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COMMUNITY LIAISON COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 22nd March, 2017.

 

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

 

Also present:  Councillor L. Burnett.

 

Representing Town and Community Councils: E. Pritchard (Barry Town Council), J. Lott (Llancarfan Community Council), P. Carreyett (Llandough Community Council), M. Hurst (Llandow Community Council), G. Smith (Llanmaes Community Council), G. Morgan (Llantwit Major Town Council), M. Cuddy (Penarth Town Council), C. Tutton (Pendoylan Community Council), D. Moody-Jones (Peterston Super Ely Community Council), A. Barnaby (St. Athan Community Council), G. Rawson (St. Nicholas and Bonvilston Community Council), M. Garland (Sully and Lavernock Community Council), N. Craddock (Welsh St. Donats Community Council) and C. Thomas (Wenvoe Community Council).

 

 

970     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE -

 

This was received from Councillor A.G. Bennett.

 

 

971     MINUTES -

 

AGREED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 1st February, 2017 be accepted as a correct record.

 

 

972     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

The following declaration was received: 

  • Councillor G. John declared an interest in Agenda Item No. 6, Request for Consideration from Llantwit Major Town Council.  The nature of the interest was that Councillor John was also a Member of Llantwit Major Town Council, he had taken advice from the Monitoring Officer and was able to speak but would not vote on this item.

 

973     POLICE MATTERS -

 

Chief Inspector L. Gore was present at the meeting and fed back to the Committee, in relation to queries raised at the last Community Liaison Committee. 

 

Further to the query from a Member with regard to the crime statistics for Penarth, specifically the Plymouth and St. Augustines Wards, she advised that it was not straightforward to split these statistics and the only way they could be split was at beat level.  If they wanted to be split any further the request would need to go to Canada where the computer system operated from and it could take some time, possibly years.  As there were only 35 crimes in January 2017 and 50 in February 2017 this would not be cost effective to do. 

 

Chief Inspector Gore also stressed the issue which had been raised at the previous meeting in relation to speeding in St. Athan.  In regard to the high visibility roads such as the B4265 and the Gileston Road which had been raised at a local Community Council meeting, three speed scoping exercises had been carried out which had ascertained that 90% of drivers were within the speed limit, 5% were over the limit and 5% were excessively over the speed limit.  Rumble strips had been laid down on the Cowbridge Road and Eglwys Brewis Road which had been in the location of speeding.  Chief Inspector Gore advised that they were now looking at siting a speed camera van there.

 

Further to the query raised at the last meeting Chief Inspector Gore advised that Daniel Rees had been appointed as the new PCSO for Cowbridge and had been attending community meetings to introduce himself including PubWatch.

 

Chief Inspector Gore apprised the Committee in relation to ongoing operations, as follows: 

  • Operation for Rogue Trader which was a joint exercise with Trading Standards. 
  • 2 people had been arrested for graffiti in Penarth
  • There had been a long term operation with Trading Standards
  • In terms of wellbeing, officers had attended Alzheimer’s training in order to help the aging population
  • There had been an extra PCSO employed in Castleland Ward.  Responsible officers would now be requiring body-worn video cameras.

She informed the Committee that in July 2017 the use of force data would be published and it would be interesting to see reaction to this information.  The officer further informed the Committee as to events that had been taking place across the county recently, which included: 

  • the targeting of car parks, particularly at beauty spots in order to deter car theft
  • Llandow sprint
  • Llantwit Major Toy Fair
  • Cowbridge Summer Fayre
  • Increased officer presence at Barry Island over the Easter period.

Chief Inspector Gore advised that in terms of parking enforcement, South Wales Police was only responsible for enforcing six types of parking offences and that the Authority would also play a part in parking enforcement.

 

A Member expressed the view that there was some confusion in regard to points of contact in relation to reporting of parking issues in Penarth and Chief Inspector Gore advised that she would liaise with the relevant officer in the Council in relation to this matter.  The Member also asked whether there could be a police presence at upcoming events in Penarth and Chief Inspector Gore asked for the details to be sent to her in order that this could be arranged.

 

In response to a query from a Member, Chief Inspector Gore confirmed that a replacement PCSO would be in post in Dinas Powys.  A Member queried whether there was an issue in regard to resourcing as there was a part-time PSCO in the area, however, they did not see them at their Community Council Meetings.  In response, Chief Inspector Gore advised that there were no vacancies on the Neighbourhood Teams; however, there were vacancies on the Response Teams in Barry and Penarth.  They currently had 5 temporary Sergeants and 5 vacancies for PCs in the area and she asked that the Member let her know whether officers were attending their meetings. 

