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                                                                        Agenda Item No.

CABINET

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 22 April, 2013 at Cowbridge Comprehensive School.

 

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

 

The meeting was chaired by the Deputy Leader in the Leader’s absence from the first part of the meeting. The Leader attended the meeting for the last two items.

 

Apologies: Councillor R.F. Curtis.

 

C1302                        MINUTES –

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 8 April, 2013 be approved as a correct record.

 

C1303                        DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

The following declarations were received:

 

Councillor Christopher Elmore

Agenda Item 9 – Flying Start External Funding Applications

 

Reason for declaration -

Councillor Elmore declared his personal interest as a board member for Castleland Community Centre, having been nominated as a Council representative to the Board.

As a local authority appointee to the board his personal interest did not equate to a prejudicial interest and therefore he was able to speak and vote on the matter.

 

Councillor Christopher Elmore

Agenda Item 13 – Key Stage 3 Improvement Strategy

 

Reason for declaration -

 

Councillor Elmore declared his personal interest as a Local Education Authority (LEA) appointed governor of Barry Comprehensive School.

 

 

As an LEA governor his personal interest did not equate to a prejudicial interest and therefore he was able to speak and vote on the matter.

 

Councillor Gwyn John

 

Agenda Item 13 – Key Stage 3 Improvement Strategy

 

Reason for declaration -

 

Councillor John declared his personal interest as a Local Education Authority (LEA) appointed governor on Llantwit Major Comprehensive School.

 

As an LEA governor his personal interest did not equate to a prejudicial interest and therefore he was able to speak and vote on the matter.

 

 

Councillor Lis Burnett

Agenda Item 13 – Key Stage 3 Improvement Strategy

 

Reason for declaration

 

Councillor Burnett declared her personal interest as a Local Education Authority (LEA) appointed governor on St Cyres Comrehensive School.

 

As an LEA governor her personal interest did not equate to a prejudicial interest and therefore she was able to speak and vote on the matter.

 

 

 

 

C1304                        JOINT CONSULTATIVE FORUM -

 

The following minutes of the Joint Consultative Forum meeting held on 18 February, 2013 were submitted:

Present:  Councillor G.H. Roberts (Chairman); Councillors K. Hatton, F.T. Johnson, A.G. Powell and E. Williams.

 

Representatives of the Trades Unions: 

 

Mr. P. Carter, Ms. C. Chilcott, Mr. N. Hart, Ms. P. Harvey, Mr. R. Hughes, Ms. K. Matthews, Mr. G. Moseley (Unison); Mr. T. Cox and Mr. D. Dimmick (NASUWT) and Mr. N. Stokes (GMB).

 

 

(a)       Apologies for Absence -

 

These were received from Councillors Mrs. M. Kelly Owen and Mrs. A.J. Preston; and from Mr. N. Patterson (UNITE).

 

 

(b)       Minutes and Matters Arising -

 

AGREED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 12th November 2012 be accepted as an accurate record  

 

The following matters were referred to under “Matters Arising”:

 

·                     In referring to page 3 of the minutes “Consultation arrangements (schools)”, Mr. Carter in referring to the Penarth Learning Community advised that he had been told that there would be no job cuts but that he had not been informed of this officially.

 

·                     In referring to the caretakers and other such jobs associated with the Penarth Learning Community, Mr. Carter advised that a meeting was to be established soon.  He advised that staff were worried as they did know if they would have jobs. 

 

The Chairman advised that he thought that the meeting should be held prior to the matters being raised at the Joint Consultative Forum. 

 

·                     Mr. T. Cox, in referring to the Joint Education Service, advised that meetings were now in place and expressed the concerns of his members over local consultation. 

 

·                     Mr. N. Hart referred to concerns of the Trade Union representatives that they were not equal partners on the Joint Consultative Forum.  It was acknowledged that this had been raised at the previous meeting at which it had been decided that the Trades Unions write to the Head of Human Resources indicating their concerns and proposals for their resolution.  Mr. Hart stated that if the Trades Unions were not treated equally, then meetings of the Joint Consultative Forum were merely “window dressing”. 

 

Mr. Cox suggested that a meeting be held with the Head of Human Resources to discuss what could be done to give the Trade Union representatives voting right on the Joint Consultative Forum. 

 

The Chairman agreed there was a need to explore how the Committee interacted with the Cabinet and it was agreed that this process be commenced with a view to a report to the next meeting of the Joint Consultative Forum.

 

·                     Mr. Stokes, in referring to paragraph (g) of the minute advised that it had come to the Trades Unions’ attention that pressure was being placed on people working on the Job Evaluation Appeals to do their normal work in addition to the Appeals work i.e. no one was back-filling their job. 

 

The Head of Human Resources advised that no Appeals had taken place since December 2012 and that the Appeals would recommence in March 2013. 

 

The Head of Human Resources stressed that all participants in the Job Evaluation Appeals process had been volunteers and if any concerns were raised directly with him he would resolve any such concerns. 

 

·                     In referring to the Council’s Management of Attendance Policy, Mr. R. Hughes advised that there remained concerns about certain interpretations of the Policy.

