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CABINET

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 21st September, 2011.

 

Present: Councillor G.C. Kemp (Chairman); Councillor T.H. Jarvie (Vice-Chairman); Councillors Mrs. J.E. Charles, P. Church, G.A. Cox, A.M. Ernest, A.D. Hampton, H.J.W. James, R.L. Traherne and Mrs. D.M. Turner.

 

Also present: Councillors R.F. Curtis, N.P. Hodges and Mrs. M. Randall.

 

 

C1423                        MINUTES -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 7th September, 2011 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

C1424                        DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

Councillor A.M. Ernest declared an interest in Agenda Item No. 21 - Job Evaluation / Equal Pay in that he was a relative of a member of staff and vacated the room during consideration of the matter.

 

 

C1425                        CORPORATE PARENTING PANEL -

 

The matter was withdrawn.

 

 

C1426                        HOMELESSNESS LEASING SCHEME (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) had, on 7th September 2011, been updated on the progress and success of the Homelessness Leasing Scheme and a proposal to expand the Scheme in excess of the original 10 properties identified within the pilot.  The 10 Hafod Housing Association properties in the Scheme were mainly single person accommodation and had been filled continuously.  Attention was drawn to a likely increase in homelessness among single people and it was considered that an increase in the provision of leased properties to 30 would immediately give an additional 20 spaces which would also reduce the need to utilise Bed and Breakfast accommodation.  It had also been considered helpful to build into that approval the flexibility to add additional properties onto the Scheme should demand require it. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T an increase to the number of properties on the Scheme from 10 to 30 be approved, together with the flexibility to add additional properties in the future should the Scheme continue its success and demand continued.

 

Reason for decision

 

To ensure that the Scheme can expand to meet identified needs.

 

 

C1427                        INTRODUCTION OF LOCAL LETTING POLICY - AWBERY HOUSE, BARRY (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) had, on 7th September 2011, considered the above and referred the matter to Cabinet for approval.  The Committee had been informed that Housing Officers, in discussions with the local community and residents groups, had been asked to consider the introduction of such a policy in respect of Awbery House, the thrust of which would be to stabilise the community through an age-related restriction.  Members were informed of the exercise undertaken in profiling the existing tenants at Awbery House and the outcome of an analysis of the crime and anti social behaviour in that area.  Two tenants groups in the area had been consulted already on the proposals and had been positive about the proposed lettings criteria.  It had been recognised that the Housing Department would need to devote resources to ensure more intensive management of the estate and more of a visible presence for the duration of the Local Lettings Policy to assist in supporting tenants and that the introduction of the Policy in itself would not solve all the problems currently being experienced.  The introduction of age-related criteria in regard to tenancies was not unique in the Vale and experience from earlier de-designation schemes had shown that persons aged 40 and over co-existed better with older tenants than tenants under the age of 40.  A copy of the proposed policy was appended to the report.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the introduction of a Local Lettings Policy in respect of Awbery House, Barry be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To create a stable and sustainable community within the flats at Awbery House.

 

 

C1428                        MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL AND THE CITY AND COUNTY OF SWANSEA COUNCIL (L) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

The views of Cabinet were sought on entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Swansea Council to facilitate opportunities for collaborative working in the development and provision of Oracle based IT systems.  A copy of the proposed MoU was appended to the report.  This Council had made a significant investment in implementing and developing the Oracle eBusiness of applications, that investment having delivered significant business benefits to both Authorities.  Continuing to support, maintain and develop existing and future functionality, however, required a significant and on-going cost.  Given the challenge laid down to all public bodies to seek opportunities to collaborate on future service delivery with a view to making savings, Members considered that the similarities with both Oracle eBusiness Suite implementations and the respective development plans provided an opportunity to consider collaboration in more detail.  Working within the proposed MoU would allow both Authorities to explore mutual benefits, risks, issues and potential costs of a future shared Oracle eBusiness Suite delivery and the applicability of such a delivery model to the wider Welsh Public Sector. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the MoU as appended to the report be adopted.

 

Reason for decision

 

So that a structured approach to collaborative working on Oracle systems between the two Councils can be facilitated.