 

The representative from St. Athan Community Council advised that officers had attended their Community Council meeting and thanked the Chief Inspector for the action in regard to speeding in the area.  Whilst she advised that they had 138 responses to their community survey, she raised an issue in regard to a zebra crossing in the town and advised that she would forward the details of the reports to the officer. 

 

The Member from Llandow Community Council asked the question in particular to the recent fire at Llandow and Chief Inspector Gore advised that South Wales Police had limited involvement and there was nothing specific in regard to the fire that had started within one of the stacks and there was a continuing investigation into the matter.

 

The representative from Wenvoe Community Council advised that a PCSO had attended their Council meeting, however, they rarely saw the same officer twice.  There was a low level of crime in the village and their main concern was in relation to parking around the school and, although accepting it was no longer a police matter, they asked Chief Inspector Gore if she had any suggestions in relation to seeking a solution to the problem.  Chief Inspector Gore advised that this was a common problem and found that the involvement of the children was usually productive as the parents listened to them and that they had a junior PCSO scheme which was proving to be very effective. 

 

A Member asked whether there were any plans for police horses to be deployed anywhere else in the Vale other than Barry Island.  Chief Inspector Gore advised that they could be employed wherever they were needed.  They were often used for football or rugby events. 

 

In conclusion, the Chairman thanked Chief Inspector Gore for her attendance at the meeting and it was

 

AGREED - T H A T the contents of Chief Inspector Gore’s presentation be noted.

 

 

974     ONGOING ENGAGEMENT WITH CARDIFF AND VALE COMMUNITY HEALTH COUNCIL AND HOT TOPICS - PRESENTATION -

 

Daniel Price, Deputy Chief Officer of Cardiff and Vale Community Health Council was present at the meeting to provide the Committee with a presentation in regards to the work of the Cardiff and Vale Community Health Council.  Also present was Gill Shelton, the Chair of the Cardiff and Vale Community Health Council.

 

Mr. Price informed the Committee that Community Health Council were independent bodies established by Parliament since 1974 following abuse at Ely Hospital in Cardiff in the late 1960s.  The purpose of the Council was to represent the interests of the public in the Health Service and this included the secondary care, primary care sectors, care homes and private hospitals taking NHS patients since 2004.

 

He advised that Community Health Councils were the only statutory lay NHS watchdog who were independent bodies in Wales and that there was a board of Community Health Councils in Wales.  There were 7 CHCs in Wales which were co-terminus with the 7 Health Boards in Wales and each of the CHCs had Local Committees based on the Local Authority boundaries.

 

Each Community Health Council had 12 members per Local Authority Area, 3 which were from the Local Authority, 3 from voluntary organisations and 6 were appointed by the Minister for Health and Social Services in Wales by the Public Appointment process.  Community Health Councils could also co-opt extra, non-voting members for specific tasks as necessary.  In regard to the statutory responsibilities of Community Health Councils, Mr. Price advised that they were obliged to provide a way for public/patients to have their say about NHS services by systematic continuous engagement and provide free independent advice about local health services.  In addition, they were obliged to provide a complaints advocacy service which was free, independent and confidential.  Furthermore, they were to keep under review the Health Service within its area. 

 

The Community Health Council had certain powers which included: 

  • the right to be consulted by the Health Boards on changes to health services
  • they were to meet regularly on a formal basis with the Health Boards at least quarterly
  • each CHC had the right to enter and inspect the premises of
    • NHS providers
    • general practices
    • hospitals
    • nursing/residential homes
    • ambulance services
  • they were also entitled to receive from the Health Boards the information they needed to carry out their duties.

Mr. Price advised that there had been significant changes to mental health services in the County.  However, since the closure of Sully Hospital the Mental Health Unit had moved to Llandough Hospital.  Further, it was agreed that a unit would be retained at Barry Hospital which was a world-class facility. 

 

One of the issues was that 16 functioning mental health beds were being lost at the facility at Llandough.  He informed the Committee that there was a meeting in relation to this on 23rd March at Hafan y Coed.  Mr. Price also informed the Committee that they carried out focus visits at Carewatch and Dignity and had produced reports on these visits.   

