Venue: Video conference
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Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Ann Davies and Christine Marston.
Apologies for absence were also received from Corporate Director: Communities. Corporate Director: Economy and Public Realm deputised for the meeting.
To elect the Committee’s Vice-Chair for the municipal year 2021/22 (copy of the role description for Scrutiny Member and Chair/Vice-Chair attached).
10.00 – 10.10 a.m.
Nominations were sought for the office of Committee Vice-Chair for the 2021/22 municipal year. Councillor Emrys Wynne was nominated for the role by Councillor J Chamberlain-Jones and seconded by Councillor David Williams. No other nominations were put forward.
The Committee therefore:
Resolved: that Councillor Emrys Wynne be elected Vice-Chair of the Partnerships Scrutiny Committee for the 2021/22 municipal year.
The Chair thanked Councillor Wynne for his support to her during the past year and wished him well for the forthcoming year. Councillor Wynne thanked Committee members for their support and for entrusting him with a further term as Vice-Chair of the Committee.
Members to declare any personal or prejudicial interests in any business identified to be considered at this meeting.
10.10 – 10.15 a.m.
No declarations of interest were raised.
URGENT MATTERS AS AGREED BY THE CHAIR
Notice of items which, in the opinion of the Chair, should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency pursuant to Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.
No urgent matters were raised.
To receive the minutes of the Partnerships Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 15 April 2021 (copy attached).
10.15 – 10.25 a.m.
The minutes of the Partnerships Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 15 April 2021 were submitted.
Members were advised that more information would be provided under business item 7 on the agenda, the Committee’s Forward Work Programme, in relation to the point raised within the minutes on the holding or pre-meeting briefing sessions ahead of Committee meetings. It was:
Resolved: - that the minutes of the Partnerships Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 15 April 2021 be approved as a true and correct record of the proceedings.
To consider the Board’s Quarter4/ Annual Report on its work and progress during 2020-21. (Report to follow)
10.25 – 11.10 a.m.
The Leader, Lead Member for the Economy and Corporate Governance introduced the report. The Leader introduced the officers in attendance for the agenda item; Alwen Williams – Portfolio Director and Hedd Vaughan- Evans – Operations Manager from the North Wales Economic Ambition Board (NWEAB), along with officers from the authority. Members heard the importance of the quarterly meetings attended by officers to work with the portfolio management team to influence and understand the regional work being undertaken.
It was explained the report was an update on the Growth deal that had been agreed by Full Council. It was explained that work had commenced on the delivery phase of the programme of work. Part of the agreement had been to report to Scrutiny twice a year to update members of progress made. The Leader explained to members the level of work and detail which required to be conducted in relation to projects prior to the submission of business cases.
Alwen Williams, Portfolio Director guided members through a short presentation, providing members with background information. It was explained the aim of the Growth Deal was to provide a more vibrant, sustainable and resilient economy in North Wales. Building on existing strengths in the region to boost productivity and addressing long-term challenges and economic barriers. It was explained that in the business cases three key spending objectives had been identified. These were noted as Job creation, Gross Value Added (GVA) and Investment. Members heard the objective was to create up to 4,200 jobs.
The Growth Deal was
based on the delivery of twenty-one transformational projects across five
programmes (defined as either high growth or enabling programmes). Two programmes focused on enabling the
region, these were digital connectivity and land and property. These programmes
were funded by the growth deal. It was hoped that delivery in these sectors
would allow businesses to invest in the region and the labour market to take
advantage of the new employment opportunities. Emphasis on
The Portfolio Director provided further guidance on digital connectivity. It was explained the aim was to improve digital connectivity. The project addressed the needs of the customers and citizens. The digital programme had identified a need to balance investment, infrastructure and technology through fixed broadband at key sites and rural areas. It was explained that two main components had been included in the digital programme. The components included were digital connectivity project and an innovation project with Bangor University.
Information was provided on the Land and Property Programme. The programme identified a shortage of suitable land and properties for businesses to develop. Members heard several key projects had been agreed, including the Holyhead Gateway, Wrexham Western Gateway site, key strategic site in Bodelwyddan, Bryn Cegin Strategic Site in Bangor, former North Wales Hospital site in Denbigh and Warren Hall in Flintshire.
