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CABINET

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 27 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.

 

Also Present: Councillor I. J. Johnson.

    

C2853        MINUTES –

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 13 July, 2015 be approved as a correct record.

 

C2854     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

The following declarations of interest were received:

 

Councillor B. E. Brooks Agenda Item No. 18 – Christmas Grants 2015

Reason for Declaration –

An Elected Member of Barry Town Council.

Agenda Item No. 19 – Community Action Self Help (CASH) Scheme 2015/16

Reason for Declaration –

An Elected Member of Barry Town Council.
Councillor L. Burnett Agenda Item No. 18 – Christmas Grants 2015

Reason for Declaration –

An Elected Member of Penarth Town Council.

Agenda Item No. 19 – Community Action Self Help (CASH) Scheme 2015/16

Reason for Declaration –

An Elected Member of Penarth Town Council.
Councillor S. C. Egan Agenda Item No. 18 – Christmas Grants 2015

Reason for Declaration –

An Elected Member of Barry Town Council.

Agenda Item No. 19 – Community Action Self Help (CASH) Scheme 2015/16

Reason for Declaration –

An Elected Member of Barry Town Council.
Councillor G. John Agenda Item No. 18 – Christmas Grants 2015

Reason for Declaration –

An Elected Member of Llantwit Major Town Council.

Agenda Item No. 19 – Community Action Self Help (CASH) Scheme 2015/16

Reason for Declaration –

An Elected Member of Llantwit Major Town Council.
 

C2855        CARDIFF BAY ADVISORY COMMITTEE –

 

The minutes of the Cardiff Bay Advisory Committee held on 3 June, 2015 were submitted.

 

Present

 

Councillor L. Burnett Vale of Glamorgan Council
Ms. S. Newbold British Marine Federation
Mr. C. Atherton Waterfront Partners
Mr. S. Jones Quay Marinas Ltd
Mr. A. Parker

Mrs. L. De Longhi Natural Resources Wales
Ms. J. Poole Natural Resources Wales
Councillor G. Roberts Penarth Town Council

Also present:

 

Ms. S. Eaves Cardiff Harbour Authority
Mr. J. Maidment Cardiff Harbour Authority
Mr. A. Vye-Parminter Cardiff Harbour Authority
Mr. G. Soltys Penarth Tourism and Visitor Association
Mr. C. Hope Vale of Glamorgan Council

(a)    Appointment of Chairman

 

AGREED – T H A T Councillor L. Burnett be appointed Chairman for the ensuing Municipal Year.

 

(b)    Appointment of Vice-Chairman

 

AGREED – T H A T Mrs. C. Dimond be appointed Vice-Chairman for the ensuing Municipal Year.

 

(c)    Apologies for Absence – 

 

These were received from Councillor B. Derbyshire (Cardiff Council), Mr. N. Ajax-Lewis (Wild Life Trust) and Mr. C. Michael (RSPB).

 

(d)    Minutes

 

AGREED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 5th March, 2015 be approved as a correct record.

 

(e)    Matters Arising

 

(i)    Civil Aid Voluntary Rescue Association (CAVRA)

 

The Chairman advised that the files received from CAVRA had been passed on to the Penarth Town Council and the Vale of Glamorgan’s Emergency Planning Team for their attention. 

 

(f)    Navigational Safety – Mr. A. Vye-Parminter

 

It was reported that a local notice to mariners had been issued to notify them that the Cardiff Barrage Approach Channel sector light (NAV AID 7) had been removed for repair following an act of vandalism.

 

(g)    Progress Report – Mr. A. Vye-Parminter / Mr. J. Maidment

 

The following events were scheduled to take place in the harbour:

  • Extreme sailingseries, 16th – 21st June
  • Always aim high triathlon, 28th June.  Should water quality permit, this will take place in the Bay, but if the water quality was poor, the event would take place in Bute East Dock.

Realtime weather (including Flat Holm) and water quality data could now be accessed online: https://stormcentral.waterlog.com/public/CHABarrage.

 

Cardiff Harbour Authority was part of a Welsh Government funded Wales-wide research project into improving techniques in aqua culture.  The project included the investigation of measures to manage aquatic invasive species which would be of benefit to the Cardiff Harbour Authority. 

 

Cardiff Harbour Authority was part of a European-wide research project into the early detection of invasive aquatic species.

 

Cardiff Harbour Authority was providing data and supporting work soon to be undertaken by the Engineering Research Council to develop a 3D model of Cardiff Bay and the surrounding catchment which would help predict the effect of issues such as climate change and assist with the future management of the Bay. 

 

The Harbour’s Marine Licence for disposal of material into the Severn Estuary was due to expire at the end of 2015.  Information was being compiled to submit an application for the next three years. 

 

With regard to midge control, a decision on whether or not the Health and Safety Executive would grant a licence for the use of Bti for Filter Fly control was still awaited (decision due in June).  This was likely to be successful, and if so would allow Cardiff Harbour Authority to submit an application for the use of the product in Cardiff Bay under an Emergency Licence. 

 

Refurbishment works to the salt water flushing valves was continuing with an anticipated installation date towards the end of June followed by a period of commissioning. 

 

The annual Fishpass maintenance was complete and the Fishpass was back in full operation with feedback from Natural Resources Wales that salmon had been identified through the pass and although slightly later than last year, they were now starting to come into the Bay.  Trapping reports from Radyr Weir and data from the sensors at the Barrage Fishpass were positive. 

 

Evaluation was taking place into the requirement to keep the public toilets at Barrage Control open 24 hours a day as a number of incidents had occurred throughout the night time as a result of vandalism by fishermen using the facility to gut / prepare fish, amongst other things.

 

Questions were asked regarding weed growth – it had been noticed growth was greater than last year. 

 

The Advisory Committee was told that the situation was being monitored, although no action was necessary yet. 

 

Mr. Maidment advised that Cardiff Council had considered alternative ways of delivering certain of its services.  As such, the Community Asset Transfer of Flat Holm Island to a Consortium comprising the RSPB, National Trust, the Flat Holm Society and Cardiff Council had been considered by Cardiff Council’s Cabinet, who on 19th February 2015, agreed to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding to form a partnership for the management of Flat Holm Island. 

 

Mr. Maidment suggested that a member of the Flat Holm Project Team be invited to address a future meeting of the Advisory Committee. 

 

This suggestion was agreed and members of the Advisory Committee thought it appropriate that the presentation be made to the November meeting of the Advisory Committee.  

 

(h)    Update Report – Mrs. N. De Longhi, Natural Resources Wales

 

Mrs. De Longhi, accompanied by Ms. Jess Poole, outlined the management structure within Natural Resources Wales. 

 

Cardiff Bay was covered by the Taff Team, who used a multi-disciplinary approach to its work.  The lead officer for the Bay area was Rachelle Trubey. 

 

Mrs. De Longhi said that Ms. Poole may attend future meetings of the Advisory Committee, although both would attend the next few meetings. 

 

Ms. Poole advised:

-    That Natural Resources Wales had taken a policy decision, following consultation, to no longer routinely stock rivers with salmonid fish.

-    It was felt that a good habitat would better encourage migratory fish to return.

-    Natural Resources Wales was looking to remove obstacles and barriers for migratory fish.

-    Natural Resources Wales had been involved in research work for the Tidal Lagoons proposed for the Severn Estuary Tidal Area.

-    A Shoreline Management Plan had been determined which contained the future policies for the management of flood risk. The Plan for the Severn Estuary could be summarised as “hold the line” and was intended to be in place for the next 100 years.

-    Natural Resources Wales would be involved in testing the water quality prior to the triathlon to be held on 28th June.

(i)    Date of Next Meeting

 

AGREED – T H A T the next meeting be held on Wednesday, 23rd September 2015 at 5.15 p.m. and that the meeting be held in Cardiff International White Water.

 

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At the meeting, the Cabinet Member for Regeneration commented that a triathlon had been successfully held in Cardiff Bay and she was pleased to confirm that a Consortium comprising the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), National Trust, the Flat Holm Society and Cardiff Council had been set up to manage the future of Flat Holm Island.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the Cardiff Bay Advisory Committee meeting be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the minutes.

 

C2856        GLAMORGAN HERITAGE COAST ADVISORY GROUP –

 

The minutes of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast Advisory Group meeting held on 17 April, 2015 were submitted.

 

Present:  Councillor Mrs. A.J. Preston (Chairman); Councillors L. Burnett and R.P. Thomas (Vale of Glamorgan Council), Councillor G. Davies (Bridgend County Borough Council), Mr. B. Acott (Friends of Glamorgan Heritage Coast), Mrs. H. March (Friends of Glamorgan Heritage Coast), Mr. N. Lewis (Glamorgan Wildlife Trust), Mr. R. McLaggan (Merthyr Mawr Estates), Mr. J. Golunski (Dunraven Estates), Mr. R. Facey (Natural Resources Wales).
27/7/

 

(a)    Apologies for Absence -

 

These were received from Councillors J. Drysdale, Mrs. V.M. Hartrey and E. Williams, Mr. R. Pratt (Cooke and Arkwright), Councillor A. Morgan (One Voice Wales) and Mr. P. Dunn (Glamorgan Heritage Coast Centre).

 

(b)    Minutes -

 

AGREED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 12th September, 2014 be agreed as a correct record subject to the following amendment:

 

Mr. Lewis, Glamorgan Wildlife Trust advised that the Shore Crab mentioned within the minutes was likely to be a Japanese Shore Crab and may have been brought into the area in larvae form in the ballast water of boats in the area, rather than from hot water  outlet at Aberthaw.

 

Councillor D. Davies from Bridgend County Borough Council, asked whether an appropriate officer had been allocated as requested at the Group’s meeting in September 2014.  In response, the Operational Manager, Mr. Guy, informed the Group that he was the appropriate officer for any queries from Bridgend County Borough Council in relation to issues relating to the management of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast. 

 

(c)     Presentation by the Ranger, Ms. Helen Mills – Achievements and Issues Since the Last Meeting

 

Ms. Helen Mills, Glamorgan Heritage Coast Ranger, provided the Group with a presentation in regard to the achievements and issues since the last meeting in September 2014. 

 

The weather had been very varied throughout the year with three storms; however a good summer meant that the Heritage Coast had been quite busy, with people visiting people out enjoying the coast. There had been some unusual movement of sand in the previous year and the sand seemed to have returned to the Heritage Coast after the storms.  In response to a query Ms. Mills advised that she was not aware of any dredging having taken place at Nash Point.

 

There seemed to have been an increase in visitors in the previous six months, including out of season, who were enjoying the enjoying the Wales Coast Path.

 

The problem of littering continued and the team’s approach was to clear it up as quickly as possible in order to encourage people not to litter and to treat the Heritage Coast with respect. In response to a query, Ms. Mills expressed the view that it was a difficult issue to police and that they tried to tackle it by providing environmental education to highlight the importance of conserving the Glamorgan Heritage Coast. A lot of litter had been washed in from the Bristol Channel, including a large number of aluminium cans.

 

Mr. McLaggan, from Merthyr Mawr Estates, stated that an appalling amount of rubbish had been washed up along the Ewenny and Ogmore Rivers which included cans, plastics and furniture. He advised that they had approached Natural Resources Wales (NRW) in order to try and find a resolution to this issue as it was a serious environmental problem.  He further expressed the view that it was hugely expensive problem for landowners and queried if anything could be done via an initiative between the Vale of Glamorgan and Bridgend Councils. He appreciated that it was a difficult issue to resolve as it was hard for any one organisations to take ownership of the issue. Ms. Mills expressed the view that any joint initiative would need co-ordination between the two Councils and Mr. Guy concurred that it was a very difficult problem particularly as it was difficult to ascertain where the rubbish was coming from, however stated that the vast majority of people disposed of their litter properly. 

 

Ms. Mills stated that there had been flood events which may have contributed to the large amount of tyres that had been washed up the estuary and stated that a campaign would be required which would include advising people not to store materials in flood risk areas.  Mr. McLaggan stated that a huge amount of plastic was being washed up along the coast and that the appropriate Authorities had a responsibility for that to tackle the issue correctly.  In response Ms. Mills stated that they employed work experience students and volunteers to help clear litter along the coast and that those involved had found it to be an enjoyable experience.

 

The Glamorgan Heritage Coast team now worked with the Public Rights of Way (PROW) team to carry out access work and the PROW team had employed contractors to carry out cut backs on certain routes.

 

Ms. Mills informed the Group problems had recently been experienced with drones being flown in the area which could potentially be of concern in terms of privacy and was of the understanding that drones could not be operated within a certain distance of private property. Mr. Guy, Operational Manager for Countryside and Economic Projects, stated that the operation of drones was regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) whose regulations stipulated that they could not be flown over certain areas used for recreation, such as crowded beaches.  A representative of the Group advised that drones being used for the hobby purposes were not governed by the same CAA legislation.  Ms. Mills was of the understanding that the permission of landowners was required if individuals wished to fly drones over their land. 

 

There had been movement of stones noted in the last year, at Southerndown the movement had been so severe that the clay underneath had been exposed. Signs had been erected to advise people to steer clear of the cliff edge.

 

There had been cliff falls at Dunraven Beach and near Tressillian which had collapsed part of the Wales Coast Path, which had been rerouted after negotiation with the landowner.  In response to a question with regard to the path being the subject of a formal diversion order, Mr. Guy advised that if there was a significant change to the official coast path, it would also need to be in agreement with Natural Resources Wales. 

 

Several school groups had visited the Glamorgan Heritage Coast in the last few months and many were booked in throughout 2015. Ms Mills advised that education was a very important aspect of the work carried out by the Heritage Coast team.

 

Improvement works had been carried out at Dunraven Gardens, including the walled and Tudor Garden bed, which had been funded by Creative Rural Communities, the Council led Rural Regeneration Partnership.

 

A large number of guided walks had been carried out by the Glamorgan Heritage Coast team which had been very successful and helped to promote the Council’s Ambassador Scheme. 

 

An open day was due to take place at Slade Farm near Llantwit Major which provided an opportunity for people to see how the work carried out at the farm fitted into the work done along the Glamorgan Heritage Coast. 

 

A lot of scrub clearance had been carried out at Cwm Mawr in order to encourage wild flowers, yet it was a very steep area to manage.  Many wild flowers could be found along the coast such as Bee Orchids, Pyramidal Orchids, Cluster Bell flowers, and Tuberous Thistles.  In addition, pond work had also been carried out and broad bodied chaser dragon flies had been found at Southerndown.  A couple of breeding pairs of Peregrine Falcons and Choughs had also been sighted along the Heritage Coast and seemed to be doing well.

 

Winter and summer habitat management had been carried out, for which a two wheel tractor had been used which was extremely useful for the management of such steep landscapes and was part funded by Natural Resources Wales.

 

Outreach groups had taken on an area from the Woodland Trust at Monks Wood near Wick, volunteers had started work in this area in 2014 and the Glamorgan Heritage Coast team would continue to assist with this project.

 

The high brown fritillary butterfly work continued and the management of habitats had also helped to encourage flora and wildlife such as bluebells, purple orchids, adders, Yellow Hammers and the small brown fritillary butterfly. 

 

Some tourist groups come to visit the Heritage Coast from as far away as Kent and the team was aiming to target these types of groups in the future.  Some of the benches along the coast path and one of the gates at Ogmore needed to be repaired due to vandalism.

 

The Group was apprised in relation to the Creative Rural Communities Vale Trails project by and the Heritage Coast team had helped with the interpretation work for these walks. 

 

Trees had been planted at Glas Tir in memory of a member of staff who had passed away in 2014. 

 

In conclusion, Ms. Mills acknowledged the assistance provided to the management of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast throughout the year by various organisations including the Friends of Glamorgan Heritage Coast, Natural Resources Wales, Dunraven Estates, volunteers, landowners and local people.

 

(d)    Presentation by Senior Rural Regeneration Officer, Nicola Sumner-Smith – Glamorgan Heritage Coast and the Rural Development Plan for Wales

 

Ms. Sumner-Smith thanked the Group for inviting her to speak and gave a brief overview of her role within the Rural Regeneration Team, which supported all aspects of rural life across the Vale of Glamorgan, including many activities along the Glamorgan Heritage Coast.

 

The Group was apprised in relation to the funding for Creative Rural Communities (CRC), Article 33 provided the funding from 2004 to 2007 and from 2007 to 2014 by the Rural Development Plan (RDP) and the team hoped that the CRC would continue to be funded by the RDP from mid-2015.

 

The Group was apprised about the work carried out by the team across the Vale of Glamorgan which included the following:

  • The installation and management of brown and white signage across the Vale of Glamorgan.
  • Improvement works funded by Article 33 at the Glamorgan Heritage Coast Centre, the installation of benches along the coast path and interpretation work.
  • Improvements to community facilities, such as the St. Donats Arts Centre and a community centre in Llantwit Major.  

The team had worked with a number of organisations to deliver the ‘Explore and More’ touch screen kiosks which had been installed across the Vale of Glamorgan. The kiosks showed interactive films which aimed to raise the profile of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast and provided the viewer with information relating to the history of the county. A number of U-Turns had also been installed and enabled users to access information about a variety of locations in the county.

 

The last three years of the Rural Development Plan had seen the team involved in quite extensive improvements to the infrastructures across the rural Vale of Glamorgan, which included the installation of stepping stones, footpath, bridge and pathway improvements.  Further work had been carried out to create the NC88 cycleway between Llantwit Major and Ewenny, historic stone stiles had been installed extensively across the Glamorgan Heritage Coast and the team had supported a variety of local businesses.

 

The team had been launched the “Pub is the Hub” scheme which provided support to rural communities by making basic services available at rural pubs and grants had been issued to meet the needs of local communities. In response to a question about the success of this scheme, Ms. Sumner-Smith advised that this was being evaluated.

 

Funding had also been provided to facilitate the improvement works at Dunraven Gardens for the walls, a summer house and the Tudor border. 

 

In 2012 the team piloted a project known as Perfect Pitch, which allowed local landowners to set up temporary camp sites and coincided with the opening of the Wales Coast Path and the National Eisteddfod in the Vale of Glamorgan.  The team had worked in conjunction with the Planning Department on the project which had been very successful.  A number of the pilot campsites had now become permanent, which included campsites near the Three Golden Cups Pub in Southerndown and one at Monknash, the team continued to support the development of campsites in order to provide budget accommodation in the rural Vale of Glamorgan. 

 

The team had supported six coastal activity projects, which had been well received and included the following:

  • Dylan Jones photography ramble course
  • Glyn Evans Photography carriage rides
  • Wild Spirit Bushcraft/Beach Wild food foraging courses
  • Oakwoods Bespoke Journeys
  • Through the Looking Glass – Pyramid Stained Glass course
  • Out to Learn Willow – Introduction to Willow courses.

The Rural Regeneration Team was working in partnership with the Tourism Team and had secured CRT funding to support the tourist information provision project.  Nia Hollins, Principal Tourism and Marketing Officer would be leading on the project and had been working with the accommodation sector in order to set up tourist information hubs across the Vale of Glamorgan which would function as mini tourist information centres.  This approach was more sustainable as they were located at existing businesses in the Vale of Glamorgan.  The project also offered a service which distributed tourist information for local businesses free of charge.  The aim of this project was to promote the Vale of Glamorgan as a tourism destination, rather than tourists only using the county as a base in which to stay.

 

The Group was provided with information in relation to Vale Ambassador Programme.  Vale Ambassadors were individuals who lived in the county and wanted to share their local knowledge and had written ‘blogs’ on a variety of topics of local interest such as history, food, folklore, myths and legends. The Ambassadors were all listed on the Vale of Glamorgan Website. The Rural Regeneration Team was also working with two other partners, the Vale Tourism Association and More to the Vale who were interested in taking on the Ambassador Programme. 

 

The Group was provided with an overview of the Vale Trails, a series of 10 walks at various locations in the Vale of Glamorgan.  Several of the walks were along the Glamorgan Heritage Coast and the walks had recently been repackaged to include more specific information in order to make them more appropriate and appealing to visitors.  Ms Sumner-Smith provided those present with packs which contained a variety of information on the work carried out by the team including the Vale Trails and Augmented Reality. 

 

An Interpretation Strategy for the Glamorgan Heritage Coast had been developed in 2013 and a steering group had been established which included members of the Group. The Interpretation Strategy consisted of 3 tiers and the Group was informed that the Creative Rural Communities budget had been able to fund some of the implementation, such as the Ambassador Scheme.  Static interpretation points had been installed at seven locations along the Glamorgan Heritage Coast which provided information on area. A website for the Glamorgan Heritage Coast had also been developed  which provided information on the history of the area, activities and information of local interest.

 

The Team had formulated 12 Family Activity Tracker Packs and created augmented reality digital interpretation which provided a new and innovative way to interpret the Glamorgan Heritage Coast.  The digital app provided people with 3D models of historical buildings and audio commentary which could be downloaded prior to visiting the area, feedback received so far had been encouraging. In addition a children’s game ‘Wreckers Run’ had been created which could be downloaded onto electronic devices.  The Glamorgan Heritage Coast App was due to be launched shortly and provided people with information on the Glamorgan Heritage Coast and included a digital version of the Vale Trail walks and the Family Activity tracker packs. The team has also in the process of creating e-Tourism information points which would be piloted shortly. 

 

The Group were also provided with information in relation to upcoming projects.  The Big Lottery funded the two year Coastal Communities Project which would be led by the new Coastal Communities Project Officer.  The project included the installation of five new storage facilities for hire at the Glamorgan Heritage Coast Centre and the improvements and reinstatement of the slipway at Dunraven Bay and a programme to support and encourage entrepreneurship around coastal activity and sport.

 

The budget for the overall Development Plan from 2015-2020 was £1.82m and the way that funding was allocated had changed in that the team would no longer hand out grants but instead  would now be dealing with and commissioning projects. The Rural Community Development Fund totalled £57m for the whole of Wales and would fund projects, this budget would be administered directly by Welsh Government, but Creative Rural Communities would need to consider all applications for the Vale in relation to the fit to the local strategy before approval.

 

AGREED - T H A T Mrs. Sumner-Smith be thanked for her very informative presentation.

 

(e)    Verbal Update on Current Issues - Mr. Bob Guy, Operational Manager - Countryside and Economic Projects -

 

The Group was provided with an update on the restructure of the Countryside Service and copies of the new establishment for the Service were circulated at the meeting.  There had been a long consultation and re-design process involved with the restructure of the Service and Mr. Guy confirmed that the new structure was now in place.  The new structure brought together all the Countryside and Environment Teams, including the Country Parks, Commons, Heritage Coast project, Landscape Architecture, Ecology and Public Rights of Way with the aim of providing a more integrated service.

 

The new structure included a Countryside Service Team Leader role, held by Steve Pickering, who was present at the meeting and introduced to the Group.  One of the objectives of this role was to facilitate the integration of the service.  The Rangers and Assistant Rangers would now work as a single unified service with just one Site Ranger specifically allocated to each of the main countryside sites, which would enable flexibility across the service in order that other staff could be allocated across the different sites as required.  A new post of Commercial Opportunities Officer had been created; one of its main responsibilities would be to enhance the commercial activities across the countryside sites. 

 

The Group was informed that Natural Resources Wales had been provided with more funding for coastal access programmes; therefore the Vale of Glamorgan’s Coastal Access Programme would be getting a significant investment.  The Group was provided with a summary of the approved and unapproved investment work coastal access projects.  The cost of the approved projects totalled £17,500 in 2015/16 and £19,500 in 2016/17.  There would also be additional funds to maintain the Wales Coast Path.  Mr. Guy advised the Group that if there were any queries in relation to these projects they should contact either himself or the Public Rights of Way Officer. 

 

The Group was informed that a request had been received that a representative be sought from the Vale of Glamorgan Tourism Association to the Glamorgan Heritage Coast Advisory Group.  Mr. Guy expressed the view that the request highlighted a gap on the Group from the Tourism Sector, and such representation would fit well with current priorities. 

 

Following consideration of the request, the Group

 

AGREED - T H A T a request be put to Cabinet to recommend to Council that a representative be sought from the Vale of Glamorgan Tourism Association for the Glamorgan Heritage Coast Advisory Group.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To enable a representative from the Vale of Glamorgan Tourism Association to be appointed to the Group.

 

(f)    Matters Raised by Bridgend County Borough Council -

 

Councillor G. Davies advised the Group that a small car park had opened at Newton Beach which was privately run and operated on a pay and display basis. 

 

(g)    Matters Raised by Natural Resources Wales -

 

Mr. Richard Vesey, from Natural Resources Wales informed the Group that they had been carrying out work with the National Botanic Gardens of Wales and worked closely with Dunraven Gardens to augment the works that had been carried out at the gardens and thanked the Glamorgan Heritage Coast for their assistance. 

 

(h)    Matters Raised by The Friends of Glamorgan Heritage Coast -

 

Mr. Acott, Chairman of The Friends of Glamorgan Heritage Coast, informed the Group that they had called a meeting to consider the future of the Sea Watch Centre to see what could be done with the building. 

 

Mr. Acott also asked about the progress of Footpath 55.  In response Mr. Guy advised that they were currently in consultation on the draft Order.

 

Following the close of business, the Assistant Democratic Services Officer informed the Group that at its meeting on 26th January, 2015, Cabinet had resolved to prohibit the release of Sky Lanterns from all Council land, including schools, with immediate effect.  Cabinet had further resolved that the prohibition on the use of Sky Lanterns would also apply to events organised by third parties that are held on Council property and that information be supplied to the media and details of the prohibition displayed on the Council’s website.

