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                                                                        Agenda Item No.

 

CABINET

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 04 February, 2013.

 

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

 

Apologies: Councillors N. Moore and S. Egan.

 

Also present: Councillor B. Penrose.

                                                                                  

C1992                        MINUTES –

 

The Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development highlighted that there was a spelling mistake in the minutes from the Local Access Forum, under apologies for absence. It read ‘Mr G. Buy’ and this should have read ‘Mr B. Guy’.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 21 January, 2013, with the amendments above, be approved as a correct record.

 

C1993                        DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

The following declaration was received:

 

Councillor L Burnett

Agenda Item 16 – Sale of Land Surplus to Requirements for the Penarth Learning Community

 

Reason - Personal/prejudicial – close family friends owned a property in Erw’r Delyn Close.

 

 

 

C1994                        REVENUE AND CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL 2012 TO 30TH NOVEMBER 2012 AND UPDATE ON THE SOCIAL SERVICES BUDGET PROGRAMME (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) on 14 January, 2013 considered the above report of the Director of Social Services.

 

Committee received a report which:

                       

-               advised of the position in respect of revenue and capital expenditure for the period 1st April 2012 to 30th November 2012 regarding those revenue and capital budgets within the Committee’s remit

-               requested a change to the Capital Programme

-               updated Committee on the progress made in delivering the Social Services Budget Programme.

 

The Revenue Budget and projected outturn for 2012/13 were shown at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

The current forecast for Social Services at year end was an underspend of £403k.  This was as a result of the savings identified for the year and anticipated to be achieved, being £403k in excess of the actual savings required for the year, set as part of the Social Services Budget Programme.  Whilst this was an achievement for the Directorate, it was noted that this was only a short term gain as the total savings target for the whole of the Budget Programme over the four year period had not yet been finalised.

 

Children and Young People’s Services – the year end projected outturn was an overspend of £123k.  An underspend in the Social Services Business Management and Innovation Division would reduce the recharge to Children and Young People’s Services and thus reduce the overspend.   The Service itself was actually projected to overspend by £177k.  There continued to be pressure on the Children’s Placements budget, specifically from children with especially complex needs.  There was also pressure on the budget in respect of accommodation costs for homeless young people and on the adoption budget due to a high cost post adoption support package.

 

Adult Services – the year end projected outturn was an underspend of £526k.  An underspend in the Social Services Business Management and Innovation Division would reduce the recharge to Adult Services and thus increase the underspend.  The Service itself was actually projecting to underspend by £391lk.  There was continuing pressure on the Community Care Packages budget.  This budget was extremely volatile and could be adversely affected by outside influences such as last year’s introduction of the First Steps Initiative by the Welsh Government which capped charging for non residential services to £50 per week.  The impact of this change would continue to be monitored as the year progressed and discussions with the Welsh Government regarding the issue would continue.  Another issue to affect the year end position would be the 2012/13 fee set in respect of personal care costs for residents placed by the Council in residential and nursing homes provided by the Independent Sector. 

 

Business Management and Innovation – the year end projected outturn was an underspend of £189k although this would be recharged to other areas of Social Services.  The reason for the underspend was mainly due to staff vacancies being held under the Protection and Policy heading pending a review of service provision.

 

Appendix 2 to the report detailed financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 30th November 2012. 

 

Day Care Re-configuration, Hen Goleg – refurbishment works commenced last year but were not completed by the end of March 2012.  As a significant proportion of the works were related to disabled access issues, it was proposed to transfer £37k to this budget to cover the remaining works from the Disabled Adaptations capital budget held within the Resources Directorate.

 

With regard to the Social Services Budget Programme Update, Committee were advised that the Directorate was currently required to find savings totalling £8.5m by the of 2015/16.  Progress in identifying these savings had been made and the current position can be seen below.  Sufficient savings had been identified to meet the targets for 2012/13 and 2013/14 but there still remained £3.9m to be identified for 2014/15 and 2015/16.  The Director of Social Services had been requested to finalise actions for these periods by no later than January 2013 and the results would be reported to the next meeting of the Scrutiny Committee. 

 

Year

Savings Required

£000

Savings Identified

£000

In Year (Surplus)/Shortfall

£000

Cumulative (Surplus)/Shortfall

£000

2012/13

1,430

1,833

(403)

(403)

2013/14

2,150

2,040

110

(293)

2014/15

2,150

675

1,475

1,182

2015/16

2,757

25

2,732

3,914

TOTAL

8,487

4,573

3,914

 

           

Appendix 4 to the report provided the latest details of progress for each project currently identified.

 

The Social Services Directorate was committed to achieving a balanced budget.  The corporate programme board and project teams overseeing the plan would continue to develop it further and ensure delivery and progress.

 

It was noted that the initial revenue budget proposals for 2013/14 predicted a worsening financial position for the Council and included increased savings targets for the Directorate.  Directors had been requested to formulate additional options for savings, additional income, etc. over the next four years.

 

Members, in referring to Project Reference C8 of Appendix 4 to the report “Revocation of Care Orders” felt that Committee should be periodically advised of the outcomes. 

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the position with regard to the 2012/13 Revenue and Capital Monitoring be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the proposed amendment to the Hen Goleg Day Care Re-configuration Scheme, to include a budget of £37k, funded from a transfer from the Disabled Access Improvements Budget be endorsed and referred to Cabinet for approval.

 

(3)       T H A T the progress made on the Social Services Budget Programme be endorsed and referred to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) and Cabinet for information.

 

(4)       T H A T Committee be advised periodically of the outcome of the Revocation of Care Orders as referred to in Reference C8 of Appendix 4 to the report.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       That Members are aware of the position with regard to the 2012/13 Revenue and Capital Monitoring.

 

(2)       That Cabinet approves the proposed amendment to the Capital Programme.

 

(3)       That Scrutiny and Cabinet Members are aware of the progress made to date on the Social Services Budget Programme.

 

(4)       To advise Committee.

 

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Cabinet, having considered the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health)

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the proposed amendment to the Hen Goleg Day Care Re-configuration Scheme, to include a budget of £37k, funded from a transfer from the Disabled Access Improvements Budget be approved.

 

(2)       T H A T the progress made on the Social Services Budget Programme be noted.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To approve the proposed amendment to the Capital Programme.

                       

(2)       That Members are aware of the progress made to date on the Social Services Budget Programme.

 

 

C1995                        PROGRESS REPORT - XFOR (LOCAL AUTHORITY SUPPORT LTD.) ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT SERVICES TRIAL (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) on 15 January, 2013 considered a report of the Director of Visible Services and Housing.

 

The report outlined the working arrangements and performance to date of the Environmental Enforcement Services trial utilising XFOR (Local Authority Support Ltd).  Cabinet had, on 14th March, 2012 resolved to deploy XFOR for a 12 month trial period which included a six month review.  The Director of Visible Services and Housing advised that XFOR had initially commenced the service with a total of 4 Enforcement Officers plus 1 Administrative Officer but during the trial had experienced some staff turnover issues and at times had operated with only 2 Enforcement Officers plus an Administrative Officer which had resulted in a reduced number of FPNs being issued. 

 

Being a commercial undertaking XFOR needed to achieve a minimum number of FPNs per week (i.e. 50 FPNs) in order to support their operational costs.  This resulted in their initial priority being targeted towards the most prevalent types of litter offences in order for them to guarantee their circa 50 FPNs per week.  Whilst assurances had been given by XFOR's senior management that once their officers had reached the minimum number they were then available to carry out any patrols as directed by the Council. The Director advised that it would be true to say that the need to obtain a minimum quota of FPNs had resulted in a disproportionate focus on high footfall areas such as Town Centres and shopping areas targeting littering, and more specifically, smoking related litter.  Although he could advise that XFOR had also been supportive of patrolling areas such as playing fields when requested to do so by Council Officers.

