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COMMUNITY LIAISON COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 5th July, 2016.

 

Present:  Councillor G. John (Chairman); Councillors A.G. Bennett, R.F. Curtis, Mrs. V.M. Hartrey, N.P. Hodges, P.G. King, R.L. Traherne and M.R. Wilson.

 

Representatives from Town and Community Councils: Councillors J. Evans) (Barry Town Council), Mrs. N. Thomas (Cowbridge with Llanblethian Town Council), G. Morgan (Llantwit Major Town Council), M. Cuddy (Penarth Town Council), Ms. H. Baker (Ewenny Community Council),  M. Hurst (Llandow Community Council), J. Teague (Llanfair Community Council), P.A. Carryette (Llanmaes Community Council), G. Smith (Llanmaes Community Council), C. Tutton (Pendoylan Community Council), D.M. Moody-Jones (Peterston Super Ely Community Council),  Ms. G. Rawson (St. Nicholas and Bonvilston Community Council), Ms. C. Frost (Wenvoe Community Council), C. Hawkins (Wick Community Council).

 

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

 

 

131     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –  

 

These were received from Councillors Ms. B.E. Brooks, Mrs. C.L. Curtis, Ms. R.F. Probert and R.P. Thomas (Vale of Glamorgan Council) and Councillors J. Harris (Cowbridge with Llanblethian Town Council), T. Lewis (Llancarfan Community Council), Mrs. G. Marks (Michaelston le Pitt with Leckwith Community Council), M. Garland (Sully and Lavernock Community Council), Ms. A. Barnaby (St. Athan Community Council), Ms. K. Summers (Penllyn Community Council) and A. Robinson (Dinas Powys Community Council).

 

 

132     MINUTES –  

 

AGREED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 26th April, 2016 be accepted as a correct record.

 

 

133     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –  

 

The following declarations were received:

 

Councillors R.F. Curtis, Mrs. V.M. Hartrey, N.P. Hodges, G. John, P.G. King and M.R. Wilson declared an interest in Agenda Item Nos. 7 and 8 “Reshaping Services Programme in that they were Members of the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Town / Community Council Members and were able to speak and vote due to dispensations received from the Standards Committee.

 

 

134     POLICE MATTERS –

 

Inspector Smart of South Wales Police was in attendance and provided the Committee with an update in relation to Police matters around the Vale.  Overall, crime figures were down he said, but there had been a “blip” recently within the Vale with regard burglaries of premises.  South Wales Police had also recently changed its reporting mechanisms with crime now being recorded at source.  It was realistic to expect to see an increase in crime over the forthcoming months as a result of these reporting alterations as well as the fact the force was finding increasing issues with burglaries.  Inspector Smart further advised that on 30th June, 2016 a car had been stolen in Llantwit Major and crashed, the perpetrator was caught and taken into police custody.  There were also ongoing operations planned over the coming months and he advised that the public would see more and more police out and about in a number of areas for example Peterston Super Ely and Ogmore, although he could not provide details of the operations that were planned. 

 

The Chairman, in referring to crime in Llantwit Major, advised that he had spoken to Inspector Smart regarding his concerns prior to the meeting, advising him that a number of Councillors in Llantwit Major would be writing to Chief Inspector Hobrough regarding resources.  He stated that concerns about resourcing in Llantwit Major were being raised on a number of occasions, in particular in relation to the number of cold callers that appeared to be knocking on doors in the area on Sundays and at 8 p.m. in the evening which was causing concern and distress to a number of residents.  A recent incident had also taken place where a 74 year old person had been burgled and had been really shaken up by the experience added to the fact that no police response to the call had been made until the following day.  The Chairman asked Inspector Smart to pass his concerns to Chief Inspector Hobrough.

 

In referring to the Penarth area, an operation was currently being established with partners to engage further with the community.  The Chairman also referred to his concern that if the Police were taking a significant amount of time to respond to calls, how this was being perceived by the public. 

 

Councillor Wilson advised that there was a good website that broke down the crime figures Ward by Ward and requested whether this could be provided for the Vale of Glamorgan, however the Inspector advised that a number of areas in the Vale were low in crime and that the statistics showed that the Vale was one of the safest places to live. 

