Venue: remotely - via Microsoft Teams
Contact: Democratic Services
Declarations of Interest
To receive declarations of personal and prejudicial interest from Members/Officers in accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct adopted by Council from 1 September 2008.
The following declarations of interest were made:-
Monitoring Officer – Prejudicial interest in Agenda Item 13 and who left the meeting whilst this item was being considered.
Councillor G Howells – Personal in interest in Agenda Item 10 as he knew two of the individuals mentioned in the report.
Councillor RM James – Personal interest in Agenda Item 8 as his wife was Chairperson on the BCBC Fostering Panel.
Councillor E Venables – Personal interest in Agenda Item 9 as a serving Magistrate.
Councillor M Jones – Personal interest in Agenda Item 9 as a serving Magistrate.
To receive for approval the minutes of 21/07/2021
RESOLVED: That the Minutes of a meeting of Council dated 21 July 2021, be approved as a true and accurate record, subject to it being noted that Councillor JC Spanswick was Chairperson at the meeting and not Councillor K Watts, as was reflected in the Minutes.
The Chief Executive presented a report, the purpose of which, was to inform Members of the proposed programme of presentations to be delivered to future meetings of Council in 2021/22.
He reminded Members that Council will be accustomed to receiving periodically in the past, presentations from its key stakeholders.
At the meeting of Council today, Members will receive a presentation from the Chief Executive of Valleys to Coast (V2C).
The following proposed presentations are due to be delivered to future meetings of Council, during 2021/22:-
Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable of South Wales Police – 17 November 2021
Cwm Taf Morgannwg Health Board – 15 December 2021
Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) – 23 February 2022
South Wales Fire and Rescue Authority – 9 March 2022
He advised that external Invitee sessions may be subject to some change, based upon their availability on the dates so listed above.
County Borough Quarterly Debates will be considered as part of agenda business for the Council meetings dated 20 October 2021 and 19 January 2022, the Chief Executive concluded.
The Mayor then asked Jo Oak, Chief Executive of V2c to deliver a presentation together with a few short video’s regarding progress on the work of V2c, particularly during the period of Covid-19.
The presentation covered the theme of ‘Working together for a better Bridgend – Strengthening Relationships to benefit our Local Communities and Wales.’
She explained that as part of V2c’s Turnaround Programme, its main priorities were:-
The submission gave some statistical information on progress in the above areas, together with other relevant associated data.
The Chief Executive of V2c explained also that the organisation worked closely with developers of new build, in order to give something back to communities in the areas where new residential developments were being constructed.
V2c had consulted with colleagues and stakeholders regarding the ways and manner by which partnership working needed to be changed for the better, giving regard to key issues such as:
1. Flexible Working
2. Working Locations and Environments
3. Colleague wellbeing, and more
V2c were now in the process of reviewing feedback in relation to these initiatives, the Chief Executive, V2c added.
She then referred to V2c’s “New Homes” programme for 202102022, with plans for new Eco friendly developments, taking into consideration BCBC’s Decarbonisation Agenda. These type of developments were being planned for construction at Ffordd Yr Eglwys North Cornelly, Maesteg Road Tondu, Ewenny Road Bridgend, Woodland Avenue Porthcawl, Brocastle Avenue Waterton, and Parc Derwen, Coity.
V2c Officers then covered the Social Housing Grant (SHG) Programme Delivery Plan (PDP) 2021, with a Grant requirement that totalled £32,478,981. In relation to this, Programme Development Plan Submissions had been considered for:-
Heol y Groes, Pencoed - 24 Homes
Station Rd, Porthcawl - 20 Homes
Oxford Court Phase 1, Ogmore Vale - 6 Homes
Blaen Llynfi Primary School site, Caerau - 23 Homes
Glanyrafon Care Home, Ynysawdre - 35 Homes (acquisition only)
DCWW Site, Cefn Cribbwr ... view the full minutes text for item 569.
To receive announcements from:
(i) Mayor (or person presiding)
(ii) Members of the Cabinet
(iii) Chief Executive
It gives me great pleasure to announce the names of this year’s Youth Mayor and Deputy Youth Mayor. The Youth Mayor will be Xander Payne from Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School and the Deputy Youth Mayor is G Williams of the Royal Welsh Collage of Music and Drama. Both have been part of the youth council for a few years. G Williams won the Diana Award for His Transgender awareness Training and helps with our YPOP LGBTQIA Group (YPOP is the name of the Youth LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual) Group that we run on a Monday evening from 5-6pm virtually at present).
Xander is one of Bridgend’s Young Ambassadors and is also looking to stand as our Welsh Youth Parliament representative. We wish them both all the best for the coming year and for their future ambitions.
I would like to congratulate Bridgend’s very own Paralympic champion Aled Sion Davies for yet another successful games and for representing Bridgend and Wales on the World Stage. Aled has won his third Paralympic gold medal, this time in the men’s F63 shot put event at Tokyo and was also co-captain of the Great Britain Paralympic team. He has been a great ambassador for Bridgend and Paralympic sport and will now be looking towards Paris in three years time. Aled is one of a long line of successful Bridgend based paralympian’s and will no doubt have inspired future paralympian’s also.
Over the summer period since out last meeting I have had the pleasure of attending a number of events along with a 60th and 65th wedding anniversary. It was great to see the work taking place as part of our School Holiday Enrichment Programme (SHEP) at both Cynffig Comprehensive School and Coleg Cymunedol y Dderwen. I also enjoyed having school dinner with the children at these events.
I attended Pencoed Library for the launch of the Wales Co-Operative Centre IPad Loan scheme being made available to Carers in the County Borough. A great scheme and one that can be accessed via our libraries. I also learnt what a great online resource we now have at our libraries with free access to magazines.
At the end of August I attended the annual Gilfach Goch Forestry Fun Run along with the Mayor of RCT and it was well attended with numerous children taking part. Medals were presented to all that took part with trophies for those in first and second place in 3 age categories.
On 26 August at 8.10am, I attended the annual Parc Slip Memorial Service along with the Mayoress and it was a moving tribute to the 112 men and boys who lost their life in the dreadful explosion that took place in 1892, which each and every one of their names being read out, with the Leader being part of the group of people reading out the names.
September started off with a visit to Laleston Gardening Club 50th Anniversary celebrations along with the Leader and ... view the full minutes text for item 570.
To receive announcements by the Leader
Members will have seen the latest coronavirus rates, and how extremely serious the situation has become on a national scale across our entire health and social care system.
The council is experiencing unprecedented pressures across all services, but especially in areas such as adult and children’s social care, early help, children’s safeguarding, and placements.
These issues are being particularly effected by the challenges that we face in recruiting and retaining our social care workforce.
Our capacity to respond to the need for providing care and support at home is proving to be especially challenging, and as the Cabinet Member – Social Services and Early Help reported to the last meeting of Council, we are currently providing a total of 640 hours per week more than we did when compared to the same period last year.
Faced with increasing need to extend existing packages of care and to provide care to more individuals, the key issue remains that residents may be forced to wait for these to become available.
The situation continues to be extremely delicate as a consequence of delays in people accessing and receiving NHS treatments, exacerbations of chronic conditions due to long Covid or increased social isolation issues as a result of staying at home, and the impact of all this on family, friends and carers.
The social care workforce are tired from the superhuman efforts of the last 18 months, and the risk of burn out and attrition from the sector is very real.
I cannot emphasise enough the need to recognise that the situation is now at the most challenging point we have seen throughout the pandemic.
Welsh Government ministers recently commented that the entire system will remain under pressure while the pandemic is underway and we are expected to maintain a ‘business as usual’ approach.
The health minister went as far as to state that while the situation may level off after October, we will still face our usual winter pressures such as flu and other respiratory viruses which may impact upon the system.
