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SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (CORPORATE RESOURCES)

 

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

 

Present: Councillor M.R. Wilson (Chairman): Councillor Mrs. P. Drake (Vice-Chairman); Councillors H.C. Hamilton, K. Hatton, P. King, R.A. Penrose and G. Roberts.

 

 

812            APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE – 

 

This was received from Councillor H.J.W. James.

 

 

813            MINUTES – 

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 9th December, 2014 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

814            DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

There were no declarations received.

 

 

815            SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PROGRESS REPORT (MD) –

 

Prior to the meeting taking place the Committee received a presentation from the Council’s Energy Manager in relation to the Council’s schemes to address energy and sustainability issues.

 

The Head of Performance and Development indicated that sustainability within the Council was managed within the Council’s Performance Management Framework and a Sustainable Development Working Group had been established to develop mechanisms and to oversee projects to embed sustainable development as the Council’s central organising principle.  He referred to a range of activities the Council was undertaking to promote sustainability and to ensure sustainable development principles were embedded and this included responding to the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Bill, the Reshaping Services Strategy and work around external funding, asset management and risk management.  In addition, such work was continuing to be delivered within commitments contained within the Corporate Plan which included a range of activities to promote economic, social and environmental wellbeing.  Work included the Town Centres Framework, improving energy efficiency, the Local Development Plan and improving engagement. 

 

In referring to the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Bill, the Head of Service referred to the aim of the Bill which was for public bodies to improve the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of Wales in accordance with the sustainable development principles.  The Bill set out six wellbeing goals against which all public bodies must set and publish wellbeing objectives that were designed to maximise its contribution to the achievement of the wellbeing goals, details of which were set out in the report.  Sustainability was at the forefront of the Bill and sought to ensure that the long term effects of current decision making were considered at all times.  The Bill, if passed, would formalise partnerships across the public sector to ensure a joined up approach to delivery and planning. 

 

He referred to the Council as being an early adopter of the Bill, along with ten other Authorities from across Wales.  As part of this process the Council undertook a self-assessment that attempted to measure the Council’s current compatibility with the Bill using a diagnostic tool.  The findings from this were fed back at a workshop led by Price Waterhouse Cooper at the end of November 2014.  In general, the Council had a positive outlook on its ability to conform to the Bill and that processes, such as the Reshaping Services Agenda, already in place, would assist in the Council continuing to make progress.  Following this process there would be further engagement from both the WLGA and Welsh Government before the Bill would be scheduled to be passed in the Spring of 2015.  The Head of Service also referred to a letter from the WLGA which set out details of support the Council could be expected to receive as part of the Early Adopters project.  He referred specifically to the type of support that would be received in addition to collective support in the form of training and information which would also be available for Elected Members.

 

In terms of the Council’s Reshaping Services Agenda, the Head of Service indicated that the strategy had been developed as the Council’s pro-active response to central government’s austerity drive that had created unprecedented financial pressures in the public sector.  The strategy itself sought to engage both with the public and partners to help structure and redesign services where necessary.  The strategy would also further increase the sustainability of services through this period and into the future by assisting in engagement with partners in co-design, co-production and alternative methods of delivery.  He also indicated that the strategy was also compatible with the principles of sustainable development; living within environmental limits, ensuring a strong, healthy and just society, achieving a sustainable economy and promoting good governance.  In developing this new approach to how services would be delivered due regard would be paid to effective engagement with staff, customers and partnership including the Third Sector and Town and Community Councils and ensuring the needs of most vulnerable residents were met.  The Head of Service alluded at this point to the Cabinet report on the very subject which would be considered at the next meeting of the Cabinet on 26th January and recommended that the report be referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) for consideration and also to the next meeting of the Council’s Community Liaison Committee with a view to consulting on its contents.

 

At this juncture, the attention of the Head of Service turned to the matter of embedding sustainability in the work of the Council and he indicated that the Council continued to promote sustainability through a range of mechanisms which included information for staff via StafffNet and Core Brief, consideration of sustainability implications through the Council’s Corporate Risk Management Group, external funding steering groups and also in considering Capital Programme bids.  In addition, as part of the Council’s service planning arrangements for 2015/16, all services had been asked to consider how they would contribute to the promotion of sustainable development.  He also referred to a recent workshop held for Early Adopters and to a list of projects and plans which would contribute to the promotion of sustainable development which highlighted how every service was contributing to this Agenda.  This included high profile projects like the Penarth Learning Community.  A list of projects and plans was set out in the report and related to the following matters to illustrate the range of activities being progressed across the Council and were not intended to be exhaustive:

 

·         Penarth Learning Community

·         Castleland Renewal Area

·         Welsh Housing Quality Standard

·         Creative Rural Communities

·         Communities First

·         Integrated Health and Social Care Programme

·         Youth Inclusion and Progression Framework

·         Local Development Plan

·         Shoreline Management Plan

·         Flood Management Plan

·         Space Programme

·         Asset Management Plan

·         Reshaping Services

·         Workforce Plan

·         Carbon Management Plan.

 

In conclusion, the Head of Service referred to previous reports in respect of energy efficiency which highlighted the work of the Council to improve efficiency and reduce carbon emissions across the Council.

 

In 2013/14 building related carbon emissions from the Council’s non-domestic buildings were 10,809 tonnes and this compared to 10,943 tonnes in 2012/13, a reduction of 1.2%.  In addition, the Council was also continuing to deliver its commitments within the Carbon Management Plan.  The Salix Finance arrangements had been used to deliver a number of improvements since it was agreed in June 2009 and to date the Council had spent £880,000 with a further £100,000 of projects agreed and awaiting installation and a further £100,000 worth of projects considered viable and awaiting agreement from budget holders.  The projects installed or awaiting installation were predicted to save the Council £316,000 per year in fuel costs and reduce emissions by 2,141 tonnes per annum.  The lifetime savings for Salix match funded measures was predicted to be £6.6m and 44,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

 

Finally, he referred to the Cyd Cymru initiative which had been set up by the Council and Cardiff Council with support from other local authorities and housing associations across Wales and continued to be progressed.  The next registration period (Switch 3) began on 2nd January 2015 and would continue through until March 2015.  The project board was currently seeking further engagement with the scheme both within the Authority and within Wales.  The board was also currently seeking additional funding from Welsh Government to raise the profile and extend the awareness of the scheme as well as beginning the process of funding applications for 2015/16. 

 

A number of Members expressed their interest in the progress of the Reshaping Services Agenda and indeed one Member indicated that his Community Council had already engaged in dialogue with other neighbouring Community Councils to form a cohort who would be interested in exploring the initiative further.  Another Member enquired of the Head of Service if the Council was in the position to share with Town and Community Councils what services it envisaged would be appropriate for delivery under the initiative.  He felt that the Council must be prepared to engage in open dialogue in what services would be suitable.  He also did not underestimate the scale of the task faced by the Council and also suggested that a “suck it and see†approach would be beneficial in order to pilot delivery models and to allow better understanding of the implications involved.  In response, the Head of Service indicated that the initiative represented potentially the largest strategic project of the Council in the coming years.  He reiterated his earlier remarks relating to the involvement of the Council’s Community Liaison Committee and the fact that the Cabinet report would be submitted to the next meeting of the same.  Work on delivery of the Reshaping Services Agenda had involved baseline assessments being undertaken of approximately 70 in total and subsequently an examination of the same to identify which services represented feasible consideration, based on a criteria such as the size of the budget would be progressed.  Services which had shown potential based on these factors had been factored into two delivery tranches for implementation over the forthcoming financial years.  In reflecting on the Member’s comment relating to the "suck it and see" approach, he acknowledged that starting small and scaling up was a logical way forward.

 

The Chairman, at this juncture, thanked the Council’s Energy Manager for his interesting presentation and requested that the presentation be available on the "MemberNet".  In referring to the Reshaping Services Agenda, bearing in mind that the matter would be referred to the next meeting of the Scrutiny Committee for consideration, he had no doubt that an interesting discussion would ensue.  In referring to the Future Generations Bill (Wales) he referred to the WLGA letter attached to the report and enquired of the Head of Service what financial support would be made available to Local Government to deliver the requirements of the Bill beyond 2014.  He considered this to be a considerable concern for Local Government given that the initiative was being promoted by the WG.  The Head of Service referred to recent announcements in past months regarding the WLGA’s funding which in net terms would be reduced by £1m.  He reiterated some of the points set out in the attached letter and referred to support for the provision of training for Elected Members. 

 

Having regard to the above, it was

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the examples as set out in the report of some of the work the Council had undertaken to promote sustainable development be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the implications of the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Bill and proposed work as early adopters be noted.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       In acknowledgement of progress made by the Council in regard to sustainable development.

 

(2)       To raise awareness and Members’ understanding of the key elements proposed in the above Bill.

 

 

816            CORPORATE SAFEGUARDING (REF) –

 

Cabinet, at its meeting held on 1st December, 2014, had given consideration to an update report which set out progress on work undertaken by the Council to improve corporate arrangements for safeguarding and protection of children and adults who required specific Council services.  The Cabinet at that time had also approved changes to the Safer Recruitment Policy Procedure with Cabinet subsequently referring the matter to the Scrutiny Committees (Social Care and Health), (Lifelong Learning) and (Corporate Resources).

 

In 2011 the CSSIW and Estyn published a report following their joint investigation into the handling of management of allegations of professional abuse and the arrangements for safeguarding and protecting children in education services in Pembrokeshire County Council.  Concerns at the time had been raised about the quality of corporate working to safeguard and protect children by the Local Authority. 

 

Following the publication of that report, the Council’s Corporate Safeguarding Working Group had been established to learn lessons from the Pembrokeshire report and to ensure that arrangements for protecting children and young people in the Vale were robust. 

 

Consequently, the Group produced an action plan to improve safeguarding across the Council and Cabinet agreed a Safer Recruitment Policy for the Council and Schools in January 2013.  The Policy was subsequently implemented in April 2013 and had been adopted by all Vale schools and throughout the Council.  However, since its implementation, there had been a number of changes in DBS eligibility and administrative arrangements that required changes to the existing Policy.  The Corporate Safeguarding Group’s responsibility was to continue to monitor the safeguarding arrangements within the Council, including recruitment within the Council and schools.  Monitoring the Safer Recruitment Policy in respect of new and existing employees had been undertaken by the Council’s TransAct and Human Resources divisions on a scheduled basis and by the Council’s Internal Audit as part of their ongoing audit programme.  Monitoring safeguarding in respect of volunteers and contractors, to ensure compliance with the Policy, was undertaken by Internal Audit as part of its scheduled audit performance of schools.  Internal Audit would continue to report their findings direct to the Director of Learning and Skills, who would provide future updates to Elected Members. 

 

As requested by Members, the Council’s Human Resources division conducted a further audit of new appointments to the Council and schools during the period between March and June 2014.  As before, the focus of the audit was to identify any areas of non-compliance with the Safer Recruitment Policy and to implement any measures to improve consistent application. 

 

The Committee learned that from the perspective of Social Services, it had been encouraging that appointments had been administered with full compliance of the Policy requirements.  This was also the case in the majority of Vale schools, however, improvements were needed within some schools to ensure that risk assessments were completed and measures in place before any employee commenced work.  Overall, the audit showed that 18.6% of those posts subject to the Policy had started work where document remained outstanding.  This represented an average of 6.5 employees per month, compared to 6.3 per month as reported in the previous audit.  Over half of these posts had signed risk assessment forms in place prior to the employee starting employment as required under the Policy;  all outstanding documents have now subsequently been received. 

 

Following the audit there had been a review and formalisation of procedures.  A new procedure had been implemented to ensure that TransAct advised Human Resources and the Director of Learning and Skills on a weekly basis of any non-compliance of the Policy within those schools which used TransAct to administer their recruitment arrangements.  This in itself would promote timely intervention and provide a means to respond to any frequent inaction / infringements to the Policy requirements.  The Committee noted that it was disappointing that a greater percentage of new starters commenced work without full checks in place in comparison to the previous report received.  However, this could be attributed in part to the changes that had occurred to the DBS administrative procedures and, in particular, recent delays in administering applications by DBS alongside the need to rely on the employee to produce their DBS disclosure for validation by the Council. 

 

A summary of the proposed changes to the Policy was set out in Appendix A to the original Cabinet report. 

 

In terms of investigations under Part 4 of the All Wales Child Protection Procedure (2008) (AWCPP) which provided the framework of actions to be undertaken when there were child protection concerns under specific circumstances; between April and September 2014 there had been 14 referrals which met the threshold for consideration under Section 4.3 (which concerned allegations of abuse of children by professionals / employees).  Of the 14 referrals, 11 had been concluded and 3 were ongoing.  The Head of Business Management and Innovation in the Social Services Directorate had oversight of the investigative processes and it had been confirmed that the Council continued to comply with all procedural requirements. 

 

In referring to the report, and specifically to paragraph 23 and the Estyn report findings, Members expressed surprise that not all education provision fell under the same monitoring arrangements and enquired of the officers as to why this was the case.  In response, the Council’s Lead Officer Inclusion indicated that the Directorate of Lifelong Learning covered a wider number of employees and Estyn had taken account of this and felt that to improve the situation regarding safeguarding, that all the employees within the Council’s Library and Youth Services should be subject to the Policy.  This recommendation of Estyn had now been met and all relevant training delivered was now appropriately audited.  Another Member of the Committee was surprised that schools appeared not to take safeguarding too seriously.  He also felt that whilst there was a significant emphasis on checks and measures regarding recruitment in terms of safeguarding, there appeared to be very little monitoring once an individual was employed and no one could predict a change in behaviour during the term of the individual’s employment.  He enquired of officers if there was a need for improved monitoring.  In response, the Lead Office Inclusion concurred with the Member’s view regarding certain schools’ responses in relation to safeguarding.  He felt that schools had to make a significant shift in culture, however, work ongoing by officers had had an impact on this.  In referring to the Member’s second point regarding monitoring arrangements, he acknowledged that this was a challenge and reminded the Committee that should an employee commit an offence following their employment with the Council, they were obligated to declare this to the employer, but acknowledged that the onus was on the individual.  As a measure to address this, it was suggested that DBS checks needed to be carried out more regularly.  The Operational Manager for Human Resources also indicated that the DBS checking system had changed and referred to the Council’s Whistle Blowing Policy which was in place and where inappropriate behaviour was identified, it was the responsibility of officers to report such behaviour and referred to the Code of Conduct for Officers.  He also indicated that inappropriate behaviour could be reported to the Council’s Safeguarding Officer.  Whilst he accepted the comments made by the Member regarding the reliance on individuals coming forward to declare breaches in the Council’s Safeguarding Policy, there were also procedures in place to counter circumstances when such individuals did not.

 

The Chairman referred to the “Be Safe Initiative†that operated at his place of work and enquired if there was a similar initiative under consideration by the Council.  He also referred to regular mandatory training in relation to safeguarding and enquired if a training programme was in place.  In response the Lead Officer Inclusion confirmed that appropriate mandatory training was in place which was audited, but there was no similar type initiative under consideration like the “Be Safe Initiativeâ€.  He reiterated early comments that all training was audited and schools were required to comply with the Council’s audit process and Lead Safeguarding Officers maintained records and visited the schools to ensure compliance.  He also alluded to Estyn reviews which encompassed safeguarding at schools and, as part of that process, schools were required to take a self-evaluation of their compliance with safeguarding arrangements.  The Operational Manager for Safeguarding in Business Management and Innovation (Social Services) reiterated the point regarding employee obligations to report concerns and advised that a Corporate Safeguarding Policy would be prepared shortly which would encompass all Council staff responsibilities and obligations to report all concerns in relation to children and vulnerable adults. 

 

Having considered the above and related issues, it was

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the work undertaken to improve corporate arrangements for safeguarding and protecting children and vulnerable adults be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the next six monthly report include enhanced information regarding children and adult safeguarding matters. 

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1&2)  In acknowledgement of the Committee’s responsibility for oversight of this key area of corporate working.

 

 

817            REVENUE MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL 2014 TO 30TH NOVEMBER 2014 (MD) –

 

The Education Budget was projected to balance as at the end of March 2015 and the following matters were reported:

 

·         Schools – this delegated budget was expected to balance as any under / overspend was carried forward by schools

·         Central Education Budget – this was anticipated to underspend by £327,000

·         School Improvement and Inclusion – this budget was anticipated to underspend by £31,000

·         Service Strategy and Regulation – this service would outturn with a favourable variance of £13,000

·         Strategic and Resources – this budget was anticipated to underspend by £283,000

·         Children and Young People’s Partnership – this budget was anticipated to outturn on target

·         Education was projecting to transfer £145,000 to reserves as part of the Voluntary Early Retirement and Redundancy scheme.  In addition, a transfer of £196,000 would be taken from the Schools’ Long Term Sickness reserve to fund the current year deficit on the scheme

·         Libraries – this budget was projected to outturn with a favourable variance of £78,000

·         Youth Service – this budget was anticipated to outturn on target after transferring £114,000 from the Youth Service reserve to cover the Area 41 dilapidation costs, West House surrender payment and the Youth Engagement and Progression Framework in schools

·         Adult Community Education – this budget would outturn at revised budget after transferring £62,000 from reserves to assist the funding reductions from Welsh Government and Cardiff and Vale College, the delay in implementing the restructure of the service and redundancy costs relating to the new structure.  There was also currently an adverse variance on Adult Community Learning cost recovery of £21,000 however it was early in the academic year and there were additional courses planned for the new year

·         Catering – this budget was anticipated to outturn on target after utilising the favourable Breakfast Club variance £81,000 to fund capital repayments for the new cashless catering system.

 

Social Services was forecasted to overspend by the current year end in the sum of £400,000.  In addition to increased demand for services, there was pressure on the Directorate to achieve its savings targets for 2014/15 onwards.  The following was the position in regard to related Directorate budgets:

 

·         Children and Young People’s Services – this budget was currently anticipated to outturn £400,000 by the year end

·         Adult Services – this budget was currently anticipated to outturn £800,000 over budget at the year end.  This was due to the projected overspend on Community Care Packages of £1m as a result of increased demand for services.

 

The position in respect of Visible Services and Housing Services was as follows:

 

·         Highways Maintenance and Engineering Design and Procurement – there was currently a favourable variance of £216,000 to the amended profiled budget

·         Waste Management – there was currently an adverse variance of £10,000 to the amended profiled budget

·         Grounds Maintenance – there was currently an adverse variance of £28,000 to the amended profiled budget

·         Support Services – there was currently a nil variance to the profiled budget

·         Building Services – it was currently anticipated that the Building Cleaning and Security trading unit would outturn with a deficit of £100,000 at the year end

·         General Fund Housing – there was currently a £298,000 underspend against the profiled budget

·         Public Sector Housing (HRA) – the proposed restructure of Housing Services had been delayed and as a result there was an underspend against the profiled budget.  There were also underspend against premises costs at Ty-Iolo Hostel and communal facilities at the sheltered complexes.  At this stage it was still anticipated that the HRA would outturn on target

 

In respect of Development Services, the following financial position was reported:

 

·         Public Protection – there was currently a favourable variance of £50,000 to the profiled budget

·         Private Sector Housing – there was currently a favourable variance to the profiled budget of £60,000

·         Planning and Transportation – there was currently a favourable variance of £175,000 to the profiled budget

·         Leisure – there was currently a favourable variance of £36,000 to the profiled budget

·         Economic Development – there was currently a favourable variance of £76,000 to the amended profiled budget.

 

All other services were anticipated to outturn on target by the year end.

 

Matters which fell under the Managing Director (General Policy) projected a favourable variance of £815,000 as at the year end. 

 

A Member enquired of the Head of Service if the Council currently operated a rent rescue scheme and in response the Head of Service indicated that he would e-mail Members relevant information to the query. 

 

Another Member referred to the current overspend in regard to Community Care Packages and asked the Head of Service if reports to the Scrutiny Committee in future could contain additional information in relation to the percentage the overspend was in respect of such packages represented when compared to the overall service budget.  In response, the Head of Finance indicated that future reports to the Scrutiny Committee could be amended to include such information requested.

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the position with regard to the Council’s 2014/15 Revenue Budget be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To monitor the projected revenue outturn for 2014/15.

 

 

818            CAPITAL MONITORING REPORT FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 30TH NOVEMBER 2014 (MD) –

 

Appendix 1 to the report set out the details of the financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 30th November 2014.  For all schemes where it was evident that the full year’s budget would not be spent during the year, the relevant officers were required to provide an explanation for the shortfall and this should be taken to the earliest available meeting of the Cabinet.

 

In addition to the above, Appendix 2 provided non-financial information on capital construction schemes with a budget over £100,000 and where a budget shown in Appendix 1 was more than £100,000, but was made up of several schemes that individually were less than £100,000, these schemes were not included in Appendix 2.

 

Other schemes reported related to Learning and Skills service and related to the following:

 

·         Holton Boiler Upgrade – following the completion of the scheme in 2013/14 a small amount of technical salary costs for the scheme had fallen due in 2014/15 and it was therefore requested to increase the scheme by £1,000 in 2014/15.  This increase would be funded by a contribution from Cadoxton Infant Toilet Refurbishment.

·         Penarth Learning Community – due to a change in the profiled costs of this scheme, it was estimated that a further £1.9m would be spend in the current financial year.  It was therefore requested to increase the 2014/15 Capital Programme by £1.9m to be funded by Transition from SBIG grant from Welsh Government who had agreed to bring the grant forward from 2015/16.

 

Social Services –

 

·         Bryneithin Marketing and Disposal – the Capital Programme for 2014/15 was proposed to be increased by £22,000 to fund costs associated with marketing and disposing the above site. 

·         Woodlands ATC Demolition – it was requested to carry forward £2,500 into the 2015/16 Capital Programme for retention required as part of the demolition of Woodlands.

·         Castle Avenue External Structures Works – this budget was no longer required for the above scheme and it was requested that the budget of £1,000 be transferred to the Hen Goleg Boiler Replacement Scheme.

·         Flying Start Grants – a grant of £25,000 had been approved by Welsh Government for outside works at Margaret Alexander Community Centre.  It was noted that it had not been possible to address all the difficulties presented by the outdoor space and therefore only indoor space would be provided at the Centre.  As a result, the Welsh Government had been asked to vire the above sum to the Colcot Scheme, which would allow further work to be undertaken for the provision of a canopy, basic equipment and an internal folding door.  This would bring the budget for the Colcot scheme to £315,000.

 

Visible Services –

 

·         Penarth Pier Supports – due to the likely difficult conditions that would arise from working in a coastal environment in the winter period, it was expected that design and procurement works carried out via consultancy would take place in 2014/15 at a projected cost of £10,000.  It was requested that the balance of the budget be carried forward to 2015/16 to enable works to commence early in April 2015.

 

Development Services –

 

·         Penarth Heights Highways and Sustainable Transport Projects – a request to amalgamate the following schemes in order to enable a more co-ordinated approach to delivery of a number of related schemes in Penarth.  The total budget for the amalgamated scheme would be £325,000:

          -       Cogan Hill / Plassey Street Junctions (Stages 1 and 2) – £30,000

          -       Windsor Road with Pill Street Junction Penarth – £10,000

          -       Plassey Street / Glebe Street Zebra Crossing - £30,000

          -       Plassey Street / High Street Zebra Crossing - £20,000

          -       Windsor Road / Plassey Street Roundabout Junction Enhancements - £100,000

          -       Windsor Street / Pill Street Dedicated Right Hand Turn - £110,000

          -       Lighting Scheme for Zig Zag Path - £25,000.

·         Llandough Sustainable Transport Schemes – a request to amalgamate the following schemes in order to enable a more co-ordinated approach to delivery of a number of related schemes in Llandough.  As part of this scheme a proposed cycleway / footway on Penylan Road would now been included.  The total budget for an amalgamated scheme would be £35,000.  This scheme would continue into 2015/16 and would be funded from S106 contributions of £94,000.

          -       Dochdwy Road Bus Shelter - £15,000.

          -       20mph Zone, Llandough - £20,000.

·         Page Road Open Space Play facilities – this scheme had been previously shown in the monitoring as Skatepark at Paget Road Penarth, the name had been amended as the sake park was just one of three play facilities within the scheme.  It was requested to carry forward the budget of £156,000 because there was to be another round of consultation with users before Members decided the most appropriate scheme for implementation.

·         Hensol / Pendoylan Traffic Calming – this scheme had required additional sockets and construction works which had resulted in an increase in costs.  It was therefore requested that the 2014/15 Capital Programme be increased by £11,000 to be funded by a contribution by the S106 fund.

·         Disabled Facilities Grants – changes to processes in 2014/15 had led to an increased number of approvals, as a result this had led to a reduced backlog in adult request and there was no longer a backlog for children’s services.  As the Council was aiming to reduce the waiting times in this area it was requested to increase the budget by £200,000 to be funded by a contribution by Capital Receipts.

·         Rights of Way Improvement Plans (ROWIP) 2014/15 – it was requested that the grant offer from Natural Resources Wales of £31,000 be included in the 2014/15 Capital Programme.  This would be used towards the implementation of priority ROWIP actions.

 

In regard to variances between actual spend to date and profiled spend to date, the following was reported:

 

·         Ysgol Dewi Sant, Llantwit Major and Barry Cluster (Ysgol Gwaun y Nant / Oakfield) – amendments to programming / sequencing of works has resulted in actual expenditure that was less than the initial spend profile.  This did not adversely affect the final cost of the project.

·         WHQS Works – there was likely to be a variance in the WHQS expenditure as the extent of works required in a property was not known until the works commenced.  Less had been spent than was projected for Non Traditional Properties. More had been spent than was projected on Central Heating Works, Rewires and Asbestos Management.

 

The Committee, in acknowledging the improvements to date in regard to reducing the backlog and waiting times in relation to DFGs.  In noting the additional funding that had been made available in the Capital Programme to reduce waiting times further, expressed the view that the Council should further look to make every effort to continue to reduce overall waiting times in respect of DFGs.

 

A Member made reference to the former Bryneithin Residential Home site and enquired as to progress in bringing the site into beneficial use.  The Head of Finance indicated that the funding set aside in the Capital Programme was for the marketing of the site, but could not confirm progress to date and consequently he indicated that he would e-mail Members of the Committee further information on progress as soon as practicable. 

 

Having regard to the above and related issues, it was

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the Cabinet be recommended to approve the following changes to the 2014/15 Capital Programme:

 

·         Holton Boiler Upgrade - Request to transfer £1,000 to this scheme, funded by a contribution from Cadoxton Infant Toilet Refurbishment.

·         Penarth Learning Community - It is requested to increase the 2014/15 Capital Programme by £1.9m to be funded by a grant from Welsh Government.

·         Castle Avenue External Structures Works - This budget is not required for the Castle Avenue Scheme and is it requested that the budget of £1,000 is transferred to the Hen Goleg Boiler Replacement Scheme.

