The Sub-National Review. A Change Management Programme for the South West

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1 The Sub-National Review A Change Management Programme for the South West 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 Prosperous Places: Taking Forward the Review of Sub-National Economic Development and Regeneration was published by Government in November 2008, following public consultation. The Sub National Review (SNR) proposed a number of significant changes for managing economic development and regeneration activity below the national level. The aim of the SNR is to ensure that places within a region develop their economies and work together to deliver a sustainable economic vision. It also proposes significant changes to regional governance, proposing a Single Regional Strategy (SRS) as the joint responsibility of the local authority leaders and RDA Board. 1.2 Government is taking forward the SNR at national level through the development of legislation and guidance. RDAs and emerging Local Authority Leaders Boards were asked to produce a Change Management Programme setting out the broad timetable for how changes will be implemented, with more detailed plans worked on during the course of This Change Management Programme is a joint publication written by the South West Regional Development Agency and South West Local Authority Leaders Board the Strategic Leaders Board (SLB). It is aimed at Government and our regional, sub-regional and local partners. The document aims to describe progress in the South West with implementing the SNR, and explain our plans for how we intend to work with partners to implement the reforms in a way that secures the best possible outcome for the South West. 1.4 At the time of writing, the Regional Assembly has voted to postpone early transference of Regional Planning Body and other functions to the South West Strategic Leaders Board, pending resolution of a number of issues. Provided these can be addressed, it should be possible for functions to transfer prior to July See paragraph 3.4 for further information.

2 2. REGIONAL PRINCIPLES & ASPIRATIONS FOR SNR IMPLEMENTATION 2.1 The Sub-National Review provides an opportunity for strengthening regional partnership and performance, and enhancing our reputation and influence at the national level. We are therefore proposing that the following set of principles and aspirations guide what we want to achieve through SNR in the region, and the way we work with one another. Transition: That transitional governance arrangements help to move us to a new joint way of working wherever possible, including joint communications. That early opportunities to demonstrate a new level of partnership are sought and taken. That SNR discussions do not detract from delivery, nor from providing sufficient leadership during the current economic crisis. Governance: Regional leadership can be provided effectively and jointly by the RDA Board and Strategic Leaders Board. The Strategic Leaders Board will be supported by and report back to the region s local authorities, through South West Councils. Regional decision making is built on a foundation of robust relationships, allowing for open and honest debate. The regional and strategic aspirations for the region are at the heart of joint Leaders Board and the RDA Board decision-making, whilst recognising local and political issues and agendas. Governance and support structures will be streamlined, effective and transparent, allowing fleet of foot decisionmaking. The interests and potential roles of stakeholders are recognised and valued, and a broad range of stakeholders are involved appropriately in shaping and strengthening regional policies and strategies. Regional arrangements will be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny through the new Regional Select Committee and Grand Committee, and the SLB and RDA Board will work together, where possible, to provide a strong, united voice for the region. Regional Strategies: Work on the new Regional Strategy will build on the extensive work that has gone into existing strategies and will be prepared jointly from the outset, as a cohesive and joined up strategy, with a clear commitment to securing the best possible outcomes for the South West. Any refresh of the RES & RSS will be designed to support the development of the new Regional Strategy. The Regional Strategy will focus on regional issues, outcomes and priorities. The Regional Strategy will be firmly rooted in evidence, backed up by a detailed action plan with clear deliverables, milestones and responsible owners. The Regional Strategy will be developed with the emphasis firmly on effective delivery.

