Agenda and draft minutes

Consultation Call, Transport for the North Board - Wednesday, 23rd February, 2022 11.00 am

Venue: Virtual

Contact: Gary Rich 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome & Apologies

The Chair to welcome Members and the public to the meeting.

Lead: Chair

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

1.1          The Chair welcomed Members to the consultation call and apologies were noted from Cllrs Swinburn, Jackson, Waltham, Hannigan, Read, Lucy Winskell, Nick Harris and Michael Bradley.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Members are required to declare any personal, prejudicial or disclosable pecuniary interest they may have relating to items on the agenda and state the nature of such interest.

Lead: Chair

Additional documents:

Minutes:

2.1          There were no Declarations of Interest.

3.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 209 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 25th January 2022 (including updates on agreed matters as appropriate).

Lead: Chair

Additional documents:

Minutes:

3.1              The minutes of the meeting of the Transport for the North Board held on 25 January 2022 were considered.

3.2              The Chief Executive updated Members on actions following the meeting.  Regarding the TUPE of staff as a result of the change from co-client to co-sponsor on the NPR project, he explained that this process is under way with a transfer date for those staff being 31 March.  Members were informed that this is being done in consultation with Unison and affects 16 Officers.  

Resolved:

That the minutes of the Transport for the North Board held on 25 January 2022 be approved as a correct record.

 

4.

Funding, Business Planning and Budget Update pdf icon PDF 353 KB

To consider the current position with regard to Transport for the North’s (TfN) funding position for 2022/23, and the consequential impacts on business planning, budgeting, and the organisation more broadly, including the approach that TfN will adopt in the development of a fundable budget.

Lead: Iain Craven/Paul Kelly

Additional documents:

Minutes:

4.1          Members received the paper of the Financial Controller.  Before he highlighted the key points in the report to Members the Chief Executive provided an overview.  Members were reminded that TfN is required to set a budget by the end of March and that this report and subsequent discussion provides an interim step towards doing this prior to the Board meeting at the end of March.

He asked Members to focus on the recommendations in the report specifically, the objectives set out in the paper (including the annex) that will be used as part of the business planning process.  He explained that the ‘Golden Thread’ around the outcomes and objectives remain relevant and drew the Board’s attention to the Framework set out in the annex that will guide the future operating model.

Members were then provided with an update on developments following the last meeting.  The Chief Executive explained that following the letter from the Interim Chair to the Secretary of State there had been 2 meetings with the Chair, himself and the Secretary of State.  He then outlined the steps taken following the receipt of the funding letter on 14 February, he stated that staff were briefed the following day as well as a letter being sent to Members.  Unison have also been kept informed of developments.

He highlighted that the funding settlement has had a negative impact on staff morale, impacting on the ability to deliver the work programme as well as health and wellbeing.  He stressed the importance of moving forward quickly in order to provide certainty to staff as well as helping with the retention of key officers.

He explained that TfN will be a smaller organisation going forward and advised the Board that in order to protect staff, vacancies have been being managed since the summer.  He also outlined the process for the reduction in the workforce explaining that staff can apply for voluntary redundancy, however there is also the likelihood that compulsory redundancy will be required, though he will try to keep this to a minimum.  He further explained that he will look to retain as many staff as possible and strike a balance between this and services that the organisation will commission.

Members were informed that a draft letter to the Secretary of State has been circulated for members’ consideration: this being in response to the Funding Letter.

4.2          The Financial Controller explained that whilst the core funding allocation for 2022/23 is not dissimilar to the 2021/22 allocation he explained that mitigations used in the current financial year in preparing the budget were no longer available.

He further explained that due to time constraints an interim budget will be tabled at the March Board and a full budget will be ready during the first quarter.

On the issue of cost control he requested that the Board approves cost control measures that will see the Chief Executive and the S151 Officer to review new commitments in order to ensure they align with the business  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Integrated Rail Plan Update pdf icon PDF 334 KB

To consider the progress update on the IRP technical report, TfN’s independent assessment of the economic impact of the IRP and an update on local contributions.

 

Lead: Tim Foster

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

5.1          Members received the report from the Interim Strategy and Programme Director who highlighted the key elements of the report.

5.2          Mayor Brabin raised the issue of the Manchester to Leeds line via Bradford and requested that Members continue to make the case that this should remain a key part of the Board’s ambition for the North, both for connectivity and resilience purposes.

5.3          Mayor Burnham looked for re-assurance that the Board’s long term vision remains on the table.  He highlighted that the IRP had not been prepared with the benefit of an assessment by the Government as to how it relates to the levelling up ‘missions’ and suggested that the Board request that a levelling up assessment be made on the Board’s preferred report and the IRP.

5.4          Mr. Rob Macintosh stated that TfN are right to keep the long-term vision of NPR alive, whilst highlighting that the IRP is also key to unlocking annualised funding of immediate budgets for various projects: TfN continues to have a key role to play in unlocking such funding.  On the issue of funding mechanism he believes that TfN and the Board should continue to explore different funding mechanisms and offered Network Rails help in facilitating this.

5.5          Mayor Driscoll suggested starting work on those things mentioned in the IRP in order that they don’t drift.

5.6          Mr. Mark Rawstrone raised the issue of the economic benefits and impacts and suggested focusing on the economic benefit messaging.

5.7          The Chair suggested that some of the issues raised by Members by included in a follow up letter to the Transport Select Committee.

Resolved:

That Board notes the contents of the report and endorse the proposed next steps outlined in Section 4.

 

6.

Strategic Transport Plan Policy Development pdf icon PDF 342 KB

To consider and agree TfN policy positions in respect of Active Travel and Multi-Modal Hubs.

Lead: Tim Foster

Additional documents:

Minutes:

6.1          Members received the report of the Acting Head of Policy and Strategy who highlighted the key areas of Active Travel and Multi Modal Hubs.

6.2          On the issue of Active Travel Members were keen that there should be a consistent approach to Active Travel across the North on the basis that this improves the proposition for users.  TfN’s work is therefore helpful in enabling joint working with local authorities on this issue.

6.3          Mayor Burnham suggested inviting Chris Boardman to a future TfN Board meeting. He was supportive of Pan Northern Schemes but highlighted the lack of joined up thinking when works take place and encourages TfN to consider how it might help improve co-ordination between organisations such as National Highways, Network Rail, canals and Rivers Trust so to improve the provision made for active travel when undertaking major investments.

The Chief Executive suggested that a future meeting of the Partnership Board could be used to explore this issue further.

Mayor Burnham further suggested that National Highways bring schemes to the Board prior to them starting in order for local knowledge to be inputted in to them.

6.4          On the issue of Multi Modal Hubs Mr. Mark Rawstrone suggested that the policy should provide an opportunity to focus in on the benefits of freight in a multi modal way.

6.5          Mayor Burnham suggested that regional modal hubs should be included.

Resolved:

That the Board agree the draft policy position statements.

 

7.

Governance Report pdf icon PDF 288 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Legal Services.

Lead: Julie Openshaw

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

7.1          Members received the report from the Head of Legal Services who highlighted the key points in the report.

Resolved:

1)   That Board supports the Calendar of Meetings set out in Appendix 1 of the report.

2)   That Board supports, subject to ratification at the next in-person Board meeting, to allow two Members on the General Purposes Committee for the Humber region, one for the north of the Humber and one for the south of the Humber in order to mirror the position on Rail North Committee, and to delegate authority to the Monitoring Officer to make the consequential changes to the Constitution and receives nominations for the remaining seats on General Purposes Committee.