Agenda and minutes

Executive Committee
Wednesday, 16th June, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Virtually via Microsoft Teams

Contact: Democratic Services  6011

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

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.

Minutes:

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

 

2.

Apologies

To receive.

Minutes:

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

 

3.

Declarations of Interest and Dispensations

To receive.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest and dispensations raised.

 

Minutes

4.

Executive Committee pdf icon PDF 441 KB

To consider the Minutes of the Meeting held on 14th April, 2021.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting held on
14th April, 2021.

 

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

 

5.

Special Executive pdf icon PDF 373 KB

To consider the Minutes of the Special Meeting held on 21st April, 2021.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting held on
21st April, 2021.

 

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

 

General Matters

6.

Time of Future Meetings

To discuss.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the all future meetings be held at 10.00 am.

 

7.

Conferences, Courses, Events and Invitations pdf icon PDF 362 KB

To consider.

Minutes:

The Leader reported that the following invitation had been received:-

 

Army Broadcast Event – 9th June, 2021

 

RESOLVED that Councillor Brian Thomas, Armed Forces Champion be approved to attend.

 

Decision Items - Corporate Services Matters

8.

Proposed Executive Committee Forward Work Programme 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 382 KB

To consider the Proposed Forward Work Programme for 2021-22.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This item had been omitted from the agenda and would therefore be considered at the next meeting.

 

RESOLVED that the Executive Forward Work Programme 2021-2022 be presented to the July Executive.

 

9.

Grants to Organisations pdf icon PDF 114 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Officer Resources.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Chief Officer Resources.

 

The following additional grants to organisations were reported:-

 

ABERTILLERY

Llanhilleth Ward - Councillor L. Parsons

 

 

1.

Abertillery Bluebirds FC

£100

 

Six Bells Ward - Councillor D. Hancock

 

 

1.

Old Tyleryan RFC

£100

BRYNMAWR

Brynmawr Ward - Councillor J. Hill

 

 

1.

KaraboGwet (Cancellation)

-£150

 

EBBW VALE

Ebbw Vale North Ward - Councillor D. Davies,

R. Summers and P. Edwards

 

 

1.

Ebbw Vale Mini & Junior Rugby Club

£200

2.

Blaenau Gwent Young Stars

£200

3.

Hill Top Old Age Pensioners Association

£200

4.

Showstoppers

£200

5.

Toppers School of Dance & Drama

£100

6.

Gwent Valleys Integrated Activities Club

£200

7.

Newtown Tenants & Residents Association

£200

8.

Ebbw Vale Christmas Lights Appeal

£300

9.

Ebbw Vale Business Forum

£300

10.

Blaenau Gwent District Scout Council

£200

11.

One Life Autism Support Group

£200

12.

Blaenau Gwent Food Bank

£200

13.

Hill Top Tenants & Residents Association

£200

14.

Ebbw Vale Children’s Contact Centre

£200

15.

RTB Football Club Ebbw Vale

£100

16.

Ebbw Vale Works Archival Trust

         £100

17.

Glyn Ebwy Junior Football Club

£100

18.

Chairs Appeal

£100

19.

RTB Ebbw Vale Bowls

£100

20.

Providence Baptist Church

£200

21.

Hilltop Sports and Social Club

£200

22.

Willowtown Community Primary School PTFA

£200

23.

N2T Youth

£200

24.

Ebbw Vale Cricket Club

£100

25.

Ebbw Vale Operatic Society

£100

 

TREDEGAR

 

Sirhowy Ward - Councillor B, Thomas

 

 

1.

Tredegar Operatic Society

£200

 

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing that the report be accepted and the information contained be approved.

 

 

Decision Items - Environment Matters

10.

Adoption of Litter and Fly-Tipping Strategy pdf icon PDF 601 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Team Manager – Street Scene.

 

The Corporate Director Regeneration and Community Services outlined the report which sought approval for the adoption of a new Council Litter and Fly-Tipping Strategy for 2021-2026. The Corporate Director welcomed the report as a significant improvement had been made in reducing litter on streets across the Borough and the Strategy would strengthen this work to be taken forward over the next 5 years.

 

The Executive Member – Environment welcomed the report all identified with issues noted in the report as an Elected Member numerous complaints in relation to litter and flytipping was received on a daily basis. It was a new initiative and Blaenau Gwent was the first Local Authority in Wales to adopt a Litter and Fly Tipping Strategy in which pulled together a number of strands. It also recognised the work undertaken to date and the excellent work of the many Litter Champions across Blaenau Gwent.

 

The Executive Member added that the Strategy strengthened the existing commitment given by this administration on the cleanliness of our area and the Borough. The Strategy would look at different ways to identify the underlying causes and ascertain what more could be done. The Executive Member stated the importance of monitoring progress going forward and noted the action plan which detailed the long and short term goals. The Strategy would continue to evolve and the Executive Member looked forward to having sight of the progress reports which would have input for the important key stakeholders involved in the process.

 

In conclusion, the Executive Member wished to thank Keep Wales Tidy for their support which had been very welcomed and advised that the report had also been supported by Scrutiny.

 

The Executive Member – Economic Development and Regeneration also welcomed the report and concurred that it was an important report which Elected Members, the Council and our constituents had an opportunity to play their part.

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and the adoption of the draft Blaenau Gwent Litter and Fly-tipping Strategy 2021-2026 be approved (Option 1).

 

11.

Highway Capital Works Programme 2021 – 2022 pdf icon PDF 552 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Community Services.

 

The Corporate Director Regeneration and Community Services advised that the report detailed three areas in terms of the highways works. It gave an update on progress of the current Highway Capital Works programme 20172021, improvements made over the years and set out options around a future 2021-2022 investment in the Authority’s highways network.

 

The Corporate Director advised that a capital sum of £2.115m was generated from a 20 year prudential borrow based on revenue contributions of £130k per year. The current gross replacement value of the Highway Network was estimated at £1.093 billion and was the Authority’s most valuable material asset. The Corporate Director outlined the key points of the report which included the following:-

 

·        Network

·        Highway Capital Works Programme 2021-22 – Priorities & Options

·        Additional Programme of Welsh Government Highway Related Funded Works 2021/2022

·        Road Safety Revenue and Safe Routes in Communities

·        Active Travel Fund

 

In conclusion, the Corporate Director Regeneration and Community Services referred to the options for recommendation and noted the preferred option.

The Executive Member for Environment welcomed the report and advised that this was another key priority for this administration and formed the ongoing commitment for upgrading the residential roads. The report identified the improvements already made in the Authority’s Highways Network which was welcomed.

 

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and residential roads, A & B Priority Roads and highway safety works be agreed (Option 2) as follows:-

 

A & B Priority Roads

A4048Heathfield Full Reconstruction Works

A4046 Cwm Bypass Resurfacing

 

Highway Safety Traffic Management Works

Crash Barrier Replacement at A4281 Garnlydan

Crash Barrier Replacement at A467 Abertillery

 

Residential Roads: (16 schemes – 1 per Ward)

 

Southend and Walter Street, Georgetown

Mount Pleasant Road, Ebbw Vale North

Institution Terrace, Ebbw Vale South

Maes-y-Cynw Terrace, Llanhilleth

Jubilee Road and Graig Road, Six Bells

Powell Street and High Street (section), Abertillery

Coronation Street, Blaina

South and Hereford Street, Beaufort

Aneurin Crescent, Brynmawr

King Street, Cwm

Railway Terrace, Sirhowy

Stable Lane & Parkville, Tredegar C&W

School Road, Rassau

Waunheulog, Nantyglo

Victoria Street, Cwmtillery

Rhyd Y Blew Roundabout, Badminton

BlaenantInd Est Resurfacing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decision Items - Education Matters

12.

School Organisation Policy (2021/24) pdf icon PDF 299 KB

To consider the report of the Corporate Director Education.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Corporate Director Education.

 

The Corporate Director Education advised that the report detailed the review of the School Organisation Policy (2021-24) and sought Executive approval. The Corporate Director noted that it was proposed that the revised policy be adopted and implemented from the start of new academic year 2021/22. The Corporate Director further spoke to the report and outlined key priorities around school organisation and planning process as outlined in the report.

 

The Corporate Director Education also noted the successful significant school organisation proposals and gave a detailed overview of the outcomes achieved as part of the 21st Century Schools Programme to date. It was stated that sound progress had been made and priorities are on track for 2021/2022.

 

The Executive Member for Education welcomed the report which was timely given the impact of Covid-19. The Executive Member noted the revisions to the Policy and strategic priorities as outlined by the Corporate Director which accurately reflected the future direction of Education.

 

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and the proposed changes to the Blaenau Gwent School Organisation Policy 2021 be agreed (Option 1).

