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Agenda Item No.

 

CABINET

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 13 April, 2015.

 

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

 

Also Present: Councillors N. Hodges, I. Johnson.

 

C2721  MINUTES –

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 23 March, 2015 be approved as a correct record.

 

C2722  DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

The following declaration of interest was received

 

Councillor C Elmore

Agenda Items No. 5 & 6 Barry Secondary School Transformation

 

Reason for Declaration –

 

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

 



C2723  CARDIFF BAY ADVISORY COMMITTEE -  

 

The minutes of the Cardiff Bay Advisory Committee meeting held on 5 March, 2015 at the offices of Penarth Town Council, were submitted.

 

Present

 

Councillor L. Burnett (Chairman) Vale of Glamorgan Council
Mrs. C. Dimond (Vice-Chairman) Cardiff Flood Action Committee
Councillor G. Roberts Penarth Town Council
Mr. J. Harrison Natural Resources Wales
Mr. A. Parker


Also present:

Mr. A. Vye-Parminter Cardiff Harbour Authority
Mr. A. Pepper Cardiff Council
Mr. S. Ellery Cardiff Harbour Authority
Mr. C. Hope Vale of Glamorgan Council
Mr. Ivor Davis Civil Aid Voluntary Rescue Association (For Agenda Item No. 4)
Mr. Karl Saltmarsh Civil Aid Voluntary Rescue Association (For Agenda Item No. 4)


(a) Apologies for Absence – 

  

These were received from Councillor B. Derbyshire (Cardiff Council), Mr. C. Michael (RSPB), Mr. J. Maidment (Cardiff Harbour Authority) and Mr. S. Jones (Quay Marinas Ltd.).

 

(b) Minutes – 

 

AGREED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 14th January, 2015 be approved as a correct record.

 

(c) Matters Arising – 

 

(i) Penarth Tourism and Visitor Association

 

In referring to Mr. Peter Andrews being no longer part of the Penarth Tourism and Visitor Association, the Chairman advised that she had been informed that Mr. Andrews was now the Vice-Chairman of the Association.  The current Chairman of the Association, Mr. Gary Soltys had requested that he be invited to future meetings of the Advisory Committee as an observer.

 

The request was AGREED.

 

(ii) Penarth Docks – 150th Anniversary

 

The Chairman advised the Advisory Committee that the organisers of the ceremony to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the founding of Penarth Docks had advised that they would be unable to attend the meeting. 

 

(d) Presentation – Civil Aid Voluntary Rescue Association (CAVRA)

 

Mr. Ivor Davies and Mr. Karl Saltmarsh were present for this item.

 

Mr. Davies and Mr. Saltmarsh attended the meeting to advise of the work and potential uses of CAVRA.

 

By way of background, Mr. Davies stated that he came from a coastguard background and had worked in Milford Haven and Swansea.

 

In 1998, he had decided to establish a local voluntary search and rescue service organisation. 

 

Following registration with the Voluntary Services, the organisation had become eligible for grant assistance and had received funding from the Welsh Government which had resulted in CAVRA obtaining a boat (based in Cardiff Bay), landrover, all-terrain amphibious vehicle and equipment.

 

The organisation worked with unemployed youth and minority groups and some 20 of the volunteers had gone on to full time education.

 

Mr. Davies stated that his concern was that CAVRA was not called out to many incidents.

 

The organisation had changed its name from Cardiff and Vale Rescue Association to Civil Aid Voluntary Rescue Association to emphasise the fact that it was not “Cardiff centred”. 

 

Mr. Davies added:

- All volunteers were checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service

- All volunteers were trained in communications through CAVRA’s radio-system which covered an area from the Severn Bridge to Swansea.

Mr. Davies spoke of an incident near to where their boat was based (which turned out to be a false alarm) but they had not been called out. 

 

Mr. Davies handed the Chairman a file containing details of CAVRA.

 

Mr. Saltmarsh, in referring to the incident referred to above, advised that whilst CAVRA was operated by amateurs who gave much of their time, they would have welcomed an opportunity to have been involved.  It would have cost nothing to have used them. 

 

Mr. Saltmarsh acknowledged that if the Police, Fire and Ambulance Services had attended the incident, it may be like using a sledge hammer to crack a nut but there was always the possibility that CAVRA would be the first to arrive on the scene. 

 

The Chairman advised that the minutes of today’s meeting would be considered by both Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Councils which would bring the existence of CAVRA to the attention of many Council Members and Officers. 

 

In terms of emergency planning, the Chairman had been present at a presentation by the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Emergency Planning Team which had spoken about resilience and of the need for cover to be provided for incidents.  It seemed that CAVRA had the required skills. 

 

Mr. Davies said he had spoken to both Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Councils’ Civil Protection Officers in an attempt to raise the awareness of CAVRA. 

 

Mr. Davies had also spoken to the Chief Constable. 

 

The Chairman enquired as to where Mr. Davies thought CAVRA could best fit in and was told that the service was available 24/7, 365 days per year.  The organisation did not exist to make money and just wanted to be of assistance.  Mr. Davies referred to an incident in which CAVRA had been asked to respond to an incident of flooding in Llantwit Major. 

 

Mr. Davies was asked about CAVRA’s response times and advised that CAVRA would aim to respond to an incident within 30 minutes.  It was acknowledged that the Fire Service could achieve better response times. 

 

The Maritime and Coastguard Association (MCA) was satisfied with CAVRA’s service and had used the organisation in the past.  However, there were significant changes occurring in the Lifeguard world at present.  When the dust settled, CAVRA would probably be used. 

 

Mr. Harrison advised that he chaired the Bristol Channel Environment Group which carried out exercises with the MCA. 

 

There was a need for CAVRA to increase other organisations’ awareness of the Association.

 

Mr. Pepper suggested that Mr. Davies liaise with the Emergency Services with regard to Search and Rescue incidents.  He believed that this was CAVRA’s market. 

 

Mr. Davies said that he had met with them but that there did not seem to be much headway. 

 

Mr. Davies added that a number of CAVRA’s staff were about to be trained as first responders and would then be able to assist the ambulance service.

 

The Chairman, having heard the presentation, advised Mr. Davies:

- That he had demonstrated that CAVRA had proven expertise

- CAVRA had already worked closely with the Vale of Glamorgan Council and other Authorities

- The reporting of today’s minutes to both Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Council may assist in raising the awareness of CAVRA

- It was the Chairman’s view that CAVRA must consider which niche to concentrate on

- The expertise of CAVRA would be very useful in the development of local community  resilience, particularly when its members had been trained as first responders.

On expertise of the Advisory Committee, the Chairman thanked Mr. Davies and Mr. Saltmarsh for attending the meeting.

 

(e) Timetable of Meetings

 

The report suggested dates for future meetings of the Committee as detailed below:

 

DATE PROVISIONAL VENUE
Wednesday, 23rd September, 2015 at 5.15 p.m. Cardiff International White Water
Wednesday, 18th November, 2015 at 5.15 p.m. Ditto
Wednesday, 13th January, 2016 at 5.15 p.m. Ditto
Wednesday, 2nd March, 2016 at 5.15 p.m. Ditto
Wednesday, 1st June, 2016 at 5.15 p.m. (Annual Meeting) Ditto


AGREED – T H A T the timetable of meetings as detailed above be approved.

 

(f) Navigational Safety

 

It was reported that the winter dredging had been completed successfully.

 

(g) Progress Report – Cardiff Harbour Authority

 

It was reported that the CCTV Unit at the Pont y Werin Bridge had suffered from vandalism recently.  The Unit had been repaired and was operational again.  This had not impacted on the operation of the Bridge. 

 

The work to replace the salt-water valve on the Cardiff Barrage was ongoing, and the valve was about to be replaced.

 

The Fish Pass maintenance operation was nearing completion and Zebra mussels had been removed from the Pass by a specialist contractor. 

 

Natural Resources Wales had installed fish counters into the Pass. 

 

The Environment Section of the Cardiff Harbour Authority’s website had been amended.  The website was now a “one stop shop” containing information such as water quality, river flows, etc. 

 

Arising from the discussions of the previous meeting of the Advisory Committee, Harbour Authority representatives attended a meeting hosted by ARUP consultants who have been commissioned by Cardiff Council to look at the feasibility of a bus route across the Barrage.  A number of issues were raised at the meeting which highlighted the difficulties involved.  ARUP are compiling a report for further discussion.  Some of the issues in brief relate to access to the North end of the Barrage and land ownership issues, interaction with the public using the Barrage and scheduling around bridge operation at the locks.

 

(h) Update Report – Mr. J. Harrison, National Resources Wales

 

Mr. Harrison advised that:

- Natural Resources Wales was building up to the new season in terms of Environmental Quality

- This being Mr. Harrison’s last meeting of the Committee, Mr. Harrison advised that his replacement for future meetings would be Nadia Delhongi

- Discussions had been taking place in recent months concerning the construction of tidal lagoons in the Severn Estuary.  Mr. Harrison felt that it may be worthwhile if the Advisory Committee received a report on this subject to include detail of the impact such construction would have on the Bay. 

It was suggested that the Advisory Committee receive a presentation once the strategic details of the construction works had been finalised. 

 

The Chairman thanked Mr. Harrison for his work over the years and wished him well in his retirement.

 

Mr. Harrison was presented with a gift by the Chairman.

 

(i) Date of Next Meeting

 

AGREED – T H A T the next meeting be held on Wednesday, 3rd June 2015 at 5.15 p.m. and that the meeting be held in Cardiff International White Water.

 

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

 

At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Regeneration commented that it was a very positive meeting and she was pleased to receive the presentation from the Civil Aid Voluntary Rescue Association (CAVRA), who highlighted how they could further contribute to emergency planning and community safety in the Vale.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the Cardiff Bay Advisory Committee meeting held on 5 March, 2015 be noted.

 

Reason for Decision

 

To note the minutes.

 

C2724  BARRY SECONDARY SCHOOL TRANSFORMATION (REF) - 

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) on 17 March, 2015 considered the above report.

 

The above matter had been previously considered by the Cabinet at its meeting on 23rd February 2015.  At that time Cabinet approval had been sought to consult stakeholders on a proposal to transform secondary education in Barry, by establishing a new mixed English medium comprehensive school, by expanding Ysgol Bro Morgannwg and by relocation to create two distinct campuses for Welsh medium and English medium education. 