 

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After presenting this item the Leader highlighted the request of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast Advisory Group, to appoint a representative from the Vale of Glamorgan Tourism Association. He confirmed that this request had already been considered on 11 May, 2015 (Cabinet Minute C2765 referred).

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast Advisory Group meeting be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the minutes.

 

C2857        UPDATE ON THE INTERNAL AUDIT SHARED SERVICE (REF) –

 

Audit Committee, on 13th July, 2015, considered an update on the Internal Audit Shared Service with Bridgend County Borough Council which proposed an extension to the Partnership Agreement until 31st January 2018.  

 

Cabinet, at its meeting held on 14th March 2012, approved the proposal that the Vale of Glamorgan Council becomes a partner and hosts the Internal Audit Shared Service (IASS) with Bridgend County Borough Council and authorised the Head of Paid Service and the Section 151 Officer, in consultation with the Leader, to make the necessary detailed arrangements under delegated authority to establish the IASS, including admission of further interested parties if appropriate subject to a Partnership Agreement and Contract.

 

The Bridgend and Vale IASS was now in its third year of the three year commitment.  In this short time, considerable service developments and progress had been made.  Overall the performance of the Partnership had been very good in respect of both the delivery of the Audit Plan and the feedback from customers, all of which had been reported regularly to the respective Audit Committees.

 

The stated aim of the IASS was to provide a shared service solution, focused on a series of identifiable and measurable objectives, in which both Councils had an equal share in terms of control, direction and influence.

 

As such, the IASS continued to meet its objectives by:

-    Being affordable and representing value for money

-    Enhancing the professionalism and quality of audit services provided to both Councils through shared knowledge and best practice

-    Remaining flexible and responding to changing service requirements and priorities

-    Extending access to specialist audit services and other related disciplines to both Councils

-    Delivering efficiencies and economies of scale

-    Improving the investment in staff training and development and providing opportunities for career progression for staff within the service.

Overseeing the IASS was the Joint Partnership Board comprising the respective Section 151 Officers (or their nominees) from each Council.  The Board monitored the performance of the IASS and ensured that it delivered the standards and expectations as set out in the Partnership Agreement.  Whilst the partners jointly oversee the performance of the IASS, the responsibility for the adequacy of the whole system of internal audit remains with the Councils themselves who were responsible for approving Audit Plans and monitoring delivery via their respective Audit Committees.

 

The individual Councils were responsible for overseeing the effectiveness of the internal audit function at Council level, and holding the Head of Internal Audit to account for delivery of the approved Audit Plan.  They were also responsible for the effectiveness of their governance, risk management and control arrangements, hold managers to account for delivery and hold regular progress updates on internal audit work; consider key themes and issues, and take them forward as necessary.

 

The coming together of the two divisions saw the immediate need for a new organisational structure which reduced the number of full time equivalents (FTE) posts between the two divisions from 29 to a maximum of 24 under the new IASS.

 

In respect of overall performance, in 2013/14 both Councils’ annual Audit Plans were achieved and the total cost of service was circa £193k underspent.  This was primarily due to a further reduction in staffing numbers and the number of vacant posts being carried by the service for the period concerned.

 

In 2014/15, both Councils’ annual Audit Plans were achieved although Bridgend achieved 93.5% of the original planned productive days.  Whilst this was a shortfall of 84 productive days, the overall impact was minimal as all high risk areas were covered and the Head of Audit was able to provide the necessary annual opinion on the Council’s overall governance, risk management and internal control arrangements.  The overall total cost of the service was circa £135k underspent and this was due to vacant posts during the year.

 

The budget for 2015/16 for the whole of the Internal Audit Shared Service had been set and showed an overall reduction of 17% from the original budget set in 2013/14.  The Internal Audit challenge would be to continue to provide the annual assurance opinion in a climate where our clients want, and need, to reduce costs.  This includes internal audit costs.  There was a need to look at how we can deliver for less obvious resources and how we use data, rather than people, to deliver the audits.  Our plans and approach would require more flexibility and there would be a need to work even more closely with senior management to ensure resources were employed to the greatest advantage.

 

Both partners had indicated their desire to continue with the partnership and wished to extend the arrangement for a further two years.  The partnership had been successful and it was considered that it would continue to be so.  Both partners had set challenging financial targets and these would have a considerable impact on the audit resources that would be available to 2017/18.  The service would continue to provide the flexibility to react, and be pro-active to changing needs.  Over the next three years, working practices would continue to develop to deliver an excellent service whilst addressing the need to do more with less.  In addition, opportunities for extending the shared service to other neighbouring Authorities would be explored, including the potential for expanding the specialist computer audit service.

 

Having considered the contents of the report, It was

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)    T H A T Cabinet be recommended to extend the Internal Audit Shared Service Partnership for a period of two years to 31st January, 2018.

 

(2)    T H A T Cabinet be recommended to delegate authority to the Head of Finance / Section 151 Officer and the Operational Manager – Audit, in consultation with the Leader and Managing Director, to explore options for expanding the Internal Audit Shared Service.

 

Reason for decisions

 

(1&2)    To facilitate monitoring of the Internal Audit Shared Service for the Internal Audit function.

 

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

 

At the meeting, the Operational Manager – Audit commented that the collaboration and partnership agreement between the Vale of Glamorgan and Bridgend Council had been very successful and both Audit Committees were very supportive of the proposal to extend the Partnership Agreement for a further two years to January, 2018. She further commented that audit’s computerised shared service had been received with significant interest during a recent Welsh Chief Auditor meeting with interest shown to expand this service.

 

At the meeting the Leader commented that, both the Vale of Glamorgan and Bridgend Council services had met appropriate performance targets despite the cuts to the department’s budget again highlighting the success of the collaboration between the two Councils.

 

Cabinet, having considered the recommendations of the Audit Committee

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)    T H A T the reference from the Audit Committee be welcomed, and the relevant Members and Officers be thanked for their hard work.

 

(2)    T H A T the following recommendations as set out in the report be agreed:

  • T H A T the Internal Audit Shared Service Partnership be extended for a period of two years to 31 January, 2018.
  • T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Head of Finance / Section 151 Officer and the Operational Manager – Audit, in consultation with the Leader and Managing Director, to explore options for expanding the Internal Audit Shared Service.

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)    To note the reference and recognise the hard work of Members and Officers.

 

(2)    To facilitate monitoring of the Internal Audit Shared Service for the Internal Audit function.

 

C2858        CAPITAL MONITORING REPORT FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 30TH APRIL, 2015 (REF) –

 

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

 

The report regarding Capital Programmes for 2015/16 showed no variances within the budgets.  Profiled expenditure had been requested from project managers and would be updated in the next report.  

 

Members were asked to note that Appendix 1 to the report did not include requests for unspent committed expenditure to be slipped from 2014/15 into 2015/16.  A request for this slippage would be included in the Closing Down report presented to a future Cabinet meeting.  For all schemes where it was evident that the full year’s budgets would not be spent during the year, relevant officers had been required to provide an explanation for the shortfall and this should be taken into the earliest available Cabinet meeting.

 

Members’ approval was sought in relation to the Castleland Renewal Area for which the budget for this was £996,000, however, £100,000 would be required to enable outstanding works to be completed in the Penarth Renewal Area.  

 

Also for the Llandough Sustainable Transport Scheme approval was sought for the inclusion of £175,000 into the 2015/16 Capital Programme, funded from Section 106 monies to allow enhancement works for the bus shelters in Llandough, thus enabling a more co-ordinated approach to delivery of a number of related schemes in Llandough.

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)    T H A T the position with regard to the 2015/16 Capital Programme be noted.

 

(2)    T H A T the Committee notes the virement of £100,000 from the 2015/16 Castleland Renewal Area Scheme to the Penarth Renewal Area Scheme and for this change to be referred to Cabinet for approval.

 

(3)    T H A T Committee notes the additional funding of £175,000 for the Llandough Sustainable Transport Scheme, funded from Section 106 monies and for this increase to be referred to Cabinet for approval and inclusion in the 2015/16 Capital Programme.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

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

 

(2&3)    To update the 2015/16 Capital Programme.

 

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

 

After presenting this item the Leader noted that there was a mistake in recommendation 3 in the Appendix report of the reference from the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources), and confirmed with the Head of Finance / Section 151 Officer that “£195k” should read “£175k”.

 

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

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)    T H A T the report be noted.

 

(2)    T H A T the virement of £100,000 from the 2015/16 Castleland Renewal Area Scheme to the Penarth Renewal Area Scheme be approved.

 

(3)    T H A T the £175,000 for the Llandough Sustainable Transport Scheme be included in 2015/16 Capital Programme and be funded by Section 106 contributions.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)    To note the contents of the report.

 

(2&3)    To update the 2015/16 Capital Programme.

 

C2859        REVENUE MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 30TH APRIL, 2015 (REF) –

 

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

 

The Scrutiny Committee was advised of progress in relation to revenue expenditure for the period 1st April to 30th April, 2015.  As it was early in the financial year the forecast for the 2015/16 Revenue Budget was for an outturn within targets at year end.  The Housing Revenue Account (HRA) budget for 2015/16 was also forecast to outturn on target.

 

As far as the Education Budget was concerned it was projected to balance at the end of the year.  Provision had been made within this budget to make unsupported borrowing debt repayments in relation to the Schools Investment Strategy of £698,000 per annum, with any favourable variance on debt repayments being redirected to the Schools Investment Strategy.  A potential transfer of approximately £250,000 may be required from the School’s Long Term Supply reserve to fund the scheme in 2015/16.  Premiums to the school would be increased from April 2016 to ensure the scheme was self-funding.

 

Social Services was currently anticipated to outturn within budget for 2015/16.  However, a major issue concerning this service for the coming year would be the continued pressure on the Children’s Placement Budget and the continuing pressure on the Community Care Packages budget.  Members noted that from April 2015, Welsh Government had approved an increase in the weekly cap for charging for non-residential services from £55 to £60 per week.  

 

It was also currently projected that all services under the Visible Services and Housing Services budget along with Development Services would outturn within target at the year end.  

 

Also in relation to the General Policy Budget, again as it was early in the financial year it was currently projected that this budget would outturn within target.  

 

All other services were estimated to outturn on budget.

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)    T H A T the position with regard to the Council’s 2015/16 Revenue Budget be noted.

 

(2)    T H A T the following virements be noted and referred to Cabinet for approval:

  • £1.355m from Learning and Skills to Planning and Transportation for education related transport services, following the establishment of an Integrated Transport Unit within Development Services.
  •  £22k from Public Protection to General Policy for Port Health.
  •  £210k from Public Protection to a new heading for the Coroners Service.
  •  £385k from Private Housing to Economic Development, following the transfer of the Disabled Facility Grants and Renewal Area teams, as a result of an internal reorganisation.

Reasons for recommendations

(1)    That Members are aware of the project Revenue outturn for 2015/16.

(2)    To align budgets with organisational changes.

 

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

 

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

RESOLVED –

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

(2)    T H A T the following virements be approved:

  • £1.355m from Learning and Skills to Planning and Transportation for education related transport services, following the establishment of an Integrated Transport Unit within Development Services.
  • £22k from Public Protection to General Policy for Port Health.
  • £210k from Public Protection to a new heading for the Coroners Service.
  • £385k from Private Housing to Economic Development, following the transfer of the Disabled Facility Grants and Renewal Area teams, as a result of an internal reorganisation.

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)    To note the contents of the report.

 

(2)    To align budgets with organisational changes.

 

C2860        DEVELOPMENT SERVICES (PUBLIC PROTECTION) END OF YEAR PERFORMANCE REPORT 2014/15 (REF) –

 

The Committee received the End of Year Performance results for the period 1st April, 2014 to 31st March, 2015 as outlined in Appendix 1 to the report.

 

The Service Plans for 2014/15 focused on the achievement of key objectives within each Directorate which in turn contributed towards the achievement of identified outcomes in the Corporate Plan 2013-17, the Outcome Agreement 2013-16 and the Improvement Plan Part 1 2014-15. 

 

Quarterly performance reports had been developed to reflect these Service Plans and had been designed to ensure that the Council reported performance in the context of progress against its objectives.

 

Overall, the Directorate had completed 86% of Service Plan actions at end of year, with a further 6% on track for a later completion date.  There were a total of 76 action sin the 2014/15 Service Plan, 65 were completed, 5 were on track, and 6 had slipped.  The actions that were on track were due for completion in 2016/17.  All 6 outstanding actions (slipped) would be carried to the 2015/16 Service Plan. 

 

Actions and performance indicators relating to Public Protection were shown on pages 14-20 of Appendix 1 to the report.  In terms of this Committee’s remit in relation to Public Protection, 17 (100%) actions had been completed during the year.  Of the 26 performance indicators for Public Protection, 22 (84.6%) had met or exceeded the target at year end, 1 (3.8%) had missed the target by more than 10% and for 3 (11.5%) measures, no performance status was applicable.  For 2 of these measures, no target had been set as they were used for monitoring purposes only and for 1 measure, no target had been set as a new indicator definition had been introduced.

