Top

Top

CABINET

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 29th November, 2011.

 

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

 

Also present: Councillor Mrs. M. Randall.

 

 

C1527                        APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE -

 

These were received from Councillors G.A. Cox and A.M. Ernest.

 

 

C1528                        MINUTES -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 16th November, 2011 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

C1529                        DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

C1530                        EXTERNAL FUNDING APPLICATIONS (L) (SCRUTINY - HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) -

 

Cabinet were informed of external funding applications submitted/allocated to maximise the amount of external funding grant sought/utilised to support the delivery of corporate objectives. 

 

Cabinet also noted that reference in Paragraph 25 of the report to 'Castleland and Castleland' should have read 'Cadoc and Castleland'.

 

Crime Reduction and Anti-Social Behaviour 2011/12

 

The Safer Vale Partnership receives an annual revenue allocation from the Home Office Crime Team in Wales who provide services that address crime and disorder issues in the community.  £111,614 was awarded in 2011/12.

 

The funding is used to address the priorities resulting from the Partnerships Strategic Assessment which now fed into the Vale of Glamorgan Community Strategy.

 

Recurring and non-recurring Funded Services were commissioned by the Partnership.  Recurring Services were those that were needed to address long term need in the Vale and met the requirements of the Community Strategy.

 

In 2011/12 the revenue funding awarded to Community Safety Partnerships was cut by 20% with a 40% reduction announced in 2012/13.  The indicative allocation in 2012/13 was £56,486.

 

The Safer Vale Partnership had proposed the revenue funding available for 2011/12 be utilised as follows:

 

Partnership Support (£89,364) - this expenditure includes the salary, on costs and occupancy costs of the ASB/PPO (Anti-Social Behaviour/Prolific and Priority Offending) Co-ordinator, the Community Engagement Co-ordinator and Partnership Administrative support.  These were existing posts that were required to deliver the Home Office performance targets for ASB/PPO and priority actions within the Community Strategy.

 

Gobaith Programme (£22,250) - the Gobaith Programme is the prolific offender support for the Vale of Glamorgan.  The Partnership together with the probation and police had designed a service that met the requirements of both the National Prolific and Priority Offender Programme and the introduction of the Integrated Offender Management Scheme.  The programme was a continuation of the commissioned service from 2010/11.

 

Safer Communities Fund 2011/12

 

The purpose of the Safer Communities Fund (SCF) was to support implementation of the principles of the All Wales Youth Offending Strategy (AWYOS), published jointly by the then Assembly Government and the Youth Justice Board (YJB) in July 2004.  The AWYOS provided a national framework for preventing offending and re-offending among children and young people in Wales.  The aim of the strategy was to make a real and significant reduction in the rates of youth offending in Wales.

 

£188,576 was awarded in 2011/12.  The fund supported action taken forward locally to identify children and young people at risk of offending and to provide appropriate programmes to re-engage and divert those children and young people, aged 8-18, away from offending behaviour. 

 

The Safer Vale Partnership had identified three strands of work that would address offending and the risk of offending.  These were:

 

·                         preventing young people from offending

·                         intervening where young people were exhibiting risky behaviour

·                         supporting young people who were perpetrators and victims of ASB.

 

Services commissioned by the Partnership were Recurring Funded Services and Non-Recurring Funded Services.  Recurring services were those that were needed to address long term need in the Vale and met the requirements of the Community Strategy.

 

Prevention Programme (£83,892): Commissioned from the Youth Offending Service to reduce offending behaviour with young people referred to the service. 

 

Intervention Programme (£83,385): Commissioned from the Youth Service to provide diversionary activities in areas experiencing high levels of anti-social behaviour.  The Service worked closely with the ASB Unit to assess levels of reported youth related ASB in hot spot areas.

 

ASB Support (£21,229):  Contribution to the ASB Unit for the cost of supporting youth related anti-social behaviour (currently at 40% of all referrals and support work conducted by the Unit).

 

Substance Misuse Action Fund 2011/12

 

The Safer Vale Partnership receives an annual allocation from the Welsh Government to provide services that tackle substance misuse treatment and prevention that complements the Welsh Government's Strategy for Wales: 'Working Together to Reduce Harm'.

 

The Safer Vale Partnership had confirmed funding of £686,285 for 2011/12 together with indicative funding until March 2013.

 

Each year, the Partnership conducted a strategic assessment, a resource analysis of all services in the Vale.  The assessment identified gaps in services or community needs.  Using this information, the Partnerships Commissioning Group prioritised needs and allocated resources to commission services to address priorities. 

 

The Welsh Government approved responses identified by each CSP to ensure they met the requirements of the funding terms and conditions. 

 

The Partnership had identified the following services for delivery this year:

Existing Service 

Adult alcohol service                                                   £31,500         

Adult drug service                                                        £75,750

Young Person's Drug Service                                    £32,100

Family support                                                             £90,486

Commissioning & co-ordination support                  £46,252

Tier 3 prescribing service                                           £119,557

Community Addictions Unit                                        £52,750

Opiate prescribing service                                         £40,000

Gobaith Offender service                                           £22,250

Shared care nurse contribution                                  £26,960

Tier 4 residential detox                                               £32,600

Counselling Service                                                    £9,780

New Initiatives for 2011/12

APB support                                                                £25,000

Alcohol Strategy                                                          £10,000

Tier 1 Young Persons' Strategy                                 £50,000

Tier 2 Young Person's Service Design                     £15,000

Shared care support                                                   £6,300

 

New services had been identified from the partnerships strategic assessment and development work commissioned by the Partnership.  Both pieces of work highlighted the need to address client needs within the Rural Vale and to address current increases in recreational drug use.  The Partnership had a substance misuse action plan that tackled the Vale's alcohol needs including assessment of need and valuation of existing services. 