 

 

C1429                        IMPROVEMENT PLAN 2011/12 (L) (SCRUTINY - ALL) -

 

The Plan as appended to the report incorporated information published in the Council’s Corporate Plan, departmental service plans and performance information (data and text) providing a look back over 2010/11.  The performance information would be used by the Wales Audit Office to assess the Council’s ability to improve and, therefore, was of critical importance to the reputation of the Council.  Members noted that the Plan was virtually completed, although some performance information was subject to change by the Local Government Data Unit.  Final proof reading and pagination also required to be completed. 

 

Approval of the Plan was a matter for Council.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the Improvement Plan for 2011/12 be endorsed.

 

(2)       T H A T the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader, be authorised to finalise the Plan.

 

(3)       T H A T the final Plan be referred to Council for approval.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To ensure that actions are taken to improve services.

 

(2&3)  To agree the Plan for external audit within required timescales.

 

 

C1430                        REVIEW OF POLLING DISTRICTS, POLLING PLACES AND POLLING STATIONS (RO / CX) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

In December 2010 Cabinet had resolved that the Chief Executive be authorised to carry out a review of polling districts, polling places and polling stations in consultation with relevant stakeholders and that a report be submitted to Full Council following completion of the review (Minute No. C1143).  The review had commenced in June 2011.  In addition to the key statutory requirements, the aims of the review were:

 

·                    all electors in the Vale of Glamorgan have such reasonable facilities for voting as are practical in the circumstances taking account of cost

·                    polling places are suitable for use by all sections of the community

·                    so far as is reasonable and practicable, the polling places in the Vale of Glamorgan are accessible to all electors, including those who are disabled

·                    polling places are located in an area of the corresponding polling district unless special circumstances make it desirable to designate an area that is wholly or partly outside the polling district.

 

In order to meet the aims of the review, criteria for assessing each polling place had been drawn up.  It was considered that generally existing arrangements worked well from a voter perspective as supported by a recent on-line questionnaire, a more detailed analysis of which was appended to the report.  Overall, few changes were consequently proposed as shown in Appendix 3 to the report (as amended by paragraph 13) for a number of reasons as indicated in paragraph 9 of the report.  Details were also appended to the report of the various representations received.

 

Supplementary information in relation to a polling station at Sully was tabled together with comments from Dinas Powys Community Council regarding an additional access to the Murchfield Community Hall.  Having had regard to the issues raised in relation to the polling station at Sully (NBO), Members agreed that the station should be located at Falcon Grove, Lavernock Park and not as indicated in Appendix 3 of the report.

 

Cabinet had previously resolved that a report be submitted to Full Council following completion of the review. 

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the review as amended above be endorsed and referred to Full Council for approval.

 

Reason for decision

 

To progress the statutory review of polling districts, polling places and polling stations as identified in Section 18C and Schedule A1 of the Representation of the People Act 1983. 

 

 

C1431                        FOOD LAW ENFORCEMENT PLAN 2011/12 (LPP) (SCRUTINY - HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) -

 

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) required the Council to produce a plan for its Food Law Enforcement work.  The Food Law Enforcement Plan, as appended to the report, covered all aspects of food safety, food standards and animal feed enforcement work and facilitated comparisons of performance between local authorities.  Such plans provided the basis on which all local authorities were monitored and audited by the FSA.  Should the FSA be dissatisfied with the services being delivered by local authorities, it had the powers to transfer the relevant responsibilities to another authority.  Members were informed that local authorities now had the flexibility to decide locally whether or not Food Law Enforcement Service Plans should be approved by Members of a senior officer.  In order to expedite the decision-making process, it was proposed that in future the Cabinet Member for Legal and Public Protection be given delegated authority to approve the Plan in consultation with the Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the Food Law Enforcement Service Plan as appended to the report be approved.

 

(2)       T H A T the Cabinet Member for Legal and Public Protection, in consultation with the Director for Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services, be given delegated authority to approve future Food Law Enforcement Plans.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To ensure the Council is meeting its statutory obligations in respect of food safety and food standards.

 

(2)       To speed up the decision-making process in relation to the approval of Food Law Enforcement Plans.

