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									COUNCIL MEETING - 5 DECEMBER 2007



MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE BRIDGEND COUNTY BOROUGH COUNCIL HELD
IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBER, CIVIC OFFICES, ANGEL STREET, BRIDGEND ON
WEDNESDAY, 5 DECEMBER 2007 AT 3.00PM

                                         Present:

                     Councillor C Westwood - Deputy Mayor in the Chair

Councillors             Councillors         Councillors             Councillors

D T Anderson            E P Foley           G C Lewis               M L Simmonds
M M Bertorelli          R M Granville       W May                   S B Smith
D A D Brett             D T Greaves         C J Michaelides         J C Spanswick
R D L Burns             C A Green BA        L C Morgan              W H C Teesdale
C Y Butcher             P A Hacking         M E J Nott              G Thomas
D Buttle                J J Hipkiss         L Phillips              M Thomas
H J David               C E Hughes          B I Quennell            M C Voisey
A E Davies              R G Hughes          M Quick                 K Watkins
G Davies                K S Hunt            J Radford               M C Wilkins
L Davies                M Inglesant         K T Rowlands            H M Williams
P A Evans               C J James           D Sage                  M Winter
W B Evans               R D Jenkins

OFFICERS

J Farrar         -   Chief Executive
G Moss           -   Executive Director - Resources
R-G Jones        -   Executive Director - Environment
H Anthony        -   Executive Director - Learning
T Garthwaite     -   Executive Director - Strategic Change
A Jolley         -   Director of Legal and Democratic Services and Monitoring Officer
L Fradd          -   Director of Regeneration
S Cooper         -   Acting Assistant Director - Adult Services
A Evans          -   Substance Misuse Development Manager
G P Jones        -   Principal Cabinet and Committee Officer
M A Galvin       -   Senior Cabinet and Committee Officer


947    FORMER COUNTY BOROUGH COUNCILLOR L J JENKINS

       The Deputy Mayor stated that it was her sad duty to announce, that former
       County Borough Councillor and Mayor Mr Lyn Jenkins had recently passed
       away.

       The funeral of Mr Jenkins was to be held tomorrow at 10.00am in the Margam
       Crematorium.

       All those present stood silently as a mark of respect to ex - Councillor Lyn
       Jenkins.




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COUNCIL MEETING - 5 DECEMBER 2007



948   MINUTES OF A PREVIOUS MEETING

       RESOLVED:            That the minutes of an ordinary meeting of Council dated 7
                            November 2007 be received and approved as a true and
                            accurate record.

949    APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

       Apologies for absence were received from the following Members/Officers, for
       the reasons stated:-

        Councillor M Gregory           -   Unwell
        Councillor M Jones             -   Hospital appointment
        Councillor K R T Deere         -   Holiday
        Councillor E McIIveen          -   Holiday
        Councillor H J David           -   Work commitments
        Councillor C Rees              -   Work commitments
        Mr J Wrangham                  -   Hospital

950    DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

       None.

951    ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM DIGNITARIES

       The Deputy Mayor

       1.      The Mayor

       The Deputy Mayor announced that the Mayor had a hospital appointment today
       and could therefore not Chair the meeting. She added however, that the
       treatment for her illness was progressing well.

       2.      Mr Liam Ronan

       The Deputy Mayor stated that Mr Ronan, Public Relations Officer screened his
       first film this week on ITV entitled „What goes on Tour‟. This was one of just six
       scripts to be chosen from a hundred entries.

       The comedy film had been made in conjunction with the Authority‟s It‟s my shout
       scheme.

       3.      Staff Congratulations

       The Deputy Mayor confirmed it was her pleasure to announce that Sally Hughes,
       Corporate Solicitor in the Legal and Democratic Services Directorate, had
       attained the Law Society‟s Diploma in Local Government Law and Practice.

       Charlotte Branford of the Cabinet and Committee Services Section had also
       gained an MA (Distinction) in English Literature.

       Members congratulated both of the above staff upon their achievements.



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       4.     Planning and Development Committee Site Inspections

       The Deputy Mayor announced that full Committee Site Inspections involving
       Members, scheduled for tomorrow morning had, with the consent of Group
       Leaders and appropriate Officers, been re-scheduled for tomorrow afternoon
       (2.00pm at Penyfai and 2.50pm at Ogmore Vale).

