Agenda and minutes

Cabinet - Tuesday, 19th July, 2022 14:30

Venue: remotely - via Microsoft Teams

Media

Items
No. Item

19.

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:

The following Declarations were made:

 

Councillor JC Spanswick – Agenda Item 14 - Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 Section 65 Power to Fix Fares For Hackney Carriages; Application to Vary the Hackney Carriage Fares Tariff declared a prejudicial interest as his brother is a taxi driver in the County Borough and withdrew from the meeting during consideration of the item.

 

Councillor WR Goode – Agenda Item 12 – Appointment of Local Authority Governors declared a prejudicial interest in this item as he was an applicant for one of the vacancies referred to in the report and withdrew from the meeting for consideration of this item. 

 

Councillor N Farr – Agenda Item 14 - Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 Section 65 Power to Fix Fares For Hackney Carriages; Application to Vary the Hackney Carriage Fares Tariff declared a prejudicial interest as her husband is a taxi driver and withdrew from the meeting during consideration of the item.

 

Councillor JP Blundell – Agenda Item 8 - Replacement Local Development Plan Submission Document declared a prejudicial interest and following advice from the Monitoring Officer, withdrew from the meeting during consideration of the item as he had co- authored a template response to the consultation.

 

Councillor HJ David – Agenda Item 10 - Allocations Under Town and Community Council Capital Grant Scheme 2022-23 declared a prejudicial interest as a member of Cefn Cribwr Community Council and withdrew from the meeting during consideration of the item.  

20.

Approval of Minutes pdf icon PDF 268 KB

To receive for approval the Minutes of 14/06/22

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED:           That the minutes of the meeting of Cabinet of 14 June 2022 be approved as a true and accurate record.  

21.

Budget Monitoring 2022-23 - Quarter 1 Revenue Forecast pdf icon PDF 361 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change reported on an update on the Council’s revenue financial position as at 30 June 2022 and sought approval for any virements over £100,000 which required approval by Cabinet as required by the Council’s Financial Procedure Rules.

 

She informed Cabinet that Council at its meeting on 23 February 2022 approved a net revenue budget of £319.510m for 2022-23 and due to a technical adjustment, the Revenue Support Grant (RSG) for the Council had increased by £4,336, increasing the net revenue budget for 2022-23 to £319.514m.  She summarised the net revenue budget and projected outturn for 2022-23, which showed a net under spend of £745k, comprising a net over spend of £889k on directorates and a net under spend of £1.634m on council wide budgets. 

 

The Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change stated that it was too early in the year to provide a realistic indication of projected council tax for this financial year, and whether the Council was likely to see a reduction in council tax income over the 2022-23 financial year as more people had suffered financial hardship through the pandemic, alongside the current cost of living crisis.  She informed Cabinet that the Council had received funding of £1.151m from the Welsh Government Covid-19 hardship fund in 2021-22 in recognition of the reduced collection rates.  There was no indication yet of any support for 2022-23.  A 1% reduction in the collection rate, could equate to additional pressure to the Council of £1m.    

 

She informed Cabinet that the Council had successfully claimed £14.682m in expenditure claims and over £1.762m in loss of income claims in 2021-22.  The Welsh Government had also recognised the need for homelessness accommodation to be secured in advance to continue the commitment to focus on support for homeless individuals, providing them with accommodation, and approved £1.479 million to cover these costs for the first six months of 2022-23.  As Covid-19 restrictions were removed in Wales from 18 April 2022, and the ending of the Welsh Government hardship fund on 31 March 2022, the Council approved a budget pressure of £1m in 2022-23 as part of the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) to meet ongoing pressures, due to additional cost pressures and the ongoing loss of income.  The balance on this fund has been carried into 2022-23 with the use of this fund approved to support the free car parking offer for town centres to the end of September.     

 

The Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change reported on the budget virements and technical adjustments made since the approval of the MTFS in February 2022.  An allocation of £500k budget pressure had been made to mitigate emerging pressures.  The Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change also informed Cabinet of the impact of pay/price inflation and due to the impact of the pandemic, Brexit and the war in Ukraine, the budget would be monitored closely during the remainder of the year. 

 

The Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change reported on the budget reduction  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Capital Programme Outturn 2021-22 and Quarter 1 Update 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 642 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change presented a report to

comply with the requirement of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and

Accountancy’s (CIPFA) Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities; provided details of the capital outturn for 2021-22; provided an update of the capital position for 2022-23 as at 30 June 2022; sought agreement from Cabinet to present a report to Council for approval a revised capital programme for 2022-23 to 2031-32 and to note the projected Prudential and Other Indicators for 2021-22 and 2022-23.

 

The Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change reported that Council on 24 February 2021, approved a capital budget of £62.363m for 2021-22 to 2030-31.  New schemes had been approved for the 2022-23 capital programme by Council in June 2022.  The capital programme for 2021-22 was updated and approved by Council on 23 February 2022 approving a programme of £50.082m of which £28.800m is met from the Council’s resources, including capital receipts, revenue contributions from earmarked reserves and borrowing, with the remaining £21.282m coming from external resources.  She informed Cabinet of amendments to the capital programme, with new approvals of £2.306m as a result of a new grant schemes from the Welsh Government, which include £1.162m for Free School Meals Capital, £0.250m Transforming Towns for Maesteg Town Hall, £0.159m Transforming Towns for Urban Centre Property Enhancement and £0.163m Integrated Care Funding (ICF) for the Children’s Residential Hub.  There had also been a £0.441m revenue contribution to capital to fund the installation of upgraded ICT infrastructure in schools.  Funding of £0.046m had been brought back from 2022-23 to reflect updated spend profiles.  The Council had been awarded £2.880m grant from the Welsh Government towards Band B Land Purchase which, whilst not changing the total cost of the scheme, the funding profile had been changed to reflect the additional funding.  This brought the revised budget for 2021-22 to £52.434m.    

 

The Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change reported that as at 31 March 2022 total expenditure was £29.741m which, after slippage of £21.252m into 2022-23 and adjustments to grant funded schemes of £1.395m, resulted in an under spend of £0.046m, which would be returned to Council funding.  A number of schemes had commenced but not been completed or had been moved into 2022-23.  The main schemes being:

 

·         £2.260m Llynfi Loan

·         £2.092m School Capital Maintenance

·         £2.028m Land Purchase Band B

·         £1.677m of funding for minor capital works

·         £0.998m Maesteg Town Hall

·         £0.797m Welsh Medium Childcare provision at Ogmore

·         £0.553m Economic Stimulus

·         £0.484m Welsh Medium Childcare provision at Bettws

 

The Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change highlighted the position by each Directorate at Quarter 1 and summarised the current funding assumptions for the capital programme for 2022-23.  Capital resources were managed to ensure that maximum financial benefit for the Council was achieved, which may include the realignment of funding to maximise government grants.

 

The Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change reported on amendments to the capital programme for 2022-23 as follows:

23.

Award of Funding for Homelessness Projects Via the Housing Support Grant pdf icon PDF 310 KB

Minutes:

The Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change sought approval to award Welsh Government Housing Support Grant project funding to Wallich, in order to continue delivery of their Rough Sleepers Intervention Team and Solutions Centre/Worker and to award Welsh Government Housing Support Grant project funding to Llamau, in order to continue delivery of their Bridgend Family Mediation project.

 

The Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change reported that Housing Support Grant is an early intervention grant programme to support activity which prevents people from becoming homeless, stabilises their housing situation, or helps potentially homeless people to find and keep accommodation.   The Council received an allocation of £7,954,787.69 Housing Support Grant, inclusive of a sum of £121,278.36 not included in the initial indicative award.  The Welsh Government had announced the transfer of elements of the Homelessness Prevention Grant to the Housing Support Grant for the ring fencing of funding to continue existing projects for a two-year period.  The projects being the Bridgend Family Mediation provided by Llamau and the Rough Sleepers Intervention Team and Solutions Centre/Worker provided by the Wallich.

 

The Cabinet Member Wellbeing and Future Generations in commending the proposal to award the funding to the schemes, stated that both Llamau and the Wallich have a long track record of supporting people requiring their services.  He stated that during the recent heatwave, the Wallich had supported homeless people by providing drinking water, additional shade and sunscreen and other items for the extreme heat.

