Agenda Item No


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committee [Corporate Resources] 24 April 2012


Report of the Chief Executive


Sustainable Development Progress Report


Purpose of the Report

1.             To provide an update on progress in co-ordinating sustainable development in the Council.


That Committee:


1.             Notes the actions taken across the Council to promote sustainable development.

2.             Considers the draft Sustainable Development (SD) Action Plan 2012/13 (Appendix 1) and recommends further actions to promote sustainable development.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To ensure that Members are aware of progress with sustainable development across the Council.

2.             The Sustainable Development Working Group is able to proceed in delivering the Sustainable Development Action Plan for 2012/13 and actions continue to be taken forward to progress sustainable development.


2.             The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) is the lead Scrutiny Committee for sustainable development.  At a meeting of the Committee on the 7th November 2006 the Committee requested regular progress reports on sustainable development.  This report provides an update on work being undertaken across the Council to progress sustainable development since the previous report in April 2011.

3.             Sustainability is key to a wide range of activities undertaken by the Council and is linked to the Wales Programme for Improvement, Making the Connections agenda and community planning.

Relevant Issues and Options

4.             Sustainability is managed within the Council's Performance Management Framework.  It is mainstreamed within the Corporate Plan and the service planning process, with performance targets set to measure performance which is monitored quarterly by scrutiny committees.  Sustainability is also included in all team plans.  Performance indicators for 2011/12 will be reported to the Committee in June and this will further illustrate progress in promoting sustainable development.

5.             The Sustainable Development Action Plan provides a strategic framework for the Sustainable Development Working Group to ensure sustainability is embedded in activities across the Council.

6.             Recent developments to promote sustainable development include:

                   All services have continued to work to maintain an appropriate level of the Green Dragon Environmental Standard.  Social Services have taken a Directorate wide approach and maintained level 2.  Environmental and Economic Directorate Regeneration have achieved level 5 across the Directorate. Human Resources have worked with the Learning and Development Directorate to maintain level 2 and services based in the Civic Offices together with Building Services have maintained level 3.

                   Last year nominations were sought as part of an Environmental Good Practice Scheme so that officers and teams can be recognised for their achievements.  There were four successful nominations who all met the Chief Executive and were thanked for their hard work.  Information about their activities has been included on Staffnet and in Core Brief to encourage others to be more environmentally friendly.

                   The sustainability checklist has been included in the Project Management toolkit and must be completed for all projects within the capital programme.  A sample of completed checklists has been undertaken.

                   The Local Service Board has agreed a target to reduce energy use annually by 3%. Energy managers have met to agree how data will be calculated and reported to ensure there is a consistent approach across partners. The LSB Asset Management Group is overseeing this work and also sharing information about good practice and opportunities for co-location and sharing of premises.

                   The Community Strategy has been produced with input from all the key partnerships and one of the ten priority outcomes is 'Vale residents and organisations respect the local environment and work together to meet the challenge of climate change'.  Progress against this priority outcome is being monitored.  The LSB recently held a meeting at RWE npower at Aberthaw and received a presentation on the power station and from the Environment Agency.

                   There is a considerable amount of activity across the Council to reduce energy use and carbon emissions and there has been a reduction of 2.4% in building related carbon emissions for 2010/11 compared to 2009/10.  With improved data collection and by implementing more energy efficient projects the target is to continue this improvement. 

                   The Council is continuing to deliver its commitments within the Carbon Management Plan.  The Salix finance arrangement has been used to deliver a number of improvements since it was agreed in June 2009 and to date the Council has spent £358,000 with a further £226,000 of projects agreed and awaiting installation and a further £95,000 worth of projects considered viable and awaiting agreement from budget holders.  These projects are predicted to save the authority £120, 000 per year in fuel costs and reduce emissions by 900 Tonnes per annum.  The lifetime savings (which take into account the persistence factors of each particular technology) for Salix match funded measures is predicted to be £3 million and 22,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

                   To date fifty three energy efficiency improvement installations have been installed. This includes thirty insulation installations, building lighting improvements, street lighting improvements, voltage optimization, pool cover installation and power switch timers. Major projects being taken forward include lighting upgrades to Penarth Leisure Centre and the installation of dimmable ballasts to certain street lamps.

                   The Council has signed up to the World Wildlife Fund's 'What Wood You Choose' campaign, pledging to purchase only legal and sustainable timber and wood products - which includes things like paper, furniture, fencing and pallets. This supports our existing ethical procurement processes. 

Service Plans 2011/12

7.             All service plans include a cross-cutting objective to 'meet and respect the needs of customers, colleagues and future generations' and actions completed as part of the 2011/12 service plans include;

                   A Social Media Strategy for the Council has been approved and a wide variety of networks are employed to communicate and encourage feedback and increase participation in line with the Council's citizen engagement agenda.

                   Improved registration and voting information on the Council's website as part of a public awareness strategy.

                   A programme for sharing key community safety messages has been established.

                   Sixteen physical servers have been decommissioned and 120 virtual servers are now in place saving space, power and associated costs.

                   Phased roll out of I-Procurement completed for 2011/12 including Adult Services, Children and Young People, Libraries and Catering.

                   The Gold Corporate Health Standard has been retained.

                   The Carbon Reduction Commitment has been implemented and there is an increased understanding corporately of energy usage leading to improved energy efficiency in all Council activities.

                   A vehicle location system (GPS) within the Building Maintenance Service has led to a reduction in the amount of fuel used.

                   Reduction in the number of children and young people in inappropriate housing.

                   Reduction in admissions to residential older peoples homes (non-EMI) by concentrating on reablement services and the development of telecare.

