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COMMUNITY LIAISON COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 20th March, 2013.

 

Present:  Councillor C.P.J. Elmore (Chairman); Councillor K.J. Geary (Vice-Chairman); Councillors R.J. Bertin, Ms. B.E. Brooks, Mrs. C.L. Curtis, N.P. Hodges, Ms. R.F. Probert, R.P. Thomas, R.L. Traherne and M.R. Wilson.

 

Representatives of Town and Community Council: 

Councillor S.C. Egan, substitute Councillor J. Evans (Barry Town Council); Councillor J. Harris (Cowbridge with Llanblethian Town Council); Councillor M. Marsh (Llantwit Major Town Council); M. Cuddy (Penarth Town Council); Councillor A.R. Robertson  (Dinas Powys Community Council); Councillor Mrs. L. Watson (Llancarfan Community Council);  Councillor P. King (Llandough Community Council); Councillor J. Teague (Llanfair Community Council), Councillor G. Rawson (St. Nicholas and Bonvilston Community Council); Councillor A. Foyle (Welsh St. Donats Community Council); Councillor I. Moody (Wenvoe Community Council); Councillor E. Jervis (Substitute - Wenvoe Community Council);  Councillor R. Ball (Wick Community Council).

 

 

1005   APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –

 

These were received from Councillors H.J.W. James, N. Moore and C.J. Williams (VOGC); and from Councillor M. Hurst (Llandow Community Council); Councillor C. Tutton (Pendoylan Community Council) and Councillor D.M. Pugh (Penllyn Community Council).

 

 

1006   MINUTES –

 

AGREED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 29th January, 2013 be accepted as a correct record.

 

 

1007   DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

1008   POLICE MATTERS –

 

The Chairman welcomed Acting Sergeant Miguel Sutcliffe to his first meeting of the Committee.  Acting Sergeant Sutcliffe subsequently reported on a number of issues since the last meeting as detailed below:

  • PCSOs would be attending Area 41 to discuss issues with local youths who gather there to socialise.
  • In Court Ward PCSOs had organised an event in the Hub called “What’s Occurring” which was a two way discussion with youngsters and the Police on what assistance and help could be provided in the area.
  • With the summer season approaching increased Police presence would be seen on Barry Island, the primary intention being to ensure that people had a good and enjoyable time.
  • Seven new Police Support volunteers had recently been recruited. 
  • In the Barry area Cadoc Ward had been the highest ward for offences for the period from December to date.
  • 17 burglaries had taken place in the Barry sector, 10 offences in February and 7 in March.  The key message to the public was to ensure all doors and windows were locked.
  • National Rogue Traders Week was planned for April.
  • Police recruitment – 5 PCSOs have been selected to become Police Officers. 
  • Following the recent high profile Rugby and Football games in Wales’s social media had been used to build up a picture of officers on the day and the duties undertaken and as such provided the public with details of the day in the life of a police officer.  This could be found on the Police Force’s twitter account.

Reference was made to the number of metal thefts in the area and whether any perpetrators had been apprehended. The Sergeant assured Members that every effort was being made to apprehend the perpetrators. The representatives for Llanfair and Wick Community Councils referred to incidents in their areas regarding stray horses and the Police Officer agreed to look into both issues and report back.  

 

In response to a query on the role of the new Commissioner as to whether any operational changes were to be made to the Force, the Officer advised that it was too soon to comment.  The Chairman, with Members’ agreement, stated that he would extend an invitation to the Police and Crime Commissioner to attend a future meeting of the Community Liaison Committee following the August recess. It was further noted that the Leader of the Vale Council had also recently advised the Vale Council that the Commissioner was also prepared to meet with Town and Community Councils if they so wished.

 

Having considered the report, it was

 

AGREED – T H A T Acting Sergeant Sutcliffe be thanked for his presentation and that the information received be noted.

 

 

1009   VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL'S CONSULTATION ON THE MOBILE LIBRARY SERVICE –  

 

Penarth Town Council had requested that the matter be considered by the Committee.  The Town Council had felt it would be helpful to hear and share suggestions with other Town and Community Councils on the subject.

