Agenda and minutes
Special Meeting, Homes and Environment Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 4th December, 2017 11.00 am
Venue: Meeting Room 1, Guildhall
Contact: Craig Stevens Scrutiny Facilitator
Webcast: View the webcast
Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Paul Blackwell, R Alun Jenkins, John Phillips and J R Skelland.
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
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 3 – Difficult Decisions 2018/19 and 2019/20 (Section 10 Car Parks – Other Charges)
Councillors Michael Dixon and Robert Walsh – Personal and Prejudicial – Members of a Country Park. The Councillors withdrew from the Meeting during consideration of Section 10, Car Parks – Other Charges only, taking no part in the discussion or voting thereon. They returned to the Meeting for consideration of the remainder of the report.
Agenda Item 3 – Difficult Decisions 2018/19 and 2019/20 (Section 11 Parks and Open Spaces – Country Parks Review)
Councillors Sonia Benbow-Jones and Paul Pemberton – Personal and Prejudicial – Members of a Country Park. The Councillors withdrew from the Meeting during consideration of Section 11, Parks and Open Spaces – Country Parks Review only, taking no part in the discussion or voting thereon. They returned to the Meeting for consideration of the remainder of the report.
To consider the report of the Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health & Safety and Governance
(Members declarations of interest in relation to this item are set out in Minute 28 above).
The Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health and Safety and Governance submitted a report (HF/119/17s) to scrutinise the specific budget proposals for 2018/19 and 2019/20.
The Lead Member presented the report, and the Committee began their discussions on proposals relating to Parks and Open Spaces – Country Parks Review. At this point in the proceedings, Councillors Paul Pemberton and Sonia Benbow-Jones declared a personal and prejudicial interest and left the room.
(Councillor T Alan Edwards in the Chair)
During the debate on item 11 – Parks and Open Spaces, the following points were raised:
· Confirmation by the Lead Member for Place – Environment and Transport that there were proposals to introduce a new more focussed and efficient service delivery model which would result in allocating resources in order to meet demand.
· Clarification sought in relation to duties carried out by Streetscene staff – it was explained that they already undertook work in Country Parks, so there would be no impact on their work in other areas of the County Borough.
· Disappointment expressed by some Members at the lack of detailed information contained within the report. However, Officers advised that no decisions had been made, and the detailed information would evolve as the consultation period ended and the process moved forward. It was acknowledged that the scrutiny process would need to be scheduled into next year’s budget timetable.
· Clarification sought regarding consultation with the Trade Unions.
· Clarity sought on the impact of the proposals to service users.
Councillors Paul Pemberton and Sonia Benbow-Jones returned to the room.
(Councillor Paul Pemberton in the Chair)
· The Lead Member for Place – Environment and Transport advised the Committee that some Authorities operated waste collections on a 3 or 4 weekly cycle, and it was suggested that a review of the residual waste collection arrangements be undertaken to ascertain whether any savings could be made. The Lead Member advised that a Workshop on this issue would be taking place in January 2018.
· Reference was made to Affordable Housing which was considered to be a key priority for Welsh Government. Members felt that the target was achievable, but land availability was an issue.
· Concern that if residents were unable to afford to pay for an additional green waste bin, it could result in greater use of the black bins, and therefore impact on black bin collections.
· Importance of ensuring that the charging strategy for Trade Waste was reviewed so that pricing was consistent.
· Concern at the possibility of introducing an increased charge for discretionary bus passes. The Lead Member responded to the concerns by commenting that the aim was to operate as efficiently as possible.
· Recognition that the issue of introducing charges for staff and Member car parking was complex. More work on the proposals was required.
· Acknowledgement that a previous consultation concluded that the public were in favour of introducing a car parking charge for disabled blue ... view the full minutes text for item 29.