Agenda Item No.
Minutes of a meeting held on 21 January, 2012 at the Paget Rooms, Penarth.
Present: Councillor N. Moore (Chairman); Councillors Ms. B.E. Brooks, L. Burnett, R.F. Curtis, C.P.J. Elmore and G. John.
Apologies: Councillor S Egan.
Also present: Councilor(s) G.H Roberts, P.G. King, K.P. Mahoney, M.R.Wilson.
C1979 MINUTES –
RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 14 January 2013 be approved as a correct record.
C1980 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –
No declarations were received:
C1981 VALE OF GLAMORGAN LOCAL ACCESS FORUM -
The following minutes of a meeting held on 12th December, 2012, were submitted;
Present: Mr. F. Coleman (Chairman); Mr. M. Dunn (Deputy Chairman); Ms. C. Lucas, Ms. E. Nash, Mr. M. Parry, Mr. R. Pittard, Mr. R. Simpson, Mr. C. Short, Mr. G. Thomas and Councillor E. Williams.
Also present: Ms. T. Cottnam, Mr. G. Teague, Mrs. S. Thomas and Mr. J. Wyatt (VoGC).
Mr. P. Jayne (Countryside Council for Wales).
(a) Apologies for Absence -
These were received from Mrs. V.M. Hartrey, Mr. J.J. Herbert, Mr. S. Lait, Mr. H.S. McMillan, Mr. R. Traherne and Mr. G. Buy (VoGC).
(b) Minutes -
AGREED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 12th September 2012 be accepted as a correct record, subject to it being noted that Mr. E. Williams was not, in fact, a member of the Ramblers’ Association, but had worked with the organisation on occasions.
(c) Group re Active Travel Bill -
Mention had been made at the last meeting of the above and G. Teague clarified that its role was that of a steering group relating to the Active Travel Bill. The Group had met once to discuss / agree its terms of reference and the Public Rights of Way Officer from Powys County Council was representing colleagues on the Group.
(d) Definitive Map Modification and Public Path Orders – Updates -
The schedule was presented for members’ information. Previous reports had not contained Definitive Map Modification Orders and that a number of closed orders shown on the chart were included for information, though would be removed next time.
AGREED – T H A T the contents of the schedule be noted.
(e) ROWIP Update -
With regard to the republication of the Definitive Map:
· quality assurance of maps and statements was complete
· printing and review of test runs was being undertaken
· the Project Plan continued to work to a timetable based on completion by March 2013.
In terms of biodiversity interpretation, design work for interpretation panels at Leckwith Woods was underway.
Members also received updates on the following projects, which were match-funded by ROWIP within the Rural Development Plan Footpath Grant:
· NCN Route 88 – Rural Vale, including provision of a shared footway / cycleway along Porthkerry Road, which was now complete and feasibility work on four elements, including sections in Llantwit Major, Ewenny and Ogmore
· Seven projects under the Rural Footpath Grant had been approved, totalling approximately £100,000 worth of works entailing:
Ø surfacing improvements to Footpath1 linking Ewenny with Corntown and, eventually, Bridgend
Ø surfacing improvements to the footpath linking the Cowbridge Town Hall Car Park with Cowbridge Comprehensive School
Ø creation of a new right of way linking the two communities of St. Marys Church and The Herberts
Ø creation of a new right of way linking Twyn Yr Odyn with Wenvoe
Ø surfacing improvements to the Bridleway at Hensol Forest
Ø improving accessibility on the existing right of way linking Llangan with Colwinston
Ø creation of a new right of way and diversion that followed the desire line of walkers, and the implementation of a footbridge, at Nash Point.
(f) Wales Coast Path Update -
T. Cottnam updated members on possible future plans in relation to the Coastal Access Improvement Programme, funding for which was due to end in March 2013. Her understanding was that the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) and Welsh Government (WG) were mindful of extending the funding to enable completion, for example, of legal work and to cover maintenance issues. A number of models had been put forward by CCW to WG for discussion / decision. T. Cottnam’s understanding was that, should funding continue, a similar model to that currently in place would exist, but at a very much reduced budget / grant level. As such, it was not clear whether her own role would be considered as a full-time funded post or whether such work would require to be absorbed within the Rights of Way Team.
In terms of updates on specific work:
· bridge work had been completed at Lavernock. Whilst, following inspection of the field margin, remedial work was not considered necessary, the position would be monitored following crop harvest.
· advertisements for creation agreements on the Heritage Coast and at Lavernock had been published. This constituted the final stage in completion of the agreements.
· urban signage installed before the official opening of the Coast Path had been reviewed and a number of additional posts installed and amendments undertaken.
· ceramic paviers had been installed in a number of pedestrian precincts.
· a number of revisions to incorrectly signed waymarker posts were being undertaken periodically.
· at Cwm Colhuw, a scheme for improvement of the path to the rear of the surf lifeguard station had been specified and costings sought.
· consultation was being developed in relation to Little Island (Friars Point). A field existed adjacent to the current unsurfaced path, which was classed as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation. It was hoped to create a new surfaced path inside the field margin, linking the headland to the harbour and car park. Given the nature of the site, the proposal was currently out to consultation.
· various enhancements had been made to the website in terms of the Coastal Access Improvement Programme.
· a national meeting of Coastal Access Officers in Wales held recently had included the group walking a section of the Coast Path (Cwm Mawr) in the Vale and with those involved being impressed with the facility.
During consideration of this agenda item, clarification was sought from a member regarding resiting the very steep path at Cwm Bach. G. Teague confirmed that this issue was being separately pursued with the landowner and the farmer.
Reference was also made to the potential (2kms) zone designed to provide loops / links to the Coast Path itself. T. Cottnam indicated that should the CAIP funding itself continue, the programme would allow for work to be undertaken in this area. Members were also informed that, once a decision had been taken regarding the continuation of funding and the model of such was known, the LAF would be informed and consulted on the issue.
(g) National Access Forum and Local Access Forum Chairmen Meetings -
R. Pittard alluded to the current arrangement whereby meetings of the above were “sponsored” by the Countryside Council for Wales. Members agreed that this arrangement should, ideally, continue.
