Top

Top

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 7th March, 2012.

 

Present:  Councillor J. Clifford (Mayor); Councillors Ms. M.E. Alexander, R.J. Bertin, Mrs. M.E.J. Birch, J.C. Bird, Ms. B.E. Brooks, Mrs. J.E. Charles, P. Church, G.A. Cox, R.F. Curtis, Mrs. P. Drake, S.C. Egan, Ms. V.L. Ellis, C.P.J. Elmore, A.M. Ernest, J.F. Fraser, E. Hacker, A.D. Hampton, Mrs. V.M. Hartrey, K. Hatton, N.P. Hodges, H.J.W. James, T.H. Jarvie, G. John, F.T. Johnson, Mrs. M. Kelly Owen, G.C. Kemp, Mrs. K.A. Kemp, Mrs. A.J. Moore, N. Moore, C.L. Osborne, Mrs. A.J. Preston, Mrs. M. Randall, Mrs. S.I. Sharpe, J.W. Thomas, R.P. Thomas, R.L. Traherne, Mrs. D.M. Turner, S.T. Wiliam, Mrs. M.R. Wilkinson, A.C. Williams, C.J. Williams, E.T. Williams, Miss. S.J.C. Williams, M.R. Wilson and Ms. M. Wright.

 

 

940     APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE -

 

This was received from Councillor Mrs. S.M. Bagstaff.

 

 

941     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

Councillor S.C. Egan declared an interest in Agenda Item No. 6: Amended New Byelaws - Acupuncture, Tattooing, Semi-Permanent Skin-Colouring, Cosmetic Piercing and Electrolysis on the grounds of a family member operating a tattoo shop and left the meeting during consideration of that item.

 

 

942     MINUTES -

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 7th December, 2011 and the extraordinary meeting held on 25th January, 2012 were approved as a correct record.

 

 

942a    PETITION -

 

The following petitions were submitted and passed to the relevant Director:

 

(i)        Petition requesting the Council rethink the proposed changes to the running of Cosmeston Medieval Village (submitted by Councillor M.R. Wilson).

(ii)       Petition regarding the lack of enforcement of parking restrictions in many parts of Barry (submitted by Councillor N.P. Hodges).

 

 

943     CONSULTATION WITH NON-DOMESTIC RATEPAYERS (CX) -

 

In accordance with Section 75 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, the Council had consulted with representatives of local non-domestic ratepayers regarding the current, and preceding, years’ expenditure proposals.  An advertisement had been placed in the press and representations had been invited.  No responses had been received.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the position be noted.

 

 

944     AMENDED NEW BYELAWS - ACUPUNCTURE, TATTOOING, SEMI-PERMANENT SKIN-COLOURING, COSMETIC PIERCING AND ELECTROLYSIS (REF) -

 

Licensing Committee, on 4th October 2011, had considered the proposal to introduce new byelaws for the control of acupuncture, tattooing, semi-permanent skin-colouring, cosmetic piercing and electrolysis and had resolved, inter alia, that the Council be recommended to adopt the provisions of Part VIII of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 across the Vale of Glamorgan and that the provisions come into force on 1st February, 2012.  On 7th December 2011, Council had endorsed the recommendations of the Licensing Committee.

 

On 19th December 2011, the Welsh Government advised officers that a revised version of the model byelaws for acupuncture, tattooing, semi-permanent skin-colouring, cosmetic piercing and electrolysis had been issued. 

 

In light of the above, and to ensure byelaws introduced by this Council reflected best practice, work to progress the decision of the Council on 7th December was held in abeyance in order for officers to consider the implications of the correspondence received from the Welsh Government on 19th December 2011.

 

Officers were satisfied that the new model byelaws provided additional public protection, and were of the view that they should replace those endorsed by Council on 7th December 2011.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the amended new consolidated byelaws for the control of acupuncture, tattooing, semi-permanent skin-colouring, cosmetic piercing and electrolysis as attached at Appendix A to the report to Licensing Committee on 7th February 2012 be formally adopted.

 

(2)       T H A T the Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services be authorised to carry out the necessary procedure and apply to the appropriate Minister at the Welsh Government for approval and confirmation of the amended new byelaws.

 

(3)       T H A T the Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services be authorised to seal and date the byelaws on behalf of the Council.

 

 

945      CAPITAL MONITORING REPORT FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 30TH NOVEMBER 2011 (REF) -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the proposals of the Cabinet, as set out in Cabinet Minute No. C1585, 18th January, 2012, be approved and the Capital Programme be amended accordingly.

 

 

946     CAPITAL MONITORING REPORT FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 31ST DECEMBER 2011 (REF) -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the proposals of the Cabinet, as set out in Cabinet Minute No. C1599, 1st February, 2012, be approved and the Capital Programme be amended accordingly.

 

 

947     BARRY ISLAND STATION FOOTBRIDGE (REF) -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the proposals of the Cabinet, as set out in Cabinet Minute No. C1605, 1st February, 2012, be approved.

 

 

948     TREASURY MANAGEMENT (REF) -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the proposals of the Cabinet, as set out in Cabinet Minute No. C1635, 29th February, 2012, be approved.

 

 

949     FINAL HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT BUDGET PROPOSALS 2012/13 (REF) -

 

The initial Housing Revenue Account (HRA) budget proposals were considered by Cabinet on 16th November 2011 and were subsequently referred to Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) on 1st December 2011.  The Scrutiny Committee noted the proposals and recommended that the suggested increase for rent and other services be subject to a further report to the Committee once information became available from the Welsh Government.  Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) on 20th December 2011 noted the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) and the forwarding of such to Cabinet and the Budget Working Group.  The Budget Working Group had noted the recommendations.

 

The level of rent increase was based on the Housing Subsidy Determination issued by the Welsh Government.  The HRA Subsidy Determination had not been issued until 1st February 2012 which provided an all-Wales average weekly guideline rent increase of 5.1% (RPI), for the Vale of Glamorgan which equated to a 5.34% guideline rent increase. 

 

It was still expected that the HRA would outturn on target in 2011/12 at a surplus of £2,204k., as had been reported to Cabinet on 1st February 2012.  As the HRA was ring-fenced, any surplus or deficit at the year end would increase or decrease the HRA balance.

 

Due to the nature of the HRA, in that it was ring-fenced and any growth had to be funded from the balance, no Cost Pressures had been formally identified. 

