SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT)
Minutes of a meeting held on 6th October, 2015.
Present: Councillor Mrs. A.J. Moore (Chairman); Councillor P.G. King (Vice-Chairman); Councillors A.G. Bennett, P.J. Clarke, G.A. Cox, Mrs. P. Drake, A.G. Powell, G. Roberts and S.T. Wiliam.
Also present: Councillors L. Burnett, G. John, Dr. I.J. Johnson and N. Moore.
465 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –
These were received from Councillor Mrs. M. Kelly Owen.
466 MINUTES –
RECOMMENDED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 1st September, 2015 be approved as a correct record.
467 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –
No declarations were received.
468 INTRODUCTION –
Following introductions all round, the Chairman advised of the procedure for the meeting and addressed a number of housekeeping issues. The Chairman also reminded Members of their obligations under the Council’s Code of Conduct and advised that the meeting would be conducted having regard to the procedures as detailed in the Council’s Constitution.
469 RHOOSE POINT PUBLIC OPEN SPACE OUTCOME OF CONSULTATION EXERCISE AND PROPOSED INTRODUCTION OF BYE LAWS – CALL-IN – CABINET, 21ST SEPTEMBER 2015 –
Prior to the consideration of the call-in, the meeting was adjourned for five minutes in order for copies of the Cabinet minute of 21st September 2015 to be made available. On return consideration of the call-in then took place.
Councillor H.J.W. James had advised that due to a prior commitment he was unable to attend the meeting, but had provided written representations which had been forwarded to all Committee Members and all Members of the Council on Friday, 2nd October, 2015 further copies were made available at the meeting and had been placed in the public gallery.
The call-in had been requested by Councillor James for the following reasons:
“1. The report sent to Ward Councillors consultation did not include “With the exception of a Designated Area …..”
2. Rhoose and Rhoose Point residents had no opportunity to comment as decision carried at Cabinet.
3. Implications for Rhoose Point nature area are significant.”
Councillor James, in his written submission, advised that the Council had consulted residents and Local Members but the consultation had not included any reference to designating an area for fishing as it had made reference only to the intended bye laws. The wording of resolution (2) had been amended at the Cabinet meeting to read to include the words “with the exception of a designated area for fishing that is provided”. Councillor James stated that the wording of resolution (2) disregarded the antisocial activity that had been endured by the residents for many years. A public meeting had been held in Rhoose Community Hall where it had been overwhelmingly voted to ban fishing to protect the interests of the residents “whose lives had been made a misery”. The Council had also withdrawn the part time Warden who used “to provide some control and despite recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) for a budget to be identified for the Rhoose Point Nature Reserve, no budget had been introduced. “ To this end, residents’ “last hope was the introduction of bye laws to control the antisocial activities”.
In referring to background information the submission advised stated that the waters were formally in the ownership of Cofton & Son Ltd, developers of the Rhoose Point Estate and that whilst under this company’s control the fishing activity was banned and enforced. Problems caused by the fishing activity began shortly following the liquidation of the company and as a result a period of excessive disorder and disturbance to residents occurred. “The behaviour and conduct by the fishing fraternity continued even when the ownership of these waters and open spaces were transferred into the ownership of the Vale of Glamorgan Council. “
As a result of pressure from residents, the Vale of Glamorgan had however, installed signage banning various activities on and around the water and once the signage had been installed there had been a significant drop in the fishing activities and the attendant nuisances that accompanied such activity. However, for some time now Councillor James’ statement stated that the problems had returned.
Councillor James’ submission also contained details of a compendium of antisocial behaviour and disturbances that had been taken by residents who had experienced them first hand. Examples were given as parking, litter, camping and accompanying disturbances, criminal damages and wild life and also provided specific incidences for the Committee’s information.
In conclusion, the submission highlighted that approximately 7-8 years, residents had been invited by officers of the Vale to explore the feasibility of establishing a fishing club to manage and control the site occupied by the waters.
In a spirit of co-operation with the Vale of Glamorgan a selected group of residents agreed to view a fishing club site already established in the Cadoxton area and under control and management of the Glamorgan Angling Club. At that time it was explained that the Club was interested in taking over the Rhoose Point waters. However, on completion of the visit all residents were convinced that the establishment of such a club at Rhoose Point was completely inappropriate and both the Glamorgan Anglers and the Vale of Glamorgan Council had been told of the residents’ decisive objection to such a proposal.
The comparative grounds for rejecting the establishment of a club at Rhoose Point had been given as:
- “The waters were virtually on the front doorstep of residential homes impacting on daily lives of residents
- Fencing was not appropriate on the site because of configuration of water boundaries which would make the cost of fencing prohibitive and inappropriate for “open space”
- There were no parking facilities available, the only parking would be on narrow residential streets, no private toilet facilities and the installation of portacabins would clearly not be appropriate considering the proximity to residential homes
- The site was a public place and therefore could be eminently policed and controlled by a bye law. Glamorgan Club officials had told residents that they would inevitably have to have some responsibility themselves for policing the proposed club.”
Following an enquiry Welsh Water had also Councillor James advised that they may have a legal interest in the use of the waters at Bryn y Gloyn lagoon and had stated that they would have an issue with third party use of the waters as they had not been consulted in the matter and would not approve of such use.
The Head of Visible Services and Transport, in presenting the report, advised that the Welsh Government had passed the legislation which allowed Local Authorities in some instances to enact bye laws without the need to have the bye laws confirmed by Welsh Ministers. The new legislation required that another public consultation be undertaken and required the publication of an initial statement to begin the process of introducing bye laws in the area. On this basis, a consultation exercise was opened on 20th May 2015 and closed on 7th August 2015 in respect of the Rhoose Point Public Open Space Outcome of Consultation Exercise and Proposed Introduction of Bye Laws. The report detailing the outcome of the 2015 consultation exercise was attached at Appendix A to the report.
The majority of respondents had agreed that the proposed bye laws should be enacted although concerns had been raised over prohibiting fishing altogether and suggestions to use a licence or permit system were made. The majority of respondents felt that the activity should be prohibited with reasons such as littering and endangering wildlife being given in support of prohibiting the activity.
The results of the exercise concluded that the introduction of new bye laws and the adoption of an enforcement strategy would allow designated Council officers to work with the Police and the local community to deal with the people who persisted with certain prohibited activities.
Enforcement of the bye laws was under consideration by officers of Visible Services and the Cabinet would receive a further report on enforcement which would also consider dog control orders and other bye laws.
The proposed new bye laws prohibited the following activities:
The next stage of the procedure was for the publication on the Council's website of a second written statement detailing the outcome of the consultation process and the decision of Council to proceed with the introduction of the bye laws. The publication of a notice of intention to make the bye laws was also required with the notice of intention to make the bye laws having at least six weeks' notice before the bye laws were made. Under the Council's Constitution bye laws could only be made by the Full Council and therefore, the matter of making the bye laws would be referred to the next available meeting of Council.
In referring to the resolution of Cabinet on 21st September, 2015, Committee was informed that the Council was not actually proposing a designated area, the resolution had been made in order to allow the Council the opportunity to consider an area for fishing. Any organisation that may come forward would also have to comply with Council rules and regulations, which would be enforceable.
With regard to the initial consultation the report highlighted that although concerns had been raised about banning fishing altogether some suggestions to utilise a licence or permit system had been made. 65% of respondents had agreed the activity should be prohibited as opposed to 80% for swimming and nearly 90% for camping with 30% disagreeing that fishing should be banned. However, the majority of respondents agreed that the bye laws proposed in the report should be enacted.
The Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services (with permission to speak) stated that a further 10% had been undecided in relation to the issue of fishing. However, he also referred to the request by the Glamorgan Anglers for an alternative controlled site and he confirmed the resolution of Cabinet that any club making an application for consideration would be required to ensure that management issues of the area were addressed.
A Local Ward Member and Member of the Committee stated that three public consultations had been undertaken where residents were given the opportunity to voice their views and considerable discussion and antisocial behaviour was seen as an issue, which had been considered to be associated with the fishing activity. In his view, the percentage of 65% in favour of prohibiting fishing was also a significant figure and that the residents should expect a reasonable standard of care. In view of the number of complaints over the year of antisocial behaviour the Member recommended that Cabinet resolution (2) should be amended although they stated the remaining recommendations and indeed the contents of the report were acceptable.
Other Members of the Committee considered that the change by Cabinet to the original recommendation was in their view a significant amendment and although aware that Cabinet can indeed amend any recommendations, the amendment had not been included in the report and therefore no consultation on a designated area had been undertaken. The problems associated with fishing in the area was also a longstanding issue for residents. Following further discussion a suggestion was also made that consideration be given to making the area an alcohol free zone. The Chairman was also of the view that residents needed to be consulted on the issue of a designated area.
The Leader of the Council (with permission to speak) advised that the Council should address the issue of litter bins and benches in the area and that the introduction of an alcohol free zone was also a positive step. The Cabinet Member reiterated his previous statement that it was Cabinet’s intention to ensure that careful consideration was given to any application by any fishing club and having significant regard to management issues..
In referring to the legal interest of Welsh Water, officers and the Leader advised that the Council had not been made aware of Welsh Water’s view on the subject but that that would be taken up if and when an application was received.
Following consideration of the report, the representations made at the meeting and the views of the Committee, it was subsequently
RECOMMENDED to Cabinet – T H A T Cabinet be requested to reconsider its Resolution (2) “….with the exception of a designated area for fishing that is provided, managed and policed by a bone fide fishing club that has entered into a service level agreement with the Council, be agreed to proceed.” in view of the issues raised at the meeting, especially with regard to no consultation and that the introduction of an alcohol free zone at Rhoose Point be also considered.
Reason for recommendation
In view of the concerns raised at the meeting and the issues of antisocial behaviour.
470 ACTIVE TRAVEL (REF) –
Prior to the presentation to Committee, the Chairman informed the meeting that a request from Mr. M. Wallis to speak on the matter had been received and he had been granted permission to speak for up to three minutes following the presentation and the introduction of the report by the Head of Service and the Cabinet Member for Regeneration. Cabinet had referred the report to the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment), the Community Liaison Committee and the Youth Cabinet as part of the formal consultation process. The proposal was to carry out an extensive 12 week consultation process with the public on the 73 routes that Sustrans had carried audits out on which were attached at Appendix A to the Cabinet report. The consultation process would also allow for other routes to be put forward which had not been considered by the Council. However, in order to meet the Welsh Government deadline of 22nd January, 2016 for submission of the final Active Travel maps, it was necessary to commence the consultation no later than 1st October, 2015. The results of the consultation process and the final proposed Active Travel maps would then be presented to a meeting of the Council’s Cabinet in January 2016.
