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CABINET

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 15th February, 2012.

 

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

 

Also present:  Councillor Mrs. M.R. Wilkinson.

 

 

C1608                        APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE -

 

These were received from Councillors T.H. Jarvie and R.L. Traherne.

 

 

C1609                        MINUTES -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 1st February, 2012 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

C1610                        DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

The following Councillors declared interests as indicated below:

 

Councillor A.M. Ernest

Agenda Item No. 16 - Dyffryn House and Gardens: National Trust as a Director of Capital Regional Tourism appointed by the Council.

Councillor Mrs. D.M. Turner

Agenda Item No. 10 - St. Cyres Governing Body Consultation On A Change Of Status From Maintained Foundation School To Maintained Community School as the local authority representative on St. Cyres Governing Body.

 

 

C1611                        ALLOCATION OF FUNDING UNDER THE VOLUNTARY ACTION SCHEME 2012/13 (REF - VOLUNTARY SECTOR JOINT LIAISON COMMITTEE: 8TH FEBRUARY, 2012) -

 

The Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee had, on 8th February, 2012 considered the above together with the supporting documentation and had agreed that the following applications for grant assistance as highlighted below be recommended to Cabinet for approval:

 

View requested grant assistance

RESOLVED - T H A T the recommendations of the Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee as shown above be accepted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To progress the award of grants in accordance with the approved scheme.

 

 

C1612                        ADDITIONAL FUNDS BROUGHT INTO THE VALE BY THE VOLUNTARY SECTOR (REF - VOLUNTARY SECTOR JOINT LIAISON COMMITTEE: 8TH FEBRUARY, 2012) -

 

The Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee had, on 8th February, 2012, considered a report by the Executive Director of the Vale Centre for Voluntary Services (VCVS) which informed Members of the external funding brought into the Vale by Third Sector organisations. The Committee had noted the report and referred the same to Cabinet for information.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the position be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To recognise the role of the Voluntary Sector in bringing in additional funding to the local economy.

 

 

C1613                        AUDITOR GENERAL FOR WALES: ANNUAL IMPROVEMENT REPORT 2012 (L) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

The Council's Corporate Assessment had been reported to Cabinet in October 2011 and subsequently to the Audit Committee in December 2011.  The Wales Audit Office's Performance Assessment of the Council was contained within the Auditor General's Annual Improvement Report.  The Annual Improvement Report 2012, as appended, focussed on key elements of corporate management arrangements that underpinned the way the Council was able to make effective use of its resources and the outcome of its activity in specific areas.  A summary of the report's conclusions was contained within paragraph 6 as outlined below:

 

  • the Council had strong corporate management arrangements in place and was securing improvement across a range of services
  • effective financial management, good use of information technology and strengths in people management
  • much to do to improve the management of its land and property and performance for delivering Disabled Facilities Grants remained poor despite improvements in recent years
  • good arrangements in place for setting its objectives and monitoring delivery of actions.

 

The report made the following two proposals for improvement:

 

  • P1 continue the development of outcome focussed measures moving from reporting arrangements that primarily focussed on performance indicators and on the completion or otherwise of an action and ensuring that intentions were expressed in a way which allowed the progress to be measured and that reporting arrangements consistently provided Members with an evaluation of performance in the context of the objective the Council was aiming to achieve
  • P2 implement specific proposals for improvement arising from the reviews of Human Resources, Asset Management and Disabled Facilities Grants. 

 

Further details were contained within the report of significant efforts which continued to be made corporately to improve upon delivery times for Disabled Facilities Grants for all clients.  In light of ongoing service developments, it was anticipated that the Council would achieve the current Welsh average performance by 31st March, 2013. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED - 

 

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

 

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

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To keep Cabinet apprised.

 

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

 

 

C1614                        GRANTS TO COMMUNITY/VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS - VALE VOLUNTEER BUREAU (L) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Authority was sought to award further funding to the Vale Volunteer Bureau (VVB).  The VVB acted as an 'umbrella' organisation promoting volunteering within the Council's area and the current Deed of Grant with the Council provided funding in the sum of £35k. per annum.  That Deed of Grant would come to an end on 31st March, 2012 and meetings had been held with representatives of VVB at which the severe financial constraints facing the Council had been explained. 

