COMMUNITY LIAISON COMMITTEE
Minutes of a meeting held on 27th January, 2015.
Present: Councillor C.P.J. Elmore (Chairman); Councillors R.F. Curtis, Mrs. V.M. Hartrey, N.P. Hodges, R.P. Thomas, R.L. Traherne, C.J. Williams and M.R. Wilson.
Representatives from Town and Community Councils: Councillors S.C. Egan (Barry Town Council), J. Harries (Cowbridge with Llanblethian), M. Cuddy (Penarth Town Council), A. Robertson (Dinas Powys Community Council), H. Baker (Ewenny Community Council), P. King (Llandough Community Council), M. Hurst (Llandow Community Council), C. Tutton (Pendoylan Community Council), J. Parry (Peterston Super Ely Community Council), A. Barnaby (St. Athan Community Council), G. Rawson (St. Nicholas and Bonvilston Community Council), C. Frost (Wenvoe Community Council) and C. Hawkins (Wick Community Council).
Also present: Councillors L. Burnett and N. Moore.
821 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE -
These were received from Councillors Ms. B. Brooks, Ms. C.L. Curtis, H.J.W. James and Ms. R.F. Probert (Vale of Glamorgan Council) and Mr. M. Garland (Sully and Lavernock Community Council).
822 CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENT -
The Chairman paid tribute to the level of dedication given by the late Councillor Keith Geary as Vice-Chairman of the Community Liaison Committee, a Vale of Glamorgan Councillor and Llantwit Major Town Councillor. All present then subsequently stood in silent tribute.
823 MINUTES -
AGREED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 21st October, 2014 and the extraordinary meeting of 19th November, 2014 be accepted, as a correct record.
824 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -
No declarations were received.
825 POLICE MATTERS -
The Chief Superintendent Joe Ruddy advised that the recording of crime was at a level of integrity and scrutiny and compared with the British Crime Survey the Vale of Glamorgan was a safe place for residents and visitors to work and live. In introducing the Chief Inspector for the Vale of Glamorgan, he took the opportunity to welcome Mark Hobrough to his team advising that the Inspector would be attending future meetings of the Committee, to provide an overview of crime statistics throughout the Vale of Glamorgan.
Inspector Hobrough commenced his presentation by advising that since the last meeting police presence had been arranged on the night of Halloween, Bonfire Night and the busy evenings of the night time economy over Christmas. More staff had been deployed and he could report that in general not as many crimes as expected had taken place. Both the Halloween and Bonfire Night events had passed successfully and the crime figures for the previous quarter had been particularly good for the Vale of Glamorgan. In the last month there had also been less crime than anticipated.
With regard to detection rates the target for the force had been 31% (total crime) with 30.5% having been completed. In referring to the statistics he stated that there had been 625 reported violence with injury crimes in the 12 month period, 32% of burglaries requested to be detected the current target being 23.9% and a burglary team and a particular prolific burglar had all been remanded in custody.
In referring to vehicle theft he stated that bicycle theft had increased and an operation ('trap bikes’) had been planned with a high media emphasis being placed upon it. With regard to recent successes there had been a number of drug warrants issued and referred in particular to the seizure of 397 Cannabis plants with all perpetrators having been remanded in custody plus a haul of £250,000 worth of cocaine had been detected on a beach at Aberthaw. Cropped Cannabis with a street value of over £100,000 had also been seized.
There were a number of proactive operations taking place in Penarth and Barry to tackle shoplifting with Members being informed that for Penarth nearly all the perpetrators had come from Cardiff. He referred to a new initiative of a multi-agency clean up in the Community First areas and to Operation Raven which would be taking place over the forthcoming months in respect of the night time economy. This would include significant policing for the Six Nations rugby games as a result of the potential for alcohol related crimes. Over the Christmas period a drug testing operation had taken place at licensed premises in the Vale and was to be undertaken again throughout the Six Nation events. With regard to other incidents there had also been recent damage to the Barry Beach Huts, a shed burglar in the area had been arrested and a robbery at Weycock Cross garage had resulted in an arrest. In referring to applications to the force, the Inspector informed the Committee that over 2,000 applications had been received for the position of Special Constable with 18 appointments being made including three for the Barry area. In referring to other future events he stated that arrangements were also in place for forthcoming events such as Mastonbury, Cadstock and the Cowbridge Food Fayre.
