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Agenda Item No.

 

CABINET

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 22 September, 2014.

 

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

 

Apologies: Councillor C.P.J. Elmore.

 

                                                    

C2457                        MINUTES –

                                                                                  

REOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 8 September, 2014 be approved as a correct record.

 

C2458            DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

The following declarations of interest were received

 

Councillor  R Curtis.

Agenda Item No 5,14 and 16 Regionalising Regulatory Services Project.

 

Reason for Declaration –

He had a personal close friend who may be affected by the proposals set out in the report.

 

 

C2459                        JOINT CONSULTATIVE FORUM -                     

 

The minutes of the Joint Consultative Forum meeting held on 7 July, 2014 were submitted.

 

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

 

Representatives of the Trade Unions

 

Mr. P. Carter (UNISON), Mr. N. Stokes (GMB), Mr. C. Jordon (GMB), Ms. P. Harvey (UNISON), Mr. J. Davies (UNISON), Mr. G. Pappas (UNISON), Mr. G. Moseley (UNISON), Mr. N. Patterson (UNITE) and Mr. D. Dimmick (NASUWT).

 

 

(a)       Apologies for Absence -

 

These were received from Councillors K. Hatton and Mrs. M. Kelly Owen, Mr. G. Beaudette (NUT), Mr. R. Bergman (Head of Human Resources) and Mr. M. Punter (Director of Visible Services and Housing).

 

 

(b)       Minutes and Matters Arising -

 

AGREED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 17th February, 2014 be accepted as an accurate record.

 

In referring to Minute (i) 'New Agency Staff Contract', Mr. Pappas referred to the Agency staff that had transferred to Randstad on 13th January, 2014. 

 

Mr. Pappas expressed concern at inconsistencies in the way the contract was operating in that it was alleged that

 

-           some employees were required to pay for their own uniform

-           there were inconsistencies in the way the hourly rate and potential enhancements were being applied

-           incremental payments were not paid on time

-           there were inconsistencies in Randstad’s approach across the Council.

 

The view was expressed that it was immoral for Agency staff to pay for their own uniforms.

 

In response, the Forum were advised that the way forward would be for a meeting to take place between the Director of Visible Services and Housing, the Operational Manager Human Resources and Randstad.

 

Questions were also raised regarding the Council using an organisation that did not recognise Trade Unions, although the Operational Manager Human Resources stated that he was unaware of this. 

 

 

Mr. Stokes spoke of members of staff of the Vale of Glamorgan Council who had been transferred to privatised services under TUPE Regulations and spoke of Dyffryn House and Gardens, the Leisure Centres, elements of the Catering Service and cleaning service. 

 

It was alleged that some of the employers were reluctant to engage with the recognised Trade Unions and the Council was asked to continue to support the Trade Unions in seeking their future recognition by the incoming employer.

 

The Operational Manager Human Resources advised that the Council and Trade Unions worked together well, but schools had the ability to employ contractors. 

 

The Operational Manager offered to remind contractors of their obligations under the TUPE Regulations.  Furthermore, the Council was drafting protocols that schools would be asked to take account of when considering procurement opportunities.

 

 

(c)        Declarations of Interest -

 

Paula Harvey declared an interest in Agenda Item No. 10, “Libraries Review Update†in that she worked within the Library Service.

 

 

(d)       Libraries Review Update -

 

The Director of Learning and Skills advised that the Library Review had recently been considered by the Cabinet.  The Strategy was intended to modernise the service and deliver budget savings of £500,000.

 

The key proposals for consultation included:

 

  • increased charges to users
  • creation of community libraries
  • reduced hours.

 

The Cabinet had accepted the review and referred the proposals to the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) for consideration.

 

The Director acknowledged that, in consultations with staff, the impression may have been given that the decisions had been made when they had not.  If this impression had been given, the Director apologised.

 

When next reported to Cabinet, the report would refer to staffing issues and may propose a Staff Consultative Committee.

 

Ms. Harvey outlined how the proposals had affected her and her colleagues in the Library Service

 

 

- she had been told there would be no job for her

- staff would like some feedback

- a response was sought on the Trade Unions concerns

- why did an officer come to the Libraries and tell staff that there was going to be a restructure.

 

Mr. Carter stated that he had attended all staff meetings.  There was confusion about what was being proposed. 

 

Mr. Carter referred to S106 monies that had been awarded to increase library services in Wenvoe. 

 

Ms. Harvey, in referring to the Delivery Plan, asked if it would be made available to the staff.

 

Also, the Director was asked if the report to Cabinet would answer the questions raised at the meeting of the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning). 

 

The Director advised that:

 

  • the Strategy proposed changes to the Library Service whilst keeping the Libraries open in every building they were currently in
  • the report to Cabinet would include the questions and answers raised at Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning)
  • the report to Cabinet would cover staffing issues
  • there will be a revised Delivery Plan and there will be changes to the overall Strategy
  • there was every reason to think that the S106 monies would continue to benefit Wenvoe
  • the Director was looking to engage further with Human Resources to promote staff engagement.

 

The Committee were advised that the consultation exercise was ongoing and that the process would be supported and enhanced through the involvement of the proposed Staff Reference Group.

 

Mr. Carter advised that the Trade Unions had tried to call a meeting in Barry Library with the staff.  A room in the building had been booked but the Trade Unions were subsequently advised that they could not use the room. The Trade Unions felt that this action was considered to be deplorable and served to disrupt the Trade Union’s right of freedom of association.  It was the Trade Union’s belief that this was a cynical attempt to prevent Unison talking to its members about redundancies.

 

The view was expressed that an investigation should be undertaken to see if the person responsible for cancelling the room booking had exceeded their powers and, if so what sanction could be imposed.

 

Discussions ensued regarding the use of rooms by the Trade Unions for the conduct of their business and it was noted that the matter would be considered by the joint Terms and Conditions Group. 

 

Reference was made to a review currently underway by the Audit Section into the consultation process although it was stated that the report was yet to be finalised.  It was stressed that although the review was being undertaken by the Senior Auditor it was not an Audit Review.

 

(e)       Minutes of Directorate Consultative Groups -

 

The minutes of the following Directorate Consultative Groups were received:

 

(i)         Learning and Skills: 19th February, 2014

(ii)        Learning and Skills: 9th April, 2014

(iii)       Social Services: 14th January, 2014

(iv)       Social Services: 7th March, 2014

(v)        Social Services: 7th April, 2014

(vi)       Visible Services and Housing: 5th February, 2014

(vii)      Visible Services and Housing: 5th March, 2014

(viii)     Visible Services and Housing: 7th May, 2014

(ix)       Visible Services and Housing: 4th June, 2014.

 

In referring to the minutes of the Learning and Skills Directorate Consultative Group of 19th February, 2014, Mr. Dimmick stated that the Trade Unions were not being consulted on co-education.  A Working Group existed but had no Trade Union representation within its membership.  Mr. Dimmick suggested that in the spirit of the Workforce Partnership that Trade Union involvement in considering these proposals should be full and should take place immediately.

 

In response, the Forum was advised that the Directorate was currently carrying out a feasibility study as per the decision of Cabinet.  The results of the study would be reported to Cabinet in the autumn following which full and open consultation would take place. 

 

The comments were noted.

 

In referring to the minutes of the Visible Services and Housing Consultative Group of 4th June, 2014, in particular the reference to Home Working. 

 

Mr. Carter believed that the process had not been dealt with properly and attempts should have been made to get an agreement on home to work policy as opposed to it being forced through.  Any changes to 'Terms and Conditions’ of staff should have been subject to a wider consultation exercise in advance of the Cabinet making a decision.

 

The Operational Manager Human Resources replied that the decision had followed several previous discussions within the Directorate JCF.  More recent, discussions had taken place on 7th May, which formed part of a consultation process. 

 

Mr. Stokes responded by saying talks had taken place as far back as February 2014, although he would not use the word 'consultation’. 

 

He was concerned that this policy was being applied to staff following staff being issued a letter providing 12 weeks’ notice of implementation of the changes.

 

The report to Cabinet had mentioned a level of savings as a result of less petrol being used but Mr. Stokes stated that there would be a cost in terms of 'down time’ whilst staff travelled to the Depot and then onto their work.

 

Mr. Stokes asked about an employee who lived in the Western Vale who worked in the Alps Depot.

 

Mr. Stokes stated that he believed there should be a local agreement in place on this issue. 

 

The Operational Manager Human Resources agreed to arrange a meeting of the Secretaries with the Director of Visible Services and Housing and regional officers to discuss this matter.

 

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

 

(f)         Dates of Directorate Consultative Groups -

 

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

 

Learning and Skills - 25th June, 2014

Social Services - 23rd June, 2014

Visible Services and Housing - 2nd July, 2014.

 

(g)       Minutes of Corporate Health and Safety Committee -

 

AGREED - T H A T the minutes of the Corporate Health and Safety Committee meeting held on 16th June, 2014 be noted.

 

(h)        Williams Report Update -

 

The Williams Report had been published in January and discussed by the political parties.  No consensus had emerged. 

 

A Ministerial Group had been established, and it had recently been announced that 'Paving Legislation’ would be published.  The Legislation would be put in place following the Assembly Elections in 2016. 

 

As far as could be established, Local Authority elections would take place in 2017.  However, if Councils wished to merge voluntarily then elections could be held in 2018.

