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SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT)

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 2nd February, 2016.

 

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

 

Also present: Councillor L. Burnett.

 

 

809     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –

 

These were received from Councillors P.J. Clarke and Mrs. M. Kelly Owen.

 

 

810     MINUTES – 

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 5th January, 2016 be approved as a correct record subject to it being noted that under Declarations of Interest the reference to “Penarth Transport Group” should read as “East Vale Community Transport”.

 

 

811     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

812     INTEGRATED WEED / PEST CONTROL – REQUEST FOR CONSIDERATION –

 

Following introductions all round, the Chairman took the opportunity to advise that it had been the intention to undertake video conferencing with a representative from the Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE) who had agreed to provide evidence in relation to Councillor R. Curtis’ request.  However, following the afternoon’s news that BT broadband had crashed throughout the UK, thus rendering the facility unavailable, and a discussion with Cllr Curtis it was subsequently  

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the Request for Consideration in relation to integrated weed / pest control be deferred for consideration to the next meeting of the Committee on 8th March, 2016.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

Due to the unavailability of BT Broadband for video conferencing with the APSE representative.

 

 

813     REVENUE AND CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 31ST DECEMBER 2015 (DEH) –

 

In presenting the report, the Accountant referred to the following table which now incorporated (as had been requested by the Scrutiny Committee) the details of the original budget in order that comparisons could be made. 

 

 

Original Revenue   Budget £'000

Amended Revenue   Budget £'000

Profiled Budget to   Dec £'000

Expenditure to Dec

 

 £'000

Probable Outturn

 

£'000

Variance                 (+) Favourable                (-) Adverse       £'000

Highways   & Engineering

8,624

8,760

6,566

6,520

8,760

0

Waste   Management

8,361

8,333

6,334

6,257

8,333

0

Leisure

4,562

4,488

3,590

3,557

4,488

0

Building   Services

0

0

0

0

0

0

Transportation

 5,086

5,178

3,732

3,651

5,178

0

Regeneration

 2,092

2,562

 1,992

 1,900

2,562

0

Development   Management

 1,238

1,063

 838

 649

1,063

0

Total   Economy & Environment

29,963

30,384

23,052

22,534

30,384

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. 

 

It was noted that for the Highways and Engineering section, a favourable variance of £46k was currently being projected with the main reason being attributed to vacant posts currently within the Highways Department.  For Waste Management there was a favourable variance of £77k as a result of the early implementation of the Prosiect Gwyrdd contract which was providing considerable savings for the waste disposal budget.  However, under Leisure Services Grounds Maintenance was currently projecting a £43k adverse variance, reported as mainly due to an overspend on employee costs as a result of the recent senior management restructure.  Although it was noted that some costs, such as Transport costs, would decrease over the winter months.  With specific reference to Leisure there was currently a favourable variance of £76k due mainly to the reduced cost of admin cover for the service. 

 

Under Transportation which covered the Transportation Unit, Road Safety, School Crossing Patrols and Passenger Transport (mainly in the form of buses for Education and Supported bus routes) a favourable variance of £81k was reported against the profiled budget.  Staffing costs within the division had been £37k lower than had been budgeted for and payments for the Supported bus service were also lower than budgeted for. 

 

There was also currently a favourable variance of £92k for the Regeneration service, for within the Countryside division filming income had been higher than anticipated and both staffing and transport costs had been lower than expected.  There were however, several necessary refurbishments work planned within the division which were yet to be completed and it was therefore expected that premises costs would increase during the last quarter. 

 

For Development Management a favourable variance of £189k was projected, mostly due to the planning application fee income being higher than budgeted for. 

 

Appendix 2 to the report provided a statement showing the progress made to date against the 2015/16 savings targets with the Principal Accountant advising that whilst the saving related to Prosiect Gwyrdd  it was anticipated to exceed the target.  However, other savings in the service which it was reported would not be achieved would therefore offset this favourable position. 

 

In referring to the Capital Programme and the progress as detailed at Appendix 3, the following schemes were highlighted by the Principal Accountant:

 

Boverton Flooding – Welsh Government's Natural Resources Minister, Carl Sargant, has announced that funding had been allocated for the next financial year in the Draft Budget 2016/17 to complete important flood defence schemes at Boverton in the Vale of Glamorgan and Porthcawl.  It was therefore to be requested that £130k of this budget be carried forward into the 2016/17 Capital Programme.

