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CABINET

Minutes of a meeting held on 1 June, 2015.

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

Apologies: Councillor N. Moore.
   
Also Present: Councillor K. Mahoney.
   
C2778        MINUTES –

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 11 May, 2015 be approved as a correct record.

C2779     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

No declarations were received.

C2780        CORPORATE PARENTING PANEL -   

The Minutes of the Corporate Parenting Panel meeting were submitted.

Present: Councillor C Elmore (Chairman), Councillor S. Egan, Councillor E Williams, Councillor R.Traherne. Councillor R. Bertin, Rachael Evans (Head of Children & Young People Services), Martine Coles (LAC Education Coordinator) Ann Williams (Principal Officer - Children and Young People Services) Mark Petherick (Cabinet Officer).

 



Actions
(1) Apologies for absence
1.1  Councillor J Birch. Councillor V Hartrey, P.Evans (Director of Social and Care Services),
(2) Minutes and Matters Arising 15 September 2014

2.1 The minutes of 15 September 2014 meeting were agreed as a correct record. All Agreed
(3) Report to the Director of Social Services under The Review of Children’s Cases (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2004-  Ann Williams, Principal Officer   
3.1 AW presented her report titled The Review of Children’s Cases (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2004 to the panel

The report outlined the authority’s arrangements for audit, quality assurance and performance management of the LAC system by providing quantitative and qualitative information gained from management information and performance indicators gained from the activity of the IROs.

The full report was attached at Appendix A to the minutes.

(4) CSSIW  Inspection: Safeguarding and Care Planning of LAC and Care Leavers who exhibit Vulnerable or Risky Behaviour – Draft Action Plan – Rachel Evans, Head of Service
4.1 RE provided panel members with information on the Safeguarding and Care Planning of LAC and Care Leavers who exhibit Vulnerable or Risky Behaviour – Draft Action Plan

The action Plan covered the following 5 main question areas;

Question 1 – Did the authority effectively discharge its corporate parenting roles and responsibilities promoting the stability, welfare and safety of looked after children and care leavers?

 

Question 2 – Were care and pathway plans informed by relevant assessments, including explicit risk assessments, which support a comprehensive response to the needs and experiences of children and young people?

 

Question 3 – Were operational systems and procedures in place that ensured responsive coordinated action was taken to mitigate risk and achieve safe continuity of care?

 

Question 4 – Did Independent Reviews and quality assurance arrangements promote safe care and best outcomes for young people?

 

Question 5 – Did care and pathway planning effectively capture and promote the rights and voice of the child?
RE introduced each section of the action plan in detail. The full action plan was attached at appendix B to the minutes.

RE confirmed that she would undertake research from other Councils in this area and report back to the next meeting of the panel.
RE to report back to the next meeting of the panel
(5) Vale, Valleys and Cardiff Regional Adoption Collaborative Rachel Evans, Head of Service.
5.1 RE presented to members about the Vale, Valleys and Cardiff Regional Adoption Collaborative and how to deliver a better adoption services.

Regional Collaborative was to be established on an agreed basis in terms of cost, funding, income, savings, service level, structure and timing (of) and implementation of the Regional Collaborative to enable the creation of the shared service with appropriate governance mechanisms.

RE explained that a report was taken to Cabinet on the 28th of November, the details of which could be accessed via the following link;

http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/our_council/council/minutes,_agendas_and_reports/reports/cabinet/2014/14-11-28/Establishing-the-Vale,-Valleys-and-Cardiff-Regional-Adoption-Collaborative.aspx

(6) Any Other Business 

6.1 No other business was reported.
(7) Next Meeting Dates 2014

7.1
CE will speak with Mike Glavin (Head of School and Improvement Service) to co ordinate a series of meeting dates of the panel for next year. All Agreed

 

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RESOLVED - T H A T the minutes of the Corporate Parenting Panel Meeting be noted.

Reason for decision

To note the contents of the minutes.

C2781        TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT TASK AND FINISH GROUP OF THE SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – UPDATE ON ACTIONS UNDERTAKEN (REF) -       

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) on 14 April, 2015 considered the above joint report of the Director of Development Services and Director of Housing and Visible Services.

The Committee was provided with an update on the progress on the actions contained within the Traffic Management Task and Finish Group report which had been considered by the Committee on 29th April 2014 and agreed by Cabinet on 12th May 2014.  The Scrutiny Committee had at that time recommended that an update on the delivery of the Implementation Plan be presented within 12 months. 

In referring to progress to date and commencing with ref IP-1(Implementation Plan 1) being that consideration be given as to whether or not the criteria for some of the money received from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) could be dedicated for highway improvements.  The Director of Development Services advised that progress on adopting the CIL was pending the adoption of the Local Development Plan (LDP)  which was expected late 2016, and that although the CIL could potentially generate more income, the definitions for negotiation would be stricter than those under the current section 106 process. It would also be essential that the Council had an infrastructure plan in place at the time.

With regard to IP - 3 the Principal Transport and Safety Officer advised that the feasibility study had been completed although no funding stream had as yet, been identified.  Members requested, that the detail from the study for this aspect be emailed for their information.

In referring to the Active Travel Plan, Members were informed that further information was awaited and that it was a work in progress.

For IP- 5 integrated Traffic Management and sustainable travel, it was noted that a draft Local Transport Plan (LTP) had been submitted to Welsh Government in January 2015 for which officers were awaiting a response.  However, as an update the officer advised that the Cardiff City region response which had been late, had been very supportive. 

IP-6 – Impact Study.  As a result of the Metro Network Study the works at the Culverhouse Cross (HTV site) had been recommended but were subject to the HTV site being developed.

IP-7 – It was noted that all new development would take into account infrastructure identified within the draft LTP and emerging LDP. 

IP-9 – Devise a programme of engagement - A procedure was in place to notify elected Members by e-mail prior to any works commencing which the action plan advised would be reported to Committee in June 2015. 

IP- 10  Devise a programme of engagement with businesses, organisations to encourage alternative travel planning and promote sustainable transport links. This was partly complete, it being noted that new developers were engaged through the planning process and existing businesses engaged through road safety talks. 

IP-11 – Equipment Purchase – the action referred to the acquisition, lease or otherwise of Mobile Vehicle Message Signs. However, unfortunately although there was potential for S106 funding, this was an outstanding action due to budget constraints.  During the discussion it was suggested that IP11 should be given a higher priority in view of the recent traffic congestion issues on Barry Island over the Easter weekend, which was to be addressed later in the meeting.

IP-14 – Road Improvement Actions – although it was noted that the feasibility study was complete, the officer advised that the best option to fund the project would be through the Metro development.  Following a query as to whether there would be a stipulation for a bus lane from the Merrie Harrier to Barons Court, Members stated that in their view this would be a retrograde step.  The officer’s response was that it was an action that was being considered and one that would be modelled first to assess its effectiveness before any works would be signed off.  The Chairman referred to the excellent resurfacing work that had been undertaken on Cardiff Road / Biglis Road but queried what further work was likely to be undertaken with regard to congestion.  In referring to the feasibility study that had been undertaken the Chairman requested that Members be apprised of the detail for the IP via email.

IP-15 – Priority 9 – Merrie Harrier – a Member considered that the Council needed to take a firm line with regard to any future planning permission at Llandough Hospital with the Member suggesting that the use of the bus lane be reconsidered with the possibility of allowing other vehicles access via staggered times throughout the day. 

Due to the unsafe right turn at the junction it was also suggested that further work be undertaken in relation to this area.  The Cabinet Member, with permission to speak, advised that work was currently ongoing with regard to a 20mph zone pilot project which could include consideration of the right turn at the junction.  Members were also informed of a new bus service that had been created from Bridgend to Cardiff through the rural Vale taking in Llandough and Cardiff Bay by the company New Adventure Travel.  During the discussion a  number of Members referred to the demographic changes in and around Llandough, recognising the need for major work to be undertaken on the infrastructure and requested that a plan be drawn up for consideration. 

