Agenda, decisions and minutes

Contact: Nicola Gittins 01352 702345  Email:


No. Item


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations and advise Members accordingly.

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Minutes pdf icon PDF 345 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 16th June 2020.

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The minutes of the meetings held on 16th June 2020 were submitted and approved as a correct record. 




That the minutes be approved as a correct record.


Annual Review of Fees and Charges pdf icon PDF 127 KB

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As detailed in the recommendations.


Councillor Mullin introduced the report which set the rationale for charging and the call for an annual review of fees and charges.  The outcome of the review was appended to the report.


            The report also outlined work to date on the recommendations, in relation to income generation and fees and charges, which were endorsed by Cabinet in July 2019, including:


  • Applying an inflation uplift to applicable fees and charges as part of the 2020 review using either the Consumer Price Index including owner occupier Housing costs (CPIH), market rate comparison or the local/Council’s rate (as part of the work to ensure full cost recovery by 2022);
  • Work undertaken to assess whether fees and charges were achieving full cost recovery where permitted to do so and the development of a template to enable service areas to calculate it; and
  • A review and update of the Income Generation Policy to ensure a framework for income generation, including consistent charging and cost recovery structure.


The Income Generation and Marketing Manager explained that applying the principles contained within the Council’s Income Generation Policy, and those agreed by Cabinet in July 2019, to the 2020 annual review of fees and charges, had ensured that any increases were appropriately managed to prevent large or unexpected changes to fees and charges from 1st October 2020.


The work to determine whether full cost recovery was being achieved for all services, where it was permissible for them to do so, had taken place  A cost recovery template was developed, which was tested by service area, and the outcome was a finalised and tested cost recovery template.  The template was distributed to all service areas as part of the 2020 review of fees and charges for them to use, to assess if the fees and charges applied by their service were set at a level that enabled full cost recovery.


Some services operated in a more commercial market and may have selected to set fees and charges in line with the market rate.  Doing so prevented adverse impact on service demand and associated income, and was consistent with the objectives and principles of the Council’s Income Generation Policy.


The updated Income Generation Policy provided more detail around the process for the annual review of fees and charges and incorporated the criteria, as approved by Cabinet in July 2019, for the review of existing, and the introduction of new fees and charges.


Councillor Banks welcomed the report, particularly the detail on concessions in the appendix. 


The Chief Executive explained that the generation of additional income, including that from fees and charges, was part of the strategy of options to meet the challenge of the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS).


            As Chair of Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Carver made the following observations:


“I am satisfied with the report and concur with the Recommendations.


Had there been an actual CRO&SC meeting, I would have asked:

  1. Under Garden Waste Collections, the fees with effect from 1st October are  ...  view the full minutes text for item 182.


Council Plan 2019/20 End of Year Monitoring pdf icon PDF 218 KB

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As detailed in the recommendation.


Councillor Mullin introduced the report which presented the annual out-turn performance against the Council Plan 2019/20.


            The out-turn report showed that 88% of activities within the Council Plan had made good progress at year-end, with 91% on track to achieve their desired outcome.  At year-end 78% of performance targets were on target, 14% did not meet target but ended the year within an acceptable range, and 8% were off track.  Risks were being managed effectively, the majority being addressed as moderate (67%), minor (12%) or insignificant (6%). 


            The Chief Executive provided an example of where a target had not been met, which was ‘the number of extra care units provided across Flintshire’.  The target had been 239.00 units and the end of year performance was 184.00 units.  He explained that Plas Yr Ywen in Holywell had been due to open in February 2020, with apartments being allocated and residents moving in over a period of eight weeks, with the facility being fully operational by the end of March 2020.  However, the opening had been delayed due to the interruption of the emergency and the care workers assigned to the facility being deployed elsewhere for Covid-19.


            Members welcomed the report and commented on the successful schemes that had been delivered, such as the Well Fed programme, opening of the night shelter for rough sleepers, the opening of Parc Adfer and the expansion of Marleyfield Residential Care Home.  Councillor Bithell expressed his particular thanks for the work undertaken to reduce the number of calendar days for delivery of Disabled Facility Grants. 


            As Chair of Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Carver made the following observations:


“The coronavirus situation during the last quarter of 2019/20 precluded "business as normal." Therefore, my view as Chair of CRO&SC, is that I am satisfied with the report and concur with the Recommendations.


Had there been an actual CRO&SC meeting, I would have asked whether the Target should be revised. This where the current Target is somewhat higher than either the Actual or the Previous Year Actual; in cases where lower is better. An example being CP4.2.3M03 (PAM/022) Percentage of C roads in overall poor condition. Should the Target figure be reduced in this case”?




That the levels of progress, performance and risk in the End of Year Council Plan 2019/20 report be noted.


Interim Revenue Budget Monitoring Report 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 127 KB

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As detailed in the recommendations, with a third recommendation being added as outlined below:


(3)       That UK Government devolve sufficient funding to Welsh Government, to enable it in turn to fully fund the requirements of local government and public services, as set out in recommendation 2.


Councillor Banks introduced the report which provided the first overview of the budget monitoring position for the 2020/21 financial year.


            The report explained the impacts of the emergency situation and the significant additional costs and income losses incurred across all portfolios.


            The Corporate Finance Manager explained that to date, there had been three significant announcements to meet the financial impacts of the emergency situation in Wales which were detailed in the report.  The range of financial risk for 2020/21 was £2.8M to £5.4M (excluding the outcome of the national negotiations over the annual pay award).  The figures in the report covered the Council Fund only and did not include the future risks to Aura, NEWydd, Theatr Clwyd and the principal Asset Transfers.


            The report provided examples of the emergency actions which had necessitated additional costs, and emergency grant funding.  Claims to the emergency grant funding had to be submitted retrospectively, for actual costs incurred, on a monthly basis.


            The table in the report showed details of the total claim values submitted, together with the funding received and those elements ‘on hold’ and ‘disallowed’.  Further information would be provided to Welsh Government (WG) to challenge the decisions to treat certain parts of the claims as ‘on hold’ or ‘disallowed’.  The claim for additional costs incurred in June was to be submitted by 15th July and was estimated to be in the region of £1.750M.


            The report outlined the significant variances and financial risks by portfolio and open risks.


            Councillor Banks expressed the importance of WG needing to provide clarity of how the shortfall would be met, and clarification on the consequentials arising from UK announcements.


            Councillor Roberts asked what measures were put in place internally to reduce cost pressures.  The Chief Executive explained that the shortfall was something the authority could not absorb itself and said assistance was needed from both the UK and Welsh Governments as it was Government responsibility to fund the public sector through such a crisis.  The Council had paid out £45M of government supported grants and rate reliefs to businesses and remarkable things were being done to protect people.


            In response to a question from Councillor Roberts, the Chief Executive explained that Council Tax had not been considered for the following year. 


Councillor Thomas commented on how services were still being delivered, albeit some in a different way which was to be commended. 


            As Chair of Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Carver made the following observations:


“The ongoing coronavirus situation precludes "business as normal" at this time and is the direct cause of the additional costs and income losses. Therefore, my view is that I am satisfied with the report and concur with the Recommendations”.




(a)       That the report and the estimated financial impact on the 2020/21 budget of the emergency situation be noted;


(b)       That Welsh Government be formally requested to set aside sufficient funds to compensate local government in full for the significant and ongoing additional costs and income  ...  view the full minutes text for item 184.


21st Century Schools - Mutual Investment Model Update pdf icon PDF 121 KB

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As detailed in the recommendations.


Councillor Roberts introduced the report which provided an update on the Welsh Government's (WG) 21st Century School Programme, Mutual Investment Model (MIM).        


            The report provided detail on progress to date and the next steps of the MIM process.  It sought approval to execute the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) with the Welsh Education Partnership company (WEPco) when appointed by WG in autumn 2020.


            The Senior Manager, School Planning and Provision explained that MIM was a new form of Public Private Partnership (PPP) which enabled WG to deliver infrastructure projects beyond that set by present UK Government borrowing limits.  If WG did not use MIM, £500M of investment in the education estate would not be available to councils within Wales and that would have implications on the Council's proposed programme locally.


            A private sector contractor was appointed via a new WG framework and the contract financed, constructed and provided a 25 year 'life-cycled' building product.  That meant that the responsibility for funding and constructing the building, and then repairing and maintaining the building for 25 years once built, remained with the contractor.  This resulted in buildings funded by MIM being maintained at a consistently high level for 25 years.  In response to a question from Councillor Roberts, the Senior Manager, School Planning and Provision explained the differences between Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and MIM and said PFI had been abolished in 2018.


In order to proceed with the MIM process, the Council was required to sign a Strategic Partnering Arrangement (SPA) with WEPco.


