Agenda and minutes

Cabinet - Tuesday, 17th November, 2020 14:30

Venue: remotely via Skype for Business

Contact: Democratic Services 

Note: Note: Please note that due to the requirement for social distancing this meeting will not be held at its usual location. This will be a virtual meeting and Council Members and Officers will be attending remotely. The meeting will be recorded for subsequent transmission via the Council’s internet site which will be available as soon as practicable after the meeting. If you have any queries please contact 


No. Item


Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of personal and prejudicial interest (if any) from Members/Officers in accordance with the provisions of the Members’ Code of Conduct adopted by Council from 1 September 2008.




The following Cabinet Members declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 4. in that a current Member of the Authority was a former Director of one of the organisations referred to in the report:-


Councillors HJ David, HM Williams, N Burnett, D Patel, CE Smith and RE Young.


The following Cabinet Members declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 11, for the reasons so given:-


Councillor D Patel – As she knew one of the applicants mentioned in the report

Councillor RE Young – As a member of Litchard Primary School Board of Governors who knew the applicant who applied for the vacant governor post (at that school).

Councillor HJ David – As he knew some of the applicants mentioned in the report.



Approval of Minutes pdf icon PDF 146 KB

To receive for approval the Minutes of 20/10/20



RESOLVED:                               That the Minutes of a meeting of the Cabinet dated 20 October 2020, be approved as a true and accurate record.



Arbed Programme in Caerau pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Additional documents:


The Chief Executive submitted a report, the purpose of which, was to update Cabinet on an independent survey, commissioned by the Council and undertaken by  NuVision Energy (Wales) Ltd (NuVision), on Arbed 1 funded properties in Caerau, and for Cabinet to further consider the findings.


By way of background, he confirmed that in 2011 the Welsh Government (WG) introduced a domestic energy efficiency programme which ran until 2013. This was known as the Arbed 1 Programme and had two primary objectives, to reduce carbon emissions and lower fuel bills within properties to alleviate the effects of fuel poverty. More than 6,000 homes across Wales were included in the Arbed 1 Scheme. 


The Chief Executive advised that in the early part of the scheme, work was  undertaken in Caerau which was neither funded by, administered, or involved the Council.  At this time RSL’s sought funding from energy companies to undertake CESP work in social housing in Caerau. In addition Wales Co, a Community Interest Company, were working with private sector home owners to gauge interest in accessing energy efficiency schemes.


In August 2012 Welsh Government provided the Council with an opportunity to bid for additional funding to complement existing Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) projects.  Funding of £56,050 was approved for the installation of boilers and insulation of lofts. In January 2013, additional funds were made available by Welsh Government to progress CESP schemes.  The Council made a joint bid with Green Renewable Wales (GRW) Ltd for external wall insulation at 25 owner occupied properties in Caerau. The Council were advised that the bid for £259,825 was successful in early February 2013 and completion had to be by 31st March 2013.  Therefore, total funding of £315,875 was received by Bridgend Council from Welsh Government. The funding for both projects was paid to Green Renewable Wales Ltd by the Authority.


GRW Ltd project managed both schemes and appointed sub-contractors to carry out the work, including WalesCo.  The same contractors and sub-contractors were also appointed by GRW Ltd and WalesCo to utilise funding (CESP) they gained via energy companies to work on additional properties in Caerau.  This resulted in properties having similar work being undertaken by the same contractors regardless of the funding stream.  It is evident that the property owners were unaware which funding stream was used on their property.


The Chief Executive continued by confirming that it was estimated that 150 properties in the Caerau ward had boiler replacement, loft insulation, external wall insulation (EWI) and internal wall insulation (IWI) works undertaken during 2012 to 2013, utilising money from different funding streams. 70 of these properties had work undertaken via the funding administered by the Council, of which 25 properties had EWI and IWI work.  Based on information gathered, a total of 104 of the 150 properties had EWI and IWI work undertaken in Caerau at this time, so 79 of these were not funded or administered by the Council.


He explained that since completion of the work in 2013, there  ...  view the full minutes text for item 564.


Valleys Regional Park Future Funding pdf icon PDF 88 KB


The Corporate Director – Communities submitted a report, the purpose of which, was to provide an update on the Valleys Regional Park (VRP) scheme and the request from the VRP board that BCBC continue in its role as host.  The report also sought approval to accept grant offers, subject to their full approval, from the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) and Welsh Government for future funding from the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Rural Development Programme (RDP) respectively, to fund the continued development of the Valleys Regional Park to June 2023. 


She advised that the Valleys Regional Park (VRP) has been developed through the Welsh Government Ministerial Taskforce for the Valleys in partnership with the Valleys local authorities (Merthyr Tydfil, Blaenau Gwent, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Caerphilly, Torfaen, Bridgend, Neath Port Talbot, Swansea and Carmarthenshire), Natural Resources Wales, Visit Wales and Welsh Government officials in Health and Environment Divisions. It reflected the views of stakeholders from Valleys communities, the Third Sector, Public Health Wales and feedback received through a series of engagement events. The VRP prospectus was published on 18th October 2018 and plans have been further developed through the partnership led by the VRP team, hosted by Bridgend County Borough Council (BCBC).


She reminded Cabinet, that in the autumn of 2019, Welsh Government and WEFO indicated that funding opportunities existed through RDP and ESF resources to potentially support the continuation of the VRP delivery from March 2021 to June 2023.  At its meeting in March 2020 the VRP Board invited BCBC to apply for funding through ESF and RDP in its role as host.  This invitation was subsequently supported by the VRP Forum.


In June 2020 BCBC officers under delegated authority submitted two full business cases to Welsh Government and WEFO.


The proposal to Welsh Government was submitted under the RDP Co-operation and Supply Chain Development Scheme to support the continued development of the VRP Guardians Scheme.  The current work will provide an evaluation of the development phase which is funded by Welsh Government and is currently being delivered through a contract with Groundwork Wales working to the VRP team. This proposal would deliver the ongoing Guardian Scheme that will utilise the facilities being delivered through the Discovery Gateway capital investments that have been made directly by Welsh Government.  The proposal would also enable a procurement process to be undertaken that would seek to take forward the current approach and enable funding to be in place to June 2023 for the Guardians element of the VRP.


The second was a proposal submitted to WEFO for ESF Priority 5, Specific Objective 5: Public Services Reform.  This proposal was based on an approach to regional working that would strengthen sustainable management of natural resources through strategic regional collaboration to establish and enable the long-term vision and aims of the VRP to provide significant social, economic and environmental benefits. This proposal would support the VRP team and the development of the partnership with funding in place to June 2023.  The proposal supports  ...  view the full minutes text for item 565.


Development of a Tourist Focussed Land Train or Similar Passenger Carrying Vehicle Operation in Porthcawl pdf icon PDF 85 KB


The Corporate Director – Communities presented a report, the purpose of which, was to seek Cabinet approval for a proposal to support the establishment of a tourist focussed land train or similar passenger carrying vehicle operation in Porthcawl.  The proposal will aim to add value to on-going work to develop a range of sustainable transport methods that better connect the attractions, facilities and services that exist across the seafront with the town centre.


By way of background information, she advised that in 2014, Visit Wales (VW) stated that as part of their European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Infrastructure Development Programme, they were looking to prioritise a small number of regional tourist ‘Attractor Destinations’ within Wales and anticipated that 2-3 priority schemes may be taken forward in the parts of South East Wales eligible for ERDF funding.


Following a regional prioritisation exercise involving all 10 Local Authorities in the South East Wales area, Porthcawl was scored as a priority for support. This highlighted the importance of the resort in tourism terms, both locally, and for the wider Welsh economy. This was supported in principle by Cabinet in April 2015.


The Corporate Director – Communities reminded Cabinet that to date, BCBC had delivered a number of initiatives through the TAD programme, as were detailed in paragraph 3.1 of the report.


