CABINET

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 1st October, 2018.

 

Present:  Councillor J.W. 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.

 

C420  MINUTES –

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 17th September, 2018 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

C421  DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

C422  CHARGING FOR INFORMATION (REF) –

 

The Corporate Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committee had, on 20th September, 2018, considered the above report.

 

The Monitoring Officer / Head of Legal and Democratic Services presented the report, advising that the Council could charge for making environmental information available to requesters and also referred to a proposed charging policy attached at Appendix A to the report.  Members were informed that the policy would also update the Freedom of Information Act charging process with the Monitoring Officer clarifying that the Council would not process requests that took more than 18 hours of staff time to complete.  The policy also updated the charging position on requests for personal information under the General Data Protection Regulations.

 

By way of background the report noted that information requests received by the Council were administered either under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.  Individuals requesting their own personal information were administered under the General Data Protection Regulations as supplemented by the Data Protection Act 2018. 

 

The Environmental Information Regulations defined environmental information extremely widely including air, atmosphere, water, soil, land, landscape, natural sites.  It also included factors such as noise, energy, waste, administrative measures and policies affecting same and the state of human health and safety.

 

The Regulations also provided that an Authority may charge a reasonable amount for making environmental information available.   As a result of a European Ruling public authorities could make a reasonable charge to include the costs of staff time taken to locate information and to put it in an appropriate format for disclosure, together with disbursement costs in transferring information to the applicant.

 

The majority of costs in processing Environmental Information Requests were for staff time and therefore the policy accordingly included this. It was proposed that the Council would charge for the time spent by staff in answering an individual request which would include time spent on searching for the information and putting it in the form required by the requestor.

 

There were some items under the Regulations that could not be charged for, namely access to public registers or lists of environmental information held or examination of the information in situ however in respect of the latter Authorities could still charge for locating the information to be examined in situ.

 

The costs associated with maintaining a database of information were deemed to not be related to an individual request and therefore could not be recovered.  Only a reasonable charge could be levied by the Authority and that charge must not have a deterrent effect or otherwise to prevent access to environmental information.

 

The Information Commissioner's Office had previously intimated that an administrative charge of £25 per hour for staff time in locating information was reasonable the provision for which had to be built in to any charging scheme.  Such charging arrangements required consideration of their potential detrimental effect given the economic situation of the person requesting the information and the public protection of the environment; this had been addressed in the draft policy whereby the Information Manager would be authorised to undertake the appropriate assessments.  It had also always been the case under the Freedom of Information Act that Authorities were not obliged to deal with requests that exceeded 18 hours in locating information.  However the Council could charge for information in excess of this. The policy clarified and proposed that the Council would not provide the information if it took more than 18 hours to process given the impact this would have on service delivery.

 

Members considered the report and the policy for charging for information to be a sensible approach.  Following a comment regarding paragraph 2 of the policy, the Monitoring Officer advised that the estimated time taken as calculated if it exceeded the statutory time limit of 18 hours the Council would not provide the information as it would consider that the resources involved in doing so would lead to such a diversion from its normal business activities that it could not be justified.  Staff would also be required to aggregate (total) time taken in respect of all related requests received within 60 working days from the same person or from people who seemed to be working together.  It was also important to note that no information would be provided until the costs had been paid.

 

In referring to requests for information under the Environmental Information Regulations, the Council would charge a standard cost of £25 per hour for dealing with all requests for environmental information.  Members suggested that this be amended to read “£25 per hour or part thereof”. 

 

Having fully considered the report, the Scrutiny Committee subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED – That the report and the policy at Appendix A to the report subject to the amendment that the standard cost of “£25 per hour or part thereof “ be included in the policy be endorsed  and referred to Cabinet  for final determination.

 

Reason for recommendation

Having fully considered the report and the policy for charging for information and to seek Cabinet approval.

 

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Cabinet, having considered the recommendation of the Corporate Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committee

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Performance & Resources) recommendation made at its meeting on 20 September 2018 in respect of the Charging for Information report be noted and accepted.

 

(2)       T H AT subject to the draft Information Charging Policy being amended to refer to “£25 per hour or part thereof” the proposed Charging for Information Policy be endorsed and implemented with immediate effect.

 

(3)       T H A T the Information Manager (Lawyer) be granted delegated authority to determine applications to exempt information from the Council’s rate of £25 per hour or part thereof or modify the rate in line with Charging for Information Policy.

