Minutes of a meeting held on 5th December, 2011.


Present:  Councillor Mrs. K.A. Kemp (Chairman); Councillor Mrs. S.I. Sharpe (Vice-Chairman); Councillors Mrs. M.E.J. Birch, C.P.J. Elmore, J.F. Fraser, E. Hacker, C.L. Osborne, J.W. Thomas, S.T. Wiliam and Miss. S.J.C. Williams.


Co-opted Members: Mr. P Lewis (Parent Governor - Secondary Sector).


Non-voting Observers: Mr. T. Cox (Secondary Sector) and Mr. D. Treharne (Welsh Medium Education).


Also present: Councillor A.D. Hampton (Cabinet Member) and Councillor N. Moore.





These were received from Councillor F.T. Johnson and Mr. P. Burke (Roman Catholic Church).



653     MINUTES -


RECOMMENDED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 7th November, 2011 be approved as a correct record subject to Mr. D. Treharne being added to the names of individuals present.





No declarations were received.





RECOMMENDED - T H A T the references from the meeting of Cabinet on 16th November 2011 in respect of the above matters be noted and be considered jointly with agenda item numbers 6 and 7 in the agenda.


Reason for recommendation


In order to inform Cabinet of the comments of the Scrutiny Committee before making a final proposal on the budget.





Set out at Appendix A to the report were full details of the progress on the Capital Programme as at 30th September 2011


The Welsh Government had announced the provisional 2012/13 General Capital Funding on 18th November 2011.  The 2012/13 capital settlement represented a 6.8% cut in funding over the previous year’s allocation.  This had been reflected in Appendix B which also included a forecasted cut for 2012/13 of a further 11.5% with this figure also used year on year to 2016/17.   


In addition to funding from the WG, the Council would finance part of the Capital Programme from its own resources, e.g. Capital Receipts and Reserves.  Set out in Appendix B was the proposed 2012/13 Capital Programme which included allocations already approved by the Council. 


Analysis of Net Funding Required for the Indicative 2012/13 Capital Programme


GENERAL FUND                                                                £’000               £’000

Welsh Assembly Government Resources 

Supported Borrowing                                                           3,589

General Capital Grant                                                          2,090


Council Resources

Capital Receipts                                                                   1,021

Reserves / Leasing                                                               3,842


Net Capital Resources                                                                              10,542


With regard to Capital Bids for 2012/13 it was noted that due to the anticipated reduction in future capital funding and in order to review historic priorities, all those budgets previously included in the indicative future Capital Programme should be withdrawn, other than those schemes which would be contractually committed by the end of March 2012.  Officers had been asked to re-bid for those sums that they still regarded as a high priority as part of the 2012/13 bidding round.  It was noted that the number of bids submitted was far below previous years.  Bids had also been evaluated in accordance with sustainable development criteria.


The Budget Working Group had prioritised bids based upon the recommendations of the Corporate Asset Management Group (CAMG).  The method of prioritisation used in the Council’s Capital Investment Strategy was set out in the report for information. 


As in the case of the consideration of the Initial Revenue Budget Proposals, similar arrangements were in place for the Scrutiny Committees to pass their comments to the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) who would, on behalf of all the Council’s Scrutiny Committees formally respond to Cabinet by no later than 20th December 2011.  However, Scrutiny Committees were being asked to consider the indicative Capital Proposals and the priority given to new bids in the light of extremely limited resources that were available.  The total net capital expenditure of the proposed programme for the whole of the Council over five years was £105m. 


Included in Appendix B was the sum of £2.402m for the second phase of the Barry Welsh Medium Schools accommodation at Ysgol Nant Talwg.  Phase 2 Llantwit Major Welsh Medium proposals were currently being reviewed and were not included in Appendix B to the report.


