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SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT)

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 16th June, 2015.

 

Present:  Councillor Mrs. A.J. Moore (Chairman); Councillor P.G. King (Vice-Chairman); Councillors A.G. Bennett, P.J. Clarke, G.A. Cox, Mrs. P. Drake, J. Drysdale, A.G. Powell and S.T. Wiliam.

 

Also present: Councillors Ms. B.E. Brooks, L. Burnett, Mrs. V.M. Hartrey and N. Moore.

 

 

101            APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE -

 

This was received from Councillor Mrs. M. Kelly Owen.

 

 

102            MINUTES -

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 19th May, 2015 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

103            DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

Councillor G.A. Cox declared an interest in Agenda Item No. 4 in that he had received dispensation from the Standards Committee to speak and vote on the LDP save for matters relating to the Evans Jenkins Charity.

 

 

104            THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN: DEPOSIT DRAFT PLAN 2011- 2026 - REPORT OF CONSULTATION AND SUBMISSION FOR INDEPENDENT EXAMINATION (REF) -

 

Following introductions, the Chairman commenced by advising all present that the opportunity to make representations on the report had been afforded to Members of the public.  Four requests to speak had been received to date and thus the order of proceedings would be a presentation on the report by the Operational Manager for Planning and Transportation Policy, followed by comments from the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, representations from the four members of the public, Elected Members (not members of the Committee) and finally Members of the Committee.

 

The Operational Manager in presenting the report advised the Committee of the LDP process to date and stated that the Council had a statutory duty to prepare a Local Development Plan.  The duties for which as being as set out in Part 6 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 which required that an LDP be made subject to independent examination to determine whether it was sound.

 

In setting the context the Operational Manager further advised that in October 2013 Cabinet endorsement had been agreed for the approval of the draft Local Development Plan to be part of a six week consultation in accordance with the Town and Country Planning Regulations 2005.  The six week formal public consultation had taken place between 8th November, 2013 and 20th December, 2013.  A brief summary of the consultation was set out in the report.  A more detailed outline was contained at Appendix 1 which was attached to the report in the Deposit Local Development Plan Consultation Summary Report. As well as representations to policies, paragraphs and supporting evidence, the DLDP consultation had generated representations from individuals, groups and organisations that sought the inclusion of new sites as well as the deletion or amendment of allocated sites.   Collectively, these site specific amendments were termed "Alternative sites" and the Council was again required to undertake public consultation on the alternative sites to ascertain people’s views.   This six week consultation took place between 20th March 2014 and 1st May 2014.

 

Cabinet had subsequently considered the report of the consultation and submission for independent examination at its meeting on 1st June, 2015 and had referred that report to the Scrutiny Committee for consideration.  As a result of the Deposit Plan consultation over 3,000 representations had been received with the main issues being highlighted as strategy, housing provision and sites, gypsy and travellers, employment, transport, built and natural environment.  Following the Alternative Sites consultation over 8,000 representations were received with 4286 representations objecting to the alternative site proposals and 3691 in support of the alternative sites and 245 representations received of general comments.   A copy of all the representations were available for inspection at the meeting and could be found in the Appendix 3 register. The documents were also available on the Council’s website and available for inspection at the Council’s Civic and Docks offices.

 

In considering the need for changes to the DLDP, the responses to the consultation received and the issues raised the Council had to give due regard to the relevant Welsh Government and Planning Inspectorate Guidance contained within the Local Development Plan Manual and Preparing for Submission Guidance for Local Planning Authorities July 2014 which aimed to assist Local Planning Authorities preparing to submit LDPs for examination. 

 

In submitting the DLDP to the Welsh Government and the Planning Inspectorate, it was recognised that if a Local Authority had undertaken the plan preparation process in an appropriate manner and in accordance with the relevant guidance, there should be no need to change the DLDP.  Furthermore, any Focused Changes should only be made if they were considered necessary to ensure that the LDP was sound.  The guidance clearly stated that changes should be avoided, and if they were necessary to ensure the Plan was sound, should be kept to a minimum.  If Focused Changes were to be proposed they would also need to be formally advertised in the relevant local press and be subject to Sustainability Appraisal and Strategic Environment Assessment.