                   Free advocacy service for Looked After Children developed helping children and young people to have a stronger voice and more control over their lives in all areas of children and young people services.

                   Pupil Referral Unit pupils have access to a wider range of national curriculum subjects and vocational options and individual learning pathways have been established.

                   75% of Vale schools have been awarded Investors in Families status and families are more engaged with their child's learning and the work of the school.

                   Schools have benefited from loan funding for insulation projects and installation of LED lighting is being investigated at a number of schools.

                   Conservation of biodiversity is considered in all council projects.

                   Town Centre Strategy to provide a framework for future planning and investment in town centres.

                   Transfer of Dyffryn House and Gardens to the National Trust ensuring future conservation of a key heritage site.

                   A shoreline management plan and improved drainage and flood control measures have been implemented.

Service Plans 2012/13

8.             Service plans for 2012/13 include a range of activities to promote all aspects of sustainable development.  Detailed below are some of the actions that will be undertaken in 2012/13;

Ensuring a strong, healthy and just society

                   Develop a regeneration strategy in Gibbonsdown and Butrills in consultation with residents and the Communities First Partnership Board - Public Housing

                   Work with Welsh Government and local communities to deliver comprehensive regeneration of Barry town under the Barry Regeneration project - Planning and Transportation

                   Implement the Castleland Renewal Area - Public Protection

                   Improve the achievements and outcomes for looked after children and children leaving care - Inclusion Services

                   Improve the educational attainment of more able and talented pupils especially those from deprived families - School Improvement

                   Promote wellbeing for speakers of other languages by engaging families (particularly asylum seekers) in learning - School Improvement

                   Incorporate Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship principles into staff practice  - School Improvement

                   Improve library resources in community languages identified through recent research - Strategic Planning and Performance

                   Work with planning officers to identify education demand from new housing developments and to maximise s.106 contributions - Strategic Planning and Performance

                   Establish integrated social care and health assessment and care management teams with Cardiff and Vale University Health board - Adult Services

                   Develop the range of telecare services available to support service users and their carers - Business Management and Innovation

                   Expand Flying Start to include Barry, St. Athan and Llantwit Major - Children and Young People Services

                   Develop libraries in the Vale as public contact points - Customer Relations

Achieving a sustainable economy

                   Develop an adult training scheme to create employment opportunities in the Vale. - Building Services

                   Increase the number of entrants on the Building Services Apprenticeship scheme for 2012/13 - Building Services

                   Increase employment opportunities through apprenticeship and work opportunities by WHQS work contractors - Public Housing

                   Improve work experience and employment opportunities for young care leavers - Children and Young People Services

                   Work with partners to facilitate access to maximise financial support for small to medium sized enterprises - Planning and Transportation

Living within environmental limits

                   Reconfigure the server rooms to introduce a more efficient cooling system and reduce energy consumption - ICT

                   Implement accounting procedures for the Carbon Reduction Commitment - Accountancy and Resource Management

                   Implement 2012/13 programme of actions relating to the Council's energy policy and monitor progress - Finance and Property Services

                   Implement the redevelopment of Penarth Heights - Planning and Transportation

                   Maintain the Greenlinks Community transport initiative  - Planning and Transportation

                   Improve facilities and opportunities for participation in country parks and the Vale's coast - Planning and Transportation

                   Review the Council's Travel Plan - Planning and Transportation

                   Implement a programme of liaising with schools on biodiversity - Planning and Transportation

                   Deliver a programme of environmental improvements in partnership with Countryside Council for Wales - Planning and Transportation

                   Reduce vehicle emissions from the Council's fleet - Visible Services

                   Increase waste recycling rates and reduce levels of residual waste - Visible Services

Promoting good governance

                   Revise and Implement the multi-agency Participation Strategy for children and young people aged 0-25 - Inclusion Services

                   Develop a Learner Voice Strategy and establish a learner forum - School Improvement

                   Work towards obtaining level 2 of the WLGA Charter for Member support and development - Democratic Services

                   Develop the website to enable the public to deal with the Council as much as possible online - Chief Executive'

                   Review the Charter with Town and Community Councils following the 2012 elections - Chief Executive's

                   Offer Service Level Agreements for the provision of legal services to all Town and Community Councils and provide associated services if appropriate - Legal Services.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

9.             Activities detailed within this report will be met within existing resources as detailed in relevant service plans.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

10.        The Local Government Measure 2009 introduced continuous improvement as a statutory duty for local government in Wales. The subsequent revised Wales Programme for improvement guidance identifies sustainable development as a key driver for achieving continuous improvement.

Crime and Disorder Implications

11.        The wider definition of sustainability adopted by the Council includes ensuring a strong, healthy and just society, which is linked to community safety issues.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

12.        The wider definition of sustainability adopted by the Council includes social justice, and will require a greater focus on equity and fairness.

Corporate/Service Objectives

13.        Sustainable development has links to all corporate objectives, but particularly to community leadership and corporate resources.

Policy Framework and Budget

14.        This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

15.        Not applicable.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

16.        Corporate Resources.

Background Papers


Contact Officer

Huw Isaac (Head of Performance and Development) - 01446 709760

Officers Consulted

Sian Davies (Director of Finance and Property)

Rob Quick (Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration)

Beverly Noon (Operational manager - Corporate Policy and Communications)

David Powell (Energy Manager)

Carys Lord (Head of Business Management and Innovation)

Paula Ham (Head of Strategic Planning and Performance)

Alun Billinghurst (Head of Public Protection)

Kristian James (Team Leader Pollution)

Liz Stewart (Ecologist)

Jane Wade (Operational Manager - Property)

Clive Teague (Head of Financial Services)

Responsible Officer:

John Maitland Evans - Chief Executive