Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Office. View directions

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence.

2.

To consider the extent, if any, to which the public and press are to be excluded from the meeting.

Minutes:

There were no items where the public and press would be excluded from the meeting.

3.

Declarations of Interest, if any.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made.

4.

Minutes of the meeting held on 9th March 2020 pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:- that the minutes of the meeting held on 9th March, 2020 were agreed as a correct record.

 

5.

Public Statements - [A period not exceeding 20 minutes for statements from up to 5 members of the public on matters within the Committees remit, proposing action(s) which may be considered or contribute towards the future development of the Committees Work Programme].

Minutes:

There were no public statements made.

6.

Economic Impact Arising From COVID-19 pdf icon PDF 310 KB

Minutes:

A report was presented for consideration outlining the economic impact arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, how it has affected Doncaster and the effective distribution of business support grants.

 

The Chair outlined that he appreciated the report had only just been written, and circumstances with regard to how the Country was responding to the virus was ever changing due to the increase in cases in the preceding weeks.  The following areas were then addressed by Members:

 

Safeguarding businesses – in response to a question relating to whether the Government would provide further action, it was noted that until announcements were made it was difficult to outline what further support the Government would provide, and that this uncertainty continued to create increased concern amongst the business community in respect to moving their business forward. 

 

In response to the initial Corona virus pandemic, a number of “Response Cells” were established as part of the Control Board.  The “Business Cell” included Doncaster Chamber and the Department of Work and Pensions, and has ensured that all support and required forms for future grant assistance were available should they be needed in the near future.

 

Business Grants – The Panel’s attention was drawn to the number of grants made available in response to the pandemic.  It was noted that as the virus continued there could be additional Government business grants and support made available, which would continue to be facilitated through the Business Support Team.

 

Members were informed that £12.3bn had been made available across the Country with £11bn already distributed.  The Local Authority had received £64m for Doncaster’s business community.  This figure had been calculated by the Government based on the number of businesses in Doncaster.  A total of £59m had already been allocated to over 90% of businesses.  It was confirmed that in relation to the last round of business grants Central Government released additional funding specifically for charitable organisations.

 

The proactive work undertaken by Team Doncaster and Business Rates in assisting people across the Borough, was recognised by the Panel.

 

Rapid funds available from Central Government in response to Covid – it was acknowledged that any funds would be used to support Doncaster’s towns and were being matched with, for example, future high street fund to maximise impact.

 

Accelerated funding – the Panel noted that £1m had been secured for Doncaster town centre with £500,000 available for Stainforth as part of the “Town Deal”.

 

Business recovery and apprenticeships – It was reported that a project team, working with job centre plus, Doncaster Chamber and Doncaster’s Advanced programme responsible for skills and training, was being established to assist companies mitigating against redundancies, finding job vacancies for staff that were facing redundancy and looking at new training opportunities.  For example, it was explained that a Doncaster company was looking to make two thirds of its workforce redundant but through this project team jobs had been secured for 80% of the staff affected. 

 

With regard to the number of available apprenticeships, it was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Overview and Scrutiny Work Plan and the Council's Forward Plan of Key Decisions pdf icon PDF 704 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel discussed development of the work plan for future meetings and it was suggested that town centre car parking, in relation to future developments be addressed.

 

Resolved:  that the discussion and work plan, be noted.