Agenda and minutes

County Council
Wednesday, 9th December, 2015 10.00 am

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

Contact: Michelle Evans Thomas  01267 224470

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

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Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors T. Bowen, D.B. Davies, I.W. Davies, J.A. Davies, T.T. Defis, P.M. Hughes, A. James, P.E.M. Jones, M.J.A. Lewis, A.G. Morgan, A.D.T. Speake, K.P. Thomas, J. Williams and J.E. Williams

2.

DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL INTERESTS.

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Minutes:

Councillor

Minute Number

Nature of Interest

R. Bartlett

6 – Notice of Motion by Councillor E. Dole

Personal and Prejudicial - Daughter works for the European Office in Cardiff

K. Madge

 

Daughter works in Social Services

E. Morgan

 

Daughter is a Staff Nurse

G.B. Thomas, J.M. Charles, D.E. Williams and K. Howell

6 – Notice of Motion by Councillor E. Dole

Receives a single farm payment from the European Union

 

3.

CHAIR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS.

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Minutes:

1.     Announcements

·        The Chair extended his best wishes and a speedy recovery to Councillor P.E.M. Jones following her recent period in hospitalis.

·        The Chair extended a welcome to Councillor R. Thomas to his first meeting of the Council following his election as County Councillor for the Kidwelly Ward.

·        The Executive Board Member for Housing informed the Council that its Housing Department had won first prize in the recent Housing Wales Awards 2015 in respect of both The Community Empowerment Award for its Time Credit scheme and the New Idea of the Year Award for its Fuel Club Scheme. She also advised that Ms L Duffy, a tenant of the Council, had also been shortlisted for the Housing Hero Award. She extended her appreciation to the staff within the Housing Department in achieving the awards.

·        The Chair advised on his recent duties involving the opening of a new school and two school extensions and visiting Council owned care homes with the Executive Board Member for Social Care and Health.

 

2.     Presentation

The Chair welcomed to the meeting staff and students of Ysgol Dyffryn Aman and Ysgol Bro Dinefwr.

 

The Council was advised that the pupils had been invited to attend the meeting following their participation in the Insight day held on the 9th November, 2015 when representatives from 7 secondary schools had been invited to Parc y Scarlets as part of the budget consultations with each school being invited to appoint an Executive Board, and Leader, to consider the budget proposals.  Following their deliberations, the Leader of each of the School’s Executive Boards made a presentation to the Council’s Executive Board and Senior Officers on their conclusions. As a result of that exercise, representatives from the schools had been invited to make their presentations to the Council.

 

The Council thereupon received presentations from the students of Ysgol Dyffryn Aman and Ysgol Bro Dinefwr in respect of the introduction of charges for post 16 school transport, cost of school meals, remodelling breakfast clubs, the provision of home care services via the establishment of an Arms Length Company, the potential impact of savings within the schools budget on staffing levels, narrowing of the curriculum, increased class numbers for KS3 and KS4 and on children’s education and futures.

 

The Chair thanked the students for their presentation.

4.

TO APPROVE AND SIGN AS A CORRECT RECORD THE MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON THE 11TH NOVEMBER 2015 pdf icon PDF 658 KB

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Minutes:

RESOLVED, that the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on the 11th November 2015 be signed as a correct record.

5.

NOTICE OF MOTION SUBMITTED BY COUNCILLOR J.D. JAMES

“In light of the National Assembly for Wales committing itself to be a dementia friendly organisation that champions the rights of over 45,000 people living with dementia in Wales as well as their carers, this Council urges the Welsh Government to put in place the procedural framework that will allow Local Authorities to paint pavement kerbs Blue where required.”

 

This practice will assist those living with dementia to differentiate between the pavement and the road enabling them to  move in a safer environment.

 

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Minutes:

The Council considered the following Notice of Motion submitted by Councillor J.D. James:-

 

“In light of the National Assembly for Wales committing itself to be a dementia friendly organisation that champions the rights of over 45,000 people living with dementia in Wales as well as their carers, this Council urges the Welsh Government to put in place the procedural framework that will allow Local Authorities to paint pavement kerbs Blue where required.”

 

This practice will assist those living with dementia to differentiate between the pavement and the road enabling them to move in a safer environment”

 

The Motion was duly seconded.

 

The proposer of the Motion was afforded the opportunity of speaking in support of the Motion and outlined the reasons for its submission, as set out in the Motion.

 

A number of statements were made in support of the Motion where it was suggested that the representations to the Welsh Government should be made to the Ministers responsible for Roads and Highways and for Health requesting that they examine the issues raised. The proposer, and seconder, confirmed their agreement with the suggestion.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED, that the Motion be adopted and representations be made to the Welsh Government Ministers’ with responsibility for Roads and Highways and for Health.

6.

NOTICE OF MOTION SUBMITTED BY COUNCILLOR E. DOLE

REFERENDUM ON THE UNITED KINGDOM’S CONTINUING MEMBERSHIP OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

 

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has made a commitment to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU. 

 

Carmarthenshire has benefited enormously from the European Union.  The statistics speak for themselves:

 

The total investment since 2007 is £150m (this figure relates only to Carmarthenshire County Council lead projects under the convergence programme and funds administered by ourselves via the Rural Development Programme (RDP) Axis 3 and 4).

 

The RDP alone has lead to:

 

·       265 businesses and communities being supported financially in rural Carmarthenshire;

·       194 jobs being created;

·       238 jobs being safeguarded;

·       267 new products/services being development

 

In addition the convergence programme has lead to:

 

·       1,169 enterprises have been assisted

·       446 new enterprises created

·       1,630 jobs created

·       35,955 people received training

·       3,690 participants entering employment

·       3,271 participants entering further learning

·       12,154 participants gaining a qualification

 

This Council believes:

 

1          that it is in the overwhelming interests of the people of Carmarthenshire for the United Kingdom to stay in the European Union;

 

2        that only as a full member of a reformed European Union can we be certain that Wales’ businesses will have access to markets in Europe and beyond;

 

3        that remaining part of the European Union is vital to the long term security of           Carmarthenshire businesses and to building a stronger local economy;

 

4        that Carmarthenshire businesses and public sector organisations be asked to highlight the importance of remaining within the European Union in the run-up           to the European Union referendum;

 

5        that Carmarthenshire residents be urged to vote “Yes? to remain in the           European Union in the forthcoming coming referendum”.

 

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Minutes:

(NOTE:

1)    Councillor R. Bartlett having earlier declared a personal and prejudicial interest in this item left the Council Chamber during its consideration,

2)    Councillors G.B. Thomas, D.E. Williams, J.M. Charles and K. Howell, having previously declared an interest in this item took no part in the debate or vote thereon)

 

REFERENDUM ON THE UNITED KINGDOM’S CONTINUING MEMBERSHIP OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

 

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has made a commitment to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU. 

 

Carmarthenshire has benefited enormously from the European Union.  The statistics speak for themselves:

 

The total investment since 2007 is £150m (this figure relates only to Carmarthenshire County Council lead projects under the convergence programme and funds administered by ourselves via the Rural Development Programme (RDP) Axis 3 and 4).

 

The RDP alone has lead to:

 

·       265 businesses and communities being supported financially in rural Carmarthenshire;

·       194 jobs being created;

·       238 jobs being safeguarded;

·       267 new products/services being development

 

In addition the convergence programme has lead to:

 

·       1,169 enterprises have been assisted

·       446 new enterprises created

·       1,630 jobs created

·       35,955 people received training

·       3,690 participants entering employment

·       3,271 participants entering further learning

·       12,154 participants gaining a qualification

 

This Council believes:

 

1        that it is in the overwhelming interests of the people of Carmarthenshire for the United Kingdom to stay in the European Union;

 

2        that only as a full member of a reformed European Union can we be certain that Wales’ businesses will have access to markets in Europe and beyond;

 

3        that remaining part of the European Union is vital to the long term security of Carmarthenshire businesses and to building a stronger local economy;

 

4        that Carmarthenshire businesses and public sector organisations be asked to highlight the importance of remaining within the European Union in the run-up to the European Union referendum;

 

5        that Carmarthenshire residents be urged to vote “Yes? to remain in the           European Union in the forthcoming coming referendum”.

 

The Motion was duly seconded.

 

The proposer of the Motion was afforded the opportunity of speaking in support of the Motion and outlined the reasons for its submission, as set out in the motion.

 

A number of statements were made in relation to the Motion and, following a vote, it was

 

RESOLVED that the Motion be adopted.

7.

QUESTION BY COUNCILLOR JEFF EDMUNDS TO COUNCILLOR EMLYN DOLE, LEADER OF THE COUNCIL

“Councillors have a very important role to play; we are the interface between citizens and the council.  We are also seen as community leaders, democratically elected to represent our communities and are accountable to them, especially at the ballot box.


Cllr. Dole as leader of this council my question is, 'Do you believe that we as councillors should hold ourselves responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of us?”


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Minutes:

“Councillors have a very important role to play; we are the interface between citizens and the council.  We are also seen as community leaders, democratically elected to represent our communities and are accountable to them, especially at the ballot box.


Cllr. Dole, as leader of this council, my question is, 'Do you believe that we as councillors should hold ourselves responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of us?”

 

Councillor Dole affirmed his agreement.

 

Councillor Edmunds asked the following supplementary question:-

 

“We are responsible for setting policy within the Council so, as Leader of this Authority, do you believe that all members, as councillors, should lead by example and where at all possible, abide by the same policies and protocols we authorise and to be accountable.

 

Councillor Dole affirmed his agreement.

8.

QUESTION BY COUNCILLOR JEFF EDMUNDS TO JANE TREMLETT, EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER FOR SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH

“In the light of the recent report in the Carmarthenshire Herald regarding allegations of financial and management irregularities in the County Council's management of the Coastal Care programme, will the Executive Board Member for Social Care and Health facilitate a public enquiry into this allegation as a matter of urgency”.

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Minutes:

“In the light of the recent report in the Carmarthenshire Herald regarding allegations of financial and management irregularities in the County Council's management of the Coastal Care programme, will the Executive Board Member for Social Care and Health facilitate a public enquiry into this allegation as a matter of urgency”.

 

Response by Councillor J. Tremlett, Executive Board Member for Social Care and Health

 

‘Thank you for your question.

 

The Coastal programme was an ESF European Convergence European funded project. Swansea City and County Council were the lead body via the regional coastal team. We were one of six County Councils delivering the project. The scheme operated between January 2009 and December 2014. I understand throughout the life of the project there were monitoring visits and external audits led by compliance officers independent of the county council. As is the case with all grants, where any claims are found to be potentially non-compliant with the terms of the grant, the claims are adjusted. To date, I have had no details brought to my attention that require further investigation.

 

Councillor J. Edmunds asked the following supplementary question:-

 

Would the Councillor now seek to make all the documentation available to officers, including historic documentation and the management of whistle blowers involved in the coastal care open to all members.

 

Response by Councillor J. Tremlett, Executive Board Member for Social Care and Health

 

If there is any new information you would like to present then we will of course look at it.

9.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS (NONE RECEIVED).

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Minutes:

The Chair advised that no public questions had been received.

10.

REPORT OF THE CHAIRMAN OF STANDARDS COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 299 KB

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Minutes:

The Chair welcomed Mr Christopher Downward, Chair of the Standards Committee, to the meeting and invited him to present the Annual Report of the Standards Committee for the 2014/15 period.

Mr Downward thanked the Council for the opportunity of presenting the Annual Report on behalf of the Standards Committee and prior to making his presentation expressed his sadness at the death of the Committee’s former Chair, Mr Paul Stait, in September 2015. He thereupon provided an overview of the principal matters addressed by the Committee during 2014/15 which included Code of Conduct Complaints, Applications for Dispensation, Code of Conduct Training, and the Authority’s Whistle-Blowing Policy which it had been congratulated upon by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales.  The Committee also received the Authority’s End of Year Complaints and Compliments report together with the annual reports from the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales and the Adjudication Panel for Wales. 

In response to a question relating to the number of town and community council low level member on member complaints received by the Ombudsman, the Head of Administration and Law reminded the Council that it had previously adopted a Local Resolution Policy with regard thereto (Council 10th July 2013 – Minute 8 refers). It was open to Town and Community Councils to adopt a similar policy, and she would be agreeable to sharing the council’s policy with those authorities, copies of which had previously been forwarded to a number of those authorities, on request. She also advised that the Draft Public Services Ombudsman Wales’ Bill sought to devolve more low level member on member complaints to local authorities and their Standards Committees.

Mr Downward was thanked 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 April 2014 to 31st March 2015 be received.

11.

EXECUTIVE BOARD RECOMMENDATION - ANIMAL ESTABLISHMENTS - LICENSING CONDITIONS AND FEES [02/11/2015] pdf icon PDF 601 KB

(Members are requested to note that due to the size of the appendicies hard copies will not be provided and can be viewed on the Council’s website for the Executive Board Meeting of the 2nd November via the following link:

http://democracy.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=131&MId=123&Ver=4

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Minutes:

Council was informed that the Executive Board, at its meeting held on the 2nd November, 2015 had considered a report on proposals for the introduction of new Licensing Conditions for Animal Establishments within the County and for the Council to undertake formal consultation on the introduction of a new fee structure.

 

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

 

11.1.1 the new licensing conditions for animal establishments within Carmarthenshire be approved.

 

11.1.2 formal consultation be undertaken on the revised fee structure for animal establishments within Carmarthenshire.

12.

TO RECEIVE THE REPORTS OF THE MEETINGS OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD HELD ON THE:-

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12.1

2ND NOVEMBER 2015 pdf icon PDF 510 KB

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Minutes:

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

12.2

16TH NOVEMBER 2015 pdf icon PDF 379 KB

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Minutes:

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

13.

MEMBERSHIP OF COMMITTEES

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Minutes:

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the following amendments to committee membership be approved in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 2(2)(m)

 

Councillor J. Williams to fill the vacancy on the Education and Children Scrutiny Committee

 

Councillor R. Bartlett to fill the vacancy for a substitute member on the Planning Committee