Meeting documents

Ordinary Meeting of the Council
Thursday, 19th July, 2018 10.30 am

Date: Thursday 19th July 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 M. MOORE (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 (191K/bytes)
Noted
2. SIMULTAENOUS TRANSLATION

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

Noted
3. APOLOGIES

Apologies for absence were received from: -

Councillors P. Baldwin, L. Elias, J. Holt, J. E. Mason, T. Sharrem and G. Thomas.

Noted
4. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND DISPENSATIONS

The following declarations of interest were reported:-

Rhian Hayden - Head of Financial Services
Item No. 36: Shortlisting - JNC Officers
Item No. 38: Appointments Committee - JNC Officers

Noted
5. CHAIR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

Congratulations

Congratulations were extended to:-

„ Alison Pugh of Blaina who had been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to haematology and cancer care. Alison was a well-respected nurse who had developed the ground-breaking role of Clinical Nurse Manager in Haematology Services in the Health Board which involved clinically managing 3 separate haematological clinical units across the organisation. Through this innovative role Alison had to apply her specialist haematology knowledge to plan and deliver change through new patient centred services.

„ Mrs. Margaret Davies of Gilwern who would be retiring from her role in October 2018 as an accompanist with the Beaufort Male Choir after more than 50 years of dedicated service. In her role, Margaret had accompanied many soloists as well as Cor Meibion Gwent on their overseas tours. She had been an inspiring piano teacher to hundreds of young people. Margaret had been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for her services to music and the community 5 years ago.

RESOLVED that appropriate letters be sent.

Chair's Appeal 2018/2019

„ The Chair advised that her chosen charities for the forthcoming year would be:-

The National Autistic Society Blaenau Gwent Branch & One Life Autism Support Group - both organisations provided support, advice and information for people with autism.

Noted
6. MINUTE BOOK - APRIL - JULY 2018

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

A Member advised that he had made several corrections to the Education & Learning Scrutiny Committee Minutes - 18th June, 2018 and the Environment, Regeneration and Economic Development Scrutiny Committee Minutes - 21st June, 2018 and suggested that the Council minutes be corrected in accordance with the amendments made at these meetings. This course of action was agreed accordingly.

Education & Learning Scrutiny Committee - 18th June, 2018


Item No. 6 - Action Sheet (Pen-y-Cwm School Visit)


A Member had referred to the visit to Pen-y-Cwm School and said he had commented that the reverberation in the school hall was causing a concern for some pupils.


Another Member said that he had requested information regarding school meals and catering contracts.


In response the Chair confirmed that there were discussions ongoing across the school estate regarding their participation in the school meals contract, and the Head of Education Transformation would be submitting a report in due course.


The Head of Education Transformation confirmed that the corporate SLA group were working very closely with schools. There were a number of SLA's up for review from April 2019 across the whole of the school estate, and this review would include catering and cleaning.


Item No. 7 - Home to School and Post 16 Transport Policy: Consultation


A Member referred to the 5th paragraph on page 7 of the minutes 'A Member raised two questions', and said he had commented that two Task and Finish Groups had been established previously and both decided not to proceed. He had also asked whether the money spent on the Home to School and Post 16 Transport review was value for money.


Item No. 8 - ICT Infrastructure and Connectivity in Schools


A Member said he had asked that progress of Abertillery Learning Community be reported back, and the Corporate Director of Education confirmed that this would be reported via the School Improvement Programme report.

Environment, Regeneration & Economic Development Scrutiny Committee - 21st June, 2018

Item No. 6 - Action Sheet: Targeted Regeneration Investment Programme Update

A Member requested amendments be made on page 9, second paragraph under the heading "Targeted Regeneration Investment Programme Update", the word "could" be changed to "should". The update report regarding outputs, outcomes and funding Blaenau Gwent had received should read "over the last 10 years". The last sentence should read "the Officer requested that the reports be built into the Forward Work Programme".

Side Waste Enforcement Update

The Chair had referred to Page 17 of the Minutes - Side Waste Enforcement and requested that it be noted that the Minute "He thereupon referred to the Side Waste Enforcement and stated …" was a question that had been asked to officers not a statement from the Chair.

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

Agreed
7. ANNUAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL
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Cofnodion (453K/bytes)
Agreed
8. ORDINARY MEETING OF THE COUNCIL
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Agreed
9. PLANNING COMMITTEE
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Agreed
10. GENERAL LICENSING COMMITTEE
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Cofnodion (79K/bytes)
Agreed
11. STATUTORY LICENSING COMMITTEE
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Cofnodion (88K/bytes)
Agreed
12. PLANNING COMMITTEE
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Agreed
13. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
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Agreed
14. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
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Agreed
15. SOCIAL SERVICES SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
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Cofnodion (258K/bytes)
Agreed
16. ENVIRONMENT, REGENERATION & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
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Cofnodion (113K/bytes)
Agreed
17. EDUCATION & LEARNING SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
Minutes (278K/bytes)
Cofnodion (219K/bytes)
Agreed
18. JOINT EDUCATION & LEARNING AND SOCIAL SERVICES SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (SAFEGUARDING)
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Agreed
19. DEMOCRATIC SERVICES COMMITTEE
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Agreed
20. AUDIT COMMITTEE
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Agreed
21. EDUCATION & LEARNING SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
Minutes (287K/bytes)
Cofnodion (230K/bytes)

Item No. 6 - Action Sheet (Pen-y-Cwm School Visit)


A Member had referred to the visit to Pen-y-Cwm School and said he had commented that the reverberation in the school hall was causing a concern for some pupils.


Another Member said that he had requested information regarding school meals and catering contracts.
In response the Chair confirmed that there were discussions ongoing across the school estate regarding their participation in the school meals contract, and the Head of Education Transformation would be submitting a report in due course.


The Head of Education Transformation confirmed that the corporate SLA group were working very closely with schools. There were a number of SLA's up for review from April 2019 across the whole of the school estate, and this review would include catering and cleaning.


Item No. 7 - Home to School and Post 16 Transport Policy: Consultation


A Member referred to the 5th paragraph on page 7 of the minutes 'A Member raised two questions', and said he had commented that two Task and Finish Groups had been established previously and both decided not to proceed. He had also asked whether the money spent on the Home to School and Post 16 Transport review was value for money.


Item No. 8 - ICT Infrastructure and Connectivity in Schools


A Member said he had asked that progress of Abertillery Learning Community be reported back, and the Corporate Director of Education confirmed that this would be reported via the School Improvement Programme report.

Agreed
22. SPECIAL SOCIAL SERVICES SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
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Agreed
23. ENVIRONMENT, REGENERATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
Minutes (195K/bytes)
Cofnodion (193K/bytes)

Item No. 6 - Action Sheet: Targeted Regeneration Investment Programme Update

A Member requested amendments be made on page 9, second paragraph under the heading "Targeted Regeneration Investment Programme Update", the word "could" be changed to "should". The update report regarding outputs, outcomes and funding Blaenau Gwent had received should read "over the last 10 years". The last sentence should read "the Officer requested that the reports be built into the Forward Work Programme".

Side Waste Enforcement Update

The Chair had referred to Page 17 of the Minutes - Side Waste Enforcement and requested that it be noted that the Minute "He thereupon referred to the Side Waste Enforcement and stated …" was a question that had been asked to officers not a statement from the Chair.

Agreed
24. CORPORATE OVERVIEW SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
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Agreed
25. DEMOCRATIC SERVICES COMMITTEE
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Cofnodion (158K/bytes)
Agreed
26. MEMBERS QUESTIONS

There were no questions submitted by Members

Noted
27. PUBLIC QUESTIONS

There were no questions submitted by members of the public.

Noted
28. TIME OF FUTURE COUNCIL MEETINGS

The Leader of the Council proposed that the status quo remain, i.e. that future meetings of Council commence at 10.30 a.m.

The Leader of the Labour Group proposed the following amendment, i.e. that the time of future Council meetings commence at 9.30 a.m.

Both the above proposals were seconded.

Following a discussion, the Leader of Labour Group agreed to withdraw his amendment pending discussions with the Leader of the Council. In the interim it was, therefore,

RESOLVED, pending discussions between Group Leaders, that meetings of Council would commence at 10.30 a.m.

Agreed
29. PROPOSED COUNCIL FORWARD WORK PROGRAMME 2018/19
Report (241K/bytes)
Appendix (281K/bytes)

Members considered the report of the Corporate Performance Manager.