 

Following a query from the representative from Llandow regarding  PCSO representation for the community and what the situation was across the Vale, the Inspector advised that he would look into the matter and make arrangements for someone to attend Community Council meetings.  He also informed the Committee of his e-mail address which was gary.smart@south-wales.pnn.police.uk

 

In conclusion, the Chairman thanked the Inspector for an informative report and trusted that the issues would be discussed within the Force and updates provided at future meetings.

 

 

135     FIRE SERVICE STATISTICS FOR THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN FIRE SERVICE AREA –

 

Mr. Vaughan Jenkins, Group Manager, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, advised that his role covered the Operations Department, he also sat on Public Service Boards and was the link to the community as well as looking after the Bridgend area.  He also advised that the Vale of Glamorgan had fewer incidents in relation to fire issues in comparison with other Local Authorities that the Force served. 

 

The information contained within the agenda papers referred to incident categories within the Vale of Glamorgan, special service calls, false alarms and fires.  Of note was the fact that the total number of incidents decreased by four compared to the previous year with false alarms (579) accounting for 48.3% of all calls attended.  The number of accidental dwelling fires attended had increased by 17 compared to the previous year and the percentage of dwelling fires where no smoke alarm was fitted had increased by 1% compared to the previous year.  The number of automatic fire alarms attended had increased by 41 compared to the previous year.

 

Attached to the agenda was also a copy of the Community Safety Partnership Report for the Vale of Glamorgan.  The report advised the Fire Authority had four Stations situated in Cowbridge, Barry, Penarth and Llantwit Major.  The report provided details of the total number of incidents in the Vale of Glamorgan together with detailed a breakdown of the incidents in station areas of the four Fire and Rescue Stations.  The report however did not include any incidents attended outside the Vale of Glamorgan even if they were attended by crews from Vale of Glamorgan Stations. 

 

Mr. Jenkins also referred to activities being targeted in the Vale to reduce grass fires, although he stated that incidents of grass fires were more prevalent in other Authorities in South Wales advising that where there was a “spike” in incidents in a Local Authority, resources were targeted as appropriate.  Although it could be viewed that 82 fires in the Vale of Glamorgan appeared to be a significant number, in relative terms this was a small portion compared to the considerable number of dwellings in the area. 

 

In referring to the number of malicious false alarms, the report had identified only 11for the Vale but the Force continued to try to reduce these as any false alarm meant resources would be taken away when real incidents occurred.

 

Over the years the Force had also targeted 1,514 homes in the Vale providing safety checks with a considerable amount of resources being invested in this service.  As a result it had therefore been agreed in the future to target the areas most in need. 


The Service also offered presentations and fire safety awareness raising sessions to schools, to date 83 schools had been visited during the year to engender fire safety in the youth for the future.  Other activities included a young fire fighter scheme which was being taken forward n Llantwit Major, this was a two year course offering a B Tech qualification from ages 11-17 years.  Cowbridge Fire Station had also received a brand new fire engine and there were no plans in the pipeline for any station changes in the immediate future.

 

Councillor Cuddy, who attended Care and Repair meetings, enquired about the work around this activity with the Fire Officer advising that the Fire Service worked on a number of occasions with partnerships with fire service training was available across the Vale for every Care Agency.

 

In referring to the number of grass and refuse fires that had taken place, the Member from Cowbridge asked whether the Community Councils could provide any assistance to the Fire Service in the prevention of incidents.  The Group Manager advised that he would liaise with the Station Commander in Cowbridge and ask that to contact the local Town Council to discuss possible ways of working together. 

 

In conclusion, the Fire Officer advised that statistically it is found that known criminals tend to reoffend with a number of fires taking place shortly after release with the result that the Fire Service are now combining their efforts with working with prisons to raise awareness of the issues. 

 

Having considered the report, it was subsequently

 

AGREED – T H A T the Group Manager, Vaughan Jenkins, be thanked for his informative and detailed report.

 

 

136     COMMUNITY ACTION SELF HELP (CASH) SCHEME (MD) –

 

The Section 151 Officer presented the report which had been prepared following a Request for Consideration from Barry Town Council. 

 

In presenting the report, the Section 151 Officer advised that since July 2015 only one scheme could be put forward from each Town / Community Council and that all Town and Community Councils had been advised of the changes, with the request in April 2016 that any applications for grant be received by the Council by the end of April 2016.  £30,000 had been included in the 2016/17 Capital Programme for the CASH grant scheme and grant awards would not be more than 30% of the Town / Community Council’s precept to ensure the schemes progressed were proportionate to the size of the Town / Community Council. 

 

Although the representative from Barry Town Council advised that he had not been given any information with regard to the request, Councillor N.P. Hodges stated that he had been present at the Town Council meeting when the request had been suggested.  Councillor Hodges explained that as a result of the change of criteria, it was now set out in a way that larger Town / Community Councils would not be able to successfully apply for a grant in the future.  Councillor M.R. Wilson from Penarth Town Council also commented on this aspect.

 

The Member for Cowbridge advised that although there were only nine applications and that she understood what both the Barry and Penarth Town Councils were saying, she did not agree with the suggestion to amend the criteria as their precepts were higher than those of other Community Councils and that the pot of money should not be used for large Town / Community Councils as it would not be fair to the smaller Community Councils.  The Member for Llandow also advised that such grants could be a lifeline for small Community Councils.  However, it was noted that out of the 26 Town and Community Councils in the Vale, only nine applications had been received. 

 

Councillor Hodges, in response, advised that Barry Town Council had also signed up to the Charter like other Town and Community Councils and felt that in the interest of fairness the criteria should be reviewed. 

 

Following a vote it was subsequently  

 

AGREED  –

 

(1)       T H A T Cabinet be requested to review the criteria for Community Action Self Help (CASH) Schemes.

 

(2)       T H A T Cabinet be requested to remove percentages detailed in the current criteria in order that all Town and Community Councils can have the opportunity to apply for the grants.

 

(3)       T H A T Cabinet be requested to consider increasing the £30,000 allocation for schemes in order that more opportunities can be encouraged.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1&2)  In order that Cabinet can reconsider the criteria in light of its unfairness to a number of Town and Community Councils in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

(3)       In order that more opportunities can be provided for grant funding.

 

 

137     REQUEST FOR REPRESENTATIVES OF TOWN AND COMMUNITY COUNCILS TO SIT ON THE PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD AND ON THE COUNCIL’S RESHAPING SERVICES CHALLENGE GROUP AND PROGRAMME BOARD (MD) –

 

Mr. Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Improvement, presented the report advising that the Community Liaison Committee had considered an invitation from the Vale of Glamorgan Local Service Board (LSB) to appoint a Town and Community Council representative to sit on the LSB for a one year term in June 2015.  At the same time it had also considered an invitation for a representative to join the Council’s Reshaping Services Challenge Group and Programme Board.  Councillor M. Cuddy was the current representative on the Reshaping Services Challenge Group and Programme Board and Councillor G. Smith had been the representative on the LSB but Councillor. Smith had wished to stand down. 

 

The Public Services Board

 

The LSB, as a result of the Well-being of Future Generations Act which came into force on 1st April, 2015, was disbanded as the Act formally established statutory boards to be called Public Service Boards (PSBs) in each Local Authority in Wales.

 

The Act also specified that the PSB must include the following four statutory members: the Local Authority, the Local Health Board, The Welsh Fire and Rescue Authority, and the Natural Resources Body for Wales.  Statutory members were collectively responsible for fulfilling the PSB's statutory duties; unanimous agreement of the statutory members was required in order for the PSB to fulfil its statutory duties.

 

The statutory duties placed on the PSB that contributed to the achievement of the national wellbeing goals as set out in the legislation are: to assess the state of economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being in their areas, to set local objectives that are designed to maximise their contribution within their areas to achieving those goals, and that statutory members, in exercising their functions, take all reasonable steps to meet these objectives i.e. through the wellbeing plan.

 

In addition to statutory members, PSBs were required to invite certain other persons or organisations to participate in the Board.  The PSB must also invite specified statutory invitees to participate in the Board's activity.  These invitees were not required to accept the invitation; however, if they accepted the invitation they did not become statutory members of the PSB but became "invited participants". 

