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Agenda, decisions and minutes

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

Contact: Maureen Potter on 01352 702322  Email: maureen.potter@flintshire.gov.uk

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Items
No. Item

33.

Presentation

Flintshire apprentice Francesca Sciarrillo – awarded Welsh Learner of the Year at the Urdd Eisteddfod 2019

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Flintshire apprentice Francesca Sciarrillo – awarded Welsh Learner of the Year at the Urdd Eisteddfod 2019.

 

                        The Chair welcomed Francesca to the meeting and referred to her local connections.  She congratulated Francesca on her exceptional achievement and invited the Chief Executive and Leader of the Council to express further recognition on behalf of the Council. 

 

                        The Chief Executive advised that Francesca was a graduate of the Council’s apprenticeship scheme and began her Marketing and Public Relations apprenticeship whilst working with Aura Leisure and Libraries last year.  He congratulated Francesca on her Award and her determination to continue to develop her welsh language skills through Coleg Cambria and the support and opportunities available with Aura Leisure and Libraries.

 

                        Councillor Ian Roberts also congratulated Francesca on her award and said she was an outstanding example of what could be achieved by anyone who wished to learn the Welsh language and thereby contribute towards the Welsh Government’s target of one million Welsh speakers by 2050.

 

                        Francesca thanked the Chair, Chief Executive and Councillor Roberts for their kind words.  She also thanked Aura Leisure and Libraries and the Learning Development Team for the support and encouragement that had been given to her.  Speaking on her personal experience she said that living in Flintshire on the Welsh border was no barrier to learning the Welsh language and described it as a rich, vibrant, and living language which should be embraced in Flintshire.

34.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 159 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 23 July 2019.

Additional documents:

Decision:

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

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 23 July 2019 were submitted.

 

RESOLVED:

 

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

35.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any Declarations and advise Members accordingly.

Additional documents:

Decision:

There were no declarations of interest.

Minutes:

The Chief Officer (Governance) referred to Item 8 – Local Democracy & Boundary Commission for Wales and advised that Members did not have a personal interest in the item and would be able to participate fully.  He also referred to Item 9 – Local Development Plan: Confirming Renewable Energy Local Areas of Search and explained that as the item was to consider areas of renewable energy search Members would not have to declare an interest unless they were involved in the ownership of a renewable energy company.

 

There were no declarations of interest.

36.

Chair's Communications

To receive the communications as circulated.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A copy of the Chair’s Communications had been circulated to all Members prior to the meeting.  The Chair highlighted a number of events and thanked Councillor Glyn Banks for his invitation to attend the ‘Planes Over Talacre – World War Two’ event; Councillor Sharps for arranging a visit to Westbridge Furniture and Kingspan, Holywell; Councillor Hilary McGuill for the invitation to the opening of the refurbished Mynydd Isa Scout hut; and Councillor Ray Hughes for his invitation to the Civic Service.

 

The Chair took the opportunity to refer to the recent resignation, for personal reasons, of Councillor Mike Reece.  She said he had been a respected and valued Member of the Council and would be missed. The Chair extended her best wishes to him and his family.

 

Councillor Ian Roberts said it was a matter of regret that Councillor Mike Reece had decided to resign as a Member of the Council.  He paid tribute to Councillor Reece and said he had been a friend as well as a colleague to many Members and to the local residents in his Ward.  He reiterated the sentiments expressed by the Chair that Councillor Reece would be sadly missed.

37.

Petitions

This is an opportunity for Members of Council to submit petitions on behalf of people in their ward. Once received, petitions are passed to the appropriate Chief Officer for action and response.

Additional documents:

Decision:

None were received.

Minutes:

None were received.

38.

Statement of Accounts 2018/19 and Supplementary Financial Information to Statement of Accounts 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 162 KB

To receive a Part 2 report for testing.

Additional documents:

Decision:

(a)       That the final version of the Statement of Accounts 2018/19 be approved;

 

(b)       That the Letter of Representation – Flintshire County Council; be approved; and

 

(c)        That the Supplementary Financial Information to the Statement of Accounts 2018/19 be noted.

