CORPORATE PERFORMANCE AND RESOURCES SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
Minutes of a meeting held on 19th October, 2017.
Present: Councillor G.D.D. Carroll (Chairman); Councillor V.P. Driscoll (Vice-Chairman); Councillors R. Crowley, O. Griffiths, S.J. Griffiths, Dr. I.J. Johnson, P.G. King, N. Moore, L.O. Rowlands and E. Williams.
409 MINUTES –
RECOMMENDED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 21st September, 2017 be approved as a correct record subject to Councillor P.G. King’s declaration of interest being amended to Llandough Community Council.
410 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –
No declarations were received.
411 MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL PLAN 2017/18 TO 2020/21 (REF) –
The Cabinet had given consideration to and approval of the above Plan at its meeting held on 18th September, 2017 and had subsequently referred the matter to the Scrutiny Committee for consideration / comment.
In providing context to how the Plan had been developed, the Head of Finance indicated that the document had been written prior to the Welsh Government’s (WG) formal announcement of the Council’s initial Revenue Support Grant (RSG) settlement and therefore a number of assumptions had been made in respect of the following:
- As a result of the continuation of austerity measures, a 3% reduction with regard to the funding from WG had been applied for the period 2018/19
- With continued economic uncertainty as a result of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, a further 3% reduction had been applied for both financial years 2019/20 and 2020/21
- Initial estimates showed a projected savings target between 2018/19 and 2020/21 of £20.941m excluding schools, comprising of £9.326m of savings already identified and £11.615m yet to be allocated
- There would be additional cost pressures arising between now and 2020/21 which were as yet unknown and therefore little provision had been made for service development
- Whilst savings would continue to remain a major expectation of future budgets, it was unlikely that the Council would seek to or be able to fund all cost pressures
- That there would be a continuance of exploring opportunities for collaboration and alternative forms of service delivery
- The only realistic option facing the Council in future years was the successful delivery of its Reshaping Services programme
- To ensure that the budget set for 2018/19 continued to address the priorities of the residents of the Vale of Glamorgan and the Council’s services users, the budget setting process would incorporate engagement with a range of key stakeholders
- The actual shortfall in funding for 2018/19 would not be known until December 2017, it was proposed that the following areas were considered as a means of reducing the projected £799,000 funding gap if the reduction in funding from WG was 3% as included in the Plan:
- No provision for prices inflation which equated to £455,000;
- The impact of the change to the Council’s Tax base; and
- The further use of the Council General Fund to fund any remaining shortfall
- Many activities were dependent upon grant funding to maintain existing service delivery levels and aside from the general uncertainty as to whether certain grants would continue in future years, it was likely that these grants would be absorbed into the RSG with the real possibility of a significant reduction in grant funding in the future for distribution
- There was increasing pressure on pay budgets, in particular as a result of the introduction of the National Living Wage (NLW) and it was anticipated that these increases would put significant pressure on the lower part of the NJC pay scale. It was estimated that such changes could equate to an average increase across all staff of circa 1.6% in 2018/19
- Price inflation had previously been included in the Plan at a rate of 1% per annum. Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 2.6% in the year to July 2017 and it was considered with the current projected reduction in funding this level of provision could no longer be maintained going forward. It was therefore proposed a figure equating to 0.5% be included, which would be allocated to specific budgets which had large contractual commitments. Other price inflation would need to be managed by respective services
- No final decision would be made on the increase in the level of Council Tax until the 2018/19 budget which would be set in March 2018, however, for the purpose of the Plan, an increase of 2.6% had been included for each year in line with the current level of CPI
- Options which were recommended within the Plan for further exploration as part of the 2018/19 budget process to reduce the funding gap in future years related to the following matters:
- considering the results of the budget engagement process in determining priorities for future savings and service delivery;
- reviewing the appropriateness of financial strategies for services;
- reviewing the feasibility of any change in the use of the Council Fund Reserve and other reserves as part of the financial strategy;
- a further review of the level of cost pressures with a view to services managing and reducing demand and mitigating pressures;
- services funding their own residual cost pressures through reviewing their existing budgets and revised / alternative means of service provision;
- services meeting their own pay inflation through reviewing their staffing structure in line with changes to service delivery and workforce planning requirements;
- further consideration of the level of price inflation provided;
- reviewing the priorities for funding statutory and non-statutory services, including establishing minimum levels of service provision;
- considering the latest position regarding the Council’s Reshaping Services programme and identifying further area for savings;
- collaborative working in line with the WG reform agenda;
- develop a strategic approach to income generation;
- finalise the Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) review;
- reviewing the achievement of the 2017/18 savings targets; and
- considering the possibility of a reduction in the level of service and determining what services the Council needed to deliver in the future.
