ENVIRONMENT AND REGENERATION SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 12th July, 2018.

 

Present:  Councillor M. Lloyd (Vice-Chairman in the Chair); Councillors: Mrs. P. Drake, V.P. Driscoll, S.T. Edwards, G. John, N. Moore, Ms. S. Sivagnanam and S.T. Wiliam.

 

Also present:  Councillors L. Burnett, N.P. Hodges, P.G. King, K.P. Mahoney and Mrs. S.D. Perkes.

 

 

164     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE -

 

These were received from Councillor V.J. Bailey (Chairman) and Councillor A.R. Robertson.

 

 

165     MINUTES -

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 14th June, 2018 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

166     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

167     HIGHWAY RESURFACING 3 YEAR PLAN 2018 - 2021 (REF) -

 

The Head of Service for Neighbourhood Services and Transport commenced by advising that the report had been referred by Cabinet on 2nd July, 2018 for the Committee’s consideration.  Accompanying the Head of Service was the Team Leader.  Cabinet had been advised of the Highway Maintenance 3 Year Resurfacing Plan and agreement was sought for the priority locations for resurfacing works as detailed within the Plan. 

 

The report highlighted that the local highway network within the Vale of Glamorgan was a valuable asset to the community for which the Council was responsible.  The way it was managed and maintained had a direct impact on residents, businesses and visitors who used it on a daily basis

 

A letter was sent to all Town and Community Councils in March 2018 by the Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services and Transport advising that the Council had set aside a sum of £2.436m for highways resurfacing for the 2018/19 financial year.

 

The main purpose of the letter was to ensure that more minor highway routes within local areas were given consideration, where the local community felt such routes to be of 'local importance'.  The letter offered the Town and Community Councils an opportunity to input into the review of this year's Highway Maintenance 3 Year Resurfacing Plan by using their local knowledge to submit up to three routes which they considered to be high priority within their ward area no later than 20th April, 2018.  The letter advised that the Council would then assess each route to establish its priority on the Highway Maintenance 3 Year Resurfacing Plan and submit it to Cabinet for future consideration.

 

The proposed Highway Maintenance 3 Year Resurfacing Plan was attached at Appendix A and identified carriageways requiring treatment to prevent further surface and structural deterioration.  The roads and routes included certain routes suggested by the Town and Community Councils that responded to the above letter as well as other priority roads identified by the Council's Highway Engineers as requiring treatment.  The roads and routes suggested by Town and Community Councils were listed in Appendix C.  The carriageways of all the roads and routes listed within the Plan for resurfacing had been assessed in accordance with the 'Carriageway Resurfacing Prioritisation Scoring System' which was attached at Appendix B.

 

The 'Carriageway Resurfacing Prioritisation Scoring System' identified several criteria and data factors which enabled a score to be derived and the prioritised 3 Year Plan for resurfacing to be established.  Resurfacing works were costly and this form of treatment generally related to major and heavily trafficked routes.  Roads that would receive surfacing works this financial year would be selected from the prioritised resurfacing list.  Cabinet noted that the roads on the resurfacing list scoring the highest from top to bottom on the Plan would generally be completed first, however, the comments column identified any specific constraints that needed to be considered to progress works safely and adequately along specific roads.  In certain cases, where these constraints related to conflict with other schemes, works required to utility services or drainage issues may mean the resurfacing of these roads needed to be delayed or postponed.

 

Delivery of the Plan was subject to the appropriate funding provided this financial year.  All routes listed on the Plan would benefit from the treatments indicated, however, there was insufficient funding available to complete all the routes indicated on the Plan.  As such and to maximise the benefit to the highway asset of the low cost preventative treatments, it was proposed to undertake all works on the micro asphalt and surface dressing lists this financial year.  This work was estimated to cost £750k to £1m subject to final costs under the specific contracts currently being retendered for this specialist work.

 

As a result of Welsh Government funding of £1.136m which was made available in 2017/18, the Council had been able to use that sum to supplement the funding available this year to fund highway resurfacing works.

 

The funding available from the Council's own Capital budgets to deliver this year's programme of resurfacing works amounted to £1.3m which included an additional £500k for Additional Highways Resurfacing and Maintenance as well as £500k awarded as part of a Capital bid for resurfacing.

 

The resurfacing programme would be managed and supervised by existing staff resources within the Neighbourhood Services and Transport Section.

 

The Head of Service advised that delivery of the Plan was subject to funding and that the programme did not run in any priority order, it was just reported as alphabetical A-Z. 

 

In considering the report, a Member stated that they were pleased with the more open approach that appeared to be used  as outlined in Appendix A, and  pleased that the comments he had made the previous year had been taken on board.  The member also felt the plan was also much clearer now for Members and the public to understand.  However, in referring to the decision in relation to how each road was scored, he requested that in the future the plan showed areas in priority order.  The Member also queried  the fact that some roads had scored a high rating in the previous year as well as  the current year, and questioned why the work had not been undertaken.  In referring to the fact that for the current year the department had received additional monies for pothole work, the Head of Service advised that some of the roads that had not been undertaken the previous year were due to insufficient funds at the time plus  if another road was subsequently identified as having  a higher score, it was noted that that would be done in the first instance. 

 

Following a query regarding roads near Nash Manor, the Head of Service advised that although the list identified the road as a score of 300, there was no date yet as to when this work would be undertaken, but reassured the Member that she would let them know when it was to be done. 

 

A Dinas Powys Member asked for an update on the Cross Common bridge demolition with the Head of Service responding  that she would report back to the Member with an update.

 

Concern was expressed regarding  the serious risk of escalating claims for accidents and what investment was being made available.  The Head of Service stated that additional monies for potholes had been received.  There was also a pavement programme and information on the funding for this would be provided to all Members. 

 

Councillor Burnett, not a Member of the Committee but with permission to speak, advised that she was really pleased as to how much clearer the grid was but queried the process for adding roads to the list.  Councillor Burnett had also noted that Town and Community Councils had been consulted in the current year and queried why one Ward in particular had been specifically referenced in the document.  In response, the Head of Service stated that following discussions with Town and Community Councils, they had each been requested to put forward three roads that required resurfacing as a risk based assessment needed to be evidenced.  The fact that Illtyd Ward Members had been placed on the list was due to the fact that Barry Town Council had not submitted any suggestions.   Members stated that all Members no doubt had issues in their Wards and raised them with officers and recognising one Ward in particular was misleading  

 

In referring to verges and the use of weed killers, a Member stated that in their view, the current strength of the weed killer being used did not appear to be strong enough, and also asked the officer to keep an eye on its contractors as he was convinced they were actually undertaking the work as they should.  The Head of Service referred to a Scrutiny presentation that had been provided by  Adam Sargent, Neighbourhood Manager prior to the last Local Government election, which had identified what weed killer the Council was using and highlighting that it had to be environmentally friendly.  The Head of Service agreed to forward the presentation to Members  of the Committee for their information.

 

Councillor King, not a Member of the Committee but with permission to speak, referred to the fact that the current scoring method seemed to be more open and transparent.  There were always opportunities to identify roads requiring resurfacing, but he also agreed that the priority order needed to be addressed as the funds were limited. 

 

Two Committee Members referred to having obtained photographs of work where it appeared the Council had used contractors to perform tasks which had not appeared to have been undertaken and agreed to forward the photographs to Head of Service for investigation. 

 

The Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services and Transport, with permission to speak, also informed the Committee that there were restrictions on the use of types of weed killer and that the officer had been very specific and detailed in the presentation that had been provided to Members some time previous.  Following a comment from a Barry Town Council that the Cabinet Member had not attended a Barry Town Council meeting when invited to do so to discuss the issue of potholes, the Cabinet Member stated that he did not want to rehash the argument of identifying three streets in the area, but would be more than pleased to attend a Barry Town Council meeting and asked that the invitation be forwarded to him direct. 

 

Having considered the report it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the report be noted with the suggestion that the list be amended in the future from alphabetical to priority.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

In order to provide further information to Members of the Council and members of the public.

 

 

168     REVISED WASTE MANAGEMENT STRATEGY: THE FUTURE COLLECTION ARRANGEMENTS FOR WASTE AND RECYCLING (REF) -

 

The Operational Manager for Neighbourhood Services (Operations) informed the Committee that Cabinet had, on 2nd July 2018, been advised of the outcome of the public consultation exercise that had been undertaken and the submission of the capital bid to Welsh Government as part of the collaborative change programme in respect of the proposed recycling and waste changes.

 

The report was therefore being referred to the Scrutiny Committee for its consideration.

 

At its meeting on 19th February, 2018 Cabinet had approved (Minute No. C235 refers) the implementation of a source separated recycling service subject to receiving capital funding from Welsh Government and obtaining the views of residents through a public consultation exercise.

 

The consultation intended to capture the views of residents and to identify the types of containers households would prefer to use to enable effective participation in a source separated recycling collection service namely the “collections blueprint”.

 

The consultation also identified the circumstances where the Council would need to consider additional residual waste provision prior to implementing a restricted “2 bags per fortnight” system, scheduled for 1st September, 2018.   

 

The report also approved delegated authority for awarding the Council's Processing of Co-mingled Recyclable Materials Contract from 2018 – 2021.  On tender and subsequent award of the contract, the global recycling market took a downturn influenced by the restrictions imposed by China which had had a significant impact on the value of recyclate.

 

The public consultation exercise commenced on 17th April, 2018 and closed on 1st June, 2018.  The methodology used to capture residents’ views was an online survey, which was promoted via the Council’s website, social media channels and an advert in the local newspapers.

 

Additionally, there were 15 road shows held across the Vale of Glamorgan (Appendix A) which provided residents an opportunity to consult directly with officers and discuss the service proposals and the options that were likely to be available. 

 

There were a total of 6,066 responses to the consultation survey.  This represented a rate of return of over 10% of all households in the Vale.  This was the highest response rate recorded for a consultation exercise in recent years.  The full report was attached at Appendix B to the report.

 

The consultation also highlighted a high level of recycling participation with the residents that engaged with the survey.  Of these respondents, they did not feel that any additional promotion in respect of improved literature and communications would encourage them to recycle more, considering that 81%-99% of recyclate was currently being recycled.

 

It could be assumed however, that the remaining residents that did not participate could benefit from the support of promotional material to increase overall participation. The consultation had also highlighted the barriers to recycling.  Space featured the highest for residents, with 65% of respondents expressing this as their primary concern.  Other concerns were lack of understanding of what could be recycled (42%), cost of extra containers (36%), access to containers (31%) and cost of food bags (29%).

 

To ensure that barriers were removed for lack of understanding, Waste Resource Action Programme (WRAP) had produced a communication plan (Appendix C) for the service changes and together with the Council’s project team, had engaged ‘Recycle for Wales’, who had assisted Councils across Wales to implement the ‘collections blueprint’.   Cabinet was requested to agree this communication plan.

 

Additionally when respondents were asked about what information would be useful on the website and through social media, information relating to bank holidays and periods of severe weather were quoted.  To resolve ongoing issues around bank holidays, the service area intended to revert back to collecting on bank holidays as of August 2018 which would minimise inconvenience to residents prior to the proposed service changes being implemented. Also, with the development of the digital strategy, there would be options available to introduce various messaging services, in order that communication during adverse weather could be improved.

 

With specific regard to the use of receptacles, the Operational Manager stated that following the 6,066 responses received , based on the results it had now been decided to offer a wider range of receptacles.  There had been excellent points raised from the consultation and it had been recognised that some elderly residents would have difficulties with the recycling changes and they did not feel they needed as many receptacles as was being suggested.  Therefore the decision had been made to work with elderly residents and support them in their recycling endeavours.  Following consultation further concerns had been raised regarding the understanding of what could be recycled and it was clear that further education and raising awareness initiatives were vital for the Council to succeed.  The Section would therefore work extremely closely with the Communications Team to ensure this information was presented to the public.  Cabinet had on 2nd July 

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the full implementation of the ‘collections blueprint’; namely a source separated collection service, subject to receiving capital support from Welsh Government and addressing any equality impacts associated with the service changes be approved.

 

(2)       T H A T the implementation of alternative recycling bags and boxes as detailed in the report and summarised from the public consultation results in readiness for the proposed service change be approved.

 

(3)       T H A Tthe restricted residual waste policy, subject to the removal of section 6 in the report document be approved along with the communication plan.

 

(4)       T H A T the increased costs of the co-mingled recycling contract 2019-2021 including the use of reserves to fund the additional cost be noted.

 

(5)      T H A T the temporary engagement of Cardiff City Council’s Waste Transfer Station be approvedretrospectively.

 

(6)      T H A T the withdrawing charges for food waste bags and caddies and dry recyclable boxes and bags be approved.

 

(7)      T H A T  delegated authority be granted to the Director of Environment and Housing Services in consultation with the Head of Finance and the Cabinet Member for Neighborhood Services and Transport to accept the anticipated capital grant from Welsh Government's Collaborative Change Programme to implement the requirements of the ‘collections blueprint’.

 

(8)      T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Director of Environment and Housing Services in consultation with the Head of Finance and the Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services and Transport to procure all necessary vehicles and containers and expenditure up to design stage for the proposed construction of a Waste Transfer Station necessary for the revised collection service and accept any associated tenders.

 

(9)      T H A T  a further report be presented to Cabinet to approve the construction of a Waste Transfer Station on completion of the detailed design.

 

(10)    T H A T the report be referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Environment and Regeneration) for their consideration.

 

(11)    T H A T section 14.14 of the Council's Constitution (urgent decision procedure) be authorised in respect of resolutions 5 and 6 above.

 

(12)    T H A T Cabinet receives a report in the near future concerning the use of existing wheeled bins and other similar containers for the storage of residual waste.

 

The Chairman, having advised earlier in the meeting that a member of the public had registered to speak, asked Mrs. Cheek to come forward.

 

In her presentation, Mrs. Cheek stated that she fully supported all aspects of the waste programme but that, in her view, the commencement date of September  2018 was insufficient time for raise awareness.  In her view it would also be extremely difficult for people to get their heads around recycling just two bin bags when they may never have recycled before.  Mrs. Cheek referred to the fact that in her experience, it took at least half an hour to get through to Vales contact centre C1V which was proving extremely difficult for residents.  If the Council wanted to be serious about recycling they needed to make sure the information was available immediately.  The Operational Manager advised Committee that in his view there was never a right time, they had to make the changes as soon as possible, but the Council would be providing a lot of support to residents because it wished to make it as successful as possible.  The filtering of the calls through C1V also depended upon the detail of the calls and the residents’ concerns.  His whole approach was to increase the number of people recycling and to do that he would make every effort he could to address that aim.  In referring to enforcement, he stated that this would be undertaken by 3GS and Waste Wardens would be available to assist the public. 