 

The Focused Changes that had been prepared could be found in the Appendix 4 document with the major changes (although not exhaustive) contained within the document being noted as housing requirement figure and flexibility, reserve site, changes to housing and employment allocations, additional economic study, affordable housing provision and minerals paper. 

 

In referring to the housing requirement figure the Operational Manager advised that the use of official Population and Household projections had been further clarified by Welsh Government in a letter dated 10th April, 2014 where the Minister for Housing and Regeneration stated at the end of her letter ‘For the avoidance of any future doubt, local planning authorities must seek to provide for the level of housing required as the result of the analysis of all relevant sources of evidence rather than relying solely on the Welsh Government’s household projections.’

 

Additionally, representations were made that the Housing Requirement figure for the Vale of Glamorgan should take account of a number of other factors such as the effect of the employment Strategy of the LDP as well as other objectives in order to deliver the Plan's Strategy and Vision.

 

As a result of these representations and the need for more evidence, further economic work (Appendix 6) was commissioned to provide greater information on the impacts of employment land allocations on the dwelling requirement. This work provided additional information on the likely number of jobs to be created during the Plan period. Combining both local and strategic employment the land allocations could yield some 7,610 to 10,610 new jobs. The local jobs element and associated dwelling requirement was assumed to be contained within the local Population and Household Projections. However, the new jobs generated as a result of the Strategic employment land allocation and the resulting additional households would not be included within the local Population and Household Projections. Therefore the economic impact of the Council's Strategic Employment land allocations need to be considered and these could generate a need for some 1082 to 1602 additional dwellings.

 

Having considered all of these factors, the evidence base and matters raised within the representations, it had been considered that the overall housing land bank should remain as contained in the DLDP at 10,450. It was however, proposed to lower the actual Housing Requirement Figure to 9500 from 9950 in the DLDP to take account of the latest evidence in respect of the Population and Housing Projections together with the latest economic and affordable housing data. Therefore, a 10% rather than 5% flexibility allowance was added to the 9500 making a total (unchanged) provision of land for 10450 dwellings to 2026.

 

This change ensured that the Housing Requirement Figure took account of the latest Population and Household Projections as well as the latest economic forecasts with an allowance to assist the affordable housing backlog and recognised the role the Council to play in the wider region. In addition a 10% flexibility allowance had been added to the figure giving a total housing supply of 10450.

 

In conclusion, the Operational Manager informed Committee of the next steps in the process advising that any comments received from the Community Liaison Committee, Planning Committee and the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) would be reported to Cabinet on 22nd June, 2015 in order that Cabinet could then refer the matter to Full Council by 24th June, 2015. 

 

If approved the DLDP would then be submitted for independent examination and an independent inspector would be appointed on behalf of the Welsh Government to examine the Plan.  The examination process was likely to commence in Autumn 2015 with an exploratory meeting ahead of any hearings.  After considering all of the evidence the Inspector would then prepare and issue a binding report on the DLDP that would set out amendments which would be required to be made to the Plan by the Council prior to its formal adoption. 

 

Members were further informed that it would be the Inspector not the Council who would consider whether any changes were appropriate to the Plan as a result of the consultation that had been undertaken.  However, it was important to note that having considered the issues raised from the current consultation process a number of focused changes that had been proposed would also require further consultation which subject to Council approval would commence in July 2015 for six weeks. 

 

In summing up the Operational Manager stated that one of the main aims of the DLDP was to develop a sustainable land use planning and transportation framework for the Vale of Glamorgan and as such the adoption of the LDP for the Vale of Glamorgan would be one of the main service targets for the Planning and Transportation Division over the next few years. 

 

Following the above the Chairman sought clarification from the Operational Manager as to the position with regard to current planning applications that were already in the system and to the reference in paragraph 53 to the percentages of affordable properties and the use of the term upper target. 

 

The Operational Manager advised that of the housing sites allocated in Policy MG 2 that 3794 units were approved or subject to a section 106 legal agreement; 1499 units were at pre application stage or an outline planning application was under consideration leaving only some 2500 units with no formal applications or enquiries on them.  As there were still some 11 years left of the Plan period the Operational Manager advised that these units still had plenty of time to be delivered by 2026.

