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                                                                        Agenda Item No.

 

CABINET

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 17th December, 2012.

 

Present:  Councillor N. Moore (Chairman); Councillor S.C. Egan (Vice-Chairman); Councillors Ms. B.E. Brooks, L. Burnett, R.F. Curtis, C.P.J. Elmore and G. John.

 

Also present: Councillor(s) N Hodges, K Mahoney.

 

C1934            MINUTES –

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 3rd December, 2012 be approved as a correct record.

 

C1935            DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

The following declarations were received:

 

Councillor Stuart Egan

Agenda Item 16 – Severn Barrage Consultation– involved in Comments with regard to this report at Barry Town Council

 

Councillor Egan left the room when this matter was considered

 

 

 

C1936            PERFORMANCE REPORT FOR THE END OF FOUNDATION PHASE AND KEY STAGE 2 AND 3 (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) on 12th November, 2012 considered the above report of the Chief Learning and Skills officer.

 

The report noted that in general the Vale of Glamorgan was advantaged in terms of socio-economic deprivation and that the proportion of pupils entitled to receive free school meals was used as a proxy indicator of socio-economic deprivation.  In 2010/11 the Vale ranked fourth lowest overall for the proportion of pupils entitled to receive free school meals (third lowest at primary level and fifth lowest at secondary level).  The findings indicated that the aggregated performance of Vale schools should be higher than for Wales as a whole and generally ranked in the five highest performing authorities.  A Statutory Teacher Assessment was administered at the end of the Foundation Phase, Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 when pupils were aged 7, 11 and 14 years old respectively with Teacher assessments expressed in levels at the end of each Key Stage and as an Outcome at the end of the Foundation Phase.  

 

Committee was informed that it was important to note that for the Foundation Phase in 2012 attainment had been recorded in terms of outcome statements in contrast to previous years where it had been recorded at the end of Key Stage 1 Teacher Assessment Levels.  The nature of Teacher Assessments at the end of Foundation Phase for 2012 had also changed.  Performance at the end of the Foundation Phase reflected the apparent decline observed for the rest of Wales.  Whilst recognising that it was not possible to make direct comparisons in the current year with previous performance, there was clearly a need to maintain the work with schools to support them to raise standards particularly in Welsh.


Comparisons with local authorities across Wales placed the Vale's performance in the Foundation Phase well above the required fifth ranked position.  However, for the lower ranked position (fifth) for CSI. further analysis confirmed the understanding that relative underachievement in writing was the contributory factor to the lower performance observed.  This was being addressed via the Big Write and individual school-based targeted support programmes.

 

Vale performance in Key Stage 3 also did not reflect the upward performance trend observed for Wales.  Performance analysis had revealed that within English in Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 2 as well as the Foundation Phase under achievement in writing was a contributory factor to under attainment in English, the core subject indicator (CSI) and in reading, writing and maths in combination.  These were therefore areas of specific concern where improvements observed in the previous year had not been replicated in the current year.  As a result Individual schools were being targeted for support in Key Stage 3 and the Council had also implemented support programmes across all schools to target improvements in standards in these specific areas. 

 

Tabled at the meeting for Members consideration was information in relation to performance data and comparisons for the more abled pupils which had not been available at the time the agenda had been dispatched.

 

During discussion of the report it was noted that the task for all school governors would be to use the wealth of data available with a view to investing resources in the areas required in order to make those particular groups accelerate in progress.  Members requested that further information in relation to children in receipt of free school meals and their achievement at Key Stages 1, 2, 3 and 4 be presented to the Committee in due course.  It was also noted that there were some schools within the Vale that currently had issues in relation to performance and the Scrutiny Committee considered that the Cabinet should be provided with the detail of that information. 

 

It was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T the School Performance Report be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T a further report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee in respect of children in receipt of free school meals and their performance as detailed above, together with comparisons under the all-Wales benchmark.

 

(3)       T H A T the reports before the Scrutiny Committee be referred to Cabinet for consideration and that the information relating to the secondary schools as outlined above, be also presented to Cabinet and shared with the Chairman of the Scrutiny Committee.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To apprise Members.

 

(2)       To receive further information arising from the contents of the report.

 

(3)        For consideration and information.

 

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The Chief Learning and Skills Officer gave a comprehensive explanation on the reports key issues on the attainment of the Vales school pupils in assessments that took place in Spring and Summer 2012.

 

Councillor Chris Elmore added, that there were attainment issues at key stage 3 but he was happy that the Council was moving forward to address the issues.

 

Cabinet having considered the recommendation of the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning)

 

RESOLVED –

 

T H A T having heard the views of the Chief Learning and Skills Officer, the performance report for the end of foundation phase and key stage 2 and 3, be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

The issues raised were included in a later item on the agenda.

 

C1937  SCHOOL PERFORMANCE REPORT FOR THE LEVEL 2 INCLUSIVE, END OF KEY STAGE 4 (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) on 10th December, 2012 considered the above report from the Chief Learning and Skills Officer.

 

The purpose of the report was to update Members on school performance in 2012.  Appendix 1 to the report provided the results for the Level 2 inclusive for each Local Authority in Wales it being noted that the Vale’s results were above the Welsh average and were ranked fifth.  The information also showed a 1.1% increase in the Level 2 inclusive over the last three years for the Vale of Glamorgan.  Appendix 2 provided the results for individual schools in the Vale and Appendix 3 provided detailed comparative information up to 2011 only. 

 

Members were advised that a report showing comparisons with other Local Authorities would be presented to the Committee when the data was finalised in the New Year. 

 

The Head of Service stated that whilst the results remained relatively good in many respects and that some schools were making accelerated progress, the performance trend and the performance of some schools required rapid improvement.  The Directorate had therefore implemented an Authority wide support and development programme involving Headteachers in all Primary and Secondary schools and Heads of Departments and Subject Leaders to specifically address concerns as detailed at Appendix 4 to the report.  Individual schools had also been targeted for support.  Schools’ System Leaders within the Joint Education Service (JES) would monitor progress towards meeting performance targets on a termly basis and also deliver the Authority’s statutory school improvement functions to all schools on behalf of the Council. 

 

Committee was also informed by the Head of Service that the report contained provisional data which highlighted that the Vale was above the Welsh average and ranked fifth. Since writing the report the department had recently received the final data which showed that the Vale's results for Level 2 inclusive were 55.3% with the Vale remaining in fifth position.  The Head of Service in referring to paragraph 14 of the report stated that the paragraph should read that there was a decrease of 1.1% over years 10/11 -11/12 with the final year showing a decrease of 0.7%.   The final data would now be considered with the view to bringing a report to the Scrutiny Committee in the New Year.  It was noted that Maths was seen to be a main factor to underachievement and that the Council recognised where improvements needed to be made. 

 

Concerns were raised and discussion ensued regarding the possible reasons for deterioration in pupil’s writing skills.  Members were informed that in today’s society the use of modern technology and the text facility did not wholly assist in helping pupils in creative writing.  However, technology was also seen as a very good favourable system which could, if used correctly, assist in creative writing.  Of particular note however, was that schools in the Vale performed very well at Key Stage 2 in English. Members thanked the Head of Service for the detail contained within the report and the improvement procedures that had been put in place.

 

Having considered the report, it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the report be referred to Cabinet for consideration.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To ensure the Cabinet is aware of the performance of schools and the ongoing programme for improvement."

 

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The Chief Learning and Skills Officer, explained that the report provided information about the attainment at Key Stage 4 in 2012. It was clarified that key stage 4 related to 16 year olds and was principally measured by way of GCSE performance. The specific focus was on 5 A*-C grade GCSEs that included English, Welsh and Maths.

 

The Chief Learning and Skills Officer went on to discuss the findings of the appendices contained within the Scrutiny Report. Appendix 2 included school by school provisional results with improved performance at Sir Richard Gwyn and Barry Comprehensive and weaker performance at Bryn Hafren and Bro Morgannwg than in the previous year.

 

It was anticipated that the updated banding would be published on Tuesday 18th December, 2012 for all secondary schools based on 2012 data including key stage 4 assessment. The four schools previously mentioned were expected to have their banding changed.

 

Cabinet, having considered the recommendation of the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning)

 

RESOLVED – T H A T having heard the views of the Chief Learning and Skills Officer  the performance report for the level 2 inclusive end of key stage 4, be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

The issues raised were included in a later item on the agenda.

 

C1938  STAFF SURVEY 2012 UPDATED ACTION PLAN (REF) -   

            

The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) on 13th November, 2012 considered the above report of the Managing Director.

 

As requested as a previous meeting, the Head of Performance and Development- referred Members to the update of the Action Plan, as outlined below:

 

Action

Start

Date

Finish

Date

Progress

Undertake a review of training opportunities and programmes, including training for staff working outside office environments.

Oct 2012

Apr 2015

2012/13 TDRS programme is now underway. There has

been 100% compliance from Waste Management so far.

 

Council has now obtained funds to train staff in basic skills (ICT, literacy, numeracy). These courses are being targeted at staff working outside office

environments.  A series of roadshows is being used to promote these opportunities.

 

Training and development for staff disadvantaged by JE is

also being used to target staff working outside office

environments (for example HGV driver training now on offer).

 

Council has now signed

up to Employers Pledge.

Investigate training

practices throughout

the Council and

identify how to deliver

best practice as part

of the review.

Sep 2012

Apr 2013

Corporate training review currently underway as part of

Social Services Change Plan.  Once completed this will be expanded to an assessment of all service areas.

Review previous staff

suggestion schemes

(Innovation Awards

and Savings Challenge) and implement a scheme building on the learning from previous schemes.

Sep 2012

Apr 2013

Previous schemes have been reviewed. It is not timely to implement another suggestion scheme. Instead

improvements to Core Brief and Staff Net will be used to incorporate the successful elements of the previous schemes into a new interactive Core Brief that will allow a dialogue between staff and senior offices.

