To submit a report by the Director of Function (Council Business)/Monitoring Officer.
The report of the Director of Function (Council Business)/Monitoring Officer was submitted for the Council’s approval.
The Portfolio Holder for Corporate Business said that the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Bill was passed by the Senedd on 18 November, 2020 and received Royal Assent on 20 January, 2021. The Bill was one of only two Bills in the Welsh Government’s legislative programme to continue during the covid-19 pandemic. The Bill was prioritised given the timescale required to introduce planned electoral reforms in time for the 2022 local elections. He noted that the Act is substantial and covers a range of topics from electoral reform, public participation, governance and performance, through to regional working. The Act introduces:-
He further said that the Council is requested to approve the Action Plan attached to the report so as to ensure that the Council complies with the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021 within the timeframe.
Questions were raised as to the function of the Corporate Joint Committees and the financial resources the Authority is expected to contribute. The Director of Function (Council Business)/Section 151 Officer responded that there are 4 Corporate Joint Committees in Wales with the Isle of Anglesey County Council forming part of the Corporate Joint Committee for North Wales; which is similar to a Regional County Council structure. Welsh Government funding will be available to support the establishment of Corporate Joint Committees through the WLGA, however it is uncertain as to the amount of funding that is expected. She noted that the SLT is to meet to discuss the requirements of the WLGA to support the establishment of the Corporate Joint Committees. There is an expectation that each County Council contributes to the budget of the establishment of the Corporate Joint Committees from 2022. The Act states that the Corporate Joint Committees can decide as to the budget they will require to comply with the statutory requirements within the Act and the local authorities will have to fund the budget required by the established body. Welsh Government has extended the date of the first meeting of the Corporate Joint Committees to meet from September 2021 to end of June 2022. The Director of Function (Council Business)/Monitoring Officer further said that in the meantime it will be the responsibility of the North Wales Local Authorities to create a framework within the Act in which to transfer the North Wales Economic Ambitions Board to the CJC and to include the statutory duty of the Regional Traffic Management Plan and the Strategic Development Plan.
Councillor A M Jones expressed that this will create a sub-regional body that will require financial resource and legislative powers from local government.
The Leader of the Council said that there has been extensive discussions with the Welsh Government and WLGA as regards this matter and objections has been made to the creation of such a body. She noted that there is a requirement for the Council to approve the Action Plan attached to the report so as to allow the Officers to discuss in detail the requirement of the Act so as to ensure the best possible outcome for the residents of the Island.
It was RESOLVED :-
· To accept the report and to approve the Action Plan contained therein;
· That further reports detailing progress against the Action Plan be monitored by the Senior Leadership Team.
Councillor Alun Mummery abstained from voting.