Cost of Living Support Icon
warm Spaces Icon




Minutes of a meeting held on 14th November, 2016.


Present: Councillor N.P. Hodges (Chairman); Councillor R.A. Penrose (Vice-Chairman); Councillors Ms. R. Birch, Mrs. C.L. Curtis, C.P. Franks, T.H. Jarvie, F.T. Johnson and  A. Parker.


Co-opted Members: Mr. P. Burke (Roman Catholic Church).


Non-Voting Observer: Mr. D. Treharne (Welsh Medium Education) and Ms. T. Young (Secondary Sector).


Also present: Councillor L. Burnett.





These were received from Councillors Ms. K.E. Edmunds and Mrs. A.J. Preston; Dr. C. Brown (Parent Governor – Secondary Sector) and Mr. N. Want (Vale Youth Forum).



523     MINUTES – 


RECOMMENDED – T H A T the minutes of the Extraordinary meeting held on 3rd October, 2016 and the scheduled meeting held on 17th October, 2016 be approved as a correct record.





Councillor C.P. Franks declared an interest in Agenda Item Nos. 4 and 5 in that he was a Trustee of Dinas Powys Community Library, and would leave the meeting should any discussion in relation to Dinas Powys Community Library commence.


Councillor F.T. Johnson declared a personal interest in Agenda Item Nos. 4 and 5 in that he was an employee of Sully Sports Club who owned the leasehold land for Sully Library, and that he would leave the room should any discussion in relation to Sully Library commence.


Councillor R.A. Penrose declared an interest in Agenda Item Nos. 4 and 5 in that he was a Trustee of Sully and Lavernock Community Library Trust, and would leave the room should any discussion in relation to Sully Library commence.  


All noted that with regard to the Welsh Public Library Standards Assessment, agreements relating to Sully and Dinas Powys Community Libraries had been executed post financial year 2015/16. 





Councillor Franks, in presenting his Request, stated that given the lack of a museum in the Vale, consideration be given to the creation of a heritage centre of excellence to be potentially based in the Central Library of Barry.  He had also requested that the report examine the options of utilising the Vale’s network of libraries, including the community libraries in Dinas Powys, Rhoose, Wenvoe, Sully and St. Athan, as venues for art exhibitions and displays.  He had further requested that a report detailing what way further co-operation could be achieved between the Vale Council and Barry Memorial Hall in artistic matters. In addition the role of the Turner House, Penarth be explored and the National Museum of Wales invited to participate in discussions, with the details of such discussions being reported to Committee and the option of artefacts from the National collection being displayed across the Vale be examined.


In response, the Culture and Community Learning Manager advised that throughout the Vale there were a significant number of art venues that provided accessible art opportunities for residents and visitors to the area.  There were also opportunities to attend and participate in free and fee paying arts activity in theatres, galleries, at outdoor and indoor events and festivals, in community centres, school halls, private lessons, adult learning, libraries and in the environment.  The Arts Development Officer supported the programme of accessible art opportunities and created the annual arts exhibition at Arts Central Gallery.


Paragraph 6 of the report advised that a heritage centre for the Vale would be generally welcomed as there were a number of local historical groups who had been requesting a display resource in the area for some years.  The Arts Development Officer had advised that the creation of a heritage centre containing information boards providing historical content or stories about the Vale with a small collection would avoid the legal requirements that surrounded the storing, handling, insurance and security of museum collections.  Consideration would also, however, need to be given to the potential costs and resources required to facilitate setting up a heritage centre and a business plan would need to be developed which would explore different delivery models. 


The report noted that the Vale of Glamorgan had nine libraries across the area, some of which had recently become community-run venues.  Further research and discussion would however be required to map the varied knowledge within libraries to support the provision of art exhibitions by providing relevant training.  There were also opportunities to develop a gallery venue in Dinas Powys Library as part of proposed refurbishment plans, but this would need to be considered carefully as a dedicated area would need to be identified in order to avoid damage to art work during parties, gatherings and other community events.


