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Declarations of Interest
In accordance with the Code of Conduct, Members are invited to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, Other Registerable Interests and Non-Registerable Interests including the nature and extent of such interests they may have in any items to be considered at this meeting;
Members and officers were invited to declare any interests in the items of business to be considered during the course of this meeting, but there were none made.
Plymouth and South Devon Freeport Update PDF 621 KB
The Deputy Leader introduced a report providing an update on the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport Business Case and information on the associated financial modelling.
In discussion, reference was made to:
(a) the need for this Special Executive Meeting. When questioned, it was noted that this Special Executive meeting had been convened to enable for the Executive to consider this matter in advance of the Full Council meeting to be held later in the day;
(b) the lack of reference in the published agenda report to apprenticeships. A Member felt it to be unfortunate that the agenda report had not included a separate section solely on apprenticeships. Whilst the initiative would lead to a number of direct benefits in relation to the provision of skilled labour apprenticeships, the Executive also wished to confirm its support to promote opportunities for apprenticeships through the operation of the Freeport;
(c) the initiative representing a great opportunity for the Plymouth and South Devon area. Members highlighted the extent of the opportunities and far reaching benefits that would be generated by this initiative and particular reference was made to the reduction in carbon footprint that would result at Langage.
It was then:
That the Executive RECOMMEND to Council to:
1. Approve South Hams District Council’s full participation in the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport.
2. Approve the formation of a company limited by guarantee and for South Hams District Council (SHDC) to be a founder member alongside Devon County Council (DCC) and Plymouth City Council (PCC) to operate the Freeport
3. Delegate authority to the Director of Place and Enterprise, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, Executive Member for Economy and S151 Officer to:
a. submit the Full Business Case (FBC) for the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport
b. approve the articles of association and reserved matters for the Freeport company and enter into member agreements between SHDC, PCC and DCC, and other relevant legal agreements
c. Enter into the business rates retention sharing agreement with DCC, as set out in 4.22 to
4.24 of the report
d. Enter into land owner agreements aligned to Freeport objectives
e. Acquire land at Langage to deliver Freeport objectives
4. Approve borrowing up to £5m from the Public Works Loan Board (funded from the retained business rates income generated), at such time as is advised by the S151 Officer, to match fund the Freeport Government seed funding relating to the delivery of the Langage site
5. Utilise funding from the SHDC Business Rates Retention Earmarked Reserve in 2022/23 (£6,000) and 2023/24 (£57,000) to provide upfront funding to the Freeport, which will then be repaid in 2024/25 from the retained business rates income generated from 2024/25 onwards.