Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday, 14th March, 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 Gwyneira Clark – Executive Member Housing, Planning & Public Protection

Cllr John Cunningham MBE KSG – Executive Member Neighbourhoods

Cllr David Daniels – Executive Member Communities & Anti-Poverty

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)

Justine Cass - Solicitor

Dave Congreve – Assistant Chief Executive (Communities)

Richard Edmunds – Head of Strategic Services

Dermot McChrystal – Head of Education

Duncan Smith – Chief Officer for Planning, Public Protection and Neighbourhoods

Alison Ward – Chief Executive

Lynne Williams - Head of Business Support & Intelligence

John Tushingham- Head of Access, Engagement and Performance

Lyndon Puddy- Head of Public Service Support Unit

Alan Vernon-Jones – Welsh Language Officer

Tim James - Interim Chief Legal Officer

Gill Pratlett – Head of Adult Services

 

Also attending:

Rachel Beale - Clerk

David Gulliford - IT Support

Geraint Thomas – Webcasting

Neil Jones – Head of Communications (in Gallery)

 

There were two Members of the press and public in the gallery.

 

2.

Apologies for absence / Ymddiheuriadau am absenoldeb

Minutes:

2.1       There were no apologies received.

3.

Declarations of Interest / Datganiadau o fudd

Minutes:

3.1         The following Member interest were declared:

 

  • Councillor Gwyneira Clark declared a personal and prejudicial interest in agenda items 8 & 9 as she had a Grandchild that attended Croesyceiliog Comprehensive School. She also declared a personal but not prejudicial interest in agenda item 10 as she had a Grandchild that attended Croesyceiliog Comprehensive School.
  • Councillor Richard Clark declared a personal but not prejudicial interest in agenda item 7 as a reserve Member of the EAS. He also declared a personal but not prejudicial interest in agenda items 8, 9 & 10 as a LEA appointed Governor at Croesyceiliog Primary School and Croesyceiliog Comprehensive School.
  • Councillor John Cunningham declared a personal but not prejudicial interest in agenda items 8, 9 & 10 as a LEA appointed Governor at St Albans RC High School.
  • Councillor David Daniels declared a personal but not prejudicial interest in agenda item 7 as a Director of the EAS. He also declared a personal but not prejudicial interest in agenda items 8, 9 & 10 as a LEA appointed Governor at Cwmbran High School.
  • Councillor Bob Wellington declared a personal but not prejudicial interest in agenda items 8, 9 & 10 as a LEA appointed Governor at Cwmbran High School.

 

4.

Confirmation of Cabinet minutes -14/02/2017 / Cadarnhau cofnodion y Cabinet - 14/02/2017 pdf icon PDF 364 KB

Minutes:

4.1       The minutes were confirmed as an accurate record.

 

5.

Updates on actions / Y diweddaraf ar y camau gweithredu pdf icon PDF 181 KB

Minutes:

5.1       Cabinet noted the items listed on the action sheet.

6.

White Paper "Reforming Local Government: Resilient and Renewed" Consultation / Ymateb i'r Ymgynghoriad ar y Papur Gwyn "Diwygio Llywodraeth Leol: Cadernid ac Adnewyddiad" pdf icon PDF 872 KB

Decision:

Cabinet agreed to approve the consultation response attached at Appendix 1 to this report.

 

 

REASON FOR DECISION: As set out in the report.

CONSULTATION: As set out in the report.

MEMBERS’ INTERESTS: None declared.

Minutes:

6             The Chief Executive outlined the report which sought approval to submit a response to the White Paper “Reforming Local Government: Resilient and Renewed” which was issued for consultation on 31st January 2017.

 

The Leader thanked the Deputy Leader and Chief Executive for their work on the thorough response to the White Paper. The Leader welcomed the approach taken by the Cabinet Secretary on the issue of reforming Local Government; he had spoken to all 22 Local Authorities and listened to the different ideas on how to take the concept forward pragmatically.

 

The Leader referred to the Framework and Footprint concept mentioned within the White Paper which was built around the principles of subsidiarity, he felt that some decisions taken as a Council would benefit from a greater scale, however had concerns that if all decisions were made on a greater scale the local aspect and the local accountability would be lost.  He stated that it was important when taking new proposals forward that the citizens of the borough were at the forefront of our mind.