 

Mr. Price advised that the changes in the mental health services could go to formal consultation; however, the CHC was limited on how it could attract membership.  He advised that they would have similar leave to Magistrates however, one of the most difficult and hard to reach groups were those individuals who worked.  He advised that they were looking to progress and recruit new members and that membership was now much more diverse.  He advised that they met with senior executives and CEOs of Velindre Hospital, the University Hospital of Wales and local management teams on a bi-monthly basis and they were looking to increase the number of meetings in the Vale of Glamorgan.  There was a new facility at UHW in terms of ambulance make-ready area and, therefore, ambulances would be cleaned at the hospital, which would save a lot of time. 

 

In terms of advocacy services provided, he informed the Committee that they could not go beyond NHS funded services and they currently had 120 live cases which was approximately 10% of cases.  He advised there would be a report on branch surgeries in May and individual reports were available now.  In terms of Health Watch this was very good; however, there was an under-representation in terms of diversity.  They did regular press releases and also carried out audits to look at cleanliness in order to increase standards.

 

The CHC held regular ‘Teach the Local’ Committee, Executive Committee and Full Council meetings, some of which were open to the public.  It engaged with the public in a formal and informal engagement and consultation and providing NHS services and talked to patients at these premises.  They also arranged Health Watch meetings and used surveys.  The CHC worked closely with the voluntary sector, carer and user groups, local MPs, AMs and Councillors and wrote regular press releases. 

 

Mr. Price informed the Committee as to why the Community Health Council would visit NHS premises, i.e. 

  • gathering information from patients and the public
  • deliver standards of care in particular dignity and respect.

Mr. Price updated the Committee in relation to the key themes of the CHC over the past 12 months, which included provision of day rooms.  He advised that one of the biggest issues was stimulating patients whilst they were in hospital and that a lot more stimulation was required as there was not a great deal for patients to do whilst they were in hospital.  Another key theme was maintenance issues; a new health centre had been opened in Dinas Powys as the previous provision was not fit for purpose.  Other key themes included: 

  • hearing loops - these were severely lacking
  • support services - therapies etc
  • discharge and repatriation
  • facility closures
  • infection and control issues
  • accessibility - pull cords, signage etc
  • bare below the elbow - Mr. Price advised that this should be complied with across all facilities
  • staffing levels on wards
  • patient needs.

Mr. Price informed the Committee that current hot topics were engagement on mental health services for older people and cross-order issues with ABM and Cwm Taf Health Boards.  In addition, there was forthcoming engagement on Ear, Nose and Throat services, major trauma network and centres and acute care workstreams.  Mr. Price advised that they wanted to build relationships with both constituents and local Councillors with a view to working more effectively and to hear the voices of constituents.  This would ensure the CHC heard the voice of its constituents through setting a Vale Health Watch Group in the next 12 months and advised that any help would be welcome.

 

Following the presentation, Members were provided with the opportunity to ask questions.

 

A Member asked what would be happening with the old Dinas Powys Centre and Mr. Price advised that it would be put up for sale.  It was suggested that an email be sent to all Town and Community Council (TCC) Clerks in the Vale in order to make them aware of the work of the Community Health Council with the possibility that it could lead to the recruitment of new members.  Mr. Price agreed that this was a good idea and would ensure that he emailed TCC Clerks. 

 

A Member asked whether they were able to attend a meeting in regard to Mental Health Services at Hafan y Coed and Mr. Price advised that Members were able to attend as well as members of the public. 

 

The representative from Penarth Town Council raised an issue with regard to funding required for the Community Health Council which would be an issue as a lot of funding would be required for the provision of the service.  Mr. Price advised that there were issues in terms of funding linked to commissioning arrangements which needed to be looked at.

 

The Chairman provided Jill Shelton, the Chairman of the Community Health Council (CHC) for Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan the opportunity to make representations.  Ms. Shelton advised that she did have informal networks and they could gather a lot of information by going out and speaking to patients.  The CHC met regularly with the CEO of Velindre and the UHB and advised that they would appreciate Councillors input in order that they could feed into these meetings.  Furthermore, she advised that she was happy to talk to organisations about the work of the CHC and reiterated the point that they were independent patient representatives. 

 

The Chairman thanked both Mr. Price and Ms. Shelton for their attendance at the meeting and also for the informative presentation. 

 

 

975     REQUEST FOR CONSIDERATION FROM LLANTWIT MAJOR TOWN COUNCIL - CONSULTATION WITH TOWN/COMMUNITY COUNCILS ON PLANNING -

 

The Operational Manager for Development Management provided the Committee with a presentation in relation to the work of the Development Management Team and also the decision-making process around planning matters.  In addition to providing information on the areas of work of the Planning Department the officer advised as to the restructure of the Department.  A copy of the presentation was tabled at the meeting and would be uploaded to the Council’s website following the meeting.

