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CABINET

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 2 November, 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.

 

C2951       MINUTES –

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 19 October, 2015 be approved as a correct record.

 

C2952       DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

No declarations were received.

 

C2953       CARDIFF BAY ADVISORY COMMITTEE -      

 

The minutes of the Cardiff Bay Advisory Committee meeting held on 23 September, 2015 were submitted.

 

Present:

 

Mrs. C. Dimond (Vice-Chairman)

Cardiff Flood Action Committee

Commodore C. Parsons

Cardiff Bay Yacht Club

Vice-Commodore D. Cairncross

Cardiff Bay Yacht Club

Mrs. N. Delonghi

Natural Resources Wales

Ms. C. Harvey

Natural Resources Wales

Mr. N. Ajax-Lewis

Wild Life Trust of South and West Wales

Councillor G. Roberts

Penarth Town Council

Councillor B. Derbyshire

Cardiff Council

Mr. G. Soltys

Penarth Tourism and Visitor Association

 

Also present:

 

Mr. A. Vye-Parminter

Cardiff Harbour Authority

Mr. D. Hall

Cardiff Harbour Authority

 

 

Mr. C. Hope

Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

(a)       Apologies for Absence

 

These were received from Mr. J. Maidment (Cardiff Harbour Authority), Mr. M. Chidlow (Associated British Ports), Mr. S. Jones (Quay Marinas), Mr. S. Clarke (Canoe Wales), Mr. C. Michael (RSPB) and Councillor L. Burnett (Vale of Glamorgan Council).

 

(b)       Minutes

 

AGREED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 3rd June, 2015 be approved as a correct record.

 

(c)        Matters Arising

 

Councillor G. Roberts enquired as to the success of the events that had been scheduled to take place in the harbour during the summer months as was advised that the events had been very successful and that the Harbour Authority was looking to expand these events next year.

 

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

 

(i)         It was reported that the damage to Cardiff Barrage Approach Channel sector lights had been repaired and the lights reinstated. All users of the Bay had been informed.

 

(ii)        It was reported that the Harbour Authority was reviewing the communication links between the Marina and the Yacht Clubs in order to reduce the possibility of any misunderstandings or conflict of movement.

 

(e)       Progress Report – Mr. D. Hall

 

(i)         It was reported that the main events season was coming to an end and that everything had taken place successfully.

 

The Cardiff Half Marathon was due to take place on 4th October, 2015 and part of the course involved the Bay area. The Barrage bridge would be down for about 90 minutes to permit participants to cross the river but low vessels would still be able to navigate the river.

 

(ii)        Cardiff Harbour Authority’s Environmental Team had been investigating the dissolved oxygen levels in the River Ely.

 

(iii)       Cardiff Harbour Authority was trialling a new prototype filter (aeration system) to measure its effectiveness.

 

(iv)       The Harbour Authority was monitoring the use of litter bins in the area. New bins had been installed in Roald Place.

 

(v)        The Barrage salt water flushing valve had been repaired in June. This had been a difficult job but the works had been completed successfully within one week.

 

(vi)       A decision had been taken that the toilets at Barrage Control would be kept open for 24 hours per day although the situation would be continually reviewed.

 

(vii)      It was intended to close Lock 1 for 2/3 weeks for repairs to the outer gates.

 

In referring to the minutes of the previous meeting of the Advisory Committee, Councillor Derbyshire enquired if the works to the fish pass had been completed successfully and was advised that the pass was now in full operation.

 

Mr. Hall further advised that this had been a fairly average year insofar as salmon numbers were concerned, although there had been a large “catch” a few weeks ago.

 

Mrs. Dimond enquired if there had been further problems with the illegal fishermen and was informed that there had been no further problems.

 

(f)        Update Report – Mrs. N. Delonghi, Natural Resources Wales

 

-               Mrs. Delonghi advised of personnel changes within Natural Resources Wales insofar as they related to Cardiff Bay.

-               Ms. Harvey advised that works were ongoing at Radyr Weir, and Archimedes Screws were being installed. The water quality was also being monitored.

-               The licence for dredging in the Bay had expired and new applications had been submitted.

-               Celsa have had their abstraction licence approved.

-               Associated British Ports (ABP) have submitted a transfer licence application to cover Celsa’s abstraction from Bute East Dock, as this is not covered by ABP’s exemption as it is not for navigation purposes.

-               There had been very few dissolved oxygen issues within the Bay over the summer months.

 

Discussions ensued on the proposals for the construction of Tidal Lagoons in Cardiff and Newport, and the need to consider the impact on the Bay area.

 

Questions were asked about the efficiency of Tidal Lagoons, but the Committee was advised that there were no lagoons in existence yet, so there were no benchmarking figures available.