 

He said that Gwent had a unique and strong prospective. He informed Cabinet that he recently welcomed the Cabinet Secretary to the SRS to show some of the collaborative work undertaken with neighbouring councils and the Police and hopefully would work with other public services going forward to make savings and to deliver services more effectively by working together.

 

He did raise concerns with some aspects of the White Paper which included the voting and governance arrangements and felt that there would be a danger if different councils went in different directions, as the public’s understanding of what happened in Local Government would be diminished.  Torfaen council had a practical view that PR in Local Government would not work and he felt that it would break the link between Members and the wards they represented which was a fundamental part of the job of a councillor. 

Cabinet agreed to approve the consultation response attached at Appendix 1 to this report.

 

7.

Education Achievement Service Business Plan 2017-2020 and Local Authority Annex 2017-2018 / Cynllun Busnes y Gwasanaeth Cyflawni Addysg 2017-2020 ac Atodiad Awdurdod Lleol 2017-2018 pdf icon PDF 220 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet agreed to approve the EAS Business Plan 2017-2020 and the Local Authority Annex 2017-2018.

 

 

REASON FOR DECISION: As set out in the report.

CONSULTATION: As set out in the report.

MEMBERS’ INTERESTS:

Councillor David Daniels declared a personal but not prejudicial interest as a director of the EAS.

Councillor Richard Clark declared a personal but not prejudicial interest as a reserve Member of the EAS.

Minutes:

The Head of Education outlined the report which sought approval of the EAS Business Plan 2017-2020 which set out the priorities, programmes and outcomes to be achieved by the EAS on behalf on the SE Wales Consortium. The report also sought approval for the Local Authority Annex 2017-18 which focused upon the expected outcomes in Torfaen and the specific programmes that would be implemented during 2017-18.

 

           Members commended the hard work undertaken by all, to produce an excellent business plan. It was pointed out that Torfaen had reduced its funding to the EAS by 42% which made more money available to go to schools direct allowing the per pupil funding to be increased by 15% over the past 5 years. It was noted that even though there was a reduction in funding, the results were increasing which would constitute value for money.

 

           Cabinet agreed to approve the EAS Business Plan 2017-2020 and the Local Authority Annex 2017-2018.

8.

Croesyceiliog School - To determine the proposal following the conclusion of the Statutory Objection Period / Ysgol Croesyceiliog - Penderfynu'r Cynnig ar ôl gorffen y Cyfnod Gwrthwynebu Statudol pdf icon PDF 299 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet agreed to:

1)    Consider the outcome of the statutory objection period/process and agreed to proceed with proposal.

2)    Note the requirement to publish a notice in accordance with the Education (Determination of Admission Arrangements) (Wales) Regulations 2006.

3)    Subject to the satisfactory completion of recommendation 2 above, agreed to the implementation of the proposal to reduce the 11-16 capacity of Croesyceiliog School to 1200 places with effect from 1st September 2018.

 

 

REASON FOR DECISION: As set out in the report.

CONSULTATION: As set out in the report.

MEMBERS’ INTERESTS:

Councillor Gwyneira Clark declared a personal and prejudicial interest as she had a Grandchild that attended Croesyceiliog Comprehensive School.

Councillor Richard Clark declared a personal but not prejudicial interest as a LEA appointed Governor at Croesyceiliog Primary School and Croesyceiliog Comprehensive School.

Councillor John Cunningham declared a personal but not prejudicial interest as a LEA appointed Governor at St Albans RC High School.

Councillor David Daniels declared a personal but not prejudicial interest as a LEA appointed Governor at Cwmbran High School.

Councillor Bob Wellington declared a personal but not prejudicial interest as a LEA appointed Governor at Cwmbran High School.

 

.

Minutes:

The Head of Education outlined the report which asked Cabinet to consider the outcome of the statutory objection period in relation to a proposal to reduce the 11-16 capacity of Croesyceiliog School to 1200 places.

 

He informed Cabinet that four statutory objections had been received, three individual responses from members of the public and one objection from NASUWT the Teachers' trade union. He summarised the objections received and outlined the councils response to the concerns raised.

 

He confirmed that after carefully considering all the comments made it was considered that the proposal stood on its own merits and should proceed.

 

Cabinet agreed to:

1) Consider the outcome of the statutory objection period/process and agreed to proceed with proposal.