 

The proposed 2012/13 budget was as set out at Appendix A to the report to Cabinet.

 

In summary, the change in the controllable budget was itemised as follows:

 

2011/12

Original

Budget

Inflation /

Pay Award

Committed

Growth/

Savings

Estimated

Rent

Increase

2012/13

Proposed

Budget

£000

£000

£000

£000

£000

(3,922)

32

4,627

(726)

11

 

The committed grown of £4,627,000 was due to a number of factors:

  • an increase in Capital Expenditure from Revenue Account to finance the Housing Improvement Programme - £4,753,000
  • an increase in increments and staff changes to support the delivery of the Housing Improvement Programme - £221,000
  • an increase in the provision of HRA Subsidy payable to WG based on the latest guidance issued - £27,000
  • an increase in the bad debt provision as per latest business plan assumptions - £60,000
  • an increase in the provision of software upgrades and licence fees to drive forward and monitor the asset database system in conjunction with the Housing Improvement Programme - £50,000
  • a reduction in county court recharge income - £26,000
  • an increase in the incentive to move scheme - £24,000.

These had been partially offset by:

  • a reduction in housing repairs - £440,000
  • a reduction in insurance costs - £39,000
  • an increase in water commission income - £22,000
  • other budget adjustments totalling - £33,000.

During discussion of this item, Councillor John moved an amendment, it being duly seconded, that the increase in charges be limited to 2.5%.  Upon being put to the vote, the amendment was lost and the original recommendations agreed.  The question of the recording of abstentions being not asked for by the Mayor was alluded to by certain Members.  The Council Procedural Rules provided that 'Where any Member requests it immediately after the vote is taken, their vote will be so recorded in the minutes to show whether they voted for or against the motion of abstaining from voting'.  There was no requirement on the part of the Mayor to ask for such.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the final budget proposals for 2012/13 as outlined below be approved:

 

Proposed Budget

2012/13

£000

HRA General

(14,904)

Housing Repairs

3,060

HRA Subsidy Payable to WG

5,103

General Management

903

Special Services

816

Capital Expenditure from Revenue Account (CERA)

5,033

Controllable Budget

 

11

Central Support and Operational Buildings

1,755

Capital Financing

 

136

(Surplus) / Deficit for the Year

 

1,902

Working Balance Brought Forward

 

(14,331)

Working Balance Carried Forward

(12,429)

 

(2)       T H A T the suggested increase for rent and other services as set out below be approved:

 

Type

Present Average Rent

(Based on 50 Chargeable Wks)

Proposed Average Rent

Increase(+)/

Decrease(-)

(Based on 50 Chargeable Wks)

Proposed Average Rent for 2012-13

(Based on 50 Chargeable Wks)

Average

Increase

Bungalow

£74.66 per week

+£4.22 per week

£78.88 per week

5.66%

Flat

£66.39 per week

£3.02 per week

£69.41 per week

4.56%

House

£81.70 per week

+£4.24 per week

£85.94 per week

5.19%

Maisonette

£72.44 per week

+£3.15 per week

£75.59 per week

4.35%

TOTAL

£75.13 per week

+£3.77 per week

£78.90 per week

5.02%

 

Garage Rents - increase from £6.04 to £.34 per week. 

 

Ty Iolo Hostel - the charge for persons accommodated be increased from £135.86 to £142.69 per week. 

 

28 Evans Street, Barry - this property, owned by the Council, was let to Llamau Housing Trust and comprised six units of accommodation.  The charge be increased from £452.94 to £475.72 per week.

 

Temporary Accommodation - the average current weekly charge be increased from £134.40 to £141.16 per week.

 

Sheltered Housing Guest Suites - the charges for guest room facilities be increased to £10.63 per person per night for double occupancy and £15.21 for single occupancy.

 

(3)       T H A T the following charges for the 2012/13 financial year be approved:

 

50 Week Basis

Current Charges

Proposed Charges

Heating

£9.15 per week

£7.09 per week

Warden Support Charge

£6.68 per week

£6.35 per week

Warden Management Charge

£2.76 per week

£3.54 per week

VCAS:

- Piper

- Communicall

 

£3.70 per week

£4.21 per week

 

£3.88 per week

£4.40 per week

Grounds Maintenance

                    £1.17 per week

                  £1.19 per week

Cleaning of communal areas

£1.63 per week

£1.68 per week

Lighting of communal areas

£1.03 per week

£1.10 per week

Laundry Facilities

£0.11 per week

£0.15 per week

Window Cleaning

£0.24 per week

£0.24 per week

CCTV

£0.35 per week

£0.35 per week

Lift Maintenance

£0.32 per week

£1.05 per week

Door Entry

£0.40 per week

£0.45 per week

Intercom

£0.49 per week

£0.68 per week

Sewerage Treatment Plants

£286.35

per annum

Based on the Rateable Value (RV) from the Water Schedule 2012-13

 

(4)       T H A T all changes to rents and service charges be implemented from 2nd April 2012 and that increase notices be sent to tenants 28 days in advance of the new charges coming into effect.

 

 

950     FINAL CAPITAL PROGRAMME PROPOSALS 2012/13 (REF) -

 

In introducing the report, the Leader referred to the Cabinet recommendations to Council in respect of:

  • the submission of a report to a future Cabinet meeting on Cross Common Bridge
  • the transferral of the budget for the demolition of empty buildings at Court Road Depot from 2012/13 to 2011/12
  • the transferral of a sum of £50,000 from the budget for the Gardenhurst Resource Centre from 2012/13 to 2011/12.

He drew Members’ attention to those items programmed for future years.  He referred to the fact that a significant proportion of the capital budget for 2012/13 was devoted to the School Investment Programme.  It was important that maximum receipts be realised from the sale of land. 

 

Councillor N. Moore welcomed the capital funding allocated to schools.  Referring to the tendering process regarding a Leisure Centre Partner, he asked whether it could be assumed that, should there be any changes, the position would be reviewed for the Capital Programme in the future.  Given that this matter had been called-in, the Leader indicated that, if there were any changes recommended via the call-in process, Cabinet would be obliged to consider such.