 

Cross Common Bridge – The determination of outlined planning for adjoining development land was likely to be delayed until January/February 2016.  The detailed application for the proposed road realignment had been submitted for consideration by the Planning Committee and was subject to the same timeframe and ecological constraints.  Subject to planning and finalising heads of terms, it was anticipated that the procurement could take place before the end of the financial year, with the commencement of the construction phase early in 2016/17. 

 

Llanmaes Flood Management Scheme – Approval was currently required from Welsh Government to proceed further with the implementation of this scheme with design details currently in the process of being finalised.

 

Gileston to Oldmill – The scheme was projecting an underspend of £700k due to the risk allocation being managed well.  Members were advised that the funding would not be lost as it would not be claimed from Welsh Government as the scheme was now effectively complete under budget.

 

Ashpath Footpath Improvements – The drainage works were complete but the land issues were still progressing. 

 

Jenner Park and Colcot Pitches – The Jenner Park 3 G pitch was complete and in operation whereas the Colcot pitches development required a business case to be put forward before constructions could commence. 

 

St. Paul's Church – The Project Board had concluded that the preferred bidder had not successfully submitted a viable business plan; therefore the Board was considering options for the property. 

 

Barry Regeneration Partnership Scheme – At Cabinet on 13th July, 2015, £600k had been added to the Capital Programme for the Barry Regeneration Partnership Scheme. 

 

Cogan Hall Farm – Dinas Powys to Cosmeston Cycleway Link – There was a hold on this scheme until the next financial year due to the volume of work.

 

Lighting Scheme for Zig Zag Path – Only the design and tendering work for the lighting contract on the zig zag path would be undertaken in the current financial year due to the lead time for the manufacturing of the lighting bollards.  Tackling Poverty – Within the Tackling Poverty budget there was £10k allocated for monitoring and evaluation of the scheme although Welsh Government had not yet advised of the format this would take.

 

High Street, Broad Street Traffic Management – The scheme would not achieve full spend during 2015/16 due to the need for further consultation prior to the traffic regulation orders being prepared.  Marketing and Disposal of the Innovation Quarter – The Marketing was complete and negotiations were ongoing with the promoter. 

 

Members took the opportunity to thank the Officer for the information provided, in respect of the detail requested in regard to the original revenue budget referred to in the table, in paragraph 3 of the report.

 

Following discussions regarding the Jenner Park and Lighting scheme for the Zig Zag path ( paragraphs 18 and 22 of the report )  it was requested that further details on the schemes be forwarded to all Members of the Committee by e-mail with particular reference to timescales. 

 

In response to a query regarding the progress in relation to double shifting green waste and consultation on car parking, the Committee was advised that the Waste Management department was currently undergoing a review which was being undertaken by WRAP consultancy, who had been appointed by Welsh Government.  The report was expected towards the end of March and once the details of that report were known, the department could then plan accordingly.  With regard to the question on car parking consultation Members were advised that the Director had held meetings with traders in Cowbridge and Barry, although aware of these meetings a Member commented that they thought that further consultation on a wider basis was being undertaken.  The Accountant agreed to refer the request to the Director in order that a fuller response could be provided by e-mail to all Members of the Committee. 

 

In referring to the additional saving in this financial year as a result of the Prosiect Gwyrdd project, a Member raised continuing concern with the inability to achieve the savings that had been agreed within the department and that the considerable savings received from Prosiect Gwyrdd as a result of the implementation of the contract would be a one off.  They were concerned for the future budget position should the required savings anticipated not be realised.  Although the Principal Accountant advised that the proposed savings was a high priority for the department, with regular discussions taking place, Members wished that their concerns be forwarded to the Director. It was also subsequently considered that it would be beneficial for the relevant officers to be present at the next meeting of the Committee to address the concerns of the Committee and, in particular, to identify where future services were going to be provided from.

 

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration speaking with the permission of the Committee, referred to the successful project in relation to Employment Training Service as referred to in paragraph 9 and that approximately 800 people had been helped into employment as a result of the project.

 

In referring to the work of the Countryside division the Cabinet Member stated that the working practices of the team had been reprofiled.  Income had been higher than anticipated and further work was being explored in relation to commercial ventures in country parks, with it also being noted that the Chairman had already requested a report to a future meeting of the committee on such matters. 

 

The Cabinet Member referred also to the recent award ceremony that had been held in respect of Building Excellence Awards and the amazing range of high quality projects that were currently ongoing. 

