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CABINET

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 30 November, 2015.

 

Present: Councillor N. Moore (Chairman), Councillor S.C. Egan (Vice - Chairman); Councillors: C.P.J. Elmore and G. John.

Apologies: Councillors: B.E. Brooks, L. Burnett.

               

C2985                                MINUTES -

 

On 16 November, Cabinet considered and approved two reports regarding capital works to schools - Gwenfo Church in Wales Primary School and St Brides Major Church in Wales Primary School. For both schools the request was to utilise funding from the school investment reserve which would be repaid when appropriate s106 monies were received. The recommendation for each was that Cabinet refer actions to Full Council for funding to be approved.

 

These reports were originally requesting the funding to come from the Project Fund, therefore the referral to Council was appropriate. However, as the funding is now from the Reserve, Council approval is no longer required as this authority is delegated to Cabinet.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 16 November, 2015 be approved, subject to it being noted that minute number C2978 and C2979 do not require Council consideration as authority to utilise monies in the school investment fund is delegated to Cabinet.

 

C2986                 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

The following declarations of interest were received:

 

 

Councillor S. Egan

Agenda Item 17 - School Admission Arrangements 2017/2018

Reason for Declaration -

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

Councillor C. Elmore

Agenda Item 17 - School Admission Arrangements 2017/2018

Reason for Declaration -

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

 

C2987                                THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN HEALTH, SOCIAL CARE AND WELLBEING PARTNERSHIP (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) on 2 November, 2015 considered the above report of the Director of Social Services.

 

The Director of Social Services presented the report, the purpose of which was to provide an update on the work of the Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Partnership.

 

As a background summary, the report began by highlighting that Health, Social Care and Wellbeing for the Vale of Glamorgan was a key component of the Council's Community Strategy. This work was driven by two main partnership bodies, i.e. the Integrated Health and Social Care Partnership and the Public Health and Wellbeing Board.

 

The Integrated Health and Social Care (IHSC) Partnership oversaw the collaborative work undertaken between the key stakeholders (the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Cardiff Council, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, the Vale Centre for Voluntary Services and Cardiff Third Sector Council) in developing and supporting joint Social Care and Health Services.

 

The Public Health and Wellbeing Board had responsibility for steering collaborative work that addressed key health determinants for the population such as the use of tobacco, food and physical activity, alcohol consumption and the uptake of immunisations. It previously operated within the Vale of Glamorgan only but, following development of a joint Local Service Board with Cardiff Council, it was agreed that this partnership stream would be aligned with similar work undertaken in Cardiff.

 

Integrated Health and Social Care Programme

 

The report stated that the Integrated Health and Social Care Partnership had benefitted from the revised governance structure which was set in place last year with the aim of increasing the scale and pace of integration across health and social care services. There had been further changes to its Terms of Reference brought about by new requirements from Welsh Government that regional arrangements for collaboration should reflect the membership of a national partnership board that had been established. Following completion of Part 9 of the Code of Practice, which set out the statutory collaborative requirements under the Social Services and Wellbeing Act, the Terms of Reference would need to be revised further.

 

The Integrated Health and Social Care Governance (Partnership) Board met quarterly; the leadership team, which comprised the Chief Executives of the relevant organisations, met every other month and the Strategic Implementation Group for senior officers met monthly.

 

In summarising some of the key areas of progress, the Director of Social Services advised Members of the following:

  • The completion of the Strategic Review which had looked at the level of resources and activity across Community Health and Local Authority services for older people. This led to the Governance Board agreeing that the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Cardiff Council and the University Health Board would fast track a far reaching integration programme which would provide the public with joined up services across the region. A public statement made by key members of the Board in relation to this was attached at Appendix 1. The Director also advised that an Assistant Director would soon be appointed to take forward a work programme and to focus on joint commissioning of services.
  • The reduction in Delayed Transfers of Care across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan communities and the formulation of an action plan.
  • The implementation of the Welsh Community Care Information System (WCCIS) which would enable Social Services and a range of community health services to more effectively plan, co-ordinate and deliver services and support for individuals, families and communities. Members heard that this was a complex undertaking but so far it was progressing well.

Further to these, the report referred to the announcement by the Minister for Health and Social Services regarding the recurrent funding of the Intermediate Care Fund in order to continue projects which had shown themselves to be of a positive advantage to the community. This was followed by an agreement across the Cardiff and Vale Health Board Partnership footprint that funding would be made available to progress proposals that would see the delivery of a single point of access, a number of preventative intervention projects and an accommodation solutions / resettlement project.

 

With regard to the reduction in the Regional Collaborative Fund, the report outlined that this would now be realigned around two projects, these being the enhanced services for people with learning disabilities and an enhanced reablement service. The Head of Adult of Services also advised about an important development for primary care services, for which Welsh Government had allocated several million across Cardiff and the Vale. Of this money, approximately £800,000 would be made available for expansion of the Vale Community Resource Service. This expansion included additional reablement home care staff employed by the council. Furthermore, work was also progressing on the development of phlebotomy services which would hopefully improve District Nursing capacity.

 

In addition, the report highlighted the engagement with the Cardiff and Vale UHB in the production of the second iteration of the Regional Implementation Plan which was linked to the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.

 

Public Health and Wellbeing Programme

 

The report indicated that following recent proposals to develop the joint Local Service Board between the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff, work had started to identify a model to improve public health and wellbeing across both areas which allowed for increased collaboration and joint working whilst respecting the specific needs of individual communities and the roles and responsibilities of statutory organisations.

 

The Public Health and Wellbeing Board had now been replaced with a joint structure including both the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff Local Authorities. The new structure incorporated the Health and Wellbeing Performance Management Group and the Health and Wellbeing Development Task Force.

 

Membership of the Health and Wellbeing Performance Management Group included senior managers from across partner organisations, meeting every four months with the aim of:

  • ensuring delivery of existing action plans and that business "as usual" continued at a local level on tobacco, food and physical activity
  • ensuring links with ongoing work by the Area Planning Board, Healthy Schools and the Cardiff and Vale Immunisation Steering Group
  • scrutiny of highlight reports on the above
  • reporting to the Cardiff and Vale Joint Local Service Board
  • inform the work of the task force.

With regard to the Health and Wellbeing Development Task Force, Members were advised that despite concerted efforts across the Vale of Glamorgan, it was clear that significant work remained in order to reach the objectives set out within the Food and Physical Activity Action Plan. It had been agreed that obesity was now the key topic for which a task force was being initiated to develop an ambitious, aspirational and innovative approach to tackling this issue.

 

The Chairman asked if officers could comment upon some of their concerns following changes to the Regional Collaborative Fund and the Intermediate Care Fund. In response to this, the Director of Social Services stated that it was right to say that the Directorate's strategy had been to encourage the Health Board to invest in social care services that would help them to manage rising demand. He advised that Health had shown an open mind on the best way to use this grant. He praised the input of Council officers in being able to work closely with Health in devising joint health and social service projects and programmes.

 

Following the Director's comments, the Head of Adult Services stated that in relation to the Regional Collaborative Fund, the two important areas here were the Learning Disabilities and Reablement services. With regard to Reablement services, this area would be realigned to the primary care services and a £100,000 investment would now become an £800,000 investment. The Head of Adult Services expressed some concern that funding the changed Learning Disability services did represent a challenge, particularly in relation to the reviewing of the high cost of care packages. In terms of the Intermediate Care Fund, he alluded to the joint working arrangements around such areas like the Contact Centre and the Accommodation Solutions Discharge Project and he advised Members that Health had evaluated how the money would be spent and how much of that would be allocated on a partnership basis with the Council and also other groups.

 

In reply to a Member's query regarding the number of Delayed Transfers of Care, the Head of Adult Services advised that the figures shown in the graph within the report related to all health and social services delays. He stated that last year, 2014/15, the Vale had achieved some excellent results but that performance for Quarter 1 this year had deteriorated and, as this was an accumulative indicator, the performance by the end of the year would not be as good.

