Meeting documents

Ordinary Meeting of the Council
Thursday, 13th September, 2018 10.30 am

Date: Thursday 13th September 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 (182K/bytes)
Noted
2. SIMULTANEOUS 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 K. Hayden, W. Hodgins, M. Holland, L. Parsons, T. Sharrem, B. Thomas, G. Thomas and the Chief Officer Resources.

Noted
4. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND DISPENSATIONS

There were no declarations of interest or dispensations reported.

Noted
5. CHAIR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

Congratulations were extended to:-

„ Mr Stewart James from Cwm who had won the World Championship in senior weightlifting (over 55 years). Stewart had won the world title in Malta in July and in doing so had set a new world record beating the Russian and German competitors into second and third places and the former champion from France into fourth place.

„ Ebbw Vale Junior Cricket Club who had played a junior touring academy from India on 30th August, 2018. This match was played between Ebbw Vale under 15's and the touring academy. Ebbw Vale won the game chasing 156 runs for victory in a 35 over game.

This had been an excellent experience for the junior side who had entertained a fair crowd at one of Wales' best cricket venues. Congratulations were extended to the team and the back room staff for hosting the event.

RESOLVED that appropriate letters be sent.

Noted
6. MINUTE BOOK - JULY 2018

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

Special Statutory Licensing Committee & Special General Licensing Committee - 18th July, 2018

It was noted that Councillor Stewart Healy had been in attendance at the above-named Committees.


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 (288K/bytes)
Cofnodion (277K/bytes)
Agreed
8. PLANNING COMMITTEE
Minutes (210K/bytes)
Cofnodion (164K/bytes)
Agreed
9. STATUTORY LICENSING COMMITTEE
Minutes (126K/bytes)
Cofnodion (124K/bytes)

It was noted that Councillor Stewart Healy had been in attendance at this meeting.

Agreed
10. SPECIAL GENERAL LICENSING COMMITTEE
Minutes (80K/bytes)
Cofnodion (80K/bytes)

It was noted that Councillor Stewart Healy had been in attendance at this meeting.

Agreed
11. SPECIAL STATUTORY LICENSING COMMITTEE
Minutes (82K/bytes)
Cofnodion (82K/bytes)
Agreed
12. GENERAL LICENSING COMMITTEE
Minutes (88K/bytes)
Cofnodion (87K/bytes)
Agreed
13. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Minutes (259K/bytes)
Cofnodion (258K/bytes)
Agreed
14. EDUCATION & LEARNING SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
Minutes (336K/bytes)
Cofnodion (136K/bytes)
Agreed
15. ENVIRONMENT, REGENERATION & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
Minutes (184K/bytes)
Cofnodion (124K/bytes)
Agreed
16. CORPORATE OVERVIEW SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
Minutes (175K/bytes)
Cofnodion (115K/bytes)
Agreed
17. AUDIT COMMITTEE
Minutes (285K/bytes)
Cofnodion (130K/bytes)
Agreed
18. SOCIAL SERVICES SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
Minutes (268K/bytes)
Cofnodion (206K/bytes)
Agreed
19. MEMBERS QUESTIONS

There were no questions submitted by Members

Noted
20. PUBLIC QUESTIONS

Mr. Ivor Beynon directed the following question to the Executive Member - Environment:-

Question:

"I have had a number of community groups, sporting clubs and local charities contacting me about Blaenau Gwent Council advising that they had been invited to meetings about changing financial arrangements.

My concern is that these meetings have no agenda, have no minutes and are not open and transparent.

I would like to know what is Blaenau Gwent Council's official way of dealing with this and please could this information be passed onto all community groups, sporting clubs and charities in our local area".

Response:

The Executive Member - Environment, Councillor Garth Collier responded as follows:-

- The Council had an active CAT programme for a number of years which had enabled many groups to take control of buildings and land and to continue to run them and to seek funding for investment into the facilities. Often this would be funding from sources which the Borough Council was unable to access.

- Following a Council decision, letters were sent to all primary sports facilities users setting out the Council's position and asking them to arrange to meet with Council representatives.