 

The Operational Manager (Human Resources) advised that the Policy Information Group had met and the Trades Unions had been given an opportunity to raise these matters.  Two meetings had been held which had proved very useful.  A third meeting had also been held.  Consultation on the issue was continuing.

 

·                     With regard to paragraph (k) “Staff Survey 2011/12”, the Head of Human Resources confirmed that he had now written to the Trade Union representatives in relation to previous concerns about the staff survey.

 

 

(c)        Consultation of the Restructure of the School Improvement Service and Additional Learning Needs Section of the Learning and Skills Directorate (TU) –

 

The Trades Unions had been concerned that there was limited consultation regarding this restructuring exercise and required assurances that internal restructuring of this kind would not be undertaken in this way again and that a proper protocol be drawn up and agreed with the Trades Unions for consultation on restructuring and reorganisation. 

 

The Forum were advised that the Council always tried to advise Trades Unions in advance of such matters.  On this occasion, the Head of Service did not want this matter hanging over the staff over the Christmas period.  An assurance was given that there would be no job losses.

 

Mr. Cox stated it would be useful to develop a written protocol which set out how the Council would manage change.  He was advised that there was such a Policy, although it would be useful for this to be reviewed in the light of the Trades Unions’ concerns and training given to managers. 

 

 

(d)       Corporate Health and Safety Committee –

 

The minutes of the Corporate Health and Safety Committee held on 10th December 2012 were received.

 

 

(e)       Directorate Consultative Groups –

 

The minutes of the following Directorate Consultative Groups were received:

 

            Learning and Development: 12th November 2012

            Social Services: 22nd October 2012

            Social Services: 26th November 2012

            Social Services: 17th December 2012.

 

With regard to item (7) of the Learning and Development Directorate Consultative Group held on 12th November 2012, which advised that the Vale was forecast to receive £38,000 grant for SEN post 16 funding whereas other Authorities were receiving significantly more, the question was asked why the Vale was due to receive so little.

 

An assurance was given that an answer to the question would be provided.

 

(f)        Workforce Plan 2013 – 17 –

 

A new Workforce Plan had been approved by Cabinet on 17th December 2012.  The purpose of the Plan was 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. 

 

The Head of Human Resources gave a presentation on the Workforce Plan to the Forum.  He indicated that the Plan had been developed in consultation and with the support of the Trades Unions.  Following the presentation, members were given an opportunity to ask questions.  Trade Union representatives referred to the anticipated decrease in corporate staff over the next four years but accepted that a clear set of actions had been devised to help reduce the effects of budget challenges over the next few years and mitigate any adverse affects for staff.  The Head of Human Resources stated that that was the reason why the workforce plan cycle was so important. 

 

(g)       Update on Senior Management Appointment –

 

The Forum was advised that the post of Head of Housing and Building Services had now been filled. 

 

The Trade Union representatives stated that they wished to meet with the successful applicant.

 

(h)       Update on Job Evaluation Appeals Process –

 

Work was continuing to complete all job evaluation appeals in accordance with the previously published targets.  As at the beginning of February, some 60% of all appeals had been completed including 100% of those from employees who were adversely affected and 37% of all other appeals.  The Council was therefore on target to complete all the appeals by the target date of 30th June 2013.

 

The results of the appeals to date indicate that some 14% of employees who had appealed had seen an increase in their grade and further 5% had seen an increase in their Job Evaluation score (but not grade).  Conversely some 5% had seen a decrease in score and a 1% decrease in grade.

 

Alongside the above, work had been continuing to support those employees who remained adversely affected.  A redeployment and support scheme had been launched in October 2012 in partnership with the Trades Unions.  Helen Scarrett had recently been appointed as the Employment Liaison Officer, to co-ordinate the scheme and to provide advice and support to all adversely affected employees.  Ms. Scarrett was available to meet with employees to discuss the type of support that may be appropriate.

 

(i)         Safer Recruitment Policy –

 

The Safer Recruitment Policy had been approved by Cabinet on 14th January 2013.  The Policy provided a more comprehensive and consistent approach to providing a consistent and robust process on checking the suitability of applicants who would have access to children and / or vulnerable people, building on the existing arrangements and taking account of the legislative changes.

 

The key elements of the Safer Recruitment Policy included:

 

-               provision of consistent recruitment safeguarding arrangements throughout the Council and schools

-               all categories of workers covered (employees, agency, volunteers and contractors)

-               creation of minimum standards in respect of number, content of references and additional safeguarding checks

-               mandatory receipt and assessment of CRB / DBS disclosures prior to taking up employment

-               defined “Risk Assessment” process for use in exceptional circumstances where it was essential for the post to be filled

-               CRB / DBS Code of Practice / Data Protection requirements in administering documentation

-               training and communication.

 

The Government had changed the eligibility criteria for CRB / DBS disclosure and the level of check that could be progressed on applicants.  Details of previous and new Regulated Activity definitions were set out within the Policy.  The new provisions had established a definition for adults based on the services the person (client) required along with a separate definition for children.  In both these categories, workers would require enhanced CRB / DBS with barring disclosures.