The Head of Finance’s attention then turned to the Capital Programme and indicated that there was an expected decrease in the Council’s General Funding allocation in 2018/19 and specific capital grants from WG with limited capital receipts, which continued to give the Council little room for manoeuvre in progressing its priorities in this area. She indicated that as part of the 2017/18 final capital proposals, due to the Council’s capital funding being flat lined for the past two financial years and after reviewing the assumptions adopted by a number of other Local Authorities across Wales, a reduction of 5% year on year was assumed for future years.
Having stated the above, she updated the Committee in that WG had notified the Council of its provisional RSG which was 0.4% reduction in funding for 2018/19, but the reduction was likely to be greater as certain grant responsibilities which the Council received grant funding for were likely to be absorbed into the final RSG settlement and the figure did not take account of inflationary increases. She stressed that this would still provide little room for the Council to manoeuvre and cost pressures were likely to be above those included within the Medium Term Financial Plan. She reiterated that services were being asked to bring forward cost pressures but due to the continued funding challenges only certain cost pressures would be supported, e.g. in instances where there were contractual implications for the Council.
In conclusion, she indicated that the initial budget proposals would be submitted to Cabinet and the Council’s Scrutiny Committee during November and December later in the year.
A Member, in referring to the level of savings required and the potential for a cash decrease of 3% as stated in the Plan, sought clarification as to which areas of grant funding were likely to be absorbed into the Council’s RSG. He also sought clarification in regard to the rationale for a 1.6% wage uplift as a result of the NLW and only 0.5% allowance for inflationary price pressures. He alluded to likely financial pressures as a result of wider pay increase demands for all staff given that CPI was near 3%. In response, the Head of Finance referred to the areas which grant funding would be transferred into the RSG (something which the Local Authority had lobbied for and estimated to be £3.1m) and referred to the Waste element of the Single Revenue Grant, Welsh Independent Living Grant, Social Care Workforce Grant, Looked After Children Parent Grant and Carers Respite Grant. She indicated that the increase as a result of the pressure of introducing the NLW and inflation equated to £2.6m. This was the position when the Plan was written which was before the UK Government indication that they would be lifting the Public Sector pay cap. Any increases to the employee pay budget would have a considerable impact on the wider budget. The 0.5% allowed for inflation was in acknowledgement of cost pressures on services.
Another Member referred to his concern regarding the absorption of grant funding into the wider RSG in that the overall net figure was likely to be significantly different to the gross budget and therefore caution should be exercised. He was also concerned about the level of inflation at the current rate and the Plan only allowing for 0.5% for inflationary pressures on services. It was his desire to see greater detail when the matter was reported back to the Cabinet and the Scrutiny Committee as part of the Initial Budget Proposals.
The Chairman referred to the funding levels in future years and sought clarification regarding the assumptions made for these in terms of how accurate these had been in past years and how relevant these were going forward for the Council in the future. In response, the Head of Finance indicated that the assumptions were only an indicative for the period of the Plan and reminded the Committee that the WG had indicated a further 1.5% reduction in the Council’s RSG in 2019/2020. In terms of estimates as being realistic, she indicated that the Council had been prudent in past years and that its assumptions would have been close to the final settlement decision of WG.
The Chairman then referred to the assumptions made for future Council Tax rises as detailed in the Plan given that the Council had not made a decision on the same for future financial years. In response, the Head of Finance indicated that these were only an assumption and a basis for planning the Council’s accounts. The figure of 2.6% as cited in the Plan was only an indicative figure to identify where the funding gap would be. In response, the Chairman, in referring to the funding shortfall, enquired if this could be met other than from a Council Tax rise. In response, the Head of Finance indicated that in the absence of being able to do so, the funding gap could only be met by income streams or income generation.
A Member then referred to Teachers’ pension changes and sought clarification on the £450,000 additional costs. In response, the Head of Finance indicated that this was a cost pressure which she believed should be picked up by the Council in 2019/20.
Having regard to the above discussions, it was
RECOMMENDED – T H A T Cabinet be advised of the Committee’s concern regarding the implications for services as a result of the Plan allowing for only 0.5% price inflation given that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) had increased to circa 2.9% in year to date.
Reason for recommendation
To advise the Cabinet of the Scrutiny Committee’s concerns.
412 REVENUE MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 31ST AUGUST 2017 (MD) –
The forecast for the 2017/18 Revenue and HRA budgets was for an outturn within target, however, some services were anticipating drawing down funding from reserves and details were provided in the report, details of which were outlined as below:
Learning and Skills
The forecast was showing an overspend of £86,000 after an anticipated use of reserves however, the Directorate was requested to look at ways of mitigating this position to deliver an outturn within budget at year end.
Schools – The delegated budget relating to schools was expected to balance as any under/over spend was carried forward by schools.
Strategy, Culture, Community Learning and Resources – It was projected that the service would outturn at a favourable variance of £73,000 after drawing down £105,000 from reserves.
Strategy and Regulation – It was anticipated that this service would breakeven at year end.
Achievement for All – This service was currently predicted to outturn with an adverse variance of £448,000 which would be partially met by transfers from reserves of £241,000 resulting in an adverse variance at year end of £207,000.
School Improvement – It was anticipated that this service would underspend by £48,000 due to a part year vacant senior post.
Provision had been made within the budget to make unsupported borrowing debt repayments in relation to the Schools Investment Strategy of £598,000 per annum and any favourable variance on debt repayments would be directed into the Schools Investment Strategy.
The forecast for Social Services at year end was a potential overspend of around £1m due to pressure on the Community Care budget.
It was proposed that up to £1m be used this year from the Social Services Legislative Changes reserve to cover the shortfall. Cabinet would be provided with further details during the course of the year.
Environment and Housing
It was currently projected that this service would outturn within target at year end with an anticipated use of reserves.
Highways and Engineering –- There was currently a £129,000 favourable variance against the profiled budget.
Waste Management – There was currently an adverse variance of £132,000 to the profiled budget. The variance to date was due to overspends on staffing and transportation costs.
Leisure – There was currently an adverse variance of £28,000 to the profiled budget.
Transportation – There was currently a favourable variance of £16,000 against the profiled budget.
Visible Services Reshaping Services Savings Target – In 2017/18 there was a savings target of £525,000 allocated to Visible Services from the current Reshaping Services programme.
Regulatory Services – The allocation of £2.166m represented the Vale of Glamorgan's budget for its share of the Shared Regulatory Service (SRS). At this stage in the year it was anticipated that the SRS would outturn on target.
Council Fund Housing – It was anticipated that this budget would outturn on target, however, this was after a planned transfer from reserves of £56,000 to fund specific posts and issues arising as a result of the introduction of the Housing Act.
Public Sector Housing (HRA) – The HRA was expected to outturn on target and any underspends in year would be offset by additional contributions to Capital Expenditure thus reducing the reliance on Unsupported Borrowing.
Managing Director and Resources
It was currently projected that this service would outturn within target at year end.
Resources – It was anticipated that this service would outturn within budget.
Regeneration – There was currently a favourable variance of £23,000 against the profiled budget for August. All non-urgent repair works at the Council’s Countryside sites were on hold as a consequence in order to achieve a balanced budget at year end.
Development Management – There was currently a favourable variance against the profiled budget for August, it was forecast that this service would outturn on target at year end.
Private Housing – There was currently a small favourable variance due to staff vacancies within the division.
General Policy – It was anticipated that this service would outturn within budget.
2017/18 Savings Targets
As part of the Final Revenue Budget Proposals for 2017/18, a savings target of £4.017m had been set for the Authority. Attached at Appendix 1 to the report was a statement detailing each savings targets with an update of progress. Currently it was projected that there would be a shortfall of £584,000.
Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP)
The matter had been considered earlier in the agenda under a separate agenda item.
