Agenda and minutes

Ordinary Meeting of the Council
Thursday, 23rd July, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Remotely Via Microsoft Teams

Contact: Democratic Services  6139

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:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors D. Bevan, G. Collier, T. Sharrem and J. Wilkins

 

3.

Declarations of Interest and Dispensations

To consider any declarations of interest and dispensations received.

Minutes:

The following declarations of interest were reported:-

               

Item No. 36: Pay Policy Statement 2020/2021

 

-      Michelle Morris – Managing Director

-      Richard Crook – Corporate Director of Regeneration & Community Services

-      Damien McCann – Corporate Director of Social Services

-      Lynn Phillips – Corporate Director of Education (Interim)

-      Rhian Hayden – Chief Officer Resources

-      Anne-Louise Clark – Chief Officer Commercial

-      Andrea Jones – Head of Legal & Corporate Compliance

-      Andrea Prosser – Head of Organisational Development

-      Bernadette Elias – Head of Policy and Performance

-      Gemma Wasley – Service Manager Performance and Democratic

-      Sean Scannell - Communications, Marketing and Customer Access Manager

-      Ceri Edwards-Brown – Democratic Officer

-      Deborah Jones – Democratic Support Officer

 

The officers would remain in the meeting unless a detailed debate took place.  In this event, the following officers would remain in the meeting whilst this item was considered:

 

-      Michelle Morris – Managing Director

-      Andrea Jones - Head of Corporate and Legal Compliance

-      Rhian Hayden – Chief Officer Resources

-      Ceri Edwards-Brown – Democratic Officer (minute clerk)

 

Item No. 47 – Service Review

 

The following declarations of interest were reported:

 

Councillors N. Daniels – had been advised by the Monitoring Officer that he would be able to remain in the meeting whilst this item was considered and participate in any discussions, if necessary.

 

Councillors P. Edwards, J. Millard, and H. Trollope – Members of the Working Group.

 

Councillors W. Hodgins and L. Parsons – Board Members appointed to the Aneurin Leisure Trust.

 

The Head of Legal and Corporate Compliance confirmed that the above-named Members may remain in the meeting whilst the item of business was discussed.

 

4.

Chair's Announcements

To receive.

Minutes:

Covid-19 Pandemic

 

Members and officers took a minute of silent reflection to remember those who had sadly passed away from Covid-19 and their friends and families who had been affected by this devastating virus.

5.

Minute Book - November 2019 - July 2020

Minutes:

The Minute Book for the period November 2019 – July 2020 was submitted for consideration, whereupon:

 

Following a briefing discussion at which Members raised concern that the minutes had not yet been considered by individual Scrutiny Committees before being presented to Council, it was confirmed by the Democratic Officer that the sets of minutes that had been agendaed for consideration had gone through the Scrutiny process.

 

Annual Meeting of the Council – 2nd April, 2020 – Item No. 15 – Recruitment – Statement Made by Member No. 3

 

A Member reported the following correction to the first paragraph of the above minute.  He advised that it was during 2011 and not 2012 as reported that education had been placed in special measures under the previous administration.

 

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

 

6.

Annual Meeting of the Council pdf icon PDF 585 KB

To consider and if thought fit, approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 2nd April, 2020.

 

 

Minutes:

Annual Meeting of the Council – 2nd April, 2020 – Item No. 15 – Recruitment – Statement Made by Member No. 3

 

A Member reported the following correction to the first paragraph of the above minute.  He advised that it was during 2011 and not 2012 as reported that education had been placed in special measures under the previous administration.

 

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

 

7.

Ordinary Meeting of the Council pdf icon PDF 308 KB

To consider and if thought fit, approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 6th February, 2020.

 

 

Minutes:

Agreed.

8.

Special Meeting of the Council pdf icon PDF 398 KB

To consider and if thought fit, approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 2nd March, 2020.

 

 

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

9.

Planning, Regulatory & General Licensing Committee pdf icon PDF 399 KB

To confirm the minutes of the Planning, Regulatory & General Licensing Committee held on 6th February, 2020.

 

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

10.

Special Planning, Regulatory & General Licensing Committee (General Licensing Matters) pdf icon PDF 209 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 11th February, 2020.

 

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

11.

Statutory Licensing Committee pdf icon PDF 200 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 11th February, 2020.

 

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

12.

Planning, Regulatory & General Licensing Committee pdf icon PDF 283 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 12th March, 2020.

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

13.