 

Minutes:

The Corporate Finance Manager introduced Richard Harries and Mike Whiteley of the Wales Audit Office, and Liz Thomas, Strategic Finance Manager, Corporate Finance. 

 

The Corporate Finance Manager advised that the final version of the Statement of Accounts 2018/19 was presented for approval following consideration by the Audit Committee prior to the meeting of County Council today.  He explained that the Statement of Accounts 2018/19, incorporating those changes agreed with Wales Audit Office (WAO) during the course of the audit for Member approval was attached as appendix 1 to the report.  The WAO presentation in connection with the audit of the Statement of Accounts 2018/19 was attached as appendix 2.  During the audit, changes agreed with the WAO were made to the draft Statement of Accounts 2018/19 and those which are reportable under ISA 260 are shown in appendix 3.  The Flintshire County Council Letter of Representation to the WAO was attached as appendix 4.  Supplementary information to the Statement of Accounts 2018/19 on full time equivalent pay, in excess of £60,000, as requested by a notice of motion approved by Council on 29 January 2013, was attached as appendix 5.

 

The Corporate Finance Manger advised that there were no amendments to report to Council following consideration of the Statement of Accounts and the WAO findings by the Audit Committee at the meeting held prior to Council today.  A note on previous questions raised by Members and the response provided had been circulated to Members and there had been opportunity throughout the summer for Members to raise any further issues or questions.  No additional questions were received.

 

The Corporate Finance Manager reported that the overall findings of the WAO were positive and built on the improvements achieved in previous years.  The WAO concluded that the financial statements were produced to a good standard and were supported by comprehensive working papers.  There were no uncorrected misstatements.  The only issue arising from the audit was regarding the process for valuation of assets and the actions planned to address this, in conjunction with the WAO, were accepted by the Audit Committee at the meeting held earlier today.

 

The Corporate Finance Manager advised that there would be an earlier statutory deadline for the accounts from 2020-21 for the submission of the draft annual financial statements.  In conjunction with the WAO the Council would undertake a ‘dry-run’ in 2019-20 for producing its draft financial statements by 31 May 2020 and   conclusion by WAO on 31 July 2020.

 

The Corporate Finance Manager reported that there was one material amendment regarding pensions arising from the Audit and was a consequence of a national issue known as the national ‘McCloud’ legal acse judgement which could impact on all public service pension schemes.  He explained that there was a potential future impact at the current time on teacher’s pay contributions and the Council had to account for the best estimate due to the value, however, there was no immediate impact on the Council’s budget and any actuarial impact would be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.

39.

Local Democracy & Boundary Commission for Wales presentation pdf icon PDF 298 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the report be received.

Minutes:

The Chief Executive introduced a report on the Local Democracy & Boundary Commission for Wales local review proposals and to seek the Council’s views on what process it would like to follow to prepare and approve a response before the end of November 2019.  He advised that the proposals were subject to constructive challenge and change during the review process and had only recently been published.  There was a 12 week consultation period and a second response to the Commission would be provided before the end of November.  At the end of the consultation period the Commission would produce recommendations for all 22 authorities in Wales and a Final Proposals Report would be submitted to the Welsh Government to be adopted with or without amendment in readiness for the next local government elections which were scheduled to take place in 2022.

 

                        The Chief Executive referred to discussions which had taken place with Group Leaders to consider initial views on the proposals and how best to formulate a response to the Commission.  He reported that the view of Group Leaders was that too many multi-Member wards were recommended by the Commission, with too much variation within them.  He explained that Group Leaders also challenged why new proposals by the Commission substituted the proposals that the Council had made and which already complied.  Group Leaders also challenged the extent to which the Commission had met its own criteria  and felt that community ‘ties’, identity, and names were being lost in some cases.  Concerns were raised around the non-alignment of community boundaries, the variance in figures across the total member wards where parity had been the objective, and population growth and its differential impacts on member-elector ratios across the County.  The Chief Executive explained that initial views had been shared with the Commissioner by Group Leaders and officers at a meeting earlier today. 

 

The Chief Executive suggested that during the coming weeks a number of informal meetings be offered to Members to consider the proposals in further detail.  The Chief Executive also advised that where there was evidence of a strong alignment between the Council’s views and that of the local Town or Community Council a joint response could be made to the Commission with greater strength than singular responses.  In summary, the Chief Executive emphasised that the Commission had limited flexibility within the laws and Terms of Reference; a recommendation would be made to the WG; and changes to the current arrangement of local electoral wards would take place by 2022.

 

Councillor Ian Roberts moved that Council received the report and this was duly seconded.  He thanked the Chief Executive for his comments and Group Leaders for their initial responses.  He felt it was important that Members followed the process as outlined by the Chief Executive and that where there was interest from towns and rural areas that representatives of those Town and Community Councils meet with Officers of the Council to consider the possibility of putting forward a joint proposal to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.

40.

Local Development Plan: Confirming renewable energy local areas of search pdf icon PDF 245 KB

To confirm the extent of the Flintshire Deposit Local Development Plan renewable energy local areas of search on the proposals map, to form part of the public consultation on the Plan commencing on 30th September 2019.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

(a)          That the Indicative Local Search Areas for renewable energy to be shown on the proposals map and associated policy be included as part of the Deposit LDP public consultation be approved;

 

(b)          That the amendments to deposit LDP policy EN13 Renewable and Low Carbon Energy Development highlighted in this report be approved; and

 

(c)          That the Chief Officer (Planning, Economy and Environment) be authorised to make any additional minor wording, grammar, editorial, or cartographic changes to the Deposit LDP which may arise or be necessary prior to formal consultation to ensure consistency with the ongoing LDP evidence base and to assist final presentation of the Plan.

Minutes:

The Chair introduced a report to confirm the extent of the Flintshire Deposit Local Development Plan renewable energy local Areas of Search on the proposals map, to form part of the public consultation on the Plan commencing on 30 September 2019.

 

                        Councillor Chris Bithell referred to the endorsement of the draft Deposit Flintshire Local Development Plan (LDP) at the meeting of County Council on 23 July 2019, which was to go out for public consultation at the end of September.  He said that, as reported at the meeting, the section of the LDP on Renewable Energy Local Areas of Search had not been included at the July Council meeting as the work was yet to be completed.  He explained that the Council was required by Welsh Government (WG) to produce a section in the LDP on this important issue to assist the Government in meeting its target of producing 70% of electricity generation in Wales from renewable sources by 2030.  This element of the LDP has now been completed and is presented for endorsement following a comprehensive search to identify land within the County to provide for large scale wind farms or solar farms to produce renewable energy.  Councillor Bithell commented on Flintshire’s location and the natural constraints around the allocation of land for large wind farms, but said there was more opportunity for allocation of land for solar farms and referred to the existing provision in Flintshire and new developments.  Councillor Bithell moved the recommendations in the report.

 

The Chief Officer (Planning, Environment, and Economy) provided background information and explained the methodology used to identify an Area of Search.  He gave a presentation on the process which covered the following main points:

 

  • purpose
  • what are Areas of Search and what they are not?
  • potential for wind farms
  • potential for solar farms
  • Solar PV Local areas of search

 

Councillor Mike Peers thanked the Chief Officer and his team for their commitment and hard work to meet the LDP deadline and for a comprehensive and informative report which demonstrated a thorough search of the County.  Councillor Peers seconded the proposal by Councillor Bithell

 

In response to comments from Councillor Patrick Heesom, the Chief Officer confirmed that the consultation period for the LDP was from 30 September to 11 November 2019.

 

In response to the concerns raised by Councillor Paul Johnson around the Holway Levels and SSI and his request that they be removed from the proposed LDP, the Chief Officer agreed to discuss the matters with Councillor Johnson prior to the LDP going out to formal consultation.

 

Councillor David Williams asked if hydro-electric power had been investigated for producing renewable energy.  The Chief Officer explained that the directive was towards wind and solar power, however, the Authority was always looking at the potential for other renewable resources and advised that a small scale hydroelectric scheme was planned at Connah’s Quay.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)          That the Indicative Local Search Areas for renewable energy to be shown on the proposals map and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.

