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Agenda and minutes

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No. Item




Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Simon Miller, Portfolio Lead for Economic Growth and Housing Development, Stewart Murray, Strategic Director, Regeneration and Growth, and Aiden McManus, Commercial Director – Property and Delivery. 




Members are required to declare any pecuniary or non-pecuniary interest they or their spouse/partner may have in any matter that is to be considered at this meeting.  Interests are defined in the front cover of this agenda.





To approve the minutes of the meeting held on the 9th July 2019.


The minutes of the previous meeting held on 09 July 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.




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Andrew Spragg, Scrutiny Officer, introduced the item and explained that the forward plan had been prepared over the summer from feedback received at the previous meeting.

Mr Spragg asked the Committee to note the responses from Councillor Simon Miller, Portfolio Lead for Economic Growth and Housing Development, to the recommendations of the last meeting and highlighted the scoping document for the Committee to comment on. The Chair gave thanks to Councillor Miller for his helpful responses and the speed that the Committee received them.


The Committee asked whether summaries of finance figures would be part of the tracker programme and reiterated the importance of reviewing the financial implications of everything the Council does. Mr Spragg answered that reports contained financial information and implications as common practice.




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The Chair explained to the Committee that the aim of this meeting had been to gather evidence from some external witnesses on their views regarding good practice in engagement. While some written information was available, unfortunately the witnesses planned for the meeting were unable to attend, so the Chair suggested that the Committee hear a brief overview on the Councils engagement on growth and save specific detail for other sessions when external witnesses could be reorganised.


Penny Sharp, Interim Director of Regeneration, Planning and Delivery, gave the Committee a general outline of the spatial plan element of growth and ways of engaging with businesses and explained that the way the Council engage with residents and business was wholly dependent and reflective of the initiative being engaged on. Ms Sharp explained that there had been considerable engagement on the growth strategy which had comprised structured research, data review and analysis. She added that this engagement had set out to be representative and had engaged with a statistically significant sample of residents across the borough via online and direct surveys as well as through focus groups. The feedback was being used to formulate and develop the growth strategy, and methods for wider business engagement.


In terms of Local Plan engagement, Ms Sharp explained that a lot of the community engagement had been consultation around the direction of travel. Ms Sharp described how this had been an extensive consultation with over 729 people attending a variety of targeted events across the borough, as well as engagement through leaflets inviting responses and social media for example, with the aim of reaching many demographics and specific audiences to ensure a diverse spread of responses. Ms Sharp explained that the consultation will end on 30 September 2019 and that hopefully the feedback from it will provide rich information which will feed into the next iteration of the plan.


Rebecca Davey, Assistant Director Employment Business and Skills, described some tools and techniques the Council had used to build ongoing relationships that could hopefully lead to good engagement and feedback on specific projects in the future as the connections were already in place. Ms Davey also discussed harder to reach people in the community and described how the Adult Learning Service had used community networks to assist them with outreach and explained that employment teams were looking to do the same to reach specific groups. She also discussed the Big Youth Conversation and how it asked nuanced questions regarding issues young people face, which was vital to engagement, and also talked about the ‘Invest in Waltham Forest’ initiative. Ms Sharp added that alongside planned and Business as Usual engagement, there was also reactive engagement that could be responsive when needed.


The Committee voiced concerns regarding Council run consultation events on the Local Plan and compared it to an engagement event that took place in Chingford which had been advertised using ward engagement funds and had nearly 400 people in attendance. The Committee also felt that there were more  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.



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Consideration was given to a report by the Interim Director of Regeneration, Planning and Delivery. Rebecca Davey, Assistant Director Employment Business and Skills, introduced the report which gave the Committee an update on the implementation of the Economic Growth Strategy 2016-2020, the progress made in delivering the priority actions and discussed an assessment of the key performance indicators. Ms Davey explained that as the strategy had been in place since 2016, the Council were looking to review it and that it would be beneficial to get views from Committee on its scope and shape. Ms Davey explained that there had been considerable growth in the borough since 2016, that was difficult to cover in a short report, and gave a walkthrough of achievements in the five key areas that the strategy had been built on; business, town centres, housing growth, employment and skills, and infrastructure.  She added that there had been a dip in business growth in the last year and stated that while this was a concern it was unsurprising in the current environment.


