Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday, 13th September, 2016 10.30 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Hanbury Road, Pontypool, NP4 6YB

Contact: Dominique Redman  Democratic and Member Support Officer

Items
No. Item

1.

Attendance / Presenoldeb

Minutes:

1          Attendance

 

1.1          Councillor

 

Executive Members (with Portfolios) in alphabetical order

 

            Cllr Bob Wellington (Leader) (in the Chair)

            Cllr Anthony Hunt – Deputy Leader

            Cllr Gwyneira Clark – Executive Member Housing, Planning and Public     Protection

            Cllr Richard Clark – Executive Member Health, Social Care and Wellbeing

            Cllr John Cunningham MBE KSG – Executive Member Neighbourhoods

            Cllr David Daniels – Executive Member for Communities

            Cllr Lewis Jones – Executive Member Regeneration

            Cllr David Yeowell – Executive Member for Education

 

            Officers:

            Nigel Aurelius – Assistant Chief Executive (Resources) (ACXR)

            Rachel Beale – Administrative Assistant, Members Services (ASMS)

            Dave Congreve – Assistant Chief Executive (Communities) (ACXC)

            Richard Edmunds – Head of Strategic and Democratic Services (HoS&DS)

            Adam Harper – Housing Access Manager (HAM)

            Delyth Harries – Assistant Chief Legal Officer and Deputy Monitoring Officer (ACLO&DMO)

            Dermot McChrystal – Head of Education (HoE)

            Victor Mbvundula – Asset & Disposal Manager (A&DM)

            Lyndon Puddy – Head of Public Services  Support Unit (HoPSSU)

            Dominique Redman – Democratic and Member Support Officer (DSMSO)

            Keith Rutherford – Acting Chief Officer Social Care & Housing (DCOSC&H)

            Duncan Smith – Chief Officer Neighbourhoods, Planning & Public Protection (CONP&PP)

            John Tushingham – Head of Access, Engagement & Performance (HoAE&P)

            Alison Ward CBE – Chief Executive

            Dave Weaver – Group Finance Officer (GFO)

 

            Also attending

            Paul Clothier – IT Support

            Chris Slade – Webcasting

 

2.

Apologies for absence / Ymddiheuriadau am absenoldeb

Minutes:

2.1       There were no apologies for absence.

3.

Declarations of Interest / Datganiadau o fudd

Minutes:

3.1       The following personal interests were declared in relation to agenda item 8, 21st Century Schools – Outline Business Case for Torfaen 6th Form Centre:

 

·                     Councillor John Cunningham - as a Council appointed Governor of St Albans RC High School;

·                     Councillor Richard Clark - as a Council appointed Governor of Croesyceiliog Comprehensive School;

·                     Councillor David Daniels - as a Council appointed Governor of Cwmbran High School; and

·                     Councillor Gwyneira Clark - as her Granddaughter attended Croesyceiliog Comprehensive School.

 

3.2       The following interests were declared in relation to agenda item 9, 21st Century Schools Programme – Business Justification Case for Replacement Croesyceiliog School:

 

·                     Councillor Richard Clark -  due to his appointment by the Council as Governor of Croesyceiliog Comprehensive School; and

·                     Councillor Gwyneira Clark as her Granddaughter attended Croesyceiliog Comprehensive School.

 

3.3       Councillor Gwyneira Clark declared a personal but not prejudicial interest in relation to agenda item 11, Abersychan Brynteg Nursery, Cwmffrwdoer Primary, Garnteg Primary and Victoria Primary Schools – Modification of Implementation Dates of Proposals, as a Council appointed Governor of Brynteg Nursery and Garnteg Primary School.

 

3.4       Councillor Lewis Jones declared a personal and prejudicial interest in relation to agenda item 14, Torfaen Leisure Trust – Renewal of Funding Agreement, as a Torfaen Leisure Trust Board Member.

 

4.

Confirmation of Cabinet minutes - 5.7.2016 / Cadarnhau cofnodion y Cabinet - 5.7.2016 pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Minutes:

4.1       The minutes were confirmed as an accurate record.

5.

Confirmation of Cabinet minutes - 12.7.2016 / Cadarnhau cofnodion y Cabinet - 12.7.2016 pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Minutes:

5.1       The minutes were confirmed as an accurate record of the minutes subject to Councillor David Daniels apologies being removed as he was in attendance at the meeting.  

 

6.

Updates on actions / Y diweddaraf ar y camau gweithredu pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Minutes:

6.1       Cabinet noted the updates listed on the action sheet.

7.

