Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday, 21st January, 2020 14:30

Venue: Committee Rooms 1/2/3, Civic Offices Angel Street Bridgend CF31 4WB. View directions

Contact: Andrew Rees 

Items
No. Item

457.

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.

 

 

Minutes:

None

458.

Approval of Minutes pdf icon PDF 98 KB

To receive for approval the Minutes of 17/12/19

Minutes:

RESOLVED: To receive for approval the minutes of the 17/12/2019 as a true and accurate record.

459.

Budget Monitoring 2019-20 - Quarter 3 Revenue Forecast pdf icon PDF 766 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Interim Head of Finance presented a report which updated Cabinet on the Council’s revenue financial position as at 31st December 2019.

 

She explained that on 20th February 2019, Council approved a net revenue budget of £270.809 million for 2019-2020. As part of the Performance Management Framework, budget projections are reviewed regularly and reported to Cabinet on a quarterly basis and the delivery of agreed budget reductions was also kept under review as part of the process.

 

The Interim Head of Finance summarised the comparison of budget against the projected outturn at 31st December 2019 which was detailed at Table 1 of the report. She elaborated on the underspend of £4.391 million stating the main reason for this was that Welsh Government advised Local Authorities of additional grant funding being made available to meet the increased cost of teachers pensions, fire service pensions as well as teachers pay increases. This totalled £2,006,096, £272,405 and £343,701, respectively.

 

The Interim Head of Finance explained that the Council received its provisional local government settlement for 2020-2021 from Welsh Government on the 16th December 2019. A report was presented to Cabinet on the 14th January 2020 on the draft Medium Term Financial Strategy 2020-21 to 2023-24, which set out the spending priorities of the Council, key investment objectives and budget areas targeted for necessary savings. The strategy includes a financial forecast for 2020-2024 and a detailed draft revenue budget for 2020-21.

 

She advised that there were no budget virements, but several technical adjustments between budgets since the quarter 2 forecast was reported to Cabinet on the 22nd October 2019. These were outlined in the table at 4.1.6 of the report.

 

The Interim Head of Finance explained that due to the increasing pressures on Welsh Councils over the life of the MTFS, there was a need to develop recurrent budget reduction proposals, based on the most likely scenario, amounting to £29.332 million over the next four years. This was evidenced by the prior year budget reductions that occurred in 2016-17 to 2018-19 where £2.342 million of budget reductions proposals were not met in full.

 

The Interim Head of Finance outlined the necessary budget reduction requirements for the Education and Family Support, Social Services and Wellbeing and Communities Directorates. These were detailed in Table 2 of the report.

 

The Interim Head of Finance stated that MTFS principle 7 stated “Savings proposals are fully developed and include realistic delivery timescales prior to inclusion in the annual budget. An MTFS Budget Reduction Contingency Reserve will be maintained to mitigate against unforeseen delays”. A Budget Reduction Contingency was established in 2016-17. This reserve has been used to meet specific budget reduction proposals in previous years on a one-off basis pending alternative measures. This was being used to mitigate the on-going shortfall on the budget reduction proposals, at 4.2.4 of the report.

 

She summarised the budget reduction proposals for each directorate which was at table 3 of the report and in further detail at appendix  ...  view the full minutes text for item 459.

460.

Capital Programme Update - Quarter 3 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 562 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Interim Head of Finance presented a report which:

 

  • Provided an update of the Capital Programme for 2019-20 at 31 December 2019(Appendix A)
  • Sought agreement from Cabinet to present a report to Council for approval for a revised capital programme for 2019-20 to 2028-29 (Appendix B)
  • Noted  the projected prudential and other indicators for 2019-20 (Appendix C)

 

She advised that the Local Authorities (Capital Finance and Accounting) (Wales) Regulations 2003 as amended, contained detailed provisions from the capital finance and accounting controls.

 

She added that on 20 February 2019, Council approved a capital programme covering the period 2019-20 to 2028-28 as part of the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS). The capital programme was last updated and approved by Council on 23 October 2019.

