Agenda and minutes

County Council
Wednesday, 20th September, 2017 10.00 am

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

Contact: Kevin Thomas  01267 224027

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors L. Bowen, J. Davies, P. Edwards, L. Evans, T. Higgins, K. Howell, H. Shepardson, A. Speake, D.E. Williams, D. Williams and J.E. Williams.

2.

DECLARATION OF PERSONAL INTERESTS

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor

Minute Number

Nature of Interest

K. Lloyd

H. Davies

G. John

A. Davies

D. Nicholas

E. Schiavone

9 - Local Government Pension Scheme (LPGS) September 2017 Updated Employer’s Discretions

Personal and Financial

K. Madge

10.5 - Annual Report of the Statutory Director of Social Services on the Performance of Social Care Services in Carmarthenshire 2016/17

Daughter works in Social Services

Wife works in Hywel Dda

J. Morgan – Director of Health and Social Care,

C. Moore – Director of Corporate Services,

R. Mullen – Director of Environment,

W. Walters – Director of Regeneration & Policy

G. Morgans – Interim Director of Education and Children

L. Rees-Jones – Head of Administration and Law

P. Thomas – Assistant Chief Executive – (People Management and Performance)

9 - Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) – September 2017 updated Employers Discretion

Members of the Pension scheme

 

3.

CHAIRMAN'S ANNOUNCEMENTS.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

·        The Chair extended his congratulations to Côr Merched Sir Gâr on achieving second place in the Eurovision Choir of the Year 2017. He advised that the Choir, which is run by the Carmarthenshire Music Service, comprises 42 secondary pupils from the County represented both Wales, and the United Kingdom, at the international competition held in Riga, Latvia after winning Côr Cymru in April 2017.

 

Councillor G. Davies, the Executive Board Member for Education and Children expressed the view the whole of the county should be proud of the Choir’s achievements, which both emphasised the importance to the county of retaining its music service for the future, and provided a shop window for the County.

 

(NOTE: at 11.45 a.m. the Choir attended the Council Meeting and performed a number of their songs.  Following the performance, the Chair of Council presented the choir’s conductor, Mr Islwyn Evans, with the Côr Cymru trophy. The Chief Executive expressed his appreciation to the Choir, and the staff of the music service, for all their hard work leading up to the competition and also, on its performance for the Council that morning. He advised that every member of the Choir would receive a plaque from the Council commemorating their achievement).

·        The Chair extended his congratulations to Harriet Alsop-Bingham, a 16 year old member of the Carmarthenshire Youth Council, on being awarded the Carmarthenshire Radio Child of Courage Award.

·        The Chair referred to a musical evening he’d attended organised by the Syria Sir Gâr Group and reported that the Group had requested him to express its thanks to the Council’s elected members, and staff, for all the support offered to the Syrian families who had been overwhelmed by the levels of kindness afforded to them.

·        The Chair expressed his condolences to the family of former County Councillor Wilf Davies, who represented the Llangeler Ward from 1996-2008 and having also been a Councillor on the former Carmarthen District Council.

·        The Chair expressed his condolences to the family of Janice Dudley, the current Mayor of Neath Port Talbot County Council who had recently passed away in hospital.

·       Councillor S.L. Davies expressed her appreciation to organisations and volunteer workers in the Llwynhendy and Pemberton Wards who, in 7 sessions over a three week period during the recent school summer holidays, provided a total of 319 meals to children and adults in need in the Llwynhendy, Bynea, and Penygraig wards.

·       Councillor G. Thomas reported on the efforts of a Ceri Murphy from Llangennech who would be competing in his first triathlon in Mumbles on the 7th October in an attempt to raise £2,000 for cancer research in support of a close family member suffering from the illness. She enquired if members present at the meeting could sponsor Ceri in his endeavour.

4.

TO APPROVE AND SIGN AS A CORRECT RECORD THE MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON 19TH JULY, 2017 pdf icon PDF 376 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Reference was made to the recorded vote taken in connection with Minute 9 – “Corporate Management Team Appointments” and Council’s attention was drawn to Cllr Cefin Cambell having erroneously been recorded as voting against the amendment as opposed to abstaining.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of Council held on the 19th July, 2017 be signed as a correct record subject to the above correction.

 

5.

