Agenda item

Correspondence between the Scrutiny Committee Chair and Corporate Joint Committee Chair


Following scrutiny, the item was noted.


The Chair thanked Cllr Rob Stuart, the Chair of the South West Wales Corporate Joint Committee for attending.


Members of the scrutiny committee expressed their concerns with regards to the timelines that are set by Welsh Government that are expected to be met by the Joint Committee. Further, that there is no budget provision to support this.


Member queried if the committee had received any response from Welsh Government in reference to transport.


Cllr Stuart confirmed that the committee continue to stress that in order for the Joint Committee to meet the responsibilities and obligations of the Joint Committee, it has to be properly funded by Welsh Government. Whilst the committee is continuing to work, it can only work to the budget that it has been provided.


In terms of the Regional Transport Plan, Welsh Government have indicated that on submission of the plan they will release £125,000 to the Committee. However, it was acknowledged that the funding would not be sufficient to deliver everything the committee wish to do in terms of regional transport planning.


Members queried if any clarity had been provided to the Joint Committee on the role of Transport for Wales in supporting the delivery of the Regional Transport Plan. Cllr Stuart confirmed that there are a range of ongoing discussions being undertaken.


Officers confirmed that there is a lead officer from Transport for Wales and there will be some assistance in terms of modelling, however beyond that officers are uncertain of the assistance of Transport for Wales. A timeline is being developed for the Plan and this will be one of the first requests for assistance from Transport for Wales.


Members referenced the Audit Wales letter, in particular the risks identified by the Joint Committee having sufficient resources to achieve its objectives within the region. Members were advised that when discussions were taking place across Wales prior to the Corporate Joint Committees being introduced, the 22 authorities across Wales were clear to Welsh Government that the CJC’s should not place additional burden on local authorities. The CJC will strive to achieve its aims but can only carry out work that it has sufficient funding for and money cannot be taken from other areas, such as Social Care and Education, to fund the work of the CJC.


The regional arrangements have been set up with a similar approach to the Swansea Bay City Region arrangements with the exception of the National Parks who are part of the current CJC arrangements. Time was taken to set up the structure of the regional arrangements to ensure that they operate on the most efficient level. The four local authorities work well together. Provided the arrangements can be properly resourced and funded the Chair of the CJC was confident that there is a really strong base to work from, and this has been expressed to the auditors.


It was confirmed that funding in relation to the net zero target came to Council’s directly on a local lead basis, not through the Corporate Joint Committee. To reach the decarbonisation targets by the date set by UK Government will require significant funding.


Cllr Stuart provided an example of a low carbon sustainable and achievable project. The Homes as Power Stations provides low energy bills for those living in the properties and keeps the supply chain for the project local.


Members thanked Cllr Stuart for attending the meeting.


Members noted the item.













Following scrutiny, the item was noted.

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