·         Flying Start Grants - It is requested that the Capital Programme is increased by £25,000, funded by a grant from Welsh Government.

·         Penarth Heights Highways and Sustainable Transport Projects - Request to amalgamate a number of S106 schemes in Penarth as set out in the report.  The amended amalgamated budget will be £325,000.

·         Llandough Sustainable Transport Schemes - Request to amalgamate Dochdwy Road Bus Shelter and 20mph Zone within Llandough, in addition as part of this scheme a proposed cycleway/footway on Penylan Road would be constructed.  The total budget for amalgamated scheme will be £35,000 2014/15 and £94,000 in 2015/16 and will be funded by S106.

·         Rights of Way Improvement Plans (ROWIP) 2014/15 - It is requested that the Capital Programme be increased by £31,000, funded by a grant from Natural Resources Wales.

 

(2)       T H A T the Cabinet be requested to recommend to Council the following changes to the 2014/15 Capital Programme:

 

·         Bryneithin Marketing and Disposal - It is requested to increase the 2014/15 Capital Programme by £22,000 to be funded via a contribution from Capital Receipts.

·         Woodlands ATC Demolition - It is requested that £2.500 is carried forward into the 2015/16 Capital Programme for retention required as part of the demolition of Woodlands.

·         Penarth Pier Supports - It is requested that £90,000 be carried forward to 2015/16 to enable works required as part of this scheme to commence early in April 2015.

·         Paget Road Open Space Play Facilities - It is requested to carry forward the budget of £156,000 to 2015/16 to enable full consultation with users.

·         Hensol / Pendoylan Traffic Calming - It is requested that the 2014/15 Capital Programme be increased by £11,000 to be funded by a contribution from the S106 fund.

·         Disabled Facilities Grants - It is requested to increase the budget by £200,000 to be funded by a contribution from Capital Receipts.

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1&2)  To allow the Cabinet / Council to progress the schemes in the current or future financial years.

 

 

819            WELFARE REFORM – PROGRESS REPORT (MD) –

 

Since the above matter was last reported to the Scrutiny Committee in July 2014 progress had been maintained in relation to managing the impact of the Central Government’s Welfare Reform Agenda and it was noted that the Council’s Officer Working Group had not met since May 2014.  In that time there had not been any significant new welfare reform changes and the Welfare Reform External Stakeholder Group continued to meet bi-monthly where local organisations could meet Council Officers to discuss the implications of the Welfare Reform Agenda and to consider opportunities for joint working.  Since reported to the last meeting of this Scrutiny Committee there had been five meetings of the Group with the last meeting taking place in November 2014 and the minutes of the Group were reported on the Council’s website. 

 

In December 2014 the Local Service Board agreed that the Group would change to become the Financial Inclusion Group and its Terms of Reference were currently being reviewed in light of the wider issues discussed by the Group.  It had been agreed that given that the Group’s role had broadened since the initial welfare reforms, there should be a wider focus on financial inclusion.  The Head of Finance indicated that there were no new welfare reform changes taking place and neither had there been any publicised for the near future and he provided an update on the ongoing impacts of the previous changes as follows:

 

The Welsh Government had introduced the Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS)  Scheme in Wales for 2013/14 which was replicated for 2014/15 and subsequent years based on the 2013/14 regulations.  Cabinet, on 28th November 2014, recommended to Council the re-adoption of the Scheme for 2015/16 based on the prescribed regulations and reconfirmation of the Council’s discretions.  Cabinet had recommended that Council confirm each year its adoption of the Scheme and discretions, in accordance with the regulations governing the Scheme before 31st January.  The Council had subsequently resolved on 17th December 2014 to adopt the same.  The Council at the time had also further resolved that any amendments to Regulations made by the Welsh Government should be reflected in the Scheme.  The resolution confirmed that the national Scheme be adopted with the following discretions:

 

·         That the Council should continue to allow Extended Payments up to a maximum of four weeks

·         That the Council should continue to disregard war Widow and War Disablement pensions in assessing income for Council Tax Reduction

·         That the Council should continue to allow Backdated Reductions for a period up to 26 weeks.

 

In addition, funding from the Welsh Government had been allocated to contribute towards the 10% shortfall in Council Tax Reduction for 2014/15.  Also Welsh Government had announced that this support would continue for 2015/16.  The full amount allocated to the Council by Welsh Government for 2014/15 was £8.722m with any shortfall in terms of actual spending being made up by the Council. 

 

CTRS expenditure and budget were as follows:

 

·         2013/14 CTRS Budget £9,437,000           Expenditure £9,117,454

·         2014/15 CTRS Budget £9,742,000           Expenditure £9,042,142.

 

It was also reported that the Welsh Government had also laid further regulations i.e. The Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements and Default Scheme) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2015, which were subject to approval by the Assembly and would come into force on 21st January 2015 which gave the figures used to calculate applicants’ entitlement for Council Tax reduction uprated in line with Housing Benefit.  These Regulations also incorporated additional amendments to reflect consequential changes related to social security benefits or other minor technical changes, including:

 

·         Removing the requirement for Local Authorities to publish a draft scheme and consult interested persons where a Billing Authority revises a scheme in consequence of amendments made to the Prescribed Requirement Regulations. The effect of this amendment was to remove the requirement for Local Authorities to consult in relation to changes made by Welsh Ministers (as opposed to the discretionary areas of the scheme), which the Council had no discretion over.

·         Minor amendments to reflect the introduction of Shared Parental Leave and statutory shared parental pay which replaced additional paternity leave and additional statutory paternity pay from 5th April 2015. Transitional provisions were also provided for those in receipt of paternity pay on 1st April 2015.

·         An amendment was included which mirrored changes made to Housing Benefit Regulations to remove automatic entitlement to a Council Tax Reduction for European Economic Area (EEA) jobseekers, who are currently eligible by virtue of being in receipt of income based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA (IB)).  Amendments in the Uprating Regulations remove access to CTRS for EEA jobseekers, however this only applies to those who make a new application for CTRS on or after 1st April 2015 or who cease to be entitled to income based JSA for a period after this date, for example if they enter into temporary employment.

·         Minor consequential amendments were also made in relation to definitions around Employment and Support Allowance and references to Universal Credit. Income related Employment and Support Allowance no longer consists of separate contributory and income related allowances, but only of a contributory allowance known as the 'employment and support allowance’.  Amendments were also made to insert references to Universal Credit into the 2013 Regulations where there were already references to other income-related benefits.

 

Council Tax collection in-year had been maintained as follows:

 

·         2011/12          97.3%

·         2012/13          97.6%

·         2013/14          97.5%.

