RE: Regulations laid in Parliament
There is not a single word of difference between the draft and what has been finalised, despite LGA, CfPS and individual councils making some substantial comments within a very tight timetable.
However, we now have powers for district councils to scrutinise LAAs. To reply to queries above, the recommendations to partners don't have to go via the county, but the county does have to be given information about them, which is fair enough as the LAA is county-wide with the county council having a lead/co-ordinating role. The sixth paragraph means that if a district produces a scrutiny report on the LAA, it has to send it to the county council and can require a response (similar to the way scrutiny can now require a response from its own council executive). The seventh paragraph gives powers for the district to make recommendations direct to partner organisations (having sent the report to the county council, but in no way conditional on the county's response) and require them to have regard to the recommendations. The exception is NHS partners, who are explicitly excluded. If a district scrutiny report made recommendations to the NHS on Local Area Agreement matters, you would have to send that to the county and seek their endorsement.
We still don't have regulations for joint committees in two tier areas. CLG is using the new Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill to amend the law on this, tying it in with a provision to create other types of joint scrutiny body. They could have dealt with this separately, or issued regulations on that now, and changed them later. But they didn't.