Agenda and draft minutes

Scrutiny Board (Infrastructure, Investment & Inclusive Growth) - Wednesday, 15th June, 2022 10.30 am

Venue: Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR. View directions

Contact: Becky Atherton (0113 37 88642)  Email: Becky.atherton@leeds.gov.uk

Link: to View Meeting Recording

Items
No. Item

1.

APPEALS AGAINST REFUSAL OF INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS

To consider any appeals in accordance with Procedure Rule 25 of the Access to Information Rules (in the event of an Appeal the press and public will be excluded)

Minutes:

There were no appeals.

2.

Exempt Information - Possible Exclusion of the Press and Public

1  To highlight reports or appendices which officers have identified as containing exempt information, and where officers consider that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information, for the reasons outlined in the report.

 

2  To consider whether or not to accept the officers recommendation in respect of the above information.

 

3  If so, to formally pass the following resolution:-

 

  RESOLVED – That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following parts of the agenda designated as containing exempt information on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information, as follows:-

 

 

Minutes:

There were no exemptions.

3.

Late Items

To identify items which have been admitted to the agenda by the Chair for consideration.

 

(The special circumstances shall be specified in the minutes.)

Minutes:

There were no late items.

4.

Declarations of Interests

To disclose or draw attention to any interests in accordance with Leeds City Council’s ‘Councillor Code of Conduct’.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

5.

Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitutes

To receive any apologies for absence and notification of substitutes.

 

Minutes:

The following apologies were noted:

-   Cllr J Pryor (Executive Member) in relation to item 9

-  Jonathan Moxon (Flood Risk Manager) in relation to item 10

6.

Minutes - 6 April 2022 pdf icon PDF 152 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the minutes of the meeting held on 6 April 2022.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the 6 April 2022 were agreed as an accurate record.

 

The Chair confirmed that the KSI Inquiry Report, referred to in minute 71, would be considered at the meeting of the Board on 13 July 2022.

7.

Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 408 KB

To consider the Scrutiny Board’s Terms of Reference as presented in the report of the Head of Democratic Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members noted the 2022/23 Terms of Reference for the five Scrutiny Boards, as agreed at the Annual General Meeting of Council on 26 May 2022.

8.

Co-Opted Members pdf icon PDF 413 KB

To consider the appointment of co-opted members to the Scrutiny Board (Infrastructure, Investment and Inclusive Growth).

Minutes:

The Board considered the provision to appoint co-opt members to the Scrutiny Board. It was agreed that the Scrutiny Board would not seek to appoint co-opted members at this time.

9.

Performance Report pdf icon PDF 411 KB

To consider the report of the Director of City Development, which presents a summary of 2021/22 performance data. This report provides an update on progress in delivering the relevant priorities in the Best Council Plan.  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a summary of progress towards a suite of key performance indicators (KPIs), reflecting the ambitions of the Best Council Plan and relevant to the remit of the Infrastructure, Investment and Inclusive Growth Scrutiny Board.

 

The information reflected performance in quarter 4 of 2021/22 or, where that was not available, the most up to date information. 

 

The following attended the Scrutiny Board for this discussion:

 

Cllr Helen Hayden   – Executive Member

Martin Farrington   – Director, City Development

Tim Rollett   – Intelligence and Performance Manager

Eve Roodhouse   – Head of Economic Policy

Gary Bartlett   – Chief Office, Transportation and Highways

Heather Davies   – Principal Planning Policy Officer

 

The updated format of the performance report was discussed. Members were advised that current KPIs are being reviewed following the recent adoption of the Best City Ambition. Tim Rollett advised the Board that he is intending to discuss the initial outcomes of the performance review (revised set of KPIs and proposed changes to the report format) with Scrutiny Board Chairs. 

 

Members noted the importance of presenting contextual historical data to enable members to identify trends and to make meaningful comparisons between different years. Members highlighted the benefits of including comparative data from Core Cities and statistical neighbours where possible.

 

Martin Farrington provided an overview of performance data as set out in Appendix 1 of the Performance Update, including indicators such as employment in Leeds, business survival rates, delivery of affordable homes and the number of people killed or seriously injured in road traffic collisions.

 

The following matters were discussed by the Board:

 

-  New Business Start Ups (KPI 4): Clarity was sought about the method of determining the figures for new start-ups. The Board also discussed the impact on start-up rates of Covid restrictions at the start of the year and ongoing economic volatility.

 

-  Visitor Economic Impact (KPI 8): Members sought further information about predicted rates of economic recovery in Leeds.  In response, Eve Roodhouse highlighted a strong recovery in occupancy rates reported by Leeds Hotels and Venues Association, an increase in conference bookings and significant additional traffic to the Visit Leeds website. Trends in footfall at Leeds railway station were considered, as were vacancy rates for retail outlets in the city centre. It was noted that there is still work to be done to support some demographic groups to return to the city centre.

