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COMMUNITY LIAISON COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 20th October, 2015.

 

Present:  Councillor. C.P.J. Elmore (Chairman); Councillors Ms. B.E. Brooks, Mrs. C.L. Curtis, R.F. Curtis, Mrs. V.M. Hartrey, N.P. Hodges, Ms. R.F. Probert, R.P. Thomas, C.J. Williams and M.R. Wilson.

 

Representatives from Town and Community Councils:  Councillors S.C. Egan (Barry Town Council), Mrs. S. Hodges (Barry Town Council), M. Marsh (Llantwit Major Town Council), M. Cuddy (Penarth Town Council), W. Bellin (Colwinston Community Council), A. Robertson (Dinas Powys Community Council), Ms. H. Baker (Ewenny Community Council), R. Carter (Llancarfan Community Council), P.A. Carreyett (Llandough Community Council), P.G. King (Llandough Community Council), M. Hurst (Llandow Community Council), J. Teague (Llanfair Community Council), G. Smith (Llanmaes Community Council), G. Marks (Michaelston le Pitt and Leckwith Community Council), C. Tutton (Pendoylan Community Council), I. Pearson (Peterston Super Ely Community Council), Ms A Barnaby ( St. Athan Community Council), I. Turner (St. Donats Community Council), Ms. S. Lewis (St. Brides Major Community Council), G. Rawson (St. Nicholas and Bonvilston Community Council), M. Garland (Sully and Lavernock Community Council), N. Craddock (Welsh St. Donats Community Council), Ms. N. Harmer (Wenvoe Community Council), C. Hawkins (Wick Community Council) and Ms. C. Brown (Wick Community Council).

 

Also present:  Councillors Ms. R. Birch, L. Burnett and Dr. I.J. Johnson (Vale of Glamorgan Council).

 

 

516     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE -

 

These were received from Councillors G. John (Vice-Chairman), H.J.W. James and R.L. Traherne (Vale of Glamorgan Council) and Councillors J. Harris (Cowbridge Town Council), and C. Richards (St. Georges and St. Brides Super Ely Community Council).

 

 

517     MINUTES -

 

AGREED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 2nd June, 2015 be accepted as a correct record.

 

 

518     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

The following Declarations of Interest were received:

 

Councillors S.C. Egan, P.G. King, N.P. Hodges, C.J. Williams, Ms. B.E. Brooks, C.L. Curtis, R.F. Curtis in respect of Agenda Item No. 6 in that they were Members of the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Town / Community members and were able to speak and vote due to dispensations received from the Standards Committee.

 

Councillor S.C. Egan in respect of Agenda Item Nos. 8 and 9, Annual Report - Section 106 Legal Agreements and Active Travel, as a Cabinet Member for the Vale of Glamorgan he would leave the meeting and Councillor Mrs. Shirley Hodges would take his place as the representative from Barry Town Council.

 

 

519     POLICE MATTERS -

 

Inspector Rob Miles from South Wales Police was in attendance and provided the Committee with an update advising that overall crime had gone down by 6% for 2014-2015.  In referring to victims of crimes, he stated that the police were continuing to work in partnership to assist victims which was proving successful.  In an effort to deter anti-social behaviour issues a number of PCSOs would be working with Cardiff City Football Club to assist and support children in the community.

 

Councillor Nic Hodges took the opportunity to thank the police for all their support and the professional manner in which they dealt with and supported the Council with regard to the recent traveller situation on Barry Island.

 

The representative from Ewenny Community Council queried the use of speed cameras at the bottom of Crack Hill.  Although the police officer advised that the Department did not deploy the vehicles he would refer the matter to the relevant officer and provide a response to Ewenny Community Council.

 

There being no further issues raised, the Chairman thanked the officer for his attendance and for the continued good work.

 

 

520     WELLBEING OF FUTURE GENERATIONS (WALES) ACT 2015 (MD) -

 

The report provided the Committee with an overview of the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and the recently published draft statutory guidance. 

