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CABINET

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 28th 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 N.P. Hodges.

 

 

C1670                        MINUTES -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 14th March, 2012 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

C1671                        DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

C1672                        ESTABLISHMENT OF POLICE AND CRIME PANELS (REF - SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION): 14TH MARCH, 2012) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) had, on 14th March 2012, been informed of the requirements of the Police and Social Responsibility Act 2011 and specifically the requirement to establish Police and Crime Panels (PCPs).  One of the main thrusts of the legislation was to establish elections for Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and the establishment of PCPs which would hold the PCCs to account.  The PCP would be regarded as a scrutiny body and further details as to its functions were contained within the report.  The report also outlined the composition of the PCP.  It was noted that membership of the PCP would not be confined to non-executive members of local authorities.  Members were also informed that the Home Office had made available a small amount of funding to support a “host” authority and the WLGA had written to local authorities on that point indicating that it was prepared to undertake that role.  Taking account of available resources that currently existed to support the Council’s decision-making processes and scrutiny function, it was considered unrealistic to expect this Council to be the “host” authority.  The Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) had, subsequently, requested Cabinet to approve offering no objection to the WLGA or any other local authority becoming the “host” authority.  The Scrutiny Committee had also asked for a further report to be submitted to a future meeting regarding arrangements for the operation of the PCP.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) on 14th March, 2012 as indicated above be accepted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To progress the establishment of Police and Crime Panels in an appropriate way.

 

 

C1673                        CORPORATE PARENTING PANEL -

 

The following minutes of a meeting held on 6th December, 2011 were submitted:

 

Present:Councillor Dorothy Turner (Chairman), Councillor Sally Bagstaff, Councillor Katherine Kemp; Bryan Jeffreys (Director of Learning and Development); Caroline Rees (Head of Additional Learning Needs); Gareth Jenkins (Head of Children & Young People Services), Jenny Smith (Specialist Teacher – LAC), Guest ‘A’ and guests for agenda item No 5 Colette Limbrick, Operational Manager and Ann Williams, 15Plus Team Manager, Children and Young People Services

 

 

 

Actions

(1)

Apologies for absence

 

 

 

Phil Evans, (Directors of Social and Care Services) ;

Councillor Sophie Williams;

Councillor Anthony Hampton

 

The Chairman offered a warm welcome to Guest ‘A’ and introductions were made.  The Chairman confirmed how pleased Panel were to have a new young person join and confirmed that Guest ‘A’ should raise any issues that she wishes to either before or during Panel.

 

 

(2)

Minutes of Meeting – 12 October 2011

 

 

 

The minutes were signed as a true record

 

Only one matter of accuracy:

Councillor Katherine Kemp attended the October Panel and the minutes should be amended to reflect this

 

Matters arising:

 

Item 6 Budget Pressures-  the Chairman updated Panel Members in relation to the budget pressures across Social Services which have been reported to both Cabinet and Scrutiny Committee and confirmed that a corporate Project Group has been established to progress the respective Service Budget Recovery Plans.

 

 

 

Agreed

(3)

To receive declarations of Interest

 

 

 

No declarations of interest were received.

 

 

Agreed

(4)

LAC Exclusions – Caroline Rees

 

 

 

CR circulated a paper for Panel Members. This paper will be redacted further for circulation with the minutes.

 

CR clarified the differences between fixed term and permanent exclusions.  Looked after children are especially at risk of low attainment and schools are conscious of the need to try every possible means to avoid exclusions.  Panel acknowledged the links between placement stability and school attendance/attainment and the pressures that an exclusion can place on carers.

 

The Chairman asked for clarity around early identification of LAC pupils at risk of exclusion and CR confirmed that processes are in place. JS and CR confirmed the way that the SEGLAC grant which replaced RAISE is used to support such pupils early on. There have been no permanent exclusions of LAC pupils in the last three years.  Panel discussed the additional difficulties for LAC places out of area and CR confirmed that there can be difficulties because the Vale LEA has less influence over the schools concerned. 

 

BJ updated the Panel on proposals to change the funding of support for vulnerable groups through existing SEG funding and that ADEW are pressing for LAC to be named as a vulnerable group within this.

 

Acknowledged that in line with most other funding arrangements, the Vale does not do as well as other Councils in terms of allocation of resources.

 

 

CR

(5)

’Lost After Care’ – report of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales – Colette Limbrick and Ann Williams

 

 

 

CL distributed papers for Members attention and set the context for this report which comes some 11 years after the major Inquiry Report ‘Lost in Care’.  Two key issues were brought to the attention of the Panel:

 

  • Young People moving on to independence lacking qualifications and work experience

 

  • Shortage of suitable accommodation options for young people moving into independence

 

Panel acknowledged that CMT had commissioned a working group to look at work experience and employment opportunities across the Council facilitated by Allan Williams. This work will be reported back to CMT in the first instance and then presented to Panel.

