Agenda and minutes

Council
Tuesday, 4th December, 2018 10.00 am

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

Contact: Dominique Redman  Senior Business Support Officer - Democratic Services

Items
No. Item

1.

Attendance / Presenoldeb

Minutes:

Officers on the dias

 

Nigel Aurelius, Assistant Chief Executive (Resources)

Delyth Harries, Monitoring Officer 

Dominique Redman, Senior Business Support Officer (Democratic Services)

Alison Ward, Chief Executive

 

Other Officers attending or observing from the gallery for parts of the meeting

 

James Griffin, Head of Transformation and Improvement

Caroline Genever-Jones, Elections and Business Manager

Neil Howell, Head of Housing, Commissioning and Service Transformation

Neil Jones, Head of Communications, Engagement and Civic Contingencies

Jason Lewis, Head of Strategic Human Resources

Richard Lewis, Head of Planning & Development

Dermot McChrystal, Chief Officer, Education

Lyndon Puddy, Head of Public Services Support Unit

Angela Rogers, HR Manager

Alan Vernon-Jones, Welsh Language Officer

Lynne Williams, Head of Business Support & Intelligence

 

Other people attending

 

Major Stephen Dwyer, 104th Regiment Royal Artillery

Lisa Rawlings, Regional Armed Forces Officer

X 2 members of the public

 

2.

Apologies for Absence / Ymddiheuriadau am absenoldeb

Minutes:

Glyn Caron, Elizabeth Haynes, Richard Overton, Rose Seabourne, Dave Thomas

3.

Declarations of interest / Datganiadau o fudd

Minutes:

3.1       Further to the advice of the Monitoring Officer, all Members in attendance declared a personal interest in relation to Agenda Item 10, Boundary Commission Review of the Electoral Arrangements for Torfaen Final Recommendations, as all members potentially had the same personal interest in view of the changes proposed in the report which may affect future positions.

4.

Confirmation of Council minutes - 23.10.2018 / Cadarnhau cofnodion y Cyngor - 23.10.2018 pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Minutes:

4.1       Council CONFIRMED the minutes of the Council meeting held on 23 October 2018 as a correct record of the meeting.

5.

Updates on actions / Y diweddaraf ar y camau gweithredu pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Minutes:

5.1       Council NOTED the updates listed on the action sheet.

6.

Receipt of petitions / Deisebau a dderbyniwyd

Minutes:

6.1       No petitions had been submitted for this meeting.

7.

Public Question Time / Cwestiynau gan y Cyhoedd

Minutes:

7.1       No public questions had been received for this meeting.

8.

Announcements from the Leader or Chief Executive / Cyhoeddiadau gan yr Arweinydd neu'r Prif Weithredwr

Minutes:

8.1       The Leader:

 

·                     Referred to the recent announcement that Cwmbran High School had been placed in special measures by Estyn who had concluded that progress had not been made at a sufficient pace.  He assured members that the school would be supported to make the progress needed and the authority had been in contact with Estyn and the EAS to discuss immediate next steps;

·                     Informed members of the Leisure Trust Sporting Heroes awards evening  he had recently attended and commended the work of Angharad Collins, Dai Basset and all other staff at the Leisure Trust.  He also recognised the fantastic work undertaken by volunteers to support grassroots sport across Torfaen;

·                     Informed members of the Torfaen Play Service Volunteers awards evening he had recently attended and recognised the work of the volunteers which was admired across Wales.  He commended the service provided by volunteers in helping all children access play, including disabled children.  He offered members the opportunity to view the annual summer playschemes video which would be played immediately after the meeting;

·                     Was pleased to attend the Sod Cutting Ceremony at the Post-16 Centre and to see the project progressing.

·                     Was pleased to visit the new hospital site with Health Minister Vaughn Gethin and to see such a big project progressing so well;

·                     Informed members that, on Thursday 22 November, less than 12 months since the Council received the Bronze Award for supporting the Armed Forces community, the Council had received a Silver Award.  He commented around the Council’s pledge to treat all Armed Forces personnel, veterans and their families fairly in return for their service.  He was pleased to see that Torfaen policies on housing and benefits for veterans had been recognised as good practice for other councils to follow.

 

            Major Stephen Dwyer, 104th Regiment Royal Artillery and Lisa Rawlings, Regional Armed Forces Covenant Liaison Officer presented the award to the Leader, Councillor Alan Jones, Armed Forces Champion, Jason Lewis, Head of HR and Angela Rogers, HR Manager who received it on behalf of the Council.

 

8.2       The Chief Executive introduced members to James Griffin, Head of Transformation and Improvement.  She welcomed James explaining to members that James would focus on leading the Council’s T22 Transformation Programme. 

 

9.

Torfaen State of the Nation / Torfaen - Cyflwr y Genedl pdf icon PDF 369 KB

Minutes:

9.1       Council considered a report of the Chief Executive, providing members with an overview of the work of the Council throughout 2018.

 

9.2       The Chief Executive outlined the report in detail, highlighting particularly outstanding achievements and the extensive activities undertaken over the year in every service area of the Council. She stated that it was remarkable what the Council continued to achieve and deliver for the people of Torfaen, and commented around the hard work and commitment of everyone involved, especially in light of the financial challenges faced by local authorities.  The content of the report and presentation is not repeated in these minutes but can be viewed on the Council’s website and webcast via the following link https://torfaen.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/390564.

 

9.3       The Presiding Member, other members and the leaders of other political groups also thanked staff for their efforts, especially in light of the financial constraints faced by the Council. Some members commented on specific areas of service, in particular those that had supported the most vulnerable residents within the community during the inclement weather. 

 

9.4       A number of members expressed concerns over the recent announcement that Cwmbran High School had been placed in special measures by Estyn.  Comments were made in relation to behaviour and lack of discipline at the school and members queried what support was available for parents to assist with tackling this issue.  Concern was also expressed around lack of leadership and the slow progress the school had made since 2015 when it was established that significant improvements were required.  Questions were raised around who was accountable in terms of the success of the school. 

 

9.5       It was agreed that the Head of Public Services Support Unit would schedule a Members Seminar which would inform members of the services and support in place for parents to assist with tackling behavioural difficulties in schools. 

 

9.6       In summary, the Chief Officer Education responded to comments made and questions asked by members as follows:

 

·         Accountability for the success of the school was distributed amongst various parties including himself, the Governing Body and the Headteacher.

·         The school had amalgamated a number of years ago and close work had been undertaken with the Headteacher and Governing Body to ensure that the appropriate support was in place throughout the process. 

·         Since it was first established that improvements were required at the school, a range of enhanced support was put in place which included support from the Challenge Advisor, specialist advisory staff from the EAS and also leadership training. 

·         Performance of the school had been closely monitored and the authority had used its statutory powers to issue Statutory Warning Notices to the school on two occasions, most recently in the last year. 

·         A new Chair of Governors for the school had been nominated and the Authority would be meeting with Estyn and with the school before Christmas.  The LA will ensure that children and parents are kept up to date with developments through in-school mechanisms. 

·         The report published by Estyn provided  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Boundary Commission Review of the Electoral Arrangements for Torfaen Final Recommendations Report / Arolwg y Comisiwn Ffiniau o'r Trefniadau Etholiadol ar gyfer Torfaen - Adroddiad Argymhellion Terfynol pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Minutes:

10.1     Council considered a report of the Chief Executive, advising members of the content of the final recommendations report of the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales on the review of the Electoral Arrangements for Torfaen.

 

10.2     Council AGREED (with the majority voting in favour) to notethe contents of the Boundary Commission’s final recommendations report.

11.

Member Question Time / Cwestiynau gan yr Aelodau

Minutes:

11.1     No member questions had been received for this meeting.  

12.

Date and time of next meeting / Dyddiad ac amser y cyfarfod nesaf

Minutes:

12.1     Council NOTED that its next meeting was scheduled for Tuesday 29 January 2019 at 10.00 am in the Council Chamber at the Civic Centre, Pontypool, NP4 6YB.

13.

Cabinet decisions - 20.11.2018 / Penderfyniadau'r Cabinet - 20.11.2018 pdf icon PDF 307 KB

Minutes:

13.1     Council NOTED the Cabinet decisions.

14.

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

The following is not for publicationunder Paragraph 12 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) as the report contains information identifying individuals which should not be made available to the public in accordance with the local resolution protocol adopted by the council and the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

Ni chaniateir cyhoeddi'r dan Baragraff 12 o Atodlen 12A Deddf Llywodraeth Leol 1972 (fel y'i diwygiwyd) gan fod yr adroddiad yn cynnwys gwybodaeth sy'n enwi unigolion felly ni ddylai fod ar gael i'r cyhoedd yn unol â'r protocol datrys lleol a fabwysiadwyd gan y cyngor, a bod eithrio er budd y cyhoedd yn gorbwyso budd y cyhoedd pe byddai'r wybodaeth yn cael ei datgelu

 

Minutes:

14.1     The Chair excluded members of the press and public as the following item was not for publication under Paragraph 12 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) as the item contained information identifying individuals which should not be made available to the public in accordance with the local resolution protocol adopted by the council and the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

15.

Confirmation of Exempt Council Minutes 23.10.2018 Agenda Item 22 / Cadarnhau Cofnodion Eithriedig y Cyngor 23.10.2018 Eitem 22 ar yr Agenda

Minutes:

15.1     Council CONFIRMED the exempt minutes as a correct record of the meeting.