o Introducing the Local London sub-regional partnership, its key priorities and activities.
Followed by discussion on how BEP can work with LL on key strategic priorities for the borough (transport, infrastructure, skills)
The Partnership received a presentation from Sarah Murray, Director – Local London (“Director”), providing an update on the Local London sub-regional partnership, and its key priorities and activities. A copy of the presentation is attached at Appendix B.
The Chairman informed the Partnership that the borough had recently become a member of Local London, which would provide greater collaboration with other London boroughs, regional partnerships and access to funding.
The Director advised that Local London was a voice for the sub-region where key decisions were being made about the future of the region and/or there were proposals, plans or projects affecting the sub-region. It would build capacity by working together and generating income for the boroughs of the partnership – bidding for grants and other financial resources for specific purposes where it was appropriate and agreed, and delivering externally-funded programmes across the sub-region and in boroughs. Areas of focus would include:
- careers, employment and skills;
- digital infrastructure and digital inclusion;
- economic recovery and green growth; and,
- Levelling Up, local economic development, devolved funding.
The Director informed members of the Partnership about the UK-wide ‘Project Gigabit‘, which was a £5 billion government infrastructure project that brought together everything the government was doing to enable and deliver fast and reliable digital connectivity for the country. Local London boroughs had been included in lot 37 of an Open Market Review (OMR) which took place between March 2022 and June 2022 by BDUK (Building Digital UK, part of Department of Culture and Media). This public consultation was seeking to provide additional detail about the proposed eligible area for government investment. Local London was a key focus of growth for both London and the country as a whole, and an absence of digital infrastructure would constrain this. It was noted that information from the Local London boroughs would be pooled that week. Over 163, 000 premises in the region were unable to receive gigabit capable broadband and of these over 19,000 premises were a ‘not spot’.
Local London had grown and changed dramatically since 2018, and now had:
o Seven programmes with a value of £85m supporting boroughs and other partners; employment and skills, careers for schools and colleges, digital for SMEs and digital infrastructure;
o Significant input into the Thames Estuary Growth Board and input into the UK Innovation Corridor programmes; and,
o Several new partnerships and initiatives underway.
Local London also led the sub-region on lobbying central and regional government on funding such as the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UK SPF). The Director advised that future work would include:
o Working with Business London and Employer Representative Bodies to develop new Local Skills Improvement Plan;
o Updating Local London Data Warehouse;
o Careers Fair, November 2022;
o Contributing to Pan-London Infrastructure Framework;
o New Local London Plan 2022-25;
o Bidding for UK Shared Prosperity Fund (competitive calls); and,
o Bidding for EV Infrastructure roll out.
In response to questions from Lee Thomas – Fairlight Group, the Director advised that the UK SPF was a national programme which replaced the EU structural funds. There were three main strands – community and place; people and skills; and supporting local businesses. The funds would mainly be allocated directly to boroughs, and each borough would decide how they would be invested. The Chairman informed members that a presentation on the UK SPF would be delivered to a future meeting of the Partnership.
The Chairman thanked the Director – Local London for her interesting presentation to the Partnership.
RESOLVED that the update on the Local London Sub-regional Partnership be noted.