 

The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act became law in April 2015 and was due to come in force on 1st April 2016.  To assist with the implementation of the legislation, Welsh Government would issue statutory guidance and were currently consulting on draft guidance.  The draft guidance was in four parts and had been published on 7th September 2015, the deadline for responses to the consultation was 16th November 2015.

 

The draft guidance sets out the expectations for public bodies and newly established Public Service Boards under the Act and the necessary timeframes for the different activities required.  The four parts of the guidance were:

 

  • SPSF1 - Core guidance
  • SPSF2 - Individual role (public bodies)
  • SPSF3 - Collective role (public service boards)
  • SPSF4 - Collective role (community councils).

 

It was noted that the guidance was available on the Welsh Government website at http://gov.wales/consultations/people-and-communities/shared-future-shared-purpose/?status=open&lang=en

 

The report provided an overview of the implications of the Act for the bodies listed at paragraph 8 of the report, which included the Local Authority and the setting up of Public Service Boards and their responsibilities and duties for Community and Town Councils.  Although the Act would establish Public Service Boards (PSBs) which would be similar in many ways to the existing Local Service Boards and would build on work already undertaken there were however, some differences. 

 

The Act would place a statutory duty upon the Local Authority, Local Health Board, the Welsh Fire and Rescue Authority and the Natural Resources Body for Wales to attend as members of the PSB.  In addition the board must invite as 'invited participants'; the Welsh Ministers, the Chief Constable of the police force in that area, the Police and Crime Commissioner, a person required to provide probation services in relation to the Local Authority area, and a body representing voluntary organisations in the area.  The PSB can also invite 'other' partners which includes Community Councils.  The guidance sets out the different roles and responsibilities between 'members' and 'participants' and other partners. The guidance also sets out specific requirements in terms of the local assessment of wellbeing and the subsequent Wellbeing Plan.

 

The PSB must publish a Local Wellbeing Plan which must be informed by a local well-being assessment which assesses the state of economic, social, environment and cultural wellbeing of the area.  The guidance also sets out the process by which PSBs must produce an assessment of the state of wellbeing in the PSB area and must be published 12 months before the publication on the PSBs’ Local Wellbeing Plan. 

 

Of note was the fact that a Town or Community Council (TCC) with a gross income or expenditure of at least £200,000 for each of the three financial years preceding the year in which the wellbeing plan was published has a duty to 'take all reasonable steps towards meeting the local objectives included in the local wellbeing plan’.  If a TCC is also subject to the duty, it must publish a report annually detailing its progress in meeting the objectives contained in the local wellbeing plan.

 

TCCs which do not meet the criteria but still wish to contribute towards meeting the local objectives in the local wellbeing plan would be welcome to do so on a voluntary basis.

 

The Future Generations Commissioner for Wales was due to be appointed shortly and their office would be operational from April 2016.  They will be able to provide support to public bodies and PSBs and TCCs would also be able to seek the advice of the Commissioner about how they can comply with their duty to take all reasonable steps in their areas towards meeting the local objectives in the local wellbeing plans.

 

A Member raised a concern that if some TCCs took on services via clustering arrangements this could potentially be over £200,000 and queried if this had been thought of under the legislation.  The Head of Performance and Development for the Vale advised that this would be a question that would need to be raised with Welsh Government.

 

Following a further query regarding the membership of the PSB, it was suggested that the query be considered by the PSB when it is established in April 2016. 

 

A representative from a rural Community Council stated that in his opinion the legislation was ‘a fatuous piece of nonsense’.  This sentiment was echoed by a number of TCCs.  The Head of Performance and Development reminded the Committee that the Act became law on 29th April, 2015 and would come into force on 1st April, 2016. 

