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Agenda, decisions and minutes

Executive Board
Tuesday, 12th December, 2017 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

70.

Update - Winter Maintenance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Place – Environment and Transport issued a statement to update Members on the ongoing work of the Streetscene Team, Gritting Crews, Supervisors, Loaders and Team Leaders within the Environment Department who had been working continuously to maintain the priority 1 highway routes in difficult weather conditions.  Blizzard conditions and heavy snowfall with extremely low temperatures had led to the postponement of recycling and refuse collections, therefore an extra collection had been arranged at the weekend to compensate.  Streetscene staff had been deployed to assist in snow clearing duties and the entire fleet of gritters, ploughs, tractors and loading shovels had been deployed.  The Lead Member thanked all staff involved for their dedication and commitment and for working all hours to maintain and support residents during the recent adverse weather.

 

Other Lead Members echoed the comments of the Lead Member for Place – Environment and Transport and paid tribute to staff within all Departments who had braved the elements themselves to ensure minimal disruption to the public, particularly for the more vulnerable groups, within the County Borough.  The Lead Member for Place – Housing referred to the number of rough sleepers in the town centre and advised that discussions were ongoing to ensure that places could be found in one of the night shelters for those presenting as homeless who wanted such provision.

71.

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 Members’ 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 14 – Pay Structures, Post Consultation

Councillors Brian Cameron, Dana Davies, Adrienne Jeorrett and Graham Rogers – Member of a Trade Union.  The Councillors remained in the meeting taking part in the discussion thereon.

72.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 70 KB

To sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 14 November 2017

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED – That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 24 October 2017 be signed as a correct record.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 24 October 2017 be signed as a correct record.

73.

Management arrangements for Ty Pawb pdf icon PDF 78 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED –

 

(i)         That the Terms of Reference for the Pawb Advisory Board, as presented in Appendix 1 to report HHE/56/17 and accompanying Role Descriptions in Appendix 2, be approved subject to the removal of the reference to identifying an alternate by applicants for the various roles of Advisory Board Member.

 

(ii)       That the Head of Housing and Economy be authorised to approve any revisions or amendments thereto, subject to prior consultation with the Advisory Board and the relevant Lead Member.

 

(iii)       That the Lead Member for Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety be appointed to the Selection Panel and the Pawb Advisory Board.

 

Reason for decisions

 

To ensure there is local involvement in the management, programming and strategic direction of Pawb.

Minutes:

The Lead Member for People – Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety submitted a report (HHE/56/17) to Members to agree the terms of reference for the establishment of an Advisory Board for Tŷ Pawb.

 

The Lead Member presented the report and a detailed discussion ensued.  The following points were highlighted:

 

·         Confirmation that members on the Advisory Board would receive expenses, but not a salary.

·         Clarification sought as to whether the governance structure of the Advisory Board allowed for the scrutiny function to scrutinise the work and effectiveness of the board.  In response, the Lead Member for People – Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety commented that it would be a matter for that particular Committee to decide.

·         Explanation provided by Officers in terms of how conflicts of interest between Board and Council would be managed.  Members noted that members of the Board would be bound by the Council’s Code of Conduct.

·         Confirmation that regular reviews of the membership of the Board would be undertaken to allow for any changes to be made where necessary.

·         Confirmation that a review of the governance model would take place within the first three years rather than after the end of this period.

·         Confirmation that a panel of key stakeholders had been working with Officers to ensure the members of the Board brought with them the relevant skills.

·         In terms of the Arts Programme Development, it was noted that following legal advice, an alternate or substitute, as described in Appendix 2 of the report, would no longer be identified to sit on the Advisory Board.

·         Recognition that the project had brought a significant number of jobs to Wrexham and will provide an opportunity for start up businesses, and for young people to market their skills. 

 

RESOLVED –

 

(i)         That the Terms of Reference for the Tŷ Pawb Advisory Board, as presented in Appendix 1 to report HHE/56/17 and accompanying Role Descriptions in Appendix 2, be approved subject to the removal of the reference to identifying an alternate by applicants for the various roles of Advisory Board Member.

 

(ii)       That the Head of Housing and Economy be authorised to approve any revisions or amendments thereto, subject to prior consultation with the Advisory Board and the relevant Lead Member.

 

(iii)       That the Lead Member for Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety be appointed to the Selection Panel and the Tŷ Pawb Advisory Board.

 

Reason for decisions

 

To ensure there is local involvement in the management, programming and strategic direction of Tŷ Pawb.

74.

Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme pdf icon PDF 136 KB

To consider the report of the Lead Member for People – Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety and Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health & Safety and Governance

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED –

 

(i)         That the progress made in implementing the Syrian Refugee Resettlement Scheme during 2017-18 be noted.

 

(ii)        That up to 5 further Syrian refugee families be accepted in principle under the Home Office scheme during each of the next two financial years, 2018/19 and 19/20, subject to agreement by Council Heads of Department and Public Service Board partner organisations.