In commencing the presentation, the Principal Transport and Road Safety Officer advised that the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 had been passed by Welsh Government on 2nd October, 2013, enacted on 25th September, 2014 and supported by delivery and design guidance. In considering whether it was appropriate for a route to be regarded as an Active Travel route, the Local Authority had to take into account (a) whether the route facilitates the making by or by any description of walkers and cyclists of Active Travel journeys and (b) whether the location, nature and condition of the route make it suitable for safe use by or by any description of walkers and cyclists when making of such journeys and must have regard to guidance given by the Welsh Ministers. The term Active Travel journey means a journey to or from a work place or education establishment or to access health, leisure or other services or facilities. An Active Travel route also has to be suitable for Active Travel journeys which were for everyday purposes i.e. purposeful journeys for utility not recreation.
Under the Act, Local Authorities are required to produce two maps, an existing route map and an integrated network map. Ministers have designated what areas are to be included within Active Travel and these should be included in the maps. The first existing route map is required to be completed within one year of the legislation coming into force i.e. 22nd January, 2016. Local Authorities are also required to audit their current routes and highlight their existing Active Travel network with a statement to be submitted to explain why any route shown does not conform to standards specified in guidance given by Ministers.
Members were advised of the provisions of the Act as below:
- Two maps are required to be produced by Local Authorities - an Existing Routes Map and an Integrated Network Map
- Ministers designated which areas are included within Active Travel and therefore included in the maps
- The first Existing Route Map is required to be completed within one year of the legislation coming into force – this was amended by the Minister to 22nd January, 2016
- Local Authorities are required to audit their current routes and highlight their existing active travel network
- Local Authorities must submit a statement to explain why any routes shown do not conform to standards specified in guidance given by Ministers
- The Integrated Network Map must be produced within three years of the legislation coming into force
- A proposal for a network of Active Travel routes that should be a 15 year plan for delivery
- Ranging from “shovel ready” schemes to longer term interventions
- After the first set of maps, both will be produced on a three year rolling cycle
- Welsh Ministers and Local Authorities must, when creating, maintaining and improving highways, acquiring land etc. (so far as practicable) take reasonable steps to enhance the provision made for walkers and cyclists
- And in exercising functions under:
◦ Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (traffic regulations, parking etc.)
◦ New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (street works)
◦ Traffic Management Act 2004 (network management)
- Have regard to guidance given by Welsh Ministers
- Local Authorities have general duty to promote Active Travel and secure new / improve routes
- Continuous improvement – must be new and improved active travel routes and related facilities every year
- Must report each year on performance in this duty
- Ministers will publish annual reports on the number of Active Travel journeys.
Guidance and Standards:
- Delivery Guidance stipulates how Local Authorities will meet the Act – how maps look, are consulted on, published etc.
- Design Guidance sets requirements for routes to appear on the maps
- Both have been published by Welsh Ministers.
With regard to the benefits of the Act these were identified as direct corporate priorities for active lifestyles, public awareness, mandatory reporting on progress, guidance and aids long term planning. In referring to budget pressures, it was stated that a strategic approach would be adopted with funding being used in the most efficient way rather than by piecemeal investment.
Data mapping had been completed by March 2015, carried out by Sustrans and funded directly from Welsh Government. The Council had to identify and audit Active Travel routes, and produce its first draft maps. Consultation would take 12 weeks with the maps being edited after consultation in order to produce the first maps.
Following a request by the Chairman for further documentation to be attached to the agenda for Members’ information, the maps attached, showed the routes that had been considered which people used to access work places and facilities in defined Active Travel areas which Sustrans had identified as areas from the existing routes audited for Welsh Government. The officer advised that at this stage, the Council would only be consulting on the existing routes as any aspirational or further planned routes would be considered at the next stage of the process where they would then have to be shown on the map as part of the next stage of the process as governed by the current legislation. This stage has to be completed three years after the Act came into force. All secondary schools, Barry Hospital, transport hubs, shopping centres, etc. had been considered with the Active Travel law being an ongoing commitment and subject to affordability. It was also confirmed that any other routes that may need to be considered would be identified in the consultation responses.
At this point the Chairman advised that a call-in had been received on the matter which she had refused on the basis that no decision had been taken by Cabinet, the item had been referred from Cabinet to the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment), Community Liaison Committee and Youth Cabinet as part of the formal consultation process and that the item had already been placed on the agenda for the meeting on 6th October, 2015 prior to the call-in.
Councillor S.T. Wiliam, one of the Members who had submitted the call-in, advised that he had been pleased to review the information that had been included in the agenda and that the presentation had provided him with the responses to his concerns at this stage. He thanked the Chairman for allowing the presentation and for the information contained within the agenda.
It was further noted that elements of the work to comply with the actions required to deliver the duties within the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 within the timescales prescribed over the three year plan period would need to receive additional resource investment from the Council from grant, developer contributions and existing staff resources. Funding to create and consult on the maps required as part of the duty in the Act had however, been provided by Welsh Government to the sum of £14,000 as part of the Local Transport Fund. The focus of active travel was on walking and cycling as a mode of transport rather than as a leisure activity. However, some routes and facilities for active travel might also encourage recreational walking and cycling. In these cases, it is expected by Welsh Government that Local Authorities would look for opportunities to draw on funding for leisure, tourism or sports facilities.
The Cabinet Member for Regeneration, with permission to speak, stated that it was important to note that the Council supported Active Travel and that the report had outlined the Council’s duty to meet that legislation. The Cabinet Member’s intention was also to establish and engage an Active Travel Forum to develop the Council’s Active Travel maps further.