The current MTFP assumed a reduction in WG funding of 3% for the years 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21. This resulted in the requirement to find savings of £20.941m over this period, with £9.326m currently being identified. There were therefore further savings to be identified of £11.615m over the three year period. The latest Plan factored in a managed level of cost pressures, a notional increase in Council Tax of 2.6% each year, price inflation of 0.5% and annual pay awards of 1.6% each year from 2018/19.
A number of Members expressed concern regarding the intention to use circa £1m from the Social Services Legislative Change reserve. Members considered that it was premature to do so given that Social Services in the past in respect of the Community Care budget had successfully reduced the anticipated overspend by the financial year end. Members were also concerned that this reserve would be called upon to fund other overspends within the Service and to reduce the reserve by £1m would pose significant risk for the Council given that the reserve fund totalled £3.4m.
A Member referred to paragraph 8 of the report and indicated that the variance in regard to the Achievement for All service should be £166,000. In response, the Head of Finance indicated that she would check the figures. In addition, the Member also referred to his disappointment that the renewal area had yet to be established for Windsor Road, Penarth and separately, that the Committee should receive an update report in regard to the progress of the Transport Review. He also expressed further concern at the likely cost implications for the Council should it need to implement the WG proposals for kerbside recycling sorting. In response to the Member’s comment regarding kerbside recycling sorting, the Head of Finance indicated that discussions were still ongoing with the WG regarding the Council’s circumstances.
Another Member referred to the Adult Services Community Care budget and also sought clarification regarding what funding had already been drawn down from the Social Services Legislative Change reserve and what further demands would be placed on the same from the Service. In response, the Head of Finance indicated that the Directorate was assessing measures to mitigate further budgetary pressures by commissioning services through different methods. Additional funding had also been drawn down from the Intermediate Care Fund, however, she shared the Committee’s concern. She alluded to the WG cap on what Local Authorities could charge in terms of Community Care packages and reminded the Committee that WG had recently increased the capital allowance that could be retained by those entering into residential care.
Another Member referred to the delay in implementing the new Target Operating Model for service delivery for Visible Services and expressed his disappointment. In addition, he also queried the variance in respect of the Additional Savings to be found within the Learning and Skills Directorate in the amount of £86,000 being a favourable variance. In response, the Head of Finance indicated that the amount reflected an overspend and therefore should be reflected in the report as an adverse variance.
Another Member referred to the budget set for recoupment income from other Local Authorities that purchased placements at Ysgol y Deri and whether it would be likely that the situation would improve. In response, the Head of Finance indicated that it was unlikely given the increase in the number of pupils presenting with complex needs in the county, which had the knock on effect of reducing placements available for other Authorities to purchase. The Member’s attention then turned to the projected overspend of £1m in respect of the Community Care budget and asked the Head of Finance at which point would the Council indicate that the budget was spent and there was no more funding available. In response, the Head of Finance indicated that the environment that Adult Services operated within was very difficult given the funding cap in place, which did not reflect the actual cost of providing care packages to individuals. Once an individual had presented themselves to the Council and had been assessed as requiring support, there was a statutory obligation to provide that care package. At this juncture another Member referred to the “graph of doom” and suggested that the graph be
circulated to the Committee Members.
In summing up, the Chairman expressed similar views to those already expressed by the Committee and, in particular, shared the Committee’s concern regarding the potential for a (£1m) to be drawn down from the Social Services Legislative Change reserve and considered that the matter should be drawn to the attention of the Cabinet.
Having regard to the above discussion, it was
(1) T H A T the Cabinet’s attention be drawn to the Committee’s concern regarding the proposal to draw down £1m from the Social Services Legislative Change reserve to fund the overspend in the Community Care budget, including the historical and ongoing overspend in the service area.
(2) T H A T the Head of Finance provide further clarification in regard to those matters raised by the Committee in relation to Cosmeston Country Park car park and country parks and Windsor Road Renewal Area, Penarth.
(3) T H A T the Head of Finance be requested to amend the report to reflect the additional savings to be found in regard to Learning and Skills (£86,000) as an adverse variance.
Reasons for recommendations
(1) To make the Cabinet aware of the Scrutiny Committee’s concerns.
(2) To provide an update to Members on the areas of clarification referred to.
(3) To reflect accurately the information contained within the report.
413 CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 31ST AUGUST 2017 (MD) –
The Head of Finance provided the Scrutiny Committee with an update on the 2017/18 Capital Programme for the above period.
Appendix 1 detailed the financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 31st August, 2017.
The following matters were noted:
Learning and Skills
Cogan Primary School Boiler Renewal – A delegated authority request had been approved to vire £15,000 from this scheme to Sully Primary School Boiler Renewal scheme. Sully Primary School Boiler Renewal scheme included costs for the replacement of the hot water boiler in association with the heating boiler replacement. Cogan Primary School did not require a new hot water boiler.
Holton Primary Electrical Rewire Phase 1 – A delegated authority request had been approved to vire £25,000 to the above scheme. £20,000 had been vired from the Albert Primary Drainage Renewal scheme and £5,000 from the Dinas Powys Primary Drainage Renewal Scheme. Following an analysis of the quotations returned it appeared that the strengthening economy and potentially fluctuations in the price of copper had increased costs for contractors and resulted in a higher quote than anticipated. Following the receipt of quotes for the drainage schemes, it was proposed that the additional funding required could be vired from these schemes while still retaining sufficient funds to complete the works.
Barry Comprehensive School Internal and External Refurbishment Works – It was advised as part of the Closure of Accounts 2016/17 report that there was a reduced scope of works being implemented for this scheme following discussions with the school. It was also stated that the final use of the unused monies be reported to Cabinet. It had been requested that the budget for this scheme be reduced by £350,000 and that the funding was to remain within the School Investment Strategy Reserve. This funding would then be used to contribute towards the Council's 21st Century Band B Programme which would commence in 2019/20.
Oakfield Playing Fields – Retention of £53,000 was left to pay in regard to the Oakfield scheme. The budget for this was held against the Ysgol Gwaun Y Nant/ Oakfield scheme. It had been requested to vire £63,000 from this scheme to the Education Asset Renewal Contingency scheme.
St. Richard Gwyn R/C Comprehensive High Window Renewal Phase 1 – The school was contributing £33,000 towards the cost of additional windows. It had been requested that this budget be increased by £33,000, to be funded by a contribution from the school.
St. Andrews Major CIW Primary Fencing – The £66,000 budget for this scheme was based on metal railings around the whole perimeter of the school. Due to a reduced amount of fencing required and also a different type of secure fencing being used, only £20,000 was required for the scheme. It had been requested that this budget be reduced by £46,000 which would result in a higher balance being available in the Schools Rationalisation Reserve.
Eagleswell Demolition – This scheme was complete and was underspent due to works costing less than originally anticipated. Tenders were very competitive and potential risks for which contingency sums were included did not materialise. It had been requested to vire £118,000 to Education Contingency Budget.
Education Asset Renewal Contingency – This was an unallocated budget which Learning and Skills could request to use throughout the year if unforeseen schemes arose. If Education schemes underspent during the year, any unspent allocations could be transferred to this budget, as highlighted in the paragraphs above. The current budget was £203,000 before the request to vire £181,000 from other schemes as requested above. It was considered that following this virement, the budget should be reduced by £150,000 in 2017/18 and the funding be made available as a contribution towards the Council's 21st Century Band B Programme which would commence in 2019/20.
91 Salisbury Road Boiler Renewal – The lowest compliant quotation was at a cost of £41,000. This cost plus asbestos survey costs, Building Regulations costs and Project Management fees would require an overall budget of £48,000. It had been requested to increase this budget by £3,000 to be funded from a Youth Offending Service revenue contribution.
Residential Homes Refurbishment – It had been requested that the £10,000 budget for the Residential Homes, Internal Refurbishment scheme be amalgamated with the Residential Homes Refurbishment scheme in order to enable a more co-ordinated approach to the delivery of the works.
Environment and Housing
Flood Risk Management – An emergency power was approved to increase this budget by £105,000 to be funded by a grant from Welsh Government. The grant was a Small Scale Works Grant and required match funding of £18,547 which was already included in the Flood Risk Management budget. The works consisted of three small scale flood alleviation schemes; Elfed Avenue – Culvert Relining, PLP Llanmaes and Windsor Road – Penarth.
Parks and Grounds Maintenance Asset Renewal – Section 106 monies of £9,000 were available to contribute towards the cost of the installation of play equipment at Tre-Beferad and it had been requested that the budget for this scheme be increased accordingly.
