Agenda, decisions and minutes

Tuesday, 22nd January, 2019 10.30 am

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

Contact: Dominique Redman  Senior Business Support Officer (Democratic Services)

No. Item


Attendance / Presenoldeb


Executive Members (with Portfolios):



Anthony Hunt - Leader

Richard Clark – Deputy Leader

Veronica Crick – Executive Member Performance, Improvement & Corporate Governance

Fiona Cross – Executive Member, Environment

David Daniels – Executive Member Communities, Housing & Anti-Poverty

Alan Jones – Executive Member Business, Tourism, Leisure & Culture

Mandy Owen – Executive Member Children & Young People

David Yeowell – Executive Member for Education and Life Long Learning




Nigel Aurelius – Assistant Chief Executive (Resources)

Rachel Beale - Senior Business Support Officer (Democratic Services)

Dave Congreve – Assistant Chief Executive (Strategy)

Wendy Edwards - Group Finance Officer (Systems, Insurance & Creditors)

James Griffin - Head of Transformation and Improvement

Delyth Harries – Monitoring Officer and Assistant Chief Legal Officer

Rachel Jowitt – Chief Officer Neighbourhoods, Planning & Public Protection 

Dave Lilly – Head of Financial Services

Dermot McChrystal – Chief Officer, Education

Gill Pratlett – Head of Adult Services

Alison Ward – Chief Executive

Lynne Williams – Head of Business Support & Intelligence


Also attending:


Councillor Stuart Ashley - Chair of Cross-Cutting Resources and Business Overview & Scrutiny Committee        


In the Public Gallery:


Councillor Stuart Evans 

Councillor Janet Jones

Councillor Louise Shepphard

Lyndon Puddy – Head of Public Services Support Unit

Kate Williams - Equalities, Cohesion and Community Safety Manager

Gareth Phillips – Communications Manager

Two Members of the Public


Apologies for absence / Ymddiheuriadau am absenoldeb


2.1       There were no apologies for absence.


Declarations of Interest / Datganiadau o fudd


3.1          There were no interests declared.



Confirmation of Cabinet minutes - 20/11/2018 / Cadarnhau cofnodion y Cabinet - 20/11/2018 pdf icon PDF 326 KB


4.1       The minutes of the meeting held on the 20th November 2018 were confirmed as an accurate record of the meeting.


Updates on actions / Y diweddaraf ar y camau gweithredu pdf icon PDF 85 KB


5.1       It was noted that there were no outstanding actions.


Service and Financial Planning - Budget and Service Change Activities 2019/20 / Cynllunio Gwasanaeth ac Ariannol - Gweithgareddau Cyllideb a Newidiadau i Wasanaethau 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 326 KB

Additional documents:


Cabinet agreed that:


(i)         The budget position outlined in the report was noted;

(ii)        The specific budget proposals outlined in paragraph 5 and the detailed mitigations in appendices 1 and 2 were approved for recommendation to Council, subject to scrutiny comments; and

(iii)       The Service Planning position and change activities were noted.


REASON FOR DECISION: As set out in the report.


CONSULTATION: As set out in the report.


MEMBERS’ INTERESTS: None declared.


6.1       The Assistant Chief Executive (Resources) highlighted the key areas of the report making the following comments:


  • As a result of Local Government lobbying there was positive progress between the provisional and the final settlement. There was additional resources provided for Social Care, in recognition that investment in preventative services would help the overall situation.
  • It was still a challenging settlement which fell short of a real term increase in funding.
  • The mitigations put forward to address the £3.5 million shortfall were made up of a mixture of efficiencies, by doing things differently, financial adjustment such as virements and vacancy rates, restructure proposals, grant assumptions and service provision change. Officers had tried to seek out efficiencies and ways of doing things differently to minimise the impact.
  • The mitigations had been subject to scrutiny and all Members had engaged in the process. The Chair of the Cross-Cutting Resources and Business Overview & Scrutiny Committee would verbally report the outcome of the scrutiny workshop and formal consideration of the recommendations would be put forward and considered by Cabinet at the February meeting.
  • Progress had been made in bringing the Council’s Service Planning and Financial Planning closer together for 2019/20.
  • The 2019/20 budget and service planning has been difficult given the ongoing restraints on public funding, however the budget continues to support and protect the Council’s Corporate Plan 3 priorities.


6.2       Councillor Stuart Ashley as Chair of the Cross-Cutting Resources and Business Overview & Scrutiny Committee outlined the recommendations put forward by Members:


·         In principle Members supported the budget proposal to reduce the subsidy level at Cwmbran Farm, however requested that the Cleaner Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee set up a Task and Finish Group at the earliest opportunity to look at options for implementation.

·         Members supported the mitigation to reduce support to Blaenavon Workman’s Hall, however recommended that the implementation be lengthened from five to eight years.

·         Members were however unable to support the removal of the grant to the three Older Persons Forums.

·         Members also made a number of requests for seminars as a result of the session.


6.3       The Leader thanked Officers for their hard work on the budget and made the following comments:


  • The lobbying efforts made from Local Government to Welsh Government had been intense, however progress had been made. The budget continued to be a challenge, however Local Government continued to demonstrate their vital role in providing key preventative services. If Welsh Government believed in the principles of the Future Generations Act then fair funding for Local Government was key.
  • He thanked the scrutiny members for the way they approached the budget and the active contribution made, stating that it was not an easy situation and no one entered into Local Government to make reductions. He was more than happy to look at the recommendations put forward by the Scrutiny Committee. 
  • The need for clearer information across Local Government showing where funding came from and where the money was spent came up in discussions and he agreed to put  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Insurance Premium Tender Exercise / Ymarfer Tendr Premiwm Yswiriant pdf icon PDF 455 KB


Cabinet agreed:


(i)            To award the contracts for insurance policy premiums to tenderers 1, 2 and 3 as per the table in the report at 5.6 for a total cost of £795,009 (year 1).



REASON FOR DECISION: As set out in the report.


CONSULTATION: As set out in the report.


MEMBERS’ INTERESTS: None declared.


7.1       The Group Finance Officer (Systems, Insurance & Creditors) highlighted the key areas of the report commenting in particular on the following:


·         The existing long term agreements with the current insurers expires on 31st March 2019, therefore a renewal of all insurance policy arrangements was required.

·         A full tender exercise had been carried out.

·         The evaluation criteria used was 50% on price and 50% on quality.

·         The value of the contracts over a 5 year period based on prevailing declaration was estimated to be £3,975,000, therefore a Cabinet decision was required before contracts could be awarded.


7.2       The Leader thanked the Officer for the report and the work undertaken as any money that could be saved was money that could be spent on other services. 


7.3       Cabinet agreed:


(i)         To award the contracts for insurance policy premiums to tenderers 1, 2 and 3 as per the table in the report at 5.6 for a total cost of £795,009 (year 1).