Venue: Via Microsoft Teams
Contact: Naidine Jones
Declarations of Interest
The following declaration of interest was made:
Aled Edwards as he has a Personal Interest in relation to his role with South Wales Consortium on Regional Governance held by Rhondda Cynon Taff Council.
That Cllr Rob Stewart (Swansea County Council) be appointed Chair and that Cllr Emlyn Dole (Carmarthenshire County Council) be appointed Vice Chair of the South West Wales Corporate Joint Committee.
Mr Craig Griffiths (Head of Legal and Democratic Services for Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council) introduced the report and explained that legislation has been created relating to how the Corporate Joint Committees must operate, setting out roles and responsibilities and prescribing the manner in which the Corporate Joint Committee must discharge its functions.
It was explained that at this first meeting, the Committee is required to adopt a set of standing orders by which the Corporate Joint Committee will be governed. This includes the appointment of several statutory roles, whereby it was proposed that:
- The Chief Executive role will be rotated annually between constituent Councils and will commence with Mrs Karen Jones from Neath Port Talbot Council
- The s151and Chief Finance Officer will be Chris Moore from Camarthenshire Council
- The Monitoring Officer will be Craig Griffiths from Neath Port Talbot Council
Mr Griffiths explained that the constitution also details the proposed governance regime of the Corporate Joint Committee with details on how decisions will be taken including the creation of Scrutiny, Governance and Audit and Sub Committees.
Members attention was drawn to the appendixes of the report which include the proposed constitution, rules of procedure, access to information procedure rule and a code of conduct for members.
It was stated that colleagues from the Brecon Beacons National Park had made some minor observations to officers on the content of the constitution documentation. Mr Craig Griffiths committed to discussing the detail of this with the Brecon Beacons National Park Monitoring Officer and stated he intends on bringing a revised and final version of the constitution documents to the next meeting of the Corporate Joint Committee.
It was clarified that the National Parks are excluded from voting on the adoption of the constitution due to the guidance on voting rights set out in the legislation and that National Parks have voting rights on Strategic Planning matters and associated issues only.
- Members approved the allocation of
- Members approved the creation of the sub-
- Members approved the establishment of
Mrs Karen Jones (Lead Chief Executive of the CJC) introduced the report and presented the Forward Work Programme of the Chief Executive as contained within the circulated report. She stated that she looked forward to working in the continued spirit of partnership.
Members noted the duties of the lead CEX as well as the work requirements of the Corporate Joint Committee as set out in the legislation namely:
Strategic Land Use Planning
It was also explained that as the Corporate Joint Committee is to be treated as part of the Local Government family, there are other associated governance matters that will need to be considered in due course such as Welsh Language standards.
It was noted that a detailed Forward Work Programme will be created and documented at future meetings of the Committee.
Karen Jones explained that she was seeking delegated authority to enter into Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) with Local Authorities to buy back services from constituent Councils for the operation of CJC functions in line with the agreed constitution. It was clarified that it is not the intention at this time to directly employ anyone in relation to carrying out duties associated with the CJC.
It was noted that Local Government Elections will take place in May 2022 which has the possibility of impeding meetings taking place particularly in relation to the pre-election period.
- That Members note the current work
Mr Chris Moore (Chief Finance and s151 Officer for the CJC) presented the committee with the draft annual budgets for the financial years 2021/22 and 2022/23 as contained within the circulated report.
The report states that Carmarthenshire Council will be designated the accountable body to discharge the financial obligations of the CJC as well as the legal requirements of setting the budget.
It was discussed that the proposal included in the report is for a zero levy for this year as costs have been absorbed by constituent Councils and that a £250,000 grant for certain items from Welsh Government towards the set-up costs of the CJC had been received.
There will be a duty to set a budget for future years to ensure provision of adequate resources to allow the CJC to undertake its role and function appropriately and there is an obligation to recover costs of operating by a levy based on constituent authorities and if appropriate, National Parks (although there is ongoing debate on this.)
Members noted that there is a proposal to create the role of ‘Business Manager’ to coordinate the CJC and its overall operation with the draft budget.
The various approaches to how the levies to constituent authorities are calculated and applied were discussed. After consultation with other s.151 officers it was noted that ‘by population’ was agreed to be the fairest way.
- That Carmarthenshire County Council shall act as
- That the SWWCJC shall set a zero budget for the