 

The establishment of mixed sex secondary provision in Barry had been debated intermittently over a number of years with interest having increased in recent years to the extent that following a Cabinet decision on 15th July 2013, public consultation had been undertaken to establish the extent of local support for the principle of co-education in Barry.  That consultation had sought to establish local views about the establishment of a co-educational school formed by the amalgamation of Barry and Bryn Hafren Comprehensive Schools which would operate on the two current sites.  In total 951 people had participated in the consultation including parents, children and young people and members of staff.  The responses indicated that:

  • 81% of parent respondents supported a change to co-educational secondary schooling;
  • The large number of highly positive comments offered by parents indicate that this view was strongly held;
  • The social and well-being benefits for learners were the key factors driving the response;
  • 75% of secondary school pupil respondents supported a change; and the possible social benefits of mixed schooling are a key factor;
  • 69% of primary school pupils who participated in the consultation sessions said they would prefer to attend a mixed secondary school;
  • 92% of staff respondents did not support a change to co-educational secondary schooling in Barry.  Many staff had concerns about how possible change might affect them and the implications for teaching across a split site school.

Following consideration of the responses, Cabinet had instructed officers to begin a programme of work to develop detailed proposals for a change to co-educational secondary schooling and that the detailed proposals should address the concerns raised by the parents and members of school staff who felt they would not support a change.  Cabinet also established at the time a Project Board to progress the work required to develop detailed proposals for an amalgamation. 

 

With regard to Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg and Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg, the Council had recently consulted on a proposal to amalgamate the schools to create a new all through school from September 2015, and following that consultation a statutory notice had been published on 6th January, 2015 to amalgamate those schools. 

 

With regard to the capacity of Barry, Bryn Hafren and Bro Morgannwg schools, the numbers on rolls at the Pupil Level Annual Schools Survey (PLASC) 2014, as well as projected pupil numbers, were shown at Appendix A to the report.  The number on roll at Barry Comprehensive in January 2014 was 1,062 which included a sixth form of 197 pupils compared to a current capacity of 1,423.  The number on roll at Bryn Hafren Comprehensive was 1,106 including a sixth form of 256 compared to a capacity of 1,331.  Projections also showed a shortage of places in the Welsh medium secondary sector from 2020 onwards which had also been reported to Cabinet on 10th March, 2014 and at that time Cabinet had authorised a feasibility study to investigate how the required expansion of Welsh medium secondary education could be accommodated.

 

Property condition surveys had also been carried out for all Vale schools with the inspections comprising a visual assessment of the condition of all exposed parts of the buildings to identify significant defects and items of disrepair. 

 

With regard to pupil attainment and school improvement, the Council had placed on record its concerns about performance at two of the three schools over the past two years and the schools’ capacity for rapid and sustainable improvement.  Whilst there had been improvement in some areas by these schools, performance on key measures in Key Stage 4 in particular, remained poor when compared to similar schools.  Appendix C to the report showed the outcomes for the three schools against the key measures over a period of four years as well as the quartile ranking when compared to similar schools.

 

The report also outlined that as part of the work carried out by the Project Board to further develop proposals, research had been carried out on amalgamations and split site education which had included desk top analysis as well as telephone and face to face interviews with leaders involved in recent, mixed gender amalgamations and split-site schools.  Examples had been sought which matched as closely as possible the demographic, social and educational context of Barry and Bryn Hafren Comprehensive Schools. 

 

In order to amalgamate the two schools the Council would need to comply with the statutory process within the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 and the report detailed the process that was required to be undertaken.  To aid effective engagement and communication with the schools directly affected by the proposals, it had been suggested that a Barry Secondary School Transformation Board be established.  The membership of the Board to include the Chair of Governors and the Headteacher of Barry Comprehensive School, Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School and Bro Morgannwg / Nant Talwg and two primary headteachers.  The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools, the Chairman of Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) and senior officers from the Learning and Skills Directorate would also be members of the Board.

 

In response to a question from a Committee Member regarding the appropriate undertaking of risk assessment of the project, the Head of Strategy, Community Learning and Resources indicated that a financial risk assessment would be considered very carefully, including the ability of the Council to realise its financial contribution to fund the initiative.  Dependant on the outcome of the Cabinet’s future deliberations post consultation and subsequent decision to proceed with the project, the necessary risk assessment would be undertaken.  Members of the Committee considered that as the project stages progressed it should receive timely reports to enable it to keep abreast of developments, including project risk assessments.

 

Having regard to the above, it was

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the Cabinet be requested that it ensures that officers submit timely reports to the Scrutiny Committee to enable it to keep abreast of developments, including project risk assessments.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To monitor potential risks to the Council

 

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

 

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

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted and that officers present further reports on the Barry Secondary School Transformation to the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) to enable it to keep abreast of developments, including project risk assessments.

 

Reason for decision

 

To monitor potential risks to the Council.

 

C2725  BARRY SECONDARY SCHOOL TRANSFORMATION (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) on 16 March, 2015 considered the above report.

 

The report had been referred to the Scrutiny Committee by Cabinet for consideration, at its meeting on 23rd February 2015.  Cabinet approval had been sought to consult stakeholders on a proposal to transform secondary education in Barry, by establishing a new mixed English medium comprehensive school, by expanding Ysgol Bro Morgannwg and by relocation to create two distinct campuses for Welsh medium and English medium education. 

 

In presenting the report, the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools advised that as a Cabinet Member and an LA Governor for one of the schools he was entitled to speak at the Committee but not vote as he was not a Member of the Committee.  In commencing, the Cabinet Member stated that the case for the establishment of mixed sex secondary provision in Barry had been debated intermittently over a number of years with interest having increased in recent years to the extent that following a Cabinet decision on 15th July 2013, public consultation had been undertaken to establish the extent of local support for the principle of co-education in Barry.  That consultation had sought to establish local views about the establishment of a co-educational school formed by the amalgamation of Barry and Bryn Hafren Comprehensive Schools which would operate on the two current sites.  In total 951 people had participated in the consultation including parents, children and young people and members of staff.  The responses indicated that:

  • 81% of parent respondents supported a change to co-educational secondary schooling;
  • The large number of highly positive comments offered by parents indicate that this view was strongly held;
  • The social and well-being benefits for learners were the key factors driving the response;
  • 75% of secondary school pupil respondents supported a change; and the possible social benefits of mixed schooling are a key factor;
  • 69% of primary school pupils who participated in the consultation sessions said they would prefer to attend a mixed secondary school;
  • 92% of staff respondents did not support a change to co-educational secondary schooling in Barry.  Many staff had concerns about how possible change might affect them and the implications for teaching across a split site school.

Following consideration of the responses, Cabinet had instructed officers to begin a programme of work to develop detailed proposals for a change to co-educational secondary schooling and that the detailed proposals should address the concerns raised by the parents and members of school staff who felt they would not support a change.  Cabinet also established at the time a Project Board to progress the work required to develop detailed proposals for an amalgamation. 

 

With regard to Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg and Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg, the Council had recently consulted on a proposal to amalgamate the schools to create a new all through school from September 2015, and following that consultation a statutory notice had been published on 6th January 2015 to amalgamate those schools. 

 

With regard to the capacity of Barry, Bryn Hafren and Bro Morgannwg schools, the numbers on rolls at the Pupil Level Annual Schools Survey (PLASC) 2014 as well as projected pupil numbers were shown at Appendix A to the report.  The number on roll at Barry Comprehensive in January 2014 was 1,062 which included a sixth form of 197 pupils compared to a current capacity of 1,423.  The number on roll at Bryn Hafren Comprehensive was 1,106 including a sixth form of 256 compared to a capacity of 1,331.  Projections also showed a shortage of places in the Welsh medium secondary sector from 2020 onwards which had also been reported to Cabinet on 10th March 2014 and at that time Cabinet had resolved that “the request to carry out a feasibility study to investigate how the required expansion of Welsh medium secondary education could be accommodated be approved”. 

 

Property condition surveys had also been carried out for all Vale schools with the inspections comprising a visual assessment of the condition of all exposed parts of the buildings to identify significant defects and items of disrepair.  The Cabinet Member advised that the three comprehensive school buildings although generally in a satisfactory condition some elements were in poor condition exhibiting major defects. 

 

With regard to pupil attainment and school improvement, the Council had placed on record its concerns about performance, at two of the three schools over the past two years, and the schools’ capacity for rapid and sustainable improvement.  Whilst there had been improvement in some areas by these schools, performance on key measures in Key Stage 4 in particular, remained poor when compared to similar schools.  Appendix C to the report showed the outcomes for the three schools against the key measures over a period of four years as well as the quartile ranking when compared to similar schools.

 

The report, further outlined that as part of the work carried out by the Project Board to further develop proposals, research had been carried out on amalgamations and split site education which had included desk top analysis as well as telephone and face to face interviews with leaders involved in recent, mixed gender amalgamations and split - site schools.  Examples had been sought which matched as closely as possible the demographic, social and educational context of Barry and Bryn Hafren Comprehensive Schools. 

 

In order to amalgamate the two schools the Council would need to comply with the statutory process within the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 and the report detailed the process that was required to be undertaken.  To aid effective engagement and communication with the schools directly affected by the proposals, it had been suggested that a Barry Secondary School Transformation Board be established.  The membership of the Board to include the Chair of Governors and the Headteacher of Barry Comprehensive School, Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School and Bro Morgannwg / Nant Talwg and two primary headteachers.  The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools, the Chairman of Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) and senior officers from the Learning and Skills Directorate would also be members of the Board.

 

In further presenting the report, the Cabinet Member referred to the 21st Century Schools investment programme and in referring to Cowbridge, St. Cyres and Llantwit Major Schools that had been part of that programme, advised that these had been prioritised because of the conditions of the school buildings.  With regard to Barry and Bryn Hafren, additional funding was required and consideration had to be clearly identified for Welsh medium education hence Bro Morgannwg being part of the proposals.

 

The Cabinet Member also referred to the detailed options as contained within the report, available to the Council, as follows:

 

Option A: A new English medium school operated as a split site school organised accordingly to Key Stages and Ysgol Bro Morgannwg expanded on its current site

 

Option B: The new English medium school operated as a split site school organised according to pupil houses and Ysgol Bro Morgannwg expanded on its current site

 

Option C: Two separate English medium schools on separate sites and Ysgol Bro Morgannwg be expanded on its current site

 

Option D: One English medium school on one site and Ysgol Bro Morgannwg be expanded on the current Bryn Hafren site

 

Option E: One English medium school on one site (new build) and Ysgol Bro Morgannwg be expanded on its current site

 

Option F: Federation of the two English medium schools and Ysgol Bro Morgannwg be expanded on its current site

 

Option G: Status quo.

 

Although the Cabinet Member advised that Option D was the preferred option as highlighted within the report, he stressed that no decision had yet been made.  It had been suggested that the Bryn Hafren site could be sold for housing but he had been advised that this would not be acceptable.  His main focus was the education for the children and that it was now time for consultation to be undertaken in order for the options to be considered.  However, he stated that the status quo was not an option, the Council had an obligation for Welsh medium education and that the Ysgol Bro Morgannwg site would not be sustainable in its current form for such education.  Pupil number projections and parents’ preferences had been analysed with Option D being suggested as the preferred option.  Appendix F to the report detailed a full breakdown of the capital costs for each option. 

 

In referring to funding for the proposals, although no confirmation had been given by Welsh Government, he did remain confident that 50% funding would be provided.

 

Following the presentation of the report, the Chairman advised all present that he had invited Trade Union representatives and members of the public (not employed or related to an employee nor a Governor or related to a Governor, of the schools involved ) to make representations to the Scrutiny Committee on service generic issues.  He had also invited the Chairman of Governors of the relevant schools and / or their representative to attend the meeting and give evidence.  All speakers had been afforded the opportunity of between 3-5 minutes for their representations / evidence and he had been advised that some Elected Members who were not Members of the Committee also wished to speak on the matter.

 

The Chairman also took the opportunity to advise the public, that Members who were Governors of schools appointed by the Local Authority were eligible to speak and, if they were a Member of the Committee, were able to speak and vote.  Co-opted Members on the Committee were also eligible to speak and vote unless they were Governors of schools not appointed by the Local Authority, where they could make representations but would have to leave the room thereafter.  Non-voting Observers on the Committee would also have to leave the room if they had a personal / prejudicial interest in the report. 

 

The Chairman confirmed that the following had requested permission to speak and they were in turn invited to present to the Scrutiny Committee:

- Ms. Jayne Stechfield (NASUWT National Executive Member)

- Mr. Rob Williams (NAHT) – written representations had been received

- Mrs. Kath Beaudette (Chairman of Governors, Barry Comprehensive) – written representations had been received

- Ms. Carole Tyley (Chairman of Governors, Bryn Hafren Comprehensive) – written representations had been received

- Mr. R. Evans (Governor Ysgol Bro Morgannwg) – written representations also received

- Councillor Dr. I.J. Johnson (Elected Member).

In commencing her presentation, Ms. Stechfield advised that her Union welcomed the invitation to speak and would engage in the consultation process.  In referring to the process that had already taken place and the fact that the initial consultation advised of 951 respondents to the issue of co-education  in her view, this was a small mandate. The Union was also against the proposal for a “super” school of over 2,000 pupils as this, it was considered would be impractical.  The report they believed had not addressed the impact of Free School Meals (FSM) on standards and the English schools that had been used as comparisons in developing the proposals were not considered good comparable examples.  Ms. Stechfield made reference in the first instance  to the uncertainty associated with the funding for the proposals as well as the vulnerability of some learners as, in the Union’s view, a large school would not necessarily lend itself to assist some learners.  The Union remained unclear as to the reason why Option D had been singled out, and although she welcomed the Council’s enthusiasm to invest in schools and co-education, the Union’s  preferred option would be for a smaller school as opposed to the larger school being proposed. 

 

Written representations which had been received from Mr. Rob Williams of the NAHT, who had been unable to attend the meeting, were tabled for consideration and referred to concern in relation Option D and the potential risks involved.  The Committee, in referring to the document, noted Mr. Williams’ comments that Option D would be highly reliant upon accessing Welsh Government capital funding and there was no guarantee that the Vale would be successful in accessing the required funds.  The need to make provision for Welsh medium places was clearly evident, however, if the Vale was not able to access the required funding there might be a perception that the Welsh medium provision had been the main priority and driver and that the English medium provision had been compromised in order to meet the Welsh medium demand, although he stated that there were certainly no issues from his Union’s perspective with the co-educational model or the need to make provision for increased Welsh medium demand. 

 

Ms. Kath Beaudette and Ms. Carole Tyley, Chairmen of Governors of Barry Comprehensive and Bryn Hafren Comprehensive, were then afforded the opportunity to address the Committee.

 

Ms. Tyley commenced by advising that neither of the two Comprehensive schools had as yet held a full Governing Body meeting to discuss the proposals.  She however, referred to the positives that Bryn Hafren could offer in relation to a number of facilities some of which were not available at Barry Comprehensive School.  In the main, her concerns related to the issues of the timing of the GCSE implementation and the proposed size of the school.  In her opinion, Year 10 was a crucial time for young people and undertaking a phased transition would result in too much disruption.  The concerns in relation to the funding for the schemes she stated was similar to those that had been raised by the representative from the NASUWT and the NAHT.

 

Mrs. Beaudette stated that both herself and Ms. Tyley had been new Chairs of Governors in the recent year and had both agreed to maintain an open dialogue throughout the whole process.  She concurred that the representative from NASUWT had already raised a number of concerns that she had with regard to the proposals for Barry and Bryn Hafren schools and that once the consultation had commenced both the Governing Bodies would be making full submissions during that process.  Mrs. Beaudette also raised concern regarding the school examples that had been used within the report to assist the development of the proposals as, in her view, they did not mirror the challenges for Barry.  Mrs. Beaudette further stated that in her opinion the report had not also clearly accounted for the level of challenge associated with the kind of deprivation the Barry and Bryn Hafren schools have to currently  address.  It would also be essential that the management, government and leadership of the schools, together with the pastoral issues were carefully considered.  The level of uncertainty that would be created for handing over the school would also have an impact on staff, parents and Governing Bodies and the Council would need to minimise all risks. 

 

Mr. R. Evans, representing the Governing Body of Ysgol Bro Morgannwg, in referring to his written submission, advised that the Governing Body appreciated the commitment of the Vale of Glamorgan Council in seeking to further enhance the provision of Welsh medium education across the county and its aim to provide sufficient school places to cater for predicted future demand.  The Governing Body supported the proposals to move to the existing Bryn Hafren School site which they believed would provide sufficient space to develop a first class school for 3-19 year old pupils for generations to come.  The Governing Body, in taking that position, had adopted a set of principles which were outlined in his written representations.  The Governors were also confident he stated that they could continue to manage the changes required to ensure the school’s continued success for the benefit of current and future pupils.  The Governing Body had certainly realised he advised that the school  was part of a wider remit.  In his view Option D would appear to cater for the growth required and advised that the Governing Body would remain non-political throughout the process. 

 

The Elected Members who were not Members of the Committee were then afforded the opportunity to speak with the Committee’s permission.

 

Councillor Dr. I.J. Johnson commenced by seeking clarification of issues that had been raised with himself by local constituents.  Why was change required now?  Was there a real educational principle behind the need for change?  Is Option D the best solution or the one that best fits the financial circumstances of the Council?  Would Welsh Government funding be realised?  Pupils in Year 4 for English language would be affected in 2020 and what was the Council proposing as part of the consultation process to ensure that everybody in the private sector plays a part in the process?  The issue of size and the number of pupils on the site; the ability to teach on a large site and the facilities to be provided for pastoral care were also raised.  With regard to Bro Morgannwg and the Welsh medium provision his projections forecast that the school would reach capacity on the Bryn Hafren site by 2028.  He questioned officers and the Cabinet Member as to whether this issue had been considered in detail, for which the following responses were received.

 

The Head of Service advised that the consultation process would engage with pupils, staff and parents in the primary schools as it was the Council’s intention to engage with as many people as possible and to assist a number of workshops would be arranged.  With regard to pupil projections, considerable work had been undertaken on these.  Projections showed that if the current Welsh medium primary schools were all at full capacity in the future and 100% of the pupils fed through to Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg, 19,847 secondary school places would be required to accommodate them.  It was pointed out that it was unlikely that all of these spaces would be required as there was currently spare capacity in the primary sector and based on current trends, not all Welsh medium primary pupils fed into Bro Morgannwg.   

 

The Cabinet Member stated that it was his intention to ensure that a report would be brought back following the consultation to the Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet and with regard to Key Stage 4 issues and transition phasing, all these would be addressed whilst considering the process and options.  He reiterated that the issues for Bro Morgannwg needed to be addressed as the demands for Welsh medium education were increasing and the Council had a statutory responsibility to ensure provision was catered for. 

 

With regard to the issue of funding, the Head of Service advised that the Council had a good record on securing grant funding through the submission of business cases to Welsh Government and was considered to have a good reputation for delivery of the 21st Century Schools Programme.  Although the Council could not give a cast iron guarantee of funding, it did have a very good track record, a business case would be required to be developed which details all of the options considered as well as the preferred option and the Council would be required to demonstrate that the preferred option was the most cost effective. 

 

The Cabinet Member took the opportunity to thank all present for their willingness to engage and again reiterated that it was the start of the process and not the end. 

 

In referring to the question of why change, the Director for Learning and Skills advised that in terms of the culture and social development of the town, providing co-education was seen as most desirable with both parents and pupils saying co-education was their preferred option.  Through research it was also an accepted fact that with better buildings educational outcomes benefited.  Salford University research particularly outlined that there could be a 16% increase in performance as a result of good classrooms, which the Director stated the Council did not have in all three schools.  With regard to school size, there was also no reason to believe that classroom sizes would increase.  In referring to creating the sense of a smaller learning community in a large arena, she advised of American research that was available for the Council to consider.   Bryn Hafren also had a level of specialist facilities that would be available for further opportunities for courses of study which would also need to be considered in line with the new curriculum Donaldson Report. 

 

In referring to statutory consultation, the Head of Service advised that the Council  was required to consult on all proposals which needed to include details of the options that were to be precluded.

 

The Chairman thanked all present for their representations, for providing evidence to the Scrutiny Committee and for their commitment to engage with the consultation process. 

 

In considering the evidence, a Member referred to the considerable amount of time and discussions that had been undertaken in considering the option for co-education, and noted the proposed timetable as outlined at Appendix G to the report. It was noted that the consultation period was proposed to commence on 11th May 2015 until 6th July 2015. 

 

A number of Members concluded that the time was right to move to co-education and accepted that for Bro Morgannwg the issue of new Welsh medium education needed to be addressed and developed.  Concerns were however raised about the transition phase with Members stating that it was important to ensure that this was handled as best as possible for the pupils, staff and the school.  A Member of the Committee’s School Places Task Group reminded Members that at that time the Group had also agreed that co-education should be considered.

 

In response to a concern regarding the limited response received to the initial consultation and whether there was a minimum requirement to make a second consultation valid, the Cabinet Member confirmed that there was no requirement regarding minimum or maximum responses but that for the next consultation, he would urge everyone far and wide to provide responses. The Council would also be engaging with all the primary schools in the area. 

 

Following a query, from the Chairman, to the response of the consultation being that no change should be made, the Cabinet Member confirmed that the administration of the Council would not ignore the issue for Bro Morgannwg and would as a result subsequently have to request support from Welsh Government.  He advised that the current Bro Morgannwg site had been built for what was currently there and that, if it proposed  that the school should be altered to accommodate numbers, the Council may need to demolish the building and consider the foundations which would be a far greater financial burden than the Council may be able to agree to.  He also confirmed that the Council needed to meet the demands for Welsh medium education within the county and that it was not an option to send pupils outside of county. 