 

There was still much uncertainty surrounding the proposal although it was understood that the new Councils would be established by 2020. 

 

Mr. Stokes enquired if there were any options other than merger with Cardiff Council and was advised that this was in the political arena at present.  This Council had not expressed a view. 

 

The Forum were advised that the Council had collaborated with other Councils for many years.  Who the Council collaborated with would continue to be based on the relevant business case. 

 

Mr. Carter stated that he would have reservations with collaborating with Bridgend Council.  He added that, in his opinion, the Vale of Glamorgan Council was entering into collaborations unnecessarily. 

 

The Chairman advised the Forum that the Council was pursing collaboration for a variety of reasons but in particular due to the financial pressures facing the Council.

  

(i)         Review of Management of Attendance Policy: Update -

 

The Review was being conducted on the basis of a report to this Forum from the Head of Human Resources on 20th November, 2013.  The aims of the review were to:

  • respond to concerns as previously articulated by the Trade Unions
  • reflect best practice from elsewhere
  • accommodate the changing demands of our Council and demands on our workforce in the future.

Discussions to date had been both helpful and constructive.  It was hoped that this Forum could consider a recommendation for a refinement of the policy later in the year for referral to Cabinet.

 

The main areas of discussion with the Trade Unions and emerging consensus had included the following:

  • the need to focus particularly on long-term absence given that this accounts for 2/3 of all sickness absence
  • the increasing need to manage long-term/chronic sickness on a Case Management approach from 'Day 1’ of the absence
  • the need to balance consistency of application (in terms of the policy) with the need for managers to be able to use appropriate discretion
  • the need to ensure that any changes to the policy are tied to ongoing performance in relation to attendance levels.

It had also been agreed that any change to the Management of Attendance Policy should be included as an element of the wider review of terms and conditions currently being negotiated as part of Section 1 Action 3 of the Corporate Workforce Plan. 

 

The Forum would be kept informed of progress in relation to this key policy area as the discussions continued.

 

AGREED - T H A T the content of the report be noted.

 

(j)         Feedback on Policy Development -

 

AGREED - T H A T the current position on the HR Policy Development be noted.

 

(k)        Regulatory Services Update -

 

Mr. Carter circulated a UNISON response to the Regulatory Services Collaboration - Consultancy Report, the contents of which read:

 

'To date staff with Regulatory Services at Cardiff, Bridgend and the Vale of Glamorgan Councils have been told little or nothing about the final Atkins Consultancy Report.  As a result a Freedom of Information (FOI) request was submitted through the Vale some months ago.  Repeated request for this information have been refused at each stage of the process and submission has now progressed to the Information Commissioner for Wales.

 

Numerous staff from all 3 authorities fed into workshops in 2013 as part of this review.  The Atkins Consultancy report was commissioned at great expense and their report was submitted to the Shadow Joint Committee on 28th November, 2013.  An FOI request had been submitted by the Trade Unions to access the initial report which had been turned down given the report was 'work in progress’ and had been reworked on over the last 6 months.

 

Although this proposal has been overshadowed by the Williams Commission Report staff and Unions remain extremely concerned about the level of secrecy that has surrounded these proposals and the Atkins Report.  Monies have been provided in good faith by the Welsh Government for this Collaborative Project who at the very least will expect proper communication with staff.  This in view of the Trade Unions had not happened and communication had been one way.  In order to extract any information the Trade Unions had needed to resort to seek disclosure through an FOI application.  The Trade Unions queried why they were continued to be denied access to the report.

 

The Chairman advised the Forum that he had received a request to convene a special meeting of the Joint Consultative Forum to discuss this matter.  He had not acceded because at that time there was little to discuss and because of the logistics of arranging the meeting. 

 

Mr. Carter replied that a special meeting of the Forum would have also discussed the Library Service and the merger of the two schools in Dinas Powys. 

 

Mr. Carter added that the Trade Unions had requested copies of the Atkins Report under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Legislation but had had their requests turned down on each occasion. 

 

The Chairman replied that the Atkins Report was a draft and also, other parties were involved.

 

The Operational Manager Human Resources reminded the Forum that it was intended for the document would be shared with Trade Unions on 11th July, 2014. 

 

AGREED - T H A T the discussions be noted.

 

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

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the minutes of the Joint Consultative Forum meeting held on 7 July, 2014 be noted.

 

(2)          T H A T in view of the comments contained within the minutes that an update report on the contract with Randstad and the way they operate to include any issues highlighted and a report on the management of temporary staff be presented to a future Cabinet meeting.

 

Reason for decision

 

(1)          To note the contents of the report and consider the item later on the agenda.

 

(2)       To consider the future management of agency and temporary staff

 

C2460                        REGIONALISING REGULATORY SERVICES PROJECT (REF) -     

         

The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) on 23 July, 2014 considered the above report.

 

The Chairman advised that the purpose of the Special Meeting was to consider a draft Cabinet report on the proposal to create a shared Regulatory Services function with Bridgend and Cardiff Councils. 

 

The Committee was asked to bear in mind the fact that members of staff potentially affected by the proposals had a direct personal interest in the issues to be considered.  As such, and following advice from the Monitoring Officer, it was inappropriate for staff to speak at the meeting.  The Scrutiny Committee also had no role in considering specific staff-related issues.  However, staff could attend the meeting to hear the debate and if they had any generic service issues, they had been able to contact their Trade Union representatives for such issues to be raised at the meeting.

 

Trade Unions had been offered the opportunity to make representations to the Committee on generic service issues.  These questions and responses from Council Officers were tabled at the meeting.

 

Members of the public (not employed or related to an employee of the Regulatory Services) who may have wished to address the Committee on the item had been requested to contact the Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer by Friday, 18th July, 2014.  No such requests to speak had been received.

 

In terms of the matter before the Committee, the remit of the Committee was to consider the proposal in terms of its impact on the delivery of Regulatory Services in the Vale.  The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources), as the lead Committee, would consider the corporate implications of the proposal, including the Council’s budgetary situation. 

 

As lead Scrutiny Committee, any comments made at this meeting would be noted and subsequently, encapsulated in a report to Cabinet and Full Council.  This process was happening in each of the three Councils and the comments from Scrutiny Committees in each Council would be appended to the Cabinet report.

 

Staff engagement events were scheduled for later this month and throughout August.  The outputs from these would also be built into the Cabinet report.

 

It was proposed that Cabinet would receive the report in September, with the report then being forwarded to a meeting of the Full Council.

 

In July 2013, the Cabinets of Cardiff, Bridgend and the Vale of Glamorgan Councils received a report which proposed that a single shared service be created, comprising the Environmental Health, Trading Standards and licensing functions of each Council under a single management structure.

 

The Councils Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) had considered the proposals at a special meeting the previous evening and had subsequently recommended the following to the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) as the lead scrutiny committee and the Cabinet for consideration:

 

(1)     T H A T the proposal to create a Shared Regulatory Service between Bridgend, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Councils based on the ‘Collaborative and Change’ Model be endorsed.

 

(2)       T H A T Council be requested to consider the establishment of a Joint Scrutiny Committee (i.e. of the constituent Authorities) to be responsible for scrutiny of the Shared Service and that, should the Shared Service be approved by all three constituent Authorities, Joint Scrutiny arrangements  be commenced as soon as possible.

 

(3)       T H A T further work be undertaken on the Flexible and Mobile Working Arrangements that could apply to staff of the Joint Service and to drawing up appropriate protocols and procedures governing such (page 89 of the Atkins Report refers).

 

(4)       T H A T clarity be provided regarding the ways in which members of the public who do not have access to digitalised means of communication can interact with the Shared Service.

 

(5)       T H A T the role of the Director to whom the Chief Officer of the Shared Service would report be set out within the governance arrangements.

 

(6)       T H A T, in addition to the risks of the Joint Service identified at page 55 and 56 of the Atkins Report, the following be also added:

  • Failure to achieve culture change and the need for a plan to mitigate against such a risk

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1-6)    To provide Cabinet with the views of this Committee for consideration when receiving the proposals to create the shared service.

 

Since July 2013, detailed work had been undertaken on developing the proposals for the shared Regulatory Service.  A report would be submitted to the Cabinet of each of the Local Authorities in September 2014, seeking approval to create the shared service.  A draft copy of the intended Cabinet report had been included as Appendix 1.

 

Funding had been secured from the Welsh Government’s Regional Collaboration Fund (RCF) to develop proposals for the project.  Part of the funding was used to support the development of the project.  W.S. Atkins Ltd (Atkins) were appointed to produce a Target Operating Model (TOM), supporting Business Case and Implementation Plan for the Regionalised Regulatory Service, a copy of which was attached at Appendix A to the report. 

 

As set out in Appendix 1, it was recommended that a formal collaboration be entered into between the three local authorities, with an integrated service operating under a single management structure (this was described as the 'Collaborate and Change’ option).  It was considered that this option provided the best opportunity to reduce costs and maintain a resilient service.  The business case for adopting this model was set out in Appendix A.  To ensure that the proposals met the changing circumstances in each Council since the work was completed, Committee were also requested to refer to Appendix B to the report which set out the most up to date analysis.

 

The Financial, Human Resources and Legal implications were contained in the draft Cabinet report, along with the proposed governance arrangements.

 

The report was being presented to Scrutiny Committees in each local authority prior to its consideration by Cabinet, in order to allow Cabinet to take any comments or recommendations into account when making its decision.  The comments and recommendations of each local authority’s scrutiny function would be collated into the final Cabinet report and presented in full to the Cabinet of each local authority.

 

With the permission of the Committee, the Leader referred to the report under consideration which had been submitted to this scrutiny committee and to the scrutiny committee Housing and Public Protection for pre Cabinet scrutiny who had considered the matter the previous evening. He also referred to similar arrangements taking place at Bridgend and Cardiff Councils. He made reference to the savings required to be found by the Council over the next three years as unprecedented, as was the period of austerity faced by local government in Wales in general for the foreseeable future. It was anticipated the Council would experience a 4.5% reduction in its budget settlement received from the Welsh Government for the next financial year and indeed, the likely budget shortfall for the Council over the next three years was in the region of £32m. He expected that Social Services and Education service would be largely protected and therefore 60 % of the cuts would need to be found from the remaining Council services, some of which were statutory/ regulatory in its provision. Accordingly, he was concerned of the impact of such cuts and the resulting capability of such services to retain service resilience over this period. His attention then turned to the collaborative proposals in front of the Scrutiny Committee for consideration of which he considered addressed concerns relating to service resilience and would provide greater accountability to the public.  The Council’s Regulatory Services would be required to find savings circa £430k which by the scale of reduction would in fact call in to question existing and future service resilience if not addressed. The project and the preferred option 4 (Change and Collaboration) would address service resilience issues and its work had been supported by the Welsh Government with funding for the projects development provided through its Regional Collaborative Fund in the sum of £250,000 for each of the last, current and next financial years.

 

His attention then turned to comments / representations made at the previous evening’s meeting of the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) regarding delay issues in the project timescales. He reminded the Committee that Atkins had been commissioned to produce a TOM, supporting business case and implementation plan on the Regulatory Services collaboration and had been appointed through a formal procurement exercise and had been requested to give an independent evaluation of the collaboration. He stated that Atkins had in fact completed their work on time, however, the progress on the collaboration had slowed due to changes in Chief Executives and the Cabinet and Leader of Cardiff Council and also the publication of the Williams Report which had implications for collaborative projects.  However, in his view the Williams Report did not resolve any collaboration issues for the Council and therefore the Council would continue to collaborate on projects which were meaningful with its partners.  The implementation plan in principle identified that this Council would be the host authority albeit the project could only proceed with the agreement of this Council and Bridgend and Cardiff Councils. The Councils recognised Trade Unions had been provided a copy of the Atkins report and the draft Cabinet report on 11th July and could not have been provided sooner as initially the report had only been a draft document and the subsequent delays as indicated above had meant that Atkins had been required to revisit the contents and update information to bring it up to date including staffing information, the details of which was set out in the supplementary report of Atkins.  If the proposed option was approved, a Joint Committee would be established to oversee the joint service augmented by the proposal to establish a joint scrutiny committee.

 

The Director of Development Services, together with other officers, outlined the overall report and highlighted some of the Financial, Human Resources and Legal implications set out therein.

 

The Director of Development Services alluded to the 10 recommendations contained in the draft Cabinet report.  He referred to the project having been granted funding of £250,000 by the Welsh Government from the Regional Collaboration Fund on the basis of £250,000 per year for three years.  He referred to the progressing of various activities in accordance with the three local authorities’ decisions of July 2013 as set out in paragraph 6 of the draft Cabinet report.

 

The Atkins Report was contained in Appendix A to the draft Cabinet report and outlined proposals in four main areas:

 

·               The Business Case for developing a shared service (page 22)

·               A proposed Target Operating Model for the new service (page 57)

·               The proposed governance arrangements for the new service (page 65)

·               An implementation plan for progressing the work towards the shared service (page 95).

 

Appendix B to the draft Cabinet report constituted a supplement to the Atkins Report and reflected amendments made to the proposed Target Operating Model, which had been adapted to more appropriate suit the Councils’ positions, including an updated assessment of the costs, savings and Human Resources implications (including a revised structure chart) for the project.  A three-year Business Plan would be created to ensure a detailed operational and financial basis was established for the shared service.  This Plan would consider the potential for further savings to be generated as opportunities arose and as the Medium Term Financial strategies of the three Councils developed.

 

As set out on page 7 of the draft Cabinet report, various options had been considered and the preferred option identified was ‘Collaborate and Change’.  The financial benefits of the preferred option were primarily associated with:

 

·               reduced headcount (resulting from harmonised working practices and consolidation of the management structure)

·               further reductions in employment costs (arising from a shift in the balance of tasks performed by professional officers vs. technical officers)

·               significant increases in income as a result of exploiting new sources of revenue and increasing the yield from existing sources.

 

The vision for the operating model involved there being three service areas complimented by a central administrative function as follows:

 

·               Neighbourhood Services - activities relating to domestic premises or that had an impact on local communities

·               Commercial Services - activities relating to business premises (generally where national standards applied)

·               Enterprise and Specialist Services - existing or potential income generating services and / or discrete specialism.

·               Administration - administration and support activities and services.

 

The proposed governance arrangements were contained in paragraphs 26 - 30 of the draft Cabinet report and included a Joint Committee model with two Elected Members nominated from each of the three Councils and a host (employing) authority.  Cabinet in July 2013 had approved the recommendation that, should the shadow Joint Committee recommend the governance model that required a host (employing) authority, that the Business Case subsequently be developed on the basis that the Vale of Glamorgan would be the host (employing) authority.  Further analysis by Atkins and the Project Team of the merits of each Council performing the role of host had subsequently been undertaken.  All Councils had expressed the willingness to undertake the role and had the resources required to manage the project.  Taking into account the various factors involved, the Vale of Glamorgan Council had been recommended as offering a balance of the required factors and, therefore, was the proposed host authority.  In referring to paragraph 41 of the draft report, he indicated that it would be necessary following agreement of all three Councils to proceed, to establish and to appoint to the Chief Office post for the joint service with the expectation to oversee in conjunction with other relevant officers the transfer of staff to the new service by April, 2015.

 

The Director of Development Services confirmed that individual Licensing Committees would continue to exist within a shared service. 

 

In terms of the financial implications, the Head of Finance alluded to paragraphs 46 - 72 of the draft Cabinet report.  He referred to a number of factors including:

 

·               The Council’s existing net budget relating to Regulatory Services totalled £1.6m.

·               It was proposed to use the current population figures of the three Councils based on WG data as an initial basis to apportion direct / indirect costs.

·               Based on the above apportionment arrangements for allocating direct costs, contributions to the host authority indirect costs and income streams, the Council’s contribution was £1.348m.

·               Existing income deriving from existing services would continue to be collected and allocated to each respective Council.

·               The additional work necessary to achieve an additional £315,000 saving in 2014/15.

·               The specific operational savings to be realised for the Vale of Glamorgan Council (i.e. excluding implementation costs) of approximately £257,000 for 2015/16, £300,000 for 2016/17 and total accumulative ongoing savings of approximately £316,000.  This was subject to the assumptions built into the Business Case on costs and income generation.  He pointed out that it should be noted that further savings from the shared service were highly likely to be required in the coming years.  As far as implementation costs were concerned, the figure of £285,000 in 2015/16 would be met from existing reserves.

·               There would also be a ‘one-off’ figure for the Vale of Glamorgan Council of approximately £180,000 in terms of employment protection (a protection for staff which the other two authorities did not have).

·               By its very nature, the project contained a number of assumptions and variables, which were set out in paragraph 71 of the draft Cabinet report.

 

The Head of Human Resources summarised the human resources and employment issues as set out in paragraphs 73 - 86 of the draft Cabinet report.  He referred to the proposals as representing a complex Managing Change Project and should be viewed over a 4 stage process.  Stage 1 had commenced in September / October 2013 with meetings between staff and Atkins representatives. He acknowledged that there has been a lag between Stage 1 and Stage 2 for the reasons stated by the Leader.  Stage 2 was the current ‘pre-Cabinet’ engagement arrangements with staff and Trade Unions.  The consultation process would continue through the report’s progression to Cabinet and Council and, in particular, would build in reference to comments and views received from staff and Trade Unions. However, he indicated there was the potential for a further 14 month period of consultation.  He confirmed that, should the Council become host authority, this would involve a ‘TUPE-like’ transfer of staff.  It was envisaged that this would take place from November 2014 through to March 2015 and would need to be managed by Cardiff and Bridgend Councils (in terms of outgoing staff) and the Vale of Glamorgan Council (incoming staff).  It would be important to progress matters quickly following TUPE in order to implement the proposed new operating model. 

 

He alluded to three specific aspects of the change process, viz:

 

·               The numbers of staff in the existing, and revised, structures.  There were currently 204 FTE equivalents, a figure which would reduce to 178 FTE equivalents.

·               The changing balance between professional and technical staff.

·               Changes regarding working arrangements.

 

He confirmed that every effort would be made to mitigate any potential redundancies.  The reduction of 26 FTE alluded to above would partly be offset by continuing the policy to date of managing vacancies.  The assimilation process for staff would need to be clear and transparent.  A significant amount of work would need to be undertaken in terms of developing Job Descriptions and Person Specifications, with the posts being required to go through the relevant Job Evaluation process.

