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Agenda, decisions and minutes

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

Media

Items
No. Item

15.

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Terry Evans and Hugh Jones.

 

16.

Vice Chair

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In the absence of Councillor Hugh Jones, Councillor David A Bithell was appointed as Vice-Chair for today’s Meeting.

17.

Declarations of personal interests, if any

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following Members gave notice of their intention to declare a personal interest in respect of the undermentioned items:

 

Agenda Item 5 – Councillor Dana Davies

Agenda Item 15 – Councillor Joan Lowe

18.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 20 June 2017

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED – That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 20 June 2017 be signed as a correct record.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 20 June 2017 be signed as a correct record.

19.

Presiding Chair

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

(Councillor David A Bithell in the Chair)

 

20.

Capital Programme 2016/17-2020/21 pdf icon PDF 149 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED -

 

(i)         That the capital outturn be noted.

 

(ii)        That £75k of the Capital Reserve be allocated to fund the purchase of Christmas lights in 2017/18 and £270k be allocated for town centre improvements including CCTV camera enhancement.

 

(iii)       That the allocation of £145k to ICT Infrastructure, as outlined in paragraph 2.4 of report HF/57/17, be approved.

 

(iv)      That the rolling programme for 2017/18 to 2020/21 as detailed in appendices 2 and 3 of report HF/57/17, including changes to the Highways capital schemes as outlined in paragraph 4.18, be approved.

 

(v)       That the capital programme be reviewed and reported to the Executive Board in October 2017.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)            This report follows an earlier monitoring report in February in compliance with Financial Regulation 3.13 that requires that the Head of Finance monitors and reports to Members on the Capital Programme.

 

(ii)        Local Authorities are required under the Local Government Act 2003 to comply with the CIPFA Prudential Code for Capital Finance. 

 

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health and Safety and Governance submitted a report (HF/57/17) to advise Members of the 2016/17 Capital Programme outturn and to review the 2017/18 – 2020/21 Capital Programme.

 

The Lead Member presented the report and in doing so, the following points were raised:

 

·         Confirmation that there had been a number of tenants who had initially refused new kitchens/bathrooms, but the Lead Member advised that as it was a priority to complete the programme.  A plan of action was underway to target the refusals.

·         Clarification sought regarding town centre improvements – it was confirmed that some of the Christmas lights in the town centre would be replaced this year, and additional CCTV cameras would be installed.  A report on how the remainder of the money was spent would be brought to the Board later in the year, but Members were reminded that this was the first phase of the programme, which would be reviewed annually.

·         Confirmation that the actual costs for improvements in ICT would be available later this year.

·         Update provided on the reroofing works at Redwither Tower.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(i)         That the capital outturn be noted.

 

(ii)        That £75k of the Capital Reserve be allocated to fund the purchase of Christmas lights in 2017/18 and £270k be allocated for town centre improvements including CCTV camera enhancement.

 

(iii)       That the allocation of £145k to ICT Infrastructure, as outlined in paragraph 2.4 of report HF/57/17, be approved.

 

(iv)      That the rolling programme for 2017/18 to 2020/21 as detailed in appendices 2 and 3 of report HF/57/17, including changes to the Highways capital schemes as outlined in paragraph 4.18, be approved.

 

(v)       That the capital programme be reviewed and reported to the Executive Board in October 2017.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)            This report follows an earlier monitoring report in February in compliance with Financial Regulation 3.13 that requires that the Head of Finance monitors and reports to Members on the Capital Programme.

 

(ii)        Local Authorities are required under the Local Government Act 2003 to comply with the CIPFA Prudential Code for Capital Finance. 

 

(Pursuant to the Council’s Code of Conduct for Members, Councillor Dana Davies declared a personal and prejudicial interest in respect of this matter by virtue of being a School Governor, but claimed the exemption as contained in paragraph 12(2)(a) of the Member Code of Conduct and remained in the room for consideration of this item taking part in the discussion and voting thereon).

21.

Treasury Management Outturn and Actual Prudential Indicators 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 152 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED - That the Treasury Management Out turn report and actual Prudential Indicators for 2016/17 be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To comply with the CIPFA Prudential Code and Code of Practice on Treasury Management.

 

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health and Safety and Governance submitted a report (HF/58/17) to present the Treasury Management Outturn report and actual Prudential Indicators report for the financial year ended 31 March 2017.

 

RESOLVED - That the Treasury Management Out turn report and actual Prudential Indicators for 2016/17 be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To comply with the CIPFA Prudential Code and Code of Practice on Treasury Management.

22.

