Agenda and minutes


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 Lee Davies advised he was the Open Spaces Champion and Councillor Malcolm Colbran advised he was the Biodiversity Champion.  The Chair deemed these as not needing to be considered under Declarations of Interest.


Countryside Section pdf icon PDF 156 KB

To consider the attached report


The Chair referred to the two reports on Countryside and Open Spaces and asked the officers to explain the difference between the two subjects.


Rolf Brown referred Committee to the Countryside Section report and provided a summary of where we were, where we are and where we want to be.


The following questions/observations were raised by Committee and responded to in detail by the Officers:-


·         Timescale for completion of draft Merthyr Tydfil Nature Recovery Action Plan 2018-2023.

·         Are we working with other departments to deliver training, how many will benefit and will this training lead to future employment or is it just for volunteering.

·         How do you agree the confines of Community Groups.

·         What are the intended uses for the Open Spaces by the Leisure Trust.

·         A Prosperous Wales (upskilling) – can you define prosperity and how this would work.

·         How much grant funding has been secured.

·         Has  any EU funding been received and will Brexit have any effect.

·         Has general funding been considered to support future maintenance budgets.

·         How do you balance protecting and improving SSSIs against projects that promote physical activity and job creation.

·         Where do we promote biodiversity, how are we proactive and what more can be done.

·         Can the draft Nature Recovery Plan be circulated to Councillors.

·         Clarity sought over cutting of roadside verges and planting of wild flowers.

·         How can Councillors get more involved with Community Groups.

·         What time are you able to provide to Community Groups.


Committee thanked the officers for the support provided to Community Groups.


Open Spaces Report pdf icon PDF 167 KB

To consider the attached report


Tom Bramley referred Committee to the Open Spaces report, provided a summary and made particular reference to the Green Flag programme and the eight criteria used to assess how open spaces are performing satisfactorily:


-       A Welcoming Place

-       Healthy; Safe and Secure

-       Well Maintained and Clean

-       Environmental Management

-       Biodiversity, Landscape and Heritage

-       Community Involvement

-       Marketing and Communication

-       Management


The following questions/observations were raised by Committee and responded to in detail by the Officers:-


·         What do you see as main priorities for the next three years and obstacles that lie ahead.

·         How can existing management arrangements be improved.

·         What is the dialogue with Merthyr Valley Homes (largest landlord).

·         Horticultural skills shortage - Are there plans in place to support development of staff.

·         What preparation has been done to overcome Priority Open Spaces issues.

·         Response from Councillors on Open Spaces.

·         Invite MVH Chief Executive and staff to attend Committee together with Tom Bramley.

·         Public perception of the difference between private and public land.


Committee thanked the Officers for the reports provided and the work undertaken.


Resolved that:


a)         a summary of the Annual Monitoring Report is reported to Scrutiny as part of the annual work programme.


b)         an invitation be sent to Merthyr Valley Homes Chief Executive to attend Committee.



Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 438 KB

To consider the attached report

Additional documents:


Maria Purnell advised that a request had been made to defer the presentation of LDP report scheduled for 22 October until 3 December 2018.


Discussion took place regarding flytipping and litter on Merthyr Valley Homes land.


Resolved that:


a)    The LDP report be deferred until 3 December 2018 Committee.


b)    The Committee considers the attached work programme and approves, revises or amends it as deemed appropriate.


Scrutiny Referrals, Feedback and Follow up Actions


Chair advised no scrutiny referrals or feedback.


Follow up action – invitation be sent to Merthyr Valley Homes to attend Scrutiny Committee.


Reflection and Evaluation of Meeting

To receive an update from the Chair.


The Chair and the Committee reflected on the items discussed at the meeting.


Any other business deemed urgent by the Chair


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