Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday, 11th June, 2019 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:

           Executive Members (with Portfolios):

            Councillors:

           Anthony Hunt - Leader

           Richard Clark – Deputy Leader

           Fiona Cross – Executive Member for Environment

           David Daniels – Executive Member for Adult Services & Housing

           Alan Jones – Executive Member for Corporate Governance & Performance

            Mandy Owen – Executive Member for Children, Families and Communities

           Kelly Preston – Executive Member for Resources

           David Yeowell – Executive Member for Education

 

           Officers:

           Nigel Aurelius – Assistant Chief Executive (Resources)

           Rachel Beale - Senior Business Support Officer (Democratic Services)

           Justine Cass – Deputy Monitoring Officer and Solicitor

           Dave Congreve – Assistant Chief Executive (Strategy)
Anne Garratt - Senior Environmental Health Officer

           James Griffin - Head of Transformation and Improvement

           Neil Howell - Head of Housing, Commissioning & Service Transformation
Rachel Jowitt – Chief Officer Neighbourhoods, Planning and Public Protection

           Dave Lilly – Head of Financial Services

           Andrew Long – Team Manager Public Protection Service

           Lyndon Puddy – Head of Public Services Support Unit

           Simon Rushton - Team Manager – Family Support and Early Intervention

           Emma Treadgold – Flying Start Manager

           John Tushingham – Head of Access and Engagement 

           Nansi Salkeld – Acting Head of Democratic Services

           Alison Ward – Chief Executive

                                  

In the Public Gallery:

Neil Jones, Head of Communications, Engagement and Civil Contingencies
           Charlotte Davies, Student Environmental Health Officer

 

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 interests were declared:

 

  • Councillor Richard Clark declared a personal interest in agenda item 8 as a member of the Aneurin Bevan Health Board.
  • Councillor Richard Clark declared a further personal interest in agenda item 15 as a Council appointed governor at Croesyceiliog Comprehensive School.
  • Councillor David Daniels declared a personal interest in agenda item 15 as a Council appointed governor at Cwmbran High School.
  • Councillor Mandy Owen declared a personal interest in agenda item 15 as a Council appointed governor at Cwmbran High School.
  • Councillor Fiona Cross declared a personal and prejudicial interest in agenda item 15 as she had a relative that attended Cwmbran High School.
  • Councillor Kelly Preston declared a personal and prejudicial interest in agenda item 15 as she had a relative that attended Cwmbran High School.

 

4.

Confirmation of Cabinet minutes - 14/05/2019 / Cadarnhau cofnodion y Cabinet - 14/05/2019 pdf icon PDF 337 KB

Minutes:

4.1       The minutes of the meeting held on the 14th May 2019 were confirmed as an accurate record of the meeting.

5.

Updates on actions / Y diweddaraf ar y camau gweithredu pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Minutes:

5.1       It was noted that there were no outstanding actions.

6.

Financial Results 2018/19 / Canlyniadau Ariannol 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 501 KB

Decision:

Cabinet agreed to:

 

(i)    Note the out-turn position in respect of the revenue and capital accounts of the Council;

(ii)   Approve the contributions to reserves as outlined within the report;

(iii)  Re-approve the reserves policy.

 

REASON FOR DECISION: As set out in the report.

CONSULTATION: As set out in the report.

MEMBERS’ INTERESTS: None declared.

Minutes:

6.1         The Executive Member for Resources introduced the Financial Results report which set out the Council’s financial position in terms of the revenue budget, capital programme and the reserves position for 2018/19 and made the following comments:

  • It continued to be a difficult time for all Councils across Wales due to ongoing austerity.
  • The financial results showed an overspend in Children’s Services which was not unexpected given the pressure the service faced.
  • The ‘one-off’ revenue windfall of £2.6 million was welcomed and enabled the Council to strengthen the overall financial standing
  • The Council continued to provide investment in their schools via the 21st Century Schools Programme.
  • Torfaen would be the first Council to close accounts, which was a result of the system and processes in place and thanked Officers for their hard work.

