Agenda and draft minutes

Ordinary & Council Tax setting, County Council
Tuesday, 10th March, 2020 10.00 am

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

Contact: Kevin Thomas  01267 224027

Note: Moved from 04/03 - Council Tax & PPS 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

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Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors F. Akhtar, J. Edmunds, P. Edwards, P. Hughes, A. James, J. Jenkins, T.J. Jones, A.G. Morgan,

S. Najmi, S. Phillips, D. Price, H. Shepardson and E.G. Thomas

2.

DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL INTERESTS.

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Minutes:

There were no declarations of personal interests.

3.

CHAIR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS.

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Minutes:

The Chair advised that Councillor S Davies was making a collection at the meeting in support of the Llanelli Visual Impaired Bowls Team.

 

The Leader of the Council provided an update on the coronavirus and the work being undertaken by the Council, public bodies and the Local Resilience Forum in preparing for a potential outbreak within the County.

4.

TO APPROVE AND SIGN AS A CORRECT RECORD THE MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON THE 12TH FEBRUARY, 2020 pdf icon PDF 624 KB

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Minutes:

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of Council held on the 12th February, 2020 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 AND CHILDREN

“In July last year, Carmarthenshire County Council unanimously agreed a motion “to identify ways to move to the supply of milk in re-usable glass bottles instead of plastic in our primary schools”.

Ceredigion County Council recently announced that their schools are going to stop using 400,000 plastic bottles.

Will the Executive Board Member for Education and Children publish a detailed plan with timescales for implementing the unanimous instruction from members of this County Council so that empty plastic bottles will not have to be recycled by our primary schools in such large volumes?”

 

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Minutes:

“In July last year, Carmarthenshire County Council unanimously agreed a motion “to identify ways to move to the supply of milk in re-usable glass bottles instead of plastic in our primary schools”.

Ceredigion County Council recently announced that their schools are going to stop using 400,000 plastic bottles.

Will the Executive Board Member for Education and Children publish a detailed plan with timescales for implementing the unanimous instruction from members of this County Council so that empty plastic bottles will not have to be recycled by our primary schools in such large volumes?”

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

 

Thank you for the question. It is something that we have referred to many times. It is a matter that we have discussed here in the Chamber. As the question refers specifically to Ceredigion County Council, I think it’s important to state that our current milk contract in Carmarthenshire is a different one to the one that’s in Ceredigion. Both agreements are separate. Our contract is for all the milk which goes to every school. So, every drop of milk that goes to any work within the school it comes under this contract. It’s not just the milk for the pupils only. The milk which at the moment is set in plastic bottles. The contract that we have comes to an end in August 2021. So, basically, August next year. So, we have a year and five months of this contract left, and we are tied into that contract until then. We cannot do anything until then.

 

Ceredigion did a very interesting piece of work, a task and finish type piece of work, to review the milk provision, the free milk provision. But, we are also aware, as a county that Ceredigion at the moment is looking at milk dispensers and I think we should also look possibly at the new developments which are in this area. Ceredigion are consulting with larger schools to introduce milk from a dispenser. It will be cold milk as it comes from the fridge and I’m sure, the same as myself, if you can remember back to our school days when we had the milk during the summer term it was in the sun and it was warm. So there is to something to say about receiving milk that is really cold, which is much more acceptable. Now, this milk dispenser, from what I can understand, holds one pergal at a time. So a pergal, basically, it’s approximately 24 pints and so therefore can provide 70 – 72 portions of milk, so a third of a pint that each child receives from those small plastic bottles at the moment. Ceredigion have also applied to the Welsh Government for a grant. There are grants available to buy these milk dispensers. It would be a grant from the Circular Economy Capital Fund. Those grants are available.

 

As a county we are involved with the WRAP Project, and that’s the acronym which  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.1

6.2

QUESTION BY COUNCILLOR DOT JONES TO COUNCILLOR GLYNOG DAVIES - EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER FOR EDUCATION AND CHILDREN

“ In August 2019 I received an email stating that the school catchment review would commence in September of last year. 

Can an update be given on the work and consultations  that has been completed to date please.”

 

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Minutes:

“ In August 2019 I received an email stating that the school catchment review would commence in September of last year. 

Can an update be given on the work and consultations that has been completed to date please.