3 Stakeholder Engagement 2.2 Many of the region s strengths, and many of the challenges it faces, are inextricably linked to the individual places in the South West, local communities, businesses and environmental characteristics. Regional performance relies on the combined efforts of a huge range of stakeholders and organisations, all of whom have ideas, resources, skills and experience to bring to the table to help shape and deliver regional strategies and key regional policies. The widely based consultation processes undertaken in developing the RSS, including the contribution of the Assembly SEEPs, and their involvement in the RES, provide a good framework for developing future arrangements. We will work with our partners as we move through SNR transition to determine the support structures and communication channels we will all need in a post-snr world. Currently the RDA and Assembly/South West Councils support a number of stakeholder bodies either financially or through staff and member involvement. There is an opportunity to review the current situation, and to establish and support new arrangements which provide an efficient and effective way of achieving stakeholder input from a variety of sources including new groupings. 2.3 We value the specific knowledge and expertise, and the breadth of views provided by the region s stakeholders, and will develop an effective and efficient means of communications this will be set out in a Statement of stakeholder and community engagement that will be produced as part of the process for the development of the SRS (see the timetable in Section 6). This will be based on the following key principles: - stakeholders will be invited to engage in the development of the SRS and other work areas, in recognition of specific knowledge or expertise; - in recognition of the wide range of different stakeholders who will have many different specialisms to contribute and the need to ensure the regional bodies hear the wide range of sectoral and community voices, without giving exclusivity to any stakeholders or stakeholder groupings; - stakeholders having an advisory role, with no voting rights for stakeholders or stakeholder groupings in new arrangements (other than for the proposed interim arrangements for the discharge of RPB functions). See paragraph 4.2 for further information.

4 3. TRANSITIONAL ARRANGEMENTS What s Happened So Far? 3.1 In the South West there has been debate about moving ahead with new working arrangements as soon as possible. We recognise that regardless of detailed changes proposed in legislation there can be some streamlining and cost savings achieved, whilst maintaining a strong democratic voice for the local authorities across the South West and strengthening the region s voice at the national level. Within these arrangements the importance of ongoing, widely based stakeholder engagement is fully recognised. Local Authority arrangements: Strategic Leaders Board (SLB) and South West Councils (SWC) 3.2 The local government coordination at regional level has been refreshed with the establishment of South West Councils, which draws together Members from all the region s local authorities, and is therefore politically balanced, with a 20 strong Strategic Leaders Board as its executive arm. The SLB draws together local authority leaders from County and Unitary Councils and one each from the Districts in Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Somerset plus the Leader of the Isles of Scilly Council. The SLB has a Chair and two Deputies drawn from county, unitary and district authorities. The SLB will provide a strong democratic voice for the South West in anticipation of the dissolution of the South West Regional Assembly, as proposed by Government. The existing constitution and terms of reference for the SLB will be built upon for inclusion in the Scheme for the operation of the Leaders Board. This will be developed for consultation by July, and submitted by September 2009 (see Figure 3). 3.3 The SLB is already meeting as the executive arm of South West Councils. Leaders recognise that their role will need support from other South West Council members through detailed mechanisms to be set up. Leaders have already played a significant role with the RDA and Assembly in agreeing the Regional Funding Advice submitted to Government in February If there is early transference of functions from the Regional Assembly, there is a specific requirement that the Strategic Leaders Board will need to meet, to be designated and adopt the functions under existing legislation of the Regional Planning Body (RPB) for the South West. Compliance with the 2004 Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act and subsequent regulations requires that at least 30% of the decisionmaking body designated as RPB is made up of stakeholders with voting rights. Currently the full Assembly is designated as RPB. In the event of transition of Assembly functions to the SLB before legislation dissolves the RPB, the Leaders have proposed arrangements for involving stakeholders in any RPB decision making needed. To comply with existing legislation there will also be a need for representation from a National Park to be involved in any RPB decision making. Assuming one National Park Member in addition to the twenty Leaders there will need to be nine non local authority stakeholders (30%) involved in the RPB decision making. This will involve three RDA Board members and up to six stakeholders proposed by the Assembly SEEP group to deliver expertise on Business & Economy, Housing, Transport, Environment and Social/Equalities. Looking beyond July 2009, detailed arrangements for advisory groups and networks will need to be agreed during the transition process, see paragraph 4.3. Further detail on the possible timescales for the transfer to transitional arrangements can be found in Figure 3 below.

