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ENVIRONMENT AND REGENERATION SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 13th June, 2017.

 

Present:  Councillor  V.J. Bailey (Chairman): Councillors Mrs. P. Drake, V.P. Driscoll, S.T. Edwards, G. John, Mrs. A. Moore, A. Robertson, Ms. S. Sivagnanam and S.T. Wiliam.

 

 

36           APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE –

 

This was received from Councillor M. Lloyd.

 

 

37            APPOINTMENT OF VICE-CHAIRMAN –

 

RESOLVED – T H A T Councillor M. Lloyd be appointed Vice-Chairman for the Municipal Year.

 

           

38            MINUTES – 

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 14th March, 2017 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

39            DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

40            INTRODUCTION TO THE ENVIRONMENT AND REGENERATION SCRUTINY COMMITTEE –

 

In presenting to the Committee, the Managing Director referred to a PowerPoint presentation, copies of which had been tabled at the meeting and provided an introduction to the Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee.  The Managing Director commenced by referring to the role and remit of the Committee and highlighted that the Committee was required to monitor the Corporate Plan objectives in ensuring that the Council encouraged and promoted economic regeneration and employment, sustainable development and the protection of the environment.  The scope and functions within its remit were reported as below: 

  • Economic development
  • Tourism
  • Countryside
  • Regeneration
  • Waste management and cleansing
  • Highways and engineering
  • Grounds maintenance
  • Transportation
  • Fleet management
  • Cleaning and security.

Following the introduction the Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer provided an overview of the key elements regarding meetings, agendas and the scrutiny function. 

The Committee was provided with an overview of the call-in process with Members being advised that this was a mechanism used whereby any individual Vale of Glamorgan Councillor could ask for the relevant Scrutiny Committee to review a decision made by the Cabinet.  Following the publishing of the Cabinet minutes, the call-in process contained a five day window in which decisions could be called in to the relevant Scrutiny Committee as contained within the report to Cabinet within 20 days of the request.

 

A further tool of use by Scrutiny Committee Members and any other Vale of Glamorgan Councillor was the Request for Consideration process, which provided the opportunity for any Member of the Council to put forward a Request for Consideration to a relevant Scrutiny Committee on a matter they wished to discuss.  Although the call-in process had to be approved by the Chairman, there was no right of veto with regard to requests for consideration these being managed by the agenda process. 

 

In addition, the Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer briefly outlined the Committee’s work programme and decision tracking function, together with the process of the opportunity afforded to members of the public to participate in Scrutiny Committee proceedings.  The opportunity to speak was available as long as individuals registered to speak and a copy of the Public Participation Guide was available on the Council’s website.  Committee was further informed that notwithstanding this process, there was a further process for expert witnesses or the public to address Committee on particular items where the Scrutiny Committee deemed it suitable to go outside the process and arrange for further evidence to be presented. 

 

The Managing Director subsequently informed the Scrutiny Committee of the key issues and challenges for the future and referred to the monitoring of performance against Outcome 2 (Objectives 3 and 4) of the Corporate Plan – An Environmentally and Responsible Vale.  The service specific focus was in relation to Regeneration, Planning, Visible Services and Transport.

 

With regard to challenges and future focus, the Managing Director referred to the City Deal and the Cardiff Capital Region, advising that this was a three way deal between ten Councils, Welsh Government (WG) and the UK Government to the value of £1.229 billion.  To date an agreed Heads of Terms Document had been signed by all Leaders and both Governments.  Details included investment in regional infrastructure, to co-ordinate transport planning and investment, support innovation and improving the digital network, develop a skilled workforce and tackle unemployment, support enterprise and business growth and housing development and regeneration.  With regard to investment, jobs and growth, there was also focus on the airport and St. Athan (the Enterprise Zone), J34 at Miskin and the need for improved linkages.  All this had been recognised in the Council’s LDP and in the background work undertaken for the City Deal. 

 

In referring to Barry regeneration, Marcus Goldsworthy Head of Service for Regeneration and Planning, advised on the initial focus for infrastructure with the town centre and Barry Island being important assets.  WG had awarded regeneration area status 2010-204 which provided in the region of £10m in grant and Barry was one of the seven areas in Wales to be designated for this support.  A more recently awarded grant had been under the scheme “Vibrant and Viable Places” and the Council was expecting to receive an announcement for “Vibrant and Viable Places 2” (VVP2) from 2018/19 onwards.  There had been a small amount of funding for a number of initiatives in 2017/18 and preparation for VVP2 was ongoing, although applications had not yet been invited. 

 

In referring to the Communities First scheme, this covered a third of Barry and was to end in March 2018.  For Rural Regeneration there was the Creative Rural Communities team which included partnership with businesses, community groups and other organisations.  This was largely funded by Europe and funding was committed until 2020.  It was noted that community capacity was key here and support groups to regenerate their own communities and a recently expanded approach had been developed for the urban areas.  The Creative Rural Communities team also supported the Reshaping Services agenda including asset transfers and the Strong Communities Fund. 

