Executive Board

 

Monday, 23 January 2017

 

PRESENT: Councillor E. Dole (Chair)

 

Councillors:

H.A.L. Evans, L.D. Evans, M. Gravell, D.M. Jenkins, G.O. Jones, T.J. Jones, P.A. Palmer, L.M. Stephens and J. Tremlett.

 

Present as Observers:

Councillors D.M. Cundy, T. Devichand and J.S. Edmunds.

 

The following Officers were in attendance:

M. James, Chief Executive

C. Moore, Director of Corporate Services

R. Mullen, Director of Environment

J. Morgan, Director of Community Services

G. Morgans, Interim Director of Education & Children's Services

L.R. Jones, Head of Administration and Law

W. Walters, Assistant Chief Executive (Regeneration & Policy)

D. Hockenhull, Marketing and Media Manager

A. Miller, European Technical Officer

R. Phillips, European Programmes Manager

W. Smith, External Funding Officer

C. Gadd, Democratic Services Officer

 

Chamber,  County Hall, Carmarthen - 10.00  - 11.30 am

 

 

<AI1>

1.            APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

 

There were no apologies for absence.

 

</AI1>

<AI2>

2.            DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL INTEREST

 

Councillor

Minute Number

Nature of Interest

G.O. Jones

8 – Model Capability Policy for Teachers and Head Teachers

9 – Model Teachers Pay Policy 2016-17

His wife is a headteacher in the County.

L.D. Evans

8 – Model Capability Policy for Teachers and Head Teachers

9 – Model Teachers Pay Policy 2016-17

Her daughter is a teacher in the County

 

 

 

 

</AI2>

<AI3>

3.            MINUTES - 22ND DECEMBER, 2016

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Executive Board held on 22nd December, 2016 be signed as a correct record.

 

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<AI4>

4.            QUESTIONS ON NOTICE BY MEMBERS

 

The Chair advised that no questions on notice had been submitted by Members.

 

</AI4>

<AI5>

5.            PUBLIC QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

 

The Chair advised that no public questions on notice had been received.

 

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<AI6>

6.            SWANSEA BAY CITY DEAL

 

The Executive Board considered a report and received a presentation, which provided an update of negotiations between Welsh and UK Government and the Swansea Bay City Region in respect of the City Deal Investment Package and to seek Members’ approval to delegate to the Leader of the Council or the Chief Executive, authority to sign a City Deal agreement (Heads of Term).

 

The Board was advised that the Swansea Bay City Deal focussed on the benefits of digital infrastructure, the energy sector, smart manufacturing and innovation in life science for both urban and rural areas across the region. Since the original submission of the City Deal proposal in February last year, an intensive period of work had led to the submission of a detailed bid covering 11 specific projects. The Deal involved a total investment of some £1.3 billion over a period of 15 years. This would consist of £241m of government funding to be split between the Welsh and UK governments. Some £360m of other public sector funding and £673m of private sector contributions would make up the total investment package. This investment would deliver up to 9, 465 new jobs for the region, contributing to an uplift in GVA of £1.8bn. It was explained that following the submission of the bid, there had been a series of discussions with both governments as well as engagement events with Assembly Members and others across the region. It was noted that it was hoped that the Deal would be signed off by the beginning of March.

 

It was highlighted that the City Deal provided a once in a generation opportunity to increase prosperity and opportunity within the region. The region’s GVA had fallen from 90% of the UK average to 77% over the last three decades with low productivity, high economic inactivity and poor health just some key challenges facing the region. Without the City Deal proposals closing this gap would be extremely challenging.

 

The governance arrangements were outlined and it was noted that the Swansea Bay City Deal was a partnership between 8 organisations and the private sector. Utilising the existing statutory framework, the local authorities would establish a Joint Committee which would have ultimate responsibility for the City Deal investment package. It was noted that the only voting members would be the four local authorities.

 

The financing of the deal would be based on a 15 year programme. The four local authorities would ask to borrow the required sum for its relevant projects and the funding would be drawn down as the project develops over a period of 5 years. The capital borrowing (in respect of the Government funded element) would be re-paid as Government funds were received over the 15 year period.

 

It was explained that there was a package of 11 projects, which were focussed on four key elements:

-       Internet of economic acceleration

-       Internet of energy

-       Internet of Life Science and Wellbeing

-       Internet of Smart Manufacturing

 

The County would benefit from all the proposals, however, the Life Science and Wellbeing Village and the Skills and Talent Initiative would be specifically lead by Carmarthenshire.

 

Members commented that a lot of work had gone into developing the proposed Deal and thanked the teams that had been involved. The importance of private investment in the Deal was also recognised.

 

It was queried if the City Deal was not accepted would some of the elements still be delivered, such as the Well-being initiative in Llanelli. It was explained that funding was required to deliver such projects and it would be dependent on what other funding was available. The City Deal would allow projects to go ahead in a timely manner. It was noted that some City Deals started with concepts and projects developed from them, in the case of this City Deal there were 11 definite projects already identified that could be up and running fairly quickly.

 

The Board was presented with an overview of the proposed Life Science and Wellbeing Village.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL that delegated authority be given to the Leader of the Council or Chief Executive, to sign a City Deal agreement (Heads of Terms) on the basis described in the report.

 

</AI6>

<AI7>

7.            WELSH IN EDUCATION STRATEGIC PLAN (WESP) 2017-20

 

The Executive Board received the draft Welsh in Education Strategic Plan (WESP) 2017-20 and the responses to the statutory consultation. There had been minor amendments to draft WESP in light of the statutory consultation.

 

The Board was advised that the Wales School Standards and Organisation Act (2013) placed a statutory duty on local authorities to prepare and submit a WESP. Developing the Plan required local authorities to consult with statutory consultees and the consultation process had informed minor amendments to the WESP. The final version, once approved, would be submitted to Welsh Government. It was highlighted that the WESP had to detail how the local authority aimed to achieve the Welsh Government’s outcomes and targets outlined in the Welsh Medium Education Strategy and the wider strategy for the Welsh language and their vision to see ‘a million Welsh speakers by 2050’.

 

In accordance with CPR 11.1 Councillor D.M. Cundy noted some omissions and inconsistencies within the report, such as target dates and details of how it would be achieved. He pointed out that it had to work for everyone and it could be viewed that local education seemed to favour the school and education administration rather than the community. He highlighted that it was right to expand Welsh medium primary education, however, there did not seem to be enough options to expand dual stream. He pointed out that there could not be enough spaces in Welsh medium secondary schools to accommodate the potential increase of pupils who wished to move on from Welsh medium primary education. He therefore asked what the processes were to make changes to the WESP beyond the consultation process. The Executive Board Member for Education & Children explained that the Wales School Standards and Organisation Act (2013) required the Plan to be kept under review and where necessary be revised. However, there was no criteria outlined and it was not set out how this was to be done. It was clarified that the guidance for developing the WESP had been followed.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED:

7.1       that the report on the statutory consultation exercise be received;

 

7.2       that the County Council’s responses to the consultation be considered;

 

7.3       that the final version of the Welsh in Education Strategic Plan be received and endorsed and submitted to the Welsh Government.

 

</AI7>

<AI8>

8.            MODEL CAPABILITY POLICY FOR TEACHERS AND HEAD TEACHERS

 

[NOTE: Councillors L.D. Evans and G.O. Jones, having earlier declared an interest in this item, left the meeting prior to the consideration and determination thereof.]

 

The Executive Board considered the Model Capability Procedure for Teachers and Headteachers. The Board was advised that the need for this Procedure had been recognised as a priority by ERW and as such it had been developed regionally, across the 6 Local Authorities that make up the ERW region, in consultation with trade unions. The purpose of the procedure was to help schools secure improvement and early identification of underperformance was key to this.

 

Members welcomed the Procedure and felt it would be of benefit to schools. It was highlighted that it provided schools with a procedure to follow and adapt as required. It was noted that the procedures did not relate to Newly Qualified Teachers as there were separate procedures for them.

 

UNAMIOUSLY RESOLVED that the adoption of the Model Capability procedure for Teachers and Headteachers be endorsed.

 

</AI8>

<AI9>

9.            MODEL TEACHERS PAY POLICY 2016-17

 

[NOTE: Councillors L.D. Evans and G.O. Jones, having earlier declared an interest in this item, left the meeting prior to the consideration and determination thereof.]

 

The Executive Board received the Model Teachers’ Pay Policy 2016/17 prior to presentation to Schools for adoption by their Governing Bodies. The revised Policy had been updated to reflect the legislative changes introduced by the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document 2016. The Policy would be offered to all schools across the ERW region. It was noted that teaching associations had been consulted and agreed the Policy.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the Model Teachers’ Pay Policy 2016/17 be endorsed prior to presentation to Schools for adoption by their Governing Bodies.

 

</AI9>

<AI10>

10.         REVISED STRESS MANAGEMENT POLICY, SMOKING POLICY AND ALCOHOL & SUBSTANCE MISUSE POLICY

 

The Executive Board considered a report on the Council’s revised Stress Management Policy, the Smoking Policy and Alcohol and Substance Misuse Policy. It was highlighted that these policies were historical health and safety policies that had been recently reviewed. The Board was advised that the Policies had been slimed down and made more user friendly with the inclusion of step guides and case studies. It was noted that the Stress Management Policy had been renamed as the Management of Mental Health in the Workplace Policy.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the revised Management of Mental Health in the Workplace Policy, the Smoking Policy and the Alcohol and Substance Misuse Policy be approved.

 

</AI10>

<AI11>

11.         COUNCIL'S REVENUE BUDGET MONITORING REPORT

 

The Executive Board considered the Revenue Budget Monitoring report for the period 1st April 2016 to 31st October 2016, which provided an update on the latest budgetary position as at 31st October 2016.

 

Overall the report forecasted an end of year overspend of £1,357k on the Authority’s net revenue budget with an overspend at departmental level of £2,833k.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED:

 

11.1    that the Budget Monitoring report be received;

 

11.2    that Chief Officers and Heads of Service critically review their budgetary positions and implement appropriate actions to deliver their services within their allocated budgets.

 

</AI11>

<AI12>

12.         CAPITAL PROGRAMME 2016-17 UPDATE

 

The Executive Board considered a report providing an update on the capital programme spend against budget for 2016/17 as at 31st October, 2016. The report included details of the main variances.

 

UNAMIOUSLY RESOLVED:

 

12.1    that the capital programme update report be received;

 

12.2    that the virements outlined within the report be approved.

 

</AI12>

<AI13>

13.         EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED, pursuant to the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information)(Variation) (Wales) Order 2007, that the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items as the reports contained exempt information as defined in paragraphs 14 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the Act.

 

</AI13>

<AI14>

14.         5 YEAR CAPITAL RECEIPTS STRATEGY (2015-20) - ANNUAL PROGRESS REPORT

 

Following the application of the public interest test it was UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED, pursuant to the Act referred to in Minute Number 14 above, to consider this matter in private, with the public excluded from the meeting as it would involve the disclosure of exempt information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the Authority holding that information).

 

The Executive Board considered a report providing an update and detailing proposals in relation to the 5 Year Capital Receipts Strategy (2015 -2020) Annual Progress Report.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED:

 

15.1    that the report be received;

 

15.2    that the recommendations, as detailed within the report, be endorsed.

 

</AI14>

<AI15>

15.         SALE OF FORMER RESIDENTIAL CARE HOME, TEGFAN, AMMANFORD

 

Following the application of the public interest test it was UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED, pursuant to the Act referred to in Minute Number 14 above, to consider this matter in private, with the public excluded from the meeting as it would involve the disclosure of exempt information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the Authority holding that information).

 

The Executive Board considered a report on the sale of the former residential care home Tefgan, Ammanford.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the preferred option for the sale of Tegfan, the former residential care home site in Ammanford, was determined as option 2, as detailed within the report.

 

</AI15>

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________________________                                          __________________

CHAIR                                                                                   DATE

 

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