 

In terms of accommodation, Guest ‘A’ was able to contribute her views regarding the anxieties faced by young people having to move on which were very helpful for Members to hear.  Councillor Bagstaff questioned how other Councils were responding and whether there were lessons that could be learnt about the options that work best.  In response CL and AW confirmed there are good practice examples that they were aware of but often they required investment.  It is not simply the case of accommodation for young people but more importantly the support that hey are provided with to make their independent living successful.

 

Panel agreed that this is an important topic for further consideration and requested that a fuller report be presented to the next Panel.  It was agreed that this could be a joint presentation by Social Services, Housing and Llamau.

 

 

Joint presentation re supported accommodation options to next Panel.

 

CL/AW

 

(6)

LAC Awards Ceremony

 

 

 

On behalf of the Panel, the Chairman formally thanked JS and her colleagues within both Education and Children’s Services for their hard work and commitment that ensured the evening was yet again a great success.

 

Of particular note was James Wright’s approachable manner with the children and young people and young person ‘S’ who not only performed but also gave a spontaneous speech which was very poignant.

 

 

(7)

Future Meeting dates:

 

 

 

Discussed the time and dates of future meetings and the following dates were agreed:

 

  • Tuesday 28th February 2012 @ 4.30pm
  • Tuesday 3rd April 2012 @ 4.30pm

 

 

All to note

 

(8)

Any Other Business

 

 

 

LAC Nurses

JS raised concerns regarding the age criteria change for LAC nurse involvement which effectively reduces service provision in the Vale to bring consistency with Cardiff.  The Chairman confirmed that a letter had been written to Cardiff and Vale UHB expressing the concerns of the Corporate Parenting Panel and a response had been received. The Chairman confirmed that she continues to raise the issue in appropriate forums

 

Higher Education costs for Care Leavers

JS raised concerns regarding the rising costs of higher education fees which are currently being funded through SEGLAC (previously the RAISE Grant).  GJ confirmed it was not just the Education costs that needed to be considered but the whole costs including accommodation and living expenses that Social Services are currently funding.  Panel agreed that a joint presentation should be made to the February meeting outlining the issues for consideration 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joint report to February 2012 Panel

 

JS and CL

 

 

Next Meeting Date

 

 

 

Tuesday 28th February 2012 at 4.30pm at the Civic Offices

 

 

ABBREVIATIONS TABLE

 

LAC

Looked After Children

 

SEGLAC

School Effectiveness Grant Looked After Children

 

RAISE Grant

Raising Attainment and Individual Standards in Education

 

LEA

Local Education Authority 

 

ADEW

Association of Directors Education Wales

 

CMT

Corporate Management Team

 

UHB

University Health Board

 

 

--------------

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the report be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To have regard to the minutes of the Corporate Parenting Panel.

 

 

C1674                        VALE OF GLAMORGAN LOCAL SERVICE BOARD RESPONSE TO THE WELSH GOVERNMENT CONSULTATION “SHARED PURPOSE - SHARED DELIVERY” (L) (SCRUTINY - ALL) -

 

Members were informed of the Local Service Board (LSB) response to the above consultation.  The consultation document detailed what needed to be included in a single integrated plan in terms of a long term vision, analysis of local need, a 3-5 year action plan, an information strategy and an engagement strategy.  The plan should also include information about LSB governance, performance management and scrutiny.  In the section on scrutiny, reference was made to the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 which gave new powers to local authority scrutiny committees to scrutinise other public service providers in their area in addition to Council services.  The Measure also contained provision for setting up joint scrutiny committees with other Councils. Members noted that the Vale LSB had already implemented much of what the Welsh Government was proposing. 

 

Key points raised in the LSB response as appended to the report were:

 

·                    more information around the scrutiny proposals was required and linkages with other developments

·                    concern that the time, capacity and skills required to support the work could be underestimated

·                    whilst the single integrated plan could reflect Welsh Government priorities and assist in their delivery, the work of the LSB should be determined primarily through local needs assessments and engagement with the local community

·                    more information about the requirements of an Annual Report and the target audience was needed

·                    the guidance needed to take account of the different planning cycles of partners

·                    decisions about partnership structures should be taken locally whilst recognising the need for regular review and monitoring of performance

·                    in response to whether the LSB should be put on a statutory footing, it was felt that there were other more important factors for successful partnership working

·                    further information was required about the implications for the local authority of linking the Outcome Agreement to the Single Integrated Plan

·                    the requirement for separate Information and Engagement Strategies might be an unnecessary burden if guidance was too prescriptive.

