Agenda and minutes

Cleaner Communities Overview & Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 29th March, 2018 1.30 pm

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

Contact: Rachel Beale  Senior Business Support Officer - Democratic Services

No. Item


Welcome & Apologies / Croeso ac Ymddiheuriadau


1.1       Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Huw Bevan, Giles Davies, Norma Parrish and Louise Shepphard.



Declarations of Interest / Datganiadau o Fuddiant


2.1       The Interim Chief Legal Officer (ICLO) reminded Members that if they felt that they had an interest to declare in any items, they should do so and record it on the Declarations of Interest pro forma provided.


2.2       There were no interests declared.


Minutes 14/02/2018 / Cofnodion 14/02/2018 pdf icon PDF 457 KB


3.1       The minutes of the meeting held on 14th February 2018 were confirmed as an accurate record.


Action Sheet / Taflen Weithredu pdf icon PDF 106 KB


4.1         The Senior Business Support Officer went through the updates to the          action sheet.

4.2         Members noted the action sheet.




A Library Strategy for the Future of the Library Service in Torfaen / Strategaeth Llyfrgell ar gyfer Dyfodol y Gwasanaeth Llyfrgell yn Nhorfaen pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Additional documents:


5.1       The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.


5.2       The Chief Officer Neighbourhoods, Planning & Public Protection Service highlighted the purpose of the report making the following comments:

  • The topic had a long standing history with the Cleaner Overview and Scrutiny Committee, the original proposal presented to the committee was to make a budget saving of £250,000. The proposal was subject to a lot of debate and Full Council decided to delay the decision and reduce the budget saving to £200,000, subject to longer term work being carried out to place the libraries in a more strategic context.
  • The current report was to seek members’ views on the library strategy and the future of the library service before a report was presented to Cabinet.
  • The report outlined how the £200,000 could be saved with the draft strategy reaffirming the current offer with a few amendments in relation to employment partnerships and future work going forward in terms of space provision.
  • The report highlighted what the libraries offered and the feedback received from the consultation showed that the libraries offer was holistic.
  • A lot of engagement had been undertaken to form the strategy.
  • The current approach and offer of the libraries to the community had been reaffirmed as Officers had received a strong steer from Members that the library opening times and days should not be affected, Officers were pleased that it could be accommodated. All three libraries were to remain open and the opening times and days would not be affected, however the self-service provision which was operated in Blaenavon was proposed to be rolled out in the libraries in Pontypool and Cwmbran. A one off capital investment of up to £50,000 would be required to implement the roll out.
  • Unfortunately there would be a number of staff affected, the implementation of the self-service provision would result in a reduction in staff. The last report presented to committee affected 15 posts, however the current proposal would affect 5 posts. There were two vacancies in the service which would be released, which would result in 3 posts having to go through the restructure process in line with redeployment process of the Council. It was unfortunate that there would be staff affected, however there had to be a balance between keeping the service open and achieving a saving.
  • The report stated that it would be unlikely that the £200,000 would be completely delivered as the new financial year began at the end of the week, however the saving would be managed through the department’s budget and monitoring process.
  • The current library offer was being reaffirmed and the proposal would not affect the public in terms of opening hours, there would however be a change with the implementation of the self-service provision which staff would initially need to support the public with. The strategy was about continuing to offer a range of service, continuing to improve whilst making a financial saving.


5.3       The Committee Members asked a series of questions and the Officers and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Item for Next Meeting / Eitem ar gyfer y Cyfarfod Nesaf


6.1       The topic to be discussed at the next meeting would be Assisting and driving both employment opportunities and new employers into Torfaen


Date of Next Meeting 02/05/2018 / Dyddiad y Cyfarfod Nesaf 02/05/2018


7.1       The next meeting was scheduled to take place on 2nd May 2018.