 

ARBED

 

ARBED was a rolling programme of area based investment into energy efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies in existing homes, located in deprived areas of Wales.  The Welsh Government would deliver the measures using their own Scheme Manager(s) who they were currently procuring.  The Scheme Manager(s) would determine what appropriate measures were necessary to improve the energy efficiency of the 'hard to heat' housing. 

 

The Local Authority would be asked to submit proposals to the Welsh Government for 2 schemes each year for the next three years starting in 2012/13.  It was proposed the Vale of Glamorgan submit an application for Cadoc and Castleland covering the first year of ARBED 2 for the period 2012/13. 

 

The ARBED submission for the Vale of Glamorgan area brought together a number of organisations, including the Welsh Government, the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Newydd Housing Association, Hafod Housing Association, a yet to be identified utility company and private sector installers to deliver a wide range of sustainability measures including the Cadoc and Castleland wards of Barry.

 

ARBED aimed to maximise match funding opportunities from all external sources, to secure the maximum local value from the ARBED programme ensuring maximum local impact.  Current projections for the overall ARBED scheme for Wales showed an overall potential project value of nearly £6 million. 

 

The Vale of Glamorgan ARBED submission to the Welsh Government included a potential capital contribution from the Barry Regeneration Area of £750,000 as match funding for ARBED activities delivered in the Vale of Glamorgan area.

 

Measures were primarily targeted at individual homes and could have a significant impact on the current and future residents of that property and could make an important contribution in reducing carbon emissions, and help alleviate fuel poverty.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the Council continues to act as lead body for the revenue funding from the Crime Reduction and Anti-Social Behaviour Grant 2011/12, Safer Communities Fund 2011/12 and Substance Misuse Action Fund 2011/12 channelled through the Safer Vale Partnership and that it be noted how the funding was being utilised.

 

(2)       T H A T the entering into appropriate contractual arrangements for services secured as a result of funding approved under Crime Reduction and Anti-Social Behaviour Grant, Safer Communities Fund and Substance Misuse Action Fund be authorised.

 

(3)       T H A T the submission of the ARBED application for Cadoc and Castleland to the Welsh Government covering the period 2012/13 be authorised and that Cabinet receive a report in Autumn 2012 regarding a submission for 2013/14.

 

(4)       T H A T the submission of an application for Capital funding of £250,000 from the Barry Regeneration Area be authorised and that, if approved £30,000 of it be included in the Authority's Capital Programme each financial year for the period 2012/13 and 2013/14. 

 

(5)       T H A T the appointment of an Energy Warden for the period 2012/13 to 2013/14 be approved, subject to Barry Regeneration Area funding being approved as match funding for the ARBED application to the Welsh Government.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To ensure Cabinet is aware of how funding is being utilised to meet community safety priorities.

 

(2)       That Cabinet approves the entering into appropriate contractual arrangements.

 

(3)       That Cabinet approves the ARBED submission to Welsh Government.

 

(4)       That Cabinet approves the capital application for Barry Regeneration Area funding as match funding for the ARBED submission to the Welsh Government and, if approved, its inclusion in the Authority's Capital Programme.

 

(5)       That Cabinet authorises the appointment of an Energy Warden to maximise the impact of ARBED activities in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

 

C1531                        AUDITOR GENERAL FOR WALES: IMPROVEMENT ASSESSMENT 2011 (INCLUDING CORPORATE ASSESSMENT UPDATE) (L) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Cabinet were advised of the results of the assessment by the Auditor General for Wales of the Council's arrangements to secure continuous improvement. 

 

The Auditor General for Wales has a duty under the Local Government (Wales) Measure (2009) to make two assessments of all improvement authorities in Wales:

 

·                         A Corporate Assessment - an assessment of an authorities arrangements to secure the continuous improvement, and

·                         A Performance Assessment - an assessment of whether an authority has achieved its planned improvements.

 

The Auditor General's Improvement Assessment Letter was attached at Appendix 1 to the report, and summarised:

 

·                         the Council's compliance with its statutory obligations to make arrangements for continuous improvement

·                         the Council's progress on areas for improvement and recommendations identified in the 2010 improvement assessment

·                         a brief commentary on any relevant issues that have emerged since the last report including comments on how the Council is addressing financial challenges

·                         updates to the work plan and timetable for delivering improvement assessment work.

 

Matters of note include the following:

 

·                         the Council has discharged its minimum duties for setting improvement objectives under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 although there was scope to improve the way it communicates relevant information to citizens

·                         the Council was well placed to address its financial challenges and demonstrated strong and accountable financial leadership

·                         limited progress had been made in two out of four proposals for improvement made in the 2010 assessment.  These related to the development of service plans to consistently include outcome measures and improving performance reporting so that the Council was able to clearly demonstrate the outcome of its activities for the community and service users.

 

The report made one recommendation:

 

·                         establish a transparent programme for the development of outcome focussed measures moving from reporting arrangements that focussed primarily on performance indicators and on the completion, or otherwise, of an action.

 

The development of outcome focussed measures had been identified as an area for improvement in most Welsh Councils and represented a significant challenge in the current financial climate.  The Council had recently commissioned the Local Government Data Unit to work with three service areas to develop outcome focussed performance measures as a pilot.  This work would inform a Council-wide approach which would thereafter be rolled out to all service plan areas.  There would be WAO involvement in the process to inform the corporate approach.  Appendix 2 to the report detailed a draft action plan which was currently subject to consultation with the Local Government Data Unit, Wales Audit Office and relevant Chief Officers. 

 

A significant amount of work had been undertaken in addressing the proposals for improvement made in the Council's 2010 assessment, and these were detailed in Appendix 3 to the report.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the contents of the report be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the report be referred to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) and the Audit Committee.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To keep Cabinet apprised.

 

(2)       To provide for scrutiny and review of the Auditor General's Letter.