 

Councillor John referred to the allocation of £250,000 from Section 106 funding from Penarth Heights on works to St. Paul’s Church.  He was concerned that, given the fact that a sum of up to £800,000 had been mentioned as being required to bring the building up to standard, whether £250,000 was to be spent without any assurance regarding further monies being made available.  Councillor Mrs. Birch stressed the importance of the building to the life of Penarth residents.  She was grateful that some money had been identified but concurred with Councillor John’s comments as to whether it was sufficient.  Councillor N. Moore felt that, reluctantly, the cheapest option of the three schemes considered by Cabinet was being progressed.  Councillor Wilson pointed out that, whilst it had been their intention to do so, the Penarth Gymnastics Club had never actually used the building.

 

The Leader indicated that the intention was to utilise funding in advance of the Section 106 agreement in order to make the building useable.  The use of remaining Section 106 monies would need to be looked at in due course, taking into account the Council’s overall priorities. 

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the proposals of the Cabinet, as set out in Cabinet Minute No. C1636, 29th February 2012, be approved as follows:

 

(1)       T H A T the final budget proposals for the 2012/13 Capital Programme as set out in Appendix A be approved.

 

(2)       T H A T budgets in future years, highlighted in bold in Appendix A to the report, be approved now, while the remainder are indicative only.

 

(3)       T H A T the Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration present a report on the Cross Common Bridge to a future Cabinet.

 

(4)       T H A T the budget for the Demolition of Empty Buildings at Court Road Depot be transferred from 2012/13 to 2011/12.

 

(5)       T H A T the sum of £50,000 from the budget for the Gardenhurst Resource Centre be transferred from 2012/13 to 2011/12.

 

(6)       T H A T the Director of Finance, ICT and Property, in consultation with the Cabinet Member responsible for Finance, be given delegated authority to make additions, deletions or transfers to or from the 2012/13 Housing Capital Programme as appropriate.

 

(7)       T H A T the Director of Finance, ICT and Property, in consultation with the Cabinet Member responsible for Finance, be given delegated authority to make additions, deletions or transfers to or from 2012/13 Asset Renewal budgets as appropriate.

 

(8)       T H A T the policy for making minimum revenue provision in 2012/13 be approved.

 

 

951     FINAL PROPOSALS FOR THE REVENUE BUDGET 2012/13 (REF) -

 

The Leader, in presenting the recommendations of Cabinet of 29th February 2012, referred to the need to view the budget in light of the continuing financial restraints facing the Council and, indeed, all public bodies.  He pointed out that, whilst the Council’s total Standard Spending Assessment (SSA) had increased by £2.506m. to £205.294m., the actual AEF increase equated to just £543,000. 

 

The budget had been subject to the usual process, involving initial consideration by Cabinet, followed by Scrutiny Committees, the Budget Working Group and further consideration by Cabinet prior to its submission to Full Council.  The views of all Scrutiny Committees, together with those of the Schools Budget Forum, had been taken into account.

 

The Leader referred Members to paragraphs 19 - 23 of the report to Cabinet, which contained the Financial Strategy for 2012/13 - 2014/15, containing agreed savings targets.  The overall position in respect of the proposed budget for 2012/13 had been set out in Appendix B to the Cabinet report.  There were a number of proposed budget transfers, the most significant financially being £1.869m. from the Education and Schools Budget to the Environmental and Economic Regeneration Budget for Transport.  Total net growth in the budget was £7.477m.  Savings totalled £3.964m., including an extra £0.676m. above the figure approved by Council the previous year. 

 

Budgets relating to individual Directorates were set out in paragraphs 32 to 68 of the Cabinet report. 

 

The use of £0.5m. of reserves would leave total reserves of £6.858m. The use of specific reserves proposed was set out in paragraphs 72 - 79 of the Cabinet report.  This had followed a thorough review of existing specific reserves.  As a result, it was proposed to release a total of £12.720m., to be used as follows:

  • Social Services budget reserve - £4.8m.
  • Visible Services reserve - £1m.
  • Project fund - £6.92m. (to be used to fund payment to the National Trust for Dyffryn, rather than use prudential borrowing).

The total budget would be £2.388m. below the SSA figure.

 

Whilst issues still existed in respect of single status and Job Evaluation, the risks had been reduced considerably since settlement had been reached. 

 

The Leader drew attention to the Section 151 officer’s view on the “robustness of estimates” as set out in paragraphs 105 - 110 of the report.

 

Having considered all the issues, Cabinet had proposed a rise in the Council Tax of 1.75%.  Whilst acknowledging the difficult economic climate prevailing, the Leader pointed out that this would represent an increase well below inflation and would be below the average figure for Wales.  The Council would remain below the Welsh average figure for Band D Council Tax.

 

Councillor N. Moore, Leader of the Labour Group, felt that the budget, in the main, should have been shaped by the actions / recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) Task and Finish Group.  He referred to the subsequent agreement of the Administration to accept the proposals for savings for 2011/12 and 2012/13.  He expressed his appreciation to the Director of Finance, ICT and Property for her comprehensive report.

 

Councillor Moore felt that, despite the work of the Task and Finish Budget Group referred to above, the position was not acceptable given his view that the Administration had an “appalling record” on budgetary management, particularly with regard to “mismanagement” of the Social Services budget.  He referred to there being an overspend of £3.575m. in Social Services in 2011/12 alone, which he considered to be unforgivable.  He felt the position to be as bad as that which had arisen in December 2006 when significant overspends in Social Services had arisen. 

 

Councillor Moore felt that the work undertaken by the previous Coalition Administration had been undone given the budgetary position now prevailing.  He felt that the current year’s overspend on Social Services could be even more than the figure alluded to above. 

 

Referring to the proposed recovery plan over the coming four years alluded to in the report, Councillor Moore referred to the total amount of reserves that would be required to be utilised and also to the fact that, for such a recovery plan to be successful, overspending would have to stop. 

 

Councillor Moore also referred to varying figures which had been calculated and submitted to the Welsh Government in respect of the First Steps programme of capping Social Services packages at £50.  He assumed that the figure now alluded to in the report was correct.  However, should the sum of £650,000 sought from the Welsh Government not be provided, he pointed out that this sum would need to be found in addition to the existing reported overspend. 

 

Councillor Moore referred to the Leader’s comments regarding the utilisation of reserves, including those from the Project fund for Dyffryn.  He also referred to the requirements of the Welsh Government for expenditure on Education and Social Services. 