The Leader of the Council advised that the Council Forward Work Programme had been presented for approval. It was noted that as with any work programme this was a fluid document with flexibility to allow for regular review. The Leader concluded by proposing that the document be endorsed.

Upon a vote being taken, it was unanimously

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and Option 1 be endorsed, namely that the Council Forward Work Programme for 2018/19 be agreed.

Agreed
30. CARDIFF CAPITAL REGION CITY DEAL - JOINT OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
Report (287K/bytes)
Appendix A (281K/bytes)
Appendix B (63K/bytes)
Appendix B2 (213K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the report of the Managing Director.

The Leader of the Council in commending the report advised that the purpose of the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal (CCRCD) Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee was to enable Members to be kept up to date with the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal developments and ensure that the decisions made by the Cardiff City Region Cabinet were robustly scrutinised.


The appendices attached to the report detailed the draft terms of reference for the Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee and it would be a matter in the first instance for this Committee to agree these terms of reference and/or amend if it was felt appropriate. It was noted that the Chair of Blaenau Gwent's Environment, Regeneration & Economic Development Scrutiny had been appointed to attend the CCRCD Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee meetings.

The Leader of the Council concluded by proposing that the recommendations be endorsed. This proposal was seconded.

The Leader of the Labour Group commented as follows:-

„ It was always the intention that a scrutiny function would be introduced and form part of the CCRCD arrangements.

„ The Member appointment on the CCR Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee was noted. However, it was crucial that the representative provided feedback to the other Scrutiny Members on the work of the Committee and this interaction needed a formalised approach.

„ Concern was expressed regarding the timeliness of published minutes on the City Deal website.

The Leader of the Council agreed with the comments made and pointed out that there was already some level of provision available i.e. the City Deal papers were available for reference. With regard to feedback arrangements for the Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee, he was aware that Blaenau Gwent's representative together with the other 9 Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee were keen to develop and progress a reporting mechanism for this purpose.

It was also noted that reports would be received, with the higher level reports being submitted to Council for consideration. In addition, Blaenau Gwent's representative would be able to raise issues on behalf of Council at the Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee and this also applied to issues being raised by the Committee being referred back to Councils for consideration. This mechanism, however, would need to be as open (also from a political perspective) and transparent as possible.

With regard to the timeliness of published minutes, the Leader of the Council confirmed as part of the Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee arrangements, a dedicated resource would be provided to Bridgend County Borough Council to support this process and it was anticipated that this would resolve this particular issue.

Upon a vote being taken, it was unanimously

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

„ the recommendations on the suitability of establishing a Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee (JOSC) for the CCRCD be approved. It was noted that this was a decision for each of the ten authorities if they wished to establish the proposed JOSC; and

„ the draft terms of reference for the CCRCD JOSC be reviewed (once it was formed) on its appropriateness and what if any improvements could be made be reviewed.

Agreed
31. CONSTITUTION AMENDMENTS
Report (274K/bytes)
Appendix 1 (19K/bytes)
Appendix 2 (200K/bytes)
Appendix 3 (4M/bytes)

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

Notice Period for Members Questions - for clarification, the Head of Legal & Corporate Compliance advised that the notice period for Members to submit questions was '3 working days'. Submission of questions was, therefore, required by 5.00 p.m. on the Monday prior to the Council Meeting which was scheduled to be held on the Thursday.

Upon a vote being taken, it was unanimously,

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and Option 3.1 be endorsed, namely that the revised Constitution be approved.

Agreed
32. MEMBER DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
Report (334K/bytes)
Appendix (451K/bytes)

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

The Chair of the Democratic Services Committee advised that the Member Development Strategy was an integral part of the way forward for the Council in the future. He concluded by commending the work of officers who had produced the Strategy on behalf of Members.

Upon a vote being taken it was unanimously,

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and Option 1 be endorsed, namely that Member Development Strategy 2018 - 2022 including the amendment made by the Democratic Services Committee be approved.

Agreed
33. STATEMENT OF PAYMENTS MADE TO MEMBERS IN 2017/18
Report (400K/bytes)
Appendix (89K/bytes)

The report of the Chief Finance Officer was submitted for consideration, whereupon:-

Gwent Police & Crime Panel

A Police & Crime Panel Member questioned the level of remuneration paid to Panel Members and said in her opinion the specified figure was too low.

Prior to the publication of the information, the Head of Financial Services undertook to clarify with the Police & Crime Commissioner, the level of paid remuneration of Panel Members.

Upon a vote being taken, it was unanimously

RESOLVED, subject to clarification being sought as outlined above, that the report be accepted and Option 1 be endorsed, namely that the Statement of Payments made to Members during 2017/18 be published in order to comply with relevant legislation.

Agreed
34. SCHEDULE OF MEMBERS REMUNERATION 2018/19
Report (395K/bytes)
Appendix (131K/bytes)

The Council considered the report of the Chief Finance Officer.

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

Silent Valley Board Members

The Leader of the Labour Group said that in the interests of openness ad transparency the two remunerated Board Member appointments to the Silent Valley Board should be incorporated within the Members Remuneration Schedule for 2018/19.

It was noted that this course of action had been agreed by the Democratic Services Committee.

Upon a vote being taken, it was unanimously,

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and Option 1 be endorsed, namely that the Schedule of Members Remuneration for 2018/19 be agreed and published.

Councillor G. L. Davies left the meeting at this juncture.

Agreed
35. COMMUNITY ASSET TRANSFER REVIEW AND UPDATED POLICY
Report (437K/bytes)
Appendix 1 (2M/bytes)
Appendix 2 (207K/bytes)
Appendix 3 (564K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the report of Corporate Director of Regeneration and Community Services.

The Executive Member - Environment spoke briefly to the report which proposed revisions to the Council's Community Asset Transfer Policy. It was noted that the original policy had been approved in September 2012.

Upon a vote being taken, it was unanimously

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and Option 1 be endorsed, namely that the 2018 Community Asset Transfer Policy be approved.

The Head of Financial Services left the meeting at this juncture.

Agreed
36. ANNUAL REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL SERVICES 2017/18
Report (256K/bytes)
Appendix 1 (5M/bytes)
Appendix 2 (82K/bytes)

The report of the Corporate Director of Social Services was submitted for consideration.

In the absence of the Executive Member - Social Services, the Leader of the Council advised that the report was the culmination of four quarterly reports produced throughout the course of the year. It was noted that the Annual Report of the Director of Social Services was monitored and scrutinised by the Social Services Scrutiny Committee and was also considered by the Executive Committee. Both Committees had endorsed this report at their June meetings.

The Leader of the Council proposed that the report be endorsed. This proposal was seconded.

Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) - Inspection

The Leader of the Labour Group referred to the CIW inspection which had taken place during February 2018 of which Children's safeguarding had been a theme and questioned the reason why this critical report had not been included on the Council agenda or as part of the Council's Forward Work Programme.

He expressed his concern that:-

- This major report had argued that the looked after children service was unsustainable in Blaenau Gwent and the service was currently reporting over 1 million overspend. This cost pressure alone should be an area for Council to consider.

- 27th June, 2018 - the Leader of the Labour Group in his capacity as the Chair of the Social Services Scrutiny Committee had attended the Executive Committee and had highlighted the importance of ensuring sufficient capacity within the Safeguarding Team, particularly in the run-up and preparation for the Estyn Inspection in the autumn.

- 29th June, 2018 - the CIW inspection report had been published in the local press - it was noted that this report had been available on the CIW website. Positive comments had been included within the inspection report regarding staff working within the service and the stability of the management group.

- Members had not been provided with a copy of the inspection report. The headline alone that the looked after children service was unsustainable in Blaenau Gwent should have been a warning note - this was one of the most vulnerable groups in the community and the authority had a duty to look after these children.

The Leader of the Labour Group said that given the contents of this report it should have been prominently highlighted and concluded by stating that he was disgusted that the report had not been circulated Members upon its publication.

The Corporate Director of Social Services confirmed that the inspection report had been published on the CIW website on the 27th June, 2018. Due to the timing of the publication, it had not been possible to report to the Social Services Scrutiny Committee, however, it was the intention to submit the report to the September meeting for consideration. In addition, as was the usual practice representatives of the CIW would be invited to present their findings to the Council Meeting which was scheduled to be held in November.

With regard to the report itself, some aspects of the self-evaluation information had indicated that the service was not financially sustainable in terms of the numbers of look after children coming through the system and in terms of staffing at that point in time. To mitigate and address this pressure, a 3 year strategy had been developed and an additional team established, the benefits of which, it was anticipated should come to fruition in the coming months and years.