 

 

C1532                        COUNCIL TAX BASE 2012-13 (L) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Cabinet were requested to approve the Council Tax base for 2012/13. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T -pursuant to the contents of the report, and in accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) Regulations, the amount calculated by the Vale of Glamorgan Council as its Council Tax Base for the year 2012/13 shall be:

 

·                         For the whole area: 55,190

·                         For the area of Town and Community Councils:

 

Barry

18,641

Pendoylan

297

Colwinston

274

Penllyn

972

Cowbridge with Llanblethian

2,480

Peterston Super Ely

545

Dinas Powys

3,572

Rhoose

2,698

Ewenny

427

St. Athan

1,362

Llancarfan

447

St. Brides Major

1,112

Llandough

906

St. Donats

191

Llandow

423

St. Georges & St. Brides Super Ely

231

Llanfair

365

St. Nicholas & Bonvilston

531

Llangan

384

Sully

2,443

Llanmaes

242

Welsh St. Donats

307

Llantwit Major

3,982

Wenvoe

1,016

Michaelston

216

Wick

373

Penarth

10,753

 

 

 

Reason for decision

 

It is essential that the Council Tax Base is set in order that it can be submitted to WG and used by Council's and levying bodies to set precepts.

 

 

C1533                        GRANTS TO COMMUNITY/VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS 2011/12 - WAVERLEY STEAM NAVIGATION CO. LTD. (L) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Approval was sought on the award of a grant to Waverley Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. in respect of their continued operation of the Paddle Steamer Waverley.

 

Waverley Excursions Ltd. had written to the Council, and other Councils in areas where their ships operated, drawing attention to significant doubts as to the charity's ability to continue as a going concern. 

 

This situation arose out of the requirement to fund this years over-winter refit of the PS Waverley estimated to cost £350,000.  The organisation's funds were substantially overdrawn and failure to raise the sum required would jeopardise the continued operation of the ships into summer next year.

 

Whilst for future years, the organisation was seeking support from regional government, this would not help resolve the funding of this year's re-fit.  The organisation was therefore requesting from this Council a one-off grant of £10,000. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T grant funding to Waverley Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. in the sum of £10,000 be granted towards the over-winter re-fit of the PS Waverley.

 

(2)       T H A T the above be subject to satisfactory assurances from the company that sufficient funds had been pledged to ensure continued operation of the PS Waverley into Summer next year.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1&2)  To provide funding towards the continued operation of the PS Waverley.

 

 

C1534                        ESTABLISHMENT OF TIER 2 PROVISION FOR PUPILS WITH AUTISTIC SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASD) (ELL) (SCRUTINY - LIFELONG LEARNING) -

 

Approval was sought to proceed with the opening of the Resource Base for pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at St. Illtyd's Primary School. 

 

Within the Vale of Glamorgan there was currently a range of Tier 2 provision for children and young people with Additional Learning Needs (ALN).  This provision consisted of specialist resources bases formerly known as units, for children with speech and language difficulties, hearing impairment, behavioural difficulties and Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD).  These were based in mainstream schools, and allowed for children to be taught in small specialist classes, with opportunities for inclusion in mainstream activities.  Where good progress has been made, pupils move out of the provision and into mainstream. 

 

In relation to MLD, they were currently four specialist provisions based at St. Illtyd Primary, Fairfield Primary and Jenner Park Primary (two classes).  Over the past year, numbers in two of these provisions had reduced significantly as a result of an increase in parental preference for mainstream provision. 

 

Over recent years, there had been an increase in numbers of children with a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  Within the Vale of Glamorgan there was a range of support for pupils with ASD, including attendance at Ashgrove Special School and support from the ASD Outreach Team for over 100 pupils attending mainstream schools.  However, there was currently no Tier 2 provision for pupils with ASD.

 

It was therefore proposed that the MLD Resource Base at St. Illtyd Primary should be replaced by an ASD provision and that this change should take place in January 2012.

 

In the future, pupils with MLD throughout the authority could be considered for placement at Jenner Park or Fairfield Primary. 

 

The new Resource Base would cater for up to eight pupils at KS1 and 2 and would be staffed by one specialist teacher and two Learning Support Assistants (LSAs).  Pupils would be placed at the provision through the weekly SEN Panel.

 

The Head of Ashgrove had been working closely with the Pupil Support Service in the development of these proposals, and the Outreach Service at Ashgrove School would play an important role in supporting the new provision. 

 

A report had been presented to Cabinet on 2nd February, 2011, outlining the proposals.  Cabinet had agreed to commence the statutory consultation process.

 

It was decided that an informal consultation would take place, in order to give interested parties the opportunity to discuss the proposals.  Meetings took place at the school with a governing body and parents.  In addition, individual meetings were offered to parents who had particular queries or concerns. 

 

Following informal consultation, a period of formal consultation took place, including a public meeting on 4th July.  Those who attended the meeting expressed support for the proposals.  A consultation document had been sent out to all interested parties but no responses were received. 

 

A second report had been submitted to Cabinet on 7th September seeking approval to proceed with statutory notice, and such notice was published on 29th September.  No objections were received.

 

As there were no objections, the Council does not require permission from the Welsh Government to proceed with the proposals. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the proposals to open the ASD provision in January 2012 be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To ensure that pupils with ASD are provided with an appropriate education.

 

 

 

C1535                        SUPPORTING PEOPLE CONTRACTS (HCS) (SCRUTINY - HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) -

 

Authority was sought to renew contracts with existing support providers for the continuing provision of specialist and complex needs housing related support services for selected schemes, and to further obtain authority to waive the Council's Contract Standing Orders because of the nature of the services referred to. 

 

Legacy funding to pay for existing housing related support services transferred to the Council in April 2003 through the Supporting People agenda, under two funding streams:

 

·                         Supporting People Grant (SPG) - this funds sheltered housing, elderly people services and projects jointly funded with Social Services or Health

·                         Supporting People Revenue Grant (SPRG) - this funds floating support schemes and supported housing projects across all tenures that were set up to assist vulnerable people to achieve independence and remain in their own home.

