Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet - Tuesday, 18th July, 2023 14:30

Venue: Hybrid in the Council Chamber - Civic Offices, Angel Street, Bridgend, CF31 4WB. View directions


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.




Cllr Farr – Item 10, Prejudicial



Approval of Minutes pdf icon PDF 253 KB

To receive for approval the Minutes of 20/06/23




Budget Monitoring 2023-24 - Quarter 1 Revenue Forecast pdf icon PDF 347 KB

Additional documents:


The purpose of this report was to provide Cabinet with an update on the Council’s revenue financial position as at 30th June 2023 and to seek approval for any virements over £100,000 which require approval by Cabinet as required by the Council’s Financial Procedure Rules.


The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change provided a summary of the current position. The key points are as follows:


  • The net revenue budget for 2023-24 is £342.334 million. The overall projected position at 30th June 2023 is a net over spend of £9.727 million.
  • The projected over spend is primarily due to ongoing pressures within the Social Services and Wellbeing Directorate and on the Home to School Transport budget.
  • The budget approved for 2023-24 included budget reduction proposals totalling £2.608 million. The current position is a projected shortfall on the savings target of £200,000, or 7.67% of the overall reduction target.
  • A thorough review of earmarked reserves was undertaken by Corporate Management Board during quarter 1 of 2023-24 which has identified £3.067 million of reserves that can be unwound to contribute towards emerging risks for the Council as a whole during 2023-24. A further £733,000 of earmarked reserves was to be repurposed against similar schemes.
  • It is too early in the financial year to provide a realistic indication of projected council tax income for this year and whether or not the Council is likely to see a reduction in its in income from Council tax as more people have experienced financial hardship due to the current cost of living crisis, or whether the additional income which should be collected through the introduction of the Council tax premiums on empty properties will impact. This will obviously be very closely monitored throughout the remainder of this year.


The Cabinet Member for Finances, Resources and Legal thanked the Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change for the report. He noted there were significant overspends that would have to be addressed and that it would be necessary to make a forensic assessment of the pressures and the full impact on the authority.


He noted he had been at a finance cabinet members network meeting and although it provided little comfort, it was somewhat reassuring that these pressures are found across Wales. He noted his support for the virements and the recommendation.


Prompted by a series of questions by the Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Wellbeing, a discussion followed about direct payments, whether there were families in Bridgend that had duplicate packages (i.e., direct payments and home care packages) and if so why, whether the Council claimed back direct payments that went unused, and that there seemed to be an over-spend in some areas of staffing and an under-spend in others.


The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change confirmed that the Council did reclaim unused direct payments. She also noted that underspends arose because of staffing vacancies for example, and overspends because of things like agency costs. As such, the figure for social services, for instance,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 206.


Capital Programme Update Quarter 1 2023-24 pdf icon PDF 182 KB

Additional documents:


The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change presented this report. Its purpose was to:


  • comply with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s (CIPFA) ‘The Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities’ (2021 edition) requirement to report performance against all forward looking indicators on a quarterly basis.
  • provide an update of the capital programme position for 2023-24 as at 30 June 2023 (Appendix A).
  • seek agreement from Cabinet to present a report to Council for approval of a revised capital programme for 2023-24 to 2032-33 (Appendix B).
  • note the projected Prudential and Other Indicators for 2023-24 (Appendix C).


The Cabinet Member for Finances, Resources and Legal welcomed the new report template and noted that while he welcomed Welsh Government grants, he wondered about the genuine revenue implications of initiatives like free school meals. He also speculated about the expenditure on fleet vehicles and whether it was absolutely necessary to change them now.


The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change responded by indicating there would be revenue implications in the form of running costs for the new fleet vehicles, but she assumed most of the fleet being bought is just replacing old and running costs would actually reduce. She further noted there would be a hit on the revenue account because that's funded via borrowing and therefore services do need to make sure before they purchase that fleet that they can actually afford to repay the loans that we will have to be taken out in order to fund them. She added that it would be valuable to make some of those consequences more explicit in future reports.


The Deputy Leader drew attention to two issues:


  • Disabled facilities grants, and specifically the award of £0.1 million from Cwm Taf Morgannwg’s Housing with Care Fund, which will be used to fund equipment and adaptations to existing homes which are not supported by other Welsh Government adaptations grants, including supplementing the cost of Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG) over the £36,000 statutory maximum. In response, the Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing noted it had been the strategy over many years that disabled facilities grants help people to remain in their own homes and that can reduce the need for ongoing care.
  • the acquisition of the existing vehicles, plant and equipment utilised in the provision of the current waste service with Kier Services Limited. In particular, whether BCBC would get warranties on any of the equipment or vehicles and how old are they. In response, the Corporate Director – Communities noted that the residual value of the vehicles and kit had been established as £460,000 and this was good value compared to buying them new which would have cost £1.5 million. She noted they would take possession of any manufacturer warranties that remain. She indicated though, that some of the vehicles have been used for seven years and their life expectancy is ten years.


The Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Wellbeing requested further information on the Community Focused  ...  view the full minutes text for item 207.


Treasury Management - Quarter 1 2023-24 pdf icon PDF 172 KB

Additional documents:


The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change presented this report. Its purpose 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’ (the Code) to report an overview of treasury activities for the preceding financial year.
  • Provide an update of Treasury Management activity for the first quarter 1 April – 30 June 2023.


As at 30 June 2023 the Council had £99.79 million of long term debt, £13.80 million of other long term liabilities and £94.00 million of short term investments, an overall net debt position of £19.59 million.


The average interest rate for debt was 4.69% (excluding Salix borrowing which is interest free) and for investments it was 4.16%.


The Council has a manageable maturity structure of borrowing, with its current debt repayable at various points over the next 30 years.


The Council has complied with the CIPFA Treasury Management Code and Welsh Government Investment Guidance.


Both the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finances, Resources and Legal welcomed the report and highlighted the following issues:


  • That the Council’s investments have increased since the end of March. The main reason for that is as usual, Welsh government provides us with two payments of the grants that we're due during the year in April, which means that we have more money in at the start of the year than we've actually needed to spend over that period. Therefore, our investments have gone up, that's normal and we reflect that position in most financial years.
  • That the Council is starting to benefit from increased rates of return on our investments. Our investment rates tend to move with the Bank rate fairly swiftly but there will be a slight lag in the sense that in terms of those investments we currently have, the investment rate was agreed at the time that money was placed and is fixed for the duration of that investment period. Therefore, what we're starting to see is as the rates are going up, we are now getting an improved return on them.






  • noted the treasury management activities for 2023-24 for the period 1 April 2023 to 30 June 2023.

noted the Treasury Management Indicators for the quarter ending 30 June 2023 against those approved in the Treasury Management Strategy 2023-24.


Corporate Plan Delivery Plan 2023-24 and Performance Framework pdf icon PDF 1014 KB


This report was introduced by the Chief Executive and the Corporate Policy & Public Affairs Manager. The key points were as follows:


  • The report proposed a new one-year Delivery Plan to monitor progress against the Corporate Plan.
  • The Delivery Plan addresses criticisms posed by self-assessment 2022, Audit Wales’ review of performance management and internal audit findings from a Performance Indicators (PI) audit.
  • The main changes include:


-          Having the 7 well-being objectives comprehensively reflected by 44 aims, 101 commitments and 99 Performance Indicators (PIs).

-          Having clear and agreed aims to provide detail underneath each well-being objective and help the Council effectively monitor progress / performance.

-          Having performance indicators that more effectively measure the Council’s progress on its aims, are better focused on outcomes, and can be benchmarked.

-          Placing a stronger focus on the measurement of the Council’s new Ways of Working.


  • A new draft performance framework is also proposed.
  • The report also reflects changes from Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 3 July 2023.


The Leader welcomed the report and thanked the small team responsible for writing it for their work. He highlighted that implementation was a big task.


A number of issues were highlighted in the discussion that followed:


  • The Cabinet Member for Finances, Resources and Legal asked for an update on progress in respect of performance management, an issue highlighted by Audit Wales. The Corporate Policy and Public Affairs Manager responded by pointing to the many things in the corporate plan delivery plan that have been developed to address some of those criticisms. For example, the wellbeing objectives weren’t fully measured by the existing commitments but there was much better coverage now. The aims under each wellbeing objectives have been clarified and those commitments have been decoupled from the PIs. There was also a focus on output and outcome measures and things that allow comparison over time and with others. In addition, there was the new performance framework. She added that there were a few things that have happened outside the corporate plan delivery plan. CPA now considers additional information about staffing and finances in the quarterly dashboards. There was also a regulatory tracker which is considered by Governance and Audit Committee half yearly. There was also some planned training for all performance-related staff across the organisation and a corporate plan session for all staff in September. In addition, the corporate plan and performance management form a part of staff and manager inductions.
  • The Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Regeneration discussed whether this plan was understood at all levels of the organisation and that there was buy in to it. In response, the Chief Executive highlighted the importance of staff engagement. There will be staff briefings arranged in September, but also regular communication about the plan. The key task would be to make it relevant to everyone's work, for everyone to feel that the objectives are relevant to them, whatever job they do. He also highlighted this was a cultural piece of work, part of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 209.


