Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices Angel Street Bridgend CF31 4WB. View directions
Contact: Andrew Rees Democratic Services Manager
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.
To receive for approval the minutes of the 23/10/2019
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of Council of 23 October 2019 be approved as a true and accurate record.
To Receive Announcements From:
(i) Mayor (or person presiding)
(ii) Members of the Cabinet
(iii) Chief Executive
The Mayor informed Council of the engagements which he had undertaken since the last meeting of Council which included attending the BAVO volunteer awards which celebrates local people who give up their time to help others in their community. He had the honour of presenting the Sports Volunteer of the Year award to Shannie Bowen, who runs weekly meetings during the school year with current Maesteg Active Young People leaders, helping them with their work books, organising placements and supporting them with their progress.
Nominations for the Mayor’s Annual Citizenship Awards were now open, the awards are open to people who live in the county borough, as well as groups and businesses based locally. Further information can be found on the BCBC website and a nomination form can be downloaded. The deadline for receipt of nominations is 24 January, the winners will be announced at an event in March.
The Mayor had the honour of representing the Authority at the Remembrance Sunday event held in Bridgend and laying a wreath on behalf of BCBC and its residents.
The Mayor announced that the first fundraising event “Music with the Mayor” was held at Court Colman on 10 November and had proven a great success, raising £1,300 for the Mayor’s charity.
He reminded Councillors that he would be collecting for the foodbank at December Council. Councillors can also bring in their reverse advent calendars so that they can be collected by the Foodbank and he urged all to participate.
He also announced that the Princess of Wales Hospital Neo Natal Unit had received a prestigious UNICEF award, for the support the Unit gives to mothers and babies. He stated that the Unit is leading the way not only in Cwm Taf but in Wales.
The Deputy Leader informed Members of a wide range of local events that are taking place across the county borough to draw to constituents’ attention. Events begin on 22 November when the Bridgend and Porthcawl Fundraising group for Marie Curie will host an evening of crafts, songs and refreshments at Bridgend United Church along with a performance from choral group Sounds Familiar. The annual Bridgend White Christmas will take place on 23 November, where Santa Claus will tour the town centre before entering his grotto at Carnegie House, and later switching on the town lights. Children can also visit him at his grotto on the 30 November, and 7 and 14 December.
The Porthcawl Jingle Bell Parade will take place on 29 November with live brass band music, food stalls, children’s rides and a Bridge FM stage, while the Grand Pavilion will host A Merry Little Christmas with Only Men Aloud.
On 30 November, the Maesteg Christmas Parade will offer a fireworks display and the switching-on of the Christmas lights, while Bryngarw Country Park will feature a visit from the only Green Santa in South Wales who will also be there on 1 December. On 7 December, the Wooden Reindeer Trail will open at Bryngarw ... view the full minutes text for item 372.
To receive the report of the Leader
The Leader announced that National Safeguarding Week had been marked across Wales with a series of events designed to raise awareness about how abuse can take many different forms, and how people can access help and support. He stated that to demonstrate how everybody can spot signs of abuse and help promote safeguarding, local school children took part by placing specially painted pebbles in parks and public areas across the county borough. The Council had teamed up with a range of different organisations to help mark the week, and staged information events alongside Barnardos, the Community Safety Partnership, Bridgend Carers Wellbeing Service and Telecare.
He informed Council that new Wales safeguarding procedures were launched to provide guidance for practitioners, specific training sessions were held which highlighted the use of tools such as the ‘Bright Sky’ app, designed to provide support and information for anyone who may be directly experiencing or know someone who is suffering from domestic abuse, sexual abuse, stalking and harassment. He thanked everyone who took part and helped organise all of this, especially the members of Bridgend Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub.
The Leader announced that the Council has been contacted by WEPA UK Ltd, who are currently exploring a number of options to enhance its European operations, which includes the Bridgend Paper Mill at Llangynwyd. The proposals for the site would include the construction and operation of a second tissue paper machine and additional converting capacity in new building extensions, new handling and shipping areas, as well as a new entrance on the south east side of the site. If approved, the extension will safeguard the existing 267 jobs at the site and create up to 74 new high-quality jobs as well as bringing investment into the local economy. WEPA estimate that more than £100m of inward investment would be generated by the Paper Mill’s expansion which would also result in a positive knock-on effect to the supply chain. He had received a request to meet with WEPA to hear about their plans. WEPA has triggered the statutory 28-day pre-application consultation period as this will require planning permission. The planning application will be considered in the same way that any planning application will be considered by this authority against its statutory plans and policies.
The Leader also announced that he was looking forward to viewing the new type of trains that will be serving the Maesteg rail line from December, which would have significantly more capacity, more space, on-board passenger information systems, accessible toilets, air conditioning, Wi-Fi and power sockets. The new trains will also be introduced by Transport for Wales onto the Cheltenham and Ebbw Vale lines providing space for up to 6,500 more commuters a week from December this year. Transport for Wales would also be introducing a Sunday service for the first time on the Maesteg line and he looked forward to hearing more about plans to increase the frequency of the service.
The Interim Head of Finance and Section 151 Officer reported on details of the council tax base and estimated collection rate for 2020-21.
She advised that the estimated council tax base for 2020-21 was 55,604.38, Band D equivalent properties and the estimated collection rate is 98%. The net council tax base was therefore 54,492.29. She stated that the Council Tax Base is provided to Welsh Government and is used as part of the distribution of the Revenue Support Grant in the Local Government Settlement. For the purpose of distributing RSG, collection rates are assumed to be 100%. The amount of Council Tax due for a dwelling in Band D is calculated by dividing the annual budget requirement to be funded by taxpayers by the Council Tax Base. She informed Council that the council tax element of the Council’s budget will be based on the net council tax base of 54,492.29.