       The reason for the changes were made so as to allow Members, if they so
       wished, to attend the funeral of former County Borough Councillor Lyn Jenkins.

       Cabinet Member - Environment

       Councillor Voisey announced that Members may wish to consider an alternative
       to giving Christmas cards this year, and give donations instead to NSPCC and
       Childline. Further details could be obtained from Leadership support and are
       shown on the Members lounge notice board.

       Chief Executive

       The Chief Executive advised Members that today an appointment had been
       made to the vacant post of Assistant Chief Executive Corporate Development
       and Partnerships. The successful candidate who was well known to Members,
       was Mr Dave Macgregor.

952    LEADER‟S REPORT

       1.     Kenfig National Nature Reserve

       The Leader announced that the new building at Kenfig Nature Reserve which
       had been officially opened by the naturalist Iolo Williams on the 3 September
       2007, has already received two awards. It had received a prestigious Green
       Apple Environment Award, winning the Gold Award for Welsh Councils. This
       award was presented by the naturalist David Bellamy at a ceremony at the
       Houses of Parliament on the 9 November 2007.

       Secondly the Leader added, it has been awarded the Consortium of Local
       Authorities in Wales (CLAW) Sustainability Award for 2007. The building had
       been constructed using a sustainable design, including a „green‟ roof, solar
       panelling, under floor heating, an underground heat pump system, energy
       efficient lighting and a recycled „grey‟ water system, plus a number of traditional
       building materials had also been used. It was the flagship of the Phoenix Project
       - a Countryside Council for Wales initiative that aimed to improve nature
       reserves throughout the Objective One areas of Wales.

       These awards the Leader stated, demonstrated the commitment of the Council
       to the Sustainability Agenda. The Council‟s recently adopted Sustainable Design
       and Construction Protocol would give a framework for the development of similar
       (and hopefully award winning) buildings in the future.

       2.     Fly Tipping

       The Leader was extremely pleased to see on Wales this Week, the excellent
       work the Council was doing with partners - including the Environment Agency,


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       V2C and the Police - to prevent flytipping, something that was close to Members
       hearts. Fly-tipping had cost the Council £180,000 already this year and it was a
       blight on our countryside. The Leader congratulated the approach of the
       Partners concerned.

       3.      Review for Social Services for Children

       The Leader stated that the CSSIW were to carry out a review of Social Services
       for Children in Bridgend County Borough Council.

       The review would examine the way in which the local authority discharged its
       Social Services‟ Functions for Children, whether directly or through
       arrangements with others. The review would draw on the performance
       evaluation of social services and other available information. The fieldwork
       would take place during the two weeks beginning 4 February 2008 and the
       headline findings of the review will be presented to the Acting Executive Director
       - Community, shortly afterwards. A draft copy of the report of the review would
       be sent subsequently to the Acting Executive - Director. The Authority would
       have the opportunity to comment on any matters of clarification or accuracy and
       would be required to draw up an Action Plan in response to any
       recommendations, although this would not be published as part of the report.

       4.      Crime Reduction Statistics

       The Leader then announced some information from the South Wales Police on
       Crime Reduction issues in respect of crime reduction success, the Leader
       stated, when comparing April - November 2006 to April - November 2007 there
       were:-

           63 less house burglaries, a reduction of 19%
           184 less thefts from vehicles, a reduction of 25%
           65 less criminal damage offences, a reduction of 4%

      The Leader was particularly pleased with the results, as they were areas where
      the Safer Bridgend Partnership has had considerable focus upon, and secondly
      the community had played a full part in heeding crime reduction advice and made
      their homes more secure and their vehicles less of a target.

      The Leader added that over the same period, assaults had remained pretty
      static. However, the longer term trends i.e. over the last three years had shown
      significant reductions. These were up to 25% reductions over the three year
      period for common assault and 5% reductions for wounding.

      In the key areas of crime measured by the Home Office (British Crime Survey
      categories) the Leader went on, the Council were on course to meet its set
      targets of a 17.4% reduction against the 2003/04 baseline.

      Finally, in respect of Operation HUTTON (town centre focused drug operation) all
      persons had now been dealt with; of the 40 + persons who appeared in court and
      due to the strength of the evidence against them, they pleaded guilty. Twenty six
      persons were sentenced to custodial sentences of up to six years duration. The
      sum of the prison sentences totalled over seventy five years. It was hoped, the
      Leader stated, that the significant sentences would allow these people to engage


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      in some meaningful and long term rehabilitation work in prison, which will allow
      them to return into society and lead productive lives.

953    OUTSTANDING ISSUES FROM A PREVIOUS COUNCIL MEETING

       None.

954    AMENDMENTS TO THE SCHEME OF DELEGATION OF FUNCTIONS

       The Monitoring Officer presented a report, the purpose of which, was to propose
       some amendments to the Council‟s Scheme of Delegation of functions.

       An amendment was required to Scheme B2 Paragraph 2.14, to account for the
       removal of the reference to that section of the Lotteries and Amusements Act
       1976, which had been repealed by the Gambling Act 2005, insofar as it related to
       the registration of Small Society Lotteries.

       Both the provisions of the existing Paragraph 2.14 and that which was proposed,
       were outlined in the report, together with an additional proposed sub-paragraph
       to be included in 2.20 of the Scheme.

       RESOLVED:            That Council agrees to the approval of the amendments to
                            the Scheme of Delegation of Functions, as set out in
                            Paragraph 4 of the Officer‟s report.

955    INFORMATION REPORTS AND MINUTES FOR NOTING

       The Monitoring Officer submitted a report to Council which notified Members of
       information reports and minutes of other Council bodies for noting, published
       since its last ordinary meeting.

       RESOLVED:            That Council both acknowledges and notes the publication
                            of the above documentation.

956    2008/09 COUNCIL TAX BASE

       The Executive Director - Resources presented a report, which provided Council
       with details of the Council Tax Base and estimated collection rate for year
       2008/09.

       Details regarding the above were outlined in paragraph 4.1 of the report.

       Attached to the report were also the following Appendices:-

       Appendix „A‟ - Estimated County Borough Total and Net Tax Base - 2008/09
                      (broken down for each Town and Community Council area).

       Appendix „B‟ - Bridgend County Borough Council Tax Base Calculation.

       Appendix „C‟ - Breakdown of dwellings by Town and Community Councils.

       A Member questioned the estimated collection rate for 2008/09 being 95%,
       adding that we should be aiming for a higher estimate than this.


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       The Executive Director - Resources explained how the figure of the estimated
       collection rate was reached, adding that this was not a straightforward
       procedure, whereby differentials in both calculation and collection rates needed
       to be taken into account, before meeting this percentage aim.

       Further information was requested in relation to a breakdown of the number of
       dwellings year on year, which were increasing so as, to ascertain any effect this
       has had on Council tax assessments.

       The Executive Director - Resources confirmed that this information was available
       from the Council Tax Section and he would arrange for this to be sent to
       Members of individual Wards, if they so requested it.

       The Cabinet Member - Resources confirmed that, on an All Wales basis,
       Bridgend were in the first four or five authorities for successful Council Tax
       collections.

       The Executive Director - Resources was requested whether he would be able to
       forward information regarding the collection rate over recent years to Members,
       and he confirmed that he would arrange for this to be distributed.

957    QUESTIONS TO THE LEADER AND EXECUTIVE MEMBERS

       The Director of Legal and Democratic Services reminded Members of the
       procedure to be adhered to for future regarding the above.

       These were that all questions for Members of the Executive should be sent in
       writing, at least five clear working days before the day of the Council meeting to
       the Proper Officer or Cabinet and Committee Services. This period allows then
       for an answer to the questions to be prepared before the day of Council. The
       rule also was that this procedure involved one question per Member, plus one
       supplementary question only.

       There were two questions for the Cabinet Member - Resources and these are
       detailed below, together with the responses to these questions.

       1.     Councillor W May

       Question

       “Has the Council received the report from the actuaries regarding the County
       Pension Scheme which was due in November this year?”

       Background

       The Council has not received the Actuary Report referred to. It is expected early
       in January 2008.