 

Vice-Commodore Cairncross advised that the company behind the Lagoon had made a presentation to the Yacht Clubs.

 

(g)       Date of Next Meeting

 

AGREED – T H A T the next meeting be held on Wednesday, 18th November 2015 at 5.15 p.m. and that the meeting be held in Cardiff International White Water.

 

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

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the minutes.

 

C2954       GLAMORGAN HERITAGE COAST ADVISORY GROUP -

 

The minutes of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast Advisory Group meeting held on 11 September, 2015 were submitted.

 

Present: Councillor Mrs. A.J. Preston (Chairman); Councillors L. Burnett, R.F. Curtis, Mrs. V.M. Hartrey and C.J. Williams (Vale of Glamorgan Council),

Ms. G. Barter (Natural Resources Wales), Mr. B. Acott (Friends of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast), Mr. J. Golunski (Dunraven Estates), Mr. R. McLaggan (Merthyr Mawr Estates) and Mrs. H. March (Friends of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast).

 

(a)       Apologies for Absence

 

These were received from Councillors R.P. Thomas (Vice-Chairman), J. Drysdale and G. Davies (Bridgend County Borough Council).

 

(b)       Minutes

 

AGREED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 17th April, 2015 be agreed as a correct record subject to it being noted that with regard to 8(g) the officer from Natural Resources Wales was Mr. R. Facey, and that the work being carried out with the National Botanic Gardens of Wales related to the rare Shoredock.

 

With regard to the recommendation for the Vale of Glamorgan Tourist Association to be represented on the Advisory Group, the Democratic Services Officer advised that the report was scheduled for the next Council meeting on 28th September, 2015 and, if approved, the invitation would be extended in time for the next meeting of the Group.

 

(c)  Announcement -

 

The Chairman took the opportunity to advise Members that she had recently forwarded a congratulatory card to Mr. Paul Dunn, the previous ranger, on behalf of the Group thanking him for his work on the Glamorgan Heritage Coast for the Vale Council and wishing him all the best in his retirement. This was echoed by all present.

 

(d)       Presentation by the Site Ranger, Mr. Paul Lock: Achievements and Issues Since the Last Meeting

 

Mr. Paul Lock commenced his presentation by advising of the new staffing structure that had been put in place which allowed for flexible working between a number of sites with staff working together as one unit. Staff not only welcomed the opportunity to work on different sites and gain knowledge of the various areas involved but also welcomed the networking opportunity afforded as a direct result of the flexible approach.

 

In referring, to the number of schools visiting the Heritage Coast, the team would be developing new activities for the future example, den building, bug hunting etc. This was considered to be the best use of the resources available in that the number of schools wishing to undertake rock pooling, etc. was dependent upon the tides. The expansion of the activities into the woodland would create more diverse opportunities for schools. Mr. Lock then provided Members with a PowerPoint presentation which depicted a number of photographic slides of the Heritage Coast.

 

During consideration of the verbal update, Mr. Lock advised that with regard to the number of activities on the Coast, the team were grateful to the volunteers who assisted with the upkeep of the gardens. Lloyds Bank had also arranged for volunteers to assist with a number of projects and had provided a donation which was utilised on the coast. The team was also looking into the opportunity of grant funding for ponds in parks and looking at opportunities for further improving signage. 

 

The Chairman took the opportunity to congratulate the team and the Friends on the postcards that were available for sale which were, in her view, excellently priced and provided outstanding pictures of the area.

 

It was subsequently

 

AGREED – T H A T the report of the Site Ranger and the suggested future activities be noted.

 

(e)       Future Plans for the Glamorgan Heritage Coast and New Establishment for Countryside Services

 

Mr. Steve Pickering, Team Leader Countryside Services, also took the opportunity to thank Mr. P. Dunn for his 37 years’ service to the Council and the Heritage Coast and the knowledge that he had passed on over the years to the team. Mr. Pickering advised of Paul Lock’s appointment as the new Site Ranger and Helen Mills as the Area Ranger for the Vale of Glamorgan, whose role would include co-ordinating the Volunteer Programmes across the Countryside Service sites.

 

In referring to the restructuring that had taken place, he stated that previously most of the staff had been isolated at satellite sites with little or no interaction. The approach had now been changed to a more fluid one with the purpose of sharing good working practices across both Country Parks within the Vale and on the Heritage Coast, the feedback to date from all staff being a positive one. In looking to the future as Team Leader, he would be exploring external funding / grant opportunities with a view to assisting to refurbish the centre and to make it a focal point for tourism and local people to visit. The Creative Rural Communities could assist in this regard and they had also been instrumental in obtaining funding for the provision of storage units at the back of the Heritage Coast Centre for a number of pieces of equipment.

 

It was hoped that the restored slipway would be completed by Spring 2016. The Legal department was dealing with an issue in relation to the summerhouse footpath with Members being kept informed as appropriate. Following a question from a Member as to whether the slipway would be able to be used by the public and whether there would a charge, the Group was informed that slipway would be open to the public with no fee being charged.

 

Ms. Natasha Davies, Senior Economic Development Officer also present at the meeting, advised that one of her roles would be to work with businesses in the area to provide further job opportunities through development of coast based commercial activities.

 

Following a query as to the use of drones on the beach, Mr. Pickering advised that he believed Natural resources Wales had been surveying the coast.

 

AGREED – T H A T Mr. Pickering be thanked for his verbal update and the opportunities to explore further funding noted.

 

(f)        Verbal Update on Current Issues by the Operational Manager for Regeneration

 

The Operational Manager for Regeneration referred to further funding from Welsh Government for Creative Rural Communities which had been extended for a further five years. The Department would also be looking to further identify job opportunities within the tourism sector through some aspects of the funding.

 

Following a query, the Operational Manager confirmed that private businesses would be able to potentially access some of the funding and the team would work with local businesses and communities to support them in making applications. Officers were currently considering the options available in order to make applications, with Welsh Government expecting any applications for funding to be supported by Creative Rural Communities. The Operational Manager advised all present to approach the Creative Rural Communities team direct for further advice if required.  A Member queried funding opportunities, for example for solar panels, with the Operational Manager advising that the Creative Rural Communities Programme had funded an energy audit of the centre in the past but no funding was yet identified to implement changes.

 

Councillor Burnett, also a Cabinet Member with the Vale of Glamorgan, advised that although the Country Parks and the Heritage Coast services were not statutory services they were considerable assets to the Vale and, in light of the significant financial constraints facing the Council, it was imperative that the parks and coast were protected for the communities and all opportunities for investment pursued. It was noted that filming at such locations was a valuable income source. Councillor Burnet further stated that she welcomed the positive comments that the new structure was working well which she considered was a positive step for the future.

 

Following consideration of the report it was subsequently

 

AGREED – T H A T the funding opportunities as outlined above be welcomed.

 

(g)       Matters to be Raised by Bridgend County Borough Council

 

Following apologies for the meeting from Councillor G. Davies, there were no matters for discussion.

 

(h)       Matters to be Raised by Natural Resources Wales

 

In referring to the query regarding the drone survey, Ms. Barter advised that although she was not aware of the work being undertaken, she would endeavour to find out any information and report back to the next meeting. 

 

Ms. Barter took the opportunity to thank the Heritage Coast Team for all their hard work, referring in particular to the conservation work undertaken at Cwm Mawr. She also advised of the new telephone numbers for the Natural Resources Wales offices at Cardiff and Swansea, which were to be prefixed by area code 03000.

 

(i)         Matters to be Raised by the Friends of Glamorgan Heritage Coast

 

Mr. Acott informed the Group that the Friends were unable to maintain the Seawatch building and they had notified the Prince of Wales of the situation in view of the fact that the building had been handed over to the Friends Group some time ago. The Friends had also written to a number of organisations to ascertain any interest. They were awaiting a reply from the Sea Cadets and were to discuss options with Atlantic College. A further update would be presented to the next meeting of the Heritage Coast Advisory Group.

 

At the end of the meeting, Mr. R. McLaggan raised his concerns at the document for  consultation that was currently being undertaken by Welsh Government regarding the Rights of Way system. Mr. McLaggan advised that the consultation referred as an option to “unfettered access by the public” to all land in Wales. This, he considered, would be an issue that landowners could “struggle with” in respect of the potential for misbehaviour on the Heritage Coast that could ensue. He stated that to date landowners worked with Local Authorities and provided access on a number of areas of their land, but to advocate unfettered access he felt could be a major issue with considerable financial implications. A number of Members of the Group concurred with Mr. McLaggan’s view, being aware that a number of landowners already encouraged public access and had supported access on their land for some time. The Group was informed that the Council would shortly be responding to the consultation. The Operational Manager advised that the consultation was to be considered at the next meeting of the Local Access Forum for comments and that he would consider all views raised when drafting the Council’s response.

 

In closing the meeting, the Chairman made a request for a seat to be erected within the Castle gardens on the incline where the hedge started, in order for people to be able to rest a while before walking on further. Mr. Golunski (Dunraven Estates) agreed to consider the request at his next meeting with the landowners.

 

(j)         Date of Next Meeting

 

The date of the next meeting was confirmed as 15th April, 2016.

           

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After presenting this item, the Cabinet Member for Regeneration commented that the Joint Working Agreement allowed teams of staff to take on larger projects and it was working well. The Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services, who had previously been involved in this matter, agreed with his colleague and added that everyone was happy with the new agreement.

 

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

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the minutes.