 

Reason for decisions

 

(1)       Following consideration of the recommendation made by the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Performance & Resources) at its meeting on 20 September 2018

 

(2)       That the Policy for charging for information be updated.

 

(3)       To grant delegated authority to the Information Manager (Lawyer) to determine applications to exempt information from the Council’s rate of £25 per hour or part thereof or modify the rate in line with Charging for Information Policy.

 

 

C423  CAPITAL MONITORING REPORT FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 31ST AUGUST 2018 (L) –

 

The Leader presented to the report to advise Cabinet of the progress on the 2018/19 Capital Programme for the period 1st April to 31st August, 2018 and to request changes to the Capital Programme.

 

The report detailed progress and proposed changes to the programme across all Directorates and the Cabinet Member advised that when the programme was approved at the start of the financial year, it was based on the best information available at the time together with estimates as to cost of individual schemes.  As a supplementary point, the Cabinet Member also added that the estimates did not change as the year went on and the report provided an update position.

 

The Leader apprised the Cabinet of the significant detail contained within the report on a scheme by scheme level which included: 

  • Details of the use of delegated authority to include new schemes at Dinas Powys Primary School, Ystradowen Sports Club, and the use of delegated authority to allocate £440,000 of Neighbourhood Services’ assets renewal;
  • The inclusion of £3.5m waste grant from Welsh Government in 2018/19;
  • Carry forward of funding for Llansannor extension, Victorian Schools, Peterston School roof, St. Athan sustainable transport improvement and vehicle replacement programme in 2019/20; and
  • The use of the Managing Director’s Emergency Powers to include new schemes for Flying Start which was funded by Welsh Government grant and to increase the budgets for the Cowbridge Comprehensive boiler replacement, Llanfair School lighting scheme and Cowbridge Leisure Centre roofing.  Emergency Powers had also been used to increase the St. Richard Gwyn curtain walling replacement for funding from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Llandaff. 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the progress made on the 2018/19 Capital Programme be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the use of Delegated Authority in relation to the following be noted: 

  • Dinas Powys Primary External Learning Area / Internal Alterations – Include a new scheme with £35,000 in 2018/19 and £50,000 in 2019/20 funded from S106 monies.
  • St. Richard Gwyn R/C High Boiler Upgrade – Vire £4,000 to the St. Joseph’s Primary School Boiler Upgrade. 
  • Neighbourhood Services Asset Renewal – Allocation of £440,000 Asset Renewal budget to schemes as set out in paragraph 15 of the report.
  • Lougher Place Play Area – Increase budget by £3,000 funded by S106 monies.
  • Ystradowen Sports Club – Include a new scheme with £16,000 funded from S106 monies.

 

(3)       T H A T the use of Emergency Powers in relation to the following be noted: 

  • Cowbridge Comprehensive Boiler Replacement – £39,000 transferred to this scheme from the Education Asset Renewal Contingency budget.
  • St. Richard Gwyn Curtain Walling Replacement – An increase in the budget by £22,000 to be funded by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Llandaff.
  • Flying Start Ladybirds – Include a new £90,000 scheme funded by Welsh Government grant.
  • Cowbridge Leisure Centre Roofing – Budget increased by £91,000 funded by Energy Management Fund.
  • Building Stronger Communities – £30,000 included in the 2018/19 funded from the capital receipts.
  • Carbon Management Fund – Budget increased by £4,000 for Llanfair School Lighting scheme, funded from the Energy Management reserve.

(4)       T H A T the following changes to the 2018/19 and 2019/20 Capital Programme be approved: 

  • Llansannor Extension – Carry forward £105,000 into 2019/20.
  • Victorian Schools – Carry forward £700,000 into 2019/20.
  • Unallocated Education Asset Renewal – Carry forward £200,000 into 2019/20 for works to Peterston School Roof.
  • Vehicle Replacement Programme – Carry forward £2m into 2019/20
  • Waste Grant – Include the £3.5m Welsh Government grant in 2018/19.
  • St. Athan Sustainable Transport Improvement – Carry forward £143,000 into 2019/20.
  • Rhoose Sustainable Transport – Include a new scheme funded from £60,000 S106 funding in 2018/19.
  • Active Travel Mapping – Rename scheme Biglis Roundabout to Dinas Post Active Travel Route.
  • WelTag Stage Two Transport Network Appraisal for Dinas Powys – Rename scheme Weltag Studies.
  • Colcot Pitches – Vire £11,000 from the Safe Routes in Communities Dinas Powys to Penarth via Cosmeston to the Colcot Pitches scheme in 2018/19.
  • Coastal Asset Renewal – Vire the budget of £25,000 to the Barry Island shelter scheme in 2018/19.

