SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT)
Minutes of a meeting held on 14th April, 2015.
Present: Councillor Mrs. A.J. Moore (Chairman); Councillor E. Hacker (Vice-Chairman); Councillors P.J. Clarke, G.A. Cox, P. King, A.G. Powell, G. Roberts and S.T. Wiliam.
Also present: Councillors L. Burnett, G. John and N. Moore.
1089 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –
These were received from Councillors Mrs. P. Drake and Mrs. M. Kelly Owen.
1090 MINUTES –
RECOMMENDED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 10th March, 2015 and the Extraordinary meeting held on 24th March, 2015 be approved as a correct record.
1091 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –
No declarations were received.
1092 TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT TASK AND FINISH GROUP OF THE SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – UPDATE ON ACTIONS UNDERTAKEN (DDS AND DHVS) –
The Committee was provided with an update on the progress on the actions contained within the Traffic Management Task and Finish Group report which had been considered by the Committee on 29th April 2014 and agreed by Cabinet on 12th May 2014. The Scrutiny Committee had at that time recommended that an update on the delivery of the Implementation Plan be presented within 12 months.
In referring to progress to date and commencing with ref IP-1(Implementation Plan 1) being that consideration be given as to whether or not the criteria for some of the money received from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) could be dedicated for highway improvements. The Director of Development Services advised that progress on adopting the CIL was pending the adoption of the Local Development Plan (LDP) which was expected late 2016, and that although the CIL could potentially generate more income, the definitions for negotiation would be stricter than those under the current section 106 process. It would also be essential that the Council had an infrastructure plan in place at the time.
With regard to IP - 3 the Principal Transport and Safety Officer advised that the feasibility study had been completed although no funding stream had as yet, been identified. Members requested, that the detail from the study for this aspect be emailed for their information.
In referring to the Active Travel Plan, Members were informed that further information was awaited and that it was a work in progress.
For IP- 5 integrated Traffic Management and sustainable travel, it was noted that a draft Local Transport Plan (LTP) had been submitted to Welsh Government in January 2015 for which officers were awaiting a response. However, as an update the officer advised that the Cardiff City region response which had been late, had been very supportive.
IP-6 – Impact Study. As a result of the Metro Network Study the works at the Culverhouse Cross (HTV site) had been recommended but were subject to the HTV site being developed.
IP-7 – It was noted that all new development would take into account infrastructure identified within the draft LTP and emerging LDP.
IP-9 – Devise a programme of engagement - A procedure was in place to notify elected Members by e-mail prior to any works commencing which the action plan advised would be reported to Committee in June 2015.
IP- 10 Devise a programme of engagement with businesses, organisations to encourage alternative travel planning and promote sustainable transport links. This was partly complete, it being noted that new developers were engaged through the planning process and existing businesses engaged through road safety talks.
IP-11 – Equipment Purchase – the action referred to the acquisition, lease or otherwise of Mobile Vehicle Message Signs. However, unfortunately although there was potential for S106 funding, this was an outstanding action due to budget constraints. During the discussion it was suggested that IP11 should be given a higher priority in view of the recent traffic congestion issues on Barry Island over the Easter weekend, which was to be addressed later in the meeting.
IP-14 – Road Improvement Actions – although it was noted that the feasibility study was complete, the officer advised that the best option to fund the project would be through the Metro development. Following a query as to whether there would be a stipulation for a bus lane from the Merrie Harrier to Barons Court, Members stated that in their view this would be a retrograde step. The officer’s response was that it was an action that was being considered and one that would be modelled first to assess its effectiveness before any works would be signed off. The Chairman referred to the excellent resurfacing work that had been undertaken on Cardiff Road / Biglis Road but queried what further work was likely to be undertaken with regard to congestion. In referring to the feasibility study that had been undertaken the Chairman requested that Members be apprised of the detail for the IP via email.
IP-15 – Priority 9 – Merrie Harrier – a Member considered that the Council needed to take a firm line with regard to any future planning permission at Llandough Hospital with the Member suggesting that the use of the bus lane be reconsidered with the possibility of allowing other vehicles access via staggered times throughout the day.