 

Both funding streams were paid by the Welsh Government (WG) in the form of a grant to the Council, and these funds were ring-fenced for expenditure on housing related support services only in accordance with WG requirements.

 

In order to ensure overall compliance with the Council's Contract Standing Orders the Financial Regulations and other procurement requirements together with WG guidance, the Housing Department recently undertook a formal tender process for the future provision of SPRG services, and the result of this exercise was reported to Cabinet on 6th July, 2011.  Most of the SPG funded contracts would also be re-tendered in partnership with the Social Services Department in 2012, as reported to Cabinet on 19th October, 2011.

 

However, five of the SPG services were of such specialist nature that it would be inappropriate to follow a formal tendering process because of the adverse effect this would have on the services provided. 

 

These contracts were now due for renewal and therefore authority was being sought to again award the contracts to the existing providers for a period of three years.

 

The services were as follows:

 

(a)       Two external contracts between the Council and single support providers who had one vulnerable client each that they had taken into their own home.

 

(b)       One external contract with a service provider (Opportunity Housing Trust) who provide housing related support to a service user who has a learning disability and requires high levels of personal care at the service user's own home.  This service user was also part funded by Health.

 

(c)        Two external contracts between the Council and Newydd and Wales and West Housing Associations respectively for warden and alarm services provided in properties owned and run by these housing associations. 

 

In respect of the two service users who each lived with the single support providers, they had been supported in excess of 20 years each in the individual support providers property.  Moving out would be very traumatic and could de-stabilise the service users and impede their progress in achieving their desired outcomes.  The contract with each support provider was specific and personal to each service user and if, for instance, the service user no longer required the support or left the accommodation for any reason the contract would end and no alternative service user would be automatically allocated to the service.  The two contracts had the maximum annual value of £11,615.76 and £6,900.92 and both service users were means tested each year to ensure that they still qualified for financial assistance. 

 

The service user who was part funded by Health had lived in his own property and received the support and care from the same organisation, Opportunity Housing Trust since prior to April 2003.  There was therefore a need to ensure that the stability of the service user was maintained.  The maximum annual value of this contract was £19,681.48 and the service user was also assessed annually. 

 

The warden and emergency alarm services provided to Newydd and Wales and West Housing Association tenants were provided by the housing associations as a condition of their respective tenancy agreements in properties owned by them.  It would therefore not be appropriate and indeed complicated to change the service provider.  The maximum contract values were £10,389.08 and £36,219.56., however, as it was paid on behalf of individual tenants and was means tested, the total amount paid in 2010/11 under these contracts were £5,846.69 and £26,231.36 respectively.

 

Given the factors set out above, it was felt inappropriate to commence any sort of formal tender process for these services.  However, all of these services had been and would continue to be monitored and extensively reviewed on an annual basis by the Supporting People Team.  They were considered to be vital services for vulnerable clients.  The service providers/landlords and support staff had built up a close relationship with the service users, and to change these could impede a service users progress in achieving the desired outcomes of independence maintaining their home and integrating successfully into the community.  It was felt to be in everyone's best interest to maintain the current arrangements. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

 

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the Council awards renewed contracts for a small number of services identified in the report for a three year period. 

 

(2)       T H A T the Council Contract Standing Orders be waived to allow the specialist contracts detailed in the report to be put into place.

 

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

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To ensure the stability of services provided to very vulnerable people in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

(2)       To comply with the Council's Contract Standing Orders and Financial

Regulations.

 

(3)       For information.

 

 

C1536                        ARTS CONNECT MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING (TL) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Approval was sought to agree a regional shared service for the arts within South East Wales, involving the local authorities listed below:

 

·                         Bridgend County Borough Council

·                         Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council

·                         Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council

·                         Vale of Glamorgan County Borough Council.

 

Cabinet agreed in February 2011 to join in principle a collaborative arts service called 'Arts Connect' and the Operational Manager, Corporate Policy and Communications was authorised to negotiate on behalf of the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

 

Arts Connect was advised and supported by the Arts Council of Wales, Welsh Government and Welsh Local Government Association representatives who were also members of the Arts Connect Leadership Group. 

 

Arts Connect was a partnership of four local authorities: Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and the Vale of Glamorgan, led by Rhondda Cynon Taff.  Cabinet were advised that Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen and Caerphilly Councils had now withdrawn from the collaboration, although both Torfaen and Caerphilly may be interested in joining the partnership at a later date.  It was the view of the Leadership Group that the collaboration could begin effectively with a membership of four local authorities.

 

The benefit identified for a single shared Arts Service were grouped as follows:

 

·                         financial - more for less by realising efficiencies of 10% net and to provide one single source to apply for external funds

·                         leadership - a single vision with shared aims, a new seamless service design and management structure, a more focussed and strategic Arts Development Service drawing upon the wide expertise, co-ordinated services such as marketing, box office, events, sponsorship and external funding

·                         profile of the arts - a stronger 'pulling power' creating a critical mass, resulting in greater influence at regional and national level

·                         customer/citizen - enhanced focus on audiences, citizens, communities, artists, increased level and range of participatory opportunities, improved level of engagement with local people and communities

·                         employees - access to a wider range of specialist skills, utilising the experience and expertise from a wide range of staff

·                         governance - one regional arts programme that will be effective and sustainable into the future.

 

The final Memorandum of Understanding was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.  The shared arts service would be hosted by Rhondda Cynon Taff and an Arts Connect Leadership Group, made up of representatives of each partner authority, will manage and monitor the work of the shared services.  The Group would also approve the work programme for the shared arts service and measure performance against strategic targets. 

