Agenda and minutes


No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor C Davies and Clare Brown Co-opted Member.


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




No Declarations of Interest were made.


Performance Report - Corporate Plan Standards of Attainment pdf icon PDF 143 KB

To consider the attached report


The Chair welcomed Councillor L Mytton Cabinet Member, Dorothy Haines, Ewan McWilliams and Chris Hole to the Meeting.


Dorothy Haines referred the Committee in detail to the ‘Performance Report – Standards of Attainment 2017’ report and together with Councillor Mytton and the Officers responded in detail to the following questions:


·         Update requested in relation to the system being used by the Department in relation to Data collection

·         Are there any measurable targets set

·         Is there a Service Level Agreement

·         Paragraph 6.5 – Key Stage 3 – Outcomes in oracy at KS2 and KS3 are lower than in reading which is the opposite of the outcomes in Wales.  What is the reason for this – What would the outcome be

·         KS4 results – What is the ranking of the Authority

·         Paragraph 6.3 – Local Authority Data – Appendix 1- Effect of non-attendance


The Chair referred to the Committee looking at Attendance alongside corresponding outcomes in all schools and to gain evidence to see if Attendance was contributing to outcomes and if yes what could the Authority do.


This piece of work needed to start as soon as possible as it was the start of a new academic year.


Therefore, in order to carry out this piece of work the Chair recommended that a Task and Finish Group be convened to undertake an investigation into Attendance at all schools.


After consideration by the Committee it was


Resolved that:


(a)  The judgements and evaluations be noted

(b)   A Task and Finish Group be convened in relation to Attendance in all Schools to comprise Councillor H R Jones, Councillor C Davies and Councillor S Jago and that this Group update the Committee at every Meeting.


Best Start to Life - Children get the best start to life pdf icon PDF 180 KB

To consider the attached report


Dorothy Haines and Ewan McWilliams referred the Committee to the ‘Best Start to Life – Children get the best start to life’ report.


Dorothy Haines then referred in detail to:


·         Supporting Child Development

·         Improving Family Involvement in Learning

·         Achieving Excellence in Schools

·         Active Merthyr Plan


The following questions were then raised by the Committee and were responded to in detail by Councillor Mytton and the Officers:


·         Active Merthyr Plan – What are the intensions of the Council in relation to being more active - How do the Authority know they are providing the right type of physical activities in the right places and at the right times - How is this evaluated and what is being done to communicate with the public to get feedback

·         Paragraph 4.4 – Children having a nurturing and stimulating home environment – How can the Authority ensure that children have a stimulating home environment

·         Are there Strategies for families who are hard to engage with

·         Key performance indicators – Not all Wellbeing Projects are referred to – The importance of non Flying Start areas

·         The KPI’s listed do not seem to refer to all four of the Wellbeing Projects – Are these the only KPI’s for all four Wellbeing projects

·         Wellbeing assessments – Where does the baseline start – What difference does the intervention of Flying Start make – The need for a strong base line – Helpful to have figures in the report

·         Additional work load for staff – Is there sufficient staff to take the programme forward

·         Communication with Communities First – e.g Projects in relation to low birth weight

·         Partnership working with Health – Who is the Council in Partnership with – How is data married – Explanation requested on how this works


Mr A Rees Co-opted Member left the Meeting at 5.30 pm.


Resolved that:


The contents of the report be noted.


Vacancies for Co-opted Members

To receive an update from the Chair


The Committee were advised of the applications received in relation to the two vacant Co-opted positions.


Resolved that:


The Committee Chair and Vice Chair consider the application received and appoint as appropriate.


Scrutiny Referrals, Feedback and Follow up Actions

To receive an update from the Chair


The Committee were updated in relation to the Central South Consortium proposed Joint Panel.


Reflection and Evaluation of Meeting

To receive an update from the Chair


The Chair and the Committee discussed in detail the issues that had been considered at the Meeting.


Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 861 KB

To consider the attached report


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



Any other business deemed urgent by the Chair


The Chair advised that there was no business deemed urgent.


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