Agenda and minutes

Special Meeting, Cleaner Communities Overview & Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 28th March, 2019 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 Councillors Huw Bevan, Giles Davies, Gaynor James and Norma Parrish.

 

1.2       Councillor Burnett expressed his disappointed with the lack of Members attending the meeting which was to discuss such a controversial and important topic.

2.

Declarations of Interest / Datganiadau o Fuddiant

Minutes:

2.1       Councillor Stuart Ashley declared a personal interest as a Council Appointed Member on the Greenmeadow Community Farm Shadow Board.

3.

Final Report from the Task & Finish Group on the Review of the Proposed Budget Mitigation for Greenmeadow Community Farm / Adroddiad Terfynol gan y Gr?p Gorchwyl a Gorffen ar yr Adolygiad ar Liniaru Cyllideb Arfaethedig ar gyfer Fferm Gymunedol Greenmeadow pdf icon PDF 196 KB

Minutes:

3.1       The Chair informed Members that the meeting would take place in a different format to usual and there would be no Officers attending to ask questions.

 

3.2       He explained that the report outlined the work carried out by the Task and Finish Group which consisted of himself, Councillor Burnett and the Committees’ Co-opted Member, Alun Williams.

 

3.3       He asked the Committee to consider the information contained in the report to assess whether the review carried out provided enough information to consider supporting the recommendations put forward by the Task and Finish Group.

 

3.4       The Chair reminded Committee that the Council had agreed to reduce the subsidy to Greenmeadow Community Farm by £200,000 as it currently received £300,000 per year from the Council. At the Cleaner Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 23rd January 2019 it was agreed to establish a task and finish group to look at how that could be achieved whilst preserving the vital asset.

 

3.5       Within four weeks the Task and Finish Group held six meetings including a whole day event held at the Farm to meet stakeholders.

 

3.6       After listening to the Stakeholders and the desire to retain the offer at the Farm as best as possible with the reduction of £200,000 the Task and Finish Group came up with the following possible recommendations for committee to consider:

 

  • Retain the building and all the land the building sits within to concentrate on a more community focussed “food and farming” offer;
  • Dispose of the surplus pockets of land (land on the opposite side of the road to the Farm and the 2 pockets of land at Llanyrafon) and consider re-investing the income received from the sale back into the Farm;
  • Reduce the range of animals, reducing the cost and the risk of keeping some of the larger animals;
  • Explore the opening hours such as, opening during Spring and Summer only and/or opening only on weekends during Autumn and Winter (excluding school holidays and events such as Halloween or Christmas) whilst maintaining availability within the building for a community hub for current and potential groups;
  • Explore changes in the staffing structure provided by the Farm Director amounting to around £48,000, which would unfortunately result in redundancies or redeployment;
  • Review the current charging policy to remove the inconsistency relating to the charging and fees arrangements for groups using the facilities;
  • Review the operation of the catering facility particularly the flexibility of the shop staff enabling the provision of minimal catering facilities such as vending machines for drinks and pre-prepared snacks in the shop;
  • If the above changes were made to the catering facility, explore the option of using the current dining area to lease to other organisations to develop a community wellbeing facility or to other groups who may use the site to promote and sell local arts and crafts;
  • Explore the possibility of using the site to locate council activities that were currently situated elsewhere in the borough and provide services to the community, which may  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Item for Next Meeting / Eitem ar gyfer y Cyfarfod Nesaf

Minutes:

4.1         The topic for the next meeting would be the Creation of a litter and fly-tipping strategy over 2019-20.

 

5.

Date of Next Meeting - 09/05/2019 / Dyddiad y Cyfarfod Nesaf - 09/05/2019

Minutes:

5.1       The next meeting was scheduled to take place on Thursday 9th May 2019 on would be held in a workshop format.