The Leader of the Labour Group pointed out that this should not have prevented the Council from publishing the report and providing copies to Members at the time it had been published in its draft format.

Another Member pointed out that a Special Meeting of the Social Services Scrutiny Committee should have been convened to discuss the CIW inspection report.

Children's Responses

A Member referred to Page 4 of the Annual Report and expressed his concern that the 16% response rate fell short of Welsh Government's expected response rate and questioned the reason for the low response rate and what, if any measures the department were implementing to rectify this matter.

The Corporate Director of Social Services commenced by advising that the report had been developed in line with the Social Services & Well Being (Wales) Act 2014. He continued by advising that concern had been expressed regarding the return rate of children's questionnaires as a high response rate was not anticipated via this methodology and alternative mechanisms for collecting this information had been suggested to Welsh Government.

It was noted that similar responses had been received from other local authorities and it had been suggested that whilst a review of performance indicators was undertaken, consideration should be given to investigating alternative ways of finding and obtaining this type of information.

In reply to a question, the Corporate Director of Social Services stated that one of the solutions that had been suggested to Welsh Government was to obtain this information on an all Wales basis via NYAS the National Youth Advocacy Service - an advocacy agency for children. The Corporate Director concluded by stating that alternatives methods were being explored with the intention to achieve a higher response rate - this information would then be used to drive services forward in future years.

Upon a vote being taken, it was unanimously

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and Option 1 be endorsed, namely that the Annual Report of the Director of Social Services 2017/18 be approved.

Agreed
37. MEMBERSHIPS
Report (234K/bytes)

Consideration was given to:-

CSC (Compound Semi-Conductor) Board (part of IQE investment through City Deal)

RESOLVED that the appointment of the Executive Member - Regeneration & Economic Development, Councillor D. Davies on the above board be noted.

FURTHER RESOLVED that the Executive Member - Corporate Services, Councillor N. Daniels be appointed as an additional Board Member.

Advisory Panel for the Appointment of Local Authority Governors

The following recommendations were made by the Panel on 28th June, 2018 to appoint:-

Mr. Ken Jones (re-appointment) - Coed-y-Garn Primary School
Mr. Andrew Pearsall (re-appointment) - Tredegar Comprehensive School
Councillor John Hill - Brynmawr Foundation School

The Executive Member - Education advised that a list of school governor vacancies would be placed in Members' pigeon holes.

The Leader of the Council verbally reported the following additional memberships that had been received since the preparation of the report.

Cardiff Capital Region City Deal - Regional Scrutiny Committee

Consideration was given to appointing a substitute representative to attend meetings in the absence of the Chair of Environment, Regeneration & Economic Development Scrutiny Committee.

RESOLVED that the Vice-Chair of Environment, Regeneration & Economic Development Scrutiny Committee be appointed as a substitute representative for the above Regional Scrutiny Committee.

Aneurin Bevan Community Health Council - Local Committee

To appoint a representative to replace Councillor L. Elias on the Community Health Council.

No nominations were submitted at this juncture. The Leader of the Labour Group advised that he would discuss the vacancy with Group Members and would report back to the next meeting.

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)
38. SHORTLISTING - JNC OFFICERS
Report (130K/bytes)

The Head of Financial Services declared an interest in Item Nos. 36 & 38 but had left the meeting prior to consideration of these reports.

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 report of the meeting held on 13th June, 2018.

Upon a vote being taken it was unanimously,

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

Agreed
39. APPOINTMENTS COMMITTEE - JNC OFFICERS
Report (68K/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 report of the meeting held on 27th June, 2018.

Upon a vote being taken it was unanimously,

RESOLVED that the report which related to staffing matters be accepted and

„ the post of Chief Officer Commercial be offered to Mrs. Frances Williams.

Agreed
40. APPOINTMENTS COMMITTEE - JNC OFFICERS
Report (132K/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 report of the meeting held on 5th July, 2018.

Upon a vote being taken it was unanimously,

RESOLVED that the report which related to staffing matters be accepted and

„ the post be not appointed to on a permanent basis at this stage; and

„ the post of Chief Officer Resources be offered to Rhian Hayden until 31st March, 2019; and at that point there would be a decision regarding arrangements going forward.

Agreed