Agenda and draft minutes

County Council
Wednesday, 9th September, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Virtual Meeting - .. View directions

Contact: Emma Bryer  01267 224029

Note: Virtual Meeting. Members of the public can view the meeting live via the Authority's website. If you require Welsh to English simultaneous translation during the meeting please telephone 0330 336 4321 Passcode: 25643006# (For call charges contact your service provider) 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE.

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Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors F. Akhtar, S.M. Allen, P.M. Edwards, T.J. Jones, S. Phillips and A.D.T. Speake.

2.

DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL INTERESTS.

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Minutes:

Councillor

Minute Number

Nature of Interest

A.   James

7.1 Notice of Motion Submitted by Councillor Andrew James.

Family holding is the address detailed in the Notice of Motion.

 

3.

CHAIR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS.

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Minutes:

·         The Chair on behalf of members, sends best wishes to Councillor Jim Jones who had recently undergone surgery. 

·         The Chair conveyed sincere condolences to the family of the late David Hughes Davies, or DH Davies as he was known to most people.  DH passed away at the end of July.  He was a Chief Executive of the former Dyfed County Council. 

·         The Chair on behalf Cllr David Thomas congratulated the farmers of the County for their help and support to residents during the pandemic. The Chair also extended this expression of thanks to all persons and businesses that had gone out of their way to help during the pandemic.

·         The Leader provided an update on the major incident which involved a train derailment and diesel spillage at Llangennech on Wednesday 26th August. He advised that there was on-going monitoring of the situation.  Both the Leader and Cllr Gwyneth Thomas expressed their gratitude to everyone who had worked together during this time.  The Emergency Services, Authority staff, Community Council, and the numerous businesses, local schools, community centres and all the individuals who worked together to support the community during this emergency.

·         The Leader made a statement on the cluster of Covid19 cases that had been confirmed in the County recently.  The Leader conveyed his thanks to the people of Carmarthenshire for their adherence to the guidelines and for their efforts and commitment in maintaining vial services.  However, he expressed his disappointment that a minority of people had shown a flagrant disregard for the safety of others and that the Authority would continue do all that it could to prevent further incidents. 

4.

TO APPROVE AND SIGN AS A CORRECT RECORD THE MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON THE 8TH JULY, 2020. pdf icon PDF 121 KB

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Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of Council held on the 8th July, 2020 be signed as a correct record.

5.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS

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Minutes:

The Chair advised that no public questions had been received.

6.

QUESTIONS BY MEMBERS

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Minutes:

7.

TO CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING NOTICES OF MOTION:-

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7.1

NOTICE OF MOTION SUBMITTED BY COUNCILLOR ANDREW JAMES

During the pandemic period and lockdown, virtual meetings have become the normal and essential means of maintaining communication and carrying out Council business. Given the current situation it is highly unlikely that normal meeting gatherings will resume for quite a while. Having reliable and effective broadband provision is therefore essential to maintain this on-line communication going forward.

 

However, high-speed broadband access is extremely challenging if not impossible for people living in remote and rural areas. Local businesses, family households and Councillors like myself are frustrated by the unpredictable service currently being provided by BT Openreach. We in the County Council Chamber have had 3 separate presentations from officers from BT during recent years promising to deliver the service we all richly need and deserve, but to date the delivery of Superfast Broadband connectivity has not been realised across the county. Frustration and disappointment is an understatement for how we all feel, so rather than complain let’s do something positive.

 

I therefore call on all Councillors and Local Authorities within the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, including Carmarthenshire County Council, to support the request being sent to the Welsh Minister with responsibility for delivery of this essential everyday service which will benefit both businesses and households alike, which is:-

 

·         Enabling all households and businesses to access the Global download speed of 11.03 Mega Bites per second. As of 23/07/2020 our download speed at Stangau Farm, Llanddeusant, Llangadog, SA199YL in Carmarthenshire is approximately 2.00 Mega Bites per second. This in contrast compares to a fast Broadband speed of 11 to 50 Mega Bites per second whilst very fast Broadband speed would be 100 Mega Bites per second.

·         Further data confirms that the average upload Broadband speed is 0.45 Mbps in our house whilst the average Global upload speed is 1.00Mbps, whilst superfast Broadband upload speed can range from 19 to 24 Mbps.

 

For those of us living in rural communities with poor broadband provision, our demand for improved access has never been greater.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(NOTE: Councillor A. James had declared an interest in this item)

 

Council considered the following Notice of Motion submitted by Councillor Andrew James:

 

During the pandemic period and lockdown, virtual meetings have become the normal and essential means of maintaining communication and carrying out Council business. Given the current situation it is highly unlikely that normal meeting gatherings will resume for quite a while. Having reliable and effective broadband provision is therefore essential to maintain this on-line communication going forward.

 

However, high-speed broadband access is extremely challenging if not impossible for people living in remote and rural areas. Local businesses, family households and Councillors like myself are frustrated by the unpredictable service currently being provided by BT Openreach. We in the County Council Chamber have had 3 separate presentations from officers from BT during recent years promising to deliver the service we all richly need and deserve, but to date the delivery of Superfast Broadband connectivity has not been realised across the county. Frustration and disappointment is an understatement for how we all feel, so rather than complain let’s do something positive.

 

I therefore call on all Councillors and Local Authorities within the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, including Carmarthenshire County Council, to support the request being sent to the Welsh Minister with responsibility for delivery of this essential everyday service which will benefit both businesses and households alike, which is:-

 

·         Enabling all households and businesses to access the Global download speed of 11.03 Mega Bites per second. As of 23/07/2020 our download speed at Stangau Farm, Llanddeusant, Llangadog, SA199YL in Carmarthenshire is approximately 2.00 Mega Bites per second. This in contrast compares to a fast Broadband speed of 11 to 50 Mega Bites per second whilst very fast Broadband speed would be 100 Mega Bites per second.

·         Further data confirms that the average upload Broadband speed is 0.45 Mbps in our house whilst the average Global upload speed is 1.00Mbps, whilst superfast Broadband upload speed can range from 19 to 24 Mbps.

 

For those of us living in rural communities with poor broadband provision, our demand for improved access has never been greater.

 

The Motion was duly seconded.

 

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

 

A number of statements were made in support of the Motion.

 

Following a vote it was

 

RESOLVED that the Notice of Motion be supported and referred to the Welsh Minister with responsibility for broadband.

7.2

NOTICE OF MOTION BY COUNCILLOR DERYK CUNDY pdf icon PDF 134 KB

MOTION  ON WELFARE

It is proposed that the County Council creates a Welfare Rights Unit made up of Officers to proactively inform people what Benefits they are entitled to including Universal Credit, Pension Credit, ESA, Settled Status, Child Tax Credit, Child Benefit, Working Tax Credit, Job Seekers Allowance etc. and physically helping them to complete the forms and follow up on their claims until successful conclusion.

and that we implement the following recommendations from the 2014 Task and Finish “The Impact of the Welfare Rights Reform on Communities and Households Throughout Carmarthenshire” as follows:

R7. Ensure that online budgeting tools are accessible and promoted at our public access venues such as libraries, Customer Service Centres, Family Centres and community venues with IT.

R12. Raise awareness by developing e-learning and training sessions for staff, members and partners about the welfare reform and referral mechanisms for relevant advice and support.

R13. Consider which service areas in contact with highly vulnerable people and households might benefit in giving frontline staff more specialist training in benefit and debt advice

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Minutes:

Councillor Deryk Cundy advised the Council that he was withdrawing the Notice of Motion.

 

NOTED.

7.3

NOTICE OF MOTION BY COUNCILLOR EDWARD THOMAS

Carmarthenshire County Council deplores the decision of the Welsh Government to further delay the construction of the Llandeilo By Pass until 2025/26, so reneging on an agreement made in 2016 to Adam Price our local Assembly Member

 

Further it deplores the more the lack of consultation and the failure to produce evidence to support this decision and to provide clear workable alternatives to the grid lock and  pollution that has been effecting Llandeilo for over forty years.

 

It further wonders whether £50M allocated to the project will be sufficient to fulfil this agreement by 2025/26.

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Minutes:

Council considered the following Notice of Motion submitted by Councillor Edward Thomas:-

 

Carmarthenshire County Council deplores the decision of the Welsh Government to further delay the construction of the Llandeilo By Pass until 2025/26, so reneging on an agreement made in 2016 to Adam Price our local Assembly Member.

 

Further it deplores the more the lack of consultation and the failure to produce evidence to support this decision and to provide clear workable alternatives to the grid lock and  pollution that has been effecting Llandeilo for over forty years.

 

It further wonders whether £50M allocated to the project will be sufficient to fulfil this agreement by 2025/26.

 

The Motion was duly seconded

 

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

 

A number of statements were made both in support and against the Motion and

following a vote, it was

 

RESOLVED that the Motion be supported and referred to Welsh Government.

8.