Initial Financial Forecast 2016/17 & Update on 2017/18 to 2019/20 Activities / Rhagolwg Ariannol Cychwynnol 2016/17 a Diweddariad ar Weithgareddau 2017/18 i 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 200 KB

Decision:

Cabinet agreed:

 

(i)    That the forecast position in respect of each service area and the actions being taken by service Chief Officers to address their adverse variances are noted;

(ii)   Specific approvals relating to the use, or amendment, of service specific reserves are actioned by the Deputy Leader (and portfolio holder for Resources and Corporate Governance) in accordance with normal practice.

(iii)  To note the 2017/18 to 2019/20 budget process.

 

REASON FOR DECISION:             As set out in the report.

 

CONSULTATION:                            As set out in the report.

 

MEMBERS’ INTERESTS:                None declared.

 

Minutes:

7.1       The ACXR introduced the report which outlined the initial financial forecast for the 2016/17 revenue and capital budgets, together with providing an update on the estimated reserves position and which provided an update on activities relating to the construction of the 2017/18 to 2019/20 estimates.  The ACXR highlighted the key areas of the report.

 

7.2       Councillor Hunt commented that he was confident with regards to the council’s financial processes and he thanked staff for their work in managing these processes soundly.  He commended the work of staff involved in the Administration Business Review and the professionalism and dedication shown by the staff affected.  He also commended the council’s commitment to the 21st Century Schools Programme which he felt hadn’t been an easy process, however, he commented that the dedication of funds would ensure that children would be taught in facilities fit for the 21st century.  

 

7.3       Cabinet agreed:

 

(i)            That the forecast position in respect of each service area and the actions being taken by service Chief Officers to address their adverse variances are noted;

(ii)           Specific approvals relating to the use, or amendment, of service specific reserves are actioned by the Deputy Leader (and portfolio holder for Resources and Corporate Governance) in accordance with normal practice.

(iii)         To note the 2017/18 to 2019/20 budget process.

 

 

8.

21st Century Schools - Outline Business Case for Torfaen 6th Form Centre - Ysgolion yr 21ain Ganrif - Achos Busnes Amlinellol ar gyfer Canolfan Chweched Dosbarth Torfaen pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

(i)            Gave approval to submit the OBC; and

(ii)           Gave approval to commence the consultation process on removal of 6th Forms form English medium schools.

 

REASON FOR DECISION:             As set out in the report.

 

CONSULTATION:                            As set out in the report.

 

MEMBERS’ INTERESTS:                The following members declared personal but not prejudicial interests due to their appointment by the Council as Governors of the following schools:

 

·         Councillor John Cunningham MBE KSG – St Albans RC High School

·         Councillor Richard Clark – Croesyceiliog Comprehensive School

·         David Daniels – Cwmbran High School

 

Councillor Gwyneira Clark also declared a personal but not prejudicial interest as her Granddaughter attended Croesyceiliog Comprehensive School.

 

Minutes:

8.1       The HOE introduced the report seeking approval to submit the Outline Business Case to Welsh Government for a new 6th Form Centre, replacing all current Torfaen 6th Forms in English medium schools.  The HOE highlighted the key areas of the report.

 

8.2       Councillor Yeowell commented around the need to rationalise the provision of post 16 education throughout the borough and the importance of providing this education for young learners.  He referred to how this project linked with other legislation around future generations.  He further commented around the benefits of the new 6th form provision being located in Cwmbran where space was viable and links to the area were sufficient.  Councillor Yeowell asked that Cabinet members support the recommendations set out in the report in the interest of young learners.

 

8.3       Cabinet Members supported the comments made by Councillor Yeowell in relation to equal provision of post 16 education throughout the borough and thanked officers for their work to date.  Members also commented around the importance of quality leadership and quality of teaching staff at the proposed 6th form facility.

 

8.4       Cabinet:

 

(i)       Gave approval to submit the OBC; and

(ii)       Gave approval to commence the consultation process on removal of 6th Forms form English medium schools.

 

9.

21st Century Schools - Business Case for Replacement Croesyceiliog School / Ysgolion yr 21ain Ganrif - Achos Busnes ar gyfer ysgol i gymryd lle Ysgol Croesyceiliog pdf icon PDF 151 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet gave approval to submit the Final Business Case to Welsh Government for the replacement 11 to 16 school.

 

REASON FOR DECISION:              As set out in the report.

 

CONSULTATION:                            As set out in the report.

 

MEMBERS’ INTERESTS:                The following members declared personal but not prejudicial interests:

 

·         Councillor Richard Clark due to his appointment by the Council as Governor of Croesyceiliog Comprehensive School; and

·         Councillor Gwyneira Clark as her Granddaughter attended Croesyceiliog Comprehensive School.