 

Members of the Committee thanked the Cabinet Member for the information, stating that in their view the good work of the Council was not highlighted often enough, with the Vice-Chairman requesting that the Committee’s congratulations be also conveyed to the officers and staff involved. 


Having considered the report, it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the information as requested above be e-mailed to all Members of the Committee.

 

(2)       T H A T the relevant officers be requested to attend a meeting of the Committee to advise on progress in relation to savings.

 

(3)       T H A T the Committee’s congratulations to officers and their staff be conveyed as highlighted above.

 

(4)       T H A T the revenue and capital monitoring report be noted.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To apprise Members.

 

(2)       In order that further discussion and detail can be provided.

 

(3)       In order that the Committee’s appreciation can be conveyed.

 

(4)       In order that Members are aware of the position with regard to the 2015/16 revenue and capital monitoring.

 

           

814     ADOPTION OF THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN LOCAL TRANSPORT PLAN ANNUAL PROGRESS REPORT (DEH) –

 

As part of its work programme the Committee had requested a progress update on the implementation of the Local Transport Plan (LTP) with Appendix A to the report providing detailed progress that had been made on the schemes within the Plan.  A further copy of Appendix A was tabled at the meeting which was colour coded in order to easily highlight the plans that were complete or currently on site, the works that were progressing for funding, planning stage or on track and where no or minimal progress to date had been made.  Route maps relating to Policy SP7 Transportation and Policy MG16 Transport Proposals were also tabled at the meeting and available on screen for Committee’s information. 

 

The Principal Transport and Road Safety Officer, in presenting the report, advised that the Council had adopted the Vale of Glamorgan LTP on 22nd July, 2015 and it was a 15 year plan to 2030.  The Plan had been made publicly available bilingually and the Council needed to deliver the schemes within the Plan by 2030.  It was noted that all schemes delivered within the Plan were either delivered through the Transport Grant, Section 106 finance or S278 Highways works as part of new development, capital funding, European funding or any other grants that became available either through the public or private sectors.  It was further noted that when delivering transport schemes, the relevant Highways, Transport and Education Act measures and guidelines needed to be complied with and that there was a duty on Local Authorities to comply with the current Regional Transport Planning (Wales) 2006 Act and Local Transport Authorities legislation. 

 

The Principal Officer then proceeded to detail the progress to date, identifying the schemes that could be delivered in the next five years or were already being prepared for delivery within the next five years and the schemes that had been identified to be delivered within the Plan period to 2030.

 

Scheme Name

(for   delivery in the next five years)

Progress update as at   December 2015 and as outlined at the meeting

         
   

National Cycle Network Route 88 and associated local, urban and rural connections to include new future identified Active Travel routes.

   

*Ongoing   improvements for lifetime of Plan.

 

*Wenvoe,   BDLR to Culverhouse Cross route delivered.    Funded by S106 and SRIC Grant

 

*Culverhouse   Cross to Weycock Cross completed by end of 15/16. 

 

*Considering   ways of resolving land issues at McDonalds to Dinas Powys and Ash Path.  Internal Capital fund and feasibility money   but will need to apply for LTF Grant for delivery.

 

*Reconsidering   feasibility at McDonalds to Dinas Powys.   

 

*Barry   Island link being built and Millenium Way as part of developments.  Internal Capital funding.

 

*Feasibility   being done around Merrie Harrier, to Cogan spur, Penarth Headland link to   Cardiff route to include Llandough Hospital.    S106 funding.

 

*Bids to be resubmitted for Llantwit Major, Dinas Powys   to Cosmeston and Weycock Cross to Airport for funding next year.

A4050

Culverhouse Cross to Cardiff Airport Element 1 Barry Docks Link Road to Garden Centre, Wenvoe

Done   2015/16

Funded by S106 and SRIC Grant.

A4050

Culverhouse Cross to Cardiff Airport Element 2: A4050 Port Road to Cardiff Airport

Resubmit for funding next   financial year.

Barry Waterfront to Dinas Powys Cycle Route

Feasibility to be   reconsidered and checks with legal to consider land process and get potential   timescales.

A4050

Culverhouse Cross to Cardiff Airport Bus Priority

 

£2m   of works being implemented this year split into three phases.

Funded by Metro Grant.

Barry Island Link Road

Being   delivered as part of development.  Road   open by Easter 2016 and Cosy Corner by Summer. 

 

Barry Island Causeway cycle route being implemented   now, completion by March 2016.

Gileston – Old Mill B4265

Complete.  Awaiting bridge adoption by Welsh Water.

