Agenda item

Update Report - Progress and Impact of Accepted Recommendations / Diweddariad - Hynt ac Effaith yr Argymhellion a Dderbyniwyd

Minutes:

5.1       The Chair and the CSO introduced the report, provided a brief background and confirmed the suggested scrutiny activity.

 

5.2       The CONP&PP provided updates and answers to members’ questions regarding the topics below.

 

5.3       Torfaen Training – Post Inspection Action Plan

The CONP&PP confirmed that:

  • There had been good news in that Estyn had revisited Torfaen Training and that they had been taken out of monitoring.
  • The Performance Inspection Sub Group would continue to meet as they did not want to be seen as being complacent.

 

5.4       The Committee agreed that they were satisfied with the progress on the implementation of the recommendations; however they wished to retain this item for further updates.

 

5.5       Review of Dog Fouling Orders / Exclusion Areas

The CONP&PP confirmed that:

  • A lot of work had been done because of the scrutiny recommendations. 
  • The Public Spaces Protection Orders had gone into force.  Improvements had been seen in many areas.
  • Some signage had been destroyed.
  • If the review of Dog Fouling Orders and Exclusion Areas were to be monitored, it would be linked to enforcement going forward which fell under the remit of the Cleaner Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  A joint meeting between the two Committees could be arranged.

 

5.6       The Committee agreed that they were satisfied with the progress on the implementation of the recommendations; however they wished to retain this item for further updates.

 

5.7       Future of the Library and Information Service

The CONP&PP confirmed that:

  • The item was previously under the remit of the Cleaner Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee and was linked with to budget savings.
  • A complete reconfiguration of the service had to take place in order to achieve the necessary savings.  This included the installation of self-service kiosks.
  • The recommendation around forming a constituted Friends of the Library Group had not yet been progressed.  Officer time had been put into developing the new structure and the introduction of the self-service kiosks.  This would be progressed once things had settled down.
  • They had seen a reduction in use of the computers as individuals were using their own devices, which was acceptable.  There was no budget in place to replace the existing computers.
  • The scrutiny impact was beneficial.  They had looked at staffing levels, opening hours and it had been put in for monitoring going forward.
  • Some IT issues related to the capacity of the lines going to Cwmbran Library.  This had been increased and so it was no longer an issue.

 

5.8       The Committee agreed to remove this item from future monitoring reports.

 

5.9       Assisting and Driving Both Employment Opportunities and New Employers into Torfaen

The CONP&PP confirmed that:

  • This had previously gone to the Cleaner Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
  • They had acted upon the first recommendation and was bringing the new strategy for Members to consider for their basket.
  • Officers were looking at procurement options and improvements.
  • Tier one funding and funding from other sources were dependent upon the outcome of Brexit.
  • Another item for Members to consider putting into their basket for the forthcoming year involved work with the Valleys Taskforce and Springboard 2.
  • Higher Education representatives had been put on the Public Service Board.
  • Businesses were struggling to bring in candidates to fill expert areas, which were not really covered by the education given within the borough.  Officers were working with the Public Service Board in order to develop a trial for shared apprenticeships in engineering; in particular welding.  Welsh Government had recognised the issue but it had become very pupil-led, rather than job-led, so it was about how to make that shift.  Training providers weren’t able to fill classes and so were not putting them on.
  • Torfaen Training were attaining what they needed to be, but specialised areas of training needed to be demand-led.  It was a commercial operation, but potential employers were looking for something different than what was coming through.  It was recognised that the current model for how it all connected was not working to its full potential and so they were looking at shared apprenticeship models. 
  • Small businesses couldn’t afford to have apprentices, given the paperwork involved, training etc. and so the Council were considering whether to look at funding in order to address it.
  • Careers Wales had a strategic role to play with Welsh Government and so there would be a need for them to be involved in the discussions.
  • One of the items for Members to consider for their basket was around looking at the Economy and Skills Strategy, looking at how support could be offered to all tiers of employment.

 

5.10    The Committee agreed to remove this item from future monitoring reports.

 

5.11    The British: Masterplan Approach

The CONP&PP confirmed that:

  • There had been a Cabinet report outlining what work had been done.  The report had been endorsed.
  • The recommendations did have an impact, including the signing of a memo of understanding. 
  • Everything was being prioritised together with the ongoing work on the watercourse.
  • Liaison meetings took place, which could be attended by anyone.  There was no committee run by the Council that oversaw it.

 

5.12    The Committee agreed that they were satisfied with the progress on the implementation of the recommendations; however they wished to retain this item for further updates.

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