Agenda and draft minutes

County Council - Wednesday, 9th November, 2022 10.00 am

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

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Note:

·       At 12:52pm the Council’s attention was drawn to Council Procedure Rule (CPR) 9 – Duration of Meeting and, as the meeting would have been underway for three hours at 1:00pm, it was resolved to suspend standing orders, in accordance with CPR 23.1, to enable the remaining business on the agenda to be considered.]

 

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors M.D. Cranham, S.A. Curry, R. James, B.W. Jones, N. Lewis and D.E. Williams.

 

2.

DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL INTERESTS.

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Minutes:

Councillor

Minute Item(s)

Nature of Interest

H. Shepherdson

5.             Item 5 - Presentation by Chief Fire Officer Roger Thomas, Mid & West Wales Fire Authority.

He is a member of the Mid & West Wales Fire Authority.

 

K. Broom

6.             Item 5 - Presentation by Chief Fire Officer Roger Thomas, Mid & West Wales Fire Authority.

She is a member of the Mid & West Wales Fire Authority.

 

K. Madge

7.             Item 5 - Presentation by Chief Fire Officer Roger Thomas, Mid & West Wales Fire Authority.

He is a member of the Mid & West Wales Fire Authority.

 

K. Madge

Item 6.1 - Statutory Director of Social Care Services' Annual Report 2021/22

 

8.             Item 6.2 - Approval of The West Wales Care Partnership's Dementia Strategy

His daughter is a social worker.

 

M. Palfreman

Item 6.1 - Statutory Director of Social Care Services' Annual Report 2021/22

 

9.             Item 6.2 - Approval of The West Wales Care Partnership's Dementia Strategy

 

Item 6.3 - West Wales Care Partnership Population Assessment and Market Stability Report

 

Cllr. Palfreman had a personal and prejudicial interest by virtue of paragraph 10(2)(d) of the Code of Conduct in that he undertakes work as a consultant for public bodies (including this authority) advising on issues relating to the provision of Health and Social Care services.

 

Cllr Palfreman had been granted dispensation by the Standards Committee allowing him to speak and submit written representation but not vote.  On this basis he remained in the meeting, took part in the deliberations but did not partake in the voting of the agenda items 6.1, 6.2 or 6.3

S. Godfrey-Coles

Item 6.1 - Statutory Director of Social Care Services' Annual Report 2021/22

 

Her partner is the Head of Children Services.

 

S. Davies

Item 10.2 - Question by Councillor Hefin Jones to Councillor Edward Thomas, Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste and Infrastructure Services.

 

She is employed by Dolen Teifi, as a Community Transport Development Officer for Llanelli.

 

 

3.

CHAIR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS.

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Minutes:

3.             CHAIR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS.

 

·       The Chair announced that the Council had once again received accreditation from the White Ribbon Campaign in recognition of the work it had undertaken and planned to undertake.  The White Ribbon Campaign aims to end male violence against women.  As part of its commitment to the White Ribbon Campaign, the Chair announced that the Council would be flying the White Ribbon flag at County Hall and Town Halls in Llanelli and Ammanford and on the evening of 25th November 2022 County Hall would be lit. In addition, the promotions would be including in staff and Councillor newsletters.

 

·       Councillor Ann Davies, at the Chairs invite, added that the Council would be marking White Ribbon Day on the 25th November 2022 as it had done over recent years and urged all members to sign up to the White Ribbon Campaign promise.

 

·       Congratulations were extended to the Integrated Home First Team in Carmarthenshire who had won the NHS Wales Award for Transforming Person Centred Care as well as achieving overall winner for Outstanding Transformation of Health and Social Care.  Joanna Jones, Senior Delivery Manager for System Flow & Urgent Care. Sarah Vaughan, Community Response Manager for Delta Wellbeing, Lisa Davies, Reablement Senior and Alex Williams Head of Integrated Services were in attendance and had brought their Awards.

 

Councillor Jane Tremlett, Cabinet member for Social Care and Health added that the work of the team was valuable in preventing admissions to hospital and delivering the care to the people of Carmarthenshire.