Review approach to

team meetings of non-office based staff. Indentify and resolve reasons for lack of meetings.

Sep 2012

Apr 2013

To be addressed as part of ongoing review of employee engagement.  A report to CMT outlining next steps is currently being drafted.

Ensure that staff

(especially those

without access to a

PC) receive information through team meetings.

Sep 2012

Apr 2013

To be addressed as part of ongoing review of employee engagement.

 

A report to CMT outlining next steps is currently being drafted.

Review the effectiveness of the

PDRS process and

particularly in relation

to its use with non-office

based staff.

Oct 2012

Sep 2013

A series of focus groups with staff addressing the effectiveness of the current PDRS process.  The results of this will inform the review.

 

The possibility of enhancing the quality control procedures

currently in place in order to improve staff experience of the PDRS process is being investigated.

Investigate what staff

consider to be ‘recognition’ of good

work and develop an

approach to rewarding good work appropriately.

Oct 2012

Mar 2013

To be addressed as part of ongoing review of employee engagement.  A report to CMT outlining next steps is

currently being drafted.

 

A series of focus groups with staff addressing the PDRS process is being planned.

 

In relation to the actions proposed to address the matter of staff feeling undervalued, a view was expressed that the proposals were not robust and required further more imaginative thinking.  Further comments were made in relation to the need for a more holistic approach being taken as regards communication across the Council from the top down, the need for a co-ordinated training programme and the need to develop a robust internal communication strategy.  The Head of Performance and Development drew attention to the review of employee engagement included in the Action Plan and said that this would include internal communication.  As also indicated in the Action Plan, a training review was underway.  He would submit a progress report on those matters in 6 months.

 

Reference was also made in the ensuing discussions to concerns recently expressed by trade representatives at the Joint Consultative Forum (JCF) in relation to the figures quoted in the results summary which had been reported to this Committee in September.  Other areas of concern at the JCF included the fact that teachers had been excluded for participating in the survey and the way in which the survey had been conducted.  A suggestion was made that the “soundness” of the survey should be tested and an assessment made as to the merit of undertaking a similar survey with teachers. Members were notified that the Chairman of the JCF was to take up all areas of concern with the relevant officers.  The Head of Performance and Development said that the survey had been agreed by the Corporate Management Team and effectively communicated to Council staff generally, but that it was felt that teachers should not be included since their concerns were different in many ways from other staff.  He agreed to refer the above issues to the Corporate Management Team.

 

A proposal was also made that, prior to the next survey being undertaken, a copy be forwarded to this Committee for consideration.

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the updated Action Plan as appended to the report be endorsed and the Plan referred to Cabinet for consideration.

 

(2)       T H A T the actions contained in the Plan be incorporated into, and monitored in line with, existing departmental service plans.

 

(3)       T H A T the Head of Performance and Development submit a progress report to this Committee in 6 months.

 

(4)       T H A T Cabinet be asked to consider the proposal that a draft of the survey be submitted to this Committee for consideration.

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1&2)  To ensure that appropriate action is taken in response to the views of Council staff.

 

(3)       To monitor progress.

 

(4)       To ensure the content of the survey was fit for purpose.”

 

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Cabinet, having considered the recommendation of the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources)

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)               T H A T the action plan be endorsed.

 

(2)               T H A T the actions contained in the Plan be incorporated into, and monitored in line with existing departmental service plans.

 

(3)               T H A T the new survey, once produced, be presented to Cabinet and then be referred to Corporate Resources Scrutiny Committee for consideration.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)               To monitor progress.

 

(2&3) To ensure the content of the survey was fit for purpose.

 

 

C1939   CARDIFF BAY ADVISORY COMMITTEE -

 

The following minutes of the meeting held on 21st November, 2012 were submitted:

 

Present:

 

Mr. J. Harrison

Environment Agency Wales

Dr. S. Howard

Countryside Council for Wales

Mr. C. Lyons

Cardiff Bay Yacht Club

Ms. S. Newbold

British Marine Federation / RYA

Mr. A. Parker

 

Councillor G. Roberts

Penarth Town Council

Mr. D. Williams

Cardiff Yacht Club

 

Also present:

 

Mr. S. Howell

Cardiff Harbour Authority

Mr. C. Hope

Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

(a)       Chairman –

 

In the unavoidable absence of both the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Advisory Committee, Mr. A. Parker was elected Chairman for the meeting.

 

(b)       Apologies for Absence -

 

These were received from Councillor L. Burnett (Vale of Glamorgan Council) (Chairman), Councillor D. Huw Thomas (Cardiff Council), Mr. S. Jones (Quay Marinas Ltd.), Mr. T. Rees (Glamorgan Anglers), Councillor A. Govier (Cardiff Council) and Mrs. C. Dimond (Vice-Chairman).

 

(c)        Minutes -

 

AGREED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 19th September, 2012 be accepted as a correct record.

 

(d)       Matters Arising –

 

In referring to the incident involving Optimist sailing dinghies which had occurred in April, Mr. Lyons stated that he was the President of the Yacht Club and was unaware that the Harbour Authority had suggested that Bay users were advised to use Channel 18 for communications with Barrage Control.  He indicated that the Club had not been made aware of this nor had any communication from the Harbour Authority since the incident that this item referred to.  Mr. Lyons said that the Club used Channel 37 and could not scan Channel 18 which was the same for other users in the Bay.

 

Mr. Howell said that the recommendation for users of the Bay to listen in to Channel 18 had been in place since the Barrage was first operational and is clearly indicated in the published Bay Users’ Guide, website and in discussions with clubs and users of the Bay.  The incident had been investigated and the outcome communicated to the Club and he would forward a copy of this to Mr. Lyons and, if the scanning of Channel 18 is not practical, then there needs to be an alternative method of communication established with Barrage Control so that incidents of this nature can be properly dealt with.

 

Mr. Howell felt that it was important to resolve any issues as quickly as possible and, if after seeing the communication with the Club, Mr. Lyons needed a further meeting to address this, it would be arranged. 

 

Ms. N. Newbold suggested that any discussions also involve Cardiff Bay Yacht Club. 

 

 

(e)       Navigational Safety – Cardiff Harbour Authority - Mr. Simon Howell –

 

The pontoon had been installed for the South Wales Fire and Rescue boat on the Barrage.  The vessel would be moved from its current mooring in Penarth Marina when the required staff training was fully completed in the new year.  It would then become fully operational, improving response times to search and rescue emergencies that may occur in the Bay.

 

The Harbour Authority had been dealing with an abandoned vessel, the “Shark” which was formerly known as the “Greitja”.  This former fishing vessel was served with a detention notice by the Marine coastguard Agency when it was berthed in Brixham Harbour as it was considered unsafe to take to sea.  It was brought to Cardiff by its then owner who was recently found guilty of breaching the impoundment order and fined for this offence.

 

The Marine Coastguard Agency had issued a detention notice to prevent its removal from Cardiff and the Harbour Authority was in the process of getting this lifted to enable its removal to an authorised breaker’s yard which should take place within the next few weeks.

 

(f)         Progress Update - Cardiff Harbour Authority - Mr. Simon Howell -

 

Water quality in the Bay had remained above the statutory level of 5mg/l over the past two months.  No algae or midge emergence issues were likely now over the winter period.  This will mean that there has been only one larvicide application this year with the next application likely to be required in March next year.

 

The Barrage had operated effectively over the past two months without any deterioration in the bascule bridges since the temporary repairs had been undertaken.  The design of the permanent repair had been completed and tenders were being sought for this work.  The first bridge repair would take place in January with the other two following on straight after.  This would ensure that there were two operational bridges, which should minimise any disruption to boat access and pedestrians and cyclists.

 

Two sluice roller bearings were also being repaired at the moment, and this work should be completed in the next two weeks.

 

The Welsh National Indoor Rowing Championships would take place at Channel View Centre on Saturday 1st December, and the Welsh Schools Championships taking place the day before, Friday 30th November.

 

Planning of next year’s events programme was also underway with Extreme Sailing returning together with the World Cup Slalom Event in Cardiff International White Water, both for the second year in succession.

 

The application for Cardiff to host the 2017/18 Volvo Ocean Race had recently been submitted following support from Welsh Government, Associated British Ports, the Yacht Clubs and a range of other supporters.  A decision on the host cities would be made next month.

 

(g)       Update Report - Environment Agency – Mr. John Harrison -

 

Mr. Harrison advised that there were no environmental issues to report to the Advisory Committee.

 

Since the last meeting of the Advisory Committee, familiarisation sessions had been undertaken to raise awareness of the environmental situation in the Bay with staff of the Agency.  It was felt that the sessions had proved to be useful. 

 

(h)               Information Reports –

 

Committee received two reports which had been presented to the Executive of Cardiff Council as follows:

 

-                      land at Callaghan Square – considered on 8th November 2012

-                      bid for Cardiff to host the Volvo Ocean Round the World Race – considered on 18th October 2012.

 

AGREED – T H A T the contents of the reports be noted.

 

(i)                 Date of Next Meeting –

 

AGREED – T H A T the next meeting be held on 16th January 2013 at 5.15 p.m. in the Cardiff Harbour Authority Offices.

 

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RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes be noted.

 

C1940    COUNCIL TAX REDUCTION SCHEME(MD) (SCRUTINY – CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

1.                  Cabinet were asked to consider and recommend the Council Tax Reduction Scheme for consultation. 

2.                  As part of the UK Government's Welfare Reform Agenda, the existing Council Tax Benefit scheme would be abolished with effect from 31 March, 2013. 

3.                  From 1st April 2013, a new scheme called Council Tax Reduction would be introduced.  Two sets of regulations govern the scheme, that was currently in draft form and would be considered by the Welsh Assembly on 19th December, 2012.