 

6.2         The Assistant Chief Executive (Resources) provided Cabinet with the following additional information:

  • Torfaen would be the first Council in Wales to close their accounts which was a credit to the whole of the Council.
  • 80% of agreed mitigations had been achieved and the majority that were not achieved were corporate mitigations.
  • Education had accrued an underspend which would be used to strengthen resources to support the post 16 change and to refresh ICT in schools.
  • Social Care were experiencing a £1.7 million pressure in Children’s Service, however all other areas with the Social Care Department had produced an underspend.
  • Torfaen Training and Cleaning & Catering within the Neighbourhood Services department had provided a better year end position than had been indicated during the year.  Neighbourhood Services Winter Maintenance budget had overspent towards the end of the year.
  • PSSU, ICT, Resources and the Chief Executives Department had all underspent by a modest amount with the exception of ICT as there was a high demand on ICT.
  • Capital finance showed a significant favourable position due to a change in accounting standards, the windfall would be used to strengthen the overall financial standing and resilience of the Council by sustaining the general fund and boosting the redundancy reserves.
  • It had been a difficult year in revenue terms, which had been managed, however Social Care were operating on limited service area reserves.
  • Capital Spend had been dominated by 21st Century School, the Council should be proud of the achievement which saw an ambitious Band A and B programme.
  • The Council’s reserves position had been kept above £5 million, approximately £900,000 had been used throughout the year.
  • A new Strategic Change Reserve had been added to the Corporate Reserves.
  • It was important to note that general reserves would only provide 7 days of spending power.
  • The Council Reserves remain modest but once used, would be gone.
  • Reserves needed to primarily be used to support change, transforming services whilst keeping enough available to support the unexpected.
  • The reserve policy remained unchanged with the inclusion of the Executive Member as the approver of the use of reserves as opposed to the Leader which was due to a portfolio change.
  • The Council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Determination of Proposal to Extend Age Range Of Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw From 11-18 to 3-18 / Penderfynu ar Argymhelliad i Ymestyn Amrediad Oedran Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw o 11-18 i 3-18 pdf icon PDF 490 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

The item was deferred.

Minutes:

7.1       The item was deferred.

8.

Health Award of Contract for Flying Start and Families First / Gwobr Iechyd o Gytundeb ar gyfer Dechrau'n Deg a Theuluoedd yn Gyntaf pdf icon PDF 462 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet agreed to approve the award for the provision of the Flying Start and Families First Early Years Health Service with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board to the sum of £1,004,156 for 2019/20.

 

REASON FOR DECISION: As set out in the report.

CONSULTATION: As set out in the report.

MEMBERS’ INTERESTS:
Councillor Richard Clark declared a personal interest as a member of the Aneurin Bevan Health Board.

Minutes:

8.1       The Executive Member for Children, Families and Communities introduced the report and made the following comments:

·         Flying Start and Families First were early intervention programmes which collaborated with key stakeholders to improve outcomes for families with children aged between 0-4.

·         Flying Start targeted specific areas in Torfaen, whereas Families First was accessible for vulnerable families by referral.

·         Flying Start and Families First were now part of the Children and Communities Grant and it gave an opportunity to streamline the Early Years Health services to provide a level of consistency and give family support to vulnerable families across Torfaen

·         The contract held with ABUHB required review in order to ensure legal propriety and the purpose of the report was to award a contract.

 

8.2       The Flying Start Manager provided Members with the following further information:

·         Both Flying Start and Families First now came under the Children and Communities Grant, which gave the opportunity to streamline the Early Years’ service to provide consistency to the support such as parenting and early language development available to families regardless of where they live within Torfaen.

·         Also as part of Flying Start was the enhanced Health Visiting, which followed the Healthy Child Wales Programme offering enhanced support.

·         The only variance for vulnerable families outside the Flying Start area should be the childcare provision for 2 year olds of 2 ½ hours a day which could be supported to a lesser degree by the Assisted Place grant for the most vulnerable families.

·         The services were being aligned throughout Torfaen to improve the chances for the most vulnerable families.