 

·       Councillor Linda Evans, at the Chair’s invitation, raised awareness to this years Christmas Toy Box Appeal.  Councillor Evans acknowledged that former Councillor Mair Stephens, before her passing earlier this year had run the Christmas Toy Box Appeal with passion and stated that it was an honour to continue with the Appeal.  It was highlighted that this year many children and families would be impacted upon by the rising costs of living and therefore, Members were encouraged to contribute to the Appeal.

 

·       The Chair made reference to upcoming Remembrance Day on Friday, 11th November and Remembrance Sunday on 13th November 2022.  Members and Officers observed a two-minute silence prior to the meeting being closed

4.

TO APPROVE AND SIGN AS A CORRECT RECORD THE MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETINGS HELD ON THE FOLLOWING DATES:-

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4.1

28TH SEPTEMBER, 2022; pdf icon PDF 183 KB

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Minutes:

It was raised that Councillor L. Davies declaration of interest for Item 11.1 Notice of Motion submitted by Councillor Lewis Davies, should be amended to mirror the English minutes as follows

 

‘Sister-in-Law works as a teaching assistant;

Chwaer-yng-nghyfraith yn gweithio fel cynorthwyydd addysgu;

 

RESOLVED that subject to the Welsh minutes being amended as stated above, the minutes of the meeting of Council held on the 28th September, 2022 be signed as a correct record.

 

4.2

12TH OCTOBER, 2022. pdf icon PDF 115 KB

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Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of Council held on the 12th October, 2022 be signed as a correct record.</AI6>

 

5.

PRESENTATION BY CHIEF FIRE OFFICER ROGER THOMAS, MID & WEST WALES FIRE AUTHORITY.

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Minutes:

[Note: Councillors K. Broom, K. Madge and H. Shepherdson having earlier declared an interest, re-iterated their declaration on this item and remained in the meeting for its consideration.]

 

The Chair welcomed Chief Fire Officer Roger Thomas and Mrs Sarah Mansbridge, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s Section 151 Officer, to the meeting. 

 

The Chief Fire Officer gave an overview of the work of the Fire and Rescue Service. The presentation detailed information in respect of the work of the Fire Service and included the current operational and financial challenges.

 

The presentation was followed by a question and answer session. 

 

The Chair thanked both the Chief Fire Officer and the Section 151 Officer for their attendance at the meeting and for the presentation.

 

Media

6.

TO CONSIDER THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CABINET IN RESPECT OF THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:-

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6.1

STATUTORY DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL CARE SERVICES' ANNUAL REPORT 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 112 KB

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Minutes:

[Note:

·     Councillors S. Godfrey-Coles and K. Madge having earlier declared an interest in this item, re-iterated their declaration on this item and remained in the meeting for its consideration but did not vote.

 

·     Cllr. Palfreman having earlier declared an interest, re-iterated his declaration on this item and remained in the meeting for its consideration but did not vote.  Cllr Palfreman had received a dispensation from the Standards Committee to speak but not vote.] 

 

The Council was informed that the Cabinet, at its meeting held on the 17th October 2022 (minute 7 refers), had considered the 2021/22 Annual Report of the Statutory Director of Social Care Services.

 

The report, presented by the Cabinet Member for Social Care and Health and the Statutory Director of Social Services, provided an overview of performance in 2021/22 as well as an assessment on future provision, together with strategic priorities for 2022/23. The report also outlined the challenges of an unprecedented year due to COVID 19 and highlighted those areas to be developed in the current year. 

 

There was a statutory requirement for the Director of Social Services to report annually to Council on the delivery of services and performance as well as plans for the improvement of the whole range of social services.

 

Council members paid tribute to the staff working across the health and social services during what had been a challenging period and thanked the Statutory Director of Social Services for his dedication to the service and hard work in providing a comprehensive report.

 

The Cabinet Member for Social Care and Health and the Statutory Director of Social Services responded accordingly to the queries raised.