 

The Operational Manager (Legal Services) summarised the legal implications as set out in paragraphs 88 - 94 of the draft Cabinet report and specifically referred to the enabling legislation under which the proposals had been progressed and to create a joint service.  The Joint Committee model provided that the Council would delegate its functions relating to Regulatory Services to the Joint Committee, subject to the caveat that the functions of a Licensing Authority had to be delivered within the respective Authority.  As such, and as alluded to earlier in the meeting, separate Licensing Committees would continue to exist.

 

Should the proposals be approved, it would be necessary for the three Councils to conclude a formal agreement, sometimes referred to as a joint working agreement.

 

Information governance, management and security issues were covered in paragraphs 100 - 103 of the draft Cabinet report and she referred to the necessity for compliance with the Data Protection Act 1988 and the requirement to appoint a Compliance Information Commissioners SIRO.

 

The Chairman invited Mr. P. Carter, UNISON Branch Secretary, to speak and reminded Mr. Carter that the questions that had been received from the Trade Unions and staff had been circulated prior to the meeting.

 

Mr. Carter expressed the view that, although he acknowledged that their comments had been circulated prior to the meeting; the staff who were not members of Trade Unions had been “denied a voiceâ€.  (N.B. those comments had, in fact, been included in the information tabled).  He indicated that the Trade Unions had been trying to obtain a copy of the Atkins Report for the past seven months and had tried to obtain a copy under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.  Attempts had been made to convene an emergency meeting of the Joint Consultative Forum to discuss the matter. 

 

Mr. Carter acknowledged that he had been offered an opportunity to view but not have, the report some time ago but had only been given a copy of the report a few days prior to the Committee meeting.  He also referred to the number of questions that had been circulated prior to the meeting and said that there would have been many more questions if the Atkins report had been available earlier. 

 

Mr. Carter alluded to a number of matters, including:

 

·               There would be instances of voluntary retirement for the staff.  This would be a matter for the Trade Unions to be consulted upon.

·               He referred to the historical E-Coli outbreak in the Bridgend area and the future resilience of the service to cope in the event of another outbreak.

·               Discrepancies in the total number of staff affected by the proposals i.e.280 in 2013 against the current 168 and the disappearance of BCO posts from the staff establishment.

·               The Atkins report included Job Descriptions for the senior posts, but did not include such information for other staff.

·               The proposals represented a reduction in front-line staff, which were responsible for protecting people and questioned why a reduction of back office staff in other directorates had not been considered first.

·               The proposals, if approved, would place a heavy burden on staff, who had not received a pay rise for many years.

·               The Trade Unions would like to have more time to consider the Atkins report. 

·               There were concerns with TUPE.

·               The Committee were requested to defer consideration of the report in order that the Trade Unions could undertake meaningful consultation.

·               He referred to the staff having submitted a collective grievance.

·               75% of staff would be unable to attend the staff meeting proposed for the forthcoming Friday, as they already had client appointments to attend to.

·               He referenced the Atkins report and the necessity for increased mobile working and intimated entitlement for essential user allowance for staff that fell under these requirements.

 

The Chairman invited questions from Members of the Committee. 

 

A Member, in referring to TUPE arrangements, enquired as to whether future staff arrangements including any remodelling exercise had been considered particularly, in the event of the Council becoming the host authority. On a separate unrelated matter, he also queried the variation in projected income levels of the proposed joint service.

 

As far as the TUPE process was concerned, the Head of Human Resources alluded to the work already undertaken and to advice having been sought regarding the best way of handling such a complex process. He indicated that a remodelling process would commence April 2015; with the view to assimilating staff transferring into this Council as part of the change process and the associated risks were covered in the legal agreement.

 

The Head of Finance clarified the position in regard to projected income levels and indicated that for the period 2015/16 the figures reflected a six month period given that the new service would have not fully bedded in. The figures for the remaining financial years reflected a full year’s income.

 

A Member referred to the initial aspirations for engagement with stakeholders which had clearly raised expectations however, it appeared that a hiatus of several months had occurred and feared that the affected staff would blame the Council. He also referred to the implementation plan and related work group streams and considered that this was an opportunity to involve the trade unions in these activities.

 

A Member referred to the WG current stance in regard to the Williams Report and understood their emphasis regarding mergers. He also understood the pressure the current administration was under to balance the Budget. However, he expressed concern that the existing service would be adversely affected and referred to the support provided by the officers within this service area in supporting Elected Members when dealing with ward related issues and sought an assurance that the current service level would be maintained. He also felt that the staff restructuring exercise which would result in a change of status from professional to technical was clearly a cause for concern of those staff affected and intimated that the Committee would need to be assured that a move to change the  status of posts was not without justification. His attention then turned to the establishment of a joint scrutiny committee and he was unclear from the report how this dovetailed in to the Councils existing governance arrangements.

 

In responding to the various point raised by Members and Unison, the Leader and the Head of Human Resources reiterated their earlier comments that the Council was unable to release the Atkins report to the Trade Unions because, initially, the report was in draft.  When available, the Trade Unions were sent an 'in confidence’ report on 11th July, which was prior to the Members of the Council having received a copy.  They both reminded the Committee that the non-Union staff comments had, indeed, been included in the information tabled. 

 

The Leader stressed that the consultation process was ongoing and would continue.   He reminded Members that the current report was, in fact, a draft Cabinet report and he did not accept that the service would be 'decimated’, but considered that it would be more resilient as a result of the proposed merger.  In referring to the point regarding the issues of BCO posts he indicated that these had been removed from the structure as part of the review to bring information up to date since the original work had been undertaken.

 

The Head of Human Resources referred to the matter regarding Unison’s request for an emergency meeting of the Joint Consultative Forum of which he was aware of.  The request had been put to the Change Forum for consideration, who subsequently decided that the convening of an emergency meeting of the Joint Consultative Forum was inappropriate.  It was also his understanding that the comments / questions tabled represented those of Unison only and not the Trade Unions collectively.  He also referred to the reduction of FTE posts and clarified the position by providing up to date information and referred to an overall reduction of 13%.  He also felt that Mr Carter’s reference to a collective grievance having been lodged by staff as inappropriate, as the matter was confidential to those individual employees. In terms of Unison’s request for a copy of the report under the auspices of the Freedom of Information Act, he acknowledged that this request had been declined for the stated reasons above.  The decision to decline Unison’s request had been subsequently endorsed by the Information Commissioner’s Office following Unison’s appeal to the same.  As for the issue relating to the availability of job descriptions and person specifications for posts relating to the staff structure for the joint service, these would be developed as early as possible and in consultation with staff.

 

A Member indicated that he was broadly supportive of the proposals, but echoed the concerns already raised by other Members of the Committee particularly, regarding any impact of the proposals which would potentially lead to a service reduction.  He also queried the methodology relating to the procurement of IT systems and alluded to the poor track record of public sector organisations in this area. He sought an assurance that any tender exercise had sufficient quality assurance to ensure that any hardware / software procured would be fit for purpose and future proofed.  In response, the Support Manager (Applications) ICT Services acknowledged the points raised and alluded to an options appraisal exercise that would need to be undertaken which would in turn inform the necessary requirements and the tender specification and tender exercise.  He referred to the potential implementation period and timescales which were set out on page 102 and 190 of the Atkins report.

 

The Chairman referred to communication and marketing arrangements for the new joint service and enquired how this would be conveyed to staff, the business sector and the public.  He felt that it was important to ensure that the message to the above was business as usual and indicated that it was a credit to staff that service levels had been maintained through this challenging period.  The Director of Development Services indicated that this was an important aspect moving forward with the proposals albeit, no specifics had been agreed as the three Councils had not yet formally agreed to form a joint service.  The branding of the new service would require further consideration in the coming months.

 

Councillor Powell who spoke with the permission of the Committee and referred to the draft Cabinet report associated appendices.  He considered the implications contained in these documents were far reaching and felt that Members should be given more time to consider the proposals and felt that the matter be deferred to a further meeting of the Committee.  He also felt that this would allow staff and trade unions more time to consider the contents of the documents.  He also referred to licence fees and suggested that these may need to be reduced in light of the outcome of the legal case against Cardiff Council in relation to taxi licensing overcharging.  He also felt that insufficient consideration had been given to reduction of staff numbers in non-public facing services such as legal, HR and Payroll.  In referring to stakeholder implications he wondered if a consultation exercise would be held with license holders regarding the proposals. He questioned whether the Committee had been given sufficient time to consider to all the various issues to allow them to be informed sufficiently to make recommendations on the proposals for the Cabinet’s consideration.

 

The Leader in response referred the Member to his earlier comments relating to the viable option, the very comprehensive report in front of the Committee for consideration, the clarification provided relating to the Williams Report and that the WG had accepted the business rationale for forming a Joint Service. He also reminded the Member that staff from other directorates were outside the scope of this report. To do nothing was not an option, as the Regulatory division would still be required to find efficiency savings as part of the ongoing budget review, which in all likelihood impair service resilience due to the level of savings required.  This situation would impact on staff, stakeholders and the public and the proposal were the only way forward.  He also saw no reason why the proposals would affect current income from fees.  Harmonisation could see fees increase / reduce, but indicated that a review of fees would need to take place at point.  Current licence holders would be unaffected by the proposals.

 

General discussion ensued with Members reiterating points in relation to the following:

 

·               Sharing of costs based on population.

