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COMMUNITY LIAISON COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 26th January, 2016.

 

Present:  Councillor G. John (Vice-Chairman in the Chair); Councillors Ms. B.E. Brooks, Mrs. C.L. Curtis, R.F. Curtis, N.P. Hodges, Ms. R.F. Probert, R.L. Traherne and C.J. Williams.

 

Representatives from Town and Community Councils:  Councillor S.C. Egan (Barry Town Council), Councillor M. Marsh (Llantwit Major Town Council), Councillor A. Robertson (Dinas Powys Community Council), Councillor Ms. H. Baker (Ewenny Community Council), Councillor P. King (Llandough Community Council), Councillor G. Smith (Llanmaes Community Council), Councillor G. Marks (Michaelston le Pit with Leckwith Community Council), Councillor C. Tutton (Pendoylan Community Council), Councillor G. Rawson (St. Nicholas and Bonvilston Community Council), Councillor M.P. Garland (Sully and Lavernock Community Council), Councillor C. Thomas (Wenvoe Community Council), Councillor A. Foyle (Welsh St. Donats Community Council) and Councillor C. Hawkins (Wick Community Council).

 

Also present:  Councillor L. Burnett (Vale of Glamorgan Council).

 

 

776     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE -

 

These were received from Councillor C.P.J. Elmore (Chairman); Councillors Mrs. V.M. Hartrey, H.J.W. James and R.P. Thomas (Vale of Glamorgan Council); Councillor M. Hurst (Llandow Community Council), Councillor J. Teague (Llanfair Community Council), Councillor Mrs. J. Parry (Peterston Super Ely Community Council), Councillor A. Barnaby (St. Athan Community Council) and Councillor C. Richards (St. Georges and St. Brides Super Ely Community Council),

 

           

777          MINUTES -

 

AGREED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 20th October, 2015 be accepted as a correct record.

 

 

778     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

The following declarations of interest were received.

 

Councillors S.C. Egan, P.G. King, N.P. Hodges, G. John, Mrs. C.L. Curtis, R.F. Curtis, Ms. B.E. Brooks - Reshaping Services agenda items 7, 8 and 9 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.

 

 

779     POLICE MATTERS -

 

Chief Inspector Mark Hobrough of South Wales Police was in attendance and provided the Committee with an update advising that in the last three months overall dwelling burglaries had decreased by 14% and vehicle crime was down by 20% in comparison to the same time period last year.

 

The Force was continuing to work hard to improve Victims of Crime perception of Police actions and updates which was proving very successful with very good victim feedback on satisfaction levels for the service they had received from South Wales Police.  In comparison to the same time period in the previous year, the Force was seeing a slight increase in violent crimes, and increases in anti- social behaviour. Some of this could be accountable to matters now crimed as assaults that are being experienced in schoolyards.  Bullying issues were being dealt with robustly by schools with Police Support and if necessary additional action.  In specifically referring to domestic violence, pilot projects were being undertaken with a number of businesses e.g. hairdresser shops with the focus for staff to look out for signs of domestic abuse during working hours engagement with members of the public / customers.  With regard to the night time economy, police presence had been good at weekends, critical dates and at key events like the Rugby World Cup.  Though this had deterred a lot of crime it also meant that any scuffles between intoxicated parties during the night were dealt with positively by Police who were present at the time and witnessing it or only a short distance away.  This also reflected in the figure rising.  This overt presence would be again present in the Policing Plans for the forthcoming Rugby 6 Nations Campaign.

 

The officer reported that the first Domestic Violence Order had been taken out in the area.  In referring to other crime, the Chief Inspector mentioned the Shop Watch Project that had been run over the Christmas period which had detected 24 offences with 17 people having been either charged, cautioned or summoned.  

 

In referring to drug related incidents the Chief Inspector advised that two individuals had been caught with a substantial amount of heroin and had been charged, another person had been charged for possession of cannabis and for establishing a cannabis factory, and cocaine with a street value of £40,000 had been seized. 

 

Work was currently ongoing within the force with the Social Services and Education Departments where monthly meetings were being arranged to address issues of threat, risk and harm for the communities’ vulnerable people.  Also considerations and future work with young people in fostering and care home provision were being taken.  The Force was also working closely with Llandough Hospital in view of the forthcoming establishment and opening of the new Mental Health Unit on the site and with other developments it going to a 700 bed hospital with the second largest capacity in Wales. 