She continued by stating, that as a result of re-profiling the funding package that has already been secured by BCBC through the TAD programme an opportunity now exists to allocate funds to support the establishment of a tourist focussed land train or similar passenger carrying vehicle operation in Porthcawl.


The intention would be to seek to link the town centre, beaches and other attractions along the seafront from Sandy Bay/Coney Beach to Rest Bay. The proposed operational season would be expected to cover, as a minimum, the main holiday periods and therefore generally commence at the end of March or beginning of Easter through to the end of September. The operator would be responsible for providing the vehicle and meeting all maintenance, repair, insurance and all other operating costs and be responsible for obtaining all approvals necessary to operate the vehicle.


The Corporate Director – Communities added, that this proposal had been discussed in principle with VW and subject to BCBC following appropriate financial processes and procedures is considered to be in line with the overall aspiration of the TAD programme and to add value to work undertaken to date.


It was therefore proposed that the opportunity to operate a tourist focussed land train or similar passenger carrying vehicle on the roads across Porthcawl Seafront, be openly advertised and expressions of interest sought from potential operators.


As soon as an operator has the appropriate consents required to operate the vehicle, route signage, line painting and amendments to   the Bridgend County Borough Council (Prohibition and Restriction of Waiting and Loading and Parking Places)(Civil Enforcement) Order 2013 (TRO) will be required to assist in the safe delivery of the local transport link. It was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 566.


Treasury Management - Half Year Report 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 593 KB

Additional documents:


The Interim Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change presented a report, the purpose of which, was to:


·          comply with the requirement of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s ‘Treasury Management in the Public Services: Code of Practice’ to produce interim Treasury Management Reports.

·          report on the projected Treasury Management Indicators for 2020-21.

·          provide an update on the proposed changes to the Treasury Management Strategy 2020-21 and recommend that they be presented to Council for approval.


The background to the report, reminded Cabinet that Treasury Management is the management of the Council’s cash flows, borrowing and investments, and the associated risks. The Council is exposed to financial risks including the loss of invested funds and the revenue effect of changing interest rates. The successful identification, monitoring and control of financial risk are therefore central to the Council’s prudent financial management.


The Interim Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change also reminded Members, that in 2017 CIPFA also published a new version of the Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities (the Prudential Code). The updated Prudential Code includes a requirement for Local Authorities to provide a Capital Strategy, which is a summary document approved by full Council covering capital expenditure and financing, treasury management and non-treasury investments. The definition of investments in the revised 2017 CIPFA Code now covers all the financial assets of the Council as well as other non-financial assets which the authority holds primarily for financial return. The Council’s Capital Strategy 2020-21, complying with CIPFA’s requirement includes the Prudential Indicators which in previous years were included in the TMS, along

with details regarding the Council’s non-treasury investments. The Capital

Strategy and TMS should be read in conjunction with each other as they are

interlinked as borrowing and investments are directly impacted upon by capital plans and were approved together by Council on 26 February 2020.


She explained further, that the Council had complied with its legislative and regulatory requirements during the first half of 2020-21. The TMS 2020-21 was reported to Council on 26 February 2020 with the Half Year Outturn scheduled to be reported on 18 November 2020. In addition, a quarterly monitoring report was provided to Cabinet in July 2020.


A summary of the treasury management activities for the first half of 2020-21 was shown in table 1 in Appendix A to the report. The Council had not taken long term borrowing since March 2012 and it is not expected that there will be a requirement for any new long term borrowing in 2020-21. Favourable cash flows have provided surplus funds for investment and the balance on investments at 30 September 2020 was £64.29 million with an average rate of interest of 0.24%. This was a significant reduction from the same time last year when the average rate was 0.85%, and showed the impact of the reductions in interest rates during March 2020.


Table 4 in section 4 of Appendix A, detailed the movement of the investments by counterparty types and shows  ...  view the full minutes text for item 567.


Digital Strategy 2020-2024 pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Additional documents:


The Interim Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change presented a report, that sought Cabinet approval to adopt and implement the Digital Strategy 2020-2024, which had taken into consideration public consultation responses.


By way of some background, she confirmed that in 2017, the Welsh Government commissioned the Society of Information Technology Managers (SocITM) Advisory Ltd to establish the digital maturity of all local authorities. It had been identified that while digital maturity was low, appetite to improve was high and a vital prerequisite to meet the Wales National Digital Agenda.


In September 2016 a Digital Transformation Programme of works commenced to primarily introduce a single ‘digital platform’ (My Account) and an accessible website. The Strategy builds on these improvements by further developing how citizens, businesses and visitors engage and transact with the Council.


The Interim Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change, advised that as part of the 2019 Budget Consultation, feedback showed that 87% of Bridgend citizens want more Council services online, using better and more modern online functionality to support channel shift as well as self-serve facilities.  Also according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 85% of Bridgend citizens have access to the internet and prefer the convenience of online transactions, as opposed to certain other methods of communication by which to conduct their business.


For the Budget Consultation 2019 and in a separate Digital Survey undertaken between June and August 2019, the public were asked for feedback on current digital capabilities provided to them by the Council, as well as suggestions to further enhance its services. The results have been incorporated into the assessment and delivery model and were included, at Appendix A to the report.


Turning to the current position, the Interim Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change stated that, an ambitious four year Digital Strategy had been drafted which encapsulates Bridgend’s well-being objectives, the national digital landscape and includes a matrix of measurements utilised by SocITM to assess Bridgend’s digital maturity and growth. The Strategy had been divided into 3 key areas, namely Digital Citizen, Digital Council and Digital Place.


Each section has an allocated action plan, with dedicated owners to ensure the ambitions of the Strategy are achieved by 2024. 


The Interim Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change continued, by confirming that one of the aims within the Digital Strategy is to streamline routine and repetitive processes, delivering end-to-end connections to back office systems with the ambition of delivering efficiencies through digital automation, in order to enhance service delivery.


The Council’s Digital Principles have been developed to underpin the foundations of the Five Ways of Working within the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act, aligning a “Digital First” approach and encapsulating the good practice principles identified by SocITM. Further information regarding this, was outlined in paragraph 4.4 of the report.


In respect of the report’s financial implications, the Interim Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change, advised that there were established Earmarked Reserves to support both the revenue and capital aspects  ...  view the full minutes text for item 568.


Learning Disabilities Supported Living Contracts Extension pdf icon PDF 74 KB


The Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing presented a report, in order to seek authority to vary the current contracts in place with the three supported living services commissioned for people with a learning disability, by extending the existing terms for a further 12 months, in accordance with Contract Procedure Rule (CPR)


She explained that in November 2019, Cabinet approved a two-stage procurement process for the re-commissioning of service providers to deliver supported living services for individuals with a learning disability living in Bridgend. The re-commissioning plan moved away from the current ‘county-wide’ contracts with 3 service providers, to a ‘locality’ based model whereby service providers can deliver person-centred, localised support for people that enables them to engage more fully in their local community and helps to better promote their journey towards independence.


Following the above, in March 2020 Cabinet approved the award of a framework agreement to successful bidders, and for the Council to begin to implement the Stage 2 procurement of local area service call-off tenders. People First Bridgend (PFB) were the independent body that would be involved in this process, the Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing added.


It was anticipated that all the local area service tenders would take place over a 12-month period, between April 2020 (when framework agreements commenced) and March 2021, when the current contracts expire.


The PFB consultation and engagement work commenced via face-to-face meetings with individuals in the service in March 2020, but due to the significant and unforeseen impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown restrictions, these had to cease shortly afterwards, in April.


With national and local lockdown restrictions limiting face-to-face consultation, there has been a reliance on virtual consultation methods instead of face-to-face engagement, which is severely impacting on the effectiveness of the engagement, and also the timescales needed to fully engage with each supported living scheme prior to tendering the local area service contracts, which was originally scheduled to be completed by March 2021.


It was proposed that the existing contracts in place with the three service providers be extended for a further 12 months therefore, to 31 March 2022, which is the length of time deemed necessary in order to carry out full and meaningful consultation, in accordance with the commissioning approach approved previously by Cabinet.


