Agenda and minutes

Venue: COUNCIL CHAMBER. View directions

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor B Smith and Nicola Mahoney.


Declarations of Interest (including whipping declarations)

Members of the Committee are reminded of their personal responsibility to declare any personal and prejudicial interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act 2000, the Council’s Constitution and the Members Code of Conduct.   In addition, Members must declare any prohibited party whip which the Member has been given in relation to the meeting as per the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011.  




a.    Members are reminded that they must identify the item number and subject matter that their interest relates to and signify the nature of the personal interest; and


b.    Where Members withdraw from a meeting as a consequence of the disclosure of a prejudicial interest they must notify the Chair when they leave.



There were none.


Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Trust 2nd Quarter update 2015 pdf icon PDF 683 KB

See attached report


Deferred to next meeting scheduled 29th February 2016.


Neighbourhood Services - Change Programme pdf icon PDF 219 KB

See attached report


The Chair welcomed, Ellis Cooper and Andrew Mogford to the meeting.


The Chair referred the Committee to the purpose of the report, to summarise progress of the Change Programme with respect to Neighbourhood Services.  As such this report outlines the journey of change that Neighbourhood Services has taken to date, together with the challenges being faced in the future.


Ellis Cooper then referred to the report in detail, outlining the Change Programme which comprises of six key areas:-


·         Customer Service

·         Back Office (Administration) & Corporate (Strategic) Support Services

·         Procurement

·         Income

·         Collaborative Arrangements

·         Frontline Services


Ellis Cooper together with Officers responded to the following questions raised by Committee:-


·         Are we amalgamating services within this Change Service Program?

·         Is there an appropriate training programme in place to ensure that the customer contact centre staff are able to address the majority of customer calls, without having to pass the calls on?

·         There is a lack of litter picking within wards is there a capacity problem with this.

·         There are hotspots throughout the county borough i.e. outside local shops, is there a system in place that we can target these problem areas.

·         Is there a regular rota for litter picking?

·         To consider a new model of working to improved digital offering so that customers can help themselves, what services have you suggested for self-help customers?

·         How do we put it across to staff that sometimes this is not ordinary fly tipping and could be hazardous and dangerous. Should more senior officers be contacted?

·         In Ponsticil area the community residents collected fly tipping and there was evidence of who had disposed of the rubbish, environmental health are now working on this information. Their initial response was that we cannot prosecute because the fly tipping had been removed from the site what is your advice.


The Chair informed the Committee that he met last week with Cheryllee and other Officers who are looking predominately at fly tipping and homelessness and a special scrutiny is going to be set up.


The Chair thanked the Officers. 


Update report on the Transformational Change for Highway Maintenance pdf icon PDF 159 KB

See attached report


The Chair welcomed Meirion Williams and Darren Chaffe to the meeting.


Councillor D Jones referred the Committee to the ‘Update Report on the Transformational Change for Highway Maintenance’ and outlined the content.


Cheryllee Evans then referred to the report in detail and handed over to Meirion Williams and Darren Chaffe to discuss in more details:


·         Structure and Staffing

·         Process

·         Strategy



the following questions were raised by the Committee:


·         Neighbourhood Services has set up an Operational Collective where labour and plant are shared as much as possible, are there any additional costs relating to the training of the shared labour?

·         The committee understand that as a result of fitting energy efficient LED lights there will be an expected saving on electricity, which is a good thing.  However there have been complaints about the quality of lighting throughout the County Borough can they be reassessed to make the bulbs give off more light and are we going to look into this before the section goes?

·         Some lights are out and some are on permanently all day is this system able to address this issue.

·         How will the reduction in highway maintenance staff affect the service of gritting and will this service still be available in the future?

·         Could you look at putting the new lights on higher poles and some areas are dark and other areas lighter?

·         Collaborating with RCT Highways Department and having a shared depot what other resources are we looking at sharing?

·         Are there any Capital Programs in place for Highways?

·         Do all out staff get trained on certain highway services?

·         Do we train agency staff if so then why can’t they already be trained?

·         Have we trained agency staff to carry out HGV functions and if so have they then left the authority?


The Chair thanked the Officers.


Scrutiny Referrals, Feedback and Follow up Actions

To receive any referrals from the other Scrutiny Committees and Audit Committee; an update from the Chair on their attendance at the Service Performance Challenge Meetings and to consider any follow up actions from the previous Meeting(s).


The Chair informed the Committee that there have been no Performance Challenge Meetings since December but the Chair has been asked to attend a Wales Audit Office Challenge meeting later this month.  On 7th January the Chair attended a pre Scrutiny Meeting with Officer regarding Homelessness and Fly Tipping, it was agreed at this meeting to hold a Special Scrutiny Meeting and invite the RSL’s, date of meeting to be confirmed.  Regarding homelessness, there is serious issue throughout the county borough for accommodation; some of the RSL’s have vacant properties to be filled, more information to be supplied, the Chair will meet with Officer before it is brought back to the scrutiny committee.


A response has been received with regard to the cycling lane in the Pontmorlais area which was raised in scrutiny at a previous meeting is has been agreed that all are content with the outcome.


Special Meeting to be called on fly tipping and homelessness, the Chair asked for any comments.


A meeting is to be held in March.


Reflection and Evaluation of Meeting

To receive an update from the Chair.


The Chair and Committee reflected in detail on the issues that had been considered at the meeting.


Neighbourhood Services - Change Program and Update on Transformational Change of Highways Maintenance, to be kept on work program.


Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 171 KB

See attached report.


Additional documents:


The Committee considered and agreed the Forward Work Programme.


Special budget meeting is now on the 27th for all scrutiny members.

Special to be confirmed in March.

Energy Efficiency, Crime & Disorder Committee and also include the Leisure Trust Update.

Between 29th February & 11th April a Special Scrutiny Meeting is to be scheduled on Fly Tipping and Homelessness.


Any other business deemed urgent by the Chair


The Chair advised that there was no other business deemed urgent.


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