  

The Leader asked for an update on expectations for future provision.  The Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change stated that Cabinet in March 2022 had approved the Housing Support Programme Strategy, which included the introduction of a rapid rehousing service, which had proven popular.  She stated that all services within the programme are mutually supportive of each other.  The Leader requested that the thanks of Cabinet be passed on to Llamau and the Wallich for the valuable work both organisations provide within the County Borough.

 

RESOLVED:           That Cabinet:

· Approved the award Welsh Government Housing Support Grant project funding to Wallich, in order to continue delivery of their Rough Sleepers Intervention Team and Solutions Centre/Worker project.

· Approved the award Welsh Government Housing Support Grant project funding to Llamau, in order to continue delivery of their Bridgend Family Mediation project.   

24.

The United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Fund pdf icon PDF 328 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Corporate Director Communities reported on an update United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and sought approval to authorise Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council (RCTCBC) to be the ‘Lead Local Authority’ for the Cardiff Capital Region for the submission to UK Government of a Local Investment Plan for the Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) for the delivery of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.  She also sought  authority to submit to Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council the Bridgend County Local Investment Plan information (as at July 2022) for delivering the Bridgend County UKSPF funding allocation to feed into the development of the CCR Local Investment Plan submission to UK Government.  Authority was also sought for the Corporate Director Communities, in consultation with the Chief Officer – Legal, and Regulatory Services, HR and Corporate Policy, Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change and the Corporate Director – Education and Family Support to negotiate and enter into a CCR regional funding agreement with RCTCBC acting as lead authority and to enter into any further deeds and documents which are ancillary to the agreement or that are necessary to deliver the UKSPF . 

 

The Corporate Director Communities reported that following the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union, the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is the UK Government’s replacement for the European Structural Investment Funds.  The Fund is a key part of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda, forming part of complementary funding, including the Levelling Up Fund and Community Ownership Fund.  The primary aim of the fund is to build pride in place and increase life chances across the UK. Underpinning this aim are three investment Priorities: communities and place; supporting local business and people and skills.

 

The Corporate Director Communities reported that local authorities within the CCR had been invited to collaborate and feed into one regional Local Investment Plan for CCR that sets out proposals to deliver the UKSPF to March 2025 and as part of this process, it was proposed that RCT Council performs this role.  She stated that each local authority will have flexibility over how they deliver UKSPF and that a mixture of options is available, namely: competitions for grant funding; procurement; commissioning, and in-house provision.  She highlighted an overview of the proposals, based on 

information and guidance currently available and as information and guidance evolved and further detail is provided, proposals may change. 

 

The Cabinet Member Regeneration thanked the Corporate Director Communities and the Team for bringing some exciting proposals to Cabinet and commented on the importance of working with partners. 

 

The Cabinet Member Education asked whether the Council had lost funding because of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.  The Corporate Director Communities stated that the Council had previously been successful in securing European Structural Investment Funds and whilst the Council had secured funding of £23m from the Shared Prosperity Fund, it was believed that overall, the Council had 45% less funding, but would nevertheless have to work accordingly with its partners and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.

25.

Replacement Local Development Plan Submission Document pdf icon PDF 444 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Corporate Director Communities commenced her submission by thanking the Planning Team for their tireless work in developing the   Replacement Local Development Plan Submission Document.

 

She reported for consideration by Cabinet the Deposit Plan Consultation Report Summary Document and the proposed submission version of the Replacement Local Development Plan (RLDP) as amended following public consultation and sought agreement for the amended RLDP and to recommend to Council that the RLDP as amended be submitted to Welsh Government and Planning and Environment Decisions Wales (PEDW) for independent examination.