 

Mindful of the above, it had been concluded that further funding could be provided in the sum of £32.5k. per annum.  Having been notified to that effect, the Chairman of the VVB had written to the Leader of the Council indicating that the proposal, if implemented, would put both current service levels and future developments at significant risk.  That letter was appended to the report before Cabinet as was the Leader’s reply which, inter alia, the Chairman of the VVB was notified that Cabinet would consider the potential risks before making its decision.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

Having considered the above, it was

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T grant funding to the Vale Volunteer Bureau in the sum of £32,500 per annum, payable annually in advance for three years commencing 1st April, 2012 be approved.

 

(2)       T H A T a Deed of Grant for three years from 1st April, 2012 be entered into with the Vale Volunteer Bureau.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1&2)  To formalise funding arrangements with the Vale Volunteer Bureau.

 

 

C1615                        GRANTS TO COMMUNITY/VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS - VALE CENTRE FOR VOLUNTARY SERVICES (L) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Authority was sought to award further funding to the Vale Centre for Voluntary Services (VCVS).  The VCVS acted as the umbrella organisation representing the voluntary sector within the Council's area and the current Deed of Grant provided funding in the sum of £88k. per annum.  That Deed of Grant would come to an end on 31st March, 2012 and meetings had been held with representatives of VCVS at which the severe financial constraints facing the Council had been explained.  Mindful of the above and also of the increased workload on the VCVS, it had been concluded that further funding could be provided in the sum of £84k. per annum for three years commencing 1st April, 2012. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H AT grant funding to the Vale Centre for Voluntary Services in the sum of £84,000 per annum, payable annually in advance, for three years commencing 1st April, 2012 be approved.

 

(2)       T H A T a Deed of Grant for three years from 1st April, 2012 be entered into with the Vale Centre for Voluntary Services.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1&2)  To formalise funding arrangements with the Vale Centre for Voluntary Services.

 

 

C1616                        CEMETERY APPROACH, BARRY - CONSIDERATION OF FUTURE LAND USE OPTIONS (L) (CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Authority was sought to undertake a public consultation exercise on options for the future use of land located at Cemetery Road, Barry for recreational purposes such as a community park, garden, play area, allotments and other similar amenities.  The areas of land concerned were shown on a map appended to the report.  The areas comprised:

 

  • Ash Field (area 'A' as shown on the map) - a parcel of land of approximately 0.46ha. (1.13 acres) located between Cemetery Approach and the Cemetery allotments
  • Former nursery site (area 'B' as shown on the map) - a parcel of land of approximately 0.43ha. (1.07 acres) located between Cemetery Approach, the rear gardens of 9 - 23 St. Teilo Avenue and the rear gardens of 250 - 260 Barry Road. 

 

The land had been declared surplus to requirements and placed on the market for disposal in 1997.  Given the significant local interest in the land, including some opposition to the proposal that the land be utilised for housing, it was considered appropriate that a consultation exercise as to its future use be undertaken.  Due to the Council's financial constraints, it was clear that there was a need to look to the local community and other stakeholders to support any plans or initiatives in terms of both their time and possibly finance although grant funding could be available for certain formally constituted groups for certain community based initiatives.  It was proposed that the emphasis through the consultation process would be on community engagement, amenity, accessibility and sustainability.  The consultation process would commence in April 2012 with a report to Cabinet on the outcomes of the process likely in September 2012.  Further details as to the detail of the consultation process would be published in the local press. 

 

Comments from Ward and another Member were tabled at the meeting in support of the above proposals.  The Leader emphasised that the consultation would extend beyond Ward boundaries and that comments would be welcomed from across Barry.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T a public consultation exercise be authorised involving all interested individuals, groups and organisations on possible future uses for the two parcels of Council owned land located at Cemetery Road, Barry, as delineated on the map appended to the report, for recreational purposes.

 

(2)       T H AT the Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration be granted delegated authority, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Visible and Building Services, to draft all documentation and to define all processes in connection with this consultation exercise.

 

(3)       T H A T a further report be provided to Cabinet on conclusion of the consultation exercise with a short list of suitable future land use options.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To ensure full and effective involvement of all stakeholders in consideration of the possible future uses of this land for recreational purposes.

