Report by Iwan Trefor Jones, Lead Director (attached).
To approve the RAG status of all actions within the Work Programme and note the updates on the progress of individual projects, in accordance with the report.
The report was presented by Iwan Trefor Jones, Lead Director.
RESOLVED to approve the RAG status of all actions within the Work Programme and note the updates on the progress of individual projects, in accordance with the report.
REASONS FOR THE DECISION
Update progress of the Work Programme tasks.
Update progress of individual projects.
It was noted that, due to the need to allocate the next meeting of the Board on 21 June to interview candidates for the post of Programme Director, an additional meeting of the Board would be held on 28 June to discuss other matters of importance which were part of the work programme.
It was noted that, following the submission of the outline business cases for the individual projects, the initial feedback received from both governments was positive and that no obstacles were anticipated at present.
Reference was made to specific meetings with Alun Cairns, Secretary of State for Wales and Kevin Foster, the junior Minister, and it was noted that those meetings had been constructive and positive, with the aspiration to reach Heads of Terms by July clearly highlighted. It was noted that the relationship with civil servants of both governments was also very strong, with close collaboration happening at officer level.
It was noted that a meeting would be held with Ken Skates, Minister for Economy and Transport the following week. At that meeting, the Chair would convey the desire for the political dialogue to be more regular in order to ensure that nothing was lost in the discussions.
Assurance was given that the Heads of Terms would incorporate the 14 projects in the Growth Deal.
Reference was made to the Board's previous decision to submit a quarterly progress report on the work of the Board to the individual partners for the reporting and scrutiny purposes of the individual bodies, and a request was made for reference to this to be included in the 'Governance' category of the work programme.
It was noted that an additional block needed to be included in the table regarding GA2, noting the timeframe for the organisations etc. In response, it was explained that this had been included under the category 'Legal and Procurement', but that there may be a need to highlight the risks more clearly. It was also noted that GA2 was part of the wider contract and that it was, therefore, noted on the plan.
With reference to the Morlais Project, it was suggested that there was a need to note in the 'other comments' column that the region was losing the £21m confirmed from Europe as that money needed to be returned. In response, it was explained that reaching Heads of Terms by July would provide adequate assurance to Europe that it would be possible to draw down the money and proceed with the scheme.
It was noted that the governments had asked for a more detailed business case in relation to the additional £40m requested, and that it was intended to submit that information to them by the end of the following week.
It was explained that both governments were working on Heads of Terms at present and that it was hoped that a draft of the document would be available in the coming weeks in order for it to be circulated to Board members and discussed at the next meeting.
It was stressed that Heads of Terms needed to be reached by the beginning of the summer recess. In response, it was noted that this was the message that had been and was still being conveyed to both governments.
The Business Delivery Board's desire to have an input to the discussions with both governments in order assist the process, was expressed. It was confirmed that the Chair of the Business Delivery Board would have a key role in that regard.