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CABINET

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 14th March, 2012.

 

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

 

 

Also present: Councillor Mrs. M. Randall.

 

 

C1650                        MINUTES -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 29th February, 2012 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

C1651                        DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

C1652                        DEVELOPMENT OF A SHARED SERVICE FOR INTERNAL AUDIT WITH BRIDGEND COUNTY BOROUGH COUNCIL (REF) -

 

Audit Committee on 23rd February, 2012 was updated on the progress to develop a full shared service for Internal Audit with Bridgend County Borough Council (Bridgend CBC).

 

Cabinet had approved the implementation of a temporary shared service arrangement for Internal Audit Manager with Bridgend CBC in December 2009, effective from 1st January 2010.  Further specific reports on progress had been submitted to the Audit Committee with regular updates also provided by the Head of Accountancy and Resource Management in his capacity as Head of Internal Audit in providing an opinion on the adequacy of the Council’s internal control arrangements. 

           

A three-phase Business Case had been developed, with the third phase being endorsed by the two Councils’ Joint Working Programme Board in May 2011.    Phase 3 would realise the option for the provision of a fully integrated Internal Audit Shared Service (IASS).  With the success experienced by sharing the Internal Audit Manager (phase 1), it was considered that the next natural progression would be to integrate all staff in one location and second staff from Bridgend CBC to the Vale (phase 2).  This had been successfully achieved and had been fully operational since May 2011 with staff from both the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Bridgend CBC coming together and being located at the Innovation Centre situated on the boundaries of both Councils in Ewenny, Bridgend. 

 

Phase 3 of the Business Case was to create an IASS which would deliver a full, professional internal audit service to meet the needs of the Councils and the requirements as defined in the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) Code of Practice for Internal Audit in Local Government in the United Kingdom 2006. 

 

The stated aim of the IASS project was to provide a shared service solution, focused on a series of identifiable and measurable objectives, in which both Councils had an equal share in terms of control, direction and influence.

 

As such, the IASS should achieve the following objectives:

 

·                    is affordable and which represents value for money

·                    enhances the professionalism and quality of audit services provided to both Councils through shared knowledge and best practice

·                    is flexible and can respond to changing service requirements and priorities

·                    extends access to specialist audit services and other related disciplines to both Councils

·                    delivers efficiencies and economies of scale

·                    improves the investment of staff training and development and provides opportunities for career progression for staff within the service.

 

In order to meet this, the phase 3 Business Case recommended that:

 

·                    there should be a single employing authority which should be the Vale of Glamorgan Council

·                    staff currently employed by Bridgend County Borough Council should be TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings - Protection of Employment Regulations) transferred to the Vale of Glamorgan Council

·                    a new staffing structure should be implemented to ensure the IASS was fit for purpose and fit for form

·                    the new staffing structure should be implemented after all staff were employed by the Vale of Glamorgan Council

·                    a legal Partnership Agreement based on Section 101 / 102 of the Local Government Act 1972 should be entered into between the two Councils to delegate the function and formalise the provision of services and basis for cost apportionment.

 

Both Councils would be required to sign up to the terms and conditions of this document for a set period of time (proposed minimum of three years) in order to demonstrate commitment. 

 

Overseeing the IASS would be a Joint Partnership Board comprising the respective Section 151 Officers (or their nominees) from each Council.  The Board would monitor the performance of the IASS to ensure that it delivered the standards and expectations set out in the partnership agreement. 

 

Whilst the partners would jointly oversee the performance of the IASS, the responsibility for the adequacy of the whole system of internal audit would remain with the Councils themselves, who would remain responsible for approving audit plans and monitoring delivery via the Councils’ respective Audit Committees. 

 

The individual Councils would continue to be responsible for overseeing the effectiveness of the internal audit function at Council level, and holding the Head of Internal Audit to account for delivery of the approved Audit Plan.  They would also be responsible for the effectiveness of their governance, risk management and control arrangements, hold managers to account for delivery and receive regular progress updates on internal audit work as well as considering key themes and issues and to take them forward as necessary.

 

Initial indications of the level of service required had been considered, and this information had been used to determine the indicative costs of the service.  The costs would be shared in proportion to the level of service required on a full recovery basis with the overall position being cost neutral in terms of the existing budget.

 

The coming together of the two divisions had also identified a need for a new organisational structure to be implemented as part of the process.  This would have the impact of reducing the number of full time equivalent posts between the two divisions, at present 29 to a maximum of 24 under the new IASS. 

 

Audit Committee had

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T Cabinet:

 

(1)       Approves the proposal that the Vale of Glamorgan Council hosts and becomes a partner in the Internal Audit Shared Service (IASS) with Bridgend County Borough Council.

 

(2)       Authorises the Head of Paid Service and the Section 151 Officer, in consultation with the Leader, to make the necessary detailed arrangements under delegated authority to establish the IASS, including admission of further interested parties if appropriate subject to an agreed Partnership Agreement and Contract.

 

Cabinet, having considered the recommendations of the Audit Committee, it was

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the recommendations of the Audit Committee be agreed.

 

Reason for decision

 

Having regard to the views of the Audit Committee.

 

C1653                        CORPORATE PARENTING PANEL -

 

With the minutes of the Corporate Parenting Panel held on 20th July, 2011 having been previously reported to Cabinet, this item was withdrawn.

 

 

C1654                        VALE OF GLAMORGAN LOCAL ACCESS FORUM -

 

The following minutes of meetings of the Vale of Glamorgan Local Access Forum were submitted:

 

(i)         5.30 p.m.

 

Present: Mr. F. Coleman, Mr. M. Dunn, Councillor A.M. Ernest, Mrs. V.M. Hartrey, Mr. J.J. Herbert, Ms. C. Lucas, Mr. H.S. McMillan, Ms. E. Nash, Mr. R. Pittard, Mr. C. Short, Mr. R. Simpson, Mr. G. Thomas and Mr. R. Traherne.

 

Mr. J. Wyatt (Chairman); Ms. T. Cottnam, Mr. B. Guy, Mr. G. Teague and Mrs. S. Thomas (VoGC).

 

 

(a)       Apologies for Absence -

 

These were received from Mr. S. Lait and Mr. M. Parry.

 

(b)       Welcome / Introduction from the Secretary -

 

Jeff Wyatt, as Secretary to the Forum, welcomed both the new and returning members to the first meeting of the newly appointed Forum.  He explained that the Forum was required to be appointed every three years, the first forum having been established in 2002.

 

(c)        Introduction by Members -

 

Following a brief introduction from the officers present, members of the Forum outlined their particular fields of interest and expertise, most having submitted a short synopsis for inclusion in the papers sent out prior to the meeting.

 

(d)       Rights of Way Team - Outline of Service Areas -

 

Gwyn Teague took members through his report which was structured under the following headings:

 

·                    Background – the Public Rights of Way (PROW) network which comprised 498kms of footpaths, 27kms of bridleways and 27kms of restricted byways.  When asked for the definition of a restricted byway, he explained that users had the right of way over a restricted byway on foot, on horseback, on pedal cycle or any other non-mechanically propelled vehicle.

·                    Maintenance – in addition to ensuring that the surfaces of public rights of way were kept in repair to a standard suitable for ordinary use, work was also undertaken to replace dilapidated structures on behalf of landowners.  In response to questions as to whether the Council could effect repairs on land where landownership was unknown, Mr. Teague indicated that the Council had general powers for maintenance if it was a matter of public safety but that, in the main, identifying landownership was not a major issue within the Vale.  Such work was frequently undertaken with volunteers and partner organisations, one such organisation previously being Valeways.

·                    Enforcement – such duties included the removal of obstructions / hazards and / or taking action where certain types of unlawful activity had occurred.

·                    Definitive Map and Statement – the existence and location of PROWs were legally recorded in the above documents which required continuous review.  The Council was also working towards republication of the Definitive Map.

·                    Legal Orders – required to alter the PROW network.

·                    Improvement – not a statutory duty but which attracted significant grant funding. Mr. Teague referred to, for example, funding received under the Rights of Way Improvement Programme (ROWIP), the Coastal Access Improvement Programme (CAIP) and the Rural Development Plan (RDP) Programme.

·                    Information – Mr. Teague indicated that a great deal of time was spent in working with and supporting numerous stakeholders and promoting the network by various means.  Where possible the amount of information provided on the Council’s website would be expanded.

 

Mr. Teague confirmed that the Section currently comprised two permanent members of staff plus one vacancy together with, at present, three temporary members of staff funded through grant aid.