Mr. Max Wallis, (member of the public who had asked to speak) was then afforded the opportunity to present to the Committee. Mr. Wallis had also provided his representations in written format which would be available on the Council’s website, had been distributed to all Members of the Committee prior to the meeting with further copies being available at the meeting. Mr. Wallis’ representations covered the following areas:
- that the proposed cycling maps appeared to have started at the Council’s already designated routes which had largely been conceived as leisure routes.
- In his view, the Council had also failed to consider Active Travel in the Local Transport Plan (LTP) despite the linkages to Active Travel given in the Welsh Government LTP guidance. They had also missed out on funding for Active Travel in the Local Transport Grants.
- The supplementary information which had been provided within the agenda for the Scrutiny Committee was welcomed and considered would also be essential for inclusion in the consultation pack.
- In his view, the maps contained in the report to Cabinet included cycle routes which were much steeper than the cited criteria and that a multitude of pavement routes and on-road cycle routes had been omitted.
- Mr. Wallis requested that Committee require information on affordability grounds to be disclosed.
- In his view Barry required Active Travel routes linking the suburbs to central facilities and shops and that the walking and cycling maps contained therein for central Barry were blank. Again, in his view, the Library, Leisure Centre, secondary schools, Hospital and Cadoxton Business area, Romilly Park / Suburb, Barry Island, Holton Road and High Street shops were obvious destinations.
- Mr. Wallis suggested the causeway to Barry Island could have an advisory cycle way white-lined on the roadway and a contraflow cycle lane up from the Ship Hotel corner.
- The proposals also, in his view, appeared to pay no regard to cross-boundary trips, including where Cardiff had a route to the boundary on Penarth Road.
- He supported the Guidance which treated cycling and walking differently and was aware that cycling on some paths worsens conditions for walkers and deters them, although this was being proposed on the busy walking route from Dinas Powys / Murch to Redlands / St. Cyres School.
- In his view, the audit of routes by Sustrans was also not trustworthy in view of their conflicting interest as designer and promoter of shared paths as “leisure” routes, particularly linking to Pont y Werin.
- The Active Travel Guidance specified that shared walk or cycle paths were last resorts in urban areas and that “principal” cycle routes for commuter cyclists cater for cycling at over 10mph must be largely segregated from pedestrians. To this end he advised that Penarth’s railway path that had recently been built had been built without segregation. The “green” rating to the zigzag path at the escarpment to the Billybanks by Sustrans was, in his view, in excess of the maximum steepness and should be rated “red”.
- The route to Dinas Powys was similarly unacceptable on steepness grounds, yet it was being kept as the cycling route from Dinas Powys to facilities in Penarth.
- With regard to the Murch footpath for cycling, no inspection on the ground had been shown.
The Cabinet Member for Regeneration, in response, advised that the Council was serious in regard to the issue of consultation and referred to the considerable consultation that had been undertaken with regard to the Local Development Plan. She further commenced by outlining that the consultation was currently on the existing route maps only and therefore would only consider the infrastructure that was already in place. The maps, provided to Cabinet had been overall maps as opposed to the information presented to the Committee which would be issued as part of the consultation.
The Guidance for Active Travel had not been fully in place when the LTP was required to be submitted in January 2015 and the Design Guidance seminars were delivered on 12th February and WLGA. Therefore, the timings for Active Travel had meant that the LTP could not fully incorporate all of the Active Travel delivery and design guidance as it was unknown at that time. Also at that time, the only funding available from Welsh Government was for the production of the existing route map which was specifically based on a calculation set by Welsh Government.
In referring specifically to routes, she advised that there were no designated cycle routes in Cowbridge, albeit cyclists could use the road routes. The consultation process would however, tease out any routes that people were currently using for cycling as the public had the opportunity to identify such routes. Again, the routes that were currently considered and audited were those that the Local Authority considered high priority routes as in 3.25 of the delivery guidance. There were also three levels of routes identified on the existing maps which included those that met the Active Travel criteria, those that failed to meet the criteria but only marginally, and those that failed completely. These being identified as green, red and amber on the Active Travel maps. All views would be welcomed during the consultation process, particularly if residents felt that some highly important routes may have been omitted.
With regard to the query regarding Barry requiring Active Travel routes linking the suburbs to central facilities and shops, the Cabinet Member advised the routes audited showed links to these areas and the Council was using alternative funding sources to deliver such infrastructure. However, with regard to the causeway, the existing route was not fit for purpose for cycling as it is at present, and therefore it could not yet be included in the existing route map.
With regard to routes that did not yet meet the criteria, the Council would continue to investigate options to incorporate routes into the integrated network map and, in particular, funding had been identified for feasibility to link the Merrie Harrier to the Penarth Road route.
In conclusion, the Cabinet Member advised that Active Travel was about providing for the masses, predominantly for shorter journeys and Local Authorities needed to consider what infrastructure was required to encourage more people to walk / cycle and consider what infrastructure to provide for maximum usage and demand.
Following the response of the Cabinet Member, Councillor S.T. Wiliam, who had submitted a call-in on the matter, advised that Councillor Burnett had addressed all the issues for him and the information contained within the agenda and the presentation had provided the detail he was seeking.
It was confirmed that the consultation had commenced on 1st October, 2015 and all present were advised to make their comments during the consultation process if required.
The Vice-Chairman of the Committee concluded that a considerable amount of work had been undertaken in order to prepare the report, he welcomed the further detail provided in the agenda that would be included within the pack for the consultation process and asked all Members to encourage residents to take part in the consultation, following which the Committee subsequently
(1) T H A T the report be noted.
(2) T H A T all Members of the Council encourage local residents to take part in the consultation process.
Reasons for recommendations
(1) In view of the information presented at the meeting and the additional information contained within the agenda.
(2) To encourage all to take part in the consultation process.
471 ANNUAL REPORT – SECTION 106 LEGAL AGREEMENTS 2014-2015 (REF) –
Cabinet had referred the report to the Scrutiny Committee for information, which apprised Members on the progress of Section 106 Planning Obligation matters that had arisen in the last financial year April 2014 to March 2015.
Members were reminded that the Council had the power to enter into legal agreements with developers under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, which sough contributions from developers that mitigated negative development impacts and facilitated development which might otherwise not occur. The report also outlined the differences between Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and Section 106 contributions and provided an update on the Council’s progress towards introducing CIL.
All Members were advised that prior to the Community Liaison Committee meeting on 20th October at 4.30 p.m. a presentation on CIL and Section 106 would be delivered by officers from the Department of Environment and Housing Services in the Council Chamber. All Members and Town and Community Council Clerks had been e-mailed regarding the session.
The report further outlined that in the past 12 months a total of 18 planning permissions had been issued which had been subject to Section 106 legal agreements. A list of these was attached at Appendix A to the report. A summary of income and spend on each Section 106 agreement between April 2014 and March 2015 was also attached at Appendix B to the report, along with an update on progress since April 2015.
Of note was the fact that on 6th April, 2015, Regulation 123 of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Regulations 2010 (As Amended) came into effect which restricted the way in which Local Planning Authorities could use Section 106 agreements to pool financial contributions to deliver an infrastructure project.
The report also detailed the differences between CIL and Section 106 contributions which Members had sought further advice on. CIL was a new charging system that could be applied to most forms of development to fund infrastructure improvements that supported the development of the Authority area in accordance with the Local Development Plan (LDP). CIL would differ from Section 106 funding insofar as it could be pooled to deliver an infrastructure project that did not necessarily directly relate to the development from which it was sourced.
In referring to progress to date, in February 2011 Cabinet had resolved to commence work on preparing a CIL for the Vale of Glamorgan. This had been completed in tandem with the preparation of the LDP which had been submitted to the Welsh Government in August 2015, with an anticipated adoption date of Autumn 2016. The Council intended to take immediate steps to finalise the evidence necessary to establish a draft charging schedule for CIL for the Vale of Glamorgan with a view to adopting it as soon as possible.
Following a query from the Vice-Chairman regarding air quality monitoring in the St. Augustine’s Ward, on Windsor Road, the Principal Planner was requested to obtain the information and e-mail the detail to all Members of the Committee.
It was subsequently
RECOMMENDED – T H A T the progress made with regard to Section 106 matters between April 2014 and March 2015 be noted.
Reason for recommendation
To apprise Members.
472 REVENUE AND CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 31ST AUGUST 2015 (DEHS) –
A graph and table setting out the variance between profiled budget and actual expenditure to date was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.
The Operational Manager for Accountancy, in presenting the report, stated that with regard to Highways Maintenance and Engineering, there was currently a £58k adverse variance against the profiled budget. This was due to the delayed implementation of car parking charges and street lighting part night switch off. A car parking charging report had been considered by Cabinet and the Committee, however it had been decided that further consultation was required before introducing charges. The roll out of part night street lighting commenced in July 2015, therefore, the full year saving would not be achieved in both these areas. However, there were a number of small favourable variances across Highways which could be used to offset the shortfall in these savings, resulting in a projected overspend at year end of around £100k. The original budget for 2015/16 took account of the £619k savings required for the financial year.
Waste Management - There was currently a small adverse variance of £4k to the profiled budget. The early implementation of the Prosiect Gwyrdd contract which was providing considerable savings for the waste disposal budget had been offset by a slight delay in the implementation of some of the other savings within Waste Management. While the Prosiect Gwyrdd site was currently operational, it was running under test conditions and the Council could not presently rely on the eventual contractual terms and conditions and the facility could close at any point during the testing period. In view of this, it was projected that the outturn at year end could be an underspend of around £100k. The original budget for 2015/16 took account of the £1.264m savings required for this financial year.
Grounds Maintenance – There was currently a £26k adverse variance against the profiled budget, mainly due to a slight overspend to date on vehicle budgets. Discussions were ongoing to ascertain if there were further vehicles that were under-utilised with a view to meeting the savings targets set. The original budget for 2015/16 took account of the £130k savings required for this financial year. The budget would be monitored closely to ensure these savings were achieved by year end.
Economic Development – There was currently a favourable variance of £31k to the profiled budget. Although expenditure on the Employment Training Service (ETS) was currently below budget, income levels were set to reduce as the programme wound down, so any underspend would be required to offset the drop in income levels. It was therefore anticipated that this service would outturn on target.
Leisure – There was currently a favourable variance of £35k to profiled budget. There were reduced costs due to staff vacancies in the Leisure and Tourism and Countryside Divisions. In addition, filming fees at Cosmeston Medieval Village had exceeded the budgeted figure. As reported last month, the introduction of car parking charges at Country Parks had not yet been introduced and the targeted savings for the Division would now not be achievable. Any underspends would need to be used to offset any income shortfall. At this stage the overall budget was anticipated to outturn on target.
Planning and Transportation – There was currently a favourable variance of £63k to profiled budget. This was due mostly to a higher than budgeted level of planning fee income. At this early stage of the year it was anticipated that this service would outturn on target.
Appendix 2 to the report detailed the financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 31st August 2015 and specific reference was made to the following projects:
- Jenner Park and Colcot Pitches – Emergency Powers had been used to approve the inclusion of £853k for the above scheme in the Capital Programme. The work would include the installation of a 3 G pitch at Jenner Park and five a side pitches at Colcot. This scheme would be funded from the Jenner Park Reserve.
- Coast Protection and Land Drainage General – £150k had been allocated within this budget for works towards the Causeway Improvement Scheme. In order to enable a more co-ordinated approach to the scheme, it had been requested that £150k be vired to the Causeway Improvement Scheme.
- Penarth Heights Cycle Parking Project – Emergency Powers had been used to approve the inclusion of £25k in the Capital Programme for Penarth Heights Cycle Parking Project. This scheme would be funded from Section 106 monies.
- Llantwit Major Bedford Rise Play Area – It had been requested that the 2015/16 Capital Programme be increased by £21k for works at Bedford Rise Play Area. This scheme would be funded from Section 106 monies.
Following queries from Members about the flood risk management schemes in the Coldbrook Catchment and Boverton areas, the Head of Visible Services advised that work had not yet commenced on the Coldbrook scheme and the Leader, with permission to speak, advised that the Council was still awaiting money from Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales for the Boverton scheme.
RECOMMENDED – T H A T the position with regard to the 2015/16 revenue and capital monitoring be noted.
Reason for recommendation
Members are aware of the position with regard to the 2015/16 revenue and capital monitoring relevant to this Scrutiny Committee.
473 QUARTER 1 DEVELOPMENT SERVICES PERFORMANCE REPORT 2015-16 (DEHS) –
The Principal Planner advised that overall the service was well on course to achieving the objectives contributing to its service outcomes, with 93% of actions currently on track. There were a total of 44 actions in the plan; 41 were on track, 1 had slipped, and 2 were not due to have started this quarter. 100% of Corporate Plan actions were on track for completion (of the 23 Corporate Plan actions, 23 were currently on track). The one action relating to the Improvement Objectives was on track for completion. There were currently no performance indicators relating to the Improvement Objectives and currently no Outcome Agreement actions or measures.
Of the 25 performance indicators, 15 had met or exceeded target, 3 were within 10% of target, and 7 have missed target by more than 10%.
The one action where slippage was reported was as follows:
- DS/A068: The delivery of the rural development plan for 2015/16 and its supporting schemes has been delayed pending approval of the programme by Welsh Government. It was hoped that the approval of the Rural Development Plan in early quarter two will progress this work.
A detailed report of the Directorate’s overall performance was provided at Appendix 1 to the report.
In noting that the four indicators that had missed target related to the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) and the fact that the delivery of the Rural Development Plan 2015/16 and its supporting schemes had been delayed pending approval of the Programme by Welsh Government, it was subsequently
(1) T H A T the service performance results and remedial actions to be taken to address service underperformance be noted.
(2) T H A T the progress to date in achieving key outcomes as outlined in the Corporate Plan 2013-17, the Outcome Agreement 2013-16 and the Improvement Plan Part 2 2015-16 be noted.
Reasons for recommendations
(1) To ensure the Council was effectively assessing its performance in line with the requirement to secure continuous improvement outlined in the Local Government Measure (Wales) 2009.
(2) To consider the quarter 1 Development Services performance results as at 30th June, 2015 in order to identify service areas for improvement.
474 QUARTER 1 VISIBLE SERVICE PERFORMANCE REPORT 2015-16 (DEHS) –
The Head of Service advised that Visible Services was well on course to achieving the objectives contributing to its service outcomes with 73% of the actions currently on track. 64% of Corporate Plan actions were on track for completion (of the 14 Corporate Plan actions, 1 had been completed, 8 were currently on track, 2 had slipped and 3 were not due to have started this quarter). There were currently no actions relating to the Improvement Objectives. The one Outcome Agreement action was complete. Of the 5 Outcome Agreement measures, 4 had met target and 1 had missed target by more than 10%.
Of the 18 performance indicators, 9 had met or exceeded target, 3 were within 10% of target and 6 had missed target by more than 10%.
The four actions where slippage was reported were as follows:
- “VS/A063: The review of collection arrangements for commercial residual waste and recycling had been delayed and it was expected that this review would be carried out in quarter 2.
- VS/A066a: The implementation of a new policy for missed refuse and recycling collections from domestic properties would be progressed in quarter 2 when remapping of collection rounds would be implemented.
- VS/A092: Implement flood reduction and alleviation schemes for high risk areas of the Vale in accordance with the Flood and Water Management Act including Boverton, Coldbrook and Llanmaes catchment schemes. (CP/E5). Implementation of flood reduction and alleviation schemes for high risk areas in the Vale had slipped because external grant funding was currently awaited from Welsh Government and Natural Resource Wales to implement the schemes. Grant funding approval for Coldbrook had been received and work was due to commence on this scheme in September 2015.
- VS/A025: Implement the investment programme to refurbish public conveniences. (CP/E13). Survey work was scheduled for completion during quarter 2.“
The six indicators that had missed target by more than 10% related to:
- “WMT/010i: The percentage of Local Authority collected municipal waste prepared for reuse had slipped this quarter as there was a lack of Community Reuse Schemes within the Vale of Glamorgan
- STS007: The percentage of reported fly tipping incidents which lead to enforcement activity. During this quarter enforcement officers had focused their resources on other work priorities, primarily the checking of commercial premises, relevant duty of care notes, service level reviews and customer satisfaction surveys. During quarter 2, attention would focus on investigating fly tipping incidents.