 

Following the presentation of the report it was subsequently

 

AGREED - T H A T the draft statutory guidance be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To raise awareness regarding the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

 

 

521     RESHAPING SERVICES PROGRAMME AND TOWN AND COMMUNITY COUNCILS PROJECT TEAM UPDATE (MD) -

 

The Head of Performance and Development took the opportunity to provide the Committee with an update on the Council’s Reshaping Services Programme and the work being progressed by the Town and Community Council’s Project Team.  The Committee was also advised that Reshaping Services Updates would be a standing item on Community Liaison Committee agendas.  The report referred to the Expressions of Interest forms that had been received noting that 26 forms had been circulated with 23 responses having been received.  15 Town and Community Councils (TCCs) had indicated their interest in progressing discussions about the potential interest in other services, 8 Community Councils in the rural Vale had indicated they did not wish to provide other services although some had indicated they would consider exploring possible clustering arrangements and in total 15 TCCs had indicated they were interested in potential clustering arrangements. 

 

Appendix A to the report provided a summary of the services that were currently provided by TCCs and Appendix B provided a summary of the services that TCCs had indicated that they could potentially be interested in providing or would wish to discuss further.  Following the Expressions of Interest regarding clustering arrangements, a seminar was held on 30th September with TCCs who had expressed an interest.

 

The Committee was advised that the seminar had been opened by the Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council who provided an overview of the Reshaping Services Programme and included a presentation by the Chief Executive of One Voice Wales which provided examples of arrangements and the considerations and challenges involved in setting up and managing a cluster.  Councillor Mike Cuddy (Penarth Town Council and TCC Representative) also facilitated a very useful discussion on the implications on clustering and how delegates would like to see clustering (and the wider TCC project) progress.  A colleague from the Council's Creative Rural Communities Team provided delegates with information relating to Welsh Government Funding that could be used to develop ideas / projects for new service delivery approaches in designated rural wards.  (An officer was present at the CLC meeting to provide full details to the Committee on the fund later in the agenda.)  The Council's Head of Performance and Development had also provided delegates with an overview of how the TCC project would be taken forward.  At the clustering seminar, delegates requested that the Vale of Glamorgan Council devise a clustering information pack to include advice, guidance and example templates (relating to Memoranda of Understanding etc.) that could then be used by TCCs who may wish to further develop clustering arrangements in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

In order to progress discussions further, delegates also expressed a desire for the Vale of Glamorgan Council to provide details of the services it would specifically wish TCCs to consider, for example if there were proposals to change the way in which certain services were provided.  The Council had initially taken the view that it would like TCCs to consider services of particular interest in their area and this was the reason for the "open" expression of interest process; it was acknowledged, however, that TCC interest would also be informed by any Vale of Glamorgan Council plans for services.

 

The Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer advised Committee that the notes of the seminar had been forwarded to all TCC Clerks and their Chairmen for information, the report to the CLC had also been forwarded to all Chairmen and Clerks together with the link to the Glamorgan Voluntary Services membership site which contained details of the contact details and the organisations throughout the Vale.


With regard to the appendices to the report, all TCCs were requested to advise Mrs. Karen Bowen, Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer, of any amendments or additions to the Expressions of Interest that they may wish to make with the request that such submissions be forwarded by Friday, 6th November, 2015. 

 

The Head of Performance and Development further advised that meetings were to take place with some of the TCCs who had expressed an interest to pursue discussions.  He also urged all TCCs to consider the Asset lists that they had received and all the information that had been sent, following which he would be happy to meet with TCCs to explore any proposals. 

 

In response to queries regarding the services that the Council potentially may wish to devolve, the Head of Service reiterated the previous commitment that all services and assets were open for discussion but that the Council would be doing a piece of work in relation to its savings commitments which it would make available to all when completed.  The areas he referred to were grass cutting, public conveniences, locking parks, recycling receptacles etc.  Members of the Committee acknowledged the information that had been forwarded to the TCCs and expressed the view that they wished to continue to be apprised of regular updates.


Councillor Nic Hodges, (Vale of Glamorgan Councillor and Town Councillor for Barry) stated that at a recent meeting of Barry Town Council, the Council had agreed to meet with officers from the Vale and would be more than happy to do so over the coming weeks.

