Presentation on theme: "Economic Development and Investment (Open for Growth) Peer Challenge"— Presentation transcript:
1 Economic Development and Investment (Open for Growth) Peer Challenge Rupert ClubbDirector of Communities, Economy & TransportEast Sussex County CouncilRob CottrillChief ExecutiveEastbourne Borough Council
2 Peer ChallengeThe East Sussex ‘Open for Growth’ Peer Challenge took place in March A peer challenge team comprising 12 Members, officers and business partners met with over 250 key stakeholders within the local economy.Pilot challenge – first ever two-tier Peer Challenge (District/Borough and County Councils)The peer challenge considered how effectively the councils in East Sussex support, promote and facilitate a positive environment for economic growth and encourage the infrastructure and development proposals that underpin it. The peer challenge team identified overarching themes for the county as a whole as well as specific, local matters relevant to individual boroughs and districts.This peer challenge was the largest of its kind ever undertaken by the LGA and PAS across a two-tier area, and the size of the team and the length of the on-site visit was increased accordingly.East Sussex Councils invited the LGA (Local Government Association) and PAS (Planning Advisory Service) to conduct a ‘Peer Challenge.’ Independent Members, officers and business partners from various local authorities and organisations met with stakeholders, conducted on-site interviews and participated in focus groups to act as ‘critical friends.’ The peer challenge is based on Planning Advisory Service high level challenge themes plus the specific areas we asked the team to look at.
3 Thank you“We would like to thank the partners and stakeholders in the local economy from the public, private and third sector that the peer team met during the process. Thank you for your time and contribution.”The success of the Peer Challenge is heavily reliant on the engagement of stakeholders and residents of East Sussex. I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for giving up your time to participate in and contribute to the Peer Challenge. It has enabled Councils to better understand what they should be doing in order to support the economy of East Sussex.
4 Contents Context Main areas of focus and key findings Next steps & how you can participateThe presentation comprises three sections:The context of the Peer Challenge – the rationale behind participating;The main findings of the Challenge based on the main areas of focus; andThe next steps, what we are going to do with the findings, and how you can participate
5 Context Why did we participate in a Peer Challenge? Impartial (Peer Challenge team comprised 12 independent Members, officers and business partners)Open to learningChecks and BalancesEconomic Development is prioritised by all East Sussex CouncilsThe peer challenge considered how effectively the councils in East Sussex support, promote and facilitate a positive environment for economic growth and encourage the infrastructure and development proposals that underpin it. The peer challenge team identified overarching themes for the county as a whole as well as specific, local matters relevant to individual boroughs and districts.
6 Seven areas of Focus Procurement Procurement Ambition and Corporate and Political LeadershipStrategic Planning and Partnership WorkingEconomic Growth and Supporting BusinessRole of Planning in Economic GrowthProcurementThere were seven areas of focus:Ambition and corporate and political leadershipStrategic planning and partnership workingPromotion of economic growth and supporting businessesThe role of planning in economic growthHousing and infrastructure needsEducating and training for skills for the current and future economyProcurementHousing and InfrastructureEducation andTrainingProcurement
7 Successes so far…The East Sussex Economic Development Strategy means East Sussex is already ahead of the curve:concerted, coordinated effort with partnersInfrastructure projects – BHLR, high-speed broadbandThe Peer Challenge found that East Sussex, based on the East Sussex Economic Development Strategy published in April 2012, was ahead of the curve in terms of Economic Development compared to other counties. This was primarily found to be because of the concerted and co-ordinated efforts of those involved.The changes that the Peer Challenge team recommended were tweaks, not wholesale changes.
