Agenda and minutes

Venue: London South East Colleges - Bromley Campus (Rookery Lane)

Contact: Jo Partridge  020 8461 7694

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies had been received from Dave Freeborn – Proctors, Colin Maclean – Community Links Bromley, Lesley Holland – LBB Operations Manager, Bromley Education Business Partnership, Terri Johnson – South East London Chamber of Commerce, Mary Manuel – LBB Head of Planning Strategy and Projects, Kate Miller – The Glades, Kevin Munnelly – LBB Head of Town Centre Renewal, Liz Waghorn – Jobcentre Plus and Louise Wolsey – London South East Colleges.

2.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 11TH JULY 2017 AND MATTERS ARISING pdf icon PDF 254 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 11th July 2017 were agreed, and signed as a correct record. There were no matters arising.

3.

PRESENTATION BY DAVID WARNES, LONDON SOUTH EAST COLLEGES - REGARDING AN UPDATE ON THE WORK OF LONDON SOUTH EAST COLLEGES

Minutes:

Mr David Warnes, Vice Principal – Innovation & Enterprise (London South East Colleges) gave a presentation on the work of London South East Colleges.

 

As of August 2016, London South East Colleges (LSEC) incorporated Bromley College of Further and Higher Education; Bexley College; Greenwich Community College; London South East Apprenticeship Company; London South East Academies Trust, which currently consisted of five schools and continued to grow; and London Skills for Growth, which had been the latest acquisition in summer 2017.

 

The group had a turnover of circa £60m and employed around 1,300 staff. Approximately 13,000 learners were enrolled, attending its five schools, three training provider and seven college campuses. There were a small number of 14-16 year olds, but the majority of learners were aged 16-18, or adults attending the Greenwich Campus which delivered the Adult and Community Learning contract for the Royal Borough of Greenwich. More than 75% of students lived in the London Boroughs of Greenwich, Bromley, Bexley and Lewisham.

 

London South East Colleges’ achievement rates were above the national average, increasing year on year, and in spring 2017 they received the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) ‘confidence’ rating. Following the amalgamation, the mission of LSEC had remained the same, to deliver real skills and knowledge for the real world. LSEC had a number of ambitions for 2020, which included to be a strong dynamic and responsive College to employers, communities, learners and staff; and to have outstanding partnerships and relationships with schools, colleges, universities, Local Authorities and employers.

 

LSEC had a number of boards which helped to ensure the creation of a robust evidence base for skills, and informed and shaped their curriculum offer for each industry. At the centre of the structure was the Employment and Skills Board, which provided a platform from which key partners could have a real voice in shaping the skills provision. It ensured that young people were appropriately qualified for the current and future job markets, and would equally support longer term economic growth and productivity. There were a further eleven curriculum specific ‘Industry Advisory Boards’, whose memberships included employer partners, industry stakeholders and Local Authority representatives. These scrutinised that what was being offered was fit for purpose, and that the strategic direction was aligned to what employers were saying, and fed into the Employment and Skills Board.

 

LSEC had a five year curriculum strategy in place to provide a new provision to meet economic and job needs locally and regionally, and focus on local strategic priorities. Areas of industry sector specialisms would include STEM aerospace and construction, business, hospitality and catering, education, digital and ICT. New delivery models would be driven by employers to meet their needs; develop sector specific skills and competencies to ensure that leaners from London South East Colleges were first in line for employment; and allow entry into Degree Level provisions. Emerging new curriculum developments in South East London included hospitality, food and enterprise for which a degree level programme was due to launch shortly;  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

PRESENTATION BY DIANNA NEAL, LONDON COUNCILS - REGARDING THE WORK OF THE LONDON COUNCILS AND THE ADULT SKILLS AGENDA FOR LONDON

Minutes:

Ms Dianna Neal, Head of Economy and Culture (London Councils) gave a presentation on the work of the London Councils and the adult skills agenda for London.

 

London Councils represented London’s 32 borough councils and the City of London, and worked on behalf of its member authorities to develop policies and lobby Government. A current focus was the adult skills agenda which provided a number of challenges and opportunities. There were around 240,000 ‘skills gaps’ and 30,000 skills-shortage vacancies in London which had grown over the previous few years. The Brexit Referendum had highlighted a higher reliance on EU migrant labour, particularly in the construction, hospitality, tourism and retail industries. Further challenges included decreasing employer investment in training, a large number of Londoners with no or low level skills and increasing in-work poverty which had reached just under 700,000.