Minutes:

9.1       The HOE introduced the report seeking approval to submit the Full Business Case to Welsh Government for a Band A project of Torfaen’s 21st Century Schools Programme which would see the replacement of Croesyceiliog School.  The HOE highlighted the key areas of the report.

 

9.2       Councillor R Clark commented around the poor quality of the building which he felt currently let the school down and spoke in support of the recommendations set out in the report for the benefit of future learners.

 

9.3       Councillor Yeowell referred to his earlier approval of the recommendations set out in the Cabinet report around the provision of a post 16 facility in Torfaen and he felt it was important to identify where projects were interrelated, particularly around the rationalisation of post 16 in the Borough.  He further commented around the deterioration of the building and was satisfied that the proposals set out in this report were a move in the right direction.

 

9.3       Cabinet gave approval to submit the Final Business Case to Welsh Government for the replacement 11 to 16 school.

 

10.

21st Century Schools Programme - Business Justification Case for Penygarn Community Primary School / Rhaglen Ysgolion yr 21ain Ganrif - Achos Cyfiawnhau Busnes ar gyfer Ysgol Gynradd Gymunedol Pen-y-garn pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet approved the Business Justification Case (BJC) for the remodelling and refurbishment of Penygarn Community Primary school, and the proposal to submit it to Welsh Government.

 

REASON FOR DECISION:              As set out in the report.

 

CONSULTATION:                            As set out in the report.

 

MEMBERS’ INTERESTS:                None declared.

 

Minutes:

10.1    The HOE introduced the report which sought cabinet approval for a Business Justification Case (BJC) for the remodelling and refurbishment of Penygarn Community Primary school, and the proposal to submit it to Welsh Government. The HOE highlighted the key areas of the report.

 

10.2    Councillor Yeowell underlined the council’s commitment to safety and explained that safety would always be a priority whilst operation of the school would continue during ongoing work. He also commented that this improved state of the art facility would enhance education at the school and that there would be benefits around the site being used as a community facility upon completion.

 

10.3    Cabinet approved the Business Justification Case (BJC) for the remodelling and refurbishment of Penygarn Community Primary school, and the proposal to submit it to Welsh Government.

 

 

11.

Abersychan Brynteg Nursery , Cwmffrwdoer Primary, Garnteg Primary and Victoria Primary Schools - Modification of Implementation Dates of Proposals / Meithrin Brynteg Abersychan ,Ysgol Gynradd Cwmffrwdoer , Ysgol Gynradd Garnteg ac Ysgol Gynradd Victoria - Addasu Dyddiadau Gweithredu'r Cynigion pdf icon PDF 100 KB

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

(i)            Noted the reasons why the implementation dates need to be modified; and

(ii)          Agreed the new implementation date of 1 September 2018 for the discontinuation of Abersychan Brynteg Nursery and Victoria Primary schools and extended provision at Cwmffrwdoer Primary and Garnteg Primary schools.

 

REASON FOR DECISION:              As set out in the report.

 

CONSULTATION:                            As set out in the report.

 

MEMBERS’ INTERESTS:                Councillor Gwyneira Clark declared a personal but not prejudicial interest as a Council appointed Governor of Brynteg Nursery and Garnteg Primary School.

 

Minutes:

11.1    The HOE introduced the report seeking approval to modify the implementation dates in the statutory notices for Abersychan Brynteg, Cwmffrwdoer, Garnteg and Victoria schools published on 2 March 2016, from 1 September 2017 to 1 September 2018.  The HOE highlighted the key areas of the report.

 

11.2    Councillor G Clark commented that whilst she didn’t agree with the closure of Victoria Primary School and Brynteg Nursery School, given the safety aspects at the site of Cwmfrrwdoer Primary School, she would be supporting the recommendations set out in the report.

 

11.3    Councillor Yeowell commented around the importance of safety which he stated was his prime consideration.  

 

11.4    Cabinet:

 

(i)    Noted the reasons why the implementation dates need to be modified; and

(ii)   Agreed the new implementation date of 1 September 2018 for the discontinuation of Abersychan Brynteg Nursery and Victoria Primary schools and extended provision at Cwmffrwdoer Primary and Garnteg Primary schools.

 

12.

Coed Eva Primary School - Replacement Building - Ysgol Gynradd Coed Efa - Adeilad Newydd pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

(i)            Approved the commencement of the design and tendering process for the replacement building at Coed Eva Primary school; and

(ii)           Supported the recommendation to council of a £3.7 million funding cap, consisting of £2.95 million from the council’s insurer. Funding sources for the residual cost of up to £750,000 are likely to include capital receipts (currently ring-fenced for 21st Century schools), general capital contingency or general balances.

