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Agenda, decisions and minutes

Executive Board
Tuesday, 8th December, 2015 10.00 am

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

Contact: Jane Johnson  Committee Manager

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

94.

Questions pdf icon PDF 47 KB

 

(a)          Public Questions/Statements

 

(b)          Members’ Questions

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Sprouts Nursery

 

In accordance with Standing Order 10 of the Council’s Constitution, a Member submitted five questions relating to the Sprouts Nursery which had been established by this Authority.

 

The Lead Member for People – Children’s Services and Education responded to each question insofar as he was able.

95.

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

An apology for absence was submitted on behalf of Councillor Hugh Jones.

96.

Declarations of Personal Interests, if any

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of personal interests.

97.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 89 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the Executive Board meeting held on 10 November 2015

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Minutes of the Executive Board held on 10 November 2015 be received and confirmed as a correct record.

98.

Wrexham Supporting People Local Commissioning Plan 2016/17 to 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 121 KB

To consider the joint report of the Lead Member for People – Health and Adult Social Care and the Lead Member for Place – Housing

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED -

 

(i)      That the Wrexham Supporting People Local Commissioning Plan 2016/17 to 2018/19 be approved.

 

(ii)     That the submission of the Plan to the Regional Collaborative Committee be authorised.

 

(iii)    That the proposed Spend Plan for the financial year 2016/17 be agreed.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)      To comply with the requirement of the Supporting People Programme Grant Guidance (Wales) 2012 for the administration of the Supporting People Programme Grant in Wales.

 

(ii)     To ensure that the Council is ready and able to make the best use of any Supporting People Programme Grant funding that it receives.

 

Minutes:

The Lead Member for People – Health and Adult Social Care and the Lead Member for Place – Housing submitted a joint report (HHPPE/131/15) for Members to approve the Wrexham Supporting People Local Commissioning Plan 2016/17 to 2018/19 for submission to the Regional Collaborative Committee.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(i)      That the Wrexham Supporting People Local Commissioning Plan 2016/17 to 2018/19 be approved.

 

(ii)     That the submission of the Plan to the Regional Collaborative Committee be authorised.

 

(iii)    That the proposed Spend Plan for the financial year 2016/17 be agreed.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)      To comply with the requirement of the Supporting People Programme Grant Guidance (Wales) 2012 for the administration of the Supporting People Programme Grant in Wales.

 

(ii)     To ensure that the Council is ready and able to make the best use of any Supporting People Programme Grant funding that it receives.

 

99.

Council House Rents - Service Charges pdf icon PDF 138 KB

To consider the report of the Lead Member for Place – Housing

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED -

 

(i)        That the WG Policy for de-pooling rent and charging Service Charges be introduced.

 

(ii)       That those existing tenants, who receive additional services and who will be liable for Service Charges, will have their property rent adjusted and reduced by the amount of Service Charge for 2016/17 only.

 

(iii)      That for those existing tenants who currently pay a Service Charge, the property rent will only be adjusted and reduced by the new, additional Service Charge for 2016/17 only and that the existing Service Charge will continue to be charged as at present.

 

(iv)      That charges will be made for those elements outlined in Appendix 2 to report HHPPE/119/15 for those tenants and leaseholders who receive such services.

 

(v)       That for all new tenants, Service Charges, as an additional charge to the weekly rent, be implemented.

 

(vi)      That service charges for communal lighting and heating within sheltered housing schemes be calculated and based on the estimated savings that will arise following energy saving work.

 

(vii)     That a grounds maintenance Service Charge be introduced for those tenants where the Council maintains land which is common and exclusive to those tenants.

 

(viii)    That charges for grounds maintenance for HRA Public Open Space be not raised and that these costs will continue to be pooled.

 

(ix)      That Service Standards for window cleaning, grounds maintenance and other services be agreed.

 

(x)       That charges be administered using fixed charging.

 

(xi)      That a Service Level Agreement for grounds maintenance be agreed and implemented.

 

Reason for decisions

 

(i)        As part of the Welsh Government’s new policy for social housing rents, Landlords have a requirement to de-pool rents and Service Charges by March 2016, to ensure that only those tenants that receive or are entitled to receive services, are charged Service Charges.

 

(ii)       Under Universal Credit arrangements, tenants will be asked to provide evidence to support any claims for eligible Service Charges and rent costs

 

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Place – Housing submitted a report (HHPPE/119/15) asking Members to approve the de-pooling of Service Charges from rents and implementation from April 2016 for those tenants and leaseholders who receive additional services.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(i)        That the WG Policy for de-pooling rent and charging Service Charges be introduced.

 

(ii)       That those existing tenants, who receive additional services and who will be liable for Service Charges, will have their property rent adjusted and reduced by the amount of Service Charge for 2016/17 only.

 

(iii)      That for those existing tenants who currently pay a Service Charge, the property rent will only be adjusted and reduced by the new, additional Service Charge for 2016/17 only and that the existing Service Charge will continue to be charged as at present.

 

(iv)      That charges will be made for those elements outlined in Appendix 2 to report HHPPE/119/15 for those tenants and leaseholders who receive such services.

 

(v)       That for all new tenants, Service Charges, as an additional charge to the weekly rent, be implemented.

 

(vi)      That service charges for communal lighting and heating within sheltered housing schemes be calculated and based on the estimated savings that will arise following energy saving work.

 

(vii)     That a grounds maintenance Service Charge be introduced for those tenants where the Council maintains land which is common and exclusive to those tenants.

 

(viii)    That charges for grounds maintenance for HRA Public Open Space be not raised and that these costs will continue to be pooled.

 

(ix)      That Service Standards for window cleaning, grounds maintenance and other services be agreed.

 

(x)       That charges be administered using fixed charging.

 

(xi)      That a Service Level Agreement for grounds maintenance be agreed and implemented.

 

Reason for decisions

 

(i)        As part of the Welsh Government’s new policy for social housing rents, Landlords have a requirement to de-pool rents and Service Charges by March 2016, to ensure that only those tenants that receive or are entitled to receive services, are charged Service Charges.

 

(ii)       Under Universal Credit arrangements, tenants will be asked to provide evidence to support any claims for eligible Service Charges and rent costs

 

100.

Proposals for the Enhancement of the Council's Enforcement Service pdf icon PDF 159 KB

To consider the report of the Lead Member for Place – Environment and Transport

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED -

 

(i)        That the Head of Housing, Public Protection and Environment be given delegated authority to make the necessary arrangements to amend the role of existing multi-functional enforcement officers to focus on Civil Parking Enforcement duties.

 

(ii)       That the Head of Housing, Public Protection and Environment, in consultation with the Head of Finance, be given delegated authority to arrange for the appointment of a private partner on a 12 month no fee trial to carry out the monitoring and enforcement of environmental offences relating to dog fouling and litter.

 

(iii)      That the Head of Department, in consultation with the Lead Member, be given delegated authority to undertake a full review of environmental enforcement functions throughout the Council.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)         To maximise available resources in responding to civil parking enforcement matters throughout the County Borough.

 

(ii)        To access the potential for improvement of procuring a private partner to undertake environmental enforcement activities in relation to littering and dog fouling.

 

(iii)       To maximise opportunities to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of environmental enforcement operations.

 

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Place – Environment and Transport submitted a report (HHPPE/134/15) seeking approval to enter into a formal agreement with a private partner to undertake environmental enforcement duties in Wrexham County Borough in relation to littering and dog fouling on a 12 month pilot trial basis.

 

The Lead Member introduced the report and drew Members’ attention to the main points contained within it.  During discussions, the following points were raised:

 

·         Clarification sought in relation to what benchmarking had been carried out to establish that this was the best approach to take.

·         Confirmation by the Lead Member that the agreement would be evaluated after a period of twelve months in order to establish whether there had been improvements in environmental offences relating to dog fouling and litter.

·         Following the procurement exercise, the Lead Member agreed to issue an information report to all Members to inform them of the details of the private partner, who would be monitoring the fixed penalties, and the operational arrangements etc.

·         Confirmation that Enforcement Officers would be out earlier in a morning and later in the evening in order to ensure that the streets are cleaner.

·         Members welcomed the social media campaign which would inform members of the public of the pilot to enhance the enforcement of environmental offences.

·         Confirmation that the Lead Member had met with the Chair of the Homes and Environment Scrutiny Committee to keep him informed of progress.  Acknowledging that although there were occasions where reports were  considered by the Board without being taken to Scrutiny, there would be the opportunity for Scrutiny to evaluate the service if they felt it necessary.

·         Suggestion that as part of the procurement process, a clawback be considered for those fixed penalties that go to appeal in order to ensure a certain standard of service.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(i)        That the Head of Housing, Public Protection and Environment be given delegated authority to make the necessary arrangements to amend the role of existing multi-functional enforcement officers to focus on Civil Parking Enforcement duties.

 

(ii)       That the Head of Housing, Public Protection and Environment, in consultation with the Head of Finance, be given delegated authority to arrange for the appointment of a private partner on a 12 month no fee trial to carry out the monitoring and enforcement of environmental offences relating to dog fouling and litter.

 

(iii)      That the Head of Department, in consultation with the Lead Member, be given delegated authority to undertake a full review of environmental enforcement functions throughout the Council.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)         To maximise available resources in responding to civil parking enforcement matters throughout the County Borough.

 

(ii)        To access the potential for improvement of procuring a private partner to undertake environmental enforcement activities in relation to littering and dog fouling.

 

(iii)       To maximise opportunities to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of environmental enforcement operations.

 

101.

Presiding Chair

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair vacated the Chair and the Vice-Chair, Councillor I Roberts, presided over the next items on the Agenda, to enable the Chair to present Agenda Items 8 – 14 in his capacity as Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance and Governance.

102.

Summary Quarter Two Performance Report 2015-2016 pdf icon PDF 197 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED – That the contents of the report be noted.

 

Reason for decisions

 

To enable the Council to monitor performance against the Council Plan.

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance and Governance submitted a report (CLF/16/15) to provide Members with a summary update on progress against the Council Plan as at quarter two 2015/16.

 

During debate, the following issues were commented upon:

 

·         Acknowledgement that the way in which data was presented could sometimes be confusing.  Officers confirmed that they were looking at how improvements could be made.

·         Clarification sought in relation to setting challenging yet realistic targets.

·         Pleasingly adult smoking rates were decreasing to a level that was lower than the Welsh average, and policies were in place which meant the area around school gates and playgrounds were smoke free.

 

RESOLVED – That the contents of the report be noted.

 

Reason for decisions

 

To enable the Council to monitor performance against the Council Plan.

103.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 107 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED –

 

(i)         That the making of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme and Prescribed Requirements (Wales) Regulations ("the Prescribed Requirements Regulations") by the Welsh Assembly on 27 November 2013 be noted.

 

(ii)        That the outcome of the consultation exercise undertaken by the Council on its local discretions in its Council Tax Reduction Scheme (section 6) be noted.

 

(iii)       That the Council Tax Reduction Scheme and Prescribed Requirements (Wales) Regulations 2013 be adopted as the Council’s Scheme for the Financial Year 2016/17, subject to the local discretions that the Council is able to exercise as set out in paragraph 7.1 of report HF/59/15.

 

(iv)      That the Head of Finance (in consultation with the Leader) be authorised to consider, approve and/or deal with as necessary any amendments which may be made to the “Amendment regulations” (the amendment regulations to be published in 2016 to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme and Prescribed Requirement Scheme (Wales) Regulations 2013) following consideration by the National Assembly for Wales when these regulations are laid and approved by Welsh Government.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)            The Council is obliged to approve a Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2016/17 under the Prescribed Requirements Regulations by 31 January 2016.

 

(ii)          Due to the timing of the spending Review, it is likely that the uprating regulations for Benefits, will not be laid until late December at the earliest, and therefore will not be debated by the National Assembly for Wales until January 2016 at the earliest, as a result it will mean that the amendment regulations will not be approved by the Assembly until late January 2016.

 

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance and Governance submitted a report (HF/59/15) to approve a Council Tax Reduction Scheme to commence in April 2016 for the 2016/17 Financial Year.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(i)         That the making of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme and Prescribed Requirements (Wales) Regulations ("the Prescribed Requirements Regulations") by the Welsh Assembly on 27 November 2013 be noted.

 

(ii)        That the outcome of the consultation exercise undertaken by the Council on its local discretions in its Council Tax Reduction Scheme (section 6) be noted.

 

(iii)       That the Council Tax Reduction Scheme and Prescribed Requirements (Wales) Regulations 2013 be adopted as the Council’s Scheme for the Financial Year 2016/17, subject to the local discretions that the Council is able to exercise as set out in paragraph 7.1 of report HF/59/15.

 

(iv)      That the Head of Finance (in consultation with the Leader) be authorised to consider, approve and/or deal with as necessary any amendments which may be made to the “Amendment regulations” (the amendment regulations to be published in 2016 to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme and Prescribed Requirement Scheme (Wales) Regulations 2013) following consideration by the National Assembly for Wales when these regulations are laid and approved by Welsh Government.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)            The Council is obliged to approve a Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2016/17 under the Prescribed Requirements Regulations by 31 January 2016.

 

(ii)          Due to the timing of the spending Review, it is likely that the uprating regulations for Benefits, will not be laid until late December at the earliest, and therefore will not be debated by the National Assembly for Wales until January 2016 at the earliest, as a result it will mean that the amendment regulations will not be approved by the Assembly until late January 2016.

 

104.

Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 76 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED - That the Forward Work Programme be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To approve the current list of items included in the Forward Work Programme.

 

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance and Governance submitted a report (HCCS/153/15) to approve the current list of items included in the Forward Work Programme for the period January 2016 to April 2016.

 

RESOLVED - That the Forward Work Programme be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To approve the current list of items included in the Forward Work Programme.

 

105.

Exclusion of Press and Public

In considering whether to exclude the press and public from the next part of the meeting Members are asked to consider the following factors when determining the public interest test.

 

Agenda Item 13 - Not for publication by the virtue of Paragraphs 14 & 15 of Part 4 of schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (As Amended). The Proper Officer has determined in considering this report that paragraphs 14 & 15 should apply.  His view on the public interest test was that while he was mindful of the need to ensure the transparency and accountability of public authorities for decisions taken by them in relation to the spending of public money, the right of a third party to the privacy of their financial/ business affairs outweighed the need for that information to be made public. Furthermore disclosure of the information would prejudice the discussion in relation to labour relations to the disadvantage of the authority and inhabitants of its area. This information is not affected by any other statutory provision which requires the information to be publicly registered.

 

Agenda Item 14 – Not for publication by virtue of Paragraph 14 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended). The Proper Officer has determined in considering this report that paragraph 14 should apply. His view on the public interest test was that while he was mindful of the need to ensure the transparency and accountability of public authorities for decisions taken by them in relation to the spending of public money, the right of a third party to the privacy of their financial/ business affairs outweighed the need for that information to be made public and the disclosure of the information would give an unfair advantage to tenderers for commercial contracts. This information is not affected by any other statutory provision which requires the information to be publicly registered. On that basis he felt that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

It is, therefore, recommended that the press and public be excluded from the Meeting during consideration of the following item as it is likely that, if they were present, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 14 and 15 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Agenda Item 13 – Not for publication by virtue of Paragraphs 14 and 15 of Part 4 of schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).  Members determined in considering this report that paragraphs 14 and 15 applied.  Their view on the public interest test was that whilst they were mindful of the need to ensure the transparency and accountability of public authorities for decisions taken by them in relation to the spending of public money, the right of a third party to the privacy of their financial/business affairs outweighed the need for that information to be made public.  Furthermore disclosure of the information would prejudice the discussion in relation to labour relations to the disadvantage of the authority and inhabitants of its area.  This information is not affected by any other statutory provision which requires the information to be publicly registered.

 

Agenda Item 14 – Not for publication by virtue of Paragraph 14 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).  Members determined in considering this report that paragraph 14 should apply.  Their view on the public interest test was that whilst they were mindful of the need to ensure transparency and accountability of public authorities for decisions taken by them in relation to the spending of public money, the right of a third party to the privacy of their financial/business affairs outweighed the need for that information to be made public and the disclosure of the information would given an unfair advantage to tenderers for commercial contracts.  This information is not affected by any other statutory provision which requires the information to be publicly registered.

 

RESOLVED – That the press and public be excluded from the Meeting during consideration of the following item as it is likely that, if they were present, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 14 and 15 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

106.

1b New Department Models and Structures - Future Service Models

To consider the report of the Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance and Governance  (Copy to follow)

Decision:

RESOLVED – That the progress of work stream 1b be noted and the proposed Future Service Models for Stage 3 development be approved.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)         To support the Council to plan for the medium/long term financial situation whilst reshaping services and prioritising the most vulnerable.

 

(ii)        To comply with programme governance arrangements and to ensure that Project 1b progresses in line with the agreed timescales.

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance and Governance submitted a report (CLF/18/15) to provide a number of Reshaping Programme Stage 2 output reports from project 1b “New Department Service Models and Supporting Structures” and a number of Future Service Models for Departments for sign off by the Board.

 

RESOLVED – That the progress of work stream 1b (New Departmental Service Models and Supporting Structures) be noted and the proposed Future Service Models for Stage 3 development be approved.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)         To support the Council to plan for the medium/long term financial situation whilst reshaping services and prioritising the most vulnerable.

 

(ii)        To comply with programme governance arrangements and to ensure that Project 1b progresses in line with the agreed timescales.

107.

Workstream 2 - Reducing Third Party Spend

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

Decision:

RESOLVED – That the Strategic Sourcing Plans for Facilities Management, Promoting Independence – Adult Social Care and Related Services, and Information Communication Technology be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To enable the progression of Project 2 into stage 4 which is the implementation phase.

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance and Governance submitted a report (HF/67/15) which provided Members with the detail on the development of the Strategic Sourcing Plans that formalised the procurement strategy and identified the individual detailed opportunities to reduce third party spend.

 

RESOLVED – That the Strategic Sourcing Plans for Facilities Management, Promoting Independence – Adult Social Care and Related Services, and Information Communication Technology be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To enable the progression of Workstream 2 into stage 4, the implementation phase.