Agenda and minutes

Tuesday, 23rd July, 2019 10.00 am

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

Contact: Jacquelyn Tranter  Senior Business Support Officer - Democratic Services

No. Item


Attendance / Presenoldeb



Officers on the dias:


Nigel Aurelius, Assistant Chief Executive (Resources)

Delyth Harries, Monitoring Officer and Assistant Chief Legal Officer

Jacquelyn Tranter, Senior Business Support Officer (Democratic Services)


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


Dave Congreve, Assistant Chief Executive, Strategy

James Griffin, Head of Transformation and Improvement

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

Lyndon Puddy, Head of Public Service Support Unit

Tom Roberts, Senior Corporate Improvement & Scrutiny Officer

Keith Rutherford, Chief Officer, Social Care & Housing

Nansi Salkeld, Acting Head of Democratic Services

Liann Skellett, Senior Corporate Improvement and Scrutiny Officer

John Tushingham, Head of Access, Engagement & Performance (Education)


Other people attending


Harald Thomas, Mayor’s Chaplain





Apologies for Absence / Ymddiheuriadau am absenoldeb


2.1       Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Leonard Constance, Stuart Evans, Anthony Hunt, Jason O’Connell, Richard Overton, Rose Seabourne, David Yeowell.


Declarations of interest / Datganiadau o fudd


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.



Confirmation of Council minutes - 25/06/19 / Cadarnhau cofnodion y Cyngor - 25/06/19 pdf icon PDF 1 MB


4.1       Council CONFIRMED the minutes of the Council meeting held on 25th June 2019 as a correct record of the meeting.




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


5.1       Council noted the updates listed on the action sheet.


5.2       The Deputy Leader provided an update on the minutes of the meeting held on 25th June, item 18.11 (iii).


5.3       He informed Council that the Leader had attended a meeting of the Welsh Local Government Association Executive and raised the representation issue at the meeting for consideration by the WLGA Council and it is hoped that a joint statement will be issued by the majority of Leaders to the Minister. If that is not the case, Torfaen Council will make representation.


5.4       This recommendation will be included on the action sheet for monitoring.



Receipt of petitions / Deisebau a dderbyniwyd


6.1       There were no petitions submitted.



Public Question Time / Cwestiynau gan y Cyhoedd


7.1       There were no public questions received for this meeting.


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


8.1       There were no announcements.


Cardiff Capital Region City Deal– Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee / Bargen Ddinesig Prifddinas Ranbarth Caerdydd - Pwyllgor Trosolwg A Chraffu Ar Y Cyd pdf icon PDF 247 KB


9.1       The AHoDS presented a report on a change of representation on the Cardiff Capital City Deal Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee.


9.2       Discussion on the nominations ensued and some members felt that all members across all parties should be given the opportunity to be nominated onto this committee.  It was explained that the CCCD/JOSC is made up of scrutiny chairs from across Welsh local authorities.


9.3       Council AGREED:

·         Councillor Joanne Gauden be nominated and appointed to represent Torfaen on the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee;


·         Councillor Peter Jones be nominated and appointed to deputise on the CCRCD/JOSC, attending meetings in the absence of the appointed member.



Code of Conduct - ICT Protocol - Amendment to the Constitution / Cod Ymddygiad - Protocol TGCh - Newid i'r Cyfansoddiad pdf icon PDF 444 KB


10.1     The report was withdrawn from the agenda as the Council would be imminently moving to Office 365 and the associated ICT hardware refresh this is to ensure that all changes can be reflected in the ICT Protocol document.


10.2     An updated report and protocol will be presented to Council later in the year.



Annual Report to Council on Effectiveness of Social Services by Chief Officer, Social Care and Housing as 'Statutory Director of Social Services' / Adroddiad Blynyddol i'r Cyngor ar Effeithiolrwydd y Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol gan Brif Swyddog, Gofal Cymdeithasol a Thai fel 'Cyfarwyddwr Statudol Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol' pdf icon PDF 245 KB

Additional documents:


11.1     The Chief Officer, Social Care and Housing presented a report to advise members of the content of the Annual report on the effectiveness of social services for 2018/19 prior to its publication in August 2019.

11.2     Members commented on the report, in summary as follows:

·         Thanks for the report and excellent work, care and commitment of all social care staff and foster carers;

·         The possible advantages of developing ‘patch-based’ services for children and adults. Members were pleased to note that through the T22 project a pilot scheme for North Torfaen is being developed aimed at reaching out to families in need;

·         Concern around the high number – 417 - of looked after children in Torfaen;

·         In terms of staff recruitment, several incentives and methods are being explored to boost the recruitment of domiciliary care workers;

·         Recognition of increasing demands, particularly in children’s services and the impact on budgets in a difficult financial climate;

·         Praised the increasing awareness of dementia;

·         Thanks to Executive Members – Councillors Mandy Owen and David Daniels for their commitment and work in the department and community;

·         Appreciation for work around bespoke adult care packages that make differences for those in need;

·         Concern around partnership working around out of county child placements and the impact on other services;

·         Torfaen’s relationship with Bron Afon is improving in terms of housing and social care work;

·         The children’s home in Ton Road is used by the authority and there has not been any recent issues;

·         Recognition of preliminary feedback in a recent report from Care Inspectorate Wales which includes very good feedback particularly around staff embracing change and advocacy of individuals being cared for;

·         Executive Member, Councillor Daniels encouraged members to contact patch based teams to shadow staff in communities to aid understanding of excellent work delivered by Torfaen’s teams;

·         Assurances from the Chair of the Corporate Parenting Panel, Councillor Ray Mills that the panel scrutinises the number of LAC;


11.3     The Director of Social Care and Housing urged members to undertake the online Safeguarding training, offering the opportunity of group working or any assistance required.


Councillor Louise Shepphard left for a family funeral.



Annual Scrutiny Report 2018-19 / Adolygiad Craffu Blynyddol 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 205 KB

Additional documents:


12.1     The Senior Corporate Improvement & Scrutiny Officer (SCI&SO) highlighted the key areas of the report which presented Council with the Annual Scrutiny Review for the 2018/19 municipal year      

12.2     Scrutiny Chairs commented as follows:

·         Thanks to members for attendance and officers of Scrutiny & Improvement and Democratic Services teams for work and expert witnesses;

·         Recognised cross party working, in particular work with Councillor Ron Burnett on Greenmeadow Task and Finish Group;

·         Best wishes to new chairs and members going forward;

·         The benefits of the in depth discussions through scrutiny and the positive effect on council services;

12.3     The SCI&SO thanked members for contributions and indicated that in order to improve they will continue to support members through training as required.

12.4     In response to questions raised by Councillor Kemp around vacancies on scrutiny committees, the Deputy Leader commented that these will be reviewed and a response provided in writing.


12.5     Council AGREED (unanimously) to note the content of the 2018/19 Annual Scrutiny Review.



Motions on Notice / Cynigion â rhybudd


13.1     There were no motions on notice.



Member Question Time / Cwestiynau gan yr Aelodau pdf icon PDF 197 KB

Additional documents:


14.1     Members’ questions and responses are set out in Appendix A to these minutes.


Cabinet decisions - 09/07/19 / Penderfyniadau'r Cabinet - 09/07/19 pdf icon PDF 308 KB


15.1     Council NOTED Cabinet decisions.


Date and time of next meeting - 24/09/19 / Dyddiad ac amser y cyfarfod nesaf 24/09/19


16.       Council NOTED that the next meeting was scheduled to be held on Tuesday 24th September 2019 at the Civic Centre, Pontypool.