COMMUNITY LIAISON COMMITTEE
Minutes of a meeting held on 2nd June, 2015.
Present: Councillor C.P.J. Elmore (Chairman); Councillor G. John (Vice-Chairman); Councillors Ms. B.E. Brooks, Mrs. C.L. Curtis, R.F. Curtis, Mrs. V.M. Hartrey, N.P. Hodges, H.J.W. James, Ms. R.F. Probert, R.P. Thomas, R.L. Traherne and M.R. Wilson.
Representatives from Town and Community Councils: Councillors S.C. Egan (Barry Town Council), M.D. Marsh (Llantwit Major Town Council), N. Cuddy (Penarth Town Council), A. Robertson (Dinas Powys Community Council), ), H. Baker (Ewenny Community Council), Mrs. P. Carreyett (Llandough Community Council), P. King (Llandough Community Council), J. Teague (Llanfair Community Council), P. Wilson (Llangan Community Council), G. Smith (Llanmaes Community Council), C. Tutton (Pendoylan Community Council); Mrs. J. Parry (Peterson-Super-Ely Community Council); Ms. G. Rawson (St. Nicholas and Bonvilston Community Council), M. Garland (Sully and Lavernock Community Council), N. Harmer (Wenvoe Community Council) and C. Hawkins (Wick Community Council).
Also present: Councillor L. Burnett.
61 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –
These were received from Councillor R.J. Bertin (Vale of Glamorgan Council); Councillors M. Hurst (Llandow Community Council), D. Pugh (Penllyn Community Council), Ms. A. Barnaby (St. Athan Community Council) and Ms. S. Lewis (St. Brides Major Community Council),
62 MINUTES –
AGREED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 18th March, 2015 be accepted as a correct record.
63 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –
The following declarations of interest were received:
Councillor S.C. Egan
Agenda Item No. 5: Appointments to the Local Service Board and the Council’s Reshaping Services Programme Board and Project Team – Prejudicial interest Mr. P. Egan was a family member.
Agenda Item No. 6: Reshaping Services Programme Expressions of Interests - Dispensation received from Standards Committee to speak and vote.
Agenda Item No. 8: Vale of Glamorgan Council Local Development Plan: Report of Consultation and Submission for Independent Examination – As a Cabinet Member of the Vale of Glamorgan and a Barry Town Council Member had been party to the agreement in relation to the draft LDP.
Councillor Egan withdrew from the room during consideration of Agenda Item Nos. 5 and 8.
Councillor G. John
Agenda Item No. 6: Reshaping Services Programme Expressions of Interests – Dispensation from the Standards Committee to speak and vote on the Reshaping Services Programme.
Councillor R.L. Traherne
Agenda Item No. 8: Vale of Glamorgan Council Local Development Plan: Report of Consultation and Submission for Independent Examination – prejudicial interest and withdrew from the room.
Councillor M.R. Wilson
Agenda Item No. 6: Reshaping Services Programme Expressions of Interest – Dispensation from Standards Committee to speak and vote.
64 POLICE MATTERS –
Chief Inspector Mark Hobrough advised that by comparison to April and May 2014, April and May 2015 had seen a 9.7% reduction in overall crime in the Vale of Glamorgan. Although there had been no change to the number of recorded violent crimes figures in the same time period (exactly 154 in both years) this could be seen as a success as crimes were now recorded at source in the Police Service Centre with the first call handler in order to increase transparency. This also reassured that local officers were ethically recording crimes prior to this change in procedure.
The figures for burglaries had decreased by 37% from 29 in 2014 to 18 in the current year. This had been achieved by local police working in partnership with the Integrated Offender Management initiative. Auto crime in this period had reduced from 40 in the previous year to 24 in the current year though police initiatives were prepared in readiness for the summer where spikes of vehicle crime were often seen at local â€˜beauty spots’. Central Division Police led the South Wales Police in relation to reducing Antisocial Behaviour levels in the last year and this was due to the Police working clearly with partner agencies under the Community Safety Partnership which, now based in Barry Police Station, was being developed even further for effectiveness. An example of this was in Central Park and rear lanes off Holton Road, which was a sector hotspot where a graffiti art project had been developed to encourage the local community to get involved and take pride in their area.