 

Councillor Burnett, with permission to speak, advised that trying to increase recycling was definitely a way forward and in referring to the use of receptacles advised that there were fears and concerns from her residents, specifically with regard to the suggestion that there may be notices put on bin bags advising of fines or the fact that the member of the public would have placed the wrong recycling item in the wrong receptacle.  Councillor Burnett stated that this was upsetting to a lot of people who really wanted to be part of the process and not embarrassed by it.  She urged the officer to ensure that people were encouraged to contact the department to raise concerns.  There had also been concerns that if they went to civic community sites comments had been made that their bags would be opened and they would be embarrassed with the officers tipping out the bags to ascertain what was in them.  The Operational Manager advised that the whole idea involved a friendly approach, to assist people, to increase the recycling rates not to discourage it.  The stickers on bags had also been used previously as a form of communication to advise people of what items can be recycled and in most cases today, most items could be recycled now so the limit on the bags should mean that there would be fewer black bags as a result.  He referred to the fact that the Bridgend County Borough Council had undertaken this approach and although there had been a number of concerns, to date their recycling rates had increased and they were one of the best recycling Councils in Wales. 

 

Councillor King, with permission to speak, referred to the difficulties the Council would have with older people who may refuse to take part because of the complexities and the difficulties associated with houses of multiple occupation.  He had also heard similar rumours in relation to those heard by Councillor Burnett regarding officers and their approach with the public at the recycling civic community sites.  The Operational Manager stated that there would be aspects of recycling that were challenging for some residents but that the use of the Waste Wardens would assist the public.  He too was aware that a good raising awareness campaign would need to be undertaken and that a common sense approach was his view.  In referring to houses of multiple occupancy, he advised that they were not part of the process at the moment as this was agreed this would take slightly longer to address. 

 

A Member of the Committee referred to the previous meeting where an excellent debate and presentation had been presented by the Operational Manager and although there were a number of concerns, it was important for recycling rates to increase and the Council needed to support the approach and review it where necessary.

 

A Member of the Committee advised that they were impressed with the gentle approach that the Operational Manager was referring to, but had concerns about the use of 3GS.  The Operational Manager however took the opportunity of reassuring the Member that enforcement would take some time as there were a number of stages the Council had to go through before it actually got to the enforcement stage, emphasising the importance of the process. 

 

Members welcomed the positive and passionate approach of the officer and recognised that education was key.  It was also suggested that a further report be brought back to the Scrutiny Committee regarding the capital funding that would be available in the future, in particular in relation to the waste transfer station and whether monies had been received for this.  The Operational Manager referred to the delay from Welsh Government regarding the capital funding but advised that they had been assured that the money would be released shortly.

 

Following consideration of the report it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the report be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T a further report be presented to the Committee advising of the Welsh Government funding and the impact on the service.

 

(3)       T H A T a report on the roll out of the revised collection arrangements be presented to Committee early in the New Year 2019 and that this be added to the Committee’s Forward Work Programme.

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1-3)    To apprise Members.

 

 

169     DRAFT PARKING STRATEGY REPORT (REF) -

 

The Head of Service commenced by advising that the report was for consideration on the proposed consultation strategy and the Consultants’ report which outlined the timetable for the consultation with proposals to be referred back to a joint Scrutiny Committee as a result.  Cabinet had referred the draft Vale of Glamorgan Parking Strategy Report which had been prepared by consultants to the Scrutiny Committee for its consideration.

 

The Committee was also informed of the use of the Council’s Constitution Urgent Decision Procedure in order that Town and Community Councils could be afforded the opportunity prior to the August recess in their respective Councils to give consideration to the contents of the Capita Report immediately following the meeting of Cabinet.

 

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.  Capita had undertaken previous parking studies for the Council.  In 2013 (updated in 2015) Capita produced a report in respect of proposals for off-street and on-street parking charges in Barry and Cowbridge.  In addition, Capita prepared parking reports relating to Country Parks parking charges in 2016 and Leisure centre parking charges in 2017.  None of the recommendations within these reports had been implemented by the Council.

 

This Commission required the preparation of a Draft Parking Strategy for the whole of the Vale of Glamorgan, including a review of the previous reports prepared, an update to possible charging tariffs, an evaluation of possible charging methods and infrastructure requirements as well as a review of what the impacts might be if parking charges were introduced.  In addition, any Strategy needed to be in accord with the Council's Income and Commercial Opportunities Strategy 2017 - 2020 and contribute towards the Medium Term Financial Plan and Corporate Plan.

 

A Project Board consisting of the relevant Cabinet Members and Senior Council Officers was set up to provide direction to the Commission.

 

Attached at Appendix A to the report was the Draft Parking Strategy prepared for the Council by Capita (June 2018).  The Draft Strategy examined the following areas:

 

Town Centre Car Parks;

Coastal Car Parks;

Country Parks Car Parks;

On-Street Car Parking in Town Centres and Coastal areas and

Enforcement and Infrastructure options.

 

If the proposals for parking charges were implemented there would also be an associated cost for infrastructure and the day to day operation of the parking charges and enforcement.  Committee was informed that the draft Parking Strategy report recognised that there were many different and emerging technologies to manage parking demand and it was expected that as this technology developed alternative methods of parking tariff collection and enforcement may be used.  For ease of implementation the use of pay and display machines had been suggested and costed within the draft Strategy.

 

Given the nature of the proposals set out in the report, a comprehensive consultation programme was being prepared to ensure the wide range of stakeholders who had an interest in these changes could be effectively involved. This programme would be managed by a cross-directorate team and the timetable was appended to the report..

 

Following the Head of Services presentation of the report a member of the public who had registered to speak, made their representations to the Committee. Mrs. Ockerby, commenced by querying the Council’s overall aim for the charges and questioned who was going to monitor?  Many residents did not have a disposable income to pay the charges and many had more than two cars. Who would monitor the cars when parking on streets? 

 

Mrs. Ockerby referred to the fact that currently places such as Ogmore, the pay and display machines were not in operation and the Council, in her view, was losing a considerable amount of money that they could have been receiving as a result of this.  She urged the Council to ask constituents for their views before they made a final decision.

 

The Head of Service advised that the purpose of this report at this meeting was to seek Committee’s views on the consultation strategy and a number of drop in sessions had been included in the timetable.  No decisions had yet been made on the implementation of car parking charges and Committee was requested to consider the consultation process contained as at Appendix B to the report. 

 

Councillor Mahoney, not a Member of the Committee but with permission to speak, considered that the Council needed to look at the views of the public in detail and referred to the fact that in his view, Cosmeston Park should not be part of the proposals.  He stated that Cosmeston Park was an open space that provided a number of benefits for the general public and it was his view they should not have to pay Council Tax and have the imposition of charges.  He stated “that if people did not have driveways, then that was their fault”.

 

Councillor Mrs. Perkes, not a Member of the Committee but with permission to speak, stated that she was concerned about the parking charges on Holton Road and the effect on small businesses.  She also urged the Council to undertake public meetings in order for all members of the public, local retailers and stakeholders to be able to raise issues.  Councillor Mrs. Perkes referred to the 2017 petition regarding the car parking charges at that time and queried whether this would be taken into account under the new consultation.  The Head of Service, in response, advised that a number of drop in sessions would be made available for members of the public.  These were considered to be more effective than public meetings where, on occasions, public meetings had been taken over by one or two people and the remaining members of the public were not able to get their views aired.  The Head of Service referred to the number of ways that the Council would be engaging with the public and referred again to the timetable attached to the report.  The Council would also be taking comments via e-mail and social media etc.  With regard to the 2017 petition, she said the current proposals were fresh proposals and the Council would be seeking views on these proposals.  The previous consultation that had been undertaken had been in relation to car parking charges only for Cowbridge and Barry, the current proposals were county wide.

 

Councillor Burnett, with permission to speak, advised that she did not feel the current Draft Parking Strategy should go ahead as, in her view, it was not a Draft Parking Strategy it was a Charges Strategy and, in particular, the Strategy needed to be inclusive to the area of visitors and residents.  Consultation should also be undertaken in the form of public meetings and residents of the Vale should be asked to provide solutions for the Council and be part of the process in that way.  The report, in her view, also did not mention the use of destination resorts, it appeared that charging residents was an easy target.  In her view the report was flawed, the assessment of parking was incomplete and she urged the Committee to ask Cabinet to reconsider and undertake a full and comprehensive consultation when any future report was presented.

 

Councillor King, with permission to speak, stated that he too was in favour of public meetings and that in his view the consultation exercise was very sparse.  He also urged the department to explain to the public in more detail the enforcement that would be required and that a full explanation be made available. 

 

A number of Committee Members stated that they were disappointed with the report and requested that the report be re-thought.  It appeared in their view that it was the residents who would suffer not visitors. For example, in referring to the proposals fro charging from 8.00am to 8.00pm they stated that visitors were not going to be arriving at 8am only residents.  It was also important to listen to the retailers. 

 

A Member raised concern to the fact that the consultation had appeared on the website before any briefing had been given to Members of the Council and that this had caused concern within their Wards.  They had received an apology from the officer but that had been too late as the “cat was truly out of the bag” by then. 

 

A number of Members also stated that they considered public meetings were vital to the consultation process and were unhappy about the consultation being rolled out in the August month when a number of people would be away and that this was a really inappropriate time to undertake any consultation.  The Head of Service stated that she found in the past that the drop in sessions were more productive than public meetings, but was aware of the Members’ concerns and that the whole idea of bringing the consultation proposals to the Scrutiny Committee was to allow Members’ consideration of the matter. 

 

Reference was also made to the need to have specific traders’ meetings based on geography.  It was also suggested that if a member of the public was walking their dog the first two hours should be free of charge to encourage people to remain in the resorts where they would spend money as they would be likely to remain for two hours and do a bit of shopping.   The effect on retailers was an issue as well as the effect on residents.

