Agenda and draft minutes

Council
Tuesday, 25th June, 2019 10.00 am

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

Contact: Jacquelyn Tranter  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 

Jacquelyn Tranter, Senior Business Support Officer (Democratic Services)

Alison Ward, Chief Executive

 

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

 

Rachel Jowitt, Chief Officer, Neighbourhoods, Planning & Public Protection

Dermot McChrystal, Chief Officer Education

Lyndon Puddy, Head of Public Services Support Unit

Nansi Salkeld, Acting Head of Democratic Services

Gill Pratlett, Head of Adult Services

Suzanne Williams, Group Finance Officer

 

Other people attending

 

Harald Thomas, Mayor’s Chaplain

Mrs Kathryn Pegington, Chair Ethics & Standards Committee

 

In the Public Gallery

 

Neil Jones, Head of Communications, Engagement and Civil Contingencies

Tom Roberts, Senior Corporate Improvement & Scrutiny Officer

 

Torfaen Youth Service:

Helen Keeble

Libby Martin

David Williams

 

Employability and Adult Community Learning Team:

Deb Gwillym

Gail Jefferies

Carole Murcutt

Angela Price

2.

Apologies for Absence / Ymddiheuriadau am absenoldeb

Minutes:

2.1       APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – COUNCILLORS

 

Veronica Crick, Giles Davies, Kathy Evans, Mike Jeremiah and Richard Overton.

 

 

3.

Declarations of interest / Datganiadau o fudd

Minutes:

3.1       The Monitoring Officer & Assistant Chief Legal Officer (MO&ACLO) stated that she wasn’t aware of any interests and advised members to declare any interests they may have. No interests were declared.

 

 

4.

Confirmation of Annual Council minutes - 14/05/19 / Cadarnhau cofnodion Cyfarfod Blynyddol y Cyngor - 14/05/19 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Minutes:

4.1       Council CONFIRMED the minutes of the Annual Council meeting held on 14th May 2019 as a correct record of the meeting.

 

5.

Confirmation of Ordinary Council minutes - 14/05/19 / Cadarnhau cofnodion Cyfarfod Arferol y Cyngor - 14/05/19 pdf icon PDF 726 KB

Minutes:

5.2       Council CONFIRMED the minutes of the Council meeting held on 14th May 2019 as a correct record of the meeting.

 

 

6.

Updates on actions / Y diweddaraf ar y camau gweithredu pdf icon PDF 192 KB

Minutes:

6.1       Council NOTED the updates listed on the action sheet.

 

 

7.

Receipt of petitions / Deisebau a dderbyniwyd

Minutes:

7.1       There were no petitions submitted.

8.

Public Question Time / Cwestiynau gan y Cyhoedd

Minutes:

8.1       There were no public questions received for this meeting.

 

9.

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

Minutes:

9.1       The Leader made the following announcements:

 

·         thanked everyone for attending the Armed Forces flag raising ceremony;

·         reminded members they are welcome to attend the final homecoming of the Royal Monmouthshire Regiment on 14th July at 2p.m.;

·         thanked Cwmbran Community Council and all involved in hosting the successful Big Event;

·         reminded members that Heritage Day is to be held in Blaenavon on 29th June 2019;

·         Party in the Park is to be held on 13th July 2019;

·         the Mic Morris 10k is to be held on 14th July 2019;

·         Congratulated and thanked the Friends of Pontypool Town on winning the Queens Award in recognition of the work in arranging events in Pontypool town

 

9.2       There were no announcements from the Chief Executive.

 

10.

Award Presentation - Torfaen Youth Service / Cyflwyno Gwobr - Gwasanaeth Ieuenctid Torfaen

Minutes:

10.1     The Executive Member for Children Families & Communities was pleased to announce that Torfaen Youth Service had achieved the Silver Quality Mark for Youth Work in Wales back in November 2018 and were presented with the award at the Youth Work Conference in Llandudno in February. The award was achieved for displaying a good standard of youth work in the following standards:

Involving Young People, Curriculum, Equality and Diversity and Workforce Development.  They had to submit a self-assessment on these areas and were then inspected on the 6th & 7th November in which we were immediately told we had achieved the Silver Quality Mark for Youth Work in Wales. As a service we now intend to submit a self-assessment in the hope of achieving the Gold Quality Mark.

