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                                                                        Agenda Item No.

 

CABINET

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 7 April, 2014.

 

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

 

Apologies: Councillor S.C. Egan.

                                                    

C2269                        MINUTES –

                  

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 24 March, 2014 be approved as a correct record.

 

C2270             DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

No declarations of interest were received.

 

C2271                        VALE OF GLAMORGAN LOCAL ACCESS FORUM –

 

The minutes of the Vale of Glamorgan Local Access Forum meeting held on

5 February, 2014 were submitted.

 

Present:  Mr. F. Coleman (Chairman); Mr. M. Dunn, Mrs. V.M. Hartrey, Mr. J.J. Herbert, Ms. C. Lucas, Mr. H.S. McMillan, Mr. M. Parry, Mr. R. Pittard, Mr. G. Thomas and Mr. R. Traherne.

 

Also present:  Mr. J. Wyatt, Mr. B. Guy and Mr. G. Teague (VOGC).

 

(a)       Apologies for Absence -

 

These were received from Mr. S. Lait, Ms. E. Nash, Mr. R. Simpson and from Ms. S. Tindall (Natural Resources Wales).

 

(b)       Minutes -

 

AGREED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 14th November, 2013 be accepted as a correct record.

 

Mr. Dunn informed the Forum that the Steering Group on Promoting Walking in the Rural Vale had met recently and had discussed a series of trails associated with the history of the Galilee Chapel (the restored west end of Llanilltyd Fawr church.  He indicated that the Promoted Routes themselves had still to be finalised and that a proposal would be submitted to the Steering Group in the near future. 

 

As far as Glastir was concerned, Mr. Traherne indicated that, along with many others, he was waiting to assess the details of the funding that was to be made available.  His understanding was that take-up to date was very low but that it would increase once the impact of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was were known.  Mr. Dunn alluded to the recent Glastir consultation document issued by Welsh Government and to there being very little content regarding access. 

 

Mr. Pittard referred to his understanding that a “major†development/drainage works scheme was being considered at Cwm Colhuw.  Mr. Teague clarified the position in that a scheme had been considered (albeit it was not one he would consider to be a major scheme) but that the Wildlife Trust had since indicated that they were unlikely to proceed with the scheme within the funding timescale due to the recent weather. 

 

With regard to the Rural Development Plan schemes, Mrs. Hartrey informed the Forum that the Cross Common Bridleway Scheme had recently been “signed off†in terms of the acceptance of the finance.

 

Mr. Pittard indicated that he was still unaware of any significant progress regarding the Welsh Government’s Access and Recreation Legislative Review.  It had previously been agreed that, if necessary, a special meeting of the Forum would be held to consider the document within the consultation period provided.  Mr. Teague indicated that he had been advised recently that the matter was unlikely to be looked at within the Welsh Government’s current legislative timetable.

 

As agreed at the last meeting, the Chairman and Vice-Chairman had jointly considered the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Deposit Local Development Plan and circulated their comments for consideration by the remaining Forum Members for onward submission to the Council.  No comments had been received and the reply as submitted had been circulated with the agenda for the meeting.

 

(c)        Modification and Legal Orders Update -

 

The standard report provided the Forum with progress in respect of tracking information of Modification Applications, together with details of live cases where applications had been received.  An updated schedule of both the Legal Orders and Modification Orders was circulated at the meeting.

The Chairman asked whether delays in processing of Legal Orders resulted in implications for Coastal Access Improvement Programme (CAIP) or Rural Development Plan (RDP) grants.  Mr. Teague responded that this was an ongoing factor in that it was generally unusual for the process to be completed within the same grant year.  However, Natural Resources Wales (formerly the Countryside Council for Wales) had always approved ongoing Grant Orders in respect of the CAIP.  As far as the RDP was concerned, the criteria was not as strictly set in terms of restricting schemes to a specific financial year (unless a scheme was match-funded by, for example, the Rights of Way Improvement Programme (ROWIP)). 

 

Mr. Guy confirmed that the current (extended) RDP programme ran until the end of the calendar year.  The Council had submitted expressions of interest in terms of ongoing funding and had been given an “interim year†in light of delays in discussions between the Welsh Government and European Union regarding funding arrangements. 

 

Referring to his understanding that the “Leader†criteria were extremely strict, Mr. Traherne asked whether it would be difficult to allocate future funding to Public Rights of Way (PROW) Schemes.  Mr. Guy indicated it was difficult to say at present, albeit there might be scope to continue to obtain grant monies under the replacement to Axis 3.  The Council had recently submitted an Expression of Interest to form a new Local Action group (LAG) to deliver “Leader†and was awaiting further information from Welsh Government on the replacement regime for Axis 3.

 

(d)       Maintenance Update -

 

The report detailed the number of issues logged since 5th November, 2013 and those issues resolved and remaining unresolved since 27th January, 2011.  It was noted that, generally, the backlog of schemes continued to reduce, albeit the recent bad weather had hindered progress. 

 

During the discussion, Mr. McMillan asked whether the LAF Members might be able to assist in terms of the identification/monitoring of maintenance issues.  Responding, Mr. Teague indicated that this was an area that he would be happy to explore.  He referred to existing arrangements which the Council had entered into with Valeways in terms of that organisation’s walks.  He agreed to look into the matter and report to the next meeting.

 

It was agreed that, should any Members of the Forum be interested in the above concept, they contact Mr. Teague accordingly.

 

Mr. Traherne pointed out that he was aware that certain Community Councils were very proactive in terms of this area of work. 

 

(e)       Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) Update -

 

Members received the report detailing progress on the current year’s Schemes.  The Council was set to benefit from an additional allocation from Natural Resources Wales.  It was also anticipated that ROWIP funding was very likely to continue in 2014/15. 

 

The report covered the following schemes:

 

Project

Update

Preparation of new Definitive Map,

analysis and reporting of CAMS

data

Legal Event Modification Orders relating to adopted highways and recent public path orders had been completed.

 

Seeking quotes for publication (printing and binding

Creation and improvement of PROW links between

communities and within Coastal Zone to the Wales Coast Path, including ecological survey and biodiversity interpretation where necessary.

Marcross - Works on bridge complete, order progressing.

 

Twyn yr Odyn – further delays tied to landowner locating and producing the land title.

Improvement of Coastal Link and

negotiation towards Coastal Loop

Project for coastal loop at Gilestone dropped following unsuccessful negotiation with landowner.

 

Improvement to Heart Walk at Porthkerry Park to satisfy coastal loop grant criteria instead.

Review and support of annual

clearance arrangements

Complete.

Improve path through wildlife

Trust reserve by installing drainage.

Wildlife Trust advise that they would be unable to complete this year due to wet weather.

 

Reallocate funding to Cosmeston Access Improvement.

 

Establish focus group including

Communities First and Health

Agenda representatives to develop and deliver improvements

for Low Use groups

Initial discussions undertaken. Funding to be reallocated to Barry Heart Walk this financial year.

Barry Heart Walk - establish

promoted walk aimed at improving health. Supported by BHF and NHS Trust

Improvement of a section of the walk to provide steps and stoned surface within Porthkerry Park had been contracted. Proposed Route would satisfy both coastal loop and low user group grant conditions.

Cosmeston Access – Improvement and relaying of access track into Cosmeston Lakes

Improvement of surface of track at north of Cosmeston Country Park. This would satisfy grant conditions relating to enhancement of biodiversity (SSSI and Local Nature Reserve). A contractor had been appointed and instructed to commence work.

 

Mr. Pittard referred to the recent consultation exercise undertaken regarding Active Travel.  He queried whether the Active Travel Programme and the associated funding would relate to footpath work (given that this might be the only funding stream available for ROWIP Schemes).

 

The Chairman pointed out that the intended definition of “urban areas†was being questioned by Council officers.  He understood the grants would be provided direct to local authorities (once the South East Wales Transport Alliance no longer existed).  Officers had been told not to progress plans until such issues had been resolved. 

 

Responding to a question from Mr. Pittard as to whether the Forum would play a part in the future process, Mr. Guy confirmed that this would be the case.  It was agreed that there would be a presentation to a future meeting once the position was clearer.  Guidance from Welsh Government was anticipated to be issued during the summer of 2014. 

 

Mr. Guy undertook to liaise with colleagues in the Planning Department with a view to providing the Forum with a copy of the Council’s response to the consultation document.

 

A discussion ensued as to the Council’s understanding regarding future funding.  Mr. Teague reiterated his understanding that funding was highly likely to continue and that the funding would be administered by Natural Resources Wales.  Mr. Pittard asked whether NRW was likely to combine ROWIP and CAIP funding.  Mr. Teague felt that those schemes already in place would probably be allowed to run pending the outcome of the review exercise.  He pointed out that the current CAIP funding provision ran to the end of 2014/15.

 

Referring to the review and support of annual clearance arrangements, the Chairman asked Mr. Teague to supply details of the work undertaken to a future meeting.

 

 

(f)        Coastal Access Improvement Programme (CAIP) Update -

 

A report was tabled detailing progress on the projects listed below.  Offer letters had now been accepted, albeit delays in receipt of offer letters and the need to seek authorisation to proceed on practical projects before commencing spend had resulted in a lack of progress during the first two quarters of the year.

 

Ref no

Description of works/ Location

Update

VG101

Ogmore - Realignment study

Study commenced.  Footway/cycleway proposals unsuccessful.  Alternative schemes were being considered, with the result that the scheme might slip to the following financial year.

VG102

Atlantic College - Surface improvements

Contractors instructed to proceed on site

VG103

Llantwit Beach - Legal

diversion onto walked route

Order being referred to legal for making

VG104

Cwm Colhuw - Surface improvements

Quotes acquired. Authority to proceed sought

VG105

Gilestone - Diversion Order

and ground works

Pre-order consultation complete – 1 objection received.

VG106

Rhoose Point - Surface improvements

Contractors instructed to proceed on site

VG107

Little Island & Nell's Point/ Barry

island - Legal creation

Dedication authority resolved though unlikely to progress project this financial year

VG108

Sully - Move stone stiles to safer location

Contractors instructed to proceed on site

VG109

Captain's Wife - Creation Order, minor groundworks

Agreement requested for signature by landowner

VG110

Bay Caravan park - Legal diversion onto walked line

Objection considered at committee, order to be made.

 

In addition to the above schemes a further offer covered the Community Links element of the programme.

 

 

Ref no

Description of works/ Location

 

Update

 

Dunraven Park

Dedication of route rejected by landowner

 

Boverton Mill

Progress made with negotiations though still ongoing

 

Following storm damage NRW had provided for reallocation to cover repair costs in addition to identifying that larger projects resulting from storm damage would be funded in next year’s programme at 100%. The immediate repairs made under CAIP were:

 

 

Ref no

Description of works/ Location

 

Update

VG111

Sully - Removal of debris, Reinstatement of collapsed

path

Removal of debris complete.   Contractors instructed to commence. rollback of path

VG112

Porthkerry - Reinstatement of shingle bank

Coordinating with Porthkerry Park Rangers.

VG113

Porthkerry - Repair of outlet

Highways engineers instructed to proceed.

 

Mr. Teague’s understanding was that there would be an overall underspend by NRW across Wales.  Consequently, the Council would be looking to apply for funding towards other remedial schemes in addition to those listed.  He was unsure whether the very recent storm damage would qualify for such funding as it had occurred following the date for submission.

 

(g)       Vale of Glamorgan Local Development Plan (LDP): Response of the Local Access Forum -

 

As agreed at the last meeting, the Chairman and Vice-Chairman had jointly considered the Council’s Deposit LDP and had circulated their comments for consideration by the remaining Forum Members prior to onward submission to the Council.  No comments had been received and a copy of the response sent had been included with the agenda for the meeting.

 

(h)       Proposed Re-structuring of Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Countryside Section -

 

Mr. Guy informed the Forum that he was currently undertaking early informal  consultation with relevant staff with a view to a reorganisation of the Countryside element of the Division.  Basically, the proposal could result in four existing separate teams being restructured to provide for more flexibility and integration into fewer teams Footpaths maintenance could be provided through a team integrated with the Country Park and Heritage Coast Ranger service. A number of options were under consideration and would be subject to formal consultation as provided for within the Council’s procedures.  

 

(i)         Natural Resources Wales (NRW): Review of Local Access Forum Working Practices -

 

Members received for information the two questionnaires submitted to NRW (i.e. from the Secretary and the Forum itself, together with the notes of the workshop held after the last LAF meeting) in response to the above Review.

 

(j)         Dates of Future Meetings -

 

The following dates were agreed:

 

·                next meeting – date to be determined

·                Wednesday, 22nd October, 2014

·                Wednesday, 21st January, 2015

·                Wednesday, 22nd April, 2015.

 

(k)        Catchment Plans -

 

Mr. Pittard referred to having recently attended a Natural Resources Wales meeting where their intention to develop a series of new Catchment Plans had been announced.  The area incorporating the Vale of Glamorgan would be entitled the Tawe to Cadoxton Plan.  He considered it important that the Plans included reference to the importance of access.  He indicated that the Plans would be put out to consultation at some point. 

 

 

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RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the Vale of Glamorgan Local Access Forum Meeting held on 5 February, 2014 be noted.

 

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the minutes.

 

C2272                        JOINT CONSULTATIVE FORUM –

 

The minutes of the Joint Consultative Forum meeting held on 17 February, 2014 were submitted.

 

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

 

Representatives of the Trade Unions

Mr. P. Carter (Unison), Mr. D. Dimmick (NASUWT), Mr. G. Pappas (Unison), Mr. N. Hart (Unison), Mr. N. Stokes (GMB), Mr. G. Moseley (Unison), Mr. R.M. Hughes (Unison) and Ms. S. Nash (Unison).

 

(a)       Apologies for Absence

 

These were received from Councillor Mrs. M. Kelly Owen and Mr. N. Patterson (Unite).

 

(b)       Minutes and Matters Arising

 

AGREED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 20th November, 2013 be accepted as an accurate record.

 

The following matters were referred under Matters Arising:

 

In referring to paragraph 3 on page 3 of the minutes, Mr. Moseley requested an update on the progress of the working group which was to be set up by the Head of Human Resources to focus on the three main issues as outlined within paragraph 25 of the Management of Absence position statement.  The Head of Human Resources informed the Forum that the working group would be established imminently with a view to concluding the discussions and report by the end of April 2014. 

 

(c)        Declarations of Interest

 

No declarations of interest were received.

 

(d)       Minutes of Directorate Consultative Groups

 

The minutes of the following Directorate Consultative Groups were received:

 

(i)         Learning and Skills: 13th November, 2013

(ii)        Social Services: 26th November, 2013

(iii)       Social Services: 18th December, 2013

(iv)       Visible Services and Housing: 4th December, 2013.

 

Mr. Carter informed the Forum that, with reference to the minutes of the Learning and Skills Directorate Consultative Group (13th November, 2013), the Trade Unions would continue to challenge the issue of Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) providing First Aid to children in schools.  Mr. Carter confirmed that this issue would be put forward to the agenda for the next Learning and Skills Joint Consultative Forum meeting. 

 

AGREED – T H A T the minutes of the Directorate Consultative Group meetings be noted.

 

(d)       Dates of Directorate Consultative Groups

 

The Forum was advised that the Directorate Consultative Group meetings for Resources and Corporate and Customer Services scheduled for 18th February 2014 had been postponed due to lack of agenda items and would be rescheduled.

 

AGREED – T H A T the dates of the Directorate Consultative Groups as indicated below be noted:

 

            Social Services – 14th January, 2014

            Visible Services and Housing – 5th February, 2014

            Resources and Corporate and Customer Services – 18th February, 2014

            Learning and Skills – 19th February, 2014.

 

(f)        Minutes of Corporate Health and Safety Committee – 9th December, 2013

 

The minutes of the aforementioned Committee were received by the Joint Consultative Forum and the Forum was advised by the Corporate Health and Safety Officer that all issues within the remit of the Committee were either ongoing or concluded. 

 

AGREED – T H A T the minutes of the Corporate Health and Safety Committee meeting held on 9th December, 2013 be noted.

 

(g)       Williams Report

 

The Head of Performance and Development informed the Forum that the Welsh Government had set up a commission which culminated in the production of the Williams Report which was released in January 2014.  The Report included a large number of proposals, three of which related to the reduction of the number of Welsh Authorities from 22 to 10, 11 or 12 of which all three proposed a merger of the Vale of Glamorgan Council with Cardiff Council.  The Forum were informed that the Report currently had no official status and that it was a set of recommendations until the Welsh Government made comment on it, therefore it would be premature to go through the Report at present.

 

A press release from the WLGA was circulated to the Forum, which proposed the establishment of a task force to look at the proposals contained within the Williams Report and explore an alternative set of proposals.  The Forum were informed that the Welsh Government had yet to comment on the Williams Report, however it was anticipated that the political parties would be considering it at their spring conferences. 

 

The Head of Performance and Development stated that collaborations were already taking place across Council boundaries, for example the Central South Consortium Joint Education Service, and that the Council also had a Memorandum of Understanding with Bridgend Council.  The Forum was informed that the Council were now taking stock of existing and proposed collaborations.  It was confirmed that the collaboration with Social Services and the Health Service in Cardiff and the Vale would continue regardless of the proposals contained within the Williams Report. 

 

Mr. Carter informed the Forum that the Trade Unions felt it would be a waste of resources to continue to progress with current or proposed collaborations in light of the proposals contained within the Williams Report.  Furthermore he asserted that the Council should undo any existing collaborations with neighbouring Councils such as CCTV and Regulatory Services, other than those with Cardiff Council.   

 

A Member raised concerns with regard to the ongoing talks between Bridgend, Cardiff and the Vale in relation to providing a joint Regulatory Service and questioned the timing of these talks if potentially Bridgend County Borough Council could be out of the equation.  The Member stated that although they appreciated that there was not a lot that could be discussed at this juncture it was important that the issues were resolved as soon as possible.  The Head of Performance and Development informed the Forum that it could not be confirmed when Welsh Government would decide whether to accept the Williams Report’s recommendations.  He said that the WLGA’s alternative report would most likely be produced quickly but could not anticipate what that report would propose.

 

Mr. Dimmick stated that it was clear to see why people might think that the proposals within the Williams Report were a “done deal†and the perception was that it would go ahead and the Council should have a clear date for a response on the Williams Report. 

 

The Member clarified their concern in that once the Welsh Government had made their decision with regard to the Williams Report the opportunity for the Council to discuss it would have passed; therefore shouldn’t the Council discuss it now in order to at least be able to formulate an input into a decision.  In response to this the Head of Performance and Development informed the Forum that this was what the Welsh Local Government Association task force would endeavour to do and that the Council would contribute to the task force’s work.

 

Members asserted that they could see the advantages of the merger for Cardiff and the disadvantages for the Vale of Glamorgan and that it could become a political debate in the run up to the 2016 Welsh Assembly elections.  The Chairman stated that it was an issue that clearly affected everyone in the room, however it would be unwise to undo all the collaborative work as some of it was useful.  Furthermore,  it was prudent to be cautious about commencing any new collaborative works at this time and there was a need for the uncertainty to be resolved. 

 

Mr. Carter stated that there was a collaboration with Bridgend Council for the provision of Youth Service and questioned this collaboration in the light of the proposals contained within the Williams Report.  The Chairman stated that he understood that the Council were reviewing this collaboration opportunity, however this was not the same as undoing collaborations.  The Chief Learning and Skills Officer confirmed that this reflected the situation with the Youth Service collaboration with the Bridgend Council. 

 

A Member queried whether the Council was going to continue with the collaborative talks with Bridgend Council as they were costly, people’s jobs were involved and the Council required some reassurance with regard to the situation.  The Chairman stated that the Council needed to know the political direction first as there was a great deal of uncertainty at present and was concerned that a lot of good work would be undone.  The Head of Performance and Development informed the Forum that the joint audit service with Bridgend Council would continue and that there were no plans to undo that.  Mr. Carter stated that the Council provided an audit service to Bridgend Council, and that staff had been subject to TUPE provisions over to the Vale of Glamorgan Council from Bridgend Council, therefore it was not a collaboration. 

 

Mr. Hughes stated that clarification was required with regard to the ongoing collaborative work with Regulatory Services including the Atkins report that had been commissioned by the Council.  The Head of Human Resources stated that there was clearly an unfortunate delay in progressing this collaboration at the current time.  He indicated that he hoped progress would be made as soon as possible and once there was clarity about any implications arising out of the early considerations from the Williams Report.

 

Mr. Moseley queried whether the current collaborative arrangements should be reported individually to the Elected Members with a view to deciding whether these operations should continue.  The Chairman asked the Head of Performance and Development whether there was a cohesive record of what was going on with different collaborations and was informed that periodical reports went to Cabinet which listed the different ongoing collaborations; however, there was no single approach covering all collaborations.  The Council continued to take a view on each collaboration on it’s individual merits.  He also stated that it was not possible to have a blanket approach to collaborations particularly those involving several authorities,  in addition it was not possible to put a halt to all of the collaborations.  Mr. Moseley asked who would be making the decisions with regard to collaborations and was advised by the Head of Performance and Development that it would be Cabinet Members, Directors and Chief Officers for all the relevant authorities involved. 

 

Mr. Carter informed the Forum that there was a South East Wales Consultative Forum compendium that listed all of the consultation on collaboration currently ongoing and he could provide members of the Forum with the link to this if required. 

 

Following discussion of the update from the Head of Performance and Development on the Williams Report, it was

 

AGREED – T H A T the comments from the Forum members and the Head of Performance and Development be noted.

 

(h)       Workforce Plan Update 2013-17

 

The Joint Consultative Forum received an update report on the implementation of the Workforce Plan 2013-17.  Paragraph 9 of the report detailed the progress with regard to the actions within the Council’s Workforce Plan 2013-17.

 

A preliminary “desktop†review of management / staffing structures across all service areas had been completed and a more detailed review of Corporate and Customer Services had been completed with a report given to Cabinet on 24th February 2014 and that a review of Development Services was almost complete with a report due to go to Cabinet in March 2014.  The Forum was informed that preliminary discussions on terms and conditions had taken place with colleagues at the Council’s Change Forum and that these were continuing to progress.  The Forum was also informed that the Council had successfully secured the services of a new agency contract provider from 13th January 2014 and that a review of redeployment practices for those at risk of redundancy had been undertaken and that they were committed to strengthening the redeployment processes.  The Forum was informed that a programme of change management training had been launched in March 2013 which would now be cascaded to all managers as part of the annual training plan in order to help equip managers to manage change and service transformation. 

 

The Head of Human Resources informed the Forum that the Workforce Plan was not just a document, but a process and that Human Resource Officers had attended Directorate CMTs to look at workforce planning implications arising from the 2014/15 service planning process.  The actions from these meetings were to be fed back into the Corporate Workforce Plan.

 

Mr. Hart queried why Directors were carrying out restructures whilst a detailed view of the Directorates was in progress.  He was advised that the reviews were being carried out as part of the 2014/15 Directorate budget saving process but that he was working closely with the individual Directorates to ensure that any outcomes were congruent with the wider review.  He indicated that he was aware of the restructures taking place in various departments and although not personally involved in all of them he stressed that change was happening all the time and that services could not always wait for the Workforce Plan reviews to restructure. 

 

Mr. Hart asked whether it was the aim of the Workforce Plan or was it part of a transition and was advised that Corporate and Customer Services had saving targets for 2014/15 and that the reviews would help to make these savings with the Workforce Plan supporting that.  Mr. Hart also asked whether the Head of Human Resources was asserting that the restructures and the Workforce Plan were the same thing and was advised that the financial plan and the Workforce Plan are not the same thing.  The Head of Human Resources reiterated his earlier points. 

 

The Unions stated that they had asked for information pertaining to the redundancy procedure with specific regard to which categories individuals would fall into in order that individuals could try and calculate their respective redundancy package.  The Forum was informed that the scheme for Early Retirement / Redundancy / Termination was available to Trade Unions and all staff members on the StaffNet.  However Trade Unions felt that this information was insufficient for individuals to be able to calculate prospective redundancy payments and again requested that they be informed of which category individuals would fall into.  The Head of Human Resources advised the Forum that this issue could be discussed at the next Change Forum to be held on 18th February 2014. 

 

After discussion of the Corporate Workforce Plan 2013-17 it was

 

AGREED – T H A T the issue raised by the Trade Unions in relation to redundancy calculations would be discussed at the Change Forum meeting of 18th February 2014.

 

(i)         New Agency Staff Contract

 

The Forum was informed by the Operational Manager for Human Resources that the Council had a new Agency Contract which came into effect on 13th January 2014.  The new contract would enable the monitoring of agency workers and ensure compliance with the Agency Worker Regulations. 

 

Mr. Stokes informed the Forum that there were a few teething problems following the commencement of the agency contract, however he would reserve the right to come back to the Forum if these were not resolved satisfactorily. 

 

Mr. Pappas raised the issue of Trade Union representatives representing the agency workers.  The Operational Manager for Human Resources informed the Forum that they would not allow facilities to support agency workers via Trade Unions representatives as this was inappropriate given the Agency is the employer and the Council the host.  However, it was accepted that it was up to the individual Trade Union representatives what they did in their own time.  Mr. Pappas also asked what was happening with those staff currently employed via the Acorn Agency and was advised that they would be eligible to transfer to Randstad and that currently only two agencies had not signed up to the new  contract.

 

Mr. Carter advised that he would like to thank the Director of Visible Services for his assistance and work in addressing the concerns previously raised by the Trade Unions in relation to the pay of some agency workers. 

 

Following discussion by the Forum it was

 

AGREED – T H A T the new Agency Staff Contract be noted and that any issues with the new Agency Contract could be raised at the next meeting of the Forum.

 

(j)         Feedback on Policy Development

 

The Forum was advised of the current position on HR policy development as at 17th January 2014.  A consultation on the Code of Conduct had been completed and was ready to go to CMT.  The Terms and Conditions Group had completed discussions on the Adverse Weather Policy and the Procedure for the Regrading of Posts and therefore these were now ready to proceed.

 

Mr. Pappas asked whether the 20% rule would be added to the Management of Attendance Policy as part of the review and was advised that this would be the case.  Mr. Dimmick stated that as the 20% was not currently in the policy it should not be applied. 

 

Mr. Carter expressed concerns that the last two Policy meetings had been cancelled yet there were clearly policies to be discussed.  He was advised that the Adverse Weather Policy had not been ready to go to the meeting and that the Regrading Procedure had been processed through the Terms and Conditions and the Single Status Joint Groups.  In addition, Mr. Carter was advised that Human Resources would be taking policies appropriate to the Employment Policy Formulation Group, however this was an open agenda driven by both parties and that the Trade Unions could also add items to the agenda for this meeting. 

 

Following discussion of this item it was

 

AGREED – T H A T the current position on the HR policy development be noted.

 

(k)        Proposed Timetable of Meetings 2014/15

 

Following consideration of the proposed meeting dates for the 2014/15 municipal year it was

 

AGREED – T H A T the proposed meeting dates be agreed.

 

(l)         Regulatory Services (Atkins Report)

 

Mr. Hughes stated that the Trade Unions had asked for a copy of the Atkins Report, yet this had not been forthcoming and that since this request they had not heard anything and would like to know what the conclusions of the report were.  The Head of Human Resources stated that he shared the Trade Unions’ concerns with regards to the uncertainty surrounding the Williams Review and informed the Forum that at present the Atkins Report was a draft report and therefore it was not appropriate to release it, and furthermore that it did not belong solely to the Vale of Glamorgan Council, it was a joint report with Cardiff and Bridgend Councils. 

 

Mr. Hughes reiterated the concerns with regard to the amount of money that had been paid for the completion of the report and that staff had not heard anything back in relation to the report.  The Chairman stated that he could understand the concerns with regard to the time lines and that draft reports can cause problems.  A Member queried when a draft report will become a report and the Chairman advised that it was a complex process, a draft is made and then faults are identified that need to be resolved. 

 

A discussion ensued during which the Unions noted their frustrations with regard to the amount of time involved in the completion of the Atkins Report and in turn release of the Report findings to the Trade Unions and staff.  The Head of Human Resources informed the Forum that currently the report was based on assumptions that would need to be tested, for example, which Authority would be the host Authority.  In addition they needed to ensure that it was correct before it was released and Members would also need to see the report.  The Trade Unions asked whether they had a date for the release of the report and were informed that at present there was no release date but hopefully it would be as soon as possible.  The Trade Unions also noted their frustration at having to put forward a Freedom of Information request in relation to the Atkins Report. 

 

Following the discussion of the current position on the Atkins Report, it was

 

AGREED – T H A T the concerns raised by the Trade Unions be noted.

 

(m)      Living Wage

 

The Forum discussed the Living Wage with the Trade Unions stating that they were frustrated about the lack of implementation.  The Chairman informed the Forum that the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) had sent a reference to Cabinet on 27th January 2014 which recommended that Cabinet be requested on behalf of the Council to seek a way of raising a campaign for the improvement of the Minimum Wage on a UK wide basis and lobby the UK / Welsh Governments to include in future Revenue Support Grant settlements - appropriate funding - to ensure that the minimum wage could be adopted.  This report had been noted by Cabinet.  Furthermore, the Chairman informed the Forum that since that meeting the Government had announced that there would be an increase in the minimum wage.

 

The Trade Unions stated that in light of the proposals contained within the Williams Report and that Cardiff Council had already implemented the Living Wage for staff, that the Vale of Glamorgan Council should implement the Living Wage in line with Cardiff Council.  The Forum were informed by the Head of Human Resources that there were a variety of differences between the pay structures for Cardiff Council and the Vale of Glamorgan Council, including a proposed change in hours from 37 to 36 hours per week and a difference in the pay structure itself.  In addition the Forum was informed that Cardiff had not signed up to the full Charter but was paying the full rate for the Living Wage. 

 

Mr. Hughes stated that it was the poorest staff that were being affected by the non-implementation of the Living Wage and that the Council would not have to sign up to the full Charter but could just implement the Living Wage.  The Trade Unions made suggestions including the removal of Grades A and B with all staff starting at Grade C and also whether it was time to consider using some of the Council’s reserves.

 

The Forum was informed that a detailed report had gone to the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) and that the cost of implementation of the Living Wage would be in excess of £1m, and in addition there would be further issues and concerns with implementing the Living Wage including job losses and that only 16 Councils across the UK had implemented the Living Wage.  The Trade Unions queried the increase in the figures held within the report and were informed that the figures changed due to a number of variables, including salary changes, staffing changes, etc.

 

Following discussion of the Living Wage, it was

 

AGREED – T H A T the concerns of the Trade Unions be noted.

 

(n)       TUPE Transfer

 

The Trade Unions stated that there seemed to be different ideas about what constituted TUPE transfer situations across the Vale of Glamorgan Council and that they required some assurance with regard to what constituted a TUPE transfer.  The Operational Manager for Human Resources informed the Forum that he was unable to provide that assurance as TUPE was a very complex issue and that the application of TUPE would depend on a number of factors with the final determination being that of the law.  In terms of internal transfers, the Council’s view was that in the majority of cases TUPE would not apply as the employer had not changed and continued to be the Vale of Glamorgan Council.  The Operational Manager also informed the Forum that the Council had committed to embrace the principles of TUPE, for example with regard to consultation with Unions and the staff, but accepted that there may inevitably be some changes to some policies and procedures for example the determination of disciplinary and grievance issues, etc.   However there were some nuances that would need to be addressed and the Council would need to ensure that all parties were aware of these, however in Foundation and Voluntary Aided schools there would be different logistics / mechanisms to consider with regard to TUPE.

 

Mr. Carter asked the Operational Manager for Human Resources to confirm that the over-arching governance / legal responsibility for control of schools rested with the Vale of Glamorgan Council.  In response to his query the Chairman advised that the Operational Manager for Human Resources had stated that it was a complex legal issue, with the Vale of Glamorgan Council having overall employer responsibilities for the schools, however the schools had a large amount of autonomy in accordance with Local Management of Schools requirements. 

 

The Principal Personnel Officer suggested that the Trade Unions raised this issue at the Directorate Consultative Group for Learning and Skills to be held on 19th February, 2014.

 

After discussion of the TUPE transfer issue, it was

 

AGREED – T H A T the Trade Unions would raise this issue at the next meeting of the Directorate Consultative Group for Learning and Skills on 19th February, 2014.

 

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

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the Joint Consultative Forum Meeting held on 17 February, 2014 be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the minutes.

 

C2273                        CARDIFF BAY ADVISORY COMMITTEE –

 

The minutes of the Cardiff Bay Advisory Committee meeting held on 12 March, 2014 were submitted.

 

Present

 

Councillor L. Burnett (Chairman)

Vale of Glamorgan Council

Mr. N. Ajax Lewis

Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales

Mr. J. Harrison

Natural Resources Wales

Mr. P. Hart

Cardiff Harbour Authority

Ms. L. Jackson

Cardiff Bay Yacht Club

Mr. R. James

Independent Groundwater Complaints Administrator

Mr. S. Jones

Penarth Quays Marina

Mr. C. Michael

RSPB Cymru

Ms. S. Newbold

British Marine Federation

Mr. A. Parker

Independent Member

Councillor G. Roberts

Penarth Town Council

Mr. A. Vye-Parminter

Cardiff Harbour Authority

 

Also present:

 

Mr. S. Howell

Cardiff Harbour Authority

Mr. C. Hope

Vale of Glamorgan Council

Mrs. L. Mills

Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

(a)       Apologies for Absence – 

 

These were received from Mrs. C. Dimond (Vice-Chairman) (Cardiff Flood Action Committee) and Councillor A. Govier (Cardiff Council).

 

(b)       Minutes – 

 

AGREED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 15th January, 2014 be accepted as a correct record.

 

(c)        Matters Arising

 

There were no matters arising from the last minutes of the meeting held on 15th January, 2014.

 

(d)       Presentation from Mr. Ralph James, Independent Groundwater Complaints Administrator, on the Annual Groundwater Report 1st June 2012 – 31st May 2013

 

Mr. James presented the Committee with his Annual Report and informed them that his function as Independent Groundwater Complaints Administrator was to consider complaints concerning the exercise by the Cardiff Harbour Authority of any of the functions conferred or imposed on them by Schedule 7 of the Cardiff Bay Barrage Act 1993.  Mr. James advised that he was appointed in 2002 and since that time had dealt with in excess of 400 cases.  The Administrator was empowered in any complaint which was required to be considered by him, to either reject the complaint or recommend to the Cardiff Harbour Authority steps which he considered should be taken with a view to resolving the matter.  The Administrator was independent of the Cardiff Harbour Authority, Cardiff Council and the Welsh Government.  In order to deal with the complaints a complaints procedure had been established, which firstly focused on local resolution.  An advisory officer would deal first hand with the local residents who made the complaint and if it was resolved at this stage there would be no other input other than for statistical purposes.  If the complaint was not dealt with at the first stage, Cardiff Harbour Authority would have to provide evidence that the issue had not been caused by the Barrage, therefore the burden of proof lay with Cardiff Harbour Authority. 

 

Mr. James also informed the Committee that one of the key elements of the Independent Groundwater Complaints Administrator’s role was to regularly review the control measures and procedures to ensure they were fit for purpose, met all statutory requirements and operated in such a way as to maintain financial prudence.   These reviews had taken place which included eight meetings with senior officials at the Cardiff Harbour Authority and two meetings with officials at the Welsh Government.  Furthermore, Mr. James informed the Committee that the process for reviewing and resolving complaints made by residents living within the “protected property†area were fit for purpose and no changes or amendments were envisaged.

 

The Committee was also informed that all possible assistance was provided to the complainants, even after the resolution of a complaint, for example, in assisting them to obtain grants / financial assistance.  Mr. James also advised the Committee that the recent rainwater had not caused any problems and that in the period under review, 1st June 2012 to 31st May 2013, 17 representations were made by residents living within the protected property boundaries.  Of these cases, 10 concerned the ingress of dampness into their properties, 3 complaints concerned alleged flooding and 1 case referred to structural damage.  All cases were resolved at a local level and none were found to be associated with the Barrage construction, however the investigations did indicate potential reasons for the damp ingress and residents had been given additional advice in their endeavours to prevent any damage associated with the dampness.  There were 4 further cases that were still being dealt with. 

 

The Committee was informed that the protection period would end in 2019 and that Mr James in conjunction with Cardiff Harbour Authority, were trying to ensure that people were aware of any assistance available to them, given ample opportunity to take advantage of this assistance and that the resources were managed with caution.

 

Furthermore, he informed the Committee that they were currently administering their records in readiness for the 2019 deadline which included the scanning of all documentation, scrutinising and archiving of private and confidential reports and letters; and the organisation of archiving arrangements for thousands of paper records concerning individual properties e.g. pre and post impoundment and surveys.

 

Following Mr. James’ presentation a question and answer session ensued in which the following queries were raised:

 

Question

Response

How were the complaints tallying up for this year?

Mr. James informed the Committee that there were approximately 15 complaints this year, approximately the same as last year.

 

How many successful complaints had been made since the Cardiff Barrage was impounded?

Mr. James informed the Committee that there had not been any in his time but since the Barrage had been impounded there had been one which was the Pumphouse which had a flooded basement.

 

Will the groundwater pumps still remain after 2019?

Mr. Howell (Cardiff Bay Harbour Authority) advised that they would be carrying out investigations and trials on the pumps with outside consultants to see if their continued use would be required.

 

After the construction of the Barrage it was hoped that claims would diminish, have the number of claims evened out now?

Mr. James advised that there had been a slow decline, however there was continued need to ensure people were able to pursue a complaint if necessary and this would be advertised shortly in order to address the issue in a positive way.

 

 

The Chairman thanked Mr. James for his informative presentation and advised that it would be interesting to hear next year’s figures.

 

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

 

Mr. Howell informed the Committee that dredging of the river bed adjacent to the Water Bus stop at the castle and Taff’s Meade had commenced and was near completion.  This operation would allow continued use of those stops by commercial operators as well as increasing the water depth for general navigation and craft in those areas.

 

The Committee was informed that the abandoned vessel Shark had been successfully removed from Cardiff Bay on 19th January and had since been fully decommissioned in Swansea Dry Dock.

 

(f)        Progress Report – Mr. Simon Howell – Cardiff Harbour Authority

 

Mr. Howell informed the Committee that Cardiff Harbour Authority’s Oil Spill Contingency Plan had been approved by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency  following its five yearly review.  As part of the requirement of the plan to have a Tier 2 response capability, Braemar Howells had been appointed Tier 2 responder for Cardiff Harbour Authority.  The Committee was further informed that 100% compliance with dissolved oxygen standards had been achieved throughout Cardiff Bay.

 

Mr. Howell informed the Committee that there were currently a number of maintenance schemes underway or recently completed on the Barrage and Embankment:

 

·                The sluice cylinders and supporting structures had been painted

·                A trial section of the path close to the Environmental Building had been marked and widened in an attempt to segregate pedestrians and cyclists

·                Anti-fishing netting had been installed at the Barrage to prevent fishing from the sluice area and anti-climb fencing was also being installed as an additional deterrent

·                The stop beams had been moved from Lock 2 into Lock 1 in February to carry out an emergency repair to the lower bearing retaining pin.  Once the repair works had been completed, the stop beams would be removed from Lock 1 in the week commencing 7th April 2014 and the Barrage site would be closed on two days of that week

·                A lock cylinder was currently offsite for repair and due back towards the end of the month.

 

The adverse weather conditions had resulted in two bearing failures on sluice 4 lower leaf and sluice 5 lower leaf.  The stop beams were currently in sluice 4 and  the bearing had been removed and sent away for repair.  Once returned to site and fitted, work would commence on moving the stop beams into sluice 5 and carrying out a similar repair.  The first completed sluice roller assembly was due back to site in the week commencing 17th March and would be installed by the Barrage Engineering team.  Furthermore the stop beams had been installed into the Fish Pass which was out for annual maintenance.

 

Mr. Howell advised the Committee that all staff at the Barrage were currently receiving CCTV statutory training and that the contract for the High Ropes adventure course and climbing tower at Cardiff International White Water had been signed with works due to commence in May 2014.

 

The Committee was informed that the office merger with Parks was almost complete, with the majority of the Heath Park team now in Queen Alexandra House.  Jon Maidment would be taking over as Operational Manager for Harbour and Parks with Simon Howell leaving the Authority on 31st March and six other members of staff across Cardiff Harbour Authority had also left under Voluntary Severance. 

 

Following the progress report from Mr. Howell, the Chairman advised the Committee that she had met with Councillor Hinchley of Cardiff Council with regard to improving the signage from Cogan Station to the International Sports Village and also informed the Committee that they were looking at their plans in alignment.  The Chairman also took the opportunity to thank Mr. Howell for his contribution to the Cardiff Harbour Authority and the Cardiff Bay Advisory Committee. 

 

(g)       Update Report – Mr. John Harrison – Natural Resources Wales

 

Mr. Harrison informed the Committee that during the recent periods of heavy rainfall they had focused on the Newport area, teams had been sent out and they had recommended the evacuation of several hundred properties in the lower Newport area.  He also informed the Committee that the Barrage had provided Cardiff with protection and that proactive maintenance and management of the Barrage would ensure its continued success.  Mr. Harrison stated that he would be meeting with Mr. Howell’s successor to ensure the excellent working relationship with Cardiff Harbour Authority continued.  He further informed the Committee that there would always be a wide range of risks to the Cardiff Bay area due to development and the variety of uses within the area. 

 

(h)       Any Other Business

 

Councillor G. Roberts asked whether the solar panel lamp posts were proving successful and was informed by Mr. Howell that they had been successful, in that they provided lighting for routes but were not a replacement for street lighting purposes based on the feedback they had received. 

 

(i)         Date of Next Meeting

 

AGREED – T H A T the next meeting be held on Wednesday, 4th June 2014 at 5.15pm, with the venue to be confirmed.  The Clerk to the Committee would liaise with Mr. Vye-Parminter of Cardiff Harbour Authority to secure a room for the next meeting, with the Cardiff International White Water Centre being suggested.

 

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

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the Cardiff Bay Advisory Committee meeting held on 12 March, 2014 be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the minutes.

 

C2274                        ANIMAL WELFARE CHARTER (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) -

 

Members were asked to consider the adoption of the Councils animal welfare charter that detailed the Council’s roles, responsibilities and its approach to animal welfare.

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council had statutory duties that had both a direct and indirect impact on animal welfare.  The duties included; licensing pet shops, riding establishments, Boarding Establishments, Breeding Establishments, Pet Shops and the keeping of Dangerous Wild Animals, Performing Animals and Zoos.

 

The Council also had responsibility for animal welfare in respect of land it owned and for which it allowed the public to use or hire.

 

The report outlined that the Council was an exemplar in respect of animal welfare and especially in animal welfare enforcement, evidenced by recent high profile prosecutions conducted by the Trading Standards and Licensing Department.

 

The animal welfare charter would further enhance the Council’s reputation and enable the public to easily understand the Council’s role, responsibilities and how these were carried out and implemented.  The Vale of Glamorgan Animal Welfare Charter was attached at Appendix 2 to the report.

 

At the meeting the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Visible Services commented that this charter was an important document that informed the public that the Council would not tolerate cruelty to animals. He further commented that the Vale of Glamorgan Council was the first Council in South Wales to adopt such a charter.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the Animal Welfare Charter attached at Appendix 2 to the report be adopted.

 

(2)          T H A T Cabinet receive a further report in 12 months time on the implications of the Animal Welfare Charter in relation to the Council’s Statutory and Non Statutory duties

 

Reason for decisions

 

(1&2)  To clarify the Council's role and responsibilities and its approach to animal welfare.

 

C2275                        COUNCIL TAX HELP FOR THE OVER 60s AND 70s (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Approval was sought to provide support to council tax payers aged over 60.

 

The Corporate Plan, approved by Council on 6th March 2013, included an action (CL13) to introduce a Council Tax discount scheme for those over 70 who did not already receive Council Tax benefit or support (now known as Council Tax reduction).  A scheme providing a discount of £40 for eligible household was operated in 2013/14

 

The Revenue Budget, approved by Council on 5th March 2014, included a further £30k to extend the Council’s Over 70s Council Tax Discount Scheme to pensioners aged over 60 in receipt of partial council tax reduction in order to mitigate the withdrawal of the national scheme.

 

The report outlined the eligibility criteria for the scheme which was as follows: -

 

EITHER

  • Eligible persons must be liable to pay Council Tax in respect of a chargeable dwelling which was their sole or main residence on 1st April 2014;
  • Eligible persons must be aged 70 years or over on the 1st April 2014;
  • Eligible persons must not be in receipt of Council Tax Reduction on the 1st April 2014;

OR

  • Eligible persons must be liable to pay Council Tax in respect of a chargeable dwelling which was their sole or main residence on 1st April 2014;
  • Eligible persons must be aged 60 years or over on the 1st April 2014;
  • Eligible persons must be in receipt of Council Tax Reduction on the 1st April 2014;

(1)          In any event the maximum remittal would be restricted to the lesser of £40 or the total net Council Tax liability for the financial year 2014/15 (i.e. after any other reduction or discount).

 

(2)          Where it was estimated that the entitlement would be below £5 then the award would not apply.

 

(3)          This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the scheme to remit Council Tax in the sum of £40 per household due to eligible Council Tax payers aged over 70 who were not in receipt of an award under the Council Tax Reduction Scheme be approved.

 

(2)          T H A T the scheme to remit Council Tax in the sum of £40 per household due to eligible Council Tax payers aged over 60 who were in receipt of an award under the Council Tax Reduction Scheme be approved.

 

(3)          T H A T the qualifying criteria set out in paragraphs 11, 12 and 13 of the report for entitlement to Council Tax remittal be approved.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To assist those aged over 70 with payment of their Council Tax.

 

(2)          To assist those aged over 60 with payment of their Council Tax.

 

(3)          To set eligibility criteria.

 

C2276                        SERVICE PLANNING 2014 /2018 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ALL) –

 

Approval was sought for each Directorates service plans covering the period 2014-18

The Councils Service plans for 2014/15 specifically identified how each Directorate would contribute towards achievement of corporate plan and improvement plan outcomes and incorporate key measures and milestones to demonstrate progress.

 

All service plans had been signed off in challenge meetings during February and March involving the relevant Director, Cabinet Member with portfolio and an officer from the Councils Improvement and Development Team.

All service plans had been discussed at the relevant Scrutiny Committees and were available to view on the council's website at:

http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/our_council/achieving_our_vision/improvement/improvement.aspx. and were made available in the members room.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the Council’s service plans 2014 / 2018 referred to in the report and made available on the Council’s Website and in the Member’s room be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To confirm the service plans as the Councils primary document against which performance for the relevant area would be measured and to meet the self assessment requirements under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.

 

 

C2277                        VALE OF GLAMORGAN AND CARDIFF JOINT LOCAL SERVICE BOARD (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Approval was sought to establish a Joint Local Service Board (LSB) for the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff.

Local Service Boards (LSBs) were established by the Welsh Government (WG) in each local authority area to bring together leaders of local public and third sector organisations to take collective action to ensure public services were effective and citizen focussed. 

 

In Cardiff, the LSB functions to date had been undertaken by the Cardiff Partnership Board (CPB) that had included representation from Cardiff Council, Cardiff & Vale University Health Board, South Wales Police, South Wales Fire & Rescue Service, Cardiff Third Sector Council, Wales Probation Trust and the Welsh Government.  The LSB has taken direction from the Cardiff Partnership Leadership Group, chaired by the Leader of the Council, with delivery supported by a number of city-wide thematic Programme Boards and a Neighbourhood Programme Board.  The partnership structures and membership were attached at Appendices 1-2 to the report.

 

In the Vale of Glamorgan the LSB was structured in the form of a LSB and an Implementation Group.  The LSB was chaired by the Leader of the Council and included representation from the Cardiff & Vale University Health Board, South Wales Police, South Wales Fire & Rescue Service, Vale Centre for Voluntary Services, Wales Probation Trust, Cardiff & Vale College, Natural Resources Wales, RWE nPower, Wales Ambulance Service and Welsh Government. The Implementation Group took direction from the LSB and included representation from partners and all Council Directors.  The group was chaired by the Council’s Head of Performance and Development and provided an essential link to the key partnerships in the Vale who delivered on the priority outcomes within the integrated plan.  The partnership structures and membership were attached at Appendices 3-4 to the report.

 

Following a successful submission to Welsh Government to undertake a Joint LSB Project, BDO were jointly commissioned to undertake the work. The project was delivered via a series of stakeholder interviews, individual Partnership workshops and two joint Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff Partnership workshops.  Further details of the methodology and findings of the project could be found in Appendix 5 attached to the report titled – Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan LSBs - Delivery Plan for Joint Working.

 

At the Joint Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Workshop held on 10th December 2013, partners agreed to the establishment of a Joint Local Service Board, subject to the subsequent agreement of the statutory partners via their formal decision making processes.  It was agreed that:

 

·         The Joint LSB would provide strategic oversight and direction to the  collaboration between Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan;

·         It would set the vision for the collaboration agenda and agree the high level priorities, and;

·         It would act as the enabler of collaboration within individual organisations and oversee progress towards regional priority outcomes.

 

The intention was that the Joint LSB would initially replace the current Cardiff Leadership Group, Cardiff Partnership Board and Vale of Glamorgan LSB.  Further rationalisation of existing partnership structures and meetings could then be considered at a later date by the Joint LSB.

 

Following agreement by all statutory partners of the Delivery Plan for Joint Working and the establishment of a Joint LSB, a work programme will be agreed between partners and shared with the Cabinets and Boards of the respective partner organisations to ensure that the priorities are embedded within business plans, performance management arrangements and Directorate budgets as appropriate.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the establishment of a Joint Local Service Board with Cardiff Council having the role and membership as set out in paragraphs 14 and 15 of the report be approved.

 

(2)          T H A T the functions of the Vale Local Service Board, Cardiff Partnership Leadership Group and Cardiff Partnership Board be assumed by the proposed Joint Local Service Board.

 

(3)          T H A T the Managing Director be given delegated authority, in consultation with the Leader, to agree:

a) future changes to the membership of the Joint Local Service Board;

b) the Terms of Reference for the Joint Local Service Board once this had been developed in due course;

c) the priority areas for collaboration for the Joint Local Service Board to focus on.

 

(4)                   T H A T a further progress report be presented to a future Cabinet meeting once the Joint Local Service Board had been established.

 

Reason for decisions

 

(1-4)   To enable the Cabinet to consider the recommendations contained in this report, approve the establishment of a Joint Local Service Board with Cardiff Council and receive reports on progress.

 

 

C2278                        WELSH LANGUAGE STANDARDS (L) SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Approval was sought for the Council's response to the consultation of the Welsh Language Commissioner on the proposed Welsh Language Standards for the Council.

 

The Welsh Government had agreed Welsh Language Standards for certain public bodies (including Councils).  The role of the Welsh Language Commissioner was to determine how the Standards should apply to each body individually and then assess whether they were being properly implemented.   

 

The Councils response to the Welsh Language Commissioners Standards Investigation questionnaire was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the proposed Welsh Language Standards agreed by Welsh Government and promulgated by the Welsh Language Commissioner be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the Council's consultation response as attached at Appendix 1 to the report be endorsed.

 

(3)       T H A T the response attached at Appendix 1 to the report be referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) for information.

 

(4)       T H A T the urgent decision procedure, as set out in article 13.09 of the Council's Constitution, be used in view of the need to respond to the Welsh Language Commissioner by the deadline of 18 April, 2014.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To note the proposed Welsh Language  Standards.

 

(2)       To prepare for the implementation of the Standards for the Council.

 

(3)       To inform members of the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources).

 

(4)       To ensure that the Councils response was returned within the consultation period, no later than the deadline of 18 April, 2014.

 

 

C2279                        VOLUNTARY CAP ON INDEMNITIES FOR MEMBERS (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES)

 

Members were informed of a request by the Welsh Local Government Association ('WLGA'), the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales ('Ombudsman') and Welsh Government Ministers for Welsh Unitary Authorities to introduce a voluntary cap on legal costs indemnities to Members when defending alleged breaches of the Members code of conduct.

 

The report also sought approval for arrangements to consider and (if appropriate) grant such indemnities.

Under the Local Authorities (Indemnities for Members and Officers) (Wales) Order 2006, the Council could but did not have to provide an indemnity for Members in respect of legal costs incurred in relation to misconduct proceedings brought against them under the Local Government Act 2000.

 

Concern had been expressed by the WLGA, the Ombudsman and Welsh Government Ministers of the scale of indemnities provided by some Welsh Councils to Members when defending allegations of breaches of the Members' Code of Conduct. All recommended that a cap be introduced by Councils. After some consultation it was agreed to set the cap up to a maximum sum of £20,000.

 

By adopting the recommendation, the Council would bring its procedure for granting indemnities in line with the majority of Welsh Councils.

 

The report outlined that when considering applications for indemnities the following restrictions were (as a minimum) deemed appropriate:

  • A Member should not be granted two or more indemnities if those indemnities would amount to a sum in excess of £30,000 in any one municipal term;
  • In the event of an indemnity being given and the Member concerned not being successful in the matter the indemnity must in any event be repaid;
  • The indemnity related only to legal costs reasonably incurred by the Member on or after the date of the application;
  • The indemnity extended only to costs reasonably incurred up to and including the hearing before the Adjudication Panel for Wales ('APW'). It did not extend to any appeal against, or to any judicial review of any decision of the APW.
  • No payments would be made under the indemnity until the completion of the hearing and of any appeal.
  • Payment under the indemnity should be made only on the submission of a receipted invoice for the costs being claimed.

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the Council's Section 151 Officer be given delegated authority in consultation with the Chair of the Standards Committee to  consider applications received from Members of the Council for a legal costs indemnity for defending an allegation of breach of the Members' Code of Conduct, and determine whether an indemnity should be provided by the Council.

 

(2)          T H A T if an indemnity was to be granted the amount be limited up to a maximum of £20,000 subject to the further limitations referred to in paragraph 10 of the report.

 

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

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1&2)  To put in place arrangements for determining applications for the relevant indemnities which was consistent with the majority of Local Authorities in Wales.

 

(3)       To brief the Standards Committee.

 

 

C2280                        CORPORATE SAFEGUARDING (CS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH) –

 

Members were updated on the work that had been undertaken to improve corporate arrangements for safeguarding and protecting children and young people, the effectiveness of the Safer Recruitment Policy and recent changes to the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS).

 

In 2011, the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) and Estyn published a report following their joint investigation into the handling and management of allegations of professional abuse and the arrangements for safeguarding and protecting children in education services in Pembrokeshire County Council.  Concerns were raised about the quality of corporate working to safeguard and protect children by the local authority.

Following that report, a Corporate Safeguarding Working Group was established in the authority to learn lessons from the Pembrokeshire report and to ensure that arrangements for protecting children and young people in the Vale were robust.  The group produced an action plan to improve safeguarding across the council and was attached at Appendix A to the report.

 

The Corporate Safeguarding Group continued to monitor the safeguarding arrangements within the local authority, including recruitment within the council and schools.  The Monitoring of the Safer Recruitment Policy in respect of new and existing employees was undertaken by Transact and Human Resources on a scheduled basis and by Internal Audit as part of their ongoing audit programme.

Members recalled that the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 resulted in a number of significant changes to the Disclosure and Barring Service.

  • The Update Service had been implemented, which enabled an individual to pay an annual subscription to the DBS so that the prospective employer could undertake an on line check to identify if there had been any changes to the person's disclosure certificate since the date of issue.  Where no changes had been identified, the existing disclosure could be accepted for determination.  However, if a change was identified or where the DBS check was at a lower level than the check required in the new position, a new DBS application would need to be undertaken. 
  • From September 2013, the DBS disclosure certificate was now issued to the applicant only.
  • There was now a filtering process which excluded lesser criminal convictions from the DBS disclosure certificate.

The Corporate Safeguarding Group had considered the latest changes to the DBS arrangements in detail and these had been incorporated within revised draft policy and supporting guidance.  The DBS policy and guidance would be referred to the Cabinet for approval following ongoing consultation with relevant stakeholders.

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(7)          T H A T the work that had been undertaken to improve corporate arrangements for safeguarding and protecting children and young people and changes to the administration of the Disclosure & Barring Service be noted.

 

(8)          T H A T Cabinet continue to receive six-monthly reports on work to improve corporate safeguarding arrangements and the effectiveness of relevant policies.

 

(9)          T H A T the report and supporting attachments be referred to the Scrutiny Committees (Corporate Resources),( Lifelong Learning) and (Social Care & Health) for information. 

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To ensure that the Council and its schools adopt good practice in their arrangements for safeguarding and protecting children and young people, including procedures for carrying out safeguarding checks on workers, volunteers, agency staff and contractors with unsupervised access to children and vulnerable people.

 

(2)          To allow Cabinet to exercise effective oversight of this key area of corporate working.

 

(3)          To respond to the request of the Scrutiny Committees (Corporate Resources),( Lifelong Learning) and the (Social Care & Health) to be provided with update reports.

 

 

C2281                        DISABLED FACILITIES GRANT PERFORMANCE 2013-2014 QUARTERS 2 AND 3 (HBMCS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEES - SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH, HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION, & CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Members were advised on the Council's performance delivering Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) in quarters 2 and 3 of 2013-14. 

 

Since 2008, the Council had acknowledged the time to deliver a DFG, from the first point of contact when clients requested an adaptation through to the delivery of the works, had to be improved.  Officer time and financial resources had been invested in the service to secure improvements and this had been reflected in the Council’s subsequent improvement in performance.

 

On 15 July, 2013, Cabinet was presented with a further report on delivery improvements for DFGs to improve the grant delivery time. Cabinet resolved that a detailed report on Disabled Facilities Grants be brought to Cabinet on a quarterly basis (Minute No C1415). 

 

The quarterly report for the  DFG service performance for quarter 2, 2013-14 was attached at Appendix 1 to the report, and the quarterly report for the DFG service performance for Quarter 3 2013-14 was provided in Appendix 2 attached to the report.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the report on performance for delivering Disabled Facilities Grant in quarters 2 and 3 of 2013-14 be noted.

 

(2)          T H A T the report be forwarded to the Scrutiny Committees (Housing and Public Protection), (Health and Social Care) and (Corporate Resources) for information.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To note the Council's performance in delivering Disabled Facilities Grant in quarter 2 and 3 of 2013-14.

 

(2)          To inform Members of the Scrutiny Committees (Housing and Public Protection), (Health and Social Care) and (Corporate Resources) of the Council's performance in delivering Disabled Facilities Grant in quarter 2 and 3 of 2013-14.

 

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