Minutes of a meeting held on 18th April, 2012.


Present:  Councillor Mrs. M.R. Wilkinson (Chairman); Councillor J.C. Bird (Vice-Chairman); Councillors Ms. B.E. Brooks, S.C. Egan, J.W. Thomas, R.P. Thomas, A.C. Williams, E.T. Williams and Ms M. Wright.





These were received from Councillor R.J. Bertin and Mrs. G. Amos and J. Farrington (Tenant Panel / Working Group); and Mrs. W. Davies (Vale Housing Federation).



1111   MINUTES -


RECOMMENDED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 14th March, 2012 be approved as a correct record.





No declarations were received.





The above matter had been considered by the Cabinet at its meeting held on 28th Match, 2012 and subsequently referred to the Council’s scrutiny committees for comment.


Currently, the Corporate Plan included a mixture of improvement objectives (defined as those areas where improvements were needed because of existing deficiencies) and other Council priorities.  The Council’s improvement objectives needed to focus specifically on those areas where there was a need for improvement.  Whilst Corporate Plan objectives would not be amended for 2012/13, a full review of the Corporate Plan 2010/14 was planned during 2012 post the Local Government elections in May.  As an interim measure to address the issues raised by the Auditor General in his Annual Improvement Report, an analysis of the Corporate Plan had been undertaken to identify the Council’s key corporate improvement objectives for 2012/13 along with relevant actions and measures which contributed towards their achievement.  Eight Improvement Objectives were consequently proposed for 2012/13 following the analysis of the Corporate Plan and a review of service performance to date, corporate risks and findings from the recent Wales Audit Office reviews / improvement studies and other regulators’ inspections.  The Key Corporate Improvement Objectives for 2012/13 together with the proposed Improvement Objectives for 2012/13 were appended to the report.  It was noted that the 2012/13 Improvement Plan Part 1 would need to be amended to reflect the above. 


Revised Corporate Improvement Objectives for 2012/13 would be submitted to Council for approval.


The Scrutiny Committee also gave consideration to a further reference received from the Cabinet meeting held earlier in the day in respect of the subject matter under consideration. The Cabinet had resolved to refer the reference it had received from the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) meeting held on 16th April, 2012 regarding Key Corporate Improvement Objective 2, (a copy of which was attached to the Cabinet reference) to this Scrutiny Committee for consideration. The reason for doing so was that the above Key Corporate Improvement Objective “falls under the responsibility of the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection)”.


Having regard to the contents of the report and the tabled supplementary reference from the Cabinet it was


RECOMMENDED – T H A T the Key Corporate Improvement Objectives for 2012/13 as set out in Appendices 1 and 2 to the report be supported in principle, subject to the following recommended amendments and that these be referred to the Council meeting on 25th April, 2012 for consideration.


(i)          T H A T the Key Corporate Improvement Objective No. 2 description for 2012/13 be amended from “To reduce the time taken to deliver Disabled Facility Grants to children and young people and adults to achieve the Welsh average performance of 2011/12.” to “To reduce the time taken to deliver Disabled Facility Grants to children and young people and to adults to achieve the Welsh average performance of 2010/11 as a minimum.”


(ii)         T H A T the Key Corporate Improvement Objective No. 2 target for 2012/13 in respect of :


(a)        “The average number of calendar days taken to deliver Disabled Facility Grants” be corrected from “WA 387 days in 11/12” to “WA 387 days in 10/11”.


(b)        “The average number of calendar days taken to deliver Disabled Facility Grants for Children and Young People” be corrected from “WA 478 days in 11/12” to “WA 478 days in 10/11”.


(iii)        T H A T the Key Corporate Improvement Objective No. 5 measure progress indicator description be amended from “Percentage of housing stock where WHQS works have been carried out” to “Percentage of housing stock where work that meets the WHQS have been competed in full”.


Reason for recommendations


To ensure that the proposed amendments are considered prior to the Objectives being incorporated into the Part 1 Improvement Plan 2012/13.





The Operational Manager (Policy and Corporate Communications) referred to the Draft Service Plan as contained within the papers.  Referring to related issues she alluded to the previous Central Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review in 2010 which had resulted in a 23% reduction in Youth Justice Board funding in real terms as well as a reduction in Council allocated budget in line with other budgets across the Local Authority.  Consequently, the Youth Offending Service reviewed the services delivered and made the decision to prioritise those services provided direct one to one services to children, young people and their families.  This had led to the removal of one post, the reduction of a further two posts part time and a change to the way of working with children and young people introducing structured offending behaviour programmes in improved work settings.


