Agenda and minutes

Venue: COUNCIL CHAMBER. View directions

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Councillor L Smart 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.



Councillor Bill Smith declared and interest in Item 3 The Fifth Quality Framework for Welsh Public Libraries – Welsh Public Library Standards Return, as he is a Member of the Leisure Trust.


The Fifth Quality Framework for Welsh Public Libraries - Welsh Public Library Standards Return pdf icon PDF 159 KB

See attached report

Additional documents:


Councillor B Smith left the Council Chamber


The Chair welcomed Mark Thomas and Jane Sellwood to the meeting.


The Chair referred the Committee to the report and handed over to Mark Thomas to outline the purpose of the report.


Jane Sellwood then went through the report in detail and updated on the performance of the Library Service, the following questions were raised by the Committee:-


·         Are there any differences in the way that you operate now that you are under the Trust?

·         The Outreach Service, can you explain what this is and who would qualify, also how do you make people aware of this service?

·         Within your report you state that the library service has had no complaints formal or informal during the last year, can I firstly what you class as an informal complaint?

·         Where do you keep your complaints policy?


Councillor R Thomas commented on the excellent work that the library service was providing, especially in Dowlais, he congratulated the Trust on their work.


Councillor D Roberts seconded the comment as the service being provided in Aberfan was also excellent.


Further questions were then raised by the Committee:-


·         You say you are looking at how to best engage with non-traditional users, what exactly are, or will you be doing?

·         There are 42,249 library members, does there come a time when you will remove a person’s membership if they do no access the service?

·         You mention the removal of a staffing post, why was this post removed; and how is this going to affect you performance overall?

·         What were the measures used to combat anti-social behaviour issues particularly at the central library?

·         You say that is has become incredibly difficult to try to encourage staff already employed to undertake a professional qualification, is there funding available for staff to gain a recognised qualification?



The Chair commented that within the report under Quality Indicator, it would be more useful if you could have included the number of responses in addition to the percentages where applicable.


The Chair then read out the recommendation of the report which was moved and seconded.


The Chair thanked the officers.


Councillor B Smith re-entered the Council Chamber.








Overcoming the Blight of Fly-tipping and Litter in the County Borough

Draft report to follow.


The Chair referred the Committee to the purpose of the draft report which had been put together following the meetings of the Task and Finish Group that has convened on two separate occasions.  The Chair thanked both Councillor B Smith and Councillor S Slater for their input into this draft report.


Councillor H Barrett commented that the Councillors on the Task and Finish Group have done an excellent job.


The Chair referred the Committee to the recommendations within the report which are to be referred back to Cabinet.


Preparation of Work Programme 2016/2017 pdf icon PDF 194 KB

See attached report.


Additional documents:


This Committee are required to prepare and keep a program of work reviewing and prioritising issues and members are able to ensure the program delivers a member led agenda for 2016/2017; the Chair informed that he is already doing this and enquired if there were any items that the Committee wanted to raise for the Work Program, none were raised.


The Chair advised that there were still 5 items on Work Program that have not been agreed, these need to be scheduled, so the Chair will take them to the meeting with Corporate Directors, Heads of Service and Port Folio Member.


Councillor P William suggested the need to meet with Ewan McWilliams as a schedule of meetings is to take place following a number of performance boards.  There is a need to build into the work programs not just the follow ups but what is happening on all items on the agenda.


Howard Jones informed that he has already received from Ewan McWilliams a schedule of meeting that have been put into the draft work program for 2016-2017.


The Chairs Panel should be brought back to enable shared information to be taken forward, there is no more a link and certain things affect all Scrutiny Committees. The Chair seconded this and informed that this will be taken to the next performance meeting.


Performance Board - Sustainable Environment pdf icon PDF 83 KB

To consider a report of the Corporate Director (People and Performance).


The Chair referred the Committee to this extra item on the agenda and welcomed Cheryllee Evans, Val Steel, Steve Thomas and Sian Lyons-Nicholas to the meeting.


Sian Lyons-Nicholas then referred to the report in detail outlining Key Questions:-


·         Outcomes

·         Provision

·         Leadership and Management



The following questions were raised by the Committee:-


·         What is the feedback to this Committee and will there be a report prepared?


Councillor P Williams stated that as this meeting had only taken place in March there was not a lot of time ..   scrutiny needs more information on section 5 to be set as an agenda item


Recommendation is to a a reoccurring agenda item on this to be added to work program


The following questions were raised by the Committee:-


·         When will the surveillance cameras be deployed to catch the perpetrator?

·         Some community groups will wish to assist in collecting litter and fly-tipping in theirs areas.  Do you provide all the necessary equipment for example bags, gloves and litter pickers, and of course will you collect the filled bags?

·         All the waste bins that have been removed can they please be put in the Ponsticill area?

·         In the meeting on 11th April it was discussed that there was no longer the staffing to engagement with schools, Merthyr Valleys Homes offered their services in respect of engaging with the school. Have you taken them up their offer?

·         Enforcement needs to be stepped up and people fined, also are they being named and shames?

·         The Strategic Group has met on a few occasion, can this Scrutiny Committee have some feedback once a month so that we can be kept up-to-date?

·         What are Officers and Cabinet Members doing on this?


The Chair then referred to the recommendation, the Neighbourhood Services and Public Protection Scrutiny Committee schedule a re-appearing agenda item in their forward work program to monitor the delivery the agreed action points detailed within this report, this was agreed by the Committee.


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).


To receive any referrals from scrutiny committees, update from the Chair on attendance of the service challenge meeting and to consider the follow up actions of previous meetings.  Key issues were identified in the agenda, and were answered by Cheryllee Evans and Val Steel. Some issues not in the report were:-


·         Data from Welsh Government always 6 months behind, very difficult for service area to track their own results.

·         Higher targets need to be set.

·         Joint strategy is need with RSL and outside agencies.

·         Need for more community groups to be set up for cleansing of areas.

·         Increase more income from recyclables collected and to change behaviour and culture of some residents within the County Borough.

·         Greater education needed at school level.


Action points that have been discussed are moving forward quite quickly.


Reflection and Evaluation of Meeting

To receive an update from the Chair.


The Chair advised that there are no actions points but the work program does need to be set.


Any other business deemed urgent by the Chair


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


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