·   The Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Default Schemes) (Wales) Regulations, which established a single national framework scheme would be imposed on any council that failed to adopt its own scheme by 31 January 2013, and

·   The Council Tax Reduction Schemes and Prescribed Requirements (Wales) Regulations, which set out the national requirements that each billing authority must satisfy and also enable additional areas of local discretion that authorities might wish to implement.   

4.                  Welsh local authorities had until 31 January 2013 to adopt a scheme exercising any of the discretions permitted under the Prescribed Requirements Regulations. This required a decision by full Council.  If the Authority failed to adopt a Council Tax Reduction Scheme by that date the default scheme would apply. 

5.                  The main difference with the new scheme was in relation to funding - in that the Council Tax Reduction Scheme would not provide a 100% reduction to the Council Tax Bill.  All households with a Council tax liability would be required to make a contribution. Further technical changes were set out in Appendix A to the report.

6.                  At the meeting, the Head of Financial Services commented that the Task and Finish group had been consulted on the report and agreed the contents.  

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED – 

 

(1)          T H A T  the national scheme be adopted with the following discretions -

·   that the Council should continue to allow extended payments up to a maximum of 4 weeks;

·   that the Council should continue to disregard War Widow and War Disablement pensions in assessing income for Council Tax Reduction;

·   that the Council should continue to allow backdated benefit for a period of up to 26 weeks.

 

(2)          T H A T the scheme is put forward for consultation and for consideration by Council in January 2013.

(3)          T H A T in the light of the timescale, the Council’s urgency procedure is used. 

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1-3) To enable the Council Tax Reduction Scheme to be approved by Council by 31 January, 2013 and be in place for implementation from 1 April 2013.

 

C1941     OUTCOME AGREEMENT  2010-2013 (L) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

Cabinet received the outcome agreement report for 2010 - 2013.

The current Outcome Agreement was signed in February 2011, for the period 2010 - 2013 and revised slightly in August 2011. Amendments were forwarded to the Welsh Government following consideration by Cabinet on 1 October, 2012.

 

The agreement set out actions and performance targets for three years and was negotiated on the premise that the Council and Welsh Government shared common objectives and the agreement would assist in achieving these objectives. 

 

An incentive grant of £1.254 million was paid to the Council by WG annually, upon production of the evidence of progress against each activity / measure.

 

The grant was paid on a sliding scale based on the extent to which actions and measures had been achieved, and the Council must be able to evidence collaboration in order to secure 100% of the grant.  In years 2010 to 2011 and 2011 to 2012 the Council achieved 100% of the incentive grant confirmed in writing form the Welsh Government.

In terms of the current financial year several targets had been amended and a considerable revision was required in objective 5 (learning objectives are of a high quality) due to the implementation of the Joint Education Service.

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED – 

 

(1)     T H A T the achievement of the Outcome Agreement funding, along with the amendments to the agreement be noted.

 

(2)    T H A T a further report be submitted early in the new year regarding the likely achievement of targets for 2012/13.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)   In order to commend officers for the achievement of the funding and to monitor progress in the current financial year.

 

(2)                           In order to effectively monitor achievement of targets.

 

C1942      UPDATED ENVIRONMENT POLICY (L) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

Cabinet were presented with the updated Environmental Policy

 

The annually updated Environmental Policy was a written statement outlining the Councils mission in relation to managing the environmental effect of its operations.  The Councils Environmental Policy was the cornerstone of the development and implementation of an environmental management system. A copy of the policy was attached at appendix 1.

The benefits associated with adopting the revised Environmental Policy included:

·               assuring customers of commitment to demonstrable environmental management

·               maintaining good public/community relations

·               enhancing image

·               improving cost control

·               reducing incidents that result in liability

·               conserving raw materials and energy

·               sharing environmental solutions

·               improving industry/government relations.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the revised Environmental Policy, attached at Appendix 1 to the report be endorsed.

 

Reason for decision

 

To show a high level of support for the environment and to gain commitment to the contents of the policy.

C1943      HOUSING BUSINESS PLAN (l)(HBMCS) (SCRUTINY – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

Members were presented with the Housing Business Plan 2012.

 

The Welsh Government (WG) required all local authorities who retain their housing stock to submit an acceptable Housing Business Plan annually that indicated a detailed financial forecast in the form of a 30 year financial model.

The Business Plan was the primary tool for a local authority’s housing landlord service and included all assets within the Council’s Housing Revenue Account (HRA).

 

The Plan would need to be submitted to WG no later than 31 December, 2012, and would form the basis of the Major Repairs Allowance (MRA) grant application, a pivotal financing component for the Housing Improvement Programme (to meet the Welsh Housing Quality Standard).

 

The report indicated that average rents had increased from £72.24 to £75.87 calculated on a 52 week basis.  Rents were increased by inflation plus 1% from 2013/14 onwards in line with the notional rent guideline increase as per WG guidance.

 

The Major Repairs Allowance had increased from £2.7 million per year to £2.8 million per year.  No inflation has been allowed for this grant.

 

All other Revenue income and expenditure was based on the 2012/13 revised budget plus inflation.

 

The provision for doubtful debts had been increased to allow for the negative impact of the welfare reform on rent collection.  The Provision had been increased by £220,000 (real terms) which amounted to 1.4% of gross rental income.  The sensitivity analysis explored the scenario of 100% of this shortfall in housing benefits impacting on rent collection.  Taking this into consideration, the business plan would still be viable.

 

An additional staffing budget had been included within the plan of £50,000 in year 12/13 and £100,000 (plus inflation) for each year after, until 2016/17.  This budget would be used to fund staff to work with tenants providing them options to prevent them falling into arrears and/or becoming homeless as a direct result of the welfare reform.

 

Void days had increased due to the length of time taken to bring these properties up to WHQS (at the same time as void maintenance works). An additional sum of £160,000 had been included in both years 2013/14 and 2014/15 to account for the loss of rental income due to the delay.  It was anticipated that void days would reduce and return to normal by 2015/16.

The latest projections were attached at Appendix H(i) and H(ii) to the Business Plan and illustrated a reduction in the total amount of prudential borrowing required over years 3 – 8 from £32.9 million to £32.4 million. However, the date anticipated that all prudential debt could be repaid was now 2031/32 (previously (2029/30). 

 

A summary of the movement in the financial position is included in the table below.

 


 

December 2011

December 2012

Difference

WHQS Target

2016/17

2016/17

No Change

Prudential Borrowing

£32.9 million

£32.4 million

-£0.5 Million

Peak Debt

£31.7 million

£30.1 million

-£0.7 million

Repayment of Debt

2029/30

2031/32

+ 2 years

Revenue Surplus in year 30

£102.2 million

£98.2 million

-£4 million

 

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the Housing Business Plan 2012 be recommended to Council for approval in January 2013.

 

Reason for Decision

 

To approve the Housing Business Plan.

 

C1944       SETTING A STANDARD CONTRACTING RATE FOR PLACES IN INDEPENDANT RESIDENTIAL CARE HOMES FOR OLDER PEOPLE IN 2012 / 2013 (AS) (SCRUTINY – SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH) -

At the meeting, it was noted that a detailed letter had been received during that morning from Solicitors representing the Vale of Glamorgan Care Homes Associations’ . It was agreed to defer the report for further consideration, of the matters set out in the letter

 

The Leader further commented that he and Deputy Leader would lead a working group in order to work with officers of the Vale of Glamorgan Council and representatives of the Vale of Glamorgan Care Home Association with the aim of resolving the issues.

 

C1945   SCHOOL PERFORMNACE REPORT FOR KEY STAGE 3 (CS) (SCRUTINY -  LIFELONG LEARNING) –

 

Members were updated on pupil performance at the end of Key Stage 3 (age 14). The report noted that in general, the Vale of Glamorgan was advantaged in terms of socio-economic deprivation.

 

The Chief Learning and Skills Officer commented that this report complimented Agenda Item 4 providing further information about the performance of 14 year olds (key stage 4) in 2012.

 

The proportion of pupils entitled to receive free school meals was used as a proxy indicator of socio-economic deprivation. In 2010-11, the Vale ranked 4th lowest overall for the proportion of pupils entitled to receive free school meals (3rd lowest at primary level & 5th lowest at secondary level) i.e. it is relatively advantaged. The findings indicated that the aggregated performance of Vale schools would be higher than for Wales as a whole and generally rank in the 5 highest performing authorities.

 

The national minimum expectations for pupils at the end of Key Stage 3 was achievement at Level 5.

 

Appendix 1B to the report, provided a data summary and geographical representation and illustrated that performance at the end of Key Stage 3 across the majority of indicators had remained the same after demonstrating improvement last year.

 

Vale performance in Key Stage 3 did not reflect the up-ward performance trend observed for Wales. Comparison with local authorities across Wales, placed the Vale below its expected 5th rank position for a number of indicators.

 

Cabinet was informed that there were too many schools in the lower benchmarking quartiles for performance in Key Stage 3.

 

Performance analysis revealed that within English in Key Stage 3 underachievement in writing is the contributory factor to under-attainment in English, the Core Subject Indicator (CSI) and in Reading, Writing and Maths in combination (RWM). It was noted that areas of specific concern in Key Stage 3, where improvements observed last year had not been replicated this year.

 

Individual schools were being targeted for support in Key Stage 3, particularly Bryn Hafren and Barry Comprehensive Schools.

 

The local Authority had categorised both schools as a cause for concern and in need of additional challenge and support. Bryn Hafren had been placed in a Follow-up category by Estyn, who will re-inspect the school in a year's time. 

 

Barry Comprehensive School, under the leadership of the newly appointed Headteacher had also produced an improvement plan, which would also be monitored closely every half term.

 

As both schools had been categorised as a cause for concern by the Authority devised Statements of Action outlining the nature and extent of support needed in the schools.  The Council had commissioned the Consortium Joint Education Service to progress the Statements of Action.  The school's System Leader would monitor progress in both schools on a half termly basis producing 'Sufficiency of Progress Reports' to the Council.  Sufficiency of Progress Reports would be presented to the Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet on a half termly basis.

 

The Chief Learning and Skills Officer took members through the key issues of the report

 

Councillor Chris Elmore requested a further report and that report should outline how the Council could challenge the work of the Governors and Heads of Schools, and also detail what statutory powers the Council had in term of intervention if required.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)               T H A T School Performance at key stage 3 be noted.

 

(2)               T H A T a further report be presented to Cabinet in January 2013 including actions that will be taken to improve performance.

 

(3)               T H A T the further report contain details of how Heads and Governors could be challenged and scrutinised, when necessary and also confirm what statutory process are available to the authority.

 

Reasons for Decisions

 

(1)               To ensure that Members are aware of the performance of schools and raise any issues.

 

(2&3) To identify measures that can be taken to support and challenge schools to improve performance.

 

 

C1946    COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEVY (CIL) DRAFT CHARGING SCHEDULE - CONSULTATION BY CAERPHILLY COUNCIL AND RHONDDA CYNON TAFF COUNCIIL (RIPT) (SCRUTINY – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) –

 

The purpose of the report was to inform Cabinet about the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) draft Charging Schedules that had been published by Caerphilly County Borough Council and Rhondda Cynon Taff Council and to seek Cabinet's endorsement of the consultation responses, and the implications for the Vale of Glamorgan.

CIL was a new charging system that could be applied to most forms of development to fund infrastructure improvements that supported the development of the authority area in accordance with the Local Development Plan.

On the 9 October 2012 Caerphilly County Borough Council approved their CIL Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule as the basis for a consultation exercise. Having undertaken a viability appraisal for their area, Caerphilly CBC determined that there were three zones of residential viability that required a differential CIL rate set in each zone. Whereas, commercial developments are set at a flat rate across the area and only in respect of a select few types of development; namely A1 and A3 retail and Primary healthcare facilities.

On the 21st November 2012 Rhondda Cynon Taff Council advised that their CIL Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule would be subject to a consultation exercise between 4th December and 14th January 2013. Having undertaken a viability appraisal for their area, Rhondda Cynon Taff Council had determined that there were three zones of residential viability that required a differential CIL rate set for each zone. Commercial developments were set at a flat rate across the area and only in respect of a select few types of development, namely A1 and A3 retail and Primary healthcare facilities. This was the same approach as Caerphilly but the residential rates higher.

Given that Caerphilly, RCT and the Vale of Glamorgan were all in the South East Wales region and were similar distances to the regional hub Cardiff, there were potential implications for the Vale of Glamorgan and its future decisions on CIL rates which result from these proposals. An example of this would be that, if the Vale of Glamorgan Council set a residential or commercial CIL rate far higher than that of Caerphilly or RCT it could adversely affect development viability in the Vale of Glamorgan and make other authority areas more attractive to developers by comparison, which could undermine the deliverability of the Vale of Glamorgan Local Development Plan.

It would be vital that the Council’s CIL rate was based on sound financial viability information. Regulation 14 made it clear that it was up to the Council to strike what appeared (to the Council) to be an appropriate balance between funding infrastructure required to support the development of its area, and the potential effect of a CIL on the economic viability of development across its area.

Having considered the evidence supporting these Council's proposals it was generally accepted that their approach was sound. However, Caerphilly Council did appear to be adopting a cautious approach and proposed to set CIL rates at the lower end of the range suggested to be viable by their evidence. This had been noted in the consultation response attached at Appendix C to the report.

In terms of infrastructure delivery, neither authority was proposing to deliver regional infrastructure projects through their CIL revenue at this stage. Therefore, the proposals did not have a significant direct affect on infrastructure delivery in the Vale of Glamorgan.

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the content of the report be noted and the consultation responses attached at Appendix C and D be endorsed.

 

Reason for decision

 

To inform Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taff Councils of the Vale of Glamorgan Council's views on their draft Charging Schedules.

 

  C1947    PUBLICATION OF PLANNING POLICY WALES EDITION 5 AND PRACTICE GUIDENCE ONE PLANET DEVELOPMENTS (RIPT) (SCRUTINY – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT)

The report notified Cabinet of the recent publication of the Planning Policy Wales Edition 5 (November 2012) and the practice guidance on One Planet Development (October 2012).

Planning Policy Wales (PPW) set the context for sustainable land use planning policy within which Local authorities' statutory Local Development Plans (LDPs).

Since PPW was first issued in March 2002, numerous update editions had been published to reflect changes to facts, law, policies and references to other documents. The most significant of the changes was the introduction of LDPs under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.

In November 2012, the Welsh Government (WG) issued a 5th edition of PPW that could be viewed on the Welsh Government website via the following link: http://wales.gov.uk/topics/planning/policy/ppw/?lang=en The main changes contained in the 5th edition of PPW were set out below and the policy related changes were attached at appendix A to the report:

(i)    Presumption in favour of sustainable development

Amendments to chapters 2 (Development Plans) and 4 (Planning for Sustainability) help to strengthen and clarify the presumption in favour of sustainable development.

(ii)        Revised Chapter 7 on Economic Development

The revised chapter set out how the planning system would aim to support and promote economic and employment growth alongside social and environmental considerations. In addition, it sought to ensure that local planning authorities planned for the whole economy and required the establishment of an up to date evidence base, including an Employment Land Review and the development of a comprehensive understanding of local economies and wider regional economies.

 

(iii)       The Town and Country Planning (Notification) (Wales) Direction 2012 and accompanying Welsh Government Circular 07/12

Updates had been made to sections 3.12, 9.3 and 10.3 to reflect the introduction of the above consolidated Planning Direction and Circular that replaced the Shopping and Departure Directions and their accompanying Welsh Office Circulars 39/92 and 61/93 in July 2012.

PPW and Technical Advice Note (TAN) 6 Planning for Sustainable Rural Communities set out the policy context for One Planet Development in the open countryside. The recently published practice guidance described the planning requirements for One Planet Developments in rural locations outside existing settlements. The guidance could be viewed on the WG website via the following link: http://wales.gov.uk/topics/planning/policy/guidanceandleaflets/oneplanet/?lang=en

The guidance acted as a companion to TAN 6, that covered all the requirements for a planning application for One Planet Development. It focused on the Management Plan that accompanied all One Planet Development planning applications and the Ecological Footprint Analysis that sits alongside the Management Plan. The guidance also provided information for applicants putting together proposals for One Planet Development in the countryside and for Local Planning Authorities assessing them.

Paragraph 9.3.11 of the PPW defined One Planet Developments as "development that through its low impact either enhances or does not significantly diminish environmental quality." In addition, it states that "One Planet Developments should initially achieve an ecological footprint of 2.4 global hectares per person or less in terms of consumption and demonstrate clear potential to move towards 1.88 global hectares over time (the global average availability of resources in 2003). They should also be zero carbon in both construction and use"

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)      T H A T the publication of Planning Policy Wales Edition 5 (November 2012) and practice guidance on One Planet Development (October 2012) be noted.

(2)     T H A T a copy of the report be sent to Planning Committee for information purposes.

 

Reasons for Decisions

 

(1)       To be aware of the publication of the new national planning guidance.

 

(2)        To advise Planning Committee of the publication of the new national planning guidance.

 

C1948       SEVERN BARRAGE CONSULTATION (RIPT) (SCRUTINY – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) –

 

Councillor Stuart Egan, withdrew from the meeting as he had been party to discussions on this matter at Barry Town Council.

Councillor Burnett commented that this issue was discussed at a Penarth Town Council meeting but she left the meeting prior to this being discussed by the Town Council and was not therefore party to any discussion that took place.

The report apprised Cabinet of the Commons Select Committee's recent public consultation on the potential for a privately financed Severn Barrage.

A previous report of the Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration on the 22nd April 2009 (Minute No C425), advised Cabinet of the Phase One Consultation into the feasibility of tidal power within the Severn Estuary undertaken by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in partnership with the Welsh Government (WG) and the South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA). That report set out the chronology that had led to the Phase One consultation and provided a synopsis of the range of proposals that were being considered by the UK Government to provide renewable energy from the Severn Estuary.

 

The report outlined the concerns of the Vale of Glamorgan Council with regard to the work of the feasibility study to date, and was forwarded to the Department of Energy and Climate Change as this was Council's response to the Phase One consultation. The government published its response to the consultation on the 15th July 2009 alongside its Renewable Energy Strategy and the UK Low Carbon Transition Plan, two complementary documents that set out how the government propose to deliver 15% of the UK's energy from renewable sources by 2020 and a reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 to meet the first three UK carbon budgets.

 

In October 2010, the Government published the findings of the feasibility study and consultation into Severn tidal power and concluded that of all the schemes investigated, despite its high capital cost of approximately £34 billion; the Cardiff to Weston barrage scheme offered the best value for money.  It was be noted that the terminology relating to Cardiff-Weston, is Government terminology, and should more accurately refer to Lavernock. 

 

Recent reports suggested that private financing for a Severn Barrage could now be available but only if it was supported by the proposed Contracts for Difference Mechanism i.e. long-term instruments that provide stable and predictable incentives for companies to invest in low-carbon energy generation schemes.

In response to the privately financed proposals, the UK Government had established a Commons Select Committee to investigate the proposed Cardiff to Weston Barrage. The Committee will examine the potential for the project to deliver low-carbon electricit to the UK and the likely cost to consumers as well as the potential impacts on wildlife and local employment.