 

(e)       Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) - Background and Update -

 

The Vale of Glamorgan ROWIP had been published in November 2007, the vision for the Plan being “to provide, maintain and improve the network of PROWs and countryside access for everyone and to enable and encourage increasingly convenient and responsible use and enjoyment of the Vale's countryside and coast”.  Funding to implement the Plan had been allocated by the Welsh Government (WG) initially for three years until 2010/11 but had in fact been extended to a fourth year covering 2011/12.  The likely indication was that funding would be returned for the financial year 2012/13 of around £33k.  As indicated in the report, this year’s programme had included the funding of a post to quality assure map data.  The grant provided for:

 

§                     working towards a republication of the Definitive Map

§                     the recent addition of PROW data to the Council's website

§                     matchfunding of Rural Development Plan schemes which had enabled substantial improvement works at Corntown and Cowbridge to be completed

§                     training for specialist Countryside Access software used to analyse condition survey data previously captured (CAMS)

§                     delivery of biodiversity element of the scheme, specifically the scheme in Leckwith Woods. 

 

In response to a question as to whether the use of CAMS would enable the public to notify the Council of issues in the countryside, Mr. Teague indicated that the services offered by Exegesis in that respect had not been explored but that it could be considered in the future.

 

(f)         Coastal Access Improvement Programme (CAIP) - Background and Update -

 

By way of background Trisha Cottnam explained that the CAIP was a scheme funded by the Welsh Government (WG) which had commenced in 2007 and would run through to 2013.  Particular emphasis within the programme was placed upon the provision of the all-Wales Coastal Path, the official opening of which was scheduled for 5th May 2012.  Members were urged to note that one of the three official openings would take place on Roald Dahl Plasse in Cardiff at 11:30 a.m. on 5th May.  She drew attention to the fact that good progress was being made on the section of the path going through the Vale, referring in particular to imminent improvement works at Cwm Mawr.  The CAIP was 75% funded by the WG through the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW), necessitating 25% match funding.  In 2011/12 funding to the value of £120.1k. had been received.

 

The report listed the works that had been recently accomplished within the Vale as being:

 

·                    Porthkerry drainage

·                    Gilestone - kissing gates

·                    Cwm Nash to Dunraven

·                    AtlanticCollege

·                    Cwm Mawr.

 

Mr. Teague updated members by notifying them that in the current week dedication agreements had been undertaken with Dunraven Estates for approximately 7½kms of public footpaths and that another significant development was an anticipated imminent agreement in relation to land at St. Mary’s Well Bay which would result in a total of 8kms of footpath having been added in the current year.

 

In relation to a question, Mr. Teague responded that very little of the coastal path within the Vale would be “permissive” and referred to a part which currently fell under the Tir Gofal scheme and another area around Aberthaw where, whilst a formal agreement might prove difficult to achieve, the landowner was content with the current arrangements.  As regards funding to ensure the maintenance of the path, Mr. Teague indicated that discussions on the topic were ongoing.  When asked where the insurance liability lay, Mr. Teague explained that the Council as Highway Authority would likely carry the liability if surfaces were not adequately maintained unless it fell to the landowner (as it could, for example, in the case of structures).

 

 

(g)       Rural Development Plan (RDP) - Footpaths and Cycleways -

 

By way of background, Mr. Teague explained that the RDP would run until December 2013 with funding implications for both the PROW network and investment in cycle routes through the Rural Footpath Grant and the National Cycle Network (NCN) Route 88.  Further details pertaining to both were contained in the report as outlined below:

 

·                    Rural Footpath Grant - designed to increase connectivity between villages and key locations in the rural Vale with PROWs.  Substantial improvement works costing approximately £43k.at Corntown and Cowbridge had already been undertaken, leaving a total of £107k. to be expended by December 2013.

·                    NCN Route 88 - designed to extend the existing Route 88 through the investment in cycle routes identified by Sustrans, linking with the NCN route 4 at Margam Park and the start of NCN Route 8 in Cardiff Bay.  Work was already underway in relation to the construction of a shared footway/ cycleway on Porthkerry Road and also on a signage strategy.  In response to a question, Mr. Teague confirmed that the scheme being developed would combine both on and off road provision.  The point was then raised as to why this new provision should be dedicated for the sole use of pedestrians and cyclists thereby excluding horse riders, given the limited length of bridleways within the Vale, the option for both pedestrians and cyclists to use bridleways and, particularly, as equine tourism was being promoted within the Vale.  Mr. Guy stated that any changes would be required to conform to grant conditions and Councillor Ernest suggested that the LAF might need to look separately at the issue of bridleways.  Mr. Pittard then indicated that he was aware of the Welsh Government’s current pre-consultation exercise on a proposed Local Transport Act, during the course of which he understood that the above issues in relation to provision of horse riding routes had been raised.  He further suggested that it would be useful for the LAF to be involved when appropriate in that consultation process.

 

(h)       Procedure for Claiming Expenses -

 

In accordance with Regulation 11 of the Countryside Access (Local Access Forums) (Wales) Regulations 2001, the Appointing Authority was required to defray reasonable expenses incurred by Forum members in the discharge of its duties.  Previously the LAF had agreed that a rate of 40p per mile be paid to members claiming for travel expenses.  Expenses forms would be made available upon application to the Secretariat.  Members were asked to submit any claims within a maximum of 12 months of incurring the same and to consider receiving payment through the BACS method for the reasons set out in the report. 

 

AGREED - T H A T the payment of a mileage rate of 40p per mile be continued and that members individually notify the creditors team in writing with the required details. 

 

(i)         Procedure for Appointment of Chairman and Deputy Chairman -

 

The Secretary explained that the procedure to be followed for the appointment of the above was set out in Regulation 12 of the Countryside Access (Local Access Forums) (Wales) Regulations 2001.  Accordingly, the appointment of the Chairman and Deputy Chairman would be conducted by secret ballot as the first item of business at the second meeting of the Forum later that evening.

 

AGREED - T H A T nominations for, and the appointment of, the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Forum be dealt with as the first item of business at the next meeting.

 

 

 

(ii)        6.30 p.m.

 

Present: Mr. F. Coleman, Mr. M. Dunn, Councillor A.M. Ernest, Mrs. V.M. Hartrey, Mr. J.J. Herbert, Ms. C. Lucas, Mr. H.S. McMillan, Ms. E. Nash, Mr. R. Pittard, Mr. C. Short, Mr. R. Simpson, Mr. G. Thomas and Mr. R. Traherne.

 

Mr. J. Wyatt (Chairman); Ms. T. Cottnam, Mr. B. Guy, Mr. G. Teague and Mrs. S. Thomas (VoGC).

 

(j)         Appointment of Chairman -

 

One nomination for the position of Chairman having been moved and seconded, it was

 

AGREED - T H A T Mr. Frank Coleman be appointed Chairman of the Vale of Glamorgan Local Access Forum to 21st February 2015 or such lesser period as the Forum might subsequently determine.

 

At this juncture, Mr. Coleman took the Chair.

 

(k)       Appointment of Deputy Chairman -

 

Two nominations for the position of Deputy Chairman were moved and seconded.  In accordance with Regulation 12 a secret ballot was therefore conducted.

 

AGREED - T H A T Mr. Michael Dunn be appointed Deputy Chairman for the Vale of Glamorgan Local Access Forum to 21st February 2015 or such lesser period as the Forum might subsequently determine.

 

(l)         Minutes -

 

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

 

The following updates were provided to members:

 

(i)     Vale of Glamorgan Local Development Plan (LDP)

 

The consultation period in respect of the LDP had commenced on 20th February and would end on 2nd April, 2012.  Details were available on the Council’s website.  Following a brief discussion as to the optimum way the LAF should deal with that matter, it was

 

AGREED - T H A T members could respond individually if they wished but that, were significant issues to be identified, they should notify the Secretariat, following which further consideration would be given as to how to address those issues.

 

(ii)     Walking and Cycling Action Plan for Wales

 

Members were informed that a review would be undertaken of the same later in the year and that a report would be made to this LAF at the appropriate time.

 

Action: report to a subsequent meeting.

 

(iii)     PROW Condition Survey

 

 A paper was tabled showing the furniture breakdown across network by type and the issue type across network.  Members agreed that this should be used as a basis for a report to the next meeting together with ways in which to deal with other suggestions made at the meeting in respect of information to be included in those data bases. 

 

Action: report to the next meeting.

 

(iv)     Coastal Access Improvement Programme Update

 

Members were notified that certain dates within the minute as presented were incorrect.  No date(s) had, in fact, been identified for events within the Vale.  Mrs. Cottnam updated Members in respect of the Wales Coast Path website, indicating that it was intended to be fully in place by April, 2012.

