Agenda and minutes

Tuesday, 22nd October, 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)

Justine Cass, Deputy Monitoring Officer and Solicitor

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:


Dave Congreve, Assistant Chief Executive (Strategy)

James Griffin, Head of Transformation and Improvement

Rebecca Hartley, Team Leader, Economy and Renewal

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

Richard Lewis, Head of Planning and Development

Robert Murray, Principal Planner, Planning and Public Protection

Jason O’Brien, Head of Children’s Services

Lyndon Puddy, Head of Public Service Support Unit

Tom Roberts, Senior Corporate Improvement & Scrutiny Officer

Nansi Salkeld, Acting Head of Democratic Services

John Tushingham, Head of Access, Engagement and Performance

Adrian Wilcock, Principal Planner, Planning and Public Protection

Kate Williams, Equalities, Cohesion and Community Safety Manager


Other people attending:


Harald Thomas, Mayor’s Chaplain

Pupils, parents and head teachers – Strive for 95+



Apologies for Absence / Ymddiheuriadau am absenoldeb


2.1       Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Giles Davies, Kathy Evans, Jon Horlor, Sue Malson, Raymond Mills, Norma Parish, and Colette Thomas.


Declarations of interest / Datganiadau o fudd


3.1       The DMO reminded members of their responsibility to declare personal and prejudicial interests. To assist the DMO informed Council:


·         the Leader had a personal interest in agenda item 14 as a member of the joint cabinet of the Cardiff Capitol Region City Deal;

·         Members who belong to a trade union may have a personal interest in agenda item 16, page 237 – motion proposed by Councillor Emma Rapier.


3.2       Councillors Stuart Ashley, Richard Clark, David Daniels, Anthony Hunt, Joanne Gauden, Gaynor James, Peter Jones, Kelly Preston and David Yeowell declared personal interests in agenda item 16 as trade union members;


3.3       Councillor Steven Evans declared a personal interest in agenda items 13 & 14 as a member of Blaenavon Heritage Committee and the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority.



Confirmation of Council minutes - 24/09/19 / Cadarnhau cofnodion y Cyngor - 24/09/19 pdf icon PDF 338 KB

Additional documents:


4.1       Council CONFIRMED the minutes of the meeting held on 24th September 2019 as an accurate record.



Updates on actions / Y diweddaraf ar y camau gweithredu pdf icon PDF 196 KB


5.1       Council NOTED updates listed on the action sheet.


Receipt of petitions / Deisebau a dderbyniwyd


6.1       There were no petitions submitted for this meeting.



Public Question Time / Cwestiynau gan y Cyhoedd


7.1       There were no public questions.


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


8.1       The Leader:


·         Thanked Gill Pratlett, Head of Adult Services and the team for the work undertaken which led to positive feedback from the Care Inspectorate Wales and Health Inspectorate for Wales following a review of the older person services;

·         Thanked everyone involved in the successful launch of the Menopause Strategy, particularly the Chief Executive, Councillors Joanne Gauden and Kelly Preston for their leadership on this issue. Torfaen’s approach has been adopted as best practice across Wales.


Presentation of Awards - Strive for 95+ / Cyflwyno Gwobrau Aneluam 95+


9.1       The Executive Member for Education awarded certificates to pupils for excellent school attendance as part of the Strive for 95+ initiative used in schools to encourage increased pupil attendance.


9.2       Council applauded the pupils and wished future success.



Presentation: National Lottery Heritage Fund - 25th Birthday / Cyflwyniad: Cronfa Treftadaeth y Loteri Genedlaethol - 25ain Pen-blwydd


10.1     Councillor Alan Jones informed Council that the National Lottery Heritage Fund UK had selected Blaenavon as the only place in Wales and one of only 6 places in the UK to celebrate their 25th Birthday. Their media team visited Blaenavon to film projects funded in the town over the past 25 years and also to speak to members of the Blaenavon community to understand what their investment had meant to them.