No concerns had been seen whilst policing the recent Cowbridge Food Festival and policing plans were in place for the Barry at War weekend which was anticipated to be well attended with up to 50,000 people expected to attend Barry Island over the two days. Chief Inspector Hobrough informed all attendees that local police were also preparing for other events i.e. Cadstock and Glastonbarry and further advised that Chief Superintendent Joe Ruddy had recently moved on and had been replaced by Chief Superintendent Stuart Parfitt who was a local senior officer who he had personally worked very closely with in the past and who he knew would have a great interest and passion for policing the area and ensuring that communities received the very best police service they could hope for.
Following the Police report and there being no significant issues the Committee
RECOMMENDED – T H A T the Chief Inspector be thanked for his attendance and report.
Reason for recommendation
To apprise Members.
65 APPOINTMENTS TO THE LOCAL SERVICE BOARD, THE COUNCIL’S RESHAPING SERVICES CHALLENGE GROUP, PROGRAMME BOARD AND PROJECT TEAM (MD) –
The report sought appointments from the representatives of the Town and Community Councils of the Community Liaison Committee to sit on the Local Service Board for the Vale of Glamorgan, the Reshaping Services Challenge Group and Programme Board and to note that an invitation had been extended to Mr. P. Egan of One Voice Wales to sit on the Reshaping Services Project Team.
The Head of Performance and Improvement, in presenting the report, advised that the Reshaping Services Strategy, which had been approved by Cabinet on 3rd November, provided a framework for the Council to work with over the next three to five years. An update on the development of the Reshaping Services Programme had also been considered by Cabinet on 26th January 2015 and had been referred to the Community Liaison Committee for consideration at its meeting on 27th January 2015.
A Cabinet Working Group ( the Challenge Group ) had been established to oversee the Programme and would be responsible for the ongoing review of all service areas during the Programme. The Challenge Group comprised the Leader, Deputy Leader and relevant portfolio holder and was supported by the Managing Director, Head of Performance and Development, Head of Finance, Head of Human Resources, relevant service directors and Executive Director of the Vale Council for Voluntary Services. At officer level, a Programme Board was responsible for managing the overall Programme in all its aspects. The Programme Board comprised the Managing Director (in the Chair), the Leader, Corporate Management Team, the Head of Human Resources and Executive Director for the Vale Council for Voluntary Services. The Sponsor for the Programme was the Managing Director and individual Directors were undertaking the role of Project Sponsor for individual service reviews / project teams.
The Council recognised that Town and Community Councils had an important role in representing local communities and could play an important part in informing the development of the Reshaping Services Agenda with regard to concepts such as demand management. Town and Community Councils could also assist with communication and engagement activities, for example raising awareness of changes being made to public services.
In light of the Reshaping Services Programme invitations were therefore being extended to the Community Liaison Committee for a representative of the 26 town and Community Councils to be appointed for a one year term of office to sit on the Council’s Challenge Group/ Programme Board.
An invitation was also extended to the Committee to appoint a representative to sit on the Local Service Board for a term of one year.
Although it was suggested that the representative could be the same individual; following a full discussion by the Committee, it was agreed that there should be separate appointments.
Appendix A attached to the report provided the criteria that had been identified for the nomination of a Town and Community Council representative to sit on the Programme Board / Challenge Group with Appendix B providing the criteria for the nomination of a Town and Community Council representative to sit on the Local Service Board. Appendix A also noted that the Challenge Group met on a cyclical basis to review service areas and the Programme Board on a monthly basis. Although Appendix B referred to the Local Service Board meeting taking place on a monthly basis, the Head of Service advised that this actually took place on a bi-monthly basis. With regard to the Project Team, the Committee was advised that an invitation had been extended to Mr. P. Egan of One Voice Wales to sit as a member of the Project Team, which he had accepted. This team had scheduled meetings to take place on a three weekly cycle.
Following further consideration, a number of Members suggested that in the future as the nominations were being requested for a year, when the appointments came up for re-election, the representatives should be requested to complete an Expression of Interest for the position detailing their experience in Local Government etc. and suitability for the position. Members considered that this approach would give all Members of the Committee the opportunity to consider in more detail, the individuals attributes and qualities for the positions.