 

The Corporate Director Communities reported that an up-to-date Local Development Plan (LDP) is an essential part of a plan-led planning system in Wales.  She stated that without an up to date LDP, it would become progressively difficult for the Council to focus on integrating and addressing multiple land use concerns and the local planning process would become fragmented, un-coordinated and reactive.  She informed Cabinet that the review report of the existing LDP had recognised an urgent need to address the shortfall in the housing land supply through the identification of additional housing sites, highlighted by the new housing delivery monitoring system prescribed by Welsh Government.  She informed Cabinet that whilst the existing LDP had been successful in bringing forward several (primarily brownfield) residential and mixed-use allocations, other brownfield allocations had not come forward as anticipated.  The number of remaining deliverable sites had progressively dwindled at the end of the existing plan period, resulting in lower annual dwelling completions.  She stated that the 2021 Census had revealed that the population in the County Borough is one of the fastest growing areas in Wales, having consequences for land use.

 

The Corporate Director Communities reported that since the publication of the RLDP Deposit Plan for Consultation, new information, changes to legislation, updated national planning guidance and the completion of supporting technical information had necessitated a review of the LDP evidence base.  This, together with some of the matters raised in the consultation representations meant a number of changes to the Deposit RLDP are considered necessary, the main changes being:

 

a) Removal of Housing Allocation at Parc Afon Ewenni, Bridgend – as a result of the recently published Flood Map for Planning identifying the site at being at risk of flooding;

b) Inclusion of a housing allocation at Heol Fach, North Cornelly;

c) Inclusion of site masterplans;

d) Removal of Gypsy, Traveller and Showpeople Site at Land adjacent to Bryncethin Depot;

e) Completed Strategic Transport Assessment; and

f) Updated Strategic Flood Consequence Assessment.

 

The Corporate Director Communities reported that authorisation would be sought from Council in September 2022 to submit the RLDP to Planning and Environment Decisions Wales (PEDW) for public examination (anticipated in early 2023).

 

The Cabinet Member Communities expressed his thanks to the Planning Team for their work over the past 4 years in delivering the RLDP.  He referred to the concerns in the increase in housing development proposed and asked if there would be a net increase in publicly accessible open spaces.  The Corporate  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.

26.

2020 - 2023 Carriageway Resurfacing Programme pdf icon PDF 236 KB

Minutes:

The Corporate Director Communities sought approval to modify the contract for carriageway resurfacing for works to be undertaken during the financial year 2022/23.

 

The Corporate Director Communities reported that procurement of resurfacing of the Highway Network was undertaken through the South East Wales Highway Framework, via a mini-competition and tender process in March 2021.  The contract was awarded to Centregreat Limited running from April 2021 to March 2022 with an option to extend the contract for a further 12 months to March 2023 on the parties’ mutual agreement.  An approach had been received from the contractor because of exceptional inflationary increases requesting an uplift to the fee rates to enable them to maintain the same levels of performance during the extension period.  This would equate to a cost increase of 8.93% over the whole term of the contract.  This was attributable to material costs being affected by the increase in oil, which is a significant proportion of the tarmacadam material.  Labour costs increasing due to the National Insurance employer’s contribution element, while plant usage relied heavily on diesel, hence the fuel cost increases being significant. 

 

The Corporate Director Communities reported that Cardiff City Council who oversee the South East Wales Highway Framework, had confirmed that, further to the representation from contractors on the framework, agreement had been made for the submission of increases to the standard rates across the framework.   She stated that Rule 3.3.6 of the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules (CPRs) provides that procured contracts may be modified without the requirement for a new procurement procedure where the value of the modification is below both the relevant applicable financial thresholds contained in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and below 15% of the initial contract value for works contracts, provided that the modification does not alter the overall nature of the contract.  Rule 3.6 of the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules indicate that where the value of the modification of an existing contract exceeds £100,000, approval of the modification must be obtained from the appropriate body which in this case is the Cabinet of the Council.

 

The Cabinet Member Communities stated that any schemes affected by the increase cost will take in the following year.  The Leader stated that escalating costs were being experienced across all local authorities and across all services.

 

The Deputy Leader asked whether tenderers consider socio-economic duties.  The Corporate Director Communities confirmed that they did.  The Leader stated that if work was not carried out to the desired standard, payment would be withheld until such time as it was performed to the requisite standard.

 

RESOLVED:           That Cabinet approved the contract modification in accordance with rules 3.3.6 and 3.6 of the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules. 