 

resolved that the Annual Report of the Statutory Director of Social Services on the Performance of Social Care Services in Carmarthenshire 2021/22 be approved.

 

6.2

APPROVAL OF THE WEST WALES CARE PARTNERSHIP'S DEMENTIA STRATEGY pdf icon PDF 112 KB

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Minutes:

[Note: Cllr. Palfreman having earlier declared an interest in this item, re-iterated his declaration and remained in the meeting for its consideration but did not vote.  Cllr Palfreman had received a dispensation from the Standards Committee to speak but not vote.]

 

Council was informed that the Cabinet, at its meeting held on the
17th October
2022 (minute 7 refers), had considered the West Wales Care Partnership’s Dementia Strategy.  The Strategy, recommended for approval, had been produced in partnership with Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire County Councils, the Health Board and third sector partners aswell as people living with dementia, their carers and family members across West Wales.

 

The Cabinet Member for Social Care and Health, in presenting the report highlighted that the Strategy supported several key objectives within the Corporate Plan and the Council’s Wellbeing Objective to support older people to age well and maintain dignity and independence in their later years.  Furthermore, Carmarthenshire County Council’s approval of the strategy was simultaneously going through the democratic process in Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire and had already been approved by the Health Board. Approval of the Strategy would enable services to be delivered in line with the needs of the community.

 

resolved that the West Wales Care Partnership Dementia Strategy be approved.

 

6.3

WEST WALES CARE PARTNERSHIP POPULATION ASSESSMENT AND MARKET STABILITY REPORT pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

[Note:

·     Councillor K. Madge having earlier declared an interest in this item, re-iterated his declaration and in this item remained in the meeting for its consideration but did not vote.

 

·     Cllr. Palfreman having earlier declared an interest in this item, re-iterated his declaration and remained in the meeting for its consideration but did not vote.  Cllr Palfreman had received a dispensation from the Standards Committee to speak but not vote.]

 

The Council was informed that the Cabinet, at its meeting held on the 17th October 2022 (minute 9 refers), had considered the West Wales Care Partnership Population Assessment and West Wales Care Partnership Market Stability Report.

 

The report summarised the approach that had been taken to produce the report and detailed the key findings and process for publication in order to comply with the Welsh Government guidance.

 

The Cabinet Member for Social Care and Health reported that Population Assessments had to be published once within each local government electoral cycle. The first Population Assessment had been produced in March 2017, the detail of which would be refreshed during 2022.  Welsh Government had issued supplementary advice for Regional Partnership Boards regarding the production of the 2022 Population Assessment which had included the need to also produce a separate Market Stability Report.

 

Both documents, which would inform the West Wales Area Plan and in turn inform regional and local, commissioning intentions would be published by the West Wales Care Partnership on the online data portal for the region: Home -West Wales Care Partnership.

 

The Cabinet Member for Social Care and Health and the Statutory Director of Social Services responded accordingly to the queries raised.

 

RESOLVED that the findings of the full reports be supported together with the approach taken in publishing them on the Council’s website.

 

7.

TO RECEIVE THE REPORT OF THE MEETING OF THE CABINET HELD ON THE FOLLOWING DATES:-

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7.1

3RD OCTOBER, 2022; pdf icon PDF 134 KB

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Minutes:

RESOLVED that the report of the meeting of the Cabinet held on the 3rd October, 2022 be received.

 

7.2

17TH OCTOBER, 2022. pdf icon PDF 86 KB

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Minutes:

RESOLVED that the report of the meeting of the Cabinet held on the 17th October, 2022 be received.

 

8.

TO CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING NOTICE OF MOTION:-

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8.1

NOTICE OF MOTION PROPOSED BY COUNCILLOR ALUN LENNY AND COUNCILLOR KEVIN MADGE

Impact of the UK Government’s Fiscal Policies on Council Funding

 

  • Council states that further cuts in public spending by the UK Government, mainly resulting from the recent fiscal disaster of its own making, would make it immensely difficult to maintain services in the middle of a cost of living crisis. We agree with the WLGA that central government should step back and seriously consider the effect of its austerity policies on public services.  
  • Council calls on the UK Government to ensure that the Welsh Government gets sufficient funding to make Revenue Support Grant (RSG) settlements for councils at levels which will enable us to meet ongoing pressures and protect services.  
  • Council believes that a sufficient level of funding would enable councils to invest in local services in innovative ways in order to support growth, change lives for the better, and help residents through this distressing cost of living crisis

 

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Minutes:

Council considered the following Notice of Motion submitted by Councillor Alun Lenny and Councillor Kevin Madge:-

 

“Impact of the UK Government’s Fiscal Policies on Council Funding

 

·       Council states that further cuts in public spending by the UK Government, mainly resulting from the recent fiscal disaster of its own making, would make it immensely difficult to maintain services in the middle of a cost of living crisis. We agree with the WLGA that central government should step back and seriously consider the effect of its austerity policies on public services.

 

·       Council calls on the UK Government to ensure that the Welsh Government gets sufficient funding to make Revenue Support Grant (RSG) settlements for councils at levels which will enable us to meet ongoing pressures and protect services.

 

·       Council believes that a sufficient level of funding would enable councils to invest in local services in innovative ways in order to support growth, change lives for the better, and help residents through this distressing cost of living crisis.”

 

The motion was duly seconded.

 

The proposer and seconder of the Motion were afforded the opportunity of speaking in support thereof and outlined the reasons for its submission, as set out in the Motion.

 

A number of statements were made in support of the Motion.

 

RESOLVED that the Motion be supported.

 

9.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS (NONE RECEIVED).

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Minutes:

The Chair advised that no public questions had been received.

 

10.

QUESTIONS BY MEMBERS:-

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10.1

QUESTION BY COUNCILLOR KEVIN MADGE TO COUNCILLOR LINDA EVANS, CABINET MEMBER FOR HOMES & DEPUTY LEADER

“With the housing crisis in the Amman Valley and Carmarthenshire getting worse and private landlords making people homeless in addition to the prospect of higher interest rates in the next few months people will lose their homes. I would like to know from the Cabinet Member for Housing what action will be taken to bring the following properties back into public ownership in Garnant.  They have been empty for years.  In addition when are the 8 proposed new Council houses for Maesybedol going to be built?

 

1.   232 Cwmamman Road Garnant  SA18 1LS

2.   14 Dynevor Road Garnant SA18 1NP

3.   9 Hendre Road Garnant SA18 2BL

4.   11 Hendre Road Garnant SA18 2BL”

 

 

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Minutes:

“With the housing crisis in the Amman Valley and Carmarthenshire getting worse and private landlords making people homeless in addition to the prospect of higher interest rates in the next few months people will lose their homes. I would like to know from the Cabinet Member for Housing what action will be taken to bring the following properties back into public ownership in Garnant. They have been empty for years.  In addition when are the 8 proposed new Council houses for Maesybedol going to be built?

 

1. 232 Cwmamman Road Garnant SA18 1LS

2. 14 Dynevor Road Garnant SA18 1NP

3. 9 Hendre Road Garnant SA18 2BL

4. 11 Hendre Road Garnant SA18 2BL”

 

Response by Councillor Linda Evans – Cabinet Member For Homes & Deputy Leader:-

 

First of all, I do share the concerns that Councillor Madge has raised about the housing crises which is impacting all of us across Wales.  There is no doubt that the current demand is unprecedented, interest rates have increased, housing prices have increased and the new Renting Homes Act is going to be in force from the 1st December onwards.  This all contributes to the fact that landlords from the Private Sector are leaving the renting housing market at the moment.  As a result, it is more important than ever to make sure that we increase the supply of affordable homes as well as managing demand. Thankfully, we are in a better position today than we were back in 2015.  By now, we have 1520 of additional affordable homes that people can have access to.  Members will be aware that we provide a range of options to increase supply by our new build programme, buying homes on the open market and making sure that we bring empty homes back into use as soon as possible.  There are 88,473 homes in Carmarthenshire and at the moment there are 1,983 homes in the private sector that have been empty for more than 6 months. 

 

Back in April, 2015 there were 2,671 empty homes in the County.  These figures are testament to the success that the officers have had by working with owners and landlords.  The total amount of empty homes has slowly reduced over the last few years, during 2021/22 we managed to get 152 empty homes back into use and Carmarthenshire was the second best in Wales.  In 2020/21, we managed to get 168 homes back into use. 

 

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Gareth Williams and his team for their tireless commitment.  But of course, I am the first to admit and appreciate that there is more to be done and that is why we have set up an internal Improvement Board to make sure that we do everything we can to bring empty homes back into use. 

 

We will very shortly be introducing a new empty homes plan which will lead to targeted intervention that we know from experience so far that taking action like this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.1

10.2

QUESTION BY COUNCILLOR HEFIN JONES TO COUNCILLOR EDWARD THOMAS, CABINET MEMBER FOR TRANSPORT, WASTE AND INFRASTRUCTURE SERVICES.

“There are residents of all ages in the rural ward of Llanfihangel Aberbythych, as in other wards county wide who, in the face of spiralling costs, will struggle to fund the running of private transport. Given these circumstances, the need to travel for work purposes, for medical appointments, and to access education and training, will the cabinet member responsible for transport please comment on exploring the utilisation of a bwcabus service - delivered by existing businesses - to plug the gap where the current provision is at best limited?”

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Minutes:

[Note: Councillor S. Davies having earlier declared an interest in this item, reiterated her declaration remained in the meeting.]

 

“There are residents of all ages in the rural ward of Llanfihangel Aberbythych, as in other wards county wide who, in the face of spiralling costs, will struggle to fund the running of private transport. Given these circumstances, the need to travel for work purposes, for medical appointments, and to access education and training, will the cabinet member responsible for transport please comment on exploring the utilisation of a bwcabus service - delivered by existing businesses - to plug the gap where the current provision is at best limited?”

 

Response by Councillor Edward Thomas – Cabinet Member for Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste and Infrastructure Services:-

 

Thank you for the question.  The cost of living crises is affecting us all and indeed the Council.  News stories of the weekend highlight the scale of the financial challenge facing Councils across the Country and we have heard further today about the pressures on the Authority. 

 

Bus services across the County are facing the same challenges as energy and fuel costs increase.  The sector is also experiencing a shortage or drivers and engineers.  All adding to cost pressures in the sector at a time when we are facing budget restrictions.  Currently, your ward is serviced by several routes to 276, 278, 279 and 284 local services unfortunately only run once a week the 280 which runs from Monday to Saturday and then the X14 Builth Wells to Carmarthen Services also covers your area but only on a Friday. 

 

The Council has developed the Bwcabus services in areas of the County, but like all services investments is required to sustain the services.  The Council is currently working with regional partners, the Welsh Government and Transport for Wales on the future plans for bus services as part of the South West Wales Metro.  We are also working with community transport sectors to explore opportunities for the development of community transport in hard to reach areas of the County.

I will continue to press for government investment in rural areas to sustain connectivity and access to services for all our communities.  Thank you.

 

Supplementary Question by Councillor Hefin Jones.

 

Thank you Councillor Thomas for the response.  Given that you mention that the continued efforts to improve connectivity we need to be aware that 16-20 year olds 40% of them according to Welsh Governments own survey states that the public transport is the stumbling block for them to access further training.  Councillor Thomas rightly outlined the difficulties around labour availability and increased costs.  Acutely aware of the additional funding that was offered to keep busses on the road during Covid, my question would be is it now time that we take prudence into consideration and instead of seeing empty busses often running around the County. Mr Lee Waters MS has spoken at length about sustainability drive in the transport sector, can we ask then what is  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.2

10.3

QUESTION BY COUNCILLOR KEVIN MADGE TO COUNCILLOR JANE TREMLETT, CABINET MEMBER FOR HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES.