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To advise Cabinet of the progress on the Capital Programme.

 

(2)       To advise Cabinet of the use of Delegated Authority.

 

(3)       To advise Cabinet of the use of Emergency Powers.

 

(4)       To allow schemes to proceed in the current and future financial year.

 

 

C424  REVENUE MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 31ST AUGUST 2018 (L) –

 

The Leader presented the report to advise Cabinet of the progress relating to revenue expenditure for the period 1st April to 31st August, 2018.

 

The Leader advised that some services were anticipating an adverse variance at year end and would require the use of reserves to balance budgets and these were detailed in the report. 

 

With regards to Learning and Skills, the projected outturn was an adverse variance of £200,000 after an anticipated use of reserves and the Directorate had been requested to look at ways of mitigating the position.  The Member added that the details of the areas of spend were contained within the Cabinet  report and the key areas of overspend were the complex needs out of county placements, independent placements and Looked After Children residential placements budget and the resources and outreach
teams. 

 

The forecast for Social Services at year end was currently a balanced budget, however, there was considerable pressure on the service in the financial year and the position may not be achieved. 

 

The Leader advised that the Neighbourhood and Transport Services was currently projected to outturn on budget after a drawdown of reserves and some areas of concern highlighted in the report were: downtime involved in travelling to Cardiff to dispose of waste and pressures within the recycling treatment budget.  As a supplementary point, the Member added that an anticipated shortfall against the Reshaping Services target for Neighbourhood Services in 2018/19 was also outlined in the report. 

 

The Leader apprised the Cabinet of a virement requested of £20,000 to the Regeneration budget with £16,000 being transferred from the Development Management budget and £4,000 from the Private Housing budget and that the position for other services remained that they were expected to outturn on budget. 

 

In conclusion, the Leader advised that as part of the Final Revenue Budget proposals for 2018/19, a savings target of £6.298m had been set for the Authority and attached at Appendix 1 to the report was a statement which detailed each savings target together with an update of progress.  Currently it was projected that there would be a shortfall of £724,000 in the achievement of the current financial year’s target and this was made up of £315,000 against Neighbourhood and Transport Services, £100,000 against Managing Director and Resources, Council-wide £178,000 relating to commercial opportunities and £131,000 relating to the Digital Strategy. 

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the position with regard to the Authority’s 2018/19 Revenue Budget be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the virement of £20,000 to the Regeneration budget with £16,000 being transferred from the Development Management budget and £4,000 from the Private Housing budget be approved.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       That Members are aware of the projected revenue outturn for 2018/19.

 

(2)       To allocate savings targets for the year.

 

 

C425  CABINET QUARTERLY WORK PROGRAMME OCTOBER TO DECEMBER 2018 (L) –

 

The Leader presented the report to advise Cabinet of the current position regarding work programming and to agree and approve the next Cabinet Quarterly Work Programme of the Cabinet / Council for the period October to December 2018.

 

The Leader advised that the Cabinet Quarterly Forward Work Programme attached at Appendix 1 to the report provided details of the items that the Cabinet planned to consider during July and September 2018.  The Appendix also provided updates on progress including the relevant links to the reports that had been submitted for consideration by Cabinet in the period, where items had slipped and where items had been incorporated in the Annual Performance Report. 

 

Appendix 2 to the report set out a revised and up to date programme for the period October to December 2018 and the document also made reference to whether reports were to be considered by the relevant Scrutiny Committee or by Full Council. 

 

In summary, if there were no issues on the two documents, the Leader recommended that the position with regard to Appendix 1 of the report to be noted, and that the work programme for the period October to December 2018 be approved and subsequently uploaded to the Council’s website. 

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the position with regard to the July to September work programme as contained at Appendix 1 to the report be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the Quarterly Work Programme of the Cabinet / Council for the period October to December 2018 be approved.

 

Reason for decisions

 

(1&2)  To comply with the requirements of the Local Government Act 2000, subordinate legislation and the Council’s Constitution.