27.

Allocations Under Town and Community Council Capital Grant Scheme 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 439 KB

Minutes:

The Corporate Director Communities sought approval to allocate capital funding to Town and Community Councils to develop projects from the Town and Community Council (T&CC) Capital Grant scheme for 2022-23.

 

She reported that the Council had allocated £50,000 for 2022-23 and for subsequent years in the Capital Programme to support applications from T&CCs for capital projects.  With the decommitment of the Coity Higher project the budget available for 2022-23 is £65,002.57.  She outlined proposals received from T&CCs which sought to align with the Council’s Decarbonisation and Net-Zero 2030 agenda.  It was  proposed that applications for funding from Cornelly Community Council (£9,583) and Coychurch Higher Community Council (£5,000) be approved and that the Decarbonisation Programme Manager liaise with Maesteg Town Council to support a review of options available with the potential to revisit an application in future years.

 

The Cabinet Member Education stated the importance of plans being submitted by Town and Community Councils to bid for funding from next year’s allocation.   The Corporate Director Communities stated that a report could be submitted to the next Town and Community Councils Forum to offer support and advice to Town and Community Councils in order that they submit bids for funding under the Capital Grant Scheme in 2023-24. 

 

RESOLVED:          That Cabinet:

1.  Approved allocation of capital funding within the existing Capital Programme of £14,583.00 to Town and Community Councils (T&CC) to develop projects in line with the specific allocations detailed at 8.2 from the Town and Community Council Capital Grant Scheme;

2.  Noted that funding of £50,419.57 will be rolled forward to support projects in 2023-24;

3. Authorised officers to communicate with the T&CC listed in Table 3, section 8.4, and requested an update on proposed delivery and expenditure.  It was proposed that if Town and Community Councils respond indicating that projects are either no longer taking place or cannot be delivered within the 2022-23 financial year then funding offers are withdrawn for the specific applications listed above.  If this does happen then any funding associated will be returned to the T&CC Capital Grant Scheme and be available for future rounds of applications for new proposals;

4. Recommended that a report be submitted to the next Town and Community Councils Forum to offer support and advice to Town and Community Councils in order that they submit bids for funding under the Capital Grant Scheme in 2023-24.   

28.

The Conference of Parties 2022 pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Minutes:

The Corporate Director Communities reported on an update on work to support the Conference of Parties 2022 and to support the Council signing a Declaration to inform the Conference of Parties in 2022. 

 

The Corporate Director Communities informed Cabinet that in partnership with the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, the Scottish Government is leading on the ‘Edinburgh Process’, an online, global consultation with sub-national and local governments around the world on their role in the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and targets.  She stated that a key outcome of the Edinburgh Process is the Declaration, which is intended to demonstrate the commitment of subnational authorities across the world to deliver for nature over the next decade.  The biodiversity duty included in the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 is intended to support efforts to reverse the decline and secure the long-term resilience of biodiversity in Wales.  The Council had approved its Biodiversity and Ecosystems Resilience Forward Plan, 2018-2022, in 2018, contributing to Biodiversity and Ecosystem Resilience targets.

 

The Corporate Director Communities reported that the Welsh Government had requested all local authorities in Wales consider signing the Declaration.

 

The Cabinet Member Wellbeing and Future Generations in commending the proposal to sign the Declaration commented on the great amount of biodiversity work being undertaken in the Ogmore Valley in areas such as the old washery site .  The Cabinet Member Communities stated that he would be more than pleased to sign the Declaration on behalf of the Council. 

 

RESOLVED:           That Cabinet supported the signing of the Declaration to inform the Conference of Parties 2022 and authorised the Cabinet Member – Communities to sign the Declaration on behalf of the Council. 

29.

Appointment of Local Authority Governors pdf icon PDF 243 KB

Minutes:

The Corporate Director Education and Family Support sought approval for the appointments of local authority governors to the school governing bodies listed at paragraph 4.1 of the report.

 

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

30.

