Agenda and minutes
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Welcome and Opening Remarks
The Chair will welcome attendees to the meeting and make opening remarks.
The Chair welcomed attendees to the meeting of the Sandwell Towns Fund Superboard.
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from the following Superboard members:
Alan Taylor – Chair of Smethwick Local Board
Cllr Iqbal Padda – SMBC
Keeley Bevington - WMP
Kim BromleyDerry - SMBC
Mark Davis- SCVO
Nicola Richards MP
To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 22 July 2021 as a correct record.
The minutes of the meeting held on 22 July 2021 were agreed as a correct record.
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of interest from members relating to any item on the agenda.
No new declarations of interest were received.
Existing and continued declarations from previous meetings: -
Wendy Brookfield – Project lead on Digital Den Project, West Bromwich.
Adrian Eggington – Interest in Shaftesbury House site so will refrain from discussion with regards MechEng Campus, West Bromwich.
Nicola Richards MP – Trustee of the Albion Foundation;
Alan Taylor – in relation to any matters relating to Sandwell College;
Geoff Layer – in relation to any matters relating to University of Wolverhampton;
Graham Pennington – in relation to any matters relating to Sandwell College.
Agreement of the Full Business Case for the West Bromwich Urban Greening Project.
Superboard are being asked to receive and agree Full Business Case for the West Bromwich Urban Greening Project. Jude Thompson invited Chris Hinson, Chair of West Bromwich Local Board, to introduce the item.
CH provided the board with a general overview and update on the project which is part of the tranche two pool of submissions.
Thanks were given to Josh Singh for his timely work on this to date.
Superboard unanimously agreed:
To receive and agree the final Full Business Case for Urban Greening, including the project equality impact assessment, environmental impact assessment and monitoring and evaluation plan.
To recommend the Full Business Case to Cabinet for approval subject to the outcome of the Capital Appraisal review.
To note that in the event that the Full Business Case appraisal leads to minor amends / points of clarity being required, these will be addressed by the Project Lead in conjunction with the Chair of the Local Board, the Chair of the Superboard and the Council’s S151 Officer.
To note that in the event that the appraisal leads to a recommendation of substantial changes to the Full Business Case, that this will be reported to Superboard with a revised Full Business Case presented for consideration.
That subject to Cabinet’s approval of the Full Business Case, that the Chair of the Superboard sign the Project Summary.
To discuss and input into the Full Business Cases for Tranche 3 Projects: -
i. Rowley Regis Canal Network Connectivity
ii. Rowley Regis Blackheath Bus Interchange and Public Realm
iii. Rowley Regis Britannia Park Community Hub and Greenspace Improvements
iv. Smethwick Albion Family in the Park
Discussion by Exception: -
· West Bromwich Retail Diversification Programme
· West Bromwich Town Hall Quarter
· West Bromwich Walking and Cycling Infrastructure
· Rowley Regis Walking and Cycling Infrastructure
· Rowley Regis Education Hub
· Smethwick Ron Davis Centre Expansion
· Smethwick Walking and Cycling Infrastructure
· Smethwick Grove Lane Regeneration
· Smethwick Rolfe Street Canalside Regeneration
· Smethwick Midland Met Learning Campus
Superboard were being asked to discuss and input on the tranche three submissions. Jude Thompson introduced the item and the presenters for each of the four focus projects, with the remaining projects to be discussed by exception.
i) James Dennisen (Canal and River Trust) gave a presentation on the Rowley Regis Canal Network Connectivity project. Provided a broad contextual overview including an anticipated project timeline and advised that additional funding sources are now being explored to bolster an identified shortfall rather than reduce scope. An EOI has been submitted to TfWM in this respect. Sandeep Shingadia (TfWM) offered support in the development of this and will aide in connecting the relevant officers.
Adrian Eggington (AE), Chair of the Rowley Regis Local Board, provided a short comment on the project. Local Board are supportive for retaining the existing scope. Material costs were raised as a risk to deliver. Jude Thompson asked members to explore economies of scale where possible.
Action – PMO to meet with Tony McGovern, SMBC Director of Regeneration and Growth, to outline options for moving money within the £67.5m total programme envelope.
ii) No material update could be provided on the Rowley Regis Bus Interchange due to capacity issues with the dedicated SMBC officers.
AE conveyed a similar position and outlined difficulties with moving certain projects forward because of the resourcing issues. Despite this, Hayley Insley was thanked for her hard work in trying to bridge the gap.
Tony McGovern advised that despite only being in post for a short period of time that this is one of his priorities as incoming director and is working with the relevant departments to a solution. Potential for external resource to be identified. Also advised of the strong support in the Council for these projects and will be working to ensue no Towns Fund money is lost.
Cllr Rajbir Singh seconded this position and confirmed that work is underway to address it.
Sandeep Shingadia advised that TfWM are supportive of the project and will help support where possible.
James Morris MP questioned where the gaps are (PMO or project level). TMG advised there are gaps at both which are both being addressed.
On the wider topic of programme management, Graham Pennington (Sandwell College) outlined risks of not being mindful of interdependencies and opportunities with regard other sources of funding and the impact the programme will have. For board members and officers to note.
iii) Alan Reynolds, SMBC, provided an update on the work at Britannia Park. This included a summary of the consultation and project proposals that have arisen.
An EOI process is underway for potential partners to run a community hub which will improve the project outcomes and wider benefits for the community.
James Morris MP noted the update and was pleased to hear the positive progress. Advised that AR should perhaps open lines of communication with the Rowley Regis Horticultural Society, if this has not yet been done. JM left the meeting at this point to attend to parliamentary ... view the full minutes text for item 6/21
To receive a report outlining the activity of the Town Deal Local Boards.
Chris Hinson provided an update of discussions at West Bromwich Local Board and thanked Josh Singh, Alex Oxley and Emma Parkes for their continued work.
Broadly West Bromwich board are pleased with the way projects are progressing but echoed the sentiments around SMBC resource and the impact this is having on the connectivity project.
Adrian Eggington provided an update on Rowley Regis Local Board discussions which again focussed on the need for improved resourcing for certain projects.
Hayley Insley advised, in Alan Taylors absence, that there were no additional matters to report from the Smethwick Local Board.
To receive a report outlining the progress of the Towns Fund Programme, including identification of any project changes.
These matters were addressed within agenda item 6.
Jude Thompson thanked board members for their attendance and reiterated his thanks for SMBC officer support. Thanked project leads for their positive updates and input into the process to date.
Supported previous comments about the need for SMBC resource issues to be resolved as a matter of urgency.
JT closed meeting.
Meeting ended at 16:59.