 

In summing up, the Chairman stated that overall this was a most useful report and that good progress had been made.

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

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

 

(2)                T H A T the Scrutiny Committee continue to receive updates about the Vale of Glamorgan Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Partnership.

 

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

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1-3)                To ensure that Elected Members can exercise effective oversight of this important area of collaborative working.

 

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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.

 

C2988                                UPDATE ON IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES AND WELL - BEING (WALES) ACT 2014 (REF) -               

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) on 2 November, 2015 considered the above report of the Director of Social Services.

 

The Director of Social Services provided his latest monthly update report in relation to the implementation of the Social Services and Well-being Act.

 

The Act would come into force in April 2016 and this report updated the information considered by the Committee in September 2015, which included the following:

  • A draft legislative time table setting out the proposed timescales for laying the remaining regulations and Codes of Practice before the National Assembly for approval.
  • An update on the workforce development proposals being managed through the Care Council for Wales.
  • The Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Regional Social Care Workforce Development Partnership mid year monitoring report and updated plan which was submitted to Welsh Government on 25th September, 2015.
  • An update on the statutory Code of Practice in relation to measuring Social Services performance.

The Director advised that the updated Regional Implementation Plan, attached at Appendix 1 had been submitted to Welsh Government on 16th October, 2015. Welsh Government had agreed the plan and were happy with the progress outlined within it.

 

The Plan reflected the nine work streams being delivered through the implementation programme and included a risk assessment of the tasks required to implement the Act. The governance structure for this programme was appended to the Regional Implementation Plan (shown on page 28 of the appendix). For each work stream a regional Task and Finish Group had been established for which lead co-ordinating officers had been assigned.

 

The report highlighted that three of the four national work groups established to share best practice and produce consistent material on an all Wales basis had met. Cardiff and the Vale regions had appointed officers to each of these groups so that the service could contribute to the development of national toolkits and, where possible, avoid duplication.

 

Officers had been recently received a demonstration of a new national directory of services, called Dewis Cyrmu which had been developed by the Social Service Improvement Agency and had been piloted in North Wales. This provided a national solution for supporting the requirements of the Information, Advice and Assistance Services part of the Act.

Content on the site was organised under a range of themes, which were developed in consultation with citizens. These being:

  • being well
  • being at home
  • being social
  • being safe
  • managing your money
  • children and families.

The Director described how very detailed codes of practice regarding technical parts of the Act were now coming through and that staff were beginning to better understand the Act's implications. He stated that he was still somewhat anxious in respect of the timescales and cited the example around I.T. systems. It was a huge undertaking to implement major changes in only a few months.

 

The Regional Lead Officer for Sustainable Social Services had attended the Welsh Government Act Implementation Communications Steering Group in October. This Group was focused on a national awareness campaign which would start in early 2016 in order to ensure that a consistent key message on the implications of the new Act was delivered to citizens across Wales.

 

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

 

The report outlined how workforce development continued to be a high priority and that additional resources would be prepared to assist staff in their preparation for implementing the Act. The Care Council had developed an interactive e-learning module, which was based on the Information and Awareness pack. This was designed to give users a clear and simple overview of the Act. Furthermore, a guide to resources that supported the promotion and development of social enterprises, co-operatives, user led and third sector organisations was also available.

 

In querying the service's readiness for the Act, the Director of Social Services commented that, if the national infrastructure needed to support implementation had been in place 12 months ago, he would be reasonably confident. He stated that he was anxious as the service was still waiting for Welsh Government to secure Assembly approval for some of the main Codes of Practice and Guidelines from the Act. A key aspect for the service was to provide reassurance to care practitioners around their ability to meet expectations following the Act. He went on to state that the service would implement as much of the Act as possible but new services would not happen overnight.

 

With regard to the possible phasing in of parts of the Act over time, the Director advised Members that from April 2016 the new Act would replace the old legislation. This would mean that there was a legal requirement to provide services in the way outlined within the new Act, although he still hoped that Welsh Government would make some public statements about the fact that implementation would be a long process.

 

Finally, the Director stated that, in his opinion, the Vale of Glamorgan Council was better placed than most other Authorities in Wales, building on considerable strengths.

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

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

 

(2)                T H A T the Scrutiny 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 the policy and legislative framework which underpins the work of Social Services.

 

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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.

 

C2989                                LEISURE MANAGEMENT CONTRACT (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) on 3 November, 2015 considered the above report of the Director of Environment and Housing services.

 

The report highlighted the background to the Council's Leisure Management Contract which had been awarded to Parkwood Community Leisure and had commenced on 1st October, 2012 for a period of 10 years with a possibility of a further five year extension. Following agreement by Cabinet in 2014, the contract was subsequently sub-contracted to Legacy Leisure, an independent leisure trust. Appendix A to the report provided the Year 3 Annual Report from Legacy Leisure which followed the format of the monitoring check list that had been agreed previously and which highlighted parts of the contract and the specifications that Legacy Leisure were required to report on. The information concentrated on the key requirements of the contract documentation and was broken down into four areas:

  • financial
  • property
  • leisure services
  • employment.

The annual report also referred to a number of successes achieved during the year including a significant increase in Leisure Centre usage of 13.05%, the return of the 5 star food hygiene rating and good levels of customer satisfaction that had been noted in the annual survey. The various appendices referred to in the report were available for Members if required, as it was a substantial document its content had not been reproduced but the Operational Manager for the Vale's Leisure Services section had brought it to the meeting for Committee perusal if required.

 

Following a Committee recommendation earlier in the year that a group of up to three Members undertake reviews of the Leisure Centres, Councillor Mrs. A. Moore (Chairman), A.G. Bennett and Mrs. P. Drake undertook a review of the Leisure Centres of Barry and Penarth on 14th October, 2015 together with the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services. Councillor Bennett then proceeded to present the Group's findings to the Committee for consideration. The general points that were raised for Barry centred around disabled parking outside the front of the building, with the question was there enough and how could it be improved. There were also three squash courts at the centre which were all underused. In referring to school swimming, it was considered that this could be improved. With regard to the positive aspects of the visit it was noted that customer feedback forms were visible and that the G.P. Exercise Referral Scheme was well attended with participants being more than complimentary about the support they received following which Councillor Bennett requested whether the scheme could be further expanded. The dry changing rooms Members had considered were in reasonably good repair and stated fixtures and fittings although not outstanding were of an acceptable level. However, the wet changing rooms for both male and female participants at Barry were referred to as poor. It was noted that the cost of a complete replacement including redesign would be in the region of between £650,000 - £750,000 and limited funds were available. A further query was raised in relation to the storage facilities on the ground floor as to whether these could be converted to provide beauty or health treatments.

 

In referring to the Penarth Leisure Centre, the Steam Room and Health Spa were considered to be very good and again with reference to the squash court, it was suggested whether a change of use needed to be considered. The changing rooms were reported reasonable, although the hand dryers in the male changing room it was felt required attention. Penarth it was said was the only facility that was fully disabled persons compliant although it was noted that the facilities were much underused. Car parking at Penarth did not seem as big an issue as Barry although there was some concern raised regarding the nearby Sports Village in Cardiff which might have an impact on footfall in the future.

 

In conclusion, Councillor Bennett stated that both centres generally had tea, coffee and light refreshment areas and vending machines, both which had merchandising areas with what appeared to be appropriate items e.g. swimming goggles etc., staff in both venues appeared to be friendly and answered questions freely, pointing out the problems and possible solutions.

 

It was noted that further visits to the remaining leisure centres throughout the Vale would be made before Christmas 2015 with a further report back to the Scrutiny Committee in the New Year.

 

Present at the meeting to present the Year 3 Annual Report were representatives from Legacy Leisure namely the Regional Director for Legacy Leisure Colleen Tulmelty and the Contract Manager, Rob Oaten.

