- To establish whether members and officers think the changes made to governance structures in June 2018 are working effectively
- To seek from members and officers any suggestions for improvements to the new bodies
- To seek suggestions from members and officers on any other governance improvements which might help increase efficiency and effectiveness of the Authority, and inform the future work programme of the Governance and Member Development Group.
The previous committee structure is attached. This sets out the full range of committees and working groups in operation prior to June 2018.
The structure agreed by the Authority in June 2018 is attached. The rationale and drivers behind the review were:
- After several years of ‘setting its house in order’ the Authority had reached a level of performance and public confidence evidenced by external and internal audit;
- Members felt that this enabled the Authority to focus more on delivery of its purposes and duty, work that had been started with the agreement of four key work areas and the move to a more project based delivery model (reflected in a change in the structure of the Management Team and which needed to be reflected in the committee structure). This would meet the need to address continuing reduction in core budget.
- A desire to make a distinction between governance, recognising that this would always be important to maintain progress, and delivery, but making clear links between the two.
- A desire to strengthen strategic leadership by members and involvement in policy development not just decision making. This would include decisions on possible ‘windfall’ revenue and capital contributions outside the annual budget setting process.
- Reductions in staff numbers and also the size of the Authority (legislation for this is still pending).
These included deleting the following bodies:
- Urgent Business Committee
- Grievance Committee
- Appeals Committee
- Joint Liaison Committee
- Scrutiny Working Group
- Standards Recruitment Panel
- National Park Management Group
- Development Plan Working Group
- Future Directions Forum Absorbed into Policy Forum
- Tourism Liaison Group
- Fforest Fawr Geopark Senior Partnership Board
- Increase the number of Authority meetings and hold on the same day as PAROW (subject to consultation on agendas and provisional dates for NPAs if needed)
- Greater focus of Audit and Scrutiny Committee on performance and risk
- Absorption of tasks into a smaller number of bodies (eg. The Appointments Committee took on responsibility for the recruitment process for new independent members of Standards Committee)
- To establish a Policy Forum comprising all members
- To establish four Key Work Area Groups – officer led with input from champions
- Revised Member Champion roles aligned to Key Work Areas
- Reduced external representation based on relevance rather than history
The full report, recommendations and decisions can be viewed on the agenda for the meeting held on 22 June 2018.
The Authority asked the Governance and Member Development Working Group to review these new structures in Autumn 2019 and members and key officers are asked to complete the online survey (hyperlink once questionnaire agreed)
The Scheme of Delegation and Terms of Reference gives details of the remit of all committees and working groups.
The Governance and Member Development Working Group will be reviewing the results of the survey on 18 October 2019, and will be reporting back to the Authority on 29 October 2019.