 

 

C426  STRONG COMMUNITIES GRANT FUND (L) –

 

The Leader presented the report to provide Cabinet with an update on the Strong Communities Grant Fund and to seek approval for the award of funding from the latest round of applications.

 

The Leader advised that the report provided Cabinet with an overview of the third round of applications to the Strong Communities Grant Fund and that the purpose of the Fund was to enable community groups, the voluntary sector and Town and Community Councils to apply for revenue and capital funding that promoted initiatives within the Vale of Glamorgan consistent with the Council’s vision of “Strong communities with a bright future”. 

 

The report recommended that Cabinet consider and approve the Evaluation Panel’s recommendations for the award of funding as outlined in Appendix A to the report which demonstrated the schemes that were considered to be supported, to be fully supported, supported in part or not supported at all. 

 

A total of £103,882.46 was recommended to be funded for eight schemes and that one application was not supported by the Evaluation Panel with a further three applicants requested to submit their bids with amendments as advised by the Panel. 

 

The Leader concluded that the Strong Communities Fund had previously committed £323,765.90 in funding and if Cabinet were minded to approve the bids contained within the report, the total funding to date for the community schemes would total £427,648.36. 

 

The Managing Director commented on how well the Strong Communities Grant Fund was working and how much interest there had been from community groups to tap into the funding.  He made reference to the spread of programmes that had been supported and those allocated funding.  He also drew Members attention to paragraph 14 of the covering report, which detailed the funding elements totalling £672,000 over a three year period.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the Evaluation Panel’s recommendations as contained within the Appendix A to the report, to approve grant funding totalling £103,882.46 be endorsed.

 

Reason for decision

 

Cabinet is provided with an update on the Strong Communities Grant Fund and to enable Strong Communities Funding to be awarded in relation to the submissions as contained in Appendix A of the report in line with the Council’s Constitution and the scope of the scheme.

 

 

C427  DISABLED FACILITIES GRANT ADMINISTRATION AND AGENCY SERVICE FEES (RP) –

 

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning presented the report to advise Members of the proposals for changes to the fees and charging structure for both internal and external agents assisting Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs), in order to retain the service on a sustainable footing into the future.

 

The Member began by advising Members that the Council provided grants for adaptations to people’s homes to address needs arising from disabilities and also offered a discretionary agency service to support delivery of adaptations, the cost of which could be included in the grant awarded.   As a supplementary point, the Cabinet Member advised that if a DFG applicant employed their own agent, costs could also be included in grant. 

 

The current fee structure for internal and external agent fees was complex and differed between the use of internal and external agents used to assist the applicant.  The structure also placed the costs of works into one of several bands and the fee charged was based on the “band” the cost of works fell within.  The fee structure had been reviewed and a simpler structure was proposed that was easier for the DFG applicant to understand and for the Council to administer.  The Member added that the new fee structure also removed any difference between a DFG applicant employing the Council’s grant agency service and an external agent, so making use of an agent more equitable. 

 

It was proposed that from 1st January, 2019 an administration fee of £375 plus VAT was charged by the Council for each DFG application made for assisting a DFG applicant to complete a DFG application and it was further proposed that up to an additional 15% of the cost of works plus VAT could be claimed by the DFG applicant’s agent, internal or external, to the fund the design and management of the adaptation works. 

 

The Member highlighted that under the current fee structure, the maximum fee an internal or external agent could claim was £4,500 net.  This maximum charge would be retained to limit the impact of the change on the small number of applicants who received Major Adaptation Grants, the majority of which were adaptations for children. 

 

In conclusion, the Member advised that consideration had been given to the impact of the change in fee structure and a comparison of fees charged under the current system and the proposed system for grant approval during the financial year 2017/18 showed an approximate 50/50 split of applicants who would see a benefit and a negative impact from the suggested change. 

 

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning clarified that the fees would be paid from the grant monies.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T an application fee of £375 plus VAT be charged per application for a Disabled Facilities Grant or Major Adaptation Grant as of 1st January, 2019 be agreed.

 

(2)       T H A T a net fee of up to 15% of the cost of works, but not exceeding £4,500, may be charged by the Council’s internal agent or external agent per application for a Disabled Facilities Grant or Major Adaptation Grant as of 1st January, 2019 be agreed.