 

In regard to the Social Size Criteria (Bedroom Tax), this affected working age claimants where they were under-occupying their home and only affected Housing Association and Council tenants.  There would be a reduction in Housing Benefit of 14% for under-occupation of one spare bedroom and 25% for under-occupation of two or more spare bedrooms:

 

Number of People who have had Housing Benefit Reduced:

            April 2013                  June 2014        December 2014

                      1102                               944                               907

 

Matters related to Housing Benefit Reduction were as follows:

 

                                                 June 2014        December 2014

14% reduction                                    795                               770

25% reduction                                    149                               137

Total Affected                                   944                              907

 

Bedroom Tax Broken Down into Landlord Types

 

Landlord                                           14%                              25%                        TOTAL

Council                                                425                                 98                               523

Newydd                                               206                                 21                               227

Hafod                                                    65                                 10                                 75

United Welsh                                        31                                    6                                37

Wales & West                                       32                                    2                                34

Cando                                                     8                                    0                                  8

Gwalia                                                     3                                    0                                  3

TOTAL                                                770                               137                             907

 

The Benefit Cap was applied where households’ benefit entitlement was larger than the Benefit Cap the level of Housing Benefit payments would be reduced by the amount that was larger than the capped level.  This would affect working age claimants where the amount of benefit would be capped at £500 per week for a couple or lone parent with children.

 

Since July 2013 (the introduction of the benefit cap), 54 people were initially affected by the cap.  In June 2014 the number of cases affected reduced to 41;  however this had now increased to 44 in December 2014.  The size of a claimant’s household would affect the number of claims subject to the cap.

 

             July 2013                  June 2014        December 2014

                          54                                51                              44

 

The Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) allocation from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for 2014/15 was £244,982 and the Authority itself had allocated a further £219,000. 

 

As at December 2014 a total of £164,208 in DHPs had been awarded with a further £52,660 committed leaving £28,024 to be allocated. 

 

DHP applications for 2014/15 as at December 2014 were as follows:

 

Received

Granted

Refused

Waiting Further Information

Waiting To Be Processed

720

479

224

7

10

 

DHP Allocation

Paid

Committed

Remaining

£244,892

£164,208

£52,660

£28,024

 

The 479 successful DHP awards were granted for the following reasons.

 

Reason

Number of awards

Amount Paid

Social Size Criteria (Bedroom Tax)

256

£78,153

Local Housing Allowance restriction

91

£39,046

Combination of reforms

1

£390

Other

131

£46,619

TOTAL

479

£164,208

 

These have been broken down into the reasons why payments had been made:

 

Purpose of DHP

Number of Awards

December 2014

To help secure and move to alternative accommodation i.e. rent deposit

To help with short-term rent costs to secure moves

To help with short-term rent costs while the claimant seeks employment

To help with ongoing rental costs for disabled people

To help with ongoing rent costs

79

 

59

53

 

31

257

TOTAL

479

                       

In regard to Universal Credit, the DWP had previously stated that Universal Credit would be fully rolled out by the end of 2017 for working age customers.  However, the position on this had recently changed by Central Government who had stated that most benefit claimants will have transferred onto the Government’s Universal Credit scheme by the end of 2018.  The latest announced Government position in regard to this scheme roll out throughout the country for those claimants were listed below:

 

·         From February 2015 to spring 2016 all new claims for Universal Credit will be taken from single, JSA claimants over 18 in a simple household without any children.  Also there must not be any other benefit entitlements so; they cannot be a home owner; cannot already be in receipt of HB; but can have housing costs although only rent.  

 

They must already have a national insurance number, a bank account, but cannot have capital over £6,000.  

 

It had been announced that there will be 73 Local Authorities who will roll out Universal Credit in the first tranche.  The roll out would be done on a phased approach and Local Authorities will be notified in advance where they are within that timetable.  To date the Vale of Glamorgan had not been notified of a go live date and the DWP would not commit to announcing the further tranches until the first tranche has been completed. 

 

The Welsh Authorities included in the first Tranche are:

 

Flintshire live from April 2014

Neath and Port Talbot

Torfaen

Wrexham. 

 

·         Spring 2016 to the end of 2017 – this was being referred to as the "transition period" by the end of which all new claims would be made to Universal Credit, including couples and families, again this will be done via a phased approach yet to be determined.  During this period "natural migration" would also take place where anyone reporting a change of circumstances under one of the existing benefits will be moved onto Universal Credit.

 

·         End of 2017 onwards – The Universal Credit caseload would continue to build naturally, and DWP would also support, where needed, the managed migration of those claimants who have not already.

 

It was noted that Local Authorities would need to continue to make provision for payment of housing costs into 2017 and supported accommodation cases would remain until at least 2018.  Also payment of housing costs for pension age claimants would remain with the Local Authority for the foreseeable future.

 

As at 18th December 2014, there were 523 Council tenants affected by the extra bedroom subsidy compared to 588 in June 2014.  In addition, the Council’s dedicated Money Advisors continued to ensure information was provided to all tenants and as a result of the Authority’s Prevention First approach, rent arrears for this group were in control and managed.  The Scrutiny Committee noted that arrears of rent had decreased to £33,551 as of 15th December 2014 compared to the last report in June 2014 when the figures were £40,753 and from £43,487 (pre introduction of the Bedroom Subsidy).  Of the 523 affected, 55% continued to have clear rent accounts, 14% of cases arrears were reducing with 31% under intensive management where arrears were still unstable and in some cases worsening. 

 

The Department had not evicted any tenants where arrears were attributable to the above Housing Benefit changes.  Future mitigation measures included an increase in the supply of smaller units of accommodation with 20 one and two bedroom units on the site of the former Marine Hotel on Barry Island which was on track to hand over for nominations during January 2015.  The site of the former Barry Magistrates Court would provide an additional 46, 1 and 2 bedroom units and properties had started to be handed over on a phased basis using the Homes4U allocation scheme. 

 

Finally, matters relating to Social Services and, in particular, to the Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) had been implemented for new cases of Disability Living Allowance or where a review was requested by clients in the working age group.  Staff had received the appropriate training on the new arrangements and the impact of these arrangements in terms of outcomes for the clients was being measured.  Applications for support would be made through the Discretionary Assistance Fund and no problems had been reported in accessing this funding.

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted and that the Scrutiny Committee receives a further progress report in 12 months’ time unless the Head of Finance considers that an earlier report was required (six months) should any changes impact on current arrangements.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To monitor the impact of the Welfare Reform Agenda.

 

 

820            SCRUTINY DECISION TRACKING OF RECOMMENDATIONS AND WORK PROGRAMME SCHEDULE 2014/15 (QUARTER 3) (DR) –

 

The report updated Members on the progress in relation to uncompleted recommendations made by the Scrutiny Committee for the municipal year April 2013 to March 2014 (Appendix A), first quarter April to June 2014 (Appendix B), the second quarter July to September 2014 (Appendix C) and the third quarter October to December 2014 (Appendix D).

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the following actions as detailed below be accepted as completed:

 

04 June 2013

Min. No. 63 - Recruitment (Request for Consideration - Councillor P.J. Clarke) – Recommended that the report be noted and Jobs Growth Wales be contacted regarding any funding opportunities that could be made available to the Council.