 

The Interim Head of Finance explained that this report provided an update on the following areas:

 

  • Capital Programme 2019-20 Monitoring
  • Capital Programme 2019-20 Onwards
  • Prudential and Other Indicators Monitoring
  • Capital Strategy Monitoring

 

Capital Programme 2019-20 Monitoring

The revised programme for 2019-20 currently totals £33.700 million, of which £15.057 million is met from Bridgend County Borough Council (BCBC) resources, including capital receipts and revenue contributions from earmarked reserves, with the remaining £18.643 million coming from external resources, including General Capital Grant. Further information on the capital programme for each directorate from 2019 was at table 1 of the report.

 

The Interim Head of Finance explained that table 2 of the report summarised the current funding assumptions for the capital programme for 2019-20.

 

She added that Appendix A provided details of the individual schemes within the capital programme, showing the budget available in 2019-20 compared with the projected spend.

 

The Interim Head of Finance stated that a number of schemes had already been identified as requiring slippage of budget to future years of 2020-21 and beyond. The total slippage required at quarter 3 was £5.158 million which included the following schemes:

 

  • Maesteg Town Hall (£1.6 million)
  • Community Hub – Brynteg Comprehensive School (£0.768 million)
  • Additional Learning Needs (ALN) provision at Cefn Cribwr Primary School
  • (£0.387 million)
  • Ravens Court (£0.442 million)
  • Parks/Pavilions/Community Centres CAT (£0.66 million)
  • Non Operational Assets (£0.48 million)

 

Capital Programme 2019-20 Onwards

The Interim Head of Finance advised that since October 2019 there had been a number of new externally funded schemes and additional income approved, which had been incorporated into the capital programme including the following :

 

  • Community Hub – Brynteg Comprehensive (£0.284 million)
  • Capital support for the implementation and expansion of separate household
  • collections of absorbent hygiene product (AHP) waste (£0.238 million)
  • Urban Centre Property Enhancement Fund (£0.1 million) and Urban Centre
  • Living Grant (£0.05 million)

 

She advised that other schemes which have material changes were:

 

  • Coastal Risk Management Scheme - Porthcawl (£6.032 million)
  • 21st Century Schools Band B Programme
  • Welsh Medium Childcare Provision
  • School Maintenance Grant
  • Complex and Medical Needs Works in School
  • Llynfi Valley Loan

 

She added that there were a number of other schemes within the Capital Programme that were awaiting confirmation of external funding over the winter period. Once approval is  ...  view the full minutes text for item 460.

461.

Non Domestic Rates: Discretionary Relief: High Street And Retail Rates Relief Scheme 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Minutes:

The Interim Head of Finance presented a report which asked Cabinet to adopt the Welsh Governments High Street and Retail Rates Relief Scheme for 2020-21.

 

She explained that the Welsh Government announced that the scheme would be available to support businesses within the retail sector in Wales and would work in conjunction with the Small Business Rates Relief, this was detailed at Appendix A of the report.

 

The Interim Head of Finance explained that relief of up to £2,500 for qualifying occupied retail properties with a rateable value of up to £50,000 in the financial year 2020-21 subject to state aid limits. She added that it is estimated that around 1000 ratepayers across the Borough could benefit from the reduced rates bills under this scheme.

 

The Interim Head of Finance explained that the Council can elect to adopt the scheme but did not have discretion over any elements of it. She added that if the scheme were to be adopted, those business benefiting from the scheme in 2019-20 and still meeting the criteria set by Welsh Government, would be awarded relief for 2020-21 automatically.

 

The Deputy Leader stated that this was positive news for small businesses and was happy that the authority could learn from what had been done previously and to improve upon this. He hoped eligible businesses would make necessary applications to gain the benefit from the relief. He assured that an announcement would be made at the next full Council meeting to spread awareness of the above.

 

RESOLVED      That Cabinet:

 

Adopted the Non Domestic Rates High Street and Retail Rates Relief Scheme for 2020-21 as detailed within Appendix A.

462.

Redevelopment of Maesteg Town Hall pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Minutes:

The Head Of Operations - Community Services presented a report which sought approval of Cabinet to enter a construction contract with Knox and Wells Ltd for the re-development of Maesteg Town Hall.

 

He explained that Maesteg Town Hall was a grade 2 listed building located within a conservation area. It occupied a prominent position in Maesteg Town Centre and was a focal point for arts and community activity in the Lynfi Valley. The expansion would allow for more facilities like training rooms and a library etc.