5 3.5 The Regional Secretariat and its advisory groups (involving senior local authority officers and networks of technical officers from those authorities and key partners) will continue to provide support to the SLB and South West Councils. A new local authority Chief Executives Group reflecting membership of SLB will also advise on and support this work. South West RDA 3.6 The RDA Board s Regional Governance Standing Committee leads on SNR issues and SRS development for the Agency. This group is currently chaired by the RDA Board s Deputy Chairman, and includes the RDA s Chairman. It also includes one of the Board s local authority members as Deputy Chair of the committee. 3.7 Supporting the Board Standing Committee is an internal officer programme structure, set up to provide cross-agency input to the developing plans for SNR implementation. This is chaired by the Chief Executive. Relationship Building 3.8 The SNR signals a new level of partnership working at regional level, building on the strong relationships that already exist at local and regional level between local authorities and the Regional Assembly, the South West RDA and the Government Office for the South West. It demands united strategic leadership for the region, and provides an opportunity to raise a stronger voice for the South West on the national and international stage. Key to delivering this will be a strong and trusting relationship between the RDA Board and Strategic Leaders Board. 3.9 A number of opportunities for joint working have been utilised over recent months, including an initial meeting between the SLB Chair and the Chair of the RDA Board s Regional Governance Standing Committee, and significantly with the development of the South West s Regional Funding Advice (RFA). This included an event in December to initiate the RFA process, and the development and sign-off of the advice itself. Leaders and the RDA Board have also collaborated over preparation of this Change Management Programme. These early examples of joint working provide a solid early foundation as we move through the transition period The three regional organisations Government Office, RDA and the Regional Secretariat (which currently supports the Regional Assembly, South West Councils and South West Provincial Employers) have come together at Chief Executive level as a Tripartite Group for some years, to discuss and advise on joint decisions on issues of regional significance. This has recently been augmented to a Quartet, including the Regional Director of the Homes & Communities Agency. The Quartet is planning and coordinating regional progress on SNR implementation, and has agreed the architecture of officer groups to advise on various elements of the SNR through the transition phase, as illustrated in Figure 1.

6 Figure 1 Transitional Officer Arrangements JOINT DECISION MAKING MECHANISM SW Leaders / RDA Planning and Coordination TRANSITION PLANNING GROUP ( QUARTET ) Rotating Chair Senior officer nominees from: RDA, SWLB, GOSW, HCA Recommendation & Tasks T&F Group: LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Assessment duties / MAAs / EPBs STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT RS Project Plan (& RES refresh?) Scope, governance, process & timetable, evidence -gathering, analysis STRATEGY DELIVERY Delivering existing strategies / delivering the new RS Investment planning, sub-regions, performance monitoring, housing, regen, infrastructure, low carbon, wider economic dev. T&F Group: REGIONAL GOVERNANCE Joint decision-making, Parliamentary scrutiny, Support structures

7 Figure 2 Governance Arrangements SOUTH WEST LEADERS BOARD 20 council leaders JOINT DECISION MAKING AND COMMISSIONING MECHANISM SW Leaders / RDA Board SOUTH WEST RDA BOARD 15 members appointed by SoS SOUTH WEST COUNCILS 85 local authority members plus National Parks Politically proportionate Member advisory groups as appropriate Range of Joint Advisory and Delivery Boards, e.g.: Single Regional Strategy Housing and Regeneration Transport and Infrastructure REGIONAL AGENCIES GOSW, HCA, EA etc STAKEHOLDERS Stakeholders as appropriate from a number of sectors and stakeholder groupings * RPB arrangements set out in para 4.2

8 4. NEXT STEPS TO ESTABLISH NEW REGIONAL GOVERNANCE Regional Governance/Structures 4.1 A new set of decision-making structures will be needed to enable regional partners to work together effectively to deliver the outcomes envisaged by Government. Arrangements for the discharge of Regional Planning Body functions in the event of an early transfer to the Strategic Leaders Board are explained in paragraph 3.4. New oversight arrangements for the range of joint work that will need to be undertaken will need to be developed and set out in a revision of the South West Councils Business Plan, which will be submitted before July 2009, as shown in Figure 3. Early proposals for how these might work shown in Figure 2. A number of options are under consideration, including arrangements for joint RDA/SLB Board involvement in both development and sign-off of the Regional Strategy and other matters. Discussions on these are ongoing through the Quartet group and with SLB and the RDA Board. 4.2 New regional governance arrangements are in the process of being formulated. If early transition is agreed for the period up to July 2009 the Leaders Board (with 9 stakeholders including 3 RDA Board members) will be designated as the Regional Planning Body. The Regional Assembly member advisory group structure will be retained until July, with current membership, as part of SW Councils. For the post July 2009 period, the current Assembly and RDA advisory group structures will, where appropriate, be rationalised and be replaced by Joint Boards, composed of Strategic Leaders/South West Council members and RDA Board members, with representation by stakeholders according to the principles set out in para 2.3 above and as shown in Figure 2. Some of the current Assembly groups, when reviewed, may continue to sit within SW Councils, alongside existing groups and others that may be set up to assist SW Strategic Leaders with policy development and decision making, supported by officer arrangements under 3.5 above. An example of such a member group is the current Migration Board chaired by South West Councils and involving the unions, Equality South West, Faith, GOSW, RDA etc. Stakeholders 4.3 Partnership working in the South West is strong and the expectation is that this will continue and develop under new arrangements. The Sub- National Review emphasises the importance of continued stakeholder engagement, particularly as a key feature of the process for developing and delivering the regional strategy. Discussions are underway with regional stakeholders, through existing organisations such as Sustainability South West, the Strategic Economic Partners (SEPs) and the Social, Economic and Environmental Partners (SEEPs) of the Regional Assembly, on how best to facilitate future stakeholder engagement. The SEEPs grouping has already taken steps following consultation towards reconstituting itself as a more inclusive grouping to be known as South West Stakeholders, who have the potential, along with others, to assist long term with stakeholder engagement. In developing these processes, the SLB and RDA are committed to putting in place arrangements, in line with the principles set out in paragraphs 2.2 and 2.3, which provide for the meaningful involvement of expert stakeholders, sectoral organisations and emerging stakeholder groupings at regional and subregional level, in the development of the strategy. More details of future arrangements for stakeholder engagement will be set out in the Scheme (that will illustrate how the RDA and Leaders Board will work together to jointly produce the draft regional strategy) for consultation. The timetable in Section 6 below also sets out a number of clear points during the transition year where stakeholders will be consulted and engaged in the development of future arrangements.

9 4.4 Current legislative requirements for the Regional Planning Body role require stakeholder involvement in decision making, as described in Paragraph 3.4. Support for the Leaders in discharging the RPB functions will continue to be provided by the Assembly s Regional Planning Group (of Local Authority members and stakeholders and an RDA Board member) until July. Scrutiny 4.5 In line with the agreed principles in Section 2, the SLB and the RDA Board are committed to working together to ensure that our approach to responding to Parliamentary scrutiny through the Regional Select Committee is coherent, and integrated where possible, providing a strong united voice for the South West. Officer networks and partnership groups 4.6 The South West has an extensive network of support structures and partnership groupings which have previously fed into regional working. South West Councils has a network of officer groups (both at senior and technical level) that provides local and strategic input. The South West RDA also has an extensive range of relationships across the region, including local delivery agencies involving officers from local authorities, engagement in Local Strategic Partnerships and Strategic Economic Partnerships, delivery partner relationships with organisations such as Creating Excellence and Equality South West, and regional strategic engagement on developing the Regional Economic Strategy. This wide variety of partner organisations and bodies will mean that linkages between the new regional governance arrangements and existing partnership structures will need to be carefully managed to ensure that the most effective and efficient solutions for the region can be achieved The Government Office will also have a key role to play in coordinating and facilitating engagement from Regional Government Agencies such as the Homes and Communities Agency, the Learning and Skills Council and the Environment Agency, via the existing 'Group of 10' (G10) arrangements.

