A number of council meetings are live-streamed.
All meetings are also uploaded after the event onto the our webcasting site.
Venue: Hybrid Meeting - Committee Room 1, Council Offices, Llangefni/Virtually via ZOOM
Contact: Mrs Mairwen Hughes
As noted above.
Declaration of Interest
To receive any declaration of interest by any Member or Officer in respect of any item of business.
Councillor Euryn Morris declared a personal interest in respect of Item 6 – North Wales Economic Ambition Board Q3 : 2022/2023 Progress Report.
To submit, for confirmation, the minutes of the previous meeting held on 7 February, 2023.
The minutes of the meeting held on 7 February, 2023 were confirmed as correct.
To submit a report by the Director of Function (Council Business)/Monitoring Officer.
Submitted - the Annual Equality Report 2021/22 for consideration by the
The Leader of the Council said that under the Equality Act 2010 Statutory Duties (Wales) Regulations 2011, the Council must publish an annual report on equality. The main purpose of the report is to show how the Council meets its equality duties. She noted that the report gives examples of how the Authority promoted equality within the communities and the workforce, explaining how relevant information is collected, outlines the arrangements for carrying out impact assessments, gives an outline of progress in achieving equality objectives and identifies the priorities for the next twelve months. There is also reference within the report of the achievement of pupils in schools and the achievement of pupils who received free school meals.
In considering the Annual Report on Equalities for 2021/2022 the Committee discussed the following:-
· What are the main challenges faced in terms of mainstreaming equality with the Council and also what are the difficulties with conscious bias?
The Leader responded that there are data gaps, with the Authority being eager for staff to feel willing and comfortable to share their personal information. She noted that prejudice is an issue and it is found that society is finding it difficult to cope with different situations. She further said that in the next Annual Report it will demonstrate how the political representation has changed within the Council. The work undertaken to encourage people from different backgrounds to put their names forward to be Elected Members on the Council has been positive. Following the local government election last May there are younger Elected Members and more women. The Leader further referred to the pay gap between men and women and that this Authority does not pay bonuses. The gender pay cap is much lower than the average across the UK. The Policy and Welsh Language Manager referred to unconscious bias and it is recognised as a challenge. Training on unconscious bias is offered to Officers of the Council on a regular basis.
· A new Strategic Equality Plan will need to be approved by 1st April, 2024. How do Officers intend to go about gathering relevant information in order to inform our objectives for 2024-2028?
The Head of Democracy responded that the Equality and Human Rights Commission make it clear that the Authority must engage and consult widely to gather information as regards to equality objectives. Work will be undertaken to gather information from representatives of groups protected under the equalities act. The Authority is fortunate that there are partner organisations such as Medrwn Môn that the Council can utilise to access protected groups. He further said that the Equalities Commissions expertise and guidance will also be used to inform the Authorities engagement activities.
· What will be the role of this Committee in the process of developing new equality objectives?
The Policy and Welsh Language Manager responded that this Committee has a key role to contribute into any consultation on the equalities objectives within ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
To submit a report by the Head of Regulation and Economic Development.
Submitted – a report by the Head of Regulation and Economic Development on the Ynys Mȏn Levelling Up Programme for consideration by the Committee.
The Leader of the Council said that a bid submitted by the County Council was approved in January, 2023 for a sum of £17m within the Levelling Up Fund (LUF) Round 2. She noted that out of the 529 bids that were submitted in the UK during Round 2, only 111 (20%) were successful. This demonstrates that the bid submitted by the Anglesey was of a very high standard and more than fulfilled each of UK Government’s criteria and requirements. During the assessment period it became apparent that only a bid focussing upon addressing Holyhead’s socio-economic needs would likely meet the UK Government’s specific requirements and have any opportunity of being approved. A total of 5 projects were submitted in Holyhead which included Mȏn Communities First; the Town Council; the Church in Wales; Ucheldre Centre; and the Isle of Anglesey County Council – Heritage Regeneration. She noted that the timescale for delivery are challenging with the £17m to be spent by March 2025. The Leader wished to thank the staff of the Economic Development Service for their hard work in succeeding to secure the grant funding for Holyhead.