 

(2)       To ensure that the documentation and processes are sufficient to properly engage stakeholders and for the responses received to be most relevant to the location and nature of the land in question.

 

(3)       To permit a decision to be taken on the future uses of the land.

 

 

C1617                        ST. CYRES GOVERNING BODY CONSULTATION ON A CHANGE OF STATUS FROM MAINTAINED FOUNDATION SCHOOL TO MAINTAINED COMMUNITY SCHOOL (ELL) (SCRUTINY - LIFELONG LEARNING) -

 

Members were informed of the statutory consultation being undertaken by the Governing Body of St. Cyres Comprehensive School regarding a change of status from a Maintained Foundation School to a Maintained Community School.  The consultation paper as appended to the report had been issued on 20th January with responses due by 20th February, 2012. 

 

The proposals for Penarth Learning Community included the replacement of the Comprehensive School which would be co-located within the new Special School.  The central theme of the school was shared use of the site and school buildings both by the schools involved and the community.  It was considered that a change in status would support the effective implementation and operation of the Penarth Learning Community for the reasons set out within the report.  A change in status would result in ownership transferring to the Council subject to signed agreement by the Welsh Government and would require a new Instrument of Government to be drawn up.  It would necessitate a change to the composition of the Governing Body as shown in paragraph 8 of the report and would also result in the Council becoming the Admissions Authority which would assist consistent management of admissions and any admission appeals in the future. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the proposal of St. Cyres Governing Body to change the school's status from a Maintained Foundation School to a Maintained Community School be supported.

 

Reason for decision

 

A change in status will facilitate the effective implementation of the Penarth Learning Community Scheme.

 

 

C1618                        WELSH PUBLIC LIBRARY STANDARDS (ELL) (LIFELONG LEARNING) -

 

The Public Library Standards had been introduced by the Welsh Government (WG) in September 2001 as a common performance assessment framework for public library services in Wales.  It was noted that the Standards were reviewed and updated by WG on a three year cycle.  The Annual Return for 2010-11 was appended to the report together with a summary of the information provided therein.  Feedback in the form of an Assessment from the WG was also appended to the report.  The covering letter stated that 'the authority has taken a conscientious approach to the achievement of the Standards, supported by strong analysis of performance levels.  It has consolidated its progress over the three years of the Third Assessment Framework, and the impact of its recent investment and improvement programme is likely to result in further positive developments'.  The Authority had achieved 10 out of the 14 Standards in 2010/11, partly achieved a further 2 Standards and did not achieve the remaining 2 Standards.  It was noted that the average across Wales was the achievement of 9 Standards.  Details were contained within paragraphs 11 and 12 of the report of those Standards not achieved and those partly achieved as summarised below:

 

  • Standard 5 - the total number of library items available for use among adults and children per 1,000 population - failure probably linked to the fact that significantly more space was required to accommodate the amount of stock suggested by the Standard although it was noted that user satisfaction with the choice of books was high
  • Standard 11 - staffing levels and the percentage of staff holding a library and information services qualification - staffing levels were at the Welsh median but the number of staff holding qualifications at degree level or equivalent was significantly below standard; the Assessors appeared to accept that the structure of the workforce was appropriate to the needs of the service
  • Standard 7 - time taken to replenish stock available for adults and for children - partly achieved and the service was in the process of taking steps to rectify the situation
  • Standard 12 - whether a service achieved the stipulated minimum publicly accessible floor areas within its libraries - partly achieved in recognition of the authority's investment notably the County Library in Barry.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the Annual Return for 2010 -11 submitted to the Welsh Government be endorsed.

 

(2)       T H AT the current and anticipated performance of the Library and Information Service in relation to the Welsh Public Libraries Standards framework be noted.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To comply with the requirement of the Welsh Assembly Government for formal approval of the Annual Return for 2010-11.

 

(2)       To keep Members informed of progress.

 

 

C1619                        INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY (HRE) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Cabinet was notified of the event organised in celebration of International Women's Day scheduled to be held on Thursday, 8th March, 2012 at the Memorial Hall, Barry.  The international theme for 2012 was entitled 'Connected Girls - Inspiring Futures'.  The draft programme for the event, which would be hosted by the Cabinet Member for Human Resources and Equalities, was appended to the report.  A group of motivational women speakers had agreed to talk about their lives and achievements and a wide range of guests had been invited to attend the event.  It was noted that, so far, 120 people had confirmed their attendance.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED - T H AT the arrangements for the organisation of an event in support of International Women's Day be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To celebrate International Women's Day.

 

 

C1620                        TENANT PARTICIPATION STRATEGY 2012 - 15 (HCS) (SCRUTINY - HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) -

 

The Welsh Government (WG) required each Local Authority to submit its second Tenant Participation Strategy to be assessed by the Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS).  TPAS had published guidance on the content and structure of Local Authority Tenant Participation and, in order to ensure continuing compliance with the WG, the Tenant Participation Strategy 2012 -15 had been developed.  The draft Strategy was appended to the report.  The deadline for the submission of the second round had been 31st October, 2011 and TPAS had been appointed to assess the submissions.  During a meeting with TPAS in relation to the updated Strategy, the Council was advised to produce a new Strategy in order to ensure a clear plan for the future.  As such, the WG approved an extension to the deadline for this Council until 31st December, 2011. 

 

The aim of the Tenant Participation Strategy 2012 -15 was to improve the quality and delivery of the housing service, contribute to wider community development and achieve full Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) by increasing the participation and control tenants had over the housing service and landlord function.  Whilst that remained the long term goal of the Strategy, its delivery was translated into a number of more specific objectives as indicated below:

 

  • Objective Number 1: To improve the day to day delivery of the housing service and to ensure that the services available were appropriate to the identified needs and circumstances of customers
  • Objective Number 2: Ensure that the Council listened and learnt from its communities, was honest in its approaches, transparent in its decision making and accountable to tenants through the mainstreaming of tenant participation
  • Objective Number 3: To enable tenants to have a greater influence over planning and reviewing services, decision making and budget setting by increasing their capacity to participate and removing barriers to involvement
  • Objective Number 4: Improve the quality of life and the environment in the communities that tenants lived in and create a strong sense of community in which residents felt they were able to make a contribution to the future of the area.

 

Outcome monitoring would be assessed by TPAS as part of its commitment to the Strategy.  Feedback and comments from the members of the Vale Housing Panel had been incorporated into the finished document and the draft Strategy had been submitted to the WG by the set deadline.  The Strategy had been submitted with the caveat that the document had yet to be approved by the Cabinet.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the Tenant Participation Strategy 2012 - 2015 and Action Plan as attached to the report be accepted.

 

(2)       T H A T the policy implications for the Vale of Glamorgan Council be noted.

 

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

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To ensure a continuation of the Council's tenant engagement activities.

 

(2)       To ensure that the Council continues to meet the requirements of the Welsh Government's National Tenant Participation Strategy.

 

(3)       To ensure that the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) monitors Public Sector Housing's performance against the Action Plan on a 6 monthly basis.

 

 

C1621                        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.

 

 

C1622                        JOB EVALUATION / EQUAL PAY - UPDATE (HRE) (EXEMPT INFORMATION - PARAGRAPH 15) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Cabinet was updated on the progress being made in implementing the new Single Status pay structure and related issues of equal pay.  In addition to reminding Members of the background to the current position, the report contained information relating to the following matters: implementation issues (including the payment of hardship and compensation payments); appeals and re-evaluation process (reference being made therein to the accelerated appeals/review process for those adversely affected); wider equal pay strategy; tax, national insurance and pension implications of settlement payments (the Cabinet Member giving a verbal update on the position in relation to retrospective equal pay and compensation payments); other elements of the Single Status Collective Agreement.  Details were also contained within the report of the resource and legal implications and Members were reminded that the finalised proposal in relation to the new Single Status pay structure had been approved by Council on 19th October, 2011 (Minute Number 533 refers). 

 

Whilst any changes to the current Job Evaluation/Single Status proposals would need to be approved by both Cabinet and the Council, this update report was a matter for Executive decision.


 

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the issues as set out in the report be noted and that the approach being taken in relation to the implementation of this key issue be endorsed.

 

(2)       T H AT the matters set out at paragraphs 22 to 33 of the report be dealt with in accordance with the existing delegation granted to the Chief Executive and as set out in paragraph 27 of this report.

 

(3)       T H A T the Director of Finance, ICT and Property be authorised to implement arrangements as set out in (2) above.

 

(4)       T H A T the Urgent Decision Procedure as set out in Article 13.09 (ii) of the Council's Constitution be utilised to implement Resolutions (2) and (3) above.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To ensure that Cabinet is aware of developments in relation to the implementation of the new Single Status pay structure and the delivery of the related equal pay strategy.

 

(2,3&4)           To ensure that the Council is able to meet the necessary time deadlines in relation to the implementation of the new pay structure and equal pay settlement events.

 

 

C1623                        DYFFRYN HOUSE AND GARDENS: NATIONAL TRUST (EDR) (EXEMPT INFORMATION - PARAGRAPHS 12, 13 AND 14) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Consideration was given to the optimum way forward in respect of the transfer of the operation of Dyffryn House and Gardens to the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or National Beauty (NT).  Whilst a considerable amount of progress had been made since the matter was last reported to Cabinet (June 2011) certain matters required further consideration.  Details pertaining to those matters were contained within the report under the following headings:

 

  • Valuations and Section 123 Local Government Act 1972
  • State aids
  • Pensions
  • VAT
  • Existing leases on site
  • Grant liabilities.

 

The one letter of objection received to the proposals had been appended to the report.  Further details were also contained within the report of the resource and legal implications. 

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T, subject to ratification by full Council and subject to satisfactory state aids approval, the arrangement with National Trust, as set out in the report, be finalised.

 

(2)       T H A T the Council enter into appropriate legal Agreements with the National Trust, including a lease, the Agreements being conditional on both Council ratification and satisfactory state aid approval.

 

(3)       T H AT the Council grant licences/leases to existing occupiers as set out in the report on terms to be agreed by the Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services, in consultation with the Director of Economic Development and Regeneration and Director of Finance, ICT and Property, subject to (1) above.

 

(4)       T H A T, subject to (1) above, the Council accept the surrender of the lease to Cymraeg Vending Limited in respect of the Tea Rooms at Dyffryn Gardens in addition to further agreeing a variation of the catering contract with Cymraeg Vending Limited to exclude Dyffryn Gardens and that in regard to those matters, the Director of Finance, ICT and Property and the Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services in consultation with the Director of Economic Development and Regeneration be authorised to finalise the terms of the surrender and agree the variation of the contract accordingly.

 

(5)       T H A T the Director of Finance ICT and Property, Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services and the Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration be given delegated authority to resolve any outstanding legal and financial issues including the execution of agreements and contracts to achieve the proposed transfer.

 

(6)       T H A T, subject to (1) above, the Director of Finance, ICT and Property be given delegated powers, in consultation with the Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration, the Leader, Cabinet Member for Human Resources and Equalities and the Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, to negotiate a payment towards the additional costs of the National Trust successfully gaining Admitted Body Status to the Local Government Pension Scheme, and to negotiate terms for risk sharing in respect of pensions provision, with the final position to be agreed by full Council.

 

(7)       T H A T, subject to (1) above, the Council enter into the appropriate agreements with the Heritage Lottery Fund to vary the terms and conditions of its previous and current Grants to include the National Trust which would enable the Trust to both benefit and assume responsibility for the liabilities under those grants and that, in this regard, the Council also transfer the balance of £600,000 allocated to match funding the Partial House Restoration Grant to the National Trust to enable the Trust to take forward the works required under the terms and conditions of that grant.

 

(8)       T H A T, subject to (1) above, the Council enter into the appropriate Agreement with Cadw to transfer or otherwise vary the grant awarded for the partial restoration of the House.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1&2)  In order to achieve a transfer.

 

(3)       In order to formalise the transfer to NT.

 

(4)       In order to facilitate long term plans.

 

(5)       In order to allow the arrangement to be concluded.

 

(6)       In order to provide adequate pension arrangements.

 

(7)       In order to transfer grant and achieve an appropriate arrangement.

 

(8)       In order to facilitate the partial restoration of the House.