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COUNCIL MEETING - 5 DECEMBER 2007



       Answer

       The Report of the Actuary has not been received, however, when it has been
       received I will ensure a copy is sent to Councillor May and copies will be
       available in the Member Work Area.

       2.     Councillor W B Evans

       Question

       “In view of the fact that Bridgend County Borough Council has received over one
       million pounds (£1m) from the sale of land for the Tesco Store development at
       Maesteg, will the Cabinet Member for Resources give a commitment to spend
       that money on:-

              1.    Building a new Ladies and Gents toilet on the Llynfi Road car park,
                    and

              2.    Refurbishing Maesteg‟s Market and Bus Station

       I look forward to receiving an answer in the affirmative to the above question and
       a commitment that it will be included in the Council‟s 2008 Capital Programme.”

       Background

       During this Administration a Capital Working Group of Elected Members has
       been established to provide opportunity for elected Members‟ comments/advice
       to be incorporated into staff‟s professional consideration regarding the Capital
       programme. This arrangement is to ensure that elected Members can consider
       the process in assessing capital receipts, how those receipts are considered
       corporately in relation to Council projects, and priorities together with the
       associated expenditure.

       The planning period of any project is necessarily long and project estimates are
       prone to change (usually increase). The increased cost of projects is also a
       substantial factor to be taken into account including any overspends. The
       elected Members attending the Capital Working Group have been provided
       information as to how the Capital Programme works and the individual elements
       constituting the programme. There have been two such meetings attended by
       Councillor W B Evans.

       Capital receipts are estimated in order to develop the Capital programme in
       advance of the actual receipt. The Tesco receipt (£1.05M) was first considered
       during 2003/2004 and in accordance with Council priorities and the Capital
       Working Group advice/protocols. The Tesco receipt (received 15 November
       2006) has been fully allocated to facilitate the Capital Programme and there is no
       new funding available until 2010/2011.

       There are twenty one Projects, Developments and Schemes over the next three
       years and the whole programme considers a further three years up to
       2012/2014. I also confirm that it is a Cabinet/Council policy that Capital Receipts
       are not ward or geographically allocated, however, there is some conditionality in
       that Education receipts fund the School Modernisation.


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COUNCIL MEETING - 5 DECEMBER 2007




       This has been most recently reinforced in Porthcawl, where during the last public
       meeting, in response to a question from a resident the Executive Director -
       Resources reinforced this point, and also in Bridgend where a similar receipt to
       the Tesco one was received from Asda and was not ring fenced for that ward.

       To suddenly change the Council and Cabinet priorities would produce inefficient
       capital programming and militate against Council wide policies generally,
       including the ability of the Council to manage its finances for the Borough as a
       whole.

       Answer

       The extent and condition of Borough Public Toilets is the subject of a separate
       survey/report and will require specific consideration by Cabinet and/or Council to
       determine priorities in due course and it would not be proper to pre-determine
       the report and possible outcomes.

       As Cabinet Member - Resources I also confirm that we are currently in a Budget
       process which includes Capital expenditure and, in the circumstances:

       I am not prepared to prejudge the elected Members consideration of the Report
       regarding Public Toilets or outcomes neither am I prepared to predetermine
       elected Members and the Budget process which includes proper consideration
       through the Overview and Scrutiny process by committing the Council to the
       refurbishment of Maesteg Market and Bus Station.

       In addition I believe such ad hoc decisions would prejudice the effectiveness of
       the requirements of the Statement of Internal Control.

       Supplementary Question

       That the Cabinet Member contact‟s the Assistant Director - Finance to verify an
       answer to a question raised in the last Capital Programme meeting and two
       years ago at a Council meeting, whereby under the Freedom of Information Act,
       it had been revealed that the Council had received £1m for the sale of the land in
       question.

       Answer

       You are abusing the proper process of the new questioning procedure, and I am
       not prepared to give a verbal answer to that question, as it also is unnecessarily
       involving an Officer of the Council who is not present at the meeting.

958    SUPPORTING PEOPLE WITH DRUG AND ALCOHOL PROBLEMS AND
       EATING DISORDERS IN THE COUNTY BROUGH

       Members received a briefing paper which outlined information on the above
       matter, provided by the Acting Assistant Director - Adult Services.

