Agenda and minutes

Venue: Virtual

Contact: Emma Wilkins - Council Business Unit  07385401935

Items
No. Item

14.

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:

The following declarations of interest were made pertaining to the agenda:

 

·       County Borough Councillor R Bevan – Agenda item 3 Additional Repairs and Maintenance Investment in Schools “‘I am on the Governing Body of Pontygwaith Primary School which is referenced within the report’

·       County Borough Councillor J Rosser – Agenda item 3 Additional Repairs and Maintenance Investment in Schools “‘I am on the Governing Body of Trealaw Primary School which is referenced within the report’

·       County Borough Councillor R Lewis – Agenda item 3 Additional Repairs and Maintenance Investment in Schools “‘I am on the Governing Body of YGG Abercynon which is referenced within the report’

·       County Borough Councillor M Norris – Agenda item 3 Additional Repairs and Maintenance Investment in Schools “‘I am on the Governing Body of Cwm Clydach School which is referenced within the report’

·       County Borough Councillor G Hopkins– Agenda item 3 Additional Repairs and Maintenance Investment in Schools “‘I am on the Governing Body of Llanharan Primary School which is referenced within the report’

·       County Borough Councillor A Morgan – Agenda item 3 Additional Repairs and Maintenance Investment in Schools “‘I am on the Governing Body of Glen Boi and Darren Las Primary School which is referenced within the report’

 

 

·       In respect of agenda item 8 - Councillor R Bevan referenced the dispensation received from the Standards Committee in November 2020 allowing him to speak on all matters pertaining to the Children & Young People, as his daughter works within the Directorate.

 

·       The following declaration was made pertaining to agenda item 8 ‘Review of Senior Management Structure’ by the Monitoring Officer on behalf of the following the Senior Officers in attendance at the meeting – Mr C Bradshaw, Mr P Mee, Mr C Hanagan, Mr D Powell, Mr A Wilkins, Mr B Davies, Ms G Davies, Ms A Richards, Mr R Waters:

 

“I wish to declare a Personal and Pecuniary interest on behalf of myself and all Chief Officers present in relation to Agenda Item 8 as our posts are referenced in the report.  All Chief Officers will leave the meeting for this item save for the Chief Executive, as the author and presenter of the report and the Director of Human Resources who will remain in the meeting to address any Member queries. Whilst I will leave the meeting during its discussion I shall be available should any legal or constitutional queries arise during discussion of the item.”

 

15.

Access and Engagement Improvements within Democracy pdf icon PDF 226 KB

To receive the report of the Service Director, Democratic Services and Communication, which provides Members with an update in respect of the introduction arrangements to enable the broadcasting of committee meetings and the ability to operate through a hybrid approach.

Minutes:

 

The Service Director, Democratic Services and Communication provided Members with an update in respect of the introduction arrangements to enable the broadcasting of committee meetings and the ability to operate through a hybrid approach. It was added that these developments aim to encourage engagement and improve public participation in the democratic process.

 

Members were provided with a proposed roll out of the hybrid and webcasting facilities, as well as details of further proposals to improve the provision of hybrid facilities by taking forward changes within the smaller committee room settings. The Service Director also took the opportunity to advise of the changes to the Council Committee pages on the website to promote the webcasting provision.

 

The Deputy Leader welcomed the phased approach to hybrid meetings and the importance of demonstration meetings and training to members on the different systems in place to ensure the continuation of successful committee meetings.

 

Following discussions it was RESOLVED:

 

(i)             To note the development of the provision of webcasting within Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, in line with the requirements of the Local Government & Elections Wales Act, 2021.

 

(ii)            To note the development of webcasting to further assist with the promotion of public engagement and transparency of decision making by the Council;

 

(iii)          To note the decision of the Democratic Services Committee in respect of the meetings that are proposed to remain as virtual meetings and those that will be facilitated through a future hybrid approach, subject to the caveats outlined within the report

 

(iv)          To note the meetings that will be webcast and live streamed through the Council website and the roll out of such meetings.

 

(v)           To note the move to the Modern.Gov system to publish information to the Council website, including Member attendance details.

 

(vi)          To note the funding received via the Digital Democracy Fund to further support the developments needed to be taken forward with webcasting within the Council Headquarters.

 

16.

