Agenda and draft minutes

City of Wolverhampton Town Deal Board
Friday, 28th February, 2020 3.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 2 - 3rd Floor - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Shelley Humphries  Tel: 01902 554070 email:  shelley.humphries@wolverhampton.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Deborah Cadman, Ro Hands, Geoff Layer.

 

2.

Minutes of the meeting of 24 January 2020

[To approve the minutes of the meeting of 24 January 2020 as a correct record.]

Minutes:

Resolved:

That the minutes from the previous meeting held on 24 January 2020 be approved as a correct record.

 

3.

Terms of Reference

[To approve the draft Terms of Reference.]

Minutes:

Charlotte Johns, CWC Director of Strategy, presented the draft Terms of Reference for the City of Wolverhampton “Town Deal” Board. There was an agreement that earlier circulation of documents, as set out in the paperwork will be followed going forward.  Comments on the draft Terms of Reference were requested from members of the Board outside of the meeting, to enable more opportunity for review. 

 

There was a discussion on the requirements as set out in the Town Fund prospectus, which are currently being met.  Stuart Anderson MP provided the Board with an update from a communication he had with the Rt. Hon Robert Jenrick MP, which set out that the chair of the board “must be a private sector individual” but appreciated this was not clear in the current guidance.  It was agreed that nominations for a chair from the private sector be sought, and that clarification from the City of Wolverhampton’s lead advisor from BEIS, Michelle Nutt, be arranged to ensure ongoing compliance with government regulations. 

 

Stuart Anderson MP emphasised that £25 million of funding is available if we comply with the guidance.  Given the terms of reference are also linked with an update due to be provided under the summary of the work since the last meeting, it was agreed that the Board moved on to this agenda item.

 

Resolved:

1.    That a Chair from the private sector be sought.

2.    That clarification was sought from Michelle Nutt, BEIS to ensure ongoing compliance with the Government regulations.

 

4.

Summary of the Work Since the Last Meeting

[To receive an update on work undertaken since the meeting of 24 January 2020.]

Minutes:

Charlotte Johns, CWC Director of Strategy, presented the summary of the work conducted since the last meeting. Following the last Board meeting there has been an agreement from MHCLG to amend the boundary of the Town Deal for the City of Wolverhampton, but with no change to the funding offer. 

 

It was reported that, as agreed with the Board, a letter was submitted to the Secretary of State requesting that the budgetary allocation for Wolverhampton is increased to reflect the proposed geography.  No response had been received, and so the Board had three options to consider:

 

1.    Accept the revised boundary on the condition that the funding offer changes so that our city has equality with other areas.

2.    Accept the revised boundary but under the same funding offer, meaning that Bilston and Wednesfield would not be eligible for further rounds of the Towns fund.

3.    Reject the revised boundary and lobby for Bilston and Wednesfield to be included in their own right in further rounds of the Towns fund.

 

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) requested confirmation from Wolverhampton by 28 February 2020 of the exact boundary.

 

Pat McFadden MP stressed the importance of the inclusion of Bilston. Cherry Shine, Wolverhampton BID, expressed the counterview that by taking on additional centres without additional funding it would serve to dilute the bid for Wolverhampton City centre.  Stuart Anderson MP indicated he was keen to see the £25 million investment in Wolverhampton City centre.

 

It was agreed that in light of the discussion, Tim Johnson, CWC Chief Executive would issue a letter on behalf of the Board to the MHCLG to request additional time to consider all the options available.

 

Resolved:

That Tim Johnson, CWC Chief Executive issue a letter on behalf of the Board to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to request additional time to consider all the options available, with an update to be sent round electronically to Board members on next steps.

 

5.

Future High Street Fund Update

[To receive an update on the Future High Street Fund.]

Minutes:

Richard Lawrence, CWC Director of Regeneration, presented an update on the Future High Street Fund, which Wolverhampton is also part of.  The group were advised that the ‘City Centre West’ had been a key focus and consultants Rivington Hark were providing support in putting together the business case and bidding documents. A full bid for up to £25 million would be submitted in March 2020. To ensure synergy across funding opportunities, it was agreed that details of the Future High Street Fund be channelled through the Towns Fund Board going forward.

 

Resolved:

That it be agreed that details of the Future high Street Funds be channelled through the Towns Fund Board going forward.

 

6.

Introduction to CBRE

[To receive an introduction to the contribution from CBRE.]

Minutes:

Rhian Davitt-Jones, Associate Director - CBRE, introduced herself and advised that CBRE had been appointed to help support the Board and review current and future projects moving forward. She advised that CBRE would help create a robust and compelling Town Investment Plan, based on an understanding of processes elsewhere and Wolverhampton in particular. The group were also advised that Simon Phillips, Director – CBRE, would also be present at all future meetings.

 

Resolved:

That the introduction to CBRE be noted.

 

7.

Wednesfield

[To receive an update on investment plans in the area of Wednesfield.]

Minutes:

Richard Lawrence, CWC Director of Regeneration, presented an update on Wednesfield. He advised that should the funding position remain the same CBRE could do a light touch review of Wednesfield that would build on current activities for an investment plan.  It was noted that the next steps for Wednesfield would be to engage with stakeholders and partners on the area. Jane Stevenson MP requested that the board membership also include businesses from Wednesfield and referenced various businesses that she was engaging with in the town.  It was agreed that an update on Wednesfield be provided at the next Town Fund Board meeting, pending the review on geography.

 

Resolved:

That an update on Wednesfield, including engagement with stakeholders and partners and Board membership be brought to the next City of Wolverhampton Town Fund Board meeting.

 

8.

Bilston

[To receive an update on regeneration work in the Bilston area.]

Minutes:

 

Richard Lawrence, CWC Director of Regeneration, presented an update on Bilston. He provided an update on current regeneration work in Bilston, and referenced the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) had embarked on a Town Centre Programme that explored interventions for five different Town Centres, including Bilston. Pat Willoughby, WMCA provided an update that the Town Centre Programme had £20 million funding from WMCA and would allow for centres to bid for funding which would be split between the five areas. Pat McFadden, MP, requested more information and engagement on the project for Bilston and it was agreed that further work on this should be again channelled via the Towns Fund Board, should the geography be agreed to include Bilston.

 

The subjects of sustainability and climate change were raised as a core consideration across Town Deal. Environmental projects, for example the University’s National Brownfield Institute as part of the National Centre for Sustainable Construction and Circular Economy at Springfield was mentioned as a response.

 

Resolved:

That further updates on Bilston, including the WMCA funded Town Centre Programme be channelled via the City of Wolverhampton Town Fund Board. 

 

9.

Communication Protocol

[To receive and comment on the Communication Protocol.]

Minutes:

Ian Fegan, CWC Director of Communications and External Relations, presented the update on the communication protocol. The draft document that outlined a proposed communication protocol and how to achieve active communications was circulated for Board members to take away and provide feedback on at the next meeting. It was advised that the Communications team would also develop a webpage for all relevant information, including the terms of reference and all information as set out in the prospectus.

 

Following questions regarding the breakdown of the £4.4 billion total investment in Wolverhampton, Ian Fegan, Director of Communications and External Relations advised that a new hand-out was being developed which provided this information.  It was noted that the hand-out was due imminently and would be shared with the City of Wolverhampton Town Deal Board.

 

Resolved:

1.    That Board members consider the communication protocol and provide feedback for approval at a future board.

  1. That Board members receive a copy of the hand-out breaking down the current £4.4 billion investment in Wolverhampton.

 

10.

Any other business

Minutes:

There was no other business.

11.

Date of the next Meeting

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting was scheduled for 3 April 2020.