 

(v)     Glas Tir

 

Action: report to next meeting.

 

(vi)     Highways Bill

 

Action: LAF to participate in consultation.

 

(vii)     Countryside Code

 

A proposal was made that it might be useful to have a link to the Countryside Code on the Council’s website.

 

Action: further consideration to be given as to those links which could usefully be included in the Council’s website.

 

(vii)     Ogmore River

 

Members were notified that staff from the Heritage Coast were monitoring the situation.

 

(viii)    Valeways (considered under the title of Feedback from Forum Members)

 

In response to a question requesting clarification as to the current position of Valeways and its funding, Mr. Guy indicated that discussions were ongoing and consideration was currently being given to an application for funding.

 

(m)      Terms of Reference -

 

Members were asked to consider the current Terms of Reference as adopted by the previous Forum.  Those Terms of Reference had been based on the model contained within the advice and best practice published by CCW and the WG and had been revised over the years to reflect changing circumstances. 

 

AGREED - T H A T the Terms of Reference as set out in the report be adopted.

 

(m)      Appointment of Additional Member to Represent Disabled People -

 

The establishment of a LAF was governed by the Countryside Access (Local Access Forums) (Wales) Regulations 2001 in which it was stated that an Authority must have regard to the need to ensure so far as was reasonably practicable a fair balance of people.  Since the expiry of the closing date for receipt of applications, an opportunity to address that imbalance as far as it applied to disabilities had arisen in that the Access Group Co-ordinator for Diverse Cymru (formerly Cardiff and the Vale Coalition for Disabled People) had indicated an interest in becoming a member. 

 

AGREED - T H A T the Access Group Co-ordinator for Diverse Cymru be invited to apply for membership of the LAF.

 

Action: application form and guidance notes for prospective members sent on 27th February 2012.

 

(n)       Proposed Timetable of Meetings 2012/13 -

 

Members were asked to consider a draft timetable of meetings for 2012/13 which proposed that the current practice of meetings commencing at 5.30 p.m., ideally lasting no more than two hours and being held on Wednesdays, be continued.

 

AGREED - T H A T, as proposed in the report, the current practice be continued and the following dates agreed:

 

     16th May, 2012

     12th September, 2012

     12th December, 2012

     10th April, 2013.

 

(o)       Synopsis taken from the Meeting Notes of the National Access Forum for Wales (NAFW) held on 10th November, 2011 -

 

The report provided a brief update as to the business transacted at the last meeting of the National Access Forum for Wales.  Any member requiring more detailed information was requested to apply to the Secretariat.

 

(p)       Single Environmental Body - Welsh Government Consultation -

 

Members were notified that the Welsh Government had decided to create a single body to bring together the Forestry Commission Wales, Countryside Council for Wales and the Environment Agency Wales.  It was expected that the new body would be first vested on 1st April 2013.  Consultation on the role and functions of the new body had commenced in February 2012 and would cease on 2nd May 2012.  Given that the consultation period would close before the next meeting of this LAF, the Chairman indicated that it might be appropriate to raise the issue at the next meeting of the LAF Chairs which would take place the following week.  Members were requested to forward any comments they might have at this juncture to the Secretariat for onward transmission to the Chairman.  If any member identified a significant concern, consideration could then be given to calling an extra meeting of the LAF. 

 

During the course of discussion, the Chairman referred to the good relationship enjoyed with CCW and his hope that the creation of a single body would not affect that relationship.  Mr. Dunn concluded that discussion by referring to two ongoing consultations entitled “Sustaining a Living Wales” (a consultation on managing natural resources in Wales) and “A Living Wales” (which contained reference to the creation of a single body).  Mr. Dunn indicated that the WG considered that both consultations should proceed simultaneously given the inter-linkage. 

 

(q)       Open Access Review -

 

Early notice had been received from the Countryside Council for Wales of an impending review of maps of open access to mountain, moor, heath, down land and registered common land in Wales which would start in mid July 2012.  A representative from CCW had offered to attend the meeting of the LAF scheduled for 16th May, 2012. 

 

During the course of discussion on the above, the view was expressed that since the draft maps would not be issued until mid July 2012, it might be more worthwhile to receive the presentation from CCW after that date.

 

AGREED - T H A T consideration of the offer for a presentation from CCW be deferred until such time as the draft maps had been published, following which, if deemed appropriate, the representative be invited to attend the meeting of the LAF in September 2012.

 

Action: having attended a meeting of the LAF Chairs subsequent to the LAF meeting, where the purpose of the presentation was fully discussed, the Chairman in consultation with officers agreed that an invitation should be extended to CCW to give a presentation at the meeting on 16th May 2012.

 

(r)     Concluding Remarks -

 

The Chairman notified members that the submission of items for discussion at future meetings at any time in the intervening period between meetings would be most welcome, subject to those items being of strategic importance.

 

 

- - - - - - - - - -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the minutes be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

Having regard to the views expressed.

 

 

C1655                        MOBILE PHONE TENDER (L) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Approval was sought for the grant of delegated powers to award a contract for the supply of mobile phones and related services. 

 

The existing contract with British Telecom had been in place since 2005 and although largely trouble free, had not allowed the Council to take advantage of possible savings from newer tariffs. 

 

The new contract specification had embraced advances in technologies whilst matching the needs of the end users and driving efficiencies and cost savings.  The new contract would generate savings for the Council through lower tariffs, reduced monthly charges and tighter management of the billing when compared with the existing contract.

 

A Project Board had been established following the Corporate Project Management Methodology and the tender documentation was now ready to be published.

 

The Council had two options:

 

Option 1 - to conduct its own mini competition through the Government Procurement Services (GPS) framework agreement RN526/L1 - Mobile Solutions - Voice and Data Services.

 

Option 2 - to take advantage of an opportunity to take part in an e-auction being run by GPS at the end of March. 

 

Officers had been in the process of preparing the documentation to allow the Council to conduct its own procurement exercise through GPS when it was made aware of the e-auction.  As part of the preparation for that tender, a survey of managers had been undertaken to assess the extent of the Council's need and a range of four different handsets had been identified along with a range of suitable tariffs.  The e-auction would make available a wide range of tariffs, but did not include any handsets, although these were available to purchase at competitive prices through the GPS framework agreement. 

 

The new supplier would be responsible for co-ordinating the transition between contracts, the distribution of new equipment and any training needs of the end users and departmental co-ordinators. 

 

All Sim cards and tariffs procured under a new contract would have a co-terminus expiry date irrespective of when they were procured during the term of the contract.  Any handsets purchased would remain in the ownership of the Council until they needed to be replaced. 

 

The e-auction contract would be for three years with the option to extend further if necessary.  Should the Council let its own contract, it would be for two years with an option to extend for a further 12 months if deemed appropriate. 

 

Discussions had been held with officers from GPS to ensure that the Council's aims and objectives would be met by using the e-auction, and assurance was given that it would.  The coverage of all the major suppliers in the Vale of Glamorgan had been checked and found to be satisfactory for the majority of the Borough. 

 

The terms and conditions of the e-auction covered all of the Council's major requirements, but by entering into the e-auction, the Council would not be involved in evaluating the responses from suppliers but would follow the selection process of GPS.  Legal advice had been obtained that even if the Council entered into the e-auction it would not be contractually bound to enter into a contract with the winning supplier and would still have the option to undertake its own tender.

 

There was a risk that the e-auction would not proceed due to lack of interest, and if that occurred, the Council would then proceed to let its own tender.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Director of Finance, ICT and Property in consultation with the Leader to award the tender to the winning supplier of the e-auction being run by the Government Procurement Service.

 

(2)       T H A T should the e-auction not proceed for any reason, the Council continues with its own tender process and that delegated authority be granted to award the tender to the winning supplier of that tender.

 

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

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To have an appropriate contract in place for the supply of mobile phones and associated services.

 

(2)       To provide a procurement route should the e-auction not proceed.

 

(3)       To allow the award of the contract and to ensure a seamless transition between suppliers.

 

 

C1656                        CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL, 2011 TO 31ST JANUARY, 2012 (L) (SCRUTINY - ALL) -

 

Cabinet were advised of the progress on the 2011/12 Capital Programme for the period 1st April, 2011 to 31st January, 2012 and, where necessary, considered changes to the Programme.