However, we are continuing to present a strong response to these challenges.
We have Gold, Silver and Bronze level meetings taking place with health board colleagues on a regional level, we are prioritising care on a daily basis and a very detailed set of action plans in place, and we are regularly reviewing, prioritising and co-ordinating essential services at a director and heads-of-service level.
Since the last meeting of full Council, a new recruitment drive has been launched for social care workers across areas ranging from home care and the reablement teams to young people’s services.
This is linked to the national ‘We Care’ campaign run by Welsh Government and Social Care Wales which is promoting the benefits of working in care, and is also encouraging people to apply for roles within the sector.
The recruitment drive focuses on the many benefits of working in this area, and emphasises how full training and support help staff to make a positive difference ... view the full minutes text for item 571.
The Chairperson of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee (COSC) submitted a report on behalf of the Committee, the purpose of which, was to present Council with a review of work undertaken by Overview & Scrutiny over a two year period 2019/20 and 2020/21.
She advised that Scrutiny is required to submit an Annual Report to Council with a review of how the function has operated for the previous period. The review was a useful tool for reviewing the effectiveness of Scrutiny, providing an opportunity to reflect properly on how Scrutiny has operated, including the various challenges and outcomes. The report provided commentary on scrutiny activity for the period.
The Chairperson of COSC further added, that the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered and endorsed the Scrutiny Annual Report at its meeting held on 1 September 2021, which was attached as Appendix A to the report, for submission to Council.
She explained that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the report covered a two year period and provided detail on the challenges and outcomes for Scrutiny Committees and Panels for the period, as well as identifying some areas of focus for improvement to ensure Scrutiny continues to develop and achieve positive outcomes for the residents of Bridgend moving forward.
The Leader thanked the Chairpersons of the four Overview and Scrutiny Committees the last few years, ie both past and existing for their contributions to Scrutiny and the Annual Report before Members.
RESOLVED: That Council noted the contents of the Scrutiny Annual Report attached at Appendix A to the covering report.
The Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing submitted a report, in order to present to Council, the Director of Social Services’ Annual Report for 2020/21, and request that Members note the assessments reached locally about social care services in Bridgend.
She explained that this is the eleventh Annual Report of the Director of Social Services and is based on the Authority’s self-assessment of the performance and delivery of social care services over a two year period 2019/20 and 2020/21. The report was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.
The report outlined some background information, following which it stated that the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014, placed strong emphasis on promoting the well-being of people who need care and support and carers who need support. It was important that the views and voices of people and their carers are heard, the report identified.
The guidance for the report sets out the sections in relation to the six national quality standards for well-being. These were:
· Working with people to define and co-produce personal well-being outcomes that people want to achieve;
· Working with people and partners to protect and promote people’s physical and mental health and emotional well-being;
· Taking steps to protect and safeguard people from abuse, neglect or harm;
· Encouraging and supporting people to learn, develop and participate in society;
· Supporting people to safely develop and maintain healthy domestic, family and personal relationships;
· Working with and supporting people to achieve greater economic well-being, to have a social life and live in suitable accommodation that meets their needs.
The report provides a summary of the main achievements in 2019/20 and 2020/21 taking into account the challenges faced during the Covid-19 pandemic, and references areas where progress has been delayed, or priorities needed to change as a consequence of the unprecedented global pandemic. The report also highlighted the priorities for social services in 2021/22. The analysis draws on progress against the business plans, performance data for each service area in both adults’ and children’s social care, as well as feedback from people, carers and staff.
The report also demonstrated that despite the challenges of the pandemic, BCBC, together with its key partner organisations, have continued to progress key service developments and improvements, and have continued to be effective in supporting those who need care and support. It did however, further identify areas where improvement was needed and the most significant risks and challenges facing BCBC and its stakeholders going forward, and these were detailed in the priorities for 2021/22.