TO CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING NOTICES OF MOTION:-

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5.1

NOTICE OF MOTION SUBMITTED BY COUNCILLOR DERYK CUNDY:-

“Where S106 money is sought for any new development whether commercial or housing, where the development exceeds 15 houses, local community and county councillors for that ward, as part of the standard and mandatory process, should be included during the “pre-planning” or “planning application stage” regarding any S106 negotiations with the Developer and Council Officers, so they may add their local knowledge and needs for the Community they represent to the final agreement, prior to the S106 amounts and terms and conditions being agreed and planning permission sought for said development”.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered the following Notice of Motion submitted by Councillor D. Cundy:-

 

“Where S106 money is sought for any new development whether commercial or housing, where the development exceeds 15 houses, local community and county councillors for that ward, as part of the standard and mandatory process, should be included during the “pre-planning” or “planning application stage” regarding any S106 negotiations with the Developer and Council Officers, so they may add their local knowledge and needs for the Community they represent to the final agreement, prior to the S106 amounts and terms and conditions being agreed and planning permission sought for said development”.

 

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.

 

A number of statements were made both for, and against the Motion following which, it was

 

RESOLVED that the Notice of Motion be not supported.

 

5.2

NOTICE OF MOTION SUBMITTED BY COUNCILLOR JEFF EDMUNDS

The recent cuts to the education budget has seen, amongst other things, class sizes in some schools rise to well over 30, and one school where I am a governor only has two classes where the number of pupils fall below 30.

Our children are the future of our nation and as decision makers we are responsible for ensuring that the best possible education is available to all our children in Carmarthenshire. With the aforesaid in mind, we ask this council to approve the following motion:

“Before any more financial cuts are considered within the education budget a full and proper evaluation of the impact and potential outcomes to such cuts are undertaken. Proper consultation to take place with all schools in Carmarthenshire and the result of this evaluation and consultation presented to full Council prior to the 2018/19 council budget meeting. This will result in every member being fully aware of the facts and the importance of their vote in such a crucially important matter”.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the following Notice of Motion submitted by Councillor Jeff Edmunds:-

 

The recent cuts to the education budget has seen, amongst other things, class sizes in some schools rise to well over 30, and one school where I am a governor only has two classes where the number of pupils fall below 30.

Our children are the future of our nation and as decision makers we are responsible for ensuring that the best possible education is available to all our children in Carmarthenshire. With the aforesaid in mind, we ask this council to approve the following motion:

 

“Before any more financial cuts are considered within the education budget a full and proper evaluation of the impact and potential outcomes to such cuts are undertaken. Proper consultation to take place with all schools in Carmarthenshire and the result of this evaluation and consultation presented to full Council prior to the 2018/19 council budget meeting. This will result in every member being fully aware of the facts and the importance of their vote in such a crucially important matter”.

 

The Motion was duly seconded.

 

The following amendment to the Motion was proposed by Councillor Glynog Davies and duly seconded:-

 

“Before any more financial cuts are considered within the education budget a full and proper evaluation of the impact and potential outcomes to such cuts are undertaken. Proper consultation to take place with all schools in Carmarthenshire and the result of this evaluation and consultation presented to full Council prior to the 2018/19 council budget meeting. The resulting information also to be presented as evidence to the Welsh Government, asking for an assurance that the revenue support grant for 2018/19 will include sufficient funding of education, as it is no longer ring fenced by them. This will result in every member being fully aware of the facts and the importance of their vote in such a crucially important matter”.

 

The Chief Executive confirmed that the amendment did not negate the Motion and was therefore acceptable.

 

The proposer of the Motion (supported by his seconder), advised that he was happy to accept the amendment and 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 proposer of the Amendment was afforded the opportunity of speaking in support thereof and outlined the reasons for its submission.

 

A number of statements were made in support of the Motion, as amended, following which it became the Substantive Motion and the Council,

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED, that the Substantive Motion be supported.

 

6.

QUESTIONS BY MEMBERS:-

Additional documents:

6.1

QUESTION BY COUNCILLOR ANDREW JAMES TO COUNCILLOR MAIR STEPHENS - DEPUTY LEADER OF THE COUNCIL

“Poor Broadband Connection.

Carmarthen East/ Dinefwr has been ranked the 5th slowest area in the UK receiving superfast broadband connection.

Carmarthenshire County Councillors have received two separate presentations in the Chamber from officers of British Telecom during 2014 and 2016 promising improvement in the rate of our broadband connection within Carmarthenshire.

The latest report is that the best we can now expect is 2020!!!

The goalpost is constantly moving with little progress and empty promises.

How are people including Councillors expected to fulfil their duties and be efficient in the workplace when there is limited broadband in some areas of Carmarthenshire?

I kindly ask Carmarthenshire County Council to write to British Telecom and insist on a priority programme of work to rectify the major problem we have in Carmarthen East/Dinefwr”.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

“Poor Broadband Connection.

Carmarthen East/ Dinefwr has been ranked the 5th slowest area in the UK receiving superfast broadband connection or rather, the lack of it.

Carmarthenshire County Councillors have received two separate presentations in the Chamber from officers of British Telecom during 2014 and 2016 promising improvement in the rate of our broadband connection within Carmarthenshire.

 

The latest report is that the best we can now expect is 2020!!!

 

The goalpost is constantly moving with little progress and full of empty promises.

 

How are people including Councillors expected to fulfil their duties and be efficient in the workplace when there is limited broadband in some areas of Carmarthenshire?. Whilst I make this request as far as Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, I would like to highlight that several other councillors within the Authority have supported me in this and said that they too, in particular Trelech and other rural areas. I therefore say so on behalf of the whole authority.

 

I kindly ask Carmarthenshire County Council to write to British Telecom and insist on a priority programme of work to rectify the major problem we have in Carmarthen East/Dinefwr”.

 

I would also like to make an amendment to the above and ask Councillor Mair Stephens if she’d be willing to do, and obviously the whole chamber. Of late we’ve established a Rural Forum in Carmarthenshire, and one of the issues they said they would do is to have the speaker visit the rural forum where there’d be nine members cross party at the meeting. Therefore, if that could be a consideration and the response from British Telecom be reported back to the full council. I think that would be good governance. Therefore, if Councillor Mair Stephens would be mindful to bear that in mind, I’d be so grateful.

 

Response by Councillor Mair Stephens, Deputy Leader of the Council:-

 

Thank you Councillor James for raising this matter. And, of course, it is a very important subject for everyone in Carmarthenshire.

 

As you correctly state, in the article published in August 2017 by Wales Online it revealed that Carmarthen East and Dinefwr was the 5th worst parliamentary constituency for broadband speed and, I hate to say it, the worst in Wales. The article was linked to a report published by the British Infrastructure Group and based on Consumer tested broadband speeds by the Magazine ‘Which’.

 

In total, some 14,000 properties in the Carmarthen East and Dinefwr area have inadequate broadband speeds which is totally unacceptable. It places our rural communities at a significant disadvantage and hinders the ability of rural businesses to compete in a global economy, it does not help our residents to access essential services online and, of course, more closer to home, it has an effect on our work too.

 

Based on the latest data obtained from British Telecom, which is provided only on a Local Authority Level, we know that 81% of properties have access to Superfast Broadband, which equates to 54,000 households. This compares to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.1

6.2

QUESTION BY COUNCILLOR KEVIN MADGE TO COUNCILLOR DAVID JENKINS - EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER FOR RESOURCES

“With admin staff being moved from Glanaman depot to Llanelli over the last few weeks. And other staff being run down, can you reassure me and the Council that the Glanaman Depot is safe under this Plaid led administration”.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

“With admin staff being moved from Glanaman depot to Llanelli over the last few weeks. And other staff being run down, can you reassure me and the Council that the Glanaman Depot is safe under this Plaid led administration”.

 

Response by Councillor David Jenkins – Executive Board Member for Resources:-

 

Thank you for your question which I will respond to in the following manner:

You will know, as a former leader of the Council that it is for the current administration to set the vision for the County’s direction of travel in terms of its medium to long term future.

 

We, as an administration, have clearly stated that economic growth and protection of front line services is high on our agenda.

 

We have a £290 million capital program in place for the next 5 years and, in addition to that, what we will gain from the Swansea City Deal programme and therefore we are well on the track to meeting our first priority.

 

In terms of meeting our second priority, that is protection of front line service delivery, we are faced with a severe set of challenges due, in the main, to the reduction in funding we get from Welsh Government. At present, we are working on a best guess estimate of a 2% reduction in the RSG which equates to a £5million cut to our available funds and add to this other validation factors such as a potential 2% increase to our wage bill, inflation and other economic impacts we anticipate that when all these factors are taken into account we will be looking to make up a £12million shortfall in next year’s budget. And I’ll go on to say that we’re also expecting a similar amount in the following year and the following year so, we’re looking at £36m of cuts over the next three years

 

Faced with this problem Departments are being asked to put forward operational/management saving proposals to collectively try and meet this short fall. There has been talk for some time now within the Environment Department of Depot Rationalisation whereby service provision could be delivered from a reduced number of depots which would lead to more efficient use of labour, plant & machinery thereby saving money. In addition, the land and buildings freed up by this arrangement could then become available for alternative uses which could either generate revenue streams, capital receipts or other employment opportunities.

 

If officers bring forward a business case to the Executive Board which demonstrates that substantial savings could be made by adopting this proposal we, as Executive Board Members would have to seriously consider what is placed before us. And if after due deliberation of all the pros and cons of the proposal it was decided to approve the plans then that decision could possibly lead to the closure of one or more of the existing service depots.