 

In terms of notable service achievements in relation to Public Protection, significant improvements continued to be made in the delivery of Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) and waiting times for delivery had reduced to 198.66 days which exceeded the improvement objective target of 250 days, and based on 2013/14 all Wales benchmarking data placed us within the top quartile performance.  This performance equated to a 30% improvement on delivery times from the previous year.  Overall, positive outcomes were achieved with over 98% of customers using the service stating that they were satisfied with the DFG service.  Furthermore, over 96% of people who received DFGs during 2014/15 reported that they felt that the assistance had made them feel safer and more independent in their own homes.  The focus now was to continually improve and keep pace with the improvements made by other Authorities.

 

Through a comprehensive inspection process and provision of ongoing advice and training to businesses in the Vale, the number achieving a food hygiene score of 3 or more had increased.  Currently, 90.73% of food hygiene establishments were broadly compliant with food hygiene standards, up from 85% last year.

 

Success had been achieved in stopping door step crime through good cross boundary working.  Two rogue traders had been sentenced to 18 months prison terms following a successful prosecution led by the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Trading Standards team.  A third man received a 12 month suspended sentence and 120 hours of community service for his role in a tarmacking scam that had at least 16 victims across South Wales. 

 

Through the Castleland Renewal Area scheme, the standard of housing and the local environment had been improved for residents.  Works completed during 2014/15 included a face-lifting programme for 316 homes to improve external appearance, upgrade / new central heating systems, installation of voltage optimisers, solar thermal hot water systems.  In addition, an HMO licensing scheme had been implemented in the area.  Improvements made to community facilities and the environment included the external refurbishment of the Sea Scout Hall, Holton Road.  Green Deal assessments had been undertaken for homes suitable for ECO funding and the Renewal Heat Premium Payment Scheme bids.  If successful, this would help improve the energy efficiency of the housing stock and reduce fuel poverty.

 

Following consideration of the report, Members were given an opportunity to comment or ask questions on the contents of the report.

 

Members highlighted examples of particularly good work by the Directorate, including:

-    Improvements in the Indicator relating to the Hygiene rating

-    Improvements in the Service provided in respect of Domestic Abuse.

Members expressed the view that the data included in the report should be streamlined in that:

-    There was often a lack of evidence to support the extent of completion of actions in the “Comment” column that accompanies the chart of Completed Actions in the End of Year Performance Review.  However, this evidence could be found usually in the “Comment” column of the following chart in the Review about Annual Performance Indicators.  It was suggested that the information contained in the two separate charts be combined in order to simplify the presentation of annual performance, and that the extent of completion could be included in the “Status” column of the existing chart of Annual Performance Indicators.

Having considered the report, it was

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)    T H A T the service performance results and remedial actions to be taken to address service underperformance be noted.

 

(2)    T H A T Cabinet be recommended to change the format of such future reports as referred above.

 

(3)    T H A T progress to date in achieving key outcomes as outlined in the Corporate Plan 2013-17, the Outcome Agreement with Welsh Government 2013-16 and the Improvement Plan Part 1 2014-15 be noted.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)    To ensure the Council is effectively assessing its performance in line with the requirement to secure continuous improvement outlined in the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.

 

(2)    To make the data contained within the report more meaningful.

 

(3)    To consider the Visible Services end of year performance results as at 31st March 2015 in order to highlight areas for service improvement.

 

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

 

At the meeting, the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety highlighted the improvements in the delivery of the Disabled Facilities Grants, the improvement of food hygiene scores, which meant that 90.73% of food hygiene establishments were broadly compliant with food hygiene standards, and the success in stopping door step crime by rogue traders.

 

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

 

RESOLVED –

 

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

 

(2)    T H A T the concerns regarding the combining of the two reports presented to the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) be noted, and that officers be requested to present a combined report in the future as suggested by the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection).

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)    To note the contents of the report.

 

(2)    To simplify the reporting procedures.

 

C2861        TARGET SETTING 2015-16 (DDS) (REF) –

The Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) on 17 June, 2015 considered the above report of the Director of Development Services.

Committee received a report which:

-    Presented the proposed targets for improvement for 2015-16 for all performance indicators reported by Development Services in relation to Public Protection;

-    Highlighted the proposed deletions and additions to the Public Protection performance indicator data set for 2015-16 reported by Development Services.

The Wales Audit Office’s Annual Improvement Report of the Council 2013-14 identified the need to make greater use of external benchmarking in relation to target setting and in the reporting of performance as a means of driving improvement to ensure achievement of the level of service expected by Members.

 

All measures were reviewed annually to ensure they reflected changes in national policy and remained responsive to local priorities.  It also ensured that residents, Elected Members and senior officers could scrutinise key areas of Council performance throughout the year. 

 

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 performance.  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.

 

Following the end of year reporting period, all Directorates were asked to undertake a review of performance against all indicators in order to complete a target setting template.  All Directorates were asked to set appropriately challenging targets that both supported the principle of continuous improvement but also realistically reflected the current financial climate and the service’s capacity to improve performance.

 

Outlined at 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 at that level.

 

For 2015-16, five Improvement Objectives had been identified by the Council and of these, four had performance indicators attached to them.  This target setting exercise had enabled Directors to review their Improvement Objective targets and revise them where appropriate to reflect end of year performance.

 

In relation to the Outcome Agreement indicators, these targets had already been pre-agreed with the Welsh Government until 2016.  Although in principle these targets had been pre-set, in instances where the Council’s end of year performance exceeded the target for 2014/15, Directorates had the opportunity to set more internally challenging targets in order to drive the upward trend in performance.

 

For the remaining local level indicators, targets should have been set based on the Council’s over-riding principle to secure continuous improvement.  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 was clearly stated in the rationale section of Appendix 2.

 

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

 

The proposed deletion of indicators for 2015-16 was detailed in Appendix 3 to the report.

 

In terms of this Committee’s remit in relation to Public Protection, target setting was summarised as follows:

  • There were 22 indicators that were relevant to the remit of this Committee and for all of them, it was possible to set a target and direction of travel.
  • 54.5% (12) of these targets had been set to exceed performance compared with the previous year, 36.4% (8) targets had remained relatively static and just 9.1% (2) targets had been set lower than last year.
  • A total of 6 indicators had been set to achieve best possible performance, and 5 of these looking to continue to maintain best possible performance on the previous year.
  • Of the 11 national Public Protection indicators where data could be benchmarked against the previous year, 2 targets had been set to achieve top quartile performance compared with 2013-14.  A further 4 targets had been set in line with or to improve on the Welsh average for 2013-14.
  • No Public Protection indicators that were also Improvement Objectives and / or Outcome Agreement indicators had revised their targets so that they were more internally challenging.
  • There were 2 proposed deletion of indicators for 2015-16 relevant to Public Protection.  These were for:  DS/M004 percentage of people who had received assistance in the renewal area who felt the assistance had improved their living conditions and DS/M010 average Disabled Facilities Grant amount.  The rationale for deleting these two indicators was outlined in Appendix 3 to the report.  There were no new indicator additions for 2015-16.

Having considered the report, it was

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)    T H A T the target of 90% for Indicator M003 (the percentage of customers satisfied with the Disabled Facilities Grant service) be increased to 95%.

 

(2)    T H A T, in future such reports to this Committee include only Indicators relevant to this Committee.

 

(3)    T H A T the Performance Indicators be grouped by means of the nature of the Indicator in order to make the report easier to follow i.e. group all Disabled Facilities Grant related matters together.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)    To set a challenging yet realistic performance improvement target in line with the requirements under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.

 

(2&3)    To make the report more meaningful for the Members of the Committee.

 

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

 

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

 

RESOLVED –

 

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

 

(2)    T H A T the recommended targets and reporting procedures suggested by the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) be endorsed.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)    To note the contents of the report.

 

(2)    To set a challenging yet realistic performance improvement target in line with the requirements under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 and make the report more meaningful for Members.

 

C2862        TARGET SETTING 2015-16 (DVSH) (REF) –

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) on 17 June, 2015 considered the above report of the Director of Visible Services and Housing.

 

Committee received a report which:

-    Presented the proposed targets for improvement for 2015-16 for all performance indicators reported by Housing and Building Services

-    Highlighted the proposed deletions and additions to the Housing and Building Services performance indicator dataset for 2015-6.

The Wales Audit Office’s Annual Improvement Report of the Council 2013-14 identified the need to make greater use of external benchmarking in relation to target setting and in the reporting of performance as a means of driving improvement to ensure achievement of the level of service expected by Members.

 

All measures were reviewed annually to ensure they reflected changes in national policy and remained responsive to local priorities.  It also ensured that residents, Elected Members and senior officers could scrutinise key areas of Council performance throughout the year. 

 

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 performance.  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.

 

Following the end of year reporting period, all Directorates were asked to undertake a review of performance against all indicators in order to complete a target setting template.  All Directorates were asked to set appropriately challenging targets that both supported the principle of continuous improvement but also realistically reflected the current financial climate and the service’s capacity to improve performance.

 

Outlined at 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 at that level.

 

For 2015-16, five Improvement Objectives had been identified by the Council and of these, four had performance indicators attached to them.  This target setting exercise had enabled Directors to review their Improvement Objective targets and revise them where appropriate to reflect end of year performance.

 

In relation to the Outcome Agreement indicators, these targets had already been pre-agreed with the Welsh Government until 2016.  Although in principle these targets had been pre-set, in instances where the Council’s end of year performance exceeded the target for 2014/15, Directorates had the opportunity to set more internally challenging targets in order to drive the upward trend in performance.

 

For the remaining local level indicators, targets should have been set based on the Council’s over-riding principle to secure continuous improvement.  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 was clearly stated in the rationale section of Appendix 2.

 

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

 

The proposed deletion of indicators for 2015-16 was detailed in Appendix 3 to the report.

 

For Housing and Building Services, this could be further broken down as follows:

  • There were 60 indicators and for 28 of these it was possible to set a target and direction of travel.
  • 50% (14) of targets had been set to improve on the previous year’s performance result (2014-15), 39.3% (11) of targets had been set static and 10.7% (3) of targets had been set lower than 2014-15 performance.
  • Of these indicators, 4 targets had been set to achieve best possible performance during 2015-16.
  • In relation to national benchmarking data, 2 indicators had targets set that were either in line with or an improvement on top quartile performance for 2013-14 and 1 indicator had a target set to improve on the Welsh average for 2013-14.
  • For 1 Outcome Agreement indicator (percentage of housing stock where work that meets the WHQS had been completed), the performance during 2014-15 exceed the target for 2015-16.  Although this target had been pre-agreed with the Welsh Government, the service intended to work toward a more internally challenging target to reflect this improved performance.
  • For 2015-16, 18 indicators had been proposed for deletion and 8 had been identified as new indicators.
  • Part way through 2014-15, the remit of Community Safety was transferred over to Housing and Building Services.  Therefore, during 2015-16, all data reporting in relation to Community Safety would now be undertaken by Housing and Building Services via this Committee. 

Committee noted that “voids and letting times” was proposed to be deleted.  Members felt that this was key information which they should receive and requested that this information continue to be provided. 

 

Having considered the contents of the report, it was

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)    T H A T Cabinet be requested to retain the information on “voids and letting times” within future reports.

 

(2)    T H A T with the exception of that indicator identified above, the proposed list of deletions and additions to the Housing and Building Services performance indicator dataset for 2015-16 be endorsed.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)    To ensure the Council consistently sets challenging yet realistic performance improvement targets for its priorities in line with the 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.

 

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

 

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

 

RESOLVED –

 

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

 

(2)    T H A T the request of the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection), regarding the target and reporting of “voids and letting times” be retained in future reports, be endorsed.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)    To note the contents of the report.

 

(2)    To ensure the Council consistently set challenging yet realistic performance improvement targets for its priorities in line with the requirements under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.

 

C2863        UPDATE ON THE SOCIAL SERVICES BUDGET PROGRAMME 2014/15 AND 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 Committee was updated on the progress made in delivering the 2014/15 Social Services Budget Programme and to request amendments to the 2015/16 Programme.  

 

During 2014/15, the Directorate was required to find savings totalling £454,000.  The table below provided a summary of the status of each of the saving schemes.  All savings targets were achieved during the year and Appendix 1 to the report provided further details on each of the individual schemes.

 

Project

Target

Saving

£000

Actual

Saving

£000
Position
CHILDREN’S


LAC Residential Placements
150 150 Achieved
Foster Carers 34 34 Achieved
TOTAL CHILDREN’S 184 184
ADULTS


Managed Budget Reductions 52 52 Achieved

Supported Accom -

Learning Disabilities
25 25 Achieved
Extra Care 75 75 Achieved
Day Service Modernisation 93 93 Achieved

Right Sizing Learning

Disabilities Project
25 25 Achieved
TOTAL ADULTS 270 270
TOTAL SAVINGS 454 454
   
In terms of the 2015/16 programme, the Directorate was currently required to find savings totalling £3.568m by the end of 2019/20 and this target was detailed further by year in the following table.  The surplus shown and the savings brought forward figures were as a result of the foster carer recruitment project, which was being developed in addition to the required savings targets.  This surplus could be used to mitigate any increase in savings to be found in future years.  

