Audit of economic benefits and job creation of Bexhill Hastings Link Road

Andrea Needham made this Freedom of Information request to East Sussex County Council

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The request was successful.

Dear East Sussex County Council,

East Sussex County Council has repeatedly said that the Bexhill Hastings Link Road will bring £1bn of economic benefits to the area, together with 3,000 new jobs (eg https://news.eastsussex.gov.uk/2015/12/1...).

I would like to request the following information:

1. What plans have been made for an independent audit of the jobs created by the link road?
2. When will the jobs audit/s be carried out?
3. Who will carry out the independent jobs audit, and who will be appointed to scrutinise it?
4. What plans have been made for an independent audit of the economic benefits brought by the link road?
5. Who will carry out the independent economic audit, and who will be appointed to scrutinise it?
6. When will the economic audit/s be carried out?
7. If the benefits (economic/jobs) are found not to reach the predictions made in advance of building the road, what action will be taken, and who will be held accountable?

Yours faithfully,

Andrea Needham

Freedom of Information, East Sussex County Council

 

 

 

Dear Ms Needham

 

EIR Request ref:  6595 / Audit of economic benefits and job creation of
Bexhill Hastings Link Road

 

Thank you for your request for information about the above. Your request
was received on 7/1/2016 and I am dealing with it under the terms of the
Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

We always aim to respond as quickly as possible, and in this case will do
so no later than 3/2/2016, which is the 20 working day deadline. The
deadline is counted from the first working day we receive it, not the date
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Please quote the above reference number in any communication regarding
this request.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Jeremy Coleman

Customer Information Officer

East Sussex County Council

Communities Economy and Transport Directorate

W1D, County Hall

St Anne’s Crescent

Lewes

East Sussex BN7 1UE

 

Phone: 01273 482913

email: [1][East Sussex County Council request email]   web: [2]www.eastsussex.gov.uk/foi

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2. http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/foi

Freedom of Information, East Sussex County Council

 

 

Dear Ms Needham

 

EIR Request ref:  6595 / Audit of economic benefits and job creation of
Bexhill Hastings Link Road

 

Thank you for your request for information about the above, which has been
dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Your
request and our response are set out below. Please note that any
information we provide is subject to the copyright and reuse of
information terms and conditions set out at the bottom of this email.

 

REQUEST

 

     1. What plans have been made for an independent audit of the jobs
created by the link road?

     2. When will the jobs audit/s be carried out?

     3. Who will carry out the independent jobs audit, and who will be
appointed to scrutinise it?

     4. What plans have been made for an independent audit of the economic
benefits brought by the link road?

     5. Who will carry out the independent economic audit, and who will be
appointed to scrutinise it?

     6. When will the economic audit/s be carried out?

     7. If the benefits (economic/jobs) are found not to reach the
predictions made in advance of building the road, what action will be
taken, and who will be held accountable?

 

RESPONSE

 

1.    Understanding the interplay between the road scheme, land
development and economic regeneration in the area is an important part of
the monitoring and evaluation process. The Department for Transport (DfT)
request in the Full Approval letter an annual progress report setting out
levels of developer interest in, and commitment to, the proposed
employment and housing sites in North East Bexhill. The DfT also request
an annual progress report setting out how the Council will ensure that
local unemployed people are given appropriate support so that they are
well placed to compete for the jobs ultimately delivered by the scheme.

 

Please note that as of 21^st December 2013 the Bexhill Hastings Link
Road's Monitoring and Evaluation Plan (M&EP) was published on the DfT's
Knowledge Hub as a good example of a fuller evaluation of a Local Major
Scheme. The M&EP presents the process by which the Bexhill Hastings Link
Road (BHLR) will be evaluated and is in line with 2012 DfT guidance on the
monitoring and evaluation framework for local authority major schemes.

 

Governance and resourcing for the implementation of the M&EP has been
planned to ensure that monitoring and evaluation is fully integrated into
wider project delivery in order to remain proportionate and cost
effective. To report the findings from the monitoring and evaluation
process, four reports are proposed as part of the M&EP: A baseline report;
One Year After report; Five Years After report; and a Fifteen Years After
report.

 

Jobs benefits will be evaluated as per Indicator 11 in the M&EP. An email
survey to review occupancy at both North East Bexhill Business Park and
companies occupying the developments will be undertaken. The survey shall
look to establish: (a) Total businesses on site; (b) New Jobs on site; and
(c) Proportion of jobs occupied by employees from within East Sussex.

 

2.    A survey is to be undertaken annually, in line with the Baseline
report, One Year After report, Five Years After report and Fifteen Years
After reports. 

 

3.    The survey data collection and reporting will be undertaken by the
BHLR Project Team. Oversite and Governance will be provided in accordance
with that set out in the Project Execution Plan (Under Section 21 of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 there is an exemption from the duty to
provide information on request when that information is reasonably
accessible to the applicant by other means. The information that you have
requested is available on the East Sussex website via the following links:
[1]https://new.eastsussex.gov.uk/roadsandtr...
).

