Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Board (Infrastructure, Investment & Inclusive Growth) - Wednesday, 28th June, 2023 10.30 am

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

Contact: Rebecca 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.




Chair's Opening Remarks


The Chair expressed thanks on behalf of former Councillor Paul Truswell who had chaired the Board for the previous ten years stating that his experience would missed.


Councillor M Millar was also welcomed to his first meeting of the Board.




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.




Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitutes

To receive any apologies for absence and notification of substitutes.



Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillor S Lay.  Councillor C Hart-Brooke was in attendance as substitute.




Minutes - 5 April 2023 pdf icon PDF 258 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 5 April 2023.



RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 5 April 2023 be confirmed as a correct record.




Matters arising from the Minutes.


Minute 85 – End of Year Statement


Members were informed that the approved End of Year Statement had now been published on the Council website.  The Annual Report would be published following consideration at Full Council on 12 July.




Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 341 KB

To receive a report from the Head of Democratic Services setting out the Terms of Reference for Leeds City Council’s five Scrutiny Boards.

Additional documents:


The report of the Head of Democratic Services presented the terms of reference for the Scrutiny Board (Infrastructure, Investment & Inclusive Growth).


The following documents were appended to the report:


·  Appendix 1 – General Terms of Reference applicable to all Scrutiny Boards

·  Appendix 2 – Article 6 of the Constitution -This outlined Scrutiny Board remits and any special responsibilities.  A revised version of Article 6 was anticipated following changes agreed at the Annual Council meeting.

·  Appendix 3 – Scrutiny Board alignment with Officer Delegated Functions and Executive portfolios 2023/24.


Members were informed that Councillor Lennox had been appointed as Executive Member for Housing.


RESOLVED – That the Board’s Terms of Reference be noted.




Co-Opted Members pdf icon PDF 333 KB

To receive a report from the Head of Democratic Services, which sets out arrangements to co-opt external individuals to the Scrutiny Board.


The report of the Head of Democratic Services informed the Board of the provision to appoint Co-opted Members.


The Board had previously relied on expert witnesses to support the Board rather than Co-opting Members. The Scrutiny Board agreed to continue to adopt this approach unless or until members reach a point where they determine co-option would add specific value.



RESOLVED – That the report be noted and that the Scrutiny Board will not appoint co-opted members unless or until members reach a point where they determine co-option would add specific value.




Performance Report pdf icon PDF 141 KB

To receive a joint report from the Director of Children and Families and the Director of City Development outlining progress against organisational and city priorities that fall within the remit of the Scrutiny Board (Infrastructure, Investment and Inclusive Growth).

Additional documents:


The report of the Director of City Development and Director of Children and Families provided a summary of performance against the strategic priorities for the council and city and other performance areas relevant to the Scrutiny Board (Infrastructure, Investment & Inclusive Growth).


The report covered quarter 4/ year end 2022/23 Performance Information (or latest available where quarter 4 data was not available).


Performance was previously reported to the Board in January 2023 (quarter 2 2022/23)


The following were in attendance for this item:


-  Councillor Helen Hayden, Executive Member

-  Councillor Jonathon Pryor, Executive Member

-  Councillor Jessica Lennox, Executive Member

-  Councillor Debra Coupar, Executive Member

-  Martin Farrington, Director – City Development

-  Eve Roodhouse, Chief Officer, Culture & Economy

-  Fiona Bolam, Head of Economic Policy

-  Martin Elliot, Head of Strategic Planning

-  Gary Bartlett, Chief Officer – Highways & Transportation

-  Jane Walne, Head of Programme & Projects

-  Angela Barnicle, Chief Officer – Asset Management & Regeneration.

-  Emma Kamillo-Price – Senior Intelligence Officer


Emma Kamillo-Price introduced the report and explained the methods behind gathering the data for the performance indicators.


Martin Farrington, Director of City Development introduced each Key Performance Indicator that fell within the Board’s remit.


Discussion included the following:


·  Planning Applications:


Performance in relation to the percentage of planning applications determined on time had improved in 2022/23 after a fall in 2021/22, which was largely a consequence of the pandemic.


Recruitment and retention of planning staff remains challenging.  This is partly attributable to competition from the private sector and solutions are constrained by the Council’s current budget challenges. Further workforce issues discussed included the training of apprentices, workplace environment and flexibility regarding remuneration levels. 


The Director of City Development updated the Scrutiny Board on the Government’s current technical consultation regarding increasing planning fees to reduce the funding shortfall for the planning application service.


During the pandemic there was an increase in minor household planning applications. This has reduced during the last year but demands on the service remain high due to the increased complexity in major applications.  The Scrutiny Board discussed the increasing range of issues that must be considered in relation to planning applications such as biodiversity and carbon reduction, along with increased burdens on design.  Significant work is undertaken pre-application with developers to ensure that applications are acceptable when submitted.


Information was requested on the current level of staffing compared to the planned budget level.


Leeds had received 4,500 planning applications in March 2023, which was the third highest in England. 


Members were pleased with the performance information presented to the Board and expressed thanks to all involved.


·  Unemployment in Leeds


There had been a significant decrease in unemployment from 5.6% to 2.5%.  The average across core cities was 4.6% and Leeds was in a better position than other West Yorkshire authorities.  The Scrutiny Board was informed that there has been a small upward trend reported since the publication of the figures and a rise in the number of Universal Credit claimants.


The Scrutiny  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.


Sources of Work pdf icon PDF 368 KB

To receive a report from the Head of Democratic Services setting out potential sources of work for the Scrutiny Board (Infrastructure, Investment and Inclusive Growth).

Additional documents:


The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report on potential sources of work and areas of priority within the Board’s terms of reference.


The Best City Ambition was appended to the report for information.


It was noted that the Executive Member for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure has requested that the Scrutiny Board carries out a review of the six-month trial of changes to the Planning Portal. The Scrutiny Board agreed to this request.


RESOLVED -  That the contents of the report and the suggested areas of work, as set out above, be noted.




Work Schedule pdf icon PDF 330 KB

To consider the Scrutiny Board’s work schedule for the 2023/24 municipal year.


Additional documents:


The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report which included a draft work programme for the municipal year 2023/24. This collated requests from members of the 2022/23 Board and known items of business such as budget consultation and performance monitoring.


Recent Executive Board minutes were appended to the report.


RESOLVED – That the report and work schedule be noted.




Date and Time of Next Meeting

The next public meeting of the Scrutiny Board (Infrastructure, Investment & Inclusive Growth) will take place on Wednesday 19 July at 10.30am. There will be a pre-meeting for all Board members at 10.00am.


The next meeting of the Scrutiny Board will take place on Wednesday, 19 July at 10.30 a.m.  There will be a pre-meeting for all Board Members at 10.15 a.m.