To consider a report on Economic Recovery and Growth post-COVID-19.
A report was presented by Kate Ingram, Strategic Head of Economy and Growth that was also due to be presented to a meeting of the Executive on Monday, 26th October 2020.
The report was requesting that the Executive consider and approve the Draft Economic Recovery and Growth Strategy as was attached to the report at Appendix 1, and related budgets.
Grounds for the request were reported as follows:
Burnley Borough Council has successfully pursued an ambitious economic growth strategy over the last decade, resulting in significant employment growth and investment. However, the recent COVID 19 pandemic is posing a serious threat to the economy locally and globally.
The Council and its partners need to respond to the immediate crisis whilst continuing to address some existing structural weakness in the economy and put in place the building blocks for more diverse, inclusive and resilient economic growth in the future.
A strategic approach will enable the Council and its partners to present a clear economic vision for the Borough to Government and Sub regional partnerships bodies such as the LEP. The strategy will be the building block for lobbying for resources and delivering the Government`s ¨levelling¨ up agenda.
The establishment of the Economic Recovery Budget will enable the Council to work with partners to support businesses.
The Employment Partnership post will be key to the work of the Employment and Skills Partnership and in co-ordinating the work of the Youth Employment and Skills Hub ensuring the residents, particularly young people are supported to gain new skills and employment.
A Green Business Pilot/Demonstrator will assist businesses to adopt new green technologies and to diversity into low carbon supply chains.
The report also recommended that the Executive:
I. Recommends to Full Council that it approve, subject to further consultation with key stakeholders, the Economic Recovery and Growth Strategy set out in Appendix 1 of the report; and
II. Approves the establishment of an Economic Recovery Board as set out in the Strategy and paragraphs 15-19 of the report; and
III. Recommends to Full Council the approval of a first tranche increase of £350,000 to the Business Growth Fund to be funded through Business Rates Pool and delegates authority to the Strategic Head of Economy and Growth to agree with the Leader, the Executive Member for Resources and the Executive Member for Economy and Growth a detailed plan for the use of the fund; and
IV. Approves the establishment of a full time Employment Partnership post to support the Employment and Skills Hub to be funded from the budget established in recommendation iii; and
V. Recommends to Full Council to approve** the use of £25,000 from the Climate Change Initiatives Budget to support a Green Business Demonstrator Project; and
VI. That the Strategic Head of Economy and Growth to be authorised by the Executive to make any minor changes, either typographical or as a result of stakeholder feedback prior to its publication.
Members made the following points and received the following responses:
Should the Strategy be referred again to Scrutiny following the consultation as it has spanned two different administrations.
Part of the funding would be used for recommendation 4 which needs to be progressed quite urgently. How information is presented to the Scrutiny Committee will be reviewed and framed in a way that is set out in the Strategy and reports what is being implemented. The Scrutiny Committee will receive regular updates as things progress.
There is no reference to the Community, faith and voluntary sector. Please do not forget the 3rd sector who play a very important role.
Burnley Together Hub has set up a service to support young unemployed people. The DWP has also become involved. We are working with a range of services including the voluntary sector to look at how we respond and provide services to the unemployed.
A Steering Group meeting has taken place with key partners to look at how to continue in terms of progression in going forward with the Burnley Together Hub. A report will be presented to a future Scrutiny Committee meeting on this issue.
IT WAS AGREED
That the report be noted.
** Lukman Patel advised of the amendment to recommendation v).