 

At present this is a hypothetical scenario but it could become a reality, therefore I am unable, at present, to give you  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.2

6.3

QUESTION BY COUNCILLOR KEVIN MADGE TO COUNCILLOR GLYNOG DAVIES - EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER FOR EDUCATION AND CHILDREN

“With the recent poor Estyn report on the Ysgol Gymraeg Rhydaman the Estyn report labled the school as inadequate with the prospect of improvement also deemed as inadequate. What action are the Executive Board and Council doing to support this school to ensure improvements in the future”.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council noted that Councillor Madge had withdrawn his question to Councillor Glynog Davies, Executive Board Member for Education and Childred.

 

6.4

QUESTION BY COUNCILLOR KEVIN MADGE TO COUNCILLOR EMLYN DOLE - LEADER OF THE COUNCIL

“With Executive Board withdrawing the report Agile investment plan on the future of Town hall Ammanford and the Old Library can you now reassure us that the Town Hall and Old Library are safe under Plaid led administration”.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

“With Executive Board withdrawing the Agile investment plan on the future of Town hall Ammanford and the Old Library can you now reassure me that the Town Hall and Old Library are safe under the Plaid led administration”.

 

Response by Councillor Emlyn Dole, Leader of the Council:-

 

The question is misplaced and ill-conceived by Councillor Madge and, by asking it he does himself no favours in this chamber or, in his local community either by asking ill-conceived questions based on political scaremongering, based on mythological assumptions. The report has been withdrawn, it should have said in your question withdrawn for further consideration. That’s a deferment, because we wanted more consideration around that. That consideration and that report on Agile Working will come back to the Executive Board. After, according to our procedures, set down by this Council, after it’s been discussed by the Executive Board then, I’ll be free to answer questions based on the report that’s been discussed. To date, no such report has been discussed by the Executive Board so the supposition made by Councillor Madge, and others, and I will hold them to account on that when we have discussed that report in this Chamber and on a wider basis because the assumptions they make based on pure myth has unsettled and does nothing to re-assure our employees who are working their best under the conditions they are under at the moment. I fully support agile working where that adds to the staffs’ efficiency and to their ability to undertake their duties properly and even to a greater extent than they do now. But, that agile report hasn’t been considered yet. So the question is based on a myth pedalled by the local politicians.

 

Councillor Madge asked the following supplementary question:- 

 

Why did you put it into the Executive Board and then frightening everybody in August when everybody was on holidays.

 

Response by Councillor Emlyn Dole, Leader of the Council

 

The answer is quite simple, I haven’t. It hasn’t come to Executive Board yet.

 

6.5

QUESTION BY COUNCILLOR ROB JAMES TO COUNCILLOR GLYNOG DAVIES - EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER FOR EDUCATION & CHILDREN

"In the past two years, the number of teachers in Carmarthenshire have reduced by 60, with a further 199 teaching assistants being lost as a result of recent austerity measure. Would the Executive Board Member for Education indicate how many teachers and teaching assistants he believes may be lost with the proposed £4,989,000 cut to the schools delegated budget for 2018/19?.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

"In the past two years, the number of teachers in Carmarthenshire has been reduced by 60, with a further 199 teaching assistants being lost as a result of recent austerity measures. Would the Executive Board Member for Education indicate how many teachers and teaching assistants he believes may be lost with the proposed £4,9m cut to the schools delegated budget for 2018/19?.

Response by Councillor Glynog Davies, Executive Board Member for Education and Children:-

 

I’ve already noted that we are unfortunately in the seventh year of austerity and the public sector has had a real real hit. We read constantly, we see it in our papers, radio, television, fewer nurses in our hospitals, fewer bobbies on the beat, and only this morning Councillor Madge noted the concerns in the Fire Brigade. The workforce within local authorities across Wales has been slashed. We, as an authority, we’ve had a budget cut of £53m, in the past five years. This has had an effect. Our task is to do the best we can with the budget which is given to us. Money from London which arrives via Cardiff. The numbers you quote are correct but, can I remind council that there were also reductions in 2013, further reductions in 2014 when this authority was Labour led. Now, we have to accept that staffing in our schools changes for a variety of reasons, not only due to budgets. Schools regularly review staffing structures, that is the role of the Governing Body and, as a result, some staff are released if they are surplus to the school’s requirement. We have falling pupil numbers. I cannot force people to go and live in rural Carmarthenshire and, very often, those people living in rural areas are ferrying their children into the towns on their way to work. Yes, there have been changes to school budgets, there have been reductions in grants which go to schools from Cardiff. Some staff of a certain age might wish to be considered for voluntary redundancy. The situation is quite complex, and numbers are falling for a variety of reasons. Across Wales, there has been a reduction in the period you mention of 583 teachers. We are not unique, this has happened in 19 of the 22 local authorities across Wales. How can I, or anyone else, quantify the question on future numbers. I want to protect front line staff. We have had as, we all know, a new TIC (Transform, Innovate, Change) officer who will assist governing bodies, and I think some governing bodies do need guidance and assistance. Things must be looked at radically. They, at the end of the day, decide on the staffing structure. The new TIC officer will outline the range of other initiatives which could save money. We are looking currently at supply costs, they are huge, the repairs and maintenance budgets. We are trying to offer assistance to schools. Savings could be made in other areas. But, once again, I stress individual  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.5

6.6

QUESTION BY COUNCILLOR ROB JAMES TO COUNCILLOR GLYNOG DAVIES - EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER FOR EDUCATION & CHILDREN

"Would the Executive Board Member for Education provide an update on the number of surplus places in primary and secondary schools within Carmarthenshire?"

Additional documents:

Minutes:

"Would the Executive Board Member for Education provide an update on the number of surplus places in primary and secondary schools across Carmarthenshire?"

Response by Councillor Glynog Davies, Executive Board Member for Education and Children:

Our role, as you know, is to ensure there are sufficient places available in our schools to meet the need and that there is a school available to meet the need of every pupil. We are also required to look at how many empty spaces there are and, again, we are required to do this on an annual basis. In January this year, there were 4,404, we need to remember the four, 4,404 empty places, 2,628 in the primary sector, 1,776 in the secondary sector. The numbers, and I have to say it, I’m not hiding anything from you, the number identified for the primary is amongst the highest in Wales. It’s lower in the secondary at 14%. Those are the figures that I provide to you this morning.

Councillor James asked the following supplementary question:

According to the figures I obtained there were an estimated 3,000 surplus places across Carmarthenshire which would have cost £1m according to Estyn’s report. Despite your predecessor trying to re-assure the Executive Board in February that action would be taken to address this issue, this authority has only saved £77k in this area. How can we, and the public, have confidence in your party to actually cut surplus places?

Response by Councillor Glynog Davies, Executive Board Member for Education and Children:-

I’m not standing here today to advocate the closure of rural schools. That’s how we would save these empty places because that’s where many of them are. But I am not prepared to do that. It’s a similar situation in Gwynedd, Ceredigion and, as you should know, Neath Port Talbot, your former authority. They all have higher figures than us and it should be of concern to them as it is of concern to us. We have taken a number of steps to reduce the numbers. By bringing two primary schools together in Burry Port, we saved 53 surplus places. We are taking steps in the right direction by creating Ysgol Bro Dinefwr, closing Tregib and Pantycelyn. We saved 313 surplus places. So, you cannot tell us that we are not striving to better the situation. We are doing our utmost.

6.7

QUESTION BY COUNCILLOR BILL THOMAS TO COUNCILLOR GLYNOG DAVIES - EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER FOR EDUCATION & CHILDREN

“What impact on class sizes does the Executive Board member for Education & Children think the £18 million cuts to the Education & Children budget that were presented to the Executive Board meeting on 31st July will have over the next three years?

Additional documents:

Minutes:

“What impact on class sizes does the Executive Board member for Education & Children think the £18 million cuts to the Education & Children budget that were presented to the Executive Board meeting on 31st July will have over the next three years?

 

Response by Councillor Glynog Davies, Executive Board Member for Education and Children:-

 

It must be remembered Chair that the figures provided to the Executive Board at the end of July were estimated, emphasis that accept that. They estimated or guessed if you like that education would not be safeguarded by Welsh Government. We are putting pressure on the Welsh Labour Government in Cardiff to look at this with all seriousness and that’s why the WLGA are meeting Kirsty Williams this morning and education according to these figures will be hit in exactly the same way as the other departments. But, my great hope is that Kirsty Williams will this morning listen to the concern that is being expressed in all Welsh Counties and that evidence will be presented to her this morning, evidence on behalf of the WLGA. May I refer you to the ‘Class sizes Wales Regulations 2013’. I will send you the link so that you can see yourselves what the situation is. Much of this information is already available for you to look at. I’m not your researcher. You’re duty bound also to look for this information. It doesn’t have to be done publicly in this way. It’s available for all to look at.

 

Councillor Thomas asked the following supplementary question:-

 

What reassurance can you give parents that class sizes are not going to increase again?

 

Response by Councillor Glynog Davies, Executive Board Member for Education and Children:-

 

Sorry Councillor Thomas, It’s a hypothetical question. We’ve not been presented with our budget. So, how can I give you an answer this morning? We will all consider the budgets you, and everyone else, will have an opportunity to take part in our consultations and I am hoping to do the best I can for education. That is all I can say.

6.8

QUESTION BY COUNCILLOR SHAREN DAVIES TO COUNCILLOR GLYNOG DAVIES - EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER FOR EDUCATION & CHILDREN

“With the recently announced development of Pontyberem school, please could the cabinet member provide the Council with start date for the development of Dafen School”.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

“With the recently announced development of Pontyberem school, please could the cabinet member provide the Council with a start date for the development of Dafen School”.

 

The first thing I’d like to say is this, No councillors and indeed anyone else in this area has asked me for a meeting to discuss the situation at Ysgol Dafen. We’re all aware of the Welsh Government scheme the 21st Century Schools and we, as a county, have benefitted considerably from it and we are very grateful for this funding. There are new schools throughout the county. Currently, we are completing work on those schools that were in Band A, contractors are currently at Ysgol Penrhos, Trimsaran, Coedcae, Pontyberem and Parc y Tywyn. Band B schools will be next, although we’re not entirely sure yet how much we will have to contribute and how much will come from the government that was a very heated discussion in Cardiff yesterday. That scheme will be implemented between 2019 and 2024 and, Sharen, Dafen is not even on that list but this year £175k has been spent on Dafen on a new roof and rewiring, £172k has been spent on the yards in order to meet with the Health and safety regulations and, I am told on good authority, that the Head of the school is very very happy with what we’ve done and he is grateful to us for what we have done. So, that’s the investment that has taken place. Please talk to the local member for Dafen he might have more information for you.

 

Councillor Davies asked the following supplementary question:-

 

Will the Executive Board Member for Education not agree that due to the proposed new builds within the Llynhendy, Bynea and Dafen area that Dafen school be considered as soon as possible for redevelopment due to this much needed refurbishment within this school. This will help provide not only the infrastructure for the school provision but, also for the education of those children.

 

Response by Councillor Glynog Davies, Executive Board Member for Education and Children:-

 

We have to adhere to a strict scoring procedure and that is how certain schools have been placed in Band A and others in Band B. But please, could you bring the evidence to me and I will definitely consider it and I will have words with my officer to see if there was, possibly, a mistake in the scoring system. But I will have a look at it but, we have to adhere to the scoring system.

7.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS (NONE RECEIVED).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair advised that no public questions had been received.

 

8.

CARMARTHENSHIRE ELECTORAL REVIEW - PRESENTATION BY THE LOCAL DEMOCRACY AND BOUNDARY COMMISSION

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(NOTE, at 10.15 a.m., and in accordance with the provisions of CPR 2(3) the Chair brought consideration of this item forward on the agenda to immediately following the adoption of the minutes of the previous meeting)

 

The Chair welcomed to the meeting Julie May (Lead Commissioner), Steve Halsall (Chief Executive), Matt Redmond (Deputy Chief Executive) and Farhan Khan (Review Officer) of the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales who had been invited to make a presentation to the Council on the method by which the Commission would conduct the Carmarthenshire Electoral Review and to how representations could be made thereon.

 

The Council was advised of the Commissions’ independent role in the review process under the provisions of the Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Act 2013 the aim of which was to propose the pattern of electoral wards for the entire council area, not just where there levels of electoral inequality. As part of the review the Commission would propose:-

 

·        The Total Number of Councillors;

·        The number and boundaries of electoral wards;

·        The number of councillors for each ward and;

·        The names of electoral wards.

·        Carmarthenshire having 75 councillors with a ratio of one councillor per 1,915 electors

The Council was advised that the time period for the review would be undertaken in five distinct stages comprising:-

 

·        Stage 1 – 12 week initial consultation period from the 5th October - 27th December 2017;

·        Stage 2 – The Commission will develop and publish its draft proposals with a 12 week consultation period thereon to be undertaken in the summer of 2018;

·        Stage 3 – The Commission will formulate its final proposals Report for submission to the Welsh Government by Spring 2019;

·        Stage 4 – The Welsh Government will consider the proposals and after a 6 week period it may make an order (an opportunity to write to Welsh Government)

·        Stage 5 – The new wards would come into force in time for the 2022 local government elections.

 

The Council was advised that if any person/organisation wished to make representations on the proposals, they would need to be evidenced based and judged on the quality of the evidence submitted. Effective representations would also need to take account of statutory requirements, Commission policies, suggest an alternative as well as setting out an objection and consider any potential consequences of the alternative across the widest possible area.

 

The presentation was followed by a question and answer session.

 

The Chair thanked the Boundary Commission representatives for attending the meeting to apprise elected members of the review process.

