Meeting documents

Ordinary Meeting of the Council
Thursday, 26th April, 2018 10.30 am

Date: Thursday 26th April 2018 Time: 10.30 a.m. Place: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Ebbw Vale

Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

PresentAndReport toReport of
COUNCILLOR D. HANCOCK (THE CHAIR,
PRESIDING)
Item
No
Item/Resolution Status Action
PUBLIC
1. TUDALEN GLAWR AGENDA GYMRAEG/WELSH VERSION OF AGENDA COVERSHEET
Tudalen Glawr Agenda Gymraeg/Welsh Agenda Coversheet (187K/bytes)
Noted
2. CONGRATULATIONS

Congratulations were extended to:-

„ Ms. Ashley Brace of Storm Kickboxing on recently winning the European Boxing Union (EBU) Female Super Fly Weight World Championship Title.

„ Gymfinity Gymnastics Sports Academy, Tredegar who would be representing the United Kingdom in the All American Open Cheer Championships in Las Vegas in early May. This was the first time a Welsh team had reached this stage of the competition.

RESOLVED that appropriate letters be sent.

Noted
3. SIMULTANEOUS TRANSLATION

It was noted that no requests had been received for the simultaneous translation service.

Noted
4. APOLOGIES

Apologies for absence were received from: -

Councillors P. Baldwin, G. A. Davies, M. Day, J. Wilkins, D. Wilkshire and L. Winnett.

Noted
5. DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS AND DISPENSATIONS

There were no declarations of interest or dispensations reported.

Noted
6. MINUTE BOOK - FEBRUARY - APRIL 2018

The Minute Book for the period February - April 2018 was submitted for consideration, whereupon:-

Education & Learning Scrutiny Committee - 9th March, 2018 - Item No. 6 - School Categorisation 2018

A Member referred to the third paragraph on Page 105 of the minutes and advised that the following information had been reported at the Committee:-

Within the South East Wales region out of a cohort of 35 secondary schools, only 3 had been categorised as 'green' and 10 had been categorised as 'red'. Concern had, therefore, been expressed by Members regarding the performance of schools and the representative of the Education Achievement Service (EAS) had advised that in order to address performance levels the EAS was seeking to recruit additional Challenge Advisers.

The Committee had also been advised that the first paragraph on Page 106 should be amended to read:-

"A Member stated that in relation to Key Stage 2 it was known that the levels between the top and bottom were extremely wide but stressed that sampling was desperately needed and it was crucial that it was accurate".

It was also noted that the second bulletin of the recommendation should be amended to read:-

- Acknowledge the increase in performance of Primary to Secondary and evaluate the reasons for this.

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that the minutes be approved and confirmed as a true record of proceedings.

Agreed
7. ORDINARY MEETING OF THE COUNCIL
Minutes (314K/bytes)
Cofnodion (305K/bytes)
Agreed
8. GENERAL LICENSING
Minutes (178K/bytes)
Cofnodion (119K/bytes)
Agreed
9. PLANNING COMMITTEE
Minutes (309K/bytes)
Cofnodion (299K/bytes)
Agreed
10. SPECIAL STATUTORY LICENSING COMMITTEE
Minutes (124K/bytes)
Cofnodion (73K/bytes)
Agreed
11. SPECIAL GENERAL LICENSING COMMITTEE
Minutes (75K/bytes)
Cofnodion (74K/bytes)
Agreed
12. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Executive Minutes (311K/bytes)
Cofnodion (309K/bytes)
Agreed
13. AUDIT COMMITTEE
Minutes (233K/bytes)
Cofnodion (44K/bytes)
Agreed
14. EDUCATION & LEARNING SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
Minutes (315K/bytes)
Cofnodion (157K/bytes)

The Minute Book for the period February - April 2018 was submitted for consideration, whereupon:-

Education & Learning Scrutiny Committee - 9th March, 2018 - Item No. 6 - School Categorisation 2018

A Member referred to the third paragraph on Page 105 of the minutes and advised that the following information had been reported at the Committee:-

Within the South East Wales region out of a cohort of 35 secondary schools, only 3 had been categorised as 'green' and 10 had been categorised as 'red'. Concern had, therefore, been expressed by Members regarding the performance of schools and the representative of the Education Achievement Service (EAS) had advised that in order to address performance levels the EAS was seeking to recruit additional Challenge Advisers.

The Committee had also been advised that the first paragraph on Page 106 should be amended to read:-

"A Member stated that in relation to Key Stage 2 it was known that the levels between the top and bottom were extremely wide but stressed that sampling was desperately needed and it was crucial that it was accurate".

It was also noted that the second bulletin of the recommendation should be amended to read:-

- Acknowledge the increase in performance of Primary to Secondary and evaluate the reasons for this.

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that the minutes be approved and confirmed as a true record of proceedings.

Agreed
15. SPECIAL CORPORATE OVERVIEW SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
Minutes (201K/bytes)
Cofnodion (139K/bytes)
Agreed
16. ENVIRONMENT, REGENERATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Minutes (215K/bytes)
Cofnodion (267K/bytes)
Agreed
17. AUDIT COMMITTEE
Minutes (225K/bytes)
Cofnodion (172K/bytes)
Agreed
18. DEMOCRATIC SERVICES COMMITTEE
Minutes (188K/bytes)
Cofnodion (71K/bytes)
Agreed
19. MEMBERS QUESTIONS

There were no questions submitted by Members.

Noted
20. PUBLIC QUESTIONS

There were no questions submitted by members of the public.

Noted
21. BLAENAU GWENT DRAFT LOCAL WELL-BEING PLAN 2018 TO 2023
Report (460K/bytes)
Appendix 2 (6M/bytes)

Members considered the report of the Head of Governance and Partnerships.

The Leader of the Council advised that there was a statutory requirement on Public Service Boards (PSB) to prepare and publish a Local Well-Being Plan in order to comply with the Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. It was noted that the Plan set out how the PSB intended to improve the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of its area.

The PSB during July 2016 had agreed a two year project plan to develop the Plan for the Blaenau Gwent area and the key phases to meet the statutory requirements were outlined in Paragraph 1.2 of the report.

It was noted that a comprehensive public consultation process had been undertaken in which over 2,000 local people from Blaenau Gwent had been participated and responses had been used to develop and shape the Well-Being Plan. This engagement programme had been noted as good practice by the Future Generations Commissioner.

The Leader of the Council concluded by stating that a tremendous amount of work had been undertaken to prepare the Plan and this document would form part of the fundamental way that local authorities would be required to work in the future.

It was noted that the Plan was due to be considered by the Public Service Board that afternoon for approval prior to its publication.

The Head of Governance and Partnerships reported that the Local Well-Being Plan was the key overarching strategic plan for Blaenau Gwent and a comprehensive process had been undertaken as outlined in the report to produce the document. This significant piece of work had been undertaken in partnership in an inclusive manner. The Plan once approved by the four statutory partners and the Public Service Board would be published and Members would then be provided with an electronic link to access the Plan or alternatively could contact the officer should a 'hard' copy of the document be required.


The Head of Governance and Partnerships concluded by advising that following approval of the Plan the next stage of the work would be for the PSB to progress the implementation of a Strategic Delivery Programme. It was noted that elements of the programme would form part of the forward work programme of the Public Service Board Scrutiny Committee.

The Leader of the Labour Group commended officers on the tremendous amount of work that had been undertaken to produce the Plan.

The Leader of the Council advised that Agenda Item Nos. 20 and 21 relating to Social Services both formed part of the remit of the Public Service Board and the Well-Being of the Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. There was a direct synergy with regard to the development of the Well-Being Plan and the Social Services and Well-Being Regional Area Plan and where relevant, the plans had reflected the linkages, key evidence and issues that applied to both.

Upon a vote being taken it was unanimously,

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and Option 1 be endorsed, namely the Blaenau Gwent Draft Local Well-Being Plan 2018 to 2023 be approved.

Agreed
22. CORPORATE PLAN 2018 - 2022
Report (370K/bytes)
Appendix (4M/bytes)

Consideration was given to the joint report of the Managing Director and Senior Strategic Policy & Project Officer.

The Leader of the Council reported that the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 placed a duty on all local authorities to demonstrate and make arrangements to secure continuous improvement. This was achieved through the development of a Corporate Plan that set out key priorities for the Council.

The development of the Corporate Plan had been subject to an extensive amount of internal work and external facilitation. A small number of corporate priorities had been included within the Plan - these priorities were regarded as 'key areas' which were included within portfolios. Whilst being mindful of the priorities and of financial constraints, the Leader said he was confident that the authority would be able to keep within the financial constraints place upon the authority. It was noted that the Plan also outlined expectations from both a Council and citizen perspective.

The Leader of the Council, thereupon, concluded by expressing his appreciation to Sarah King, Senior Strategic Policy and Project Officer for the phenomenal amount of work that she had undertaken in respect of the Corporate Plan.

The Leader of the Labour Group raised the following queries/comments contained on Page 2 of the Corporate Plan:-

„ Strategic Drivers: The Corporate Plan made reference to the real term reduction of 7 million and the Leader of the Labour Group said he felt that this did not go far enough given the current financial climate. It was noted that in 2013/14 financial year alone the Council had to achieve 10 million savings, therefore he requested that consideration be given to reflecting the real term reduction of 30 million within the document.

„ Council's New Workforce Plan: The Leader of the Labour Group sought confirmation that this plan would be submitted to Council in due course for consideration.

The Leader of the Council confirmed that areas relating to workforce planning and resources would be a matter of consideration by Council.

The Leader of the Labour Group continued by pointing out that successive former Corporate Improvement Plans had improved the Council's position but expressed his concern that a number of priority areas had huge associated cost pressures, for example, Social Services. This was a critical frontline service and he said that it would be interesting if savings proposals could still be delivered whilst maintaining the high service standards. This would be tested as part of the Council's budget setting process. The use of 'austerity' which had been used within the vocabulary of the Plan was also welcomed.

The Leader of the Labour Group concluded by advising that in 2013/14 following discussions with the Wales Audit Office, Executive Members became more responsible for their portfolios areas. He, therefore, requested that for the purposes of accountability that the Executive Members be aligned to the portfolio areas within the Corporate Plan.

The Leader of the Council said that the Council had not hidden from the issue of austerity. Austerity was a reality and he hoped that both groups could collectively work around this issue.

The Leader of the Council said he agreed with the request to align the Executive Members to their portfolios within the Corporate Plan. He pointed out that he had made it clear at the Annual Meeting the previous year that Executive Members were required to take responsibility for their individual portfolio areas. In addition, the Council was on the cusp of considering a Member Competency Framework and there was an expectation and view that individuals should undertake and take responsibility for the role they were appointed to.

Upon a vote being taken it was unanimously,

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and Option 1 be endorsed, namely:-

- the content and wording of the new Vision, Values and Priorities as set out in the draft Corporate Plan for the Council (which would commence 1st May, 2018 - 30th April, 2022 be agreed; and

- progress against the Priorities be reviewed annually and a Delivery Report detailing this be produced.

Councillor M. Holland left the meeting at this juncture.

Agreed
23. SOCIAL SERVICES AND WELL-BEING REGIONAL AREA PLAN
Report (307K/bytes)
Appendix 2 (724K/bytes)
Appendix 3 (69K/bytes)

The joint report of the Corporate Director of Social Services and Regional Partnership Team was submitted for consideration.

The Executive Member - Social Services spoke briefly to the report which had been presented to seek endorsement of the decision made by the Regional Partnership Board who had agreed the Regional Area Plan.

It was noted that the report had already been considered and agreed by the Social Services Scrutiny Committee on 22nd February, 2018 and the Executive Committee on 18th April, 2018. The benefits of endorsing the Plan were expected to include more opportunities for regional working, joint commission and maximising of resources.

The Executive Member - Social Services concluded by commending endorsement of Option 1 as outlined in Paragraph 6.1 of the report.

The Corporate Director of Social Services referred to the Draft Local Well-Being Plan, Social Services and Well-Being Regional Area Plan and the Draft Gwent Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Strategy and said that officers within the local authorities and across Gwent had worked in partnership to avoid duplication within the plans and to ensure leadership and ownership for particular themes to drive them forward.