10.2     Members were pleased to view the film which captured the impact of their investment in Blaenavon local community and to be told that the NLHFUK will be promoting the film nationally across all their media channels between now and the end of the year.


10.3     Councillor Stuart Evans paid tribute to former officers involved in achieving World Heritage Status at Blaenavon including former Chief Executive, Clive Grace, John Rodger and former Councillor Neil Lewis. He also thanked officers Cath Thomas and Rebecca Hartley and the Regeneration team for their contributions in this success.






Changes to Committee Membership / Newidiadau i Aelodaeth Pwyllgorau pdf icon PDF 110 KB


11.1     The Acting Head of Democratic Services presented a report to change the membership of the Children & Young People’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Pensions Committee.


11.2     In line with political balance the Leader of the Labour Group nominated:


·         Councillor Alan Jones – Children and Young People O&S Committee

·         Councillor Veronica Crick – Pensions Committee

·         Councillor Joanne Gauden to remain on Democratic Services Committee.


11.3     Council APPROVED the nominations.


Annual Performance Report 2018-19 / Adroddiad Perfformiad Blynyddol 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 240 KB

Additional documents:


12.1    The Chief Executive (CE) highlighted the key areas of the report seeking Council approval of the 2018/19 Annual Performance Report.  The CE commented as follows:


·               The report included statutory performance indicators and details of performance across the authority;

·               The 2018/19 report should be published before 31 October 2019;

·               The three priorities of the Corporate Plan 3 had been set as the Council’s improvement objectives;

·               The improvement plan is set at the start of each financial year and achievements are then reported back to Council.  The report before Council today was the second part of this process.


12.2    Members commented, in summary, as follows:


·         It was pleasing to note the significant increase (54.5% - 90.9%) in the percentage of planning appeals dismissed;

·         Requested that Torfaen canals be included as part of the next Spring Clean event;

·         Noted that improvement work is ongoing in secondary schools;

·         The Executive Member for Education reported that a collective decision was taken between the five authorities that KS$ results should not be published at present however the results may be available before the end of the year. The Executive Member would report members’ comments to the next meeting of the five authorities;

·         challenge advisers and head teachers are involved in target setting, these are reviewed each year and rationalised if necessary;


12.3    Council AGREED (unanimously) to approve the 2018/19 Annual Performance report as attached as Appendix 1 to the report.



Torfaen Local Development Plan Annual Monitoring Report 2019 / Adroddiad Monitro Blynyddol Cynllun Datblygu Lleol Torfaen 2019 pdf icon PDF 302 KB

Additional documents:


13.1    The Principal Planner (RM) highlighted the key areas of the report seeking:


  • Approval of the 2019 Annual Monitoring Report (AMR) of the Torfaen Local Development Plan (LDP) for its submission to the Welsh Government (WG) on or before 31st October 2019;
  • To reconfirm the resolution to give the lack of a five-year housing land supply in Torfaen a ‘low weight’ as a material consideration in the determination of planning applications.


13.2    The PP drew members’ attention to the key messages:


  • Previous AMR indicated a need for a full review of the LDP, work has commenced on a replacement plan;
  • Despite work to promote sites in the existing LDP, due to global recession, the delivery of the strategy was slower than expected;
  • Despite the progress of a new plan there is still a requirement to produce and AMR on the existing plan;
  • As part of the 2019 AMR, the lack of five year housing land supply in Torfaen has been addressed, taking into account the Ministerial policy change; with a recommendation to continue to give this material consideration a ‘low weight’ in the determination of planning applications;
  • Members would be involved in the review of all plans.