10 5. REGIONAL STRATEGIES 5.1 Initial discussion in regional working groups support the proposal that the draft single Regional Strategy should be completed by April Existing Strategies 5.2 To ensure that existing strategies remain valid, the Regional Economic Strategy (RES) will undergo a light touch review during summer 2009 to ensure that the delivery framework is up-to-date. Similarly, the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) will undergo some specific items of review work once it has been signed off by Government in mid Technical work to inform the reviews and future strategy and delivery will be undertaken in the meantime. Scope 5.3 It is intended that the core strategy should be regional, strategic, and set a clear direction for the region and its institutions to follow. Whilst covering a number of key issues, the SRS will draw in a number of areas currently covered by the RES and the RSS. At its heart will be sustainable economic growth and sustainable development, underpinned by a number of clear policy areas, as set out in the CLG Policy Statement on Regional Strategies: - Regional and subregional development opportunities and challenges - Delivering sustainable economic development (productivity & employment) - Climate change and energy - Housing - Regeneration - Infrastructure, including transport & broadband connectivity The region may decide to include a wider range of policy issues essential for the delivery of the strategy s overall aims. The Regional Strategy will set the framework to guide the activities, plans and investment decisions of key public sector agencies such as RDA, HCA, Highways Agency, local authorities and other regional partners. Evidence Base Development 5.4 The work on the SRS will need to begin by summer 2009, starting with drawing together a Project Plan and an up-to-date evidence base for the region. The development of the evidence base will be co-ordinated by the SW Regional Observatory and a range of specialist organisations. The evidence base will bring together a range of data, research and analysis. It will also include qualitative data and recommendations on critical issues for the region, and a range of foresight and scenario work. This will be supported by detailed work on Local Economic Assessments by local authorities, to assess the economic conditions of their areas. The overall evidence base will need to be agreed and widely supported, before moving in to the SRS development process, and will therefore need to be robust, objective, and consistent.

11 Assessment, Testing & Engagement 5.5 In order to develop the strategy with as much support as possible, and in the shortest possible timescale, it is proposed that many of the statutory assessments should take place in parallel with SRS development process, such as sustainability appraisal, Habitats Regulations Assessment and Equality Impact Assessment. Opportunities to involve the independent EiP Panel in the process as the Strategy is developed will also be explored. This will ensure that the strategy is improved during its development, and will allow regional stakeholders a formal role in the strategy process, to complement extensive consultation and engagement plans for regional partners. This assessment programme will also include an element of strategy and spatial options testing. 5.6 The core strategy will develop both the overall direction and a set of key policies to guide implementation. These will be tested against the evidence base, government policies and deliverability. It will be supported by specific proposals for a number of key themes and places, and will also be underpinned by a clear and agreed delivery framework. Delivery & Monitoring 5.7 Effective delivery of the new strategy should be at the fore from the start, and new governance arrangements will be designed to that end. The SRS Implementation Plan will contain clear and measurable objectives that identify specific partners, or partnerships, and specific outcomes. 5.8 New and emerging opportunities for subregional delivery, such as Economic Prosperity Boards and Statutory MAAs will need to drive delivery and efficiency, and will give the strategy real teeth. 5.9 The strategy and its delivery will be kept under regular review. Resources & Staffing 5.10 The changes provide an opportunity to review the resources needed to develop the SRS and assist with its delivery, including new operational structures. Discussions between the RDA and Regional Secretariat are underway at senior level to scope the strategy, and to identify options for how to deliver this There is clear commitment to developing structures that allow for effective joint working and management arrangements, and joint reporting to RDA and Leaders Boards. We are also committed to resolving these issues as soon as possible, to avoid any uncertainty for current staff. In the summer of 2009, we aim to submit our scheme for joint working arrangements to Government. Further detail on a planned timetable for developing these arrangements is set out in the timetable below.

