COMMUNITY LIAISON COMMITTEE
Minutes of a meeting held on 9th July, 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, R.F. Curtis, N.P. Hodges, Ms. R.F. Probert, R.L. Traherne and M.R. Wilson.
Representatives of Town and Community Councils:
Councillors 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); Councillor M. Cuddy (Penarth Town Council); Councillor A.R. Robertson (Dinas Powys Community Council); Councillor H.L. Baker (Ewenny Community Council); Councillor M. Hurst (Llandow Community Council); Councillor J. Teague (Llanfair Community Council), Councillor G. Smith (Llanmaes Community Council); Councillor C. Tutton (Pendoylan Community Council); Councillor C. Farrant (Penllyn Community Council); Councillors D.M. Pugh and A. Barnaby (St. Athan Community Council); Councillor R. Dowling (St. Georges and St. Brides Community Council); Councillor G. Rawson (St. Nicholas and Bonvilston Community Council); Councillor M. Garland (Sully and Lavernock Community Council); Councillor E. Jervis (Substitute - Wenvoe Community Council); Councillor R. Ball (Wick Community Council).
188 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –
These were received from Councillors R.J. Bertin, Mrs. V.M. Hartrey, H.J.W. James, R.P. Thomas and M.R. Wilson (VOGC); and from Councillors J. Giles (St. Donats Community Council); Mrs. V. Pearce (Clerk, St. Donats Community Council); Ms. J. Parry (Peterston Super Ely Community Council) and I. Moody (Wenvoe Community Council).
189 MINUTES –
AGREED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 20th March, 2013 be accepted as a correct record.
190 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –
No declarations were received.
191 POLICE MATTERS –
The Chairman welcomed Sergeant Jones to this meeting of the Committee. Sergeant Jones subsequently reported on a number of issues since the last meeting, as detailed below:
· Operation Essex – aimed at ensuring that licensed premises complied with the conditions of their licence. This operation had been carried out on the night of Saturday, 7th July 2013.
· Operation Dagenham – aimed at reducing late night anti social behaviour.
· Operation Beaches – aimed at reducing auto crime within the Vale’s beauty spots.
· The TRICK initiative involving victim satisfaction had been started within the Vale and would be rolled out elsewhere.
· Operation Raven – aimed at assisting the late night economy within Barry.
Sergeant Jones spoke of the number of drug arrests which had been made as a result of targeting the suppliers of drugs.
Vehicle crime in Buttrills had been targeted.
Reference was made to the 14 year old child who was missing from Barry Island, and Sergeant Jones stated that he had been on leave until today and was not able to answer any questions on this matter.
Reference was made to Travellers having moved into the Wenvoe area and the Police Officer agreed to look into this issue and report back.
In response to a query as to the number of PCSOs involved within the Penarth area, Sergeant Jones replied that there were two and that they worked under Sergeant Jones’ supervision.
Having considered the information provided, it was
AGREED – T H A T Sergeant Jones be thanked for his presentation and that the information received be noted.
192 BARRY WOMEN’S TRAIL (MD) –
Committee received information about the Barry Women’s Trail and were advised of future developments.
The Barry Women’s Trail was launched for International Women’s Day 2013 and was the culmination of a year of work to celebrate the lives of outstanding local women, to develop an interest in local history and to provide an urban trail in order to promote walking for health.
The development of the trail was publicised initially in the local press, calling for details of local women who had made a significant impact on the local area. The criteria were that they had to have a strong connection with Barry, and they must be deceased. As well as their names, information was included on their achievements, their dates of birth and death, and a local place with which they had a strong association.
17 local women were selected to be included in the trail, from a range of backgrounds including politicians, community leaders, health workers, police, educationalists, artists, trade unionists, suffragettes and social entrepreneurs. The project involved local historians and the library and information service was closely involved in its development.
A leaflet had been developed and the trail had been made available on the Vale Council’s website.
Considerable publicity had been generated by the publication of the trail which had been wholly positive for Barry. Leaflets were available in local libraries and had been distributed to tourism outlets.
The introduction of blue plaques and commemorative benches was being investigated to further highlight the achievements of the women included in the trail, subject to resources being available.