 

The Chief Librarian advised that the Mobile Library Service had been withdrawn in 2011/12 as one of the measures implemented by the Vale of Glamorgan Council in order to achieve its required budgetary savings.  The Council's Corporate Plan 2013 - 2017 currently includes commitment to re-introduce a mobile library service in partnership to improve access to library services following consultation on how the service would be delivered. 

 

Interest had been expressed by Barry Town Council in re-instating the mobile library service and as such a consultation exercise had been conducted with Town and Community Councils and with primary schools across the Vale of Glamorgan to assess the level of interest in re-instating and funding this service.  It was noted that a letter had been sent out in January 2013 which was attached at Appendix 1 to the report and that to date 11 Town and Community Councils had responded and 11 schools.

 

Barry Town Council was committed to funding a mobile library service although details of the extent of the provision had not yet been provided.  Although other Councils had expressed interest in the idea, should funding become available, they had not committed to funding a scheme.

 

Responses from schools also indicated that funding was not available to support the service.

 

The representative from Penarth Town Council advised that in response to questions posed by the Town Council the public had advised that mobile library provision did not seem to be required but requests for an information point of contact seemed to be more useful than the mobile library service in this instance.  Cllr Mark Wilson who was also the Chairman of the Scrutiny Committee for the (Corporate Resources) Task and Finish Group on Welfare Reform advised that the suggestion of the use of mobile provision as advice points was currently being considered by the Group.

 

The response from representatives from smaller Community Councils at the meeting was that the cost of providing such a service could not be met from their budgets, they simply could not afford it.  They were also aware that in some areas the take up had been relatively small and as such their Councils could not justify spend on such a provision.  However, the majority of those present concurred that the provision of an information service with the facility to discuss issues could be seen as relevant.  The issue of wi-fi internet access in the rural Vale was also raised as it was noted that in a number of areas this was unobtainable. 

 

In noting that the issue of cost was a significant concern for Town and Community Councils it was subsequently

 

AGREED – T H A T Penarth Town Council be thanked for bringing the matter before the Committee but that in view of the issue of limited resources and no further suggestions being made, the contents of the report be noted  

 

Following this item, due to a prior engagement, Councillor C.P.J. Elmore vacated the Chair which was then assumed by the Vice-Chairman Councillor K.J. Geary

 

 

1010   JOINT EDUCATION SERVICE – 

 

The Head of School Improvement and Inclusion, Lynette Jones, provided a presentation to the Committee on the new regional arrangements for school improvement and firstly advised the Committee that in view of the pressures facing the Education Service and the need to ensure consistent approaches to school improvement and to improve outcomes and wellbeing, the Joint Education Service with the Central South Consortium had been established.  22 local authorities had therefore subsumed into four regions or consortia.  For the Central South Consortia five local authorities were involved, namely Bridgend, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taff and the Vale of Glamorgan. 

 

The two key areas of service were reported as:

  • Statutory School Improvement Functions – with the appointment of System Leaders to ensure strategic leadership and
  • the Traded Services function – the development of programmes of support, LINKS network specialists. 

The JES would in the future be responsible for:

  • statutory SI functions
  • national priorities
  • implementing collaborative solutions to key issues i.e. school banding and stock takes
  • pooling of grants i.e. SEG and greater delegation to schools.

The local authority would still retain a number of duties with the work being underpinned by

  • the Standards and Framework Act 1998 and Children's Act 2004
  • fulfilling its statutory functions i.e. challenge, monitor, support and intervention
  • playing an integral part within CYPP and Learning and Skills Partnerships.

The current Joint Education Service Organisation structure was detailed as below:

 

CentralSouth Consortium Joint Education Service SchoolImprovement Service

·               School Improvement Service System Leader - knowledge and experience - CMI statutory functions

·               Targeted support

·               Commissioned support

Central South Consortium Joint Education Service Traded Service

·               Consultancy support

·               Brokered best practice

·               Commissioned development

·               Pastoral support - wellbeing.

