Cllr. E.V.Latham, Leader of Council introduced the Corporate Plan 2021/2023 which had been commended to Council from Cabinet on the 12th May for approval.
The Leader addressed Council. It was explained that the Corporate Plan presented reflected the significant challenges presented by COVID-19 and also the Skewen Blowout. Council recorded their appreciation for all the work undertaken by staff, residents and partners.
Council then reflected on the many lives lost and the impact of the pandemic on many others.
Work was ongoing to continue to support residents in recovering from these emergencies.
Members noted that an important element of the future work of the Council would be to support people and businesses as they opened up and to prepare a longer term recovery plan.
In addition, an engagement exercise that will take place over the summer with staff, residents, businesses and partners giving them the opportunity to shape the way the Council moves forward. A report detailing the feedback from this exercise would be available for consideration by Members in the Autumn.
Concern was expressed by some Members that the Cefn Coed Museum and the Valleys Strategy had not achieved fruition.
Members queried what the statutory powers the Council has in regard to pollution and how the Council uses these power and what engagement was undertaken with partners to use these powers to address particular issues for example the Store Gas Fired Power Station .
Officers explained that the regulator responsible for these permits was Natural Resources Wales (NRW) who works closely with Council officers. Meetings have been arranged in regard to this specific query, looking at the rationale and thresholds with NRW permitting officer in regard to the areas in question and a report will be brought back to members in due course.
It was highlighted that Neath Port Talbot was the lead authority as part of City Deal looking at areas of supporting innovation and low carbon growth. Part of that project was looking at air quality. Shortly new monitoring equipment would be rolled out which would assist in measuring air quality.
In answer to Members queries, it was explained that Pontardawe Arts Centre cinema project was one of the initiatives for Pontardawe and an update report would be brought for Members’ consideration in the near future.
Further questions were raised in regard to the Valleys Strategy. Members were advised that an update report on the Valleys Strategy could be provided if required.
Having given due regard to the Integrated Impact Assessment:
1. The Corporate Plan for the period 2021 – 2023 be adopted.
2. That the Head of Human & Organisational Development be authorised to add the additional performance data to the Plan when available.