Secretary of State for Wales Cheryl Gillan attended the first meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee since the formation of the new administrations after the elections to the devolved legislatures on 5 May. The meeting, which was held at 10 Downing Street, was chaired by the Prime Minister.
A Joint Ministerial communique was issued following the meeting:
Joint Ministerial Committee communique
**8 June 2011 **
- A Plenary session of the Joint Ministerial Committee was held in 10 Downing Street today under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister, Rt Hon David Cameron MP. The participants were the following: from HM Government, the Deputy Prime Minister, Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, the Secretary of State for Scotland, Rt Hon Michael Moore MP, the Secretary of State for Wales, Rt Hon Cheryl Gillan MP, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Rt Hon Danny Alexander; from the Scottish Government the First Minister, Rt Hon Alex Salmond MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, John Swinney MSP, and the Cabinet Secretary for Parliamentary Business, Bruce Crawford MSP; from the Northern Ireland Executive, the First Minister, Rt Hon Peter Robinson MLA and the deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness MP MLA; and from the Welsh Government the First Minister, Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM.
2. This was the first meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee since the formation of the new administrations after the elections to the devolved legislatures on 5 May.
3. The two principal agenda items were, firstly, the priorities of the new administrations and working together successfully across the four administrations; and, secondly, the state of the economy and the public finances.
4. On the first item, Ministers discussed their respective priorities, particularly those of the three recently elected administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. In taking forward these priorities, Ministers agreed that the principles established in the Memorandum of Understanding between the four administrations in 1999 continue to provide an essential foundation for sound inter-administration relations. They also reaffirmed their commitment to work together on the basis of good communication, close co-operation and mutual respect, as set out in the Memorandum of Understanding.
5. On the second item, Ministers discussed the current economic climate. They agreed on the importance of working together closely on issues of mutual interest in order to achieve their objectives of securing the recovery and sustaining economic growth. They agreed that it would be important to maintain regular and positive dialogue on these issues, including at a meeting of the Finance Ministers’ Quadrilateral due to take place on 14 July.
6. The meeting agreed amendments to the Memorandum of Understanding providing for additions to the dispute-avoidance and resolution protocol. The amendments would allow the Joint Ministerial Committee to commission from an agreed, independent third party analysis of issues relating to unresolved disagreements and disputes. The meeting further discussed progress made so far towards the resolution of outstanding disputes. On the issue of the Olympics funding dispute, the meeting agreed to consider the matter further to examine ways in which progress can be made.
7. The meeting also agreed the attached Annual Report, summarising the activities of the Joint Ministerial Committee since the last meeting of the Plenary in June 2010. This will be published on each administration’s website.