Agenda and minutes

Venue: Virtual

Contact: Hannah Williams - Council Business Unit  01443 424062

Items
No. Item

58.

Declaration of Interest

To receive disclosures of personal interest from Members in accordance with the Code of Conduct

 

Note:

 

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.

Minutes:

In accordance with the Council Code of Conduct, the following declarations of personal interest were made:

·         The Cabinet Member for Adult Community Services & Welsh Language, County Borough Councillor G Hopkins declared the following interest in Item 4 of the Agenda - Community Infrastructure Levy 'CIL' Consultation Responses: 'I am a Member of Llanharan Community Council’;

·         The Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, Well-being & Cultural Services, County Borough Councillor R Lewis declared the following interest in Item 8 of the Agenda - 21st Century Schools Programme - Update on the Proposals to improve Education Provision in the Cynon Valley: 'I am Chair of Governors YGG Abercynon, which is referenced within the report’;

·         The Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, Well-being & Cultural Services, County Borough Councillor R Lewis declared the following interest in Item 14 of the Agenda - Corporate Asset Management Plan 2018/23: Interim Update: 'Abercynon Social Hall is referenced within the report and I sit on the Committee'; and

·         County Borough Councillor L. Walker declared the following interest in Item 8 of the Agenda - Review of Special School Provision in Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council: 'I am on the Governing Body at Ysgol Ty Coch'.

 

·          

59.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 234 KB

To receive the minutes of the Cabinet Committee on the 14th January 2021 and 28th January 2021 as an accurate record.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet RESOLVED to approved the minutes of the meetings held on 14th January 2021 and 28th January 2021 as an accurate reflection of the meetings.

60.

The Cardiff Capital Region City Deal - Five Years On pdf icon PDF 205 KB

To receive the report of the Chief Executive, which provides an update of the progress of the Cardiff Capital Region (‘CCR’) Joint Cabinet (the ‘Regional Cabinet’ - a joint committee), to oversee the Region’s economic growth and to deliver the commitments set out in the CCR City Deal.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Executive provided the Cabinet with an update of the progress of the Cardiff Capital Region (‘CCR’) Joint Cabinet (the ‘Regional Cabinet’ - a joint committee), to oversee the Region’s economic growth and to deliver the commitments set out in the CCR City Deal.

 

The Chief Executive informed the Cabinet that, under the terms and conditions of the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal, the funding programme is subject to a Gateway Review every five years. It was explained that the Gateway Review was an assessment led by UK Government, supported by an independent National Evaluation Panel, which commissioned SQW to undertake an evaluation of the impacts of the investments made to date by the CCR. Members’ attention was drawn to the appendices to the report, where the Independent Review and Self Evaluation documents were detailed.

 

The Chief Executive reminded Members that the £1.2bn CCR investment comprised of two distinct elements:

·         £734m – METRO scheme; and

·         £495m – Regional Cabinet Wider Investment Fund.

 

The Chief Executive informed the Cabinet that much of the work of the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal was outside of the scope of the Local Authority, which meant it could only add value. Members were informed of the following investments of the CCR City Deal, which were beneficial to RCT:

·         £4M ‘Zipworld’ Investment;

·         Porth Interchange;

·         Transport For Wales were now based in Pontypridd; and

·         Improvements to the Valley lines.

 

The Leader thanked the Chief Executive for the update and was pleased to note the level of investment from an RCT and Valleys perspective. The Leader spoke of the £2.5M investment into Porth Interchange, the graduate programme, ‘Zipworld’, which was due to be expanded and discussions in respect of the installation of EV charging points. The Leader added that through the City Deal, the 10 Local Authorities had come together to give South East Wales a stronger voice, which had allowed them to lobby both UK and Welsh Government on various funding opportunities.

 

The Deputy Leader echoed the Leader’s comments about the positive investment in RCT and the Valleys, through the CCR City Deal and commented that the inter-connectivity within the Region had increased opportunities and choice. The Deputy Leader advised that the report had been considered by the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 23rd February 2021 and voiced her support for the report.