Improvements to the A4226 between   Waycock Cross, Barry and Sycamore Cross, A48 (Five Mile Lane)

Works   commence early 2017 – potential 15 month programme.

Funded by Welsh Government.

Cross Common Road junction improvements

Planning application   received and currently to be determined.    Potential to be resolved next year.

North of A48, Bonvilston Road Improvements

No consent yet.  Improvements to be identified and agreed,   although ‘in talks’ with developer.

Link Road between A48 and Llantwit   Major Road, Cowbridge

Planning application   awaiting determination.  Route   identified and currently being processed.

Localised Road Improvement Actions

*Some minor improvement,   signing and lining done, including Cardiff Road to Dinas Powys and park.

 

Feasibility to be carried out using S106. Some areas included within   Metro capital study completed.  Awaiting   funds for traffic modelling.

 

►Being implemented   now.

Safe Routes in Communities (SRIC)

*Port   Road, Wenvoe to BDLR done this year.    Funded by S106 and SRIC Grant

*Llantwit and Dinas Powys   Murch to be submitted for next year.

Road Safety highway engineering schemes

Schemes   being considered on a route analysis corridor basis due to small numbers with   accident data.

Road Safety Education, Training and Publicity

Four   schemes prioritised by Welsh Government:    Kerbcraft, cycling, young drivers, motorbikes.

Funded by Road Safety Grant.

Service 321 – Llantwit Major to Cowbridge to Talbot Green

Some tweaks to enable   sustainability of route being proposed.

Greenlinks Community Transport (extra vehicle(s))

Presentation made to   Scrutiny Committee to outline progress made at its meeting on 5th   January 2016 .

Welsh Government   Pilot Project   – Integrated Transport provision within the authority

St.   Athan –

Complete and finished.

Service 303/304 – Bridgend to Llantwit   to Rhoose to Cardiff

Came back out due to road   congestion through Llandough in September.    Hope to go back in April.

Moving traffic offences powers

Initial meeting with   company that set up Cardiff.    Discussions with Police saying no drain on their resource at   moment.  Need to consider business case   but early indications show that business case is currently weak.

 

It was noted that Bus priority could include any of a number of interventions including, bus lanes, bus stop upgrades, public transport information, junction improvements that improve the reliability of bus services, or any intervention that adds benefit to the bus passenger experience.  Any intervention would also need to consider the negative impacts on congestion against the benefits for public transport.  In addition, to mitigate the impact of any development on the highway network, highway improvement works in the form of corridor improvement schemes would be required as part of the LDP.  Whilst the Electrification of the VOG Line was not within the Council’s gift, it was seen as a key priority for the Council to achieve its aspirations to a sustainable transport network.

 

For schemes for delivery up to 2030 the following progress was provided:

 

Scheme Name

(for   delivery within Plan period to 2030)

Update as at December   2015

Bus Park and Ride at Cosmeston

No progress on this currently, but medium to long   term.

A48 Culverhouse Cross to Bridgend

Works progressing for   funding / planning stage / on track.

Eglwys Brewis Road in conjunction with the proposed Northern Access Road, St. Athan Enterprise Zone

No / minimal progress to   date.

A48 Culverhouse Cross to Bridgend via Cowbridge

No / minimal progress to   date.

Northern Access Road (St. Athan Enterprise Zone)

No / minimal progress to   date.

Barry Dock Station Bus Interchange

No / minimal progress to   date.

 

During consideration of the progress update, a number of queries were raised by Members, with the Chairman highlighting that, as a result of the work of the Traffic Management Task and Finish review Group, a number of the issues outlined in that document had and were being considered in relation to the LTP, with particular regard to the Barry Waterfront and Dinas Powys cycle route.  The Officer advised that there were however, significant land issues with landowners that needed to be resolved.  It had and continued to be a very popular requested route with the Chairman advising that the Task and Finish Group Members had been informed that a considerable number of Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) would be required which, at that time, made the situation unfeasible.  However, the Officer stated that she was pleased to report that the feasibility of the scheme was now to be reconsidered with enquiries being made with the Legal Department to consider the necessary process in relation to land issues and potential timescales.

 

A number of Members queried the development of some cycle routes as opposed to others which they considered to be less busy, with the Officer advising that also in cycle terms Welsh Government had amended the criteria to include land issues.  This change provided the Council with the opportunity to now be able to apply for schemes as the change to the grant criteria provided that local transport fund money can now be allocated for the acquisition of land as long as the Council was at the stage that landowners were willing to sell.  Although this was considered a difficult option by Members for officers to work within as land issues could be significant, Members were pleased with the progress that was being made to date.  The Cabinet Member, with permission to speak, confirmed that landowner issues were difficult to unravel as in relation to the Barry Waterfront to Dinas Powys cycle route considerable landowner issues had been evident and on many occasions the Department had not received any responses, therefore making the Council limited in its options. 

 

Members subsequently requested that in relation to the Barry Waterfront to Dinas Powys cycle route, as much information as possible on progress be forwarded to Members via the Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer.

 

Following a request regarding a cycle route from Porthkerry Park, Cwm Kiddy to Cardiff Airport, the Principal Officer stated that this route had not yet been considered as the Department was currently looking at strategic corridors.  

The Principal Officer advised that in her view the gradient was also too steep and that although it could be potentially looked at in the future, due to the number of other demands and requests it was not considered appropriate at this moment in time.

 

Members in referring to progress in respect of the Barry Island link road were advised by the Cabinet Member that the Council had not been informed as to when the developer would complete the work, although she could report that grant monies had been requested to be drawn down.  She was however, aware that the road as far as the car park was to be completed by the Easter break and that there had been drainage issues in relation to the site at Cosy Corner which had complicated matters.

 

The Committee subsequently requested that an update report on progress be incorporated into the Beach Huts report which was due to be reported to the Committee under  the Committee’s work programme and that this report be provided  before the summer recess.

 

In referring road safety highway schemes, Members were informed that Welsh Government had changed the criteria to include consultation with Active Travel and young people and that the schemes were to be scored against that criteria.

 

In referring to enforcement of bus lanes, the officer stated that Traffic Orders would need to be applied for and that the Council had no powers to enforce at these locations as it was a role for the Police, and that all options would be considered.

 

Following a request from the Chairman for an update in relation to the Task and Finish review suggestion for a cycle route at Gilbert Lane to be explored the officer advised the Committee that an assessment of the site had been made and that access to the site particularly around the roundabout by Lidl was considered to be a hazardous route for schools.  It was also considered unsafe due to the fact that no visibility was available to the left at Port Road and in respect of the central reservation.  The officer therefore stated that as a result this could not be promoted as a walking and cycle route unless the roundabout issue was addressed which would be a costly exercise.   The route was also not considered to be a priority as there had been no demand for the route, due to its isolated nature, the fact that it had a steep gradient and the fact that Active Travel plans had to cater for the masses, cost and potential social issues it was for those reasons that she would not recommend for the route to be pursued. 

 

In conclusion a Member stated that they were delighted with the progress that was being made in relation to the Transport Plan and for the detailed comprehensive progress update which was echoed by the Committee. 

 

Having therefore fully considered the report, it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the progress made on the Local Transport Plan be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the Committee continues to receive regular updates on the Local Transport Plan on at least an annual basis.

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1&2)  To apprise Members.

  

 

815     COASTAL MONITORING UPDATE, VALE OF GLAMORGAN COASTLINE (DEH) –

 

The Principal Engineer for Flood and Coastal Risk Management commenced by advising that the Council now had in-house capability to undertake coastal surveys, including laser scanning and GPS surveys, enabling the targeted collection of data at key locations and at short notice.  Natural Resources Wales (NRW) was also currently procuring a Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) flight of the coastline which could be potentially impacted by the proposed tidal lagoon schemes in the Severn estuary.  A flight was due for completion in Spring 2016 and following consultation with Council officers, NRW were endeavouring to extend the coverage along the entire Vale coastline.  The data set would provide a comprehensive baseline against which to compare future changes in the coastline.  Different monitoring techniques were available to suit the different beach morphologies and site specific monitoring would be required to establish the status of the vulnerability of beaches to future changes in key areas. The technical report was to be produced identifying these areas and the proposed monitoring regime in conjunction with the Wales Coastal Monitoring Centre (WCMC) or successor organisation once a resolution was reached by Welsh Government on delivery of the function in Wales.  In the interim, the Swansea and Carmarthen Bay Coastal Engineering Group, currently chaired by the Vale of Glamorgan Council, would continue to co-ordinate strategic coastal monitoring for the region.  The Flood and Coast Risk Management Team would also continue to undertake additional monitoring of key locations around the Vale coastline to inform ongoing or proposed schemes. 