IP – 16 – Access to Barry Island via Broad Street and the Causeway.  In referring to the excellent attraction of Barry Island, the Chairman requested information in relation to the Easter weekend and the criticism that had been levied in the press regarding the traffic congestion.  In response the Director of Visible Services and Housing stated that the Police had advised that they were unable to arrange PCSO coverage as the PCSO’s that had been asked had not wanted to work over the Easter weekend.  However, the department had been advised that a Police Officer would be present to undertake traffic duties and apparently a Police Officer had attended on the day, but having undertaken their own risk assessment of the situation refused to remain on their own however,  they did not inform anyone of that decision.   As a result officers subsequently spoke to the Police about the issue and by Bank holiday Monday Police officer support was provided.  However, in view of the issues for the following weekend the Director had agreed for the department to engage a company who thus provided six staff to manage the traffic on the Island. 

At the meeting, in also referring to traffic management issues at Ship Hill (IP17), Members were presented with a copy of a map which outlined proposals that were to be put in place on a permanent basis after the May Bank holiday.  Prior to that time, the department had agreed to pay for traffic marshals to control traffic along the route.  Appropriate signage for the top of St. Nicholas Road was also required as well as for Barry Island.

Whilst referring to the new road development across the causeway, the Director of Development Services stated that the intention had been for the Consortium to build in three phases.  The first phase beyond the new ASDA car park, the second phase the exit and entrance of the car park and phase 3 to link between the car park and Cosy Corner.  The Council had thus entered into the agreement to deliver the phases in one phase.  Phase 1 was completed in time for ASDA to open on Monday 13th April with Phases 2 and 3 remaining to be completed by Summer 2015.  The Director was currently in discussions with the developers regarding options to try to bring forward the development, however it was noted that a considerable amount of on-street work would be required in particular, works at Cosy Corner appeared to be extensive with British Telecom needing to undertake advance work before the highway could be completed.  Members were informed that any future information would be presented to Committee, with Members being advised accordingly on progress. 

In referring to the Trinity Street trial that had commenced on 1st April 2015 (IP18), the Chairman acknowledged the work of the Councillor Stuart Egan and the late Margaret Alexander (Ward Members of the area).  Feedback on the trial would be presented to the Committee in due course.

Regarding IP-19 the Chairman noted the improvements that had been made with  the installations of the “Keep Clear” boxes on a number of streets and urged the Department to consider such initiatives in other areas in and around the Vale where necessary as these appeared to be working well.  The action was however, noted as partly completed as the feasibility works at Laura Street with access onto Cardiff Road were to be programmed for 2015/16.  The “Keep Clear” box had also been installed to improve access and egress with the action for IP-20 being completed.

IP-21, 22 and 23 – some had been partly completed with the remainder being due to be considered in April 2015/16. 

IP-24 – Five Mile Lane – the work was noted as ongoing with design work by a Welsh Government employed consultancy firm, which was progressing to enable a planning application to be made.  A report on the subject was to be presented to Cabinet in July 2015.

In referring to IP-25, 26 and 27 the evaluation for the possibility of bridle paths / cycle / walk ways for Gilbert Lane, the disused railway line at St. Andrews Major, Wenvoe and East Aberthaw to Cowbridge, IP-26 and 27 remained outstanding.  However, with regard to Gilbert Lane, the Active Travel map was due to be completed by 24th September 2015 as directed by legislation with the progress noted as to be considered at that time.  A Member stated that in their view the Gilbert Lane bridleway, would be easy to adopt and that the only works required would be for a drop bollard to be installed to ensure that cars and vehicles did not use the lane.  The officer present advised that comments would be taken on board when the action was to be considered in the Active Travel Plan. 

In conclusion and in referring to IP-28, the Cardiff Bay Barrage feasibility for the bus link over the Barrage to Penarth, the officer stated that Cardiff Council were also keen to address the issue and that early indications showed that it was a viable option.

Having fully considered the report and the responses received, it was subsequently

RECOMMENDED –

(1)    T H A T the report and update on the Implementation 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 a further update on the delivery of the Implementation Plan be presented to the Scrutiny Committee in April 2016.

Reasons for recommendations

(1)    To apprise Members and seek Cabinet approval.

(2)    To monitor progress of the recommendations of the Traffic Management Task and Finish Group.”

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

RESOLVED –

(1)    T H A T the Traffic Management – Implementation Plan of the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) Task and Finish Group attached at Appendix A to the report be approved.

(2)    T H A T further updates on the delivery of the Traffic Management – Implementation Plan be presented to both the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) and Cabinet in April 2016.

Reasons for decisions

(1)    To approve the Traffic Management – Implementation Plan attached at Appendix A attached to the report.

(2)    To monitor progress of the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) Traffic Management Task and Finish Group.

C2782        REGULATORY AUDIT PLAN 2015 (REF) -

The Audit Committee on 20 April, 2015 considered the above report of the Managing Director.

The Committee was presented with the report on the Council’s Regulatory Audit Plan for 2015 which was produced annually by the Wales Audit Office. 

The Auditor General Wales was required to carry out an audit which discharged its statutory duties and fulfilled its obligations under the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004, the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009, the Local Government Act 1999 and the Code of Audit Practice.  This involved:

  • Examination and certification of the Council's financial statements to ensure they were 'true and fair';
  •  Assessment of the Council's arrangements for securing economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the use of resources;
  • Audit and assessment of whether the Council had discharged its duties and met requirements of the Measure; and
  • Bespoke pieces of work aimed at enabling the Council to make improvements in economy, efficiency and effectiveness or financial or other management practices.

The Regulatory Audit Plan 2015 outlined work to be undertaken in the Council during April 2015 and March 2016 by and on behalf of the Auditor General.

A copy of the Regulatory Audit Plan was attached to the report at Appendix 1.  Key highlights were as follows:
  •  Certification work would be undertaken on the Council's grant claims and returns as part of the annual financial audit.
  •  The Council would be subject to an in-depth Corporate Assessment during 2015/16 (scheduled for February/March).  This was a full review of the Council's capacity and capability to deliver continuous improvement which was undertaken once every four years by the Auditor General Wales in addition to the annual 'light touch' review.
  •  Local government specific work was planned on the approach of councils to income generation and charging for services, council funding for third sector services and the effectiveness of local community safety partnerships.
  • A number of national value for money studies had been programmed to take place during the year including, picture of public services, regional education consortia, regeneration investment funding for Wales, flood and erosion risk management (focus on coastal flooding).  These studies were funded by the National Assembly and presented to the National Assembly's Public Accounts Committee to support its scrutiny of public expenditure.  Where relevant local authorities would be required to provide evidence as part of the data gathering process.
The Plan was a product of negotiation between the Council's Relationship Manager and other regulators of various services and was informed by a consideration of the risks and challenges facing the Council, audit and inspection knowledge and the Council's own mechanisms for review and evaluation.

The draft Plan was considered by Corporate Management Team and no changes were made.

Following consideration of the Regulatory Audit Plan for 2015, no specific observations were made, and the Committee

RESOLVED - T H A T the Regulatory Audit Plan for 2015 be accepted and referred to Cabinet for noting.

Reason for decision

In order to progress the Regulatory Work Programme for 2015.”

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Cabinet, having considered the recommendation of the Audit Committee

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

Reason for decision

To note the contents of the report.

C2783        INDIVIDUAL SCHOOL PERFORMANCE PROGRESS PANEL MEETING (REF) -

The Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) on 20 April, 2015 considered the above report of the Director of Learning and Skills.