The Head of Regulation and Economic Development gave an insight into the preparation of the LUF bid to the UK Government. He noted that the bid included a package of projects to increase employment, improve the town centre and visitor experience, increase the footfall and spending, provide modern floor space to meet business needs, and increase access to art, culture and leisure. He further said that Holyhead has a number of commercial buildings that are empty and is increasing. The Head of Regulation and Economic Development further said that only Holyhead had enough mature projects to be put forward for the LUF funding within the specific timetable. He noted that it is the County Council’s responsibility for developing, submitting, managing and monitoring the programme of developments and it will be necessary for the Council and the Island to demonstrate that it is able to deliver the projects in a timely, cost effective and compliant manner. A Partnership Board will be established to govern the delivery of the programme which will include Senior Officers of the Council and Portfolio Member for Economic Development.
In considering the report the Committee discussed the following:-
· Reference was made that the costs of building materials is continuing to increase. Questions were raised as to what would happen if the funding of £17m is insufficient to complete the 5 successful bids in Holyhead? Questions were also raised as to where the funding would be targeted if there were underspending within the projects?
The Economic Development Manager responded that the risk of increasing building materials costs have been included in the programme delivery of the projects together with the increase in inflation. Contingency measures have been included within the programme. Any underspend within ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
To submit a report by the Chief Executive.
Submitted – a report by the Chief Executive on the North Wales Economic Ambition Board Q3 : 2022/2023 Progress Report for consideration by the Committee.
The Leader of the Council said that the progress reports of the North Wales Economic Ambition Board are submitted on a regular basis to this Committee. She noted that as reported at the last meeting the Llysfasi Net Zero Farm has now been withdrawn from the Growth Deal, the Economic Ambition Board made some key decisions regarding the reallocation of the funding within the deal. She noted that some projects have not progress as anticipated and some business plans have been submitted to the Board. The Board has met with Ministers from the UK and Welsh Governments to highlight the challenges in achievements of the projects with regards to regulation and planning together with the challenges faced by the region as regards to the business sector and attracting private investment.
The Chief Executive reported on the projects that have progress since the last quarterly report, namely:-
· The Bangor University - Low Carbon Energy Centre of Excellence (Egni) which will be located at a second building at MSparc in Gaerwen and it is hoped that the project will progress through the formal processes in the coming weeks and funding should be secured, with outline planning permission agreed in;
· Innovative Local Energy – a fund for green energy projects that has been approved by the North Wales Economic Ambition Board;
· Breakwater, Holyhead – Welsh Government has received £20m addition funding following the recent Westminster budget to repair the Breakwater in Holyhead. It is understood that Welsh Government will also afford additional funding, whilst Stena Line the owners of the Breakwater will also be contributing substantial investment. This will allow the Holyhead Growth Bid to progress.
The Chief Executive further reported that significant investments will be in Holyhead over the coming years due to the Breakwater project, Growth Bid, Holyhead Port project, LUF project and the Free Port Bid. The investment could total £150m.
In considering the report the Committee discussed the following:-
· Questions were raised as to the capacity within the Economic Development Department to deal with all the projects on the Island?
The Chief Executive responded that it is a continuous challenge as additional resources is required to deliver the schemes on the Island. The Executive has agreed to afford additional resources within the Economic Development Service. The Service also has a framework agreement with external specialist companies i.e. Architects, Economists, Project Manager.
· Questions were raised as to whether the North Wales Economic Ambition Board will transfer under the Corporate Joint Committee (CJC) and also who will be scrutinising the work of the CJC’s?
The Leader of the Council responded that it is the intention that the North Wales Economic Ambition Board will transfer under the CJC’s and the current scrutiny process will continue within the local authorities. She said that the scrutiny process will be more extensive due to the Transport Strategy for ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
To submit a report by the Scrutiny Manager.
The report of the Scrutiny Manager setting out the Partnership and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee’s indicative Forward Work Programme for 2022/23 was presented for consideration.
It was RESOLVED:-
· To agree the current version of the forward work programme for 2022/2023;
· To note the progress thus far in implementing the forward work programme.