 

C2955       CALL-IN: GYPSY TRAVELLER ACCOMODATION ASSESSMENTS (REF) –

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) on 7 October, 2015 considered the above call-in.

 

Committee, on 2nd September 2015, had recommended:

 

-               That Cabinet be requested to consider the inclusion of Councillor K.P. Mahoney plus one other Member of the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) on the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation. Assessment Steering Group.

 

Cabinet had, on 21st September 2015,

 

“RESOLVED – THAT the contents of the report and the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) be noted, and that Councillor Bronwen Brooks be included on the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment Steering Group given the relevance of the group to her role as Cabinet Member for Housing Maintenance, Building Services and Community Safety.”

 

A call-in had been received from Councillor A.G. Bennett, as follows:

 

“That the Cabinet decision to only include a Cabinet Member to the Steering Group, although welcome, does not provide sufficient scrutiny of the Assessment Process as recommended by the H&PP Committee and should be reconsidered by the Cabinet to include Members from outside the Executive of the Council.”

 

Councillors Ms. B.E. Brooks and N. Moore spoke on this matter with the consent of the Committee.

 

In support of his Call-In, Councillor Bennett stated that he believed that the Scrutiny Committee’s recommendation had represented a way forward. Whilst welcoming Councillor Ms. Brooks’ appointment to the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment Steering Group, the reason for Councillor Bennett’s Call-In was to seek to ask Cabinet to consider appointing a further Member to the Steering Group from outside the Executive.

 

Councillor Bennett requested that Cabinet be asked to reconsider appointing a Member of this Scrutiny Committee to the Steering Group and, if necessary, Councillor Bennett volunteered to be that person.

 

Members of the Scrutiny Committee appreciated that this was not a request for Councillor Ms. Brooks to stand down from the Steering Group, it would be a request to enhance the membership of the Steering Group.

 

Following discussions, it was

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T Cabinet be requested to reconsider its decision of 21st September, 2015 and to consider the appointment of Councillor Bennett to the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment Steering Group.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To enable non-Executive Members to express a view of the work of the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment Steering Group.

 

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

 

RESOLVED – T H A T having considered the request of the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection), the recommendation to appoint Councillor Bennett as an additional member to the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment Steering Group be agreed.

 

Reason for decision

 

To enable non-Executive Members to express a view of the work of the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment Steering Group.

 

C2956       REVENUE AND CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 31ST AUGUST 2015 (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) on 5 October, 2015 considered the above report of the Director of Social Services.

 

The Operational Manager – Accountancy presented the report, the purpose of which was to advise the Scrutiny Committee of the position in respect of the revenue and capital expenditure for the period 1st April to 31st August 2015. In addition, the report also highlighted progress made in delivering the Social Services Budget Programme.

 

The current forecast for Social Services was a balanced budget. In addition to increased demand for services, there was pressure on the Directorate to achieve its savings targets for 2015/16 onwards.

 

A table and graph setting out the variance between the profiled budget and actual expenditure to date and the projected position at year end were attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

In terms of Children and Young People’s Services, it was anticipated to outturn £450,000 under budget at year end. They key issue for the service continued to be managing the demand for the Joint Budget for Residential Placements for Looked After Children, however, currently it was forecast to outturn with a £250,000 underspend at year end. Work had been ongoing to ensure that children were placed in the most appropriate and cost effective placements. However, it was noted that it was still early in the financial year and that due to the potential high cost of each placement, the outturn position could fluctuate with a change in the number of Looked After Children. There were potential underspends elsewhere in Children’s Services of £65,000 on staffing budgets and £135,000 on alternative means of provision and accommodation costs required for the current cohort of children.

 

For Adult Services, this service was currently anticipated to outturn £450,000 over budget at year end. This was due to a projected overspend on Community Care Packages of £450,000 as a result of increased demand for services, particularly for frail older clients. There was continued pressure within this area of the service to manage demand, not only to avoid a further increase in the overspend, but also to reduce the overspend. Whilst every effort would be made to improve this position, it could not be guaranteed that this position would not deteriorate further by year end as this budget was extremely volatile and there was a continued increase in demand for services. The annual deferred income budget for 2015/16 had been set at £739,000 and as at 31st August 2015, income received to date was £35,000 under-recovered.  As it was early in the financial year, the year end projection was to breakeven against this budget.

 

Capital

 

Appendix 2 to the report detailed financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 31st August 2015.

 

In respect of the Southway Fire Works, the report highlighted that this scheme was now complete, however further works had been identified within the Southway and Cartref residential homes. It had therefore been requested that £7,000 be vired to the Southway and Cartref residential home upgrade scheme.

 

Appendix 3 to the report provided non-financial information on capital construction schemes. For all schemes where it was evident that the full year’s budget would not be spent during the year, the relevant officers were required to provide an explanation for the shortfall which would be taken to the earliest available Cabinet meeting.

