Agenda and draft minutes

Tuesday, 23rd June, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: The meeting will be held remotely via Microsoft Teams

Contact: Rachel Beale  Senior Business Support Officer - Democratic Services

No. Item


Attendance / Presenoldeb











Stuart Ashley

Stuart Evans

Janet Jones

Jessica Powell

Huw Bevan

Joanne Gauden

Nicholas Jones

Emma Rapier

Glyn Caron

Elizabeth Haynes

Peter Jones

Rose Seabourne

Richard Clark

Jon Horlor

Robert Kemp

Louise Shepphard

Veronica Crick

Anthony Hunt

Sue Malson

Alan Slade

Fiona Cross

Gaynor James

Raymond Mills

Christopher Tew

David Daniels

Gwyn Jenkins

Jason O’Connell

Dave Thomas

Giles Davies

Mike Jeremiah

Richard Overton

Raymond Williams

Kathy Evans

Alan Jones

Mandy Owen

David Yeowell

Steven Evans

Fay Jones

Norma Parrish





Nigel Aurelius, Assistant Chief Executive (Resources)
Rachel Beale, Senior Business Support Officer (Democratic Services)

Dave Congreve, Assistant Chief Executive (Strategy)
James Griffin, Head of Transformation and Improvement

Delyth Harries, Monitoring Officer and Assistant Chief Legal Officer

Neil Jones, Head of Communications, Engagement and Civil Contingencies

Rachel Jowitt, Chief Officer, Neighbourhood Services, Planning & Public Protection

Jason Lewis, Head of Strategic Human Resources

Dermot McChrystal, Chief Officer, Education

Lyndon Puddy, Head of PSSU

Keith Rutherford, Chief Office, Social Care & Housing

Nansi Salkeld, Acting Head of Democratic Services

Chris Slade, Senior Business Support Officer (Democratic Services)

Ashley Thomas, ICT Client Management Officer

Geraint Thomas, Senior Business Support Officer (Democratic Services)

Alison Ward, Chief Executive

Lynne Williams, Head of Business Support & Intelligence





Apologies for Absence / Ymddiheuriadau am absenoldeb


2.1       Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Ronald Burnett, Leonard Constance, Kelly Preston, Colette Thomas and Neil Waite.


Declarations of interest / Datganiadau o fudd


3.1       There were no interests declared.


Confirmation of Council minutes - 03/03/2020 / Cadarnhau cofnodion y Cyngor - 03/03/2020 pdf icon PDF 709 KB

Additional documents:


4.1       Council confirmed the minutes of the meeting held on 3rd March 2020 as an accurate record.


Confirmation of Extraordinary Council Minutes - 03/03/2020 / Cadarnhau Cofnodion Cyfarfod Eithriadol y Cyngor - 03/03/2020 pdf icon PDF 446 KB


5.1       Council confirmed the minutes of the extraordinary meeting held on 3rd March as an accurate record. 


Confirmation of Extraordinary Council Minutes - 10/03/2020 / Cadarnhau Cofnodion Cyfarfod Eithriadol y Cyngor - 10/03/2020 pdf icon PDF 517 KB


6.1       Council confirmed the minutes of the extraordinary meeting held on 10th March 2020 as an accurate record.


Updates on actions / Y diweddaraf ar y camau gweithredu pdf icon PDF 193 KB


7.1         Council noted the action sheet.



Receipt of petitions / Deisebau a dderbyniwyd


8.1         Councillor Giles Davies presented the petition on behalf of the residents of Waterworks Lane, Abersychan as follows:


           ‘We the residents of Waterworks Lane Abersychan wish to apply for access only to the above lane for the following reasons.


·        There are eleven residential properties and two farms which the lane gives access to. The Lane is not a through road and ends at the first farm, a track continues to the second farm.

·        The rising sun bridge on the lane is a very old structure, has a weight limit and is not in good repair.

·        The lane is very narrow and vehicles are only able to pass and turn by the residential properties.  Large delivery vehicles do have a designated turning point but are very often not able to do so because of parked cars that do not belong to the residents.

·        There have been numerous break-ins and theft from the properties over the years.

·        Vehicles apart from in the daytime are driving up the lane all hours of the night.  WHY?

·        Rubbish is being dumped near the old reservoir, also other unsavoury items


           We the residents of Waterworks Lane would appreciate highways to look at our request favourably and allow access only to residents, visitors and other necessary vehicles.’


8.2       Council referred the petition to Councillor Mandy Owen, Executive Member for Environment, for her to consider, respond and report back in due course.


Public Question Time / Cwestiynau gan y Cyhoedd


9.1       There were no public questions.


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


10.1    The Leader:

·        Sent his best wishes on behalf of the Council to the people of Reading following the recent terrible incident that occurred.

·        Stated that the flags were raised outside the Civic Centre on Monday morning to mark the start of Armed Forces Week, he was very determined that the Council continued to be the best possible employer and service provider to the Armed Forces Community both serving members of the armed forces, veterans and their families.

