Agenda item - Greater Brighton Response to Industrial Strategy Green Paper

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Agenda item

Greater Brighton Response to Industrial Strategy Green Paper

Report of the Chair, Greater Brighton Officer Programme Board (copy attached).

Decision:

That the Board give retrospective approval to the Consultation Response, which was submitted to Government on 17 April 2017 in line with its deadline.

 

Minutes:

32.1      The Board considered a report of the Chair, Greater Brighton Officer Programme Board that provided the Board with the City Region’s consultation response to the Government’s Building Our Industrial Strategy Green Paper.

 

32.2      Nick Hibberd supplemented that officers had held meetings with the Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG) the previous day and had received a very positive response in relation to the work the Board was undertaking on Smart Growth and City Ambassadors.  DCLG had arranged to visit the Region to undertake an intensive piece of work in those areas.

 

32.3      Councillor Theobald welcomed the response but felt it could have addressed the severity of problems relating to rail travel between London and Brighton slightly more. Councillor Theobald stated that the route was one of the busiest in the country and a solution to the current situation was desperately needed.

 

32.4      Prof Humphris stated that she welcomed the response to the consultation and the Southern Accelerator descriptive term. Prof Humphris stated that the key to devolution was outstanding civic leadership and universities driving innovation.

 

32.5      Councillor Morgan noted that the Southern Accelerator had been his suggestion and reflected the importance of identity in order to compete with other devolved regions such as the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine. Councillor Morgan stated that the Region had achieved much success but it was time to raise performance and the use of City Ambassadors and Town Halls would go some way toward that.

 

32.6      Councillor Wall noted his support for the recommendations adding that it had never been a better time for the Region to move forward. Economic aspirations should continue to be made and the report needed to push the case for the Region forward.

 

32.7      Sue Dare noted that page 37 of the agenda referenced the intention of Greater Brighton Metropolitan College to establish proposals for the creation of an Institute of Technology (IoT) and Board support for that would be welcome and the application would need to be made shortly.

 

32.8      Andrew Swayne stated that the business community supported the approach and he felt the Southern Accelerator was a good step forward in terms of identity.

 

32.9      Prof Davies relayed the support from the University of Brighton for the proposals. The University had submitted its own response to the Green Paper and he would be happy to share that with fellow Board Members.

 

32.10   Councillor Parkin welcomed the report adding that it would be beneficial for government officials to meet the universities and business leaders during their scheduled visit.

 

32.11   Councillor Smith stated that investment in infrastructure was key to the region and should form the central part of the devolution process.

 

32.12   The Chair gave the following statement:

 

“At our last meeting, we agreed to commission a short piece of work to demonstrate the economic impact of the rail disruption on the Greater Brighton economy.  This proved exceptionally difficult to do in a short space of time: the impacts vary by sector and by geography; it is hard to verify the correlations and causes, and; businesses and people are finding ‘work arounds’.

Nonetheless, there is significant anecdotal evidence that the ongoing industrial action is having a harming effect on our residents’ wellbeing and livelihoods, on our businesses and on investor confidence.  I have therefore written, on behalf of the Board, to the Secretary of State for Transport to urge Government to do all that it can to encourage the relevant parties to work together to resolve the dispute expediently and ultimately move forward.  I also took the opportunity to reiterate the importance of the Brighton Mainline Upgrade project to increase capacity and reliability in the long-term, asking Government to recognise this critical route when setting its priorities for investment in the national rail network and associated infrastructure.

I have also written to the National Infrastructure Commission to supplement the ‘priorities map’ sent to them by the South East England Councils; outlining the importance of the Brighton Main Line, the M23 and Shoreham Port to the City Region economy.

Brighton & Hove City Council, in consultation with Transport for the South East partners, is currently exploring and developing the Rail South proposals put forward by Cllr Warren Morgan at our last meeting.  We will be receiving a report on the proposals at our next meeting, in July 2017”.

 

32.13   RESOLVED- That the Board give retrospective approval to the Consultation Response, which was submitted to Government on 17 April 2017 in line with its deadline.

Supporting documents:

 


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