 

2015/16 Budget Programme

 

The Directorate was currently required to find savings totalling £3.568m by the end of 2019/20 and this target was analysed by year in the following table.


 

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

 

 

 

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.

 

Attached at Appendix 4 to the report was an update on each individual area of saving.

 

In answer to the Chairman’s question relating to the savings target required this year within Adult Services, the Head of Adult Services advised that this would be a challenge, but on the whole this service was on track. He stated that savings within residential services would largely depend upon the Hafod contract and that the service was also waiting for the registration of two new care homes. He further advised that savings within the Care Packages budget also represented a significant challenge for which a lot of work was being undertaken.

 

A Committee Member, in referring to target C11 around foster carers, queried how the savings would be achieved. In reply, the Head of Children and Young People Services stated that the main focus for the service was to recruit more foster carers and to avoid using independent foster carers. The service was also looking at ways of enhancing the support for carers in meeting the needs of children with complex needs, in order to prevent placement breakdown and promote stability.

 

With regard to the £270,000 savings for the contract arrangements for domiciliary care, earmarked for 2016/17, Members were advised that this was a challenging target, which the service considered was achievable. An important development going forward was the increase in the national living minimum wage, the cost of which may be passed on to social services.

 

In reply to a Member’s question regarding the total income received by the service, the Committee was advised that information around this would be circulated via e-mail.

 

Having considered the report, the Committee

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the position with regard to the 2015/16 revenue and capital monitoring be noted.

 

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

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To ensure that Members are aware of the position with regard to the 2015/16 revenue and capital monitoring relevant to the Committee.

 

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

 

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After presenting this item, the Cabinet Member for Adult Services reiterated his previous concerns about the budget for Adult Services given the increasing demands for Domiciliary Care. However, while he recognised the difficulties the department faced, the Cabinet Member was also pleased, and celebrated the fact, that more people were accessing care and maintaining their independence.

 

The Leader further commented that the Adult Services department was anticipating a potential overspend and as such the finances required monitoring. He thanked the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) for its continued scrutiny of the Social Services budget and noted that the department had been under more pressure than anticipated due to increased demand on services and this had to be considered during further budget setting.

 

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

 

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

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the contents of the report.

 

C2957       UPDATE ON IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES AND WELL-BEING (WALES) ACT 2014 (REF) -       

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) on 5 October, 2015 considered the above report of the Director of Social Services.

 

The Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act would come into force in April 2016. The Committee had requested regular updates on the progress being made in readiness for implementing the requirements of the Act in the Vale of Glamorgan. This report updated information considered by the Committee in September 2015, which included:

  • The work of the Care Council for Wales in developing a national learning and development plan to support implementation of the Act and also an Information and Learning Hub (which was a one stop shop for the wide range of resources being produced as part of this initiative)
  • The successful awareness raising event in partnership with the Glamorgan Voluntary Services
  • The Social Care and Workforce Development Programme (SCWDP) and arrangements for a regional SCWDP partnership across the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff.

The report outlined that a draft legislative timetable had been prepared recently, which was shown at Appendix 1. This set out the proposed timescales for laying the remaining Regulations and Codes of Practice before the National Assembly, for approval. This information indicated that, despite considerable effort, the Welsh Government could not be certain of finalising the secondary legislation required before the deadline for implementing the Act.

 

As there was now increased clarity regarding the detailed Regulations and Codes of Practice for the different parts of the Act, the Care Council for Wales had been able to award the national contract for developing the Tranche 2 training materials, won by the Institute of Public Care (IPC). The four core modules which were being developed by the IPC were as follows:

  • Introduction and General Functions, which would cover information and advice as well as prevention;
  • Assessing and Meeting the Needs of Individuals;
  • Looked After and Accommodated Children; and
  • Safeguarding.

It was intended that summaries of the main messages from all four modules would be made available for every role within the social care sector, to ensure that the entire workforce had an opportunity to understand how the Act would affect their work. The IPC had also been commissioned to deliver “training the trainer” events. Officers from the Council were seeking to co-ordinate the national training plan for the Act and the regional learning and development programmes within the Vale and Cardiff. Virtual teams from both Local Authorities were working together to ensure that training for the Act was managed efficiently and effectively across the workforce.

 

The second meeting of the new Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Regional Social Care Workforce Development Partnership was held on 9th September, 2015. During this meeting the Partnership considered the first draft of the Mid-Year Monitoring Report and updated Plan. This would be submitted to Welsh Government on 25th September, 2015.