Romilly Mess Room – The base to this structure was originally intended to be reused, however upon the removal of the existing building the remaining base was found to be defective and not suitable to support the new structure. The cost of this work was anticipated to be £14,000 which would include remedial works to the garage base and replacement of the Mess Room base. Within the Parks and Grounds Maintenance asset renewal budget, £50,000 had been allocated for the installation and upgrading of new play areas, quotations for this work had been returned and were less than originally anticipated. It had been requested to vire £14,000 from Parks and Grounds Maintenance asset renewal to Romilly Mess Room.
Collaborative Change Programme Grant – A grant award of £75,000 had
been approved by Welsh Government for the purchase of new technologies to increase performance and reduce fuel use and the carbon footprint. It had been requested that the 2017/18 Capital Programme be increased by £75,000 to be funded by Welsh Government Grant.
Managing Director and Resources
Barry Regeneration Partnership Project Fund – A delegated authority had been approved to vire £73,000 from this scheme to:-
- Holton Road Grant Programme £32,000 – to match forecast demand in the project pipeline for the year 2017/18
- Cemetery Approach £7,000 – Technical salaries
- Colcot 3G Pitches £5,000 – Technical salaries
- Harbour Road Car Park Cycleway Scheme (Phase 5) £2,000 – Technical salaries
- Barry Island Western Shelter Lighting £2,000 – Technical salaries
- Barry Town Centre Gateway Regeneration £25,000 – Technical salaries.
The delegated authority also approved £19,000 from this scheme to be classified as revenue, this was made up of £14,000 for Project Management Unit and £5,000 for Holton Road Street Furniture Upgrade
ENABLE Funding – An emergency power was approved to include a new budget of £149,000 in the 17/18 Capital Programme, to be funded from a Welsh Government Grant. This funding would be used for capital costs in relation to the delivery of adaptions under the Enhanced Adaptions Service, ENABLE – Support for Independent Living.
High Street / Broad Street Traffic Management – An emergency power was approved to increase this budget by £60,000 to be funded from Section 106 monies. In July relevant Cabinet Members and Local Ward Members approved the use of £60,000 (recently received Section 106 sustainable transport contribution 2009/00946/OUT Barry Waterfront) to supplement the works being undertaken in the project area, such as improvements to pavements.
Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) Grant – An emergency power was approved to include £30,000 in the 2017/18 Capital Programme, to be funded by a grant from Natural Resources Wales. Projects were based on actions contained within the ROWIP and were listed within the emergency power.
Coastal Access Improvement Programme (CAIP) – An emergency power was approved to include £80,000 in the 2017/18 Capital Programme, to be funded by £69,000 grant from Natural Resources Wales and £11,000 match funding from the countryside revenue budget. The CAIP was a scheme to increase public access to the coast of Wales for visitors and local people. Projects were listed within the emergency power.
Castleland Renewal Area – An emergency power was approved to vire £65,000 to the Tackling Poverty scheme. This scheme was underspent by £65,000 due to contractor costs being lower than anticipated at the outset, and provisional sums which were included within the contracts to cover unforeseen works not being required. £43,000 of this would be used to cover costs at Main Street as additional properties were included in the scheme to allow the whole street to be completed. £22,000 would be used to fund Holton Road Commercial Grants Programme to improve the commercial shop fronts in Holton Road.
Vale Enterprise Centre (VEC) – It had been requested that this scheme be increased by £26,000 for additional external works at the VEC and which would predominantly cover new upvc windows. This was to be funded from the Regeneration Reserve.
Llandough Cycle Stands – It had been requested that a new capital scheme totalling £20,000 was included in the 2017/18 Capital Programme, funded from Section 106 monies.
Causeway Improvement Scheme – The retention for this scheme was now due for payment, it had been requested to include a budget of £18,000 in the 2017/18 Capital Programme to be funded from the Visible Services Reserve.
