Julie James AS/MS i FUSE Y Gweinidog Tai a Llywodraeth Leol x,

Minister for Housing and Local Government age

Ein cyf/Our ref MA/JJ/1299/21 Llywodraeth Cymru Welsh Government

All Local Authority Leaders

National Park Authority Chairs

cc Chief Executives

cc WLGA

24 March 2021

Dear Leaders/Chairs

| am delighted to inform you that on 16 March the Senedd formally approved the Establishment Regulations to create four regional Corporate Joint Committees (CJCs) for North, Mid, South West and South East Wales. Therefore, these CJCs will be established on 1 April 2021 when the regulations come into force. | am grateful to you all for your engagement on this work and your responses to the consultation which have helped to shape these regulations to ensure that CJCs will meet the needs of local government for the long term.

As we have agreed, the three main functions that your CJC will exercise (Strategic Development Planning, Regional Transport Planning and the Economic Well-being function) will not commence until 2022. This provides you with a period of time to put the necessary constitutional and governance arrangements in place and to set the budget for 2022/23 before the commencement of the key functions.

As we have discussed, | am keen to support you in the implementation of your CJCs and am therefore pleased to confirm | am providing a £1m grant fund in 2021/22 for that purpose. | anticipate this grant being broadly split on an equal basis between the 4 regions, subject to your proposals.

A prospectus is attached at Annex A for your consideration and to support the development of funding proposals for the grant. This prospectus provides a framework enabling each region to identify its own requirements for support during the implementation and transition phase over the coming year. Upon receipt of your proposals, and subject to approval, there will be a light touch grants process providing funding on a quarterly basis for one year - 2021/22. Bids could also include ‘once for Wales’ joint projects across CJC areas, for example potential development of a scrutiny process for national application.

As part of your establishment and transitional processes, you may also find it useful to use an element of the funding to start preparatory work towards exercising the Strategic Development Planning and Regional Transport Planning functions.

Canolfan Cyswllt Cyntaf / First Point of Contact Centre: 0300 0604400

Bae Caerdydd + Cardiff Bay Gohebiaeth. Julie. James@llyw.cymru Caerdydd « Cardiff Correspondence. Julie. James@gov.Wales CF99 1SN

Rydym yn croesawu derbyn gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg. Byddwn yn ateb gohebiaeth a dderbynnir yn Gymraeg yn Gymraeg ac ni fydd gohebu yn Gymraeg yn arwain at oedi.

We welcome receiving correspondence in Welsh. Any correspondence received in Welsh will be answered in Welsh and corresponding in Welsh will not lead to a delay in responding.

My officials are keen to support your teams locally within each region on the implementation of your CJCs so | would be grateful for your confirmation of who the lead contacts should be, if not already provided.

As you are aware, further work is required to complete the legislative framework within which CJCs will operate. In line with our principle of co-development, Welsh Government officials will continue to engage with your officers and associated professional groupings such as Lawyers in Local Government, Society of Welsh Treasurers and HR Directors in the development of the package of general regulations which will underpin CJCs. The intention remains that legislation will be developed in line with the principle that CJCs should be treated as a member of the ‘Local Government family’ and will therefore be largely subject to the same rules and requirements.

Guidance to support CJCs is currently being co-produced with local government officers, with the aim of consulting on this over the summer and issuing it later this year.

| again would like to thank you for the way you have engaged in this work, and wish you well

in fully realising the benefits that CUCs can provide.

Yours sincerely

Julie James AS/MS Y Gweinidog Tai a Llywodraeth Leol Minister for Housing and Local Government

Corporate Joint Committees Implementation

Prospectus

Background

1.

Corporate Joint Committees (CJCs) are a new statutory mechanism for regional collaboration by local government provided for by the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021.

Four regional CJCs will be established to exercise functions relating to Strategic Development Planning and Regional Transport Planning; they will also be given a power to do things to promote or improve the economic well-being of their areas. These are areas where there is consensus that working at this scale makes sense - aligning economic development, transport and land use planning approaches to develop successful regional economies and encourage local growth. CJCs will be established on 1 April 2021 but they will not exercise functions until agreed dates in 2022. This will provide a period of time for each Region to put in place appropriate constitutional and operational arrangements.

Purpose

3.

To provide principal councils and the relevant National Park Authority with a prospectus on financial support available in 2021/22 to assist their Regions with the establishment and implementation of their CJCs.

Aim

4.

This prospectus aims to set out the scope of the financial support available to support regional transitional planning arrangements and enable preparatory work to begin. It outlines a range of core areas associated with establishing and implementing CJCs which the Welsh Government could provide financial support towards.

Core areas of potential activity / criteria

5,

It is envisaged that each Region may seek financial support/funding towards work on different aspects of establishing their CJC, subject to what they already have in place for their existing regional collaboration mechanisms.

The following list therefore provides potential areas for support rather than a fixed

list to allow for these differences. It will be for each Region to identify which

particular elements of support they would find useful to support establishment of

their CJC, but it is anticipated these will include one or more of the areas set out

below:

e Programme resource to take the lead in each region to plan and oversee the transition from existing arrangements to CJCs

e Dedicated resource / additional expertise to coordinate and /or develop appropriate constitutional and governance arrangements for the CJC;

e Support for any meetings which may take place during the implementation / regional transitional planning phase

e Expertise to develop approaches (potentially ‘once for Wales’ common approaches) to aspects such as scrutiny arrangements / standards / approaches to terms and conditions for staff

e Other activity associated with setting up / establishing a CJC

7. In addition, Regions may also wish to consider applying for this funding in relation to preparatory work supporting the transfer of functions (strategic land use planning, strategic transport planning and economic development) to the CJC.

Beyond the initial establishment of CJCs, ongoing support costs should be met by the sector, and will form part of the identification of the budget requirement for each CJC.

Funding

8. The amount of funding available will be £1m in total and relate to the 2021/22 financial year.

9. It is envisaged funding will be distributed to a nominated lead authority for each CJC via a grant. Use of the funding could be managed via existing arrangements such as a City or Growth Deal Partnerships.

10.Welsh Government Officials anticipate the funding will be allocated to the Regions on a broadly equal basis, subject to a satisfactory proposal for funding from each area.

Proposal process

11.Each Region / CJC will need to provide a proposal for funding which Welsh Government officials can consider and appraise to ensure it is in line with the spirit of the funding and grant requirements.

12.As part of this, and in order to avoid any potential risk of double funding, Regions will also be required to confirm that any funding they bid for is for activity that is additional/complementary to any other regional activity that they are already in receipt of funding for, for example through European Structural Funds (ESF).

13. The intention is to put in place a proportionate, rather than onerous, process for securing and reporting on the use of the funding, but proportionate grant

management arrangements will nevertheless be required.

14. Therefore proposals for funding must demonstrate how it would enable / support the effective establishment and implementation of CJCs.

15.In particular, we would expect the proposal to provide:

e Ashort summary (consisting of two or three paragraphs) summarising the key points or objectives of the core area(s) of activity you are seeking funding for;

e The benefits of receiving the funding and how the proposed activity will be supported (whether via additional capacity / capability)

e Details of the desired outcome as a result of the funding

e How much money is required to be funded to deliver the desired results

16. Proposals which do not demonstrate how they will contribute to enabling / supporting the effective establishment and implementation of CJCs will not be funded.

17.Upon receipt of a satisfactory proposal the Welsh Government will issue an award letter together with terms and conditions of the funding.

Please submit proposals to LGPartnerships@gov.wales

In case of queries or if you wish to discuss, please email Paula James at

paula james@gov.wales, copied to Lisa Hughes at lisa.hughes@gov.wales