Agenda and draft minutes

Scrutiny Board (Infrastructure, Investment & Inclusive Growth) - Wednesday, 3rd April, 2024 10.30 am

Venue: Civic Hall, 1st Floor West,LS1 1UR

Contact: Becky Atherton (0113 37 88642)  Email:

Link: to View Meeting Recording

No. Item



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)


There were no appeals against refusal of inspection of documents.


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:-




There was no exempt information.


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.)


There were no late items.


Declarations of Interests

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


There were no declarations of interests.


Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitutes

To receive any apologies for absence and notification of substitutes.



Apologies were received from Cllrs S Lay and A Hussain.


Minutes - 28 February 2024 pdf icon PDF 220 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 28 February 2024.



RESOLVED: The minutes of the 28 February were approved.


Inclusive Growth Update pdf icon PDF 545 KB

To receive an update from the Chief Officer (Economy & Culture) on progress in delivering the ambitions of Leeds Inclusive Growth Strategy.


Information is also included in relation to the updated Social Progress Index 2024.

Additional documents:


The Chair introduced the item noting that the refreshed Inclusive Growth Strategy had been launched in September 2023. Members were advised that the update at the meeting would therefore provide an outline of some of the progress made since September 2023 in relation to the themes of the Strategy and its nine ‘big ideas.’ However, a full ‘one year on’ update will be provided in the Autumn.


The Chair noted that members of the Scrutiny Board had also previously asked to be kept updated on the development of the social progress index and recent changes top this took had therefore also been included in the accompanying report. 


Individuals in attendance for this item were:


-  Cllr Jonathan Pryor (Executive Member)

-  Eve Roodhouse (Chief Officer, Culture and Economy)

-  Grahame Ponton (Senior Economic Development Officer)


Eve Roodhouse delivered an introductory presentation, which included:


-  National, regional and local economic context

-  Delivery highlights since September 2023 including the Leeds Apprenticeship Fair, which attracted 11,000 visitors in February 2024.

-  Inclusive Growth Partnership events and progress with the Leeds Anchors network

-  The increasingly embedded approach to using the SPI to inform Council policy.

-  Updates to Leeds Social Progress Index

-  The overall SPI score for Leeds, scores for individual wards and trends in the dimension scores.


Cllr Marshall-Katung welcomed the progress set out in the report and presentation. She noted that she and Cllr Shahzad had attended the Leeds Apprenticeship Recruitment Fair on behalf of the Scrutiny Board.


The Chair further noted a previous request to consider the Council’s approach to adult skills as part of the 2024/25 work programme. It was confirmed this would be included in an annual update on the Future Talent Plan.


Clarification was sought as to when a business would be judged to be in “critical financial distress” as per the report from Begbies Traynor Group.  


Further information was sought about the number of young people not in employment or education due to long-term health conditions, including a more detailed age profile and the predominant nature of the health conditions reported.


Officers committed to providing further information at a future meeting but confirmed that they anticipate a correlation between those figures and known areas of deprivation where key stage 3 attainment is lower than in other areas of the city and the number of young people is growing more rapidly.


Members queried how the Council could work with anchors to explore how best to tackle barriers to work for some people with long term health conditions. Eve Roodhouse confirmed that work has begun to explore correlations between employment data and health data to identify where additional support could be most effectively targeted.


Eve informed the Scrutiny Board that the Anchors Executive Group is already looking at ways to share best practice – for example, in relation to supporting employees with mental health concerns. 


The Scrutiny Board considered trends in productivity and queried whether a return to more office-based work could contribute to improving the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 103.


100% Digital Leeds pdf icon PDF 735 KB

To receive an update on the progress of the 100% Digital Leeds programme since the last report to this Board in April 2023.



The Chair introduced the item, noting that the accompanying report provides an update on the 100% Digital programme since April 2023.