A Strategic Partnering Board (SPB) would be set up and would act as the primary mechanism for managing WEPco's performance.  The SPB would be the central forum in which the participants could work together with WEPco, WG and other stakeholder representatives to ensure that the key principles of the SPA were met.  Neil Cockerton was being recommended as the Councils Participant Representative to sit on the SPB.


Annual contractual payments over the lifespan of MIM based on the Council's intervention rate (19% Council, 81% WG), would commence post school construction/handover.


As Chair of Education and Youth Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Healey made the following observations on behalf of Councillor Mackie, who had received responses to his questions:


The questions and comments are as follows:-


"           This report proposes that the MIM progresses to the next stage.  This is a form of PFI which the UK Public Accounts Committee have repeatedly expressed concerns about.  To quote from the Forty-Sixth report "However the ongoing costs to the institutions at the front line have been high and the contracts inflexible".


"           I believe the report should contain a full comparison of the cost of the MIM against the usual form of financing for such projects and full details of the WG intervention rate funding.


"           I would be interested to know how a 81% 19% split will achieve the same value of money through this model as the traditional capital intervention rate, see paragraph 1.02 of the Cabinet report.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 185.


Communal Heating Charges 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 115 KB

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As detailed in the recommendation.


Councillor Hughes introduced the report and explained that the Housing and Assets portfolio currently operated eight communal heating schemes within Flintshire.  The Council negotiated fuel costs in advance and tenants benefited from the Council’s Industrial and Commercial Contract rate. 


            The Chief Officer (Housing and Assets) explained that new communal heating charges were based on the previous year’s energy use to ensure a more accurate assessment of costs and impacts (negative or positive) on the heating reserve account.


            The proposed charges for 2020/21 were set out within the report.  In the majority of cases, the recharge to tenants had reduced, which as in other years would allow Flintshire to recover the projected costs of the heating charges whilst still passing on the benefit of reduced energy costs to tenants.


            Acacia Close in Mold identified an increase in heating charges of 7%, an average across the three property types of £0.59p per week.  Flintshire County Council’s Energy Team would work with the supplier to install automatic readers on the meters at Acacia Close which would support more accurate and timely billing by the utilities provider and would, in turn, allow the Council to bill tenants based on more accurate information going forward.


            As Chair of Community and Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Dunbar made the following observation:


“We have eight Communal Heating Schemes in Flintshire to cover the Communal areas represented in Table 1, in which the authority pays through the Heating Reserve Account then fuel costs are apportioned to each individual tenant to ensure we have an accurate assessment of costs and impacts on the HRA based on each scheme. 


With the cost of energy rising which is out of the authorities hands it was noted in the previous 2018/19 colder years a small increase of usage but the opposite in 2019/20 with a mild winter saw a decrease in the majority of schemes. An upgrade in heating systems in Panton Place Holywell and one area in Glan-y- Morfa Connah’s Quay tenants are billed on their own readings with their chosen supplier, 


In the majority of cases the recharge to tenants has been reduced which allowed Flintshire to recover costs of heating charges and our tenants received the benefit of the reduced energy costs. One exception in Table 1.  Acacia Close Mold a combined increase across the three properties of 7% of approx. £0.59p per week against a reduction of 18% for this area last year, so the Energy Team working with suppliers are installing Automatic Readers to give a more accurate reading to allow billing to tenants to be accurate going forward, this also applies to Glan-Y-Morfa Block 1 later in 2020/21.


On this understanding after many questions the Community & Enterprise Overview & Scrutiny Committee during its meeting on 7th July supported the Communal Heating Charges 2020/21 report”.




That the changes to the current heating charges at council house properties with communal heating schemes as outlined in the table in the report, taking effect  ...  view the full minutes text for item 186.


Review of Public Space Protection Orders pdf icon PDF 107 KB

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As detailed in the recommendations, with a third recommendation being added as outlined below:


(3)       That representations be made to UK Government through the Local Government Association and professional networks requesting that the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 be amended to extend the interval at which PSPOs must be renewed to 5 years.


Councillor Thomas introduced the report on the review of Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO’s).  PSPO’s can last for a maximum of three years before a review was required.  The Council’s Orders were now due for review, or would expire on 19th October 2020.    To extend a PSPO the Council must firstly undertake a public consultation and notification exercise in accordance with the Act, as if it were making a new order.


