CABINET

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 17th September, 2018.

 

Present:  Councillor J. Thomas (Chairman); Councillor T.H. Jarvie (Vice-Chairman); Councillors J.C. Bird, G.A. Cox, G.C. Kemp, A.C. Parker and R.A. Penrose.

 

Also present:  Councillors L. Burnett, Mrs P. Drake, V.P Driscoll, Dr. I.J. Johnson, K.P Mahoney, L.O. Rowlands, and Mrs. M.R Wilkinson.

 

 

C406  MINUTES -

 

RESOLVED - T H A t the minutes of the meeting held on 3rd September, 2018 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

C407  DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

 

Councillor   G.C. Kemp

 

Agenda Item No.4 – New Pay Structure 2019/20.

 

Reason for Declaration – Councillor Kemp’s Daughter is employed by the Local Authority.

 

Councillor Kemp has a Dispensation from the Standards Committee to speak and vote on this matter.

 

 

Agenda Item No. 13 – Proposed Reconfiguration of Primary Provision in the Western Vale.

 

Reason for Declaration – Both Councillor Kemp and his spouse are governors of Llancarfan Primary School.

 

Councillor Kemp has a Dispensation from the Standards Committee to speak and vote on this matter.

 

 

 

 

C408  PROPOSED RECONFIGURATION OF PRIMARY PROVISION IN THE WESTERN VALE (LC) (SCRUTINY - LEARNING AND CULTURE) -

 

Due to the level of public interest in this item, the Leader requested that the item be moved to the front of the agenda.

 

In presenting the report, the Cabinet Member for Learning and Culture began by asking Members to confirm that they had had an opportunity to consider and digest the report, including the appendix documents which were Appendix A – Joint Consultation Report, Appendix B – Community Impact Assessment, Appendix C – Equality Impact Assessment and Appendix D – Consultation Documents.

 

On full Cabinet agreement the Cabinet Member proposed to present the report in a stepped approach in looking at all aspects of the report which incorporated the salient points from the appendix documents, advising that he would invite Cabinet Members to ask any further questions to Officers present at the meeting before concluding with the final resolutions.

 

On the Chairman’s agreement, the Cabinet Member for Learning and Culture presented the report, the purpose of which was to consider the outcome of the consultation exercise undertaken on the proposal to reconfigure primary provision in the Western Vale by: 

  • Creating a new 210 place primary school building with a 48 part time place nursery class for Llancarfan Primary School;
  • Transferring staff and pupils from the existing Llancarfan Primary School building into the new school building, and;
  • Changing the age range of Llancarfan Primary School from 4-11 to 3-11 years.

On 22nd January, 2018 Cabinet considered a report on the proposal to reconfigure primary school provision in the Western Vale and agreed to undertake a consultation exercise on the proposal in line with the requirements of the School Standards Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 and the statutory code.

 

A consultation exercise was undertaken with prescribed consultees between the 5th March and 20th April, 2018 with the aim of taking a holistic view of primary school provision in the Western Vale and to inform the community about the school reorganisation proposal to move the site of Llancarfan Primary School from Llancarfan to a newly constructed school building on land north of the railway line in Rhoose, to increase the capacity of Llancarfan Primary School at the new site from 126 to 210 places, and alter the lowest age range of pupils at Llancarfan Primary School from 4 to 3, consisting of the addition of a new nursery class containing 48 part time places, and to seek feedback on this proposal.

 

The proposal aimed to address a number of challenges and provide new opportunities for learners.  These included, but were not limited to: 

  • The admission number at Llancarfan Primary School is 18 pupils per year group.  The school has only 5 classrooms available for teaching seven year groups, therefore mixed age group teaching is necessary.
  • The most recent admission number for reception age children at the school, indicate 3 pupil have registered.  None of these pupils reside in catchment.
  • Over the last three years, an average of 4 children have been born in the Llancarfan Primary School catchment area.
  • The existing site does not meet 21st Century School standards, and does not meet the requirements of the school given the site’s restricted nature.
  • The majority of pupils attending the school reside outside the catchment area, with over half of those living in Rhoose.
  • Forecasted demand emanating from Rhoose given housing developments demonstrate a need to increase capacity to accommodate demand.
  • The Local Authority is required to rationalise school places and is committed to meeting Welsh Government’s surplus places targets.
  • The opportunities afforded through Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools Programme would allow for a new purpose built school, reflective of an evolving and increasingly digital national curriculum to support and enhance learning provision.

As a result of concerns raised by members of the community in relation primarily to the impact to the local area, to ensure the views of the local community were understood, ensuring a transparent and meaningful consultation, the consultation document was redeveloped and a second consultation was held between 21st May and 9th July, 2018.  The key themes and issues raised were detailed in the consultation report attached to the report at Appendix C which Members were required to consider alongside the consultation report.  A summary of the consultation undertaken was referred to in paragraphs 56 to 69 of the report.

 

The Cabinet Member advised that the consultation report must be published within 13 weeks of the end of the period allowed for responses, and to support any decision as to whether there was suitable evidence to justify the publication of a statutory notice, which must take place before a statutory notice is published on the proposal. As a result Members were advised that the Learning and Culture Scrutiny Committee had been consulted during the first consultation period.  However, the Learning and Culture Scrutiny Committee had not had the opportunity to give further consideration to this matter or to the issues raised by the consultees as part of the second consultation period, therefore the Cabinet Member for Learning and Culture proposed that opportunity be afforded to the Committee for consideration prior to any decision to proceed with the publication of a statutory notice.

 

The Cabinet Member added that Members needed to have regard to the Legal Implications.  Members should have regard to paragraphs 13 to 55 inclusive, having due regard to these before reaching any decision and asked if Members had read and considered this information and had regard to the legal implications arising.  All Members agreed.

 

The Cabinet Member reminded Members that the Council had general duties under the Education Act, as outlined in the report at paragraphs 13 to 15.  The Council had powers under the School Standards Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 to make proposals to make a regulated alteration to a community school and Paragraph 17 of the report set out the basis of the Council’s proposal in respect of a regulated activity as defined in Schedule 2 of the 2013 Act.  

 

The Council was required when acting under the provisions of the 2013 Act to comply with the School Organisation Code 2013, which could be found via the link included in paragraph 16 of the report and Members of the Cabinet needed to be satisfied that the Council had acted in accordance with the Act and the Code. 

 

The Cabinet Member for Learning and Culture therefore reminded Cabinet Members that they must fully satisfy themselves that there was sufficient evidence before them to demonstrate that the Council was meeting its duties as outlined in the report.

 

Paragraphs 24 to 36 inclusive, set out the required elements in relation to the Council's consultation on its proposal.  The joint consultation report in respect of Llancarfan was attached at Appendix A to the report, and the Cabinet Member asked Members to confirm that they had considered it and all Members subsequently confirmed that they had.

 

The Cabinet Member went on to remind Members of the Council’s duty to comply with the public sector equality duty as provided for by s.149 of the Equalities Act 2010 when reaching a decision on the proposals outlined in the report.  Members needed to be satisfied that the Council’s duty was being met as set out fully at  paragraphs 37 to 50 of the report, which explained what the s.149 duty was.  These matters were fully examined in the Equality Impact Assessment which could be found at Appendix C and summarised in section 7.  All Members confirmed that they had had full regard to paragraphs 37 to 50.

 

The Council had to comply with the public sector equality duty (section 149 of the Equality Act 2010) when coming to a decision on the proposal.  Section 149 requires the Council to have due regard to the need to: 

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation and any other conduct that was prohibited by or under the Equality Act 2010;
  • Advance equality of opportunity between persons who shared a relevant protected characteristic and persons who did not share it;
  • Foster good relations between persons who shared a relevant protected characteristic and persons who did not share it: Equality Act 2010 s149 (1).

The relevant protected characteristics were: age; disability; gender reassignment; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; sexual orientation: section 149 (7) of the Equality Act.

 

Section 149(3) of the Equality Act stated that having due regard (that was appropriate in all the particular circumstances in which the Council was carrying out its functions) to the need to advance equality of opportunity and which involved due regard, in particular, to the need to: 

  • remove or minimise disadvantages suffered by persons who shared a relevant protected characteristic that were connected to that characteristic;
  • take steps to meet the needs of persons who shared a relevant protected characteristic that were different from the needs of persons who did not share it;
  • encourage persons who share a relevant protected characteristic to participate in public life or in any other activity in which participation by such persons was disproportionately low;
  • the steps involved in meeting the needs of disabled persons that were different from the needs of persons who were not disabled include, in particular, steps to take account of disabled persons’ disabilities.

The Cabinet Member for Learning and Culture further advised that Members must pay regard to any countervailing factors, which it was proper and reasonable for them to consider.  Improving the quality of education in the Council’s area, making schools more efficient, budgetary pressures and practical factors would often be important, which were brought together in the Resource Implications (Financial and Employment) section of the report.  The weight of these countervailing factors in the decision making process was a matter for Members in the first instance.

Members should also be aware that the duty was not to achieve the objectives or take the steps set out in s.149.  Rather, the duty on public authorities was to bring these important objectives relating to discrimination into consideration when carrying out its public functions (which included the functions relating to school reorganisations).  

 

The Equality Impact Assessment attached at Appendix C on the proposal included a summary of any possible adverse impacts and how they might be avoided.  Officers had sought to investigate whether the proposal would result in some adverse impact on people sharing any of the protected characteristics.

 

The Equality Impact Assessment concluded that there was no real risk of direct or indirect discrimination as the Council was pursuing a legitimate aim (namely, improving the capacity and efficiency of education) and any decision to publish the proposals to make regulated alterations was a proportionate means of achieving that aim.

 

The Cabinet Member added that there must be an evidence base for its decision making, achieved by means including engagement with the public and interest forums and by gathering details and statistics on those who use Llancarfan Primary School currently, and how the school was used.  Members must give careful consideration of the Equality Impact Assessment and its findings as it was one of the key ways in which Members could show due regard to the relevant matters. 

 

All the evidence for this was set out in Appendix C of the report and summarised in section 7 which was informed by the consultation undertaken, which Members were aware of and which was summarised in paragraphs 56 to 69 of the report. 

 

The Cabinet Member asked if all Members were satisfied that there was sufficient justification to proceed on the basis of this information, so that Cabinet were fully satisfied that they could proceed as recommended.  All Members agreed.

 

In conclusion, the Cabinet Member for Learning and Culture referred Members to the Community Impact Assessment (CIA) which was attached at Appendix B to the report.  The salient points were summarised at paragraphs 70 to 81 of the report and were contained in the table provided at paragraph 78 of the report which was a summary of the key information to remind Members of that which was contained in Appendix B.  Members would be aware that despite the fact that the Code did not require a CIA in respect of the proposal made, the Council nevertheless thought it would be prudent to produce a thorough CIA given that under the proposal as a regulated activity, the existing site in Llancarfan would become surplus and the school would move to a new site in Rhoose.  The CIA highlighted that the proposal identified would likely result in a slight to moderate improvement for the wider community overall.  The Cabinet Member for Learning and Culture stated that, in his opinion, the CIA demonstrated that the Council had due regard to the duty, based on a full investigation undertaken by Officers, as outlined in the report. 

 

The Cabinet Member asked Members to confirm that they were satisfied that the report and recommendations fully addressed the Council’s statutory duties and the equality duties further advising that Members should confirm that from the perspective of the equality impact assessment undertaken that there was sufficient justification to proceed on the basis of the information and any measures proposed to mitigate any adverse impact had been appropriately addressed so that Cabinet were fully satisfied that they could proceed as recommended.  All Members agreed.

 

At this point, the Cabinet Member for Social Care, Health and Leisure requested that his concerns over how the Consultation Report had been prepared, collated and conclusions reached within the report be minuted.

 

Following the Cabinet Member’s briefing, the Leader opened the debate to questions commencing with the following:

 

The Leader referred to references made in the report to a regulated alteration and requested the Officer to fully explain the terminology and how the School Organisation Code had been applied in relation to the proposals relating to Llancarfan?

 

The Head of Strategy, Community Learning and Resources advised that Section 2.2 of the School Organisation Code (2013) dealt with ‘regulated alterations’, which included in the definition:

  • ‘the transfer of any school to a new site or sites unless a main entrance of the school on its new site would be within 1 mile of any main entrance on the current site’, and
  • a change in the age range of a school (including a special school) by a year or more.

As a regulated alteration the school, its structure, governing body, staffing and pupils would be unchanged when moved to a new site.  The heritage and history of the school would remain constant in the eyes of Estyn.

 

A school closure of a school under the Code would require dissolution of the elements just mentioned, which was a significant difference, with the achievements and ethos of the school not being carried forward.

 

The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Regulatory and Legal Services referred to Paragraphs 56 to 69 which set out details of the consultation undertaken and asked what the purpose of extending the period of the consultation?

