Agenda item



The Committee received a report presented by the Executive Board Member for Communities and Rural Affairs on the Council’s Annual Report for 2020/21, produced in accordance with the requirements of both the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 and the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.


It was noted the impact of Covid-19 on council services had meant it had not been possible this year for the report to act either as a progress report on performance or as a comparator with other local authorities. It therefore reflected on the actions the Council had taken to support its residents, communities and businesses throughout the pandemic.


The report referenced in turn each of the Council’s 15 Well Being Objectives and assessed the progress and adaptations made during the year. Members focussed on the following sections within the document relevant to the Committee’s remit:


  • WBO 8. Help people live healthy lives (tackling risky behaviour and obesity)
  • WBO 9. Support good connections with friends, family and safer communities
  • WBO 12. Looking after the present and future cultural and natural conditions of the environment
  • WBO 13. Improving the highway and transport infrastructure and connectivity
  • Appendices


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


·       Reference was made to the Active Travel graph on page 62 of the report.  In light of the significant increase of cycling and pedestrians throughout the lockdown period, it was highlighted that a number of Councillors had made applications for Safer Routes in the Community, however the progress seemed be considerably slow.  It was asked if there was any way of speeding up the process of the implementation of Safer Routes in the Community.


The Head of Transportation & Highways stated that in terms of the Safer Routes in the community, the number of bids that could be submitted each year was restricted.  Expressions of interests for bids were sought from Community Council’s on an annual basis.  In addition, it was reported that in a broader sense currently, there had been a significant investment injected into Active Travel and plans to support Active Travel had been developed for towns.  It was highlighted that Safe Routes to Schools was a separate funding which similarly to Safer Routes in the Community the number of bids that can be submitted was also restricted.


It was proposed to write to the Welsh Government to seek their support of the Safe Routes in the Community funding and seek the Deputy Minister’s support in providing additional funding to help with the future development of safer routes to schools across all areas of the County.  This was duly seconded.


·       In reference to the Bwcabus service, gratitude was expressed to officers for achieving further funding as the service was invaluable to the community.

·       Reference was made to page 56 of the report where it was observed that the figures in relation to the success measures of the energy consumption was not available.  It was asked, if an update on these figures was available prior to receiving the report?


In response, the Executive Board Member for Communities and Rural Affairs stated that whilst she tried to get the figures in readiness for this meeting, unfortunately the figures were currently being finalised and therefore was not ready for reporting as yet.


Following on from the response, it was asked if, in terms of energy consumption, that further consideration be made to proposed targets and what would success look like.


·       In reference to the Net Zero Carbon section of the report (page 57), it was highlighted that the Council had agreed its Net Zero Carbon plan and that it was currently considering Scope 1, which included ‘Direct Emissions’ from activities as set out in the report.  With the data in the report suggesting that the energy consumption was reducing, it was asked if energy consumed by staff members working at home was being measured? Furthermore, as the Council had opted not to measure Scope 2 which encompassed the ‘Indirect Emissions’ caused by activities within the Council, it was asked, with homeworking likely to continue, would this measure be placed within Scope 2?  In summary, it was asked the energy consumption of Officers and Councillors working from home was being measured as part of Scope 1 – Direct Emissions?


In response to the queries raised, the Sustainable Development Manager explained the 3 scopes within the Net Zero Carbon plan to the committee as follows:-



Emission Type

CCC Footprint



Fleet Mileage



Non-domestic buildings

Street lighting



Business Mileage – staff using their own vehicles


It was reported that homeworking would fall under Scope 3 and that it was the most difficult to measure.  The Net Zero Carbon Plan was developed using a pragmatic approach by identifying the areas that had been traditionally measured.  In addition, the Welsh Government had released the reporting guidance for public services on 24th May 2021 which contained the methodology that needed to be applied.  In receipt of the Welsh Government guidance, an implications report was being developed.  It was explained that in complying with the methodology of the Welsh Government it was anticipated that an increase in footprint of over 30% would be seen, due to the difference in the Scope and methodology that the Council adopted.


In response to a query, the Sustainable Development Manager clarified that not every local Authority in Wales had committed to be net zero by 2030, as the Welsh Government guidance was not mandatory.


Reference was made to the future funding for public transport and the implication of the reduced usage.  The Executive Board Member for Communities and Rural Affairs stated that the reduced usage was due to the reduced carrying capacity to adhere to the social distancing rules.  This has caused a County wide problem where buses reach their maximum capacity prior to the end of the route.  The Executive Board Member for Environment added that this would be an ongoing issue until the Covid regulations were eased.  The Head of Transportation and Highways explained that Welsh Government had supported the public transport sector with significant funding to ensure services continue during the pandemic.  However, since the commencement of the recovery further funding had seen further services restored.  In addition, it was reported that the Wales Transport Strategy included significant ambitions in relation to increased model shift and model sharing with public transport and Active Travel.  As part of the arrangements one of the priorities within the Wales Transport Strategy included working with bus providers which would help deliver priorities and attract bus group company investment in Welsh services, with longer term funding horizons.

In summary, it was reported that funding was currently available to support recovery which included rural areas and that any future challenges would be managed through the bus emergency scheme.




7.1      the Carmarthenshire County Council’s Annual Report for 2020/21 be        received;


7.2      the Environmental and Public Protection Scrutiny Committee write to          the Welsh Government to express their support of the Safe Routes in     the Community funding and seek the Deputy Minister’s support in    providing additional funding to help with the future development of           safer routes to schools across all areas of the County.


Supporting documents: