Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Board (Infrastructure, Investment & Inclusive Growth) - Thursday, 16th July, 2020 10.30 am

Venue: Remote Meeting

Contact: Becky Atherton (0113 37 88642)  Email:


No. Item

The Chair referred to the recent death of Councillor C Hall. In paying tribute the Chair said Councillor Hall had been appointed to Leeds City Council in 2018.  Councillor Hall represented the residents of Rothwell, and had a particular enthusiasm for transport issues within scrutiny discussions. The Board respectfully held a 1 minutes silence on behalf of Councillor Hall.




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)

Additional documents:


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:-



Additional documents:


There were no exempt items.



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.)

Additional documents:


There were no formal 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.


Additional documents:


There were no declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests.


Other Interests

Councillor M Shahzad wished to bring the Boards attention to Agenda Item 8, Inclusive Growth Update (Minutes No 18) – Councillor M Shahzad held a private hire driving license.



Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitutes

To receive any apologies for absence and notification of substitutes.


Additional documents:


There were no apologies for absence received.



Minutes - 25 June 2020 pdf icon PDF 236 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 25 June 2020.


Additional documents:


RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held 25 June 2020 be confirmed as an accurate record.



Update from the Director of City Development

To receive a verbal update from the Director of City Development regarding decisions relating to the Covid-19 pandemic response and subsequent city recovery plan, which fall within the remit of the Board.

Additional documents:


The Board received a verbal update from the Director of the City Development regarding decision’s relating to the Covid-19 pandemic response and the initial phase of the subsequent recovery plan, as such information related to the remit of the Board.


The Board also received an update from the Chief Officer (Highways and Transportation) including a specific update on the Commonplace consultation.


The following were in attendance:

o  Councillor James Lewis, Executive Member

o  Martin Farrington, Director of City Development

o  Gary Bartlett, Chief Officer (Highways and Transportation)

o  Sue Wynne, Chief Officer (Employment and Skills)

o  Eve Roodhouse, Chief Officer (Economic Development)


The following had been highlighted:

·  City centre – there had been a significant increase of footfall by 50% of the normal average and implications with the economy remain evident. Recovery on footfall was linked with the reopening of non-essential shops and restaurants. Retail was under stress nationally and in Leeds in terms of closures. 9 Street Marshalls have been introduced in the city centre to manage the reopening of schemes particularly on Greek Street.

·  Discretionary Grants Scheme – the scheme closed 28 June 2020 and 954 applications had been received. Additional resources had been deployed to help with the management of applications, and it was reported that 287 applications had been approved and paid out.

·  Major Grants Scheme – 146 million had been distributed by the Council and a significant amount of work had been undertaken in the business rates team with support from economic services.

·  Transport/Traffic – flow of traffic had increased to 80% of the normal average, with a morning reduction by 40%. Bus provision would increase, and capacity had been increased to 50%. The Temple Green park and ride facility remains a NHS testing facility, whilst discussions are ongoing regarding the reopening of Elland Road.

·  Planning – Plans Panels had resumed remotely. Site / Building Control and Enforcement visits had also resumed.

·  Flood alleviation scheme – 21 million pounds had been secured from DEFRA for the delivery of the second phase of the scheme. Additionally, 1.32 million had been secured to enhance natural flood measures.

·  Connecting Leeds – demolition of bridge closures will continue following reconstruction.


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

·  Retail recovery and district centres – it was recognised there were long term challenges in terms of managing impacts from the pandemic from a social view, and infection rates are being monitored alongside Public Health colleagues. The Council are liaising with big retailers and key account contacts to ensure the transition in resuming to normal activity would be safe. Members were informed local data wasn’t available in terms of closures and spending levels, however information would be followed up on a national basis and provided to the Board.

·  Public Transport – it was recognised that the relationship between footfall and encouraging people into the city centre was key, and challenges had been identified as to how this would be done safely; the current position of the pandemic  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.


Inclusive Growth Update pdf icon PDF 376 KB

To consider the report of the Director of City Development which sets out the approach to the Inclusive Growth Strategy within the context of the city’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Additional documents:


The report of the Director of City Development set out the approach to the Inclusive Growth Strategy within the context of the city’s recovery from the Covid-19 Pandemic.


The following were in attendance for this item:

o  Eve Roodhouse, Chief Officer (Economic Development)

o  Sue Wynne, Chief Officer (Employment & Skills)


The following had been highlighted:

·  Significant impact of the Covid-pandemic on the economy;

·  Significant drop of workers on the payroll system nationally and there had been an 86% increase of people claiming Universal Credit (UC) since March;

·  Data would be made available on a ward level basis regarding UC;

·  Biggest drop in GDP in April;

·  The supply of mattresses by a local firm to new emergency hospitals around the country;

·  Digital Health businesses have thrived in recent months;

·  Safe reopening of city centre and district centres;

·  Business Support programmes;

·  Framework for Recovery.


