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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.
Councillor Heidi Bennett Declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 8 –as she was an employee in a partner organisation noted in the response.
Councillor Richard Williams declared a personal interest in agenda item 8 as a member of Pencoed Town Council as well as a member of the Development Control Committee.
Cllr Melanie Evans declared a personal interest in agenda item 8 as a member of Pencoed Town Council with reference to the question from Cllr Tim Thomas.
Cllr Tim Wood declared a personal interest in agenda item 8 as a member of Bridgend Town Council with reference to the question from Cllr Tim Thomas.
Councillor Steve Easterbrook declared a personal interest in agenda item 8 as he was a trader in Bridgend town centre.
Approval of Minutes PDF 553 KB
To receive for approval the minutes of 22/10/22 and 16/11/22
RESOLVED: That the minutes of 22/10/22 and 16/11/22 be approved as a true and accurate record subject to the changes below.
Councillor Ian Spiller was noted as absent for the meeting of 16/11/22 but was present for the meeting.
Councillor Norah Clarke was noted as present for the meeting of 16/11/22 but gave her apologies for the meeting.
Presentation to Council by Representatives of Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board PDF 114 KB
The Chief Executive presented a report to advise Members of a presentation proposed to be delivered to Council by representatives of one of the Council’s key work partners, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board (CTMUHB).
A PowerPoint was presented by representatives of the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board.
Questions to the Health Board:
The Deputy Leader stated that we further wish to integrate our health and social care, however we have a different operating model to that of the rest of the health board footprint so has this been acknowledged by the health board.
A representative of the health board explained that the difficulties with Bridgend had been acknowledged and they were aware of the lack of facilities currently covering the Bridgend County Borough. He added that Rhondda Cynon Taf had 2 community hospitals in which they covered Merthyr Tydfil also. The aim was to use these facilities to also cover Bridgend for more specialist care like stroke patients that have been discharged from the Princess of Wales Hospital.
A Member explained that a relative was taken into hospital earlier this week with a suspected heart attack but had waited in an ambulance for approximately 30 hours in -3c temperatures. She provided another example whereby a neighbour of hers suffered a stroke and was told over the telephone that there was a potential 4 hour wait for an ambulance. Luckily, with the help of others they were able to take him by car to the hospital where he was seen immediately. She added that herself and another Member were at a Bridgend Care and Repair meeting whereby they were waiting for a representative from the health board to be sent to the group as they believed they could support some of the patients as well as waiting for over 70 DFG’s from BCBC to allow patients to live in their own homes with equipment/adaptations etc. She asked what was being done to work with organisations such as Bridgend Care and Repair so that patients can be released from hospital and cared for in their home. She also asked if there was a way of utilising the facilities that were used during lockdown to care for these patients in the interim before they were able to be released to go home. On a more positive note, she made an unannounced visit to Princess of Wales a number of weeks ago and speaking with patients there, they had had very good things to say about the staff there and their only concerns were with waiting times for admissions, etc.
The Health Board representative explained that with regards to Bridgend Care and Repair they were working closely with them and would look into the reasons why there was not a representative at the above meeting(s).
He explained that due to the Covid 19 pandemic we were able to utilise Ysbyty'r Seren to manage patients who did not need to be in hospital but were unable to go back to their own ... view the full minutes text for item 71.
To receive announcements from:
(i) Mayor (or person presiding)
(ii) Members of the Cabinet
(iii) Chief Executive
“It certainly is a busy period as we enter the festive season. The mayor's office continues to receive many enquires and applications for Mayoral visits. I am grateful to the Deputy Mayor and his consort for stepping in on those occasions we have multiple requests. On a personal note, on your behalf, I have attended many events that range from Christmas Community Events Shop window judging competition Carol Services Hospital visit Annual General Meetings of various organisations.
Civic events outside of the County Borough It was a pleasure to accompany the respective Town Mayors at both Maesteg and Bridgend to witness the illumination of the Christmas lights. There was incredible public attendance at both events which just demonstrates the importance and enthusiasm the public have for the festive season.
Could I thank both Town Councils for organising these events.