Foster Carer Allowances Uplift pdf icon PDF 657 KB

Minutes:

The Corporate Director Social Services and Wellbeing reported on a proposal to increase to foster carer allowances, linked to the significant increases to the cost of living and sought agreement to offer all foster carers two weeks paid respite per annum, and increase foster carer allowance for 2022/23.

 

She informed Cabinet that foster carers play a significant role for the Council, providing care within a family to children and young people who cannot live at home with their birth families.  She stated there are not enough foster carers and one of the “key themes” identified within the Placement Commissioning Strategy completed in April 2021 was an insufficient number of in-house foster carers.  To address this area of concern Bridgend had engaged with regional colleagues to support recruitment of foster carers and in April 2022 entered into a Regional Front Door with Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr County Borough Councils to support one point of contact for all foster carer enquiries and initial visits.

 

The Corporate Director Social Services and Wellbeing reported that September 2021 saw the launch of Maethu Cymru/Foster Wales to support a national approach to the recruitment of new foster carers across all 22 Local Authorities in Wales, however this had not resulted in the increase anticipated.  She stated there was a need to recruit new foster carers, whilst retaining those the Council has currently, to ensure sufficiency of placements to safeguard children and young people.  Foster Carers in Bridgend had received an increase to their basic allowance this year of 3%, whereas the cost of living is anticipated to rise by 10% over coming months.

 

The Corporate Director Social Services and Wellbeing reported it was proposed to increase Fostering Allowances by 7% (in addition to the 3% already paid) to 10% for 2022/23 only, pending any recommendations from Welsh Government or further review by the service that may be undertaken in relation to changes of circumstance.  The Council would need to consider any continuation of this increase beyond this financial year in its budget setting for 2023/24 onwards.  It was also proposed to offer all foster carers two weeks (14 days) paid respite per annum.  The proposed additional 7% allowances would see an increase in budget of £201k, while the introduction of two weeks paid respite for all foster carers would cost the Council £80,186.

 

The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member Social Services and Early Help in commending the proposals stated that the role foster carers have is highly important and acknowledged that it is a 24 hour 7 days a week role.  She also stated it was vital that foster carers receive 2 weeks paid respite.  The Leader stated that the Cabinet Member and Director are looking at additional ways of supporting foster carers.

 

RESOLVED:           That Cabinet:

· Approved the proposal to offer all foster carers two weeks paid respite per annum, financed as indicated from within existing budget.

· Approved the proposal to increase foster carer allowances as set out in 8.2 of the report.       

31.

Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 Section 65 Power to Fix Fares for Hackney Carriages; Application to Vary the Hackney Carriage Fares Tariff pdf icon PDF 397 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Shared Regulatory Services reported on an application received from the Bridgend County Hackney Association to increase the current Bridgend County Borough Council’s rate of hackney carriage fares.

 

The Head of Shared Regulatory Services informed Cabinet that the Council may fix or vary the rate of fares for the hire of a hackney carriage under the provisions of Section 65 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1976.  Any variation of the fare must be advertised in a local paper and that a period of notice of at least 14 days be given to enable any person to make objections.  She stated that the current tariff of fares had been effective since January 2019. 

 

The Head of Shared Regulatory Services reported that the application proposed increases across all tariffs together with the charge for waiting time, highlighting the economic impact on the taxi trade of the Covid-19 pandemic together with the current cost of living crisis.  In addition, the Licensing Section had received a number of enquiries from individual licensees asking whether the Council would consider a fare increase because of the cost of living/fuel crisis.  Bridgend is currently ranked at 230th of the 349 Councils setting fares.  The Head of Shared Regulatory Services informed Cabinet that should it be minded to approve the increase, it will move to the same price range as the Vale of Glamorgan and Carmarthenshire Councils.  She highlighted the cost of fuel increases since April 2019 together with rate of inflation increases and that since 2019, there had been a year-on-year decline in the number of driver and vehicle licences issued by the Council, during the pandemic.  There had been an increase in the number of drivers licensed, but this had not returned to pre-pandemic levels.