 

A major source of concern for Local Authorities and their partners in planning how to implement the Act had been the scale of the change agenda required. The Association of Directors of Social Services (ADSS) had been looking to secure Welsh Government approval for a national programme that focused upon agreed priority areas, these being:

  • Information, Advice and Assistance (IAA)
  • Supporting the development of an assessment and eligibility toolkit
  • Planning and promoting preventative services
  • Workforce
  • Performance management.

 The report stated that these would not disregard the need for local action that focused on the many other key areas including safeguard, looked after and accommodated children, charging, advocacy, social enterprises and regional partnership planning / working. However, given the very limited timeframe available and the scale of change required, it was essential that the service concentrated limited resources and programmes of work at the national and regional levels on these areas which would change most the relationship between individuals and public services and which also represented the greatest risk to effective implementation.

 

The Regional Implementation Plan would need to be amended so that it reflected this approach. This was to be submitted to Welsh Government by 30th September 2015 but had been pushed back to 16th October, 2015. In addition to the Regional Partnership Board for the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff operating at a strategic level, the two statutory directors had established a sustainable social services working group which would ensure that the service was making the best use of resources, preventing duplication and also sharing best practice. The work of the Board would be monitored in the Vale by the corporate arrangements in place for overseeing the social services collaborative programme, which was part of the Council’s Reshaping Services agenda.

 

Following Ministerial approval, a Code of Practice setting out in more detail the responsibilities of the Director of Social Services would be issued for consultation in October. It was anticipated that there would be a 60 day consultation period. Subject to feedback and any proposed revisions, the final Code of Practice would be placed before the Assembly in February 2016 and would come into force from April 2016.

 

The statutory Code of Practice in relation to measuring social services performance has been issued under Section 145 of the Act. Work was ongoing to consider the technical guidance and to assess what needed to be done to ensure that the service collected the relevant data from the beginning of the next financial year.

 

As discussed at a meeting of the Scrutiny Committee in September 2015, an event would be arranged for all Elected Members in March 2016 to ensure that they had up to date information on the Act and its requirements.

 

The Committee raised a number of queries regarding the five key priorities identified by the ADSS. Members, aware that implementation of the Act was to come into effect from April 2016, queried whether the Welsh Government was content with the priorities identified within the ADSS’s national programme. In response, the Regional Lead – Sustainable Social Services stated that the Welsh Government had accepted that implementation of the Act represented a big challenge for Local Authorities. The ADSS had identified key priority areas that the service had to get right. She referred Members to paragraph 8 of the covering report, which reaffirmed the Council’s approach to ensure that the other important elements of the Act were not disregarded. She went on to advise that the Welsh Government seemed happy with this approach. On a regional level there was an expectation around implementation of the Act as a whole, although it was likely that some parts of the Act may take two to three years to fully implement.

 

In addition, the Head of Children and Young People Services commented that whilst two of the areas not in the priority workstreams were Looked After Children and Safeguarding, this did not mean they were not being considered. She advised that these areas involved less change and she reassured Members that the service would still be working with these children and young people in accordance with their needs. What the ADSS had recognised was the need to prioritise resources in the key areas of change.

 

In response to a Member’s query regarding charging for services, advocacy and social enterprises, the Regional Lead – Sustainable Social Services advised that within the ADSS’s national programme, advocacy would come under the information advice and assistance part, whilst charging would form part of the assessment and eligibility toolkit. Charging was included within the second tranche, for which clear guidelines were still to be produced. In terms of social enterprises, the Committee was advised that new ways of working and new service models would evolve over time, particularly around preventative services.

 

A Committee Member, in referring to the timetable attached at Appendix 1 to the report and the consultation exercises undertaken under Part 4 and Part 11, enquired as to whether any issues regarding the Welsh Government proposals had been raised. In reply, the Regional Lead – Sustainable Social Services stated that following consultation on Tranche 1 of the Act, very little had subsequently changed. Members of the Committee had previously seen sight of the Directorate’s response to Tranche 2 in which a number of issues and queries were raised. Members were advised that Welsh Government was still in the process of working through these and that a meeting with Welsh Government officials would be held on 11th November 2015 to discuss details around Tranche 2. Feedback from this meeting would be provided to the Committee in due course.

 

The Committee also enquired as to whether there were any concerns raised by staff, particularly in light of the pace of change. In response, the Head of Adult Services informed Members that the Directorate’s biggest challenge was that the detail around the Act was still not there and so it was difficult to train staff without the detailed changes.

 

Having considered the report, the Committee

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

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

 

(2)       T H A T the Committee continue to receive regular updates about implementation of the Act.

 

(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 policy and the legislative framework which underpins the work of Social Services.

 

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After presenting this item, the Cabinet Member for Adult Services commented that the Council was anticipating the introduction of the Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act 2014 and that it would bring us, and other Local Authorities, challenges. To combat these challenges, the Cabinet Member advised that training was underway that would inform staff on day-to-day changes to working practices, and regular updates such as this were also helpful to enable Cabinet to stay on top of the issue.