Committee was reminded that the Arts Development Service worked in partnership with the Memorial Hall, which generated 64% of its turnover from income made from a wide variety of arts activities.  The Turner House Gallery had been home to Ffotogallery since 2003, which was a national development agency for photography and lens-based media in Wales.  In discussions with the National Museum, the Museum had confirmed that they were currently supportive of Ffotogallery residing at Turner House as they considered they were an ideal Arts Council of Wales revenue supported organisation to have in residence.  The Arts Development Service had a small budget and the one member of staff was working to capacity in managing the considerable amount of arts administration, projects and development programmes being undertaken.  Plans for further development of the service would need to give consideration to the requirement of additional resources and if required, these would be found from within the Culture and Community Services budget.


The Culture and Community Learning Manager stated that he was pleased that the Request for Consideration had been put forward in order that discussion at Committee could take place.  Options for developing a heritage facility would be identified and appraised, and a business plan would be developed which would identify the financial implications and funding options.  Given the limited funding available within the Service, there would, however, be a focus on developing the facility in partnership with others and on maximising the opportunity to secure grant funding.


Having considered the report, Councillor Franks thanked the officers for the detail provided, but queried whether there were any options for using other historical buildings in the Vale, for example the Docks Office.  The Culture and Community Learning Manager responded by advising that during the consultation such issues could be put forward for consideration. 


The Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Education stated that it was currently a work in progress and referred to the recent meeting of the Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee which had considered the Sense of Place Report. Many groups, she stated, were also starting to work together and the establishment of community capacity building officers which could support organisations was an aim for the future.  The Cabinet Member also referred to the significant number of events that were being run by the Council and in partnership with other organisations which acted as an aid to regeneration.


Although acknowledging the access links to Barry for the Library, Docks Office, etc. and Barry being an iconic place for visitors, the Chairman stated that in his view the area was missing a heritage centre.  The Chairman also welcomed the emphasis in the report for a business plan to be developed and that he would support such a plan.  A Member, although agreeing that the Docks Office was an excellent building, was concerned about its accessibility and the need for more signage etc. to be considered for the town.  The Cabinet Member advised that signage would be considered as part of the Sense of Place project.


The Interim Director of Learning and Skills concluded by advising that the service area was looking to develop the provision across the Vale, building upon what was already there and looking to work with groups to support its development.  For example, if a group wished to set up any displays, the Council could offer the space but that the facility would need to be well used and demand established, which would be assessed during the consultation process.


Having fully considered the report, it was subsequently




(1)       T H A T the report be referred to Cabinet for consideration advising that the Committee would support the desire to explore and establish a business plan to explore different delivery models.


(2)       T H A T the information provided on the Arts Development Programme, the range of activities on offer and the development of heritage facilities be noted.


Reasons for recommendations


(1)       In order that all options can be pursued for consideration.


(2)       To provide Members with an awareness of the breadth of arts related services provided or facilitated by the Council and of the intention to develop heritage facilities in the future.





The Principal Librarian presented the report advising that the Library Standards had been introduced by Welsh Government in September 2002 as a common performance assessment framework for public library services in Wales.  The aim was to provide information on the performance of public library services across Wales, improve the consistency of services, drive improvements in services and to identify any underlying factors affecting performance.


The Annual Assessment report from Welsh Government on the Library Services’ performance for 2015/16 was attached at Appendix 3 to the report.  It was noted that the Standards Report confirmed that the Vale of Glamorgan Library and Information Services met 17 of the 18 core entitlements in full and one in part.  It also met five of the seven quality indicators in full, one in part and failed to achieve one.  In the previous year, seven had been met in full whereas, to date, the difference accounted for a reduction in opening times and a reduction in staffing. 


The quality indicator relating to staffing levels and qualifications was WPLSQI 13 and reflected the changes in staffing required to meet the operational needs of the service, given the new opening hours and preparations for the establishment of community libraries.  A number of library assistant and qualified librarian posts had been removed from the establishment and this accounted for both the overall staff target and the qualified librarian targets not being achieved per 10,000 population.  Staff changes during the year and the priority given to embedding the new structure also meant that the staff training target was not met during 2015-2016.  Committee was advised that although the target had not been met for staffing, in common with many library services, the staffing levels and structure had proved to be appropriate for the service.