13.3    Members raised questions and issues and officers responded, in summary:


  • S106 Contributions from new development – a request for a breakdown, by ward, of where the money is spent;
  • The PP responded to Brecon Beacon Boundary queries outlining requirements to notify neighbouring boundaries;
  • Kays and Kears Blaenavon was sold by WG to private owner who is responsible for fly tipping;
  • St. Peter’s School – PP to provide member with further detail on progress;
  • CONPPP explained that in accordance with legal advice, a closed Council meeting would be convened to consider the LDP and AMR at the appropriate time;
  • In respect of playing fields at Cwmynyscoy, the PP explained that the allocation had been included in the plan but a delivery mechanism was not forthcoming;
  • The CEO and Leader would discuss the possibility of celebrating the 70th anniversary of Cwmbran New Town, in particular around the uniqueness of the landscape and town in Wales;
  • Members noted that Co-Star are holding a time bubble event to celebrate the anniversary on 2nd November in Cwmbran town centre, to be opened by Nick Thomas –Symonds MP;
  • Expressed thanks to planning teams for work undertaken;
  • Members were encouraged to engage with the LDP process to shape the future of Torfaen;
  • Land off Giles Road is part of replacement plan.


13.4    Council AGREED:


(i)         To approve the Torfaen Local Development Plan Annual Monitoring Report (AMR) 2019 and its submission to the Welsh Government on or before the 31st October 2019;

(ii)        to delegate any minor amendment of the Annual Monitoring report 2019 to the Chief Officer Neighbourhoods, Planning and Public Protection prior to submission to Welsh Government;

(iii)       for the duration of the dis-application of paragraph 6.2 of TAN1, when they is less than a five year housing land supply in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.


Proposals for a Strategic Development Plan for the Cardiff Capital Region / Cynigion ar gyfer Cynllun Datblygu Strategol ar gyfer Prifddinas-Ranbarth Caerdydd pdf icon PDF 559 KB

Additional documents:


14.1    The Head of Planning and Development highlighted the key areas of the report on proposal that TCBC joins the nine other neighbouring authorities in South East Wales to prepare a Strategic Development Plan (SDP) covering the Cardiff Capital Region area and the proposed governance arrangements.


14.2    The decision to proceed requires endorsement from all ten councils in the region to authorise the responsible authority to submit a plan to Welsh Government (WG). WG are clear that authorities must work more collaboratively and a regional Strategic Development Plan is important in delivering the City Deal.


14.3    The HoPD highlighted:


  • The proposed Responsible Authority for administrative arrangements is Vale of Glamorgan;
  • There is a requirement to identify a Strategic Planning Area Boundary which is the ten local authorities, excluding the Brecon Beacons National Park;
  • governance and strategic planning arrangements need to establish a Strategic Planning Panel which would become the decision making body to make strategic decisions across the region, the panel make up and vote weighting was detailed in the report (5.13) and outlined;
  • costs would be apportioned in accordance of geographical size and population per local authority;
  • Torfaen’s contribution £136,590 over 5 years – annual £27,318
  • There is an anticipated 5 year timeline;


14.5    Members expressed concern, in summary:


  • The weighting of the vote for constituent LA on the Strategic Planning Panel:
  • The costs of involvement;
  • A regional SDP creates another additional layer of bureaucracy and duplication of work;
  • Political representation on the Strategic Planning Panel;
  • There is no mandatory requirement to prepare this plan;
  • Little or no opportunity for members to impact and determine what is built in local wards;


14.6    In response to concern expressed on the weighting of the vote for constituent local authorities, both the Leader and Chief Executive offered reassurance and explained that much consideration and discussion was given to this and the option put forward was a result of negotiated compromise between the 10 local authorities which could not be reopened.


14.7    The HoP&D outlined the hierarchy of planning documents and explained that regional planning, where councils are inter-dependent on each other and connected is widely considered as the way forward for local authorities in Strategic Planning.


14.8    The Chief Executive explained that the creation of an SDP was part of the Head of Terms of the Cardiff City region City Deal, which had previously been agreed by Council.


14.9    The Leader underlined the importance of working as part of a larger region, with other neighbouring authorities, to attract investment, economic development and greater good regionally.


14.10  Discussion ensued on the uncertainties expressed by some members in the main, in relation to the concerns listed above.


