Agenda and minutes

Executive Board
Monday, 30th November, 2015 10.00 am

Venue: Chamber, County Hall, Carmarthen, SA31 1JP. View directions

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors L.M. Stephens and P.A. Palmer.

2.

DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL INTEREST.

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Minutes:

Councillor

Minute No.

Nature of Interest

 

G.O. Jones

13 – Model Pay Policy for Schools 2015-16

Wife is the Headteacher of a Primary School in Carmarthenshire

 

3.

QUESTIONS BY MEMBERS.

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Minutes:

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

4.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS.

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Minutes:

The Chair advised that no public questions had been received.

5.

MID YEAR TREASURY MANAGEMENT AND PRUDENTIAL INDICATOR REPORT - 1ST APRIL TO 30TH SEPTEMBER, 2015. pdf icon PDF 224 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Board, in accordance with the 2015/16 Treasury Management Policy and Strategy (adopted by Council on the 24th February 2015 – Minute 8 refers) received an update on the treasury management activities from the 1st April 2015 to the 30th September 2015.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the report be approved.

 

6.

COUNCIL TAX BASE - 2016/17. pdf icon PDF 409 KB

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Minutes:

The Executive Board was reminded that the Council was required to determine, on an annual basis, its Council Tax Base and the Council Tax Base of each Community within its areas, for the purpose of calculating the level of Council Tax for the forthcoming financial year and, under the provisions of Section 84 of the Local Government Act 2003 and the Local Authorities Executive Arrangements (Functions and Responsibilities) (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2004, the annual calculation had been delegated to the Executive Board.

 

The Executive Board was advised that the 2016-17 Council Tax Base had been calculated as showing a slight increase of 0.8% which was marginally higher than the increases seen in recent years. It was noted that the collection rate of 97.5% which had applied since 2014-15 had been retained for 2016-17 as this better reflected the overall long term collection rate achieved by the department than the 96% rate applied for the years prior to 2014-15.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED

 

2.1.     That the Council Tax Base calculations for the financial year 2016-17, as detailed within Appendix A of the report, be approved.

 

2.2.     That  a Council Tax Base of 70,928.91, as detailed within  Tables 1a and 1b of the report be confirmed in respect of the County Council area

 

2.3.     That the relevant tax bases for the individual community and town council areas, as shown in Table 2, be confirmed.

 

 

7.

COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEVY. pdf icon PDF 488 KB

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Minutes:

The Executive Board was advised that at its meeting held on the 11th May 2015 (Minute 4 refers) it had resolved to collect further information to inform consideration of adopting a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). 

 

The report provided an update on the evidence gathered to date and sought approval to authorise the production of a Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule which would identity the amount of CIL sought from each qualifying development.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL

 

1.          To progress a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) for Carmarthenshire.

 

2.          To authorise the production of a Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule, which will identify the amount of CIL sought from each qualifying development, and to conduct a formal consultation on its content along with the associated evidence base.

 

 

 

 

8.

CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL SUPPORT FOR CHARTER FOR SUSTAINABLE BRITISH STEEL. pdf icon PDF 401 KB

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Minutes:

The Executive Board  was advised that in January 2015 the Council had been approached by UK Steel to sign the Charter for Sustainable British Steel to ensure that Carmarthenshire County Council would commit to sourcing carbon steel reinforcement for concrete (carbon rebar) produced to the BES6001 Standard.

 

The Executive Board was informed that UK Steel had requested that Carmarthenshire County Council join other Local Authorities, Government Contractors and private contractors in signing the Charter. It was noted that BES 6001 was an internationally recognised standard and ensured that steel adhered to guidelines on sustainability, traceability, environmental management, health and safety and international labour laws, as well as supporting jobs in the steel manufacturing industry, the use of BES 6001 in publically funded infrastructure projects would also support the Authority to meet Government environmental and sustainability targets.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED

 

1.     that the Council supports the Charter for Sustainable British Steel.

 

2.     that should any issues arise as a result of a delay in sourcing materials which could result in a potential increase in costs, delegated authority be granted to the Regeneration Delivery Teamto resolve the matter.

 

 

 

 

9.

RETAIL AND TOWN CENTRE PLANNING POLICY. pdf icon PDF 604 KB

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Minutes:

The Executive Board considered a report on proposed changes in National Planning Policy on Retail and Town Centres. The report also provided an update on evidence in relation to retail activity within Carmarthenshire and Llanelli Town Centre and set out the scope of Local Development Orders and their potential use in relation to Town Centres.