 

Committee was informed that the most significant litter problems within the Vale of Glamorgan were that of smokers discarding their cigarette based material on our streets.  Whilst this may not be the most important or most offensive form of littering in the eyes of the public, this was a fact supported by a recent independent report by 'Keep Wales Tidy' undertaken in September 2012, which identified this form of litter as being the most prevalent of all forms found on our streets.  With 84% of the streets surveyed featuring some form of smoking related material, compared with dog fouling which was found to be present on just over 11% of the streets surveyed. Tackling this form of litter, whilst not perhaps seen by the public as being the main priority, should the Director advised ensure that the most frequent offenders are suitably punished.

 

It was noted that overall, the reaction of the vast majority of residents and the press to the trial had been very positive.  Apart from a number of people actually issued with a FPN no formal complaints had been received by the Council, and only one resident had sought a meeting with officers to discuss concerns.  Whilst there had been some allegations of inappropriate or aggressive behaviour by XFOR officers, video footage taken on their personal CCTV body cameras had shown this to be unfounded in most cases.  With regard to the issuing of FPNs to those witnessed dropping litter, the Council had received a total of 35 written complaints that FPNs were inappropriately issued though only a small number of the complaints had resulted in the FPN being rescinded. It had been necessary to waive possible court action on medical / health grounds, technical / administrative issues or unacceptable behaviour on the part of XFOR officers on 22 occasions in total (up to the end of month 5).

 

To be fully cost effective over the 12 month trial XFOR would need to issue approximately 3,000 FPNs.  Having issued approximately 1,000 in the first 4 months they would appear to be on target to achieve this.  Whilst XFOR may be on target to recover their operating costs, the payment rate for those issued with an FPN currently stood at 59%.  Whilst XFOR may recover their costs, it was likely that the Council would make a small financial loss. The full extent of this position would however, not be known until the legitimately issued FPNs (those that had not been paid), were progressed through the Courts.  The first of the prosecution files had been sent to the Council's Legal Department (70 cases) and the first court hearing had taken place on 6th December 2012.  The offender had been found guilty in their absence and fined £237.40. 

 

The overall performance of XFOR since they started work with the Council had been mostly as expected though it was hoped that a larger proportion of FPNs would be issued for dog fouling and/or general litter offences.  However, it was clear that the most common offences witnessed so far were those which involved smoking related litter.  Despite this imbalance between these offences and other forms of littering the terms of XFOR's engagement were to issue FPNs for all littering offences witnessed.  There was therefore no reason why XFOR should not be permitted to complete their trial term, although officers would need to work more closely with them to ensure that any areas of concern that may be raised by residents, including the lack of dog fouling enforcement, were given greater priority.

 

The Director further advised that a similar pattern of offences was apparent in Blaenau Gwent, where XFOR had also operated a similar trial. This had resulted in the Council entering into a separate agreement for XFOR to provide an additional 2 No. dedicated Dog Control Enforcement Officers, paid at £20 per hour (£320 per day in total) to tackle dog related issues including dog fouling.  However, even with this dedicated resource XFOR advised that 'Dog fouling FPNs' had only totalled 3 during the 10 months that this additional service had been in operation.  It was noted that dog fouling offences were notoriously difficult to enforce due to a number of reasons. One of these being the problem of linking the location of the offence to the dog responsible and its owner. Also experience had shown that the majority of irresponsible dog owners immediately changed their behaviour when they note the uniform presence of XFOR staff.

 

·                    The report also highlighted the details of offences undertaken to date with the Director further advising that with regard to week commencing 7th January, 2013 he could confirm that the number of Fixed Penalty Notices issued totalled 1,207. 

 

During consideration of the report the following issues were discussed.

 

Question

Response

Members queried whether local Members could report issues direct.

Yes.  Any Member should report   untoward incidents directly to the Director of Visible Services and Housing or to his Department.

A local Member for Llantwit Major advised that one of the issues in their area was in relation to chewing gum.

The problem for XFOR was in actually catching the culprit throwing the chewing gum.  It would therefore be essential to raise public awareness by establishing a campaign with local shops, schools etc. to advise the public of the implications.

Would it be possible to receive information as to the number of Fixed Penalty Notices for litter thrown from vehicles?

The Director would make further investigations and respond to Members accordingly. 

Could the XFOR team be requested to put more resources into the dog fouling issue?

This had been taken up with the Managing Director as outlined below, the results of which would be able to be referred to Members in due course.

Would it be possible for Members to know which areas the XFOR officers would be visiting and if possible to receive information on a Ward by Ward basis?

Yes this could be made available to Members on a regular basis.

Further publicity needed to be undertaken and consideration be given as to how information could be published. Suggestions made were scattergram maps and the placing of information as to how many FPN notices had been issued on lampposts etc similar to the signs that were placed on the Five Mile Lane advising of accidents that had taken place. 

Publicity would be undertaken and the Director would look into the options suggested.

 

In response to a query of whether agreed routes should be publicised the majority of Members considered that it was probably in the best interests of the Council not to identify the routes but to ensure that the XFOR team were advised of Members’ concerns and of where further targeting should be made. 

 

With permission to speak granted, the Leader of the Council advised that having spoken to the local Chief Superintendent he had been advised that the presence of XFOR was working as a deterrent with particular regard to the  fact that the officers carried small cameras and that people were aware they may be caught on CCTV.  The Director advised that this was a time for learning and that further information could be provided to Members on the number of notices etc. that had been made, plus XFOR had been requested to undertake further work.  He had also met with the Managing Director of the company on 19th December and had followed this up with a letter detailing areas for further improvement.  These included

 

·                    increased dog fouling patrols as some of these patrols were undertaken by staff in plain clothes

·                    patrols were undertaken during the evening aimed at general littering offences at fast food outlets and public houses

·                    patrols on roads to schools with children being approached and warned if littering, although this should only take place with agreement by the Council and the Headteacher of the school concerned and should be accompanied by an educational awareness raising programme

·                    all patrols to be mobile – there should be no accusations of stalking or covert operations for littering offences and increased working with the local Police to support night time operations

·                    to not concentrate enforcement activity to a great extent in Barry and Penarth and to undertake enforcement activities throughout the Vale.

 

Having considered the report in detail it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T the Committee supported the continuation of the trial for the full 12 month period as specified in the report.

 

(2)       T H A T a further detailed report on the outcome of the trial, before its completion, be reported to the Scrutiny Committee.

 

(3)       T H A T arrangements be made for all Members of the Council to receive monthly reports on the Fixed Penalty Notices issued per week and the patrolling routes taken by XFOR officers..

 

(4)       T H A T the above recommendations be referred to Cabinet for consideration.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       The Committee supported the continuation of a trial for the full 12 month period for this method of enforcement.

 

(2)       To apprise Members.

 

(3)       For Members’ information.

 

(4)       To seek Cabinet approval.

 

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At the meeting, the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Visible Services tabled a letter from the XFOR Group regarding their fitness and capacity to deliver the service.

 

He explained that Cabinet members shared many of the concerns that were raised by the Scrutiny Committee, but also felt that XFOR were carrying out important work by enforcing the Council’s commitment to reduce all forms of litter. The Cabinet member commented that members felt that the trial period should run its course and that an open debate and discussions would then take place on what future scheme should progress at the end of the trial period.

 

Finally, the Cabinet member went on to highlight paragraph 12 of the report, which emphasised a positive fixed reward scheme where members of the public could be issued with a £75 reward for using the bins or picking up after their dogs.

 

The Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development further expressed his support to the above comments and also maintained that XFOR staff, working to a flexible work pattern would be a great improvement as this would enable them to work early mornings and evenings and be present when more people were likely to be walking their dogs.

