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Corporate Joint Committees (CJCs) are new corporate bodies which have some similar powers and duties to councils.
They can directly own assets and employ staff. They must appoint a Chief Executive, Finance Officer, and Monitoring Officer. CJCs’ membership is made up of the leaders of the councils within the specific region and the National Park Authorities that sit within that region.
Four CJCs were established to help strengthen regional collaboration between authorities:
- South East Wales CJC
- South West Wales CJC
- North Wales CJC
- Mid Wales CJC
They came into effect in April 2021 and were given the following functions from June 2022:
- developing transport policies
- preparing a strategic development plan
- economic wellbeing – anything a CJC considers is likely to promote or improve the economic wellbeing of its area.
As the CJCs are new corporate bodies, we looked at their progress in developing their arrangements to meet their statutory obligations and the Welsh Government’s aim of strengthening regional collaboration.
What we found
Over 2 years since their establishment in April 2021 and 12 months since they were given their core functions and duties in June 2022, it’s clear that the CJCs are still in their infancy.
They’ve put in place the building blocks for their development, and progress of the CJCs differ in different areas, but overall, governance arrangements are not yet all in operation and there is much work to be done to meet their strategic planning responsibilities.
There was an initial concern about their slow and varied progress, and Welsh Government’s preparedness to facilitate their implementation, but there have been more positive signs of the CJCs moving forward recently.
We expect to see the CJCs further advanced over the next 12-18 months and have made 5 recommendations.
This report should be read in conjunction with these individual letters issued to the four CJCs: