Agenda and minutes

County Council
Wednesday, 13th April, 2016 10.00 am

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

Contact: Martin S. Davies  01267 224059

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors S.M. Caiach, D.M. Cundy, T.T. Defis, M. Gravell, P.M. Hughes, A. James, P.E.M. Jones, A. Lenny, K. Madge, J. Owen, B.A.L. Roberts, A.D.T. Speake, G. Thomas, K.P. Thomas and S. E. Thomas.

 

2.

DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL INTERESTS

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor

Minute Number

Nature of Interest

S.M. Allen

13 – Tai Cantref Housing Association Ltd.

County Council representative on Bro Myrddin Housing Association’s Board of Management;

D.C. Evans

5.2 – Notice of Motion submitted by Cllr. D.J.R. Bartlett; 

Member of Ammanford Town Council;

H.A.L. Evans

 

16 – Tai Cantref Housing Association Ltd.

Her sister is the Chief Executive of Bro Myrddin Housing Association and Interim Chief Executive of Tai Cantref Housing Association Ltd.;

D.E. Harries

 

5.2 – Notice of Motion submitted by Cllr. D.J.R. Bartlett; 

Has a business in Ammanford;

A.W. Jones

5.2 – Notice of Motion submitted by Cllr. D.J.R. Bartlett; 

Custodian of land leased to Carmarthenshire County Council;

M.J.A. Lewis

16 – Tai Cantref Housing Association Ltd.

Appointed by the Council to sit as an observer on Cymdeithas Tai Cantref’s Board of Management.

 

3.

CHAIR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS

Additional documents:

Minutes:

·       The Chair welcomed, and congratulated, pupils from Glan-y-mor School who had won the Young Engineers School of the Year competition at ‘The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair’ held recently at the Birmingham NEC. One of the pupils, Charlie Hall (y9), had also won the Broadcom Award which meant he would be joining with two sixth form pupils to form the Young Engineer's GB team which would travel to Phoenix Arizona in May to take part in major international STEM conference.

Members applauded the pupils on their success;

·       The Chair welcomed, and congratulated, Shane Evans, a Property Design Technician with the Council, who had been awarded the Overall Winner award at the Duke of Gloucester Young Achievers Scheme Awards held recently in London. The Chief Executive commented that Shane had really impressed the judges at the recent judging day with his resilience and determination for achieving in his career in construction;

·       The Chair referred to the success of Dewi Griffiths in achieving 3rd place amongst the British runners at the recent world Half Marathon in Cardiff and wished him every success in his quest for a place in the team for the Rio Olympics;

·       The Chair referred to the forthcoming Three Peaks Challenge [Penyfan, Cadair Idris and Snowdon] which the Leader, Councillor Emlyn Dole, was due to undertake following a challenge by the organisers of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards in Wales and wished him every success.

 

4.

COUNCIL MINUTES pdf icon PDF 352 KB

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Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on the 10th March, 2016 be signed as a correct record.

 

5.

NOTICES OF MOTION

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5.1

NOTICE OF MOTION SUBMITTED BY COUNCILLOR J.D. JAMES pdf icon PDF 22 KB

“This Council adopts the practice of installing a single stage appeals process relating to appeals made on applications for home to school transport, which will be considered by a Member Panel”.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

“This Council adopts the practice of installing a single stage appeals processrelating to appeals made on applications for home to school transport, which will be considered by a Member Panel”.

The Motion was duly seconded.

The following amendment to the Motion was proposed by Councillor H.A.L. Evans and duly seconded:

“That this Council recommends the setting up of an appeals panel to deal with Home to School Transport with relevant officers in an advisory capacity, alongside voting members – The Executive Board Member for Transport, The Executive Board Member for Education and Children’s Services and the local member for the relevant ward.”

The proposer of the amendment was afforded the opportunity of speaking in support of the amendment and outlined the reasons for its submission. She added that her proposal assumed that both members of a two-member ward would sit on the panel.

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. He indicated that he could not accept the amendment as it was not politically balanced.

The Chief Executive advised that any such panel would need to appoint a Chair who would have a casting vote. He also drew attention to the potential budgetary consequences where appeals were upheld.

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

RESOLVED that the Motion, as amended, be adopted.

 

 

5.2

NOTICE OF MOTION SUBMITTED BY COUNCILLOR D.J.R. BARTLETT pdf icon PDF 24 KB

“This Council acknowledges the difficulties being experienced by retailers in Ammanford and in an attempt to encourage more people to shop in the town centre, we would ask the Executive Board to consider the introduction of free parking – for a maximum of three hours daily – in all of Ammanford’s Car Parks. We would ask for this to be introduced from 1 May 2016 for a trial period of six months.”

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(NOTE: Councillors A.D. Harries and A.W. Jones, having earlier declared a personal and prejudicial interest in this item, left the Council Chamber during its consideration.)

 

The Council considered the following Notice of Motion submitted by Councillor D.J.R. Bartlett:

 

“This Council acknowledges the difficulties being experienced by retailers in Ammanford and in an attempt to encourage more people to shop in the town centre, we would ask the Executive Board to consider the introduction of free parking – for a maximum of three hours daily – in all of Ammanford’s Car Parks. We would ask for this to be introduced from 1 May 2016 for a trial period of six months.”

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.

The following amendment to the Motion was proposed by Councillor D. Price and duly seconded:

“This Council acknowledges the difficulties being experienced by retailers in Ammanford and seeks to support local businesses in an attempt to encourage more people to shop in the town centre.

Council notes that a Task and Finish Group has been established to specifically to look into the issue of car parking charges across the County, and calls on the Executive Board to respond to the findings, once published, as soon as possible.”

The proposer of the amendment was afforded the opportunity of speaking in support of the amendment and outlined the reasons for its submission.

The Proposer of the Motion indicated that he could not accept the amendment.

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

Following a requisition by more than ten members in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 16.4 a recorded vote was taken with the votes cast being as follows:-

For the Motion, as amended (35)

Councillors S.M. Allen, C.A. Campbell, J.M. Charles, A. Davies, D.B. Davies, G. Davies, I.W. Davies, J. A. Davies, E. Dole, H.A.L. Evans, L.D. Evans, W.J.W. Evans, W.T. Evans, W.G. Hopkins, J.K. Howell, P. Hughes Griffiths, D.M. Jenkins, G.O. Jones, H.I. Jones, T.J. Jones, M.J.A. Lewis, D.J.R. Llewellyn, A.G. Morgan, P.A. Palmer, D. Price, D.W.H. Richards, H.B. Shepardson, L.M. Stephens, T. Theophilus, E.G. Thomas, G.B. Thomas, J. Tremlett, D.E. Williams, J.E. Williams and J.S. Williams.

Against the Motion, as amended (17)

Councillors D.J.R. Bartlett, A.P. Cooper, S.L. Davies, W.R.A. Davies, T. Devichand, J.S. Edmunds, P.M. Edwards, D.C. Evans, C.P. Higgins, J.D. James, J.P. Jenkins, S. Matthews, E. Morgan, M.K. Thomas, R. Thomas, W.G. Thomas and J. Williams.

Abstentions (0)

RESOLVED that the Motion, as amended, be supported.

 

 

 

5.3

NOTICE OF MOTION SUBMITTED BY COUNCILLOR R. THOMAS

“This council;

1. Notes the concerns raised by internal audit as summarised in the meeting of the audit committee on 22 March 2016.

2. Resolves that the internal audit report (reference: 5215010) be published publicly and circulated to all councillors as soon as is possible (but no later than 3 working days following the end of this meeting).

3. Resolves that the concerns raised in the internal audit report be referred to the police to investigate whether any criminal act has taken place.

    4. Resolves that the concerns raised in the internal audit report be referred to the Wales Audit Office to:

1. investigate whether the council has breached financial procedures.

2. and to request recommendations to improve the council’s procedures in the future, should any breach be found to have taken place.”

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the following Notice of Motion submitted by Councillor R. Thomas:

 

“This council;

1. Notes the concerns raised by internal audit as summarised in the meeting of the audit committee on 22 March 2016.

2. Resolves that the internal audit report (reference: 5215010) be published publicly and circulated to all councillors as soon as is possible (but no later than 3 working days following the end of this meeting).

3. Resolves that the concerns raised in the internal audit report be referred to the police to investigate whether any criminal act has taken place.

    4. Resolves that the concerns raised in the internal audit report be referred to the Wales Audit Office to:

1. investigate whether the council has breached financial procedures.

2. and to request recommendations to improve the council’s procedures in the future, should any breach be found to have taken place.

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.

Council was reminded of the Audit Committee’s remit as detailed in the Constitution and the fact that that Committee had already requested sight of an action plan to address the concerns in question.

RESOLVED that the Motion be not adopted.

 

6.

NOMINATIONS FOR THE CHAIR OF COUNCIL FOR THE 2016/2017 MUNICIPAL YEAR

Additional documents:

Minutes:

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that Councillor E. Morgan be nominated Chair Elect of Carmarthenshire County Council for the 2016/17 Municipal Year.

 

7.

NOMINATIONS FOR THE VICE-CHAIR OF COUNCIL FOR THE 2016/2017 MUNICIPAL YEAR

Additional documents:

Minutes:

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that Councillor H.I. Jones be nominated Vice-Chair Elect of Carmarthenshire County Council for the 2016/17 Municipal Year.

 

8.