- VS/M007: Whilst the number of dropped crossing points for community use had not met target this quarter, the rate of provision was programmed to increase during the year. The majority of the works would be carried out in quarter 2 to ensure we had a suitable programme of works that was cost effective
- VS/M009b: Third party claims against the Council for vehicle damage (carriageway claims) had increased due to deterioration of the general condition of carriageways.
- VS/M010b: Due to this deterioration the total cost of successful third party claims against the Council for vehicle damage had also increased.
- VS/M015: The number returned of repairs has missed target this quarter as a result of two vehicles reporting intermittent faults. One vehicle was waiting on the main dealer to undertake a repair.“
In response to a query regarding the slipped actions relating to waste management, the Head of Service stated that these actions were expected to be addressed in the next quarter. However, in relation to VSM009b: third party claims against the Council for vehicle damage, the Head of Service informed Committee that due to the pressures on the service, this performance indicator would not make target although as many measures as possible had been put in place to try to eliminate the impact.
Following consideration of the report it was subsequently
(1) T H A T the performance results and remedial action that had been undertaken to address service underperformance in Visible Services be noted.
(2) T H A T the progress to date in achieving key outcomes as outlined in the Corporate Plan 2013-17, the Outcome Agreement 2013-16 and the Improvement Plan Part 1 2015-16 be noted.
Reasons for recommendations
(1) To ensure the Council was effectively assessing performance in line with the requirement to secure continuous improvement outlined in the Local Government Measure (Wales) 2009.
(2) To consider the quarter 1 Visible Services performance results as at 30th June 2015 in order to identify service areas for improvement.
475 BARRY REGENERATION PROGRESS REPORT (MD) –
The Cabinet Member, with permission to speak, presented the report which detailed the Barry Regeneration Area Achievements Report 2010-2014:
- VVP Tackling Poverty Programme for the Settlement of Barry
- VVP Town Centre Repayable Funding Scheme for the Settlement of Barry
- Stocktake of Other Initiatives and Proposals.
The Barry Regeneration Area Programme had been launched by the Welsh Government in March 2010 and a total of £9.8m of Welsh Government investment had been allocated to the programme which ran from the years 2010/11 to 2013/14 inclusive. Barry had also been one of the seven Regeneration Areas declared by the Welsh Government under its Framework for Regeneration Areas (October 2010) policy commitment.
From the year 2014/15 the Welsh Government had targeted regeneration investment across Wales through the Vibrant and Viable Places (VVP) Regeneration Framework which would operate to the end of 2016/17.
Cabinet, on 23rd February, 2015, had been advised on how various initiatives and proposals had progressed following the close of the Barry Regeneration Area programme in 2014. That report was subsequently referred to Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) on 24th March, 2015.
In July 2014 the Council was awarded £1m in capital funding through the VVP programme (Tackling Poverty Fund) over the three financial years 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17. In August 2015 the Council was awarded £842,857 through the VVP programme (Town Centre Repayable Funding Scheme) for the financial year 2015/16.
A copy of the Achievements Report was attached at Appendix 1 to the report, with one board member commenting that the report read as an “impressive list of achievements of which everyone involved should feel extremely proud”. The Vice-Chairman concurred with the comment that it was a very positive collaborative report and he wished to take the opportunity to thank the officers and partners for all the work that had been undertaken. The Cabinet Member confirmed that a tremendous amount of work had been undertaken and that it was indeed an impressive list of achievements. It had been a whole Council approach to regeneration with all service areas contributing and in particular she referred to the five new schools that had been built in the last three years as well as the work undertaken by the Tourism Department, the Events Co-ordinator and the Housing Department, following which the Scrutiny Committee subsequently
(1) T H A T the achievements highlighted within the report and the progress made with various initiatives and proposals following the close of the Welsh Government’s Barry Regeneration Area programme be noted.
(2) T H A T all staff, partners and those involved in the achievements to date be thanked by the Chairman on behalf of the Scrutiny Committee.
Reasons for recommendations
(1) In acknowledgement of the work undertaken.
(2) In acknowledgement of the achievements to date.
476 2ND QUARTER SCRUTINY DECISION TRACKING OF RECOMMENDATIONS AND WORK PROGRAMME SCHEDULE 2015/16 (MD) –
Appendices A to C attached to the report set out the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee with Members being requested to review progress against each recommendation to assess whether further action may be required to ensure the required action was undertaken and to confirm which recommendations would be agreed as completed.
Appendix D to the report detailed a draft Scrutiny Committee work programme schedule for Members’ confirmation. The work programme listed reports that had been requested by the Scrutiny Committee together with items that required regular monitoring and scrutiny. Other reports would be added to the schedule as and when necessity arose. The schedule would also detail Requests for Consideration that had been received with a request that consideration be given by officers as to the likely date that they can be reported to the relevant Committee. Call-in requests that were made following decisions of Cabinet would also be included within the programme as and when received.
In referring to Minute No. 573 – Leisure Contract Monitoring: that a training session be arranged for all Members of the Council as recommended in the monitoring plan, the Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer advised that as part of the Council’s procurement and improvement plan, the Operational Manager for Performance and Policy had successfully bid for funding from Welsh Government and Value Wales to commission external advice on contract management processes earlier in the year. Based on the advice received and from researching best practice guidance, a contract management process and guidance was currently being drafted. Once drafted it was suggested that the process and guidance could be shared with the Chairman of Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) with consideration and feedback before being finalised. The Internal Audit and Performance and Policy Teams were currently discussing how to provide refresher training to managers and project management and this could include the contract management process and guidance. Once developed and approved training or a briefing session on the contract management process and guidance would be provided to Elected Members. Committee agreed to continue to monitor this recommendation.