 

Mr. Oaten commenced by advising that in his view the partnership between the Vale and Legacy Leisure was a good and productive partnership advising that with regard to core prices Legacy Leisure had the ability under the contract to increase its core prices by 1.3%, having notified the client of any changes by 30th November, in any contract year. The core prices for the following year's contract were included in the appendice document to the report.

 

In referring to utilities and the carbon footprint, he advised that Legacy Leisure had in place an Environmental Management System which provided a practical framework for managing, evaluating and continually improving the environmental performance. The system had been created to ensure that the business protected the environment, complied with environment regulations, improved resource efficiency and managed business risk. In referring to training he advised that Legacy Leisure 'believes that investment in members of staff is an investment in the future of the company' although much of the training would be 'on the job' training, they would expect employees to attend regular training sessions. There was a mixture of health and safety and good practice training that was expected and examples were given of training courses such as Customer Care, First Aid and monthly staff training. The company had a strong commitment to training and continuous professional development (CPD) and encouraged its staff to further their studies and take positive approaches to national vocational qualifications. A copy of the training schedule was also included with all the appendices that were available at the meeting for Members' perusal. Health and safety was also a priority for the organisation as well as customer care. A number of customer surveys and customer feedback cards were provided and he also welcomed the visits and the feedback of the Councillors who undertook the recent review of the centres advising that this was an opportunity for healthy feedback.

 

Mr. Oaten also stated that Legacy Leisure complied with the Welsh Language Act and were always looking to encourage more visitors to the centres. There had been a significant increase in usage since Parkwood/Legacy Leisure had been responsible for the service and the aim was to continue to improve on those statistics. From the annual survey undertaken 32.4% of customers had been either satisfied or very satisfied with the service while only 10.9% had felt dissatisfied. Section 5 of the Annual Report provided details of an increase in participation of 13.5%.

 

Following the presentation of both reports a question and answer session ensued.

 

Question

Response

Are the Leisure Centres closed every Bank Holiday?

The contract specification allowed the contractor to close on Bank Holidays, but Legacy Leisure had taken the view that because they were selling a membership the customers expected them to be open. Although the service was provided under reduced hours, and was not open on Christmas Day.

Do all staff receive an induction?

Yes, staff received a Corporate Induction and a site specific induction. Other relevant training included education care with regard to children.

Why did the company chose not to have information displayed in toilets and changing rooms which could show the last time they were checked/cleaned?

The company had considered a number of ways of cleanliness was checked but felt that the tick box style although useful in the first instance sometimes lent itself to complacency.

Although aware of the concerns regarding the changing rooms a Member asked Legacy Leisure for their views.

Following customer feedback it appeared that the state of the changing rooms did deter customers with the suggestion mentioned that a similar provision to that provided by the Sports Village in Cardiff for a changing village be better provision. The Regional Director also stated that there was clear evidence that the quality of the facilities did have an impact and that since the fire at Penarth the team were working on enticing customers back.

What cleaning and monitoring is undertaken?

Cleansing was reviewed on a regular basis and inspected regularly throughout the day, although this would depend on usage.

It is in the common interest to increase participation, what are your plans to do so?

A promotions and branding team had been established a new appointment by Legacy Leisure had been made for an Operations Manager with experience in sales and marketing experience. In referring to specific targets Mr. Oaten advised there were no specific targets across the board but there were for example in relation to swimming.

Is equality for women reflected in your everyday operations?

There are senior managers who are female and as a company it monitored quality targets in terms of gender. There were three Regional Directors, one of whom was female. With regard to BME (ethnic minorities) this has not been successful but it was the company's intention to proactively encourage ethnic minorities in the future. The company's aim was to however, provide a more pro-active approach to their recruiting programme.

How significant is car parking to you and do you have any proposals?

The car parking issues were diverse throughout the Vale with Barry in the main being the most problematic. Cowbridge was also difficult as a number of commuters used the car park to park their vehicles and commute into Cardiff. Lack of car parking was also one of the reasons noted for people leaving the membership of Barry and for customers not using the Barry Leisure Centre between the hours of 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. To try to address this matter, Mr. Oaten suggested that the provision of a short stay car park, say for up to two hours, during the week would be a suggestion as on weekends there were no problems. Another alternative would be to introduce a charge which could be waived if you used the leisure centre.

This has been the first year that the service has been operated by the new sub-contractor Legacy Leisure, what differences, if any, has this change meant to the service and staff?

Little change other than the Legacy element provided a focus on community engagement and the community benefit now afforded with Legacy Leisure being a charitable organisation.

In relation to the squash courts, what do you feel would be the answer to this issue?

There were opportunities to convert the squash courts into different usage which would be similar to those undertaken around the country. However, Mr. Oaten felt that it would be important to keep at least one squash court as it was a market trend at the moment that a significant number of people were not playing squash, but that this could change. Further uses could also be considered and he referred to exploring enhancing the G.P. referral scheme.

Do you feel you are on track to improve participation?

In terms of opportunities available there have been some proposals which are being considered e.g. the back room at the Penarth centre could be used as a gym space. Further consideration can be given to the use of the foyer areas but in view of the fact that trends change on a regular basis it was important for the organisation to be flexible in whatever decisions it made. The development at Colcot could also offer considerable potential in the future in view of the development of the new sports pitches. Competition was always a threat but this can also have its pros as well as its cons.

 

Councillor John, with permission to speak advised that the Council was currently re-viewing the issue of car parking within the Vale and was fully aware of the issues affecting leisure centres. He too referred to the new five-aside 3G pitches to be developed at Colcot which he considered would be a great asset. He also took the opportunity to advise Members that if a decision had not been made some time ago to work in partnership with Parkwood, he was convinced some of the centres would have had to have been closed.

 

The Operational Manager advised that some of the challenges faced by Parkwood / Legacy were outside their control e.g. car parking and the conditions of the changing rooms but that good working relationships existed between Parkwood and the Vale. He too was encouraged by the excellent Exercise GP Referral Scheme in operation which he wished to see further improved.

 

A Member also referred to the health element and the need for leisure centres to continue to see the importance of assisting in improving public health. The Regional Director in response advised that Parkwood Leisure/Legacy Leisure as an organisation have a health core group with a number of initiatives in place. Her role was also to draw together best practice from all its services and to share that practice across the whole of the organisation in order to see how health offer can be extended.

 

Following consideration of the report it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)                T H A T the Regional Director and Contract Manager be thanked for their presentation and for the frank and open discussions regarding the service.

 

(2)                T H A T Cabinet attention be drawn to the comments and challenges identified by the Scrutiny Committee at the meeting which are outside the control and responsibility of Legacy Leisure with specific reference to car parking and the condition of the changing rooms at some leisure centres.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)                In view of scrutiny's role to continually monitor the Leisure Management Partnership.

 

(2)                To apprise Cabinet of the issues and the challenges for future consideration.

 

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

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)                T H A T the concerns of the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) be noted and it be confirmed that Cabinet are well aware of the problems with car parking and the conditions of changing rooms.

 

(2)                T H A T subject to funding being identified, the budget working group would be requested to consider the concerns of the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) in relation to the condition of the changing rooms at some leisure centres. Parking issues would be considered in a future report to Cabinet that related to car parking as a whole.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1-2)                To note and address the concerns of the report Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment).

 

C2990                                VALE SPORT (LAPA) REVIEW APRIL 2014-2015 (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) on 3 November, 2015 considered the above report.

 

Karen Davies, Sports and Play Development Manager, provided the Committee with a presentation on the Vale Sport Review Report April 2014 - 2015 which contained details of the key achievements over the year (and had been included in the agenda for the meeting) and detailed the assortment of exciting sport and physical activity opportunities being delivered in the Vale of Glamorgan to engage residents of all ages. The report highlighted that it was encouraging to see the positive impact the opportunities had on increasing participation rates amongst children, young people and adults which were assisting with achieving the Vale's vision of an inclusive, confident, healthy, sporting community.

