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.
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.
www.ersa.org.uk/hub/details/723. 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.
It is hoped that the Tavistock railway will be operating by late 2014/2015.