 

Having provided his overview to the Committee, Members were then afforded the opportunity to raise any issues which were presented as outlined below:

  • Reference was made to the lack of attendance by PCSOs at Community Council meetings, the police officer being informed that in the Peterston Super Ely area over the previous six months, there had been no attendance.  The issue had been raised with the Police Commissioner, Alun Michael, who had advised that the situation had been exacerbated with a number of PCSOs having recently been appointed as police officers.  The Councillor stated that having a PCSO present to discuss issues was important for the community. The Chief Inspector agreed to look into the situation and report accordingly to the Community Council. 
  • A Member queried whether there was a problem with car crime in the area with the police officer advising that there had been some issues at Llandough Hospital and that with the impending developments, an increase in the number of cars being forecast on the site with the potential therefore for further issues to raise their head.  This was being tackled in advance by planning and presence to prevent such issues.
  • A Member advised that since the establishment of the PACT scheme a number of traffic and parking issues seemed to be the main concerns at PACT meetings and queried whether the PCSOs could issue parking tickets.  Committee was informed that the Local Authority dealt with enforcement provision and although PCSOs were allowed to issue tickets, this was for obstruction matters. The officer has since updated that the PCSOs’ power does not extend to “double yellow line” offences only.  He also took the opportunity to advise Committee of a number of complaints the Force had been receiving regarding parking around schools.  The drop off and collection times were having a considerable impact in a number of areas with it being suggested that in order to treat the issues in an impactive way, PCSOs may be requested to undertake some plain clothes activities as certain perpetrators did not park in an obstructive way when they saw overt visible officers present.  He was aware that as soon as a PCSO was spotted in the area, the perpetrator immediately moved their car.  A good number of Members concurred with the issue as it was having an effect on a number of wards in the Vale. 

The representative from Llandough took the opportunity to urge the police force to do all they could in relation to parking and congestion around Llandough Hospital with a request that they ask the Vale to direct CPEs from time to time in the area.  It was also suggested that CPEs be requested to a once a term basis deal with issues of school parking as it was Members’ views that if the area was blitzed once a term this could have a significant effect on people parking illegally.  He asked the officer to consider providing whatever support they could in order to address some of the parking issues. 

 

Following a query regarding the number of mental health patients to be housed at Llandough Hospital, the Chief Inspector advised that he did not envisage that there would be an increase in the number of missing person issues as there was to be sufficient lock down facilities available.  A suggestion had also been made in another area for persons to be tagged but this had not been deemed an appropriate course of action to due Human Rights Legislation. 

 

Following on the discussion regarding parking outside schools, the representative from Cowbridge referred to the specific issue within Cowbridge with the school and advised that no car parking could take place on the property.  Chief Inspector Hobrough advised that Cowbridge had been highlighted as an issue to the Force and that it was his intention to undertake a pilot project in respect of the area and to discuss the issue with the Headteacher.

 

The Chairman, as Ward Member in Llantwit Major, advised that no PACT meetings were currently taking place due to their poor attendance and they had therefore been disbanded.  There were however, still concerns in the town of obstructions particularly with parking opposite road junctions and he requested that the Chief Inspector consider what measures could be put in place. 

 

Having considered the report and there being no further issues, the Chairman thanked the officer for his attendance and wished him and the Force well with regard to future events with particular reference being made to the forthcoming rugby internationals.

 

 

780     GREENLINKS COMMUNITY TRANSPORT -

 

Kyle Phillips, Senior Transportation Officer and Enfys Griffiths, Community Transport Officer were present in order to provide the Committee with an overview of the service which would include details of examples of where people were benefitting from the service and suggested ways forward for the future.  A copy of the PowerPoint presentation had also been tabled at the meeting for Members’ information. 

 

Committee was advised that the Greenlinks fleet provided an ad hoc door to door service, a registered on demand local service and group hire.  The current membership of Greenlinks consisted of individual membership 1,350 members in 2015 (as opposed to 800 in 2013), group membership was 83 for 2015 and had been 53 in 2013, with regard to drivers, there were 16 voluntary drivers reported for 2015 and 15 for 2013 with one paid driver noted for both 2013 and 2015.   The area of operation for the service was detailed on a map provided at the meeting and contained within the presentation tabled at the meeting.  The fares for the service were: 

  • £5 membership fee
  • Daily fares between £2-£5
  • Group charges £30 half day, £60 full day, 40 miles free, 45p per mile thereafter.