 

The key achievements were reported as

  • 186 clubs and organisations and 18 National Governing Bodies of Sport linked to the Vale Sports Development Team
  • 43 clubs offering inclusive or disability specific opportunities
  • 11,686 registrations in Dragon Sport for 7-11 year olds
  • 3557 young people aged 12 - 16 accrued 44,546 participations in 5x60 scheme
  • 459 course attendees from 75 different organisations through the Creating Confident Coaches and Doorstep Sports projects.

The presentation also highlighted fundamental skills for life in sport as follows

 

DRAGON SPORT

  • 246 Dragon Sport clubs - ↑ 24% on previous year
  • 363 volunteers involved in delivery
  • Introduction of Multiskills - developing fundamental movement skills

5x60

  • 48% of the Vale's 12 -16 year olds participated in 45 different sports within the 5x60 scheme
  • Focus on increasing female participation - 45% (1627) of girls engaged
  • Introduction of Activity Co-ordinators has enabled the AYP Officers to increase their capacity to link to 42 new clubs and establish 27 school-club links.

AQUATICS

  • Focus on improving the School and Community Learn to Swim programmes.
  • 1144 year 3-6 children accessed School Swimming programme - ↑ 22.5%
  • 89,403 swims at Vale Leisure Centres.

The Active Young People Programme was delivered by the Sports Development Team encompassing the 5x60 and the Dragon Sport and multi-skills project. In developing Vibrant Community Sport facilities a network of thriving community sports clubs, leisure centres and organisations to inspire lifetime participation in sport were working together to achieve this aim. There were more than 186 sports clubs and community organisations linked with Sports and Play Development teams, 97 of whom were working in partnership with the Active Young People team highlighting their commitment to developing community engagement. A number of case studies were identified within the report. By working in partnership with Disability Sport Wales, the Vale Council had also ensured that developments on a local level complimented and were linked to the national strategic aims. Inclusion also took the form of female participation with 43% of 7 - 11 year olds participating in the Dragon Sport Programmes as well as working with the Welsh Language with 57% of Bro Morgannwg pupils participating in 5x60 activities to name but a few projects.

 

In referring to the workforce, the Sports and Play Development Manager advised that this included paid staff and volunteers in clubs, schools and other organisations undertaking roles such as coaching, umpiring and administrative roles. 459 participants had undertaken courses such as First Aid, Safeguarding Children, Disability Inclusion, 'How to Coach' workshop, multi-skills training and Active Young People Leadership Training. The Coaches for the Future project focussed on offering mentoring training and practical coaching experience for 20 selected young people with over 645 voluntary hours being accrued and impacting upon 1,763 participants and 7,704 participations.

 

Of note was the fact that young volunteers contributed to 1,109 sessions. The Vale of Glamorgan Council and Parkwood / Legacy Leisure continued to support elite performers through the Sports Academy Scheme which supports talented individuals to reach their potential on a national and world stage.

 

In conclusion, Committee was advised that the Vale of Glamorgan was third in Wales in respect of the Hooked on Sport for Leisure with 52% of children participating at least three times per week (the Welsh average being 48%), 62% were members of a sports club, 81% of pupils were confident trying new activities and 73% of pupils enjoyed sport outside of school 'a lot'.

 

Committee was further advised that the Local Authority received funding from Sport Wales to deliver the Vale's Sport Plan. However, a proposed restructure for which the Department had received little detailed information was suggesting a revised model of delivery with the suggested creation of Regional Sports Agencies being responsible for developing a vision and the strategic planning of community sports development in their geographical catchment. The suggested proposal was that Regional Sports Agencies would be the vehicle through which Sport Wales funding would be co-ordinated and commissioned within that geographical area. However, the Authority needed to receive more detail from Sport Wales to better understand how the new delivery model would work in practice.

 

Members, on hearing the suggested proposals, requested to receive more detail and agreed more detailed consultation should have been undertaken in respect of these suggestions. There having been no clarity in relation to such proposals, Members were concerned in respect of the potential impact to sport on residents of the Vale of Glamorgan. Although there were limited funding and resources available, to date the Sports and Development Team had provided a successful package of sport for Vale residents with 8% increase in participation having been reached during the past two years. Members were concerned that any new changes to the funding arrangements would have a detrimental effect (the officer was aware a pilot was to be undertaken somewhere in Wales in 2016, following which the restructure would be rolled out). For the 2016 period the Local Authority have been requested to submit a Vale Sport Plan as per usual. Members took the opportunity to praise the Sports Development Manager and her team for all the hard work undertaken to date within the limited resources that they had.

 

Following a query as to whether the current system was flawed, a Member stated that they did not believe in change for change sake and queried also when the Council would be likely to know what the new arrangements may be. Members were also concerned that little consultation had been undertaken on any proposed change. The officer advised that a National Working Party had been set up but that they had only been informed after it had been established and had not been asked for any input. A vague leaflet had been produced stating that the timescale was initially for April 2016 but there were so many questions that needed to be resolved that this date was put back. Members, in congratulating the officer and her staff on their remarkable achievements to date, were concerned that the success for the Vale could be overshadowed by the new proposals which could result in the Vale receiving less funding for a service that was already being provided with decreasing resources. All Members of the Scrutiny Committee unanimously agreed that more information in relation to the funding regime should be received and that Cabinet should be requested to arrange for a detailed investigation to be undertaken in order to find out what the proposed new procedure would likely mean for residents of the Vale of Glamorgan. It was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)                T H A T Cabinet be requested to look into the matter of funding and the new proposals to be submitted by Sports Wales, in light of the concerns raised by the Scrutiny Committee and the potential impact for Vale staff and the children and residents of the Vale.

 

(2)                T H A T all staff involved including volunteers and the coaches be thanked on behalf of the Scrutiny Committee for their hard work and support with regard to the significant achievements that have been made for the children and residents of the Vale of Glamorgan, particularly within the limited resources available.

 

(3)                T H A T the LAPA Review Report be forwarded to all Members of the Council for their information.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)                In order that Cabinet can investigate the matter further so that the Vale of Glamorgan is not penalised for its success.

 

(2)                In recognition of the hard work being undertaken for the children and residents of the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

(3)                To inform all Members of the achievements made to date.

 

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

 

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

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)                T H A T the concerns of the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) be noted.

 

(2)                T H A T it be agreed that the Leader write to the Welsh Government Sport Minister to request further information and raise concerns that any changes to the reallocation of funding on a regional basis would negatively impact the provision of sport in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)                To note the concerns of the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) be noted.

 

(2)                To request further information and raise concerns to the Welsh Government.

 

C2991                                REVIEW OF POLLING PLACE AND STATION FOR THE LAVERNOCK WARD AND REVIEW OF POLLING DISTRICTS, PLACES AND STATIONS FOR THE BARUC, BUTTRILLS AND CASTLELAND WARDS (ERO) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Cabinet was asked to agree the review of the Polling Place and Polling Station for the Lavernock Ward and the review of the Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations for the Baruc, Buttrills and Castleland Wards, in accordance with the Representation of the People Act 1983 (as amended).

 

On 17 November, 2014, Cabinet approved the change of Polling Place and Polling Station for Polling District NB0 (Lavernock ward) from a portacabin situated in Falcon Road to the Rangers Office at Cosmeston Country Park. This was subsequently approved on 17 December, 2014 by Council as part of the comprehensive review. After the consultation period concluded, concerns were raised about the change of Polling Place and Polling Station approved for the Lavernock Ward.

 

Since the 2014 review, concerns had also been raised regarding the impact of the construction of residential properties along Ffordd y Mileniwm and the significant increase in population. As a result the Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations in the Baruc, Buttrills and Castleland Wards would also form part of the proposed review with a focus on the Waterfront dwellings.

