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									Yorkshire & Humber IED Workshop Note 2007/2
City Regions: The Developing Agenda

2.30 – 5.00 pm, Thursday 17th May 2007, Town Hall, Wakefield 1. Welcome, format The 40+ members and guests were welcomed by Alan Bruce, Chair Yorkshire & Humber IED. He explained that this is the latest in our 2007 series of workshops. Attendance is open to both IED members and non-members. The format would allow for participation and we would finish by 5.00 pm. For the benefit of new attendees, he explained that Chatham House rules would apply. Contributions were invited on a personal level, rather than people representing the views of their organisation, and the notes produced would not attribute views to specific individuals. The workshop would start with two scene setting contributions on City Regions (CR) in general and the potential for exploiting EU assistance and examples. After a short break for immediate questions, there would then be contributions from lead officers from each of the CR within our area, followed by a general discussion, and possibly the identification of future actions by IED at a national or regional level. The overall objective was to provide an update on this important agenda and a progress report from the region.

2. Developing City Regions in England Professor John Shutt, Director ERBEDU, Leeds Met University John explained that the policy background of CR originates in work such as the State of Cities report1. Future prospects are bound up with the ongoing Sub-National Review (SNR), the delayed Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR2007) and the change in Prime Minister. More clarity would be unlikely before early 2008. In the meantime CR had to develop their agendas and governance arrangements etc. It was now widely accepted that CR will be key drivers of the knowledge economy in 21st century, with a major role in regional and national performance. In this context the Northern CR must perform and collaborate better. They need vision and strategies linking economic, social, cultural and environmental policies. They also need more effective leadership and governance arrangements. They face challenges to develop more substantial knowledge base based industries, and attract companies that „shape‟ markets. They will need to grow, retain and attract higher level skills, partly by developing the role of further and higher education with


The State of the English Cities Report, ODPM, March 2006 & Devolving decision making: Meeting the regional economic challenge, OPDM, Treasury & DTI March 2006


business and voluntary sector partnership. They will also need to spread the benefits of prosperity within their sub-regions and be more outward looking. A key aspect will be Connectivity/Transport (intra-city-region & inter-city-region) – which is “the glue that binds the region”. Others important aspects for include – Innovation, Enterprise and Science – Skills and Labour Supply – Business Infrastructure and Support – Quality of Life and Quality of Place – Growth Sectors and Niche Clusters The Government has been sending signals that it is ready to devolve real power to strong city leaders, but will there be a genuine new relationship between central and local government? Will we see directly elected city leaders or cabinets? Where board of leaders are being established, to whom will they be accountable?

3. Exploiting Opportunities in Europe Dr Benito Giordano, Head of Office, Yorkshireurope Benito explained the changing European context for CR. He emphasised that while relatively newly fashionable in the UK, they are not new elsewhere and there is much opportunity to learn/share from others. Although CR are very diverse, with differing powers, structures etc. all are equal. They are also important in delivering the EU‟s Growth and Jobs Agenda. It is noticeable that the EU „Jobs and Growth‟ agenda and the Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Economic Strategy priorities are very similar The „New‟ Regional Policy, 2007-2013 emphasises the following • Convergence, Competitiveness, Co-operation • Strategic focus linked to the RES • One regional programme (transitional funding for S Yorks) with no maps • Implications: – Less money („last orders‟) – Focus on „opportunities‟ as well as „need‟ – Visibility of EU funds – Links to other EU funding opportunities There will of course be less “easy” Structural Funding, but this does mean less “Europe”. This region will need to be better at accessing the „Smart money‟ to enhance RES delivery, especially for things such as better competitiveness, transnational initiatives and for developing excellence. This will not replace „core‟ funding but can add value to existing CR work priorities. There is also the opportunity to share best-practice, encourage regional learning and influence future EU policy. Immediate messages are – – Use and spend the Structural Funds well up until 2013 – Get better at accessing the „smart money‟ – It is not just about the money but also about having influence and profile – Continue to raise Y&H‟s profile in Europe


4. Yorkshire & Humber Updates a) Hull & Humber Ports City Region, Patsy Kays, European and Regional Policy Manager Hull City Council Patsy explained that the CR is broadly the same as the Humber Estuary Sub Area in Regional Spatial Strategy. Humber Estuary is the focus, and some key points are: – Largest ports complex in UK – 4th largest in Northern Europe – 900,00 population – Main urban areas, Hull (300,000+), Grimsby/Cleethorpes (140,000) Scunthorpe (70,000) The CR Development Programme (CRDP) is based on the concept of the UK‟s Global Gateway. Ever-larger container ships will mean fewer calls in UK so more freight will be trans-shipped from continental ports like Rotterdam, Antwerp and Hamburg and coastal shipping utilised. Shift of UK port traffic to Humber would bring economic benefits for the North and for the whole of UK e.g. cost/time savings for businesses, reduction in congestion in South East, less pollution etc. As well as contributing to the economy of the North and the UK as a whole, the CRDP captures benefits for the CR, increasing output and wealth through – – adding value to global trade movements – boosting low employment rates – creating more and higher-value businesses The Action Plan advances projects through rolling 3-year Sub-Regional Investment Plan, linked to RES. It also outlines new and revised policies, plus increased advocacy for CR, especially with Government and relevant agencies. In addition it suggests a number of required further studies, and methods for monitoring, evaluation and review.