 

10.2     The Executive Member congratulated and thanked the Youth service and wished them good luck in having been shortlisted for a national award in respect of their new parent project.

11.

Award Presentation - Adult Community Learning / Cyflwyno Gwobr - Dysgu Cymunedol i Oedolion

Minutes:

11.1     The Executive Member for Economy, Skills and Regeneration congratulated and presented an award to the ACL team for winning the best performing Local Authority award at the Gwent ACL partnership awards.

           

12.

Appointment of Member to serve on Foster Panel / Penodi Aelod i Wasanaethu ar y Panel Maethu pdf icon PDF 13 KB

Minutes:

12.1     The Acting Head of Democratic Services presented a report to appoint an additional member to serve on the Foster Panel.

 

12.2     Members were told that due to the increased frequency and volume of foster panel meetings an additional member is required.

 

12.3     Council appointed Councillor Rose Seabourne as the additional member to serve on Foster Panel.

 

 

13.

Annual Governance Statement / Datganiad Llywodraethiant Blynyddol pdf icon PDF 202 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

13.1    Council considered a report of the MO, which she outlined briefly, presenting the Annual Governance Statement for 2018/19 for approval.

 

13.2    Council AGREED (unanimously) to approve the Annual Governance Statement referred to in the Appendix to the report.

 

 

14.

Statement of Accounts 2018/19 / Cyfrifon 2018/19

Additional documents:

Minutes:

14.1     The ACER highlighted the key areas of the report which asked the Council to approve the Statement of Accounts following the conclusion of the External audit.

 

14.2     The Executive Member for Resources thanked officers for their hard work and commented that Torfaen is again, the first authority to complete due to the effort of all those involved.

 

14.3     The Leader, as former portfolio holder for resources echoed these sentiments.

 

14.4     Council AGREED (unanimously):

 

a)    To approve the Authority’s 2018/19 Statement of Accounts;

b)    To authorise the Council’s Presiding Member to sign the Statement of Accounts for 2018/19;

c)    The Letters of Representation in respect of the Council and Pension Fund be approved for authorisation by the appropriate members.

 

15.

Welsh Language Monitoring Report 2019 / Adroddiad Blynyddol Safonau'r Iaith Gymraeg 2019 pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Statutory Monitoring Report for 2018-2019

Additional documents:

Minutes:

15.1     The Welsh Language Officer presented the Annual Report – progress on Welsh language commitments during the financial year 2018/19.

 

15.2     The key areas of the report were highlighted and the following updates were also provided:

 

·         Aled Roberts is the newly appointed Welsh Language Commissioner;

·         Cymraeg 2050, the strategy which sets out its ambition to reach a million Welsh speakers by 2050, is gaining momentum which is reflected in the new school curriculum and by 2022 there will no longer be Welsh as a Second Language qualification in English speaking schools, there will be one Welsh Language qualification;

·         Since the appointment of the new Welsh Language Commissioner, the complaints procedure has been updated and is more reasonable and proportionate;

·         The consultation on the Welsh Education Strategic Plan is welcomed and ongoing;

·         Work is progressing on establishing a register of Welsh skills on the iFor system;

·         The requirement to increase the capacity of Welsh speakers and provide opportunities for children to use Welsh at school, in the community and work is supported by the above;

 

15.3     Members commented on the low number of Welsh speakers in Torfaen and expressed concerns on the pressures for children and families and resources required to fulfil the requirements;

 

15.4     The Executive Member underlined the Welsh Government’s commitment to increasing the number of Welsh speakers across Wales and the requirements placed on authorities to meet the requirements. He commented on the work undertaken by officers in making representations to the Welsh Commissioner on proportionality in areas of Wales.

 

15.5     Disappointment was expressed that Torfaen’s Welsh schools were not represented at the URDD eisteddfod at Cardiff Bay however members were pleased to note that entries had been submitted to the Art and Craft sections and prizes had been awarded. The Wels Language Officer agreed to provide members with details of the competition winners.

 

15.6     The Leader expressed appreciation to the Welsh Language Officer for his hard work and commitment in meeting the Council’s Welsh Language requirements and also his work in the wider community. He commented on the difficulties of living in an area where there are no indigenous Welsh speakers and whilst intentions are good it can be a struggle. He suggested that there could be opportunities for Welsh speaking opportunities in apprenticeship programmes. He further commented on the wider benefits of bilingualism and appreciated local children’s participation in local and national eisteddfods and events.

 

15.7     The Leader confirmed that representation has been made to Welsh Government for cost assistance in meeting the requirements of the Welsh Language and proportionality representation in meeting requirements.

 

15.8     The current cost of meeting the requirements of the Welsh language would be quantified and circulated to members as requested.

15.9     Council APPROVED the Annual Report 2018/19, provided as Appendix 1, for publication on the Council’s website.

 

 

16.

Ethics & Standards Annual Report / Adroddiad Blynyddol gan Gadeirydd y Pwyllgor Moeseg a Safonau pdf icon PDF 183 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

16.1    The Independent Chair of Torfaen’s Ethics and Standards Committee read the report and asked Council to note the work of the Ethics and Standards Committee during 2018/19. 

 

16.2     Questions were raised around information provided to the committee when applying for small schemes dispensations. The MO agreed to consider the criteria and discuss further with members.

 

16.3     In respect of the Annual Report from the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales 2017/18, the MO agreed to check the report for Torfaen specific figures in relation to complaints from community councillors.

 

16.4     The MO explained that One Voice Wales had provided training for community councillors.

 

16.5    Council AGREED (unanimously) to receive and note the Annual Report of the Ethics and Standards Committee as set out in the Appendix to the report

 

 

17.

Nominations to Outside Bodies - In-year Updates / Enwebiadau i gyrff allanol - Diweddariad yn ystod y flwyddyn pdf icon PDF 226 KB

Minutes:

17.1     The Head of Democratic Services presented a report to inform Council of the changes agreed by the Chief Executive and the Leader, under delegated powers, to the members nominated to serve on several of the outside bodies for the remainder of the 2019/20 municipal year.

 

17.2     It was noted that since Council made nominations to outside bodies, the following changes have been agreed under the delegation in paragraph 12.5.2 of the Council’s constitution, or have become apparent from external sources:

 

 

  • Environmental Sustainability & Planning Committee, Cllr Fiona Cross replaced by Cllr Richard Clark

 

  • National Council for Housing and Planning, Cllr Fiona Cross replaced by Cllr Richard Clark

 

  • South East Wales Strategic Planning Group, Cllr Fiona Cross replaced by Cllr Richard Clark

 

  • South Wales Regional Aggregates Working Party, Cllr Fiona Cross replaced by Cllr Richard Clark

 

  • Pontypool Regeneration Partnership, Cllr Louise Shepphard replaced by Cllr Gwyn Jenkins

 

Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC) – the WJEC no longer has one representative per local authority, but has regional representatives (nominated by the WLGA) from Mid and West Wales, Western Bay, Cwm Taff, Cardiff and the Vale, North Wales and Gwent. This body can therefore be deleted from the outside bodies list.  

 

17.3     Further nominations to the Aneurin Bevan CHC will be considered by the Leader.

 

18.

Political Balance - Committee Membership / Cydbwysedd Gwleidyddol - Aelodaeth Pwyllgorau pdf icon PDF 153 KB

Minutes:

18.1     The Deputy Leader, Councillor Richard Clark presented a report to inform members of the political balance requirements and seek an opportunity for non-group members to engage in Overview & Scrutiny, Democratic Services, Planning and Licensing Committees for the year ahead.

