COMMUNITY LIAISON COMMITTEE
Minutes of a meeting held on 31st July, 2012.
Present: Councillor C.P.J. Elmore (Chairman); Councillors Ms. B.E. Brooks, Mrs. C. Curtis, N.P. Hodges, H.J.W. James, N. Moore, R.P. Thomas and M.R. Wilson.
Representatives of Town and Community Councils: Councillor S.C. Egan (Barry Town Council), Councillor J. Harris (Cowbridge with Llanblethian Town Council), Councillor M.D. Marsh (Llantwit Major Town Council), Councillor M. Cuddy (Penarth Town Council), Councillor Mrs. L. Watson (Llancarfan Community Council), Councillor P. King (Llandough Community Council), Councillor M. Hurst (Llandow Community Council), Councillor R. Mann (Llangan Community Council), Councillor Mrs. A.J. Pope (Llanmaes Community Council), Councillor C. Tutton (Pendoylan Community Council), Councillor J. Parry (Peterston Super Ely), Councillor R. Dowling (St. Georges and St. Brides Super Ely Community Council), Councillor G. Rawson (St. Nicholas and Bonvilston), Councillor I. Moody (Wenvoe Community Council) and Councillor E. Jervis (Wenvoe Community Council).
231 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE -
These were received from Councillors K.J. Geary (Vice-Chairman), Councillors R.J. Bertin, Ms. R.F. Probert, R.L. Traherne and C.J. Williams (Vale of Glamorgan Council) and Councillor N.M. Streeter (Dinas Powys Community Council), Councillor H.L. Baker (Ewenny Community Council), Councillor J. Teague (Llanfair Community Council), Councillor D. Pugh (Penllyn Community Council), Councillor A. Foyle (Welsh St. Donats Community Council) and Councillor R. Ball (Wick Community Council).
232 MINUTES -
AGREED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 21st March, 2012 be accepted as a correct record.
233 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -
No declarations were received.
234 INTRODUCTION –
The Chairman took the opportunity to welcome all present to the first meeting of the Community Liaison Committee under his Chairmanship and introduced Councillor N. Moore, the Leader of the Council, also a member of the Committee.
235 POLICE MATTERS –
Inspector Chris Owen informed the Committee of various issues since the last meeting on 21st March 2012 as detailed below :-
· the crime had been reduced over the last 12 months, which had been confirmed by figures released by the Home Office.
· there had been a number of burglaries ( inquisitive crime) in Barry and Penarth where keys had been stolen from households an arrest had been made of a male from the Cardiff area.
· Gibbonsdown area, good partnership working had been established within the area to thwart potential problems.
· Within the Barry area large amounts of cash had been seized together with a number of arrests being made for drugs and counterfeit money operations.
· Buttrills - a number of drug warrants had been issued
· the Baruc area had seen a reduction in crime for the period concerned
· Operation Alton was also being undertaken within the areas in relation to anti social behaviour
· Penarth 20 ASBO referrals had been made as a result of by members of the public contacting Police. There had also been a number of burglaries in the area.
On a more general note the Inspector reported the Police were working with the Vale Highways department regarding arrangements for the forthcoming national Eisteddfod and for information three new PCSOs would be added to the establishment for the Vale of Glamorgan, one for Llantwit Major, one for Dinas Powys and one for the Barry area.
Members raised concerns in relation to the ASBO project and whether it would just be a case of the problems being moved on to other areas. Inspector Owen advised that the operations on occasions resulted in this happening but he urged all members to contact local Inspectors as soon as issues arise in order that the force could try to resolve the issues immediately.
The Inspector Owen also took the opportunity to thank all Communities for their efforts and support in assisting in the reduction of crime.
Having considered the report, it was
AGREED – T H A T Inspector Owen be thanked for his presentation, it being noted that crime statistics showed that crime had reduced in the Vale of Glamorgan over the last 12 months.
236 INFORMATION FOR COMMUNITY LIAISON COMMITTEE MEMBERS (CX) –
The report provided information for members on the role of the Community Liaison Committee including the Terms of Reference and dates of future meetings. It also covered agenda items for Committee and progress on the Charter that had been established between the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Town and Community Councils.
The Terms of Reference were noted as follows:
"(i) To discuss local government matters of mutual concern in attendance with one representative, or nominated substitute, from each Town / Community Council, and from any other organisation considered appropriate.
(ii) To refer, as appropriate, reports / recommendations to Cabinet.
N.B. Only Members of the Vale of Glamorgan Council will have voting rights. However, if requested by Town and Community Councillors, a vote will be obtained from Town and Community Councillors as an indication of their views, which will be reported in the minutes and, if the Committee requests, included in any related report/recommendations referred to Cabinet."
Members were informed that agendas and papers were forwarded to members within three clear days of the meeting. If possible, members would also be informed approximately one month before a meeting of suggested items for the agenda in order that topics could be discussed with their relevant Town and Community Councils prior to the Community Liaison meeting itself.
The dates of future meetings were recorded as follows:
· 23rd October 2012 at 6.00pm - Council Chamber Civic Offices
· 29th January 2013 at 6.00pm - Council Chamber Civic Offices
· 20th March 2013 at 6.00pm - Council Chamber Civic Offices.
With regard to agendas for the Committee the report stated that usually agendas included receiving reports from the Cabinet / various officers within the Council for information or consideration, statistical information from the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service and an overview from a South Wales Police officer of local issues within the Vale of Glamorgan. A procedure was also in place to allow the opportunity of Town and Community Councils to request items for consideration by the Committee which could be placed on future agendas for consideration if the item was considered to be appropriate. A copy of the Request for Consideration of Matter proforma was tabled at the meeting with members being informed that the Council’s Head of Paid Service was now known as the Managing Director, with the previous Chief Executive having left the Authority on 31st July 2012.
The Democratic Services Officer referred to a Charter that had been established in 2007 between the Vale Council and Town and Community Councils which referred to the intention to work together for the benefit of rural communities whilst also recognising their respective responsibilities as autonomous democratically elected statutory bodies. To date 22 Town and Community Councils were signatories to the Charter, however members were informed that a revised Charter and Action Plan would be developed following the local government elections. It was the intention to submit a report to the Community Liaison Committee in October 2012.
During consideration of the report Town and Community Councillors were also reminded of a recent letter that had been sent to all Clerks regarding training that would be undertaken by Mr. Paul Egan, One Voice Wales, on the Code of Conduct. All Town and Community Clerks were requested to inform the Operational Manager for Democratic Services of their intentions to attend.
Members were advised that if they wished to discuss the contents of the report in further detail, or any issues in relation to the Committee to contact Mrs. Karen Bowen on telephone number (01446) 709856, via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or at the Democratic Services Office at the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Civic Offices, Holton Road, Barry, CF63 4RU.
AGREED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted.
237 ANNUAL REPORT – SECTION 106 LEGAL AGREEMENTS 2011-12 (REF) –
Cabinet had, on 23rd July 2012, referred the report which detailed progress in respect of Section 106 (Planning Obligations) for the period April 2011 to March 2012 to the Community Liaison Committee in order for the Committee to express a view on the matter.
The report highlighted that in the 12 months between April 2011 and March 2012 a total of 18 planning permissions had been issued which had been subject to Section 106 Legal Agreements. A list of section 106 agreements was attached at Appendix A to the report, the value of the financial contributions for these agreements being £10,263,858.68.
The financial contributions secured in respect of the Legal Agreements would be used to provide or enhance facilities off site, such as sustainable transport facilities, public open space, community facilities and many more. Following receipt of the contributions consultation was undertaken with the relevant service areas, the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation, other relevant Cabinet Members and local Ward Members to agree how the contributions should be best spent in accordance with an established Section 106 protocol.
The Principal Planner for Development Control also referred to the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 which came into force on 6th April 2010 in England and Wales. On 21st February 2011, Cabinet resolved in principle to commence preparation of a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) for the Vale of Glamorgan. Once in place, the CIL would replace Section 106 Agreements in many respects, in particular in respect of financial contributions. The levy would take several years to prepare and the Council’s lead officer was co-ordinating input from service areas across the Council to prepare the document. The Council was also represented on the South East Wales Strategic Planning Group (SEWSPG) which was focusing on the implications of CIL in the region.
During consideration of the report the following comments were received:
What exactly was considered to be sustainable transport?
This was an overarching term that referred to transport facilities i.e. cycle racks, bus lanes, etc.
The Member from Cowbridge asked whether some of the monies that were available as a result of the Waitrose development could be utilised for a play area in Cowbridge.
The Planning Officer advised that she believed that consultation had been undertaken at the planning stage, but that the issue of the play facility could not be realised from the monies received from this particular development. If the development had been for houses, there could have been recommendations made for a play area. Section 106 agreements were legally negotiated documents and had to be considered in line with strict criteria.
Concerns were raised with regard to the number of 106 agreements that were still showing as to be investigated.
The officer responded by stating that she shared the members’ anxieties but that the main purpose of her role was to make sure money was obtained from the developers. Part of the role included co-ordinating to ensure that service areas identified opportunities for spending. However, for service areas the problems were around having the time and resources to undertake the work and in all best endeavours were undertaken to try to ensure that the monies allocated were spent accordingly. The Principal Planner urged all members who were aware of any issues to contact her with their suggestions and proposals.
Would it be possible to make Town and Community Councillors more aware of when developments were likely to commence work?