“Could I have an update from the Cabinet Member on the following services and budgets at the Day Centre:-

 

  1. Could I have an update on the attendance at the centre since the last County Council meeting on 28th September;
  2. What is the current budget for Cwmaman Centre and what is the underspend for 2022/23;
  3. Could you give me an update on the upgrading works which needs to be carried out at the centre kitchen;
  4. Could I ask the Cabinet Member where are the elderly people in the Amman Valley in their 80s and 90s going to go when they can’t heat their homes this winter when the day centre is closed.”

 

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“Could I have an update from the Cabinet Member on the following services and budgets at the Day Centre:-

 

1.    Could I have an update on the attendance at the centre since the last County Council meeting on 28th September;

 

2.    What is the current budget for Cwmaman Centre and what is the underspend for 2022/23;

 

3.    Could you give me an update on the upgrading works which needs to be carried out at the centre kitchen;

 

4.    Could I ask the Cabinet Member where are the elderly people in the Amman Valley in their 80s and 90s going to go when they can’t heat their homes this winter when the day centre is closed.”

 

Response by Councillor Jane Tremlett – Cabinet Member for Cabinet Member for Health and Social Services:-

 

Thank you for your question. As you know, I and officers have met with you in person and on Teams on many occasions pre, during and post   pandemic to discuss this Local matter.

 

Points 1 2 & 3 are specific operational questions which officers are happy to answer in writing through the usual Democratic Services Cllrs. Inquiry route.  As Cabinet Member I see all enquiries and responses and monitor issues raised and am happy to follow up with members should they wish.

 

Point 4 - As a Council we recognise with the cost-of-living crisis, and in particular escalating energy costs, Carmarthenshire residents are concerned about how they can heat their homes during this winter.  The Council is inviting those who wish to spend the day in a warm, friendly and welcoming environment to do so in one of the three main libraries, Carmarthen, Ammanford and Llanelli where people will be able to enjoy refreshments, television, computers and newspapers and where staff will be on hand with advice about the cost of living and how to access potential support.

 

In addition, local communities can apply for funding to provide Warm Welcome spaces in their community halls and meeting places.  New or existing projects can apply.  The Warm Welcome Spaces scheme is funded through the Council’s Poverty Fund.  Applications can be made until 18th November and must be used by March 2023. 

 

Maximum is £10,000 and Minimum is £1,000 and can be used for a number of purposes including development of Community Cafes where residents of all ages can meet and socialise and reduce social isolation; Growing projects, Fuel clubs etc., etc.

 

Supplementary Question by Councillor Kevin Madge.

 

I am afraid that the answer I have had is not acceptable.  In the last September meeting the Cabinet member said that there were 20 clients so I would like it to be recorded in the minutes those questions need to be answered.  It is for the whole of the Amman Valley not just me and my ward. 

 

Are we saying that the Day Centre no longer exists, the question is that a library is more important now to warm up elderly people in the Amman Valley rather than a Day Centre?  Is  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.3

11.

TO APPROVE THE FOLLOWING CHANGES TO MEMBERSHIP OF COMMITTEES:-

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Minutes:

11.1 RESOLVED that the nomination of Councillor Michael Thomas to replace Councillor Shelly Godfrey-Coles as one of the Labour Group’s representatives on the Education, Young People and Welsh Language Scrutiny Committee be approved.

 

11.2 RESOLVED that the nomination of Councillor Shelly Godfrey-Coles to replace Councillor Nysia Evans as one of the Labour Group’s representatives on Place, Sustainability and Climate Change Scrutiny Committee be approved.

 

11.3 RESOLVED that the nomination of Councillor Nysia Evans to replace Councillor Michael Thomas as one of the Labour Group’s representatives on Communities, Homes and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee be approved.

 

12.

MINUTES FOR INFORMATION (AVAILABLE TO VIEW ON THE WEBSITE)

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Minutes:

The Chair stated that the minutes outlined on the agenda were available for information on the Council website.