Agenda and minutes

County Council
Wednesday, 10th January, 2018 10.00 am

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

Contact: Kevin Thomas  01267 224027

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

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Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors L. Bowen, S. Curry, A. Davies, W.R.A. Davies, I.W. Davies, D.C. Evans, L.D. Evans, C.J. Harris, R. James, C. Jones, A.G. Morgan, H.B. Shepardson, A.D.T. Speake, E.G. Thomas, G. Thomas and J.E. Williams

2.

DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL INTERESTS.

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Minutes:

There were no declarations of personal interest.

3.

CHAIR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS.

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Minutes:

·        The Chair extended his congratulations to the following residents of Carmarthenshire awarded in the New Years Honours:-

 

Order of the British Empire, Members of the Order of the British Empire:-

Daniel McCallum, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Awel Aman Tawe – For services to Community Energy in Wales,

 

Richard Hugh Morgan, Police Constable, South Wales Police – For Charitable services to Armed Forces Veterans

 

British Empire Medal

David Gravell – For services to charity, sport and education in Wales.

 

Council was apprised of the work undertaken by Mr Gravell in the above areas, and within the community, including his support for the Welsh Language and the establishment of the ‘Tom Gravell’ scholarship in Llandovery College, now in its twelfth year, enabling a student from Patagonia to attend the college on a full time basis to develop their Welsh Language.

 

Royal Victorian Order – Member of the Victorian Order:-

Ian John Miles, senior Manager Specialist Operations, Dyfed Powys Police,

 

Mrs Audrey Williams, from the Council’s Regeneration and Policy Department – For services to the Lieutenancy of Dyfed

 

Council was advised that the Award to Mrs Williams had been made in recognition of her work over many years to the Lieutenancy

 

·        Congratulations were extended to Lian Poulson last years’ winner of the Beacon Bursary Competition for young entrepreneurs who, in her first year of trading since winning the award, had seen her fashion design company, Lian Cara and its natural reflections collection, featured in Vogue Magazine for the period January – March 2018

4.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS (NONE RECEIVED).

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Minutes:

The Chair advised that no public questions had been received.

5.

PRESENTATION OF PETITION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"We the undersigned call upon the Carmarthenshire County Council to exercise its paramount duty to safeguard and protect children by relocating the Charity Chooselife to suitable alternative accommodation.  The present location of Chooselife immediately adjacent to the new infants and junior school in Copperworks Road is unacceptable and dangerous as hundreds of children will be walking to school along Copperworks Road on a daily basis. The close location of both facilities is incompatible and one must move. Due to the investment already committed by the County Council, this must be Chooselife."

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Minutes:

The Chair welcomed to the meeting Mrs V. Marsh, Chairperson of the Safer Communities Action Group, who had been invited to present to, and address Council on the following petition regarding the ‘Relocation of Choose Life’

 

"We the undersigned call upon the Carmarthenshire County Council to exercise its paramount duty to safeguard and protect children by relocating the Charity Chooselife to suitable alternative accommodation.  The present location of Chooselife immediately adjacent to the new infants and junior school in Copperworks Road is unacceptable and dangerous as hundreds of children will be walking to school along Copperworks Road on a daily basis. The close location of both facilities is incompatible and one must move. Due to the investment already committed by the County Council, this must be Chooselife."

 

Mrs Marsh outlined to the Council the Group’s background and the reasons for the petition in relation to the close proximity of Choose Life’s operating premises, as a drug and alcohol ‘drop in centre’, to the new infant and junior school currently under construction in Glanymor. Reference was made to the potential adverse impact that could have on young children attending the school and the Council was reminded of its statutory safeguarding duty to children. She confirmed the Group was not seeking the closure of the ‘drop in centre’, merely its relocation in the short time left prior to the opening of the new school.

 

Following her presentation, Mrs Marsh formally handed the petition to the Chair of Council

 

A view was expressed that the Executive Board should look favourably upon the petition when affording consideration thereto.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that in accordance with Corporate Procedure Rule 10.14 the petition be referred to the Executive Board for consideration.

6.

QUESTIONS BY MEMBERS (NONE RECEIVED)

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Minutes:

The Chair advised that no questions by members had been received.

 

7.

TO CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING NOTICE OF MOTION:-

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7.1

NOTICE OF MOTION SUBMITTED BY COUNCILLOR GLYNOG DAVIES

“CARE LEAVERS’ COUNCIL TAX EXEMPTION

 

Care leavers who were looked after by the local Authority are amongst the most vulnerable groups in our community. As a part of our corporate parenting role, we believe that Carmarthenshire County Council should aim to keep young people safe and improve their life chances. We have a duty to care leavers.

 

We believe that we have a responsibility to ensure that, when young people make the transition from care to adult life, the process is as smooth as possible and that we should do all we can to mitigate the changes that often result in care leavers falling into debt as they begin to manage their own finances.

 

We propose the following notice of motion:

 

‘That all care leavers should be exempt from council tax up to the age of 21 (with the discretion of extending the age up to 25 in exceptional circumstances).

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Minutes:

Council considered the following Notice of Motion submitted by Councillor Glynog Davies:-

 

‘That all care leavers should be exempt from council tax up to the age of 21 (with the discretion of extending the age up to 25 in exceptional circumstances).

 

The Motion was duly seconded.

 

The proposer of the Motion was afforded the opportunity of speaking in support thereof and outlined the reasons for its submission. He advised that should Council support the motion, a report would be submitted to its next meeting on the formulation of a policy to effect the decision.

 

A number of statements were made in support of the Motion following which, it was

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the Notice of Motion be supported.

8.

ANNUAL REPORT OF STANDARDS COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 174 KB

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Minutes:

The Chair welcomed to the meeting Mr Andre Morgan, Chair of the Standards Committee, who had been invited to present to Council the Annual Report of the Standards Committee for the 2016/17 period.

Prior to Mr Morgan presenting his report, congratulations were extended to him on his recent appointment as Chair following the resignation of the previous Chair, Mr Christopher Downward. Appreciation was also extended to Mr Downward for the professional manner in which he had undertaken that role

Mr Morgan thanked the Council for the opportunity of presenting the Annual Report on behalf of the Standards Committee and proceeded to provide an overview of the issues addressed by the Committee during 2016/17. Those included Code of Conduct Complaints, Applications for Dispensation, Code of Conduct Training, Code of Conduct Compliance by Town and Community Councils and the Authority’s Whistle-Blowing Policy.  The Committee had also received the Authority’s End of Year Complaints and Compliments report for 2016/17 together with the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales’ Annual Report.   

The Chair thanked Mr Morgan for his presentation and for the work undertaken by the Standards Committee

RESOLVED, that the Annual Report of the Standards Committee for the period 1st May 2016 to 31st March 2017 be received.

9.

COUNCIL TAX REDUCTION SCHEME 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 107 KB

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Minutes:

The Council considered a report on the Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2018/19 and was advised that in 2013, the Westminster Government replaced the national Council Tax Benefit Scheme with a localised scheme. It was reported that whilst in England, councils operated their own individual schemes, the position in Wales was different with responsibility having been devolved to the Welsh Government and an all-Wales scheme developed, which had been in place since that time. Although the Scheme had been established on an all Wales Basis, each Welsh local authority was required by prescribed Requirements Regulations to formally adopt a Council Tax Reduction Scheme by 31st January each year.

 

The Executive Board Member for Resources reminded members that although it was a single all-Wales scheme, local authorities had to re-adopt the scheme annually if they wished to take advantage of the limited discretionary powers they had to vary the standard scheme in respect of the three areas outlined in the report. He reminded members that since the scheme’s introduction, Carmarthenshire had, in common with most Welsh authorities, used its discretionary powers and fully disregarded any Disablement Pensions, War Widows Pensions and similar payments when calculating entitlement. He reminded members that by accepting the recommendations contained in the report, Carmarthenshire would continue to disregard those payments.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that for 2018/19 the Council:-

9.1

formally adopts the standard all-Wales Council Tax Reduction Scheme provided for in the:

a)       Council Tax Reduction Schemes and Prescribed Requirements (Wales) Regulations 2013, and

b)      Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements and Default Scheme) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2014

9.2

implements the annual up-rating figures (used in entitlement calculations) and other technical amendments included in the Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements and Default Scheme) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2018, due to come into effect on the 10th January, 2018

9.3

continues to exercise its discretion with regard to the limited discretionary elements of the prescribed scheme as outline in the report’s Executive Summary.

