Agenda and draft minutes

Economic and Skills Development Partnership
Tuesday, 4 July 2017 8.30 am

Venue: The Capitol Building, Oldbury, Bracknell

Contact: Lizzie Rich  01344 352253

No. Item


Action Points from Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 165 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 2 May 2017 were approved as a correct record.


Matters Arising

Reviewing the minutes, the Chairman indicated the action points which had been completed and updated the meeting on the results of actions and matters which remained ongoing:

  • A Vice-Chair for the ESDP was still sought.
  • Detailed responses to Government’s Industrial Strategy and Airports National Policy Statement had been submitted.  Members would be informed of where ESDP papers could be found online. (Action: James Sackley)
  • Membership update – see item below.

·         The Chairman was due to attend a future Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce event to speak about the ESDP.


Membership Updates


The meeting was pleased to note that invitations to join the Board or one of its two Sub-Groups have, in most cases, been accepted by the following:

  • Marcus Cauchi, Sandler Training
  • Andy Meader, Pegasus Group (Infrastructure Sub-Group)
  • Rob Lamden, BTL Communication (Infrastructure Sub-Group)
  • Charles Turner, Employ Solutions Ltd (Employment and Skills Sub-Group)
  • Carly Grimster, Adviza (Employment and Skills Sub-Group)
  • Christina Beringer, Thames Valley Police
  • Adrian Crocket (details to be confirmed)


Maria Sabey suggested that there was a possibility of obtaining further interest/representation from Fujitsu, referring to a colleague with specialist knowledge of Apprenticeship Schemes and/or an HR adviser, as either a guest speaker or Sub-Group member.  The Chairman would liaise with Maria over the skill set which would be of most benefit the ESDP.  (Action: Bob Collis)


It would be opportune to review Sub-Group membership in the light of these new appointees. (Action: Bob Collis/James Sackley/Campbell Christie)


2 Year Plan Update and Progress pdf icon PDF 187 KB

Additional documents:


The Chairman introduced the 2 Year Action Plan: March 2017 to March 2019 which had been encapsulated in a four page document sub-titled ‘Building on Local Strengths’.  The Actions and Objectives progress update had been given a traffic light rating, with particular attention to those actions yet to achieve a ‘Green’ rating. 


On identifying funding opportunities, it was noted that the Council had attracted £700m funding over 7 years on hard infrastructure projects for schools, housing, road transport and rail schemes.  Also, Bracknell was by far the biggest beneficiary of Berkshire LEP funding.


With reference to improving engagement, the CBI had responded to an invitation to meet and discuss further involvement with ESDP.  Approaches to the IOD and Federation of Small Businesses were ongoing.  Marcus Cauchi agreed to provide some further contact details. (Action: Marcus Cauchi)


Improvements in communications were moving forward with the broadening of membership, website improvements and BID development work all contributing.  Other suggested areas which could possibly be looked at were how to better outreach to the business community and the development of an ambassador programme. It was suggested that an ESDP ‘seminar’ be considered to raise the Partnership’s profile.   Maria Sabey offered the Fujitsu conference facility for the holding of an event to raise the ESDP profile.  A collaborative session alongside the BID stakeholder meeting was planned for 17 October 2017, and Maria, James and Bob would consider this.  It was also suggested that consideration be given to organising a joint event with the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce.  An outline brief for such an event should be prepared to canvass members’ views and gauge support from BID sponsors.  (Action: Bob Collis/James Sackley / Maria Sabey)


Progress against 2-Year Plan objectives was also reviewed.  Supporting plans for the provision of affordable housing for the business community’s employees was an area where work had yet to start. Justine Thompson of  Bracknell Forest Homes would advise on possible ways forward at the next Infrastructure Sub-Group meeting. (Action: Justine Thompson).


Generally progress against actions and objectives was good and it was suggested that key milestone dates could be added to the summary to aid performance monitoring.  (Action: Bob Collis)


Sub-group Updates pdf icon PDF 331 KB

Additional documents:


The Board received and noted work stream updates from the Infrastructure Sub-Group and the Employment and Skills Sub-Group.


BID Update pdf icon PDF 208 KB

Additional documents:


Maria Sabey updated the meeting on the progress of the Bracknell Investment Group (BIG), the partnership driving forward the Business Improvement District (BID) for the Southern and Western Business Areas in Bracknell.  The BIG team was still in its infancy, had achieved good support from a number of the larger businesses in the Borough eg. Waitrose, but would benefit from wider support.  A strong emphasis had been placed on collaborative working, which built support and buy in from participants, but made progress a little slower


The BIG had identified three distinct methods of influence: direct action; engagement with local bodies; and lobbying.  The Board noted the detailed Bracknell Forest BID Research Report, prepared by Qa Research, which had been circulated with the agenda.


Through meetings and workshops the BIG had established terms of reference, a mission statement, a vision statement and brand and identity guidelines around a newly designed logo.  Some initial projects under consideration included introduction of a discount card, launching a BID bus, sponsoring roundabouts, BID signage, some hard infrastructure improvements and work to improve car parking efficiency.


The next meeting of the BIG was due to take place on 1 August 2017, and would be focussing on how to structure the BID levy and establish a high level project plan.  This would need sensitive handling in order to secure an adequate budget for the future while retaining the support of all contributing parties.  It was necessary to hold a formal ballot on the proposed levy and essential to obtain a ‘YES vote’. A lot of work remained to be done, particularly around connecting with other businesses.  This included re-connecting with Dell and opening up communication with Vodafone (who had a major presence in Bracknell) but had yet to engage.  (Action: James Sackley/Maria Sabey)


LEP Update


A LEP update was not available for the meeting.


Dates of Future Meetings


5 September 2017, 8.30am.  A venue is needed.  Member offers are welcome (All Members)