9.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT PENSION SCHEME (LGPS) - SEPTEMBER 2017 UPDATED EMPLOYER'S DISCRETIONS pdf icon PDF 293 KB

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Minutes:

(NOTE:

1.     Councillors A. Davies, G. John, K. Lloyd, E. Schiavone, H. Davies and D. Nicholas, having earlier declared an interest in this item, left the Council Chamber during its determination.

2.     All officers present at the meeting, with the exception of the Chief Executive and the Democratic Services Officer left the meeting during consideration of this item (i.e.:  J. Morgan, C. Moore, R. Mullen, W. Walters, G. Morgans, L. Rees-Jones and P. Thomas)).

 

The Council considered a report on proposals for the inclusion within its existing Discretionary Pension Policy Statement of a new discretion to authorise a Shared Cost Additional Voluntary Contribution Scheme (SCAVC) as one of its Employer Discretions in accordance with its obligations under the Local Government Pension Scheme 2014. If adopted, the proposal would result in reduced National Insurance Contributions for both the employer, and employee. However its implementation would require the approval of Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the inclusion of a new discretion within the Council’s Discretionary Pension Policy Statement to authorise a Shared Cost Additional Voluntary Contribution Scheme as one of its Employer Discretions be approved.

10.

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

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10.1

ANNUAL TREASURY MANAGEMENT AND PRUDENTIAL INDICATOR REPORT 2016-2017 pdf icon PDF 397 KB

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Minutes:

The Council was informed that the Executive Board, at its meeting held on the 31st July, 2017 (Minute 8 refers) had received the Annual Treasury and Prudential Indicator Report 2016/17. The report summarised the activity which had taken place during 2016/17 under the headings of: Investments, Borrowing, Treasury Management Prudential Indicators, Prudential Indicators, Leasing and rescheduling.

 

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

 

“ That the Annual Treasury Management and Prudential Indicator Report 2016/17 be received”.

10.2

ANNUAL MONITORING REPORT 2016/17 - CARMARTHENSHIRE LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN. pdf icon PDF 601 KB

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Minutes:

The Council was informed that the Executive Board, at its meeting held on the 31st July, 2017 (Minute 10 refers) had received the Annual Monitoring Report 2016/17 on the Carmarthenshire Local Development Plan. It was noted that the report, which had been prepared in accordance with the provisions of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2014 and the Local Government Development Plan (LDP) Regulations 2005, was required to be submitted to the Welsh Government by the 31st October, 2017. The Council was advised that if it were to endorse the Executive Board’s recommendations, which included for a review to be undertaken of the LDP, the first meeting of the Local Development Plan Advisory group would be held on the 9th November

 

References were made to individual aspects of the report particularly the Welsh Language and the potential adverse impact the existence of the Llyn Brianne Dam could be having on the development potential of Llandovery. The Council was advised that as the current report was purely a factual monitoring report on the LDP’s implementation, the above issues would need to be raised as part of the LDP review process.

 

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

 

“To receive and accept the content of the second Annual Monitoring Report for the Carmarthenshire Local Development Plan – as required for submission to the Welsh Government by 31st October 2017;

To commence the early full or partial review of the Carmarthenshire LDP:

-        To consider and to address the shortfall in available housing land supply and consider the interventions necessary.

-        To prepare further evidence on the implications and veracity of the 2014 sub-national Household and Population projections and consider them in light of the review.

-        To consider the distribution and delivery of housing and the success or otherwise of the strategy, or its components in meeting the identified housing requirements;

 

To produce a review report setting out and explaining the extent of any changes required to the Plan;


Grant officers delegated authority to make typographical or factual amendments as necessary to improve the clarity and accuracy of the AMR”.

 

 

10.3

CARMARTHENSHIRE COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEVY - UPDATE AND PROGRESS REPORT. pdf icon PDF 694 KB

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Minutes:

The Council was informed that the Executive Board, at its meeting held on the 31st July, 2017 (Minute 11 refers) had received the Carmarthenshire Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Update and Progress Report on the potential introduction of a CIL within Carmarthenshire. It was noted that the report provided updates on the devolved nature of CILs in Wales and its future in a national context which included the recent independent review of CIL’s commissioned by the Department of Communities and Local Government. It also outlined the potential forthcoming changes and implications resulting in one of the Executive Board recommendations to Council being that any future progression on the adoption of a Carmarthenshire CIL should be held in abeyance pending the outcome of future considerations by the Welsh Government as a result of the Wales Act 2017.