8 Ambition and Corporate and Political Leadership Build consensus and develop a common and consistent approachThere’s a strong sense of ambition supported by committed leadership (despite political complexities) and examples of brave decisionsStrengths:Strong sense of ambition supported by committed leadership (despite political complexities) and examples of brave decisions;Good understanding of the issues hindering growth across the partners;Ambition and commitment underpinned by good working relationships at both Member and Officer levels and between authorities;ED services are being safeguarded although relatively small given potential of East Sussex to create growth;Team East Sussex (TES) helping and Chief Executives’ Group working well - even more potential;East Sussex (ES) relatively small county which is capable of mobilising quickly behind growth initiatives.Challenges and Opportunities:Appears to be a ‘project to project’ working approach rather than a strategic outlook across ES;A collectively owned ES growth strategy with a limited number of deliverable and time-limited priorities, would help focus activity, pace, and resources – not a long ‘wishes and wants’ list;An expanded TES role, involving key private/public sector players, could be an executive driving force for the growth agenda;Leaders and Chief Executives group could be a forum to coordinate public sector input into the growth strategy.Will need to take tough decisions on ES strategic growth priorities and their delivery;Spread ambition, enthusiasm and involvement within public/private/third sectors, harnessing local media behind the initiatives/growth agenda;Need to be more pro-active and less risk-averse in realising growth opportunities, building on the good examples that already exist, sharing expertise and spreading good practice across ES.
9 Strategic Planning and Partnership Working “Punching above our weight” in terms of securing resources in certain funding streamsNew, federated structure of the LEP - need to maintain readiness to promote ES strategic delivery projects in the new funding allocationsStrengths:On a strategic level there is sign-up for acting together and sharing benefits of ED initiatives and projectsEffective management of the relationship has resulted in ES “punching above its weight” with the LEP in terms of securing resourcesSenior management increasingly aware of the social value of working in partnership with the voluntary sectorGood level of buy-in from councils to joint commissioning for services (e.g. Locate East Sussex and procurement hub)Effective inclusive model for driving programme work where there are common interests - Hastings and Rother Task ForceSPACES a comprehensive vehicle for securing wide-ranging economic goals - service efficiency, community support, local spending, customer needsChallenges and Opportunities:Federated structure of the LEP - need to maintain readiness to promote ES strategic delivery projects in the new funding allocationsThe ES economic strategy should build on the SEP submission – avoid any loss momentum on proactive work while these emergeBenefit in checking if partnerships and strategies are fit for purposeNeed to develop new partnership governance to encourage and enable working with social enterprise and community agenciesLook for opportunities to drive up performance through sharing resources, skills and best practice across councils and othersAll councils get behind TES even if it means being bold and accepting some short-term sacrifices in the interests of long-term gainSenior management increasingly aware of the social value of working in partnership with the voluntary sector
10 Economic Growth and Supporting Business Excellent delivery vehicle in Sea Change – lengthy pipeline of investment sites and clear leverage modelStrengths:“Ahead of the pack” and “punching above your weight” in the largest LEP in the country e.g. use of GPFExcellent delivery vehicle in Sea Change – lengthy pipeline of investment sites and clear leverage modelTES well regarded under federated modelExamples of good joint working across councils e.g. SPACES, Locate East SussexLocate East Sussex working up ‘the offer’, though early days e.g. investments not tracked or benchmarked.Joint ventures across public and private sector – Arndale expansion, Innovation Mall, Jerwood Gallery, North Street Lewes, Elva CentreChallenges and Opportunities:The strategic relationship between East Sussex and Brighton and Hove and other neighbours is not clearDifficult to identify an agreed single set of priorities to deliver economic growth across East SussexBusinesses perceive some local authorities as difficult to access, and responses/support are too variableNo collective understanding of the existing or potential business/niche clusters and how to grow themStrategic economic coherence unclear - lots of great projects/initiatives but do they align with priorities to deliver economic growth?No consistent ‘narrative’ about East Sussex – undermines selling proposition to businessesInsufficient growth market focus - concentration on deprivation and public funded regenerationBusinesses perceive some local authorities as difficult to access, and responses/support are too variable