 

The deadline for comments to the Welsh Government was 30th March and it was not intended that the Council would submit separate response since pertinent issues had been included in the comments of the LSB.  As one of only five LSBs to have already produced an integrated plan, the Welsh Government had invited the LSB to participate in the learning exercise to review how the plans had been developed and to identify and disseminate best practice.  Members were reminded that, although the LSB had already put in place a significant amount of what was being proposed, there was still a great deal to be done to enhance partnership working and further align the work of different partnerships.  Work would need to be undertaken to develop an information strategy and an engagement strategy in line with the guidance.

 

The Council had contributed to the response of the LSB and would not be providing separate comments.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the response as appended to the report be approved on behalf of the Council.

 

Reason for decision

 

That the Council endorse the response as the views of the Council as well as the LSB.

 

 

C1675                        GRANTS TO COMMUNITY/VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS - VALEWAYS (L) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Valeways, a multi-partnership charity that supported teams of mixed ability volunteers to improve and maintain access to the Vale of Glamorgan countryside public rights of way, wished to secure ongoing funding at the conclusion of the current three year funding agreement which would end on 31st March 2012.  Members noted that the new organisational structure of Valeways was leaner and more cost effective and that a lower contribution was being sought than in previous years (£20k. as opposed to £30k.).  This would be at the cost of a reduction in footpath maintenance services although Valeways still proposed to carry out “walk and clear” programmes with volunteers and engage in walking promotional activities, thereby aiding the Council in the delivery of its statutory duty to maintain rights of way.  The Council was also working with Valeways on specific projects such as the Walking Festival and bringing in additional funds in that respect. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T grant funding to Valeways in the sum £20k. be approved for the year commencing 1st April 2012.

 

(2)       T H A T a Deed of Grant for one year from 1st April, 2012 be entered into with Valeways in respect of the above.

 

(3)       T H A T the Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration carry out a full review of the services offered to the Council by Valeways in the coming months.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To demonstrate the Council’s support of the work of Valeways in the Vale of Glamorgan and to allow the organisation an opportunity to explore ways of ensuring its long term sustainability.

 

(2)       To formalise funding arrangements with Valeways.

 

(3)       To ensure value for money.

 

 

C1676                        EXTERNAL FUNDING APPLICATIONS (L) (SCRUTINY - ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Cabinet had endorsed the response submitted by the Council to the Welsh Government consultation relating to the future of the Communities First Programme on behalf of the Castleland and Gibbonsdown / Court Communities First Partnership Boards in November 2011.  From April 2012 the Communities First Programme would be a Community Focussed Programme which would support the Welsh Government’s Anti- Poverty Agenda.  It would focus on various actions, as indicated in paragraph 6 of the report.  One such action related to ensuring that the Cluster Plan developed for each Communities First Partnership synchronised with other key plans and strategies.  It was proposed that nine Lower Super Output Areas in Barry form one cluster with a population of around 14,400. 

 

In the above response the importance of linking Communities First activities into the Welsh Government Regeneration Framework had been highlighted: At a local level that would be delivered through linking Communities First to the Barry Regeneration Area and the Renewal Area.  The response did not support the establishment of a regional tier of Central Teams since it was considered that the essence of Communities First should be better collaboration between agencies at the local level.  As part of the consultation, the Welsh Government had offered a six month extension to existing funding arrangements to 30th September 2012.  Both the Castleland and Gibbonsdown and Court Partnerships had taken up that opportunity to enable them to sustain current projects further whilst undertaking statistical analysis and consultation to provide them with the necessary information to support the successful move into the new phase of the Community Focused Programme, thereby supporting the Welsh Government’s Anti-Poverty Agenda from September 2012.  Castleland had been awarded £87,269.84 and Gibbonsdown and Court £78,217.26.  The transitional project would be delivered through Welsh Government funded Communities First staff who would be delivering on existing and new targets set by the Partnerships in response to identified need.  Appended to the report were Action Plans in respect of Castleland and Gibbonsdown and Court. 

 

Both Communities First Partnerships would work together during the transitional period to examine the priority needs of not only Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs) but potential future LSOAs which had been identified following an assessment of the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation 2011.  Prospective targets, activities and cluster outcomes would be devised during the transitional period enabling the Partnerships to work towards developing the proposed Barry Cluster.  The Welsh Government had issued interim guidance and an application pack to assist those preparing funding applications for new clusters.  The Delivery Plan for each cluster would have the following three main strands: health and wellbeing, education and skills and economy and environment.  Those strands would be based on the Results Based Accountability Model.  Support work with Children and Young People would remain a priority.  In addition, each cluster would be required to have a bespoke Community Involvement Plan which would set out the wide range of engagement undertaken by each cluster.  Applications were required to be submitted to the Welsh Government by 29th June 2012 and would be subject to a further Cabinet report.

 

The application in respect of Pencoedtre Park (situated within the Gibbonsdown and Court Community First Programme area) related to proposed improvements which had been developed in consultation with residents.  The proposed work would cost £293,887, and the application related to £200,000 capital grant being sought from the Barry Regeneration Area funding to carry out the improvements.  Match funding of £93,887 had been secured from Section 106 funding. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the Council continue to act as Lead Delivery Body (LDB) for the transitional revenue funding available to the Castleland Communities First Partnership which would allow the Partnership to support and engage residents and assist them in participating in the regeneration of their community.