COMPOSITION OF THE COUNCIL'S SCRUTINY, REGULATORY AND OTHER COMMITTEES AND THE APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS TO SERVE UPON THEM pdf icon PDF 102 KB

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Minutes:

In line with the requirements of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 and the Local Government (Committees and Political Groups) regulations 1990, as amended, consideration was given to a report detailing the outcome of a review of the composition of the Council’s Scrutiny, Regulatory and other Committees following the resignation of Councillor A. Speake from the Plaid Cymru Group and notification of wish to join the Independent Group. It was noted that as a consequence of the resignation, the Plaid Cymru Group would lose one scrutiny and one regulatory seat and the Independent Group would gain one scrutiny and one regulatory seat. The allocation of seats held by the Labour Group, New Independent Group and the unaffiliated member were unchanged.

 

In response to the required changes, as set out in table 2B within the report, the Plaid Cymru Group had agreed to relinquish one seat on the Environmental & Public Protection Scrutiny Committee and the Independent Group had nominated Councillor Alan Speake to fill its additional seat on this Committee.

 

With regard to the changes impacting the allocation of Regulatory seats as set out in Table 3 within the report, the Plaid Cymru Group had agreed to relinquish one seat on the Member Appointments Committee and the Independent Group had nominated Councillor Alan Speake to fill the additional seat on that Committee.

 

Furthermore, in accordance with Part 6 of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011, which set out the requirements for the appointment of Persons to Chair Overview and Scrutiny Committees, the Council noted that as Councillor Speake had moved between two groups that form the Executive, there was no change to the allocation for the 5 Scrutiny Chairs.

 

RESOLVED that as a result of changes to the overall political composition of the Council,

 

8.1       To adopt the changes to the number of seats held by the Plaid Cymru  Group, and Independent  Group as detailed within Tables 1, 2 and 3 of the report.

8.2       In accordance with Corporate Procedure Rule CPR 2 (2) (n) to approve changes in Committee membership as a result of recommendation 1 above (as detailed within the report).

8.3       To note that there are no changes to the number of seats held by the Labour Group, New Independent Group and the unaffiliated member.

8.4       In accordance with Part 6 of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 to note that the existing arrangements for the allocation of the 5 Scrutiny Seats remains unchanged.

9.

APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS TO SERVE ON COUNCIL ADVISORY PANELS AND OUTSIDE BODIES SUBJECT TO POLITICAL BALANCE REQUIREMENTS pdf icon PDF 105 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

As a result of a review undertaken following the resignation of Councillor Alan Speak from the Plaid Cymru Group and notification of wish to join the Independent Group, the Council considered a report detailing the consequential changes to the overall political composition of the Council and reviewed the arrangements for the allocation of seats to political groups.

 

Council noted that the only changes arising from the above change of membership related to the allocation of seats to the political groups for the Dyfed Powys Police & Crime Panel and that following discussions with the Group Leaders it was proposed that the Plaid Cymru would relinquish its seat held by Councillor Emlyn Schiavone who would be replaced by Councillor Jim Jones of the Independent Group. 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that as a result of changes to the overall political composition of the Council:

9.1

The allocation of elected member seats on the Dyfed PowysPolice & Crime Panel be amended as follows:-
Plaid Cymru (1) Labour (1) Independent (1)

9.2

To note that, in accordance with recommendation 9.1 above, the Plaid Cymru Group had relinquished the seat held by Councillor Emlyn Schiavone and to approve the nomination of Councillor Jim Jones as the   Independent Group’s nomination as its additional representative.

 

10.

APPOINTMENT OF CHAIR OF THE MEMBER APPOINTMENTS COMMITTEE

Nomination received for Chair of the Member Appointments Committee:-

 

Cllr Mansel Charles – Plaid Cymru.

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Minutes:

In accordance with Corporate Procedure Rule CPR 2(2)(n) and following the receipt of nominations from the relevant political groups it was:

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that Councillor Mansel Charles be appointed as Chair of the Member Appointments Committee.

11.

TO RECEIVE THE REPORTS OF THE MEETINGS OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD

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11.1

29TH JUNE 2020 pdf icon PDF 84 KB

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Minutes:

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the report of the meeting of the Executive Board held on the 29th June, 2020 be received.

11.2

13TH JULY 2020 pdf icon PDF 75 KB

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Minutes:

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the report of the meeting of the Executive Board held on the 13th July, 2020 be received.

11.3

27TH JULY 2020 pdf icon PDF 79 KB

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Minutes:

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the report of the meeting of the Executive Board held on the 27th July, 2020 be received.