Agenda and minutes



No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor B Smith.


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 L Davies declared his interest in Item 3 as he is employed by the Leisure Trust.


Welsh Public Library Standards pdf icon PDF 160 KB

To consider the attached report

Additional documents:


Jane Sellwood introduced the Item to the committee and highlighted the saliant points within the report.


The following questions were raised by the committee and responded to in detail by the officers in attendance:


·         Concerns were raised on how the budget currently works and whether there is enough money in the current budget and the service is providing value for money


·         Comparators clearly aren’t available in this report due to the pandemic, but would it be possible for you to share previous comparators so that members can better understand and decide how well this service is doing


·          How many volunteers do you currently have in Library Services and how many hours per week/month do they contribute to the service


·         What would happen if the volunteers decided to stop volunteering


·         Concerns were raised about staffing levels as the Library has been down at least one qualified librarian for a considerable amount of time, can you confirm how many qualified staff you should have and how many years you have been without a full quota of qualified staff


·         Has any progress been made in relation to internal progression and for staff to undertake professional qualifications while in post


·          In the year prior to the library services going to Trust you stated that the staffing levels dropped considerably did those figures include the vacant qualified librarian post and are there currently any other vacant posts


·         Page 30 of the report states ‘Extended periods of closure and poor winter weather have also impacted massively on one of the buildings and there is current work going on to assess the viability of reopening at another building to ensure the service isn’t lost to an area’ can you confirm this is in relation to the Library Services that were offered at Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Centre


·         Due to the cost of maintaining the building in Treharris currently utilised for library services you are actively looking for an alternative venue. Can you confirm that so far you have been unable to identified a suitable venue


·         You mentioned the planning process, do you mean applying for planning permission or just internal planning processes to ensure a smooth transition


Alyn Owen requested clarity form Jane in relation to the reduction of Library Service staff prior to transfer to trust – was this due to voluntary redundancies or was it to lower the contract cost to the trust.


·         The background papers for this report list the additional duties that the libraries staff undertook during the pandemic and that it attracted new members to the service – do you have any feedback from these new members


·         Can you confirm if you consult with members of the community who don’t currently engage with the library to ascertain why that would be the case


The Chair thanked Jane Sellwood for the excellent report and the responses to the questions raised.


Resolved that:


That the report is accepted and ratified as a full return


Corporate Plan and Corporate Well-being Objectives pdf icon PDF 579 KB

To consider report of the Chief Executive


Ellis Copper and Councillor L Mytton introduced the item with the aid of a power point presentation and were assisted by Andrew Mogford.


The following questions were raised by the committee and were responded to in detail by the officers in attendance:


·         Page 32 of the report – Paragraph 3.4 states that engagement will start in Autumn/Winter of 2021, do we know the exact start date


·         Page 33 of the report – Paragraph 5.2 states ‘It is proposed that the Council follows a similar approach to that of the Cwm Taf Morgannwg region in developing its plan. This means that engagement with the community will be carried out and data analysed to establish the need. This will include using data developed in the Population Needs Assessment and Well-being Assessment.’ Does this include all school children and particularly secondary school children


·         Page 33 / 34 of the report – paragraph 5.3 relates to hard to reach groups and lessons learnt, do we know who are the hard to reach groups and can you give the committee some examples of those groups


·         How do you plan to consult with the harder to reach groups and what tools and partners will you utilise


·         How easy will it be to measure the success or even failures of the plan and to report back to members


The Chair urged that Scrutiny members should be involved in future public consultations to pick up on public perception.


Following further comments it was Resolved that:


The judgements and evaluation were noted and debated


Work Programme 2021-2022 pdf icon PDF 621 KB

To consider the attached report

Additional documents:


The Chair provided an update in relation to the work programme and what items will be brought to the next committee meeting.


Councillor C Jones raise the issue in relation to the One Stop Shop being opened to the public. It was agreed that this will be added to the work programme for a report to come to the next committee meeting.


Maria Purnell provided an update to the committee in relation to the Cabinet Forward Work Programme for Quarter 3.




Scrutiny Referrals, Feedback and Follow up Actions


The Chair confirmed that no referrals or feedback had been received.


In relation to follow ups actions the Chair requested that Gethin Williams questions be emailed to Jane Sellwood.


Councillor C Jones requested that all Committee Members be included in the email to Jane so that everyone is kept up to speed with the Library Service.


Reflection and Evaluation of Meeting

To receive an update from the Chair


The Chair and the Committee reflected on the issues that had been discussed at the Meeting.


Any other business deemed urgent by the Chair


The Chair advised that there was no business deemed urgent and thanked everyone for their attendance before closing the meeting.



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