The report further highlighted that in November 2021, a full regulatory inspection had been carried out of BCBC’s Domiciliary Care Services, the outcome of which was extremely positive, confirmed the Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing.
In April 2021 CIW had carried out an assurance check of how well BCBC and partners, had ensured the safety and well-being of people who use or may need to use services, the safety of services they access, and the safety and well-being of ... view the full minutes text for item 573.
The Chief Executive presented a report, in order to seek approval to amend the Scheme of Delegation of Functions, to authorise Revenue Officers to attend the Magistrates’ Court on behalf of the Council in respect of recovering unpaid Council Tax and National Non-Domestic Rates.
He explained that there was currently only one member of the Recovery Section within the Revenues Team that was authorised to attend the Magistrates’ Court. Approval was therefore required for other Revenue Officers to attend Valuation Tribunal Hearings and Magistrates’ Court hearings on the Council’s behalf, for the recovery of Council Tax and National Non-Domestic Rates and to ensure the effective performance of the day to day operation of the Service.
In order to accommodate this, it was necessary to amend Scheme B2 of the Scheme of Delegations as suggested in paragraph 4.2 of the report.
The Chief Executive added, that the proposed delegated power would then circumvent the need to take a report to Council for every individual officer change. Any authorisations made under the delegation will ensure that the officer is appropriately qualified, trained and experienced and the function to be exercised is within that officer’s area of responsibility. The authorisation will be recorded in writing and shall be provided to the Monitoring Officer within 5 working days.
RESOLVED: That Council approved the amendment to the Scheme of Delegation of Functions as set out at paragraph 4.2 of the report.
The Monitoring Officer presented a report, with the view to seeking the approval of Council to the extension of the term of office of two Independent Members of the Standards Committee.
Paragraph 3.1 outlined the present composition of the Committee and the criteria with regards to its membership, whilst the next section of the report confirmed that the term of office for two Independent Members of the Committee, runs out in October 2021. She explained however, that the Members in question were eligible to be reappointed for a further term. Thereafter, they were required to stand down as they could not serve more than two terms of office under the Regulations. In addition, the Regulations specify that the second term of office can be a maximum of four years.
The Monitoring Officer added, that the Members in question had made a beneficial contribution to the governance of the Council and were in agreement to standing for a further term.
RESOLVED: That Council reappointed Mrs Judith Kiely and Mr Clifford Jones OBE to the Standards Committee for a further term of four years.
The Chief Officer – Legal, HR and Regulatory Services presented a report, the purpose of which, was to seek Council’s approval of:
· a number of minor refinements to the Constitution in relation to the sealing of Council legal documents to enable a more efficient management of the legal process;
· amending the Constitution to incorporate the revised Contract Procedure Rules; and
· amending the Council’s Scheme of Delegation of Functions in relation to Council functions in accordance with section 4.7 of this Report.
She explained by way of background, that certain agreements, namely land transfers and contracts over an agreed monetary value, are required to be executed as deeds. This enables enforcement action to be commenced after the usual time limitation period of 6 years. In such instances the agreements are completed by the signature of an Authorising Officer and by affixing the Council’s Common Seal.
Also, the Council is required to review the Contract Procedure Rules, which form part of the Council’s Constitution, on a regular basis.
The Chief Officer – Legal, HR and Regulatory Services continued by stating that, Article 14.05 of the Constitution requires that “the affixing of the Common Seal shall be attested by either the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor, the Leader or the Deputy Leader and by the Solicitor of the Council or a person authorised by him/her”.
The inclusion of these Members is an historical requirement and it is unclear what purpose this additional requirement serves given the complex nature of these documents and the governance processes that are undertaken before such documents are sealed. The logistics around the current process arguably involve unnecessary delay and expense and it is therefore suggested that the requirement for the Mayor or Deputy Mayor, Leader or Deputy Leader to attest the sealing of documents is removed. This is now the common practice of a number of local authorities.
It was therefore recommended that this Article of the Constitution be amended as per paragraph 4.2 of the report, along the lines recommended above.
Furthermore, Rule 20.2 of the Contract Procedure Rules (CPRs) provides that: “Every Contract, including frameworks which exceed £500,000 shall be executed under Seal”. The monetary value of a contract is not the sole factor in determining whether an agreement requires execution under Seal. Statutory and common law requirements and practical consideration such as the complexity of the arrangement also need to be considered. It was therefore proposed that the CPRs within the Constitution be amended to read, ‘Every Contract, including frameworks which exceed £500,000 in amount or value shall be referred to the Solicitor for the Council for approval.’
Paragraph 4.4 of the report, further recommended that the following be inserted at Article 15.03 to allow the Monitoring Officer to make typographical and other corrections to the Constitution:-
“The Monitoring Officer in consultation with the Head of Paid Service shall have power to make typographical and other corrections and clarification amendments to the Constitution (provided they do not make substantive change to the meaning of the Constitution) ... view the full minutes text for item 576.
The Chief Officer Legal, HR and Regulatory Services and Monitoring Officer reported on the Information Report which had been published since the last meeting of Council.
RESOLVED: That Council acknowledged the publication of the document listed in the report.
The Chief Executive presented a report, seeking Council approval on a proposed amendment to the senior management structure and to commence formal consultation with relevant JNC officers with regards to the proposed JNC senior management structure.
He reminded Members by way of background information, that Council had approved in November 2017 a new JNC Pay and Grading structure.
Further changes and amendments had subsequently been made to this by members, the last being in October 2019, as referred to in Paragraph 3 of the report.
The Chief Executive added that since then, further recruitments had been made in respect of the JNC posts of Corporate Director – Communities, Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing and more recently the appointment of a Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change.
He that Members will recall that in the previous report to Council in October 2019, following a review of Human Resources and Organisational Development, the Service was moved to report to the then Head of Legal and Regulatory Services, and consequently that post was re-designated Chief Officer Legal, Human Resources and Regulatory Services. There was however no change in the grading of this post, notwithstanding however, that the scoring of the post increased.
In addition to the duties and responsibility of this post, during the Covid-19 pandemic the post-holder has also taken on important and significant additional responsibilities with regard to representing the Council on the multi-agency Regional Strategic Oversight Group (RSOG). This is a high level strategic and corporate role requiring sufficient authority and accountability to make decisions on behalf of the Council rapidly, and deploy resources accordingly. In the case of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent recovery and response phase, the postholder also represents the Council on the Cwm Taf Morgannwg Incident Management Team (IMT) whose role included the establishment and implementation of the test and trace and protect programme, close liaison with the Health Board to develop and set up locally testing centres and the vaccination programme and other responses to government advice, guidance and legislation as they emerged. It has become clear, that these additional responsibilities are not confined to the Covid pandemic and as we reach an endemic phase in due course, there will be an ongoing requirement for someone at a Chief Officer level to fulfil this corporate and strategic function and represent the Council where there is an imminent threat or danger to public safety. The role requires strong leadership and close corporate working throughout the organisation and alignment with the work of the emergency planning team.
The Chief Executive advised that for the reasons outlined in paragraph 4.6 of the report, including the demands that Covid has placed on local authorities not only past and present, but in the future too, it was considered that a new Policy and Public Affairs Unit should be placed within the portfolio of the Chief Officer Legal, Human Resources and Regulatory Services. This would necessitate a change whereby it is recommended that the post of Chief Officer ... view the full minutes text for item 578.
To receive the following Questions from:
Councillor Altaf Hussain to the Leader
Leader, we are all responding to competing needs, the environment and future of the planet at the same time as responding to a housing crisis. Can you confirm how you will balance the need to both develop our environment and reduce carbon emissions at the same time as engaging communities about proposed developments which are sometimes poorly thought through?”
Councillor Tim Thomas to the Deputy Leader
Can the Cabinet Member for Resources reveal the levels of litter and detritus across County Borough public highways and how do these levels compare over the last five years?
Councillor Altaf Hussain to the Leader
It was agreed that this question as detailed at Item 14 on the Agenda, be deferred to the next meeting of Council due to Councillor Hussain not being in attendance at the meeting.
Councillor Tim Thomas to the Deputy Leader
Can the Cabinet Member for Resources reveal the levels of litter and detritus across County Borough public highways and how do these levels compare over the last five years?
Each year an independent LEAMS – (Local Environmental Audit Management System) report regarding cleanliness in Bridgend is compiled further to random surveys being carried out by KWT- (Keep Wales Tidy). This report is produced for Bridgend but also compares to national figures as KWT conduct these surveys throughout Wales.
The surveys carried out by KWT grades area’s / streets inspected into categories of cleanliness, A to D, streets grade B and above are the streets considered by members of the public to have an acceptable level of cleanliness.
Therefore the % of streets that score B or above, has become one of the key measurements of cleanliness perception (Higher score being better).
Below is a graph provided by Keep Wales Tidy that records the percentage of streets at or above that accepted level of cleanliness in Bridgend year on year. The last recorded year saw the authority recording its second best score to date. The graph also shows the all Wales recorded average figures for comparison.
Supplementary question by Councillor Thomas
Does the Deputy Leader have any ideas how the Council could support volunteer groups across the County Borough?
The Authority has a very good track record in supporting Community Groups in terms of litter picking, many of which have come forward since the pandemic and this has had a positive impact as it encourages people to go out, improve their health and wellbeing through exercise and meet other people in adjoining communities. There were examples to refer to, such as the ‘Love it Don’t Trash it Campaign.’ The Council had also teamed-up with the Bridgend Ravens for litter picking and recycling purposes.
The Corporate Director – Communities added, that volunteers from communities had come forward as volunteers for litter picking, however, the Council had to provide them with the necessary equipment in order for them to safely undertake this task in conjunction with assistance from key groups, for example “Keep Wales Tidy.” An event was to be held in Wildmill over the next few days, whereby the Council and V2c were heading-up a litter picking campaign on the estates there and to advocate this in other communities in order to keep them cleaner. She added that it was evident through data that litter picking had increased across the County Borough in recent years.
Second supplementary question by Councillor Bridie Sedgebeer
There are often problems that arise in terms of litter through Fly Posting, by groups such as Yes Cymru in particular. Would Council consider removing this graffiti from property and sign posts ... view the full minutes text for item 579.
Notice of Motion Proposed by Councillor RL Penhale-Thomas
The following Notice of Motion was put forward by the above Member:-
“This council recognises:
This council believes:
This council calls on Welsh Government to:
This council calls on UK Government to:
The Notice of Motion was supported by way of co-signatories by Councillors Alex Williams and Malcolm James.
The proposer of the Motion and one of the Members that supported this, gave at the meeting, the following further submissions in the support of this.
Proposer: In Wales more children in poverty miss out on free school meals compared to England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
That figure stands at 55,000 children – that’s 42 per cent of school aged children who are in poverty in Wales and missing out on a school lunch.
The income threshold in Wales for free school meals is £7,400. I can’t fathom that any elected member of this authority might believe £7,400 is a significant sum of money when considered as an annual household income.
In Northern Ireland that threshold is almost double at £14,000.
Moreover, the current criteria is prohibitive to families who literally have nothing – people with no recourse to public funds such as those seeking asylum in the UK who are effectively destitute on arrival while their immigration status is determined.
Some children are eating lunch at school that consists solely of jam sandwiches. In the fifth richest country in the world, that cannot be right or justifiable.
The over-complicated, tangled web that is the existing welfare and benefits system can mean that children in receipt of the lowest level of child support are just over the threshold and miss out on free school meals. It forces families to food banks and while we can appreciate the relief that foodbank support can bring, their very existence is an indictment on our ... view the full minutes text for item 580.
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.