 

4.    The jobs benefits discussed in the answers to questions 1-3 are a
key economic benefit of the scheme. The other employment and development
impacts that will be monitored will be the housing and commercial
developments proposed in north east Bexhill, North Bexhill and West
Bexhill; and West St Leonards. These benefits will be monitored as per
Indicator 10 of the M&EP. As described in Indicator 10, desk based
analysis of annual housing land supply monitoring undertaken by Rother DC
implementation will be undertaken. From this data, rate of progress of
business space development will be reviewed to assess progress on: (a)
Employment land acquired/secured; (b) Granting of planning permission for
and subsequent construction of these developments; (c) Enabling
infrastructure and servicing for employment land completed; and (d)
Employment space constructed to date.

 

Furthermore, DfT requires comparison of out-turn values of GDP, fuel
prices, fare prices and analysis of Transport Economy Efficiency and
Benefit Cost Ratio. This will be done through an update of the ex-ante
transport model as part of the Impact Evaluation. The range of tasks
required to inform this element of the evaluation is set out in Section
3.3.1 of the M&EP.

 

The Economic Evaluation (to be produced as part of the monitoring reports)
will combine an assessment of the recreated BCR based on the outputs from
the updated ex-ante transport model performed for the Impact Evaluation
and the BHLR’s employment and development impacts.

 

5.    As per answer to question 3.

 

6.    As per answer to question 2, however the update of the ex-ante
transport model is only scheduled to be undertaken for the One Year After
Report.

 

7.    Decisions taken to construct the road were based upon the economic
assessments undertaken by the DfT. In addition East Sussex County Council
commissioned an independent report to consider the jobs and economic
benefits that a scheme would bring. There is no evidence to suggest the
economic benefits will not be achieved.

 

 

I hope that this answers your enquiry. If you believe that the County
Council has not complied with the FOI Act in responding to your request,
you may ask for an internal review. If you wish to do so, please set out
the grounds of your appeal in writing to:

 

Philip Baker, Assistant Chief Executive, East Sussex County Council,
County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent, Lewes, East Sussex. BN7 1UE.

or by email to him at [2][email address]

 

Please quote the FOI reference number in any communication regarding this
particular request.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you then
have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. Generally, the Information Commissioner cannot make a decision
unless you have exhausted the County Council’s internal review procedure
as described in the previous paragraph. The Commissioner can be contacted
at: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. Tel: 0303 123 1113.  [3]www.ico.org.uk

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Amilia Holland

Customer Information Adviser

 

East Sussex County Council

Communities, Economy and Transport

W1D, County Hall

St Anne’s Crescent

Lewes

East Sussex BN7 1UE

 

Phone: 01273 482913
Fax: 01273 481208

email: [4][East Sussex County Council request email]   web: [5]www.eastsussex.gov.uk/foi

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This message is intended for the use of the addressee only and may
contain confidential or privileged information. If you have received it in
error please notify the sender and destroy it. You may not use it or copy
it to anyone else.

E-mail is not a secure communications medium. Please be aware of this
when replying. All communications sent to or from the County Council
may be subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with
relevant legislation.

Although East Sussex County Council has taken steps to ensure that this
e-mail and any attachments are virus free, we can take no responsibility
if a virus is actually present and you are advised to ensure that the
appropriate checks are made.

You can visit our website at http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk

References

Visible links
1. https://new.eastsussex.gov.uk/roadsandtr...
2. mailto:[email address]
mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.ico.org.uk/
4. mailto:[East Sussex County Council request email]
5. http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/foi

Dear Freedom of Information,

Thank you for your response to my FoI request about the BHLR audit. However, you refer repeatedly in the response to the BHLR Monitoring and Evaluation Plan, but do not attach a copy of it or give me a web address for it. You say it is on the DfT knowledge hub but I unable to find it there or anywhere else, including on the ESCC website page you mention in your answer.

Please could you let me have a copy of it, or a web address where it may be viewed?
Yours sincerely,

Andrea Needham

Freedom of Information, East Sussex County Council

Dear Ms Needham

Thank you for your email. I have returned to the team who provided me with the response and asked that they send the attachment. I will forward it onto you once I have received it.

Kind regards

Amilia Holland
Customer Information Adviser

East Sussex County Council
Communities Economy and Transport Directorate
W1D, County Hall
St Anne’s Crescent
Lewes
East Sussex BN7 1UE

Phone: 01273 482913
[mobile number]
Fax: 01273 481208

show quoted sections

Freedom of Information, East Sussex County Council

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Needham

Further to my email below, please find attached the document as requested. I apologise it was not provided with our first response.

Kind regards

Amilia Holland
Customer Information Adviser

East Sussex County Council
Communities Economy and Transport Directorate
W1D, County Hall
St Anne’s Crescent
Lewes
East Sussex BN7 1UE

Phone: 01273 482913
[mobile number]
Fax: 01273 481208

show quoted sections