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Agenda and minutes

Reconvened Annual Meeting, Council
Wednesday, 21st May, 2014 6.30 pm

With effect from 1 April 2016 Agenda and Minutes will be available in both Welsh and English. Reports are working documents and produced in English only in accordance with Welsh Language Standard 41 of this Council’s Final Compliance Notice from the Welsh Language Commissioner.

Venue: Council Chamber, Guildhall, Wrexham

Contact: Jane Johnson  Committee Manager

Items
No. Item

7.

Apologies for Absence:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors William Baldwin, Terry Boland, Kevin Hughes, P. Jeffares, R. Alun Jenkins, Hugh Jones, Mrs J.M. Lowe, Ronnie Prince, Paul Rogers, J.R. Skelland and Andy Williams.

8.

Mayor's Announcements:

Minutes:

The Mayor thanked everyone who had attended the Mayor Making Ceremony the previous day. He said it was an honour to be appointed Mayor and that he was very proud to hold the office.

The Mayor identified the following dates for Members diaries:

 

Saturday, 21 June - Armed Forces Day, Wrexham Town Centre – Wrexham was proud and honoured to be hosting the North Wales Armed Forces Day which was an opportunity to acknowledge the contribution made by all those who serve, or have served, in the Armed Forces.  On Monday 16 June, prior to Armed Forces Day, a short flag raising ceremony would be held at the Guildhall before the main event on Saturday 21 June.

 

Sunday, 6 July - the Mayor’s Civic Visit to Church.

 

Friday, 18 July – the Welsh Guards will be receiving the Freedom of the County of the Borough at a ceremony here in the Guildhall.

 

During the course of the meeting various Members congratulated the Mayor and Mayoress on their appointment. The Leader of the Council also thanked Councillor I. David Bithell, MBE and his wife for their work during the previous year.

9.

Confirmation of Minutes

To receive and, if found correct, confirm the Minutes of the Meetings of the County Borough Council held on 26 March 2014.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Minutes of the Meeting of the County Borough Council held on 26 March 2014 be received and confirmed as a correct record.

10.

Minutes of the Executive Board and Committees pdf icon PDF 9 KB

To consider any issues raised by Members arising from the Minutes of the Executive Board, Scrutiny Committees and other Committees, together with any questions raised under Standing Order 9 of the Council’s Standing Orders.  For Members’ assistance, attached is a list of the various meetings that have taken place since the last ordinary meeting of the Council for which Minutes have been approved and published on the Authority’s Intranet site.  Copies can be obtained, if required, via the Committee and Member Services Section. 

Minutes:

No issues were raised by Members in relation to the Minutes of the following for the periods indicated:

 

Executive Board – 8 April 2014

Customers, Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committee – 26 March 2014

Education, Safeguarding and Well-being Scrutiny Committee – 20 March - 17 April 2014

Employment, Business and Investment Scrutiny Committee – 2 April 2014

Homes, Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee – 12 March - 9 April 2014

Partnerships and Collaboration Scrutiny Committee – 19 March 2014

Audit Committee – 27 March 2014

Licensing Committee – 24 March 2014

Planning Committee – 14 March – 11 April 2014

11.

The Council Plan: pdf icon PDF 2 MB

The Council Plan: To consider the report of the Lead Member for Policy, Finance, Performance and Governance (Copy herewith).

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Policy, Finance, Performance and Governance submitted a report (CLF/07/14) seeking approval of the Council Plan 2014 -17 and the outcome indicators, targets and improvement activity set out within it.

 

RESOLVED – That the Council Plan 2014-17, attached to report CLF/07/14, and the outcome indicators, associated targets and improvement activity set out within it, be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To define the priorities of the Council for the next three years and to set out the Council’s improvement objectives as required in the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.

12.

Transfer of Community Facilities - Play Areas: pdf icon PDF 250 KB

Transfer of Community Facilities - Play Areas: To consider the report of the Lead Member for Environment (Copy herewith).

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Environment submitted a report (HHPPE/42/14) seeking authority to make an application to the Welsh Government, pursuant to Section 32 of the Housing Act 1985, to enable the transfer of community facilities (Play Areas) to Community Councils and Community Groups interested in managing those facilities.

 

RESOLVED – That an application be made to the Welsh Government for approval to transfer those community facilities listed in paragraph 4.4 and shown in Appendix 1, of report HHPPE/42/14, to the appropriate Community Council or Community Group, at an undervalue, pursuant to Section 32 of the Housing Act 1985.

 

Reason for decision

 

To achieve the budget savings as part of the Reshaping Services programme and ensure the facilities will continue to be open for community use.

