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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 (including whipping declarations)
Councillor Richard Williams declared a personal interest in agenda item 5 as a member of the Development Control Committee.
To receive for approval the minutes of a meeting of the Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committee 2 of the 11 07 22
RESOLVED: That the Minutes of a meeting of Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committee 2 dated 11 July 2022 be approved as a true and accurate record.
Councillor Jane Gebbie - Deputy Leader of Council and Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help
Claire Marchant - Corporate Director - Social Services and Wellbeing
Jacqueline Davies – Head of Adult Social Care
Laura Kinsey - Head of Children’s Social Care
Tracey Shepherd - Senior Manager - Local Authority Inspection Team - Care Inspectorate Wales
The Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing presented the report the purpose of which was to present to the Committee the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) Inspection of Children’s Social Care Services Report and to request that the Committee consider the report and comment on the associated Action Plan.
The Deputy Head of Children’s Social Care presented the detailed Action Plan and explained that it was set out into 4 sections as per CIW’s report. He highlighted the work being done to address each area for improvement in the plan and confirmed that whilst some actions had been completed, several of them were ongoing but that many areas identified for improvement had already been identified by the service themselves prior to the inspection and work already begun on them.
The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help (Deputy Leader) advised that when she was appointed as Cabinet Member for Social Services at the end of last year, she knew it was going to be a challenge and at times had been despondent regarding some of the challenges being faced. However, she was now more encouraged and could see more opportunities and spent her time as much as possible with service users. She advised of recent conversations Foster Carers who had been delighted to inform her of the changes they could see being made within the practice.
She highlighted that completing implementation of the ‘Signs of Safety’ training would give management oversight in a better form. In addition, she raised the challenges faced by the not-for-profit agenda in the sufficiency of provision of placements for young people. Finally, she highlighted the pressure on the budgets for Social Services and the need to look for a more sustainable future and guidance and direction from Welsh Government. She warned that if the budget situation remained the same, then Social Services would not remain the same and that there was a need to have a conversation with communities where the impact would be felt.
A Member thanked Officers and the Deputy Leader for their honesty and transparency and asked whether the Corporate Director was content that the inspection report was a true and accurate reflection of the service provision in Bridgend.
The Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing confirmed that she was and highlighted that it reflected the self-evaluation they had presented to CIW and hoped that it also reflected the advice she had given to full Council when she presented the Director of Social Services Annual Report.
A Member referenced the high percentage of respondents to the people survey who felt they were ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ treated with dignity and respect, who felt they were ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ listened to, when asked how easy it was to make contact with social services, stated, ‘not easy’ or ‘very difficult’ and, when asked how useful the information, advice and assistance offered by social services was, responded either ‘not useful at all’ or ‘not useful.’ He noted the contrast to the ... view the full minutes text for item 9.
Councillor Huw David - Leader of Council
Councillor Neelo Farr - Cabinet Member for Regeneration
Janine Nightingale - Corporate Director - Communities
Jonathan Parsons – Group Manager Planning & Development Services
Zak Shell - Head of Operations - Community Services
Delyth Webb – Group Manager Strategic Regeneration
Julian Thomas – Team Leader Regeneration Projects and Approaches
Jacob Lawrence – Principal Regeneration Officer
The Senior Democratic Services Officer - Scrutiny presented the report the purpose of which was to enable the Committee to scrutinise the decision of Cabinet of 18 October 2022 in relation to the report on Porthcawl Waterfront Regeneration: Appropriation of Land at Griffin Park and Sandy Bay.
She advised that, in accordance with Rule 18 of the Overview and Scrutiny Rules in the Council’s Constitution, five Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees, and two Scrutiny Chairs, had requested that an Executive decision made by Cabinet on the 18 October 2022 be Called-In.
She advised that the Committee was recommended to consider the Cabinet decision of 18 October 2022 relating to Porthcawl Waterfront Regeneration: Appropriation of Land at Griffin Park and Sandy Bay and to determine whether it wished to:
i) refer the decision back to Cabinet for reconsideration, setting out in
writing the nature of its concerns; or
ii) decide not to refer the matter back to the Cabinet.
The Chairperson invited the Members who had supported the Call In to speak on the reasons for the Call In.
Members stated the main reasons for the Call In included:
- Scrutiny should be seen as providing assurance to the public, to Cabinet and Officers that the Council was proceeding in the correct direction and should be seen as adding value and strengthening the public policy making process.
- The need for demonstrable evidence the local authority had implemented the 5 Ways of Working in the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 (The WBFG(W) 2015 Act), requiring public consultation to go beyond the statutory minimum.
- Members had received a significant number of representations from town councillors, members of the public and local organisations in Porthcawl objecting to the proposals who had raised concerns and valid questions regarding the regeneration plans. Members welcomed the opportunity of giving those people a voice, recognising the significant generational impact and irreversible change to the town that the development plans could have on Porthcawl.
- Concern was expressed that the public perception from the Cabinet meeting might have been that it had been a pre-determined decision given the high level of public concerns that did not appear to have been adequately discussed or addressed.
- That there needed to be demonstrable evidence that sufficient consideration had been given to the response to the public consultation which was overwhelmingly against the appropriation of land for the purposes outlined in the Cabinet report.
The loss of open space for recreational purposes,
changes to Griffin Park, concerns about proposed housing at Sandy
Bay, lack of investment in tourism facilities, as well as the
impact on wildlife and ecology, which were not sufficiently
discussed during the Cabinet deliberations on this issue.
Whether the appropriation of all of the land was
necessary to enable the Porthcawl waterfront regeneration (which
might open the floodgates for housing) and why the option of a
reduction in the area of the land proposed for appropriation had
not been considered.
Having considered the report the Forward Work Programme Update the Committee requested:
1. That the scope of the Integrated Working with Cwm Taf University Health Board report include a narrative regarding hospital discharge.
2. That when the report on IAA is scheduled that there also be invitees from Education.
There were no further items identified for consideration on the Forward Work Programme having regard to the selection criteria in paragraph 4.3, and this could be revisited at the next meeting.
There were no requests to include specific information in the item for the next meeting.
RESOLVED: That the Committee approved the Forward Work Programme in Appendix A, subject to the incorporation of the above requests, noted that the Forward Work Programme and any updates from the Committee would be reported to the next meeting of COSC and noted the Recommendation Monitoring Action Sheet in Appendix B.
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.