The West of England Joint Committee will consider investing £3.175m into projects to boost regional economic growth when it meets at the Kingswood Civic Centre in South Gloucestershire at 1pm on Friday February 2.
The Joint Committee is the decision-making body for issues relating to the West of England Combined Authority, Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire councils, and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
The committee will make funding decisions on the following projects:
Weston-super-Mare Town Centre Transport Enhancement Scheme
£1.5m to match fund £2.95m from the Department for Transport for a project to improve pedestrian links and public realm, together with public transport and cycle enhancements and a new bus interchange.
A4018 Corridor Improvements
£1.625m for a £6.6m project to improve public transport reliability and punctuality including six sections of new bus lane and upgrades to seven traffic signal junctions on this key link between Bristol city centre and Cribbs Causeway.
£50,000 to support a £393k project to appoint a project manager and prepare a commercial business plan for the Somer Valley Enterprise Zone.
The Joint Committee will also discuss the region’s response to the Department for Transport’s (DfT) consultation on the new Great Western Franchise. This has been put together by the West of England Combined Authority, Bath and North East Somerset Council, Bristol City Council, North Somerset Council and South Gloucestershire Council.
The current Great Western Franchise operated by Great Western Railway (GWR) will finish at the end of March 2020, and the DfT is consulting on what it should look like after that date.
The Joint Committee will be asked to endorse the draft regional response to the consultation, which draws on previous representations from stakeholder groups.It sets out that it could bring great opportunities to the region, and calls for the new franchise to prioritise MetroWest services, new trains to meet current and future demand and more regular services on key routes.
The revenue budget for the Local Enterprise Partnership and Invest Bristol and Bath for 2018/19 will also be discussed.
It is proposed that the four local authorities reduce their contributions to the costs of the LEP from £150k to £110k per annum, to reflect efficiencies as LEP functions are more closely integrated with those of the West of England Combined Authority.
The meeting will consider putting in place a review of Invest Bristol and Bath’s objectives, in the light of the new Industrial Strategy and the establishment of the Combined Authority.
The meeting papers can be found at www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk/meetings/
The meeting won’t be webcast live but it will be available to watch from the WECA website from Monday February 5.