Due to the unsafe right turn at the junction it was also suggested that further work be undertaken in relation to this area. The Cabinet Member, with permission to speak, advised that work was currently ongoing with regard to a 20mph zone pilot project which could include consideration of the right turn at the junction. Members were also informed of a new bus service that had been created from Bridgend to Cardiff through the rural Vale taking in Llandough and Cardiff Bay by the company New Adventure Travel. During the discussion a number of Members referred to the demographic changes in and around Llandough, recognising the need for major work to be undertaken on the infrastructure and requested that a plan be drawn up for consideration.
IP – 16 – Access to Barry Island via Broad Street and the Causeway. In referring to the excellent attraction of Barry Island, the Chairman requested information in relation to the Easter weekend and the criticism that had been levied in the press regarding the traffic congestion. In response the Director of Visible Services and Housing stated that the Police had advised that they were unable to arrange PCSO coverage as the PCSO’s that had been asked had not wanted to work over the Easter weekend. However, the department had been advised that a Police Officer would be present to undertake traffic duties and apparently a Police Officer had attended on the day, but having undertaken their own risk assessment of the situation refused to remain on their own however, they did not inform anyone of that decision. As a result officers subsequently spoke to the Police about the issue and by Bank holiday Monday Police officer support was provided. However, in view of the issues for the following weekend the Director had agreed for the department to engage a company who thus provided six staff to manage the traffic on the Island.
At the meeting, in also referring to traffic management issues at Ship Hill ( IP17), Members were presented with a copy of a map which outlined proposals that were to be put in place on a permanent basis after the May Bank holiday. Prior to that time, the department had agreed to pay for traffic marshals to control traffic along the route. Appropriate signage for the top of St. Nicholas Road was also required aswell as for Barry Island.
Whilst referring to the new road development across the causeway, the Director of Development Services stated that the intention had been for the Consortium to build in three phases. The first phase beyond the new ASDA car park, the second phase the exit and entrance of the car park and phase 3 to link between the car park and Cosy Corner. The Council had thus entered into the agreement to deliver the phases in one phase. Phase 1 was completed in time for ASDA to open on Monday 13th April with Phases 2 and 3 remaining to be completed by Summer 2015. The Director was currently in discussions with the developers regarding options to try to bring forward the development, however it was noted that a considerable amount of on-street work would be required in particular, works at Cosy Corner appeared to be extensive with British Telecom needing to undertake advance work before the highway could be completed. Members were informed that any future information would be presented to Committee, with Members being advised accordingly on progress.
In referring to the Trinity Street trial that had commenced on 1st April 2015 (IP18), the Chairman acknowledged the work of the Councillor Stuart Egan and the late Margaret Alexander (Ward Members of the area). Feedback on the trial would be presented to the Committee in due course.
Regarding IP-19 the Chairman noted the improvements that had been made with the installations of the 'Keep Clear' boxes on a number of streets and urged the Department to consider such initiatives in other areas in and around the Vale where necessary as these appeared to be working well. The action was however, noted as partly completed as the feasibility works at Laura Street with access onto Cardiff Road were to be programmed for 2015/16. The 'Keep Clear' box had also been installed to improve access and egress with the action for IP-20 being completed.
IP-21, 22 and 23 – some had been partly completed with the remainder being due to be considered in April 2015/16.
IP-24 – Five Mile Lane – the work was noted as ongoing with design work by a Welsh Government employed consultancy firm, which was progressing to enable a planning application to be made. A report on the subject was to be presented to Cabinet in July 2015.
In referring to IP-25, 26 and 27 the evaluation for the possibility of bridle paths / cycle/walk ways for Gilbert Lane, the disused railway line at St. Andrews Major, Wenvoe and East Aberthaw to Cowbridge, IP-26 and 27 remained outstanding. However, with regard to Gilbert Lane, the Active Travel map was due to be completed by 24th September 2015 as directed by legislation with the progress noted as to be considered at that time. A Member stated that in their view the Gilbert Lane bridleway, would be easy to adopt and that the only works required would be for a drop bollard to be installed to ensure that cars and vehicles did not use the lane. The officer present advised that comments would be taken on board when the action was to be considered in the Active Travel Plan.
In conclusion and in referring to IP-28, the Cardiff Bay Barrage feasibility for the bus link over the Barrage to Penarth, the officer stated that Cardiff Council were also keen to address the issue and that early indications showed that it was a viable option.
Having fully considered the report and the responses received, it was subsequently
(1) T H A T the report and update on the Implementation Plan of the Task and Finish Group as detailed at Appendix A to the report be accepted and referred to Cabinet for approval.
(2) T H A T a further update on the delivery of the Implementation Plan be presented to the Scrutiny Committee in April 2016.
Reasons for recommendations
(1) To apprise Members and seek Cabinet approval.
(2) To monitor progress of the recommendations of the Traffic Management Task and Finish Group.
1093 LEISURE MANAGEMENT CONTRACT (DDS) –
At its meeting on 5th November 2013, the Scrutiny Committee had recommended to receive a report on the performance of the Leisure Services Contract, on an annual basis. Attached at Appendix A was the Annual Report that had been received from Parkwood Community Leisure together with an additional addendum paper for Members consideration. Parkwood Leisure had also been required to provide key performance information to the Council under the terms of the contract.
Committee was advised that the Annual report was expected to follow the format of the checklist that been agreed but, as the checklist had been completed at the same time Parkwood Leisure were compiling their year two Annual Report it had been considered that the year three report would therefore be produced in the new format. Of note was the fact that the report highlighted various successes which included an increase of 45% in fitness members, an increase in casual badminton bookings of 43% and an increase in party bookings of 17%. In year two of the contract, a conditions survey had been completed which had included major replacement of the heating and ventilation systems in Barry and Penarth Leisure Centres, significant electrical works in all centres and repairs to roofs at various centres. It was the view of the Operational Manager for Leisure services that the Leisure Centres were now in the best condition they had been for over two years.
In presenting the report, the Operational Manager further advised that a new contract monitoring system had been established with the approach being to provide a checklist which concentrated on the key requirements of the contract documentation and which was broken down into four significant areas, namely financial, property, leisure service and employment. The checklist had also been shared with Parkwood Leisure and discussed during contract monitoring meetings. A team approach to monitoring had also been established by bringing together specific officers from within the Finance and Property Departments in addition to the Leisure Department under the management of the Director of Development Services. The Group met on a quarterly basis with representatives of Parkwood Leisure aswell as separately on a monthly basis to ensure a robust approach to contract monitoring.
Messrs. James Webber and Rob Oaten, representatives from Parkwood, were present at the meeting to present the Parkwood Annual Report.
The Report covered the following areas:
- Attendance and utilisation
- Customer care
- Children and vulnerable adults
- Bookings and programming
- Accident analysis / health and safety
- Cleaning and cleanliness
- Energy and environmental management
- Looking ahead to 2014/15.
In referring to paragraph 9 of the covering report, the Chairman queried the reference to some areas of weakness having been identified. The Operational Manager, in response, advised that the Department had concerns regarding ongoing maintenance, it being noted that the Council was responsible for the structure of the building, air conditioning units etc. Parkwood had also recently appointed a new General Manager to assist in complying with the contract and informed the Committee that they should be in a far better position in future years as a result.
During the discussion the following areas of concern were queried by Members:
- Customer Care – how was feedback from customers received and encouraged? What percentage of users completed the forms? The Committee was informed that feedback cards were available from the reception area. The cards also provided customers with the opportunity to receive feedback on their comments if required it was noted that 15% of the Membership had responded. The company was also keen to ensure online completion of forms and would be actively seeking to encourage this format as it was not only also easier but simpler to collate. Currently, signs were in and around the Leisure Centres advising clients to contact reception for a feedback card.
- In referring to the section regarding children and vulnerable adults, Members referred to the terminology of events and were advised that this should have read â€œincidentsâ€. They were subsequently informed that there had been no incidents during the period August 2013 to March 2014, but since that date there had been one which had been duly reported to the Local Authority and to which the Operational Manager could confirm that this had been dealt with.
- In response to a query regarding the number of accidents / incidents and the health and safety record, Committee was informed that this referred to 110 accidents which the representatives stated in comparison to other Local Authority leisure centres, this was a low figure. Members requested that in future Annual Reports the year on year figure be produced in order for comparisons to be made.
- With regard to energy and environmental management, Parkwood confirmed that energy programmes were utilised and that further investment was being considered. Housekeeping initiatives were also raised with staff which included staff being informed of the requirement to ensure that lights were switched off when not in use, aswell as the introduction of various energy savings initiatives. As part of the corporate strategy Mr. Webber could confirm that negotiations had been made for fixed fees for energy to stabilise costs. The Operational Manager advised that one of the main aims at the time the contract was drawn up was that the contract had been to ensure that the Council could benefit from energy price savings.
