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CABINET

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 13 July, 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.

 

C2833        MINUTES –

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 29 June, 2015 be approved as a correct record.

 

C2834     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

The following declarations of interest were received:

 

Councillor S.C. Egan Agenda Item 12 -  Update on the Action Plan for the Charter between the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Town and Community Councils

 

Reason for Declaration –

 

The Barry Town Council delegate to the Community Liaison Committee.

 

Councillor S.C. Egan left the room while this matter was considered.

 

Agenda Item 13 - Appointments to the Local Service Board, the Council's Reshaping Services Challenge Group, Programme Board and Project Team

 

Reason for Declaration –

 

As a Barry Town Councillor he had dispensation from Standards Committee to speak and vote as the matter concerned

Reshaping Services.
Councillor C.P.J. Elmore Agenda Item 10 - Individual School Performance Progress Panel - Barry Comprehensive School

 

Reason for Declaration –

 

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

 

Agenda Item 15 - Renewal of Vale of Glamorgan Broadcasting CIC (Bro Radio) Deed of Grant

 

Reason for Declaration –

 

As chairman of the Barry YMCA, who provided accommodation to Bro Radio, he was granted dispensation from the Standards Committee to speak, but not vote on the matter.
Councillor L. Burnett Agenda Item 15 - Renewal of Vale of Glamorgan Broadcasting CIC (Bro Radio) Deed of Grant

 

Reason for Declaration –

 

As the Local Authority appointee to the YMCA Management Board, who provided accommodation to Bro Radio, her personal interest did not equate to a prejudicial interest and therefore she was able to speak and vote on the matter.

C2835        TARGET SETTING (REF) –

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) on 23 June, 2015 considered the above report of the Managing Director.

 

The Head of Performance and Development, presented the report the purpose of which was to advise Members of the proposed targets for 2015-16 for all performance indicators reported by the Resources Directorate. The report also highlighted the proposed deletions and additions to the Resources performance indicator dataset.

 

The report advised, that CMT on 25th March 2015, a new approach to target setting was endorsed. This approach focused on adopting a more challenging approach to how the Council set targets by ensuring that there was an assessment of how the Council had performed. This involved evaluating how the Council had performed against target and making best use of external benchmarking data (where available) whilst balancing this against how much of a priority the indicator was to the Council and whether there was capacity to improve performance. All proposed targets for 2015-16 must had an accompanying rationale that clearly explained the reasons for setting the targets at that level. The Council's approach to target setting was set out in the target setting template outlined at Appendix 1.

 

Outlined in Appendix 2 was a full suite of performance indicators that will continue to be collected and reported on during 2015-16. Against each indicator a target had been set and a rationale had been provided to explain why the target had been set at that level. Where possible any internal/external factors, that had driven this decision to set the target at that level had also been provided.

 

For the National Statutory Indicators (NSIs) and Public Accountability Measures (PAMs) Welsh benchmarking data was currently only available for the 2013/14 period by way of comparison. Therefore targets in relation to NSIs and PAMs should be based on performance in relation to top quartile results (in Wales) or the Welsh average during 2013/14. Where this had not been possible, a robust rationale should be provided in Appendix 2 to explain why performance had been set lower than the rest of Wales.

 

In relation to the Outcome Agreement indicators, these targets had already been pre-agreed with the Welsh Government until 2016 (these Outcome Agreement indicators were identified in Appendix 2 by an OA reference as part of the indicator description).  Although in principle these targets had been pre-set with Welsh Government, in instances where the Council’s end of year performance exceeded our target for 2014/15, Directors had the opportunity to set more internally challenging targets (that were separate to the target agreed with Welsh Government) in order to continue to drive the upward trend in performance. Where this was the case, this had been reflected in the rationale section of Appendix 2, where relevant to the Outcome Agreement indicators.

 

For the remaining local level indicators, targets had been set based on the overriding principle to secure continuous improvement (i.e. targets should be set to improve on previous year's performance for 2014-15). However, where it had been identified that budgetary pressures and or service delivery pressures were likely to impact on the Council’s ability to continue to improve performance, this should be clearly stated in the rationale section of Appendix 2, relevant to the indicator.

 

This review process also presents an opportunity to identify whether the existing performance indicators were still appropriate and relevant for reflecting our priorities for service delivery. As part of both service planning and this process, Directorates were asked to identify which indicators they wished to retain, replace delete or add. This was only applicable to locally derived performance indicators and not ones that were set nationally or in agreement with the Welsh Government. These exemptions (for deletion/replacement) apply to four types of indicator that include NSIs, PAMs, Improvement Objectives (that had been set for 2015-16 only) and Outcome Agreement Indicators (that had been agreed with Welsh Government until 2016).

 

During 2014-15, the Council reported on a total of 413 indicators. Following a review of our performance for 2014-15, 357 indicators are being proposed to be collected and reported on during 2015-16. 342 of these indicators are existing measures that will be carried forward from last year.

 

Any proposed deletion and addition of new indicators for 2015-16, was detailed in Appendix 3. For any new measures, generally no targets had been set, as 2015-16 provides service areas with an opportunity to establish a performance baseline. In instances where it was possible to set a target for a new measure this had been carried out and indicated within the Appendix.

 

By way of summary, across the suite of Council performance indicators proposed for 2015-16:

  • 49.8% (142) of indicators had targets that had been set to improve on the previous year's performance result (2014-15 performance)
  • 29.3% (84) of indicators had targets that had been set to remain the same when compared with the previous year; and
  • 21.3% (61) of indicators had performance targets that had been set lower compared with last year's results

For the Resources Directorate this was further broken as follows:

  • There were 56 indicators and for 30 of these it had been possible to set a target and direction of travel.
  • 31.2% (10) of targets had been set to improve on the previous year's performance result (2014-15), 28% (9) of targets had been set to remain relatively static and 34.4% (11) had targets set lower than the last year's performance.
  • Of these indictors, 4 had been set to either achieve or continue to achieve the best possible performance.
  • For 2015-16, 19 indicators had been proposed for deletion and 3 had been identified as new indicators.
  • No Resources indicators that were also Outcome Agreement indicators had revised internally challenging targets set.

Further to the Committee’s previous query regarding the removal of indicator, RS/M028b (the average number of weekly visits to the Council’s Welsh language website), Members were advised that the Council did not have a statutory responsibility to report on this indicator but it did need to ensure that the Council did have a Welsh language website.  The Committee queried whether the information for this indicator would still be collated and in response Members were advised that the data for this would still be collected and available.

 

A Committee Member queried the reason as to why it had been proposed to remove a number of indicators regarding the use of Social Media such as Facebook and Twitter. In response, the Head of Performance and Development stated that these  were of limited value as performance indicators since they did not provide an accurate measure of engagement with the Council and can fluctuate considerably due to factors outside of our control. For that reason, setting targets was not appropriate.  These indicators would however continue to be monitored by the service for management information purposes. .

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)    T H A T the Committee endorse the proposed Resources Directorate targets as outlined in Appendix 2 and for this to be referred to Cabinet for consideration.

 

(2)    T H A T the Committee endorse the proposed deletions and additions to the Resources Directorate performance indicator dataset for 2015-16 as outlined in Appendix 3.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)    To inform Cabinet and to ensure that the Council consistently sets challenging yet realistic performance improvement targets for its priorities in the line with requirements under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.

 

(2)    That the Council reports a relevant set of performance indicators against which it can demonstrate achievement of its priorities.”

 

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

 

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

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the contents of the report.

 

C2836        TARGET SETTING 2015/16 (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) on 16 June, 2015 considered the above report of the Director of Development Services.

 

The proposed targets for improvement for 2015/16 for all performance indicators for the Development Services Directorate were presented to Members for consideration together with the request for Committee to review and endorse the highlighted proposed deletions and additions for approval.

 

Following the end of year reporting period (end of March), all Directorates had been asked to undertake a review of performance against all indicators in order to complete a target setting template.  All Directorates had also been asked to set appropriately challenging targets that both supported the principles of continuous improvement but also realistically reflected the current financial climate and the service's capacity to improve performance.  The Council’s approved target setting was set out in the Target Setting template outlined at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

A full suite of performance indicators that would continue to be collected and reported on during 2015/16 was attached at Appendix 2 to the report and against each indicator a target had been set and a rationale provided to explain why the target had been set at that level.  

 

For the National Statutory Indicators (NSIs) and Public Accountability Measures (PAMs) Welsh benchmarking data was currently only available for the 2013/14 period by way of comparison. Therefore targets in relation to NSIs and PAMs should be based on performance in relation to top quartile results (in Wales) or the Welsh average during 2013/14.  Where this had not been possible, a robust rationale was required to be provided at Appendix 2 to explain why performance had been set lower than the rest of Wales.

 

For 2015/16, five Improvement Objectives had been identified by the Council and of these four of them had performance indicators attached to them (these Improvement Objective indicators were identified in Appendix 2 by an IO reference as part of the indicator description).  Although, initial targets have been set in relation to Improvement Objectives, end of year performance was not available at the time.  This target setting exercise has enabled Directors to review their Improvement Objective targets and revise them where appropriate to reflect end of year performance.  Where this was the case, this had been reflected in the rationale section of Appendix 2, where relevant to the Improvement Objective indicators.

 

In relation to the Outcome Agreement indicators, these targets had already been pre-agreed with the Welsh Government until 2016 (these Outcome Agreement indicators are identified in Appendix 2 by an OA reference as part of the indicator description).  Although in principle these targets had been pre-set with Welsh Government, in instances where  end of year performance exceeded the target for 2014/15, Directors had the opportunity to set more internally challenging targets (that are separate to the target agreed with Welsh Government) in order to continue to drive the upward trend in performance.  Where this was the case, this had also been reflected in the rationale section of Appendix 2, where relevant to the Outcome Agreement indicators.

 

The review process also presented an opportunity for the Council to identify whether its existing performance indicators were still appropriate and relevant for reflecting its priorities for service delivery.  The proposed additions and deletions of any new indicators for 2015/16 were detailed at Appendix 3 to the report.  