 

Following the severe winter storms earlier in the year in 2014, a terrestrial laser scan topographic survey of Whitmore and Jacksons Bays had been undertaken on behalf of the Council.  Further work had been undertaken in Spring 2015 and initial assessment of the results indicated that beach levels had recovered since the 2013/14 winter storms.  A further survey was planned to be undertaken in Spring 2016 to enable further assessment of the movement in beach levels and general volume of material present in Whitmore Bay, as established via profile measurements collected in January 2016 were currently noted as low on the upper beach, which was as would be expected during winter months.  Regular monitoring of key profiles would be undertaken over the coming months to establish the range of normal beach level variations.  Additional coastal surveys had also been undertaken at Cwm Colhuw, Penarth, Rhoose Point and Swanbridge in 2015.  These surveys, it was noted, would provide a baseline against which to assess the future behaviour of beach levels and improve the Council’s understanding of the sediment dynamics in the areas.  The Principal Engineer advised that the surveys would also capture data on the coastal defences and adjacent cliffs to inform the ongoing management of erosion and wave overtopping at these key sites. 

 

Members were also advised that further monitoring of the cliffs around Penarth headland and Rhoose Point were planned for Spring 2016 and Council officers were working to establish a wave and water level gauge at Penarth Pier to support the development of coastal risk management schemes in the area and to act as a publicly available resource for those living, working or enjoying the Vale coastline. 

 

A Member referred to the coastal and engineering groups that were in place whilst he was a Cabinet Member and asked whether these were still taking place.  The Officer advised that regular meetings were being undertaken and that Welsh Government was also considering the role the groups played in taking forward issues in respect of coastal erosion in order to ensure that consistent messages are being relayed where necessary.  Although there was currently not a significant amount of Member involvement at present the Officer was keen to pursue further involvement and would therefore keep Members updated on progress. 

 

In referring to Penarth Headland Link and proposed tidal lagoons, the Officer was asked whether he considered that sufficient data would be available to assess any potential impacts in these areas.  The Officer advised that NRW were assessing the potential impact of such schemes and reviewing submissions regarding wider environmental impacts, including the consideration of future monitoring requirements to detect any changes.  The Officer discussed the various techniques available for monitoring the coastline and sediment movements, whilst noting that funding for such initiatives may not always be justified at public expense.  He advised that his main focus was in relation to flood and coastal erosion on the Vale’s coastline with other organisations such as NRW considering the wider implications in the wider estuary, with opportunities to involve local universities in delivering more innovative monitoring. 

 

In response to a query as to the stability of cliffs and the recent fatality that had taken place at Llantwit Major, Members were informed that ongoing monitoring would include visual inspections and laser scanning, collecting millions of points to record the position of the cliffs, although it was virtually impossible to identify individual rockfalls before they fell.  Further geological assessments may be required in the future in relation to potential works on the Penarth frontage part of submission currently being considered by Welsh Government as part of the Coastal Risk Management Programme.  It was important that assessments were undertaken in order to understand what would be required in the future, particularly given the uncertainties relating to the impact of sea level rise on the erosion and stability of the cliffs.  The Officer advised that data was essential to provide a sound evidence base for how the Council planned for the future and that baseline assessments were needed to assist such management.

 

The Principal Officer then advised on the work that the Council undertakes in order to ensure the safety of residents, being aware that there was always a risk with cliffs, he stated that there were a number of signs in place around the coast, and that a review of such signage had been undertaken as a result of the accident at Cwm Colhuw.  Visual assessments were also undertaken on a regular basis around the coastline in high risk areas, which would be supplemented by scanning in the future.   The Department was also working in partnership with Public Rights of Way colleagues to help identify areas where the coastal path was at higher risk of undercutting and cliff falls.  Although it was considered a balancing act, work was being undertaken on a regular basis to manage the safety of residents and walkers alike.  Although it was impossible to place signs at every area along the beach Members were informed that signs were erected at key points.  Further work was also planned to raise public awareness of the dangers of falling cliffs for example via education in schools, leaflets, etc.

 

It was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

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

 

(2)       T H A T further update reports on coastal monitoring be presented to the Scrutiny Committee on an annual basis.

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1&2)  To keep Members apprised of the current situation regarding coastal monitoring along the Vale coastline.

 

 

816     ANNOUNCEMENT –

 

At the end of the meeting the Chairman asked the Members of the Leisure Centre Visits Group to remain in order that dates for future visits could be agreed. It being noted that Councillor Mrs. P. Drake was unable to undertake visits over the next few months, Councillor Cox, as reserve Member, agreed to join Councillors Bennett and A. Moore.

 

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