The quality indicator relating to opening hours was WPLSQI 16 and the target for opening hours was 120 hours per annum per 1,000 resident population.  A reduction of 41 hours per week since June 2015 meant that opening hours in the Vale were only 112 hours per annum per 1,000 population.  Though the target was no longer met, the opening hours reflected the previous pattern of library use, the outcome of the public consultation and the operational needs of the service.  To address the issue of access the library service would be implementing a new initiative to give access to libraries outside normal opening hours utilising the Open+ system.  The system was currently being installed at Barry Library and was expected to be operational from January 2017.  It would enable library users to access the building outside of staffed hours and consideration would be given as to whether the system should be extended to other libraries in due course.  In response to a query from the Chairman, the Principal Librarian stated that the initiative had started in Scandinavian countries.  The Vale Council will be the first in Wales to establish the service.  It was an opportunity to extend opening hours whilst the library was unstaffed and although planning was currently well ahead, no launch date had yet been fixed. 


The Annual Assessment Report also provided a rank position for the Vale of Glamorgan against other library Authorities in Wales in relation to some of the quality performance indicators.  The Vale of Glamorgan ranked first on expenditure per capita and second on cost per visit, but only 11th on staff costs per capita.  Of note was the fact that the Vale had some very positive rank positions in relation to customers and usage, including total visits per capita (sixth busiest in Wales), active borrowers per capita (sixth) and virtual visits to the library website and online services (11th). 


In querying whether there were any specific plans for the tenth anniversary of the Barry Library, the Chairman advised that he would be more than happy to assist with any arrangements.


Having considered the report, it was subsequently




(1)       T H A T the Annual Return for 2015-2016 submitted to Welsh Government be endorsed.


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


(3)       T H A T the Scrutiny Committee receives further update reports with regard to any future innovations considered for the Library Service in the Vale of Glamorgan.


Reasons for recommendations


(1)       To comply with the requirements of the Welsh Government for formal approval of the Annual Return for 2015-2016.


(2)       To keep Members informed of performance and progress.


(3)       To keep the Scrutiny Committee Members apprised.





Committee was informed of progress to date following the GCSE results in August 2016 and the Estyn monitoring visit in September 2016 of Barry Comprehensive School.


The Lead Officer for School Improvement informed the Scrutiny Committee that the school had been inspected by Estyn in March 2013, with the school’s performance at that time judged to be good and its capacity to improve good.  However, following a fall in standards, the school was placed in support category D of the regional classification system and a warning notice issued by the Director of Learning and Skills in November 2013.  In June 2014 the Local Authority recommended that the school should not be removed from Local Authority monitoring and, in September 2014, Estyn concurred with the Local Authority report and was placed in Estyn monitoring and at that time the school was formally identified as a Challenge Cymru School.


In July 2015, in a monitoring visit, Estyn judged the school’s progress in addressing the recommendations to be limited in four and satisfactory in two and as such, the school was placed on the list of schools requiring significant improvement.  The Local Authority, in conjunction with the school’s leaders, had produced a Statement of Action which took into account the Post Inspection Action Plan prepared by the Senior Leadership Team and Governing Body.  This document considered each recommendation and set out the Local Authority / Central South Consortium (CSC) and Schools Challenge Cymru (SCC) support that would be made available to the school.


In September 2015, despite significant improvement in a number of areas, further interventions were taken by the Director of Learning and Skills, as improvement in some areas, e.g. mathematics, was not at the required rate, whilst performance in other areas, such as L2+ eFSM was unacceptably low.  Two additional school Governors were also appointed by the Local Authority.  In 2016, performance in most indicators in both Key Stages 3 and 4 had increased for the third consecutive year and in Key Stage 3, the performance boys was above the average performance of boys in similar schools in all Key Stage 3 indicators. 


In Key Stage 4, performance in the Level 2 threshold (5 GCSEs A* - C including English and Mathematics) rose 12 percentage points in 2016 following an increase of 13 percentage points in 2015.  Performance in this indicator had doubled since 2013.