QUESTIONS BY MEMBERS

Additional documents:

8.1

QUESTION BY COUNCILLOR BILL THOMAS TO COUNCILLOR MERYL GRAVELL, EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER FOR REGENERATION AND LEISURE

“During the past 18 months the Cabinet Members has made a number of statements on the failure of this bid for grant aid to the Heritage Lottery Commission. The main thrust of these statements reported in the press during interviews and press releases are as follows.

1 Local Members had attended meetings with the Lottery Commission causing the bid to fail.

2 Local Residents had meetings with the Lottery Commission causing the bid to fail.

3 Local People in Llanelli had objected to the Lottery Commission causing the bid to fail.

4 Llanelli people & the local MP had consultation meetings causing the bid to fail.

In the press the words attributed to the situation was that in General Llanelli People had “scuppered” the bid and it was their own entire fault.

In the last two Council meetings the Cabinet Member replied to these questions and I quote, “That is what I was told and I stand by it”

Will the member now inform the County Council who told her this, when she was informed, and if there was any documented evidence provided to her to prove that position statement?”

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair advised that Councillor Bill Thomas had withdrawn his question.

 

8.2

QUESTION BY COUNCILLOR JAN WILLIAMS TO COUNCILLOR MERYL GRAVELL, EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER FOR REGENERATION AND LEISURE

“On 21st January 2016 the Heritage Lottery Commission confirmed that there had been an opportunity to resubmit the bid for Park Howard with support from The Wales Development Team. The dates for resubmission were 28th February 2014 & 31st August 2014. As a result of this failure the Leader of the Council has had to find £250K for essential maintenance at Park Howard this money could have been used to further enhance the bid as potentially a match funding application.

Question.

Can the executive Board member explain why this was not taken up including an explanation from the Executive Board member for the failure to take up the opportunity offered for a second submission of the project?”

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair advised that Councillor Jan Williams had withdrawn her question.

 

8.3

QUESTION BY COUNCILLOR RYAN THOMAS TO COUNCILLOR DAVID JENKINS, DEPUTY LEADER (RESOURCES)

“At a meeting of the audit committee of the council held on 22 March 2016 the committee considered a summary report on the leisure facilities at Pembrey County Park and the Millennium Coastal Park that raised a signi?cant number of concerns, including (but not exclusive to), health and safety, staff timesheet records, non-compliance with council ?nancial procedure rules, procurement, collecting and accounting procedures, asset management and general non­compliance with council policies.

These concerns are outlined in an internal audit report (reference: 5215010) that has not been fully made public or circulated to county councillors.

Has the executive board member seen this report and if so, what action has he taken to establish how much public money is at risk, potentially missing and if missing, how much is recoverable?”

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

At a meeting of the audit committee of the council held on 22 March 2016 the committee considered a summary report on the leisure facilities at Pembrey County Park and the Millennium Coastal Park that raised a signi?cant number of concerns, including (but not exclusive to), health and safety, staff timesheet records, non-compliance with council ?nancial procedure rules,procurement, collecting and accounting procedures, asset management and general non­compliance with council policies.

These concerns are outlined in an internal audit report (reference: 5215010) that has not been fully made public or circulated to county councillors.

Has the executive board member seen this report and if so, what action has he taken to establish how much public money is at risk, potentially missing and if missing, how much is recoverable?”

Response by Councillor David Jenkins, Deputy Leader [Resources]:

 

“I would in the first instance refer Cllr. Thomas to statements made by Cllr. Dole in his earlier response to the notice of motion item 5.3 on today’s agenda as to the situation leading up to the initial publication of the summary report that went before the Audit Committee on the 22nd of March.

It is perhaps easy to understand Cllr. Thomas’s confusion in this situation in that the report that went to the Audit Committee on the 22nd March 2016 was called a ‘summary report’ which possibly implies that this report was a summary of a completed full report, which in fact is not the case. It might have been better understood if the report that went to Audit Committee on the 22nd was called a preliminary report because the full report is still in the process of being drafted and not due to be published for another 2 to 3 weeks. Therefore in answer to his question I must say that I have not seen the full report for the reason stated.

During discussions on the summary report at the Audit Committee Cllr. Bill Thomas required further investigation and expressed concerned about possible fraudulent activities at Pembrey Country Park. The Head of Audit and Procurement confirmed at the committee meeting that no fraud had been identified during investigations conducted to date. Therefore it is virtually impossible for me to state how much public money is at risk, potentially missing and if missing how much is recoverable given that no fraud had been identified during the investigations conducted to date.

In conclusion I would state that normal Carmarthenshire County Council procedure is that once the Final Report is published copies will be provided to the Departmental Director, Director of Corporate Services (S.151 officer), Relevant Executive Board Members and Chair of Audit at which time possible further actions, regarding findings contained within the full report will be considered.”

 

Councillor Ryan Thomas asked the following supplementary question:

 

“Given that this report has not been completed will he endeavour to ensure that it is circulated to all Councillors upon its completion subject to appropriate redactions.”

 

Response by Councillor David Jenkins, Deputy  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.3

9.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair advised that no public questions had been received.

 

10.

EXECUTIVE BOARD RECOMMENDATION - MODERNISING EDUCATION PROGRAMME (MEP) - PROPOSAL TO CHANGE THE AGE RANGE OF YSGOL GYNRADD BETWS FROM 4-11 TO 3-11 pdf icon PDF 402 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council was informed that the Executive Board, at its meeting held on the 21ST March 2016 (Minute 5 refers) considered a report outlining proposals to change the age range of Ysgol Gynradd Betws from 4-11 to 3-11 and had made a recommendation, as detailed in the report of the School Modernisation Manager, for consideration by Council.

 

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

 

“That the observations received following the statutory consultation period be received and that a Statutory Notice to implement the proposal be published.”

11.

EXECUTIVE BOARD RECOMMENDATION - MODERNISING EDUCATION PROGRAMME (MEP) - PROPOSAL TO CHANGE THE AGE RANGE OF BYNEA PRIMARY SCHOOL FROM 4-11 TO 3-11 pdf icon PDF 402 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council was informed that the Executive Board, at its meeting held on the 21ST March 2016 (Minute 6 refers) considered a report outlining proposals to change the age range of Bynea Primary School from 4-11 to 3-11 and had made a recommendation, as detailed in the report of the School Modernisation Manager, for consideration by Council.

 

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

 

“That the observations received following the statutory consultation period be received and that a Statutory Notice to implement the proposal be published.”

 

12.

EXECUTIVE BOARD RECOMMENDATION - MODERNISING EDUCATION PROGRAMME (MEP) - PROPOSAL TO CHANGE THE AGE RANGE OF YSGOL GYNRADD PEMBREY FROM 4-11 TO 3-11 pdf icon PDF 401 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council was informed that the Executive Board, at its meeting held on the 21ST March 2016 (Minute 7 refers) considered a report outlining proposals to change the age range of Ysgol Gynradd Pembrey from 4-11 to 3-11 and had made a recommendation, as detailed in the report of the School Modernisation Manager, for consideration by Council.

 

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

 

“That the observations received following the statutory consultation period be received and that a Statutory Notice to implement the proposal be published.”

 

 

13.

EXECUTIVE BOARD RECOMMENDATION - MODERNISING EDUCATION PROGRAMME (MEP) - PROPOSAL TO CHANGE THE AGE RANGE OF YSGOL GYNRADD PWLL FROM 4-11 TO 3-11 pdf icon PDF 402 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council was informed that the Executive Board, at its meeting held on the 21ST March 2016 (Minute 8 refers) considered a report outlining proposals to change the age range of Ysgol Gynradd Pwll from 4-11 to 3-11 and had made a recommendation, as detailed in the report of the School Modernisation Manager, for consideration by Council.

 

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

 

“That the observations received following the statutory consultation period be received and that a Statutory Notice to implement the proposal be published.”

 

 

14.

EXECUTIVE BOARD - 21ST MARCH 2016 pdf icon PDF 763 KB

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Minutes:

RESOLVED that the report of the above meeting be received.

 

15.

EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC

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Minutes:

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 item as the report contained exempt information as defined in Paragraph 14 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the Act

16.

EXECUTIVE BOARD RECOMMENDATION - TAI CANTREF HOUSING ASSOCIATION LTD

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Following the application of the public interest test it was UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED, pursuant to the Act referred to in Minute Number 15 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).

 

(NOTE: Councillors S.M. Allen, H.A.L. Evans and M.J.A. Lewis, having earlier declared personal and prejudicial interests in this item, left the Council Chamber during its consideration.)

 

Council was informed that the Executive Board, at its meeting held on the 11th April 2016 (Minute 7 thereof refers), had, as a matter of urgency in view of the timescale involved, considered a report on an opportunity which had arisen regarding the potential incorporation of Tai Cantref Housing Association into the Council’s governance structure and had endorsed the recommendations detailed therein for consideration by Council.

 

Officers responded to questions from Members and gave assurances that, as indicated in the report, a full and comprehensive due diligence appraisal and business case exercise would have to be completed to ensure the Association had financial sustainability in the long term before any formal decision could be made.

 

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

 

that the recommendations detailed within the amended report be approved.”

 

17.

DURATION OF MEETING

Additional documents:

Minutes:

At 1.00 p.m., during consideration of the above item, Council’s attention was drawn to Corporate Procedure Rule 9.1 “Duration of Meeting” and CPR 23.1 “Suspension” as the meeting had been underway for three hours and it was accordingly

RESOLVED to suspend the Council Procedure Rules to enable the remaining business on the Agenda to be considered.