 

Cabinet, having considered the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment)

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T a further detailed report on the outcome of the trial, before its completion, be reported to the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) and Cabinet.

 

(2)       T H A T arrangements be made for all Members of the Council to receive monthly reports on the Fixed Penalty Notices issued per week and the patrolling routes taken by XFOR officers.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To apprise Members.

 

(2)       For Members’ information.

 

 

C1996                        PROSIECT GWYRDD PARTNERSHIP - RESIDUAL WASTE TREATMENT (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) on 15 January, 2013 considered a report from the Director of Visible Services and Housing.

 

The Director advised of the progress being made in procuring future residual waste treatment within the Prosiect Gwyrdd Partnership. 

Prosiect Gwyrdd was a Partnership of five Councils within South Wales involving ourselves, Cardiff, Caerphilly, Newport and Monmouthshire Councils.  The Project had completed the 'Detailed Solutions' stage of the procurement process and the evaluation of the bids had confirmed that there were two strong detailed bids.  The bidders, Veolia and Viridor, had been invited through to the 'Final Tender' stage with substantial negotiation still to take place on technical, legal, commercial and financial issues.  Following closure of the dialogue and final assessment, a Preferred Bidder would be recommended to the constituent Authorities early in 2013.

 

The Director advised that as part of the procurement process the Council had initially provided waste profile information to the Prosiect Gwyrdd team (in 2009) to be included within the outline business case.  This had been reported to Cabinet on the 3rd June 2009 and Council on 30th June 2009 (Min no C463 refers) and Cabinet had subsequently at that time resolved:

 

·                    T H A T the data and assumptions provided for the Council’s waste tonnage profile as detailed in Annex 1 to the report be approved.

 

·                    T H A T, in respect of Prosiect Gwyrdd, the Vale of Glamorgan’s Waste Flow Model (Table 2 and Figure 2, Appendix B of Annex 1 to the report) and the resultant Vale of Glamorgan Contract Waste Profile and associated waste tonnage required for the calculation of the guaranteed minimum payment referred to in Section 5 of Annex 1 and which information would be issued to the final two bidders be approved.

 

·                    T H A T the Prosiect Gwyrdd Background Note attached as Annex 1 to the report be noted together with the indicative overall Prosiect Gwyrdd contract waste profile and associated waste tonnages to be used to calculate the guaranteed minimum payment which overall profile / tonnage are subject to each other partnering Council approving their respective waste profile and tonnages.

 

·                    T H A T authority be delegated to the Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration, as the Council’s Business Advisor for Prosiect Gwyrdd, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Visible and Building Services to make minor amendments to the Vale of Glamorgan’s contract waste profiles and associated waste tonnages where such amendments are not substantive.

 

The report before the Scrutiny Committee highlighted that the procurement decisions, whilst overseen by the Joint Committee, were being taken forward by an officer Project Board with the support of a fully resourced Project Team and Project Director to deliver the complex procurement stages, within the Lead Authority governance model. 

 

The indicative decision timescale for the acceptance of the 'preferred bidder' was detailed as follows:

 

·                    Project Board 30th January 2013;

·                    Public Announcement of the 'preferred bidder' and site location 1st February 2013;

·                    Joint Committee 7th February 2013;

·                    Joint Scrutiny Panel 13th February 2013;

·                    Partnership's Full Council's 26th February to 6th March 2013.

 

It was noted that a further report would be presented to the Scrutiny Committee following the announcement of the preferred bidder prior to the decision being made at the Vale of Glamorgan Full Council meeting on 6th March as to whether to agree to the contract.

 

The report also highlighted that since the project’s inception all partnering Councils had contributed equally to the costs of project revenue expenditure after applying the approved level of grant funding.  

 

During discussion a member who had been the previous Chairman of the Joint Scrutiny Panel for Prosiect Gwyrdd prior to the Local Government elections in 2012 advised that, following a two day Call for Evidence on the matter, he had come to the conclusion that he was against the use of incinerator technology and would vote against such technology involved.  The Vice-Chairman of the Scrutiny Committee, who was a current Member of the said Scrutiny Panel advised that, although she had been unable to attend the site visits that had been arranged to various technologies, she was aware that Councillors from other Authorities, on the Panel, who she understood had previously had certain reservations, had attended the visits and had been impressed by the technology to be used.  Following further consideration of the report Members requested that should the contract be awarded, they be afforded the opportunity to view the agreed technology firsthand.  

 

In noting the financial commitment of the Authority and the contents of the report, it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the procurement process to date be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T a further report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee in February 2013 detailing the identity of the preferred bidder and the proposed inter-Authority agreement between all partners for the contract term.

 

(3)       T H A T the report be referred to Cabinet for consideration.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To update Committee on the project as it progresses to the final stages of procurement.

 

(2)       To allow this Committee to consider matters further prior to a report on the project being presented to the meeting of Council in March 2013.

 

(3)       To update Cabinet and to advise of any comments made by this Committee on this progress report

 

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At the meeting, the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Visible Services tabled a press release from the Welsh Local Government Association that praised the work of Prosiect Gwyrdd.

                  

Cabinet, having considered the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment)

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To allow the Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet to consider matters further prior to a report on the project being presented to the meeting of Council in March 2013.

 

 

C1997                        OPTIONS APPRAISAL FOR LAND IN HOUSING SERVICES (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) on 16 January, 2013 considered the above report from the Director of Visible Services and Housing.

 

The Committee’s approval was sought to allow officers to explore options to increase the supply of affordable housing in the Vale of Glamorgan by using land owned by the Council’s Housing Service.  The Committee’s agreement was also sought to allow officers to explore opportunities to dispose of small non development land bordering existing properties in order to reduce the financial cost of land maintenance and security on the Housing Revenue Account.

 

The Committee had been informed that in December 2010 the Cabinet had previously agreed to adopt an updated Vale of Glamorgan Local Housing Market Assessment (LHMA).  The updated LHMA identified that there was a critical need for additional affordable housing with a requirement of 915 additional units required per annum.  The LHMA had also identified that the highest need was for social rented units (80%).

 

There was also a combination of other factors such as the ongoing economic crisis and the proposed Welfare Reform Agenda that were likely to place further pressure on the availability of new affordable housing within the Vale of Glamorgan.  The Committee was also informed that there were currently two mechanisms used to deliver affordable housing i.e. Social Housing Grant and Supplementary Planning Guidance for Affordable Housing.  However, the delivery of affordable housing under both these themes had been significantly curtailed due to the impact of the economic recession.

 

The Operational Manager for Public Housing informed the Committee that the Council had a number of varying sized pieces of land or sites suitable for the development of housing which were in the ownership of the Council’s Housing Service.  Land pursuant to Part II of the Housing Act 1985 (the HRA sites) the Council had power pursuant to the Local Government Act 1988: General Consents A & B for Local Authority Assistance for Privately Let Housing 2004 to dispose of land at an undervalue to a Registered Social Landlord for the purpose of development as housing accommodation provided the benefit did not exceed £2m. in any financial year. 

 

The Council also owned small pieces of land bordering existing properties which were not suitable for development but were a continuing financial burden on the Council due to the ongoing maintenance and security costs.  It was noted that the Council received regular enquiries from residents of neighbouring properties who wished to acquire such areas of land to increase the curtilage of their properties. 

 

Accordingly, it was proposed subject to the Cabinet’s approval, that the Housing Service undertakes an exercise to identify all sites in its ownership suitable for affordable housing development or disposal and to provide a further report on options for the Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet to consider.

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the contents of the report be endorsed and that the matter be referred to the Cabinet for further consideration.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To allow the Cabinet to give consideration on an options appraisal for land in the ownership of the Council’s Housing Service

 

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Cabinet, having considered the recommendation of the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection)

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

That consideration be given on an options appraisal for land in the ownership of the Council’s Housing Service.