 

The representative from Colwinston Community Council advised that, in his view, local Councils should in the main consider the more expensive services and agree to work in cluster arrangements to assist the Vale.  The Head of Service advised that the Vale Council would also be happy to provide some support for clustering arrangements. 

 

Following full consideration of the report it was subsequently

 

AGREED -

 

(1)       T H A T the contents of the report be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T updates on the work being undertaken as part of the Council's Reshaping Services Programme and the Town and Community Councils Project continue to be presented to the Committee at each meeting.

 

(3)       T H A T Town and Community Council representatives liaise with their respective Councils to ensure the information relating to current services and services of potential interest was complete and accurate and any changes be reported to the Democratic Services Officer by 6th November, 2015.

 

(4)       T H A T the report be circulated to all Members of the Vale of Glamorgan Council for their information.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To inform and update Members of the Community Liaison Committee.

 

(2)       To apprise Committee of progress.

 

(3)       To ensure an accurate and complete record of current services and services of potential interest is maintained.

 

(4)       To apprise all Members of the Council of progress being made on the TCC Project.

 

 

522     ANNUAL REPORT - SECTION 106 LEGAL AGREEMENTS 2014-2015 (REF) -

 

The report provided the Committee with details in relation to progress on Section 106 Planning Obligation matters that arose in the financial year and detailed the legal agreements for April 2014 to March 2015 as below. 

 

In the 12 months between April 2014 and March 2015, a total of 18 planning permissions had been issued, which had been subject to section 106 legal agreements.  A list of these was attached at Appendix A to the report.

 

The value of the financial contributions for the agreements totalled £3,876,452.81 and related to a range of developments including major residential developments at: Port Road, Wenvoe; Trem Echni, Rhoose; Ardwyn, Dinas Powys; and Plasnewydd Farm, Llantwit Major.  The planning obligation requirements secured in the year included ‘in-kind’ obligations such as provision of on-site affordable housing, on site public open space and public art.  The financial contributions secured through the legal agreements would be used to provide or enhance facilities off site, such as sustainable transport services / infrastructure, highway improvements, public open space, community facilities, public art and educational facilities.

 

When such contributions were received consultation was undertaken with all relevant service areas, relevant Cabinet Members and local ward Members, to establish how the contributions could be best spent, in accordance with an established and agreed Section 106 protocol.  Between April 2014 and March 2015 the Council had received financial and in-kind obligations in respect of a number of previously outstanding planning agreements, including interest payments where applicable.

 

At 31st March 2015, the Council had £4,016,309.46 Section 106 money available to spend and in addition £246,371.41 was held for ongoing maintenance costs.

 

The Council received financial contributions of £3,401,184.98 between April 2014 and March 2015, including substantial open space, sustainable transport and education contributions from the Penarth Heights development, open space and sustainable transport contributions from the former Theatre Royal development, education and open space contributions from the development at Fferm Goch, affordable housing contributions from Porthkerry Methodist Church, education contributions from Trem Echni, Rhoose and community facilities contributions from Barry Waterfront.

 

A summary of income and spend on each Section 106 agreement between April 2014 and March 2015 was attached at Appendix B, along with an update on progress since April 2015.  Approximately £1.4 million had been spent on Section 106 schemes during 2014/15, in many cases to be used as match funding to lever in additional investment in the Vale of Glamorgan.  A number of schemes had also been delivered by the Council with enhancements to public transport, walking and cycling, provision of public art, new school places, provision of affordable housing, open space enhancements and children's play areas.  In addition, the Council used Section 106 money to provide direct support to third parties to implement projects such as Cowbridge Rugby Club changing rooms, Cowbridge Town Council Twt Play Area upgrade and Barry Watersports Community Facilities.  Moreover “in-kind” obligations have also been delivered as an integral part of developments, such as affordable housing and public open space.

 

On 6th April 2015, Regulation 123 of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Regulations 2010 (As Amended) came into effect and restricts the way in which Local Planning Authorities can use Section 106 agreements to pool financial contributions to deliver an infrastructure project.  The restriction prevents pooling of contributions from 5 or more obligations entered into since 6th April 2010 (Regulation 123 refers).  The Council keeps up-to-date detailed records of all Section 106 agreements (which can be viewed on the Council’s website) and each time negotiations are entered into with developers, Officers check that the pooling restriction would not be breached by a proposed development and associated obligations.