 

(2)       T H A T the Council continue to act as Lead Delivery Body (LDB) for the transitional revenue funding available to the Gibbonsdown and Court Community First Partnership which would allow the Partnership to support and engage residents and assist them in participating in the regeneration of their community.

 

(3)       T H A T the Council act as managing authority and project manager for the Barry Regeneration Area application submitted by Gibbonsdown Residents Board regarding Pencoedtre Park improvements.

 

(4)       T H A T the Barry Regeneration Area Capital Grant of £200,000 and match funding of £93,887 from Section 106 money be included in the Authority’s Capital Programme, if successful.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1&2)  To approve the submission of the application and ongoing responsibilities as LDB for the grant.

 

(3)       To act as managing authority and project manager for the Barry Regeneration Area grant to improve Pencoedtre Park.

 

(4)       To include the Barry Regeneration Area grant and associated match funding in the Authority’s Capital Programme, if approved.

 

 

C1677                        LOCAL GOVERNMENT (WALES) MEASURE 2011 (L) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

As reported previously, the Welsh Government had issued the draft Statutory Guidance relatively recently allowing a consultation period of just eight weeks which would end on 30th March 2012.  Again, as previously reported, the consultation exercise was only in respect of the draft Guidance and not the Measure itself.  The late issuing of draft Guidance by the Welsh Government had led to a considerable amount of frustration amongst practitioners with such concern having already been raised at meetings of the Member Support Officers Network and brought to the attention directly of officers from the Welsh Government and the Welsh Local Government Association. 

 

This was a matter mainly for the Executive to note although the provision for Audit Committee was a Council matter.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the Council’s concern regarding the late issuing of draft Guidance be placed on record.

 

(2)       T H A T the Welsh Government be notified that this Council considered that the timing of meetings should be matter for individual Councils to determine.

 

(3)       T H A T the Welsh Government be notified that this Council had concerns in relation to the implementation of the proposals in respect of Remote Access both in terms, for example, of funding such provision given that no indication had been given as to whether additional funding would be forthcoming, and as regards the treatment of sensitive or confidential information.

 

(4)       T H A T the Welsh Government be urged to ensure timely distribution of Guidance in respect of the issues referred to at resolutions (2) and (3) above and the remaining elements of the Measure particularly regarding areas such as:

 

·                    Family Absence

·                    Members’ Annual Reports

·                    Joint Overview and Scrutiny

·                    Scrutiny of “Designated Persons”.

 

(5)       T H A T the Welsh Government be requested to clarify why the Audit Committee was not required to be politically balanced (albeit that the Guidance strongly recommended such).

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1,2,3) To record the concerns expressed.

 

(4)       To expedite progress.

 

(5)       To receive clarification.

 

 

C1678                        CORPORATE IMPROVEMENT OBJECTIVES 2012/13 (L) (SCRUTINY - ALL) -

 

Currently, the Corporate Plan included a mixture of improvement objectives (defined as those areas where improvements were needed because of existing deficiencies) and other Council priorities.  The Council’s improvement objectives needed to focus specifically on those areas where there was a need for improvement.  Whilst Corporate Plan objectives would not be amended for 2012/13, a full review of the Corporate Plan 2010/14 was planned during 2012 post the Local Government elections in May.  As an interim measure to address the issues raised by the Auditor General in his Annual Improvement Report, an analysis of the Corporate Plan had been undertaken to identify the Council’s key improvement objectives for 2012/13 along with relevant actions and measures which contributed towards their achievement.  Eight Improvement Objectives were consequently proposed for 2012/13 following the analysis of the Corporate Plan and a review of service performance to date, corporate risks and findings from the recent Wales Audit Office reviews / improvement studies and other regulators’ inspections.  The Key Corporate Improvement Objectives for 2012/13 together with the proposed Improvement Objectives for 2012/13 were appended to the report.  It was noted that the 2012/13 Improvement Plan Part 1 would need to be amended to reflect the above. 

 

Revised Corporate Improvement Objectives for 2012/13 would be submitted to Council for approval.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the proposed Corporate Improvement Objectives for 2012/13 be endorsed.

 

(2)       T H A T the proposed Corporate Improvement Objectives be referred to all Scrutiny Committees for comment.

 

(3)       T H A T the proposed Corporate Improvement Objectives be resubmitted to Cabinet on 18th April 2012 for approval and then referred to Council for approval on 25th April 2012.

 

(4)       T H A T the proposed objectives be incorporated in the Part 1 Improvement Plan 2012/13.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To ensure that the Corporate Plan 2010/14 identifies key annual improvement priorities for 2012/13 in line with requirements of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.