 

Opportunities to address the adult skills agenda included the commitment from Government to devolve the Adult Education Budget (AEB) to London from 2019-20. This was worth around £400m per annum, and would allow the Mayor of London to develop the first London Skills Strategy. Despite its challenges, the Brexit Referendum was also seen as an incentive for businesses to invest in home-grown talent as it would not be as easy to use migrant workers. There would also be investment in technical education, with the new T-levels being introduced, and the progression pathways would be reconsidered.

 

London Councils felt that the current skills system could work better, as there was a lack of information on outcomes available to learners and commissioners, and patchy and inconsistent careers information, advice and guidance provided to young people. The vision for the future skills system would focus on outcomes beyond qualifications, such as jobs and career progression. More robust information would be provided to support commissioning and provider responsiveness, learner choice and employer engagement. There would be a more coherent and co-ordinated offer that was responsive to employer and leaner needs, and an accessible all-age careers offer across London.

 

Current and future work of London Councils would see them develop sub-regional skills priorities and have an early input into the London Skills Strategy. The skills strategy formal consultation would take place between 24th November and 22nd December 2017, to which members were encouraged to also respond. London Councils also planned to develop an agreed set of principles with the Mayor of London for working together on the skills system, including joint governance. They would also be lobbying for replacement EU funding and further devolution, and supporting boroughs, as employers, to spend their apprenticeship levy. It was noted that the apprenticeship levy had its benefits, but could be inflexible, and it was hoped good practice could be shared between boroughs.

 

The long term aims of London Councils were for an integrated and whole skills system, and adult education offer for London. This would comprise of devolved AEB and 16-18 technical and vocational funding; a devolved careers offer which would be spent better; all post 16  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

PRESENTATION BY MARCELA ASHCROFT DEL PINO, EDUCATION & SKILLS FUNDING AGENCY - REGARDING THE WORK OF THE EDUCATION AND SKILLS FUNDING AGENCY

Minutes:

Ms Marcela Ashcroft Del Pino, Intervention Manager (Education and Skills Funding Agency) gave a presentation on the work of the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

 

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) had been created in April 2016, bringing together the former responsibilities of the Education Funding Agency and Skills Funding Agency, to create a single agency accountable for funding education and skills for children, young people and adults. The ESFA was an executive agency of the Department for Education, but it was noted that it was not a planning body. It was a funding body whose role was to fund providers in local areas to deliver Government Policy.

 

The ESFA’s core functions were to be accountable for the funding of education and training for children, young people and adults; to provide assurances that public funds were spent properly; and to achieve value for money for the tax payer. They were also required to deliver the policies and priorities set by the Secretary of State around education and training. The ESFA regulated academies, Further Education and Sixth Form Colleges, employers and training providers and would intervene if there was a risk of failure or evidence of the mismanagement of public funds. It also delivered major projects and operated key services in the education and skills sector such as school capital programmes, the National Careers Service, the Digital Apprenticeship Service and the National Apprenticeship Service.

 

The ESFA provided annual revenue funding for academies, free schools, institutions for the education of 16 to 19 year olds, and high needs students up to the age of 25 at colleges. Funding was also provided for apprenticeships delivered to small and medium sized enterprises, the non-levy paying employers, and to support existing apprentices. They also allocated the adult education budget and continued to work with ministers and other stakeholders on the proposals to devolve adult education funding from the 2019-20 academic year.

 

The ESFA allocated funding for disadvantaged post-16 students outside higher education; dedicated schools grant to Local Authorities and capital funding to academies, colleges and Local Authorities. They also apportioned facilities for the funding of advanced learner loans, for which the Government now fully funded leaners over the age of 19 who were studying for qualifications above Level 3, with colleges getting a loan facility allocated year on year.

 

In April 2012, a review of apprenticeships was undertaken and found that high quality employment activities were not being provided, and employers did not see the benefits of apprentices, and therefore not taking them on. In April 2017, the Government’s phased reform of apprenticeships was implemented to switch from frameworks to standards. The ESFA was working to ensure that employers were aware of the standards and benefitting from them. By 2020 all employers, levy and non-levy paying, would be able to use the digital apprenticeship service to access high quality providers and pay for training and assessment. There would be a big exercise to drive greater readiness for the apprenticeship reform among colleges, other training  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

UPDATES ON MAIN PARTNERSHIP THEMES AND OTHER RELEVANT COUNCIL INITIATIVES:

Minutes:

Members of the Partnership gave an update around progress across the main themes of the Partnership.