 

 

C1432                        LEAD OFFICER ANIMAL FEEDING STUFFS ENFORCEMENT - SHARED SERVICE ARRANGEMENT WITH RHONDDA CYNON TAFF COUNTY BOROUGH COUNCIL (LPP) (SCRUTINY - HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) -

 

Approval was sought to implement a temporary shared service arrangement for Lead Officer Animal Feeding Stuffs with Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council for an initial period of up to one year.  The Feed Law Enforcement Code of Practice, as published by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), set out instructions and criteria to which local authorities should take note when enforcing animal feed law.  That Code of Practice set out the qualifications and experience that staff were required to possess in order to undertake Feed Law Enforcement duties.  No officer within this Council would be suitably qualified to undertake those duties by the deadline set of 29th December 2011.  The Code of Practice required the Council to identify a Lead Officer.

 

The Code of Practice stated that officers might be appointed to enforce feed law requirements by more than one authority subject to the necessary authorisations being in place.  It also stated that where a local authority’s feed law responsibilities were small (i.e. in the number of feed business establishments in their area) the Lead Officer could be a suitably qualified and experienced officer employed by another authority.  Whilst an initial approach had been made to Bridgend Council, it was only with the approach to Rhondda Cynon Taff Council (RCT) where a competent Lead Officer was identified.  RCT had agreed, on an interim basis, to share the resource on a cost recovery basis.  It was anticipated that when staff within this Council achieved the necessary qualifications and competencies, subject to any other service reconfigurations or shared service arrangements being put in place, the Lead Officer role would be delivered in-house. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services be authorised to negotiate and enter into a temporary arrangement with Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council to share the position of Lead Officer for Animal Feeding Stuffs for an initial period of up to one year with effect from 1st October 2011.

 

(2)       T H A T the Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services exercise his delegated powers to authorise a suitably qualified and competent officer employed by Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council to undertake the Lead Officer role for Animal Feeding Stuffs in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To ensure the Council complies with The Feed Law Enforcement Code of Practice (Great Britain) issued under The Official Feed and Food Controls (Wales) Regulations.

 

(2)       To ensure the Lead Officer for Animal Feed Stuffs has the necessary authorisation to discharge his duties.

 

 

C1433                        APPOINTMENT OF ADDITIONAL PUBLIC / AGRICULTURAL ANALYST (LPP) (SCRUTINY - HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) -

 

Alistair Low of Cardiff Scientific Services had been appointed as the Council’s Public and Agricultural Analyst in March 2011.  Whilst it was anticipated that Cardiff Scientific Services would continue to be the main Public Analyst provider to the Council, it was proposed that a back up Public Analyst be appointed to provide additional resilience during a food safety incident and increase the range of food / feeding stuffs tests which could be accessed by the Council.  Of the 31 Public Analyst laboratories in the UK, only Cardiff Scientific Services and Minton Treharne and Davies were located within Wales.  It was noted that Minton Treharne and Davies Ltd. undertook the analysis of food and agricultural samples and were authorised by other local authorities in Wales to carry out that work.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T John Anthony Robinson of Minton Treharne and Davies Ltd. be appointed as a Public / Agricultural Analyst for the Council under the Food Safety Act 1990 and Agriculture Act 1970.

 

(2)       T H A T Martin Brian Dalling and Susanne Brookes, both of Minton Treharne and Davies Ltd., be appointed as Deputy Public / Agricultural Analysts for the Council under the Food Safety Act 1990 and the Agriculture Act 1970.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To ensure the Council’s compliance with the above legislation.

 

(2)       To provide additional service resilience.

 

 

C1434                        CORPORATE OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY (HRE) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

The Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974 required employers to set out a Statement of Policy for Health and Safety.  The Policy appended to the report set out the Council’s general approach and objectives and the arrangements in place for managing health and safety.  It demonstrated the Council’s commitment to health and safety and described how the Council would monitor and implement health and safety controls.  The main change to the Policy was the inclusion of a specific “Arrangements” section which clearly stated how the Council would deal with certain health and safety topics and could be used to assist in monitoring and reviewing health and safety performance.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the Policy as appended to the report be approved and its implementation across the Council endorsed so that it could become embedded into the culture of the organisation.

 

Reason for decision

 

To assist the Council in meeting its duties under the Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974 and to ensure that health and safety was effectively managed across the whole Council. 

 

 

C1435                        CORPORATE OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY STRATEGY 2011-16 (HRE) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

The Council’s previous strategy had been reviewed in light of the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) “Strategy for Health and Safety in Great Britain”.  The revised Strategy concentrated on the main goals of the HSE’s new strategy, namely strong leadership, competence, worker involvement, creating healthier and safer workplaces and setting priorities.  It also indicated how those goals would be achieved. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the Strategy as appended to the report be approved for immediate adoption and promoted to staff using all internal communication channels.

