Minutes and Resolutions

To All PABC Members by email 8th March 2012




1. Introduction

The Chairman thanked the members of the City Council for, as ever, making the PABC so welcome in the Council House and David Heard of Ashfords Solicitors for hosting the PABC’s lunches for 2012. 103 members of the Council were present – a record! The Chairman warmly welcomed the new members and confirmed that the PABC membership of Senior Key Sector Leaders was now in effect on its limits at 250 with 24 Hon. Members from PCC making a total of 274. 21(member proposed) names remain on the current waiting list. A list of those who have joined since the Dec meeting is at Enclosure 1. An up to date 2012 membership directory is now in the course of issue.


Alan Qualtrough was then elected to the 2012 PABC board (to hold the Communications Portfolio) to warm acclaim by all 103 members and Hon members present.

2. PABC Diary Dates


  • PABC Lord Lieutenants dinner within Armed Forces Week – Thursday 28 June – Formal dinner in the Commando Forces Officers Mess with Royal Marine band beat retreat etc. Gill is about to poll you – first come first served on this one.
  • Mark Prisk MP, Minister of State at BIS has been invited down for lunch or dinner by the PABC and the LEP.
  • The inaugural Annual “Drake Lecture” co-hosted by the PABC and the University of Plymouth and held in support of the Plymouth Drake Foundation is in the course of being scheduled, with the first guest speaker being His Excellency the Chinese Ambassador to the Court of St James’s.
  • A visit to HMS OCEAN will follow when her programme becomes clearer, probably in September.
  • Friday 30th November – Parliamentarians Dinner, Gill will be polling for this one in mid April.

3 a. Culture Board

Abby Johnson, the new Chief Executive was warmly welcomed and gave a short presentation. This was well received and thought provoking and will reappear in the June agenda when the discussion will be about the City’s capacity and appetite to compete for cultural capital of UK in 2017 – a decision we need to make in about a year’s time after putting pin place quite a lot of footwork. PCC are right behind this but the detailed implications had yet to be briefed. It was clear that the Culture Board (established in 2009) was insufficiently known about and PABC are keen to help it gain traction and to add a strong cultural dimension to the City’s economic profile. Links to the site can be accessed as follows

3 b. South West Marine Energy Park

In Professor David Wheeler’s absence, Sarah Holmes and Tim Jones presented an outline brief on this important strategic initiative which represented a challenge and an opportunity to the South West in direct competition with Scotland over whom we are currently prevailing. All members of the PABC were reminded that they needed to know enough about this in order to conduct informed debate as it is likely to represent the largest single new commercial initiative for our city region.

3 c. Green investment Bank

PCC explained that in conjunction with the University and others they had considered bidding for the Green Investment Bank but consciously decided that this was inappropriate for Plymouth [breaking news – it has just gone to Edinburgh].

4. Local Economy

David Draffan presented an excellent report outlining a range of successful initiative in which the City are now engaged. His full report is at Enclosure 2.

5. Growth Board Issues

a. The current economic objects of the Growth Board are still in the process of being revised. The PABC Board are assembling a revised version of their own (2010) list of proposed economic objectives and these will be passed to the Growth Board when agreed internally, with a copy also being provided to members at that juncture.

b. Unemployment. The Chairman spoke of his concerns about not having a clear briefing with which to respond to questions on Plymouth’s unemployment situation from others outside the City and in Government and requested that a briefing be constructed that could be used by all PABC members – again with the objective of optimising the City’s ability to project a unified front through informed debate. It was recognised that there was much that was still not known as the worklessness position continued to worsen, with the impact of public sector job cuts still not adequately known and therefore modelled. It was agreed that PABC would draw attention to and act as conduit for a 'register of interest' from the 250 members regarding the new Youth Contract and the 160,000 positions available across the UK for 18-24 age group that will provide a 'wage incentive' of £2275 per placement as part of the Work Programme.

6. LEP Update

Tim Jones, Chairman Heart of Devon LEP presented a very encouraging round up of LEP activity (some of it under the Chatham House rule) together with highlighting the strong cooperation that has been developed with Bristol and Cornwall. Further notes from him to the PABC membership will follow from him during the next few weeks.

7. Local Issues

a. Life Centre. The Life Centre has been completed by Balfour Beatty on time and on Budget and will be opened on 22nd March. This completes the “third dram” in the memories of many, the theatre royal and the Pavilions being the first and second. The meeting considered what the “next dream” might be, and noted the proposal for a replacement pier on the footprint of the old pier and the possibility of linking that to a terminal for medium sized visiting cruise liners – more on this in due course.

b. Nuclear dismantling. A briefing from Commodore Steve Dearden, the Naval Base Commander, was delivered by the chairman under the Chatham House Rule. In essence the submarine fuelling and refuelling which in the UK can only be performed in Devonport is not out for consultation and will continue, probably well beyond the lifetime of most of us. The consultation on dismantling is just completing and decisions and a formal response will be delivered in the summer of 2013. At about this time, it is expected that the UK government will announce the location and method of the disposal of intermediate level waste (ilw) which is a national issue and to which stock pile the whole Royal Navy’s submarine used material represents a small fraction.