 

The Leader added that training had been arranged for Members in March 2016.

 

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

 

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

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the contents of the report.

 

C2958       ICT SECURITY POLICIES FOR MOBILE PHONES AND REMOVABLE MEDIA DEVICES (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Approval was sought to agree the Mobile Devices Security Policy attached at Appendix A to the report and the Removable Media Devices Policy attached at Appendix B to the report.

 

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) expected the Council to take all procedural and technological measures to reduce the risk of data loss.

 

The Mobile Devices Security Policy and the Removable Media Devices Policy policies had been considered and approved by the Information Governance Board, Corporate Management Team and the Legal Services Division. In addition the Trade Unions had been consulted and raised no objections to their introduction. A draft removable media policy was circulated to staff for consultation and the feedback from that consultation had been included in the policy document.

 

At the meeting, the Leader explained that this was a simple update of procedure to reflect more modern styles of working electronically.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the introduction of the Mobile Device Security Policy attached at Appendix A to the report and Removable Media Policy attached at Appendix B to the report be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To formally approve both policies.

 

C2959       LOCAL AVERAGE INTEREST RATE (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Schedule 16 of the Housing Act 1985 specified how local authorities must set interest rates on mortgages arranged since 3 October, 1980. The rate of interest currently charged on Council mortgages was 5.73% and the local average interest rate had been calculated at 5.13%. The standard National Rate of Interest was 3.13%.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the Authority declare a local average rate of interest on all new loans of 5.13% from 1 November, 2015 and that the rate of interest on all existing variable housing loans including the sale of Council dwellings be reduced from 5.73% to 5.13% with effect from 1 December, 2015.

 

Reason for decision

 

To recalculate the interest rate in accordance with statutory requirements.

 

C2960       SURRENDER AND RE-GRANT OF LEASE IN RESPECT OF FOREST CAFÉ PORTHKERRY COUNTRY PARK (L & R) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Authority was sought to accept a surrender of the current lease and to grant a new lease (to include an additional area of open space land as shown in Appendix 1 as attached to the report) to the existing tenant of Forest Café, Porthkerry Country Park, Barry.

 

The tenant of the Forest Café at Porthkerry Country Park held the property via a 21 year lease from 1 August, 1998 and benefitted from the Security of Tenure provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 allowing for renewal at the end of the term. A second lease was granted on 1 March, 2011 to allow for the extension of outside decking area to be used by the tenants of the Café. This lease expired on 31 July, 2019 and also had the benefits of the Security of Tenure provisions.

 

Planning consent had been granted (2014/00400/FUL) to extend the existing café, providing a seating area at ground and first floor level. An extended kitchen and toilet facilities were also provided at ground floor level. The extension projected by 8 metres to the side of the existing building and 4 metres from the front with an extended decking area. The tenant requested to lease the extra area of land required to allow for the proposed development as well as landlord’s consent to extend the café in line with the planning permission.

 

In order to provide for a timely development (if appropriate) emergency powers had been sought and approved to declare the small area of land adjacent to the café at Porthkerry Country Park (set out in Appendix 1 as attached to the report) surplus to requirements and to advertise the proposed disposal of the same open space land under the S123 (2A) of the Local Government Act 1972. If any objections were received this would be reported separately to Cabinet for consideration prior to any final decision being taken.

 

If no objections were received the matter would be progressed as set out in the recommendations of the report.

 

After presenting this item, the Cabinet Member for Regeneration commented that this was a positive development to improve facilities in the park for its users. The Leader agreed with his colleague, stating that this re-grant of lease was a sensible approach to enable a simple extension of the site.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T subject to consideration of consultation responses, the Managing Director be granted delegated authority, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and the Leader of the Council, to accept the surrender of the current leases, and agree terms and conditions for a new lease in accordance with the terms and conditions to be agreed by the Head of Finance (including the provision of the additional area of land indicated in Appendix 1 as attached to the report), to the existing tenant of Forest Café, Porthkerry Country Park, Barry.

 

(2)       T H A T the Head of Legal Services be authorised to prepare, complete and execute the necessary legal documents required.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To secure the required authority to allow the agreement to the surrender of the current leases and for agreement for the new lease to be entered into, in order to execute and complete the legal formalities.

 

(2)       To expedite resolution 1.

 

C2961       ANNUAL REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL SERVICES 2014/2015 (AS & CSS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH) -

 

Cabinet received the final version of the Director of Social Services’ Annual Report and approval was sought for the improvement priorities for the Directorate as set out in the report.

 

The Director of Social Services was required by the Welsh Government to produce an annual report on the effectiveness of social care services in the Vale of Glamorgan and on plans for improvement. This provided the Director an opportunity to provide people in the Vale with a rounded picture of social services - based on evidence drawn from a wide range of sources such as users and carers, along with key performance indicators, and measurements of progress against the overall goals of the Council.