The Committee received a report in respect of the School Progress Panel meeting that had been held at Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School undertaken by a Panel of three Members of the Committee which was presented by the Director of Learning and skills.  The Panel members had comprised Councillors N.P. Hodges (Chairman of the Panel), Mrs. M.E.J. Birch and Mr. L. Kellaway;  and Councillor C.P.J. Elmore (Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools);  Mr. T. Davies (Headteacher), Mrs. C. Tyler (Chairman of Governors), Mrs. J. Hill (Director of Learning and Skills), Mr. M. Glavin (Head of School Improvement and Inclusion), Mr. S. Sherman (Challenge Advisor), Ms. A. Davies (Member of Senior Leadership Team and Member of the Governing Body Standards Committee) and Mrs. K. Bowen (Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer) had been in attendance. 

The meeting had been convened as a result of the recommendation of the Panel in February 2014 to revisit the school following the GCSE results in August 2014.  The letter of the Director of Learning and Skills in November 2014 had noted that pupil attainment at Key Stage 4 had improved on most measures and that on a number of measures the school continued to perform well compared with other similar schools.  However, concern remained in relation to the key measures of performance at Level 2 in Mathematics, English and the proportion of students attaining 5 A*-C grades including English or Welsh and Mathematics where performance continued to be weaker than other similar schools.

Of further note was the fact that attendance levels had also not increased as rapidly as other schools and were in the bottom quarter compared to other similar schools.

As a result, the minimum targets for 2014/15 which had been agreed with the school were as follows:

 


2014/15 Minimum Agreed Target
Level 2 English 63%
Level 2 Mathematics 54%
Level 2 Plus
48%
Attendance 93.3%

The Panel meeting had therefore been an opportunity for the school to demonstrate through the democratic process its ambition and commitment to rapid and sustained progress and to identify any barriers that the school may be facing which could be resolved by the actions of the Council. 

At the Panel meeting held in January 2015 the Headteacher referred to the awareness by staff that the school needed to improve however he confirmed, that in Key Stage 3 all subjects had seen progress being made at Level 5+ since the last inspection in 2012.  Comparison with like schools had also improved as the benchmark profile improved, plus the fact that in nearly all the subjects the school was outperforming the family of schools' average.  However, whilst there had been progress at Level 5 in comparison with other schools, work needed to now focus at the higher levels of 6 and 7 where the statistics were not showing such favourable comparisons.  With regard to Key Stage 4, progress had been made since the previous inspection although the results in August 2014 had shown that key targets had not been met.  Attendance levels had not increased as rapidly as other schools.

Since the GCSE results in 2014 a number of measures to improve performance had been put in place by the Headteacher, following his appointment, as outlined below:
  • Both the English and Maths Departments offered a number of revision sessions for example regular after-school clubs, revision days before exams and early morning revision sessions on the day of examinations.
  • An ME+3 project had been established which had encouraged more strategic focus on level 2+.  These meetings discussed progress and challenged staff in order to facilitate improvement of borderline pupils at D/C+ to improve the Level 2+. 
  • Extra classes had been created in English and Maths
  • Year 9 pupils had commenced English and Maths GCSE courses which would support early entry in later years.
  • Resources had been targeted for English and Maths for targeted pupils with more feedback being obtained in relation to borderline pupils.
  • Newly purchased Apps and Twitter were used to aid pupil revision.
  • In relation to the revision clubs some girls were specifically targeted to attend sessions.
  • For Maths, Set 2s had been given an additional teacher to split the class into different tier pupils which offered an increased level of teacher support,
  • Regular Saturday morning revision sessions had been run with attendance on all occasions being over 30 of the 40 targeted pupils.
  • Since Christmas the ME+3 project had increased in pace with 10 Saturdays being identified for extra English and Maths sessions with additional pupils being invited to attend,
The Panel had also been informed that the school would be considering hiring a Maths teacher to work with a targeted group from April to May 2015 and the school currently worked closely with the Consortium staff to assist with English and Maths. However it was accepted that such provision may not be able to be sustained year on year and that some of the measures had only be introduced following the examination results in August 2014.  The school had adopted a new and improved evaluation system which had a strong focus on lesson observations and an increased dialogue between the school's leaders and staff was now taking place.  All 65 teachers had been observed during the term and a common lesson observations proforma had been used to record strong features of lessons and areas that required improvement.

Teachers were being charged with making improvements on suggested areas by the time of the second observation in Spring 2015.  Following the analysis of the lesson observations suggestions for improvements had been made.  Teachers had also been allocated teaching pods and all staff were undertaking a programme called "Embedding Formative Assessments" and regularly meeting to discuss teaching strategies.  Members of the pods also peer observed each other to aid discussion around strategies.  The self-evaluation system included pupil voice exercises, book reviews, scheme of learning audits and department / year team reviews which the Panel was informed had fostered dialogue and appropriate support and challenge.

The Challenge Advisor had also confirmed that rapid improvements had been made to the leadership and management of teaching during the Autumn term, which now provided a much more secure basis for systematic improvement and quality of provision.  The impact was evident in terms of the actions of senior and middle leaders of the school, as well as an understanding of good teaching by teachers.  However, there was little evidence yet of the impact on the standards achieved by pupils and, as such, he had deemed progress to be reasonable but not strongly so.

With regard to attendance figures for the Autumn, this now stood at 92.18% with the minimum attendance target being 93%.  Acknowledgement was made that the school was not as focused on attendance as it should be, but that there was considerable work being undertaken by the Deputy Head in relation to improving attendance with the school adopting the "Bobbies on Call Scheme" and receiving advice from the Education Department.  The school would also be considering putting in place procedures that had been developed by Treorchy Comprehensive School and would be contacting that school in due course for advice.  The Callio system was currently being adhered to and although there had been a number of initial difficulties, these had been improved upon and the school was now working more closely with the Local Authority.  In order to improve on attendance the school had also instigated a number of initiatives.  The Director of Learning and Skills advised that a number of schools in the area had been successful at increasing attendance levels and encouraged the school to seek further support and good practice ideas to assist in raising the level.

The Director of Learning and Skills,  in conclusion referred to the Panel’s decisions which included that there was a measure of confidence that the school would meet the target in English which had been evidenced at the meeting but that it had limited confidence in the school meeting the Maths target.  The Panel had welcomed all the measures and procedures that the school had put in place and had also been pleased with the decision of the Governing Body to appoint a Standards Committee.  They also welcomed the enthusiasm of the Headteacher, but acknowledged that the evidence would be determined following the results in August 2015.  The Panel also wished to see improvement in attendance and urged that further work was pursued to seek that improvement.  They welcomed the number of initiatives that had been introduced at the school.

The Chairman took the opportunity to thank the Members and officers who had taken part in the Panel Progress meeting and advised Members that the school had received a formal letter regarding the Panel’s findings shortly after the meeting.  He reassured the Committee that all present at the time, had considered that they had had a fair hearing and that the final proof would be in the results in August 2015. 

The Chairman further stated that he had welcomed the Headteacher’s enthusiasm and the progress that had been made to date in particular the number of initiatives and procedures that had been put into place to increase performance.  The Chairman of Governors had also confirmed her commitment and keenness to improve with all present at the panel meeting recognising that the concerns were starting to be addressed.

Following consideration of the report, the Scrutiny Committee subsequently

RECOMMENDED –

(1)    T H A T the School Progress Panel’s findings as detailed in paragraph 27 of the report be accepted.

(2)    T H A T an update report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee in the Autumn following the GCSE results in August 2015, at that time the Committee would consider whether a revisit would be required.

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

Reasons for recommendations

(1)    In view of the findings contained within the report.

(2)    To monitor progress.

(3)    For Cabinet consideration.”

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

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted and a further update report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) and Cabinet in the Autumn following the GCSE results in August 2015.

Reason for decision

To monitor progress.

C2784         SCHOOL MID - YEAR ATTENDANCE REPORT (REF) -

The Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) on 20 April, 2015 considered the above report of the Director of Learning and Skills.

The report provided Members with information about school attendance and was a mid-year report detailing early information regarding attendance in advance of the end of year academic report.

In presenting the report, the Lead Officer for Inclusion advised that the majority of schools in the Vale have adopted the Callio model to ensure there was a whole school and Vale Local Authority approach to improving attendance.  Secondary schools had also accessed additional funding to improve the engagement of pupils with attendance between 80% and 92% including pupils in Year 6 in their feeder primary schools. 

Committee was further informed that the Education Welfare Service worked with pupils with attendance below 80% to improve the attendance of persistent absentees.  The most recent available comparative data showed persistent absenteeism (under 80%) had reduced from 5.8% of secondary pupils in 2011/2 to 4.2% in 2013/14.  Over this period the Vale’s ranking improved from 8th to 6th. 

Over the previous three years, it was noted that Vale primary school attendance had improved and when compared with other Local Authorities, the Vale had improved its ranked position.

 

Year All Wales Primary Attendance Vale Primary Attendance Vale Position
2011/12 93.8% 94.5% 6
2012/13 93.7% 94.2% 6
2013/14 94.8% 95.3% 4

The 2013/14 benchmark positions for primary schools had recently been released with 28 of Vale primary schools in the upper quarters and 20 schools in the lower quarters.

When compared with the previous year, 13 schools had improved their benchmark positions, including Colcot who had moved from the 4th to the 1st quarter.

Primary Benchmark Positions 13/14

 

Benchmark Position Number of Schools
Quarter 1 8
Quarter 2 20
Quarter 3 11
Quarter 4 9

Colcot, Cadoxton, Murch, Eagleswell, Evenlode, Nant Talwg, Pendoylan and St. David's schools were also in the top benchmark quarter for 2013/14.

Of the 48 primary schools, 13 had improved their benchmark position in comparison with the previous year and 20 maintained the same position.  15 schools had a lower benchmark position in 2013/14 when compared with the previous year.


Year All Wales Secondary Attendance Vale Secondary Attendance Vale Position
2011/12 92.2% 92.7% 7
2012/13 92.6% 93.3% 4
2013/14 93.6% 94.2% 4

Secondary schools in the lowest quarter for attendance in the previous year had been visited by the Lead for Behaviour and Attendance and the Senior Education Welfare Officer. Discussions with staff in Barry Comprehensive, Bryn Hafren and Bro Morgannwg had considered school systems and how the Education Welfare Service could further support the work of the school in raising attendance.  As a consequence, action plans had been established to improve attendance.

All secondary schools set ambitious targets for the year.  Unverified attendance data for the Autumn term 2014 showed that three schools Barry Comprehensive, Cowbridge and Stanwell were performing as well or better than their target.

In order to achieve the target, Bryn Hafren needed to make the largest improvement this year (1.3%).  St. Richard Gwyn needed to improve attendance by only 0.1% to achieve their target.  St. Cyres needed to improve by 0.2% and both Llantwit Major and Ysgol Bro Morgannwg needed to improve by 0.5% over the next two terms.

In response to a query regarding fixed penalty notices and whether any had been issued, the Head of School Improvement and Inclusion advised that one fixed penalty notice was currently being processed. 

In response to a question as to whether there had been much resistance to the new attendance policy, Members were advised that it had been broadly accepted and welcomed. Members who were Governors of schools advised that the policy had been taken seriously by Headteachers and Governing Bodies in their schools. 

In response to a query as to whether future reports could include school by school data, the Head of School Improvement and Inclusion advised that this information would be available within the end of year report which was to be presented to the Scrutiny Committee by October 2015, following which it was subsequently

RECOMMENDED –

(1)    T H A T the improved level of attendance in 2014/15 in the majority of schools within the Vale of Glamorgan and the current level of school attendance from September to December 2014 be noted.

(2)    T H A T it be noted that the Scrutiny Committee would receive a further report in October 2015 detailing end of year performance.

(3)    T H A T the report be referred to the Cabinet for consideration in recognition of the increase in school attendance and the improvements being made.

Reasons for recommendations

(1)    To apprise Members.

(2)    To keep school attendance under close review and to continue to inform future policy and practice.

(3)    To advise Cabinet of the improved level of attendance in 2013/14 in the majority of schools and provide details of the current level of school attendance from September to December 2014.”

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

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted and that attendance reports be presented to Cabinet on a half yearly basis.

Reason for decision

To monitor progress of school attendance.

C2785        IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES AND WELL - BEING (WALES) ACT 2014 (REF) -

The Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) on 13 April, 2015 considered the above report.

The Scrutiny Committee received an update on the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 on 3rd November 2014.  The purpose of this latest report was to detail work undertaken since that time to prepare for implementation of the Act in April 2016. 

The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act received Royal Assent and became law on 1st May 2014.  Its purpose was to repeal or consolidate existing legislation and to specify the core legislative framework for social services and social care in wales, giving effect to the policy stated in the White Paper “Sustainable Social Services for Wales: A Framework for Action”.  The Act was intended to transform the delivery of social services through an approach that was focused on achieving the outcomes necessary to promote a person’s wellbeing – as an individual, as part of a family and as part of their community.

The report detailed that there were eight priorities for action to be introduced in support of a new way of working.  In summary these were:
  • A strong national purpose and expectation, and clear accountability for delivery;
  • A national outcomes framework;
  •  Citizen centred services;
  •  Integrated services;
  • Reducing complexity;
  •  A confident and competent workforce;
  •  Safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of citizens and
  •  A new improvement framework.
The Director of Social Services in the Vale of Glamorgan was the Regional Lead Director for co-ordinating the work to support implementation of the Act across the Vale and Cardiff.  Currently, this programme was being overseen primarily by the arrangements in place for integrating Health and Social Care services across the region, including the Governance Board chaired by the Leader of this Council.  The Board had membership from the three statutory bodies as well as the umbrella third sector organisations.

The Welsh Government timetable for implementation was set out as follows:
  • Formal consultation on two tranches of draft regulations and codes of practice – from November 2014 and Summer 2015
  •  Regulations and codes to be made in the National Assembly – from Summer 2015
  •  Staff training – 2015 and 2016
  •  Act “switch on” – April 2016.
The first tranche of draft regulations and guidance on parts 2, 3, 4, 7 and 11 of the Act were issued during November 2014.  The Director of Social Services submitted a response to this consultation in February.  This response was attached at Appendix 1 to the report. 

Included in the response were some additional general overview comments.  These covered the potential financial investment required to allow for new services to be developed and set out other points including implementation of the Act, preventative services, roles and responsibilities of partners, training, performance measures and Safeguarding Boards.

A self-assessment of the Council’s readiness to implement the Act was prepared in conjunction with partners.  The Local Authorities, the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Cardiff Third Sector Council and the Vale Council for Voluntary Services took part in the self-assessment which was shown at Appendix 2 to the report.  This assessment was submitted to Welsh Government on 30th January 2015 in line with the requirements of the Delivering Transformation Grant. 

Work was currently ongoing to develop by the end of March a first iteration of the Regional Implementation Plan which would focus on 11 strategic themes:
  • Access to information, advice and assistance;
  • Proportionate assessment to maximise independence and wellbeing;
  • Meaningful engagement with the local population;
  • Providing care and support for the most vulnerable people;
  • Integration to achieve better outcomes for people;
  • Primacy of wellbeing and its connection with prevention, assessment, eligibility and information;
  • Early intervention to maintain people’s independence;
  • New models of delivering care and support;
  • Giving people more control over their lives;
  • Governance arrangements and
  • Training and development of the workforce and partners.
The Implementation Plan would be presented at the Committee’s next meeting.

Training requirements for implementation had been considered by Welsh Government.  A first level training programme was being designed for all core staff and partner agencies involved in delivering the Act, including the NHS.  This would be produced as a ready to use “pack”, with a framework for delivery.  It was expected that Local Authorities would take a lead role in planning and delivering the training with their partners, in line with the expectations of their role under the Social Care Workforce Development Programme (SCWDP). 