There was provision under CPR to seek to modify an existing contract, under the criteria detailed in paragraph 4.2 of the report.


The need for modification had been brought about by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, circumstances which the Council could not have foreseen when entering into the original contracts. The overall nature of the contract will not be altered, and all other contractual terms remain unchanged, as the proposed variation is for a 12 month extension only. The proposed modification does not exceed 50% of the original contract value. The financial implications as shown in the report, detailed the value of the proposed modification.


The Cabinet Member – Social Services and Early Help  ...  view the full minutes text for item 569.


Contract for the Supply of Fresh, Frozen and Cooked Meats - Suspension of the Contract Procedure Rules pdf icon PDF 89 KB


The Corporate Director – Education and Family Support presented a report, seeking:


  • to suspend those parts of the Council’s contract procedure rules in respect of the procurement requirements relating to the tendering of the contract for the supply of fresh, frozen and cooked meats; and


  • to authorise the Corporate Director Education and Family Support to enter into a contract with the current contractors, Mid Glamorgan Provisions Ltd on the same terms as the current contract to 18 December 2021.


He explained that, following a procurement process in November 2019, the Council awarded a contract for the supply of fresh, frozen and cooked meats to Mid Glamorgan Provisions Ltd. That contract is due to expire on 18 December 2020. 


The Council is part of a regional delivery group and as part of that group, has committed to the establishment of a regional framework for the supply of foods such as fresh, frozen and cooked meats. The commissioning of the regional framework is to be led by Caerphilly County Borough Council.


He proceeded further, by stating that the contract with Mid Glamorgan Provisions Ltd was awarded for a limited period to 18 December 2020, as it was anticipated that the new regional framework would have been in place by this time and that the Council would utilise that new regional framework.


Using the regional framework will likely bring financial advantages to the Council, however, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, there have been delays to the commissioning of the regional framework and it has not yet been established by Caerphilly County Borough Council.


The Corporate Director – Education and Family Support, added that due to both the unprecedented mentioned pandemic, and the approach of Brexit, it is essential to maintain supply of these high-risk foods with a supplier who we have tested quality and commitment to our service, until the regional framework can be utilised.


It was therefore proposed that the Council should suspend the contract procedure rules and enter into a contract for fresh frozen and cooked meat with Mid Glamorgan Provisions Ltd on the same terms as the current contract from 19 December 2020 until 18 December 2021.  This will allow for the regional framework to be established and for the Council to ensure continuity of provision of this high risk food, until such time as the Council is able to utilise the regional framework to appoint a supplier for the provision of fresh frozen and cooked meats from the regional framework.


He concluded his report, by reminding that Cabinet should be aware, that by not complying with its contract procedure rules the Council is exposed to the risk of potential challenge from other suppliers of such products, as we are entering into a contract without any competition which breaches the requirements of procurement legislation.


The Cabinet Member – Education and Regeneration confirmed that he supported the recommendations within the report.


RESOLVED:                              That Cabinet:


  1. Suspended the relevant parts of the Council’s contract procedure rules in respect of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 570.


Appointment of Local Authority Governors pdf icon PDF 84 KB


The Corporate Director – Education and Family Support presented a report, which sought approval from Cabinet for the appointment of local authority governors to the school governing bodies listed at paragraph 4.1 and 4.2 of the report.


He explained that for the 26 schools in the table within paragraph 4.1 of the report, all 3 applicants listed there, met the approved criteria for appointment as local authority governors and there was no competition for any of the vacancies.


There was however, competition for a vacancy at one school, ie Coety Primary and in line with the Council’s selection criteria, Mrs Ella Dodd was appointed, due to her tenure as a governor, as well as her added experience as a LA governor.


The Cabinet Member – Education and Regeneration thanked all those individuals who had successfully shown an interest in the school governor vacancies as shown in paragraph 4.1 of the report. He was very pleased to see so many vacancies being filled at a considerable number of schools around the same time, he added.


