Agenda and draft minutes

Combined Strategic Scrutiny and Customer Focus Scrutiny Committees - Monday 6th June 2022 5.30 pm

Venue: Rennes Room, Civic Centre, Paris Street, Exeter. View directions

Contact: Sharon Sissons, Democratic Services Officer  Tel: 01392 265115 or email  sharon.sissons@exeter.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

17.

Appointment of Chair for the Meeting

Minutes:

RESOLVED that Councillor Hannaford be appointed Chair of the meeting.

 

 

18.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 615 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting of the Combined Strategic Scrutiny and Customer Focus Scrutiny Committee held on 27 April 2022.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Combined Strategic Scrutiny and Customer Focus Scrutiny Committees held on 27 April 2022 were taken as read, approved and signed by the Chair as correct.

 

19.

Declarations of Interest

Councillors are reminded of the need to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests that relate to business on the agenda and which have not already been included in the register of interests, before any discussion takes place on the item. Unless the interest is sensitive, you must also disclose the nature of the interest. In accordance with the Council's Code of Conduct, you must then leave the room and must not participate in any further discussion of the item.  Councillors requiring clarification should seek the advice of the Monitoring Officer prior to the day of the meeting.

 

Minutes:

No declarations of discloseable pecuniary interest by Members were made.

 

20.

Exeter Development Fund Overview

Scrutiny is being asked to perform a critical friend role for the Council’s Executive in examining and highlighting the merits and risk associated with the City Development Fund ahead of the full Business Case being presented to the Executive for consideration later this year.

 

The sessions are as detailed below -

 

Session 1            Introduction – 30 March

Session 2:           What is the economic case for pursuing a City Development Fund to support delivery - 27 April

Session 3:           Governance/Fund Management/Governance and Risk - 6 June

Session 4:           The Business Case in Detail - (Date TBC) 

Further Session   To Discuss

 

 

Minutes:

Members noted that Scrutiny was being asked to perform a critical friend role for the Council’s Executive in examining and highlighting the merits and risks associated with the City Development Fund ahead of the full Business Case being presented to the Executive for consideration later this year.

 

The sessions are as detailed below:-

 

Session 1        Introduction - 30 March 2022

Session 2:       What is the economic case for pursuing a City Development Fund to support delivery - 27 April 2022

Session 3:       Governance/Fund Management/Governance and Risk - 6 June 2022

Session 4:       The Business Case in Detail - (Date TBC) 

 

 

21.

Exeter Development Fund pdf icon PDF 3 MB

Session Three - The Governance Question - Fund Management, Governance and Risk

 

Introduction and summary

 

Introduction and presentation on the Government’s ambitions on reforms to Public Development Corporations and the key elements of the proposed governance structure –

Roli Martin, Project Manager, Exeter City Futures Team

Elaine Anning, Operations Director, Exeter City Futures Team

 

Karime Hassan, Chief Executive & Growth Director

 

The following external witness has been invited to the meeting –

 

Ian Piper Chief Executive Ebbsfleet Development Corporation

 

·           The purpose of the invitation to the speaker isto gain an insight of the working of a development corporation and the resources and powers this model of governance brings to the development agenda.

 

·                Outcomes: An understanding of the required governance structure to manage a city fund and the areas that are mandatory.

Areas to explore in this session:

 

·         The suggested structure in the Business Case, what are essential requirements to attract Government investment and market confidence?

·         What elements are optional?

·         What are the reasons for pursuing a Development Corporation model?

·         The costs benefit implications of the model.

·         Would planning powers be lost to a Development Corporation, the proposals suggest not?

·         Who decides the composition of the Board?

·         What management capacity would be required to run the fund?

For information - Please see a link to the outline Business Case of the Exeter Development Fund now available on the Exeter City Futures web site - https://www.exetercityfutures.com/the-city-owned-development-fund-for-exeter-takes-a-step-forward/

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed Roli Martin, Project Manager of the Exeter City Futures Team (ECF), who would set out the Governance case for pursuing a City Development Fund to support delivery, along with Ian Piper, Chief Executive of the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, as an external witness to the meeting.

 

Ebbsfleet Garden City

 

Ian Piper referred to his background in working for a number of Development Corporations including London Docklands, Forward Swindon and Plymouth Development Corporation and spoke on the creation, in 2015, of Ebbsfleet Garden City and of its ambitions, governance, finance and achievements. It was located just off the M25 and A2, straddling the Boroughs of Dartford and Gravesham. The presentation is attached to the minutes.

 

He summarised the value of a Development Corporation and the necessary parameters for success as follows:-

 

·         specialist, focussed expertise;

·         the right sort of independence;

·         the right sort of ‘control’;

·         set ambitious but realistic expectations - regeneration takes time, patience, and expertise;

·         try to provide a long term (5-10 year) funding envelope; and

·         go on the journey together. It is your vehicle, set up by you, to achieve your vision.

 

He responded as follows to Members’ queries:-

 

·         with a plan of building 15,000 homes of differing tenures, approximately 12% of the land was covered by historic outline planning permissions which limited the variety of tenures to come forward in these areas. Of the 3,000 homes provided to date, 30% were affordable but did not include social housing. Developers who had been granted outline permission were reluctant to change the tenures originally planned;

·         limited data was available from developers on the origin of purchasers but it was estimated that 50% were local with a significant proportion of the remaining 50% originating from the outer, southern London boroughs;

·         factors such as location, accessibility etc. were impacting on the 30,000 target of new jobs when the Enterprise Zone was first initiated;

·         the provision of high quality homes was a priority of the Corporation but challenging in respect of the major house builder developments for which outline permission had been granted. Operating with a planning committee and increasingly owning land, it was in a better position to ensure higher quality homes;

·         there was no precise data on the number of first time buyers, but there was a good mix of family homes and many younger families sold properties in the London Boroughs to buy family homes in Ebbsfleet;

·         there was a significant demand for homes in Ebbsfleet from Dartford and Gravesham Boroughs helping to reduce their waiting lists;

·         unlike some Development Corporations, Ebbsfleet had to purchase land at market value;

·         a large number of the residents commuted to London for work;

·         the Planning Committee comprised two Board Members of the Corporation, a representative from each of the three Councils, reflecting their political balance, and two independents. Other than the two Board members, the other Members had to be approved by the Secretary of State. There was a positive relationship with the two Districts and consultations took place to ensure  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.