 

The Cabinet RESOLVED:

1.    To note the information provided within the report, and the progress made by the Cardiff Capital Region Joint Cabinet in respect of the agreed commitments set out in the CCR City Deal;

2.    To review and consider the UK Government commissioned report on the progress of the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal to inform the forthcoming Gateway Review of the CCR City Deal Wider Investment Fund over the past five years, as set out in Appendix A; and

3.    To request that the results, conclusion and recommendations of the forthcoming Gateway Review, to be completed before 31 March 2021, are  ...  view the full minutes text for item 60.

61.

Community Infrastructure Levy 'CIL' Consultation Responses pdf icon PDF 138 KB

To receive the report of the Director, Prosperity and Development, which updates the Cabinet on the responses resulting from the Community Infrastructure Levy “CIL” consultation in respect of the Council’s Regulation 123 List.  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director, Prosperity and Development updated the Cabinet on the responses resulting from the Community Infrastructure Levy “CIL” consultation in respect of the Council’s Regulation 123 List.

 

The Director explained that, on the 17th November 2020, Cabinet approved the updated Regulation 123 List for publication on the Council website for a period of 28 days.  The consultation period began on Tuesday 24th November 2020 and ended on Monday 21st December 2020.

 

Members were informed of the following responses as a result of the CIL consultation:

·         County Borough Councillor Mark Adams recommended adding the Rhondda Fach Relief Road extension to Maerdy to the Regulation 123 List; and

·         County Borough Councillor Joel James and Members of the Llantwit Fadre Community Council recommended that there is a requirement to improve/increase the educational capacity at Maesybryn Primary School in Llantwit Fardre.

 

The Director advised that the above-mentioned recommendations had been considered by officers in consultation with both Education and Highways and provided the Cabinet with the matters for consideration.

 

In respect of the Rhondda Fach Relief Road Extension recommendation, the Director reminded Members that the purpose of the CIL 123 List was to mitigate the impact of significant growth and development, particularly that associated with the Local Development Plan. In terms of the Rhondda Fach Relief Road, the Director advised that there were a number of transport schemes already contained within the 123 List, specifically aimed at mitigating the impact of development. The Director continued and explained that the scheme did not fit with the principles of the Regulation 123 List and therefore, proposed not to add the scheme to the Regulation 123 List, but rather to explore other avenues of funding.

 

In respect of the Maesybryn Primary School recommendation, the Director advised that there were no immediate pressures on the school, that would warrant its inclusion in the Regulation 123 List at the current time but suggested that education provision, aligned to growth is considered as a part of the Local Development Plan review.

 

The Leader thanked the Director for the update and commented that in terms of the Maesybryn Primary School recommendation, it could be accommodated at a later date should the position change. Referring to the Rhondda Fach Relief Road Extension recommendation, the Leader acknowledged that it was not appropriate for the CIL list at the current time but emphasised that it remained a priority of the Council. The Leader explained that the scale of the investment needed for the full length of the road was in excess of £150M and as such, other avenues of funding would need to be explored.

 

The Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development and Housing endorsed the comments made by the Leader and commented that the extension of the Rhondda Fach Relief Road was topical in the area with residents as access to public transport would be greatly enhanced. The Cabinet Member acknowledged that the extension would not be appropriate for the current CIL list and would be better driven through the Local Development Plan.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.

62.

Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) - Use of RIPA in 2019-20 by Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council and the Council's Corporate Enforcement Policy pdf icon PDF 131 KB

To receive the report of the Director, Legal Services, which enables Members to review the Council’s use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (as amended) (‘RIPA’) for the period 1st April 2019 to 31st December 2020, including the Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office (IPCO) audit response; and the new Corporate Policy and Procedures Document on the Acquisition of Communications Data under the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (IPA).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director, Legal Services provided Members with an annual update on the Council’s use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (as amended) (‘RIPA’) for the period 1st April 2019 – 31st December 2020. The Director explained that the IPCO had amended their annual return period to be a calendar year; and suggested that the report on the Council’s use of RIPA is similarly amended to align to the calendar year.