 

Explanations were provided where it was evident that the full years budget would not be spent during the year, namely:

 

Director of Learning and Development

 

Foundation Phase Grant 2011/12, St. Brides Major Primary School - a WG grant of £133,000 was included in the current Capital Programme.  This was to be spent as a contribution to a larger refurbishment scheme that the school was funding.  The Council's grant monies were being spent on the Foundation Phase and would allow the school to extend the Foundation classrooms and external areas to allow for the curriculum to be fully delivered.  There had been delays in the delivery of the scheme as the school delayed agreeing and issuing tender documents for the works and this had a knock-on effect to the Council's element of the scheme.  In addition, the Council's chosen contractor contacted the authority two days before work was due to start on site and pulled out of the scheme.  This meant that the Council had to contact the second lowest tender and negotiate a new contract with some value engineering to the tender documents in order that the project could be achieved.  As a result, even though the contract had now been awarded and works were expected to commence by the end of February, it was possible that the contract would extend a few weeks into April.  It was anticipated that up to £40,000 of the works could potentially slip into 2012/13 and discussions between officers of the Council and WG regarding the effect of this on the grant funding were ongoing. 

 

Llangan Primary School New Car Park - there had been lengthy delays with this scheme.  Access to the proposed car park was required via a lane adjacent to the school.  As had been reported to Cabinet previously, it had not been possible to determine ownership of this lane which had led to major delays in progressing this 2010/11 scheme.  Cabinet had approved the progress of works to the car park, despite not proving ownership of this access lane, so long as indemnity insurance was taken out by the authority.  This was now in place, so the Council's Highways Contracting Unit could now progress the scheme.  Given the delays, it was now no longer possible for the works to be completed and it was requested that £118,000 be slipped into 2012/13 in order to complete the scheme.

 

Director of Social Services

 

Day Care Reconfiguration - Gardenhurst - refurbishment works at Gardenhurst had been carried out recently, including the reconfiguration of disabled toilets and installation of new shower facilities.  A bid for 2012/13 Capital funding for further health and safety works required at the property was successful and the sum of £100,000 was included in the Initial Capital Programme Proposals as reported to Cabinet on 16th November, 2011.  In order to minimise the disruption to clients within the centre who had been moved out once for this years works to be proceed, it had been decided to bring the most invasive works scheduled for 2012/13 back into this year, to avoid transferring the clients out once again.  Council on 7th March, 2012 had been asked to approve the transfer of £50,000 from the 2012/13 budget into 2011/12 in order for these works to be funded.  The sum of £50,000 remained in 2012/13 to cover works that do not require the clients to be decanted in order to proceed. 

 

Day Care Reconfiguration - Hen Goleg - various refurbishment works were ongoing but additional works had been incurred due to the need to replace the contractor for the scheme before completion of the scheme and some changes in the agreed original specification for the scheme.  The revised final cost anticipated for the scheme was £138,000 and the additional cost of £31,000 would be funded from existing resources. 

 

 

Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services

 

In order to pursue the achievements of the Welsh Housing Quality Standard Officer delegations had been exercised to approve the inclusion of three additional budgets within the current year's Housing Improvement Programme.  The approvals related to sewerage treatment works at Marcross, Environmental Improvements to cover fencing works at Awbery House and Major Damp Alleviation Works across the Council's housing stock.  Further virements had been required due to a number of difficulties with the roofing contractors, works detailing and weather conditions, the number of roofs expected to be completed as part of this year's HIP plan was expected to be approximately half of what was originally programme resulting in a reduction in the anticipated spend of some £615,000.  Following a number of meetings with contractors, a new programme had been agreed to counteract the underspend on the roofing works by switching budget and resources to windows, doors and door entry systems which had now been accelerated.  It had been estimated that an additional £347,000 could be spent on replacement windows, doors and door entry systems this financial year by extending current contracts.  There had been a budget reduction of £17,000 on sheltered scheme boilers as works had been completed below budget.  There was a further £220,000 allocation on Council Housing Adaptations, where shower installations had been accelerated, as well as an additional £50,000 approved for central heating and boiler replacements.  These budget virements had been approved by officer delegations.  Appendix 1 to the report had been updated to reflect these additional budgets and reflected an overall reduction of £15,000 on the whole HIP budget.

 

Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration

 

Road Safety Capital Grant 2011/12 - WG had approved the additional grant of £12,000 for line and signage works at Lower Green Farm along the A48.  The Chief Executive had exercised his emergency powers to include this grant in the Capital Programme in order that the money may be spent before 31st March deadline.

 

Safe Routes in Communities 2011/12 - extensive works were being undertaken along Colcot Road and Port Road, Barry to establish a footpath/cycle route from Barry Comprehensive School eastwards along Port Road.  This work was being carried out by the Council's Highways Contracting Unit and was 100% funded from the Welsh Government's Transport Grant.  The scope of the works had recently been increased with additional grant allocations such that the works were now to be extended to the top of the Barry Docks Link Road.  Works were now proceeding well and a full spend of the £708,000 grant allocation was expected to be achieved by the end of March.  The additional funding offer had been accepted and the Chief Executive's Emergency Powers had been exercised in order to include the funding in the Capital Programme.

 

Barry Waterfront Park and Ride - a recent bid for further grant funding for this scheme had now been approved by WG.  It became necessary for an additional £83,000 to be requested due to unforeseen rock excavation costs, new drainage runs due to poor ground conditions and extension of time and demobilisation/remobilisation costs due to Network Rail delays.  The additional funding offer had been accepted and Chief Executive Emergency Powers had been exercised in order to include the funding in the Capital Programme. 

 

Policy

 

IT Equipment 2011/12 - included within this budget was an allocation of £50,000 for a new WiMax network.  It had been decided that this was no longer a cost effective solution for mobile workers.  The service was now covered by the new mobile phone contract at a lower cost to the authority.  In order to maximise expenditure on this budget however, it had been agreed to increase expenditure on the current Internet Protocol Telephony budget by £50,000.  This project sought to upgrade the Council's core network switches in order to improve network and telephony performance.

 

Part of the report was to be referred to Council because it was contrary to and not wholly in accordance with the budget.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T Council be recommended to adopt the following change to the Capital Programme:

 

·                    Llangan Primary School new car park - reduce the budget to £3,000 (carry forward £118,000 into 2012/13).

 

(2)       T H A T the following change to the Capital Programme 2011/12 be approved:

 

·                    Day Care Reconfiguration and Hen Goleg - increase the budget to £138,000.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1&2)  To allow schemes to be undertaken in this or future financial years.

 

 

C1657                        REVENUE MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL 2011 TO 31ST JANUARY, 2012 (L) (SCRUTINY - ALL) -

 

The projected outturn for the 2011/12 Revenue Budget was for a balanced budget.  The forecast for the Housing Revenue Account was also for a balanced budget.

 

Education Service -

 

The Education Budget was projected to overspend by £109,000, primarily due to an overspend of £136,000 against the Maternity Leave budget that was held centrally on behalf of schools.  Should the overspend of £109,000 be realised, it would be met by a contribution from Education Reserves.

 

The Additional Learning Needs budget was now projected to outturn on target although it was acknowledged that this was a volatile budget that was demand led and would continue to be closely monitored for the rest of the year.

 

Social Services -

 

Children and Young Peoples Services - the projected overspend position for this service was £1.25 m.  The main area of overspending was the Children's Placement budget which was overspent by £1.1 m due to an increased number of high cost placements.  Managers were currently reviewing the placements and considering the options for alternative provision both in the short and long term.  The overspend could be off set by a Children's Services provision of £210,000 resulting in £1.04 m of savings to be found by the service this financial year.

 

Adult Services - the projected overspend position for this service was £2.32 m.  The main area of overspending was the Community Care Packages budget which was overspent for a number of reasons including increased demand in services (£1.6m), an increase in care home fees over and above the 2% inflation included in the budget (£0.5m) and the First Steps Initiative introduced by the Welsh Government which caps charges for non residential services to £50 per week (£0.6m).  Existing Community Care Packages were being examined in order to review the level of the packages and their associated costs and the method of service delivery.  The overspend could be off-set by an Adult Services provision of £465,000 resulting in £1.86 m of saving to be found by the service this financial year.

 

Service Strategy - this budget was anticipated to outturn on target.

 

Overall, it was projected that the Social Services budget as a whole could overspend by £3.57m. this year.  There were provisions available to off set this position to the value of £675,000 resulting in a net overspend of £2.9m. 

 

The Director of Social Services was taking immediate action to curtail overspending within the Directorate.  The Budget Plan was currently being refined so that it demonstrated a viable plan to bring spending back to the base budget. 

 

Planning and Transportation -

 

There was a projected overspend on this service of £100,000 due to a fall in planning fees as a result of a delay in submission of some major schemes.  The overspend would be met from savings within Visible Services. 

