Agenda item

Motion Submitted : WECA Membership

Council believes joint working is important as a council and that the West of England Combined Authority offers a body through which Government will engage and invest in our region and allow the local authorities to work together better and more effectively.

 

Council believes the decision of North Somerset to not join previously weakened the body and its ability to attract additional funds and powers. We welcome the application by North Somerset to join WECA.

 

Council believes together we will be a stronger region able to access additional funding and that the sum and parts will jointly benefit.

 

Council calls on the Mayor and Chief Executive to publish the statutory consultation on North Somerset joining WECA as required within the joint arrangement and ask for this consultation to be published no later than 27th November.

 

Additionally Council calls on the Bristol Mayor to reverse his opposition to the expansion of WECA, noting that if he considers inadequate any negotiated additional funding associated with a proposed expansion of WECA, then he still has the authority to exercise his veto at a later date.

Minutes:

Councillor Hopkins moved the following motion:

 

Council believes joint working is important as a council and that the West of England Combined Authority offers a body through which Government will engage and invest in our region and allow the local authorities to work together better and more effectively.

 

Council believes the decision of North Somerset to not join previously weakened the body and its ability to attract additional funds and powers.  We welcome the application by North Somerset to join WECA.

 

Council believes together we will be a stronger region able to access additional funding and that the sum and parts will jointly benefit.

 

Council calls on the Mayor and Chief Executive to publish the statutory consultation on North Somerset joining WECA as required within the joint arrangement and ask for this consultation to be published no later than 27th November.

 

Additionally Council calls on the Bristol Mayor to reverse his opposition to the expansion of WECA, noting that if he considers inadequate any negotiated additional funding associated with a proposed expansion of WECA, then he still has the authority to exercise his veto at a later date.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Steve Smith.

 

Councillor Threlfall moved the following amendment:

 

That the motion be amended to read as follows:

 

Council believes joint working is important and that the West of England Combined Authority offers a body through which Government can engage and invest in our region and enables the local authorities to work together better and more effectively across the wider Greater Bristol economic area.

 

Council believes the decision of North Somerset to not join previously weakened the body and its ability to attract additional funds and powers. We welcome application by North Somerset to join WECA which could strengthen WECA and the regional economy removing the existing complicated 3+1 governance.

 

Council notes that all constituent authorities support – in principle – the expansion of WECA to include North Somerset. Council believes together we will be a stronger region able to access additional funding and that the sum and parts will jointly benefit. Council notes that Mayor Rees has stated that a challenge to this progress is due to a lack of financial detail from Westminster on a new devolution deal and clear governance arrangements.

 

Council calls on the Mayor and Chief Executive to meet urgently with other WECA authority leaders to agree a financial settlement, review the methodology for distributing WECA funds and a clear governance arrangement and publish the statutory consultation on North Somerset joining WECA

 

Additionally Council calls on the Bristol Mayor to reiterate his support for the expansion of WECA.

 

The amendment was seconded by Councillor Hickman.

 

Following debate, upon being put to the vote, the amendment was CARRIED (42 voting for, 21 against, with 1 abstentions)

 

Following debate on the motion on the table (as amended), the Lord Mayor then invited Councillor Hopkins to speak, as mover of the original motion.

 

Following final remarks, upon being put to the vote, the amended motion was CARRIED (42 voting for, 3 against, with 17 abstentions) and it was

 

RESOLVED:

 

Council believes joint working is important and that the West of England Combined Authority offers a body through which Government can engage and invest in our region and enables the local authorities to work together better and more effectively across the wider Greater Bristol economic area.

 

Council believes the decision of North Somerset to not join previously weakened the body and its ability to attract additional funds and powers. We welcome application by North Somerset to join WECA which could strengthen WECA and the regional economy removing the existing complicated 3+1 governance.

 

Council notes that all constituent authorities support – in principle – the expansion of WECA to include North Somerset. Council believes together we will be a stronger region able to access additional funding and that the sum and parts will jointly benefit. Council notes that Mayor Rees has stated that a challenge to this progress is due to a lack of financial detail from Westminster on a new devolution deal and clear governance arrangements.

 

Council calls on the Mayor and Chief Executive to meet urgently with other WECA authority leaders to agree a financial settlement, review the methodology for distributing WECA funds and a clear governance arrangement and publish the statutory consultation on North Somerset joining WECA

 

Additionally Council calls on the Bristol Mayor to reiterate his support for the expansion of WECA.

 

Supporting documents: