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Minutes of a meeting held on 19th July, 2018.


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.


Also present: Councillor L. Burnett.



202     MINUTES –


RECOMMENDED – T H A T the minutes of the meetings held on 22nd March, 2018 and 24th May, 2018 be approved as a correct record.





The following declarations were received by twin hatted Councillors:


In respect of Agenda Item No. 5 – Reshaping Services – Arrangements for the Operation and Transfer of Assets or Services to Town and Community Councils in the Vale of Glamorgan with the Members having received a dispensation from the Standards Committee.


Councillor R. Crowley –  Member of Dinas Powys Community Council;

Councillor V.P. Driscoll – Member of Dinas Powys Community Council;

Councillor S.J. Griffiths – Member of Dinas Powys Community Council;

Councillor Dr. I.J. Johnson – Member of Barry Town Council;

Councillor P.G. King – Member of Llandough Community Council

Councillor L.O. Rowlands – Member of Barry Town Council; and

Councillor E. Williams – Member of Llantwit Major Town Council.





Prior to considering the report, the Chairman advised that two members of the public had registered to speak and following the officer’s presentation they would be invited to come forward to make their representations.


Cabinet had, on 2nd July, 2018, considered the Draft Vale of Glamorgan Parking Strategy Report which had been prepared by Consultants (Capita) for the determination of consultation and engagement arrangements and for consideration of its contents.  The matter had subsequently been referred to both the Environment and Regeneration and Corporate Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committees for consideration of the proposed public consultation arrangements as described in the report and appendices. 


In presenting the report to the Committee, the Head of Service for Neighbourhood Services and Transport advised that Capita had been appointed by the Council in Autumn 2017 to assist with the preparation of a Draft Parking Strategy for the Vale of Glamorgan.  A Project Board consisting of the relevant Cabinet Members and Senior Council officers had been established to provide direction to the Commission.  The Council had to make £17m savings over the next three years, with Neighbourhood Services and Transport Division having to make £827k in 2018/19 alone.  The maintenance and regulation of parking spaces cost the Council £360k per annum.  This included car parks at Barry Island and Ogmore which the Council currently charged for.  There was a need to recoup costs and seek additional income that could enable reinvestment in the fabric of the car parks and assist other services the Council provided to continue, for example, investment in town centres, infrastructure and country parks. 


The report outlined that the Draft Parking Strategy could also strengthen economic and regeneration opportunities by introducing improved more efficient car park management which could improve user experience and access to services. 


A copy of the report had also been forwarded under the Urgent Decision Procedure to all Town and Community Councils in the Vale of Glamorgan following the Cabinet meeting on 2nd July, 2018 in order for them to have time to consider the contents of the Consultants’ report as early on in the process as possible. 


The proposed consultation timetable was outlined at paragraphs 36 to 43 to the report and at Appendix B to the Cabinet report.  Appendix B outlined that public consultation would commence on 6th August, 2018 and close on 28th September, 2018 with an Extraordinary joint Scrutiny Committee being established week commencing 15th October to consider the proposals, initial consultation findings and to make recommendations to Cabinet.  Cabinet would then receive reports from the Scrutiny public consultation on 5th November and make any recommendations as a result.  On 8th November and 15th November Scrutiny Committees Environment and Regeneration and Corporate Performance and Resources would consider the Cabinet recommendations with the intention that the final report including any references from the Scrutiny Committees and any changes to proposals be presented to Cabinet on 3rd December.  The Cabinet’s final recommendations to then be referred to Council on 10th December, 2018 to consider any necessary budget requirements. 


Having presented the report, the Chairman then asked the first member of the public who had registered to speak, Mrs. C. Ockerby, to come forward and make her representations to the Committee.


Mrs. Ockerby stated that it was important that any proposals that were made were correct and the appropriate approach undertaken.  She stated that she considered it imperative that all car parks should be considered in any plan and referred to the fact that the Vale Council car parks, at Civic, the Alps and the Dock Offices had not been included.  In referring to the timetable for drop in sessions, she advised that the timings at 3pm to 6pm in the day would not be an option for many businesses and not all would be able to attend.  Mrs. Ockerby also advised that a number of visitors had not even been made aware of the proposals and would recommend that the timings were reconsidered, and to seek views of the staff in the businesses is the best way to ensure their engagement.  It was also important to consider public meetings as well as drop in sessions as part of any consultation process and she requested that any surveys / questionnaires be made available in and around the Vale at various locations e.g. libraries etc. rather than on request and posting them out as this would be a considerable expense.  Mrs. Ockerby also made reference to the consultation being given to Holton Road School as there would be an impact for the school and its staff.  In conclusion, she stated that most people had only been informed of the strategy proposals via facebook. 


Mrs. C. Cook, the second member of the public who had registered to speak, then made her representations to the Committee.  Mrs. Cook commenced by advising that in her view, the Capita report had cost a lot of money and there were a number of inaccuracies in the document, in particular she referred to page 10 (i.e. Civic Centre) and the estimated number of spaces 140 vehicles, number of vehicles parked 14, the percentage for occupancy being 35%.  This was incorrect she stated and also by way of a further example in referring to paragraph 3.2 of the report, considered the figures reported to be ludicrous as, in her opinion, the costings reported would in effect provide for an overall loss as a result of the introduction of the charges.  Mrs. Cook also disputed the information in relation to Saturday and Sunday parking as there was no revenue from the sites on a Sunday as the sites were not open.  In her view, the revenue projections provided by Capita were unreliable and that the report should be relooked at and reviewed as a result.  Mrs. Cook concluded by stating that as there was more than an element of doubt to the report, it should be reconsidered.


Councillor Burnett, not a Member of the Committee but with permission to speak, stated that she accepted that there could be appropriate charging in some locations in the Vale but would leave that discussion for a future time.  She considered that the Draft Strategy was flawed and the Committee should send it back to Cabinet for further work before any further consultation took place.  In her view, the aims were unclear, it was impossible to discuss the fit between actions and outcomes if people did not know what the aims were.  The report referred to money without detriment at paragraph 5, but the Draft Strategy was saying it was a positive impact and queried these statements.  If the car parks were reported as costing £260k why didn’t the Council go for a cost neutral approach.  The resident zones, in her view, were not for a reason to improve the current situation but to enable parking.  The figures in the Capita report appeared to be inaccurate and the country park proposals were cynical with 8am to 8pm charging, the only people being targeted in her view were the local residents.  With specific regard to the consultation, the timing was inappropriate with holidays and working days over the summer months and the failure to meet with key stakeholders was, in her view, “folly” and referred to the previous consultation exercise that had been undertaken some time ago considering that lessons learned from then would be appropriate.  In conclusion, Councillor Burnett stated that “you cannot consult on a deeply flawed strategy, the aims of the strategy need to be clarified and holding meetings with stakeholders was key with the aim of participation not tokenism”. 


In response to the issues raised, the Head of Neighbourhood Services and Transport advised that in her 25 years’ experience in undertaking consultation exercises, it was her view public meetings did not provide the appropriate forum to take proposals forward.  The drop in sessions undertaken for the Junction 34/M4 WelTAG study had promoted debate and residents had come together for the sessions with also 1:1 discussion taking place with officers.  The responses in respect of these consultation initiatives had been very good.  Chambers of Trade and Town and Community Councils had already been forwarded the Cabinet report in order that they could consider proposals prior to the summer recess.  A considerable amount of time and effort had been put in to consider how to achieve responses from town centres and visitors and questionnaires would be available via the Neighbourhood Services and Transport section on request.  She was however happy to take advice on staggering the timings for drop in sessions, but in her view the timing between 5pm – 6pm would be most appropriate as this would catch people finishing work.  In the main, the questionnaire survey would be undertaken online, which would also then be able to be fed into the survey software that was being used for the consultation, which provides quick and timely feedback for management and Cabinet to consider.


A number of Members considered that in their view, the Capita report was flawed, there were inaccuracies within the document that needed to be resolved before any consultation took place.  It was important to also have learned from lessons learned in previous consultations and that it was imperative that public meetings also took place as well as drop in sessions.  A suggestion that all questionnaires be forwarded via e-mail to all Town and Community Councils who could then put copies in their buildings for the public.  Reference was also made to the fact that Penarth Town Centre, for example, did not have a car park and that it was important to consult with traders there as on-street parking was also an issue with displacement possibly being a potential consequence.  The point raised by Mrs. Ockerby in relation to staff parking was also an issue, with Members suggesting that this may breach equalities. 


A Member stated that, in his view, the report had caused a number of concerns, in particular in relation to the statement in the first bullet point at paragraph 5 “to realise the maximum levels of income without reducing visitor or user numbers or detrimentally affecting the local economy” this had been the catalyst that had caused in the main the concern with the process and the strategy.  In his view, it was important to manage enforcement in the first instance.  Although acknowledging that there would be a number of opportunities for Members of the Council to scrutinise the proposals and be part of the Joint Scrutiny Committee, concern was raised regarding the ability to fully analyse all the responses received in the timescales proposed.  The officer advised that the timescales identified were able to be reached, however there having been no Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) undertaken in advance of the proposals was also a concern for Members. 


A Member of the Committee who was also a Member of the Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee which had considered the report the previous week stated that having considered the comments of Members of the Committee and the comments made by members of the public, he had reconsidered his position and was also in favour of the report being referred back to Cabinet for review. 


Following full consideration of the report and its contents, the Scrutiny Committee subsequently


RECOMMENDED – T H A T Cabinet be requested to rethink and review the Strategy proposals in light of the comments raised at the Scrutiny Committee and, in particular, to reconsider the Capita report having regard to a number of errors contained therein.


Reason for recommendation


It was the Committee’s view that the Strategy was flawed, there were inaccuracies in the Capita document and the consultation should be reconsidered.





Cabinet had, on 2nd July , 2018, considered a report for a protocol for considering requests from Town and Community Councils for the operation and transfer of assets or services based on a set of engagement principles. Cabinet resolved that  the approach and principles of the Protocol be referred to the Community Liaison Committee and Corporate Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committee for consideration prior to reaching a final determination by Cabinet.


The report outlined that as part of the Reshaping Services programme, Vale of Glamorgan Council officers had been engaged with Town and Community Councils for some time seeking to establish which services or assets they may be interested in taking on, either to supplement a reduction in service frequency or standards due to reduced budgets, or in the worst case scenario to fulfil a service in some form due to its complete withdrawal.  Interest had generally been from Town and / or Community Councils to become involved in services and functions local to their respective administrative boundaries and at a scale commensurate with their administrations and resources.  This had always been with the proviso that such services / functions should be operated at a lower overall cost to the tax payer and to at least the same standard as was currently the case.


The discussions undertaken to date had provided a useful learning opportunity for all concerned and as had been expected, different Town and Community Councils had expressed varying levels of interest in this agenda so far.  Through effective management of Council services, there had also not been a need to progress discussions relating to the wholesale withdrawal of services or the closure of assets. Whilst this demonstrated successful management of services to date, there were clearly future pressures that would be likely to change this situation.  Without providing details of services or assets that were to be withdrawn or to cease, Town and Community Councils had also lacked some clarity in terms of their scope and the desired outcomes from any potential projects.  The discussions had also prompted the need to address the question of which services and assets the Vale of Glamorgan Council operated at a very 'local' level (i.e. for specific local communities) and those which were strategically operated (i.e. for the benefit of the area / region / country as a whole).  This had again not provided clarity for potential partners in which services / assets the Council would be willing to progress discussions in order to fulfil the Council's Well-being Objectives and to deliver the sufficient level of financial saving that this Council would ultimately require from such arrangements.


The uncertainty had resulted in considerable effort being expended by the Council’s officers in producing work schedules, costings, plans and bills of quantities for Town and Community Councils, who had been assessing assets and services selected as being of interest to them.  The time could ultimately be wasted if the wishes of the Town and Community Councils concerned were not in accord with that of the Council.