 

In referring to major projects, the Managing Director listed the following as future challenges and focus: 

  • Barry Town regeneration
  • Cowbridge Cattle Market site
  • Penarth Pier and Pavilion
  • St. Pauls’ Church
  • School site redevelopments
  • Barry Island and Nell’s Point
  • Five Mile Lane
  • Waste Transfer site, Atlantic Estate and Court Road.

For traffic growth and transport in the area, Emma Reed, Head of Visible Services and Transport, referred to the Regional Transport Authority, City Deal and the Metro. Major studies had commenced for the Dinas Powys Transport Network and the A48 to M4 Junction 34.  The Active Travel Law provided funding / promotion and an integrated network map approach.  In referring to asset and highway maintenance, she advised of the deteriorating highway infrastructure, stating that there was an estimate of over £2.5m per annum just to maintain the value of its highway asset.  The comprehensive LED lighting installation programme would also deliver savings in the context of energy price increases. 

 

In referring to waste management and the WG Blueprint, the Council had not yet achieved the 2025 recycling target of 70% but had achieved 65%.  In referring to budget pressures, Committee was informed that this would affect frontline services to the point where the Council could no longer meet its statutory duties in a number of areas.  The Council was keen to increase income generation with the key element being to avoid front line services being reduced and to secure competition regionally and nationally for investment and financial assistance in a number of key areas, including regeneration and infrastructure. 

 

Following the presentation there were a number of Member queries as below: 

  • Was it the intention of the Council to replace all the street lights?  In response the Head of Service advised that a decision had been made to replace all the lighting to LED although there were some issues with ornamental lighting in some areas.  For those, the Council would be looking to replace as a second phase respecting where feasible the ornamental lighting.  Reference was also made to the detailed and long procurement that had to be undertaken in presenting this programme.
  • Following a query regarding fly tipping, it was confirmed that for the Vale this was not currently an issue, with Members being advised that any future changes would be reflected in the performance reports that are regularly presented to Committee.
  • In response to a query in respect of enforcement within the partnership agreement with 3GS, it was noted that regular updates on performance would be reported to Committee where challenge and scrutiny of the issues could be undertaken.
  • The Reshaping Services agenda was also moving to a neighbourhood approach and further information on this would be reflected in the budget monitoring reports to be presented to future Scrutiny meetings.

The Managing Director concluded by advising Committee that the key issue for the Council was how it balanced the strategic approach of regional collaboration and City Deal with the need for local democracy and accountability.

 

Following the presentation, it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the officers be thanked for a comprehensive presentation and the presentation be noted and uploaded to the website.

 

Reason for decision

 

In recognition of the role of Scrutiny and the challenges and issues for the service areas.

 

 

41            4TH QUARTER SCRUTINY DECISION TRACKING OF RECOMMENDATIONS AND PROPOSED WORK PROGRAMME SCHEDULE 2017/18 (MD) –

 

The Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer presented the report, the purpose of which was to advise Members of progress in relation to Scrutiny Committee’s recommendations and to confirm the work programme schedule for the Scrutiny Committee for 2017/18.  Attached at Appendix A was the Committee’s 4th Quarter decision tracking of recommendations for January to March, whilst Appendix B referred to the Committee’s 3rd Quarter decision tracking for October to December 2016.  Appendix C to the report contained the Committee’s work programme schedule for 2017/18. 

 

The Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer stated that the work programme schedule  provided a breakdown of reports anticipated to be considered by the Committee over the forthcoming months together with any additional reports e.g. call-in, Requests for Consideration and reports requested by the Scrutiny Committee to be reported when available.  Members were requested to confirm approval of the Committee’s work programme, it being noted that the schedule was a proposed list of items for consideration and may be subject to change depending upon prevailing circumstances. 

 

In considering the report, the Chairman referred to suggestions for inclusion within the programme, requesting that a report in relation to broad band in the rural areas to support the local economy be considered by the Committee together with a report on Vibrant and Viable Places 2 be presented.  The Chairman also referred to a possible opportunity at the Vale Show in August 2017 for a business breakfast to be arranged to consider issues surrounding the City Deal which he had previously discussed with the Managing Director and who in response advised that as infrastructure investment and the City Deal go hand in hand these could be dealt with together with a view to bringing a feedback report following the Vale Show to the Committee in the autumn.