·        Gave his support to all efforts towards equality against discrimination and for justice in the light of the black lives matter movement. Equality for all is something that everyone should strive to achieve.

·        Thanked everyone who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in recent months, amidst the great suffering there was great hope in the communities and great spirit had been shown. He gave thanks to all councillors for their leadership role, especially the cross party fund which was set up to help people. The fund has enabled £30,000 worth of food to be distributed across the borough. The Leader appreciated the generosity of the Community Councils within the borough with have helped to top up the fund. 

·        Stated that this was the first virtual full council meeting however there had been a plethora of committee meetings and other meetings that have taken place, as Members and Officers continue to work as best as possible in the current circumstances.

·        Gave a big thank you to all council staff and other key workers who have really stepped up to the plate in a difficult moment for the nation and world as a whole.  He thanked the volunteers who have shown great community spirit which has been the silver lining of the pandemic.

·        He also wanted to thank Torfaen residents who have followed the guidelines so stringently to help to stop the spread of the virus and for their patience whilst services have had to be readjusted, delivered in different ways or paused. 



Coronavirus (Covid-19) - The Council's Initial Response / Coronafirws (Covid-19) - Ymateb Cychwynnol y Cyngor pdf icon PDF 413 KB


11.1    The Chief Executive provided an overview of the considerable amount of activity that had occurred since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, highlighting the following:

  • Emergency planning in Torfaen was always carried out at a Gwent level through the Gwent Local Resilience Forum. The forum made up of the five Local Authorities, the Police, the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and the blue light services has been managing the emergency Covid-19 situation which was declared under the Civil Contingency Act 2003. 
  • Initially Public Health Wales were treating Covid-19 as a track and trace situation, however very quickly the track and trace approach was stopped and the country was rapidly put in to a lockdown situation.
  • At the start of the pandemic the Council had a number of key aspects to consider including how staff could work from home, how the buildings could be used safely, how to maintain social care and to continue to look after very vulnerable people ensuring PPE was provided for all staff who had to go in to homes of those who were symptomatic or infectious.
  • The Council had to make rapid decisions around schools, providing key workers child care support and providing free school meals until the voucher system was implemented.
  • The Council had to maintain refuse collections in a way that ensured staff were able to stay safe whilst carrying out their job.
  • The Council had to provide support for those very vulnerable people who were shielding and could not leave their homes.
  • New HR systems had to be established via IFOR to clearly identify the status of all staff, whether they were available for work, symptomatic or ill.
  • The Council has also continued democracy as best as possible within the limitations.
  • Initially it was exceptionally difficult to manage with a reduced number of staff, as anyone who was symptomatic or if any of their family were symptomatic everyone had to self-isolate for 14 days and that took out a large number of staff out of the equation.
  • In the first few weeks staff across the organisation were working 7 days a week for weeks on end which took a toll on people’s resilience.
  • A Gwent Strategic Coordinating Group (SCG) was set up which formed part of the local resilience forum which organised the emergency situations. Initially the SCG were meeting 7 days a week and then the leadership team were meeting following those meetings to task what should happen in Torfaen. The Leadership Team also started meeting with the Cabinet to discuss how to manage the organisation its staff and services and how to support local businesses in the very difficult period.
  • The SCG has the ability to raise issues up into the Welsh Government, and from there into Cobra.
  • The SCG has a number of sub groups which look at Excess Deaths, Business Continuity, Warning and Informing, Public Order and Community Care. A new sub group was also being established for Contact Tracing which was the key strategy going forward to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.


Political Balance / Cydbwysedd Gwleidyddol pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Additional documents:


12.1    The Acting Head of Democratic Services informed members that Councillor Louise Shepphard had given notice that she was no longer a member of the Independent Group and was now an Individual Independent Councillor which has changed the political balance of the Council.


            There was no change to the allocation of committee chairs, however there were changes required to the membership of the two largest committees.


           The Independent Group were required to lose a seat on Planning Committee and the Conservative Group gained an additional seat on this committee.


           There was only one change to the membership of Licensing Committee not two changes as outlined in Appendix B, the Independent Group were to lose a seat on Licensing Committee.


12.2     Council unanimously agreed the change in political balance and agreed to adopt the political balance calculations attached at Appendix A.


Motions on Notice / Cynigion â rhybudd


13.1    There were no motions on notice.


Member Question Time / Cwestiynau gan yr Aelodau pdf icon PDF 190 KB

Additional documents:


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


Date and time of next meeting - 21/07/2020 / Dyddiad ac amser y cyfarfod nesaf - 21/07/2020


15.1    Council noted that the next meeting was scheduled for 10.00am on Tuesday 21st July 2020.



Cabinet decisions - 19/05/2020 / Penderfyniadau'r Cabinet - 19/05/2020 pdf icon PDF 291 KB


16.1    Council noted the Cabinet decisions.


Council decisions - 23/06/2020 pdf icon PDF 260 KB