- Members were also keen to ensure what staffing procedures and structures were in place and whether all staff had received the necessary training aswell as undertaking refresher training, where necessary. In response the Parkwood representative advised that all staff received induction training, there was considerable use of electronic training dependent upon the nature of each member’s job, customer care training and refresher training were also offered. In particular, refresher training was offered for some jobs which required members of staff to be trained in their respective roles on a more regular basis than others.
- A Member in referring to the bar charts in the documentation noted that at the Cowbridge Leisure Centre, energy appeared to be on the increase. The Operational Manager confirmed that following a condition survey, refurbishments had taken place at Barry and at a number of leisure centres, but not at Cowbridge due to the fact that this was a newer facility. However, it was also pointed out that Cowbridge Leisure Centre had a health suite which generated a lot of power. The representatives however, stated that it was difficult to benchmark year on year as a result of fluctuations in usage.
- In response to the question as to how they intended to increase footfall, Members were informed that new brands i.e. new activities, were being considered. The health and fitness suites had proved a success but there was a need to work closer and develop services for children and activities, especially with dance.
- Following a query regarding swimming activities and what specific initiatives were taking place, Members were informed that the FSI scheme provided a grant in order for events such as swimming galas to be held. Parkwood had responded by holding events / galas and allowing schools free admission as well as working well with the Sports Development Team in developing swimming initiatives. They stated that their aim was to market the facilities and offer more than the main criteria required by Welsh Government.
- In response to a query as to how the Council could assist further, the Parkwood representatives referred to the need to refurbish a number of the changing rooms. New flooring at Penarth and Barry Leisure Centres had been purchased by the company but that the changing facilities which were the responsibility of the Council let the service down. The highest number of criticisms received they advised related to the changing room facilities.
- Reference was also made to car parking difficulties with members of the centres advising that it was difficult to park when required.
- Capital bids had been submitted in the past for improvements had not been successful. Committee Members stated that it was essential that a completed business case was presented when such bids were being made. Information with regard to the forecast of usage would be essential to encourage the bids and a cost benefit analysis as to the cost of refurbishment and the potential visitor numbers that may be forecasted would assist.
- During discussion reference was made to zero contract hours for staff and whether Parkwood’s intention was to move away from such types of contracts. The Manager stated that Parkwood was keen to move away, but also realised that for some aspects of the service, zero hour contracts provided greater flexibility which a number of staff preferred.
- In considering future challenges, the Parkwood representatives advised that with regard to financial resources the company had recently migrated to Legacy Leisure which had provided financial benefits. The company also needed to ensure that its customer service thrived and that different initiatives would be required as a result. They regularly reviewed the trends in the leisure industry and adapted the facilities and services to suit current modern approaches. They however, needed to be realistic with regard to capital investment and needed to look at the services being provided as well as being aware of facilities in the area that were opening up and which provided greater competition within the locality. Currently one of their main concerns they stated was membership retention and considerable work would be undertaken in this area.
- Members were also keen to confirm whether staff received the necessary Police checks and were advised that all members of staff in contact with children received an enhanced DBS check.
In referring to the food safety mark at Barry Leisure Centre (Scores on the Door) which had been disappointingly a 1, when it had previously been a 5 Committee asked for detailed information on the change. The issue had arisen as a result of a member of staff leaving the service and the food and hygiene paperwork had not been able to be located. The Parkwood representative advised that the company had recently paid a fee for the matter to be rechecked. It had since been addressed and they were hoping for an inspection as soon as possible with the expectation that the score would be increased to a 4 or a 5.
- Members also noted that a number of areas within the report required more evidence to be provided with comparable figures to be displayed for a number of aspects.
The Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services, with permission to speak, took the opportunity to advise the Committee that he was pleased with the running of the centres. He sympathised with the car parking issue and that, with his new portfolio responsibilities, he would be discussing the issue with the Director of Visible Services and Housing as to what options were available. The changing room facilities had been a long outstanding issue for the Council and he would be looking to the possibility of S106 funding to assist in this area. He agreed that the partnership working arrangement between the Local Authority and Parkwood was working well and that discussions and dialogue took place on a regular basis.
Members, in considering the report, suggested that it would be appropriate for Members of the Committee to regularly undertake reviews of the Leisure Centres and to report back to the Committee with any findings. The Cabinet Member confirmed that he would also be more than happy to join any group should such reviews be agreed to be undertaken.
