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SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT)

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 6th November, 2012.

 

Present:  Councillor R.L. Traherne (Chairman); Councillor Mrs. A.J. Moore (Vice-Chairman); Councillors P.J. Clarke, G.A. Cox, Mrs. C. Curtis, Mrs. P. Drake, P.G. King, A.G. Powell and C.J. Williams.

 

Also present: Councillor Dr. I. Johnson.

 

 

500     APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE -

 

This was received from Councillor E. Hacker.

 

 

501     MINUTES -

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 9th October, 2012 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

502     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

Councillor R.L. Traherne stated that he had a dispensation from the Standards Committee to speak only during any debate that may take place at meetings of the Scrutiny Committees regarding the draft LDP (Local Development Plan). However, should any discussions take place at any time regarding specific housing allocations, he would withdraw from the meeting.

 

Councillor G.A. Cox advised Committee that he had a dispensation from the Standards Committee to speak and vote on the LDP save for the Evan Jenkins Candidate Site.

 

 

503     PRESENTATION - GATEWAY WALES -

 

Following introductions by the Chairman, Mr. Steve Hodgetts (Cardiff Airport) and Mr. N. Baker (Legal and General Property) provided a presentation to the Committee as detailed below:

  • What is Gateway Wales?

-                    An opportunity to bring economic value to the Vale of Glamorgan

-                    To realise the potential in the Local Development Plan

-                    To unlock the potential of the existing employment land allocations

-                    To be part of the cluster effect of Cardiff Airport and St. Athan

-                    To develop over time an improvement in the visual aspect of the airport and its surroundings

-                    To assist in the realisation of the Enterprise Zone (EZ) objectives.

 

Mr. Hodgetts referred to Cardiff Airport as an economic generator and a large scale employer, however, in terms of the transport interchange further improvement was required together with the need for a Transport Plan as part of the Enterprise Zone initiative.  He advised that the 2006 Master Plan was still valid in land use and physical development terms with the potential to offer up to a potential 8 million passengers via incremental development.  One of the main purposes of the project was to define where opportunities could be taken from.  The Welsh Government, Legal and General Properties and Cardiff Airport had also considered that a rail link to the site was a long term aspiration as there was currently some concern that a spur would divert trains away from Llantwit Major in the early years.  However, any site and route could be reserved for such a facility in the Master Plan.

 

A copy of a map indicating the Enterprise Zone relationship with Cardiff Airport, Gateway Wales and St. Athan, together with examples of a uses layout which detailed a number of opportunities that could be available was displayed on screen.  However, the overall intention would be to work with as many organisations as possible to identify appropriate uses and to ensure sustainability of the airport.  The Welsh Government considered that the airport was pivotal to the Welsh economy and it would therefore be essential that St. Athan, Cardiff Airport and Gateway Wales were detailed in a development Master Plan and marketed as such. Members considered that the Welsh Government should take the lead on this.

 

The Chairman had also provided the representatives with a series of questions prior to the meeting, which were responded to as below:

  • Is the project agreed as vital to the Welsh Economy by the Welsh Government?

The view was that the inclusion of the site within the Enterprise Zone demonstrates this to be the case.

  • Is the project discussed at First Minister’s Task Force?

Gateway Wales was not part of the main work streams of the Task Force as it was outside the main focus of the Task Force. The issues within its remit related to encouraging more flights and improving the passenger experience.

  • Is the Project embedded in the work of the Enterprise Zone?

The Enterprise Zone Board meets regularly to maintain progress with Gateway Wales also being discussed on a regular basis and integrated into all strategies

  • How important is a rail link and will the project fail without it?

The Gateway Wales project did not need the rail link to succeed especially in its early stages. A successful Gateway Wales would however, advance the case for improved transport

  • If Cardiff continued to lose business would the project fail?

Gateway Wales was enhanced by a successful airport but it would mainly benefit from the growing economy of Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan. The mix of uses and clients would be influenced by the maturity of the airport

  • Is the Vale of Glamorgan Council supportive?

Strong working relationships existed with officers to date and it has been included in the Draft LDP and the Council is working together with the Enterprise Zone to develop joint Master Plans for Enterprise Zone sites including Gateway Wales.

 

In conclusion, the representatives advised that the next steps would be to understand the LDP timeframes and planning status for the Gateway Wales' site, deliver an Enterprise Zone Master Plan and create a marketing plan to promote the Enterprise Zone and the individual elements as referred to above.