 

Currently Rhondda Cynon Taff led the Arts Connect Change Management Programme on behalf of all of the partner local authorities.  Once it was established as the new regional shared service, all partners' art service staff, including the Arts Development Officer in the Vale would become part of the Arts Connect team on their existing terms and conditions of employment.  The changes would be subject to consultation with the Trade Unions. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the Memorandum of Understanding to establish and join a regional shared service for the Arts, covering partner authorities in South East Wales, including the Vale of Glamorgan, be agreed.

 

Reason for decision

 

To ensure that actions are taken to increase collaboration in the arts and to improve services.

 

 

 

 

C1537                        SOCIAL SERVICES CHANGE PLAN 2011 - 2014: PROGRESS REPORT (SCS) (SCRUTINY - SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH) -

 

Cabinet were requested to endorse the progress made in delivering the actions set out in the Social Services Change Plan 2011 - 2014.  The Change Plan was developed by a Corporate Project Group comprising officers from across the Council, with a representative from the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and from the Vale Centre for Voluntary Services (VCVS).  It was designed to provide an over arching framework for sustained service improvement and a coherent direction for Social Services in the period 2011 - 2014.  There were seven priority areas in the Plan:

 

·                         integrating Health and Social Care services

·                         commissioning

·                         integrated social care for children and young people services

·                         human resources

·                         information; use of different channels and media to improve access to information and services

·                         resource management; and

·                         co-production and equality impact.

 

The Council anticipated that implementation of the Plan would help to achieve the following overall aims:

 

·                         making best use of the fact that Social Services were an integral part of local government (able to call upon all resources available within the local authority to meet statutory obligations, including the community leadership role, the expertise available in other parts of the Council, performance management and improvement frameworks, etc.)

·                         providing sustainable, flexible and innovative services (which can adjust to new circumstances and needs)

·                         increasing user and carer satisfaction with the range of services (with the emphasis on recovery, restoration and reablement)

·                         providing service users and carers with a strong voice and real control over their services

·                         developing further a competent and confident workforce (which is skilled, responsive and professional, able to operate with a reduced volume of prescriptive government guidance about processes)

·                         facilitating more collaborative working (to deliver better service integration); and

·                         securing better value in the use of scarce resources (through efficient and effective delivery of services) promoting independence and reducing demand for intensive support services by focus on prevention).

 

The first six monthly progress report was attached at Annex A to the report.  It contained a summary report card in respect of the overall programme and project updates for each of the seven priority areas.  The report indicated good initial progress with this long term agenda for change, and any delays in delivery were being tackled robustly.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the progress made in delivering the actions in the Social Services Change Plan during the first six months be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the areas of concern where implementation of particular actions had been delayed, and the work being done to expedite delivery be noted.

 

(3)       T H A T the report be referred to the next meeting of the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health).

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1&2)  To provide an update on implementation of the Social Services Change Plan, in accordance with agreed monitoring mechanisms.

 

(3)       To ensure that the Scrutiny Committee is able to exercise effective oversight of the way in which the Change Plan is delivered.

 

 

C1538                        SETTING A STANDARD CONTRACTING RATE FOR PLACES IN INDEPENDENT RESIDENTIAL CARE HOMES FOR OLDER PEOPLE IN 2011/2012 (SCS) (SCRUTINY - SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH) -

 

Cabinet received a report which outlined the process which had been used to determine the fees that the Council would pay when contracting for places in residential care homes for older people run by the independent sector, and was requested to approve the fees that the Director of Social Services intended to set for 2011/2012. 

 

During 2007/2008 the Council undertook an extensive piece of work to produce a robust and evidenced methodology for establishing a fair fee level.  All independent sector homes in the Vale of Glamorgan providing residential care for older people were asked to provide information about their running costs, to ensure that the methodology reflected the cost of providing care home services locally.  The outcome of this exercise was the report, 'A Fair Price for Residential Care 2007/8' approved by Cabinet in October 2008. 

 

Since that time, the methodology set out in the report had been accepted by both the Council and the independent care home providers as providing the basis on which the Council determined care home fees.  However, a number of external developments had made it necessary for the Council to review how care home fees were determined. 

 

In addition to the legislation and statutory guidance surrounding residential placements and commissioning of placements, there had been a successful public law challenge to Pembrokeshire County Council's policy for setting care home fees, known locally as the 'Forest Care Home' case.  Although the judicial review covered the fee setting process and methodology adopted by Pembrokeshire County Council, the judgement had implications for all local authorities when negotiating fees with independent providers of residential care homes. 

 

In setting fees, the Council took very seriously its responsibilities for complying with legislation, guidance and case law precedence.  It agreed, therefore, to ensure that the process adopted in the Vale of Glamorgan in setting a standard contracting rate took proper account of the new statutory guidance on commissioning Social Services and the 'Forest Care Home' judgement.  At the same time, this was seen as an opportunity to develop as far as possible a shared understanding across key stakeholders about factors such as market risks, the needs of current residents within nursing and care homes in the Vale, the needs of the care and nursing home providers, the needs of other residents in the local authority area and finally the needs of other service sectors within the Council's areas of responsibility. 

 

Given these circumstances, it was decided that the process could not be completed in a thorough manner in time to set the level of fees payable by the Council for the year 2011/2012 before the beginning of the financial year.  An interim uplift of 2% on the current fees was put in place, with an agreement that any further increase as the result of the process put in place for determining fees would be backdated to the beginning of the financial year.

 

A substantial piece of work had been undertaken to review the methodology set out in 'A Fair Price for Residential Care 2007/2008', to ensure that it met the requirements of the Welsh Government's guidance and that lessons from the Forest Care Home case had been incorporated.  In October 2010, all independent sector care homes in the Vale of Glamorgan were invited to provide the Council with information about their running costs.  The timeframe was extended to February 2011 to enable as many homes as possible to participate in the exercise.  The information requested was more detailed than in previous years because feedback from the sector indicated that the questionnaire used in the past had not allowed homes to reflect all costs accurately.  Financial information was received from 11 homes, out of 19 in total.  The information was then used to populate an updated tool kit.  External experts were again engaged and assisted the Council with this piece of work.

 

The initial findings were set out in a comprehensive document setting out the rationale which the Council would be asked to adopt in seeking to establish the appropriate level of fees payable for 2011/2012.  This was attached at Annex D to the report.  At that time, the proposed fee for frail elderly clients was £441 per resident per week and for Elderly Mentally Infirm (EMI) clients was £482.  The document was provided to all independents sector homes, and discussed in a meeting with the service providers in August 2011.  At this meeting, representatives from the homes raised issues about:


 

 

·                         the methodology used by the Council

·                         the way in which staffing costs had been calculated including consideration of the minimum wage, the number of care hours and payments for the use of agency workers

·                         the figure for non-staff costs, including costs on repairs and maintenance and running costs

·                         the figures for costs, including the value of land and the detailed assumptions made within the capital cost element of the methodology.

 

In response to these comments and further representations from the independent sector, additional work was undertaken with the external experts to ensure that legitimate concerns were acknowledged and taken into account when calculating the proposed fees.  A written response was produced, detailing the way in which the issues had been addressed and the rationale for changes made in the calculations regarding costs of agency workers, repairs and maintenance and the value of land.

 

The written response was distributed to the members of a working group nominated by the care home owners, and a meeting took place in October to discuss the revised proposals.  At this meeting, the Council was again asked to review:

 

·                         staffing costs used in the calculation in respect of management and care hours

·                         non-staffing costs in respect of running costs

·                         capital costs in respect of land values, costs of new build and issues regarding quality of care.

 

Officers revisited the proposal and again consulted the external experts about these issues and further changes were made regarding the allocation of management costs, the number of care hours used in the calculation and land values.  These changes were reported to, and discussed with the working group in November 2011.  Representatives of the independent sector care homes acknowledged that the Council had made some response to their concerns but they remained dissatisfied with the proposed uplift in fees.  The specific areas of continuing disagreement were the management costs, running costs and the capital elements.  It was agreed that issues concerning the capital elements would be addressed in discussions about setting the fee for 2012/2013 when further collaborative work would be undertaken.  Consideration had been given to all the matters raised by the independent sector and there were no further negotiations planned in respect of the proposed fees for 2011/12.

 

In order to demonstrate that the Council had in place a robust and transparent methodology for establishing a fair fee level this year, which complied with statutory guidance and which made appropriate use of information about local costs, the external experts had produced a final report.  The report, 'A Fair Price for Residential Care 2011/2012' was set out at Annex E to the report.

 

Given the extensive work that had been undertaken, including detailed negotiations with the independent sector providers, officers were confident that the fees proposed in the report reflected the cost of providing care home services in the Vale of Glamorgan, although Cabinet were aware that this was a complex area of work requiring not only the use of evidence but also the making of informed judgements about a wide range of variables such as assumptions regarding economy, efficiency and the prevailing resilience of the independent sector.

 

Use of the methodology set out in the report produced standard fees for 2011/2012 as set out below:

Table 1

Type of Provision

Fee 2010/2011 £ per resident per week

Fee 2011/2012 £ per resident per week

Percentage increase

Residential Care for Frail Elderly

414

468

13%

Residential Care for Older People with dementia (Non-incentivised)

446

504

13%

Residential Care for Older People with dementia (Incentivised - from 2011/2012)

446

519

16%

 

The Cabinet Member for Social and Care Services advised that she had been approached by Mr. L. Watkins of Parkside House Residential Home who had expressed concern that there were still a few areas of agreement outstanding, including those involving capital costs.  Notwithstanding this, Mr. Watkins had paid tribute to the constructive way in which the negotiations had taken place.

 

The Cabinet Member also read out a letter from Mr. West, Chairman of the Vale of Glamorgan Care Home Association.

 

'We are very disappointed that no communication has transpired between the Sub-Group for care home fees and the Vale of Glamorgan Social Services.

 

To find out that Social Services have decided not to reply to the Sub-Group, following our meeting of 14th November, 2011.

 

Also, chosen not to inform us that you were taking this to cabinet as it stands, on Tuesday, 29th November 2011 is very disturbing and disruptive in our working relationship, which we thought was to be open and transparent.'

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the proposed fees for 2011/2012 as set out above be agreed.

 

(2)       T H A T Cabinet values the dialogue between officers of this Council and the independent providers of residential and nursing care, and authorises officers to pursue further discussions in respect of the few areas where agreement has not been reached in this financial year, in order to negotiate the fees for next year.

 

(3)       T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Director of Social Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Social and Care Services, to vary the levels in appropriate circumstances.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To establish the final fee for 2011/2012.

 

(2)       To pursue further discussions.

 

(3)       To deal with exceptional circumstances where the use of the agreed contract rates operates against the interests of individual service users or the Council.

 

 

C1539                        UPDATE ON THE IMPACT OF CHARGES ON CONTROL OF RODENTS TO THE OUTSIDE OF DOMESTIC PROPERTIES (LPP) (SCRUTINY - HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) -

 

Cabinet were advised of the impact of charges for rodent control outside domestics. 

 

During the first two quarters of the financial year 2011/2012 there had been a 10% reduction in the total number of requests received by the Pest Control Service compared to the same period in the financial year 2010/2011.

 

With regard to the number of service requests received for the treatment of rats during the first two quarters of the financial year, the reduction between the financial years was greater.  The financial year had seen on average 33% reduction in the demand to control rats in domestic premises.  The table below showed the reduction across all services offered in the control of rats including services that were free at point of use

 

 

Number of Service Requests received

1st April to 30th September

Free Rat Survey - (service introduced when charge applied to treatment of rats outside)

Treatment of rats outside

Free Treatment of rats Inside

2009

1

605

153

2010

227

197

180

2011

153 (-33%)

122 (-38%)

134 (-26%)

 

An analysis of the percentage of clients who paid for the control of rats outside domestic premises indicated only a small reduction in numbers when compared to the same period last year.  During the first two quarters of this financial year 64% of clients requested this service compared to 68% during the same period last year.