·               Equality regarding the make of the joint scrutiny committee and the need to ensure the chairmanship was rotated between councils.

·               The necessity to weight up savings against risks.

·               Concerns regarding IT procurement.

·               To take advantage of lessons learned/ best practice within local government where similar exercises had been undertaken in the UK.

 

Having considered the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) of 22nd July, 2014 it was

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) of 22nd July, 2014 be endorsed and referred to Cabinet for further consideration.

 

(2)       T H A T the inclusion of trade union representation on the nine work streams working groups be recommended to Cabinet for consideration.

 

(3)       T H A T the Cabinet consider making use of exemplar / best practice in respect of those local authorities that had already implemented a shared service for regulatory activities i.e. the case studies identified in Appendix G of the Atkins report with particular focus on IT systems.

 

(4)       T H A T a Joint Scrutiny Committee be established as soon as practicable following the three Councils agreement to create a Joint Regulatory Service.

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1-4)    To relay the views of both Scrutiny Committees to the Cabinet.

 

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

 

During consideration of this item the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Visible Services left the room and took no part in any discussions that took place.

 

Cabinet having considered the recommendations from the  Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources)

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted and be considered with Agenda Item No. 14 of this agenda.

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the contents of the report and consider the item later on the agenda.

 

C2461                        CAPITAL MONITORING REPORT FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 31ST JULY 2014 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEES – ALL) -  

 

Cabinet was advised of the progress on the 2014/15 Capital Programme for the period 1st April 2014 to 31st July 2014 and approval was sought for additional schemes to be included in the Capital Programme.

Appendix 1 as attached to the report detailed the financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 31 July 2014.

 

For all schemes where it was evident that the full year's budget would not be spent during the year, the relevant officers were required to provide an explanation for the shortfall that was to be reported at the next earliest available Cabinet meeting.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the position with regard to the 2014/15 Capital Programme be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the 2014/15 Capital Programme be increased by £600k to cover additional Education Asset Renewal schemes and request that the scheme details be reported to a future Cabinet meeting.

 

(3)       T H A T the Capital Programme be amended to include the Welsh Government grant for the Culverhouse Cross to St Athan via Airport Bus Priority Measures scheme by £75k in 2014/15 and £80k in 2015/16.

 

 

Reasons for decisions

 

 

(1)       To allow Members to be aware of progress on the Capital Programme.

 

(2&3)  To increase the 2014/15 Capital Programme.

 

C2462                        REVENUE MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL 2014 – 31ST JULY 2014 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEES – ALL) -

 

Cabinet were advised on the progress relating to revenue expenditure for the period 1st April 2014 to 31st July 2014.

 

Council on 5 March 2014 (Minute No 884 and 882 respectively) approved the Revenue and Housing Revenue Account Budgets for 2014/15. The Budget information was subdivided by Cabinet Members’ portfolio within each Directorate. Reports monitoring expenditure were reported to Cabinet on a regular basis.

 

The forecast for the 2014/15 revenue budget was for a favourable variance of £365k. The Housing Revenue Account budget for 2014/15 was forecast to outturn on target.

 

Learning and Skills - Overall, the Education Budget was projected to balance as at the end of March 2015. Any savings identified between now and the end of the year would be available to re-direct into the School Investment Strategy or other reserves.

 

Social Services - The current year end forecast for the Social Services budget was an overspend of £800k.  In addition to increased demand for services, there was pressure on the Directorate to achieve its savings targets for 2014/15 onwards.

 

Visible Services and Housing Services - Was currently projected that the service would have a balanced budget at the year end. However this was after the use of the Visible Services Reserve, which would decrease the sum available to fund improvements to the Council's infrastructure.

 

Development Services - It was currently projected that services under this heading would outturn within target at year end.

 

Managing Director - General Policy - The forecast was for a favourable variance of £1,165k as at the year end. This had arisen from a reduction in capital charges £1,065k and an increase in external interest receivable £100k.

 

All other services were currently estimated to outturn within budget.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T a  virement of £350k be made from General Policy to Environment and Visible Services to assist the service with its adverse variance.

 

(2)       T H A T the Director of Social Services make every effort to reduce the level of the overspend by the year end and reports back to Cabinet with the measures to be taken.

 

(3)       T H A T the Director of Visible and Housing Services identifies savings within  the service to meet the estimated shortfall of £350k following the virement above and reports back to Cabinet on the proposals to meet the savings target.

 

(4)       T H A T the position with regard to the Authority’s 2014/15 Revenue Budget be noted.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To assist the service with its adverse variance

 

(2)       To reduce the level of the overspend.

 

(3)       To identify the savings to meet the estimated shortfall.

 

(4)       To ensure members were aware of the projected revenue outturn for 2014/15.

 

C2463                        QUARTER 1 PERFORMANCE REPORT 2014/15 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEES – ALL) -                        

Cabinet was presented with performance results for quarter 1, 1st April - 30th June, 2014-15.

 

Service Plans for 2014/15 were designed to focus on the achievement of key objectives within each directorate which in turn contributed towards the achievement of identified outcomes in the Corporate Plan 2013-17, the Outcome Agreement 2013-2016 and the Improvement Plan Part 1 2014/15.

 

Quarterly performance reports had been revised to reflect Service Plans and were designed to ensure the Council reported performance in the context of progress against its objectives.  A new framework had been developed to record performance information against objectives.

 

Overall, the Council was on course to achieve its priorities for 2014/15 as outlined in the Corporate Plan for 2013-17. Of 147 Corporate Plan related actions, 6% (9) were completed either completed or on track, 81% (118) were on track, 3% (4) had slipped, 5 (3%) were not started but were due to have and 11 (7%) were not due to start this quarter.

 

The priorities outlined in the Council's Improvement Plan Part 1 (2014/15), were on track to be achieved. Of 55 actions, 5% (3) were complete, 65% (36) were on track, 3% (1) had slipped, 5% (3) had not yet started but were due to have and 12 (22%) were not due to start this quarter.

 

Of 12 Outcome Agreement actions, 4 (33%) were complete, 7 (58%) were on track and 1 (9%) action that was due to have commenced had not commenced. A detailed half year progress report would be brought to the Councils Corporate Management Team and Cabinet in December 2014.

 

Appropriate remedial action had been identified by  each service in order to ensure underperformance was addressed. A detailed report of the Council's overall performance by directorate for quarter 1 of 2014/15 was provided in Appendix 1 which was attached to the report and was made available in the Members room and on the Council's website.

 

At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Regeneration Innovation, Planning and Transportation highlighted paragraph 37 of the report, explaining that she was disappointed that the Council did not get the regeneration  bid for Penarth Esplanade. However, she further commented that the Council had been successful in gaining £35K  awarded from Welsh Government Partnership Funding to be used  for both Penarth Town Centre and Llantwit Major Town Centre improvements.

 

The Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development commented that the Council had been awarded green flag status for 5 of its parks and that this was a great achievement for the Council.

 

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 be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T progress to date in achieving key outcomes as outlined in the Corporate Plan 2013-17, the Outcome Agreement 2013-2016 and the Improvement Plan Part 1 2014/15 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 Measure (Wales) 2009.

 

(2)       To consider the quarter 1 performance results as at 30th June 2013 in order to identify service areas for improvement.

 

C2464                        THE ROYAL WELSH – PRESENTATION OF COLOURS IN 2015 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) -           

 

Approval was sought in respect of a request from The Royal Welsh to sponsor the cost of repainting their regimental band drum at a cost of £250.00.

 

Next year, the Royal Welsh would have the honour of receiving their first colours from the Colonel-in-Chief, Her Majesty The Queen, at a ceremony to be held at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff in the early summer. The request letter for funding from the Royal Welsh was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED – T H A T a grant of £250 to The Royal Welsh be approved towards the repainting of one drum.

 

Reason for decision

 

To enable the repainting of one drum.

 

 

C2465                        CABINET FORWARD WORK PROGRAMME – SEPTEMBER TO DECEMBER 2014 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEES – ALL) -

 

In accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act 2000 and the Council’s Constitution, the Cabinet Forward Work Programme attached as Appendix (A) to the report, set out matters which the Executive and Full Council were likely to consider during September to December 2014.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –T H A T the Cabinet Forward Work Programme for the period September to December 2014 as attached at Appendix A to the report be agreed.

 

Reason for decision

 

To comply with the requirements of the Local Government Act 2000, subordinate      legislation and the Council's Constitution.

           

C2466                        PROPOSAL TO CREATE A 420 PLACE PRIMARY SCHOOL THROUGH THE AMALGAMATION OF DINAS POWYS INFANT AND MURCH JUNIOR SCHOOLS BY CLOSING MURCH JUNIOR SCHOOL AND EXTENDING THE AGE RANGE OF DINAS POWYS INFANTS SCHOOLS (CS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – LIFELONG LEARNING) -

 

Cabinet was advised of the outcome of the consultation exercise undertaken to create a 420 place primary school by amalgamating Dinas Powys Infant and Murch Junior Schools and to decide whether or not to publish a statutory public notice to this effect.

 

A report on a proposal to create a 420 place primary school through the amalgamation of Dinas Powys Infant and Murch Junior Schools from January 2015 was presented to Cabinet on 28 April 2014. Two options were considered for amalgamation: close both schools and open a new school or discontinue Murch Junior School and change the age range of Dinas Powys Infants School to admit children up to the age of 11. Cabinet approved the later option.

