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Agenda, decisions and minutes

Executive Board
Tuesday, 9th January, 2018 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

83.

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

An apology for absence was submitted on behalf of Councillor D J Griffiths.

84.

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 6 – Revenue Budget 2018 - 2020

Councillors Frank Hemmings, Adrienne Jeorrett, Joan Lowe and John Pritchard – Personal and Prejudicial – School Governors.  The Councillors remained in the meeting and claimed an exemption under Paragraph 12(2) of the Members’ Code of Conduct, taking part in the discussion and, in the case of Executive Board Members, voting thereon.

 

Agenda Item 9 – Charges for Disabled Parking and Parking in Country Parks

Councillor Michael Dixon – Personal and Prejudicial – Friend of Nant Mill.  The Councillor withdrew from the meeting for this item taking no part in the discussion or the voting thereon.

Councillor Robert Walsh – Personal – Vice-Chair of Friends of Alyn Waters Country Park.  The Councillor remained in the meeting taking part in the discussion thereon.

85.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 100 KB

To sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 12 December 2017

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED – That subject to the following amendment, the Minutes of the Meeting held on 12 December 2017 be signed as a correct record.

 

Minute No. 73 – Management Arrangements for Ty Pawb

That the words “a panel of” be deleted from bullet point 6

Minutes:

The Minutes of the 12 December 2017 were submitted.

 

The Lead Member for People – Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety referred to Minute No. 73, asking for an amendment to be made to bullet number 6, in that the words “a panel of” be removed from the sentence.

 

RESOLVED – That subject to the following amendment, the Minutes of the Meeting held on 12 December 2017 be signed as a correct record.

 

Minute No. 73 – Management Arrangements for Ty Pawb

That the words “a panel of” be deleted from bullet point 6

86.

Presiding Chair

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader vacated the Chair, and the Vice-Chair, Councillor Hugh Jones, presided over the next items on the Agenda to enable the Leader to present Agenda Items 5 to 8 in his capacity as Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health and Safety and Governance.

 

(Councillor Hugh Jones in the Chair)

87.

Revenue Budget 2018-20 pdf icon PDF 83 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED -

 

(i)         That the final recommendation on the budget and council tax for consideration by Council be agreed and that:

 

(a) the 2018/19 revenue budget totalling £232,871,963 be approved

(b) a sum of £58,235,573 be raised from council tax which equates to £1,093.01 at band D and of that sum:-

 

(i) £80,969 be raised as special expenses on the community areas of Acton, Caia Park, Offa and Rhosddu (£1.52), £4,824 on the community of Glyntraian (£0.09), £14,057 on the community of Llangollen Rural (£0.27) and £17,779 on the community of Chirk (£0.33)

(ii) £58,117,944 be raised as general expenses (£1,090.80).

 

(ii)        That the 2019/20 savings proposals outlined in Appendix 2 to report HF/01/18 be approved for inclusion in the Medium Term Financial Strategy (Appendix 4).

 

(iii)       That the Medium Term Financial Strategy Statement outlined in Appendix 4 be recommended to Council.

 

(iv)      That the 2018/19 Treasury Management Strategy Statement and the Investment Strategy as outlined in Appendix 5 be recommended to Council.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

To enable the Council to determine its revenue budget for 2018/19 and set the council tax for that year.  To update the Medium Term Financial Plan and make recommendations to Council on its Treasury Management and Investment Strategies.

Minutes:

(Members declarations of interest in relation to this item are set out in Minute 84 above)

 

The Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health and Safety and Governance) submitted a report (HF/01/18) to enable the Board to make a recommendation to Council on the 2018/19 Revenue Budget and Council Tax; receive feedback on the consultation exercises; recommend the Medium Term Financial Strategy Statement for the period 2018/19 to 2020/21 to Council; and to recommend the Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Investment Strategy 2018/19 to Council.

 

A detailed debate took place, and the following points were raised during the discussion:

 

·         Members were of a consensus view that this had been a very challenging process due to the financial situation and the difficult decisions which needed to be made.

