Issue - meetings

Leader's report to Council

Meeting: 11/10/2019 - Council (Item 32)


To receive a report from the leader on the activities of the executive (cabinet) since the meeting of Council on 12 July 2019.


Additional documents:


Council received and noted the Leader’s report. The Leader introduced his report and provided clarification concerning the status of funding from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). He explained that in respect of the funding of £27 million that had been dedicated to Herefordshire Council for the south wye and Hereford transport packages there was no legal justification for the LEP to recoup any funding. It was confirmed that at a recent meeting of the LEP board there had been no deadline set for the funding to be used or an amount proposed for the Council to repay to the LEP. The new administration at the Council had considered infrastructure projects and had taken a decision to pause and review those schemes in progress. The LEP had identified that there was a possibility that funding allocation to the infrastructure schemes would not be spent and in such circumstances it was hoped that the money would be reallocated to other projects in Herefordshire. Discussions in relation to this matter were ongoing with the LEP. The potential of the loss of any funding did not provide sufficient reason to pursue the infrastructure schemes that were currently subject to pause and review; other considerations were required before a final decision was made on the projects including the response to the climate emergency.


The following was asked of the Leader:


·         Why was the renewal of the council’s insurance cover for a period of five years? The Leader explained that a response would be provided following the meeting.

·         The indemnity of £850k to Nmite was queried and whether Council’s money had been put at risk. It was asked whether the correspondence between Tony Bray and Shropshire Council be placed in public domain by the Leader.The Leader explained that the risk was currently being assessed and he was discussing the potential release of the letter with the monitoring officer. He would confirm in due course if it could be released.

·         It was noted that the Enterprise Zone was close to breaching the peak 300 movement limit and it was queried how prospective new employers and their employees would access the site if the bypass is not built and Highways England did not support an increase in numbers? The cabinet member infrastructure and transport explained that there was room for negotiating the movements cap at the enterprize zone with Highways England and a written response would be provided to the issues raised.

·         The Leader was asked whether he believed that the projects at skylon park including the shell store and cyber centre could succeed without key infrastructure projects such as the southern link road. The Leader explained that the implications of infrastructure projects on the climate emergency would be assessed which would include the southern link road.

·         The Leader was asked whether the Council would express concern regarding the governance arrangements at the LEP and the role of the business board was queried and its support for the bypass. The Leader explained that there was an  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32