 

Councillor Mrs. Randall, Leader of the Plaid Cymru Group, acknowledged that 2012/13 would be a difficult year, particularly given the reduction in funding provided by central government.  She felt unable to oppose the proposed rise of 1.75% in Council Tax.  She welcomed the use, in some instances, of reserves but, with regard to Social Services, also felt that the pattern of overspend must be brought to an end. 

 

Councillor Mrs. Randall congratulated officers on the work undertaken with regard to the Job Evaluation process.  With regard to proposals for Dyffryn, she hoped that these would enable staff to be re-employed on their existing terms and conditions.  She was also pleased regarding the expenditure planned on St. Paul’s Church.  The Plaid Cymru Group was also glad to see reference in the recommendations from Cabinet to a further report in due course on the Cross Common Bridge.  She expressed concern that the Council had not progressed the introduction of Civil Enforcement of Traffic Regulations at a faster pace.

 

Councillor John, Leader of the Independent Group, expressed concern regarding the future of Council services and potential job losses.  He considered it disturbing to see Social Services facing such overspends again, which he considered continued to have an effect on other Council services.  Whilst acknowledging the value in utilising reserves, Councillor John pointed out that, once spent, they were obviously no longer available. 

 

In summing up, the Leader acknowledged the input of the Scrutiny Committees.  He reminded Members that the progression of Civil Parking Enforcement was underway.  With regard to Social Services, he was satisfied that, over time, officers and services could be brought back within spending levels.  He considered there to be a fundamental difference between the situation prevailing now and that in 2006, pointing out that the overspend was due to the needs of vulnerable members of the community. 

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the budget for 2012/13 be fixed at £203.056 million including a provision of £150,000 for discretionary rate relief to rural shops and post offices and charitable organisations.

 

(2)       T H A T the budgets for 2012/13 be approved as set out in Appendix B to the report, the totals as follows:

 

 

£’000

Education and Schools

90,941

Libraries

2,656

Lifelong Learning

1,344

Catering

1,010

Children and Young People

13,969

Adult Services

33,634

Business Management and Innovation

264

Planning and Transportation

4,972

Economic Development and Leisure

5,235

Visible Services

20,850

Legal, Democratic and Registrars

164

Public Protection

2,395

Private Housing / Community Safety

2,631

Finance, ICT and Property

136

Human Resources

15

Building Services

11

General Policy

22,419

Chief Executive

233

Youth Offending Services

677

General Fund Reserve

-500

 

(3)       T H A T the recommendations regarding Net Growth set out in Appendix C to the report be approved.

 

(4)       T H A T the Council Tax for 2012/13 for its own purposes (excluding Police and Town and Community Council precepts) be set at the following levels:

 

Band

Council Tax

          £

A

626.70

B

731.15

C

835.60

D

940.05

E

1,148.95

F

1,357.85

G

1,566.75

H

1,880.10

I

2,193.45

 

(5)       T H A T the proposed draft report on Education Budget and IBA at Appendix A to the report be endorsed and the Director of Learning and Development make arrangements for it to be forwarded to the School Budget Forum and Welsh Government.

 

(6)       T H A T the Director of Learning and Development be given delegated powers to determine the amount of money to be allocated to the schools’ delegated budgets after consultation with the Schools Budget Forum, subject to the Individual Schools Budget (ISB) being no less than the Welsh Government’s  target.

 

(7)       T H A T the Director of Social Services produces a Social Services Budget Plan and takes the necessary action to achieve the level of savings required in accordance with the approved timeframe.

 

(8)       T H A T the minimum savings targets for 2013/14 and 2014/15 as set out in the 2011/12 Medium Term Financial Plan, adjusted for the Social Services Budget Plan,  be approved as follows: 

 




Minimum Savings Targets

2013/14

2014/15

TOTAL

 

£000

     £000

    £000

Learning and Development (excl. schools)

244

257

501

Social Services

1,847

1,333

3,180

Social Services Budget Plan

303

817

1,120

Environmental & Economic Regeneration

725

297

1,022

Legal, Public Protection and Private Housing

18

83

101

Finance, ICT, Property, HR

0

101

101

Chief Executive (inc. YOS)

38

62

100

Minimum Required for the Year

3,175

2,950

6,125

 

(9)       T H A T the exact level of savings required, together with their impact from 2013/14 onwards, be considered as part of a Budget Review to be undertaken following the Council elections in May 2012.

 

(10)     T H A T the reclassification of reserves as set out at Appendix D to the report be approved.

 

 

952     COUNCIL TAX 2012/13 (DFICTP) -

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)      T H A T it be noted that at its meeting on 29th November 2011, Cabinet (the Executive) calculated the following amounts for the year 2012/2013 in accordance with regulations made under Section 33(5) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992:

 

(a) 55,190 being the amount calculated by Cabinet (the Executive) in accordance with regulation 3 of the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (Wales) Regulations 1995, as amended, as its Council Tax base for the year.

 

(b)       Part of the Council’s area

 

 

Barry

18,641

 

Colwinston

274

 

Cowbridge with Llanblethian

2,480

 

Dinas Powys

3,572

 

Ewenny

427

 

Llancarfan

447

 

Llandough

906

 

Llandow

423

 

Llanfair

365

 

Llangan

384

 

Llanmaes

242

 

Llantwit Major

3,982

 

Michaelston

216

 

Penarth

10,753

 

Pendoylan

297

 

Penllyn

972

 

Peterston-Super-Ely

545

 

St. Athan

1,362

 

St. Brides Major

1,112

 

St. Donats

191

 

St. Georges and St. Brides-Super-Ely

231

 

St. Nicholas and Bonvilston

531

 

Sully

2,443

 

Welsh St. Donats

307

 

Wenvoe

1,016

 

Wick

373

 

being the amounts calculated by Cabinet (the Executive), in accordance with regulation 6 of the Regulations, as amended, as the amounts of its Council Tax base for the year for dwellings in those parts of its area to which one or more special items relate.

 

(2)       T H A T the following amounts be now calculated by the Council for the year 2012/2013 in accordance with Sections 32 to 36 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992:

           

 

(a)

Aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 32 (2) (a) to (d) of the Act (including Town / Community Council Precepts totalling £2,155,824).

 

 

 

£ 328,919,387

 

 

 

 

 

(b)

Aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 32 (3) (a) and (c), and (3A)  of the Act.

