Agenda and minutes

Prosperous Communities Overview & Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 3rd October, 2019 10.00 am

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

Contact: Chris Slade  Senior Business Support Officer (Democratic Services)

No. Item


Welcome & Apologies / Croeso ac Ymddiheuriadau


1.1       Apologies were received from Councillors Stuart Ashley and Veronica Crick.


Declarations of Interest / Datganiadau o Fuddiant


2.1       The Chair reminded Members that any interests should be verbally declared and recorded on the Declarations of Interest register.


2.2       No interests were declared.


Minutes - 26/06/19 / Cofnodion - 26/06/19 pdf icon PDF 352 KB


3.1       The minutes of the meeting held on 26 June 2019 were confirmed as an accurate record.


Adult Community Learning Funding Model / Model Ariannu Dysgu Cymunedol i Oedolion pdf icon PDF 473 KB

Additional documents:


4.1       The Chair welcomed the HoE&S and E&ACLM, who then provided a brief overview of the report and suggested scrutiny activity.


4.2       Councillor Nicholas Jones entered the meeting.


4.3       In response to Members’ questions, the HoE&S and E&ACLM provided the following answers:-

  • HoE&S – One of the main challenges was managing funding from the franchise and WLGA.  There were uncertainties around the settlement for the second academic year, although it was possible to have an idea through looking at trends.  The authority had not seen any major changes in funding levels over the last few years, but it was part of a bidding process and there was a necessity to put forward a case setting out what was deliverable for the funding required.  Diligent budget management needed to be carried out each year.
  • HoE&S – Franchise money came from a separate fund to that of Welsh Government allocation.  A reduction in franchise money would hit the service harder, but because of the way the service had changed over the years, they had seen an increase in funding.
  • HoE&S – In terms of the way Adult Community Learning (ACL) was delivered, it was treated as a different branch to education; it was part of the community learning offer.  The types of courses on offer would not conflict with the new sixth form offer as they would be targeting towards different audiences, with ACL’s focus being delivering courses to get people back into work and/or re-interested in learning.  E&ACLM – There could be some duplication, but they were also looking at learners who were put off by going to college or older persons.  The majority of learners were older people.
  • HoE&S – There had been a major change in policy so franchise funding could no long be used to contribute towards cookery and modern language courses, it was more focused around delivering essential skills.  The policy change coincided with a service review so they were able to take the opportunity to redesign the staffing structure and subsequently, there was a reduction of managers within the ACL structure.  Lifestyle and leisure courses were now delivered on a full cost recovery basis and so that was how they were able to fund them appropriately. 
  • E&ACLM – The authority was aware that there would be a reduction in funding in 2015/16, together with a requirement to undertake a review.  HoE&S – The authority had been working over the years to increase the income from lifestyle and leisure courses and looked at whether there was an opportunity to increase fee income further going forward HoE&S – They had looked at how the reduction in staff impacted on service provision.  There was a belief that the reduction had not impacted service provision greatly as staff have felt more empowered by being given more responsibility, and it had imbedded well.  E&ACLM – There had been opportunities for internal promotion.  Recruitment wasn’t done for the sake  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Item for Next Meeting / Eitem ar gyfer y Cyfarfod Nesaf


5.1       The CSO updated that there were 3 items available for the Committee.  These were Employability, young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs) and Springboard 2.  The latter was possibly an urgent item as there was a possibility of it going to Cabinet before Christmas.  The Committee noted the importance of each item and asked that the CSO speak to HoE&S in order to get his views on what the Committee should scrutinise next.  The CSO agreed to inform the Committee of the next item at the earliest opportunity.


Date of Next Meeting - 27/11/19 / Dyddiad y Cyfarfod Nesaf - 27/11/19


6.1       The date of the next meeting was noted.


6.2       The meeting ended at 12.05pm.