 

In respect of the use of the word “Upper†in paragraph 53, the Operational Manager suggested to the Chairman that the word be removed as it could mislead the true intention of the Affordable Housing Policy which was that Affordable Housing was a requirement on every residential scheme. The Operational Manager confirmed that the Affordable Housing Policy as attached at Appendix 4 was clear and that the targets as outlined in the Report were there to be met rather than be an upper target.

 

Having considered the response the Chairman sought the Committees agreement to request that Cabinet ensure that paragraph 53 be clarified in line with the officers response, which was duly accepted.

 

The Cabinet Member with the portfolio for Regeneration stated that the current Administration had requested that the evidence base for the DLDP be strengthened to make it a better fit with the Strategy and to include infrastructure requirements as well as enhancements to the consultation and engagement process.  Affordable housing was also about housing for local people and the evidence had informed the LDP in that there was a huge backlog for demand.  The Cabinet Member also took the opportunity to record her thanks to the Planning and Transportation Department Team advising that they had undertaken considerable work as a result of the current Administration’s requests and they were completed under a backdrop of resource challenges.  In total over 12,000 representations had been received and handled by the section. 

 

The Chairman then asked in turn that the members come forward to make their representations to the Committee it being noted that the meeting was not a public meeting but a meeting held in public.  Councillor S.T. Thomas, representing Dinas Powys Community Council that Dinas Powys Community Council had undertaken their own consultation with local citizens expressing their concerns about the proposed developments for the area and the current lack of infrastructure within the area.  He stated that the figures for the number of housing proposed were inaccurate and although housing was necessary other community facilities were also important.  He was concerned as to whether the houses referred to in the report were actually needed and that their location was considered inappropriate. In particular Councillor Thomas referred to the proposed developments at Cross Common and Ardwyn and that the sites had no infrastructure for such proposals.  There was also not enough reference in his view to public transport in the draft Local Development Plan.

 

Mr. D. Lewis, a local resident of the area around cross common road expressed his concerns although being in the main of a personal nature he was concerned as to the impact of the proposed developments and their effects on the local community.  He too concurred with Cllr Thomas about the current lack of infrastructure and in his view the Vale was generally considered a green site area.  Dinas Powys was a semi-rural village and as such the personality of the community would be lost as a result of the number of developments proposed.  On a personal note he stated that one of the very reasons he had purchased his property was due to the green field’s area in the area where he lived and in his view the draft LDP was more focussed on new developments as opposed to providing facilities for existing residents. 

 

Mr. R. Harrod, constituent of the Dinas Powys area stated that his concerns related to the 300 extra houses proposed and the impact on the level of traffic.  There had also recently been an issue in relation to the main sewer at Cog Moors that had affected the Barry Road area which had been an ongoing issue for some time.  Currently, significant amounts of traffic were regularly delayed from one end of Dinas Powys to the other due to continuing tail backs into Cardiff and with the increase in the developments proposed were likely to be more substantial.  The need for a by-pass he stated was paramount and he urged the authority to rethink their decision.

 

Councillor C.P. Franks, an Elected Member of the Vale of Glamorgan Council was present and advised that he was representing the Dinas Powys Community Council.  He stated that the Community Council had taken the matter seriously by employing its own consultant and referred to the amount of delays, the increase in population numbers and the congestion currently in the area irrespective of the proposed developments which would see significant increases.  Although the Community Council was not opposed to the provision of affordable housing, the amount being reported in their view was 'simply guesswork’ and he urged that the authority seriously reconsidered the plan and the impact on Dinas Powys.  He requested that a review of the allocation of housing be undertaken in light of the resident’s concerns. 

 

In referring to the infrastructure the Operational Manager advised that the Scrutiny Committee itself through its Traffic Management Task and Finish Group which had recognised some of the issues in relation to Dinas Powys and had made a number of recommendations and consideration was to be given to looking at bus priority routes as well as having identified through the plan that a number of junctions were either at or near capacity. 

 

With regard to the development proposed at Cross Common Road specific mention was made to a current planning application with the Operational Manager advising that Mr. Lewis could make representations to the application which would be considered by the Planning Committee.

 

In referring to the issue of green fields and brown fields, it was noted that the Council did not have an endless supply of brown field sites and with regard to the proposed new junction in the area this had been recognised in the plan and would be dealt with through the LDP and the planning application process. 