 

Consultation was undertaken between 2 June 2014 and 28 July 2014. Consultees were either issued with a hard copy of the document or e-mailed a copy and link to the Council's website. The document was published on the Council’s website on 2 June 2014. A joint governing body meeting of both schools was held on 9 June, 2014. Meetings with staff of Murch Junior and Dinas Powys Infants Schools were held on 1 and 3 July 2014 respectively. Drop in sessions for parents were held on18 June 2014 for Murch Junior parents and 30 June, 2014 for Dinas Powys Infants parents. Both school councils were consulted on 10 July 2014. The consultation document was attached at Appendix A to the report.

 

The Council was required to publish a consultation report on the conclusion of the consultation exercise within 13 weeks of the end of the period allowed for responses to the consultation.

 

The Authority received 11 individual responses to the consultation exercise by the closing date.  Of the 11 responses, 6 were positive, 2 were not in favour, 1 requested information and 2 responses were from Estyn and the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) providing their opinion on the overall merits of the proposal. A summary of the key themes and issues raised by respondents and the Council's response was contained within Appendix C attached to the report.

 

To progress the proposal a statutory notice must be published providing 28 days for objections. The notice must be published on a school day and with 15 school days included within the notice period. It was proposed to issue a statutory notice for the amalgamation to run from the 30 September 2014 to 28 October 2014 if approval to proceed was granted.

 

Following the publication of a statutory notice and objection period, a further report to cabinet will be issued on the outcome of the statutory notice period.

 

At the meeting the Leader highlighted the following inaccuracies to the appendices to the report;

 

On page 12 of Appendix C the last sentence of paragraph 2 currently stated that there were 5 governors on each governing body, however it should have read 2 governors.

 

On page 36 of Appendix C, it should state that Val Hartrey was only on the Dinas Powys Infants Governing body.

 

The Director of Learning and Skills commented that there had been positive engagement during the consultation exercise with the balance in favour of the proposals contained within the report.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the findings of the consultation exercise on the proposal be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the publication of a consultation report  (as amended) on the proposal be approved.

 

(3)       T H A T the publication of a statutory public notice to amalgamate Dinas Powys Infant and Murch Junior Schools be approved.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To ensure the views of prescribed consultees were taken into account in the decision making process.

 

(2)       To ensure the Local Authority met the legal requirements of the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 and School Organisation Code 2013.

 

(3)       To progress the amalgamation of Dinas Powys Infant and Murch Junior Schools.

 

C2467                        CREATIVE RURAL COMMUNITIES – RURAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN LEADER PROGRAMME (2014-2020) (RIPT) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Approval was sought to submit a Rural Local Development Strategy for the Vale of Glamorgan covering the period 2014-2020 and to accept the Welsh Government indicative allocation for the Vale of Glamorgan and approve associated match funding for the programme (2014/15 - 2020/21).

 

The Council had been delivering a programme under Axes 3 & 4 of the Rural Development Plan for Wales (RDP) programme for the 10 rural Wards of the Vale for 6 years, valued at £7.7 Million.  The RDP was a Welsh Government plan feeding into a European level programme and covered a wide range of activities in rural areas including direct farm subsidies. 

 

Delivery in the Vale had been through a Partnership and Local Action Group (LAG) formed of community, public, voluntary and private sector representatives as required by the RDP.  The Partnership was established and was led by the Council as part of its Economic Development Unit.  It was known as Creative Rural Communities (CRC).  CRC helped businesses, groups and individuals develop capacity to support themselves making them less reliant on grant funding in the longer term.  It also provided substantial grant aid for community projects, business expansion and creation of new businesses, primarily in the tourism sector.

 

The current programme had been considered a success with high levels of funding commitment and excellent outcomes against targets.

 

The next (RDP) programme for 2014-2020 differed to the current programme. The Council would only be able to directly access the equivalent to Axis 4, known as LEADER.  Axis 3 provided for large grants to be delivered by CRC but in the new programme Welsh Government proposed to retain these grants and CRC would need to bid into a fund on a project by project basis, or work with groups who wished to do so.  LEADER is a (French) acronym which translates to 'Liaison among Actors in Rural Economic Development’. It used local knowledge to promote a joined-up 'bottom up’ community-led delivery of RDP projects, and involves animating the local community into action to regenerate itself.

 

The 2014-20 programme was expected to start in January 2015 and would run for 6 calendar years until December 2020.

 

LEADER needed to be delivered through a rural Local Development Strategy (LDS). An integrated draft strategy for the regeneration of the rural Vale had been drafted and was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

The LDS offered the opportunity of delivering an innovative programme across the rural Vale of Glamorgan. The LEADER funding would enable a range of activities that would research best practice, test new ideas, trial new schemes and build capacity in the rural communities. As these activities developed from proving concepts towards market implementation, they would be able to draw on further support from other grants as well as from commercial and charitable sectors.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the draft Rural Local Development Strategy as attached at Appendix A to the report be endorsed and submitted to Welsh Government as a bid for grant under the LEADER strand of the Rural Development Plan for Wales.

 

(2)       T H A T the Director of Development Services be authorised to agree minor amendments to the draft Rural Local Development Strategy which do not change the core policy direction nor have financial implications, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation.

 

(3)       T H A T subject to the Director of Resources agreeing the content of the funding agreement when available, a grant of between £1.82M and £2.145M offered under the LEADER strand of the Rural Development Plan for Wales as described in the report be accepted and the programme progressed.

 

(4)       T H A T subject to the Director of Resources agreeing the content of the funding agreement when available, the Head of Legal Services be authorised to sign a funding agreement with the Welsh Government for delivery of the programme.

 

(5)       T H A T it be agreed to allocate £250, 000 of the Regeneration Fund Scheme, currently included in the Capital Programme, as match funding for the grant.

 

(6)       T H A T subject to the Council being awarded funding to deliver the LEADER programme, a staff restructure be finalised to serve the needs of the new programme as set out in the report.

 

(7)       T H A T the Council's Urgent Decision procedure, in accordance with Article 13.09 of the Council's Constitution, be implemented in respect of resolution 1.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       In order to achieve Council Regeneration objectives.

 

(2)       In order to accommodate changes required by Welsh Government as appropriate to secure grant.

 

(3)       In order to achieve Council Regeneration objectives.

 

(4)       In order to accept the grant offer terms and accept grant.

 

(5)       In order to ensure sufficient match funding is available to progress the schemes.

 

(6)       In order to progress the management & delivery of the programme.

 

(7)       In order to allow submission of the LDS within the grant deadline.

 

C2468                        DISABLED FACILITIES GRANTS ANNUAL REPORT 2013-14 (HBMCS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE -          

Cabinet were informed of the Council's performance delivering Disabled Facilities Grants during 2013-14 and the challenges for 2014 -15. 

 

Disabled Facilities Grants funded the adaptation of privately owned homes to help the resident remain living at their home as independently as possible for as long as possible.

 

Cabinet and Scrutiny Committees had continually monitored the performance of the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) Service. Performance of the DFG Service continued to improve during 2013-14. During 2013-14 the average time to deliver a DFG was 284 days. This was 62 days less than 2012-13, constituting an improvement of 18% on that year's performance.

 

The overall target performance for the year 2013-14 was achieved and exceeded.  The local performance targets for stages within the DFG process were achieved for the enquiry to approval stage and the stage relating to approval to completion of the works.  However, the target for the time taken from first enquiry to an Occupational Therapist (OT) recommendation being received was not met.  While additional OT resources were put in place by the DFG service, the OT service had a number of staff on maternity leave.  Therefore, the additional staffing resources funded by the DFG service merely served to support existing resources in the OT service. Furthermore, due to the demands on the OT service from priority cases, the OT service was unable to progress the necessary work on the DFG lists, in the way that was anticipated.

 

A detailed breakdown of the DFG service's performance at 2013/14 year-end was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

Challenges for the DFG Service during 2014 - 2015

 

The key challenges for the service during 2014-15 remained unchanged, i.e. reduce the delivery time for DFGs and maintain the improvement.  Key to achieving further improvement would be the introduction of the contractors Framework and further reduction in the time clients needed to wait for an OT assessment. 

 

As of April 2014, the time a client had to wait for an OT assessment for a DFG was 12 weeks.  If the Council was to further improve performance in the delivery of DFG's this waiting time needed to be reduced to at least 5 weeks. Based on existing resources, a target of 75 days had been set for 2014-15, which equated to a 10-12 week wait for assessment. This target had been set with regard being given to existing resources. 

 

The OT within the DFG Service could not assess all the DFG cases; input into the service was required from the OT service.  The OT service prioritised by urgency and allocated in date order.  As a result, the OT service was currently dealing with requests for assessments that were older than the requests currently being assessed for a DFG. Until this backlog is cleared the OT service would not be able to allocate cases from the DFG waiting list. The Occupational Therapy Team had secured additional funding from other government sources and despite continued difficulties appointing to short term vacancies, and the covering of maternity leave it was nevertheless anticipated that the team would be back to full establishment by the end of the calendar year.

