Agenda and minutes

Special, Executive Committee
Wednesday, 8th July, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Virtually Via Microsoft Teams

Contact: Democratic Services  6011


No. Item


Simultaneous Translation

You are welcome to use Welsh at the meeting, a minimum notice period of 3 working days is required should you wish to do so.  A simultaneous translation will be provided if requested.


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




To receive.


An apology for absence was received from the Chief Officer Resources.



Declarations of Interest and Dispensations

To receive.


No declarations of interest or dispensations were reported.




Executive Committee pdf icon PDF 672 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 24th June, 2020.


The minutes of the Executive Committee held on 24th June, 2020 were submitted.


RESOLVED that the minutes be accepted as a true record of proceedings.


Decision Items - Environment Matters


Funding Options - Aberbeeg Road pdf icon PDF 425 KB

To consider the report of the Corporate Director Regeneration and Community Services.


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


The Executive Member for Environment presented the report which provided options for funding repairs to Aberbeeg Road.  Flooding in February caused damage to the road which resulted in the road being closed to all traffic.  However, the road was now open but restricted by means of traffic lights to one lane and assigned a 7.5 tonne weight limit.


She said Aberbeeg Road continued to be a strategic link for the Borough and following a meeting with the Heads of the Valley Road Contractor, they informed the Council that they intend to undertake a significant temporary traffic switch at Brynmawr as part of their ongoing works, and Aberbeeg Road was an intended diversion route.  As a result, the repairs needed to be undertaken as a matter of urgency.  Also the 7.5 tonne weight restriction was not being adhered to which risked further damage to the road.


The Executive Member then went through the options detailed within the report and the implications associated with each option.  She confirmed that the preferred option was Option 2.


She concluded that the call-in procedure as set out in the Council’s Constitution would not apply in this instance as the decision was urgent, and likely to be delayed by the call-in process.


The need to undertake repairs to Aberbeeg Road at the earliest time was in order to mitigate the impact associated with the diversion route planned for closure works on the Section 2 A465 at Brynmawr, commencing later this Summer, and prevent Heavy Goods Vehicles illegally using Aberbeeg Road.


The Leader of the Council referred to the financial element of the report and said he agreed with the preferred Option 2, which he felt provided sufficient time prior to July 2021 and commencement of works on the Big Arch.


In response the Executive Member for Regeneration & Economic Development said he also supported Option 2, and stressed the importance of Aberbeeg Road being fully open to support businesses and residents during the HoV works.  In terms of the Big Arch, this had been ongoing for some time, and he was confident that the allocated funding would come through, however, in the short term repairs to Aberbeeg Road was a priority. 


RESOLVED that the report be accepted and the Executive approve Option 2, namely to utilise the BGCBC Capital Programme Big Arch allocation (£1,000K) - An application to CADW for consent to undertake remedial works has been delayed and works can’t progress until consent is awarded resulting in actual works on site delayed until July 2021/22 at the earliest – the funding will be reviewed / reinstated prior to CADW approval and works on site. If Welsh Government subsequently agree the flood funding for the scheme then the £405k can then be ‘repaid’ to this capital allocation.



Joint Monitoring Item - Education & Environment Portfolios: Water Supply Quality in Schools pdf icon PDF 557 KB

To consider joint officers’ report.



Consideration was given to joint report of the Corporate Director Environment & Regeneration and the Interim Corporate Director of Education.


At the invitation of the Leader of the Council the Interim Corporate Director of Education presented the report which updated the Executive on the current position of the water supply quality issues in schools, following the announcement by Welsh Government that schools would reopen on 29th June, 2020.


He said the safety of our children and staff was the priority and of paramount importance in dealing with the school water supply issues, and it should also be recognised that the majority of the school water quality test results have indicated low levels of localised contamination, and this has been managed effectively and allowed a large proportion of schools to reopen as planned.


National Guidance in respect of COVID-19 resulted in schools being closed from Monday, 23rd March, however, some schools within the Borough remained open as childcare hubs for key workers and vulnerable learners.  Following the Welsh Government announcement on 3rd June that schools were to reopen on 29th June, risks to the water supplies from the unprecedented period of closure, along with low water usage within schools was identified.  A water hygiene testing regime was immediately introduced to check the water quality within schools prior to allowing the schools to reopen.  Bearing in mind the timing of the WG announcement on 3rd June, meant that Council’s effectively had three weeks to prepare for schools to reopen.  This timescale was extremely challenging given that testing of the water systems for levels of Total Viable Count (TVC) and/or Legionella contamination were required.


Section 2.2 of the report stated that the Council had taken a very pro-active and responsible approach to school reopening from a health and safety perspective, including water testing.  Further to the WG announcement on 3rd June that schools were to reopen on 29th June, the Council’s resources were mobilised immediately.  A plan was established and contractors commenced sampling/testing on 9th June.  A programme of sampling/testing was agreed with the Council’s water hygiene contractor to visit all schools as soon as possible, and the final school samples were collected on 18th June.


Of the 29 school sites sampled/tested, the large majority of sites identified varying elevated levels of TVC bacteria contamination, ranging from localised contamination to full system contamination.  Localised contamination e.g. a tap outlet could be dealt with by flushing disinfecting and pasteurising, and a full system contamination required chlorination.  Six schools were identified with full system TVC contamination, and these were highlighted in Section 2.4.1 of the report.


These schools required chlorination of their water systems, and in order to mitigate the situation, 26 portable hand washing units were purchased and bottled water was made available for drinking purposes, and this pro-active action allowed the schools to reopen as planned on Monday 29th June.


On 25th June, notification was provided that the test results for 3 schools  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.