AGREED – T H A T the Forum’s view that meetings of the National Access Forum and the Local Access Forum Chairmen should, if at all possible, continue to be “sponsored” by the Countryside Council for Wales be communicated to the relevant Minister.
(h) Maintenance Priorities -
Members received an update in terms of issues logged since 12th September 2012, those issues resolved (or part resolved) at that time and the remaining number of unresolved issues. GT was pleased to inform members that the overall backlog was reducing.
It was suggested that the pie chart notations were difficult to read and that bar graphs or percentages might be clearer. The usefulness of providing members of the Forum with feedback regarding any issues raised during their footpath survey was acknowledged.
(i) Reflecting Consultation Responses in the Active Travel (Wales) Bill and Wider Work Programme -
Members received a document setting out the Welsh Government’s response to the views expressed during the Active Travel (Wales) Bill White Paper consultation.
During the discussion on this matter, there was general agreement amongst members that there seemed to be little commitment within the proposals to the development of pedestrian routes and “leisure” walking, despite the popularity and health benefits. Members felt that, generally, a bias existed towards “functional” travel, and to cycling.
(j) Proposed Timetable of Meetings for 2013/14 -
AGREED – T H A T meetings take place as follows:
Wednesday, 10th April 2013 (already programmed)
Wednesday, 24th July 2013
Wednesday, 23rd October 2013
Wednesday, 5th February, 2014.
Meetings would continue to commence at 5.30 p.m. with the duration of meetings being limited, wherever possible, to a maximum of two hours.
(k) T. Cottnam -
The Chairman referred to the earlier discussion regarding the continuation of funding for the Coastal Access Improvement Programme. He pointed out that, dependent on the eventual decision, this could be Ms. Cottnam’s last meeting of the Forum.
AGREED – T H A T members’ appreciation of the commitment and hard work of Ms. Cottnam be placed on record and she be thanked for her contribution to the work of the Forum itself.
(l) Workshop Regarding Priorities for Maintenance -
Following on from the discussion at the previous meeting regarding the above, members split into two small groups to discuss their preferences for approaches to future maintenance of paths. The general themes which emerged were as follows:
1. Public Safety
2. Promoted Routes
· National Risks
è è Hazard
· Local Reputation
- Speed of reinstatement
3. Community Routes
· Within communities Degree of use
è è Weight of complaints
· Between communities
- Equality - Routes for all
1. Health and safety of users
2. Degree of blockage
(slight to complete)
3. Cost benefit
Degree of usage
(in manpower // materials // time)
G. Teague took away the information gathered in order to help refine a proposed prioritising system for footpath maintenance.
RESOLVED - T H A T the minutes be noted.
Reason for decision
To have regard to the views expressed.
C1982 Collaborative Working Projects Update (L) (Scrutint committee – corporate resources) -
Cabinet was provided with potential collaborative working initiatives involving the Council.
A report to Cabinet on the 9th July, 2012 updated Members on the current position with regard to the areas of work that the Council was undertaking in collaboration with other public sector bodies. These related to both the national agenda and those that were instigated as a local initiative. Cabinet resolved (minute C1759) that:
· the previous administration's actions in relation to collaborative working as contained in the report be noted.
· the Council's commitment to agile collaboration with other suitable partners as and when agreements can be reached be re-affirmed.
· further reports be brought to Cabinet and Scrutiny Committees on any future possible collaborative initiatives, on a regular basis.
The collaborative working agenda had developed rapidly in recent months particularly for those projects that formed part of the ‘Compact for Change’ and were part of the national agenda. All Directorates of the Council were now actively engaged in a range of collaborative working activities with other local authorities and public sector bodies on both a local and national level.
In order to manage and monitor the delivery of collaborative working throughout the Welsh Public Services at a national level a range of governance structures had been established. The key structures established to take forward the public service reform agenda included;
· the Partnership Council for Wales, providing collective political leadership for the reform agenda
· Reform Delivery Group, a sub group of the Partnership Council had been established to provide effective collective political accountability to drive forward and support the improvement of public services in Wales.
· Public Service Leadership Group, had been established to provide national leadership for public service reform and collaboration and to drive the pace of improvement in public services of Wales. The Group comprised representatives from a range of public services and geographical footprint areas and was chaired by the Minister for Local Government and Communities
· National Work Programmes had been established, each led by a senior public service leader to help drive forward public service reform programmes now included, Asset Management, Procurement, Organisational Development and Simpson Implementation, Effective Services for Vulnerable Groups
· Measurement Group. supported the Public Sector Leadership Group and lead the development of a measurement framework to help demonstrate and report progress.
To support the development of collaborative working projects, the Welsh Government Minister for Local Government and Communities had established the Regional Collaboration Fund. This revenue funding would be made available to Local Authorities on the regional footprint basis, subject to successful bids and be for a maximum of three years.
Bids for funding were to be assessed against eligibility criteria including the ability to demonstrate the project’s ability to reduce costs or improve services, lead to a recognisable shift in the way in which services were delivered and tackle substantive service or organisational challenges. The indicative distribution of the funding for the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff region detailed in the Final Revenue Settlement was £1.485m. Details of the Regional Collaboration Fund, including the pro forma for bid was provided in Appendix A. Bids were to be reviewed by the Reform Delivery Group at its meeting on the 30th January 2013 with decisions being communicated to successful projects in readiness for the 2013/14 financial year.
Listed below was the potential areas of collaborative working that had been considered when constructing bids for the Regional Collaboration Fund:
Total Estimated Project Cost (project duration)
Remodelling Adult Social Care Services
Cardiff & Vale University Health Board,
Vale Centre for Voluntary Service,
Cardiff Third Sector Council.
£2,050,000 (3 years)
Regionalisation of Regulatory Services (Environmental Health, Licensing & Trading Standards).
£750,000 (3 years)
£80,000 (1 year)
CYD CYMRU – Wales Together (Cymru Ynni Dyfodol / Wales Energy Future).
Energy Saving Trust.
