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SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT)

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 15th July, 2014.

 

Present:  Councillor Mrs. A.J. Moore (Chairman); Councillors P.J. Clarke, G.A. Cox, Mrs. P. Drake, Mrs. M. Kelly Owen, P.G. King, A.G. Powell, G. Roberts and S.T. Wiliam.

 

Also present: Councillors L. Burnett, R.F. Curtis, N. Moore and C.J. Williams.

 

 

212     APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE -

 

This was received from Councillor E. Hacker (Vice-Chairman).

 

 

213     MINUTES -

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 17th June, 2014 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

214     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

215     REVENUE AND CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 31ST MAY 2014 (DDS AND DVSH) –

 

The Head of Finance, in presenting the report, advised that the Revenue Budget and projected outturn for 2014/15 was as detailed in paragraph three of the report as  below:

 

Economy & Environment           

Revenue Budget

 

Probable Outturn

Variance

(+ ) Favourable

(-) Adverse

 

£000

£000

£000

Highways Maintenance & Engineering

 

8,536

8,536

0

Waste Management

 

9,376

9,376

0

Grounds Maintenance

 

3,528

3,528

0

Support

 

0

0

0

Building Services

 

0

0

0

Economic Development

 

832

832

0

Leisure

 

3,515

3,515

0

Planning and Transportation

 

5,306

5,306

0

Total Economy & Environment

31,093

31,093

 

                       0

 

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

 

With regard to the service area for Highways Maintenance and Engineering Design and Procurement there was currently an adverse variance of £40k to the profiled budget.  It was noted that the original budget for 2014/15 had taken account of the £165k savings required for the current financial year.  There was however still financial savings from previous years that had not yet been made and were putting pressure on the budget.  The savings yet to be made were for street lighting (£150k) and car parking (£340k).  Members were informed that reports would shortly be brought before Cabinet which would set out the proposals for both of these savings.  These savings however, were unlikely to be achieved in full with the service being   required to take action to avoid an overspend.

 

For Waste Management there was currently an adverse variance of £83k with there being two main reasons for this current overspend.  The bulk of the savings in waste management for the financial year were related to the more efficient use of the vehicle fleet.  Due to a slight delay in the implementation of the vehicle telemetry software, some of the proposed savings had slipped by a few months.  However, this was now in place and reports would shortly be run on vehicle utility so that decisions could be taken on vehicles that were under-utilised to enable savings to be made. There had also been an increase in the cost of the treatment of dry co-mingled recycling due to a new contract being in place from April 2014.  There was the potential for savings later in the financial year in relation to the cost of disposal of residual waste, which would aid the current budgetary position.  The original budget for 2014/15 took account of the £1,020k savings required for this financial year and the budget would be monitored closely to ensure that savings that were not achieved were found elsewhere within the budget.

 

In referring to Grounds Maintenance there was an adverse variance of £41k to the profiled budget and there had been some slippage in the savings relating to transport, however, Committee was advised that every effort would be made to ensure that savings were made elsewhere in the department.  The original budget for 2014/15 had taken into account the £40k savings required for the financial year.  Members were again advised that the budget would be monitored closely to ensure the efficiency savings were achieved. For Economic Development there was currently a favourable variance of £22k to the profiled budget. And for Leisure services a favourable variance of £2k to the profiled budget.  With regard to Planning and Transportation a favourable variance of £90k to the profiled budget.  was reported as mainly due to a higher than anticipated level of fee income during the early part of the year.  However, as it was still early in the financial year and income could be volatile the budget was still projected to outturn on target.

 

Appendix 2 to the report detailed the financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 31st May 2014.  In referring to S106 Schemes Members were advised that emergency powers had been used to approve the inclusion of S106 monies into the programme as follows:

 

Various Play Areas                                                       £39,000

Windsor Road Jct with Pill Street Penarth                      £10,000

Dochdwy Road Bus Shelter                                          £15,000

Hensol / Pendoylan Traffic Calming                               £22,000

 

Cabinet would also be requested to vire £64k from the Visible Services Asset Renewal budget to the Barry Island Regeneration scheme.  Welsh Government (WG) provided £3.3m of grant funding for the Barry Island Regeneration scheme in 2013/14.  Work on site was delayed due to severe weather conditions through the winter months and would continue into 2014/15.  WG could only provide the grant for 2013/14 expenditure.  It was agreed with WG that other works, already identified to be funded from Council monies, could be claimed against the grant thus releasing Council funding in 2014/15 which could be used for the completion of the works.  Work was brought forward from the 2014/15 Visible Services Asset Renewal Programme and undertaken during 2013/14, which was claimed against the grant in 2013/14.  This had released funding in 2014/15 to be transferred to the Barry Island Regeneration scheme to allow for completion of works.  The virement had been reflected in Appendix 2 to the report.