 

A Member raised concern regarding the costs associated with adapting a building that was old and the ongoing maintenance costs advising that the Council should not dismiss any school out of hand.  However, Committee was advised that the cost of a new build would be in the region of £65m and the money was just not available.

 

Members also queried whether any new housing developments proposed had been included in the projections and in particular the numbers associated with the  Waterfront development.   The Head of Service stated that the projections for new developments had been taken into account as well as data on the cohorts which would be feeding into the school from the primary sector in the future.  The figures had therefore been based on facts and trends.

 

Having considered the report and the evidence presented the Scrutiny Committee unanimously

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1) T H A T resolutions (1), (2) and (4) of Cabinet min no C2662 be noted.

 

(2) T H A T the consultation for the following proposals be endorsed.:

(i) The creation of a new 2,400 place mixed English medium comprehensive school through the amalgamation of Barry Comprehensive School and Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School located on the two current sites from September 2017.

 

(ii) The expansion of Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg from 1,151 places to 1,857 places from September 2020 to meet the increased demand for places.

 

(iii) The relocation of the new English medium secondary school to the site currently occupied by Barry Comprehensive School , Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg and Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg from September 2020, creating a single campus for the school.

 

(iv) The relocation of Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg and Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg to the new Welsh medium campus on the current Bryn Hafren site from September 2020.

(3) T H A T the establishment of a Barry Secondary School Transformation Board including representatives of the three secondary schools and from the primary sector be agreed.

 

(4) T H A T, following the consultation process, a further report be presented to  the Scrutiny Committee on the results of the consultation, prior to consideration by Cabinet.

 

(5) T H A T the views of the Scrutiny Committee, as outlined in the minutes, and the written representations received to date be forwarded to Cabinet for consideration.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1&2) In view of the evidence provided at the meeting and in recognition of the Committees view.

 

(3) To ensure effective governance and management of the proposed project.

 

(4) For further consideration by the Scrutiny Committee and in order that the views of the Scrutiny Committee can be conveyed to Cabinet prior to consideration of the report.

 

(5) To advise Cabinet of the Scrutiny Committee’s views and the written representations received to date.

 

N.B.  Mr. G. Beaudette and Mrs. T. Young withdrew from the meeting whilst this item was under consideration.”

 

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

 

At the meeting the Leader made the following statement;

 

“I am grateful to the Members of the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) and those who also made representation at the committee meeting.

 

It is also clear that one major issue that caused concern was the suggestion in the report that phasing could take place from 2017 – 2020.

 

However, it must be made clear that this was only a suggested way forward by the then Heads of Barry and Bryn Hafren Comprehensive Schools and not a definite proposal.

 

If this was accepted, phasing could only be agreed by the governing body of the new school and cannot be imposed on them, as seems to have been assumed during discussions by committees and elsewhere.

 

Cabinet would make it clear that phasing does not form part of the consultation process. I am sorry for this confusion that has arisen but the Educational organisation within the new school will be a matter for Governors if a new School is formally agreed.”

 

The Cabinet Member for Children Services and Schools fully supported the statement made by the Leader.

 

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

 

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

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the contents of the report.

 

C2726  CAPITAL MONITORING REPORT FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 31ST JANUARY 2015 (REF) –

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) on 17 March, 2015 considered the above report of the Managing Director.

 

Details of the financial progress on the Capital Programme was shown in Appendices 1 and 2 to the report.

 

The Head of Finance referred Members to paragraphs 6 to 22 of the report, which contained a summary of progress up to 31st January 2015 for individual Capital Programmes.

 

The report also highlighted that where schemes had a value of over £500,000 and showed a variance of 20% or more between the actual spend and the profiled budget, further information would be provided.  The following schemes met this criteria:

 

  • Ysgol Gwaun y Nant / Oakfield – amendments to programming / sequencing of works had resulted in actual expenditure that was less than the initial spend profile.  This did not adversely affect the final cost of the project.
  • In respect of the Welsh Housing Quality Standards works, there was likely to be a variance in the expenditure as the extent of the works required in a property was not known until the works commenced.  More had been spent than was projected on Kitchen Replacements, Bathrooms and Asbestos Management.

It was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1) T H A T the following recommendations that amend the 2014/15 Capital Programme be endorsed and reported to Cabinet for approval:

  • Additional Education Asset Renewal Schemes - It is requested that Cabinet notes that Emergency Powers have been approved for this scheme.
  • Llanfair Primary Roof Renewal - It is requested that Cabinet notes that Delegated Authority that has been exercised for this scheme and notes that the £11,000 shortfall has been funded from the Education Asset Renewal Contingency Budget.
  • Housing Improvement Programme - It is requested that Cabinet notes that Delegated Authority has been approved to vary the scheme.
  • That Cabinet approves the following changes to the 2014/15 Capital Programme.
  • A4226 Five Mile Lane Improvements Ground Investigation - It is requested that the 2014/15 Capital Programme be increased by £48,485.04, funded by a reimbursement from Welsh Government.
  • Replacement Network Switches Alps Depot - It is requested to increase this budget by £5,000 to be funded from a virement of £3,000 from the IT Storage Augmentation scheme and a virement of £2,000 from the Resources Asset Renewal budget.

 

(2) T H A T Cabinet recommends to Council the following changes to the 2014/15 Capital Programme be approved:

  • Penarth Learning Community - It is requested to increase the Penarth Learning Community scheme budget by £235,000 to be funded by a contribution from the School Investment Strategy Reserve.
  • Llantwit Major Library - It is requested that £4,000 is carried forward into the 2015/16 Capital Programme.
  • Ewenny Road Bridge - It is requested that £975,000 is carried forward to the 2015/16 Capital Programme.
  • Gileston to Old Mill - It is requested that £195,000 is carried forward into the 2015/16 Capital Programme.
  • Visible Services Highway Improvements Resurfacing - It is requested that £120,000 is carried forward in to the 2015/16 Capital Programme.
  • Ashpath Footpath Improvements - It is requested to carry forward £8,000 of this budget into the 2015/16 Capital Programme.
  • Cogan Hall Farm - It is requested that £10,000 is carried forward into the 2015/16 Capital Programme.
  • Byrd Crescent Community Centre - It is requested to carry forward £10,000 into the 2015/16 Capital Programme.
  • Italian Shelter Penarth - It is requested to carry forward £25,000 into the 2015/16 Capital Programme.
  • St. Paul’s Church - It is requested that £245,000 is carried forward into the 2015/16 Capital Programme.
  • Demolition of block at Court Road Depot - It is requested that £279,000 of this budget is carried forward into the 2015/16 Capital Programme.   
  • Civic Offices Partial Roof Replacement - It is requested that £269,000 of this budget is carried forward to the 2015/16 Capital Programme.

Reason for recommendations

 

(1&2) To allow schemes to proceed in the current or future financial years.”

 

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

 

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

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1) T H A T the following changes to the 2014/15 Capital Programme be approved:

  • Additional Education Asset Renewal Schemes - It is requested that Cabinet notes that Emergency Powers have been approved for this scheme.
  • Llanfair Primary Roof Renewal - It is requested that Cabinet notes that Delegated Authority has been exercised for this scheme and notes that the £11,000 shortfall has been funded from the Education Asset Renewal Contingency Budget.
  • Housing Improvement Programme - It is requested that Cabinet notes that Delegated Authority has been approved to vary the scheme.
  • That Cabinet approves the following changes to the 2014/15 Capital Programme.
  • A4226 Five Mile Lane Improvements Ground Investigation - It is requested that the 2014/15 Capital Programme be increased by £48,485.04, funded by a reimbursement from Welsh Government.
  • Replacement Network Switches Alps Depot - It is requested to increase this budget by £5,000 to be funded from a virement of £3,000 from the IT Storage Augmentation scheme and a virement of £2,000 from the Resources Asset Renewal budget.

(2) T H A T the following changes to the 2014/15 Capital Programme be recommended to Council:

  • Penarth Learning Community - It is requested to increase the Penarth Learning Community scheme budget by £235,000 to be funded by a contribution from the School Investment Strategy Reserve.
  • Llantwit Major Library - It is requested that £4,000 is carried forward into the 2015/16 Capital Programme.
  • Ewenny Road Bridge - It is requested that £975,000 is carried forward to the 2015/16 Capital Programme.
  • Gileston to Old Mill - It is requested that £195,000 is carried forward into the 2015/16 Capital Programme.
  • Visible Services Highway Improvements Resurfacing - It is requested that £120,000 is carried forward in to the 2015/16 Capital Programme.
  • Ashpath Footpath Improvements - It is requested to carry forward £8,000 of this budget into the 2015/16 Capital Programme.
  • Cogan Hall Farm - It is requested that £10,000 is carried forward into the 2015/16 Capital Programme.
  • Byrd Crescent Community Centre - It is requested to carry forward £10,000 into the 2015/16 Capital Programme.
  • Italian Shelter Penarth - It is requested to carry forward £25,000 into the 2015/16 Capital Programme.
  • St. Paul’s Church - It is requested that £245,000 is carried forward into the 2015/16 Capital Programme.
  • Demolition of block at Court Road Depot - It is requested that £279,000 of this budget is carried forward into the 2015/16 Capital Programme.   
  • Civic Offices Partial Roof Replacement - It is requested that £269,000 of this budget is carried forward to the 2015/16 Capital Programme.

Reasons for decisions

 

(1&2) To allow schemes to proceed in the current or future financial years.

 

C2727  REVENUE AND CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL 2014 TO 31ST JANUARY 2015 (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) on 9 March, 2015 considered the above report of the Director of Social Services.

 

The Head of Finance presented the report, the purpose of which was to update Members on the position in respect of Revenue and Capital expenditure for the period 1st April, 2014 to 31st January, 2015. 

 

The report highlighted that, in setting the Social Services budget for 2014/15, the use of £2.199 m from the Social Services budget had been approved. 

 

Revenue

 

In respect to Revenue, the current end of year forecast for the Social Services budget was an overspend of £100,000. A table and graph setting out the variance between profiled budget and actual expenditure to date was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

Within Children and Young People’s Services there was currently an anticipated outturn of £500,000 (3.5%) under the Children’s Services budget at year end.  The major issue concerning this service continued to be the pressure on the Children’s Placement budget.  However, it was currently projected that the joint budget for Residential Placements for Looked After Children could outturn with a £100,000 underspend at year end.  Work had been ongoing to ensure that children were placed in the most appropriate and cost effective placements but, due to the high costs of placements, the outturn position could fluctuate.  There were potential underspends elsewhere within Children’s Services related to team budgets of £80,000, £50,000 relating to administration staff, £50,000 on legal expenses, £60,000 due to additional adoption income and £150,000 on alternative means of provision and accommodation costs required for the current cohort of children.