 

The Head of Strategy, Community Learning and Resources advised that the Council took consultation seriously, and it was important for the process to both reflect the requirements set out in the School Organisation Code, and be agile in its process to ensure meaningful engagement and opportunity for consideration.  While the School Organisation Code provided guidelines, it did not provide a playbook for every scenario, many of which would be unique to the specific areas and communities affected.  During the course of both consultations there were instances where issues arose or questions asked.  At those junctures it was decided to operate in an open, transparent and accommodating way to ensure that the Council did right by the pupils they were there to support and the communities in which they lived.  To that end, the Head of Strategy stated that it had been decided that there was insufficient information provided in the first consultation document, and that some of the concerns raised by the community which could be addressed better, should be.  To that end, the second consultation was launched and the Council was clear that any opinions expressed in the first
consultation would not be discounted.

 

During the course of the second consultation it was discovered that the survey software used by the Council truncated the responses of 10 individuals after 9,999 characters due to limitation in the systems database which the Council was not aware of.  Upon investigating the issue every single respondent was contacted, with the first 9,999 characters of their response, and asked if they wished to include any additional information from their response which may had been lost.  8 respondents had since sent in additional information.  The remaining 2 responses had still been included up to the 9,999 characters that were received.

 

Reasonable adjustment and accommodation was made, proactively, by the Council to address the issue.

 

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning advised that he had observed that the community felt strongly about the proposal and asked the Director if she was satisfied that consideration had been given to the educational aspects of the proposal?

 

The Director of Learning and Skills advised that she was confident that all educational aspects of the proposal had been considered.  The nature of consultations were not to seek majority approval but rather to ensure that all implications could be highlighted and raised for Members’ consideration.  It was clear that the community felt strongly about the consultation, and their engagement and the quality of the consultation report was a testament to the efficacy of the process. The Director reiterated that she was confident that the educational aspects had been considered appropriately, and this was reflected in the feedback from Estyn received on the consultation.  However, Officers were conscious that the Learning and Culture Scrutiny Committee had not had the opportunity to consider the feedback to the consultation and this would allow an opportunity for democratic debate. The biggest challenge with the proposal was the distinction between community impact and educational rationale and where the objective of the consultation should lay.  The School Organisation Code was clear that the primary function of a school was to educate.  Under Welsh Government, Local Authorities must give due consideration to rationalisation, capacity and opportunities for investment under national strategy, which was reflected in the Cabinet report and associated appendices.

 

The proposal had gone above the standard set out by the School Organisation Code with regard to community engagement and in developing a comprehensive community impact assessment.  This was done because it was the right thing to do given the feelings of the community, and to ensure that the Cabinet was able to consider the communities’ views when making a decision.

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing and Building Services drew Members’ attention to the resources and implications section of the report which made reference to match funding from Welsh Government, the capital receipt from the site at Llancarfan, and s.106 monies and asked after the difference between each of these funding streams and how they related to one another? 

 

The Head of Strategy, Community Learning and Resources advised that under Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools programme, 50% match funding was available for capital investment schemes that would see learning environments enhanced to Welsh Government’s 21st Century standards.  In order to secure funding, business cases must be submitted and approved by Welsh Government, and would be assessed on a number of criteria, including designs meeting Building Bulletin regulations, and being sustainable.

 

Funding was also available via Section 106 contributions, which were contributions made by developers, following new housing developments in a given area to support services in meeting the additional demand.  Each Section 106 agreement was negotiated separately and tied to agreed timescales.  The Section 106 agreements and associated timescales were outlined in the consultation document, with the first Section106 agreement expiring in January 2020.

 

The consultation document made it clear that a capital receipt would be sought from the existing Llancarfan site should proposals go ahead.  This receipt would not be used specifically for this proposal however; any receipt would be retained for use in future 21st Century School projects under Band B.

 

The Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services and Transport stated that reference was made in the report to the quality and standards in education and asked what were the benefits/dis-benefits of the proposal from an education perspective bearing in mind the Council’s duties under the Education Act?

 

The Director of Learning and Skills advised that the proposal reflected Welsh Government’s strategy of 21st Century schools as well as ensuring the duties from Welsh Government discharged to the Local Authority in relation to school place planning, school organisation and rationalisation were appropriately met.

 

Referring to Key benefits, the Director stated that these included: 

  • The proposal ensured adequate provision for forecasted increases in pupil numbers, while aligning with the agreed strategy with Welsh Government on managing surplus capacity in schools.
  • The proposal addressed the challenges associated with building bulletin regulations and required site space in establishing appropriate educational provision for additional pupil numbers emanating from Rhoose.
  • The proposal offered £4m in investment into Llancarfan Primary School and that investment in the school cannot be made on its current site.
  • The challenges associated with mixed classes at Llancarfan Primary School would be mitigated if the school were to move to a new site.  The current admission number in reception for September 2018 is 3 pupils, none of whom live in catchment.
  • The existing school site did not have adequate outdoor space, necessitating expenditure on external facilities in order to hold sports sessions, for example.
  • The existing infrastructure and facility at Llancarfan was not reflective of the evolving national curriculum, which included a focus on digital competency and learning.
  • The proposal would establish nursery provision at the school, allowing for consistency in education and learning environment through the Foundation Phase.
  • Additional pupil numbers would leverage economies of scale with regard to the school’s revenue funding, providing additional resources for the school under the current school funding challenges.

The dis-benefits of the proposal, the Director advised, were largely related to the community aspects of the school being located in Llancarfan, as outlined in the Community Impact Assessment. 

  • From an educational perspective parents had highlighted concerns with larger class sizes and the small school ethos, however under the proposal the opportunity for the ethos of the school to be retained was facilitated as a regulated alteration, and there were a number of mechanisms available, and were currently in place at other schools, to foster and support cross-year engagement and support for pupils.
  • Llancarfan Primary School was currently categorised as a yellow school which meant it could benefit from improvement.  There were numerous examples of larger schools with additional challenges not faced by Llancarfan, such as high levels of eFSM pupils who were rated by Estyn as excellent and were nationally recognised for their performance, standards and innovation in teaching.

At this point in discussion, the Cabinet Member for Social Care, Health and Leisure wished to share the concerns of the community and himself over the way in which the consultation had been conducted and the impact on the school moving from a rural to suburban setting.  The Cabinet Member also wished to add that the aforementioned point of Llancarfan school being categorised as a yellow school was subjective and the Council was not in a position to confirm if, at all, this category would change if the school was to move.  The Director of Learning and Skills, for clarification purposes, pointed out that the reference she had made to the school being categorised as yellow under Welsh Government’s categorisation system was relevant in that it demonstrated that the school has room for improvement.  She was of the view that the proposal would support the school to achieve the improvements set out in its School Improvement Plan.

 

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning asked the Cabinet Member for Learning and Culture if he, as the Cabinet Member for the service area, was satisfied that all other proposed options had been thoroughly considered, to which, the Cabinet Member for Learning and Culture advised that, yes, comprehensive consultations had taken place which also included drop-in sessions for members of the public to engage.  The Consultation Report included all comments raised and, in his opinion, had been handled very well by officers.

 

During consideration of the matter, the Leader also drew Members’ attention to two written representations that had been tabled at the meeting and placed in the public gallery.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

Having regard to the report and comments made at the meeting the following resolutions were moved by the Deputy Leader and seconded by the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning and endorsed by the Cabinet Member for Learning and Culture; and subsequently:

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the report, consultation report and other appendices included as part of the report together with the written representations received at the meeting be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the publication of the consultation report on the proposal be approved.

 

(3)       T H A T recommendations 3-5 as set out in the report are not progressed at this stage.

 

(4)       T H A T the report, consultation report, included appendices, and the written representations received at the meeting be referred to the Learning and Culture Scrutiny Committee for consideration.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To ensure that all relevant information is considered by Cabinet in reaching a decision on whether to publish a statutory notice on the proposal.

 

(2)       To ensure the Local Authority meets the legal requirements of the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 and the School Organisation Code 2013.

 

(3&4)  To seek the views of the Scrutiny Committee prior to final decisions being reached.

 

 

C409  NEW PAY STRUCTURE 2019/20 (L) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE PERFORMANCE AND RESOURCES) -

 

The Leader presented the report advising that a two year pay deal had been agreed for staff on NJC Terms and Conditions for 2018/19 and 2019/20 and this would affect approximately 4,000 staff across the Council and Schools.

 

In relation to the 2019/20 changes the report provided a number of options that had been considered.  Following a number of meetings with Human Resources, Finance, Corporate Management Team and Trade Unions, Option 5 had been recommended as the preferred option.

 

As part of recent pay changes, spinal 6 and 7 had already been removed (in December 2017) from the current pay structure which meant that the current minimum hourly rate for staff on NJC terms and conditions was £8.62.  From April 2019, the minimum hourly rate would be £9.18 per hour and was likely to be just above the Voluntary Foundation Living Wage which would be announced in November 2018.

 

If Cabinet chose to support Option 5, then further consultation would commence with Scrutiny Committee on 20th September and would commence officially with the Trade Unions with the aim of reaching a collective agreement.  Briefing sessions would also be held in various offices and depots across the Council in order to explain the changes to staff.

 

Proceeding with the pay award (Option 5) would cost £2.595m for 2019/20.  This was made up from the £2.207m already allocated and the additional £388k required to implement the new pay structure.

 

Most importantly, the Leader added that the amendment to the grading structure would enable Equal Pay legislation to be met.  It would also improve the gender pay gap as the higher percentage increases were towards the lower end of the grading structure, which were predominantly held by females.  Details of this were set out in Appendix E of the report.

 

Once the consultation had been completed it would be brought back to Cabinet in November for final approval and then onto Full Council in December for sign off. 

 

This was a change to staff terms and conditions and therefore following approval the HR Department would write to all affected staff explaining the change.

 

Indications were that the Vale of Glamorgan Council was well ahead of the process for agreeing a new pay structure for its staff compared to other Welsh Local Authorities.

 

This is a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

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

 

(2)       T H A T Option 5 be progressed as the preferred option for consultation, and dependant on the outcomes of that consultation, subsequent implementation.

 

(3)       T H A T the report be referred to the Corporate Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committee for consideration as part of the formal consultation with Trade Unions.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       That matters be considered by Cabinet in line with corporate objectives.

 

(2)       To progress the implementation plan and the implementation of Option 5.

 

(3)       To enable the Scrutiny Committee to consider the implications of the 2019/20 pay award as part of the formal consultation with the Trade Unions.

 

 

C410  COUNCIL INSURANCE REVIEW APRIL 2018 - MARCH 2019 (L) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE PERFORMANCE AND RESOURCES) -

 

The report outlined that the Council's insurance policies would need to be retendered during 2018 / 2019 due to the expiration of Long Term Agreements and sought to outline and agree the process that would be undertaken to complete the tender process.

 

The Council managed insurance risk through its own internal fund (the Insurance Fund) and by paying premiums to external insurers where the financial consequences of the risks cannot be borne in-house.  Services were recharged to recover the attendant costs of insurance based upon a number of factors, including claims experience.  The following external insurance policies were maintained: 

  • Public / Employers / Officials Indemnity Insurance
  • Motor / Road Risks
  • Property (Public Buildings / Schools / Housing Stock)
  • Contract Works Cover
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Personal Accident / Travel
  • Off Site Activities / Travel (Schools and Youth Services)
  • Fidelity Guarantee (Employee Dishonesty)
  • Computer Mainframes
  • Engineer Inspection / Insurance (Lifts)
  • PTA Liability cover
  • Trustees Liability (Councillors)
  • Leaseholder’s / Mortgaged Property
  • Residents’ Association Schemes
  • Contribution to the Community Association Schemes.

The Leader advised that the Council's insurance policies (other than property) were tendered for the 2014/15 financial year and were placed on a five year long term agreement.  The Council's property insurance was retendered for the 2016/17 financial year on a three year long term agreement with the potential to extend the contract for a further two years.  The insurance policies other than property would have to be retendered during the current financial year and a decision would have to be made based upon the renewal premium offered by the incumbent insurer.

 

To undertake this tender process the Council would use the National Procurement Service's (NPS) Insurance Framework and the process of the tender would be run by the Council's insurance broker Marsh UK Ltd.  The Council would take advice from Marsh as to whether the renewal premium offered by the property insurer represents value for money.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the position regarding the Council’s insurances be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the Head of Finance be authorised to commence tendering procedures for the insurance services outlined in the report.

 

(3)       T H A T delegated authority be approved for the Head of Finance / Section 151 Officer in consultation with the Managing Director and Leader to accept and award contracts for the insurance services for a period of 3 years.

 

(4)       T H A T the Monitoring Officer / Head of Legal and Democratic Services be authorised to agree the terms of and execute contracts with successful providers.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       Cabinet are informed and apprised of insurance issues.

 

(2)       A timely tendering process for the provision of insurance cover is commenced.

 

(3-4)    An appropriate contract is put in place for the supply of insurance cover.

 

 

C411  MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL PLAN 2018/19 TO 2021/22 (L) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE PERFORMANCE AND RESOURCES) -

 

The draft Medium Term Financial Plan 2018/19 to 2021/22 was attached at Appendix 1 to the Leader’s report for Cabinet’s consideration and approval.