8. AOB

The chairman highlighted the impending fund raising appeal by the Theatre Royal at the level of about £8M which will be launched before the summer.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 1401.


1. New PABC members since December
2. Local Economy report from the PCC

PABC membership (standing item)

Currently at 250 (all additions having been proposed by existing members) with 21 on the ‘un-seconded’ waiting list, and 24 ‘Hon members’ from PCC. Members please continue to make your own proposals for others who you believe should be included on a ‘seconded by a member’ basis – these having priority over ‘un-seconded’ applications. Despite having reached our unofficial ceiling, we continue not to wish to exclude any key sector City leader who ought to be a member, by way of being able to make a contribution to high level economic debate in that capacity.


1. Introduction

The Vice Chairman took the Chair (The Chairman, who was present, having only just been released from hospital) and thanked the leader, shadow leader and members of the City Council for making the PABC welcome in the Council House and David Heard of Ashfords Solicitors for hosting the PABC’s lunches for 2012. 74 members of the Council were present. The new members were warmly welcomed. The membership inc PCC senior councillors remains at 275, 28 (member proposed) names remain on the current waiting list. An up to date 2012 membership directory is attached at Enclosure 1.

2. Next Members Diary dates (details contained in the attachments)

Note 1
Wed 3 Oct The University of Plymouth lecture – Rethinking Business – Beyond Capitalism (See Enclosure 2)

Note 2
Fri 12 Oct Concert in the Guildhall in support of the Chestnut appeal for Prostrate Cancer (see Enclosure 4)

Note 3
Thur 29 Nov The Parliamentarians dinner in CFOM

3. The Leader of PCC

The Leader set out his mission and aims after 100 days in office and drew attention to the detailed content of his manifesto. He emphasised that his theme was to deliver but that there was no break in the corporate plans agreed by the Full Council under the previous administration and the aspirations on growth remained identical. He emphasised the Council’s role in terms of providing and maintaining infrastructure and included broadband connectivity in this. He described the steps already taken to progress his administration's "Co-operative Council" mission. He will attend the next meeting on 5 Dec and wished to work very closely indeed with the local business community. His address was warmly welcomed.

4. PCC, The Growth Board and the Economic Development Service

Anthony Payne briefed on the expanded Economic Development Service and its extensive remit, which encompasses the council services that are key to delivering the City's growth agenda. He summarised the findings of the latest City Economic Review, recorded the major events that the city has hosted and is hosting (including the Marine City Festival next week) this year and noted that Plymouth has secured its key "asks" in the scope of the new Rail Franchise. He explained that current activities include identifying solutions to the delivery of c6,000 homes already consented but not yet built in the City, the appointment of a new Chief Executive for Destination Plymouth, support for the Theatre Royal's ambitions and opportunities to support the City's growth agenda through the City Fund and the Coastal Communities Fund.

5. Worklessness

Ashley Beare summarised the economic position at macro, SW and City levels. He briefed on Plymouth's new employment task force, which is chaired by the Leader, and its focus on the Plan for Jobs. He welcomed the greater emphasis on engagement by the private sector and the recognition of the needs of employers. He advised that, to support this, the PABC website (in development) will host links to help employers connect with agencies promoting growth and employment. He highlighted the launch of The Thousand Club, which is seeking 1,000 employers to each take on one new member of staff, on 28 September. The link is

6. Priority Sectors

Elaine Budd advised that descriptions of the six Priority Sectors are provided on the chamber's website (link included in briefing attached at Enclosure 6) and the Sector leaders and stakeholders meet bi-monthly. She referred to the development of sector initiatives across the City and the current work on identifying barriers to delivery.

7. LEP Update

Tim Jones the LEP Chairman briefed that the Government re-shuffle probably doesn't change much in terms of lobbying functions, which are well established with the relevant Government departments. He noted that ministers and civil servants are hands on, making many visits. He advised that the LEP is expecting to see changes to the planning system to encourage delivery of consents, a Government guarantee to encourage major capital projects in identified sectors, the re-packaging of PFI, encouragement of investment in energy generation and some form of business finance support. He noted that the improvement of the A303 could be through a toll road.

8. Culture Board

Abby Johnson briefed that Plymouth is evaluating the opportunities that bidding for City of Culture 2017 may offer – more will be known once the new Minister at DCSM announces the competition. She explained that the location of arts and culture within the Council's Economic Development Service recognises the role of investment in new provision to build/develop the City's cultural asset and contribute to growth to 2017 and onto 2020, when the 400th Anniversary of the Mayflower will be celebrated. She reported that the Arts Council has identified Plymouth as a strategic investment location.