Following considerable discussion of the report, it was subsequently
(1) T H A T future capital bids be made, in respect of investment for the refurbishment of facilities at the Leisure Centres and that robust business cases be put in place, with Local Authority officers and Parkwood representatives preparing the business cases for consideration.
(2) T H A T a group of up to three Members of the Scrutiny Committee undertake reviews of the Leisure Centres with the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services, on a quarterly basis.
(3) T H A T the performance report for Parkwood Community Leisure be noted.
(4) T H A T a year three performance report by Parkwood Community Leisure (Legacy Leisure) be presented to the Scrutiny Committee later in 2015.
Reasons for recommendations
(1) To allow for a more robust business case to be presented in relation to capital bids for areas of refurbishment to the leisure centres.
(2) To monitor service provision on an arm’s length basis.
(3) In noting the performance of the contract in year two of the contract and as a result of the evidence provided at the meeting.
(4) To update the Scrutiny Committee on the performance of the Leisure Management Contract on an annual basis.
1094 BARRY ISLAND REGENERATION AND ENHANCEMENT PROGRAMME AND BEACH HUTS POLICY (DDS) –
An overview of progress in respect of regeneration activity at Barry Island and an update on the development of an appropriate Beach Huts Policy was presented to the Committee. The Committee had discussed the operational management and rental of the beach huts at a meeting in May 2014 and had requested that following the first season’s operation a progress report be provided for consideration. However, the Director advised that a full season had not taken place for bookings for the beach huts although over the Easter holidays they had been available for rent. It was noted that in May 2014 options for managing the units had been considered which had included selling the units on the open market, marketing the opportunity of managing the units by a third party or the Council marketing and managing the units itself, the preference being for the Council to retain the units and control their marketing and rental. The Rental Policy for the huts was attached at Appendix B to the report and it was recommended that the operation of the units be reviewed after the 2015 season.
Members noted that the huts were available throughout the year with the hours of availability as set out, according to the season. In brief, during the Spring and Summer months the huts would be available between 10.00 a.m. and 8.00 p.m. (extended to 10.00 p.m. during the July / August school holidays) and the charges set at £20 per day for the small huts and £40 per day for the larger huts. The prices would be reduced to £15 and £30 respectively during the Autumn / Winter period, with hours of availability restricted from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. Advice in respect of booking and operating arrangements was also shown at Appendix B to the report. This included arrangements for key collection and timescales for bookings.
In considering the report the Chairman took the opportunity to ask the Director of Visible Services and Housing to provide the Committee with an update on the usage and booking arrangements for the huts over the Easter weekend. It being accepted that this service was a new pilot initiative and a new venture for the Council, Members were informed that the ease of booking was an issue. It had been apparent that there may be a need to ensure a member of staff was available near the premises to hire out the huts if people required them on a daily basis.
Previously, it had been considered inappropriate to ask staff to handle cash, but nevertheless, following the busy Easter weekend and the requests for bookings , it was now thought more appropriate to ensure that online booking availability was in place together with the provision to be made available for the huts to be hired by any visitors on site. The Council was also planning an active events programme on Barry Island over the forthcoming months and it was envisaged that a number of people may wish to hire the beach huts as a result. The Director of Visible Services and Housing could advise Members that to date 21 advance bookings for beach huts had been received and that there had been 5,000 hits on the website. In recognition of the need to make bookings easier for the public, Members also referred to signage, requesting that more appropriate signs be placed in strategic places on Barry Island, for example in the car park and that consideration be given to the feasibility of providing payment machines, for bookings on site.
The Chairman took the opportunity to mention the unsightly graffiti on the rocks which had taken place and the Director advised that there had been difficulty for staff in getting the equipment down on the site to erase the graffiti. He would however, look into the issue further and report back via e-mail to all Members. On a cosmetic note, following the vandalism of the numbers on the doors the Chairman considered that care should have been taken when replacing the numbers to ensure that they were more closely aligned with the holes made by the previous numbers. Officers agreed to look into this as in their view this was not acceptable work.
Following the conclusion of the discussion in relation to the Beach Huts policy the Director of Development Services then took the Members through a number of other regeneration initiatives in the area that had taken place. With regard to the Nell’s Point car park a specialist contractor had been appointed to commence initial site clearance in early May 2013 and second stage construction works had progressed to July with the scheme providing some 550 car parking spaces and an events area. It was noted that since completion the car park had proven to be extremely popular given its proximity to the beach and the easy access created by the Eastern Promenade Scheme.