Managers would be asked to revisit the schemes listed in Appendix B and to confirm final cost and spend profiles prior to the final proposals being considered by Cabinet by no later than 29th February, 2012.  Cabinet’s final Capital Programme proposals would be considered by no later than 7th March, 2012.


If the schemes set out in Appendix B to the report were approved, the effect on General Fund useable capital receipts would be shown as detailed in the below table:


General Fund Capital Receipts


Anticipated Balance as at 1st April 2012




Anticipated Requirements – 2012/13


Anticipated Receipts – 2012/13


Balance as at 31st March 2013




Anticipated Requirements – 2013/14


Anticipated Receipts – 2013/14


Balance as at 31st March 2014




Anticipated Requirements – 2014/15


Anticipated Receipts – 2014/15


Balance as at 31st March 2015




Anticipated Requirements – 2015/16


Anticipated Receipts – 2015/16


Balance as at 31st March 2016




Anticipated Requirements – 2016/17


Anticipated Receipts – 2016/17


Balance as at 31st March 2017



A Project Fund existed to finance capital and revenue projects.  The table below indicated the projected position of the fund. 


Project Fund Balance


Anticipated Balance as at 1st April 2012




Anticipated Requirements – 2012/13


Anticipated Receipts – 2012/13




Balance as at 31st March 2013




Anticipated Requirements – 2013/14


Anticipated Receipts – 2013/14




Balance as at 31st March 2014




Anticipated Requirements – 2014/15


Anticipated Receipts – 2014/15




Balance as at 31st March 2015




Anticipated Requirements – 2015/16


Anticipated Receipts – 2015/16




Balance as at 31st March 2016




Anticipated Requirements – 2016/17


Anticipated Receipts – 2016/17




Balance as at 31st March 2017



The above balances needed to be seen in the context of significant pressures for spending which were not yet included in the Capital Programme.  These pressures included the backlog of school, highways and buildings improvements. 


Brief discussion touched upon Albert Road Primary School (unsuccessful bid) following a question raised by Councillor Miss. S.J.C. Williams regarding the reason as to why the scheme had not been prioritised.  The Head of Strategic Planning and Performance referred to the prioritisation criteria contained in the report used by the Corporate Asset Management Group to rank bids.  Only bids linked to health and safety (Category A) had been included in the approved programme.  However, she indicated that the scheme would be put forward in the following year for consideration and agreed to provide a response to Councillor Miss. S.J.C. Williams as to why the scheme had not been included following the meeting.


The Head of Strategic Planning and Performance, in response to a question from Councillor Elmore, clarified arrangements in relation to the Council’s existing policy of managing asbestos within school buildings. 


Latterly, the Head of Service informed the Committee that the Minister for Education had announced earlier in the day the award of grant funding for Band A schemes under the 21st Century Schools Programme.  Schemes submitted by the Council under the above had received in principle approval.  The next step would require the Council to submit individual business cases for each scheme.  Approved bids would receive 50% grant funding.




(1)       T H A T the amended 2011/12 Capital Programme for the period 30th September 2011 be noted.


(2)       T H A T the proposed Capital Programme for 2012/13 as detailed in Appendix B be endorsed.


Reason for recommendations


(1&2)  In acknowledgement of the budget proposals and to allow the matter to be further considered.





The Council was required, under statute, to fix the level of Council Tax for 2012/13 by 11th March 2012 and in order to do so would have to agree a balanced Revenue Budget by the same date.  To be in a position to meet the statutory deadlines and requirements for consultation as set out within the Council’s Constitution, much of the work on quantifying the resource requirements of individual services needed to be carried out before the final RSG settlement was notified to the Council.  The Council’s Standard Spending Assessment (SSA) represented the Welsh Government’s (WG) view of the relative resources required to provide a standard level of service in each local authority in Wales and its primary use was to allocate Revenue Support Grant (RSG) to these authorities.  For 2012/13 the Council’s provisional Standard Spending Assessment was £204.895m.  