11 Role of Planning in Economic Growth Good progress in developing the Local Plan framework for the ES area.Evidence of working together – and a realisation of the importance of cooperationStrengths:Good progress in developing the Local Plan framework for the ES areaEvidence of working together – and a realisation of the importance of cooperation, for example:Strategic Planning Members’ Group is major step forward and should provide a sound basis for future policy developmentThere is an emerging joined up approach to infrastructure planning and effective Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) developmentSpecific evidence of where the planning system has responded rapidly to secure delivery of a major project e.g. Newhaven Port supporting the Wind FarmChallenges and Opportunities:By its nature, plan-making process is slow the submission of the SEP should be a catalyst for developing a more joined-up approach to housing and economic planningThe Duty to Cooperate will become even more important and needs both resourcing and strong political partnershipGrowth has sometimes been seen as a problem by some members and officers. Need to develop ownership of a joined up approach to housing and economic developmentPlans are often driven by the response to housing need but housing provision needs to be linked more clearly to economic growth objectivesDevelopment management variable across county – opportunity to set a quality standard for all aspects of performance (e.g. pre-app advice; early member involvement; clarity early on s106; monitor performance on business applications)Creative approaches needed to protect valuable employment allocations (e.g. site purchase and joint development)The Duty to Cooperate will become even more important and needs both resourcing and strong political partnership
12 HousingEconomic growth should be a key priority in deciding on infrastructure and housing investmentHousing Strengths:ES Housing Group - good practice coordinating housing related support with RSLs and includes ESCC Children’s and Adults’ servicesEnhanced delivery through good local work being conducted by councils to address housing priorities e.g. joint funding (Hastings), joint venture (Eastbourne), key site development (Lewes)Good work being done to address housing market failure – imbalance of private sector housing and the quality of this stock e.g. Seven Streets, St LeonardsEffective working relationships with private sector landlords to improve housing standards and enable homelessness discharge into the private sectorSchemes developed as a key to levering external financeHousing Challenges and Opportunities:A coherent, shared vision and understanding of housing as an economic generator across ES is not yet being articulatedConsider mechanisms to convert land or capital into an income stream and meet social needHousing can drive Local Plans. The challenge is to get the balance between housing provision and economic growthWork across boundaries to scale up joint venture and other opportunities to ensure scheme viabilityRecognise the market for addressing housing needs for older people to deliver social benefit and priorities and gain a ROIConsider a shared commercial Valuer to advise councils on development viability. Important for evaluating proposed development
13 InfrastructureThe Bexhill Hastings Link Roadis an example of strong partnership and political working, similarly Newhaven PortInfrastructure Strengths:Joint IDP approach will provide consistency, link to funding streams and through to deliveryRecognition of the importance of having ‘shovel ready’ schemes in the event of SELEP programme slippageSome smaller scale schemes are delivering big benefits but this is not common across the countyHigh speed broadband programme securedAn agreed view on realistic priority transport needs established through the LEP bidNewhaven Port is an example of strong partnership and political working, similarly the Bexhill link roadInfrastructure challenges and opportunitiesClear focus on 3 main transport items but is there an alternative strategy if some or all do not go ahead?Economic growth should be a key priority in deciding on infrastructure investmentWork still needed to stimulate take up of high speed broadband and address ‘not spots’Councils need to carefully review how they integrate economic development into their transport, housing, planning functions
14 Education and Training Too many NEETS, both and 19-24, are falling through the netLack of pre-apprenticeship 'work ready' training both in and out of schoolStrengths:ESCC is drafting a county-wide skills and training strategy which recognises many of the problems. Important to share and consult with partnersSome councils are set to increase their intake of apprentices, matched by an increase also in the private sectorThe University of Brighton will be expanding its intake from 800 to 2,000 students and specialising in a number of high tech. disciplinesSussex Coastal College is aligning a number of courses to local job demand e.g. vacuum technologyThere are two employment hubs developing - Own Grown and the Eastbourne Employability HubConnexions 360 website is a helpful toolChallenges and Opportunities:As in many places, coordination of services is poor. “Lots of avenues, no real coordination between the avenues”; “lots of strategy, so little delivery”Too many NEETS, both and 19-24, are falling through the netLack of pre-apprenticeship 'work ready' training both in and out of schoolThe curricula of schools and some further education organisations still too demand and funding-ledNot enough emphasis on nurturing entrepreneurial skillsLack of large employers to drive systematic business engagement with the education and skills sector; small organisations need help to make linksSome councils appear not to be making the most of procurement and planning agreements to secure local jobs and trainingMechanisms for capturing local jobs from development opportunities are not systematically in placeSussex Coastal College is aligning a number of courses to local job demand e.g. vacuum technologyThere are two employment hubs developing: Own Grown and the Eastbourne Employability Hub
15 Procurement (in relation to support for the local economy) Strengths:Inclusion of procurement as an essential part of the growth strategy commendable. Some excellent procurement initiatives supporting the growth agendaThe Procurement Hub and Procurement Portal provide a good basis for greater public /private/ independent sector partnership workingGood practice: SPACES initiative’s asset management and contract alignment; ‘Build East Sussex’ supply chain management; the TRAC apprenticeship initiativeChallenges and Opportunities:Focus procurement activities where they will have the most chances of success in supporting local businesses rather than just chasing overall targetsInvolve more public/private/ independent sector partners in the procurement initiatives. Many expressed a willingness and just a 1% increase in local spend will have a major impactDo more to harness local spending power by coordinating/amalgamating partner procurement to support local suppliers and get better dealsStandardise procurement requirements through the Procurement Hub – procedures and rules, thresholds, insurance requirements, contract packages and a ‘tell us once’ approach to make it easier for SMEs to do businessBetter coordinate the provision of procurement training and support for local SMEs to improve accessibility and make the best use of the available resourcesCreate an East Sussex part of the joint procurement portal to make it more relevant to local purchasers and suppliersTES partnership to do more to lever apprenticeships from procurement activities. Lead by example setting a realistic but challenging target that all can get behindEnsure that all public/private/independent sector partners have reviewed their procurement processes and regulations to make it as easy as possible for SMEs to do businessEnsure the procurement plan(s) contributes to and influences local training plansBetter coordinate the provision of procurement training and support for local SMEs to improve accessibility and make the best use of the available resourcesSome excellent procurement initiatives supporting the growth agenda
16 How does the Peer Challenge fit into existing strategy? Role of the LEPEast Sussex Economic Development StrategyEmerging growth deal for the South EastAccessible summary of the Strategic Economic Plan & we’re working on a more punchy documentWith the new, federated structure of the LEP – relations with partnerships will be even more important. A ‘hub and spoke model:’ The LEP will act as a centralised hub to coordinate the shared resources. The nodes are the individual serviceproviders who maintain flexibility and freedom to develop their own service area.The spokes are access and communication channels, e.g. a shared website, contact phone line, cross referrals and signposting to specialist providers. This is really what the Peer Challenge has acknowledged. There needs to be a shared practice amongst all Councils to assist businesses and potential investors.
17 As seen from the East Sussex Economic Development Strategy, there is a lot of overlap between our economic priorities and the findings of the Peer Challenge. What we, therefore, shall do is use the Peer Challenge findings to complement the existing strategy (and vice versa) so as not to duplicate previous efforts.Economic growth remains a priority for all East Sussex Councils and we will continue to work together to achieve the maximum growth potential in the county.
18 Next StepsAgreement across the board is difficult! The report needs to undergo:LGA moderation; thenReport will be circulated & available in public domainParticipation in action planWe would like to invite you to participate in the resultant action plan, but also to provide feedback/suggestions….??
19 Thank you for listening The final report will be available in Autumn Peer Challenge Report is on the agenda for the ESSP Board meeting on 30 October. Any questions?The report is currently going through the LGA’s moderation process. The report will be accessible by all as of Autumn and we invite any feedback on how best you feel we could implement the recommendations or any feedback you may have.Thanks for listening and thank you once again to those who participated.Are there any questions?
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