Disposal of Land adjacent to 7 Windsor Road, Rhos pdf icon PDF 84 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED –

 

(i)         That the Head of Housing and Economy be authorised to negotiate and conclude the terms and conditions including determination of boundaries for the disposal of the land at Windsor Road, Rhos (as shown hatched on Appendix 2 of report HHE/35/17);

 

(ii)        That the Head of Corporate and Customer Services be authorised to publish notice of the Council’s intention to dispose of the land at Windsor Road, Rhos (as shown hatched on Appendix 2) forming informal public open space  in accordance with Section 123 (2A) of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

(iii)       That the Head of Corporate and Customer Services be authorised to report to the Executive Board on any objections received to the intended disposal of the site forming informal public open space but that in the absence of objections the land is disposed of as set out in the report.

 

Reason for decisions

 

To enable the Council to dispose of the land at Windsor Road Rhos, resulting in financial savings to the Council and removing any future maintenance liability.

 

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health and Safety and Governance submitted a report (HHE/35/17) seeking Members approval to dispose of the area of land forming part of informal public open space at Windsor Road, Rhos, Wrexham.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(i)         That the Head of Housing and Economy be authorised to negotiate and conclude the terms and conditions including determination of boundaries for the disposal of the land at Windsor Road, Rhos (as shown hatched on Appendix 2 of report HHE/35/17);

 

(ii)        That the Head of Corporate and Customer Services be authorised to publish notice of the Council’s intention to dispose of the land at Windsor Road, Rhos (as shown hatched on Appendix 2) forming informal public open space  in accordance with Section 123 (2A) of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

(iii)       That the Head of Corporate and Customer Services be authorised to report to the Executive Board on any objections received to the intended disposal of the site forming informal public open space but that in the absence of objections the land is disposed of as set out in the report.

 

Reason for decisions

 

To enable the Council to dispose of the land at Windsor Road Rhos, resulting in financial savings to the Council and removing any future maintenance liability.

 

23.

Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 29 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, Health and Safety and Governance submitted a report (HCCS/46/17) to approve the current list of items included in the Forward Work Programme for the period August 2017 to November 2017.

 

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

 

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)

24.

Director of Social Services Annual Report 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 96 KB

To consider the report of the Lead Member for People – Health and Adult Social Care and Lead Member for People – Children’s Services

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED – That the Director’s Report for 2016/17 be approved and the improvement priorities for 2017/18 be approved for publication in July 2017.

 

Reason for decision

 

The Annual ‘Director’s Report’ is intended to provide a clear picture of the performance of Social Services in Wrexham. Its publication will ensure requirements placed upon the Statutory Director of Social Services are fulfilled under the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act regulations. It will also enable Regulators to use the report to assist in determining the inspection programme for Social Services in Wrexham.

Minutes:

The Lead Member for People – Health and Adult Social Care, and the Lead Member for People – Children’s Services submitted a report (CLF/10/17) to provide Members with a draft version of the Social Services Director’s Report for 2016/17, including the improvement priorities for 2017/18.

 

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

 

·         Acknowledgement that the national increase in demography and people diagnosed with dementia increased demand for services.

·         Welcome news that the number of placements in residential care homes had decreased due to a higher number of people receiving services within their own homes.

·         Clarification sought in relation to multi agency safeguarding hubs.  The Lead Member advised that this issue would be covered in a future report to Scrutiny.

·         Tribute paid to the success of the Reablement Service who provided people with intense help in regaining their skills, who very often did not require a further care package afterwards.

·         Recognition of the work undertaken by the Income Maximisation Unit who had helped many families gain additional income.

·         Staff within both Children and Adult Social Services were commended for their hard work and dedication.

 

RESOLVED – That the Director’s Report for 2016/17 be approved and the improvement priorities for 2017/18 be approved for publication in July 2017.

 

Reason for decision

 

The Annual ‘Director’s Report’ is intended to provide a clear picture of the performance of Social Services in Wrexham. Its publication will ensure requirements placed upon the Statutory Director of Social Services are fulfilled under the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act regulations. It will also enable Regulators to use the report to assist in determining the inspection programme for Social Services in Wrexham.

25.

Update - Welsh in Education Strategic Plan (WESP) pdf icon PDF 111 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED - That the latest draft (May 2017) Welsh in Education Strategic Plan (2017 - 2020), (Appendix 1 to report HEd/18/17) be approved and the Lead Member for People – Education be authorised to approve any minor changes following receipt of feedback from the Welsh Government.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)         To ensure that the Council complies with the Welsh Government’s statutory requirement, as expressed in the Welsh-medium Education Strategy (2010) and the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 .

 

(ii)        To comply with national timescales for the submission of the Welsh in Education Strategic Plan.

 

Minutes:

The Lead Member for People – Education submitted a report (HEd/18/17) to provide Members with an update and seeking approval for the latest draft Welsh in Education Strategic Plan (WESP).

 

The Lead Member presented the report and responded to questions accordingly.  A debate ensued and the following points were noted:

 

·         Acknowledgement that although the Council has a good record of providing places in Welsh medium schools, demand was rising and the number of available places was decreasing.  The Lead Member confirmed that a report would be coming to a future Meeting of the Board regarding a consultation exercise on providing additional school places.

·         Confirmation that the WESP would be made available on the Council’s website.

·         Concern that in some areas, children were not always attending the same Welsh primary school as their siblings, due to a lack of places.  Members acknowledged the logistical difficulties faced by parents and welcomed the report coming to the Board as stated by the Lead Member.

·         Recognition that the demand for school places wasn’t just limited to the provision of welsh medium.  There were also demand issues in English medium schools, and faith schools.

·         Concern that there could be a reduction in demand for welsh medium school places as it was felt that parents weren’t applying for a place because they were assuming they would not be successful.

 

RESOLVED - That the latest draft (May 2017) Welsh in Education Strategic Plan (2017 - 2020), (Appendix 1 to report HEd/18/17) be approved and the Lead Member for People – Education be authorised to approve any minor changes following receipt of feedback from the Welsh Government.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)         To ensure that the Council complies with the Welsh Government’s statutory requirement, as expressed in the Welsh-medium Education Strategy (2010) and the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 .

 

(ii)        To comply with national timescales for the submission of the Welsh in Education Strategic Plan.

 

26.

Proposal to change the language medium Cynddelw CP Glyn Ceiriog - Post Consultation pdf icon PDF 152 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED -

 

(i)        That the statutory notice should not be progressed in respect of the consultation regarding the change to the language medium at Ysgol Cynddelw, Glyn Ceiriog from dual English/Welsh medium to solely Welsh medium.

 

(ii)       That officers be authorised to publish the post consultation report as required by School Standards & Organisation Regulations (Wales) 2013.        

 

(iii)      That officers be authorised to instigate a further consultation with all relevant parties regarding further options to be considered in relation to the three schools within the Ceiriog Valley Federation.

 

(iv)      That recommendation 3.2 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)           Responses received during the consultation have led the Local Authority to the conclusion that a wider consultation is necessary.  Such a consultation should consider the ongoing sustainability of all the schools within the Ceiriog Valley Federation.

 

(ii)          It will be necessary to work with the Governing Body to explore alternative models for efficient delivery of education in the area.  Once agreed these models should be consulted upon at an early formative stage.

 

(iii)         It is necessary to deal with Item 3.2 as an urgent item of business in order to ensure that the Council complies with the Statutory School Organisation Code by publishing the required consultation report in a timely manner.

Minutes:

The Lead Member for People – Education submitted a report (HEd/19/17) to inform Members of the outcome of consultation on the proposal relating to the proposed permanent change to the language medium at Ysgol Cynddelw; seek approval to publish the Post Consultation report as required by School Standards and Organisation Regulations (Wales) 2013; and to seek permission to consult further on alternative options available within the Ceiriog Valley Federation of Schools.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(i)        That the statutory notice should not be progressed in respect of the consultation regarding the change to the language medium at Ysgol Cynddelw, Glyn Ceiriog from dual English/Welsh medium to solely Welsh medium.

 

(ii)       That officers be authorised to publish the post consultation report as required by School Standards & Organisation Regulations (Wales) 2013.        

 

(iii)      That officers be authorised to instigate a further consultation with all relevant parties regarding further options to be considered in relation to the three schools within the Ceiriog Valley Federation.

 

(iv)      That recommendation 3.2 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)           Responses received during the consultation have led the Local Authority to the conclusion that a wider consultation is necessary.  Such a consultation should consider the ongoing sustainability of all the schools within the Ceiriog Valley Federation.

 

(ii)          It will be necessary to work with the Governing Body to explore alternative models for efficient delivery of education in the area.  Once agreed these models should be consulted upon at an early formative stage.

 

(iii)         It is necessary to deal with Item 3.2 as an urgent item of business in order to ensure that the Council complies with the Statutory School Organisation Code by publishing the required consultation report in a timely manner.

27.

Application to Welsh Government (WG) for Consent to Continue the Lease of Two Properties to Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board pdf icon PDF 82 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED - To recommend to Council that an application be made to the Welsh Government for approval to dispose of two properties to Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to allow a renewal of lease for a five year period and any further lease renewals thereafter.

 

Reason for decision

 

To formalise arrangements for the use of Housing Revenue Account properties by an external organisation pursuant to Section 32 of the Housing Act 1985. This will allow a renewal of lease to Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and any further lease renewals thereafter.

 

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Place – Housing submitted a report (HHE/29/17) asking Members to approve an application to the Welsh Government for approval to grant a renewal of lease to Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

 

RESOLVED - To recommend to Council that an application be made to the Welsh Government for approval to dispose of two properties to Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to allow a renewal of lease for a five year period and any further lease renewals thereafter.

 

Reason for decision

 

To formalise arrangements for the use of Housing Revenue Account properties by an external organisation pursuant to Section 32 of the Housing Act 1985. This will allow a renewal of lease to Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and any further lease renewals thereafter.

 

28.

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 15 & 16 - Not for publication by virtue of Paragraphs 14 and 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 and 15 should apply.  His view on the public interest test for paragraph 14 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, the right of the Council to the privacy of their financial/ business affairs outweighed the need for that information to be made public. This information is not affected by any other statutory provision which requires the information to be publicly registered. His view on the public interest test for paragraph 15 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.

Item 17 – 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 Paragraphs 14 and 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 Paragraphs 14 and 15 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

29.

WCBC Financing of Schools Scheme: Licensed Deficit Application

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

Decision:

RESOLVED –

 

(i)         That the licensed deficit application for Ysgol Rhiwabon, as supported by the School’s budget recovery plan, be approved.

 

(ii)        That in June 2018 the Lead Member for People – Education, in consultation with the School’s Head and Chair of Governors, present a further report to Executive Board to monitor the School’s budget recovery plan.

 

Reason for decision

 

To comply with the Authority’s Section 48 Financing of Schools Scheme regulations.

 

Minutes:

The Lead Member for People – Education submitted a report (HF/59/17) asking Members to consider an application from a secondary school to set its annual delegated budget at a deficit level.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(i)         That the licensed deficit application for Ysgol Rhiwabon, as supported by the School’s budget recovery plan, be approved.

 

(ii)        That in June 2018 the Lead Member for People – Education, in consultation with the School’s Head and Chair of Governors, present a further report to Executive Board to monitor the School’s budget recovery plan.

 

Reason for decision

 

To comply with the Authority’s Section 48 Financing of Schools Scheme regulations.

 

(Pursuant to the Council’s Code of Conduct for Members, Councillor Joan Lowe declared a personal and prejudicial interest in respect of this matter by virtue of being a School Governor, but claimed the exemption as contained in paragraph 12(2)(a) of the Member Code of Conduct and remained in the room for consideration of this item taking part in the discussion and voting thereon).

 

30.

Nursery Service Provision

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

Decision:

RESOLVED –

 

(i)        That in light of its current financial position, the Nursery identified in report HEd/20/17, be closed.

 

(ii)       That formal consultation with staff and Unions takes place immediately.

 

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

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)                     The current operating model is not sustainable without significant investment therefore closure of the nursery as soon as possible will limit further increases in the deficit.

 

(ii)        in order to commence consultation and notify affected parties without delay.

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health and Safety and Governance submitted a report (HEd/20/17) to provide Members with an update on Nursery Service Provision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(i)        That in light of its current financial position, the Nursery identified in report HEd/20/17, be closed.

 

(ii)       That formal consultation with staff and Unions takes place immediately.

 

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

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)                     The current operating model is not sustainable without significant investment therefore closure of the nursery as soon as possible will limit further increases in the deficit.

 

(ii)        in order to commence consultation and notify affected parties without delay.

31.

Permission to Consult

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

Decision:

RESOLVED -

 

(i)         That permission be provided to consult with the recognised Trade Unions with a view to reaching a collective agreement.

 

(ii)        That delegated authority be given to the Executive Director (Place) to enable changes to the practical arrangements to assist implementation, to and agree a draft collective agreement, which would be within the parameters above.

 

Reason for decisions

 

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

 

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Organisation – Planning and Corporate Services submitted a report (HCCS/51/17) seeking permission to consult on proposed revisions to the Council’s pay structure for NJC employees, with a view to reaching a collective agreement with the recognised Trade Unions.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(i)         That permission be provided to consult with the recognised Trade Unions with a view to reaching a collective agreement.

 

(ii)        That delegated authority be given to the Executive Director (Place) to enable changes to the practical arrangements to assist implementation, to and agree a draft collective agreement, which would be within the parameters above.

 

Reason for decisions

 

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