 

Economic Development and Leisure -

 

There was a projected overspend on this service of £170,000 which related to an increase in Leisure Centre running costs and a reduction in anticipated income.  This would be funded from savings in the Visible Services budget. 

 

An overspend of £500,000 had previously been reported to Committee which related to the delay in implementing the Leisure Centre Partnership.  To regularise this position, Cabinet was requested to agree to the virement of £500,000 to this service from Policy.

 

Visible Services -

 

Waste Management - the budget was expected to outturn with a £100,000 favourable variance.  This was mainly due to tonnages to landfill dropping as the food waste and co-mingled recycling programmes were rolled out.  Additionally, officers had re-negotiated the contract for recycling treatment which would mean a lower spend than was budgeted.  The favourable variance would be used to off set the projected overspend within the Planning Section. 

 

Support - there was a projected £170,000 favourable variance on this service which represented monies included in the budget which were no longer required.  This estimated favourable variance would be used to off set the projected overspend in the Economic Development and Leisure Service. 

 

Policy -

 

The projected underspend of £2.5m. was attributable to an anticipated surplus on Council Tax collection of £1m., savings on capital charges £1.485m., superannuation no longer required £265,000, housing recharge £200,000 and corporate governance £50,000, off set by £500,000 being used to assist the Leisure Centre budget overspend.  The net sum of £2.5m. was likely to be required to cover Social Services to the extent to which they were unable to find the necessary savings and this sum would be ring fenced for this purpose.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

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

 

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

 

(3)       T H A T a budget virement of £500,000 be made to the Economic Development and Leisure Service from Policy.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

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

 

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

 

(3)       To fund the overspend resulting from the delay in implementing the Leisure Centre Partnership.

 

 

C1658                        SCHOOL ADMISSION ARRANGEMENTS 2013/14 (ELL) (SCRUTINY - LIFELONG LEARNING) -

 

Cabinet were advised of the conclusion of the Council's statutory consultation exercise on school admission arrangements for community schools in accordance with the Education (Determination of Admission Arrangements) (Wales) Regulations 2006.  The Council was required to review and determine its School Admissions Policy annually.

 

A local authority had a statutory duty to consult on school admission arrangements annually.  The school admission arrangements had to be determined by 15th April, 2012 for implementation in September 2013.

 

The School Admissions Policy was issued for consultation on 25th January, 2012 to Headteachers and Chairs of Governors, diocesan directors, neighbouring local education authorities and other interested parties.  Responses were required by 1st March, 2012.

 

The situation in the Penarth area was such that a review of catchment areas for English Medium Schools was considered necessary to ensure that catchments areas still reflected the needs of the school populations they served but recognised that parental preference had a direct impact upon the overall situation. 

 

Consideration had also been given to the impact of the Penarth Heights development on local schools when considering a review of the school catchment areas.  The development was anticipated to yield about 105 primary aged children. 

 

Meetings had taken place with Vale of Glamorgan Council Ward Members for Penarth and Penarth Cluster Schools to discuss proposals for changes to school catchment areas.  The review of catchment areas had also been considered and supported by the Vale of Glamorgan School Admissions Forum. 

 

There had been no comments received in response to the consultation exercise.

 

The admission arrangements detailed in the School Admissions Policy 2012/2013 attached at Appendix A to the report had been considered by and supported by the Vale of Glamorgan School Admissions Forum. 

 

The authority's admission arrangements would manage the admission intake to schools under which catchment area children were ranked as a high priority when allocating places.

 

The general consensus at meetings considered it unnecessary to overhaul school catchments areas in Penarth but that the local authority should consider the impact of birth rates for Cogan Primary, the small catchment area associated with Fairfield Primary School and the impact of the Penarth Heights residential development.

 

The Headteacher of Cogan Primary School expressed concerns at losing part of the schools catchment.  Officers provided reassurance that this would not have a detrimental impact on pupil numbers and that the school would continue to receive sufficient numbers in future.  At present, the school's current catchment area was too big to meet the needs of its local school population.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the Schools Admissions Policy for 2013/2014, attached at Appendix A to the report be approved in order that the requirement to determine the Policy by 15th April was met, and the admission arrangements may be implemented from September 2013.

 

(2)       T H AT a revision to the catchment areas of Cogan and Fairfield Primary Schools as detailed at Appendix C to the report be approved.  This revision would provide a better distribution of children within the catchment areas of the schools concerned, and also accommodate children emanating from the Penarth Heights development.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       The Council is required to review school admission arrangements annually and to determine the arrangements following appropriate consultation by 15th April, 2012.

 

(2)       The revision to catchment areas will provide a better match between the supply and demand for school places at respective schools.

 

 

C1659                        STRATEGIC EQUALITY PLAN AND EQUALITY OBJECTIVES (HRE) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Approval was sought of the Strategy Equality Plan, attached at Appendix A to the report, and Equality Objectives contained within it, following a period of consultation. 

 

Cabinet approved a draft version of the Strategic Equality Plan and Equality Objectives for consultation at the beginning of January.  Feedback had been used to strengthen information in the Plan (such as why the Council had chosen a particular objective and to which protected characteristics it applied), to amend wording for clarification and to revise target dates to make them more realistic.  There had been no fundamental changes to the objectives or other information within the Plan. 

 

Once approved, there could be no significant changes to the Equality Objectives without further engagement with representative groups and approval of those changes. 

 

The Strategic Equality Plan was a live document and was the vehicle for containing all the information about equality work that the Council does and would be updated on a regular basis.  As new or updated information became available, such as equality and employment information, either the Plan itself would be updated or links created within it to allow people to access the information elsewhere. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the Strategic Equality Plan and Equality Objectives be approved for publication by the 2nd April, 2012.

 

Reason for decision

 

Having regard to the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.

 

 

C1660                        ALLOTMENT STRATEGY: 2012 - 2017 (VBS) (SCRUTINY - ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Agreement was sought of the draft Vale of Glamorgan Allotment Strategy 2012 - 2017. 

 

The Strategy had been produced to consider all sources of allotment provision within the Vale of Glamorgan.  The issue of insufficient allotment space would not be solved by the Council alone, and this was recognised within the Strategy.

 

The Strategy utilised data from the 'Open Space Background Paper', from the Vale of Glamorgan Local Development Plan 2011 - 2026.  The document was produced in November 2011 and therefore some of the data may have changed.  However, due to the increasing demand for allotments, it was suggested that the position as regards overall waiting list numbers could be worse.

 

The Strategy linked to the Council's Corporate Plan and Community Strategy and shared the same vision as these documents.  The specific aims of the Strategy were:

 

·                    to provide a cohesive framework for the actions necessary to increase and improve allotment provision over the next five years

·                    to better engage and empower individual plot holders and other sectors in the future provision and management of allotments and to make a positive contribution towards sustainability and the wellbeing of communities. 

 

The Strategy featured nine interrelated objectives, as follows:

 

·                    to ensure that all Vale of Glamorgan Council allotments were managed and maintained so as to achieve maximum plot occupancy and quality

·                    to assess both the current and latent demands for allotments throughout the Vale area for the next five years

·                    to work with Community and Town Councils in addition to the private and voluntary sectors in meeting future allotment demand

·                    to facilitate and encourage improved local management and control arrangements for allotments

·                    to hold a central database of all allotment provision and waiting lists for all sectors

·                    to give consideration to the provision of allotments as amenity space on all new residential developments, where such a demand existed

·                    to reduce the future revenue costs of Vale of Glamorgan Council allotments

·                    to reduce the environmental impact of allotment sites by promoting sustainable growing methods and working practices

·                    to promote a healthier lifestyle by utilising allotment gardening as a method of addressing certain forms of ill health.

 

A further report would be provided to Cabinet on conclusion of the consultation process for the final Strategy to be agreed.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the draft Strategy be agreed.

 

(2)       T H A T all relevant stakeholders be now consulted on the Strategy as detailed in the report together with the Creative Rural Communities Partnership Board and Farmers Union of Wales.

 

(3)       T H A T the report be referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment).

 

(4)       T H AT a sum of £10,000 be made available, from the Visible Services Asset Renewal Budget for 2012/2013, to assist in funding the improvement works detailed within the Strategy.

 

(5)       T H A T on conclusion of a two month consultation period, a further report be provided to Cabinet advising of the consultation responses and proposing agreement of the final Strategy document.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To ensure Cabinet agreement of the Strategy in draft.

 

(2)       To obtain the views of all stakeholders on the draft document.

 

(3)       To obtain the views of the relevant Scrutiny Committee.

 

(4)       To fund improvement elements of the Strategy.

 

(5)       To agree the consultation input and the final version of the Strategy.

