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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 2, Civic Centre

Contact: Democratic Services - Tel: (01792) 637292 

Items
No. Item

204.

Apologies for Absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors A M Cook, J P Curtice and R V Smith.

205.

Disclosures of Personal & Prejudicial Interest. pdf icon PDF 30 KB

Minutes:

In accordance with the Code of Conduct adopted by the City and County of Swansea, the following interests was declared:

 

Councillor C E Lloyd - personal - Minute No. – Work for the DVLA.

 

Councillor D J Lewis - personal - Minute No.  – Work for the DVLA.

 

Mrs S Joiner– personal – Minute no.   – Member of Friends of Pennard Library.

 

 

206.

Prohibition of Whipped Votes and Declaration of Party Whips.

Minutes:

In accordance with the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011, no declarations of Whipped Votes or Party Whips were declared.

207.

Minutes: pdf icon PDF 30 KB

To approve and sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Scrutiny Programme Committee held on 16 March, 2015.

 

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Scrutiny Programme Committee held on 16 March, 2015, be agreed as a correct record.

 

208.

Cabinet Member Question Session: pdf icon PDF 371 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

a.          Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development and Regeneration

The Committee took the opportunity to question Councillor R Francis-Davies, Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development and Regeneration.

 

Members noted the short report on ‘headlines’ in relation to portfolio objectives which assisted the Committee in focusing on priorities, actions, achievements and impact.

 

The Cabinet Member referred to the City Centre Strategic Framework idea came from the Leader, key as Welsh Government have said so.  Priority started in Wales City Regions, unless strong vibrant City Centre then the Region will not be strong region.  St Davids and City Centre which will create more vibrancy which will help regenerate the City Centre.  Not enough people living in the City Centre, should be 30%.  Discussion about footfall in City Centre, implication of Enterprise Zone on City Centre took a lot out of the City Centre.  29% of retailing carried out on line.

 

Proposals, plans, strategy, accommodation in the City Centre is student accommodation, 35 weeks of the year and retail expenditure is limited.  Concerns about relocation of Central Library and Archives

 

Expansion of University will create 8,000 more studnets, 1014 accommodation needs.  University of Wales Trinity St David (UWTSD) developing SA1.  There will be a lot more student accommodation in City Centre.  Good quality rather than HMOs.

 

Relocation Library, anchor.  Carmarthen Swansea University need new archive provision, share with other universities.  In discussion with those people.  A lot of people cross through eachother.  Not just students want people to be working, looking at areas, North Dock.  This is in the City Centre Strategic Framework.  Retail core, small but strong based around Oxford Street/St Davids.

 

Local Develoment Plan indicates 3100 new homes in City Centre assume not student accommodation?  14,700 new homes.  Mentioned North Dock, realistic by 2025.

 

Civic Centre, Mariner Street (Student accommodation which will bring life in the top end of High Street).  St Davids start to link to waterfront Museum.  Ask developers who have replied to PQM exercise of scoring before developer shortlisted.  Waiting to see what developers come up but most come through the process.  Welsh Government support throughout Swansea.

 

 

City of Culutre and Creative City, second to Hull, plans to build next time.

 

Hope that we do bid next time, a lot depends on the budget and whether the Council decides as priorities.  2021 next UK City of Culture.  BBC Proms, Local Arts working with Swansea Festival, Abertawe Festival, Taliesin, Vivian Arts Gallery.  Working on Cultural Strategy hope with enough support that people look at Culture and Arts in Swansea so important but its down to everyone in this room as well.

 

Civic Centre, have we got set price that you cannot go below?  Lowest disposable income in any City in the UK.  What types are opening and closing?

 

PQQ Offers must be right.  Welsh Government and City Regions saying this is the priority no 1 in Wales.  Why are shops closing in the City Centre?  Bridge divide between Waterfront and St Davids never worked.  When Swansea developed in the 1960’s shops too small.

 

Science City, no reference to anything in the papers.

 

UWTSD sing not far off signing,  on with Swansea University, Sir Terry Matthews wants to work with universities.  Most work in partnership with universities. 

 

Swansea Traithlon, Marathon.

 

Page 19, City Centre Strategic Framework consultation when will response and officer comments be available?

 

Cannot give exact date but will be available for Councillors.

 

Grand Theatre, reduce fees to get people in.

 

Reduce fees, might get more people (already highly subsidised but cost of performance must work, needs to be a varied programme.

 

Page 18 key findings, creation of meaningful officer locations, page 20 felindre.  Junction 46  not in my Ward many calls about junction 46 (roundabout) unsafe difficult to see what is coming around.

 

Motorways Welsh Government function.  Most accessible, do not find it a problem.  Meaningful office location, relocate staff to the City Centre.  Purchase Oceana as part of programme for office space on the Kingsway.  Meaningful accommodation to house officers.

 

Temporary barriers are ‘temporary’ assure us you will be drawing on experience and innovation elsewhere, needs of pedestrians, retailers and cyclists.

 

Not my portfolio cannot have thriving City Centre share your concerns.  Looking at barriers safety of people in Swansea utmost in mind.  New Kingsway, did not cope traffic going both ways.  Oxford Street, design risk of people being assaulted restaurants/pubs.  Must get Kingsway right, office block, difficult to by-pass Swansea on Road in and out.  14000 coming into Swansea each day to work.  Needs input of a lot of people.

 

Library review timescale?

 

Review carried out but don’t have information.  Want a review that is meaningful.  Review may be middle of may.

 

Kingsway soming bad happened.  Erection of barriers looks like reaction to something that is car based, hope its temporary.  Looking elsewhere for best practice, not everyone walks or cycles.

 

Don’t have public transport, difficulties with public transport.

 

Cannot solve one part without solving the other.  Wary of anything that snot holistic for the Kingsway.

 

Need to get holistic approach Swansea is different to other places.  Look at how we bring standards in.

 

 

The Chair thanked the Cabinet Member for attending.

 

RESOLVED that the Chair of Scrutiny Programme Committee write to the Cabinet Member reflecting the discussion and sharing the views of the Committee.

 

 

b.          Cabinet Member for Transformation and Performance

 

The Committee took the opportunity to question Councillor C E Lloyd,  Cabinet Member for Transformation and Performance.

 

Members noted the short report on ‘headlines’ in relation to portfolio objectives which assisted the Committee in focusing on priorities, actions, achievements and impact.

 

The Cabinet Member advised that the portfolio exists in many guises.  Portfolio in 5-6 key areas.  Spend time developing sustainable Swansea and Budget.  Exciting things taking place despite difficult financial circumstances. 

 

Start of Innovation Change Programme throughout the Council looking at areas.  Size of documentation you expect Members of the Public to read.  Reduce version of the Corporate Plan with 5 key priorities.  Keen to develop progressive digital culture (lack of investment over many years).

 

Commercial  culture, generate income when you see budgets reduce, Local Authorities to be risk aware, should be looking at opportunities to create commercial environment.

 

Question from Member of the Public who is sitting behind you.

 

Mr Alexander, EEESafe - Would Clive be embarrased if a Swansea Company were to establish itself in Spain, before Wales?

 

Know Mr Alexander from St Thomas.  Yes, I would be , but this Authorityhas led way in Sustainable Development, Welsh Government recognised us, looking at district heating Scheme (Councillor Crouch did a lot of work in this area).  Sustainable Development becomes part of Local Authority day to day thinking.  Balance scorecard, maximise that Sustainable Development becomes key in developing scorecards.  Mr Alexander welcome to see me.

 

Commissioning reviews under sustainable Swansea, work streams about procurement of service which are employment and service related  other than where boards of scrutiny have chosen to get involved what is elected member involvement in that process.  These reviews have been going on for some time, not sure what is going on behind closed doors.  If we have Officers looking at costs, where(who) is the input in terms of standards.  TASS scrutiny looking at procurement of domiciliary care, looking at people who have zero hours contracts, what is mechanism for elected Members?  Public to feed in and say we would hope that these are the standards that you expect to be met.

 

I have overseeing of reviews, specifics are with each Cabinet Member, scoping exercise within each review, lead will be Director, Head of Services and Cabinet Member to agree scoping mechanism.  Expect that Scrutiny play important and active role in these reviews.

 

Wellbeing of future generations.  Duty on public bodies like Swansea, given more information on pages and leadership role within Bill.

 

Wellbeing Bill covers renewable energy, regeneration, social justice, fuel poverty, naturalisation of fuel.

 

Will report back.  Did attend sustainability panel, happy to go through and best deal for Swansea.  Mutualisation and looking at best process for Swansea.  WLGA Peer Review, exchange with Nottingham.  Happy to attend Sustainable Panel.  First generations bill is huge.  Key Questions about Sustainable Development in Swansea happy to follow up.

 

Good to see more commercialised organisation.  Captive customers now alternative to go any where else.

 

People will be prepared to pay for services provided they get right service.  How we best measure and improve customer service.  Not sure we get right information about what customers think about use.  Swansea survey does it ask the right questions.  Determined management not sure.  Keeping customers informed.  Customer services manager will be appointed within next week.

 

Innovation met with some staff who attend purple room, good meeting.  Commercial arm,.

 

A lot of this about empowering people to take the risk.

 

Commercial part of your portfolio looking at private sector are we also lookg at private sector (Interest work for the DVLA).

 

DVLA good example big public sector organisations looking to get planning from them, services from them on economies of scale, yes at early stage.

 

Financial benefits from sustainable development, examples of sustainable development where financial benefits and how much did you get?

 

Could not give you figures.

 

Digital culture, rural deprivation.  How do you do this in Gower?

 

Have Council buildings that the local community can access.  Develop programs, digital inclusion strategy, 3rd sector organisations, digital exclusion strategy.

 

Page 47 budget savings, proposals and reductions any update?

 

Still Waiting.

 

Transition Capgemini?

 

Transition phase now working with Capgemini senior managers, plan in place, Sarah Caulkin.  IT Advisory service also being used.  Continual journey happy to report back.

 

The Chair thanked the Cabinet Member for attending.

 

RESOLVED that the Chair of Scrutiny Programme Committee write to the Cabinet Member reflecting the discussion and sharing the views of the Committee.

 

 

 

209.

Scrutiny Performance Panel Progress Report - Local Service Board (Councillor Mary Jones). pdf icon PDF 28 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair paid tribute to the former Chair of the Scrutiny Programme Committee who established the Local Service Board Scrutiny Performance Panel. 

 

The Chair referred to the achievements/impact and the future work programme.

 

RESOLVED that the report be NOTED.

210.

Annual Work Programme Review 2014-15. pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair referred to the Scrutiny Questionnaire, copies of which were circulated to those Members who had not previously completed the questionnaire.  The Chair urged Councillors to complete the questionnaire as only 27 had been received to date.

 

The Overview and Scrutiny Co-ordinator stated that the purpose of the report was to assist Councillors take stock of the work done during the municipal year and reflect on the experience.  The Committee were also urged to consider topics that may be examined by the Scrutiny Programme Committee in the forthcoming municipal year.

 

Members’ discussed the summary of work completed and raised the following issues:

 

a.     The impact of school transport on faith schools;

b.     Blue Badges

c.     Work Planning Conference (the tentative date is 8 June, 2015 and need to take into consideration the impact of the Corporate Improvement Plan);

d.     Scrutiny deemed to be ‘bitty’ and not covering issues comprehensively this is particularly the case when scrutinising Cabinet Members;

e.     Pre-decision scrutiny on Underhill Park was a success;

f.      Perception that Officers do not take scrutiny seriously;

g.     Obtaining answers in relation to commercial sensitivity (e.g., plans for the City Centre);

h.     Procedure for sensitive information being shared with lay Members.

 

RESOLVED that the report be NOTED.

 

 

211.

Membership of Scrutiny Panels and Working Groups. pdf icon PDF 28 KB

Minutes:

The Chair presented a report which advised of changes required to the membership of Scrutiny Panels and Working Groups.

 

 

RESOLVED that Councillor J Stanton be added to the Membership of the Transformation of Adult Social Services Panel.

212.

Scrutiny Letters: pdf icon PDF 27 KB

 

Activity

Meeting Date

Correspondence

 

a.

Child & Family Services Performance Panel

15 Dec

Letter to / from Cabinet Member for Services for Children & Young People

b.

Committee

19 Jan

Letter to / from Cabinet Member for Services for Adults & Vulnerable People

c.

Local Service Board Performance Panel

26 Jan

Letter to Leader (Chair of LSB)

d.

Committee

16 Feb

Letter to / from Cabinet Member for Services for Children & Young People

e.

School Governance Pre-Inquiry Working Group

18 Feb

Letter to Cabinet Member for Education

f.

Transformation of Adult Social Services

2 Mar

Letter to Cabinet Member for Services for Adults & Vulnerable People

g.

Local Service Board Performance Panel

23 Mar

Letter to Leader (Chair of LSB)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair reported the updated Scrutiny Letters Log and referred to the recent correspondence between Scrutiny and Cabinet Members.

 

The Chair referred to a further letter from Parklands Primary School regarding the Childrens’ Rights Impact Assessment and stated that there was nothing to scrutinise as no decision had been made.

 

RESOLVED that the Scrutiny Letters Log be NOTED.

 

213.

Feedback from Recent Scrutiny Events:

Minutes:

The Chair referred to the National Conference on Scrutiny, Partnership, Collaboration and Regulation which took place on 27 March, 2015 and the Welsh Government Regional Engagement Event: White Paper (Reforming Local Government): 31 March, 2015.

 

In relation to the Welsh Government Regional Engagement Event, the purpose was to raise awareness of the proposals set out in the White Paper and engagement on the vision for Local Government in Wales.  This is out for consultation which is open until 28 April. 

 

The Key points were:

 

·       Whilst the paper contains some clear provisions for legislation some aspects are a little less clear and require debate, and WG invite and will consider comments

·       He talked about the drivers for change:

-        Financial situation

-        Local Government resilience / changing nature of service delivery

-        Increased devolution to WG

 

RESOLVED that the Overview and Scrutiny Co-ordinator circulate the web link to all Committee Members.

 

214.

For Information: Audit Committee Work Plan. pdf icon PDF 20 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Audit Committee Work Plan be NOTED.

215.

Date and Time of Upcoming Panel / Working Group Meetings:

Topic

 

Approach

Date

Time

Venue

Civic Centre (CC)

Guildhall (GH)

Corporate Culture

Inquiry Panel

8 Apr

5.00 pm

Committee Room 6 (GH)

Child & Family Services

Performance Panel

13 Apr

2.00 pm

Committee Room 3 (CC)

Service Improvement & Finance

Performance Panel

15 Apr

1.30 pm

Committee Room 3 (CC)

Schools

Performance

16 Apr

4.00 pm

Meeting Room 3 Civic Centre

Public Transport

Inquiry Panel (follow up)

20 Apr

4.00 pm

Committee Room 5 (GH)

Education Inclusion

Inquiry Panel

21 Apr

5 May

3.30pm

4.00pm

CR4 (GH)

CR5 (GH)

Transformation of Adult Social Services

Panel

27 Apr

2.00 pm

Room 3.4.1 (CC)

Attainment & Wellbeing

Inquiry Panel (follow up)

30 Apr

4.00 pm

Committee Room 5 (GH)

Sustainability

Working Group

14 May

10.30 am

Committee Room 4 (GH)

 

Minutes:

The date and time of upcoming Panel/Working Group meetings were submitted for information to help increase the visibility of this work and encourage participation.

 

Contacts:
© 2011 City and County of Swansea
Civic Centre, Oystermouth Road, Swansea. SA1 3SN. Tel: 01792 636000 Fax: 01792 636340