Welsh Government had recently announced that it would continue investment in social care workforce development through the well-established grant funding made available to Local Authorities by means of SCWDP.  15% of the money available would be used to design a national training programme for implementation of the Act.  The priorities of this part of the SCWDP grant in 2015/16 and 2016/17 would be:
  • To ensure staff engaged in duties delivered under the Act had the knowledge, skills and competencies to operate under the new legal framework; and
  • To ensure all core training and development, including induction and qualification training, was reframed to reflect the new legal framework.
In terms of resource implications, the Welsh Government had confirmed that the Delivering Transformation Grant would be available again in 2015/16 and it was to be used to support the regional implementation of the Act.  This grant would be paid on a regional basis with the Vale Council being the lead Authority.  The funding available for the region in 2015/16 had doubled and would be £414,648.  Proposals had to be submitted to Welsh Government by the end of April detailing how this funding would be used.

The Director of Social Services went on to comment that the Act was an enabling Act and the most comprehensive one that the service had seen; it would be accompanied by a considerable volume of regulations and guidance, to be made available over the next year.  The Directorate had responded to the consultation exercise covering Tranche 1 of the Act’s Regulations and Guidance and the service was now waiting for Welsh Government ratification of the responses and subsequent notification of any changes.  Draft regulation and guidance regarding the second Tranche of the Act would be made available in late 2015 or during the early part of 2016.  He also stated that as a consequence the service was still speculating in regard to some of the detailed requirements of the Act and that at present there were only partial answers.  Implementation of the Act was likely to be fast moving.  The service was confident that necessary governance arrangements were in place on a regional basis but that these may need strengthening as proposals came to light. 

The Chairman raised a query regarding the impact upon resources available and whether any cost analysis had been undertaken.  In response the Director of Social Services explained that the service was not entirely sure of the financial consequences of the Act.  The service may be able to make some better estimates of potential costs from the final guidance but this was some way off.  The Council and other organisations had responded to the legislation during its passage through the Assembly and there was no real body of evidence to support the view that the Act would be cost neutral.  Both the Institute of Public Care and the Association of Directors of Social Services had been asked to look into the cost of the Act, but both bodies were unsure of the true consequences as there were many areas still to be clarified.  The Chairman went on to query whether it would be possible for any part or the entire Act to be delayed or changed.  In response the Committee noted that there was very little chance for the detail within the Act to be changed and all parts would need to be implemented at the same time.

A Committee Member then raised three questions.  The Member’s first query was as to whether the Act represented a central dictat from Welsh Government or whether there was scope to implement some aspects of it in a more flexible manner.  The Director of Social Services advised that the whole tenure of the Act was about doing away with the post code lottery and creating a consistency of services across Wales.  He highlighted the potential conflict regarding the prescription of services outlined within the Act and he commented that Local Authorities should retain some discretion about how to provide services that respond best to local need. 

The Member’s second query related to Appendix 2 and the self-assessment which showed readiness to implement the Act.  The Member questioned whether the scoring assessment method used represented a true appraisal of the current position.  In response, the Director of Social Services stated that the service had tried to be honest about the scale of work required to implement the Act.  The Vale of Glamorgan Council and the Health Board were, on the whole, a little more sceptical compared to Cardiff Council which was more optimistic, particularly in regard to the impact upon Children’s Services.  Following some robust conversations and dialogue, a consensus had been agreed, so it was true to say that the figures were realistic. 

The Member’s final query was in respect of some rather vague responses detailed within the self-assessment and the Member queried whether this was as a result of lack of understanding.  The Committee noted that the Act was in some areas aspirational, such as the emphasis on preventative services and the use of social enterprises.  This would require a fundamental change in the direction of the service and an even greater degree of integration between partners that would result in a significant culture change for staff and the way they worked.  The ICF and the RCF grants were examples of the start of this change but the Act required a more considerable organisational change and a real breakdown of the barriers that currently exist between care providers. 

A Member of the Committee voiced the opinion that the Act deviated from its initial intentions and that it lacked clarity.  The Member queried whether the timetable in respect of training would be met.  In response to this, the Head of Business Management and Innovation advised that money for training would be provided by Welsh Government but there would be no increase in what was normally received for training.  Services would need to be careful as to how money for training was earmarked, as some areas would require more intensive training.  This would be a challenge for the future but the service was aware of this and would plan accordingly. 

A Committee Member also queried whether there was enough information regarding eligibility criteria within the Act.  In response, the Committee noted that the Eligibility Framework for Wales remained an area of confusion.  Members were also advised that the “Can” and “Can Only” aspects of the Act determined that Local Authorities or Health should provide a service when they were the only option available to individuals and there would be a greater expectation on individuals to fund and support themselves when it came to their care needs.  Practitioners and service users needed clarity around their ability to make judgements that were based on clear guidance.  Further to this, the Committee was asked to note that the “Can” and “Can Only” aspects of the Act were open to interpretation. Revoking the old legislation that dated back to 1948 meant putting aside over 70 years of case law.  To some extent this new Act would now be defined over the next few years by new case law and the Committee was reminded of the impact made following the changes to the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. 

In regard to  Children’s Services the Committee was made aware that, for Looked After Children and Child Protection cases, there would be clarity as these service users could be defined as ‘passported groups’ within the Act, and on that basis would be eligible for services.  However, the challenge would be for those service users currently defined as Children in Need as this status would be changed by the Act. 

In answer to a Committee Member’s query regarding the potential cost of the Act, particularly in relation to preventative services, the Director of Social Services advised Members that an interesting parallel could be made with the Families First Service.  This highlighted that, in many cases, support was intended to be very time limited but very often this would extend beyond the time limits because of the scale of need that required greater, longer term intensive support.  He was not sure preventative services offered true solutions in regard to reducing resources as in reality preventative services often only deferred demand to a later point.  He also questioned the ability of community based services to carry out the same level of support and functions as those services within Local Authorities. 

A Committee Member asked for clarification in respect of the population assessments and how they could be used and their link to the register of Disability Index.  The Head of Adult Services stated that the population assessments, supported by Public Health Wales, were a useful tool that allowed the Authority and its partners to compare and contrast data with other areas.  Following implementation of the Act, there would be a need to revisit how Public Health Wales and others acquired information and to ensure the service used the information in a more thorough and effective way.  In respect of the Disability Index, he questioned whether, in its current form, it provided a great deal of value for individuals.  Further to this point the Director of Social Services stated that if the Index was used in the same way as the Children’s Services Register, it could be more meaningful in helping to manage demand and targeting support. 

In referring to the Welsh Government’s statement that Local Authorities should remain cautious about whether sufficient resources would be available to meet any increased commitments, a Committee Member questioned as to how this could be the case when the increased demand was as a result of the new legislation.  In response to this, the Director of Social Services stated that caution meant having an understanding of the impact upon duties contained within the Act.  In some respects the Vale of Glamorgan was better placed than other Local Authorities, at least in understanding and knowing the implications of the Act.  Effective oversight of the Social Services budgets and individual evidence of changes in support packages for service users and cost implications would mean that the service would be able to identify very quickly if factors were changing.  This would allow the Directorate to respond and take appropriate action.  He alluded to the budget management in regard to increasing demand and reducing resources and stated that at some point the UK and Welsh Governments were going to have to properly respond to the implications.

In relation to the self-assessment, the Chairman stated that this had been returned to Welsh Government and he asked whether the Association of Directors of Social Services and the WLGA were in dialogue with civil servants in the Welsh Government and whether they had been listening to the concerns raised. In response, the Director of Social Services explained that joint dialogue with officials within the Welsh Government had demonstrated that they themselves had struggled for answers and so they too would have to be somewhat pragmatic.

