Extension of the term of the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Joint Committee
Decision Maker: Leader
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
1. To approve the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Joint Committee to continue to operate from 1 April 2023 until 30 September 2023, or until such time as the governance for the Gloucestershire City Region Board has been developed and finalised.
2. To delegate authority to the Chief Executive to agree and complete the appropriate legal documentation to allow the Inter Authority Agreement to be extended.
3. Note that the updated governance arrangements for the Gloucestershire City Region Board will replace the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Joint Committee.
Reasons for the decision:
On 4 September 2014, all Gloucestershire Authorities entered into an Inter-Authority Agreement (IAA) to establish the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Joint Committee (GEGJC). The purpose of the GEGJC was to work collaboratively on economic development across the county and to administer the Strategic Economic Development Fund (SEDF), created from Business Rates Pooling arrangements.
Following earlier extension of the term of the GEGJC in March 2022 the Leader considered and approved a report to extend the operation of the GEGJC until 31 March 2023.
The one-year extension period agreed a year ago was to allow Gloucestershire local authorities to continue to work collaboratively together on Gloucestershire’s economic development through the Joint Committee.
Implicit in the previous extensions was the need to review the operation of the GEGJC and whether it remains the appropriate forum to consider joint working on economic development and managing the funds held for that purpose generated by the Business Rates Pooling arrangements in the county.
Gloucestershire Local Authorities considered the future governance arrangements for leading economic growth in the county at its Leadership Gloucestershire meeting in June 2021 and has progressed discussions at subsequent meetings in 2021 and 2022. Those discussions have been shaped by first the delayed publication of the ‘Levelling Up’ White Paper (eventually published in February 2022) and subsequent Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill currently progressing through Parliament.
A report was presented to the GEGJC in November 2022 setting out draft proposals for the future governance surrounding the GEGJC and the Gloucestershire City Region Board (GCRB).
Members of the GEGJC provided feedback on the proposals presented and raised further questions surrounding the specifics of how the governance may function.
Since the meeting in November, further consultation and discussion has taken place via Leadership Gloucestershire and with Gloucestershire Local Authorities to reach finalised principals on the future of the Governance. The matter was also discussed further at GEGJC on 9 February where the GEGJC agreed that each authority should seek to extend the GEGJC for a further period to facilitate the finalisation of the governance arrangements for the GCRB.
This report seeks to extend the life of the GEGJC to enable the GEGJC to continue beyond 31 March 2023 until the governance arrangements in respect of the Gloucestershire City Region Board and future economic agenda for Gloucestershire have been finalised.
Alternative options considered:
To not agree to extend the IAA to enable the Joint Committee continuing will result in there being no other formal joint decision-making arrangements across Gloucestershire local authorities in place to promote the economy
In addition, extending the current arrangements presented the simplest option that will allow for further discussions to take place on the future of economic growth and the transfer to the Gloucestershire City Region Board.
Wards Affected: (All Wards);
Other reasons / organisations consulted
Gloucestershire Economic Growth Joint Committee.
Publication date: 23/03/2023
Date of decision: 23/03/2023