 

With regard to Vibrant and Viable Places 2, the Head of Service stated that the department was awaiting information from WG but that it could be possible to bring a report to Committee in November regarding the key elements for delivery.  Following discussion in respect of traffic issues in Dinas Powys Committee was informed that  Cabinet was due to be presented with a report re “Dinas Powys bypass” in the next few months, which it was suggested be also referred to the Scrutiny Committee for consideration.  A Member also requested that the Reshaping Services issues in relation to Visible Services be brought to Scrutiny Committee for consideration, as a priority, particularly in relation to the impact in respect of the Parks and Grounds Maintenance Services. 

 

Having fully considered the report, it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the recommendations deemed as completed as outlined below be accepted:

 

14 February 2017

Min. No. 801 – Barry   Island Beach Huts (REF) – Recommended

(1)   That   Cabinet be requested to include in the terms of hire that all hirers must   ensure that the beach huts are kept in a clean and tidy condition.

(2)   That consideration   be given to a business improvement bid being submitted to encourage the   retail offer at the site as outlined in the above minute.

(4)   That the   Beach Huts Rental Policy for 2017/18, as attached at Appendix 5 to the   report, be endorsed and referred to Cabinet for approval.

(1&2)   Cabinet, on 20th March, 2017   resolved –

[1]   That the   contents of the report be noted.

[2]   That the issue   of the Business Improvement District Proposal would be a matter for the   traders of Barry Island themselves.

(Min.   No. C3502 refers)

Completed

(4)   Cabinet, on 3rd   April, 2017 resolved –

[1]   That the Beach   Huts Policy for 2017/18 be endorsed.

(Min.   No. C3514 refers)

Completed

Min.   No. 802 – Flood Alleviation Schemes Update – Recommended   that Committee receives a further update report later in the Municipal year   and that any lessons learned from any of the schemes be included in that   report, for future consideration.

Added   to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 804 – Visible   Services and Transport – Proposed Fees and Charges for 2017/2018 (REF) – Recommended

(1)   That the charging and fee proposals for   Visible Services and Transport as set out at Appendices 1, 2 and 3 of the   report be agreed for 2017/18. 

(2)   That, notwithstanding recommendation (1)   above, a full review of all fees and charges be undertaken as outlined within   the comments above, having particular regard to what the market would be   prepared to bear.

(3)   That prior to consideration by Cabinet,   the review referred to in Resolution (2) above be also referred to the   Scrutiny Committee for consideration. 

(4)   That the recommendations above be referred   to Cabinet for consideration and approval.

(1)   See below under (4)

(Min.   No. C3456 refers)

Completed

(2)   Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

(3)   Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

(4)   Cabinet, on 6th February, 2017   resolved -

[1]   That the   charging and fee proposals for Visible Services and Transport as set out in   the report and attached at Appendices 1 and 4 to the report be approved.

[2]   That the   charging and fee proposals for Visible Services and Transport as set out in   the report and attached at Appendices 2 and 3 to the report be approved.

[3]   That the report be referred to Scrutiny   Committee (Environment and Regeneration) for consideration.

(Min.   No. C3456 refers)

 

Cabinet,   on 20th March, 2017 resolved –

[1]   That the contents of the report be noted

[2]   That as the Wales Audit Office required   each Local Authority to have a Corporate Financial Recovery Policy a report   would be produced in due course which would consider the fine balance between   cost recovery and the desired outcomes of services.

(Min.   No. C3501 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 806 – Traffic   Management Task and Finish Group of the Scrutiny Committee – Update on   Actions Undertaken (DEH) – Recommended

(1)   That the Scrutiny Committee (Homes and   Safe Communities) be requested to consider receiving an Emergency Services   report on a regular basis to inform Members.

(3)   That a further update report on delivery   of the Transport Task and Finish Group Implementation Plan as part of the   Local Transport Plan Update Report be presented to the Committee in February   2018.

(1)   Homes and Safe Communities Scrutiny   Committee, on 15th March, 2017, recommended that they receive six   monthly reports in relation to crime statistics in the Vale of Glamorgan and   Community Safety and that a police officer be requested to attend once a year   to present to the Committee in regard to this.

(Min   No 929 refers)

Completed

(3)   Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 807 – 3rd   Quarter Scrutiny Decision Tracking of Recommendations and Updated Work   Programme Schedule 2016/17 (MD) – Recommended

(2)   That the updated work programme shown at   Appendix B be approved and uploaded to the Council’s website.

Uploaded   to the Council’s website.

Completed

14 March 2017

Min. No. 916 –   Presentation – Highways Resurfacing including Three Year Plan – Recommended That the   three year programme report be brought to the Scrutiny Committee for   consideration on an annual basis prior to consideration by Cabinet and that   the Operational Plan also include the methodology on how to assess roads.

Added   to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 917 – Reshaping   Services: New Business Model for Visible Services and Transport (REF) – Recommended

(2)   That a future report be presented in due   course outlining the proposals for further savings and any significant   changes to the proposals contained in the Reshaping Services Business Model   for Visible Services and Transport.