At Maslin Park improvements had been made and the play area had proven to be extremely popular with local residents.
In referring to the Eastern Promenade, works had included:
- The refurbishment of the Eastern Shelter to include structural repairs, a new lighting scheme and waterproofing
- The provision of new surfacing to the Eastern Promenade
- The provision of new pedestrian linkages from the Eastern Promenade to the Nell's Point car park, the Eastern Shelter roof and to the Clement Colley Way footpath with ramped access to the vantage points and the new canopy covered amphitheatre
- A new landscaping scheme incorporated into the works to create pleasant footways and seating locations above the Eastern Shelter
- The provision of new toilet facilities in the former "Toy Factory"/ changing rooms
- New artwork in the form of the Eastern Shelter lighting scheme produced by the artist Peter Fink together with the "Barry Island / Ynys Y Barri" traversing wall created by the artist Gordon Young and a mist producing water feature designed internally. The John Clinch "Beside the Sea" artwork on the causeway was also refurbished as part of the works programme by the artist Sebastien Boyeson and grant support of £50,000 was received from the Arts Council for Wales in support of the art
- A range of beach huts (25 in total, of two different sizes with the larger ones providing power) were constructed
- A new improved access from the Promenade to the beach was also provided as part of the scheme to provide for more direct access to the eastern part of Whitmore Bay.
Although the Eastern Promenade had suffered from delays for a variety of reasons, both officers and Members had been insistent that the scheme should not achieve handover until various quality related issues had been rectified. Final handover had been achieved in December 2014. Following on from the completion of the Eastern Promenade works, a further review of the regional works programme had been undertaken with approval given for additional Capital Programme funding which included the painting of the Western Shelter, the painting of the Promenade railings, the resurfacing of the area above the Eastern Shelter, the resurfacing of the central promenade footpaths and steps and the provision of new step nosings, the provision of a widened cycleway from Friars Point to the Harbour Road car park and footpath upgrading close to the Coastal Watch scheme.
Members who had visited Barry Island expressed their pleasure with regard to the facilities on offer and welcomed the intention to make the booking regime for the beach huts easier for the public to purchase,
(1) T H A T the Barry Island Regeneration and Enhancement Programme and Beach Huts Policy be noted.
(2) T H A T a further report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee regarding the operational management of the Eastern Promenade beach huts following the first season’s pilot operation.
Reasons for recommendations
(1) Having considered the regeneration work undertaken and the opportunities to be explored with regard to rental of the beach huts.
(2) To inform Members of the operational management of the beach huts following the pilot operation.
1095 BARRY COMMUNITIES FIRST CLUSTER PROGRESS REPORT (DDS) –
The Barry Communities First Cluster Team Manager, in presenting the report, provided Members with an update on the progress of the programme to date. Members were reminded that Communities First was a Welsh Government funded, community-focused anti-poverty programme supporting the Welsh Government’s tackling Poverty Action Plan. The aim of the initiative was to contribute to narrowing the education / skills, economic and health gaps between the most deprived and more affluent areas of Wales by supporting and encouraging local actions that addressed the long term causes and effects of poverty.
The programme had initially been created in 2012 and operated in the following Lower Super Output Areas: Castleland 1, Castleland 2, Cadoc 1, Cadoc 3, Cadoc 4, Court 3, Gibbonsdown 1, Gibbonsdown 2, Gibbonsdown 4 and Buttirlls 2. These areas had been chosen because unfortunately they fell into the bottom 20% of the most deprived areas in the Vale of Glamorgan. The population of the Cluster area was 16,500 according to the 2011 Census.
The team had undertaken a considerable amount of partnership working, for example with Barry Jobcentre Plus with members of the Cluster team visiting the Jobcentre on a weekly basis to recruit JCP customers on to prosperity courses and to take up referrals from Jobcentre Plus advisers to assist Cluster residents to find work. The Cluster had also recently undertaken an independent review of its Partnership Board which had reached the conclusion that the Board and the Cluster Programme are generally working very effectively.
The work of the Cluster team was overseen by the Partnership Board which comprised representatives of the community, the Third Sector / Business as well as statutory sector representatives. The projects undertaken by the Cluster team had distinct purposes and operated within three themes – prosperity theme, learning theme, and the health theme. Targets for each of the projects were set each year building on the outputs and outcomes of the previous year and were managed via the online Aspireview system. The performance of all Clusters was monitored by Welsh Government via this system, which measured progress via a Red, Amber and Green â€œflaggingâ€ system to identify whether a project was on track or not.