 

18.2     Council noted that the purpose of the report was to remove Majority Party Group members from committees to allow non-aligned independent members an opportunity to serve on committees.

 

18.3     The Deputy Leader explained that following discussion with one independent member he had proposed a third recommendation as follows:

 

Recommendation 3 - Council makes representations to the Welsh Government, directly and through the WLGA, to ask the Minister for Local Government to consider the representation of non-group members on Council committees in future Local Government reforms.

 

18.4     Councillor Robert Kemp read a statement he had prepared in respect of his position that as a sole non-group member, in accordance with political balance legislation he was not afforded any committee positions. He stated that he was aware that if changes were to be made this would be a long process and would require the support of the WLGA and other authorities. He commented on the increased workload of other councillors as a result of three other members declaring themselves as independent members and raised the question of the council’s position if more members declared themselves as independent members.

 

18.5     In order to consider Recommendation 3 – tabled at the meeting, Councillor Kemp asked for an adjournment in order to fully consider the proposal.

 

18.6     An adjournment was agreed at 11.12a.m.

 

18.7     Following the adjournment the meeting continued as follows:

 

18.8     The Chief Executive stated that having had the opportunity to have discussions with the non-aligned independent members, they had asked for an amendment to the recommendations which the Chief Executive read out as follows:

 

18.9     ‘This report be deferred to a future meeting of the Council so that further consideration can be given to incorporating alternative recommendations.’ This amendment was voted on and was not carried.

 

18.10   As the amendment fell, the original recommendations outlined in the report and recommendation 3 were voted on. A recorded vote was taken with 31 members voting for and 7 voting against as follows:

 

COUNCILLOR

FOR

AGAINST

ABSTAIN

 

 

 

 

Stuart Ashley

X

 

 

Huw Bevan

X

 

 

Ronald Burnett

X

 

 

Glyn Caron

X

 

 

Richard Clark

X

 

 

Leonard Constance

X

 

 

Veronica Crick

 

 

 

Fiona Cross

X

 

 

David Daniels

X

 

 

Giles Davies

 

 

 

Kathy Evans

 

 

 

Steven Evans

X

 

 

Stuart Evans

 

X

 

Joanne Gauden

X

 

 

Elizabeth Haynes

 

X

 

Jon Horlor

X

 

 

Anthony Hunt

X

 

 

Gaynor James

X

 

 

Gwyn Jenkins

X

 

 

Mike Jeremiah

 

 

 

Alan Jones

X

 

 

Fay Jones

X

 

 

Janet Jones

X

 

 

Nicholas Jones

 

X

 

Peter Jones

X

 

 

Robert Kemp

 

X

 

Sue Malson

X

 

 

Raymond Mills

X

 

 

Jason O’Connell

 

X

 

Richard Overton

 

 

 

Mandy Owen

X

 

 

Norma Parrish

X

 

 

Jessica Powell

X

 

 

Kelly Preston

X

 

 

Emma Rapier

X

 

 

Rose Seabourne

X

 

 

Louise Shepphard

 

 

 

Alan Slade

 

X

 

Christopher Tew

X

 

 

Colette Thomas

X

 

 

Dave Thomas

 

X

 

Neil Waite

X

 

 

Raymond Williams

X

 

 

David Yeowell

X

 

 

Totals  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.

19.

Motions on Notice / Cynigion â rhybudd pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

19.1     Councillor Huw Bevan proposed the following motion:

 

            Motion

 

ADOPTION OF UNADOPTED HIGWAYS IN TORFAEN

This Council agrees to commence a programme to start works on the un-adopted streets throughout the Borough to bring them up to Council standard to enable them to become adopted.

 

RATIONALE

 

Since the Local Government reorganisation in 1996 Torfaen County Borough Council does not appear to have adopted any streets (other than those on new build developments).