 

Members were reminded that directed surveillance authorisations can be issued where it is necessary and proportionate in order to prevent or detect crime, or prevent disorder, where at least one of the offences is punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least six months or more or relates to the underage sale of alcohol or tobacco/nicotine. The Director advised that during the period 1st April 2019 - 31st December 2020, there were four authorisations issued in respect of directed surveillance; all of which were in relation to Fly Tipping.  During the same period, there were no authorisations for the use of covert human intelligence sources.

 

The Director continued and spoke of the non-overt work, which does not fall within the statutory requirements for RIPA. The Director advised that the use of non-overt enforcement techniques are assessed to ensure that they are carried out in compliance with the requirements of the Human Rights Act 1998. The Director informed the Cabinet that during the period, there had been an increase in internet site monitoring, particularly as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic. Members learned that a review of these operations and investigations showed that on no occasion did they result in an improper infringement of a person’s human rights.

 

The Director then spoke of the IPCO’s 3-yearly audit on the appropriate use of RIPA within Rhondda Cynon Taf, which was carried out remotely on 7th September 2020. It was pleasing to note that the audit report was complementary of both the RIPA use and procedures in place within the Local Authority.

 

Prior to concluding, the Director drew Members’ attention to Appendix B of the report, which detailed the Council’s new Corporate Policy for the Acquisition of Communications Data, which had been drafted as a result of the commencement of the Investigatory Powers Act.

 

The Deputy Leader thanked the Director for the update and providing Members with assurance that the RIPA continued to be used in a consistent and appropriate manner. The Deputy Leader spoke of the reference to training in the letter to the Chief Executive and felt that training would be beneficial to all Elected Members in the foreseeable future.

 

The Cabinet RESOLVED:

1.    To note the contents of the report;

2.    To acknowledge RIPA has been used in an appropriate manner that is consistent with the Council’s RIPA policies during the period 1st April 2019 – 31st December 2020;

3.    To approve the updated Corporate Policy and Procedures Document on the Acquisition of Communications Data under the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62.

63.

Regional Adoption Collaboration Annual Report 2019-2020 pdf icon PDF 110 KB

To receive the report of the Group Director, Community and Children’s Services, which shares with the Cabinet the Regional Adoption Collaboration’s Annual Report 2019-20.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Group Director, Community and Children’s Services shared with the Cabinet the Regional Adoption Collaboration’s Annual Report for 2019-20.

 

The Group Director advised that RCT formed part of the Vale, Valleys and Cardiff Adoption Collaborative (VVC), the largest of the five regional collaboratives, which form part of the National Adoption Service in Wales (NAS).

 

The Group Director informed the Cabinet that the report had been subject to scrutiny by both the Council’s Corporate Parenting Board and the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee.

 

During the 2019-20 Municipal Year, Members learned that the demand for adopters had reduced slightly in RCT, but this was likely linked to the focussed work undertaken to reduce the number of Children Looked After more generally.

 

The Group Director advised that the key priority of the collaboration was to increase its supply of adopters and stressed the importance of recruitment work. During the period, there was a 35% increase in adopters, which was positive but the Group Director advised that further work was required to increase the numbers. Overall, the Group Director was of the view that the report highlighted a positive picture and the benefits of the collaborative approach.

 

The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services thanked the Group Director for the positive report. The Cabinet Member spoke of the improvement made to Life Journey Work, which had increased from 44% to 60, but noted that there was still some way to go to achieve the target of 84%.

 

The Cabinet Member went on to speak of the significant work carried out to increase adopters in the Region, which had led to a 35% rise. The Cabinet Member was pleased to note the progress, but acknowledged that further work needed to be undertaken to increase numbers, particularly following the pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

The Leader echoed the Cabinet Member’s comments and took the opportunity to thank staff for driving forward the recruitment of adopters year on year. The Leader spoke of the decrease in referrals to the Children Looked After service during the pandemic and acknowledged that as children begin to return to school, the referrals could increase again. The Leader advised that discussions were taking place with Welsh Government in respect of additional support for Local Authorities to accommodate any additional pressures as normality is restored.

 

The Cabinet RESOLVED:

1.    To note the contents of the report

64.

21st Century Schools Programme - Update on the Proposals to improve Education Provision in the Cynon Valley pdf icon PDF 158 KB

To receive the report of the Director, Education and Inclusion Services, which provides an update to the Cabinet on the projects to improve education in the Cynon Valley, following the report brought before Cabinet in September 2018.

Minutes:

The Director, Education and Inclusion Services provided an update to Members on the projects to improve education in the Cynon Valley, following the report brought before Cabinet in September 2018. The projects were:

·         The investment in a new school for Hirwaun Primary School; and

·         Improving Welsh medium education provision in the Cynon Valley.

 

The Director advised that following the report to Cabinet in September 2018, significant investment been put in to the development of Hirwaun Primary School, totalling £10.2M, following the approval of funding by Welsh Government. The Director advised that the school building was now complete and that staff and pupils had moved in after half term in November 2020.  It was explained that Phase 2 was underway with the demolition of the junior block and that the new on-site Flying Start provision had also been completed and opened in January 2021.

 

In respect of the investment in YGG Aberdar, the Director advised that Welsh Government had since approved funding totalling £4.5M, including the funding to create a new Meithrin. Members were informed that a consultation was currently being undertaken prior to the submission of a planning application.

 

The Director went on to speak of the investment in Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun and the plans to increase its capacity. The Director advised that plans had significantly advanced and that the planning application for the project had been submitted with the on-site start date currently programmed for April 2021. The Director advised that total estimated cost presented to Cabinet in September 2018 was £10.2M but following further development, the project costs for the proposals now totalled £12.1M. However, the Director added that following changes to the funding package, which meant that the WG 21st Century Schools Band B grant intervention rate had increased from 50% to 65%, the Council’s contribution to the overall investment had in fact decreased from an estimated £5.1M to £4.2M.

 

Furthermore, the Director advised of the following additional investment made throughout the Education portfolio:

·         In excess of £2M investment through the successful delivery Council’s Capital and School Modernisation Programmes; and

·         £250k has been secured from the Welsh Government’s Welsh Medium Capital Grant to reopen a Meithrin on the site of Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Abercynon. 

 

Following the conclusion of the Director’s presentation, the Director of Finance and Digital Services proposed the following amendment to recommendation 2.2 of the report for Cabinet’s consideration:

·         To note and approve the variations to the Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun proposals since the last report and agree to propose the required Council contribution via prudential borrowing be submitted to Council (subject to the approval of the Final Business Case).

 

The Cabinet Member for Education and Inclusion Services thanked the Director for the positive report and was happy to support the recommendations with the amendment. The Cabinet Member commented that the report demonstrated the Council’s commitment to investing in the Education portfolio and significantly increasing Welsh Medium provision within the Borough and was pleased to note that although the scope and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 64.

65.

Review of Special School Provision in Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council pdf icon PDF 220 KB

To receive the report of the Director, Education and Inclusion Services, which provides the Cabinet with information on a data gathering exercise that has been undertaken in order to facilitate a detailed review of special school provision throughout the County Borough.

 

Minutes:

The Director, Education and Inclusion Services provided the Cabinet with information on a data gathering exercise that has been undertaken in order to facilitate a detailed review of special school provision throughout the County Borough. The review also considered the impact of the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal Act (2018) from a national and local perspective.

 

The Director advised that the purpose of the report was to address the demand for additional capacity in special schools in Rhondda Cynon Taf to accommodate the growth in learner numbers and to acknowledge that the statutory duties placed upon the Council to deliver the obligations of the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act (ALNET Act), which will compound the pressures placed on capacity pressures in the special school sector.

