Agenda item

Budget for Financial Year 2023/24


The circulated report sought Members to agree and set the South West Wales Corporate Joint Committee budget for the financial year 2023/24.

It was explained that the South West Wales Corporate Joint Committee was responsible for setting its budget and agreeing the levy charge to constituent authorities; this had to be set and agreed prior to 31 January 2023.

In the last meeting of the South West Wales Corporate Joint Committee, which took place on 7 December 2022, Members were presented with a draft report on the budget for 2023/24; as well as giving early indication to the Corporate Joint Committee itself, it also allowed Officers to give indications to the constituent authorities, for their own budgeting purposes, particularly in terms of the levy charge. During the meeting, the Committee considered three options; taking into account the pressures and significant financial challenges that each Local Authority was facing.

·       The first option was to agree to prioritise the work of the South West Wales Corporate Joint Committee and levy accordingly; which was budgeted at around £1.5million;

·       Another option considered was to suspend all activities of the South West Wales Corporate Joint Committee; this would have brought legal challenge without approval from Welsh Government;

·       The option that the Committee agreed on in draft, was to do minimum in 2023/24 and downsize the budget, with limited work being carried out in each of the work streams; this would allow progress to be made on each of the four work streams, however at a much steady state.


It was explained that the circulated report built on the chosen option to do minimum, and realigned some of the budgets accordingly. Officers added that the proposed budget was in line with the budget that was set for the current year; this was set at around £575k, and the proposed budget for 2023/24 was set at around £617k. Members were informed that there were four clear work streams of the Corporate Joint Committee, and each had been allocated £20k; the report set out that £140k had also been set aside for planning and programme management, which would include work on the Corporate Plan, and identifying the various actions and measures that need to be developed through that.

Reference was made to the key actions, detailed in the circulated report, for the Sub Committees; the actions clearly set out some of the initial thoughts on the work that will need to be carried out.

It was concluded that the National Park Authorities would not receive a levy charge for the financial year 2023/24, as the value of £20k was not considered to be significant enough to implement a levy. In addition, it was noted that there was a requirement in the legislation, in respect of National Park Authorities, that a levy was only to be raised for their applicable area, which was strategic planning. Officers confirmed that this arrangement would be consistent with last year’s budget, due to the limited activity in terms of the strategic planning development.

Members were made aware of a sum error on section 2.4 of the circulated report; the figure should read £140,000.

The Committee was informed that the budget was broken down into three key elements, the Section 151 Officer provided a brief overview of these elements:

·       Joint Committee and Accountable Body committee – costs estimated of around £263k

·       Sub Committees – costs estimated of around £220k

·       Regional Management Office – costs estimated of around £134k


Following on from the above, it was highlighted that the total budget of 617k would be shared between the four Local Authorities; the allocation was based on population size, which was the same process of allocation from last year’s budget setting. It was mentioned that the Local Authority levy could be found in the circulated report.

Appendix B of the circulated report contained a summary of the key activities of the South West Wales Corporate Joint Committee, that Officers expected to progress based on the budget that was proposed for 2023/24; more detail of these activities would be included in the Corporate Plan, including timescales and outcomes.

A discussion took place in regards to the Regional Transport Plan (RTP), which Leaders had previously indicated they wanted to prioritise over the next 12 months. It was explained that before the Christmas period, Officers reminded Welsh Government that they were yet to issue any formal guidance on the RTP or the Strategic Development Plan (SDP); following this, it was confirmed that draft guidance on the RTP had been received. Members were informed that concerns were being raised, across Wales, in regards to the costs of the RTP and SDP; it would be important to continue dialogue with Welsh Government in order to identify who will be resourcing this substantial work.

In regards to the SDP, it was noted that the draft manual was currently with professionals for commentary; this work wasn’t likely to progress significantly over the next year due to the pressures on human and financial resources. It was highlighted that the focus would be receiving the comments on the draft manual, and having discussions with Welsh Government in regards to the future funding of this work. 

Members were provided with further information on the work that was underway in the region in regards to economic development. It was explained that Officers will be mapping out this activity, and will provide the detail in a future meeting of the South West Wales Corporate Joint Committee. It was added that some elements of this work will be captured in the Corporate Plan, including the economic development infrastructure across the region that could be developed and progressed over the next year.

It was mentioned that alongside the work around the economic development opportunities, Officers in Pembrokeshire Council were leading work on the Regional Energy Plan to identify how this could be mobilised and put into practice; this included supporting individual Local Authorities with their own Local Energy Plans.

Officers highlighted that the governance arrangements will need to be refined over the next 12 months, but the work around this would be significantly less than the previous year; there would be a focus on embedding governance and mobilising the structures that were in place.

Thanks were provided to all those involved in progressing the work, in regards to the budget setting process.


That the South West Wales Corporate Joint Committee:

·       Consider and approve the budget requirement for the Joint Committee as £617,753 – as set out in Appendix A of the circulated report;

·       Approve the Levy Charge based on population to the constituent authorities as follows:

Local Authority Levy


City and County of Swansea Council (Levy)


Carmarthenshire County Council (Levy)


Neath Port Talbot CBC (Levy)


Pembrokeshire County Council (Levy)





·       Approve the Sub Committee key actions summary set out in Appendix B of the circulated report; and provide delegated authority to the Chief Executive to elaborate upon these as part of the identification of the well-being objectives, actions/steps/measures to be included within the Draft Corporate Plan


Supporting documents: