Venue: Democratic Services Committee Room, County Hall, Carmarthen - County Hall, Carmarthen. SA31 1JP.. View directions
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Professor Iwan Davies (Swansea University), Professor Steve Wilks (Swansea University, Reserve Member), Mark James (Carmarthenshire County Council), Ian Westley (Pembrokeshire County Council) and Phil Roberts (Swansea University).
The Chair extended congratulations to Professor Iwan Davies upon his appointment as Vice-Chancellor of Bangor University and to Wendy Walters upon her appointment as Chief Executive of Carmarthenshire County Council.
The Chair thanked Professor Andrew Davies and Mark James for their contributions to the Joint Committee and welcomed to the meeting Judith Hardisty (Hywel Dda University Health Board), Jack Straw (Swansea Council) and Steve Thomas (formerly WLGA).
DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL INTEREST
There were no declaration of personal interest made at the meeting.
TO SIGN AS A CORRECT RECORD THE MINUTES OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON THE 28TH MARCH 2019 PDF 178 KB
UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Swansea Bay City Region Joint Committee held on the 28th March 2019 be signed as a correct record.
SWANSEA BAY CITY DEAL - PROGRESS ON REVIEWS PDF 217 KB
The Joint Committee received a report on the progress on the internal and independent reviews, which detailed three key recommendations. With regard to Recommendation 1 (Appointment of Programme Director) it was noted that the proposed May 2019 deadline would have to be more flexible. The Joint Committee was advised that detailed proposals on the implementation of the three recommendations, which had been developed in consultation with the four Local Authorities, were set out in the attached report. Further recommendations suggested that the Programme Director be accountable to the Joint Committee and that the Portfolio Management Office be based in Llanelli, with Carmarthenshire County Council acting as the Employing Authority. It was recommended to adopt the following division of statutory roles:
· Accountable Body and Section 151 Officer – Carmarthenshire County Council
· Monitoring Officer – Swansea City and County Council
· Scrutiny – Neath Port Talbot Council
· Audit - Pembrokeshire County Council lead on the audit function on behalf of the Joint Committee, with the Lead Audit Officer reporting directly to the Section 151 Officer to ensure the Section 151 duties can be legally discharged and the work programme appropriately aligned to the risks
It was further suggested that any potential overhead costs, particularly the officer time in respect the areas reference above (Statutory Officers, Democratic Services, Scrutiny and Audit) would be given as a contribution in kind to the overall running costs. No LA agreed to any additional cash contributions to the sums previously agreed (£50k per Authority per annum).
The contribution in kind was agreed in principle, although figures were not identified. The potential of a three member quorum and designated substitutes for Joint Committee Members was also to be explored.
In response to a query, the Joint Committee was advised that, due to time constraints and the limited scope of the report, only Local Authority Members had been consulted on the proposal.
In response to a query, the Chair suggested that the UK and Welsh Government could be invited to participate in the revision of the Joint Agreement.
UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED to approve the recommendations detailed within the report and that:
4.1. A job profile for the Programme Manager be agreed as set out in the appendix to the report, but it be recommended to Carmarthenshire County Council as the proposed Employer that provision be made for the salary to be increased in the event of an outstanding appointment, and that the Carmarthenshire County Council also be asked to reconsider the level of written and spoken Welsh being required, with view to attracting a wider pool of candidates;
4.2. The following division of statutory functions be adopted, with associated positions funded by the responsible Local Authority and recharging to be under review
a. Accountable Body, Employing Authority and Section 151 Officer – Carmarthenshire County Council;
b. Monitoring Officer and Democratic Services – Swansea Council;
c. Scrutiny – Neath Port Talbot Council;
d. Audit – Pembrokeshire County Council (Lead Authority Officer reporting directly to the Section 151 Officer to ensure the Section ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
SWANSEA BAY CITY DEAL PROJECTS ISSUE LOG AND PROGRAMME RISK REGISTER PDF 199 KB
The Joint Committee considered the updated Projects Issue Log and Risk Register.
In response to a query, the Chair advised that the new Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University had restated his commitment to the City Deal at an initial meeting and was reviewing the University’s involvement.
The Chair thanked the Regional Office for its contribution
UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the Projects Issue Log and Risk Register be received.
FINANCIAL OUTTURN POSITION FOR 2018/19 PDF 202 KB
The Joint Committee received a report on the financial outturn position for 2018/19. It was advised that the final outturn figures indicated an excess of expenditure over income of £14k and that this would be funded by the brought forward balance from 2017-18 of £114k. The balance carried forward at year end was £100k. It was further advised that the 1.5% top slicing contributions were expected to be forthcoming when schemes were approved in the future.
The Chair advised that all partners were expected to pay their contributions. He further advised that a letter had been received from Welsh Government confirming that all required documentation had been received. Approximately £32.2m funding for the first two years should be released shortly.
UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the financial outturn report be received.
JOINT COMMITTEE BUDGET 2019/20 PDF 197 KB
The Joint Committee considered the Joint Committee budget 2019-20 as agreed at the Joint Committee meeting held on the 31st August 2018. It was advised that the budget would be amended once the Joint Committee had agreed the revised governance arrangement.
7.1. To note the Joint Committee budget 2019-20;
7.2. To acknowledge that the budget will be amended once revised government arrangements had been agreed by the Joint Committee.
SWANSEA BAY TIDAL LAGOON-ENERGY ISLAND STRATEGIC OPTIONS REVIEW PDF 219 KB
The Chair welcomed to the meeting Mr Paul Marshall from Holistic Capital to present the Holistic Capital report and the response from the Regional Task Force. It was advised that the Regional Task Force had been authorised by the Joint Committee to review the outcome from the rejection of the funding model for the delivery of the tidal lagoon proposal for Swansea Bay.
Mr Marshall advised that responses from the private sector had been encouraging and suggested that there was the potential to improve the capital costs by around 30% (therefore reducing the cost). It had been suggested that the project could be revised as an integrated energy project (Dragon Energy Island Project) that combined natural energy production with other elements of infrastructure and renewable energy.
The Chair advised that financial figures, which were not included in the report, would be determined at the next stage.
In response to a query, the Chair confirmed that the project was not currently a City Deal project but a work stream led by Swansea Council which was brought to the Joint Committee for information. He further advised that the Regional Task Force had only evaluated company responses and that governance arrangements and procurement rules had been duly followed.
Several comments were made expressing support for the Dragon Energy Island proposal.
UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that
8.1. The report and recommendations from the regional task force be noted;
8.2. That it be acknowledged the financial figures were not included in the report and that work be commissioned to determine the figures as soon as possible.
8.3. Continued engagement with all partners, including Welsh Government, be supported;
8.4. The Chairs of the Joint Committee and the Regional Task Force be authorised to submit the report and recommendations to Welsh Government;
8.5. Swansea Council continue to lead on the project on behalf of the region.
The Joint Committee Chair invited the Chair of the Economic Strategy Board to provide an update on a recent meeting with Welsh Ministers. Mr Tomp advised that four recommendation had been presented to the Welsh Government:
1. WG approve the two furthest developed projects immediately (within one month);
2. WG provide resources for project team workshops on the required content and format of five case business models (within 3 months);
3. A simple process for modification and substitution of projects be introduced,
4. Funding be accelerated from 15 years to 5 years from project commencement.
Mr Tomp advised that the Ministers had received Recommendations 1 and 2 positively and were open to further discussions regarding Recommendation 3. Recommendation 4 had not been accepted however there might be opportunities for flexibility with regard to individual projects.
EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC
THE REPORT RELATING TO THE FOLLOWING ITEM IS
NOT FOR PUBLICATION AS IT CONTAINS EXEMPT
INFORMATION AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH 15 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 JOINT COMMITTEE RESOLVES PURSUANT TO THE
ACT TO CONSIDER THIS ITEM IN PRIVATE, THE PUBLIC
WILL BE EXCLUDED FROM THE MEETING DURING SUCH
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 item as the report contained exempt information as defined in paragraph 15 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the Act.
INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE SBCD REVIEWS.
Following the application of the public interest test it was UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED, pursuant to the Act referred to in Minute 9 above, to consider this matter in private, with the public excluded from the meeting, as the report contained information relating to contemplated negotiations in connection with labour relations matters between the Authority and employees.
The Joint Committee considered a report on the independent assessment of the recommendations from the Swansea Bay City Deal reviews.
UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the report and recommendations be noted.