 

Reason for decision


To assist the Council in meetings its duty under the Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974 and to ensure it is brought to the attention of all staff.

 

 

C1436                        HEALTH AND SAFETY ANNUAL REPORT 2010/11 (HRE) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Whilst the law required the Council to monitor arrangements for controlling health and safety risks, it did not require the inclusion of health and safety information in any published reports.  The view was taken that it was good practice, however, to do so and illustrated the Council’s appreciation of the need to monitor and improve health and safety performance.  The Annual Report, as appended to the report, measured the Council’s progress against its Strategy and identified health and safety priorities for the forthcoming year.  It was noted that future annual reports would allow comparisons to be made to previous years in order to ensure continuous improvement. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the content of the Annual Report be endorsed and the priorities for 2011/12 supported.

 

Reason for decision

 

To show that the Council appreciates the need to monitor and improve health and safety performance.

 

 

C1437                        LONE WORKING POLICY (HRE) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Approval was sought to adopt the new Lone Working Policy as appended to the report.  The Policy provided example areas of work where lone working activities took place as part of the Council’s undertakings and clearly outlined how such activities should be managed.  The Policy also provided guidance for managers / supervisors on risk assessing lone working activities.  The adoption of the Policy would ensure risks associated with lone working were identified, assessed, controlled and appropriate training provided. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the Policy as appended to the report be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To assist the Council in meetings its duties under the Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974.

 

 

C1438                        SUPPORTING PEOPLE OPERATIONAL PLAN 2011/12 - 2012/13 (HCS) (SCRUTINY - HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) -

 

All Councils were required to develop an annual Supporting People Operational Plan (SPOP) for the delivery of supported accommodation services.  Welsh Government guidance specified the systems and processes that each Council must adopt for the development of its SPOP and the fact that Plans must be submitted to WG by 30th September 2011. 

 

The Executive summary of the report was appended to the report.  The main issues in respect of the development and provision of supported accommodation services were outlined within the report as summarised below.  An assessment of the support needs of 6,608 individuals who had contacted the Housing Division and other voluntary and statutory agencies had identified the most important serious issues self selected by clients as homelessness / potential homelessness, mental health, physical mobility, domestic abuse and learning difficulties.  The current supply of services in the Vale showed that there were high levels of supported accommodation for older people and moderate numbers for people with learning difficulties, mental health issues, and clients who were young and vulnerable.  There were, however, lower levels of supported accommodation specifically for clients with a chronic illness, single parents and ex-offenders.  The Supporting People Planning Group had determined as a priority the need to develop, amongst others, a second Extra Care Scheme for clients which a physical mobility issue, mental health issues, learning difficulties, chronic illness or a combination of some or all of those problems.  There was also a priority to support the expansion of the Telecare service and a need to develop floating support and supported housing for clients of different ages jointly funded with community care for clients with various support and care needs.  The same Group also determined that there was a priority to develop supported accommodation for clients under the age of 35 who were homeless due to the housing benefit changes being introduced, those with alcohol and drug issues, those who were young and vulnerable and those who had suffered or were in danger of suffering from domestic abuse together with additional floating support provision for various client groups across all tenures. 

 

Attention was drawn to the fact that the total annual revenue costs of the new support services identified in the SPOP was estimated at £1.7m., it being noted that there would also be capital funding requirements for some of the projects.  It was, therefore, evident that there was a mismatch in the Vale in terms of available resources which Housing Services continued to try to address with partners and the Welsh Government.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the Supporting People Operational Plan 2011/12 - 2012/13 be approved.

 

(2)       T H A T the use of the urgency decision procedure under Article 13 of the Council’s Constitution be agreed to enable the SPOP to be submitted to the Welsh Government by 30th September 2011.

 

(3)       T H A T the report be referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection).

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To ensure the Council complies with the timetable requirements of the WG.

 

(2)       To meet the WG deadline.

 

(3)       For information.

