Issue - meetings

Growth Vision and Strategy for the Economy of North Wales: Governance Agreement

Meeting: 19/06/2018 - Flintshire County Council (Item 24)

24 Growth Vision and Strategy for the Economy of North Wales: Governance Agreement pdf icon PDF 67 KB

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(a)       That progress on the development of a Growth deal bid is noted and welcomed;


(b)       That Council approves all non-executive elements of the first stage Governance Agreement as outlined at the meeting;


(c)        That the Council be presented with the final draft Growth Deal Bid for review and consent in September/October prior to the stage of reaching Heads of Terms with both Governments;


(d)       That delegated authority be given to the Chief Executive and Chief Officer (Governance) in consultation with the Leader to finalise the terms of the Governance Agreement in accordance with the draft attached to the Cabinet report; and


(e)       That the executive arrangements contained with the Governance Agreement be included in the Constitution and that Council be requested to include the non-executive arrangements within the Constitution.


The Chief Executive and Chief Officer (Governance) presented the report on the development of the North Wales Growth Deal Bid to seek approval of the non-executive arrangements within Governance Agreement 1 (GA1) following Cabinet approval of the executive arrangements earlier in the day.


Explanation was given on the two areas of decision-making needed to approve the first stage of the Governance Agreement so that the Constitution could be updated accordingly.  The aim of the Growth Deal Bid was to benefit the economy of the region and the Growth Strategy would enable a unified approach to access bids for funding, such as the Prosperity Fund.  As requested at the recent Member workshop, information was shared on the revised governance model of the joint statutory regional committee which was circulated to replace that appended to the report.  This clarified the decision-making or advisory responsibilities of each partner.  Whilst the GA1 set out how the committee would operate in the interim period, the second part of the Agreement would include more detail on commitments and would be subject to consultation in 2019.


The Chief Executive said that achievements on the Growth Deal Bid would strengthen the case for improved regional collaborative working, which was viewed as a likely alternative to local government reform in Wales.  He said that the three areas identified for improvement through regional working in North Wales were economy, health and social care and community safety.


The Chief Officer provided information on the content of GA1, explaining that agreement on Overview & Scrutiny arrangements was a Council decision.  He outlined the four main safeguards as set out in the report and gave a reminder that the proposition document would be submitted for Council approval in September.


In moving the recommendations, Councillor Butler acknowledged the concerns which had been expressed by some Members but highlighted the importance of the Deal and the retention of local control on specific governance issues.


Councillor Peers raised a number of points about the presentation of the document which the Chief Officer agreed to address when finalising the GA1 once comments from all councils had been received.  The Chief Executive provided clarification on a number of areas within the GA1 including contributions from the six councils and agreed to re-circulate the Growth Strategy to Members.  On the suggestion to insert ‘where possible’ in respect of devoting sufficient resources to deliver the Growth Deal, officers highlighted the importance of each council honouring its share of commitments as part of the agreement.


Whilst Councillor Heesom acknowledged the significant opportunities from the Growth Deal, he reiterated his concerns about the extent of the benefits.


Councillor Richard Jones spoke in support of the regional approach but questioned the County-wide benefits.  He referred to the objectives set out in the GA1 and said that items of direct benefit to Flintshire should have been brought to Council at an earlier stage to provide clarification to Members on what they were being asked to agree.  He queried the full costs of the Growth Deal  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24