 

In referring to future-proofing, it was suggested that a multi-storey car park be provided for Barry Island and in looking at residents parking, where there were streets with houses only on one side for example, residents parking permits could be provided one side with the other being made available for general car parking.  It was also considered that the consultation itself being was an issue and that consultation with Members should have taken place prior to the production of the Draft strategy.  Following consideration of the report the Chairman then put the recommendations to the vote with the following being:

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T Cabinet be requested to rethink the Draft Car Parking Strategy, consider the lessons learned to date from previous car parking proposals, the comments made at the meeting and advised that undertaking a consultation during the summer months was not acceptable.

 

Reason for recommendation

Having regard to discussions at the meeting.

 

 

170     CLOSURE OF ACCOUNTS 2017/18 (DEH) -

 

The Principal Accountant in presenting the report commenced by advising that Council on 1st March, 2017 (Min. No. 864) had agreed the Authority’s budget requirement for 2017/18. 

 

The following table compared the amended budget and the actual expenditure, including transfers to and from reserves, for this Committee.  The final column shows the net transfers to reserves for the Committee which had been included within the actual expenditure figures. 

 

Service

 

Year   - 2017/18

Original Revenue   Budget

Amended Revenue   Budget

Total Provisional   Actual

Variance   +Favourable  () Adverse

Net Transfer to   /(From) Reserve

 

       £000

       £000

       £000

       £000

 

Environment   and Housing

 

 

 

 

 

Visible   Services

15,381

15,566

15,639

(73)

 

Transportation

4,841

4,870

4,793

+77

 

Building   Services

0

37

37

0

 

Regeneration

2,091

2,124

2,113

+11

 

Development   Management

968

1,084

1,084

0

 

TOTAL

23,281

23,681

23,666

15

-924

  

The main reasons for the variances were reported as follows: 

  • Visible Services and Transportation had a favourable variance of £4,000
  • Waste Management an adverse variance of £35,000. 

it being reported that employee costs had had an adverse variance of £164,000 mainly due to the level of waste collection resources not decreasing as previously intended. 

 

Transport costs had also had an adverse variance of £318,000 for the same reasons. 

 

The Waste Collection Service currently had a large amount of down time in travelling to the waste disposal points which were situated in Cardiff.  Officers were currently working with Welsh Government with a view to funding a waste transfer station within the Vale of Glamorgan to reduce the level of downtime. 

 

There was a favourable variance for the Highways and Engineers Section of £235,000 and the Civil Protection Unit of £15,000.

 

A favourable variance of £77,000 for Transportation and £11,000 for Regeneration was also reported. 

 

Building Services and Development Management had broken even.

 

Attached at Appendix 2 to the report was a breakdown of the 2017/18 Capital Programme by scheme with the overall outturn for this Committee being a variance of £2.49m.

 

Following a query regarding slippage, the officer informed the Committee that there were a number of Welsh Government schemes that had either slipped or had not gone forward with Members querying whether these were feasible for the future as Welsh Government had said in previous years that the Council could not spend the money. Members queried whether it would be possible to get an agreement from Welsh Government that the monies could be used and carried forward.  The Head of Service in response stated that grant conditions were checked on a regular basis and where possible when monies could not be spent, agreements made with Welsh Government on spend.

 

With regard to the LED lights programme, the Head of Service stated that the Operational Manager had e-mailed Members advising that the contractors were running about four weeks behind schedule.

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the report and the financial measures taken and proposed be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

Having regard to the provision financial position and actions that had been taken.

 

 

171     REVENUE AND CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 31ST MAY, 2018 (DEH) -

 

The report provided the Committee with an update on the position in respect of revenue and capital expenditure for the period 1st April to 31st May, 2018 regarding the revenue and capital budgets which were within the Committee’s remit. 

 

The Principal Accountant in presenting the report advised that for Neighbourhood and Transport Services the service was currently projected to outturn on budget.  For the Waste Collection Service there was still pressure on employee and transport budgets due to downtime involved in travelling to Cardiff to dispose of waste.  For this reason, £200,000 had been set aside, it also being noted that due to changes in the recycling market and China’s decision to reject elements of mixed recycling there was also a pressure within the recycling treatment budget. 

 

The Reshaping savings target for Neighbourhood Services for 2018/19 is £775k.   £375k of this saving relates 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 remained in post.   This might have some effect on the level of savings achievable.  Plans for the remainder of the savings were currently being developed.

 

For the Regeneration Service, although the forecast was again showing a balanced budget, there remained concern over the income targets for car parking charges and commercial opportunities in the Countryside Division where historic savings targets were unlikely to be achieved in the financial year. 

 

For Development Management as it was very early in the financial year, the forecast was showing a balanced budget.  However, planning fees would be monitored closely given planning application fee income had fallen short of the target in recent years. 

 

Appendix 2 of the report detailed the financial progress of the Capital Programme as at 31st May, 2018.

 

In referring to a number of schemes, Committee was informed of the following:

 

Flood Risk Management – The Council had received an award of funding from Welsh Government in relation to the Small Scale Works Grant 2018/19.  The grant amount was £82,875 and required 15% (£14,625) match funding from the Council which would be funded from the existing Flood Risk Management budget.  The total cost of the works was £97,500.  The works included Llandaff Close flood risk management scheme, Llanmaes Village property level protection and Picton Road flood risk management scheme.  It had been requested that there be an increase in the 2018/19 Capital Programme by £82,875 to be funded by Welsh Government grant.