 

Members’ attention was drawn to Section 4 of the report, which provided detailed analysis of the increasing demand across special school placements. The data comparison demonstrated that there had been a consistent increase in learner numbers, year on year since 2016, in both Ysgol Hen Felin and Ysgol Ty Coch.

 

The Cabinet Member for Education and Inclusion Services acknowledged that it was difficult to project demand going forward but accepted that the data demonstrated a steady rise. The Cabinet Member commented that there were restrictions at some school sites and that with the implementation of new legislation, the ALNET Act (2018), in September 2021, it was important to undertake a review of the provision.

 

With the agreement of the Chair, County Borough Councillor L. Walker spoke on the item.

 

The Leader thanked Councillor Walker for his comments and the Cabinet RESOLVED:

1.    To note the content of the report;

2.    To acknowledge the pressures on our special schools and the need for a detailed review of special school provision throughout the County Borough;

3.    To additional scoping work being undertaken including feasibility studies where appropriate, to inform potential proposals for change; and

4.    To receive a further report presenting the outcome of the review including recommendations for potential future investment.

 

66.

Update on the Implementation of the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal Act (2018) in Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council pdf icon PDF 186 KB

To receive the report of the Director, Education and Inclusion Services, which provides the Cabinet with an update on the implementation of the ALNET (Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal) Act (2018) from and to provide Cabinet with information on the implications of the new legislation for the council from a local perspective.

Minutes:

The Head of Inclusion Services provided Cabinet with an update on the implementation of the ALNET (Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal) Act (2018) from and to provide Cabinet with information on the implications of the new legislation for the council from a local perspective.

 

The Cabinet were informed of the changes planned in Wales in relation to the statutory provision required to meet the needs of learners with Special Educational Needs (SEN)/Additional Learning Needs (ALN) with the implementation of new legislation, the ALNET Act (2018), in September 2021. The ALNET (Wales) Act 2018 (The 2018 Act) received Royal Assent in January 2018.

 

The officer provided the Cabinet with details in respect of the new statutory framework the eleven core aims within the Act, which were outlined at Section 4 of the report.

 

The officer explained that RCT County Borough Council must be prepared to implement the new ALN system in line with the prescribed timescales from September 2021 and recommended that additional work be undertaken to facilitate a detailed review of the additional resources the County Borough’s Access and Inclusion Service, to ensure that RCTCBC is able to implement fully the new statutory requirements of the ALNET Act, and enable all learners with ALN to achieve their potential through the effective implementation of transformational reform.  

 

The Cabinet Member for Education and Inclusion Services thanked the officer for the update and commented that the review was necessary to address the demand for additional capacity for the local authority to undertake its enhanced statutory duties under the new ALNET Act to ensure that all children and young people in Rhondda Cynon Taf receive high quality ALN provision. The Cabinet Member added that she looked forward to receiving the outcome of the review and considering the potential investment that may be required.

 

The Cabinet RESOLVED:

1.    To note the content of the report;

2.    To a review being undertaken to scope the additional resources needed to implement the new ALN legislation; and

3.    To receive a further report presenting the outcome of the review including recommendations for potential future investment.

 

67.

Council Fees and Charges Policy 2021/2022 pdf icon PDF 163 KB

To receive the report of the Director, Finance and Digital Services, which provides the Cabinet with the proposed revisions to Council fees and charges levels for the financial year 2021/22 (all to be effective from 1st April 2021 or as soon as is practicable thereafter).

Minutes:

The Service Director, Performance and Improvement provided the Cabinet with the report, which set out the proposed revisions to Council fees and charges levels for the financial year 2021/22 (all to be effective from 1st April 2021 or as soon as is practicable thereafter); and details of fees and charges decisions already approved that can now be included within the 2021/22 proposed Budget Strategy.

 

The Service Director spoke of the Cabinet’s review of the fees and charges levels as part of the Council’s Medium Term Financial Planning arrangements and it was proposed that a 1.7% standard increase be agreed to be effective from 1st April 2021 with the following areas of exception:

·         Leisure for Life - Nil Increase

·         Car Park Charges - Nil Increase

·         Summer and Winter Playing Fees (sports clubs) - Nil Increase

·         Meals on Wheels / Day Centre Meals - 10p per meal and then price frozen until 2023

·         School Meals - Nil Increase (and price frozen until April 2023)

·         Bereavement Fees - Nil Increase

·         Lido / Rhondda Heritage Park - Nil increase

 

The Service Director advised that account had been taken of funding levels received through the Local Government Settlement; the implications of decisions already approved; Corporate Plan priority areas; feedback received as part of the consultation process; and the forward projection of the level of inflation. It was explained that the impact of the above-mentioned proposals would reduce income by £185k in a full year.

 

The Leader thanked the Service Director for the update. The Leader commented that the position going forward, in terms of fees and charges, was positive and was pleased to note that the consultation undertaken had demonstrated broad support for the proposals.

 

The Leader went on to speak of the pilot, which had been approved in November 2019, to apply a reduced cremation fee for funeral directors offering a direct cremation in Rhondda Cynon Taf. It was explained that the Council had looked sympathetically at areas such as this, which had sadly arisen as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

The Deputy Leader was pleased to note the proposed continued 25% reduction to all Council bereavement fees incurred by families of deceased war veterans and service men and women resident in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

 

The Cabinet Member for Environment, Leisure and Heritage spoke of the importance of children accessing the leisure facilities at a time when it is safe to do so and questioned the financial impact of freezing 3G pitch charges, in line with playing field charges. The Service Director advised that if the Cabinet were minded to freeze 3G pitch charges, the annual cost would equate to £2000.

 

The Cabinet Members were supportive of the amendment and acknowledged that the cost was minimal in comparison to the importance of children accessing leisure facilities. Therefore, it was RESOLVED:

1.    To approve the proposed revised levels for all areas of the Council’s fees and charges as set out at section 5 and detailed at Appendix 1 subject to the following  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.

68.

The Council's 2021/22 Revenue Budget pdf icon PDF 101 KB

To receive the report of the Director, Finance and Digital Services, which provides the Cabinet with the proposals which have now been consulted upon as part of a second phase of budget consultation, for Cabinet to consider and amend as necessary the draft budget strategy which they would wish to recommend to Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director, Finance and Digital Services provided the Cabinet with the results of the second phase of the Budget consultation in order for Members to consider and amend as necessary the draft budget strategy, which they would wish to recommend to Council at the meeting on 10th March 2021.

 

The Director advised that the consultation feedback was appended to the report and included the feedback of the Council’s Finance and Performance Scrutiny Committee and the School Budget Forum.

 

The Director advised the Cabinet that report included:

·         A proposed Council Tax increase of 2.65%, which would increase the remaining budget gap by £182,000;

·         A Schools Budget with a proposed increase of £2.2M from £161.6M to £163.8M to cover, in full, all inflationary and pupil number pressures, including NDR increased costs;

·         The delivery of £4.6M of efficiency savings;

·         A number of areas identified for additional resource and investment, including the following:

Ø  NDR Local Relief Scheme  

Ø  Car Park Charges

Ø  Climate Change and Carbon Reduction

Ø  Graduates

Ø  Wellbeing Support

Ø  Fees and Charges

Ø  Public Health and Protection Services – Additional Resources

Ø  Flood Prevention Support

Ø  Overgrowth Team

 

The Director advised that to address the remaining budget gap, it was proposed that an allocation of £0.711M is made from the Transitional Funding reserve for 2021/22, which included Cabinet’s decision to freeze 3G pitch charges for 2021/22.

 

The Leader thanked the Director and the financial team for the robust report before the Cabinet.

 

The Leader clarified that the proposed £50,000 support for businesses was in addition to the support provided by the Council in the previous year. Furthermore, the Leader advised that the proposed £50,000 Flood Prevention Support was in addition to the £0.5M extra revenue that had been built into the budget to fund additional ongoing Drainage teams and that the Capital Programme was inclusive of £6-8M in terms of bids put to Welsh Government in relation to flood alleviation works.

 

In respect of the proposed Council Tax increase of 2.65%, the Leader noted that if was one of the lowest in Wales and was pleased to note the high level of support from residents during the consultation.

 

In respect of funding for schools, the Leader noted that the proposed budget protected school pressures but explained that there was a need for significant investment in schools in terms of catch up. The Leader advised that Welsh Government would likely make an allocation within its budget, subject to the announcement of the UK Settlement.

 

The Deputy Leader took the opportunity to praise the robust and comprehensive consultation process, acknowledging the innovative digital approach undertaken due to the restrictions. The Deputy Leader noted that the Council had engaged with in excess of 1500 residents through the process and that overall, the support for the proposals was positive.

 

The Cabinet Member for Corporate Services was also happy to support the report and was of the view that the consultation process had demonstrated that the residents of RCT were largely in support of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 68.

69.

The Council's Capital Programme 2021/22 - 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 271 KB

To receive the report of the Director, Finance and Digital Services, which provides the Cabinet with a proposed three year capital programme for 2021/22 to 2023/24 that if acceptable, will be presented to Council for approval.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director, Finance and Digital Services provided the Cabinet with a proposed three year capital programme for 2021/22 to 2023/24 that if agreed, would be presented to Council for approval.

 

The Director advised that the proposed three year programme comprised of:

·         A core programme of £42M;

·         In excess of £12M to support the 21st Century Schools Programme;

·         Specific grants of almost £13M; and

·         £27M allocated to investment priorities.

 

The Leader thanked the Director for the report and commented that the investment proposals were closely aligned to the priorities outlined within the Council’s Corporate Plan.

 

The Leader continued and advised that the overall Capital Programme would likely significantly increase over the coming months due to a number of pending bids submitted by the Council to Welsh Government.

 

The Cabinet Member for Corporate Services welcomed the report and commented that the proposals continued the momentum of the ongoing significant investment throughout RCT by the Council.

 

The Cabinet RESOLVED:

1.    To propose the three year capital programme at Appendix A to Council on 10th March 2021 which includes:

·         A review and proposed release of earmarked reserve balances as detailed in paragraph 5.3 of the attached report;

·         Proposed reallocation of existing capital resources as detailed in paragraphs 5.5 – 5.8 of the attached report;

·         Proposed investment priorities as detailed in paragraph 6.2 of the attached report;

·         The Council’s core capital programme;

·         The Council’s total capital programme including additional non core funding.

 

2.    To authorise the Director of Finance and Digital Services to amend the level of Council Resources required to fund the Core Three Year Capital Programme as shown at Appendix 2 as a consequence of any change to the Council’s capital resource levels announced in the Final Local Government Settlement.

70.

To consider Passing the Following Resolution:

“That the press and public be excluded from the meeting under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act (as amended) for the following items of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of the exempt information as defined in paragraph 14 of Part 4 of the Schedule 12A of the Act”.

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED: That the press and public be excluded from the meeting under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act (as amended) for the following items of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of the exempt information as defined in paragraph 14 of Part 4 of the Schedule 12A of the Act”.

 

71.

Corporate Asset Management Plan 2018/23: Interim Update

To receive the report of the Director, Corporate Estates, which briefs the Cabinet of progress against the key themes of the Corporate Asset Management Plan 2018/23. 

Minutes:

Following the consideration of the report of the Director, Corporate Estates  containing exempt information as defined in Paragraph 14 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act, 1972 (as amended), namely information relating to the financial affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information), it was RESOLVED:

1.    To note the content of the report; and

2.    To receive a further report from the Director of Corporate Estates following a full review of the Council’s built assets to ensure optimum use based upon our revised future service needs.