Francesca Bell, Assistant Director of Growth and Development:
a) provided the Board with a verbal presentation on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund within which the following points were noted: -
· The total UKSPF allocation for Lincoln was £2.8m.
· The Investment plan was submitted to DLUHC in August 2022. Further to resolution of minor issues identified, Government had accepted the submission.
· Projects were consulted with to discover if there were any changes and/or amendments further to the expression of interest submitted. A deadline of 6 January 2023 was provided.
· Work with an independent Consultant would identify project risks, deliverability and outputs, the results of which would be presented to the next meeting of the Investment Sub-Committee
· There was an intention to create a list of projects to put before Board Members to give consideration to priorities. It was likely that the number of project would exceed the funding allocation.
NOTE: Alison Hewson, Democratic Services Officer joined proceedings at this stage.
· Ratification of a deliverability shortlist would be sought from the Investment Sub-Committee on 7 February 2023 to proceed to Executive in March 2023.
· It would be beneficial to agree an additional meeting of the Board to enable consideration of a full viability list.
b) welcomed comments and questions from Members of the Board
Question: Was the UK Shared Prosperity Fund an addition to the responsibilities of the Lincoln Town Deal Board? Did it form part of the Terms of Reference? How should it be governed?
Comment Views of all Elected Members, and the Town Deal Board would be taken into account in its capacity as the representative body of stakeholders in this respect. It would be a good idea to set down these responsibilities in writing in the interests of transparency.
Comment: Concerns were raised between the decision of the Board and elected members. What would be the result if elected members and the Board disagreed?
Response: The responsibility for final decision would be with the Council’s Executive. Members would be fully briefed with feedback from the Board as the representative body of stakeholders.
Comment by Leader of the Council: The Executive comprised senior elected members. He offered his total assurance that a conscientious style of decision would be made. Priorities identified within Vision 2025 would reflect the wider priorities of the stakeholders. All views would be taken into account in order that our City would benefit most within available resources.
Response: It was comforting to acknowledge the work of the Town Deal Board as independent external stakeholders responsible for measuring all the project options against available criteria.
Comment: The Lincoln Town Deal Board was the best example of a partnership Board in Lincoln with experience of considering Government criteria. It was important to ensure that the UKSPF and Towns Fund aligned to enable synergy between them. The development of a community board would ensure engagement of communities and sufficient representation. The Town Board had an important role in ensuring local community engagement. Due to the competitiveness of UKSPF funding, evidence of the key issues within the City and the geographical location of the issues was important. The Council were aware of the locations of deprivation within the City and where skills issues and child poverty were.