- Meeting of Transport, Environment and Communities Select Committee, Tuesday 17th July 2018 10.00 am (Item 7.)
Members will review and assess the progress towards the implementation of the Inquiry recommendations as agreed by Cabinet.
· Martin Tett, Leader
· Bill Chapple, Cabinet Member for Planning and Environment
· Rachel Wileman, Head of Strategic Planning and Infrastructure
The Chairman welcomed the following contributors to the meeting to present the recommendation progress report:
- Mr M Tett, Leader
- Mr B Chapple, Cabinet Member for Planning and Environment
- Mrs R Wileman, Head of Strategic Planning and Infrastructure.
The Leader provided a high level overview setting the current context around the growth agenda and the expected increase in service demand as a result of the planned growth. He shared his aspirations for shaping Bucks as a place, ensuring it thrives and becomes a place people want to live and work, and not simply a commuter belt for London. The full discussion can be viewed on webcast.
Member questions and discussions covered the following areas:
- Recommendation 1- Business Unit plans: Members were assured that the Business unit plans now acknowledged growth and their plans next year would include more detail on the impacts upon their services. Members were assured that there was far more collaboration and input from the Business Units. Members also heard that growth was reported at each Council meeting through the Leader’s update, and that this was a live debate.
- Collaborative working and the Corporate Working Group (recommendation 3): Members asked about the time frame and scope of the comprehensive review of the working group. Members heard how the working group were moving from an influencing position to one of monitoring delivery; what was being delivered, when, where and what the impact would be for County Council Services and integrating this across the service areas. The Business Insight team were also looking at projections. The working group were now looking at who needs to be on the group and the terms of reference, considering who needed to be engaged, on what and where the working group needed to focus on in terms of monitoring delivery. The service recognised the significant need for input and engagement with the Districts. The Districts were currently focussed on the local plan examinations, but come November the service would be clearer about engagement and monitoring of this through the working group. Members were assured that the tools and services were in place to enhance collaboration with the Districts and partners to drive growth and special planning.
- Recommendation 4 – IT and data sharing: Members were told that an interactive map had been published, showing where the housing growth would be and the infrastructure that was coming and where. This was an example of IT being used to share information and how the Council had taken an active role in sharing information across the county. There had been issues with "share point" as a platform for data sharing across the county, but they would be addressed. Members were assured that further information sharing progress was underway and that the barriers experienced were ones that would be resolved.
- Recommendation 6: The Members were advised that finance colleagues were exploring the longer term capital planning, under the wider Capital Investment Strategy work.
- Progress: Members heard that growth was now on the agenda and in the mind-set of key partners. Understanding and collaborative working with the districts around growth and the impact on services had significantly improved.
- Developments: Members heard how developing the way that information on growth was shared going forward was imperative, as was the development of the role of the Growth Board and Corporate Working Group.
The Committee felt that progress was on track for the 6 month stage and would monitor further progress and implementation of the recommendations at 12 months.
The Chairman thanked the Leader and Ms Wileman. He also congratulated Ms Wileman on her new role at another local authority and thanked her for her hard work and support to the Committee in their work on this Inquiry.