Minute No. 1093 – Leisure Management Contract: that a group of up to three Members of the Scrutiny Committee undertake reviews of the Leisure Centres with the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services, on a quarterly basis. Following consideration of this recommendation it was agreed that Councillors A.G. Bennett, Mrs. P. Drake and the Chairman undertake the first review visit during the month of October, with Councillor G.A. Cox as a reserve Member. Prior to the meeting in November, a further briefing session in relation to Leisure Monitoring and feedback following the Members’ review visit to some of the centres on 14th October, 2015 would be held.
In further consideration of the list of other reports requested by the Committee to be added to the schedule as and when available, Members asked to receive the following reports over the forthcoming months:
- Street lighting – December 2015
- Waste management report to include waste recycling issues from multi occupancy dwellings, waste recycling initiatives and a six month update report detailing the full implications of the decision and effects on recycling performance regarding the Bring Bank sites – by March 2016
- End of year performance on resurfacing work and the materials used in the maintenance of potholes in the Vale – by March 2016.
It was subsequently
(1) T H A T the actions identified as completed on the Appendices and as outlined below be accepted:
24 March 2015
Min. No. 1059 – Section 106 Legal Agreements – Protocol for Consultation on Implementation of Spend (REF) – Recommended
(1) That training for Elected Members be arranged as outlined above and that similar training for Elected Members of Town and Community Councils also be arranged via the Community Liaison Committee.
Arranged for 4.30 p.m. on 20th October, 2015 in Council Chamber.
16 June 2015
Min. No. 105 – Building Cleaning and Security Review (REF) – Recommended
(2) That, notwithstanding the further reports to be presented as outlined above, Cabinet be advised that a further report to also be presented to the Scrutiny Committee detailing the outcome of the avoiding redundancy policy and the impact of the proposals on staff.
Cabinet, on 13th July, 2015, noted the contents of the report.
(Min No. C2840 refers)
Min. No. 106 – Target Setting 2015/16 (DDS) – Recommended
(2) That the targets be accepted but that Cabinet be asked to consider the format of reports with the request that the documentation in the future include details of the work that had been undertaken, how well it had been completed and related to relevant outcomes.
Cabinet, on 13th July, 2015, noted the contents of the report.
(Min. No. C2836 refers)
14 July 2015
Min. No. 242 – Adoption of the Vale of Glamorgan Local Transport Plan 2015 (REF) – Recommended
(1) That the Democratic and Scrutiny Services officer liaise with the responsible officer for the Greenlinks service and that a suitable date for their attendance at a future meeting of the Committee be scheduled within the Committee work programme timetable.
(2) That the Scrutiny Committee receives progress reports on the adoption of the Vale of Glamorgan Local Transport Plan on an annual basis.
(1) Added to work programme schedule for January 2016 meeting.
(2) Added to work programme schedule.
Min. No. 244 – Visible Services End of Year Performance Report 2014-15 (DVSH) – Recommended
(2) That the staff in waste recycling be commended for their performance to date.
Director to relay comments.
Min. No. 245 – 1st Quarter Scrutiny Decision Tracking of Recommendations and Work Programme Schedule 2015/16 (MD) – Recommended
(2) That the work programme schedule attached at Appendix C to the report be approved and uploaded to the Council’s website.
Uploaded to Council’s website on 10 August 2015.
Min. No. 246 – Scrutiny Committees’ Draft Annual Report – May 2014 to April 2015 (MD) – Recommended that the Scrutiny Committees’ draft Annual Report May 2014 to April 2015, subject to any further minor amendments being agreed with the Chairman, be approved and submitted to Full Council in September 2015.
Received by Full Council at its meeting on 28th September, 2015.
01 September 2015
Min. No – Car Park Charging Proposals - Phase 1 (REF) – Recommended that Cabinet be requested to consider the comments made at the meeting by members of the public and the Scrutiny Committee, with particular regard to the issue of local consultation and that the management of car parking, the cost of its implementation, management and maintenance and car parking charges be reviewed in light of the ongoing reduction in Council funding.
Cabinet, on 21st September 2015, resolved
 That the comments and recommendation of Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) be recognised by Cabinet and this report be deferred for further work to be carried out by Officers.
 That Officers be requested to draw up a further report that looks at the possibility of Automatic Number Plate Recognition and an element of some free initial parking.
 That the further report will also take into account the comments made by Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment).
(Min. No. C2911 refers)
(2) T H A T the status of the Leisure Management Contract Minute Nos. 573 and 1093 remain as “ongoing”.
(3) T H A T the following reports be presented to Committee before March 2016:
- Waste Management report and end of year performance on resurfacing work and materials used with regard to the maintenance of potholes in the Vale.
(4) T H A T a report on street lighting arrangements and progress to date be presented to the Scrutiny Committee before December 2015.
(5) T H A T Councillor Mrs. A.J. Moore (Chairman), A.G. Bennett and Mrs. P. Drake, with Councillor G.A. Cox as a reserve Member, undertake reviews of the Leisure Centres on behalf of the Scrutiny Committee with the first review to be undertaken during October 2015.
(6) T H A T the Committee’s work programme schedule be updated as per resolutions (3) and (4) above and uploaded to the Council’s website.
Reasons for recommendations
(1) Actions deemed as completed.
(2-4) To ensure effective monitoring of Scrutiny recommendations.
(5) To appoint Members for review visits.
(6) For information.