 

In addition, the Welsh Data Unit were working with local authorities to develop benchmarking data for private sector housing.  The collection of this benchmarking data was being piloted for DFG grants completed during 2013/14.  When this data bacome available to review, it would help the Council to understand in more detail it's DFG performance compared to other local authorities and help identify further areas of improvement. This data would also assist in ensuring an even playing field when the average delivery times for DFGs were compared nationally, and how the authority was ranked.  There was a concern some local authorities were not measuring like for like performance as a result of a different interpretation of the National Performance Indicator's guidance.  When the benchmarking data was available, a further report would be presented to Cabinet to detail comparisons and differences and any further actions required to improve the service.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the report on performance for delivering Disabled Facilities Grant during 2013-14 attached at Appendix 1 to the report be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the challenges facing the delivery of Disabled Facilities Grants during 2014-15 be noted and a further update report be presented to Cabinet by the end of the year and thereafter quarterly.

 

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

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To apprise Cabinet on the Council's performance delivering Disabled Facilities Grants during 2013-14.

 

(2)       To apprise Cabinet of the challenges facing the Council in delivering Disabled Facilities Grants during 2014-15.

 

(3)       In order for Scrutiny Committees  (Housing and Public Protection, Social Care and Health and Corporate Resources) to review the performance of the service.

 

C2469                        REGIONALISING REGULATORY SERVICES PROJECT (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES & HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) -     

 

At the meeting the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Visible Services left the room and took no part in any discussions that took place.

 

Cabinet was provided with an update on the progress being made to create a shared regulatory service between Bridgend, Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan councils and approval was sought to create the regionalised service as outlined in this report and to refer matters as appropriate to Council.

 

As part of the Welsh Government's Regional Collaboration Fund, Bridgend, Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Councils had considered a shared service opportunity in relation to Regulatory Services. The proposal envisaged an integrated service operating under a single management structure for the Trading Standards, Environmental Health and Licensing functions with a shared governance arrangement ensuring full elected member involvement.

 

The Project had been identified as an opportunity for the Councils to create a new and innovative service on a regional basis that could deal with changing customer demands at a time of reduced levels of funding. In considering matters, the Councils were conscious of the White Paper ‘Reforming Local Government’; the Welsh Government’s consultation paper about the future of Local Government in Wales and the likely timescales. However, there was a need to proceed with this project at the current time to ensure continued delivery of a sustainable and resilient Regulatory Service given the financial pressures being experienced by all three Councils.

 

The financial and non-financial benefits of the project were anticipated to include:

  • Development of  a robust and sustainable collaborative service best placed to meet future service and financial challenges;
  • Development of best practice for the benefit of businesses and consumers;
  • Enhanced flexibility and service resilience to respond to emergencies and changing levels of demand through economies of scale;
  • Opportunities to enhance workforce development and embrace innovative technical and mobile working practices;
  • Annual financial efficiencies across the three authorities to assist in meeting the needs of the councils' medium term financial plans;
  • Improved access to a wider range of specialist knowledge;
  • The creation of a transferrable model for collaboration from which the councils and other bodies can learn to improve future collaborative working projects.

The project was granted funding of £250,000 in 2013/14 to support development and implementation. Funding for a further two years was also approved in principle by the Welsh Government from the Regional Collaboration Fund for a further £250,000 per annum.

 

In July 2013, the Cabinets of all three Councils (Cardiff, the Vale of Glamorgan and Bridgend) received a report proposing that a single shared service be created comprising the Environmental Health, Trading Standards and Licensing functions of each Council under a single management structure.

 

In accordance with the Cabinet decisions in July 2013 the following activities had been progressed:

  • Funding from the Regional Collaboration Fund was used to appoint WS Atkins Limited (Atkins) to develop and test the proposal as a detailed business case and determine the feasibility of such a venture. The work completed by Atkins has been complemented by a cross-council project team.
  • The Chief Executive from Bridgend Council had undertaken the role of Chief Executive Project Sponsor.
  • The Head of Regulatory Services from Cardiff Council had assumed responsibility as the interim project manager for the initial development phase of the project.
  • The Heads of Regulatory Services from each Council had continued to work together to support preparations for the proposed collaborative service whilst ensuring continuity of service.
  • A Shadow Joint Committee had been established to provide overall direction for the project pending decision by each authority as to the way forward. The Shadow Joint Committee had comprised two elected members from each authority.
  • Staff and Trade Unions had been briefed throughout the development of the project.  A Trade Union Forum had been established with representatives from the recognised trade unions across Bridgend, Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Councils.  Workshops had been held with staff and managers from each Council during the consultancy assignment to inform the development of the Target Operating Model, Business Case and Implementation Plan. Staff briefings had been held in each Council during the project to date and there were further sessions planned. Further engagement and consultation activities were required and are described in the report.
  • The Council had entered into an interim collaborative working agreement on this matter.

The Councils had considered their duties under relevant equalities legislation and have given due regard to the legislation in developing proposals for the shared service. An Equality Impact Assessment had been prepared (Appendix D as attached to the report) to draw specific equalities issues to the fore and identify ways to manage them; this document would be further developed and updated at appropriate intervals should a decision be made to proceed.

 

Prior to this report being brought to Cabinet, a pre-decision engagement process had been undertaken running from 22nd July to 5th September 2014. This process had included a draft of this report being tabled at relevant Scrutiny Committees in all three local authorities. In addition to this, a series of staff engagement events and meetings with trade unions have been held to seek views on the proposals for collaboration.

 

Where appropriate, the issues raised by these comments and questions had been incorporated in the relevant sections of this report with further detail being outlined in the consultation section of the report and set out in appendices F, G, H and I attached to the report.

 

In presenting his report, the Leader commented that he had received a letter from a Unison Officer and commented that the issues raised in the letter had been covered in the Councils response in Appendix G, page 50 attached to the report.

 

The Director for Development Services highlighted pages 19-20 of the report that set out the key human resources activities that would take place if all three authorities agreed the proposals contained in the report as a way forward. He further commented that there had been consultation with the Staff and Trade Unions involved and that these would continue to take place.

 

This was a matter for Executive and Council decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the business case, target operating model and implementation plan for the creation of a shared regulatory service based on the 'collaborate and change’ model set out and described in Appendix A as amended by Appendix B as attached to the report, with governance arrangements based on a Joint Committee model as further detailed in the body of the report (and associated Part Two report) be approved and recommended to Council for approval.

 

(2)       T H A T further to resolution 1 above that (i) with effect from 1 April, 2015 such shared regulatory service with Bridgend County Borough Council and the City of Cardiff Council be created and (ii) a joint committee be established (hereinafter referred to as the 'Joint Committee’) on conclusion of the Joint Working Agreement referred to in resolution 10.

 

(3)       T H A T those Regulatory Services functions that are the responsibility of the Executive/Cabinet (set out in Appendix C, part A as attached to the report) be delegated to the Joint Committee. The detailed terms of the delegation will be set out in the Joint Working Agreement referred to in resolution 10.

 

(4)       T H A T it be recommended to Council that those Regulatory Service functions that are the responsibility of Council (set out in Appendix C, part B as referred to in the report), be delegated to the Joint Committee, with the detailed terms of the delegation to be set out in the Joint Working Agreement referred to in resolution 10.

 

(5)       T H A T it be noted that those functions listed in Appendix C, part C as attached to the report would remain the responsibility of each local authority, which will be supported in carrying out those functions as detailed in the body of this report. It is noted that the detailed terms of the delegation will be set out in the Joint Working Agreement referred to in resolution 10.

 

(6)       T H A T Cabinet approves and recommends to Council that the Vale of Glamorgan Council be the host (employing) authority for the shared regulatory service.

 

(7)       T H A T subject to the decisions set out above being made the appointment of two elected members as the Authority’s member representatives on the Joint Committee be approved and recommended to Council for approval.

 

(8)       T H A T subject to the decisions as set out above being made, the establishment of the post of Head of the new Service be approved in accordance with the provisions as set out in paragraph 102 of this report and this be recommended to Council for approval.

 

(9)       T H A T subject to the decisions set out above being made, the terms of reference of the Joint Committee to include delegated powers from Council to appoint the Head of the new service be approved and recommended to Council for approval.

 

(10)     T H A T subject to the decisions set out in resolutions 1 to 9 above being made, Cabinet delegates authority to the Managing Director, in consultation with the Leader to carry out on behalf of the Authority all associated matters involved in setting up the Shared Regulatory Service and it be recommended to Council that a similar resolution be made in respect of any such matters that are the responsibility of the Council. It is noted that such delegated matters include, without limitation to the generality of the forgoing:

 

(i)            Immediate conclusion and execution of a Joint Working Agreement for the shared regulatory service, to include, amongst other things, details of income and cost sharing and those matters referred to in the Legal Implications content of this report;

 

(ii)          Overseeing and directing a project board of officers established to implement the shared service;

 

(iii)         Undertaking all required statutory and other consultation on the proposed transfer of staff to the host (employing) authority;

 

(iv)         Subject to considering the outcome of such consultation, to transfer employees to the host (employing) authority; to undertake all required statutory and other consultation on the proposed remodelling/restructuring and subject to considering the outcome of such consultation to undertake the proposed reorganisation/remodeling, making any subsequent refinements to the proposals, provided always that matters shall be reported back to Cabinet in respect of any material refinements that fall outside of the proposals for the shared Regulatory service as set out in this report, and

 

(v)           Producing a three year business plan for the service, seeking to outline how the service will be developed in detail and including the identification of further year on year savings over the three year period.

