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                                                                        Agenda Item No.

 

CABINET

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 2 December 2013.

 

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

 

C2099                        MINUTES –

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 18 November, 2013 be approved as a correct record.

 

C2100                        DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

The following declarations were received:

 

Councillor N. Moore

Agenda Item 18 – School Admission Arrangements 2015/2016.

 

Reason for Declaration –

Councillor Moore is a Local Education Authority appointed Governor at Palmerston Primary School.  As a 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 R.F. Curtis

Agenda Item 18 – School Admission Arrangements 2015/2016.

 

Reason for Declaration –

Councillor Curtis is a Local Education Authority appointed Governor at Oakfield Primary School.  As a LEA Governor his personal interest did not equate to a prejudicial interest and therefore he was able to speak and vote on the matter.

 

 

C2101                        COLLABORATIVE WORKING CCTV POPOSAL (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) on 1 October 2013 considered the above reference from Cabinet

 

The above matter had been previously considered by the Cabinet at its meeting held on 17th June 2013.  At that Cabinet meeting consideration was given to the proposal currently being developed for working with Bridgend County Borough Council in respect of future CCTV monitoring arrangements.  The project which was one under consideration as part of the Memorandum of Understanding with Bridgend County Borough Council was to investigate the feasibility of a joint CCTV monitoring service.  The project would exclude the strategic management of CCTV which would remain within the remit of this Council and overseen by the Vale of Glamorgan Community Safety Partnership.  The Cabinet, having given consideration to the benefits of the project subsequently resolved

 

“(1)      That the contents of the report be noted.

 

(2)       That the report be referred to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) for consideration and that the Committee provides comments back to Cabinet.

 

(3)       That a visit to Bridgend County Borough Council’s CCTV monitoring facility be arranged for Cabinet and Members of the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources).

 

(4)       That the business case for the provision of CCTV monitoring services be further developed and reported back to Cabinet in due course, together with consultation reports.

 

(5)       That Audit be requested to carry out an independent review of the business case for collaboration of the CCTV service, particularly in relation to likely savings and the potential impact on level of service.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To ensure that members were provided with an update regarding collaborative working proposals for the CCTV monitoring service. 

 

(2)       To ensure that due consideration is given to all aspects of the proposal.

 

(3)       To provide Members with an opportunity to visit the proposed location for CCTV monitoring.

 

(4&5) To ensure that a robust business case underpins any future arrangements for this service.â€

 

Members of the Scrutiny Committee had undertaken a visit to Bridgend County Borough Council’s CCTV monitoring facility on 30th September 2013. 

 

In accordance with resolution (2) of the above Cabinet minute, the Scrutiny Committee gave consideration to the said matter.  The Operational Manager for Customer Relations informed the Scrutiny Committee that an analysis of both services offered at each existing location indicated that Bridgend Council’s control centre provided a broader range of services offering emergency out of hours telephone contact, lone worker, lift monitoring and bollard management.  This contrasted with the control centre in Barry which was entirely focused on CCTV monitoring and interaction with South Wales Police. 

 

He informed the Scrutiny Committee of the benefits of the project which were as follows:

 

·               Service and Efficiency Savings: The pattern of activity created a natural inefficiency in monitoring operations which could only be part resolved by the use of in fill tasks. This inefficiency would be used to absorb some of the additional monitoring activity and allow for the combined staffing resource to be reduced. This was anticipated to deliver income/ savings totalling £75,000 per annum for both authorities based on current combined operational costs.

·               Improved productivity through monitoring of wider geographic area;

·               Improved monitoring of single cross authority incidents;

·               Improved monitoring of cross authority criminal and community safety activity.

 

·               Operational Flexibility: Monitoring activity over a wider geographic area would allow for greater flexibility to direct monitoring resources to priority incidents, irrespective of local authority boundaries.

 

·               Business Continuity and Technical Resilience: Neither operation currently had a business continuity solution in the event that existing premises became inaccessible. The proposed solution provided for a business continuity workstation to be maintained at Contact OneVale to be used in the event that the Bridgend control room became inaccessible.

 

·               Improved Access for South Wales Police: South Wales Police currently must attend separate control rooms to access CCTV recording for evidence. This solution would allow for evidence for each authority to be produced at the main control room or from the business continuity workstation in Barry. In addition, South Wales Police would have access to 2 RIPA suites with the ability to view images across the combined CCTV network. There was an additional benefit of enhancing the service provided to South Wales Police through a single co-ordinated service.

 

·               Sustainability: The integration of monitoring activities for both local authority areas would help maintain an efficient and sustainable service. The combined operation may provide Bridgend Council with additional opportunities to work with, and provide monitoring services for, other neighbouring authorities.

 

The Operational Manager also informed the Scrutiny Committee that work building on the above was currently progressing with a formal procurement exercise to be undertaken shortly.  He further indicated that a project team was also established to deal with the technical integration of the service and subject to the above matters being satisfactory and the project mandate being met, it was anticipated that staff would transfer with TUPE rights to Bridgend County Borough Council in 2014. 

 

At this juncture in the proceedings a number of questions were raised with discussion ensuing on the following matters:

 

·               The cost for the Council relating to the project and the breakeven period when the capital costs would be recouped?  The Operational Manager responded by indicating that the Cost of the project would be split two thirds Vale of Glamorgan and one third Bridgend County Borough Council.  In respect of the financial benefits, these would be accrued at the end of the project with the break even period anticipated between 3 and 4 years.

·               The Scrutiny Committee enquired if there were any improvements to staff working conditions?  The Operational Manager indicated that the Bridgend service was a stand alone facility and accommodated in a better secured area.  Similar equipment was provided to ensure comfort for staff with the monitoring boards similar but had the potential to be upgraded in the future; the facility was a standard configuration for CCTV provision.

·               Benefits of the project to South Wales Police?  Inspector Parry indicated that the configuration of the CCTV service was on a similar footing as the Basic Command Unit (Central).  He indicated that cutbacks had impacted on the availability of CCTV within the Vale of Glamorgan and the configuration of the Council’s CCTV service with Bridgend would allow for 24 hour coverage across the Vale of Glamorgan.  He indicated that Bridgend had retained their 24 hour staffing of their CCTV service with the project, if implemented, providing improved capability for the Police in respect of crime prevention.

·               The Scrutiny Committee was unaware that the Council’s CCTV service had a reduction in service operation?   In response the Operational Manager for Customer Relations indicated that the 2012/13 budget had seen a reduction in the operational hours of the Council’s CCTV service to 111 per week which had been analysed and assessed on historical data.  He further confirmed that the business case for joint working with Bridgend was to maintain a service of 111 hours per week for the Vale of Glamorgan area.  The project proposals relating to the Vale of Glamorgan area was not to operate a 24 hour service 7 days a week.  However, there was the potential to include within the project scope to provide a 24 hour service 7 days a week. 

·               In the event of a 24 hour, 7 days a week service being provided to cover the Vale of Glamorgan area, would this impact on efficiency savings?  The Operational Manager indicated that the current business case had been based and negotiated on historical CCTV coverage data in the Vale of Glamorgan i.e. 111 hours per week.

·               What was the level of service currently provided at Bridgend and its surrounding area?  Inspector Parry indicated that Bridged County Borough Council operated 24 hours 7 days a week (168 hours).  Bridgend staff monitored CCTV cameras in real time however should the Vale of Glamorgan enter into joint service provision Bridgend staff would monitor Police radios covering the Vale of Glamorgan and could alert the Police when incidents occurred.  The Operational Manager indicated that currently the Vale service allowed for cameras to run and record but not monitored. 

·               What was the level of training to be provided to staff to familiarise themselves with the topography of the Vale of Glamorgan?  The Operational Manager indicated that on the initiation of the joint service there would be a six month transitional period to allow staff to be provided knowledge training. 

·               What was the exact cost of the service to be provided jointly with Bridgend County Borough Council?  In response the Operational Manager indicated that there was still work required on the contractual details and the final business case.  He indicated that subject to project acceptance Vale of Glamorgan staff would transfer with their existing terms and conditions for the first six months of engagement, thereafter it was anticipated that Bridgend County Borough Council would undertake a review with a view to restructuring the service. 

·               Was the Operational Manager confident that the current staff structure could be reduced by three Full Time Equivalent posts?  In response the Operational Manager confirmed that based on historical information and operational modelling the structure could be reduced.  He also informed the Scrutiny Committee that staff transferring to Bridgend would have their travelling expenses reimbursed.

·               Would fibre optic capability be used to link cameras in the Vale of Glamorgan with the Bridged facility?  The Operational Manager indicated that the technical specifications for the provision of the project were subject to a tendering exercise.

·               What was the technical contingency arrangement for the project?  The Operational Manager indicated that the technical resilience of the project would be built into the contract tender specifications.  The Scrutiny Committee indicated at this point that they would need to see the costs associated with such contingency arrangements. 

·               Was the cost of redundancies included in the project business case?  The Operational Manager indicated that these costs were variable but worst case scenario had been assumed in the business case. 

 

At this juncture general discussion took place with the Chairman expressing concern that the Bridgend service had experienced problems in respect of technical capability used i.e. microwave links and Mr. Bottomly (Quadrant Technical Expert) indicated that the technical process would take account of the various technical requirements of the joint service and server capacity would not be affected by the transfer of services between the Vale of Glamorgan and Bridgend.  He further indicated that infrastructure links would be a licensed link and would be reliable.  Various comments were also made by Members of Scrutiny Committee in regard to the future service which, in their opinion, should be provided on a 24 hour basis 7 days a week as opposed to reducing staff numbers.  The Scrutiny Committee considered that the benefit of providing a 24 hour service 7 days a week would outweigh any savings for the Council.  It also felt that staff were not being fully integrated into the new service.  The Scrutiny Committee considered that whilst they understood that the main driver for the joint project was to deliver efficiencies under the collaboration umbrella, the net beneficiaries of the joint service would be the Police and the retail sector but felt that the Council was shouldering the financial pain.  The point in respect of the service being provided 24 hours 7 days a week in the future to the benefit of the tax payer in the Vale of Glamorgan was reiterated.  Reference was also made to linking Cowbridge to the existing network which was also an important consideration.  In response the Operational Manager indicated that the feasibility of providing a 24 hour service 7 days a week could be examined and there was the potential for further efficiency savings to be identified as part of the project which had not yet been accounted for e.g. business maintenance contracts. 

 

In response to the point made in regard to linking Cowbridge to the CCTV network, the Head of Public Protection indicated that there were no additional funds from the Community Safety Partnership to expand the current CCTV network and there would be a need for at least three additional cameras to be provided in Cowbridge. 

 

The Chairman acknowledged the Police requirements to monitor CCTV cameras 24 hours a day 7 days a week but, in his view, there needed to be a balance particularly when considering issues relating to public perception, if indeed the joint service was approved, which undoubtedly would be seen as a negative step by the tax payers of the Vale of Glamorgan.  In response Inspector Parry indicated that he did not foresee any major difficulties with the transfer of the Vale service to Bridgend, however his biggest concern would be the lack of personal contact, particularly in respect of PCSOs operating in the Vale of Glamorgan and, in particular their ability to access the CCTV facility.  He alluded to the feasibility of the provision of a remote viewing facility at Council offices or indeed the local Police station.  He further indicated that the Police were also looking at options in regard to the use / capability of smart phones to access information but this was not part of the current proposals. 

 

In summing up the Scrutiny Committee agreed that they required a further report on the project as soon as detailed costings were available in respect of the procurement exercise and before any final decision was taken by the Cabinet on the matter.  The Scrutiny Committee also considered that there was also a need for Cabinet to look at “future proofing†the equipment to be used for the Council’s CCTV provision.

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T a further report be submitted to the Scrutiny Committee on the detailed costings relating to the procurement exercise in relation to collaborative working CCTV proposal prior to the final decision being taken by the Cabinet on the matter.

 

(2)       T H A T Cabinet be requested that they ensure that the equipment used for the provision of the Council’s CCTV facility is appropriately “future proofedâ€.

 

(3)       T H A T the staff at both the Councils’ CCTV facilities be thanked.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To allow the Scrutiny Committee to consider the financial costings in relation to the project.

 

(2)       To ensure that the contract specification for the procurement exercise was fit for purpose in relation to the project.

 

(3)       In acknowledgement of the recent visits made to both facilities.â€

 

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

 

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

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the contents of the report.

 

 

C2102                        CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE SERVICES – COMMISSIONING STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2013-2018 (DSS) (REF)

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) on 7 November 2013 considered the above report of the Director of Social Services.

 

Committee were updated on progress made in implementing the Children and Young People Services Commissioning Strategy and Action Plan 2013-18. 

 

In February 2013, Committee considered the draft Children and Young People Services Commissioning Strategy and Action Plan.  Committee recommended that Cabinet endorse the objectives and principles it contained, and asked for regular progress updates.

 

Following implementation of the Strategy, efforts had focused on the following key areas:

 

·               Preventing children and young people becoming looked after where this was not necessary to safeguard their welfare

·               Enabling those that do come into care to be rehabilitated back to their family network where it was safe to do so

·               Providing the best possible outcomes for those who remained accommodated.

 

An updated Action Plan detailing progress to date was attached to the report at Appendix 2. 

 

Successful implementation of the Strategy would require a continuing and co-ordinated effort that built on the achievements above. 

 

At this stage, no additional actions had been included in the Plan but the Directorate would continue to deliver on those in place, focusing on:

 

·               increasing the number of foster carers who could provide respite, with a view to supporting families to stay together

·               further developing a range of accommodation options for young people aged 16 plus and care leavers

·               through Permanency Panel, ensuring that plans for permanency consider the range of available options and that children do not remain looked after for longer than necessary and that those who need to remain looked after are appropriately matched in their placements

·               undertaking a further review of all looked after children to ensure their legal status remains appropriate and, where possible and safe to do so, secure a return to the child’s immediate or extended family

·               developing the multi-disciplinary “team around the child†approach to providing placement support to increase stability and reduce disruption.

 

This work would continue against the backdrop of ongoing robust arrangements in Placement Panel and Complex Needs Panel that sought to ensure all admissions to care were appropriate in the first instance and that, where possible, children were supported to remain within their families.

 

The Children and Young People Services Divisional Management Team would continue to be responsible for overseeing the delivery of the Action Plan, monitoring the impact on children and their families and driving forward the focus on reducing admissions to care and increasing reunification to family and friends as a key priority for the Directorate.

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)          T H A T the progress made in delivering the Children and Young People Services Commissioning Strategy and Action Plan be noted.

 

(2)          T H A T the report be referred to Cabinet.

 

(3)          T H A T the report be referred to Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) for information.

 

(4)          T H A T Committee continues to receive six monthly progress updates.

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1-4)    To provide Members with opportunities to exercise oversight of a key strategic document for the Council.

 

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

 

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

 

Reason for decision

 

To note progress made on the Children and Young people Services – Commissioning Strategy and Action Plan 2013 – 2014.

 

 

C2103                        THE FINANCIAL POSITION IN ADULT SERVICES (DSS)  (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) on 7 November 2013 considered the above report of the Director of Social Services

 

Committee received a report which:

 

-               brought to the attention of the Committee the current position in Adult Services regarding revenue expenditure

-               provided an analysis of pressures on budget for Adult Services

-               provided an update on the actions being taken to mitigate anticipated overspends, in part through delivery of the Social Services Budget Programme. 

 

Committee were advised that resource management in Adult Social Care was inherently problematic for the following reasons:

 

·               Potential demand for most social care services would often exceed supply and so the Council was always involved with establishing eligibility

·               Like all local authorities in Wales, the Council was heavily dependent on funding from the Welsh Government.  The formula used to allocate this funding was especially problematic for the Vale of Glamorgan in that Social Services here received substantially less money for spending on social services than local authorities similar in size.  The outcome was that the Council’s average spend per head of population was relatively low

·               Decisions which affected the type and cost of services being provided were often outside the Council’s control and may be unpredictable

·               Some individual services were very expensive.  Even with the appropriate monitoring and efficiency measures and controls operating well, packages of care for adults with especially complex needs could exceed £100,000 per year

·               Financial decisions had to follow the changing needs of individual users

·               Market pressures meant that Councils could face escalating costs when purchasing services from independent providers

·               Whilst some services were low volume and high cost, others such as the provision of home care and some residential care services were notable for their high turnover and volatility, brought about by changes in circumstances such as admission to hospital

·               Expenditure incurred during one year may lock the Council into financial commitments on behalf of individual service users for many years to come.  For example, a package of care commissioned for someone who had just turned 18 may still be required into old age

·               To balance the competing priorities of managing service demand, improving quality, meeting higher expectations and reducing expenditure was especially difficult in situations where safeguarding people from significant harm had to be a key factor in decision making.

 

Given this challenging context, it was essential that the Council had in place a coherent strategy for securing financial stability within the resources available.  On 30th July 2012, Cabinet had endorsed the Social Services Budget Programme.  Since that time, the Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee had received monthly progress updates on the way in which the programme had been implemented.

 

In respect of the overall budget programme, the Social Services Directorate was currently required to find savings totalling £6.0m. by the end of 2016/17.  Savings totalling £6.189m. had been identified.  The surplus would be used to mitigate any additional savings to be found in future years.

 

The current forecast for Social Services was an overspend at year end 2013/14 of £876k.  This was after deducting savings of £2.04m. which had been identified for the year. 

 

In Adult Services, the major issue was the continuing pressure on Community Care Packages.  This was the Division’s most volatile budget and the one most dependent on levels of service demand which were not within the Council’s direct control.  At present, the projected year end position for this budget was an overspend of £1.635m., following the reduction in budget to accommodate the savings target for the year of £685k.  There were potential underspends elsewhere in Adult Services of around £466k. which could be used to offset this position.  The overall projected overspend for the Division at year end was £1,169k.

 

The level of additional funding identified by the Welsh Government for the First Steps Initiative (which resulted in the introduction of the £50 cap for non-residential services) had been announced at £646k. for the current year.  This would reduce the overall overspend.

 

The allocation of additional funding for the next and subsequent years had not yet been determined but Committee were advised that they would receive a further report when a definitive decision on this matter had been made by the Welsh Government. 

 

Committee were advised that a report on the budget proposals would be brought before Cabinet later in November which would refer to the ongoing pressures on the Social Services Budget.  In turn, the report would be brought before this Committee. 

 

Members enquired if any reductions in the Directorate’s budget would affect the Council’s statutory duties. 

 

It was

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)          T H A T the current position with regard to the 2013/14 revenue budget be noted.

 

(2)          T H A T the progress made in managing increased demand and delivering measures to control expenditure be noted.

 

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

 

(4)          T H A T Cabinet be requested to make absolutely sure that future budgets take into account the fact that, due to ever increasing demand, there should be no further reductions to the Social Services Budget in view of the fact that any further significant reductions in resources were likely to mean that statutory requirements may not be met.

 

(5)          T H A T the grant of £646,000 from the Welsh Government in 2013/14 be welcomed albeit that this did not cover the full costs to the Council incurred through implementing the First Steps Improvement Initiative.  Cabinet were requested to make further representations to the Welsh Government Ministers for full compensation of the Scheme’s cost.

 

(6)          T H A T the creation of the Intermediate Care Fund in the 2014/15 draft Welsh Government Budget to promote collaboration between Local Health Boards and local authorities be welcomed and that the Council’s own application development process commences as soon as practicable in order to make best use of this funding opportunity.

  

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)          That Members are aware of the current position with regard to the 2013/14 revenue budget and the actions being taken to bring expenditure within the budget set for the Adult Services Division.

 

(2&3)  That Members are able to exercise effective oversight of the way in which the budget was being managed.

 

(4)       To advise Cabinet of the view of this Committee.

 

(5)       To seek full compensation for the costs of the First Steps Initiative.

 

(6)          To make best use of this funding opportunity.

 

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The Cabinet Member for Adult Services thanked all Officers responsible for the quality of the original report outlining Adult Services finances.

 

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

 

RESOLVED – 

 

(1)          T H A T the contents of the report be noted, however it should also be noted that the financial position in Adult Services was covered in the Medium Term Financial Plan and the Budget Recovery Plan which Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) were aware of and this was still on-going.

 

(2)          T H A T the comments made with regard to the First Steps Improvement Initiative be noted, however, all efforts had been made by the Leader, Deputy Leader and Officers of the Council to ensure payment was made by Welsh Government and that it was as a result of these representations that a grant allocation for this year of £646,000 was received from the Welsh Government.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To note the financial position in regard to Adult Services.

 

(2)       To note the continued efforts by the Leader, Deputy Leader and Council Officers to receive maximum grants from Welsh Government.

 

 

 

 

C2104                        COUNCIL TAX BASE 2014-15 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Approval was sought to agree the Council Tax Base for 2014-15.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED  - T H A T pursuant to the report and in accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Tax Base) Regulations, the amount calculated by the Vale of Glamorgan Council as its Council Tax Base for the year 2014-15 would be :-

 

  • For the whole area:   55,070

 

  •  For the area of Town and Community Councils:

 

Barry

18,601

Pendoylan

321

Colwinston

271

Penllyn

968

Cowbridge with Llanblethian

2,466

Peterston-Super-Ely

540

Dinas Powys

3,539

Rhoose

2,672

Ewenny

422

St. Athan

1,337

Llancarfan

447

St. Brides Major

1,108

Llandough

898

St. Donats

193

Llandow

416

St. Georges & St. Brides-Super-Ely

236

Llanfair

369

St. Nicholas & Bonvilston

516

Llangan

380

Sully & Lavernock

2,460

Llan-maes

237

Welsh St. Donats

303

Llantwit Major

3986

Wenvoe

1,010

Michaelston

216

Wick

377

Penarth

10,781

 

 

 

Reason for decision

 

It was essential that the Council Tax Base was set in order that it could be submitted to Welsh Government and used by Councils and levying bodies to set precepts.

 

 

 

 

C2105                        COUNCIL TAX UNOCCUPIED DWELLINGS: 2014-15 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Approval was sought to adopt the Council Tax on unoccupied dwellings for 2014-15 policy.

 

Regulations prescribed two classes of unoccupied and furnished dwellings for which Welsh Local Authorities had discretion to consider the discounts allowable of between 10% and 50% -:

 

Class A related to dwellings with a restriction on occupancy by law which prohibited their use for a period of at least 28 consecutive days in any 12 month period;

Class B related to dwellings that had no such restriction on occupancy.

The regulation also prescribed a class of unoccupied and unfurnished dwelling for which Welsh Local Authorities had discretion to consider the discounts allowable up to a maximum of 50%;

 

Class C related to long term (more than 6 months) unoccupied and substantially unfurnished dwellings. 

 

It was proposed that the Council’s current policy to allow 50% discount on unoccupied dwellings (classes A, B and C). was to continue during the financial year 2014-15.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T 50% Council Tax discount be allowed in 2014-15 in respect of class A, B and C dwellings as outlined in the report.

 

Reason for decision

 

The Council was required to determine its policy on discount on unoccupied dwellings each year. 

 

 

C2106                        PRECEPT PAYMENT DATES 2014-15 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Approval was sought to agree the precept payment dates for 2014-15.

The Council as billing authority was required to notify Precepting Authorities by 31 December 2013 of the proposed precept payment dates for 2014-15. It was proposed that arrangements for Precepting Authorities be the same as in the current year.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

 

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T payment due to the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales be paid in 12 equal instalments on the last working day of each month.

 

(2)          T H A T payment due to Town and Community Councils be paid in 3 equal instalments on the last working days of April, August and December 2014.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1&2)  The dates were determined to optimise the Council’s cash flow in line with the regulations. The Council was required to determine precept payment dates each year and inform the authorities concerned in line with the regulations.

 

 

C2107                        TENDER FOR BANKING SERVICES (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Members were updated on the current position with the Council's bankers and approval was sought to tender for banking services in accordance with Contract Procedure Rules.

 

The Council currently had a contractual relationship with the Co-operative Bank plc to provide business banking services. 

 

As part of its recovery strategy the Co-op bank had decided to withdraw from the market of providing banking services to Local Authorities.  The Co-op bank would continue to provide payment transmission services via the Post Office and PayPoint and no change to the payment transmission service was proposed at that time.

 

In light of this the Council would need to review its banking requirements, develop a tender specification and a project plan for the implementation of the change of banker.  This would be undertaken in line with the Council's project management methodology.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the commencement of the tender process for the provision of banking services to the Council be approved.

 

(2)          T H A T the appointment of the successful bidder be delegated to the Section 151 Officer, in consultation with the Leader and the Managing Director.

 

(3)          T H A T the Head of Legal Services be authorised to sign the necessary contract documentation.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1-3)  To ensure the smooth transition of banking services from the Co-op Bank to a new provider.

 

 

C2108                        LOCAL SERVICE BOARD UNIFIED NEEDS ASSESSMENT (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Members were presented with the draft Unified Needs Assessment (UNA) that would support the development of the new Community Strategy Delivery Plan 2014-18.

 

A needs assessment for the Vale was approved in 2011 to underpin the Community Strategy 2011-21 - the Single Integrated Plan - and the Community Strategy Delivery Plan 2011/14.  The assessment was drafted by the Local Government Data Unit and built on the needs assessments undertaken/commissioned by a number of the key partnerships operating in the Vale.

 

A new delivery plan would need to be drafted for 2014, and it was agreed by the Local Service Board (LSB) that it should be informed by a refreshed needs assessment.  This would ensure there was an up to date UNA and delivery plan to support the Community Strategy and should provide sufficient scope to enable the LSB to respond to any new legislation and requirements linked to the next electoral cycle.   

 

In June 2012 the LSB agreed to the forming of an LSB Business Intelligence Group (BIG) to strengthen the analytical capability of the LSB.  The Local Government Data Unit (LGDU) had been working with the group to help develop analytical intelligence capacity of the LSB and to undertake a new UNA.

 

Membership of the BIG was comprised of officers and analysts from a range of LSB partner organisations including the Council, Cardiff and Vale UHB, South Wales Police, VCVS and Public Health Wales, ensuring all LSB partners had contributed to the drafting of the UNA. The UNA was currently still in draft but the Executive Summary detailed the key findings available and was attached at Appendix A to the report.  The complete draft of the UNA was available at http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/our_council/local_service_board/Draft-Unified-Needs-Assessment-2013.aspx

 

The UNA was due to be endorsed by the LSB on 12 December and would inform the drafting of the new Community Strategy delivery plan which would set out how the Council would respond to the needs identified. 

 

The UNA and the work of the BIG provided an important resource and strong evidence base to inform work undertaken in partnership, and was an important resource for the planning of council services.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the draft Unified Needs Assessment and the work undertaken by partners to gather and analyse data be noted and those involved be thanked for their hard work.

 

(2)          T H A T the key findings of the draft Unified Needs Assessment and any implications for the delivery of Council services be taken into account.

 

(3)          T H A T the Council work with the Local Service Board and its Partners to develop any changes in the Corporate Plan and Service Plans and to review the Community Strategy Delivery Plan as appropriate, taking into account the items as listed in Appendix A as attached to the report.

 

(4)          T H A T the report be referred to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) for consideration.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To ensure Members were aware of the key findings in the draft Unified Needs Assessment, the timetable for its endorsement by the Local Service Board and the further work planned.

 

(2)          To ensure the key findings of the Unified Needs Assessment were taken into account in the provision of Council services.

 

(3)          To develop any changes in the Corporate Plan and Service Plans and to review the Corporate Strategy Delivery Plan.

 

(4)          For consideration by Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources).

 

 

C2109                        LAND AT CWRT YR ALA ROAD, CAERAU, VALE OF GLAMORGAN (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Approval was sought to declare land located at, Cwrt Yr Ala Road, as surplus to requirements.

 

Title to the land at Cwrt yr Ala, outlined on the plan attached at Appendix A to the report, was formerly registered to the City and County of Cardiff. 

Following local government re-organisation in 1996 the land fell within the Vale of Glamorgan Council's boundary responsibility.  However the land in question was not specifically mentioned in The Local Government Reorganisation (Wales) (Property etc.) Order 1996, which meant that the Council was not specifically alerted to the land having been transferred as part of that process in 1996, thus the land remained registered in favour of the City and County of Cardiff.

 

In addition, the deeds for the land were retained by the City and County of Cardiff in 1996 as the land formed part of the same deed containing a larger land ownership within Cardiff's boundary responsibilities.  As such the Council was not able to formalise ownership of the land by registering its title at the Land Registry until recently alerted to this issue.  The Councils Legal Officers formalised the transfer of the land and completed the registration process in December 2012. 

 

The Council's Corporate Asset Management Group and its external partners on the Local Service Board had been consulted to ascertain if there was a use for the land within the Council. There had been no expression of interest from either in retaining this land and therefore it was recommended that the land was declared surplus to the Council's requirements and agents would be appointed to place the land on the market for sale at the earliest opportunity.

 

The Council would seek the views of the appointed agent as to the mode of disposal appropriate for the land.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

                                                                                        

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the land located at Cwrt Yr Ala Road, as outlined in Appendix A as attached to the report, be declared surplus to Council's requirements.

 

(2)          T H A T the Managing Director be granted authority to instruct property agents to dispose of the property by the most appropriate means on terms and conditions to be agreed in consultation with the Head of Legal Services and Leader.

 

(3)          T H A T the Head of Legal Services be authorised to prepare, complete and execute the required legal documentation in order to formalise the disposal.

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To ensure that the property had been declared surplus to the Council's requirements prior to disposal.

 

(2)          To ensure the Council obtained best value for the property in accordance with its Statutory and Fiduciary obligations.

 

(3)          To legally formalise the disposal of the property.

 

C2110                        FOOD HYGIENE RATING (WALES) ACT 2013 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) –

 

Members were apprised of the provisions of the Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act 2013 and approval was sought to enable the delegation of authority to appropriate officers.

 

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme was a local authority/Food Standards Agency partnership initiative.  The scheme provided consumers with information about hygiene standards in food premises at the time they were inspected by local authority food safety officers.  The food hygiene rating given reflected the inspection findings.

 

The purpose of the scheme was to allow consumers to make informed choices about the places where they eat out or shop for food thereby encouraging businesses to improve their hygiene standards.

 

When the mandatory Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act 2013 came into force on the 28th November 2013, there would be a legal requirement for food businesses to display, at each entrance to their premises, their food hygiene rating.  Failure to display the rating notice would result in a fixed penalty notice.

It was anticipated that there would be an increase in the number of service requests from members of the public and an increase in the number of service requests from local businesses.  In addition there could also be an increase in the amount of requests for re-score inspections and Freedom of Information requests, for food hygiene reports in relation to local food businesses.

 

The new implication would allow for an 18 month migration period from the voluntary to the mandatory scheme when the Act came into force on 28th November 2013.  This was to allow a 'lead in' time to those businesses that would not be due for an inspection up to 18 months after the introduction of the Act and fee.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.                                            

 

RESOLVED –

 

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

 

(2)        T H A T the Director of Development Services and the Head of Public Protection be given delegated authority to authorise appropriate and competent staff to carry out duties in relation to the enforcement of the Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act 2013 and all regulations made there under.

 

(3)       T H A T the cost for the food hygiene re-inspection charge be set at £150.

 

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To note the introduction and provisions of the Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act 2013.

 

(2)       To enable the delegation of authority.

 

(3)       To set a fee for food hygiene re-inspections.

 

 

C2111                        SCRAP METAL DEALERS ACT 2013 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) –

 

Approval was sought to agree the licence fees and delegations under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.

 

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 replaced the previous registration system for scrap metal dealers created by the 1964 Scrap Metal Dealers Act.

Every scrap metal dealer would be required to have a licence, and operating without one would be a criminal offence.  Under the new legislation the definition of scrap metal dealers was extended so it now included motor salvage operators.

 

There were two types of licences specified in the Act:

 

Site Licence - All the sites where a licensee carried on business as a scrap metal dealer had to be identified, and a site manager had to be named for each site.  The licence allowed the licensee to transport scrap metal to and from those sites from any local authority area.

 

Collector’s Licence - Allowed the licensee to operate as a collector in the area of the issuing local authority. It did not allow the collector to operate in any other local authority area, so a separate licence had to be obtained from each Council the collector wished to operate in.  The licence also did not authorise the licensee to operate a site. 

 

Any application received by the Authority must be accompanied by a fee.  The fee was to be set locally by each local authority on a cost recovery basis.

Local authorities would have regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State.  Having regard to the guidance issued it was proposed that the fees the Vale of Glamorgan Authority should charge were as follows:

 

 

New

Renewal

Variations

Site Licence

£277

£261

£48

Collectors Licence

£228

£201

£48

 

The fees had been calculated by estimating the time taken to carry out the functions associated with the new licensing regime (but not including any element of enforcement of the same function) and multiplying it by the unit costs provided by accountancy of the officer(s) carrying out the function.  The fees would be reviewed every year to ensure that they were calculated in accordance with the guidance.

 

Appropriate competent officers of the Authority would now need to be authorised to enforce the new procedure in accordance with the Council's statutory obligation.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the Director of Development Services and Head of Public Protection be given delegated authority to authorise relevant competent officers to implement the relevant powers within the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.

 

(2)          T H A T in cases where authorised officers consider refusal, revocation or variation of a licence and where representations were to be made, they be referred to the Licensing Committee for decision and the terms of reference of the Licensing Committee be amended accordingly.

 

(3)          T H A T the fees set for 2013/14 as outlined in paragraph 17 of the report be agreed.

 

(4)          T H A T the report be referred to Council requesting that the constitution be amended in line with recommendations 1 and 2.

 

(5)           T H A T the report be referred to Licensing Committee for information.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To ensure that delegated authorities were in place for the grant, renewal and variation of the licences.

 

(2)          To ensure any representations were considered at an appropriate level.

 

(3)          To ensure reasonable fees were set.

 

(4)          To enable appropriate delegated authorities to be put in place through the Council’s Constitution.

 

(5)          To apprise the members of the Licensing Committee on the commencement of the new Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.

 

 

C2112                        REPRESENTATION ON CARDIFF AND VALE COMMUNITY HEALTH COUNCIL (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

Approval was sought to appoint a representative to the Cardiff and Vale Community Health Council to replace Councillor M.R. Wilson.

Following the elections in May 2012, the Council appointed Councillors Mrs. M.E.J. Birch, G.H. Roberts and M.R. Wilson as its three representatives on the Cardiff and Vale Community Health Council.  More recently, Councillors Birch and Roberts had been replaced by Councillors Hacker and Geary. 

 

Since the original appointments above were made, it had become apparent that, given other commitments, Councillor Wilson was, regrettably, unable to give the required commitment to carry out the appointment.  As such, Cabinet was requested to appoint a replacement in order that the Council's level of representation to which it is entitled is maintained.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T nominations be sought from Council Members as soon as possible for appointment to the Cardiff and Vale Community Health Council and that the nominees be reported to Cabinet at a later date.