 

(2)       To ensure that Corporate Improvement Objectives focus specifically on those areas where there is a need for improvement, reflecting the work being undertaken across the Council to improve the quality of life for Vale residents.

 

(3)       To enable the Council to demonstrate more easily achievement of its objectives.

 

(4)       To meet the Auditor General for Wales’ recommendation contained in the 2012 Annual Improvement Report.

 

 

C1679                        WALES INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT PLAN (EDR) (SCRUTINY - ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

An engagement leaflet produced by the Welsh Government on the forthcoming Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan (WIIP) was appended to the report.  The leaflet set out the aims of the WIIP, stating that it would:

 

·                    identify and promote nationally significant infrastructure relevant across the Welsh Public Sector

·                    provide a 10 year indication of the Welsh Government’s direction of travel and a rolling pipeline of approved investment

·                    utilise innovative financial approaches.

 

The engagement leaflet sought views and comments on a series of questions and, in view of the short timescales involved, it was recommended that the Council’s responses focused on key initiatives and projects which were considered essential for the economic growth of the Vale of Glamorgan and wider region.  It was also recommended that this report formed the Council’s response to the engagement exercise.

 

An extremely pressing infrastructure issue related to the future growth and expansion of the Airport, there being a clear and undisputed need to foster additional routes to improve international connections to and from the Airport, Cardiff and South Wales.  Improvement in road access to Barry and the Airport had been subject to two separate consultants’ reports commissioned by the Welsh Government in the last 10 years with recommendations having been made in respect of improvements in road access.  However, to date, it was noted that the recommendations had not been implemented.  Members considered the need for improved connections to the strategic highway network essential to the future economic prosperity for the Vale of Glamorgan and specifically the Barry / St. Athan corridor.  The requirement to improve road access to and from Barry, the Airport and St. Athan to and from the M4 had taken on even greater significance given:

 

·                    the designation of Barry as a key settlement in the Wales Spatial Plan and the designation of St. Athan as one of only three Strategic Opportunity Areas in South East Wales

·                    the designation of land at St. Athan and the Airport as an Enterprise Zone

·                    the recognition of the above in the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Deposit Local Development Plan which allocated land for strategic employment and business development both at the Airport and in St. Athan with the proposal to provide a new railway spur to provide direct access to the Airport

·                    the granting of planning permission for the Aerospace Business Park in St. Athan and the mixed use scheme for the regeneration of Barry Waterfront.

 

There was also a clear need to enhance the region’s rail network.  Members considered that the Welsh Government must press its business case for the electrification of the Swansea / London Great Western Rail line to ensure improved connectivity between South Wales and London.  Such improvements, when combined with an enhanced strategic highway network, would improve the competitiveness of the Vale of Glamorgan and the wider region as well as assisting in promoting inward investment.  The same was true of the Valley lines network with a case being made for the development of a “metro system” which would see the Valley lines network electrified.  That was considered particularly important in the Vale of Glamorgan with the proposal to develop a direct rail link to the Airport and the need to improve and enhance commuter links between Barry and Cardiff. 

 

In addition to investment in transport, the ongoing regeneration work in Barry through its establishment as a Regeneration Area, needed to be acknowledged in the Plan.  In addition, it was considered that the Regeneration Area status must be reaffirmed for future years so that the investments to date could be built upon and extended. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the publication of the engagement leaflet by the Welsh Government on the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the report be forwarded to the Welsh Government as the basis of a response to the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To note the publication of the WIIP.

 

(2)       To allow the Vale of Glamorgan Council to respond to the initial request for comments by the Welsh Government.

 

 

C1680                        VALE OF GLAMORGAN HERITAGE CENTRE - OPTIONS APPRAISAL (EDR) (SCRUTINY - ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Cabinet had, in April 2010, decided that an Options Appraisal Study be funded to examine the issues associated with establishing and locating a Heritage Project in the Vale of Glamorgan.  DBA Consulting had subsequently been appointed, the commission being to look at the following issues:

 

·                    setting up a new museum

·                    developing a Heritage Museum that did not physically collect and display objectives

·                    supporting other local Heritage organisations

·                    an assessment of the broad capital and revenue implications of each option along with advice on potential sources of funding / grants.

 

DBA Consulting had carried out its assessment involving a number of local organisations together with the Council and other stakeholders.  As a consequence, the following conclusions had been reached:

 

There was a strong stakeholder desire to:

·                    Improve stewardship of and care for the heritage including collections, objects and buildings.

·                    Develop an understanding and community awareness of more intangible heritage such as local stories, culture and identity.