 

 

C1998                        SUPPORTING PEOPLE REGIONAL COLLABORATIVE COMMITTEE (REF) –

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) on 16 January, 2013 considered the above report of the Director of Visible Services and Housing.

 

The Committee was updated on the progress made to date in regard to the development of the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff Regional Collaborative Committee (RCC) for Supporting People.  Attached at Appendix A to the report were the minutes of the first meeting of the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff RCC which had been held on 7th November 2012 with it being noted that the Committee was to be chaired by the Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety for the current municipal year.

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted and endorsed and be referred for Cabinet for further consideration.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To apprise the Cabinet of progress made to date in developing the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff Regional Collaborative Committee for Supporting People.

 

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Cabinet, having considered the recommendation of the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection)

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the report be endorsed.

 

Reason for decision

 

That Cabinet are apprised of progress made to date in developing the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff Regional Collaborative Committee for Supporting People.

 

 

C1999                        SMOKE ALARMS AND FIRE SAFETY PROVISION IN BLOCKS OF FLATS (REF) –

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) on 16 January, 2013, considered a report from the Director of Visible Services and Housing on the above.

 

All Council properties currently conformed to Building Regulations at the time of construction and the introduction of new regulations rarely required retrospective works to be undertaken unless there was a significant alteration to any property.  In addition, the Council did not install smoke alarms in any of its communal areas, except for sheltered housing schemes, nor did it have interlinked property alarms within blocks of flats.

 

Advice and guidance from the Local Authority Co-ordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS) had been adopted by all authorities in Wales and the Welsh Fire and Rescue Service and referred to fire protection, including automatic fire detection systems in all types of properties from single dwellings to houses in multiple occupation.

 

Following a recent fire at the property in Court Road, Barry, the leaseholder had made a request for the Council to install linked smoke alarms at the property.

 

The Committee was informed by the Operational Manager for Public Housing that the properties in Court Road, like the majority of Council owned flats, were purpose built properties containing two flats without a common part and therefore they would be considered as two single dwellings and not a house in multiple occupation.  The Committee was also advised that the original construction of the properties in Court Road had integral concrete floors, building compartmentation and separate accesses.  This would therefore provide at least one hour of protection which would allow sufficient time for the Fire Service to attend any fire.   The Fire Safety (Regulatory Reform) Order 2005 would apply to properties of the type at Court Road but as there were no common parts, the Fire Service would have no powers to deal with the property under the auspices of the above Order. In addition, all Council owned flats benefitted from the installation of hard wired smoke alarms which complied with the above Regulation.  In addition, all smoke alarms in the Council’s elderly persons’ accommodation were linked to the VCAS service via the existing emergency alarm service.

 

The Operational Manager indicated that where common parts did exist the Council, in compliance with the relevant legislation, had a responsibility to inspect every communal area and where necessary develop improvement plans where risk assessments had highlighted via fire safety risks.  In some instances, particularly in some construction types, i.e. high rise developments, these had been undertaken jointly with fire officers from the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.  Where risks had been identified as high priorities these had been addressed and in other circumstances these would be addressed via amendments to specifications, WHQS improvements or future work programmes.  There were no urgent recommendations to install linked property fire alarms, within the Council’s existing properties, other than consideration when replacing the existing communal alarm system at Awbery House (high rise flats), nor were there any outstanding enforcement notices concerning compliance with the Fire Safety (Regulatory Reform) Order 2005.

 

Taking account of the above factors and in the absence of legal or statutory requirements to do so, the linking of smoke alarms in this case was not identified as a priority within the Council’s current 30 year business plan.

 

Having regard to the above, it was

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T Cabinet be requested to give consideration to installing linked smoke alarms in Council owned flats when replacement of the existing smoke alarm systems was required.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To improve fire safety in Council owned flats including communal areas.

 

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Cabinet, having considered the recommendation of the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection)

 

RESOLVED – T H A T linked smoke alarms in Council owned flats be installed where replacement of the existing smoke alarm systems are required.

 

Reason for decision

 

To improve fire safety in Council owned flats including communal areas.

 

 

C1200                        INTERIM REVIEW OF THE HOMES4U ALLOCATION POLICY (REF) –

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) on 16 January, 2013 considered a report of the Director of Visible Services.

 

The Committee was apprised of the proposed alterations to the Council’s existing HOMES4U policy to mitigate some of the potential adverse impacts as a result of the forthcoming Housing Benefit reforms under the UK Government’s Welfare Reform Agenda.

 

The Operational Manager for Public Housing informed the Committee that a draft version of the report had been considered and approved by the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) Welfare Reform Task and Finish Group.

 

The objective of the proposed alterations to the existing Policy was to prioritise existing tenants that were likely to be adversely affected by the Accommodation Cap under the welfare changes.  Committee noted that there were currently over 600 households that would be adversely affected by the reforms and this was therefore likely to result in significant financial hardship in most cases.  The report also detailed a breakdown by residents who were likely to be affected as a consequence of the introduction of the accommodation cap. 

 

The amendments in essence would allow properties to be advertised more clearly, and ensure that applicants were placed in accommodation that they were able to afford and were suitable for the size of their family in line with the new guidelines.  These changes would also be reflected in the HOMES4U Allocation matrix which set out what types of properties applicants would be considered for, details of which were appended to the report.

 

The proposed amendments related to the following matters:

 

·                    additional preference to be awarded for those tenants under occupying accommodation, on a discretionary basis in addition to the GOLD priority banding

·                    additional preference given to existing tenants who were lacking a bedroom, on a discretionary basis, where a move to a larger property would not conflict with the reforms

·                    changes made to the HOMES4U Allocation matrix to ensure applicants were only considered for properties that were suitable in line with the reforms.

 

Allied to the above issues, a Local Lettings Policy would take account of all new developments in partnership with Housing Associations with preference given to existing tenants and those under occupying their current accommodation.

 

As a result of the welfare reforms there would also be a greater emphasis on mutual exchanges to allow existing tenants to source more suitable properties across the HOMES4U partnership.  Officers would promote, source and actively manage mutual exchanges for the benefit of tenants in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

The Committee was reminded of a number of joint working initiatives with Housing Benefits and with the existing HOMES4U partnership organisations attempting to minimise the impact of the reforms and ensuring that consistent and timely information was provided in a variety of formats including open day events, distribution of leaflets, letters, home visits, improved money advice and amendments to the existing web pages for both the Council and housing associations.  All these facets were being overseen and scrutinised by the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) Welfare Reform Task and Finish Group. 

 

The Operational Manager also made reference to the proposed introduction of the Universal Credit which would also have a potential adverse impact on individuals as they were expected to manage their own benefits and expenditure entirely for the first time as opposed to the housing benefit paid directly to the landlord.  The introduction of such measures had the potential to see an increase in rent arrears which may peak during the next financial year.  It was anticipated that the increase required in the Council’s Provision for Doubtful Debts had been estimated at £170,000 for the financial year 2013/14. 

 

Having regard to the above and related issues it was

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the proposed alterations to the Council’s HOMES4U policy be endorsed and be recommended to the Cabinet for approval.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To prioritise tenants adversely affected by the Accommodation Cap and other Welfare Reform changes to transfer to smaller properties which were suitable for the needs, but also affordable.

 

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Cabinet, having considered the recommendation of the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection)

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the proposed alterations to the Council’s HOMES4U policy be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To prioritise tenants adversely affected by the Accommodation Cap and other Welfare Reform changes to transfer to smaller properties which were suitable for the needs, but also affordable.

 

 

C1201                        REPORT ON THE COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES CONDUCTED IN 2012 USING “THE REASSURANCE ENGAGEMENT VEHICLE” (TREV) (REF) –

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) on 16 January, 2013 considered the above report from the Director of Development Services.