 

(11)       T H A T the views of the Scrutiny Committees (Corporate Resources and Housing and Public Protection) be noted and accepted and officers be requested to ascertain how they can best be implemented.

 

(12)     T H A T the views of the staff and Trade Unions as referred to the report and the Council's duties under the Equality Act 2010 and the Equalities Impact assessment referred to in Appendix D to the report were considered.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To enable the shared service to be established on an agreed basis in terms of cost, funding, income, savings, service level, structure and timing.

 

(2)          To enable effective governance of the shared service in line with the Joint Committee governance model.

 

(3-4)    To enable effective governance of the shared service in line with the Joint Committee governance model.

 

(5)       To ensure the scope of the shared service is clear and councils are aware of the   residual functions remaining outside scope of the shared service.

 

(6)       To enable the efficient and effective administration of the service in line with the Joint Committee governance model.

 

(7)       To provide representation from the Council on the Joint Committee.

 

(8)       To ensure compliance with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (Wales) Amendment Regulations 2014.

 

(9)       To enable the shared service to be established in line with the timescales set out in this report and associated appendices and for the appointment of the Head of the new service to be undertaken by the Joint Committee.

 

(10)     To ensure the shared service is established on an appropriate legal and financial basis and the interests of all parties are clearly described and agreed.

 

(i)            To ensure the shared service was established on an appropiate legal and financial basis and the interests of all parties were clearly described and agreed.

 

(ii)          To enable the shared service to be established in line with the timescales set out in this report and associated appendices.

 

(iii-iv)   To enable the creation of the shared service and appropriate management of employee relations issues in line with statutory requirements, in particular to ensure that all statutory and other relevant consultation is undertaken and used to inform the development of the shared service and to ensure that Cabinet are kept informed of developments.

 

(v)        To ensure that the shared service was established on a sustainable financial and operational basis in line with the Councils’ medium term financial plans.

 

(11)     To note and implement the views from the Scrutiny Committees (Corporate Resources and Housing and Public Protection).

 

(12)     To ensure that the views of the Staff and Trade Unions are taken into account and consideration given to the Council statutory duties prior to progressing with the project.

 

 

C2470                        MATTERS WHICH THE CHAIRMAN HAD DECIDED WERE URGENT

 

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

 

C2471                        IMPROVEMENT PLAN PART 2: ANNUAL REVIEW OF PERFORMANCE 2013/14 (REF) –

 

Matter which the Chairman had decided was urgent by reason of the need for the Council to publish its improvement Plan by 30 October, 2014

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) on 16 September, 2014 considered the above report of the Managing Director.

 

The Scrutiny Committee was requested to endorse the Improvement Plan for 2013/14.  The Draft Improvement Plan Part 2: Annual Review of Performance 2013/14 contained performance and information for Improvement Objectives that had been agreed in June 2013.

 

The Head of Performance and Development informed Members that the Part 2 Improvement Plan attached at Appendix 1 to the report was a document primarily looking back over 2013/14 and contained key performance measures, targets and actions which helped demonstrate progress towards the achievement of the Council’s Improvement Objectives. 

 

Although the Plan was substantially complete, further minor amendments would be required following changes to performance information provided by the Local Government Data Unit and from proof reading.  However, based on the Council’s overall assessment, it was concluded that the Council had been successful in achieving the majority of the positive outcomes intended in its Improvement Objectives for 2013/14, despite challenging financial times.  Overall, 7 out of the 8 Improvement Objectives that had been set for the year had been judged to have been successfully achieved with 1 partially achieved.  A summary of the conclusions of the 8 Improvement Objectives for the Vale was identified in paragraphs 8 to 19 of the report.

 

In referring further to the Appendix, the Head of Service advised that pages 65 to 86 detailed how the Council had performed against the 2013/14 national performance data set in comparison with the previous year and with other local authorities in Wales.  Data had been collected and reported on 44 national performance indicators (PIs) and, of these, 43 had data that could be compared with the previous year.  The key highlights included:

 

·               in total 9 indicators had achieved the best possible performance in 2013/14. Of these 9 best PIs, 6 of these indicators continued to maintain their best possible performance (either 100% or 0%) when compared to the previous year. There was only one indicator in 2013/14 that did not continue to maintain the best possible performance when compared to 2012/13.

·               23 indicators showed an improvement (based on their PI value).  This was up on the previous year where 21 indicators had shown an improvement (based on their PI value).

·               14 indicators showed a decline (based on their PI value) during 2013/14 compared with 10 indicators that showed a decline during 2012/13.

·               8 indicators that had previously shown improvement in 2012/13 (based on their PI value) now showed a decline in their performance for 2013/14.

·               6 Indicators during 2013/14 had shown no change in their performance when compared to 2012/13.

·               Percentage wise: 52% of comparable indicators improved, 14% maintained the best possible performance and 32% declined.  In comparison 70% of comparable indicators in Wales improved as did 74.4% within the South East Wales Region.  The Vale's performance was better than Wales in 25 (58%) of comparable indicators and similarly in 24 (56%) when compared against the South East Wales Region.

 

A breakdown of how the Council performed in each of the quartiles against other Welsh local authorities in 2013/14 was as follows:

                                               

·               43% (19) indicators were in the upper quartile of performance.

·               36% (16) indicators were in the middle quartile of performance.

·               20% (9) indicators were in the lower quartile of performance.

·               This performance showed an improvement from the previous year in which the Vale achieved 17 top quartile, 11 middle quartile and 15 bottom quartile performing indicators.

 

Members were further informed that the report was being presented to the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) as the lead Scrutiny Committee due to the fact that publication of comparative information had been embargoed by the Wales Audit Office until 3rd September 2014.  Officers had therefore been unable to report to some of the Scrutiny Committees in time and the decision had been made to refer the report to Corporate Resources as the lead Scrutiny Committee, to Cabinet and subsequently to Full Council.  The Improvement Plan had to be published by 30th October 2014. 

 

In considering the report the Chairman and Members referred to the following concerns:

 

·               pages 35 to 37 – performance in respect of Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs).  Members, aware that a further report was to be presented to the Scrutiny Committee over the forthcoming months in relation to DFGs, requested that the data information contained within the Improvement Plan be also detailed in that report for Members’ further consideration.  A further request was that the report also include detailed information in relation to the process / timescale for the receipt of applications, referral to OT and work undertaken. The Head of Service for Performance and Development also advised that the Wales Audit Office was currently undertaking a review of DFGs which would include consideration of the PIs for the service area.

·               With regard to the PIs in respect of NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training), the Chairman referred to the Welsh average of 3.7% and the direction of travel for the Vale worsening.  He suggested that further detail in relation to this PI be presented to the Scrutiny Committees (Lifelong Learning) and (Corporate Resources).

·               For Adult Social Services, again the direction of travel was deteriorating for the Vale when compared to the Wales average and Members requested that the Director of Social Services or his substitute attend a future of the Committee regarding this issue.

·               Similar concerns were raised in relation to Children’s Services regarding resources and future implications and again Members requested officer attendance a future meeting of the Committee in relation to this matter.

·               In referring to Leisure Services and the number of visits to the local authority leisure centres, it was suggested that the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) consider the implications of the direction of travel in relation to this PI.  The Democratic and Scrutiny Committee Services Officer advised that the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) was due to receive a report in respect of such matters in the next few months. 

 

In view of the fact the timetable had not allowed all Scrutiny Committees to consider the report, Members suggested that the relevant Scrutiny Committees where issues had been raised as outlined above, be given the opportunity to consider this Committee’s concerns.  

 

Having considered the report it was subsequently,

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the Improvement Plan for 2013/14 be endorsed, and referred to Cabinet and Council for consideration and approval.

 

(2)       T H A T having regard to the comments referred to above, the relevant officers with responsibility for Disabled Facilities Grants, NEETs, Children’s and Adult Services be requested to attend a future meeting of the Scrutiny Committee, to advise on the issues affecting the performance in these areas in relation to the direction of travel as contained within the report.

 

(3)       T H A T the report and the comments of this Scrutiny Committee be referred to the relevant Scrutiny Committees responsible for the service areas for Disabled Facilities Grants, NEETs, Children’s and Adult Services for their further consideration.

 

(4)       THAT the comments of the Scrutiny Committee as above be referred to Cabinet for their consideration

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       In order that the Council’s Improvement Plan can be considered and approved in the agreed timetable set by the Wales Audit Office. 2014.

 

(2)       In order for Members to be informed of the issues facing the service areas and the reasons for the deteriorating directions of travel.

 

(3)       In order that the relevant Scrutiny Committees can consider the report and the issues and challenges facing the service areas and the comparisons with the Welsh average.

 

(4)       To enable Cabinet to have an understanding of the views of the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources).

 

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

 

Cabinet having considered the recommendations from the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources)

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted and referred to Council for approval.

 

Reason for decision

 

To gain Council approval for the Imrovement Plan Part 2 – Annual Review of Performance 2013/14.

 

C2472                        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.

 

C2473                        REGIONALISING REGULATORY SERVICES PROJECT (L) (EXEMPT  INFORMATION – PARAGRAPH’S 13 & 14) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES & HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) -         

          

At the meeting the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Visible Services left the room and took no part in any discussions that took place.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED – T H A T Appendix N as attached to the report be noted.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

To note Appendix N attached to the report.

 

 

 

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