Planning, Regulatory & General Licensing Committee pdf icon PDF 309 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 25th June, 2020.

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

14.

Executive Committee pdf icon PDF 460 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 29th January, 2020.

 

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

15.

Executive Committee pdf icon PDF 643 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 11th March, 2020.

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

16.

Executive Committee pdf icon PDF 672 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 24th June, 2020.

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

17.

Special Executive Committee pdf icon PDF 482 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 8th July, 2020.

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

18.

Democratic Services Committee pdf icon PDF 242 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 5th November, 2019.

 

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

19.

Audit Committee pdf icon PDF 423 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 19th November, 2019.

 

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

20.

Special Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 255 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Special Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee held on 19th November, 2019.

 

Minutes:

Agreed.

21.

Joint Education & Learning and Social Services Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 238 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Joint Education & Learning and Social Services Scrutiny Committee (Safeguarding) held on 2nd December, 2019.

 

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

22.

Special Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 256 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Special Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee held on 5th December, 2019.

 

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

23.

Social Services Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 246 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Social Services Scrutiny Committee held on 13th January, 2020

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

24.

Education & Learning Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 236 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Education & Learning Scrutiny Committee held on 15th January, 2020.

 

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

25.

Community Services Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 305 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 16th January, 2020.

Minutes:

Agreed.

26.

Regeneration Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 295 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 23rd January, 2020.

 

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

27.

Joint Scrutiny Committee (Budget Monitoring) pdf icon PDF 210 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 28th January, 2020.

 

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

28.

Audit Committee pdf icon PDF 348 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Audit Committee held on 28th January, 2020.

 

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

29.

Members Questions

To receive questions, if any, from Members.

 

Minutes:

There were no questions submitted by Members.

 

30.

Public Questions

To receive questions, if any, from the public.

 

Minutes:

There were no questions submitted by members of the public.

 

31.

Covid-19 Emergency - Transition to the Next Phase pdf icon PDF 672 KB

To consider the report of the Managing Director.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Managing Director.

 

It was unanimously,

 

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and the following be approved and supported:

 

-      the approach to moving to the next phase of the pandemic and recovery;

 

-      the refresh of the Corporate Priorities to ensure a clear focus on what the Council wanted to deliver over next 18 months;

 

-      the proposal to use the disruption of the pandemic to reflect on how the organisation worked and with our communities, partners, workforce and trade unions, informing a position on the ‘new normal’ to support delivery of the refreshed priorities;

 

-      the development of a wider place-based discussion with partners on the community impact of the pandemic and how the BG Public Service Board could respond and support recovery through its collective priorities and work programme;

 

-      the development of an Economic Recovery Plan through engagement with the BG Enterprise Board and Regional Forums – identifying the responding to the impact on local businesses in order to support economic recovery; and

 

-      Blaenau Gwent continue to ensure that it was an active participant in regional forums – such as G10 and Cardiff Capital City Region – to support recovery and development of the Borough.

 

32.

The Impact of Covid-19 on the 2020/2021 Revenue Budget and Update on Bridging the Gap Proposals pdf icon PDF 776 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Officer Resources.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Chief Officer Resources was submitted

 

It was unanimously,

 

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and Option 1 be endorsed, namely:

 

-      the current forecast position be agreed; and

 

-      the progress made against the Bridging the Gap programme for 2020/2021 be noted.

 

33.

Establishing the Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council Contact Tracing Service pdf icon PDF 429 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Officer Commercial.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the report of the Chief Officer Commercial.

 

It was unanimously,

 

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and Option 1 be endorsed, namely that the proposals for the establishment of the local authority Contact Tracing Team, as part of the Gwent regional service be agreed.

 

34.

Forward Looking Plan - Corporate Plan Refresh 2020/22 pdf icon PDF 514 KB

To consider the report of the Managing Director.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Managing Director.

 

It was unanimously,

 

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and Option 1 be endorsed, namely that the Forward Looking Corporate Plan 2020/22 be approved for publication.

 

35.

Capital Strategy 2020/2021 pdf icon PDF 513 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Officer Resources.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered the report of the Chief Officer Resources.

 

It was unanimously,

 

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and Option 1 be endorsed, namely that the Capital Strategy 2020/2021 be agreed.

 

36.

Treasury Management - Treasury Strategy Statement, Investment Strategy & MRP Policy Statement 2020/2021 (including Prudential Indicators) pdf icon PDF 512 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Officer Resources.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Chief Officer Resources was submitted for consideration.