 

Monitoring Items - Corporate Services

13.

Commercial Strategy Quarterly Performance Monitoring pdf icon PDF 594 KB

To consider the report of the Interim Chief Officer Commercial.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Interim Chief Officer Commercial.

 

The Leader noted the report which outlined Quarter 4 performance monitoring report of the Commercial Strategy. The report had been presented as a monitoring item, although it evidenced a great deal of good work in terms of strategic commissioning of the contact centre and there are aspects of the contact centre which would be important to Members, particularly around the ‘Out of House’ Service, the Locality Response Teams who had undertaken a phenomenal amount of invaluable work which over the last period of time and indeed the digital programme which would be crucial as the Authority continued to move forward.

 

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and the quarter 4 progress update against the Commercial Strategy be noted (Option 1).

 

14.

Corporate Communications Strategy - Quarterly Update pdf icon PDF 424 KB

To consider the report of the Interim Chief Officer Commercial.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Interim Chief Officer Commercial.

 

The Leader referred to the report which detailed the Quarter 4 update of the Communications Strategy. The Leader noted that the Communications area continued to be caught up in the Covid-19 pandemic and felt that the work of the Communications Team had been valuable during the pandemic to ensure Blaenau Gwent was kept fully informed.

 

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and the quarter 4 (January to March 2021) update against the Communication Strategy be noted (Option 1).

 

Monitoring Items - Education

15.

Education Directorate-Response to COVID-19 pdf icon PDF 609 KB

To consider the report of the Corporate Director Education.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Corporate Director Education.

 

The Corporate Director Education noted the report and provided an overview of the current response, both from an Education and the Corporate response, which had been provided to support schools during the pandemic. The report reflected the activity for autumn and spring terms and advised that the impact of more than 12 months’ disruption for learners would need to be planned in the short, medium and long terms to ensure development and progression

 

The Corporate Director added that the Council had established a corporate recovery framework which was detailed at Appendix 2 of the report and a key strand of this work would be a learning sub-group that would be led by the recently appointed Head of School Improvement and Inclusion. The Corporate Director noted the Education Directorate’s top priority in the EAS business plan. The Estyn Thematic Review had previously been considered by the Executive and provided a positive overview of the Council’s secure response in supporting the Authority’s our schools during the pandemic.

 

The Executive Member for Education was pleased that Estyn had recognised as part of the Thematic Review the strong corporate response made by the Council in supporting our schools during these unprecedented times.

 

The Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development concurred with Corporate Director and advised that as a Governor of a local school, the Executive Member felt that the work which had been undertaken across the Council had been outstanding and the extra support needed for schools was available. The governors had been ‘blown away’ by the way all levels of staff had responded. All governors were grateful for the work undertaken across the whole Authority and the Executive Member extended his thanks accordingly.

 

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and the information contained therein be noted (Option 1).

16.

Blaenau Gwent Education Services Self–Evaluation and Business Planning pdf icon PDF 543 KB

To consider the report of the Corporate Director Education.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Corporate Director Education.

 

The Corporate Director Education advised that Blaenau Gwent’s Education Services, with the emphasis on ‘corporate support’ remained totally committed to self-review and self-evaluation and these are fundamental in continuing to improve the services we provide to learners across the board.  There was a standardised process for self-evaluation which was encompassed into the day to day of work, reports are presented to Scrutiny and the Executive and all these processes were in line with Estyn Local Government Education Services (LGES) framework

 

The Corporate Director further noted some examples from areas where good progress had been made and where further improvement was required as detailed in the report.

 

The Executive Member for Education welcomed the large number of areas where progress had been made and that self-evaluation continued to focus on the appropriate areas for development.

 

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and the information contained therein be noted (Option 1).

 

17.

Exempt Item

To receive and consider the following report which in the opinion of the proper officer is/are an exempt item 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).

 

Decision Item - Environment

18.

Charitable land, former Ysgol Gymraeg, King Street, Brynmawr

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

Minutes:

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 Paragraph 14, Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act, 1972 (as amended).

 

Consideration was given to the report of the Senior Estates Officer.

 

The Corporate Director Regeneration and Community Services provided an overview of the report and outlined the key points. The Corporate Director Education added that there had been engagement with the relevant area of Education.

 

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that the report which contained information relating to the financial/business affairs of persons other than the Authority be accepted and Option 1 as detailed in the report be approved.