I would also like to thank Mr Lee Jukes and his team from Bridgend FM. His enthusiasm energy and skill in entertaining the large crowds at these two events was incredible. To date I have been called many things in my life but to be introduced by Lee Jukes to the large crowd at Maesteg as the "Cool Mayor of Bridgend" is something I shall not forget. It was also an honour and privilege to attend the Emergency Services of South Wales Christmas Carol Service at Llandaff Cathedral. The Carol Service was attended by representatives and families of South Wales Police, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust.
The South Wales Police Band was accompanied by the Kenfig Hill and District Male Voice Choir. It was a proud moment for me at the Cathedral to receive compliments from many Civic dignitaries from across South Wales who went out of their way to praise the incredible "Spine-Tingling" performance from the choir. Once again thank you to all at the Kenfig Hill and District Male Voice Choir you done us proud.
Could I please encourage you all members and officers to donate to the Mayors Charity Appeal? Could I suggest that instead of sending a Christmas Card to each other you donate to the charity fund. Details of how the donation can be made will shortly be circulated on the BCBC website.
And finally, please do not forget about the Mayors Award application process. I expect to see an avalanche of applications. There is so much good work being carried out in our communities, work and commitment that deserves recognition, so please you're your applications in by 13th January 2023
Details of the application process can be found on the council website.
Last but not least one of our members today is celebrating their birthday. Can I please say happy birthday to Councillor Elaine Winstanley I hope you have a lovely day and a better evening.
Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Social Services:
As this is the first time that we have met as a full Council since the publication of the Child Practice Review ... view the full minutes text for item 72.
To receive announcements by the Leader
I am sure that members will have noted the recent extensive media coverage around cases of Strep A and scarlet fever.
The rise in infections this year has mainly affected children aged under 10, and has been linked to several tragic deaths around the UK.
While this has generated headlines and has triggered widespread concern among parents and carers, Public Health Wales and Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board are reassuring and reminding people that cases still remain rare, and that children have a very low risk of contracting the disease.
The increase in cases across the UK has largely been attributed to a return to familiar social patterns following two years of pandemic conditions, and with hospitals and GP surgeries already reporting huge pressures upon their services, people are being asked to remain calm and to follow advice and guidance.
To support this, a series of frequently asked questions have been published to the Public Health Wales website along with up to date information on how you can access further support.
Members may wish to inform their constituents that this guidance is available.
Members may also be interested to know that a £1.2m upgrade is underway at Coychurch Crematorium.
The work is focusing on improving the Flower Court at the rear of the main building, and extending it out onto the grassed area adjacent to Crallo Chapel.
The intention is to help people to exit the chapel more smoothly, provide easier access to some of the facilities and avoid delays to services which sometimes occur due to a build-up of people in this area.
As a listed building which has won awards for its unique design, the extension work has been carefully tailored so that it reflects the unique character and history of the crematorium.
It is being overseen by Welsh architect Jonathan Adams, whose other projects have included the Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay and the Sherman Theatre refurbishment in Cardiff.
The project is expected to be completed in time for summer 2023, and arrangements are in place to ensure that the crematorium can remain operational throughout the work.
In other news, I was pleased to note that a further four children’s play areas have benefitted from a £500,000 investment recently and can now offer inclusive play equipment suitable for children with disabilities and special educational needs.
The upgraded play areas, which are located in Ogmore Vale, Porthcawl, Aberkenfig and Tondu, include facilities ranging from inclusive roundabouts to new multi-play units, and represent our ongoing commitment towards providing facilities that are accessible for people of all ages and abilities.
Finally, South Wales Police are continuing to investigate the circumstances that led to the discovery of two deceased infants at a property in Wildmill last month.
Two men, aged 37 and 47, and a 29-year-old woman who were arrested on suspicion of concealing the birth of a child, are all currently on police bail.
No further details have been revealed, but the council is offering its full co-operation to ... view the full minutes text for item 73.
Amendment to the Constitution PDF 257 KB
The Chief Officer Legal & Regulatory Services, HR and Corporate Policy presented a report which sought Council approval to an amendment to the Constitution to reflect the revised financial thresholds within the Contract Procedure Rules to take effect from 1 January 2023.
She explained order to procure goods, services and works above £5,000 a service must obtain three quotes. This has proved to be unmanageable due to the volume of quotations across the Council, leading to delays on service delivery. Further details on this were at section 4 of the report.
The Chief Officer Legal & Regulatory Services, HR and Corporate Policy explained that A benchmarking exercise has shown that an increase to £10,000 for obtaining three quotations is in line with neighbouring councils. A report was presented to Cabinet on 13 December 2022 seeking approval to amend the lower financial threshold from £5,000 to £10,000 for obtaining three quotations within the Contract Procedure Rules and recommending to Council an amendment to the Constitution to reflect those revisions.
The Cabinet Member Resources stated that the report was deliberated at Cabinet yesterday and it was noted that the cost of living crisis as well as well as the invasion on Ukraine by Russian troops had driven costs to an unmanageable level and therefore it was necessary to increase the threshold from £5,000 to £10,000.
A Member asked that this report and a review of the threshold be undertaken after 6 months and also for it to be discussed at the Governance and Audit Committee.
A Member asked what safeguards are in place to ensure that there was no carving up of larger procurement into sub £10,000 procurement slots.
The Chief Officer Legal & Regulatory Services, HR and Corporate Policy outlined a number controls that were in place and added that the procurement team perform regular audits on activities as does the Internal Audit service. There was also training sessions recently provided to all staff who procure or commission goods/services and so staff were clear on the procedures to be followed.
The Leader explained that local companies were always looked at and sought after for procurement activities and this was always at the heart of the decision making where possible.
RESOLVED: That Council approved an amendment to the Constitution to reflect the revised financial thresholds as set out at paragraph 4.5 to take effect from 1 January 2023.
To receive the following Questions from:
Councillor A Wathan to the Cabinet Member – Resources
Can the Cabinet Member – Resources provide me with the risk assessment of Short Term Loans to local authorities under the adopted BCBC procedures?
Councillor D Hughes to the Cabinet Member – Resources
How is Bridgend County Borough Council along with other partners, creating financial support mechanisms to help protect the most vulnerable in society?
Councillor T Thomas to the Cabinet Member – Regeneration
What plans does the Cabinet Member have to increase town centre footfall in our County Borough town centres?
Councillor Alan Wathan to the Cabinet Member – Resources
Can the Cabinet Member – Resources provide me with the risk assessment of Short Term Loans to local authorities under the adopted BCBC procedures?
Treasury management is the management of the Council’s cash flows, borrowing and investments, and the associated risks. The Governance and Audit Committee has been nominated to be responsible for ensuring effective scrutiny of the Treasury Management Strategy (TMS) and policies.
Treasury risk management at the Council is conducted within the framework of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s (CIPFA) ‘Treasury Management in the Public Services: Code of Practice’ 2017 Edition (the CIPFA Code) which requires the Council to approve a Treasury Management Strategy (TMS) before the start of each financial year. The CIPFA Code also requires the Council to set a number of Treasury Management Indicators, which are forward looking parameters and enable the Council to measure and manage its exposure to treasury management risks, and performance against these indicators are reported to Members regularly throughout the financial year.
The Council’s Treasury Management Strategy, was reported to and approved by full Council on 23 February 2022, and it sets out clearly the investing limits for all counterparties. Specifically in relation to local authorities it sets the following lending limits:
Local authorities & other entities:
Time limit: 25 years,
Counterparty limit: £12 million,
Sector limit: £unlimited.
In summary, the maximum than can be lent to any single local authority at any time is £12 million, for a period no longer than 25 years. The total amount this Council can lend to all local authorities cumulatively is unlimited.
The Council regularly lends to other local authorities as it is a well-established practice across the sector and provides a high level of security and a low level of risk, with a commensurate level of return. Local authorities are regarded as very low credit risk investment counterparties. As public sector organisations they are far less subject to the type of market forces that can make banks and other businesses insolvent and although they may merge, split or otherwise change, they and the functions they provide are unlikely to cease to exist.
Most local authorities are not rated by credit rating agencies, however those that do possess strong ratings.
All investments are made in line with the advice of the Council’s Treasury Management Advisors, who were appointed via a competitive tendering process. The majority of investments this Council makes to other local authorities are less than 1 year, although one recent investment has been made for a period of 2 years, with a value of £5 million to July 2024. All other investments with other local authorities are for less than 1 year.
To help to reduce risk, this Council also does not invest up the maximum permitted and approved by Council. The approved limit per authority as noted above is £12 million, however the maximum amount lent is usually no more than £8 million in total, ... view the full minutes text for item 75.
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.