 

The above vehicle had been used in 130 community activities since its launch in April 2011.  The activities had been attended by staff from the Safer Vale, Youth Service, Communities First, Vale of Glamorgan Housing Department and partner agencies such as South Wales Police and Atal y Fro.  The range of activities undertaken by the TREV included the following:

 

·                    community events to provide generic community safety advice e.g. Vale Show, Tall Ships Event

·                    targeted community safety advice at key times throughout the year e.g. Culverhouse Cross and other shopping areas within the Vale of Glamorgan during Christmas and New Year, Barry Island and the Waterfront prior and during school holidays

·                    targeted safety and counselling advice in areas of need e.g. surgeries and information sessions in hot spot locations for anti-social behaviour, information and awareness raising in schools and communities where drug-related litter had been reported

·                    inter-generational activities across the Vale of Glamorgan to develop understanding, awareness and community cohesion and

·                    targeted advice and support for public sector housing residents in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

The Head of Public Protection indicated that the TREV was a successful method of engaging community members and promoting safety.  The vehicle was also non-agency specific, could be used to provide specialist services without singling out a particular street, areas or residents.  The vehicle was also available to use by all Council services on request.

 

The Committee, having considered the report, requested the Head of Public Protection raise awareness of the availability of the facility with all Directors.

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the contents of the report be noted and referred to Cabinet for consideration.

 

(2)       T H A T Directors and Elected Members be encouraged to use the facility to engage rural and urban communities.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To advise the Cabinet of work carried out by the TREV.

 

(2)       To raise awareness of the facility and to ensure that it was appropriately utilised.

 

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Cabinet, having considered the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection)

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the contents of the report be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

That Cabinet are apprised of work carried out by TREV.

 

 

C1202                        GUIDANCE AND PRIORITIES FOR THE ADAPTATION OF HOMES OF PEOPLE WITH IMPAIRMENTS (REF) –

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) on 14 January, 2013 considered the above report from the Director of Development Services.

 

Committee considered the Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptation of Homes of People with Impairments document.

 

Under the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996, the Council had a statutory duty to provide Disabled Facilities Grants.  These grants funded major adaptations to the homes of people with impairments to enable them to live as independently as possible.

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Housing Renewal Policy 2011-13 detailed the Council’s policy for Disabled Facilities Grants.  During 2011/12 123 Disabled Facilities Grants were completed at an average cost of £9,744.

 

The delivery of this grant was monitored through a national Performance Indicator.  This considered the days it took to deliver the adaptations works from the first point of contact through to the time the works were certified complete.

 

Over the last few years, officer time and financial resources had been invested to secure improvements.  This investment had been reflected in a year-on-year improvement in the delivery of the service as the performance over the past 3 years demonstrated:

 

Financial year

Time to deliver a DFG from 1st point of contact to completion of work

(National Performance Indicator)

2009/10

802 days

2010/11

569 days

2011/12

399 days

2012/13 - Q2

333 days

 

The demand for major adaptation to peoples’ homes was likely to increase as the population of older people increased and medical advances improved life chances.  Against this increase in demand was the pressure to manage capital budget.

 

The proposed Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptations of Homes of People with Impairments document was attached at Appendix 1 to the report. 

 

The document set out guidance on the technical criteria for adaptations.  The aim of the document was to:

 

·               provide a consistent approach across all cases and enhance quality control

·               provide information to the public to ensure the Council’s decisions on eligible grant funded work were transparent

·               set out and detail an appeals procedure for service users who were not happy with a decision made on eligible grant funded work

·               help reduce the overall cost of major adaptations to enable the Council to manage pressures on the service.

 

The guidance would be used by the Occupational Therapist and the Disabled Facilities Team when determining what work would be eligible for grant assistance.  The guidance would also be made available to the public to help understanding on the decisions made regarding eligible works. 

 

It was proposed that any future changes to the document could be made by the Director of Development Services and Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety, as necessary and appropriate.

 

Additional reports would be presented to Cabinet during 2013 recommending further changes to the service to continue to improve the quality and timeliness of the service.

 

Members welcomed the progress that had been made in reducing the timing to deliver Disabled Facility Grants, although it was recognised that further improvements were necessary. 

 

Committee were advised that further improvements were likely to arise as a result of the development of a “framework contract” with builders.  Furthermore, it was hoped that the NHS would become involved with assessing applicant’s needs by working with the Council’s Occupational Therapist Team. 

 

It was necessary to meet need, and not demand.  It was known that the population was increasing, but it was impossible to estimate the level of future need. 

 

In noting the recommendation that the Director of Development Services and the Cabinet Member for Housing Maintenance and Community Safety be granted delegated power to make any future changes to the document, it was the wish of the Committee that the Cabinet Members for Children’s and Adult Services be also involved in the process, and that this Committee be advised of any changes.

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the report be endorsed and be referred to Cabinet for consideration and approval of the following recommendations.

 

(2)       T H A T the Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptation of Homes of People with Impairments be approved.

 

(3)       T H A T the Director of Development Services, in conjunction with the Cabinet Members Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety, Children’s and Adult Services be given delegated authority to review and make changes to the Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptation of Homes of People with Impairments document, as appropriate.

 

(4)       T H A T Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) be advised of any changes to the document as the result of recommendation (3) above.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       In order that the views of the Committee are sought and the report referred to Cabinet for consideration and approval.

 

(2)       To provide clear information to officers and the public on the criteria to be used when assessing and funding major adaptations.

 

(3)       To enable the guidance document to be amended quickly due to new legislation, case law, guidance, best practice and Local Government Ombudsman and similar rulings.

 

(4)       To advise the Committee

 

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Cabinet, having considered the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health)

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptation of Homes of People with Impairments be approved.

 

(2)       T H A T the Director of Development Services, in conjunction with the Cabinet Members for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety, Children’s and Adult Services be given delegated authority to review and make changes to the Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptation of Homes of People with Impairments document, as appropriate.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To provide clear information to officers and the public on the criteria to be used when assessing and funding major adaptations.

 

(2)       To enable the guidance document to be amended quickly due to new legislation, case law, guidance, best practice and Local Government Ombudsman and similar rulings.

 

 

C1203                        GUIDANCE AND PRIORITIES FOR THE ADAPTATION OF HOMES OF PEOPLE WITH IMPAIRMENTS (REF) –

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) on 16 January, 2013 considered a report from the Director of Development Services.

 

The Committee considered proposed Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptation of Homes of People with Impairments which was set out in Appendix 1 to the report.  The aim of the document was to:

 

·                    provide a consistent approach across all cases and enhance quality control

·                    provide information to the public to ensure the Council’s decisions on eligible grant funded work were transparent

·                    set out a detailed appeals procedure for service users who were not happy with a decision made on eligible grant funded work and

·                    help reduce the overall cost of major adaptations to enable the Council to manage pressures on the service.

 

The Committee was informed that the guidance would be used by the Occupational Therapist and the Disabled Facilities Team when determining what work would be eligible for grant assistance.  In addition, the guidance would also be made available to the public to help understanding on the decisions made regarding eligible works.

 

It was proposed that any future changes to the document would be made by the Director of Development Services and the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety as necessary and appropriate.

 

Certain Members of the Committee referred to the report being considered at an earlier meeting of the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) on 14th January 2013 when, at that time, the Committee had recommended that the proposed delegation to the Director of Development Services and the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety be extended to include both the Cabinet Members for Adult Services and Children’s Services. 

 

Discussion ensued regarding certain aspects of the proposed guidance and priorities.  The Committee also expressed their appreciation and thanks to officers in regard to improved performance in the time to deliver a DFG from the first point of contact to completion of the work. 

 

Having regard to the above and related issues, it was

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptation of Homes of People with Impairments be endorsed and referred to Cabinet for consideration.

 

(2)       T H A T, subject to the Cabinet’s approval, the Scrutiny Committee endorses the principle that the Director of Development Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety, being granted delegated power to review and make changes to the Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptation of Homes of People with Impairments document as appropriate.

 

(3)       T H A T the Scrutiny Committee supports the views expressed by the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) at its meeting held on 14th January 2013, that the delegation referred to in Recommendation (2) above being extended to include both the Cabinet Members for Adult Services and Children’s Services.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To allow for Cabinet to give further consideration to the matter.

 

(2)       Subject to the Cabinet’s approval, to enable the guidance document to be amended quickly due to new legislation, case law, guidance, best practice and Local Government Ombudsman and similar rulings.

 

(3)       To support the stance taken by the relevant Scrutiny Committee

 

 

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In consideration of this reference, Cabinet agreed the resolutions as outlined in the previous Minute No. C1202 which dealt with the same report.  

 

 

C1204                        PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF A YOUTH CABINET AND YOUTH MAYOR POSITION FOR THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN (REF) –

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) on 21 January, 2013 considered the above report from the Chief Learning and Skills Officer.

 

The report advised that during the Youth Service Scrutiny Review young people had informed Elected Members that they felt under represented and wanted a mechanism in place which would give them the opportunity to challenge and communicate with the Council and Cabinet on decisions that affected them.  The Youth Service Provision Task and Finish Group of the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) had subsequently recommended in April 2012 that mechanisms for the involvement of young people in the decision-making process about services that affected their lives be established at Local Authority and locality level and that a report on options for such involvement be presented to the Scrutiny Committee.  It was further recommended that the Vale’s Youth Champion should be a representative from the young people from the Vale of Glamorgan as opposed to being a Councillor appointment. 

 

Following the above a proposed model had been identified, which was attached at Appendix 1 to the report, and which detailed that it would base the development of the Youth Cabinet and Youth Mayor around the existing Vale Youth Forum (VYF).  The VYF was made up of young representatives aged 11-25 from across the Vale of Glamorgan and was a registered charity which worked with young people who either lived, worked or attended an educational establishment in the Vale of Glamorgan.  The VYF worked in partnership with the Vale Centre for Voluntary Services, which employed the co-ordinator and the Vale of Glamorgan Youth Service who accommodated the co-ordinator.

 

The consultation results from the Local Democracy Week (attached at Appendix 2 to the report) determined that members of youth clubs, school council members, members of other youth groups and young people who did not belong to a youth organisation should be able to be elected onto the VYF and the Youth Cabinet.  However 51% of the young people felt that there should be a limit on the number of young people who were not elected by their school or youth group on the VYF.  It was proposed that Members of the VYF would be nominated and elected to sit on the Youth Cabinet and would then be responsible for representing the interests of young people in the Vale to decision-makers.  It was proposed that the Vale Youth Cabinet would meet regularly with Council officers, Councillors and Cabinet Members of the Vale of Glamorgan Council to put forward young people’s issues.

 

It was proposed that the Youth Mayor position was nominated from the VYF, however 50% of those consulted felt that all young people aged 11-25 from the Vale of Glamorgan should be able to vote for their favourite candidate.  The consultation results had also highlighted suggestions for the duties of the Youth Mayor and had determined that the Youth Mayor should initially serve for one year and to have a deputy Youth Mayor in place for the same term of office.

 

Young people had further suggested that the main communication method should be via Facebook.  This method ad been suggested in order that young people could get in touch with the VYF and the Youth Mayor, that they could be informed about the work of VYF and the Youth Mayor, and it would enable the VYF and the Youth Mayor to gather the views of the young people across the Vale.

 

The report also made reference to the Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure which had come into effect in Wales in 2012.  The Measure placed a duty on Welsh Ministers to take appropriate steps to promote knowledge and understanding of the Convention amongst the public including children.  Participation was a fundamental right which was set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and which was adopted by the UK Government in 1991.  The Welsh Government was committed to driving forward the principles of Article 12 across Wales, thus ensuring young people aged 0‑25 had opportunities to contribute to and have their voices heard in decision-making issues which impacted on their lives.  The Shared Purpose – Shared Delivery guidance of 2012 also highlighted that further work needed to be done to promote and facilitate the engagement and participation of children and young people and it was proposed that information on how this could be achieved should be included in an engagement strategy. 

 

A Member, who had actually sat on the Scrutiny Review Task and Finish Group stated that the young people who had been involved in the review had been from a wide cross section and the enthusiasm had been tremendous which was to be welcomed.  The Principal Youth Officer advised that other consultation had also been undertaken during 2012 which had included young people from all over the Vale being invited to workshops at the Fire Station in Barry and an on-line survey had taken place.  Members then referred to transport arrangements for young people in the rural Vale with the Youth Officer advising that a greater emphasis would be required on the use of the Green Links bus and voluntary drivers.  It was also mentioned that the Cabinet was currently holding some of its meetings throughout the Vale of Glamorgan and in light of the proposals to engage further with young people, some Members considered this to be a good way of engaging. 

 

In noting that representation for the proposals of a Youth Cabinet and Youth Mayor would develop around the existing Vale Youth Forum Members urged the Department to consider how they could engage more with young people in respect of the election and voting process.  The use of social networking sites and the media was also agreed would be a significant advantage in engaging with young people. 

 

Having fully considered the report, it was

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T Cabinet be informed of the Committee’s support to the establishment of a constituted Youth Cabinet and the development of an election process for a Youth Mayor position.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

The establishment of a Youth Cabinet and Youth Mayor would provide a voice for young people in the Vale by which their views and ideas could be considered in the Council’s decision-making process and that the Scrutiny review recommendations are progressed.

 

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

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the establishment of a constituted Youth Cabinet and the development of an election process for a Youth Mayor position be noted and a further, more detailed report be brought back to Cabinet regarding its implementation.

 

Reason for decision

 

The establishment of a Youth Cabinet and Youth Mayor would provide a voice for young people in the Vale by which their views and ideas could be considered in the Council’s decision-making process and that the Scrutiny review recommendations are progressed.

 

 

C1205                        CARDIFF BAY ADVISORY COMMITTEE –

 

The following minutes of a meeting held on the 16 January, 2013 were submitted -

 

Present:

 

Councillor L. Burnett (Chairman)

Vale of Glamorgan Council

Councillor G. Roberts

Penarth Town Council

Mr. J. Harrison

Environment Agency Wales

Mr. A. Parker

 

Dr. S. Howard

Countryside Council for Wales

Ms. S. Newbold

British Marine Federation / RYA

Mr. D. Williams

Cardiff Yacht Club

 

Also present:

 

Mr. S. Howell

Cardiff Harbour Authority

Mr. C. Hope

Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

 

(a)       Apologies for Absence –

 

These were received from Councillor A. Govier (Cardiff Council), Councillor H. Thomas (Cardiff Council), Mr. C. Lyons (Cardiff Bay Yacht Club), Mr. M. Chidlow (Harbourmaster, Associated British Ports), Mr. S. Jones (Quay Marinas Ltd.).

 

 

(b)       Minutes –

 

AGREED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 21st November, 2012 be accepted as a correct record, subject to the following amendments to Minute (d):

 

-       reference to “President of the Yacht Club” in the second line being amended to read “President of the Cardiff Bay Yacht Club”

-       the final paragraph to read “Ms. N. Newbold suggested that any discussions also involve Cardiff Yacht Club”.

 

 

(c)        Matters Arising –

 

There were no matters arising.

 

 

(d)       Navigational Safety Issues – Cardiff Harbour Authority - Mr S. Howell –

 

The issue raised at the last meeting regarding the use of VHF radio channels had been resolved with Cardiff Bay Yacht Club.  When any training activities were being organised by the Club, they will contact Barrage Control to inform that they would be on the water.  They would then use channel 37a, and Barrage Control would be able to contact them on this frequency.

 

The advice for other boat users with VHF radios to maintain a listening brief on channel 18 when entering or sailing in the Bay remained, and this had been reiterated to clubs and marinas in recent Bay users forum meetings.

 

The vessel Greija / Shark should be removed from the Bay shortly following a tendering exercise.

 

 

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

 

There had been no oxygen level issues since the last meeting.  The heavy prolonged rainfall over the Autumn period raised flows above 300 cumecs several times with no increases in Bay levels above 5.2 metres AOD.  This was the level of the frontage of Roald Dahl Plasse and, although designed to flood on occasion, could create some concern in the press.

 

On New Year’s Eve, the prediction was for this area to be flooded marginally, so warnings and barriers were posted, but the flows dropped off preventing this happening.

 

The high flows did bring large quantities of material into the Bay with over 180 tonnes having been taken to landfill in the past 3 months.  Another 20 tonnes of timber was removed to recycling following improvements to the separation activities on the operational Quay area.

 

The tenders for the Barrage bridge repairs had been received and the contract was about to be awarded which would see the work starting in the next few weeks.   This work was expected to extend into the Spring before all three bridges were repaired.

 

Repairs to sluice bearings on sluice 2 had been completed and the refurbishment of bearings to sluices 1 and 3 were now being progressed.

 

Winter maintenance of the fish pass was also now being carried out and this should be back in operation before the salmon migration commenced through the Barrage in March / April.

 

 

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

 

The last meeting of the Advisory Committee had been advised that the Environment Agency had been undertaking familiarisation sessions with Cardiff Harbour Authority staff to raise awareness of the environmental situation within the Bay.

 

Mr. Harrison advised that this had resulted in the discovery of three sites on the River Ely which were discharging raw sewage.

 

The Environment Agency was investigating the discharges to ensure these were addressed quickly.

 

 

(g)       Any Other Business –

 

(i)         Draft Events Schedule

 

Mr. Howell circulated a draft events schedule for 2013-14.

 

The Chairman advised that the official re-opening of Penarth Pier Pavilion would possible take place in March 2014 and suggested that it would be opportunity to look collaboratively about the event.

 

(ii)        Penarth Tourism and Visitor Association

 

The Chairman advised that she had received a request from Mr. Peter Andrews of the Penarth Tourism and Visitor Association to attend meetings of the Cardiff Bay Advisory Committee as an observer.

 

The request was AGREED.

 

(iii)       Water Traffic

 

Mr. D. Williams spoke regarding an issue with water traffic in the Bay and referred in particular to an incident that had occurred last year whereby a vessel had passed at excessive speed and had damaged a number of other vessels.

 

The vessel’s operator had been approached and had said that there was no speed limit on that particular part of the Bay.  Mr. Williams did, however, express the view that users of the Bay were under a duty of care to other users.

 

Mr. Howell stated that such incidents should be reported to the Cardiff Harbour Authority who operated a tracker system which accurately plotted the tracks of individual vessels.  Any such report would need to include the time and date of the incident.

 

 

(h)        Date of Next Meeting –

 

AGREED – T H A T the next meeting be held on Wednesday, 13th March 2013 at 5.15 p.m. in the Cardiff Harbour Authority Offices.

 

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RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting be noted.

 

 

C1206                        SALE OF LAND SURPLUS TO REQUIREMENTS FOR THE PENARTH LEARNING COMMUNITY (CS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – LIFELONG LEARNING) –

 

In consideration of this item, the Cabinet member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation, declared an interest and left the room. The Cabinet member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development took the Chair for this item.

 

Approval was sought to declare land to the rear of Erw’r Delyn Close and Wayside, Sully Road, Penarth surplus to requirements and approve the sale of this land to the adjacent occupiers.

 

Following the completion of detailed landscaping and site design, two areas of land measuring 1288m2 and 621m2 respectively to the rear of Erw'r Delyn Close had been determined not to be required for the development of the Penarth Learning Community. The location of these parcels of land was illustrated at Appendix A to the report.

 

Occupants of Erw'r Delyn Close had contacted the Council to enquire if the land not required for the new school could be sold to the adjoining owners to extend their gardens and increase the buffer zone between residents and the new school.

 

If the land was retained by the Council, the additional 1909m2 would be maintained by the schools. Funding would be delegated from the Learning and Skills Directorate to fund the maintenance of this land but due to it’s location it would serve no benefit to the new schools.

 

In order to retain a reasonable boundary line the whole of the both parcels of land would need to be sold. If one owner did not agree to purchase the land it would be offered to the adjacent owners to ensure the whole area was sold.

The responsibility for erecting and maintaining secure fencing to the new boundary within an agreed timescale would be with the adjoining owners.

 

The land would be sold at market value for the area and a suitable restrictive covenant imposed on the sale in order that the land would not be used or developed for any other purpose. The capital receipt achieved through the sale of this land would be retained within the School Investment Programme.

 

The adjoining owners would be responsible for the payment of all fees associated with the sale of the land.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the land to the rear of Erw’r Delyn Close and Wayside, Sully Road, Penarth be declared surplus to requirements

 

(2)       T H A T the Director of Resources be authorised to negotiate and undertake the disposal of the surplus land subject to confirmation and registration of title and the Head of Legal Services to prepare, complete and execute the necessary legal documentation.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To allow the disposal of the land.

 

(2)       To allow the sale of the land to be completed.

 

 

C1207                        PENARTH ARTS AND CRAFTS LTD FUNDING (LPCSD) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Approval was sought for further funding to be awarded to Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd in respect of the operation of the Oriel Washington Gallery.

 

Cabinet were informed that Penarth Arts & Crafts ltd. was set up as a Company Limited by Guarantee and a registered charity, the purpose of which was to operate the Oriel Washington Gallery in Penarth.

 

The organisation's current agreement with the Council that provided funding to the sum of £13,500 per annum would end on 31 March, 2013. The organisation had requested the Council give consideration to the granting of further funding of £13,500 per annum.

 

The report outlined that a lesser amount would seriously impair the ability of the organisation to operate the gallery and the continuing development of the Penarth Pier Pavilion.

 

The report mentioned that funding would be found from within the corporate policy revenue budget and a deed of grant would be prepared which would outline the responsibilities of the organisation for the proper accounting of its work.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the sum of £13,500 per annum payable annually in advance to Penarth Arts and Crafts ltd, to support arts development, subject to an annual review for three years commencing 1 April, 2013 be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To provide core funding towards the continued work of the organisation.

 

 

C1208                        FIVE MILE LANE HIGHWAY SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS – PROGRESS (EVS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Cabinet was updated on the progress being made with the Five Mile Lane Highway Safety Improvements project.

 

Cabinet were presented with a report on 21st September 2011 entitled 'Five Mile Lane Highway Improvement Scheme Update'. The report advised Members that the Council had provided the Welsh Government (WG) with a draft WelTAG (Draft Welsh Transport Appraisal Guidance) Stage 1 Report and an amended Collision Report in February 2011 but had no contact with WG since that time.

 

In January 2012 WG contacted the Council with a wish to revisit the Five Mile Lane Highway Improvement Scheme as the scheme had been included in the National Transport Plan (NTP) for delivery in financial year 2012/13.  A meeting was subsequently held on 10th January 2012. 

 

WG requested that the Council prepared a project plan and cost estimate to progress the Five Mile Lane Highway Improvement Scheme based on the recommendations and conclusions identified in the Draft Welsh Transport Appraisal Guidance (WelTAG) Stage 1 Report.  The recommendations proposed that major safety improvements should be undertaken at Sycamore Cross Junction (either a roundabout or traffic signal solution) with minor improvements being undertaken at junctions along Five Mile Lane and at Waycock Cross Junction.  The Council subsequently provided WG with a project plan and costs estimated at £1.424m.

 

On 9th March 2012 WG provided the Council with a grant of £20k to progress certain elements of the project during the remaining few weeks of financial year 2011/12 including:

 

·               Finalise the WelTAG Stage 1 Report,

·               Review previous environmental studies,

·               Undertake traffic volume/turning movement studies,

·               Prepare feasibility studies/initial designs,

·               Undertake a topographical survey.

 

On 30th April 2012 WG provided the Council with a grant of £1.411m to progress the project to completion during financial year 2012/13.  The former Chief Executive used his Emergency Powers to accept these funds and to incorporate them into the Capital Programme.

 

A detailed design for traffic signals at Sycamore Cross Junction was progressed and a plan indicating the proposals was attached to the report at Appendix 'A'. 

 

Tender documents were produced and a list of contractors chosen from Constructionline in accordance with the Council's Contract Standing Orders.  Subsequently, four contractors plus the Council's in-house Construction Section were invited to tender for the A48 Sycamore Cross Junction Improvement Works.    

 

Due to the short timescale for the delivery of this project, the Managing Director approved the use of her Emergency Powers to accept the most economically advantageous tender for these works. This was reported as a Part 2 report later on the agenda.

 

Works commenced on site on 26th November 2012 and it was anticipated to take 16 weeks subject to suitable weather conditions and no unforeseen problems on site.  During this time, a significant amount of temporary traffic management would be required for the safety of construction workers and motorists and would include a temporary 30mph speed limit which would be enforced throughout the construction phase.  Following completion of the Works, a new permanent 40mph speed limit would be implemented along the A48 from St. Nicholas to Bonvilston.  This would eliminate the existing short section of national speed limit over this section.

 

Cabinet was informed that the details of the minor improvement works at junctions along Five Mile Lane and at Waycock Cross Junction were still to be determined along with cost estimates. The physical constraints of the sites and the funds available were likely to limit what can be done at these locations.

 

The report informed that the main Works were progressing well and were currently on programme and within budget.

 

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 a further progress report be presented to this meeting of Cabinet under Part II advising of the Managing Directors use of emergency powers to appoint a contractor for the project.

 

(3)       T H A T a further report be presented to Cabinet on completion of the Scheme.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       For information.  

 

(2)       To permit Cabinet to note the decision taken within the relevant disclosure rules.

 

(3)       For information.

 

 

C1209                        REPORT OF THE SCHOOL PLACES REVIEW TASK AND FINISH GROUP (REF) –

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) on 21 January, 2013 considered the above report from the Chairman of the School Places Review Group.

 

The School Places Review Group Part II report detailed the assessment of school organisational issues facing education services in the Vale of Glamorgan between 2012 and 2017 and provided a range of proposals to meet those demands.  The report included an executive summary of proposals, a more detailed analysis of each proposal and full information relating to pupil data, including for all schools on a cluster by cluster basis, an overview of physical aspects and the Estyn report “How Do Surplus Places Affect the Resources Available for Expenditure on Improving Outcomes for Pupils.” 

 

During consideration of the Part II report discussion included consideration of various issues including school performance, parental preference, transportation issues, the fabric of buildings, community involvement and Council spend to date on matters such as refurbishments.  It was noted that any savings would be reinvested into school provision.

 

Reference was then made to implications (e.g. housing) as a result of the LDP process with the Head of Service advising that the Council had to meet the 10% reduction of surplus places required by 2016 and that it was the Minister’s view that it was not appropriate to wait for developments that could take some time to come to fruition, if at all. 

 

The need to ensure that widespread consultation of any proposals was undertaken was acknowledged.  The Head of Service advised that the Department was aware of the sensitivities of the issue and that meetings had been, and would continue to be, held with relevant key stakeholders and that the matter would be brought into the public domain within the next few months.

 

Members of the Review Group stated that the review had not only included consideration of detailed information but that they had also undertaken site visits to schools.

 

The Chairman, in summing up, stated that the review had been long overdue and that other Councils had also faced similar issues.  He also took the opportunity to thank the Members of the Group for their time and the officers for pulling together the information as required.

 

Having considered the report, following a vote, it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the School Places Review Task and Finish Group Report and its recommendations be approved and referred to Cabinet for consideration.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To support the findings of the School Places Review Task and Finish Group and refer same to Cabinet for consideration and / or approval.

 

(NB.  During consideration of this item Councillors G Cox, H.J.W. James and A. Parker were granted permission to speak by the Committee.)

 

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

 

 

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

 

RESOLVED –

 

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

 

(2)       T H A T a further report be presented to Cabinet on 4 March, 2013 after the report from the School Places Review Task and Finish Group had been fully considered.

 

Reason for decision

 

(1)       To support the findings of the School Places Review Task and Finish Group.

 

(2)       That Cabinet give full consideration to the report.

 

 

C1210                        MATTER WHICH THE CHAIRMAN HAD DECIDED WAS URGENT

RESOLVED - T H A T the following matter, which the Chairman had decided was urgent for the reason given beneath the minute heading be considered.

 

 

C1211                        REVIEW OF THE FUTURE DELIVERY OF EDUCATION SERVICES IN WALES: SECOND REPORT(CS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – LIFELONG LEARNING) -

 

Matter which the Chairman had decided was Urgent by reason of the closing date for responses was 19th February, 2013.

On 3 December, 2012, Cabinet received a report which provided information about the planned review including the text of the ministerial announcement.  At that time the detailed scope of the review was not confirmed but it was evident that it had the potential to alter radically the Council's responsibilities for education and impact on the governance of schools, the Council's role as an employer and landlord, the services provided by the Council and budget and financial management that represent a significant proportion of the Council's spending.  The report also included the WLGA's response to the statement.

Cabinet were informed that the government had appointed Robert Hill to prepare a report on a range of possible delivery options for education services by the end of March 2013.  Contributions to the review had been invited to be received by 19 February.  The government's intention is to publish the report and undertake a full consultation on the options from May to August 2013.

Further information about the aims, principles, process and outcome objectives and outputs of the review was provided at Appendix A.

The WLGA sought to develop a coordinated response on behalf of local authorities and the Leader and Cabinet Member had been invited to meetings in this context.

It was suggested therefore that a draft response that took into account the draft WLGA response was considered by the Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 18th February.  The response would subsequently be submitted by the Cabinet Member.

This was a matter for Executive decision.

RESOLVED –

(1)       T H A T the additional information about the review be noted.

(2)       T H A T arrangements for making the Council’s written contribution to the review be agreed.

Reasons for decisions

(1)       The review that has been established by the Minister will publish a range of options for the future delivery of education in Wales which may change the Council's responsibilities.

(2)       To ensure arrangements are in place to contribute to the review.

 

C1212                       EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC -

RESOLVED - T H A T under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 4 of Schedule 12A (as amended) of the Act, the relevant paragraphs of the Schedule being referred to in brackets after the minute heading.

 

C1213                        FIVE MILE LANE HIGHWAY SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS – APPOINTMENT OF PRINCIPAL CONTRACTOR (EVS) (EXEPMT INFOMRATION – PARAGRAPH 14) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Cabinet was advised of the appointment of LGA Ltd. as Principal Contractor for the A48 Sycamore Cross Junction Improvement Works.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the award of the contract for the A48 Sycamore Cross Junction Improvement Works and the use of the Managing Director's Emergency Powers be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

That Members are aware of the action taken by the Managing Director under Emergency Powers.

 

 

C1214                        APPENDIX TO THE REPORT OF THE SCHOOL PLACES REVIEW TASK AND FINISH GROUP (EXEMPT INFOMRATION - PARAGRAPH 15) (REF) –

 

The Cabinet member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development thanked the members of Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning), and officers for their work and input into producing this report.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the appendix be noted at this stage.

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