 

For Adult Services, this service was currently anticipated to outturn £600,000 (1.6%) over the Adult Services budget at year end.  This was due to a projected overspend of £800,000 (3.4%) against the Community Care Packages budget.  This was as a result of increased amount of services, particularly for frail older clients.  While this overspend for this year had reduced, pressures on this budget would continue into the next financial year as the full year effect of current packages would result in a predicted increase in expenditure of around £1m.  The service would strive to manage demand, which would be supported by the reorganisation of the Care Management Team and the implementation of changes as a result of the Intermediate Care Fund (ICF) and the Regional Care Fund (RCF) schemes.  The Annual Deferred Income Budget for 2014/15 had been set at £725,000.  As at 31st January 2015, income received was £39,000 below the anticipated targets and so the year-end projection had been maintained at a £100,000 under recovery.  This position was included as part of the projected overspend on the Community Care Packages budget.  There were potential underspends elsewhere in Adult Services of around £200,000 which could be used to off-set this position.  These areas were £135,000 on staffing, £20,000 on transport, £30,000 on premises and £20,000 on supplies and services. 

 

The RCF grant had been approved for 2015/16, but the amount available was 46% less than that previously indicated by the Welsh Government.  This funding covered five schemes across the collaborative region of Cardiff and the Vale, covering a number of local government functions.  The proposal for the revised allocation of schemes had been submitted to Welsh Government for consideration.  The allocation of grant to schemes had been based on priorities and the availability of other funded sources and so the reduction had not been consistently applied across all schemes.  The original allocation for remodelling Adult Social Care was £650,000 and the proposed allocation from the reduced funding was £533,000. 

 

In relation to the ICF grant, the Head of Adult Services was asked to provide an update. He advised that an amount of £50m had been made available by the Welsh Government for both revenue and capital spends. However, this money was only available for 2014/15.  Welsh Government had recently announced that an additional £20m would be made available to the NHS, to take forward schemes which had proven to be effective across community and acute environments, linking out of hospital care and social care to strengthen the resilience of the unscheduled care system.  Presently, it was unclear how this funding would be allocated.  He was also able to advise that the Local Health Board had agreed to fund the Contact Centre for three months while these future funding arrangements were clarified.

 

Capital

 

Regarding Capital programmes, Appendix 2 to the report detailed financial progress as at 31st January, 2015, while Appendix 3 provided non-financial information on capital construction schemes.

 

Social Services Budget Programme Update

 

On 5th March, 2014, Council approved the savings targets for 2014/15 and the initial savings targets for 2015/16 and 2016/17. 

 

As part of the Medium Term Financial Plan, approved by Cabinet on 11th August, 2014, it had been agreed that the service remodelling savings included in 2015/16 and 2016/17 would be rephased and were now set as £320,000 in 2017/18 and £320,000 in 2018/19 and £330,000 in 2019/20.  By the end of 2019/20 the Directorate was required to find savings totalling £3.97m.  At present total identified savings amounted to £4.156m, with the surplus as a result of the Foster Care Recruitment Project which could be used to mitigate any additional savings to be found in future years. 

 

The following table detailed the approved savings targets and the savings identified by year.  It includes the £293,000 identified in 2012/13 in excess of the saving target for that year.

 

Year

Savings

Required

£000

Savings

Identified

£000

In Year

Surplus/

(Shortfall)

£000

Cumulative

Surplus/

(Shortfall)

£000

Previously Identified

Savings

 

293

293

293

2014/15

713

454

(259)

34

2015/16

1,125

1,201

76

110

2016/17

1,162

1,238

76

186

2017/18

320

320

0

186

2018/19

320

320

0

186

2019/20

330

330

0

186

TOTAL

3,970

4,156

 



Contained at Appendix 4 of the covering report was further detail in respect of progress for each individual savings project. 

 

Finally, the report highlighted that Cabinet had considered the Council’s Reshaping Services Change Programme on 26th January, 2015.  The report to Cabinet acknowledged that the Social Services Directorate already had two major initiatives underway.  These were the Collaborative Working Programme and the Budget Programme.  These programmes already contained projects which were progressing the opportunities identified as part of the Reshaping Services Programme and savings targets were already included in the budget programme. 

 

In referring to the changes to the ICF Grant, the Chairman queried as to what was the likely impact upon staffing within the Directorate.  In response, the Head of Adult Services explained that health had committed to provide three months funding for the Contact Centre.  The service was awaiting further clarification in respect to other projects within the ICF Grant Scheme but the Directorate had been offered reassurance from health that they were committed to looking at all schemes over the next few months.  Further to this, the Head of Business Management and Innovation advised the Committee that interim health funding had also been secured for the ICF housing services project that would target people awaiting discharge from hospital.  She went onto explain that it was important to recognise that ICF funding was made available on a regional basis and it was not always easy to determine if funding would be agreed. 

 

A Committee Member asked for clarification in relation to the progress around the Looked After Children Residential Care Placement Project.  In response, the Head of Children and Young People Services advised Members that the service had faced some challenges with a number of sibling groups becoming looked after, as well as trying to manage the front end of the service.  The residential unit within Gladstone Road was up and running and a second unit, in a more rural setting, was due to open sometime during April.  The service had decided to review its requirements before committing to the creation of a third residential unit.

 

In answer to a query regarding the Capital Receipts from the sale of Woodlands Road and the ATC Centre, the Committee was advised that unless the Council had specifically decided to earmark the funds to go back into the Social Services Budget, Capital Receipts from the sale of surplus assets would be apportioned back to the corporate centre.  The Committee noted that the only projects where it had been agreed funds would be earmarked for Social Services were the Gardenhurst and the Bryneithin sites. 

 

The Chairman asked for further clarification regarding the three Flying Start projects for which Welsh Government funding had been granted.  The Head of Children and Young People Services explained that the service was not likely to spend all the money within the agreed timescales, particularly in relation to projects within the Colcot and the Red Robin sites.  The Welsh Government had visited both sites and was aware of the delays and possible slippage.  She went on to advise Members that, the Colcot project had been affected by problems with drainage at the site and a delay in the delivery of the pre-fabricated building.  In respect of the Red Robin site, implementation of this project has been delayed due to an issue with the glass roof.  The managers had been in contact with the Account Manager within Welsh Government so that funding for these projects could continue beyond the agreed timescales.  A response to the Service’s application was awaited. 

 

A Committee Member in referring to the Care Packages budget reduction savings programme queried whether there would be any cuts to the support offered to carers.  The Head of Adult Services advised that it was not the service’s intention to cut support to carers. 

 

In summary of the progress within the Revenue and Capital Budgets, the Chairman stated that the service appeared to be on target but there was a considerable issue in respect to the ICF grant monies. 

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

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

 

(2) T H A T progress made in delivering the Social Services Budget Programme be noted and referred to Cabinet for information.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1) That Members are aware of the position with regard to the 2014/15 Revenue and Capital monitoring relevant to this Scrutiny Committee.

 

(2) That Members are aware of the progress made to date on the Social Services Budget Programme.”

 

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

 

At the meeting the Leader thanked the Members of the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) for their continued vigilance in looking at the budgets.

 

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

 

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

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the contents of the report.

 

C2728  ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY AND DEMENTIA CARE TASK AND FINISH GROUP OF THE SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH) (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) on 9 March, 2015 considered the above report of the Director of Resources.

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) set up the Task and Finish Group in order to examine the potential contribution assistive technology could provide in the development of a dementia supported community in the Vale of Glamorgan to enable people to live independently. 

 

The Group’s objective and purpose was to assess whether the greater use of assistive technology could enable people to live more independent lives for longer and also to consider the effect this could have on the quality of life for those who care for those experiencing dementia. 

 

The report attached at Appendix A contained 15 recommendations (as detailed at page 6 of that report) and 23 improvement actions had also been identified as contained within Appendix E to the actual report.

 

Members of the Group were able to consider and review a wide range of evidence and sources.  These included:

  • the organisation and structure of the Telecare Service
  • the demonstration of equipment and devices available
  • evaluation of a Telecare referral and assessment process
  • assessment of the impact of TeleV+ packages
  • changes to the Supported People Services
  • understanding the perspective of carers
  • Carmarthenshire County Council Telecare service
  • the use of ICT
  • Reminiscence therapy
  • Cardiff and Vale Local Health Board future development of Assistive Technology Strategy
  • regional / collaborative working
  • voluntary and private sector partnership business models
  • analysis of evaluation into the effectiveness of Assistive Technology
  • financial matters.

In addition, the Group were extremely fortunate in being able to meet with a husband and wife who had been directly affected by dementia.  From this, the Group was able receive invaluable knowledge and experience.  The Group also undertook a site visit to the University Hospital in Llandough in order to review the form of Reminiscence therapy carried out at the hospital. 

 

The report highlighted that during the course of the review, the Task and Finish Group was able to complete a thorough investigation into the potential for Assistive Technology in aiding the independent living for people experiencing dementia.  From this, a number of recommendations were made, aimed at improving the responsiveness of the service.  It was recognised that there was a requirement for further work before any major decisions could be taken in relation to the longer term planning of the service. 

 

The Group concluded that Assistive Technology could be of considerable help to people experiencing dementia and also to their carers.  However, national research, information from partners and data from our existing service was not sufficiently clear to suggest that Assistive Technology was likely to deliver savings.  Of these significant budgetary pressures that the Council faces, the Group had made recommendations for improvements which it was hoped were realistic and measured, and that identified the further work required to develop the service for the future. 

 

The Head of Adult Services advised the Committee that this was an area of the service that had needed to be developed.  The service was relatively small in numbers and the service was unsure of its direction.  A thorough and honest review of the service had been undertaken with no areas hidden and everything had been covered.  This included a very complex financial picture which highlighted that the research available was unclear.  The Task and Finish Review provided the service with a new level of perspective and clarity and the current Service Plan was committed to a number of the Task and Finish Group’s recommendations.  These recommendations were realistic and grounded and a positive action plan had been developed.  Finally, he offered his thanks and appreciation to Members of the Task and Finish Group. 

 

The Vice-Chairman of the Committee stated that at the beginning of this Review into Telecare she was not fully convinced of the usefulness of the technology available.  However, from speaking to and hearing the perspective of carers she fully appreciated how Assistive Technology could be a useful aid to people experiencing dementia and particularly for their carers.  She stated that a lot more work needed to be undertaken on the financial side and she offered her thanks and appreciation to all involved. 

 

A Committee Member, also a member of the Task and Finish Group, expressed his appreciation at being part of the Group and thanked all those who took part and provided evidence. 

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1) T H A T the report, recommendations and the Action Plan of the Task and Finish Group as detailed at Appendix A to the report be accepted and referred to Cabinet for approval.

 

(2) T H A T, subject to Cabinet approval, the Scrutiny Committee receive an update on the delivery of the Action Plan within 12 months.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1) To apprise Members and seek Cabinet approval.

 

(2) In order that Members of the Scrutiny Committee can monitor progress.”

 

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

 

At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Adult Services commented that he was very pleased to receive this very detailed report from the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) Task and Finish Group, and he further thanked the Task and Finish Group for all their hard work.

 

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

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1) T H A T the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) Task and Finish Group and the Assistive Technology and Dementia Care Action Plan attached at Appendix A to the report be approved.

 

(2) T H A T the Cabinet and Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) receive an update on the delivery of the Action Plan within 12 months.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1) To approve the recommendations and the Assistive Technology and Dementia Care Action Plan of the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) Task and Finish Group as detailed at Appendix A attached to the report.

 

(2) In order that Members of the Cabinet and Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) could monitor progress.

 

C2729  GENERAL PLANNING MATTERS (REF) -

 

The Planning Committee on 12 March, 2015 considered the above report of the Director of Development Services.

 

(i) The Town and Country Planning (Notification) (Unconventional Oil and Gas) (Wales) Direction 2015

 

The Committee received a report to apprise it in relation to the publication of a new direction by Welsh Government which required that any planning application for onshore gas or oil development which proposed to use unconventional methods (including hydraulic fracturing) to stimulate extraction for any stage of development (exploration, appraisal or commercial extraction) be referred to the Welsh Government, where local planning authorities are minded to approve them.  On 13th February 2015 the Welsh Minister for Natural Resources wrote to all Chief Planning Officers to notify them of the new Direction.

 

This new direction would apply to any application for planning permission registered as valid on or after 16th February 2015.  Guidance had been provided to clarify the new requirements and was attached at Appendix A to the report.

 

The Welsh Government advised that they had adopted a precautionary approach to the development of unconventional oil and gas resources in Wales.  In support of this approach this Notification Direction required that where it was proposed to approve a planning application for unconventional oil and gas development which would involve using hydraulically fracturing technology then the Local Planning Authority must first refer the planning application to Welsh Ministers to determine whether the application should be called in.  This would provide Welsh Ministers an opportunity to consider whether appropriate scrutiny had been given to environmental and public health concerns, as these may raise issues of more than local importance.  The Welsh Ministers may choose to call in the planning application or, if appropriate, issue a direction that the application may not be approved until such time as directed by the Welsh Ministers.

 

Members were minded to recall that in recent years the Council had received a number of applications for test drilling for shale gas, as follows:

 

2011/00115/FUL - Unit 1, Llandow Industrial Estate, Llandow - Drill and test the insitu lower limestone shale and associated strata. Withdrawn 12/04/11.

 

2011/00812/FUL - Unit 1, Llandow Industrial Estate, Llandow - Drill and test the insitu lower limestone and associated strata for the presence of gas.  Refused for the following reason:

 

The applicant had submitted insufficient information to satisfy the Local Planning Authority that the quantity and quality of groundwater supplies in the vicinity of the site, would be protected, in accordance with the requirements of paragraph 30 of Minerals Planning Policy Wales (2000) (MPPW) which advised that development should ‘not cause unacceptable impact, or otherwise damage or adversely affect water resources or sources of water which might be an integral part of sites of high landscape value or nature conservation importance’ and where doubt remained,

Councils should adopt the precautionary principle.  Accordingly, the development was contrary to the advice contained in the above guidance and Policies MIN 1 – Mineral Exploration and ENV 29 – Protection of Environmental Quality, of the Adopted Unitary Development Plan 1996-2011.

 

A subsequent planning appeal was allowed subject to conditions on 6th July 2012.

2013/00333/FUL - Site located in field 400m along an unnamed road between the A4266 and Duffryn (grid ref 308215 : 171623) - Drill a single vertical exploration borehole.  Approved 04/10/13.

 

2013/00334/FUL - Unit 20, Sutton Spring Road, Llandow Trading Estate - Drill a single vertical exploration borehole. Approved 04/10/13.

 

2013/00335/FUL - Land on the west side of the road leading from Llancarfan to Bonvilston (Grid ref. 305209:172962) - Drill an exploration borehole to test for gas reserves.  Approved 04/10/13.

 

The Direction clarified the arrangements and criteria for notifying the Welsh Ministers in relation to planning applications for unconventional oil and gas development, that being development involving the onshore exploration, appraisal or production of coal bed methane or shale oil or gas using unconventional extraction techniques, including fracturing (but does not include the making of exploratory boreholes which do not involve the carrying out of such unconventional extraction techniques).  Therefore, the applications considered to date in the Vale of Glamorgan area would not be covered by the Direction. National Planning Policy governing the consideration of these applications remained unchanged at this time.

 

RESOLVED –

 

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

 

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

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)  To inform Planning Committee of the new direction and the implications for the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

 

(2) To inform Cabinet of the new direction and the implications for the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

 

(Councillor Dr. I.J. Johnson spoke on this item with the permission of the Planning Committee.)”

 

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

 

Cabinet, having considered the recommendations of the Planning Committee

 

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

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the contents of the report.

 

C2730  SERVICE PLAN 2015/19: HOUSING AND BUILDING SERVICES (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) on 11 March, 2015 considered the above report.

 

Committee considered the Housing and Building Services Service Plan 2015/19.

 

Service Plans were the primary planning document of the Council and a key building block in its performance management framework.  Consequently, the planning arrangements were reviewed annually to ensure that the Council’s plans continued to meet its statutory requirements and to continuously improve its approach to performance planning and monitoring.

 

The Service Plan template reflected the new Senior Management Re-structure with fewer (six) Plans being produced.  Below this level, the Council’s Performance Management Framework required officers to develop Team Plans. 

 

The Service Plan structure addressed a number of key questions so services could produce more outcome focussed plans, an area for improvement in most Welsh Councils. 

 

All Service Plans had been signed off by the relevant Director and Cabinet Member(s).  The Council was currently consulting widely on proposed Improvement Objectives for 2015/16 and these would be reflected within the relevant Service Plans once approved by Council in May 2015.

 

Appendix A to the report contained the Housing and Building Services Service Plan 2015/19.  Key areas of note within the Service Plan were:

  • Our Service Plan 2015/19.  This section set the context for the Directorate’s Service Plan and identified its key challenges over the coming years.
  • Our Service Self-Assessment.  This section highlighted how the service was performing and what had been achieved during the previous year.  It informed areas for improvement in the coming years.  Much emphasis continued to be placed on strengthening the Council’s use of benchmarking comparative data as well as highlighting good practice where relevant.  In terms of what had been achieved, encouragement continued to be given to achieve a more consistent approach in identifying the outcome/impact for the customer/citizens.
  • Our Service Outcomes and Objectives.  This section confirmed the Directorate’s service outcomes and objectives (including its contribution to corporate priorities), having considered its key service challenges and the self-assessment.
  • Appendix 1 contained the Directorate’s Service Improvement Action Plan for 2015/16 aligned to each service objective.
  • Appendix 2 which contained the service’s performance measures was incomplete currently as end of year data for 2014/15 was not yet available at the time of reporting to Committee.
  • Appendix 3 detailed the Directorate’s work force requirements. 
  • Appendix 4 provided a breakdown of the savings required for the Directorate over the next three years. 

Members expressed the view that the content and direction of the Service Plan was good, although concerns were expressed regarding the structure of the Service Plan itself. 

 

The view was given that the Corporate format of Service Plans was unwieldy and complicated. While retaining consistency in plan format, the Committee suggested that a review be undertaken to simplify and streamline the style and layout of future Service Plans, in the spirit of reshaping services and lean management. 

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1) T H A T the Housing and Building Services Service Plan 2015/19 be endorsed.

 

(2) T H A T Cabinet  be recommended to consider reviewing the style and layout of future Service Plans with a view to making the document more streamlined and user-friendly.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

(1) To confirm the Service Plan as the primary document against which performance for Housing and Building Services will be measured and to meet self-assessment requirements under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.

 

(2) To make the Corporate layout of future Service Plans more ‘user-friendly’.”

 

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

 

Cabinet, having considered the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection)

 

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

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the contents of the report.

 

C2731  COUNCIL TAX HELP FOR THE OVER 60’S AND 70’S (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Approval was sought to agree a scheme for the Vale of Glamorgan in 2015/16 to provide support to Council Tax payers aged over 60 who were in receipt of an award under the Council Tax Reduction Scheme and those who were over the age of 70 and were not in receipt of an award under the Council Tax Reduction Scheme.

 

The Corporate Plan, approved by Council on 6th March 2013, included an action point (CL13) to introduce a Council Tax discount scheme for those over 70 who did not already receive Council Tax benefit or support (now known as Council Tax reduction). This was approved by Council as part of the 2014/15 Final Revenue Budget Proposals in the sum of £380,000 (minute no: C2212 refers).

 

An exercise had been carried out to extract data from the Council’s Electoral Registration and Benefits systems. It was estimated that 10,100 households may be eligible to benefit from the scheme. However, the final number of eligible households would depend on the number of applications received and their net liability which may be less than £40.  On the basis of this data, it had been established that a fixed monetary amount of £40 was affordable within the budget available. This would also allow an amount for administration costs, including printing, postage, staffing and processing costs.

 

Eligibility for the scheme was outlined as follows: -

  • Eligible persons must be liable to pay Council Tax in respect of a chargeable dwelling that was their sole or main residence on 1 April, 2015;
  • Eligible persons must be aged 70 years or over on the 1 April, 2015;
  • Eligible persons must not be in receipt of Council Tax Reduction on the 1 April, 2015; OR
  • Eligible persons must be liable to pay Council Tax in respect of a chargeable dwelling which was their sole or main residence on 1 April, 2015;
  • Eligible persons must be aged 60 years or over on the 1 April, 2015;
  • Eligible persons must be in receipt of Council Tax Reduction on the 1 April, 2015;

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1) T H A T continuation of the scheme in 2015/16 to remit Council Tax in the sum of £40 per household due to eligible Council Tax payers aged over 70 who were not in receipt of an award under the Council Tax Reduction Scheme be approved.

 

(2) T H A T continuation of the scheme in 2015/16 to remit Council Tax in the sum of £40 per household due to eligible Council Tax payers aged over 60 who were in receipt of an award under the Council Tax Reduction Scheme be approved.