The above spending review had also outlined plans for the future of the whole Criminal Justice System included Youth Justice.  Accordingly, the Draft Service Plan had been prepared in the acknowledgement of proposals outlined in the Justice Green Paper – Breaking the Cycle.  This Green Paper would incorporate objectives to revise the funding formula of Youth Offending Services, introduce a single Youth Remand, replacing both custodial and court ordered secure remands and devolving responsibility for the costs of remands to Local Authorities; and applying a payment by result methodology to future Youth Justice Board grant funding.  The implications of the above Green Paper had been reflected within the Draft Service Plan, however the future of the Youth Justice Board and its role was expected to be decided at some stage in the future.  The Operational Manager indicated that the Draft Service Plan as submitted would oversee the Youth Offending Service through to the next round of inspections to be undertaken by the Youth Justice Board. 


Having regard to the above and to the contents of the report, it was


RECOMMENDED – T H A T the Draft Service Plan in respect of the Youth Offending Service for the period 2012/13 be accepted.


Reason for recommendation


In acknowledgement of monitoring requirements.





The report detailed progress in respect of uncompleted recommendations made by the Scrutiny Committee in relation the first, third and fourth quarters of 2011/12, details of which were set out in Appendices C, D and E to the report; the financial year 2009/10 (Appendix A) and the financial year 2010/11 (Appendix B).




(1)       T H A T the following actions detailed below be accepted as completed:


10 March 2010

Min. No. 997 - Scrutiny Forward Work Programme 2010/11 (DLPPHS) – Recommended

(3)   That the resourcing of Scrutiny officers’ support for the Committee be kept under review.



This issue is a standing item on agendas for the Scrutiny Committee Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen Group.  As such, it does not need to continue to appear under Scrutiny decision tracking.


26 May 2010

Min. No 56 - Progress Update on the Refurbishment of Cadoxton House (DLPPHS) – Recommended

(2)   That officers consider the feasibility of organising an open day event for the local community once the new facility opened.



Members of the Council visited the facility on 14th March 2012.


01 December 2011

Min. No. 647 - Initial Housing Revenue Account Budget Proposals 2012/2013 And Revised Budget 2011/2012 (DLPPHS) – Recommended

(3)   That the suggested increase for rent and other services be subject to a further report to this Scrutiny Committee once information became available from the WG.




Proposed rent increases were subject of a report to Council on 7th March 2012 as part of setting the budget.


19 January 2012

Min. No. 803 - Target Hardening to the Homes of Victims of Domestic Abuse (REF) – Recommended

(1)   That the Head of Housing Services submit a further report to the Committee identifying best practice and suitable case studies where the initiative had been operated in other parts of the UK.

(2)   That, on completion of the pilot scheme, a further report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee on the success of the initiative.



(1&2) Added to work programme schedule.


Min. No. 805 - Anti Social Behaviour DVD (DLPPHS) – Recommended

(2)   That a progress report be submitted on the development and impact the DVD had in relation to reducing anti social behaviour.



Added to work programme schedule.


14 March 2012

Min. No. 982 - Draft Alcohol Misuse Strategy Consultation (REF) – Recommended

(2)   That the Principal Community Safety Officer circulate details of the Young Persons Consultation Survey including Ward specific information to all Members of the Council.



All Council Members were notified of Ward specific information by e-mail on 16th April 2012.


Min. No. 983 - Police and Crime Commissioners (DLPPHS) – Recommended

(2)   That a progress report be submitted following the induction of the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales in November 2012.



Added to work programme schedule.


Min. No. 984 - Establishment of Police and Crime Panels (DLPPHS) – Recommended

(2)   That a further report be submitted to a future meeting regarding arrangements for the operation of the Police and Crime Panel.

(3)   That Cabinet be requested to approve offering no objection to the WLGA or, indeed, another local authority becoming the “host” authority.



(2)   Added to work programme schedule.



(3)   Cabinet, on 28th March 2012, accepted the recommendations of Scrutiny Committee (Min. No. C1672 refers).


Min. No. 986 - Tenant Participation Strategy 2012/15 (REF) – Recommended

(3)   That the Scrutiny Committee receive six monthly progress reports monitoring the Public Sector Housing Performance against the Action Plan.

(4)   That the Head of Housing Services submit a further report on details of proposed targets to be included within the above Action Plan.



(3&4) Added to work programme schedule.


Min. No. 988 - Draft Service Plans 2012/13 - Building Services (DFICTP) – Recommended

(1)   That the Draft Service Plan in respect of Building Services for the period 2012/13 be accepted and the Committee receive a presentation on the SMS initiative to a future meeting.



Added to work programme schedule.



(2)       T H A T progress against the remaining recommendations identified as ongoing as detailed in the report be noted.


Reason for recommendations


(1&2)  To apprise Members of progress with Scrutiny Committee recommendations.



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