North Penarth Open Space Improvements – It had been requested that this budget was increased by £483,000 to be funded from Section 106 monies. The Council undertook an extensive consultation in the summer of 2016 regarding the four parks in the vicinity of Penarth Heights: Plassey Square, Paget Road, The Dingle and Cogan Skate Park. Planting at Plassey Square would be undertaken in autumn 2017. Preliminary design and feasibility works had been undertaken for the proposed new play area and replacement Multi Use Games at Paget Road, it was anticipated that this scheme would be implemented before the end of the financial year. Further, plans were also progressing at The Dingle, in partnership with the Council’s Highways Engineers who were reviewing the Windsor Road / Plassey Street Junction. The Council intended to carry out further consultation with the users of Cogan Skate Park, towards the end of this financial year and beginning of next.
Ffordd Y Mileniwm Footway / Cycle Link – It had been requested that a new capital scheme totalling £20,000 be included in the 2017/18 Capital Programme, funded from Section 106 monies. This was to implement the footway / cycle link along Ffordd Y Mileniwm to the train station, so that the route complied with Active Travel.
Barry Regeneration Partnership – Within this scheme there was a budget of £41,000 for Fforest Community Park, which due to additional ground works required an increase in budget of £4,000. Within the Parks and Grounds Maintenance asset renewal budget, £50,000 had been allocated for the installation and upgrading of new play areas, quotations for this work had been returned and were less than originally anticipated. It had been requested to vire £4,000 from Parks and Grounds Maintenance asset renewal to Barry Regeneration Partnership.
Dinas Powys Sustainable Transport Improvements – It had been requested that a new capital scheme totalling £70,000 is included in the 2017/18 Capital Programme, funded from Section 106 monies. This was to implement walking and cycling improvements in the village centre.
St. Athan Sustainable Transport Improvements – It had been requested that a new capital scheme totalling £152,000 be included in the 2017/18 Capital Programme, funded from Section 106 monies. This was to implement walking and cycling improvements in the village centre.
Badgers Brook Public Open Space Enhancement – It had been requested that a new capital scheme totalling £50,000 be included in the 2017/18 Capital Programme, funded from Section 106 monies. This was to upgrade the existing playground.
Fferm Goch Sustainable Transport Improvements – It had been requested that a new capital scheme totalling £70,000 be included in the 2017/18 Capital Programme, funded from Section 106 monies. This was to implement walking, cycling and bus improvements.
Space Project Reduced Office Accommodation – It had been requested to amalgamate the named scheme with the Civic Offices Rewire scheme and the Civic Offices Network Rewire scheme and to rename the scheme ‘Civic Offices Rewire/ Space Project Reduced Office Accommodation’. The works had been let as one contract, with sub-contractors managing the individual components. It was therefore more efficient and effective to combine the listed schemes.
ICT Allocation – This scheme was being used to support the Welsh Government Learning in Digital Wales 2 Grant and it had been requested that the budget be reduced by £25,000 as expenditure should be reclassified as revenue.
A Member referred to the scheme of works at Barry Comprehensive School Internal and External Refurbishment and sought clarification as to the underspend. As a Governor at the school, he understood that it was the school’s view that the sum of £350,000 remain within the school budget. Responding to those comments, another Member of the Committee, from his own personal knowledge, indicated that where a project had underspent and was funded out of the School Investment Strategy Reserve, that any underspend would come back into the above reserve with the purpose of funding other school building projects.
In a similar vein, another Member enquired of the underspend in relation to the demolition of the former Eagleswell School and what would happen with the funding underspend. In response, the Head of Finance indicated that the underspend would be vired back into the Education Contingency budget for reallocation to future projects. She also indicated that all other underspends regarding school capital projects were likely to go back into the Council’s Band B 21st Century School Investment Strategy.
Two other Members referred specifically to progress of two projects contained within the report; namely the Dinas Powys Cycle Path, the Dingle and Cogan Skate Park. In response and in regard to the Dinas Powys project, the Head of Finance indicated that a plan of works were being developed and that she would provide an update to the Member. In regard to the works of the Skate Park, the Head of Finance indicated that she would investigate progress on the subject and provide a response to the Member.
(1) T H A T the progress made on the 2017/18 Capital Programme be noted.
(2) T H A T the use of Delegated Authority be noted to:
- Vire £15,000 from Cogan Primary School Boiler Renewal scheme to the Sully Primary School Boiler Renewal Scheme.
- Vire £25,000 to Holton Primary Electrical Rewire Phase 1, £20,000 has been vired from the Albert Primary Drainage Renewal scheme and £5,000 from the Dinas Powys Primary Drainage Renewal Scheme.