 

In 2010 the positive impact of charging for the service was noticeable in the reduction of waiting times and an increase in client work.  During the first two quarters of this financial year 85.7% of clients received their first visit within five days of their request compared to 83.8% during the same period last year. 

 

Investment in Mobile Working and Dynamic Scheduling Solutions were currently being investigated.  If implemented, the response times should continue to improve next year.

 

The increase in capacity had enabled the Pest Control Service to undertake chargeable proactive work.  This had been realised this year through the completion of a sewer baiting contract with Welsh Water.  It was anticipated that this contract would be renewed for a further 12 months enabling additional income to support the service.

 

The Pest Control Service was beginning to enter into discussions with other Service Areas within the Council to negotiate a Service Level Agreement for services currently being carried out by private contractors.  Successful negotiations of the Service Level Agreements would not only supplement the Pest Control income but provide savings to revenue budgets of other Service Areas.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the impact of introducing the charge for rodent control outside domestic premises be noted and the matter be referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection).

 

Reason for decision

 

To consider the impact of the charges for rodent control.

 

 

C1540                        HIGHWAY ADOPTION - RHOOSE POINT (PT) (SCRUTINY - ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Agreement was sought to progress the formal adoption of all highways at Rhoose Point.

 

Highway adoption was not progressed unless the sewers that ran beneath the highways were first transferred to Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water (DCWW).  The main reason for this is that utility companies are bound by legislation to properly reinstate highways should there be a problem with a sewer that necessitates the excavation of any part of the highway.

 

In addition, the refusal to adopt highways until the sewers were transferred put pressure on the developer to conclude their agreements with DCWW more promptly and to ensure that all sewers were of sufficient standard and design for adoption.  In the case of Rhoose Point, as the developer, Cofton Group Ltd and certain subsidiaries were in administration, there was no such 'leverage' to be gained by delaying adoption of the highway.

 

On 21st July, 2011, authority was given to officers to use an element of the £75,000 Section 106 monies for Rhoose Point for any matter relating to the development.  The report before Committee suggested that a sum of £35,000 may be required to progress drainage adoption (foul and surface water).  This drainage adoption work had not been progressed due to delays in the land transfers for the Lagoon area.  Also, officers were aware of the plans at that time for the automatic adoption of most private sewers by DCWW scheduled for 1st October this year.

 

It was reported that the vast majority of private sewers throughout the Vale of Glamorgan had now been adopted including the gravity foul water sewers at Rhoose Point.  It was noted, however, that whilst the gravity foul water sewers had been adopted, the separate surface water system (that drains into the Lagoon) had not.  Neither had the foul water rising main or pumping station, as previously mentioned.

 

As things currently stood, residents were responsible for highways (not street lighting, which was already adopted by the Council), the pumping station, rising main and the surface water drainage system. 

 

Since the adoption of the foul water sewers, the risks to this Council of highway adoption had substantially reduced.  It could be a problem with the surface water system, though this was much less likely than a problem with a foul water system.  The pumping station was already being managed and maintained by the Council, utilising funds held from the Section 106 Agreements, and there had not been any reported issues with the pumping station rising main.

 

In addition, it was felt appropriate to take responsibility at least in part for the surface water drains now (the highway drains through this system) as the Council was now responsible for the Lagoon, and importantly, the water quality.  The report advised that, should Cabinet be minded to progress adoption of the highways now, officers proposed to progress an application to DCWW for adoption of the surface water drainage system.

 

At the time of adoption of the highways, the surface water drainage system would be in 'part' private ownership with responsibility shared between this Council as Highway Authority and/or residents of the development who connect to the system. 

 

Any costs or risks associated with this system prior to its adoption by DCWW would be borne proportionately by the Council and residents.  However, as the system had now been in operation successfully for over five years, the risk was considered to be minimal. 

 

On adoption, residents of the development would receive all the 'Visible Services', and this would include the additional services of street cleansing, highway maintenance including weed spraying, litter bin clearance, bus shelter cleaning and grass cutting.  The Council already provided refuse collection and street cleansing services along with street lighting and winter maintenance. 

 

There was concern that the highway network at Rhoose Point was not currently benefiting from any form of preventative maintenance.  Therefore, the highway asset was deteriorating and the longer it took for the Council to progress adoption the greater the risk of costs being incurred to bring the highway up to an adoptable standard.  This was particularly the case with weed growth, which if left unchecked, could damage the highway structure, 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED - T H AT authority be granted to the Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration and the Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services in consultation with the Cabinet Members for Visible Services and Planning and Transportation to progress the adoption of all highways at Rhoose Point.

 

Reason for decision

 

To bestow responsibility on the Council for the future management and maintenance of the highways at Rhoose Point and to permit the provision of a fuller range of services to residents of the development.

 

 

C1541                        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 reasons given beneath the minute headings be considered.

 

 

C1542                        COUNCIL APPROVAL OF THE INSTRUMENTS OF GOVERNMENT FOR THE NEW WELSH MEDIUM SCHOOLS (LEGAL PROCESS FOR NAMING THE NEW SCHOOLS) (ELL) (SCRUTINY - LIFELONG LEARNING) -

(Urgent by reason of the need to confirm the names of the new Welsh Medium Primary Schools in accordance with the legal framework.  The federated governing body approved their draft Instrument of Government on Wednesday, 23rd November, 2011, hence this late request)

 

Approval was sought of the names for the Council's new Welsh Medium Schools as Ysgol Gymraeg Dewi Sant and Ysgol Nant Talwg.

 

The Council opened two new Welsh Medium Schools with effect from 1st September, 2011 Ysgol Gymraeg Dewi Sant in Llantwit Major and Ysgol Nant Talwg in Barry.

