Agenda and minutes

Council - Wednesday, 20th July, 2022 15:00

Venue: remotely - via Microsoft Teams. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 

Media

Items
No. Item

29.

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. 

 

Minutes:

Councillor T Wood declared a personal interest in Agenda item 11. (3) as a Bridgend town trader.

 

30.

Approval of Minutes pdf icon PDF 561 KB

To receive for approval the minutes of 15/06/2022

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED:                           That the minutes of a meeting of Council dated 15 June 2022 be approved as a true and accurate record, subject to the following paragraphs being added to the minutes on Declarations of Interest the Capital Programme Update:-

 

‘Reason for declaration of interest made by Councillor I Williams to be altered from that contained in the Minutes, to as follows:-

 

Personal interest as Chair of Governors at Oldcastle Primary and Brynteg Comprehensive schools.’

 

With regard to the paragraphs relating to investment at Coety Primary and Pencoed Schools from a Member responded to by the Corporate Director – Education and Family Support on the Capital Programme Update item, add the following Member question and response from the Corporate Director – Communities to this part of the minutes:-

 

‘There has been a £500k increase committed to the Cosy Corner project, Porthcawl, so please can I have an assurance that this is the last cost increase for this scheme and would it not be wiser to progress here with the previous Credu Scheme, as the scheme had overrun in any event.

 

Credu had planned developing a Maritime Centre at this location back in 2020, at a cost of £5.8m. Funding had been committed by Visit Wales in the sum of £3m towards this. However, Credu withdrew from the scheme as they went into administration, so with the site half constructed, BCBC took it over to initially make it safe. With only £1m of the £3m Visit Wales funding subsequently then being available, Cabinet made a decision to take the site forward as part of a Community Scheme. So, a single storey building was then developed there, in-keeping with other buildings at the location, with a number of uses within this. The Council then as part of its Capital Programme committed a further £1m of match funding to the Visit Wales funding. However, to progress with other external works at the site as part of the Cosy Corner development and in a bid to cover increased market and inflationary pressures and costs a further £500k has had to be committed to the scheme, in order to progress with the works. The original scheme had never overrun.’    

 

31.

To receive announcements from:

(i) Mayor (or person presiding)

(ii) Members of the Cabinet

(iii) Chief Executive

 

Minutes:

Mayor

 

The Mayor announced, that as a council, we often warn people to remain alert for scams that are designed to convince people to part with their money or to reveal private banking details.

 

He was sure colleagues could imagine his surprise, after he was recently informed by a resident about his own name and position as Mayor were being fraudulently used.

 

It transpired that the resident concerned had received an email from a bogus account set up to look as if it belonged to the Mayor of Bridgend County Borough.

 

In the email, the scammer using my name asked the resident if they could do ‘me’ a favour by purchasing several hundred pounds worth of digital gift cards and promised to reimburse them immediately.

 

On seeing the messages from the scammer, several things stood out immediately. The first thing I noticed was that the email was full of spelling mistakes and poor grammar and had been badly put together.

 

The other big giveaway was the fake email address, which did not end in a gov-dot-UK address, and I am appalled that someone tried to use my name and my position as Mayor in such a criminal manner.

 

Sadly, it seems that this is quite a common scam which nearly always involves impersonating somebody and sending an email to their friends, family members, people they have supported through public office or customers they may have done business with.

 

The Mayor urged people to remain alert and to report all suspected scams to the Action Fraud website, without delay.

 

On happier news, he was delighted to attend the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the council and Japanese green energy specialists, Marubeni.

 

This was a non-binding partnership agreement which set out how both organisations intend to work together to explore and develop a largescale new hydrogen energy initiative.

 

Bridgend County Borough was specifically selected by Marubeni as the preferred UK location for a green hydrogen demonstrator project, following discussions with Welsh Government.

 

It aimed to create a plant capable of generating and balancing the supply and storage of low-cost green energy and could act as a trailblazer by generating clean fuel for fleet vehicles, ranging from council gritters to recycling and refuse collection lorries.