 

(3)       T H A T the Council’s Grant Agency Service charge a fee of 15% of the cost of works to a maximum of £4,500 (plus VAT) to cover the non-statutory service it provided as of 1st January, 2019 be agreed.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       That the service offered by the Council above the statutory requirements in processing a Disabled Facilities Grant or Major Adaptation Grant application be funded accordingly.

 

(2)       That the Council’s policy on the fees that an internal or external agent can claim in managing the works required in a Disabled Facilities Grant or Major Adaptation Grant application is set out.

 

(3)       That the Council’s policy on the fees that an internal or external agenda can claim in managing the works required in a Disabled Facilities Grant or Major Adaptation Grant application be set out.

 

 

C428  THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN LEISURE STRATEGY (SCHL) –

 

The Cabinet Member for Social Care, Health and Leisure presented the report to seek approval for the Vale of Glamorgan Leisure Strategy. 

 

The Member advised that the Council’s absence of a Leisure Strategy was identified in the Wales Audit Office report “The Future of Leisure Services in Wales – Delivering with Less”, which cited the Vale of Glamorgan Council as its only example of good practice in Wales for the procurement of its Leisure Management Contract and that following extensive consultation and the use of an external independent consultant a Strategy had now been produced. 

 

The Strategy contained at Appendix A commented on eight key areas, outdoor sport, indoor sport and leisure, sports development, parks and open spaces, outdoor activities, play, exercise referral and community centres; detailing current provision, issues and future objectives.  The Strategy linked to both the Council’s Corporate Plan and the Welsh Government’s Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act and the Strategy was designed to cover the next ten years and therefore linked to the maximum time possible for the current Leisure Management Contract with Legacy Leisure. 

 

The Member advised that a key theme of the Strategy was the need for the Council to continue to develop over the next ten years as an enabler and facilitator as opposed to direct funder of leisure services.  This would involve the continuation and development of partnerships and alliances to provide opportunities for all to enjoy physical activity and the action plan detailed areas for work such as fees and charges, raising awareness of services, opportunities to promote more physical activities outdoors, potential for community asset transfers to reduce costs, increased community access to education facilities, exploring future partnership opportunities and greater long term planning. 

 

In conclusion, the Cabinet Member stated that Cabinet was requested to endorse the Strategy at this stage and agree its referral to the Healthy Living and Social Care Scrutiny Committee for further consideration, prior to its return to Cabinet for formal adoption. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the report, accompanying the Vale of Glamorgan Leisure Strategy contained at Appendix A to the report and the Impact Assessment Report contained at Appendix B to the report be endorsed.

 

(2)       T H A T the report, accompanying Vale of Glamorgan Leisure Strategy contained at Appendix A to the report and the Impact Assessment Report contained at Appendix B to the report be referred to the Healthy Living and Social Care Scrutiny Committee for its consideration prior to seeking agreement on the final Strategy by Cabinet in due course.

 

(3)       T H A T the Healthy Living and Social Care Scrutiny Committee receive update reports on the implementation of the Strategy.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       That the Council’s commitment to the principle of delivering Leisure opportunities allowing residents and visitors to enjoy healthier lifestyles be demonstrated.

 

(2)       That the Scrutiny Committee be allowed to discuss the Strategy in more detail prior to any decisions being taken on the final Strategy document.

 

(3)       That the Scrutiny Committee is kept updated on the progress made in delivering the Strategy’s commitments.

 

 

C429  LEISURE MANAGEMENT CONTRACT EXTENSION (SCHL) –

 

The Cabinet Member for Social Care, Health and Leisure presented the report to advise Cabinet of the arrangements for activating the five year extension clause contained within the Council’s Leisure management contract with Legacy Leisure and to consider the said extension along with certain amendments to the current contract provisions.

 

The Member advised that the Council’s Leisure Management Contract with Parkwood Leisure commenced on 1st August, 2012 and the contract was originally awarded for ten years with the option to extend by a further five years.  With the contract now in its seventh year, both parties had been discussing the opportunity to activate the five year extension clause.

 

The contract had been successful for both parties with the Council benefiting from significant savings whilst also seeing an improved service being offered to residents and visitors.

 

The Member advised that it was considered, by officers, unlikely that such a favourable contract would be achieved, from the Council’s perspective, when retendering was required and therefore the opportunity to extend was strongly recommended.  There were also likely to be significant costs associated with retendering of the contract and the issue of the workforce code would prove problematic as this was not enforced when the contract was first tendered and was therefore presently exempt. 