·                    Create and provide public access to the heritage - to build peoples understanding of the heritage and the cultural identity of the local area amongst local people

 

Stakeholders and the Council wanted to:

·                    Involve local communities in both experiencing and also operating a Centre

·                    To create volunteering opportunities and develop the participation in heritage that already exists around the local area

 

Additional factors from the Council included:

·                    Creating a sustainable service with minimal revenue costs

·                    Exploring the potential to provide a tourist attraction to increase the tourist offer of the local area, especially during poor weather

·                    A need to attract investment for the capital development

·                    An exploration of the operational model of any new development, and whether that should be community / volunteer led or professionally operated.

 

A number of options were consequently identified as shown in paragraph 5 of the report which were then examined against a cost benefit analysis.  The options appraisal and cost benefit analysis suggested that the option of a local history museum (volunteer operated with dedicated support) and that of a local history museum professionally operated could provide the most appropriate models to pursue since they offered significant heritage and sustainability benefits for relatively low cost.  The option relating to a local history museum (volunteer operated with dedicated support) could, it was considered, offer a quick win in terms of developing the heritage offer of the local area, with a view to growing the volunteer organisation into a professionally operated museum in the longer term.  It was also considered that the progression plan might be attractive to potential funders.

 

The report also suggested that it might be appropriate, initially, to fund a dedicated post to support and develop any proposals.  Funding for that post could come from the Heritage Lottery Fund.  It was noted that the progression of either of the above options would require the identification of a suitable space / building and, at present, no single location had been found although various locations had been considered by the space and operations analysis as indicated in paragraph 6 of the report.  It was noted that no specific funding was available.  Discussions were already taking place within the context of the Barry Regeneration Area to develop a culture based project which would include potential heritage facilities.  The DBA Consulting report also identified potential areas of funding and consideration would need to be given to whether a project could be developed which would enable access to funding from bodies such as the Heritage Lottery Fund, Welsh Government Heritage Grants, CADW and a number of foundations which were available in Wales and the United Kingdom.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the report from DBA Consulting be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T discussions be held with the relevant Heritage Groups to progress the recommendations.

 

(3)       T H A T further work be undertaken on the capital and revenue costs involved.

 

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

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To note the Consultant’s report.

 

(2&3)  To progress the project.

 

(4)       To allow the Scrutiny Committee to consider the matter.

 

 

C1681                        BARRY TOWN CENTRE - FRAMEWORK FOR FUTURE PUBLIC REALM IMPROVEMENTS (EDR) (SCRUTINY - ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Powell Dobson Urbanists had been appointed in March 2009 to undertake a study in respect of the above.  The structure of the consultant’s final report was summarised within paragraph 5 of the report before Members under the following headings:

 

·                    Introduction and Brief

·                    Baseline Review

·                    Strategic Regeneration Proposals

·                    Regeneration Vision and Objectives

·                    Public Realm Sketch Proposals (outlining street design principles)

·                    Best Practice Case Studies

·                    Public Realm Sketch Proposals in respect of Holton Road (central), Thompson Street and Gladstone Road

·                    Dock View Road

·                    Consultation and Engagement

·                    Implementation and Delivery

·                    Conclusion.

 

The main conclusions were that there was significant support for works to improve the appearance of the key areas but that an ongoing programme of consultation should be established once funding had been secured.  The cost report highlighted that the total package of works was in the order of £7.7m.  To date, it was noted that the final report had unlocked £1.1m. (Welsh Government Barry Regeneration Area Programme) for the Thompson Street Public Realm Improvement Project and £1.2m. (Welsh Government Private Sector Housing Renewal Programme) for the Castleland Renewal Area Housing Facelift Programme.  The final costs of the report produced by Powell Dobson Urbanists was £68,218 and was in fact under budget. 

 

The Cabinet Member referred to disturbing allegations in the press that funding in respect of the above had, in fact, been allocated elsewhere within the Vale.  He categorically stated that those allegations were completely untrue and a disgraceful smear on the Council and its officers. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the report produced by Powell Dobson Urbanists continue to be used to inform future consultation and project implementation as resources became available.

 

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

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To have regard to the broad consensus for change and investment in and around Barry Town Centre.

 

(2)       To ensure that Members of the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) are kept informed of progress on the matter.

 

 

C1682                        FEES AND CHARGES - COUNTRYSIDE SERVICE (TL) (SCRUTINY - ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Approval was sought for the charges to be levied in 2012/13 at Cosmeston Lakes and Porthkerry Country Parks and the Heritage Coast Centre. 

 

As regards Cosmeston Medieval Village it was noted that, from early April, the site would be free of charge for entry as an integral part of the country park and that charges would be levied only for additional optional services.  The Cabinet Member stressed that the Medieval Village was not being closed. Audio wands providing interpretation would continue to be available for hire at a proposed reduction in cost from 2011/12.  It was noted that the Medieval Village benefited from a substantial amount of income from film production and that the fees had been reviewed accordingly.  Furthermore the report reflected the fact that the Council would no longer deliver events at the Medieval Village and would instead work in partnership with third parties who would assume the financial risks. 