 

In response to the previous consultation exercise, the Council was satisfied that the work undertaken to assess and potentially develop tidal power in the Severn Estuary was thorough and dealt with all of the relevant material considerations and the principle of maximising the opportunity through the promotion of a Cardiff (Lavernock/Penarth) to Weston barrage was generally supported. However there were a number of factors that required more detailed consideration and assessment which were more specific to the Vale of Glamorgan. It was noted that a copy of the report had already been submitted to the Commons Select Committee to meet the deadline of 30th November 2012, with a statement that any additional comments that Cabinet may wish to make would be forwarded separately after the closing date. The specific areas of concern were summarised below:

·               The construction phase - concerns are expressed over the need to transport and accommodate materials and the impact upon the local highway network was of concern. The Council would work closely with DECC and the WG to ensure that environmental impact in this area was minimised.

 

·               The economic benefits - the scheme should not be understated given the employment benefits both during construction and beyond during operation. The scheme also had the potential to generate a significant level of tourism and educational interest

 

·               Renewable power by a tidal barrage - The Council welcomed the intention to investigate the potential impact of a tidal power scheme on the energy market, electricity network/grid and in particular the local environment.

 

·               Implications for the port of barry - In this regard the port of Barry would be the closest port on the seaward side of the barrage and there needed to be a careful assessment of the implications for the port not only during the construction phases of any barrage, but also longer term.

 

·               Tourism benefits - while accepting that this scheme could have tourism benefits in its own right, concerns were expressed as to the impact that such a scheme would have on the wider tourism resource within the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

·               Landfall issues - Welsh side at Lavernock Point in the Vale of Glamorgan and should be referred to in the future as either the Lavernock to Weston barrage or by reference to the closest major town, the Penarth or Barry to Weston barrage not Cardiff as currently the case. 

 

·               The ecological impacts - it was acknowledged that considerable work would be required on the impacts on habitats, ecology and biodiversity.

 

·               The visual impact of a project - scale would be significant and extend over a wide area. Issues of detailed design would therefore be critical given the potential impact on this part of the rural Vale of Glamorgan and indeed the wider region.

 

·               Access to the site - is a clear need to improve access arrangements to the site not only in the immediate locality but also from the M4 motorway and other parts of the strategic highway network. Such impacts must be delivered as an integral part of such a scheme.

 

·               In progressing the second phase of the Severn Tidal Power feasibility study this Council considered it essential that full and detailed contact is maintained with those local authorities that might be affected by the development of a Severn Tidal power scheme such as the Cardiff (Lavernock/Penarth) to Weston barrage.

 

Whilst the delivery mechanism for the provision of a Severn Barrage may have changed, the resultant impacts of a Cardiff (Lavernock/Penarth) to Weston barrage proposal remained the same and it was considered that in the absence of more detailed and scheme specific information that the comments above should be submitted in response to the current Commons Select Committee consultation.

Councillor Burnett commented that the consultation period was too short, however, a draft response was drawn up and circulated as widely as possible in order to gain as many comments as possible.

At the meeting, a letter from Penarth Town Council was also tabled outlining their request to be involved in the consultation process as it developed.

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)  T H A T the contents of the report be noted and that it be further noted that a draft response has already been issued to the UK Government with a caveat that further comments might be submitted this meeting.

 

(2)   T H A T the concerns set out in paragraphs 7 and 8 of the report as the Council's formal response to the Commons Select Committee consultation be endorsed.

 

(3)   T H A T in responding, the Select Committee is asked to recognise the need to accurately refer to the project for a Severn Barrage as having potential landfall at Lavernock Point, in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

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

(5)   T H A T a link to the report highlighting the Council’s response to the consultation by the UK Government Select Committee be put on the home page of the Council’s website.

 

(6)   T H A T the approved report, including all the responses to the consultation undertaken by the Council in responding to the UK Select Committee, be forwarded to the U.K. Government.

 

Reasons for Decisions

 

(1)    To advise Cabinet of the Commons Select Committee Severn Barrage consultation.

 

(2)    To obtain Cabinet's endorsement of the response submitted to the Commons Select Committee in respect of the consultation on the Severn Barrage.

 

(3)    In order to ensure accuracy and clarity when referring to the project.

 

(4)     To advise Planning Committee and the Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee of the recent public consultation.

(5)    In order to highlight the Council’s response to consultation on this important topic.

(6)      To ensure an up to date response is issued to the Commons Select Committee, which response includes all comments made as a result of the Council’s own consultation exercise.

 

C1949     WELSH GOVERNMENT CONSULTATION DOCUMENT VIBRANT PLACES A NEW REGENERATION FRAMEWORK (IPT) (SCRUTINY – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT)

 

The purpose of the report was to advise Cabinet of the Welsh Government consultation document, Vibrant and Viable Places - A New Regeneration Framework.  The report also recommended responses to the set questions contained in the consultation document.

The Welsh Government consultation document attached at Appendix 1 was the result of a policy review of approaches to regeneration instigated by the Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage in February 2012. 

The consultation document and various commissioned reports which had informed the review were issued on 22 October 2012.  The closing date for responses to the Welsh Government was 14 January, 2013.  Since the date of issue there had been a number of opportunities for the Council to contribute to the consultation most notably at the Welsh Local Government Association Regeneration Cabinet Members event on 9th November 2012; the National Regeneration Summit (Meeting the Challenge: Regenerating Wales) on 15th November 2012 and at various regional stakeholder events during December 2012. 

The key issue for Cabinet to consider was the proposal by the Welsh Government to bring a regional approach to the governance arrangements for delivering key regeneration projects and programmes.  The consultation document was proposing three regions for Wales, which were consistent with the Welsh Government's regional collaborative areas for public service delivery, namely North region, South East region and South West and Mid region.  For the Vale of Glamorgan the proposed "collaborative footprint" was the South East region which aligns with the City Region concept and was coterminous with nine other local authorities, namely Cardiff, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Merthyr, Bridgend, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Torfaen, Newport and Monmouthshire.  The proposed Regional Regeneration Board for the South East would provide oversight, planning and policy for the area and advise on how indicative funding could be spent as well as how other funding sources can be levered. In terms of membership of the Regional Regeneration Board the consultation document stated that the Welsh Government was committed to developing appropriate governance arrangements that facilitated equal involvement of the private, third and public sectors in the development of planning and delivery mechanisms.

At a national level it was proposed to enhance the role of the National Regeneration Panel by converting it into a full and formal Ministerial Advisory Group on Regeneration.  It would provide the Minister with advice and challenge on policy and would also provide a role in overseeing the proposed Regional Regeneration Boards.  It was proposed that a shadow Regional Regeneration Board was to be established in early 2013/14 to collate evidence and map existing services, funding, opportunities and need.  It was proposed that indicative funding allocations are made to each Region on a formula basis.  The Regional Regeneration Board would then produce a business plan in 2013/14 to evidence how it could recommend to the Welsh Government how to make best use of funding in achieving nationally agreed outcomes (to be determined).  The consultation document states that 2013/14 is a transition year as the new regeneration framework goes live in 2014/15.

There was an argument for regional governance for delivering key regeneration projects and programmes as it builds on the Welsh Government collaborative agenda for public services.  However, in responding it is considered relevant to refer to the fact that the setting up of a regional structure for regeneration should seek to avoid complicated structures and also ensure that there is no duplication in collaboration in terms of existing and emerging Welsh Government and local government structures.  For example the Welsh Government's review of land-use planning has highlighted the need for a statutory framework for strategic regional planning for South East Wales.  New arrangements for the City Region concept are likely to include City Region Boards and there are also regional boards proposed to oversee "clusters" of Communities First areas.  Furthermore, there are potentially some new regional arrangements associated with the delivery of activities and interventions as part of the new European Funded Programmes for Wales for 2014-2020.  All of this is taking place alongside existing regional level arrangements for local authorities in respect of residual waste (Project Gwyrdd), tourism (Capital Region Tourism), transport (Sewta), economic development (SEWEF), inward investment (Capital Wales) and land-use planning (SEWSPG).

There was therefore a need to bring order to all these existing and proposed arrangements so that change is undertaken in a way that can work.  It was also important to ensure that whatever arrangements were put in place had collective coherence.  The review of approaches to regeneration must not lose sight of the need to consider, at a regional level, key strategies and initiatives i.e. transport, land-use, economic development and tourism as part of an integrated process to ensure that the benefits are maximised and fully recognised.

The key questions in the consultation document were:

·   What is your feedback on lessons learnt from delivery to date?

·   Should other national outcomes or principles be considered?

·   What more can be done to achieve greater coherence and cross cutting action across Welsh Government departments?

·   Do you agree with the national, regional and local approach set out?

·   Do you have any other comments on our proposals for how we will target and direct our funding?

·   We want to ensure effective monitoring and evaluation of regeneration activities; will the approach set out achieve this?

        

In summary the following points were pertinent:

·   Greater clarity was required from the Welsh Government in relation to what the key national and regional priorities were and how these linked with emerging local priorities, thus providing a meaningful framework within which regional and local regeneration initiatives could be progressed.

 

·   At the time of writing, details were awaited on City Regions and their associated governance arrangements and whether the commitment to equal involvement was applied.  It is hoped that both the Regional Regeneration Board and City Region governance arrangements will build on existing arrangements rather than create new structures with the associated risks of duplication, competition and silo working. 

 

·   The Vale of Glamorgan is a non-convergence area and there is a risk that areas of disadvantage, particularly in Barry, would miss out should the regional formula be skewed to match fund the new West Wales and the Valleys convergence area European Funded Programmes.

 

·   Notwithstanding the above, continued regeneration intervention in the Vale of Glamorgan could build upon and add value to several successful examples of intervention such as successful regeneration programmes in the rural Vale of Glamorgan and Barry, as well as recent policy interventions such as the Enterprise Zone, the Airport Task Force and the announcement of a Communities First Cluster.  In addition, there was ongoing housing renewal work and progress being made on regeneration at Barry Island.  Furthermore, the emphasis in the consultation document to the role of coastal towns and town centres was welcomed, especially given that early in 2013 the Council would seek to progress work on a Destination Action Plan and seek to adopt a Town Centres Framework.  It was therefore essential that momentum gained through the Barry Regeneration Area and other associated initiatives was retained and built upon.

