Contact: Hannah Williams - Council Business Unit 01443 424062
Declaration of Interest
To receive disclosures of personal interest from Members in accordance with the Code of Conduct
1. Members are requested to identify the item number and subject matter that their interest relates to and signify the nature of the personal interest: and
2. Where Members withdraw from a meeting as a consequence of the disclosure of a prejudicial interest they must notify the Chairman when they leave.
In accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct, there were no declarations made pertaining to the agenda.
To approve the minutes of the Cabinet Committee on the 17th November 2020 as an accurate record.
It was RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 17th November 2020 as an accurate record.
To receive the report of the Service Director, Democratic Services & Communication providing Cabinet Members with an update on the proposed list of matters requiring consideration by Cabinet over the 2020-21 Municipal Year.
The Service Director, Democratic Services & Communication provided Cabinet Members with a draft work programme for the 2020-2021 Municipal Year, which listed matters requiring consideration by Cabinet.
The Service Director spoke of the current circumstances, commenting that there was a greater need for flexibility of the programme.
Members were referred to Appendix 1 of the report and were advised that the programme is a live document to allow for any additional / deletion of reports throughout the year.
The Deputy Leader commented that utilising the programme assists with openness and transparency of the decision making process within the Council and gives greater opportunity for Pre-Scrutiny.
It was RESOLVED to approve the Work Programme for the 2020-2021 Municipal Year (with appropriate amendment where necessary) and to receive a further update on a 3 monthly basis.
To receive the report of the Group Director, Prosperity, Development and Frontline Services, which updates Cabinet on the current progress related to the development and delivery of the major transportation project: A4119 Ely Valley Road Dualling – Llantrisant Business Park to Coed Ely Roundabouts and seeks too btain delegated authority from Cabinet for the Group Director, Prosperity, Development and Frontline Services to submit a planning application on behalf of the Council for the proposed Active Travel bridge at Coed Ely Roundabout.
The Service Director Frontline Services provided Cabinet with an update on the current progress related to the development and delivery of the major transportation project: A4119 Ely Valley Road Dualling, Llantrisant Business Park to Coed Ely Roundabouts.
Members were informed that Preliminary design of the project had been completed and was now at detailed design stage which was due to be complete in Spring 2021. The Service Director advised that as part of the continual value engineering of the project, the roundabout servicing the South Wales Fire Service Headquarters had been retained as the accommodation work required for a new entrance required extensive engineering works which would have resulted in increasing the cost of the project by a further £2m.
Details of an agreed partnership approach with Welsh Government to provide an Active Travel compliant foot/cycle bridge instead of an underpass at the Coed Ely roundabout were also advised upon. Members learnt that the bridge would serve the development site as well as providing an Active Travel route. Members were advised that Welsh Government were working with the Council to address the additional costs.
The Cabinet Member for Enterprise Development and Housing welcomed the update report and commented upon the many benefits people from the County Borough would experience through the project and welcomed the additions outlined by the Service Director.
The Cabinet Member for Corporate Services commented on the benefits the scheme would have for the Rhondda Valley and queried whether the retained roundabout at the Fire Headquarters would link into a dual carriage way as he spoke of the bottleneck situation currently experienced. The Service Director confirmed that the intention was to have a dual carriage way layout to prevent any future congestion.
The Leader spoke positively of the project and again reiterated the benefits the project would have for lots of residents and commuters in and out of the County Borough adding that the project would be complimented by future work with the Coed Ely development site.
Following discussions it was RESOLVED:
(i) To note the progress made and endorse the next steps in the programme for the project.
(ii) To give delegated authority to the Group Director Prosperity, Development and Frontline Services to submit a planning application on behalf of the Council for the proposed Active Travel bridge at Coed Ely roundabout.
To receive the joint report of the Chief Executive, Director of Legal Services and Service Director of Democratic Services and Communication, which updates Members on the introduction of Corporate Joint Committees (CJCs) as provided for in the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Bill which is currently awaiting Royal Assent (anticipated to be granted in early 2021); asks Cabinet to consider draft regulations which would be made under that legislation in respect of the establishment and operation of CJCs; and seeks Members feedback on the consultation initiated by Welsh Government in respect of those draft regulations.
The Director of Legal Services referred Members to the Joint report before them advising that through the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Bill provisions had been included to create via regulations, a vehicle for consistent regional collaboration between principal councils through the use of Corporate Joint Committees (CJCs). Members were advised that Welsh Government recognise that collaboration is not new to local government, with principal councils collaborating effectively in a range of areas for a long time. The Director referenced the significant role Rhondda Cynon Taf Council had played in establishing collaborations across the Cwm Taf Morgannwg footprint and wider South Wales region.
Members were advised that the aim through CJCs was to ensure there were consistent, resilient and accountable regional arrangements for the delivery of three important functions (i) strategic land use planning (ii) strategic transport planning and (iii) economic development. It was added that Welsh Government believe that by establishing CJC’s through regulations it would provide more coherence and less complexity in the approach to regional governance arrangements in exercising the three functions proposed.
The Director provided Members with a brief overview of the key functions of a CJC including functions, membership, establishment, voting rights, co-opted Members, staffing and resources and scrutiny. Members were advised that initial start up funding would be provided for and that the inaugural meeting of the CJC would need to be undertaken by September 2021.
Before concluding the Director advised that the Draft Regulations shaping CJCs was currently out for Consultation and informed Members that at the Overview & Scrutiny Committee meeting on the 9th December 2020, Members of the Committee discussed the draft regulations and feedback from that meeting would form part of the overall response to the consultation.
At this juncture in the meeting the Leader called upon County Borough Councillor M Adams, as Chair of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee who proceeded to provide the Cabinet with an overview of Scrutiny’s comments in respect of the draft regulations.
The Deputy Leader thanked the Scrutiny Committee for their feedback and echoed some of the concerns raised. The Deputy Leader commented on the maximum discretion needed in regional Local Authorities when working within CJCs in respect of governance arrangements and functionality. The Member also reiterated concerns in respect of co-opted members and the implications this would have on democracy; the ambitious timescales set out with the September 2021 start date and the lack of scrutiny arrangements outlined within the draft regulations which she added was a must for any accountability.
The Leader commented that he was happy in principle with the concept of CJCs and spoke of some potential concerns with mandating of functions exercised by CJCs. He added that for CJCs to be successful they needed to be shaped and driven forward by Local Government.
The Cabinet Member for Enterprise Development and Housing agreed that Elected Members needed to drive the agenda forward in respect of CJCs and also raised concerns in respect of the proposed elected and non elected ... view the full minutes text for item 43.
To receive the report of the Chief Executive, which provides an overview of the Council’s response to Storm Dennis and sets out a series of recommendations for Cabinet’s consideration that enhance the Council’s short term and long term response to extreme weather events and which limit the impact of flooding on those communities most at risk.
The Chief Executive provided Members with a detailed overview of the Council’s response to Storm Dennis, one of four major storms to hit Wales at the start of 2020 which resulted in 1,070 households being flooded within RCT. Within his overview, the Chief Executive further provided a series of recommendations for Cabinet’s consideration that would enhance the Council’s short term and long term response to extreme weather events and which limit the impact of flooding on those communities most at risk.
The Chief Executive commented upon the extreme weather event of Storm Dennis that happened after a series of other events. He also referenced the topography of the County Borough which was also a factor to the events that unfolded and the devasting impact the storm had on local communities across the County Borough. The Chief Executive spoke of households and businesses that were flooded, the significant landslide at Tylorstown and the storm damage caused to highways infrastructure assets, drainage systems, and Council buildings such as the National Lido for Wales.
Members were provided with an overview of the work undertaken by the Council in preparation for the Storm, the work undertaken during and the immediate aftermath.
The Leader thanked the Chief Executive for his detailed report and also thanked Members for their submissions contained with Appendix 3 of the report, advising that two late submissions had also been received since publication of the report and had been circulated to Cabinet Members for information. The Leader also thanked the work and comments provided the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to date and the emerging themes identified.
The Leader commented on the recommendations contained within the report which would require significant funding and also spoke of the cost of damages to date exceeding £80million. Members were advised of the level of investment and number of projects already taken forward by the Council, the mapping exercises already underway and individual surveys needing to be taken forward to ensure things are done correctly and that infrastructures, such as culverts are still fit for purpose. The Leader advised of discussions taken forward with National Resources Wales and the preventive measures that need to be strengthened commenting on an ‘Emergency control room’ which would monitor flood devices and be equipped with an independent telephone line and the added intelligence this would provide if such a situation arose again. The Leader commented on the need to make properties more resilient and added that the robustness of the Council systems in place had further improved following the event and he thanked all the staff and the communities that had contributed to the efforts, before, during and after Storm Dennis. The Leader concluded his remarks by requesting that a further report on the Council’s position in respect of Storm Dennis be provided to Cabinet or Council in the New Year.
The Deputy Leader spoke of the exceptional response witnessed before, during and after the event and advised that due to the excellent flood alleviation scheme already in place within ... view the full minutes text for item 44.