Following the Inspectors update, Councillor R.F. Curtis referred to the decision of the Council’s Cabinet on 26th January, 2015 to ban sky lanterns on Council owned land and urged the police to assist the Council in this regard. The Inspector agreed to raise the issue with the Community Safety Partnership who had now relocated to Barry Police Station.
Following the presentation it was subsequently,
RECOMMENDED - T H A T the Chief Superintendent and the Chief Inspector be thanked for their attendance and for the information presented.
826 CHALLENGES AND CHOICES -
Ms. M. Battle, Chair of the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board commenced by providing the Committee with an overview of the service advising that the Health Board was one of the largest NHS organisations in the UK and provided health care services for 472,400 people living in Cardiff and the Vale whether living at home, in community facilities and/or hospital. It promoted health and wellbeing and provided specialist care to people in South Wales, Wales and the wider UK.
In referring, further to general facts about the Cardiff and Vale Health Board, Ms. Battle advised that the population for the Board was the fastest growing in Wales, with the largest increases in birth rate but the funding allocation was the lowest in Wales. This was as a result of an historical division of funds. Ms. Battle stated that in the previous year an audit had been undertaken which had confirmed that 60% of the Heath’s medical equipment was past its sell by date, a number of aspects required repair which resulted in a total bill being estimated at £1.1 billion. The Health Board also picked up complex services from other UHBs e.g. urology and cancer and the recent demand for out of hours services outstripped capacity. The financial challenges for the future were reported it being noted that the savings made by the UHB over the last three years were £117 million, equivalent to 14% of the budget. For 2014/15 £35 million or 4.3%, 2013/14 £46 million 5.6% and 2012/13 £36 million 4.4%. For 2015/16 the Health Board needed to make approximately £40 million savings equating to 5%. At a Board Meeting that afternoon Members had confirmed that this was an unbeatable challenge.
The graphs within the presentation slides made reference to the number of cancelled admissions due to the unavailability of ward or critical care beds, A&E performance and cancer performance. As a result a winter plan had been devised between the Health Board, Local Authority and the Third Sector. Over the weekend, a recent incident had allowed that a number of patients were unable to receive their appointments and to this end, all services had been requested to put in place a contingency plan which resulted in the majority of people being contacted with the apology for not being able to receive their appointments. The Health Board had also been working to decrease the number of people waiting less than 12 hours on hospital trolleys. For cancer patients the Health Board was also performing consistently well although it was noted that it had a significant amount of serious case cancer patients.
In referring to mortality rates, the Health Board compared favourably with the rest of Wales. Reference was made to Board Member inspections of hospital wards which were also undertaken by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman, the aim being to assess the environment and to discuss with front line staff and patients their concerns. This had been undertaken immediately following the Andrews Report where spot checks had taken place. Ms. Battle was pleased to report that there was no evidence of poor systemic care although improvements were required in medical dispensing.
In referring to recent successes she advised of a new procedure in dental prosthesis via 3D technology which was revolutionary and would assist the service immensely. Consideration was also being given as to whether any income could be generated from the invention in the future. Evidence from patients was also received by the Board from mental health patients via case studies on a regular basis. Cardiff Royal Infirmary had also undergone refurbishment and the Children’s Hospital in Wales was holding open days on 10th, 11th and 13th February with an invitation extended to all l Members to attend on one of the days. Ms. Battle referred to the hospital as a state of the art centre that had been designed by families, carers and staff and had been 10 years in the making. Significant donations had also been received to date from various organisations and the public. The Health Board had also invested in a Urology robot, (the first of its kind in Wales) two surgeons had received the required training with the intention to expand to the head and neck division, the cancer wing and to some children’s wings.
Another success included the Board gaining an award, fourth in the world in relation to feeding people receiving Intensive Care. Excellent relationships existed between the Third Sector and the two local authorities in its area and although some savings had been made, further work was required to transform the way it delivered services. Some joint appointments had also been made in various service areas and within community resource teams.
Following the presentation a question and answer session took place:
What is the hospital planning to do about the 192,000 appointments that had not been kept?
A piece of work was currently ongoing to assess whether all appointments continued to be required and where necessary some patients could be removed from the waiting lists. Discussions had been held at various youth councils and with old age pensioner groups where responses had been received that the UHB should consider charging people who did not turn up for their appointments.
Could it be possible to have an A&E facility at Llandough and Barry in view of the number of people that appear to be waiting to be seen?
In referring to the use of A+E Ms Battle advised that the perceived log jam actually related to the availability of beds. It was difficult on occasions to admit patients directly from A&E if no beds were available. There were currently 100 people medically fit for discharge but unable to be discharged to the appropriate facilities.
Consideration needs to be given to the use of energy in the building and to changing all light bulbs to LED lights?
Ms. Battle advised that she was aware that some changes had already been made but agreed to look into the matter further.
Are you confident the UHB can handle issues in relation to Ebola?
Suspected cases had occurred at the UHB which had been successfully dealt with.
The Health Board should consider undertaking more positive PR in relation to the care it provides.
It was difficult to sell good news stories. Ms. Battle, however, referred to an A&E recording session that was taking place at the hospital the next day that she was hoping would be positive for the Vale and Cardiff Health Board and urged Members of the Committee to watch the programme.
More work should be done to highlight the issue of obesity. We have tackled well the issue of smoking but people should be regularly reminded of the impact on the service of obesity.
Ms. Battle acknowledged the UHB needed to be more proactive. However, it did not have the resources on its own to address the issue. It was for all services to take part in promoting healthy options.
Care and Repair facility - Any prospects of more flexibility with regard to funding?
Ms. Battle agreed to look into the issue of funding as the Health Board inspected the work of Care and Repair.
Do you think it is time for health board to release its responsibility for Adult Health Care?
Only if its assists the person. The service needs to be integrated in order to ensure best possible care for the patient.
Do you think the Government should reconsider free prescriptions for all?
Further discussions may need to take place after the May elections having listened to the public on this subject.
Has your UHB received any extra pressure in relation to immigration and translation services?
Ms. Battle advised that no issues had been brought to her attention but she could confirm a considerable number of asylum seekers were dealt with at the hospital without further funding to assist.
In relation to the potential reorganisation of local government, can you update us on the position of the Health Authority?
Cardiff and the Vale had received no indication that the current arrangements would change.
Following the question and answer session the Committee
RECOMMENDED - T H A T the Chairman of the UHB be thanked for her informative presentation and that further updated reports be presented to the Committee as and when necessary.
827 RESHAPING SERVICES - A NEW CHANGE PROGRAMME FOR THE COUNCIL (REF) -
Cabinet had on 26th January, 2015 received the report which provided an update on the development of the Council’s Reshaping Services Programme and which sought approval to undertake detailed service reviews of the services identified for tranches 1 and 2 of the Programme. The report had been referred to the Community Liaison Committee for consideration and as part of the continuing consultation process with regard to the Reshaping Services Agenda. The Programme was the Council’s proactive response to Central Government’s austerity drive that had created a period of unprecedented financial pressure in the public sector.
Cabinet had approved the Reshaping Services Strategy on 3rd November, 2014 which provided the framework for the Council to work within for the next three to five years. The Change Programme itself would include undertaking ongoing reviews of Council services via a 'Challenge Process’ and be supported by organisational development and consultation/communication activities.
Stage One of the Challenge Process would be overseen by the Challenge Group which comprises the Leader, Deputy Leader and Portfolio holder of the service area, and supported by the Managing Director, Head of Finance, Head of Human Resources, Head of Performance and Development, the relevant Service Director and Executive Director of the Vale Council for Voluntary Services. The Challenge Process contained three stages
· Service Area Baseline Assessments completed for all service areas
· Challenge group sessions
· Scrutiny and engagement on identified opportunities
· Initial proposals to Cabinet and Scrutiny Committees
· In-depth assessment of opportunities in tranches of projects
· Approval and scrutiny of business cases
· Implementation, monitoring and review.
