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 SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT)

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 14th January, 2014.

 

Present: Councillor Mrs. A.J. Moore (Chairman); Councillor E. Hacker (Vice-Chairman); Councillors P.J. Clarke, G.A. Cox, Mrs. C.L. Curtis, Mrs. P. Drake, Mrs. M. Kelly Owen, P. King  and A.G. Powell.

 

 

740     APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE –

 

This was received from Councillor C.J. Williams.

 

 

741     MINUTES –

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 3rd December, 2013 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

742     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

743     REVENUE AND CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL 2013 TO 30TH NOVEMBER 2013 (DDS AND DVSH) –

 

The Head of Accountancy and Resource Management advised that the purpose of the report was to bring to the attention of the Committee the revenue and capital expenditure for the period 1st April to 30th November 2013 within the Committee’s.

 

As part of the Final Revenue Budget Proposals for 2013/14, the Council on 6th March 2013 had approved the savings targets for 2013/14 onwards.  These savings would represent the minimum targets expected to be met by services.  The approved 2013/14 savings required for services within the Committee's remit were reported as £625k for Environment and Visible Services, £5k for Planning and Transportation and £70k for Economic Development.

 

In referring to Appendix 1 to the report Members were informed of the slight changes in presentation as recommended by the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) expenditure and profiled budget information would in future be appended in bar chart and graphical format.   

 

The Revenue Budget and projected outturn for 2013/14 as detailed in the report was shown as in the table below:- 

 

Economy & Environment           

Revenue Budget

 

Probable Outturn

Variance

(+ ) Favourable

(-) Adverse

 

£000

£000

£000

Highways Maintenance & Engineering

 

8,446

8,446

0

Waste Management

 

9,843

9,843

0

Grounds Maintenance

 

3,477

3,477

0

Support

 

104

104

0

Building Services

 

0

0

0

Economic Development

 

950

950

0

Leisure

 

4,085

4,085

0

Planning and Transportation

 

5,329

5,329

0

Total Economy & Environment

32,234

32,234

0

 

A graph and table setting out the variance between the profiled budget and actual expenditure to date was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

In referring to the various service areas Members were also apprised of the following:-  Highways Maintenance and Engineering Design and Procurement - There was currently a £80k adverse variance to the profiled budget.  This was mainly due to a reduction in the income being achieved by the Engineering section due to a reduction in the number of capital schemes requiring Engineering advice/design. It was anticipated that schemes would become available later in the financial year which should increase the level of income.

 

Waste Management - There was currently a £56k favourable variance to the profiled budget. The saving was mainly linked to vacant posts within the service and a reduction in the amount of waste being sent to landfill.

 

Grounds Maintenance - There currently stood a £27k adverse variance to the profiled budget with the main reason for this current overspend being reported as  Transport costs, however, many vehicles had since been off-hired.

 

Support – There was currently a nil variance to the profiled budget.

 

Economic Development – Current projections showed that this budget would outturn within target.

 

Leisure - Current projections showed that this budget would outturn within target.

 

Planning and Transportation - There was currently a favourable variance of £3k to the profiled budget which was due to income being slightly in advance of the profiled estimate.

 

With regard to the Capital Programme detailed financial progress at 30th November 2013 was shown under Appendix 2 of the report. 

 

Members were also advised that for Flood Risk Management it had been requested that the following Flood Risk Management Schemes be delayed until 2014/15 and had been included in the 2014/15 Capital Programme:

  • Flood Risk Management at Boverton - £250k to provide match funding if Welsh Government approved the proposed scheme,
  • Flood Risk Management at Coldbrook - £138k to provide match funding required for increased construction costs.

In referring to Gileston to Old Mill it had been requested that the Capital Programme be increased by £2,750k, with funding being approved by WG for the construction phase of the scheme. Work was due to start on site in January 2014 and completion was expected in November 2014.

 

Regional Transport Consortia (SEWTA) - Additional funding had been offered to the Council for the following schemes and to ensure that this funding was spent within the financial year 2013/14, approval for inclusion in the Capital Programme had been received using the Emergency Powers procedure:

 

            £3k for Development of Road Safety Capital Schemes,

            £14k for Bus Stop upgrades on A48,

            £13k for an additional Greenlinks Transport Minibus,

            £24k for an additional Greenlinks Transport Minibus and accessible car.

           

In addition to the above, further funding of £35.5k had been awarded towards the cost of the Railway Walk Cycle Scheme, to cover additional costs due to slight amendments in design such as different surfacing material which was more aesthetically suited to the environment.  Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) Members were advised that the report should read that the actual approved funding from Natural Resources Wales was £30.4k as opposed to £28.5k presented within the report.  The funding covered a number of projects as contained within the report.

