Agenda and minutes

Policy & Resources Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 16th March, 2016 10.00 am

Venue: Chamber & Ante Room, 3 Spilman Street, Carmarthen, SA31 1LE. View directions

Contact: Bernadette Dolan  tel: 01267 224030 email:  badolan@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor P.A. Palmer, Executive Board Member (Communities).

 

 

2.

DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL INTEREST

Minutes:

There were no declarations of personal interest.

 

3.

DECLARATION OF PROHIBITED PARTY WHIPS

Minutes:

There were no declarations of prohibited party whips.

 

4.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS (NONE RECEIVED)

Minutes:

No public questions were received.

 

5.

FORTHCOMING ITEMS pdf icon PDF 359 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received a list of forthcoming items for consideration at its next scheduled meeting to be held on the 22nd April 2016.

 

6.

CARMARTHENSHIRE LOCAL SERVICE BOARD UPDATE 2015 pdf icon PDF 326 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to minute 8 of the meeting held on the 20th March 2015 the Committee considered the annual update of the Carmarthenshire Local Service Board [LSB] for 2015. The update included a summary of the Board’s structure, matters discussed during the year and progress with projects and specific pieces of work taken forward. 

The Committee was reminded that the LSB had been established in 2007 and that 2015-16 was the final year of its existence prior to the establishment of the Public Services Board [PSB] in May 2016 to meet the requirements of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act [minute 7 below refers]. The PSB would be responsible for improving the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of the County and would utilise the sustainable development principle to maximise its contribution to the achievement of the seven national well-being goals. Whilst arrangements for the scrutiny of the PSB’s work had yet to be finalised there was an expectation that a designated local authority scrutiny committee (likely to be the Policy & Resources Scrutiny Committee in Carmarthenshire) would take on this role. The designated scrutiny committee could require any PSB member to give evidence to the committee but only in respect of the exercise of joint functions conferred on them as a member of the PSB.

 

The following issues were raised during consideration of the report:

·       In response to a concern over the expectation that the Authority provided administrative support to the PSB it was stated the issue of funding had already been raised with Welsh Government;

·       Concerns were expressed over the costs likely to be associated with the running of the PSB particularly when considered against expectations;

·       It was suggested that the PSB should be asked to consider inviting 2 members of the Policy and Resources Scrutiny Committee to sit on the Board with a view to formalising the link with the scrutiny process.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED to receive the report.

 

 

7.

WELL-BEING OF FUTURE GENERATIONS (WALES) ACT 2015 pdf icon PDF 403 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

With reference to minute 6 above the Committee considered a report on the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 which was due to be

implemented from April 2016 onwards. The Act, which would apply to 44 public bodies across Wales [including Carmarthenshire County Council],

was aimed at improving the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales and sought to set this principle at the heart of everything Welsh public service undertook.

 

The following issues were raised during consideration of the report:

·       It was acknowledged that the requirements of the Act were somewhat  bureaucratic and included much of what Carmarthenshire County Council was already achieving though measurements would need to be put in place to demonstrate those achievements;

·       The view was expressed that whilst the objectives of the Act were commendable expectations were high and it was considered that it would be difficult to measure the outcomes;

·       The Committee was advised that the Act was likely to change the focus of the Annual Report and Improvement Plan.  

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED to receive the report.

 

8.

REVENUE & CAPITAL BUDGET MONITORING REPORT 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 409 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the Authority’s Corporate Budget Monitoring

Report and the Chief Executive’s and Corporate Services departmental reports as at 31st December 2015 in respect of the 2015/16 financial year.

 

The following issues were discussed during consideration of the report:

·       It was queried as to whether the staff vacancies within the Communities Department were impacting on service delivery. The Director of Corporate Services commented that in some instances departments might be avoiding appointing staff in order to ease restructuring and facilitate efficiency savings;

·       The Director of Corporate Services, in response to a question, advised that the Authority was able to consider offering assistance such as Discretionary Rate Relief to SMEs which found themselves in difficulty with the payment of Business rates;

·       The Director of Corporate Services referred to work being undertaken by the HR section to assist schools with early voluntary retirement;

·       The Committee was advised that occupancy rates at the Authority’s Care Homes were meeting the required budgetary targets;

·       The Committee was reminded that a Treasury Management Training Seminar had been arranged for the 11th April 2016.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED to receive the report.

 

9.

EXPLANATIONS FOR NON-SUBMISSIONS OF SCRUTINY REPORTS pdf icon PDF 31 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received the Non- Submission report.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the report be noted.

 

10.

POLICY & RESOURCES SCRUTINY COMMITTEE ACTIONS AND REFERRALS UPDATE pdf icon PDF 293 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the report detailing progress in relation to actions, requests or referrals emerging from previous scrutiny meetings, be noted.

 

11.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 254 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 3rd February 2016, be signed as a correct record.