 

Year

Savings

Required
£000

Savings

Identified
£000

In Year

Surplus /

(Shortfall)
£000

Cumulative

Surplus /

(Shortfall)
£000
Savings Brought Forward
34 34 34
2015/16 1,465 1,541 76 110
2016/17 1,133 1,209 76 186
2017/18 320 320 0 186
2018/19 320 320 0 186
2019/20 330 330 0 186
TOTAL 3,568 3,754 



All savings had been reviewed to determine if they were still the most appropriate way of achieving the required savings for each service area.  It had now been proposed that three of the Children’s Services 2015/16 savings be merged into one and realised in a different way to previously planned.  Originally, £100,000 was to be achieved through a staffing review (C16) and £60,000 through a review of the short breaks provision (C17).  It was now proposed that these two savings be amalgamated with the £20,000 Managed Budget Reduction saving (C12) and be identified through a reduction in the Legal budget and other service provision budgets, where spending over the last three years had been reviewed and were it had been identified that the budget allocations could be safely reduced.  

Appendix 2 to the report provided a draft update on the individual areas of saving, which incorporated the proposed changes.

With reference to the substantial level of savings required this financial year and also next, officers were asked to comment on the likelihood of their service area meeting the agreed savings targets.  The Head of Adult Services began by stating that the main challenge for his service area would be around a reduction in the care packages budget.  He was confident the level of savings would be achieved this year but was less confident for 2016/17, as there were more concerns around an increase in demand for services.  He also stated that the service had a good track record of achieving savings.  

In relation to Children’s Services, the Head of Children and Young People Services commented that she was confident that the savings would be achieved this year.  She confirmed the service were looking ahead to the savings targets for next year and beginning preparations to achieve these.  The challenge for Children’s Services will be to ensure that sufficient resources were invested in early intervention and prevention.  

For her service area, the Head of Business Management and Innovation explained that the main area of concern was in relation to the contract for domiciliary care for 2016/17.  She alluded to the concerns raised previously by Mr. Evans from the Care Council for Wales, mainly in relation to low pay and the need to support and value staff working within the care sector.  

The Chairman queried how the budget savings would be managed within Adult Services.  In response, the Head of Adult Services stated that there were a variety of savings proposals and that every budget line had been examined such as the cost of printing and the amount allocated for transport and mileage.  The service had deliberately not filled certain vacancies and had not made any compulsory redundancies.  The service would also manage reductions through improving the skill mix of staff, such as by replacing care practitioners with social care officers.  

Further to this, a Committee Member enquired whether the initial focus for reductions would be around back office functions.  In response, the Head of Adult Services stated that this was an approach that had been taken since he came to the authority but it was important to recognise that without many back office functions the front line would not work effectively.  Certain back office functions were therefore vital and he stated that he did not see an inflated managerial structure, which from his perspective, was one of the leanest within Wales.  To answer the Member’s query directly he stated that the service would avoid cuts to front line services.  

A Committee Member queried the issue around the sustainability of services over the next two to three years, when factoring in the current level of savings required.  The Director of Social Services stated that the whole issue around sustainability was far larger than this or any Council could realistically consider on its own.  He explained that in terms of the increased demand, within a few years a quarter of people would be aged over 65 and there would be an increase of 10% in the number of five to ten year olds. Both of these represented an incredible challenge for any local authority.  The service also had an aging workforce which would impact upon services.  There is a need for central government to resolve long-standing concerns about the policy vacuum in respect of paying for care.

The Director stated that there was a need to be realistic about what Councils could do when faced with year on year cuts to their budgets.  The service was working on best case scenarios based upon current national financial figures.  He also alluded to the Reshaping Services agenda which asked services how demand could be met through different ways.  For this, a main strategy would be around preventative services but the Director explained that there was no evidence to support the view that these new ways of working would realise budget savings.  From 2018, current pathways indicate that there would be a £4 million budget shortfall and this was a challenge for the authority.  At the moment, the service had an effective savings programme and had dealt with the more straight forward savings but more difficult decisions needed to be made.  He commented, that by 2025, current projections showed that, unless the pattern of services changes radically, almost all the Council’s budget would be spent on either education or social care services and that allocated resources would still not be enough to meet future demand within these two areas.  This represented a fundamental crisis for the next 10 years.  

Finally in terms of the financial settlement from the Welsh Government, Members were advised, that July would be the most likely time when the Directorate would have an idea of the position.

RECOMMENDED -

(1)    T H A T progress made in delivering the Social Services Budget Programme during 2014/15 be noted and referred to Cabinet for information.

(2)    T H A T the proposed changes to the 2015/16 programme be considered and referred to Cabinet for approval.

Reasons for recommendations

(1)    To ensure that Members are aware of the progress made to date in delivering the Social Services Budget Programme.

(2)    That the proposed amendments to the programme are approved.

 

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At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Adult Services commented that there had been an open and honest debate at the Scrutiny Committee meeting which included the Head of Service and other Officers with regards to the Budget Programme. He was pleased to report that, after the Leader had sent a letter to Welsh Government highlighting the lack of funding to the department for Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), further financial help had been provided.

 

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

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted and the proposed changes to the 2015/16 Social Services Budget Programme, as set out in paragraph 7 of the report, be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To approve the proposed amendments.

 

C2864        IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES AND WELL-BEING (WALES) ACT 2014 (REF) –

 

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

 

The Committee was presented with it’s the third monthly update in respect of the implementation of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.  

 

On the 21st May 2015, the Scrutiny Committee received an update on the readiness to implement the Act.  This included:

  • Quarter 4 / end of year report which set out what had been achieved using the Delivering Transformation Grant 2014/15
  • The revised Terms of Reference for the Integrated Health and Social Care Governance Board
  •  The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act Regional Implementation Plan
  •  The bid for the 2015/16 Delivering Transformation Grant which set out a programme for delivery for this year.

Members were advised that the Welsh Government reported that the results of the first public consultation which closed in February would be published imminently.  Tranche 1 regulations and codes were refined as a result of the initial consultation and were now in the process of being laid before the National Assembly for Wales.  Trance 2 regulations and codes would go through the same legislative process in November of this year.  

 

Public consultation regarding the second tranche was issued on 8th May 2015 and this would close on 31st July 2015.  Details of this tranche were as followed:

  • Consultation on the regulations and code of practice in relation to part 5 (Charging and Financial Assessment) of the Act
  • Consultation on the Regulations and code of practice in relation to part 6 (Looked After and Accommodated Children) of the Act
  • Consultation on the regulations and statutory guidance in relation to part 9 (Co-operation and partnership) of the Act
  • Consultation on the code of practice in relation to part 10 (Complaints, Representations and Advocacy Services) of the Act.

The Head of Business Management and Innovation advised Members, that in addition to the workforce engagement events already delivered for officers in Social Services, the Council was working in partnership with the Glamorgan Voluntary Service which brought together the Vale Council for Voluntary Services and the Vale Volunteer Bureau to deliver a workshop.  This would raise awareness of the Act for other Council officers as well as key partners, including health, third and independent sectors.

 

The Care Council for Wales had been funded through the Social Care and Workforce Development Programme (SCWDP) Grant to develop a new Information and Learning Hub which would be constantly updated with new information, learning and awareness materials.  This would ensure that all information on the Act could be readily accessed from one site.  

 

The Regional Lead Officer for Sustainable Social Services attended a briefing session on 20th May 2015 and received information on the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act training resources, being developed by the Care Council for Wales.  These were called “Getting in on the Act” and would be used to ensure key staff received the information needed to keep them up to date.

 

The Vale of Glamorgan SCDWP Plan was submitted to Welsh Government by 29th May 2015 and a copy was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.  This detailed the social care workforce development needs, including a summary introduction across Cardiff and the Vale.  There was an expectation as part of the criteria for the SCDWP Grant that an updated regional plan would be submitted by 25th September 2015 with a move towards a fully integrated approach prepared as soon as possible.  

 

In terms of funding for 2015/16, the Committee was previously briefed that the Welsh Government would continue to support local government and its partners in making the transition to the new arrangements.  It had doubled the funding available through the Delivering Transformation Grant across Wales to £3m in 2015/16.  Subject to budgetary decisions, a further £3m in grant funding would be made available in 2016/17 to support the embedding process, with a view to transferring this sum into the Revenue Support Grant from 2017/18.  From this grant, the Welsh Government had allocated £414,648 to the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff region to continue the Delivering Transformation / sustainable social services agenda in 2015/16.  Welsh Government had now confirmed that the bid from Cardiff and the Vale had been successful.  The service would now proceed with recruitment to the new posts required to help with the preparations for the Act.  

 

In response to the Committee’s query regarding whether all regulations would be agreed by Christmas this year, the Director of Social Services explained that what was causing more anxiety was the degree of prescription within the regulations. The Directorate was struggling to understand the degree of change detailed within the Act. Welsh Government had noted the points raised through Tranche1 consultation and slight changes to the regulations had been made.

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

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

 

(2)    T H A T regular updates about implementing the Act be received.

 

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

 

Reason for recommendations

 

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

 

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After presenting this item, the Leader confirmed that the Appendix report to the reference from the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) was incorrect. The Appendix report to the reference was dated for 13 July, 2015 whereas it should have been for 15 June, 2015.

 

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

 

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

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the contents of the reference.

 

C2865        BUDGET STRATEGY 2016/17 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

The Budget Strategy 2016/17 (which included the proposed Budget Process and Timetable) was submitted for approval.

 

The Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) was generally produced annually in July and incorporated the Budget Strategy for the next financial year. The MTFP formed an integral part of the Authority’s corporate framework for performance management, and was considered in the context of the core values and priorities set out in the Corporate Plan. The last Corporate Plan covered the period 2013-2017. However, an updated Corporate Plan was due to be presented to Cabinet during October/November 2015.

 

To allow for the financial implications of the updated Corporate Plan to be incorporated into the MTFP and thus aligning both plans, it was proposed that the MTFP be presented to Cabinet during November 2015. It was therefore necessary for Cabinet to approve the 2016/17 Budget Strategy separately, to enable the budget process to commence.

 

Welsh Government (WG) had not provided any indication as to the level of future year's settlements.  The Final Revenue Budget Proposals for 2015/16 therefore used the indicative figures from the 2014/15 MTFP, which was based upon a cash reduction of 4% in 2016/17 and 2% in 2017/18.

 

As part of the Final Revenue Budget Proposals for 2015/16, the level of savings proposed for 2016/17 and 2017/18 was £12.17m and £5.652m respectively.  With savings targets being at such a level, it was acknowledged that savings from efficiencies alone would not be sufficient and substantial savings would need to be found through the fundamental reshaping of Council services.

 

Taking into consideration the Council’s financial situation, the Budget Strategy for 2016/17 proposed that in order to establish a baseline, services should prepare initial revenue budgets based on the cost of providing the existing level of service and approved policy decisions, and included the existing savings targets. This meant the cost of price increases and any allowable pay awards should be included as advised by the Head of Finance. The report proposed in respect of the 2016/17 Budget Process that Directors be instructed to prepare initial revenue budgets in accordance with a timetable agreed by the Head of Finance.

 

The proposed timetable for the 2016/17 Budget was for Cabinet to make its initial revenue and capital budget proposals in November 2015 along with the MTFP. The capital bids considered and prioritised would include those recommended to the Corporate Management Team by the Corporate Asset Management Group. Each Scrutiny Committee would be consulted and would receive the relevant initial proposals of the Cabinet in November/December 2015.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)    T H A T the Budget Strategy for 2016/17, including the requirement for Directors to prepare initial revenue budgets in accordance with a timetable agreed by the Head of Finance, be approved.

 

(2)    T H A T Directors be requested to continue to progress the Reshaping Services Programme.

 

(3)    T H A T the following timetable for the 2016/17 Budget Process, which includes the submission of the Medium Term Financial Plan to Cabinet in November 2015 to coincide with the production of the Draft Corporate Plan, be approved.

 

Timetable for the 2016/17 Budget Process To be completed no later than
Cabinet consider the initial budget proposals and Medium Term Financial Plan 16 November, 2015
Lead Scrutiny Committee responds to consultation and makes recommendations on budget proposals 15 December, 2015
Cabinet makes its final proposals on the budget 22 February, 2016
Meeting of Council to consider budget and council tax resolution 2 March, 2016

Reasons for decisions

(1 - 3)    To enable the 2016/17 budget process to be commenced.

C2866        TREASURY MANAGEMENT (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Cabinet was presented with the annual review report on Treasury Management 2014/15.