 

 

C1661                        DOG FOULING AND LITTER ENFORCEMENT - XFOR (LOCAL AUTHORITY SUPPORT LTD.) ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT SERVICES (VBS) (SCRUTINY - ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Authority was sought to enter into a formal agreement with a private security company to undertaken enforcement duties in the Vale of Glamorgan, aimed at reducing the incidents of litter and dog fouling. 

 

The report proposed that the Council enter into an agreement, initially on a trial basis, with a private company, XFOR who had a proven track record of robustly enforcing litter and dog fouling legislation.

 

Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council had introduced a six month pilot scheme in October 2011 aimed at clamping down on litter and dog fouling offenders using a Private Enforcement Company (XFOR Local Authority Support Ltd.). 

 

At the three month stage of the pilot, 600 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) of £75 had been issued by XFOR to Blaenau Gwent residents for littering or failing to pick up after their dogs.  Under the pilot scheme, XFOR kept £45 of every fine to cover costs, staff wages and profit, meaning that it had already taken £27,000.  Blaenau Gwent Council retained £30 of each fine and had used the £18,000 it had taken so far to employ two additional enforcement wardens who specifically target dog fouling. 

 

The current Waste Management and Cleansing Compliance and Enforcement Team was not substantial and their overall day to day duties included not only the enforcement of littering and dog fouling, but the illegal deposit of controlled waste, graffiti removal, inspection of HWRC to ensure compliance with operational licensing and householder tipping permits, 'Duty of Care' checks on commercial and domestic waste producers, investigation of inappropriate black bag placement, slipway permit compliance, local land quality LEAMS monitoring, Safer Vale Partnership and Tidy Towns initiatives with Youth Offending/Probation Service and community groups, 'stop and search' waste carriers checks with police and the Environment Agency Wales, Waste and Dog Fouling Awareness and education campaigns and the investigation of all other reported environmental crimes.  Whilst they were accepted as being an extremely valuable resource their capability to meet all residents service demands was limited.

 

Deployment of XFOR officers within the Vale would significantly increase the available resources to target the enforcement of dog fouling and littering incidents which constitutes a high proportion of the service requests.  If deployed, XFOR officers would be ultimately controlled by an existing designated Council Waste Management Compliance and Enforcement Officer.  Additionally, their uniformed presence would assist in providing public reassurance. 

 

If agreed, XFOR would retain £45 from every notice properly issued to fund their costs.  It was noted that the Council would need to meet the costs of any properly issued Fixed Penalty Notice that was cancelled by the Council.  The minimum income received from a Fixed Penalty Notice was £75 and the Council would therefore retain £30 for every Fixed Penalty ticket properly issued.  It was understood, based on the number of staff intended during the trial period, that to be cost effective XFOR would need to issue around 3,000 FPN over the 12 month period.  Within the last few years, by comparison, Council Officers had issued a total of 22 FPN for both littering and dog fouling. 

 

There would be occasions where the issue of an FPN would not be appropriate, and these were listed in the report.

 

The approach of the policy would be for prevention rather than prosecution with formal action the last option.  Whilst the existing Enforcement Policy was focussed on prevention, Section 7 'Enforcement Options' did allow officers to use immediate formal action when they witnessed or had 'reasonable grounds' to believe an offence had been committed.  This would allow XFOR to issue FPN in accordance with the Policy.  However, Cabinet were asked to suspend the current Policy to permit this more robust enforcement approach and to agree to the Policy being changed to reflect the new agreement with XFOR, with the amended Policy being agreed by the Cabinet Member for Visible and Building Services. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T authority be granted to waive Contract Standing Orders to permit the appointment of XFOR.

 

(2)       T H A T the Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Visible and Building Services, be authorised to enter into a formal agreement with XFOR (Local Authority Support Ltd) to undertake enforcement duties, aimed at reducing evidence of litter and dog fouling, for a period of twelve months with a six month review.

 

(3)       T H A T the Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services be authorised to delegate the necessary powers under the relevant legislation for XFOR to issue Fixed Penalty Notices on behalf of the Council for the duration of the agreement.

 

(4)       T H A T the Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Visible and Building Services, be authorised to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with XFOR, detailing the operational responsibilities of the Council and XFOR in the agreement.

 

(5)       T H A T the Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration be authorised to provide the necessary office accommodation for XFOR staff.

 

(6)       T H A T the current Enforcement Policy be suspended and that the Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Visible and Building Services be authorised to agree any changes necessary to the Policy to permit the use of XFOR for enforcement activities over the agreement period.

 

(7)       T H A T the success or otherwise of the trial be reported to Cabinet prior to the conclusion of the six month period, at which time Cabinet will be asked to either end the contract, continue for a further six months or subject the service to open tender.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       There is little financial risk to the authority of asking this company as opposed to any similar company for this purpose and XFOR will only receive payments from penalty income which are external funds.

 

(2)       To formalise the Council's arrangements with XFOR.

 

(3)       To ensure that XFOR staff had the necessary legal powers to undertake enforcement activities within the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

(4)       To ensure that the operational responsibilities of each party to the agreement are understood.

 

(5)       To permit XFOR staff to be located within the Council's Waste Management Offices at the Alps, Wenvoe.

 

(6)       To ensure that the enforcement activities under the new agreement are aligned to the Enforcement Policy.

 

(7)       To enable a decision to be taken based on the performance of XFOR.

C1662                        PROCUREMENT OF FUTURE MUNICIPAL WASTE RECYCLING REPROCESSING (VBS) (SCRUTINY - ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Cabinet received a report which:

 

·                    advised on the progress for procuring future, kerbside co-mingled, domestic and street cleansing recycling wastes re-processing, post 1st April, 2013

·                    sought approval to continue to work in partnership with Caerphilly County Borough Council (Lead Authority) and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and Monmouthshire County Council to seek a new joint contract for the Vale's recyclable municipal waste following the expiration of its existing contract on 31st March, 2013

·                    sought agreement on the location of a potential site for the bulk transfer of dry recycling materials should such a site ultimately be required.

 

The Lead Authority, Caerphilly CBC was a Member of the Welsh Purchasing Consortium which had been established to support its members in delivering joint collaborative contracts for the procurement of goods and services.  It was the intention that the contract entered into between the Lead Authority and the supplier should be deemed a 'collaborative arrangement' and those bodies referred to in it as Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, Monmouthshire County Council and the Vale of Glamorgan Council' if required, be entitled to engage in the agreement upon the terms and conditions set out under Regulation 22 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006.  The expected joining dates for each individual authority would vary depending on their existing contracts.  For the Vale of Glamorgan this would be 1st April, 2013 should the Council ultimately sign up to the contract at a later date.

 

The Lead Authority was looking to contract with only one service provider who would be responsible for receiving delivery and sorting of the materials.  Whilst the Lead Authority would allow sub contracting under this arrangement and by prior agreement with the Lead Authority, the final location of the re-processing or delivery point would have an impact on the Vale of Glamorgan Council's final assessment of 'best value' when Cabinet was asked to consider whether to formally join the partnership contract or not.  It was likely that the Council may need a transfer station for their recycling contract, and it was proposed that this be at the former Civic Amenity Site at Hayes Road in Sully. 

 

It was proposed that the eventual contract with the successful bidder would be initially for five years from 2013, with the option to extend on an annual basis, subject to satisfactory performance and maintenance of reasonable cost income levels, up to an additional five years.  It was expected that the contract would be cost neutral or provide an income to each partner local authority.  The Vale of Glamorgan currently paid £14.50 per tonne for its recycling re-processing.  Full details of the operational and financial implications resulting from this procurement would be included in a future report to Cabinet.

 

In the event that Cabinet felt it inappropriate to sign up to the Memorandum of Understanding and pursue this partnering option to the final bidder stage, it would be necessary for the Council to start its own individual procurement exercise so that alternative new contract arrangements were in place when its existing contract expired in March 2013. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the continued partnership approach for procuring future recycling re-processing post 31st March, 2013 be approved. 

 

(2)       T H A T the Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration be authorised, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Visible and Building Services to carry out a new joint partnership, or Vale only procurement exercise, to comply with EU Regulations with a commencement date of 1st April, 2013.

 

(3)       T H A T the Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration be authorised, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Visible and Building Services to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (copy attached at Appendix A to the report) between the partners authorising Caerphilly CBC as the Lead Authority to issue a Procurement Notice (OGEU).

 

(4)       T H A T Cabinet receive a further report following receipt of the procurement bid before fully committing to a partnership contract for future recycling re-processing. 