 

Reshaping Services Strategy and Programme

 

In response to the challenging financial climate the Council had developed a strategy for transformational change called Reshaping Services.  The strategy approved in 2014 was a proactive strategy which sought to reshape the way in which the Council worked in order to mitigate the impact of cuts and assist in continuing to provide priority services.  The Reshaping Services Strategy provided a framework for the Council to work with over the next three to five years and aligned its duties under the Well-being of Future Generations Act and in particular the five ways of working, involvement, integration, prevention, looking to the long term and collaboration.

 

A Cabinet Working Group oversaw the Programme which was called the "Challenge Group" and was responsible for the ongoing review of all service areas during the Programme. At officer level, a Programme Board was responsible for managing the overall Programme in all its aspects.

 

In recognition of the important role that Town and Community Councils had in representing local communities, the Council believed they could play an important role 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.

 

Following consideration of the report, it was subsequently unanimously

 

AGREED – T H A T Councillor M. Cuddy represent the Town and Community Councils of the Vale of Glamorgan on the Public Services Board and be also appointed as the representative to sit on the Vale of Glamorgan’s Reshaping Services Challenge Group and Programme Board, both for the term of one year.

 

 

138     VERBAL UPDATE ON THE PROGRESS WITH THE RESHAPING SERVICES PROGRAMME (MD) –

 

Mr. Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Improvement, commenced by advising that by way of background, the Reshaping Services Change Programme for the Vale was in response to the medium term financial pressures facing the Council. Its aim was to reshape the Council to enable it to meet the future needs of citizens of the Vale of Glamorgan within the context of unprecedented financial challenges. 

 

In providing an update on the Programme he stated that under Tranche 1 the following service specific projects had been undertaken:

 

            Additional Learning Needs and Inclusion

            Catering

            Library Services

            Transportation

            Building Maintenance

            Highways

            Planning

            Regulatory Services

            ICT

            Social Services Budget Programme and

            The Space Project.

 

For Tranche 2 they were as follows:

 

            Learning and Skills

            Strategy and Resources

            Landlord Responsibilities

            Cleaning and Security

            Corporate Services.

 

Under Corporate Projects, these covered Town and Community Councils, the Voluntary Sector, demand management, effectiveness of spend, income generation and digital mail.  The activity programme included organisational development, communication and engagement and programme management.

 

It was noted that in the Cabinet meeting on 4th July, Cabinet had requested that detailed updates of the above be circulated to Members of the Community Liaison Committee and all Town and Community Council Clerks.  This would be done during the week.

 

With specific reference to Town and Community Councils and the Voluntary Sector Project, he advised that initial meetings with Town and Community Councils, initially prioritising larger Councils, was under way to explore specific service and asset transfer opportunities, including the opportunity to delivery differently potential initiatives such as building leases, working with a range of community / sport groups and parks management. 

 

Work was also under way to redesign Visible Services in the light of substantial budget savings, including consideration of services which could be provided by Town and Community Councils and others and also to define the new baseline level of service provision for 2017/18.  Project Board and Project Team representation was to be agreed by the Committee in the next agenda.

 

With specific reference to Community Asset Transfers, the Head of Service stated that Community Asset Transfer guidance had been updated and approved by Cabinet in April 2016.  This had a three stage approach of expressions of interest, business cases and a subsequent decision.  The Guidance would ensure transparency and sustainability issues were considered and transfers would be based on sound decisions and identified need, with One Voice Wales and Glamorgan Voluntary Services representation on the working group.  To date he could advise that three Community Asset Transfers and expressions of interest had been received, which were receiving attention.  The Community Asset Transfer guidance and forms could be found on the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s website.

 

The project’s next steps would include the continuation of further meetings with larger Councils, discussions with all other Councils on request, ongoing Council development of savings proposals, work with other projects such as community mapping, etc. and people based projects.  The project was also planning for a seminar to support Town and Community Councils in the Autumn of 2016. 