 

In most cases, Section 106 obligations are site-specific and relate to the immediate locality of the development site, meaning that the pooling restriction is unlikely to take effect.   However, a key area where this issue is relevant is education contributions, as there are instances where different developments will feed into the same school, due to the way catchment areas are drawn.  Officers are keeping this under close review and will endeavour to minimise risk through careful consideration of new development proposals.

 

Members had also sought further advice on the difference between Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and Section 106 contributions, as the time draws closer to the implementation of CIL for the Vale of Glamorgan which was detailed within the report.  Members of the Vale Council and TCC representatives had also been invited to a briefing session prior to the CLC meeting on the subject.  Members were also advised that of note was that the Government had reformed the levy through the Localism Act which introduced new powers to require a meaningful proportion of CIL receipts to be passed to the TCCs where development takes place (15% of CIL receipts in Wales).  How this was to be delivered in practice was to be considered further, in consultation with TCCs in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

There being no queries from the Committee and in acknowledging that a briefing session had been held prior to the meeting, it was subsequently

 

AGREED - T H A T the report be noted.

 

 

523     WELSH GOVERNMENT RURAL COMMUNITIES - RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME 2014-2020 -

 

Mr. Phil Chappell, the Principal Rural Regeneration Officer, provided a presentation to the Committee on Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.  It was noted that it was a priority for Welsh Government to help develop the resilience and capability to communities so they hold up under the strain of welfare reform and continue to grow and thrive.  Creative Rural Communities was a rural regeneration initiative which supported communities and businesses in the rural Vale of Glamorgan.  The Welsh Government’s Development Programme was based around LEADER funding and was a fund of £59 million of capital funding which was open to the public, voluntary sector, private sector and available to rural Wards within the Vale.  A grant of £128,000 would be provided and the officer urged all Town and Community Councils (TCCs) to consider any ideas or suggestions that they could put forward before January 2016.  The Creative Rural Communities Team would also be available to support the TCCs in drawing up plans to identify the need and outlined the following programme timetable.

 

Round 1 

  • Expressions of Interest deadline - 31st January, 2016
  • Full applications invited by 30th April, 2016
  • Full applications deadline 31st October, 2016.

The Expressions of Interest would be scored as outlined below:

 

 

Priority Criteria

Score

Weighting

 

Effective   community engagement during the development of the proposal

0-5

X5

2

Additionality   and strategic compliance 

0-5

X4

3

Access   to services

0-5

X3

4

Fuel   poverty

0-5

X3

5

In-work   poverty

0-5

X3

6

Digital   inclusion

0-5

X3

 

The officer stated that he would be happy to meet with as many TCCs as possible to harness any ideas and advised that he had recently visited Dinas Powys Community Council.  The contact details being create@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk; or telephone number (01446) 704750.

 

The Chairman, in thanking Mr. Chappell for his presentation, took the opportunity to urge all TCCs to consider potential ideas and to contact the Creative Rural Communities Team for any further information.

 

AGREED - T H A T Mr. Chappell be thanked for his informative presentation that could aid service development in the rural Vale. 

 

 

524     ACTIVE TRAVEL (REF) -

 

The report had been referred to the Community Liaison Committee as part of a formal consultation process and also outlined the progress made in implementing the Direction from Welsh Government which placed duties upon the Council to follow specific processes and procedures to deliver the requirements of the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013.  The consultation had commenced from 1st October, 2015 and would take 12 weeks.  It was envisaged a report following consultation responses would be referred to Cabinet on 11th January, 2016 for consideration with the Council submitting final existing route maps to Welsh Government by the deadline date of 22nd January, 2016.

 

In presenting the report to the Committee, the Principal Transport and Road Safety Officer advised that the Active Travel Act had been passed by Welsh Government on 2nd October, 2013 supported by delivery and technical guidance. 

 

In considering whether it was appropriate for a route to be regarded as an Active Travel Route, the PowerPoint presentation advised that a local authority must take into account:

 

(a)       whether the route facilitates the making by, or by an description of, walkers and cyclists of active travel journeys and

 

(b)       whether the location, nature and condition of the route make it suitable for safe use by, or by any description of, walkers and cyclists for the making of such journeys

 

and must have regard to guidance given by the Welsh Ministers.

 

An Active Travel journey was described under the Act as meaning a journey to or from a workplace or education establishment or the access to health, leisure or other services or facilities.  An Active Travel Route had to be suitable for Active Travel journeys which were for every day purposes.  

  • Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (traffic regulations, parking etc.)
  • New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (street works)
  • Traffic Management Act 2004 (network management).

The benefits of the Act were reported as: 

  • Direct Corporate Priorities - Active lifestyles, public awareness, mandatory reporting on progress, guidance and aids long term planning
  • Budget pressures - ensures a strategic approach where funding is used in the most efficient way, rather than piecemeal investment
  • Wider benefits

        -       lack of transport options cited as number 1 barrier to finding employment by job seekers

        -       25% of households in Wales do not have access to a car

        -       1/3 at risk of Transport Poverty.

 

The Committee was informed that data mapping carried out by Sus trans had been completed by March 2015 and funded directly from Welsh Government.  The Council also had to identify and audit active travel routes and produce first draft maps.  The edit maps were to be produced following consultation.  The presentation also detailed prescribed built up areas in the Vale of Glamorgan and provided details of route audits undertaken for walking and cycling.  Each route would have to be scored in accordance with design guidance and an explanation of fail with a statement provided.

 

Following a request from a Member regarding the meaning of transport poverty, Committee was informed that this equated to not enough transport in an area resulting in residents suffering the ability to access services.  In referring to how the maps would be distributed, the officer advised that these would be provided on the website with copies being available if required.  Press notices were currently being prepared and a considerable amount of consultation had been undertaken with schools.  The Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) had also considered the document as well as consultation with the Older People’s Forum.  The officer was also prepared to attend further meetings of TCCs if required to provide details of the legislation.  The Minister was also keen to hear the views of young people and the report highlighted that it had been forwarded to the Youth Cabinet for consideration. 

 

TCCs, in referring to some routes (i.e. Llantwit to Llandow cycle route) that were not mentioned, were advised by the Principal Officer that that was part of the consultation and that any ideas or suggestions that could be put forward, or if there were any routes that may have been missed should be addressed during the consultation process.  Active Travel was about engaging “with the masses” to consider the best locations and outline the well-used routes. 

 

The maps addressed the current situation with aspirational maps for the future to be drawn up at a later stage.  In referring to the usage of the Active Travel areas, the officer was asked whether the Council surveyed usage after making improvements, with the response being that surveys were currently undertaken as the Council had a duty to report on an annual basis.  However, the current information would not necessarily contain all the detail but that under the new legislation this would have to be done in the future.

 

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration, with permission to speak, stated that there were some difficulties in relation to some routes where the routes stopped for various reasons e.g. across someone’s drive which could be frustrating at times and as a result some cyclists were actually riding on the road as opposed to the cycle routes provided.  The Council would be commencing the process with mapping out of its existing and commuter routes, the Cabinet Member also stated that she wished to establish an Active Travel Forum which would be able to provide support and advice to the Council when developing its proposals. 

 

Following a request by the Cabinet Member and the Chairman for all TCCs to encourage engagement in the process it was

 

AGREED  -  T H A T the report be noted.

 

 

525     FIRE SERVICE STATISTICS FOR THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN FIRE SERVICE AREA -

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Fire Statistics for 2015/16 April to June were presented for South Wales and the sectors of Cowbridge, Llantwit Major, Barry and Penarth for the Committee’s information.

 

AGREED  –  T H A T the Fire statistics be noted.

 

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