Agenda and minutes

Economic Development Committee - Thursday, 29 September 2022 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Knowle Green, Staines-upon-Thames, TW18 1XB

Contact: Fiona Connelly  Email:

Link: Members of the public may hear the proceedings by turning into the Council's YouTube channel

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 205 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 9 June 2022 as a correct record.


The minutes of the meeting on 9 June were agreed as a correct record.



Disclosures of interests

To receive any disclosures of interest from councillors in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct for members.


Councillor Mooney declared that she was a councillor and a cabinet member of Surrey County Council.



Questions from members of the Public

The Chair, or his nominee, to answer any questions raised by members of the public in accordance with Standing Order 40.


At the time of publication of this agenda no questions had been received.



There were none.



Ward Issues

To consider any issues raised by ward councillors in accordance with Standing Order 34.2


At the time of publication of this agenda no ward issues had been received.



There were none.



BID Manager Verbal Update pdf icon PDF 6 MB

To note the BID2 Business Plan – 1st April 2022 - 31st March 2027 – for Staines-upon-Thames.


The Committee received a presentation from the Visit Staines Business Improvement Manager on the BID2 Business Plan April 2022 – March 2027.


The Business Improvement Manager highlighted achievements from the last five years in relation to events, marketing, security and safety, attractiveness of the town centre and business support and set out  plans for the next five years.  These included purple flag status for safety in the town, training for BID rangers and security officers, an expanded number of events, particularly in the summer, sponsorship of key events, such as Staines-upon-Thames day, and publicity for the town.  They would seek grants and funding, where available.


The Committee resolved to note the presentation on the Staines BID2 Business Plan for 1 April 2022 – 31 March 2027 and to invite the BID Manager to report to the Committee in six months’ time.



Presentation from Heathrow Airport Limited on skills and employment post the COVID-19 pandemic pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To receive a presentation from Heathrow Airport Limited.


The Committee received a presentation from the Education, Employment  and Skills Manager and the Local Authority and Business Engagement Lead at Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) on skills’ development and employment assistance for local people following the Covid-19 pandemic.  HAL hosted an employment and skills academy, an employment brokerage facility, shared apprenticeship scheme and employability workshops.  It worked with local councils and employers at the airport.  Approximately 2,500 Spelthorne residents were employed at Heathrow.


Looking forward, HAL wanted to encourage sustainable travel to the airport and acknowledged the lack of local public transport.  They offered a presentation on Refresh Heathrow 2.0 – HAL’s sustainability strategy.  The Committee advised that this might be more appropriate for the Environment and Sustainability Committee.


The Committee suggested that HAL be invited to speak to the Environment and Sustainability Committee and requested a copy of the presentation to this meeting.


The Committee resolved to note the presentation from Heathrow Airport Limited.



Incubator - Monitoring pdf icon PDF 229 KB

To receive an update in respect of the Business Incubator in Sunbury-on-Thames.

Additional documents:


The Committee received a report on the SBC Business Incubator situated at Hanworth Road, Sunbury-on-Thames.  The owner of Co-Tribe, the company running the Business Incubator, attended to answer questions.  The Committee noted that not all of the KPIs had been achieved, largely due to Covid-19 and renovations to the building which had affected lettings. 


The Committee noted a more positive outlook now that the building was fully operational.  Marketing had commenced and the current position showed most of the offices had been let and several customers were renting hot desks.  The concept was not-for-profit and for the centre to aid the growth of small businesses in the community by providing additional evening sessions, one-to-one business support and networking events.


The Committee noted a funding commitment from Shepperton Studios for the next five years.


Alternative options considered and not agreed were inviting the Economic Development Team or another company to run the centre.


Councillors were invited to visit the Business Incubator.


The Committee resolved to agree the preferred option to maintain the current arrangement, and review again at the Committee Meeting to be held on 15 June 2023 (provisional date).



Draft Economic Prosperity Strategy pdf icon PDF 226 KB

To note and comment on the Draft Economic Prosperity Strategy document to inform a final document which will return to Committee in January 2023.

Additional documents:


The Committee received a report from the Economic Development Manager and Senior Economic Development Officer on a draft economic prosperity strategy for 2023-2028.  This document contained a detailed action plan.  Also attached was the SBC Local Economic Assessment for 2021.


The 2023-2028 strategy referred to recent and anticipated challenges, such as Bexit, Covid-19, inflation and the current energy crisis, and stressed the importance of Spelthorne’s preparation for those areas over which it had control.  It was an evidence-based assessment of the local economy.  The Committee noted that no other local council produced such a detailed plan.