 

In March 2012 the Council adopted the 2011 edition of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy Treasury Management in the Public Services: Code of Practice, which required the Council to approve a treasury management strategy before the start of each financial year, a mid-year report, and an annual report after the end of each financial year.

 

This annual treasury report had been prepared as required and covered:

  • the economy / interest rates in 2014/15;
  •  the strategy for 2014/15;
  •  the borrowing outturn for 2014/15;
  •  investment outturn for 2014/15;
  •  compliance with treasury limits and Prudential Indicators;

The Section 151 Officer continued to adopt a cautious approach with respect to Treasury Management operations. The Council's primary objectives for the management of its investments were to give priority to the security and liquidity of its funds before seeking the best rate of return. This being the case the Authority continued to place the majority of its funds with the 'Debt Management Account Deposit Facility' (DMADF) as these deposits were guaranteed by the British Government, although the interest rate was lower than some commercial banks.

 

Funds not placed in the DMADF were placed with other Local Authorities. These investments attracted a slightly more favourable rate of return but still gave priority to the security of funds invested.

 

The Council's primary objective for the management of its debt was to ensure its long term affordability. The majority of its loans had therefore been borrowed from the Public Works Loan Board at long term fixed rates of interest. In 2014/15 the Council continued to finance the majority of its capital expenditure from internal resources. The potential reduction of the Council's investments balances at times of elevated credit risk was considered the most prudent option available to the Authority at this time.

 

During 2014-2015 the Authority did borrow externally from the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) as a special project rate was available under the 21st Century Schools Initiative.

 

Council approved the Treasury Management Strategy for 2014/15 at its meeting on the 5 March, 2014, minute no. 881 referred.

 

The Section 151 Officer advised that all treasury management activity undertaken during the financial year complied with the amended approved strategy, the CIPFA Code of Practice, and the relevant legislative provisions.

 

This was a matter for Executive and Council decision

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the annual report on Treasury Management 2014/15 be approved and referred to Council for approval.

 

Reason for decision

 

To accept and refer the report to Council.

 

C2867        EXTERNAL FUNDING: RIGHTS OF WAY IMPROVEMENT PLAN GRANT 2015/16, COASTAL ACCESS IMPROVEMENT GRANT 2015-17 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Cabinet was informed of two external funding grant applications and approval was sought for the work being undertaken and acceptance of the grants and associated conditions.

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) was adopted in November 2007. Each year the Welsh Government, through Natural Resources Wales, provided a grant scheme to support the delivery of the implementation of the actions and improvements as detailed by the ROWIP. The Council had been given indicative funding, but was required to identify the expected spend programme. The deadline for acceptance of the ROWIP Grant was 5 June, 2015, therefore emergency powers were used in order to accept funding to continue to deliver the ROWIP in accordance with the Council's statutory duties.

 

The Coastal Access Improvement Programme (CAIP) was a scheme funded by the Welsh Government to deliver its commitment to increase public access to the coast of Wales for visitors and local people. The programme was managed by Natural Resources Wales with the development and delivery of local improvement programmes led by Local Authorities. Approval for the continuation of the programme over a five year period from 2015 had recently been announced. Indicative funding levels had been issued for 2015-16 in full and for 2016-17 in part only.

 

The total Capital funding sought for the ROWIP was £31,136. This funding would be split and used to deliver 5 proposed actions:

  • The preparation of a new Definitive Map, and analysis and reporting of Countryside Access Management System (CAMS) data - £4,236  
  •  Dedication of rights at Summerhouse Point - £15,000
  •  Waymarking- £3,000
  •  Dedication of legal rights for Penllyn Bridleways- £2,000    
  •  Drainage scheme at Peterstone-Super-Ely- £6,900

The total funding sought for the CAIP was £88,550 of which, £12,820 was required in match funding. The programme was comprised of two parts. Improvement projects had been identified to Natural Resources Wales and had been approved in principle at 100% grant rate, this allocation amounted to £17,500 for 2015/16 and £19,500 for 2016/17. In addition, an allocation for coastal path maintenance at 75% grant rate had been advised. In the Vale for 2015/16 this amounted to £19,230 to be matched by £6,410 in capital funding, it was anticipated that the same level of funding would be issued, requiring the same amount in match funding for 2016/17. The report proposed that this be met from the existing countryside revenue budget. Both bids had been considered and supported by the External Funding Steering Group in June 2015.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)    T H A T the use of the Managing Director's emergency powers to approve acceptance of the Rights of Way Improvement Plan Grant 2015/16 and the proposed use of the funding, be noted.

 

(2)    T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Managing Director and/or, in the absence of the Managing Director, the Director of Visible Services and Housing, in consultation with the Leader, to accept the Coastal Access Improvement Grant 2015-17 and the grant terms and conditions.

 

(3)    T H A T subject to Welsh Government approval, the inclusion of both the Rights of Way Improvement Plan Grant and the Coastal Access Improvement Grant into the Capital Programme (including the Council's match funding contribution of £6,410) be approved.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)    To note the use of emergency powers to accept funding in order for the Rights of Way Improvement Plan to continue to be delivered.

 

(2)    To allow grant funding to be accepted in order to deliver the Coastal Access Improvement Programme.

 

(3)    To include both grants and the associated match funding within the Capital Programme.

 

C2868        GRANTS TO COMMUNITY/VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS 2015/16 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Approval was sought for the awarding of a grant from the 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 corporate revenue budget.

 

The Cardiff and Vale Citizens Advice Bureau had received an annual grant of £162,000 from the corporate policy revenue budget in 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2015/16. Following discussions between the Council representatives and the Cardiff and Vale Citizens Advice Bureau, two options were proposed. Either three year funding would be made available £164,250 in 2015/16, £159,250 in 2016/17 and £154,250 in 2017/18, or funding would be provided at £164,250 for one year with the opportunity to review once the impact of welfare reform was more fully known.

 

The Cardiff and Vale Citizens Advice Bureau opted for the three year funding option because they considered that it would give the organisation more stability.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED – T H A T a grant be awarded to Cardiff and Vale Citizens Advice Bureau of £164,250 in 2015/16, £159,250 in 2016/17 and £154,250 in 2017/18.

 

Reason for decision

 

To award monies to assist the voluntary organisation.

 

C2869        CHRISTMAS GRANTS 2015 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Approval was sought for the awarding of Christmas Grants for 2015.

 

In previous years Town/Community Councils had been requested to submit a suitable Christmas feature project for (Community Action Self Help) CASH funding. A sum of £475 per Town/Community Council was made available in 2014/15 and the total grant awarded was approximately £12,350.

 

Pensioner and similar organisations had been invited to apply for financial assistance towards provision of a Christmas Lunch for their members. The amount per capita in 2014/15 was £4.25 at a total cost of approximately £8,700.

 

In respect of Christmas CASH grants it was proposed that a reduced sum of £315 was made available per Town and Community Council in 2015/16. This represented a reduction of a third on the funding available in 2014/15, the total cost of this reduced grant was estimated to be around £8,200 which would generate an estimated saving of £4,150 for the Effectiveness of Spend strand of Reshaping Services.

 

In respect of Christmas lunch grants for pensioners and similar organisations, it was proposed that a reduced sum of £3.00 per capita was made available in 2015/16. This represented a reduction of just under a third on the funding available in 2014/15, the total cost of this reduced grant was estimated to be around £6,200 which would generate an estimated saving of £2,500 for the Effectiveness of Spend strand of Reshaping Services.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)    T H A T a per capita sum of £3.00 be made available to pensioner and similar organisations that apply for Christmas Lunches in 2015.

 

(2)    T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Head of Finance in consultation with the Leader to award Community Action Self Help (CASH) grants.

 

(3)    T H A T the sum be made available to each Town / Community Council that apply for Christmas CASH funding 2015 be £315, with the exception of Penarth Town Council, Barry Town Council and Llantwit Major Town Council, which were dealt with in the below recommendations;

 

Councillors S. Egan and B. Brooks declared an interest in the following item as Elected Members of Barry Town Council and left the room

 

(4)       T H A T the sum to be made available to Barry Town Council for Christmas CASH funding 2015 (should Barry Town Council apply) be £315.

 

Councillor G. John declared an interest in the following item as an Elected Member of Llantwit Major Town Council and left the room

 

(5)    T H A T the sum to be made available to Llantwit Major Town Council and for Christmas CASH funding 2015 (should Llantwit Major Town Council apply) be £315.

 

Councillor L. Burnett declared an interest in the following item as an Elected Member of Penarth Town Council and left the room

 

(6)    T H A T the sum to be made available to Penarth Town Council and for Christmas CASH funding 2015 (should Penarth Town Council apply) be £315.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)    To award monies in accordance with the scheme.

 

(2)    To enable Community Action Self Help grant applications to be processed.

 

(3-6)    To award grants in accordance with the approved scheme.

 

C2870        COMMUNITY ACTION SELF HELP (CASH) SCHEME 2015/16 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Approval was sought for the awarding of Community Action Self Help (CASH) grants.

 

CASH schemes provided funding to Town and Community Councils to undertake capital schemes of their choice within their own area. This was an important feature of the Council’s aims to work in partnership with Town and Community Councils and to target resources to all communities within the Vale. Technical assistance from officers was available to Town and Community Councils during the design and implementation of their schemes.

 

The scheme's "Conditions and Criteria" was set out in Appendix A as attached to the report. The report proposed that the scheme be amended to ensure greater focus on Effectiveness of Spend and listed the existing and additional criteria.

 

Details of the applications received together with the grants recommended was set out in Appendix B as attached to the report. Any grants allocated were "in principle only" and only when conditions were met would final approval be issued.

 

£30,000 had been included in the 2015/16 Capital Programme for the CASH grant scheme. The total value of grants previously recommended for approval amounted to £2,958, leaving a balance of £27,042.  It was proposed that the balance be vired to create a budget for additional schemes for Community Facilities in 2015/16.

 

Councillor L. Burnett declared an interest in this item as an Elected Member of Penarth Town Council and left the room during the discussion of the grant application from Penarth Town Council.

 

Councillor G. John declared an interest in this item as an Elected Member of Llantwit Major Town Council and left the room during the discussion of the grant applications from Llantwit Major Town Council and Llanmaes Community Council.

 

Councillors S. Egan and B. Brooks declared an interest in this item as Elected Members of Barry Town Council and left the room during the discussion of the grant applications from Barry Town Council.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)    T H A T the amended scheme as set out in Appendix A attached to the report be approved.

 

(2)    T H A T grants totalling £2,958 as set out at Appendix B attached to the report be approved.

 

(3)    T H A T the remaining balance of £27,000 be vired to create a new fund in the 2015/16 Capital Programme for additional capital schemes for Community facilities.

 

(4)    T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Managing Director in consultation with the Leader, to award funding to additional schemes in 2015/16.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)    To amend the scheme to reflect the Council's altered focus regarding Effectiveness of Spend.

 

(2)    To progress grants in accordance with the amended scheme.  

 

(3)    To utilise the remaining available capital funds on Community Facilities in 2015/16.

 

(4)    To enable the additional capital schemes to be progressed in 2015/16.

 

C2871        JONES LANG LASALLE ASSET MANAGEMENT REVIEW (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Cabinet was presented with the Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) Asset Management Review report and approval was sought to progress certain recommendations selected from the list of Priority Actions contained within the JLL report.

 

In response to increasing budget pressures, the Council had undertaken a review of key asset classes (not previously reviewed) and sought opportunities to optimise the remainder of its portfolio. In order to expedite this, the Council applied for and was successful in its bid for a Welsh Government Invest-to-Save loan. In accordance with the conditions of the loan, and following a tender exercise via the Welsh Government’s procurement portal Sell2Wales, the Council then appointed international property consultants JLL to undertake a strategic asset review with the aim being to: assist with maximising the use of its property assets; dispose of surplus assets wherever possible; realise efficiency savings; and in the longer term improve collaboration with other public sector partners. JLL had presented a final report to the Estates Team and this had been reviewed by the Corporate Management Team.

 

In the opinion of JLL, the Estates Team was “well organised…  Their knowledge of the estate and the accompanying property systems is robust and in our experience, better than many comparable public sector organisations”. In addition, JLL state in their conclusions that they were pleased to note that “the Estates team operate a lean and efficient department and have good property management systems and tools at their disposal.  There is little to say from an asset management point of view”.

 

The JLL report was structured by different asset types/classes and provided an evaluation of the current position, in addition to identifying a series of proposed actions for the Council's consideration. The proposed actions outlined in the JLL report had been reviewed and the report recommended and detailed actions in the following areas:

  • Offices
  •  Enterprise Units
  •  Community (General)
  •  Community (Social Need)
  •  Other

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)    T H A T the contents of the report and the report of Jones Lang LaSalle, contained in Appendix A as attached to the report, be noted.