 

The Operational Manager also provided information in regard to sustainable development, in that as a starting point the Authority was advised to deliver sustainable development as per guidance from Planning Policy Wales (PPW).  In addition, they had to take account of the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 which had a duty to meet its sustainable development (or wellbeing) objectives.  In making decisions the Council sought to ensure that the needs of the present are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

 

In terms of decision-making officers were required to take into account material considerations, which included: 

  • National Planning Policy - Planning Policy Wales (PPW), Technical Advice Notes (TANs), Circulars, Ministerial Statements
  • Local Policy - Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG), Development Briefs, Conservation Area Management Plans
  • Planning history
  • Consultation responses
  • Site specific matters e.g. heritage constraints
  • Development viability
  • Personal circumstances (exceptional circumstances).

The Operational Manager gave examples of matters which were non material considerations and of matters that should not be taken into account in deciding planning applications which included: 

  • Loss of view
  • Negative effect on the value of properties
  • Land ownership or restrictive covenants
  • Business competition
  • Matters controlled under building regulations or other non-planning legislation.

The Operational Manager also informed the Committee with regard to the consultation process for planning applications.  There was a statutory duty to consult with TCCs on all planning applications and they had 21 days to respond by letter, email or online comment.  In addition, they had the right to speak at the Planning Committee meeting.  The Operational Manager advised that all comments would be taken into account in the decision-making process and weighed against all material considerations.  In a recent assessment of 350 applications, 98% of the decisions had been made in accordance with the TCCs comments. 

 

In terms of planning obligations they could be used to regulate the use of the land or require payments to be made.  They must be necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms, directly related to the development and fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the development.  The Authority sought them on major developments for affordable housing, transport, community facilities, open space, education and public art.  The Operational Manager also apprised the Committee in relation to points of contact for any queries.  There was a duty officer available for general enquiries five days a week, with a contact number being 01446 704681.  Case officers were available to discuss specific applications and copies of plans were available from the Support Services Team.  In addition, the application file and officer’s reports were available to view on the on-line Planning Register. 

 

The Chairman provided the representative from Llantwit Major Town Council with the opportunity to address the Committee in relation to the Request for Consideration from its Town Council. 

 

The Representative from Llantwit Major Town Council advised that they were on the Planning Committee of the Town Council and had lived in the area for many years, therefore had local knowledge and felt that applications should be given further consideration and made particular reference to a recent application at Durrell Street in Llantwit Major.  The Town Council had recommended rejection of the application due to issues surrounding traffic.  He advised that only about 4 or 5 Members of the Planning Committee had attended the site visit and that the application was approved by the Committee.  He advised that the Town Council took their role seriously and had in-depth discussions on applications in regard to the long term impact of applications and in particular in this case their concerns went unheeded. 

 

The Head of Regeneration and Planning in response, felt that the consultation representations from TCCs were an important part of the planning process; however, they might not be enough to result in an application being recommended for refusal although the comments would be valid.  He confirmed that they had a large number of consultees and they took account of all of the comments and all the recommendations made within the representations.  He advised that officers would have regard to a decision that a Planning Inspectorate may make at an appeal and also think about resources of the Authority if an appeal was lost.  He advised that the Vale of Glamorgan Council had a good reputation in this area and assured Members that they took account of every representation.  Some cases had material considerations in the representations, which meant that an officer could not recommend approval or refusal of a scheme. 

 

A Member asked whether the Planning Department was able to acknowledge receipt of representations.  The Head of Regeneration and Planning advised that they were able to provide auto responses to those representations provided electronically, however, unfortunately, they did not have the resources to send acknowledgements for all representations received.

 

A Member queried the split of the team in terms of north and south of the county and the Head of Service advised that, in terms of team structure, there was a defined boundary on the website which was determined by resources and confirmed that Sully was noted as within the south of the county.

 

A Member expressed the view that they felt communication was the biggest problem and if this could be improved in terms of the TCCs it would solve many problems.  The Operational Manager appreciated this and advised that it was extremely frustrating that they did not have the resources to respond to and advise on each representation as the department was dealing with hundreds and thousands of representations.  She encouraged Councillors to get in contact with the Department and to also to look at the reports on the website and assured them that representations were taken into account as part of the reporting process. 

