Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Ruthin and by Video Conference


Webcast: View the webcast

No. Item



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Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Jeanette Chamberlain-Jones, Brian Jones and David Williams.


The Committee requested that its best wishes for a full and speedy recovery be conveyed to Councillor Williams who had recently undergone surgery.



Members to declare any personal or prejudicial interests in any business identified to be considered at this meeting.

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Councillor Arwel Roberts declared a personal interest in business item 6 as a Local Education Authority (LEA) Governor at Ysgol y Castell, Rhuddlan.



To appoint a Vice-Chair for Partnerships Scrutiny Committee for the municipal year 2024/25 (copy of Role Description attached).


10.05am – 10.10am

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As the Chair was unable to attend the meeting in person at County Hall she had requested that the Vice-Chair upon election chair the meeting.  Therefore, the Scrutiny Co-ordinator sought nominations for the post of Committee Vice-Chair for the 2024/25 municipal year. 


Councillor Bobby Feeley nominated Councillor Pauline Edwards for the position of Committee Vice-Chair.  Councillor Edwards’ nomination for the role was seconded by Councillor Elfed Williams.  No other nominations were received and the Committee:


Resolved:  that Councillor Pauline Edwards be elected as Vice-Chair of Partnerships Scrutiny Committee for the 2024/25 municipal year.


Following her election Councillor Edwards thanked members for their continued support prior to assuming the chair for the remainder of the meeting in accordance with the Chair’s request.





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.

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No matters of an urgent nature had been drawn to the attention of the Chair prior to the commencement of the meeting.



To receive the minutes of the Partnerships Scrutiny Committee meeting held on the 21 March 2024 (copy attached).


10.10am – 10.15am

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The minutes of the Partnerships Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 21 March 2024 were submitted.  The Committee:


Resolved:  that the minutes of the meeting held on 21 March 2024 be received and approved as a true and correct record of the proceedings.


Matters arising:  page 12, ‘North Denbighshire Community Hospital Project’ – Committee members were advised that a copy of the Chair’s letter to the newly appointed First Minister in respect of this project, along with the Minister for Health and Social Care’s letter of response, had been circulated to Committee members for information as part of the ‘Information Brief’ document earlier in the week.  The Corporate Director:  Social Services and Education updated the Committee advising members that the business case for the project had been accepted by the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) at its meeting in March 2024 and had subsequently been submitted to Welsh Government (WG).  The Director undertook, in conjunction with Health Board representatives, to continue updating the Committee on the business case’s progress as things developed.







To consider a report by the Scrutiny Co-ordinator (copy attached) the purpose of which is to seek the Committee, in accordance with the Council’s Call-In Procedure Rules, to review the decision taken by Cabinet on 23 April 2024.


10.15am – 11.15am

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Prior to the commencement of this business item the Chair welcomed the Lead Member for Education, Children and Families; Corporate Director:  Social Services and Education; Head of Education; Principal Manager:  School Support along with a number of other officers from various Council services to the meeting for the discussion on the Cabinet decision called-in for review under the Council’s Call-in Procedure Rules.  She also welcomed the lead signatory to the ‘Notice of Call-in’ and his co-signatories to the meeting to present their case.


The Scrutiny Co-ordinator introduced the report and appendices (previously circulated) which outlined the Cabinet decision called-in for review, the reasons given for seeking a review of the decision and the process that would be followed at the meeting.  She also advised that as the decision called-in for review related to statutory education provision in the county the Education Co-opted Members on the Council’s Scrutiny Committees were in attendance and were members of the Committee with full voting rights for this particular business item.  


Prior to the commencement of the discussion the Committee was advised by the Monitoring Officer of the importance of focussing on the decision taken by Cabinet on 23 April 2024, relating to the draft Strategic Outline Programme (SOP) for the ‘Sustainable Communities for Learning – Rolling Programme’, which was the subject of the Notice of Call-in and not on any past or potential future decisions which may be taken in relation to proposed programme.


Councillor Mark Young, as the lead signatory to the Notice of Call-in, introduced and summarised the call-in request on behalf of himself and his co-signatories, explaining that the rationale for calling-in the decision was based on the need for good governance, evidence based decision-making, along with extensive and effective consultation with all stakeholders in relation to the ‘disposal’ of a green-space playing field in accordance with Regulations and Guidance referred to in the ‘Notice of Call-In of Decision’ submitted.  During his introduction Councillor Young referred to the need to consult with bodies such as Sport Wales, local schools in Denbigh, local elected members, local community, and sports organisations, which both he and his co-signatories felt had not been widely consulted with in relation to the ‘disposal/change of use’ of the playing field in order to accommodate the new building for Ysgol Plas Brondyffryn.  The signatories were firmly of the view that under the Council’s Local Development Plan (LDP) sports fields were protected from development unless they were designated as surplus to requirement.  Co-signatories Councillors Merfyn Parry, Pauline Edwards and Elfed Williams outlined their reasons for consenting to the calling-in of the decision stating that an assessment should be undertaken on the availability of green space provision in Denbigh and made available to local members and residents.  Provision of an assessment of all known risks associated with the proposals along with evidence of the extensive consultation undertaken with all stakeholders should also have been made available.  Councillor Geraint Lloyd-Williams was not in attendance to present his reasons for agreeing to be a signatory to the ‘Notice of Call-In’.


