Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Ebbw Vale
Contact: Democratic Services 6139
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.
Apologies for absence were received from:
Councillors P. Baldwin, M. Day, L. Elias, J. Mason, B. Thomas, G. Thomas and L. Winnett.
Declarations of Interest and Dispensations
To consider any declarations of interest and dispensations made.
The following declarations of interest were reported:
Councillors M. Cook and J. Hill - Item No. 4: Revenue Costs for Operating a Second Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) at Roseheyworth South Business Park.
The Head of Legal and Corporate Compliance confirmed that the above-named Members have been advised that they may remain in the meeting and take part in any debate that may ensue in relation to this item.
To consider the report of the Head of Community Services.
Councillors M. Cook and J. Hill declared an interest in this item and following the advice received from the Monitoring Officer remained in the meeting whilst this item was discussed.
Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Community Services.
The Executive Member for Environment spoke briefly to the report which had been submitted to consider options for:
- the operational days of New Vale and the proposed second Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) in Roseheyworth; and
- the financial implications of operating a second household waste recycling centre.
At this juncture, the Corporate Director of Regeneration & Community Services advised that the development of a second Household Waste Recycling Centre aligned to the Council Priority ‘Strong and Environmentally Smart Communities’ and in particular, the objective ‘to increase in recycling rates which would enable us to achieve national targets’. It was noted that the new HWRC would contribute towards achieving the Welsh Government’s 70% recycling target by 2024/2025.
WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) had worked closely with Blaenau Gwent to develop a Strategic Business Case for the proposed new HWRC site at Roseheyworth which detailed how it could address local challenges whilst responding to statutory goals.
It was noted that the Council had been successful in its bid for capital funding to the Welsh Government for the scheme with a full award of £2.8m being made available for the facility. The proposed development would also lead to highway improvements by enhancing the A467 with traffic lights on the entrance to Roseheyworth Business Park and the new site would also provide capacity to introduce re-use of household items with access to furniture and items for the community. This reuse project would provide an opportunity to work with third sector partners who could access funding schemes to improve employability and work programmes in the Borough.
Revenue Costs - with regard to revenue costs, it was reported that these costs for year 1 would be potentially lower as the result of the new facility not becoming fully operational until 1st June, 2020. Therefore, revenue costs for 2020/2021 had been modelled at 10 months.
Paragraph 3.4.1 provided details of options for funding the operational costs of the HWRC which included:
- Service Efficiency - £39,000 – there had been a number of expressions of interest for voluntary redundancy within Neighbourhood Services. A full review would be undertaken to make one service efficiency in the sum of £39,000.
- One Street Cleansing Gang - £95,400 – the opening of a new HWRC was expected to have a positive impact in the Ebbw Fach Valley, which would allow the department to reduce one Street Cleansing gang and move those staff within the operation of new facility.
- Sensitivity Analysis – two sites operational - £108,000 – a modelling exercise based on a two site strategy had been undertaken by WRAP which showed some potential performance increases – this information was quantified within paragraph 3.4.1 of the report.
Operational Days - a comparison of ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
To receive and consider the following report which in the opinion of the proper officer is 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).
To receive and consider the following report which in the opinion of the proper officer was 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 was available on a schedule maintained by the proper officer).
Community Asset Transfer Process, Selection of Approved User
To consider the report of the Corporate Director of Regeneration & Community Services.
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 Corporate Director of Regeneration & Community Services.
The Executive Member for Environment explained that the report set out the result of the re-assessment of information by the Selection Panel provided in support of an appeal submitted to the proposed Community Asset Transfer (CAT) of Tredegar Recreation Ground.
It was noted that this report had been deferred from the previous Council meeting held on 12th December, 2019 pending further information in respect of the following questions which had been posed:
- Had the Council consulted with Tredegar Town Council regarding the CAT?
- Had the Council followed legal practice in terms of consultation?
- Was there a covenant agreement relating to the site?
- Could additional provision be built into the lease to provide protection to other user groups using the ground?
The Corporate Director of Regeneration & Community Services confirmed that general consultation regarding the Community Asset Transfer had been happening since 2017. In addition, the Council had formally written to Tredegar Town Council in February 2019 asking if it would consider the potential CAT of this ground. This correspondence had been discussed at a meeting of the Town Council and the Town Council had responded that it would not be interested in assuming responsibility for the facility at this time.
In terms of the Charter agreement between the Council and Town Council, this was not a legally binding agreement enforceable in law but was a statement of intention that outlined good practice. Therefore, the Charter agreement had not been contravened.
With regard to the covenant on the land, it was confirmed that the land would not be given away but would be retained in charitable trust and additional wording could be built into the lease to ensure that the successful organisation:
· Actively promoted the use and enjoyment of the Premises for leisure and community uses for the benefit of the local community and public at large and actively to encourage others to use the Premises (or parts of the same) not then being used by the Tenant.
The Head of Legal and Corporate Compliance referred to the definition of a legal agreement (a legally binding contract enforceable in a court of law) and confirmed that the Charter was classed as a ‘statement of intention’ entered into by the Council and the Town Council which formally recorded how it would operate and the intended behaviour of both parties. Therefore, the Charter was not legally enforceable.
A Member expressed his concern that no consultation ... view the full minutes text for item 6.