 

In most occasions, a worker would not commence in employment until all recruitment checks were completed.  However, the Corporate Safeguarding Steering Group (CSSG) recognised the continuing need for managers to be able to recruit front line and essential appointments.  The CSSG remained of the view that where checks were outstanding a business case could be clearly established to evidence that not to recruit would seriously inhibit service continuity, a procedure would be necessary to respond to such occurrences.  In such circumstances, the CSSG had developed a risk assessment process and supporting documentation which all recruiting managers would be required to complete to cover essential safeguarding measures.  Posts governed by the Care Council would be exempt from this process and all safeguarding checks would be required to be in place before a start date was confirmed. 

 

Where recruiting managers received details of criminal convictions within CRB / DBS disclosure, these could be compared against the DBS Disclosure Outcomes Matrix to determine if acceptable. Where a manager was unable to make the decision, the CRB / DBS disclosure would be elevated to the Directorate Safeguarding Officer and / or to the Corporate CRB / DBS Strategy Group (a standing group of officers from HR, Legal, Social Services, Learning and Skills).  This would allow the recruiting manager to obtain additional guidance and advice on the acceptability of the disclosure and suitability of the applicant for the post.

 

Throughout Social Services and within residential schools, a pilot scheme was ongoing to administer the receipt and checking of written and verbal references by means of an e-form.  The pilot provided an automated process to ensure the recruiting manager had access to all references to assist the selection process and provide a comprehensive audit trail.  If successful, the scheme would be rolled out across the Council as well as those schools that used the Council’s recruitment facility.

 

To ensure consistency of application, the CSSG had endorsed the Reference Matrix which identified the number and types of references required as determined by the role, responsibility and / or service. 

 

The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 had brought about a number of changes, some of which were scheduled to be implemented in 2013/14.  These included:

 

-               amendments to the criminal records checking process including the introduction of a new system for the continuous updating and portability of criminal records

-               issuing the CRB certificate to the applicant only.

 

The CSSG would consider the above and provide a further report to the Cabinet when the details were made available from the Government.

 

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

(j)         Feedback on Policy Development – 

           

HR Policies had been prioritised and were being formally reviewed on a rolling basis in light of any developments in employment legislation or good practice.  Policy reviews were conducted in consultation with Chief Officers, Personnel Officers, Trades Unions and Equalities.  The current position on HR Policy development as at 21st January 2013 was as follows:

 

            Cabinet approval

            Workforce Plan 2013-17

            Safer Recruitment Policy

 

            Consultation complete, prior to CMT / Cabinet

            Management of Contractors

            Occupational Health Policy

 

            Further issues to be clarified prior to proceeding

            Disciplinary Procedure

            Probationary Period Procedure

            Recruitment and Selection Policy

            Violence and Aggression at Work

 

            Employment Policy Formulation and Review Group (EPFRG)

            Management of Attendance

 

            Terms and Conditions Group

            Guidance to Code of Conduct *

            Grievance Procedure *

            Social Medial Policy *

            * to be referred to the EPFRG.

 

Human Resources was working closely with the Training Section during the consultation process to allow time for development of subsequent training programmes where relevant and to ensure that managers were effectively trained in the revised policies.

 

The revised policies would all be available in electronic format on the StaffNet where they could be easily accessed by managers and employees as well as being available for Chief Officers, Personnel Officers and the Trades Unions.  They were also communicated via a number of different channels in order to achieve wide coverage throughout the Council.

 

Feedback was also being requested on a regular basis from Chief Officers, Personnel Officers and Trades Unions on all new / reviewed policies to respond to any problems on their interpretation, ideas for improvements and recommendations on amendments.

 

At review, the summary of response was provided to Chief Officers, Personnel Officers and Trades Unions and the information used to inform the next policy review either in light of any developments in employment legislation, good employment practice or in light of difficulties in applying the policy.

 

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

 

(k)        Farewell –

 

The Chairman advised that this would be the last meeting of the Joint Consultative Forum that Mr. S. Morris and Mr. T. Cox would be attending. 

 

It was agreed that the Forum’s best wishes be conveyed to each.

 

 

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

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the minutes be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To be aware of the views of the Joint Consultative Forum.

 

C1305                        USE OF MANAGING DIRECTORS EMERGENCY POWERS (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE –LIFELONG LEARNING, ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT, CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the exercise of the Managing Director’s Emergency Powers as indicated below be noted –

(a)       To replace Councillor C.J. Williams with Councillor N.P. Hodges on the Trust Committee and Early Retirement/Redundancy Committee and to replace Councillor Mrs. V.M. Hartrey on the Appeals Committee with Councillor S.T. Wiliam.

 

(Scrutiny - Corporate Resources)

 

(b)       Authority to include the grant from Welsh Government of £250k. to progress the Gileston to Old Mill Highway Improvement Scheme during the financial year 2012/13 and any subsequent grant as and when funds are provided by the Welsh Government for further stages of the project.

 

(Scrutiny - Economy and Environment)

 

(c)        Proposed 2013/14 Central South Consortium (CSC) Budget for CSC School Improvement Service (CSC SIS) and CSC Learning and Innovation Network for Schools (CSC LINKS) - to ensure acceptance of the CSC Budget prior to the next scheduled Joint Committee on 14th February, 2013 (implications of the CSC Budget are included in the 2013/14 Education and Schools Budget and will be referred to in the Revenue Budget Report when it goes to Cabinet).

