Venue: Third Floor, Southwater One, Southwater Square, Southerwater Way, Telford TF3 4JG
Contact: Jayne Clarke / Paige Starkey 01952 383205 / 380110
Declarations of Interest
Councillors Richard Overton and Lee Carter declared a non-pecuniary interest in the in the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership report.
RESOLVED - that the minutes of the meeting held on 27 September 2023 be confirmed and signed by the Chair
To receive an update on the Telford Land Deal.
The Cabinet Member: Place (The Economy & Neighbourhood Services) presented the report of the Director: Prosperity & Investment. The report set out the continued achievements of the Telford Land Deal, which had delivered new high skilled local jobs, created growth and security in the local supply chain and new homes across the Borough.
Since the Council entered into the Land Deal eight years ago, the Deal had cumulatively delivered the sale of a total of 32 commercial sites and 24 sites for residential development, accounting for 1525 new homes and supported commercial premises delivering 2233 new jobs, many in engineering and manufacturing adding skilled job opportunities for the Borough’s communities.
As part of the Land Deal, the Council had taken ownership of all residual non developable land from Homes England. This provided an opportunity to substantially enhance and grow the Borough’s provision of Green Network and Local Nature Reserves, alongside providing support to a range of programmes including the Great Crested Newt District Licencing Scheme, carbon offsetting and Biodiversity Net Gain.
Cabinet Members welcomed the report and thanked the officers and partners involved. Members noted the positive impact the Land Deal continued to have on the Borough and its residents.
The Leader of the Conservative Group welcomed the report and commended the work of the Council in creating thousands of jobs and new homes for residents.
The Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group welcomed the report and noted that it provided a good balance between environmental protection and continued development of the Borough.
RESOLVED – that the outcomes achieved during the 2022/2023 financial year and overall since the Land Deal commenced in 2015 be noted.
To receive an update on the Telford Growth Fund.
The Cabinet Member: Place (The Economy & Neighbourhood Services) presented the report of the Director: Prosperity & Investment. The report provided an update on the continued achievements of the Council's Growth Fund investments.
Over 8 years, the Growth Fund had committed £79.4m into a range of investments, which were anticipated to help deliver approximately 1445 new and safeguarded jobs. This investment had included smaller business units to support business start-ups and provide grow on space for existing companies. A development of 24 units at Hortonwood, known as Orchard Business Park, was at the time of the meeting already over a third pre-let. Members heard that the investments coming forward were still predominantly new investors entering the Borough or existing companies’ expansions.
The Growth Fund was also supporting the delivery of a new Digital and Skills Hub as part of the first phase of development at Station Quarter. The planned Hub was set to provide education and business start-up spaces locally, in partnership with Telford College and Harper Adams University.
Cabinet Members noted the significance of investment in delivering jobs and attracting new businesses to Telford and Wrekin, and how that could be reinvested into delivering further services locally.
The Leader of the Conservative Group welcomed the creation of the Digital and Skills hub, highlighting the importance of developing skills and apprenticeships.
The Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group welcomed the report and the authorities’ efforts to support businesses.
RESOLVED - that the outcomes of the Growth Fund investments to date be noted.
To consider the draft Local Plan Consultation.
The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member: Homes & Enforcement presented the report of the Director: Housing, Employment & Infrastructure. The report detailed the Draft Local Plan and proposed site allocations.
The existing Telford and Wrekin Local Plan was adopted in February 2018 and under government guidelines was due to be reviewed every five years in order remain up-to-date and in line with national policy. The Draft Plan and consultation was the next formal stage in this review. The plan set out how the Council used the planning system to further the protection of the borough’s greenspaces, help bring forward climate ready development that provided homes for all, supported regeneration and brought new investment in infrastructure and job creation until 2040.
The Draft Plan was a consultation document and provided the public and stakeholders an early opportunity to provide their input. Following the consultation period, the local plan review then proceeded to the Publication stage at which point there was a further stage of public consultation. This would be followed by independent examination by a Planning Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State, with adoption anticipated 2025/26.
Cabinet Members welcomed the report and thanked officers for their hard work. A discussion took place regarding the importance of engaging residents in the consultation process.
RESOLVED - that:
a) The contents of the report and the appendices be noted;
b) the Draft Local Plan, the Draft Polices Map and the proposed Site Allocations be approved;
c) Delegated authority be provided to the Director: Housing, Employment & Infrastructure, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Homes and Enforcement to exercise all relevant powers under provisions of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2023 and associated law to:
a. consult and invite representations on the Local Plan review;
b. Prepare the local plan for submission to the Secretary of State (following approval from Full Council) and prepare for examination;
c. And publish the outcome of the examination and recommendations
d) delegated authority be provided to the Director: Housing Employment and Infrastructure to exercise the Council’s powers relating to its duty to cooperate in relation to the planning of sustainable development as set out in Section 33A Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and any other associated legislation and guidance; and
e) That delegated authority be provided to the Director: Housing Employment & Infrastructure to enter into formal arrangements with any person or body referred to or prescribed in accordance with Section 33A Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and associated law and authorise the Lead Cabinet Member to sign and confirm the Council’s agreement to those formal arrangements if required.
To consider the making of the Ercall Magna Parish Neighbourhood Development Plan.
The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member: Homes & Enforcement presented the report of the Director: Housing, Employment & Infrastructure. The report recommended the adoption of the Ercall Magna Neighbourhood Development Plan as the eighth Neighbourhood Development Plan in the Borough, reflecting the Councils commitment to engage local communities further in planning for development in their local areas.