            The Chief Officer (Streetscene and Transportation) explained that under the provisions of the Act, Flintshire’s Alcohol Designated Public Place Order transitioned automatically into a PSPO.  This order would give Police Officers the power to ask members of the public to surrender alcohol if a member of the public were believed to be causing a nuisance in a public place.  It was not a total alcohol ban in public areas, and it was not applicable to licensed premises, but encouragement of sensible drinking.  That Order also needed to be reviewed.


            Since the implementation of the dog control PSPO, over 1,100 dog walkers had been approached and provided with information and advice on the prohibitions of the Order.  A total of three Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN’s) had been issued for dog fouling and 45 for dogs entering the boundaries of marked sports pitches. 


            Consultation was proposed to take place through two online surveys, one for each PSPO, asking for residents and statutory consultees’ views on the PSPO’s to be extended and whether the requirements of the order were proportionate.  They would be on the Council’s website for a period of five weeks throughout August 2020 and the first week in September 2020.  The consultation responses would be considered by the Council before a decision was made on final PSPO’s.


            An interactive map would be made available online with colour coding of each land category showing which restriction was in force at which location, including relevant land adopted by the local authority since the Order was made in 2017, along with a document explaining frequently asked questions.  With regard to the Dog Control PSPO consultation, it was proposed to write to the following outlining the proposal to extend the PSPO and where they were able to take part:


  • Elected Members
  • School head teachers
  • Town and Community Councils
  • Bowling club secretaries
  • Lease holders of affected land, i.e. sports clubs
  • Charities and organisations such as the RSPCA and Kennel Club
  • North Wales Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Any other appropriate community representatives


Councillor Thomas explained that the report had recently been considered at Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee where they proposed an additional recommendation be put to Cabinet “that representations be made through the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) and Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE) that PSPO’s be extended to last five years”.  The Chief Officer (Governance) suggested alternative wording of “That representations be made to UK Government through the Local Government Association and professional networks requesting that the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 be amended to extend  ...  view the full minutes text for item 187.


Supporting Living Framework and Commissioning of Services pdf icon PDF 119 KB

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As detailed in the recommendations.


Councillor Jones introduced the report and explained that an electronic procurement exercise had been undertaken by Denbighshire County Council with the purpose of introducing a North Wales Supported Living Framework.


            By adopting the Framework, it would enable Flintshire to commission its supported living services when they came up for renewal, effectively and efficiently whilst ensuring consistency and quality of provision across North Wales.


            The Chief Officer (Social Services) explained that Social Services currently had three supported living services that required commissioning/re-commissioning and it was proposed that the new North Wales Support Living Framework (call off contract) be utilised to tender and select a new provider.


            To meet Contract Procedure Rules for the Council, approval from Cabinet was required to progress with the tender and award the contracts.


            As Chair of Social and Health Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Councillor McGuill asked the following questions, with the answers shown provided in response prior to the meeting:


Q - Clarification requested regarding the length of these contracts 35 providers in all - I couldn’t see a length does this mean they are open ended?

A - They are open ended contracts to ensure continuity of care for the most vulnerable.  As with all contracts, the quality of the service delivery is constantly monitored by the contracts and commissioning team and any issues will be addressed.


Q - No mention of who is responsible for providing protective clothing for those employed who might find themselves needing to use it in client’s homes etc.

A - Regulated providers have a responsibility to provide PPE for staff use, this will form part of their Health & Safety Policy.  During the pandemic, as Social Care Providers, they would receive the Welsh Government provision of PPE through NHS Shared Services, this is used to supplement their usual order of stock.


Q - There also doesn’t seem to be a ‘time by’ stated when we have to be informed of any change of circumstances of the service user i.e.; hospitalisation - how long before we are informed so payment can be reduced etc. - same with death.

A - There is a clause within the Supported Living Framework call off contract that enables a temporary planned or unplanned suspension of the Service, which may occur due to: hospitalisation, absence, pre-planned absence or death. In the event of a temporary suspension of the Service, the Provider and the Commissioner shall follow the process as set out in Schedule 6 Variation and Termination.


Q - Lastly can we ensure that the service user has a photo of all staff who they come into contact with on the pen portrait file?

A - As part of any SL commissioning/ re-commissioning there is a robust processes for ensuring individuals are familiar with the staff that are supporting them. In recognition to the importance of individuals getting to know people who support them, the contract includes a staff matching tool and a template for staff one page profile. Due to the positive impact that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 188.