9. The City companies and Destination Plymouth

Richard Davis Chairman CCC briefed on the role of the proposed new Chief Executive of Destination Plymouth, which will shortly be nationally advertised. He referred to the Visitor Plan and advised that the target market for the bidders in both the City Centre Company and the Waterfront Partnership lies within an hour's travel to the City. He welcomed the extended scope and resourcing of the Economic Development Service.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 1401.
To All PABC Members by email 10th Dec 2012



1. Introduction

The Chairman thanked the members of the City Council for, as ever, making the PABC so welcome in the Council House and David Heard of Ashfords for hosting the PABC’s lunches during 2012. 81members of the Council were present. The Chairman then warmly welcomed new members reminding everyone of the need to introduce themselves “in the American way” as there should be no strangers (to each other) within the PABC. He confirmed that the PABC membership of Senior Key Sector Leaders was now 250 (its voluntary ceiling) with 24 Hon. Members from PCC making a total of 274. 15 (member proposed) names are on the current waiting list. A list of those who had joined since the Sept meeting is at Enclosure 1. An up to date 2013 membership directory is now in the course of issue. Next year’s lunches will be hosted by Paul Woods of Wolferstans and his partners.

2. Annual Elections

As is customary, the Executive Group then resigned en-block. All offered to stand for re-election for a further year. Mervyn Spencer replaced Richard Ayre as the IoD representative, Richard receiving the congratulations of the group on being appointed IoD regional Chairman. Councillor Viv Pengelly Shadow Leader of PCC then conducted the election and the names at the foot of this minute were duly elected unanimously. The Shadow Leader of PCC closed by re-iterating PCC’s enthusiastic cross-party support for the work of the PABC and their engagement with it during the previous year and ongoing.

3. LEP Update

Tim Jones the LEP Chairman briefed on the latest developments in regard to City Challenge and also infrastructure concerns.

4. PCC, The Growth Board and the Economic Development Service

Anthony Payne provided an overview of the wide ranging roles of the Place Directorate, which in headline terms can be summarised as Planning, Housing Delivery, Transport (local and strategic), Environmental Services (ranging from public protection through to street cleaning, parks and waste services) and Economy, Enterprise and Employment. He summarised the position in relation to development of the City Deal proposition that is emerging and the timeframe for preparing a submission to central government. Up-dated those present across a range of initiatives including the Plan for Jobs, Marketing and Destination Plymouth and a number of specific projects and activities which included the Money Group investment in the city, broadband coverage, Theatre Royal Regeneration project, the 1000 Club and the University’s launch of the Marine building. An up-date was provided on future funding routes for transport schemes in light of the new structures being created around Local Transport Boards and informed those present of the initiative of the Leader of the City Council to lead dialogue with the transport minister on seeking future investment in the Peninsula’s transport network bearing in mind the recent issues of flooding and road closures.

5. Worklessness

Ashley Beare summarised the economic position at macro, SW and City levels and Frances Brennan expanded on this. Work Programme is the Government's programme for addressing long-term unemployment for people claiming Job Seekers allowance or Employment Support Allowance (for long-term health issues). There are two Work Programme providers in Plymouth: Working Links (PABC member) and Prospects who sub-contract their delivery to Tomorrows People (PABC member). These providers are working with the 10% of people that Jobcentre Plus have been unable to progress into work. Both providers are measured and paid by results when jobseekers have been in work for 26 weeks or 13 weeks if they have been claiming Employment Support Allowance. The Department for Work and Pensions recently released its first national statistics, which reflect the percentage of people that have sustained employment as a percentage of referrals in the first 12-14 months delivery. When the Work Programme was commissioned the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasted economic growth at 2.5% (which has not been achieved). Work Programme providers have made significant improvements since July 2012 and are continuing to strengthen their job entry rates and therefore steadily increasing the number of people into long-term sustainable employment. PABC members can support the City 1000 club by offering any vacancies for Young People and can also access a Youth Contract wage subsidy of £2,275 if they employ an 18-24 year old from the Work Programme. A summary of the progress made to date by the 1000 club was provided.

6. City of Culture Bid

Abby Johnson briefed on the latest progress and the commitment of the City Council and the University to supporting the Bid. Match funding will be sought from the private sector. The 2017 Bid is a milestone in its own right and a step on the path to Mayflower 2020. The exchange of letters between PABC and the Leader PCC and with the leader and AV is at enclosures 4 and 5

7. Local Procurement

Richard Thomas raised the question of local procurement, in particular Construction and Consultancy Framework Contracts under which it is hoped that local businesses can secure work in the future and so keep expenditure in the local economy. Information will be circulated to PABC members in January 2013.

8. Theatre Royal Project

Is reported to be half way to its target of £5m. An Arts Council announcement is awaited and PABC members can support the Project individually.

9. AOB

It is hoped that the Tavistock railway will be operating by late 2014/2015.