 

In response to the query regarding the Dinas Powys by-pass it was noted that the Council did not have an up to date design or all the permissions or land at this stage that would be required.  The Council was however, making progress considering the list of traffic junctions that needed improvements. With regard to public transport the Operational Manager believed in her view that this had been sufficiently dealt and covered within the report and the LDP.

 

The Cabinet Member with permission to speak in response advised that the plan itself was a plan to guide policy up to the year 2026 and made particular reference to public transport by referring to the 303/304 service from Bridgend to Cardiff which also went via Cardiff Bay and Llandough Hospital and had been a newly created service.   With regard to the consultation exercises that had been undertaken the Cabinet Member referred to the issue in relation to the Lower St. Cyres School site where a mixed site development had been put forward, where previously it had been allocated solely as housing development.  However, following community consultation it had been rejected in favour of a mixed development site. Being aware that congestion was an issue facing all Local Authorities, the Cabinet Member stated that the plan was not only about housing but also about employment and transport opportunities with specific reference to the strategic needs of the community.

 

A number of Members of the Committee considered that the market tended to control the situation and that the Council’s Planning Committee was trying to manage the issue as best as it could.  It was apparent that many areas within the Vale had been subject to extra developments and their outlooks had consequently changed.  Congestion was also a factor that was determined by economic and social solutions.  In the main it was suggested that limiting the use of the car although difficult would be the way forward.  A Member stated that some members of the public may consider that their  comments are not always taken into account but that it is the role of the politician to balance the conflicting views and in particular to deliver a Local Development Plan that meets the needs of the communities. 

 

One of the main priorities of the plan it was stated was to ensure sustainable measures were in place.  In referring to the housing numbers as detailed in the report, a couple of Members suggested that these figures were too high. The Operational Manager in response advised that the latest household projection numbers referred to in the report had been published by Welsh Government in 2014 and had been the starting point for the latest plan figures.  A considerable amount of work had been undertaken in order to agree a target figure of 9,500 plus 10%, however, it was important to note that as previously advised 3,794 houses had already been approved and another 1,499 were in the system with the total being 5,293 that already had or were being considered for planning permission.   In discussing the housing figures reference was made to paragraph 53 of the cabinet report which referred to the target being up to a figure.  Members considered that this should be more specific and the word upper be removed. It was further noted that the housing figures had taken into account the economic assessment that had been carried out, with a 10% flexibility added to the figure as requested by Welsh Government.

 

Some members raised concerns with regard to the rural villages and that community facilities were not available to support sustainable development in such areas.  A Member queried the amount of building to be undertaken in the rural areas in view of the fact that the job opportunities were more closely aligned to the Cardiff area.  The Operational Manager stated that the aim of the strategy was to also provide opportunities for developments to happen outside the south east zone to encourage villages to develop services to be protected and to provide local affordable housing in those areas.

 

The Green links bus service was also available to assist rural villages. The 320/321 bus service Llantwit Major, Cowbridge and Pontyclun had recently received a runner up transport partnership award for its sustainable development and support to the community.  The Operational Manager urged all local villages to communicate with the Council and to discuss their travel requirements and needs.

 

The Operational Manager advised that in undertaking the development of the Plan all of the towns and villages in the Vale of Glamorgan had been assessed and then ranked for how sustainable they were. Consideration was given in the Sustainable Settlements Paper which was a background paper to the LDP about whether the areas had a village shop, village pub or a village hall and what transport and employment opportunities were close by.  

 

A Member made specific reference to the area known as Darren Farm which had not been part of the original plan at the time for 145 houses for the reasons that were now being portrayed for a development of 300 houses on the site. The Cabinet Member advised that the allocation included a school, open spaces and a road for future sustainability purposes. 

 

Following a query as to the number of homeless people in the Vale statistical information was requested to be forwarded to all Members of the Committee for their information.

 

Having considered the report, the representations made and the views of the Committee, a recommendation was put forward to reject the plan with a view to a significant reduction in the number of houses. However, this was not carried and it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the resolutions of Cabinet be accepted but with a request from the Committee that the word "upper" in referring to the affordable housing target in paragraph 53 be removed from the Cabinet report, in order to better reflect the fact that affordable housing was an expected requirement of all new housing developments, unless viability issues could be clearly established.

 

Reasons for recommendation

 

To ensure that the Council could submit a Deposit LDP to the independent Planning Inspector for consideration bearing in mind the evidence base that currently existed and the risk of not having an LDP, which would be an issue for the Council and to ensure that the affordable housing target was not referenced as an upper target. 

 

 

105            BUILDING CLEANING AND SECURITY REVIEW (REF) -

 

Cabinet, at its meeting on 1st June, 2015 was provided with an update on developments in the Building Cleaning and Security Service as part of the Reshaping Services project and proposed changes to the cleaning and security services provided at corporate office buildings.

 

The report outlined that the Council operated an internal Cleaning and Security Service within the Visible Services and Housing Directorate. The services were provided to schools and the Council’s other public buildings, including council offices. The Council’s Facilities Management team undertook the ‘client’ role (purchased services from the Cleaning and Security Service) and managed the budget associated with cleaning and security at office buildings. Schools chose to make arrangements under Service Level Agreements with the Cleaning and Security Service for cleaning in schools.

 

In recent years, the Building Cleaning and Security Service had seen a reduction in the number of school and office sites procuring cleaning services, reduced to 84 from 99 over a five year period. With a reducing number of clients, the Building Cleaning and Security Service was now apportioning overheads over a smaller number of customers and this was eroding its overall financial viability, necessitating a fundamental examination of the service. It was noted that the service scored highly in terms of customer satisfaction, measured by regular client surveys.

 

The report also set out proposals to change the level of office cleaning and security provision at Council office buildings in order to ensure appropriate service levels and to achieve the approved savings contained in the Council’s Final Revenue Budget Proposals 2015/16 associated with building running costs. The report also proposed that the review of Cleaning and Security Services (which was to be undertaken as part of tranche two of the Reshaping Services programme) should ascertain the long term viability of the service and, where appropriate, identify alternative ways of delivering these services.  The security and cleaning services were commissioned by the Council’s Facilities Management team and provided by the Council’s internal Cleaning & Security Service at the following buildings: Civic Offices, Town Hall, Docks Office, Alps Depot, Court Road Depot, and Provincial House.  The Council also operated from a wide range of other locations.  A review of these assets was currently underway in order to identify opportunities for rationalisation and further efficiency savings which would be reported to Cabinet separately.

 

It was recognised that the changes being proposed in the report would have impacts for a range of stakeholders.  Financial, equality and employment implications had and would continue to be fully considered and revised as appropriate.  Details of these implications and the impact on Building Services provision and Users could be found in the relevant sections of the report.

 

The report stated that the implementation of changes would require a clear communication and engagement strategy with staff and the recognised trade unions from across the Council.  To ensure a consistent approach was adopted to implement these changes, it was proposed that changes to both cleaning and security functions were progressed following a timeline of key activities as detailed in the report.  As part of the consultation arrangements, the service would progress these proposals in accordance with the Council's agreed policies and procedures, in particular the Change Management and the Avoiding Redundancy policy and procedures.

 

Implementation of the proposals for both the security and cleaning functions was estimated to realise a total budget saving of £308,037.  Based on the project plan, these savings would be realised from 1st December, 2015 which would equate to an estimated budget saving of £120,000 in the 2015/16 financial year and the remaining £188,037 in 2016/17.  This would contribute to the £500,000 saving set out in the Council’s Final Revenue Budget Proposals 2015/16 for 'a review of Council-wide property costs, including running costs’, as formally approved by Council on 4th March, 2015 (minute number 941).  The remainder would be realised from further property related savings initiatives.  Supplemental information was also tabled at the meeting relating to the overhead costs of the proposals for Committee’s information.

 

The report, along with the supplementary information, had also been referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) for their consideration with the intention that the comments from both the Committees be reported back to Cabinet for their final determination at its meeting on 29th June 2015.  The Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety stated that it had been an extremely difficult report to put together and it was as a result of austerity measures that savings had had to be identified.  Members of the Committee also stated that they were disappointed that these actions were having to be taken and were reassured by the Director that the Human Resources and Employment Relations implications for staff were extremely important matters which would require a clear communication and engagement strategy with staff and the recognised Trade Unions from across the Council.  As part of the consultation arrangements, the Director further advised that the service would progress the proposals in accordance with the Council’s agreed policies and procedures in particular the Change Management and the Avoiding Redundancy Policy procedures.  However, where possible, opportunities to mitigate displacement of staff would be fully explored through matching existing staff to appropriate posts or re-deploying to suitable existing vacant positions within the Service and the wider Council as described in the report.  The service would also be looking to be flexibile with proposals made by staff during the process.  The Council would also continue to work with partner organisations to determine whether potential existed to support staff in acquiring employment in other organisations if required.  He further assured Members that the Council was committed to offering voluntary redundancy opportunities to staff in circumstances where changes of scale were being proposed.  It was also important to note that the current vacancies within each service area had been analysed and could be found at Appendix E to the report outlining that within the Security Service there were currently four vacant posts across a number of sites offering a total of 148 weekly hours, and for the Cleaning Service there were currently 31 vacant posts across a number of sites offering a total of 329 average hours each week.  He had also been informed that day of the resignation of a security supervisor who would be leaving the Council for employment elsewhere. 

 

Members in referring to the impact on the car parking service were advised that a review had been commissioned into car parking charging in town centres with the consultant’s report being expected prior to the August recess.  The Director advised that a specific piece of work would also have to be organised for the Civic Offices and Leisure Centre car parks.  The Chairman requested that such reports also be referred to the Scrutiny Committee for consideration once received.  A number of Members referred to the suggested use of swipe cards at the barriers to the entrances of the Council offices car parks and the issues and implications as a result, with it being noted that it would probably be best to wait for the car parking report to be presented for consideration before further discussion too place. The Director advised that he hoped to present a range of options for Members consideration in due course.

 

Members were also keen to learn from the Director the views of the Trade Unions on the report and were informed that the Director had written a personal letter to staff and that the Trade Unions had been fully involved in the process.

 

The Leader of the Council, with permission to speak, also stated that in his view this had been the most difficult report for his consideration in view of the staffing implications.  Although he was fully aware of the savings that had to be made he however, took the opportunity to urge all Members of the Council to consider the report and during the consultation period provide any ideas / suggestions for consideration by the Cabinet. 

 

The Committee aware of the implications of the report and the need for the Council to consider savings in the current climate requested that if the Cabinet agree the report on 29th June 2015 that a further report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee following the outcome of the avoiding redundancy policy and the impact on staff. It was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T the proposed changes to Cleaning and Security Services provided at corporate buildings as outlined in the report be accepted.

 

(2)       T H A T, notwithstanding the further reports to be presented as outlined above, Cabinet be advised that a further report to also be presented to the Scrutiny Committee detailing the outcome of the avoiding redundancy policy and the impact of the proposals on staff.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       In light of the austerity measures being imposed on the Council.

 

(2)       To advise Members of the detail of the impact of the proposals on staff.

 

 

106            TARGET SETTING 2015/16 (DDS) -

 

The proposed targets for improvement for 2015/16 for all performance indicators for the Development Services Directorate were presented to Members for consideration together with the request for Committee to review and endorse the highlighted proposed deletions and additions for approval.

 

Following the end of year reporting period (end of March), all Directorates had been asked to undertake a review of performance against all indicators in order to complete a target setting template.  All Directorates had also been asked to set appropriately challenging targets that both supported the principles of continuous improvement but also realistically reflected the current financial climate and the service's capacity to improve performance.  The Council’s approved target setting was set out in the Target Setting template outlined at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

A full suite of performance indicators that would continue to be collected and reported on during 2015/16 was attached at Appendix 2 to the report and against each indicator a target had been set and a rationale provided to explain why the target had been set at that level. 

 

For the National Statutory Indicators (NSIs) and Public Accountability Measures (PAMs) Welsh benchmarking data was currently only available for the 2013/14 period by way of comparison. Therefore targets in relation to NSIs and PAMs should be based on performance in relation to top quartile results (in Wales) or the Welsh average during 2013/14.  Where this had not been possible, a robust rationale was required to be provided at Appendix 2 to explain why performance had been set lower than the rest of Wales.

 

For 2015/16, five Improvement Objectives had been identified by the Council and of these four of them had performance indicators attached to them (these Improvement Objective indicators were identified in Appendix 2 by an IO reference as part of the indicator description).  Although, initial targets have been set in relation to Improvement Objectives, end of year performance was not available at the time.  This target setting exercise has enabled Directors to review their Improvement Objective targets and revise them where appropriate to reflect end of year performance.  Where this was the case, this had been reflected in the rationale section of Appendix 2, where relevant to the Improvement Objective indicators.