Team members were also involved in a number of partnerships and joint events with others e.g. Vale of Glamorgan Council Departments: Employment & Training Team Schools, Youth Service, Libraries, Flying Start, Families First ,Adult Community Learning Team and Regeneration team. Others included Business & Employment Team, Cardiff and Vale College, Jobcentre Plus, Careers Wales, Public Health Wales Etc. In order to provide Members with details of the impact the projects had on Cluster residents, case studies were highlighted at Appendix 1 to the report.
In referring to the case studies, the Team Manager also advised of work that had been undertaken with the new ASDA store near Barry Island where the public had been supported in completing applications for jobs at the store. The application process had been complex and time consuming with residents being supported with their completion. Of note was the training sessions that had been established for this programme which had subsequently been adopted by the Cardiff JobCentre. Although further information was awaited from ASDA, the Team Manager could confirm that he was aware that 21 people who the Cluster team had supported had been successful in their applications.
The Cabinet Member for Regeneration, with permission to speak, took the opportunity to advise the Committee that when the Cluster had first been established, it had faced sizeable challenges to encourage the level of engagement that it had to date. The Cabinet Member was impressed with the work that had been undertaken to date and commended the team for this, advising that the difference that it had made to people’s lives was significant. It was acknowledged that the Communities First projects were performance indicator driven and involved very robust recording procedures and the team would be able to provide comparable information for future reports for Members’ consideration.
It was subsequently
(1) T H A T the Barry Communities First Cluster Team be congratulated on the progress to date.
(2) T H A T an update report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee on an annual basis, as appropriate.
Reasons for recommendations
(1) In acknowledging the work undertaken to date and the detail provided by other case studies present.
(2) To apprise Members on progress of the Barry Communities First Cluster Programme in a timely manner.
1096 SCRUTINY DECISION TRACKING OF RECOMMENDATIONS AND WORK PROGRAMME SCHEDULE 2015/16 (DR) –
The report provided Members with progress in relation to the Scrutiny Committee’s recommendations as outlined at Appendices A and B and with Committee being requested to confirm the updated / amended work programme schedule for the Scrutiny Committee’s work programme for 2015/16.
In noting that progress relating to the recommendations to be referred to Cabinet on 27th April would be updated accordingly, Members agreed that the status be as outlined within the report.
With regard to Minute No. 573 – Leisure Contract Monitoring, it was also noted that the training session for all Members of the Council was to be arranged by the Section 151 Officer and the Managing Director.
In referring to the Scrutiny Committee’s proposed work programme, the Chairman referred to a Request for Consideration that she had made in respect of the Eastern Promenade Project and advised that she was requesting that this be withdrawn in view of the information presented at the meeting.
A Member referred to the request for a report in relation to LED street lighting and asked that the Director of Visible Services and Housing be requested provide a joint report with the Director of Development Services in relation to the reduction in lights and to consider innovative ways to fund the replacement of existing lights with LED. During the discussion the Chairman queried security arrangements at Council parks and requested that a report be presented on the matter in due course.
Having fully considered the status for completed recommendations and the proposed meeting work schedule, it was subsequently
(1) T H A T the items identified as completed as below be accepted.
06 January 2015
Min. No. 759 – Draft Local Transport Plan 2015 (REF) – Recommended that the draft Local Transport Plan 2015, as appended to the report be accepted, with Cabinet being requested to include inserting a definition in respect of the term 'bus corridors' and the negative impacts of schemes as well as the positives.
Cabinet, on 26th January 2015, noted the report and resolved that a definition of the term 'bus corridors' be inserted into the draft Local Transport Plan 2015 in order to provide clear and further detail to the public, and that the plan highlighted both the negative and positive impacts of the various schemes.