The Council had also been provisionally advised by the WG of its 2012/13 allocation in relation to RSG (£114.128m) and NNDR (£36.744m).  Together, these sums constituted the Council’s Aggregate External Finance (AEF). 


The Council would also receive a sum provisionally set at £1.253m via the Outcome Agreement Grant (OAG) for 2012/13.  This grant was an unhypothecated grant (i.e. not earmarked for particular services).  It was noted that the Council was not necessarily guaranteed to receive the full amount of the OAG.  The amount for 2012/13 would be determined by a rating score of the Council’s performance in achieving its 2011/12 Outcome Agreement targets.


With regard to the revised budget for 2011/12, Appendix 1 to the report set out the necessary transfers to the original estimate for this period which were required to be made as follows (there was no overall effect on the net budget of the Council):


·                    Asset Rents, International Accounting Standard (IAS) 19, and Recharges etc. - these relate to accounting items and expenditure outside the control of Services. They reflect charges to Services for the use of capital assets, changes to inter service recharges, superannuation increases not required and adjustments in respect of pensions to comply with accounting standards.

·                    Transfers - to reflect mainly transfers of functions and responsibilities between services. These related to

-           transfer of £1.869m from the Education and Schools (Strategy and Performance) budget to the E&ER Directorate (Planning and Transportation) budget to ensure budgets more accurately reflect accountability and delivery responsibilities for Mainstream Transport

-           transfer of £204,000 from Catering budget to Education and Schools (Strategy and Performance) budget to simplify accounting arrangements; this budget is delegated to Secondary Schools to fund Catering provision

-           transfer of a post for £10,000 from Lifelong Learning to Education budget.


The following table compared the amended budget with the projected outturn for 2011/12 and took account of the necessary transfers to the original estimate for the same period as detailed in Appendix 1:














 (-) Adverse





Learning and Development




Education and Schools








Lifelong Learning 












Grand Total





Set out in the body of the report was the overall position of the Education and Schools budget which was projected to overspend by £62,000 by the end of the financial year.  The report detailed the reasons for the overspends, including overspends in relation to the Rates budget (£75,000), Private Provider Nursery Placements (£35,000).  These overspends had been offset by underspends against Non Delegated Schools Budgets and Value Added (£101,000 and £9,000 respectively).


Provision had been made within the budget for the annual cost of financing the School Investment Strategy of £600,000 which would be transferred to the School Investment Strategy Reserve.  Schools’ contributions to the Early Retirement / Voluntary Scheme (Education) was projecting to transfer £316,000 from Education Reserves and would be repaid by participating schools during 2012/13 and 2013/14.


Budgets relating to Lifelong Learning and Catering were both anticipated to outturn within budget.


The Budget Strategy for 2012/13 as in previous years required all Directors to make the following provisions:

  • Supplementary estimates would only increase the base budget if Council had given specific approval to this effect. Increases met by virement within a year would not be treated as committed growth.
  • Directors should find the cost of increments and staff changes from their base budget unless the relevant specific approval had been given for additional funding.
  • The effect of replacing grant from outside bodies that had discontinued would not be treated as committed growth. In addition, before any project or initiative that was to be met either wholly or partly by way of grant may proceed, the exit strategy must be approved.
  • Certain items of unavoidable committed growth would continue and these include the effect of interest changes and the financing cost of the Capital Programme, increases in taxes, increases in levies and precepts charged by outside bodies and changes to housing benefits net expenditure.
  • Services would be expected to identify and achieve recurrent efficiency and other savings, including (but not restricted to) those identified in this Medium Term Financial Plan.
  • It was envisaged that the costs of service development would need to be met from within the respective Directorates.

A summary of the overall base budget for 2012/13 was set out in Appendix 2 of the report and this had been arrived at by adjusting the 2011/12 budget for items such as inflation and unavoidable growth. 