 

A copy of the presentation was tabled at the meeting together with a copy of the document “An Investment in the Future” as at 18th November 2011 for Members’ information.

 

Following consideration of the presentation a number of concerns were raised by the Committee as detailed below:

 

Question

Response

It appeared that Bristol Airport was more successful than Cardiff?

 

Mr. Hodgetts referred to Easy Jet at Bristol being an acquisition from another airline. Airlines at that airport  flew to a number of destinations. Cardiff Airport to compete with this also offered incentives to airlines to fly from its airport but response depended on the operators themselves.  Bristol however, also had other advantages such as a larger catchment area and a GDP of 20,000 per head

 

The terminal in Cardiff Airport was not as attractive as Bristol's.

 

In his view the Bristol terminal was very similar to the Cardiff terminal and recent surveys undertaken by Thomas Cook Airlines and an independent consultant had detailed that customers would prefer to fly from Cardiff if possible. 

How do you envisage all the proposals identified at the meeting being developed?

 

 

At what point would you envisage that Legal and General may pull out of future investment?

This would depend on how soon the LDP process would be finalised and what input was received from private companies.

 

Legal and General Property did not have unlimited resources and it would only be a matter of time before shareholders would wish to see the fruition of plans.  More certainty was required with Welsh Government and the Enterprise Zone and the development of the next stage in the process as well as the formalising of the LDP.

 

Has the airport considered lowering handling fees?

 

A number of operators had been offered incentives and recently a new airline company had been attracted to the airport - “Vueling”. They were also considering capacity growth in 2013 which would be good news for the airport.  The airport was constantly trying to market its product and discussing with operators various incentives.

 

 

The Chairman enquired as to whether the Scrutiny Committee could assist in encouraging progress and was advised by Mr. Baker that formal recognition by the Council of its support would be advantageous together with progress in relation to the LDP process.

 

It was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T the Chairman in consultation with the Vice-Chairman prepare a letter, to be forwarded to the Business Minister following e-mail consultation with Members of the Committee indicating the Committee’s support for the project and its concern at the lack of an overall Master Plan.

 

(2)       T H A T a further progress report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee in six months.

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1&2)  To progress the matter.

 

 

504     NATIONAL EISTEDDFOD 2012, LLANDOW, VALE OF GLAMORGAN - CLOSING REPORT (REF) -

 

The Operational Manager for Leisure and Tourism outlined the contents of the report advising that Cabinet had referred the report for Members' information on 15th October, 2012. 

 

The report detailed that in terms of the Eisteddfod itself, attendance figures for the week had stood at 138,767 being nearly 2,000 higher than the previous Eisteddfod based in South Wales hosted in Ebbw Vale in 2010.  The report also referred to the cost of preparing and planning for the Eisteddfod in terms of officer time which had been met from existing resources and budgets.  The remainder of the costs being reported as follows:

  • Transport Management and Planning at a cost of £35k
  • Public Transport - Bus Service at a cost of  £9k
  • Greenlinks at a cost of £1.1k
  • Cleaning and Associated Activity at a cost of £4k
  • Decoration (provided within existing budgets)
  • Marketing (provided within existing budgets)
  • The Council Pavilion – Council Presence on the Maes at a cost of £30.7k
  • Play Development at a cost of £4k
  • Sports Development (provided within existing budgets).

It was noted that the report had also been discussed at the recent Community Liaison Committee meeting which had been well received. 

 

Having considered the report it was

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the contents of the report and the Council's involvement be noted and congratulations extended to all.

 

 

505     CIVIL PARKING ENFORCEMENT - PROGRESS (REF) -

 

Cabinet had, on 15th October, 2012, received a report on the progress being made towards obtaining powers from the Welsh Government to take on civil parking enforcement within the Vale of Glamorgan and had referred the same to the Committee.  It was noted that the Council was due to obtain CPE powers by April 2013 and officers were working towards this date.

 

In presenting the report to the Scrutiny Committee, the Director of Visible Services and Housing stated that five officers would be dedicated to certain areas within the Vale with the likelihood of an initial greater presence being arranged for Barry and Penarth in view of the majority of parking issues being within these areas.  He also referred to paragraph 8 in the report and to specific issues which required progressing although some progress had also been made. It was noted that Bridgend CBC would be the employing authority, with a single team comprising of a Parking Manager and 17 other staff.  The number of staff and their deployment would be reviewed once the operation had time to bed in. Training for CEOs was to be determined together with the production of a Procedures Manual. Decisions on the uniforms and equipment to be provided were to be determined in due course.