 

(iii)       That a further report be brought to Executive Board in December 2019 to determine Wrexham’s response from April 2020.

 

Reason for decisions

 

Support for the Syrian Refugee Relocation Scheme demonstrates the Council’s continuing commitment to provide humanitarian protection for people fleeing persecution and the promotion of Equality, Diversity and Human Rights.

Minutes:

The Lead Member People – Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety, and the Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health and Safety and Governance submitted a joint report (HF/117/17) to inform Members of progress in delivering the Syrian Resettlement Scheme in Wrexham, and to enable Members to discuss and agree the appropriate approach to the Scheme from April 2018, taking into account local capacity and resources.

 

During consideration of the report, it was suggested that it would be helpful to inform the relevant local Member when any Syrian refugees are housed within their Ward so that they would be able to provide help and assistance to these families.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(i)         That the progress made in implementing the Syrian Refugee Resettlement Scheme during 2017-18 be noted.

 

(ii)        That up to 5 further Syrian refugee families be accepted in principle under the Home Office scheme during each of the next two financial years, 2018/19 and 19/20, subject to agreement by Council Heads of Department and Public Service Board partner organisations.

 

(iii)       That a further report be brought to Executive Board in December 2019 to determine Wrexham’s response from April 2020.

 

Reason for decisions

 

Support for the Syrian Refugee Relocation Scheme demonstrates the Council’s continuing commitment to provide humanitarian protection for people fleeing persecution and the promotion of Equality, Diversity and Human Rights.

75.

Management of Burials and Cremations pdf icon PDF 97 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED -

 

(i)        That Wrexham County Borough Council’s burial and cremation charges be amended to reflect Welsh Government’s policy for Local Authorities on the cremation and burial of children under the age of 18 years of age.  Charges for this service will be removed in Wrexham.

 

(ii)       That Plas Acton Cemetery, in respect of full graves (excluding the cremated remains and casket section), will be maintained as a lawned cemetery, once all grave space has been used in the traditional section.

 

Reasons for decisions

  

(i)           To ensure a consistent approach across Wales by Local Authorities.

 

(ii)          To enable the most effective use to be made of Plas Acton Cemetery burial space.

 

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Place – Environment and Transport submitted a report (HEP/97/17) asking Members to consider proposals for the adoption of Welsh Government’s new standard for child burials and cremations and to agree on the future management of the Plas Acton Cemetery.

 

The Lead Member presented the report and a discussion ensued.  Clarity was sought in relation to the possibility of Community Councils managing their own Cemeteries and whether they would be able to access funding from Welsh Government.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(i)        That Wrexham County Borough Council’s burial and cremation charges be amended to reflect Welsh Government’s policy for Local Authorities on the cremation and burial of children under the age of 18 years of age.  Charges for this service will be removed in Wrexham.

 

(ii)       That Plas Acton Cemetery, in respect of full graves (excluding the cremated remains and casket section), will be maintained as a lawned cemetery, once all grave space has been used in the traditional section.

 

Reasons for decisions

  

(i)           To ensure a consistent approach across Wales by Local Authorities.

 

(ii)          To enable the most effective use to be made of Plas Acton Cemetery burial space.

 

76.

Presiding Chair

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader vacated the Chair, and the Vice-Chair, Councillor Hugh Jones, presided over the remaining items on the Agenda to enable the Leader to present Agenda Items 8 to 14 in his capacity as Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health and Safety and Governance.

 

(Councillor Hugh Jones in the Chair)

77.

Summary Quarter 2 Performance Report 2017/2018 pdf icon PDF 167 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED - That the contents of the report be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

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

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health and Safety and Governance submitted a report (CLF/14/17) to provide the Executive  Board with a summary update on progress against the Council Plan as at quarter two 2017/18.

 

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

 

·         Positive views expressed by Members regarding the extra measures put in place to increase the number of Welsh Medium education places.

·         Confirmation that there had been a change to the reporting system for Re-ablement, which meant that the figures for objective Pe2 were not a true reflection.

·         Clarification sought regarding the lack of information on some KPIs which made it difficult to ascertain performance levels.  The Officer advised that a number of KPIs were reported on only at the end of the year.

·         Acknowledgement that the Home Office were constantly changing the criteria for the way in which crime was reported, which then made it difficult to encapsulate the information for performance review purposes.  The Lead Member for People – Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Health and Safety commented that the crime figures were likely to increase due to historic case reporting and an increase in reporting crime in general.

 

RESOLVED - That the contents of the report be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

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

78.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 106 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED - To recommend to Council:

 

(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, as the Council’s Scheme for the Financial Year 2018/19, be adopted, subject to the local discretions that the Council is able to exercise as set out in paragraph 7.1 of report HF/126/17.

 

(iv)      That the Head of Finance (in consultation with the Leader) be given delegated authority to consider, approve and/or deal with as necessary any amendments which may be made to the “Amendment regulations” 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 2018/19 under the Prescribed Requirements Regulations by 31 January 2018.