Asset Rents, IAS 19 and Recharges related to accounting items and expenditure outside the control of the relevant Services.  These reflected charges to Services for the use of capital assets, changes to inter service recharges and adjustments in respect of pensions to comply with accounting standards.


In addition to the above matters, transfers and adjustments were required to the 2011/12 base budget relating to the following:

  • transfer of £1.869m from the Education and Schools (Strategy and Performance) budget to the E&ER Directorate (Planning and Transportation) budget 
  • transfer of £204,000 from Catering budget to Education and Schools (Strategy and Performance) budget
  • transfer of post from Lifelong Learning to Education £10,000
  • transfer of £12,000 from Education to Catering
  • to remove the estimated April 2011 pay award for employees earning less than £21,000.

Committed growth related to the following items:


Individual Schools Budget - £844,000 made up as follows:


Teachers Threshold


 Teachers Leadership


 Teaching Increments


 Non Teaching Increments




 Pay Award not required


 Superannuation increase not required


 Other Growth



The Medium Term Financial Plan included savings targets for Services for 2012/13 to 2014/15 as set out below:


Annual Efficiency Savings Targets












Learning & Development (excl. schools)







The savings of £1.04m. for 2012/13 as shown above were included in the estimates. The initial savings were approved by Council on 28th February 2011 (Minute 957).


A list of this Committee's 2012/13 cost pressures as identified by Services was attached at Appendix 3.  These were not shown in any order of priority.


Attached at Appendix 4 were the proposed 2014/15 savings shown for this Directorate.  More detail was required on these savings and their impact would be considered as part of the budget review following the elections in May 2012.


Appendix 5 detailed the Directorate’s reserves as at 31st March 2012.  Pressure on spending totalled £11.297m. for the Council as a whole.


The Scrutiny Committees were now being consulted on the proposals with any comments / recommendations being submitted to the Corporate Resources Scrutiny Committee as the lead Scrutiny Committee for dealing with both the Initial Revenue Budget Proposals and Initial Capital Revenue Budget Proposals.  The response of all the Scrutiny Committees must be made by no later than 20th December 2011.


It was noted that it was also proposed to consult on the Council’s initial budget proposals with the Local Service Board partners. 


In terms of the role of the Cabinet Budget Working Group, this Group would be holding a series of meetings with the relevant Cabinet Members and officers to consider the budget proposals.  Any recommendations from this Group would be submitted so that the Cabinet could make its final budget proposal by no later than 29th February 2012; before making its recommendation the Cabinet Budget Working Group would consider the comments made by all the Council’s Scrutiny Committees, including the results of the work undertaken by the Corporate Resources Budget Task and Finish Working Group and the Local Service Board.


The Cabinet’s final budget proposals would be considered by Council on 7th March 2012. 


Discussion ensued with the Committee raising a number of points in relation to expenditure and proposed savings in regard to the following matters with clarification provided by the relevant Head of Service:

  • Behaviour Support Team (Primary / Secondary)
  • Out of County Placements (Education funding element)
  • Progress in respect of balancing school budgets
  • How the Directorates proposed £257,000 savings would be realised
  • Collaborative opportunities linked to the South East Wales Consortia
  • The rationale for not increasing the Individual School Budget beyond the minimum increase required by WG of 1.58%
  • Recurring overspend relating to the Learning Support Assistants budget.

The Cabinet Member in acknowledging the points raised above, sought to reassure the Committee that the Council would continue to delegate 84% of the Education budget directly to Schools in the County which was highest level of delegated funding direct to schools in Wales. This was particularly relevant given the Council received £500 per pupil less in comparison to other local authorities in Wales and a further £500 per pupil less when compared to local authorities in England. Despite these differentials, schools had consistently delivered good examinations results on a ‘shoe string’ coupled with considerable achievements made in regard to delivering projects such as the new comprehensive school in Cowbridge and in the near future the Penarth Learning Community.