 

In considering the report a Member stated that although he accepted the target setting proposals and the rationale for the targets contained within the reports, in his view the document should also contain further information as to the detail of what the service areas had done to date and how well they had done it.  It was therefore suggested that consideration be given to adjusting the format of future reports, which did not consist of a long list of actions grouping targets and actions under headings but were related to outcomes. Reference was made to the

 

Following queries from two Members regarding Disabled Facilities Grants and boat dismantling on leisure land in Barry from two Members it was suggested and agreed that the relevant officers be requested to contact the Members direct to discuss in detail.

 

Having considered the report it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)    T H A T the information as requested, outlined above, be provided to Members as soon as possible.

 

(2)    T H A T  the targets be accepted but that Cabinet be asked to consider the format of reports with the request that the documentation in the future include details of the work that had been undertaken, how well it had been completed and related to relevant outcomes.

 

(3)    T H A T the proposed deletions and additions to the Development Services performance indicators data setting for 2015/16 as outlined in Appendix 3 to the report be endorsed.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)    To apprise Members.

 

(2&3)    To ensure that performance targets are set that are both challenging and realistic and for Cabinet to consider the format of future reports.”

 

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

 

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

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the contents of the report.

 

C2837        TARGET SETTING 2015-16 (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) on 22 June, 2015 considered the above report of the Director of Learning and Skills.

 

The Committee was presented with the proposed targets for improvement for 2015-16 for Learning and Skills performance indicators reported by Learning and Skills Directorate.  The report also highlight the proposed deletions and additions to the Learning and Skills performance indicator dataset for 2015-16.

 

At CMT on 25th March 2015, a new approach to target setting was endorsed. This approach focused on adopting a more challenging approach to how the Council set targets by ensuring that there was an assessment of how the Council had performed.  This involved evaluating how the Council had performed against target and making best use of external benchmarking data (where available) whilst balancing this against how much of a priority the indicator was to the Council and whether there was capacity to improve performance. All proposed targets for 2015-16 must had an accompanying rationale that clearly explained the reasons for setting the targets at that level. The Council's approach to target setting was set out in the target setting template outlined at Appendix 1.

 

Outlined in Appendix 2 was a full suite of performance indicators that will continue to be collected and reported on during 2015-16. Against each indicator a target had been set and a rationale had been provided to explain why the target had been set at that level. Where possible any internal/external factors that had driven this decision to set the target at that level had also been provided.

 

For the National Statutory Indicators (NSIs) and Public Accountability Measures (PAMs) Welsh benchmarking data was currently only available for the 2013/14 period by way of comparison.  Therefore targets in relation to NSIs and PAMs should be based on performance in relation to top quartile results (in Wales) or the Welsh average during 2013/14.  Where this had not been possible, a robust rationale should be provided in Appendix 2 to explain why performance had been set lower than the rest of Wales.

 

For 2015/16, five Improvement Objectives had been identified by the Council and of these four of them had performance indicators attached to them (these Improvement Objective indicators were identified in Appendix 2 by an IO reference as part of the indicator description).  Although, initial targets had been set in relation to Improvement Objectives, end of year performance was not available at the time. This target setting exercise had enabled Directors to review their Improvement Objective targets and revise them where appropriate to reflect end of year performance. Where this was the case, this had been reflected in the rationale section of Appendix 2, where relevant to the Improvement Objective indicators.

 

In relation to the Outcome Agreement indicators, these targets had already been pre-agreed with the Welsh Government until 2016 (these Outcome Agreement indicators were identified in Appendix 2 by an OA reference as part of the indicator description).  Although in principle these targets had been pre-set with Welsh Government, in instances where the Council’s end of year performance exceeded our target for 2014/15, Directors had the opportunity to set more internally challenging targets (that were separate to the target agreed with Welsh Government) in order to continue to drive the upward trend in performance.  Where this was the case, this had been reflected in the rationale section of Appendix 2, where relevant to the Outcome Agreement indicators.

 

For the remaining local level indicators, targets should had been set based on the overriding principle to secure continuous improvement (i.e. targets should be set to improve on previous year's performance for 2014-15). However, where it had been identified that budgetary pressures and or service delivery pressures were likely to impact on the Council’s ability to continue to improve performance, this should be clearly stated in the rationale section of Appendix 2, relevant to the indicator.

 

This review process also presents an opportunity to identify whether our existing performance indicators are still appropriate and relevant for reflecting our priorities for service delivery. As part of both service planning and this process, Directorates were asked to identify which indicators they wished to retain, replace delete or add. This is only applicable to locally derived performance indicators and not ones that are set nationally or in agreement with the Welsh Government. These exemptions (for deletion/replacement) apply to four types of indicator that include NSIs, PAMs, Improvement Objectives (that have been set for 2015-16 only) and Outcome Agreement Indicators (that have been agreed with Welsh Government until 2016).

 

During 2014-15, the Council reported on a total of 413 indicators.  Following a review of our performance for 2014-15, 357 indicators are being proposed to be collected and reported on during 2015-16. 342 of these indicators are existing measures that will be carried forward from last year.

 

Any proposed deletion and addition of new indicators for 2015-16, is detailed in Appendix 3.  For any new measures, generally no targets have been set, as 2015-16 provides service areas with an opportunity to establish a performance baseline. In instances where it is possible to set a target for a new measure this has been done and indicated within the Appendix.

 

By way of summary, across the suite of Council performance indicators proposed for 2015-16:

  • 49.8% (142) of indicators have targets that have been set to improve on the previous year's performance result (2014-15 performance)
  • 29.3% (84) of indicators have targets that have been set to remain the same when compared with the previous year; and
  • 21.3% (61) of indicators have performance targets that have been set lower compared with last year's results.

For Learning and Skills this can be further broken as follows:

  • There are a total of 112 indicators and for 65 of these it was possible to set a target and direction of travel.
  • 64.61% (42) of targets have been set to improve on the previous year's performance, 23.07% (15) have been set to remain the same whilst 12.30% (8) have been set lower when compared with the 2014-15 result.
  • A total of 4 indicators have had a target set to maintain best possible performance.
  • For 11 indicators, targets have been set in line with or to improve on the top quartile performance for 2013-14 and 1 indicator has been set in line with the Welsh average for 2013-14.
  • For 13 Outcome Agreement indicators our performance during 2014-15 exceeded the target set for 2015-16. Although this target has been pre-set with the Welsh Government, the service intends to work towards more internally challenging targets to reflect this improved performance.
  • 3 Improvement Objective indicator's performance exceeded target. Therefore, it is proposed that the targets be revised to set a more challenging target for performance during 2015-16.
  • 20 indicators have been proposed for deletion and 1 indicator (LSM/021d) has been identified as new.

Having considered the report, the Committee

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)    T H A T the Committee endorse the proposed Learning and Skills targets as outlined in Appendix 2 and for this to be referred to Cabinet for consideration.

 

(2)    T H A T the Committee endorse the proposed deletions and additions to the Learning and Skills performance indicator dataset for 2015-16 as outlined in Appendix 3.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)    To inform Cabinet and to ensure that the Council consistently sets challenging yet realistic performance improvement targets for its priorities in the line with requirements under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.

 

(2)    That the Council reports a relevant set of performance indicators against which it can demonstrate achievement of its priorities.”

 

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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.

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the contents of the report.

 

C2838        TARGET SETTING 2015-16 (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) on 15 June, 2015 considered the above report of the Director of Social Services.

 

The report detailed proposed targets for improvement for 2015-16 for all Performance Indicators reported by Social Services.

 

Through the national performance improvement framework, the Council had an obligation to collect, monitor and report on a number of Performance Indicators as set by the Welsh Government to measure their shared priorities with local authorities, these being National Statutory Indicators (NSIs) and Public Accountability Measures (PAMs). The Council also reported against a set of local Performance Indicators which it had developed to help measure progress against its local priorities.  

 

All measures would be reviewed annually to ensure that these reflected changes in national policy, and remained responsive to local priorities.  It would also ensure residents, Elected Members and senior officers could scrutinise key areas of Council performance throughout the year.  The Council’s approach to target setting was set out within the Target Setting template as outlined at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

Outlined in Appendix 2 to the report was a full suite of Performance Indicators that would continue to be collected and reported on during 2015/16.  Against each Indicator a target had been set and a rationale had been provided to explain why the target had been set and that level. Where possible, any internal / external factors that had driven this decision to set the target at that level had also been provided.  

 

The review process also presented an opportunity to identify whether existing Performance Indicators were still appropriate and relevant for reflecting priorities for service delivery.  Having reviewed these, the Directorate had proposed no deletion or addition of new Indicators for 2015-16.  In total, of the 89 Indicators, for 81 of these it had been possible to set a target and direction of travel.  

 

The Chairman in referring to performance indicator SCC007a (The percentage of referrals during the year that were allocated to a social worker for initial assessment) queried the rationale behind the reduction in target which seemed to indicate that the service appeared to be under resourced.  In response, the Head of Children and Young People Services stated that the target set was challenging and realistic. Specifically, this indicator referred more to the front door part of the service and in particular to the initial assessment stage and did not relate to child protection issues.  If there were concerns around child protection, these would be allocated to a social worker immediately.  She stated that in the Vale the service had judged that the practice adopted of utilising experienced Social Care Officers was appropriate.  Furthermore, Members were asked to note something that had previously been raised by Mr. Evans from the Care Council for Wales, regarding how the front end of the service was staffed and the level of qualifications for social care staff.  She assured Members that robust monitoring and quality assurance processes were in place and that all decisions were signed off by an experienced social work practitioner.  

 

Further to this, a Committee Member queried as to what the service was doing in respect of ensuring staff were appropriately qualified and why other local authorities had not adopted the same process.  In response to this, Members were advised that there were a number of staff members who had progressed and qualified to become a social worker but there was always a place for experienced staff who wanted to continue working at the Social Care Officer level.  The Director of Social Services stated that it would remiss of this service not to make best use of these staff.  He mentioned, that given the choice between a newly qualified social worker or a staff member with considerable experience and proven skills, most individuals might well choose the latter.  He also mentioned that the support and supervision available to these staff was reassuring and that it was important to ensure that the number of qualified social workers within the service were used to best effect.  Members requested that a further report on this issue be presented in due course.

 

In querying performance indicator SCC037 (The average external qualification point score for 16 year old Looked After Children, in any local authority maintained learning setting) the Committee noted that previous year’s exceptional performance was primarily as a result of one individual and this indicator could be affected by the small size of the cohort.  

 

A Committee Member enquired as to who would carry out health assessments for Looked after Children.  In response, Members were advised that health professionals would undertake the assessments. They were also advised there had been a reduction in the number of LAC Nurses employed by the University Health Board.  The Committee questioned the level of influence that the Authority could have in relation of this indicator as most of the resources required would come from the University Health Board.  The Committee requested comparative data for Cardiff to be circulated to Members to highlight if this was an issue for the Local Health Board to address.  

 

At this point, the Director of Social Services advised the Committee that some of the data and performance indicators in relation to Looked after Children were about portraying a picture at the national level  as opposed to monitoring local performance.  

 

A Committee Member sought clarification as to when would the new key performance indicators come out.  In response, the Director of Social Services stated that a technical group was looking at a national outcome framework and that this was still ongoing.  

 

In referring to the undertaking of Unified Assessments, a Committee Member queried if these could be carried out during a client visit.  In response, the Head of Adult Services stated that this was something that the service was currently doing and social workers were encouraged to do.  All social workers had been allocated a tablet computer but there was an issue of connectivity, which would be remedied by new IT systems.  He also stated that a number of social workers did not want IT to interfere during a personal visit but he stated that this was the way the service was heading.  He alluded to the use of on-line assessments for individuals and the potential costs around IT training and the integration of the new equipment.

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the proposed targets for improvement for 2015/16 for all performance indicators reported by Social Services be agreed and to be referred to Cabinet.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To inform Cabinet and to ensure that the Council is consistently setting challenging yet realistic performance improvement targets for its priorities in line with requirements under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.”

 

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

 

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

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the contents of the report.

 

C2839        BUILDING CLEANING AND SECURITY REVIEW (REF) -     

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) on 23 June, 2015 considered the above report.

 

Cabinet, on 1st June, 2015 was provided with an update on developments in the Building Cleaning and Security Service as part of the Reshaping Services Project.  At this meeting, Cabinet approved changes to the Cleaning and Security Services provided at corporate office buildings.

 

The report was presented by the Director of Visible Services and Housing who was joined by the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety.

 

In providing a background summary, it was noted that in total the Cleaning and Security Service was resourced by 299 individual members of staff. The Council operated an internal cleaning and security service within the Visible Services and Housing Directorate.  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 could choose to make arrangements under Service Level Agreements with the Cleaning and Security Service for cleaning within schools.  

 

Over recent years, the Building Cleaning and Security Service had seen a reduction in the number of schools and office sites procuring cleaning services.  This had 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 small number of customers and this was eroding its overall financial viability, necessitating the fundamental examination of the service.  It was noted that the service scored highly in terms of customer satisfaction, measured by regular client surveys.  

 

The Cabinet report set out proposals to change the level of office cleaning and security provision at Council office buildings in order to assure appropriate service levels and to achieve the approved savings contained within the Council’s Final Revenue Budget proposals for 2015/16 associated with building running costs.  It was also proposed that the review of Cleaning and Security Services (which was to be undertaken as part of tranche 2 of the Reshaping Services Programme) should ascertain the long term viability of the service and, where appropriate, identify alternative ways of delivering these services.

 

Security and Cleaning Services commissioned by the Council’s Facilities Management Team and provided by the Council’s internal Cleaning and Security Service were provided at the following buildings:

  • Civic Offices
  • Town Hall
  • Docks Office
  • Alps Depot
  • Court Road Depot
  • Provincial House.

The Council also operated on 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 as a separate point.

 

Appendix A, illustrated the current and proposed number of working hours at each of the in-scope corporate office buildings.  Currently there were a total of 29 posts working a total of 1083 hours per week. The proposals would result in there being 15 posts working a total of 565.5 hours per week employed by Building Cleaning and Security Services.  In addition, proposals were being developed for there to be one employee employed for a total of 37 hours by Learning and Skills directly.  The proposed number of employees was subject to change in line with consultation outcomes.

 

It was recognised that the changes being proposed would have an impact for a range of stakeholders.  Financial cost, 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 within paragraph 20 and other relevant sections of the report.  

 

In summary these included, for the Civic Offices, removal of the car park attendant with access to the car park via a security pass. The Committee noted that some issue with this proposal had been identified and a review of car parking arrangements at the Civic Offices and Barry Leisure centre was underway.

 

The proposals included the removal of on-site security guards from all corporate buildings, with the exception of the Alps and Court Road depots.  This was due to the need to maintain a 24 hour presence for both operational and insurance purposes.

 

Opening hours of buildings (and therefore shift patterns) had been derived based on an analysis of the usage of these buildings, including the times when the buildings were used for Council meetings.  These shift patterns included an allowance, where appropriate, for the time required to ensure buildings were secured before being alarmed and locked overnight.

 

It was further proposed that the existing service at Provincial House continued unchanged in terms of number and pattern of hours worked.  This would be subject to review depending on the future need to retain this building.  The security provision at this office would therefore be contracted on a temporary contract basis.

 

It was also proposed that there should be a Building Assistant role based at the Town Hall site, reporting to and paid for by the Learning and Skills Directorate.  This role would predominantly provide support to the Library service, but also provide a degree of security/porter function to Art’s Central and the Mayor’s Office, with a contribution towards the costs being made by Arts Central and Mayor’s Office.

 

The remaining security (porter) roles at the Civic and Docks Offices would be updated to reflect the range of duties now required from these posts and these posts would be re-designated as ‘Premises Assistants’.  Also there would be changes to porter cover and night time security with Premises Assistant Cover from 7am till 3:30pm on Saturdays with closure of the building on Sundays.

 

The current mobile guard service would continue unchanged across all corporate buildings, offering a mobile presence on weekdays between 8pm and 8am and for 24 hours a day at weekend

 

Changes to Cleaning Services was shown at Appendix D, which detailed current and proposed staff profile (number of employees and number of working hours) at each of the in-scope buildings.  At present, there were 42 employees working a total of 614.5 hours per week.  Proposals would see there being 26 employees working a total of 330.5 hours per week.

 

Current vacancies within each service area had been analysed and could be found at Appendix E. Within the security service there were four vacant posts across a number of sites, offering a total of 148 weekly hours.  Within the cleaning service there were 31 vacant posts again over a number of sites, offering a total of approximately 329 average hours each week.

 

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, it was proposed that changes to both Cleaning and Security functions be 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 Avoiding Redundancy Policy and Procedures.  

 

Implementation of the proposal for both the Security and Cleaning functions was estimated to realise a total budget saving of £308,037.  Based on the project plans, these savings would be realised from 1st December, 2015 which would equate to an estimated budget saving of £120,000 in 2015/16 and the remaining £187,000 in 2016/17.  This would contribute to the £500,000 saving set out in the Council’s Final Revenue Budget proposals for 2015/16 for a review of Council wide property costs including running costs, as formally approved by Council on 4th March, 2015 (Min. No. 941).  The remainder would be realised from further property related savings initiatives.  

 

Supplementary information regarding an analysis of overheads was provided at the meeting.  Members noted that in relation to Building Cleaning services, overheads were currently around 12% of the turnover level of Building Cleaning services.  Within the current review it was anticipated that the Building Cleaning turnover would reduce by £154,000 by making changes to the level of service provided at Council offices.  Using the 12%, this turnover would have made a contribution to overheads of around £18,000.  

 

For the Security Services, whilst reviewing the costs of the Security Service the same level of overheads had been attributed to the new revised service and therefore this cost had already been factored into the revised charge to the corporate office accommodation budget for these services.

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety commented that this was the hardest and most difficult report that she had brought to Committee, which affected some of the lowest pay staff in the Vale.  She stated that there had been a top-down approach in respect of rationalisation but it had now become vital to now implement these proposals.  Cabinet had had many conversations around these proposals and the decision had come down to the amount of funding available which had left Cabinet with no choice.  She went on to state that she was confident that the Council could work with the staff involved, such as those close to retirement and that there was always a natural turnover of staff which meant that posts could become vacant as proposals progressed.  She praised the effort and work of the Director of Visible Services and Housing in ensuring that the Council talked to staff and communicated proposals prior to anything being decided and that it was important for these proposals to now go out for consultation.

 

The Committee felt that it was important for the Council to retain proportionality and to ensure that all areas were taking the necessary strain. Members raised a number of queries regarding overhead costs, consideration of ‘client costs’ and with the loss of schools, whether the Council was seeking alternative clients.  The Director of Visible Services and Housing  advised Members that a further £200,000 savings would be required for 2016/17 and that ‘client costs’ would be addressed as part of the Reshaping Services programme.

 

Further to these points, the Chairman commented that the Council needed to be cleverer around who was offered services. The Chairman briefly alluded to the adoption of new approaches to fund services such as the use of the ‘Contribution Model’ where the direct cost was accounted for but there would be a contribution to indirect cost often referred to as “overheads”.  He explained that there was a need for a marketing strategy to promote services to outside organisation such as Banks and other private sector businesses. The chairman recommended that the response from the cleaners who were looking to retain their jobs even with less hours be considered and he was pleased that the Director for Visible services was actively looking at this, in any forthcoming Cabinet report.

 

As a follow up to the Chairman’s comments, the Director of Visible Services and Housing stated that a Marketing Officer would shortly be appointed on a temporary basis. Their role would be to look at attracting new business and to promote the range of services available. He alluded to the consideration of a Council-owned company that would be able to operate in a different fashion to the Council service and be able to attract greater income.  He offered a word of caution; as such a company would need to consider staff terms and conditions which were bound by agreements with trade unions.

 

The Director also advised that there was a need to look at relationships with schools and the way that Service Level Agreements with schools were devised.  He stated that the loss of a number of school contracts was a blow and the service needed to a plan to ensure that there was closer working arrangements with them.

 

A Committee Member queried whether the intruder alarm system installed at the Town/Hall and the Civic Offices was linked to the Police. In response, the Director of Visible Services and Housing explained that he wasn’t entirely sure but he suspected that they were. He would clarify this and would advise Members accordingly.

 

As a final point, Members requested that the next follow up report to Cabinet also be referred to this Committee.

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)    T H A T Cabinet’s decision to approve the proposals for changes to cleaning and security services at the corporate buildings be endorsed.

 

(2)    T H A T the views and opinions of the Committee, as outlined within the body of the minutes be referred to Cabinet for consideration.

 

(3)    T H A T the Committee receive a follow up report once presented to Cabinet.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)    To endorse the Cabinet’s decision.

 

(2)    To inform Cabinet on the views of the Scrutiny Committee in relation to ways of attracting new clients such as private sector businesses and the need to consider the Council’s relationship with schools.

 

(3)    To ensure that the Scrutiny Committee be kept informed of developments around the proposals for changes to cleaning and security services.”

 

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

 

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

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the report and the comments made by the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the contents of the report.

 

C2840        BUILDING CLEANING AND SECURITY REVIEW (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) on 16 June, 2015 considered the above report.

 

Cabinet, at its meeting on 1st June, 2015 was provided with an update on developments in the Building Cleaning and Security Service as part of the Reshaping Services project and proposed changes to the cleaning and security services provided at corporate office buildings.

 

The report outlined that 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 and 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 also 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 security and cleaning services were 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 which 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 1st 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 4th March, 2015 (minute number 941).  The remainder would be realised from further property related savings initiatives.  Supplemental information was also tabled at the meeting relating to the overhead costs of the proposals for Committee’s information.

 

The report, along with the supplementary information, had also been referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) for their consideration with the intention that the comments from both the Committees be reported back to Cabinet for their final determination at its meeting on 29th June 2015.  The Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety stated that it had been an extremely difficult report to put together and it was as a result of austerity measures that savings had had to be identified.  Members of the Committee also stated that they were disappointed that these actions were having to be taken and were reassured by the Director that the Human Resources and Employment Relations implications for staff were extremely important matters which would require a clear communication and engagement strategy with staff and the recognised Trade Unions from across the Council.  As part of the consultation arrangements, the Director further advised that the service would progress the proposals in accordance with the Council’s agreed policies and procedures in particular the Change Management and the Avoiding Redundancy Policy procedures.  However, where possible, opportunities to mitigate displacement of staff would be fully explored through matching existing staff to appropriate posts or re-deploying to suitable existing vacant positions within the Service and the wider Council as described in the report.  The service would also be looking to be flexibile with proposals made by staff during the process.  The Council would also continue to work with partner organisations to determine whether potential existed to support staff in acquiring employment in other organisations if required.  He further assured Members that the Council was committed to offering voluntary redundancy opportunities to staff in circumstances where changes of scale were being proposed.  It was also important to note that the current vacancies within each service area had been analysed and could be found at Appendix E to the report outlining that within the Security Service there were currently four vacant posts across a number of sites offering a total of 148 weekly hours, and for the Cleaning Service there were currently 31 vacant posts across a number of sites offering a total of 329 average hours each week.  He had also been informed that day of the resignation of a security supervisor who would be leaving the Council for employment elsewhere.  

 

Members in referring to the impact on the car parking service were advised that a review had been commissioned into car parking charging in town centres with the consultant’s report being expected prior to the August recess.  The Director advised that a specific piece of work would also have to be organised for the Civic Offices and Leisure Centre car parks.  The Chairman requested that such reports also be referred to the Scrutiny Committee for consideration once received.  A number of Members referred to the suggested use of swipe cards at the barriers to the entrances of the Council offices car parks and the issues and implications as a result, with it being noted that it would probably be best to wait for the car parking report to be presented for consideration before further discussion too place. The Director advised that he hoped to present a range of options for Members consideration in due course.

 

Members were also keen to learn from the Director the views of the Trade Unions on the report and were informed that the Director had written a personal letter to staff and that the Trade Unions had been fully involved in the process.

 

The Leader of the Council, with permission to speak, also stated that in his view this had been the most difficult report for his consideration in view of the staffing implications.  Although he was fully aware of the savings that had to be made he however, took the opportunity to urge all Members of the Council to consider the report and during the consultation period provide any ideas / suggestions for consideration by the Cabinet.  

 

The Committee aware of the implications of the report and the need for the Council to consider savings in the current climate requested that if the Cabinet agree the report on 29th June 2015 that a further report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee following the outcome of the avoiding redundancy policy and the impact on staff. It was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)    T H A T the proposed changes to Cleaning and Security Services provided at corporate buildings as outlined in the report be accepted.

 

(2)    T H A T, notwithstanding the further reports to be presented as outlined above, Cabinet be advised that a further report to also be presented to the Scrutiny Committee detailing the outcome of the avoiding redundancy policy and the impact of the proposals on staff.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)    In light of the austerity measures being imposed on the Council.

 

(2)    To advise Members of the detail of the impact of the proposals on staff.”

 

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

 

After presenting this item, and taking into consideration the previous item of the same title, the Leader confirmed that any comments from the Scrutiny Committees (Corporate Resources & Economy and Environment) would be considered in a further report to Cabinet.

 

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

 

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

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the contents of the report.

 

C2841        INDIVIDUAL SCHOOL PERFORMANCE PROGRESS PANEL – BARRY COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) on 22 June, 2015 considered the above report of the Director of Learning and Skills.

 

The Chairman presented the report, the purpose of which was to update Members of the School Progress Panel meeting held at Barry Comprehensive School by the Panel of three Members of the Committee on 28th April, 2015.

 

The School Progress Panel meeting for Barry Comprehensive comprised of Councillor N.P. Hodges (Chairman of the Panel), Councillor F.T. Johnson and Dr. C. Brown (Co-opted Member).with Mr. G. McNamara (Headteacher), Mr. A. Thompson (Deputy Headteacher), Mrs. K. Beaudette (Chairman of Governors), Mrs. A. Forte (Vice Chairman),  Ms. J. Hill (Director of Leaning and Skills), Mr. M. Glavin (Head of School Improvement and Inclusion), Dr. A. Morley (Schools Challenge Cymru - School Advisor) and Mr. G. Davies (Scrutiny Support Officer) in attendance.  

 

The report outlined that following the 2013 external examination results in each of the core subjects, the proportion of students achieving higher grades A*- C had fallen materially since the previous year including a fall from 59% to 42% in English and 52% to 43% in Mathematics. The proportion of students gaining five A*- C grades including Maths and English fell from 45% to 30%.  

 

At the previous meeting, held in January 2014, the Panel noted the package of support that had been provided and that improved results were anticipated.  However the Panel was uncertain at the time as to whether improvements in 2014 would be sufficient to meet the agreed targets.

 

The Panel meeting had been convened as a result of the recommendation of the Panel to revisit the school following the GCSE results in August 2014.  This was, therefore, 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.  

 

For Members' information, since the meeting in January 2014, a new Chairman of Governors (Mrs. K. Beaudette) and a new Vice-Chairman of Governors (Mrs. A. Forte) had been appointed.

 

The new Chairman of Governors was able to advise the Panel of the improvements made to the governance arrangements within the school.  She explained that one of the first tasks, in conjunction with members of the full Governing Body, was to look at structures within the governing body.  From this a number of sub groups had been formed with delegated responsibilities that separated out whereas such as finance, school buildings and pupil attainment.  The School Improvement Working Group was seen as an important development which was a response to the recommendation of the previous Panel visit.  The School Improvement Working Group now concentrated fully on the curriculum side of the school and had developed close links to individual faculties.  The school had also appointed a Well-being sub group that offered a lot of support to staff and pupils and was tasked with looking at safeguarding issues within the school.

 

The Chairman of Governors also stated that the role of Governors had been considered with greater responsibility now spread across a wider range of individual Governors and there was a desire within the school for Governors to better scrutinise standards, for which bespoke training had been delivered on various common themes.

 

In addition, the Panel was advised, that Governor meetings were now more closely linked to monitoring data and the progress of improvement within the school.  At each full Governing Body meeting, a detailed Headteacher’s report was now presented, that highlighted pupil performance and progress to date.  Also a joint sixth form Governing Body group had been created with Bryn Hafren, so that joint scrutiny of performance of post 16 students could be undertaken.  

 

The Chairman of Governors was able to reassure Panel Members that data / information available within the school was more considerable, in depth and detailed. The Panel was advised that the school was better able to track and scrutinise performance information and there was a greater knowledge among the members of the Governing Body.  Governors were now making better use of their own individual knowledge and experience and she commented on the greater active involvement by Governors, spread across the Sub-Groups and she praised the impact that these Sub-Groups had had.

 

In terms of improvements to leadership within the school, a number of changes and appointments had been made. These included the appointment of a new Deputy Headteacher along with a Raising Standards Leader. Also there were new Heads of Departments for English, Maths and Welsh.  Leadership roles had been developed through links established with Treorchy Comprehensive School and standardised line management meetings between the Senior Leadership Team and Subject Leaders were now regularly held.  The school had also improved the operational and management systems around students’ wellbeing and the school had improved the analysis of students’ performance data.  

 

The Headteacher advised the Panel that there was greater accountability to Governors within the school and that underperformance was routinely questioned.  There was increased accountability for Senior Leadership Team link partners and Subject Leaders with specific performance management targets linked to outcomes.  More precise pupil tracking had been undertaken that included fine grading which had enabled pinpointing of personalised interventions and the Raising Achievement and Progress Group regularly monitored progress with emotional and social wellbeing interventions.  The school had also developed appropriate personalised learner pathways for all students.  

 

Key successes at Key Stage 3 for 2014 were reported to the Panel.  For the Core Subject indicator, this had risen above the expected outcomes against modelled expectations based on Free School Meals.  During 2014, there was an upward movement within English, Maths and Science with students’ outcomes for Level 5+ and Level 6+ above the challenge position within the family of schools.

 

The school had been able to increase Level 5+ attainment for all Foundation subjects and there was an increase in the number of students achieving Level 7+.  Current tracking within the school confirmed further improvements and upward position within the Free School Meal benchmark quartiles.  

 

At Key Stage 4, in 2014, 37% of pupils achieved the Level 2 plus pass rate of five A* C grades including Maths and English.  This compared to the 30% pass rate achieved in 2013. At the time of the visit, the school was tracking a 48% pass rate at this indicator for 2015, which represented an 18% increase over two years.

 

Specific interventions undertaken for Year 11 pupils during 2014/15, in order to make learning more effective, included the restructuring of the English curriculum and the creation of extra classes for both English and Maths.  The school had also introduced a more strategic individualised approach e.g. early entry for appropriate students, curriculum restructuring, resetting of classes for targeted students, increased revision sessions for English and Maths (dependent upon early entry passes, security of data, etc.).  The school had further improved the fine level of data tracking systems and the regularity of data capture.  Regular progress reviews were also held between the Headteacher, the Deputy Head, the Raising Standards Leader, Head of English and Head of Maths.  

 

Additional interventions during 2014/15 included the Senior Leadership Team visiting English and Maths lessons.  Extra revision and lunch time classes had been brought in and the school had introduced targeted withdrawal from other curriculum time which had been revisited and updated.  During December and March walking talking mocks and pre-public exams had been undertaken.  The school had introduced personalised learning checklists for all students and for those students who had banked English or Maths, intensive revision sessions had been undertaken in the one subject they did not had.  There was an increased focus on visible leadership with a student progress board being created within the staffroom.  This was where staff could easily see which students were currently mentored or were having interventions, along with the specific target groups for English, Maths and Science.  

 

In order to embed and maintain the level of improvements within the school, the Headteacher explained that there would be an increased focus of sharing of best practice across the school at all levels.  The school would further develop teaching and learning via the coaching model and bespoke links with Cardiff High School and Treorchy Comprehensive School.  The school would look to close the Free School Meal gap and would continue the collaborative work with its pathfinder school (Treorchy Comprehensive School).  There would also be continued accelerated improvement through the Schools Challenge Cymru Programme and through the continued support from the Local Authority.  

 

In questioning the level of early examination entries within the school and the options available to students, the Headteacher advised the Panel that within Maths all pupils had taken early examinations, while in English 70% of pupils had participated.  The options available to pupils would depend upon the individual.  Pupils with As would had the chance to sit additional GCSEs whilst some on Cs would be able to undertake the course again in order to improve their grades.  Those pupils currently on Ds would be the main target group and would be receiving extra support within the school.  He went on to advise that pupils would be on different pathways and some who had English would concentrate on Maths, while those who had Maths would concentrate on English.  

 

The Panel also referred to the public perception of the school among local residents, and queried the potential impact negative press and headlines could have on future pupil numbers. To address this, the school had created a sub-group which had been tasked with looking at how a positive image of the school can be promoted.  

 

Following consideration of all evidence the Panel had determined that considerable progress had been made by the school to address the areas requiring improvement.  

 

Overall, the Panel had an improved level of confidence that the school was working towards its targets.  The Governing Body and the Senior Leadership Team had a clear view of the improvements needed and had put in place an effective plan of action.  The Panel made a positive comment about the good links established with colleagues in Treorchy Comprehensive School and the Panel recognised the input of the Schools Challenge Cymru's Advisor.

 

The Panel considered that the appointment of the new Deputy Headteacher and senior leaders had made a positive impact and was confident that the school was using tracking systems to effectively target interventions.  Also, the availability and usefulness of data / information was of a far higher standard.  

 

The Panel recognised the improvements made to strengthen the governance arrangements and the working of the Senior Leadership Team and was pleased with the Governing Body’s decision to appoint a School Improvement Working Group. The Panel considered it important for Governors to plan for the worst case scenario in respect of funding, which was linked to pupil numbers within the school and the Panel requested evidence of this to be presented at its next visit.

 

A follow up visit will therefore be scheduled to take place sometime during the autumn term 2015 to assess progress and to evaluate the school's plans.

 

A Committee Member commented that it appeared that the new Chair and Vice-Chair of the School Governing Body had played a significant role around the improvements within the school and raised a query regarding the presentation of a Headteacher’s report prior to meetings of the Governing Body. In response, the Director of Learning and Skills advised Members that this issue had been identified at the initial Panel visit, during which copies of the Headteacher report were not available to be evidenced.  She advised that at a recent meeting of all Headteachers in the Vale, there had been an opportunity for the Headteachers to assess how other schools in the Vale shared information with Governors and to look at examples of best practice.  Such an event had received positive feedback and further meetings would be arranged in the future.

 

The Committee went on to question the inability of the Directorate to identify that the school was not presenting a Headteacher’s report and questioned as to why officers were not aware.  In response to this, the Cabinet Member that the Governor Support Unit was made up of two, maybe three staff members and it was difficult for them to monitor 60 or more schools.  He also alluded to the role of the Clerks within the school and their ability in supporting Headteachers and the Governing Body.  

 

A Committee Member referred to the greater accountability apportioned to Governors at Barry Comprehensive School and queried as to what was this exactly. The Director of Learning and Skills stated that following a recent meeting with the Governing Body, around the transformation of schools within Barry, she had observed an improved level of debate from the Governors for Barry which appeared to indicate that Governors at the school were taking their responsibility very seriously.  She informed Members, that the new Chair of Governors was extremely keen to review the way that the Governing Body worked and that new structures and responsibilities had been put in place in order to allow Governors to have better understanding of the school and for Governors to hold the senior leadership team to account.  Roles and responsibilities had been distributed among a wide range of Governors in way that not been previously seen.  

 

In referring to the level of performance of Maths, Members were advised that the school target was to achieve a 61% pass rate of Grades A - C for this academic year and that current evidence indicated that the school would be very close to achieving this target.

 

The Committee, in querying the greater focus on GCSE performance as opposed to A Level results was advised that this was mainly down to Estyn’s close attention around improvements to Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.  Further to this, Members were advised that it was due to the low GCSE performance in 2013 that a formal warning letter was sent to the school and since then the school had made progress but last year was still below the required target.  The Cabinet Member also stated that at Key Stage 4, previous results within the school were low but that now the school was making real progress. He advised Members that the target pass rate of 48% represented the minimum level of achievement and further discussion would be needed if the school did not achieve this.

 

A Committee Member in querying the level of exclusions within the school was advised that the rate of exclusions for previous years was high but this specifically related to fixed term and not permanent exclusions.  The rate of exclusions within the school had stood at 400 school days and the school had been able reduced this to around 160 days per year. The school had achieved this by utilising money from Support from School Challenge Cymru and by challenging behaviours within the school.  

 

In referring to the Panel’s recommendation for the School Governors to plan for the worst case scenario in respect of funding, Members noted that this related specifically to the school’s utilisation of School Challenge Cymru money which would only be available for a certain period of time.  

 

Following this, the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and School provided the Committee with some of his thoughts and observations.  He praised the impact of the new Chair and Vice-Chair of School Governors and the plan that the school had put in place.  He mentioned the work of the School Improvement Working Group which was one of the first actions implemented by the new Chair.  He also alluded to the number of Governors who had now been given greater responsibilities and referred to the six subjects within the school that were now the responsibility of six individual Governors. He made mention that Governors had taken on additional responsibilities and he alluded to the need for training for certain Governors in order to meet the minimum expectations.

 

The Committee then discussed the level of training for School Governors and the need to ensure that Governors were fully aware of their roles prior to them taking up their position.  To these points, the Cabinet Member stated changes had been made to the way the Governors were appointed and that the training provided to new Governors had been improved. This was something that the Council would look at in more detail. Further this, the Director of Learning and Skills stated that a report on Governors would be reported to the Scrutiny Committee at a future meeting.  This would include consideration around Governor training and also would look at the level of support to Headteachers and the need to ensure that reporting arrangements to Governing Bodies were consistent and effective.  

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)    T H A T the Scrutiny Progress Panel findings as detailed in paragraphs 28, 29, 30 and 31 of the report be noted.

 

(2)    T H A T a follow up visit to the school takes places in the Autumn Term following the GCSE results in August 2015.

 

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

 

(4)    T H A T Councillor. R.A. Penrose be appointed to the Barry Comprehensive School Individual Progress Panel.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)    To apprise the Committee of the findings of the Progress Panel.

 

(2)    To monitor progress and undertake a follow up visit.

 

(3)    For Cabinet consideration.

 

(4)    To ensure that the Progress Panel had a full quota of Members.”

 

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

 

After presenting this item, the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools commented that he did not want to add additional pressure on schools, but would prefer to wait until the exam results were released in August before determining if further performance reviews were necessary.

 

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

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)     T H A T the contents of the report be noted and the Performance Progress Panel be thanked for their ongoing work.

 

(2)    T H A T following the release of exam results in August 2015, Cabinet would advise the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) if a further performance review of the school was required.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)    To note the contents of the report.

 

(2)    To determine whether a follow up visit to the school was suitable.

 

C2842        INDIVIDUAL SCHOOL PERFORMANCE PROGRESS PANEL MEETING – EAGLESWELL PRIMARY SCHOOL (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) on 22 June, 2015 considered the above report of the Director of Learning and Skills.

 

The Chairman presented the report which provided the Committee with an update on the School Progress Panel Meeting that had been held at Eagleswell Primary School on 11th February, 2015.

 

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), Ms. K.J. Gibbs (Headteacher), Mr. D. Mutlow (Representative of the Governing Body), Ms. J. Hill (Director of Learning and Skills), Mr. M. Glavin (Head of School Improvement and Inclusion), Mrs. M. Plummer (Lead Officer for School Improvement), Mr. J. Commissiong (Challenge Advisor) and Mr. G.J. Davies (Scrutiny Support Officer).

 

The report outlined that the meeting had been convened as a result of the recommendation of the Panel in July 2014 to revisit the school in order to monitor progress. The Panel meeting was, therefore, 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 back in July 2014, the Panel was encouraged by the school's plans to address the Estyn recommendations.   The Panel considered that the school's plans had been turned into an active process of work and the Panel recognised that there was clear evidence to show improvements had been made to the working of the Senior Leadership Team and around the role of the Governing Body in challenging the school effectively.  At that time, the Panel also noted the school's actions to improve teachers' planning and recognised that the school was still addressing issues around the quality of teaching and acknowledged that plans were in place.  

 

One of the main issues highlighted by the Estyn inspectors during their visit to the school in February 2014, was in relation to the proper completion of teachers' planning.  Estyn had recognised that this was being completed in a retrospective manner and this led to concerns that there were inadequate monitoring arrangements in place by the Senior Leadership Team.

 

In terms of teachers' planning, at the Panel meeting, the Acting Head Teacher explained that the school had made a number of improvements. These now included the submission of all teachers' planning in advance on a fortnightly basis for the purpose of monitoring.  Also, individual feedback is provided to all teachers by the Acting Headteacher, who would highlight any whereas of concern or development.  

 

In order to improve standards of extended writing in English and across the curriculum, it was reported that the latest monitoring report identified that reasonable progress had been made within the school.  The school was also confident that all of the new systems and processes brought in were embedded and that real progress had been made.  Two external audits by the Central South Consortium had been undertaken in order to evaluate the teaching of English within the school and this had included a review of specific whereas such as marking.  An external moderation of 'Big Write' assessments had been undertaken and this had been helpful in order to create a baseline starting point for all pupils.  A second external moderation of the assessments recently undertaken identified that there were some inconsistencies in teaching.  The external moderators were working with the school and providing support and advice in order to improve this situation.  

 

Furthermore, the school had undertaken 'Learner Voice' surveys among its pupils in order to ascertain children’s learning and to collate the views and opinions of the children within the school.  A portfolio of extended writing across the curriculum had been developed and each pupil had devised an individual 'Big Write' profile.  A moderation file, which had been externally moderated, had been collated by the school and this showed examples of accurate levels of achievement.  Also, pupils’ 'I Can' targets had been devised in which the pupils had been encouraged to undertake more self-assessment so as to identify whereas that they needed to work on.

 

Another area of development within the school had been the creation of curriculum maps, these were regarded had being of particular importance in order to improve the writing skills of pupils within the school.  The curriculum map had also been seen as an important development that provided teachers with a starting reference point which had improved planning and the way that lessons had been structured.

 

With regard to the school’s future plans to improve standards of extended writing in English, the Acting Head Teacher advised that this would include increased external specialist support, particularly for two classes.  There will also be a review of provision maps for interventions for pupils with additional learning needs.  The Senior Leadership Team would continue to monitor the use of 'I Can' pupil targets and formative marking.  There will be more explicit evidence of differentiation in some classes and there would be an increased focus on pupils’ accuracy, handwriting and the use of vocabulary.  

 

Referring to Estyn's second recommendation and the school's actions to improve standards in Welsh at Key Stage 2, the Acting Headteacher explained to the Panel that following the recent evaluation of the school's Post Inspection Action Plan, progress was been deemed to be good.  

 

The school had recognised that lesson observations was an important tool that helped to identify whether teachers were correctly using incidental Welsh and to ensure that all classes had ten minutes of Welsh taught each week.  Also through lesson observations, the school identified that the teaching of Welsh in respect of planning was taking place in 100% of cases.  Athrawes Fro had undertaken Welsh learning walks and a Welsh advisor from the Central South Consortium had also been able to undertake lesson observations.  From these, it was identified that the school had shown good progress and effective use of resources.  

 

Next steps for the school aimed at improving the standards of Welsh at Key Stage 2, included greater focus around the use of incidental Welsh in the class room with further training and support feedback from the Central South Consortium's Welsh advisor.  The school also planned to increase the amount of good practice being shwered throughout the school with further development of individual pupil 'I Can' targets undertaken.  

 

In referring to recommendation (3), the school had judged that good progress had been made in ensuring that at Key Stage 2, the curriculum met statutory requirements.  Improvement initiatives included greater emphasis on Maths within the classroom and the development of curriculum maps to ensure that numeracy and writing skills were properly planned for in all subjects.  The school had realigned timetables in order to free up time during the afternoon in order to focus on the Foundation subjects.  Weekly planning is now submitted for fortnightly monitoring and this had been triangulated with the 'Book Looks' and the Learner Voice surveys.  

 

The school's future plans to improve the curriculum will include the mapping of cross curriculum links for Mathematics and cornerstone topics within the literacy and numeracy framework.  The school will aim to improve the tracking around the literacy and numeracy framework and will continue to monitor the consistency of marking.  There would also be explicit evidence of 'differentiation' within some classes.

 

In querying as to exactly how 'differentiation' within classes worked, the Panel was advised that this related to careful teacher’s plans in planning for all abilities within the class.  For this, preparation in planning the lesson was split up in order to cover the ability range of pupils in their class in all aspects, such as writing and literacy.  Teachers would need to identify opportunities for literacy and writing within subjects, such as history and geography at the level to suit the ability of the individual.  This would help support pupils to improve their overall writing skills.  The Acting Head teacher stated however, that within the school it was not always clear within planning whether 'differentiation' was taking place.  Further to this, the Challenge Advisor stated that increased focus on data now showed that the school was making improvements and that the quality of teacher’s planning had progressed.  

 

Referring to the needs to use existing good practice to improve the quality of teaching, the Acting Headteacher advised the Panel that progress within the school had been deemed to be reasonable.  Actions undertaken to improve the quality of teaching included the approval of new policies for teaching and learning.  Verbal and written monitoring feedback is provided to teachers and new performance management targets had been set.  The school had brought forward lesson observations in order to evaluate the situation within the school and to be able address more quickly any issues identified.  

 

The school had devised an internal Excel analysis spreadsheet in relation to lesson observations, used to identify and track the training needs of teachers and co-coaching between teachers had been introduced.

 

The Panel noted that the Acting Head teacher had brought in the 'focus of the week' scheme in order to discuss and question specific issues highlighted.  These were weekly meetings between teachers that usually last between 10 and 15 minutes. The meetings would include an open dialogue and discussion around one specific aspect of the quality of teaching within the school. For example, this could be in relation to teachers marking or around how the school challenges its pupils. An important part of these meetings was the need to identify any training needs or whereas that need further development.

 

The Acting Head teacher had also brought in weekly professional development meetings which provided the school with an opportunity to focus on writing skills, teacher marking and accurate assessments and these were another way for the school to discuss and extract the training needs of the staff.  

 

The Panel noted that the next steps that would be employed by the school to improve the quality of teaching would include the close supervision of three teachers within the school who had been identified had requiring extra monitoring and support. The school would also procure a further external special support for two classes and would also further develop co-coaching for all staff.  

 

To ensure the improved performance of the senior leadership team, the school advised that all job descriptions had been agreed and signed off.   Weekly senior leadership team meetings were now taking place and robust performance management targets had been set.

 

The school had recognised the importance for teachers in tracking pupil performance and feedback is given to staff in order that they fully appreciated their monitoring role.  The school had created shared evidence files which contained contributions from all teachers in order to show the progress made against implementing the Post Inspection Action Plan. For this, on a half termly basis, the Governing Body would receive an update report.  The Panel were further asked to note that the senior leadership team was now working as a team and adhering to the monitoring schedules, the Post Inspection Action Plan and to the agreed new protocols.  

 

Future improvement objectives aimed at improving further the performance of the senior leadership team included the introduction of subject leaders and an improved focus on the impact of actions on learning to address underperformance.  The school would also undertake a comprehensive review of performance management sometime during February 2015.  Finally, it had been recognised within the school, for the need to properly monitor the impact upon standards by the teachers and for all members of the Senior Leadership Team to work as a team and to be able to provide appropriate feedback.

 

Following consideration of all the evidence, the Panel was encouraged by the school’s plans to address the Estyn recommendations.  The Panel regarded that school’s plans had been turned into an active process of work.  The Panel recognised that there was clear evidence that improvements had been made to the working of Senior Leadership Team and around the role of Governing Body in challenging the school effectively.  

 

The Panel noted the school’s actions to improve teachers' planning and recognised that the school was still addressing the issue around the quality of teaching and the Panel acknowledge that plans were in place to address this.  
Since the Panel's visit, on the 23rd April 2015, following its own re-visit to the school, Esytn announced that Eagleswell Primary School had been removed from the list of schools requiring significant improvement. Estyn had judged that the school had made "strong progress" in a number of key areas.

 

RECOMMENDED -     

 

(1)    T H A T the Progress Panel findings as detailed in paragraphs 30 and 31 of the report be noted.

 

(2)    T H A T the Scrutiny Committee notes that following an Estyn monitoring visit on 23rd April the school, on the basis of the progress that had been made, was removed from the list of schools requiring significant improvement.

 

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

 

Reason for recommendation

 

(1)    To apprise the Committee of the findings of the Progress Panel.

 

(2)    To apprise the Committee of the outcome of the Estyn monitoring visit.

 

(3)    For Cabinet consideration.”

 

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

 

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

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted and the Performance Progress Panel be thanked for their work that was now complete.

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the contents of the report and the work of the Performance Progress Panel.

 

C2843        UPDATE ON THE ACTION PLAN FOR THE CHARTER BETWEEN THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL AND TOWN AND COMMUNITY COUNCILS (REF) –

 

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

 

The Community Liaison Committee on 2 July, 2015 considered the above report of the Managing Director.

 

For the benefit of new members of the Committee, the Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer advised that a Charter had been developed between Town and Community Councils and the Vale in 2008, and had been accompanied by an Action Plan which had subsequently been revised in 2014 and agreed by the Community Liaison Committee and the Vale Council’s Cabinet.

 

In preparing the Charter and the action plan a working group had been established which had consisted of representatives of the Vale and Town and Community Councils. Following submission of the action plan the Community Liaison Committee had recommended that progress on the Plan be presented to the Committee on an annual basis.

 

To date the report outlined that 24 Town and Community Councils throughout the Vale had adopted the Charter, which, although not legally binding, was a written partnership agreement between the parties.  All Clerks and Town and Community Councils had been forwarded a copy of the Action Plan in order to complete the progress column and ten responses had been received prior to the meeting.  

 

The Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer confirmed that progress had been made on a number of the actions and that further updates would be presented in due course as part of the Committee’s continuing monitoring role.  The report also made reference to actions that related to information and communication and the statutory guidance that had been provided by Welsh Government to Town and Community Councils in fulfilling their duties. This document was also available on the Welsh Government’s website via the link http://gov.wales/?skip=1&lang=en.

 

Having considered the report it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

(1)    T H A T the progress made with the Action Plan be noted.

 

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

 

(3)    T H A T further update reports on the progress of the Action Plan be presented to the Community Liaison Committee on an annual basis.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)    To ensure that the Committee is made aware of the progress made with the Action Plan and to work towards implementation of the principles agreed in the Charter.

 

(2)    To that Cabinet is aware of the progress made with the Action Plan.

 

(3)    To ensure that progress is made in achieving the agreed actions within the Charter Action Plan and that the Committee is apprised accordingly.”

 

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

 

After presenting this item, the Leader noted that involving the Community Liaison Committee in the Charter adoption had been very successful, with many Town and Community Councils signing up to the partnership agreement.

 

Cabinet, having considered the recommendations of the Community Liaison Committee

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the progress to date on the Action Plan attached at Appendix A to the report be noted and that all the Town and Community Councils be thanked for their continued co-operation.

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the progress to date on the Action Plan attached at Appendix A to the report, and to thank Town and Community Councils for their co-operation.

 

C2844        APPOINTMENTS TO THE LOCAL SERVICE BOARD, THE COUNCIL’S RESHAPING SERVICES CHALLENGE GROUP, PROGRAMME BOARD AND PROJECT TEAM (REF) -

 

The Community Liaison Committee on 2 June, 2015 considered the above report of the Managing Director.

 

The report sought appointments from the representatives of the Town and Community Councils of the Community Liaison Committee to sit on the Local Service Board for the Vale of Glamorgan, the Reshaping Services Challenge Group and Programme Board and to note that an invitation had been extended to Mr. P. Egan of One Voice Wales to sit on the Reshaping Services Project Team.

    

The Head of Performance and Improvement, in presenting the report, advised that the Reshaping Services Strategy, which had been approved by Cabinet on 3rd November, provided a framework for the Council to work with over the next three to five years.  An update on the development of the Reshaping Services Programme had also been considered by Cabinet on 26th January 2015 and had been referred to the Community Liaison Committee for consideration at its meeting on 27th January 2015.  

 

A Cabinet Working Group ( the Challenge Group ) had been established to oversee the Programme and would be responsible for the ongoing review of all service areas during the Programme.  The Challenge Group comprised the Leader, Deputy Leader and relevant portfolio holder and was supported by the Managing Director, Head of Performance and Development, Head of Finance, Head of Human Resources, relevant service directors and Executive Director of the Vale Council for Voluntary Services.  At officer level, a Programme Board was responsible for managing the overall Programme in all its aspects. The Programme Board comprised the Managing Director (in the Chair), the Leader, Corporate Management Team, the Head of Human Resources and Executive Director for the Vale Council for Voluntary Services.  The Sponsor for the Programme was the Managing Director and individual Directors were undertaking the role of Project Sponsor for individual service reviews / project teams.

 

The Council recognised that Town and Community Councils had an important role in representing local communities and could play an important part in informing the development of the Reshaping Services Agenda with regard to concepts such as demand management.  Town and Community Councils could also assist with communication and engagement activities, for example raising awareness of changes being made to public services.

 

In light of the Reshaping Services Programme invitations were therefore being extended to the Community Liaison Committee for a representative of the 26 town and Community Councils to be appointed for a one year term of office to sit on the Council’s Challenge Group/ Programme Board.

 

An invitation was also extended to the Committee to appoint a representative to sit on the Local Service Board for a term of one year.  

 

Although it was suggested that the representative could be the same individual; following a full discussion by the Committee, it was agreed that there should be separate appointments.

 

Appendix A attached to the report provided the criteria that had been identified for the nomination of a Town and Community Council representative to sit on the Programme Board / Challenge Group with Appendix B providing the criteria for the nomination of a Town and Community Council representative to sit on the Local Service Board.  Appendix A also noted that the Challenge Group met on a cyclical basis to review service areas and the Programme Board on a monthly basis.  Although Appendix B referred to the Local Service Board meeting taking place on a monthly basis, the Head of Service advised that this actually took place on a bi-monthly basis.  With regard to the Project Team, the Committee was advised that an invitation had been extended to Mr. P. Egan of One Voice Wales to sit as a member of the Project Team, which he had accepted. This team had scheduled meetings to take place on a three weekly cycle.  

 

Following further consideration, a number of Members suggested that in the future as the nominations were being requested for a year, when the appointments came up for re-election, the representatives should be requested to complete an Expression of Interest for the position detailing their experience in Local Government etc. and suitability for the position. Members considered that this approach would give all Members of the Committee the opportunity to consider in more detail, the individuals attributes and qualities for the positions.

 

Following a vote, it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)    T H A T Councillor M. Cuddy (Penarth Town Council) be appointed to the Reshaping Services Challenge Group / Programme Board for a term of one year.

 

(2)     T H A T Councillor G. Smith (Llanmaes Community Council) be appointed to the Local Service Board for a term of one year.

 

(3)    T H A T the appointment by the Programme Board for Mr. P. Egan of One Voice Wales to sit on the Project Team be noted.

 

(4)    T H A T Cabinet be advised of the recommendations of the Committee and that when the positions are to be reappointed that a suitable assessment process be  put in place in order for the Community Liaison Committee to be able to make informed decisions.

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1-4)    To appoint representatives from the Community Liaison Committee in order to ensure effective engagement.”

 

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Cabinet, having considered the recommendations of the Community Liaison Committee

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)    T H A T the appointments made by the Community Liaison Committee be agreed for a term of one year.

 

(2)    T H A T a suitable assessment process be put in place for replacements to be selected when the next vacancy occurs.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)    To agree the appointments made by the Community Liaison Committee.

 

(2)    To appoint representatives from the Community Liaison Committee in order to ensure effective engagement.

 

C2845        CLOSURE OF ACCOUNTS 2014/15 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Cabinet was informed of the provisional financial position of the Council for the 2014/15 financial year.

 

The Council on the 5 March, 2014 (minute no.884) agreed the Authority’s budget requirement for 2014/15. This represented budgeted net expenditure for the Authority of £214.331m. Total expenditure was to be financed by Revenue Support Grant (£118.125m), National Non-Domestic Rates contribution (£39.516m) and Council Taxpayers (£56.69m). The Standard Spending Assessment (SSA) for the year was £215.041m.

 

The revenue budgets had been amended and approved by Cabinet during the financial year, however, they remained at the same overall net level as the original budget of £214.331m, which was after the planned use of £2.5m from the Council Fund.  The actual expenditure for 2014/15 was £214.331m, which was a breakeven position and followed a transfer of £1.419m from the Council Fund.

 

Appendix 1 attached to the report amended the revised budgets to take account of the following adjustments. There was no overall effect on the Authority.

 

IAS 19 Retirement Benefits -The purpose of this Standard was to ensure that the operating costs of providing retirement benefits to employees were recognised in the accounting period in which they were earned by the employees. Figures provided by the actuary differed from that estimated and the movements needed to be incorporated into the accounts.

 

Asset Rents - This charge could vary each year due to an increase / decrease in the valuation of assets. The movements needed to be incorporated into the accounts.

 

Recharges - Related to movements in charges between internal Council services.

 

Carbon Reduction Commitment Scheme - The scheme required the Authority to report on carbon dioxide emissions associated with the use of electricity and gas within its buildings. Payment was then made to the Environment Agency to cover the charge in respect of those emissions. The original budget to cover the estimated cost was included in Policy; however it had been re-distributed to the relevant services.

 

The below table compared the amended budget and the actual expenditure for the Authority:

 

Service

 

Year - 2014/15

Amended

Revenue

Budget

Total

Provisional

Actual

Variance

+Favourable

() Adverse

£’000 £’000 £’000
Learning and Skills 



Education and Schools 93,026 93,036 (10)
Libraries 2,567 2,560 +7
Adult Community Learning 254 252 +2
Youth Services 1,076 1,063
+13
Catering 1,792 1,772 +20




Social Services


Children and Young People 14,358 14,343 +15
Adult Services 36,830 36,864
(34)
Business Mgt & Innovation 308 300
+8
YOS 672 669 +3




Visible Services and Housing



Environment and Visible Services 18,355 18,351 +4
Parks and Ground Maintenance 3,702 3,696 +6
Building Services 30 29 +1
General Fund Housing 1,446 1,436 +10




Development Services


Public Protection 2,525 2,531 (6)
Private Housing 11,106 11,089 +17
Planning and Transportation 5,225 5,213 +12
Leisure 3,589 3,591 (2)
Economic Development 864 878 (14)




Managing Director    



Resources (12) (28)
+16
Corporate and Customer Services 49 49 0
General Policy 19,069 20,246 (1,177)




Total Net Budget 216,831 217,940 (1,109)
Council Tax Surplus 0 (2,190) +2,190
Use of Reserves (2,500) (1,419) (1,081)
GRAND TOTAL 214,331 214,331 0
         

The main reasons for the variances were set out in the main body of the report.  

 

The overall position on the revised 2014/15 Capital Programme was a variance of £4.9m. The statement at Appendix 3 as attached to the report detailed the outturn by scheme.  To allow project managers to have fully approved capital budgets, capital slippage from 2014/15 to 2015/16 was approved by Managing Director's Emergency Powers on 16 June, 2015.

 

This was a matter for Executive and Council decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)    T H A T the report and the financial measures taken and proposed be approved.

 

(2)    T H A T an increase in the Capital Programme of £600k for the Barry Regeneration Partnership scheme, for a 2 year period commencing in 2015/16 and funded from the Capital Commitment reserve, be referred to Council for approval.  

 

(3)    T H A T an increase in the Capital Programme of £1m for highways resurfacing and maintenance works, which would be carried out over a 2 year period commencing in 2015/16 and funded from the Visible Services reserve, be referred to Council for approval.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)    To approve the report and the financial measures taken and proposed.

 

(2&3)    To amend the Capital Programme and to seek Council approval.

 

C2846        RENEWAL OF VALE OF GLAMORGAN BROADCASTING CIC (BRO RADIO) DEED OF GRANT (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Cabinet was updated on the activities of Bro Radio and an extension of funding was sought for a further three years.    