As a final point, the Director of Social Services stated that the self-assessment tool would be kept up to date and presented to Committee when available, as would the accompanying Implementation Plan.

RECOMMENDED –

(1)    T H A T the report be noted.

(2)    T H A T the Scrutiny Committee continues to receive monthly updates.

(3)    T H A T the concerns and views of the Scrutiny Committee as outlined in the minutes be forwarded to Cabinet for consideration, in summary these covered the following points:
  • The lack of clarity and absence of necessary detail within the Act.
  • Concerns regarding the potential impact upon limited resources  and whether this  had been appropriately costed
  • The potential impact on the role of social workers
  • The need for greater training and awareness raising for social workers
  • The lack of clarity over eligibility criteria and the impact on the work of social workers
  •  The impact on the Children in Need service and those on the edge of care and the support required by those families.
  •  Concern as to whether community based services could carry out the same level of support as Local Authorities.
Reason for recommendations

(1-3)    To ensure that elected members are kept informed about fundamental changes in the policy and legislative framework which underpins the work of Social Services.”

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

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 and Cabinet confirmed that all the points raised in recommendation 3 of the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) minutes would be considered.

Reason for decision

To note the report and consider the points raised in recommendation 3 of the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) minutes.

C2786        EXTERNAL FUNDING: SOCIAL SERVICES DELIVERING TRANSFORMATION GRANT, SOCIAL CARE WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT GRANT (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

Cabinet was informed of two external funding grant applications being progressed, and approval was sought for acceptance of the grants and conditions.

The Delivering Transformation Grant was an annual allocation from Welsh Government to support the implementation of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014. The grant was issued on a regional basis and the Vale of Glamorgan formed part of a regional collaborative with Cardiff Council for the purposes of the grant. The amount allocated to the region totalled £414,648. The Vale acted as the lead organisation and a proposal outlining how the funding would be used was submitted to Welsh Government by the 30 April, 2015 submission deadline.

The Delivering Transformation Grant would be used to support the implementation of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act and the funding would be used to support the project to review the new legal framework and develop workstreams to ensure that the Cardiff and Vale region was ready to implement the Act in April 2016.

The Social Care Workforce Development Grant was an indicative allocation from Welsh Government that must be applied for annually. The grant had been received for a significant number of years and was used to fund the Social Care Workforce Development Programme (SCWDP). The grant must be used in relation to social care training.

The aim of the SCWDP was to improve the quality and management of social services provision through a planned approach to learning and development. The grant application was submitted to Welsh Government by 29 May, 2015.

The aim of the Social Care Workforce Development Programme was to improve the quality and management of social services provision through a planned approach to learning and development and sought to increase the take-up of training across the social care sector. This included the whole social care sector operating across the Vale of Glamorgan including staff within independent and third sector providers of social care services.

Both applications were considered and supported by the External Funding Steering Group on the 23 April 2015, with the short timescales involved submitting the grant application noted.

This was a matter for Executive decision

RESOLVED –

(1)    T H A T the use of the Managing Director's emergency powers to approve submission of the Delivering Transformation Grant application to Welsh Government by the 30 April, 2015 submission deadline be noted.

(2)    T H A T the use of the Managing Director's emergency powers to approve submission of the Social Care Workforce Development Grant application to Welsh Government by the 29 May, 2015 submission deadline be noted.

(3)    T H A T the acceptance of the two grant allocations and the terms and conditions of the grants be approved. 

Reasons for decisions

(1)    To note the use of Managing Director's emergency powers to approve the submission of the Delivering Transformation Grant application to Welsh Government by the 30 April, 2015 submission deadline

(2)    To note the use of the Managing Director's emergency powers in submitting the Social Care Workforce Development Grant application to Welsh Government by the 29 May, 2015 submission deadline.

(3)    To ensure the Cardiff and Vale region was ready to implement the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act and to enable the Social Care Workforce Development Programme to continue.

C2787        MICROSOFT SOFTWARE LICENCING (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

Approval was sought to award a contract for the supply of Microsoft Software.

Cabinet in June 2012, (Minute number C1737) granted delegated authority to award a contract for the supply of Microsoft software. The contract was now due for renewal and similar delegated authority was required to allow a procurement process for a new three year agreement and award the contract to the most economically advantageous supplier. The intention would be to complete the procurement before the end of June 2015 when the current agreement expired.

Over the last three years the Council had entered into an Enterprise Agreement with Microsoft which covered all of the desktop software in use across the Council. The most cost effective agreement for the Council at that time was for subscription licences that were in effect software rentals, rather than owning the software in perpetuity. The agreement was for £102,282 per annum for 2,000 users.

If that decision was repeated, indicative costs for the new agreement showed a slight rise in cost to approximately £108,000.

The corporate desktop standard agreed by the ICT Strategy was Windows 7 as the operating system and Office 2010. However later versions were now available and the Council would need to consider moving to them at the most appropriate time. Microsoft did not deal directly with corporate customers, so the Council would need to procure the licences through a reseller. The Council’s reseller was Computacenter and a tender would be advertised either through the Crown Commercial Services Framework Agreement or procurement would be through the Government Cloud Framework Agreement (G-Cloud).

The prices for Microsoft licences had been agreed nationally for the public sector through a National Government arrangement and were made available to all resellers, so the tender would focus on the margin added on to the Microsoft costs for dealing with the order. This had traditionally been around 0.5 % to 1% of the order value, however some resellers had been known to supply at cost in order to win the business as a method of developing a better business relationship with the purchaser.

Following corporate guidelines, a quality assessment of any value added services that the supplier could provide such as assistance with implementation, training and after sales support would be undertaken, but price would be the predominant factor. The price/quality ratio had been set at 70/30.

This was a matter for Executive decision

RESOLVED –

(1)    T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Managing Director in consultation with the Leader to award the contract to the winning supplier.

(2)    T H A T a new contract be awarded on the most economically advantageous terms to the Council.

Reasons for decisions

(1)    To allow the award of the contract.

(2)    To have an appropriate contract in place for the cost effective supply of Microsoft Licencing.

C2788        BUILDING CLEANING AND SECURITY REVIEW (L & HBMCS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEES – CORPORATE RESOURCES AND ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

Cabinet was provided with an update on developments in the Building Cleaning and Security Service as part of the Reshaping Services project and changes to the cleaning and security services provided at corporate office buildings were proposed.

 

The Council operated an internal Cleaning and Security Service within the Visible Services and Housing Directorate. The services were provided to schools and the Council’s other public buildings, including council offices. The Council’s Facilities Management team undertook the ‘client’ role (purchased services from the Cleaning and Security Service) and managed the budget associated with cleaning and security at office buildings. Schools chose to make arrangements under Service Level Agreements with the Cleaning and Security Service for cleaning in schools.

 

In recent years, the Building Cleaning & Security Service had seen a reduction in the number of school and office sites procuring cleaning services, reduced to 84 from 99 over a five year period. With a reducing number of clients, the Building Cleaning and Security Service was now apportioning overheads over a smaller number of customers and this was eroding its overall financial viability, necessitating a fundamental examination of the service. It was noted that the service scored highly in terms of customer satisfaction, measured by regular client surveys.

 

The report set out proposals to change the level of office cleaning and security provision at Council office buildings in order to ensure appropriate service levels and to achieve the approved savings contained in the Council’s Final Revenue Budget Proposals 2015/16 associated with building running costs. The report also proposed that the review of Cleaning and Security Services (which was to be undertaken as part of tranche two of the Reshaping Services programme) should ascertain the long term viability of the service and, where appropriate, identify alternative ways of delivering these services.

 

The report related to the security and cleaning services commissioned by the Council’s Facilities Management team and provided by the Council’s internal Cleaning & Security Service at the following buildings: Civic Offices, Town Hall, Docks Office, Alps Depot, Court Road Depot, and Provincial House. The Council also operated from a wide range of other locations. A review of these assets was currently underway in order to identify opportunities for rationalisation and further efficiency savings and would be reported to Cabinet separately.