Having regard to the above and related issued it was




(1)       T H A T the amended budget for 2011/12 as set out in Appendix 1 to the report be noted.


(2)       T H A T the initial revenue budget proposals for 2012/13 be noted.


Reasons for recommendations


(1)       In acknowledgement of the Scrutiny Committee’s responsibility for monitoring the budget.


(2)       In order that the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) is informed of the comments of the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) prior to making a final proposal on the budget.


(N.B. Councillor N. Moore spoke on the above matter with the consent of the Committee)





The Welsh Public Library Standards had been previously introduced by WG in September 2001.  The Standards were reviewed and updated by the WG on a three year cycle.  The Annual Return submitted for 2010/11 as appended to the report represented the last of the Third Framework which operated from April 2008 to March 2011 and contained 14 Standards and 13 Performance Indicators. 


The Council achieved 10 out of the 14 Standards in the above period, partly achieved a further 2 Standards and did not achieve the remaining 2 Standards.  This compared to an average of 9 Standards achieved across Wales, however, the highest number achieved being 14 and the lowest 6. 


The 2 Standards which were not achieved related to Standard 5 - the total number of library items available for use amongst adults and children per 1000 population and Standard 11 - staffing levels and the percentage of staff holding a library and information services qualification. 


The 2 Standards which were partly achieved related to Standard 7 - time taken to replenish stock available for adults and for children and Standard 12 - which related to how the service achieved the stipulated minimum publicly accessible floor areas within its libraries. 


The Fourth Framework of Public Library Standards came into operation in April 2011 and would cover the period up to March 2014.  The summary of the Standards covered in the new Framework were set out in Appendix 4 to the report.  It was noted that the number of Standards in the Fourth Framework had been reduced from 14 to 9 with a narrower focus based on public feedback as to what constituted the essential core public library services.  The number of Performance Indicators that underpinned the Standards were also reduced from 13 to 8.  In addition, Performance Standards in a number of areas were also reduced e.g. the aggregate opening hours per 1000 population reduced from 136 hours to 120 hours and speed of supply of requested items reduced from a target of 67% to 64% within 7 days.  Based on the current information it was likely that the Council performance against the new Framework was likely to achieve 7 of the 9 Standards with the remaining 2 Standards being partly achieved.


In response to questions from the Chairman in regard to progress in delivering the 'E' Book service and 'Home Borrower Service' the Chief Librarian indicated that the 'E' Book service was a trial for a year which commenced in August 2011 and 14 library services across Wales were taking part.  The service was part funded by the Welsh Government via CyMAL.  'E' Books provided 24/7 access to local libraries where a library member could download or reserve up to 4 'E' books at a time.  'E' books could be downloaded onto personal computers or similar devices and once downloaded an 'E' book could be transferred to one of many different e-readers such as tablets and Smart phones.  Feedback to date from users had been positive and it was hoped that the initiative would be expanded to include more local authorities in Wales.


In regard to progress in seeking volunteers for 'Home Borrower Service', the Chief Librarian indicated that the service had been rolled out throughout the Vale of Glamorgan following the successful piloting of the initiative in the Llantwit Major area.  The service aimed to ensure that people who found difficulty in getting to a Council library still had access to books.  Volunteers would help by delivering books to people who had difficulty getting out and about.


Having regard to the above and related issues, it was




(1)       T H A T the Annual Return for 2010/11 as submitted to the Welsh Government be recommended to Cabinet for endorsement.


(2)       T H A T the current and anticipated performance of the Library and Information Service in relation to the Welsh Public Libraries Standards Framework be noted.


Reasons for recommendations


(1)       In order to comply with the requirement of the Welsh Government for formal approval of the Annual Return for 2010/11.


(2)       To apprise Members of progress.