 

The Leader advised that the purpose of the Medium Term Financial Plan was to: 

  • link the Council’s strategic planning process with the budget process and to ensure consistency between them;
  • Identify the main financial implications resulting from the increased pressure falling upon Council services, including pay and price inflation, legislative and demographic changes;
  • Estimate the reduced financial resources that will be available to the Council to meet these demands; and
  • Match the predicted expenditure and resources and provide a framework to develop a financial strategy towards achieving a balanced budget for the next 3 financial years.

The financial climate continued to be a difficult one for Local Authorities and the Council needed to plan for a range of challenging settlements over the coming years. In developing a three year plan, it had been necessary to make assumptions with regard to a number of key elements within the Council’s budget: 

  • As part of the final revenue settlement for 2018/19, Welsh Government provided an indicative figure of a 1% reduction for the potential change in funding for 2019/20.  No further indications were provided after that year.  Due to the considerable uncertainty and the continuation of austerity measures, it was considered prudent that a reduction of 1% was applied year on year for the period of the Plan.
  • With regards to pay budget, a two year pay deal had now been agreed for 2018/19 and 2019/20 for staff on NJC terms and conditions.  As part of the final budget proposals for 2018/19, an increase of 2% had been included, with a higher % being assumed for staff on scale point 19 and below.  However, the new pay deal would result in more scale points receiving a higher than 2% pay award and this had increased the funding required. Increases at this level had also been included for 2020/21 and 2021/22.
  • With regards to price inflation, it was proposed that in line with the budget setting process for 2018/19, a review of the Council’s contracts was undertaken and that inflation was only provided where it was a contractual commitment for large contracts.
  • Some funding had been assumed for major cost pressures.  These calculated at £5.7m over the life of the plan.  These would be reviewed when the estimates were reviewed over the coming months. 
  • It had been assumed that the savings previously agreed would all be met.
  • A possible increase in the Council Tax over this period of 2.5% which was in line with CPI, had been assumed.

All of the above assumptions would be reviewed through the annual budget setting process.

 

The Leader added that the Plan estimated that between 2018/2019 and 2020/2021 the Council would need to reduce its revenue budget by £15.7m, £3.6m of which had already been identified.  The achievement of these savings would be extremely challenging, particularly as the Council had already identified savings in excess of £50m in the period 2010/2011 and 2018/2019.

 

In view of the shortfall identified across the 3 years, actions needed to be taken to prepare for future reductions in funding.  It was proposed that once the 2019/20 indicative allocations were received from Welsh Government and as part of the budget setting process for 2019/20, the Budget Working Group would consider the options for funding the shortfall as outlined in the Plan and identify further savings targets for future years, while ensuring that the limited resources focus on priorities as outlined in the Corporate Plan.  At that stage the assumptions made in the Plan would also need to be reviewed.

 

Finally, the Leader added that with regards to the capital position, the Medium Term Financial Plan had assumed a decrease in the capital grants from WG of 5% on year on year basis.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the contents of the draft Medium Term Financial Plan for 2018/19 to 2021/22 be endorsed.

 

(2)       T H A T the Plan be referred to the Corporate Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committee for its consideration with any comments being referred to Cabinet for its consideration of the final budget proposals for 2019/20.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To facilitate the integration of medium term financial planning into the corporate planning and budget process.

 

(2)       To consider comments of Scrutiny Committee.

 

 

C412  VALE OF GLAMORGAN ANNUAL REPORT (IMPROVEMENT PLAN PART 2) 2017/18 (L) (SCRUTINY - ALL) -

 

The Leader presented the report, the purpose of which was to seek Members’ endorsement of the Vale of Glamorgan Annual Report 2017/18 (Improvement Plan Part 2) which outlined the Council’s progress towards achieving the Council's Well-being (Improvement) Objectives agreed in April 2017.  The report also outlined the Council's performance for 2017/18 on a range of services relative to all other Welsh Local Authorities as published by the Local Government Data Unit (now Data Cymru).

 

The Local Government (Wales) Measure (LGM) 2009 and the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 (WFGA), both placed specific duties on the Council in relation to objective setting and reporting. Under the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act, the Council was required to annually publish its Well-being Objectives to report progress against these.  Under the Measure, the Council also had to set annual Improvement Objectives and report its progress in achieving these.

 

In April 2017, Cabinet endorsed the Corporate Plan Well-being Objectives and associated priority actions for 2017/18 as the Council's Improvement Objectives for 2017/18.  This ensured that the Council continued to discharge its duties to publish its Well-being (Improvement) Objectives under the WBFG (Wales) Act and the LGM.

 

The Leader stated that the Corporate Plan was therefore the Council’s key means of complying with these duties and set out the Council's Well-being and Improvement Objectives for 2016-2020 as well as its vision and values with reference to the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and had been informed by local needs and available resources and incorporates the views of residents, partners and staff.

 

Following a review of the annual improvement planning and monitoring timetable and the supporting plans in May 2018, Cabinet subsequently endorsed (30th July, 2018) changes to the Council's annual improvement planning and monitoring timetable. This had further streamlined the content and format of some of the Council’s plans/ reports and had enabled the Council to rationalise the number produced and reduce the level of duplication in existing reports due to the timing of reports. This approach would also enable the Council to utilise the streamlined information for multiple purposes whilst continuing to meet its statutory requirements for improvement planning and reporting.  Doing so was consistent with the latest guidance produced by the Wales Audit Office and the Office of the Future Generations Commissioner to ensure the reports were understandable and accessible.

 

In line with the changes to the annual improvement planning and monitoring timetable, the Annual Report for 2017/18 now combined the current end of year (Quarter 4) performance reports and the Improvement Plan Part 2 into one document, to produce a Vale of Glamorgan Annual Report 2017/18 and had eliminated the need for separate end of year reports to Scrutiny Committees.

 

The new style report provided a comprehensive annual review of the previous year's performance by Well-being Outcome and Objective and also incorporated the Council’s statutory reporting requirements including; outlining overall Council contribution to the national well-being goals; a comparison of the Council’s performance using national benchmarking data, where available; progress against the Council’s strategic collaborations; what the Council’s auditors say about the Council; how the Council has used its resources and how the Council has engaged with its residents.

 

The Leader advised that The Vale of Glamorgan Annual Report (Improvement Plan Part 2) for the period 2017/18 could be viewed online and a hard copy was also available in the Members Room.  By producing the report, residents could find out about the progress the Council has made in achieving the key outcomes aligned to the Council’s Corporate Plan Well-being Objectives.