 

Residents on un-adopted streets are having to pay themselves for road repairs, drainage issues etc. but receive no rebate on their Council Tax.

 

I would like to propose that Torfaen commences a programme to start works on the streets throughout the borough to address this issue using the formal un-adopted streets list.

 

This works programme can be scheduled for a number of years but should commence immediately and should be funded from Torfaen’s reserves along with any grant funding or borrowing available from the Welsh Government.

 

The Council’s Highways Officers Team should determine the order in which the streets are adopted and brought up to Council standards.

 

19.2     Members debated the motion. In summary the majority of members recognised the need for a programme of work on un-adopted roads however felt unable to support the motion because of the financial implications on the Council’s budget and this work is not a corporate priority.

 

19.3 A recorded vote was taken with members voting as shown in the table below – 13 members voting for the motion and 25 members voting against the motion.

 

COUNCILLOR

FOR

AGAINST

ABSTAIN

 

 

 

 

Stuart Ashley

 

X

 

Huw Bevan

X

 

 

Ronald Burnett

X

 

 

Glyn Caron

 

X

 

Richard Clark

 

X

 

Leonard Constance

 

X

 

Veronica Crick

 

 

 

Fiona Cross

 

X

 

David Daniels

 

X

 

Giles Davies

 

 

 

Kathy Evans

 

 

 

Steven Evans

 

X

 

Stuart Evans

X

 

 

Joanne Gauden

 

X

 

Elizabeth Haynes

X

 

 

Jon Horlor

 

X

 

Anthony Hunt

 

X

 

Gaynor James

 

X

 

Gwyn Jenkins

X

 

 

Mike Jeremiah

 

 

 

Alan Jones

 

X

 

Fay Jones

 

X

 

Janet Jones

X

 

 

Nicholas Jones

X

 

 

Peter Jones

 

X

 

Robert Kemp

X

 

 

Sue Malson

 

X

 

Raymond Mills

X

 

 

Jason O’Connell

X

 

 

Richard Overton

 

 

 

Mandy Owen

 

X

 

Norma Parrish

 

X

 

Jessica Powell

 

X

 

Kelly Preston

 

X

 

Emma Rapier

 

X

 

Rose Seabourne

 

X

 

Louise Shepphard

 

 

 

Alan Slade

X

 

 

Christopher Tew

X

 

 

Colette Thomas

 

X

 

Dave Thomas

 

X

 

Neil Waite

 

X

 

Raymond Williams

X

 

 

David Yeowell

 

X

 

 

13

25

 

 

 

 

19.3     Council AGREED to reject the motion.

 

19.4     Councillor Stuart Ashley proposed the following motion:

 

Motion

 

CLIMATE EMERGENCY

This Council should consider the need to declare a climate emergency.  This consideration should be undertaken by the Resources and Cross Cutting Scrutiny Committee to undertake a full and proper review of whether a declaration is needed, what we are doing now to mitigate a climate emergency, what we need to do and to develop a meaningful, strategic and impactful action plan. On completion of the Scrutiny Review to report back to Cabinet with its findings and recommendations.

 

RATIONALE

 

As many fellow Councillors will be aware there is an international social movement gaining momentum calling on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

Member Question Time / Cwestiynau gan yr Aelodau pdf icon PDF 311 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

20.1     Questions were asked by members and the replies are set out in Appendix A to these minutes.

21.

Cabinet decisions - 14/05/19 & 11/06/19 / Penderfyniadau'r Cabinet - 14/05/19 & 11/06/19 pdf icon PDF 284 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

21.1     Council NOTED Cabinet decisions.

22.

Date and time of next meeting 23/07/19 / Dyddiad ac amser y cyfarfod nesaf 23/07/19

Minutes:

22.1     Council NOTED that the next meeting was scheduled for Tuesday 23rd July 2019 to be held at the Civic Centre, Pontypool.