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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.
To receive for approval the Minutes of 01/08/2022
RESOLVED: That the minutes of a meeting of the Town and Community Council Forum dated 14 August 2022, be approved as a true and accurate record, subject to Councillor M Evans being added to the list of attendees who gave their apologies for absence at that meeting.
The Group Manager – Business Support presented a report, the purpose of which, was to provide Town & Community Councils with an outline of the process for a full Community Governance Review in Bridgend, to be implemented for the May 2027 Local Elections.
By way of some background information, he advised that the review and implementation of Bridgend Council’s ward boundaries and electoral arrangements by the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales (LD&BCW), were implemented for the May 2022 Local Elections.
The LD&BCW review also included some consequential changes in two Community Councils: Brackla Community Council and Porthcawl Town Council; and these were also implemented for the May 2022 Local Elections.
The Group Manager – Business Support added, that Council also undertook a review of the electoral arrangements in Coity Higher Community Council following a formal request from the Community Council, which was also implemented in time for the May 2022 Local Elections.
The last full Community Governance Review was finalised in 2009 and would normally follow a 10-year cycle. The delays to the completion of the Bridgend Electoral Review and the pandemic resulted in insufficient time to undertake a full review in time for the Local Elections in May 2022.
He explained that the key document that starts the Community Governance Review is called the Terms of Reference (ToR). The ToR sets out the proposed timetable and procedures for the review, provides guidance, and sets out the issues that will be considered during the review. It also allows the Council to ensure it is following a set procedure, takes into account appropriate considerations for the review, and allows interested parties to understand how to effectively engage in the review. It also provides the LD&BCW with information as to whether the Council has appropriately conducted the review under the terms of the Act. Further explanation of the ToR was detailed in paragraph 4.2 of the report.
In terms of the electoral arrangements, the review provides the opportunity to consider the degree to which “electoral parity” is achieved across the communities in Bridgend, and across any wards that exist within a community. This is known as a council size policy, and it will consider:
• An approximate councillor allocation per electorate;
• Provision of an overall minimum and maximum number of community councillors for a community council. Historically the minimum number of councillors for a community council has been 7. The largest community council in Wales at present is 24. The maximum size may be dependent on the following factors:
• The existing community council sizes;
• The scale of the activity of the community councils;
• The geography of the Council area; and
• The population density of the Council area;
If amalgamation of two or more communities is recommended confirmed the Group Manager – Business Support, then the existing community councils would be dissolved and a new separate community area would be established. In these circumstances it is usual for the community to be warded to ... view the full minutes text for item 8.
The Head of Operations - Community Services presented a report on the above item and, following a brief introduction, he referred to the Traffic Management and Parking Team Leader to give a presentation.
The Traffic Management and Parking Team Leader, confirmed that the Wales Transport Strategy 2021 published by Welsh Government, identified one of its key priorities to ‘change the default speed limit from 30mph to 20mph in built-up areas to reduce traffic related injuries and fatalities and make walking and cycling safer and more attractive’.
It was proposed by enabling a much wider take up of 20mph limits it will achieve significant road safety benefits, particularly in deprived neighbourhoods. In the longer term, reductions in the perception of road danger is expected to lead to more walking and cycling which will improve public health and replace some short car journeys, and so achieving further reductions in collisions and casualties. More walking and cycling is also likely to lead to greater social cohesion which brings further societal and health benefits. Furthermore, lower speeds will lead to reductions in traffic noise, while impacts on air quality will be neutral at worst and journey time increases will be slight.
He confirmed that, as part of the new legislation, a 20mph Task Force was created to work closely with local authorities to identify those roads which would be an exception to the legislation. The Authority provided local knowledge and traffic management expertise to help identify those roads which should be an exception to the legislation to help ensure limits throughout the borough are abided to and consequently that the legislation does not fall into disrepute.
As part of his presentation, the Traffic Management and Parking Team Leader advised, that from September 2023, a new default 20mph speed limit will apply to mostresidential and busy pedestrian streets with street lights in Wales.
Proposing to the reduction of default speed limits from 30mph to 20mph in these areas could see a number of benefits, including:
• a reduction in road collisions
• more opportunities to walk and cycle in our communities
• helping to improve our health and wellbeing
• making our streets safer
• safeguarding the environment for future generations.
He confirmed that the above speed restrictions would be introduced by Welsh Government from 17 September 2023.
The Traffic Management and Parking Team Leader, confirmed that the introduction of pilot schemes identified issues in particular with a blanket introduction of the 20mph on all the restricted roads.
A petition submitted within months of the initial proposal, achieved 40,000 signatures suggesting such a blanket 20mph speed limit was inappropriate for all roads, and that there was a need to seek views of communities in relation to this in order to achieve feedback regarding this.
As a result of this consultation, some general exceptions were introduced and not allowed for A and B 30mph roads, if they were situate as follows:
Within 100 metres walk of any educational setting;
Within 100 metres walk of any ... view the full minutes text for item 9.
To consider any other item(s) of business in respect of which notice has been given in accordance with Rule 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.