matters appearing on the agenda, and the nature of that interest.

 

You are also invited to disclose any dispensation in relation to any registerable interests that have been granted to you in respect of any matters appearing on the agenda.

 

You are also requested to complete the Declarations of Interests card available at the meeting and return it to the Democratic Services Officer before leaving the meeting.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest or dispensations reported.

EP28/21

Minutes pdf icon PDF 113 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting held on 25 January 2022.

Minutes:

Resolved that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 25 January 2022 be confirmed and signed by the Chair.

EP29/21

Green Skills Sub Group pdf icon PDF 62 KB

To receive an update on the work of the Green Skills Sub Group.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report which provided an update on the work of the Sub-group.  It was explained that the Sub-group had reviewed the evidence that it had received to date and had formulated its preliminary findings and conclusions but it had decided to hold a further meeting with training providers prior to the preparation of the final report.

 

It was suggested that there might be a need to hold an additional meeting of the sub-committee to consider the final report prior to its submission to the Overview, Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee and then Cabinet.

 

It was agreed that the Chair liaise with Members should a further meeting be required.

 

EP30/21

The State of the North Tyneside Economy pdf icon PDF 13 KB

To examine a dashboard of data providing an indication of the state of the economy in North Tyneside.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The sub-committee was presented with data which provided an indication of the state of the economy in North Tyneside.  The data included the numbers of people claiming Universal Credit, the number of employments furloughed, the town centre vacancy rate, the number of job advertisements, levels of earnings and qualifications within the population and new business start-ups.  A number of the data elements had been compared with those of other regions across England.

 

In addition, in response to members requests at the previous meeting, data had also been provided in relation to the number of sole traders setting up in business, the rates of vacant properties in the retail parks and the numbers of apprenticeships.

 

It was suggested that it would be helpful to have comparative information on the state of the economy as it was now and how it was prior to the pandemic and the impact of the Council’s policies.  Officers agreed to provide this information to a future meeting   

 

Members sought clarification in relation to the spike in February of the 7-day Covid infection rate per 100,000 of the population and were advised that the reasons for this would be checked with the policy team.  Consideration was given as to whether the slides in relation to Covid rates were still needed and it was agreed that they would be provided at the next meeting and further consideration be given at that time.  It was suggested that the data in relation to employments on furlough could be discontinued as it was no longer applicable due to the ending of the furlough scheme.

 

Reference was also made to the information contained in the new slide in relation to the number of new sole trader start-ups which was down on previous years and lower than had been expected.  

 

It was Agreed that the update be noted.

 

EP31/21

Bus Partnership and Bus Services pdf icon PDF 125 KB

To examine the progress made on the development of an Enhanced Bus Partnership and forthcoming changes to bus services in the borough.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The sub-committee received a report which provided an update on the work which had been undertaken at regional level to develop an Enhanced Partnership for bus service changes within the borough.

 

It was explained that in March 2021 the Government had announced that future funding for bus services had been dependent on local authorities and bus operators participating in new arrangements including the development of an Enhanced Partnership (EP) with bus operators.  Each area had also been required to develop a Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP).  The 7 authority areas covered by the North of Tyne and North East Combined Authorities had a single Joint Transport Committee which had approved the North East’s BSIP in October 2021.  The BSIP had also included a bid for £804M funding to transform bus services in the region.

 

In November 2021 the Deputy Mayor, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources and appropriate Directors had been authorised to approve the Enhanced Partnership plan and scheme for consultation and to agree any amendments to the plan and scheme following the conclusion of the consultation exercise.

 

Each area was required to share a draft EP plan and scheme with the Department of Transport (DfT) by the end of April 2022.  Once the plan and scheme has been considered and finalised with the DfT formal consultation with the public and bus operators would be carried out prior to the EP plan and scheme being approved.

 

It was noted that bus usage had not returned to pre-Covid levels and the Covid grant support funding for bus operators had been extended to October 2022.  Details of the changes being made to bus services in the area by the bus operators from the 27 March 2022 were outlined.  It was explained that Nexus and the bus operators had worked together and the changes had been timed to accord with the changes that Nexus had made to the secured bus services. 

 

Reference was made to the implications of high fuel costs and whether this was expected to lead to an increase in demand for the use of public transport and more active travel, such as cycling.  It was explained that whilst it would be a personal choice to use public transport there were several issues which would need to be addressed to encourage more people out of their cars, including addressing safety concerns, encouraging concessionary pass holders to make more use of their passes and improving the information available to the public about bus and Metro services.     It was suggested that the appropriate Cabinet member and a representative of Nexus or the Joint Transport Committee be invited to a future meeting to provide an update on public transport in the borough.

 

It was suggested that there was a perception that there had been an uncoordinated approach to the provision of bus shelters in the borough.  Reference was made to bus shelters being installed in locations that had recently had bus routes that used the bus stop either ended  ...  view the full minutes text for item EP31/21