Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The Cabinet was invited to consider the consultation on the West Midlands Industrial Strategy (WMIS) being led by West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
The Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Managed Growth advised Members that the national Industrial Strategy White Paper, published in November 2017, announced the Government’s intention to work with the Mayoral Combined Authorities (CAs) and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to develop Local Industrial Strategies. These strategies would aim to ‘boost productivity, earning power and competitiveness’ by identifying ‘priorities to improve skills, increase innovation and enhance infrastructure and business growth’. Three “trailblazer” areas were identified to lead the development of Local Industrial Strategies – WMCA, Greater Manchester and Oxford-Milton-Keynes corridor – with the commitment to producing a WMIS set out in the second West Midlands Devolution Deal.
Members were advised that the WMIS was intended to influence investment and action in the region, setting out ten proposed commitments intended to guide the work of public, private and voluntary partners, and a range of detailed actions intended to deliver on the commitments and deliver the vision for the WMCA area - driving economic growth in way that enabled a healthier, happier better connected and more prosperous population – with a strong focus on inclusive growth.
On commenting on the report further, the Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Managed Growth suggested further work was required to strength the response which covered:
Ø The name of the Strategy being Business Strategy;
Ø The need to highlight the role of HS2 and UKC;
Ø Welcome Connectivity and Digital but this required strengthening regarding infrastructure and inclusion;
Ø Emphasis the need for inclusive growth;
Ø Highlight further natural capital and the need to retain a strong environment; and
Ø Further promote the image of the West Midlands so creating a sense of place.
In welcoming the report other Members commented on:
Ø Energy capital and the benefits of low carbon growth needed to be given greater emphasis;
Ø The Strategy did not address the fact that the employment rate in the West Midlands for black and ethnic minorities was 15% lower and the gap between what women earnt compared to men was £6,500 less in the West Midlands compared to other regions in the UK; and
Ø The Chief Executive commented that it would be helpful if Cabinet Members drew out linkages from their portfolios via the Council Plan which fed into this and through Public Health and Adult Social Care, the STP and the LEP plan.
(i) That Solihull’s response to the West Midlands Industrial Strategy be approved having taken on board the comments made above; and
(ii) That delegated authority be given to the Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Managed Growth to agree the final response for submission to WMCA.
Report author: Rachel Westwood
Publication date: 12/11/2018
Date of decision: 08/11/2018
Decided at meeting: 08/11/2018 - Cabinet
Effective from: 20/11/2018