 

(5)       T H A T the former Civic Amenity Site at Hayes Road, Sully be agreed, subject to planning consent and modification of the current Waste Management Licence as a potential site for the transfer of dry recyclable waste should such a site be required.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To ensure that any benefits from this continued collaborative approach are obtained.

 

(2)       To enable the Vale of Glamorgan Council to secure a new contract for recycling its municipal waste post 31st March, 2013.

 

(3)       To enable Caerphilly CBC to formally include the Vale of Glamorgan's future municipal recycling needs within its 'Procurement Notice' seeking tender bids for re-processing its recycling.

 

(4)       To enable Cabinet to be fully informed of the benefits of progressing with the partnership procurement process before providing a legal commitment to accept the terms and conditions and costs of the final bid submitted to the partnership.

 

(5)       To provide the necessary authority, subject to the appropriate Waste Licence being in place, for this site to be made available for use as a transfer facility.

 

 

C1663                        RECYCLING PERFORMANCE SINCE INTRODUCTION OF THE CO-MINGLED RECYCLING KERBSIDE COLLECTION SERVICE IN SEPTEMBER 2011 (VBS) (SCRUTINY - ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT)-

 

Cabinet were advised of the success of the new co-mingled kerbside recycling service.

 

The revised kerbside recycling collection service commenced in September 2011 and had now been operating for six months. 

 

In addition, 2011/12 was the first full year of the weekly kitchen food waste and fortnightly residual waste collection scheme. 

 

It was anticipated that the Council would exceed the Welsh Government's (WG) 52% statutory target for 2012/13, considering that the revised collection service had only been in place since September 2011, and that additional recycling materials (tetra paks, aerosols and foil) had only recently been included within the kerbside collection arrangements.  This was further assisted by the Cabinet decision to allow donations for charity and commercial undertakings.

 

One of the main concerns expressed with co-mingled collections was that of increased contamination.  The recycling contamination rate for the last full year of source segregated collections was 5%.  The contamination rate for the first two quarters of 2011/12 (source segregated) was 2.1%.  For the first quarter for co-mingling (quarter 3, 2011/12) the contamination rate was 3.1%.  This compared very favourably with the Council's previous source segregated recycling collection method.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the increased recycling rate achieved since introducing the change to co-mingled recycling collections in September 2011 be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the report be referred to Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) for its information.

 

 

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To advise Cabinet.

 

(2)       To advise the Scrutiny Committee.

 

 

C1664                        BUSINESS LIAISON ACTIVITIES (EDR) (SCRUTINY - ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Cabinet received a report which set out proposals for future initiatives relating to business liaison with specific emphasis on business networking in the Vale of Glamorgan.  The report did not seek to make reference to all matters relating to business support and advice but rather dealt with matters relating to formal liaison arrangements with Vale of Glamorgan based businesses through networking opportunities and events.

 

The report focussed on future ways of liaising and engaging with business in the Vale of Glamorgan, specifically through networking and events.  To this end, it was considered relevant to outline previous and current attempts at engaging with the business sector with the aim of improving communication and networking, both between businesses and the Council.

 

The following is a list of previous initiatives that had been either implemented by this Council or with the support of the Council:

 

·                    Vale Development Forum

·                    Vale Business Club

·                    'Revitalise Your Business' Brand

·                    Leader's Business Event at Dyffryn

·                    South Wales Business Awards

·                    Business Breakfast at the Vale Agricultural Show

·                    Retailers Forum

·                    Environment and Economy - Annual Extraordinary Scrutiny Meetings

·                    Annual Built in Quality Awards

·                    South Wales Chamber of Commerce

·                    'Linked in'

·                    Business Seminars

·                    Marketing Workshops

·                    Partnership Working.

 

It was clear that certain initiatives had been more successful than others and in moving forward it was considered appropriate that the success of previous initiatives, as well as current initiatives were considered when devising an approach for liaising with the Business Community.

 

It was clear that with the advances made in information technology and with time becoming an increasingly valuable commodity, the use of electronic initiatives to keep in contact and to keep up to date with initiatives should not be overlooked.  As a consequence, it was proposed that a Business User Group be established for the Vale of Glamorgan, possibly on a 'linked in' model, either via 'linked in' itself or through the Council's own e-mail system or internet site.  As members of the user group, Vale based businesses would benefit from regular information, updates and news and as members, businesses would also be able to register their interests in attending the networking events being suggested below.

 

It was felt that the following current events should be continued, given their recent and ongoing success:

 

·                    the Leader's Business Event at Dyffryn Gardens - held during the summer period;  this had been a successful event in bringing businesses together in a relaxed environment

·                    the Annual Vale of Glamorgan Show Business Breakfast, with relevant guest speakers and topics being a focus for discussion, to take advantage of the holding of an important event in the Vale calendar

·                    the Built in Quality Awards evening, held in January every year to celebrate success in the Vale of Glamorgan construction industry;  although specifically targeted at the building industry, this event was very well attended and offered an opportunity to celebrate successful building projects undertaken in the Vale of Glamorgan

·                    the Annual Extraordinary Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) that considered the economic situation and business issues served as a useful mechanism for sharing experiences and raising issues that were specific to the Vale of Glamorgan, and it was proposed that this arrangement should continue (with the support of the Scrutiny Committee

·                    the Retailers Forum had also proved successful in dealing with specific town centre issues, and should continue.

 

In addition, it was proposed to seek to provide one further networking event, geared specifically at businesses which would supplement the Leader's event at Dyffryn and the Annual Vale Show Business Breakfast.  Given that both these events take place during the summer, it was proposed that the third networking event targeted at the entire business sector takes place either to mark St. David's Day or during the run up to Christmas.  Given the plethora of events that were already held by individual businesses in the run up to Christmas it was considered that a specific Vale of Glamorgan Business Event for St. David's Day was the preferred and most appropriate option.

 

The report touched on the potential collaboration with Bridgend CBC on business networking and was piloted during 2011.  However, given that the Council was committed to holding events at Dyffryn and during the Vale Show in any event, it was considered that the holding of one further specific Vale of Glamorgan event would represent a better use of the limited funding available rather than committing to contributing financially to a range of events that were held through the Bridgend Business Club and which were held on a very regular and frequent basis. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the proposed future networking initiatives, detailed within paragraphs 23 - 25 of the report be approved.

 

(2)       T H A T Cabinet receives a further report on the success of the arrangements and any recommendations for future initiatives within 18 months.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To set out arrangements for ongoing business support initiatives tailored to the current economic climate.

 

(2)       To enable the arrangements to be reviewed as necessary.

 

 

C1665                        MATTERS WHICH THE CHAIRMAN HAD DECIDED WERE URGENT -

 

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

 

 

C1666                        EMPLOYEE PAY POLICY (HRE) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES)

(Urgent by reason of the need to comply with the provisions of the Localism Act by 31st March, 2012)

 

Cabinet was requested to consider and endorse the Council's Pay Policy as required by the Localism Act 2011. 

 

The Council had a statutory requirement under the Localism Act 2011 to prepare a pay policy statement.  The first statement had to be approved and published by 31st March, 2012. 

 

The Policy had been produced on the basis of statutory guidance, and with advice from the Welsh Local Government Association and would be reviewed and updated on an annual basis in accordance with the requirements of the Act.

 

The Policy would provide a framework for ensuring that employees were rewarded fairly and objectively in accordance with the service needs of the Council and that there was openness and transparency in relation to the process.

 

The Policy was now able to reflect the provisions of the Green Book/Single Status Pay Structure as set out in the collective agreement as signed by the Unions in December 2011, and as implemented on 1st March, 2012.

 

This was a matter for decision by Full Council.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the Pay Policy as attached at Appendix A to the report be endorsed and referred to Full Council for approval.

 

Reason for decision

 

To respond to the legal requirement under the Localism Act and to provide openness and accountability in how the Council rewards its staff.

 

 

C1667                        VISIBLE SERVICES PROPOSED FEES AND CHARGES FOR 21012/13 (REF) -

(Urgent by reason of the need to obtain approval for fees and charges proposed by 1st April, 2012)

 

Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) on 13th March, 2012 received a report which detailed proposed increases in service charges for functions  managed by Visible Services for the financial year 2012/13.  Members were advised that the Council delivered a number of chargeable services for the Directorate of Environmental and Economic Regeneration and these charges were set on an annual basis.  With the exception of commercial waste and car parking charges, it was proposed to increase charges by 3.75% to assist in covering the cost of inflation.  The proposed charges for services were set out in the appendices to the report as detailed below:

 

·                    Appendix 1 - Waste Management and Cleansing

·                    Appendix 2 - Highways and Engineering

·                    Appendix 3 - Parks and Grounds Maintenance

·                    Appendix 4 - Parks and Grounds Maintenance and Porthkerry Cemetery.