- These meetings were arranged at times to suit the clubs - mostly late afternoon and evening - with the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council together with relevant officers.

- Since then follow up meetings have taken place, sometimes with senior politicians and sometimes with relevant officers to discuss how organisations could take forward the transfer of their facilities.

- The CAT process and dialogue was intended to ensure that clubs and organisations taking on property and land were advised and set up in the best way to take on the facilities.

- The Council worked with a range of third sector support organisations to ensure that advice and help was available to assist groups in developing proposals and looking at the issues, problems and costs of taking on facilities. The Council also made available cost information for the relevant buildings and land as well as servicing and utility data.

- The Council had a small budget to undertake repairs and improvements to prospective transfer properties and any club or group seeking to take on a facility was asked to identify the key areas of concern that would stop a transfer taking place.


Supplementary Question:

Mr. Beynon directed the following supplementary question to the Executive Member - Environment:-

"Did the Council have any plans for a future event to bring all community groups, sporting clubs and charities together to share good practice and a vision moving forward?"

He added that it appeared that groups had been treated in different ways and a future event would ensure that there was a greater consistency of information provided.

Response:

The Executive Member - Environment, Councillor Garth Collier responded as follows:-

Both the Leader and Deputy Leader had met with 39 different organisations and where there were situations where a number of groups shared grounds, both individual and joint meetings were held with those groups. The Executive Member gave an example of Ebbw Vale Welfare Ground where this dialogue was still on-going.

The Executive Member said that dialogue was welcomed and it was disappointing to hear that groups had felt that inconsistent information had been provided. He concluded by advising that the Leadership had provided a very consistent message in all meetings they had attended.

Agreed
21. REPLACEMENT - LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN - DELIVERY AGREEMENT
Report (529K/bytes)
Appendix 1 (2M/bytes)
Appendix 2 (949K/bytes)
Appendix 3 (859K/bytes)
Appendix 4 (2M/bytes)
Appendix 5 (934K/bytes)
Appendix 6 (91K/bytes)
Appendix 7 (216K/bytes)

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


The Executive Member - Regeneration & Economic Development commenced by expressing his appreciation to officers for compiling such a comprehensive report. Also appreciation was expressed to the Leader and Deputy Leader for the approaches that had been made to obtain clarification in respect of the way forward for the Local Development Plan (LDP).

It was noted that the LDP Delivery Agreement had been approved by the Environment, Regeneration and Economic Development Scrutiny Committee on 12th September, 2018.

The Executive Member, thereupon, spoke to the report and highlighted the following salient points:-

„ On 11th January, 2018 the Council had agreed to undertake a full review of the Blaenau Gwent Local Development Plan (LDP) through the full revision process. This report had been agreed subject to the delivery agreement being approved by Council (this document was attached for Members consideration).

„ The key milestones for delivery of the LDP were set out in paragraph 2.15 of the report.

„ Welsh Government had put forward a proposal for formal collaboration with Blaenau Gwent, Newport, Torfaen and Monmouthshire. However, across Wales a number of authorities had already commenced work on their individual LDP's.

„ Although it was the intention that Blaenau Gwent would prepare an individual LDP, this did not mean that there would no collaboration within the next 4/5 years. It was noted that the cost of preparing a replacement LDP was in excess of 250,000.


„ Collaborative work would be undertaken in respect of the compilation of the LDP with Torfaen and Monmouthshire County Borough Councils. It was the intention to work on a regional basis on the evidence base with these two authorities on commissioning studies (this was where savings could be made and resources and knowledge shared).

„ It was noted that the major cost incurred for the LDP was over the 2 week review during which time the inspector formally reviewed the LDP. However, there was a possibility that this cost could reduce if fewer inspection hours were required.

The Executive Member concluded by stating that Option 1 was the preferred option and if agreed, work would commence on the review and progress reports would be submitted via the democratic process to the relevant Council and Committee meetings.

The Leader of the Labour Group pointed out that the Strategic Development Plan (SDP) was crucial for Blaenau Gwent because it would be the only way that the authority would be able to secure capital region funding to deliver schemes for Blaenau Gwent e.g. housing.

