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CABINET

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 18th January, 2012.

 

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

 

Also present:  Councillor R.F. Curtis.

 

 

C1578                        APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE -

 

This was received from Councillor P. Church.

 

 

C1579                        MINUTES -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 4th January, 2012 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

C1580                        DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

C1581                        INITIAL HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT BUDGET PROPOSALS 2012/13 AND REVISED BUDGET 2011/12 (REF- MIN. NO. 742) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) had, on 20th December, 2011 considered the reference from the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection).  The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) had noted those recommendations and forwarded the same to Cabinet and the Budget Working Party.

 

RESOLVED - T H AT the reference be noted and referred to the Budget Working Group.

 

Reason for decision

 

To allow detailed consideration.

 


 

 

C1582                        A COMPACT FOR CHANGE BETWEEN THE WELSH GOVERNMENT (WG) AND WELSH LOCAL GOVERNMENT (WLG) (REF - MIN. NO. 745) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) had, on 20th December, 2011 considered the same and forwarded three concerns in relation thereto to Cabinet for consideration. 

 

RESOLVED - T H A T consideration of the reference be deferred to Agenda Item No. 13.

 

Reason for decision

 

To allow the reference and the report in relation to the Compact to be considered simultaneously.

 

 

C1583                        INITIAL REVENUE BUDGET PROPOSALS 2012/13 (REF - MIN. NO. 747) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) had, on 20th December, 2011 considered the above (which included recommendations thereon from other Scrutiny Committees).  The Committee had noted the position and forwarded the recommendations and proposals to Cabinet and the Budget Working Party.

 

RESOLVED - T H AT the reference be noted and referred to the Budget Working Group.

 

Reason for decision

 

To allow detailed consideration.

 

 

C1584                        INITIAL CAPITAL PROGRAMME PROPOSALS 2012/13 (REF - MIN NO. 748) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) had, on 20th December, 2011 considered the above together with the reference from the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment).  The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) had forwarded three recommendations to Cabinet and the Budget Working Party for consideration.

 

RESOLVED - T H AT the reference be noted and referred to the Budget Working Group.

 

Reason for decision

 

To allow detailed consideration.

 

 

C1585                        CAPITAL MONITORING REPORT: 1ST APRIL - 30TH NOVEMBER, 2011 (L) (SCRUTINY - ALL) -

 

Cabinet was informed of progress on the Capital Programme for the period 1st April to 30th November, 2011.  Particular attention was drawn within the report to the schemes outlined within the resolutions below and to the need, where necessary, to request changes to the programme.  The report also referred to those schemes having a value of over £500,000 showing variances of 20% or more between actual spend to date and the profiled spend, together with non-financial information on schemes of over £100,000.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the following changes to the Capital Programme be approved:

 

  • Welsh Medium School, Llantwit Major - increase the budget to £851,000 (funded from the School Investment Strategy Reserve)
  • Castleland Renewal Area Office Refurbishment - reduce the 2011/12 budget to £100,000 to reflect the full spend on the project.

 

(2)       T H A T Council be requested to approve the following changes to the Capital Programme:

 

  • Pendoylan Primary School - reduce budget to £255,000 (carry forward £33,000 into 2012/13)
  • Coldbrook Flood Risk Management - reduce this year's budget to £200,000 to reflect the amount of expenditure that could be achieved.  The 2012/13 budget was included in the Final Capital Programme Proposals report
  • Llanmaes Flood Management - reduce the budget to nil (Welsh Government grant funding not available)
  • Rural Local Regeneration Programme, Business Plan II - reduce the 2011/12 budget to £20,000 (transfer £60,000 into 2012/13 and £120,000 into 2013/14)
  • Leisure Centre Refurbishment - reduce the budget to £25,000 (carry forward £1,975,000 into 2012/13).

 

Reason for decisions

 

(1&2)  To allow schemes to proceed this financial year.

 

 

C1586                        REVENUE MONITORING: 1ST APRIL - 30TH NOVEMBER, 2011 (L) (SCRUTINY - ALL) -

 

The projected outturn for 2011/12 Revenue Budget was for a balanced budget.  The forecast for the Housing Revenue Account was also for a balanced budget.  Details were contained within the report of the specific position in respect of the following services:

 

  • Education and Schools
  • Children and Young Peoples Services
  • Adult Services
  • Service Strategy
  • Social Services
  • Planning and Transportation
  • Economic Development and Leisure.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the position with regard to the Council's 2011/12 amended Revenue Budget be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the Director of Social Services take the necessary action to bring expenditure in line with the base budget.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       That Members are aware of the projected revenue outturn for 2011/12.

 

(2)       To bring Social Services expenditure in line with the base budget.

 

 

C1587                        CORPORATE PRINTING STRATEGY (L) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

The Corporate Printing Strategy had been endorsed in April 2008 and a tender subsequently let for the supply of multi functional devices.  That contract was due to expire at the end of March 2012.  A project board had been established and it was now intended to expand the use of those devices from the 5 main Council buildings under the previous contract to 9 other Council offices.  A full survey of the buildings to be covered had been undertaken and a schedule of devices prepared for each location which would form the basis of the tender.  Members noted that it had not been possible to find a collaboration partner at this time.  The project board had agreed to go out to tender for a lease of the agreed schedule of devices and software to allow centralised print queues, follow me printing and rules based printing.  The lease could be funded internally or directly with the winning supplier depending on which option was most effective.  It was proposed that the new contract would be implemented from 1st April, 2012.

 

Lease costs would be recharged to users through a click rate as with the existing contract so that users paid only for what they used.  Whilst it was anticipated that the click rate achieved through the tender would be lower than the current charge and that the lease costs would be lower on a pro-rata basis than at present, it was noted that the overall costs might be higher than at present given the increase in the number of devices in use.  The continuation of the use of those devices also helped the Council to achieve other objectives such as carbon management and sustainability, contributing towards the Space Project saving space, power and the quantity of paper and consumables.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the Director of Finance, ICT and Property in consultation with the Leader be granted delegated authority to award the tender to the winning supplier.

 

(2)       T H A T a new contract be awarded.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To allow the award of the contract.

 

(2)       To have an appropriate contract in place for the supply of multi functional devices to maintain the ability to print in a cost effective and efficient manner.

 

 

C1588                        USE OF THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE'S EMERGENCY POWERS (L) (SCRUTINY - AS INDICATED BELOW) -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the exercise of the Chief Executive's Emergency Powers as indicated below be noted:

 

(a)       Authority to accept tenders over £300,000 in respect of the Castleland Facelift Scheme Phase 1C.

 

(Scrutiny - Housing and Public Protection)

 

(b)       Authority to enter into a legal agreement with partners in respect of the Castleland Renewal Area for them to use the general facilities of 198 Holton Road, Barry.

 

(Scrutiny - Housing and Public Protection)

 

(c)        Authority to increase the Capital Programme 2011/12 to take account of the Welsh Government, Department for Health, Social Services and Children Grant approval in the sum of £160,000 in order to proceed with the procurement of the scheme to refurbish and extend the Flying Start Family Centre which would allow the relocation of the Partnership for Young Parents Unit from Gladstone College.

 

(Scrutiny - Social Care and Health and Corporate Resources)

 

(d)       Authority to replace Councillor R.L. Traherne with Councillor Mrs. M. Kelly Owen on the Joint Consultative Forum prior to the next meeting of the same on 10th October, 2011.

 

(Scrutiny - Corporate Resources)

 

(e)       Authority to accept the lowest compliant tender in respect of the Housing Replacement Central Heating programme 2011/12 over £300,000 to enable the additional budget to be spent during 2011/12 and to ensure that the contract works were implemented at the earliest date possible.

 

(Scrutiny - Housing and Public Protection)

 

(f)         Authority to approve the amended figure in respect of the discretionary redundancy calculation relating to B from that reported to the ERR Committee on 7th September, 2011.

 

(Scrutiny - Corporate Resources)

 

(g)       Authority to replace Councillor Ms. V.L. Ellis on the Scrutiny Committees (Social Care and Health) and (Lifelong Learning) with Councillors Mrs. S.I. Sharpe (Social Care and Health) and Miss. S.J.C. Williams (Lifelong Learning).

 

(Scrutiny - Corporate Resources)

 

(h)        Authority to accept additional grant funding to the value of £5,000 to enable land negotiations for additional Park and Ride facilities at Cogan Station from the SEWTA RTCG Grant and its inclusion in the Capital Programme.

 

(Scrutiny - Economy and Environment)

 

(i)         Council had £34k. in its reserves from previous years Safe Routes in Communities Grant.  The Welsh Government had agreed that the funding could be spent on providing boulders at Llantwit Major beach to prevent cars from driving on the footway/cycleway and to extend the amount of works currently being carried out on Port Road, Barry to provide walking/cycling infrastructure.  Authority to accept that sum and to include the same in the Capital Programme.

 

(Scrutiny - Economy and Environment)


 

 

(j)         Authority to accept additional grant funding from the SEWTA RTCG Grant of a further £25,000 to upgrade bus stops to DDA standards on the A48 corridor and to include the same in the Capital Programme.

 

(Scrutiny - Economy and Environment)

 

(k)        Authority to accept additional grant funding from the SEWTA RTCG Grant of £9,167 to enable the promotion of the Council's Travel Plan and to include the same in the Capital Programme.

 

(Scrutiny - Economy and Environment)

 

(l)         Authority to accept additional grant funding of a further £200,000 to extend the amount of works currently being carried out on Port Road, Barry to provide walking/cycling infrastructure and to include the same in the Capital Programme.

 

(Scrutiny - Economy and Environment)

 

Reason for decision

 

To inform the Cabinet.

 

 

C1589                        PURCHASE OF TIMBER AND WOOD PRODUCTS (L) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Cabinet had previously noted the recommendation of the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) to consider signing up to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Bronze Pledge Scheme to stop the trade in illegal and unsustainable timber and improve the way wood products were bought.  At that time Cabinet had requested a further report to assist in further consideration of the matter (Min. No. C1491). 

 

WWF was working with CPET (the UK Government's Central Point of Expertise on Timber) to provide support and advice to Council's to improve the way they bought wood and paper and to make it easier for Councils to improve the way they buy wood products.  Signing up to the WWF Bronze Pledge would involve attendance at a CPET workshop or hosting a CPET/WWF seminar on responsible procurement of products and the importance of valuing rainforest resources and the training of key staff on the responsible procurement of forest products.  The Council’s Sustainability Development Working Group had indicated that the Council’s current approach was compatible with the aims of the bronze pledge and the Head of Accountancy and Resource Management had since attended a CPET workshop.  The workshop had provided a checklist to ensure that a local authority could evidence its approach to the procurement of timber and timber products.  A summary of the checklist was appended to the report.  It was proposed that the Council’s existing on-line Procurement Guidance be updated to encompass the requirements of the UK Government on timber and timber products.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the Council's current arrangements for the procurement of timber and wood products be noted, and, having had benefit of additional information, that the Council sign up to the WWF Bronze Pledge to stop the trade in illegal and unsustainable timber.

 

Reason for decision

 

To demonstrate the Council's commitment to the cause.

 

 

C1590                        A COMPACT FOR CHANGE BETWEEN THE WELSH GOVERNMENT (WG) AND WELSH LOCAL GOVERNMENT (WLG) (L) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

The Simpson Report ('Local, Regional, National: What Services Are Best Delivered Where?'), published in March 2011, included as one of its main recommendations a Compact between the Welsh Government (WG) and Welsh Local Government setting out how the actions to ensure collaborative working as set out in the report would be implemented.  A draft Compact had been considered and endorsed by the Partnership Council for Wales, subject to its being referred to all Welsh Councils for ratification.

 

The Compact was divided into two sections: a preamble, in which the principles underpinning the Compact were set out; and the Implementation Contracts, which detailed the specific services the Compact would cover.  The Implementation Contracts, which included major initiatives such as the Education Consortia and Social Services regional commissioning, covered areas where there had already been significant progress.  The Council had endorsed these specific proposals in its response to the initial Simpson Report recommendations (Cabinet minute C1331, 8th June, 2011 refers), and there were no changes to what was previously proposed.

 

Whilst the preamble had been the subject of some discussion, and the proposed draft was more balanced in respect of the various roles of WG and Welsh Local Government, from the Council's perspective there remained some caveats/concerns.

 

The Compact was referred for consideration to the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) on 20th December, 2011, prior to its being submitted to Cabinet.  The Committee expressed certain concerns (in relation to page 2, paras 3 and 4 of the draft Compact) , details of which were submitted to this Cabinet meeting.  The Committee's concerns, as set out below, were shared and endorsed by Cabinet.

 

The Council was fully committed to the collaboration agenda.  Indeed, there were already numerous examples of the Council seeking partners to deliver services and actively participating in shared initiatives, including Prosiect Gwyrdd, the SE Wales Social Services Improvement Collaborative, the Central South Education Consortium, Arts Connect and the services covered by its Memorandum of Understanding with Bridgend Council.

 

Whilst, therefore, happy to endorse the Implementation Contracts listed in the Appendix to the Compact, the Council would expect that for each contract a business case demonstrating either improved services or cost savings would be drawn up (i.e. replicating the process used for all collaborative activities).

 

Members, therefore, felt that the Compact itself could not currently be endorsed.  In particular, concerns were expressed regarding the two paragraphs alluded to above (as indeed, they had been by the Scrutiny Committee) and as set out below:

 

Page 2, para 3: 'There may be occasions when the case for change may be less strong or broadly neutral for one partner in collaboration than another.  Relative scale of benefits should not be a reason to avoid working together where the outcome for public services will meet the criteria above.'  In general, this principle was accepted: even if the benefits for the Vale were deemed to be, at best, neutral, collaboration was nevertheless welcomed where others would benefit.  However, where collaboration would mean either a reduction in service quality or an increase in cost, then Members considered that Vale citizens, to whom the Council was ultimately responsible, would be rightly critical.

 

Page 2, paragraph 4: 'There is a shared expectation that future collaborative working will be aligned to this footprint.'  The Council had already expressed concerns regarding the Cardiff and Vale Regional Footprint to the Minister for Local Government and Communities, in writing and in person, and those concerns remained.  It was considered that the footprint imposed arbitrary limits on the Council's freedom to choose its partners and would force it to collaborate on the basis of geography rather than the best business case.  It also severely constrained the ability of the Council to take advantage of opportunities to work with partners for the benefit of the public.

 

The Council welcomed the recent letter to the Minister from the Auditor General for Wales making essentially the same points.  In the letter the Auditor General had voiced fear, which the Council shared, that some aspects of the Compact might lead to a deterioration of local services, which ran counter to the requirements o f the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.

 

In conclusion, it was considered that the Council should reaffirm its commitment to partnership working and to actively contribute to making the Implementation Contracts work, but not endorse the Compact as it was currently worded.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.


 

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H AT, as indicated above, the concerns expressed by the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) be endorsed.

 

(2)       T H AT Cabinet reaffirm its commitment to collaborative working with a range of authorities, as illustrated by the initiatives already underway.

 

(3)       T H A T Cabinet endorse the reservations expressed by the Auditor General in his recent letter to the Minister with regard to the potential deterioration of services which could occur.

 

(4)       T H A T, whilst endorsing the individual Implementation Contracts within the Compact, Cabinet, in light of the concerns outlined above, consider it inappropriate at this stage to endorse the preamble to the Compact.

 

(5)       T H A T the Council's concerns regarding the 'Regional Footprint' set out by the Minister for Local Government and Communities, as previously reported to Cabinet on 7th September, 2011, be reaffirmed.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1-5)    To ensure the views of the Council are made known to the Welsh Government.

 

 

C1591                        SICKNESS ABSENCE REPORT APRIL TO SEPTEMBER 2011 (HRE) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Absence information for the Council during the above period was as follows:

 

 

Annual Target 2011/12

Pro rata Target April  – Sept 2011

Actual Absence April -Sept 2011

Total April – Sept 2010 (as a comparison)

Average days/ shifts lost per FTE (CORPORATE)

9.0

 4.5

4.05

4.62

Percentage of lost time by FTE

3.46

3.46

3.1%

4.0%

Average days/shifts lost per FTE (Inc Schools)

N/A

 N/A

3.58

4.20

Percentage of lost time by FTE (Inc Schools)

N/A

 N/A

2.7%

3.2%

 

Full details of the breakdown by Directorate and individual service area were appended to the report.  Attention was drawn to the need to revisit the figures referring to staff numbers within that appendix where the average full time equivalent was larger than the headcount.  That appendix demonstrated that corporately the Council was currently within target of 0.45 of a day.  The half year figures showed an encouraging increase from 3 to 4 of the number of Directorates which achieved or came within target.  Although sickness absence within the Social Services Directorate remained the highest when compared to all other Directorates in comparison to last year for the same period Members noted that there had been in fact a 1.2% reduction in the number of days lost.  On the basis of the first half year figures, both the Directorate of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services and the Directorate of Finance, ICT and Property Services were already above target.  A variety of measures had already been implemented within the Directorate of Finance, ICT and Property Services where the absence had been mainly long term.  New measures had been implemented within Building Services to reduce the absence rate.

 

Members noted that there remained a continuing need to review and analyse the reasons for sickness to inform the development of intervention measures and to assist staff to remain/return to work with appropriate adaptations/support as necessary.  Attention was drawn to the current period of unprecedented change and to the fact that the retention of acceptable and reasonable absence levels remained the primary focus rather than seeking ongoing reductions.    Managers would nevertheless still be required to monitor and explore available opportunities to access any appropriate measures to support the policy objectives.  A revised Management of Attendance Policy had been approved in respect of schools and several training sessions with headteachers and governing bodies had been organised; those attending the training sessions would be would be encouraged to adopt the policy.  In conclusion, it was noted that the figures reported in October 2011 showed that this Council was second in rank order of the lowest number of days lost per full time equivalent.  The Cabinet Member congratulated all responsible for that outcome for their efforts.  The Chief Executive drew attention to the fact that continued success was dependent upon the level of long-term sickness absence within individual Directorates.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the report and absence outturn at Appendix A to the report be accepted.

 

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

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To bring matters to the attention of Cabinet in line with corporate objectives.

 

(2)       To inform the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) and to invite comments.

 

 

C1592                        TRINITY STREETAND ROMILLY ROAD, BARRY - PROPOSED EXPERIMENTAL TRAFFIC REGULATION ORDER - RESPONSE TO PUBLIC CONSULTATION EXERCISE (VBS) (SCRUTINY - ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

90 responses had been received from residents in response to the public consultation exercise, 40 being in favour of the proposed Experimental Order and 50 against.  There were no responses from businesses. 

 

In addition to the indication of support or not to the proposal, various comments had been received as shown in paragraph 10 of the report.  Of the 38 responses from residents in Trinity Street, 30 were in favour of the proposal; of the 4 responses received from Romilly Road residents, 3 were in favour. 

 

Implementing traffic management changes on a trial basis allowed real data to be collected and allowed the travelling public to take a more informed view of the change through the benefit of actual experience.  Given in this case the poor response from the public consultation and the absence of a decisive result, consideration was given as to whether any further action should be taken at either location at the current time.  Members noted that officers would continue to monitor speed and accident data at those locations and, if there were a requirement in the future to undertake any traffic modelling work for the west end of Barry, the management of those streets and others in the vicinity would be reconsidered. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

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

 

(2)       T H A T no further action be taken at this time in respect of the above.

 

(3)       T H A T the report be referred to the Planning Committee.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       For information.

 

(2)       To clarify the Council's position.

 

(3)       For information.

 

 

C1593                        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 item of business on the grounds that it involves 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.

 

 

C1594                        CADOXTON HOUSE: INCREASED CONTRACT COSTS (L) (EXEMPT INFORMATION - PARAGRAPH 14) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Authority was sought under the Council's Financial Regulation 21.5 for additional expenditure due to variations of contract, increasing the contracted sum from £793,500 to £930,552.  During the course of the refurbishment of Cadoxton House additional works were carried out either because they were essential or had been requested by the client.  The total cost of those additional works amounted to £137,052 and was outlined within the report.  It was noted that a bid had recently been approved by the Welsh Government for an additional £129,521 to cover the unfunded £67,252 of the contract overspend as well as a further £62,269 to furnish the building. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the increase be noted and the additional expenditure incurred of £137,052 on the contract price for Cadoxton House as set out within the report approved.

 

(2)       T H A T an increase of £129,521 in the existing Capital Programme budget for Cadoxton House refurbishment be approved.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To comply with Council's Financial Regulation 21.5.

 

(2)       That completion of the project can be achieved.