 

(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 2018 at the earliest, as a result it will mean that the amendment regulations will not be approved by the Assembly until late January 2018.

 

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health and Safety and Governance submitted a report (HF/126/17) to approve a Council Tax Reduction Scheme to commence in April 2018 for the 2018/19 Financial Year.

 

RESOLVED - To recommend to Council:

 

(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, as the Council’s Scheme for the Financial Year 2018/19, be adopted, subject to the local discretions that the Council is able to exercise as set out in paragraph 7.1 of report HF/126/17.

 

(iv)      That the Head of Finance (in consultation with the Leader) be given delegated authority to consider, approve and/or deal with as necessary any amendments which may be made to the “Amendment regulations” 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 2018/19 under the Prescribed Requirements Regulations by 31 January 2018.

 

(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 2018 at the earliest, as a result it will mean that the amendment regulations will not be approved by the Assembly until late January 2018.

 

79.

Review of 2017/18 Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) Policy pdf icon PDF 111 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED -

 

(i)         To recommend to Council that the revisions to the MRP Policy for 2017/18 be approved:

 

a) Option 3 (Asset Life Method- straight line) to be used for calculating MRP on outstanding supported borrowing as at 31 March 2017. The calculation will be ‘the straight line’ method over 40 years. This represents a change from Option 2 (CFR method) as approved by Council on 22 February 2017.

 

b) Option 3 (Asset Life Method – straight line) to be used for calculating MRP on supported borrowing incurred on or after 1 April 2017. The calculation will be the ‘straight line’ method over an appropriate number of years, dependent on the period of time that the capital expenditure is likely to generate benefits. This also represents a change from Option 2.

 

Reason for decisions

 

To enable the Council to make a prudent provision for the repayment of debt.

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health and Safety and Governance submitted a report (HF/123/17) seeking approval for a revision to the MRP Policy for 2017/18.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(i)         To recommend to Council that the revisions to the MRP Policy for 2017/18 be approved:

 

a) Option 3 (Asset Life Method- straight line) to be used for calculating MRP on outstanding supported borrowing as at 31 March 2017. The calculation will be ‘the straight line’ method over 40 years. This represents a change from Option 2 (CFR method) as approved by Council on 22 February 2017.

 

b) Option 3 (Asset Life Method – straight line) to be used for calculating MRP on supported borrowing incurred on or after 1 April 2017. The calculation will be the ‘straight line’ method over an appropriate number of years, dependent on the period of time that the capital expenditure is likely to generate benefits. This also represents a change from Option 2.

 

Reason for decisions

 

To enable the Council to make a prudent provision for the repayment of debt.

80.

Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To consider the report of the Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health & Safety 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, Health and Safety and Governance submitted a report (HCCS/78/17) to approve the current list of items included in the Forward Work Programme for the period January 2018 to April 2018.

 

The Lead Member reminded Members of the importance of ensuring that items were added to the Forward Work Programme as soon as possible.

 

A Member referred to the All Member Workshop which had been arranged for 23 January 2018 to promote and raise awareness of the Direct Payments Scheme with Members, and requested that the Update Policies for Adult Social Care report be deferred to February, to take account of the workshop.  The Lead Member for People – Health and Adult Social Care would look into the matter and find out whether it would be appropriate to change the date in the Forward Work Programme.

 

RESOLVED - That the Forward Work Programme be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

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

 

81.

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.

 

Item 14 - 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.  His view on the public interest test was that while he is mindful of the need to ensure that transparency and accountability of public authorities for decisions taken by them he 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 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 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 item of business as it is likely that, if they are 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).

82.

Pay structures, post consultation

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

Decision:

RESOLVED –

 

(i)         That the revisions to the pay structure included in 2.2 and 2.3 in report HCCS/73/17 and as set out in the draft local collective agreement, Appendix 2 be approved.

 

(ii)        That the implementation of this local collective agreement which will amend the existing local collective agreements be endorsed.

 

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

 

Reason for decision

 

To ensure that the Council applies a fair and consistent approach to pay and has a future proof pay structure.

 

Minutes:

(Members declarations of interest in relation to this item are set out in Minute 71 above)

 

The Lead Member for Organisation – Planning and Corporate Services submitted a report (HCCS/73/17) seeking approval following a period of consultation on the proposed revisions to the Council’s pay structure for NJC employees, and to approve the local collective agreement with the recognised Trade Unions in the terms agreed between those parties.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(i)         That the revisions to the pay structure included in 2.2 and 2.3 in report HCCS/73/17 and as set out in the draft local collective agreement, Appendix 2 be approved.

 

(ii)        That the implementation of this local collective agreement which will amend the existing local collective agreements be endorsed.

 

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

 

Reason for decision

 

To ensure that the Council applies a fair and consistent approach to pay and has a future proof pay structure.