 

 

£123,857,073

 

 

 

 

 

(c)

Amount by which the aggregate at (2)(a) above exceeds the aggregate at (2)(b) above, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 32(4) of the Act, as its budget requirement for the year.

 

 

 

£ 205,062,314

 

 

 

 

 

(d)

Aggregate of the sums which the Council estimates will be payable for the year into its Council Fund in respect of redistributed non-domestic rates, revenue support grant or additional grant, less certain Discretionary Non-Domestic Rate Reliefs.

 

 

 

 

£151,025,130

 

 

 

 

 

(e)

The amount at (2)(c) above less the amount at (2)(d) above, all divided by the amount at (1)(a) above, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 33(1) of the Act as the basic amount of its Council Tax for the year.

 

 

 

          

£ 979.11

 

 

 

 

 

(f)

Aggregate amount of all special items referred to in Section 34(1) of the Act.

 

£ 2,155,824

 

 

 

 

 

(g)

Amount at (2)(e) above less the result given by dividing the amount at (2)(f) above by the amount at (1)(a) above, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 34(2) of the Act, as the basic amount of its Council Tax for the year for dwellings in those parts of its area to which no special item relates.

 

 

 

 

 

£ 940.05

 

 

 

 

 

(h)

Part of the Council’s area

 

£

 

 

 

Barry

988.92

 

 

Colwinston

952.05

 

 

Cowbridge with Llanblethian

993.22

 

 

Dinas Powys

965.57

 

 

Ewenny

967.64

 

 

Llancarfan

950.12

 

 

Llandough

981.69

 

 

Llandow

956.13

 

 

Llanfair

949.47

 

 

Llangan

966.05

 

 

Llanmaes

969.97

 

 

Llantwit Major

993.94

 

 

Michaelston

964.55

 

 

Penarth

989.27

 

 

Pendoylan

960.25

 

 

Penllyn

949.31

 

 

Peterston-Super-Ely

954.73

 

 

St. Athan

958.05

 

 

St. Brides Major

950.84

 

 

St. Donats

957.05

 

 

St. Georges and St. Brides-Super-Ely

953.04

 

 

St. Nicholas and Bonvilston

952.05

 

 

Sully

973.60

 

 

Welsh St. Donats

956.34

 

 

Wenvoe

965.15

 

 

Wick

948.77

 

being the amounts given by adding to the amount at (2)(g) above the amounts of the special item or items relating to dwellings in those parts of the Council’s area mentioned above divided in each case by the amount at (1)(b) above, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 34 (3) of the Act, as the basic amounts of its Council Tax for the year for dwellings in those parts of its area to which one or more special items relate.

 

View Valuation Bands and Resolutions (3) and (4)

 

(5)       T H A T discount for prompt payment of the Council Tax be not granted.

 

(6)       T H A T the Common Seal be affixed to the said Council Tax.

 

(7)       T H A T notices of the making of the said Council Taxes signed by the Chief Executive be given by advertisement in the local press under Section 38 (2) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.

 

 

953     QUESTIONS PURSUANT TO COUNCIL PROCEDURE RULE 8.2 -

 

Due notice had been given of the following questions:

 

(i)         Question from Councillor R.J. Bertin

           

I am getting rather a lot of complaints lately about dog fouling on our streets.

 

Will the Cabinet Member for Visible Services please tell me what is being done to improve the situation and clean up our streets?

 

Reply from the Cabinet Member for Visible and Building Services

 

I am very aware of the concerns of our residents.  Over the years our efforts to reduce the problem by increasing awareness and by providing over one million free dog fouling bags have had a positive effect.  An independent report by Keep Wales Tidy on the cleanliness of the Vale in 2010/11 identified that dog fouling was present on only 7.2% of the streets sampled.  This was the third lowest figure of the 22 Welsh Councils; the highest figure was 22% and the lowest was 4.5%.

 

Dog fouling is generally one of the top three issues of concern for residents irrespective of where they live.  Despite our comparative good performance, our residents clearly want us to do more.

 

There are three aspects to this problem; ‘Education’, ‘Control’ and ‘Enforcement’.  I believe that our education efforts have been excellent and our cleanliness measures, to control the problem, have been appropriate, considering our limited resources and our other competing priorities.  In my view more robust enforcement is where we need to be concentrating our efforts.

 

I have therefore tasked our officers with introducing significantly more robust enforcement procedures for 2012/13.  A report has been prepared for Cabinet later this month detailing comprehensive new arrangements.

 

May I take this opportunity to forewarn members of the public who either drop litter or allow their dogs to foul in public, that in light of these proposed new arrangements, they should be very wary of doing so in future, as there is a much greater likelihood that they will be caught and fined for their illegal and anti-social actions.

 

Supplemental

 

Councillor Bertin asked how many staff were employed on enforcement work.

 

The Cabinet Member indicated that there was a total of four staff, but that, in addition to litter and dog fouling, they were also responsible for other enforcement work, such as fly-tipping.

 

 

(ii)        Question from Councillor R.F. Curtis

 

The history of the Vale of Glamorgan can be a key attraction for residents and visitors alike.  Therefore, would the Cabinet Member update Council on the progress of the feasibility study into the setting up of a Vale of Glamorgan Heritage Centre?

 

Reply from the Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration

 

A final report has now been completed by the consultants, DBA Consulting.  This work was commissioned by the Council to examine options available for establishing a Heritage Project in the Vale of Glamorgan.  It has looked at ‘models’ of provision, potential sites and premises and broad cost implications.  The work will now be reported to Cabinet on 28th March and then Scrutiny Committee.

 

 

(iii)       Question from Councillor R.F. Curtis

 

Choosing to buy Fairtrade products offers farmers and workers in developing countries a better chance to work their way out of poverty through fairer wages, safer conditions at work and a little extra, called a Fairtrade Premium, to invest in projects to improve life for their whole community.

 

Therefore, could the Cabinet Member inform Council what events have been organised to support the Fairtrade brand during the 2012 Fairtrade Fortnight (27th February - 11th March)?

 

Reply from the Cabinet Member for Visible and Building Services

 

No activities are planned by the Vale of Glamorgan Council for Fairtrade Fortnight, due to continued staffing reductions.  This reply is consistent with that to questions to Council on 3rd March 2010 and 28th February 2011.  As previously indicated, three Town Councils (Penarth, Llantwit Major and Cowbridge) have succeeded in winning Fairtrade Town status, and therefore it remains appropriate for these councils, along with those seeking Fairtrade Town status (and I am aware of committees in these towns), to arrange activities.

