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                                                                        Agenda Item No.

 

CABINET

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 16 June, 2014.

 

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

 

Apologies:     Councillor R. Curtis.

 

Also Present: Councillor N. Hodges.

                                                    

C2331                        MINUTES –

                  

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 12 May, 2014 be approved as a correct record.

 

C2332             DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

The following declarations were received;

 

Councillor L. Burnett

Agenda item 12 – Grants to Community / Voluntary Organisations 2014 / 2015

 

Reason for Declaration –

Local Authority Appointed Member to the Board of the Barry YMCA and therefore was allowed to speak and vote on the matter.

 

Councillor C.Elmore

Agenda item 12 – Grants to Community / Voluntary Organisations 2014 / 2015

 

Reason for Declaration –

Chairman of the Barry YMCA Board with dispensation to speak on the matter.

 

Councillor G. John

Agenda item 14 – Adult and Community Learning Course Fees

 

Reason for Declaration –

He was a student on a Welsh Learning Course

 

 

C2333                        INDIVIDUAL SCHOOLS PROGRESS MEETINGS (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) on 7 April, 2014 considered the above report of the Chief Learning and Skills Officer.

 

The Chairman presented the report which provided the Committee with an update on the progress meeting held at Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School that had been undertaken by a Panel of three Members of the Committee.  The Panel had comprised of Councillor N.P. Hodges (Chairman of the Panel), Councillor Mrs. M.E.J. Birch and Mr. L. Kellaway (Co-opted Member) with Councillor C.P.J. Elmore (Cabinet Member for Children’s Services), the Headteacher, the Chairman of Governors, the Chief Learning and Skills Officer, the Head of School Improvement and Inclusion, the Democratic and Scrutiny Officer and the Scrutiny Support Officer in attendance.

 

The report outlined that following an Estyn inspection of the school, the Estyn monitoring visit had concluded that the school should not move from the follow up category since insufficient progress had been made and concern expressed about the capacity for rapid and sustainable improvement and outcomes.  Whilst clear improvements had been made in 2013 compared to 2012, the progress had been insufficient to meet the agreed target or to match the achievement in 2010 or 2011 and as such the school's performance was affecting the school's ability to meet the Level 2+ indicator and the core subject indicator. 

 

The improved school performance in 2013 for the Level 2 threshold of 5 A* - C grade GCSEs including English and Maths was accepted, but the performance was still below the family of schools, the Vale average and the all-Wales average. Improvements had however, been made in Key Stage 4 although more improvements would be needed if minimum expectations were to be secured. 

 

The school was a single sex school for the age 11-16 with a joint sixth form with Barry Comprehensive School.  Following the inspection in May 2012 one of the issues for action had been the underperformance in certain aspects of Key Stage 3. The school had initiated several changes which included increasing the number of teaching groups in Year 9, the appointment of two additional English and two additional Maths teachers for Key Stages 3/4, targeted mentoring support for Level 5 borderline pupils, close data monitoring for CSI combination subjects and additional LSA targeted support for literacy and numeracy..

 

The school performance of pupils gaining 5 or more GCSEs at any grade for the Level 1 threshold had risen slightly in 2013 and remained ahead of the family, the Vale of Glamorgan average and the all-Wales level.  The Level 2 threshold performance had risen by 13.7% and overall the school performance had exceeded the family mean by 15.9% and the family girls by 11%.  For the Level 2+ threshold including English and Maths the school had improved performance against the results in 2012 by 8.7%.  Staff had also visited a number of other schools and considered the strategies and interventions that had been used and had taken the best for Bryn Hafren. 

 

Although the Panel was made aware that the Headteacher would be retiring at the end of the summer, the Headteacher had advised that it was his intention to ensure that sustainable strategies were put in place in order to further improve performance at the school.  A range of interventions had been agreed, including extra lessons, outside expertise, lunch time work clubs which had also been undertaken during the half term and been paid for out of the PDG fund.  A new Head of Department in English had also been appointed and the second in Maths was focussed on the challenge agenda.  The Headteacher also met on a regular basis with the English and Maths Heads of Departments and reported in detail to the Governing Body.  It was noted that the Heads of Departments viewed the role of Governors as a critical friend and any changes to the Key Stage 4 curriculum were agreed with the Governing Body.

 

The School was moving to the SIMS management information system which would provide further robust data and information as a management tool with the intention that the system was installed into every classroom to allow teachers to monitor progress.  A Governors monitoring group had been established and regular monitoring of the school's performance at Key Stage 4 was being reported against all key stage 4 indicators with particular emphasis on the core subjects.

 

The Headteacher was of the view that the school would comfortably exceed figures for English but may be very close in Maths.  The school was however, also having very high stay on rates for extra revision lessons and there was also spare teaching capacity for Maths.

 

In referring specifically to improving performance in the key core subjects the school had also initiated several changes which were detailed at paragraph 13 to the report.  The school was also targeting pupils who needed to improve their English or Maths as well as those who needed to address both.  There were some queries regarding the accuracy of teacher assessments in Maths with the suggestion that there was the need for a review of systems and processes in the Maths Department.  The System Leader would also be spending more time with the school and senior leadership team in monitoring activities for the progress of targeted Year 11 D/C borderline pupils. 

 

The Panel had raised concerns at the potential for instability of leadership with the Headteacher retiring in the summer but considered that a positive move had been made by appointing a Governor Panel in relation to performance.

 

The Panel’s overall conclusion was that it had some measure of confidence that the school would meet the target in English but limited confidence in Maths, which also gave concern for the Level 2+.  The Panel however, as stated above, welcomed the decision of the Governing Body to regularly monitor school performance by establishing a Governing Monitoring Group.  They noted the robust actions that had been taken in the leadership of the English department and that some changes had been made in the Maths department.  However, in order to further boost the school's capacity to drive improvement the Panel suggested that the Council's officers work with the school to consider commissioning an external review of its Maths department and to discuss further the categorisation of the school with the Consortium, with the opportunity of accessing further support.  The Panel also emphasised the importance of timely and thorough delivery of any interventions for pupils and that the GCSE results in 2014 would be critical to Estyn's judgements in October 2014.  

 

The Chairman, in conclusion, referred to the fact that in respect of early entry examinations this was a contentious issue, particularly in light of the recent WJEC performance in schools where examinations had been marked differently from previous years.

 

In considering the report Members raised concerns in relation to consistency of approach in light of the retirement of the Headteacher and any potential impact for the appointment in respect of the consultation being undertaken for the new school.  The Head of School Improvement advised that Governors would be interviewing for the position on 8th April 2014 and all prospective candidates had been given the information in relation to the consultation for co-education.  It was hoped that a start date for the appointment of the Headteacher could be agreed for September 2014 with the Council providing support as appropriate. It was accepted that the transition although difficult would be exacerbated further with the addition of the anticipated examination results and the Estyn follow up.

 

With regard to the findings that had been identified in relation to school transition assessments from primary to secondary school, Members asked whether this was an issue for all schools. The Chairman confirmed that this had been an issue which had been mentioned at all the Panel meetings. The Head of School Improvement confirmed that in previous years SATS had been used to measure performance but that as these had now been abolished teacher assessments were provided. However, a recent Acer report had, advised that teacher assessments were not fit for purpose. It was also accepted that comprehensive schools received children from a number of primary schools throughout the Vale with it being recognised that teacher assessments varied from all schools.  It was further accepted by all present that early read across was required to assist performance in English and Maths.  

 

In referring specifically to the reference in paragraph 13 of splitting the potential C/D teaching sets into smaller classes it was noted that these were made up of 6 to 12 children per class.  It was fully recognised that the earlier children were supported the better chance there could be to change C/D grades.

 

In conclusion, the Chairman reiterated the role of School Governors and reminded Members of the Committee who were themselves school Governors of their responsibilities to challenge and hold the school to account in respect of performance. 

 

It was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the Scrutiny School Progress Panel findings as contained within the report be accepted.

 

(2)       T H A T a follow up visit to the school take place later in the year by the Panel Members, as appropriate, following the GCSE results in August 2014.

 

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

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To apprise Committee of the findings of the School Progress Panel.

 

(2)       To monitor and undertake a follow up visit if appropriate.

 

(3)       For Cabinet consideration.

 

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

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted and the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) be thanked for their ongoing work with the school progress meetings.

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the contents of the report.

 

C2334            WELSH LANGUAGE STANDARDS (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) on 8 April, 2014 considered the above report.

 

The Head of Performance and Development informed the Committee that at its meeting on 7th April 2014 Cabinet had approved the Council’s response to the consultation with the Welsh Language Commissioner in respect of proposals of Welsh Language Standards for the Council and that it would be forwarded to the Commissioner prior to the 18th April deadline for responses.

 

The Council’s response to the Welsh Language Commissioner’s Standards Investigation questionnaire was attached at Appendix 1 to the report. 

 

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 would apply to each body individually and then assess whether they were being properly implemented.

 

The Standards had been published as part of the Welsh Language Measure 2011.  Councils would receive a compliance notice from the Commissioner later on in the year based on their response to the Consultation.  Failure to comply with the Standards could mean fines and potentially reputational damage. 

 

The questionnaire was important as it would form the basis of the level of compliance that would be required by the Vale of Glamorgan Council.  The questionnaire was the Council’s opportunity to identify which Standards were already being implemented, but also highlighted barriers to implementing the Standards in full. 

 

In response to a question regarding the impact the Standards would have on the Council’s tendering process and the awarding of contracts, the Head of Performance and Development advised the Committee that as this was a Welsh Government policy document, it had to be assumed that the proposals complied with European procurement regulations.  He further advised that he understood the Standards to require all communications, including tender documentation, to be bilingual in Welsh and English.  The Committee agreed that it was advisable for Legal Services to undertake a review of the Standards in relation to tenders in order that the Council complied with European and statutory requirements. 

 

The Committee sought clarification regarding the impact of the Welsh Language Standards on the Council’s current recruitment and selection policy / arrangements, in particular whether the need for individuals to speak Welsh was an infringement of the Human Rights Act.  Members were advised that the Standards would be a legal requirement in Wales, and careful consideration would need to be given to what posts had an ability to speak Welsh as an essential requirement. 

 

Referring to the Council’s response, a Committee Member felt it was relevant for the ratio between the number of Welsh and English speakers within the Vale of Glamorgan be detailed earlier on in the Council’s response.  The Committee was advised that as Cabinet had already endorsed and approved the Council’s response and would not be meeting again prior to the submission, no changes could therefore be made.  The Council would now be entering into a period of discussion with the Welsh Language Commissioner, and in the event of any issues arising would be willing to discuss specific issues relevant to the Vale of Glamorgan and it was hoped that a mutual way forward could be agreed to comply with the Standards. 

 

Councillor Dr. I.J. Johnson, with permission to speak, indicated that he felt that the Standards represented a positive step forward. He made reference to the expectations of taxpayers in relation to the ability of Vale of Glamorgan staff to communicate bilingually.  In response the Head of Performance and Development indicated that although only 3% of Vale staff were able to speak Welsh it did not mean that only 3% of contacts could be conducted through the medium of Welsh since there was a full Welsh service available through C1V, the Council’s main point of telephone contact.  Current statistics illustrated that around 11% of the population in the Vale of Glamorgan were able to speak Welsh and that ideally the staff ratio should mirror this statistic.  A Linguistic Skills Strategy was in place but this needed to be reviewed, and the Committee was advised that the Council needed to encourage its staff to learn Welsh and that each department was looking at posts where Welsh speaking was an essential requirement. 

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the Committee note the Council’s consultation response to the Welsh Language Standards questionnaire.

 

(2)       T H A T the Cabinet be requested to ask Legal Services to undertake a detailed examination of the impact of the proposed Welsh Language Standards on the Council’s tendering process and for the awarding of contracts.

 

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To make the Committee aware of the response in regard to the proposed Standards.

 

(2)       To ensure that the level of risk and future legal liabilities are minimised.â€

 

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

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the Head of Legal Services be requested to undertake a detailed examination of the impact of the proposed Welsh Language Standards on the Council’s tendering process and for the awarding of contracts, and to submit an update report on the findings to a future meeting of the Cabinet.

 

Reason for decision

 

To ensure that the level of risk and future legal liabilities was minimised.

 

 

C2335            ALLOCATION OF FUNDING UNDER THE VOLUNTARY ACTION SCHEME 2014 / 15 (REF) –

 

The Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee considered the above report of the Director of Resources.

 

The Committee received a report which sought their views regarding the awarding of grants under the Council’s Voluntary Action Scheme 2014/15. 

 

The Committee was informed that the “Arrangements and Priorities for Funding†in respect of the scheme was considered by them at their meeting on 10th July 2013 and confirmed by Cabinet at its meeting on 29th July, 2013.  The availability of this funding was advertised in local newspapers with applications invited for return by the end of October 2013.  Applications received were circulated to Partnership Co-ordinators and other relevant Council officers for their views / recommendations as regards funding. 

 

The applications received together with the Partnership Co-ordinators’ views and recommendations in respect of each of the applications were attached as an appendix to the report received by the Committee.  The Application Guidelines given to all applicants which provided information for eligibility requirements, priorities for funding, and other administrative issues were also received by the Committee, as were details of grants already committed in respect of 2014/15 and 2015/16 which totalled £158,000 and £102,000 respectively.  Members were afforded the opportunity to view the full application forms as submitted by applicants prior to the meeting by contacting the report author.

 

Following receipt of the report a Member requested a progress report on the Barry Elim Church project which had received previous grant funding and also queried whether Members of the Committee could more easily access the Voluntary Action Scheme applications.  The Committee was informed that in view of data protection issues and the format of applications received, it had been agreed to afford Members the opportunity to view the forms prior to the meeting.  Furthermore, it was confirmed that the applications had been considered by the officer group and had been discussed in detail by that group. 

 

A discussion ensued on the various applications and the Committee was informed by a representative from the voluntary sector that in the near future third sector organisations would be bidding for public sector contracts in competition with much larger organisations and therefore needed to prepare for this and that a Consortium Development Officer would help with this objective.  A Member stated that projects allocated funding through the Voluntary Action Scheme should be accountable on an annual basis with reports being made to the Committee.  The Committee was advised that, over the years, the scheme had been refined and all projects now had allocated Supervising Officers to oversee the projects.  These officers ensured that each project submits quarterly claims and year end reports to the satisfaction of the Supervising Officer before release of grant is made. 

 

The Committee was further advised that in the past an application with a medium priority would be likely to receive funding, however, this was not necessarily the case now with budgetary constraints.  Furthermore, the Committee was informed that under the new Social Services Act it was necessary to work with various enterprises which provided an opportunity to work with smaller organisations and that the appointment of a Consortium Development Officer for the Vale Centre for Voluntary Services was new and innovative and should help with service provision.

Following consideration of the report, it was

 

AGREED –

 

T H A T applications 7, 8 and 14 referred to as high priority for grant assistance as detailed in the report and listed in the table below, be recommended to Cabinet for approval: 

 

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Cabinet, having considered the recommendations of the Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the following applications for grant assistance as detailed in the report be approved:

 

·                Crossroads in the Vale (EMI) Social inclusion groups for those with dementia

·                Dinas Powys Voluntary Concern “Independent living†project

·                Vale Centre for Voluntary Services - 3rd Sector consortia development

 

Reason for decision

 

To approve the above applications for grant assistance.

 

 

C2336            THE IMPACT OF FUNDING REDUCTIONS ON VOLUNTARY SECTOR ORGANISATIONS – VALE CENTRE FOR VOLUNTARY SERVICES (VCVS) (REF) -

 

The Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee considered the above report.

 

Prior to the presentation of this report, Ms. R. Connor from the Vale Centre for Voluntary Services (VCVS) introduced Ms. Linda Pritchard, Health and Social Care Facilitator for VCVS, who would be presenting the report to the Committee. 

 

The report outlined the impact of funding reductions on the voluntary organisations and services in the Vale of Glamorgan.  VCVS acknowledged the pressures which local authorities worked to and the reductions in budgets and advised that they were keen to work with the Council to ensure that there was a range of voluntary and statutory services for vulnerable people in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

Ms. Pritchard was keen to emphasise the interdependencies of funding from different organisations and that the VCVS would welcome a co-ordinated approach statutory funding. 

 

Funding reductions in previous years meant that some voluntary organisations were not achieving full cost recovery and therefore needed to find subsidies from other areas.

 

A recent review of voluntary sector Service Level Agreements by the Local Authority was welcomed as it helped achieve clarity in terms of expectations and performance, contributed to strategic objectives and greater understanding of the impact of funding reductions.

 

Ms. Pritchard shared with the Committee the results of a recent survey to voluntary organisations on the impact of funding reductions of 5%, 7.5% or 12%. The results would be useful for looking at services with greater clarity but could impact on services to vulnerable people and carers.

 

Ms. Pritchard informed the Committee that the VCVS would appreciate the opportunity to work with the Council on an Equality Impact Assessment which could highlight the impact of reductions on individuals with protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010. 

 

Ms. Pritchard informed the Committee that funding reductions could have a knock-on effect of reducing the number of volunteers supported by voluntary organisations.  Furthermore, joint and integrated working initiatives could also be affected by funding reductions.  Ms. Pritchard advised that they welcomed the opportunity to comment on the impact of possible funding reductions and to highlight the impact on frontline services.

 

Following consideration of the report it was

 

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

 

Reason for recommendation

 

In order that Cabinet can consider the points contained within the report and work towards an integrated service provision where possible.â€

 

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Cabinet, having considered the recommendation of the Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the content of the report be noted and the Vale Centre for Voluntary Services and Voluntary Sector Partners be thanked for their ongoing work and continued partnership with the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

               

 

Reason for decision

 

To acknowledge the ongoing work of the Vale Centre for Voluntary Services.

 

 

C2337                        PRESENTATION: NEALE – KENT WARD AT BARRY HOSPITAL - CARDIFF AND VALE UNIVERSITY HEALTH BOARD (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) on 19 May, 2014 received the above presentation

 

Present for this item from the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (UHB) were Mr. Peter Landstrom, Head of Operations and Delivery; Abigail Harris, Executive Director of Planning and Dr. Joe Grey, Clinical Director. 

 

Mr. Landstrom delivered the presentation entitled “Improving our Services for Older People in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorganâ€; he began by informing Members that it was important to receive feedback and views from the Committee as part of the engagement process. 

 

It had been recognised that the population in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan was changing and that the average age of people coming into hospital as in-patients was circa 85+.  Older people often had multiple health care needs placing increasing demands on all areas of health provision.  It was therefore imperative for modern, effective and efficient specialist older people’s services to be centred round the person.  It had also been recognised that older people spent too long in hospital which often resulted in a loss of independence and taking longer to recover.  There was an identified need to move away from hospital based, inpatient, long term care and to support people to maintain their independence for as long as possible. 

 

The Cardiff and Vale UHB aimed to build on the strategic themes formulated in the draft Older People’s Framework which recognised:

 

·                The central and pivotal place for older people in our services

·                The expert and focused care of the older person necessary throughout their care pathway

·                The need to develop and deliver more continuous and integrated care of older people across settings and hospitals

·                The opportunity to put older people’s care at the centre of medicine in Cardiff and the Vale

·                The creation of a clinical Gerontology Directorate in August 2013.

 

Mr. Landstrom, alluded to the current service challenges facing the Cardiff and Vale UHB:

 

(i)        Separated and isolated sites, impacting upon the provision of joined up comprehensive care

(ii)       Services operating out of poor quality and isolated buildings (Rookwood / West Wing)

(iii)      Difficulty in caring for patients who become unwell whilst receiving rehabilitation support due to limited out of hours medical cover and medical staff covering multiple sites

(iv)      Systems under stress through a stretched nursing and therapies staffing resources to support effective multi-disciplinary team working

(v)       Hospital based services not set up in the right way at the moment – and an inability to deliver integrated care across the whole patient journey.

 

In identifying the fragmentation of configured services it had been recognised that the first steps were to change services in order to provide increased and co-located specialist care for older people on a smaller number of sites in an improved environment, that medical cover in and out of hours needed to be improved and that resources focused on rehabilitation and early and consistent input into patients’ entry pathways be increased.  There was a need to balance day services with the potential to increase Elderly Care Assessment Service (ECAS), to support the move away from traditional long stay community hospital models. 

 

What could change?

 

·                Increase specialist input at the first point of entry into all acute services (equity across Cardiff and the Vale)

.                Establish a Frail Older Persons Advice and Liaison (FOPAL) Service at Llandough

·                Expert presence on both acute sites providing complex frail expertise and rehabilitation whilst patients are acutely medically unwell

.                Transfer wards to Gerontology at the Heath and Llandough

·                Create a single specialist hub for Medical, Stroke and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation, with improved medical cover

.                Transfer Rookwood W6 and West Wing MRU

.                Increase Medical Rehabilitation in-patient capacity

.                Transfer West Wing ORU

·                Align our services under one Clinical team wherever possible

.                Transfer all Stroke services to a single team 

.                Transfer all Orthopaedic care to a single team

·                Provide Complex Frail Care and Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) services from St. David’s and Barry Hospitals only

.                Decrease the overall bed base for CGA / Frail Care

.                Close Elizabeth and Neale and Kent wards and increase St. David’s capacity

·                Balance Day Hospital capacity across three sites

.                Transfer Rookwood Day Hospital to St. David’s

.                Increase Barry Day Hospital Capacity

 

·                Potential to consolidate and increase ECAS services

.                Consider option to transfer ECAS to Llandough hub increasing to 10 sessions per week and increasing new patient capacity

·                Ensure fit for purpose MDT input into Gerontology Patients throughout the system

.                'Reinvest’ released staffing resources to support improved medical cover in, support increasing ward nursing levels and therapy resources

.                Ensure when older people need acute care they get the same service whether admitted in the Heath or Llandough

.                Ensure we are focussing resources on Rehabilitation and putting the experts around the patient not moving patients between services / sites

.               Start to make changes that support the aims of the Older Person’s Framework and meet the needs of our patients.

 

Reference was made as to how the proposals would start to improve the level of care for patients.  To begin with older people who require hospital care should receive the same expert input throughout their pathways, regardless of where they accessed the care.  Increased rehabilitation focus and capacity, and the concentration of resources, would make sure that older people would be supported to return to the community and live as independently as possible.  It would be possible to deliver an improved patient experience when in hospital by no longer providing services from poor quality and / or isolated locations.  Co-locating services would ensure that there was a more flexible and robust medical cover that would remove the need to transfer patients between sites if they became ill. 

In concluding the presentation, Mr. Landstrom asked Committee Members to help the engagement process by considering these three key questions:

 

1.         Do you think we have missed anything in our vision for older people’s hospital services?

 

2.         Are there any things that you believe need to be taken into account or that we might have missed when assessing the impact of these ideas?

 

3.         Are there other changes to our Specialist Gerontology services you think would further help us to achieve the desired outcomes, either immediately or in the longer term?

 

Members were advised that answers and feedback for these questions were not needed now and that all the details were shown on the Cardiff and Vale UHB’s website and that feedback could be received in an informal and formal way.  Mr. Landstrom thanked the Committee for the opportunity to deliver the presentation and to be able to outline the Cardiff and Vale UHB’s plans and proposed developments. 

 

In alluding to the current progress made in respect of the engagement process, an Elected Member asked the representatives from the Cardiff and Vale UHB to summarise the plans for Barry Hospital and comment upon the affect upon people within the Vale of Glamorgan as services are relocated closer to the Cardiff area.  In reply, Ms. Harris advised the Committee that the proposals set out by Mr. Landstrom were only a small part of a much larger jigsaw that feeds into the Older People’s Framework.  As such, the plans set out proposals for greater and wider range of services to be provided at Llandough rather than at the University Hospital of Wales.  Part of these plans also included the improvement to the bus provision to the hospital in Llandough.  In reference to Barry Hospital she commented on the important part Barry Hospital has in providing services.  The Community Resource Team (CRT) at Barry Hospital was an important development and the Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Unit had recently moved to Barry Hospital; these were some examples following integration of the commitment to keep important services and activities within Barry. 

 

Further to these points, Mr. Landstrom, commented that discussion with staff was a very important aspect of the engagement and consultation process.  The Cardiff and Vale UHB fully recognised the need to take into account all views and opinions in respect of plans to remodel service delivery.  He also advised Members of the relatively low number of admissions into Barry Hospital from local residents and, in many cases, there was a need for people to be transported between hospitals for specific services and that under the plans outlined people would receive care closer to their homes.  For example, an increased day hospital provision would help rebalance the service. 

 

In commenting upon the changes to Barry Hospital, the Clinical Director, Dr. Grey, advised the Committee that the Cardiff and Vale UHB wanted to see more equity in the location of services.  It was important for patients to receive the right treatment at the right time, particularly at the start of their journey.  Rehabilitation was a key element in ensuring a person’s independence but this input went hand in hand with medical and clinical support. 

 

A Member, in agreement with the creation of Centres for Excellence, made reference to discussions with local constituents who had advised that, in their opinion, the level of engagement by the Cardiff and Vale UHB about changes to Llandough had been minimal.  Llandough should be seen as more than just a hospital and it was important to understand and take on board comments from local people.  The Committee Member thought it was advisable for the plans and proposals to consider wide ranging issues other than clinical aspects, such as road access and transport links.

 

The Chairman enquired with the Cardiff and Vale UHB representatives whether there would be any increased costs for the Vale of Glamorgan Council following these proposals, given the shift from some people receiving in-patient treatment within their community based hospital to receiving help at home or in residential settings. 

 

In response, Ms. Harris advised that under the present system patients were continually shunted from one clinical site to another.  It was not the aim of the review to close Barry Hospital but to ensure resources are used properly in order to ensure that people get well as soon as possible.  People stay in hospital for far too long and that the provision for community based hospitals would still exist, but there was a need to balance service demand. 

 

Mr. Landstrom commented that there may be different clinical / medical activity rates and the Cardiff and Vale UHB would therefore plan with service providers in local areas where patients live.  The current plan was linked to the Older People’s Framework, with the main focus being the appropriateness of the care people receive at the right time.  As a result the Cardiff and Vale UHB did not envision any additional costs but there would not be the need for the same level of local hospital in-patient provision and they would create better links between the CRT, GPs and Social Services that should ultimately make patients better off. 

 

The Committee were further advised that there should be benefits for people who enter the care system in the future and for those who should receive their care under the new and improved Older People’s Services.  At this point the Director of Social Services stressed the importance for rigorous and detailed assessments being carried out when in-patients are moved as a result of ward closures, as happens in residential care so that individual and family concerns are addressed.  He felt it was vital for all parties to agree collectively so that the right decisions are made to meet the needs of the client.

 

In response to a Member’s query regarding timescales and the closure of wards and how the plans are to be future-proofed, the Committee was advised that the current timetable indicates that the engagement process would be concluded by the end of May.  Following this the Community Health Council would meet on 3rd June to discuss the relevant options but there may be further need for more consultation depending on the Health Board’s final decision.  Once the decision to progress has been made it is perceived that changes would be implemented before the winter months in order not to put elderly people through unnecessary disruption during the winter period.  In respect of future-proofing plans the Cardiff and Vale UHB representatives commented that this was a big challenge due to the changing population and aging profile of patients, however if changes are not made then they would be back here in one to two years’ time discussing further and more drastic changes. 

 

In closing the debate the Chairman noted the high importance of this issue and that the Committee was concerned with the possibility of additional costs being incurred by the Council following the implementation of the plans.  It was therefore agreed that the contents be referred to Cabinet for consideration. 

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the contents of the presentation and the accompanying consultation document be forwarded to Cabinet in view of the potential for increased costs to the Council.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

For Cabinet to consider the proposals outlined by the Cardiff and Vale UHB in respect of changes to the older people’s services in view of the potential for increased costs to the Council.â€

 

At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Adult Services commented that he shared the concerns of the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health), and in particular the impact that additional costs would have on Council services. He suggested that the Vale Cabinet requests that the Managing Director write to the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board to request a meeting to discuss the financial impact of the proposal on the Council.

 

Furthermore, the Leader commented that the Council should write to the Welsh Local Government Association highlighting the shortfall in funding across Wales.

 

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

 

 

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

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the Managing Director write to the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and the Welsh Local Government Association to discuss Cabinets concerns over the potential for increased costs in respect of nursing home placements in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

Reason for decision

 

To discuss with the Vale University Health Board and the Welsh Local Government Association the potential for increased pressures on the Council’s budget in respect of nursing home placements when in-patient hospital facilities are withdrawn.

 

 

C2338            BARRY ISLAND BEACH HUTS – RENTAL POLICY (REF) –

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) on 20 May, 2014 considered the above report.

 

Prior to discussion the Chairman advised that the report before the Committee was a revised version to the one which had been e-mailed to Barry Members on 13th May 2014.  It had been slightly amended following consultation with the Director of Visible Services and Housing with regard to more suitable opening times for the beach huts.

 

In presenting the report the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation stated that as part of the Eastern Promenade contracted works at Barry Island the Council would be constructing 25 beach huts in an effort to increase the attractiveness of the Eastern Promenade.  Regeneration outcomes in terms of the rental of the beach huts’  would also be put into the future regeneration of the Island thereby increasing its vitality. The huts would also provide an opportunity for some people to hire them for commercial use. The report recommended that following the close of the season a report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet on the operation of the Beach Hut scheme. Such a trial was seen to be a more sensible approach as the scheme was a new venture and the Council  needed to find out the best way of making the scheme work.  The Cabinet Member further stated that her intention of bringing the report before the Scrutiny Committee was to have a considered discussion and to highlight the proposed scheme to residents of the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

The Director of Development Services tabled for Members information some images of the site and referred in detail to the makeup of the huts.  He advised that one of the huts would house water and power supply and would be fitted with sink units.  The 12 beach nuts nearest the Eastern Shelter were to be larger in form with a size of 2.1m x 2.4m.  The remaining 12 smaller huts would be 2.1m x 1.5m in size and had been designed as changing rooms for the beach.  These would have light availability but would not actually have a power supply.  All the beach huts were of block-work construction and to be externally finished in a multi-coloured resin / plastic based wood replacement cladding.  Members were informed that the huts  would not be fitted with any specific furniture although the pilot study could allow for customer needs to be determined via a questionnaire.   Some Members considered that if the huts were furnished with significant facilities this may lose the charm of the facilities.

 

The Project Board had discussed the options for managing the units and had considered :

 

·                Selling the units on the open market

·                Marketing the opportunity of managing the units by a third party or

·                The Council marketing and managing the units itself.

 

The preference of the Project Board that was set up to manage the Barry Island Public Realm Programme was for the Council to retain the units and control the marketing and rental thereof.  This would allow complete control of the uses and the flexibility to learn from the pilot project and implement variations to operations speedily.  In considering the sale option, the Project Board could not be certain that prospective purchasers would actually utilise their units on a regular basis throughout the season and they did not wish to see the units less than fully utilised.  The third party management option had also been considered in some detail but again it was felt that this option might result in limited utilisation of the units. 

 

With regard to the smaller units the proposal was to rent them out on a daily basis and for the larger units the option appeared to be a daily rental, a weekly or part-weekly rental or a seasonal rental.  In undertaking research in relation to how other local authorities managed a similar service, it was noted that the majority appeared to be operated on the basis of annual leases, seasonal leases or ground leases, but in many cases the authorities were managing hundreds of units.  In the cases where authorities rented out a daily and or weekly basis the daily rental charges varied between £11 and £60.  Some also allowed bookings for two or three days or weekly.  In referring to seasonal bookings, it was considered that this held the risk of less than full use and that rental arrangements should be limited to weekly bookings.  The recommendations were therefore that the charges be set at £15 a day for the smaller units and £30 a day for the larger units, with weekly bookings of the larger units being allowed. 

 

In referring to opening times, following consultation with the Director of Visible Services and Housing, the aim was to staff the new toilet throughout the season from 1st April to 30th September with a rotating shift from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m.  The new toilet facilities would be open at 10 a.m. (the existing toilet had been opened earlier but was not staffed), and this would give the Council three hours to clean the toilets and the new beach huts which could also open at 10 a.m. The beach huts would close at 8 p.m. at the latest, though it was considered that most users would be out by 6 p.m. However, it could be possible for them to be open longer when events took place. The keys could be returned to the staff member on shift and he or she could ensure that the huts are vacated at the correct time to avoid the potential for any anti social behaviour.  Cleaning would be undertaken in the morning but only on handover i.e. if the hut was a weekly booking no cleaning would take place until the end of the hire.   

 

The bookings could be made in a similar way to the system that was currently in place for special collections. Payments and bookings would be via the contact centre and staff would be issued with a print off each morning indicating the bookings for that day/week. Bookings could also be taken on the day but users would have to do this again via the contact centre.

 

The report also highlighted that from the outset the intention had been to allow some form of commercial use to operate in the larger beach huts.  It had also initially been envisaged that they would be let for this purpose on a number of set dates in the calendar.  If however, demand proved greater the policy could be amended.  The intention would also be to seek interested parties via online marketing and again with the offer on a first come first serve basis.  Various restrictions would also need to operate and, for example, the selling of food would not be permitted.  Information in relation to the beach hut rental policy and management issues such as parking arrangements at Nell’s Point would also be published on the Council’s website.

 

The Director for Visible Services and Housing, referring to the proposals to rent the beach huts from 10 a.m. advised that this could be even earlier.  A number of operational arrangements also needed to be developed i.e. in relation to online bookings arrangements being made and to telephone bookings with the Contact Centre.  He agreed that the beach hut scheme was an exciting project and following the pilot a report would be presented to the Committee and Cabinet with details of what worked well together with areas for improvement if any.

 

During the discussion a number of issues were raised by Members of the Committee, in particular if one of the huts was not occupied on a particular day would members of the public who happened to be passing that day be able to hire a hut.  It was confirmed that a member of staff would be on hand in the summer season to ensure that this arrangement could be made.  The member of the public could telephone to book the hut and confirmation could be given to the officer present in order for the keys to be handed over.  All Members agreed that a flexible approach was required in order that such instances could be catered for. Other issues discussed related to what type of key could be provided, how they were to be returned, the cost of purchasing keys if mislaid, questionnaires to be produced and handed to each occupier to include suggestions for improvements; insurance against damage etc. Officers again advised that these issues would be addressed in detail when considering the rental policy. 

 

Councillor N.P Hodges , not a member of the Committee, but granted permission to speak, although in full support of the scheme stated that a no drinking policy should be incorporated into any rental policy and that the provision of enough litter bins with aesthetically pleasing designs should be provided in the vicinity.  He also suggested the possibility of naming the huts as opposed to numbering them.

 

The Cabinet Member for Environment and Visible Services, with permission to speak,  stated that he also welcomed the beach hut scheme and the provision of the new toilet block which he considered was essential for visitors.  Although aware that operational issues and a rental policy needed to be developed however, urged that CCTV to cover the area be considered in future budgets. 

 

The Chairman referred to the issue of car parking at the site which had been raised at the agenda conference for the meeting with the view that if anyone did purchase a beach hut, could there be provision that they also paid for a car park space at the same time however, it had been suggested that this could be a matter for consideration in the future.  The Committee also agreed that the recommendation that Council retain control of the scheme was essential in order for the Council to assess the scheme and manage it for the residents of the Vale of Glamorgan.  The size of some of the huts was however, considered to be small, but it was suggested that if the scheme was successful the possibility of future beach huts being placed around the Vale was promising. 

 

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation informed the Committee that she had also been regularly corresponding with residents on social media who were full of praise for the scheme.  Members praised the officers and the Cabinet Members for bringing forward such a scheme and recognised that a number of issues had already been raised and would be considered when the policy was developed.

 

All Members of the Committee concurred that they were in support of the proposals although aware that a rental policy needed to be developed and that a trial over the coming season was essential in order to iron out any issues

 

The Leader of the Council, with permission to speak, formally recorded his thanks to the Cabinet Members, the officers and the teams who had been fully involved in the project to date.  He also reiterated his concerns that if the beach huts were let out on more than weekly basis, some people may not turn up others may see that they were empty and this would not be a good use of the facility.  In referring to water supply being available in only one of the huts Members were informed that the matter had been considered but that in light of potential flooding issues that could arise it had been agreed not to provide this facility in all the huts.  In conclusion he suggested that when the rental policy was drawn up that it include the provision for officers in conjunction with the relevant Cabinet Member to be able to amend the policy as required. He also advised all present that the whole scheme was to be developed within current resources. 

 

Having fully considered the report the Committee subsequently unanimously

 

RECOMMENDED –  

 

T H A T the Scrutiny Committee’s comments and the following recommendations be referred to Cabinet :-

 

(i)           T H A T the Barry Island Beach Huts Rental Policy as outlined in paragraphs 6 to 13 of the report be approved.

 

(ii)          T H A T the Beach Huts be advertised and rented in accordance with the above.

 

(iii)         T H A T the Director of Development Services be tasked with producing a Rental Policy Document based on (i) above.

 

(iv)    T H A T, following the close of the season, a report be presented to the

         Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet on the operation of the Beach Hut

         Scheme.

 

Reasons for recommendation

 

(i)         For Cabinet’s consideration.

 

(ii)        In order that tourists and visitors to the Island understand the terms of beach hut rental put in place.

 

(iii)       That the beach huts contribute to the vitality and vibrancy of the area and contribute financial to future regeneration initiatives.

 

(iv)       To update Committee and Cabinet.

 

   

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

 

 

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

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted and that all the relevant issues raised by the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) contained within the report would be considered along with other comments received and that a further report would be presented to a future Cabinet Meeting to consider all the points raised.

 

Reason for decision

 

To note and further consider the contents of the report.

 

 

C2339            USE OF THE MANAGING DIRECTORS EMERGENCY POWERS (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES, LIFELONG LEARNING, ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT, HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) -

 

Members were informed  of the exercising of Emergency Powers by the Managing Director since the last report in January 2014, as follows;

 

 (a)      Gileston to Old Mill Highway Improvement Scheme Main Works -

 

Authority to give delegated authority to the Director of Visible Services and Housing in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Environment and Visible Services to:

 

  • Accept the tender presented by Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd at the Tender Sum of £1,469,239.31.
  • Appoint Capita Symonds to undertake the Contract Management and Site Supervision roles during the main works period based on their fee proposal of £118,473.73

(Scrutiny - Corporate Resources)

 

(b)       Contact Centre Technology with Sabio Limited -

 

Authority to extend the existing contract for the support and maintenance of the Council's Contact Centre technology by 12 months at a cost of £26,826.25.

 

(Scrutiny - Corporate Resources)

 

(c)        Revised Figures for the Llantwit Learning Community Strategic Outline Case -

 

Authority to submit the Strategic Outline Case including costs of the scheme to meet the revised Welsh Government submission deadline date.

 

(Scrutiny - Lifelong Learning)

           

(d)       Membership of the Planning Committee -

 

Authority to replace Councillors Janice Birch and Margaret Wilkinson with Councillors Rhona Probert and Gwyn Roberts with immediate effect and until further notice.

 

(Scrutiny - Corporate Resources)

 

(e)       Membership of the Planning Committee and Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) -

 

Authority to replace Councillor Mrs. M. Kelly Owen with Councillors R.P. Thomas and H.J.W. James on the Planning Committee and the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) respectively, with immediate effect and until further notice.

 

(f)        Virement within the Education Capital Programme 2013/14 -

 

Authority to transfer a total of £15,246 from the Fire Precautions Project to the Ysgol St. Curig Scheme.

 

(Scrutiny - Corporate Resources)

 

(g)       Cowbridge Bowling Green Replacement of Playing Surface -

 

Authority to:

 

(1)       Appoint Dales Sports Surfaces to uplift and dispose of the existing carpet at a cost of £2,350.

 

(2)       Appoint TerraDat, Cardiff to carry out a 3D laser survey at a cost of £695.

 

(3)       Appoint Dales Sports Surfaces to supply and lay Mastergreen surface in accordance with their quotation.

 

(4)       Fund the works from Visible Services Asset Renewal Fund 2014/15.

 

(Scrutiny - Economy and Environment)

 

(h)       Roofing Works - Albert Primary, Fairfield Primary and Ysgol St. Curig Schools -

 

Authority to:

 

(1)       Transfer the anticipated underspends for the Albert Primary (£112k), Fairfield Primary (£144k) and Ysgol St. Curig (£90k) roofing schemes from the 2013/14 Capital Programme into the 2014/15 Capital Programme.

 

(2)       Approve the allocation of the 2014/15 Education Asset Renewal Budget to Albert Primary (£215k), Fairfield Primary (£100k) and Ysgol St. Curig (£150k) roofing schemes.

 

(3)       Award the contract for works at Albert Primary to ET and S Construction Limited for the value of £310,567.

 

(Scrutiny - Corporate Resources)

 

(i)         Virement Within Education Capital Programme 2013/14 -

 

Authority to transfer a total of £16,000 from the Holton Primary overboarding ceiling scheme to carry out similar works at Gladstone Primary, Ysgol St. Baruc and St. Nicholas Primary Schools.

 

(Scrutiny - Corporate Resources)

 

(j)         Housing - Off Gas Heating Upgrades - Various Properties (Tender Acceptance) -

 

Authority to:

 

(1)       Waive Contract Standing Orders 4 and 5 relating to procedures to be adopted when compiling a tender list in accordance with Contract Standing Order 2.2 in order to avoid the risk of losing grant funding by not adhering to the stipulated deadline.

 

(2)       Accept the tender submitted by Egnida Limited in the amount of £169,751.41.

 

(Scrutiny - Housing and Public Protection)

 

(k)        Education Asset Renewal -

 

Authority to allocate £60,000 from the Learning and Skills Capital Programme for 2014/15 for school assets renewal to undertake works to the main heating system at Holton Road Primary School and to approve the above specification ahead of a formal report to the Cabinet on 28th April 2014 which would provide a full breakdown of the allocation. 

 

(Scrutiny - Corporate Resources)

 

(l)         21st Century Schools Local Government Borrowing Initiative –

 

Authority to accept the grant to approve the ability to raise the required loan and to make the necessary changes to the Capital Programme.

(Scrutiny – Corporate Resources)

 

(m)      S106 Capital Schemes –

 

Authority to include the following schemes in the Capital Programme for 2014/15 in order for design and works to commence as soon as possible as S106 monies have been received for them:

 

Maslin Park - £43,000

Footpath Improvements Cowbridge - £72,525

Premier Inn Bus Layby and Shelter - £86,635

Llanfair Primary School - £40,000.

 

(Scrutiny – Corporate Resources)

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the the exercising of Emergency Powers by the Managing Director since the last report in January 2014 as outlined above be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the exercising of Emergency Powers by the Managing Director since the last report in January 2014.

 

 

C2340                        REPRESENTATION ON VALE OF GLAMORGAN – BEST KEPT VILLAGE COMPETITION        COMMITTEE (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Following the elections in May 2012, the Council appointed Councillors Edmunds and Probert as two of its four representatives on the Vale of Glamorgan Best Kept Village Competition Committee.  The other two representatives are Councillors Gwyn John and Audrey Preston. 

 

Since the original appointments were made, it had become apparent that, given their other commitments, Councillors Edmunds and Probert were, regrettably, unable to give the required commitment to carry out the appointments.  Therefore, Members were tasked to appoint representatives to the Vale of Glamorgan Best Kept Village Competition Committee to replace Councillors Kate Edmunds and Rhona Probert.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the proposal that the Councils representation on the Vale of Glamorgan Best Kept Village Competition Committee be reduced from 4 to 3 Members be endorsed.

 

(2)          T H A T Group Leaders be invited to nominate a council representative to the Vale of Glamorgan Best Kept Village Competition Committee and that any nominations received be reported back to a future Cabinet Meeting.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To reduce representation on the Vale of Glamorgan Best Kept Village Competition Committee.

 

(2)             To maintain the Councils representation on this Committee.

 

 

C2341                        GRANTS TO COMMUNITY / VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS 2014 / 15 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Approval was sought for the award of grants from the 2014 / 15 corporate revenue budget. The grant applications received were set out in appendix A that was attached to the report.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the grants be awarded as set out in Appendix A attached to the report.

 

Reason for decision

 

To award grants in accordance with the Councils approved scheme.

 

 

C2342                        SICKNESS ABSENCE REPORT – APRIL 2013  TO MARCH 2014 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Members were updated on the sickness absence information for the full financial year from April 2013 to March 2014.

 

The report set out the sickness absence figures for the full financial year 2013/1 4 and covered both corporate employees and those employed directly by schools. The outturn figures had been measured against the agreed targets for the financial year.

 

The report also included details of comparative sickness absence figures for the previous year, 2012/13, to assist performance monitoring of sickness absence over the two years.

 

The overall average sickness absence rate (per FTE employee) and percentage of working time lost per FTE over each financial year were set out in the table below:

 

2012/13

2013/14

Target

Average days/shifts lost (per FTE)

8.70

8.75

8.90

Percentage of time lost (per FTE)

3.3%*

3.3%*

           

The total figures for 2013/14 indicated a slight increase on last year's total absence figures, from 8.70 to 8.75 days per full-time equivalent employee (FTE). This represented an increase in absence of 0.05 days lost per FTE employee, however, overall absence levels had come in under the target of 8.90 days/shifts per FTE.

 

There had been a decrease in the absence levels for corporate employees (from 10.24 in 2012/13 to 9.85 days) compared with a small increase in absence levels within schools (from 7.05 to 7.60 days).

 

Absence by Directorate

A summary of the absence within each Directorate is set out below. A further breakdown of absence in each Service area was included within Appendix A that was attached to the report.

 

          2012/13

          2013/14

Directorate

Average days / shifts lost per FTE

% of lost time by FTE

Average days / shifts lost per FTE

% of lost time by FTE

Target (for each  year)

Corporate and Customer Services

7.57

2.9%

6.84

2.6%

8.48

Social Services

13.71

5.3%

11.72

4.5%

10.92

Development Services

5.51

2.1%

5.14

2.0%

5.31

Visible and Housing Services

12.24

4.7%

12.95

4.9%

11.47

Resources

5.23

2.0%

6.15

2.3%

7.2

Learning and Skills

9.87

3.8%

8.94

3.4%

6.66

Totals - excluding Schools

10.24

3.9%

9.85

3.8%

8.9

Schools

7.05

2.7%

7.6

2.9%

Totals - including Schools

8.7

3.3%*

8.75

3.3%*

8.9

* The percentage of time lost (per FTE) is based on the total number of working days lost over the year divided by the total number of days that could have been worked by all employees over the same period. The difference between average days lost through sickness absence is low (0.05 days between 2012/13 and 2013/14) and this accounts for the percentage of time lost remaining the same over both periods.

Reasons for absence

A detailed breakdown of the reasons for sickness absence was set out in Appendix B attached to the report. The top four reasons for absence continued to be stress (24.38%), operation and recovery (19.81%), viral infections (16.26%) and musculoskeletal disorders (13.31%).

 

Responding to absence

A range of supportive interventions were available and applied throughout the Council irrespective of whether the sickness absence was short or long term. These included occupational health, employee counselling service and funded/part funded treatments, assessments and investigatory interventions.

Sickness flagging reports were produced for all managers across all Services on a monthly basis and Personnel Officers continued to work closely with managers using these to illustrate employee absence patterns and trigger any necessary action/intervention as appropriate. The Head of Human Resources also has a dedicated monthly review of the top 50 ongoing absence management cases.

 

A critical step in absence management was the return to work interview. There continued to be an ongoing emphasis placed on conducting and completing the combined return to work (RTW) interviews and sickness notification forms. These provide the framework for discussions between the manager and employee to consider reasons for the absence, explore any underlying issues or trends and moreover to identify any adaptations or supportive interventions where appropriate to promote and sustain the employees' return to work.

 

Absence levels within the Council were comparable with the levels identified in the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (CIPD) Absence Management Report (2013). This report found that an average of 3.8% of working time was lost through sickness absence which exceeds the 3.3% lost time within the Council.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the report and the sickness absence outturn provided in Appendix A as attached to the report be noted.

 

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

 

(3)       T H A T the absence target for the current and future years remain the same as those set for last year 2013 / 2014 (8.9 days per employee).

 

(4)       T H A T a report be submitted to Cabinet every 6 months, to report on the half-yearly sickness absence figures and enable members to monitor progress and raise any issues for consideration. If there were any reasons for particular concern then these issues should be reported to Cabinet at a sooner date.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To bring matters to the attention of Members of the Cabinet in line with corporate objectives.

 

(2)       To enable the Scrutiny Committee to maintain a continued focus on the management of sickness absence throughout all services of the Council.

 

(3)       To help provide a clear focus on sickness absence management whilst acknowledging the increasingly difficult financial climate and associated challenges facing local government.

 

(4)       To provide Members with the opportunity to review sickness absence in relation to the Management of Absence policy and compare outturn against set targets, on a half-yearly basis or earlier if appropriate.

 

 

C2343                        ADULT AND COMMUNITY LEARNING COURSE FEES (CS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – LIFELONG LEARNING) –

 

Members were asked to review the fee levels for Adult and Community Learning (ACL) courses in light of the recent 37.5% cut in the Adult Community Learning allocation from Welsh Government Department for Education and Skills (DfES). 

 

Adult and Community Learning provision was a Council Service and its core funding comes from Department for Education and Skills.  The "Delivering Community Learning for Wales" document set out the Welsh Government's adult and community learning policy, described the strategic aims and defined the key action for providers.  The vision is to:

 

  • Increase participation for those who had benefited least from education in the past or who are most at risk of not benefiting in the future.
  • Improve quality in the learning experience including increased progression to other learning opportunities or work.

 

Currently the level of fees charged by the Council was aimed at ensuring that learning opportunities were as affordable as possible and that cost barriers to participation were minimised whilst recognising that learners should make an appropriate contribution to the overall cost of learning.

 

Courses such as Basic Skills, Family Learning and English for Speakers of Other Languages (EU Citizens, refugees and asylum seekers) courses were provided free of charge.  Free courses were also available for individuals seeking employment on the 'Get Back on Track' programme of one day accredited courses in Microsoft Office skills.

 

The report outlined that Charges for other courses were based on £4.25 per hour for full fee payers. Learners could take advantage of instalment facilities to pay for their courses in 20-week blocks and10-week blocks, as appropriate to the learner's needs. Appendix A attached to the report contained fees and charges and concessions that were available for residents.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

T H A T with effect from September 2014:

 

(1)          T H A T the full fee be increased from £60 to £85 for a 10 week course.

 

(2)          T H A T the concessionary fee be increased from £45 to £64 for a 10 week course, equivalent to 75% of the full fee and to change those eligible to the concession as outlined in Appendix A attached to the report.

 

(3)          T H A T band C of concession outlined in Appendix A attached to the report be removed.

 

(4)          T H A T the Department for Education and Skills funding be used  solely to support an increase in targeted courses in local communities for disadvantaged learners.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To deliver more flexible learning opportunities in community venues for disadvantaged groups, especially those not engaged in education, employment or training;

 

(2)          To provide a broader range of learning opportunities in order to attract individuals who are unable or unwilling to engage with a more traditional curriculum;

 

(3)          To meet the additional costs incurred by targeting resources at those in greatest need, including those who are unable to fund their own learning;

 

(4)          To ensure Welsh Government Grant was directed at priority learners.

 

  

C2344                        THE STRATEGIC APPOINTMENT OF LOCAL EDUCATION AUTHORITY SCHOOL GOVERNORS IN THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN SCHOOLS (CS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – LIFELONG LEARNING) –

 

Approval was sought to consult with the Vale of Glamorgan school governors on the implementation of a more strategic approach to the appointment of Local  Authority (LA) governors in our schools.

 

Currently the  Council appointed approximately 182 Local Authority (LA) school governors. The recruitment and appointment process for LA governors set out in the Council’s Policy on the Appointment of LA governors in Appendix 1 that was attached to the report.

 

All LA governor vacancies were advertised on the Council’s website in accordance with the Council’s policy. This included those whose terms of office come to an end as well as any vacancies due to resignations. The term of office for LA governors was four years and after this time the Governor Support Unit (GSU) wrote to the governor to inform them that their term of office was due to cease and invited them to reapply if they wished to continue.

 

The report highlighted where improvements could be made to the current recruitment system of LA Governers under the following headings;

 

·                Advertising of current vacancies  - At present vacancies were advertised on the council's website but were not always given high priority. It was proposed that the vacancies were given a higher profile and that opportunities were explored with local and regional employers to draw these vacancies to the attention of their staff living in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

·                Potential for panel pre-selection briefing session - In the current arrangements, there was no briefing provided to the selection panel, although the Head of Governor Support attended the panel meeting to advise where necessary. Such a briefing could provide the panel with information about forthcoming challenges to school leadership and also help determine the nature of additional expertise that governing bodies would need to call upon in future years, particularly in schools facing challenges. 

 

·                Potential for expertise and skill-set mapping – Information, as aforementioned, could play an important part in determining the specific expertise required of a governing body. This could provide helpful guidance to the panel and would be supportive of a more strategic approach to the appointment of LA governors.

 

·                Vale School Governors’ Association (VSGA): A VSGA member currently sat on the panel but in a non voting observer capacity. This role could be developed further to inform the work of the panel by sharing intelligence about the challenges and opportunities provided through involvement in the strategic leadership of schools, such as that reflected in the membership of the VSGA.

 

·                Potential for Continual Professional Development - CPD) for school leadership for governors- Additionally, LA Governors could be brought together at the start and end of each academic year to develop a shared understanding about successes and challenges facing our schools.

 

The report recommended that Consultation with Vale school governors via the Vale School Governor Association (VSGA) should take place in the following areas:-

  • The Chief Officer and/or the Head of School Improvement and Inclusion to attend meetings of the selection panel for LA appointed school governors
  • The Chief Officer/Head of School Improvement to provide a school/LA briefing to the selection panel in advance of any selection taking place to outline the nature of schools' needs and challenges, where LA governor vacancies exist.
  •  High profile advertising and targeted recruitment should be in place to widen the pool of potential governors.
  • The GSU to compile an ‘expertise and experience register’ of existing LA school governors
  • The GSU to compile a ‘register of need’ for LA Governor expertise as expressed by schools/Chairs of governors.
  • A selection panel utilising a ‘map and gap’ approach based on skills/expertise and school needs, when selecting LA school governors should be established.
  • The GSU to keep up to date an LA Governors attendance register.
  • The GSU to work with the HOS/Lead Officer for School Improvement and the JES to devise leadership development opportunities for LA Governors.
  • The LA governor selection panel to adopt a more strategic and prioritised approach to LA governor selection and one which was more sharply focussed on the needs and challenges of the individual school.
  • A review and redeployment of existing LA governors to new schools should be carried out to, determine LA governors by needs of the school.
  • Proposals should be considered by cabinet after consultation had taken place and a new strategy be adopted as soon as possible.  

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)        T H A T the proposal for consultation and implementation in the future be approved.

 

(2)        T H A T the report be referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) as part of the consultation process.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To ensure our Governing Bodies were well supported with specific expertise and experience.

 

(2)          To provide opportunity for Scrutiny by members.

 

 

C2345                        SCHOOL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS (SEN) FUNDING FOR MAINSTREAM SCHOOLS (CS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – LIFELONG LEARNING) –

 

Members were informed of recent changes to the way in which funding to support pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN) was allocated to schools.

 

Funding to support pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN) in primary schools was previously held centrally within the Directorate of Learning and Skills, amounting to approximately £700, 000 (known locally as the Learning Support Assistant SEN Budget). The allocation to schools to support individual pupils was made via a SEN Panel to which schools made evidentially based representations for additional resource and support for individual pupils. The SEN Panel was advised by the Lead Officer for Inclusion, supported by Headteachers and admin staff.

 

Following extensive consultation with schools, the centrally held budget previously used for funding individual pupil support in primary schools was delegated to primary schools from 1st April 2014.Schools had become the direct employers of the Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) working with their pupils.

 

The previous SEN Panel had been replaced by the Additional Needs Fund (ANF) Panel which was responsible for considering applications made by schools and determining appropriate levels of support. The Panel was organised by Headteachers, supported by the Principal Educational Psychologist and had responsibility for managing the ANF Budget and supported decision making. The terms of reference for the ANF panel was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

The role of the panel was to discuss and moderate potential submissions for ANF.  The panel would therefore need to consider whether a particular case warranted additional resources and that all criteria had been met. As there was clear SEN Guidance Criteria to inform this decision making, the process should be an objective one.

The first ANF Panel took place on 1 May 2014. The functioning of the ANF Panel would be closely monitored throughout the first year according to the Monitoring, Evaluation and Review (MER) process that was attached at Appendix 2 to the report.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the arrangements made to delegate responsibility for and funding to support pupils with special educational needs to the schools they attend be noted.

 

(2)          T H A T the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) be invited to consider a monitoring, evaluation and review up-date in one year's time.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To make Members aware of recent changes.

 

(2)          To enable Members to scrutinise arrangements to support our SEN pupils in primary schools.

 

 

C2346                        THE SOUTH EAST WALES IMPROVEMENT COLLABORATIVE (SEWIC) PROPOSED REGIONAL MARKETING CENTRE FOR IN HOUSE FOSTER CARE (CS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH) –

 

Endorsement was sought, in principle, to establishing a Regional Foster Care Marketing Centre (RMC) with other South East Wales Improvement Collaborative (SEWIC) Local Authorities if there is a sound business case for doing so.

 

The SEWIC Board had been exploring the merits of delivering some in-house fostering services on a more collaborative basis across the region.

 

A report was presented to the Board that demonstrated that local authorities were supporting, reviewing and training their foster carers to a good standard and that foster carers, once approved, were remaining as carers with the authority.  Recruitment  however, was presenting far greater challenges, with particular difficulties in finding carers for adolescent children and sibling groups.  A case was made for exploring how recruiting foster carers and marketing the service could be delivered by the Collaborative on a more regional basis.

 

The case for change was outlined in the report that was attached at Appendix I.  It highlighted the challenges faced by local authorities in placing children locally within in-house resources and the levels of expenditure on Independent Fostering Agency (IFA) placements.

 

The creation of an RMC would establish a coordinated and streamlined marketing presence, much stronger than the current disjointed working across the Region and would provide a single point of entry for anyone interested in fostering.  A strong customer focus would be consistently in place at that initial point of enquiry. 

 

Additionally an RMC would bring together the marketing expertise currently spread across the region. This way, it would be easier to achieve continuous development of marketing opportunities and clear monitoring of ‘what works’ and ‘what doesn’t’. However, the RMC would need to have close ties with staff in each local authority so that marketing campaigns can be specifically targeted to meet their needs.

 

It was recognised a detailed business case would be required to allow further consideration of the proposal. It was intended the business case would be produced by the SEWIC by October 2014.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the Vale of Glamorgan Council join, in principle, a Regional Foster Care Marketing Centre with other willing South East Wales Improvement Collaborative (SEWIC) Local Authorities.

 

(2)          T H A T SEWIC produce a detailed business case for the Regional Marketing Centre, to allow further consideration of the proposal.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To improve the Council's ability to recruit foster carers.

 

(2)          To enable Cabinet to reach an informed decision about the merits of proceeding with the project.

 

   

C2347                        CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE SERVICES – COMMISSIONING STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2013 – 2018 (CS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEES – SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH & LIFELONG LEARNING) –

 

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

On 4 March, 2013, Cabinet considered the draft Children and Young People Services Commissioning Strategy and Action Plan.  A copy of the Strategy was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.  The Strategy contained four key objectives:

 

  • To support families to stay together and reduce the need for children to be looked after by ensuring a focus on early intervention and preventative action across all service provision for children, including statutory and independent providers. 

 

  • To manage risk confidently and provide support at the ‘edge of care’ by making sure that need and risk are accurately assessed and receive the proper response, so that the right children are accommodated at the right time.  This includes supporting families by making private arrangements within their wider family networks.

 

  • To provide and commission a flexible and affordable mix of high quality placements that meet the diverse range of children’s needs.

 

  • To give children clearly planned journeys through care which remain focused on achieving care plans; prevent drift; enable them to be reunited with family and friends where possible; provide them with stable placements and opportunities to exit the care system positively.

 

To ensure that the Strategy was implemented effectively, work  had been 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 who 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 remain accommodated; and

 

  • increasing the range of placement options available for looked after children.

An updated Action Plan was attached at Appendix 2 to the report and confirmed good progress in the first year of the Strategy.  Many of the actions had been completed while other longer-term measures were on track and on time.  It will be important to ensure a continuing and coordinated effort that built on the achievements to date.

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

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

 

(2)          T H A T the report be referred to the Scrutiny Committees (Social Care and Health and Lifelong Learning), for information.

 

(3)          T H A T Cabinet and the Scrutiny Committees (Social Care and Health and Lifelong Learning), continue to receive six-monthly progress updates on the Children and Young People Services Commissioning Strategy and Action Plan 2013-18.

 

Reason for decisions

 

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

 

 

C2348                        FEASIBILITY STUDY – INSTALLATION OF SYNTHETIC SPORTS PITCH, JENNER PARK STADIUM (LPCSD) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) –

 

Approval was sought to undertake a feasibility study into the possible installation of a 3rd Generation (3G) synthetic sports pitch at Jenner Park Stadium, Barry. 

 

Jenner Park was the Council's premier sporting venue with considerable history and a prominent place within the local community and the wider Vale. The report outlined that consideration needed to be given to attracting a wider use, to promote Jenner Park as the Vale's centre of sporting excellence.

 

The current pitch was laid to grass and featured an under pitch drainage and irrigation system. The pitch was able to accept a wide range of field sports including; rugby, football and athletics throwing events. The pitch reliability could however be affected by prolonged periods of wet weather, despite the drainage system, and it also suffered from damage caused by excessive use, particularly senior football matches played in quick succession when the ground surface was wet.

 

One of the ways of increasing the use of the stadium and providing a much larger playing window was to change from grass to a synthetic playing surface.   

        

Research indicated that grass pitches that had been converted to a synthetic   surface provided greater opportunities for consistent use and could be accessed in all weathers. The income generated by these facilities at other locations was proven to offset initial capital costs as well as the long term maintenance. 

 

The existing pitch at Jenner park was level and would therefore require minimal preparatory works. There was also a comprehensive drainage system which was likely to be sufficient to serve the synthetic pitch. This would be investigated along with ground conditions, generally to inform the construction specification. A condition survey would also be carried out on the existing infrastructure i.e. floodlighting, changing rooms and access routes.

 

Timescales for delivery would be examined as part of the proposed feasibility study and would identify any potential construction problems, though given existing and new season bookings.The earliest possible construction date would be during the summer of 2015/16. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the appointment of suitable consultants to undertake a detailed study to identify all costs and income opportunities relating to the construction, hire and maintenance of a 3G facility at Jenner Park, including consultation with potential stakeholders, local clubs and schools, to assess demand be authorised.

 

(2)          T H A T on conclusion of the study and prior to the end of the calendar year, a further report be presented to a future meeting of Cabinet proposing a way forward based on the data received.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To authorise a feasibility study to consider whether a 3G synthetic sports pitch would be both appropriate and cost effective at the Jenner Park, Stadium.  

 

(2)          To allow Cabinet to take a decision on any proposal with the benefit of all available data in time for possible construction during 2015/16.    

 

 

C2349                        ARTS CONNECT COLLABORATION – PROGRESS REVIEW AND RENEWAL OF THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING (LPCSD) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Members were provided with an update of the progress achieved by the Arts Connect collaboration and consider the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding until March 2015.

 

Cabinet agreed in November 2011 to join a collaborative arts service called 'Arts Connect'.  Arts Connect was a partnership between four local authorities Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil, the Vale of Glamorgan and Rhondda Cynon Taf.

 

Arts Connect had been in operation since March 2012 and was governed by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which ended on 31 March, 2014. The collaboration was led by the Rhondda Cynon Taf Arts Service, supported by a Leadership Group (of officers) and a Member Group (one elected Cabinet Member from each Council). The Arts Council of Wales, Welsh Government and Welsh Local Government Association were also members of the Leadership Group.

A new MoU attached at Appendix A to the report had been drafted by Rhondda Cynon Taf to extend the agreement to March 2015. The new MoU was essentially no different from the former one, but new partners had been invited to join – Caerphilly and Torfaen Councils. These authorities had not yet agreed to the collaboration and are still considering their potential membership. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the progress of the Arts Connect collaboration over the past two years be noted and the Memorandum of Understanding be extended for a further year to March 2015.

 

Reason for decision

 

To assess progress made to date and agree a way forward.

 

 

C2350                        HOUSING (WALES) BILL (HBMCS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) –

 

Members were updated on the contents of the proposed new Housing (Wales) Bill.

 

The Housing (Wales) Bill was launched by the Minister for Housing and Regeneration, Carl Sargent on 18 November, 2013 and had just completed Stage One of the National Assembly of Wales' four stage process. The General Principles of the Bill was approved at Plenary on 1st April 2014.

 

If the Bill passed through all of its stages, it could receive Royal Assent in summer 2014, with a staggered roll out of the legislation governing different aspects of the Bill being rolled out over a number of years.

 

There were seven key themes in the Bill, all of which would have an impact on the Council's service delivery. These themes were Regulation of Private Rented Housing for landlords and agents, Homelessness, Gypsies and Travellers, Standards for Social Housing, Housing Finance, Co-operative Housing and Council Tax for empty dwellings.

Changes to the legislation in respect of Homelessness and the private rented sector were expected to commence from 1st April, 2015 but implementation dates for the other changes were not known.

 

The Council was currently in the process of developing the Local Housing Strategy 2014-19 which would not only set out the Council's vision for Housing for the next five years, but would also drive service changes and improvements to meet the challenges of the new Bill.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the proposed changes contained within the Housing (Wales) Bill be noted.

 

(2)          T H A T further reports be submitted to Cabinet in respect of each element of the Bill to outline the options available to the Council.

 

(3)          T H A T the report be referred to Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) and all Council Members for information.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To note the proposed changes contained within the Housing (Wales) Bill.

 

(2)          To enable Cabinet to make informed decisions on any required changes to policy.

 

(3)          To keep Members informed on the Housing (Wales) Bill.

 

 

C2351                        WHITE RIBBON CAMPAIGN – VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS (HBMCS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) –

 

Approval was sought for the Council to become a corporate supporter of the White Ribbon Campaign and to gain the White Ribbon Campaign Town award.

 

Every year in the UK more than one million women suffered domestic abuse and more than 360,000 were sexually assaulted.  Within the Vale of Glamorgan there were 1874 reports made each year from victims of domestic and sexual abuse.

 

The Community Safety Partnership (Safer Vale) was responsible for the co-ordination of services and identifying gaps and improvements. Over the past few years there had been significant improvements made to provide improved awareness of the impact of domestic and sexual abuse and also the services that were available to victims and their families. Working with partners such as Atal y Fro, the Probation Trust and the Police, the Council had been able to assist and lead in many projects.

 

The White Ribbon Campaign (WRC) award was for Councils who demonstrated their commitment to the aims of the campaign that were as follows:

 

  • Mobilising men so that the anti-violence against women and girls message increased in effectiveness and reach (involving men and boys in prevention activities)
  • Addressing and altering social norms that led to violent behaviour against women
  • Increasing awareness on the issue and providing services aimed at reducing the incidence of domestic violence
  • Mobilising the entire local community under the goal of ending violence against women and girls

 

As a White Ribbon Town (or County) the Council would be awarded a certificate or plaque that offered public recognition of its commitment to ending violence against women and girls.

 

Following the Council expressing an interest to become a White Ribbon Town, an action plan would need to be completed in order that the Council could demonstrate its commitment to achieving the standard required.  Once the action plan was finalised and agreed, progress would be monitored by the WRC programme.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the work to be progressed in order to gain the White Ribbon Award be supported.

 

(2)          T H A T updates on progress be submitted to the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) via the regular Safer Vale progress reports.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To enable work to progress in order to improve domestic abuse awareness and expand partnership working that will ultimately benefit the residents of the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

(2)          To ensure that the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) Committee was able to fulfil its statutory role of scrutinising partnership action to reduce crime and disorder and the fear of crime.

 

 

C2352                        VALE OF GLAMORGAN DESTINATION ACTION PLAN (RIPT) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) –

 

Members were presented with a Draft Destination Action Plan for the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

Destination Management was defined by Visit Wales as "coordinating all the activities and services which impacted on the visitor and their enjoyment of a destination".  Such activities and services included those provided by the Council as well as others and could include accommodation, cafes, shops, events and cultural experiences.

 

To assist in bringing all various elements together, Visit Wales had tasked local authorities to develop Destination Action Plans (DAP).  It was suggested that the DAP for a particular area should summarise the current situation with reference to Destination Management, should consider strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, relating to the area and include a list of actions or projects.  It was also indicated that the DAP would be important in providing supporting evidence in funding applications.

 

The Draft of a Destination Action Plan (DAP) for the Vale of Glamorgan was attached at Appendix 1 to the report .  The structure of the Plan follows that suggested by Visit Wales.  The first part of the Plan was strategic in nature containing an introduction and relevant context and background to the Vale of Glamorgan and the importance of tourism.  This element also included an assessment, focusing on strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  The Plan set out a vision, priorities and actions that were listed as follows:

 

  • Raising the profile (promoting the Vale).
  • Improving the public realm and tourism infrastructure (Place Development).
  • Enhancing the tourism product and experience (Product Development).
  • Enhancing the sense of place (Place Promotion).
  • Improving leadership and delivery (Partnership and Development).

 

In terms of moving forward, the Plan was currently in Draft form and it was proposed that the Plan be approved for consultation.  It was envisaged that consultation will involve discussions with relevant stakeholders and officers were currently exploring the option of holding an event to bring stakeholders together to discuss the draft DAP.  It was envisaged that the DAP could be the subject of this year's Business Breakfast event of the Vale of Glamorgan Show.  Following consultation and incorporation of any changes and amendments it was proposed that the Plan be adopted by the Council.  This would require a further report to Cabinet.

 

  

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the Draft Destination Action Plan as attached at Appendix 1 to the report be approved for consultation purposes.

 

(2)          T H A T the report be referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) as part of the consultation process.

 

(3)          T H A T the report be referred to the Councils Youth Cabinet as part of the consultation process.

 

(4)          T H A T following consultation a further report be presented to Cabinet with the results of the consultation, and with any revisions necessary to the plan.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To enable the Destination Action Plan to be subject to consultation.

 

(2)          To allow Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) to consider the Destination Action Plan.

 

(3)          To allow the Councils Youth Cabinet to consider the Destination Action Plan.

 

(4)          To allow the Council to approve a final Destination Action Plan.

 

 

C2353                        WELSH GOVERNMENT HIGH STREETS CAMPAIGN (RIPT) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) –

 

Members were advised of the launch of a Welsh Government High Streets Campaign and to promote lead High Streets for participation in the Campaign.

 

On 7 April, the Welsh Government Deputy Director for Homes and Places, corresponded with the Council on the High Streets Campaign.  A copy of the letter and Annex was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.  The letter set out the background to the campaign, referring to the Vibrant and Viable Places regeneration framework and the commitment on behalf of Welsh Government to support Welsh High Streets. 

 

Welsh Government requested that Councils consider the initiative and asked that individual Councils supported the Campaign.  They sought local High Streets, where events and visits could be focused to promote "Town Centres".  Any lead High Streets could then be included in the campaign and potentially in national publicity. 

 

In terms of the campaign and the need to respond to it by 12th May 2014, a letter of response was issued by the Director of Development Services which was attached at Appendix 2 to the report.  The letter referred to a number of initiatives and also listed events that were already planned at certain High Streets and Town Centres.  The response was a holding response in advance of the issuing of the proforma as requested by Welsh Government.

 

The campaign clearly provided for an opportunity to promote Town Centres in the Vale of Glamorgan.  The correspondence from Welsh Government made it clear that promotion would involve being used in national campaigns and where the High Streets in question would be used for visits.  As a result, whilst the proforma requirements requested prioritisation of High Streets, the additional response over and above the response already issued by the Director of Development Services, sought to justify inclusion of our various Town Centres and visitor destinations according to already planned and scheduled events as well as links to other policy initiatives, such as regeneration, tourism, events and renewal.  This was a reflection that the Town Centres in the Vale of Glamorgan had differing attributes, challenges and opportunities.  The suggested proforma was attached at Appendix 3 to the report.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the Welsh Government High Streets Campaign and the holding response submitted by the Director of Development Services attached at Appendix 2 to the report be noted.

(2)          T H A T the proforma and covering letter attached at Appendix 3 to the report be agreed as a further formal response to Welsh Government.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          In order to apprise Cabinet of the High Streets campaign.

 

(2)          In order to provide a further formal response to the High Streets campaign.

 

 

C2354                        HYDRAULIC PUMPHOUSE INNOVATION QUARTER: THE WATERFRONT BARRY (RIPT) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Members were updated on the progress of positive negotiations with a developer to purchase the Hydraulic Pumphouse to convert the property into a mixed use scheme.

 

The Hydraulic Pumphouse was a grade II Listed vacant property located in the Innovation Quarter at The Waterfront Barry.  At its meeting of 16 December, 2013 Cabinet authorised the disposal of the property in accordance with Cabinet Minute (No C2145).

 

The report outlined that positive contract negotiations for the disposal of the property were well advanced between the Council and developer.  In tandem pre planning discussions between the developer and the Council’s Development Control section had also been undertaken.  At the request of the Council and Welsh Government the developer has also recently consulted the Design Commission for Wales.

 

The developer was preparing their scheme concept for a planning application and would submit the application following exchange of contracts.  Community consultation would be facilitated as a part of the statutory planning process in due course.

 

A separate Part 11 report relating to a point of detail in the contract negotiations was also being considered by Cabinet.

 

At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Adult Services commented that he was fully supportive of the report and that he looked forward to the Hydraulic Pumphouse being brought back into use.

 

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation read out the following comments received from Councillor Ian Johnson:

 

"I welcome the progress made in bringing the Pumphouse building back into use and hope that it will become an invaluable community asset attracting local residents and visitors to the Waterfront area."

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the progress of positive negotiations with a developer to purchase the Hydraulic Pumphouse to convert the property into a mixed use scheme be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To ensure Cabinet were updated on the progress of positive negotiations with a developer to purchase the Hydraulic Pumphouse.

 

 

C2355                        MATTERS WHICH THE CHAIRMAN HAD DECIDED WERE URGENT

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the following matters, which the Chairman had decided were urgent for the reason given beneath the minute headings be considered.

 

 

C2356             EXIT FROM HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT SUBSIDY SYSTEM (HBMCS) ( SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION)

 

Matter which the Chairman had decided was urgent by reason of the need to update due to information received from Welsh Government.

 

Members were updated on the proposed arrangements for exiting the Housing Revenue Account Subsidy system.

The Welsh Government had been in discussions with HM Treasury since 2010 with a view to agreeing a financial settlement that would enable the eleven stock retaining Councils to exit from the Housing Revenue Account Subsidy (HRAS) system.

 

The principle for Local Authorities buying themselves out the system were that every stock retaining authority should be better off than the current position. This included not only the financial benefits from exiting HRAS but also the benefits of becoming self-financing.

 

Welsh Government announced in June 2013 that an agreement had been reached with HM Treasury, which together with the introduction of new self-financing arrangements was expected to generate revenue savings for the eleven Councils each year. This would allow Councils to increase their investment in their existing stock and, where possible, support the delivery of additional housing supply.

 

A consultation paper, on the Self Financing of Council Housing in Wales was distributed to the 11 stock retaining local authorities prior to a meeting that was held on the 16th of May 2014.  Officer and Member representatives were asked to consider a number of questions posed by Welsh Government relating to the exit from the HRAS. In attendance for the Vale of Glamorgan Council were the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Services and Community Safety, the Head of Housing and Building Services and the Housing Accountant

 

Each stock retaining local authority had now been asked by Welsh Government to formally respond by 19th July, 2014 to the 6 questions set out within this report (a) - (f) above confirming if the Council accepts the WLGA Coordinating Committee's recommendations. 

 

The following detailed the Vale of Glamorgan Council's proposed response in respect of the 6 questions posed by Welsh Government.

 

·                (a)       Do you agree with the proposal to distribute the settlement value based on negative subsidy amounts?  (Option 1 - attached as appendix 1)

This is acceptable.

 

·                (b)       Do you agree with the proposal to distribute the borrowing cap based upon option 3 (see appendix 2) to allow for new build commitments whilst also providing potential headroom for new build to every local authority?

 

The preferred option for the Vale of Glamorgan Council was option 2 as this gave additional borrowing capacity in terms of new build.  However, all 11 local authorities were compromising in order that the overall borrowing cap was not exceeded, tight timescales were met and that new build requests were in some part acceded to, therefore, option 3 was acceptable to the Vale of Glamorgan Council in terms of this.

 

·                (c)        Do you agree that the Welsh Government should retain a small proportion of the borrowing headroom as a contingency? (Proposed at £5M)

 

This was rejected as the borrowing cap was a local authority borrowing cap and should be used as such.

 

·                (d)       What are your views on how Welsh Government allocate any unallocated borrowing headroom now or in the future?

 

Unallocated borrowing headroom should be distributed between the 7 local authorities that had not initially included new build within their business plans.

 

·                (e)       Do you agree that the borrowing cap should be reviewed every three years with the 1st review in 2018/19?

 

It should be recognised that major capital projects were complex in terms of delivery. Business plans were long term planning documents.  The rational in reviewing borrowing cap usage in such a short period of time may lead to uncertainty in relation to long term strategic planning.

 

·                (f)        What action should the Welsh Government take on a Council who has not delivered on their ability to utilise their borrowing cap?

 

It was not felt that employing sanctions in terms of not using the allocated cap would be of any benefit in this process.  Experience tells us from delivering Social Housing Grant schemes that a myriad of things can impact on an organisation’s ability to always deliver.  Flexibility in the borrowing cap allocation should only be sought between Councils through trading arrangements.

 

The Welsh Government considered that Borrowing Cap Option 3 was the preferred option. Option 3 in terms of the Vale of Glamorgan's Housing Business Plan would give the Authority headroom to consider new build council housing (see Appendix 2 attached to the report). Based on existing financial assumptions the additional borrowing had been modelled and was affordable.

 

The final decision on the borrowing cap distribution would be subject to agreement by the Minister for Housing and Regeneration. Option 3 would be  supported by the following process:

 

Each Council would be allocated an “indicative allocation†of the borrowing headroom as set out in option 3. 

 

Each Council would need to advise the Welsh Government by end of October 2014 on whether they would take up their “indicative allocation†for new build by March 2018.

 

If a Council wished to take up their “indicative allocationâ€, the Council would need to submit proposals to the Welsh Government by end of October 2014 that set out how and when they could utilise this for new build and whether this together with their allocation for WHQS and % share for new build was "affordable" within the business plan.

 

At this time the Council had no information on whether the additional borrowing headroom could be used for regeneration projects on council estates.

 

This was a matter for Council decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)        T H A T the report and the attached appendices be endorsed and Cabinet’s views on the process proposed and the responses to the questions posed by Welsh Government contained within paragraph 12 (a) to (f) be referred to Full Council.

 

(2)        T H A T the Head of Housing and Building Services submit regular reports to Cabinet and Council as necessary on the progress in exiting the Housing Revenue Account Subsidy system.

 

(3)        T H A T the urgent decision procedure be used if necessary as set out in article 13.09 of the Council's Constitution in view of the need to submit a response to Welsh Government by 19 July, 2014.

 

(4)        T H A T the report be submitted as an urgent reference to Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) on 18 June, 2014. The report and any comments from Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) then be referred to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) on 24 June, 2014. The report and any further comments from Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) then be submitted to Full Council on 25 June, 2014.

 

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)        In order for the exit from the subsidy system to be achieved by March 2015 all eleven stock retaining local authorities need to come to an agreement on the Treasury settlement 'offer' and the mechanisms by which the borrowing cap would be distributed.  The changes in how the Housing Revenue Account operates have implications for the Housing Business Plan, this is outside the current policy framework, therefore the decision associated with these changes must be agreed at Full Council.

 

(2)        In terms of progress Cabinet will need to be informed.  Full Council would need to agree the voluntary agreement to allow the Vale of Glamorgan Council to exit from the Housing Revenue Account Subsidy system by March 2015.

 

(3)        The urgent decision procedure was invoked due to the timescales set down by Welsh Government and the availability of a Council meeting prior to this date

 

(4)        To allow Members to fully consider the report, before being submitted to Full Council.

 

 

C2357             JENNER PARK CLUBHOUSE – REQUEST FOR TEMPORARY LICENCE (LPCSD) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) –

 

A Matter which the Chairman had decided was urgent by reason of the need to ensure a Licence was in place by 11 July 2014

 

Approval was sought to grant a temporary licence with Barry Town United AFC for the use of the lounge area of the Clubhouse at Jenner Park for a period of 4 weeks.

 

The report outlined that a letter had been received from the manager of Barry Town United AFC advising of a fixture at Jenner Park with Cardiff City Football Club on 5th August 2014, and a possible question and answer session with officials of the club after the game.

 

In addition, Barry Town United AFC had been given a wildcard entry into the Football Association of Wales (FAW) Word Cup.  This prestigious competition, which started in August 2014, involved teams from the Welsh Premier League, Welsh League Division One and the Cymru Alliance; and Barry Town United AFC had been drawn against Merthyr Town; a tie that rekindles many old rivalries.

 

The suggested temporary licence term would permit hospitality arrangements to be introduced at the stadium for both the Cardiff City and Merthyr games.

 

The Clubhouse building required a number of compliance checks for gas, water, electricity and fire safety before being put back into use.  These would have had to be undertaken prior to the temporary occupation, and funded by the Parks and Grounds Maintenance Section.  Depending on the arrangements for any future use of this building, it was however very likely that such compliance work would be required anyway before any future long term letting of the buildings.

 

It was proposed that due to the condition of internal decorations and fixtures the licence be limited to the newer lounge area and connecting sub rooms and a plan of the proposed licence area is shown hatched at Appendix A attached to the report.

 

Any temporary licence would be issued on a strictly without prejudice basis, the licence being granted in this case to support the local community and fans of Barry Town United AFC and of football in general.  The visit of Cardiff City to Jenner Park represented a major opportunity for the Town and the local area and use of the Clubhouse ensured that maximum benefit was gained from this and the Merthyr Town game.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)        T H A T it be agreed, on a without prejudice basis, to grant a 4 week licence to Barry Town United AFC for the period 11 July, 2014 to 13

August, 2014.

 

(2)        T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Director of Resources, in consultation with the Director of Visible Services and Housing and the Head of Legal Services and the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development to agree the terms and conditions of the licence and any associated costs.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)        To permit Barry Town United AFC to use the lounge area of the Clubhouse to support the visits of Merthyr Town and Cardiff City to the stadium during July and August 2014.

 

(2)        To ensure a timely agreement of the licence details and that any costs associated with the licence term are met.

 

C2358             EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC -

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

 

 

C2359                        HYDRAULIC PUMPHOUSE INNOVATION QUARTER: THE WATERFRONT BARRY (RIPT) (EXEMPT INFORMATION – PARAGRAPH 14)   (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Authority was sought  for the proposed range of potential uses within the development of the Pumphouse to be broadened to include the potential for residential uses to be provided in lieu of some or all of the originally proposed Live/Work units.  The provision of residential uses in lieu of Live/Work units would exist alongside the originally proposed fitness studio, restaurant/bar, and coffee shop uses which would be unaffected by this report (subject to statutory planning processes and Welsh Government consent in accordance with the Innovation Quarter Joint Venture Agreement).

 

At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Adult Services commented that he was fully supportive of the report and that he looked forward to the Hydraulic Pumphouse being brought back into use.

 

In presenting this item the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation referred to an email received from Councillor Ian Johnson dated 16 June 2014.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the broadening of the proposed potential uses within the Hydraulic Pumphouse development as  identified in the report be authorised  (subject to statutory planning processes and Welsh Government consent in accordance with the Innovation Quarter Joint Venture Agreement and satisfactory terms and conditions being agreed with the Council).

 

Reason for decision

 

To authorise the broadening of the potential uses within the Hydraulic Pumphouse development outlined in the report.

 

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