 

·   Councils throughout Wales would need support both financial and human from the Welsh Government to adopt monitoring and evaluation processes.  Until this was achieved it would be difficult to determine whether the Welsh Government initiatives were achieving their intended purpose and whether value for money was being achieved.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)   T H A T the opportunity to contribute to the policy review of approaches to regeneration instigated by the Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage is welcomed.

(2)   T H A T the report and Appendix 2 of the report as forming the councils initial response to the consultation document be approved and that arrangements are made to provide a copy of the Council’s response on the home page of the Council’s website.

(3)   T H A T a copy of the report be referred to Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee for consideration and that the comments of the Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee be reported back to Cabinet on 14th January 2013, to charge any alterations to the report to be considered and submitted to Welsh Government by the 14th of January Deadline.

 

Reasons for Decisions

 

(1)   To allow the Council to be centrally involved in discussions about proposed policy and institutional changes.

 

(2)   To allow the Council to work constructively with the Welsh Government, other local authorities and key partners from across sectors to achieve the best future investment and regeneration strategy for the Vale of Glamorgan and to highlight the councils response on this important topic.

(3)   To obtain the views of the Scrutiny Committee in respect of the consultation process and to ensure that the views of that Committee can be considered by Cabinet.

 

C1950  GILESTON TO OLD MILL HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENT PROJECT (EVS) (SCRUTINY – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) –

 

Approval was sought for the proposed method of commissioning consultants to complete the detailed design of the project, the preparation of tender documents and the conclusion of the tendering process.

 

Members were also advised of the Welsh Governments aspirations for progressing the project.

 

Welsh Government was keen for the improvements to the Gileston to Old Mill section of the highway to be progressed as part of its on-going development proposals at the St Athan Enterprise Zone with a wish that works be completed by the end of financial year 2013/14.

 

At a meeting in December 2011, WG proposed that they would provide the Council with £3.5m to progress these works.  The intention was that the Council would act as Client for the project as WG could not directly undertake works on the Council’s highway network.

 

In March 2012, WG provided £100k to the Council to progress an Advanced Works Contract to undertake an initial site clearance operation and to install fencing.  The Council commissioned Capita Symonds (CS) to prepare the tender documents and to supervise the advanced works.  The Council’s in-house contractor was awarded the contract and the works were completed by the end of March as requested.

 

CS had previously been commissioned by WG to progress the design of the highway improvement scheme which had been brought to an advanced stage sufficient to obtain a realistic cost estimate for the Main Works.  In November 2012, CS provided the Council with a Project Proposal and cost estimate for the remaining tasks to be undertaken to complete the design and to procure a contractor for the Main Works.  These tasks included the following: 

 

·         Scheme Project Management

·         Assistance with Land and Public Rights of Way Matters

·         Assistance with Traffic Regulation Orders

·         Statutory Undertakers Liaison and Engagement (including DCWW)

·         Ecology Advice

·         Design amendment

·         Preparation of Tender Package

·         Tender Evaluation and Reporting

·         CDM Co-ordinator

 

WG has proposed that a staged approach be adopted to progress the scheme with Stage 1 being the completion of the detailed design, the preparation of the tender documents for the Main Works and the completion of the tendering process.

 

On receipt of the returned tenders, WG would be in a more confident position to progress to Stage 2 of the project and to provide the Council with funds to progress with the Main Works.

 

WG was seeking a mechanism whereby the scheme could be brought to a conclusion at the earliest opportunity with the construction phase being completed by the end of March 2014.  It had been agreed with WG that to achieve this completion date, the project needs to be progressed as soon as possible with spend being spread over financial years 2012/13 and 2013/14.

The programme to achieve the proposed completion date would be best achieved by retaining CS to assist with bringing the project to a conclusion as they had progressed the design to a very advanced stage and were familiar with all aspects of the scheme including land issues, ecological issues and Welsh Water requirements regarding the pipe bridge. 

 

The Council's Financial Regulations required that where the estimated value of the supply of works, goods or services over £15k and up to £100k should only be issued if at least three written quotations had been first invited.  Due to the aspirations of WG for the delivery of this project and their time constraints it was considered inappropriate to seek quotations for the commissioning of a consultant for Stage 1 of the project.  

Seeking quotations to appoint a consultant to progress with Stage 1 of the project would itself have required additional staff time to prepare the tenders, analyse the submissions and prepare a tender report and therefore increase costs to the project and delay delivery.  To seek quotations for Stage 1 rather than retaining CS the following issues would have arisen:

 

•           No other consultant was likely to want to develop a scheme that had been so well advanced by CS and to take responsibility for it.

•           The appointment of a new consultant at this stage would lead to increased risks in both time and cost with continuity being lost and the possibility of important issues being overlooked or ignored.

 

The total scheme cost estimate comprised the following approximate sums:

 

·               Consultant Costs

£73k

·               Main Works Cost

£1.970m

·               Other Identified Costs

£532k

(including the completed Advanced Works Contract, estimated VoG costs and project management and site supervision of the construction phase)

·               Risk & Optimum Bias

£920k

·               Total

£3.495m

 

All costs for this project would be met by WG and funds would need to be included in the Council's Capital Programme as funding approvals for each project stage were received.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

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

 

(2)       T H A T the proposed method of commissioning consultants to complete the detailed design, the preparation of tender documents and the conclusion of the tendering process be approved including an exemption from the financial rules regulation 20.5

 

(3)       T H A T the Director of Visible Services and Housing, in consultation with the Director of Resources and the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Visible Services, be given delegated authority to appoint Capita Symonds (consultants) to assist with the delivery of Stage 1 of the Gileston to Old Mill Highway Improvement project as described in this report.

 

(4)       T H A T a further progress report be presented to Members in due course.

 

Reasons for Decisions

 

(1)       For information.

 

(2)       To allow the Council to assist the Welsh Government to progress with the project in the most efficient and cost-effective way.

 

(3)       To allow the appointment of consultants to be progressed in the most efficient and cost-effective way.

 

(4)       To ensure that Members are kept up to date with this project.

 

C1951                        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.

 

C1952            INITIAL REVENUE BUDGET PROPOSALS 2013/14 (MD) (REF) –

 

Matter which the Chairman has decided is urgent to ensure Members have the views of Scrutiny Committee in a timely manner

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) on 11 December, 2012 considered the Initial revenue budget proposals 2013/14.

 

Members were notified of the revised budget for 2012/13 and received the initial revenue budget proposals for 2013/14 as part of the consultation process.  It was noted that the Standard Spending Assessment (SSA) represented the Welsh Government’s (WG) view of the relative resources needed to provide a standard level of service in each local authority in Wales and its primary use was to allocate Rate Support Grant (RSG) to those authorities.  The Council had been notified that its provision SSA for 2012/13 was £218.838m.  The Council’s provision RSG was £125.934m. and its share of Non-Domestic Rates (NDR) was £37.752m. which, together, constituted the Council’s provisional Aggregate External Finance (AEF).  The Council would also receive a sum provisionally set at £1.246m. through the Outcome Agreement Grant (OAG) for 2013/14.  Transfers in the RSG settlement were shown in paragraph 7 of the report.  Attention was drawn to the new responsibility being transferred to the Council, namely Council Tax Support £7.514m. which would be contained within the RSG. 

 

Appendix 1 to the report set out the necessary adjustments to the original estimate for 2012/13 which were required to be made. 

 

The following table compared the amended original budget with the projected outturn:

 

 

2012/13

2012/13

Variance

 

Amended

Original

Projected

(+)Favourable

Directorate/Service

Budget

Outturn

 (-) Adverse

 

£’000

£’000

     £’000

Learning and Skills

 

 

 

Education and Schools

90,967

90,967

                     0

Libraries

2,567

2,567

                     0

Lifelong Learning 

195

195

                     0

Youth Service

1,137

1,137

                     0

Catering

1,015

1,015

                     0

 

 

 

                          

Social Services

 

 

 

Children and Young People

13,966

13,966

                     0

Adult Services

33,573

33,573

                     0

Business Management and Innovation

293

293

                     0

Youth Offending Service

652

652

                     0

 

 

 

 

Visible Services and Housing

 

 

 

Environment and Visible Services                  

17,645

17,662

                   17

Parks and Grounds Maintenance

3,284

3,267

                 (17)

Building Services

0

0

                     0

General Fund Housing

           1,020

      1,020

                     0

 

 

 

 

Development

 

 

 

Public Protection

2,416

2,416

                     0

Private Sector Housing

1,520

1,520

                     0

Planning and Transportation

           5,044

         4,985

                 (59)

Leisure

           4,932

         5,100

                 168

Economic Development

856

892

36

 

 

 

 

Managing Director

 

 

 

Resources

             119

            119

                     0

Corporate and Customer Services

338

338

                     0

General Policy

22,017

21,767

               (250)              

Total

203,556

203,451

(105)

Met from General Reserve

(500)

(500)

          0

Grand Total

203,056

202,951

(105)

 

Further details relating to the above were contained within paragraphs 9 to 46 of the report. 

 

A summary of the overall base budget for 2013/14 was attached as Appendix 2 to the report.  The base budget had been arrived at by adjusting the 2012/13 budget for items such as inflation and unavoidable growth.  The Final revenue Budget proposals for 2012/13 included corporate savings targets for services to 2014/15 of £6.125m., further details of which were shown at Appendix 3 to the report.  Appendix 4 to the report showed a list of 2013/14 cost pressures as identified by Services.  It was noted that altogether those totalled £9.442m.  Those pressures excluded the cost of redundancies which it was suggested could be significant.  Also of significance were the implications of the Welfare Reform Agenda, further details pertaining to which were contained within paragraphs 61 to 70 of the report. 

