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Apologies for absence.
To consider the extent, if any, to which the public and press are to be excluded from the meeting.
There were no items items on the agenda that contained exempt information.
Declarations of Interest, if any.
Agenda Item 6: Brexit
Councillor Andrea Robinson declared that her husband is the CEO of Doncaster Deaf Trust and on page 15 of the presentation it listed key recipients of European Social Fund in Doncaster including Doncaster Deaf Trust.
Councillor Kevin Rodgers declared that his wife worked in the logistics industry.
The minutes of the meetings held on 13th September and 4th October, 2018 were agreed as a correct record.
Ann Gilbert a Doncaster resident stated:
“I would like to thank authors for the paper which highlights the many risks to the people of Doncaster if we leave the EU with no deal or we lose the tariff free access to the single market.
It is an unenviable task trying to evaluate the effects when the government has so much internal infighting with no strong direction of travel coming forward and a messy floor of parliament which may have to make the decision between no deal or the deal the PM comes back with – which I’m sure we all agree is not a meaningful vote.
I will address the paper linked to the paragraphs.
Risks and Assumptions
Para 11-12 – EU Funding
To date we have had £100 million from the EU and the Shared Prosperity Fund is expected to take over post 2020 – what level of confidence does the Borough have that Doncaster can access sufficient funding to meet the Industrial strategy for Doncaster – who will be in competition with – how many Local Enterprise Partnerships are there sharing the £1.6billion allocated by government.
Para 14 – Migration
Do we know where our migrant workforce is employed – which sectors and in what numbers? Has any assessment been made by the employers concerned about the effects it will have on their business – eg. Skill shortages.
Para 15 – Impact on the Economy and our residents
Access to EU airports
Do we know what the cost would be if our airport was grounded for any length of time and does that effect revenue to the Borough?
Trading with the EU
No matter what kind of Brexit we get, our companies who deal with Europe will still have to maintain EU standards if they wish to continue to export to the EU.
What proportion of Doncaster companies trade with the EU? You mention 153 but think this is only a proportion of the real number of businesses that could be affected.
How many ‘just in time’ businesses do we have in Doncaster linked to trade with the EU?
If we lose access to the single market and tariff free export and imports – how many of our companies are at serious risk of going out of business?
We appear to have very poor levels of productivity 59th:60 in the Centre for Cities report (2017). Will this be exacerbated if we lose our migrant workforce? What is in place to improve this position – skills training, lack of job opportunities with decent wage structures to attract workers and keep workers in our Borough? What work is currently being done – Brexit or no Brexit.
Para 35 – You have identified as a key concern – the move to the Borough relying on income from business rates – going to 75% - means that we must keep our businesses in Doncaster, thriving. The loss of business rates directly affects the standards of delivery of ... view the full minutes text for item 18.
The Committee received a presentation from the Head of Service, Strategy and Performance Unit providing detail on the current Brexit position covering the following areas:
· Background to Brexit;
· Key Documents and dates;
· A “No Deal” Brexit implications;
· Impact of Brexit on the borough and its economy:
- What to Watch;
- Challenges and Opportunities;
- Wider Issues regional, national and individual;
- Project Deliverability;
· Treasury Management risks;
· Migration; and
· Influence – Government Policy through both established and new channels.
The Chief Executive Officer from Doncaster Chamber outlined that the Chamber was a small business organisation that represented the private sector in the Borough equating to approximately 60,000 people. He explained that there were three business thought categories across the sector, those that were preparing and mitigating, those watching and others that were doing neither but continuing to operate. However, what unified the business sector was the desire for proper answers from the Government, many issues of which had been covered by the Public Statement made at the beginning of the meeting.
He continued to explain that practical guidance and check lists were being provided regularly to the Borough’s businesses and asked Members to remember that there were also 53 other Chambers across the Country also looking into the practicalities of a “Deal” or “No Deal” Brexit position.
The Committee recognised that 40 years of legislation was being addressed and there was uncertainty about the future but importantly, although many issues were unclear, what opportunities were available for the Council and Borough were being investigated.