12 6. TIMESCALE/MILESTONES 6.1 Government has stated that Regional Assemblies will cease to exist by April 2010, although regions may put a case to Government for earlier transfer of functions. Legislative elements of the SNR are included in the Local Democracy, Economic Development & Construction Bill, which is currently being considered in the House of Lords before going to the House of Commons. Based on current progress, it is anticipated that an Act of Parliament may result before the summer recess, with consultation on associated statutory guidance carried out during the summer of The timetable below shows how the key areas of work outlined in Section 4 above will primarily be developed at an officer level by the Quartet and its subgroups and at the Board level jointly by the Leaders Board and the RDA. The table (Figure 3) sets out how the main tasks, highlighted in the Change Management Programme above, will be carried forward over the next 12 months. Beneath the table are two timelines that illustrate how each of the milestones will be reached in two alternative scenarios. These scenarios are based on possible dates for the early, or otherwise, transfer of functions from the Regional Assembly.

13 FIGURE 3: Timetable for SNR implementation Milestone Task Reference Timescale Considerations Transfer of RPB and other functions from the Regional Assembly Section 3 (para 3.4) Scenario A: Assembly Leaders, SLB and SWC meet in March/April to resolve outstanding issues transfer goes ahead between April and July, with fall back Assembly July AGM. Scenario B: Resolution to specific issues is not found and early voluntary transfer is not possible. Region maintains current arrangements until LDEDC Bill is passed and SNR reforms are implemented in full. Specific issues to be addressed before a transitional transfer of functions from the Assembly to the SLB can take place, include: - Party political balance within the SLB - Concerns about representation in relation to authority size/pop. - A perceived reduction of stakeholder engagement due to removal of SEEPs Scenario A will result should the above issues be resolved. RISK: Lengthy negotiations about how transfer of functions should be implemented will undermine the genuine commitment to partnership working and improving stakeholder engagement, and add to the uncertainty about future regional arrangements for regional partners and stakeholders. This can be mitigated in part through the strong existing officer level relationships that exist between SWC secretariat and local authorities, the RDA and GOSW, and the strength of the emerging relationships between the SLB and the RDA Board. This will be further bolstered by clear messages and support from GOSW. South West Councils Business Planning Para 4.1 Revisions to the SW Councils Business Plan will be needed to reflect either an early transfer of functions under Scenario A, or enactment of the LEDC Bill The current Business Plan will need to be revised to reflect the transfer of functions to the SLB and SWC.

14 Milestone Task Reference Timescale Considerations Scheme for Strategic Regional Joint Working Section 4 & Fig. 2 This will be completed by the end of July for consultation in the autumn of The scheme will be for future, rather than transitional, arrangements. It is likely that joint arrangements for resourcing early RS development [5.10] will be in place prior to the publication of this scheme. This Scheme will detail regional arrangements for future joint working between the RDA Board and the SLB, as well as their respective officer support structures from the SWC and from within the RDA. The Scheme will resolve key issues of: - Future Regional Governance structures, including establishment of Joint Regional Boards - The form and precise remit for joint Regional Strategy development arrangements [5.10] - Joint arrangements for responding to Parliamentary scrutiny, where appropriate [4.5] - The precise nature of stakeholder engagement under the above future arrangements, to be informed by stakeholder engagement in the development of the Scheme itself [2.2, 2.3, 4.3, 4.4] RISK: The LDEDC Bill is delayed and is subject to amendments that change the nature of Government s intended purpose for the Joint Working Scheme. This can be mitigated by the shared commitment from Regional Authorities (RDA & SLB) to joint working that will remain a strength for the South West despite detailed changes to legislation. This will also be mitigated by involvement from GOSW to ensure that the region develops its plans as far as possible in line with Government s intentions. Scheme for the operation of the SW Strategic Leaders Board 3.2, 3.3 For either of the transitional arrangements scenarios above a Scheme will be developed for consultation by the end of July, and be submitted alongside the above Joint Working Scheme no later than September 2009 This Scheme will build on the existing constitution and terms of reference of the Strategic Leaders Board which was formally established within South West Councils in December The Scheme will set out membership, decision-making processes, how and when it will refresh its membership and managerial structures and organisation (CLG Policy Document on Regional Strategies, January 2009). It will sit alongside and complement the above Joint Working Scheme, to preset a rounded picture of regional governance arrangements. RISK: As above, there is a risk attached to the LDEDC Bill and its susceptibility to change.