 

In light of the above, a review relating to the Polling Place and Polling Station for the Lavernock Ward and the Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations for the Baruc, Buttrills and Castleland Wards was proposed. A project plan attached at Appendix 1 to the report incorporated the statutory requirements for the review.

 

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 delegated authority be granted to the Electoral Registration Officer to carry out a review of the Polling Place and Polling Station for the Lavernock Ward and a review of the Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations for the Baruc, Buttrills and Castleland Wards.

 

(2)                T H A T the timetable contained within the project plan attached at Appendix 1 to the report be approved.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)                To authorise the Electoral Registration Officer accordingly.

 

(2)                To comply with the Representation of the People Act 1983 (as amended).

 

C2992                                COMMUNITY REVIEW - LAVERNOCK WARD (SULLY AND LAVERNOCK COMMUNITY COUNCIL) (ERO) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Cabinet was asked to agree a community review of the number of members for the Lavernock Ward on the Sully and Lavernock Community Council in accordance with the Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Act 2013.

 

The Council had a duty under s31 of the Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Act 2013 ("the Act") to conduct a review of the electoral arrangements for a community in its areas either of its own initiative or at the request of the community council for the community.

 

A request had been received from the Sully and Lavernock Community Council, ("the Community Council") following an Ordinary Meeting of the Community Council, for a review to be undertaken of the number of members elected to the Lavernock Ward.

 

The request highlighted that the Community Council considered that there was an unfair ratio of members to electors in the Lavernock Ward, proposing that the total number of members for the Lavernock Ward be increased from one to two.

 

The terms of reference attached at Appendix 1 to the report, outlined the key statutory requirements for the review.

 

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 delegated authority be granted to the Electoral Registration Officer to conduct a review of electoral arrangements relating to the number of members representing the Lavernock Ward on the Sully and Lavernock Community Council, in accordance with the Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Act 2013.

 

(2)                T H A T the terms of reference of the review and the timetable attached at Appendix 1 to the report be approved.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)                To authorise the Electoral Registration Officer to act accordingly;

 

(2)                To comply with the Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Act 2013.

 

C2993                                PUBLIC SPEAKING AT SCRUTINY MEETINGS (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Approval was sought to enhance the existing arrangements which were in place in terms of the ability of the public to speak at meetings of the Council's Scrutiny Committees.

 

The Council recognised that members of the public could make an important contribution to, and be a valuable source of information in terms of, the scrutiny process. Scrutiny Committees were under a duty to make arrangements to listen to the views of the public and the community and one of the roles of Scrutiny Committees was to take account of such views when considering issues and, if considered appropriate, to pass those views on to the Cabinet for its consideration.

 

Given the above, and taking into account the requirements of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 in terms of considering the views of the public in relation to any agenda items, a draft Guide to Public Speaking at Scrutiny Committees ("the Guide") had been prepared and was attached as Appendix A to the report.

 

The draft Guide had been considered by the Scrutiny Committee Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen Group and a number of suggested amendments of the Group had been incorporated. Subsequently, the Guide was submitted to the Democratic Services Committee on 21 October, 2015 for consideration.

 

At the meeting of the Democratic Services Committee, reference was made to whether the proposed order for speaking, set out in paragraph 10.1 of the Guide, was appropriate. At that meeting, the Head of Democratic Services indicated that it was designed to provide for all of the participants to speak before the Committee itself discusses / considers the issue. This reflected the fact that Committees were then in possession of all the "evidence" / contributions from other parties before coming to their own conclusions. Members of the Committee present accepted that this was appropriate.

 

This was a matter for Executive and Council decision

 

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

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)                T H A T the Guide to Public Speaking at Scrutiny Committees ("the Guide"), attached as Appendix A to the report, be endorsed.

 

(2)                T H A T the Guide be submitted to Council for consideration and, if approved, incorporation in the Council's Constitution.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1&2)                To enhance the existing arrangements for public speaking at Scrutiny Committees.

 

C2994                                USE OF THE MANAGING DIRECTOR'S EMERGENCY POWERS (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION, LIFELONG LEARNING & ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Cabinet was notified of the exercising of Emergency Powers by the Managing Director since the last report in October 2015.

 

At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services highlighted an error in paragraph 3, section f, of the report which read "Authority to award the works contract to McArbles" which should have read "Authority to award the works contract to McArdle".

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the following uses of the Managing Director's Emergency Powers be noted:

 

(a)                Disabled Facility Grants (DFGs)

Authority to make a further allocation in the amount of £200,000 to the DFG 2015/16 capital budget, to be funded from the Policy Revenue Budget, to ensure there was sufficient funding to complete this year's applications without creating a backlog.

Scrutiny Committee - Housing and Public Protection

 

(b)                ARBED Funding - Melin Homes

Authority to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with Melin Homes Ltd to act as a scheme promoter, designer and overall project manager to assist in the preparation of a bid and onsite delivery in relation to the Welsh Government's initiative Fuel Poverty / ARBED scheme for the Gibbonsdown area.

Scrutiny Committee - Housing and Public Protection

 

(c)                Ysgol Iolo Morganwg Demountable Purchase

Authority to increase the 2015/16 Capital Programme by £50,000 to be funded from the Education Revenue Budget in relation to the proposed purchase of a demountable classroom.

Scrutiny Committee - Lifelong Learning

 

(d)                Penarth Heights - Cycle Path Project

Authority to increase the 2015/16 Capital Programme by £25,000 for the provision of the Penarth Cycle Parking Project to be funded from Section 106 monies.

Scrutiny Committee - Economy and Environment

 

(e)                ARBED Funding

Authority to accept Welsh Government funding for external wall improvements in the sum of £2,068,698.75 and to amend the 2015/16 Capital Programme as a consequence of accepting the grant funding.

Scrutiny Committee - Economy and Environment

 

(f)                Jenner Park 3G Pitch Works Contract Award and Budget Provision for Jenner Park and Colcot Pitches

Authority to award the works contract to McArdle for the installation of a 3G pitch and authority to amend the 2015/16 Capital Programme to include the budget provisions for both the Jenner Park 3G pitch installation and the Colcot 5-aside pitches as per the financial information set out in the report to Cabinet on 11 May, 2015.

Scrutiny Committee - Economy and Environment

 

(g)                Coldbrook Catchment Flood Risk Management Scheme - Award for Construction Contract, Natural Resources Wales Collaborative Agreement and Serving of Scheme Notices

Authority to allow the following to be undertaken:

  • to increase the Capital Programme by £2,958,746 for Coldbrook Construction
  • increase the Capital Programme by £256,944 for Coldbrook Design and Development Phase
  • for the Head of Legal Services to agree and enter into, on behalf of the Council, an appropriate form of collaborative agreement with Natural Resources Wales to undertake and fund the works on Main River
  • to allow the Head of Legal Services to issue the necessary notices under the Land Drainage Act 1991 for all other works.

Scrutiny Committee - Economy and Environment

 

(h)                Travel Plan Annual Season Ticket for Rail Travel from Home to Work

Authority to purchase a Season Ticket under the auspices of the Council's Staff Travel Plan for one employee within Visible Services and Transport Division at a cost of £1,032 (the maximum value of the purchase of a rail ticket was currently set at £1,000).

Scrutiny Committee - Economy and Environment

 

(i)                Old Coal Yard, St. Athan, Highway Works

Authority to amend an error in respect of Section 106 funding in relation to the Old Coal Yard, St. Athan, Highway Works from £36,000 to £46,000. Authority was also sought to amend the Capital Programme to reflect the amended funding amount.

Scrutiny Committee - Economy and Environment

 

(j)                Additional Works at Penarth Pier Supports

Authority to vire £25,000 from the Structures Asset Budget to Penarth Pier Supports Budget to fund additional works which will need to be undertaken to protect and maintain the longevity of the structure.