 

It was unanimously,

 

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and Option 1 be endorsed, namely that the Annual Treasury Strategy Statement & Annual Investment Strategy & MRP Policy Statement for 2020/2021 financial year and the Treasury Management Prudential Indicators contained therein be agreed.

 

37.

Pay Policy Statement 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 417 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Organisational Development.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following officers declared an interest in this item but remained in the meeting whilst the item was considered:

 

-      Michelle Morris – Managing Director

-      Richard Crook – Corporate Director of Regeneration & Community Services

-      Damien McCann – Corporate Director of Social Services

-      Lynn Phillips – Corporate Director of Education (Interim)

-      Rhian Hayden – Chief Officer Resources

-      Anne-Louise Clark – Chief Officer Commercial

-      Andrea Jones – Head of Legal & Corporate Compliance

-      Andrea Prosser – Head of Organisational Development

-      Bernadette Elias – Head of Policy and Performance

-      Gemma Wasley – Service Manager Performance and Democratic

-      Sean Scannell - Communications, Marketing and Customer Access Manager

-      Ceri Edwards-Brown – Democratic Officer

-      Deborah Jones – Democratic Support Officer

 

Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Organisational Development.

 

It was unanimously,

 

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and Option 1 be endorsed, namely the Pay Policy Statement 2020/21 be approved.

 

38.

Statutory Parental Bereavement Leave pdf icon PDF 707 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Organisational Development.

Minutes:

The report of the Head of Organisational Development was submitted for consideration.

 

It was unanimously,

 

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and Option 1 be endorsed, namely that the implementation of Option 1 be approved, with effect from 6th April 2020, on the basis that it would meet

 

-      the legislative requirements whilst putting the Council ahead of the statutory minimum requirement;

-      was encouraged by the Government;

-      was consistent with what was offered in other provisions;

-      would incur minimal additional cost; and

-      the Council would be seen to be a modern employer of choice which was linked to the proposals for the new Workforce Strategy.

 

 

 

Option 1

Considerations

·    Benefits

Amend entitlement to 2 weeks leave on full pay, irrespective of age or length of service, or those who suffer a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy

 

That the provision was extended to include      in-law and step relatives to ensure consistency with our other provisions of leave (which we would be unable to reclaim in respect of the SPBP).   

 

·   Would incur an additional cost for the Authority (minimal but exact amount unknown)

·   Above what was required by the Act.

·   Front line staff would need to be covered for the additional leave.

·    Links to Workforce Strategy of being a modern employer of choice which promotes the wellbeing of our employees.

·   Would expect additional cost to be minimal given the frequency this provision was utilised and that the statutory payment could be reclaimed for the two weeks.

·   Consistent Provision for all employees (regardless of age) which would mean fairness in the entitlements for all staff.

 

39.

Schedule of Members Remuneration 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 590 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Organisational Development.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Organisational Development.

 

It was unanimously,

 

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and Option 1 be endorsed namely, that the Schedule of Members Remuneration for 2020/21 be agreed and published.

 

40.

Statement of Payments Made to Members in 2019/2020 pdf icon PDF 595 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Organisational Development.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the report of the Head of Organisational Development.

 

It was unanimously,

 

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and Option 1 be endorsed namely, that the Statement of Payments Made to Members during 2019/20 be published, in compliance with relevant legislation.

 

41.

Funding Options - Aberbeeg Road pdf icon PDF 431 KB

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

Minutes:

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

 

It was unanimously,

 

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and the decision taken by the Executive be noted, namely that:

 

The Executive had agreed to Option 2, to utilise the BGCBC Capital Programme Big Arch allocation (£1,000K) – this option was the preferred option on the basis that an application to Cadw for consent to undertake remedial works had been delayed and works could not progress until consent was awarded resulting in actual works on site delayed until July 2021/22 at the earliest. At this stage the funding would be reviewed / reinstated prior to Cadw approval and works on site. If Welsh Government subsequently agreed the flood funding for the scheme, then the £405K could then be ‘repaid’ to this capital allocation.  

 

42.

Annual Cycle of Meetings 2020/2021 pdf icon PDF 483 KB

To consider the report of the Service Manager Performance and Democratic.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

 

Members considered the report of the Services Manager – Performance and Democratic.

 

It was unanimously,

 

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and Option 1 be endorsed, namely that:

 

(i)           The proposed annual cycle of meetings 2020/2021 be approved.