 

Cowbridge Bowls Club - A report to Cabinet dated 9th September 2013, minute number C2016, agreed that the playing surface at the Cowbridge Bowling Club be replaced subject to a financial contribution of £12k being received from the Cowbridge Bowling Club in part payment for the works.  This payment had been received and the balance of the works would be funded from the Visible Services Asset Renewal budget.  This contribution was included in Appendix 2 as part of the Parks and Grounds Asset Renewal budget.

 

The monitoring report showed actual expenditure for the month of May 2014 and was matched by a similar figure in the profile to date column, thereby showing no variances.  Profiled expenditure had been requested from Project Managers and would be updated in the next report to Committee.

 

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 which would be taken to the earliest available Cabinet.

 

In considering the report Members queried the detail in relation to adverse and favourable variances and requested that sufficient detail be addressed in future monitoring reports in order that Members could be apprised of the specific issues.  Members also requested to receive further information and the detail of the efficiency savings that were being requested in order that they could fully consider the proposals and their implications. They wished to be fully informed of the intentions of the Directorates in relation to their budgets.

 

The Leader of the Council, with permission to speak, advised that although the report referred to adverse variances, it did not necessarily mean that this would continue.  Members’ were however concerned that a larger proportion of the savings, in particular in relation to LED lights and potential car parking charges, would not be achieved in the current financial year and possibly not for some time which would then have significant implications on budgets. They wished to hear from Directors on options for covering such income if the required savings could not be achieved.  Some Members also stated that they had a number of questions in relation to the budget and would e-mail their queries to the Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer, in order that responses could be collated.

 

The Chairman also stated that she would ask both Directors to be in attendance for the next meeting of the Committee in September

 

Although it was accepted that further reports were being prepared for Cabinet in relation to car parking charges and LED street lights, it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the position with regard to the 2014/15 revenue and capital monitoring be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T future reports on revenue and capital monitoring include specific details in relation to adverse and favourable variances and also detail further information in relation to the proposed efficiency savings for each Directorate.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       That Members are aware of the position with regard to the 2014/15 revenue and capital monitoring relevant to this Scrutiny Committee.

 

(2)       To apprise Members and d for further detailed information to be considered.

 

 

216     CLOSURE OF ACCOUNTS 2013/14 (DDS AND DVSH) –

 

The following table was presented which compared the amended estimate and actual expenditure for the Committee for the budgets within the Committee’s remit. 

 

Service

Amended Revenue Estimate

Total Provisional Actual

Variance Favourable  () Adverse

 

       £’000

          £’000

             £’000

Visible Services

 

 

 

Environment and Visible Services

18,813

18,758

55

Parks and Ground Maintenance

3,582

3,625

(43)

Building Services

70

78

(8)

 

 

 

 

Development Services

 

 

 

Planning and Transportation

5,506

5,448

58

Leisure

4,174

4,239

(65)

Economic Development

996

1,016

(20)

 

 

 

 

Total

33,141

33,164

(23)

 

The main reasons for the variances were set out as below.

 

Environment and Visible Services - Favourable variance of £55k as detailed below:

 

Waste Management and Cleansing - Favourable variance of £210k.  There were adverse variances of £133k on the Supplies and Services budgets, mainly due to the contribution to Prosiect Gwyrdd procurement costs and the contribution to procurement costs for the Organic Waste partnership with Cardiff and £8k on technical salary costs from the Engineers section.

 

There was a favourable variance on staffing of £150k due to a cut back in the level of overtime undertaken by the section and also a reduction in the level of agency staff used in preparation for budget savings required in 2014/15.  There was also a favourable variance on Cleansing transport costs of £96k due to the fleet size being reduced and a reduction in the number of hires of short term vehicles, again this was in preparation for the planned savings in 2014/15.  Income from other departments into the Waste Management and Cleansing section was £105k higher than anticipated.

 

Highways and Engineers - Adverse variance of £262k. There were adverse variances of £382k on the Premises budget, which were primarily due to providing for the one-off historical Cesspit costs, £35k on Internal Support and £800k due to a transfer from the Visible Services reserve which was not taken. 

 

There were favourable variances on staffing of £195k due to several vacant posts not being filled pending the Highways and Engineers restructure and Street Lighting capital work being undertaken by subcontractors at a lower cost than agency staff, £20k on Transport due to a reduced use of one off hire of vehicles, £604k on energy and £136k as a result of undertaking additional capital works for other departments.

 

Support - Favourable variance of £154k. The budget had been held for any pressures in Visible Services throughout the financial year but had not been required.

 

All of the above had been offset by a transfer to the Visible Services reserve of £47k. This was to be set aside to offset any costs that may arise from disposing of vehicles before the end of their useful life which due to the level of savings required from reducing the vehicle fleet  may become more frequent.

 

Grounds Maintenance - Adverse variance of £43k. There were adverse variances on premises of £101k mainly due to increased one off repair costs at Colcot Sports Centre and Jenner Park, £129k on supplies and services due to an increased spend on subcontractors undertaking additional work for other departments and a subcontractor employed for tree maintenance instead of directly employed staff.  There were favourable variances on staffing of £60k mainly due to vacant posts and a reduction in overtime, £16k on Vehicles due to a reduced number of vehicles being hired and £111k additional income.

 

Building Services - Adverse variance of £8k. The Building Services trading unit had a turnover of £9.2m and made a surplus of £77k.  This was assisted by the increased level of work Building Services was undertaking on the Welsh Housing Quality Standard.  The Building Cleaning and Security trading unit had a turnover of £3.4m and made a surplus of £44k.  In addition the Courier Service made a surplus of £17k. The Building Services Twin Hat function had an adverse variance of £9k.  All of the above were offset by a reduction in the recharge for maintenance repairs / WHQS works from Building Services to the HRA of £136k.

 

Development Services  - Planning and Transportation - Favourable variance of £58k.

 

There were adverse variances following a transfer to provisions of £60k to cover the costs of potential redundancies within the division and £90k for the electronic scanning and storage of historical planning files, necessary as part of the Space Project at the Dock Office. There was however, a favourable variances of £35k in the Transportation Division from additional income received from neighbouring authorities as a contribution towards cross boundary bus services during the year and £46k from the School transport service due to linking fare paying school routes with mainstream school transport routes in an effort to reduce contract costs. There were favourable variances of £45k on additional planning receipts due to an increase in the number of major applications received, £62k on staffing due to temporarily vacant posts pending recruitment and a high level of maternity leave and £10k relating to various other small variances.  Provision had also been made within the Transportation budget for the purchase of a Greenlinks vehicle, which was part of the community bus service, however, delays in the manufacturing process meant that the vehicle was not received and a transfer had, therefore, been made to provisions to cover expenditure in 2014/15 but this was £10k less than budgeted.

 

There had been a transfer to the Building Control reserve of £66k representing the surplus for the year on the Building Control Trading Account

 

Leisure - Adverse variance of £65k  There were adverse variances of £70k as a result of legal costs relating to access issues at one of the country parks and following the transfer of £30k to provisions to cover the costs of refurbishing Nightingale Cottage, Porthkerry, a £80k transfer to provisions for legal fees within the Division and a transfer of £296k to the Regeneration and Economic Development Fund.

 

There were favourable variances of £183k on Leisure Centres mainly due to energy, £15k on staffing in the Leisure and Tourism division mainly under the Tourism Section.  There were also favourable variances in the Countryside Division of £135k relating to the lease of Dyffryn Gardens to the National Trust, £40k on salary costs due to long-term sickness and posts being held vacant pending a review of the staffing structure, £15k additional income at Cosmeston Medieval Village, mostly from filming on site and £23k from other small variances.

 

There had been a transfer to the Heritage Coast reserve of £6k and to the Rural Development Plan reserve of £18k, both representing income received in the year.

 

Economic Development - Adverse variance of £20k - There was an adverse variance following the transfer to the Regeneration and Economic Development Fund of £183k.

 

There was a favourable variance of £63k on the Employment Training Service which was in contrast to the £66k adverse variance in the previous year, prior to its transfer to Development Services.  The £63k was made up of £41k from additional income from the Work Programme, as higher numbers of applicants were completing placements and the service had restructured and streamlined its operating procedures, resulting in a reduction in the operational costs of running the service of £22k. There were also favourable variances of £22k from income received by the Business Support Centre (BSC) as occupancy was higher than previous years, £29k on Miscellaneous Properties due to reduced maintenance and electricity costs as some of these costs were recharged to tenants, £16k on staffing due to the part year vacancy of the Town Centre Manager post, £17k at the Vale Enterprise Centre due to reduced maintenance costs and £16k from other small variances.

 

The breakdown of the Capital Programme for 2013/14 was shown at Appendix 2 to the report.  In response to a query in relation to St. Paul’s Church the Operational Manager for the service area advised that the Council’s Project Management Team was currently involved in marketing an opportunity for the use of St. Paul’s Church and he stated that he would forward a copy of the Cabinet report by e-mail to all Members of the Committee. 

 

Having considered the report it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the report be noted, including the financial measures to be taken and proposed.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To note the report and the financial measures taken and proposed.

 

 

217     VALE OF GLAMORGAN DESTINATION ACTION PLAN (REF) –

 

At its meeting on 16th June, 2014 Cabinet had referred the report to the Scrutiny Committee as part of the consultation process.  Destination Management was defined by Visit Wales as "co-ordinating all the activities and services which impacted on the visitor and their enjoyment of a destination".  Such activities and services included those provided by the Council as well as others and could include accommodation, cafes, shops, events and cultural experiences.  To assist in bringing all various elements together, Visit Wales had tasked local authorities to develop Destination Action Plans (DAP).  It was suggested that the DAP for a particular area should summarise the current situation with reference to Destination Management, should consider strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, relating to the area and include a list of actions or projects.  It was also indicated that the DAP would be important in providing supporting evidence in funding applications.

 

The draft DAP for the Vale of Glamorgan was attached to the report, the structure for which had followed that suggested by Visit Wales.  The first part of the Plan was strategic in nature, containing an introduction and relevant context and background to the Vale of Glamorgan and the importance of tourism.  This element also included an assessment, focusing on strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  The Plan set out a vision, priorities and actions that were listed as follows:

 

·         Raising the profile

·         Improving the public realm and tourism infrastructure

·         Enhancing the tourism product and experience

·         Enhancing the sense of place

·         Improving leadership and delivery.

 

The Plan was currently in draft form and had been agreed by Cabinet for consultation purposes.  Consultation would involve discussions with relevant stakeholders and officers were currently exploring the option of holding an event to bring stakeholders together to discuss the draft DAP.  The DAP would also be the subject of this year’s Business Breakfast event of the Vale of Glamorgan Show.  Following consultation and incorporation of any changes and amendments, the Plan would then be proposed to the Council for adoption, following a further report to Cabinet.

 

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation, with permission to speak, advised that the Plan would ensure that co-ordination takes place and that visitors have an holistic approach.  She also referred to a recent example of a good initiative which had boosted the local economy, namely the Pitch a Tent Initiative and information was being gathered as to the amount of money that such an initiative had brought to the locality.  The Cabinet Member advised that in her view the Plan was an excellent document for which views and comments were welcomed. 

 

A suggestion made was that officers should consider sponsoring a competition or "working with trip advisor" an online facility to raise the profile for small businesses in the area. 

 

In considering the report reference was also made to the use of abbreviations contained therein with the request that they be expanded upon in order for people to understand the context.  The opportunity to establish a touring caravan site was also suggested by a Member who advised that Barry had no defined touring caravan site and that the consultation on the document could be an excellent opportunity for consideration of such a site in order to assist with boosting the local economy.  The Member also referred to a number of supermarkets in England who offered a certain amount of their car parking space to touring caravan operators which not only benefitted the towns, but also benefitted the local supermarket as people are more likely to spend money there.  It was clear that in his view the Council needed to consider the assets it has and use them more wisely and consider more imaginative initiatives.  

 

Reference was also made by some Members to the recent refurbishment of the Cardiff Airport with a further suggestion being made that a satisfaction survey should be handed out to people as they come through departures which could provide good information on the service.  Members, aware that the workload for the tourism department would be considerable in the future, suggested that it was important that the Council consider strengthening the tourism team at the opportune moment.  It was Members view that if the Council felt that tourism was a high priority, then consideration would need to be given to strengthening the team accordingly. 

 

It was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the Cabinet recommendations be endorsed.

 

(2)       T H A T the issues identified by the Committee as outlined  above be referred to  Cabinet and the Tourism Department for consideration during the consultation process.

 

(3)       T H A T following the consultation process a further report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee with the results of the consultation and with any revisions necessary to the Destination Action Plan.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       In recognition of the consultation process identified for the draft Destination Action Plan.

 

(2)       In view of the comments made at the meeting.

 

(3)       To allow the Committee to consider a final Plan following the results of the consultation.

 

 

218     COLDBROOK CATCHMENT FLOOD RISK MANAGEMENT SCHEME (CMEVS) –

 

Prior to the presentation of the report by Councillor R.F. Curtis, the Cabinet Member for Environment and Visible Services, the Chairman advised that she had accepted the Director’s apologies for the meeting, as although he had wanted to be present for the item he was at his Master’s Degree Ceremony where he was also to receive a Prestigious Award for his dissertation.  Together with Members of the Committee they wished him warm congratulations on his achievements. 