Scrutiny Committee - Economy and Environment

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the use of the Managing Director's Emergency Powers.

 

C2995                                SICKNESS ABSENCE REPORT - APRIL 2015 TO SEPTEMBER 2015 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Cabinet was updated on the sickness absence information for the half year period 1 April, 2015 to 30 September, 2015.

 

The management of attendance and the levels of sickness absence were reported to Cabinet every six months. An action plan was outlined in the report to Cabinet on 27 July, 2015 to address the issue of sickness absence and the slight increase in levels in the previous 12 months. An update on progress was contained within the report and set out in detail in Appendix B as attached to the report. The report set out the sickness absence information for the period 1 April, 2015 to 30 September, 2015 which included corporate and schools employees. It also included details of sickness absence figures for the period 1 April, 2014 to 30 September, 2014 for comparative purposes.

 

The overall sickness absence rates (i.e. working time lost per FTE) over the period April to September were set out in the report with a comparison to the same point in previous years. The average days/shifts lost per FTE for the period April to September 2015 indicated a reduction on the half-year absence figures in comparison with 2014 (from 4.35 to 4.28 days lost per FTE). Overall sickness absence levels for the half-year to September 2015 had come in below the half-year target of 4.45 days/shifts per FTE.

 

A summary of the absence within each Directorate was set out in the report. A further breakdown of absence in each Service area was included within Appendix A as attached to the report. There continued to be a pattern of increasing sickness absence in the total corporate figures (5.35 days lost per FTE) when compared with 2013 (4.79 days lost per FTE) and 2014 (5.19 days lost per FTE).

 

An action plan was attached at Appendix B to the report. This contained arrangements to address sickness absence within each Directorate, including service specific considerations.

 

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 and the sickness absence outturn provided in Appendix A to the report be noted.

 

(2)                T H A T the progress of the action plan as attached in Appendix B to the report be noted.

 

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

 

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

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)                To bring matters to the attention of Members of the Cabinet in line with corporate objectives.

 

(2)                To inform Members of the Cabinet of the progress in relation to the agreed management of attendance action plan.

 

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

 

(4)                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.

 

C2996                                PRECEPT PAYMENT DATES 2016-17 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Approval was sought for the precept payment dates for 2016-17. The Council as billing authority was required to notify Precepting Authorities by 31 December, 2015 of the proposed precept payment dates for 2016-17. The report proposed that arrangements for Precepting Authorities be the same as in the current year.

 

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 payment due to the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales be paid in 12 equal instalments on the last working day of each month.

 

(2)                T H A T payment due to Town and Community Councils be paid in 3 equal instalments on the last working days of April, August and December 2016.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1-2)                To optimise the Council's cash flow in line with regulations. The Council is required to determine its precept payment dates each year and inform the authorities concerned in line with regulations.

 

C2997                                COUNCIL TAX BASE 2016-17 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Approval was sought for the Council Tax Base for 2016-17.

 

The draft Council Tax Base had been submitted to the Welsh Government in line with their initial deadline of 6 November, 2015. The figure needed to be confirmed by the Executive in order to meet the deadline of agreeing the final Council Tax Base by 31 December, 2015. The final ratified tax base had to be returned to Welsh Government by 4 January, 2016. The Tax Base would be used by the Council to calculate the Council Tax for 2016-17, and by the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales and levying bodies to apportion precepts from 1 April, 2016.

 

The Tax Base was calculated as follows -

  • take the number of dwellings for the area in each valuation band;
  • adjust for estimated changes to the list in the year i.e. additions, reductions (including those for disabled adaptations), deletions and exemptions;
  • reduce by the estimated number of discounts allowed, incorporating the policy on discounts for unoccupied properties;
  • convert each Band to a Band D equivalent by applying the appropriate multiplier e.g. for Band A multiply by 6 divide by 9;
  • sum the Band D equivalent of each band;
  • multiply this by the estimated collection rate;
  • add the Band D equivalent of Class O properties i.e. dwellings owned by Ministry of Defence.

The following assumptions had been made -

  • the calculations were based on data available to the Council at 31 October, 2015;
  • the collection rate would be 97.0%.

The Council Tax Base was used by the Welsh Assembly Government in determining the Revenue Support Grant settlement.

 

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 pursuant to the report and in accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Tax Base) Regulations, the amount calculated by the Vale of Glamorgan Council as its Council Tax Base for the year 2016-17 shall be :-

  • For the whole area:                                                56,550
  • For the area of Town and Community Councils:
 

Barry

19,212

Pendoylan

336

Colwinston

281

Penllyn

974

Cowbridge with Llanblethian

2,535

Peterston-Super-Ely

551

Dinas Powys

3,593

Rhoose

2,722

Ewenny

425

St. Athan

1,366

Llancarfan

465

St. Brides Major

1,157

Llandough

921

St. Donats

193

Llandow

425

St. Georges & St. Brides-Super-Ely

240

Llanfair

372

St. Nicholas & Bonvilston

526

Llangan

410

Sully & Lavernock

2,487

Llan-maes

242

Welsh St. Donats

314

Llantwit Major

4,021

Wenvoe

1,067

Michaelston

220

Wick

379

Penarth

11,116

   

 

Reason for decision

 

To set the Council Tax Base in order that it can be submitted to the Welsh Government and used by Councils and levying bodies to set precepts.

 

C2998                                COUNCIL TAX UNOCCUPIED DWELLINGS: 2016-17 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -               

 

Approval was sought for policy to be adopted for Council Tax on unoccupied dwellings for 2016-17.

 

A billing authority may decide to give a discount of between 10% and 50% on unoccupied, furnished dwellings.

 

The regulations prescribed two classes of unoccupied and furnished dwellings for which Welsh Local Authorities would have discretion to consider the discounts allowable of between 10% and 50% -:

  • Class A related to dwellings with a restriction on occupancy by law which prohibited their use for a period of at least 28 consecutive days in any 12 month period;
  • Class B related to dwellings that had no such restriction on occupancy.

The regulations prescribed a class of unoccupied and unfurnished dwelling for which Welsh Local Authorities would have discretion to consider the discounts allowable up to a maximum of 50% -:

  • Class C related to long term (more than 6 months) unoccupied and substantially unfurnished dwellings.

The Council's existing policy was to allow 50% discount on unoccupied dwellings (classes A, B and C). It was proposed to continue this policy for 2016-17.

 

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 50% discount be allowed in 2016-17 in respect of class A, B and C dwellings.

 

Reason for decision

 

To determine Council policy on discounts that apply to unoccupied dwellings each year.

 

C2999                                COUNCIL TAX REDUCTION SCHEME (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Approval was sought to confirm the re-adoption of the Council Tax Reduction National Scheme for 2016/2017 based on the regulations set out in the report and to reconfirm the Council's discretions.

 

As part of the UK Government's Welfare Reform Agenda, with the enactment of the Welfare Reform Act 2012, the Council Tax Benefit scheme was abolished with effect from 31 March, 2013. The Local Government Finance Act 2012 enabled the Welsh Government to make regulations to establish a Council Tax Reduction Scheme in Wales. It was recommended that the Council confirmed each year its adoption of the scheme and discretions. There were two sets of regulations governing the scheme.

  • The Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Default Schemes) (Wales) Regulations SI 2012/3145, which established a single national framework scheme which would be imposed on any council that failed to adopt its own scheme;
  • The Council Tax Reduction Schemes and Prescribed Requirements (Wales) Regulations SI 2013/3209, which set out the national requirements that each billing authority had to satisfy and also enabled additional areas of local discretion that authorities might wish to implement.

The Welsh Government would amend regulations to uprate the financial figures in line with inflation. These were dependent on the Chancellor's Autumn Statement on the 25 November, 2015. The scheme would need to take account of these and any subsequent Regulations made by the Welsh Government following the adoption of the local scheme.