Those in attendance for this item were:


·  Jason Tutin (Head of 100% Digital Leeds)

·  Amy Hearn (Digital Inclusion Manager)


Amy Hearn delivered a presentation setting out the development of the 100% Digital Leeds team and its approach to digital inclusion. The presentation covered the following issues:


-  The potential of digital inclusion to deliver personal benefits for those who might be the least confident in the use of digital technology.

-  The estimated scale of digital exclusion in Leeds.

-  The community-based approach of the 100% Digital Leeds team.

-  The scale and location of the team’s community engagement across the city.

-  Quantitative indicators that illustrate the scale of activity of the 100% Digital Leeds team over the last 12 months.


Jason Tutin highlighted the importance of digital inclusion as an enabler in the context of the cost-of-living crisis. He provided illustrative examples of some of successes of the last 12 months including securing funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to support 3rd sector interventions, delivering support regarding online safety for Leeds Older People’s Forum, facilitating interventions to improve the functional numeracy skills of adults through the Multiply scheme and enabling the gifting of data to people identified as being in need.


Jason highlighted the importance of the convening role of 100% Digital Leeds in bringing partners and stakeholders together to identify funding, reduce duplication of resources and maximise the impact of available funding. He also outlined the way in which 100% Digital Leeds works with Leeds community Foundation and Leeds Digital Charity Ball to increase the funding available to third sector organisations to support digital inclusion.


Reflecting on the financial challenges facing citizens, public sector bodies and third sector partners, members queried whether this had impacted on how the team prioritises its work. In response, Jason advised the Board that the focus of the team has increasingly been on developing relationships with organisations that can provide more specific insights about where interventions could make the biggest difference to local people. He cited the Multiply programme as an example of where support can deliver immediate benefits for people but can also provide longevity of learning by enabling people to access digital devices on an ongoing basis.


Members queried how other organisations might be able to contact the team, particularly where they are based in communities where English may be a second language for many residents. Jason confirmed how organisations can contact the team and reiterated that introductory discussions are always welcomed.


Members sought clarity about the installation of the infrastructure required for superfast broadband and the rates of take up amongst residents. Jason noted the difficulty in accessing data about take up rates due to commercial sensitivity.


The Scrutiny Board explored links between digital access and employment and health inequalities. Jason advised the Scrutiny Board about ongoing research that is being led by University College London  ...  view the full minutes text for item 104.


End of Year Statement pdf icon PDF 333 KB

To receive a report from the Head of Democratic Services which presents the 2023/24 end of year statement for the Scrutiny Board (Infrastructure, Investment & Inclusive Growth) for consideration and approval.


Additional documents:


The Chair reminded colleagues that at the end of each municipal year, every Scrutiny Board publishes an end of year summary. The statements are published on the Council’s website and feed into the Annual Report on Scrutiny, which is considered at July’s Council meeting.


The summary includes the work programme for the municipal year with links to the meeting webpages and webcasts. It also includes a statement from the Chair reflecting on the key priorities of the Scrutiny Board over the last year.


The Chair reiterated her thanks to all of Board Members for their engagement and challenge over the last year – and noted this is also reflected in the summary. 




Members approved the publication of the Scrutiny Board’s end of year statement.



Work Schedule pdf icon PDF 331 KB

To consider the Scrutiny Board’s draft work schedule for the 2024/25 municipal year.

Additional documents:


Members were asked to note and recommend the draft work programme for 2024/25.


It was noted that any other items of business that members wish to be recommend for inclusion within the work programme should be sent to the Principal Scrutiny Advisor, who will ensure they are considered by the successor board in June.


Members requested clarity regarding the access of motor vehicles to bus lanes in Leeds in order to inform a decision about whether the issue should be revisited by the Board in 2024/25.


RESOLVED: Members noted the draft work programme for 2024/25.


Date and Time of Next Meeting

The first meeting of the next municipal year will take place on Wednesday 26 June 2024 at 10.30am. A pre-meeting will take place at 10.00am.


The next meeting of the Scrutiny Board will take place on 26 June 2024 at 10.30am. There will be a pre-meeting for all Board members at 10.15am.