There was discussion of working with other local authorities and Surrey and whether this directly benefited businesses and residents in Spelthorne.  The Spelthorne Business Forum would be invited to assist.  The Committee made suggestions for improvements to the strategy, including whether the £5,000 current spending limit for budget holders, intended for use with local suppliers could be increased to £10,000.  


The Committee thanked the Economic Development Manager who was retiring at the end of the year.  The Committee noted the strategy had been designed with existing resources.  If resource levels changed within the Economic Development team re-prioritisation of objectives might be required.


It was agreed that the Chair and the Economic Development Manager would write to Surrey County Council to seek information on plans to improve educational attainment and qualifications in the Borough.


The Committee resolved agree that a draft economic prosperity strategy was required, and that a final version of the strategy should come back to Committee on 12 January 2023.



Draft Town Centres Strategy pdf icon PDF 30 KB

To note and critique the Draft Town Centres Strategy.  The report will return to Committee in January 2023.

Additional documents:


The Committee received a draft town centres’ strategy report and action plan from the Town Centres Manager.  The town centres of Ashford, Shepperton and Sunbury and the shopping parades in the Borough had emerged from the pandemic healthier than expected.  The report set out small scale, active interventions designed to benefit these retailers and noted that survivability was based on sustainability.  The Committee noted increasing engagement between retailers, small businesses and the Council.


The Council noted that long term road closures due to work on the replacement Southampton - London oil pipeline in Ashford had had a negative impact on the businesses there.  The Council was liaising with businesses in order to keep them updated and mitigate issues, where possible.


The Committee suggested improvements to the draft town centres’ strategy.  The Committee agreed changes in relation to parking with a view to revising the action on car parking charges at some of the local shopping centres.


The Committee resolved to agree the report, subject to the changes discussed at the meeting.



Revenue Monitoring Report (Qtr 1 April-June) pdf icon PDF 112 KB

This report provides a summary of the Quarter 1 (Q1) for the financial year 2022/23 as at 30 June 2022.


Additional documents:


The Committee received the quarter 1 revenue monitoring report relating to economic development as at 30 June 2022 from the Chief Accountant.


This report had previously been discussed at the Corporate Policy and Resources Committee in September.  The Chief Accountant highlighted the projected £96,000 overspend on revenue expenditure against budget.  Income from Staines Market was forecast to be lower than projected due to a slower than expected recovery post Covid-19.


The Committee resolved to note the £96,000 projected overspend as set out in the quarter 1 revenue monitoring report for the Economic Development Committee against its budget as at 30 June 2022.



Surrey Delivery Board - Economic Development Stream pdf icon PDF 222 KB

To note progress on collaborative opportunities across Districts/Boroughs and County on economic development activities.


The Committee received a report on the Surrey Delivery Board in relation to economic development activites from the Group Head Regeneration and Growth.  Whilst monitoring activities of the Surrey Delivery Board fell within the remit of the Corporate Policy and Resources Committee (CPRC) an update relevant to Economic Development had been requested.  This information had previously been reported to CPRC in September. 


The report set out opportunities for aligning economic development across Surrey by collaborating with other local authorities.


The Committee resolved to note the progress which had been made to date on collaboration and partnership working between districts and boroughs and Surrey County Council and the next steps as outlined in the report.



Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 21 KB

To consider the Forward Plan for committee business.


The Committee considered the forward plan for future committee business.


The Committee resolved to note the forward plan and to add the following items to the forward plan:


  • Economic Prosperity Strategy: 12 January 2023
  • Review of Staines BID: 15 June 2023
  • Incubator monitoring: 15 June 2023


The Committee resolved to note the forward plan for future committee business.



Exclusion of Public and Press

To move the exclusion of the public and press in order to discuss the next item in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of Paragraph 4 or Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972:


Information relating to any consultations or negotiations, or contemplated consultations or negotiations, in connection with any labour relations matter arising between the authority or a Minister of the Crown and employees of, or office holders under, the authority.


The service plans are exempt by virtue of them detailing potential changes to staffing structures, that are still subject to consultations or negotiations.



It was proposed by Councillor Fidler, seconded by Councillor Barnard, and resolved that the public and press be excluded during consideration of the following item, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Part 1 of Schedule 12 A of the Local Government Act 1972.



Exempt Report - Service Plan (as part of the 23/24 Budget Process)

To consider the draft service plan for Economic Development.


The Group Head Regeneration and Growth presented the Service Plan for Economic Development to the Committee.


Members were invited to ask questions and provide feedback on the service plan.


The Committee resolved to note the Service Plan for Economic Development.