 

Many of the proposed fees and charges in relation to Cosmeston Lakes Country Park were either held at the present level or increased to reflect inflation.  It was noted that filming charges had been reviewed. 

 

Fees and charges in respect of Porthkerry Country Park had also been largely held or increased to reflect inflation, with filming charges reviewed.  Charges were also proposed for the use of the new timber lodge building under construction which would be available for education groups and for commercial and private hire. 

 

In respect of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast Centre, Members were notified that the charge for educational talks had been increased to match other sites, having previously been subsidised.  Members noted that the marketing of the bunkhouse facilities would be increased and that, whilst prices were pegged at the current level, those charges would be kept under review. 

 

In the case of each of the above the fees and charges were appended to the report.

 

The Leader reiterated the importance of the public being made aware that the Medieval Village was not being closed.  He also drew particular attention to the fact that the Council would be working partnership with third parties to deliver events at the Medieval Village and that the sufficiency of the hiring bond would need to kept under review.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the charges detailed in Appendices A, B, C and D to the report be approved for implementation in April 2012.

 

(2)       T H A T all charges set be the maximum cost with officers having the ability to reduce the charges in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Tourism and Leisure.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To reflect costs and market conditions.

 

(2)       To allow prices to be used as a marketing tool.

 

 

C1683                        SEVERN ESTUARY PARTNERSHIP 2012/2013 MEMBERSHIP CONTRIBUTION (PT) (SCRUTINY - ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

The Council had been a member of the Severn Estuary Partnership (SEP) since its inception in 1995 and had contributed financially to its operation by way of annual membership fees.  It was considered that continued membership of the SEP was important as its independent status and wide ranging membership played a vital role in ensuring a co-ordinated approach to proposals which affected the future of the Estuary.  The Cabinet Member for Planning and Transportation currently represented the Council on the SEP Joint Advisory Committee.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T payment of the membership contribution of £2,963.00 to the Severn Estuary Partnership be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To ensure the continued involvement of the Council as a key estuary partner in the SEP for 2012/13.

 

 

C1684                        HOUSING IMPROVEMENT INTERIM PROGRAMME 2012/13 (L AND HCS) (SCRUTINY - HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) -

 

Approval was sought for the 2012/13 Housing Improvement Interim Capital Programme 2013 as appended to the report prior to the implementation of the Welsh Housing Quality Standards in September 2012.  There was a requirement to maintain a certain level of Major Repairs Allowance (MRA) expenditure to deliver the interim works programme identified for 2012/13 prior to the implementation of the long term investment framework.  The MRA amount had been based on the assumed grant allocation 2012/13 and that the amount would remain unchanged in the Welsh Government final approval.  In order to maintain the momentum and continuity of works and spend, it was proposed to utilise the expertise of contractors who had developed suitable procedures and had demonstrated their ability to work in accordance with the Council’s requirements and procedures.  The above proposal, if implemented, would only account for central heating, roof renewals and window replacements to the values indicated in Appendix A to the report and would require an exemption to Contract Standing Orders.  It was noted that the remainder of the Programme would be procured in the traditional manner of competitive tendering.  Members noted that the Director of Finance, ICT and Property, in consultation with the Cabinet Member responsible for Finance, had delegated authority to make additions, deletions or transfers to or from the 2012/13 Housing Capital Programme as appropriate in order to maximise expenditure on the Programme.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the proposed schemes to be funded from the Housing Improvement Programme (HIP) as listed in Appendix A to the report be approved.

 

(2)       T H A T the Head of Housing Services be granted delegated authority in consultation with Director of Finance, ICT and Property to extend existing building contracts provided the contractors met the stipulated criteria.

 

(3)       T H A T Contract Standing Orders be waived to give effect the above.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To set the interim Programme prior to commencement of the framework.

 

(2&3)  To assist in the efficient delivery of the HIP for 2012/13.

 

 

C1685                        MATTERS WHICH THE CHAIRMAN HAD DECIDED WERE URGENT -

 

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

 

 

C1686                        REVIEW OF SUPPORTED LOCAL BUS SERVICES 2011 - AWARD OF SUPPORTED LOCAL BUS CONTRACTS AND LOCAL TRANSPORT SERVICES GRANT 2012/2013 - CALL-IN (REF) -

Urgent by reason of the need to ensure service provision from 1st April, 2012

 

Cabinet received a report on 29th February 2012 which:

 

-                      advised on the current position in respect of the Supported Bus Service Review and which sought approval for the award of tendered service Contract Agreements and continued service provision

-                      informed of the Local Transport Services Grant made available from the Welsh Government (WG) for 2012/13 and the implications for continued service provision following a reduced grant compared to recent years.