 

Pages 155 -164 of the Annual Report provided a summary of the Council’s performance against the national performance indicator set relative to all Welsh Local Authorities.  On balance, the Council’s performance continued to be positive and overall remained the top performing Council in Wales for the fourth year running in relation to the dataset. Key highlights were: 

  • 10 out of 20 indicators were in the top quartile of performers in Wales. These were in areas such as preventing homelessness, highway cleanliness standards, how we responded to fly tipping incidents, participation in leisure activities, pupil attainment at GSCE level, young people who were known not to be in education, employment or training, pupil attendance in primary and secondary schools and speed of determining planning applications.
  • Overall, the Vale performed better than the Welsh average in all but 2 indicators (90%).  When compared against the region of South East Wales local authorities, 67% (12) of the Council’s measures also performed better than the average for this family group.
  • Nevertheless, the Council also recognised that improvements could be made to those areas where it was performing in the lower to bottom quartiles when compared with the rest of Wales.  These areas related to the condition of our roads and participation in recycling waste.

Following approval by Cabinet, publication of the Annual Report (Improvement Plan Part 2) 2017/18 would take place via a variety of media, including social media, which would ensure the Council was complying with its statutory duties.  Hard copies would be made available at the Council's main reception areas and libraries.  In addition, a public summary would also be available online and in the Council's main reception areas.

 

The Leader further advised that due to the timing of meetings and the statutory reporting timetable, Cabinet was being asked to consider the views and recommendations from Scrutiny Committees (Healthy Living and Social Care, Homes and Safe Communities and Environment and Regeneration) in relation to the Vale of Glamorgan Annual Report (Improvement Plan Part 2) 2017/18, with a view endorse and refer the Plan to Full Council on 26th September, 2018 for approval.

 

The following recommendations had been received from the Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee and were tabled for the Members’ consideration: 

  • Prioritisation should be given to improving the Council’s performance for the condition of A Roads and the rate of recycling;
  • With regard to fly tipping and recycling that Cabinet consider the proposal to roll out a proof of residence scheme;
  • Cabinet considers the possibility for introducing charges to enable small builders and contractors to access Council Waste facilities for the purpose of waste removal;
  • Cabinet considers the proposal to explore opening hours of Waste Recycling facilities beyond the current periods, which could include one evening a week when the facilities are open beyond the usual closure time.
  • More information and clarity is made available to Members of the Public around recycling and for there to be more engagement with schools and young people.

At this point, the Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services and Transport wished to add that the Council had already taken steps towards meeting the recommendations made by the Scrutiny Committee and with regards to the condition of A roads, the Council had assigned more funds than it ever had historically, during the last calendar year, to that purpose.

 

For clarification purposes, the Managing Director took the opportunity to inform Members that the Performance Status relating to Corporate Plan Priority 154 – Percentage of Council Street lights that are LED, contained on page 51 of the report, was correctly labelled despite an increase in performance level from 2016/17 to 2017/18.  This was due to the street lighting work not being completed before the 31st March, 2018 cut off but had subsequently been completed.

 

Due to the timing of the Scrutiny Committee meetings for Learning and Culture and Corporate Performance and Resources and the schedule of Cabinet meetings, Members of these Committees were being asked to review and endorse the Vale of Glamorgan Annual Report (Improvement Plan Part 2) 2017/18 and refer any recommendations directly to the Full Council meeting on 26th September, 2018 for their consideration.  Any amendments following Cabinet and Full Council's consideration would be reflected in an updated Annual Report for publication by 30th October, 2018.  This would ensure that the Council fully discharged its duties under both the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 (WBFG) and the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 (LGM) to publish an annual review of council performance against its Well-being (Improvement) Objectives by 30th October as per the statutory timetable.

 

Cabinet was being asked to note the Council's overall performance in relation to the national performance indicator dataset for 2017/18 relative to all Welsh Local Authorities as published by the Local Government Data Unit (now Data Cymru) on 8th August, 2018.  This data ranked the Vale of Glamorgan Council as the highest performing Local Authority in Wales for the fourth year running.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the views and recommendations reported verbally from the Scrutiny Committee Environment and Regeneration in relation to the Vale of Glamorgan Annual Report (Improvement Plan Part 2) 2017/18 be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the Vale of Glamorgan Annual Report (Improvement Plan Part 2) 2017/18 be endorsed and referred to Full Council on 26th September, 2018 for approval.

 

(3)       T H A T the Council’s overall performance on the National Performance Indicator dataset for 2017/18 relevant to all Welsh Local Authorities as published by the Local Government Data Unit (now Data Cymru) on 8th August, 2018 together with the fact that the Vale of Glamorgan Council is ranked as the highest performing Local Authority in Wales for the fourth year running be noted.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1&2)  To ensure the Council fully discharges its duties under both the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 (WBFG) and the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 (LGM) to publish an annual review of Council performance against its Well-being (Improvement) Objectives by 30th October as per the statutory timetable and taking into consideration the timing of this Committee's meeting and the schedule of Cabinet meetings.

 

(3)       To apprise Members of the performance of the Vale of Glamorgan Council relative to other Welsh Local Authorities during 2017/18.

 

 

C413  CONSULTATION RESPONSE ON THE REMOVAL OF THE SANCTION OF IMPRISONMENT FOR THE NON PAYMENT OF COUNCIL TAX (L) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE PERFORMANCE AND RESOURCES) -

 

The Leader presented the report, the purpose of which was to seek Cabinet’s approval for the Cabinet’s response to the Welsh Government’s consultation paper.

 

The Local Government Finance Act 1992 and The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 made provisions for Billing Authorities to commence committal proceedings in relation to Council Tax and non-domestic rates.

 

An application to the Magistrates’ Court for commitment to prison of a debtor could only be made following an unsuccessful attempt to collect the debt by the use of Enforcement Agents.

 

The Welsh Government issued a consultation document on 11th June, 2018, Appendix (A), requesting views on the removal of the sanction of imprisonment for the non-payment of Council Tax.  The completion date for this consultation exercise was 3rd September, 2018.

 

The Leader advised that should the sanction of imprisonment for the non-payment of Council Tax be removed then the Council would no longer have the ability to use this recovery method when attempting to collect Council Tax from those who refused to pay, or were culpable in their neglect to pay.

 

The Council actively pursued debtors who had received reminders and Court Orders requiring them to pay their arrears of Council Tax, but who, despite being able to pay, had not done so.  Action at this level was only taken as last resort with the numbers committed to prison being very low and after support was given to individuals who needed assistance to pay their bills.  No one had been imprisoned since January 2017 for non-payment of Council Tax in the Vale of Glamorgan. However, it was considered that this was an important option that the Council would be able to utilise when an individual was opting not to pay their Council Tax bill.   

