Agenda and minutes

Swansea Bay City Region Joint Committee
Friday, 14th December, 2018 2.00 pm

Venue: Democratic Services Committee Room, - County Hall, Carmarthen. SA31 1JP.. View directions

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from B. Rees (Hywel Dda University Health Board).

 

The Chair welcomed Professor Medwin Hughes to the meeting as the new University of Wales Trinity St Davids representative on the Joint Committee.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the change of representation on the Joint Committee, as notified by the University of Wales Trinity St Davids, be noted.

2.

DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL INTEREST

Minutes:

There were no declarations of personal interest made at the meeting.

3.

CHAIR'S STATEMENT

Minutes:

The Chair referred to the recent announcement of suspensions by Swansea University. The Chair advised that the suspensions were entirely a matter of Swansea University, however, it would be prudent for the Joint Committee to understand and be responsive to any potential concerns relating to the City Deal.

 

The Chair informed Members that, upon finding out about the suspensions, he had immediately contacted the University’s Registrar. The Registrar had assured him that, while the suspensions were linked to the Llanelli Life Science and Well-being Village, they did not relate to any of the other City Deal projects. The Chair reported that Swansea University had reaffirmed a strong commitment to the City Deal. He suggested, however, that in addition to these reassurances it would be valuable for the Joint Committee to undertake an internal review of due diligence into the City Deal. He suggested that the review could be undertaken in parallel with the independent review by the Welsh and UK Governments and chaired by himself with Pembrokeshire County Council taking responsibility for the Audit function.

 

The Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council advised the Joint Committee that Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board had endorsed the Llanelli Life Science and Well-being Village Full Business Case in principle and deemed it ready for submission to the UK and Welsh Government. Prior to any further action, however, Officers had been instructed to provide reassurance, including external expert legal advice that all due legal process had been followed and report back to the Executive Board accordingly. The Leader informed Members that this process was underway and that the results would be reported back to the Joint Committee. Officers had also been requested to look at alternative delivery methods to ensure that Llanelli Life Science and Well-being Village could be completed, and the Authority was fully committed to the project and confident that private sector funding could be obtained. The Authority continued to work with the two universities and Hywel Dda University Health Board to take the project forward, and he asked the Joint Committee to show support and remain committed to deliver all projects within the Deal.

 

The Chair thanked the Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council for the update on the Llanelli Life Science and Well-being Village, and confirmed that it reflected the view of the Joint Committee that the project could not progress until a revised proposal was resubmitted to the JC for consideration. He re-iterated that in his opinion, it would be sensible and prudent to take a review of due diligence for all projects, so that the City Deal remained on track and also ensure that all plans were robust. The review would include programme management, project status, visibility and ownership, capacity, roles responsibilities and functions and allow the Joint Committee to proceed with confidence. Findings of any Joint Committee review would dovetail into the Independent Review and be fed into Joint working arrangements. The project could not be progressed further until Carmarthenshire submitted a revised proposal to the Joint Committee and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

TO SIGN AS A CORRECT RECORD THE MINUTES OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON THE 22ND NOVEMBER 2018 pdf icon PDF 147 KB

Minutes:

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Swansea Bay City Region Joint Committee held on the 22nd November 2018 be signed as a correct record.

5.

SWANSEA BAY CITY DEAL PROJECTS UPDATE pdf icon PDF 200 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Joint Committee received an update report on the following local and regional projects funded under the City Deal:

 

·         Digital Infrastructure

·         Swansea City & Waterfront Digital District;

·         Skills & Talent;

·         Yr Egin;

·         Llanelli Life Science & Well-Being Village

·         Llanelli Life Science & Well-Being Campus;

·         Homes as Power Stations

·         Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Services (CENGS);

·         Astute Factory of the Future;

·         Steel Science;

·         Pembroke Dock Marine.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the projects update report be received.

 

6.

INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF THE SWANSEA BAY CITY REGION CITY DEAL pdf icon PDF 200 KB

Minutes:

The Chair advised that he had covered the majority of this item within his earlier statement, and that the Joint Committee would work with the UK and Welsh Government to achieve additional confidence in the deal. It was pleasing to note that the Governments did not propose to delay the Deal in any way and had advised that their Independent Review would be completed by the end of January.

 

In response to a statement by the co-opted representative of Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, the Chair welcomed the offer by the co-opted representatives to fully contribute to the Joint Committee review. The Chair advised that he expected all partners to contribute so that the Joint Committee provided one review document which would feed into and align with the UK and Welsh Government review.

 

UANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the update be received.

7.

SWANSEA UNIVERSITY UPDATE pdf icon PDF 196 KB

Minutes:

The Chair advised that he had covered this item within his earlier statement, and no further details relating to the suspensions at Swansea University were available as the investigation was ongoing.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the update be received.

8.

EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC

THE REPORT RELATING TO THE FOLLOWING ITEM IS  NOT FOR PUBLICATION AS IT CONTAINS EXEMPT INFORMATION AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH 12 OF PART 4 OF SCHEDULE 12A TO THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1972 AS AMENDED BY THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT (ACCESS TO INFORMATION) (VARIATION) (WALES) ORDER 2007. IF, FOLLOWING THE APPLICATION OF THE PUBLIC INTEREST TEST, THE COMMITTEE RESOLVES PURSUANT TO THE ACT TO CONSIDER THIS ITEM IN PRIVATE, THE PUBLIC WILL BE EXCLUDED FROM THE MEETING DURING SUCH CONSIDERATION

Minutes:

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED, pursuant to the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information)(Variation) (Wales) Order 2007, that the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items as the reports contained exempt information as defined in paragraph 14 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the Act.

9.

PRESENTATION OF SWANSEA BAY CITY DEAL REGIONAL LOCAL FULL FIBRE NETWORKS (LFFN) SUBMISSION TO DCMS WAVE 3 COMPETITION

Minutes:

Following the application of the public interest test it was UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED, pursuant to the Act referred to in Minute 8 above, to consider this matter in private, with the public excluded from the meeting as the report and presentation contain details about how the bid for LFFN monies will be structured.Although the public interest would normally favour transparency and openness, this is outweighed in this case because this is a bid in competition with others from a finite pot of monies, and the confidentiality of the bid therefore needs to be preserved.

 

The Joint Committee considered a report on the Swansea Bay City Deal Regional LFFN proposal for the Wave 3 DCMS competition. The Joint Committee was reminded that the regional bid and submission was being led by Swansea Council with the support of CUBE Ultra Ltd. It was advised that a proposal has been developed following extensive data analysis, cost modelling and consultation with all four Local Authorities within the region. The Joint Committee thereupon received a brief presentation from CUBE Ultra Ltd and Swansea Council on the proposal and was advised that the deadline for submitting bids to the competition was 5pm that day.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the submission of the expression of interest to the DCMS Wave 3 competition, as presented to the Joint Committee on the 14th December 2018, be approved.

10.

URGENT ITEM

Minutes:

The Chair reported that pursuant to Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972 he had decided to allow, as a matter of urgency, further discussion on the Chair’s statement, as a decision was required prior to the next meeting of the Committee.

11.

CHAIR'S STATEMENT

Minutes:

The Chair advised the Joint Committee that the Monitoring Officer had advised that no vote had been taken on the discussion regarding the Joint Committee undertaking its own review. He therefore asked the Joint Committee to formally agree this action.

Following further discussion, the Chair also advised the Joint Committee that he expected all members to make themselves available, on request, for Joint Scrutiny Committee meetings.

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the Swansea Bay City Region Joint Committee undertake an internal review into the City Deal, and that the review run in parallel with the UK and Welsh Government Independent Review, chaired by the Chair of the Joint Committee with Audit arrangements being undertaken by Pembrokshire County Council.