·         Members were encouraged to note the positive scrutiny process, and the resulting response in terms of drawing back on some elements of the budget which included proposals to undertake bin collections on a four weekly cycle, fully cease PCSO funding, freeze school funding and end work opportunity bonus payments.

·         Recognition that although the proposed original saving had been halved, there still remained a proposed cut of £70k in funding for PCSOs.  The Lead Member advised that primary responsibility for funding the Police Force lies with the Police and Crime Commissioner, but the Council were working with North Wales Police on the new deployment model which recognised a reduction in the number of PCSOs, and would be brought forward as part of the new SLA.

·         Clarification requested as to whether the animals at Ty Mawr Country Park would be adversely affected as a result of the review of Country Parks.  In response, the Lead Member gave assurances that there would still be animals at Ty Mawr and they would not be adversely affected, and that whilst some of the junior Ranger activities might reduce, the service would continue in a different format.

·         Concern regarding the long term investment in Country Parks, and the inevitable affect on tourism should the Parks fall into disrepair.  The Lead Member responded to the concerns and assured Members that the rationale behind the new model was to ensure that Parks are sustainable for the future given the financial situation the Council currently faced.

·         Suggestion that Community Councils could be approached with regards to the possibility of funding Junior Rangers.

·         Concern at the possibility of losing Teachers and Teaching Assistants due to the cuts imposed on Schools.  The Lead Member pointed out that he had had similar concerns, but had been able to secure additional funding of £1.2m to reduce the budget pressures.  He added to the comments by stating that the Schools and Governing Bodies would work up their own budgets, but acknowledged that the majority of school spend was on staffing costs.  He pointed out that if necessary, Schools are entitled to submit a licensed deficit which would allow them three years to realign resources.

·         Disappointment at proposals to cease funding for the peripatetic School Music Service.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 87.

88.

Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 pdf icon PDF 80 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED -

 

(i)                    That the revised Policy of Wrexham County Borough Council and Guidance to Employees in respect of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, as set out at Appendix 1 to report HCCS/03/18, be approved.

 

(ii)       That the new RIPA SNS guidance document, as set out at Appendix 2, be noted

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)         To ensure that the Council’s policy on its use of powers governed by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 remain fit for purpose, and reflects the revised statutory framework in order that the powers may be used appropriately, where necessary and proportionate for the detection and prevention of crime or the prevention of disorder.

 

(ii)       To provide guidance to Council Officers when using SNS to

gather evidence as part of an investigation where the RIPA Act 2000 is engaged, to avoid breaching an individual’s right to privacy (Article 8 of the Human Rights Act). 

 

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health and Safety and Governance submitted a report (HCCS/03/18) to advise Members of the outcome of the internal review of the Council’s RIPA policy and the completion of the Council’s RIPA Social Networking Sites (SNS) guidance.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(i)        That the revised Policy of Wrexham County Borough Council and Guidance to Employees in respect of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, as set out at Appendix 1 to report HCCS/03/18, be approved.

 

(ii)       That the new RIPA SNS guidance document, as set out at Appendix 2, be noted

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)         To ensure that the Council’s policy on its use of powers governed by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 remain fit for purpose, and reflects the revised statutory framework in order that the powers may be used appropriately, where necessary and proportionate for the detection and prevention of crime or the prevention of disorder.

 

(ii)      To provide guidance to Council Officers when using SNS to

gather evidence as part of an investigation where the RIPA Act 2000 is engaged, to avoid breaching an individual’s right to privacy (Article 8 of the Human Rights Act). 

 

89.

Appropriation of the Former Nant Silyn Elderly Persons Home site from the General Fund to the Housing Revenue Account pdf icon PDF 116 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED - That the appropriation of the former Nant Silyn E.P.H site from the General Fund to the Housing Revenue Account, as shown on Appendix 2 to report HHE/03/18, be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To deliver on the commitment made by the Council to embark on the building of council houses following the changes to the Housing Revenue Account Subsidy arrangements and to maximise the effective use of time-limited funding from Welsh Government, specifically Housing Finance Grant 2.

 

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health and Safety and Governance submitted a report (HHE/03/18) seeking approval to appropriate the site of the former Nant Silyn EPH from the General Fund to the Housing Revenue Account, to enable the site to be used to develop new social housing.

 

RESOLVED - That the appropriation of the former Nant Silyn E.P.H site from the General Fund to the Housing Revenue Account, as shown on Appendix 2 to report HHE/03/18, be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To deliver on the commitment made by the Council to embark on the building of council houses following the changes to the Housing Revenue Account Subsidy arrangements and to maximise the effective use of time-limited funding from Welsh Government, specifically Housing Finance Grant 2.

 

90.

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/04/18) asking Members to approve the current list of items included in the Forward Work Programme for the period February 2018 to May 2018.

 

RESOLVED - That the Forward Work Programme be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

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

 

(Councillor Mark Pritchard in the Chair)

91.

Charges for Disabled Parking and Parking in Country Parks pdf icon PDF 89 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED -

 

(i)         That the Head of Environment and Planning in consultation with the Lead Member for Environment and Transport be authorised to undertake the necessary statutory legal consultation required for the implementation of the following from 3 April 2018:

 

a)    a daily charge of £1.00 for visitors to Nant Mill, Alyn Waters and Ty Mawr Country Parks together with the offer of a concessionary annual parking permit of £50.00.

 

b)   disabled parking charges in line with non-disabled tariffs across all Wrexham County Borough Council-operated car parks where charges apply with, as a concession, disabled blue badge holders being afforded one additional hour beyond the time paid for.

 

(ii)       that the introduction of charging, as detailed above, be subject to approval by Members of Full Council at the meeting scheduled for 21 February 2018.

 

Reason for decisions

 

To provide additional sources of revenue income while ensuring, as far as is practicable, minimal impact on the delivery of statutory frontline services.

 

Minutes:

(Members declarations of interest in relation to this item are set out in Minute 84 above)

 

The Lead Member for Place – Environment and Transport submitted a report (HEP/11/18) seeking approval for the introduction of car parking charges at Nant Mill, Alyn Waters and Ty Mawr Country Parks and for disabled parking on all Council-operated car parks where charges apply.

 

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

 

·         Confirmation that if this budget proposal was approved, the indicative savings from car parking income would be removed from the Environment Department’s cash limited budget.

·         Concern about the possible impact on local football teams if car park charges were introduced at Country Parks.

·         Suggestion that disabled badge holders may choose to park on double yellow lines to avoid paying to park elsewhere.  The Lead Member commented that significant investment had been put in to installing new machines which enabled people to pay using cash, card or a mobile phone.  All machines were fully operative, but where required, additional measures would be put in to assist those with mobility issues.  It was also noted that bays would be re-marked to make them wider, and modifications made to signage if necessary.

·         Concern about the potential of Country Park users parking in nearby residential areas to avoid the car park charge.

·         Confirmation that there were some ongoing developments taking place with regard to land use/land transfer in relation to the Trevor Basin, therefore at this stage, charges would not be introduced for parking in this car park.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(i)         That the Head of Environment and Planning in consultation with the Lead Member for Environment and Transport be authorised to undertake the necessary statutory legal consultation required for the implementation of the following from 3 April 2018:

 

a)    a daily charge of £1.00 for visitors to Nant Mill, Alyn Waters and Ty Mawr Country Parks together with the offer of a concessionary annual parking permit of £50.00.

 

b)   disabled parking charges in line with non-disabled tariffs across all Wrexham County Borough Council-operated car parks where charges apply with, as a concession, disabled blue badge holders being afforded one additional hour beyond the time paid for.

 

(ii)       that the introduction of charging, as detailed above, be subject to approval by Members of Full Council at the meeting scheduled for 21 February 2018.

 

Reason for decisions

 

To provide additional sources of revenue income while ensuring, as far as is practicable, minimal impact on the delivery of statutory frontline services.