 

(2)    T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Head of Finance in consultation with the Leader to relinquish the lease of Provincial House when the contractual term ends in November 2016, subject to a separate report being presented to Cabinet outlining detailed proposals for the relocation of staff in due course.

 

(3)    T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Managing Director and/or, in the absence of the Managing Director, the Director of Visible Services and Housing in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration to consider the options for the future use of the Business Service Centre building, with a further report outlining these options being presented to Cabinet in due course.

 

(4)    T H A T information contained in the Jones Lang LaSalle report be provided to the Reshaping Services Town and Community Councils Project Team to assist them in considering options for alternative models of service delivery, including potential community asset transfers.

 

(5)    T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Head of Children's Services and Director of Learning and Skills in consultation with the Cabinet Members for Adult Services and Children Services and Schools to consider options for the Youth and Community Learning Service in Llantwit Major within the nearby Family Centre, subject to a further report being presented to Cabinet in due course.

 

(6)    T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Director of Visible Services and Housing in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Visible Services and Leisure to review options for the future of South Lodge at Windsor Gardens in Penarth, subject to a further report outlining these options being presented to Cabinet in due course.

 

(7)      T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Head of Finance in consultation with the Leader to consider options for the residual smallholdings estate, and to report any recommendations to Cabinet in due course.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1-7)    To satisfy Objective B1 of the Corporate Asset Management Plan 2012-13 Action Plan (Cabinet minute C1833 referred) and to further work being undertaken as part of the Invest-to-Save loan.

 

C2872        CORPORATE ASSET MANAGEMENT PLAN 2015-2018 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Approval was sought to adopt the new Corporate Asset Management Plan (CAMP) 2015-2018.

 

The overall aim of the CAMP was to set out the strategic framework for realising the Property Strategy 2015-2018 (contained therein) and property mission statement. It set out the methodology for managing the Council's property assets to ensure that they complied with appropriate statutory, regulatory and corporate standards; the need to ensure a co-ordinated approach to asset management; greater collaboration; and efficient, effective and sustainable use of land and buildings.

 

The amended and updated CAMP took into account new property related initiatives that had been recently undertaken and the issues raised in the Wales Audit Office annual reports dated December 2011 and May 2014. The new CAMP also set targets in its Asset Management Action Plan for the next 4 years and would be reviewed annually against these targets with the outcomes reported to Cabinet annually.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the new Corporate Asset Management Plan (CAMP) 2015-2018, attached at Appendix A to the report, and appendices contained therein, including the Property Strategy 2015-2018 (Appendix 1 of the CAMP) and the Capital Investment Strategy 2014/15 - 2019/20 (Appendix 4 of the CAMP), be adopted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To satisfy CL11 of the Corporate Plan 2015-2018 to produce an annual Asset Management Plan with specific targets to achieve the optimum use of council property assets.

 

C2873        CARDIFF CAPITAL REGION - CITY DEAL PROPOSAL (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) –

 

Cabinet was apprised of the concept of City Deals and the work undertaken to date in the Cardiff Capital Region with reference to a potential City Deal. The report considered and made recommendations in relation to potential collaborative working in relation to a Cardiff Capital Region City Deal.

 

City Deals had been introduced in a number of city regions across the United Kingdom (UK).  The City Deal approach was initiated in late 2011 as part of the then UK Government's Growth Agenda.  City Deals provided for specific or bespoke agreements between Government and Cities or City Regions to secure economic growth through investment and job creation. The UK Government's stated aim of the City Deal programme was to devolve control to cities in order that they took control and responsibility for decisions that affected their area, devised policies and plans that helped business and economic growth and determined how resources were best used.

 

The City Deal mechanism aimed to support the local economy through an agreement where national government provided money to a city or city region for investment, in return for a guarantee of economic growth. A key element of the larger City Deals involved payment by results.  The report highlighted that this approach carried with it a significant risk as it potentially brought with it consequences in terms of cash flow, given that upfront local costs were funded in advance of any government contribution.  This was an element that would require very detailed consideration in due course and followed the preparation of a business case. A City Deal proposal required partner authorities to:

  • Agree appropriate and sound objectives and outcomes
  •  Identify resources to support the development of a City Deal, contribute to the overall fund and cover the cost of financing requirements
  •  Have effective governance that also fitted in with the UK Government's agenda in terms of the devolution of powers to city regions
  •  Have an effective method of project prioritisation which accurately measured the impact in terms of jobs and GVA (Gross Value Added - a measure of the contribution to the economy of each individual producer, industry or sector in the UK), so reducing the risk that local authorities were exposed to in terms of meeting the required objectives to trigger payments from the UK Government
  •  Have a functional economic geography consistent with effective decision making and ensuring the net impact could be optimised to reach its maximum potential
  •  Have an approach to risk which showed the commitment of partners

Negotiations and discussions at a local authority and regional level had resulted in the consideration of a City Deal approach for the Cardiff Capital Region.  Much of the early investigatory work had been led by Cardiff Council and the report considered the appropriateness of a collaborative approach to investigating the potential merits or otherwise of a City Deal to secure investment in the region. Cabinet was advised that similar reports had been considered by other local authorities in the South East Wales region.

 

If it was determined that it was appropriate to work in collaboration on a City Deal Business Case, there was a cost contribution to the Council. Cardiff Council had indicated that, based on evidence from other 'City Deals', developing a proposal and business case would cost in the region of £500k. It was proposed that this would be shared across the 10 Councils in the South East Wales or Cardiff Capital Region, and that those costs should be apportioned based upon population.  Accordingly, the cost to the Vale of Glamorgan would amount to £42,582 given it was home to 9% of the region's population.  

 

The report recommended that having regard to all potential factors, it was appropriate that the Council contributed to the development of a Business Case and continued to play an active part in the investigation of the appropriateness or otherwise of a City Deal for the Cardiff Capital Region. A further report to Cabinet would be necessary in due course once the business case had been progressed. That report would further consider, in more detail, issues related to longer term capital input, the commitment of Welsh Government to the process, how money would be spent within the region and on what projects as well as how decisions would be taken. That report would also be able to inform the degree of risk to the Council.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)    T H A T the Council contributes to work on a Cardiff Capital region basis to develop an initial business case on a City Deal proposal.

 

(2)    T H A T this Council contributes up to £42,582 to the development of a business case for a City Deal proposal, and that this contribution be funded from within the existing Policy budget.

 

(3)    T H A T a further report be brought back to Cabinet in due course following the conclusion of the Business Case, or sooner if deemed necessary.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)    To enable the Council to participate in the development of a Business Case for a City Deal for the Cardiff Capital Region.

 

(2)    To allow the Council to financially contribute to the City Deal proposal.

 

(3)    To allow further consideration of the issues relating to the progression of the City Deal and the implications to the Council.

C2874        SICKNESS ABSENCE REPORT - APRIL 2014 TO MARCH 2015 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Cabinet was updated on the sickness absence information for the period 1 April, 2014 to 31 March, 2015.

 

The report set out the sickness absence information for the period 1 April, 2014 to 31 March, 2015 and covered both corporate employees and those employed directly by schools. The outturn figures had been measured against the agreed targets for the financial year. The report also included details of sickness absence figures for the previous period (1 April, 2013 to 31 March, 2014), to assist performance monitoring of sickness absence over the two years, analyse trends, identify patterns and draw meaningful comparisons.

 

The total figures for the period April 2014 to March 2015 indicated an increase on last year's total absence figures, from 8.75 to 9.44 days per full-time equivalent employee (FTE). This represented an increase in absence of 0.69 days lost per FTE employee. Overall sickness absence levels for the reporting year had come in marginally above the annual target of 8.9 days/shifts per FTE.

 

A summary of the absence within each Directorate was set out in the report. Appendix A attached to the report provided a further breakdown of absence in each Service area. The top reasons for sickness absence in the Council over the reporting period April 2014 to March 2015 were listed with Stress remaining the main reason for days lost through sickness absence. Stress also remained the main reason for long-term absences with Viral Infections remaining the main reason recorded for short-term intermittent absences.

 

An Attendance Action Plan was contained in Appendix B as attached to the report. The Attendance Action Plan outlined the targeted approach to addressing the days/shifts lost through sickness absence and demonstrated the continued work and commitment of managers and employees in relation to the management of attendance.

 

Appendix C as attached to the report compared average sickness absence levels for local authorities in Wales and published statistics from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)    T H A T the report and the sickness absence outturn provided in Appendix A as attached to the report be noted.

 

(2)    T H A T the report be referred to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) for consideration.

 

(3)    T H A T sickness absence figures continue to be reported to Cabinet every 6 months.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)    To note the contents of the report.

 

(2)    To enable the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) to maintain a continued focus on the management of sickness absence throughout all services of the Council.

 

(3)    To provide Members with the opportunity to review sickness absence in relation to the Management of Absence policy, monitor progress and compare outturn against set targets, on a half-yearly basis.

 

C2875        OUTCOME AGREEMENT 2013-2016: END OF YEAR REPORT FOR 2014/15 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Cabinet was informed of the progress made with the achievement of the Outcome Agreement that was agreed with the Welsh Government (WG) on 1 April, 2014.

 

The Council entered into four previous agreements with the Welsh Government (Policy Agreements in 2001-04 and 2004-07, an Improvement Agreement in 2008-2010 and an Outcome Agreement in 2010-2013). These agreements were based on the premise that the Council and Welsh Government shared common objectives and that agreements could be entered into to assist in achieving these objectives. Welsh Government paid a grant to the Council to incentivise achievement of targets, to the value of £1.2 million annually. Under the existing Agreement that covered the period 2013 to 2016 there were fewer outcomes and 30% of the grant would be targeted to address known weaknesses rather than given as an unhypothecated reward.

 

Appendix 1 as attached to the report provided details of progress against actions and performance measures, along with a summary of the outcomes achieved. Based on the Council’s self-assessment, the report concluded that overall, the Council had been fully successful in achieving the majority of targets and actions related to year 2 of the Agreement (2014/15). A scoring of 9 out of 10 was achieved in the 'Outcomes' section however this was provisional pending negotiation with Welsh Government (WG) who would undertake their own evaluation.  A Welsh Government assessment of between 8 - 10 points would enable the Council to secure full payment for the outcomes section (70% of £1.2 million).

 

A small number of targets were not achieved and in those instances proactive action was proposed to ensure these were achieved for 2015/16. Quarterly monitoring of progress against year 3 targets in the Agreement would ensure performance was brought back on track.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)    T H A T the Vale's achievement of Outcome Agreement Year 2 outcomes, attached at Appendix 1 to the report, be endorsed.

 

(2)    T H A T closer scrutiny be undertaken during 2015/16 of those areas where the Council had not achieved its actions and targets and takes proactive action to ensure that they are achieved in 2015/16. (Appendix 1 as attached to the report, pages, 8, 9, 14, 17 and 20). These areas are also referred to in paragraphs 13, 14, 16, 18, 20 and 21 of the report.

 

(3)    T H A T the report be forwarded to the Minister for Local Government for assessment.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)    To advise Members of the achievement of the outcomes listed in the Agreement.

 

(2)    To ensure the Vale is fully successful in achieving agreed targets and outcomes.

 

(3)    To facilitate Welsh Government releasing the performance incentive grant.

 

C2876        BUILDING CLEANING & SECURITY REVIEW (L & HBMCS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEES – CORPORATE RESOURCES AND ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) –

 

Cabinet was updated on the proposed changes to the cleaning and security services provided at corporate office buildings and approval was sought to effect these changes.

 

Cabinet received and approved a report outlining proposals to change the level of office cleaning and security provision at Council office buildings on 1 June, 2015 (minute no. C2788 referred) as the basis for referral to Scrutiny Committees (Corporate Resources and Economy & Environment) for their consideration prior to reaching a final determination on the proposals.

 

The previous report described the way in which the service was operated and commissioned at corporate office buildings, the service's line management arrangements and the recent trading position. The report set out proposed future levels of service provision at the Council's corporate office buildings in order to deliver financial savings. The report identified the number of affected staff within the existing level of service provided, indicated the potential implications the proposals had for building users and the way in which the required staffing and operational changes would be implemented and managed.

 

At its meeting of 13 July, 2015 Cabinet noted the comments received from the relevant Scrutiny Committees (minute no’s. C2839 and C2840 referred) and these comments would be acted upon should the proposed changes to service provision be formally approved by Cabinet. The latest report sought approval to implement the updated proposals as outlined in the Cabinet report of 1 June, 2015.

 

In response to the comments received from the Scrutiny Committees, it was proposed that the changes to cleaning and security services should progress as previously agreed by Cabinet with the exception of: staffing arrangements related to security at the Civic Offices car park (where it was proposed an element of service provision should be retained) and; changes to the security hours operated at Provincial House (to bring "out of hours" security coverage in line with revised service operating hours).

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)    T H A T the proposed changes to cleaning and security services provided at the corporate buildings as outlined in the Cabinet report of 1 June, 2015 (minute C2788) and as subsequently updated in the latest report following the recent consideration by Scrutiny Committees (Corporate Resources and Economy & Environment), be approved.

