COMMUNITY LIAISON COMMITTEE
Minutes of a meeting held on 23rd October, 2012.
Present: Councillor C.P.J. Elmore (Chairman); Councillor K.J. Geary (Vice-Chairman); Councillors Ms. B.E. Brooks, N.P. Hodges, H.J.W. James, N. Moore, Ms. R.F. Probert, R.P. Thomas, R.L. Traherne, C.J. Williams and M.R. Wilson.
Representatives of Town and Community Council: Councillor S.C. Egan (Barry Town Council); Councillor Mrs. S. Hodges (Substitute - Barry Town Council); Councillor J. Harris (Cowbridge with Llanblethian Town Council); Councillor J. Evans (Llantwit Major Town Council); Councillor M. Cuddy (Penarth Town Council); Councillor P. King (Llandough Community Council); Councillor M. Hurst (Llandow Community Council); Councillor J. Teague (Llanfair Community Council); Councillor G. Marks (Michaelston-le-Pit Community Council); Councillor C. Tutton (Pendoylan Community Council); Councillor A. Barnaby (St. Athan Community Council); Councillor G. Rawson (St. Nicholas and Bonvilston Community Council); Councillor M. Garland (Sully and Lavernock Community Council); Councillor A. Foyle (Welsh St. Donats Community Council) and Councillor I. Moody (Wenvoe Community Council).
453 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE -
These were received from Councillor R.J. Bertin (Vale of Glamorgan Council), Councillor J. Parry (Peterston-Super-Ely Community Council), Councillor G. Stephens (St. Brides Community Council) and Councillor E. Jervis (Substitute - Wenvoe Community Council).
454 MINUTES -
AGREED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 31st July, 2012 be accepted as a correct record.
455 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -
No declarations were received.
456 INTRODUCTIONS -
The Chairman took the opportunity to welcome and introduce Councillor K.J. Geary (Vice-Chairman) to his first meeting of the Community Liaison Committee.
457 POLICE MATTERS -
Inspector Mark Taylor informed the Committee of various issues since the last meeting as detailed below:
- There had been no crimes listed as a result of the Eisteddfod. The Eisteddfod had proved a successful event for the Vale of Glamorgan and its visitors.
- There had been considerable demand on the South Wales Police Force in relation to the recent horrific incident in Cardiff.
- Burglaries in Dinas Powys - two cars had been taken and houses burgled with three arrests being made.
- Following an operation in Dyfan Ward crime figures were reported as 47% reduction in car crime during September. Within the Gibbonsdown Ward, a person dealing Class A drugs had been remanded into custody and in Castleland Ward two people had been arrested for crimes involving cars and were awaiting trial.
The Inspector also advised Members that the force was good in responding to incidents but more work needed to be undertaken with regard to updating victims of crime. Local PCSOs would be pursuing this area for improvement with victims of crime in the near future.
There being no questions on the Inspector’s report the Chairman took the opportunity to pay tribute to all the emergency services who had been involved in the horrific scenes in Cardiff the previous week, and requested that the Committee’s recognition of their work be extended to all the emergency services involved via Inspector Taylor.
Following his presentation, Inspector Taylor stated that he was due to retire shortly and wished to pass on his thanks to all the Members of the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Town and Community Councillors for all their help and support during his service within the Vale of Glamorgan. He reiterated the good work that was being undertaken in relation to “loose horses” which was a joint approach between the Vale and the South Wales Police and he thanked the Council for the support of all officers with regard to this operation.
Having considered Inspector Taylor's report it was
(1) T H A T a letter be sent from the Community Liaison Committee to Inspector Taylor thanking him for his service to the Vale of Glamorgan community with best wishes for his forthcoming retirement.
(2) T H A T the report be noted.
458 NATIONAL EISTEDDFOD, LLANDOW, VALE OF GLAMORGAN - CLOSING REPORT -
Cabinet had, on 15th October, 2012 referred the report to the Committee for information.
The report provided an update on the Council's involvement in hosting the National Eisteddfod at Llandow during August 2012. It was noted that attendance figures stood at 138,767 for the week, nearly 2,000 higher than the previous Eisteddfod based in South Wales, hosted in Ebbw Vale in 2010. However, in comparison with the Eisteddfod at Wrexham, the attendance was 10,000 lower across the week. The Chief Executive of the Eisteddfod had expressed his satisfaction at the attendance figures, especially given the poor weather during the middle of the week, the economic climate and the Olympics that had been held at the same time.
The cost of preparing and planning for the Eisteddfod in terms of officer time was met from existing resources and budgets, the remainder of the costs being noted as follows:
- Transport Management and Planning at a cost of £35,000
- Public Transport - Bus Service at a cost of £9,000
- Greenlinks at a cost of £1,100
- Cleaning and Associated Activity at a cost of £4,000
- Decoration (provided within existing budgets)
- Marketing (provided within existing budgets)
- The Council Pavilion – Council presence on the Maes at a cost of £30,700
- Play Development at a cost of £4,000
- Sports Development (provided within existing budgets).
As host authority the Council had also been required to provide a translation service at the Maes to deal with visitor needs as and when they arose at a cost of £5,000.
All Members concurred that the event had been a major triumph for the Council and that it had been a corporate approach.
In response to a query as to whether the Tourism Department had gained from the event, the Tourism and Marketing Manager advised that it had opened up interest in other areas of the Vale and had showcased what the Vale of Glamorgan could offer to tourists. The Community Councillor from Llandow requested that the organisers be thanked for the efficient way traffic had been managed to the event and, in particular, following the event the work that had been undertaken to put the site back to normal.
In acknowledging the success of the Eisteddfod it was
AGREED - T H A T the report be noted.
459 CHARTER BETWEEN THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL AND TOWN AND COMMUNITY COUNCILS -
The purpose of the report was to evaluate the existing Charter between the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Town and Community Councils and to make proposals to revise the Charter following the local elections in May 2012.
The Charter outlined the aims on which the unitary council and Town and Community Councils wished to work together for the benefit of local communities whilst also recognising their respective responsibilities as autonomous democratically elected statutory bodies. The Charter and its Action Plan covered the areas of recognition, local guidance, consultation, information and communication, joint working and engagement, land use planning, practical support, ethics, financial arrangements, delegating responsibility for service provision, sustainability, community strategy, local elections, action plan development monitoring and review.
A questionnaire had been circulated to Vale Council Officers and to Clerks of the signatory Town and Community Councils with the general feeling from the responses received being that relationships between Town and Community Councils and the unitary council had improved somewhat in recent years. Some other issues identified included that some Town and Community Councils felt they were not represented on key partnerships within the Vale and a view remained that the Vale Council did not listen sufficiently to the views particularly of Community Councils. In particular where consultation was undertaken they considered that they did not receive enough notice to make a response although it was noted that time in planning consultation was statutory and allowed for only 21 days.
It was also noted that only half of the clerks had attended meetings of the clerks, but from those who had attended they stated that they had found them very useful. Most Town and Community Councils had participated in site visits but had complained that they felt excluded by not being able to speak, they also requested that representatives should be able to speak at Planning Committee meetings. The report highlighted that only one service had received a request for delegation of services although several Town and Community Councils had taken up support services provided by the Vale including IT, legal, personnel and training support.
On the whole Town and Community Councils felt that they received timely and appropriate advice on ethics with a Code of Conduct handout for newly elected Members being suggested as being a helpful addition to the service. The Vale Council was, however, facilitating and funding training sessions for Town and Community Councillors and clerks via One Voice Wales although it was noted that despite there being no costs involved for the Councils themselves, relatively few elected Members were attending.
In considering the report it was suggested that the Charter had been helpful in identifying responsibilities, increasing communication and in improving relationships. It was therefore proposed that a working group be established to consider any required revision to the Charter followed by a new Action Plan.
The Chairman, in response to a query regarding speaking at planning, advised that the Council was looking into the matter and further reports would no doubt be presented in due course. With regard to planning site visits, some Members pointed out that in their experience they had been afforded the opportunity to speak on behalf of their Community Council at such visits.
Further discussion ensued in relation to the Terms of Reference of the Committee which stated that only Members of the Vale of Glamorgan Council had voting rights, however, it was noted that should there be any dissent, the views of Town and Community Councillors would be recorded in the minutes and referred to Cabinet accordingly.
Following full consideration of the report it was generally agreed that the Charter was due for review and that Elected Member representation on the Group would aid discussion.
Having fully considered the report it was
(1) T H A T the working group consist of Elected Members from Town and Community Councils, the Vale of Glamorgan Council and that the invitations be extended by the Democratic Services Officer.
(2) T H A T the timetable for the review of the Charter be amended to read that the second draft Charter be referred to the Cabinet following full consideration by the individual Town and Community Councils and the Community Liaison Committee.
(3) T H A T, subject to Recommendations (1) and (2) above, the proposals for the review of the Charter and the development of the Action Plan be agreed.
460 CRIMINAL BUREAU RECORD CHECKS (REF) -
Penarth Town Council had requested that a presentation be arranged for the Committee on the merits of Town and Community Councils undergoing a Criminal Record Bureau check. The reason for the request was that, whilst it was not a legal requirement for Town and Community Councillors to undergo CRB checks, it may be advisable having regard to public perception. The Operational Manager for Human Resources provided the Committee with an overview of the consideration and procedures necessary to determine eligibility and potential level of CRB / DBS checks to be undertaken and a copy of the presentation would be forwarded to all Town and Community Councils for their information.
The presentation covered the following:
- Protection of Freedoms Act background changes
- review of changes to the CRB Phase 1
- regulated activity
- eligibility criteria and
- future changes.
The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 had gained Royal Assent on 1st May, 2012 with a number of provisions relating specifically to disclosure and barring services. On 10th September, 2012 there had been a new definition of regulated activity. There was a minimum age of 16 for CRBs and a more vigorous relevancy test for locally held and released police information on an enhanced CRB and barring check with a new right of review available for applicants. Members were reminded that they would need to consider CRBs in conjunction with the safeguarding process which would also include references, testimonials, embassy checks if appropriate and accounting for breaks in employment / activity on any application forms they received. There were also requirements from CSSIW, the Social Services Inspectorate for Wales, which required three yearly renewals for the positions within their remit.
Regulated activity for adults was detailed as :
Those who provide
- Personal care: assistance with washing and dressing, eating, drinking and toileting or teaching someone to do one of these tasks
- Social work: provision by a social care worker of social work which is required in connection with any health services or social services
- Healthcare: if they are a regulated health care professional or are acting under the direction or supervision of one, for example doctors, nurses, health care assistants and physiotherapists
- Assistance with a person’s cash, bills or shopping because of their age, illness or disability
- Assistance with the conduct of an adult’s own affairs, for example, lasting or enduring powers of attorney, or deputies appointed under the Mental Health Act
- Conveying: conveying adults for reasons of age, illness or disability to, from or between places where they receive healthcare, personal care or social work. This would not include friends or family or taxi drivers
- NB There was no longer requirement a to undertake activities a certain number of times before a person was engaged in regulated activity.
And for children:
- (1) Unsupervised activities: teach, train, instruct, care for or supervise children, or provide advice / guidance on well-being, or drive a vehicle only for children.
- (2) Work for a limited range of establishments (‘specified places’), with opportunity for contact, for example schools, children's homes, childcare premises (but not work by supervised volunteers).
- Work under (1) or (2) is Regulated Activity only if done regularly. Regular means carried out by the same person frequently (once a week or more often), or on 4 or more days in a 30-day period (or in some cases, overnight).
- Statutory guidance about supervision of activity is available on CRB / Home office website
- (3) Relevant personal care, for example washing or dressing; or health care by or supervised by a professional, even if done once.