The on-demand services had to be registered with the Department of Transport, operate within a specific area and passengers were able to use their concessionary bus passes.  The two services currently operated were reported as G1 service – St. Athan to Cowbridge to Bridgend and surrounding villages and G4 service – Llantwit Major, St. Athan, Rhoose to Culverhouse Cross, UHW and Cardiff City Centre.  There were a number of journeys per month as outlined below:

 

Month

2013

2015

Individuals

Groups

Total

Individuals

Groups

Total

May

504

2

(36)

540

879

7

(95)

974

June

433

7

(144)

577

1,001

8

(132)

1,139

July

504

3

(44)

548

1,064

13

(193)

1,272

Aug

509

3

(56)

565

829

7

(130)

959

Sep

602

3

(50)

652

941

11

(214)

1,155

Oct

670

4

(78)

748

1,041

10

(164)

1,205

Nov

588

7

(140)

728

958

13

(202)

1,160

 

The purpose of journeys were for shopping, hospital appointments, other appointments, visiting, social with other reasons also being noted.

 

The pilot project had received £100,000 funding from Welsh Government for the purpose of piloting integrated transport and at that time a new vehicle had been purchased, two part time drivers appointed in conjunction with a transport package.  The outcome of the pilot had established a working relationship with social services to provide transport to the Gathering Place, the introduction of a regular shopping service from Peterston Super Ely, an integrated primary school run to Pendoylan Primary School and ad hoc Greenlinks services. 

 

Between 2010 to December 2014 the service had been funded through Rural Development Plan monies via Creative Rural Communities and from December 2014 onwards the service was now funded by Development monies with up to 25% of the transport element being received from Section 106 monies.  For 2015/16 the cost of this service was £115,000, it now employed two office staff and one paid driver and operated five vehicles, which included fuelling Service Level Agreements and maintenance.  There were also volunteer costs and incidentals as well as on costs. 

 

In providing details of how people benefitted from the service, Committee was informed that the drivers received training and they actually enjoyed providing a service to the community and it also made use of their spare time as well as potential employment opportunities.

 

In referring to employment, it was noted that two individuals used the service to go home after work to Peterston Super Ely whereas if they used public transport it would take them two hours to get home.  The G1 service was used to access employment in Cowbridge.  For social reasons a number of elderly individuals used the service to visit relatives living in nursing homes and individuals from the Bonvilston / St. Nicholas area organised a monthly outing for a meal.  In referring to the benefit in relation to wellbeing, it was noted that a passenger used the service twice a week to access hydro therapy, a partially sighted wheelchair user attended a weekly blind club in Barry, it being noted that prior to using this service the person had been unable to attend the club.  A number of elderly passengers had often commented that they used the service for their weekly outing to the local community club.

 

With regard to the benefits for groups, Members were advised that an Insight Club received the service as fortnightly meetings took place at Cowbridge, there was a monthly meeting at Barry Library in respect of Action for Hearing Loss and weekly  outings to various towns from Crawshay Court and the Christmas Day Event by Age Connects.  Photographs of such service benefits were provided at the meeting via presentation slides for Members’ information.  It was important to note that the Greenlinks service was available to everyone, not just in the rural communities, with the benefits covering shopping, access to employment, access to other public transport and access to local amenities.

 

For the future, partnership working with Dinas Powys Voluntary Concern was being considered with transport to the new medical centre in Dinas Powys due to open early March 2016 with a purchase of a small vehicle to provide transport to the centre allowing Greenlinks to provide a further service in the eastern Vale.  The intention was to increase the number of volunteer drivers by developing a recruitment campaign for drivers with attendance at supermarkets and DIY stores for promotion purposes.  Work would also be undertaken with Glamorgan Voluntary Services in respect of referrals and consideration of appointing paid part time drivers.  There was however currently no replacement vehicle programme for vehicles due to the fact that the current vehicles were relatively new no replacement programme had been developed.  However, further actions to be considered were a vehicle utilisation programme and to investigate grant funding opportunities.  Future marketing and promotion to raise awareness of the service would include raising awareness with Council Members, officers and outside bodies, encourage more group usage during the evenings and weekends, having particular regard to the youth market and that all passenger transport requests be considered by the PTU who would consider what in-house options were available before any outsourcing was undertaken.  It was imperative that the department ensured ongoing funding for the service and to increase income by better optimisation of use of vehicles.  Ongoing funding requirements were quoted at approximately £125,000 per year. 

 

The Cabinet Member, also present at the meeting, advised that the service had assisted people throughout the Vale in respect of their independence and the team had strategically considered how all transport throughout the Vale could be undertaken.  The team had also worked with other bus operators regarding connections to other bus routes throughout the Vale, Cardiff, Bridgend and RCT.  The Cabinet Member took the opportunity to congratulate the team on the strategic approach that had been undertaken against ever decreasing funding provision.  A number of Members of the Committee reiterated their congratulations to the team, having particular regard to the fact that the service was also growing and that future considerations that were being given to the use of other Council vehicles. 