 

Councillor D. Cundy, in accordance with CPR 11.1 referred to Question 13 on page 89-90 of the report regarding the necessity for robust and thorough monitoring and asked whether the Authority was monitoring on a regular basis to ensure money was being allocated to the right places? In acknowledging that various applications for funding were ongoing i.e. “vibrant and viable” and “Opportunity Street” a further question was asked whether the Authority had developed a plan with deliverable dates etc?

 

The Executive Board Member for Regeneration advised that it was very important to monitor as this ensured that funding was spent correctly, the Authority was awaiting the result of a further bid for funding and it was proposed to work with the traders to create a “buzz” in the town and activities which would increase footfall. There was also an interest by the private section in new housing developments which would also create the need for more retail shops.

 

The Board was advised that a short, medium and long term plan with dates, was currently being produced and would be considered by the Llanelli Task Force in early  2016.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED

 

1.          That the proposed changes to Planning Policy Wales (Chapter 10) and Technical Advice Note 4: Retail Centre Development and the consultation response be noted.

 

2.          To note the content of the retail Study Update 2015 as evidence in future policy formulation and in the determination of planning applications across Carmarthenshire.

 

3.          To note that officers will further explore, and where appropriate, prepare a Local Development Order including undertaking informal consulations as appropriate and to further report on its proposed scope, content and geographical extent.

 

 

 

 

10.

CSSIW ANNUAL REVIEW AND EVALUATION OF PERFORMANCE FOR 2014/15. pdf icon PDF 318 KB

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Minutes:

The Executive Board considered the Care and Social Service Inspectorate Wales’ (CSSIW) Annual review and evaluation of performance for 2014-15 of the local authority’s social services.

 

The Board was reminded that the CSSIW undertook an annual evaluation and review of social services and provided overall judgements on key areas and progress for improvement which took account of all available sources of evidence, including the Annual Report of the Director of Social Services, and the evidence which supported that report, together with the views of other auditors and inspectors as well as their own regulatory work. It was noted that the process linked closely with the Wales Programme for Improvement and the Annual Letter from the Wales Audit Office.

 

The CSSIW assessment reflected the areas of strength and areas for development identified in the Director of Social Services Report presented to the County Council on the 8th July 2015.

 

Councillor D. Cundy, in accordance with CPR 11.1 asked a question on whether the Authority was safeguarding, in the forthcoming budget, the areas highlighted for improvement within the report?

 

The Executive Board Member for Social Care and Health in response advised that the Authority acknowledged the work required and a Safeguarding annual report had recently been considered by the relevant Scrutiny Committee. She was pleased to advise that the department had appointed a new lead officer and had also in the past week appointed a new Head of Service who had proven experience in safeguarding. 

 

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL that the report be noted.

 

11.

UPGRADE OF VELODROME AT CARMARTHEN PARK. pdf icon PDF 627 KB

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Minutes:

The Executive Board considered a report on the upgrade of the Velodrome at Carmarthen Park which had been identified by Welsh Cycling as an ideal location to develop a regional training and competition venue for the sport. It was reported that Carmarthen Park was owned by the Authority but managed and fully maintained on a long term lease by Carmarthen Town Council.

 

The Executive Board was informed that the scheme would involve the upgrading of the track surface, improved safety fencing and would see the return and development of high class cycle racing to the facility driving up visitor numbers to the town and the area.

 

It was noted that Olympic legacy funding of £296k had been secured towards the total estimated cost of £607k (subject to tender) leaving a balance of £311k to fund. Carmarthen Town Council had earmarked £25k towards the project and had also invested £10k for the preliminary works/investigations that had been undertaken to- date, the Town Council would also cover all future running and maintenance costs for the facility. The Executive Board was being asked to provide a capital contribution of approximately £286k.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that a capital contribution of approximately £286k be allocated towards the cost of upgrading the track at Carmarthen Park in order to host regional and national events in line with Welsh Cycling’s strategic facility plan for West Wales.

12.

CARMARTHENSHIRE ARCHIVE SERVICE. pdf icon PDF 537 KB

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Minutes:

The Executive Board considered a report on the current status of the Carmarthenshire Archive Service together with future options for the service, including the development of a partnership model for future archive provision and soft market testing for potential alternative providers.