 

The Chairman also stated that she had received two representations on the matter, one which had been forwarded to all Members of the Committee from Councillor R.J. Bertin advising that as one of his Wards was affected by the works, he fully supported the proposed flood prevention works but wished to request that all trees that were to be removed as a result of the works were replaced once the works had been completed.  He also asked that safety measures be introduced where applicable such as fencing off areas which would collect and store water.  A further representation had been received from Mrs. K. Gallimore that afternoon, the Chairman informed the Committee that following legal advice that the representation contained considerable information some of which appeared to refer to matters possibly unconnected to the report, the Chairman advised that she would arrange for the issues to be referred to the relevant officers in order that accurate responses could be provided.

 

The Cabinet Member then proceeded to present the report to the Scrutiny Committee, advising that during the summer of 2007 extensive flooding across England and Wales, which included localised flood events in Wales, had demonstrated the consequences of communities living with flood risk.  In particular there had been a localised flooding incident within the Coldbrook Catchment on 20th July 2007 following a prolonged period of localised heavy rain.  It was noted that the source of the flooding had been a combination of overland flow and the watercourse.  He stated that he was disappointed that it had taken so long for the matter to reach fruition but advised that the scheme before Members had been addressed via a pre-feasibility study which had been undertaken to ascertain costs for conventional engineering solutions, with historic records having been examined and a damage assessment undertaken in respect of the known flood events.  A preliminary project appraisal report had been undertaken and this had been used to inform a project brief to engage a specialist consultant to carry out the flood management scheme on behalf of the Council.

 

A two stage tender process in accordance with the European Procurement rules had been completed and Martin Wright Associates (MWA) had been appointed to complete all elements of the scheme in accordance with the Welsh Government's New Approach to flood risk management.  This would include working closely with other flood risk management agencies and raising public awareness with those affected by flooding and the wider community.

 

Just prior to appointing a preferred contractor to undertake the construction works in 2012, Natural Resources Wales had raised several queries relating to the Flood Defence Consent and Ordinary Watercourse Consent which were required for the scheme to proceed.  The main impact of these queries were an increase in flows within the catchment model, a requirement for additional catchment model runs, and to necessitate the production of a Water Framework Directive assessment.  This also resulted in a partial re-design of the scheme to accommodate the additional flows and volume of water predicted within the catchment during extreme events.

 

The revised catchment model, produced following the latest guidance provided by Natural Resources Wales, identified an even higher level of flood risk within the catchment than previously predicted.  The original scheme design would have delivered a reduction in flood risk but not to the desired 1 in 100 year, plus 20% climate change allowance, standard of service.  A complete review of the scheme design was therefore undertaken, incorporating additional model runs to establish the performance of the proposed scheme and to ensure no detriment elsewhere in the catchment under a range of scenarios.  The new redesigned scheme now incorporated increased storage capacity in the upper catchment and increased conveyance capacity lower in the system to deliver the required 1 in 100 year + 20% standard of service.

 

Natural Resources confirmed in April 2014 that the revised modelling exercise, in combination with the scheme WFD Assessment, was acceptable as a basis for Flood Defence Consent.

 

Applications for all required consents and licences were now proceeding according to the scheme programme, with the majority to be in place prior to entering into contract for the construction works.

 

The report further advised that the estimated project spend profile up to completion was as detailed below.

 

 

2009-2013

£000

2014/15

£000

2015/16

£000

Total

£000

Consultant fees

322

103

61

486

VGC Technical Salaries

156

24

12

192

Other works

70

35

NIL

105

Construction

NIL

1,453

1,307

2,760

Contingency

NIL

726

653

1,379

TOTAL

548

2,341

2,033

4,922

 

 

The predicted scheme costs, including contingency, were to be funded on the following basis:

 

 

2009-2013

£000

2014/15

£000

2015/16

£000

Total

£000

ERDF Grant Funding

229

262

NIL

491

WG Grant Funding

224

1,758

1,723

3,705

VGC Match Funding

95

321

310

726

TOTAL

548

2,341

2,033

4,922

 

With regard to opposition to the scheme in relation to the number of trees that would be cut down he stated that, in his view, it was essential in order to ensure that the scheme proposed provided considerable increased protection to a large number of properties that the scheme was progressed as a matter of urgency and he urged the Committee to fully support the recommendations within the report.  The Chairman also advised that her Ward had been affected and the current proposals would have a big impact on a number of Wards in the locality.

