Agenda and minutes

Annual Meeting, County Council
Wednesday, 10th June, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Virtual Meeting - .. View directions

Contact: Kevin J Thomas  01267 224027

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: 97746311# (For call charges contact your service provider) 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors T. Higgins, J. James, T.J. Jones, S. Najmi, S. Phillips and G.B. Thomas

2.

DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL INTERESTS.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of personal interest.

3.

PERSONAL MATTERS / OUTGOING CHAIR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

Minutes:

·                The Chair paid tribute to Mr David Tom Davies OBE, MM following his recent bereavement. Mr Davies had been the Chair of the former Dyfed County Council from 1981-82 and the founding Chair of the current Carmarthenshire County Council from 1995-97 and had worked tirelessly for the county and the local community in and around Dryslwyn. He was one of the founder members of the National Botanical Garden of Wales and played a large part in establishing Aberglasney Gardens and it was only right that in 2018, on the occasion of his 100th birthday, he had been granted the Honorary Freedom of Carmarthenshire.

Mr Davies also saw service in World War 2 as a member of the Royal Artillery and spent three years as a prisoner of war. In 2016, he had published his story in a book.

·                The Chair referred to the current difficult times faced by many due to the Covid-19 pandemic and expressed his thoughts to those families who had sadly been affected by the outbreak;

·                The Chair expressed his appreciation to all the Council’s staff and all the other public and health services for their hard work during the pandemic in ensuring public services within Carmarthenshire could still provide as many services as possible and in helping the vulnerable in the community. He paid special thanks to the countless volunteers who had helped in the crisis over the previous three months;

·               The Chair extended his congratulations to the following residents within the County who had recently celebrated their 100th Birthday:-

 

Ethel Wheeler –Capel Hendre

Joan Davies – Betws

Douglas Davies – Llanell-

 

The Retiring Chair, reflected on his year in office which, over the previous three months had been different to the norm due to the coronavirus. He expressed his appreciation to the many people who had volunteered to help the vulnerable in the community during the pandemic. He also referred to the many people he had met during his year of office and to the work they did for the communities they served and announced that a new “Civic Appreciation of Thanks Award” had been created to recognise their work. The names of the 2019-20 recipients would be published that morning, with the recipients receiving their awards later in the year. He also expressed his appreciation to those who had contributed to his charity raising £3,925 for food banks within Ammanford, Carmarthen and Llanelli.

 

He thanked his Vice Chairman, Councillor Ieuan Davies, and Councillor Davies’ Consort, Mrs Sue Allen, for their support and company during his term of office and wished Councillor Davies well in his year of office. He also thanked his Chaplain Reverend Caroline Jones for her spiritual support and guidance throughout the year.

 

He expressed his gratitude to the Chief Executive for her advice and professional guidance, and to the Directors and staff of the authority who had supported the work of the Chair, including the Democratic Services Unit, his driver Jeff Jones, and, in particular, Eira Evans  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

ELECTION OF CHAIR OF THE COUNCIL FOR THE 2020-21 MUNICIPAL YEAR

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor K. Madge and seconded by Councillor L.M. Stephens and UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that Councillor I.W. Davies be elected Chair of Carmarthenshire County Council for the 2020/21 Municipal Year.

 

Councillor K. Madge congratulated Councillor Davies on his election and advised that whilst, due to social distancing rules, he was unable to physically invest Councillor Davies with his Chain of Office, arrangements had been made for it to be delivered to his home.

 

Councillor Ieuan Davies made his declaration of acceptance of office and was invested with the Chain of Office.

 

Councillor Davies expressed his gratitude to all Councillors for their support in appointing him as Chair of Carmarthenshire County Council and that he was looking forward to his year in office representing the council and meeting people when the current lockdown restrictions were eased. Councillor Davies also paid tribute to the retiring Chair, Councillor K. Madge

 

Tributes were also paid to the Retiring Chair by the Leaders of the Plaid Cymru, Independent, Labour and New Independent Groups for the excellent service he had given to the Council during his year of office.