 

It was reported that the Authority had received a number of representations in relation to the report and constructive meetings had been held with Friends of the Archives on options for future service delivery.  The Board was advised that significant capital investment would be required and the Authority was hoping to provide a Carmarthenshire centralised modern archive service, working with partners in order for this to be achieved.

 

Councillor D. Cundy, in accordance with CPR11.1 asked a question as to whether it was possible to digitalize the archive collection to enable research from home etc or alternatively the public could view the documents at the archive service itself. This would also provide an opportunity to work with other counties and other archive services.

 

The Executive Board Member for Regeneration and Leisure, in response advised that the Authority had previously sought grant funding for digitalizing elements of the archive collection and she agreed that a modern archive service should include this facility.

 

The Board expressed a preference to retain the Archives Service within Carmarthenshire and this would be considered as part of a further report on options for future delivery of the service.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED

 

1.          To note the update on the status of the current Archive Service.

 

2.          To authorise officers to:

 

a) further examine and report back on the development of a partnership model with either UWTSD, or West Glamorgan Archives and Swansea University,

 

b) undertake a soft market testing exercise to consider potential alternative providers.

 

3.          To prioritise the location of a base location for the Archives service in rank order of preference, Carmarthen Town, Carmarthenshire, then regional (e.g. within City region).

13.

MODEL PAY POLICY FOR SCHOOLS 2015-16. pdf icon PDF 426 KB

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Minutes:

(NOTE:  Councillor G.O. Jones had earlier declared an interest in this item)

 

The Executive Board was reminded that all schools were required to adopt a pay policy that set out the basis on which teachers’ pay policy would be determined. The report detailed a revised Pay Policy which had been updated to reflect legislative changes introduced in the School Teachers Pay and Conditions (STP&CD) on the 1st September 2015. The revised policy had been drafted by the HR Group of the Education in Regional Working (ERW) consortium and would be offered to all schools across the region. It was noted that Teaching associations had been fully consulted and had agreed the Pay Policy on a regional basis.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the updated Model Pay Policy be endorsed and offered to schools for their consideration and adoption.

14.

WELSH LANGUAGE SKILLS STRATEGY. pdf icon PDF 270 KB

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Minutes:

The Executive Board was reminded that the Authority had developed its first Language Skills Strategy in 2008 in order to ensure that sufficient skills were available in the workplace (through learning and development and recruitment) to meet the requirements of the Welsh language Scheme.

 

Following the publication of the 2011 Census results, the Authority had agreed to establish a Task and Finish Group to investigate the factors that had led to deterioration in the number of Welsh speakers and to make recommendations to address this situation. One of the recommendations arising from the report was the establishment of a Welsh language skills strategy, the Strategy was a key document in relation to meeting the new Welsh language Standards and detailed the Authority’s responsibility to promote and facilitate the use of the Welsh language in internal administration.

 

The Welsh language Skills Strategy was a key element in preparing for the Compliance Standards under the Welsh Language Measure 2011.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL that the Welsh Language Skills Strategy and ALTE framework be adopted.

15.

AGEING WELL IN WALES - LOCAL AGEING WELL PLANS. pdf icon PDF 356 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Board considered a report on a local ageing well plan which met two key strategic drivers – the Ageing Well in Wales programme and The Strategy for Older People in Wales. The plan was complementary to, and supportive of the ‘Vision for Sustainable Services for Older People’ under development within Social Care and supported the 2015 Wellbeing of Future Generations Act, through contributing towards sustainable communities that enabled people to age ‘in-place’.

 

The plan focused on five key outcomes:-

 

·       Age Friendly Communities;

·       Falls Prevention;

·       Dementia Supportive Communities;

·       Opportunities for Learning and Employment; and

·       Loneliness and Isolation.

 

The focus locally was on Council functions that supported the independence of older people who were not users of social services.

 

Councillor D. Cundy, in accordance with CPR 11.1 asked a question regarding whether the Authority was being proactive in visiting local communities to see older people as he was concerned that with an increasing elderly population it was important for the Authority to encourage people to be more active and to inform them that support was available. It was important to ensure contact with the ageing population and he asked whether this had been identified as part of the report.  The Executive Board Member for Housing advised that there was a recognised difficulty in encouraging older people to ask for support, it was therefore vitally important to encourage members of the Community and Community Organisations to be aware of their neighbours and for the Authority to educate the public on this matter. The Executive Board Member for Social Care advised that active work was ongoing within the Communities Department to develop and promote community resilience.   

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND TO THE COUNCIL that the Ageing Well Plan for Carmarthenshire County Council be endorsed.

16.

QUAYSIDE INWARD INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY pdf icon PDF 373 KB

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Minutes:

The Executive Board considered a report on an unsolicited approach from the developer of Ethos, Swansea seeking to develop a similar project in Carmarthen. The proposed site was the Quay Centre currently used by the Youth Service and various community organisations and the site represented a prominent re-development opportunity which could also be of interest for other potential uses.

 

It was reported that Members of the Executive Board had recently visited the Ethos project and viewed thehigh-quality office accommodation with shared reception facilities and specifically-designed conferencing and networking infrastructures which enabled Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to make use of backup resources normally available only to larger businesses.

 

The Board was informed that the project offered significant regeneration benefits to Carmarthen Town with the development of an iconic building providing high quality office space, the proposal would commence the regeneration of the riverside area and by agreeing to enter into an exclusivity agreement this would provide a set time period for the developer to produce proposals and seek grant funding.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the Council enter into an exclusivity agreement with the developer of the Ethos Project to provide an opportunity for the project to be worked up with any future disposal to be at market value and confirmed by reference to an independent valuation.

17.

MATTER REFERRED FROM THE JOINT ENVIRONMENTAL & PUBLIC PROTECTION AND EDUCATION & CHILDREN SCRUTINY COMMITTEE HELD ON THE 18TH SEPTEMBER 2015 [EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES ATTACHED]:- pdf icon PDF 285 KB

SUSTAINING POST-SIXTEEN COLLEGE/SCHOOL TRANSPORT

 

“that the Executive Board ask the other Welsh local authorities for full details of how they had implemented charges for post-sixteen transport and clarification as to whether these had effected post-sixteen education in the long term.”

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Board was advised that the Joint meeting of the Environmental & Public Protection and Education and Children Scrutiny Committee held on the 18th September 2015 had requested the Executive Board to “ask the other Welsh local authorities for full details of how they implemented charges for post-sixteen transport and seek clarification as to whether these had affected post-sixteen education in the long term”.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED, that the referral from the Education and Children Scrutiny Committee be acted upon, and that the other Welsh local authorities be asked for statistics for a period of  more than one year together with  information on the level of charges, and how they were implemented i.e. on a term by term basis or one off annual payment.

 

18.

RENAMING OF THE LIAISON MEETING FOR OPPOSITION SPOKESPERSONS. pdf icon PDF 371 KB

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Minutes:

The Executive Board considered a report which provided the background to the establishment of the Liaison Meeting for Opposition Spokespersons.

 

The Opposition Spokespersons at a meeting held on the 24th September 2015 had suggested that the meeting should be renamed the Shadow Executive Board to more accurately reflect its purpose of shadowing the Executive Board and whilst Group Leaders had been consulted and had no objection to the proposed change in title, as the Opposition Spokespersons meeting had been formally established by Council, for the purpose of Governance, any name change required Executive Board confirmation.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the Liaison Meetings for Opposition Spokespersons convened by the Chief Executive be renamed the Shadow Executive Board.

19.

APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS TO SERVE ON THE CORPORATE PARENTING PANEL.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to minute 10.3 of the Executive Board meeting held on the 17th November 2014, the Executive Board considered nominations for additional members to sit on the Corporate Parenting Panel.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the additional members be agreed as follows:-

 

Plaid Cymru Group

Councillor Mansel Charles

Councillor Gwyneth Thomas

Councillor Jeff Thomas

 

Labour Group

Councillor Ryan Bartlett

Councillor Sharen Davies

 

Independent Group

Nomination awaited – Chief Executive to be advised of the nominated member.

20.

TO SIGN AS A CORRECT RECORD THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD HELD ON THE FOLLOWING DATES:-

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20.1

2ND NOVEMBER, 2015; pdf icon PDF 510 KB

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Minutes:

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Executive Board held on the 2nd November 2015 be signed as a correct record.

 

20.2

16TH NOVEMBER, 2015. pdf icon PDF 379 KB

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Minutes:

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Executive Board held on the 16th November 2015 be signed as a correct record.