The other 3 programmes focused on key strengths in the high value sectors within the region. The aim of the programmes was to increase the value and impact of the high growth sector. The first programme was low carbon energy with the aim to unlock economic benefits of transformational low carbon energy projects. The projects included in the low carbon energy programme were Morlais a marine energy project, Trawsfynydd Power station, low carbon centre of excellence working with Bangor University, Smart local energy and transport decarbonisation.
The Innovation in High Value Manufacturing Programme looked at consolidating North Wales’ already established position as an innovative, high value manufacturing cluster. The aim was to build on the area’s well established specialisms and develop ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
To consider a report by the Scrutiny Coordinator (copy enclosed) seeking a review of the committee’s forward work programme and updating members on relevant issues.
11.10 – 11.25 a.m.
The Scrutiny Coordinator submitted a report (previously circulated) seeking members’ review of the Committee’s work programme and provided an update on relevant issues.
Discussion focused on the following –
· Appendix one listed the upcoming meetings and proposed reports. A report from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) on the Capital plans for Services in Denbighshire. An application to the Chair for a deferral of the item was made, as the health officers were awaiting a response from Welsh Government (WG) on the business plan. The item would be presented to the Committee at the earliest opportunity, once feedback had been received from the WG.
· No items had been added to the FWP following the Chairs and Vice-Chairs Group meeting.
· The Scrutiny Co-Ordinator confirmed the next meeting on the 8th July had three proposed reports, with the possibility of the BCUHB report referred to above being added.
· Members were informed on the current difficulty in administrating a pre-meeting briefing. If members felt, there was a need to hold a briefing meeting before a meeting they should contact the Chair and the Scrutiny Co-Ordinator to discuss. At present a briefing would not be arranged for all meetings.
· Members felt a pre meeting would be beneficial before receiving the Health Board reports.
· Members stressed the importance of receiving the BCUHB Capital Plans in Denbighshire report as soon as possible especially to address the project relation to the site of the former Royal Alexandra Hospital at Rhyl. It was understood that the delay with the WG response was due to the Senedd elections.
Resolved: - subject to the above comments and observations to –
(i) confirm the Committee’s forward work programme (Appendix 1); and
(ii) if necessary, to hold a Special meeting of the Committee to discuss Health Board capital projects in Denbighshire once Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) receive a response from the Welsh Government (WG) to its latest business case for the new North Denbighshire Community Hospital facility.
FEEDBACK FROM COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVES
To receive any updates from Committee representatives on various Council Boards and Groups.
11.25 – 11.30 a.m.
The Scrutiny Co-Originator had received a report from Councillor Christine Marston following her attendance at meetings of two groups on which she represented the Committee. The Scrutiny Co-ordinator delivered the feedback to the Committee as follows.
The first meeting attended by Councillor Marston had been the Stakeholders Reference Group of BCUHB held on the 22nd March 2021. It was explained to members that the Health Board’s the 3-year plan had been delayed due to Covid. It was explained that when the recovery phase commenced they would address the backlog. With regards to planned care BCUHB hoped to create capacity. Members heard the aim was to achieve a 6-8 week window for the Covid Vaccine 2nd dose with the hope to no longer need the vaccine centres after July.
The digital strategy-engagement had started but had constraints due to Covid, the aim was to implement a single digital patient record. The introduction of Targeted Intervention Improvement Framework (TIIF) looked at improvements to how BCUHB operated with the aim to improve performance.
Councillor Marston had also attended the Children’s Residential Unit Project Board meeting held on 18th May 2021. It was confirmed the name of the new unit would be Bwthyn y Ddol, and it would be situated between the Police HQ and Eirias Park Colwyn Bay. The current project spend was £2.6 million. With the on-site construction due to start during June 2021 with a completion date of May 2022. The unit had been designed to accommodate Conwy and Denbighshire children for intensive therapeutic treatment. There would be three areas within the facility: - planned inpatient care, unplanned inpatient care and assessment area.
It was confirmed that multi-disciplinary team members were already in place. Interim plans had been drawn up to accommodate children in need of care currently, with temporary accommodation in Colwyn Bay. Work was also being done on the ongoing running costs of this unit for the future
The Chair thanked the Scrutiny Co-Ordinator for the narrative from Councillor Marston’s attendance at meetings.
Resolved: - to receive Councillor Marston’s update reports on recent discussions at the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) Stakeholder Reference Group (SRG) and the sub-regional Children’s Residential Assessment Unit (CRAU) Project Board.
The meeting concluded at 11.40am