Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 24th January, 2018 10.15 am

Venue: Authority Chamber - No.1 Mann Island, Liverpool, L3 1BP

Contact: Trudy Bedford  0151 330 1330

Items
No. Item

13.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received on behalf of Councillors S McGuire, K Wainwright, C Cashman, S Spall, J Johnson, A Dean and D T Lewis.

14.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

It was reported that no declarations of interest had been received.

15.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 25 October 2017

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting of the Liverpool City Region Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 25 October 2017 be approved as a correct record.

16.

Task and Finish Groups

Minutes:

The inquorate meeting of the LCR Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered a report of the Lead Chief Executive: Scrutiny which provided an update on the progress of the two outstanding Task and Finish Groups relating to Welfare Reforms and Universal Credit and Air Quality. It was also reported that the Spatial Development Strategy Task and Finish Group had recently concluded and the recommendations from this review would be presented to a future meeting of the

LCR Combined Authority.

 

The inquorate meeting RESOLVED that the proposed meeting schedule for the Task and Finish Groups for Welfare Reform and Universal Credit and Air Quality as set out in section four of the report now submitted be agreed.

17.

Verbal Update from Metro Mayor S Rotheram

Minutes:

The inquorate meeting of the Committee received a verbal update from Metro Mayor S Rotheram which set out the following activities which he had been engaged in:-

 

·         Provided an update on the progress of the Mersey Tidal project, which sought to harness the tidal power of the River Mersey. Brent Cheshire from DONG Energy, had also been appointed as the Chair of the Mersey Tidal Project.

 

·          The Shadow Vice Chancellor John McDonnell MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Rebecca Long-Bailey MP and Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Peter Dowd MP had recently visited the City Region to consider the proposals for the Mersey Tidal project.

 

·         Reported on the vision to join all six Constituent Councils via a digital loop which was based in Daresbury and connected to North America.

 

·         Explained how the Combined Authority had received £27m from the Transforming Cities Fund which would support the Housing First programme.

 

·         Highlighted that the six Metro Mayors and Mayor of London had joined together to sign a number of letters expressing concern to Government on a number of issues, including the devolution of the Adult Education Budget which was still to be resolved.

 

·         Reported that the International Business Festival (IFB) 2018 would take place in the City Centre in June. The festival provided a platform for the City Region to showcase its business opportunities on a global stage.

 

·         Explained that the LCR Combined Authority had been designated as the first Combined Authority to be paying the real living wage to its employees. This had been the catalyst for Liverpool FC and Everton FC to also commit to paying their employees the real living wage too.

 

·          Summarised the regular public question time sessions which the Metro Mayor had been hosting. The sessions provided the opportunity for members of the public to attend and ask any question of the Metro Mayor.

 

·         Highlighted that the Combined Authorities Corporate Plan was in the early stages of development and encouraged Members to share their views on the content and format.

 

·          Provided an update on the recruitment to senior positions within the LCR Combined Authority.

 

In considering the verbal update, Members of the Committee raised the

following questions and comments:-

 

·         A Member welcomed the informative update, however, in recognising that the Government had not provided funding to resource the Combined Authorities staffing arrangements, clarity was sought on the Metro Mayor’s proposals to address this?

 

The Metro Mayor reported that the funding secured through the devolution deal could not be used towards the Combined Authorities running costs, therefore alternative sources had to be identified.

 

A number of funding options had been explored. However, subject to approval by the LCR Combined Authority, it was to be proposed that for the 2018/19 financial year the six Constituent Authorities would fund the Combined Authority running costs with a view to securing a sustainable funding model for the 2019/20 financial year.

 

·         Clarity was sought on how the Committee could engage in the development of the Corporate Plan?  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

Update on the Implementation of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Staffing Structures

Minutes:

The inquorate meeting of the LCR Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered a report from the Interim Head of Paid Service which provided an update on the progress of the implementation of the staffing structures of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

 

In this respect, Members received a presentation from John Fogarty, Director of Corporate Services, which set out the following:-

 

·         Provided a summary of the evolution of the LCR Combined Authority since its establishment in 2014, including the responsibility to manage LGF 1 and LGF 2 programmes;

 

·          Summarised how the LGF programmes had evolved during the second year of the Combined Authorities operation, explained how additional responsibility had been granted for Employment and Skills, Economic Development, Highways and Housing;

 

·         Explained the Single Investment Fund which was introduced in 2016 and equated to funding in the region of £185m from Central Government.

 

·         Highlighted that with the agreement of the Devolution Deal and the receipt of the Single Investment Fund it was recognised that the Combined Authority would require dedicated capacity to deliver the devolution deal.

 

·         Summarised the progress made to date on the Combined Authority staffing structure, including the appointment of the Director of Commercial Development and Investment and the Director of Corporate Services.

 

·         Outlined the core aspects of the Combined Authority budget setting process and explained how the 2018/19 budget had been developed; and

 

·         Explained how the Combined Authority would need to explore and agree a sustainable funding model for 2019/20.

 

 

Members welcomed the presentation and in doing so raised the following questions and comments:-

 

·         Clarity was sought on whether there was a potential conflict of interest with Officers acting in a joint capacity for Merseytravel and the LCR Combined Authority.

 

Members were informed that Merseytravel and the LCR Combined Authority where a joint organisation and as such no conflict between Officers existed.

 

·         In terms of the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), it was noted that the LCR Combined Authority had a close working relationship with the LEP. As such would this Committee have an opportunity to scrutinise the work of the LEP?

 

Members were informed that the Chair of the LCR LEP was a member of the LCR Combined Authority and this had supported the development of a strong working relationship between both organisations. Furthermore, Central Government was currently undertaking a review of the operation of LEP’s and the outcome of this could be brought to a future meeting.

 

·         Clarity was sought on the proposed funding arrangements for the Metro Mayor’s office?

 

Members were informed that the Combined Authority budget proposals would be considered by the LCR Combined Authority at their meeting on 2 February 2018.

 

·         As part of the budget proposals to be considered by the LCR Combined Authority, would this include the introduction of a precept?

 

Members were informed that the Order provided the provision for a precept to be introduced. However, the budget proposals were not presenting this as an option for 2018/19. For the 2018/19 financial year it was proposed that each constituent Local Authority would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.

19.

Apologies

20.

Declarations of Interest

21.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee Held on 25 October 2017 pdf icon PDF 178 KB

22.

Verbal Update from Metro Mayor S Rotheram

23.

Update on the Implementation of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Staffing Structures pdf icon PDF 216 KB

To consider a report from the Interim Head of Paid Service.

24.

Task and Finish Groups pdf icon PDF 128 KB

To consider the report of the Lead Chief Executive Officer: Scrutiny.

25.

Any Other Item(s) Which the Chairperson Deems to be of an Urgent Nature