 

(2)    T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Director of Visible Services & Housing, in consultation with the Leader, the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance & Community Safety and the Managing Director to:

  • conclude the necessary consultation and engagement activity required to effect the changes;
  • respond as appropriate to such engagement and consultation, and
  •  report back to Cabinet should there be any material changes to the proposals resulting from the consultation process, and
  • progress the implementation of proposals following the conclusion of all necessary consultation and engagement activity.

(3)    T H A T a further report be provided to Cabinet and referred to Scrutiny Committees (Corporate Resources and Economy & Environment) following the implementation of the proposals describing the outcome and the future strategy of the Building Cleaning and Security service as part of tranche two of the Reshaping Services Programme.

 

(4)    T H A T appropriate redundancy and any associated pension costs be progressed in accordance with the provisions of the Council's Early Retirement/Redundancy scheme and be funded from the Early Retirement and Redundancy fund.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)    To enable the comments of the Scrutiny Committees (Corporate Resources and Economy & Environment) to be considered in reaching a final decision on the proposed changes to cleaning and security services in order to realise financial savings contained in the Council's Final Revenue Budget Proposals 2015/16.

 

(2)    To ensure that the process for implementing the required changes was undertaken efficiently and effectively in accordance with the Council’s policies and procedures.

 

(3)    To provide Members with an update on the implementation of the proposals, and; to establish the future viability of the Council’s internal Building Cleaning and Security service and how these services could be provided as part of the Reshaping Services programme.

 

(4)    To finance one-off expenditure.

 

C2877        GYPSY TRAVELLER ACCOMMODATION ASSESSMENTS (HBMCS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) –

 

Cabinet was informed of the duty on the Local Authority to undertake a new Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (GTAA) by 26 February, 2016 and an update was provided on the work of the GTAA Steering Group.

 

The assessment of Gypsy and Traveller accommodation needs, and the duty to make provision for sites where the assessment identifies need, became a statutory requirement under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014. The definition of ‘Gypsies and Travellers’ for the purposes of this accommodation assessment process was contained within section 108 of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014.

 

On 25 February, 2015 the Welsh Government issued new guidance under Section 106 of the 2014 Act to Local Authorities alongside a commencement of duty to undertake new Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessments (GTAAs). All Local Authorities in Wales had until 26 February, 2016 to complete and submit their new GTAA to the Welsh Ministers for scrutiny.

 

In compliance with the Guidance, a Steering Group was convened, made up of members from the Council and partner organisations including the NHS, Police and Education. Given the specialist nature of the Assessment and the requirement to undertake a robust consultation exercise, the Steering Group resolved to outsource the assessment to an organisation which already had links to the gypsy and traveller communities.  

 

The Council's Housing Strategy Team was preparing the tender documents, under the supervision and direction of the Procurement Team and aimed to invite quotations for the work by the end of July 2015. This would allow a consultant to be employed by 1 September, 2015 giving 3 months to produce the GTAA by 1 December, 2015. The GTAA, once completed, would then be submitted to Cabinet for adoption before the deadline set by Welsh Government.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)    T H A T the duty to produce an up to date Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment be noted.

 

(2)    T H A T a further report be submitted to Cabinet outlining the outcome of the Assessment prior to its submission to Welsh Government.  

 

(3)    T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Managing Director and/or, in the absence of the Managing Director, the Director of Visible Services and Housing, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety, to invite and accept tenders, and to enter into contracts to be executed by the Head of Legal Services and/or the Operational Manager Legal Services.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)    To note the requirement for a Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment.

 

(2)    To ensure the Council complies with its statutory requirements under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014.

 

(3)    To process tenders before the deadline.

 

C2878        PROPOSAL TO CHANGE THE CHARACTER OF GWENFO CHURCH IN WALES PRIMARY SCHOOL TO A 3 - 11 YEARS SCHOOL, BY CREATING A NURSERY UNIT WITHIN THE SCHOOL (CSS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – LIFELONG LEARNING) –

 

Approval was sought to consult stakeholders on a proposal to open a nursery unit at Gwenfo Church in Wales (CiW) Primary School from September 2016.

 

On 3 February, 2015 the Chair of Governors and Head Teacher of Gwenfo CiW Primary School and the Chair of the management committee and playgroup leader of Gwenfo Playgroup met with officers from the Learning and Skills Directorate and requested that the school be supported to open a nursery class, thus extending the age range of pupils from 4 to 11 years to 3 to 11 years.

 

To make changes of this nature, a statutory process would need to be undertaken to include consultation with stakeholders.  As the school was a Church in Wales voluntary controlled school, the process would need to be undertaken by the Council, although it was at the request of the school's Governing Body and the Gwenfo Playgroup.

 

Section 48 of the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act  2013 required that before school organisation proposals were published they had to be subject to consultation. A consultation document had to be published and provided to prescribed consultees and Welsh Ministers with a minimum consultation period of 20 school days. Meetings would be held during the consultation period to provide additional information as requested and would include meetings with parents, pupil representatives, governing bodies and staff of the school and playgroup. Appendix A as attached to the report set out the anticipated timescale for the consultation process if approved by Cabinet.

 

Capital funding for the build of the new nursery would be required.  In consultation with the school, a design for a nursery unit and an extension to two class spaces had been developed in consultation with Property Services with an estimated cost of £535,000.  

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)    T H A T consultation from 14 September, 2015 for a period of seven weeks on a proposal to create a 48 part time place nursery class at Gwenfo Church in Wales Primary School, be authorised.

 

(2)    T H A T the report be referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) for consideration as part of the consultation process.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)    To enable the Council to consult on the proposal to create a new 48 part time place nursery unit at the school and extend the age range of the school to a 3 to 11 age primary school from 1 September, 2016.  

 

(2)    To ensure that the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) is aware of progress with school reorganisation and is consulted on proposals.

 

C2879        CAR PARK CHARGING PROPOSALS - PHASE 1 (VLS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) –

 

Cabinet was informed of the results of 'off-street'/'on-street' parking studies undertaken in the town centres of Barry and Cowbridge and agreement was sought for the preferred options for charging for parking at these locations for 2015 / 2016. Agreement was also sought for changes to certain existing car park charges and Civil Parking Enforcement arrangements. Cabinet was also informed of further potential options for increased revenue from car parking throughout the Vale of Glamorgan area.

 

The Cabinet Report of 25 February, 2013 entitled 'Final Revenue Budget Proposals 2013/14 and Financial Strategy to 2016/17' indicated a number of proposed savings which included:

  •  V1 Car Parking Full - roll out of town centre car parking charges £340k saving for 2013/14.
  • V7 On Street Parking Meters - new initiative to charge for on street parking at several locations. £100k for 2014/15. This was, however, subsequently replaced by a different saving proposal.

The implementation of the proposed savings in relation to town centre car parking charges had not yet been made resulting in a shortfall in car park income of some £350k for financial year 2014/15. It was essential that the implementation of town centre car parking charges was addressed to ensure that the proposed savings were realised and identified budget targets were met as soon as possible. This was particularly critical given the increasing financial challenges facing the Council over the next three years over which it was estimated that the Council would need to find savings of some £25 million.

 

The Council charged for parking at a number of its coastal car parks but did not charge at its town centre facilities, nor did the Council charge for on-street parking within town centres.

 

Consultant Capita was commissioned in July 2013 to undertake a study into Off Street / On Street parking. This study included car parking in Barry and Cowbridge town centres with a view to the Council possibly introducing car park charging at these locations at a future date.  Penarth Town Centre was excluded from the study as there was no off-street car park provision within the town centre.  Information from previous studies was made available where appropriate so that comparisons could be made. The commission resulted in the completion of a report entitled 'Off-Street / On-Street Car Parking Study within the Vale of Glamorgan' dated December 2013 (the study was available to view on the Council’s website at the following link: http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/Documents/_Committee%20Reports/Cabinet/2015/15-07-27/Car-Park-Charging-Proposals---Phase-1---Appendix-A.pdf and was available in the Members Room).

 

An Addendum Report to the original 'Off-Street / On-Street Car Parking Study’ had been completed by Consultants, Capita in June 2015 in order to review and update the 2013 Report (the study was available to view on the Council’s website at the following link: http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/Documents/_Committee%20Reports/Cabinet/2015/15-07-27/Car-Park-Charging-Proposals---Phase-1---Appendix-B.pdf and was available in the Members Room). The Addendum Report also incorporated a Price Sensitivity Review for the introduction of parking charges within Barry and Cowbridge town centres.

 

The Capita report entitled 'Off-Street/On-Street Car Parking Study within the Vale of Glamorgan' dated December 2013 covered the following topics, which were detailed in the report:

  • Barry Town Centre
  •  Barry Charging Options
  •  Cowbridge Town Centre
  •  Cowbridge Conclusions
  •  Car Park Charging Methods
  •  Car Park Charging Examples and Comparisons
  •  Car Sharing and Park and Ride

The report entitled 'Off-Street / On-Street Car Parking Study within the Vale of Glamorgan: December 2013: Addendum Report' dated June 2015 covered the following topics, which were detailed in the report:

  • Review and Update of 2013 Report
  •  Car Parking Charging Methods
  •  Charging Structure
  •  Price Sensitivity Review

Based on the information contained in the report and the probable outcomes identified in the Capita Study, it was considered appropriate to not proceed with on-street parking charges at this time. However, it was considered significantly advantageous to instigate off-street parking within existing car parks in both Barry and Cowbridge as identified in the Capita report so as to optimise parking availability, to generate income and to ensure the effective management and control of off-street parking facilities in the future.

 

Car park charging methods had been reviewed and analysed within the Capita report and addendum, the preferred method of implementing car park charging within Barry and Cowbridge was the use of pay and display machines with a coin and card payment facility. All the new town centre car parks implementing the new charging regime would also provide the ability for customers to pay by phone as was currently the case in the existing seasonal car parks.

 

Based on the above considerations and principles, the report recommended that the standard charge levels and tariffs as identified in the table below be introduced to encourage and promote short stay parking in Kendrick Road car park, Barry; Thompson Street car park, Barry; Wyndham Street car park, Barry; Butts car park, Cowbridge; and Town Hall car park, Cowbridge.

 

Duration of Stay All Car Parks
Up to 2 hours £1.00
Up to 3 hours £1.60
Up to 4 hours £2.20
Over 4 hours £5.00

An analysis of the income generated from the proposed charging structure identified above was provided in the table below. This analysis made the following assumptions:-

  • Duration of stay (No. of cars per day) as identified in Capita report.
  •  Pay and Display machines were used in all car parks.
  •  Parking charges were applied in the town centre car parks identified in the report.
  •  Blue badge holders would be exempt from charges in line with the current seasonal car park charging regime.

The recommended charging structure outlined in the table above was considered by the report to offer affordable and proportionate tariffs to meet the needs of the town centre environment whilst achieving the maximum income to offset the significant savings and challenging budget constraints that the Council would have to address in future years. The income generated from car park charges and the level of parking in town centre car parks would need to be reviewed annually and adjusted to ensure the optimum charging structure and usage of individual car parks was achieved in future years.

 

After presenting this item, the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services commented that we were one of the only Councils not to charge for car parking. The Cabinet Member for Regeneration also commented that she had spoken to Cowbridge Town Council and shop owners who were keen to tackle long term parking and this was a positive move forward.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)    T H A T the proposals for introducing off-street parking charges within the Barry and Cowbridge town centre car parks as described within the report be agreed, with charging times also to be agreed.

 

(2)    T H A T the proposed amendments to the off-street seasonal parking charge regime as described within the report be agreed.

 

(3)    T H A T the current status and arrangements with regards to Resident Only parking and Disabled Parking Bay provision be maintained.

 

(4)    T H A T authority is granted to employ, through the Civil Parking Enforcement Partnership, an additional one permanent and one seasonal Civil Parking Enforcement Officer, to be funded from increased income from Penalty Charge Notices (PCN's).

 

(5)    T H A T further reports be provided to Cabinet in due course detailing all options for increased revenue generation from Car Parking throughout the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

(6)    T H A T the report be forwarded to the Scrutiny Committee (Economy & Environment) for their consideration and comment.

 

(7)    T H A T further consideration be given to free late/overnight parking in specified car parks.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)    To enable the proposed off-street parking charges to be introduced within Barry and Cowbridge town centre car parks.

 

(2)    To enable the proposed amendments to the off-street seasonal parking charge regime to be implemented.

 

(3)    To clarify the Local Highway Authority policy in connection with Resident Only parking and Disabled Parking Bay provision.

 

(4)    To address the increase in enforcement demand arising from the report.

 

(5)    To allow Cabinet to take decisions on future car park charging phases.

 

(6)    To seek the input of the relevant Scrutiny Committee to any car park charging decisions.

 

(7)    To consider the provision of out-of-hours car parking.

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