Agenda and draft minutes

County Council - Wednesday, 13th January, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Virtual Meeting. View directions

Contact: Emma Bryer  01267 224029

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors J.S. Edmunds, P.M. Edwards, A.L. Fox, P.M. Hughes, A. James, T.J. Jones and S. Najmi.

2.

DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL INTERESTS.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor

Minute Number

Nature of Interest

D.C. Evans

9.4 - Notice of Motion Submitted by Councillor Cefin Campbell

Operates a holiday home.

K.V. Broom

9.4 - Notice of Motion Submitted by Councillor Cefin Campbell

Operates a holiday home.

S.M. Allen

9.4 - Notice of Motion Submitted by Councillor Cefin Campbell

Operates an Airbnb and has friends who operate holiday lets.

S.J.G.Gilasbey

8.2 - To Receive the Report of the Meeting of the Executive Board Held on the 21st December, 2020

One of her relatives works at Ysgol Gwenllian. Standards Committee has granted dispensation to speak but not vote on this subject.

S.J.G.Gilasbey

12 1 - Education and Children Scrutiny Committee -23rd November 2020 (Minutes for Information)

One of her relatives works at Ysgol Gwenllian. Standards Committee has granted dispensation to speak but not vote on this subject.

R. James

9.4 - Notice of Motion Submitted by Councillor Cefin Campbell

Relatives are landlords.

J.A. Davies

7.4 - Revised Carmarthenshire Local Development Plan 2018 -2033 Representations Received and Focused Changes

Owns land detailed within the Local Development Plan.

H.A.L. Evans

9.4 - Notice of Motion Submitted by Councillor Cefin Campbell

Member of family has a holiday home.

J.G. Prosser

9.4 - Notice of Motion Submitted by Councillor Cefin Campbell

Owns a second home.

K. Lloyd

7.4 - Revised Carmarthenshire Local Development Plan 2018 -2033 Representations Received and Focused Changes

Hold shares in Carmarthenshire Energy Limited. Standards Committee has granted dispensation to speak but not vote on this subject.

K. Lloyd

9.4 - Notice of Motion Submitted by Councillor Cefin Campbell

Close personal associate has a holiday home.

S.A. Curry

9.4 - Notice of Motion Submitted by Councillor Cefin Campbell

Relative has a holiday home.

B. Thomas

9.4 - Notice of Motion Submitted by Councillor Cefin Campbell

Close personal associate has a holiday home.

D.M. Cundy

9.4 - Notice of Motion Submitted by Councillor Cefin Campbell

Relative has a second home.

E. Dole

9.4 - Notice of Motion Submitted by Councillor Cefin Campbell

Has a holiday home on his land.

A. Vaughan-Owen

8.1 - To Receive the Report of the Meeting of the Executive Board Held on the 30th November, 2020

Has received grant funding from the Authority.

J. K. Howell

9.4 - Notice of Motion Submitted by Councillor Cefin Campbell

Member of family has a holiday home.

G.R. Jones

9.4 - Notice of Motion Submitted by Councillor Cefin Campbell

Member of family has a holiday home and he uses an Airbnb in Carmarthenshire.

B.D.J. Phillips

7.4 - Revised Carmarthenshire Local Development Plan 2018 -2033 Representations Received and Focused Changes

Son has a candidate site within the Local Development Plan.

B.D.J. Phillips

9.4 - Notice of Motion Submitted by Councillor Cefin Campbell

Has a holiday home.

L.D. Evans

9.4 - Notice of Motion Submitted by Councillor Cefin Campbell

Close relative owns a holiday home.

L.D. Evans

8.2 To Receive the Report of the Meeting of the Executive Board Held on the 21st December, 2020

Her son-in-law teaches at Heol Goffa school.

S.L.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.

3.

CHAIR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

·         The Chair extended his congratulations to Lisa Randell, Senior Support Worker at Llys y Bryn Residential Home, Llanelli who had been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to health and social care during the Covid 19 pandemic.

·         The Chair also extended his congratulations to Mr Huw Owen, Owens Group, Llanelli who had been awarded and MBE and to Sandra May Morgan, who was awarded a BEM.

·         Councillor Jean Lewis congratulated Emma Bolom, a member of the team who had been responsible for the Oxford vaccine. Councillor Lewis stated that they were extremely proud of her success and extended thanks to her and the team on developing the vaccine.

·         The Leader provided a statement on the Covid 19 situation in the County stating that Carmarthenshire was now below the Welsh average for infection but that it was imperative that we all adhered to the restrictions.  It was stated that vaccinations were being successfully rolled out across the County.  Concern was expressed about the guidance provided by Welsh Government regarding vaccinations in care homes and that the Authority would be lobbying Welsh Government for a National Policy. Assurance was given that robust safety measures were being taken to ensure the safety of both residents and staff.  The Leader extended his thanks to the team for their hard work and dedication in meeting the demand on the service.

4.

TO APPROVE AND SIGN AS A CORRECT RECORD THE MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON THE 9TH DECEMBER, 2020 pdf icon PDF 323 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of Council held on the 9th December, 2020 be signed as a correct record.

5.

COUNCIL TAX REDUCTION SCHEME 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 586 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report on the Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2021/22 and was advised that in 2013, the Westminster Government replaced the national Council Tax Benefit Scheme with a localised scheme. It was reported that following that change, the Welsh Government had introduced in 2013/14 a standard scheme and (with minor amendments) in subsequent years a uniform all-Wales scheme, albeit with limited areas of local discretion available to local authorities as detailed in the report. 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.

 

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. It was highlighted that by accepting the recommendations contained in the report, Carmarthenshire would continue to disregard those payments.

 

RESOLVED that for 2021/22 the Council:

 

5.1

Formally adopts the standard all-Wales Council Tax Reduction Scheme provided for in the Council Tax Reduction Schemes and Prescribed Requirements (Wales) Regulations 2013;

 

5.2

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 2021, due to come into effect in January 2021 and these regulations apply in relation to a Council Tax Reduction Scheme made for the financial year beginning on 1st April 2021;

 

5.3

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

 

6.

ANNUAL REPORT OF THE STANDARDS COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 303 KB

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Minutes:

The Chair welcomed to the meeting Mrs Mary Dodd, Vice-Chair of the Standards Committee, who had been invited to present to Council the Annual Report of the Standards Committee for the 2019/20 period.

Mrs Dodd 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 2019/20. Those included Code of Conduct Complaints, Applications for Dispensation, Code of Conduct Training for Town and Community Councils and Whistle-Blowing.

The Leader thanked Mrs Dodd for her presentation and for the work undertaken by the Standards Committee.

RESOLVED that the Annual Report of the Standards Committee for the period 1st April, 2019 to 31st March 2020 be received.

7.

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

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7.1

MID-YEAR TREASURY MANAGEMENT AND PRUDENTIAL INDICATOR REPORT 1ST APRIL 2020 TO 30TH SEPTEMBER 2020 pdf icon PDF 320 KB

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Minutes:

Council was informed that the Executive Board, at its meeting held on the 30th November 2020, had, in accordance with the 2020/21 Treasury Management Policy and Strategy (adopted by Council on the 19th February 2020 – Minute 8 refers), approved an update on the treasury management activities from the 1st April 2020 to the 30th September 2020.

 

The Executive Board Member for Resources stated that the fall in GDP in the first half of 2020 was -21.8%), however, this was to be expected as the economy relies heavily on consumer-facing services which was badly hit during lockdown.  The authority’s investments during the period returned an average return of 0.28% and Gross interest earned on investments amounted to £0.209m and interest paid on loans was £8.96m.

 

RESOLVED that the following recommendation of the Executive Board be adopted

 

‘that the Mid-Year Treasury Management and Prudential Indicator Report for 1st April 2020 to 30th September 2020 be adopted”.

7.2

PROPOSAL TO SHORTEN THE INTERNAL SCHOOL ORGANISATION DECISION MAKING AND DETERMINATION PROCESS pdf icon PDF 423 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council was informed that the Executive Board, at its meeting held on the 21st December, 2020 (minute 6 refers) had considered a report on proposals to shorten the current Internal School Organisation Decision Making and Determination Process following its approval by the Executive Board Member for Education and Children in September 2018.  The current proposal had been developed in response to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the work of the Modernising Education Provision (MEP) Team and the subsequent delays in its work programme of approximately 6 months

 

The Executive Board Member for Education & Children advised Council that if it were to adopt the Executive Board recommendation it would result in the removal of consultation with the Education and Children Scrutiny Committee from Stages 2 and 3 of the process on the Executive Board was able to approve Stage 2 and County Council Stage 3.  If adopted, the revision would reduce the consultation process by approximately 2 months. The new process would then be:-

 

Stage 1 – Education and Children Scrutiny Committee and Executive Board

Stage 2 – Executive Board

Stage 3 – Executive Board and Council

 

It was noted that the Education and Children Scrutiny Committee had endorsed the proposal at its meeting held on the 23rd November 2020.

 

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

 

“That the proposal to shorten the Internal School Organisation Decision Making and Determination Process be approved and that the Education and Children Scrutiny Committee be removed from Stages 2 and 3 of the consultation process”.

7.3

REGIONAL TECHNICAL STATEMENT FOR AGGREGATES - SOUTH WALES - SECOND REVIEW (RTS2) pdf icon PDF 348 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council was informed that the Executive Board, at its meeting held on the 21st December, 2020 (minute 13 refers) had considered a report on the review undertaken of the Regional Technical Statement for Aggregates – South Wales, produced in accordance with the requirements of Minerals Technical Advice Note 1: Aggregates (MTAN 1). It was noted that the purpose of the RTS2 was to provide a strategy for the future supply of construction aggregates within each region (North and South Wales) taking into account the latest information in relation to the balance of supply and demand and current notions of sustainability as enshrined in the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

 

RESOLVED that the following recommendation of the Executive Board be accepted:-

 

that the Regional Technical Statement for Aggregates – South Wales – Second Review (RTS2) be endorsed”.

7.4

REVISED CARMARTHENSHIRE LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN 2018 -2033 REPRESENTATIONS RECEIVED AND FOCUSED CHANGES pdf icon PDF 425 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

[NOTE: Councillors J.A. Davies, K. Lloyd, B.D.J. Phillips, G.B. Thomas and J. Tremlett had earlier declared an interest in this item. None were required to leave the meeting as the debate did not focus on any matters involved in the interests declared by them ].

 

The Deputy Leader informed Council that the Executive Board, at its meeting held on the 21st December, 2020 (minute 12 refers) had considered a report detailing representations received on the Deposit Revised Carmarthenshire Local Development Plan 2018-2033 in response to the Council’s decision on the 10th January 2018 to formally commence the preparation of a Revised (Replacement) LDP. That resolution included an eight week public consultation undertaken between the 29th January 2020 and, following an extension of over two weeks, closed on the 27th March 2020. That was subsequently supplemented by a further 3 week consultation closing on the 2nd October 2020 to reflect the impact of the closure of public buildings during the final few weeks of the consultation due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

The Deputy Leader advised that the report set out the responses received to the consultation and sought to set out a series of Focused Changes proposed in response to recommendations received along with those which may have emerged as a result of changes in legislation, guidance, evidence or in the interest of clarity and meaning. They also provided an opportunity to incorporate and respond to issues arising from Covid-19, as reported to Council in the Covid-19 Assessment in association with the Revised Delivery Agreement on the 22nd October, 2020.

 

RESOLVED that the following recommendation of the Executive Board be accepted:-

 

7.4.1

to endorse the officer recommendations on the consultation responses received to the Deposit Revised LDP, Sustainability Appraisal, Habitat Regulations Assessment and Supplementary Planning Guidance;

7.4.2

to agree to the presentation of the schedule of Focused Changes to Executive Board for approval for a minimum 6-week public consultation;

7.4.3

to approve the submission of the Deposit LDP and its supporting documents, evidence and background documents as required to the Welsh Ministers for Examination;

7.4.4

to grant officers delegated authority to respond to recommendations and requests arising from the Inspector as part of the Examination and hearing sessions;

7.4.5

to resolve to adopt the SPG in relation to Caeau Mynydd Mawr SAC and the Burry Inlet (subject to the outcome of the Examination) concurrent with the adoption of the Revised LDP;

7.4.6

to grant officers delegated authority to make non-substantive typographical, cartographical and/or factual amendments to improve the clarity and accuracy of the Revised Local Development Plan and its supporting documents”.

 

8.

TO RECEIVE THE REPORT OF THE MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD HELD ON THE FOLLOWING DATES:

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8.1

30TH NOVEMBER, 2020 pdf icon PDF 319 KB

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Minutes:

8.2

21ST DECEMBER, 2020 pdf icon PDF 353 KB

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Minutes:

9.

TO CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING NOTICES OF MOTION:-

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9.1

NOTICE OF MOTION SUBMITTED BY COUNCILLOR LOUVAIN ROBERTS pdf icon PDF 99 KB

“Fireworks are used by people throughout the year, to mark different events.  While they can bring much enjoyment to some people, they can cause significant fear for other people also Animals.

 

Animals affected not only suffer Psychological distress but can also cause them to Self Harm.

 

I therefore call on CCC to require all Public Fireworks display within the Local Authority Boundaries to be Advertised in Advance of the Event, allowing Residents to take necessary precautions for their Animal and Venerable Peoples Welfare.

 

To actively promote a Public Awareness Campaign about the impact of Fireworks on Animal Welfare and Venerable people. Including the precautions that can be instigated to mitigate the Risks.

 

To write to Uk/ Welsh Government. Urging them to introduce Legislation to limit the Maximum noise levels of the fireworks to 90 dB of those Sold to the Public for Private Display.

 

To encourage Local Suppliers of Fireworks to Stock a “Quieter Version”of Fireworks used for Public Displays etc”

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair reported that Councillor Louvain Roberts had requested that her Notice of Motion be withdrawn from the meeting.

 

The Council noted the withdrawal of the Notice of Motion.

9.2

NOTICE OF MOTION SUBMITTED BY COUNCILLOR ROB JAMES

The Coronavirus pandemic has pushed local families into difficult situations, including poverty, and has highlighted the insecurity of food in our County.

 

Many children living in poverty in Carmarthenshire are not eligible for free school meals because their parents are in work or their families have no recourse to public funds. The UK Government’s principal goals of universal credit is to make work pay i.e. that additional earnings always leave families better off. However, the introduction of the earnings threshold undermines this objective and has left families trapped in poverty.

 

On 1 April 2019 the Welsh Labour Government introduced a new transitional protection for free school meals policy. This was brought in to ensure that pupils have their free school meals protected during he Universal Credit rollout period. This protection applies to individual pupils and will continue until the end of their current schools phase, being the end of primary school or each of secondary school. The Welsh Labour Government this year also extended its eligibility for Free School Meals to cover all school holidays.

 

The motion reads:

·         That Carmarthenshire Council supports the campaign by Child Poverty Action Group and People’s Assembly to expand eligibility for free school meals.

·         Calls on Carmarthenshire County Council to utilise its own funds in the upcoming budget to extend the provision of free school meals in Carmarthenshire to all families in receipt of Universal Credit or Working Tax Credits.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair reported that Councillor Rob James had withdrawn his Notice of Motion.

 

The Council noted the withdrawal of the Notice of Motion.

9.3

NOTICE OF MOTION SUBMITTED BY COUNCILLOR DARREN PRICE

“Carmarthenshire County Council:

  1. recognises the distressing fact that 30% of children in Wales live in poverty, while only 17% have free school meals, mainly because their parents are in low-paid jobs which take them over the  eligibility threshold;   

  2. notes that England and Scotland have universal infant FSMs, with all pupils in the reception class, years 1 and 2 eligible, whereas Wales doesn't;   

  3. calls on the Welsh Government to cost, as a matter or urgency, the extension of FSMs to any child in any family receiving universal credit or equivalent benefit, and any child in a family with no recourse to public funds;    
  1. agrees that this should be a step towards the aim of rolling out universal FSMs, as called for by various groups in Wales, including the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and the People’s Assembly”.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered the following Notice of Motion submitted by Councillor Darren Price:-

 

Carmarthenshire County Council:

  1. recognises the distressing fact that 30% of children in Wales live in poverty, while only 17% have free school meals, mainly because their parents are in low-paid jobs which take them over the eligibility threshold;
  2. notes that England and Scotland have universal infant FSMs, with all pupils in the reception class, years 1 and 2 eligible, whereas Wales doesn't;

3.    calls on the Welsh Government to cost, as a matter or urgency, the extension of FSMs to any child in any family receiving universal credit or equivalent benefit, and any child in a family with no recourse to public funds;

4.    agrees that this should be a step towards the aim of rolling out universal FSMs, as called for by various groups in Wales, including the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and the People’s Assembly”.

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.  It was also stated the importance of the cross-party agreement that was in place to support this Motion.

 

Council was advised that if the motion was supported it would be referred to the Executive Board and point 3 referred to Welsh Government.

 

UNANAMOUSLY RESOLVED that the Notice of Motion be supported and referred to the Executive Board and point 3 referred to Welsh Government.

9.4

NOTICE OF MOTION SUBMITTED BY COUNCILLOR CEFIN CAMPBELL

“Notice of Motion Second Homes / Holiday Homes

 

Notes that 1,118 homes in Carmarthenshire are defined as second homes. A second home is defined as a property that is not the sole or main dwelling of the owner. 