 

Following a question as to whether the tariffs had changed over the years due to the reduction in overall costs, the Community Transport Officer responded by advising that no variation had been made in the last three years, the last increase being in 2012. 

 

A Member queried what contingency plans were in place should Section 106 monies not be available with the Cabinet Member responding that should that be the case further consideration would have to be given to the service.

 

In recognising the success of the service the Chairman in conclusion thanked the officers for the excellent presentation and appreciation for the work being undertaken. 

 

 

781     PLAY - INITIATIVES AND UPDATES (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) had referred the report in order to apprise the Committee on potential future play opportunities.

 

The Operational Manager for Leisure, in presenting the report, referred to the various play initiatives that had occurred in the school summer holidays which were outlined in the report appendix entitled “The Successful Summer of Play”.  The report also provided an update on the play sufficiency audit requirements and sought the Committee’s views of the continuation of the funding strategy adopted for play.  Members were informed that the Council’s Play Service provided a comprehensive range of play activities to young residents of the Vale of Glamorgan throughout the year.  The award winning service had built up an excellent reputation for its inclusion work as well as the delivery of quality play opportunities. 

 

During the 2015 school summer holidays play schemes and play ranger sessions had operated across the Vale which were also outlined within the attached report.  Given the success in attracting partnership funding it was further proposed to continue with the strategy for the forthcoming year.  Although it was noted that whilst approximately £9,000 had been provided by Town and Community Councils to support play schemes the cost of providing play provision still required additional funding to run the comprehensive scheme.  Section 106 monies, Families First Disability Strand Funding and a contribution from Communities First and United Welsh Housing all assisted in enabling the schemes to be delivered.  The main requirements that had been placed on the Council by Welsh Government in terms of the new statutory play duties were to assess the efficiency of play opportunities in the area and as far as reasonably practicable to secure sufficient play opportunities having regard to the assessments and to publish the opportunities available.  Officers were also currently working to complete a comprehensive play sufficiency audit and devise an accompanying Action Plan with the requirement that this be completed by 31st March, 2016.

 

In addition, throughout the year the Sports and Play Development Team had also delivered play activities at a number of Council organised events working in partnership with internal departments such as the Events Team, the Housing Department, Young Carers Team, the Foster Care and Adoption Team in Social Services and with Ysgol yr Deri.  Other activities had also been delivered at external events such as the Vale Show and family fun days funded by Town and Community Councils.  The report also highlighted that without the ability to attract funding from sources such as Town and Community Councils, other organisations, Section 106 agreements etc, the present levels of play opportunities could not be maintained.  To this end the play budget would require constant monitoring in the future to ensure that funding was obtained to enable the service to be maintained at current levels. 

 

The Chairman took the opportunity to refer to the partnership with Dinas Powys that had led to support with play schemes for over two years and as the service was within the remit of his Cabinet portfolio he took the opportunity to congratulate and thank the Town and Community Councils that had taken part and supported the scheme in 2015.  The Chairman also took the opportunity to ask other Town and Community Council representatives to feed back to their respective Councils the work that had been undertaken to date and to ask them to consider to support the initiative in future years.

 

Following a query from a Member from Llandough as to whether the service could be purchased for events e.g. annual village fetes, the Operational Manager advised that he would be open to discussions should they so wish. 

 

A Member queried the difficulties that the service had in obtaining venues for such events and in particular referred to the difficulties with schools.  The Operational Manager stated that as a significant amount of maintenance work had to be undertaken over the school summer holidays it was difficult for Headteachers to know exactly when such work would be undertaken as they did not also know when the work would commence.  There were also accessibility issues in some schools but he would welcome the opportunity to discuss the service with Headteachers and would urge Governors to consider discussing such schemes and proposals with their Headteachers where appropriate.

 

A number of the Community Councils who had bought into the scheme expressed their views on the success of the scheme and their pleasure in supporting such an initiative.  Consideration could also be given to Town and Community Councils operating on a cluster basis to provide such a service with the Operational Manager advising that combining schemes and working together would be a way forward for working in partnership in the future. 

 

In conclusion, the Operational Manager advised he would be more than happy to meet with organisations and Town and Community Councils to consider undertaking such a service in their areas. 

 

It was subsequently

 

AGREED - T H A T the contents of the report on the summer play schemes be noted and that Town and Community Councils be encouraged to consider such a service within their areas. 

 

Reason for decision

 

Having regard to the contents of the report.

 

 

782     RESHAPING SERVICES PROGRAMME UPDATE -

 

Following a request by the Chairman that the Reshaping Services Programme update, the Guidance on Clustering and the verbal progress update from Councillor M. Cuddy be taken together the Head of Service for Performance and Development advised that the purpose of the reports was to provide updates for the Committee, as previously agreed, on the progress of the Reshaping Services Programme.  Copies of the presentation had also been tabled for Members’ information. 