 

Supplemental

 

Councillor Curtis indicated he was extremely disappointed at the response, given the Vale of Glamorgan’s qualification for Fairtrade Status and asked whether the Cabinet Member would commit to the holding of an event in future years. 

 

The Cabinet Member indicated it was his firm belief that the best approach was to assist Committees and the Councils which were working in the various towns and that it was at that level that he thought the Council could support them. He had attended an event last week when the excellent catering provision comprised Fairtrade products. 

 

 

(iv)      Question from Councillor R.F. Curtis

 

At a time when our schools are struggling with their finances, our school buildings are facing almost constant attacks from the metal thieves.  This growing crime is costing Council Tax payers in the Vale of Glamorgan thousands of pounds to repair.

 

(a)       Would the Cabinet Member inform Council how much was paid out by our schools to repair metal theft damage during 2011/12?

 

(b)       Would the Cabinet Member also inform Council about what action he is taking to prevent and deter the metal thieves?

 

Reply from the Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety

 

(a)       So far in 2011/12 the Council has paid out £20,798.74 for schools’ metal theft as opposed to £50,382.67 in 2010/11.  The costs were met by the Council’s Insurance Fund and not from schools’ budgets.

 

(b)       A number of actions are being taken to prevent and deter metal thefts:

  • Schools have been encouraged to build links with local residents to report activity on school sites during weekends and holiday periods to the police; this has resulted in thieves being caught whilst stealing lead from Holton Primary school.
  • Police in Cowbridge are including drive-by’s of the two former Cowbridge Comprehensive vacant sites within their regular patrols which has resulted in one person being caught taking lead from the former lower site.
  • Boundary fencing and gates have been upgraded to prevent unauthorised direct vehicle access onto school sites.
  • CCTV has been installed or upgraded at a number of schools to deter vandalism and metal thefts, e.g. Albert Primary, Barry Comprehensive and Ysgol Bro Morgannwg.
  • The Property Section and Building Services have been instructed to use alternative products instead of lead on school projects. Plastic based products are used instead of lead flashings and fibre-glass or single ply roofing instead of lead sheet to flat roofs.

The Council does not replace the stolen metal with lead but uses “Ubi-Flex” a manufactured substitute material.  Discussions are also ongoing with the Police through the Safer Vale Partnership and posters were distributed to schools for them to display.

 

Supplemental

 

Referring to insurance premiums rising as a result of claims, Councillor Curtis asked whether consideration could be given to the use of DNA water. 

 

The Cabinet Member acknowledged that increased premiums were a concern to all and acknowledged the potential value of Councillor Curtis’ suggestion.

 

 

(v)       Question from Councillor R.F. Curtis

 

I have serious concerns about the excessive amount of housing planned in the draft LDP along the Port Road corridor:

  • Land to the North of Weycock Cross, North Barry - 500
  • Land to the South West of Weycock Cross, North Barry - 210
  • White Farm, North Barry - 130
  • Land at East Pencoedtre, North Barry - 67
  • Land to the West of Pencoedtre, North Barry - 30
  • Land Port Road, Wenvoe - 150
  • Culverhouse Cross, Port Road - 220.

 

This road represents the primary connection for the town of Barry to the M4 and Cardiff, and as such, our future economic prosperity and the resultant jobs depend on a clear and reliable connection.

 

This amount of housing will only add to the transport gridlock current taking place at key times of the working day thus acting as a deterrent for new businesses to locate in or around Barry.

 

I also fear the future economic development and growth of Cardiff Airport could be put at risk by the future addition of yet further roundabouts and traffic lights along this vital road link.

 

Therefore, would the Leader inform Council whether Cabinet considered the economic importance that the Port Road corridor represents to Barry and the wider Vale of Glamorgan when approving the draft LDP for public consultation?

 

Reply from the Cabinet Member for Planning and Transportation

 

As Councillor Curtis is aware the Council has to provide sufficient land for housing development for the next 15 years.  This is a requirement of the Welsh Government and failure to do so would result in our LDP being deemed ‘unsound’ by the Welsh Government.  The Council has sought to propose new sites for housing in the most sustainable locations, and in this regard Barry is a very sustainable town with a range and choice of good transport links and services.  We have had regard to the role of Port Road alongside a number of relevant factors when developing our proposals.  In addition, we are using our best endeavours to develop new business opportunities alongside new housing at Walters Farm, the aim being to reduce the need to travel.  Our business proposals at the Airport are also highly relevant in this regard.

 

The importance of Port Road is widely understood and acknowledged by this Council.  Councillors will have noted the investment currently put towards enhancing that corridor with a new off road cycle path.  It is, however, extremely disappointing that despite repeated calls by the Council to improve strategic access to Barry and the Airport, there has been a continuing failure by the Welsh Government (despite two expensive consultant studies) to commit any sort of funding to improvements on this strategic corridor.

 

Nevertheless, we continue to lobby for such improvements, and perhaps Councillor Curtis can assist in trying to get through to his political colleagues in Cardiff Bay.

 

 

(vi)      Question from Councillor N.P. Hodges

 

On 7th February, 2012 I e-mailed you to ask when the Barry Town Centre Study - Framework for Future Public Realm Improvements undertaken by Powell Dobson Urbanists completed in 2010 will be in front of Cabinet for discussion.  On 10th February, 2012 you replied saying 'Will be a report to Cabinet'.  Can you now tell me a date for this?  Can you tell me if this report has ever been given to the Barry Regeneration Board for information?  Can you confirm the report cost £66,000?  In your opinion, was the report a good report?

 

Reply from the Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration

 

I think it is worth me providing a full and detailed account of why the Powell Dobson Report was commissioned and why we have chosen to bring it to Cabinet prior to the end of this financial year.

 

It was decided to commission Powell Dobson to produce a report into “future public realm improvements” for three good reasons:

 

Firstly, we felt that it was important to build upon the excellent work effected in and around King Square and Holton Road, and to continue to seek funds for public realm improvements in the Town Centre.