 

However, the Cabinet Member concluded that a number of issues had, understandably, arisen since the contract was first awarded and the potential to extend also provided for formal variations to the contract to be agreed.  Whilst Parkwood (and their sub-contractor Legacy Leisure) were keen to extend, they were seeking clarification on a few issues such as the future of Holm View, car parking, management arrangements for the 5-a-side at Colcot, future use of facilities at the Colcot (impact of school redevelopment plans) and issues surrounding fees and charges.  The Member highlighted that these issues were set out in the reports and that the information contained within the Part I report be noted and discussed during the Part II report later on the agenda. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the information contained within the Part I report be noted and consideration be given to a decision on the matter during consideration of the Part II report on the agenda.

 

Reason for decision

 

That the principles of the extension to allow for a decision to be taken on this matter under Part II be explained.

 

 

C430  ACHIEVEMENT OF WELSH HOUSING QUALITY STANDARDS TO COUNCIL STOCK WITHIN THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN (HBS) –

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing and Building Services presented the report to advise Cabinet of the achievement of the Welsh Housing Quality Standards (WHQS) for the Council’s housing stock and to agree the content of a letter to Welsh Government advising of the position.

 

The Member advised that a previous report was received by Cabinet in December 2017 which advised the Council would not achieve the WHQS by the end of 2017 as planned; however, the Council had now achieved the WHQS on 31st March, 2018.

 

Following considerable effort to validate the information held on the Council’s housing stock, it was confirmed that the Council had officially achieved the WHQS and during an inspection by the Wales Audit Office in May 2018 they were satisfied that the Council had achieved the WHQS. 

 

The Member further advised that during the delivery of the Major Investment Programme, the Council had spent approximately £92m in its housing stock over the last five years and tenants now lived in a property fit for the 21st Century.  A copy of a letter to Welsh Government advising that the Council had achieved the WHQS had been attached as an appendix to the report which stated that the WHQS Improvement Programme had now entered the maintenance phase. 

 

The Managing Director drew Members attention to paragraph 7 of the covering report, which showed the amount of work the Council had undertaken to ensure tenants' homes met the WHQS.  He stated that the scale of works undertaken and the approximate investment of £92m since 2012, showed how positive this programme had been.

 

As a collective, the Cabinet was eager to offer its thanks and appreciation to all staff involved for all their hard work and effort.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the achievement of the Welsh Housing Quality Standards (WHQS) for the Council’s housing stock be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the contents of the proposed letter to Welsh Government on achievement of WHQS be agreed.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       That Cabinet is advised on the achievement of the WHQS for the Council’s housing stock and compliance with the Wales Housing Act.

 

(2)       That the Cabinet’s approval of the letter to Welsh Government advising of the Council’s achievement of the WHQS be sought.

 

 

C431  DISPOSAL OF SMALL PARCELS OF HOUSING OWNED LAND (HBS) –

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing and Building Services presented the report to seek Cabinet’s approval to dispose of seven small parcels of non-operational housing land which were shown at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

The Member advised that the Council owned small parcels of land which bordered onto privately owned properties that were not suitable for development but were a continuing financial burden on the Council due to their ongoing maintenance and security costs.  In many cases the properties were previously Council owned and had now been purchased by the previous or current owners under the Right to Buy Scheme. 

 

The Member further advised that the Council had received a number of enquiries to acquire some of the small areas of land which were held for the purposes of Part II of the Housing Act 1985 and were currently managed by, or were under the control or, the Housing Department and therefore the Council was able to dispose of such land if it was no longer required for its operational purpose.

 

The Member concluded that any disposal would also be subject to the Council receiving the best consideration for the land and the purchaser paying all the Council’s costs in relation to the sale and any other appropriate terms.  It was proposed that the Council sell its freehold interest in the parcels of land and place a covenant on each one to restrict the use of it to a purpose incidental to a dwelling house, for example domestic garden purposes only. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the parcels of housing land, identified in Appendix 1 to the report, be declared surplus to requirements.

 

(2)       T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Director of Environment and Housing in consultation with the Head of Finance / Section 151 Officer, the Leader and the Cabinet Member for Housing and Building Services to dispose of the parcels of land by the most appropriate means and on terms and conditions to be agreed.