 

The Leader proposed that the response to the consultation, contained at Appendix B to the report, be approved stating that the Cabinet did not support the removal of the sanction of imprisonment currently available to all Councils in Wales.

 

Due to the completion date as outlined above, the draft response had already been submitted to Welsh Government with a caveat that it was still to be approved by Cabinet.

 

The Cabinet Member for Social Care, Health and Leisure asked after the methods used by Bailiffs when completing their work as he was aware of concerns around Bailiffs manipulating working practices to their own financial benefit.  Consideration also needed to be given to the fact that the majority of individuals dealing with Bailiffs at the property were females who were alone in the property.

 

The Head of Finance advised that the Council had re-tendered in the last 18 months, with considerable time being allocated to discuss any concerns and the levels of service at that time and that the Council would continue to monitor the behaviour of Bailiff Staff.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the consultation response contained at Appendix B to the Leader’s report be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To confirm the response of Cabinet to the Welsh Government’s consultation paper on the removal of the sanction of imprisonment for the non-payment of Council Tax.

 

 

C414  JENNER ROAD, BARRY - PROPOSED DISABLED PERSONS’ PARKING PLACE - OBJECTION REPORT (NST) (SCRUTINY - ENVIRONMENT AND REGENERATION) -

 

The Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services and Transport presented the report to advise Members of objections received to the proposed installation of a disabled person’s parking place in Jenner Road, Barry and to propose appropriate action.

 

Due to the demand for on street parking in Jenner Road, Barry the Authority received a request for a disabled person’s parking place from the disabled resident of 134 Jenner Road, Barry.  The Applicant met the current criteria as detailed in Council Policy for disabled persons’ parking places.

 

The Member advised that on 13th April, 2018, delegated authority was obtained to give public notice of the Council’s proposal to install a disabled person’s parking place and during the statutory consultation period four letters of objection were received to the proposal which were attached at Appendices A, B, C and D to the report.

 

The main point which had been raised by all four objectors was that the Applicant had a partially built hard standing / garage to the rear of the property and if the Applicant was to complete the construction it would provide them with an off street parking facility.

 

The Applicant had been contacted and confirmed that, due to reasons specified in the report, was unable to complete the works in the near future and that there was no off road parking available at the address.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the objections and the reasons for the objections to the disabled person’s parking place being installed at Jenner Road, Barry be rejected.

 

(2)       T H A T the objectors be advised of Cabinet’s decision.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To allow the Traffic Regulation Order to be made and implemented.

 

(2)       To confirm the Council’s position.

 

 

C415  PROVISION OF SERVICES FOR PEOPLE WITH SIGHT IMPAIRMENT OR SEVERE SIGHT IMPAIRMENT AND/OR HEARING LOSS (SCHL) (SCRUTINY - HEALTHY  LIVING AND SOCIAL CARE)-

 

The Cabinet Member for Social Care, Health and Leisure presented the report to seek authority to re-tender for the contract related to support for services for Sight Impairment, Severe Sight Impairment and / or Hearing Loss.

 

The Council recognised its statutory responsibilities for providing services to those registered as sight impaired, or severely sight impaired and / or who had hearing loss living in the Vale of Glamorgan.  These services must complement other statutory services delivered by the Council.  The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s aim was to maximise the use of available resources by establishing longer-term, more integrated relationships with providers.

 

Services to those registered as sight impaired, or severely sight impaired were currently provided by Sight Cymru.  During the life of the current contract, regular management and monitoring meetings had taken place with the provider.  They had provided both qualitative and quantitative information regarding the performance of the service and contract compliance. 

 

The current contract was due to expire on 31st December, 2018; however, due to other procurement processes and Christmas / New Year holidays, it had been decided that the contract would terminate on 30th November, 2018.  Sight Cymru had agreed to the amended termination date.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T authority be granted for the Director of Social Services, and the Head of Finance, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Social Care, Health and Leisure to: 

  • Commence tendering procedures for the services outlined in the report;
  • Accept and award tenders for the services outlined in the report;
  • Authorise the Monitoring Officer / Head of Legal and Democratic Services to execute the necessary contracts.

Reason for decision

 

To ensure that the Council: 

  • Provides care and support services in a cost effective way and meets the assessed needs of Service Users;
  • Meets the requirements of its Financial Regulations and Contract Standing Orders.

 

C416   HOUSING DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME - BRECON COURT, BARRY (HBS) (SCRUTINY - HOMES AND SAFE COMMUNITIES) -

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing and Building Services presented the report to provide Cabinet with an update on the Council Housing Development Programme and seek authority to appoint a suitable contractor for the construction of 28 new homes on the site of the former sheltered housing complex Brecon Court, Barry.

 

Tenders were opened from the Sell2Wales secure post box on 6th August, 2018 and tender submissions had been received from six contractors.  All contractors passed the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire element, which tested their financial health, expertise and compliance.  The contractors’ formal tender proposals were then evaluated against the Council’s quality and cost criteria as part of the process.

Full financial details would be addressed in the Part II Report included on the Agenda.  The cost of the scheme fitted within the development profile costs identified in the Housing Business Plan.  Subject to Cabinet approval, the Council and Contractor would formally enter into the JCT Design and Build contract under deed ensuring the limitation period was 12 years.  The scheme would be formally administrated by Richard Parfitt Associates (RPA) as appointed Employers Agent, who would agree and certify all contract matters including valuations. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the current position with regards to the housing development programme be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the contents of the report be noted, with the view to taking a decision on the award of a JCT Design and Build contract, as detailed within the Part II report later in the agenda.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To advise Cabinet.

 

(2)       To advise of the current position with this particular contract.

 

 

C417  HOUSING DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME - HAYES WOOD ROAD, BARRY (HBS) (SCRUTINY - HOMES AND SAFE COMMUNITIES) -

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing and Building Services presented the report: 

  • To seek Cabinet approval to proceed with the acquisition of Welsh Government owned land at Hayes Wood Road, Barry;
  • To submit a detailed planning application for the development of the site;
  • To obtain the necessary authority to tender for the provision of 20 Gypsy and Travellers pitches to meet the identified needs in the Vale of Glamorgan area.

The Member advised that the need to provide a permanent site for the Gypsy and Traveller Community had long been identified as a strategic priority for the Council as well as being a legal obligation to meet its statutory duty.  The Vale of Glamorgan Local Development Plan 2011 – 2026 (LDP) was formally adopted on 28th June, 2017 and LDP Policy MG5 – Gypsy and Traveller Site, made provision for a 2 pitch gypsy and traveller site at Llangan.