 

(3) T H A T the qualifying criteria set out in paragraphs 8, 9 and 10 of the report for entitlement to Council Tax remittal in 2015/16 be approved.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1&2) To assist those aged over 60 and 70 with payment of their Council Tax.

 

(3) To set eligibility criteria.

 

C2732  EXTERNAL FUNDING: BARRY LEGACY PROJECT, INSPIRING THE VALE BURSARIES, SECURING SUFFICIENT PLAY OPPORTUNITIES (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Cabinet was informed of three externally funded projects that were being progressed, and approval was sought for the work being undertaken and acceptance of the grants and conditions.

 

The Barry Legacy Project was a two year enterprise that followed the Welsh Government funded Barry Regeneration Programme which ran from 2010-2014.

An application for £467,000 was submitted to Welsh Government to support a number of schemes under the project. On the 13 March, 2015 a letter from Welsh Government was received approving £94,000 of funding for delivery of the Barry Parks Enhancement Programme aspect of the project. The funding would be utilised to support the works being undertaken in Alexandra Gardens, Knap Gardens and Victoria Gardens.

 

The Inspiring the Vale Bursaries project was set up to provide bursaries for individuals and groups of young people aged 30 or under intending to start a new business or community enterprise in the Vale of Glamorgan. The project was funded for one year from 1 August, 2014. Six months into the programme a total of 14 successful applicants had been supported, with a further 11 applicants currently applying for grants.

 

Due to a budget underspend, Welsh Government allocated a sum of funding to all local authorities across Wales to assist with securing sufficient play opportunities, as directed by the Play Sufficiency Duty, 11 projects in the Vale of Glamorgan as outlined in the report were identified as deliverable within the short timeframe of the funding stream.

 

At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Regeneration commented that the Vale Bursaries Programme had been very successful in helping those under the age of 30 to start a new business and that a number of new businesses right across the Vale of Glamorgan had benefited from the scheme ranging from decorators to designers.

Finally, she commented that it was very pleasing that these new start ups had also received support in kind from local businesses on matters such as Accounting and Legal Advice.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1) T H A T the use of the Managing Director's emergency powers to approve the use of additional funding received from the Welsh Government Tackling Poverty programme to support the Barry Legacy Project be noted. 

 

(2) T H A T the continuation of the Inspiring the Vale Bursaries programme be approved.

 

(3) T H A T the use of the Managing Director's emergency powers to approve acceptance of the Securing Sufficient Play Opportunities funding and the proposed use of the grant be noted. 

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1) Due to the urgency involved in bidding for, accepting and using the funding before the end of the financial year, the use of emergency powers was required to allow additional funding from the Welsh Government Tackling Poverty programme to be used to fund part of the Barry Legacy Project.

 

(2) To enable the work of the Inspiring the Vale Bursaries programme to continue.

 

(3) Due to the urgency involved in accepting and using the allocation before the end of the financial year, the use of emergency powers was required to allow additional funding from the Welsh Government to be used to assist with securing sufficient play opportunities, as directed by the Play Sufficiency Duty.

 

C2733  SERVICE PLANNING 2015/2019 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEES - ALL) -

 

Approval was sought for the 2015-19 Service Plans. All the 2015/19 Services Plans were made available to view on the Council's website and copies were placed in the Members room.

 

Service Plans were the primary planning document of the Council and a key building block in its Performance Management Framework.  The Plans were reviewed annually to ensure that the Council continued to meet its statutory requirements and to continuously improve its approach to performance planning and monitoring. 

 

Service Plans for 2015/19 identified how each Directorate would contribute towards achievement of Corporate Plan, Improvement Plan and Outcome Agreement outcomes and incorporate key measures and milestones to demonstrate progress.

 

The Council was currently consulting widely on proposed Improvement Objectives for 2015/16 and these would be reflected within relevant Service Plans once approved by Council in May 2015. All Directors had ensured that their Service Plan had been signed off during February and March by the relevant Cabinet Member.

 

In Addition all Service Plans had been discussed at the relevant Scrutiny Committees and were now being presented to Cabinet for final approval.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the Council’s Service Plans for 2015-19 be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To confirm the Service Plans as the primary document against which performance for the relevant area will be measured and to meet self-assessment requirements under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.

 

C2734  DEPRIVATION OF LIBERTY SAFEGUARDS (AS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH) - 

 

Cabinet was updated on the emerging implications for the Council of the Supreme Court judgement on the Cheshire West and Surrey cases in March 2014, which related to the use of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards 2009, and the impact upon the Social Services Directorate's capacity to meet statutory obligations under the Safeguards.

 

The Cardiff and the Vale Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards/Mental Capacity Act (DoLS/MCA) Team continued to fulfil the Supervisory Body responsibilities required for DoLS on behalf of Cardiff and Vale UHB, City of Cardiff Council and the Vale of Glamorgan Council.  This was overseen by a partnership management board consisting of senior representatives from each Supervisory Body. On behalf of the three Supervisory Bodies, the team:

  • Coordinated DoLS assessments as requested by Managing Authorities
  • Supervised and managed the workload of over 40 Best Interest Assessors;
  • Advised and supported health and social care teams across the sector in relation to MCA/DoLS issues;
  • Provided training for care homes and all in-patient sites across the hospitals of Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.

Since the Supreme Court ruling, the team had seen a 10 to 15 fold increase in the number of referrals, particularly from Care Homes. 

 

Table A below showed the number of DoLS referrals per Supervisory Body:

 

REFERRALS

(Table A)

2013/14

2014/15 (April

2014 to end Jan 2015)

% of the Team's Activity

Cardiff Council

(Care Homes

arranged by

CCC)

32 640 48%

Vale Council

(Care Homes

arranged by

VOG)

6 401 30%

C&V UHB

(Hospital Wards)

55 285 22%
Total 93 1326 100%


Table B below showed the number of completed DoLS assessments per Supervisory Body.

 

ASSESSMENTS

(Table B

Completed

Assessments

% Activity

Outstanding

Assessments

Cardiff Council 183 32% 457
Vale Council 119 21% 282

Cardiff and Vale

UHB

267 47% 18


Table B outlined the number of completed assessments and the number of DoLS Authorisation Requests that were outstanding.  Because the more unpredictable nature of hospital settings lead to a higher proportion of Urgent Authorisations, hospital-generated DoLS referrals were prioritised.

 

Where a Managing Authority (Care Home for the Local Authority or Hospital Ward for the LHB) made an Urgent Authorisation following a sudden and unforeseen event, they were in effect authorising themselves to deprive a person of their liberty for up to 7 days.  The Managing Authority must request a Standard Authorisation from the Cardiff and Vale MCA/DoLS Team at the same time as issuing their own urgent Authorisation.  The team then had 7 days to undertake a full DoLS assessment to consider an ongoing Standard Authorisation.

 

Standard Authorisation requests were made where a Managing Authority had reason to believe that they were depriving a person of their liberty or would deprive a person of their liberty within the next 28 days.  The Supervisory Body then had 21 days to undertake a comprehensive DoLS Assessment to consider authorising the Deprivation of Liberty.

 

Supervisory Bodies were at risk of legal challenge for not complying with the statutory timescales within the DoLS process.  Essex County Council was recently ordered to pay damages of £60,000 following a breach of statutory timescales.

 

Team Capacity and Outstanding Assessments

 

Table B showed that the Vale of Glamorgan Council was currently operating with 282 outstanding Standard Authorisation requests.  This was an unacceptable position. A breakdown of team demand and capacity was provided below:

 

• Number of requests for DoLS Authorisations per month was between 150 and 200 per month.

- Each DoLS assessment took between half and a full day to complete.

- Each DoLS assessment must then be authorised by a senior manager within the Supervisory Body (half-an-hour per authorisation).

• Team Best Interests Assessors (BIAs) were currently undertaking approximately 60 to 70 DoLS assessments per month.

• Rota BIAs were undertaking approximately 20 assessments per month.

• A shortfall of between 50 and 100 DoLS assessments per month was leading to an increasing backlog of outstanding referrals.

 

The team would require an additional two full time Best Interest Assessors to reduce the backlog of care home DoLS and to ensure compliance for all new DoLS Requests.  This would cost the Cardiff and Vale Local Authorities in the region of £60,000 and £40,000 respectively.

 

People Living in Domestic Settings

 

Supported living arrangements provided care and support that may necessitate continuous supervision and control and require the person to live in a particular property where the support could be provided.  This would constitute a deprivation of liberty.  The table below set out the number of such places in each local authority area.

 

Area

(Table C)

Total

Supported

Living

places

Total number of

people potentially

deprived of their

liberty

Cardiff

345

202

Vale

150

75



It was noted that people living in supported accommodation stood outside the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, so care managers/care coordinators for all identified individuals should consider an application to the Court of Protection for authorisation of the care regime. On the basis of legal advice, the Vale had identified 2 cases and Cardiff 4 cases where individual care arrangements needed to be taken to the Court of Protection for consideration.

 

The Court of Protection was experiencing significant challenges in hearing the increased volume of cases and it has recently revised application arrangements to speed up the process.

 

At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Adult Services commented that this was a very important report that highlighted the increasing amount of Deprivation of Liberty Assessments that were being undertaken.

 

At the meeting the Director of Social Services commented that the report highlighted the need to balance competing priorities in terms of enhanced safeguards for vulnerable people and the considerable increase in the costs to the Council.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1) T H A T the emerging implications of the Cheshire West judgement in respect of arrangements for safeguarding vulnerable adults who are unable to consent to their health and social care arrangements and the increased risk to the Council of legal challenge where statutory timescales are not met be noted.

 

(2) T H A T the report be referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) for information.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1) To note the impact of the Supreme Court Ruling which extended the scope of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards whereby the local authority had a duty to ensure that all care arrangements for people lacking mental capacity did not deprive a person of their liberty without an independent legal process to authorise the care regime.

 

(2) To ensure that members of the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) could continue to exercise oversight of the service and the risks to the Council.

 

C2735  JENNER PARK STADIUM – OUTCOME OF 3G PITCH FEASIBILITY STUDY (VLS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) - 

 

Cabinet was provided with details of the feasibility study relating to the possible installation of a 3rd Generation (3G) synthetic sports pitch at Jenner Park Stadium, Barry and of ongoing work aimed at informing a future decision on the playing surface and the operation and management of the stadium and associated buildings.

 

At its meeting of 16 June, 2014, Cabinet received a report seeking authority to undertake a feasibility study into the possible installation of a 3G synthetic playing surface at Jenner Park Stadium, Barry.

 

The feasibility study had now been concluded.  A copy of the feasibility study scope was outlined in Appendix 1 and a full copy of the feasibility report was outlined in Appendix 2.  The Feasibility report (Appendix 2) featured internal appendices A, B, E, F, G within the body of the main report pages 1 - 19.  Appendices C and D to the Feasibility report were located at the rear of the papers as these were separate technical reports.  (Copies of the Appendices were made available in the Members Room and were available to view on Vale of Glamorgan Council website).

 

Just Solutions Leisure Consultants were appointed to undertake the 3G pitch feasibility study.  In reviewing the Council's current management arrangements for its leisure facilities, the consultants advised, 'Jenner Park was not only the most expensive leisure facility per use for the public purse, but it was also viewed as a potential yet untapped source of income generation'.

 

Page 10 of the executive summary, the feasibility report (at Appendix 2) identified 3 possible 'principal options' for Jenner Park that required further consideration. One of these options was not within the scope provided to the consultants and suggested that consideration be given to locating a 3G surface at the Colcot Sports Centre. This did not in any way address the main requirement of the feasibility study brief for Jenner Park. Whilst this could be a consideration for the future, should sufficient grant or private funding become available, it was not considered in the scope of the report.  On page 11 of the executive summary, the report suggested the following next steps:

(i)  "Discussions with Parkwood Leisure required Colcot and formal consideration of Jenner Park options - business case for club house and 3G alongside other development opportunities on site to maximise income and impact.

(ii)  Discussions with clubs to test the appetite to establish a Community Interest (CIC) Stadium Company

(iii) Calculate the prudential borrowing capacity required following the establishment of a CIC and the reduction in Jenner Park running costs.

(iv) Consider relocation of athletics and wider range of site redevelopment options to maximise overall impact and all round gains." 

Since the feasibility report had been produced, officers had received draft operating proposals for a 3G pitch from two sources which showed potential for financial benefit. Whilst neither proposal could be taken forward in this form at this stage due to procurement rules, they did provide an early indication of a market for 3G and an operator at Jenner Park.

 

Regarding the steps set out in the Executive report, it was proposed that point (i) be considered first, with others investigated, (if necessary), after this step had been concluded.

 

This was primarily due to the fact that operations at Jenner Park could be considered a legitimate extension to the current Leisure Management Contract with Parkwood and if so could allow management operations and the terms of a 3G facility at Jenner Park to be negotiated, with no requirement to progress what could prove to be a costly procurement process, just to establish if a 3G facility was the most appropriate option. 

 

In addition to the continuing discussions with Parkwood officers of the council were undertaking the following additional work in order to inform the forthcoming report:

(a)  A drainage survey - To ensure that any 3G surface would appropriately drain and to obtain the full costs of any new drainage infrastructure.

(b) A lighting survey - The provision of a 3G surface would require a change to LED lighting to reduce operating costs. The details and cost of this work are required.

(c)  A review of any possible grant funding - Grant funding was available for the provision of 3G facilities and officers have met with representatives of the Football Association of Wales to examine if such funding could be available for Jenner Park.

(d)  An estimate of construction costs - An estimate for the full construction costs of both a 3G surface on the full size pitch and up to 3 No. 5 A Side pitches was required.

An estimate of the cost of works required to the changing rooms and club house - It would be necessary to create additional changing rooms in the area of the current skittle alley and to upgrade the shower systems. It would also be necessary to undertake certain other building maintenance works to enable the clubhouse and associated buildings to be put back into useful service.

 

An estimate of income projections for a 3G surface - This would assume the worst case scenario; that the facility of 1 full size 3G pitch and 3 no. 5 A Side pitches would be operated by the Vale directly in the short to medium term. This work was close to completion. 

   

The above work was ongoing with completion expected by the end of April 2015. This and the potential effects of any options on current and future users of the stadium would be considered within the future Cabinet report.

 

As previously advised any increased use of the Stadium would place a greater demand on car parking and this would be considered in a further report later in 2015/16 which would review the current operations at Court Road Depot, to establish if additional off road car parking can be created, perhaps supplemented by other  complementary uses for part of the currently unused Depot area.

 

The needs of Athletics at the site was also being considered as part of the additional research being undertaken but it could be confirmed that the 400 m track would remain in any redevelopment.  It was also expected that all the existing athletic field sports could be maintained at Jenner, albeit some would not meet competition standards.

 

At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services tabled and read out the following statement received from Barry Town United Amateur Football Club relating to the report on the possible 3G pitch development at Jenner Park.

 

“As a club, we find ourselves disappointed to see that references to Barry Town United AFC (BTU hereafter) contain in part some inaccuracies and we feel, are not a true reflection of our full discussions with the Consultants.

 

In attempting to address these issues, please find information below:

 

Para 2 (of the Consultant Report) – ‘BTU are referred to as a successful football club ‘albeit new’

 

Response (from Barry Town United): On the 8th August 2013 a high court judge declared that BTUAFC were a continuation of the now defunct Barry Town AFC hence the reason that our club, were demoted 2 divisions to compete in Welsh Football League Division 3, rather than starting at the bottom of the entire Welsh Football Pyramid.

 

Para 2 (of the Consultant Report) – states that it is an aspiration of BTU to ‘develop training facilities at Jenner Park or a 3g pitch surface’ 

 

Response (from Barry Town United): Whilst we have been synonymous with Jenner Park for the past 101 years, it is worth noting that we are merely tenants and, as such, have no control over any future developments.  It is important to stress though, that we are fully behind the Council’s vision to reinvigorate and modernise Jenner Park stadium.

 

Para 3 (of the Consultant Report) – states that we are looking to ‘professionalise performance standards by appointing an academy director and paying bonuses to players’

 

Response (from Barry Town United): As part of our club plan, we are looking to develop full academy status and the appointment of an academy director is essential in this regard. In specific relation to latter part of the point made above, the phrasing of ‘bonuses’ is inaccurate and should read ‘expenses’.

 

Para 6 (of the Consultant Report) - States that ‘floodlight costs are £80 per game’.

 

Response (from Barry Town United): This is inaccurate; our floodlighting costs are actually £134.50 per game. It should be noted that this is in addition to the costs incurred for officials and the £288.50 per game paid to hire the stadium.

 

Para 7 (of the Consultant Report) – States that we currently have ‘45 registered players’ within our development centre programme,

 

Response (from Barry Town United): This is currently inaccurate as at the time of writing this number sits at 21 players.

 

Para 14 (of the Consultant Report) – States that our u19 youth team, train on ‘Tuesdays and Thursdays evenings at a local indoor school type facility’

 

Response (from Barry Town United): At the time writing this is inaccurate; our u19 team currently train at Cowbridge Comprehensive School on Wednesday evenings for 1 hour”.

 

The Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services further apologised to Barry Town United Football Club for the inaccuracies contained within the Consultants report.

 

The Leader gave his thanks to the Barry Town United Football Club for raising these inaccuracies and commented that the statements made had been made by the Consultants and not the Council, he further commented that this was an interim report concerning Jenner Park only and it was unfortunate that the Consultants had gone outside of their brief in their reporting.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1) T H A T the contents of the feasibility study and the further work being undertaken to inform decisions on the future playing surface and property management arrangements at Jenner Park be noted.

 

(2) T H A T a further report be provided to Cabinet prior to the end of May 2015 recommending the most appropriate options for the future of the Jenner Park Stadium.

 

(3) T H A T a further report be provided to Cabinet detailing options for Court Road Depot that could complement any proposed future uses for Jenner Park Stadium. 

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1) To note the contents of the 3G pitch feasibility study report.

 

(2) To enable Cabinet to take a decision on the future of Jenner Park with the benefit of all relevant information.

 

(3) To review whether there was scope to use a parcel of available land at Court Road Depot for car parking and other complementary uses to Jenner Park and the local area.    

 

C2736  WELSH GOVERNMENTS TOWN CENTRE REPAYABLE FUNDING SCHEME FOR THE YEAR 2015/16 (R) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -  

 

Cabinet was advised that the Council had been notified that it was eligible to submit an application for funding from the Welsh Government's Town Centre Repayable Funding Scheme for the year 2015/16.

 

The Council was notified on 18 February, 2015 (copy of the Welsh Government's letter and general guidance was attached at Appendix 1 to the report) that it was eligible to submit an application for funding from the Welsh Government's Town Centre Repayable Funding Scheme for the year 2015/16.  The deadline for submitting the application form and any supporting documentation was 5pm, Friday 1 May, 2015.

 

The total amount available for this scheme was £5 million, to be released to participating local authorities in 2015/16 for spend within the year.  There was no carry forward to future years.  The proposal for the scheme was that the funding was to be split equally between the seven local authorities within the Welsh Government's Vibrant and Viable Places, Tackling Poverty Fund programme.  This would provide the local authorities with circa £700k each, subject to a successful application.

 

The Welsh Government's general guidance stated that the scheme would provide repayable funding to support town centre regeneration.  The loan may be used:

  • Directly by local authorities to acquire and unlock sites and premises with the intention of packaging and selling a proposal on the open market within an agreed timeframe;
  • Directly by local authorities to redevelop or refurbish sites and premises within an agreed timeframe; and 
  • By local authorities to provide loans to third parties for repayment within an agreed timeframe.

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

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

 

(2) T H A T the priority actions being proposed in paragraph 10 of the report be approved as the basis for submitting an application for funding from the Welsh Government's Town Centre Repayable Funding Scheme for the year 2015/16.

 

(3) T H A T the Director of Development Services in consultation with the Managing Director and the Cabinet Member for Regeneration be authorised to use delegated powers to finalise details of the application in time for submission to comply with the Welsh Government's deadline of Friday 1 May, 2015.

 

(4) T H A T subject to Welsh Government approval of the Council's application, the Director of Development Services adopts a suitable approach to delivering and administering the scheme.

 

(5) T H A T subject to Welsh Government approval of the Council's application, the Director of Development Services in consultation with the Managing Director and the Cabinet Member for Regeneration be authorised to use delegated powers to approve loans to third parties for repayment within an agreed timeframe as part of the scheme.

 

(6) T H A T subject to Welsh Government approval of the Council's application, the Head of Legal Services in conjunction with the Managing Director be authorised to prepare, complete and execute the required legal documentation to enable loans to be provided to third parties for repayment within an agreed timeframe.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1) To note that the Council had been notified that it was eligible to submit an application for funding from the Welsh Government's Town Centre Repayable Funding Scheme for the year 2015/16 (copy of the Welsh Government's letter and general guidance was attached at Appendix 1 to the report).

 

(2) To endorse the scope of the scheme being developed.

 

(3) To allow an application to be submitted within the timescale required.

 

(4) To enable the Repayable Funding Scheme to be managed effectively (subject to Welsh Government approval of the Council's application).

 

(5) To enable loan applications from third parties to be processed and determined effectively (subject to Welsh Government approval of the Council's application).

 

(6) To  enable loan applications from third parties to be processed and determined effectively (subject to Welsh Government approval of the Council's application).