For future reference, he also felt that it would be useful to put in a training programme for any future potential candidates in advance of them applying and subsequently securing a school governor vacancy at one of our schools. This would assist those interested candidates who had limited or no experience in a school governing body role, to be better placed when successfully applying for a vacant school governor position in the future, as opposed to them just having such training after they had been successful (or unsuccessful) in their application.


The Corporate Director – Education and Family Support confirmed that this point would be both followed-up and put in place.


RESOLVED:                            That Cabinet approved the appointments listed in paragraphs 4.1 and 4.2 of the report.  




Corporate Complaints Policy pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Additional documents:


The Chief Officer – Legal, HR and Regulatory Services presented a report, the purpose of which, was to present the revised BCBC Corporate Complaints Policy and seek approval for the same.


She advised that the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales (PSOW) wrote to the Leaders and Chief Executives of all 22 local authorities in September 2020 explaining how his Complaints Standards Authority has engaged with representatives from all local authorities to put in place a raft of measures designed to support and enhance complaint handling. These measures include bespoke training, and a process for all local authorities to report complaints statistics to the Ombudsman’s office on a quarterly basis.


In his letter the Ombudsman also encouraged all local authorities to reflect on how their current practices and procedures comply with the Statement of Principles, Model Complaint Handling Process and Guidance published on the Ombudsman’s website.


The  Corporate Complaints Policy had therefore been reviewed and revised in line with the Ombudsman’s Model Complaints Handling Policy and was attached at Appendix 1 of the report, for approval. 


The Chief Officer – Legal, HR and Regulatory Services, confirmed that the  revised Policy would be published on the Council’s website and internally on the intranet. 


The Cabinet Member – Future Generations and Wellbeing advised that in BCBC any complaints by the public etc, were taken very seriously and if deemed necessary, acted upon. She always made it clear to her constituents that they should contact herself in the first instance, in order to see if any complaint could be dealt with first and foremost, on an informal basis. She added that she was pleased that the Council adopted the model that was before Cabinet, which was very clear and set out the protocol that residents and others could expect, should they felt the need to put in a complaint.  


RESOLVED:                            That Cabinet approved the Corporate Complaints Policy attached as Appendix 1 to the report.



Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Additional documents:


The Chief Officer – Legal, HR and Regulatory Services, presented a report,  seeking Cabinet approval for items to be included on the Forward Work Programme for the period 1 November 2020 to 28 February 2021.


In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, the Forward Work Programme will be prepared by the Monitoring Officer to cover a period of four months except when ordinary elections of councillors occur, in which case the Forward Work Programme will cover the period up to the date of the elections. 


She explained that the Forward Work Programme will contain matters which the Cabinet, Overview and Scrutiny Committees and full Council are likely to consider


It will also be published at least 14 days before the start of the period covered.  The Authority is required to publish once a year a notice in at least one newspaper circulating in the area, stating that a Forward Work Programme will be published and giving the publication dates for that year.


Attached to the report were the Cabinet Forward Work Programme (Appendix 1), the Council Forward Work Programme (Appendix 2) and the Overview and Scrutiny Forward Work Programme (Appendix 3).


The Cabinet Member – Future Generations and Wellbeing advised that it was important for the public to see up and coming topical items that were earmarked for agendas of Cabinet, Council and Scrutiny, for reasons of transparency and to assist in engagement with them and residents of the County Borough, in order to share details of up and coming reports to be debated by Members/Officers on key service areas of the Council etc, they may have an interest in and to look to increase interest in the local authority decision making processes overall.  


RESOLVED:                          That Cabinet:


           Approved the Cabinet Forward Work Programme for the period 1   November 2020 to 28 February 2021 at Appendix 1 to the report;

           Noted the Council and Overview and Scrutiny Forward Work Programmes for the same period as above, shown at Appendix 2 and 3 of the report, respectively.



Urgent Items

To consider any items of business that by reason of special circumstances the chairperson is of the opinion should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency in accordance with paragraph 2.4 (e) of the Cabinet Procedure Rules within the Constitution.