 

In 2009 Cabinet agreed grant funding for the Vale of Glamorgan Broadcasting CIC (“Bro Radio”) which resulted in the establishment of the community radio station.  The 2009 Deed of Grant expired in 2012 and was subsequently renewed for a further three years. Throughout this time the grant had been set at £24,000 per year, paid in equal monthly instalments.

 

The Council received regular reports detailing the work undertaken by Bro Radio on behalf of the Council and the partnership between the two organisations continued to grow stronger.
As a result of this partnership the Council benefitted from:

  • Public service announcements, for example school closures and road closures;
  • Promotion of news and information about Council services;
  • Promotion of the Council's website and other corporate communication channels;
  • Promotion of various Council-led campaigns via both advertising and studio features;
  • Election coverage;
  • Promotion and broadcasting coverage of Council events;

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration commented that Bro Radio has had a presence at nearly all large events in the Vale and sought to increase the number of events they staged themselves. She continued that Bro Radio distributed vital information for the Council, such as public service announcements, and had impressed Welsh Government Ministers during numerous visits to the station, due to the professionalism of the presenters and the skills they developed in the community.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)    T H A T the Managing Director be granted delegated authority in consultation with the Leader to renew the Deed of Grant between the Council and the Vale of Glamorgan Broadcasting CIC (Bro Radio) for a further three year period.

 

(2)    T H A T subject to resolution 1 above an annual grant of £24,000 be payable to Vale of Glamorgan Broadcasting CIC (Bro Radio) in monthly instalments.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)    To enable the funding arrangement to be regularised by way of a Deed of Grant.

 

(2)    To assist in the trading of the Vale of Glamorgan Broadcasting CIC and to facilitate the continued broadcasting of the community radio station and commensurate support of the Council’s communications strategies.

 

C2847        INSTRUMENT OF GOVERNMENT FOR YSGOL GYMRAEG BRO MORGANNWG (CSS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – LIFELONG LEARNING) -     

 

Approval was sought of the proposed name of the amalgamated Welsh medium school in Barry as Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg.

 

The Council had previously approved the proposal to amalgamate Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg and Ysgol Nant Talwg to become Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg with effect from 1 September, 2015.

 

The governing body had to submit its draft Instrument of Government to the Local Authority for making in accordance with the Government of Maintained Schools (Wales) Regulations 2005 legislation. This was the legal process for naming a new school.

 

The federated governing body of Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg and Ysgol Nant Talwg approved the draft Instrument of Government attached at Appendix 1 to the report on 17 June, 2015. The governing body became the governing body of the newly amalgamated school with slight alterations to its membership to comply with the Government of Maintained Schools (Wales) Regulations 2005.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the Instrument of Government attached at Appendix 1 to the report, and consequently the name of the amalgamated school in Barry as Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg, be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To ensure that the naming of the school complied with the legal framework.

 

C2848        INSTRUMENT OF GOVERNMENT FOR YSGOL Y DDRAIG (CSS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – LIFELONG LEARNING) -

 

Approval was sought of the proposed name of the amalgamated primary school in Llantwit Major as Ysgol y Ddraig.

 

The Council had previously approved the proposal to amalgamate Eagleswell Primary School and Llanilltud Fawr Primary School to become Ysgol y Ddraig with effect from 1 September, 2015.

 

The governing body had to submit its draft Instrument of Government to the Local Authority for making in accordance with the Government of Maintained Schools (Wales) Regulations 2005 and the New Maintained Schools (Wales) Regulations 2005 legislation. This was the legal process for naming a new school.

 

The temporary governing body of Ysgol y Ddraig approved the draft Instrument of Government attached at Appendix 1 to the report on 18 May, 2015. A permanent governing body would be established after the new school opened in September 2015 and before the end of its first term i.e. prior to 31 December, 2015 in accordance with the New Maintained Schools (Wales) Regulations 2005.

 

A Naming Committee comprising of pupils, staff and parents was established.  The committee agreed that a name was required for the school that was strong, proud and reflected 'Welshness'.  For several weeks the Naming Committee worked closely with the School Councils from both schools in organising the gathering of ideas involving pupils, staff and parents in both schools.  

Ysgol y Ddraig translated as 'The Dragon School'.  The name clearly demonstrated 'pride and place'; not just as a school in Llantwit Major and the Vale of Glamorgan but as a centre for excellence in learning and teaching in Wales.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the Instrument of Government attached at Appendix 1 to the report, and consequently the name of the amalgamated school in Llantwit Major as Ysgol y Ddraig, be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To ensure that the naming of the school complied with the legal framework.

 

C2849        ROYAL NATIONAL LIFEBOAT INSTITUTION (RNLI) BEACH LIFEGUARD SERVICE (VLS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Cabinet was apprised on the existing arrangements for beach lifeguarding and approval was sought for the appointment of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) as the service provider for a further 5-year period from 2015/16.

 

Beach lifeguarding for the last 3 years had been provided by the RNLI and the contractual arrangements, managed by Waste Management & Cleansing. Seasonally, lifeguards were deployed to Whitmore Bay, Rhoose, Llantwit Major, Southerndown and Ogmore beaches. The beaches at Whitmore Bay and Llantwit Major were directly managed by the Council and though Rhoose, Southerndown and Ogmore were privately owned, there was an historical arrangement in place for the Council to provide lifeguards at all of these beaches.

 

The RNLI provided the service to all the beaches except Rhoose following their engagement to undertake beach risk assessments, on the Council’s behalf.  The purpose was to identify and assess the risks posed by potential hazards and to evaluate the current level of lifeguard cover provided. This was to ensure the Council sufficiently met its responsibilities in terms of preventative actions to avoid foreseeable loss of life and injury where a coastline was likely to be visited by the public. Following this, the RNLI specified a series of control measures which they deemed appropriate to mitigate against the identified risks.

 

The RNLI recommended that lifeguards be deployed at Whitmore Bay, Llantwit Major, Southerndown and Ogmore but that Rhoose should be excluded from a staffed service. However, the Council had continued to provide a lifeguard service at Rhoose by directly managing agency staff and would continue to do so, for the summer of 2015.

 

To contribute to Visible Services' financial targets for 2015/16, £30,000 of potential savings had been identified from the seasonal lifeguard service. As a result, the RNLI was approached and advised that due to austerity measures, the Council intended to renegotiate the level of service provided at Vale of Glamorgan beaches to achieve the necessary financial savings. In response the RNLI offered to subsidise the service and maintain the same level of lifeguarding and reduce Council costs by £30,000. The difference would be met by the charity but they had requested a service level agreement for 5 years.

 

In addition to their proposal, the RNLI would continue to provide any necessary equipment, training, supervision and infrastructure at their own expense. The RNLI could provide a service for beach lifeguarding as well as provide the necessary infrastructure at no additional charge to the authority.  

 

With regard to Rhoose beach, lifeguarding would be provided in-house for the school summer holidays this year, but a further risk review would be undertaken at the end of the season.  Recommendation 3 of the report was included to allow this review to be progressed and concluded.

 

The RNLI had agreed to install beach safety signage on behalf of the private land owner at Rhoose should the results of the risk findings be low and there was a recommendation that a staffed presence be withdrawn. The signage, should it be installed, and depending on the outcome of the review, would warn bathers of the risks of entering the sea, would include any relevant local information, and would confirm that the beach did not have a staffed presence.

 

The Council’s Estates Section was reviewing opportunities as part of an Invest to Save Project (a re-shaping services project).  One of the opportunities being considered was the possibility of having a single operational/management/lease agreement in respect of all lifeguard facilities.  The report recommended that authority be granted to officers to consider the options/possibilities in this regard.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)    T H A T the waiving of contract standing orders to permit the appointment of the RNLI as a sole provider, to deliver beach lifeguarding services at Whitmore Bay, Llantwit Major, Southerndown and Ogmore beaches between 2015 and 2019 be agreed.

 

(2)    T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Director of Visible and Housing Services to instruct the Head of Finance in consultation with the Head of Legal Services to consider possible options for occupation agreements relating to Lifeguard facilities on Council land/property.

 

(3)    T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Director of Visible and Housing Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure services to re-evaluate the risks posed at Rhoose beach at the end of the summer 2015 and to amend or withdraw this service as necessary based on an assessment of risks at this location.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)    To permit the direct appointment of the most appropriate beach lifeguarding organisation for the Vale's major bathing beaches.

 

(2)    In order to ensure good estate management practices are followed.

 

(3)    To ensure that future resources are provided to the beaches that pose the greatest risk.

 

C2850        MAINSTREAM SCHOOL TRANSPORT: RESULTS OF TENDERING EXERCISE AND AWARD OF CONTRACTS 2015-2016 (R) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Cabinet was informed of a tendering exercise in respect of 27 mainstream school transport contracts, due for renewal in September 2015.  

 

The mainstream school transport tendering exercise was undertaken to ensure the continued operation of 28 mainstream school transport services, of which one had been combined to form one contract.

 

Officers had analysed the tender submissions, which were assessed in line with agreed criteria which reflected price (70%) and quality (30%).  In terms of quality the 30% was made up as follows: 50% vehicle age and 50% company performance.

 

Contracts would be awarded for one year only.  For data protection reasons the details of the tender submissions were contained within the Part II report of the same title later in the agenda.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted, and be considered alongside the Part II report later in the agenda.

 

Reason for decision

 

To allow the Part 1 and Part II reports to be considered together.

 

C2851        EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 4 of Schedule 12A (as amended) of the Act, the relevant paragraphs of the Schedule being referred to in brackets after the minute heading.

 

C2852        MAINSTREAM SCHOOL TRANSPORT: RESULTS OF TENDERING EXERCISE AND AWARD OF CONTRACTS 2015-2016 (EXEMPT INFORMATION – PARAGRAPH 13 &14) (R) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Cabinet was informed of a tendering exercise in respect of 27 mainstream school transport contracts, due for renewal in September 2015.  

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the award of one year contracts for the mainstream school transport services as detailed in Appendix A as attached to the report be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To ensure ongoing mainstream school transport provision from September 2015 which the Council had a statutory / discretionary obligation to provide.

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