2) Note the requirement to publish a notice in accordance with the Education (Determination of Admission Arrangements) (Wales) Regulations 2006.
3) Subject to the satisfactory completion of recommendation 2 above, agreed to the implementation of the proposal to reduce the 11-16 capacity of Croesyceiliog School to 1200 places with effect from 1st September 2018.

9.

Review of Post 16 Education In Torfaen - To determine the proposal following the conclusion of the Statutory Objection Period / Adolygiad o Addysg ôl-16 yn Nhorfaen - Penderfynu'r Cynnig ar ôl gorffen y Cyfnod Gwrthwynebu Statudol pdf icon PDF 385 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet agreed to:

 

1)    Consider the outcome of the statutory objection period/process and agreed to proceed with the proposals

2)    Submit the objections and Objection Report to Welsh Ministers to determine the proposals in light of the objections received and the content of the Objection report.

3)    Implement the proposals if approved by Welsh Ministers/

 

REASON FOR DECISION: As set out in the report.

CONSULTATION: As set out in the report.

MEMBERS’ INTERESTS:

Councillor Gwyneira Clark declared a personal and prejudicial interest as she had a Grandchild that attended Croesyceiliog Comprehensive School.

Councillor Richard Clark declared a personal but not prejudicial interest as a LEA appointed Governor at Croesyceiliog Primary School and Croesyceiliog Comprehensive School.

Councillor John Cunningham declared a personal but not prejudicial interest as a LEA appointed Governor at St Albans RC High School.

Councillor David Daniels declared a personal but not prejudicial interest as a LEA appointed Governor at Cwmbran High School.

Councillor Bob Wellington declared a personal but not prejudicial interest as a LEA appointed Governor at Cwmbran High School.

 

Minutes:

The Head of Education introduced the report which asked Cabinet to consider the outcome of the statutory objection period in relation to proposals to establish a new English medium 6th Form Centre, replacing all current Torfaen 6th forms in English medium school and make regulated alterations to Croesyceiliog School, Cwmbran High School and St Albans RC High School by ending 6th form provision. 

 

He informed Cabinet that 81 statutory objections were received and in addition to the objections, the Council was also aware of an online

Petition which as of the 24th February had 964 signatures.

 

The Head of Education drew Members attention to the objections received and outlined the councils response to the concerns raised making the following comments:

 

  • The Council responded to the concerns raised about the quality of the education in a college as opposed to a sixth form, by the looking at the facts and data published by Welsh Government. In 2015 the Torfaen pass rate was 99.6%. In the Ebbw Vale Learning Zone which Torfaen were basing the model on and was also operated by Coleg Gwent, the pass rate was 99.6% and Cross keys was 99.2%.
  • Torfaen was committed to working with Coleg Gwent to look at demystifying some of the concerns people had regarding the pastoral support. He felt that Coleg Gwent would not be achieving comparable results as Sixth Forms if learners were not nurtured in the same way.
  • With regard to staffing concerns he confirmed that Coleg Gwent did not use any zero hours contracts, teaching staff were employed on national terms and conditions that applied to all staff in Further Education (FE) colleges in Wales. The annual leave for an FE Lecturer was 46 days per year plus Bank Holidays.
  • There was a risk that there would be a loss of staff, however there was a lot of work to be done before jobs in scope could be identified. Officers needed to do the curriculum planning with Schools and Coleg Gwent to look at how the Schools wanted to change their teaching and learning responsibilities and leadership structures. Torfaen had a good record in terms of redeployment and looking at how to minimise the impact. Coleg Gwent had said they would offer the teachers who were at risk the opportunity to go for an interview with them for specific jobs in the college.
  • Transition was a key focus of all school re-organisation proposals. Torfaen would work with Coleg Gwent and the Schools to keep disruption to a minimum and support learners through the change.
  •  
  • Coleg Gwent already provided a multi-faith service to its learners andwould welcome the opportunity to work closely with the Diocese. Every fulltime learner would have an allocated Personal Tutor to help them with the transition to the new centre and support them throughout their time there. In addition, a Head of Learner Services would oversee all pastoral support and would be able to signpost to specialist support where necessary.
  • He  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

21st Century Schools - Final Business Case for Torfaen 6th Form Centre / Ysgolion yr 21ain Ganrif - Achos Busnes Terfynol ar gyfer Canolfan 6ed Dosbarth Torfaen pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet agreed to give approval to submit the Full Business Case to Welsh Government.

