Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 4th January, 2018 10.30 am

Venue: Committee Room A, Wellington House, 40-50 Wellington Street, Leeds. View directions

Contact: Ruth Chaplin  Email: ruth.chaplin@westyorks-ca.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

22.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors S Crisp, P Davey, D Foster and B Rhodes.

23.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Councillor Ellis declared an other interest (not comprising a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest) as a member of the Yorkshire Regional Flood and Coastal Committee.

 

Councillor Baines advised that he had resigned from his position on the ESIF Sub-Committee.

24.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

Minutes:

There were no items on the agenda requiring exclusion of the press and public.

25.

Minutes of the Meeting held on 15 November 2017 pdf icon PDF 294 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 15 November 2017 be approved and signed by the Chair.

26.

Business Planning and Budget 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 249 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report which advised of the work underway to progress business and budget planning for 2018/19.

 

Members discussed the report which had been considered at the WYCA meeting held on 14 December 2017 and set out the latest position regarding business planning and the medium term financial strategy and the successes of the past year.  The report also set out a draft budget proposal for 2018/19 and consideration was given to the draft three year position on the revenue budget which was attached at Appendix 3 and the initial capital programme figures for the next two years at Appendix 4.

 

The following comments were made:

 

·         Further information including an indication of expenditure by authority was requested.

·         It was suggested that a detailed breakdown of the budget and savings against each area and full impact assessments on changes was needed.  It was agreed a budget of this type would be presented for forthcoming 2018/19 budget options for public transport.

 

In respect of LEP expenditure, it was noted that the budget was set by WYCA as the accountable body and there was no separate expenditure decision making by the LEP;  but that ‘LEP expenditure’ by funding stream might be useful.

 

It was noted that the final budget report was being prepared for the WYCA meeting on 1 February 2018 based on the figures in the submitted report.  Members were advised that further detail on the specific savings plans and any income generation opportunities would be included together with a detailed reserves policy and treasury management statement.

 

A further report would be prepared for the meeting of Overview & Scrutiny Committee to be held on 23 March 2018 and members would be able to consider the final budget with impact assessments where required and a more detailed breakdown of spend.

 

Resolved:  That the work underway on business planning and budgets be noted.

27.

Update and Review of New Governance Arrangements pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report which provided an update on:

 

·         The implementation of the new governance arrangements approved at WYCA’s annual meeting, of effect from 1 September 2017.

·         Proposed new constitutional arrangements for the LCR LEP (Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership) and a review of the arrangements in terms of their impact on transparency and accountability.

 

WYCA’s Managing Director provided members with an update on the implementation of the new governance arrangements for WYCA and the LEP which had been implemented in September 2017.  This had streamlined the decision making process and the positive changes and their impact on transparency and accountability were welcomed.  Members discussed the governance arrangements and were provided with the opportunity to ask questions.  Further discussion and comments were made on the following, especially in light of recent media interest in the LEP and WYCA:

 

·         The process for requesting information (eg. Freedom of Information enquiries) and publishing details of WYCA’s Monitoring Officer on the website.

·         Continued engagement with members in all District Councils especially on the new governance arrangements, and actions of the LEP and WYCA.

·         The benefits and importance of attending MIPIM conferences and the opportunity to feature images of all districts in future promotional material.

·         Investment in, and delivery agreements with colleges.

·         The importance of investing in staff.

·         Budgets, the challenges faced and the disparities in local government funding.

 

It was reported that the findings of the Ney report, which was a review of national LEP governance and transparency arranged by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), were published in October 2017.  The Committee was aware of recent media reports regarding WYCA and the LCR LEP.  They were advised that the Ney recommendations had resulted in an increased focus on governance and transparency during the 2017 Annual Conversation held on 29 November 2017 between WYCA, the LCR LEP and DCLG where positive feedback had been received on the improvements made to date.

 

The Committee was advised that the LCR LEP Board would be considering revised constitutional documents at their meeting on 16 January 2018 which will reflect the Ney recommendations and also update existing documentation.  These would include LCR LEP Board Procedure Rules, Members’ Code of Conduct and an allowances and expenses scheme.  The LCR LEP Board will also consider an updated local assurance framework which will reflect governance changes. 

 

In noting that all the Panels were subject to the access to information statutory provisions, it was agreed that the Committee would receive copies of all future agendas.

 

Members thanked officers for the comprehensive update and addressing the media issues.  The importance of the city region agenda over many years was noted by the Chair.  Members recognised the complexities of streamlining the former Integrated Transport Authority, Local Enterprise Partnership and Metro into one organisation to create an effective structure and welcomed the work undertaken to date.

 

Resolved:

 

(i)         That the update on the implementation of the new governance

            arrangements approved at WYCA’s annual meeting, of effect from  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.