6a

TOWN CENTRES DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME UPDATE (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

Virgil Rappa, LBB Town Centre Development Project Planner attended to provide an update on Town Centre Development across the Borough. Progress was continuing across the sites that made up the Bromley Town Centre Area Action Plan.

 

A development agreement had been signed with Countryside Properties (UK) Limited, the Council’s preferred development partner for Site G: West of the High Street, which would trigger a number of milestones. It was expected that a planning application would be submitted in spring 2018, with a view to receive consent by autumn 2018. The Compulsory Purchase Inquiry would take place in spring 2019, with work expected to start on site in spring 2020, for the duration of three to five years.

 

The first phase of the Bromley Town Centre High Street Public Realm Improvements between Market Square and Marks and Spencer had begun, and would be completed by the end of November 2017. Works would be paused over the Christmas trading period, with the next phase commencing in the New Year, and were expected to be completed by autumn 2018. The design team were currently working on the kiosks to be placed in Market Square and the reflective canopy structures.

 

In Beckenham town centre, the works between Beckenham Junction and Thornton’s Corner would completed by the end of November 2017, and the paving work along the High Street to Lidl was underway. From the 30th November 2017, works would cease and traffic diversions would revert back to normal. The one way system would then be implemented again from 3rd January 2018.

 

Further public realm improvements were taking place in Orpington, where the square had been completed, and new benches would be installed over the next couple of weeks. The next phase of the improvements would take place between January and March 2018, on the ‘arms’ off of the square up to the boundary of the Berkeley Homes development. Cushman and Wakefield had also produced a masterplan for Orpington town centre which would be reviewed by the Council. In Penge town centre, work had commenced on site clearance of the squares. This work would be paused over Christmas and in the New Year new paving and street furniture would be installed, with an expected completion date of March 2018.

 

An Expression of Interest had been submitted to the Mayor’s Growth Fund for the London Borough of Bromley co-working space project. It would be known by December 2017 if it was recommended to take the proposal further, with a bid to be submitted by March 2018.

 

RESOLVED that the update on the town centre development programme be noted.

6b

LOCAL PLAN DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

Mary Manuel, LBB Head of Planning Strategy and Projects was not present at the meeting but provided an update to the Partnership as follows:

 

The Local Plan was submitted to the Secretary of State in August 2017. An Inspector had now been appointed to examine the Local Plan, and a Programme Officer, Chris Banks, had been assigned. The London Borough of Bromley was currently awaiting the Inspector to set out matters and questions in relation to the plan, and anticipated that hearings would take place in December 2017, but this was yet to be confirmed. The latest information, including documents and contact details for the Programme Officer, could be found at https://www.bromley.gov.uk/info/200151/local_plan_examination.

 

A new Local Development Scheme setting out the timescale for the Local Plan and the preparation of a Community Infrastructure Levy was agreed by Development Control Committee at its meeting on 4th October 2017, and would be considered by the Council’s Executive that evening.

 

It was anticipated that the consultation on the Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule, the first of two consultations in taking forward a local CIL, would take place in December 2017 or January 2018.

 

6c

BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS AND BUSINESS SUPPORT UPDATE (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

Mr Martin Pinnell, LBB Head of Town Centre Management and Business Support, gave an update on Business Improvement Districts and Business Support in Quarter 2, 2017/18.

 

The Council was continuing to work with businesses and CMS to develop BIDs in Beckenham and Penge town centres. In depth research into the needs of businesses in each town had been undertaken, which had allowed a more detailed exploration of the key themes which arose during the feasibility stage. Copies of the BID Final Consultation document were distributed to members of the Partnership.

 

Draft business plans would be being developed for both towns, and would be available to the business-led steering groups in the next week or so. Once agreed by the steering groups, the draft business plans would be provided to the Council’s Executive, along with a covering committee report. The ballot would then be triggered, and was expected to take place in February 2018, with the aim for the BIDs to commence in April or May 2018.

 

RESOLVED that the recent work around Business Improvement Districts and Business Support in the 2nd Quarter of 2017/18 be noted.

7.

PARTNER UPDATES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR JOINT WORKING TO INCLUDE:

Minutes:

Updates are provided in the relevant sub sections.

7a

BIGGIN HILL AIRPORT (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

Ms Katy Woolcott, London Biggin Hill Airport provided an update on developments at London Biggin Hill Airport following its identification as a Strategic Outer London Development Centre in the London Plan, and as part of the LoCATE (London Centre for Aviation Technology and Enterprise) project which brought together a cluster of modern aviation-related businesses at and around London Biggin Hill Airport to support continued economic development in the area.

