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Agenda, decisions and minutes

Executive Board
Tuesday, 12th March, 2019 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: Helen Coomber  Committee Manager

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

108.

Declarations of personal interests, if any

Members are reminded of their responsibility, under Paragraph 11 of the Members’ Code of Conduct, to declare the existence and nature of any personal interest in respect of any of the business to be transacted at this meeting

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members were reminded of their responsibility, under Paragraph 11 of the Member Code of Conduct, to declare any interests in relation to any of the business to be transacted at this meeting.  The following declarations were made:

 

Agenda Item 6 – Wrexham Rights of Way Improvement Plan

Councillors Trevor Bates and Joan Lowe – Personal – Landowner.  The Councillors remained in the meeting taking part in the discussion, and in the case of Executive Board Members, voting thereon.

 

Agenda Item 7 – Updating of HMO Licensing Policy and Fees

Councillor Terry Evans – Personal and prejudicial – Local landlord, owner of HMO.  The Councillor withdrew from the meeting for this item taking no part in the discussion and voting thereon.

 

Agenda Item 8 – Wrexham Town Centre Conservation Area Character Assessment and Management Plan

Councillors Andrew Atkinson, Adrienne Jeorrett and Phil Wynn – Personal – Member of Wrexham Town Centre Forum/Steering Group.  The Councillors remained in the meeting taking part in the discussion, and in the case of Executive Board Members, voting thereon.

109.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 12 February 2019

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 12 February 2019 be signed as a correct record.

110.

Proposal to consult on the increase in pupil capacity at Barker’s Lane CP – consultation feedback pdf icon PDF 161 KB

To consider the report of the Lead Member for People - Education

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED -

 

(i)        That Members note the consultation feedback contained in report HEd/05/19 and the post consultation document (as detailed in Appendix 2).

 

(ii)       That Officers be authorised to proceed to Statutory Notices (as detailed in Appendix 1) regarding the proposal to increase pupil capacity at Barker’s Lane CP. 

 

            To create an extension to the current building to accommodate a further 105 pupils (15 pupils per year group).  The first year of increase would be September 2020 for Nursery (15 places) and Reception (15 places) classes only.

 

            The annual admission number will increase by 15 places (from 30 to 45) for nursery and reception places from 2020 onwards and these classes will feed through the school until the maximum capacity of 315 (plus 45 nursery places) has been reached.

 

(iii)      That these matters be dealt with as an urgent item of business in accordance with Standing Order 43 (1) of the Council’s Standing Orders.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)           There is continued demand for Town Centre places within Wrexham. Whilst we are meeting current demand within the County further growth is projected.

 

(ii)          For the current admission round 2018 – 2019 the Education Department as the Admitting Authority was unable to meet the local demand within the Town Centre, refusing pupils for whom Barker’s Lane CP was their preferred school.

 

(iii)         In order to meet Welsh Government aspirations to further reduce primary school class sizes, there is a requirement to physically provide more places, particularly in the Town Centre.

 

(iii)       An opportunity has arisen where we can meet the additional demand through utilising Welsh Government funding outside of the 21st Century Schools Programme.  This project would be 100% funded by Welsh Government.

 

(v)       We would like to conduct the full 28 day statutory objection period before the commencement of the Easter holiday period.  To enable this, we would be required to publish Statutory Notices on or before 15 March 2019, which would conclude by 12 April 2019.

 

Minutes:

The Lead Member for People – Education submitted a report (HEd/05/19) to provide Members with feedback on the recent consultation relating to the proposal to increase pupil capacity at Barker’s Lane CP and to seek approval to publish the relevant Statutory Notices and the Post Consultation Report.

 

The Lead Member introduced the report and highlighted the main points contained within it.  The following points were discussed during the debate:

 

·         Confirmation that the consultation period would allow residents and other members of the public the opportunity to make their views known.

·         Commitment from the Lead Member that any objections would carefully be considered and options to mitigate concerns would be looked at where possible.

·         Suggestion that if the application were to proceed, there would need to be a planning application submitted, and this would be another opportunity for residents/members of the public to raise concerns if they wished.

·         Clarification sought in relation to the after school club.  Officers advised that the provision of any such club is a matter for schools to determine.

·         Concerns expressed by the local Member regarding traffic problems currently experienced at the school and surrounding residential area.

·         Suggestion that when considering future school expansions, that options for drop off points within the boundary of the school be considered.

·         Acknowledgement that there had not been any concerns expressed regarding the increase in pupil capacity at the school.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(i)        That Members note the consultation feedback contained in report HEd/05/19 and the post consultation document (as detailed in Appendix 2).

 

(ii)       That Officers be authorised to proceed to Statutory Notices (as detailed in Appendix 1) regarding the proposal to increase pupil capacity at Barker’s Lane CP. 

 

            To create an extension to the current building to accommodate a further 105 pupils (15 pupils per year group).  The first year of increase would be September 2020 for Nursery (15 places) and Reception (15 places) classes only.