 

The governing body of a new school must submit its draft Instrument of Government to the Local Authority for making in accordance with Legislation. 

 

The temporary governing body of Ysgol Gymraeg Dewi Sant approved the draft Instrument of Government (attached at Appendix 1 to the report) on 16th November, 2011 and the federated governing body of Ysgol Sant Baruc and Ysgol Nant Talwg approved the draft Instrument of Government (attached at Appendix 2 to the report) on 23rd November, 2011.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the Instruments of Government attached to the report, and consequently the names of the new Welsh Medium Schools as Ysgol Gymraeg Dewi Sant and Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg with Ysgol Gymraeg Sant Baruc be confirmed.

 

Reason for decision

 

To ensure the naming of the new Welsh Medium Schools complies with the legal framework.

 

 

C1543                        CENTRAL SOUTH CONSORTIUM FOR EDUCATION SERVICES (ELL) (SCRUTINY - LIFELONG LEARNING) -

(Urgent by reason of the need to ensure that Cabinet Members are aware of significant and recent developments which will affect future education structures within the Vale of Glamorgan)

 

Cabinet were apprised of the progress achieved in the development of the Central South Consortium for Education Services. 

 

In April 2011, Cabinet considered and endorsed a report which proposed that the Vale of Glamorgan Council should work with Consortium partners in Central South to seek to develop a Joint School Improvement Service as a first step towards a Joint Education Service. 

 

At that time, the Consortium comprised Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Caerphilly, Merthyr and the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

In July 2011, a first draft of the Business Plan was developed for consideration.  The production of the document coincided with a series of statements from the Local Government Minister clarifying the expectations that future collaboration arrangements should be based upon Health Service boundaries. 

 

That statement, and the position of Cardiff and Caerphilly Councils towards their respective Consortia, led to a period when these two authorities formally reviewed their options.  In early November, Caerphilly withdrew from Central South in order to join the South East Consortium.  On 24th November the Cardiff Executive formally endorsed a proposal to join Central South. 

 

The late changes to the Consortia partners had added uncertainty and complexity to the change processes.  The departure of Caerphilly:

 

·                         complicated the disaggregation of the existing ESIS structure where Caerphilly staff were fully integrated within the existing organisation

·                         requires the Central South Consortia to integrate change processes with the South East Consortia (the recipient of Caerphilly staff)

·                         resulted in the Central South Consortia moving staff with specific skills necessary to deliver the new arrangements

·                         reduced the scale of the Consortium

·                         placed addition pressure on the remaining three members of ESIS (RCT, Bridgend and Merthyr) to sustain the ESIS business model during the transition period.

 

Following the decision of Cardiff Council to join the Central South Consortium, the authority would bring with it significant scale and expertise which strengthened the business case.  The challenges included a lack of knowledge of Cardiff systems and processes and a comparatively high number of Cardiff schools facing a challenge in raising their performance standards.

 

The recent focus of activity had been to redraft the Business Case.  A Project Team had been assembled involving officers across the Consortium led by a full time Project Manager from Rhondda Cynon Taff.  Specific work streams included governance, HR, finance, transition arrangements and future trading structures.

 

There were a number of issues to conclude in constructing the Business Case, including:

 

·                         Clarification of schools/local authorities obligations for raising standards.  Schools had prime accountability but Local Authorities had responsibilities to monitor, support, challenge and intervene as necessary.

·                         Ensuring that the Business Case was deliverable within existing budgets, and would achieve the necessary level of savings.

·                         Recognising that the Consortium arrangement was a delivery mechanism.  The statutory functions of the Council in relation to education were unchanged.  These included resourcing, planning and maintenance of provision, admissions, transport, ALN, inclusion requirements.  Final accountability for school standards would continue to rest with the Council and Estyn Inspection arrangements would continue to focus on Council responsibilities in these areas for the time being. 

·                         The outline Business Case had been considered and endorsed by the Local Authorities Section 151 Officers.

·                         The new model would focus mainly on statutory functions.  A need for a trading arm had been recognised however, in order to contribute to Business Case income in circumstances where the Welsh Government required 85% of School Effectiveness Grant to be delegated to schools directly.

·                         The model would be based around the establishment of System Leader posts as defined by Welsh Government.  These individuals would be selected for their ability to manage a 'single conversation' with schools to review data and to consider the range of organisational and contextual features which impacted on school performance, enabling a coherent action plan to be delivered by the school, shared and monitored by School Governors.

·                         There would be a single School Data service and administrative support.  The quality of the data and the clarity with which it was presented would be a cornerstone of the new service.

·                         Once the draft Business Case had been accepted, there would need to be an intensive period of stakeholder consultation, including School Governors. 

·                         Arrangements had already been established to consult Trade Unions and Teaching Associations on the proposals and the implications for staff.  This would be a key element of the project plan to ensure that staff were treated equally.

 

Other key areas of activity included:

 

·                         developing a governance structure including Joint Scrutiny arrangements

·                         identifying residual obligations of authorities

·                         developing management arrangements

·                         establishing a transition plan to the new structure

·                         clarifying arrangements for grant funded staff, including 14 - 19 and Education Visits co-ordination.

 

In parallel with this work, the Consortium was required to prepare to respond to a stock take visit from Welsh Government School Standards Unit on 1st December which would review the performance of Primary Schools across the Consortium.  The outcome of this stock take would be reported back to Cabinet.

 

Given the timescale detailed above, the submission presented to the Welsh Government did not have the benefit of Local Authority endorsement.  This had been made clear to the Welsh Government and arrangements to present the documents to individual authorities would be put into place as a matter of urgency. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the progress achieved be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the Director provide a further report on the implications for the Council of the draft Business Case and the Welsh Government response.

 

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To enable Cabinet to consider the draft Business Case.

 

(2)       To receive the Welsh Government response.

Share on facebook Like us on Facebook