Additional Repairs and Maintenance Investment in Schools pdf icon PDF 145 KB

To receive the report of the Director, Education and Inclusion Services, which provides Members with details of further repairs and maintenance works for approval for 2021/22 as a result of additional funding awarded by Welsh Government in March 2021 and supplemented by the Council’s earmarked reserves.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Temporary Service Director 21st Century Schools and Transformation provided Members with details of further repairs and maintenance works for approval for 2021/22 as a result of additional funding awarded by Welsh Government in March 2021 and supplemented by the Council’s earmarked reserves.

 

Members were advised that the works listed within the Appendix attached to the report would continue to support schools, improve building stock and address essential condition and health and safety issues across the school estate.  It would also continue to ensure school buildings were able to comply with Welsh Government operational guidance as the Council continue to work with the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

The Cabinet Member for Education and Inclusion Services welcomed the added investment, which would look to improve schools within the County Borough, improving wellbeing and creating safe educational environments. 

 

The Leader also welcomed the investment which was over and above the capital programme and spoke of the benefits of the investment to the local economy, with the creation of local jobs.

 

Following discussions it was RESOLVED:

 

1.    To agree the additional schemes for 2021/22 as outlined in Appendix 1 of the report and to approve scheme commencement.

 

(N.B. As referenced in Minute no.14  number of Members declared an interest in respect of this item.)

17.

Pre scrutiny - Draft Climate Change Strategy (2021-2025) Consultation Responses pdf icon PDF 124 KB

To receive the report of the Service Director, Democratic Services and Communication, which provides the Cabinet with the feedback of the Climate Change Cabinet Steering Group and the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, which met on the 14th and 15th June 2021, respectively, to consider the report on the Draft Climate Change Strategy (2021-2025) Consultation Responses, which is attached for Members consideration.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Service Director, Democratic Services & Communication provided the Cabinet with the feedback of the Climate Change Cabinet Steering Group and the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, which met on the 14th and 15th June 2021, respectively, to consider a report on the Draft Climate Change Strategy (2021-2025) Consultation Responses.

 

Members were advised of the responses received from the Committees before being provided with an overview of the consultation responses in respect of the draft climate strategy. Members were advised of the methods used to consult on the strategy with use of the ‘Lets Talk RCT platform’. 

 

Members were referred to section 6 of the report which presented the key findings to the consultation responses, with 76% of respondents to the survey agreed that the Council’s work to tackle Climate Change should be set out in one plan. Members were advised that Overall, 392 people took part in the engagement on the Climate Change Strategy, with 220 people engaged directly in the engagement via the Let’s Talk Climate Change engagement tool.349 were informed (viewed documents and multiple pages) and 608 were aware (visited the site).

 

The Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, Well-being & Cultural Services and Chair of the Climate Change Steering Group commented on the high level of support for the strategy and the need to become a carbon neutral County Borough.  The Cabinet Member welcomed the views of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee in respect of the consultation responses.

 

The Leader welcomed the public involvement and commented on the joined up approach needed by the Council and the communities to take forward the climate changes to ensure the whole County Borough is Carbon Neutral as close as possible to the 2030 target.

 

 

Following discussions it was RESOLVED:

 

 

1.    To note the content of the report considered by the Climate Change Cabinet Steering Group and the Overview and Scrutiny Committee;

 

2.    To note the comments and observations of the Climate Change Cabinet Steering Group following consideration of the report at its meeting on 14th June 2021; and the comments and observations of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee following pre-scrutiny of the report at its meeting on 15th June 2021 as referenced within the report.

 

3.    To the recommendations presented within the Draft Climate Change Strategy (2021-2025) Consultation Findings, which is attached as Appendix 1 to this report, and for ease of reference listed below:

 

               i. Request that Officers use the feedback to inform the development of the final Climate Change Strategy.

 

              ii. Agree to support the approach of facilitating an ongoing climate change conversation with residents, local businesses and partners, linked to the final Climate Change Strategy workplan.

 

18.

The Queen's Green Canopy Project 2021-22 - Recommendations of the Climate Change Cabinet Steering Group pdf icon PDF 111 KB

To receive the report of the Service Director, Democratic Services and Communication, which provides Cabinet with the observations of the Climate Change Cabinet Steering Group, which met on the 14th June 2021, to consider a report on the Queen’s Green Canopy Project 2021-22.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Service Director, Democratic Services & Communication provided the Cabinet with the recommendations of the Climate Change Cabinet Steering Group, which met on the 14th June 2021, to consider a report on the Queen’s Green Canopy Project 2021-22.