 

10.

TO CONSIDER THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD IN RESPECT OF THE FOLLOWING ITEMS

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10.1

CARMARTHENSHIRE LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN 2006 – 2021 REVIEW REPORT (Executive Board 18th December 2017) pdf icon PDF 302 KB

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Minutes:

The Council was informed that the Executive Board, at its meeting held on the 18th December, 2017 (minute 8 refers) had received a report on proposals for the Council to undertake a full review of the Carmarthenshire Local Development Plan 2006-2021. It was noted that the report detailed the processes required to be undertaken, and their associated timescales, should the Council adopt the Executive Board recommendations to undertake a full review.

 

Several references were made endorsing the ethos of the plan being “local” and reflecting the needs of communities across the county. It was noted that the role of local members and the community were central thereto in making representations for their communities via the consultation processes. Members could also raise any issues they may have via the Local Development Plan Advisory Committee.

 

Representations were also received on the importance of the Plan making provision for the development and enhancement of the Welsh Language throughout the County in parallel with the Welsh Government’s aim of creating a million new Welsh Speakers by 2050 and the provisions of the recently published Technical Advice Note (TAN) 20: Planning and the Welsh Language. 

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the following recommendations of the Executive Board be adopted:

 

“To authorise the commencement of work on the preparation of a full revision of the Carmarthenshire Local Development Plan;

 

To publish the Carmarthenshire Local Development Plan Review Report;

 

To grant officers delegated authority to make typographical or factual amendments as necessary to improve the clarity and accuracy of the report.”

 

10.2

REVISED CARMARTHENSHIRE LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN 2018 - 2033 DRAFT DELIVERY AGREEMENT AND DRAFT SITE ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY (Executive Board 18th December 2017) pdf icon PDF 304 KB

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Minutes:

The Council was informed that the Executive Board, at its meeting held on the 18th December (minute 9 refers) had received a report on proposals for the adoption of a Local Plan Delivery Agreement and Site Assessment Methodology required to be undertaken as part of the formal review of the Carmarthenshire Local Development Review (approved by Council in minute 10.1 above).

 

It was noted that the report detailed a timetable of the key stages for preparing the revised LDP and a community involvement scheme comprising information on how, and when, stakeholders and the community could engage and contribute during the Plan’s preparatory process. One of the key elements relating thereto was the Site Assessment Methodology, and members were urged to advise their communities of the processes involved and evidence required in applying for the inclusion of a site(s) within the new plan and the emphasis the Plan would place on their deliverability.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the following recommendations of the Executive Board be adopted:-

 

“that the draft Delivery Agreement for the Revised Carmarthenshire Local Development Plan for a 6 week formal consultation be approved;

 

That the commencement of the initial stages of the LDP preparatory process in advance of any agreement on the final Delivery Agreement be approved;

 

That the content of the Draft Site Assessment Methodology be approved;

 

To grant officers delegated authority to continue preparatory discussions and to make typographical or factual amendments, as necessary, to improve the clarity and accuracy of the Draft Delivery Agreement and to refine the usability of the Draft Site Assessment Methodology”.

11.

TO RECEIVE THE REPORT OF THE MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD HELD ON THE 18TH DECEMBER 2017 pdf icon PDF 387 KB

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Minutes:

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the report of the above meeting be received.

12.

TO CONSIDER THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE DEMOCRATIC SERVICES COMMITTEE IN RESPECT OF THE FOLLOWING ITEM:-

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12.1

SURVEY - TIMING OF MEETINGS (DEMOCRATIC SERVICES COMMITTEE 29/11/2017) pdf icon PDF 73 KB

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Minutes:

Council was informed that the Democratic Services Committee, at its meeting held on the 29th November, 2017 (minute 6 refers) had considered a report on the outcome of a survey undertaken in accordance with the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 requiring local authorities to survey their members on the times and intervals at which their meetings were held. It was noted that the result of the survey was that the preference of the majority of members responding was for arrangements to remain as at present.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the following recommendation of the Democratic Services Committee be adopted:-

 

“That having regard to the responses received to the survey, the timing and venue for Council and Committee meetings remain unchanged”.