The Challenge Group would review all Council services and identify proposals for those services which had progressed to Stage Two of the process. Cabinet approval would subsequently be sought for both the development of the detailed business cases at Stage Two and for the projects which were proposed to move to Stage Three.
In line with the Council’s Project Management methodology, Project Management arrangements had been put in place for each individual group identified under the Reshaping Services Programme. As such a Project Team would be established for each project. During the course of the programme update reports would also be made to various stakeholders including the Local Service Board, the Community Liaison Committee and Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee. With specific reference to Town and Community Councils, the Head of Performance and Development advised that the challenge sessions in addition to consultation undertaken with Town and Community Councils and the Voluntary Sector identified that there was potential for the Vale of Glamorgan Council to work more closely with Town and Community Councils. The Council recognised that Town and Community Councils had an important role in representing highly local communities and could play an important role in informing the development of the Reshaping Services Agenda with regard to concepts such as demand management. In addition, the initial work that had been undertaken had indicated that potential existed for Town and Community Councils to provide some services directly. For example, specific service opportunities had been identified within Transportation (School Crossing Patrols), Leisure and Tourism (Play) and for Libraries, Public Conveniences and Allotments.
The Council recognised that there was much preparatory work required to investigate the possibilities contained within the report and to develop the already positive relationships further with the Town and Community Councils. The process of strengthening relationships would also benefit from the inclusion of the Third Sector who had an important role to play in supporting the work. It was therefore being proposed that a corporate project would focus on developing the opportunities that existed in working more closely with Town and Community Councils and the Head of Performance and Development would be the Project Sponsor. The Project would involve working closely with the Town and Community Councils themselves and the Voluntary Sector to progress opportunities as well as to build capacity and capability within all organisations to support new ways of working. The Corporate Project would then work to develop specific proposals for which savings targets would be established. It was also envisaged that the work undertaken would inform the proposals for current and future service reviews.
In considering the report a number of small Community Councils advised that it would be difficult to take on more services as they were small Community Councils. Clustering was considered to be an option but further work would need to be undertaken. Other Members of the Committee also expressed the same view and were concerned that they may be forced to take on services that they were unable to sustain. The Head of Performance and Development advised that no Community Council would be forced to take on any services.
The Town and Community Council representative for Penarth took the opportunity to congratulate the Vale Council on the ongoing consultation in relation to the Reshaping Services Agenda and advised that Penarth were taking a positive view and as in fact proposing to increase its budget to assist the process. A number of Community Councils recognised the advantages that clustering opportunities could provide but also raised concerns in relation to the suggestions of increasing precepts at this stage. All recognised the need for a partnership approach between the Vale and Town and Community Councils and considered that the current round of consultation was a step in the right direction.
The general view of the Committee was that working together could be more cost effective and improve best value for local residents. The Head of Performance and Development advised that once a team for the projects had been agreed structured engagement would ensue. The same report was also to be considered by the Local Service Board and the Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee as part of the consultation process.
In response to the concerns of the smaller Community Councils the Chairman stated that in his opinion a wider debate regarding the sustainability and the work of Town and Community Councils should be considered by Welsh Government. However, in the meantime the Vale Council needed to move forward with regard to its savings targets and that the Reshaping Services Programme was part of that process.
Having fully considered the report it was subsequently
RECOMMENDED - T H A T the report be noted and that further update reports be presented to the Community Liaison Committee as and when appropriate.
Reason for recommendation
In light of the information contained within the report and in noting that further updates to be presented to the Committee when available.
828 PLAY - INITIATIVES AND UPDATE (REF) -
The Operational Manager for Leisure and Tourism in presenting the report informed the Committee that the update report related to various play initiatives and the Play Sufficiency Audit undertaken as well as to provide details of the new statutory guidance issued to local authorities on play opportunities. In addition, he advised that Cabinet approval had been sought to invite Town and Community Councils to provide financial support for school holiday play schemes should they wish to support them in their communities. Cabinet had agreed to this approach at its meeting on 1st December, 2014 and subsequently all Town and Community Councils had been written to in this regard.