- (4) Registered childminding; and foster-carers.
- Regulated activity still excludes:
personal, non-commercial arrangements.
The Operational Manager urged Town and Community Councils to consider the requirement of a CRB check in line with the new legislation and the eligibility checklist and that further information on the subject should be obtained from One Voice Wales or from the Criminal Records Bureau Office themselves. However, if still unsure having followed these routes, the CRB had advised that the requesting authority (council) would at their expense need to obtain independent legal advice. The Operational Manager stated that he would be prepared to provide the presentation to Town and Community Councils at their meetings if required.
It being noted that there was a cost for undertaking CRB checks, the Operational Manager advised that should any Town and Community Council consider that these checks were required, he could administer the process on their behalf, following confirmation of the applicant meeting the eligibility criteria. However, each Town and Community Council would have to consider the cost implications and, in particular, whether the role and responsibilities of the positions being undertaken would require that a Criminal Record Bureau check be applied for. Having acknowledged that it was a decision for each Town and Community Council to consider, it was subsequently
AGREED - T H A T the Operational Manager be thanked for his presentation, the contents of which would be forwarded to Town and Community Council representatives for information.
461 HIGHWAYS AND WINTER SERVICE 2012/13 (DVSH) -
Members were informed of the position with regard to highway maintenance and winter service for the above period. The report highlighted that the Council had undertaken an increased amount of highway resurfacing and repairs for the periods 2010/11 and 2011/12 as detailed at Appendix 2 to the report. The Operational Manager for Highways and Engineering Services advised that his Section was fully prepared for the winter of 2012/13, all gritter vehicles had been serviced and were fully functional. There were ten gritting vehicles in the fleet with nine being utilised for gritting routes with one in reserve to cover for breakdowns. The Council had also taken delivery of salt during the summer and had approximately 4,800 tonnes which included salt for distribution into salt bins and the Council's website had been updated with considerable detail relating to the delivering of winter services available. The link was reported as http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/living/highways_and_engineering/highways_winter_service.
With regard to the financial implications the current budget for full delivery of winter services stood at £508,000, the cost of delivering winter services in 2010/11 was £755,000 and in 2011/12 was £531,000. In recognition of the recent harsh winters and overspends of the budget during these periods, further provision had therefore been made.
Following the reinstatement of the Severe Weather Reserve an additional reserve budget of £550,000 was now available should the winter weather conditions be so severe to require additional services to meet demand. The report also referred to the 'Big Fill' initiative which involved the Council's Highways Maintenance Teams targeting pot hole repairs in each and every Ward over a year-long campaign. It was reported that the initiative had been well received by the public and Council Members alike. Regular future press releases would advise the public when the Council would be visiting their Ward giving them the dates and advising them when and how to report pot holes in their areas. The whole initiative was being delivered in three phases over the year, Phase 1 up to Christmas 2012, Phase 2 up to approximately Easter 2013 and Phase 3 through the summer months 2013.
The Committee, having thanked the officer for the informative report and the details contained therein, subsequently
AGREED - T H A T the current arrangements for both winter service and highway maintenance be noted.
462 FIRE SERVICE STATISTICS FOR THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN FIRE SERVICE AREAS -
The report detailed statistical information in relation to performance for the Fire Service areas Barry, Cowbridge, Llantwit Major and Penarth. The Chairman advised that following a change of personnel within this role it was anticipated that the new fire officer would attend the March meeting to report to the Committee.
AGREED - T H A T the Fire Service statistics attached to the agenda at Item No. 9 be noted.
463 ANNOUNCEMENT -
The Chairman reminded Members that the next meeting of the Community Liaison Committee was scheduled to be held on Tuesday, 29th January, 2013 at 6.00 p.m. and that notwithstanding any requests for consideration from Town and Community Council’s the following two reports were being scheduled to be reported:
- Joint Education Service
- Welfare Reform.
It being the last meeting of the calendar year, the Chairman took the opportunity to wish all present a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.