(3)   That the above recommendations be referred   to Cabinet.

[(1)   That the proposals for changes to the   Visible Services and Transport Division, as outlined in the report and   presented to Committee, be endorsed.]

(2)  Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

(3)   Cabinet, on 24th April, 2017,   noted the contents of the report.

(Min.   No. C3535 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 923 – Vale of   Glamorgan Well-Being Objectives and Improvement Plan Part 1 (Improvement   Objectives 2017/18) (MD) – Recommended

(1)   That Cabinet be informed that the Scrutiny   Committee endorsed the proposed approach to discharging the Council’s duties   to publish Well-being and Improvement Objectives under the Local Government   (Wales) Measure 2009 and the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act   2015.

(2)   That Cabinet be informed that the Scrutiny   Committee endorsed the Corporate Plan Well-being Objectives as the Council’s   Well-being Objectives for the purposes of the Well-being of Future Generations   (Wales) Act 2015.

(3)   That Cabinet be informed that the Scrutiny   Committee endorsed the Corporate Plan Well-being Objectives and associated   priority actions for 2017/18 as the Council’s Improvement Objectives for   2017/18.

Scrutiny   Committee’s comments forwarded to IDT for inclusion into a report to Cabinet   on 3rd April, 2017.

Cabinet,   on 3rd April, 2017 noted and accepted the comments and   recommendations made by each of the Scrutiny Committees as outlined in   paragraphs 21-26 of the report and resolved

[1]   That the Corporate Plan Well-being   Objectives be endorsed as the Council’s Well-being Objectives for the   purposes of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

[2]   That the Corporate Plan Well-being   Objectives and associated priority actions for 2017/18 be endorsed as the   Council’s Improvement Objectives for 2017/18.

(Min.   No. C3519 refers)

Completed

11 October 2016 

Min. No. 441 – New   Arrangements for Waste Collection in the Vale – Recommended That a   further update report on the new arrangements be presented to the Committee   in due course.

Added   to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 443 – Quarter 1   (2016-17) Performance Report: An Environmentally Responsible and Prosperous   Vale (MD) – Recommended

(2)   That the outstanding reports as referred   to above and as detailed within the Committee’s Work Programme be scheduled   to be presented.

[Road resurfacing, Beach Huts Policy   progress report]

Added   to work programme schedule.

Completed

08 November 2016

Min. No. 507 – Sense of   Place Led Regeneration in Barry (REF) – Recommended

(1)   That the comments of the Scrutiny   Committee be referred to Cabinet and to the Place Board when established in   order that they can consider the comments of the Scrutiny Committee when   taking forward the Sense of Place project.

Cabinet,   on 12th December, 2016, noted the contents of the report.

(Min.   No. C3390 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 508 – Town   Centre Framework – Implementation Update (REF) – Recommended

(2)   That further updates continue to be presented   to the Scrutiny Committee in due course.

Added   to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 509 – Civil   Parking Enforcement and Town Centre Car Parking Update (REF) – RECOMMENDED to Cabinet   – That a root and branch review of the current agreement with Bridgend   Council be undertaken in order to ascertain whether the Vale Council is   receiving value for money to include the provision of further data on   enforcement undertaken and the cost of the service.

Cabinet,   on 12th December, 2016, noted the contents of the report and   resolved that a further report be brought back to Cabinet in due course.

(Min.   No. C3391 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 510 – 2nd   Quarter Scrutiny Decision Tracking of Recommendations and Updated Work   Programme Schedule 2016/17 (MD) – Recommended

(3)   That the Forward Work Programme schedule   at Appendix C be amended as outlined above and uploaded to the Council’s   website.

[Removal of the Request   for Consideration regarding Waste Collection Arrangements; the resurfacing   report due to be presented to the December meeting to  include details of the three-year plan and   queried the current status of the Merrie Harrier/ Llandough Traffic Model.]

Uploaded   to the Council’s website.

Completed

06 December 2016

Min. No. 579 – Initial   Capital Programme Proposals 2017/18 (DEH) – Recommended

(1)   That a joint letter from the Chairmen of   the Environment and Regeneration and Corporate Performance and Resources   Scrutiny Committees be forwarded to Welsh Government calling for a fund to be   established for infrastructure issues, in particular for road and pavement   resurfacing.

Comments   were referred to and noted by the Corporate Performance and Resources   Scrutiny at its meeting on 13th December, 2016.

(Min.   No. 617 refers)

A   joint letter from the Chairman of the Environment and Regeneration and   Corporate Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committees had been completed   and would be forwarded to Welsh Government.

Completed

 

(2)       T H A T the work programme be amended to include the reports as outlined above and uploaded to the Council’s website.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To maintain effective tracking of the Committee’s recommendations.

 

(2)       In view of the suggestions made at the meeting and for information.

 

 

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