The Committee asked regarding the review of strategy and the 43 priority actions for delivery that had been identified against the five themes, what lessons had been learnt. Ms Sharp answered that there had been much learnt regarding performance frameworks around any future strategy. She explained that the strategy had very ambitious targets, for example to build 12,000 new homes by 2020 including 50% affordable, and that it was clear from the review that it was necessary to be realistic as well as ambitious regarding targets setting and measures. She added that it was also necessary to have actions that will provide assurance around delivery plans and a streamlined performance framework. Ms Sharp also stated that the Council was in a different place to 2016 and now had both a separate housing strategy and Local Plan, so there would hopefully be more of a niche place for the economic strategy to sit.


The Committee had questions around how the Social Value Portal worked. Ms Davey answered that it was used by colleagues in supply chain to capture social values, such as use of apprentices, and measure and monitor outcomes throughout the lifetime of projects. She explained that the portal will enable the Council to compare tenders on their proposals as it ensures we have all the information in the same place. Ms Davey explained that the portal, which contained measures around sustainability, was a pilot and may currently be more suitable for bigger contracts than small, but that this could be refined.

The Committee asked why there were no up to date KPI figures in the report. Ms Davey answered that the figures were an annual set, which would be available in October and further explained the information was macro data that was captured through government statistics. She added that the report could be recirculated to the committee with populated data for 2018/19 once this became available.


The Committee asked how data was used to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.



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Consideration was given to a report by the Commercial Director – Property and Delivery. Joe Garrod, Director of Capital Delivery, introduced the report which detailed the One Public Estate (OPE) national programme, which was funded by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and delivered by the Office of Government Property (OGP) in partnership with the Local Government Association (LGA). Mr Garrod explained that the OPE provided funding and expertise to partners and that the Waltham Forest OPE Partnership was in its third year of operation with Waltham Forest having successfully been awarded £1.4 million of funding over three rounds of bidding. Mr Garrod added that Waltham Forest had most recently been awarded £680,000 in the Phase 7 round of bidding and described how the Council was working collaboratively with a variety of public sector partners through the OPE programme, including for example Barts NHS Trust and the North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT).


Mr Garrod described the three phases of the core original programme - Phase One, the Town Hall campus programme; Phase Two, a challenging borough wide initiative on health and care hubs; and Phase Three, the Whipps Cross Hospital Development which the Council were working closely with Barts NHS trust on, that was making good progress and described how this was a long term project, involving large sums and major redevelopments.


Mr Garrod then covered the two OPE Phase 7 focus projects – the Avenue Road Estate & Langthorne Road project,  for which OPE funding had been used to appoint a multidisciplinary team to undertake an integrated masterplan of the Council owned Avenue Road Estate and associated health sites on Langthorne Road; and the Families & Homes Hub project, which would explore the viability of options for a new customer contact centre, co-locating frontline teams to provide an integrated hub for residents to access housing and care services.


Mr Garrod summarised by saying that the Waltham Forest OPE Partnership was well regarded by the National OPE Programme and had been used as an example of best practice. He described how HM Treasury representatives visited Waltham Forest to gain a more detailed understanding of OPE at the local level and also explained that the Town Hall Campus project had been featured as a case study on the LGA’s OPE web pages. 


The Committee wanted to know why NHS organisations in the borough were not investing in buildings. Mr Garrod answered that the reorganisation of primary care post 2010 had meant that CCGs couldn’t own property assets and there were governance issues that meant that the Council could act faster than NHS systems.


The Committee asked about the resident engagement on delivery of the Whipps Cross development. Mr Garrod answered that the OPE had a framework and toolkit for engagement and as the lead partner delivering the Council would use standard resident engagement and consultation alongside it and added that Bart’s also have an engagement programme in place. He added that OPE was fundamentally about collaboration, so information  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.