Decision details

Simplification Pathfinder Pilot Board

Decision Maker: Director of Law and Corporate Services (Monitoring Officer)

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No

Decision:

The Director of Law and Corporate Services has reviewed and approved the revised Terms of Reference for the Simplification Pathfinder Pilot Board as set out in Appendix 1 of this report.

Reasons for the decision:

On 13th September 2023 Policy and Resources Committee resolved to accept an invitation from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to participate in the Simplification Pathfinder Pilot. This pilot streamlines the delivery of 3 growth funds overseen by it, namely Town Deal, Future High Streets Fund (FHSF) and the Council’s Levelling Up Round 1 (LUF1) and Round 3 (LUF3) allocation which currently deliver various regeneration programmes in Wirral up to a value of £83,231,405.

As part of the Pathfinder Simplification Pilot the Council is required to establish a consolidated governance structure to reflect the wider scope and geographical remit of the pilot area.

At its meeting of 8th November 2023, the Policy & Resources committee resolved that the indicative Birkenhead Wallasey and New Ferry Simplification Pathfinder Pilot Board membership and terms of reference as was set out in Appendix 1 to the relevant report be approved. This was subject to one Conservative and one Liberal Democratic member being authorised to attend and also membership of the board being extended to a Liscard Ward Member should that become appropriate. The
Director of Law and Governance was also authorised to review the terms of reference in relation to the declaration of interest in consultation with the chair and group spokespersons.

It is noted that some members of the Board will have a conflict of interest in projects being delivered as part of the Pilot. However, as the Board will have no formal decision-making power, and more than half the number of the board members will be elected members/MPs, it is considered that this addresses the conflict of interest concerns.

Further, to ensure transparency and openness all members of the Board will be required to complete a Register of Interest form at the time of joining the Board. At the start of each meeting an agenda item will invite members to declare any known or potential conflicts of interest and a record will be taken of these in the minutes. During the meeting those with a conflict of interest will be asked to leave the room when voting takes place regarding any project for which they have an interest in. This will ensure any such organisation is not part of any resolution or endorsement that the Board might make.

Alternative options considered:

It is a requirement of the Council’s participation in the Simplification Pathfinder Pilot to establish a successor board to exercise strategic oversight over the funds and implementation of the Investment Plan. As the Policy and Resources committee has resolved to accept the invitation to participate in the Pilot, the setting up of a new board is the only option available. The approach set out within this report is considered to be appropriate and proportionate.

Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:

The decision has been taken under Part 3 Section C - Overview and Scheme of Delegations of Authority to Officers as the decision is not reserved to a Committee or Sub-Committee and the Director is satisfied that paragraphs 2(a) to 2(c) apply.

 

Background Papers

Technical Guidance: Simplification Pathfinder Pilot’ issued by DLUHC 18th June 2023. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/simplification-pathfinder-pilot-technical-guidance/simplification-pathfinder-pilot-technical-guidance

 

Correspondence dated 07 July 2023 from The Pathfinder Delivery Team (DLUHC) inviting Wirral Council to participate in the Pilot.

 

https://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/documents/s50108349/BIRKENHEAD%20WALLASEY%20AND%20NEW%20FERRY%20SIMPLIFICATION%20PATHFINDER%20PILOT%20BOARD.pdf

 

Publication date: 28/06/2024

Date of decision: 24/06/2024