 

It was recognised that the changes being proposed in the report would have impacts for a range of stakeholders. Financial, equality and employment implications had and would continue to be fully considered and revised as appropriate. Details of these implications and the impact on Building Services provision and Users could be found in the relevant sections of the report.

 

The report stated that the implementation of changes would require a clear communication and engagement strategy with staff and the recognised trade unions from across the Council. To ensure a consistent approach was adopted to implement these changes, it was proposed that changes to both cleaning and security functions were progressed following a timeline of key activities as detailed in the report. As part of the consultation arrangements, the service would progress these proposals in accordance with the Council's agreed policies and procedures, in particular the Change Management and the Avoiding Redundancy policy and procedures.

 

Implementation of the proposals for both the security and cleaning functions was estimated to realise a total budget saving of £308,037. Based on the project plan, these savings would be realised from 1 December, 2015 which would equate to an estimated budget saving of £120,000 in the 2015/16 financial year and the remaining £188,037 in 2016/17. This would contribute to the £500,000 saving set out in the Council’s Final Revenue Budget Proposals 2015/16 for ‘a review of council wide property costs, including running costs’, as formally approved by Council on 4 March, 2015 (minute number 941). The remainder would be realised from further property related savings initiatives.

 

After the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety presented this item, the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services commented that this report was bad news for the Council. He further commented that he was not elected to cut jobs, but to do the very best for people and the community as a whole. He continued that the twenty four million pound cuts from central government over the next three years had come down to Wales, resulting in real cuts to employment and these were starting to affect the Vale of Glamorgan with more to come.

In agreement with his colleague, the Cabinet Member for Adult Services commented that the report outlined recommendations that the Council did not want to do but had been forced to do by the cuts from Westminster. He further commented that the cuts from Westminster would mean further cuts to services that people relied on and it was very unpleasant that the Council was forced into this situation. He noted that cuts in one service resulted in additional costs rising elsewhere, citing the recently announced deficit of the NHS in England. The Cabinet Member continued that this was an example of austerity, forcing cuts to services that we rely on and local government was bearing the brunt, with another five years to come.

This was a matter for Executive decision

RESOLVED –

(1)    T H A T the proposals for changes to cleaning and security services provided at the corporate buildings as outlined in the report be approved as a basis for referral to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) and Scrutiny Committee (Economy & Environment) for consideration before reaching a final determination.

(2)    T H A T subject to resolution one above, delegated authority be granted to the Director of Visible Services & Housing, in consultation with the Leader, the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance & Community Safety and the Managing Director to:
  • undertake the necessary consultation and engagement activity as described in the report;
  • respond as appropriate to such engagement and consultation;
  • report back to Cabinet any material changes to the proposals resulting from the consultation process;
  • progress the implementation of proposals following the conclusion of all necessary consultation and engagement activity.
(3)    T H A T a further report be provided to Cabinet on the future strategy of the Building Cleaning and Security service as part of tranche two of the Reshaping Services Programme.

(4)    T H A T redundancy and any associated pension costs be approved to be funded from the Early Retirement and Redundancy fund.

Reasons for decisions

(1)    To enable the proposals for changes to cleaning and security services as outlined in the report to be progressed following consideration by Cabinet and Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) and Scrutiny Committee (Economy & Environment).

(2)    To ensure that the process for progressing the changes as outlined in this report be undertaken efficiently and effectively in accordance with the Council’s policies and procedures.

(3)    To establish the future viability of the Council’s internal Building Cleaning and Security service and how these services could be provided.

(4)    To finance one-off expenditure.

C2789        LOCAL AUTHORITY EDUCATION SERVICES FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE INSPECTION REPORT: THIRD PROGRESS REPORT (CSS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – LIFELONG LEARNING) -

Cabinet was informed of the progress to implement the Post Inspection Action Plan.

The inspection of Local Authority Education Services for Children and Young People (LAESCYP) took place between 20 - 24 May, 2013.  The report was published on 17 September.  The inspectors' overall judgement was 'adequate'.  The capacity to improve was also judged to be 'adequate'. The report included the following six recommendations:
  • R1 - Raise standards in schools, particularly in key stage 2 and key stage 3.
  • R2 - Improve the rigour and the level of challenge provided to schools about their performance and quality of leadership.
  • R3 - Use the full powers available to the authority to improve schools that were underperforming.
  • R4 - Make sure that planning for improvement was thorough and consistent throughout all services.
  • R5 - Ensure that robust systems were in place for evaluating the outcomes of initiatives and that they demonstrate good value-for-money.
  • R6 - Strengthen arrangements for monitoring and evaluating the wellbeing of children and young people.
Cabinet approved the Post Inspection Action Plan (PIAP) at their meeting on 18 November, 2013.  The PIAP provided a comprehensive action plan to respond to the recommendations of the inspectors and address the shortcomings they observed.  PIAP progress reports would be presented to Corporate Management Team (CMT) and Cabinet in May and November annually and to the Children and Young Peoples' Programme Board.

On 23 December, 2013 Estyn confirmed that the PIAP generally addressed well the recommendations and areas for improvement in the inspection report. The first Estyn monitoring visit took place on 13 – 15 October 2014 to assess progress in response to recommendations 2 and 6.  Cabinet considered the letter from Estyn following the visit at the meeting on 12 January, 2015.  The letter stated that the authority was making good progress in the areas evaluated during the visit.

The PIAP had been further amended to reflect progress to date: in some places amendments had been made to the plan to reflect changes in the personnel responsible for implementation and other contextual changes.

Appendix A attached to the report described the further progress that had been made to implement the action plan: work remained on schedule.  The focus of recent activity had been to:
  • further strengthen the rigour and level of challenge provided to schools about their performance and quality of leadership;
  • strengthen planning processes for 2015/16;
  • further develop the evaluation framework.
This was a matter for Executive decision

RESOLVED –

(1)    T H A T the progress that had been made to implement the Post Inspection Action Plan (PIAP) attached at Appendix A to the report be noted.

(2)    T H A T the progress report be referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) for consideration.

Reasons for decisions

(1)    To inform Members of the progress that had been made to implement the Post Inspection Action Plan (PIAP) attached at Appendix A to the report.

(2)    To allow the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) to consider the progress that had been made and areas where further progress was required.

C2790        VALE OF GLAMORGAN LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN: REPORT OF CONSULTATION AND SUBMISSION FOR INDEPENDENT EXAMINATION (R) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) - 

Cabinet was provided with an overview of the representations made to the Deposit Local Development Plan (DLDP) and the Alternative Sites consultations and was presented with an outline of the responses and main issues raised including whether focused changes were considered necessary in order to ensure that the Local Development Plan (LDP) was 'sound'.

Approval was also sought for the submission of the DLDP and the required accompanying documentation to the Welsh Government for Independent Examination in accordance with the requirements of the Town and Country Planning (Local Development Plan) (Wales) Regulations 2005. Finally, delegated powers were sought for the Operational Manager, Planning and Transportation Policy in consultation with the Managing Director and the Cabinet Member for Regeneration to agree potential changes to the LDP as part of the independent examination process in accordance with Welsh Government guidance.

Subject to Cabinet approval, the report would then be considered by Community Liaison Committee on 2 June, 2015, Planning Committee on 4 June, 2015 and Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) on 16 June, 2015. Comments from these committees would then be considered by Cabinet on 22 June, 2015 and then referred to Full Council for final approval on 24 June, 2015.

The Council had a statutory duty to prepare a Local Development Plan and the statutory duties in this regard were set out in Part 6 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, which required that an LDP be made subject to independent examination to determine whether it was 'sound'. LDPs had to be sound in terms of their content and the process by which they were produced.  The relevant guidance, 'Local Development Plans Wales' set out the tests of soundness which an LDP must meet in terms of procedure, consistency, coherence and effectiveness.