 

Secondly, and in view of the Welsh Government Review of Regeneration at that time; it was clear that we needed to build the strongest possible case for regeneration funding.  If we failed to do so then we would be devoid of any “regeneration money” from the Welsh Government.  It is worth mentioning here that, in view of the fact that we receive no regeneration money for Barry from the European Union, we might have ended up with no regeneration money at all.   You will be aware I know, that it is not possible to build a strong case unless it is supported by detailed feasibility work.

 

And thirdly we were to declare the Castleland Renewal Area in 2010 and it was felt that it was important to ensure that this work was supported by a detailed and independent analysis of potential future public realm improvements.

 

The work was commissioned in March 2009.

 

On 23rd April 2009 an all day Stakeholder Event took place for amongst others Town Centre Ward Members, Barry Town Council, Communities First, Thompson Street Residents’ Association, Holton Road Traders, Pride in Barry, Welsh Government, Newydd Housing Association, Disability Groups, and the Market Operators in order to gauge and gather stakeholders’ views.

 

On 20th May 2009 the Consultants presented their initial ideas to Informal Cabinet.

 

On 24th June 2009 a second all day Stakeholder Event took place for the same groups of people in order to discuss some of the consultants’ ideas for future public realm improvements.

 

This was followed by a Public Exhibition from 14th July to 4th August 2009 in 128 Holton Road which at that time was without tenants

 

On 1st July 2009 the Consultants updated Informal Cabinet on their direction of travel.

 

On 20th October 2009, at the request of Councillor Moore, the Labour Group was briefed on the emerging recommendations of the Report.

 

In the middle of December 2009 it was felt that the report should include indicative costs of the proposals and the Consultants were asked to do this work and complete the Report.

 

On 1st March 2010 Barry was designated a Regeneration Area.

 

And in April 2010, The Castleland Renewal Area was declared.

 

Finally on 26th May 2010, Powell Dobson reported the Full Report to Informal Cabinet.

 

At this meeting Informal Cabinet was briefed on the Report and informed that the total cost of the proposals would be in the region of £7.7 million which included an allowance of £1.5 million for preliminaries and contingencies.  In terms of rough figures this amounted to indicative construction costs of £1.3 million for the Thompson Street area, £2.7 million for the Gladstone Road area and £2.2 million for the Holton Road area.

 

A Welsh Government Civil Servant was present at this briefing and made it clear that the Deputy Minister would be most unlikely to sanction the spending of almost all the Barry Regeneration Area’s £9 million on “public realm improvements”.  This would leave only £1.3 million for other aspects of regeneration both in the Town Centre and in other parts of Barry, for example Barry Island which of course you represent.

 

Importantly we were also still involved in very difficult negotiations over the Consortium’s Planning Application for Waterfront 2 and the crucial Section 106 Agreement.  As such, there seemed little point in bringing the Report to Cabinet at that time for three good reasons:

 

Firstly, the Council could not afford to pay for the “complete package”.

 

Secondly it seemed that the Regeneration Area would not pay for the “complete package”.

 

And as I have said the negotiations with the Consortium had yet to be resolved.

 

However, it was clear to us that this was a very useful report which we could use in a number of ways as a “context document”, and we have done so in two major ways:

 

Firstly, as a direct result of the report we have achieved the public realm improvements to Thompson Street as envisaged by Powell Dobson and the Report is mentioned in two separate Cabinet reports in July and November 2010.

 

Secondly we have used the report to influence the early work of the Renewal Area.

 

We are now in a situation where:

 

The Waterfront 2 Development has a planning consent and the Section 106 Agreement has at last been agreed. 

 

We have commissioned Consultants to produce a Town Centres' Strategy and they have a copy of the Powell Dobson Report to assist them in their deliberations about Barry.

 

The Renewal Area is approaching the end of its second year and the team are taking stock of the huge amount that has been achieved and looking forward to future work.

 

The Minster for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage, Huw Lewis, has announced a detailed review of regeneration.  However he has strongly intimated that he is minded to support town centres and seaside towns.

 

And finally and very importantly we are involved in making the case to the Welsh Government for funding for the Barry Regeneration Area beyond 2014 when the current funding “runs out”.

 

As such we consider that it is now time to bring the Powell Dobson Report to Cabinet and we intend to do so on 28th March 2012.

 

The Report has not been tabled at a Barry Regeneration Area Partnership Board Meeting.  However Welsh Government Civil Servants are aware of the Report and there is no reason why they could not have presented it to the Board if they had wished to do so.  I can only imagine that they have not done so because they felt that there was little point in doing so when the funding for the Regeneration Area was finite.  However this is of course a matter for them and not for me, as the Regeneration Area is a Welsh Government Programme.  It is worth saying however that some Board Members are aware of the Report as they attended the Stakeholder Events.

 

The cost of the report was indeed in the region of £66,000 which in my view is very good value indeed in view of the fact that it directly levered in around £1.1 million for the Thompson Street Project.  It has also been most helpful in informing the work of the Renewal Area Team resulting in £1.2 million of co-ordinated investment for the Housing Facelift Programme in the streets adjacent to Thompson Street.  And very importantly it will of course continue to provide ideas for future public realm improvements if and when money becomes available to carry out this work.

 

The final question I think you asked was whether the report is a good report.  My view would be that in terms of the vision and the proposals for Thompson Street and Gladstone Road it is excellent.  However, I have some concerns about the proposals for Holton Road.  That said, all this will be clarified when the Report is reported to Cabinet.

 

Supplemental

 

Referring to the report as being very comprehensive, Councillor Hodges asked whether the Council wished to see the report implemented and whether the Thompson Street Improvements were as envisaged by Powell Dobson.

 

The Cabinet Member replied that the answer to the first question was yes, when and if money became available and the answer to the second question was also yes insofar as was possible, in view of the fact that it had not been possible to implement the scheme throughout the whole town.

 

 

(vii)     Question from Councillor N.P. Hodges

 

Can you confirm and expand upon the proposed consultation exercise for the future of the two parcels of land at Cemetery Approach, Barry?

 

Reply from the Leader

 

As advised in the recent Cabinet report, consultation on the future use of the two parcels of land owned by the Council at Cemetery Road will commence in April this year.  We will use the local press to announce the details of the consultation and the process will be administered by the Chief Executive’s Office, utilising the Consultation Officer and the Council’s Contact Centre.

