Agenda and minutes

Cabinet Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 31st July, 2019 10.01 am

Venue: Council Chamber - Port Talbot Civic Centre

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


The following Member made a declaration of interest at the commencement of the meeting:


Councillor M.Harvey             -              Re: Report of the Corporate Directors Group – Revenue Budget Monitoring Report 2019/20, and Private Joint Report of the Assistant Chief Executive and Chief Digital Officer; the Head of Adult Services and the Head of Property and Regeneration – CCTV Service Remodelling Update, as he is employed by South Wales Police.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 65 KB


That the Minutes of the previous meeting, held on 10 July, 2019, be approved.



Pre Decision Scrutiny


The Committee scrutinised the following Cabinet items:


Draft Decarbonisation and Renewable Energy Strategy


The Draft Decarbonisation and Renewable Energy Strategy focused on issues within the Council’s remit, on a local level. The Strategy was not a statutory document, so the public consultation was aimed at receiving comments and building on what the Council was already doing to reduce its carbon footprint.


Members suggested the word ‘environmental’ be removed from page 1, paragraph 1.1.1 of the Draft Strategy, attached at appendix one to the circulated report. Officers confirmed this suggestion would feed into the consultation.


Discussion also took place on areas including:


·          local forms of renewable energy;

·          planning policy guidance;

·          the consultation process and channels of engagement with the public and stakeholders and

·          local pollution reducing strategies.


Following scrutiny, the Committee was supportive of the proposals to be considered by Cabinet.


Revenue Budget Monitoring 2019/20


Overspends and underspends were discussed, along with absences within the cleaning service, and the back filling of positions in the case of sickness.


The Cabinet Member for Finance advised the Committee that a close eye was kept on the revenue budget throughout the year, and that Welsh Government was frequently lobbied for extra funding.


Following scrutiny, the Committee was supportive of the proposals to be considered by Cabinet.


Valleys Action Plan – Progress


Members were pleased to note the progress as described within the circulated report. Officers explained that although the ‘Future actions in the Valleys’ (appendix to the circulated report) aimed to be valleys specific, it was also important to have sight of wider Welsh Government policies, for example, in relation to transport.


Following scrutiny the report was noted.


Forward Work Programme 19/20 pdf icon PDF 73 KB


During the last meeting of the Cabinet Scrutiny Committee, Members had scrutinised the work of the Public Services Board (PSB), as per their remit. The relevant PSB partners had now been invited to attend the Scrutiny meeting of 25 September 2019, to provide specific updates, as requested.


The Committee noted the Forward Work Programme for 2019/20.


Access to Meetings

To resolve to exclude the public for the following items pursuant to Regulation 4 (3) and (5) of Statutory Instrument 2001 No.2290 and the relevant exempt paragraphs of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972



RESOLVED:      that pursuant to Section 100A(4) and (5) of the

Local Government Act 1972, the public be

excluded for the following item of business

which involved the likely disclosure of exempt

information as defined in Paragraph 14 of Part 4

of Schedule 12A to the above Act.



Pre Decision Scrutiny of Private Item


Committee scrutinised the following private Cabinet item:


CCTV – Service Remodelling Update


(At this point, Councillor M.Harvey reaffirmed his interest in the item, left the meeting and took no further part in the discussion and voting thereon. Councillor S.Rahaman took over the Chair.)


Although not a statutory service, Members felt that the CCTV service was of vital importance with regards to community safety. It was noted that the CCTV service had initially been set up with grants from the Home Office, but over recent years similar grants had been in short supply.


Members queried whether partner agencies had been invited to collaborate and also contribute to the cost of the service, and noted that to date, there had been no take up of this offer. Despite the use of CCTV footage in criminal justice proceedings, the Police and Crime Commissioner was reluctant to fund any costs towards the service.


It was possible that collaboration with Briton Ferry Town Council could be an option. This was currently being explored. Other avenues of collaboration with regards the CCTV service included developer contributions and licensing levies which had been explored, but which were not feasible.


For the future it may be possible to expand the service to other agencies, but there could be a significant capital cost to achieve the required certificates.


Following the strategic review, a further report would be taken to the Community Safety and Public Protection Scrutiny Sub Committee before the end of the year, prior to final decisions being taken on the way forward.


Following scrutiny, the Committee was supportive of the proposals to be considered by Cabinet.


Councillor Harvey re-joined the meeting.