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To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 4 September 2017.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 4 September 2017 be approved as a correct record.
To consider the attached report.
Contact Officer: Claire Britton 01296 585471
Members were provided an update on the Strategic Economic Plans prepared by South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) and Bucks Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (BTVLEP). The item was attended by Paul Thompson from SEMLEP and Hilary Chipping, Deputy CEO and Head of Infrastructure at SEMLEP. The report outlined background information on the creation of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) by the Coalition Government in 2010. Aylesbury Vale was covered by two separate LEPs which included other local authorities:
SEMLEP – Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire, Cherwell, Corby, Daventry, Kettering, Luton, Milton Keynes, Northampton and South Northants
BTVLEP – Wycombe, Chiltern and South Buckinghamshire and Buckinghamshire County Council
A Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) 2015-2020 had been submitted to Government by SEMLEP in March 2014 and had received £79m investment from 2015/16 as part of a Local Growth Deal.
In 2016, Government asked LEPs to consider refreshing their SEPs which BTVLEP did in an updated strategy document in November 2016 entitled ‘Sustainable Economic Growth in the Entrepreneurial Heart of Britain’. This update covered the period 2016-2031 and took into account the changing planning and infrastructure landscape with increased housing allocations, HS2, Oxford to Cambridge Expressway, East West Rail and the Aylesbury Vale Enterprise Zones. The updated SEP outlined the four main strategic priorities which were as follows:
· Business Growth and Innovation
· Skills and Talent
· Town Centre Regeneration
The BTVLEP Strategic Economic Plan had been designed to a high strategic level and was more concise than previous versions and Members were advised that the full plan could be found at the following link: https://www.buckstvlep.co.uk/about-btv/strategic-economic-plan
SEMLEP had been preparing an updated SEP for publication on 8 November 2017 and the update was presented by the SEMLEP representatives to Committee Members ahead of its publication. The update would be available for public viewing from 8 November at http://www.semlep.com/our-strategy/. This emerging SEP outlined the intention to focus on growing businesses, people and places in order to build a premier location for growth, innovation, creativity and world leading technologies. These three areas of activity coincided with Government initiatives and policy statements, including the ten pillars published in the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper and Housing White Paper.
For growing business, SEMLEP wanted to deliver commercial innovation within the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford Corridor. There were already relevant assets in place for this such as the Silverstone circuit and technology cluster, Nissan’s European Technical Centre and the Aerospace Technology Institute at Cranfield, and the Transport Systems Catapult in Milton Keynes. SEMLEP wanted to add new and emerging technologies to the Corridor, one of which was the SEMLEP-supported MUEAVI project which would create a mile of new road to test autonomous vehicles. It was also reported that SEMLEP’s track record from 2010/11-2012/13 showed that Higher Education Institutions in the South East received 79% of their contract research income from large businesses which is nearly 2.5 times the share for England as a whole. The area had broad appeal for various reasons including transport network, local ... view the full minutes text for item 2.
To consider the attached report.
Contact Officer: Tracey Aldworth 01296 585003
A report was received by the Committee which provided an update on the progress of the Connected Counties Broadband Programme. A presentation was also provided by Navin Sankersingh, the Programme Manager from Bucks Business First, which documented the latest activity from Connected Counties. Broadband coverage had increased across the County from 72.4% in Q1 of 2013/14 to 88.3% by the end of the first roll out phase in March 2016. By the end of financial year 2015/16 Aylesbury Vale had 82.9% coverage for superfast broadband (>24Mbps) and this had increased to 89.2% by October 2017. Ultrafast coverage (>100Mbps) stood currently at 44.23%. The first phase gain share total was £868k which was an amount generated for reinvestment into the programme.
Connected Counties and BT had carried out modelling across Buckinghamshire and BT had responded in March 2017. Aylesbury Vale was expected to have better broadband provided to 3,400 premises with at least 2,300 of those having access to superfast broadband. With this, fibre broadband coverage would increase by 4.2% which would take the District’s coverage to 97% by December 2019. A list of areas that this would impact was provided to Members. Connected Counties believed that not all areas on their preference list had been included in BT’s response but the expectation was that the contract would be amended to reflect that some areas had now been covered by other providers. Much of the Vale’s coverage was scheduled to be implemented in the second programme phase which would be from late 2018 to December 2019.
Members also heard about the challenges of obtaining funds to connect the last 5-6% of Aylesbury Vale. Options included public funding through LEPs or DEFRA, community funding, shared funding and commercial funding. The funding approach would vary for each area within the Vale that needed connectivity so the best mix of funding would be need to be addressed.
Members sought further information and were advised that:-
i. Plans to connect areas in Berryfields and Buckingham Park would be completed through cabinet installations in September 2018. However, some areas would not be able to obtain fibre.
ii. Connected Counties worked with Aylesbury Vale Broadband and other providers to avoid overlap.
iii. It was not unusual for BT to underestimate their take up figures which affected coverage of areas. Government had challenged BT on their calculation figure model.
iv. Postcode coverage had been ‘stamped’ in 2014 which had affected new builds from that date. Some developers had retrofitted fibre in areas to meet demand.
v. Connected Counties wanted ultrafast available to all homes but were limited due to BT’s cabinet installations.
vi. Some authorities had implemented broadband Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
vii. Effective spending would help ease the funding mix, examples of which included ducting installation underneath pavements that were already dug up for other works or repairs to be carried out.
viii. It was recommended any resident with issues relating to being tied in to a supplier as part of a new build ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
To consider the future work programme. Meetings are scheduled as follows:-
22 November 2017: Aylesbury Town Centre Plan Update
AVE Business Plan
Aylesbury Vale Broadband Update report
17 January 2018: No items yet.
13 March 2018: No items yet.
The upcoming work programme for items coming to Scrutiny was considered as per the agenda. Officers would check the status of reports that were scheduled to come to Committee in 22 November 2017.
Members were given a brief update on Aylesbury Vale Broadband and were advised that a report would come to Committee when it was ready. The Committee commented that there might be merit in inviting Mr Mills to a future Scrutiny meeting.
That the situation regarding the work programme be noted.