About AGMA

AGMA (the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities) was formed after the abolition of the Greater Manchester Council in 1986. The 1985 Local Government Act devolved power to local areas but also recognised that there were some functions that needed to be co-ordinated at a metropolitan level. AGMA was formed to undertake these functions.

AGMA Membership

The Association is a partnership between the ten local authorities within the Greater Manchester area. These ten authorities co-operate on a number of issues, both statutory and non-statutory, where there is the possibility of improving service delivery by working together. (Click here to find out more about AGMA Members.)

To further increase partnership working, AGMA invited unitary local authorities from the surrounding areas to join AGMA as associate members. Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool and Warrington Councils responded positively to this invitation.

AGMA Units

AGMA funds a number of Units which have been created under a mix of statutory regulation and binding partnership agreements. The statutory services, such as the County Records Office and the Grants Unit developed from the dissolution of Greater Manchester County Council. The other Units are formed under partnerships and are bound by the AGMA Constitution, signed up to by AGMA member authorities. The Units cover a range of functions where joint provision benefits the ten local authorities and are based in various locations across Greater Manchester.

AGMA is not a legally constituted body or a large organisation in itself but does have the resources and expertise of the member authorities to call upon. Wherever appropriate AGMA will bid for additional resources to help support a particular initiative. AGMA will lobby government departments and respond to government consultation if it is felt that an AGMA response is required.

As AGMA is not a legal body officers who “work for AGMA” are legally employees of which ever lead authority is responsible for pay and conditions for the individual AGMA Units. AGMA therefore operates via a constitution and binding agreements which tie the authorities in to AGMA and are required to give at least 12 months notice of withdrawing.

The Decision Making Structure

The decision making structure of AGMA is best explained in the following diagram:

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The Executive

The Executive is formed by the Leaders of the 10 AGMA Authorities, plus those from the associate members, which are Blackburn with Darwen,  Blackpool and Warrington Councils.  Chairs of the Passenger Transport, Police, Fire and Waste Disposal Authorities may also attend. The Leader of AGMA is elected from amongst the 10 members of the Executive.

Chairs of any Committee established by the Executive may attend meetings as observers.  Details of agenda items are also sent to the Chair and Deputy Chair of AGMA Council.

The Executive meets on the last Friday in every month, meetings rotating around member authorities.

AGMA Council

AGMA Council is formed of 3 members from each of the 10 AGMA authorities. Both sexes must be represented from within each authority’s 3 representatives. If any authority has at least 25% of its own Council seats filled by parties from outside its ruling group, at least 1 of its 3 AGMA Council members must come from the minority party with the largest number of seats within that authority.

AGMA Council has a Chair and Deputy drawn from its 30 strong membership, elected each year at the Council meeting that immediately follows the AGM.

Members of the AGMA Executive may attend AGMA Council if they wish, but may not vote on any issue. Chairs of Joint Boards or their representatives are requested to attend to answer any points raised by AGMA Council members about their authorities.

AGMA Council meets quarterly, usually in June, September, December and March. A summary of key decisions taken at each Executive is circulated to AGMA Council members each month.

The AGM of the Association

This is normally held in June on the same day as the AGMA Executive and Council.

The AGM is attended by both Executive members and members of AGMA Council. However, only the 10 Executive members may vote at an AGM as they represent the members (i.e. the 10 District Councils) of the Association. Any constitutional changes proposed at an AGM must have a 2/3rd majority (i.e. 7/10 votes in favour).

It is possible for the AGMA Executive, the Leader of AGMA or three member Councils (via written request) to call 'special general meetings’ throughout the year under AGM arrangements.

Scrutiny Within AGMA

AGMA has a different function than individual local authorities, which means there are several strands to its scrutiny arrangements. These are:

  • Discussing matters of common interest but where power of decision rests with constituent Local Authorities. On these matters scrutiny will take place within Local Authorities.

  • Matters that are determined by AGMA. There are relatively few of these and Scrutiny (based on the AGMA constitution) would take place at AGMA Council.

  • An opportunity to question Joint Authorities. This takes place at AGMA Council. Chairs of joint boards are also co-opted on to the Executive.

  • Through any panel that the Council establishes because it wishes to enquire into matters in more detail.

  • Individual AGMA District’s Health Panels appoint members to the Greater Manchester Health Scrutiny Panel. Its proceedings are reported to AGMA Council for information.

Further Information

Address: Policy and Research Unit, Wigan Investment Centre, Waterside Drive, Wigan, WN3 5BA
Tel: (01942) 705725
Fax: (01942) 705728

AGMA Policy and Research Unit, Wigan Investment Centre, Waterside Drive, Wigan, WN3 5BA
Tel: 01942 705725 Email: info@agma.gov.uk