To provide details of actions taken under delegated powers.

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An information item on the actions taken under delegated powers was submitted.  The actions were as set out below:-


Streetscene and Transportation


  • B5129 Bus Lanes – Contract Award


Award of the B5129 Shotton Lane to Queensferry Bus Lanes Contract.



Social Services


  • Marleyfield House Expansion


The Council has entered into contract with construction firm Willmott Dixon to begin works on building an additional 32 bed expansion at the Marleyfield House residential care home in Buckley.  This update will provide the detail of the cost of the contract and the project and next steps.


Housing and Assets


  • Transfer of 12 No. Properties (Plot No’s 513 – 524) Llys Cadfan, Croes Atti, Oakenholt


The above affordable housing units are to be transferred direct to North East Wales (NEW) Homes since this best meets housing need.  NEW Homes will enter into a covenant with Anwyl that the properties will be used for the purpose of affordable housing.


Test, Trace and Protect (TTP)


As detailed in the recommendations.


Councillor Roberts introduced the report which recommended that the region moved to an employment model, to be fully funded by Welsh Government (WG), with Flintshire acting as the single employer for the six local authorities.  The Health Board would act as the employer for the regional specialist team. 


He thanked the Chief Executive for all of the work he and his team had undertaken to progress the Test, Trace and Protect (TTP) Programme.  This was concurred by all Cabinet Members, particularly for the success in gaining the funding for the Programme.


As Chair of Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee Councillor Carver made the following observations:


“I am satisfied with the report and concur with the Recommendations”.




(a)       That full participation in a regional Test, Trace and Protect Programme be supported, and that the hybrid operating model of employment to a medium-scale of capacity, supplemented by a reserve or ‘bank’ of local authority employees, be adopted;


(b)       That the proposal that Flintshire County Council acts as the employer for the regional programme on behalf of the six local authorities be approved;


(c)        That it be noted that the five partner local authorities have given Flintshire as the employer a letter of commitment in advance of a full Inter Authority Agreement and prior to the commitment of resources;


(d)       That the Chief Executive be authorised to enter the Council into a formal and binding Inter Authority Agreement with Ynys Mon, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire and  Wrexham councils;


(e)       That the Chief Executive be given delegated authority to enter into a contractual commitments for the employment of programme workers, and the commitment of support services, now that confirmation of the allocation of a sufficient budget has been received from Welsh Government; and


(f)         That quarterly reports be submitted to Cabinet on the progress and performance of the programme.


Benefits Services Resources


As detailed in the recommendation.


Councillor Mullin introduced the report which outlined the change in demands in the Benefits Service, the short term solution that had been in operation, and the resources required to deal with the future predicted increases in demand. 


            As Chair of Community and Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Dunbar made the following observations:


“Before the start of Covid19 the Benefit Service had delivered successfully on all aspects such as Housing, CTRS (Council Tax Reduction Scheme) Welfare Reform, and also the Grant Administration covering Free School Meals, School Uniform Grants, Disabled Facilities Grant and Blue Badge for the residents of Flintshire. 


Up to this time workloads have been fairly constant and managed successfully with around 500 enquiries per week regarding Universal Credit, since the pandemic Covid19 started the number of enquiries has gone up to 900 per week, CTRS claims have increased and because of Lockdown and the Furlough Scheme being introduced this extra work has been covered by our existing staff doing overtime, this puts additional pressure on the team which is not sustainable as resources can’t be extended.


When the Furlough Scheme ends financial pressure on employers will increase as National Government reduces Financial Support we will surely see job loss and reduced working hours, which again falls on this team so the recruitment proposal explained in item Nos 20.1 20.2 & 20.3 of a mixture of agency and fixed term contracts is the way forward to protect the interests of Flintshire Residents and the welfare of the Staff”.




That the proposal for a flexible resource allocation to continue to provide a demand-responsive benefits service be supported and approved.


Sale of Crescent Farm, Greenfield


As detailed in the recommendation.


Councillor Mullin introduced the report which sought approval for the sale of Crescent Farm, Greenfield.


            The sale would be subject to a claw-back clause which was detailed in the report.


            As Chair of Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee Councillor Carver made the following observation:


“I am satisfied with the report and concur with the recommendation”.




That the sale of Crescent Farm, Greenfield comprising 77.84 acres of agricultural land with house and associated out buildings be supported.


Members of the Press and Public in Attendance

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