Agenda and minutes

Local Growth Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 1st August, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, The Arc, Clowne

Contact: Jo Wilson  Scrutiny and Elections Officer

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received on behalf of Councillors Duncan Haywood, Mark Hinman and Janet Tait.


Urgent Items of Business

To note any urgent items of business which the Chairman has

consented to being considered under the provisions of Section 100(B)

4(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.



There were no urgent items of business to consider.


Declarations of Interest

Members should declare the existence and nature of any Disclosable

Pecuniary Interest and Non Statutory Interest as defined by the

Members’ Code of Conduct in respect of:


a) any business on the agenda

b) any urgent additional items to be considered

c) any matters arising out of those items and if appropriate, withdraw

from the meeting at the relevant time.



There were no declarations of interest made.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 379 KB

To consider the minutes of the last meeting held on 27th June 2023.


Moved by Councillor Will Fletcher and seconded by Councillor Phil Smith

RESOLVED that the Minutes of a Local Growth Scrutiny Committee held on

27th June 2023 be approved as a correct record.


List of Key Decisions and Items to be Considered in Private pdf icon PDF 35 KB

(Members should contact the officer whose name appears on the List of Key Decisions for any further information).  NB: If Members wish to discuss an exempt report under this item, the meeting will need to move into exempt business and exclude the public in accordance with the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985 and Local Government Act 1972, Part 1, Schedule 12a for that part of the meeting only.



There were no items on the List of Key Decisions and items to be considered in private to note.


Update on the Draft Bolsover District Area Tourism Strategy and Action Plan 2023-2025 pdf icon PDF 427 KB

Additional documents:


Committee considered a detailed report in relation to the updated draft Bolsover District Area Tourism Strategy and action plan.


The Business Growth Manager explained that the Strategy and action plan had been updated to reflect the sector post-covid and now had 5 priorities which local stakeholders had been consulted on. It set out the main objectives, local context and evaluated achievements under the old strategy, and supported the Council’s priority of ‘Promote the District and work with partners to increase tourism.’


The action plan set out clear short, medium, and long-term actions for delivery – the short and medium term actions would be delivered across 2023-24 as soon as possible, with the remaining action prior to the end of the strategy in 2025. Monitoring reports would contain a Red, Amber, and Green status so Members could easily identify progress against the action plan.


Moved by Councillor Tom Kirkham and seconded by Councillor Will Fletcher

RESOLVED that the draft Bolsover District Area Tourism Strategy and action plan be submitted to Executive for approval.


Business Engagement Strategy (BES) and Action Plan pdf icon PDF 339 KB

Additional documents:


Committee considered a detailed report in relation to a revised draft Business

Engagement Strategy (BES) and action plan following on from an earlier report in March 2023.


The service had secured funding from the LGA of £12,000 which had enabled

consultancy support via the Economic Advisors Programme. The consultancy support had proved invaluable in the Council’s approach and checking the deliverability of the strategy and action plan.


The BES identified three main areas of focus:

·       Insight

·       Connecting with Businesses

·       Communications


The service aimed to use a range of methods to engage businesses to accommodate the variety of businesses within the area, approximately 3000 at present. This included a number of start-up businesses, those operating as ‘work from home’ and those with no location i.e. driving instructors.


A key objective in the action plan was the creation of an account management approach for businesses. This would be enabled by the CRM system recently introduced by the service, which would enable improved communications and efficient data management.


Members were also presented with the first draft of the new InBusiness magazine which aimed to publicise support and showcase local businesses.

It was noted that the target dates presented in the action plan referred to 2022, which was outside the time frame of the plan, and an amended version would be issued to Members.


In response to a Member’s query, it was explained that the system would enable officers to track inward investment, circulate news shots, store basic details about each business, log enquiries for support/funding, and note businesses interest in grants, development, and networking. It would also enable the service to carry out targeted engagement with local businesses.


A Member queried how the initiative linked to the work of the LEP on business

engagement. The officer noted that the service regularly attended LEP meetings to ensure the Council remained on board with LEP programmes. However, a number of funding streams were due to end so a localised approach would now be of benefit to the District. As an additional boost, Clowne Enterprises would be operating at a local level and would be able to signpost businesses to support and grants.


Moved by Councillor Phil Smith and seconded by Councillor Will Fletcher



(1) the revised draft Business Engagement Strategy and action plan be submitted to Executive for formal adoption;

(2) Scrutiny supports a report to a future Council meeting seeking additional revenue budget to be able to deliver the activities as set out in the strategy action plan.


UK Shared Prosperity Fund - Monitoring Update pdf icon PDF 569 KB

Additional documents:


Committee considered a report which provided Members with an update on the delivery of the UKSPF programmes.


The report and appendix detailed expenditure and activity so far. Across the five projects, the service had just over £789k for the period of the funding. Following delays in receipt of the allocation from Government, the start of the projects had been impacted but it was expected that all five projects would be delivered as planned over the two-and-a-half-year period.


Tourism and Culture

Accessibility audits were being completed across all four main centres to ensure that visitors were able to fully assess access to visitor sites, restaurants, bars/pubs, and signage with the aim of increasing inward and outward tourism. A total of 30 accessibility audits were being completed via Accessibility UK and visitors would be able to search the site for Bolsover locations and businesses as part of planning their visit.


Business Growth Grants Scheme

The project offered two grant options. The first was grant funding available to existing businesses to encourage business improvement and growth opportunities resulting in job creation and retention. The growth grant was up to a maximum of £10,000 and had an 80% grant intervention rate.