Play schemes and other play provision had operated during all school holidays in the Vale (with the exception of Christmas) and sporadically at other times in the past year. These had been funded in a variety of ways, including grants from the Disability Strand of the Families First Funding, from the Out of School Care Grant, from Departmental budgets and with financial assistance from two Town and Community Councils.
The Operational Manager further stated that funding for play services had been particularly difficult to identify given the changes in funding formula over the past few years and the demand on the Council’s own budgets. Given, the uncertainty regarding future budgets Cabinet had agreed to ask Town and Community Councils to fund play provision within their specific areas for 2015/16 and beyond. A precedent for this had already been partly established in the past year with both Barry Town Council and Dinas Powys Community Council part funding play activities in their respective areas. The cost of staging play schemes and/or Play Ranger sessions in school holidays were detailed at Appendix C to the report. It was also recognised that other service areas and initiatives receive grant funding to develop community based play services and that where opportunities exist for working with such providers and initiatives to help secure a sustainable future for the Council’s play provision the Council’s dedicated Play Team would actively seek to work in partnership with them. An offer had also been made to all Town and Community Councils if required, for the Operational Manager and Play Officer to visit Town and Community Councils to discuss any suggestions and proposals for which some dates had already been diarised. The representative from Wick Community Council advised that his Community Council had welcomed the initiative and was one of the Councils who had asked to meet with officers.
The Operational Manager also stated that Town and Community Councils could also choose for play provision to be provided in the medium of Welsh.
In response to a query regarding CRB checks the Committee was informed that the process in relation to CRB checks had recently changed and officers could assist with advice in this regard.
It was subsequently
RECOMMENDED - T H A T the report and the initiatives contained therein be noted.
Reason for recommendation
In noting the proposals in relation to future play scheme provision.
829 VALE OF GLAMORGAN AGRICULTURAL SHOW - BUSINESS BREAKFAST - FEEDBACK REPORT AND DESTINATION MANAGEMENT PLANNING (REF) -
The report had been forwarded to the Committee for information with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation advising that it had been a very productive event and was part of a wider engagement process. A number of suggestions had also been made during the Business Breakfast held on 13th August, 2014 during the Vale of Glamorgan Agricultural Show on how the Council could continue to make progress in securing the Vale’s position as a popular tourist visitor destination. The feedback from the event was in the process of being presented into a delegate feedback report which would be circulated to all delegates and used to inform the finalisation of the Destination Management Plan.
In terms of the priorities in the Destination Management Plan a summary of the comments received on the day were outlined as followed:
· The product needed developing in advance of promotion.
· Resourcing the priorities was fundamental if the Vale of Glamorgan was to progress.
· Raising the profile of the Vale of Glamorgan was essential and enhancing the sense of place (Place promotion) was also vital.
· There was a need for development of the product to give people a reason to visit the area.
· Brand identity was vital - the brand "Coast, Countryside, Culture" was ideal.
With reference to the actions to deliver the five priorities contained within the Plan the following was a summary of the relevant issues that were and discussed at the time:
· "Signage - strategic and local was seen as essential.
· The need to promote the Vale of Glamorgan beyond the Vale.
· Accessibility and proximity to Cardiff was a strong selling point.
· Gateways needed enhancing.
· Use of key messages when branding, such as the Heritage Cost, activities, food and drink.
· Use proximity to the Capital City as a positive message.
· Provide more overnight accommodation to retain visitors within the area and reduce reliance on day visitors.
· Barry Island is a strong brand.
· Need to develop all weather attractions.
· Need to focus on tourism throughout the year, not just summer.
· Activity tourism and leisure to be promoted and seek to work with parties to avoid negative perceptions."
It was reiterated, that in terms of taking the work and feedback forward, as stated above, the views of the delegates would inform the finalisation of the Destination Management Plan.
