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Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Mold CH7 6NA

Contact: Nicola Gittins on 01352 702345  Email: nicola.gittins@flintshire.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

80.

Presentations

Celebrating our successes:

 

Corporate Business and Communications – winners of the Silver Award in the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme Awards.

 

Human Resources and Organisational Development – finalists in Best Change Management Initiative category of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Wales Awards 2018 for its work in the transition of services to Aura Wales.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Corporate Business and Communications

 

            Winners of the Silver Award in the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme Awards.

                         

                        The Chief Executive congratulated the team on the Award which they had worked tirelessly for and said only seven local authorities in Wales had achieved the Silver Award.  Flintshire was also close to achieving the Gold Award.  Two members of the team were ex-servicemen and had brought a great insight.

 

                        Councillor Dunbobbin paid tribute to the Armed Forces Steering Group which had made great progress in Flintshire.  He also said how close the team were in achieving the Gold Award which he was proud of.  A lot of positive work was being undertaken with partners and he thanked everybody involved.

 

            Human Resources and Organisational Development

 

            Finalists in Best Change Management Initiative category of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Wales Awards 2018 for its work in the transition of services to Aura Wales.

 

                        The Chief Executive said this was a combined Council and Aura team award which was about how the process was handled, including personnel, in establishing a Mutual model.  This required trust in the Council and support was provided from the Unions - he paid tribute to everybody involved.

 

            Councillor Mullin congratulated the team on being finalists in the category which demonstrated their commitment, dedication and professionalism.

81.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 92 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 11th December 2018.

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the minutes be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held on 11th December 2018 were submitted and confirmed as a correct record.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

82.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any Declarations and advise Members accordingly.

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Chief Officer (Governance) said a personal interest would be recorded for those Members who were on the North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority in relation to agenda item number 13 – White Paper Reform of Fire and Rescue Authorities in Wales. 

 

On agenda item number 14 – Pay Policy Statement for 2019/20 – Members who had family members who were employed by the Council would need to declare a personal interest.  Accordingly, Councillors Attridge, Bithell, McGuill, Mullin, Phillips, Aaron Shotton, Small, Smith and Carolyn Thomas declared personal interests.

 

In response to a question from Councillor Dunbobbin, the Chief Officer said an interest did not need to be declared for him being in receipt of Council Tax benefit.

Minutes:

The Chief Officer (Governance) said a personal interest would be recorded for those Members who were on the North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority in relation to agenda item number 13 – White Paper Reform of Fire and Rescue Authorities in Wales. 

 

On agenda item number 14 – Pay Policy Statement for 2019/20 – Members who had family members who were employed by the Council would need to declare a personal interest.  Accordingly, Councillors Attridge, Bithell, McGuill, Mullin, Phillips, Aaron Shotton, Small, Smith and Carolyn Thomas declared personal interests.

 

In response to a question from Councillor Dunbobbin, the Chief Officer said an interest did not need to be declared for him being in receipt of Council Tax benefit.

83.

Chairman's Communications

To receive the communications as circulated.

Additional documents:

Decision:

A copy of the Chairman’s Communications had been circulated to all Members prior to the meeting.

Minutes:

A copy of the Chairman’s Communications had been circulated to all Members prior to the meeting.

 

            Councillor Phillips thanked the Chairman for visiting Mrs Rowlands, a constituent within his ward, on her 100th birthday which was greatly appreciated given that it was on New Year’s Eve.  He also thanked Councillor Attridge for his swift response when a fire had broken out at a property.  Following a question, the Chief Executive said that a list of emergency contacts would be re-issued to Members.

84.

Petitions

To receive any Petitions.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Councillor Richard Lloyd presented a petition from the residents of Saltney for 20mph speed limits to be enforced on residential streets in Saltney, and for traffic calming measures to be installed on the roads.  This followed a serious road traffic incident where a 10 year old boy was seriously injured.