 

 

The Committee considered a Cabinet reference (3rd November 2014) in respect of the Council’s approach to addressing youth employment in the Vale of Glamorgan by employment of apprentices and working with other Authorities and / or use of Jobs Growth Wales Scheme.  The Scrutiny Committee noted that the Cabinet had approved continued discussions with Caerphilly County Borough Council to pursue a partnership approach to the employment of apprentices.

Completed

21 January 2014

Min. No. 784 – Llantwit Learning Community: Proposal to Invest in New Primary Provision (REF) – Recommended

(1)   That the School Organisation and Buildings Manager be requested to liaise with the Operational Manager (Property Services) with the view to a further report being submitted to the Scrutiny Committee in respect of the valuation of the Eagleswell Primary School site.

 

 

 

·     A valuation for the Eagleswell site has been obtained but this cannot be shared as it is commercially sensitive.  This information cannot be released until bids for the site have been secured.  A timescale in relation to this has yet to be established.

·     A report was considered by Cabinet on 30th  June to issue tender documents for the building programme.  Cabinet agreed the acceleration of the programme in order that the new primary school building is available in September 2016 and the secondary school building in September 2017.

(Min. No. C2370 refers)

Completed

18 February 2014

Min. No. 857 – Revenue Monitoring for the Period 1st April 2013 to 31st December 2013 (MD) – Recommended

(2)   That the Head of Finance be requested to raise the comments of the Scrutiny Committee regarding the use of budget underspends with the Corporate Management Team as soon as practicable.

 

 

 

CMT has agreed that the format of future monitoring reports be supplemented with additional information and examples of where underspends / overspends are identified and where an ongoing underspend could be used to support non-achievement of savings e.g. car park and street lighting (Visible Services) as reported to the Committee on 15th October 2014.

Completed

24 June 2014

Min. No. 115 – Space Project – Progress Report (REF) – Recommended

(2)   That the Head of Adult Services and Locality Manager be requested to submit a further report to the Scrutiny Committee setting out the Occupational Therapist assessment process and the length of time expected to undertake an assessment.

 

 

Report submitted to the Committee meeting on 15th October 2014.

Completed

17 July 2014

Min. No. 259 – Revenue Monitoring for the Period 1st April 2014 to 31st May 2014 (MD) – Recommended

(2)   That the Scrutiny Committee undertake a visit to the Council’s Alps Depot, Wenvoe for the purpose of assessing the introduction of the vehicle telemetry system / software in the Council’s vehicle fleet.

 

 

 

Instead of a visit to the Alps Depot, the Committee will now receive a briefing on the matter prior to its meeting on 15th October 2014.

Completed

Min. No. 260 – Capital Monitoring Report for the Period 1st April to 31st May 2014 (MD) – Recommended

(2)   That the virement of £64,000 from the Visible Services Asset Renewal budget to the Barry Island Regeneration Scheme be noted and the matter be referred to the Cabinet for approval.

 

 

 

Cabinet, on 11th August 2014, approved the virement (Min. No. C2428 refers).

Completed

Min. No. 262 – Welfare Reform – Progress Report (MD) – Recommended

that the contents of the report be noted and that the Scrutiny Committee receive a further progress report in six months’ time.

 

 

Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 264 – Resources End of Year Performance Report 2013/14 and Target Setting 2014/15 (MD) – Recommended

(4)   That the Head of Finance submit a further report to the Scrutiny Committee in respect of energy savings initiatives schemes and how these schemes could be further enhanced, the report to also include in broad terms how the Council could improve the take-up of energy efficiency schemes by schools with the report to include any educational aspect energy efficiency schemes may have to improve awareness of school children in the county.

 

 

 

The Head of Finance is proposing a Member briefing session provided by the Council’s Energy Manager on energy saving initiatives introduced by the Council.  The briefing will also address issues raised by Members as alluded to in the Committee’s original recommendation.

 

A Member briefing session is to be provided prior to the meeting of the Committee on 20th  January 2015.

Completed

Min. No. 265 – Scrutiny Committees’ Draft Annual Report – May 2013 to April 2014 (DR) – Recommended

(1)   That the draft Annual Report for the period May 2013 to April 2014 be approved, subject to any further minor amendments being agreed in consultation with the Chairman and it be submitted to Full Council in September 2014.

 

 

 

Submitted to Full Council on 29th September 2014.

Completed

Min. No. 266 – Scrutiny Decision Tracking of Recommendations and Work Programme Schedule 2014/15 (DR) – Recommended

(2)   That the Scrutiny Committee’s Work Programme as set out in Appendix C to the report be approved and be made available on the Council’s website.

 

 

 

 

Uploaded to the Council’s website in September 2014.

Completed

23 July 2014

Min. No. 283 – Regionalising Regulatory Services Project (DDS) – Recommended

(1)    That the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) of 22nd July, 2014 be endorsed and referred to Cabinet for further consideration.

(2)   That the inclusion of trade union representation on the nine work streams working groups be recommended to Cabinet for consideration.

(3)   That the Cabinet consider making use of exemplar / best practice in respect of those local authorities that had already implemented a shared service for regulatory activities i.e. the case studies identified in Appendix G of the Atkins report with particular focus on IT systems.

(4)   That a Joint Scrutiny Committee be established as soon as practicable following the three Councils agreement to create a Joint Regulatory Service.

 

 

(1-4)   Cabinet, on 22nd September 2014, noted the contents of the report, which was to be considered with Agenda Item No. 14 of the agenda.

(Min. No. C2460 refers).

The matter will now be considered for ratification by a Special meeting of the Council on 12th November 2014.

Completed

16 September 2014

Min. No. 377 – Medium Term Financial Plan 2014/15 – 2017/18 (REF) – Recommended

(2)   That Cabinet be asked to ensure that the information outlined in Recommendation (1) is reported to Scrutiny Committees and Cabinet on a quarterly basis. 

 

  

Cabinet, on 6th October, resolved that quarterly monitoring reports be reported to Cabinet, which should include the savings achieved together with an indication of the further savings identified for each service area.

(Min. No. C2479 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 378 – Reshaping Services – A New Change Programme for the Council (REF) – Recommended

(2)   That a further report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee in the Autumn providing the proposals for a more detailed way forward and apprising Members of comments received as a result of any initial engagement with stakeholders.

(3)   That Cabinet be requested to consider developing a Communication Strategy for the Reshaping Services programme in order to educate stakeholders and encourage engagement.

 

 

 

(2)   Added to work programme schedule.

 

Cabinet will receive an update report to its meeting on 3rd November.

Completed

 

(3)   Cabinet, on 6th October, resolved that the contents of the report be noted and it be highlighted that the development of a communication strategy was addressed in the 11 August 2014 Cabinet report.

(Min No. C2480 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 380 – Improvement Plan Part 2: Annual Review of Performance 2013/14 (MD) – Recommended

(1)   That the Improvement Plan for 2013/14 be endorsed, and referred to Cabinet and Council for consideration and approval.

 

 

 

 

(3)   That the report and the comments of this Scrutiny Committee be referred to the relevant Scrutiny Committees responsible for the service areas for Disabled Facilities Grants, NEETs, Children’s and Adult Services for their further consideration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

(4)    That the comments of the Scrutiny Committee as above be referred to Cabinet for their consideration.

 

 

 

 

(1)   Cabinet, on 22nd September 2014, resolved that the contents of the report be noted and referred to Council for approval.  (Min. No. C2471 refers)

The Improvement Plan was approved by Council on 29th September 2014.

Completed

(3)   Referred to Scrutiny Committees

-    (Housing and Public Protection) – 8th October 2014, which noted the decisions

-    (Lifelong Learning) – 13th October 2014, noted the issues affecting performance in relation to NEETs and recommended

[2]   That Cabinet and Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) be informed that the Scrutiny Committee would, as identified in its work programme, continue to monitor the provision of NEETS, but would request that Cabinet give consideration to further resources being provided to support work in schools as outlined above.

-   (Social Care and Health) – 6th October 2014, noted the issues and challenges affecting the performance in respect of Children’s and Adult Services and recommended

[2]   That the views and comments of the Committee be referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) for consideration.

Completed

(4)   Cabinet, on 22nd September 2014, resolved that the contents of the report be noted and referred to Council for approval.  (Min. No. C2471 refers)

Completed

15 October 2014

Min. No. 524 – Transport Savings Programme Update (REF) – Recommended

(2)   That Cabinet be requested to consider requesting quarterly reports from the Transport Savings Steering Group that outline initiatives introduced, how they are progressing and the saving achieved against those anticipated.

 

 

Cabinet, on 17th November 2014, noted the contents of the report and resolved that quarterly reports be received from the Transport Savings Steering Group to update Cabinet on progress.

(Min. No. C2525 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 525 – Disabled Facilities Grants Annual Report 2013-14 (REF) – Recommended that Cabinet be requested to review the current spend and resourcing of the function in comparison with other local authorities in Wales, particularly in the light of the recent report and comments of the Wales Audit Office in its report to the Council’s Audit Committee.

 

 

Cabinet, on 17th November 2014, noted the Committee’s comments and resolved that the performance of DFGs be reviewed when more information becomes available.

(Min. No. C2526 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 528 – Capital Monitoring Report for the Period 1st April to 31st August 2014 (MD) – Recommended that the inclusion of the undermentioned schemes be endorsed and referred to the Cabinet for approval:

·        S106 Paget Road to Penarth Portway Woodland Path – increase the Capital Programme by £40,000 funded by Penarth Heights S106 monies

·        Barry Island Light Art Commission – increase the Capital Programme by £50,000 Grant Funding from Arts Council Wales to fund this scheme.

 

 

Cabinet, on 3rd November 2014, approved the schemes.

(Min. No. C2518 refers)

Completed

11 November 2014

Min. No. 595 – Local Service Board Update (MD) – Recommended

(4)   That the Head of Performance and Development be requested to ensure that the Penarth Learning Community Project is put forward to an appropriate award if already not done so and the project success be drawn to the attention of the WLGA and LGA.

 

 

Members notified by e-mail regarding awards by the Head of Performance and Development.

Completed

09 December 2014

Min. No. 678 – Improvement Plan Part 2: Annual Review of Performance 2013/14 (REF) – Recommended That the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) notes that the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) would continue to monitor the provision of NEETS and further notes the request to Cabinet regarding consideration of future resources for the service.

Completed

Min. No. 680 – Initial Housing Revenue Account Budget Proposals 2015-2016 and Revised Budget 2014/2015 (DVSH) – Recommended

(2)   That the Initial Housing Revenue Account budget proposals for 2014/15 be noted.

(3)   That the Initial Housing Revenue Account budget proposals for 2015/16 be noted.

 

 

 

 

(2&3)   Referred to Cabinet meeting on 12th January 2015.

Completed

Min. No. 681 – Initial Revenue Budget Proposals 2015/16 (MD) – Recommended

(2)   That the initial Revenue Budget proposals for 2015/16 be noted and that the Cabinet be informed of the outcome of the Scrutiny process on the matter subject to the references which include the comments from the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) and (Economy and Environment) being forwarded on to the Cabinet and the Budget Working Group for further consideration.

 

 

Referred to Cabinet meeting on 12th January 2015.

Completed

Min. No. 682 – Initial Capital Programme Proposals for 2015/16 (MD) – Recommended

(1)   That the Initial Capital Budget Proposals for 2015/16 be endorsed and that Cabinet be informed of the Scrutiny Committee’s deliberations on the matter.

 

 

Referred to Cabinet meeting on 12th January 2015.

Completed

Min. No. 687 – Voluntary Agreement for the Exit of the Housing Revenue Account Subsidy System and the Associated Housing Business Plan 2014 (MD and DVSH) – Recommended

(2)   That it be recommended to Cabinet to recommend to Council that delegated authority be given to the Director of Visible Services and Housing in consultation with the Head of Finance, the Head of Legal Services, the Leader and the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety, to agree to the exit of the HRAS system once formal notification is received.

(3)   That it be recommended to Cabinet to recommend to Council that delegated authority be granted to the Head of Finance in consultation with the Director of Visible Services and Housing, the Head of Legal Services, the Leader and the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety, to agree to the final settlement amount.

(4)   That it be recommended to Cabinet to recommend to Council that delegated authority be given to the Head of Finance in consultation with the Director of Visible Services and Housing, the Head of Legal Services, the Leader and the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety, to agree a change in the Treasury Management Strategy, in order to borrow the required settlement amount from Public Works Loans Board (PWLB).

(5)   That it be recommended to Cabinet to recommend to Council that delegated authority be given to the Director of Visible Services and Housing in consultation with the Head of Finance, the Head of Legal Services, the Leader, and the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety, to agree any changes to the Business Plan if necessary before submission on 7th January 2015 and thereafter.

(6)   That it be recommended to Cabinet to recommend to Council that delegated authority be given to the Head of Legal Services in consultation with Director of Visible Services and Housing, the Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety, to finalise the terms of the Voluntary Agreement and execute the same.

 

 

 

 

(2-6)   Cabinet, on 15th December 2014, noted the Scrutiny Committee’s comments and considered the reference alongside Agenda Item No. 13 of the same title.

(Min. Nos. C2580 and C2581 refer).

 

The matter was ratified at the Council meeting held on 17th December, 2014.

Completed

 

(2)       T H A T progress against the remaining recommendations identified as ongoing as detailed within the report be noted.

 

(3)       T H A T the updated / amended work programme schedule attached at Appendix E to the report be approved and uploaded to the Council’s website.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1&2)  To apprise Members of progress with Scrutiny Committee recommendations.

 

(3)       For information.