- Vire £73,000 from Barry Regeneration Partnership Project Fund to:-
- Holton Road Grant Programme £32,000
- Cemetery Approach £7,000
- Colcot 3G Pitches £5,000
- Harbour Road Car Park Cycleway Scheme (Phase 5) £2,000
- Barry Island Western Shelter Lighting £2,000
- Barry Town Centre Gateway Regeneration £25,000 and
- to classify £19,000 as revenue.
(3) T H A T the use of Emergency Powers be noted to:
- Approve the inclusion of a £105,000 Welsh Government Small Scale Works Grant to the Flood Risk Management budget
- Approve the inclusion of a £149,000 Welsh Government Grant for ENABLE - Support for Independent Living 2017/18.
- Approve the inclusion of £60,000 Section 106 monies into the High Street/ Broad Street Traffic Management scheme budget.
- Approve the inclusion of a £30,000 Natural Resources Wales Grant for Rights of Way Improvement Plans.
- Approve the inclusion of £80,000 for Coastal Access Improvement Programme to be funded by £69,000 grant from Natural Resources Wales and £11,000 match funding from the countryside revenue budget.
- Vire £65,000 from Castleland Renewal Area to the Tackling Poverty scheme.
(4) That the following changes to the 2017/18 Capital Programme be noted:
- Barry Comprehensive School Internal and External Refurbishment Works – Reduce this budget by £350,000.
- Oakfield Playing Fields – Vire £63,000 from this scheme to the Education Asset Renewal Contingency scheme.
- St. Richard Gwyn R/C Comprehensive High Window Renewal Phase 1 – Increase this budget by £33,000 to be funded by a contribution from the school.
- St. Andrews Major CIW Primary Fencing – Reduce this budget by £46,000.
- Eagleswell Demolition – Vire £118,000 to Education Contingency Budget.
- Education Asset Renewal Contingency – Reduce this budget by £150,000
- 91 Salisbury Road Boiler Renewal – Increase this budget by £3,000 to be funded from a Social Services revenue contribution.
- Residential Homes Refurbishment – Vire £10,000 from the Residential Homes, Internal Refurbishment scheme to this scheme.
- Parks and Grounds Maintenance Asset Renewal – Increase this budget by £9,000 to be funded from Section 106 monies.
- Romilly Mess Room – Vire £14,000 from Parks and Grounds Maintenance asset renewal to Romilly Mess Room.
- Collaborative Change Programme Grant – Include a new budget of £75,000 to be funded by Welsh Government Grant.
- Vale Enterprise Centre (VEC) – Increase this scheme by £26,000, to be funded from the Regeneration Reserve.
- Llandough Cycle Stands – Include a new scheme for £20,000 funded from Section 106 monies.
- Causeway Improvement Scheme – Include a budget of £18,000, to be funded from the Visible Services Reserve.
- North Penarth Open Space Improvements – Increase this budget by £483,000 to be funded from Section 106 monies.
- Ffordd Y Mileniwm Footway / Cycle Link – Include a new scheme for £20,000 funded from Section 106 monies.
- Barry Regeneration Partnership – Vire £4,000 from Parks and Grounds Maintenance asset renewal to Barry Regeneration Partnership.
- Dinas Powys Sustainable Transport Improvements – Include a new scheme for £70,000 funded from Section 106 monies.
- St. Athan Sustainable Transport Improvements – Include a new scheme for £152,000 to be funded from Section 106 monies.
- Badgers Brook Public Open Space Enhancement – Include a new scheme for £50,000 to be funded from Section 106 monies.
- Fferm Goch Sustainable Transport Improvements – Include a new scheme for £70,000 to be funded from Section 106 monies.
- Space Project Reduced Office Accommodation – Amalgamate the named scheme with the Civic Offices Rewire scheme and the Civic Offices Network Rewire scheme and to rename the scheme Civic Offices Rewire / Space Project Reduced Office Accommodation.
- ICT Allocation – Reduce this budget by £25,000.
Reasons for recommendations
(1) In acknowledgement of the progress on the Capital Programme.
(2) In acknowledgement of the use of Delegated Authority.
(3) In acknowledgement of the use of Emergency Powers.
(4) To allow schemes to proceed in the current financial year.