 

In commencing the presentation the Head of Service advised that the objectives had been to identify alternative ways of delivering the services which provided better outcomes for citizens and a more efficient means of delivery, to meet future financial challenges while mitigating the impact of cuts on service users and to develop the Council and its partners to ensure they were able to meet future challenges.  Members were provided with details of examples from the Council’s 2016/17 savings challenge as follows: 

  • Libraries (£265,000)
  • Public toilets (£100,000)
  • Street cleaning (£250,000)
  • Lifeguards (£20,000)
  • Events subsidy (£10,000)
  • Street lighting (£100,000)
  • Bowling green maintenance (£20,000).

However, it was important to note that the exact local implications were not available as a settlement from Welsh Government had been delayed.  However, the Head of Service could advise that opportunities were being discussed with Town and Community Councils and meetings had taken place with the larger Town and Community Councils, namely Barry, Llantwit Major, Penarth, Cowbridge and Dinas Powys. 

 

In referring to the clustering guidance at Agenda Item No. 8, following a seminar held in September 2015 as part of the Council’s Reshaping Services Programme, Town and Community Councillor representatives had requested that guidance information on clustering arrangements be provided by the Vale of Glamorgan for information and guidance.  A copy of the draft guidance note on clustering was attached at Appendix A to the report which outlined that clustering was a term that was used to describe the way the TCC could increase their effectiveness and meet objectives through collaborative working and partnership arrangements.  The document provided advice on a number of areas which included 

  • services and assets,
  • who to cluster with, the use of volunteers,
  • key principles that should be considered when considering clustering,
  • how to set up and manage a cluster,
  • setting out key objectives and governance arrangements,
  • establishing a steering group,
  • funding and finances,
  • staffing and human resources, and
  • where support can be provided if required.

The Head of Service stated that following their request the guidance had been produced to assist Town and Community Councils to work together and contained details relating to the issues which should be considered when doing so.  The document was being presented for consideration and following approval would be forwarded to all Town and Community Councils. 

 

The Head of Service also took the opportunity to advise that the Council was also in the process of reviewing its Community Asset Transfer guidance which was scheduled to be reported to the Council’s Cabinet in February 2016.  The document built on existing Council guidance and Welsh Government recent guidance document in relation to Community Asset Transfers which would, in turn be forwarded to all Town and Community Councils.

 

The Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer informed the Committee that a number of Town and Community Councils and other organisations had expressed their interest in discussing potential assets for further consideration and that meetings with Town and Community Councils would continue.

 

In referring to the success of the seminar undertaken in September 2015 it had been suggested that further seminars be held which the Council would be prepared to arrange with Members of the Committee stating that such events provided necessary information and networking opportunities.  Councillor Cuddy who had been appointed as the Community Liaison Committee’s representative on the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Programme Board and Town and Community Council Voluntary Sector Project reiterated that initial meetings had been undertaken with a number of larger Councils to explore specific services and asset opportunities including the opportunity to deliver services differently.

 

The TCC Project Team had also been broadened to include Voluntary Sector representation and Rachel Connor, Chief Executive of Glamorgan Voluntary Services had also been invited to attend the meetings with the larger Councils.  Representation on the project team had also been sought from One Voice Wales and Mr. Paul Egan was the current representative.  Mr. Egan was also the Clerk to Llandough Community Council.

 

Aware that Town and Community Councils would have differing needs and requirements both representatives had made general comments on procedures and practices going forward at the meetings and Cllr Cuddy could confirm that information had been requested in respect of a number of areas which  the Vale Council was currently doing its best to deliver as required.  Councillor Cuddy then referred to paragraph 109 in the report which detailed the targets that had been set for the Reshaping Services Programme to date and that there were potential opportunities that could be taken up by Town and Community Councils.

 

Having considered the presentation by the Head of Service, Councillor Cuddy, and the clustering guidance it was subsequently

 

AGREED -

 

(1)       T H A T the information in respect of the Reshaping Services Programme be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the draft guidance note on clustering be approved.

 

(3)       T H A T a copy of the clustering document be forwarded to all Town and Community Councils in the Vale of Glamorgan for their information and placed on the Council’s website.

 

(4)       T H A T a copy of the clustering document be forwarded to all Members of the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Glamorgan Voluntary Services for their information.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To advise Members.

 

(2,3& 4)          In order that the guidance can be made available to interested parties.

 

           

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

 

The Vale of Glamorgan fire statistics for 2015/16 April to September 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 Service statistics be noted.

 

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