 

Attention then turned to the Budget Review, the purpose of which was to ensure that a sustainable budget was achieved within predicted funding levels, that the budget was aligned to the Council’s priorities as set out in the Corporate Plan and that best value for money was being obtained.  The results of the Budget Review process would form the 2013/14 budget process and the outcome of the Review would be to put in place a four year financial strategy up to March 2017.  The 2013/14 Review was supported by cost Centre Analyses (CCAs) which provided details for each service area and was shown at Appendix 5 to the report.  Each cost centre had been awarded rating that measured its relative risk and corporate priority, details of which were shown in Appendix 6 to the report. 

 

The shortfall in the 2013/14 budget was £8.426m. assuming all cost pressures were met.  Future resource requirements had also been assessed having regard to the likely future revenue settlements and cost pressure information provided by services to 2016/17 as shown below:

 

Matching Predicted Resources to Expenditure

2014/15

£000

2015/16

£000

2016/17

£000

Total

£000

Real Term decrease in resources

   702

1,934

1,963

  4,599

Cost Pressures

6,173

4,644

4,272

15,089

Existing Corporate Savings Targets

(2,133)

       0

       0

(2,133)

Shortfall

4,742

6,578

6,235

17,555

 

The initial projects showed a cumulative shortfall of some £25.981m. by 2016/17 including the shortfall on 2013/14.  In view of the difficulty in predicting future levels of inflation and cost pressures, the above table needed to be treated with a degree of caution and the eventual position may be better or worse than stated.

 

The Review would further develop the above projections and would also examine the cost pressures to determine which would require funding. 

 

As a starting point to assist in dealing with the funding gap, the savings areas previously put forward by Directors to meet the 2013/14 and 2014/15 targets were being analysed with a view to their implementation with effect from April 2013. 

 

This would not be sufficient and it was proposed to request Directors to formulate additional options for savings, additional income, etc. over the next four years. 

 

In order to provide some guidance to Directors, it was suggested that a target be set for each Director.  Initially, it was proposed that each Director should identify savings equivalent to their pro rata share of the shortfall based on their controllable expenditure.  Over the four year period, this approximated to an average annually recurring reduction of about 6.5%.  Schools had been excluded from the target and would be looked at during the review.  The target sums were as set out below and were in addition to existing targets:

 

Annual Saving Target

2013/14

£000

2014/15

£000

2015/16

£000

2016/17

£000

Total

£000

Learning and Skills

1,141

   642

   890

   844

  3,517

Social Services

3,571

2,010

2,788

2,643

11,012

Visible Services and Housing

1,166

   656

   912

   863

  3,597

Development

   662

   373

   517

   490

  2,042

Resources

1,617

   910

1,262

1,197

  4,986

Corporate and Communication Services

   269

   151

   209

   198

     827

Total

8,426

4,742

6,578

6,235

25,981

 

An update of the progress on the Budget Review would be reported to this Committee in January 2013.  Comments of the Scrutiny Committee would be considered by the BWG prior to preparation of the final budget proposals for initial consideration by Cabinet and Council in February / March 2013.

 

Committee were advised of the decisions of other Scrutiny Committees to the Initial Revenue Budget Proposals, namely:

 

Ø                  Social Care and Health – 3rd December – the Committee asked that Corporate Resources be informed of its concern that substantial cuts of the nature proposed in Paragraph 37 of the report before it may negatively impact on the provision of services which indicated that annual savings target within Social Services (in addition to existing targets) would be as follows over the 4 year period:

 

2013/14    2014/15    2015/16     2016/17     Total

£000         £000         £000          £000           £000

3,571        2,010        2,788         2,643          11,012

 

Ø                  Economy and Environment – 4th December – noted report but asked for a further report to Committee in February 2013 with details of the Directors’ proposals for savings.

Ø                  Housing and Public Protection – 6th December – the Committee noted the budget proposals subject to the following cost pressures being prioritised and referred to Corporate Resources for consideration – welfare reform, housing / Council tax benefit; and general fund housing homelessness.

Ø                  Lifelong Learning – 10th December – agreed report.

 

Committee were advised that the figure of £214m. as contained in Paragraph 64 of the report was a provisional figure.  A more up to date figure of £221m. had been more recently provided.  Furthermore, Paragraph 64 of the report referred to a figure of 15%.  It had recently been announced that the figure that would be used would be 10%. 

 

Having considered the content of the report, it was

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the transfer in 2011/12 of £180k. from Policy to Leisure Services to cover the additional costs incurred by Leisure Centres and Dyffryn House and Gardens be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the amended budget for 2012/13 as set out in Appendix 1 to the report be noted.

 

(3)       T H A T the comments of the other Scrutiny Committees on the Initial Revenue Budget Proposals be noted.

 

(4)       T H A T Cabinet be requested to consider if the efficiency savings could be applied to all parts of the Council.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To fund the increased costs in respect of the Leisure Centres and Dyffryn House and Gardens.

 

(2)       To incorporate changes to the budgets.

 

(3)       Having regard to the comments of the other Scrutiny Committees to the Initial Revenue Budget Proposals.

 

(4)               To share the burden of efficiency savings.

 

 

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

 

Cabinet, having considered the recommendation of the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources)

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the report be referred to the Budget Working Group for consideration.

 

Reason for decision

 

To allow the Budget Working Group to consider the Scrutiny Committee’s comments in formulating its budget proposal.

 

C1953    INITIAL CAPITAL PROGRAMME PROPOSALS 2013/14 (MD) (REF) –

 

Matter which the Chairman has decided is urgent to ensure Members have the views of Scrutiny Committee in a timely manner.

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) on 11 December, 2012 considered the Initial Capital Programme Proposals 2013/14.

 

Appendix A detailed financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 30th September 2012.  Paragraphs 3 to 13 of the report gave details as to various changes in the 2012/13 Capital Programme as outlined in recommendation (2) below, the exception of the inclusion of a £42k. budget in the Capital Programme to fund the purchase of a second mini bus for the Council’s community transport initiative (approved by the Managing Director under delegated authority). 

 

Paragraphs 14 to 18 of the report detailed those variances between actual spend to date and profiled spend where schemes had a value of over £500k. and showed a variance of 20% or more:

 

·                    Penarth Pier – delay in letting the works contract although it was anticipated that full spend would be achieved by year end

·                    Barry Island Footbridge – an initial delay in commencing work on site but anticipated that full spend would be achieved by the end of the financial year

·                    Dyffryn Gardens Refurbishment and National Trust Contribution – delays in the process had been incurred but it was anticipated that a full spend of both budgets would be achieved before the end of the financial year

·                    Leisure Centres Refurbishment – works had now commenced and it was anticipated that a full spend would be achieved by the end of the financial year.

 

As regards 2013/14 Capital Programme, the 2013/14 capital settlement represented a 10% cut in funding over last year’s allocation but no further cut had been identified for 2014/15. 

 

Appendix B to the report set out the proposed Capital Programme for 2013/14 to 2017/18.  It was considered likely that further austerity measures could be introduced between 2015/16 and 2017/18 and, as such, a 10% cut each year had been assumed in Appendix B.  As part of a Budget Review covering the period 2013/14 to 2017/18, the Council would have to look to mitigate the deteriorating situation insofar as it is able by reappraising all schemes and looking to progress only those which were deemed to be a key corporate priority while also seeking to gain assurances that such schemes were delivered on time and within budget.

 

Committee were advised of the decisions of other Scrutiny Committees to the Initial Revenue Budget Proposals, namely:

 

Ø                  Social Care and Health – 3rd December – the Committee asked that Corporate Resources be informed of its concern that the cumulative effect of the substantial nature of the cuts proposed in the report may negatively impact on the provision of services.

Ø                  Economy and Environment – 4th December – noted report.

Ø                  Housing and Public Protection – 6th December – endorsed.

Ø                  Lifelong Learning – 10th December -  agreed report.

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the initial capital budget proposals for 2013/14 be noted together with the comments of all other Scrutiny Committees be submitted to Cabinet.

 

(2)       T H A T the following changes to the 2012/13 Capital Programme be noted:

 

·                    Sub-standard bridges - reduce the 2012/13 budget to nil and carry forward £250k. into 2013/14 and bring £250k. from the 2014/15 budget into 2013/14. This will require Council approval.

·                    B4265 Toucan Crossing - include a £140k budget (funded by a £100k. contribution from the Ministry of Defence and a £40k. virement from the Highway Safety Schemes capital budget).

·                    Traffic Calming Measures, Durell Street, Llantwit Major - include a budget of £11k. (funded from a S106 contribution)

·                    Pont y Werin Cycleway - increase the budget by £25k. (funded from WG grant)

·                    A48 Bus Stop Improvements - increase the budget by £25k. (funded from WG grant)

·                    Railway Walk, Penarth - include a budget of £15k. (funded from WG grant)

·                    Highways Making Better Use Study: Barry Docks Roundabout A4050 / A4231 - include a budget of £10k. (funded from WG grant)

·                    St. Pauls Church - reduce the budget to nil and carry forward £250k. into 2013/14. This will require Council approval.

·                    Disabled Facility Grants - reduce the budget to £1m

·                    Coronation Street Green Space Improvements - include a budget of £31k. (funded from WG grant).

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To allow full consultation on the future Capital Programme.

 

(2)       To amend the Capital Programme.”

 

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

 

Cabinet, having considered the recommendation of the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources)

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the report be referred to the Budget Working Group for consideration.

 

Reason for decision

 

To allow the Budget Working Group to consider the Scrutiny Committee’s comments in formulating its budget proposal.

 

 

C1954  SICKNESS ABSENCE REPORT - APRIL TO SEPTEMBER 2012 (MD) (REF) –

 

Matter which the Chairman has decided is urgent to ensure Members have up to date figures in a timely manner.