15 Milestone Task Reference Timescale Considerations Stakeholder and Community Engagement Plan 2.2, 2.3, 4.3, 4.4 A draft for consultation will be issued in Summer 2009, in order to feed in to the RS Project Plan above. This Engagement Plan will be produced in line with the principles set out in para 2.3 above. It will meet with Government requirements that stakeholder engagement is wide-ranging, meaningful and contributes to building consensus around the regional strategy. In addition, the Plan will set out arrangements for stakeholders that are proportionate, timely and add value to the strategy development process. The Plan will meet with the requirements of new legislation that require Regional Authorities to prepare, publish, keep up-to-date and comply with a statement of their policies on involving all those persons who seem to them to have an interest in the regional strategy. It will include consultation processes and arrangements for Examination in Public. The structures and processes developed for stakeholder engagement will be kept under regular review. RISK: With the dissolution of the Regional Assembly, the group known as SEEPs will no longer exist in the same formal capacity that they do now. There is a risk therefore that stakeholders won t be, or won t perceive themselves to be, effectively and appropriately involved in regional governance and decision-making processes. This can be mitigated through ongoing communication with the region s stakeholders and appropriate regional groupings (such as South West Stakeholders) about the genuine commitment of the RDA and the SLB to involving stakeholders and communities where appropriate, to add significant value to the RS development process and other regional decision making. Regional Strategy Project Plan Section 5 Draft for consideration by SLB and RDA Board and other member bodies by September 2009 Consultation during quarter 3 This Project Plan will include: - the subject areas to be considered and the timetable for doing so, including the timing of key milestones; - identification of relevant research and technical studies that will form part of the evidence base [5.4]; - a clear statement of involvement of communities and stakeholders, supported by effective stakeholder engagement in the Plan itself [5.5], and;

16 Milestone Task Reference Timescale Considerations - the joint approach to managing risks to the regional strategy timetable The Project Plan will tie in key areas of work that will already be underway, or have been completed, including work on the regional evidence base, and the stakeholder and community engagement plan. In addition it will clearly articulate the link with review and evidence work on existing strategies (RES & RSS) [5.2]; the process for assessment and testing of the strategy and strategy options [5.5, 5.6]; the development of implementation and investment plans [5.7]; and effective monitoring and review arrangements. The Project Plan will be one of the early distinct pieces of work for the joint RS Strategy resourcing arrangements [5.10, 5.11]. RISK: That the Statutory Guidance for RS development will change Government expectations of the Project Plan. This can be easily mitigated by regular communications with colleagues from Government Office to ensure that the plan is developed to Ministers satisfaction. RS Evidence Base 5.4 Ongoing with an expectation that by April 2010 the main elements of the regional evidence base will be in place to ensure that RS development can begin in earnest. The Single Regional Strategy Section 5 Draft for submission prepared by April 2012 Evidence base work is currently underway, incorporating the refresh of the Regional Economic Strategy and outstanding technical work being carried out for the Regional Spatial Strategy. It is crucial that the RS Evidence Base is joined up with the Local Economic Assessment Duty and the RDA, SWC secretariat including officers of the Regional Improvement & Efficiency Partnership (RIEP), and the Regional Observatory have been in close discussion about the most effective way to integrate local and regional evidence, and avoid duplication. Strategy development work on the Regional Strategy, building on Evidence Base work already carried out, will begin in earnest in April The strategy development process will run for 2 years, resulting in the publication of the draft strategy for submission at the end of the financial year.

17 APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR Scenario A: Early Transfer Local & European Elections June 4th Annual meeting of SWC & SLB Scheme for Strategic Regional Joint Working Scheme for the operation of the SW Strategic Leaders Board Stakeholder and Community Engagement Plan Regional Strategy Project Plan RS Evidence Base substantial elements Scenario B: Later Transfer AGM of Assembly SWC & SLB Regional Assembly meets Regional Assembly meets

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