 

A Member thanked the officers for their presentation and expressed the view that the Authority had excellent officers.  However, they stated that they concurred with the comments from Llantwit Major advising that the Community Council in Dinas Powys had objected to all of the sites in the LDP and further stated that approximately 90% of the representations had been against it.  As a result all of the applications in the LDP had been passed against the wishes of the community and this had been very disappointing.  In response, the Head of Service advised that local residents concerns were recognised but that unfortunately guidance in TAN1 about developing housing placed extreme pressure on Authorities to build sufficient housing for its area and this had come from Welsh Government (WG).  Under the expired UDP most sites had been granted and the LDP had recommended 10,000 plus houses to be built over the period of the Plan up to 2026.

 

Reference was made by a Member to the Place Plan for Barry that was to be completed by the Town Council and asked whether the planning department was supportive of the approach.  The Head of Service in response advised that he was very supportive as it would be a useful document for the future but that the department’s main concern was to ensure the LDP process was completed. In referring to a query regarding the introduction of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Committee was informed that a review was currently being undertaken by National Government and that it was the intention to grant powers to WG under the Wales Act 2017 in respect of such matters. However, at present, he was not sure how WG intended to address the issue as in his opinion the Section 106 process worked well.

 

Following a further query relating to the LDP as to why applications are being considered before candidate sites are ratified, Members were informed by the Head of Service that the Council had to have a 5 year housing land supply.  Although the LDP had not been formally adopted the Council still needed to build houses.

 

The Member from Bonvilston raised concern as to developments in the area not receiving Section 106 funding in particular the community would have liked to have benefitted with new infrastructure.       

 

The Head of Service in response advised that it was unfortunate that the housing scheme in Bonvilston had not met the full requirements as set out in the Council’s SPG.  However the developers had been able to prove that the viability of the scheme would be affected if they were not able to consequently reduce the contributions under Section 106.  This viability had been independently assessed by the District Valuer and included a large but necessary contribution to Welsh Water with regard to sewerage provision for the development.  The Head of Service confirmed that Government advice makes it clear that Councils must consider viability issues in any application.  Nevertheless it was pointed out that the total contributions provided by the applicants as part of any approval would be significant and would amount to the following:

 

•          Procure that 20% (24 No.) of the dwellings built on the site pursuant to the planning permission are built and thereafter maintained as affordable housing units in perpetuity, of which at least 75% would be social rented properties, and the remaining 25% would be intermediate properties.

•          To require the developer to provide the identified improvements to Pendoylan Lane for a length of 400 metres as approved under this application, which be fully completed prior to the occupation of the 100th dwelling or within 48 months from the commencement of development.

•          To safeguard the land (identified to undertake the remainder of the highway improvements to Pendoylan Lane) and not at any time dispose of or carry out any development of the land, in order to allow the Council the option to undertake highway improvements (for a period of 10 years).

•          Pay a contribution of £500,000 for the provision or enhancement of education facilities towards meeting the needs of future occupiers.

•          A scheme to ensure appropriate provision for future maintenance for the on-site public open space.

•          The developer shall pay a contribution of £1.2m to Dwr Cymru Welsh Water to increase capacity at the Bonvilston East Wastewater Treatment Works to accommodate an additional 90 dwellings,

•          In the event that the final costs of Bonvilston East Wastewater Treatment Works were less than £1.2m, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water shall pay the Council the difference.

 

Following a further query from the Llantwit Major representative as to applications in conservation areas, Committee was informed that all applications were assessed thoroughly and officers also worked closely with CADW.

 

During the discussion another TCC Member commented on the low attendance at site visits and again advised that in his area his Council also felt that their concerns were being ignored, referring particularly to applications for two granny annexes in the area.  The Head of Service advised that there were limits under National policies as to what the Council could and could not do.

 

In referring to the query regarding sustainable development, the Head of Service suggested that Planning Aid Wales would be willing to visit TCCs to discuss material and non-material considerations in more detail.  With regard to any Section 106 funding he also asked TCCs to make it clear in their representations as to what was needed in the area as this would assist officers in negotiations.  This was also echoed by fellow Vale Members who also advised of the opportunity for TCCs to speak at Planning Committee meetings and urged them to do so if there were any representations that they wished to make.  The Head of Service reminded all present of the procedure to register to speak at Planning Committee meetings which could also be found on the Council’s website.

 

Following concern in relation to signage from Barry to St. Athan and planning permission not being sought, the Operational Manager could advise that some prosecutions had been made.

 

AGREED – T H A T the Head of Service and Operational Manager be thanked for their comprehensive presentation and for their detailed responses to questions raised at the meeting.

 

 

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