 

With regard to System Leaders their role was defined as follows:

  • Challenge, monitor and intervene in schools via termly meetings with HT – performance and leadership
  • School performance data analyses - shared with Governors
  • Advise on HT and DHT appointments
  • Ensure effective school improvement planning - SIPs, SER
  • Monitor effectiveness of grant spend - School Effectiveness Grant, Pupil Deprivation Grant
  • Prepare schools for Estyn inspection
  • Help schools prepare their Post Inspection Action Plans
  • Help schools improve after a weak Estyn inspection
  • Monitor and challenge schools that are a cause for concern or a risk to the Council
  • Categorise schools according to need and risk.

With regard to the LA its role was defined as to :

  • Hold the JES to account
  • Ensure appropriate Governance structures and functions
  • Keep track of schools causing concern - ensure a joined-up approach to support and challenge
  • Ensure a co-ordinated approach to all involved in school improvement i.e. £, HR, Governors, System Leaders (SLs)
  • Ensure SLs know our schools well and are focused appropriately on the needs of our schools.

In summary, the changes for schools were referred to as:

  • Increased grant funding
  • No local Vale SI Service
  • Pay for targeted support
  • Culture change - new to Consortium working
  • Capacity issues
  • new Estyn Inspection Framework.

With regard to the service currently within the Vale the Head of Service advised that 80% of schools presented no real issue.  10% of schools required some form of support with standards and leadership and 5% require extensive support.  Individual schools with funding can also commission services to help support performance which would be a new culture change for schools and Governors.

 

In considering the presentation the following issues were raised:

 

Question

Response

Has there been a decrease in man-power or has this system resulted in two layers of bureaucracy?

The officer’s response was that it was not an additional layer and 30 plus staff had been subsumed into the regional service.

Concern raised in respect of the transparency of the consortium.

The Governance model existed with Cabinet Members from each of the five local authorities meeting on a regular basis.  Joint scrutiny plans were also due to be established.

How is funding allocated to the consortium?

The JES was funded from each of the five local authorities who contribute proportionately to the costs.  With regard to the trading arm of the school, grant funding to commission services can be obtained by schools and they can also use their own schools budget.  Local authorities would commission services by the use of a 25% grant of which 85% is given to schools. 

How do we ensure schools deliver on performance?

  • Roll out of the national support programme
  • Roll out of outstanding teachers with numeracy and literacy programmes
  • Collaborative working
  • Regional and national registers of outstanding teachers who could be released to assist with other schools
  • Lead practitioner schools funded from WG to release staff to work with schools
  • To further introduce the programme to improve English and numeracy which was currently operating in some schools.

 

AGREED – T H A T the Head of Service for School Improvement and Inclusion be thanked for a frank and comprehensive overview of the Joint Education Service.

 

 

1011   UPDATE REPORT ON THE CHARTER BETWEEN THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL AND TOWN AND COMMUNITY COUNCILS (MD) –  

 

At its meeting on 23rd October, 2012 the Community Liaison Committee had considered a report which advised that a new Charter and Action Plan should be developed following the Local Government Elections and that a working group should be set up to undertake this work. The following Members had confirmed their agreement to sit on such a working group:

  • Councillor C.P.J. Elmore (Chairman of the Community Liaison Committee)
  • Councillor J. Evans (Barry Town Council)
  • Councillor M. Marsh (Llantwit Major Town Council)
  • Councillor M. Cuddy (Penarth Town Council)
  • Councillor Mrs. G. Marks (Michaelston le Pit Community Council)
  • Councillor Ms. G. Rawson (St. Nicholas and Bonvilston Community Council).
  • Officers from the Vale of Glamorgan Council are also in attendance.

It was noted that the first meeting of the Group had taken place on 12th February, 2013, a draft Charter had been prepared and was being considered by the group. 

 

AGREED – T H A T the progress update on the Charter between the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Town and Community Councils be noted.

 

 

1012   ANNOUNCEMENT –

 

In view of the number of new representatives to the Committee the Democratic and Scrutiny Officer advised of the calendar of meetings that was available on the Council’s website under the link http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/our_council/council/minutes,_agendas_and_reports/calendar_of_council_meetings.aspx and confirmed that the date of the next meeting was 9th July 2013.  Items that were anticipated to be discussed were noted as follows:

  • The Elections service
  • Revised Charter between the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Town and Community Councils
  • Creative Rural Communities – grant funding initiatives.
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