Agenda and minutes

County Council
Wednesday, 9th January, 2019 10.00 am

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

Contact: Kevin Thomas  01267 224027

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Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

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Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors F. Akhtar, S. Allen, L. Bowen, H. Davies, K. Davies, J. Jones, A. Lenny, S. Najmi and B. Thomas.

2.

DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL INTERESTS.

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Minutes:

Councillor

Minute Number

Nature of Interest

A. Speake     

8. – Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2019/20

He is in receipt of a war disability pension.

 

3.

CHAIR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS.

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Minutes:

·         The Chair extended greetings to Councillors J. James and J. Prosser on their return after recent surgery and wished them a swift further recovery;

·         The Chair reported that he and the Vice-Chair had the privilege of representing the Council in a number of events and are hoping to be invited in the coming months to those wards they had not yet visited;

·         The Chair referred to his participation in the Pembrey Walrus Dip on Boxing Day to raise money for charity. He thanked all his sponsors as well as Eira Evans for administering the sponsor forms;

·         Upon the unveiling of the first blue plaque in Llandovery town, the Chair thanked Councillor Handel Davies and Llandovery Town Council for their vision. The plaque was commemorating Vicar Rhys Prichard. The Chair encouraged Councillors representing rural areas to identify whether there were people or buildings in their wards that were of historical value but were being forgotten;

·         The Chair extended condolences to Councillor Jim Jones following the passing of his brother Graham, and to Councillor Bill Thomas and his partner Catherine following the passing of Catherine’s mother;

·         The Chair extended congratulations to:

-        Dylan Morgan, a year 10 pupil at Ysgol Bro Dinefwr who had won four gold medals at the Swim Wales Short Course Championship 2018. Dylan was now the Gold Welsh Champion in the 50m Freestyle, 100m Freestyle, 50m Backstroke and the 100m Backstroke;

-        Mark Drakeford, brought up in Carmarthen, on being elected as First Minister of Wales;

·         The Chair extended his congratulations to the following residents of Carmarthenshire awarded in the New Year’s Honours:

 

Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

·         Barry Liles for his services to skills and young people in Wales. Mr Liles, who was Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and former Principal and Chief Officer of Coleg Sir Gâr, was a Skills Champion for Wales;

·         Dr Nicola Phillips for services to physiotherapy. Although Dr Phillips lived in Coity, Bridgend, she was the daughter of retired Carmarthen coracle man Gordon Phillips;

 

Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

·         Michael Thomas John Ponton from Llangain, lately Community Independent Member of Hywel Dda University Health Board, for his services to healthcare;

·         Nikki Symmons, headteacher at Heol Goffa School, Llanelli, for her services to education;

 

British Empire Medal

·         Cairn Newton-Evans from Llanelli, Special Chief Officer at Dyfed-Powys Police, for his services to policing and the LGBT community in Wales.

4.

TO APPROVE AND SIGN AS A CORRECT RECORD THE MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON THE 12TH DECEMBER 2018 pdf icon PDF 305 KB

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Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on the 12th December 2018 be signed as a correct record.

5.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS (NONE RECEIVED).

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Minutes:

The Chair advised that no public questions had been received.

6.

QUESTIONS BY MEMBERS:-

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6.1

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

If someone drinks a can of Coke every day for a month, they are eating the equivalent of a bag of sugar.  Fizzy drinks are also the largest source of sugar for children aged eleven to eighteen.  So if you want to get serious about childhood obesity, it starts with fizzy pop.

 

As part of the Healthy Schools Initiative, the school in my ward of Felinfoel – Ysgol y Felin – ask any pupils bringing fizzy drinks into school to hand them over and then collect them at the end of the school day.

 

Will the Executive Board member support the Fizz Free February campaign and encourage all schools in Carmarthenshire to try this approach for one month?  This will also be an opportunity to promote the benefits of drinking water instead of fizzy pop”.

 

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Minutes:

It was noted that as Councillor Bill Thomas was absent from the meeting he would be provided with a written response to his question by Councillor Glynog Davies.

 

7.

ANNUAL REPORT OF STANDARDS COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 152 KB

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Minutes:

The Chair welcomed to the meeting Mr Andre Morgan, Chair of the Standards Committee, who had been invited to present to Council the Annual Report of the Standards Committee for the 2017/18 period.

Mr Morgan thanked the Council for the opportunity of presenting the Annual Report on behalf of the Standards Committee and proceeded to provide an overview of the issues addressed by the Committee during 2017/18. Those included Code of Conduct Complaints, Applications for Dispensation, Code of Conduct Training for Town and Community Councils and a review of the Authority’s Whistle-Blowing Policy. The Committee had also received the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales’ Annual Report and his Code of Conduct casebook together with case decisions made by the Adjudication Panel for Wales and case decisions of other Standards Committees.   

The Chair thanked Mr Morgan for his presentation and for the work undertaken by the Standards Committee

RESOLVED that the Annual Report of the Standards Committee for the period 1st April, 2017 to 31st March 2018 be received.

8.

COUNCIL TAX REDUCTION SCHEME 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 106 KB

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Minutes:

[NOTE: Councillor A. Speake had earlier declared an interest in this item and left the Chamber prior to the consideration thereof.]

 

The Council considered a report on the Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2019/20 and was advised that in 2013, the Westminster Government replaced the national Council Tax Benefit Scheme with a localised scheme. It was reported that whilst in England, councils operated their own individual schemes, the position in Wales was different with responsibility having been devolved to the Welsh Government and an all-Wales scheme developed, which had been in place since that time. Although the scheme had been established on an all-Wales Basis, each Welsh local authority was required by prescribed Requirements Regulations to formally adopt a Council Tax Reduction Scheme by 31st January each year.

 

The Executive Board Member for Resources reminded members that although it was a single all-Wales scheme, local authorities had to re-adopt the scheme annually if they wished to take advantage of the limited discretionary powers they had to vary the standard scheme in respect of the three areas outlined in the report. He reminded members that since the scheme’s introduction, Carmarthenshire had, in common with most Welsh authorities, used its discretionary powers and fully disregarded any Disablement Pensions, War Widows Pensions and similar payments when calculating entitlement. He reminded members that, by accepting the recommendations contained in the report, Carmarthenshire would continue to disregard those payments.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that for 2019/20 the Council:

 

8.1

Formally adopts the standard all-Wales Council Tax Reduction Scheme provided for in the:

a)      Council Tax Reduction Schemes and Prescribed Requirements (Wales) Regulations 2013, and

b)      Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements and Default Scheme) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2014

8.2

Implements the annual up-rating figures (used in entitlement calculations) and other technical amendments included in the Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements and Default Scheme) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2019, due to come into effect in the January, 2019

8.3

Continues to exercise its discretion with regard to the limited discretionary elements of the prescribed scheme as outline in the report’s Executive Summary.

 

9.

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

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9.1

REGIONAL HOMELESSNESS STRATEGY pdf icon PDF 204 KB

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Minutes:

The Council was informed that the Executive Board, at its meeting held on the 17th December 2018 had considered a report on the proposed Regional Homelessness Strategy outlining the key themes and priorities for how Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Powys County Councils would prevent homelessness over the coming years. It was noted that the Strategy aimed to ensure sufficient options and opportunities were available for local people to access affordable or social housing to enable them to remain within their community of choice.

 

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

 

“That the Regional Homelessness be approved”

9.2

MID-YEAR TREASURY MANAGEMENT AND PRUDENTIAL INDICATOR REPORT 1ST APRIL 2018 TO 30TH SEPTEMBER 2018 pdf icon PDF 157 KB

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Minutes:

Council was informed that the Executive Board, at its meeting held on the 17th December 2018, had, in accordance with the 2018/19 Treasury Management Policy and Strategy (adopted by Council on the 21st February 2018 – Minute 10 refers), approved an update on the treasury management activities from the 1st April 2018 to the 30th September 2018.

 

RESOLVED that the following recommendation of the Executive Board be adopted

 

that the report be received’.

 

10.

TO RECEIVE THE REPORT OF THE MEETINGS OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD HELD ON THE FOLLOWING DATES

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10.1

3RD DECEMBER, 2018 pdf icon PDF 189 KB

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Minutes:

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the report of the meeting of the Executive Board held on the 3rd December, 2018 be received.

10.2

17TH DECEMBER, 2018 pdf icon PDF 214 KB

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Minutes:

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the report of the meeting of the Executive Board held on the 17th December, 2018 be received.