41.

Appointment of a Lay Member to the Audit Committee pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Report of the Chief Executive enclosed.

 

Purpose: To provide details of actions taken under delegated powers.

Additional documents:

Decision:

That Allan Rainford be appointed to the Audit Committee until the end of December 2023.

Minutes:

The Chair introduced a report to ask Council to consider appointing the preferred candidate for the Lay Member vacancy on the Audit Committee. 

 

                        The Chief Officer (Governance) advised that at the Annual Meeting, Council had decided to appoint an extra lay member to the Audit Committee.  There had been four applicants and, following interview, it was recommended that Allan Rainford be appointed.  He provided background information and referred to the pen portrait of Allan Rainford which was appended to the report.

 

Councillor Chris Dolphin, Chair of the Audit Committee, said that the Committee would benefit greatly from Mr Rainford’s skills and experience and strongly recommended that he be appointed as the new lay member to the Audit Committee.  Councillor Marion Bateman seconded the proposal.  On being put to the vote the recommendation was carried.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

            That Allan Rainford be appointed to the Audit Committee until the end of December 2023.

42.

Public Question Time

This item is to receive any Public Questions: none were received by the deadline

Additional documents:

Decision:

None were received.

Minutes:

None were received.

43.

Questions

To note the answers to any questions submitted in accordance with County Council Standing Order No. 9.4(A):  none were received by the deadline

Additional documents:

Decision:

None were received.

Minutes:

None were received.

44.

Notice of Motion pdf icon PDF 108 KB

This item is to receive any Notices of Motion:  one was received by the deadline

 

Councillor Ian Roberts  #IPledge2Talk Suicide Prevention Campaign

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the Notice of Motion from Councillor Ian Roberts on #IPledge2Talk Suicide

Prevention Campaign be supported.

Minutes:

The following Notice of Motion was received:

 

#IPledge2Talksuicide prevention campaign – Councillor Ian Roberts

 

‘This Authority supports the #IPledge2Talk suicide prevention campaign and will work to support positive mental health across Flintshire communities, in local schools, neighbourhoods and workplaces.

 

As a local authority, we acknowledge our crucial role in promoting awareness of this issue.

 

Encouraging mental well-being should be a priority across all the Local Authority’s areas of responsibility, including housing, education, and community safety and planning.

 

Throughout its work the Authority will champion mental health on an individual and strategic basis.

 

For your information the: #IPledge2Talk campaign was launched at the Senedd a couple of months ago by Eluned Morgan in collaboration with Mind Cymru’.

 

In moving the Motion, Councillor Ian Roberts, spoke of the anguish and regret of families who had experienced the death of a family member through suicide.  He commented on the lasting and devastating impact on those families and the pain and sadness felt and said it was difficult to imagine the suffering and despair of individuals who saw suicide as the only course of action for them. 

 

Councillor Roberts said that Jack Sargeant, Assembly Member, and his family, fully supported the campaign and urged others to pledge their support also.  Councillor Roberts read out the commitments to provide help and support in the Pledge and asked Members to support the Motion.

 

Councillor Glyn Banks said he fully supported the campaign and thanked Councillor Roberts for bringing the Motion to Council.   He encouraged people who were in difficulty to “speak out” and seek help and spoke of the need to be a ‘friend’ to others and to offer help and support where needed.  Councillor Banks seconded the Motion.

 

Councillor Kevin Hughes also spoke in support of the campaign and emphasised the importance of seeking early help and support to prevent mental health issues developing into suicide.

 

The Chief Executive said that he and fellow officers fully supported the campaign, and referred to the Authority’s duty of care to employees and said initiatives were in place to support employees. 

 

The Motion was carried.

RESOLVED:

 

That the Notice of Motion from Councillor Ian Roberts on #IPledge2Talk Suicide

Prevention Campaign be supported.

45.

Members of the Press and Public in Attendance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no members of the press in attendance.

 

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