14.11  An amendment to the recommendations that the report be deferred to a future meeting was proposed and seconded.


14.12  On conclusion of the debate, a vote was taken on the amendment and the amendment fell.


14.13  A recorded vote was requested on the original recommendations. The request was supported by more than six members. A  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.


Torfaen Council's Strategic Equality Plan Annual Report 2018-2019 / Adroddiad Blynyddol ar Gynllun Cydraddoldeb Strategol Cyngor Torfaen 2018 - 2019 pdf icon PDF 369 KB

to update the Council on the progress of the Strategic Equality Plan 2016-2020. Reporting period for the Annual Strategic Equality Report is from April 1st 2018 - March 31st 2019

Additional documents:


15.1    The Equalities, Cohesion and Community Safety Manager (KW) presented the report of the Council’s progress on the Strategic Equality Plan 2 which covers the financial year 1st April 2018 – 31st March 2019 and focuses on the ten Strategic Equality Objectives and explores the work against action objectives.


15.2    Members were told that the Council’s progress in terms of statutory responsibilities under the Equality Act is both compliant and satisfactory and significant progress has been made in a number of key areas.


15.3    In summary, comments were made as follows:


  • KW agreed to provide a member with further statistical information on employing people with disabilities;
  • The importance of communicating all policies and opportunities to all employees including school staff and home carers who may not have access to emails was underlined;
  • KW stated that one of the key objectives going forward is communicating to harder to reach groups;
  • KW to provide a member with further information on hate crime statistics in particular the support that is provided following reporting of a hate crime;
  • The Menopause conference was recorded and would be available for all staff  to view online;
  • KW noted that several Blaenavon residents were not happy with the multi-agency support and this would be reported back;


15.4    The Executive Member wished to place on record his thanks to KW and the team for the positive contribution they make as reflected in 5.1 of the report. Members echoed these comments.


15.5    Council AGREED to approve the Annual Progress report on the Council’s Strategic Equality Plan 2018-19 as set out in Appendix 1.



Motions on Notice / Cynigion â rhybudd pdf icon PDF 175 KB

Additional documents:


16.1    The motion proposed by Councillor Kathy Evans was deferred due to her absence.


16.2    Councillor Emma Rapier proposed the following motion, which was subsequently agreed:


·         Support our Trade Union colleagues in demanding a fair and fully funded pay settlement for council staff;

·         Call on the WLGA and LGA to make urgent representations accordingly to the UK Government;

·         Write to the Chancellor and Secretary of State to call for a pay increase for local government workers to be funded with new money from central government;

·         Meet with local NJC union representatives to convey support for the pay claim;

·         Continue to encourage all Council employees to join a trade union.


16.3    The motion was seconded.


16.4    Questions were raised and a discussion ensued around the responsibility of the pay settlement and whether representation should be made to UK government or Welsh government.


16.5    An amendment to the motion was proposed that any reference in the motion to the UK government to be replaced with Welsh Government. The amendment was seconded and voted upon. The amendment fell.


16.6    A debate ensued on the original motion and members were encouraged to consider whether to support the principle of a fair and fully funded pay settlement council staff.


16.7    Councillor Rapier expressed thanks to dedicated council staff and encouraged members to support the motion.


16.8    Council AGREED (with the majority voting in favour), to support the motion.



Member Question Time / Cwestiynau gan yr Aelodau pdf icon PDF 284 KB

Additional documents:


17.1    Members questions with replies are set out in Appendix A to these minutes.


Cabinet decisions - 08/10/19 / Penderfyniadau'r Cabinet - 08/10/19 pdf icon PDF 286 KB


18.1    Council NOTED Cabinet decisions.


Date and time of next meeting 03/12/19/ Dyddiad ac amser y cyfarfod nesaf 03/12/19


19.1    Council NOTED that the next meeting was scheduled for Tuesday 3rd December 2019 at 10.00a.m.