It was subsequently
RECOMMENDED - T H A T the report be noted.
Reason for recommendation
In view of the information contained therein.
830 'WHAT IS COMMUNITY RESILIENCE’ - REQUEST FOR CONSIDERATION OF MATTER - PENARTH TOWN COUNCIL -
Penarth Town Council had requested that the presentation be made to the Community Liaison Committee as they had considered it would be of benefit and interest to all Town and Community Councils in the Vale of Glamorgan.
Mr. Dafydd Thomas, Emergency Planning Officer, commenced the presentation by advising that Community Resilience was a term that was increasingly being used but that there was a lack of understanding about what it really meant in practice.
In referring to the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 he advised of the main areas contained within the Act as below:
· Assessing the risk of emergency
· Planning for emergencies
· Planning for business continuity
· Training and exercising with other partners
· Responding to emergencies.
Community Resilience could be defined as communities and individuals harnessing local resources and expertise to help themselves in an emergency, in a way that complimented the responses of the emergency services. Or, he advised, a simpler definition would be that Community Resilience was the ability to keep functioning during an emergency, being collectively prepared to respond and recover and being able to provide assistance to vulnerable residents.
The features of a Resilient Community would include people understanding the risks they faced with individuals taking steps to make their homes, families and communities more resilient, individuals adapting their everyday skills and using them in extraordinary circumstances. It was suggested that a community champion who communicated the benefits of Community Resilience to others to motivate and evolve be established and that working in partnership be undertaken with relevant organisations.
In planning for an emergency Mr. Thomas suggested that Town and Community Councils define their communities, identify existing local relationships, identify emergency groups and co-ordinators, collect information, identify risks, assess community skills and resources, consider insurance and health and safety issues, identify key locations and develop an emergency contact list. Plans should also be practised and reviewed and he referred to guidance and information contained on the internet at the following website locations:
· Community Resilience Resources and Tools
· Natural Resources Wales
Mr. Thomas advised that a local community would â€˜know best’ and that it was essential that this was harnessed and brought together in a plan. The Cabinet Member for Environment and Visible Services stated that he fully supported the Community Resilience process and harnessing communities to work together in emergency situations. Local knowledge was key to a successful operation and he urged Town and Community Councils to establish such plans in their areas.
In response to a query regarding Hinckley Point and the possibility of a major incident as a result, the Emergency Planning Officer advised that arrangements did exist for warning and informing local residents. However, this would not be instigated outside a radius of 10 kilometres as per advice from nuclear inspectors. Members, although shocked that no plan existed outside those distances, referred to potential incidents that could occur locally and enquired as to plans were currently in place. The Emergency Planning Officer advised that within the South Wales Fire Service plans already existed for off-site emergencies e.g. Dow Corning, and that these would be replicated for any other incidents that occurred in the area.
All Members concurred that one of the essential aspects in relation to an emergency was good communication with reference being made to an example of an incident at Rhoose where an emergency service had not adhered to the agreed protocol. As a result of that incident information that had been disseminated had not been consistent, with differing accounts of the incident being reported. In recognising that communication was essential, it was agreed that all local Members should be part of the process and updated on the situation on a regular basis.
The Emergency Planning Officer advised that he would refer all comments made at the meeting to his Manager for further discussion and consideration.
Having received the presentation it was subsequently
RECOMMENDED - T H A T the Emergency Planning Officer be thanked for his informative presentation and that all Town and Community Councils be urged to consider the development of Community Resilience Plans in their localities.
Reason for recommendation
Having regard to potential risks.
831 CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS -
(1) The Committee was informed that all Town and Community Councils had recently been advised that public speaking at the Vale’s Planning Committee meetings was to commence on 12th February, 2015, with guidance relating to the process having been forwarded that day to all Town and Community Council Clerks. Councillors were therefore urged to contact their Clerk for the information or view the Vale of Glamorgan Council website should they wish to register to speak on applications.
(2) The date of the next meeting of the Community Liaison Committee was confirmed as 18th March, 2015 at 6.00 p.m.