Venue: Hybrid in the Council Chamber - Civic Offices, Angel Street, Bridgend, CF31 4WB. View directions
Apologies for Absence
To receive apologies for absence from Members.
Councillor Norah Clarke
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)
Councillors Jonathan Pratt, William Kendall
and Mike Kearn declared personal interests as Members of the
Development Control Committee and advised that if the Committee
started discussing the planning application, that would make it a
prejudicial issue and they would then declare a prejudicial
interest and leave the meeting.
Councillor John Spanswick – Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment
Janine Nightingale - Corporate Director, Communities
Carys Lord - Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change
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 19 September 2023 in relation to the report on HyBont Project Gateway Review.
She advised that:
- In accordance with Section 7.23 of the Council’s Constitution, which states that 3 Members of an Overview and Scrutiny Committee, and a Scrutiny Chair, are needed for a decision to be called in, a Notice of Call-In had been received from 4 Members and a Chair, requesting that the Executive decision made by Cabinet on the 19 September 2023 be Called-In.
- The role of Scrutiny Committees in calling in a decision was:
· To test the merits of the decision;
· To consider the process by which the decision has been formulated;
· To make recommendations (to support the decision, change aspects of the decision, or to invite the decision-making person or body to reconsider);
· To suggest further steps before a decision is made (but not to try to carry out those steps in place of the decision-making person or body);
· To come to a view in a relatively short time scale, so as not to compromise the speed and efficiency of the decision-making process.
- The recommendation of the report asked the Committee to consider the Call-In of the Cabinet decision of 19 September 2023 relating to HyBont Project Gateway Review and to determine whether it wished to, either:
a) refer the decision back to Cabinet for reconsideration, setting out in
writing the nature of its concerns, or;
b) decide not to refer the matter back to the Cabinet.
The Chairperson clarified the
Members of the Committee and the Members not on the Committee who
had supported the Call In.
Members stated the main reasons for the Call-In included:
- Lack of professional curiosity, challenging or questioning of the assumptions made in the report.
- No consideration of alternative options in either the report or the Cabinet’s deliberations.
- Insufficient financial information to make an informed decision as to whether the project still represented a good return on investment.
- The land issues were not addressed.
- There was no discussion of how money spent to date could be recovered or whether alternative funding could be sought.
- The decision contradicts the Council’s Net Zero Carbon 2030 Strategy in that financial considerations were given greater weight than carbon reduction to counter the climate emergency.
- The decision required further scrutiny.
The Chairperson invited any other Members who had supported the Call-In to speak and then invited any other Members of the Committee to ask questions or comment.
Detailed discussions between Members, Cabinet Members and Officers included:
- The lack of budget to fund the necessary technical due diligence to completion to verify whether the proposed project was effective, deliverable and would produce the benefits proposed.
- The inability ... view the full minutes text for item 55.