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To approve and sign as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 17 January 2019 and to deal with any matters arising.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 17 January 2019 be approved and signed as a correct record.
Report of the Director, Legal and Governance, requesting that the Panel consider the comments made by the invited guests and use the information provided as evidence in the review.
The Panel considered the report of the Director, Legal and Governance, which in accordance with the inquiry plan, requested that the Panel considered innovation and best practice and what Southampton can learn from other cities.
Following discussions with invited representatives the following information was received:
Dr Deborah Smart – Service Lead, Digital and IT, Southampton City Council
Jeff Walters – Economic Development Manager, Southampton City Council
· A Digital Strategy for Southampton for 2018-2022 has been produced. There was a general consensus that the objectives and actions within the strategy reflected good practice, with support for the external focus as it related to growing the digital economy in Southampton and improving digital skills.
· Since the strategy was approved the focus had been on addressing internal digital and IT issues within the Council. Little progress had been made improving connectivity in the city or advancing digital skills.
· A bid to Government for funding for 5G / Full Fibre was unsuccessful.
· The digital infrastructure of the city needed improving to support economic growth. We are not seeing businesses being put off from investing in Southampton because of poor connectivity but, as other cities begin to offer full fibre and 5G, there is concern that they may have a competitive advantage over Southampton.
· Improving digital infrastructure and connectivity needed to be a priority for the city. External funding will be required to deliver this.
Good practice – Bristol Learning City
Mark Pirnie, Scrutiny Manager, spoke with Tommy Jarvis – Education Partnership and Programme Manager at Bristol Learning City, about the progress being made in Bristol to create a learning culture.
· Bristol became a UNESCO Learning City in 2016. As a learning city, Bristol is championing learning as a way to transform lives, communities, organizations and the city, with an ambitious vision of a future where:
· All individuals and communities are proud to learn throughout their lives
· Every organization has a committed, skilled and diverse workforce; and
· The city’s success is shared by all.
· The presentation from the Chief Executive of the Centre for Cities identified that Bristol had bucked the UK trend with regards to in work training (20% increase in in-work training from 2004 to 2017).
· The focus in Bristol used to be on encouraging entrepreneurialism but now the focus is on raising standards in schools and improvement of education outcomes - Bristol has seen one of the strongest improvements in school exam results in England and has a high proportion of qualified residents.
· A learning festival is being planned to celebrate lifelong learning.
· Work experience - Bristol Works was a collaboration between employers, learning providers and local communities to develop a skilled local workforce. Their aim was to offer bespoke experience of work programs created with schools, based on the needs of young people - www.bristol.works/
· The Future Bright initiative, funded through the West of England Combined Authority seeks to help people who are in work and in-receipt of in-work benefits improve their skills - www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk/future-bright/
· However, Bristol remains a city where ... view the full minutes text for item 13.