Housing Support Programme Strategy (Homelessness Strategy) 2022 - 2026, Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan and Housing Prospectus pdf icon PDF 493 KB

Additional documents:


The report was introduced by the Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change and the Head of Partnerships. Its purpose was as follows:


  • To seek approval for public consultation on the draft Housing Support Programme Strategy, to cover 2022 – 2026. This document will replace BCBC’s existing Homelessness Strategy 2018-2022. Having this strategy in place is a Welsh Government requirement.
  • The report also sought Cabinet approval to adopt and submit to Welsh Government a Rapid Rehousing Transitional Plan and a Housing Prospectus. Again, both these documents are Welsh Government requirements, but do not require public consultation, in the same way that the above referenced Strategy does.


The Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Regeneration welcomed the report and thanked the “small but very determined” housing team in Bridgend for all the work that had gone in to producing it. He went on to note that there was significant pressure on housing and homelessness within Bridgend County. There were over 2500 people on the common housing register, over 250 people in temporary accommodation waiting for homes and 51% of that temporary accommodation currently is in tourist accommodation.


He further noted that he had asked the team for an engagement plan for the 12-week consultation. There were real life experiences that needed to be heard and that it was necessary to ensure that colleagues in scrutiny committees and across the Chamber feel like they've been heard and listened to.


The Leader echoed the appreciation of the work carried out by the Housing team. He noted that they were the ones dealing on a daily basis with the presentations that the Council was receiving from people who are homeless and are in desperate need of our help.


The Deputy Leader noted that she was encouraged by the report and drew the attention of Members to the stakeholder views. A number of stakeholders spoke very highly of the amount and variety of supported accommodation available within the Borough, but more options were needed. She also thought that one of the options that needs to be highlighted is our looked after children. There was also a care and support element that was required as well, and that was a further pressure on budgets.


The Leader and Deputy Leader highlighted a number of other significant issues as part of the discussion around this agenda item, including the following:


  • the value of structured interviews to capture the experiences of stakeholders.
  • the value of multi-agency and partnership approaches to providing services and help to the citizens of Bridgend (and in particular, for rough sleepers). 
  • the stark rise in the number of households on the Common Housing Register – up 205% since 2016.
  • the importance of the population needs assessment and whether it was being taken seriously by registered social landlords.
  • Sometimes there was a picture painted of who is in housing need and who is homeless, and that isn't always the case. There were over 100 hundred applications currently on the common housing register for people who want  ...  view the full minutes text for item 210.


Relationship Building Together Project (RBT) pdf icon PDF 755 KB


This report was introduced by the Head of Education and Family Support. Its purpose was to:


  • update Cabinet on the Relationship Building Together (RBT) project; and,
  • to outline key milestones prior to seeking formal Cabinet approval in September 2023 following Youth Endowment Fund (YEF) committee approval on 24 July 2023.


The key points were as follows:


  • On 2 February 2023, the local authority successfully secured a bid for circa £800k through the Youth Endowment Fund (YEF).
  • From 59 applications across England and Wales, the RBT project is one of only three successful projects and the only project in Wales to secure funding. The RBT project is an evaluation of services working with children using the Trauma Recovery Model (TRM). There is particular interest from the Home Office in the project to consider how the evaluation may inform future policy around working with children who have experienced trauma.
  • The project will be piloted within six teams across the whole family support group and be implemented from September 2023 until March 2025.
  • In September 2023, the local authority will be entering into a service level agreement (SLA) with YEF. The full SLA will be available following the YEF committee approval on 24 July 2023. The SLA and its full terms and conditions will be provided to Cabinet by way of an update at the next meeting on 19 September 2023.
  • In order for project implementation to take effect from 20 September 2023, planning is required by departments over the summer period and prior to the Cabinet meeting date in September 2023.
  • YEF has provided an example of their general terms and conditions for consideration set out at Appendix A. The finalised agreement within any specified terms and conditions will be provided on 19 September 2023.


The Cabinet Member for Education asked the Head of Education and Family Support to thank and congratulate the team for all the hard work in securing the funding for this project. The fact it was the only one in Wales to secure funding was a remarkable achievement.


He went on to stress that this was a massive collaborative project, with teams working across the Council, not just in the education, transport, but in social services and wellbeing. This was a true one Council collaborative approach.


He thought that, in terms of monitoring progress, the best place would be the Cabinet Committee Corporate Parenting (CCCP).


The Leader indicated that he supported the proposition that the project report to CCCP. He thought this was an innovative pilot project and that he was very excited about it. He also thought that there would need to be careful monitoring of the outcomes, but he was sure they would be positive and that one of the strengths to this project was the assessment and ongoing evaluation by the University of Kent.


The Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Wellbeing welcomed the project and asked how the outcomes would be sustained once the funding ran out in 2025. The Head of Education and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 211.


Post 16 College Transport Arrangements 2023-24 pdf icon PDF 259 KB


This report was introduced by the Head of Education and Family Support. Its purpose was to seek approval for the use of an existing commercial bus service for the delivery of home-to-college transport from September 2023, in line with the local authority’s Home-to-School/College Transport Policy.


The key reason for this was the local authority being unable to contract a dedicated transport service in time for September 2023, due to the market insecurity linked to Welsh Government’s replacement Bus Emergency Scheme (BES).


The Cabinet Member for Education welcomed the report and proposed a number of amendments to the recommendation.


The Deputy Leader indicated she was happy to support the proposal as amended. She thought this was something that our residents could do to support our budget arrangements and that it was much better for young people to be more independent, to learn some very good skills, and to get themselves about when they go into the world of work.


The proposed amendments to the recommendation were accepted by Cabinet and are set out below.








Procedure for the Appointment and Removal of LA School Governors pdf icon PDF 338 KB


The Cabinet Member for Education indicated the report needed some refinement and fine-tuning and was withdrawn from consideration until the September meeting of Cabinet.



Council, Cabinet and O&SC Forward Work Programmes pdf icon PDF 223 KB

Additional documents:


This report was introduced by the Chief Officer – Legal & Regulatory Services, HR and Corporate Policy and its purpose was to seek Cabinet approval for items to be included on the Cabinet Forward Work Programme for the period 1 July 2023 to 31 October 2023 and for Cabinet to note the Council and Overview and Scrutiny Committees’ Forward Work Programmes for the same period.






  • approved the Cabinet Forward Work Programme for the period 1 July 2023 to 31 October 2023 at Appendix 1.
  • noted the Council and Overview and Scrutiny Committees’ Forward Work Programmes for the same period, as shown at Appendix 2 and Appendix 3 of the report, respectively.



Transfer of Cheapside Police Station and Brackla One Multi Storey Car Park Sites to Bridgend College pdf icon PDF 400 KB


This report was introduced by the Corporate Director – Communities and its purpose was as follows:


  • to update Cabinet on progress that has been made in relation to supporting the aspirations of Bridgend College to relocate their main campus to Bridgend Town Centre on the BCBC owned sites of the former South Wales Police (SWP) Station and Brackla One Multi Storey Car Park at Cheapside; and
  • to seek approval to progress with the transfer of these sites on a long lease basis to Bridgend College in order to facilitate development of this key site within the Bridgend Town Centre Masterplan (the Masterplan).


The Cabinet Member for Finances, Resources and Legal welcomed the report and indicated that it was exciting to partner with Bridgend College on a multi-million pound investment in a key site in Bridgend.


The Leader described the project as very exciting and reminded Cabinet members that this was the biggest single investment in Bridgend town centre and in an education project in the county borough. That was the scale and extent and potential impact of the project.


The Deputy Leader sought reassurance about the valuation of Brackla One. The Corporate Director – Communities noted that anytime BCBC disposed of assets as a local authority, it was necessary to take advice from the district valuer. The valuation put on this site was £310K but that was based on a cleared site. A such, it would cost more to make the site ready for redevelopment than the current valuation.


The Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment welcomed the fact that the Bridgend College development would be built to a net zero carbon standard.






  • noted the progress that has been made in connection with the acquisition and demolition of the former Police Station Site at Cheapside in readiness for transfer to Bridgend College in support of their Town Centre campus proposal.
  • noted the progress in respect of the demolition of Brackla One multi storey car park.
  • authorised officers to complete the requisite legal documentation to transfer both sites to Bridgend College for nil consideration in accordance with WG Estate Co-location & Land Transfer Protocol and Subsidy Act Control in order to support and facilitate the Town Centre Campus development only, whereby should the same development not proceed the land would transfer back to BCBC.



Information Report for Noting pdf icon PDF 109 KB

Additional documents:


This report was introduced by the Chief Officer – Legal & Regulatory Services, HR and Corporate Policy and its purpose was to update Cabinet with a report for Members information and noting in relation to the outcomes of Estyn Inspections of Primary Schools in Bridgend during Spring and Summer Term 2023.


The schools were as follows:


  • Coychurch (Llangrallo) Primary School;
  • Croesty Primary School;
  • Cwmfelin Primary School;
  • St Mary’s and St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School;
  • Nantymoel Primary School;
  • Newton Primary School;
  • Garth Primary School;
  • Bryntirion Infant School; and,
  • Caerau Primary School.


The Cabinet Member for Education welcomed the report and commented on some of the good work that was going on in each of the schools.




Cabinet acknowledged the publication of the report referred to in paragraph 3.1 of the report.


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.







Exclusion of the Public

The following items are not for publication as they contain exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 14 and 16 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 these items in private, the public will be excluded from the meeting during such consideration.







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 contains exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 14 and 16 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.



Re-Procurement of Joint Venture Engineering Design and Consultancy Service


Porthcawl Waterfront Regeneration


Approval of Exempt Minutes

To receive for approval the exempt minutes of 20/06/2023