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Agenda Item No.

 

CABINET

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 15 June, 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.

                                           

C2791           MINUTES –

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 1 June, 2015 be approved as a correct record.

 

C2792          DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

The following declaration of interest was received

 

Councillor S. C. Egan

Agenda Item No. 7 - Cemetery Approach: Proposed Community Garden and Nature Area.

 

Reason for Declaration –

 

As a Member of Barry Town Council he would be representing Barry Town Council in meetings with the Vale of Glamorgan Council to progress the Cemetery Approach scheme.

 

 

C2793           Mobile Phone Contract Renewal (L) (Scrutiny Committee – Corporate Resources) -

 

Approval was sought for delegated powers to let a contract for the supply of mobile phones and related services.

 

The existing mobile phone contract with O2 had been in place since 2012 and had generated considerable savings for the Authority over the previous contract with BT. The Crown Commercial Services (CCS) had released a new framework agreement, NFC6, which had been awarded for three years to a single supplier following a competitive process. That supplier was the Council’s existing supplier, O2, so there were no perceived issues with transition that could have occurred if another company had been awarded the contract.

 

The number of connections in place covering phones, tablet computers and SIM cards for laptops was around 1300. All of these would be moved across to the new contract. The award of the contract under the new framework agreement would make savings over the existing arrangements in place. Total payments to O2 for the financial year 2014/15 were £92,825. The NFC6 savings analysis provided by the CCS had indicated that savings in the range of £30,000 to £35,000 per annum should be achievable for each of the three years of the contract.

 

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 let a contract under the Crown Commercial Services framework agreement NFC6.

 

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

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)      To have an appropriate contract in place for the supply of mobile phones and associated services.

 

(2)      To allow the award of the contract.

 

C2794          Revised Equality Policy (L) (Scrutiny Committee – Corporate Resources) -

 

Approval was sought for the draft Equality Policy attached at Appendix A to the report.

 

The Council's existing equality policy was revised in 2008. It did not, however, reflect the requirements of current equality legislation.  For example, it did not refer to all the protected characteristics covered in the Equality Act 2010.  It also made reference to previous equality schemes rather than the Strategic Equality Plan and Welsh Language Scheme. A working group was established to review the policy.  The working group comprised representatives from areas with responsibility for Housing, Social Services, Visible Services, Education, Human Resources and Equalities.

 

The equality policy provided information as to how the Council expected people to behave when working.  Making behavioural standards explicit and publishing them meant that the Council was able to take appropriate action when identifying non-compliance.  Having such a policy in place strengthened the Council’s position in an employment tribunal.  These standards were not included in, and were separate to, the Strategic Equality Plan which in contrast focused on equality objectives and equality practices, primarily for service users.

 

The content of the draft policy was considered from the perspective of legislative requirements and organisational needs.  It was important to develop a policy that was easy to understand and encouraged good practice. Feedback had been received from a variety of sources on the draft policy.  The feedback and the responses to that feedback had been included at Appendix B as attached to the report.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the revised Equality Policy attached at Appendix A to the report be adopted and publicised.

 

Reason for decision

 

To put in place a revised Equality Policy that reflected current equality legislation and encouraged good practice.

 

C2795           Vale of Glamorgan Local Access Forum: Appointment of Council Representative (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – Economy and Environment) -

 

Cabinet was requested to appoint a Council Member to sit on the Vale of Glamorgan Local Access Forum.

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Local Access Forum had been in existence since 2002.  The Forum had recently completed its fourth three year term and, following advertisement for expressions of interest and the receipt of applications, would be commencing a fifth three year term.

 

The existing Council representative was Councillor Eddie Williams, who had served for the most recent three year term of the Forum.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED – T H A T Councillor Edward Williams be appointed as the Council's representative on the Vale of Glamorgan Local Access Forum for the lifetime of that Forum (three years from whenever the initial meeting of the new Forum takes place).

 

Reason for decision

 

To comply with the provisions of Regulation 6(1) of the Countryside Access (Local Access Forums) (Wales) Regulations 2001.

 

C2796          Cemetery Approach: Proposed Community Garden and Nature Area (VLS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

During consideration of this matter, the Cabinet Member for Adult Services left the room and took no part in any discussions that took place.