 

Reason for decision

 

To maintain the Council's eligible level of representation.

 

 

C2113                        HOUSING BUSINESS PLAN 2013 (L) (HBMCS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Members were presented with the 2013 Housing Business Plan.

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

 

The business model incorporated the most recent investment requirements based on the 2007 Stock Condition Survey, adjusted for works carried out since that date.

 

Average rents were £78.57 in 2013/14 calculated on a 52 week basis.  Rents assumed an increase by inflation plus 1% from 2014/15 onwards in line with the notional rent guideline increase as per WG guidance.

The Major Repairs Allowance was £2.8million per year.  No inflation had been allowed for the grant.

 

All other Revenue income and expenditure was based on the 2013/14 revised budget plus inflation. There had also been an increase of £200,000 per annum for a proposed restructure from 2014/15 onwards. The proposed restructure was intended to strengthen the service in terms of dealing with anti-social behaviour, statutory compliance (e.g. fire risk assessment work, gas and electrical safety) asset management and rent recovery and make it fit for forthcoming challenges.

 

To deal with the specific impacts of Welfare Reform an additional staffing budget of £100,000 had been included within the plan for years 1-4. 

The provision for doubtful debts had been increased to allow for the negative impact of the Welfare Reform on rent collection.  The Provision had been increased by £165,000 (real terms) which amounted to 1.02% of gross rental income. 

 

The latest projections were attached at Appendix G(i) and G(ii) to the Business Plan  and outlined the total amount of prudential borrowing required over years 2 – 7 increasing from £32.4 million to £33.9 million. The date anticipated that all prudential debt could be repaid was now 2032/33 (previously (2031/32). 

 

Additional amounts had been included in the Housing Improvement Programme and were as follows:-

 

An increase in the annual amount for Aids and Adaptations of £171,000 per annum from 2014/2015 onwards, increasing with inflation. This was based on the current high demand for the service.

 

An additional £500,000 per annum for years 2 to 4 inclusive, for works to Leasehold properties.  Whilst capital and revenue works to Leasehold properties were recoverable from the leaseholder it was thought that a prudent approach would be to include the cost of the works in the Business Plan.  It remained however, critical that a procedure was in place to minimise any recoverable costs.

 

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

 

 

December 2012

December 2013

Difference

WHQS Target

2016/17

2016/17

No Change

Prudential Borrowing

£32.4 million

£33.9 million

+£1.5 Million

Peak Debt

£30.1 million

£31.5 million

+£1.4 million

Repayment of Debt

2031/32

2032/33

+ 1 years

Revenue Surplus in year 30

£98.2 million

£103.5 million

+£5.3 million

 

One of the major risks to the Council was the impact of prudential (unsupported) borrowing that was required to ensure WHQS was met by April 2017.  The costs of borrowing must be able to be met from the HRA, and it must be considered that any outstanding unsupported borrowing repayments would fall on the general fund should the housing stock transfer at any point in the future before the debt was repaid. The implications of this were set out in the business plan.

 

There were extensive monitoring and regulatory arrangements that govern the Council’s finances.  In reality the council would take steps to avoid severe financial consequences and so the risks were consequently more likely to impact on the level of improvement to properties and level of service to tenants.

 

Leaseholders would be responsible for a proportion of costs of the improvement works (external works).  There was a need for formal consultation as there were a set number of legal steps that would need to be followed in order to ensure the costs of works would be recouped by the Council. The process for consultation had commenced and all leaseholders had been issued the required formal notices in accordance with the Service Charges (Consultation Requirements)(Wales) Regulations 2004.

 

The figures in the Housing Business Plan were based on current projections and if financial conditions worsened then the level of investment proposed may not be achievable.

 

The total level of required Prudential Borrowing is £33.9m and the peak debt was £31.5m.

 

The Housing Revenue Account working balance at 1 April 2013 was £13.570m.

 

This was a matter for Council decision.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the Housing Business Plan 2013 be recommended to Council for approval.

 

Reason for decision

 

To obtain approval for the Housing Business Plan 2013

 

 

C2114                        BRECON COURT – OPTIONS APPRAISAL UPDATE (HBMCS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Members were updated on the structural issues affecting the Brecon Court complex in Barry to consider the options for the future development of this site.

 

Brecon Court in Barry was a block of 32 flats and bedsits which provided housing for older people.  The complex was constructed in 1965 on a sloping site formally occupied by allotment gardens.  

 

Structural surveys carried out in 2011 identified significant problems with the main structure and concrete walkways.  Following a meeting with residents in August 2012, a report was submitted to the Housing & Public Protection Scrutiny Committee on the 10th October 2012 advising of the problems with Brecon Court and other substandard and difficult to repair properties, termed 'hard to treat' stock.

 

The site had been monitored by the Council's Property Section.  Whilst there were problems to the foundations of the main building.  Property Section officers had confirmed that the structure was not dangerous to residents at the time.

 

Cabinet considered the report at its meeting of 5th November 2012 and recommended "that further work on sustainability testing and the completion of an options appraisal to include the demolition and rebuild and future accommodation type on the site of Brecon Court, Barry, with the completion of the said appraisal to be determined by Cabinet in consultation with existing tenants and local ward Members before any final decisions are made". (Cabinet Minute C1886 refers).

 

The “Options Appraisal†report for Brecon Court was now complete and included the following options:-

 

Option 1 -Renovation of Brecon Court to resolve the movement problems.

Option 2- Redevelopment of the site (demolish entire site and rebuild).

Option 3 - Redevelopment of the site via another social landlord partner.

Option 4 -Do nothing.          

 

Appendix A attached to the report outlined the Options Appraisal in more detail whilst Appendix B attached to the report outlined the redevelopment options (as completed by the Council's Property Section on behalf of Housing Services).

 

2.            On the 17th of September 2013 residents of Brecon Court were invited to attend a residents' meeting to receive the results of the options appraisal report detailing the structural issues and challenges associated with the building from senior officers.  The Local Members were also in attendance to answer questions. The Minutes of the meeting were attached as Appendix C to the report.

3.              

In view of the Council's financial position and the urgency associated with the structural problem, it was proposed that option 3 be progressed as previously advised.  This would establish firm financial data for Members to compare this final cost estimate with any rebuild or repair options and would permit the rent loss implication to also be considered within any analysis.

 

The Leader stated that the wording, in line with paragraph 15 of the report, ‘Land - nil cost’ as referred to under Option 3A and 3B of Appendix A as attached to the report be deleted as the value of the land must be determined in accordance with S.123 of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

The Cabinet Member for the Environment and Visible Services welcomed this report and expressed that the main concern was the uncertainty with regard to the future of Brecon Court and that this report provided a good way forward.

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety also commented that a coffee morning had been arranged for local residents in order for them to raise any concerns and have their questions answered.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the current position in respect of the options for Brecon Court, Barry be noted.

 

(2)          T H A T officers be authorised to commence formal consultation with Brecon Court residents on their individual housing needs and preferences.

 

(3)          T H A T it be agreed that the current allocation process gave preference to residents who wanted to relocate to other social housing on the Homes4U register.

 

(4)          T H A T it be agreed in principle to progress the redevelopment of the Brecon Court site via another social landlord (option 3) and that the value of the land be determined in accordance with S.123 of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

(5)          T H A T the normal allocations to Brecon Court be suspended.

 

(6)          T H A T a further report be provided to Cabinet on the conclusion of informal discussions with suitable alternative social landlords.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To note the current position.

 

(2)          To obtain the detailed views of individual residents.

 

(3)          To give preferential status to residents who may wish to relocate.

 

(4)          To further progress what appears at this stage to be the most appropriate option.

 

(5)          To reduce any future decant or relocation demands.

 

(6)          To consider all alternative landlord options in full prior to embarking on any formal land transfer / purchase process.

 

 

C2115            SCHOOL ADMISSION ARRANGEMENTS 2015/2016 (CS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – LIFELONG LEARNING) –

 

Approval was sought to consult on changes to the Council’s school admission arrangements for community schools, as required by the Welsh Government’s School Admission Code issued in July 2013, and a proposed revision to the school catchment areas of Barry Island, Colcot, High Street, Oakfield, Palmerston, Ysgol St Curig and Ysgol Dewi Sant Primary Schools.

 

The Local Authority was the admission authority for maintained community schools in the Vale of Glamorgan .and had a statutory duty to consult on school admission arrangements annually for community schools.  The admission arrangements must be determined by 15th April 2014 for admission to school in September 2015.

 

The Welsh Government's School Admissions Code 2013 required admission authorities to act in accordance with the code. The code includes practical guidance and imposed requirements on local authorities and admission authorities regarding the discharge of duties in respect of admissions.

The Council was proposing to consult on a change to admissions policy as required by the Welsh Government's School Admissions Code 2013.

 

A school catchment area was a geographically defined area of addresses drawn up to ensure that all schools in an area received a fair share of pupils and in which children were eligible to attend a local school and were used;

 

  • To give parents an indication of their local school.
  • To help schools identify with the communities they served.
  • To prioritise admissions to school when there were more applications than places available.
  • As a planning tool to enable the Authority to fulfil its duty to forecast demand for education in an area and to plan to meet that demand.
  • As an element of transport policy in order to facilitate the organisation of school transport and control costs.
  • Catchment areas do not apply to special schools or units.

 

The LA was proposing to consult on a revision to the catchment areas of Barry Island, Colcot, High Street, Oakfield, Palmerston, Ysgol St Curig and Ysgol Dewi Sant Primary Schools.

 

A review of catchment areas was considered necessary to ensure areas still reflected the needs of the school populations they served recognising that parental preference had an impact on the overall position.

 

School catchment areas were a tool for managing oversubscription at schools in order to allocate places where there were more applications than places available for children.  Catchment areas were regularly reviewed to ensure that they met the needs of the population they served.

 

The proposed consultation on revisions to school catchment areas are summarised as follows:

 

  • Barry Island Primary - Transfer of the Knap area to High Street Primary School catchment area.
  • High Street Primary - Incorporate the Knap area within the school catchment area.
  • Oakfield Primary - Transfer of the Pencoedtre Lane area to Colcot Primary and the Pencoedtre development to Palmerston Primary School.
  • Colcot Primary - Incorporate the Golwg y Coed (off Pencoedtre Lane) and nearby area within the school catchment area.
  • Palmerston Primary - Incorporate the Pencoedtre development within the school catchment area.
  • Ysgol St Curig - Transfer of the Rhoose area to Ysgol Dewi Sant.
  • Ysgol Dewi Sant - Incorporate the Rhoose area within the school catchment area.

 

The above changes would provide a better balance of places in the school catchment areas when compared to the overall number of places available to ensure, as far as possible, pupils living in the catchment area would be able to secure a place at their local school.

 

The revised catchment areas would support the council’s admission process, promote fair access to primary school places and address high numbers of catchment area applications at certain schools.

 

The catchment area revisions would be consulted upon with schools and prescribed consultees as part of the consultation exercise on school admission arrangements for the 2014/15 academic year before any decisions are made. The basis for the changes was attached at Appendix A to the reprot.

 

A map showing current and revised catchment areas was attached at Appendix B to the report.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T consultation on changes required to local authority admission arrangements to ensure compliance with the Welsh Government's School Admissions Code 2013 be approved.

 

(2)          T H A T consultation on a proposed revision to the school catchment areas of Barry Island, Colcot, High Street, Oakfield, Palmerston, Ysgol St Curig and Ysgol Dewi Sant Primary Schools be approved.

 

 

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)     The Council was required to review school admission arrangements annually for community schools and determine the arrangements for admission in September 2015 by 15th April 2014 following appropriate consultation.  Consultation on admission arrangements will take place between the 10th January and 1st March 2014.

 

(2)     The Council was required to keep school catchment areas under review.