Venue: Exe Room, Phoenix House, Tiverton
Contact: Sarah Lees Member Services Officer
Link: audio recording
Apologies and Substitute Members
To receive any apologies for absence and notice of appointment of substitutes.
Apologies were received from Cllrs Mrs A R Berry, Mrs C A Collis and J M Downes.
Declaration of Interests under the Code of Conduct
Councillors are reminded of the requirement to declare any interest,
including the type of interest, and reason for that interest, either at this
stage of the meeting or as soon as they become aware of that interest.
Cllr Mrs N Woollatt declared a personal interest in that she is an owner of a mill.
Public Question Time
To receive any questions relating to items on the Agenda from members of the public and replies thereto.
There were no questions from the member of the public in attendance.
Members to consider whether to approve the minutes as a correct record of the meeting held on 10th January 2019.
The minutes of the meeting held on 10 January 2019 were confirmed as a true and accurate record and SIGNED by the Chairman subject to the following amendment:
Minute number 50 to be amended to say that Cllr Mrs Woollatt ‘is’ an owner of a water mill and not ‘was’ an owner of a water mill.
To receive any announcements that the Chairman may wish to make.
The Chairman made the following announcement:
· She congratulated the officers who had travelled to London recently as shortlisted candidates for the LGC ‘Driving Economic Growth’ Awards. They had given a presentation and the results would be announced on 13th March 2019.
To receive a report from the Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration presenting the Council’s Economic Strategy.
The Group had before it a report * from the Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration presenting the Council’s draft Economic Strategy.
The report was introduced by the Economic Development Team Leader who reminded the Policy Development Group that a series of informal workshops had been held with them, giving the PDG Members the opportunity to shape the ‘end product’. A presentation followed under the following headings and at each stage the PDG Members were encouraged to ask questions and to comment:
What we know about Mid Devon, including:
· A growing and increasingly aging population
· High rates of employment
· High levels of commuting out of the district for work
· Low average wages
· A preponderance of low productivity sectors
· Low productivity
· Changing Business Environment
· National Grand Challenges
· Economic Fragility
· Climate change
· Increasing Wages
· Increasing skill levels
· Delivering a Growth Agenda
· Increasing Productivity
A brief discussion followed regarding possible competition with other local authorities sharing the same economic objectives. It was explained that different local authorities had different strengths. Mid Devon benefited from its natural environment, there were many opportunities for investment and it already had a number of strong core businesses. The question was asked as to how to ensure skills could be delivered and what and where were the high paid jobs referred to in the report? It was stated that the Council was not a skills provider but could act as a facilitator building strong relationships with organisations that could provide skills training, for example, there were possibilities with the Garden Village to create a skills innovation hub along with other partners. There was a need to recognise and acknowledge the Council’s strategic position. It would focus on its ‘broker’ role going forwards. Certain sectors were recognised as having high valued jobs and the team would focus on liaising with those businesses. The key message to promote would be that Mid Devon was a great place to live, work and run a business.
It was felt important not to forget the importance of apprenticeships and the positive effect businesses could have by making visits to schools.
The document as it currently stood was felt to be slightly town centred, however, it was vital not to forget the parishes and to include them in future considerations.
Sixth form provision was also an important factor in considering skills training for the future as was the importance of public transport in non-urban areas.
Five Key themes had been identified:
· Employment & Skills
· Hi-tech, Innovation & Green Energy
· Agriculture, Food & Drink
Employment and Skills
· To increase the number of higher skilled, higher waged jobs in the district
· To work with Exeter and Heart of Devon partners to identify initiatives to increase skill levels within the district
· To work closely with Education and Training providers
· To engage with employers about their employment needs
· To attract centres of training excellence to the District
· To increase the viability and vitality of town centres
Identification of items for the next meeting
Members are asked to note that the following items are already identified in the work programme for the next meeting:
· Performance and Risk
· Financial Monitoring
· Website / mobile phone interface
· Commercialism in Growth and Economy Delivery Service
· Market Schedule of Tolls
· Economic Development projects update
· Chairman’s annual report for 2018/19
Note: This item is limited to 10 minutes. There should be no discussion on the items raised.
No additional items were identified for the next meeting other than those already listed in the work programme.