 

 

REASON FOR DECISION: As set out in the report.

CONSULTATION: As set out in the report.

MEMBERS’ INTERESTS:

Councillor Richard Clark declared a personal but not prejudicial interest as a LEA appointed Governor at Croesyceiliog Primary School and Croesyceiliog Comprehensive School.

Councillor John Cunningham declared a personal but not prejudicial interest as a LEA appointed Governor at St Albans RC High School.

Councillor David Daniels declared a personal but not prejudicial interest as a LEA appointed Governor at Cwmbran High School.

Councillor Bob Wellington declared a personal but not prejudicial interest as a LEA appointed Governor at Cwmbran High School.

 

Minutes:

The Head of Education introduced the report which sought approval to submit the Final Business Case to Welsh Government to build a new £20 million 6th Form Centre in Cwmbran which would replace all current Torfaen 6th Forms in English Medium Schools. 50 % of the investment would be funded by the Council and 50% would be funded by Welsh Government.

 

Cabinet agreed to give approval to submit the Full Business Case to Welsh Government.

 

11.

Proposed Welsh Language Standards Submission / Ymateb Arfaethedig i Safonau'r Iaith Gymraeg pdf icon PDF 148 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet supported and agreed to submit to the Welsh Language Commissioners Office, the proposals detailed in Appendix 1.

 

REASON FOR DECISION: As set out in the report.

CONSULTATION: As set out in the report.

MEMBERS’ INTERESTS: None declared.

Minutes:

 The Head of PSSU introduced the report which sought approval to submit proposed wording variations to Welsh Language Standards contained within the Council’s Compliance Notice to the Welsh Language Commissioners Office. Having received the Compliance notice the Council considered that a number of the standards applicable to Torfaen were unreasonable and had appealed 32 standards whilst accepting 139 of the 171.

 

             Cabinet supported and agreed to submit to the Welsh Language

             Commissioners Office, the proposals detailed in Appendix 1.  

 

            Councillors John Cunningham and David Yeowell left the meeting.

 

12.

Withdrawal of the application to register a public footpath between Llantarnam Road and Newport Road, Llantarnam / Cais i Gofrestri Llwybr Troed Cyhoeddus rhwng Heol Llantarnam a Heol Casnewydd, Llantarnam - Diweddariad pdf icon PDF 294 KB

Decision:

Cabinet agreed to note the contents of the report.

 

REASON FOR DECISION: As set out in the report.

CONSULTATION: As set out in the report.

MEMBERS’ INTERESTS: None declared.

Minutes:

The Chief Officer Planning, Public Protection and Neighbourhoods introduced the report which advised Cabinet that an application to add a public footpath between Llantarnam Road and Newport Road to the Authority’s Definitive Map and Statement had been withdrawn by the Applicant. Their decision was made on the basis that the Developer of the former Llantarnam Comprehensive site had agreed to provide a footpath link through the new site to the existing footpath 164A between numbers 13 and 14 John Fielding Gardens.

Cabinet agreed to note the contents of the report.

 

           Councillor John Cunningham returned to the meeting.

13.

Heads of the Valleys Green Waste Project / Prosiect Gwastraff Gwyrdd Blaenau'r Cymoedd pdf icon PDF 320 KB

Decision:

Cabinet agreed to approve the extension of the existing green waste contract with Viridor Waste Management for a further three months up until 30th June 2017.

 

Cabinet approved delegated powers to Chief Officer Neighbourhoods, Planning and Public Protection to award the green waste treatment contract in consultation with the Assistant Chief Executive Resources, the Head of Procurement and the Interim Monitoring Officer.

 

REASON FOR DECISION: As set out in the report.

CONSULTATION: As set out in the report.

MEMBERS’ INTERESTS: None declared.

Minutes:

The Chief Officer Planning, Public Protection and Neighbourhoods Services updated Cabinet on the long term green waste procurement exercise which was being undertaken in collaboration with Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Newport City Council and Monmouthshire County Council.

 

Cabinet agreed to approve the extension of the existing green waste contract with Viridor Waste Management for a further three months up until 30th June 2017.

 

            Cabinet approved delegated powers to Chief Officer Neighbourhoods, Planning and Public Protection to award the green waste treatment contract in consultation with the Assistant Chief Executive Resources, the Head of Procurement and the Interim Monitoring Officer.