Agenda and minutes

Swansea Bay City Region Joint Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 25th January, 2022 2.00 pm

Venue: Remotely via Teams

No. Item


Welcome and Roll Call


The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.


Chairs Announcements


The Chair noted that he had recently attended a meeting with the Chair of Swansea Bay City Region Joint Committee Cllr Rob Stewart, along with the Programme Manager Jonathan Burnes, Chief Officer Wendy Walters and he was accompanied by officers from Neath Port Talbot Democratic Services to discuss some of the ongoing issues that Scrutiny have faced.

The Chair advised that item 6 (Highlight Report) would not be scrutinised, as Quarter 2 had not been presented to the Committee.


Members expressed their dissatisfaction with the information being provided in a timely manner to allow for effective scrutiny.

It was agreed by the committee that the Chair write formally to all those connected to highlight the issues being faced by the scrutiny committee and suggest ways forward to ensure that the next committee are able to scrutinise as required.




Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest received.


Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 381 KB

·        9th November 2021

·        23rd November 2021

Additional documents:


The minutes of the meeting held on 9th November 2021 were approved as a true and accurate record.


The minutes of the meeting held on 23rd November 2021 were approved as a true and accurate record.


Skills & Talent - update HTML 76 KB


The Chair welcomed Jane Lewis to the meeting. Jane Lewis provided Members with an update on the Skills & Talent Project.


The purpose of the programme is to ensure that there is a skilled workforce in the region to meet the needs of the new projects being developed and delivered within the City Deal.


The officer were highlighted the improvement in the figures of persons with no qualification from 2019 to 2020. 


Members were reminded of the Skills and Talent objectives which includes 2,200 additional skills and supporting the development of at least 14,000 skills in individuals (levels 2-77), 3000 new apprenticeship opportunities, working with schools to create a career pathway from school education to higher/further education and apprenticeships in the key areas of digital, construction, energy, smart manufacturing and life science/wellbeing. Also to create 2 centres of excellence. To achieve this pilot projects will be developed to resolve issues where gaps in skills are identified.


To date a programme manager has been appointed who has engaged with the City Deal projects to identify skills needs and gaps. A skills barometer will be completed by mid-February. It is currently with external consultants who are verifying the data and any new trends that are happening in sectors which will impact on the future skills needs of the region.


A Skills Solution Group has been established to identify skills gaps across the region. In addition, a Provide Group has also been established to deliver solutions to the skills gaps identified.


Project ideas are being developed to identify projects to meet the skills needs. There is planned engagement with head teacher forums for 14-19 co-ordinators in each Local Authority Area so see how skills can be developed in these areas to meet the future needs of the projects.


In the next six months another Gateway Review will be undertaken following completion of the Barometer. There will also be wider engagement with schools and colleges regarding the skills needs identified by the Barometer. There will be approval of projects to deliver skills training and upskilling across the 5 key areas identified and further upskilling opportunities will be developed. There is also the planned creation of the apprenticeship opportunities.


Members queried where the funding for the project will be utilised. The results of the Barometer will show the direction that the project needs to go in. The funding needs to be utilised to develop new courses and fit the needs of the projects that are being developed under the City Deal. There is a large amount of interest in the funding to develop sources from schools, colleges, private sector delivers of training and higher education. There will be a set of criteria to ensure that courses which are provided are not duplicated.


Members expressed their concern about the timing of the project in that many of the projects are already up and running. The Deal is currently in year 5 of 15 and Members were concerned that the skills would not be in place for the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Forward Work Programme of the Swansea Bay City Region Joint Committee pdf icon PDF 470 KB


Phil Ryder, went through the Joint Committee Forward Work Programme. He outlined what items had been completed and items that were ongoing.

Members were provided with an update on Governance & Assurance. The Benefits Realisation at Portfolio Level has been completed. The wider benefits realisation is still ongoing and is due to be presented at the forthcoming Joint Committee. With reference to the five recommendations from the Gateway Review, it is noted that three out of the five are complete and the remaining two are partially complete.

Software Management is nearly complete, however there is one query with regards to the required assurances and this should be resolved imminently. Programme Project Dashboards have commenced. The portfolio level dashboards are available to view.

The roll of the SRO has gone through Programme Board. All SRO’s will receive additional guidance support and where required training from Welsh Government.

The review of the Programme Portfolio Chair happened in November, and in line with the Chair for Joint Committee this would be extended until May 2022.

The Gateway Assurance Framework has been set up and officers are currently working on the memorandum of understanding. This should be presented to Joint Committee in the coming months.

The ministerial approval for the Skills & Talent Project and Campuses Business Case has been received. There is an ongoing update on of the Pentre Awel Business Case update.

The Communications & Marketing Plan has been updates and the Communications and Engagement schedule. The infographics work is ongoing.


The City Deal bi-annual event has been moved to March. The bi-annual event will be a show case event taking place on the 3rd March. All key stakeholders will be invited to attend and engage with businesses and discuss opportunities coming forward. It is hoped that the event will take place in person. It was suggested that an invitation be sent to the Joint Scrutiny Committee so that a member can attend on behalf of the committee.

The declarations of interest are now complete with the exception of ESB. This is due to the form being updated.

Members advised that they had previously raised concerns about the risk register. It is noted in the Forward Work Programme of the Joint Scrutiny Programme that it is not going before Joint Committee until February. Members asked that the information be brought back before the meeting scheduled for March. Officers would welcome the challenge around the mitigation factors identified on the risk register. Members also outlined the importance of seeing the changes that are being made to the register in response to changing circumstances.

Members raised concerns about the perception that every other meeting of the Joint Committee is being cancelled.

Members briefly considered the procurement elements outlined in the Forward Work Programme. Officers noted that procurement activity is based within the local authorities. Members wished to have an overview with regards to where items are being procured from in terms of locality and benefits to the community.



Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 521 KB


Members were in agreement that there would be a meeting called for early March which should include Quarter 2 and Quarter 3 Monitoring Reports, a Financial Update and the Portfolio Risk Register.