The following issues were addressed by the Committee and other Members in attendance at the meeting:
Legal changes for trading – some businesses recognised the importance and were developing sophisticated plans but the micro businesses tended to be taking more of a reactionary position. Support had been available for Doncaster’s businesses for some time to ensure they were prepared, particularly with a long term international trade programme. Members were pleased to note that the region had a growth hub where businesses provided joint support..
Trading outside the EU – Members were informed that there was an established Trade Carousel for experts on certain markets, including outside the EU, to promote overseas and international trade with joined up business support. It was noted that Doncaster Chamber would hopefully be attending a Trade Exhibition in China in 2019 with a number of local businesses. This visit would help build relationships both for trade and other areas, for example linking to skills and education.
It was noted that a Restructure of the Investment Team was being undertaken to maximise the Council’s growth platforms and continue building momentum for international trade.
Yorkshire Wide Deal – A Member stressed, in their opinion, that if Doncaster was part of a Yorkshire Deal it would have more potential to sell and deliver using the Yorkshire brand but questioned what impact Brexit would have on this proposal. In response it was stressed that Yorkshire already held an established international brand, attractive to investors, ... view the full minutes text for item 19.
Prior to Full Council on 22nd November, the Committee gave consideration to the Community Safety Strategy 2018-21 statutory plan. The Plan outlined how the Doncaster Community Safety Partnership would address crime and disorder, including serious and organised crime, reduce re-offending, tackle anti-social behaviour and alcohol and substance misuse.
Key achievements were addressed in the report and the Committee was particularly pleased to see domestic abuse and motorcycle nuisance being recognised as priorities within the strategy, as this was consistent with the Crime and Disorder Committees previous consideration and recommendations.
Also addressed in the report were key challenges that remained and actions to address them including the raised threat by organised crime, where a new theme group had been established to focus on this issue.
It was stressed that incidents of begging and rough sleeping in the Town Centre remained an issue but had reduced following the introduction of the complex lives multi-agency team with displacement issues being monitored.
In response to a query raised by a Member with regard to communities that hold weddings to celebrate their culture and traditions, it was stressed that work had been undertaken and support offered to groups to ensure that, for example, they do not promote functions on Twitter or Facebook which in turn advertised that properties would be empty at specific times and therefore a potential target. The communities have also been offered “Smart Water” to ensure their neighbourhood was protected. It was confirmed that leaders in these communities would be informed that their protection was always taken seriously.
Members recalled that youth provision was now provided in a more targeted way ensuring that resources were placed in areas with serious concerns, particularly anti-social behaviour, making sure that early intervention would prevent situations worsening. It was important to note that neighbourhoods were encouraged to apply for community project funding.
It was supported that partnership working was essential, not just within South Yorkshire but with neighbouring areas, for example, with regard to off road bike nuisance, where a recent successful joint operation with West Yorkshire had stopped offenders and bikes seized. It was highlighted that motor cycle nuisance could also be a symptom of more serious illegal activities including organised crime.
With regard to funding and times of austerity, concern was expressed that resources would continue to reduce and have an impact on partners ability to support and therefore recognised that the Doncaster Community Safety Partnership Strategy was flexible to address key priorities and that the front line does not see a negative impact.
RESOLVED that the Committee support the Community Safety Strategy.
The Committee gave consideration to the Scrutiny work plan and noted progress being made by each Panel.
The Chair reminded Members of issues contained in the Forward Plan and suggested that the Regeneration and Housing Scrutiny Panel at its next meeting receive an outline of the key decision relating to the ESIF grant for delivery of New Business Support in Doncaster as part of the Sheffield City Region Launchpad Programme.
1. that the work plan, be noted; and
2. a request be made for an update to be presented to the Regeneration and Housing Scrutiny Panel at a future meeting on the key decision relating to the ESIF grant for delivery of New Business Support in Doncaster as part of the Sheffield City Region Launchpad Programme.