 

Members were advised that to mark the platinum Jubilee in 2022, Her Majesty the Queen has recently launched the Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC), to celebrate 70 years of service to the Nation. The campaign is focused on the role of trees and woodlands in enhancing the environment and includes elements of sustainable planting and the protection of ancient woodland and veteran trees.

 

The Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, Well-being & Cultural Services and chair of the climate change steering group commented on project and acknowledged that the Council’s participation in the project would make a positive contribution to the Council’s climate change priority, and the unanimous support from the group to engage with the project.  The cabinet Member referenced the intention to engage with Community and Town Councils regarding the most appropriate locations for tree planting.

 

The Deputy Leader welcomed the initiative to celebrate the queen’s jubilee and commented on the need to protect the existing woodland, including ancient woodland.

 

The Chief Executive advised Members that a tree planting strategy was being prepared and acknowledged that previously this was an area that had been under invested.  He added that it was the intention to bring the strategy forward to Cabinet in the Autumn for consideration.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

 

1.    To note the content of the report (attached as Appendix A) considered by the Climate Change Cabinet Steering Group on the 14th June 2021; and

 

2.    To note the observations of the Climate Change Cabinet Steering Group.

 

19.

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 paragraphs 12 and 13 of Part 4 of the Schedule 12A of the Act”.

 

Minutes:

 

Members RESOLVED that press and public be excluded from the meeting under Section 100A(4) the Local Government Act, 1972 (as amended) for the next item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 12 and 13 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

 

20.

Review of the Council's Senior and Associated Management post structure

To consider the exempt report of the Chief Executive seeking approval for the implementation of further proposals to revise the Council’s Senior and Associated Management post structure.

 

Minutes:

The Chief Executive provided Cabinet with details of his exempt report which sought approval for the implementation of further proposals to revisions to the Council’s Senior and Associated Management post structure.  Members were advised that if taken forward, implementation of all of the revisions would provide an overall estimated reduction in annual management costs at the Senior and Associated Management grade levels of £250,000 (inclusive of on-costs.  The Chief Executive advised of 3 small amendments within the report which are reflected in the resolution below.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the revised directorate structures shown at Appendices 2(i), 2(ii) and 2 (iii) be implemented from the 1st August 2021 and structure at 2(iv) be implemented from the 1st October 2021. Agreed to approve a further structural change as shown at Appendix 3(i), which will be effective from the 1st May 2022 (subject to the necessary staff consultation process).

 

2.    To note that implementation of all of the revised structures would provide an overall estimated reduction in annual management costs at the Senior and Associated Management grade levels of £250,000 (inclusive of on-costs);

 

3.    To note that as part of the ongoing efficiency savings programme, then subject to any required approval of the Council’s Appointment’s Committee, it would result in the deletion of the following posts from the Council’s structure, in line with the above structural amendment dates in decision 1 above:

 

i)        Group Director – Prosperity, Development & Frontline Services (Group Director grade);

ii)      Service Director of Community Services (Service Director Level 2);

iii)     Service Director of Public Protection (Service Director Level 2);

iv)     Head of Leisure, Parks & Countryside (Head of Service Level 1); and

v)      Head of Customer Care* (Head of Service Level 1)

 

* please note this post was subject of an agreed VER request on the 30th April 2020. This post is not associated with the estimated reduction in management costs as detailed above but now needs to be formally removed from the Council’s structure.

 

4.    To note that emanating from the decision in 1 above Cabinet would be authorising:

 

a)    the amendment of the post Director – Corporate Estates (Director Level 2) to Director – Corporate Estates (Director Level 1);

b)    the amendment of the post of Head of Corporate & Management Accounting (Head of Service Level 1) to Service Director – Corporate & Management Accounting (Service Director Level 2);

c)    the amendment of the post of Head of Education & Financial Reporting (Head of Service Level 1) to Service Director – Education & Financial Reporting (Service Director Level 2);

d)    the amendment of the post of Head of Community & Children’s Finance (Head of Service Level 1) to Service Director – Community & Children’s Finance (Service Director Level 2);

e)    the amendment of the post of Head of Organisational Development (Head of Service Level 1) to Service Director – Organisational Development (Service Director Level 2);

f)      the amendment of the post of Head of Employee Relations (Head of Service Level 2) to Head of Employee  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.