Agenda item - Chair's Communications
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20.1 The Chair provided the following communications:
“On behalf of the Board I would like to welcome Professor Adam Tickell. Adam is Vice Chancellor at the University of Sussex and replaces Michael Davies who stood down from the Board in the autumn. We look forward to working with Adam, as the partnership moves into an exciting new phase.
This is going to be Peter Webb’s last Board meeting as he will be stepping down as Coastal West Sussex representative after today. On behalf of the Board I would like to thank Peter for his contribution and we wish him well in his future endeavours.
I would like to thank everyone who attended the meeting on the 11 December for their time and input. For those not able to attend the meeting, thanks for making time to visit Andy and Clare or for speaking with Chris Paddock. The meeting and other discussions were crucial in us taking a big step forward in developing the Five Year Strategic Priorities for the Board, and the paper that we are going to discuss shortly would not have been possible without all of your contributions.
I am pleased to announce that Mid-Sussex, Adur, Worthing, Crawley and the other West Sussex councils have successfully applied to take part in a new Government pilot scheme. This allows them to reinvest growth in Business Rates to support the local economy. Under the pilot scheme, councils in West Sussex will be able to retain any increase in Business Rates locally, rather than passing it to Central Government. The funding will be held in a joint pool and the aim is for Councils to invest the money in digital infrastructure to support the rollout of Full Fibre connectivity across West Sussex. It is forecast that the additional business rates retained for investment locally could be £19m in 2019/20.
The Burgess Hill Growth Area achieved a significant milestone just before Christmas when the planning application for the whole of the Northern Arc was received. A further injection to the programme was also received from the LEP in the form of £10.9m to support improvements to sustainable transport and the public realm in Burgess Hill.
In December BMG Research, in partnership with the Institute of Employment Studies, were awarded the contract to deliver the Greater Brighton Business Survey. The survey represents the first time that the Board has engaged directly with the City Region business community and the aim is to survey 1,500 businesses of all sizes and across all sectors. The outputs and conclusions from the survey will help inform our future thinking in terms of business support and inward investment.
BMG Research will be undertaking the main survey in the early spring, but before that IES are undertaking desk research and stakeholder engagement to establish an evidence baseline and this will help to inform development of the main survey. This work is underway now and IES will be presenting the findings at our next Board meeting on 26 March.
The North Street Quarter development has received confirmation from the planning authority that the pre-commencement planning conditions for phase 1 of the scheme have been met. This is a big step forward in the scheme’s progress as work to prepare the ground for development can now begin. The majority of the phase 1 demolition will take place once a developer has been appointed later in the year”.