 

London Biggin Hill Airport was embarking on a consultation for the on-site hotel that evening, and they hoped to progress with a planning application shortly. The hangar development was going to plan and had recently acquired a General Permitted Development Order (GDPO).

 

Mr David Warnes, London South East Colleges advised members that the funding application submitted for the on-site engineering academy was still live.

7b

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

Mr Mike Lewis (Michael Rogers LLP) reported that plans for the Elmfield Road site, which had been presented at a previous meeting by Mr John Baker, Chief Executive, the John Baker Group, were making good progress. A pre-application had been made, and the GLA had confirmed that they would not oppose the development. The project would start with Wells House, a 35,000 sq. ft. unit with consent for a development of just over 100,000 sq. ft. If successful, work would roll out along the rest of the road over the next five to ten years, resulting in much larger floorplates.

 

There had been far greater activity in the commercial market from mid to late July. August had been incredibly busy, with clients looking for space and deals being completed. There had since been a bit of a lull in early September. Headline rents for office space now stood at £27 per sq. ft. in Bromley, and a new development was advertising office space at £29.50 per sq ft and had two parties showing strong interest.

7c

COMMUNITY LINKS BROMLEY (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

No update was provided to the meeting.

7d

GENERAL NEWS ROUND (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

Members of the Partnership had undertaken a range of activities since the last meeting.

 

Ms Kate Miller, The Glades was not present at the meeting, but provided a written update to the Partnership as follows:

 

·  Footfall in the centre for September 2017 was -1% compared to September 2016. Year to date footfall was +2.5% on 2016.

·  Although lettings had been slow earlier on in the year, it was hoped that three or four new units would open before Christmas.

·  The centre had been working in partnership with Your Bromley on larger events such as Halloween and the Open Air Cinema.

·  The Poppy Appeal for the south east region would be launched in centre on 28th October 2017.

·  The town centre Christmas lights switch-on would take place on 19th November 2017, run by Your Bromley BID Company and supported by The Glades.

·  The Glades Christmas Grotto would open on 25th November 2017.

·  Extended Christmas trading hours would start on 11th December 2017, with shops opening until 9.00pm, Monday to Saturday. This was later than in 2016, when extended trading had started on 1st December.

 

Mr Lee Thomas, Fairlight Group said that commercial and serviced office space was currently full. They were trying to acquire another building as they were still receiving a large number of enquiries and large, quality spaces were still needed.

 

Ms Melanie Ross, Barclays Bank PLC reported that clients were currently struggling to find commercial property to buy or let. There had also been a recent trend of commercial valuations being lower than expected.

 

Ms Sharon Baldwin, Orpington 1st BID Company advised members that there main focus was currently the ballot for the renewal of the BID. Businesses had been provided with ballot papers and had until 2nd November 2017 to register their vote. They had met with 150 businesses who appeared happy to vote yes to the BID operating for a further five years, but the challenge was to get them to actually complete the form. The outcome of the ballot would be known on 3rd November 2017. An additional event, the ‘Flavours of Orpington’ food festival, had taken place in September 2017 celebrating the choice and quality of food available in the town centre.

 

Ms Helen McIntosh, South East London Chamber of Commerce noted that they were hoping for a positive outcome with regards to the aviation college. In terms of the Public Private Partnership development of St Mark’s Square, it was noted that the site was due to open in March 2018 and U+I Group PLC would be happy to deliver an update to the Partnership and host a visit.

 

Mr Michael Humphries, Handelsbanken echoed the comments made by other members, in that there was no shortage of activity. In the commercial market there was still the difficulty of finding properties, but generally the signs were good.

 

Mr Steve Wheeler attended the meeting representing the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). Mr Wheeler had been working to help  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7d

8.

BROMLEY ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP WORK PROGRAMME 2017/18 (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

Members of the Partnership considered the forward rolling work programme for the Bromley Economic Partnership for 2017/18.

 

In considering the next meeting of the Partnership, the Chairman requested that Countryside Properties (UK) Limited provide an update on Site G: West of the High Street. It was noted that representatives from U+I Group PLC could also attend to present an update on the St Mark’s Square development, with a visit to the site organised for a future meeting.

9.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Minutes:

No other business was brought to the meeting.

10.

DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS

4.00pm, Tuesday 16th January 2018

4.00pm, Tuesday 27th March 2018

Minutes:

4.00pm, Tuesday 16th January 2018

4.00pm, Tuesday 27th March 2018

 

Original Text: