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                                                                        Agenda Item No.

 

CABINET

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 30 June, 2014.

 

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

 

Also Present: Councillor E. Williams.

                                                    

C2360                        MINUTES –

                  

At the meeting the Leader made the following amendment to the Cabinet minutes of the 16 June, 2014. On page 3969 of the minutes in relation to Exit from Housing Revenue Account Subsidy System, paragraph (d) should have read, ‘Unallocated borrowing headroom should be distributed between the local authorities using the formula explicit within option 2 (Appendix 2) which was based on need and affordability’. 

 

RESOLVED –

 

T H A T with the amendment above the minutes of the meeting held on 16 June, 2014 be approved as a correct record.

 

C2361             DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

The following declarations were received;

 

Councillor B.Brooks

Agenda Item  No. 6 – Docks Office Electricity Upgrade

 

Reason for Declaration –

A Personal interest as a family member worked for Western Power Distribution who required a lease to install equipment in the substation at the Docks offices.

 

Councillor G.John

Agenda Item No.  20a and 20b -  Update on the Implementation of the Llantwit Learning Community

 

Reason for Declaration –

A Local Education Authority appointed (LEA) Governor at  Llantwit Major Comprehensive School. As an LEA Governor his personal interest did not equate to a prejudicial interest and therefore he was able to speak and vote on the matter.

 

 

Before considering any reports the Leader deferred Agenda Item No. 9 entitled ‘Review of Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) Discretions’, explaining that this item would have to be taken at the end of the agenda as officers present would be required to leave the meeting during consideration of this item.

 

C2362                  APPOINTMENT OF LOCAL AUTHORITY GOVERNORS ADVISORY PANEL –

 

The minutes of the above meeting held on 18 June, 2014 were submitted.

 

Present:  Councillor C.P.J. Elmore (Chairman); Councillors P.J. Clarke, C.P. Franks, F.T. Johnson and Mrs. M.R. Wilkinson, together with Mrs. M.E. Gibbs (Vale Governors Association).

 

(a)       Apology for Absence

 

This was received from Councillor T.H. Jarvie.

 

(b)       Declarations of Interest

 

No declarations were received.

 

(c)        Guidance Regarding Appointment Process-

 

The Chairman referred to the guidance regarding the appointment process for Local Authority Governors that was attached to the agenda and it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the guidance regarding the appointment process be noted.

 

(d)       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.

 

(e)       Applications for the Appointment of Current Local Authority Governor Vacancies (Exempt Information – Paragraph 12)

 

The Chairman advised that the Panel meeting had been convened to consider the appointment of two additional governors to Eagleswell Primary School.  Statutory intervention had been considered necessary by the Chief Learning and Skills Officer to increase the size of the school governing body following a recent Estyn Inspection where the school was deemed to require significant improvement.   The Chairman further informed the Panel that it was important that experienced governors with proven leadership skills were appointed to support the school in addressing the issues identified by the Estyn Inspection.  Three applications had been received following the application process and these were attached to the agenda for consideration.

 

Having fully considered the criteria for the appointment of Local Authority Governors and the applications received it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED to Cabinet –

 

(1)       T H A T the following appointments be made for the school as detailed below:

 

School

Appointment

Eagleswell Primary School

N. Craggs

Eagleswell Primary School

D. Mutlow

 

(2)       T H A T the third application be kept on file for future Governing Body vacancies and the applicant be informed accordingly.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       . To allow the Cabinet to consider the appointments in respect of the above Schools’ Governing Bodies,to fill vacancies on the related School Governing Body and view of the recent Estyn Inspection.

 

(2)       To be considered for future vacancies on school Governing Bodies within the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

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

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the following appointments be made to Eagleswell Primary School:

 

School

Appointment

Eagleswell Primary School

N. Craggs

Eagleswell Primary School

D. Mutlow

 

(2)       T H A T  the third application be kept on file for future Governing Body vacancies and the applicant be informed accordingly.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To agree governor appointments to Eagleswell Primary School.

 

(2)          To  be considered for future vacancies on school Governing Bodies within the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

C2363                        BUDGET STRATEGY 2015/16 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES)  -

 

Approval was sought for the Budget Strategy 2015/16 (including the proposed Budget Process and Timetable).

 

The Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) was normally produced annually in July and incorporated the budget strategy for the next financial year.  As part of the 2014/15 final revenue settlement from Welsh Government (WG) the Council was advised of an indicative cash reduction in its 2015/16 settlement of 1.64%. Plans were consequently devised with a view to finding savings associated with this reduction and to meet unavoidable cost pressures.

The Minister for Local Government and Government Business had recently given the strongest indication yet that the settlement could be worse than published. It was understood that WG officers were currently modelling reductions for 2015/16 based upon the indicative (-1.55% for Wales), -3% and -4.5%.

 

Every 1% reduction in Aggregate External Finance (the funding received from WG through Revenue Support grant and the Non Domestic Rates Pool) reduced funding by approximately £1.5M for the Vale. This clearly had major implications for the Council. It is also anticipated that funding levels for local government would continue to reduce post 2015/16 but it was not known to what extent.  As such it had been necessary to model the potential financial impact of further reductions and establish the budget strategy for 2015/16 prior to the production of the next MTFP.

 

The current level of uncertainty  to future settlements did not provide any sound basis for forward planning. WG had previously established a minimum funding commitment for schools, equivalent to 1% above the block grant settlement that WG received from the Treasury, for each year to 2015/16. This currently stood at a 0.6% increase and although it was uncertain whether this position would be extended further many commentators believed that it would.  It was also not known whether Social Services budgets would receive protection although the particular pressures on community care packages and the effects of the £55 cap on non-residential care effectively reduced the scope for significant further savings in this area anyway.

 

Appendices A to C attached to the report  were the results of three different models each covering the period 2015/16 to 2017/18 but with different assumptions as to reductions in AEF. The models also included projections for unavoidable cost pressures (including the minimum funding commitment for schools), pay and price inflation, 'one off' items and assumed council tax income to reveal the potential total levels of savings that would need to be found. With regard to cost pressures it should be noted that these were not the gross pressures identified by services. Instead they represented the results of a rigorous exercise in demand management to mitigate their impact.

It was emphasised that whilst the assumptions in the models were based upon the best available information their accuracy could not be guaranteed. It was nevertheless vital that their potential financial impact upon the Council was considered as soon as possible.

 

Scenario 1 (our current projection) took the original indicative AEF of -1.64% for 2015/16 and assumed a further 1% reduction in 2016/17 and a 'flat lined' 0% in 2017/18. Scenario 2 assumed reductions over the three years of -3%, -3% and -2% whilst Scenario 3 was predicated on -4.5%, -4% and -4%. This gave the following results ranging from total savings required of £20.8M to £35.6M of which only £13.5M were currently targeted:

 

Initial Financial Projections

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

Total

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

Scenario

1

 Total Savings Required

6,008

10,030

4,790

20,828

 Existing Savings Targets

6,005

7,513

       0

13,518

 Further Savings Required

        3

2,517

4,790

  7,310

 

2

 Total Savings Required

8,152

13,067

7,757

28,976

 Existing Savings Targets

6,005

  7,513

       0

13,518

 Further Savings Required

2,147

  5,554

7,757

15,458

 

3

 Total Savings Required

10,516

14,501

10,571

35,588

 

 Existing Savings Targets

  6,005

  7,513

         0

13,518

 Further Savings Required

  4,511

  6,988

10,571

22,070

 

The report noted that the Council's net budget for 2014/15 of £214.3M included expenditure which could not be reduced of £27.7M in respect of debt charges, precepts and council tax reduction scheme benefit.  Of the balance of £186.6M, £79.4M related to schools (43%) and £52.4M to Social Services (28%). Protecting schools under the minimum funding commitment would in the above scenarios required all other services to find savings equivalent to between 7% and 21% of their budgets over 3 years. Excluding Social Services from further savings would leave the £54.8M remaining budget that constituted all other services being reduced by between 13% and 40%. 

 

Clearly, any of the above initial financial projections would mean a radical review of existing financial strategies and the services that the Council was able to provide in the future and their means of delivery. This also required a review of the Corporate Plan priorities. These issues would be developed further in the July MTFP with a view to allowing the formulation of the specific budget proposals for 2015/16 and beyond. It was clear, however, that whatever strategy was taken forward it would involve the use of the General Fund Reserve to allow the specific savings required to be developed, consulted on and implemented. The current strategy set out in the 2014/15 final revenue budget proposals assumed the use of a minimum of £4M General Fund Reserve between 2015/16 and 2016/17. As the savings targets set for these years was based on this, any reduction in the use of the Reserve would increase the level savings required. 

 

Consequently, the Budget Strategy for 2015/16 proposed that in order to establish a baseline, services should prepare initial revenue budgets based on the cost of providing the current level of service and approved policy decisions including the existing savings targets. This meant the cost of price increases and any allowable pay awards should be included as advised by the Managing Director.

 

The Medium Term Financial Plan would be produced in July 2014.  The proposed timetable for the 2015/16 Budget was for Cabinet to make its initial revenue and capital budget proposals in November 2014. The capital bids considered and prioritised would include those recommended to the Management Team by the Corporate Asset Management Group. Each Scrutiny Committee will be consulted and will receive the relevant initial proposals of the Cabinet in November/December 2014.

 

Scrutiny Committees would be asked to make comments on the proposals. The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) would act as the lead scrutiny committee in this respect.

 

The budget would then be considered by the Cabinet Budget Working Group, which would submit its recommendations to Cabinet in January/February 2015. Cabinet would formulate its final proposals and submit them to a meeting of full Council to be held in March 2015, having first taken any response from the lead Scrutiny Committee into account. It may be necessary for Scrutiny Committees, Cabinet and Council to hold special meetings in order to ensure that the budget may be approved within the statutory deadline.

 

Membership of the Cabinet Budget Working Group would consist of the Leader, Deputy Leader and Managing Director (Director of Resources).

 

At the meeting the Leader referred to a letter that he had received from the Minister for Local Government and Government Business urging the Council to undertake planning work around a range of senarios. The current published indicative plans for 2015 – 16 saw a reduction of 1.5% compared with that of 2014-15. However, there remained a possibility that further amendments could be required and consideration would have had to be given to  how the Council would respond to reductions of up to 4.5%.

 

The Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development commented that the report had a big impact on the Vale of Glamorgan. The Leader commented that he would continue to highlight the issues on the financial outlook for the Council in his Gem column.

 

The Cabinet Member for the Environment and Visible Services commented that this was the toughest period for savings facing the Council and that this would have an effect on the services provided.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the Budget Strategy for 2015/16, including the requirement for Directors to prepare initial revenue budgets in accordance with a timetable agreed by the Managing Director be approved.

 

(2)          T H A T Directors be requested to review savings already approved, with a view to implementing them ahead of the target date and to consider areas for further savings.

 

(3)          T H A T the following timetable for the 2015/16 Budget Process be approved:

 

Timetable for the 2015/16 Budget Process

To be completed no later than

Cabinet consider the initial budget proposals

 

17th November 2014

Lead Scrutiny Committee responds to consultation and makes comments on budget proposals

16th December 2014

Cabinet make its final proposals on the budget

 

23rd February 2015

Meeting of Council to consider budget and council tax resolution

 

4th March 2015

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1 -3)    To enable the 2015/16 budget process to be commenced.  

 

C2364                        DOCKS OFFICE ELECTRICITY UPGRADE (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Approval was sought for the installation of a new electricity supply to the Docks Office (which will allow competitive pricing of the electricity supply) to be funded from the Project Fund.

 

Historically the Docks Office was owned and operated by Associated British Ports (ABP) and as such its electricity supply was provided from the ABP network.  Upgrading to an independent supply may have in the past been considered too disruptive or costly.  ABP historically charged comparatively low tariffs.  However, from January 2012 there was a rise in the daytime electricity tariff of 33%.  The Docks Office was now on a tariff just under 30% higher than other similar buildings that are supplied by EDF, the Welsh Purchasing Consortium's preferred supplier.

 

Upgrading the electricity supply to the Docks Office at this time would tie in with the space project activities and offers the opportunity of ensuring that the supply to the building has adequate capacity.

New switch gear equipment would be installed in basement of the Docks Office as part of the project.

 

It should be noted that the project would not correct any inadequacies in the wiring infrastructure of the Docks Office beyond the main supply equipment, as the project was essentially about where the electricity was supplied from and not about the distribution system within the building.

 

A new substation for the Docks Office would be constructed at the rear of the Docks Office between the existing ABP substation and the Docks Office building.

 

During consideration of this item the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety left the room and took no part in discussions that took place.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the Council Project Fund be used for  the provision of the new electricity supply to be installed at the Docks Office.

 

(2)          T H A T the capital programme for 2014/15 be increased by £54,000 to facilitate the works. 

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          A new electricity supply for the Docks Offices would provide electricity supply independence from Associated British Ports, potentially reducing the number of power interruptions and allowing electricity for the Docks Offices to be purchased at more competitive rates via the Welsh Purchasing Consortium or later the National Procurement Service.

 

(2)          To incorporate the scheme into the 2014/15 capital programme.

 

 

C2365                        END OF YEAR PERFORMANCE REPORT 2013/14  AND TARGET SETTING 2014/15 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ALL) -

 

Members were presented with the end of year performance results for the period 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014 and proposed service targets for 2014/15.

 

Service Plans for 2013/14 focused on the achievement of key objectives within each directorate which in turn contributed towards the achievement of Corporate Plan and Improvement Plan outcomes.

Quarterly performance reports reflected 2013/14 Service Plans and were designed to ensure the Council reported performance in the context of progress against its objectives. 

 

Overall, the priorities in the council's four year Corporate Plan were on track to be achieved. Of the 181 Corporate Plan actions for 2013/14, 65% (117) were completed at end of year, with a further 15% (28) on track, 18% (32) slipped and 2% (4) not started but due to have. Details on slippage and proposed remedial actions were provided in the relevant service areas within the report.

The majority of our priorities as outlined in the Improvement Plan Part 1 (2013/14) had been achieved with 78% (24) of actions completed, 3% (1) on track and 19% (6) slipped. Slippage was reported in relation to Improvement Objectives (IO1) [(VS01/A014)], (IO2) [DS/01/A011)], (IO6) [(CC07/A05), (CC07/A052)], IO7 [(VS03/A029), VS03/A026]. Refer to paragraphs 38,64,65,67 and 106 of the report for further details on reasons for slippage and the proposed remedial actions.

 

Whilst for the most part, the key outcomes  set in Improvement Objectives had been achieved for 2013/14, they remained long term strategic objectives for the Council and work to date represented the start of what would be a long programme of initiatives to secure greater improvement in the future.  Progress against key action plans would continue to be monitored by Corporate Management Team, Scrutiny Committees and the Cabinet. A detailed review of the Councils performance against  improvement objectives would be reported in the Improvement Plan Part 2 in September 2014.

 

Corporate and Customer Services

The department had completed 54% of service plan actions at end of year, with a further 8% on track for a later completion date. Details were available under each objective. There were a total of 52 actions in the plan; 28 were completed, 4 are on track, 19 have slipped and 1 had not been started.

The department had completed 47% of the actions against the Corporate Plan that were included in the 2013/14 service plan and a further 20% of actions are on track for a later completion date. Of the 15 actions within the service plan, 7 were completed, 3 were on track and 5 had slipped.

 

Resources

The department had completed 82% of service plan actions at end of year, with a further 3% on track for a later completion date. Details were available under each objective. There were a total of 71 actions in the plan; 58 were completed, 2 were on track, 10 had slipped and 1 had not been started.

The department had completed 88% of the actions against the Corporate Plan that were included in the 2013/14 service plan. Of the 8 actions within the service plan, 7 were completed and 1 had slipped.

 

Visible Services

The department had completed 31% of service plan actions at end of year, with a further 9% on track for a later completion date. Details were available under each objective. Of the 55 actions in the plan; 17 were completed, 5 were on track, 31 had slipped and 2 had not been started.

The department had completed 25% of the actions against the Corporate Plan that were included in the 2013/14 service plan and a further 33% of actions were on track for a later completion date. Of the 12 actions within the service plan, 3 were completed, 4 were on track, 4 had slipped and 1 had not been started.

 

Social Services

The department had completed 65% of service plan actions at end of year, with a further 23% on track for a later completion date. Details were available under each objective. There were a total of 52 actions in the plan; 34 were completed, 12 were on track and 6 had slipped.

The department had completed 74% of the actions against the Corporate Plan that were included in the 2013/14 service plan and a further 26% of actions were on track for a later completion date. Of the 19 actions within the service plan, 14 were completed and 5 were on track.

 

Housing and Building Services

The department had completed 58% of service plan actions at end of year, with a further 2% on track for a later completion date. Details were available under each objective. There were a total of 69 actions in the plan; 40 were completed, 1 was on track, 25 had slipped and 3 had not been started.

The department had completed 53% of the actions against the Corporate Plan that were included in the 2013/14 service plan. Of the 32 actions within the service plan, 17 were completed, 13 had slipped and 2 had not been started.

 

Development Services

The department had completed 71% of service plan actions at end of year, with a further 11% on track for a later completion date. Details were available under each objective. There are a total of 157 actions in the plan; 112 were completed, 17 were on track, 26 had slipped and 2 had not been started.

The department had completed 70% of the actions against the Corporate Plan that were included in the 2013/14 service plan and a further 23% of actions were on track for a later completion date. Of the 44 actions within the service plan, 31 were completed, 10 were on track and 3 had slipped.

 

Learning and Skills

The department had completed 79% of service plan actions at end of year, with a further 7% on track for a later completion date. Details were available under each objective. There were a total of 114 actions in the plan; 90 were completed, 8 were on track, 13 had slipped and 3 had not been started.

The department had completed 74% of the actions against the Corporate Plan that were included in the 2013/14 service plan and a further 12% of actions were on track for a later completion date. Of the 51 actions within the service plan, 38 were completed, 6 were on track, 6 had slipped and 1 had not been started.

 

Proposed Service Performance Indicators and Targets 2014/15

A review of performance indicators had taken place to ensure that the Council collected indicators which effectively monitored service plan objectives and outcomes. New indicators and deletions had been proposed to enable services to better demonstrate achievement of service objectives and outcomes.  Appendix 2 (which is available on the Council's website and in the Members room) outlined proposed service targets for 2014/15 by service plan area. Blank boxes denote non responses.

 

In presenting this report the Leader commented that copies of the appendices were available to those who wished to view them and in addition they were made available on the Council’s website and to all Members in the Members room.

 

At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development drew Members attention to paragraph 103 of the report regarding the annual school sport survey which highlighted that 44% of children and young people in the Vale participated in sport and physical activity at least 3 times a week. This performance ranked the Vale of Glamorgan 2nd in Wales for participation, contributing to the council's aim of increasing levels of physical activity and encouraging healthy lifestyles.

 

He further commented that the Council’s Leisure Centre partnership with Parkwood had proved to be a success, both in terms of reducing costs and improving the experience to the customer as a result of the implementation of improvements to all centres.

 

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation highlighted that the regeneration work taking place at Barry Island was progressing and was having a positive impact on the whole area.

 

She further commented that the Council successfully procured and commenced works on the realignment of the B4265 at Gileston to Old Mill in January 2013 to improve highway safety and access to St Athan and the Western Vale.

 

The Cabinet Member for Childrens Services commented that rapid progress had been made to increase Key Stage 3 performance, particularly in relation to the Core Subject Indicator. Improvements had been made with all six measures of Key Stage 3 performance and the rate of improvement on all measures was above that for Wales. The Council was now in the top 4 performing authorities in Wales at Key Stage 3 which provided a good basis for further improvement.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the service performance results and remedial actions to be taken to address service underperformance (Paragraphs 30-122 with full details in Appendix 1 which was available on the Council's website and in the Members Room) be noted.

 

(2)          T H A T progress to date in achieving key outcomes as outlined in the Corporate Plan 2013/17 and the Improvement Plan Part 1 2013/14 (Paragraphs 6-29 with full details in Appendix 1, which was available on the Council's website and in the Members room) be noted.

 

(3)          T H A T the service targets for 2014/15  (Paragraph 123 with full details in Appendix 2, which was available on the Council's website and in the Members room) be noted.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To ensure the Council was effectively assessing its performance in line with the requirement to secure continuous improvement outlined in the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.

 

(2)          To enable the Council to demonstrate achievement of its objectives and identify service areas for improvement work.

 

(3)          To ensure challenging targets were set against the Council's measures for improvement, reflecting commitment to continuously improve services whilst mindful of significant financial and service demand pressures over the coming year.

 

C2366                        EXTERNAL FUNDING APPLICATIONS (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH AND ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT)  -

 

Members were informed of external funding applications submitted/allocated to maximise the amount of external funding sought/utilised to support the delivery of corporate objectives.

 

Corporate Management Team previously agreed new procedures to improve the way in which the Council assess and co-ordinates its bids for external funding. The 'External Funding Framework' covered the practicalities of maximising external funding opportunities to meet corporate objectives. The framework highlighted the criteria that potential applicants must address and those applying for external funding grant to minimise risk to the Council.   

The report provided information on  the following external funding applications that had been submitted;

 

Out of School Childcare Grant

The Out of School Childcare Revenue Grant of £94,037 had been awarded to the Children and Young People's Partnership by Welsh Government and aimed to support local authorities to offer sufficient childcare in their local area. This would contribute to the delivery of the Welsh Government's Tackling Poverty Action Plan and Strategic Equality Plan.

The grant contributed towards the setting up of new childcare settings, extends childcare places in existing childcare settings and supported the sustainability of existing out of school provisions.

 

Local Authority Partnership Grant 2014/15

The Local Authority Partnership Capital grant of £265 and Revenue grant of £35,925 was provided by Natural Resource Wales (Welsh Government) and supported locally delivered projects which contributed  to Natural Resource Wales 11 Objectives: delivering or promoting Access and Recreation, Biodiversity, Education, Interpretation and Woodland Improvement Schemes (Coed Cymru). In addition, the projects must fall into one or more of the 3 grant pillars

 

·         Wildlife, Geology, Landscape and Seascapes;

·         Providing and Promoting Access and Recreation;

·         Promoting Employment Understanding and Behaviour Change.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)        T H A T the Council continue to act as lead body for the Revenue Out of School Childcare Grant of £94,037 for 2014/15 awarded to the Children & Young People's Partnership which included the administration of the childcare grants and the employment of a part time Development Worker.

 

(2)        T H A T Cabinet continue to act as lead body for the Capital Local Authority Partnership Grant of £265 and the Revenue Grant of £35,925.

 

(3)        T H A T the Capital grant of £265 be approved, for inclusion in the authority's Capital programmes.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To accept the Revenue Out of School Childcare grant including on-going responsibilities as lead body for the grant. 

 

(2)          To approve the submission of the Local Authority Partnership application 2014/15 and if approved, acceptance of the grant  including on-going responsibilities as lead body for the grant.

 

(3)          To agree that the Local Authority Partnership Grant of £265 be included in the authority's Capital Programme in accordance with financial regulations.

 

C2367                        NON DOMESTIC RATES – RETAIL RATE RELIEF (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES)  –

 

Approval was sought for the adoption of a new grant-funded Business Rates Discretionary Policy called Retail Rate Relief to support businesses in Wales who were responding to the challenges that resulted from the changing retail environment and contributed to the development of sustainable and vibrant town centres.

 

As part of the Welsh Government's Business Rate Policy Developments, the Minister for Economy, Science and Transport recognised that the retail sector was changing, particularly due to internet shopping and many high streets had to adapt to changing consumer preferences in how people shop.

 

Grant funding was consequently being made available by Welsh Government to local authorities through the Retail Rate Relief scheme to support businesses in Wales that were responding to the challenges as a result of the changing retail environment. It was also aimed at contributing to the development of sustainable and vibrant town centres.

 

The Welsh Government had announced that it would provide a grant of up to £564,179 to the Council to support retail rate relief of up to £1,000 on the business rates bill for all occupied retail properties with a rateable value of £50,000 or less in the financial year 2014/15, subject to State Aid limits.

 

It was intended that this scheme would operate from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015 subject to the acceptance by the Council of the associated grant offer.

 

The Relief would be for individual local billing authorities to decide to grant in accordance with the provisions contained in section 47 with the Welsh Government reimbursing local authorities for the relief that was provided in line with the guidance at Appendix A which had been prepared by the Welsh Government.

 

The policy would benefit properties which were occupied hereditaments with a rateable value of £50,000 or less, that were wholly or mainly being used as retail premises, that is, shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments.

 

The relevant hereditaments for the purposes of the scheme, “shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments†were set out in the Appendix -

 

  • Hereditaments that were being used for the sale of goods to visiting members of the public.
  • Hereditaments that were being used for the provision of specified services to visiting members of the public.
  • Hereditaments that were being used for the sale of food and/ or drink to visiting members of the public.

 

To qualify for the relief the hereditament should be wholly or mainly being used as a shop, restaurant, café or drinking establishment. This was a test on use rather than occupation. Therefore, hereditaments which were occupied, but not wholly or mainly used for the qualifying purpose would not qualify for the relief.

 

The list set out was not intended to be exhaustive as it would be impossible to list the many and varied retail uses that exist. There would also be mixed uses.

 

As the grant of the relief was discretionary, authorities may choose not to grant the relief if they considered that appropriate, for example where granting the relief would go against the authority’s wider objectives for the local area.

The Appendix also lists the types of uses that the Welsh Government does not consider to be retail use for the purpose of this relief –

 

  • Hereditaments that were being used wholly or mainly for the provision of the specified services to visiting members of the public.
  • Hereditaments that were not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public.

 

The total amount of government funded relief available for each property for 12 months under this scheme was £1,000. The amount did not vary with rateable value and there was no taper. There was no relief available under this scheme for properties with a rateable value of more than £50,000.

 

The eligibility for the relief and the relief itself would be assessed and calculated on a daily basis.

 

Wales Retail Relief could be provided in addition to Small Business Rates Relief and relief provided under the Open for Business Scheme as well as any hardship or discretionary relief awarded by the local authority. The relief would be applied against the net bill after the other reliefs have been applied.

 

After any other relief the maximum amount of this relief would be no more than the value of the net rate liability.

 

A model application form had been provided by the Welsh Government for the scheme and was attached at Appendix B, as attached to the report.

 

The grant conditions required the Council to resolve to adopt these discretions using a model resolution at Appendix C as attached to the report.

 

At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation commented that the retail rate relief would be welcomed by small businesses across the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the Retail Rate Relief Scheme be adopted in accordance with the provisions contained in Section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, to supplement the Council’s discretionary rate relief scheme.

 

(2)          T H A T the Welsh Government grant of up to £564,179  be used in accordance with the model resolution as attached at Appendix C to the report.

 

(3)          T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Section 151 Officer (or in his absence the Deputy Section 151 Officer), in consultation with the Leader as Cabinet Member for Finance to operate the scheme.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1-3)    To enable the Council to implement the Retail Rate Relief scheme and utilise the Welsh Government grant in accordance with the scheme conditions in support of the local business economy.

 

C2368                        NON DOMESTIC RATES – REVALUATION RATE RELIEF (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES)  -

 

Approval was sought for the adoption of a new Business Rates Discretionary Policy called Revaluation Rate Relief to support those businesses in Wales most negatively impacted by the postponement of the 2015 Non Domestic Rates revaluation.

 

As part of the Welsh Government's Business Rate Policy Developments the Minister for Economy, Science and Transport recognised that the postponement of the 2015 NDR revaluation may have had an effect on certain types or locations of business ratepayers in the Council’s area. The relief may also be used to meet local economic development priorities.

 

The Welsh Government had announced that it would provide a grant of up to £153,062 which the Council had the discretion to allocate for the benefit of those ratepayers detrimentally affected by the postponement of the 2015 NDR revaluation in 2014-15, subject to State Aid limits.

 

It was intended that this scheme would operate from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015 subject to the acceptance by the Council of the associated grant offer.

 

The Relief would be for individual local billing authorities to decide to grant in accordance with the provisions contained in section 47 with the Welsh Government reimbursing local authorities for the relief that was provided in line with the guidance at Appendix A as attached to the report.

 

The policy broadly gave the local authority the ability to grant discretionary rate relief for the following purposes or a combination of purposes -

 

  • Where the local authority was satisfied that businesses in a particular location or geographic area had been negatively impacted by the postponement of the revaluation, it may determine that all businesses in that street or location may be entitled to NDR Relief either by proportion or by a set amount.

 

  • Where the local authority was satisfied that businesses in a particular sector or sub-sector had been negatively impacted by the postponement of the revaluation, it may determine that all businesses in that sector may be entitled to NDR Relief either by proportion or by a set amount. [Support may also be focussed at starting-up or growing businesses to meet local economic development priorities].

 

  • Where the local authority was satisfied that businesses were employing or creating jobs in line with its local economic strategy and other criteria and were negatively impacted by the postponement of the revaluation, it may determine that those businesses may be entitled to NDR Relief either by proportion or by a set amount. [Evidence of plans to recruit or grow and how the grant would benefit the local authority area must be provided]

 

The Council may choose to target additional relief to those businesses who were entitled to other NDR rate reliefs.

 

Authorities should determine for themselves how to use this grant, but must comply with the provisions contained in Section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 which gave the Council the ability to grant discretionary rate relief where it so determined.

 

As the grant of the relief was discretionary, authorities may have chosen not to grant the relief if they considered that appropriate, for example where granting the relief would go against the authority’s wider objectives for the local area.

 

Wales Revaluation Relief could be provided in addition to any other relief as well as any hardship or discretionary relief awarded by the local authority. The relief would be applied against the net bill after the other reliefs had been applied. The maximum amount of this relief would be no more than the value of the net rate liability.

 

 This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the Revaluation Rate Relief Scheme be adopted in accordance with the provisions contained in Section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, to supplement the Council’s discretionary rate relief scheme.

 

(2)          T H A T the Welsh Government grant of up to £153,062 be used in accordance with the grant conditions.

 

(3)          T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Section 151 Officer (or in his absence the Deputy Section 151 Officer), in consultation with the Leader as Cabinet Member for Finance to operate the scheme.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1-3)    To enable the Council to implement the Revaluation Rate Relief Scheme and utilise the Welsh Government grant in accordance with the scheme conditions in support of the local business economy.

 

C2369                        SERVICES FOR PEOPLE WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES: COMMISSIONING STRATEGY 2014 – 2017 (AS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH) -

 

Approval was sought for the Services Commissioning Strategy 2014 to 2017 in respect of Adults with Learning Disabilities.

 

The Services Commissioning Strategy for Adults with Learning Disability had been developed by Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Learning Disabilities Service in partnership with service users, carers and the third and independent Sectors. This document, attached at Appendix 1 to the report, provided the Council with strategic commissioning priorities that would enable it to improve, plan and develop services for adults with a Learning Disability in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

The Strategy took into account the Welsh Government's 'Learning Disability Strategy - Section 7 Guidance', which set out the service principles and responses that local authorities should adopt across a range of issues affecting adults and older people with learning disabilities. In 2007, in the ‘Statement on Policy and Practice for Adults with a Learning Disability’, it confirmed  a vision for the future of Learning Disabilities services based on a recognition that all people with a learning disability were full citizens, equal in status and value to other citizens of the same age .

 

It was estimated that, for the period 2013 - 2026, there would be a sustained growth in the need for social care for adults with Learning Disabilities, ranging from 1.0% to 7.9% per year and with an overall average rate of 4.2%.

 

The proposed Services Commissioning Strategy for People with Learning Disabilities 2014 to 2017 identified how the Council would respond to rising demand and changing expectations on the part of adults with learning disabilities and their families within the resources available to the Council.  Production of the strategy had been used as an opportunity to further the Council’s overall programme for improving and modernising the social care services it provided.

 

The strategy contained an analysis of demand, supply and service gaps together with a commissioning plan which set out the operational tasks needed to ensure that commissioning priorities were achieved.  The strategy would assist the Council in working in partnership with Cardiff Council and the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board to commission jointly services that delivered high quality care and support and that were based on people’s needs and preferences. There was a commitment to explore opportunities for working even more collaboratively in the future, with the intention of producing a joint strategy for the period beyond 2017. The Council would also work in partnership with relevant Health Boards to deliver the recommendations of 'Transforming Care in Wales for People with Learning Disability and Challenging Behaviour' (2012).

 

          The strategy set out five priorities for the Vale of Glamorgan Council when

          commissioning services –

 

(1)        People with a Learning Disability were supported to maximise their independence.

(2)        People with Learning Disabilities were supported to play an active role in society and engage in meaningful day time activities and employment or volunteering.

(3)        People with a Learning Disability were valued and included within their own communities.

(4)        People with Learning Disabilities were enabled to stay healthy and feel safe.

(5)        People with Learning Disability were supported to become lifelong learners.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

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

 

(2)          T H A T the Services Commissioning Strategy 2014 to 2017 for Adults with Learning Disabilities, as attached at Appendix 1 to the report, be approved.

 

(3)          T H A T the report be referred to Scrutiny Committees (Corporate Resources and Social Care and Health) for information.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To provide Cabinet with an opportunity to consider the way in which the Social Services Directorate is responding to changes in the pattern of demand for services and in the expectations of service users.

 

(2)          To ensure that service commissioning arrangements for people with learning disabilities are grounded in an agreed social care service model and enable the Council to provide effective care and support within the resources available.

 

(3)          To ensure that the Scrutiny Committees are able to exercise effective oversight of this key area of activity.

 

C2370                        PROPOSAL TO CREATE A NEW 420 PLACE PRIMARY SCHOOL AS PART OF THE LLANTWIT LEARNING COMMUNITY BY AMALGAMATING EAGLESWELL AND LLANILLTUD FAWR PRIMARY SCHOOLS (CS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – LIFELONG LEARNING) –

 

Members were apprised of the outcome of the statutory notice and the process required to be followed as a consequence of the conclusion of the statutory notice period which would allow a determination to be made on the proposal.

 

A report on the Llantwit Learning Community and a proposal to invest in new primary provision was presented to Cabinet on 18 November, 2013.

 

Cabinet approved a proposal to create a new 420 place primary school as part of the Llantwit Learning Community by amalgamating Eagleswell and Llanilltud Fawr primary schools and to carry out a consultation exercise on the proposal for a period of 8 weeks.

 

Consultation took place between 16 December, 2013 and 17 February, 2014, which included an extension by one week at the request of parents. The consultation document, Appendix A, was available on the Council's website and in the Members room.

 

Cabinet approved the publication of the consultation report and agreed to proceed to a statutory notice on the proposal. The consultation report was published and provided to prescribed organisations and bodies on 1 May, 2014. The consultation report, Appendix B, was available on the Council's website and in the Members room.

 

The Welsh Government issued a School Organisation Code in 2013 that came into effect from 1 October, 2013. The Local Authority must “act in accordance with the Code†as determined by the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013.  Section 48 of the Act required the publication of a statutory notice.

 

The Council published a statutory notice on the proposal on 6 May, 2014 notifying stakeholders of the intention to amalgamate Eagleswell and Llanilltud Fawr primary schools from September 2015. The 28 day statutory notice period came to an end on 3 June, 2014. A copy of the notice, Appendix C, was available on the Council's website and in the Members room.

 

All objections submitted during the notice period had to be made in writing or by e-mail. At the end of the statutory notice period on 3 June, 2014 the Council had received 11 individual responses.

 

A summary of the key themes and issues raised by respondents and the Council's response were attached in the Objection Report at Appendix D, as attached to the report.

 

In determining proposals the School Organisation Code states decision makers:

 

  • must consider whether there were any other related proposals;
  • must ensure that the statutory consultation had been conducted in accordance with the Code;
  • http://wales.gov.uk/topics/educationandskills/publications/guidance/school-organisation-code/?lang=en
  • must ensure that the proposal had been published in accordance with this Code and the notice contains all the required information;
  • must consider the consultation document and consultation report;
  • must consider the objections and the objection report and any responses to the notice supporting the proposals.

 

The School Organisation Code clearly stated that "where a local authority's proposals had received objections, and require determination under section 53 of the Act, the local authority must not approach the determination of these proposals with a closed mind. Objections must be conscientiously considered alongside the arguments in respect of the proposals and in light of the factors set out in section 1.3-1.4 of this code"

 

Should the proposal be approved, a 28 day referral period to the Welsh Ministers would commence for the following bodies (section 54 of the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013):

 

  • another local authority affected by the proposals;
  • the appropriate religious body for any school affected;
  • the Governing Body of voluntary or foundation school subject to the proposals;
  • a trust holding property on behalf of a voluntary or foundation school subject to the proposals; and
  • a further education institution affected by the proposals.

 

To ensure that strong leadership for the new school was established without delay, a temporary governing body comprising 14 governors would be established with immediate effect.  The first task of the temporary governing body would be to advertise the position of Headteacher with the aim of the successful candidate taking up post in January 2015.  This would enable the temporary governing body and Headteacher to work closely with the current leadership teams of both schools to effectively support transition to the amalgamated school.

 

At the meeting the Leader commented that copies of the appendices to the report were available to those who wished to view them and in addition they were made available on the Council’s website  and to all Members in the Members room.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the findings of the objection report on the proposal to amalgamate Eagleswell and Llanilltud Fawr primary schools, as attached at Appendix D to the report, be noted.

 

(2)          T H A T the implementation of the proposal to amalgamate Eagleswell and Llanilltud Fawr primary schools from September 2015 be approved.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To ensure the views of objectors are taken into account in the decision making process.

 

(2)          Following the completion of a period of statutory notice, a decision is required on whether to implement the proposal to amalgamate Eagleswell and Llanilltud Fawr primary schools

 

C2371                        DISABLED FACILITIES ADAPTATIONS FRAMEWORK (HBMCS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH, HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION AND CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Approval was sought for the setting up of a Disabled Facilities Adaptations Framework agreement.

 

On 15 July, 2013 Cabinet noted a report on the Disabled Facilities Grants Delivery Improvement (Minute No 1415).  This report stated the DFG team were researching alternative approaches for the procurement of builders to undertake the adaptation works funded by Disabled Facilities Grants in order to reduce the delivery time of Disabled Facilities Grants.

 

Through the introduction of the Adaptation Framework, it was anticipated the time to deliver a Disabled Facilities Grant would reduce as a direct result of removing the need to tender each individual property's grant work.  Key Performance Indicators in the Framework Agreement would also provide a mechanism to influence the time builders took to start and complete works.

 

It was proposed to set up a framework of building contractors to carry out works for private householders who were applicants for a grant to provide disabled adaptations works to their home.

 

There would be six contractors within the Framework that would operate for an initial period of two years with an option to extend up to a further 24 months.

 

The restricted tender process to award the Framework contractor was ongoing. The tender was offered through the 'etenderwales' website with a submission date of the 2 May, 2014. Twenty Nine tenders were received, and eleven were shortlisted and invited to interview on 4 and 5 June, 2014.

 

The tenders had been evaluated on 100% quality, as costs were predetermined by the pre-priced schedule of rates.

 

The reasonableness of the rates had been determined by an external quantity surveying company who reviewed all the rates against tenders received by the DFG service over the last 6 months to further ensure they were competitive.

 

The successful contractors would be monitored through a set of Key Performance Indicators that would be included into the DFG performance quarterly report presented to Cabinet.

 

Each grant applicant would enter into individual contracts under the Framework to enable the adaptation work to be carried out.  The grant applicant would choose the framework contractor and would employ them directly. The Council would be employed by the grant applicant as the Contract Administrator.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the Director of Development Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety and the Head of Legal Services be authorised to agree the terms of the Disabled Facilities Adaptations Framework Agreement.

 

(2)          T H A T the Director of Development Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety and the Head of Legal Services be authorised to enable the setting of a Disabled Facilities Adaptations Framework Agreement with up to 6 contractors.

 

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To enable the Council to agree the terms of a framework arrangement to deliver adaptation works.

 

 

(2)          To enable the Council to efficiently enter into a framework arrangement with up to 6 contractors to deliver adaptation works in grant applicants homes.

 

C2372                        DRAFT RECHARGABLE REPAIRS POLICY (HBMCS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) –

 

Approval was sought to undertake further stakeholder consultation on a draft Rechargeable Repairs Policy.

 

Generally, the Council was responsible for repairing and maintaining the structure of its Council Housing and any fixtures and fittings originally provided. Tenants were informed of their repair responsibilities when they signed the Tenancy Agreement. However, tenants were responsible for any damage they caused to their properties covering damage caused accidently, deliberately or through neglect. 

 

Tenants were ultimately responsible for behaviour of family and visitors and any damage caused to the property would be rechargeable. 

 

In cases of criminal damage or damage caused by unknown third parties the tenant was still responsible and the Council would expect the tenant to report such incidents to the police.  In these circumstances and by exception charges may be waived in situations such as domestic violence.

 

The collection of rechargeable repairs had been a relatively low priority for the Council in the past due to the costs involved in collection and the previous relatively low level of income received.

 

However, there was now a need to review the Councils rechargeable repairs policies and procedures because of the level of recent and future investment in our homes in achieving the Welsh Housing Quality Standard, coupled with the improved condition of void properties with the introduction of the improved relet standard. Given the level of investment to improve the condition of our tenants' homes it was not fair that all tenants continued to pay for the wilful damage and neglect caused by relatively few.

 

The draft Rechargeable Repairs Policy aimed to ensure that there were mechanisms in place to recharge for damage caused, whilst ensuring that any special circumstances were taken into account.

 

Whilst rechargeable repairs may have occurred during a tenancy, they may also have occurred when a tenancy was terminated and the Council had to carry out works to the property to make it ready for the next tenant.

 

Rechargeable repairs policies could vary from organisation to organisation. For some, repairs were raised and works carried out on the basis of acceptance/promise by the tenant that they would pay. Given the Council's previous experience of attempting to recover costs however, there was a risk that debts coulod escalate and rechargeable repairs debt recovery cost more that the cost of the debt itself.

 

In order to mitigate this potential eventuality it was proposed, that under the draft Vale of Glamorgan policy, rechargeable works were only carried out when tenants had paid in advance for repairs to be undertaken. The only exception to this would be where repairs had been identified as required under Health and Safety and in those circumstances the work would be undertaken and an invoice raised against the tenant's Housing rent account.

 

Tenants would be given the opportunity to undertake the work themselves if they wished thereby limiting the number of rechargeable repairs raised in the first place. The Council would however have to ensure that where tenants completed or arranged for the work to be done that the Council was satisfied that the work had been carried out to an appropriate/acceptable standard.

 

In the case of substantial damage, destruction or neglect however Officers would consider taking possession action against the tenant for a breach of tenancy resulting in recovery of the Council Property. It was anticipated that this action would only be undertaken as a last resort after giving the tenant the opportunity to rectify the breach. In some circumstances this could be deemed to be criminal damage and would be dealt with via the council's Anti Social Behaviour policy.

 

Currently tenants were not recharged the cost of repairs which were their responsibility when tenancies were terminated. Consequently the Housing Department, and by implication our tenants, paid for the costs which should be borne by the outgoing tenant.

 

Rechargeable repairs where possible would now be identified during the pre- termination inspection before the end of tenancy and tenants would be given the opportunity to rectify faults before they handed their keys in.

 

At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development commented that it was important to take action on all Council properties to ensure that they were appropriately looked after.

 

The Leader further commented that the Council was spending a considerable amount of money on council properties and that this policy would help to safeguard the investment.

 

 This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the draft Rechargeable Repairs Policy, attached at Appendix 1 to the report, be approved.

 

(2)          T H A T the draft Rechargeable Repairs Policy, attached at Appendix 1 to the report be referred to Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) for consideration.

 

(3)          T H A T the Head of Housing and Building Services undertakes further consultation with the Housing Services Review Group.

 

(4)          T H A T a further report be provided to Cabinet on conclusion of the consultation processes for the final policy to be agreed.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)             To agree the draft policy prior to any consultation taking place.

 

(2-4)    To enable Cabinet to make informed decisions on any required changes to the draft policy following consultation.

 

C2373                        FUTURE SAFE ROUTES IN COMMUNITIES (SIRIC) GRANT AND ROAD SAFETY GRANT (RIPT) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) –

 

Members were apprised of a request received from the Minster for Economy, Science and Transport, relating to future requests for funding through the Safe Routes in Communities and Road Safety Grant processes.

 

Welsh Government, via a letter received from the Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, Edwina Hart, (the Minister) on 11 April 2014, had requested that the Council considered the schools within the area which could potentially benefit from road safety improvements. It was requested that a list of improvements included a brief assessment of the type of works required, and a sense of the scale of the costs. This list would enable the Minister to consider future programmes in this area.

 

In addition, the Minister had requested a brief overview of the wider road safety programmes that the Council provides for children and young people in the Local Authority area which should include programmes funded through Road Safety Grant and other activity which is funded directly or via other sources.

 

Welsh Government has requested the submission date to be brought forward to 4 July, 2014 in order for the Minister to consider the content before the Summer recess.

 

There was no restriction on the number of schemes to be submitted by each local authority. However, this was a very short timescale to consider the volume of works still required around all of the schools within the Vale, along with all of the road safety improvements still needed.

 

The Council held a list of schemes that had not been successful for funding through the Safe Routes in Communities Grant and Road Safety Grant processes which would make up part of the submission.

 

An outline of the list of schemes that were intended to be submitted were included at Appendix B. Costings for the schemes were currently being established and it was anticipated that when submitted, more detailed information could be provided.

 

At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development commented that he fully supported the schemes that were contained within the report.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)             T H A T the information in this report be noted.

 

(2)          T H A T the schemes that were being proposed to be submitted for Safe Routes in Communities (SRIC) and Road Safety Grant funding as attached at Appendix B to the report be approved.

 

(3)          T H A T the Director of Development Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning & Transportation be authorised to use delegated powers to finalise the details of the response in time for submission to comply with the Welsh Government deadline of Friday 4 July, 2014.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To advise Members of the request made by the Minister in her letter dated 11 April, 2014.

 

(2)       To endorse the acceptance of the schemes being proposed.

 

(3)       To allow a response to be submitted within the timescale required.

 

C2374                        SCHOOL TRANSPORT: RESULTS OF TENDERING EXERCISE AND AWARD OF CONTRACTS (RIPT) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) –

 

Members were apprised of the results of a tendering exercise in respect of 49 school transport contracts which were due for renewal in September 2014. 

 

The school bus tendering exercise was undertaken to ensure continued operation of 51 school bus routes, some of which were combined to form one contract.

 

There were 49 school transport contracts tendered for and it was proposed to award 45 of the 49 contracts.   Three contracts (numbered P65, P96 and P124) that were subject to tender were now not required and a further contract (S21) which was subject to tender had not been awarded as it was more advantageous to extend the existing contract by a further two years.  These contracts were highlighted in grey on Appendix A as attached to the report.

 

Thirty four operators submitted contract tender returns on time but not all operators tendered for all contracts.  Council Officers had analysed the tender submissions, which were assessed in line with agreed criteria which reflects price (70%) and quality (30%).  In terms of quality the 30% was made up as follows: 50% vehicle age, 30 % whether the vehicles would be equipped with CCTV systems and 20% previous company performance.

 

Attached at Appendix A to the report were the summarised details of the tender results with recommendations for the award of 45 contracts.  Contract lengths varied between one and three years dependent on circumstances specific to each contract. 

 

Subject to Cabinet's agreement, pupils would be given, via the school, an information pack confirming their transport arrangements for September 2014.  The pack would contain a letter informing them of their entitlement to transport, a route map and timetable (which would include operator details), a condensed version of the Welsh Learner Travel Behaviour Code and an acknowledgement slip.  The acknowledgement slip was an agreement that parents must complete and return to the Council before a bus pass is issued.  By signing the agreement, parents were confirming that their child(ren) would abide by the Welsh Learner Travel Behaviour Code and if they did not they would be subject to sanctions that the Council can impose.

 

The award of contracts as detailed at Appendix A to this report could be accommodated within the current schools budget for 14/15. There was a provisional overall saving of approximately £324.25 per day/£61,607.50 per year which represented a fall over current prices for these specific contracts.  Actual expenditure would be dependent on whether the various operators wished to accept the contracts as offered and often any saving initially identified by tender results diminished by the end of the academic year because of operators terminating contracts and additional contracts for new children being required.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the award of contracts for the School Bus Services as detailed in Appendix A attached to the report be approved.

 

(2)          T H A T if any of the preferred transport operators for each listed contract decline to accept the contract as offered, the operator offering the next most advantageous tender be awarded the contract. 

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To ensure ongoing school bus provision from September 2014 which the Council had a statutory / discretionary obligation to provide.

 

(2)          To enable the contracts to be awarded to commence September 2014.

 

C2375                        WELSH GOVERNMENT’S TOWN CENTRE PARTNERSHIPS (RIPT) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) –

 

Members were advised of a recently announced Welsh Government (WG) funding stream to support the development of Town Centre Partnerships (TCP's) across Wales.  The report also sought authority to progress two applications for Penarth and Llantwit Major.

 

Attached at Appendix A to the report was a letter dated 28 May, from the Deputy Director of the Homes and Places Division, Welsh Government, which drew the Council's attention to the Town Centre Partnerships initiative.  The letter advised that a total fund of £1 million was available across Wales and a maximum of £50k revenue funding was available per successful application, on the expectation that match funding of a minimum of 50% was put forward from other, non WG sources.  The deadline for submitting applications was 5pm Friday, 25 July, 2014 and a maximum of two applications were permitted per authority.

 

The letter and attached guidance, advised that the purpose of the funding was to act as a catalyst for the formation of Town Centre Partnerships and the creation of Town Centre Action Plans, although funding could be used to support existing Town Centre Partnerships and Action Plans. 

 

In February 2014, Cabinet endorsed and adopted the Town Centres Framework as a framework for future action and working with stakeholders on a partnership basis.  The framework included an implementation plan for the five retail centres in the Vale of Glamorgan.  The report, focused on Llantwit Major and Penarth town centres for an applications to TCP funding. 

Llantwit Major was the Vale's third largest town and was steeped in Christian heritage as well as boasting a fabulous location as the gateway to the Heritage Coast. There was huge potential to build on this and better promote the area as well as improve links between the coast and the town. Llantwit Major could attract more visitors to its historic quarter which could underpin future development of the town's image, brand and retail centre.  It required some work on its retail offer by increasing the range and choice of non-food stores, giving local residents and visitors a better retail mix.

 

The Welsh Government's Town Centre Partnership initiative could further help the Town Team to develop and implement ideas to improve the town as a destination for visitors. Part of the 50% match funding contribution required for the town centre partnerships funding initiative could be offset by using officers' time spent on existing town centre projects, should timescales allow.

Penarth town centre was the second largest town in the Vale of Glamorgan. With its distinctive Victorian character and period architecture, it had a sound basis upon which to make progress.  Enhancements to the town included increasing the number of festivals and events including markets and increasing the range of non-food shops balancing the quantity of coffee shops on offer.

 

Penarth Town Council had recently appointed consultants to prepare a Town Plan and more recently had acquired the services of a Business Improvement District (BID) Consultant to run a BID working on a variety of improvements to enhance the town centre. A BID was a defined area within which businesses pay an additional tax (or levy) in order to fund projects within the district's boundaries. The BID was often funded primarily through the levy but could also drew on other public and private funding streams. BIDs provide services, such as cleaning streets, providing security, making capital improvements, construction of pedestrian and streetscape enhancements, and marketing the area. The services provided by BIDs were supplemental to those already provided by the local authority.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the Welsh Government's Town Centre Partnerships programme and associated funding support be noted.

 

(2)          T H A T the Director of Development Services be given delegated authority, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation, to submit applications for funding in respect of Llantwit Major and Penarth towns.

 

(3)          T H A T the outcome of the applications be reported to Cabinet once a decision has been received from Welsh Government.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1-3)    In order to apprise Cabinet of the Town Centre Partnerships programme.

 

C2376                        HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE CONTRACTS (RIPT) (SCRUITINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Approval was sought to award the Carriageway Resurfacing Contract 2014/15 and to extend the existing contracts for Highway Weed Control, Surface Dressing, Micro-Asphalt Surfacing.

 

The Highways and Engineering Section within Visible Services routinely let specialist works contracts for highway repairs and refurbishment.  This report proposes the award of a new contract for carriageway resurfacing for 2014/2015 and extensions to a number of existing contracts in accord with the extension terms of those contracts and at no additional costs.

 

Tenders were invited from 4 contractors for carriageway resurfacing and based on a quality/price model with a 30/70 spilt respectively, Lafarge Tarmac Ltd were identified as the most competitive tenderer for the Carriageway Resurfacing Contract 2014/2015. An Analysis of the returned tenders was attached at Appendix A to the report. It was anticipated the value of the contract would be in the order of £2 million. 

 

Tenders had been previously invited for the Highway Weed Control, Surface Dressing, Micro-Asphalt Surfacing.  The contract terms permit contract extensions of up to a further two years with the agreement of the Council and relevant contractor via an annual review.   The tenders were originally approved by Cabinet on 18 April, 2013 (Minute No C1698).

 

At the meeting the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Visible Services added that the Council’s Big Fill scheme would be returning to Llantwit Major towards the end of September.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the contract for Carriageway Resurfacing be awarded to Lafarge Tarmac Ltd until March 2015.

 

(2)          T H A T the contract for Highway Weed Control 2012/2013 awarded to Complete Weed Control (South Wales) Ltd be extended to March 2015 at no price increase to current rates.

 

(3)          T H A T the contract for Surface Dressing 2012/2013 awarded to Road Maintenance Services Ltd be extended to March 2015 at no price increase to current rates.

 

(4)          T H A T the contract for Micro-Asphalt Surfacing 2012/2013 awarded to Kiely Brothers be extended to March 2015 at no price increase to current rates.

 

(5)          T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Director of Visible Services and Housing in consultation with the Head of Legal Services and Cabinet Member for the Environment and Visible Services to approve Lafarge Tarmac Limited as the resurfacing contractor and to extend existing contracts for Weed Control, Surface Dressing  and Micro Asphalt Surfacing.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          This represents the most suitable option considering both cost and quality.

 

(2-5)    To ensure continued compliance with the Councils Contract Standing Orders and Financial Regulations.

 

C2377                        MATTERS WHICH THE CHAIRMAN HAD DECIDED WAS URGENT -

 

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

 

C2378                        UPDATE ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LLANTWIT LEARNING COMMUNITY (CS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

A matter which the Chairman had decided was Urgent by reason of the need to Progress the Procurement Process in order to meet the Delivery timetable.

 

At the meeting the Leader tabled a supplementary report of the same title as Agenda Item No. 20b, which was considered alongside this item.

 

The Leader explained that the supplementary report had a slightly different recommendation 4 which highlighted the costings needed in order to deliver the scheme.

 

At the meeting the Leader explained that copies of all the appendices were available to those who wished to view them and in addition they were made available on the Council’s website and to all Members in the Members room.

 

Members were informed of the position in respect of the implementation of  the Llantwit Learning Community and approval was sought  to progress procurement related activity in advance of Welsh Government approval of grant funding for the scheme, if the primary school amalgamation was approved.

 

At the Cabinet meeting of 16 November 2011 (Minute No C1523 refers) the Vale's Band A programme of projects was reported and approved for submission to the Welsh Government (WG) based on 50% grant support from the Welsh Government.  

 

The submission of the Band A programme of projects was successful and in December 2011 a Conditional Offer was received from the Welsh

 

Government (subject to the approval of business cases for each scheme and statutory approvals where applicable) for £10.48 Million of Welsh Government grant support towards the total cost of £20.96 Million, which would transform and enhance various schools in Llantwit Major and Barry. The availability of Welsh Government funding would be subject to prior approval of business cases for projects over £5m and business justification cases for projects under £5m.

 

The enhanced Llantwit Learning Community scheme estimated at £19.75 Million was previously reported to cabinet on 18 November, 2013 (minute C2081).

 

Following the submission of Band A of the Vale's School Investment Programme, the schemes have been further developed in consultation with Members and the Welsh Government and the Programme now includes:

 

·                Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg (new 210 place primary school building).

·                Ysgol Gymraeg Dewi Sant (new 210 place primary school building).

·               Oak Field Primary and Ysgol Gymraeg Gwaun y Nant (new 210 place school building for Oak Field, extension and remodelling of Gwaun y Nant).

·                Llantwit Learning Community (new 420 place primary school,

refurbishment of comprehensive school main block and new build to replace other buildings).

 

Proposals for projects that were under £5 million total funding investment need to be submitted to WG as a Business Justification Case (BJC). These submissions required the inclusion of five cases which were dealt with in more detail in higher cost projects, these were: strategic case, economic case, commercial case, financial case and management case. BJC's were usually assessed and determined by the WG within 3-4 months of submission. BJC's have been submitted and approved for Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg; Ysgol Gymraeg Dewi Sant and Oak Field / Ysgol Gymraeg Gwaun y Nant. Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg is on course to open in September 2014. It was expected that the new buildings for Ysgol Gymraeg Dewi Sant and Oak Field Primary School would open in September 2015. 

 

All projects with more than £5 million total funding investment were required to follow the Better Business Case (BBC), using the five case model, for business case submission. This was a three stage process including: Strategic Outline Case (SOC), Outline Business Case (OBC) and Full Business Case (FBC). This was an iterative process with information becoming more accurate and definitive as the business case moves through each stage.

 

A Strategic Outline Case for the Llantwit Learning Community has been submitted to WG and it was expected that it would be assessed in the near future.  Approval of the SOC would enable the Council to move to the OBC stage. Subject to formal WG approval a joint OBC/FBC would be submitted. Full approval would not be given until the BBC had progressed through all stages.  The FBC must be submitted by December of the year preceding the financial year in which funding was required. In the case of Llantwit Learning Community the FBC must be submitted before December 2014 to draw down funding from April 2015. It was expected that full approval for the grant funding would be received during February/March 2015.

 

The timing of the approval of the grant funding presents a number of risks in relation to the delivery of the Llantwit Learning Community. Appendix A shows two options in respect of the timeline for implementing the scheme. For both options it would be necessary to have carried out the tender process prior to completion of the FBC. This was to ensure the FBC includes a realistic contract price.

 

The timeline for Option 1, the 'at risk' option, would see the preferred contractor being appointed before approval of the Full Business Case. The contractor would be appointed on a 2 stage basis, with the construction phase only being entered into on full approval of the FBC by WG. Estimated costs of £300,000 would be incurred on design and development work prior to approval of the grant so that the planning application can be prepared and submitted in April 2015 with the aim of starting on site in September 2015. This option would enable the new/refurbished secondary school to open in September 2017 and the 420 place primary school building to open in September 2016.