 

(3)       T H A T the Monitoring Officer / Head of Legal and Democratic Services be authorised to prepare, complete and execute the required legal documentation in order to formalise the disposal in accordance with Consent E4.1 of the General Consents for the Disposal of Houses and Land 1994, where the land had been declared surplus to requirements.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To comply with the Council’s Constitution.

 

(2)       To ensure the Council obtains best consideration for the land in accordance with its statutory and fiduciary obligations.

 

(3)       To legally formalise the disposal of the land and to ensure compliance with statute.

 

 

C432  WATER CHARGE COLLECTION AGREEMENT WITH DWR CYRMU CYFYNGEDIG (WELSH WATER) (HBS) –

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing and Building Services presented the report to advise Cabinet of a request to enter into an updated agreement with Dwr Cymru Cyfyngedig (DCC) for the collection of water charges from Council tenants in the Vale of Glamorgan which, due to data protection issues, would be determined via a later report on the agenda under Part II.

 

The Cabinet Member began by advising that the Council collected water charges from tenants on behalf of DCC and these were then paid across to DCC on a quarterly basis, minus an amount of commission. 

 

The arrangement was very popular with 92% of tenants having advised it was a convenient way of paying for their water charges and that tenants paid the same charges as they would, if there was no collection agreement in place, and many chose to pay the weekly charge with their rent. 

 

The Member concluded his presentation by stating that the Council had requested the collection agreement be in place for an initial period of two years following which it would be reviewed by both parties.  Thereafter, the agreement would continue until terminated by either party on the giving of 12 months’ notice. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the requirements for an agreement for the collection of water charges from Council tenants be noted.

 

Reason for decision

The agreement would provide Council tenants with a simple and convenient way of paying for water charges as part of the total rental charge for their home.

 

 

C433  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 items of business on the grounds that they involve 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.

 

 

C434  LEISURE MANAGEMENT CONTRACT EXTENSION (SCHL) (EXEMPT INFORMATION – PARAGRAPHS 13 AND 14) –

 

The Cabinet Member for Social Care, Health and Leisure presented the report to seek approval to activate the five year extension clause contained within the Council’s Leisure Management contract with Legacy Leisure. 

 

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 Director of Environment and Housing be authorised, in consultation with the Managing Director, the Leader and the Cabinet Member for Social Care, Health and Leisure, to activate and negotiate the terms of the five year extension clause contained within the original Leisure Management contract, subject to agreement being reached with Parkwood Leisure Limited, currently sub-contracted to Legacy Leisure, on the issues detailed in the report.

 

(2)       T H A T subject to the necessary contract formalities being completed, the contract extension be agreed at the earliest opportunity.

 

(3)       T H A T the Monitoring Officer / Head of Legal and Democratic Services be authorised to agree the terms and executive necessary contract extension documentation and agree the terms and executive any requisite variations to Leisure Centre leases.

 

(4)       T H A T the Director of Environment and Housing produce a further report on the future of Holm View following confirmation that it be returned to the Council’s direct control.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To ensure the quality and scope of Leisure Centre provision in the Vale of Glamorgan until 31st July, 2027 whilst also providing financial certainty for the Council during the same period in relation to its provision of Leisure Centre services.

 

(2)       To ensure that any period of uncertainty for staff be kept to a minimum.

 

(3)       To formalise the proposed extension.

 

(4)       To allow an informal decision to be made on the future of the site.

 

 

C435  WATER CHARGE COLLECTION AGREEMENT WITH DWR CYMRU CYFYNGEDIG (WELSH WATER) (HBS) (EXEMPT INFORMATION – PARAGRAPHS 12, 13 AND 14) –

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing and Building Services presented the report to obtain approval from Cabinet to enter into an updated agreement with Dwr Cymru Cyfyngedig (DCC) for the collection of water charges from Council tenants in the Vale of Glamorgan and to request that Cabinet grant delegated authority to the Head of Housing to enter into the revised agreement.

 

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 proposed agreement for the collection of water charges from Council tenants, as included at Appendix 1 to the report, be approved.

 

(2)       T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Head of Housing to enter into an updated collection agreement with Dwr Cymru Cyfyngedig (DCC) in line with Appendix 1 to the report.

 

Reason for decisions

 

(1)       That Council tenants be provided with a simple and convenient way of paying water charges as part of the total rental charge for their home.

 

(2)       Agreement be obtained in accordance with the Council’s schedule of delegated authority.