 

8.3       The Team Manager – Family Support and Early Intervention added that a benefit of aligning the service was that a reduction was able to be made to the management structure, enabling savings and the implementation of an extra 3 day a week post for delivery.

 

8.4       Cabinet agreed to approve the award for the provision of the Flying Start and Families First Early Years Health Service with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board to the sum of £1,004,156 for 2019/20.

9.

To Consider and Adopt the Highway Asset Management Plan 2019-2024 as Council Policy / Ystyried a Mabwysiadu Cynllun Rheoli Asedau Priffyrdd 2019-2024 fel Polisi'r Cyngor pdf icon PDF 171 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet agreed to approve the Highway Asset Management Plan 2019- 2025 as Council Policy.

 

REASON FOR DECISION: As set out in the report.

CONSULTATION: As set out in the report.

MEMBERS’ INTERESTS: None declared

Minutes:

9.1       The Executive Member for Environment outlined the key areas of the report commenting on the following:

·         The report seeks approval to adopt a revised Highway Asset Management Plan as Council Policy.

·         The Highway Asset Management Plan gave guidance on how to maintain the highway asset and how to prioritise capital investment.

·         The current plan was set in 2013 and expired in 2018.

·         The implementation of the new plan coincides with new guidance published relating to the method of maintaining the asset which was based on a more safety based approach.

·         The current guidance only allowed for repairs to a pothole which was 4cm deep or more, however the new guidance took a more safety risk approach and the volume of traffic would be taken in to consideration.

·         The plan remained largely the same however the new guidance introduced the potential for change in how the safety of the asset was considered and the councils insurance claim reputation rate could be impacted while the guidance was embedded.

·         Councillor Cross thanked Officers for producing a comprehensive detailed plan.

 

9.2       The Chief Officer for Neighbourhoods, Planning and Public Protection provided Cabinet with the following additional information:

·         The plan was an important document which set the framework of how to manage one of the Council’s prime assets, set out how the Inspectors undertake their work and how the investment programmes were designed.

·         The new risk based approach was a change and Officers were working closely with the insurance department.

·         The relevant scrutiny committee had looked at the plan and their recommendations and input were very valuable.

·         As a result of scrutiny, Officers decided to get the document peer reviewed. The review was undertaken free of change by Swansea Council who even took aspects out of the plan for their own.

 

9.3       In response to a question asked about managing expectations with the level of resource available, the Chief Officer replied stating that one of the recommendations from scrutiny was that when the plan was endorsed that a communication plan be put together outlining how the road network would be managed.

 

9.4       Cabinet agreed to approve the Highway Asset Management Plan 2019- 2025 as Council Policy.

10.

Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme for Private Sector Housing / Cynllun Gwella Effeithlonrwydd Ynni ar gyfer Tai yn y Sector Preifat pdf icon PDF 309 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet agreed to approve the recommended proposals for implementing the LA Flex ECO3 energy efficient improvement scheme for Private Sector Housing, as outlined in the report.

 

REASON FOR DECISION: As set out in the report.

CONSULTATION: As set out in the report.

MEMBERS’ INTERESTS: None declared.

Minutes:

10.1    The Executive Member for Environment introduced the report commenting on the following:

·         One of the key aims of the Local Housing Strategy was to improve the energy efficiency of homes, reducing fuel poverty and improving health and wellbeing.

·         A key role for the Council’s Environmental Health Officers was to regulate housing standards in the poorest housing often found in the private sector.

·         All properties had energy ratings and there were 4,500 home in Torfaen that were in the lowest three energy bandings, which was far too many.

·         The Eco3 scheme was available from Energy suppliers to provide improvements for those most in need, there was no capital funding required from the Council.

·         From 2020 it would become illegal to rent out a F or G rated property and fines could be issued ranging from £2,000- £4,000, enforcement would be used as a last resort and promoting compliance by way of the scheme would be used primarily.

·         The free improvements would include replacement boilers and insulation.