Cabinet was presented with a previous report on 7 October, 2013 which sought the endorsement of the DLDP and approval for a six week public consultation to be undertaken on the DLDP in accordance with the requirements of the Town and Country Planning (Local Development Plan) (Wales) Regulations 2005.  The six week formal public consultation on the DLDP took place between 8 November and 20 December, 2013 and a brief summary of consultation was set out in the report.  A more detailed outline was contained in Appendix 1 attached to the report in the Deposit Local Development Plan Consultation Summary Report.

As well as representations to policies, paragraphs and supporting evidence, the DLDP consultation generated representations from individuals, groups and organisations that sought the inclusion of new sites as well as the deletion or amendment of allocated sites.  Collectively, these site specific amendments were termed 'Alternative Sites' and the Council was again required to undertake public consultation on the Alternative Sites to ascertain people's views.  It was noted that whilst the Regulations required the Council to undertake a public consultation on the Alternative Sites, the Council was not promoting the sites in any way.

The six week consultation exercise on the Alternative Sites took place between 20 March and 1 May, 2014 and the summary details were set out in the report and a more detailed outline on the Council's response to these representations was set out in Appendix 3 as attached to the Report.

In total 3367 representations were received to the DLDP from 1328 organisations, bodies and individuals.  The majority of the representations received were site specific in that they either sought the inclusion of new sites not shown in the DLDP, objected to allocations in the DLDP or sought amendments to site boundaries or the uses of sites allocated in the DLDP.  Other representations sought a variety of changes to the DLDP including but not exclusively:
  • Amendments to policy wording or text to ensure compliance with Welsh Government guidance, to improve policy effectiveness or merely to reflect factual updates;
  • Mapping changes, in terms of accuracy and requests for amendments, deletions and additions; and
  • Clarification and requests for additional evidence in respect of supporting evidence and particular topic areas.
Of the 3367 representations raised, 2921 were objections, 291 were expressions of support and 155 provided general comments to the DLDP.  The responses resulted in the identification of 225 alternative sites of which 108 related to new alternative sites, 53 to the deletion of allocated sites, and 64 to amended sites.  Copies of the representations received could be found in the Alternative Sites Representations Register.  A summary of these together with the Council's response to individual representations could be found within the Deposit LDP Representations Summary and Responses Register attached at Appendix 2 to the report.

Consideration was given to the following main issues and were detailed in the report:
  • LDP Vision, Objectives and Strategy
  • Strategic Site:  Barry Waterfront
  • Strategic Site St Athan - Cardiff Airport Enterprise Zone
  • Housing Provision and Housing Sites
  • Gypsy and Travellers
  • Employment
  • Transport
  • Retail
  • Minerals
  • Waste Management
  • Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and other Infrastructure
  • Built and Natural Environment
  • Sustainability Appraisal/Strategic Environmental Assessment (SA/SEA) and Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA)
  • Delivery, Implementation and Measuring Success
  • Alternative Sites Consultation
  • Proposed Focused and Minor Changes
  • Housing Requirement Figure
  • Affordable Housing Policy MG 4
  • Land West of Swanbridge Road, Sully Policy MG 2 (46)
  • Land to the north and west of Darren Close, Cowbridge Policy MG 2 (20)
  • Land South of Junction 34 M4 Hensol Policy MG 9 (2)
Appendix 5 attached to the report provided a list of the main documentation that was required to be submitted to the Welsh Government and the Planning Inspectorate for Independent Examination.  This was considered to represent a range of material and evidence that was necessary to meet the relevant LDP tests of soundness and further supported and clarified policies in the Plan.

Upon submission of the DLDP and all relevant documentation to the Planning Inspectorate, an Independent Inspector would be appointed on behalf of the Welsh Government to examine the Plan.  The examination process was likely to commence in Autumn 2015 with an Exploratory Meeting ahead of any hearing.  After considering all of the evidence, the Inspector would prepare and issue a binding report on the DLDP that would set out amendments which must be made to the Plan by the Council prior to its formal adoption.  It was noted that the Inspector, not the Council, would consider whether any changes were appropriate to the Plan as a result of the consultation. 

In accordance with Welsh Government guidance and in order to enable the efficient and timely running of the examination, it was advised that measures be put in place to permit effective dialogue between the Independent Inspector and Council representatives.  It was therefore proposed that delegated powers were vested with the Operational Manager, Planning and Transportation Policy in consultation with the Managing Director and Cabinet Member for Regeneration in order that they could negotiate issues, agree amendments and respond to requests for further information as required by the Inspector during the examination process.

A Programme Officer had recently been appointed to manage the day to day arrangements and running of the examination process.  A Service Level Agreement with the Planning Inspectorate would be put in place which would come into effect once the LDP was submitted.  This would set out the steps each party will take to ensure an efficient examination and reporting process.

At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Regeneration commented that this plan was about building communities, not just about houses and that was why it focused on the jobs and infrastructure that sustained communities and the affordable housing that allowed local people to set up home in them. She stated that the Local Development Plan included proposals for job creation, maintaining community services and providing new transport infrastructure. This was the blueprint by which the Council would continue to regenerate all areas of the Vale of Glamorgan.

The Cabinet Member further commented that this was not a case for brevity, as we needed all the evidence to underpin our plan for examination. The Council aimed for comprehensive communication and engagement and as a result the two-stage consultation process reviewed just under 12,000 responses. Amendments had been made to the Deposit Local Development Plan and planning officers had undertaken significant further research and gathered additional supporting evidence for the Authority’s land use strategy.

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration concluded by giving thanks to the Operational Manager, Planning and Transportation Policy and her team, commenting that they had to cope with huge resource issues in completing this report but had managed to deliver at every point. She continued that they fully committed to the task with the aim of community engagement.

This was a matter for Executive and Council decision

RESOLVED –

(1)    T H A T the responses to the Deposit Local Development Plan (DLDP) and Alternative Site representations as contained at Appendices 2 and 3 as referred to in the report, be approved.

(2)    T H A T the Focused and Minor Changes detailed at Appendix 4 as referred to in the report be approved for public consultation purposes, the results of which will be considered by the Inspector in due course.

(3)    T H A T the Deposit Local Development Plan (DLDP) together with the accompanying documentation be approved for submission to the Welsh Government and the Planning Inspectorate in accordance with the Town and Country Planning (Local Development Plan) (Wales) Regulations 2005.

(4)    T H A T delegated powers be granted to the Operational Manager, Planning and Transportation Policy in consultation with the Managing Director and Cabinet Member for Regeneration to negotiate issues, agree amendments and respond to requests for further information as required by the Inspector during the examination process.

(5)    T H A T the report be referred to Community Liaison Committee, Planning Committee and Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) for consideration.

(6)    T H A T thanks be given to the Operational Manager, Planning and Transportation Policy and her team for all their hard work on producing this detailed report.

Reasons for decisions

(1)    To enable the Council to submit the DLDP and accompanying documentation including responses to the alternative sites consultation to the Welsh Government and the Planning Inspectorate in accordance with Regulation 22 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Development Plan) (Wales) Regulations 2005.

(2)    To enable the Council to undertake public consultation on the proposed Focused Changes concurrent with the submission of the DLDP to the Welsh Government and the Planning Inspectorate.

(3)    To enable the Council to submit the DLDP and accompanying documentation to the Welsh Government and to the Planning Inspectorate in accordance with Regulation 22 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Development Plan) (Wales) Regulations 2005.

(4)    To facilitate the efficient operation of the examination process, to avoid undue delay to the examination process and to ensure effective dialogue between the independent Inspector and the Council's representatives in accordance with Welsh Government guidance.

(5)    To obtain the views of these committees on the content of the report prior to further consideration by Cabinet and final approval by Council on 24 June, 2015.

(6)    To thank staff for all their hard work.
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