 

Welsh local authorities had until 31 January each year to adopt a scheme exercising any of the discretions permitted under the Prescribed Requirements Regulations. This required a decision by full Council. With regard to the areas of discretion under the "Prescribed Requirements" Regulations, the local authorities would only be able to implement discretionary elements that were more generous than the minimum requirements set out in the regulations, and that any flexibility was to be locally funded.

 

The discretionary elements outlined in the "Prescribed Requirements" regulations were detailed in the report with proposals for their continuation and were summarised as:

  • The ability to increase the standard extended reduction period of 4 weeks given to persons after they return to work where they had previously been receiving a council tax reduction that was to end as a result of their return to work;
  • Discretion to disregard part or the whole amount of War Disablement Pensions and War Widow's Pensions when calculating income; and
  • The ability to backdate the application of Council Tax Reduction with regard to late claims prior to the standard period of three months before the claim.

This was a matter for Executive and Council decision

 

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

 

RESOLVED -

 

T H A T Cabinet recommended to Council:

 

(1)                T H A T the Council Tax Reduction Schemes and Prescribed Requirements (Wales) Regulations SI 2013/3029 ("the Prescribed Requirements Regulations") and the Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements and Default Scheme) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 SI 2014/66 be adopted.

 

(2)                T H A T any amendments to Regulations made by the Welsh Government be reflected in the scheme.

 

(3)                T H A T the national scheme be adopted with the following discretions -

  • That the Council should continue to allow Extended Payments up to a maximum of 4 weeks.
  • That the Council should continue to disregard War Widow and War Disablement pensions in assessing income for Council Tax Reduction.
  • That the Council should continue to allow Backdated Reductions for a period up to 26 weeks.

Reasons for decisions

 

(1-3)                To enable the Council Tax Reduction Scheme to be approved by Council by 31 January, 2016 and be in place for implementation from 1 April, 2016.


C3000                                SCHOOL ADMISSION ARRANGEMENTS 2017/2018 (CSS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - LIFELONG LEARNING) -

 

Approval was sought to consult on the Authority's school admission arrangements as required by the Welsh Government's School Admission Code issued in July 2013.

 

A Local Authority (LA) had a statutory duty to consult on school admission arrangements annually. The School Admission Arrangements for implementation in September 2017 had to be determined by 15 April, 2016. The LA had a statutory duty to consult with the governing bodies of the relevant schools (those schools who had delegated admission powers); all neighbouring LAs; the admission authorities for all other maintained schools in the relevant area; the governing bodies of all other schools in the relevant area (i.e. community and voluntary controlled schools which did not have delegated admission powers). The relevant area was determined as the geographical area of the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

The LA was proposing to consult on the proposed admissions policy (attached at Appendix A to the report) as required by the Welsh Government`s School Admissions Code 2013. The LA was also proposing to consult on an interim revision to the catchment areas of High Street and Holton primary schools to meet the pupil demand arising from Barry Waterfront Development until a proposed new school was built on the development in 2019.

 

At the meeting, the Cabinet Member for Adult Services commented that as a governor of High Street Primary School, he was relieved this matter was coming to consultation, explaining that half the pupils who attended High Street Primary School were not in the catchment area of the school as it currently stood, which was a situation he believed was common in Barry and as such he felt there was a fundamental problem with the catchment areas. He was happy to look at this issue as part of the important consultation and further commented that Primary Schools should be local for their pupils and suggested that the Waterfront catchment area could be split in half between Holton and High Street primary schools.

 

The Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Schools noted the comments of the Cabinet Member for Adult Services and confirmed that they would be taken into consideration as part of the consultation.

 

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 consultation required to Local Authority admission arrangements to ensure compliance with the Welsh Government School Admissions Code 2013 be approved.

 

(2)                T H A T consultation on an interim revision to the school catchment areas of High Street and Holton Primary Schools be approved.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)                To review the annual school admission arrangements and determine the arrangements for admissions in September 2017 by 15 April, 2016 following appropriate consultation.

 

(2)                To review the school catchment areas.

 

C3001                                DRAFT ADDITIONAL LEARNING NEEDS AND EDUCATION TRIBUNAL (WALES) BILL (CSS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - LIFELONG LEARNING) -

 

Cabinet was informed of the legislative context and content of the Draft Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill and approval was sought to agree the proposed consultation response to Welsh Government.

 

Legislation in relation to Special Educational Needs (SEN) was set out in Part IV of the Education Act 1996. Although the definition of SEN applied to children and young people with a wide range of needs, the legislation focused primarily on those children and young people with more complex needs who were entitled to a statement of SEN issued by the Local Authority.

 

Statutory guidance on SEN was provided in the SEN Code of Practice for Wales. For children with SEN who did not have a statement, the Code set out guidance in relation to interventions that were additional to, or different from, those provided as part of the school's or early years setting's usual, differentiated curriculum strategies.

 

The report provided comprehensive details of existing legislation affecting this matter and a breakdown of the new Draft Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill and Draft Additional Learning Needs Code that the Council had been consulted on.

 

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 response to be made to the Welsh Government consultation as contained in Appendix A as attached to the report, regarding the Draft Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill, be endorsed.

 

Reason for decision

 

To agree a response to Welsh Government's consultation regarding the Draft Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill.

 

C3002                                ACCESS AND OUTDOOR RECREATION GREEN PAPER CONSULTATION RESPONSE (R) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Retrospective endorsement was sought for a response sent on behalf of the Council to the Access and Outdoor Recreation Green Paper issued by the Welsh Government.

 

There were approximately 581 kilometres of public rights of way in the Vale of Glamorgan including:

520 km of footpaths

38 km of bridleways

23 km of restricted byways

In addition to these, opportunities for outdoor recreation could also be found in areas accessible to the public such as commons, country parks and beaches (by permission of owners).

 

User groups, landowners, and local authorities had however suggested to the Welsh Government that the current legislation did not effectively facilitate or regulate outdoor recreation activities. The legislation was perceived to be out-dated, disjointed, burdensome to administer, and often difficult for the public to comprehend.

 

Welsh Government had therefore sought views and opinions on proposals to improve opportunities to access the outdoors for responsible recreation in order to explore the potential for simpler more integrated legislation on access to the outdoors and public rights of way. It had done this via a Green Paper entitled 'Improving opportunities to access the outdoors for responsible recreation'.

 

A copy of the consultation document was attached at Appendix A to the report and a copy of the preliminary response made on behalf of the Council could be seen in Appendix B as attached to the report.

 

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 response (attached at Appendix B to the report) to the Welsh Government Green Paper 'Improving Opportunities To Access The Outdoors For Responsible Recreation' be retrospectively endorsed.

 

Reason for decision

 

The response had been submitted to the Welsh Government within its published timescale and was submitted with a caveat on the front of the consultation response form advising that it was subject to endorsement by the Cabinet.

 

C3003                                CENTENARY FIELD - ALEXANDRA PARK, PENARTH (VLS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Approval was sought to enter into a deed of dedication to provide 'Centenary Field' status to Alexandra Park, Penarth.

 

Fields in Trust (the operating name of the National Playing Fields Association) had developed an initiative called 'Centenary Fields'. This was a UK wide project which aimed to protect, in perpetuity, war memorial fields and green spaces that included war memorials across the UK and provided a fitting commemoration for the Centenary of World War 1 (WW1).

 

The report requested authority to enter into the relevant formal agreement with the Fields in Trust. Alexandra Park was dedicated as Wales' first Centenary field during a ceremony held on 17 July, 2014 at the Sir Goscombe John designed Cenotaph in the park.

 

Parks and green spaces were highly valued by local residents. Alexandra Park was well used by residents from across the Authority for informal recreation. This dedication would benefit local residents and park users and contributed to improving their quality of life whilst also helping to address health inequalities.