In a report to the Committee Liaison Committee 18 months previous the officer had outlined how the Authority devised its obligations and the consultation process. However, the officer advised that she would be more than happy to attend a future meeting of the Committee to provide further advice and guidance in respect of the issue. Notwithstanding this all Town and Community Councils were also urged to extend their comments on applications when they were consulted upon them.
Llandough Council – the play area referred to from the proposed development in the precinct is unlikely to be received as the developer has not established the premises.
The Council cannot be responsible if a developer does not choose to implement the planning application. Members were advised that in such instances they should consider other ways of requesting facilities e.g. consulting with the relevant Department putting forward their case of need.
Does the Vale have timescales to spend the money?
No money has ever gone back to a developer and yes, the Council does operate within various timescales.
Llysworney Bypass – is there any possibility of this being established ?
The Principal Planning Officer advised that under Section 106 there are a number of restrictions/ criteria when considering applications. Town and Community Councils should however continue to lobby and make suggestions for developments within their areas.
During the discussion Councillor Jeff James also referred to the Council’s system of consulting Ward Members their comments / suggestions are referred back to the relevant departments. With regard to a play area in Cowbridge he suggested that the Town Council make an approach to Waitrose and discuss the matter direct.
Councillor Neil Moore, the Leader of the Council, also advised that the Waitrose supermarket that had been established in his ward area had been amenable to holding discussions on matters affecting the locality and he too suggested that Cowbridge approach the organisation. However, the Planning officer considered that it may be possible to utilise some of the money to develop new pathways in the area under the banner of sustainable travel.
With regard to the play area for Llandough, the Council would need to consider the matter with other service areas within the Council.
In relation to the list of 106 agreements Councillor Moore reaffirmed the Council’s commitment to seek progress on the schemes.
AGREED – T H A T Victoria Robinson be thanked for the informative report and the explanations provided in relation to monies to be spent on Section 106 Agreements.
238 YOUTH PROVISION TASK AND FINISH GROUP REVIEW (DLPPHS) –
The Chairman advised that he had requested that the Youth Provision Review report be brought before the Committee for information, to highlight the current issues facing the Youth Service and to promote the role of the Youth Service throughout the Vale of Glamorgan.
The Principal Youth Services Officer presented the report by advising that the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) had established a Youth Service Provision Task and Finish Group to consider the following:
· the progress since the previous review of the service in 2006,
· the impact of the recent restructuring of the service on its ability to meet service objectives
· to work in partnership with other services, organisations, Local Authorities to provide quality services to meet the needs of young people
· to ensure that young people have a quality provision to assist them in their personal and social development and that it seeks to engage them in lifelong learning
· to review how the Youth Service uses its Management of Information service and
· to examine the outcomes and informal learning young people receive from the Youth Service.
A number of recommendations had been made which were detailed within the appendix to the report and progress on the action plan also contained within the document was currently being undertaken with a request that a report on the progress to date be presented to the Cabinet in September 2012. The Principal Youth Services Officer informed the Committee that to date the Youth Service was working well within the community, a twitter account had recently been set up for use within social media and that the Service had had some success in working with Town and Community Councils. In particular he referred to the model adopted by Penarth Town Council where young people were represented within the decision-making process. The Service was also involved with the Penarth Learning Community, Brynhafren School, outside organisations and other partners and he urged Town and Community Councils to consider and refer any suggestions that young people could be involved in to the Youth service.
The Democratic Services Officer referred to paragraph 7 in the report and the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 which presented an opportunity for young representatives to take part in the decision-making of Town and Community Councils. The Measure stated that Town and Community Councils” may appoint not more than two individuals to act at any one time as community youth representatives.” Members were informed that although the Measure was enacted and Town and Community Councils may make arrangements for young representatives to take part, the Welsh Government had recently advised that they would be consulting on this aspect in Autumn 2012. A revised version of the Good Councillor Guide from Welsh Government was also due to be published shortly and would be sent to all Town and Community Councils. A section on young people and the decision-making process was included within this document.
Councillor Wilson concurred with the proposals to engage with young people but advised that it would be imperative to ensure that the initiatives adopted were sustainable and realistic.
It being noted that the action plan and a further progress report would be presented to Cabinet it was subsequently
AGREED – T H A T the contents of the report be welcomed with a view to further updates being presented to Community Liaison Committee in due course.
239 FIRE SERVICE STATISTICS FOR THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN FIRE SERVICE AREAS – PERFORMANCE APRIL TO JUNE 2012 / 13 –
The Chairman advised new members that as a result of a previous recommendation by the Community Liaison Committee, the Fire Service Officer provided statistical information on a quarterly basis and would personally attend a meeting of the Committee to report on matters on an annual basis. It was therefore anticipated that the Fire Officer would be present at the next meeting of the Community Liaison Committee in October 2012.
AGREED – T H A T the Fire Service statistics report attached to the agenda at item 8 be noted.