Councillor Ms. B. Brooks advised the Committee that she had been involved in the process. She advised those present that there was no need to walk the whole of the trail at any one time. It could be walked in separate sections.
AGREED – T H A T the introduction of the Barry Women’s Trail be noted and that the proposals for future developments be endorsed.
193 CHARTER BETWEEN THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL AND TOWN AND COMMUNITY COUNCILS (MD) –
A revised Charter between the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Town and Community Councils in the Vale was proposed.
A Charter between the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Town and Community Councils had been agreed by the Community Liaison Committee in November 2007 and an action plan had been agreed in February 2009.
On 31st July 2012, the Committee had been advised that a new Charter and Action Plan should be developed following the local elections. This was the first review of the Charter.
The revised Charter, attached at Appendix A to the report, outlined the aims on which the Unitary Council and Town and Community Councils wished to work together for the benefit of local communities, whilst also recognising their respective responsibilities as autonomous democratically elected statutory bodies.
For information, and to assist in the understanding of how the Charter had operated since 2008, Committee were advised:
· Agenda papers and minutes of the Vale of Glamorgan Council were now available to access on the Council’s website.
· Where information was provided in hard copy, the Vale Council would provide sufficient copies to the Town and Community Councils concerned so that each elected member could have their own copy. However, with more and more information becoming available through the website, these hard copies would continue to reduce in number.
· Not all agenda papers and minutes of Town and Community Councils were automatically circulated to the Vale Council (nor would it want them to be). Some Town and Community Councils had their own websites, to which the Vale Council website was hyperlinked. This provided the easiest means of sharing papers.
· A member of the Democratic Services staff had acted as the nominated liaison officer for the Council.
· Key local partnerships were those defined within the Community Strategy.
· Vale Council officers and Members would strive to attend meetings of Town and Community Council where there was an appropriate item on the agenda. However, due the sheer number of meetings, they could not guarantee to attend all to which they were invited.
· In some exceptional circumstances, normal consultations were unable to take place. A written explanation would be provided by officers where it was not possible to consult Town and Community Councils.
· The Vale Council and Town and Community Councils worked together on many issues, including planning, elections, resolving local concerns, etc. Meetings of clerks and Town and Community Councils were organised by the Democratic Services Department. These meetings assisted clerks in carrying out their duties more effectively and could assist in answering queries and improving service delivery.
· A process was in place outlining how services could be devolved from the Vale Council to the Town and Community Councils. Requests for devolved services were given serious consideration by the Vale Council following receipt of a business case for devolution.
· Where devolution of services was not agreed, the proposals for improving services contained within the business case (and supporting documentation) would be taken into consideration as a means of improving service delivery.
· Where there was devolution of services, the issue of double taxation needed to be addressed. Community and Town Councils generally raised funds for their activities through a precept levied in Council Tax. A double levy for the provision of the same service should be avoided. This did not preclude the provision of match or joint funding, where this enhanced or extended functions with added value to address community needs.
· There were many opportunities for officers and Elected Members to work together, which led to better communication and engagement with local residents. The content and siting of public art was one example of provision that had been enhanced by the involvement of Town and Community Councillors.
· Joint training with Vale Councillors, particularly in the induction of new Town and Community Councillors, had been offered in the past. Some bespoke courses could also be offered to enhance understanding and joint working.
· There was a representative from Town and Community Councils on the Standards Committee.
· The Council was actively involved in promoting sustainable development, and the Cabinet regularly received details of the work being undertaken in this matter.
· Town and Community Councils were consulted in the development of the Vale’s Community Strategy. There was also an Implementation Group in which Town and Community Councils could become involved.
· Elected Members had opportunities to discuss the administration of elections at Community Liaison Committee. Clerks had a similar opportunity through the meeting of clerks arranged by Democratic Services.
· The Vale Council provided promotional materials to assist in publicising forthcoming elections and in increasing voter registration. Town and Community Councils also had a responsibility to assist in promoting elections locally, in recruiting candidates and in encouraging members of the public to vote through election publicity and canvassing.
· The Operational Manager – Corporate Policy and Communications was responsible for monitoring the implementation of the action plan. An action plan would be developed relating to the revised Charger following formal adoption by the Vale Council and Town and Community Councils.