Members were informed that a revision had been made to the report. It was confirmed that 1,140 people had been supported into work in the first quarter.


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

·  Communications – the possibility of an app based solution was being explored and would monitor footfall and carpark availability.

·  Further information was requested regarding the provision of PPE for taxi drivers in Leeds.

·  Night time economy and re-opening of hotels – Visitor England had produced research regarding the changes of behaviours due to the pandemic and it was confirmed there may not be as much activity due to the uncertainty of jobs and people being on furlough. Additionally, it was confirmed hotels in Leeds would be reopening along with the appropriate restrictions. 

·  Impacts on apprenticeship schemes – it was confirmed that nationally there had been a drop in apprenticeship schemes. However, 62 local residents had been supported into an apprenticeship in the first quarter. Local providers and businesses are offering apprenticeships, and this information would be made available to schools and Career Leeds. Members would receive details regarding this.


Councillor J Lewis (Executive Member) reflected on the comments raised and emphasised that grants for businesses had been turned around quickly, and work is being undertaken to set up new systems for grants to help support businesses. The Board were informed that through Councillor Blake’s role as Chair of the Core Cities Network, lobbying has been undertaken for additional support to businesses.



a)  To note the contents of the report and comments made during discussions;

b)  Requested that information outlined in the minutes, be provided;

c)  To support the approach taken to continue to deliver Inclusive Growth across the city within a framework for recovery from the coronavirus crisis.




Digital Inclusion pdf icon PDF 580 KB

To consider an update from the Chief Digital and Information Officer about the digital response of the Council and the city to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Additional documents:


The report of the Chief Digital and Information Officer provided an update on the Council’s and the City’s digital response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The report highlights the approach of the joint NHS and LCC Digital and Information Service, through the Smart Leeds, City Digital and 100% Digital Leeds teams working together as one team with partners across Leeds.


The following had been appended to the report:

o  Library Service initiatives (Appendix 1)

o  Dementia Pathfinder (Appendix 2)

o  Digital Health Hub (Appendix 3)

o  Digital Health Champions (Appendix 4)

o  Feedback on grant funding (Appendix 5)

o  Digital Access West Yorkshire (Appendix 6)

o  100% Digital Leeds evaluation and Return on Investment (Appendix 7)


The following were in attendance for this item:

o  Councillor Lewis, Executive Member

o  Dylan Roberts, Chief Digital and Information Officer

o  Stephen Blackburn, Assistant Solution Architect

o  Jason Tutin, Digital and Learning Manager

o  Lucy Jackson, Public Health Consultant

o  Val Hewison, Chief Executive Carers Leeds

o  Sarah Fox, Coproduction Coordinator, Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service


The Chief Digital and Information Officer introduced the report, and raised the following key points:

  • Inequality in impact of the pandemic between the poorest/most excluded groups and the rest;
  • The importance of community based groups, networks, independent, third sector and volunteers in the combined response to different groups in Leeds;
  • How a rapid and new approach to digital technology and literacy has been critical to the continuity of public services – including GPs & the Council - & businesses;
  • How digital literacy and digital technology was critical for many people to access basic services, family, support groups, shopping, to be able to continue to work.


LCC colleagues and partners were invited to address the Board. The following information had been highlighted:


Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service

·  The impacts of the iPad lending scheme;

·  Digital champions training;

·  The pandemic exacerbated health inequalities and the black lives matter movement;

·  Therapy sessions conducted online;

·  Language barriers;

·  The benefits of digital inclusion to the most excluded service users.


Carers Leeds

·  The impacts on unpaid carers across the city;

·  Distribution of iPads to the most vulnerable;

·  Built on relationships and supported the use of technology to help empower carers and take control of health and wellbeing;

·  Set up dementia support groups on Zoom;

·  Identified the positives of digital inclusion and wished to take this forward in the future.


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

·  Feedback from service users – challenges had been identified with digital exclusion including the accessibility of equipment, language barriers and wellbeing barriers. There had been some successes with face-to-face contact and phone calls, particularly with young adult carers.

·  Affordability of broadband – The Leeds Full Fibre Programme; Council and health service buildings across Leeds are set to be upgraded to full fibre, to help combat the digital divide experienced in some of the city’s most disadvantage communities. Members noted an update would be provided at a future Board regarding an outline plan for the areas to receive this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.


Work Schedule pdf icon PDF 153 KB

To consider the Scrutiny Board’s work schedule for the 2020/21 municipal year.


Additional documents:


The report of the Head of Democratic Services presented the Board’s work schedule for the remainder of the current municipal year. The Executive Board minutes for the remote meeting held 24 June 2020 had been appended to the report.


RESOLVED – That the report be noted.



Date and Time of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Board will take place at 10.30am on 23 September 2020. There will be a pre-meeting for Board members at 10.15am.

Additional documents:


23 September 2020 at 10.30 a.m. (pre-meeting for all Board Members at 10:15 a.m.)