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) on 11 December, 2012 considered the above report of the Managing Director)

 

Absence information for the period April to September 2012 (and for the same period in 2011/12) was shown in paragraph 5 of the report and demonstrated that the Council remained within target (by 0.16 days per employee) which reflected, inter alia, the continuing focus on absence management.  It was recognised, however, that sickness trends typically increased during the winter months.  Full details of the breakdown by Directorate and individual service areas were set out within Appendix A to the report.  The half yearly figures demonstrated that four out of six Directorates / service areas were within their half yearly target and continuing work was being progressed within the Directorates of Learning and Skills and Social Services to ensure that the annual sickness targets were achieved.  Members were reminded that two thirds of the current absence rates related to long term absence with the top two reasons being related to muscular skeletal problems and stress.  That was congruent with absence figures reported in the Annual Absence Management Survey Report 2012 as published by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.  All staff who were absent for the above reasons were automatically referred to the Occupational Health Department and appropriate support offered.

 

As requested at a previous meeting, comparative absence figures from across the wider public and private sector as summarised below and shown in more detail in Appendix B to the report.

 

 

Organisation / Sector

Average days lost

per employee

Average working time lost per employee

Vale of Glamorgan

8.17

3.1%

Local Authorities in Wales

10.20

4.2%

Public Services

9.00

3.9%

Manufacturing / Production

7.10

3.1%

Private Sector Services

6.60

2.9%

Non-profit sector

9.30

4.1%

 

Attention was also drawn to the fact that the targets for 2012/13 had been set in anticipation of ongoing and significant service changes across the Council.  Members were reminded that the pace of change would increase over the next four years and that the retention of reasonable absence levels would remain a focus rather than seeking ongoing and possibly unrealistic reductions in such levels. 

 

Members noted that two thirds of the Council’s current absence rates were related to long term absence, with the top two reasons being related to muscular skeletal problems and stress.  A Member asked for a breakdown of the split between the two reasons.  This information was not available at the Committee, and Members were advised that the information would be provided.  Another Member commended the work in relation to absence management and the progress that had been achieved.  It was, however, suggested that this Committee continue to monitor absence levels.

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the absence outturn figures and targets at Appendix A be noted and the comments of this Committee referred to Cabinet for consideration on 17th December, 2012.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To bring matters to the attention of Elected Members in line with corporate objectives and to provide realistic targets to maintain the Council’s focus on managing absence.”

 

Cabinet, having considered the recommendation of the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources)

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the comments of the Scrutiny Committee be noted and will form part of the evidence when Cabinet consider their review of the sickness Absence Policy.

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the Scrutiny Committee’s comments

 

 

C1955    CORPORATE WORKFORCE PLAN 2013 – 17 (MD) (REF) –

 

Matter which the Chairman has decided is urgent in order for the Council to meet the timescales of its Improvement Objectives

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) on 11 December, 2012 considered the above report of the Managing Director)

 

The Corporate Workforce Plan, as appended to the report, had been drafted in accordance with Objective 8 of the Council’s Improvement Objectives for 2012/13, that is, to develop effective and sustainable workforce planning arrangements for the Council.  The Plan reflected the vision and service aims set out in the draft Corporate Plan as considered by Cabinet on 19th November 2012 with the Budget Review projections as considered at the same meeting.  The structure of the Plan aimed to facilitate a process for seeking to identify and address gaps between the workforce of today and the human resource needs of the future by following the sequential steps as set out below:

 

·                    looking at the vision of the Council over the next four years

·                    looking at the contextual issues and hurdles in achieving the vision

·                    analysing the current workforce

·                    considering the needs of the future workforce

·                    undertaking a “gap analysis” between the “current” and “future” workforce

·                    action planning on the basis of the above.

 

Appendix C to the report contained the Corporate Workforce Planning Action Plan and also reflected the common themes highlighted in each of the individual service workforce plans as set out in Appendix D which had been compiled following facilitated workforce planning workshops in each of the Directorates.  Since workforce planning was a dynamic and ongoing exercise, Members noted that the Plan would be reviewed and updated on an annual basis.  The outcomes for the Plan would help to inform and refresh the Council’s Human Resources and Training and Development Strategies.  It was also suggested that the Council’s Joint Management / Union Change Forum be asked to monitor the progress of the Corporate Action Plan as part of the regular monthly business activity. 

 

Committee were advised that, following consideration of the report, a Joint Trade Union response had been received, a copy of which was circulated at the meeting, together with a response from the Head of Human Resources, namely:

 

“I am pleased that the trade unions are in broad agreement with the draft workforce plan and I am grateful for their support and comments during the consultation meetings held in November 2012. In relation to the points raised in the note of the 6th December 2012 I would offer the following comments and suggested changes:-

 

 

Issue as raised by Trade Unions

Relevant Section

 

Responding comment and suggested amendment

1

Joint Trade Union Relationships

 

Concerns about the reference in paragraph 6.6 to:-

 

 

 

 

 

“our good relationships with the trade unions have helped us to manage change in a transparent, fair and sensitive way”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page 17

Paragraph 6.6

Second sentence

 

 

 

I am content to suggest an amendment to the paragraph to reflect the concerns as raised.

 

Suggested change to:-

 

“We have strived to develop good relationships with the trade unions to help us to manage change in a transparent, fair and sensitive way”

2

Clarity about the challenges we face

 

Concerns about the need to be clear and honest about the financial challenges we face in the section “setting the future in context”

 

 

 

Page 8-12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The reference to the financial challenges is set out very clearly in the section “Financial pressures across the public sector” (4.2 to 4.4) and in Theme i (a change in the numbers of directly employed staff” at pages 16 and 17).

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

Dedicated Joint Management/Trade Union working group

 

A suggestion that there is a need for a joint group to oversee and monitor the workforce plan

 

 

 

 

N/A

 

 

 

 

This is a useful suggestion which has been built into the covering report to this Committee (at paragraph 10).

 

In accordance with the above it is proposed that the Joint Management / Union Change Forum undertakes this role as part of their monthly agenda.

 

4.

 

 

 

Protection of Jobs and good working relationships

 

A suggestion that there is a need for a focus to be placed on the protection of jobs and good working relationships with the trade unions within the workforce plan.

N/A

The workforce plan aims to be transparent and clear about the financial challenges ahead and the implications for workforce numbers. It is important that this is done in an honest way without setting unrealistic expectations.

 

All of the actions in Theme i (1 to 6) aim to mitigate (albeit not avoid) the adverse workforce implications as does action 7 in (Theme ii).

 

The need for a focus on good working relationships with the trade unions is covered in Theme iii at pages 20 and 21 (and particularly in relation to the intended development of a partnership framework with the trade unions at paragraph 6.24

 

5

 

 

Commitment to working with management

 

As above

 

N/A

As above

 

 

6.

 

 

Health and Wellbeing of our members

 

A suggestion that the health and well-being of the workforce needs to be reflected within the plan

 

 

 

N/A

The focus on engagement and well-being is implicit in the Theme iii (at pages 20 to 21).

 

It is suggested that this is made more explicit by way of the following amendment at paragraph 6.17:-

 

“The contractual flexibility outlined in paragraphs 6.8 to 6.15 will need to be matched by contractual flexibilities  that help our staff maintain a work-life balance and HR policies that help to recognise and support their contribution, value, engagement and well-being at work”

 

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the comments of the Committee be referred to Cabinet on 17th December, 2012 for consideration, including the suggested minor changes as set out at 1 and 6 of the Head of Human Resources’ note.

 

(2)       T H A T, on the basis of the above, the adoption of the Workforce Plan as set out at Appendix A to the report be supported and referred for approval by Cabinet on 17th December 2012.

 

(3)       T H A T the Workforce Plan be reviewed annually and that it be monitored on a six monthly basis by this Committee.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1&2)  To help the Council meet its workforce needs over the next four years in accordance with the vision and objectives set out in the draft Corporate Plan.

 

(3)       To ensure that the contents of the Plan are updated regularly and implemented.”

 

 

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

 

 

Cabinet, having considered the recommendation of the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources)

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the adoption of the Workforce Plan including the minor changes as set out at 1 and 6 of the Head of Human Resources note as reported to Corporate Resources Scrutiny Committee, be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To help the Council meet its workforce needs over the next four years in accordance with the vision and objectives set out in the draft Corporate Plan. 

 

 

C1956            CORPORATE PLAN 2013 – 17 (REF) –

 

Matter which the Chairman has decided is urgent to ensure Members have the views of Scrutiny Committee in a timely manner

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) on 11 December, 2012 considered the Corporate Plan 2013 - 17

 

Cabinet had, on 19th November, approved the draft Plan and the proposals for consultation and referred the report to the Scrutiny Committees for comment.  The draft Plan and the report had been forwarded to all Members of the Scrutiny Committees under separate cover.

 

Having considered the contents of the Corporate Plan, the view was expressed that, whilst the contents of Page 13 (“Regeneration”) of the Plan were laudable, more references to job creation could be included within the document. 

 

A further view was expressed that the inclusion of a new Health Centre in Dinas Powys should be an aspiration of the Corporate Plan. 

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the contents of the Corporate Plan be noted and that Cabinet be requested to consider the inclusion of further job creation proposals and also the establishment of a new Health Centre in Dinas Powys within the document.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To ensure the Council had an effective and up to date Corporate Plan which reflected the work being undertaken across the Council to improve the quality of life in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

 

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

 

 

Cabinet, having considered the recommendation of the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources)

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)                           T H A T the comments of the Scrutiny Committee be noted.

 

(2)                           T H A T the Managing Director be requested to consider the inclusion of further job creation proposals within the Corporate Plan.

 

(3)                           T H A T Cabinet was minded to continue to work with the University Health Board and Local Members in the development of new appropriate Health Care Provision in Dinas Powys.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)                           To note the Scrutiny Committee’s comments.

 

(2)                           To ensure the Council had an effective and up to date Corporate Plan which reflected the work being undertaken across the Council to improve the quality of life in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

(3)                           To acknowledge the need for Health Care Provision at Dinas Powys.   

 

 

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