 

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

 

We are all aware that every school has a catchment and I’m sure you, like myself, have asked the question how did this school catchment area come into being. Well, originally, they were formed in order to ensure that there were enough pupils to support every school, to maintain every school, to make sure that there were children who were living close by that were there to attend that school. Every school has a designated catchment area which it serves and here in Carmarthenshire we use catchment areas as part of our schools admissions system and also to implement our schools transport policy. A full review was undertaken of our catchment areas in 2012 and it’s now timely, and I do believe it’s appropriate that we update them. In order to do this work an officer has been appointed, work has begun and this officer is going to lead on this work, but it is a very large piece of work, a very complicated piece of work.

 

In order to review the situation in full this county as we know is a widespread one, a large county geographically and we have lots of schools and we need to look very carefully at the linguistic context. We have religious schools. All of our schools are very different so, we need to look at it very carefully and all the arrangements in place. We need to look at the dynamic nature of the education footprint across the county. As I mentioned, and I’m very pleased to say this, that I did want to see this work taking place, this work has begun, consultations have been held with the school transport department in order to understand the current arrangements and the potential changes that there may be. Also taking place, there is an ongoing geographic analysis of pupil data for all primary and secondary schools. This will help to understand the patterns of school attendance in relation to the current catchment boundaries.

 

School catchment areas are heavily contingent on the review of our MEP. Now you’ve often heard me speak of the Modernising Education Programme. It’s an important programme for us here in Carmarthenshire, and we’ve gained a great deal from that programme, and that review is currently happening. The MEP review may influence changes to the education map in our county. This needs to be completed before consultation starts with our schools. We must have, we need, the results of that review. Also, there will be a very thorough consultation on any changes which will be proposed to those catchment areas, plenty of opportunity to give opinions and this will be part of the school admission process and this happens yearly  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.2

7.

SETTING THE COUNCIL TAX FOR THE FINANCIAL YEAR 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 129 KB

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Minutes:

Council considered the Director of Corporate Services’ report setting out the financial details relevant to the setting of the Council Tax for the 2020/2021 financial year together with the Council Tax amounts in respect of the different Council Tax Valuation Bands, as applicable to each of the individual Community and Town Council areas.

It was noted that the recommendations contained within the report were based on the final settlement details received from the Welsh Government and the precepts notified to the County Council by the Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner and the Town and Community Councils.

RESOLVED that in order for the Council to comply with legislative requirements, the report and recommendations of the Director of Corporate Services on the setting of the Council Tax for the financial year 2020/21 be adopted.

8.

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

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8.1

PRESS AND MEDIA PROTOCOL pdf icon PDF 186 KB

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Minutes:

The Council was informed that the Executive Board, at its meeting held on the 20th January, 2020 (minute 7 refers) had considered a report on the adoption of an updated Press and Media Protocol to replace the existing protocol adopted by Council in June, 2015. The new Protocol reflected changes in the media environment to assist the Marketing and Media Team to manage press and media communications and relationships on the Council’s behalf whilst also providing guidance to elected members and Staff.

 

Reference was made to the section within the report relating to requests for photography and filming on council premises. The Chief Executive confirmed the wording would be amended to clarify the taking of photographs on council land by local members as part of their role

 

RESOLVED that the recommendation of the Executive Board be accepted and the Press and Media Protocol be adopted

8.2

(DRAFT) STRATEGIC EQUALITY PLAN 2020-2024 pdf icon PDF 156 KB

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Minutes:

The Council was informed that the Executive Board, at its meeting held on the 3rd February, 2020 (minute 10 refers) had considered a Draft Carmarthenshire County Council Strategic Equality Plan 2020-2024 produced in accordance with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 that replaced the separate duties on race, disabilities and gender equality.  The Council noted that the General Duty of the Act aimed to ensure public authorities and those carrying out a public function considered how they could positively contribute to a fairer society through advancing equality and good relations in their day-to-day activities

 

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

 

“The (Draft) Strategic Equality Plan for implementation from April 2020 be approved;

 

The (Draft) Strategic Equality Objectives and the development of a detailed action plan to underpin those objectives be approved”

 

9.

TO RECEIVE THE REPORT OF THE MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD HELD ON THE 24TH FEBRUARY 2020 pdf icon PDF 328 KB

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Minutes:

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the report of the meeting of the Executive Board held on the 24th February, 2020 be received.