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THE first meeting of the Mid Wales Corporate Joint Committee has been held. The committee brings both Ceredigion and Powys County Council to work jointly on regional transport planning and the promotion of the economic well-being of their area.

On the third function,  strategic development planning, Brecon Beacons National Park Authority (BBNPA)  join the committee to have a say on this topic.

The creation of the CJC’s is a result of the Welsh Government’s  Local Government and Elections Wales Act 2021  and it is now a requirement on local authorities to participate and work together to create corporate joint committees across Wales based on a regional basis.

At the meeting on Tuesday, January 25, Ceredigion council leader, Cllr Ellen Ap Gwynn was voted in as committee chairman, while Powys County Council’s chief executive, Dr Caroline Turner was chosen to be the CJC’s chief executive.

Powys Council leader Cllr Rosemarie Harris was elected as vice-chairman.

The roles of chairman as well as the chief executive will annually alternate between the Ceredigion and Powys.

Cllr Ap Gwynn said:

“I’m very proud to be the first chair of the CJC although I know Rosemarie and I have argued against such moves in the past.

“It’s a historic day, this is the first time we have met as two councils and the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority to start creating the CJC.

“It’s a new way of working although we are used to cooperating with each other under joint authority agreements.

“For some reason, the Welsh Government has decided  to give us this structure to work in these three areas.”

PCC and newly installed CJC monitoring officer, Clive Pinney told the committee that the powers will come into force during the summer.

Mr Pinney said:

“The three functions don’t transfer to the CJC until July, we will be working in the background to make sure that things are ready for that.”

The committee also needed to decide a budget for the remainder of this financial year and for 2022/23.

It was agreed that Ceredigion and Powys would provide between them £120,000 for the general budget.

It was also agreed that £40,000 would be paid into the strategic planning budget with BBNPA providing 11.45 percent of that budget.

The remainder would be split between Ceredigion and Powys.

There are also CJC’s covering North Wales, South West Wales, and South East Wales.

The formation of the CJCs hark back to the 1974-1996 days of the Super County Councils of Wales, Gwent, Clwyd, Dyfed, Gwynedd, Powys and South, Mid, and West Glamorgan before being reorganised into 22 separate authorities.

Powys is the only one that was not split up.

Moves towards bigger county councils have been resisted during the last decade, but the formation of the Joint Corporate Committees is seen by some as a step back in their direction.

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