(Min. No. C2611 refers)
Min. No. 762 – Scrutiny Decision Tracking of Recommendations and Work Programme Scheduled 2014/15 (DR) – Recommended
(3) That the Work Programme schedule at Appendix C be accepted and uploaded to the Council’s website, subject to the following additions:
- Gateway Wales and Cardiff Airport Progress Update - to be presented to either the February or March meeting
- End of Year Performance Report on Resurfacing Work and Material Used and the Maintenance of Potholes in the Vale - to be presented in May 2015
- Welsh Government’s Regeneration Framework - Vibrant and Viable Places - details of how various initiatives and proposals for Barry would be progressed - to be reported February / March 2015
- Vale of Glamorgan Destination Action Plan – results of consultation – March / April 2015
- Collaboration Initiative Civil Parking Enforcement Report to include - details of whether the Council should enforce beyond the catchment areas currently identified, details of actual presence in the areas in the Towns to date and the number of Enforcement Officers for the Vale - to be reported April 2015
- XFOR Environmental Enforcement Services Trial report - to include statistical information - to be reported to Committee April 2015
- Report on the Joint Organics Procurement Project with Cardiff Council - to be timetabled.
Uploaded to the Council’s website on 28th January 2015.
04 November 2014
Min. No. 570 – The Use of LED Lights as Street Lights (Request for Consideration) – Recommended
(2) That a further report be presented to the Committee following the review to be undertaken by the Director detailing the findings of the individual street tests and the implementation programme for the Vale of Glamorgan.
Added to work programme schedule.
Min. No. 571 – Street Lighting Energy Reduction Strategy (REF) – Recommended that the resolutions of the Cabinet be noted and the future reports as requested by Cabinet and detailed above be also referred to the Scrutiny Committee for consideration.
Added to work programme schedule (and as above Min. No. 570).
Min. No. 573 – Leisure Contract Monitoring (DDS) – Recommended
(1) That a briefing / training session be arranged for Members of the Scrutiny Committee as soon as possible, to assist in the monitoring of the Leisure Service contract.
(2) That further reports be presented to the Scrutiny Committee, over the next twelve months, covering the various elements contained within the Leisure Services contract.
(1) Arranged for 10th March 2015 and 14th April 2015.
(2) Added to work programme schedule.
02 December 2014
Min. No. 649 – Initial Revenue Budget Proposals 2015/16 (DDS and DVSH) – Recommended
(1) That the comments as outlined above be referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) with the request that they also be forwarded to Cabinet and that further detail on the impact of the suggested savings be provided to the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) when available.
Referred to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) meeting on 9th December 2014, which recommended that Cabinet be informed of the outcome of the Scrutiny process on the matter subject to the references which included the comments from the Scrutiny Committee being forwarded on to the Cabinet and the Budget Working Group for further consideration.
Referred to Cabinet meeting on 12th January 2015.
(Min. No. 681 refers)
Cabinet, on 12th January 2015, noted the report.
(Min. No. C2598 refers)
Min. No. 650– Initial Capital Programme Proposals 2015/16 (DDS and DVSH) – Recommended
(5) That the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) and Cabinet be requested to reconsider prioritising up to £15k to replace the carpets at Penarth Leisure Centre.
Referred to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) meeting on 9th December 2014 and Corporate Resources referred the reference to Cabinet and the Budget Working Group.
Referred to Cabinet meeting on 12th January 2015.
(Min. No. 682 refers)
Cabinet, on 12th January 2015, noted the report.
(Min. No. C2599 refers)
Min. No. 653 – Waste Management and Cleansing – Municipal Recycling Bring Bank Sites (REF) – Recommended
(2) That a further report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee six months after the removal of the sites detailing the full implications of the decision and, in particular, the effects on recycling performance.
Added to work programme schedule.
(2) T H A T the Request for Consideration in relation to the Eastern Promenade Project be withdrawn from the work schedule.
(3) T H A T a joint report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee in relation to LED lighting as soon as possible, to include the possibility of considering innovative ways to fund the replacement of existing lights with LED lights.
(4) T H A T it be noted that a live demonstration for Members of the Scrutiny Committee regarding the vehicle telemetry system had been arranged for Tuesday 19th May, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. with Members of the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) being invited to attend.
(5) T H A T the work programme schedule be amended and uploaded to the Council’s website as appropriate.
Reasons for recommendations
(1) In recognition of completed actions.
(2) In light of the information presented at the meeting.
(3) For Members’ consideration.
(4) To apprise Members.
(5) To inform members of the public and Members of the Council of the Committee’s forthcoming work programme schedule.
1097 CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENT –
The Chairman, on behalf of the Committee, took the opportunity to thank the Director of Development Services for his positive and professional support to the Committee over the years, congratulated him on his appointment as Managing Director of the Council and wished him well in his new position.