The Ercall Magna Neighbourhood Development Plan was created by the Ercall Magna Parish Council and submitted to Telford and Wrekin Council in its capacity as the local planning authority. The plan was subject to a referendum in September 2023, and 76.08% of those who voted were in favour of the EMNDP being used to help decide the planning applications in the plan.
Cabinet Members thanked the residents of Ercall Magna for their engagement and noted the positive impact of working with communities to set plans for their local areas.
The Leader of the Conservative Group praised the residents of Ercall Magna for the high turn-out, stating that it was indicative of the high level of thought that goes into planning issues locally.
The Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group welcomed the report and commended the high level of engagement from the Ercall Magna residents.
RESOLVED - that the creation of the Ercall Magna Parish Neighbourhood Development Plan for use in determining planning applications in relation to the area of Ercall Magna be approved.
To receive an update on Telford & Wrekin becoming Carbon Neutral and Plastic Free.
The Cabinet Member: Leisure, Climate Action, Green Spaces & Heritage presented the report of the Director: Communities, Customer & Commercial Services. The report provided an update on the progress made to meeting the Council’s target of becoming Carbon Zero by 2030, and progress with removing single use plastics from Council operations.
Since Telford and Wrekin Council declared a climate emergency in 2019, the Council have implemented strategies to decarbonise the corporate estate, explore renewable energy feasibility, support communities in decarbonisation and build resilience against the impacts of climate change. This has seen the introduction of solar panels on Council buildings, expansion of the electric vehicle fleet and additional support provided to residents to reduce their home emissions. NuPlace had also carried out significant work regarding sustainable, energy efficient property development, above the current national building regulations, which has allowed residents to save on energy costs.
Members were informed that the Telford and Wrekin Council Corporate Climate Change Plan was updated on a continuous basis and further work was underway with the Council Environment Scrutiny Committee.
The Council were working collaboratively to reduce the amount of single use plastics in the borough. Collectively Telford & Wrekin Plastic Free Taskforce were working to achieve plastic free community status for the borough by 2024, which required 70% of the borough to be accredited. At the time of the meeting Newport, Madeley and Wellington Town Councils had achieved this. Oakengates, Great Dawley, Hollinswood & Randlay and Hadley & Leegomery and the Gorge Town and Parish Councils had also signed up and were currently working to achieve their accreditation, meaning the Council were on track to achieve Borough accreditation within the next 12 months.
Cabinet Members welcomed the report and noted the significant progress made and actions currently in progress. There was a discussion around how combatting climate change can positively impact residents’ health and finances.
RESOLVED - that:
a) The progress the Council has made over the last 12 months in its journey to become carbon neutral by 2030 and that it has now reduced its carbon emissions by 60% from a 2018/19 baseline be noted;
b) The refreshed Corporate Action Plan be approved;
c) The progress the Council is making to remove single use plastics corporately and as part of that supporting the Telford and Wrekin Plastic Free Task Force to achieve borough wide accreditation be noted; and.
d) The report be referred to Full Council for information as part of the 'Matters Determined by the Cabinet' report.
To receive the Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report.
The Cabinet Member for Inclusion, Engagement, Equalities & Civic Pride presented the report of the Director: Policy & Governance. The report provided an update on the work that had taken place around meeting the Council’s commitments to the Armed Forces Covenant and in support of our Armed Forces community during 2022-2023.
As a signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant, Telford and Wrekin Council was required to uphold a commitment to support the armed forces community. The Council has broadened their outreach activities through partnership working to include the Council's Armed Forces Staff Network, Veterans' Cafes in Dawley, Madeley and a new café to launch in Donnington, the Models for Heroes Group and a Veterans Football Club which meets weekly at AFC Telford United. The Council had also been recognised by the Ministry of Defence as a Gold Employer for veterans.
Cabinet Members stated that it was important to recognise the contribution of veterans and armed forces personnel and to be committed to supporting them.
The Leader of the Conservative Group welcomed the report and commended the work of the Council.
The Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group welcomed the report and noted the work to support the armed forces.
RESOLVED - that:
a) The progress made to develop the Council's "offer" to the Borough's Armed Forces Community be noted
b) The proposed approach to enhancing that offer as set out in paragraphs 5.1 to 5.5 of the report be endorsed.
Councillors Richard Overton and Lee Carter left the meeting at this point.
To receive a report on future arrangements for the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership.
The Cabinet Member for Cabinet Member for Finance, Customer Services and Governancepresented the report of the Director: Housing, Employment & Infrastructure. The report detailed the plans to establish a new Joint Committee between Telford & Wrekin Council, Shropshire Council and Herefordshire Council to oversee and manage the short-term transfer and any ongoing activities required to manage the residual assets, resources and responsibilities of the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in accordance with the recent Government decision to cease supporting LEP’s from March 2024.
The decision provided the Council with the opportunity to shape an even more locally focussed investment and support package for Telford & Wrekin businesses and residents.
Cabinet Members welcomed the report and expressed their appreciation to the LEP for their work since 2012.
RESOLVED - that:
a) the establishment of a Joint Committee with Shropshire Council and Herefordshire Council to oversee, manage and distribute the assets and responsibilities of the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) be approved;
b) Authority be delegated to the Director: Housing, Employment & Infrastructure in consultation with the Director: Finance & Human Resources and Cabinet Member for Place (The Economy & Neighbourhood Services) to make necessary arrangements for the management of resources, functions and responsibilities of the LEP in accordance with Government guidelines and;
c) Authority be delegated to the Director: Policy & Governance to enter into any necessary legal agreements to give effect to any of the proposals contained in this report or to give effect to any decisions made by the Director: Housing, Employment & Infrastructure and Director: Finance & Human Resources in accordance with the delegations granted by Cabinet in respect of this report.