 

(ii)         The following decision making process to deal with any urgent business during the August recess be approved:

 

a.   the Leader and Deputy Leader in conjunction with appropriate Executive Members and Officers deal with any urgent items from 1st - 31st August 2020 (i.e. a Special Meeting of the Executive would be convened at short notice recognising that the matter was urgent and the call-in procedure would apply).  The Managing Director / Head of Paid Service in conjunction with the Leadership would determine if a matter was urgent; and

 

b.   decisions should be limited to urgent matters and recorded on a decision schedule presented to the next Ordinary Meeting of the Council.  No controversial or sensitive matters should be dealt with during this period.

 

43.

Standards Committee pdf icon PDF 208 KB

To receive the report of the meeting held on 29th January, 2020.

 

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the meeting held on 29th January, 2020.

 

It was unanimously,

 

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

 

44.

Standards Committee Appointment pdf icon PDF 389 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Legal & Corporate Compliance (Monitoring Officer).

Minutes:

Members considered the report of the Head of Legal and Corporate Compliance (Monitoring Officer).

 

It was unanimously,

 

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and Option 1 be endorsed, namely that

 

-      the appointment of Mr. Francis Roy Lynch be approved; and

 

-      the second vacant appointment which had not been filled be re-advertised.

 

45.

Membership Report pdf icon PDF 453 KB

To consider the attached report.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to:

 

Aneurin Bevan Community Health Council

-      to appoint a replacement representative.

 

The Leader requested that expressions of interest be submitted if any Member was interested in taking up this vacant position.

 

Advisory Panel for Local Authority School Governors

 

The following recommendations were made by the Panel on 25th February, 2020 to appoint:

 

-      Debra Fields – Sofrydd Primary

-      Pat Smail – Sofrydd Primary

 

The following recommendations were made by the Panel on 10th July, 2020 to appoint:

 

-      Claire Gardner - St. Mary’s CIW

-      Richard Bevan and Daryl Tovey - Abertillery Learning Community

-      Joanne Davies - Glanhowy Primary

-      Councillor John C Morgan - Georgetown Primary

-      Councillor John C Morgan - Tredegar Comprehensive

Upon a vote being taken it was unanimously,

 

RESOLVED that the above appointments be endorsed.

 

 

46.

Time of Future Council Meetings

To consider.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that future Council meetings commence at 10.00 a.m.

47.

Exempt Items

To receive and consider the following reports which in the opinion of the proper officer are exempt items taking into account consideration of the public interest test and that the press and public should be excluded from the meeting (the reasons for the decision for the exemptions are available on a schedule maintained by the proper officer).

 

Minutes:

To receive and consider the following reports which in the opinion of the proper officer were exempt items taking into account consideration of the public interest test and that the press and public should be excluded from the meeting (the reasons for the decisions for the exemptions were available on a schedule maintained by the proper officer).

 

48.

Service Review

To consider the report of the Chief Officer Commercial.

Minutes:

Councillor D. Wilkshire left the meeting at this juncture.

 

Councillors N. Daniels, W. Hodgins, L. Parsons, P. Edwards, J. Millard and H. Trollope declared an interest in this item but upon the advice of the Head of the Legal and Corporate Compliance remained in the meeting whilst it was considered.

 

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 Chief Officer Commercial.

 

It was unanimously,

 

RESOLVED that the report which related to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority) be accepted and Option 2 be endorsed and route B be pursued.

 

Due to the nature of their declaration of interest Councillors W. Hodgins and L. Parsons did not participate in the vote in relation to this item.

 

49.

Festival Park

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

 

It was unanimously,

 

RESOLVED that the report which related to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority) be accepted and Option 2 be endorsed, namely that the following be approved:

 

·        Option Two be taken forward and detailed negotiations commence with the current owners of Festival Shopping with a view towards agreeing Heads of Terms for acquisition of the site for refurbishment/redevelopment.

 

·        A Business Case be prepared for acquisition and future use, for consideration by Council in September 2020.

 

·        The costs associated with commissioning specialist external advice should be funded through the Council’s Transformational Fund.

 

·        Discussions with Welsh Government be taken forward regarding funding for any acquisition, refurbishment and redevelopment of the site.

 

FURTHER RESOLVED that

 

-      a Working Group be established comprising of the Executive Members, Chair and Vice-Chair of the Regeneration Scrutiny Committee plus 2 Members of the Labour Group to work on the business case alongside officers.

 

-      An internal investigation be undertaken into the circumstances surrounding the content of a confidential report being published within the public domain.