       The Director of Legal and Democratic Services and Monitoring Officer reminded
       Members of the need to comply with Rule 13.5 of Part 4 of the Constitution in



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       terms of the rules of debate on items presented before Council for discussion on
       a quarterly basis.

       The Chairperson of the Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee
       opened the debate.

        He wished it firstly placed on record that he was extending thanks to Ms S
       Cooper, the Local Health Board and certain voluntary sectors for their input to
       the briefing paper. He added that he had witnessed first hand, the significant
       problems and misery inflicted upon persons and their families by illnesses
       associated with drug, alcohol and eating disorder problems.

       He added that because these sort of problems often end up getting acute, they
       should be taken very responsibly by those who could offer assistance in
       remedying such problems, and was thankful to the key services that are provided
       to support victims who were having extremely difficult times with drug and
       alcohol related illnesses, in particular.

       He stated that following some research, he had been concerned when realising
       that over the last year there had been 526 referrals in the County Borough of
       Bridgend due to alcohol related problems. He compared this with a far larger
       constituency, Bolton, where they had 700 or so, and realised the problems in
       Bridgend County Borough were high. He added that extension to the licensing
       hours of pubs and clubs to sometimes 5.00am, added to this problem.

       In relation to eating disorders, he stated that nine out of ten victims were young
       women, and that the figures here were higher than people suffering with
       schizophrenia. To this end, he added that he welcomed the CAMHS and Harvey
       Jones Unit Development, which following a recent Health Commission Wales
       Consultation paper would result in these Units being moved to the Glanrhyd Site.
       The plans were for a 14 bed CAMHS Unit to be based in Glanrhyd (with an
       eventual planned move to the Princess of Wales site). However, Councillor
       Sage added, we must continue as a Council to apply pressure for the
       development of five emergency beds that are currently on hold as well as also
       continuing to argue for a specialist dedicated provision for eating disorders in the
       new development for our constituents.

      Whenever possible, prevention programmes for schools, community
      organisations etc., should be co-ordinated with opportunities for participants to
      speak confidentially with a trained professional with expertise in the field of eating
      disorders, and, when appropriate, receive referrals to sources of competent,
      specialised care.

      The County Borough of Bridgend must continue to support people with alcohol
      problems and whenever possible he added, prevention programmes for schools,
      community organizations, etc., should be co-ordinated with opportunities for
      participants to speak confidentially with a trained professional with expertise in
      the field of alcohol related problems and, when appropriate, receive referrals to
      sources of competent, specialised care and rehabilitation centres and the same
      principle should apply for drug addiction.

       The Cabinet Member for Education informed of discussions that were ongoing
       on Substance Misuse Education within schools in Bridgend.


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COUNCIL MEETING - 5 DECEMBER 2007




       This discussion was triggered by the Estyn report that was published earlier this
       year, and there was an overwhelming feeling that the lack of core funding to
       develop a team to support the delivery of the subject in schools hindered the
       scope, range and effectiveness of what is delivered.

       Prevention and education on substance abuse has always been the “poor
       relation” to treatment when funds are allocated he added. Ogwr DASH used to
       be funded to support schools, but in recent years there has not been a single
       high profile agency that has that remit.

       The police school liaison core programme was probably the only constant that is
       regularly provided for schools, and their inputs are limited to one session per key
       stage. In recent years ESIS advisers have run courses for teachers, but the lack
       of priority within BSF has meant insufficient numbers to offer courses in the
       recent past.

       The Cabinet Member for Education stated that for the past few years, substance
       misuse has fallen in priority in school PSE programmes. South Wales Police
       provide a wide base of information on substances in their Core Programme but
       schools tend to leave it to them and not follow up with discussions on
       behavioural, feelings and emotions etc.

       There are training issues as staff are reluctant to tackle this sensitive area. So,
       school education has a long way to go in responding adequately to this growing
       problem.

       The Chairperson of the Education, Leisure and Community Services Overview
       and Scrutiny Committee supported preventative programmes being put in place,
       but added that these programmes should be longer than those that currently
       exist, and have the benefit of further funding for follow-up purposes to avoid
       cases of relapse. She felt that there was insufficient rehabilitation programmes,
       particularly for eating disorder sufferers, and that this issue should be addressed.