 

Clarity was sought about the impact of Covid-related grants on the local economy. Martin Farrington agreed to confirm the value of grants distributed to the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors.

 

-  Number of affordable homes delivered (KPI 13): The Board discussed the current number of new build homes in development and the anticipated dates of delivery. The challenges of land availability, procurement and viability were considered. Board members sought clarity as to the distinction between an annual target for delivery and the target relating to a historic backlog in delivery. Members were reassured that levels of foreseeable developments suggest Leeds will make ‘in roads’ into the backlog  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Referral to Scrutiny: Flood Risk Management (Kirkstall - Cllr Illingworth) pdf icon PDF 614 KB

To consider a referral to Scrutiny in the name of Cllr Illingworth, regarding flood risk management in Kirkstall.  

Minutes:

The Scrutiny Board considered a Referral to Scrutiny in the name of Cllr John Illingworth about the impact of aspects of Flood Alleviation Scheme 2 (FAS2) on Kirkstall residents.

 

The following people were in attendance for this item:

 

Cllr Helen Hayden   - Executive Member

Martin Farrington   - Director of City Development

Richard Dennis   - Civil Engineering Manager

Peter Charlesworth - Project Principal, BMMJV

 

Richard Dennis delivered a presentation providing an overview of the background to FAS1 and FAS2. The presentation highlighted the impact of the 2015 Boxing Day floods and the potential economic impact of such an event occurring in Leeds during the working week.

 

The Scrutiny Board was provided with the background to the phased approach to flood risk management adopted by Leeds City Council after 2015. The presentation included examples of cutting-edge technology such as moveable weirs, linear defences, and a flood storage area at Calverley, as well as natural flood management within the catchment of the River Aire.

 

Cllr Illingworth outlined his concerns about aspects of the FAS2 scheme in Kirkstall, which he proposed could offer scope for future learning and potentially strengthen aspects of the current programme.

 

Cllr Illingworth highlighted three general concerns about FAS2:

 

§  Flood storage:  Impact on the city’s overall flood storage capacity given the decision not to progress with proposals for storage at Rodley.

§  Sheet Steel Piling: Impact of the use of sheet steel piling on biodiversity.

§  Green space: A lost opportunity to release more green space in densely populated parts of the inner city by displacing economic activity to less populated areas.

 

Cllr Illingworth requested that further consideration be given to specific aspects of the scheme that have a direct impact on Kirkstall:

 

§  Flood storage capacity: Cllr Illingworth requested confirmation as to whether additional capacity has been identified to compensate for the “loss” of proposed storage at Rodley.

§  Kirkstall Meadows: Concerns were raised about the impact of retaining three rugby pitches in close proximity to a nature reserve.

§  Kirkstall Valley Farm and the adjacent allotment: Cllr Illingworth raised concern that new flood management mechanisms could increase the flood risk for the farm and allotments, potentially resulting in the contamination of the land with raw sewage and thereby risking the farm’s organic certification.

§  Flow control structure at Kirkstall Abbey: Reassurance was sought about the appearance and value for money that will be provided by a new flow controller at Kirkstall Abbey.

 

Richard Dennis responded by noting that the current flow control mechanism at Kirkstall Abbey is not suitable as a modern-day flood management asset. However, he reassured the Board that the current controller will be retained as a historical asset. The Board was informed Government funding allocated to FAS2 cannot be used for other purposes within a locality.

 

Officers clarified that there is an increased risk of flood depth at Kirkstall Valley Farm, as opposed to an increase in flood risk. The increase in flood depth would only occur  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Sources of Work pdf icon PDF 459 KB

To receive a report from the Head of Democratic Services on potential sources of work for the Scrutiny Board.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report from the Head of Democratic Services was noted by the Board and considered in conjunction with item 13.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the report be noted.

12.

Work Schedule pdf icon PDF 411 KB

To consider the Scrutiny Board’s work schedule for the 2022/23 municipal year.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

-  That the work programme be agreed.

 

-  That an update be requested for Board members on the Council’s response to Covid-19 and the action taken to support the city’s recovery, set within the context of delivering inclusive growth and tackling persistent inequalities (with the format of the update to be determined through consultation between officers and the Chair).

13.

Date and Time of Next Meeting

The next Scrutiny Board (Infrastructure, Investment & Inclusive Growth) meeting will take place on 13 July 2022 at 10am.

 

There will be a pre-meeting for members of the Board at 9.45am.

Minutes:

The next meeting of the Scrutiny Board will take place at 10am on 13 July 2022.