Following a vote, it was subsequently
(1) T H A T Councillor M. Cuddy (Penarth Town Council) be appointed to the Reshaping Services Challenge Group / Programme Board for a term of one year.
(2) T H A T Councillor G. Smith (Llanmaes Community Council) be appointed to the Local Service Board for a term of one year.
(3) T H A T the appointment by the Programme Board for Mr. P. Egan of One Voice Wales to sit on the Project Team be noted.
(4) T H A T Cabinet be advised of the recommendations of the Committee and that when the positions are to be reappointed that a suitable assessment process be put in place in order for the Community Liaison Committee to be able to make informed decisions.
Reason for recommendations
(1-4) To appoint representatives from the Community Liaison Committee in order to ensure effective engagement.
66 RESHAPING SERVICES PROGRAMME – EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST (MD AND PSRSTCCP) –
The Head of Performance and Development stated that an Expression of Interest Questionnaire had been forwarded to the Chairmen and Clerks of all Town and Community Councils for consideration and completion. The form and accompanying letter were attached at Appendix A to the report for the Committee’s information. The Chairmen and Clerks of all Town and Community Councils had been asked to complete and return the forms by 3rd July 2015.
The letter and Expression of Interest form had been prepared by the Project Team as part of the Reshaping Services Agenda and had been approved by the Reshaping Services Programme Board. The letter and form had been developed in order to progress further discussions with Town and Community Councils and to seek further information to help inform the project. The letter had been sent via e-mail on 28th May 2015 with the request that the forms be returned by 3rd July when, following discussions and analysis, further discussions would then be able to be arranged with the respective Councils in order to identify the next steps.
The Community Liaison Committee was being asked to note this part of the process which would provide information to the Council in respect of services that Town and Community Councils themselves were currently responsible for. The process also provided the opportunity for Town and Community Councils to express an interest in particular services which they may be interested in taking on. The Vale Council aware that there would no doubt be a number of questions / issues to be raised / addressed throughout the process; was keen to engage with Town and Community Councils as part of its Reshaping Services Agenda.
Following a query as to whether the letter should have included a list of the services that the Vale Council were proposing might be transferred, the Head of Performance and Development advised that the Programme Board had considered the situation and had concluded that potentially all services were open for discussion. For that reason the question of what services were covered remained open ended.
The representative from Dinas Powys advised that his Council was keen to work with the Vale of Glamorgan and he was aware that Penarth and Barry Town Councils appeared to be keen to. However, a number of the smaller Councils stated that they may not have the budget or capacity to undertake extra duties.
The representative from Barry Town Council referred to the Good Councillor Guide which he requested be made available to all Members of the Community Liaison Committee. The Democratic and Scrutiny Services officer advised that the link to the Guide which was available on the Welsh Government’s website had been sent to all Clerks and their Chairman for their information at the same time the Expression of Interest form and letter had been forwarded.
In referring to the topic of Community Asset Transfers, which the Head of Performance and Development advised was being urged by Welsh Government for consideration, he said this was a complex issue which would need careful consideration. Members were also aware that some of the issues would need to be raised with their local constituents prior to agreeing any arrangements. The suggestion that smaller Councils could cluster together to provide services was discussed, with Community Councils being requested to canvass such initiatives with their neighbouring Community Council.
Following a query about the next steps of the process, the Head of Performance and Development stressed that the responses to the forms did not constitute a binding commitment for Town and Community Councils; they were purely expressions of interest which would hopefully facilitate further discussions with individual Town and Community Councils.
Although accepting the reasons for why the Vale did not provide â€œa shopping list of servicesâ€, some Members considered that it was essential that the Vale highlighted the services that it would not consider transferring to Town and Community Councils as a starting point. The Head of Performance and Improvement agreed to refer the request to the Programme Board for its consideration.
Some Members felt that the Reshaping Services Programme for Town and Community Councils would, in their view, not realise substantial savings, but nevertheless accepted that it was an avenue that had to be pursued, and some Town and Community Councils were keen to engage in the process.
