Agenda and minutes

Council
Wednesday, 18th December, 2019 15:00

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

Contact: Mark Anthony Galvin  Senior Democratic Services Officer - Committees

Items
No. Item

378.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from the following Members:-

 

Councillor N Burnett

Councillor S Aspey

379.

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.

380.

Approval of Minutes pdf icon PDF 110 KB

To receive for approval the Minutes of the 20/11/2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:                 That the Minutes of a meeting of Council dated 20 November 2019 be approved as a true and accurate record.

381.

To receive announcements from:

(i)            Mayor (or person presiding)

(ii)           Members of the Cabinet

(iii)          Chief Executive

Minutes:

Mayor

 

The Mayor announced that he had a very busy Christmas period and it has been a pleasure to visit so many different schools, groups and organisations and share in their festive activities.

 

It was always heartening to see how much community spirit exists in the County Borough and he had witnessed first hand the hard work and dedication of volunteers, pupils and staff. With this in mind, he reminded Members about nominations for the Mayor’s Annual Citizenship Awards. Help us to reward the local people who really make a difference in their communities, however big or small. It would only take a few minutes to fill in an application form, which can be downloaded from our website or requested via the Mayor’s Office. The deadline for receipt of nominations is Friday 24 January and the winners will be honoured at an event in March.

 

The Mayor had the pleasure of attending the annual Bridge FM Young Achiever Awards.  This impressive event celebrates the young people from around the county borough and recognises their achievements in business, training, education, arts, music and voluntary work.  This was a fantastic evening and a joy to meet so many young people who are actively making a positive contribution to where they live.

 

The annual Olympage Games was held in November and launched the Super-Agers project with colleagues from across the health board area including RCT and Merthyr councils.  The day, which he had the honour of opening, was great fun and the Mayor extended his congratulations to the staff for such a well organised event.

 

The Mayor also thanked everyone who has taken part in the reverse advent calendar initiative in aid of the Bridgend Foodbank. All are greatly appreciated.  Donations however he added, are needed all year round and he urged all to carry on providing their help as we go forward into 2020. He further added, that the Foodbank had 11 Distribution Units across the Bridgend County Borough and approximately 50,000 items of food had been contributed to the Foodbank since it had been in being.

 

The Mayor welcomed Councillor J Williams and extended his best wishes to her following a period of absence from meetings due to ill health.

 

To end, as this was the last Council before the New Year, the Mayor took the opportunity to wish all those present a happy Christmas and a healthy New Year.

 

Deputy Leader

 

The Deputy Leader acknowledged that with Christmas just around the corner, people can often find it difficult to juggle their finances at this time of year.

 

Unfortunately, this can often lead them into debt.

 

Members may want to let their constituents know that a drop-in support service is available which can help people manage and overcome debt, tackle their financial difficulties, deal with unemployment and improve their standard of living.

 

The Financial Advice and Support Service is primarily available to people who live within former Community First delivery areas and can help with a range of issues, from applying  ...  view the full minutes text for item 381.

382.

To receive the report of the Leader

Minutes:

The Leader reported that as members who had attended the pre-Council briefing on the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy would know, he was delighted to confirm that Bridgend County Borough Council’s settlement for 2020-21 will include an increase of 4.7 per cent on last year’s budget.

 

While this does not restore the authority’s funding to previous levels, it does represent the first significant increase in core grant funding for almost 12 years.

 

The increase to our core grant funding is most welcome, and we will now be reviewing our original financial plans for 2020-21, including areas where some proposed cuts were intending to be made, to ensure that the money can be used as effectively and as efficiently as possible.

 

It is going to be of great benefit in helping us to meet budget pressures such as additional costs in education, social services, teachers’ pay and pensions, and more.

 

The Council were still not fully aware of the extent of some of the future key cost pressures and, in particular, the pay award for all staff, which may cost several million pounds.

 

The Leader added that he was grateful to Welsh Government for listening to BCBC’s concerns, in particular Minister for Housing and Local Government Julie James, Minister for Finance and Trefnydd Rebecca Evans, and First Minister Mark Drakeford.  

 

The Leader advised that several Councillors had been in contact with Cabinet Members about the misuse of fireworks following receiving emails from concerned local residents.

 

Our Shared Regulatory Service Joint Committee recently met and this was considered by Members including our representatives Cllr Patel and Cllr Lewis. The Committee have concluded that the current law does not offer people and animals enough protection from frequent disturbance by fireworks, particularly where there are numerous public and domestic displays around the traditional and religious dates and a growing number of displays at other celebratory events like birthdays and weddings. The Committee’s recommendation is that local authorities should be empowered to limit the number of displays in their areas in these circumstances. A request will be made of UK Government to work with local authorities to identify a best practice approach to a revenue-neutral, mandatory permit system for fireworks displays, where local evidence is this is necessary to protect the community. The Government we hope, will work with a local authority to pilot the approach before the end of 2020, with a view to legislating to empower all local authorities to establish mandatory permit schemes where they deem it necessary.

383.

Licensing Act 2003 Statement of Licensing Policy and Cumulative Impact Assessment pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Team Manager – Licensing submitted a report, which related to the Council’s role as a licensing authority, as the regulatory body for pubs, clubs, off-licences and late night takeaways.

 

The purpose of the report was to seek approval to publish the Statement of Licensing Policy for the next five year period and to approve a special Cumulative Impact Assessment and Policy as part of that process.

 

The Team Manager – Licensing explained that the Council must undertake its functions to promote the licensing objectives of:

 

            Prevention of crime and disorder;

            Prevention of public nuisance;

            Public safety;

         The protection of children from harm

 

She confirmed that the Council became the Licensing Authority in 2005 and it was now time for the five year review of the Statement of Licensing Policy.  This is a formal process and the statutory process was outlined at paragraph 3.2 of the report.  The Consultation with regards to this she explained, took the form of an online consultation between 17 June 2019 and 9 September 2019.  The statutory consultees included the Police, Fire Authority, Shared Regulatory Services, the local Health Board, other Council departments and the Home Office.

 

It also included all Elected Members, Town and Community Councils, the Town Centre Manager and trade representatives.

 

The Statement of Licensing Policy sets out how the Council exercises its functions and the approach to decision making.  It also sets out what it expects prospective applicants to consider when preparing applications for new licences or major variations.  Section 9 of the policy sets out a number of measures which could be considered, depending on the style of the premises.   The Team Manager – Licensing advised, that other than in the Bridgend Town Centre, it was fair to say that the consultation did not result in any new trends or issues which would merit a change in policy.  As a result, the proposed over-arching Statement was at Appendix A to the report.  The changes to this she pointed out, were highlighted in red.  They related firstly to updates made to the Council’s corporate objectives.  A number of Directorates had changed in their shape or levels of area of responsibility and in view of that, some revisions at page 40 of report needed to be further looked at, ie where some of the addresses of the bodies so listed there, required updating.

 

The second issue explained the Team Manager – Licensing, related to the Special Cumulative Impact Policy in place in Bridgend Town Centre.

Cumulative Impact is a term used to describe how a density of licensed premises in a particular area can have a negative impact on crime and disorder, littering, anti-social behaviour and nuisance.  If a Council identified that there is an evidence problem in an area, it can include a policy to address Cumulative Impact within the main Policy Statement.  Such a policy has been in place in Bridgend Town Centre Streets since 2005.  The effect of this policy is to control the number  ...  view the full minutes text for item 383.

384.

Information Report for Noting pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Legal and Regulatory Services presented a report, the purpose of which, was to inform Council of the Information Report for noting which has been published since its last scheduled meeting, as detailed in paragraph 4.1 of the covering report.

 

RESOLVED:                  That Council acknowledged the publication of the document listed in the report.

385.

To receive the following Questions from:

1.    Question from Councillor T Thomas to the Cabinet Member – Communities

 

Does the Cabinet Member agree that this authorities highways should be accessible for all regardless of age, disability or any other protected characteristic?

 

1.    Question from Councillor A Hussain to the Cabinet Member – Social Services and Early Help

 

Could the Cabinet Member let the Council know what action has been taken to reduce the level of Loneliness & Isolation and their negative impact on Health & Wellbeing of our elderly population in our County Borough?

 

2.    Question from Councillor MC Voisey to the Leader

 

Can the Leader of the council please justify why he thinks elected members of this council should not have the right to ask questions in council meetings and scrutinise in the chamber the decisions taken by this administration?

 

Minutes:

Question from Councillor T Thomas to the Cabinet Member Communities

 

Does the Cabinet Member agree that this authorities highways should be accessible for all regardless of age, disability or any other protected characteristic?

 

Response of the Cabinet Member Communities

 

Bridgend Council is committed to improving access to the highways network. This is a commitment that has been backed up with action. Between the 2017/18 and 19/20 financial years, an ongoing pedestrian aids programme has resulted in a total of 113 dropped kerbs being installed throughout the borough. The installations prioritised according to usage levels in the respective areas.

 

We now have 61 safe walked routes to schools, assessed and in use. We have an annual bid programme, promoting our proposed network improvements to Welsh Government which in this financial year alone secured £950,000 of investment for Safe Routes in Communities and £432,000 for the development of multi-use Active Travel routes.

 

Councillor Thomas confirmed that he was happy with the response, but added that he would appreciate meeting with the Cabinet Member – Communities on a related ward issue, to which he agreed.

 

Supplementary question from Councillor JP Blundell

 

Could the Cabinet Member – Communities outline how the Council is rolling out planned drop-kerbs throughout the County Borough?

 

Response

 

This is being rolled-out within areas where there is most footfall and/or upon requests from the public where drop-kerbs are required. Works were also considered in conjunction with the Council’s Active Travel Scheme. An example of works in respect of the latter, was at Coychurch roundabout, where drop-kerbs had been put in place, to assist and encourage active travel to specific locations, ie offices and hubs situate within close proximity to this vicinity.

 

Second supplementary question from Councillor B Sedgebeer  

 

Does the Cabinet Member – Communities agree that investment in creating footpaths/footways in Velindre Road, Pencoed, has resulted in increased access to the different highway networks situate in that area.

 

Response

 

Yes, and this would form part of a wider programme that will be extended to other areas of the County Borough, in order for easier forms of access points to be created to enable members of the public to get from one location to another, particularly the disabled, etc.

 

Question from Councillor A Hussain to the Cabinet Member Social Services and Early Help

 

Could the Cabinet Member let the Council know what action has been taken to reduce the level of Loneliness & Isolation and their negative impact on Health & Wellbeing of our elderly population in our County Borough?

 

Response of the Cabinet Member Social Services and Wellbeing

 

The context of the Prevention and Wellbeing agenda was initially reported to the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee in April 2015 with a review of progress presented to the Adult Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee in April 2016.  Subsequent reports on prevention and wellbeing were presented to Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committee 2 in March 2018 and 10th October 2019.

 

The Prevention and Wellbeing service is working with partners to develop  ...  view the full minutes text for item 385.

386.

Urgent Items

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.

 

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Minutes:

None.