Upon a vote being taken it was unanimously,

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and Option 1 be agreed, namely the decision of the Regional Partnership Board to sign off the Regional Area Plan by its March 31st 2018 statutory deadline be endorsed.

Agreed
24. DRAFT GWENT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, DOMESTIC ABUSE AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE STRATEGY
Report (504K/bytes)
Appendix 2 (2M/bytes)
Appendix 3 (169K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the report of the Corporate Director of Social Services.

The Executive Member - Social Services spoke briefly to the report which had been presented for Council to agree the final response to the Gwent VAWDASV Partnership Board and endorse the Strategy.

The Executive Member continued by stating that the Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Act 2015 aimed to improve public sector responses in Wales to abuse and violence. This was supported by a national training framework which related to all staff in the Authority. This meant that all staff would need to complete this training and he stated that Members should also be required to undertaken this training.

The Executive Member - Social Services concluded by advising in terms of risk, if the Strategy was not agreed across Gwent then the requirements of the legislation would not be met.

A Member expressed his congratulations to the officers who had produced the Strategy. He pointed out that a Members Briefing Session relating to Adult Safeguarding had taken place the previous day and information had been presented regarding vulnerable groups, in particular people suffering with dementia. Therefore, a corporate strategy was required to address this issue as a one Council approach.

Upon a vote being taken it was unanimously,

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and the final response to the Gwent VAWDASV Partnership Board be agreed.

Agreed
25. WASTE POLICIES IMPLEMENTATION
Report (521K/bytes)
Appendix 2 (2M/bytes)

Members considered the report of the Corporate Director Regeneration and Community Services.

The Executive Member - Environment spoke in detail to the report which had been presented to update Members on the communication, marketing and community engagement activity planned prior to and during the implementation of the revised Waste Services policies. The following salient points contained therein were highlighted:-

„ A borough-wide householder campaign to raise awareness of side waste enforcement would be delivered to encourage householders not to put recyclables in their residual waste and maximise recycling.

„ Residents would be liaised with to ensure they had sufficient capacity to recycle.

„ A series of 20 roadshows would be delivered across the Borough to publicise the new side waste enforcement policy and promote recycling.


„ Promotional materials would be designed and distributed to households.

Councillor M. Holland returned to the meeting at this juncture.

„ The Executive Member concluded by outlining the risk and staffing implications outlined in Paragraphs 3 and 5 of the report.

The Corporate Director Regeneration and Community Services advised that there were two stages to the extensive communication and engagement programme i.e. work would be undertaken in advance and following the implementation of the policy. The feedback that had been received from the roadshows had been generally positive.

Members were then given the opportunity to comment/raise questions in respect of the report.

A Member expressed the following points/concerns:-

„ The volume of vehicles queuing outside the New Vale Site at weekends was causing chaos and affecting businesses. It was noted that customers had to walk to one particular store because of the volume of traffic queuing and blocking the store's entrance.

„ The opening hours of New Vale Site should be extended to open at 8.00 a.m. during the winter months to accommodate those people who worked and were unable to visit the site during the daytime.

The Executive Member - Environment advised that those companies who were located at the site were taking a proactive approach and had been erecting barriers across entrances to address the issue. It was noted that a traffic management plan had been developed for the site to address this issue but this plan was pending approval.

Upon a vote being taken it was unanimously,

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and

- the communication, marketing and community engagement activity planned prior to and during the implementation of the revised Waste policies be recognised; and

- the implementation of the revised Waste policies would begin on the 11th June, 2018 to enable the Waste Service to be suitably resourced and fully prepared.

Agreed
26. WEBCASTING OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS
Report (495K/bytes)
Appendix 2 (105K/bytes)

The joint report of the Head of Governance and Partnerships (designated Head of Democratic Services) and Corporate Performance Manager was submitted for consideration.

The Chair of the Democratic Services Committee proposed that Option 1 be endorsed.

Upon a vote being taken it was unanimously,

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and Option 1 be endorsed, namely that the development of a business case for the provision of webcasting and for it to be presented to a future meeting of the Democratic Services Committee to recommend to Council be approved.

