PABC
Minutes and Resolutions
Tuesday 4th March 2014

RECORD OF AND ACTIONS PLACED BY THE 53rd MEETING HELD ON 4th DEC 2013

1. Introduction

The Chairman thanked Clare Magill and the Wolferstans Partners for hosting lunch for 2013 and the members of the City Council for hosting the meeting in the Council House. Next year’s meetings will be hosted by Richard Stevens of Plymouth CityBus. 76 members of the council were present. The PABC membership remains at 257 with 24 Hon members and with 18 (member proposed) names on the current waiting list. A list of those who had joined since the September meeting is at Enclosure 1.

2. Diary dates & Website

Forthcoming dates are at the end of these minutes. The new website is up and running and can be accessed at www.PABC.co. Photographs from the recent parliamentarians dinner may be found there.

3. Annual Elections

The Chairman announced the routine resignation of the PABC Board (Leadership Executive) and asked the Deputy Leader of PCC, Cllr Peter Smith, to conduct the election for the 2014 Leadership Team. The membership were happy to re-elect en bloc the 2013 team simply noting the following variations.

i. Ian Brokenshire will assume the inward investment and finance role relinquished by Steven Redfarn.

ii. Tim Jones will assume the additional role of Infrastructure and Transport (he holds this responsibility on the LEP board)

iii. Andrew Ashley has indicated that he wishes to step down for the time being and Enterprise will be covered by Prof Wendy Purcell.

iv. Ashley Beare will assume the additional role of Employment.

v. Paul Woods is the Chairman of the Plymouth CSG and relinquishes the Service Sector which will be covered by Sarah Holmes

4. Broadband in the South West

Michael Dunn, the retiring Regional head of British Telecom gave a presentation and was thanked for his hugely helpful work in terms of enhancing Plymouth’s broadband connectivity. In summary, Plymouth is well placed currently, but the Royal William Yard remains a singular problem and members were asked to do all that they could to assist. The formal lead is with the City Council digital committee of the Growth Board chaired by David Parlby who is aware of the issues

5. PCC and Growth board update

Anthony Payne gave a comprehensive and upbeat briefing on the whole spectrum of economic activity across the City over the previous quarter. A précis of what was said is at Enclosure 2.

6. Transport Issues

Dan Okey, who has succeeded Julian Crow at FGW and is the PABC’s rail lead, gave an update on the new 2 year franchise and specifically referred to the full installation of the most up to date version of WiFi which will commence in the Spring of 2014 and which was enabled in part by local pressures generated from within the PABC and addressed to the Secretary of State personally.

Members raised the issue of the introduction of the early morning through train from London being their highest current priority and urged FGW and the Department of Transport to speed up its introduction in that it had a direct effect on the sub-regional economy. It was made very clear by the regional business leaders that they did NOT expect the local authority to be asked to subsidise main line services such as this, which would create an inappropriate precedent, whilst recognising the clear case for doing so at the level of community rail. The enhanced sleeper service was welcomed.

A message was received from Tim Jones during the meeting that the dualling of the A303 had been included in the Chief Secretary to the Treasury’s autumn statement which the PABC found very encouraging.

It was expected that the first trains would run to Tavistock in 2018 and a re-opening of Plymouth North Road Station was planned for the Spring. The PABC offered to support this.

7. Naval Base update - NBC

A round up was given on behalf of the NBC under the Chatham house rule, and this covered Type 26 Frigate, deterrent submarine new refit programme, the SSN disposal situation, the new Ice Patrol vessel, and aspects of City deal. There will be more in the Spring. In the meantime, the PABC’s relationship with the Royal Navy is close and warm following the First Sea Lord’s recent visit and dinner speech and news of the HMS OCEAN re-commissioning event, as date for which is being examined for February/March at which all PABC members will be welcome.

8. City major developments update

Paul Barnard delivered an excellent presentation on the planning and development agenda which included Seaton View, Sherford, King Point, Millbay, Mount Wise and the Vision site amongst others. The PABC were most impressed with the progress being made. A link is here: http://www.plymouth.gov.uk/homepage/environmentandplanning/planning/planningpolicy/ldf.htm ….. He reported that 97% of the commercial estate is let which was considered excellent. The LEP and ERDF have assisted PCC to enable The Millfields block B project (about £5M) which it was considered would transform Union Street. The factory cooperage development was now funded.

9. The Culture Agenda

This item could not be covered on this occasion and will be covered in the Spring.

10. Visitor and Tourism agenda

Amanda Lumley gave a very encouraging briefing and demonstrated much progress over a relatively short period and an extract of her notes is at Enclosure 3

11. Plymouth CSG update

Is now up and running under the chairmanship of Paul Woods with Charles Howeson as his deputy and was due to hold its first working meeting on Wednesday 4th December at which the need to champion the regional connectivity and transport infrastructure would be emphasised.

12. Worklessness (standing update)

Ashley Beare was unable to brief due to a short notice injury, but it is understood that the unemployment position has improved markedly which was considered most encouraging.