 

The Alexandra Park dedication could proceed immediately. A plan identifying the proposed dedication area was attached at Appendix A to the 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 delegated authority be granted to the Director of Environment & Housing Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services, to agree the terms of a deed of dedication to provide Centenary Field status to Alexandra Park.

 

(2)                T H A T the Head of Legal Services be authorised to sign the deed of dedication between the Council and Fields in Trust and register the same.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)                To progress the formal dedication to support the work of the third sector in the Vale of Glamorgan and to ensure the protection of this particular site in perpetuity.

 

(2)                To execute and complete the legal documentation.

 

C3004                                LOCAL AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT ROUND 6 (YEARS 2015-2017) UPDATING AND SCREENING ASSESSMENT (HBMCS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) -

 

Cabinet was apprised of the 2015 Updating and Screening Assessment (USA) and supporting Air Quality Reports.

 

Air pollution remained a serious public health issue and contributed to ill health and mortality across the UK. For persons in a good state of health, moderate air pollution levels were unlikely to have any serious short term effects. However, long term exposure or exposure to elevated levels of some pollutants could lead to more serious symptoms and health conditions mainly affecting the respiratory system. People with underlying lung or heart conditions were also more susceptible to the effects of air pollution.

 

Annually, the Local Authority had to consider air quality within its boundary and publish its findings. The report was collated from air quality monitoring data across the Vale of Glamorgan through the authorities' Pollution Control, Environmental Health Team and submitted to Welsh Government and the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) for approval.

 

The main objective of the Updating and Screening Assessment (USA) was to identify any matters that had changed since the 2014 Air Quality Progress Report, and the further assessment for the Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) in Penarth undertaken in 2014, and whether these changes could lead to a risk of an air quality objective being exceeded. This would include new monitoring data, new or changed emissions sources (either locally or in neighbouring authorities), or any other local changes that might affect air quality.

 

Since the submission of the 2015 Updating and Screening Assessment to Defra and Welsh Government, the Authority had since been provided with an Appraisal Report. Content of the appraisal had been noted and such action taken for future monitoring and reporting.

 

The USA had not identified any significant changes in emissions sources within the Vale of Glamorgan. It covered Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and PM10 (particulate matter 10 micrometers or less in diameter) monitoring data, road traffic sources, other transport sources, industrial sources, commercial and domestic sources, fugitive or uncontrolled sources. There had been three biomass boilers installed within the Vale since the last USA. The report recommended that further information was required to either screen out the boilers, or to proceed to a Detailed Assessment. The Screening or Detailed Assessment would be undertaken by April 2016. The current monitoring programme was considered appropriate and thus no changes were proposed.

 

The report concluded that there were no exceedances of any pollutant objective in 2014, including monitoring locations within the declared AQMA, therefore complying with such legislation to protect human health.

 

At the meeting the Leader commented that he was pleased to note that subsequent to the declaration of the AQMA on Windsor Road, a Further Assessment had been undertaken in 2014. The Further Assessment identified that concentrations at all relevant locations were comfortably below the objective in 2013 and the Leader highlighted the reduction in emissions in Windsor Road, Penarth. He referred to the fact that the decision taken by the Council in altering the sequencing of traffic lights at the Baron's Court Roundabout had resulted in a reduction in traffic building up in this area, which in turn had contributed to the reduction in emissions.

 

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 2015 Updating and Screening Assessment and supporting Air Quality Reports be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To provide members with an updated review of the latest air quality assessment within the Vale of Glamorgan and to confirm that the assessment and appendices will be published on the Vale of Glamorgan website.

 

C3005                                SECTION 180 - VOLUNTARY FUNDING FOR HOMELESSNESS OUTCOMES (HBMCS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) -               

 

Cabinet was provided with outcome information from Council funded voluntary sector homelessness schemes which assisted the Authority in preventing homelessness and discharging its statutory duties, and approval was sought to continue Section 180 funding for services that positively impacted on the lives of those affected by homelessness.

 

It was a requirement of Welsh Government that support services had to be included within the Supporting People Programme (SPPG) and that only Section 180 funding had to be provided to agencies who fell outside the criteria for SPPG funding. Since 2005/06 the Council had provided Section 180 funding to the Tabernacle Home Access Project and Llamau who both provided additional homelessness prevention services to homeless people in the Vale.

 

The Council had a legal duty to assist all eligible and homeless applicants who contacted the Authority within 56 days of their presentation. The Council increasingly needed to explore alternative delivery models to assist in discharging its duties, which included developing partnerships with the voluntary sector.

 

The continued support to the Tabernacle Baptist Church Home Access Scheme and the Llamau Projects helped prevent additional caseloads to Council staff and provided specialist, bespoke advice and support services to residents of the Vale of Glamorgan. The provision of the Section 180 funding to voluntary organisations would enable the costly statutory obligations to be delivered in a more cost effective way.

 

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 outcomes achieved by the projects managed by the Tabernacle Home Access Team and Llamau be noted.

 

(2)                T H A T the Head of Housing & Building Services be authorised to pay Section 180 funding to the Tabernacle Home Access Project ( £5,000) and Llamau's JIGSO Project and Supported Lodgings Project ( £18,000) for the financial year 2015/16.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)                To ensure that Cabinet is fully informed of the important role these projects play in supporting the Council's homelessness service.

 

(2)                To ensure the continuation of the Section 180 schemes detailed.

 

C3006                                SUPPORTING PEOPLE PAYMENTS (HBMCS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) -

 

Retrospective approval was sought to make payments on three expired contracts to enable housing related support to continue to be provided to vulnerable clients until a new Approved Provider List was in place.

 

The Supporting People (SP) programme was the policy and funding framework for delivering housing related support to vulnerable people in different types of accommodation and across all tenures. At a local level the programme took forward a number of strategic aims, reflecting Community Safety and Health, Social Care and Wellbeing objectives. It aimed to deliver high quality and strategically planned housing-related support services that were cost effective, complemented existing services and provided service users with the best possible outcomes.

 

In order to ensure overall compliance with the Council's Contract Standing Orders, the Financial Regulations and other procurement requirements, in 2010 Cabinet approved the establishment of the first Approved Provider List (APL) for the provision of housing related support services funded by the Supporting People Programme Grant for a four year period (Cabinet Minute C859 referred).

 

Unfortunately, due to the protracted discussions to explore all of the procurement options for the APL, three existing contracts expired during the period:

- Llamau on 28 February, 2015 which covered services to young and vulnerable clients.

- Hafod Care on 30 April, 2015 which covered services for clients with mental health issues, vulnerable families and clients with substance misuse issues.

- Atal y Fro on 30 May, 2015 which covered services to women who had suffered from domestic violence.

 

It was thought prudent to continue to make payments to the three support providers in order that the support could continue until such time as a new APL was in place and the services could be retendered. The procurement exercise being undertaken in partnership with the City of Cardiff Council began on 9 October, 2015 with the invitation to be included published on the Sell2Wales website. The exercise would be concluded and the new APL in place by the end of December 2015. Following this date, expired contracts woukd be retendered in January 2016 and completed by 31 March, 2016.

 

The Welsh Government provided grant funding for all of these services and the budget had been confirmed up until 31 March, 2016; therefore there were no direct financial implications for the Council. It was expected that in 2016/17 the Supporting People Programme Grant from Welsh Government would be reduced following the Comprehensive Spending Review. The Supporting People Team was already in discussions with all support providers in order to agree a partnership approach to a reduction in value of existing and new contracts from 1 April, 2016 in order to mitigate the impact of these cuts. A further report would be submitted to Cabinet before the start of the new financial year that outlined the proposed reductions for approval.

 

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 Contract Procedure Rules be temporarily waived, the expired contracts with Llamau, Hafod Care and Atal y Fro be extended, and payments under these contracts up to the end of March 2016 be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To ensure the stability of services provided to very vulnerable people in the Vale of Glamorgan and to comply with the Council's Contract Standing Orders and Financial Regulations.

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