·         The most vulnerable houses would be contacted via mail drop which would inform them of the assistance available. Landlords would also be contacted.

·         Environmental Health Officers would work in partnership with the suppliers to review and approve the applications.

·         The scheme was separate to the Welsh Government energy improvement initiative which was operating at the moment which targeted specific areas within the borough.

·         Councillor Cross added that it was positive report which secured funding to make necessary improvements and she thanked Officers for their work on it.

 

10.2    The Chief Officer Neighbourhoods, Planning and Public Protection explained the key aspects of the report and made the following comments:

·         The purpose of the scheme was to alleviate fuel poverty and help the most vulnerable.

·         It was a county wide scheme which could benefit up to 4500 properties.

·         When the suppliers had been procured, the scheme would be promoted informing residents of the benefits which included new windows, new heating systems and insulation.

 

10.3    Members commented that:

·         They welcomed the scheme which alleviated climate change and fuel poverty across the whole of the borough.

·         The scheme would help bring housing stock up to the energy efficient standard, which would work towards meeting the Welsh Government targets of reducing CO2 by 80% by 2030.

·         The scheme ticked both social and environmental boxes and would help bring heating costs down in a time when fuel poverty was increasing.

·         Registered Social Landlords had already carried out a lot of work to bring their stock up to date and it was important to target to the private landlords.

·         Members raised concerned around the difficulties to get take up on the scheme, as people often thought there was a catch. It was vital to promote the scheme highlighting that it was free and it was important to avoid making the communication look like junk mail. All communication regarding the scheme needed to emphasise that the Council were trying to help and wanted to make their properties more energy efficient.

 

10.4    In  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

South East Wales Highways and Civil Engineering Framework Agreement / Cytundeb Fframwaith Priffyrdd a Pheirianneg Sifil De Ddwyrain Cymru pdf icon PDF 537 KB

Decision:

Cabinet agreed to approve the use of the collaborative South East Wales Highways and Civil Engineering Framework Agreement to procure works where it was appropriate and provides the best value to the Authority.

 

REASON FOR DECISION: As set out in the report.

 

CONSULTATION: As set out in the report.

 

MEMBERS’ INTERESTS: None declared.

Minutes:

11.1    The Executive Member for Environment highlighted the key areas of the report commenting on the following:

·         The report ensured that the Council were procuring the right advice at the right price for the highways and civil engineering contracts.

·         Each year there was a capital programme for highways maintenance and civil projects were undertaken on areas such as safe routes to school and local transport improvements.

·         Most of the work was grant dependent and was only allocated annually which prevented the Council being able to afford to employ the expertise to design and construct the projects. 

·         Since 2008 the Council had used collaborative framework contracts, which enabled the Council to be able to secure value for money and effective and efficient services. 

·         The Contracts were designed to promote the inclusion of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEsthrough breaking up contract values. 

·         The Council would not be committed to anything through the agreement, it provided the procurement framework within which specific projects and schemes could be managed. 

 

11.2    The Leader commented that it was good to see contacts broken down to allow smaller businesses to be involved and he was he pleased to see that it was collaborative approach.

 

11.3    Cabinet agreed to approve the use of the collaborative South East Wales Highways and Civil Engineering Framework Agreement to procure works where it was appropriate and provides the best value to the Authority.

12.

South East Wales, Schools and Public Buildings Collaborative Construction Framework / Fframwaith Adeiladu Cydweithredol Ysgolion ac Adeiladau Cyhoeddus, De Ddwyrain Cymru pdf icon PDF 219 KB

Decision:

Cabinet agreed to approve the use of the South East Wales, Schools and Public Buildings Collaborative Construction Framework to procure construction works where Officers determine it was appropriate and provided the best value to the Authority.

 

REASON FOR DECISION: As set out in the report.

 

CONSULTATION: As set out in the report.

 

MEMBERS’ INTERESTS: None declared.

Minutes:

12.1    The Executive Member for Environment outlined the key points of the report commenting on the following:

·         The report was seeking approval for a framework agreement for schools and public buildings. 