 

In relation to the Outcome Agreement indicators, these targets had already been pre-agreed with the Welsh Government until 2016 (these Outcome Agreement indicators are identified in Appendix 2 by an OA reference as part of the indicator description).  Although in principle these targets had been pre-set with Welsh Government, in instances where  end of year performance exceeded the target for 2014/15, Directors had the opportunity to set more internally challenging targets (that are separate to the target agreed with Welsh Government) in order to continue to drive the upward trend in performance.  Where this was the case, this had also been reflected in the rationale section of Appendix 2, where relevant to the Outcome Agreement indicators.

 

The review process also presented an opportunity for the Council to identify whether its existing performance indicators were still appropriate and relevant for reflecting its priorities for service delivery.  The proposed additions and deletions of any new indicators for 2015/16 were detailed at Appendix 3 to the report. 

 

In considering the report a Member stated that although he accepted the target setting proposals and the rationale for the targets contained within the reports, in his view the document should also contain further information as to the detail of what the service areas had done to date and how well they had done it.  It was therefore suggested that consideration be given to adjusting the format of future reports, which did not consist of a long list of actions grouping targets and actions under headings but were related to outcomes. Reference was made to the

 

Following queries from two Members regarding Disabled Facilities Grants and boat dismantling on leisure land in Barry from two Members it was suggested and agreed that the relevant officers be requested to contact the Members direct to discuss in detail.

 

Having considered the report it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T the information as requested, outlined above, be provided to Members as soon as possible.

 

(2)       T H A T  the targets be accepted but that Cabinet be asked to consider the format of reports with the request that the documentation in the future include details of the work that had been undertaken, how well it had been completed and related to relevant outcomes.

 

(3)       T H A T the proposed deletions and additions to the Development Services performance indicators data setting for 2015/16 as outlined in Appendix 3 to the report be endorsed.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To apprise Members.

 

(2&3)  To ensure that performance targets are set that are both challenging and realistic and for Cabinet to consider the format of future reports.

 

 

107            TARGET SETTING 2015/16 (DVSH) -

 

Appendix 2 to the report contained a full suite of performance indicators for the Visible Services and Housing Directorate that would continue to be collected and reported on during 2015/16.  As reported under the previous agenda item Committee was also informed that the report also referred to the Outcome Agreement indicators it being noted that  these targets had already been pre-agreed with the Welsh Government until 2016 (these Outcome Agreement indicators are identified in Appendix 2 by an OA reference as part of the indicator description).  Although in principle these targets had been pre-set with Welsh Government, in instances where the end of year performance exceeded the target for 2014/15, Directors had the opportunity to set more internally challenging targets (that are separate to the target agreed with Welsh Government) in order to continue to drive the upward trend in performance.  Where this was the case, this has been reflected in the rationale section of Appendix 2, where relevant to the Outcome Agreement indicators. 

 

In considering the performance indicators in relation to fly tipping and enforcement issues it was suggested that press coverage be released detailing the Council’s successes in respect of the number of fly tipping prosecutions that had been made.  A Member queried the number of third party claims against the Council and the total cost for third party claims against the Council as it appeared that the figures contained within the report did not appear to be the same as those reported in the press. The Director agreed to review the figures and respond to Members via e-mail  (VSM010a and b).

 

Although it was accepted that a report was scheduled on the Committee’s work programme, a request was made that the report on resurfacing of roads within the Vale of Glamorgan and the Council’s resurfacing plan be presented to the Committee as soon as possible. 

 

Following a discussion on the Council’s recycling service it was suggested that a press campaign be considered to raise further awareness of recycling of waste items.

 

RECOMMENDED

 

(1)           T H A T notwithstanding the requests for information as outlined above the proposed Visible Services targets as outlined at Appendix 2 to the report be endorsed.

 

(2)           T H A T the proposed deletions and additions to the Visible Services performance indicator dataset for 2015/16 as outlined at Appendix 3 to the report be endorsed.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)          To ensure the Council sets challenging and realistic performance improvement targets.

 

(2)           That relevant performance indicators can be set in order that the Council can demonstrate achievement of its priorities.

 

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