Improvements in attendance in 2015 and 2016 placed the school in the top 25% of similar schools.


Estyn revisited the school in September 2016 and judged the school’s progress in addressing the recommendations to be satisfactory in one, strong in four and very good in one.  Overall, Estyn judged the school to have made sufficient progress in relation to the recommendations following the core inspection in March 2013 and, as a result, the school was removed from the list of schools requiring significant improvement.  However, Estyn have recommended that in order to maintain and improve on the recognised progress, the school should continue to address the recommendations where further progress was required.


Having considered the report, in recognising the ongoing work where further progress was required and to ensure sustainability in the forthcoming GCSEs in August 2017, a Member requested that an early report following the August 2017 school GCSE results be presented to Committee for its consideration. 


The representative for the Secondary Sector however stated that it was important that the Committee recognised the improvements that had been made at the school and that the success be celebrated. 


The Chairman, in acknowledging the improvements that had been made, concurred that the school had made progress and had improved year on year, although he hoped that the impact would be sustainable in the future.


It was subsequently




(1)       T H A T an update report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee as soon as possible following the GCSE results in August 2017.


(2)       T H A T in acknowledging the improvements at the school, the Scrutiny Committee supports the view that meetings of the School Progress Panel now cease.


(3)       T H A T the report be referred to the Cabinet for its consideration.


Reasons for recommendations


(1)       To monitor progress.


(2)       In recognition of the improvements made to date and in noting that the Directorate of Learning and Skills in conjunction with the Central South Consortium  and School Challenge Cymru would be monitoring the performance of individual schools and provide targeted and timely support where necessary.


(3)       For Cabinet’s consideration.





The purpose of the report was to inform Members of the current provision for early education through the non-maintained settings. Prior to 16th July, 2016 there had been seven playgroups registered for education in the Vale of Glamorgan i.e. Abracadabra Playgroup, Welsh St. Donats; Cylch Meithrin y Bont Faen; St. Brides Playgroup; St. Donats Playgroup (Atlantic College); Swallow Playgroup (RAF St. Athan); Wenvoe Playgroup; and Wick and District Playgroup.  However on 16th July, 2016 Wenvoe Playgroup left the Early Years partnership. 


In presenting the report, the Lead Officer for Improvement advised that all settings were welcoming, safe and ensured that children’s wellbeing was at the heart of their work.  The Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) regularly inspected all settings and no major areas for improvement had been identified.  The quality of provision in almost all settings was deemed to be of a very good standard.  Three settings had received advice from the Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Team to support children with additional learning needs.  One child had undergone a statutory assessment of need and three children had been in receipt of a 1:1 support worker funded by the Local Authority.


The report also identified that Wenvoe Playgroup had been inspected during the year and the good overall inspection had included three indicators being judged as adequate which placed the setting into Estyn monitoring, however, because the setting would no longer be registered for early education with the Council, Estyn had decided against a follow up visit in October 2016  It was reported that the setting had made good progress in addressing the four recommendations as detailed below:


  • Ensure that children become more independent during daily routines
  • Ensure challenging activities for children who are more able
  • Improve the way practitioners manage behaviour during large group activities
  • Ensure that the impact of the improvement plan is monitored regularly to make good progress.


Wenvoe Playgroup had also received pre and post inspection support, including advise on how to draw up a Post Inspection Action Plan. 


The report identified the training and the impact thereof that had  been provided through all the settings and the number of activities that had been supported.  Committee was informed that all settings had acted positively upon advice and guidance given to them in order to raise the standards of children’s learning and wellbeing in their care.


Having considered the report, the Scrutiny Committee




(1)       T H A T the provision for early education through non-maintained settings be noted.


(2)       T H A T the outcome of the Estyn inspection of Wenvoe Playgroup during 2015/16 be noted.


Reasons for recommendations


(1)       Having considered the report and the provision of early education though non-maintained settings.


(2)       In considering the outcome of the Estyn inspection of Wenvoe Playgroup during 2015/16.





The Lead Officer for School Improvement advised Committee that Dinas Powys Primary, Ysgol Pen y Garth and Rhws Primary School had been inspected during the Summer term 2016 and a summary of the inspection findings for each of the named schools was attached at Appendix 2 to the report. 


During the Summer term the overall judgements achieved by the schools that had been inspected were noted as follows:





Prospects for Improvement

Dinas Powys Primary



Ysgol Pen Y Garth



Rhws Primary





Following these inspections, follow-up activity had been identified for Ysgol Pen y Garth and Rhws Primary for Local Authority monitoring.  At the end of the summer term four schools in the Vale were in the category i.e. Albert Primary, Rhws Primary, St. Andrew’s Major Primary and Ysgol Pen y Garth.  Members were reminded that any schools placed in Local Authority monitoring as a result of an Estyn inspection were required to demonstrate progress in addressing the recommendations of the inspection report.  Challenge Advisors also oversee the work of the schools, monitor the delivery of an agreed action plan and report progress on a termly basis.  The report also highlighted that the Vale currently had one school, Ysgol Dewi Sant, in Estyn monitoring. 


At the end of the Summer term the Local Authority also had two schools requiring significant improvement i.e. Barry Comprehensive and Bryn Hafren Comprehensive. 

Members having been informed in a previous report on the agenda that for Barry Comprehensive, the school had been removed from the list of schools requiring significant improvement. 


It was further noted that Bryn Hafren remained in the category of requiring significant improvement but intensive support had been provided to the school.  The Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer confirmed that a School Progress Panel was to be undertaken by three Scrutiny Members before the end of December 2016.


Having fully considered the report, it was subsequently




(1)       T H A T the inspection judgements in respect of the schools inspected during the Summer term be noted.


(2)       T H A T the judgements made by Estyn in its monitoring visits regarding the progress of schools in addressing inspection recommendations be noted.


(3)       T H A T the judgements made by Estyn with regard to schools in Local Authority monitoring be noted.


(4)       T H A T the Chairman, on behalf of the Scrutiny Committee, writes to Ysgol Pen Y Garth, Dinas Powys Primary and Rhws Primary schools, congratulating them on the reports respect of current performance and prospects for improvement.


Reasons for recommendations


(1-3)    In order that Members are aware of the Estyn judgements about local schools.


(4)       To congratulate the schools.





The Scrutiny Committee was informed of progress in relation to its recommendations for 1st Quarter April to June 2016 and  2nd Quarter July to September 2016 and requested to confirm the work programme schedule for the Scrutiny Committee for 2016/17 at Appendix C to the report, it being noted that the Interim Director of Learning and Skills was to present a report to the next meeting of the Committee on the new structure, working with the Consortium, secondary reorganisation in Barry, reshaping the Special Educational Needs Service and funding for schools.  It was subsequently




(1)       T H A T the recommendations deemed to be completed as outlined at Appendices A and B be approved as detailed below:


20 June 2016

Min. No. 112 – End of   Year Performance Report 2015-16 and Target Setting for 2016-17 (DLS) – Recommended

(3)   That the proposed targets for 2016/17   aligned to the wellbeing outcome and aspiration of a culturally vibrant Vale   be endorsed and Cabinet informed accordingly.

Cabinet,   on 25th July, 2016 resolved

(1)   That service performance results and the   progress made towards achieving key outcomes as outlined in the Corporate   Plan 2013-17, the Outcome Agreement with Welsh Government 2013-16 and the   Improvement Plan Part 1 2015-16 as detailed in the report be noted.

(2)   That the progress made to date by services   in addressing identified areas for improvement be noted.

(3)   That the progress being made on developing   the Council’s Performance Management Framework be noted.

(4)   That the proposed suite of performance   indicators to monitor progress against the Corporate Plan Well-being Outcomes   and Corporate Health be noted.

(5)   That the proposed targets for 2016-17,   aligned to the new Corporate Plan Well-being Outcomes and Corporate Health,   be noted and endorsed.

(6)   That the draft Quarterly Well-being   Outcome report template be approved as the basis for preparing performance   monitoring reports for 2016-16.

(Min.   No. C3256 refers)


18 July 2016

Min. No. 169 – Proposal   to Increase Welsh Medium Secondary School Places (REF) – Recommended that Cabinet be informed that the Committee supports the   proposals to increase Welsh Medium secondary school places by expanding Ysgol   Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg on its current site

The   Head of Service agreed to include the Committee’s recommendation in a final   report to Cabinet following the end of the consultation period.


Min. No. 170   – Corporate Safeguarding Update (REF) – Recommended

(2)   That the Committee   continues to receive six monthly reports on progress.

Added   to work programme schedule.


Min. No. 173   – 1st Quarter Scrutiny Decision Tracking of Recommendations and   Work Programme Schedule 2016/17 (MD) – Recommended

(2)   That the Forward Work   Programme be approved and uploaded to the Council’s website.

Uploaded   to Council’s website.


Min. No. 175   – Revised School Attendance Policy (REF) – Recommended that Cabinet be   informed of the Committee’s support for the revised policy to be adopted and   note that the Committee will continue to monitor the performance of school   attendance. 

Cabinet,   on 25th July, 2016, resolved that the contents of the report be   noted, and the revised School Attendance Policy be approved for adoption by   school governing bodies.

(Min.   No. C3253 refers)


19 September 2016

Min. No.  334 – Children and Young People Services –   Annual Placement Review (REF) – Recommended that the report be noted and that   the Committee receives a further Annual Placement Review report in 2017.

Added   to work programme schedule.


Min. No. 336 – Governor   Training Report for the 2015/16 Academic Year (MD) – Recommended

(1)   That a copy of the report be referred to   all Members of the Council for their information.

(2)     That the report be noted and that the   presentation of an Annual Report on Governor Training (for the preceding   academic year) be presented to the Committee in September each year.

(1)   A copy of the report was e-mailed to all   Members of the Council on 6 October 2016 and also uploaded to MemberNet   (Reports for Information).


(2)   Added to work programme schedule.


Min. No. 337 – Individual   School Performance Progress Panel Meeting [Bryn Hafren] (MD) – Recommended

(2)   That the report be referred to Cabinet for   consideration and / or approval.

(3)   That the Cabinet be requested to consider   that a Scrutiny Progress Panel follow up visit is undertaken early in the   school year.

(2)   & (3)   Cabinet, on 3rd   October, 2016, noted the contents of the report and confirmed that   Recommendation (3) was dealt with in Agenda Item 10 of the meeting “School   Performance Report 2015-2016: Foundation Phase and Key Stages 2 to 5” [Min No   C3317]

(Min   No C3320 refers)

Resolution   [4] of Min No C3317 states

[4]   That the report be referred to Scrutiny   Committee Learning and Culture for consideration and that the Committee be   invited to reconvene an individual school progress panel meeting at Bryn   Hafren Comprehensive School.


Min. No. 338 – Individual   School Performance Progress Panel Meeting [Fairfield Primary] (MD) – Recommended

(2)   That the report be referred to Cabinet for   consideration and / or approval.

(3)   That Cabinet be requested to consider   approving a follow up visit by the School Progress Panel within the next six   months following publication of the progress in the Foundation Phase and Key   Stage 2, together with school categorisation and benchmarking details.

(2)   & (3)   Cabinet, on 17th   October, 2016, noted the contents of the report and resolved

[2]   That in relation to recommendation 3 of   the Scrutiny Committee Learning and Culture, Cabinet does not agree for the   School Performance Progress panel to meet as it would be premature to do so   until the results of the Categorisation and Benchmark reviews are published.

[3]   That in relation to resolution 2 above, if   a future Progress Panel is considered necessary, a further report be   presented to Cabinet on this matter.

(Min.   No. C3328 refers)


Min. No. 339 – Scrutiny   Committees’ Draft Annual Report May 2015 to April 2016 (MD) – Recommended that the   contents of the draft Annual Report for the period May 2015 to April 2016,   subject to any further minor amendments being agreed in consultation with the   Chairman, be submitted to Full Council in September 2016.

Presented   to Full Council on 28th September, 2016.



(2)       T H A T the forward work programme attached at Appendix C to the report be approved and uploaded to the Council’s website.


Reasons for recommendations


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


(2)       For information.