 

Coastal Access Improvement Programme – The Council had been awarded a grant from Natural Resources Wales.  The grant represented a maximum contribution of £30,050 against eligible costs of £36,566.  The funding was made up of £10,500 of grant with no match funding requirement and a further £19,550 of grant at 75% of cost, requiring £6,516 of match funding (25%).  The match funding would be provided by a revenue contribution to capital from the Countryside budget.  It had been requested that £36,566 be included in the 2018/19 Capital Programme.

 

Skills Centre Property Conversion – The heating system in this building had failed and in order to complete the scheme and let the remaining units, corrective works were required.  It had been estimated that this would cost approximately £30k.  It had been requested that the Capital Programme be increased by £30k to be funded from the Capital Scheme Commitments reserve.

 

Dochdwy Road Public Open Space – It had been requested that this budget be increased by £2k to be funded from Section 106 monies and which would be for access works into the park.

 

Land at Innovation Quarter – An Emergency Power was approved on 3rd May, 2018 to include this scheme within the 2018/19 Capital Programme to facilitate payment of the sum of £92k to Welsh Government for 0.5 Hectare of IQ land for the Waterfront school utilising capital receipts.

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the position with regard to the 2018/19 Revenue and Capital Monitoring be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To apprise Members.

 

 

172     CARDIFF CAPITAL REGION CITY DEAL - PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF JOINT OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (MD) -

 

The Principal Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer, in presenting the report, advised that in 2015 each of the ten constituent Authorities in South East Wales agreed to work towards developing proposals for a Cardiff Capital Region City Deal (CCRCD).  On 15th March, 2016, each of the ten constituent Council Leaders in South East Wales, the First Minister, the Welsh Government Minister for Finance and Government Business, the Secretary of State for Wales and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury signed the CCRCD Heads of Terms Agreement. 

 

Since the signing of the Heads of Terms Agreement on 15th March, 2016, the ten Authorities had been progressing work, in partnership with the Welsh and UK Governments to establish the necessary governance arrangements required to release the £1.229 billion investment fund.  The Council, at a meeting held on 9th February, 2017, subsequently approved the Joint Working Agreement (JWA) as the legal document that formally established the Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) Joint Committee (the Regional Cabinet) as a Joint Committee, with delegated functions, with a commencement date of 1st March, 2017.  At the same meeting Council approved that the elected Member representative to the Regional Cabinet shall be the Leader of the Council, with the Deputy Leader as a nominated Deputy.

 

It was initially proposed that scrutiny of the CCRCD would be undertaken by each Councils' existing Scrutiny Committees but it has subsequently been agreed that the Councils would work together to create a new City Deal Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee (JOSC) as stated in paragraph 10.19 of the JWA.  It was anticipated that Scrutiny would be involved in monitoring the performance and governance of the City Deal on an ongoing basis; but it would be a matter for the JOSC to determine what areas it wished to scrutinise.

 

On 20th November, 2017, the CCRCD Joint Cabinet received a report detailing proposals for the establishment of a JOSC and this report also set out the draft Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Joint Committee. The Regional Joint Cabinet report and draft TOR were attached at Appendices A and A1 to the report.  The report also proposed that one of the ten constituent Authorities host the CCRCD JOSC to provide dedicated support and advisors as appropriate.  With the agreement of the CCRCD Joint Cabinet, Bridgend County Borough Council agreed to be the Host Authority for scrutiny support for the JOSC.

 

In accordance with Statutory Guidance issued under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011, when establishing a JOSC, a report containing details of the proposal should be considered by each of the participating Authorities’ appropriate Scrutiny Committees (or sub-committees) before being endorsed by Full Council.  The Principal Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer informed Committee that the report was currently being presented to all Scrutiny Committees in the ten Authorities with a view to submission to their Full Council meetings in July. 

 

In considering the report, all Members of the Committee agreed that the Chairman of the Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee was the appropriate member to represent the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s JOSC.  With regard to the appointment of a Deputy in the absence of the Chairman, a Member referred to paragraph 2.3 of Appendix B (Proposal and Draft Terms of Reference) which stated that “It is also proposed that in deliberations over nominations to sit on the JOSC, consideration is given to potential skill sets of Members including any prior knowledge and experience of joint working or professional knowledge that relates to the City Deal itself …….

 

Therefore, having considered the report, it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T the Scrutiny Committee recommends to Full Council the establishment of a Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee (JOSC) for the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal (CCRCD) with the Terms of Reference as contained in the appendices to the report.

 

(2)       T H A T the Scrutiny Committee recommends to Full Council that the Chairman of the Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee be appointed as the representative for the Vale of Glamorgan Council on the CCRCD JOSC.

 

(3)       T H A T the Scrutiny Committee recommends to Full Council that Councillor N. Moore be appointed as the nominated deputy to represent the Council in the absence of the Chairman of the Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee.

 

(4)       T H A T the Committee notes that it is the decision of each of the ten constituent Authorities if they wish to establish the proposed JOSC.

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1-4)    To allow the mechanism for the creation of a Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee and to secure representation on that Committee and to recommend to Full Council.

 

 

173     1ST QUARTER SCRUTINY DECISION TRACKING OF RECOMMENDATIONS AND UPDATED WORK PROGRAMME SCHEDULE 2018/19 (MD) -

 

The report provided Members with progress in relation to the Scrutiny Committee recommendations and to confirm the updated Work Programme Schedule for the Scrutiny Committee for 2018/19.


The Principal Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer, in presenting the report, advised that Members were being requested to review progress against each recommendation to assess whether further action may be required, ensure that the required action had been undertaken and to confirm which recommendations were to be agreed as completed.

 

It was noted that the Work Programme was also available on the Council’s website via the following link: http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/our_council/Council-Structure/scrutiny/scrutiny_committees.aspx

 

Having considered the report it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T the following recommendations be deemed as completed:

 

decision tracking

19 April 2018

Min. No. 870 –   Neighbourhood Services and Transport – Proposed Fees and Charges for   2018/2019 (REF) –   Recommended

(1)   That the information requested by   Committee as outlined above be e‑mailed to Members in due course.

Referred   to Cabinet meeting on 21st May, 2018.

Cabinet, at its   meeting on 21st May, 2018    RESOLVED –

(1)   That Recommendations (1), (2), (4) and (5)   of the Scrutiny Committee be

noted.

(2)   That in regard to Recommendation (3) of   the Scrutiny Committee that this

be the subject of a   fees review in time, if deemed appropriate, from the start of the

next   financial year.

(Min.   No. C305 refers)

Completed

(2)   That    the fees and charges contained within the report, including the   amendment for Allotments in Barry / Rhoose, to be £5.00 for the years 2017/18   and £6.00 for years 2018/19 be approved.

(3)   That notwithstanding Recommendation (2)   above, Cabinet consider a water levy on allotments provided by the Vale of   Glamorgan Council.

(4)   That the Scrutiny Committee reviews the   impact of the charges for bulky items and that a report be presented to the   Scrutiny Committee in a year’s time. 

(5)   That Recommendations (2) and (4) be   referred to Cabinet for noting and Recommendation (3) for consideration.

17 May 2018

Min. No. 46 –   Development of Tourism and Commercial Opportunities at Countryside Service   Sites – Call-In – Councillor L. Burnett – Recommended

(1)   That the Scrutiny Committee did not   support the principle of camping on the sites as detailed within the report   and that the concerns raised at the meeting be referred to Cabinet for   consideration.

Referred   to Cabinet meeting on 6th June, 2018.

Cabinet,   at its meeting on 6th June, 2018 resolved

(1)   That in relation to recommendation 1 from Scrutiny Committee, the   position be noted

(2)   That in the light of representations made the proposals for camping and   outdoor activities at Porthkerry Country Park be no longer progressed,

(3)   That proposals for Leckwith Wood be pursued.

(4)   That proposals for Cosmeston Lakes Country Park are pursued but any   specific proposals for camping pods are reported further to Cabinet for   approval and not agreed via use of delegated powers.

(5)   That in relation to recommendation 2 from Scrutiny Committee, the request be noted, but it was also noted that in   the context of commercial negotiations the Council would need to withhold   sensitive information in order to safeguard its position and maximize income   generation.

(6)   That in relation to recommendation 3 from Scrutiny Committee, the position be noted.

(7)    That a further report be brought   to Cabinet addressing the option of closure of the Porthkerry golf course.

(Minute   No. C328 refers)

Completed

(2)   That any future reports identifying income   generating options should contain greater detail around the financial   benefits whilst ensuring that proposals should have at their heart the   principle of protecting Public Open Spaces.

 

Min. No. 48 – 4th   Quarter Scrutiny Decision Tracking of Recommendations and Work Programme   Schedule 2018/19 (MD) – Recommended

(2)   That the Work Programme schedule attached   at Appendix C be amended as outlined above and the revised version uploaded   to the Council’s website.

[Slipped Cabinet Forward Work Programme   items scheduled into the Work Programme as appropriate and a report on the   number of jobs created at the Enterprise Zone be presented as soon as   possible.]

Work   programme uploaded to the Council’s website.

Completed

14 June 2018

Min. No. 95 –   Enterprise Zones Report to National Infrastructure and Skills Committee (MD)   –   Recommended

(1)   That a progress report on the Enterprise   Zone be presented to the Scrutiny Committee on an annual basis for   consideration.

Added   to work programme schedule.

Completed

9 November 2017

Min. No. 457 –   Disposal of Dredged Material Associated with the Construction of Hinkley   Point C Power Station (MD) – Recommended

(2)   That Public   Health Wales be invited to attend a future Scrutiny Committee to address the   issues raised at the meeting in the public interest.

To   be arranged as appropriate.

Added   to work programme.

Completed

 

(2)       T H A T the Forward Work Programme for 2018/19 attached at Appendix C to the report be approved for uploading to the Council’s website.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To maintain effective tracking of the Committee’s recommendations.

 

(2)       For information.