 

Cabinet was apprised of the outcome of external funding applications for a proposed community garden and nature reserve at Cemetery Approach and agreement was sought for a funding arrangement under which both the Vale of Glamorgan Council and the Barry Town Council would each provide £250,000 for the project.

 

At its meeting of 27 January, 2014 Cabinet considered a report on developing two areas of land at Cemetery Road, Barry as a community space.  Cabinet resolved:-

 

œ(1) T H A T the progress to date in respect to this matter including the outcome of the public consultation exercise be noted.

 

(2) T H A T the two layout options proposed for the sites be approved in principle.

 

(3) T H A T the use of £20k from the Visible Services asset renewal fund for 2014 / 2015 to permit clearance of the sites be approved.

 

(4) T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Director of Visible Services and Housing in consultation with the Director of Resources, the Leader and the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development to enter into discussions with Barry Town Council for the possible transfer of the sites, shown on the plan attached at Appendix A, to the Town Council by way of a suitable long term lease arrangement.

 

(5) T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Head of Legal Services in consultation with the Directors of Resources, Visible Services and Housing, the Leader and the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development to agree the terms of, and to execute, the said lease between this Council and Barry Town Council, should an agreement on such be reached.

 

(6) T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Director of Visible Services and Housing in consultation with the Director of Resources, the Leader and the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development to submit an 'Armed Forces Community Covenant Grant Scheme' application in connection with this project.â€

 

Regrettably the Council had been unsuccessful in securing any funding towards this project from the Armed Forces Covenant Grant Scheme and, therefore, if the scheme was to progress an alternative funding arrangement had to be sought.

 

The Director of Visible Services and Housing had recently written to the Town Clerk of Barry Town Council seeking a view on possible joint funding arrangements for the project given the discussions to date and following the decision on the Armed Forces Covenant Grant Scheme application.  That letter indicated that the Director would report the matter to Cabinet with the intention of seeking funding of £250,000 from the Visible Services reserves.

 

The matter was reported to the Barry Town Council at a special meeting on 24 March, 2015 at which the Town Council agreed in principle to match fund the Vale of Glamorgan Council's provisional offer.  The response from Town Council also provided a set of minutes of their meeting as there were other matters which the members felt needed consideration as part of any joint funding arrangement.  Those minutes were attached at Appendix A to the report.

 

The specific requirements of the Town Council would need to be contained within the funding document to be agreed between the parties and as set out in the recommendations of the report.

 

Given the possible time delays to the commencement of works on site which may result from ecological consideration on site it was considered prudent to allow advanced clearance works under the control of the appointed ecologist and recommendation 4 of the report provided for this contingency.

 

Consultants had been appointed to advise the parties on the detailed design of the scheme and the consultant would be able to facilitate a workshop with representatives from both Councils.

 

The delivery of the scheme had been passed to the Project Management Unit but the Project Manager would continue to receive support from the client team and the Council's Landscape Architect.  Joint arrangements for reporting would be provided as part of the funding arrangements with the Barry Town Council.

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council's contribution of £250,000 would be taken from the Visible Services Reserve.  Previous best estimates of works were reported previously to Cabinet as being in the region of £383,000 so an allocation of £500,000 was considered to be sufficient to deliver the project inclusive of fees and mitigation of the ground contamination previously reported.

 

At the meeting the Leader and Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services expressed disappointment that the Council did not receive any grant funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Grant scheme. However, both Cabinet Members were pleased that the Cemetery Approach: Community Garden and Nature Area project would progress with joint funding from the Barry Town Council and the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)      T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Director of Visible Services and Housing in consultation with the Managing Director, the Leader and the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services to enter into an appropriate funding agreement with Barry Town Council and that delegated authority be granted to the Head of Legal Services to execute the agreement.

 

(2)      T H A T the Capital Programme be amended to include £500,000 funding for this project, subject to funding of £250,000 being provided by Barry Town Council.  The remaining £250,000 would be funded by the Council from the Visible Services Reserve.