Responding to the points raised in calling-in the decision the Lead Member advised that the Monitoring Officer was of the view that the issues of affordability, loss, and reinstatement/replacement of playing fields would be issues to be addressed as part of developing the full business case for the project prior to submission to the Capital Scrutiny Group (CSG) for consideration.  The playing fields element would feature as part of the planning application process.  None of these factors had any bearing on the Cabinet decision of 23 April 2024.  That decision related to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

BREAK 11.50am until 11.55am

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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.


11.30am – 11.50am

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The Scrutiny Co-ordinator introduced the report and appendices (previously circulated) which sought members to review the Committee’s forward work programme and provided an update on Scrutiny related matters.


Members’ attention was drawn the Committee’s forward work programme attached at Appendix 1 to the report.  Its next meeting, scheduled for 4 July, had three substantial business items listed to date.  Attached at Appendix 2 was a copy of the ‘member proposal form’ which members were encouraged to complete if they felt a matter or topic merited being scrutinised.  They were reminded that the Scrutiny Chairs and Vice-Chairs Group (SCVCG) would be meeting on 20 May to consider any scrutiny requests received.  Appendix 3 set out the Cabinet’s forward work programme for members’ information and help them identify any matters they may wish to request be presented to Scrutiny for pre-decision scrutiny.  Appendix 4 summarised the progress made in relation to the Committee’s recommendations at its previous meeting.


Councillor Elfed Williams suggested that Scrutiny may wish to examine the consultation undertaken with the schools referred to under the earlier business item.  Councillor Williams was advised to complete a ‘member proposal form’ (attached at Appendix 2) outlining the aspects he wished Scrutiny to examine in detail, the anticipated outcomes of the scrutiny process and then submit the completed form to either of the Scrutiny Co-ordinators who would present the request to the SCVCG for consideration. Councillor Arwel Roberts enquired whether the green space element of the consultation undertaken on the proposals relating to the Sustainable Communities for Learning item discussed earlier had been made widely available and whether that element required to be scrutinised.  The Scrutiny Co-ordinator advised Councillors Roberts and Williams to liaise with one another with respect of submitting a member proposal form on this specific topic.


Responding to an enquiry from Councillor Roberts on whether sufficient numbers of scrutiny requests were being submitted to the SCVCG for consideration to enable scrutiny forward work programmes to filled, the Scrutiny Co-ordinator advised that eight requests had been received for the Group’s consideration at its meeting the following week.  In addition, the SCVCG would be considering Scrutiny’s role in the budget setting process and monitoring the delivery of the Medium-Term Financial Strategy & Plan, as well as Scrutiny’s future involvement the Council’s Transformation Programme, at that meeting.  Dependent upon the outcome of those discussions all scrutiny committee forward work programmes may well be more evenly populated in future.  Proposed scrutiny arrangements for the North Wales Corporate Joint Committee (CJC) were also due to be discussed at the forthcoming meeting of the SCVCG. Whilst there were proposals for the North Wales Economic Ambition Board (NWEAB) to eventually form part of the CJC, no date had yet been agreed for this to take place.  Therefore, until those arrangements were in place and standalone scrutiny arrangements had been agreed for the CJC, Partnerships Scrutiny Committee would continue to be Denbighshire’s designated scrutiny committee for scrutinising the NWEAB.


At the conclusion of the discussion, it was:


Resolved:  to confirm the Committee’s forward work programme as set out in Appendix 1 to the report.



To receive any updates from Committee representatives on various Council Boards and Groups.


11.50am – 12pm

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Bwthyn y Ddôl Sub Regional Children’s Assessment Unit:  Councillor Bobby Feeley, Scrutiny’s representative on the Project Board for this specialist unit, reported that the new state of the art facility for this Assessment Unit was nearing completion.  The Corporate Director:  Social Services and Education confirmed that once the facility was ready for use an official launch would be arranged and a newsletter would be circulated to all members.


The Committee:


Resolved:  to receive the information provided.





The meeting concluded at 12.10pm