13.

Proposed Amendments to the Council's Constitution: pdf icon PDF 58 KB

To consider the report of the Lead Member for Policy, Finance, Performance and Governance (Copy herewith).

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Policy, Finance, Performance and Governance submitted a report (HCCS/59/14) to enable Members to consider revisions to the Council’s Constitution for the municipal year 2014/15.

 

During consideration of the report reference was made to:

 

  • Concerns that the proposed changes in the report relating to Appointment of External Consultants did not adequately reflect the recommendations of the Customer, Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committee. The Head of Finance said that the proposals in the report did take account of the Scrutiny Committee recommendations but it was felt that the appointment of an external consultant and related post contract performance evaluation form being signed off by a Strategic and Performance Director who was not responsible for the particular service area would weaken the current arrangements. The Lead Member said he was satisfied that the proposals gave significantly increased safeguards which addressed the concerns raised at the Scrutiny Committee.

 

  • Concerns in relation to the changes proposed to allow tenders to be opened without Members being present. The Head of Finance explained that the risks in this area had greatly reduced with the increased use of the e-tender system which had in built controls and a full audit log. It was proposed that the Audit Committee review the operation of the new arrangements to ensure the controls put in place by officers were satisfactory. As part of the review by Audit Committee it was agreed that consideration be given as to how Members would be made aware of the lowest accepted electronic tenders and the safeguards in place to monitor any cost increases throughout the length of a contract. It was also agreed that the wording in paragraph 4.5 be amended as follows ‘This will be verified by management and Internal Audit on a regular basis.’

 

RESOLVED –

 

(i)         That the changes to the Council’s Constitution as outlined in report HCCS/59/14 be adopted.

 

(ii)        That determinations under the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 rest with the Executive Board.

 

(iii)       That Council Standing Orders do not allow remote attendance at council meetings at this time.

 

(iv)      That the new tender opening arrangement, described in paragraph 4.5 of       report HCCS/59/14 as amended above, be implemented and that the operation         of the new arrangements be reviewed after 6 months by the Audit Committee.

 

Reason for decisions

 

To ensure that the Council’s Constitution reflects decisions taken by the Council, the Executive Board and recommendations from the Review of Political Management Arrangements Working Group.

14.

Protocol for Webcasting Meetings: pdf icon PDF 120 KB

To consider the report of the Lead Member for Policy, Finance, Performance and Governance (Copy herewith).

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Policy, Finance, Performance and Governance submitted a report (HCCS/61/14) seeking approval of a protocol for the webcasting of meetings and also to note the anticipated commencement of live webcasting of meetings as a pilot project from July 2014.

 

The following matters were discussed during consideration of this item:

 

  • Inappropriate standards of dress or behaviour – reference was made to the Member Code of Conduct.
  • Concerns that the webcast recording would replace the written minutes of meetings and that in future the minutes would not fully reflect the debate. It was confirmed that the webcast recording would not replace the formal legal written record of decisions taken at meetings but webcast recording would enable the Council to have slimmer minutes.
  • A time limit for retention of webcast recordings once they were no longer viewable on the website.
  • Obtaining consent from parents/guardians accompanying a minor aged 16 years or younger whose image may be captured when seated in the public gallery. It was agreed that the wording in the protocol would be amended appropriately.
  • An amendment was proposed that paragraph 9 of the Protocol be deleted. This was duly seconded and on being put to the vote was carried.
  • The management of public disturbance/demonstrators in the public gallery would be a matter for the Chairs discretion.

 

RESOLVED – That, subject to the above amendments, the protocol for the webcasting of meetings, attached as Appendix 1 to report HCCS/61/14, be adopted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To approve a workable protocol for the webcasting of meetings.

 

15.

Member Development Programme 2013/14: pdf icon PDF 114 KB

To consider the report of the Lead Member for Policy, Finance, Performance and Governance

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Policy, Finance, Performance and Governance submitted a report (HCCS/57/14) seeking approval of the Member Development Programme for 2014/15.

 

RESOLVED - That the Member Development Programme for 2014/15, attached at Appendix 1 to report HCCS/57/14, be adopted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To ensure the Council has a Member Development Programme in place for the coming year as required by the authority’s Member Development Strategy.

 

16.

Election of Leader/Chair of the Executive Board

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That Councillor Neil Rogers be elected Leader of the Council/Chair of the Executive Board for the ensuing year.

 

Reason for decision

 

To elect the Leader of the Council/Chair of the Executive Board for the ensuing year.

17.

Appointment of Deputy Leader/Vice-Chair of the Executive Board pdf icon PDF 67 KB

(a)        Election  of  Leader/Chair  of  the  Executive  Board:   To  elect  a Leader/Chair of the Executive Board for the ensuing year.

 

(b)        Appointment of Deputy Leader/Vice-Chair of the Executive Board: To appoint a Deputy Leader/Vice-Chair of the Executive Board for the ensuing year.

 

(c)        Appointment  of  Members  to  the  Executive  Board,  Standing Committees, Scrutiny Committees and Various Panels:   To consider    the   report   of   the   Lead   Member   for   Policy,   Finance, Performance and Governance (Copy herewith).

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That Councillor Mark Pritchard be appointed Deputy Leader of the Council/Vice-Chair of the Executive Board for the ensuing year.

 

Reason for decision

 

To appoint the Deputy Leader of the Council/Vice-Chair of the Executive Board for the ensuing year.

18.

Appointment of Members to the Executive Board, Standing Committees, Scrutiny Committees and Various Panels

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Policy, Finance, Performance and Governance submitted a report (HCCS/62/14) to enable Members to consider appointments to the Executive Board, Standing Committees, Scrutiny Committees and various Panels set up by the Council as part of its Constitution.

 

A vote of thanks was agreed for Councillor R. J Dutton, OBE and Councillor D.J. Griffiths, who were standing down as members on the Executive Board.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(i)         That, in accordance with the wishes of the political groups, the size, political balance and membership of the Executive Board, Standing Committees and Scrutiny Committees set up under the Council’s Constitution be as follows:

 

            EXECUTIVE BOARD (10 Members)

            Labour Group (4 seats)

            Councillor Dana Davies               Councillor Neil Rogers

            Councillor Malcolm King OBE    Councillor Michael Williams

 

            Wrexham Independent Group (2 seats)

            Councillor David A Bithell            Councillor Mrs Joan Lowe

 

            Democratic Independent Group (2 seats)

            Councillor Mark Pritchard            Councillor Ian Roberts

 

            Conservative Group (1 seat)

            Councillor Hugh Jones

 

            Liberal Democrats (1 seat)

            Councillor Carole O’Toole

 

            PLANNING COMMITTEE (20 Members)

            Labour Group (9 seats)

            Councillor Andrew Bailey            Councillor Graham Rogers

            Councillor I David Bithell MBE   Councillor Barbara Roxburgh

            Councillor David Griffiths            Councillor Malcolm Taylor

            Councillor Kevin Hughes                        Councillor Andy Williams

            Councillor Bernie McCann

 

            Wrexham Independent Group (3 seats)

            Councillor Keith Gregory             Councillor John Pritchard

            Councillor Ronnie Prince

 

            Democratic Independent Group (4 seats)

            Councillor Terry Evans                Councillor Paul Pemberton

            Councillor David Kelly                  Councillor Mrs J M B Roberts

 

            Conservative Group (2 seats)

            Councillor M G Morris                   Councillor Paul Rogers

 

            Liberal Democrats (2 seats)

            Councillor Mike Edwards             Councillor Jim Kelly KSG

 

            ENVIRONMENTAL LICENSING COMMITTEE (14 Members)

(Members of the Environmental Licensing Committee will also sit as the Licensing Committee)

            Labour Group (6 seats)

            Councillor Terry Boland              Councillor David Griffiths

            Councillor Brian Cameron           Councillor Geoff Lowe

            Councillor Krista Childs               Councillor Bernie McCann

 

            Wrexham Independent Group (3 seats)

            Councillor William Baldwin         Councillor John Phillips

            Councillor Arfon Jones

 

            Democratic Independent Group (3 seats)

            Councillor Alan Edwards             Councillor Mrs J M B Roberts

            Councillor Paul Pemberton

 

            Conservative Group (1 seat)

            Councillor Lloyd Kenyon

 

            Liberal Democrats (1 seat)

            Councillor Jim Kelly KSG

 

            STANDARDS COMMITTEE (3 Members)

            Labour Group (1 seat)

            Councillor Anne Evans

 

            Wrexham Independent Group (1 seat)

            Councillor Pat Jeffares

 

            Democratic Independent Group (1 seat)

            Councillor Paul Pemberton

 

            AUDIT COMMITTEE (12 Members)

            Labour Group (6 seats)

            Councillor Paul Blackwell            Councillor Kevin Hughes

            Councillor Terry Boland              Councillor Colin Powell

            Councillor David Griffiths            Councillor Steve Wilson

 

            Wrexham Independent Group (2 seats)

            Councillor Pat Jeffares                 Councillor Arfon Jones

 

            Democratic Independent Group (2 seats)

            Councillor David Kelly                  Councillor Phil Wynn

 

            Conservative Group (1 seat)

            Councillor Lloyd Kenyon

 

            Liberal Democrats (1 seat)

            Councillor Mike Edwards

 

            DEMOCRATIC SERVICES COMMITTEE (13 Members)

            Labour Group (6 seats)

            Councillor Andrew Bailey            Councillor David Griffiths

            Councillor Terry Boland              Councillor Barbara Roxburgh

            Councillor Brian Cameron           Councillor Derek Wright

           

            Wrexham Independent Group (2 seats)

            Councillor William Baldwin         Councillor Arfon Jones

 

            Democratic Independent Group (3 seats)

            Councillor Alan Edwards             Councillor Mark Owen

            Councillor Phil Wynn

 

            Conservative Group (1 seat)

            Councillor Lloyd Kenyon

 

            Liberal Democrats (1 seat)

            Councillor Mike Edwards

 

EMPLOYMENT, BUSINESS  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.

19.

Appointment of Independent Lay Member to the Audit Committee: pdf icon PDF 38 KB

To consider the report of the Lead Member for Policy, Finance, Performance and Governance (Copy herewith).

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Policy, Finance, Performance and Governance submitted a report (HCCS/53/14) to agree the establishment of an Appointments Panel to undertake the selection and make a recommendation to the Council for an independent lay member to the Audit Committee.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(i)         That the term of office of Mrs. Susan Harber, the current independent lay member on the Audit Committee, be extended until 30 June 2014.

 

(ii)        That an Appointments Panel be established, on the following politically balanced basis, to select an independent lay member to serve on the Audit Committee until 30 September 2016, for recommendation to the Council

 

                        Labour Group - 2 seats

                        Wrexham Independent Group – 1 seat

                        Democratic Independent Group - 1 seat

                        Conservative Group – Councillor Lloyd Kenyon

 

Reason for decisions

 

To comply with the statutory requirements of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011.

20.

Calendar of Meetings 2014/15: pdf icon PDF 147 KB

To consider the report of the Lead Member for Policy, Finance, Performance and Governance (Copy herewith).

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Policy, Finance, Performance and Governance submitted a report (HCCS/63/14) seeking approval of a Calendar of Meetings for the Council, the Executive Board, Scrutiny and Standing Committees in 2014/15.

 

In response to a Members request the Chief Executive said that wherever possible officers would stick to the dates scheduled in the calendar for Member Workshops and Training.

 

RESOLVED - That the Calendar of Meetings, appended to report HCCS/63/14,  for the Council, the Executive Board, Scrutiny and Standing Committees in 2014/15 including All Member Workshops and Member Training be agreed.

 

Reason for decision

 

To approve the calendar of meetings for 2014/2015

 

21.

Urgent Item - Appointment of Member to the Police and Crime Panel for North Wales

Minutes:

The Mayor was of the opinion that this item of business should be dealt with as a matter of urgency in accordance with Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972 by reason of the fact that it would be unnecessarily delayed if held over to the next planned meeting of the Council.

 

The Legal Services Manager reported that the Lead Officer for the Police and Crime Panel had informed Committee Services that Councillor Ian Roberts had tendered his resignation as one of this Council’s representatives on the Police and Crime Panel and, as the next meeting of the Police and Crime Panel was scheduled to be held on 2 June 2014, the Lead Officer had asked if this Authority could nominate a replacement for Councillor Roberts before that date. The Lead Officer had indicated that whilst the nominated Councillor may not have Home Office approval in time for the meeting, the nominated Councillor could attend the meeting but not vote.

 

Appointments to the Police and Crime Panel had to reflect the political balance of all North Wales authorities when taken together.  In North Wales, Conwy County Borough Council was the ‘host’ authority for the purpose of securing appointments to the Panel and, in accordance with the political balance of the North Wales area, Wrexham was entitled to appoint one Labour Member and one Independent Member.

 

Independent Member meant a Member who had not stood as a member of a political party at the last Council elections and therefore for the purposes of this appointment were considered ‘Independent’.

 

RESOLVED - That Councillor R.J. Dutton, OBE be appointed as this Council’s Independent Member on the Police and Crime Panel for North Wales for the period up to the date of the next local government elections.

 

Reason for decision

 

To ensure that this authority is appropriately represented on the Police and Crime Panel and Members are duly appointed in accordance with the legislation and the political balance of the North Wales area.