 

 

 

 

 

C1439                        CONSULTATION ON PROPOSED EMPTY HOMES STRATEGY 2012-17 (HCS) (SCRUTINY - HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) -

 

The Council’s first Empty Homes Strategy was appended to the report.  Following a review of the process for dealing with empty homes, it had been concluded that a more effective and strategic approach should be developed to include the development of an Empty Homes Strategy, new procedural guidance on dealing with empty homes and guidance on the use and application on Empty Dwelling Management Orders. 

 

The proposed Strategy as appended to the report set out the Council’s plans to bring empty homes back into use over the next five years, outlining a co-ordinated proactive approach to tackling empty homes in partnership with relevant Council departments and stakeholders.  Attention was drawn to the fact that empty homes often represented a wasted resource and lost opportunity, posing problems for the Council, neighbours and the environment amongst other considerations.  The aims of the draft Strategy were to monitor empty homes, provide advice, assistance and guidance to landlords and property owners, reduce the negative effect of empty homes in communities, reduce the number of empty homes, return empty homes to use and promote the empty homes initiative.  It was noted that the Strategy had been developed in partnership by the Council’s Public Sector Housing, Public Protection, Legal, Council Tax, Planning and Development Control Department and the Council’s partner Registered Social Landlords.  Attention was then drawn to a typographical error contained on page 20 of the draft Strategy relating to the percentage of empty homes in relation to St. Athan, Cowbridge and Penarth.  Members agreed that the narrative should be amended to read St. Brides Major, St. Athan and Cowbridge (all 1.7%) and Penarth (1.6%). 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T consultation be undertaken on the draft Empty Homes Strategy 2012-17 as amended to reflect the matter referred to above.

 

(2)       T H A T the amended report be referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection).

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To obtain feedback from Council stakeholders, interested bodies and the public.

 

(2)       For information.

 

 

 

C1440                        FIVE MILE LANE HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENT SCHEME UPDATE (VBS) (SCRUTINY - ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Members were informed of progress on the above Scheme, details pertaining to the expenditure and activities on the project to date being contained within the report as summarised below: 

 

·                    In 2007/08 the Council submitted a bid for funding in the sum of £325k. and subsequently received up to £250k. as a Principal Road Grant from WAG to advance the Scheme.  £160k. of the funding was utilised. 

 

·                    In 2008/09, £890k. of funding was bid for and provided by WAG, only £49k. being spent.  ARUP Consultants had been commissioned by the Council to include the Five Mile Lane traffic study as part of a wider study but the data did not become available until July 2009.  Other commissions were, however, undertaken to gather ecological and environmental data. 

·                    Whilst a bid for £765k. was made for the financial year 2009/10, only £235k. was allocated to continue with ecological studies, environmental investigations and options appraisal for further improvements at Five Mile Lane.  The in-house design team also developed a number of potential highway alignment options with side road accesses.  An Interim Scheme Assessment Report (ISAR) was drafted for consideration by the Statutory Environmental Bodies (SEB) for their early comments on the proposed alignment assessments which would in turn inform the Stage 2 Environmental Assessment Studies and detailed design thus reducing any abortive work.  The SEBs commented positively on the depth and breadth of the studies undertaken to date and a number of minor additional studies were identified which would be valuable if completed prior to the ISAR being finalised and a Stage 2 Environmental Assessment Brief being prepared.  The total expenditure for 2009/10 was approximately £169k. 

·                    The bid for 2010/11 was £495k. of which £400k. was subsequently approved by WAG.  The grant approval contained the additional condition that the scheme development should follow the requirements of the WeITAG process and, to comply with that requirement, a number of additional activities had to be programmed and commissioned during the year.  Expenditure totalled £196k. 

 

Members were then informed that despite numerous contact, no indication yet been received from the Welsh Government as to future funding for the Scheme, including requests for further clarification as recently as June 2011.  The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) had expressed concern in February 2011 with the progress on the project and the potential loss of WG grant.  It was noted that the funding made available by WG on a year by year basis was often significantly less than the amount bid for.  As a consequence the schedule of work to be undertaken had to be amended to reflect the available budget and that, coupled with significant delays in receiving the critical traffic data report meant that the Scheme had not progressed during the 2007/08 to 2010/11 financial years as originally planned.  The amount of potential funding awarded but not utilised amounted to £1,158,000.  The £574,000 which had been currently spent and funded to the Council by WG would not be required to be repaid even if the Scheme did not ultimately proceed. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the progress made on the Five Mile Lane Highway Improvement Scheme to date be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the report be forwarded to the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources).