 

Committee was informed that due to ongoing increases in landfill charges it was proposed to increase commercial waste charges for residual waste by 10%.  Although noting that whilst the above inflation level cost may detrimentally affect a number of commercial businesses, the private sector had a choice as to whether to use the Council’s refuse collection and recycling service or an alternative service provider.  The Council, in addition, also had a requirement to pass on the full costs of the service to the commercial sector and not to part subsidise any commercial waste activities via either the Council’s direct budgets or the Welsh Government’ specific waste grants.

 

Members were also informed that as part of the continuing initiative to increase kerbside recycling, it was proposed not to increase the cost of reusable green bags (currently priced at £1.00) and that the charges for biodegradable sacks would also be set at the same value as the previous five years at 3 sacks for £1.00. In order to limit the use of plastic carrier bags and as part of the Wales Awareness campaign it was further proposed to keep the cost of the jute useable shopping bags to 50p each.

 

The Operational Manager stated that with regard to coastal car parks it was not proposed to increase these charges but to keep them the same as 2011/12 at £4.00 per day. 

 

In considering the report Members referred to fees and charges for Cosmeston but were advised that this was not within the remit of Visible services the responsibility for that service area lay within the Countryside and Economic projects division.

 

In the promotion of waste awareness and to assist in the promotion of the sale of jute reusable shopping bags Members suggested that officers should  contact Town and Community Councils within the Vale to assist in the campaign.

 

Scrutiny Committee

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T the charging and fee proposals for Visible Services as set out in the report and its appendices be accepted.

 

(2)       T H A T the proposed fees and charges for 2012/13 be forwarded to Cabinet for approval.

 

Cabinet, having considered the recommendations of Scrutiny Committee

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the recommendation of the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

Having regard to the views of the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment).

 

 

C1668                        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.

 

 

C1669                        SENIOR MANAGEMENT REDUCTION (L) (EXEMPT INFORMATION - PARAGRAPH 15) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

With the exception of the following, all officers vacated the room: Mr. R. Bergman, Head of Human Resources, Ms. J. Winter, Operational Manager (Legal Services), Ms. C. Campbell, Cabinet Support Officer and Mr. C. Hope, Scrutiny and Committee Services Officer.

 

Additionally, Ms. K. Howells, Legal Advisor on the proposals was present.

 

Cabinet received an update on the Senior Management Reduction exercise and were invited to make final recommendations on this issue to the Council.

 

Initial proposals on the Senior Management Restructuring arrangements had been approved by Cabinet on 21st September, 2011.

 

The proposals were framed in response to an instruction from Council on 28th February, 2011 to 'reduce Senior Management structures, achieving a minimum saving of £220,000 by 2012/13'. 

 

In endorsing the restructuring proposals a further report was requested setting out the arrangements for implementing the changes including timescales, consultation, the appointments process, salaries and job descriptions. 

 

The restructuring proposals were also considered and endorsed by Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) on 11th October, 2011.

 

An amendment had been made to the restructuring proposals as a result of a recommendation by Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) and as subsequently approved by Cabinet on 19th October, 2011.  This related to the need for both the Section 151 Officer and Monitoring Officer to attend the Corporate Management Team to provide advice, but not as part of the Council's First Tier Management Structure. 

 

Since October, arrangements had been put in place to progress the restructuring proposals.  This had included:

 

·                    the drafting and refining of job descriptions and person specifications for the proposed new posts and honoraria positions

·                    the drafting and refining of proposals for the appointment process for the new roles including ring fencing and matching arrangements

·                    the review of the salary grades and honoraria values for the new posts on the basis of advice and support from the Hay Group

·                    consultation with all relevant officers and the recognised Trade Unions; this had been undertaken in accordance with the Council's Avoiding Redundancy Procedures and associated contractual and legal requirements.

 

In addition to the above, the Wales Audit Office had been invited to undertake an assessment of the governance arrangements in relation to the restructuring proposals in January 2012.

 

The issues raised by the Wales Audit Office had now been explored and were incorporated within the report.  This included a summary of the alternatives to the restructuring proposals and an analysis of the employment law implications of the changes which had been commissioned from Geldards Solicitors.

 

The outcomes of the above have been shared with representatives from the WAO by the Head of Human Resources.

 

Mr. Bergman updated Cabinet on the outcome of consultation with the Wales Audit Office, who had indicated that their audit was not complete but it was content with the Council's approach.

 

Members noted that there had been progress in relation to the Regional Consortium agenda since the beginning of January 2012.  The business cases for the Joint Education Service (JES) has been submitted to the Welsh Government and the aim remained to establish the JES from 1st September, 2012.

 

The proposed secondment of the Council's Director of Learning and Development to the role of Interim Director of the Consortium was approved in principle by Cabinet on 1st February and was expected to commence on 19th March, 2012. 

 

Following presentation of the report, Members were given an opportunity to ask questions of Ms. Howells and a full and frank discussion ensued.

 

This was a matter for decision by Council.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T Cabinet approve the report and make recommendations to a special Council meeting on the 16th April 2012 as set out in (2) to (15) below.  Such approval to pay full regard to the issues raised by the Wales Audit Office, issues raised during the consultation process and full consideration of the alternative restructuring options.

 

(2)       T H A T the new senior management structure as endorsed by Cabinet on the 21st September 2011 (see Appendix A to the report and resolution at Appendix B to the report) and as amended by Cabinet on 19th October 2011 (see Appendix E) be approved.  Approval to be subject to the proposed revisions as indicated in the following paragraphs:

 

(3)       T H A T the posts set out in Appendix H (i) of the report be deleted subject to any oral or written representations from the officers to Council on the 16th April 2012 and the establishment of posts as set out in Appendix H (ii) to the report be established.

 

(4)       T H A T the revised salaries as recommended by the Hay Group and referred to in paragraphs 57 to 63 of this report be approved.

 

(5)       T H A T the potential redundancy arrangements for the Chief Executive, Director of Legal, Housing and Public Protection, Director of Learning and Development and Director of Environment and Economic Regeneration be referred to the Early Retirement/Redundancy Committee. This to include confirmation of the dates of redundancy for the officers concerned.

 

(6)       T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Head of Human Resources to progress recommendations in relation to severance terms to the Early Retirement/Redundancy Committee in the circumstances as set out in (5) above and in consultation with the Leader of the Council.

 

(7)       T H A T the progressing of the interim arrangements for the role of Managing Director in accordance with paragraphs 84 to 87 of the report and subject to consideration and recommendation of a Senior Management Appointments Panel on the 17 April 2012 be approved.

 

(8)       T H A T such arrangements be approved on the basis of firstly matching the Director of Finance, ICT and Property to the new post of Director of Resources in accordance with the Council's Avoiding Redundancy Procedures and then appointment of the postholder to the Managing Director role on a honorarium basis for a three year basis from 1st August 2012.  Such appointment to include the duties of Head of Paid Service and be subject to review at the end of the three year period as set out in paragraph 85 of the report.

 

(9)       T H A T the commencement of a recruitment process for the combined role of Managing Director/Director of Resources be approved in the circumstance where the Senior Management Appointments Panel do not confirm the arrangements as set out at (8) above and the consequent progression of redundancy arrangements for the current Director of Finance, ICT and Property (as set out in paragraphs 99 and 100 of the report).

 

(10)     T H A T the decision to delete the role of Head of Legal Services and create a new role of Monitoring Officer/Head of Legal and Democratic Services pending a review of alternative options (see paragraphs 53 to 55 of the report) be deferred.

 

(11)     T H A T the of restructuring decisions in relation to the Heads of Service in the Learning and Development Directorate be deferred pending the appointment of the Chief Learning and Skills Officer. 

 

(12)     T H A T the transfer of the designation of Lead Director for Children and Young People's Services to the Director of Social Services as set out in paragraph 41 of the report (bullets 7-9) and from 1st May 2012 be approved.

 

(13)     T H A T the progression of the appointment/matching/review arrangements for the remainder of the revised structure in accordance with the proposals as set out in Appendix G and paragraphs 89 to 96 of the report be approved.

 

(14)     T H AT any consequential changes to the Council’s Constitution as a result of the above be referred to the next appropriate meeting of Council.

 

(15)     T H A T, if necessary, arrangements are made for a Monitoring Officer from another local authority to offer any relevant advice in connection with the senior management reduction exercise going forward.

 

Reason for decisions

 

To seek to meet savings targets as set out in the Medium Term Financial Plan and to put in place a sustainable management structure for the foreseeable future.