 

The Head Of Operations - Community Services explained that the authority had employed a multi-disciplinary team to deliver the concept design and cost for the proposed repair, restoration and extension of Maesteg Town Hall. The design team included:

 

  • The MACE Group – Project management and cost consultancy

 

  • Knox and Wells Ltd – Design and Build Contractors (appointed currently for their professional design services)

 

  • Purcell Architects – Architects

 

  • Musker Sumner partnership – Civil Engineers

 

  • Hoare Lea – Mechanical and Electrical Consultants

 

 

To date the design team have:

 

 

  • undertaken several surveys within the building

 

  • progressed the designs in line with survey findings

 

  • provided a proposed cost plan

 

The Head of Operations – Community Services advised that the Town Hall closed in October 2019 and Awen Cultural Trust have decanted the building. Due to a delay in the return of sub-contractor tender returns there has been a slight delay in construction start, however the project is now at the stage where there is a need to enter into the second stage of the design and build contract so that construction works can commence. The contract value for this element will be £6.5 million of the total project costs of £8.2 million included in the Capital Programme Update Quarter 3 report presented to Cabinet 21 January 2020, and to Council for approval on 22 January 2020.

 

The Head of Operations – Community Services outlined to Members the Equality Impact Assessment and Well-being Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 assessment indicated at sections 6 and 7 of the report.

 

The Leader commented that this is was a long term investment and although it was hard to plan these types of costs, it was a worthwhile investment to secure an important building for years to come. The Cabinet Member Education and Regeneration echoed these comments and added that it was a strategic plan for the town centre.

 

The Chief Executive noted that there may be a large amount of social media and media interest so it was important to ensure that the public were aware of the importance of the long term investment that had been committed to the building.

 

The Cabinet Member Social Services and Early Help echoed these comments. He thanked Halo and ARWEN for their support throughout the process and was looking forward to seeing the end result in terms of works to this important facility being completed.

 

The Leader hoped that full Council would approve the development of Maesteg Town Hall as it was important to maintain  ...  view the full minutes text for item 462.

463.

Bridgend Shopmobility Scheme pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Operations – Community Services presented a report which sought Cabinet approval for proposals to meet the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) budget reduction requirement in respect of the operation of Bridgend Shopmobility Scheme.

 

The Head of Operations – Community Services provided background on the scheme and stated that it was operated by BCBC within the Brackla multi storey car park which lent a variety of mobility devices to members of the public with limited mobility. The facility was open from 08:30 to 17:00.

 

He explained that to utilise the scheme, customers were required to join the scheme ( which was currently free of charge ) and pay a deposit of £2 for the use of the apparatus. On return, customers were then able to request the £2 to be refunded to them but it was worth noting that the majority of customers were happy to donate the £2.

 

The Head of Operations – Community Services explained that the aim was to enable to scheme to be more self-sufficient and rely less on the subsidy from the Council. He advised Members on the current costs related to the scheme which were outlined at 4.2 of the report. There were a number of proposed changes to the scheme which were outlined detailed in 4.7 of the report, a summary is outlined below:

 

  • Change the opening time from 08:30am – 5pm to 10am - 4pm
  • Introduce a £5 annual registration fee
  • Introduction of a £5 fee when equipment is hired
  • Seek Grant Funding

 

The Head of Operations – Community Services explained that a consultation process was carried out whereby respondents were 48% in favour of exploring options of charging for the Shopmobility service. He stated, however, that 39% of the respondents were not in favour of the £5 hire charge and felt that it would prove unaffordable for the majority of users. In relation to opening times 80% of responses were not against such a proposal but 20% of responses did indicate that this may impact upon either early shopping or medical appointments.

 

He added that the views were taken into consideration and revised proposals were therefore offered which included the following:

 

  • Amend the proposal of opening times from 10am until 4pm to   9:15am until 4pm providing an operational time from 51 hours to 40.5 hours.
  • That the proposed charge of £5 be changed to £3. Based on 2018-19 usage, this would equate to a financial contribution of £12,168.

 

The Leader thanked the Head of Operations – Community Services for the report and said that consultation had proved very positive and engaging. The Cabinet Member Communities echoed the Leaders point and stated that the final proposals showed we listen to the public and valued their opinions and took the points they made on board.

 

The Cabinet Member Wellbeing and Future Generations agreed with these points and was pleased to see that the Equality Impact Assessment took into consideration the views of the service users.

 

He asked the Head of Operations  ...  view the full minutes text for item 463.