 

The Chair thanked members for all their kind words and advised that in view of social distancing rules, his Consort (Mrs Sue Allen) would not be invested with her Chain of Office that day. That would hopefully be arranged for the ceremonial function later in the year. 

 

The Chief Executive also paid tribute on behalf of the Authority’s staff to the retiring Chair and his consort (Councillor Kevin Madge and Mrs Catrin Madge) who had fulfilled his role with great professionalism and been very active and supportive of the work of the Council. She congratulated the newly elected Chair and Consort (Councillor Ieuan Davies and Mrs Sue Allen) on their appointment.  She also referred to the nature of the AGM this year as being one of many new experiences, and advised that whilst for the first time, those who would normally be in the Chamber today to wish the Chair well were unable to do so they had kindly put their best wishes together on video.

 

The Council viewed the video.

 

The Chief Executive wished the Chair a very happy and successful year in office.

5.

ELECTION OF VICE CHAIR OF THE COUNCIL FOR THE 2020-21 MUNICIPAL YEAR

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor W.T. Evans, seconded by Councillor G. Thomas and UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that Councillor Eirwyn Williams be elected Vice-Chair of Carmarthenshire County Council for the 2020/21 Municipal Year. 

 

The Chair congratulated the Vice Chair on his appointment and advised that due to the current social distancing rules, arrangements had been made for Councillor Williams’ Chain of Office to be delivered to his home.

 

The Vice-Chair expressed his appreciation to the Council on his appointment and made his declaration of acceptance of office.

 

The Chair advised that due to the social distancing rules, the Vice Chair’s Consort (Mrs Joyce Williams) would not be invested with her Chain of Office that Day. That would hopefully be undertaken later in the year.

6.

TO RECEIVE THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL’S ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 3 MB

Minutes:

The Leader presented his fifth Annual Report to the Council covering the period 2019/20 and looked back upon the achievements of the Council over the previous 12 months (copies of which had been provided to Councillors in advance of the meeting). He advised that whilst it was not his intention to go through the report in detail, he would like to highlight the following Council’s achievements over the year (including a video presentation) prior to commenting on the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on the county and the scale and measure of the Council’s response.

 

The Council viewed the video.

 

The Leader reminded the Council that only a year ago it had hosted the final stage of the OVO Women’s Tour of Britain when thousands of people had lined the county’s streets to cheer the cyclists on their 79 mile race through Carmarthenshire. Hosting the race had provided the opportunity to showcase the county’s beautiful scenery and the warm welcome that awaited visitors to the county. The Council had also set aside £20,000 for its Events Support Scheme for organisations and community groups to hold their own events. Those included Carmarthen’s St David’s Week, Llandovery Sheep Festival, Llanelli Pride and Gwyl Canol Dre.

 

He considered one of the Council’s proudest achievements over the year had been the “Moving Carmarthenshire Forward” Report. Over 60% of the county’s population lived in its rural areas and the council had a dedicated portfolio to represent the needs of those people. The Ten Rural Towns Initiative outlined the long-term strategic vision for the regeneration of the county’s rural communities by securing economic, cultural, social and environmental sustainability for those towns i.e. Llandovery, St Clears, Whitland, Newcastle Emlyn, Laugharne, Cwmamman, Llanybydder, Kidwelly, Llandeilo and Cross Hands. However, in light of Covid-19, it was realised, more than ever, that the need to look locally, and in supporting and developing that economy the county would become even more resilient and robust.

 

The Council’s plans to increase its housing stock across the County would also support the rural strategy. Over the next five years the council had committed to invest £150m to build 900 new council homes across the county, with many of those being in the rural areas where there had been a shortage of housing for many years. Work was also underway in Pembrey and Bryn, Llanelli to build 300 homes before 2022 and, although, work on those had been halted at the start of the lockdown, the sites were beginning to re-open and work had restarted.

 

The Authority had renewed its commitment to climate change, becoming the first local authority in Wales to publish a climate change action plan outlining how it would be net zero carbon by 2030. The Plan was ambitious and the Council was committed to its success. A more energy- efficient vehicle fleet was being purchased and the council was collaborating with other bodies to deliver wider change and renewable energy generation on council owned land. To date, more that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

TO CONFIRM APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS TO COMMITTEES OF THE COUNCIL FOR THE 2020-21 MUNICIPAL YEAR pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the composition of Regulatory, Scrutiny, Other Committees and Panels and the membership of those committees. The Leaders of the Political Groups confirmed that there were no additional membership changes.

 

It was duly moved and seconded and

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the composition and membership of Regulatory, Scrutiny, Other Committees and Panels for the 2020/21 Municipal Year, as detailed within the report be approved.

8.

TO CONSIDER NOMINATIONS RECEIVED AND TO ELECT CHAIRS AND VICE CHAIRS FOR THE COMMITTEES / PANELS OF THE COUNCIL FOR THE 2020-21 MUNICIPAL YEAR pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council, in accordance with Corporate Procedure Rule CPR 17.6, considered nominations which had been received for the appointment of Chairs and Vice Chairs of Committees for the 2020/21 Municipal Year. 

 

It was duly moved and seconded and

 

RESOLVED that the following appointments to Chairs and Vice Chairs of Regulatory, Scrutiny, Other Committees and Panels be made for the 2020/21 Municipal Year:-

 

COMMITTEE / PANEL

CHAIR

VICE CHAIR

Community Scrutiny Committee

To be appointed by the Committee

Councillor G.B. Thomas

Education & Children Scrutiny Committee

Councillor D. Price

Councillor E.G. Thomas

Environmental & Public Protection Scrutiny Committee

Councillor J.D. James

Councillor A. Vaughan Owen

Policy & Resources Scrutiny Committee

Councillor A.G. Morgan

Councillor G. John

Social Care & Health Scrutiny Committee

Councillor G. Thomas

Councillor I.W. Davies

Appeals Committee

Councillor J.K. Howell

Councillor S.M. Allen

Appointments Committee A - Directors

Councillor E. Dole

Councillor L.M. Stephens

Appointments Committee B - Heads of Service

Councillor L.M. Stephens

Councillor E. Dole

Democratic Services Committee

Councillor S. Curry

Councillor W.T. Evans

Dyfed Pension Fund Committee

Councillor D.E. Williams

Not required

Licensing Committee

Councillor E.G. Thomas

Councillor D.E. Williams

Member Appointments Committee

Councillor A.D.T. Speake

Councillor W.R.A. Davies

Planning Committee

Councillor A. Lenny

Councillor H.I. Jones

Housing Review Panel

Councillor G.B. Thomas

Councillor I.W. Davies

 

(NOTE: Separate votes were taken for the contested seats for Vice Chair of the Licensing Committee and Vice Chair of the Education and Children Scrutiny Committee)

9.

ANNUAL REVIEW OF THE COUNCIL'S CONSTITUTION pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council was reminded of the requirement for it to review its Constitution on an annual basis and that as part of that process it had established a Constitutional Review Working Group to present any recommended changes.

 

It was reported that whilst no legislative changes had been introduced during 2019/20 requiring changes to be made to the Council’s Constitution, there was a need for Part  6.1 thereof to be amended to reflect the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales’ (IRPW) prescribed amounts to be paid to Councillors for 2020/21, as detailed within the report.

 

With regard to the work of the Constitutional Review Working Group, it was reported that whilst it had been tasked with reviewing and recommending any changes to the constitution that had not proved to be possible following the suspension of all Council meetings in response to the Covid 19 pandemic. It was therefore proposed that the Annual Review be deferred to a future Council Meeting.

 

RESOLVED

 

9.1

That the Councillors’ and Co-opted Members’ Salaries and Allowances Scheme for 2020/21, as detailed within the report, be adopted;

9.2

That any necessary membership changes contained within the Constitution arising from decisions made earlier in the meeting be approved;

9.3

That in view of the Civid-19 pandemic, the full annual review of the Constitution be deferred to a future meeting of the Council.