 

(3)      T H A T a further report be provided to Cabinet in due course, and following design workshops with the appointed representatives of both the Vale of Glamorgan Council and the Barry Town Council and the Council's design consultant to agree the detailed layout and content of the scheme, to allow Cabinet to agree the scheme in advance of the works tendering process.

 

(4)      T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Director of Visible Services and Housing in consultation with the Managing Director, the Leader and the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services to enter into an appropriate ground clearance contract, in advance of any main works contract, should it be required.

 

(5)      T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Director of Visible Services and Housing in consultation with the Managing Director, the Leader and the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services to advertise the disposal of the land and to have regard to any objections raised.

 

(6)      T H A T a further report, giving consideration to S123 of the Local Government Act 1972, and detailing any objections received, be provided to Cabinet in respect of the proposed land transfer arrangements to the Barry Town Council in due course.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)      To ensure that an appropriate funding agreement was in place to deal with the funding requirements of both Councils in terms of procurement and expenditure arrangements in delivering the project.

 

(2)      To provide certainty of funding in advance of the completion of detailed design and procurement of the works.

 

(3)      To meet the terms of the Barry Town Council's funding offer.

 

(4)      To ensure that such clearance was carried out at the appropriate time of the year and in accordance with the ecological advice provided to the Council by its consultant.

 

(5)      To meet the requirements of Section 123(2)(a) Local Government Act 1972 and to have regard to any objections raised.

 

(6)      To provide detailed guidance regarding the method of transfer of the land and an indication as to what consideration of Section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972 and General Disposal Consent (Wales) 2003 Order had taken place.

 

C2797          The Lodge, Penarth Athletic Field (HBMCS & VLS) (Scrutiny Committee – Housing and Public Protection) -

 

Approval was sought to declare The Lodge at Penarth Athletic Field surplus to the requirements of the Parks and Grounds Maintenance Division but to retain the property and to transfer asset ownership to the Council's Housing Department. 

 

Penarth Athletic Field Lodge was a 3 bedroomed House located on the edge of Penarth Athletic field sport facility and was in the ownership of the Council. Until 1996 the Parks section employed a groundsman to maintain and provide security to the site whilst living in the Lodge on the perimeter of the ground. When the groundsman left it was decided to reconfigure his workload and the property was left vacant. However in 1988 following a number of instances of Anti-Social Behaviour the property was reoccupied by a member of the parks staff. The property was still occupied by the original employee and his family, who had no other alternative accommodation.

 

The Director of Visible Services and Housing in conjunction with Head of Legal Services had sought Counsel's opinion to clarify the complex legal issues regarding security of tenure, and contract law in this unique case and to examine the options open to the Council in terms of dealing with the matter and also resolving the technical issue of the occupancy. The legal advice received had been to the effect that the tenancy was not a service tenancy and was on balance deemed to be a secure tenancy.

 

There were implications for the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) in regularisation of the existing position. Whilst the transfer of the property to the Housing Department would result in an addition to the existing council housing stock, the property would be subject to improvement to ensure that it achieved the Welsh Housing Quality Standard and could be subject to a future right to buy sale.

 

The report noted that improving the property to the Welsh Housing Quality Standard would not only secure the long term future of the asset but would also contribute to the improved financial position of the residents by reducing fuel poverty through the use of energy efficient products in the refurbishment and an increase in (Standard Assessment Procedure) SAP ratings. Due to the lack of suitably adapted accommodation and the shortage of houses in the area any investment would also be deemed to be sustainable.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)      T H A T the appropriation of the property and land shown hatched in Appendix A as attached to the report, from the Park and Ground Maintenance Department to the Housing Services Department for the purpose of the property becoming a part of the Council Housing Revenue Account Housing stock, be authorised.

 

(2)      T H A T the Director of Visible Services and Housing in conjunction with the Head of Legal Services be authorised to enter into a formal secure tenancy agreement with the current occupants of The Lodge, Penarth Athletic Field and that the allocation of the tenancy be made in line with the Council's adopted allocation policy.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)      To enable better management of the housing related asset and increase the supply of affordable housing in Penarth.

 

(2)      To regularise and formalise the tenancy.

 

C2798          Leaseholders Major Works and Payment Options Policy (HBMCS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Cabinet was updated on issues related to Major Works to leasehold properties under the Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) Housing Improvement Programme and the recharging of those works, and approval for the proposed Major Works Payment Options Policy including the Discretionary Loan Scheme, was sought.

 

At the Cabinet meeting of 27 January 2014, (minute no C2175 referred) the suggested process for loans to leaseholders where Major Works were recharged, and to receive progress reports, was approved. Whilst a small amount of external work had been undertaken during 2014/2015, no leaseholders had yet expressed a wish to take out a Council loan.  The more extensive external work programme commenced in April 2015, and it was anticipated that some leaseholders would look to the Council for payment options, in particular where they had no other means of payment.

 

Tenants who exercised their "Right to Buy" on flats did so under a leasehold agreement (or ˜lease’) with the Council.  The lease set out, amongst other things, those costs incurred by the Council which could be recovered from the leaseholder, in respect of service charges, repairs, major works and improvements.  UK law in relation to this area was explicit in that ˜improvements’ could only be recovered where there was an express term in the lease.  A proportion of external works required to Council blocks of flats in order to meet WHQS were ˜improvements’, for example external wall insulation (EWI).  Council lawyers had confirmed that there was no express term in relation to ˜improvements’ in the Council’s standard leases.   A recent leasehold valuation tribunal (LVT) involving a Welsh housing association had reaffirmed this position.

 

The discretionary loan scheme was in the process of being developed in consultation with Finance and Legal Services Officers.  The main criteria of the loan were likely to be:-

 

(a)      Only available to owner occupiers,

 

(b)      Interest payable at the Council’s mortgage rate, which was 5.73%

 

(c)      A minimum term of 12 months (1 year) and a maximum term of 120 months (10 years).

 

(d)      Monthly repayment instalments would be required.

 

(e)      The loan would be secured against the property; this would involve placing a charge via land registry.

 

(f)       An administration fee of £150 could be added to the loan amount or paid in full when signing the loan agreement.

 

The full payment options policy was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

The Council aimed to meet the Welsh Housing Quality Standard by 2017 and to achieve this standard the Council would have to undertake works which were an improvement not just a repair. For example, the Council had recently embarked on the external work elements of WHQS, of which approximately £4.2million related to external wall insulation (EWI). As this was deemed to be an improvement, the HRA would bear the full cost of these works.

 

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 set out the basic ground rules for service charges, defined what was considered a service charge, and set out requirements for reasonableness and for prior consultation of leaseholders.  Section 18 (1) of the Act defined a service charge as ˜an amount payable by a tenant of a dwelling as part of or in addition to the rent:

 

·             Which was payable, directly or indirectly, for service, repairs, maintenance, improvements or insurance or the landlord’s costs of management ; and

·             The whole or part of which varied or may vary according to the relevant costs’

 

Service charges were required to be reasonable and on which a Tribunal may make a determination of reasonableness.  Section 18(1) did not however overrule the lease. The item or service charge still had to be included in the lease in order to be chargeable.

 

The report also noted that a small number of cases in the Vale had come to light where a lack of repair to external elements by the Council had resulted in further damage to a leaseholder’s own fixtures and fittings.  Where it was found that this was the case, the Council had a legal obligation to undertake consequential repairs at no cost to the leaseholder.

 

Providing payment options would not only ensure maximisation of income towards the cost of the improvement works but would also assist leaseholders in meeting their legal obligations.

 

At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety tabled a Supplementary Paper for this Agenda Item which detailed further information from Welsh Government. The following statement from Welsh Government was emailed on the 8th June to Officers in both local government and the registered social landlord sector to inform organisations of the ongoing consultation that Welsh Government was undertaking in respect of recharging leaseholders for major repairs. The email stated that:

 

˜You may be aware that one option we are currently considering is a mandatory cap on the amount that can be recharged to leaseholders – this would be similar to œFlorrie’s Law†in England which I am sure you know imposes a £10,000 cap (excluding London which is £15,000) over a rolling 5 year period for the amount that can be recharged for major works.

 

We have not decided to impose a cap in Wales at this time, however we are most interested in data whereby proposed works will charge each leaseholder over the £10,000 threshold. We would like to know in much more detail information about the works themselves and recharging to leaseholders.

 

To that end, we propose holding a one-off half day session to determine this information. We consider this to be vital in ensuring that we provide accurate and correct information to the Minister for Communities & Tackling Poverty so that an appropriate decision may be made.’

 

In light of the information received from Welsh Government, the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety added an additional recommendation to the report that would enable external works to continue as per the WHQS programme, preventing delays to vital works for Leaseholders and Tenants.

 

She further commented that a supplementary report would be coming to Cabinet after the Welsh Government consultation exercises had taken place.

 

In closing, the Cabinet Member explained that Council Officers would be attending the Welsh Government consultation session and had also been meeting with Leaseholders and Tenants, to keep them updated on this issue and help them to determine the best options available.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)      T H A T the Major Works Payment Options Policy attached at Appendix 1 to the report and the proposed Discretionary Loan Scheme be agreed.

 

(2)      T H A T it be agreed that Option 5 of Appendix 1 as attached to the report, may not be available to those leaseholders who had existing mortgages or did not have sufficient equity in their property.

 

(3)      T H A T it be agreed that works deemed to be 'improvements' such as external wall insulation were not rechargeable to leaseholders, and the full cost would be borne by the Housing Revenue Account.

 

(4)      T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Head of Housing and Building Services in consultation with the Head of Finance and Head of Legal Services to recharge a reasonable amount to leaseholders for repairs where it was identified that delay in commencement of the external works programme had resulted in additional repair costs.  

 

(5)      T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Head of Housing and Building Services in consultation with the Head of Finance and Head of Legal Services to levy a charge to leaseholders based on the lowest unit cost quoted by the framework contractors for external works where practicable.

 

(6)      T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Head of Housing and Building Services in consultation with the Head of Finance and Head of Legal Services to undertake works at no cost to the leaseholder where it was identified that the lack of repair had caused consequential damages to leaseholders' own fixtures and fittings.

 

(7)      T H A T it be agreed that the external works continue as per the Welsh Housing Quality Standard programme with the necessary notification and estimates being issued to leaseholders and that when Welsh Government completes its consultation and issues its guidance, that the Council reviews its approach.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)      To ensure that leaseholders were able to meet the obligations of their lease by contributing towards the cost of Major Works, and to ensure that the Council fully maximised its income potential towards the cost of works.

 

(2)      To confirm that Option 5 may not be available to certain leaseholders.

 

(3)      To confirm that works deemed to be 'improvements' would be funded by the Housing Revenue Account.

 

(4)      To enable a reasonable repair charge to be levied on leaseholders; this would vary in some cases from the actual cost of works related to leaseholder properties.

 

(5)      To ensure that all leaseholders were recharged broadly the same rate in relation to external elements of Welsh Housing Quality Standard, regardless of locality within the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

(6)      To fulfil the Council's legal obligations in terms of consequential damages.

 

(7)      To prevent delays to external works as per the Welsh Housing Quality Standard programme.

 

C2799           Local Transport Grant Award 2015/16 (R) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

Members were informed of the funding awarded by the Welsh Government (WG) from the Local Transport Fund (LTF), Safe Routes in Communities (SRiC), Road Safety Capital and Road Safety Revenue Grant for 2015/16.

 

Welsh Government (WG) invited Local Authorities to submit bids for Local Transport Grants in February 2015.  WG identified priority areas for support in 2015-16 and expected to see specific objectives reflected in the applications submitted by the Council as highlighted in Appendix 1 attached to the report. The invitation to bid for funding was received on 26 February, 2015 with a submission date of 16 March, 2015.

 

Following the bidding process, the Council had been offered funding to the value of up to £443,517 for 2015/16. This funding was to deliver the following schemes:

 

Active Travel Mapping       £14,000

Road Safety Revenue        £79,750

SRiC Funding                    £349,767

 

The revenue funding allocated was higher than the original indicative allocation of £69,000 as WG wanted the Council to deliver full Kerbcraft (Child Pedestrian Training) to 600 pupils. The Council currently delivered full Kerbcraft (12 weeks courses) to 300 pupils and shorter child pedestrian courses (4 weeks courses) to 300 pupils. The additional funding was to pay for the 12 weeks courses for all 600 pupils.