 

It was originally intended that the new primary school building would open in September 2017. Option 1 is favourable in terms of reducing the risk associated with potential failure of the Llantilltud Fawr Primary School building. A report on this agenda proposes that Eagleswell and Llanilltud Fawr Primary Schools amalgamate from September 2015 on separate sites. If approved, advancing the opening date of the new primary school building would reduce the challenge of managing the two schools over separate sites. The estimated £210k annual revenue savings from the amalgamation of the schools on the Llantwit Learning Community site would be generated a year earlier than originally planned.

 

In Option 2: the 'FBC approved' option, the contractor would be appointed in February 2015 following approval of the FBC. This reduces the risk of expenditure being incurred in the absence of approved grant funding but would result in the opening date for the Primary school being extended to April 2017. The reason for the delay in occupying  the new building are programming issues, which require a school move of this nature to occur at a suitable holiday period, so as not to have a detrimental effect on the education of the children.

 

With both options 1 and 2 it was necessary to start engaging with all schools included in the scheme to carry out educational visioning work to ensure the educational needs of the schools were included in the brief to put out to tender. This work would cost an estimated £10,000 which could be met from the School Investment Reserve pending WG approval of the FBC.  

By selecting Option 1 the merged primary schools would be relocated into a single new building a year earlier (September 2016) and the Eagleswell site become vacant.

 

The earlier report on the agenda proposed that tender documents were prepared and that the tender was issued based on Option 1(at risk). If approved this would allow the tenders to be issued in September 2014 and also for the commencement of associated engagement with the schools. A contractor would be appointed in December 2014 to complete detail designs and submit the scheme for planning in April 2015, subject to Welsh Governments approval of the Full Business Case.

 

It was currently proposed to construct both the new secondary school and 420 place primary school concurrently. This would enable the amalgamated primary to move into the new building in September 2016. This was earlier than previously anticipated. Once the school had relocated into the new building,  demolition and construction of new external play areas could then commence. External play provision would be provided throughout the build programme.

 

The new build element of the Secondary school would be completed April 2017 and the school would occupy this new building in September 2017. The existing non-retained buildings would then be demolished to allow for the construction of the new 3G pitch and to provide new external spaces. For enhanced community use the 3G pitch should be located near to the main school buildings, which meant that the area identified as the most suitable location was currently an existing building. The construction of this pitch therefore could  not commence until the buildings had been demolished. A new car park for the site would also be provided. The refurbishment of the retained existing front brick building would be programmed where possible to be undertaken during school holiday periods.

 

The council would competitively tender and select a contractor under the South East Wales Schools Capital Programme (SEWSCAP) framework. This reduced the procurement process as the contractors had already gone through a rigorous OJEU selection process. This would require the contractors to submit tender prices and take part in a template design competition process.

 

The contract form will be NEC 3 option C with design. This would facilitate early contractor involvement together with a collaborative approach in order to reduce risk and to deliver the greatest benefits to the scheme. The council would contractually require the contractor to maximise local skills, training and employment to a similar level as Penarth Learning Community.

Attached at Appendix 3 to the supplementary report 20b was the proposed draft master plan for the scheme although obviously this may change as a result of consultations.

 

Grant funding of £6.238M had been approved in principle by the Welsh Government. This was based on 50% of the estimated £12.476M cost of the original scheme which comprised the refurbishment of the comprehensive school only. The WG grant funding available to the Council for Band A was fixed at £10.48M (paragraph 3 refers). Following discussion with Welsh Government officials regarding additional grant funding for Ysgol Dewi Sant a positive indication was given that it would be awarded but the £743,000 additional funding was allocated from the Vale's overall grant funding envelope of £10.48M. This had reduced the grant funding available within the envelope for the Llantwit Learning Community by £743k to £5.495M.  

 

The cost of the scheme was £19.75m, (which included a contingency) as set out in the cabinet report of 18th November 2013. The figure of £22.10m in the capital programme included a large contingency for inflation which had now been removed as a further review of the costs had been undertaken and these were considered to be no longer required.

 

The capital programme assumed WG grant of £11.05m would be received. If funding was restricted to the original envelope, additional funding of £3.205m needs to be identified. This could be met as follows:

 

               Llantwit Learning Community Funding shortfall

Funding Source

   £M’s

Potential Risk

Contribution from the capital receipt for the Sale of Ysgol Maes Dyfan

 

      1.000

Although negotiations are in progress with the successful bidder there is no contractual commitment at this time. There is a risk that this could fall through.

School Investment Reserve

      1.705              

 

Reduces funding for other schemes

 

 

Prudential Borrowing

      0.500

To be met from the individual schools budget (ISB) as a result of revenue savings generated by the scheme. This could potentially place further pressure on the ISB.

Total Additional Funding

 

      3.205

 

 

 The overall funding of Llantwit Learning community was outlined below:

 

Llantwit Learning Community Funding

£M's

Welsh Government General Funding and Capital receipts

Schools Investment Programme Reserve

Prudential Borrowing      

Welsh Government 21st Century Schools Grant                              

 9.355

 2.399                                      

 2.500

 5.496

Total Funding Required                   

19.750

                                                                                                                                      Estimated costs of £310,000 would be incurred on visioning work with the schools and design and development work with the risk of the FBC not being approved. This risk related not only to approval of the additional grant funding requested but also to the grant funding which has been approved in principle. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)        T H A T the tender documents be based on Option 1 (At Risk) as detailed in the report be approved.

 

(2)        T H A T the issue of an invitation tender for the scheme and commencement of associated engagement with schools be approved.

 

(3)        T H A T a further report be brought back to Cabinet once the tenders had  been evaluated.

 

(4)        T H A T it be recommended to Council that the funding for the school be as set out in paragraph 25 of the report..

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)        To proceed with Option 1 as set out in the timeline in Appendix 1. 

 

(2)        To enable the tender process to be undertaken.

 

(3)        To consider tenders received.

 

(4)        To ensure funding of the scheme.

 

C2379                        REVIEW OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT PENSION SCHEME (LGPS) DISCRESTIONS (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

During consideration of this item Council officers present left the meeting save for the Cabinet Support Officer who drafted the minute.

 

Members were apprised of recent changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme.

 

Under the Local Government Pension Scheme, the Council as an employing authority was able to exercise a number of discretionary powers. Under the regulations it was necessary for the Council to have a written policy outlining how the Council would, in general, exercise certain discretionary powers. A review of policy on discretions was required since the new pension scheme came into force on 1st April 2014.

 

Employers were required to formulate, publish and keep under review a policy statement in relation to the exercise of discretions under the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).  The policy was last reviewed in 2008, when major changes were last made to LGPS.  The policy was updated in 2010, when the minimum age for access to LGPS pension benefit was increased from age 55 to 60.

 

New pension regulations were introduced in 2013 and from 1 April 2014 the basis of the LGPS pension scheme changed from a Final Salary scheme to a Career Average Revalued Earnings (CARE) scheme. Under the CARE scheme, the pension earned in each scheme year from April 2014 was added to an individual's pension account and increased for inflation so that it retained its value.   That part of an individual's pension relating to service prior to April 2014 would still be based on final salary, albeit with different rates accruing for employment post 2008.

 

The revisions to LGPS meant that there were some new areas where employers would need to exercise discretion. Policies adopted in respect of early retirement, flexible retirement and redundancy did not and may not commit the Council to automatic adoption of the terms, as each case needed to be considered on its own merit. There was an established process for assessing the business case for early retirement and redundancy within the policy.

 

Policies required under the 2013 regulations were as follows

 

  • Additional Pension Contributions (APC)
  • Voluntary Shared Cost APC
  • Voluntary Retirement pre 60
  • Flexible retirement
  • Waiving Actuarial Reductions

 

In addition to the new policies referred to under the 2013 regulations, the opportunity may be taken to review existing discretions. Aside from those already impacted on by the proposals outlined above the existing discretion for Leave of Absence without Pay was recommended for deletion as it was no longer applicable under the new regulations. It was not envisaged that any further changes were required.

 

The current discretions and proposed recommendations for change were set out at Appendix A. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the policy on discretions be amended in line with the recommendations outlined at Appendix A as attached to the report.

 

(2)          T H A T the policies and necessary guidance be published in line with the regulations and the administering authority (City and County of Cardiff) be informed of the changes.

 

(3)          T H A T the urgency procedure as set out in article 13.09 of the Councils Constitution be used in view of the need to enable formal notification of the discretions adopted to be provided to the administering authority by 30th June.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To set policies and guidance as required under the regulations.

 

(2)          To publish policies and inform the administering authority in line with the guidance.

 

(3)          To enable formal notification of the discretions adopted to be provided to the administering authority by 30th June.

 

 

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