 

            The annual admission number will increase by 15 places (from 30 to 45) for nursery and reception places from 2020 onwards and these classes will feed through the school until the maximum capacity of 315 (plus 45 nursery places) has been reached.

 

(iii)      That these matters be dealt with as an urgent item of business in accordance with Standing Order 43 (1) of the Council’s Standing Orders.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)           There is continued demand for Town Centre places within Wrexham. Whilst we are meeting current demand within the County further growth is projected.

 

(ii)          For the current admission round 2018 – 2019 the Education Department as the Admitting Authority was unable to meet the local demand within the Town Centre, refusing pupils for whom Barker’s Lane CP was their preferred school.

 

(iii)         In order to meet Welsh Government aspirations to further reduce primary school class sizes, there is a requirement to physically provide more places, particularly in the Town Centre.

 

(iii)       An opportunity has arisen where we can meet the additional demand through utilising Welsh Government funding outside  ...  view the full minutes text for item 110.

111.

Wrexham Rights of Way Improvement Plan pdf icon PDF 121 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED - That Council be recommended to approve the Wrexham County Borough Rights of Way Improvement Plan 2019.    

 

Reason for decision

 

There is a statutory requirement for Local Authorities under section 60(3) and (4) of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act to make a new assessment, review their Rights of Way Improvement Plan and make a decision on amendments, not more than 10 years after publishing the previous plan. It is a requirement of the legislation that the approval of the Rights of Way Improvement Plan is a decision of the Council (Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements)(Functions and Responsibilities)(Wales) Regulations 2007).

 

Minutes:

(Members declarations of interest in relation to this item are set out in Minute 108 above)

 

The Lead Member for Place – Environment and Transport submitted a report (HEP/14/19) seeking a recommendation to Council to approve the Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) following statutory public consultation.

 

The Lead Member presented the report and responded to questions accordingly.  During the debate the following points were raised:

 

·         Welcome news that the plan would improve access to the public rights of way network, which would have a positive impact on health.

·         Suggestion that Officers engage with partners such as Natural Resources Wales, Welsh Government and the Police, to raise awareness about the risks to walkers using footpaths through farmland where livestock was present.

·         Importance of partnership working in order to improve the countryside and make it more accessible.

·         The Homes and Environment Scrutiny Committee would be monitoring the progress of the plan.

·         Importance of ensuring regular maintenance of waymarks to ensure they remained intact and clear.

 

RESOLVED - That Council be recommended to approve the Wrexham County Borough Rights of Way Improvement Plan 2019.    

 

Reason for decision

 

There is a statutory requirement for Local Authorities under section 60(3) and (4) of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act to make a new assessment, review their Rights of Way Improvement Plan and make a decision on amendments, not more than 10 years after publishing the previous plan. It is a requirement of the legislation that the approval of the Rights of Way Improvement Plan is a decision of the Council (Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements)(Functions and Responsibilities)(Wales) Regulations 2007).

112.

Updating of HMO Licensing Policy and Fees pdf icon PDF 117 KB

To consider the report of the Lead Member for People – Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety and Lead Member for Place - Housing

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED -

 

(i)      That  the revised charging mechanism for Houses in Multiple Occupation licensing fees (Appendix 1 to report HEP/18/19) be adopted and the updated HMO Licensing Policy (3rd edition) be approved.  

 

(ii)     That proposed charge of £100 for the recovery of costs incurred by immigration inspections be implemented from 1 April 2019.

 

(iii)    That a proposed charge of £35 per hour (or part hour) to owners/landlords/Letting Agents for providing on site advice for a prospective HMO be implemented from 1 April 2019.

 

(iv)    That the enforcement charge of £415.50 for service of hazard awareness notices be ceased from 1 April 2019.

 

(v)     That this matter be dealt with as an urgent item of business in accordance with Standing Order 43(1) of the Council’s Standing Orders.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)      To ensure compliance with the European Union Services Directive (ESD 2006/123/EC) by implementing the required administrative arrangements as soon as possible after Executive Board decision.

 

(ii)     To recover the full costs incurred by immigration inspections which are a non-statutory service.

 

(iii)    To recover the full costs incurred when an Officer visits a prospective HMO at the request of a landlord or Letting Agent to give pre-licence application advice.

 

(iv)    To enable Landlords and Letting Agents to use the £415.50 charge to pay for works to remove the hazards specified in the hazard awareness notice.    

Minutes:

(Members declarations of interest in relation to this item are set out in Minute 108 above)

 

The Lead Member for People – Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety, and the Lead Member for Place – Housing, submitted a joint report (HEP/18/19) seeking approval of the updated HMO licensing policy; approval of new charges relating to immigration inspections and pre HMO licence application advice; and approval to discontinue the current enforcement charge levied under the Housing Act 2004 for the service of hazard awareness notices.

 

The Lead Member for People – Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety presented the report and responded to questions accordingly.  During the debate, the following points were raised:

 

·         Confirmation that there were minor changes in the policy document which took account of structural changes within the Council.

·         Clarification sought with regards to who would be responsible for ensuring the provision of gas safety certificates, electrical checks and smoke alarms, as part of the licence conditions.  Officers advised that a new Act was due to be introduced shortly, which would create statutory provisions, but the responsibility would fall to the landlord.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(i)      That  the revised charging mechanism for Houses in Multiple Occupation licensing fees (Appendix 1 to report HEP/18/19) be adopted and the updated HMO Licensing Policy (3rd edition) be approved.  

 

(ii)     That proposed charge of £100 for the recovery of costs incurred by immigration inspections be implemented from 1 April 2019.

 

(iii)    That a proposed charge of £35 per hour (or part hour) to owners/landlords/Letting Agents for providing on site advice for a prospective HMO be implemented from 1 April 2019.

 

(iv)    That the enforcement charge of £415.50 for service of hazard awareness notices be ceased from 1 April 2019.

 

(v)     That this matter be dealt with as an urgent item of business in accordance with Standing Order 43(1) of the Council’s Standing Orders.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)      To ensure compliance with the European Union Services Directive (ESD 2006/123/EC) by implementing the required administrative arrangements as soon as possible after Executive Board decision.

 

(ii)     To recover the full costs incurred by immigration inspections which are a non-statutory service.

 

(iii)    To recover the full costs incurred when an Officer visits a prospective HMO at the request of a landlord or Letting Agent to give pre-licence application advice.

 

(iv)    To enable Landlords and Letting Agents to use the £415.50 charge to pay for works to remove the hazards specified in the hazard awareness notice.    

113.

Wrexham Town Centre Conservation Area Character Assessment and Management Plan pdf icon PDF 88 KB

To consider the report of the Lead Member for Organisation – Planning and Corporate Services

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED - That the draft Wrexham Town Centre Conservation Area Character Assessment and Management Plan be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To provide guidance to those seeking to undertake works of development and change within the Wrexham Town Centre Conservation Area, ensuring the special character and appearance of the Conservation Area is preserved or enhanced. 

 

 

Minutes:

(Members declarations of interest in relation to this item are set out in Minute 108 above)

 

The Lead Member for Organisation – Planning and Corporate Services submitted a report (HEP/07/19) seeking adoption of the Wrexham Town Centre Conservation Area Character Assessment and Management Plan.

 

The Lead Member presented the report and a discussion ensued.  During the debate, the following points were raised:

 

·         Concern regarding street clutter, including commercial bins, street signs and advertisement boards.

·         Unease at the limited resources available for enforcement.  This was acknowledged by the Lead Member, who advised that he had been in discussions with Officers on how to address this issue.

·         Recognition that to ban advertisement boards could have a negative impact on some small businesses.

 

RESOLVED - That the draft Wrexham Town Centre Conservation Area Character Assessment and Management Plan be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To provide guidance to those seeking to undertake works of development and change within the Wrexham Town Centre Conservation Area, ensuring the special character and appearance of the Conservation Area is preserved or enhanced. 

 

 

114.

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 11 - Not for publication by virtue of Paragraph 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 Paragraph 15 should apply.  Her view on the public interest test was that while she is mindful of the need to ensure that transparency and accountability of public authorities for decisions taken by them she was satisfied that in this case disclosure of the information would prejudice the discussion in relation to labour relations to the disadvantage of the authority and inhabitants of its area.  On that basis she 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 Paragraph 15 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

115.

April 2019 NJC cost of living pay award

To consider the report of the Lead Member for Organisation – Planning and Corporate Services

Decision:

RESOLVED –

 

(i)         That the revisions to the NJC pay and grading structure arising out of the implementation of the 2018 – 2020 NJC pay agreement, as detailed in Appendix 3 to report HCCS /11/19  be approved.   

 

(ii)        That the HR & OD Service Manager be authorised to implement the assimilation exercise and make the necessary amendments to the Council’s Pay Policy to reflect the agreed changes.

 

Reason for decisions

 

To ensure that the Council applies a fair and consistent approach to pay and applies the NJC pay agreement for 2018 – 2020 for 1 April 2019.

 

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Organisation – Planning and Corporate Services submitted a report (HCCS/11/19) seeking approval to a minor change to the Council’s grading structure arising out of the required implementation of the nationally agreed NJC pay agreement for 2018 – 2020.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(i)         That the revisions to the NJC pay and grading structure arising out of the implementation of the 2018 – 2020 NJC pay agreement, as detailed in Appendix 3 to report HCCS /11/19  be approved.   

 

(ii)        That the HR & OD Service Manager be authorised to implement the assimilation exercise and make the necessary amendments to the Council’s Pay Policy to reflect the agreed changes.

 

Reason for decisions

 

To ensure that the Council applies a fair and consistent approach to pay and applies the NJC pay agreement for 2018 – 2020 for 1 April 2019.