Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Board (Infrastructure, Investment & Inclusive Growth) - Wednesday, 7th April, 2021 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.




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 Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

To disclose or draw attention to any disclosable pecuniary interests for the purposes of Section 31  of the Localism Act 2011 and paragraphs 13-16 of the Members’ Code of Conduct.



There were no declarations.




Minutes - 17 February 2021 pdf icon PDF 233 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 17 February 2021.



Further to Minute 74 - Referral to Scrutiny, Members were informed that a letter had been sent to Councillor Walshaw as Development Plans Panel Chair with the Board’s recommendations.  It was noted that further discussion to the Local Plan Update had been delayed until May 2021.


RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 17 February 2021 be confirmed as a correct record.




Digital Inclusion pdf icon PDF 717 KB

To receive a report from the Chief Digital and Information Officer updating the Board on progress towards making Leeds a digitally inclusive city for everyone.


The report of the Chief Digital and Information Officer provided the Board with an update on the Council’s and City’s progress towards making Leeds the most digitally inclusive city for everyone.  It highlighted the System Leadership role of the 100% Digital Leeds team working with colleagues from the NHS, health and care, the third sector and the Wider Council.


The following were in attendance for this item:


-  Councillor James Lewis – Leader of the Council

-  Councillor Mary Harland, Executive Board Member for Economy & Culture

-  Leonardo Tantari – Chief Digital & Information Officer

-  Stephen Blackburn – Digital & Innovation Manager

-  Jason Tutin – Digital & Learning Development Manager

-  Ali Kaye, Leeds Older People’s Forum

-  Caroline Otienno, Leeds Community Healthcare


The following was highlighted:


  • The growth of digital inclusion during the pandemic and the impact of the pandemic on those who were digitally excluded.
  • The role of community organisations in supporting people and how the Digital Leeds team supported those organisations to assist with digital inclusion.
  • How to evidence the growth in digital inclusion and how digital inclusion could support organisations and communities.
  • The use of digital inclusion in reducing health inequalities – access to services and support for self-management.
  • Access to equipment, connectivity and other barriers to digital inclusion.
  • Work with other partners and the creation of a Digital Inclusion toolkit.
  • The Board was informed of the work carried out with Leeds Older Peoples Forum.  There had been a phenomenal demand for supporting older people to become digitally inclusive during the pandemic.  Reference was made to the need to support staff within the organisations that supported older people and the outcomes achieved.
  • Work with Leeds Community Healthcare – development and implementation of virtual consultation.  Numbers of virtual consultations had gone from 137 in April 2020 to over 3,000 in February 2021.  There was a need to ensure that digital options were available to as many people as possible.


In response to Members comments and questions, the following was discussed:


  • Concerns regarding the sharing of sensitive data and scams with the rise in people accessing digital services and what safeguarding measures are in place.  Work had been done with children and young people particularly those who had previously not accessed online services.  There had also been work with adults with learning disabilities and their carers.  There was a need to work with staff and volunteers of third sector organisations to promote online safety.
  • Loaned out electronic equipment and the upkeep and maintenance of this equipment along with security of the equipment.  There had been an increase in the number of lending schemes provided by community organisations. The Council were due to review the provision of loaned out equipment.
  • The need to be able to have a choice between digital services and face to face when normal services are resumed and the use of a blended approach.
  • Data poverty and the provision of Wi-Fi for all.  Details of schemes and work with housing and the Digital Leeds  ...  view the full minutes text for item 91.


Smart Cities pdf icon PDF 391 KB

To receive a report from the Director of Resources and Housing outlining progress with the Smart Cities programme since the Board’s last update in February 2020.


The report of the Director of Resources and Housing provided an update on the progress made on the Council’s smart cities programme, Smart Leeds, since the last update in February 2020.


The following were in attendance for this item:


-  Councillor James Lewis – Leader of the Council

-  Councillor Mary Harland, Executive Board Member for Economy & Culture

-  Leonardo Tantari – Chief Digital & Information Officer

-  Stephen Blackburn – Digital & Innovation Manager

-  Jason Tutin – Digital & Learning Development Manager


The following was highlighted:


  • Development of a City Digital Strategy – this would support the Council’s objectives on the climate, inclusive growth and health & wellbeing.  Open workshops had been held and it was envisaged that the first draft of the strategy would be available by autumn 2021.
  • Cyber security.
  • Connectivity – to provide full connectivity to all areas of Leeds.  Ongoing work with network providers, introduction of 5G and provision of free Wi-Fi in community buildings.
  • Data and analytics – provision of data and how this could be used to support services.
  • The Smart City Priority Areas – Health and Wellbeing; Travel & Transport; Housing Standards & Growth.
  • Innovation challenges and use of the White Rose Hub. 
  • Opportunities for digital learning.


In response to Members comments and questions, the following was discussed:


  • Provision of free Wi-Fi in retirement life schemes – the need to promote the availability of this.  There was some concern that residents may not have known about the availability of this.
  • Data ethics – how data was collected, used and stored.
  • Collection of real time data and how this could be used – potential for congestion charging was discussed as an example.  Further reference was made to the use of monitoring air quality data.
  • There was an increased awareness of the Smart Leeds programme across the Council.




(1)  That the next-generation data platform Proof of Concept work, that will investigate how the council can improve data management, sharing and analysis, and that will help inform the business case and viability of scaling across the organisation and partnering with others be supported.

(2)  That the approach in ensuring that digital and data ethics and bias considerations are regarded as a key priority and that council staff are furnished with the right data and technological skills to understand how data that is being managed and how technology is/will be used to manage it, interpret it, and increasingly, make decisions on it be supported.

(3)  That the continued approach for the council to play a leading smart cities role at a national level and through collaborating with partners from all sectors (e.g. universities, other councils, tech companies), continues to promote Leeds as one of the UK’s leading smart cities by testing and trialling new technologies that can lead to improved outcomes for citizens be endorsed.

(4)  That the approach being taken to promote Leeds as a city of innovation excellence with the Smart Cities IoT Development Centre, Digital Skills Academy and Tech Start-up support that will be co-ordinated from  ...  view the full minutes text for item 92.


Work Schedule pdf icon PDF 238 KB

To consider the Scrutiny Board’s work schedule for the 2020/21 municipal year and the draft 2021/22 work programme for the successor board.


Additional documents:


The report of the Head of Democratic Services asked Members to consider the Board’s Work Schedule.


A copy of the schedule was appended to the report along with recent Executive Board minutes.


RESOLVED – That the work schedule be noted.




Date and Time of Next Meeting

The first meeting of the successor Board will be 24 June 2021 at 10.30am. There will be a pre-meet for members of the board at 10.15am.


Thursday, 24 June 2021 at 10.30 a.m. (Pre-meet for all Board Members at 10.15 a.m.)