£180,000 (3 years)
Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Sexual Assault Referral Centre
Cardiff Council, South Wales Police, Cardiff and Vale UHB, Barnardos, NSPCC, Gwent Police, Aneurin Bevan Health Board, Cardiff and Vale Victim Support, Home Office,
Cardiff Women’s Aid, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Forum, Crown Prosecution Service.
£420,000 (3 years)
Alcohol Treatment Centre
Welsh Ambulance Service Trust, South Wales Police,
£810,000 (3 years)
£4,290,000 (over 3 years)
A compendium of all collaborative working activity had been collated. It described, by service area, the project’s purpose, the partners involved, governance arrangements and the project’s current stage of delivery. The compendium was included at Appendix B for those projects forming part of the national agenda and Appendix C for local initiatives.
A number of joint projects were being progressed under the Memorandum of Understanding with Bridgend Council. A Programme Management Board comprising of senior officers including the Chief Executive of Bridgend Council and the Managing Director of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, oversaw the various projects and monitor progress.
Other projects of particular significance were:
· Proposals for the potential regionalisation of Community Safety and Emergency Planning
· The work being carried on Public Transport and Highways Services (a separate report to Cabinet will be tabled in due course to outline the developments in this area).
· Work on Regeneration (a separate report to Cabinet will be tabled in due course to outline the developments in this area).
· The work being carried out on Planning Services
· Council Tax & National Non Domestic Rates
· Student Finance
· Shared Internal Audit Service
· Shared Youth Services Service
· Customer Relations & NHS GP Out of Hours Service/Communications Hub
In presenting the report the Leader made reference to an extra bid for a Cardiff and Vale Glamorgan Joint Local Service Board for £50,000 during 2013 / 14
This was a matter for Executive decision.
(1) T H A T the use of the Managing Directors emergency powers in submitting bids to the fund as amended on the 18th of January 2013 be endorsed.
(2) T H A T the contents of the report be noted.
(3) T H A T Cabinet, Scrutiny Committees and the Local Service Boards receive regular reports as the various schemes progress.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To endorse the use of the Managing Directors emergency powers.
(2&3) To ensure that Cabinet, and all Scrutiny Committees are provided with a comprehensive view of collaborative working activities with which the Council is engaged.
C1983 Statutory Pension Scheme Changes - Auto Enrolment (l) (scrutiny committee – corporate resources) –
Cabinet was advised of the implications for the Council of the implementation of auto-enrolment under the Pensions Act 2008 and approval was sought to utilise the provisions of transitional arrangements which were available to employers.
Under Teachers Pensions Scheme (TPS) and Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) regulations, employees with a contract to work a number of hours and who were engaged for more than 13 weeks, would automatically be enrolled into the relevant pension scheme.
From October 2012 the law on workplace pensions changed and employers were required to automatically enrol their eligible jobholders into a workplace pension. Auto-enrolment meant that eligible jobholders would be automatically enrolled into their employer’s qualifying pension scheme without any active decision on their part. The LGPS and the TPS were qualifying pension schemes under the relevant Regulation.
Under the new regulations, the Council was not able to provide a copy of the Opt Out form for the LGPS in the contract documentation pack.
Under the new Regulations an employer had a number of duties, the principal ones being:-
Automatic enrolment - Enrolling a worker into a pension scheme without the need for any action by the worker.
Opting in, joining and contractual enrolment - Arranging membership of a pension scheme for workers who choose to opt in or join a pension scheme.
Managing opt outs - Administering the opt-out process for workers who decide they do not want to be a member of a pension scheme.
Providing information - Giving specified information to groups of workers within specified categories.
The date, known as the staging date, on which an employer must auto enrol eligible jobholders into a qualifying pension scheme depended on the size of the employer's workforce. The new duties came into effect on 1 October 2012 with the Council’s staging date to implement auto enrolment being set at 1st May 2013.
Employees at the 1st May 2013 who had already opted out of the relevant Pension Scheme, under current rules, would still be automatically re-enrolled at that date. Having previously opted out this could cause frustration for these individuals and would clearly reduce their net pay for that period. There would be significant work for the administrators in refunding the contributions and administering opt out arrangements.
Although the Council’s staging date was 1 May, 2013 the Regulations set out arrangements under which this date could be deferred. These were defined as Postponement and Transitional Arrangements and their provisions were as follows:-
The Transitional Arrangements allowed deferment of the staging date until 30 September, 2017 for eligible jobholders. The impact of utilising the Transitional Arrangements were as follows:-
· There would be no prejudice to any employee who was entitled to join, and wished to join, the LGPS or the TPS as the Council would continue to enrol them into the relevant pension scheme under the Pension Scheme regulations. All employees would be written to in May to remind them of their rights to join a pension scheme as outlined in paragraph 27 below.
· There would be a greater lead-in time to undertake the significant administrative burden involved with auto-enrolment although even with the use of the Transitional Arrangements there was still an additional administrative workload.
· Some of the potential costs arising from auto-enrolment would be phased in over the period 2017.
However, notwithstanding the use of the transitional arrangements for eligible job holders at the staging date of the 1st May 2013, the Council would be required to auto enrol any employees who became eligible jobholders by meeting the auto enrolment criteria after this date. This would be an on-going requirement until the end of transitional arrangements on 30 September 2017. After that date the auto enrolment requirements will be applied as set out in the Regulations.
15. Due to changes over the years where individuals change their jobs or leave the Council this would reduce the number of employees who will need to be automatically enrolled from 1st October 2017. Each time an employee became an eligible jobholder after the 1st May 2013 (through an increase in hours, or a change in role) the transitional arrangement for that employee ends and they would need to be auto enrolled under the regulations.
Under the Transitional Arrangements the Council was required to advise all eligible jobholders, within one month of the original staging date of 1st May 2013, of the following:-
· The Council’s decision to utilise the Transitional Arrangements
· Their rights in respect of the deferment of auto-enrolment
· Their entitlement to join a pension scheme
· That if they join the LGPS or the TPS then the Council will make employers’ contributions to the relevant pension scheme
In addition to this all employees who were currently not in an occupational pension scheme would be written to during February and March to highlight these forthcoming changes and provide them with the sources of further information on pension schemes should they wish to consider membership further.
This was a matter for Executive decision.
(1) T H A T the implications and requirements of the Pension Auto Enrolment Regulations be noted.
(2) T H A T the Council defers auto enrolment until the end of September 2017 for those employees who had already opted out of the scheme.
(3) T H A T all employees are advised of their entitlement to join the pension scheme.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To inform members of the implications and requirements of the Pension Auto Enrolment Regulations.
(2) To ensure the Council complied with Pension Auto Enrolment Regulations.
(3) To allow employees who have already opted out at the 1st May 2013 the ability to take their own decision about whether they wish to join the relevant pension scheme.
C1984 Timetable of Meetings: May 2013 - May 2014 (L) (scrutiny committee – corporate resources) –
Approval was sought to agree the Councils draft timetable of meetings for the period May 2013 - May 2014.as set out in appendix A to the report.
This was a matter for Executive decision.
RESOLVED – T H A T the timetable of meetings for May 2013 - May 2014 be approved, subject to any future changes in arrangements for meetings deemed appropriate by the Mayor of the Council or the relevant Committee Chairman.
Reason for decision
To approve / publish a calendar of meetings for the 2013/14 municipal year.
C1985 Pupil Attainment and School Improvement: Summary and Further Proposals (CS) (scrutiny committee – lifelong learning) –
Cabinet was updated on the contents of two recent referrals from the Learning and Skills Scrutiny Committee and a Cabinet Report about pupil attainment and school improvement. The report contained information about work that was currently being undertaken and three proposals for further action.
Cabinet, on 17 December, 2012 received two references from the Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee reporting pupil attainment data for the foundation phase, key stage 2, key stage 3 and provisional data for key stage 4: the data related to the school year 2011/12. Cabinet also received a report at the request of the Scrutiny Committee providing further information about pupil attainment at key stage 3 including individual school-level analysis. Both the references and report previously considered by Cabinet demonstrated high levels of attainment by many pupils in many schools and concluded that comparison with local authorities across Wales placed Vale performance in the Foundation Phase above the benchmarked position linked to the level of free school meal entitlement.
Performance at key stage 2 had increased. Comparison with local authorities across Wales placed Vale performance across the majority of indicators well above the benchmarked position linked to the level of free school meal entitlement. Alongside the generally strong performance the report described some under performance in writing. Key stage 3 performance had increased for six of the last seven years. A pattern of increase over a period of six years but without further progress in 2012 was demonstrated across several performance measures at key stage 3.
Key stage 4 performance was principally reported as the proportion of students attaining 5 GCSE's at grades A* to C including English/Welsh and mathematics.
In 2012 55.3% of Vale students achieved level 2 inclusive. Comparison with local authorities across Wales placed Vale performance in line with the benchmarked position linked to the level of free school meal entitlement. Over the last two years, achievement on this measure in the Vale had reduced by a total of 1.7% from 57.1% in 2010. In 2012, four secondary schools recorded increases including an impressive gain from 51% to 66% at St Richard Gwyn and four schools recorded decreases including a fall from 44% to 30% at Bryn Hafren.
The Welsh Government published bandings for secondary schools for the first time in Autumn 2011 to identify those schools that needed support. Updated bandings based on 2012 attainment and 2011/12 attendance data and the school's socio-economic circumstances were published in December 2012. Banding, groups schools into one of five bands "from Band 1 schools which were performing well to Band 5 schools which needed to improve". The report detailed bandings which were published on 18th December 2012.
The improved attainment at Sir Richard Gwyn and Barry and improved attendance at Stanwell had been reflected in improved bandings. Conversely, Bryn Hafren, and to a more marked extent, Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg, had seen falls in their bandings reflecting lower performance: Llantwit Major remains in band 4.
The former Learning and Development department made a very significant contribution to the development of the JES including the development of the operating model and the focus on pupil-level data. In addition to the staff who transferred to the JES, and the secondment of the former Director of Learning and Development, considerable staff time from a number of departments was given to this important development. Inevitably this resulted in some distraction from the day-to-day work to support schools during the transition period. Following the launch of the JES, the Council, through the governance arrangements for the Central South Consortium, provided support and challenge for its operation and development to ensure challenge and support for schools was fully effective and of a high quality.
Under the new administration and in the context of the JES the department had now fully re-focussed its activity to further increase pupil attainment and to address aspects of under-performance.
Three further developments were proposed.
- Work was in hand to develop a shared school improvement strategy for the consortium including targets for the consortium as a whole and refreshed school improvement targets for the Vale of Glamorgan. This would be an important document as it would provide a more detailed framework for the work of the JES, identify the subjects and categories of school that would be prioritised in its work programmes and further enhance the Council's ability to measure JES service performance and improvement progress. The draft strategy would be available for consideration by the Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee in February.
- Secondly the department was adopting an approach that would seek to increase the accountability of schools for pupil attainment. Estyn reports and follow-up progress were reported to the Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee and school-by-school performance data for secondary schools was also now reported in the public domain. In order to build on this approach and to ensure that work to tackle weaker performance was supported and that schools were challenged to make accelerated progress, it was proposed that the Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee invited the chair of governors and Head teacher of individual schools where performance issues had been identified, including schools subject to Estyn monitoring, to a meeting of the Committee. In the case of schools that are subject to Estyn follow-up, the invitation could follow the publication of the inspection report in order to discuss and endorse the post inspection action plan. It was recommended that the Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee, in consultation with schools, should develop arrangements and a work programme identifying the dates for inviting individual schools to attend meetings. It should be noted that schools in the Vale that had been subject to special measures or Estyn monitoring had generally made good progress in addressing recommendations and making rapid improvement: this development was intended to build on that record.
- The Council had powers of intervention which it had not to date been necessary to employ. Extracts from 'Schools Causing Concern : Guidance for Schools and Local Authorities are attached at Appendix A which provide guidance for local authorities when they are considering intervening in schools causing concern. The current School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Bill includes proposals to clarify the powers and make it easier to understand when it would be appropriate to use these powers. If in the future circumstances arise when it would be appropriate to do so, Cabinet is invited to endorse their use by the Chief Learning and Skills Officer: a report would subsequently be made to the Cabinet.
This was a matter for Executive decision.
(1) T H A T the contents of the report, and the proposed development of a shared school improvement strategy through the Central South Consortium be noted.
(2) T H A T the Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee invite to its meeting, the Chair of Governors and the Headteacher of individual Schools, including Schools subject to Estyn follow-up, where performance issues had been identified. The arrangements for the format of these meetings and a detailed work programme identifying the dates for individual schools to attend meetings be arranged by the Committee.
(3) T H A T the use of intervention powers by the Chief Learning and Skills Officer in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Childrens Services and the Leader if it became appropriate to do so, be endorsed, and that any use of these powers be reported to Cabinet and the Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee .
Reasons for decisions
(1) To note the good work that is being done by schools to further increase pupil attainment.
(2) To consider further action to increase accountability.
(3) To increase challenge and support. where accelerated progress is needed
C1986 COMMUNITY CENTRE REPRESENTATIVES (LPCSD) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – economy and environment) –
Approval was sought to nominate up to 2 Members to be on the Management Committee of each of the 22 Community Centres owned by the Council.
All of the Vale Council owned Community Centres (22 in total) were managed by a Community Association. The majority of the Community Associations had a standard Constitution based on the national model from ‘Community Matters’. In most cases this allowed for two representatives from the Vale of Glamorgan Council to be members of the Management Committee as a Managing Charity Trustee except St Francis where there is only 1 representative. Twelve Community Associations were registered charities but all 22 had charitable objectives.
There are 2 different types of Community Association Trustees, namely Holding Trustees and Managing Charity Trustees. Holding Trustees are the legal owners of the Association's property. The function of the Holding Trustees was merely to hold the property and to act on the lawful instructions of the Committee of the Association in transactions affecting the title. Holding Trustees were required solely because property and land could not be held by an unincorporated Association in its own right. Holding Trustees were NOT normally responsible for an Association's debts or obligations - the Managing Charity Trustees were responsible.
Those who manage the Community Association's affairs - the General Committee (or other Main Committee) - were the Managing (or Charity) Trustees. The members ('members' means members of the Community Association Management Committee) for the time being of the Management Committee / General Committee / Main Committee, being the persons having general control and management of the administration of the Association, will be technically the "Charity Trustees" within the meaning of Section 97 of the Charities Act 1993 and as such would be subject to the requirements of the law relating to trustees generally.
Members should be aware that by becoming a Managing Trustee, they would be accepting ultimate responsibility for assisting in the management of the Community Centres by the Community Associations, and for ensuring that they were well-run and delivered the charitable outcomes as set out in their respective Constitutions.
Members were also advised that should they be nominated as a Managing Trustee on a Community Association, they must also:
(i) Ensure that the respective Community Associations comply with relevant charity law, and with the requirements of the Charity Commission. In particular they will be required to ensure that the Community Association prepare reports on what they have achieved, together with their Annual Returns and accounts;
(ii) Ensure that the Community Associations did not breach any of the requirements or rules set out in their governing documents and that they remain true to the charitable purpose and objects set out therein;
(iii) Comply with the requirements of other legislation and other regulators which may govern the activities of the Community Associations;
(iv) Act with integrity and avoid any personal conflicts of interest or misuse of charity funds or assets;
(v) Use reasonable care and skill in their work as trustees, using their personal skills and experience as needed, to ensure that the Community Associations are well-run and efficient;
(vi) Consider seeking external professional advice on all matters where there may be material risk to the charity, or where the trustees may be in breach of their duties.
26. Members were also referred to the Charity Commission website for further information on the roles and responsibilities of trustees: The Essential Trustee: what you need to know http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/publications/cc3.aspx
At the meeting, the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development reported on further nominations verbally; these were Councilor A Moore for Cadoxton Moors, Councilor J Birch for Glyndwr and Councilor J James for Rhoose Stewart Road. The Cabinet Member further commented that no nominations had been received for Cwrt y Vil and Lower Penarth, however, this would be subject to local Councillors, Maureen Kelly Owen and Clive Williams being given the opportunity to take up these positions if they so wished. The Cabinet Member also confirmed that he was still awaiting confirmation from Plaid Members with regards to the position at Barry Island.
This was a matter for Executive decision.
(1) T H A T the Elected Members listed below be endorsed as the Vale Council representatives for the named Community Centres. These appointments were subject to confirmation that Councillor J James was not a Managing Trustee at Llancarfan and Rhoose Stewart Road Community Centres. Confirmation of this would be presented in a further report to the next Cabinet meeting.
Councillor S Egan and Councillor I Johnson
Councillor C Curtis
Councillor C Elmore
Councillor A Powell
Councillor R Thomas
Councillor H Hamilton
Cwrt y Vil
Councillor B Brooks
Councillor J Birch
Councillor J Drysdale
Councillor J James
Councillor K Hatton and Councillor C Williams
Rhoose Celtic Way
Councillor J James
Rhoose Stewart Road
Councillor J James
Councillor J Thomas
Councillor N Hodges
Councillor N Hodges
Councillor F Johnson
Welsh St Donats
Councillor R Traherne
(2) T H A T the Elected Members listed, in resolution (1), be nominated as Managing Charity Trustees of the respective Community Centres until the Annual Meeting in May 2017 and thereafter, nominations will be considered at the Inaugural meeting of the Full Council or as soon as practical after every election having regard to the responses received to invitations.
(3) T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Director of Development Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development and the Leader to authorise future nominations in respect of any vacancies.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To ensure that elected Members are now nominated to represent Community Centres
(2) To ensure that the elected Members continue to represent all Community Centre Committees until the next local elections.
(3) To ensure that any vacancies can be filled at the earliest opportunity.
C1987 Cosmeston Lakes Country Park and Medieval Village (LPCSD) (scrutiny committee – economy and environment) –
Cabinet was apprised of the options for the future of Cosmeston Lakes Country Park and Medieval Village and proposed specific partnership arrangements.
In June 2012 a new model for the operation of Cosmeston Medieval Village was put into place. Previously the Council employed a large team of staff, organised events at its own financial risk and provided costumed staff to enhance the Village experience, this resulted in the Council bearing a significant financial loss
Much of the losses related to core management staff time and other costs spent on preparation for events which were entirely weather dependent, and often provided very limited revenue. In this context, the vast majority of Country Park visitors did not enjoy the Medieval Village as they elected not to pay for entry.
Under the new model, a reduced staff core was managed directly by the Country Park Ranger Service, realising very significant cost savings. The Village had been opened to Country Park visitors at no charge, although the visitor experience had been reduced due to fewer costumed staff. Guided tours continued to be offered to pre-booked parties, including schools, but Council led events had been stopped.
A key way of achieving improvement at Cosmeston would include greater involvement of the community. In view of this it was proposed that a Friends of Cosmeston Lakes Group was formed. If such a body became a charity, it would be able to access grants not available to the Council, which could provide match funding for larger grants secured by the Council, for instance, from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
In respect of the Medieval Village, a separate similar opportunity had arisen. As a result of the recent changes at the Village, a community interest group had formed, wishing to enhance the Village. Officers worked closely with and supported this group, resulting in a formal proposal being received. The group had now constituted itself into a not for profit limited company, registered as the Cosmeston Medieval Village Trust.
The Trust had presented a range of aspirations for involvement in the Village. It would have liked to recruit volunteers, raise funds and in particular lead on a programme of core events at the village. Longer term aspirations included substantial changes to the Village, involving major investment and perhaps a more direct role in the running of the Village.
The report recommended that the Council formally recognised the Trust as a partner and, in essence, played the same role in the Village as the Friends of Cosmeston Lakes could for the remainder of the Country Park.
Recognition of this organisation would involve:
· Entering into a Memorandum of Understanding.
· Working together on volunteer recruitment.
· The Trust raising funds for the Village.
· Special arrangements put in place for events. Currently the Council passes all financial risk to third parties wishing to deliver events, charging a fee for the use of the Village. In respect of the Trust this fee could be reduced substantially, on the understanding that all financial risk remains with the Trust but income raised by the Trust was ring fenced for the Village.
· The Trust promoting the Village via its own website, etc.
· The Council providing an officer as an observer on the Trust’s Board.
· Working in partnership on possible grant bids for investment in the Medieval Village.
At the meeting, the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development made reference to a letter that had been received from Penarth Town Council supporting any future developments and improvements at Cosemeston Lakes Country Park and Medieval Village.
In presenting the report the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation confirmed that when Cosemeston Lakes Country Park was discussed at a Penarth Town Council meeting that she left the room and took no part in the discussion.
This was a matter for Executive decision.
(1) T H A T the progress on developing the Medieval Village be noted.
(2) T H A T, a further report be presented to Cabinet on the development of a Friends of Cosmeston Lakes Group.
(3) T H A T the Director of Development Services is given delegated powers to enter into a special arrangement with the Cosmeston Medieval Village Trust as set out in the report, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development.
(4) T H A T the Head of Legal Services be authorised to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Cosmeston Medieval Village Trust.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To apprise members.
(2) In order to develop opportunity for community involvement and fund raising.
(3) To develop the Medieval Village.
(4) To allow the arrangement to be formalised.
C1988 St. Paul's Church, Penarth, Consultation Update (LPCSD) (scrutiny committee - ECONOMY and environment) –
Cabinet was provided with an update on the consultation exercise being undertaken to ascertain public opinion on the future use of the former St. Paul's Church in Penarth.
St. Paul's Church in Penarth had been vacant since early 2011, when the condition of the building was deemed to be dangerous for use by the Council's own Building Control Unit. It was resolved in February 2012 that 250K be included in the Capital Programme to allow occupation of the premises. It was also resolved that £250K be set aside from the Penarth Heights redevelopment scheme as a contribution to upgrade the premises for the benefit of the Penarth Gymnastics Club and Penarth Amateur Boxing Club.
In September 2012 Cabinet received a further report on St. Paul's Church, that raised two fundamental issues, namely that there were concerns in using S.106 funding obtained for community benefit purposes to upgrade a building for two specific sporting clubs (Penarth Gymnastics Club and Penarth Amateur Boxing Club). In addition there was a concern that there had been no opportunity for the local community to express an opinion as to what would be a desired outcome and end use of the site.
As a consequence, Cabinet Minute C1828 (17th September, 2012) stated:
(1) THAT a comprehensive community consultation exercise be undertaken in the St. Augustine's ward of Penarth to obtain local community opinions on the future use of the former St. Paul's Church.
(2) THAT the results of the consultation exercise be reported to the Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee and then back to Cabinet in due course.
(3) THAT Cabinet receive a further report on the feasibility and cost of temporary weatherproofing repairs to St. Paul's Church, pending decisions about a way forward for the use of the building.
The consultation exercise involving residents in the St. Augustine's ward had commenced and would run until 22nd February, 2013. Residents were being asked to comment on what future use they would like to see for the former church. A copy of the information and consultation form circulated to residents was attached at Appendix A. The results of the consultation exercise would be reported to the Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee after the closing date and would then be subsequently reported to Cabinet.
This was a matter for Executive decision.
RESOLVED – T H A T the content of the report be noted and that the results of the consultation exercise be reported to Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet in due course.
Reason for decision
To update Cabinet on the progress made to date and proposals for reporting the results of the ongoing consultation exercise.
C1989 Penarth Esplanade and Pier Pavilion Update
Members were updated on the current position with regards to the refurbishment of the Penarth Pier Pavilion and the former Beachcliff premises at the Esplanade.
Penarth Pier Pavilion
Following a marketing exercise carried out in 2005, the Council's consultants, King Sturge, indicated that given the restrictions relating to the location of the building and the costs of refurbishment, it was unlikely that the Council would receive any interest in the building from commercial developers. In September 2005 the matter was reported to Cabinet with an indication that Penarth Arts and Crafts Limited (PACL) would be interested in putting forward a proposal. PACL met with officers and Members and following the production of an initial business case, the matter was reported back to Cabinet in January 2007 at which time support for the approach proposed was given. PACL was an organisation that run the Washington Gallery in Penarth and was a not for profit company and a charity.
The project received development funding support from the Council and officers from the Council's Project Management Unit, Regulatory Services and Property had worked closely with the PACL team to take forward the transfer of the building via a Community Asset Transfer model and lease and to aid their team in developing its business case and funding bids. The project had been successful in gaining funding support from the Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Big Lottery Fund (Community Asset Transfer), from the Welsh Government under its Communities and Facilities grant and from CADW. More recently its received further revenue funding support under the Welsh Government's Coastal Communities funding.
In the period 2010-2011, the detailed designs for the proposals were developed and both planning and listed building applications were submitted and approved. PACL strengthened its consultancy support group by appointing project management support and following a tender exercise, the works contract commenced on site in October 2012. The contract cost was £2,987,425 and R and M Williams were the contractors. It was expected that the construction work would be complete by November 2013.
In late summer 2012 a new group of trustees were brought on board by PACL to drive the project and the scheme was both on budget and on programme. An officer from the Council's Project Management Unit continues to attend the PACL project meetings to observe and aid the process of refurbishment of this important asset.
In terms of the Beachcliff premises, planning permission was granted in respect of application 2008/01232/FUL (registered on 27th January 2009) on 13th March 2009. The application proposed the renovation of the existing building. including the demolition and rebuilding of the rear extensions and refurbishment of the front and side elevations. It also included a change of use of part of the ground floor from a restaurant to a gym and the change of use of part of the first floor from a restaurant to residential accommodation. The resultant schedule of accommodation within the building would comprise a gym, café and fish and chip shop on the ground floor and 7 residential units within the first, second and third floors.
When work subsequently commenced on this scheme, it was noted that works of demolition extended beyond those approved. A further application was submitted on 24th October 2010 and approval was granted on 17th December 2010 for restoration and alteration of the building as remaining into 4 residential units, with restaurant/café uses and a gym at ground floor.
In terms of the condition of the site, the Council had been concerned for a considerable time at the appearance of this key site and the fact that works had not progressed to any meaningful extent. A Section 215 Notice was served in November 2009 prior to the works commencing on site in compliance with the 2010/01030/FUL permission. The grant of this permission and its implementation on site effectively superseded the requirements of the Section 215 Notice.
A Breach of Condition Notice was then served in respect of conditions attached to the 2010/01030/FUL permission relating to the requirement for the submission of a method statement for demolition. The details were submitted and compliance with the Breach of Condition Notice achieved.
The building would also need to consider parking, loading and access requirements and again no part of the highway had been dedicated for their use. However the draft Corporate Plan for 2013-2017 sought to work with partners to enhance and regenerate the Penarth Esplanade, and ensure sustainable and convenient links with both the Town Centre and Penarth Haven by 2016/17. Both funding and improvement options would need to be considered as no dedicated funding was included in the current capital programme of the Council.
With regard to Beachcliff, once permission had been issued, there was no legal requirement for a prospective developer to implement that permission, and the Council, as a consequence, had been of the view that it must seek to engage with the developer in terms of ensuring an effective and satisfactory outcome to the ongoing situation.
As a consequence officers had met recently with the prospective developers to seek assurances that the scheme will be implemented. The most recent meeting took place on the 5th December 2012 when assurances were given that work would commence on the 7th January with a target completion date of late October this year. This tied in with the completion date for the Pier Pavilion work.
Alongside these two key projects, and as stated above the Council's Draft Corporate Plan 2013-17 included the following actions under the theme of Maximising Opportunities:
1. Work with partners to enhance and regenerate the Penarth Esplanade, and ensure sustainable and convenient links with the Town Centre and Penarth Haven (2016/17)
2. Work with key partners in implementing proposals to refurbish Penarth Pier Pavilion (2013/14)"
The costs of Project Management Unit support had, to date, been met from within the former Environmental and Economic Development Departments budgets. No funding currently exists to take forward design options for the promenade.
There would be costs relating to progressing matters relating to the wider Esplanade and enhancing the role of the Esplanade as a visitor attraction and destination. There would be cost implications relating to any enhancement work and this would have to be the subject of feasibility in due course.
In terms of the works undertaken to the wall to the rear of the former Beachcliff premises, the costs associated were met within the Council's Property and Legal Groups.
This was a matter for Executive decision.
(1) T H A T the progress in respect of the Penarth Pier Pavilion and the ongoing current situation relating to Beachcliff be noted.
(2) T H A T a further report be presented to Cabinet in due course on progress relating to the Pier Pavilion and to the wider Esplanade area.
Reasons for decisions
(1) The report was for noting and serves as an update in respect of the Pier Pavilion project and Esplanade.
(2) To apprise Members of progress.
C1990 Safer Communities: Proposals to Consult on the Concept of 20 mph zones in Penarth and Llandough
The report provided Members with information relating to the issues and processes involved in the creation of 20 mph zones recommended consulting on the concept of such zones in relation to the Penarth and Llandough areas in support of the Council’s approach to supporting safe walking and cycling and promoting sustainable communities.
The Welsh Government was responsible for determining local speed limits on the motorway and trunk road network, and since July 1999 the Road Traffic Regulations Act (Amendment) Order 1999 had given local highway authorities the powers to determine local speed limits. Welsh Assembly Government Circular No: 24/2009 (October 2009) “Setting Local Speed Limits in Wales” provided guidance to Highway Authorities on the setting of local speed limits. The implementation of 20 mph speed limits and zones where appropriate, particularly in residential areas, was encouraged and supported by the Welsh Government.
With the recent development of the Pont Y Werin over the River Ely and the Council’s commitment to delivering a network of walking and cycling routes to the bridge from within Penarth, it had been suggested that Penarth would be an ideal candidate for the introduction of a 20 mph zone. The proximity of Penarth to Cardiff meant that many local cyclists utilised the existing Cardiff Bay Barrage and Pont Y Werin. With high levels of cycle usage within the town and strong local interest in cycle initiatives as evidenced by the membership on Pont Y Werin Steering Group, was considered that consulting on the concept could have merit.
While there were a number of principal transport corridors within the town which effectively serve as distributor routes, these were limited and vehicular flows along them was primarily controlled by external elements such as major highway junctions, and indeed by the generally high traffic volumes within the town. In reality therefore traffic speeds throughout the town were generally low and it wasconsidered that the introduction of a 20mph zone would not have a significant detrimental impact upon vehicle speeds within the town.
An area-wide 20 mph speed limit could also contribute to delivering wider policy initiatives which the Council was promoting such as improvements to health or greater use of walking and cycling for journeys to schools. It also had the potential to improve community cohesion and recognise the community function of streets and not just as conduits for traffic. 20 mph zones within Penarth and Llandough could be viewed as a contributing factor in changing peoples travel habits encouraging a move towards more sustainable modes of transport. In addition, it had long been an aspiration to improve and encourage greater pedestrian and cyclist movement between the Marina, the Esplanade and the Town Centre and the provision of a 20 mph zone could well encourage greater and safer movement between these areas, in turn, adding to the vibrancy of the Town Centre. For the above reasons, consulting on the concept of zones in Penarth and Llandough is recommended.
In addition, the Welsh Government was currently consulting on the Active Travel (Wales) Bill. The Bill sought to facilitate and encourage walking and cycling as the most natural and normal way of getting about. The White Paper set out proposals to require Local Authorities in Wales to:
· Identify and map the network of routes within their areas that were safe and appropriate for walking and cycling;
· Identify and map the enhancements that would be required to create a fully integrated network for walking and cycling and develop a prioritised list of schemes to deliver the network;
· Deliver an enhanced network subject to budget availability and following due process;
· Consider the potential for enhancing walking and cycling provision in the development of new road schemes.
It was accepted that this is not reflected in legislation at present but it does nevertheless indicate the direction of Welsh Government policy.
At the meeting the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Visible Services, in support of this report referred to a statement made by the Minister with the responsibility for Transport. The statement drew particular attention to the significant impact that 20mph zones could have on making our roads safer by reducing the number and severity of road traffic collisions.
This was a matter for Executive decision.
(1) T H A T a consultation exercise be carried out with all relevant stakeholders in the Penarth and Llandough areas on the concept of 20 mph zones within Penarth and Llandough.
(2) T H A T a full report indicating the response to the consultation exercise be reported back to Cabinet in due course, with suggestions of the possible next steps.
Reasons for decisions
(1) In order to consult on the issue and establish feedback on the proposals.
(2) To allow the provision of sufficient information to enable the Cabinet to make a decision with respect to the issue.
C1991 Transport and Highway Services for Wales - Strategic Programme for Change Report (SPfCR)
The report outlined the Consultation Strategic Programme for Change Report published in December 2012 (SPfCR). A copy of the document was placed in the Members' Room and was made available by using the link provided at paragraph 6, within the report.
The Welsh Local Government Association and the Welsh Government jointly negotiated a "Compact" which represented a statement of commitment from the Welsh Government and Local Government to prioritise actions that would form the basis of public service reform.
On 20th December 2012, the Minister for Local Government and Communities and the WLGA Spokesperson – Roads, Infrastructure and Transport, jointly sent a letter to update Local Authorities on the progress with the Highways and Transportation Compact commitments and advised that work on the "Compact" had moved to the next stage which is the SPfCR. The consultation SPfCR was enclosed with this letter.
Local authorities have been asked to comment on the consultation SPfCR by 31st January 2013 to enable the report to be finalised and reported to the WLGA Council meeting on 22nd February 2013.
The 10 workstreams which had been identified as a result of the Transport High Level Review and which the Council was being asked to comment on, would be led by either WG officials or Local Authority Directors, supported by a project team drawn from WG, Local Authorities and RTC.
The suggested workstreams based on the evidence gathered in the Transport High Level Report were as follows:
WS1 – Strengthen Governance Arrangements for regional collaboration
WS2 – Establish a planning framework for the next round of transport plans (covering national and regional)
WS3 – Re-define the status of the roads making up the Welsh highway network
WS4 – Re-allocate responsibilities for the various categories of the highway network
WS5 – Develop business cases for further collaborative working on a national, regional or sub-regional basis
WS6 – Introduce arrangements for Welsh Government and local authorities to share their professional skills
WS7 – Introduce a programme to roll out procurement processes that have secured efficiency savings at national, regional, sub-regional and local level
WS8 – Establish minimum operational and maintenance standards and policies and rationalise specifications for the network
WS9 – Increase resilience to deliver planned and non-planned events
WS10 – Introduce a requirement and system to produce, record and compare outcomes and outputs against investment.
The Consultation document advised that each of the workstreams would generate options and then the preferred and possible options to support new working arrangements would further development and if approved, further refined into a full business case. The Consultation Document also outlined the economic, financial, management implications of these workstreams.
At this stage local authorities were not being asked to sign off any changes to the planning, management or delivery of highway services. Signing off the SPfCR would just give approval to continue work on the 10 identified workstreams as detailed in the report
This was a matter for Executive decision.
(1) T H A T the 10 workstreams outlined in the Consultation Strategic Programme for Change Report are supported in principle and the Welsh Government is advised of this prior to their deadline of 31st January 2013.
(2) T H A T the timetable and process for the progression of the draft Strategic Programme for Change Document be noted.
(3) T H A T concern is expressed to the Welsh Local Government Association and Welsh Government that the proposed timetable for the finalisation of the draft Strategic Programme for Change Document offers insufficient time for Councils to effectively comment on these important proposals.
(4) T H A T a further report is presented to Cabinet in March to advise of the contents of the final Strategic Programme for Change Document.
(5) T H A T a copy of this report be submitted to the Welsh Government as forming part of the Council's response to the Strategic Performance for Change report.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To advise the Welsh Government of the views of Cabinet on the Strategic Programme for Change Report.
(2) To note the timetable and process for the agreement of the Document
(3) To express concern at the short opportunity for consultation.
(4) To advise Cabinet of the contents of the final Document.
(5) To ensure the Welsh Government benefits from the views of the Cabinet on this important agenda.