 

Councillor M. Cuddy from Penarth Town Council advised that one of the important aspects of the work would be to consider co-production and he was pleased to note that One Voice Wales and Glamorgan Voluntary Services were taking a full part in this programme.  This was echoed by Councillor Wilson, who confirmed that his view was that co-production was the way forward for Town and Community Councils for shared services and to work with the Vale Council.

 

Recognising that further work was being undertaken within Visible Services and that further clarity on the Council’s budget and its intentions would be provided later in the year, the Chairman concluded by stating that the Committee looked forward to receiving that information so that it had a full picture on the Council’s priorities.

 

It was subsequently

 

AGREED – T H A T the report be noted and it be accepted that the item was a standing item on the Committee’s agenda in order to receive regular updates on the work of the programme.

 

 

139     COMMUNITY ASSET MAPPING –

 

Ms. Hannah Dineen, Senior Regeneration Officer, provided the Committee with a presentation on the pilot project that had taken place in respect of St. Athan.  The St. Athan area had been chosen following a decision by the Vale of Glamorgan Council that they had limited information on the community and had found had not tapped into Rural Development funding.

 

Community mapping was about looking at the priorities of the community, the local networks, friendships, social issues, infrastructure, schools, libraries, etc. and holding discussions with individuals as to how to move forward.  Community mapping was about recognising everyone has something to offer and building on the positives.  The benefits of community mapping were reported as : 

  • Builds on existing strengths in the community
  • Cultivates new partnerships and relationships
  • Enables the community to explore and be aware of their assets
  • Identifies new resources
  • Provides information across stakeholders
  • Provides evidence of need for external funding.

As a result of this initiative, a pilot community mapping toolkit had also been drafted detailing the following:

 

Community Mapping Toolkit 

  • Overview of community mapping
  • Planning the community mapping
  • Running the community mapping activities
  • Taking things forward
  • Maintaining momentum

 

Community Mapping Toolkit Activities

  • Community Bingo
  • Home is where the heart is?
  • No map mapping
  • Body maps
  • Dream Tree
  • Photo – visioning.

 

In undertaking the exercise at St. Athan a number of activities had taken place – 11 focus groups, a community survey with 214 surveys having been completed, 45 individual conversations with community members and stakeholders and social media involvement and press releases.  As a result, the priorities for St. Athan were reported as follows: 

  • Improve public transport
  • Provide more children’s activities
  • Improve play areas
  • Create a safe walking environment
  • Improve service provision
  • Lack of communication.

Ms. Dineen advised Committee of the achievements to date at St. Athan as outlined below : 

  • Saints – Friends of St. Athan Play Areas set up
  • Community Fun Day on Friday 5th August
  • Gaining community momentum – volunteers / communication
  • Discussions with transport providers
  • Discussion around priorities for S106 monies.

In concluding the presentation, the Regeneration Officer further advised that the lessons that had been learned from St. Athan were that: 

  • Extensive publicity was essential
  • Benefit of having volunteer group
  • Value of individual conversations but time consuming
  • Toolkit exercises worked well with a target group.

For the future and taking things forward, the Officer was keen to highlight the importance of community mapping and was more than happy to discuss with any other Town or Community Council its value and to support them in undertaking activities in their area to ascertain the priorities. The toolkit she felt could be a valuable tool in community engagement work and she informed the Committee that she would be more than happy to help any Town or Community Council by facilitating community mapping activities, helping to identify service needs, piloting new services and identifying sources of funding throughout the Vale her, contact details were noted as :

 

            Hannah Dineen

            Senior Regeneration Officer

            Tel: 01446 704226

            Email: hdineen@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk

            www.creativeruralcommunities.co.uk

            Facebook: /creativeruralcommunities

            Twitter: @ruralvale

 

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Education, with permission from the Committee to speak, advised that this had been an exciting project and the Creative Rural Communities Team had an excellent reputation as being the best development team in Wales.  The Inspiring Bursary Programme had also been shortlisted for a UK Enterprise Award.  The Council and the team were keen to take the toolkit to other communities and urged Town and Community Councils to consider the information and contact the Senior Regeneration Officer accordingly.

 

Having considered the report, the Chairman thanked the Senior Regeneration Officer for her presentation and urged all Town and Community Council representatives to take the details back to their Councils for consideration.

 

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