 

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

 

“That the Carmarthenshire Community Infrastructure Levy Update and Progress report be received;

 

That the current position in relation to the future of CIL both within a national and within a Welsh context be noted;

 

That progress on the preparation of a Carmarthenshire CIL be held in abeyance pending the outcome of future considerations of the Welsh Government as a result of the Wales Act 2017;

 

That a further report is presented when there is clear indication on the future of CIL on any changes to the CIL regulations or proposals for a replacement tariff;

 

That the progress to date be noted and that the representations received be utilised to inform any future work on CIL or any replacement.”

10.4

MOVING TRAFFIC OFFENCE ENFORCEMENT POWERS. pdf icon PDF 658 KB

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Minutes:

The Council was informed that the Executive Board, at its meeting held on the 31st July, 2017 (Minute 12 refers) had received a report on Moving Traffic Offence Enforcement Powers on the Council acquiring additional powers to complement existing parking enforcement powers to assist with the movement of people and goods, keep school sites safer and generally keep traffic moving.  It was noted that subject to the Council’s approval, and thereafter the consent of the Welsh Government for the creation of an Order to designate certain streets in Carmarthenshire as ‘Civil Enforcement Areas’, the authority would be able to take responsibility for the enforcement of bus lanes and some moving traffic offences, currently enforceable only by the police, via the use of approved camera devices.

 

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

 

that the report on the Moving Traffic Offence Enforcement Powers be received;

 

An application be made to the Welsh Assembly Government for the creation of an Order to designate certain streets in Carmarthenshire as a ‘Civil Enforcement Area’ for bus lane and moving traffic contraventions;

 

Delegation of authority to the Director of Environment to proceed with the measures necessary to give effect to the proposals set out in this report;

 

Liaison with PATROL-UK, the statutory body providing the independent adjudication service, to determine whether any amendments to the current contractual arrangements are required and to effect any changes. This applies equally to other statutory bodies, such as the DVLA and the Traffic Enforcement Centre;

 

To approve the proposals for funding the set up costs from the Development Fund, as outlined in the application;

 

The Director of Environment to investigate the feasibility of using fixed camera devices as alternative to vehicle mounted camera devices.”

10.5

ANNUAL REPORT OF THE STATUTORY DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL SERVICES ON THE PERFORMANCE OF SOCIAL CARE SERVICES IN CARMARTHENSHIRE 2016/17. pdf icon PDF 388 KB

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Minutes:

(NOTE: At the commencement of this item the Council’s attention was drawn to Corporate Procedure Rule 9.1 “Duration of Meeting” and having noted that the meeting had been underway for three hours it was:

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the Council’s Corporate Procedure Rules be suspended to enable the Council to complete the remaining items on the Agenda.

 

The Council was informed that the Executive Board, at its meeting held on the 31st July, 2017 (Minute 13 refers) had received the Draft Annual report of the Statutory Director of Social Services on the performance of Social Care Services in Carmarthenshire for 2016/17. The report also detailed progress made on areas identified for improvement in the previous year’s report whilst also highlighting areas to be developed in the current year,

 

Reference was made to the importance of persons in receipt of care being able to communicate with carers in the Welsh Language. Council was assured that it was the intention to have a Welsh speaking carer on duty on every shift and in care homes and that measures were in place to train and encourage staff to learn Welsh. However, it had to be recognised that it may not always be possible to achieve that aim.

 

In response to a statement on the need to ensure care providers were properly trained and remunerated the Director of Community Services advised that in relation to the provision of care, Council’s Commissioning procedures were flexible and allowed users to bank unused hours. For example, if a service user was contracted to receive three 15 minute visits per day and only used a portion of that time, the unused time could be banked to provide extra care when needed. That was a unique system in which the Council were market leaders and were sharing its experiences with other local authorities. With regard to recruitment and retention of staff, he advised that with an ageing workforce the authority was endeavouring to attract young providers to the service.

 

Several references were made to page 258 within the report and the department was commended for its action in ending, last year, the further outsourcing of domiciliary care by adopting a preference to invest in the in-house service.

 

Reference was made to the recent closure of the Gower Lodge Care home and clarification sought on what measures the Council was taking to ensure any contracts it had would avoid a similar situation arising within Carmarthenshire. The Director of Community Services, advised that one of the key issues in that regard was the regular monitoring of contracts. The Council had consistently improved its monitoring regime and he received monthly reports on the services’ operation. He further advised that one of the main issues facing the department on residential care provision was the lack of in-county provision, and the department was actively examining that aspect.

 

In response to a statement on the perceived need for more nursing and less care beds in the Llanelli area, the Director of Community Services advised that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.5

11.

TO RECEIVE THE REPORT OF THE MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD HELD ON 31ST JULY, 2017 pdf icon PDF 438 KB

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Minutes:

RESOLVED that the report of the above meeting be received.