Agenda, decisions and minutes

z (EXPIRED 07/05/15) Lifelong Learning OSC - Now Education & Youth OSC
Monday, 11th May, 2015 2.00 pm

Venue: Delyn Committee Room, County Hall, Mold CH7 6NA

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

Items
No. Item

73.

Declarations of Interest (Including Whipping Declarations)

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

 

 

74.

Medium Term Plan for Libraries - Proposal to develop new hub library at Deeside Leisure Centre and Re-locate Hawarden, Mancot and Queensferry Libraries pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the comments the Committee have made during the meeting be commended to the Cabinet as their formal observation on the proposals for the development of the new hub library at Deeside Leisure Centre.

 

Minutes:

The Chief Officer (Organisational Change) introduced a report to provide an outline of the proposal and feedback the results of the consultation exercise.

 

Councillor Chris Bithell, Cabinet Member for Education, read out a statement which outlined the objectives of the proposal and gave an assurance that the Authority remained committed to providing a sustainable improved library service for the areas concerned. 

 

The Chief Officer (Organisational Change) provided background information and referred to the key considerations in the report.  He said it was recognised that libraries were community facilities and made reference to the consultation exercise which had taken place during March and April 2015 with community representatives, library users, young people and the equality assurance group to seek views and opinions on the proposals.    

 

The Chair invited members to raise questions.

 

Councillor Nancy Matthews expressed a number of concerns around the Deeside Leisure Centre location: the proposal was to move the library to the Queensferry area which currently had the lowest footfall of the three libraries.  She commented on the convenient location of other libraries situated in town centres and suggested that the existing library facility at Connah’s Quay could be a more suitable location for the hub provision.  Councillor Matthews also commented on the needs of library users and cited as examples use of the library by young people to do homework and research after school, and use by the general public for I.T facilities.  Councillor Matthews also referred to the library mobile service and asked if details on the use of the service could be provided.

 

Councillor Nigel Steele Mortimer expressed concerns that feedback from the public consultation exercise would not be taken on board by the Authority.  He also felt that the provision of a new library service at Deeside Leisure Centre was too close to the existing library facility at Connah’s Quay.  He reiterated the comments expressed by Councillor Matthews that Deeside Leisure Centre attracted visitors from across all of North Wales and beyond and that the majority of people would not necessarily be users of the Flintshire library service.

 

The Chief Officer (Organisational Change) responded to the comments and queries raised.  He gave an assurance that robust consultation had been undertaken with a wide range of groups in addition to library users and that the outcome of the exercise was critical in helping to form the proposals around future service provision and asset transfer.  He referred to the Welsh Public Library Standards which required that a static library service point should be within 2.5 miles of at least 75% of the population and explained that the proposal fell within the Standard for access by Hawarden, Mancot and Queensferry communities. 

 

Councillor Aaron Shotton, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Finance, commented on the difficult choices to be  made under current and future financial restraints and referred to a 30% reduction in the library budget and the £0.050m savings in operational costs which could be achieved by the proposals and would contribute to the overall  ...  view the full minutes text for item 74.

75.

Regional School Effectiveness and Improvement Service (GwE) pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

(a)       That the report and the self evaluation document from GwE be received; and

 

(b)       That the Estyn Thematic report on Regional School Improvement Services in Wales be received at an early opportunity following its publication.

 

Minutes:

The Chief Officer (Education and Youth) introduced a report on progress with the development of the regional school effectiveness and improvement service (GwE).  He provided background information and referred to two further national reports on the progress of the four Regional School Improvement Services which would be provided to the Committee for information as soon as made available.

 

                        The Chief Officer advised that appended to the report was the self evaluation document produced by GwE for the Thematic Inspection of Regional School Improvement Services in 2014-15 and the specific visit made by an Estyn team to North Wales in January 2015. 

 

                        Councillor Marion Bateman paid tribute to the GwE service for the support work it had provided at a local school.  She also expressed her thanks to Officers, the Headteacher, and staff of the school concerned for their hard work and success in achieving a significant improvement in standards. 

 

RESOLVED:

 

 

(a)       That the report and the self evaluation document from GwE be received; and

 

(b)       That the Estyn Thematic report on Regional School Improvement Services in Wales be received at an early opportunity following its publication.

 

76.

Unsupported (Prudential) Borrowing pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Decision:

That the report be noted.

 

Minutes:

The Chief Officer (Education and Youth) introduced a report to provide an update on unsupported (Prudential) borrowing. 

 

                        During discussion the Chief Officer referred to the need to build prudential borrowing into the School’s Capital Programme and for transparency around how programmes were prioritised.

 

                        In response to a query raised by Councillor Carolyn Thomas concerning prudential borrowing and repair and maintenance of school buildings, the Chief Officer (Education and Youth)  advised that the issue of repair and maintenance of schools would be addressed as part of the Authority’s revenue repairs and maintenance programme.  He also referred to the 21st Century Schools programme which would address major refurbishment and replacement of school buildings and reported that the next tranche would become available in 2019.

 

RESOLVED:

 

 

 

That the report be noted.

 

77.

Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

(a)       That the Forward Work Programme be agreed as submitted; and

 

(b)       That the Member Engagement Manager, in consultation with the Chair of the Committee be authorised to vary the Forward Work Programme between meetings.

 

 

Minutes:

The Member Engagement Manager introduced the forward work programme of the Committee.  He commented on the Annual Meeting of the County Council to be held on 12 May 2015 and the recommended terms of reference to be provided for the new Overview & Scrutiny Committee structure.  He advised that following adoption of the new structure the education items on the Forward Work Programme would go forward to the Education and Youth Committee and the items which were to be scheduled onto the Programme would be submitted to the new Organisational Change Committee. 

 

            The Member Engagement Manager reminded members that the next meeting of the Committee to be held on 4 June 2015 would be a joint meeting with the Social & Health Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee.     

 

The Member Engagement Manager suggested that the Housing & Learning Overview and Scrutiny Facilitator, in consultation with the Chair and Officers be authorised to vary the Committee’s work programme between meetings.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the Forward Work Programme be agreed as submitted; and

 

(b)       That the Member Engagement Manager, in consultation with the Chair of the Committee be authorised to vary the Forward Work Programme between meetings.

 

 

78.

Members of the Press and Public in Attendance

Minutes:

There was one member of the press and three members of the public in attendance

 

 

 

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