Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 30th July, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Remotely via Teams

No. Item


Declarations of Interests


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


Councillor S.Reynolds              Re NPT Safe and Well – Humanitarian Assistance Provided by the Council in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic (Cabinet papers), as she is the voluntary acting manager and trustee of Canolfan Maerdy


Pre-decision Scrutiny

·        To select appropriate items from the Cabinet agenda for pre-decision scrutiny (cabinet reports enclosed for Scrutiny Members)


The committee scrutinised the following cabinet items:

Welsh Language Standards Annual Report 2019-2020

The Committee welcomed the Welsh Language Standards Annual Report for 2019-2020.

Members were pleased to learn, from looking at the stats, that the number of staff who signed up for Welsh learning had increased. 

It was asked whether the effects of COVID 19, in particular the redeployment of staff, would have an overall impact on the work that the Welsh Language Officer Group had planned for next year. Officers confirmed that the pandemic did have an effect on the work of the Group; meetings of the Group were cancelled and some of the Officers involved were redeployed. However, it was noted that some Officers had started to return to their substantive posts and plans were in place for a meeting in September in which the Group would be discussing the outcomes from the review of the mystery shopper exercise, the evaluations of the training that accountable managers received in March 2020 and the re-prioritised programme of work for the rest of the year.

Detailed in the circulated report it stated that the outbreak of COVID 19, meant that considerable changes were made to the way in which the council operated and due to the limited internal linguistic skills, the council’s ability to provide communications in Welsh and English was impacted for a period of time. It was highlighted that progress had since been made and the council were now simultaneously publishing English and Welsh versions of press releases and had resumed English and Welsh social media accounts; when a post would be shared from a third party, which was only available in English, staff would be adding appropriate comments in Welsh on the Welsh social media accounts. Officers also mentioned that the NPT Buy Local Welcome Back to Pontardawe video included both English and Welsh shop owners and provided subtitles for both languages. It was also confirmed that the Welsh language accounts were being monitored for messages and where a response was required, it would be provided in Welsh. Members were informed that the next key piece of work would be looking at the COVID 19 pages on the council’s website, in which an audit had already started to remove information that was not relevant; following this translation of the information that needs to remain on the website would begin.

Following scrutiny, the report was noted.

NPT Safe and Well – Humanitarian Assistance Provided by the Council in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic

A discussion took place in relation to those who were eligible for support from the Safe and Well Service, following Members concern that the eligibility list did not include mental health patients, in particular the patents who did not receive a shielding letter from the NHS. It was noted that as individuals were being transitioned who currently received support from the Safe and Well Service and whom staff had concerns, social services were involved to ensure appropriate support was in place. Members were asked  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.