Agenda and minutes

Venue: CONFERENCE ROOM 3. View directions

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Ethan Scriven Youth Forum Representative.


Declarations of Interest (including whipping declarations)

Members 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 and Finance Act 1992 relating to Council Tax, the Local Government Act 2000, the Council’s Constitution and the Members Code of Conduct




(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 D Sammon Declared his Interest in Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Trust as he is the Council’s representative on the Trust but has been granted Dispensation.


Environmental Wellbeing EW2: Communities protect, develop and promote our heritage and cultural pdf icon PDF 188 KB

To consider the attached report


The Chair welcomed Councillor H Barrett Cabinet Member and the Officers to the Meeting.


Alyn Owen referred the Committee to the ‘Environmental Wellbeing – Communities Protect, Develop and Promote our Heritage and Cultural Assets’ report.


The Officers then referred to the following projects, namely:


·         Urdd Sports Development Apprentice

·         Provision of Welsh Language Workplace Training Opportunities

·         Pontmorlais Townscape Heritage Quarter, Continuing the Renaissance

·         Volunteering Programme in the Cyfarthfa Heritage area


and together with the Cabinet Member responded in detail to the following questions that were raised by the Committee:


·         Targets for the Population to converse in Welsh – Use of resources to achieve the 2050 target – Is it a cost effect way – What do other Local Authorities do – What are their results – Is it a full time or part time position – How will it work in practice – How will the success of the project be judged – Is it a one year post or is it ongoing

·         What is the cost or likely cost of staff per Department – Commitment of staff time – What is the success rate – What are the actual numbers not percentages – What are the numbers of staff as per the number of staff in the Authority – How are front line staff involved – Are these staff being trained as well

·         Has any extra funding been made available from Welsh Government to address this issue

·         How can the Authority ensure that staff are able to engage and converse fully with complex issues and questions

·         Paragraph 5.3 – The first two Key Performance Indicators have no targets – Why is there no target

·         How many staff have registered this year

·         Volunteering Programme – What is the number of Volunteers – How are they to be selected – What is the Job Description – Are checks being made – Is there specific training given for large events – What is the figure for retaining volunteers or have numbers dropped off

·         Pontmorlais Townscape Heritage Quarter – Are there any buildings outstanding – Sustainability of Buildings

·         Paragraph 8.7 – Further information requested

·         Appendix 2 – The Website hits have fallen from 60385 in 2013 to 49732 in 2016 – What are the reasons for this – How does this translate into the number of visits to the County Borough

·         Paragraph 4.2 and 5.3 – Concern at the loss of Heritage and assets

·         Paragraph 3.1 - Destination Management Plan – Accommodation in the County Borough – Update requested in relation to the Master Plan


Resolved that:


The content of the report be noted.


The 5th quality framework for Welsh public libraries - Welsh Public Library Standards Return 2016-17 pdf icon PDF 559 KB

To consider the attached report


Jane Sellwood referred the Committee to the ‘Fifth Assessment Framework for Welsh Public Library Standards: Annual return 2016/17’ report and responded in detail to the following questions raised:


·         Welsh Government – Annual Return Pro Forma – What can be done to generate more income

·         Does the Home Delivery Service cover the whole of the County Borough – Is the Services well publicised

·         What are staffing levels – Will there be recruitment

·         Over recent years there has been an increase in Polish and Portuguese communities – Has the Library Services adapted in any way to cater for this

·         Book Disposal Policy – What happens to books that are disposed of – Is there income from this

·         What are the safeguards regarding Internet usage

·         Printing problems in July – Explanation requested

·         An impact survey of both Adults and Children was undertaken in March 2017 – Percentage figures have been provided but not actual numbers – What are the numbers and can the Officers ensure that percentages and numbers are recorded in future


Resolved that:


The received report be ratified in relation to the performance of the Library Service over the last year.


Councillor D Jones left the Meeting at 3.40 pm and returned at 3.41 pm.


Department responses to Scrutiny Committee questions - Grounds Maintenance, Parks and Open Spaces; and Sports Pitches/Facilities in the County Borough pdf icon PDF 837 KB

To consider the attached report


Rob Barnett referred to the ‘Department responses to Scrutiny Committee questions – Grounds Maintenance, Parks and Open Spaces; and Sports Pitches/ Facilities in the County Borough’ report and responded to the further questions that were raised:


·         Question 10 – Grass Cutting – What are the levels of complaints

·         Question 16 – Involvement of School Governors

·         Question 18 – Involvement of Governing Bodies

·         Question 33 – How many Teams are in the County Borough – How many Pitches are being used

·         Question 26 – Health and Safety Issues

·         Appendix 1 – A School incorrectly listed under Plymouth Ward - Should be Merthyr Vale Ward

·         Rhydycar Skate Park incorrectly listed under Penydarren Ward

·         Number of Playgrounds for the Gurnos Ward

·         What does P R Mean (Previously Refurbished)

·         Question 27 – Working with Voluntary Partners and Voluntary Organisations

·         Question 8 – Are Graves dug by hand

·         Question 3 – Are there any areas that used to be cut but are no longer cut


Resolved that:


The contents of the report be noted.


Overview and Scrutiny Project - Fit For the Future? Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council pdf icon PDF 553 KB

To consider the attached report


Resolved that:


The report for Information be received.


Recycling/Landfill Published and Verified Data pdf icon PDF 275 KB

To consider the attached report


Cheryllee Evans referred to the ‘Recycling / Landfill Published and Verified Data’ report and together with the Officers responded in detail to the following questions raised:


·         Paragraph 5.5 – Food Service – Can the households not taking part be identified – How does this figure compare to other Local Authorities

·         Paragraph 6.4 – How is this going to be dealt with

·         Paragraph 7.7 – Explanation of WEEE requested – Will every household door be knocked – Will there be a report to Committee in relation to this exercise

·         Paragraph 7.2 – What is the type of item – How would they be collected

·         Paragraph 7.5 – Do the Council own the Unit – How much is there of a saving – Is there any down time – What are the contingency plans

·         Is Trade Waste included in the re-cycling figures

·         Paragraph 5.4 – How much is profit when costs are considered

·         What is the cost of replacing the Trucks – What is the life left on the Trucks

·         Have the issues of smaller bins been resolved – What is the target for landfill


Resolved that:


The content of the report be noted.


Mr R Holdaway left the Meeting at 4.40 pm.


Resolved that:


The public be excluded from the Meeting on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 14 under Part 4 of Schedule 12A Section 100 (A) (4) of the Local Government Act 1972.




Referral from Cabinet - Household Waste and Recycling Centres

To consider the attached report


Cheryllee Evans referred the Committee to the ‘Referral from Cabinet – Household Waste and Recycling Centres’ report and responded to questions raised by the Committee.


Debate then took place on the report with a Member thanking the Cabinet for the referral of the matter to the Committee.


Resolved that:


(a)  The content of the report be noted

(b)  A request be made that in future any reports referred to Scrutiny be done so prior to a decision being made by Cabinet


Councillor M Colbran left the Meeting at 4.46 pm.



Scrutiny Referrals, Feedback and Follow up Actions


The Chair referred to the following referral that had been received from Councillor D Roberts, Audit Chair.


‘Now that we have the Enforcement Policy and Structure in place, I think it is wise to start following up on the backlog of evidence that the fly tipping Department have on file.  Where there is overwhelming evidence the Authority should now start enforcing any getting the message out to the public that there is a zero tolerance on fly tipping and if you are caught there will be consequences.  I understand that the budget in this Department is an issue but feel that more resources should be made available to kick start things.  Eventually the Department could be self funding?.  I will raise this at the next Audit Committee Meeting and ask if you can consider this for Scrutiny.’


Resolved that:


This referral be agendered for a future Meeting and the appropriate Officers be invited to attend this Meeting.


Reflection and Evaluation of Meeting

To receive an update from the Chair.


The Chair and the Committee reflected on the items that had been discussed at the Meeting namely:


·         The remit of the Scrutiny Committee in relation to Service areas

·         Items being referred to Scrutiny prior to a decision being made by Cabinet to afford Scrutiny the opportunity to have meaningful input on the issue referred.


Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 710 KB

To consider the attached report


The Chair referred the Committee to the ‘Scrutiny Committee Work Programme’ report.


Resolved that:


The content of the report be noted.


Any other business deemed urgent by the Chair


The Chair advised that there was no business deemed urgent.


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