Minutes:

            Councillor Richard Lloyd presented a petition from the residents of Saltney for 20mph speed limits to be enforced on residential streets in Saltney, and for traffic calming measures to be installed on the roads.  This followed a serious road traffic incident where a 10 year old boy was seriously injured.

85.

Public Question Time

To receive any Public Questions.

Additional documents:

Decision:

None were received.

 

Minutes:

            None were received.

 

86.

Questions

To note the answers to any questions submitted in accordance with County Council Standing Order No. 9.4(A).

Additional documents:

Decision:

None were received.

 

Minutes:

            None were received.

 

87.

Questions from Members on Committee Minutes

The Minute Book, Edition 3 2018/19, has been circulated to Members.  Members are now entitled to ask questions on these minutes, subject to certain limitations, and answers will be provided at the meeting.  Members are requested to bring to the meeting their copy of the Minute Book.  Any questions must have been received by the Democratic Services Manager prior to the close of business on 23 January 2019.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

None were received.

 

Minutes:

            None were received.

 

88.

Notice of Motion

To consider any Notices of Motion.

Additional documents:

Decision:

None were received.

 

Minutes:

            None were received.

 

89.

Council Fund Budget 2019/20 – Third and Closing Stage pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

(a)       That a decision on the budget be deferred for Council to engage with Welsh Government – through a cross-party delegation – for an improved Local Government Settlement, in order to suppress Council Tax rises in Flintshire and across Wales, by specifically increasing recurring funding for schools and children’s services;

 

(b)       That officers look into the possibility of utilising earmarked reserves that were not protected in 2018/19, to be used in 2019/20, totalling £1.3m;

 

(c)        That officers look into the possibility of capital receipts being utilised to fund the Minimum Revenue Provision charge to release revenue funding; and

 

(d)       That requests for further information would be dealt with at a briefing for Members which would be arranged prior to the County Council meeting on 19th February.

Minutes:

The Chief Executive introduced the Council Fund Budget 2019/20 – Third and Closing Stage report to which the Cabinet report of 22nd January 2019 was appended.  Additional information had been circulated to Members the previous day, following a request at Cabinet, on the non-mandatory services which could be at risk if no additional funding was forthcoming from WG, and the Council Tax equivalent of those services.

 

The Chief Officer (Governance) explained that it was the collective duty of Council to set a legal and balanced budget.  He explained the importance of not overloading the budget with risks and that any proposals put forward would have to have realistic timescales and be deliverable, with sufficient finances set aside for main risks.  He concluded with the need for Members to listen to the advice from the statutory roles of the Section 151 Officer and the Chief Executive in advising the Council.

 

The Chief Executive and Corporate Finance Manager delivered a presentation which covered the following areas:

 

·         Setting a legal and balanced budget;

·         Updated forecast for 2019/20;

·         Stage 1 – Corporate Budget Solutions;

·         Stage 2 – Portfolio Business Plan Proposals;

·         Final Settlement;

·         Other changes to the forecast 2019/20;

·         Impact of grant announcements;

·         Summary of revised forecast;

·         Remaining options and possibilities;

·         Reserves and balances;

·         Types of reserves;

·         Managing the in-year 2019/20;

·         Prudent level of reserves for 2019/20;

·         Council Tax;

·         Potential Council Tax rises in Wales 2019/20;

·         Council Tax (Band D) comparators 2018/19;

·         Council Tax indicative comparators 2019/20;

·         Council Tax indicative Welsh comparators 2019/20;

·         Schools and Social Care budgets;

·         Schools funding 2019/20;

·         Social Care funding 2019/20;

·         Professional opinions;

·         Future outlook;

·         Medium term forecast;

·         #backtheask;

·         Update from the AMs and MPs meeting;

·         Budget scenarios; and

·         Next steps and timelines.

 

The Chief Executive said the options remaining to achieve a legal and balanced budget were outlined in the Cabinet report.  The scope for further service reductions for this financial year of any scale had been exhausted, and the portfolio resilience statements which demonstrated the risks to service capacity and performance of any other budget reductions had been accepted by Overview and Scrutiny Committees and Cabinet.  A number of Member workshops had also been held.  He commented on the implications of potential suggestions at this late stage including workforce and trade union relationships.  Any new decisions would take time to implement and could not result in immediate or sufficient savings for the 2019/20 budget year as a consideration in balancing the budget.

 

The position of the specific requests made to Welsh Government (WG) for financial assistance was detailed in the report.  Beyond a financial intervention by WG the only remaining budget options to balance the budget were Council Tax income and reserves and balances, with the scope for the latter being limited.  The Corporate Finance Manager provided an explanation of the proposed prudent level of reserves he was recommending to be held to mitigate the impact of the factors outlined in the report.  Based on the analysis in the report, there was only a relatively small  ...  view the full minutes text for item 89.

90.

Flintshire Electoral Review pdf icon PDF 93 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

(a)       That the proposals be submitted to the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales with the document clearly showing which colour relates to which option; and

 

(b)       That the Council provide background information to the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales in support of the positive proposals included in the appendix and, in the case of those areas where no compliant proposal was made, the full set of options considered by Members.

Minutes:

            The Democratic Services Manager introduced the Flintshire Electoral Review report.  The appendix to the report outlined the proposals to be submitted to the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales (LDBCW) based on the extensive work undertaken with Members.

 

            The Chief Executive explained the colour coding in the appendix, and said if Members agreed that the document captured the suggestions made by them then it would be sent to the Commission.  The colour coding was:

 

·         Green – proposals where there was agreement and it was within a variance of 25% of the proposed County average;

·         Amber – proposals where there was some disagreement but it was a ‘favoured’ option and it was within a variance of 25% of the proposed County average; and

·         Red – proposals where there was no agreement or the proposals was not compliant as it was not within a variation of 25% of the County average.

 

Following a number of comments and suggestions from Members, it was agreed that the document would clearly show which options related to which colour where more than one option was shown.

 

Councillor Richard Lloyd felt the document should include reference to single Member electoral wards.

 

Following a question from Councillor Brown the Chief Executive said the Boundary Commission could be asked how much the review had cost.

 

The Commission would now prepare Draft Proposals for the electoral arrangements for the County of Flintshire which would be published in Autumn 2019 – a 12 week consultation period would then follow.  At Stage Three the Commission would prepare a Final Proposals Report which would be submitted to Welsh Government in 2020 along with those for all other Councils in Wales.

 

Councillor Bithell thanked the team for the work undertaken with Members on the electoral review.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the proposals be submitted to the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales with the document clearly showing which colour relates to which option; and

 

(b)       That the Council provide background information to the Local          Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales in support of the       positive proposals included in the appendix and, in the case of those    areas where no compliant proposal was made, the full set of options             considered by Members.

91.

White Paper: Reform of Fire and Rescue Authorities in Wales pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the draft responses to the questions in appendix 2 be endorsed as the formal Flintshire response to the Reform of Fire and Rescue Services in Wales White Paper.

Minutes:

            The Chief Executive introduced the White Paper: Reform of Fire and Rescue Authorities in Wales report which provided details of the proposed changes to the governance and membership of fire and rescue authorities, and their relationship with constituent local authorities in budget-setting.

 

            The Council had not expressed any concerns over the governance of the North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority and had been satisfied that the Authority had fully engaged the Council, as a constituent local authority, in consultations on its key strategies and its budget strategy. The responses to the consultation questions within the White Paper were appended to the report.

 

            Councillor Owen Thomas said he had been a member of the North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority for seven years and it was a very efficient organisation despite having cuts to their budget year on year.  He commented on initiatives undertaken by the service to help achieve efficiencies such as smoke alarms being installed in homes as a preventative measure and the closure of some fire stations.  He did not support the White Paper.  Councillor Paul Shotton said fire fighters deserved the continued support of the authority and he fully supported the Council’s response.

 

            The Chairman commented on his employment in the Fire Service and said funding for the service should be from Central Government, as it should for the Police.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the draft responses to the questions in appendix 2 be endorsed as the formal Flintshire response to the Reform of Fire and Rescue Services in Wales White Paper.

92.

Pay Policy Statement for 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the Pay Policy Statement for 2019/20 be approved, and the latest Equal Pay Audit be noted.

Minutes:

            The Chief Executive introduced the Pay Policy Statement report and explained that all local authorities were required to publish a Pay Policy Statement annually.  This was the seventh annual statement published by the Council.

 

            The Senior Manager of Human Resources and Organisational Development said the latest Equal Pay Audit was appended to the report for information.

 

            The Pay Policy Statement formed a key component of the organisation’s approach to managing its workforce in general and, in particular, reward and recognition which was one of the five strategic priorities of the People Strategy 2016-19.

 

            Sections subject to amendment during the course of the year were:

 

·         Section 6 – the Government had for some time been planning to implement a cap on Public Sector exit payments of £95,000 and a process of recovery of Chief Officer exit payments where certain conditions applied.  Any changes would be effected by the Enterprise Act 2016.  The Act gave powers to Welsh Ministers to ‘relax’ any regulations made.  At the time of writing the report draft regulations were awaited to be consulted upon which would then give any powers to Welsh Ministers to determine the approach in Wales; and

·         Section 11 – one agreement had been reached on a new pay policy.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Pay Policy Statement for 2019/20 be approved, and the latest Equal Pay Audit be noted.

93.

Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report April 2017 - December 2018 pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

(a)       That the positive progress made in meeting the Armed Forces Covenant be noted and the commitments for further improvement be supported; and

 

(b)       That the Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report be endorsed prior to publication on the Council’s website.

Minutes:

            The Chief Executive introduced the Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report April 2017 – December 2018 report which was the second Annual Report of Flintshire County Council’s Armed Forces Covenant.

 

            The Corporate Business and Communications Officer explained that the Armed Forces Covenant aimed to recognise the sacrifices made by the Armed Forces community within the County and helped provide support for them and their families to ensure that they did not face disadvantage because of military service.

 

            Councillor Dunbobbin, as the Council’s Armed Forces Champion and Chair of the multi-agency steering group, paid tribute to the work of everybody involved and moved the report.

 

            Councillor Peers thanked Councillor Dunbobbin and the steering group for the dedication of commemorative stones for two people from Flintshire who were awarded the Victoria Cross (V.C.) for their gallantry during World War One – Frederick Birks V.C. from Buckley and Harry Weale V.C. from Shotton.

 

            The Chief Executive suggested that a report be submitted to a future meeting of County Council when the Gold Award was achieved which was supported. 

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the positive progress made in meeting the Armed Forces Covenant be noted and the commitments for further improvement be supported; and

 

(b)       That the Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report be endorsed prior to        publication on the Council’s website.

94.

Statement of Gambling Policy Renewal pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

(a)       That the Draft Policy be approved for adoption for the period 31st January 2019 to 30 January 2022; and

 

(b)       That any minor changes made during the life of the policy are delegated to the Licensing Committee.

Minutes:

            As Chair of Licensing Committee, Councillor Sharps introduced the Statement of Gambling Policy Renewal report.

 

            The new Policy was required to commence on 31st January 2019 in accordance with the Gambling Act 2005.  Consultation had taken place during October and November 2018 including being reported to the Licensing Committee.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the Draft Policy be approved for adoption for the period 31st January 2019 to 30 January 2022; and

 

(b)       That any minor changes made during the life of the policy are delegated to the Licensing Committee.

95.

Members of the Press and Public in Attendance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was one member of the press and no members of the public in attendance.

 

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