Agenda and minutes

Community Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019 10.00 am

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

Contact: Kevin J Thomas  01267 224027

Items
No. Item

1.

APPOINTMENT OF CHAIR FOR THE 2019/20 MUNICIPAL YEAR

Minutes:

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that Councillor F. Akhtar be appointed Chair of the Committee for 2019/20 municipal year.

 

2.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors, C.A. Davies, W.R.A. Davies and
H.I. Jones.

 

3.

DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL INTERESTS INCLUDING ANY PARTY WHIPS ISSUED IN RELATION TO ANY AGENDA ITEM

Minutes:

 

There were no declarations of personal Interest.

 

There were no declarations of prohibited party whips.

 

4.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS (NONE RECEIVED)

Minutes:

No public questions had been received.

 

5.

BUILDING MORE COUNCIL HOMES- OUR AMBITION AND PLAN OF ACTION pdf icon PDF 741 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report which included a transformational Building more Council Homes – Our Ambition and Plan of Action which aimed to deliver over 900 new Council homes over the next 10 years.

 

The report detailed information and included proposed recommendations in relation to the following:

 

·       where and when the homes would be built;

·       the resources available and the delivery models that would be used;

·       how wider regeneration priorities across the county would be supported; 

·       how new opportunities, as they arise, would be maximised.

 

The results of the plan of action would deliver the greatest increase in the number of Council homes in the County since the 1970’s and return the Council’s housing stock levels since the 1990’s.

 

The report outlined that providing more affordable homes was a key strategic priority for the Council and was a five year vision to increase the supply of affordable homes 2015 and, in 2016, when the Council set out its first ambitious 10 year investment programme to deliver over 1000 additional affordable homes across the County.  The Council, in its fourth year of delivering the affordable homes had a very successful first three years, as nearly 700 homes were delivered and was currently on course to reach the 1000 homes target.

 

Members noted that the Council development programme had been developed using a delivery phasing structure which reflected when the homes would be built. Based on a number of factors, including the likely timescales for delivery the programme comprised of three priority phases, which was described in Table 1 of the report.

 

The following questions/observations were raised on the report:-

 

·       With regard to the size of the new houses, it was commented that Council houses in the past were robust, well-built with a generous size garden, and in comparison concern was raised that the new houses would be built too close together with smaller gardens.  The Head of Homes and Safer Communities announced that the new build homes would be specifically designed to include sufficient space for a lifetime home.  Furthermore, in order that the homes were future proof the homes would be compliant with space standards thus ensuring that they would be fit for purpose.

 

·       It was raised that it would be beneficial for Members to receive a breakdown of specific areas of development in terms of variation by ward.  The Head of Homes and Safer Communities agreed that he would forward an affordable home activity per ward to Members by e-mail.

 

 

 

 

 

·         Concerns were raised in relation to the number of planning applications being submitted on a continuous basis in order to retain the permission to build on the land with no work being progressed.  The Executive Board member for Housing acknowledged the concerns and reported that discussions were currently ongoing with regard to the possibility of limiting the number of applications for one site.  The Head of Homes and Safer Communities offered to e-mail an update on the outcomes of the discussions to the Committee.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED to recommend to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

DRAFT - CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL'S ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 437 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the Council’s Draft Annual Report for 2018/19 produced in accordance with the requirements of both the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 and the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. The report provided an overview of the 2018/19 performance and progress of each of the 15 Well-being Objectives. Members focussed to the following sections within the document as these were relevant to the remit of Community Scrutiny:

 

·         Introduction

·         WBO 2. Help children live healthy lifestyles

·         WBO 5. Tackling Poverty

·         WBO 6. Creating more jobs and growth throughout the county

·         WBO 7. Increase the availability of rented and affordable homes

·         WBO 8. Help people live healthy lives (tackling risky behaviour and obesity)

·         WBO 14. Promoting Welsh language and Culture

·         Appendices

 

The following questions/issues were raised on the report:-

 

·       Reference was made to summary page of the Key Success Measures.  It was commented that the use of smiley faces was an inappropriate symbol to denote the success of some measures.  The Corporate Policy and Partnership Manager agreed and stated that she would seek a more appropriate symbol to demonstrate the measures of success throughout the document.

 

·       Following several comments raised in relation to the targets, Members were of the opinion that targets needed to be more realistic or be transparent should a trend be identified in relation to a lack of improvement year on year. The Head of Leisure acknowledged that some of the targets were ambitious and that progress of some measures were primarily at grass root level which may take additional time for improvements to be realised.

 

·       With regard to the graph within the Well-being objective 9 which exhibited ‘the percentage of people that feel they have a sense of community’.  Praise was expressed in relation to Carmarthenshire being the 4th highest year on year % change having reduced from 73% in 2014/15 to 47.4%.  The Corporate Policy and Partnership Manager stated that the success was as a result of the Rural Task Force monitoring rural communities, which through partnership working and collaboration worked on ways to improve social inclusion.

 

It was commented that the recommendations from the Task and Finish review on Loneliness would feed into well-being objective 9.  Furthermore, a Member reported that an efficiency fund grant up to £5k was available for application. However, as this was a popular grant, a quick application was advised.  The Head of Leisure agreed and acknowledged the importance for Councillors and Officers to utilise any schemes that were available to them.

 

·       In response to a query in relation to the Café and Caravan park in Pembrey Country Park.  The Head of Leisure reported that the numerous high profile events had benefited the area and that the Café would make a significant difference to the offer in the park. The new barrier system in the carpark had experienced some teething problems and in the meantime, to assist with any issues that arise, and ensure the smooth running of entry and egress, staff had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

EXPLANATION FOR NON-SUBMISSION OF SCRUTINY REPORT pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the explanation provided for the non-submission of a scrutiny report.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the non-submission report be received.

 

8.

FORTHCOMING ITEMS pdf icon PDF 225 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the list of forthcoming items for the Committee meeting to be held on the 3rd October 2019 be agreed.

 

9.

TO SIGN AS A CORRECT RECORD THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON THE 9TH MAY, 2019 pdf icon PDF 343 KB

Minutes:

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings of the Community Scrutiny Committee held on the 9th May, 2019 be signed as a correct record.