Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday, 17th January, 2017 10.30 am

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

Contact: Rachel Beale  Senior Business Support Officer (Democratic Services)

Items
No. Item

1.

Attendance / Presenoldeb

Minutes:

Councillor

 

Executive Members (with Portfolios):

Cllr Anthony Hunt – Leader

Cllr Richard Clark – Deputy Leader

Cllr John Cunningham MBE KSG – Executive Member Neighbourhoods

Cllr Lewis Jones – Executive Member Regeneration

Cllr Bob Wellington – Executive Member Sustainability & Collaboration

Cllr David Yeowell – Executive Member for Education & Performance Improvement

 

Officers:

Nigel Aurelius – Assistant Chief Executive (Resources)

Dave Congreve – Assistant Chief Executive (Communities)

Stephen Jarrett  -  Head of Highways, Transportation & Property

Dermot McChrystal – Head of Education

John Tushingham – Head of Access, Engagement and Performance

Alison Ward – Chief Executive

Lynda Willis – Chief Legal Officer and Monitoring Officer

 

Also attending

David Gulliford - IT Support

Chris Slade – Webcasting

 

In the Gallery

Neil Jones – Head of Communications

5 Members of the press & public

2.

Apologies for absence / Ymddiheuriadau am absenoldeb

Minutes:

2.1       Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Gwyneira Clark.

3.

Declarations of Interest / Datganiadau o fudd

Minutes:

3.1       The following members declared personal but not prejudicial interests as council appointed Governors of secondary schools in relation to:

 

-       Item 8, Torfaen Sixth Form Centre, Cwmbran – Appointment of Main Contractor;

-       Item 9 Croesyceiliog School – Reducing the 11-16 Capacity to 1200 Pupil Places; and

-       Item 10 Review of Post 16 Education in Torfaen.

 

·                     Councillor Cunningham MBE KSG, St Albans School

·                     Councillor R Clarke, Croesyceiliog School

·                     Councillor D Daniels, Cwmbran High School

·                     Councillor Bob Wellington CBE, Cwmbran High School

 

4.

Confirmation of Cabinet minutes - 29/11/2016 / Cadarnhau cofnodion y Cabinet - 29/11/2016 pdf icon PDF 264 KB

Minutes:

4.1       The minutes were confirmed as an accurate record.

5.

Confirmation of Cabinet minutes 12/12/2016 / Cadarnhau cofnodion y Cabinet - 12/12/2016 pdf icon PDF 308 KB

Minutes:

5.1       The minutes were confirmed as an accurate record.

6.

Updates on actions / Y diweddaraf ar y camau gweithredu pdf icon PDF 186 KB

Minutes:

6.1       Cabinet noted the items listed on the action sheet.

7.

Budget 2017/18 & Medium Term Financial Plan / Cyllideb 2017/18 a Chynllun Ariannol Tymor Canolig pdf icon PDF 201 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet agreed that the positions outlined in respect of the 2017/18 Budget and the initial 2018/19 to 2021/22 Medium Term Financial Plan were noted.

 

REASON FOR DECISION:             As set out in the report.

 

CONSULTATION:                            As set out in the report.

 

MEMBERS’ INTERESTS:                None declared.

 

Minutes:

7.1        The ACX(R) introduced the report which provided updates on the:

            - 2017/18 estimates and potential policy choice;

            - Medium Term Financial Plan for 2018/19 to 2021/22; and

            - Capital programme 2017/18 to 2019/20.

 

7.2          The ACX(R) highlighted the key areas of the report.  Members supported the proposals outlined in the report and, in summary, commented around:

 

·         The approach taken in managing the council’s finances;

·         The difficulties in managing  the budget even though the funding settlement was less of a cut than expected;

·         Prudent planning in view of tough times to come;;

·         The NHS crisis in England caused by cuts being made to council’s services, particularly in terms of social care.

·         The benefits of authorities in Wales being fortunate to be able to work together with Welsh Government in order to maintain these services which, as a result, protects the vulnerable within communities;

·         Listening to the views of the public, staff and trade unions and making the right choices;

·         The choices made around library services and the value of these services to the public. 

·         The welcome that would be given to suggestions around wider, local strategies in the operation of library services in order to avoid consideration of library closures in the future. 

·         The progression of Corporate Plan priorities, in particular ‘Greener and Cleaner’ whereby the additional allocation of funding was welcomed in order to improve the physical state of the borough.

·         The number of cuts experienced within Neighbourhood Services and the work of the department in ensuring that services were still provided under such strained resources.

·         The provision of the living wage within the budget and the value of staff who would work on continuing to improve services.

·         The increasing demand on the council’s services.

·         The welcome commitment to preventative interventions.

·         The development and approach taken in the Joint Scrutiny meetings last year whereby members were given the opportunity to consider the budget in-depth.

 

7.3       Cabinet agreed that the positions outlined in respect of the 2017/18 Budget and the initial 2018/19 to 2021/22 Medium Term Financial Plan were noted.

 

 

8.

Torfaen Sixth Form Centre, Cwmbran – Appointment of Main Contractor / Canolfan Chweched Dosbarth Torfaen, Cwmbrân - Apwyntio Prif Gontractwr pdf icon PDF 309 KB

Decision:

Cabinet agreed:

 

a)    That subject to confirmation of funding from Welsh Government, approves the award of a professional services contract in the sum of £1,857,128.00 to the highest scoring tenderer, Contractor Nr. 2, for the development of the new Torfaen Sixth Form Centre, Cwmbran which forms part of Torfaen’s 21st Century Schools Band A Programme; and

b)    To approve early release of Authority funding in the sum of £300,000 to carry out survey and feasibility works prior to Ministerial decision in order to maintain programme.

