Agenda and minutes

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Democratic Advisor  Email:


No. Item



To receive apologies for non-attendance submitted by Councillors.

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Declarations of Interest

Councillors will be asked to make any declarations of interest in respect of items on the agenda.

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No declarations of interest were made.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 113 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting held on 22 June 2022.

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The Committee agreed that the minutes of the meeting held on 22 June 2022 were  an accurate record of the meeting.


Chair's Urgent Business

To receive reports on business which in the opinion of the Chair, should be brought forward for urgent consideration.

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There were no items of Chair’s Urgent Business.


Policy Updates pdf icon PDF 150 KB

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Lucy Davis (Policy & Intelligence Advisor) presented the report and highlighted –


a)    The Growth Plan 2022;

                      i.        Investment Zones to be established across the UK;

                     ii.        New legislation to be introduced through the Planning and Infrastructure Bill to accelerate and prioritise major infrastructure projects across England;

                    iii.        Changes to tax.

b)    Changes had been announced since the agenda had been published on the Interventions in place to support businesses and families with rising energy costs.

                      i.        The Government will not proceed with the abolition of the 45p tax rate for higher earners;

                     ii.        DLUHC was inviting expressions of interest for investment zones from Freeport’s with a deadline of 14 October 2022;

                    iii.        The Medium Term Fiscal Plan had been moved forward to 31 October 2022 from 23 November 2022.



In response to questions it was reported that –

c)    The Council would be submitting and expression of interest for the Freeport to become an Investment Zone with a separate Investment Zone expression of interest being submitted for the City Centre and Waterfront;

d)    Relaxation of planning controls for an investment zone on the waterfront have not been confirmed by government yet, but changes would be more likely linked to speeding the process of granting planning permission. Policies like Heritage Protection, Building Safety and Flooding, would all still apply;

e)    The expression of interest for the Freeport to become an Investment Zone would not change from the full business case submission;

f)     Temporary licensing changes that were brought in during the COVID19 pandemic to allow businesses to sell food and drink on pavements and pedestrianised roads would remain in place until 2023, when the guidance would become permanent.



The Committee agreed to:

1)    Note the report;

2)    Receive an update on social prescribing provision in walking and cycling;

3)    Receive an update on any Council plans relating to the capping of bus fares to £2.


Risk Review pdf icon PDF 153 KB

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Ross Jago (Head of Governance, Performance and Risk) presented the report and highlighted –


a)    The Audit and Governance Committee reviewed strategic and operational risks on a regular basis, but each scrutiny committee would have a risk report, relating to their Terms of Reference, added as a recurring item on their agendas to provide the Audit and Governance Committee with further reassurance on risks;


b)    Items could be added to the work programme from the risk register;


c)    The work programme for the Growth and Infrastructure Overview and Scrutiny Committee covered the risks at that time.


The Committee agreed to note the report.


Update on The Box pdf icon PDF 1 MB

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Councillor Patel (Cabinet Member for Customer Services, Culture, Leisure and Sport) introduced the report highlighted –


a)    The Box opened on 29 September 2020 and had just celebrated its second anniversary;

b)    Since its opening The Box had received over 350,000 visitors, during a period that saw the venue closed due to COVID19 pandemic measures between 31 December 2020 to mid-May 2021;

c)    The investment in The Box had been significant and the project was hugely ambitious supported by several funders including the Arts Council of England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund;

d)    The facilities for museum and archive materials had been improved significantly with an accessible climate changeable area;

e)    There has been a focus on achieving physical and intellectual access;

f)     The Box has changed perceptions of Plymouth, generating civic pride, and had had significant national and international media attention;

g)    A significant number of visitors were local people and engagement has been done with local schools, colleges, universities and some of the hardest to reach communities within the city;

h)    The British Art Show opened on 8 October 2022 and would run until 8 January 2023.


Victoria Pomery (Chief Executive Officer, The Box) supported the presentation and highlighted –


i)     Over 350 people attended the opening of the British Art Show on Friday 7 October 2022 with a further 2000 over the following weekend;

j)     The vision at The Box was to reimage the future through the past;

k)    The Box had worked in partnership with partners and curators for The British Art Show;

l)     The exhibition featured the inspiring and challenging work from artists including 6 Turner Prize nominees and 3 Turner Prize winners;

m)  The importance that a wide range of ages were engaged with through the British Art Show and of the learning and engagement team, headed up by Chloe Hughes (Engagement Programmes Manager), who worked to engage as many local people as possible with The Box;

n)    6 ambassadors had been recruited, with extensive and varying networks and backgrounds between them, to further engagement;

o)    The Tap-In app had been used to gather data on those who are attending The Box, and to inform engagement programmes with the groups of people who had not attended.

In response to questions it was reported that –


p)    The Box would be ambitious in applying for awards and would consider applying for the Art Fun Museum of the Year and had also been visited by a judge for a South West architectural prize and the archives had received two accreditations;

q)    Based on footfall at the time, The Box was on track to achieve its target of 200,000 visitors in the financial year 2022/23;

r)    Income revenue from the shop was down 30%, but changes had been made to merchandise available and research into audiences and propensity to spend, this could also be affected by the cost of living crisis;

s)     The value of the box cannot just be measured by revenue income;

t)     Venue  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62.


City Centre Update pdf icon PDF 155 KB

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Councillor Mark Shayer (Cabinet Member for Finance and Economy) introduced the report and highlighted –


a)    Plymouth’s City Centre, much like city centres across the UK, was facing a number of challenges

, but Plymouth had been working on facing these challenges for some time and had delivered projects such as The Box and The Barcode;

b)    There were new projects underway or about to start including the refurbishment of the city centre, The Guildhall refurbishment, work at the Railway Station, with work in the pipeline to bring in new homes and other non-retail uses to the city centre;

c)    Plymouth’s City Centre, much like city centres across the UK, was facing a number of challenges.

d), but Plymouth had been working on facing these challenges for some time and had delivered projects such as The Box and The Barcode

e)    Future Projects included Hilton Garden Inn and apartments on The Hoe, a new health and wellbeing centre and new homes at Bath Street as well as £26.5 million invested in improving the public realm across the city centre with contractor Morgan Tyndall;

f)     Works on Old Town Street and New George Street were due for completion in July 2023 and other projects at Colin Campbell Court, Civic Square and Armada Way were due to commence by the end of 2022 and to complete in 2023/24;

g)    Work was continuing on the extensive High Street Heritage Action Zone.

Martin Ivatt (City Centre Regeneration Coordinator) added to the presentation of the report and highlighted –


h)    A portion of the Transforming Cities Fund would be used to improve the public realm at Colin Campbell Court with work due to commence in January 2023 and be completed by the end of March 2023;

i)     At £12.7 million, Armada Way was the largest public realm program within the Better Places Programme with a deadline of March 2024 after a year extension to the Transforming Cities Fund deadline;

j)     Improvements would include:

                      i.        Restoration of the Phoenix Fountain;

                     ii.        Creation of an Amphitheatre Space near the Copthorne Hotel;

                    iii.        Restoration of the ‘grand vista’ to the Hoe, the original aim for Armada Way which had been lost over previous years;

                    iv.        A stream that ran North to South utilising granite curbs already in place;

                     v.        Wildflower spaces;

                    vi.        Ping Pong Table and Pétanque playing areas;

                  vii.        A water-based play space with dancing jets;

                 viii.        Food and beverage outside spaces;

                   ix.        Restoration of the Sundial and modernisation of its setting;

                    x.        Replacement of broken slabs and opening up of tree pits to give trees space.


In response to questions it was explained that –


k)    Armada Way is the centrepiece of transformation and would act as a regeneration catalyst for plots either side of Armada Way more attractive as development space with development planned for the West End in relation to the Health and Wellbeing Hub;

l)     A compulsory purchase had been successfully made on some previously commercial properties on Western Approach in order  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 134 KB

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The Committee agreed –


1)    To the current work programme;

2)    To add Plymouth’s Plan on Investment Zones to the work programme for 7 December 2022;

3)    That the reports for the Culture Plan Annual Update, Visitor Plan Annual Update and Heritage Fun Activity Plan Update be provided a minimum of 7 days before the next meeting to give the panel sufficient time to read the reports.


Tracking Decisions

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The Committee noted the tracking decisions and agreed to seek a further update on the 1 outstanding item.