 

The report was written for a wide range of people, including service users and carers but also Elected Members, the Council's own staff, and the range of partners and providers who helped deliver Council services. It was used by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales (CSSIW) as evidence for their annual evaluation of the Council and to guide their inspection programme in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

The report identified a Service Plan for the period 2015 to 2019, which provided an overview of the Directorate's improvement work. It outlined what the Directorate was trying to achieve; why this was important; how it would be achieved; how the Council would monitor progress; and what success would look like. The outcomes and priorities contained in the service plan were a central part of the Director's Annual Report.

 

A challenge version of the Director's report was circulated widely at an early stage in the process. This was done to give key stakeholders an opportunity to comment and to ensure that it accurately reflected their perceptions about the position of social services and the quality of care and support the Council provided. Feedback collected from all sources had been incorporated into the final version of the report, that was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

As in previous years, each Head of Service in the Directorate had also provided an annual report, including an assessment of how well the Council was doing in each of the different service areas and priority objectives for improvement in 2015/16. These were attached at Appendices 2, 3, & 4 to the report along with the Social Services end-of-year performance information that was attached at Appendix 5 to the report.

 

The report would be circulated widely and made available via the Council's website.

 

At the meeting, the Director of Social Services was invited to speak. He commented that this Annual Report was a true and honest account of the Social Services Directorate which had been verified by external reports and had been the subject of a previous Scrutiny Report.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein

 

RESOLVED –

 

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

 

(2)       T H A T the improvement priorities for the Directorate as set out in the report be approved.

 

(3)       T H A T thanks be given to the Director, Heads of Service and Officers of the Social Services Directorate for their ongoing work to continually improve providing services to their clients.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1&2)  To note the Director's public account of service effectiveness in 2014/15 and endorse his plans for improvement so that these priorities could be included in the Directorate’s Service Plan.

 

(3)       To thank staff for their hard work.

 

C2962       APPROVAL FOR A VARIATION IN SOLAR PV (PHOTOVOLTAIC) CONTRACT (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Cabinet was informed of changes to the Solar Photovoltaic (PV) contract that was approved in January 2015.

 

On 26 January, 2015 Cabinet approved the development of a detailed criteria and conditions for use of the Energy Fund in order to improve the energy and water efficiency of Council buildings. It was agreed that work should be undertaken at four buildings and the work was tendered on that basis.

 

After the contract was awarded the government published a consultation document proposing to drastically cut the Feed In Tariff (FIT) by around 70% from 1 January, 2016. Whilst it was possible that the reduction in the FIT would encourage installers to price more keenly it was unlikely that in the short term any future solar PV projects would satisfy the 10 year simple pay back criteria of the Energy Commission Re-Investment Fund (ECRF). Hence installations needed to be commissioned and registered with a FIT provider before the end of December 2015.

 

Funds within the ECRF allowed the capacity of PV for installation to be increased before the drop in FIT tariff happens in January 2016. This increase would allow an additional building, namely Cowbridge Comprehensive, to benefit from the feed in tariff and for a larger system than originally anticipated to be installed at the Alps Depot.

 

The increased solar capacity would assist the Council in meeting its annual carbon dioxide emission reduction targets. The resulting improvements in the Council infrastructure would assist the Council in meeting some of the 3% per annum carbon dioxide emission reduction target.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein

 

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

 

Reason for decision

 

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

 

C2963        EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC -

 

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

 

C2964       APPROVAL FOR A VARIATION IN SOLAR PV (PHOTOVOLTAIC) CONTRACT (L) (EXEMPT INFORMATION – PARAGRAPH 14) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES)

 

Approval was sought to apply a variation to the Solar Photovoltaic (PV) contract, alongside a waiver of Financial Regulations to enable the variation.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T an increase in the Solar PV contract with San Solar from a value of £152,420 to £214,991 be approved to allow an additional building, namely Cowbridge Comprehensive, to benefit from the feed in tariff and for a larger system than originally anticipated to be installed at the Alps Depot. 

 

(2)       T H A T a waiver of Financial Regulations be approved, which required that orders for the supply of work goods and services of over £15,000 and up to £100,000 should only be issued if at least three written quotations had been invited, in order to enable the additional works to be added to the contract with San Solar.

 

(3)       T H A T the Capital Programme be amended to reflect the increase in budget.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1-3)    UK government proposed to cut the income available through the feed in tariff from 1 January, 2016. The increase in contract value would allow an additional building, namely Cowbridge Comprehensive to benefit from the feed in tariff and for a larger system than originally anticipated to be installed at the Alps Depot prior to this date and therefore benefit from existing rates. 

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