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       For information.

 

(2)       To comply with a request from the Scrutiny Committee for a progress report on the project.

 

 

C1441                        MATTERS WHICH THE CHAIRMAN HAD DECIDED WERE URGENT -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the following matters which the Chairman had decided were urgent for the reason given beneath the minute headings be considered.

 

 

C1442                        APPOINTMENT OF LOCAL AUTHORITY GOVERNORS ADVISORY PANEL -

Urgent by reason of the need to ensure that Governors are appointed in time for the Schools’ meeting on 3rd October, 2011

 

The following minutes of the meeting held on 20th September, 2011 were submitted:

 

 

Present:  Councillor A.D. Hampton (Chairman); Councillors F.T. Johnson, G.C. Kemp (Substitute for Mrs. K.A. Kemp) and S.T. Wiliam (Substitute for N.P. Hodges).

 

 

(a)       Apologies for absence -

 

These were received from Councillors N.P. Hodges, Mrs. K.A. Kemp and Mrs. M. Gibbs (Vale Governors Association).

 

 

 

(b)       Declarations of Interest -

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

(c)        Guidance Regarding the Appointment Process -

 

The guidance notes were attached as an Appendix to the report and Members were informed that the extraordinary meeting of the Panel had been scheduled to consider four LA Governor vacancies for the new Federated Governing Body of Ysgol Sant Baruc and Ysgol Nant Talwg.

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T the guidance notes regarding the appointment process be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T it be noted that Members were precluded from taking part in the consideration of vacancies at schools where they themselves were a governor or they knew the applicant.  Substitutes were permitted in those cases.

 

(3)       T H A T it be noted that there was no entitlement in the procedure for other Members of the Council to attend meetings of the Panel.

 

 

(d)       Exclusion of Press and Public -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 4 of Schedule 12A (as amended) of the Act, the relevant paragraphs of the Schedule being referred to in brackets after the minute heading.

 

 

(e)       Applications for the Appointment of Current Local Authority Governor Vacancies at Ysgol Sant Baruc and Ysgol Nant Talwg (Exempt Information - Paragraph 12) -

 

The Panel, having considered the criteria for the appointment of LA Governors and the applications received

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the following appointments be made for the four LA Governor vacancies:

 

 

 

 

School

Appointment

New Federated Governing Body Ysgol Sant Baruc and Ysgol Nant Talwg

Mrs. S.H. Dodd

 

Councillor N.P. Hodges

 

Mrs. S.A. Hodges

 

Mrs. G. Griffith

 

Attention was drawn to the fact that Councillor Ms. V.L. Ellis wished her apologies for absence for the above meeting to be recorded. 

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the recommendations be adopted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To have regard to the recommendations of the Advisory Panel.

 

 

C1443                        RESPONDING TO THE BRITISH RED CROSS DECISION TO STOP PROVIDING DAY CARE SERVICES IN THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN (SCS) (SCRUTINY - SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH) -

Urgent by reason of the need to ensure service continuity

 

The British Red Cross had notified the Director of Social Services that it would cease providing the Barry Island day service from 31st October, 2011 and the St. Athan day service from 31st March, 2012, the Red Cross indicating that the provision of day services did not fit in with the organisation’s strategic plans. 

 

It was recognised that the support provided to older people by the Red Cross was much valued.  Staff from both organisations had met regularly to consider options for developing the services but it was accepted that the financial context was exceptionally challenging.  As regards the Barry Island day centre, when funding from the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board ceased in March 2010 the centre’s longer term sustainability was threatened.  To ensure service continuity, the Social Services Directorate agreed to pay an increased daily charge per service user from April 2011 to support the Red Cross in meeting the costs of providing the service.  It was anticipated that the work done to reconfigure the service at Rondel House and the availability of some capacity within the block contract at the Gathering Place would mean that the needs of the existing assessed service users attending Barry Island could be met within those two facilities.  It was noted that service users and their significant adult would be involved in the decision about which of the two facilities they would attend, the Directorate needing to ensure that appropriate choices had been made based upon needs and location.  Following completion of the transfer process, individual reviews would be undertaken to ensure that services continued to meet service user requirements.  Where self-funding clients were attending the Barry Island service, the Council would look to help them find suitable alternative day service provision.  Both the Council and the British Red Cross were working constructively together to manage the process of transferring service users from Barry Island to their new facility, further details relating to which were contained within the report.

