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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.
Cllr JP Blundell declared a personal interest in item 6, Community Asset Transfer Update, as he was a member of Laleston Community Council which had community asset transferred (CAT) Bryntirion Community Centre and was in the process of submitting expressions of interest in other community projects.
Cllr P Davies declared a personal interest in item 6, Community Asset Transfer Update, as he was the Deputy Chairman of Caerau Development Trust and there was a lease currently running on the Community Centre and negotiations were on going with regard to a CAT transfer. He was also a member of Nantyffyllon RFC which was involved in the CAT transfer of Caerau Welfare Park.
Cllr R Granville declared a personal interest in item 6, Community Asset Transfer Update, as he was involved in discussions regarding the transfer of the football field to Cornelly Community Council.
Cllr Chappell declared a personal interest in item 6, Community Asset Transfer Update, as he was associated with Kenfig RFC and they had recently applied for an asset transfer.
Cllr Huw David declared a personal interest in item 6, Community Asset Transfer Update, as he was a member of Kenfig Hill Rugby Club, Cefn Cribwr Athletic Club and Cefn Cribwr Bowls Club and these clubs had all been involved in the CAT process.
Cllr R Young declared a personal interest in item 6, Community Asset Transfer Update, as he was a member of Coity Community Higher Council and an application had been submitted for a CAT transfer on Great Western Avenue and other playing fields.
To receive for approval the Minutes of 29 11 21
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the 29 November 2021 be approved as a true and accurate record.
The Group Manager Planning and Development Services presented a report advising Town and Community Council members of the statutory process of notifying neighbours and consulting with Town and Community Councils in the planning application process.
The Group Manager Planning and Development Services explained that where a valid application for planning permission had been submitted, there was a statutory obligation for Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) to undertake publicity and consultation. LPAs had discretion over how they informed communities and other interested parties about planning applications, although there were minimum statutory requirements. He explained that at Bridgend County Borough Council, they went beyond the minimum statutory requirements for notifying neighbours. On simple applications for a house extension, whilst the Order stated that they should give requisite notice by site display in at least one place on or near the land to which the application related for not less than 21 days; or by serving the notice on any adjoining owner or occupier, they tended to do both and also tended to extend the notification to a wider range of neighbouring properties. They also went beyond the minimum 14 day deadline for receipt of representations from Town and Community Councils by allowing 21 days. If the Town or Community Council could not meet that deadline, they regularly agreed extensions of time.
The Group Manager Planning and Development Services reported that individual Community Councils and the Town and Community Council Forum had proposed that the LPA should send copies of neighbour objections to them for the Councils to ascertain the strength of local feeling. He explained that unfortunately, they were not able to forward any neighbour comments on to the Town and Community Councils (TC)/Community Councils (CC) as that would be a breach of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Even if they had the neighbour’s consent to forward their representation on to the TC/CC, they did not have the time or resources to redact each submission of personal information before doing so. In addition, the consultation and notification processes were undertaken concurrently, and they could not delay the process due to the statutory targets for determination. He suggested that Town and Community Councils could approach and advise their residents that they could, if they wish, send a copy of their representation on any planning application to the Community Council at the same time as they respond to the LPA.
A member referred to the LPA extending notification to a wider range of neighbouring properties and asked if there was a definitive distance. The Group Manager Planning and Development Services replied that there was no set distance and it was discretionary. They were only compelled to consult with the adjoining landowners or neighbours but they tried to consult further depending on the type of application. They would also use site notices in a location close to the development. They would prefer to get it right the first time and allow everyone the opportunity to comment rather than have to restart the process at a ... view the full minutes text for item 223.
The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change (Section 151 Officer) presented to the Town and Community Council Forum, a copy
of the report that went to Cabinet on the draft Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) 2022-23 to 2025-26 on 18 January 2022, for information.
The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change (Section 151 Officer) explained that due to the delay in the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review for 2021, the Welsh Government did not publish its draft budget until 20 December 2021, or the Provisional Local Government Settlement until 21 December 2021. This was in line with the previous year but still approximately 2 months later than normal. As a result of the delay in announcements, the draft Medium Term Financial Strategy was not presented to Cabinet until 18 January 2022, prior to being submitted for scrutiny by the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committees. The final Medium Term Financial Strategy would be presented to Cabinet and Council on 22 and 23 February 2022, respectively, for approval. The proposed council tax for 2022-23 would also be presented to Council for approval on 23 February 2022.
The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change (Section 151 Officer)
explained that in seeking to continue to meet the Council’s identified priorities and protect its investment in Education and early intervention, Social Services and Wellbeing, and prioritise the most vulnerable in our society, they were proposing a number of changes in the 2022-23 budget. She referred to opportunities to raise additional income, alternative delivery models to ensure greater sustainability and efficiency, efficiency and property savings and changes to service provision.
The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change (Section 151 Officer) explained that the Council’s MTFS was set within the context of UK economic and public expenditure plans, Welsh Government’s priorities and legislative programme. The MTFS articulated how the Council planned to use its resources to support the achievement of its corporate priorities and
statutory duties, including the management of financial pressures and risks over the next four years. She outlined the Welsh Government Provisional Local Government Settlement 2022-23, the settlement implications for 2023 to 2026, transfers into and out of the 2022-23 Revenue Settlement and specific grants.
The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change (Section 151 Officer)
explained that there were a number of significant cost pressures they needed to fund within the increase, including additional funding to meet the teachers pay deal for the remainder of the current year and for next year, to meet the new requirements in relation to National Insurance contributions and to fund the introduction of the real living wage for care workers. During the current financial year and last year, the Council received monies from Welsh Government via a hardship fund which helped the authority to meet the additional costs and lost income experienced as a result of the pandemic. This grant would no longer be available in 2022/23, so the budget that was set would need to take account of any additional spend ... view the full minutes text for item 224.
The Community Asset Transfer (CAT) officer presented a report providing the Forum with an outline of the changes to Bridgend County Borough Council’s Community Asset Transfer (CAT) policy and the support and opportunities currently available to Town & Community Councils (T&CCs) to work with the Council and community groups to achieve the best management arrangements for public sector assets and services.
The CAT officer explained that the updated CAT Policy was approved by Cabinet in July 2019 and took account of the recommendations of the CAT Task & Finish group. The main changes to the policy were the priority of assets; priority 1 sports pavilions, playing fields and Community centres, priority 2, playgrounds, free car parks and allotments and then priority 3 covering everything not included in priority 1 and priority 2. He explained that the document introduced a fast track system as one of the biggest criticisms they had received was the length of time it took to complete CATs. Where previously they required detailed business plans, now they only asked the submission of income and expenditure projections for a minimum of a 5-year period for the majority of CATs (but detailed business plans would still be requested for more complex projects, e.g. new builds).
The CAT officer outlined the position regarding CAT funding and resources and added that in October 2020 a Business Case for support under the Council’s Change Management Fund of £266,461 was approved by the Corporate Management Board (CMB). This included the creation of three new fixed-term posts required to progress multiple CATs and to achieve the financial savings under the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS). He explained that paragraph 4.12 of the report outlined in summary, the progress made particularly during the last two years of the COVID pandemic and Appendix B, also provided detailed information on the transfers that were being progressed. Details of eight transfers completed to date were included in the report and a further one had completed since the report was published.
The CAT officer explained that one of the most pleasing aspects of the Community Asset Transfers during the pandemic was that 10 out of 12 bowls clubs agreed to undertake the self-management of 11 bowls greens from 1 November 2020 while long-term leases were being progressed.
The CAT officer outlined progress on the strategic review of the 3 major parks. The first phase of the review was completed in May 2021. The remit for the Second Phase Review should be developed in consultation
with Just Solutions to take account of the principles agreed by Cabinet / CMB and enable appropriate frameworks for individual strategies for Newbridge Fields and Maesteg Welfare Park to be progressed.
The CAT officer explained that the CAT staff resources had increased in the last few months and there had been a corresponding increase in progress made in that short period. Sadly, one member of staff resigned at the end of December and they were in the process of trying to recruit a replacement.
In conclusion, ... view the full minutes text for item 225.
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.