With current financial predictions suggesting an increasing need for alternative forms of service delivery from 2018/19 onwards, which would include a greater role for partnerships and collaborations and the possible full transfer of services to others, a more streamlined and transparent process for engaging and working with Town and Community Councils was required in order to provide a clear way forward for all parties.  All Councils needed clarity as to how the Vale of Glamorgan Council should prepare to work together in the future to ensure that all opportunities were grasped to meet the needs of our citizens and communities, and the report sought to assist in this purpose by producing a protocol or 'blueprint' for future engagement, building on the experiences to date, this Council's Corporate Plan, its Medium Term Financial Plan and the national legislative context.


The Vale Council undertook a range of functions and services, some of which were statutory and others that were discretionary.  Some services could not be delegated to others, such as Licensing, and some could, such as open space maintenance, for example, grass cutting.  There were services and functions that could be categorised as being 'strategic' to the Vale of Glamorgan as a location or destination, such as Barry Island, Penarth Pier and key parks and gardens, examples of which would include Windsor Gardens and Alexandra Park, Penarth and The Knap Gardens in Barry.  Examples of strategic buildings included The Kymin in Penarth, the Eastern and Western Shelters and associated facilities on Barry Island as well as town centre and resort car parks which served local as well as visitor users.  The reason that these facilities and services were classed as strategic in nature was by virtue of them serving visitors from outside of the Vale area as well as providing for local communities.  In contrast, there were services and functions which could be considered as non-strategic and more community based, such as allotments, bowling greens and small local parks and areas of public open space.


The Protocol was intended to provide clarity by indicating those services and types of assets which the Council would consider to be non-strategic and therefore those that may be available for transfer or operation by others, including the broad terms of any such arrangements.


Examples of the categories of assets that were considered to be non-strategic were provided at paragraph 22 of the report, for example allotments, etc.


Where a Town or Community Council was interested in pursuing opportunities within their area, they were encouraged to contact the Council for further discussion and more information on the specific assets which fell into the non-strategic categories above could then be provided which was relevant to the particular area in question. This would enable relevant information to be provided and for informed discussions to take place.  In addition to this Protocol, Cabinet would also be considering proposals for changes to the operation of single-use sports facilities (for example bowling greens and tennis clubs) which were also being reported on this agenda.


Based on lessons learned from projects both within the Vale of Glamorgan and elsewhere, there were several possible forms of arrangement for the operation or transfer of services and assets to Town and Community Councils.


Community Asset Transfer – the Council had an established Community Asset Transfer (CAT) guidance and protocol which set out a process through the submission of an Expression of Interest and (where judged to be viable) a Business Case that was considered by the Council's CAT Working Group, Insight Board and Cabinet.  This guidance was currently under review.  Town and Community Councils may wish to consider the CAT process for asset categories listed above where a viable business case existed for operating these.


‘Soft-CAT' or pilot – there was also the possibility of Town and Community Councils working on a 'soft-CAT' or pilot basis, whereby the Town or Community Council could operate the service / asset on a Service Level Agreement basis for a period of time (for example, two years) initially to enable risks to be managed and to develop learning and understanding.  These forms of arrangement would be developed on the basis of a 'light touch' business case, produced collaboratively.  The Town or Community Council would assume the responsibility for operating the service / asset on the basis of an agreed service level.  This may lead to a formal CAT application in time for assets or a more permanent arrangement regarding service delivery.  It was proposed that this "soft-CAT" option would be reflected in the updated Corporate CAT guidance which would be reported to Cabinet later this summer.


Licence or other agreement – the Council had operated licences and other forms of occupation / service agreements with a range of organisations, including Town and Community Councils, for many years.  These agreements could take the form of leases, for example, or Service Level Agreements whereby Town and Community Councils 'contract' the Vale of Glamorgan Council to undertake work on their behalf.


A copy of the report had also been sent to Town and Community Councils by use of the Urgent Decision Procedure prior to the August recess in order to provide an opportunity for Town and Community Councils to consider the report prior to the recess. 


In considering the report, a number of Members concurred with the contents contained therein, advising that the report provided more detail for Town and Community Councils to become involved. Members also appreciated the proposed ‘soft-CAT’ approach.  A few concerns were expressed regarding the issue of double taxation, with the Head of Neighbourhood Services and Transport advising that at the recent Community Liaison Committee there had also been considerable discussion on this subject with the Head of Service advising that where a service was not undertaken by the Vale of Glamorgan Council, there would be no double taxation issue, referring by way of an example to, if the Vale Council decided to only undertake 4 grass cuts per year as opposed to eight  but the Town and Community Council wished to undertake eight then the extra four would not be considered to be double taxation.  The key being the overall cost of the service to not be any greater than the current cost.


Members in recognising the need for progress in relation to transfers of assets or services, it was subsequently


RECOMMENDED – T H A T the report be agreed and the contents contained therein noted.


Reason for recommendation


In order to move progress and in view of the contents contained therein.





The purpose of the report was to brief the Committee on the proposal to extend the Partnership Agreement  for the Shared Internal Audit Service to include Rhondda Cynon Taff and Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Councils.


The Head of Finance, in presenting the report, referred to the fact that on 22nd March, 2018 the Committee had considered the service plan for the Finance and ICT service for 2018/19 and as a result of that debate, requested a report to a future meeting on progress of an expanded Joint Internal Audit Service.


Despite the positive impact the current service had on the provision of the internal audit service, the service had faced some challenges over the past 18 months in terms of recruitment.  This had presented the opportunity for a more proactive and focused approach being taken in respect of work force planning and growing awareness of the service to ensure its continued success. 


As a consequence of this, Section 151 Officers of all four Councils had been considering whether there would be any benefits in extending the current partnership arrangement to include the two additional Authorities.


On 18th June, 2018 Cabinet considered and approved a proposal to formally extend the remit of the current service to include Rhondda Cynon Taff and Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Councils.  The report proposed that the Vale of Glamorgan should continue to host the function on behalf of the revised partnership.  The proposal was considered and endorsed and a copy was provided at Appendix A to the report.


Since 18th June, 2018, the report had been considered and endorsed by the Cabinets in the other three Councils. 


It was noted that the proposal would improve resilience, enhance career development opportunities for staff, develop wider skills such as computer and contract audit and would ensure all officers’ roles were secure and not at any financial disadvantage. 


Committee was informed that the report had been agreed by Rhondda Cynon Taff and Bridgend County Borough Council and that Merthyr Tydfil Council was due to consider the report at its full Council meeting in July. 


Members stated that they welcomed the report and took the opportunity to thank the officers within Audit Service for the hard work undertaken to date. 


RECOMMENDED – T H A T the proposal to extend the current Internal Audit Shared Service to include Rhondda Cynon Taff and Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Councils be noted.


Reason  for recommendation


Having regard to the Committee’s request and to provide a progress update on the Internal Audit Service.



207     CLOSURE OF ACCOUNTS 2017/18 (MD) –


The Section 151 Officer / Head of Service, in presenting the report, advised that the accounts were complete and the report was being presented to inform the Scrutiny Committee of the provisional financial position for the Council for the 2017/18 financial year.


Council, on 1st March, 2017 (minute no. 864), agreed the Authority’s budget requirement for 2017/18.  This represented budgeted net expenditure for the Authority of £215.720m.  Total expenditure was to be financed by Revenue Support Grant (£108.578m), National Non-Domestic Rates contribution (£40.976m) and Council Taxpayers (£66.166m).  The Standard Spending Assessment (SSA) for the year was £216.807m.


The revenue budgets had been amended and approved by Cabinet during the financial year, however, they were at the same overall net level as the original budget of £215.720m, which was after the planned use of £700k from the Council Fund.  The actual expenditure for 2017/18 was £215.720m, which was a breakeven position and followed a transfer of £675k from the Council Fund.


Appendix 1 to the report amended the revised budgets to take account of the following adjustments.  These adjustments had no overall effect on the net budget of the Council and were accounting adjustments largely outside the control of services:


IAS 19 Retirement Benefits – The purpose of this Standard was to ensure that the operating costs of providing retirement benefits to employees were recognised in the accounting period in which they were earned by the employees.  Figures provided by the actuary differed from that estimated and the movements needed to be incorporated into the accounts;


Asset Rents – This charge could vary each year due to an increase / decrease in the valuation of assets.  The movements needed to be incorporated into the accounts;


Leave Accrual Adjustment – An accrual was made for the cost of holiday entitlements earned by employees but not taken before year end.  The movement for school staff changes between years depending on when the Easter holiday fell.  It had been assumed that there was no movement between years for non-school staff;


Carbon Reduction Commitment Scheme – The scheme required the Authority to report on carbon dioxide emissions associated with the use of electricity and gas within its buildings.  Payment was then made to the Environment Agency to cover the charge in respect of those emissions;


Recharges – These represented changes to inter-service recharges and transfers.


The report provided a breakdown of all the Directorates including transfers to and from reserves, for the Authority.


With regard to the Housing Revenue Account, Council had, on 1st March, 2017, agreed the Authority’s 2017/18 Housing Revenue Account budget. 


In 2017/18 the Housing Revenue Account outturned with an in year deficit of £183k, compared to the amended budget which was a planned deficit of £127k.  A breakdown was shown in Appendix 2 to the report.  The HRA reserve opened at £958k and the in year deficit resulted in the reserve closing at 31st March, 2018 with a balance of £775k.  This level was in line with the current Housing Business Plan.


With regard to the Council’s Insurance Fund, the total Insurance Fund comprised of both a provision and a reserve.  The provision represented potential liabilities on known claims and the reserve related to claims not yet made.  An assessment was made as to the level of known claims and it was considered that the level of the provision should be reduced and therefore £334k was transferred into the reserve to fund unknown potential claims in the future.  The provisional figures for the Trading Services showed an overall gross surplus of £91k (before repayment of £47k to the Housing Revenue Account).  


In referring to Reserves, the Head of Service stated that a reserve is an appropriation from a revenue account and did not constitute a cost of service until the expenditure was eventually incurred.  A reserve did not cover a present obligation or liability and was a voluntary means of setting aside monies for future requirements either capital or revenue.


A provision was a charge to revenue and was included as part of the cost of the relevant service at the point the provision was created. A provision covered a present obligation or liability that had occurred to a past event and was compulsory under accounting regulations.


As part of the 2018/19 revenue budget setting process, each specific reserve had been reviewed and considered in light of the Council's priorities. Of note was the fact that there were considerable commitments which would require funding from reserves in the coming years, e.g. Band B 21st Century Schools Investment Programme.


Attached at Appendix 4 to the report was a schedule showing the Council's reserves as at 31st March, 2018.  The table below shows the net movements in reserves for 2017/18 relating to the Council Fund and for specific reserves.  The table excluded the HRA reserve as this was shown in Appendix 2 to the report and the Insurance Fund where the movement had been detailed elsewhere in the report.  The value of transfers out of reserves to fund capital expenditure was £5.377m with a net transfer into reserves from revenue of £6.710m.  Transfers into reserves could be used to fund future revenue or capital expenditure.


Net   Movement on Reserves Excluding HRA & Insurance

Balance as at 31st March 2017


Balance as at 31st March 2018


Net Movement



Council Fund




Specific Reserves




School Balances




Reverse out   Insurance Fund




Total   Movement









Of   which: -


Reduction in   reserves for Capital expenditure


Transfers into   reserves from Revenue


Net   Movement



The Cardiff Capital Region City Deal, brought together ten Local Authorities and financial support from Welsh and UK Governments to generate significant economic growth and to improve transport and other infrastructure within the Cardiff Capital Region over the next 20 years.  The contribution to be made by the Council would be substantial over the coming years.  It was anticipated that the Council would need to carry out unsupported borrowing which would require revenue funding to be identified to support these loans.  It had been considered prudent that funding was set aside to support potential financial commitments and therefore a City Deal fund had been set up with an allocation of £1.250m as at 1st April, 2017.  Additional funding of £800k had been transferred into this reserve during 2017/18 from revenue underspends, with £500k being approved as part of the Final Revenue Budget Proposals in February 2018 and a further £300k as part of this report.  Expenditure of £2.052m had been incurred during 2017/18 and these costs were funded from borrowing which would be financed by the Council.


The condition of the roads in the Vale of Glamorgan was an important issue to the Council.  £500k was set aside in the Visible Services reserve for additional road and pavement resurfacing works in 2018/19 as part of the Final Revenue Budget Proposals report in February 2018.  The Council had committed funding for the Big Fill initiative until 31st March, 2019.  There were still further works to be carried out across the Vale and therefore £500k had been transferred into the Visible Services reserve to allow the Big Fill initiative to continue into 2019/20 and this would be part of the revenue budget.  As part of the report, an additional £400k had also been transferred into the Visible Service reserve to fund further resurfacing works in 2019/20.


The Events reserve had also been increased by £200k.  £400k had been set aside to set up a Schools Deferred Pension scheme, via both a reserve and a provision.  This would allow the Council to make up front payments to the Teachers’ Pension scheme centrally on behalf of schools, which could be repaid by Schools over a number of years.


There had also been transfers into reserves for reimbursements from services for works where the initial cost was funded from that specific reserve e.g. Computer Renewal Fund, Project Fund, Vehicle Repairs and Renewals, Schools Rationalisation Fund and the Energy Management Fund.


Funds no longer required as specific reserves may be transferred to the Council Fund to be used for other purposes.  The reserves had been reviewed and were currently considered adequate for reported uses, subject to the adjustments detailed in the report, however, a further transfer between reserves was being proposed.  Due to the transitional and one off costs associated with the setting up of Co-Education in Barry, a transfer of £152k was requested from the Libraries Fund into the Schools Rationalisation reserve.


The transfers detailed above had been included in Appendix 4 to the report.


In referring specifically to the Social Services Department, reference was made to the underspend following a higher than anticipated level of grant income and higher income from care home fees for the year.  Reference was made to legislation changes and the Head of Service stated that the Department was monitoring the impact of legislative changes and with regard to the HRA, some capital works were funded from the Revenue Account resulting in the HRA not having as much debt as it may have originally been forecast.


In referring to grants received from Welsh Government and whether they were one off or not, the Head of Service stated that extra funding was received for winter pressures and for the ICF Programme which were one offs.  The Independent Living Grant was a two year grant and would eventually transfer to the Revenue Support Grant. 


In recognising that the accounts were provisional subject to final audit approval, it was subsequently


RECOMMENDED – T H A T officers be thanked for a clear and comprehensive report and that the report be noted.


Reason for recommendation


Having regard to the financial measures taken and proposed.





The Head of Service presented the current position relating to the revenue budget for the period 1st April to 31st May, 2018, it being noted it was early in the financial year.


Having regard to the Learning and Skills Directorate, it was anticipated that the Directorate would outturn on budget in the current financial year after a transfer from reserves.


For Social Services the forecast was showing a balanced budget, however it was noted that there would be considerable pressures on this service in the coming year and the position may not be achieved.


For Children and Young People Services the report advised that the major issue concerning this service for the coming year would be the pressure on the children’s placements budget given the complexities of the children currently being supported.  Work continued to ensure that children were placed in the most appropriate and cost effective placements.  However, it should be noted that due to the potential high cost of each placement, the outturn position could fluctuate with a change in the number of looked after children and / or the complexity of need.


In respect of Adult Services, the major issue concerning this service for the coming year would continue to be the pressure on the Community Care Packages budget.  This budget was extremely volatile and was influenced by legislative changes such as the National Living Wage.  At this early stage of the year, the outturn position was difficult to predict.  The service also continued to be affected by the pressures of continued demographic growth, an increase in the cost of service provision and the Community Care Packages budget would have to achieve further savings this year.  The service would strive to manage growing demand and would develop savings initiatives which may be funded via regional grants.  Welsh Government had continued to provide Intermediate Care Fund (ICF) grant to Cardiff and Vale University Health Board to allow collaborative working between Health and Cardiff and the Vale Councils, however the level of grant funding was not guaranteed on an ongoing basis.


For Environment and Housing, Neighbourhood and Transport Services was currently projected to outturn on budget, however there were some areas of concerns to highlight where reserves would be utilised.


Within the Waste Collection service there was still pressure on employee and transport budgets due to downtime involved in travelling to Cardiff to dispose waste. £200k had again been set aside within the Neighbourhood Services Reserve for this reason.  Due to changes within the recycling market and China’s decision to reject elements of mixed recycling there was also a pressure within the Recycling Treatment budget.  Again, funding had been set aside in reserves for 2018/19 to cover this pressure however this was only a one-off funding stream and there would be a cost pressure on the budget in 2019/20 of approximately £430k.


The Reshaping Services savings target for Neighbourhood Services for 2018/19 was £775k.   £375k of this saving related to the remaining balance to be found from the recent restructure within Neighbourhood Services.  The restructure had been effective from 1st April, 2018 however, due to the timescales and notice periods required, some staff currently remain in post.  This may have had some effect on the level of savings achievable.  Plans for the remainder of the savings were currently being developed and would be reported to Cabinet shortly.


For Regulatory Services the allocation of £2.239m represented the Vale of Glamorgan's budget for its share of the Shared Regulatory Service (SRS).  A separate set of accounts was maintained for the SRS and periodically reported to the Shared Regulatory Service Joint Committee.  At this stage in the year it was anticipated that the SRS would outturn on target.


For Council Fund Housing, at this early stage of the year, it was anticipated that this budget would outturn on target. In respect of Public Sector Housing (HRA) this 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.


For the Managing Director and Resources Directorate, although again early in the financial year, it was currently being projected that this service would outturn within target at year end, although reference was made to the following:


Regeneration – this budget covered the Countryside, Economic Development and Tourism and Events functions.  Although the forecast was again shown as a balanced budget, there remained concern over the income targets for car parking charges and commercial opportunities within the Countryside Division, where historic savings targets were unlikely to be achieved this year.  Efforts would however be made to maintain a balanced budget by year-end, but the situation would need to be monitored.


Development Management – As it was very early in the financial year, the forecast was shown as a balanced budget.  However, the planning fees budget would be monitored closely given planning application fee income had fallen short of the target in recent years.  The Section would continue to pursue the use of Planning Performance Agreements and other income generation such as pre planning application advice to help support this regulatory process.


The report also noted that savings targets for 2018/19 were attached at Appendix 1, which detailed all savings targets for 2018/19 with a target of £6.298m.  It was further noted that some services were in the process of finalising options prior to full implementation and that some savings may not be achieved in full by the year end,    updates on progress would however, be provided to Members during the year.


Having regard to the contents contained therein, it was subsequently


RECOMMENDED – T H A T the report be noted.


Reason for recommendation


Having regard to the contents of the report.





Appendix 1 to the report detailed the financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 31st May, 2018 with Members awareness being referred to Appendix 1 which  included requests for unspent committed expenditure to be slipped from the 2017/18 Capital Programme into 2018/19 as approved by emergency powers on 12th June, 2018.


The monitoring report showed actual expenditure for the month of May 2018.  Some profiles had been provided, however when a scheme profile had not been provided, it was matched by the actual expenditure to date, thereby showing no variances.  Profiled expenditure had been requested from Project Managers and would be updated in the next report.


For all schemes where it was evident that the full year's budget would not be spent during the year, the relevant officers were required to provide an explanation for the shortfall and this should be taken to the earliest available Cabinet.


Having regard to the report, a Member queried the timeframe the Committee would be advised of completed works over the summer months, with the Head of Service responding that such details should be available to be reported to Committee by the end of September 2018. 


The Committee was requested to also note the progress made to date, the use of Emergency Powers for Tŷ Deri to bring forward £45k from the 2019/10 Capital Programme to the 2018/19 Capital Programme, for Flying Start Family Centre to approve the inclusion of £6.5k Welsh Government Grant and to consider the approval of the following schemes into the 2018/19 Capital Programme:


-              Active Travel £214k (Welsh Government grant);

-              Cardiff / Vale of Glamorgan Coastal Sustainable Transport Corridors £600k (Welsh Government grant);

-              A48 Strategic Corridor and Other Primary Bus Stops £175k (£145k Welsh Government grant, £30k Section 106 monies)

-              Lougher Place Play Area – Include £168k into the Capital Programme (£2k in 17/18 and £166k in 18/19), to be funded from £126k Welsh Government Rural Development Programme Grant, £38.5k Section 106 monies and £3.5k contribution from the SAINTs charity in St. Athan;

-              Land at Innovation Quarter – Include this scheme within the 2018/19 Capital Programme to be funded from capital receipts.


Having considered the report, it was subsequently


RECOMMENDED – T H A T the report be agreed.


Reason for recommendation


In view of the progress made on the 2018/19 Capital Programme, the use of Delegated Authorities and the Emergency Powers and in order to allow schemes to proceed in the current and future financial year.





The Head of Performance and Development outlined that the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 formally established Public Service Boards (PSB) in each Local Authority area in Wales.  “Our Vale” was the Vale PSB and in accordance with the Act must contribute to the achievement of the national well-being goals as set out in legislation.  Corporate Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committee was the designated committee for scrutinising the work of the PSB.


The Well-being Plan 2018-23 was attached at Appendix B to the report.  The Plan detailed how the well-being objectives had been set, short and long term actions and how the Plan fitted with other partnership plans and strategies and the outcomes the PSB wanted to achieve.  The Plan had been approved by the PSB on 18th April following formal approval by the relevant Boards / Committees of the PSB partners and published on the PSB website.  The Plan had officially been launched on 22nd May at the HeARTh Gallery at Llandough Hospital. 


The actions in the Plan reflected where partners thought their collective action could add the greatest value in contributing to the seven national well-being goals for Wales.  Many of the actions in the Plan cut across a number of objectives and demonstrated how partners were looking to integrate activities to deliver a range of outcomes.  Actions in the Well-being Plan included: 

  • Research best practice in engagement and community participation to develop new approaches;
  • Support and promote volunteering opportunities for staff and residents;
  • Produce an engagement toolkit;
  • Work with the local community to identify and develop a co-production project;
  • Work together to promote healthy behaviour messages;
  • Work with local residents to identify and deliver an environmental project;
  • Develop a co-ordinated approach to tackling fuel poverty;
  • Work together as local employers to develop new opportunities for work experience and apprenticeships;
  • Improve parenting skills;
  • Review multi-agency arrangements for the delivery of preventative and statutory services for children and young people;
  • Promote active travel and more sustainable travel;
  • Deliver on a joint commitment to 'green' our estates .e.g. reduce energy use and minimise pollution. 

The four statutory partners on the PSB (The Council, Cardiff and Vale UHB, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Natural Resources Wales) had each agreed to  lead on one of the Well-being Objectives and an Implementation Group had been formed with the following lead officers: 

  • To enable people to get involved, participate in their local communities and shape local services – Vaughan Jenkins, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service;
  • To reduce poverty and tackle inequalities linked to deprivation – Fiona Kinghorn, Cardiff and Vale Public Health Team, Cardiff and Vale UHB;
  • To give children the best start in life – Paula Ham, Vale of Glamorgan Council;
  • To protect, enhance and value our environment – Nadia De Longhi, Natural Resources Wales. 

A mapping exercise was being undertaken to bring together relevant information and suggestions gathered through the consultation, identifying synergies with other plans e.g. neighbouring PSB Well-being Plans and the Cardiff and Vale Area Plan and also best practice and other resources.  This would help to inform how the different actions would be taken forward.  Discussions around the implementation in the Plan were still in their infancy and one of the tasks for the leads would be to consider how they ensured that the right people from the right organisations got involved, recognising that the PSB would need to work with a range of organisations e.g. Town and Community Councils, Housing Associations and the Third Sector to deliver the Plan.


Members considered that monitoring the implementation of the Plan was going to be key and sought reassurance around the role of the Policy and Research Officer and whether there would be a sufficient senior level approach in order for issues to be addressed.  The Head of Performance and Development advised that the PSB was currently developing mechanisms for monitoring and performance management purposes and although it would be difficult with multiple partners, the lead officers reporting on the objectives were senior officers within each organisation. 


A Member stated that it was encouraging that each partner had taken on specific roles as outlined in paragraph 12 of the report, and that the Scrutiny Committee had the responsibility to monitor the PSB, with it being agreed that the monitoring role be added to the Committee’s work programme.  




(1)       T H A T the contents of the Public Services Board Well-being Plan and details of how partners were working together to put in place arrangements for the implementation of the Plan be noted.


(2)       T H A T monitoring of the Plan be added to the Committee’s work programme with presentations on each of the four topic areas to be presented to the Committee when appropriate.


Reasons for recommendations


(1)       To enable the Committee to consider the contents of the Well-being Plan.


(2)       To enable the Committee to monitor the Well-being Plan and the arrangements for its implementation.





Committee was informed that the overall sickness absence rates (i.e. working time lost per Full Time Equivalent (FTE)] over the period April to March were set out in the table below with comparative data for the same period in previous years in 2015 and 2016. 


comparative data


April 2015 - Mar 2016

April 2016 - Mar 2017

April 2017 - Mar 2018

Annual Target

Total days/shifts lost (per   FTE)







The total days / shifts lost per FTE for the period April 2017 to March 2018 indicated an increase in absence levels in comparison with 2017 (from 8.80 to 10.14 days lost per FTE which represented an overall increase of 1.34 of a day lost per FTE). 


A summary of absence levels within each Directorate is set out below.  A breakdown of absence in each service area was included within Appendix A to the report.


absence levels


Apr 2016 to

Mar 2017

Apr 2017 to

Mar 2018



Total days / shifts lost per FTE

Total days / shifts lost per FTE

Annual Target

Social Services




Environment and Housing




MD and Resources




Learning and Skills




Totals – Excluding Schools








Totals – Including Schools





The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development advised that the overall increase in absence levels was disappointing given the range of positive measures that had been put in place and in particular the increased scrutiny of absence across all Directorates by the Council’s Corporate Management Team.  However it was also noted that the increase was, to a degree, an understandable reflection of the volume of change and transformation that was being managed across all service areas and the significant increase in flu related absence across the UK in 2017/18.  The report also highlighted that the increase in sickness absence levels was also something which had been experienced across the majority of other Welsh Local Authorities in 2017/18.


The Head of Service in referring to the reasons for absence, No. 14 listed as “Not Recorded” in the report at paragraph 12, advised that this was to be removed thereby ensuring that every reason for absence was recorded on the system.  In referring to the first quarter, he advised that currently the absence figures were currently under target and with the best absence figures for the quarter in comparison to previous years.  A Member stated that in their view 11 out of 22 Local Authorities was a fair comparison. 


In referring to action point 16 on the Action Plan – Explore insurance policies to support attendance / cover costs of absence, it was noted that the progress was to be reviewed again as part of the current savings targets for 2018/19 although the Head of Service stated that whether it would be cost effective would be an issue, but a report would be brought back to Committee for consideration in due course.


In referring to absence reason No. 9 “Undisclosed”, a Member queried why this would be referred as undisclosed, being advised that this depended upon the specific issues which were, in the main, extremely sensitive and data protected.


Following consideration of the report, it was subsequently




(1)       T H A T the report and the full yearly sickness absence figures provided in Appendix A to the report be noted.


(2)       T H A T the progress in relation to the action plan as attached at Appendix B to the report be noted.


Reasons for recommendations


(1&2)  To apprise Members.





The report provided an up to date analysis of employee turnover as part of the Council’s work force planning considerations.  Employee turnover had been assessed on the basis of the number of employees leaving the Council as a percentage of the total number of staff (headcount) employed by the Council.  The report also presented the turnover figures between April 2017 and March 2018, comparing them with those reported between April 2016 and March 2017 to assist performance monitoring over both periods.


The Head of Service highlighted that the figures for the period April 2017 to March 2018 indicated a decrease in turnover (from 10.14% to 8.88%) in comparison to the same period in the previous year.  The total number leavers had also decreased from 532 to 457.  Corporate turnover had also decreased from 10.68% to 8.65% and turnover in Schools had decreased from 9.67 to 9.08%.  All Members welcomed these figures.


The report also referred to the turnover by each Directorate and the turnover leaving reasons, together with details of exit interview questionnaires which, the Head of Service advised, continued to play a key role in identifying the reasons why people had chosen to leave the employment with the Council.  During the period April 2017 to March 2018 49 people had taken the opportunity to complete and return exit questionnaires.  This was in comparison to 27% of corporate volunteer leavers that completed and returned an exit questionnaire over April 2016 to March 2017 and 19% of corporate voluntary leavers that completed exit questionnaires over the period April 2015 to March 2016.


A Member of the Appeals Committee advised that although a number of redundancies had taken place there were very small numbers of appeals being made which was considered to be attributed to the way employees were being managed.


In considering lessons learned from the information provided, the Head of Service advised that in view of the number of changes that had been made over the previous years, there appeared to be good reasons for the figures but now that things had settled, for example the SRS Service which was fully up and running, employee turnover was stable.


Having discussed the report, Members took the opportunity to thank the Head of Service for the detail provided and also took the opportunity to wish him well for the future as he would be leaving the Authority at the end of July 2018.