A Member raised concerns over the amount of savings that the Vale was expecting to realise from the project. The Head of Service advised that no savings target had been attached to the Town and Community Councils strand of the programmes due to its nature. The Chairman referred to the fact that over £25m savings had to be made by the Vale Council and the Reshaping Services Programme was targeted to achieve £16m of those savings. The programme covered a number of projects of which the Town and Community Council Project was one.
Following considerable discussion of the report, it was subsequently
(1) T H A T the Expression of Interest form and accompanying letter that had been forwarded to the Chairmen and Clerks of all Town and Community Councils be noted.
(2) T H A T the Programme Board consider drawing up a list of services that the Council would not consider transferring to Town and Community Councils for their information.
Reasons for recommendations
(1) To inform Committee.
(2) In order that Town and Community Councils throughout the Vale can be aware of the services that the Council would not intend or be able to discharge.
67 UPDATE ON THE ACTION PLAN FOR THE CHARTER BETWEEN THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL AND TOWN AND COMMUNITY COUNCILS (MD) –
For the benefit of new members of the Committee, the Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer advised that a Charter had been developed between Town and Community Councils and the Vale in 2008, and had been accompanied by an Action Plan which had subsequently been revised in 2014 and agreed by the Community Liaison Committee and the Vale Council’s Cabinet.
In preparing the Charter and the action plan a working group had been established which had consisted of representatives of the Vale and Town and Community Councils. Following submission of the action plan the Community Liaison Committee had recommended that progress on the Plan be presented to the Committee on an annual basis.
To date the report outlined that 24 Town and Community Councils throughout the Vale had adopted the Charter, which, although not legally binding, was a written partnership agreement between the parties. All Clerks and Town and Community Councils had been forwarded a copy of the Action Plan in order to complete the progress column and ten responses had been received prior to the meeting.
The Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer confirmed that progress had been made on a number of the actions and that further updates would be presented in due course as part of the Committee’s continuing monitoring role. The report also made reference to actions that related to information and communication and the statutory guidance that had been provided by Welsh Government to Town and Community Councils in fulfilling their duties. This document was also available on the Welsh Government’s website via the link http://gov.wales/?skip=1&lang=eng.
Having considered the report it was subsequently
(1) T H A T the progress made with the Action Plan be noted.
(2) T H A T the Action Plan be referred to Cabinet for information.
(3) T H A T further update reports on the progress of the Action Plan be presented to the Community Liaison Committee on an annual basis.
Reasons for recommendations
(1) To ensure that the Committee is made aware of the progress made with the Action Plan and to work towards implementation of the principles agreed in the Charter.
(2) To that Cabinet is aware of the progress made with the Action Plan.
(3) To ensure that progress is made in achieving the agreed actions within the Charter Action Plan and that the Committee is apprised accordingly.
68 VALE OF GLAMORGAN LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN: REPORT OF CONSULTATION AND SUBMISSION FOR INDEPENDENT EXAMINATION (REF) –
The report had been placed on the agenda in view of the fact that the Council’s Cabinet would be considering the report at its meeting on 1st June 2015. The Committee was advised by the Democratic and Scrutiny Services officer that the resolutions of Cabinet, although not yet available in written format, had been as contained within the report before the Committee.
To accompany the report, the Operational Manager – Planning and Transportation Policy provided Members with an overview presentation of the key aspects. The report had been prepared to provide an overview of the representations made to the Deposit Local Development Plan (DLDP) and the Alternative Sites consultations as well as providing an outline of the responses and main issues raised, including whether focused changes were considered necessary in order to ensure that the LDP was 'sound'.
Due to the size of the appendices contained within the report, these had been attached as links. A copy of the full document was however available at the meeting for inspection if required by Members of the Committee. A copy of all the appendices was also available within the Civic Offices and the Council’s Dock Office in Barry. The report was also due to be considered by the Planning Committee of the Vale on 4th June, by the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) on 16th June, with comments from all the Committees to be considered by Cabinet on 22nd June and Full Council for final approval on 24th June 2015.
In commencing the presentation, the Operational Manager referred to the LDP process itself and the consultation undertaken to date. The number of representations received was noted as over 3,000 with the main issues being referred to as follows
- Housing provision and sites
- Gypsy and travellers
- Built and natural environment.
Following the Alternative Sites consultation for the 225 sites, this had generated a further 1,715 responses from individual organisations or agencies which raised 3,691 representations in support of the Alternative Sites and 4,286 representations objecting to Alternative Site proposals. 245 representations also provided general comment. In total the number of representations received was 8,222. Copies of the representations could be found in the Alternative Sites Representations Register at Appendix 3.
As a result of the consultation and in considering the need for changes to the DLDP in response to the consultations received and the issues raised, the Council had to give due regard to the relevant Welsh Government and Planning Inspectorate Guidance contained within the Local Development Plan Manual and â€œPreparing the Submission Guidance for Local Planning Authorities July 2014â€ which aimed to assist Local Planning Authorities preparing to submit LDPs for examination.
The Focused Changes document could be found at Appendix 4, however the Operational Manager referred to the major changes as detailed below:
- Housing Requirement Figure:
A number of the representations considered that the Council should take account of the latest Population and Household Projections. As a result of those representations and new evidence, an updated additional Housing Provision Background Paper had been prepared (Appendix 7). That Paper considered the latest 2011 based Welsh Government Population and household projections. The Paper showed that using the 2011 (10 year average migration) projections the Vale of Glamorgan had a dwelling requirement of 7,399 from 2011 to 2026. This figure took into account a period of significant low economic growth in the Vale of Glamorgan and nationally. However, to solely use this figure as a basis for determining future housing growth would have a number of shortcomings, as it could result in the planning for static growth or even decline. It would also result in less affordable housing being delivered in the Vale of Glamorgan.
When considering the Housing Requirement figure for the LDP account also needed to be taken of other factors such as the need for affordable housing and the role of the Vale of Glamorgan in the wider region. Any housing requirement figure must also relate directly to the Council's LDP Strategy and Objectives. For the Vale of Glamorgan of particular importance, as outlined in its Strategy and Objectives, was the need to promote regeneration, encourage job creation thereby reducing unemployment, as well as attempting to reduce out commuting and providing an appropriate supply of affordable housing through the allocation of land, which provides people with the opportunity in meeting their housing needs
- Affordable Housing Policy MG4:
In response to representations on affordable housing, the Council had commissioned a review of its viability evidence base to September 2014, taking account of matters raised by the Home Builders Federation (HBF) and the Welsh Government (WG). The latest viability evidence indicated a marked increase in viability within the Vale of Glamorgan, and recommended that the Council should increase the affordable housing levels set out in Policy MG 4 from 30% to 35% in the Rural South (including Llantwit Major, Rhoose and St. Athan) and in the Rural, East Vale and Penarth from 35% to 40% affordable housing requirement. Affordable housing levels in Barry were recommended to remain at 30%. Additionally, the report also supported amending the affordable housing requirement as a target from the minimum requirement previously sought within the Deposit LDP in line with the representations submitted by the HBF and WG. The Affordable Housing Viability report was attached at Appendix 9 to the report.
- Land West of Swanbridge Road, Sully Policy MG2 (46):
It was proposed to include within the Housing Supply rather than as a reserve site, the housing allocation Land West of Swanbridge Road, Sully to provide certainty regarding the site allocation and to ensure that there was sufficient flexibility within the Plan.
- Land to the North and West of Darren Close, Cowbridge Policy MG2 (20):
The proposal was to amend the site allocation boundary to reflect the latest evidence relating to the positioning of the new access and link road. The proposed number of dwellings remained unchanged.
- Land South of junction 34 M4 Hensol Policy MG9 (2):
It was proposed to amend the site allocation boundary to reflect the latest evidence relating to the positioning of the new access and link road. The proposed number of dwellings would remain unchanged.
As a result of new information published in the Regional Technical Statement on Aggregates, an updated Minerals Planning Background Paper had been prepared (Appendix 10). This Paper had recalculated the minerals landbank (supply) and now included limestone reserves used for non-aggregate products such as steel and cement products. A minerals reserve verification exercise had also been undertaken.