 

In response to concerns regarding the number of trees that would be removed the Chairman advised that she had been informed that as many trees as could be would be replanted in the future.  This was confirmed by the Principal Engineer for Coastal and Flood Risk Management from Visible Services who also advised that trees could not be replanted within the storage area as this would in turn cause further flooding.  The Council’s ecologist had been consulted and it had been suggested that replanting be addressed around the boundaries where possible, with further works anticipated around the Barry area following discussions with the Director of Visible Services and Housing.  The Committee requested that all Members be informed of the detail of any planting proposals to be considered. 

 

A number of Members commented that they shared the Cabinet Member’s concerns that the Coldbrook Catchment Flood issues needed to be addressed as soon as possible.  The Cabinet Member also advised that a number of questions had been received to date which would be answered to the best of the Council’s ability, but reaffirmed his belief that the scheme was essential for local residents. 

 

Having debated the report in considerable detail and with all Members being in favour of the proposals, it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the recommendations of Cabinet be endorsed.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To progress the scheme.

 

 

219     VISIBLE SERVICES END OF YEAR PERFORMANCE REPORT 2013/14 AND TARGET SETTING 2014/15 (DVSH) –

 

The report highlighted that the Department had completed 31% of its service plan actions at end of year, with a further 9% on track for later completion date.  Of the 55 actions in the plan 17 were completed, 5 were on track, 31 had slipped with 2 not having yet been started. 

 

The department had completed 25% of the actions against the Corporate Plan that were included in the 2013/14 service plan and a further 33% of actions were on track for a later completion date. Of the 12 actions within the service plan, 3 were completed, 4 were on track, 4 had slipped and 1 had not been started. 43% of the Improvement Objective actions had also been completed with a further 14% on track towards a later completion date. Of the 7 actions within the service plan, 3 had been completed, 1 was on track and 3 had slipped.

 

There were no Outcome Agreement actions in the 2013/14 plan, as the Outcome Agreement had not been agreed until 1st April 2014.

 

Of the 34 performance indicators in the plan, 5 (15%) did not have targets set for 2013/14. 15 (44%) had met or exceeded target at end of year, 4 (12%) were within 10% of target and 2 (6%) missed target by more than 10%. Data was unavailable for 8 (23%) indicators.

 

Members however in considering the report did not accept that the report reflected a realistic position and suggested that more realistic performance indicators should be considered.  In relation to civil parking enforcement figures, Committee was aware that a further report was awaited and considered that the PIs needed to be looked at in order to identify exactly what Members wished to capture. In accepting that some P I ‘s were nationally set and unable to be altered  the Operational Manager for Waste Cleansing and Management advised that the department was currently reviewing its local indicators .  Members in particular referred to the fact that they wished to capture data that provided information on how much better parking was, as opposed to how many people had been ticketed. 

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)           T H A T the report be noted and Cabinet advised that the Committee requested that further consideration be given to more meaningful performance  indicators being identified and realistic targets set.

 

(2)           T H A T the Committee receives an update report to a future meeting on the maintenance of potholes in the Vale and the materials to be used.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)          To allow for robust scrutiny.

 

(2)           To apprise Members.

 

 

220     DEVELOPMENT SERVICES END OF YEAR PERFORMANCE REPORT 2013/14 AND TARGET SETTING 2014/15 (DDS) –

 

The department had completed 71% of service plan actions at end of year, with a further 11% on track for a later completion date.  Details were available under each objective. There were a total of 157 actions in the plan; 112 were completed, 17 were on track, 26 had slipped and 2 had not been started.

 

The department had completed 70% of the actions against the Corporate Plan that were included in the 2013/14 service plan and a further 23% of actions were on track for a later completion date. Of the 44 actions within the service plan, 31 were completed, 10 were on track and 3 had slipped.

 

67% of our Improvement Objective actions were completed. Of the 3 actions within the service plan, 2 had been completed and 1 had slipped.

 

There were no Outcome Agreement actions in the 2013/14 plan, as the Outcome Agreement was not agreed until 1st April 2014.

 

Of the 75 performance indicators in the plan, 20 (27%) did not have targets set for 2013/14. 33 (44%) met or exceeded target at end of year, 7 (9%) were within 10% of target and 4 (5%) missed target by more than 10%. Data was unavailable for 11 (15%) indicators.

 

Members noted that the targets set seemed to be sufficiently challenging and realistic.  The Operational Manager for Leisure Services took the opportunity to advise Members of a recent survey that had been undertaken by Sport Wales which had ranked the Vale number 1 in terms of the adult participation levels in physical activity across Wales.

 

It was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the service performance results and remedial actions to be taken to address service underperformance be accepted (paragraphs 5-18 with full details in Appendix 1).

 

(2)       That the progress to date in achieving key outcomes as outlined in the Corporate Plan 2013-17 and the Improvement Plan part 1 2013/14 be accepted (paragraphs 12-21 with full details in Appendix 2).

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To ensure the Council is effectively assessing its performance in line with the requirement to secure continuous improvement outlined in the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.

 

(2)       To enable the Council to demonstrate achievement of its objectives and identify service areas for improvement work.

 

 

221     CONSULTATION EVENT WITH KEY STAKEHOLDERS – BUSINESS LIAISON MEETING (DR) –

 

The report requested that Members consider suggestions and a way forward for the format of the next meeting with the business community.  The report outlined that extraordinary Scrutiny Committee meetings had previously been held with representatives from the business community and key stakeholders and it had remained the Committee’s view that it was essential that evidence was gathered from representatives to assist the Council in considering ways to mitigate the effects of the economic downturn on local businesses.  The Committee acknowledged that it was important that the Council as an employer, facilitator and enabler, played a role in the economic development and regeneration of communities and if the generation activities were to be sustainable they must take account of social, economic and environmental issues simultaneously. 

 

The last meeting with key stakeholders and various organisations had been held in April 2013, with a considerable number of representatives in attendance with all being offered an opportunity to speak. However, due to the significant number, the then Chairman had considered that there was insufficient time for officers to respond to concerns at the meeting and recommended that a report be presented in due course.  The report was subsequently presented, considered by the Scrutiny Committee and  referred to Cabinet with the intention that further events be held but consideration be given to their future format.

 

Paragraphs 7 to 11 of the report presented suggestions for the format of future events focusing on four sectors:

 

·         Aerospace / automotive sector

·         Recycling sector

·         Retail sector

·         Tourism sector.

 

One of the suggestions was for holding four quarterly meetings in order to explore the issues in detail and to allow for considerable discussion on the various topics with the intention that meetings be held in a workshop style scenario. 

 

In considering the report Members’ views were sought with the suggestion being made that consideration be given to arranging one workshop, trialling that workshop as a pilot with the intention that a report is then presented to the Scrutiny Committee with regard to its findings.  Members suggested that this first workshop consider the  tourism sector in the first instance related to the Draft Destination Action Plan.  They welcomed the idea of breaking attendance down into the various sectors with officers being requested to consider and agree attendees.  It was agreed that those invited to the workshop be given as much advance notice as possible, not only of the date but of the issues to be addressed.

 

Having considered the report it was therefore

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the Operational Manager for Countryside and Economic Projects considers a future consultation exercise with the business community, as outlined above, the detail of which to be considered and agreed via email with all Members of the Committee in due course.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To apprise Members and seek agreement.

 

 

222     SCRUTINY COMMITTEES’ DRAFT ANNUAL REPORT – MAY 2013 TO APRIL 2014 (DR) –

 

In accordance with Section 6.03d of Article 6 of the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Constitution Scrutiny Committees must report annually to Full Council on their workings and make recommendations for future work programmes and amended working methods as appropriate.

 

The Scrutiny Committee’s Annual Report was attached at Appendix 1 and included details of the work of all five of the Council’s Scrutiny Committees for 2013/14.  Members were requested to refer specifically to the relevant section for the Scrutiny Committee which were pages 11, 12, 13 and 14 and to make any amendments / suggestions as appropriate.  In considering the report the local Ward Member for Cowbridge, in referring to the Local Development Plan, requested that the sentence “… ensured that the growth projections relating to Cowbridge were robust …†(page 12) be deleted as, in his view, this did not reflect the views of the Committee at the time.

 

With regard to the Parkwood Leisure Contract with the Vale of Glamorgan Council (page 13), the paragraph was suggested to be amended to include / reflect in more detail the original Request for Consideration that had been made by an Elected Member of the Committee. 

 

It was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the Scrutiny Committees’ Draft Annual Report for the period May 2013 to April 2014 be approved subject to the amendments to paragraphs as referred to above and any further minor amendments being agreed in consultation with the Chairman.

 

(2)       T H A T the draft Annual Report be submitted to Full Council in September 2014.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       That the draft Annual Report be approved subject to amendments as outlined at the meeting.

 

(2)       To allow the Scrutiny Committees’ Draft Annual Report to be submitted to Full Council in September 2014.

 

 

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

 

Members were advised of progress in relation to the Scrutiny Committee’s recommendations and requested to confirm the work programme schedule for the Scrutiny Committee for 2014/15 attached at Appendix B to the report.

 

Appendix A set out the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee with Members being requested to review progress against each recommendation to assess whether further action may be required, ensure that the required action was undertaken and to confirm which recommendations were to be agreed as completed.

 

In considering the work programme schedule attached at Appendix B Members noted reports were to be presented on civil parking enforcement, XFOR and LED lights and it was requested that the Director of Visible Services and Housing be asked to confirm by the next meeting when the outstanding reports would be presented.  A report in relation to recycling initiatives was also requested to be added to the work programme.

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the following actions deemed completed be accepted and, where necessary, reports requested to be added to the work programme schedule.

 

01 April 2014

Min. No. 991 – Fees and Charges: Countryside Service (REF) – Recommended that Cabinet be requested to agree that a fundamental review be undertaken of the fees and charges for Countryside Services in light of the comments above, and that this be reported to the Committee in due course.

 

Cabinet, at its meeting on 28th April 2014 noted the contents of the report and resolved that the review of car parking charging for Countryside Services not be undertaken.  (Min. No. C2290 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 992 – Future Regeneration Partnership Working Arrangements In Barry – Review And Options Appraisal (REF) – Recommended that the report be accepted and that future progress reports be presented to the Scrutiny Committee as and when available.

 

 

 

Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 993 – Call-In: Visible Services – Proposed Fees and Charges for 2014/15 – Recommended that Cabinet be requested to agree that a rate of £2.00 for up to two hours be accepted for car parking charges for Ogmore, Southerndown and Barry Island.

 

 

Cabinet, at its meeting on 28th April 2014 resolved that a rate of £2.00 for up to two hours be accepted for car parking charges for Ogmore, Southerndown and Barry Island. (Min. No. C2291 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 994 – Task and Finish Activities for 2014/15 (HDS) – Recommended that the review in respect of Fleet Management, as outlined within paragraph 5 of the report be agreed and be submitted for consideration to the Scrutiny Committee Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen Group.

 

Referred to Scrutiny Committee Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen Group meeting on 30th April 2014.

For Committee’s information the Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen’s Group have prioritised a review relating to dementia for the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health).

(Min. No. (d) refers)

Completed

29 April 2014

Min. No. 1083 - Report of the Traffic Management Task and Finish Group – Recommended

(2)   That thanks to the officers also be included in the Chairman’s statement and that with this addition the Traffic Management Task and Finish Group report attached at Appendix A, its recommendations and implementation plan be agreed and be referred to Cabinet for consideration / approval.

(3)   That, subject to Cabinet approval, the Scrutiny Committee receives an update on the progress of the Implementation Plan within 12 months.

Cabinet, at its meeting on 12th May 2014, resolved

(1)   That the contents of the report and the Implementation Plan be approved.

(2)   That Members of the Traffic Management Task and Finish Group and Officers be thanked for their hard work in producing a comprehensive and informative report.

(3)   That both Cabinet and Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) receive an update on the progress of the Implementation Plan within 12 months.

(Min. No. C2320 refers)

This recommendation has been added to the work programme schedule of the Scrutiny Committee.

Completed

20 May 2014

Min. No. 30 – Barry Island Beach Huts – Rental Policy (CM – RIPT) – Recommended that the Scrutiny Committee’s comments and the following recommendations be referred to Cabinet :-

(i)  That the Barry Island Beach Huts Rental Policy as outlined in paragraphs 6 to 13 of the report be approved.

(ii) That the Beach Huts be advertised and rented in accordance with the above.

(iii)         That the Director of Development Services be tasked with producing a Rental Policy Document based on (i) above.

(iv)         That, following the close of the season, a report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet on the operation of the Beach Hut Scheme.

 

Cabinet, on 16th June 2014, resolved that the contents of the report noted and that all the relevant issues raised by the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) contained within the report would be considered along with other comments received and that a further report would be presented to a future Cabinet meeting to consider all the points raised.

(Min. No. C2338 refers)

Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

17 June 2014

Min. No. – Loss of Sand from the Vale’s Beaches (DDS) – Recommended

(1)   That the contents of the report be noted and be referred with the minutes to Cabinet for information.

(2)   That it be noted that a report will be presented on an annual basis to Cabinet and the Scrutiny Committee detailing the progress of coastal monitoring in the Vale and any issues identified.

 

 

(1)   Referred to Cabinet meeting on 14th July 2014.

Completed

(2)   To be added to work programme schedule.

Completed

 

NB. -  Cabinet at its meeting on 15th July resolved that the Scrutiny Committee and officers be thanked for producing the report and that the ongoing monitoring of the situation be welcomed and that Cabinet look forward to receiving a further update report to include any comments from the Scrutiny Committee when appropriate.

 

(2)       T H A T the work programme schedule attached at Appendix B be accepted and published on the Council’s website subject to the inclusion of a report on waste recycling initiatives being added.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

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

 

(2)       For information for Elected Members and Members of the public.

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