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Contact: Mr Mark Anthony Galvin Senior Democratic Services Officer - Committees
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)
The following declarations of interest were made:
Councillor N Clarke declared a personal interest in agenda item 5, Community Asset Transfer, because she was a member of Porthcawl Town Council and currently involved in the CAT process.
Councillor R Stirman declared a personal interest in agenda item 5, Community Asset Transfer, because she was a member of the Garw Valley Community Council.
To receive for approval the minutes of the meeting of the 22/10/2018
RESOLVED: That the Minutes of a meeting of Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committee 3 dated 22 October 2018, be approved as a true and accurate record.
The Scrutiny Officer presented the feedback from previous meetings of the Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committee 3 and asked members if any additional information was required regarding Empty Properties, due to be considered at the 25th February 2019 meeting. Members asked if an update could be provided on the timescale for an officer to investigate and if a protocol could be provided. Members also asked for the number of empty properties in Bridgend and the number of homeless in the same area. The Scrutiny Officer explained that a report on the Homelessness Strategy would be presented to a future meeting.
The Scrutiny Officer added that in addition to the feedback contained within the report, a letter had been sent to One Voice Wales regarding an invitation to the 22nd October meeting where Collaboration with Town and Community Councils was considered. A representative from One Voice Wales replied that the invite had been forwarded to the CEO and it was then unfortunately overlooked but he stated that he would like to engage in future meetings.
Cllrs Venables and Howells submitted apologies for the February meeting. A member requested a progress report on littering and dog fouling. He was advised to complete a referral form.
RESOLVED: The Committee:
1. Approved the feedback from previous meetings of the Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committee and noted the responses still outstanding.
2. Requested further information in relation to the feedback as detailed above.
3. Identified additional information they wished to receive when considering items delegated to future meetings.
Mark Shephard, Interim Chief Executive
Zak Shell, Head of Operations Community Services
Guy Smith, Community Asset Transfer Officer
Cllr Richard Young, Cabinet Member Communities
Carly McCreesh, Wales Cooperative Centre
Geraint Thomas, Pencoed Town Council
The Head of Operations, Community Services presented a report updating the Committee on the work of the Community Asset Transfer Task and Finish Group, the implementation of recommendations made by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee 3 in January 2018, proposed changes to the Council’s CAT policy and processes and current and future CAT activity. He outlined recent changes to the staff structure within the Communities Directorate including changes to roles and the reporting lines. He provided a background to CAT and explained that it was imperative that the Council continued to work in collaboration with the voluntary sector organisations to safeguard the services of value to the communities. He referred to the report relating to Playing Fields, Outdoor Sports Facilities and Parks Pavilions which had been considered by both the Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committee 1 and Cabinet seeking approval to undertake a consultation exercise on proposals to make the Council’s provision of playing fields, outdoor sports facilities and sports pavilions more financially sustainable moving forward. This consultation would be circulated in due course.
The Head of Operations, Community Services explained that updated guidance on CAT had been circulated in October 2015 and it was based on the Best Practice Guide issued by Welsh Government. The CAT Task and Finish Group were recommending changes to the process which were not in line with the Best Practice Guide. He confirmed that the Corporate Management Board had agreed to extend the contract for the CAT officer for a further 3 years.
The Head of Operations, Community Services outlined CAT activity, the financial incentives and other support, the work of the CAT Task and Finish Group including a list of interim recommendations. He added that the final recommendations would be submitted to Cabinet to coincide with the report outlining the outcome of the public consultation and the proposed introduction of full cost recovery. A member asked for more information regarding the timescales for the consultation. The Head of Operations, Community Services explained that it was likely that the consultation would last for 12 weeks, it would take approximately a month to collate the results and prepare a report to Cabinet for a decision on the way forward.
The CAT Officer explained to the Committee that the availability of the 80% subsidy was preventing interested parties committing to the process, however they were aware of the process and engaging with the authority. He added that there were 40 pavilions, 6 to 7 bowling clubs and 4 to 5 playing fields although not all were suitable for CAT. Members requested that a full up to date list of assets be made available to all members so they could see what assets were available for transfer.
A member suggested that because of the time taken to complete 4 transfers the Council should give up on the idea of CATs and start to be responsible for running its own services. Many of the groups would never have the knowledge or expertise to engage in the process and ... view the full minutes text for item 64.
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.