b) Leeds City Region, Nicole Brock, Head of Regional Policy, Leeds Council Nicole explained the geography and partnership history of the CR. It started with an “Economic Summit” in November 2004 and 11 councils agreeing a “Voluntary Concordat” in March 2005. A Leader‟s and Chief Executive‟s Groups was established, together with Officer Groups to carry out research and policy development. An Interim CRDP was presented to the Government in May 2005, and a CR Business Case was made to David Miliband in February 2006. CRDP 2 was launched in Halifax and Westminster in November 2006, and includes a 25 Year Transport Vision. Joint policy responses had also been made on a number of issues, including the CSR07 and SNR. New Governance arrangements have been adopted in April 2007, and the Implementation/Business Plan envisaged a Multi-Area Agreement (initially on the Transport Vision) and Investment Planning from 2009.


The Leaders‟ Board has 11 equal partners (1 authority 1 vote). It was constituted as a Joint Committee from April and in addition there is a Business Leadership Group to provide a business input to strategic economic policy and delivery. Panels have also been created for – Transport, – Skills & Labour Market – Housing & Sustainable Communities – Investment Partnership The aim of the CRDP is “to achieve 4% p.a. growth in GVA per capita over the coming 10 years”. This growth rate is sufficient to close the productivity gap with the UK average within a 10 year time scale. To achieve this key activities are envisaged in areas such as – Financial and Business Services – Electrical and Optical – Bioscience, Health and Medical Research – Digital and Creative Industries – 3rd Science Hub – Innovation and Enterprise Conversely, addressing underlying inhibitors will include activities related to – Transport – Skills and Labour Market – Business Infrastructure and Support – Housing and Sustainable Communities – Quality of Life

c) Sheffield CR, Alice Hetherington, Sheffield CR Coordinator, South Yorkshire Partnership Alice explained that the CRDP had two key principles - susidiarity (doing things at the right level) and adding value. Although much of it was similar to the other CR, Sheffield had a special asset/challenge springing from its location at the junction of three English regions. Its links with the East Midlands and Manchester needed to be recognised, as well as with the rest of the Yorkshire & Humber region. The “Sheffield City Region Forum” is a strategic body responsible for overseeing & advising on implementation of CRDP. In addition there are a number of “Joint Issue Boards” (JIBs) to progress specific workstreams that would benefit from a joint approach. The initial JIBs are entitled – Destination (tourism) – Innovation & Knowledge Economy (knowledge assets) – Residential Offer (Hosing supply and demand) – Transport (connectivity) The CDRP sees five key economic drivers: – Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield – Growth Centres


– Key Economic Sectors (Advanced manufacturing, Cultural, creative & digital industries, and Business & financial services) – Universities & Innovation – Destination In addition, as with the other CRDP, the Sheffield one was also committed to addressing underlying weaknesses or inhibitors, particularly related to – Enterprise – Skills – Participation – Connectivity

5. Questions & Debate A wide ranging debate and questions session identified a series of points, including a) There will Inevitably will be many local political problems in delivering a common agenda and keeping everybody on board who needs to be involved b) The tension between the emphasis on raising economic (and other) aspirations and social inclusion c) Equally the difficulty of delivering comparable advantages across diverse CR d) The critical roles of the private and voluntary sectors and past and present dominance of the public sector on CR agendas in Yorkshire & Humber e) The differences between the wider EU and the English context, while recognising the potential lessons from other countries f) A worry that there is sufficient powers at the local level to deliver on the CRDP g) Differing levels of scepticism about the Government‟s commitment to devolution and CR h) Worries and questions about the bits (areas) in-between the CR? i) Queries over the USP for each CR or will they simply all do the same things? j) Is the Northern Way dead, and if not what role should it play in CR? k) The potential for better networking on CR, especially in relation to contact with the Government, and the worries that one area might be played off against another and/or be expected to “re-invent the wheel”.

6. Conclusions & IED actions The Chair agreed to pass the notes to the IED National Council and LGA for their information. In addition, it was agreed clarification should be sought on current networks and potential support from IED etc. In particular, the National Council should seek an early meeting with lead officers in the Government on the CR agenda.

Reminder – Next Workshop will be Northallerton in July on Regeneration in Rural Areas – details will be circulated next month


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