From 2012 all Councils Welsh Education Schemes currently approved and monitored by the Welsh Language Board would become the responsibility of the Welsh Government (WG).  The Council's current scheme would cease in 2013 and would be replaced in 2012 by the above WESP.  The WESP would detail how the Council would aim to achieve the WG's outcomes and targets outlined in the Welsh Medium Education Strategy (WMES) 2010.  The WESP would also continue to form part of the Council's broader strategy for Welsh language and would contain an Action Plan for the development of Welsh education in the Vale of Glamorgan. 


The Welsh Medium in Education Strategy targets and outcomes would be largely delivered by actions detailed in the above Plan and funded by the Welsh in Education Grant.  The Council would also be required to include data relating to performance against the following targets within the WESP Action Plan namely:

  • more seven-year old children being taught through the medium of Welsh as a percentage of Year 2 cohort
  • more learners continuing to improve their language skills on transfer from primary school to secondary school
  • more learners studying for qualifications through the medium of Welsh
  • more learners aged 16 - 19 studying Welsh and subject through the medium of Welsh and
  • more learners with improved skills in Welsh.

It was noted that the resources required to deliver the Council's obligation under the WESP had been included in the current revenue budgets.  The Committee was also informed that whilst the WESP would be submitted on a voluntary basis for 2012/13 the WG had announced that proposals were imminent to place the WESP on a statutory basis to be included in the first Welsh Education Bill.


Brief discussion touched upon increased demand for Welsh education provision in Barry and available capacity to meet such.  The Head of Strategic Planning and Performance indicated that a number of options were available to the Council should a shortage of placements arise from September 2012.  In addition, she also indicated that as part of the 21st Century Schools initiative a number of opportunities were being looked at in regard to capacity matters in relation to schools.  This would be subject to a further report in the future to the Cabinet.  The Chairman in acknowledging the points raised in regard to demand and capacity for Welsh medium education she reminded the Committee that such matters would need to be carefully managed within available resources.


RECOMMENDED - T H A T the final draft copy of the Welsh Medium Education Strategic Plan 2012 - 2015 be endorsed.


Reason for recommendation


To address the requirements of the Measure which would become statutory in 2012 following consultation on School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Bill; White Paper.





The report sought to apprise Members of the planned review in respect of the above which would focus on the existing provision and policy for providing home to school transport to pupils with Additional Learning Needs (ALN), identifying areas for improvement and financial savings in order to provide a comprehensive service and clear policy statement whilst addressing budgetary considerations. 


The objectives and purpose of the review were:

  • To examine existing service provision for ALN pupils in the Vale of Glamorgan and identify any gaps and overlaps in provision.
  • To examine examples of best practice in the area of ALN Transport and identify what the service can learn from these examples.
  • To investigate potential areas of inconsistency in the application of entitlement and to clarify policy and procedure in relation to these areas.
  • To investigate creative ways of providing a quality service within a reduced budget.
  • To make recommendations on the above points to the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning).

In line with the Council's objectives the desired outcomes of the service included:

  • A clear policy statement on provision of ALN transport
  • A consistent approach to transport provision for ALN pupils aged between 16-19 (College students), respite placements, Looked after Children (LAC) and parent mileage payments.
  • A streamlined service operating within the budget allocated whilst providing safe and suitable transport for ALN Pupils.

The Head of Inclusion and Access indicated that a further report would be submitted to this Scrutiny Committee in April 2012 on the findings of the above review.


RECOMMENDED - T H A T the objectives and focus of the review of Additional Learning Needs Transport as detailed in the report be noted.


Reason for recommendation


In acknowledgement of action taken to review the above service.





Approval was sought to extend the Youth Provision review period due to reasons beyond the control of the group to a period no later than March 2012.  The report also detailed progress to date in regard to the work undertaken by the Group.


RECOMMENDED - T H A T the progress made by the Group in respect of Youth Provision Review be noted and that approval be given to extend the period of the review to no later than March 2012.


Reason for recommendation


In acknowledgement of work undertaken by the Group to date and in recognition of slippage in the deadline of the review.