Agreed
27. DEMOCRATIC ARRANGEMENTS PROGRESS REPORT
Report (443K/bytes)
Appendix 2 (478K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the report of the Corporate Performance Manager.

The Chair of the Democratic Services Committee proposed that Option 1 be endorsed.

Upon a vote being taken it was unanimously,

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and Option 1 be endorsed, namely that the information included within the Democratic Arrangements Performance Report be noted.

Agreed
28. REPORT OF THE INDEPENDENT REMUNERATION PANEL FOR WALES 2018/19
Report (44K/bytes)
Appendix (799K/bytes)

Members considered the report of the Head of Financial Services and Head of Exchequer.

The Chair of the Democratic Services Committee commended the report.

Upon a vote being taken it was unanimously,

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and

„ the determinations within the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales report 2018/19 be noted; and

„ the following preferred option for the publication of the costs of care be agreed:-

- reporting the total amount reimbursed by the Authority during the year but not attributed to any named Member.

Agreed
29. APPOINTMENT OF ELECTORAL REGISTRATION OFFICER
Report (482K/bytes)

The report of the Head of Legal & Corporate Compliance was submitted for consideration.

Upon a vote being taken it was unanimously,

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and

- the current appointment of Electoral Registration Officer (being the Head of Legal & Corporate Compliance) be revoked; and

- the Managing Director Michelle Morris be appointed as the Electoral Registration Officer for Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, as from the date of Council approval.

Rhian Hayden, the Head of Financial Services left the meeting at this juncture.

Agreed
30. MEMBERSHIPS
Report (175K/bytes)

Consideration was given to:-

Advisory Panel for the Appointment of Local Authority Governors

The following recommendations were made by the Panel on 25th April, 2018 to appoint:-

Councillor Joanne Collins - Abertillery 3-16 Learning Community
Councillor Keri Rowson - Coed-y-Garn Primary School
Mrs Amanda Hulbert - Deighton Primary School
Mrs Angela Davies - St. Mary's R.C. Primary School
Mrs. Gina Taylor - Ebbw Fawr 3-16 Learning Community

Upon a vote being taken it was unanimously,

RESOLVED that the above appointments be endorsed.

The Executive Member - Education advised that there were currently 7 Local Authority School Governor vacancies but this number did not include vacancies that would arise as a result of renewals during the year. It was noted that the majority of the vacancies were within the Brynmawr and Abertillery clusters and a current list of appointments together with the details of the vacant positions would be forwarded to Members.

The following additional membership was reported:-

Gwent Joint Records Committee

To appoint a substitute for the Executive Member - Social Services on the above Committee.

Upon a vote being taken it was unanimously,

RESOLVED that Councillor Jonathon Millard be appointed to replace the Executive Member - Social Services on the Gwent Joint Records Committee.

Agreed
TO RECEIVE AND CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING REPORT(S) WHICH IN THE OPINION OF THE PROPER OFFICER IS/ARE AN EXEMPT ITEM(S) TAKING INTO ACCOUNT CONSIDERATION OF THE PUBLIC INTEREST TEST AND THAT THE PRESS AND PUBLIC SHOULD BE EXCLUDED FROM THE MEETING (THE REASON FOR THE DECISION FOR THE EXEMPTION IS AVAILABLE ON A SCHEDULE MAINTAINED BY THE PROPER OFFICER)
31. SHORTLISTING - JNC OFFICERS
Report - Chief Officers Resources & Commercial (135K/bytes)
Report - Head of Adult Services (130K/bytes)
Report - Head of Regeneration (130K/bytes)
Report - Head of Community Services (130K/bytes)

Having regard to the views expressed by the Proper Officer regarding the public interest test, that on balance the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information and that the report should be exempt.

RESOLVED that the public be excluded whilst this item of business is transacted as it is likely there would be a disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 12 & 13 Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act, 1972 (as amended).

Consideration was given to the reports of the meetings held on 13th April, 2018.


Upon a vote being taken it was unanimously,

RESOLVED that the reports which related to staffing matters be accepted and the decisions contained therein be noted.

Agreed