Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Special Budget, Environment, Regeneration and Streetscene Services Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 10th January, 2024 10.00 am

Venue: Multi-Location Meeting - Council Chamber, Port Talbot & Microsoft Teams. View directions

Contact: Charlotte John  Email:

No. Item


Chair's Announcements


The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.


The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting. The Chair informed members of the passing of Councillor Sheila Penry who was a member of this committee and a former chair of the Streetscene Committee.


Members observed a minute’s silence as a mark of respect. The chair advised that members would have an opportunity to pay tribute to Cllr Penry at the next full Council meeting.


The chair advised that in relation to item 3, that officers have advised that items listed as a ENV 21, 22 and 23 will be considered under the Education, Skills, and Wellbeing Scrutiny committee.


Declarations of Interest


Cllr T. Bowen indicated he had a personal interest for Appendix 4, Reference ENV7, as his wife works for Gnoll Country Park.



Cllr Tim Bowen indicated he had a personal interest for Appendix 4, Reference ENV7, as his wife works for Gnoll Country Park.


Budget consultation 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 217 KB

Additional documents:


Members considered the Budget Consultation Report 2024/25 as presented.


Following scrutiny, Members noted the report.


Budget Consultation 2024/25


Members considered the Budget Consultation Report 2024/25 as presented.


The Chair outlined that comments from the meeting will form part of the formal consultation response to the budget. Members were reminded of their obligation as part of the budget consultation process to put forward any other proposals for budget savings which are not included within the report so that officers can give them consideration as soon as possible.


Members were reminded that they should consider the elements of the budget which fall under the remit of this scrutiny committee.


Nicola Pearce, Director of Environment gave a brief overview of the general proposals as listed in the Budget Consultation Report 2024/25 and explained the difficult situation the directorate faces in relation to achieving a balanced budget.


Members were advised that officers have tried to drive down costs and secure with savings first and then for those that aren't covered under those strategic savings proposals, Officers would go through each of the proposals line by line as identified in Appendix 4.




Members asked if the authority is engaging with planning officers to identify opportunities to increase value by selling authority buildings and land with planning permission.


Officers advised that if the land or buildings have got planning permission for alternative use, then it will inflate the price that the authority can secure for that asset. That is something officers will always do, but there are constraints associated with some buildings, such as being on a floodplain.


Officers noted that members have referred to Community Adaptation and Resilience Plans (CARPs) in a question submitted before the meeting to officers in relation to this. Members were advised that CARPs don't allow you to just do what you want to just because you've got the opportunity to do those. Officers would still need to mitigate the impact of flooding, and there will still be uses that you cannot put in a floodplain even if you've got a CARP in place. Officers advised that when they are ready to release a building or land, they will establish what the best use is for that site and what they can get planning permission for which will provide the best support for the Community and for the economy and possibly for the councils housing requirements and for the budget.


These will be considered to make the right decision for the Council at that time based on those issues.




Members asked about the £185,000 saving that's listed for the next financial year on the operating subsidy, members asked what other elements make up the saving other than security or income for the next financial year?


Officers explained that there are high insurance and security costs there, with security guards making up the most of it. This is down to the threats that have happened there including a security guard being threatened with a machete which meant that the security guards would only work in pairs for safety.




Officers were asked who they were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Urgent Items

Any urgent items at the discretion of the Chairperson pursuant to Section 100BA(6)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).


There were no urgent items.


There was none.