It was subsequently




(1)       T H A T the position in relation to employee turnover for April 2017 to March 2018 be noted.


(2)       T H A T the Committee’s thanks be extended to Mr. Reuben Bergman for his hard work and dedication to the Council over the years during his employment with the Authority. 


Reasons for recommendations


(1)       To apprise Committee in line with corporate objectives.


(2)       In recognition of the Head of Service’s work within the Authority.





The Principal Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer advised Members of the progress made in relation to the Scrutiny Committee’s recommendations and confirmed the work programme schedule for the Scrutiny Committee for 2018/19.  The officer highlighted Appendices A and B which set out the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee and requested Members to review progress against each recommendation, to assess whether further action would be required, to ensure the required action was undertaken and to confirm which recommendations would be agreed as completed. 


The officer detailed the recommendations in Appendices A and B, advising that the progress status for each was noted as completed and, in referring to the work programme, at Appendix C, advised that the schedule was not an exhaustive list.  Other reports would be added to the schedule as and when the necessity arose and it would include any Requests for Consideration received by the Committee and any call-in requests made following decisions of Cabinet, it being noted that the monitoring of the Public Services Board Well-being Plan would be added to the work programme schedule.


In referring to the progress report on Welfare Reform, it was suggested that this be brought forward from January 2019  to possibly be considered at the September meeting in 2017 and that the Committees work programme be amended accordingly.


In referring to the costs of the LED roll out programme, Councillor King, aware that the appropriate Committee was the Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee, considered that the Corporate Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committee should also receive a report on the financial implications and in particular the implications for savings, with a request that a future report be presented to the Corporate Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committee for its consideration.  The Principal Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer agreed to look into this. 


Having considered the report, it was subsequently




(1)       T H A T the 1st Quarter scrutiny decision tracking of recommendations as outlined below be agreed as completed: 


decision tracking

30 April 2018

Min. No. 918 – Staff   Charter – Update From Employee Survey (REF) – Recommended 

(2)   That Cabinet be informed of the concerns   of the Corporate Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committee with regard to   the time and cost of the work undertaken as outlined above.

Referred   to Cabinet meeting on 6th June, 2018.

Cabinet, at its   meeting on 6th June, 2018, noted the contents of the report and   resolved that

(2)   The   concerns of Corporate Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committee be noted   but not accepted given the relevance and importance of the annual staff   survey as part of the Council’s on-going engagement work.  

(Min. No. C324 refers)


Min. No. 919 – Vale of   Glamorgan Wellbeing and Improvement Objectives (Improvement Plan Part 1)   2018-19 (MD) – Recommended that the Corporate Plan Well-being and Improvement   Objectives and associated priority actions for 2018/19 as outlined in   Appendix 1 attached to the report be endorsed and the views of the Scrutiny   Committee be included in the summary report sent to Cabinet.

The Committee’s comments were incorporated into a report   submitted to Cabinet on 21st May, 2018. Cabinet, having considered   the report and all the issues and implications contained therein including   the comments of the Scrutiny Committees resolved -

[1]   That the   following amendments be made to the Improvement Plan:

  •   The diagram titled 'how it all fits together'   was amended prior to publication to reflect the holistic approach taken by   the Council in developing and delivering its key strategic plans as outlined   in its Performance Management Framework.
  •   Performance descriptions for all Public   Accountability Measures are updated prior to publication in the Improvement   Plan to reflect the 2018/19 guidance recently issued by the Local Government   Data Unit.
  •   Update the quarter 3 performance data reported   in the section 'how would we measure progress' in the Improvement Plan with   end of year data for 2017/18 to ensure up to date information was presented   where available.

[2] That, subject to Resolution (1), the Vale of Glamorgan   Council’s Improvement Plan Part 1 for 2018/19 (Appendix 1) as amended be   endorsed for publication.

(Min No C312 refers)


24 May 2018

Min. No. 59 – Reshaping   Services – Income Generation and Commercial Opportunities – Advertising and   Sponsorship Protocol (REF) – Recommended   

(1)   That the Advertising and Sponsorship   Protocol be endorsed subject to the Cabinet giving the following matters   further consideration:

  •   The provision of a definition required in relation to paragraph 4.3 of   the Protocol ”of a political nature”;
  •   A flexible approach to the packaging of strategic and non-strategic   routes be taken.

(2)   That Cabinet be advised that the Scrutiny   Committee endorses the requirement for the protocol to be reviewed annually   which should include the Scrutiny Committee as part of the review process.

Referred to Cabinet meeting   on 6th June, 2018.

Cabinet, at its meeting on   6th June, 2018 noted the contents of the report and resolved

(2)   That the Advertising and   Sponsorship Protocol be endorsed subject to the following changes:

•    The provision of a definition   required in relation to paragraph 4.3 of the Protocol ”of a political   nature”;

•    A flexible approach to the   packaging of strategic and non-strategic routes be taken.

(3)   That in pursuance   of resolution 2 above, delegated authority be granted to the Managing   Director, in consultation with the Leader to amend and finalise the protocol   as recommended. 

(4)   That the Advertising and   Sponsorship protocol be reviewed annually and that the Scrutiny Committee Corporate Performance   and Resources be included as part of the review process.

(Min. No. C332 refers)


22 March 2018

Min. No. 817 – Service Plans 2018-22: Human   Resources, Legal Services, Finance, ICT, Performance and Development and   Democratic Services (MD) –   Recommended

(2)   That the Head of Finance submit a report   to a future meeting on progress of an expanded Joint Internal Audit Service.

Added to work programme   schedule.



(2)       T H A T the work programme schedule attached at Appendix C to the report be amended to include monitoring of the Public Services Board Well-being Plan and consideration be given to bringing forward the Welfare Reform Annual Progress Report for consideration by the Committee together with the information relating to the costings for the LED lights programme and uploaded to the Council’s website.


Reasons for recommendations


(1)       To confirm the status of actions listed as completed.


(2)       In order that the work programme schedule can be updated as appropriate and for information.