- Minor Changes:
With regard to potential minor changes which did not impact upon the soundness of the Plan or scope or policies, guidance stated that any minor editing changes including drafting and typographical amendments should be set out in a separate Minor Changes Schedule and submitted along with the DLDP. However, as the number of Focused Changes and Minor changes was small, the Council had combined them in one changes document for ease of reference. It should be noted that the Minor Changes would not form part of the Focused Changes consultation and these have been clearly indicated within the Schedule of Focused Changes document.
The Council was also required to provide a list of the main documentation for Welsh Government and the Planning Inspectorate for Independent Examination which was detailed in Appendix 5. This represented a range of material and evidence that was necessary to meet the relevant LDP tests of soundness and further supported and clarified the policies in the Plan.
The Committee was further advised that upon submission of the DLDP and all relevant documentation to the Planning Inspectorate, an Independent Inspector would be appointed on behalf of Welsh Government to examine the Plan. This was likely to commence in Autumn 2015 and after considering all the evidence, the Inspector would prepare and issue a binding report on the DLDP that would set out amendments which the Council would have to make to the Plan prior to its formal adoption.
In accordance with Welsh Government guidance and in order to enable the efficient and timely running of the examination, measures should also be put in place to permit effective dialogue between the Independent Inspector and Council representatives. It was therefore proposed that delegated powers be vested with the Managing Director and the Operational Manager, Planning and Transportation Policy in consultation with the Cabinet Manager for Regeneration in order that they could negotiate issues, agree amendments and respond to requests for further information as required by the Inspector during the examination process.
The Cabinet Member for Regeneration, with the permission of the Committee, advised that the current administration of the Council had had concerns with the previous Draft LDP in relation to its sustainability and had therefore set about including consideration of infrastructure such as education and community facilities and highways and also enhancing the consultation and engagement process. The Cabinet Member also took the opportunity to thank the Operational Manager and her team for the hard work that had been undertaken in preparing the current document, particularly in light of challenging resources and the extra work required.
Following a query that Welsh Government had downgraded the housing allocation required in the Vale by 60%, a representative asked the Operational Manager for her view. The Operational Manager referred to paragraphs 43 to 52 of the report and advised that the household projections that had been released in 2014 had shown significant reductions although it was pointed out that this information was a starting point and they had not taken into account the sites that had already been allocated for regeneration. In addition, there was a backlog of affordable housing in the Vale which was currently mainly provided via the private sector.
In referring to the number of homeless people in the Vale and those not determined to be officially homeless on the homelessness statistics, the Operational Manager agreed to provide the information via e-mail to the Committee in due course.
A Member from the rural Vale stated that they were pleased to see the reference to 40% affordable housing in the rural Vale although they personally wished that this would be higher. In noting that the affordable housing figure was a target, it was accepted that the Council was governed by guidelines and legislation from Welsh Government but that the Inspector would provide people with the opportunity to have a say on the focused changes when considering the document.
Following a query, regarding the Five Mile Lane and improving the infrastructure and access throughout the Vale a question was asked as to whether good feeder access was being suggested within the LDP. The Operational Manager advised that this, together with the Local Transport Plan, was being pursued and the Five Mile Lane improvements were being recognised in the document. In her view the Plan tried to provide good road access and cycling improvement links and referred to the Metro scheme and the suggested proposals of bus corridors.
In referring to the housing numbers, a Member asked whether the figures had been over projected. The Operational Manager in response advised that the figures had been considered in relation to economic improvements as well as the need for affordable housing to be in place, which would all be taken into account by the Inspector when considering the evidence to support the document.
With there being no further comments, following a show of hands, it was subsequently
RECOMMENDED – T H A T the report be noted.
Reason for recommendation
In view of the contents contained therein and the information provided at the meeting.
69 FIRE SERVICE STATISTICS FOR THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN FIRE SERVICE AREA –
The Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer tabled further information in relation to the Fire Service sector areas of Llantwit Major, Barry, Cowbridge and Penarth for the Committee’s information.
It was subsequently
RECOMMENDED – T H A T the Fire Service statistics for the Vale of Glamorgan Fire Service area be noted.
Reason for recommendation
To advise Committee.