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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.
Councillor Alex Williams – Personal and prejudicial interest in Agenda item 8. in that he lived in a property fronting an unadopted road. Councillor Williams left the meeting whilst this item was being considered.
Councillor R Stirman – Personal interest in Agenda item 8. in that she lived in a property fronting an unadopted road.
To receive for approval the minutes of 17/11/2021
RESOLVED: That the Minutes of a meeting of Council dated 17 November 2021, 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 past month has been a relatively busy one so I will not update you on all that has taken place, but I will mention a few highlights.
The Charity Fundraising event my wife and I organised at the Heronston Hotel at the end of November was a great night out with over £1,000 raised and plenty of fun was had by all who attended. I would like to say a big thank you to all who bought tickets and for those who donated raffle prizes or made donations due to being unable to attend. Such events are not easy to organise without any support, but I am pleased to say that it was a success.
I attended the official opening of Y Nyth Education and Wellbeing centre at Bryngarw Park which is a wonderful facility for children of all ages to learn about our environment and outdoor spaces. There were a number of children present who were quite interested in the mayoral chain and I just about got away without it being broken! Partly my own fault though for starting to make plasticine imprints of the mayoral crest.
My first visit to the Ogmore valley took place with an invite to the Ogmore Valley Local Heritage and History Society annual book launch at the Mem in Nantymoel. There were performances by Ogmore Valley Male Voice Choir and also the Ogmore Valley Silver Band with a number of Christmas carols. I hope to return again soon to formally open the new miners memorial that has been placed along side where the Berwyn Centre once stood.
Finally, please note that the Citizenship Awards are open for nominations but will close on Friday 7 January 2022. My plea to you all is for each Councillor to nominate at least one individual or group from your area. With no awards being possible last year, let’s make this year one of the biggest number of nominations ever, to thank those in our communities who go above and beyond day after day to help others and make a difference.
Details on Christmas and New Year recycling and waste collection arrangements have been confirmed.
With the pandemic still in effect, we are once again asking households where someone is showing coronavirus symptoms to make sure that all tissue waste, such as kitchen roll, toilet paper or wet wipes, is double-bagged and set aside for 72 hours.
After this, the bag can be placed out inside the household rubbish bag. To help keep collectors safe, on no account should such waste be included with paper recycling.
From Monday 27 to Thursday 30 December, collections will take place one day later than the normal collection date.
Waste that is due to be collected on New Year’s Eve will be picked up on Sunday, 2 January, and collections will ... view the full minutes text for item 609.
To receive announcements by the Leader
Members will have seen the change that has been made on Cabinet and I am extremely grateful to Councillor Nicole Burnett for her dedication and professionalism as Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help.
I would also like to offer a warm welcome to Councillor Jane Gebbie as the new Cabinet Member who is very energetic, passionate and experienced.
Urgent changes to the way in which people receive their Covid-19 booster vaccinations are being introduced as national efforts to fight the spread of the new Omicron variant get underway.
The move follows the recent announcement from Welsh Government confirming that all eligible adults in Wales will be offered a Covid-19 vaccination booster shot by the end of the month.
To achieve this, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board now needs to deliver 166,000 boosters across the region by 31 December 2021.
The Chief Executive and I together with the Leaders and Chief Executives of RCT and Merthyr Councils met with the Chief Executive of Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board to discuss and progress the rapid acceleration of the vaccination programme, to achieve these targets.
For Bridgend, it means that a number of important changes need to be introduced at the Ravens Court vaccination centre.
To accommodate more appointments, opening hours are being extended to cover 7am-10pm. The only exceptions will be on Christmas Eve (7am-2pm) and New Year’s Eve (7am-4pm).
The centre will also remain operative every day of the week, including bank holidays, apart from on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Because the centre will be open earlier in the morning and later at night, additional external lighting and shelters are being installed.
Inside the centre, boosters and standard vaccinations will be carried out alongside one another. New vaccination lanes are being set up to accommodate this, and extra staff are being brought in to ensure the process can run smoothly. We have seconded 5 extra staff to assist in the operation of this.
While walk-in appointments for booster vaccinations are not currently available, walk-in slots will continue to be offered to eligible people who need to receive a first or second dose of the vaccine.
Once they have had their jab, the amount of time people will need to wait before leaving the premises is being reduced to five minutes.
The appointments are being arranged now and will be automatically offered to every eligible adult within the county borough.
People will not need to contact the health board or local GP, but should expect to receive an appointment via a text message. Only those who have not provided a telephone contact number will receive an appointment via post, which is different to that which applied for the two previous doses.
Even if it is on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, I cannot emphasise strongly enough how important it will be for people to accept the offered appointment.
It remains essential for people to ensure they receive the booster. This remains vital for improving our ... view the full minutes text for item 610.
The Head of Shared Regulatory Services presented a report, the purpose of which, was to seek Council approval of the publication of the Council’s Statement of Licensing Principles for the next triennial period 2022 to 2025.
He advised that the Council as a local authority, has strategy functions under the Gambling Act and it therefore had to effectively discharge these.
The report outlined the response to the consultation carried out in respect of the above and made recommendations for revisions to the Statement of Licensing Principles. The proposed amendments were shown highlighted in red within the document at Appendix A to the report.
The proposed review had also taken into account the unprecedented impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on businesses which provided gambling facilities.
Paragraph 3.5 of the report set out the three licensing objectives which were central to regulating gambling and the principles upon which the Council is required to operate in accordance with these.
The Head of Shared Regulatory Services stressed, that the Council did not have responsibility for online gambling. The Council was only responsible for licensed premises based licensable activities and some examples of these, were shown in paragraph 3.3 of the report.
He added that the Council has to publish the Policy, which had to be agreed every three years.
The Head of Shared Regulatory Services advised Members that the Council’s Licensing Committee had previously approved the report and recommended that it then be presented to Council for ratification. The Committee further recommended that Council approves the current set of principles, to take forward for the next three-year period.
Though he made the point that the local authority does not have responsibility for online gambling, this did impact upon our local communities quite significantly, and it therefore integrated with some of the Council’s policies, such as looking after individual’s well-being and/or mental health.
Therefore, he assured Members that local authority officers did engage regularly with the Gambling Commission, Welsh Government and perhaps most importantly, with the Chief Medical Officer, who all recognised how gambling impacts detrimentally upon local communities and were looking at steps to control this.
So, the Head of Shared Regulatory Services concluded, that whilst the Policy could control online gambling, the service was trying to use as many levers as possibly, to protect members of the public out in the community. It was easy through online gambling to lose hundreds of pounds in a matter of minutes, without someone having to leave their living room. Therefore, the challenge to prevent, stop or reduce it, was a difficult one.
As this was the Head of Shared Regulatory Services final Council meeting before retiring, the Mayor together with other Members wished him the very best in his retirement and emphasised what an excellent Officer he had been in looking after the interests of the constituents of three local authorities, which was a challenge in itself that had been made far worse, due to the extra work the service had taken on during the pandemic. ... view the full minutes text for item 611.
The Chief Executive presented the above report, part of which introduced the representatives present from the above University Health Board (CTF UHB).
In attendance from the Health Board were Paul Mears, Chief Executive, Emrys Elias, Chairperson and Anthony Gibson, Group Director, Bridgend ILG.
Mr. Mears, Chief Executive expressed how pleased he was to be able to attend today and give Members an update on work ongoing presently in the Health Board. As Council would appreciate, work had been constant with staff under extreme pressure throughout the course of the pandemic to the present time.
The presentation today would obviously cover COVID-19 and planning around our recovery of elective surgical work and planning for winter work that we're doing in partnership working with Council colleagues locally in Bridgend. The Chief Executive, Cwm Taf, also intended give an update on maternity and neonatal services, the Community Hospital, Maestegand CAMHS.
There was now a peak phase once more being experienced in relation to COVID, in the form of the omicron variant which was beginning to take hold in Wales. It had presently not had such a significant impact in terms of hospital admissions as of yet here in CTM, and indeed the community transmission rates of omicron in our area was still relatively low. However, as with other variants of the illness the Health Service had to look at its capacity over the next few weeks and months to make sure that there was adequate cover to cope with any implications that the strain may bring, ie admittance to hospital and bed capacity etc. This strain of the illness, will probably take off very quickly as it is doing already in parts of England, he added.
Obviously, a key part of the response to COVID is the testing regime. There we have had a very big demand for our PCR testing. That's pretty stable at the moment, and the plan is to carry on obviously with the testing capacity that we have across our health border area, to ensure that we are giving access as quickly as possible to people who may suspect they have symptoms, to be able to get them tested. And backing up that is obviously the contact tracing that comes behind the testing.
It was also important to make sure that we are able to track and trace people who have come in contact with individuals who have tested positive for COVID.
In terms of vaccination, the Chief Executive of Cwm Taf stated that across its areas, 159,000 booster jabs had been given, which represented 49.59% of the eligible population that comprised the Health Board. Welsh Government though had given a directive in the past couple of days, that we should be offering the jab to all eligible people across Wales.
So by the end of December, the aim is to have everyone offered a jab in the Cwm Taf location, and the Chief Executive felt that it was important to distinguish between offering the jab, against ... view the full minutes text for item 612.
To receive the following Question from: Councillor T Thomas to the Cabinet Member Communities
What percentage of local roads and highways are unadopted?
What percentage of local roads and highways are unadopted?
Based on the calculation of the total length of unadopted roads as compared to the overall Highway network linear measurement the percentage of unadopted roads in Bridgend is less than 1% (0.08%).
Please bear in mind that this figure is based on data compiled in 2018 and is a very high-level calculation, however, what is clear is that in comparison to the overall highway network is very low.
Supplementary Question by Councillor T Thomas
There does remain a small percentage of unadopted roads that give rise to certain issues for residents living in these areas. I’m aware that in the Pencoed location of the Valleys Gateway area, there are roads that have been unadopted for decades. Therefore, what is the Strategy of the Council for adopting these long term unadopted roads, especially in areas where site developers are no longer trading, due to perhaps having gone into liquidation or possibly for other reasons.
The Cabinet Member – Communities advised that he had been working with our two MP’s and the local Member for Bryncoch, looking at the issue of unadopted roads, including in the Valleys Gateway areas. However, it remains a requirement of the site developer to ensure roads are brought up to an adoptable standard, as if this falls onto the BCBC, then the stretch of road in question, becomes the liability of the local authority. Welsh Government have introduced an Unadopted Road Fund and BCBC have been successful in bidding for an apportionment of these monies, resulting in works being carried out at a street in Porthcawl, to bring this up to an adoptable standard then subsequently being adopted by the Council. Unfortunately, the level of funding that is available is not going to be able to financially support the adoption of the number of unadopted roads that there are in the BCB, nor Wales as a whole, so the Council are going to have to consider how best to address the issue of unadopted roads in its overall area. Should Members have any queries with regards to unadopted roads within their Wards, he urged them to approach him personally with regards to these.
The Corporate Director – Communities made the point that there were only a small number of classed highways in the County Borough that had not been brought up to an adoptable standard. There did remain quite a number of unadopted roads, however, these were in the main areas that did not front housing developments, but were more side or rear lanes etc, as opposed to main roads, where there was not any significant flow of vehicular traffic. She reiterated the fact that we do have Welsh Government funding to adopt unadopted roads and to introduce these areas into the main highway network and trials have began in respect of this. There were instances where site developers were developing housing estates within different areas of the County Borough, however, the roads serving these developments ... view the full minutes text for item 613.
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.