  

Further notes that there has been a recent increase across Wales in the number of houses being bought as second homes or holiday homes for rent or letting as AirBnB (including Carmarthenshire). In some parts of the country as much as 40% of the housing stock is a second home. As a result local people (especially young people) find it difficult if not impossible to buy a property as they are too often priced out of the housing market. This obviously has a detrimental effect on the demography of the area, social cohesion and the Welsh language. 

 

Although Carmarthenshire County Council welcomes Welsh Government’s intention to add a 1% increase in Land Transaction Tax on the purchase of a second home we do not believe it goes far enough to meet the housing crisis facing some of our rural communities. We therefore call on Welsh Government to:  

  • Change planning laws to ensure that planning permission must be sought for the change of use of a primary dwelling into a second home / holiday accommodation; 
  • Allow local authorities, in consultation with the local community, to set a 'cap' on the number of second homes in each ward, and allow the use of Section 106 agreements to prevent new properties from being used as second homes in wards with an unacceptable proportion of second homes; 
  • Introduce a licensing system for managing the conversion of a residential property into a commercial unit such as a holiday unit / house or AirBnB; 
  • Close the loophole that allows second homes to register as businesses in order to opt out of paying domestic rates and Council Tax Premiums, and take advantage of business rate relief;  
  • Introduce legislation to further increase the Land Transaction Tax (LTT) on the purchase of second properties. 

Once these policy changes have been approved by Welsh Government, Carmarthenshire County Council will then consider charging a Council Tax Premium of at least 200% on second homes”

Additional documents:

Minutes:

[NOTE: Councillors D.C. Evans, K.V. Broom, S.M. Allen, R. James, H.A.L. Evans, J.G. Prosser, K. Lloyd, S.A. Curry, B. Thomas, D.M. Cundy, E. Dole, J. K. Howell, G.R. Jones, B.D.J. Phillips, L.D. Evans, S.L. Davies, G. Davies and A.S.J. McPherson earlier declared interests in this item and were not present during consideration of the item.  Cllr. A.D.T. Speak had also declared an interest but remained in the meeting as the Notice of Motion did not relate to the type of interest declared by him].

 

Council considered the following Notice of Motion submitted by Councillor Cefin Campbell:-

 

Notes that 1,118 homes in Carmarthenshire are defined as second homes.  A second home is defined as a property that is not the sole or main dwelling of the owner.

 

Further notes that there has been a recent increase across Wales in the number of houses being bought as second homes or holiday homes for rent or letting as AirBnB (including Carmarthenshire). In some parts of the country as much as 40% of the housing stock is a second home. As a result local people (especially young people) find it difficult if not impossible to buy a property as they are too often priced out of the housing market. This obviously has a detrimental effect on the demography of the area, social cohesion and the Welsh language.

 

Although Carmarthenshire County Council welcomes Welsh Government’s intention to add a 1% increase in Land Transaction Tax on the purchase of a second home we do not believe it goes far enough to meet the housing crisis facing some of our rural communities. We therefore call on Welsh Government to:

  • Change planning laws to ensure that planning permission must be sought for the change of use of a primary dwelling into a second home / holiday accommodation;
  • Allow local authorities, in consultation with the local community, to set a 'cap' on the number of second homes in each ward, and allow the use of Section 106 agreements to prevent new properties from being used as second homes in wards with an unacceptable proportion of second homes;
  • Introduce a licensing system for managing the conversion of a residential property into a commercial unit such as a holiday unit / house or AirBnB;
  • Close the loophole that allows second homes to register as businesses in order to opt out of paying domestic rates and Council Tax Premiums, and take advantage of business rate relief;
  • Introduce legislation to further increase the Land Transaction Tax (LTT) on the purchase of second properties.

Once these policy changes have been approved by Welsh Government, Carmarthenshire County Council will then consider charging a Council Tax Premium of at least 200% on second homes.

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 both in support of and against the Motion.

 

RESOLVED that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.4

10.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS

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Minutes:

The Chair advised that no public questions had been received.

11.

QUESTIONS BY MEMBERS

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Minutes:

The Chair advised that no questions from Members had been received.

12.

MINUTES FOR INFORMATION

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Minutes:

[Note: Councillor S.G.J. Gilasbey had earlier declared an interest in item 12.1 Education and Children Scrutiny Committee - 23rd November 2020].

 

The Chair stated that the minutes outlined on the agenda 12.1 – 12.10 were available for information on the Council website.