 

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 as council appointed Governors of secondary schools:

 

·         Councillor Cunningham MBE KSG, St Albans School

·         Councillor R Clarke, Croesyceiliog School

·         Councillor D Daniels, Cwmbran High School

·         Councillor Bob Wellington CBE, Cwmbran High School

 

 

Minutes:

8.1       The HoHT&P introduced the report which sought approval:

 

-       To appoint a Main Contractor via a Two Stage Tender process to deliver the new Torfaen Sixth Form Centre which forms part of Torfaen’s 21st Century Schools Band A Programme; and

-       Of early release of Authroity funding in the sum of £300,000 to carry out survey and feasibility works prior to Ministerial decision in order to maintain anticipated programme.

 

The HoHT&P highlighted the key areas of the report.

 

8.2       Cabinet agreed:

 

a)            That subject to confirmation of funding from Welsh Government, approves the award of a professional services contract in the sum of £1,857,128.00 to the highest scoring tenderer, Contractor Nr. 2, for the development of the new Torfaen Sixth Form Centre, Cwmbran which forms part of Torfaen’s 21st Century Schools Band A Programme; and

b)            To approve early release of Authority funding in the sum of £300,000 to carry out survey and feasibility works prior to Ministerial decision in order to maintain programme.

 

 

9.

Croesyceiliog School - Reducing the 11-16 capacity to 1200 pupil places / Ysgol Croesyceiliog - Gostwng uchafswm disgyblion 11-16 i 1200 pdf icon PDF 295 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet agreed:

 

1)            To consider the Consultation Report.

2)            To the publication of statutory notices; and

3)            To receive a further report when the statutory notice period ends and determine the next steps.

 

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 as council appointed Governors of secondary schools:

 

·         Councillor Cunningham MBE KSG, St Albans School

·         Councillor R Clarke, Croesyceiliog School

·         Councillor D Daniels, Cwmbran High School

·         Councillor Bob Wellington CBE, Cwmbran High School

 

 

Minutes:

9.1       The HoE introduced the report which reported the outcome of the consultation exercise on the proposal to reduce the 11-16 capacity of Croesyceiliog School to 1200 pupil places and which sought permission to proceed to the next stage of the process, i.e. the publication of statutory notices in relation to the above mentioned school.  The HoE highlighted the key areas of the report.

 

9.2       Members supported the recommendations and commented in particular around recognising the benefits of investing in this provision as part of the 21st Century Schools Programme

 

9.3       Cabinet agreed:

 

1)    To consider the Consultation Report;

2)    To the publication of statutory notices; and

3)    To receive a further report when the statutory notice period ends and determine the next steps.

 

 

 

10.

Review of Post 16 Education in Torfaen / Adolygiad o Addysg Ôl-16 yn Nhorfaen pdf icon PDF 201 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

1) Noted the outcome of consultation in relation to this proposal;

2) Agreed to the publication of statutory notices; and 

3) To receive a further report when the statutory notice period ends.

 

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 as council appointed Governors of secondary schools:

 

·         Councillor Cunningham MBE KSG, St Albans School

·         Councillor R Clarke, Croesyceiliog School

·         Councillor D Daniels, Cwmbran High School

·         Councillor Bob Wellington CBE, Cwmbran High School

 

Minutes:

10.1    The HoE introduced the report which invited Members to consider the outcome of the consultation exercise on the proposals to:

 

-       Establish a new English medium 6th Form Centre, replacing all current Torfaen 6th forms in English medium schools;

-       Making a regulated alteration to Croesyceiliog School, Cwmbran High School and St Alban’s RC High School by ending 6th form provision.

 

The HoE highlighted the key areas of the report.

 

10.2    In summary, the HoE and the HoA,E&P responded to questions asked by members as follows:

 

-       Estyn were confident that the future provision of 6th form education would be as good as the current outcome at least;

-       The transition process would be critical in order to ensure a smooth handover;

-       There was the potential for redundancies as a result of staffing changes, however, through experience and close work with Trade Unions, staff would be supported throughout the process and re-appointed where possible, although there was no guarantee that every person would be offered an alternative post. 

-       There was no indication of the number of staff this would affect until the design process had been agreed.

-       Pastoral support would be in place in order to ensure a smooth transition process for young people.  Discussions had already taken place with the Diocese and Coleg Gwent around contributions they could make to the new provision.

-       A sustainable range of 6th form provisions would be offered and further detail would be available further on in the process.

-       The vast majority of demand for 6th forum education was in the south of the borough.  

-       Some learners themselves had indicated that they were in favour of the proposed town centre location of the 6th form centre.  Whilst this meant that some pupils would need to travel from the north of the borough, accessibility wouldn’t be an issue given the strong transport links that were available;

-       Further work would be undertaken around infrastructure, particularly in relation to the roundabout off the Morrison’s store.  Concerns expressed around this had been noted and the impact on highways would be considered.

-       It was proposed that the facility would offer between 1000 and 1100 pupil places.

-       The facility would not operate in the same way as schools whereby there were peaks in activity at certain times.  There would be a steady flow of pupils throughout the day.

-       The site would offer some parking and the use of public transport would be encouraged.

-       The withdrawal of 6th form education shouldn’t impact directly on the 11 – 16 budget of the schools concerned.  Any costs associated with the transition would be met by the council.  However, close work would be undertaken with schools and financial plans would be in place.

 

10.3    Members spoke in support of the proposals outlined in the report commenting in particular around the following:

 

-       Provision of 6th form education in the borough had been discussed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.