Following agreement of the final wording for the Charter by this Committee, it would be forwarded to the Unitary, Town and Community Councils for formal adoption. It was accepted that not all Town and Community Councils would wish to adopt this Charter.
Representatives of Councils who had adopted the Charter would be invited to attend an action planning workshop to identify what work needed to be undertaken in order to implement the aspirations outlined in the Charter.
The following revised timetable was proposed:
· revised Charter to be send to and considered by individual Unitary, Town and Community Councils (July – September 2013)
· action planning workshop to be held (October 2013)
· action plan considered by Community Liaison Committee (December 2013).
With regard to the references within the section of the proposed Charter entitled â€œCommunity Strategyâ€, it was recorded that the Local Service Board had declined to accept the inclusion of these references within the Charter.
Councillor R.F. Curtis, in referring to the section of the Charter entitled 'Sustainability' proposed the inclusion of the following:
The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Community and Town Councils
Will work with the Town and Community Councils to protect the biodiversity.
Will work with the Vale of Glamorgan Council to protect and increase biodiversity.
Councillor R.F. Probert, in referring to the sections of the proposed Charter entitled 'Practical Support' and 'Local Elections' enquired how these actions would be monitored.
Committee were advised that the way these principles would be monitored was linked to the next step in the process. If the proposed Charter were agreed by the Community Liaison Committee, a copy would be sent to all Town and Community Councils and the Vale of Glamorgan Council for ratification, Members of the Town and Community Councils and the Vale of Glamorgan Council would be invited to an action planning workshop which would be followed, annually by the monitoring of the actions.
A progress report would be brought back before the Community Liaison Committee.
(1) T H A T the contents of the revised Charter be noted and that the proposal of Councillor R.F. Curtis as outlined above be included within the Charter.
(2) T H A T individual Town and Community Councils be recommended to adopt the Charter.
Reasons for recommendations
(1) To agree a final version for adoption.
(2) So that the Charter can be widely accepted as a basis on which to operate.
194 PRESENTATION – CREATIVE RURAL COMMUNITIES –
Mr. Phil Chappell, Principal Rural Regeneration Officer, outlined for the information of the Committee, the work of the Creative Rural Communities Organisation.
The presentation covered the following headings:
- The Rural Development Plan for Wales
- the Partnership and Local Action Group
- Pride in our Heritage
- Pride in our Farming Families
- Community Consultations
- Pride in our Villages
- Rural Hubs
- The future of the Rural Development Plan in the Vale 2014-2020.
Members of the Town and Community Councils expressed their gratitude to Creative Rural Communities whose work was hugely important to the Town and Community Councils.
AGREED – T H A T Mr. Chappell be thanked for his presentation and that all Town and Community Councils be urged to lobby their Assembly Member and advise them of the importance of the Creative Rural Communities Organisation.
195 PRESENTATION – ELECTIONS –
Ms. Rebecca Light, Electoral and Members’ Services Team Leader, gave a presentation to the Committee on the subject of Town / Community Council by-elections.
The presentation covered the following areas:
- introduction to the team members
- introduction to the work of the team
- an outline of the reasons for the creation of a casual vacancy
- the process to be carried out on the occasion of a casual vacancy
- process to be carried out in the event of co-option
- the process to be followed in the event of a by-election being held, including:
o initial key stages of by-elections
o close of nominations
- by-elections and electors
- by-elections – candidates
- poll day and the count
- be-election recharges.
Following the presentation, there followed a question and answer session and Ms. Light was asked if the signature as contained on nomination papers should be the candidate’s normal signature, or that which appeared against that person on a Electoral Register.
The Committee were advised that it was a requirement that a 'normal' signature be used.
A representative of Dinas Powys Community Council referred to an issue that had arisen a few years ago regarding the timing of the return of the candidates’ expenses forms.
The Members of the Committee were advised that the closing date for such a return was 35 days from the declaration of the result of the poll.
AGREED – T H A T the presentation be noted.
196 FIRE SERVICE STATISTICS FOR THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN FIRE SERVICE AREAS –
No representative of the Fire Authority was present for this item.