       Concern was also raised to the lack of rehabilitation facilities in place for drug
       related crime.

       The Acting Assistant Director - Adult Services responded that there was funding
       allocated for a Prevention and Training post which contributed to the PSE
       projects in schools, and training awareness sessions were held with school
       governors and parents. . A further project had recently been launched entitled „
       EEPIP which supported parenting skills where parents of young children
       misused substances. A drug intervention programme was also put in place for
       priority prolific offenders. Plans were also afoot next year, to support repeating
       offenders in Substance Misuse, so that there would be faster access and longer
       intervention in future for these people.

       Members felt that greater time (as well as funding) needed to be committed by
       schools to support this particular problem, whilst appreciating that the funding
       issue would possibly not be easy to resolve.

       Members also felt that there was a great necessity to take this briefing paper
       forward and to develop and increase support to the problems outlined therein.


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COUNCIL MEETING - 5 DECEMBER 2007




       A question was also raised as to the feasibility of providing a Unit to tackle and
       support these problems in the Princess of Wales Hospital.

       The Leader stated that the perception of some was that drug misuse was self
       inflicted, when this often was not the case. She added that no one set out to be
       a drug addict, but that it can be seen as a „quick fix‟ for some people which then
       develops into a real problem. The suppliers were the real criminals, whereby the
       users were often victims of circumstances. Drug addicts often turned to crime
       the Leader added, to financially support their addiction. There was a need for a
       sympathetic yet holistic approach, as people with these problems were more
       often than not experiencing an illness, initiated by drugs and alcohol, etc. She
       added that the press should have a part to play in this too, but in a positive rather
       than negative way. The problems should also have increased profile on a
       national scale the Leader added.

       The Cabinet Member - Community added that the report reflected how the
       problems detailed within it impinge upon and ruin family lives. He wondered
       whether Bridgend County Borough could have an increased role to play in Drug
       Implementation vie the Community Safety Partnership, with the provision of a
       local based premises.

       The Substance Misuse Development Manager responded by stating that the
       Drug Intervention Programme was across all Wales and that Bridgend did not
       have a base. This base was located in Neath. Capital funding was available
       through the DIP to develop a local facility.

       Members also asked a number of questions on the various tables outlined in the
       report (i.e. Table 1, 2 and 3) which included various information on treatment and
       rehabilitation services available for the support of people with drug, alcohol and
       substance misuse problems, which were responded to by the two lead officers.

       In relation to eating disorders, it was confirmed that this was commissioned by
       the Health Commission Wales as a Special Service and that they were unlikely
       to support a facility in Bridgend, but would possibly support the problem on a
       regional basis.

       The Cabinet Member - Resources thanked the Chairperson of the Corporate
       Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee for leading this very important
       subject today. He added that a lot of the problems discussed were about
       perception and education, as these problems were being experienced globally.
       He felt that a framework should be put in place to take this topic of discussion
       forward further and grasp a more cohesive view, perhaps with assistance from
       others. He felt it important that this should be supported through the budget
       allocation.

       The Deputy Leader added that the exchange of drugs sometimes goes on
       openly, in public places. She commended also the work of the Youth Offending
       Team in their support to drug and alcohol misuse.

       It was a unanimous view from Members that further education was required to
       assist in preventing these problems from occurring in the first instance, as well
       as rehabilitation being followed-up, to eradicate episodes of relapse.


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       It was acknowledged that the proposed merger of Children‟s Services with
       Education, and Adult Services with Leisure and Community Services Directorate
       there could be opportunities to enhance development in the support of the
       problems that had been debated, together with increased and continued
       partnership working.

       The Council debate concluded that there would be significant benefit from the
       presentation of a Joint Officer report to Cabinet for liaison with Overview and
       Scrutiny, which explored BCBC/External financial and other resources to develop
       an „outline of a policy framework‟ that enables cohesion with other Unitary
       Authorities, National Health Trusts partnership boards in relation to the delivery
       of prevention, treatment and enforcement programmes for people with problems
       with Drug, Alcohol and Eating Disorders”, with this possibly culminating in a
       report to Council.

       The meeting closed at 4.55pm




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