 

Cabinet had resolved that

 

·                    the proposed award of Contract Agreements for supported local bus services as detailed above be approved

·                    the sum of £328,139 Local Transport Services Grant for 2012/13 be accepted and that the implications for continued service provision be noted

·                    a fundamental inter modal review be carried out and reported to Cabinet in six months time.

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) had, on 27th March, 2012, considered four call-ins received in respect of the above.  Councillor Wilson's call-in referred to the concern about no Sunday services for the 88, 89A and 89B, whether an examination of sponsorship for route 87 with organisations that had a presence in Cardiff Bay could be examined and that the withdrawal of bus route P1 would be a significant loss to the tourism of Penarth and whether commercial support could be considered.

 

Councillor Elmore's call-in referred to the cut in services for residents within the Bendricks and Hayes Road which he stated was an isolated community in Barry and residents without their own transport would be totally cut off.  He further advised that he had received complaints from concerned residents and requested that the decision be reviewed with a view to reinstating the service.

 

Councillor John referred to the lack of public transport in general and in particular to the Llantwit Major, to Cardiff and Bridgend service in relation to the proposed property developments that were anticipated.  He also queried whether the Rhoose to Cardiff Airport service was well used stating that he had received reports of limited usage.

 

Councillor N. Moore’s call-in referred to the massive gap in the routes that were available for the most deprived areas in Cadoc and that the area had a high proportion of elderly residents. 

 

Following considerable discussion the Scrutiny Committee had subsequently recommended

 

·                    that existing services be maintained for 2012

·                    that a review be undertaken to include an equality impact assessment in particular for services on a Sunday

·                    that alternative funding sources be investigated for such services e.g. sponsorship, particularly for the P1 and 87 services

·                    that further clarification be sought from the Minister in respect of his letter dated 16th March, 2012 in relation to the extension of funding referred to therein and that clarification also be sought in respect of the Bus Service Operators Grant

·                    that the above recommendations be referred to Cabinet.

 

The Cabinet Member addressed the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee as follows:

 

·                    Maintenance of existing services for one year - the Cabinet Member explained that the Council’s budget had been cut by 27% and that the Minister had extended current funding for just three months.  The recommendation of the Scrutiny Committee was therefore not accepted.

·                    The recommendation of the Scrutiny Committee that a review be undertaken, in particular for services on a Sunday, be noted.

·                    Regarding the suggestion from Scrutiny Committee in relation to alternative funding sources, the Cabinet Member proposed that the suggestion relating to sponsorship be included within the fundamental review already proposed.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T recommendation (1) of the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) be not accepted.

 

(2)       T H A T recommendation (2) of the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) be noted.

 

(3)       T H A T recommendation (3) of the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) be included within the fundamental review being undertaken.

 

(4)       T H A T recommendation (4) of the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) be accepted.

 

Reason for decisions

 

(1-4)    For the reasons as specified above.

 

 

C1687                        TRAFFIC IMPACT FROM PLANNED HOUSING DEVELOPMENT (REF) -

Urgent by reason of the need to refer the Committee recommendations to Cabinet before the next meeting

 

Councillor C.J. Williams had requested that the above matter be considered by the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) on 27th March, 2012 as detailed in his request “ the Committee consider the potential impacts on traffic flow between the main arterial roads feeding into the Cogan Spur from Barry, Penarth, Sully, Dinas Powys and Llandough from the inevitable increase in vehicle movement from the 2000 dwellings at the Waterfront, Barry and the extra thousands of dwellings proposed in the Deposit Plan for the LDP planned for the aforementioned communities”. 

 

Having fully discussed the report and the request for consideration the Scrutiny Committee had recommended:

 

·                    that the Scrutiny Committee's concerns be referred to Cabinet in respect of the amount of developments that are proposed for the future within the LDP and the delay in vital transport infrastructure required

·                    that no housing developments listed for Dinas Powys contained within the LDP be considered until the effects of the Barry Waterfront  development are known

·                    that  any development over 10 houses be subject to a Transport Impact Assessment

·                    that the draft Deposit LDP include an investigation relating to the   development of the Barry to Cardiff Road through Dinas Powys.

 

The Cabinet Member, prior to addressing the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee, commented that the LDP had already been through the scrutiny process and the Scrutiny Committees had resolved to support it.  He indicated that if Council were to consider substantial amendments to the LDP at this juncture, the future of the LDP would be jeopardised.  As regards the recommendation of the Scrutiny Committee that any development over 10 houses be subject to a Transport Impact Assessment, he indicated that Welsh Government advice stipulated that figure to be 100.  He confirmed that an investigation relating to the development of the Barry to Cardiff road through Dinas Powys was already under progression as part of the LDP. 

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T recommendations (1) and (4) of the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) on 27th March, 2012 be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T recommendations (2) and (3) of the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) on 27th March, 2012 be rejected.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       For information.

 

(2)       To amend the LDP at this juncture would prejudice the future of the LDP and having regard to Welsh Government advice.

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