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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: Helen Coomber  Committee Manager

Media

Items
No. Item

10.

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

An apology for absence was submitted on behalf of Councillor David Kelly.

11.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 211 KB

To sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 11 June 2019

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 11 June 2019 be signed as a correct record.

 

12.

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 5 – Update on the Mold Road Corridor Masterplan

Councillors David A Bithell and Brian Cameron – Personal  Member of Wrexham Supporters Trust.  The Councillors remained in the meeting taking part in the discussion and, in the case of the Executive Board Member, voting thereon.

 

Agenda Item 13 – WCBC Financing of Schools Scheme: Licensed Deficit Update.  Councillor Joan Lowe – Personal - School Governor.  The Councillor remained in the meeting and claimed an exemption under Paragraph 12(2) of the Members’ Code of Conduct taking part in the discussion and voting thereon.

13.

Questions pdf icon PDF 8 KB

 

(a)          Public Questions

 

(b)          Members’ Questions

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with Section 5.8.16 of the Council’s Constitution, a member of the public submitted a question relating to fossil fuels.

 

The Lead Member for Place – Environment and Transport responded to the question accordingly.

14.

Variation in Order of Agenda

Additional documents:

Minutes:

AGREED – That Agenda Item 9 – Proposal to Consult on the Increase in Pupil Capacity at Barker’s Lane CP – Objection Report, be brought forward and taken at this time.

15.

Proposal to consult on the increase in pupil capacity at Barker's Lane CP - Objection Report pdf icon PDF 203 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED -

 

(i)        That the objections received during the Statutory Notice Period, detailed within the Objection Report (as detailed in Appendix 1 to report COEEI/14/19) be noted.

 

(ii)       That Officers be authorised to proceed with the proposals as published. 

 

            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.

 

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.

 

Minutes:

The Lead Member for People – Education submitted a report (COEEI/14/19) to provide Members with the outcomes of the recent statutory notice period relating to the proposal to increase pupil capacity at Barker’s Lane CP.

 

The Lead Member presented the report, and Members were reminded that focus must be on the education aspects of the proposal and that the development matters would be dealt with via the planning process. The statutory School Organisation Code sets out criteria that the Council must consider when making determinations relating to proposals regarding a particular school.  It was agreed that a briefing note on the Code would be issued to Members to provide some further clarification.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(i)        That the objections received during the Statutory Notice Period, detailed within the Objection Report (as detailed in Appendix 1 to report COEEI/14/19) be noted.

 

(ii)       That Officers be authorised to proceed with the proposals as published.  

 

            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.

 

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.

 

16.

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 and 6 in his capacity as Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health and Safety and Governance.

 

(Councillor Hugh Jones in the Chair)

17.

Update on the Mold Road Corridor Masterplan pdf icon PDF 202 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED -

 

(i)         That the aspiration of the Masterplan Study be noted as described.

 

(ii)        That the Council continues to work with the Partnership and other key stakeholders (to include Transport for Wales and Wrexham AFC) to progress with developing the masterplan.

 

(iii)       That the Chief Officer Housing & Economy in consultation with the Leader of the Council, Lead Member for Economy – Economic Development & Regeneration and Chief Officer for Finance and ICT be authorised to secure further resources, if required, to aid and enhance the outcomes of the masterplan.

 

(iv)      That the Chief Officer Housing & Economy be authorised to engage with stakeholders on the emerging masterplan.

 

Reason for decision

 

To acknowledge and support the Council’s involvement with the Wrexham Gateway Partnership, and support the Council to continue to work with key stakeholders to progress the vision for the Wrexham Gateway.

Minutes:

(Members declarations of interest in respect of this item are set out in Minute 12 above)

 

The Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health and Safety and Governance submitted a report (COHE/28/19) to raise awareness of the Mold Road Corridor Masterplan study through the Wrexham Gateway Partnership.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(i)         That the aspiration of the Masterplan Study be noted as described.

 

(ii)        That the Council continues to work with the Partnership and other key stakeholders (to include Transport for Wales and Wrexham AFC) to progress with developing the masterplan.

 

(iii)       That the Chief Officer Housing & Economy in consultation with the Leader of the Council, Lead Member for Economy – Economic Development & Regeneration and Chief Officer for Finance and ICT be authorised to secure further resources, if required, to aid and enhance the outcomes of the masterplan.

 

(iv)      That the Chief Officer Housing & Economy be authorised to engage with stakeholders on the emerging masterplan.

 

Reason for decision

 

To acknowledge and support the Council’s involvement with the Wrexham Gateway Partnership, and support the Council to continue to work with key stakeholders to progress the vision for the Wrexham Gateway.

18.

Addressing Long Term Empty Properties Across Wrexham County Borough through use of Assistance and Enforcement pdf icon PDF 115 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED -

 

(i)         That the criteria and scoring matrix for prioritising properties from across the County Borough for intervention, as set out in Appendix 2 to report COHE/30/19 be agreed, and that in all cases the Lead Members for Finance and Housing be notified of the outcome of the application of the criteria.

 

(ii)        That the Chief Officer Housing and Economy be authorised to establish an officer led Empty Property Enforcement Group to consider and agree the appropriate course of action in accordance with the Scoring Matrix (Appendix 2) and appropriate legislation.

 

(iii)       That the Chief Officer Housing and Economy be authorised to progress with interventions in as identified through the application of the scoring criteria and agreed by the Property Enforcement Group.

  

Reason for decisions

 

To enable problematic long term empty properties and land to be brought back into use as part of the long-term regeneration of the County Borough where all other options have been exhausted.

 

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health and Safety and Governance submitted a report (COHE/30/19) asking Members to agree to the process for identifying empty properties and for prioritising enforcement action to address problematic long term empty properties as required in line with relevant legislation.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(i)         That the criteria and scoring matrix for prioritising properties from across the County Borough for intervention, as set out in Appendix 2 to report COHE/30/19 be agreed, and that in all cases the Lead Members for Finance and Housing be notified of the outcome of the application of the criteria.

 

(ii)        That the Chief Officer Housing and Economy be authorised to establish an officer led Empty Property Enforcement Group to consider and agree the appropriate course of action in accordance with the Scoring Matrix (Appendix 2) and appropriate legislation.

 

(iii)       That the Chief Officer Housing and Economy be authorised to progress with interventions in as identified through the application of the scoring criteria and agreed by the Property Enforcement Group.

  

Reason for decisions

 

To enable problematic long term empty properties and land to be brought back into use as part of the long-term regeneration of the County Borough where all other options have been exhausted.

 

(Councillor Mark Pritchard in the Chair)

19.

Social Services Annual Director's Report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 135 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED - That the Director’s Report for 2018/19 and the improvement priorities for 2019/20 be approved for publication in July 2019.

 

Reason for decisions

 

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 (COSC/11/19) to provide Members with a draft version of the Social Services Director’s Report for 2018/19, including the improvement priorities for 2019/20.

 

During consideration of the report, a discussion ensued and the following points were raised:

 

·         Concern at the number of children at risk who were awaiting assessment.

·         Request for further information following the closure of residential homes and the possible need therefore to move to out of county placements.

·         Clarification sought regarding recruitment to the care sector, particularly domiciliary care.  Officers advised that recruitment to these positions was a major nationwide issue, and whilst work was being done to encourage staff to remain in post, retention levels were generally good.

 

RESOLVED - That the Director’s Report for 2018/19 and the improvement priorities for 2019/20 be approved for publication in July 2019.

 

Reason for decisions

 

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.

 

 

20.

Welsh Football Museum pdf icon PDF 102 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED -

 

(i)      That Officers be authorised to enter into discussions regarding the establishment of a Football Museum to be located at Wrexham Museum with Welsh Government; and proceed with a design scheme to RIBA Stage 3.

 

(ii)     That Officers be authorised to apply to Welsh Government and the National Lottery Heritage Fund for support for RIBA Stage 3.

 

(iii)   That this matter be dealt with as an urgent item of business in accordance with Section 5 (Rule 5.8.10(e)) of the Council’s Constitution.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)         The development of a Welsh Football Museum within Wrexham Museum would mean for the first time mean that Wales’s footballing heritage would have a permanent home in a town that rightly regards itself as the spiritual home of football in Wales.

 

(ii)        The development would attract significantly more visitors into the western side of the town centre and would, therefore, make a significant contribution to the local economy.

 

(iii)       The development would safeguard the future of Wrexham Museum and would result in new and enlarged areas to interpret Wrexham’s heritage and would provide the service with a new and accessible museum store for its military, football and general collections.

 

(iv)      To allow officers to progress the development without undue delay.

 

Minutes:

The Lead Member for People – Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety submitted a report (COHE/27/19) to inform Members of the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Welsh Governments statement of 10 May 2019 decision to invest in the local museum in Wrexham to achieve their aim to create a football related museum and visitor attraction, and for Members to authorise Officers to enter into discussions with Welsh Government to take this proposal forward.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(i)         That Officers be authorised to enter into discussions regarding the establishment of a Football Museum to be located at Wrexham Museum with Welsh Government; and proceed with a design scheme to RIBA Stage 3.

 

(ii)        That Officers be authorised to apply to Welsh Government and the National Lottery Heritage Fund for support for RIBA Stage 3.

 

(iii)       That this matter be dealt with as an urgent item of business in

accordance with Section 5 (Rule 5.8.10(e)) of the Council’s Constitution.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)         The development of a Welsh Football Museum within Wrexham Museum would mean for the first time mean that Wales’s footballing heritage would have a permanent home in a town that rightly regards itself as the spiritual home of football in Wales.

 

(ii)        The development would attract significantly more visitors into the western side of the town centre and would, therefore, make a significant contribution to the local economy.

 

(iii)       The development would safeguard the future of Wrexham Museum and would result in new and enlarged areas to interpret Wrexham’s heritage and would provide the service with a new and accessible museum store for its military, football and general collections.

 

(iv)      To allow officers to progress the development without undue delay.

21.

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.

 

Items 12 and 13 - 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.  Her view on the public interest test was that while she 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. 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.   This information is not affected by any other statutory provision which requires the information to be publicly registered. 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 items 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 Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

 

22.

WCBC Financing of Schools Scheme: Licensed Deficit Application

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

Decision:

RESOLVED –

 

(i)         That the Chair and Headteacher be challenged on the School’s recovery plan and consider whether to approve the licensed deficit application and budget recovery plan for the school.

 

(ii)        That a further report be brought back to the Board in July 2020 on the implementation of the licensed deficit 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 and the Lead Member for Organisation - Finance, Performance, Health & Safety and Governance submitted a joint report (COEEI/16/19) asking Members to consider an application from a Primary School to set its annual delegated budget at a deficit level.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(i)         That the Chair and Headteacher be challenged on the School’s recovery plan and consider whether to approve the licensed deficit application and budget recovery plan for the school.

 

(ii)        That a further report be brought back to the Board in July 2020 on the implementation of the licensed deficit recovery plan.

 

Reason for decision

 

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

 

23.

WCBC Financing of Schools Scheme: Licensed Deficit Update

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

Decision:

RESOLVED -

 

(i)        That the Chair of Governors and Headteacher be challenged on the School’s budget recovery plan.

 

(ii)       That the Chief Officer Education & Early Intervention and the Chief Officer Finance & ICT be authorised to permit the School to extend its licensed deficit period beyond the standard three year recovery term, as permitted by the Licensed Deficit Scheme. This extension will require the school to submit a revised recovery plan which demonstrates how it will return to a balanced budget position by the 2024–2025 financial year.

 

(iii)      That the Chief Officer Education & Early Intervention be authorised to issue the school with a formal Notice of Concern should the revised budget recovery plan not be provided by 30 September 2019.

 

(iv)      That a further report be brought back to the Board in November 2019 on the licensed deficit recovery plan.

 

Reason for decisions

 

(i)           To comply with the Authority’s Section 48 Financing of Schools Scheme regulations and the Licensed deficit scheme.

 

(ii)       A five year budget recovery timeframe is a more realistic period in this instance.

 

(ii)          The issuing of a Notice of Concern, where necessary, is the next level of intervention permitted in the Authority’s Licensed deficit Scheme

 

 

Minutes:

(Members declarations of interest in respect of this item are set out in Minute 12 above)

 

The Lead Member for People – Education and the Lead Member for Organisation - Finance, Performance, Health & Safety and Governance submitted a joint report (COEEI/15/19) asking Members to consider an update of the position regarding the licensed deficit recovery plan for a school and to approve a licensed deficit application of £595,061 for the school for the 2019-20 financial year.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(i)        That the Chair of Governors and Headteacher be challenged on the School’s budget recovery plan.

 

(ii)       That the Chief Officer Education & Early Intervention and the Chief Officer Finance & ICT be authorised to permit the School to extend its licensed deficit period beyond the standard three year recovery term, as permitted by the Licensed Deficit Scheme. This extension will require the school to submit a revised recovery plan which demonstrates how it will return to a balanced budget position by the 2024–2025 financial year.

 

(iii)      That the Chief Officer Education & Early Intervention be authorised to issue the school with a formal Notice of Concern should the revised budget recovery plan not be provided by 30 September 2019.

 

(iv)      That a further report be brought back to the Board in November 2019 on the licensed deficit recovery plan.

 

Reason for decisions

 

(i)           To comply with the Authority’s Section 48 Financing of Schools Scheme regulations and the Licensed deficit scheme.

 

(ii)       A five year budget recovery timeframe is a more realistic period in this instance.

 

(ii)          The issuing of a Notice of Concern, where necessary, is the next level of intervention permitted in the Authority’s Licensed deficit Scheme