Agenda and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 7th October, 2021 09:30

Venue: remotely - via Microsoft Teams. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 


No. Item


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)




Approval of Minutes pdf icon PDF 212 KB

To receive for approval the minutes of 05/07/2021


RESOLVED:                           That the Minutes of a meeting of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee dated 5 July 2021 be approved as a true and accurate record, subject to the above.


Future Service Delivery Model pdf icon PDF 190 KB



Mark Shephard - Chief Executive

Councillor Hywel Williams - Deputy Leader

Kelly Watson - Chief Officer Legal, HR & Regulatory Services

Debra Beeke - Group Manager - Human Resources and Organisational Development

Lisa Jones - Regeneration Funding and Regional Engagement Team Leader


The Chief Executive presented the report which included challenges that all local authorities and public services organisations were facing as they emerge into the recovery phase of the pandemic.  On a more positive note, it also referred to opportunities and embracing some of the changes that had come about over the last eighteen months and trying to embed them into a fit for purpose model for the Authority moving forward, and most importantly still delivering effective services to the public, while also realising some of the benefits set out in the report regarding work life balance, staff wellbeing, increased productivity and lower carbon footprint.


He felt it was important to recognise that it was not only a Bridgend issue, but other Chief Executives in Wales were doing similar work and examining solutions. The report was more detailed than the Cabinet report to provide Members with updated detail and reassurance of the type of work that was on-going. It listed the strategic principles that they were working on to develop the model and the benefits and challenges moving forward, heading towards, a model that was more blended and hybrid in nature. He advised that it would be unlikely that it would revert back to the way the Authority operated pre-pandemic where most staff worked five days a week 8:30-5pm in an office environment. It would be far more likely they would end up with a model where there would be continued home or remote working for those staff where it was appropriate, but they wanted to add value to that and unlike during the peak of the pandemic they wanted to be able to create opportunities for people to be able to work in the office when necessary and create better opportunities for people to work in teams when they need to and book meeting rooms to meet up. While there were many things that operated via Teams very effectively, there would be some things that work much better in person, and they were striving for that balance between keeping and embedding some of the things that have worked well including the delivery of services that had predominantly gone virtual and digital, but also recognising that there are some issues and some challenges with the way they have been working for the last eighteen months. For example, in due course they may create hubs around the county borough potentially based in libraries where people could access Council services in a different way to the way they had done historically. It was important to recognise that survey responses had indicated that a lot of the population liked that they could access services digitally and online, so that needed to be retained while also understanding that some people needed assistance.  He reassured Members that there was a lot of work going on and emphasised that while it would be an enormous piece of work and was mission critical, solutions where not going to be arrived at quickly. He advised they had set out  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.


Update on the work of the Shared Regulatory Service pdf icon PDF 243 KB



Dave Holland - Head of Shared Regulatory Services

Councillor Dhanisha Patel - Cabinet Member for Future Generations and Wellbeing

Kelly Watson - Chief Officer Legal, HR & Regulatory Services


The Head of the Shared Regulatory Service gave a presentation on the work of the Service over the past eighteen months. He advised that the Shared Regulatory Service had been previously set up by the three Councils at a time they were struggling to delivery their Environmental Health, Trading Standards and Licensing Service in the light of some quite challenging budget pressures. He explained the collaborative idea is unique in Wales in the way they work. He explained they had set five priorities which he ran through as part of the presentation along with their vision in 2015.  He advised that in March 2020 when lockdown commenced and people could only leave their homes for limited purposes, this began a new series of events for the Shared Regulatory Service, as they had the public health responsibility of the Local Authority for Bridgend and the Public Health Act. Since March 2020 they had aligned their resources into three key workstreams: Test Trace and Protect, Covid Enforcement and Advice and Nuisance and Community matters, along with continuing to undertake interventions on high-risk issues, food hygiene and housing.


The Head of the Shared Regulatory Service presented a timeline for the Service over the last eighteen months through the pandemic, described the other areas still being worked on and looked into, the enforcement approach and improvement and closure notices that had been served. Away from the coronavirus issues the Shared Regulatory Service had been in the Crown Court a lot in 2021 as the Courts had started to deal with the backlog of work.  While the Service had a lot of people working in TTP and with the Police on Coronavirus enforcement, he assured the Committee that Food Safety and Public Health Work had continued with a number of interventions in Bridgend town centre. He advised that empty property work and animal welfare work had continued. He explained that they were measuring how the service was performing and drew attention to the extremely capable group of officers working in the Team all of whom wanted to do a good job. He concluded that their challenges continued with resources reducing and the need to prioritise and he would work with the Chief Executive and the Chief Officer, Legal, HR and Regulatory Services to understand what Bridgend needed as a priority to deliver services. 


A Member expressed what a phenomenal job they had been doing with visiting all the premises and going above and beyond their previous roles and was reassured about the ongoing food safety and public health work.  She asked for reassurance that the continuing issue of horses in the local area and problems with plastic burning constantly in a rural area. would continue to be addressed, to protect animals.


The Head of the Shared Regulatory Service provided assurance that the work was on-going, and the issues would continue to be addressed.  He explained that work around noise and pollution issues had escalated as people stayed home and experienced noisy / annoying neighbours and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43.


Forward Work Programme Update pdf icon PDF 318 KB

Additional documents:


The Scrutiny Officer advised that following on from Members’ consideration of the Forward Work Programme at the last meeting in September, the updated Forward Work Programme for this committee was attached as Appendix A and the Forward Work Programmes for Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committees 1, 2 and 3 were also attached as Appendices B, C and D, because this committee had responsibility for coordination and oversight of the overall Forward Work Programme.


She also advised that the Recommendations Monitoring Action Sheet was attached as Appendix E to track responses to the Committee’s recommendations at the previous meetings.


A Member mentioned that when looking at Wednesday 1st December on the Forward Work Programme there was quite a lot on the Agenda for one meeting and felt that things may be overlooked if there was too much on the agenda to go through. The Chair queried with the Scrutiny Officer whether the Budget report would be available for that meeting.


The Scrutiny Officer advised that due to the lateness of the Local Government Finance Settlement it was likely that the scrutiny of the Budget would move from December to January so some of those reports would be moved to January for consideration as a result, which should reassure Members regarding the size of the December Agenda.




Having considered the Forward Work Programme, the Committee requested that a report upon Shared Workspace be added to the Forward Work Programme.


There were no requests to include specific information in the item for the next meeting.


RESOLVED:               That the Committee considered and approved its Forward Work Programme in Appendix A, subject to the above, noted the Forward Work Programmes for the Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committees following consideration in their latest respective Committee Meetings in Appendix B, C & D, and noted the Recommendations Monitoring Action Sheet to track responses to the Committee’s recommendations made at the previous meetings in Appendix E.


Urgent Items

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.