 

The SRiC funding was to deliver the Barry Docks Link Road to Wenvoe footway / cycleway scheme. This scheme was match funded to the value of £42,593.76 from the S106 funding received as a sustainable transport contribution from the Port Road, Wenvoe Development, as well as that element being delivered by the developer along the Port Road corridor.

 

A copy of the award letter and the terms and conditions of the Grant was attached at Appendix 2 to the report.

 

After presenting this item, the Cabinet Member for Regeneration was pleased to announce that the Vale of Glamorgan Council was the winner of the Road Safety category in the recently held Welsh Transport Awards.

 

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 actions of the Director of Visible Services and Housing and the Head of Finance in accepting the grants' offers be endorsed.

 

(3)      T H A T the S106 match funding element of the Capital Funding and the Grant amounts be added to the Capital Programme.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)      To note the grant details and values.

 

(2)      To formally endorse the actions of officers required to be taken to avoid withdrawal of the grant offers.

 

(3)      To amend the Capital Programme as appropriate.

 

C2800           Bus Services Support Grant 2015 / 2016 (R) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Cabinet was requested to confirm acceptance of the 2015/16 Bus Services Support Grant (BSSG) and was informed on how the BSSG would be used.

 

Introduced originally in 1998/99, the Bus Services Support Grant funding (BSSG) had been very important in providing financial support for bus services across the Vale of Glamorgan.  The grant was ring fenced for Public Transport Services (Local Bus and Community Transport Facilities) and associated administrative costs, together with publicity, and also minor works such as bus shelter improvements. 

 

The total value of the grant across Wales was £11,175,347 for the 2015/2016 financial year, compared to £11,361,783 in 2014/2015. In 2014/15 the Vale of Glamorgan received £371,084.

 

One of the conditions of the grant was that a Local Authority must spend a minimum amount of its allocation on Community Transport Services.  The minimum spend for the Vale of Glamorgan Council was £24,655, although Welsh Government had set a suggested target of £81,718 for the 2015/16 financial year.  The Vale of Glamorgan Council contributed to the operating costs of VEST (Voluntary Emergency Services Transport), EVCT (East Vale Community Transport) and DPVC (Dinas Powys Voluntary Concern) as well as our own community transport scheme - Greenlinks. Applications for each operator had been assessed and the potential grant award was contained at Appendix A attached to the report.

 

Welsh Government specified in its documentation that Local Authorities should use the BSSG to support their core strategic networks and enhance accessibility and connectivity to communities, essential services and facilities.

 

A summary of proposed expenditure for the BSSG for 2015/2016 was contained in Appendix B as attached to report and took into account administration, publicity costs and minor works that could be apportioned to the BSSG.

 

Appendix C as attached to the report showed the amount of cross boundary income that the Council could receive from neighbouring authorities, Cardiff and Bridgend. Cross boundary income was received as services funded by the Vale of Glamorgan that operated within a different authority, giving those residents access to a service that they may not otherwise have had.  The neighbouring authorities could make a contribution to the authority where these services originated.  This was worked out on a percentage/mileage basis and was usually received at the end of the financial year. As there was no binding agreement in place for payment of cross boundary income, it was very much an "informal agreement" between authorities. There was no guarantee that such income would be received year on year.

 

The award of funding letter needed to be accepted by Cabinet in order to be returned to WG by the deadline of 30 June, 2015, to avoid the funding being lost.

 

After presenting this item, the Cabinet Member for Regeneration was pleased to note that the Bus Services 320 and 321 were runners up in the recently held Welsh Transport Awards Partnership category.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)      T H A T the acceptance of £366,347 for the Bus Services Support Grant for 2015/2016 be agreed.

 

(2)      T H A T the proposed use of the Bus Services Support Grant revenue funding as outlined in Appendix B as attached to the report be approved.

 

(3)      T H A T the use of article 13.09 of the Council’s constitution (urgent decision procedure) be authorised to enable the Council to approve the grant by 30 June, 2015.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)      To ensure formal acceptance of the grant which would assist in providing continued local bus service and community transport provision.

 

(2)      To permit the grant to be used as proposed.

 

(3)      To agree the grant in a timely manner.

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