 

The Cabinet Member Wellbeing and Future Generations in commending the proposal to increase hackney carriage fares, commented on the importance of taxis in the transport infrastructure of the County Borough, balancing that with the needs of residents to get to appointments, where there are inadequate or cancelled bus routes.  It was also important to consider the fare increase to deter drivers from applying for licences in neighbouring authorities when a reduction in licences being issued in Bridgend County has already been seen in 2021 and 2022. 

 

The Leader stressed the importance of recognising the cost pressures faced by licensed taxi drivers and if the Council did not increase fares it could lead to a decline in the number of drivers, impacting on services locally.  He requested that the Head of Shared Regulatory Services thank the Licensing Team and all associated with the Licensing Committee for its work.

 

RESOLVED:          That Cabinet:

  

1.   Noted the issues and impacts to taxi fares set out in the report.

2.   Approved the application put forward by the Bridgend County Hackney Association with an implementation date of 26 September 2022 (provided that there are no objections).

Authorised the advertisement of the variation in a local newspaper.  

32.

Cabinet, Council and Overview and Scrutiny Forward Work Programmes pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Officer, Legal and Regulatory Services, HR and Corporate Policy presented a report which sought approval for items to be included on the Forward Work Programme for the period 1 July to 31 October 2022 and for Cabinet to note the Council and Overview and Scrutiny Forward Work Programmes for the same period.

 

The Chief Officer, Legal and Regulatory Services, HR and Corporate Policy informed cabinet that subsequent to the publication of the report, the Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committee 3 at its meeting on 18 July 2022 had approved items on the Shared Prosperity Fund and the Levelling Up Fund to be placed on its Forward Work Programme.    

 

RESOLVED:          That Cabinet:

 

· Approved the Cabinet Forward Work Programme for the period 1 July to 31 October 2022 at Appendix 1.

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

33.

Invitees on Cabinet Committee Equalities and Cabinet Committee Corporate Parenting pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Minutes:

The Chief Officer, Legal and Regulatory Services, HR and Corporate Policy presented a report seeking nomination of Champions from each of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees to the Cabinet Committee Corporate Parenting and receive these nominations.   She also sought approval of the invitees to attend meetings of the Cabinet Committee Equalities as nominated by each of the political groups represented on the Council.

 

The Chief Officer, Legal and Regulatory Services, HR and Corporate Policy reported that to date, the following Members have been appointed by the relevant Overview and Scrutiny Committees as invitees to attend meetings of the Cabinet Committee Corporate Parenting.  She also informed Cabinet that the Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committee 3 at its meeting on 18 July 2002 had appointed Councillor JE Pratt as its Corporate Parenting Champion.

 

The Chief Officer, Legal and Regulatory Services, HR and Corporate Policy also reported that 10 invitees from each political group sit on the Cabinet Committee Equalities and following discussion with the Group Leaders, the following Members had been nominated:

 

Political Group                            Councillors

Labour                                          Councillor M Evans

Labour                                          Councillor P Ford

Labour                                          Councillor M Lewis

Labour                                          Councillor J Llewellyn-Hopkins

Labour                                          Councillor E Winstanley

Bridgend County Independent     Councillor A J Williams                 

Bridgend County Independent     Councillor A Berrow

Bridgend County Independent     Councillor A Wathan

Democratic Alliance                     Councillor R Penhale-Thomas

Democratic Alliance                     Councillor D M Hughes

 

RESOLVED:          That Cabinet:

 

1.   Noted and approved the Invitees for the Cabinet Committee Corporate Parenting as outlined in paragraphs 4.2 and 4.3 and that Councillor JE Pratt was nominated by Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committee 3 as an invitee;

Approved the nominated invitees to the Cabinet Committee Equalities on the basis of 5 Labour Members, 3 Bridgend Independent Members and 2 Democratic Alliance Members, details of which are shown in paragraph 4.5 of the report.

34.

Exclusion of the Public

The following item is not for publication as it contains exempt information as defined in Paragraph 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 items of business as they  contain exempt information as defined in Paragraph 14 of Part 4 and 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 items 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.

35.

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:

The Leader informed Cabinet that he had by reason of special circumstances accepted an exempt report on the Procurement of Home to School Transport to 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.

36.

Procurement of Home-To-School Transport

37.

Land Transactions at Island Farm Bridgend