 

A different strategy had been developed to manage the changes to the cessation of services in the Western Vale given that there was more time available to deal with the consequences and because of the different contractual arrangements for the Gathering Place.  The Council was in discussions with the Methodist Church about continuing the lease and, should that be successful, it was planned to run a competitive tendering exercise to ascertain if it was possible to contract the service at the current location to a suitable provider from 2nd April 2012.  Given the tight timescales involved with such a tendering exercise, the British Red Cross had indicated that it would be willing to continue providing the current service for a short fixed period of time beyond March 2012.  It was noted that if the Gathering Place did not remain a viable option for holding day services, the Council would search for alternative accommodation. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the decision made by the British Red Cross be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the proposals for urgent action to maintain appropriate day care service provision for those having an assessed need be agreed.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To ensure that Cabinet is aware of the potential consequences for social care service users.

 

(2)       To ensure that plans are in place to maintain appropriate day service provision for those users whose assessed needs are currently met by the British Red Cross.

 

 

C1444                        EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 4 of Schedule 12A (as amended) of the Act, the relevant paragraphs of the Schedule being referred to in brackets after the minute heading.

           

 

C1445                        JOB EVALUATION / EQUAL PAY (L AND HRE) (EXEMPT INFORMATION - PARAGRAPH 15) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Members were updated on the outcome of discussions with the Trade Unions on the job evaluation / equal pay exercise and authority sought for a way forward in relation to the implementation of a new equality based pay structure.  Any change to the current Job Evaluation / Single Status proposals would need to be approved by Cabinet and Full Council. 

 

Members then considered the supplementary joint report which had been prepared to inform Cabinet of the additional comments from the Trade Unions on further proposed amendments to the draft agreement and a summary of the Equality Impact Assessment report which provided details of the gender implications of the proposed new pay structure with recommendations for future monitoring and review.

 

Both the Leader and the Cabinet Member referred to the improved package now being proposed below, that the number of employees adversely affected would reduce as a consequence and to the risks associated with any undue delay in progressing implementation.

 

Any changes to the current Job Evaluation / Single Status proposals would need to be approved by Cabinet and by Full Council.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T Members note the outcomes of discussions with the trade unions in relation to the job evaluation exercise and attempts to reach a collective agreement on a new pay structure and single status package.

 

(2)       T H A T delegated authority be given to the Director of Finance, ICT and Property to update and amend the job evaluation appeals procedure as necessary prior to submission to Full Council. Such delegation to be exercised in consultation with the Leader and Cabinet Member for Human Resources and Equalities.

 

(3)       T H A T Cabinet refer the following recommendations for final approval by Full Council at a meeting on 19th October 2011.

 

(4)       T H A T Council approve changes to the Single Status / Pay Structure proposals as set out in Appendix 4 of the report together with any changes to the job evaluation appeals procedure as a consequence of the delegation at (2) above.

 

(5)       T H A T in addition to the above Council approve an amendment to the unsocial hours working matrix as set out in Appendix 5 (section (7(i) of sub Appendix 1) of the draft collective agreement to provide for Time and a Quarter payment for Saturday working (6.00 am to 10.00 pm) and Time and a Half payment for Saturday nights (10.00 pm to 6.00 am).

 

(6)       T H A T Council approve the revised terms (as in (4) and (5) above) as a basis for a further trade union ballot with a view to reaching a collective agreement with the recognised trade unions. The above approval be subject to receipt of a clear assurance from the trade unions that they would be prepared to support and recommend the revised proposals to their members in a ballot to be held in November 2011 and with a view to reaching a collective agreement before the end of December 2011. Such assurances to be received from each of the trade unions by 5th October 2011.

 

(7)       T H A T in the absence of the assurances as set out in (6) above, Council approve the necessary measures for pursuing implementation of the revised terms (as in (4) and (5) above) through a process of direct implementation. Such approval to include:-

 

(a)       The issuing of the necessary Section 188 statutory notice to the trade unions in accordance with the requirements of the Trade Unions and Labour Relations Act and in order to commence a 90 day consultation process.

 

(b)       The sending out of offers of contract variation to all employees covered by Green Book terms and conditions of employment to seek voluntary acceptance of the revised terms as set out in (6) and (7) above and as part of measures to seek to avoid, reduce or mitigate the need to seek imposition of the revised terms.

 

(c)        The progressing of any necessary termination and re-engagement of contract procedures in accordance with existing delegations for those employees who do not voluntarily accept the revised terms, should this be necessary and subject only to a robust review of the numbers involved, the implications for service provision and having exhausted all measures to seek to avoid, reduce or mitigate the need for such procedures.

 

(d)       The provision of delegated authority to the Director of Finance, ICT and Property to ensure that the above review is undertaken. Such delegation to be exercised in consultation with the Leader and Cabinet Member for Human Resources and Equalities.

 

(e)       The progression of the above arrangements for employees in the Council’s community and voluntary controlled schools subject to the approval of individual Governing Bodies.

 

(8)       T H A T Council approve a revised date for implementation of the new pay structure as being 1st March 2012 in order that appropriate contractual and payroll preparations can be made and the trade unions concerns in relation to the length of hardship payments can be partly accommodated. The calculation of hardship and compensation payments for employees to be based on the revised date.

 

(9)       T H A T Council provide delegated authority to the Director of Finance, ICT and Property to progress the above arrangements including the offer of revised terms (either directly to staff or as a basis for a further trade union ballot), the calculation of sums payable to individual members of staff, the management / determination of arrangements for assimilating employees to the new pay structure and progressing the consultation process with employees and trade unions in accordance with policy and legal requirements.

 

(10)     T H A T Council provide delegated authority to the Chief Executive to determine dismissal appeals relating to any instance of dismissal and re-engagement arising from the implementation of the new Single Status Pay Structure.

 

(11)     T H A T Members continue to provide delegated authority to the Chief Executive for the management and disposal (on commercial / economic grounds) of current and potential equal pay claims. Such delegation to be exercised in consultation with the Director of Finance, ICT and Property, Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services, the Leader and Cabinet Member for Human Resources and Equalities.

 

Reason for decisions

 

(1-11)  In order to make progress on Job Evaluation and reduce the risks for the Council.

 

 

C1446                        SENIOR MANAGEMENT REDUCTION (L) (EXEMPT INFORMATION - PARAGRAPH 12) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Members were updated on senior management restructuring arrangements being progressed in the context of the saving requirements set out in the Medium Term Financial Plan and the appropriate approvals sought.   Details in relation to the above were contained within and appended to the report. 

 

Members accepted that the proposed restructure would deliver high and significant savings;  that it offered stability once implemented as, other than for external reasons, it would be unlikely further change would be required for the foreseeable future;  that the remaining senior managers should have a longer term commitment to the future of the Council;  and that it would facilitate the reduction in the number of senior management tiers.

 

Reference was also made to the extent of the Council’s current collaboration on joint appointments at chief officer and operational level with various Local Authorities.  The point was made, however, that this was not considered either feasible or reasonable for the posts referred to in the report for the following reasons:

 

·                    it would not deliver the financial savings required

·                    the practical difficulties in sharing posts at the most senior strategic level given the potential conflicts of interest for joint appointees in giving policy advice where different Councils pursued different policy agendas.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

Following further consideration of the above, including the collaboration agenda for Education and its implications, it was

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the proposed senior management changes be endorsed.

 

(2)       T H A T, whilst accepting in principle the proposals for the Directorate of Learning and Development, a further report relating to the timing of implementation be submitted to Cabinet having regard to progress made in setting up the Regional Education Consortium.

 

(3)       T H A T a further report be submitted on the detailed implementation of the changes (timescale, appointment process, salaries, job descriptions) and such amendments to the Council’s Constitution as may be appropriate.

 

(4)       T H A T the position of any senior management displaced be referred as appropriate to the Early Retirement / Redundancy Committee.

 

(5)       T H A T the Monitoring Officer be a permanent member of the Corporate Management Team reporting directly to the Managing Director.

 

Reason for decisions

 

(1-5)    To seek to meet savings targets as set out in the Medium Term Financial Plan and deliver a sustainable management structure for the foreseeable future.

 

(NOTE: Both the Head of Financial Services and the Head of Legal Services vacated the meeting during the consideration of the above matter.)

 

 

 

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