 

It could also be extended to cover emergency response vehicles used by blue light services and will consider how hydrogen fuel might be used to heat buildings and facilities a such as schools, Extra Care residential homes, local swimming pools and more.

 

Welsh Government is actively supporting its development and as the project develops, the Cardiff Capital Region has also agreed in principle to consider the opportunity for making further investment.

 

Depending on how successful the scheme is, it could then be rolled out across the UK.

 

Anyone who has filled up their car recently will know that it is becoming increasingly important to find alternative sources of clean, green cheap energy.

 

This scheme has the potential to not only contribute towards our own decarbonisation targets,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.

32.

To receive announcements by the Leader

Minutes:

The Leader announced that he was aware that rumours are circulating about the Aldi food store development at Porthcawl, with some claiming that the company has withdrawn due to issues of ground contamination.

 

He was happy to confirm that this is completely untrue.

 

There are no issues with the ground at the site, and the project is very much moving ahead as planned.

 

The company recently confirmed to us that initial preparations are nearing completion, and that contractors are being lined up for construction to begin at the two-acre site.

 

As members were aware, the development aims to provide a landmark gateway into the town while creating up to 40 full-time jobs for local people.

 

All money generated from the sale of the land is being reinvested back into Porthcawl to support local infrastructure improvements and further stages of the exciting regeneration plans.

 

During the store’s construction, public car parking will remain available at Salt Lake and Hillsboro Place, and separate plans are under development for creating an all-new multi storey at Hillsboro Place.

 

If all proceeds as planned, we can expect to see the new Aldi store opening its doors in summer 2023.

 

The Leader confirmed that he was pleased to attend an event recently alongside the Deputy Leader, the Mayor and Cabinet colleagues to mark the tenth anniversary of the ongoing partnership between the council and Halo Leisure, Social Enterprise.

 

When the partnership was first formed back in 2012, members may remember that it was criticised as being destined to fail.

 

Thankfully, the opposite has proven to be true, and in the ten years of operation, customer visits have increased by 2.35 million people a year.

 

It has enabled more than £7 million to be invested back into local initiatives and has resulted in major refurbishments and new facilities being introduced at Halo sites in Bridgend, the Garw Valley, the Ogmore Valley, Pencoed, Pyle, Maesteg and Ynysawdre.

 

More than 32,900 swimming lessons have been delivered to 2.1 million local children in that time, and if the pandemic lockdown had not forced centres to close their doors, I am sure that we would also be looking at more than a million group exercise classes delivered for local people.

 

This partnership has achieved all that we wanted it to and more and was recognised in 2016 when it became the first in Wales to be awarded an ‘Excellent’ rating by the industry’s national benchmarking service.

 

The Leader stated that he looked forward to what the next ten years will bring, and thanked everyone who has helped make this such a resounding success.

 

Finally, members may wish to inform their constituents that the annual programme of activities for children – the Summer of Fun - will be running again this year in partnership with organisations like Halo and our local town and community councils.

 

As well as supporting parents and families, this ensures that children and young people can enjoy fun, exciting activities during the school holidays in Bridgend County Borough.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

Capital Programme Outturn 2021-22 and Quarter 1 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 642 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change submitted a report on the above, the purpose of which was to:-

 

·         comply with the requirement of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s (CIPFA) ‘The Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities’ (2021 edition);

·         provide details of the capital outturn for 2021-22 (Appendix A to the report);

·         provide an update of the capital position for 2022-23 as at 30 June 2022 (Appendix B);

·         seek approval for a revised capital programme for 2022-23 to 2031-32 (Appendix C);

·         note the projected Prudential and Other Indicators for 2021-22 and 2022-23 (Appendix D)

 

She explained that the Local Authorities (Capital Finance and Accounting) (Wales) Regulations 2003 as amended, contains detailed provisions for the capital finance and accounting controls, including the rules on the use of capital receipts and what is to be treated as capital expenditure. They modify accounting practice in various ways to prevent adverse impacts on authorities’ revenue resources.

 

As well as the legislation, the Council manages its Treasury Management and Capital activities in accordance with the following associated guidance:-

 

1.    CIPFA’s Treasury Management in the Public Services: Code of Practice;

2.    CIPFA’s The Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities;

3.    Welsh Government (WG) revised Guidance on Local Authority Investments

 

The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change, confirmed that n 24 February 2021, Council approved a capital budget of £62.363 million for 2021-22 as part of a capital programme covering the period 2021-22 to 2030-31 and Council received regular updates and approved revisions through the year. Although Council approved new schemes for the 2022-23 capital programme in June 22, the programme for 2021-22 was last updated and approved by Council on 23 February 2022. The report provided an update on the following:

 

           Capital Programme outturn 2021-22;

           Capital Programme monitoring quarter 1 2022-23;

           A revised Capital Programme for 2022-23 to 2031-32;

           Capital Strategy monitoring;

           Prudential and other indicators

 

Paragraphs 4 of the report, then gave in some detail, narrative on the Capital Programme Outturn Position for 2021-22, with Appendix A of the report giving information of the various schemes within the Programme and the budget available compared to the actual spend. This included in bullet point format, some amendments to the 2021-22 Programme, including information regarding slippage of some of these schemes.

 

Section 4.2 of the report, provided Members with an update on the Council’s Capital Programme for 2022-23 since the budget was last approved by Council, this incorporated any such new schemes and grant approvals.

 

Table 1 in the report reflected the Capital Programme broken down by Directorate for 2022-23, with Table 2 (at paragraph 4.2.2) summarising the current funding assumptions for the Capital Programme for the above period.

 

The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change then referred to Appendix B of the report, which provided details of the individual schemes within the Capital Programme, showing the budget available in 2022-23 compared to the projected spend at  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.

34.

Market Stability Report pdf icon PDF 475 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing submitted a report, the purpose of which, was to provide Council with a brief overview of the Market Stability Report (MSR), as required under Section 144B of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.

 

By way of background information, she advised that legislation requires local authorities to prepare and publish market stability reports and makes provision for regulations setting out the form these must take, matters to be included, and the prescribed period for carrying out market stability assessments as set out in the Partnership Arrangements (Amendment) and Regulated Services (Market Stability Reports) (Wales) Regulations 2021.

 

The Regulations also amend the Partnership Arrangements (Wales) Regulations 2015, so that the preparation and publication of market stability reports must be carried out on a regional footprint, with local authorities and Local Health Boards working together through Regional Partnership Boards (RPBs).

 

The Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing confirmed, that Regulations also required local authorities to produce market stability reports every five years, with the first reports aimed to be published by 1 June 2022. The Local Government Elections on the 5 May 2022 meant that it was not possible to gain approval of the MSR until new Councils were formed.

 

The report she added, will help inform and shape the next five-year area plan, along with the 2022 Cwm Taf Morgannwg (CTM) population needs assessment.

 

In preparation for undertaking this report, the Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing stated that local authorities carried out, in partnership with the Local Health Board and other RPB partners, an assessment of both the following:

 

·         Sufficiency - an assessment of the sufficiency of care and support in meeting the needs and demand for social care as set out in the population needs assessment. and

·         Stability - an assessment of the stability of the market for regulated services providing care and support

 

She explained that the COVID19 pandemic had been an unprecedented challenge and has changed the type of demand and the way in which local authorities delivered care and support. The impact on people who need care, and their carers is recognised as is the ongoing workforce pressures and market uncertainty.

 

In January 2021 the Welsh Government published a White Paper setting out their ambition to rebalance care and support providing a mixed economy ensuring there was not an over reliance on the private sector. The ambition sought to simplify current commissioning arrangements, strengthen quality and social value and actively manage the market through effective partnership arrangements.

 

She stressed that it should be further noted, that the Programme for Government outlines the Welsh Governments commitment to ‘eliminate private profit from care of looked after children’ (Next Senedd term 2026-2031).

