Agenda and minutes

Cleaner Communities Overview & Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 2nd May, 2018 1.30 pm

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

Contact: Rachel Beale  Senior Business Support Officer - Democratic Services

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome & Apologies / Croeso ac Ymddiheuriadau

Minutes:

1.1       Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Giles Davies and Gwyn Smith. Councillors O’Connell and Shepphard were absent.

2.

Declarations of Interest / Datganiadau o Fuddiant

Minutes:

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.

3.

Minutes 29/03/2018 / Cofnodion 29/03/2018 pdf icon PDF 399 KB

Minutes:

3.1       The minutes of the meeting held on 29th March 2018 were confirmed as an accurate record.

4.

Action Sheet / Taflen Weithredu pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Minutes:

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

 

4.2       Members noted the action sheet.

 

5.

Assisting and Driving Both Employment Opportunities and New Businesses into Torfaen / Cynorthwyo a Gyrru Cyfleoedd Cyflogaeth a Busnesau Newydd i Dorfaen pdf icon PDF 624 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

5.1       The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.

 

5.2       The Head of Skills and Employability introduced the report making the following comments:

·         The Skills and Employability section of the Council was part of Community Services department however following a recent reorganisation the section has joined the Neighbourhoods, Planning and Public Protection Department.

·         Officers from the Skills and Employability team and Economy and Enterprise team had already been working closely together however the merging of the teams had given added opportunity to support both businesses and individuals and had been a positive move.

 

5.3       The Committee Members asked a series of questions and the Officers responded giving the following replies:

·         Since the last report was presented to committee in November 2014 there had been a number of changes in the National Economy including Brexit. Currently Brexit was having a positive effect which was filtering down to local economies and there had been a number of success stories in Torfaen with companies increasing exports, however there was still a lot of poverty within the borough and the full effect of Brexit was still unknown.

·         To try and address the poverty in the borough Officers would be working to ensure that the announcement by the Valleys Task Force in relation to the creation of a Strategic Hub in the South had a positive effect across the borough.

·         In Torfaen there were still a number of people who were economically inactive, the skills and employability team supported and assisted people in to work and operated a number of schemes which were EU funded, following Brexit there would be an opportunity to seek funding from a UK Shared Prosperity Fund. Officers had to forward plan and help people move in their journey to benefit from economic upturns and protect them when there were economic downturns. There were some people who were more vulnerable to the smallest change in the climate such as people on zero hour contracts.

·         Companies were moving towards the automation route in factories, which would result in a reduction in jobs. 

·         The quality of jobs was important, previously Officers would have been focussed on getting people in to employment, however recent research showed that people were experiencing ‘in work poverty’ in low paid jobs and felt vulnerable and often did not progress. It was important to forward plan and look at high quality jobs coming in to the area and provide the relevant training to ensure people had the relevant qualities and skills needed to apply for the jobs.

·         The Torfaen Economy and Enterprise Strategy was a seven year strategy which ran from 2013 – 2020 and was reviewed 12 monthly. As the Economy was changing and with the implementation of City Deal, Valleys Task and the launch of Welsh Governments Employability plan, Officers would be looking to replace the strategy next year.

·         The Economic Development team had been reduced from 9 staff to 2, many of the staff were employed by ERDF Schemes which had not been replaced due to Brexit.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Date of Next Meeting / Dyddiad y Cyfarfod Nesaf

Minutes:

7.1       Officers would shortly be circulating the dates for the visioning sessions.