 

(Scrutiny - Lifelong Learning)

 

(d)       Authority to amend the name of the former Communities First Peoples Allotment Group, originally to be known as the Gibbonsdown and Community First Partnership Boards, to satisfy the legal requirements and to change the name on the Lease to Barry Communities First Ltd.

 

(Scrutiny - Economy and Environment)

 

(e)       Authority to permit an extension of the current contract with Biffa Waste Services for the operation of the Council's Household Waste Recycling Centres from 1st April, 2013 to 3rd June, 2013.

 

(Scrutiny - Economy and Environment)

 

(f)        Authority to permit an extension of the current contract with Biffa Waste Services for the re-processing of recycling from 1st April, 2013 to 3rd June, 2013.

 

(Scrutiny - Economy and Environment)

 

(g)       Authority to accept additional grant funding to the value of a maximum of £0.0155m. to enable preparatory works on the Railway Walk Cycle Route and £30k. for additional bus stop improvements (to include shelters) on the A48 from the SEWTA RTCG Grant fund and to include the same in the Capital Programme.

 

(Scrutiny - Economy and Environment)

 

Reason for decision

 

To inform Cabinet

 

C1306                        ANNUAL EQUALITY MONITORING REPORT (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Approval was sought to agree the publication of the Annual Equality Monitoring Report that was attached at Appendix A to the report.

 

The Equality Act 2010 included a new public sector equality duty (the 'general duty') as well as specific duties for Wales.  The specific duties included the requirement to publish an annual report by 31 March each year.  The annual report must set out:

·                the steps the Council had taken to identify and collect relevant information;

·                how the Council had used this information in meeting the three aims of the general duty;

·                any reasons for not collecting relevant information;

·                a statement on the effectiveness of the Council's arrangements for identifying and collecting relevant information;

·                progress towards fulfilling each of the Council's equality objectives;

·                a statement on the effectiveness of the steps that the Council had taken to fulfil each of its equality objectives;

·                specified employment information, including information on training and pay (unless it has already published this information elsewhere).

 

The Council may include in its annual reports any other matters that it felt was relevant to meeting the general duty and specific duties. The report also explained the steps that had been taken to better meet the requirements for the next reporting year. 

The report outlined that Schools were listed public authorities under the Public Sector Equality Duty specific duties in Wales.  As such, they were responsible for producing their own annual equality monitoring reports and had received guidance from the School Improvement Service and the Welsh Local Government Association.

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the Annual Equality Monitoring Report for 2011 / 2012 be approved for publication.

Reason for decision

The Annual Equality Monitoring Report contained information or comment on each of the subjects that the Council was required to report on. 

 

C1307                        REPRESENTATION ON SOUTH WALES POLICE AND CRIME PANEL (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Approval was sought to replace the Council's existing representative on the South Wales Police and Crime Panel.

The report outlined  that many of the meetings of the South Wales Police and Crime Panel had clashed (and would continue to do so) with dates of Cabinet meetings.  As a result, the Leader felt that he was unable to continue as the Council's representative on the Panel.  The Labour Group was proposing that Councillor Mrs. J. A. Moore replace the Leader and that the appointment should run for the life of the Council, i.e. until the local government elections in 2017.

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T  Councillor Mrs. J. A. Moore be appointed to replace the Leader as the Council's representative on the South Wales Police and Crime Panel; the appointment to last until the local government elections in 2017.

Reason for decision

To ensure continuity of representation.

 

C1308            PROPOSED DISPOSAL OF LAND FOR MEDICAL CENTRE, FORMER ST CYRES SCHOOL DINAS POWYS (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Approval was sought for the Council to enter into an option agreement with Brackley Investments Limited for the disposal to them of approximately 0.77 acres of land at the former St Cyres School site for the purpose of providing a new Medical Centre.

Brackley Investments Limited had approached the Council in respect of their wish to purchase land located on the former St Cyres School Site in Dinas Powys for the purposes of providing a new Medical Centre for the Community to replace the Medical Centre currently located on Cardiff Road.  The land they were interested in purchasing was hatched black on the plan attached as Appendix A, to the report

Officers had met with Brackley Investments Limited, Doctors from the Medical Centre and officers from NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership to further discussions in this regard.

Brackley proposed that the Council enter into a purchase option agreement with them for a 12 month period to allow them to work up a planning application for the development of a proposed new Medical Centre.  They had requested that the Council also agree to extend this option period should the planning process take longer than the initial 12 month period.  The freehold interest in the land would be transferred to the purchasers on exercise of the purchase option.

The Council had sought external valuation advice in relation to the value of the 0.77acre site for Medical Centre use and Heads of Terms for the option and disposal of this site would be certified by a Chartered Registered Valuer. 

Should Cabinet agree to entering into a purchase option in favour of Brackley Investments Limited, it was recommended that the Council requests that the purchaser would use best endeavours to submit a planning application in respect of the new Medical Centre within 6 months of the date on which the option was exchanged.  It was also recommended that if the option agreement be extended beyond the initial 12 month period, an external valuation report be sought to confirm that the value of the site remained as previously valued.

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED - 

 

(1)          T H A T  the Director of Resources be authorised to enter into an option agreement for the disposal of approximately 0.77 acres of land at the former St Cyres School site for the purposes of Brackley Investments Limited providing a new Medical Centre, on terms and conditions to be agreed in consultation with the Leader.

 

(2)          T H A T  the Head of Legal Services be authorised to enter into the option agreement for the sale of the land to Brackley Investments Limited for the purpose of providing a Medical Centre; and complete and execute all necessary legal documentation required to complete the disposal (if appropriate).

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          In order to secure the required authority to allow for the option agreement to be entered into for the sale of this land and to allow the Medical Centre to be constructed.

 

(2)          In order to complete all necessary documentation to allow the disposal to be completed.

 

C1309            FLYING START EXTERNAL FUNDING APPLICATIONS (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Members were informed of the external funding applications used to support the delivery of corporate objectives. 

Flying Start was a Welsh Government (WG) grant for children aged 0-4 years in a specific geographical area. The primary aim of Flying Start was to improve outcomes for children in the most deprived communities across Wales. Targeted investment was dedicated to offer free part time, quality childcare for two to three year olds, enhanced health visitor support, parenting programmes and basic skills including the language and play programme.

The first phase of the Flying Start project in the Vale of Glamorgan was based in the three wards of Cadoc, Gibbonsdown and Court. These Ward areas included the largest area of social housing in the Vale of Glamorgan and account for half of the referrals received by Children and Young People Services.

The second phase of the project was expansion into the wards of Castleland. In line with the criteria, these areas were selected on scales of deprivation including benefit data, child protection rates and housing information. The Welsh Government had announced a commitment to the scheme and announced indicative funding until 2015. The number of children within the scheme would increase from the current CAP of 659 to 1200.

Following the previous report to Cabinet work had subsequently been undertaken to consider the additional staffing required, to deliver the services required from the current CAP of 657 children to 1,200.

It was proposed the Management Structure to deliver the extended Flying Start provision remained unchanged but each job description and person specification be amended to take account of the additional responsibilities. One additional post be established at support function level, an Evaluation and Monitoring Officer Administrative role.   

Agreement had been made for Flying Start to take occupation of a proportion of Holm View for the purposes of providing Parenting Classes and an associated Creche. The service would be taking occupation once the required documentation had been completed and for as long as the requisite Licence from Parkwood Leisure Limited subsists would be on the basis of a rolling option to determine occupation on an annual basis dependant on future funding being available. Some internal refurbishment works would be necessary.

Flying Start required a building where they could provide 2.5 hours per session 39 weeks per annum for 40+ children. Flying Start had explored childcare settings within the Castleland area i.e. Church Halls, Scout Groups, vacant buildings etc. and none were deemed suitable. Flying Start are currently exploring interim arrangements to provide the required increase in childcare provision by April 2013 on the basis of providing a more permanent solution by September 2013. If Flying Start could fund suitable accommodation before April 2013 it will not be able to provide sufficient childcare to conform with the grant conditions of the Flying start grant.    

In order to facilitate the need to acquire accommodation, the Estates section had been undertaking a search for suitable land/property with permission sought to enter into negotiations with the land/property owners as appropriate for the acquisition of the same.

At a meeting with Welsh Government on 21st November they were informed of the issues and suggested that if property or land (including refurbishment /building costs) could be acquired they would look favourably upon extending or adjusting the capital allocation currently available to the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

Recent investigation had revealed the possibility of utilising Castleland Community Centre. The Community Centre was owned by the Vale of Glamorgan Council but was subject to a 28 year lease from 2004 to the Holding Trustees of Castleland Community Hall Association. Refurbishment of the Community Centre was now being costed by the Property Services Department within the Council. Substantial changes would be needed to the current building to make it suitable for CSSIW registration for childcare.  

Welsh Government provided 100% revenue grant funding towards eligible costs for delivering Flying Start. The proposed staffing structure had been approved by Job Evaluation and would be funded from the external grant. This amounts to £1,422,434 in the current financial year, £2,005,184 in 2013/14, increasing to £2,345,122 in 2014/15.

An application for a capital grant of £663,985 was agreed by Welsh Government on 18th October 2012. This would enable five projects to increase childcare provision and the required collocation of staff. Plans for the Capital programme were approved by Cabinet on 30th July 2012.

Due to the changes to the venues available to the Capital programme amendments to the programme had been made. These had all been agreed in principal by Welsh Government and procedures had been followed through the Councils Estates Department and legal officers.   

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -  

 

(1)                T H A T the Council act as lead body for the Flying Start grant, on behalf of the Children and Young Peoples Partnership.

(2)                T H A T the acceptance of the revenue grant of £2,005,184 allocated for 2013/14 and £2,345,122 allocated for 2014/15 be approved.

(3)                T H A T the re-structuring and expansion of the Flying Start service be approved.

(4)                T H A T  the acquisition of a legal estate or interest for Flying Start childcare accommodation at Castleland Community Centre and Holm View Leisure Centre or such other property that may be necessary be authorised and specific delegated authority be given  to the Director of Resources in consultation with the Director of Social Services and the Leader to negotiate and agree the heads of terms thereof; and delegated authority be given to the Head of Legal Services to negotiate, settle and execute requisite legal documentation to achieve this objective.

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)                  To recognise the ongoing responsibilities of the Council as lead body for the Flying Start grant.

(2)                   To ensure the acceptance and utilisation of revenue grant funding and to secure the support and delivery of corporate objectives; the Capital funding having been secured in July 2012 in accordance with minute C.1794.

(3)                  To endorse the re-structuring and expansion of the Flying Start service. 

(4)                  To authorise the negotiation settlement and execution of all documentation required to acquire appropriate property, estates or interests in land and/or buildings for the provision of Flying Start childcare accommodation     

 

C1310                        PROVIDING A DIRECT PAYMENT SUPPORT SERVICE (AS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH) –

 

Approval was sought to retender the contracts relating to the provision of a Direct Payments support service.

Direct payments are monetary payments made by Local Authorities directly to individuals who had been assessed as having community care needs that were eligible for certain services (including to people who care for others).  Direct payments enable individuals to purchase in their own right the assistance or services that the Local Authority would otherwise provide.  They therefore provided individuals with greater control over their own lives.  Since the original legislation was passed in 1996, the scope of direct payments has been extended to include older people, carers, parents of disabled children and disabled 16 and 17 year olds as well as disabled adults.  From April 2011, people who lack capacity or who were subject to mental health legislation became eligible.  Where a Local Authority made a direct payment, it retained its functions with respect to overall provision of the services under the applicable Social Services legislation.  So long as the Local Authority was satisfied that the individual's assessed needs would be met through the direct payment, it was not obliged to provide or arrange those services for that individual

As part of their individual care plan, adults and parents of children with a disability were provided with Direct Payments, which enabled them to exercise greater control over their own life or their child's life by providing an alternative to social care services arranged by the local authority.  A Direct Payment gave the person flexibility to look beyond local authority service solutions for certain housing, employment, education and leisure activities as well as for personal assistance to meet their assessed needs.  This helped increase opportunities for independence, social inclusion and enhanced self-esteem. 

To support recipients of Direct Payments and to achieve the requirements of the Welsh Assembly's guidance, a contract for providing support services was awarded to Dewis Centre for Independent Living in December 2008, following a tendering exercise.  The tender was awarded for a period of 3 years, with an option to extend by up to 2 periods of 12 months each.  The contract extension periods were taken up in 2011 and 2012 and the contract would expire on 30th November 2013.

The number of recipients of Direct Payments had increased in recent years.  At the start of the Dewis contract, there were 85 individuals in receipt of Direct Payments. Currently, there were 134 Direct Payment recipients: 35 in Children's Services, 98 in Adult Services and 1 is a carer..  People were not compelled to use the services of the support organisations.  Of the 134, 6 or 4% do not receive any support from Dewis and 120 or 90% receive payroll support.

A new contract for the support service would have to be in place by 1st December 2013.  The Authority's Contract Standing Orders require that contracts with a total estimated value of £100,000 or higher should be subject to an appropriate procurement process that ensures value for money, compliance with legislation governing the spending of public money and protect individuals from undue criticism or allegation of wrongdoing.  The re-tendering of the Direct Payments support service would be designed to ensure that these three principles are fulfilled.

There was a potential to work collaboratively with Cardiff Council on the provision of the service.  Timelines were not currently aligned but, should a joint tender appear feasible, the Directorate would look to receive an exemption to Contract Standing Orders for 9 months.  This would allow the necessary preparatory work to be undertaken between both authorities to develop appropriate tender documentation. Additionally, it would be helpful during this exercise to consider the potential for developing the service using a social entrepreneurial approach (such as a stakeholder cooperative involving service user representative organisations) to develop support services for Direct Payments. 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -  

 

(1)               T H A T the Director of Social Services in consultation with the Managing Director, Cabinet Member for Adult Services, and the Leader be authorised to:

·                           commence tendering procedures for the services outlined in the report; and

·                           accept tenders and award the contract for the service in accordance with the Council's Contract Standing Orders.

 

(2)              T H A T an exemption to Contract Standing Orders be granted to the Director of Social Services to extend the contract with the current support provider by a further nine months, if the collaborative work with Cardiff County Council is to proceed.

(3)              T H A T the Director of Social Services in consultation with the Managing Director, Cabinet Member for Adult Services, and the Leader be authorised to enter into an appropriate form of Inter Authority Agreement with Cardiff Council in relation to joint procurement, if appropriate, and authorises the Head of Legal Services to agree and execute such agreement to cover both the procurement of the service and management of the service during the Contract period.

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)               To ensure that the Council:

·                provides a Direct Payment Support Service in a cost effective way and meets the assessed needs of service users;

·                fulfils its responsibilities under the various relevant legislation including the Community Care, Services for Carers and Children’s Service (Direct Payments) (Wales) Regulations 2011 and the Section 7 Guidance issued by the Welsh Government namely Direct Payments Guidance, Community Care, Services for Carers and Children’s Services (Direct Payments) (Wales) Regulations 2011; and

meets the requirements of its Financial Regulations and Contract Standing Orders.

(2&3)     To enable the Council to consider all options for the future delivery of this service.

 

C1311            TELECARE SERVICES (AS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH) –

 

Members were updated  regarding the development of assistive technology services such as Telecare within the Vale of Glamorgan and  approval was sought not to proceed further with discussions about possible participation in a proposed regional hub, intended to provide a monitoring service for some local authorities in the South East Wales Improvement Collaborative (SEWIC).

Telecare was a means whereby care and support could be provided to people in their own homes through the use of assistive technology based on telecommunication. Telecare services in the Vale were known as TeleV and TeleV+.  TeleV was a self referral service and offers the service user a choice of packages aimed primarily at safety or security.  The users of the service do not have to be clients of social services.  The TeleV service provided the option of three safety packages with a different fixed combination of equipment in each package.  This enabled the customers to determine which set of equipment would best suit their individual needs around personal and environmental safety.

With the support of Leaders and Chief Executives in each local authority, ten Directors of Social Services (Vale of Glamorgan, Bridgend, Cardiff, RCT, Merthyr Tydfil, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Torfaen, Newport and Monmouthshire) had formed the South East Wales Improvement Collaborative (SEWIC).  The Vale of Glamorgan Council is an active member of the collaborative.  On 19th January 2011, Cabinet endorsed a number of improvement projects proposed by SEWIC.

One of the work streams was the development of a more collective approach to the provision of assistive technology.  The project aimed to examine the collaborative benefit and opportunity to plan, develop, commission and deliver assistive technology services on a partnership basis.  A business case consolidation paper was developed, exploring the merits of possible regional options for providing a community alarm and Telecare call monitoring service.  This has been reviewed by officers in the Council.

The number of TeleV installations had increased steadily in recent years. In the third quarter of this year, 49 packages were installed, taking the total number of installations since 2008 to 840. Currently, there were 499 packages in place.  Work was being done to look at the equipment that is provided and to review what would meet the requirements of customers more effectively.  This may have involved the provision of a very basic package with additional bespoke equipment being provided at additional cost to the customer.

There had also been an increase in the number of targeted TeleV+ packages, with 98 now in place.  21 of these were installed in the third quarter of the year.  More complex packages are being supported now in part because intense support from the Telecare Specialist Adviser has helped social workers and occupational therapists to become increasingly confident in making referrals for equipment.

The Telecare team had been running a pilot scheme at Barry Hospital that involved working with reablement staff and senior Occupational Therapists to ensure that they understand the benefits of assistive technoilogy.  The pilot was successful and also facilitated the trial of new bed sensor equipment, which will be used in the community to provide a better service to TeleV+ clients.

Officers from across the Council had evaluated a proposed regional Telecare monitoring service, developed by SEWIC.  The evaluation determined that, for this Council and some of the other local authorities, the business case did not demonstrate the level of savings or benefits needed to proceed.  In addition, the Vale of Glamorgan was moving to more collaborative working with health, so that customers had a seamless service as they transit between health and social care and back.  This had been achieved through a number of initiatives such as the GP emergency line hosted by Contact1Vale.  There were concerns that focusing on collaboration/merger with other providers of Telecare monitoring services across a wide region would have a negative impact on the local service developments with the UHB.  For these reasons, it was proposed that the Council does not enter into an agreement with SEWIC with regard to regional Telecare monitoring services.

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -  

 

(1)          T H A T the work being undertaken to deliver Telecare services within the Vale of Glamorgan be noted.

(2)              T H A T the proposal that the Vale of Glamorgan will not seek to join with some of the other local authorities in the South East Wales Improvement Collaborative (SEWIC) in exploring the potential for establishing a more regional Community Alarm, Telecare and Telehealth monitoring centre be approved.

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)               To ensure that Elected Members are aware about developments that are helping to promote independence and enabling vulnerable people to remain in their own homes.

(2)               To ensure that the Council does not proceed with a service change which is unlikely to deliver sufficient benefits for the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

C1312            JENNER PARK – PRIMARY AND SECONDARY USERS – FOOTBALL, 2013/2014 (LPCSD) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) –

 

Approval was sought for the appointment of primary and secondary users for the playing of football at Jenner Park for the 2013/2014 season. 

Since 2006 there had been an annual bidding process for primary users for the playing of football at Jenner Park, with local football clubs invited to submit bids on a season by season basis with a value in excess of £270.

 

This process had continued year on year with no more than two teams bidding with values in the region of £270, and on occasions, less. 

 

For the 2012 / 2013 season there were no acceptable bids received and as a consequence delegated powers were granted to the Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development, to negotiate primary user status, and also to agree additional users.  (Minute No. C1731 refers)

 

Negotiations took place with the Barry Town FC Supporters Club (primary user for the previous season) and it was agreed that they would be given primary user status at a cost of £275 per match.  Later in the 2012 / 2013 season, Rhoose FC were agreed as an additional user and they too paid a fee of £275 per match. 

 

As the bidding process for 2012 / 2013 was unsuccessful and no new local teams had expressed an interest in becoming the primary user at Jenner Park, it was proposed that the bidding process be suspended for the 2013 / 2014 football season to permit the only two clubs who have registered an interest in Jenner Park for this season to continue playing.  This would avoid the cost associated with the bidding process for this period, and would also ensure the continuation of higher league Welsh football at the Council's most premier facility.  It would also ensure that there was a regular income source for the playing of football at this venue, as both organisations had proved to be reliable with their previous payment arrangements.

 

As agreed for previous seasons, the Director of Visible Services and Housing would determine and agree all other bookings for the 2013/2014 season at Jenner Park, which would include internationals, local cup finals and other important local fixtures.

 

As primary user, Barry Town FC Supporters Club would take priority over Rhoose FC in respect to league and cup fixtures.  Any conflict between the organisations in relation to bookings for the use of Jenner Park would be resolved by the Director of Visible Services and Housing.

 

The appointment of primary and secondary users for Jenner Park for season 2013/2014 would produce guaranteed income at Jenner Park which would contribute to the operating costs. It was estimated that the income from the primary and secondary user agreements alone would be in the region of £14k for the season. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)              T H A T Barry Town FC Supporters Club be appointed as primary user, and Rhoose FC, be appointed as secondary user for the playing of football at Jenner Park for the 2013/2014 season, at a minimum rate of £280 per match.

 

(2)              T H A T delegated authority be given to the Director of Visible Services and Housing in consultation with the Head of Legal Services and the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development to determine the terms and conditions of the user agreements.

 

(3)              T H A T Cabinet be provided with a further report prior to the end of this financial year detailing the most appropriate arrangements to ensure both value for money, and the provision of higher league football at Jenner Park for the 2014 / 2015 season and beyond.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1-2)       To ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place to secure the playing of higher league football at Jenner Park for the 2013/2014 season.

 

(3)          To determine the most appropriate future arrangements for allocating the football pitch at Jenner Park.

 

 

C1313                        KEY STAGE 3 IMPROVEMENT STRATEGY (CS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – LIFELONG LEARNING) –

 

Approval was sought to agree the proposed KS 3 Improvement Strategy which was attached to the report as Appendix A.

 

Since key stage 3 standards 'flat-lined' in 2012, it was clear that there needed to be a more holistic approach to securing improvements in KS 3, encapsulating key aspects of curriculum design and the assessment of skills, effective transition between KS2/3 and improvements in the quality of teaching and learning. The KS 3 Improvement Strategy adopted this approach.

 

The KS 3 Strategy (Appendix A) outlined the rationale, challenges and the respective roles of Consortia and local Authorities in improving outcomes for children and young people, as well as the specific need in the Vale to focus work on improving standards in Key Stage 3.

 

The performance profile for secondary schools in the Vale, contained in the KS 3 Strategy itself, outlined where specifically, within KS 3, there was a need to improve (Appendix 1 of the Strategy).

 

Specifically: KS3 performance fell noticeably in 2012. Outcomes were similar to the all-Wales means for most performance indicators but performance indicators ranked lower than expected when compared to other Welsh LAs. In addition, the proportion of schools below the median for FSM benchmarking was higher than expected and improvements in performance over time were less than the all-Wales means.

 

L5+ English outcomes were weaker than for the other core subjects and mainly contributed to by lower writing outcomes. Oracy and reading outcomes were similar to the previous year and writing slightly improved. The latter was, in part, attributable to the LA’s recent focus on writing development and the introduction of the Power Writing programme across schools.

 

NC Level 6+ performance was similar to the previous year in maths and science, improved in Welsh but fell noticeably in English. English results were significantly below those for other core subjects and fell below the all-Wales mean for the first time. Other core subjects remained above these means. This indicated that more able pupils were generally achieving well within Vale secondary schools at KS3 except in English.

 

2012 aggregated FSM benchmarking performance (at L5+) was poor. The proportion of schools above the median was less than expected for all performance indicators. English outcomes were ranked the lowest out of all Welsh LAs with the CSI ranked last but one.

 

Comparisons with other LAs indicated that Vale performance ranking fell significantly in 2012 and well below that expected in relation to contributory contextual factors. English (13), science (12) and RWM (13) had particularly low rankings.

 

The Strategy provided an overview of the various aspects of school improvement which needed to be addressed if overall improvements in standards was to be secured.

 

Aspects included; reducing the variance between targets and actual performance, improving the consistency of teacher assessment, improved transition plans and curriculum planning, KS 3 curriculum design, improvement in self-evaluation and leadership, as well as the need to implement targeted support for identified schools.

 

The supportive action plan set out in detail, ways in which each area could be targeted, to secure further improvement.

 

It was suggested that a 3 year timeframe be applied to the action plan, the details of which were to underpin the majority of support programmes implemented in schools during that time.

 

Commissioned support would provide the resource required to fully implement the action plan.

 

The 25% retained element of the School Effectiveness Grant would provide the financial resource to commission the support required as set out in the plan.

 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)              T H A T the proposed strategy be agreed and referred to Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee for information.

 

(2)              T H A T Cabinet receive update reports on the work outlined within the Improvement Strategy on a quarterly basis.

 

Reason for decision

 

(1&2)     To further refine and implement the strategy to improve standards in KS 3.

 

 

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