REASON FOR DECISION:              As set out in the report.

 

CONSULTATION:                            As set out in the report.

 

MEMBERS’ INTERESTS:                None declared.

 

Minutes:

12.1    The HOE introduced the report seeking approval to carry out design work and issue a tender invitation for the replacement of the infant block at Coed Eva Primary School which was destroyed by arson on 1 January 2016.  The HOE highlighted the key areas of the report.

 

12.2    Councillor Hunt commented around the traffic situation and was pleased with the outcome given the potential problems caused by schools at the end of narrow streets.  He referred to the view of the Headteacher and Governors of the school and questioned their preferred option.   He also commended the work of all those involved after the incident in ensuring that the school was up and running. 

 

12.3    Councillor Yeowell explained that that the Headteacher understood the option for a new build school wasn’t possible and therefore looked forward to the new configuration.  He commented around the need to provide the best possible option given the circumstances. 

 

12.4    Cabinet:

 

(i)    Approved the commencement of the design and tendering process for the replacement building at Coed Eva Primary school; and

(ii)   Supported the recommendation to council of a £3.7 million funding cap, consisting of £2.95 million from the council’s insurer. Funding sources for the residual cost of up to £750,000 are likely to include capital receipts (currently ring-fenced for 21st Century schools), general capital contingency or general balances.

 

13.

Appointment of a Strategic Partner / Penodi Partner Strategol pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Decision:

Cabinet agreed to appoint the preferred supplier as the Councils Strategic Partner for a period of three years with an option to extend for a further year.

 

REASON FOR DECISION:              As set out in the report.

 

CONSULTATION:                            As set out in the report.

 

MEMBERS’ INTERESTS:                None declared.

 

Minutes:

13.1    The HOS&DS introduced the report seeking approval to appoint a strategic partner following the conclusion of a procurement exercise.  The HOS&DS highlighted the key areas of the report.

 

13.2    Councillor Hunt referred to the Administration Business Review as a good example of how strategic partners added value.  He felt it was key that the council continued with this practice on the basis of ensuring value for money when using external consultancies.

 

13.3    The HOS&DS clarified that he was currently unable to publicly disclose the name of the strategic partner.

 

13.4    Cabinet agreed to appoint the preferred supplier as the Councils Strategic Partner for a period of three years with an option to extend for a further year.

 

14.

Torfaen Leisure Trust - Renewal of Funding Agreement - Ymddiriedolaeth Hamdden Torfaen - Adnewyddu'r Cytundeb Ariannu pdf icon PDF 3 MB

Decision:

Cabinet agreed:

 

·         The renewal of the Funding Agreement-Service Fee for a period of five years to 30 September 2021;

·         The minor amendments to Schedule 1 to the Funding Agreement-Service Fee

·         Delegated powers to the Chief Officer Neighbourhoods, Planning and Public Protection to negotiate minor charges/amendments to the large documentation should they arise;

·         To renew the Support Services:Service Level Agreement with the Trust for a further five year period; and

·         To the Council acting as guarantor for the Torfaen Leisure Trust for the funding of agreements needed to complete the planned capital investments at Pontypool Active Living Centre with a maximum risk.   Exposure of £869,000 plus associated interest costs.

 

REASON FOR DECISION:              As set out in the report.

 

CONSULTATION:                            As set out in the report.

 

MEMBERS’ INTERESTS:                Councillor Lewis Jones declared a personal and prejudicial interest as a Torfaen Leisure Trust Board Member.

 

Minutes:

14.1    The CONP&PP introduced the report seeking approval for the following:

 

·                     Renewal of the Funding Agreement – Service Fee with Torfaen Leisure Trust for a period of five years from 1 October 2016.

·                     Minor amendments to the revised Schedule to the Funding Agreement which covers the Service Specification.

·                     Delegated powers to the Chief Officers:  Neighbourhoods, Planning and Public Protection Services to negotiate any minor changes/amendments to the legal documentation.

·                     To renew the Support Services Service Level Agreement for a further five year period.

·                     The Council providing a loan underwriting facility to enable the Trust to undertake redevelopment works at Pontypool Active Living Centre.

 

14.2    Councillor Cunningham MBE KSG complemented the CONSP&PP on his comprehensive report and spoke to of the success of Torfaen Leisure Trust. 

