To scrutinise the reports discussed at the Swansea Bay City Region Joint Committee held on 23 June 2022.
Jonathan Burnes, Programme Manager, introduced the report which outlined the Quarterly Monitoring Report for the Swansea Bay City Deal Portfolio. The Swansea Bay City Deal (SBCD) Highlight Report detailed the monthly progress made and activities planned for the SBCD Portfolio’s constituent programmes and projects.
It was agreed that the Programme Manager would circulate a document to the Scrutiny Committee Members stating the different acronyms used within the reports.
In response to queries raised by the Scrutiny Committee, it was confirmed that the risks would be reported to Committee going forward; however, the dashboard would only highlight any red risks and amber rising items.
The officers present at the meeting confirmed that the Homes as Power Stations project was still in its early stages, however a project manager had now been recruited. The procurement for the technology and the systems was ongoing, and jobs were to be created very shortly. Members expressed their interest in having a site visit.
In regards to jobs being created, it was confirmed that approximately 9700 jobs would be created across all the projects. Currently, it was expected that 1800 jobs would be created by the end of 2023, and 2500 additional jobs in 2024. Officers agreed to include a job breakdown within the monitoring dashboard going forward.
Members expressed concern for the big contractors taking on the projects, as opposed to local companies. It was suggested by Members that smaller Welsh construction companies should do a joint bid for one of the projects. The officers explained that individual contractors would need to bid on a lot of these projects to win, which was resource intensive, and unfortunately the size and scale of the jobs were often not suitable.
In response to queries regarding the budget, it was confirmed that inflation rates were increasing higher than planned; however, it was expected that the projects could still be delivered without additional funding. Fortunately, Swansea Arena was primarily built during the pandemic, and this came within budget.
Members queried how much funding was available from Welsh Government for years 10-15. It was confirmed that SBCD was expecting to receive approximately £2m per year. The Finance Manager agreed to circulate the headline figure breakdown document to all new Scrutiny Committee Members.