Agenda and draft minutes

Southport Town Deal Board - Wednesday 29th April, 2020 8.30 am

Venue: Microsft Teams Video Call

Contact: Rebecca Johnstone 

No. Item




Norman Wallis - apologies

Graham Robson - apologies

Mark Basnett - absent


Please note that the meeting took place via Teams video calling, so not all members were able to fully participate for the full meeting.



Declarations of Interest


James Brayshaw – recused himself from any vote on digital.



Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 82 KB


No comments or corrections received and signed off as a true record.


Decision: Update to the decision on minute number 16 is to note that AdaptiveComms  have been appointed as consultants to the digital workstream following the submission and Board approval of their proposal.



Appointment of Vice Chair and other Board Membership Updates

Proposal to amend Terms of Reference to allow for appointment of Vice Chair and appoint Andrew Booth as Vice Chair


Other Board membership updates



Stephen Watson (SW) introduced the paper circulated with the agenda which sets out the updated Terms of Reference to allow for the appointment of a Vice Chair and consequently appoint Andrew Booth as Vice Chair to chair the rest of the meeting.


Other Board membership updates:

Sarah Taylor has now left Sefton Council and Stephen Watson has replaced her on the Board. The council’s vote allocation remains unchanged, at only one vote.


The full board also extended their well wishes to Rob Fletcher for his continued recovery.


Decision: Unanimous agreement to approve Andrew Booth as Vice Chair.

Decision: Terms of Reference accepted, and Board membership updated to replace Sarah Taylor with Stephen Watson.



General Update, Horizon Scanning and Recovery Planning


Mick Allen (MA) from BEIS gave an update to the Board:


The further guidance on the Town Deal is still being worked on at government level. Some of the early thinking has changed and will now include links to the Corona Virus and some re-thinking of plans in terms of the town deal. MA anticipates that when restrictions begin to be lifted the guidance will be released in line with the recovery plans.


Government are clear that they want local authorities/Boards to continue their work on the Town Deal where possible. Once the recovery is underway some places will be in a position to move quickly to submitting their Investment Plan’s in July/August and other submissions will be later in the year and into next year. 

When the guidance is released, he will share it with the Board.


Questions and comments from the Board:


·         Are the government changing the priorities of the Town Deal to take into account the direct impacts of what we are going through now?

MA does not know what the changes in the guidance will be, but it is clear that measures such as social distancing will impact how places operate. As soon as he has any details, he will share them.


·         Have any places completely stopped work on town deal?

Places in the north west continue to make progress and in general most places are continuing to work on it to some level, although areas such as consultation are being rethought.


·         Will there now be a sectoral approach taken given that tourism and hospitality are sectors which have been most effected, and some places will need more support just to recover to where they were in 2019.

MA advised that it is unlikely the guidance will have a sectoral approach, but the City Region is demonstrating that approach for long term recovery.


·         Given the loss in the GDP, will the £25m be increased to recognise the different issues towns now face?

MA advised that trying to secure increased funding has been proposed to government and if successful then likely to be linked to the spending review later in the year and as part of the country’s economic recovery plans


Dwayne Johnson (DJ) updated that the Merseyside Growth Directors are now focused on economic recovery for all areas and the Town Deal is part of the strategic planning focus for Southport. There will be more detail to share on the shape of the recovery planning in June


Therese Patten (TP) updated the Board on some of the timescales the NHS are currently facing.



Workstream Updates


Transport Connectivity

Stakeholder Engagement

Digital Connectivity

Skills & Enterprise




Workstream leads gave updates on their work to date and next steps to take place before the next Board meeting.



Richard Laming (RL) presented the Masterplan update.


Comments and questions raised:


·         RL advised that there are challenges on the consultation and reaching all groups, but it will still be possible to meet the summer deadline

·         RL talked through the possible approach to running the exhibition online. One way would be through the traditional approach sometimes used by Local plans, where summaries of the proposals are provided, and then online surveys are issued and the responses can be easily recorded and analysed. The second form, which is still being explored would be to use online platform such as Zoom, which would enable a series of themed interactive virtual consultations with up to 100 people at one time. RL welcomed any ideas from the Board on how to run the exhibition. 

·         Discussion over whether the Masterplan document being produced is a framework or will it be adopted as a planning document – such as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). Derek McKenzie (DM) confirmed that this discussion is ongoing, but clear that any process of making elements of the document statuary would be separate to the investment bid.

·         Question raised on how to make the exhibition available to those who cannot view it digitally. RL advised that a mass mail out has not currently  been accounted for, bit details could be posted out to those who request it. In addition, connections with the voluntary sector will also facilitate access to the information to those who cannot access it digitally.

·         Key point is to ensure the masterplan has flexibility built in, in order to respond to the market and make reference to specific sectors it will support

·         RL anticipates that through various conversations with stakeholders over 50 people/companies will be engaged with on a one to one basis

·         The consultation will need to demonstrate that we have taken every opportunity to give people their say, through quality engagement.

·         Discussion around whether Covid-19 will affect the long-term aspirations of the plans as some sectors have been significantly affected. It was considered that if there is a tactical advantage in including the effect of Covid-19 to strengthen the Investment Plan then this should be exploited.

·         Question over whether there was a time limit to spending the money allocated. RL explained his experience from the Future High Street Fund is that he expects a 2-stage process in which projects are accepted and then the business case is developed on specific projects for delivery in 2024. MA confirmed that once plans have been submitted, they will be assessed by government and those that they agree to fund would be given Heads of Terms in order to develop a business case over a 12 month period. 

·         Discussion over whether existing documents such as the Southport Development Framework could be issued now as part of starting consultation with existing interested networks. RL agreed that looking at some form of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.


Strategy and Next Steps


SW presented summarised the actions for all the workstreams, with a commitment to present these back the Board at the next meeting.


·         Bid Development - First draft of outline bid strategy and narrative

·         Masterplanning - Statement of Community Involvement, Evidence base report (Issues and Opportunities), Draft Vision and indicative masterplan, Planned approach to wider community consultation

·         Stakeholder Engagement - Feedback from initial stakeholder engagement, Statement of Community Involvement

·         Transport - Highway infrastructure condition survey, Draft parking strategy proposals, Stakeholder list and review with Consultation and Engagement group, Transport issues paper, to feed into broader issues paper for Masterplanning process

·         Digital - Future proofing plan and proposed next steps, Establish Digital forum and share initial local feedback

·         Other - Proposed procurement process for future commissions, for board review, Presentation of wider regional and local recovery planning work (as relevant)


Members of the Board welcomed clarifying the process for future procurement to ensure oversight and governance.


It was raised whether any additional commissioning of data sets was needed for any of the workstreams. SW advised that officer workstream leads have a weekly meeting so if anything critical has been missed in terms of commissioning, then it should be picked up there.


Action: Actions noted above to be completed for presentation at the next Board meeting.



Meeting dates for remaining calendar year



It was proposed that following the next meeting on 5th June that the next meetings will be:

3rd July

7th August


NB: Since the meeting these dates have been changed and new dates have been circulated to the Board.


SW thanked the Board for their continued support in the process and AB for taking the role of vice chair and chairing the meeting.





None raised.


Date of Next Meeting