 

The diagram in paragraph 4.5 of the report, illustrated the relationships between each of the different elements of the MSR how they will contribute towards the ongoing development of regional plans and commissioning strategies and statements.

 

The Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing then advised  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.

35.

Size and Membership of the Standards Committee pdf icon PDF 272 KB

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer presented a report, that proposed an amendment to the size and membership of the Council Standards Committee.

 

She confirmed that in accordance with statutory regulations, the membership of that committee shall consist of not less than five and no more than nine members.

 

The Standards Committee of the Council, presently had a membership of seven members, and these were listed in paragraph 3.2 of the report. Members would note that this number consisted of three elected members and four independent members.

 

The Monitoring Officer added, that the Standards Committee will only be quorate when at least three members, including the chairperson are present and at least half the Members present at any one time, are independent.

 

Given this requirement, the committee was on occasions in danger of not having the required number of members for a quorum at certain meetings, due to the balance of elected and independent members. If independent members were not available, as was the case in a recent meeting when, unfortunately, a meeting may be inquorate and as a consequence, the business on the agenda could not be proceeded with.

 

It was therefore proposed that the membership of the Standards Committee is increased to eight members in total, with an additional independent Member being appointed to the committee.

 

In accordance with the independent Remuneration Panel for Wales annual report, ordinary members of the committee are paid £105 for up to a four hour meeting and subsequently £210 for any meetings exceeding this time. These additional costs would be met from the centrally held provision for pay and price increases during the 2022-23 financial year.

 

A member of the Standards Committee confirmed he supported the recommendations of the report. He added however, that further consideration be given next year to increase the number of Town and Community Council representatives on the Committee, as had been the case in previous years.

 

Subject to budgetary pressures being taken into consideration regarding this proposal, the Monitoring Officer confirmed that this request could be given further consideration in due course.

 

RESOLVED:                                 That Council:

 

1.         Approved the revised membership and size of the Standards Committee;

2.         Receives a further report following the recruitment process;

3.         Noted that the Constitution will be amended to reflect the revised membership.    

 

36.

Outcome of Survey of Meetings Timings pdf icon PDF 497 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer presented a report, in order to update members on the survey that has recently been undertaken, in relation to the timings of meetings survey, the feedback from which was shown in Appendix 1 to the report.

 

The details of the feedback on each Committee and the preferred timings of these based on the wishes of members of each of those bodies, were set out in the report from paragraph 4.3 onwards.

 

Whilst the information was there for all members to note, the Monitoring Officer felt it was important to note the result of the survey taken in relation to full Council meetings. The majority of responses received here, requested a start time of 4:00pm and therefore, from September next going forward, the meetings of Council would commence at this time. However, she asked members to note that presently the Civic offices building closed at 6:30pm.

 

Therefore, when the Council commenced with hybrid meetings, there may be a requirement to keep the building open later than 6:30pm, should this be required.

 

The revised programme of meetings from September 2022 was detailed for members at Appendix 2. There was one proposed change to the schedule  in relation to Subject O&S Committee 1, which due to a clash with another Council appointment on the 12 September 2022 would now commence at 2:30pm and that had been agreed following the approval of the Chairperson of this committee.

 

RESOLVED:                                     That Council:

 

a)            Noted the outcome of the timings of meetings survey as detailed in Appendix 1 of the report;

 

b)            Approved the proposed Programme of Meetings from September 2022 as shown in Appendix 2, which has been compiled from the survey and developed using the rationale as outlined in this report.

 

37.

Information report for noting pdf icon PDF 264 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Officer Legal and Regulatory Services, HR and Corporate Policy (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.

 

38.

To receive the following Questions from:

1.    Councillor Martin Williams to the Leader

Does the Leader agree that the Cabinet should reverse its policy of sports pitch full cost recovery for sports clubs and charitable events, ending the coercion of clubs and town & community councils into undertaking asset transfers or face pitch fee increases of up to 500%?

 

Furthermore, following cancelation of the policy does he agree to continue maintenance of Bridgend County Borough Council’s sports facilities to a playable standard whilst it works with all teams in all sports, governing bodies and town & community councils to develop and implement a comprehensive sports and recreation strategy that works for all. Establishing Bridgend County Borough as the foremost local authority for sports and recreation within Wales?

 

2.    Councillor Steven Bletsoe to The Cabinet Member Wellbeing and Future Generations

What criteria do BCBC use to determine that a person is designated as a “rough sleeper” in Bridgend County Borough. Could the cabinet member please detail how a person who is classed as a “rough sleeper” is registered and documented for official reporting purposes and could the cabinet member please give numbers of those designated as “rough sleepers” that were registered and documented as of September 2021, January 2022, April 2022 and the most up to date information (if later than April 2022).

 

3.    Councillor Ross Thomas to the Cabinet Member Regeneration

What is the local authority doing to support town centre high streets across the county borough?

 

4.    Councillor Alex Williams to The Leader

Will the Leader confirm whether or not he expects all of the commitments which were included in the Bridgend Labour Party’s 2022 Local Government Election manifesto will be completed within the stated timescale and budget?

 

5.    Councillor Della Hughes to the Cabinet Member Communities

What is BCBC doing to ensure that communities are not isolated by a lack of public transport provision?

 

Minutes:

Councillor M Williams to the Leader

 

Does the Leader agree that the Cabinet should reverse its policy of sports pitch full cost recovery for sports clubs and charitable events, ending the coercion of clubs and town & community councils into undertaking asset transfers or face pitch fee increases of up to 500%?

 

Furthermore, following cancellation of the policy does he agree to continue maintenance of Bridgend County Borough Council’s sports facilities to a playable standard whilst it works with all teams in all sports, governing bodies and Town & Community councils to develop and implement a comprehensive sports and recreation strategy that works for all. Establishing Bridgend County Borough as the foremost local authority for sports and recreation within Wales?

 

Response

 

No sports club in Bridgend County Borough will experience full cost recovery in their fees. That has been the position since 2020.

 

The council confirmed in a public report to Cabinet in 2020 it would not introduce full cost recovery charges for any clubs provided that they committed to undertaking self-management either by full lease or licence. It was reported to Cabinet that in 2020 that the Council has received expressions of interest for all of its playing fields and park pavilions either from Town &Community Councils and/or sports clubs. Therefore, no club will experience full cost recovery.

 

Furthermore, I am pleased to confirm that for last 2 years (seasons 2020-21 and 2021-22), the Council waived all hire charges for the use of Sports Pavilions and Playing Fields managed by the Parks Department to assist sports clubs during the covid pandemic.  In addition, the Council created the Bridgend Sports Support Fund in 2019-20, providing funding of £75,000 to lessen the impact of covid with grants of up to £1,000 for sports clubs to assist with day-to-day operating costs.  Similar funding was again provided in 2021-22 under the Bridgend Sports Support Fund with grants of up to £2,000 (Club Development) or £3,500 (Asset Development) to assist sports clubs recover from the pandemic.

 

Assets such as Sports Pavilions and Playing Fields at Bryncethin and Rest Bay, Community Centres and Play Areas transferred under the CAT programme have seen significant improvements with capital funding under the Council’s CAT Fund and external investment of circa. £1M from Welsh Government, the Welsh Rugby Union, National Lottery and the Ford Community Legacy Fund. The CAT Team and our partners Cwmpas (formerly Wales Co-op) and Coalfields Regeneration Trust are currently working with Town and Community Councils and community groups across Bridgend so that similar outcomes can be achieved in more areas.

 

Supplementary question from Councillor M Williams

 

In answering the question the Leader has confirmed that he is not minded to change the policy of full cost recovery and the coercion of clubs to enter  into asset transfers remains. However, he didn't answer my point regarding a charitable event but that is the nature of my supplementary question in any case, so he does have the opportunity to reflect on that.

 

I viewed remotely the last Budget Council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.

39.

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. 

 

Minutes:

None.