464.

Work Experience Placements for Service Personnel Leaving the Armed Forces pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Minutes:

The Chief Executive presented a report which informed Cabinet of the introduction of a Work Experience Placement Scheme for personnel leaving the Armed Forces as part of the Council’s commitment to the Armed Forced Community Covenant.

 

He explained that Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS) had recently been introduced which was put in place to provide a guaranteed interview for leavers of the Armed Forces. The Work Experience Placement Scheme would work alongside the well-established BCBC Work Experience Programme, which offered placements to individuals from a wide range of ages and backgrounds.

 

The Chief Executive explained the implications related to the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and how the Work Experience Placement Scheme contributed to the well-being goals. He outlined the five ways of working that had been considered, as outlined in the report.

 

Cabinet Member – Communities thanked the Chief Executive for the report and as the Armed Forces Champion, welcomed this scheme. He explained that veterans often found it difficult to adapt when leaving the armed forces and returning to a civilian type setting.

 

He added that the scheme was positive for introducing local government to a different group of people with different skills to offer. He was proud that BCBC was the first local government in Wales to introduce an initiative like this.

 

The Leader commented on the alarming evidence surrounding armed forces leavers with depression, homelessness and suicide, being all too common. He was pleased to see BCBC providing the scheme to help support veterans as they leave the armed forces. He asked if this scheme could be shared with all categories that comprised the armed forces, so that they were aware of the proposals of the report.

 

RESOLVED: That Cabinet:

 

  • Noted the implementation of a work experience placement scheme for serving personal about to leave the Armed Forces.

 

 

465.

Appointment of Local Authority Governors pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Minutes:

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 in the report and to inform cabinet that a previous local authority governor appointment has not been progressed.

 

He explained that that there were 7 vacancies in total and there were 7 applicants who met the criteria local authority governors. The recommended appointments were:

 

 

Name

School

Cllr David Unwin

Brynteg School

Mrs Cheryll Board

Pencoed Comprehensive School

Cllr Sean Aspey

Porthcawl Comprehensive School

Mrs Amanda Williams

Brackla Primary School

Mr Christopher Davies

Llangewydd Junior School

Mr Gary Chappell

Mynydd Cynffig Primary School

Mrs Janet Jones

Newton Primary School

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He added that appendix A of the report detailed the 25 other vacancies that needed to be filled in 17 schools.

 

The Corporate Director – Education and Family Support explained that at the Cabinet meeting on 17 September 2019, Members approved a local governor appointment to the governing body of Nottage Primary School. However, It was subsequently identified that there was no vacancy for a local authority governor at that time and the vacancy was advertised in error. He advised that the appointee had been notified according and this issue was now being looked into further by the team.

 

The Cabinet Member Education and Regeneration thanked the volunteers who had put themselves forward for the appointments and asked if the remaining vacancies could be distributed in Bridgend. He stated that the position did not need to be filled by Councillors, but members of the public who were community minded could also apply.

 

RESOLVED: That Cabinet:

 

  1. Approved the appointments listed in paragraph 4.2 of the report

Noted the information outlined in 4.3 of the report

466.

Information Reports for Noting pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Officer - Legal, HR & Regulatory Services presented a report to inform Cabinet of the information report for noting which has been published since its last scheduled meeting.

 

She outlined the information report on Treasury Management – Quarter 3 Report 2019-20 which was published on 15 January 2020.

 

She advised that the document had been circulated to Elected Members electronically via Email and placed on the BCBC website.

 

RESOLVED: That Cabinet noted the report.

467.

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.

 

Minutes:

None

468.

Exclusion of the Public

The following item is not for publication as it contains exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 12 and 14 of Part 4 and Paragraph 21 of Part 5, Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) (Wales) Order 2007.

 

If following the application of the public interest test Cabinet resolves pursuant to the Act to consider this item in private, the public will be excluded from the meeting during such consideration.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) (Wales) Order 2007, the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item of business as it contained exempt information as defined in Paragraph 12 of Part 4 and/or Paragraph 21 of Part 5 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

 

Following the application of the public interest test it was resolved that pursuant to the Act referred to above, to consider the following item in private, with the public excluded from the meeting, as it was considered that in all circumstances relating to the item, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information, because the information would be prejudicial to the applicants so mentioned.

469.

School Modernisation Programme: Band B