 

The LDP Monitoring Framework required the further identification of an appropriate site to accommodate the additional 18 pitches to meet need up to 2026.  Due to the uncertainty surrounding the Llangan site, it was considered the Council should meet the overall need of 20 pitches at Hayes Wood Road, Barry to ensure it complied with its statutory duty set out under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014.

 

The Gypsy and Traveller Site Assessment 2018, contained at Appendix A to the report, set out the methodology for finding an appropriate site to meet the overall need of 20 pitches.  The assessment identified a selection of possible sites and concluded that the preferred site was the site at Hayes Wood Road, Barry.  Further to a previous report authorising the Council's acquisition of the Site from Welsh Government, option appraisals regarding the needs of the communities within the Vale of Glamorgan had identified the Hayes Wood Road site to be in prime location to meet the needs of the Gypsy and Traveller community.

Work had progressed on preliminary site investigation and illustrative layout proposals and a copy of the proposed scheme layout was provided at Appendix B to the report.  The illustrative scheme layout contained at Appendix B was designed to meet the identified need of 18 pitches, plus additional capacity of two further pitches.  To ensure the Council complied with best practice and met the Welsh Government's funding criteria available for the site; the layout was based on "Designing Gypsy and Traveller Sites", guidance issued through Welsh Government and a detailed layout of the individual pitches was provided at Appendix C with an artistic impression of the street view provided at Appendix D.  Each pitch would facilitate a static caravan with provision for an additional touring caravan, parking for two vehicles and individual amenity block.  Each amenity block was designed to be flexible so it could be converted into temporary accommodation or a one/two bedroomed home should demand change in the future.  The Gypsy and Traveller Site would also contain a manager's office and a communal room to allow for social activities.  The pitches would be let at similar rates to other Gypsy and Traveller Sites within Wales.

 

Further work relating to the Site was ongoing, which would enable the Scheme to be finalised for submission of a full planning application and support the tender documentation to enable contractors to bid for the development work.

 

Public consultation would be required as part of the 'Pre-Application Consultation Report' prior to a formal planning submission.  This would be arranged in advance of the final preparation and submission of the planning application.

 

The Cabinet Member for Learning and Culture advised that since the publication of the report he had received several objections from residents living in Sully and Barry opposing the geographical location of the proposed site at Hayes Wood Road, Barry. Many of the objections were received from residents in the Hayes Point Development and on Hayes Road itself, who were concerned about the effect the proposal may have on the area and therefore a perceived reduction in the value of their homes.  Therefore, the Cabinet Member advised that he was not pre-disposed to support the report at this time however, would reserve his own personal opinion on the proposal until he was able to consider all the facts following a meaningful consultation process with all stakeholders and after careful consideration of the planning application details.

 

In response, the Cabinet Member for Housing and Building Services advised that the pre-consultation would afford all residents the opportunity to share their thoughts on the matter and this would include drop-in sessions that will be well advertised.

 

In response to the Leader’s question on the timeline for purchase, the Cabinet Member for Housing and Building Services advised that the Council would not be completing the purchase of the relevant land before planning permission was obtained.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the findings of the site assessment (Appendix A) be endorsed and the site at Hayes Wood Road, Barry be confirmed as the preferred site to meet the longer term needs for Gypsy and Traveller accommodation identified in the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (GTAA).

 

(2)       T H A T approval be granted to submit a planning application for the site at Hayes Wood Road, Barry, as a detailed application for a permanent Gypsy and Traveller Site.

 

(3)       T H A T approval be granted to the Head of Finance to finalise negotiations with Welsh Government for the acquisition of the site, having regard to the proposed use of the site, existing site constraints and any costs.

 

(4)       T H A T delegated authority be given to the Monitoring Officer / Head of Legal and Democratic Services to agree the form of contract and transfer in respect of the land to be acquired from Welsh Government at the appropriate time and complete all necessary legal agreements relating to the purchase.

 

(5)       T H A T approval be granted to tender the proposed scheme shown, for illustration purposes at Appendix B, subject to approval of planning permission and acquisition of the site.

 

(6)       T H A T a further report be presented to Cabinet regarding award of contract, following the planning decision and, if applicable, the tender receipt.

 

(7)       T H A T the report be referred to the Homes and Safe Communities Scrutiny Committee for consideration.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To confirm the preferred site to meet the longer term need for Gypsy and Traveller accommodation identified in the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (GTAA).

 

(2)       To allow the progression of public consultation, formal planning application and, if applicable, procurement arrangements to enable works to commence at the Hayes Wood Road, Barry Site within the financial year.

 

(3)       To allow the acquisition of the Site from Welsh Government, which has been deemed suitable in accordance with the Council's Gypsy and Traveller site identification process.

 

(4)       To allow all required legal documentation to be entered into and for the acquisition of the site to be completed.

 

(5)       To enable work at the Site to commence (subject to planning permission being obtained) in line with the Welsh Government's grant award requirements for Gypsy and Traveller sites.

 

(6)       To comply with the Council's Contract Standing Orders, which require contracts with a value in excess of £300k to be agreed by Cabinet.

 

(7)       To allow appropriate Scrutiny of the report.

 

 

C418  EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 4 of Schedule 12A (as amended) of the Act, the relevant paragraphs of the Schedule being referred to in brackets after the minute heading.

 

 

C419  HOUSING DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME - BRECON COURT, BARRY (HBS) (EXEMPT INFORMATION - PARAGRAPHS 13 AND 14) (SCRUTINY - HOMES AND SAFE COMMUNITIES) -

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing and Building Services presented the report to provide Cabinet with an update on the Council Housing Development Programme and seek authority to appoint a suitable contractor for the construction of 28 new homes on the site of the former sheltered housing complex Brecon Court, Barry.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the current position with the Housing Development Programme be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the tender received from Jehu Project Services Ltd. be accepted as the most economically advantageous tender submitted.

 

(3)       T H A T authority be granted to the Monitoring Officer / Head of Legal and Democratic Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing and Building Services and the Director of Environment and Housing, to prepare and execute a JCT Design and Build Form of Contract with Jehu Project Services Ltd. (JPSL). 

 

(4)       T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Head of Finance, in order to apply for and drawdown Affordable Housing Grant (AHG) identified for the project from Welsh Government, in accordance with the Council’s External Funding Framework.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To advise Cabinet.

 

(2)       In order to comply with the Council's Contract Standing Orders.

 

(3)       To enable the contract documentation to be finalised and for works to start on site.

 

(4)       To enable the drawn down of AHG from Welsh Government, as included in the Council's Programme Development Plan, to subsidise the cost of construction.