 

Further progress was noted as follows:

  • Methods of Payment:  All methods of payment were currently being considered.
  • Publicity Programme:  The publicity programme and communications strategy were being developed with assistance from representatives from the Communications Departments of both Councils.
  • Consultation:  Formal consultation on the appropriateness of the application with the statutory consultees had been undertaken on 5th April 2012 with supportive responses having been received to date.  New on and off street TROs are being prepared to incorporate all relevant existing orders and consultation on the new TROs would be undertaken in due course and anticipated to commence in October.
  • Office Accommodation:  The Parking Management Team would be located in the Innovation Centre, Bridgend Science Park with various locations for a satellite office in the Vale of Glamorgan being considered.
  • Back-Office Provision:  It had previously been determined that Denbighshire County Council would provide the back-office support through their Wales Penalty Processing Partnership (WP3) arrangements. 

Members raised concerns as to whether the Council would be able to meet the deadline of 1st April 2013.  The Director assured Members that this date was being worked towards.  He also advised of the conclusions of an audit report as detailed below:

 

"(1)      There are a number of tasks that could be actioned sooner or completed in less time yet doing so may increase risks to the project and would not necessarily contribute towards an earlier implication date.

 

(2)       Although the project is currently on track, there is a risk that without additional resources the project may not meet the April 2013 date."

 

The recruitment process for the post of Parking Manager had commenced and an appointment would be made shortly.  It was envisaged this would greatly assist in increasing the resources available to ensure implementation of the project for the 1st April, 2013 deadline.  A budget was also currently being discussed with Bridgend Council for the first year of operation of CPE in 2013/14.  It was anticipated that the ongoing operational costs of the service would be funded from the parking fine income.

 

In response to a query from a Member as to whether the Council purchased British equipment and British uniforms, the Director advised that the equipment had to be purchased in line with equipment / software in use by Denbighshire Council as they were the back office support to the service. 

 

Members were informed that the Leader had spoken to Jane Hutt, AM regarding the Council's deadline and that she was fully aware of the need to ensure that the service was provided by 1st April but that the Council was not currently at the stage yet to pursue the application, further work was required. 

 

Reference was made to the use of publicity for the initiative with the suggestion made that publicity also be undertaken in the vicinity of schools to encourage car users not to park in the area. 

 

Having fully considered the report it was

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the contents of the report be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To apprise Members.

 

 

506     VALE OF GLAMORGAN AGRICULTURAL SHOW - VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL BUSINESS BREAKFAST, FEEDBACK REPORT AND BUSINESS LIAISON ACTIVITIES (REF) -

 

The Operational Manager for Countryside and Economic Projects presented the report which contained feedback on the Business Breakfast and Workshop session that had been held during the Vale of Glamorgan Agricultural Show on 22nd August, 2012. 

 

It was noted that the objectives for this year's event had been as follows:

 

"(1)      Develop on-going relationships and dialogue with the business and tourism sectors of the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

(2)       Facilitate discussions between tourism and non-tourism businesses in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

(3)       Capture the input from the two sectors to inform future activity of the Council's Creative Rural Communities, Regeneration, Tourism and Economic Development Teams.

 

The event had been themed on a workshop style session and each table had been hosted by a Cabinet Member and an officer of the Council.  Attendees were also asked two questions to form the basis for the workshop session being:

 

(a)       What is really good about the Vale that we should be promoting?

 

(b)       What are the gaps, either in provision or in links that might make existing facilities more effective?"

 

The report also set out proposals for future business liaison activities and networking. 

 

Responses to the above two questions were summarised in the report which was attached as an appendix to the reference.  It was noted that the views of the delegates would inform the work of the Council especially in relation to the key areas of marketing and branding and the way in which the Council worked with partners in promoting the Vale of Glamorgan. 

 

Of particular relevance was the fact that the Council was in the process of commencing work on a Destination Management Plan and the feedback received from the Business Breakfast would assist in informing work on the Plan.  A delegate feedback report on the Business Breakfast was also available on the Council's website under the link http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/enjoying/visit_the_vale/news_stories/vale_show_business_breakfast.aspx.

 

The report highlighted that it was the intention to hold similar events based around specific topics during the next twelve months and beyond which would include the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) holding an annual Extraordinary Meeting to consider the economic situation and business issues. The Chairman asked the Committee to consider whether such a meeting should be themed or involve general discussion. It was agreed that the emphasis should be to concentrate on areas that the Council could help and assist in, the detail for which to be discussed at a later stage.

 

It was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T the contents of the report be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the annual Extraordinary Scrutiny Committee meeting with businesses be scheduled for a date in April 2013.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       Having regard to the contents contained therein.

 

(2)       To set a date in order to continue to engage in dialogue with the business community.

 

 

507     LAVERNOCK POINT TO ST. ANN'S HEAD - SHORELINE MANAGEMENT PLAN SM2 (DVSH) -

 

The current Shoreline Management Plan had been reviewed and a Shoreline Management Plan SM2 produced.  The Director advised that the document was a high level evaluation of the shoreline and included

  • large-scale assessments of the coastline - how the coast would change over time with erosion, sea level rise and climate change in 3 epochs being the next 20 years, 20 to 50 years and 50 to 100 years
  • the identification of risks to both the historic and natural environment as the coast changes
  • policy frameworks to address the risks in a sustainable manner and indication of how the coastline should look under the promoted policies in 20, 50 and 100 years.

The main objective of the SMP2 was to identify long term management policies for the coast.  The revised SMP2 recommended changes to the current approach in some areas which would help manage those so that the people, places, industry and wildlife affected could adapt at a reasonable pace.  The section of the Vale of Glamorgan coastline within the Lavernock Point to St. Ann's Head Shoreline Management Plan SMP2 document extended from Lavernock Point to the mouth of the River Ogmore and consisted of six policy units as follows:

  • Lavernock Point to Barry Island (PU1)
  • Barry Island and Docks (PU2)
  • The Knap to Watch House Bay (PU3)
  • Aberthaw (PU4)
  • Limpert Bay to Nash Point (PU5)
  • and the major part of Nash Point to Porthcawl (PU6).

Plans in relation to these six policy units were attached as appendices to the report. In view of the long term issues it was noted that due to the planning time frame a considerable amount of assumptions had to be made in preparing the documentation but the Council had to start somewhere. 

 

Having considered the report it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the proposal to adopt the draft SMP2 document be endorsed following its approval by the Welsh Government Minister for the Environment, Sustainability and Housing and that the report also be referred to Cabinet for consideration and/or approval.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

For Cabinet consideration.

 

 

508     SCRUTINY TRACKING OF RECOMMENDATIONS (DR) -

 

Members were apprised of progress in relation to recommendations made by the Scrutiny Committee for the municipal year April 2011 to March 2012, first quarter April 2012 to June 2012 and second quarter July to September 2012, the appendices for which were attached to the report.

 

Having considered the progress to date it was

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T the following actions be deemed completed and the necessary amendments as detailed therein be made to the work programme schedule :

 

13 March 2012

Min No. 972 - Cardiff Airport - Request for Consideration of Matter - Recommended

(2)       T H A T a report detailing the Welsh Government's position, the Council's position and what the Council could do to encourage the sustainability of Cardiff Airport be brought to a future meeting.

It being noted that a report would be presented to the Scrutiny Committee in six months and that this be added to the work programme schedule.

Completed

17 April 2012

Min. No. 1107 - Kerbside Recycling Arrangements - An Update (DEER) - Recommended

(1)       That the report be referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) and to the Planning Committee for consideration.

Referred to Planning Committee on 14 June 2012, who noted the report (Min. No. 33 refers); and considered by Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) on 18 July 2012, who noted the arrangements (Min. No. 175 refers).

Completed

19 June 2012

Min. No. 64 - Scrutiny Forward Work Programme 2012/13 (DLPPHS) - Recommended

(2)       That Members of the Scrutiny Committee e-mail the Scrutiny and Committee Services Officer with suggestions for a topic for review.

Topics agreed by Chairman and Vice-Chairman Group - Welfare Reform and Traffic Management in the Vale (Min. No. (e) refers).

Completed

17 July 2012

Min. No. 155 - Closure of Accounts 2011/12 (DDS and DVSH) - Recommended

That the report be noted and the information as requested above be e-mailed to all Members of the Scrutiny Committee.

[Merrie Harrier Bus Lane final land issues with the scheme and Knap Gardens bridge repair works further details on why the works were no longer required]

The information had been e-mailed to Members.

Completed

Min. No. 157 - Barry to Dinas Powys Cycleway (DDS) (Request for Consideration - Councillor C.J. Williams) - Recommended

That the Request for Consideration of Matter be deferred to the next meeting of the Committee on 4 September 2012.

This matter was considered by Committee on 4 September 2012 (Min. No. 279 refers).

Completed

Min. No. 161 - Scrutiny Committees' Draft Annual Report May 2011 to April 2012 (DLPPHS) - Recommended

(1)       That the Annual Report be approved and referred to Full Council

Referred to Full Council on 26 September 2012 (Min. No. 355 refers).

Completed

(2)       That Traffic Management, the impact of traffic flows within the Vale of Glamorgan to include sustainable travel be put forward as the Committee's suggested topic for review.

Topics agreed by Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen Group - Welfare Reform and Traffic Management in the Vale (Min. No. (e) refers).

Completed

4 September 2012

Min. No. 278 - Revenue and Capital Monitoring for the Period 1 April 2012 to 31 July 2012 (DDS and DVSH) - Recommended

(1)       That any funding issues, whether taken from reserves or found from within other Council budgets, are reflected in the detail of any future reports.

Officers to include in future reports as detailed in report to Committee 16 October 2012.

Completed

Min. No. 279 - Barry to Dinas Powys Cycleway (DDS) - Recommended

That Cabinet be requested to make the necessary resources available to progress a bid to SEWTA in order that the Barry to Dinas Powys Cycleway project could be included in the Regional Transport Plan five year programme.

Cabinet, on 1 October 2012 noted the report and that the scheme would be encompassed within other sustainable transport schemes submitted by the Council for consideration by SEWTA (Min. No. C1837) refers.

Completed

Min. No. 280 - Barry Cluster Communities First (Ref) - Recommended

That the progress report be noted and a further update be presented as the bid was developed.

Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 282 - Annual Report - Section 106 Legal Agreements 2011 - 2012 (Ref) - Recommended

That Cabinet be requested to ensure that the Directors come forward with proposals as soon as possible in order to reduce the exceptionally large Section 106 Agreements' outstanding balance waiting for appropriate schemes.

Cabinet on 1 October 2012 resolved that a further report be presented at a future Cabinet Business meeting outlining a protocol on how the Council could release Section 106 monies.  Once completed the report would be forwarded to Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) (Min. No. C1838 refers).

Completed

 

(2)       T H A T the following progress be noted:

 

17 July 2012

Min. No. 156 - Revenue and Capital Monitoring for the Period 1 April 2012 to 31 May 2012 (DDS and DVSH) - Recommended

(2)       That a tour of leisure centres including Colcot Centre be arranged and that a further update report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee following the transfer agreement with Parkwood.

That the Scrutiny Committee undertakes a tour of leisure centres including the Colcot Centre in February 2013 and that a progress report in relation to the transfer agreement with Parkwood be presented to the March Scrutiny Committee.  The Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer to e-mail all Members of the Committee to confirm arrangements for the visits.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To maintain effective tracking of the Committee's recommendations.

 

(2)       To progress the matter.

 

 

509     SCRUTINY COMMITTEE WORK PROGRAMME (DR) -

 

The Work Programme contained a list of reports that were scheduled for submission to future meetings of the Scrutiny Committee which would include financial monitoring reports, performance monitoring reports, pre-Cabinet decision scrutiny reports as identified within the Cabinet Forward Work Programme together with reports requested by the Scrutiny Committee itself.  The programme schedule was attached at Appendix 1 to the report, it also being noted that under agenda item 9 the Committee had agreed to undertake site visits to Leisure Centres in February 2013 and to receive a progress report regarding the Parkwood transfer in March 2013. Members were informed that Scrutiny Committee Work Programmes were publicised on the Council's website in order to advise members of the public of future items that would be under discussion.  It was also noted that Prosiect Gwyrdd Scrutiny Panel minutes would be forwarded to Members when available and that any concerns resulting be dealt with via the request for consideration process.

 

The report also referred to the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 which required that forward plans of Scrutiny Committees should be made available in advance of the exercise of functions. 

 

In considering the report the Chairman took the opportunity to advise Members of a Wales Audit Office self-evaluation review that was being undertaken and that a Working Group of four Members (including the Chairman) had been set up to assist in the process.  The Chairman informed Members that representatives from the Wales Audit Office would be attending Scrutiny Committees in the future to view and consider their working arrangements and feedback accordingly. 

 

Following consideration of the report it was

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T an update report in relation to supported local bus services be presented to the Committee in four months.

 

(2)       T H A T the work programme schedule be published as above, as detailed at Appendix 1 to the report and as agreed under the previous agenda item.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       In view of the review being undertaken by the Welsh Government.

 

(2)       To maintain publication of the Committee's work programme and to address the recommendations agreed at agenda item 9 (decision tracking of recommendations).

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