The second grant was a small start-up grant of £500 at a 100% intervention rate. Applicants could be pre-start or a new business (up to 18 months old) and would be able to work with a business adviser on a 1:1 basis to assist with completion of the application and business plan but also to offer on-going support and access to workshops, networking events and courses.


A number of applications were due to go to the next panel meeting for consideration.


Net Zero Hyper Local Innovation Programme

This project aimed to deliver green skills audits for local businesses. In addition, local businesses would be supported to access training and funding to develop their understanding and skills relating to Net Zero. An additional element would include the completion of a feasibility study for a future green skills centre in the District based on the needs of business and informed by this programme of business engagement.


Hyper Local Small Business Support Scheme

Clowne Enterprise, an established local business support organisation had been commissioned to deliver this project. The support scheme covered pre-start, newly established and existing businesses within Bolsover district. Residents could take advantage of assistance to access mentoring and financial support to help launch a new business. Pre-start, start-up and existing businesses could receive assistance to develop a new product, become investor ready, or improve productivity of their business through innovation and technology implementation. Up to 30th June 2023, 15 people had received 1:1 coaching, and 13 businesses had received 1:1 coaching.


Visitor Economy Business Support

The project would contribute to accessibility, international tourism, and sector specific support for the cultural, historic and heritage sector. Businesses were being offered a programme of support, embracing innovative ways of working and business adaptations. Industry experts had been procured to deliver sector specific support including Search Engine  ...  view the full minutes text for item LOC16-21/22


Dragonfly Development Limited (DDL) Delivery Update pdf icon PDF 395 KB


Committee considered a report which provided an update on completed schemes, schemes currently being delivered and pipeline sites.


The completed schemes showed both evidence of delivery and income to the Council. DDL had projects scheduled for delivery across the next two years and were also supporting a neighbouring authority that had been affected by the collapse of Robert Woodhead Ltd. (RWL).


A Member queried the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) in relation to the Rood Lane site. The officer explained there was a small plot of land outside of the curtilage of the main site which was required as part of the scheme – a number of enquiries had been made and officers were now looking to finalise a CPO for the plot.


A Member noted that DDL was aiming to complete work for other authorities, and he queried the expected duration of the schemes and whether there was sufficient capacity to deliver for other organisations on top of delivery for the Council. The officer noted that the current scheme being delivered was due to complete in early 2024. Delivery of Bolsover Homes sites remained the number one priority but there was capacity for the company to deliver other schemes elsewhere. While DDL was not actively seeking additional work, there was scope to deliver more.


A Member queried the time frame being attributed to the current pipeline sites identified in the report. The officer noted that it was difficult to define a clear rigid time frame as currently the company had found the need to be flexible and alter scheduled works where an urgent scheme was identified. For example, the company had initially dealt with sites in progress affected by the RWL collapse. DDL management were open to look at opportunities as they arose and adjust the planned work programme if there was a clear benefit in completing other projects. An example of this was the development of the new crematorium in Shirebrook which was now being taken on by DDL.


A Member queried an open-book methodology, opposed to a closed-book methodology. Officers confirmed that normally companies delivering projects such as this would operate under a closed-book system whereby the contractor set the cost for a project and where they delivered for less than anticipated, make more profit, or conversely where the total cost was more than expected, they could incur a loss, if additional charges could not be passed on to the client.


Open-book was where the contractual parties were totally open about the project procurement and worked together to deliver what the client wanted. Where this happened, there was more likelihood of a project being delivered on time and on budget. In this case the contractor was open about the profit margin. To reduce risk to the Council, and as DDL was a young company, it had been agreed that open book was the preferred methodology to use.


A Member queried if future reports could include cost details or associated risks registers. The officer noted that some of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item LOC17-21/22


Review of Town Centre Regeneration Frameworks - Additional Briefing


Committee considered a verbal report from the Director of Economic Development, Dragonfly Development Ltd., on the completion of the Review of Town Centre Regeneration Frameworks.


Members would be aware that a review of the Regeneration Frameworks was part of the Scrutiny Committee’s work programme prior to the local elections. This work included a thorough review of each of the four Frameworks and resulted in a number of suggestions for taking work forward in each of the four areas covered by the individual Frameworks. However, not all of these suggestions could be translated into actionable recommendations and as they were focused on discreet actions in individual places; they did not provide a strategic framework to take forward a consistent and a District-wide approach to regeneration over the next four years. Therefore, officers proposed bringing a further report back to the Scrutiny Committee to pull together and summarise the key findings from the previous work on the Regeneration Frameworks to allow Members to work through the issues and options to inform a wider response to the challenges and opportunities highlighted by this work. It was considered this approach would also help Members to add value to their next piece of work because a further strategic review of the Regeneration Frameworks would result in recommendations that would flow directly into further meaningful scrutiny of levelling up across the District.


RESOLVED that the officer update be noted.


Local Growth Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 321 KB

Additional documents:


Committee considered their proposed work programme for 2023/24. The Scrutiny & Elections Officer noted that the reports for October would be amended to incorporate the additional session on the Review of Town Centre Regeneration Frameworks.


Members reviewed the draft scope for the 2023/24 review agreed at the June meeting. Members would need to agree the title of the review once work commenced in October.


Moved by Councillor Will Fletcher and seconded by Councillor Tom Kirkham



(1) the Work Programme 2023/24 be noted;

(2) the draft review scope be approved.


(Scrutiny & Elections Officer)

The formal part of the meeting concluded at 10:54 hours and Members then met as a working party to discuss potential review work. The working party concluded at 11:12 hours.


Review Work