 

Wales Coast Path Development Programme - It had been requested that the Capital Programme be increased by £22.5k in 2013/14 and 2014/15 for grant funding allocated by Natural Resources Wales.

 

In considering the report Members sought further information on the Barry Heart Walk way and were advised that this had been an initiative derived from the Wellbeing Partnership which was a heart shaped 8km walk within Porthkerry Park, the idea being to raise the public profile of the need for exercise and to develop an annual walk in support of the British Heart Foundation. In referring to the recent weather conditions, Members were pleased to note that there had been no major flooding issues reported in the Llanmaes area and that all the improvements that had been made there to date seemed to have worked well. It was noted that the Director of Visible Services was intending to report on Flood Management to a future meeting.

 

Members were also advised that with regard to the proposed Greenlinks bus service the timetable for which was shortly to be launched and an update report was to be presented by officers to the next meeting of the Community Liaison Committee. 

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the position with regard to the 2013/14 revenue and capital monitoring be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

In view of the contents of the report.

 

 

744     CHANGING ECONOMIC CIRCUMSTANCES: SUPPORTING BUSINESSES IN THE LOCAL ECONOMY (DDS) –

 

The Operational Manager for Countryside and Economic Projects presented the report which outlined the issues that had been raised following the Scrutiny Committee meetings that had been held with local businesses and key stakeholders.

 

The Scrutiny Committee had held a number of meetings with local business representatives, interested parties and key stakeholders to obtain views, comments and suggestions in view of the current climate of changing economic circumstances.  The Committee’s view having been that it was essential for evidence to be gathered from representatives of various bodies in order to assist the Council in considering ways to mitigate the effects of the economic downturn on local businesses.  The Committee had also, since the Local Government elections 2012, recommended that similar exercises be continued to be repeated in future years to explore ways to aid local businesses

 

The first meeting held by the Committee had taken place in 2009, the second in 2011, and the more recent meeting of its type was held on 9th April 2013. The minutes of each of the meetings had been reported to the Committee previously with the view that a final report would be prepared in order that the views expressed and the Council responses could be contained in a concise document now attached at Appendix A to the report. 

 

Cabinet had itself also in 2012 considered and agreed a report which detailed a number of business liaison activities that would take place as well as acknowledging that, on an annual basis, a meeting would be held by the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) to consider the economic situation and business issues.

 

Following the last meeting held Scrutiny Committee Members felt at the time that similar events should continue be held but that the format for such could be reconsidered in order to allow for sufficient debate to take place. The report before Members currently recommended that the next event be held in either October / November 2014 with a further report being presented to the Committee in July 2014 of the suggested format. 

 

The Chairman took the opportunity to ask Members to consider and refer any ideas or views via e-mail to herself or the Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer in order that the report can be prepared accordingly.  During the meeting some Members suggested that future meetings take the form of inviting sector specific organisations to a number meetings to encourage full debate and that where good practice can be identified that it can be shared by all and any innovative ways to encourage improvements and footfall in Towns be considered. 

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)          That the progress to date be noted, the report be accepted and together with the Committee’s comments be referred to Cabinet.

 

(2)          That the Committee confirms its support to continue to engage with local businesses and key stakeholders on a regular basis, Members of the Committee consider ideas for the format of future events and email any suggestions to the Chairman and Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer.

 

(3)          That a further report be presented to the Committee in July 2014 outlining the suggested format for future event /s to be held in either October or November 2014.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)          To apprise Members of the issues and responses made following evidence gathering meetings with interested parties.

 

(2)          To continue to hold discussions and engage with key stakeholders and consider the format for future events in order to maintain added value.

 

(3)          In order to agree a format and date for future event/s.

 

 

745     SCRUTINY TRACKING OF RECOMMENDATIONS (DR) –

 

Members were requested to consider progress in relation to recommendations made by the Scrutiny Committee during the Municipal Year April 2012 to March 2013 shown under Appendix A, the first quarter April to June 2013 shown under Appendix B, the second quarter July to September 2013 shown under Appendix C and the third quarter October to December 2013 shown under Appendix D.

 

Having considered the progress to date it was

 

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

 

12 March 2013

Min. No. 972 - Colcot Sports Centre Options Appraisal (DVSH) – Recommended

(2)   That Cabinet be requested to consider that on conclusion of the feasibility study (1) above, a steering group be set up involving key stakeholders to develop the most suitable proposals for the medium and long term users of the facility.

Cabinet, on 8th April 2013 resolved

(1)   That recommendations 1 and 2 of the Scrutiny Committee’s report be deferred for a site visit to enable the Cabinet to see the buildings first hand and to receive a full officer briefing on the further options for the centre and the associated amenities in the surrounding area.

(2)   That the Operational Manager of Parks and Grounds Maintenance be authorised to undertake basic improvement works to the centre building during 2013/14 to increase standards for existing users and to protect the building from weather damage (as outlined in paragraph 23 of the report).

(Min. No. C1282 refers)

Cabinet at its meeting on 18th November received a report and subsequently resolved 

(1)   That as the Sports Centre fulfills its role as a changing facility for users of football pitches at the Sports Centre and Buttrills Playing Field no further development work or consultation be undertaken with the community for its medium and long term use at this time.

(2)   That it be noted that currently there were temporary users of the sports centre and that they are only using it on a temporary basis having been transferred from the previous Alexandra Community Centre until the new Community Centre was built.

(3)   That a further report in relation to the current users of the sports centre and their future accommodation be presented at a future cabinet meeting before the end of their temporary use.

(4)   That a further report on any future use of the sports centre also be presented to a future cabinet meeting.

(Min. No. C2090 refers)

Committee are asked to note the resolutions of Cabinet and requested to agree that the recommendation be deemed completed.

Completed

18 June 2013

Min. No. 95 - Vale of Glamorgan Town Centre Framework (REF) – Recommended

(2)   That all Members of the Scrutiny Committee be advised of the forthcoming dates for the sessions as outlined above as soon as possible.

 

 

 

Information e-mailed to all Members.

Completed

16 July 2013

Min. No. 244 - Revenue and Capital Monitoring for the Period 1st April 2013 to 31st May 2013 (DDS and DVSH) – Recommended

(2)   That the proposed amendment to reduce the Ewenny Road Bridge budget to £100k (carry forward £900k to 2014/15) be endorsed and referred to Cabinet and Council for approval.

(3)   That the proposed amendment to reduce the S106 Cogan Hill / Plassey Street junction phases 1 and 2 budget to £30k (carry £227k forward into 2014/15) be endorsed and referred to Cabinet for approval.

 

 

 

 

(2) and (3) Agreed by Cabinet on 29th July 2013 (Min. No. C1425 refers).

Completed

Min. No. 246 - Barry Island: Installation of Blue Plaque Commemorating the Former Butlin’s Holiday Campsite (DDS) – Recommended

(1)   That the request to install a blue plaque at Barry Island be agreed in principle and referred to Cabinet.  It being noted that the cost would be borne by the previous employees of the Butlin’s Holiday Camp as referred to above.

(2)   That following the regeneration work planned for Barry Island an appropriate location be found for the installation of the plaque.

(3)   That prior to an appropriate place being found for the installation of a blue plaque, the plaque be presented to the Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan for safekeeping.

 

 

 

 

 

(1-3)   Cabinet, on 9th September 2013, agreed with the Committee’s recommendations. (Min. No. C2008 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 253 - Scrutiny Committee Task and Finish Review (DR) –

 

Recommended

(3)   That the reports of the Task and Finish Group be referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) for consideration.

 

Added to work programme schedule, to be presented when available.

Completed

03 September 2013

Min. No. 356 – Scrutiny Committees’ Draft Annual Report – May 2012 to April 2013 and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme (MD) – Recommended

(1)   That the content of the draft Annual Report for the period May 2012 to April 2013 be approved subject to any further minor amendments being agreed in consultation with the Chairman and that it be submitted to Full Council in September 2013.

(2)   That the Scrutiny Committee’s Work Programme for 2013/14 attached at Appendix 2 to the report be confirmed and uploaded to the Council’s website as appropriate.

  

 

 

 

(1)   Received by Full Council on 25th September 2013.

Completed

  

 

 

(2)   Uploaded to website September 2013.

Completed

05 November 2013

Min. No. 554 - Parkwood Leisure’s Contract with the Vale of Glamorgan Council – Recommended

(3)   That the Scrutiny Committee receives a report on the performance of the Leisure Management Contract on an annual basis.

 

 

 

Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 557 - Sports Development Annual Report (DDS) – Recommended

(3)   That the Scrutiny Committee continues to receive a sports development report on an annual basis.

 

 

Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

03 December 2013

Min. No. 639 – Presentation – Cyd Cymru – Recommended that all Members be encouraged to 'spread the word' about the initiative and that Councillor R.F. Curtis (Cabinet Member) be thanked for bringing the matter to Members’ attention.  

 

All Members of the Council have been e-mailed the link to the site.

Completed

 

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To maintain effective tracking of the Committee’s recommendations.

 

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