 

14.3      Cabinet agreed:

 

·                The renewal of the Funding Agreement-Service Fee for a period of five years to 30 September 2021;

·                The minor amendments to Schedule 1 to the Funding Agreement-Service Fee

·                Delegated powers to the Chief Officer Neighbourhoods, Planning and Public Protection to negotiate minor charges/amendments to the large documentation should they arise;

·                To renew the Support Services:Service Level Agreement with the Trust for a further five year period; and

·                To the Council acting as guarantor for the Torfaen Leisure Trust for the funding of agreements needed to complete the planned capital investments at Pontypool Active Living Centre with a maximum risk.   Exposure of £869,000 plus associated interest costs.

 

15.

Homeseeker Policy - Revisions - Polisi Homeseeker - Diwygiadau pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet approved the draft Homeseeker Policy 2016.

 

REASON FOR DECISION:              As set out in the report.

 

CONSULTATION:                            As set out in the report.

 

MEMBERS’ INTERESTS:                None declared.

 

Minutes:

15.1    The ACOSC&H introduced the report seeking Cabinet approval to adopt a revised Homeseeker Policy that would become operational from 1st April 2017 (or prior if the necessary ICT system and procedural changes could be implemented).  The ACOSC&H highlighted the key areas of the report.

 

15.2    Cabinet members commented as follows:

 

·                     Section 5.4 of the report which stated that ‘the revised Homeseeker Policy would offer greater flexibility to prioritise unsuitable housed owner occupiers to access housing via the Homeseeker common housing register’ would make a significant impact.  Members had dealt with a number of cases whereby residents hadn’t been able to cope with their own homes through ill health.

·                     Welfare reform would impact greatly on young people, however, the revised changes to the policy in response to this would be welcomed.

·                     The previous points based system was transparent and there was a need to ensure that all future systems were also transparent.

·                     The use of the wellbeing impact assessments attached to reports throughout the Cabinet agenda was welcomed.  The efforts of officers in digesting the Future Generations Bill and ensuring this was filtered into decision making was welcomed.  The work of Rachel O’Shaughnessy in this area was commended.

·                     The council had excellent partnerships with registered social landlords who always cooperated. 

·                     There was a need to ensure that provisions were in place to accommodate those that were unable to access the homeseeker list on-line / electronically.  

 

15.3    Officers explained that any member of the public wishing to apply for properties available on Homeseeker would be accommodated in any of the council’s offices.  Work was being undertaken with partners around upskilling members of the public targeting vulnerable members of the public in order for their needs to be identified and necessary support put in place.

 

15.4    Cabinet approved the draft Homeseeker Policy 2016.

 

16.

Disposal of Current Llantarnam Primary School Site - Gwerthu Safle Presennol Ysgol Gynradd Llantarnam pdf icon PDF 109 KB

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

(i)            Accepted on a “Subject to Contract” basis the offer for the purchase of the freehold interest for the current Llantarnam Primary School site to the preferred bidder offering the following sum of £2,250,000 (two million two hundred and fifty thousand pounds) payable in full on completion;

(ii)           Authorised Legal and Asset Management Services to negotiate detailed contract terms for the disposal of land at the former Llantarnam Primary School site and subsequently undertake the conveyancing process; and

(iii)          Granted specific delegated authority to the Deputy Leader, as executive portfolio holder for Resources and Governance, to determine any issues pertaining to the disposal that may require further executive approval.

 

REASON FOR DECISION:              As set out in the report.

 

CONSULTATION:                            As set out in the report.

 

MEMBERS’ INTERESTS:                None declared.

 

Minutes:

16.1    The A&DM introduced the report informing Cabinet about offers received for the purchase of the freehold interest of the Llantarnam Primary School site and recommended and which recommended an offer for acceptance by the Council.  The A&DM highlighted the key areas of the report.  

 

16.2    Councillor Hunt thanked officers for their work and reminded members of the benefits around the sale of such sites as any money gained would be reinvested back in to education and the 21st Century Schools Programme. 

 

16.3    Cabinet:

 

(i)         Accepted on a “Subject to Contract” basis the offer for the purchase of the freehold interest for the current Llantarnam Primary School site to the preferred bidder offering the following sum of £2,250,000 (two million two hundred and fifty thousand pounds) payable in full on completion;

(ii)       Authorised Legal and Asset Management Services to negotiate detailed contract terms for the disposal of land at the former Llantarnam Primary School site and subsequently undertake the conveyancing process; and

(iii)      Granted specific delegated authority to the Deputy Leader, as executive portfolio holder for Resources and Governance, to determine any issues pertaining to the disposal that may require further executive approval.