The Leader of the Labour Group continued, however, by criticising the length of time (until May 2018) it had taken to request a political meeting with the Minister. He explained that this particular Minister had been extremely helpful to Blaenau Gwent over the last few years and she should have been contacted in December when the authority was aware that the provision of a replacement LDP would be difficult and costly to produce. He added that there was a degree of frustration from the Minister's perspective because whilst authorities had been invited to prepare plans, work to date had not yet progressed.


The Executive Member advised that there had been considerable debate across the region which had caused a delay, however, he pointed out that approaches had been made to the Minister by all Leaders from the Cardiff Capital Region.

The Leader of the Council said that discussions had taken place at the Cardiff City Region to reach a mutual position regarding LDP's and SDP's. It was noted that two meetings had already taken place to discuss the SDP and a third meeting was pending to discuss legal matters.

The Minister had invited Newport, Torfaen, Monmouthshire and Blaenau Gwent Council's to hold discussions and submit a case to the Minister.

Councillor Martin Cook joined the meeting at this juncture.

Therefore, with regard to a Ministerial meeting he had not felt inclined to request a meeting during December as the outcome of the discussions with the Leaders of Torfaen, Newport and Monmouthshire Councils were awaited and discussions were taking place to reach a consensus across the board in the Cardiff City Region. It was noted that albeit the SDP and LDP would be running parallel to one another this matter had taken an inordinate amount of discussion.

A Member requested in future to assist those Members who used laptops at meetings if reference could be made to paragraph numbers rather than page numbers within the reports.

It was proposed and seconded 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 Delivery Agreement be agreed for the preparation of the replacement Local Development Plan.

Agreed
22. BRECON BEACONS NATIONAL PARK AUTHORITY
Report (95K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the report produced by Councillor John Hill, the Council's appointed representative on the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority.

The Leader of the Labour Group welcomed the report and expressed his appreciation to the Member for this useful information. He added that he hoped that this practice would continue.

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and the information contained therein be noted.

Agreed
23. MEMBERSHIPS
Report (291K/bytes)

Consideration was given to:-

Aneurin Bevan Community Health Council - Local Committee

Appointment of a representative to replace Councillor L. Elias on the above Committee.

RESOLVED that Councillor Mandy Moore be appointed to replace Councillor Elias on the above Committee.


Tai Calon Board

- The recent reduction in local authority membership on the above Board from 3 to 2 Members be noted.

- In order to accommodate this reduction in Board numbers it be noted that Councillor Bob Summers would no longer be a representative on the Board.

Blaenau Gwent Enterprise Board

RESOLVED that the appointments of the Leader or Deputy Leader of the Council, Executive Member - Regeneration & Economic Development and the Corporate Director Regeneration & Community Services on the above Board be confirmed.

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

South Wales Fire Authority

Appointment of a representative to replace Councillor G. Thomas on the South Wales Fire Authority.

RESOLVED that Councillor Joanne Collins be appointed to replace Councillor Thomas on the South Wales Fire Authority.

In reply to a question raised, the Leader of the Council confirmed that meetings of the South Wales Fire Authority and Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee were held on different days.

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

Appointment of an additional substitute Board Member to replace the Executive Member - Corporate Services, Councillor Nigel Daniels.

Members were advised that at the July Meeting of the Council an additional substitute CSC Board Member had been appointed (Executive Member - Corporate Services, Councillor Nigel Daniels) in order to ensure that CSC meetings were always quorate. It was noted that the Executive Member - Regeneration & Economic Development, Councillor D. Davies was the main representative that had been appointed.

However, it had been highlighted that it would be more appropriate if the substitute Member was not also a member of the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal as this could result in a potential conflict of interest.

RESOLVED that the Executive Member - Environment, Councillor G. Collier be appointed to replace the Executive Member - Corporate Services, Councillor N. Daniels as the additional substitute Board Member on the CSC Board.

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)
24. SHORTLISTING - JNC OFFICERS
Report (129K/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 25th July, 2018.

Upon a vote being taken it was unanimously,

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

Agreed