 

Interested parties will be asked to answer a number of set questions in respect to possible future land uses and to give details of any assistance they may be prepared to provide in contribution.  For example, to perhaps become part of a community group with responsibility for implementing the project or managing the area afterwards. There will also be a section where other ideas and comments can be entered. 

 

Web forms will be used where residents can provide their comments electronically; they will also be able to do this over the telephone or by post. We are considering the practicalities of a letter drop to residents in close proximity to the site and even a ‘drop in’ session at the local community centre to ensure that we have maximum capture.

 

The outcome of the consultation process will be reported to Cabinet in September 2012.

 

 

(viii)    Question from Councillor C.P.J. Elmore

 

Will the Cabinet Member provide an update on his plans to improve the large area of broken pavement that runs along Dock View Road next to the railings?

 

Reply from the Cabinet Member for Visible and Building Services

 

Regrettably the supporting structure for the footway at this location has failed in parts along a 650 metre stretch.  The supporting wall and concrete capping are in various states of disrepair causing cracking in the tarmac footway. Whilst there is no imminent danger to pedestrians at this moment in time, the supporting wall will continue to fail further with time and cause consequential damage to the footway. As you well know, the steel railings located adjacent to this footway are the responsibility of Network Rail.

 

As you will be aware, there are currently two options under consideration by our officers. The first being to permanently stop up the footway at this location as there is an alternative footway available for pedestrians on the opposite side of the road. The second option is to design a scheme to repair the structure, which is currently estimated to be in excess of £100k.  This would be prioritised in line with other structural repairs and maintenance schemes and would currently feature low in priorities, due to the availability of an alternative footway .

 

The condition and deterioration of the wall is being continuously monitored and Members will be advised of the suggested course of action at this location later this year.

 

Supplemental

 

Councillor Elmore referred to previous replies to questions regarding this issue as alluding to assurances regarding submission of a capital bid.  He asked whether the Cabinet Member would push for a capital bid to undertake the relevant works.

 

The Cabinet Member indicated Network Rail were responsible for the railings, with the Council responsible for the pavements.  The estimated expenditure for the pavement repair works was £100k. and with other repair works elsewhere in the Council area, all must be prioritised given the shortage of funds which were available. 

 

 

(ix)      Question from Councillor C.P.J. Elmore

 

Can the Cabinet Member provide Council with a progress report on the Castleland Renewal Area and the Upper Holton Road Regeneration Scheme?

 

Reply from the Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety

 

On Tuesday, 6th March the Castleland Renewal Area Steering Group met during which a Strategy and Action Plan for the area was proposed.  The Steering Group agreed the proposed Strategy which will now be presented to Cabinet with a recommendation for the Housing and Public Protection Scrutiny Committee to monitor the Action Plan’s implementation.  This will provide Members with information on progress in the area.  I am very glad Councillor Elmore was able to attend the meeting.

 

The Renewal Area programme of housing improvement for this financial year began in August 2011 with 5 phases identified.  These phases consist of 345 properties and an investment totalling approximately £1.2 million in the area. 

 

Out of these 5 phases, 2 will be completed by the end of this week which includes Greenwood Street, Merthyr Street and Belvedere Crescent.  Work is also continuing in Coronation Street, Fryatt Street, Bendrick Road and part of Kingsland Crescent and is programmed to complete between April and July this year. 

 

The Welsh Government has offered £835,000 Renewal Area funding for the next financial year and the Council will also invest a further £500,000.  This investment of approximately £1.3million will enable a further 259 properties in 3 phases of face-lifting, to be undertaken.  These phases will cover Station Street, St Marys Avenue and Castleland Street.  By the end of Year 2 of the face-lifting programme, half of the owners of eligible properties in the Renewal Area will have been offered assistance.

 

The Renewal Area also complements and adds value to the work of the Barry Regeneration Area Programme.  This has resulted in significant levels of co-ordinated investment for the Thompson Street public realm project (£1.1 million); Bassett Park refurbishment (£400k); the Renewal Area Office at 198 Holton Road (£160k); and, the Docks Station Park and Ride project (£800k).

 

In relation to your question concerning the regeneration of upper Holton Road a public consultation is ongoing and will close on 14th March.  The consultation aims to seek the views of interested parties on three proposals; Supplementary Planning Guidance for the top section of Holton Road, additional HMO licensing for the whole of the Renewal Area; and what form of assistance owners in the top section of Holton Road may consider will help them improve their front elevations.  Once the consultation closes the responses will be collated and considered and reports will be submitted to Cabinet with recommendations based on the results.  The report will also be submitted to the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection).

 

Supplemental

 

Councillor Elmore asked whether the residents’ concerns regarding lack of information made available from the Renewal Area Group could be considered / addressed and whether it was still the intention that a report would be submitted on Upper Holton Road to Cabinet on 2nd May, 2012. 

 

The Cabinet Member indicated that, as far as he was aware, this was still the intention.  He also indicated he was happy to arrange the provision of additional information.

 

 

(x)       Question from Councillor S.T. Wiliam

 

Following my question in September 2010, can the Cabinet Member provide me with an update of what progress has been made since then in securing the land which runs from the Clive Road Steps to the Jackson's Bay footpath for allotments?

 

Reply from the Cabinet Member for Visible and Building Services

 

Essentially there are two areas that could potentially be suitable for allotments between Clive Road and Jackson’s Bay. The area closest to Clive Road is privately owned and a number of local residents have been working with the developer to transform the currently unkempt land into allotment space.  I recently offered this group a sum of £5k from the Tidy Towns Initiative to help clear the land area for this purpose and our officers are now awaiting further contact from the residents’ group.

 

In my answer to your previous question, I advised that this second area of land, closest to Jacksons Bay, is in the ownership of ABP and that officers were considering the technical issues, prior to any suggestion of land acquisition for the purpose of allotments.  The land has been inspected and due to a number of self-seeded trees and the presence of Japanese Knotweed a large amount of funding will be required to change the area into allotments.

 

Due to the cost and the need to consider this in the context of other allotment issues, it was decided not to progress with any works, or to report the matter to Cabinet, until the Council had the opportunity to consider a strategy for its future management of allotments Vale wide.  A draft allotment strategy is due to be presented to Cabinet on 14th March, 2012 and the potential for use of this space will be considered as part of this strategy.

Share on facebook Like us on Facebook