A member of Council questioned whether the 98% collection rate is being achieved. The Interim Head if Finance and Section 151 Officer stated that the collection rate of 98% is being achieved, performance had previously dropped below the collection rate and every effort is made by officers to secure the target collection rate.
RESOLVED: That Council:
(1) Approved the council tax base and collection rate for 2020-21, as shown in paragraph 4.1 of the report.
Approved the tax bases for the community areas set out in Appendix A to the report.
The Monitoring Officer reported on the findings of the Constitution Working Group and Democratic Services Committee and sought approval of amendments to the Constitution.
The Monitoring Officer explained that a request had been received from an Elected Member for a review of the Constitution. In accordance with Article 15 of the constitution the Monitoring Officer will monitor and review the operation of the Constitution to ensure that the aims and principles of the Constitution are given full effect. Any changes will need the approval of Council based on the recommendations of the Monitoring Officer.
The review of the Constitution specifically requested the following to be considered:
1) The time period for questions and motions be re-instated at 5 days, now that suitable resources are in place to allow timely translation to Welsh;
2) That following the presentations and announcements by Cabinet members, the Leader, and Chief Executive, Members be allowed to ask non tabled questions for a period of 15 minutes;
3) That the three largest opposition groups, be given 3 minutes (taken from Development Control Committee 3-minute rule) to make announcements or presentations to Council;
4) The timing of Council meetings
The Monitoring Officer reported that the Democratic Services Committee established a cross party Constitution Working Group to review the Constitution, which met on two occasions.
The Working Group recommended that the time period for the submission of questions and motions remain at 10 clear working days. The Democratic Services Committee further added that there be clearer policing of supplementary questions to ensure they are relevant to the original question and that they are short and concise. The Working Group in considering announcements made at Council, recommended that an amendment be made to the Constitution to re-title the Leader’s Report to that of Leader’s Announcements and that the current announcements made by the Cabinet be shortened. The Working Group recommended that all Members of Council receive replies to written questions 24 hours prior to the meeting of Council where practicable. The reply will be recorded in the minutes of that meeting of Council. The Working Group considered that announcements by Opposition Group Leaders could give rise to political statements being made and did not wish to pursue announcements being made by the Leaders of the 3 largest Opposition Groups. In relation to the timing of Council meetings, an electronic vote was conducted on conclusion of the meeting of Council on 24 July 2019 as to whether or not there was an appetite to explore evening meetings. Of the 45 Members present, 17 Members voted in favour of holding evening meetings. The Working Group recommended that as the vote was lost, the holding of evening meetings would not be explored further until the next administration.
The Monitoring Officer informed Council that an opportunity was taken as part of the review to review the Council’s call-in procedure to ensure it was working effectively within the current Scrutiny structure. Research had been conducted by the Democratic Services Team on the Call-in process ... view the full minutes text for item 375.
To receive the following Question from Councillor A Hussain to the Cabinet Member Communities
In the County Borough there are many cycle and walking route gaps. How is the Cabinet Member addressing this to encourage Active Travel?
Question from Councillor A Hussain to the Cabinet Member Communities
In the County Borough there are many cycle and walking route gaps. How is the Cabinet Member addressing this to encourage Active Travel?
Response of the Cabinet Member
The Council’s active travel network map is in two parts: a) the existing route map (ERM) based on cycle routes that existed before the Active Travel Act (Wales) 2013 was enacted; b) the integrated network map (INM) based on proposed routes. The proposed schemes contained I the INM have the following aims:
1. Improve access to key services and facilities including town centres, employment sites, retail areas and transport hubs;
2. Improve access to education facilities such as schools and colleges;
3. Improvement to, and expansion of, the existing strategic cycle network in the county borough.
The supporting information accompany the INM advises further that that routes identified are “indicative alignments that may be subject to change as routes are further developed. The development and delivery of the proposals shown on the INM will be dependent upon the availability of funding.
The points enumerated above supplement the criteria identified in the Active Travel Delivery Guidance issued by the Welsh Government. In it, Appendix B contains 9 settlements where routes had to be identified, which is linked below.
The 13 settlements are as follows:
• For the Bridgend catchment: Bridgend, Sarn, Trelales.
• For the Maesteg catchments: Croeserw, Cymmer, Maesteg.
• For the Ogmore Vale/Nantymoel settlement: Nantymoel, Ogmore Vale.
• For the Hendreforgan/Gilfach Goch settlement: Gilfach Goch.
• The other two catchments are Pyle, Pencoed and Pontycmer.
Where settlements straddle adjoin authorities, responsibility rests with joint authorities.
Although the active travel INM provides a basis for the primary active travel network in the county borough, the development of a comprehensive network is not limited to the INM. The INM provides a base network into which active travel routes that are identified as part of the land use development process and to be provided by developers could link. Other measures such as safe routes to schools and communities will be explored to covers areas that are not covered by the INM.
Councillor Hussain referred to Map 8 of the INM which showed proposals for the future works in and around the County and asked a supplementary question, could the Cabinet Member help the public by installing a pedestrian crossing at the junction of Tondu Road and Church Road near the petrol station, which will be a way forward for the residents to cycle and walk to Bridgend?
The Cabinet Member Communities undertook to speak to Councillor Hussain in relation to the request made in his supplementary question.
To consider any item(s) of business in respect of which notice has been given in accordance with Part 4 (paragraph 4) of the Council Procedure Rules and which the person presiding at the meeting is of the opinion should by reason of special circumstances be transacted at the meeting as a matter of urgency.
There were no urgent items.