·         The Council had been working within a regional contract framework since 2011 and the contracts had helped deliver the 21st Century Schools Programme.

·         All existing contracts would be honoured, and there would be no disruption to projects underway. The framework agreement was for new schemes. 

·         The contract values were broken up to give opportunity for SMEs.

·         The work was grant dependent and would not be cost effective for the Council to have in-house expertise. 

 

12.2    The Leader added that he pleased to see a foundation economy approach and it was beneficial to have collaborative approach.

 

12.3    Cabinet agreed to approve the use of the South East Wales, Schools and Public Buildings Collaborative Construction Framework to procure construction works where Officers determine it was appropriate and provided the best value to the Authority.

13.

Appointments to Joint Committees and Partnership Bodies / Penodiadau i Gydbwyllgorau a Chyrff Partneriaeth pdf icon PDF 220 KB

Decision:

Cabinet agreed:

 

(i)            The appointments to the Joint Committees and a number of Partnership Bodies listed in Appendix One of the report.

(ii)          That the appointments have immediate effect until Cabinet next amends the appointments or the next Local Government Elections.

(iii)         That European and Regional Affairs and Equalities matters continued to be dealt with at meetings of the full Cabinet, rather than by sub committees.

 

REASON FOR DECISION: As set out in the report.

CONSULTATION: As set out in the report.

MEMBERS’ INTERESTS: None declared.

Minutes:

13.1    The Acting Head of Democratic Services presented the report which sought Cabinet approval to appoint Executive Members and Non-Executive Members to Joint Committees and Executive Members to the Partnership Bodies.

 

13.2    Cabinet previously decided not to appoint members to serve on the Equalities Sub Committee and the European and Regional Affairs Sub Committee and it was recommended that those issues should remain under consideration by the full Cabinet for the year ahead.

 

13.3    The Leader thanked Officers for the report and thanked the Councillors who took the time out of their busy schedules to sit on the Joint committees and Partnership Bodies.

 

13.4    Cabinet agreed:

(i)  The appointments to the Joint Committees and a number of Partnership Bodies listed in Appendix One of the report.

(ii) That the appointments have immediate effect until Cabinet next amends the appointments or the next Local Government Elections.

(iii)That European and Regional Affairs and Equalities matters continued to be dealt with at meetings of the full Cabinet, rather than by sub committees.

14.

Exclusion of Press and Public / Gwahardd y Wasg a'r Cyhoedd

To agree the exclusion of the press and public from the meeting as the report is not for publication because in accordance with paragraph 14 of Schedule 12a of the Local Government Act 1972 (As Amended By The Access To Information Variation Wales Order 2007) it contains information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information) and the public interest in maintaining the exemptions outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

Cytuno gwahardd y wasg a’r cyhoedd o’r cyfarfod gan nad yw’r adroddiad i’w gyhoeddi oherwydd, yn unol â pharagraff 14 o Atodlen 12a Deddf Llywodraeth Leol (fel y’i diwygiwyd gan Orchymyn Amrywio Mynediad at Wybodaeth Cymru 2007),  ei fod yn cynnwys gwybodaeth yn ymwneud â materion ariannol neu fusnes person penodol (gan gynnwys yr awdurdod sydd â’r wybodaeth) ac mae budd y cyhoedd o ran cynnal yr eithriadau yn gwrthbwyso’r budd cyhoeddus o ddatgelu’r wybodaeth.

 

Minutes:

14.1     The Leader asked Cabinet to agree the exclusion of the press and public from the meeting as the report was not for publication because in accordance with paragraph 14 of Schedule 12a of the Local Government Act 1972 (As Amended By The Access To Information Variation Wales Order 2007) they contain information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information) and the public interest in maintaining the exemptions outweigh the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

14.2     Cabinet agreed the Exclusion of the Press and Public and the webcast concluded. 

15.

Torfaen Learning Zone Lease Agreements / Cytundebau Prydles Parth Dysgu Torfaen

Minutes:

15.1    Cabinet considered the report and agreed with the recommendations outlined in the exempt report.