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 Arwel Roberts and David Williams.




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

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No interests of a personal, or a personal and prejudicial nature were declared.




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 Chair or the Scrutiny Co-ordinator’s attention prior to the commencement of the meeting.




To receive the minutes of the Partnerships Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 18 May 2023 (copy enclosed).

10.05 – 10.15 am

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The minutes of the Partnerships Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 18 May 2023 were submitted.  The Committee:


Resolved:  that the minutes of the meeting held on 18 May 2023 be received and approved as a true and correct record of the proceedings.


No matters were raised in relation to the accuracy or the contents of the minutes.




To consider a report (copy attached) from the Corporate Director: Environment and Economy which details the work of the North Wales Economic Ambition Board (the Board) during the financial year 2022/23.

10.15 – 10.55 am



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Leader of the Council and Lead Member for Economic Growth and Tackling Deprivation, Councillor Jason McLellan introduced the annual report (previously circulated) to the Committee. The report provided members with an opportunity to scrutinise the work of North Wales Economic Ambition Board (NWEAB) and its progress in delivering its work. He confirmed quarter 1, 2 and 3 reports were submitted to members for information with quarter 4 and Annual Report presented to Committee for further discussion.


He thanked the Head of Operations for the Portfolio Management Office of Ambition North Wales and Digital Programme Manager for attending the Committee meeting to present to the Committee.


Hedd Vaughan Evans, Head of Operations for the Portfolio Management Office of Ambition North Wales, presented members with a PowerPoint presentation. He introduced to the Committee Stuart Whitfield the Digital Programme Manager for the Board.


Members were provided with background information on the Board and advised that the Programme Office reported directly to the Board which set the direction of the work and took any decisions required. The NWEAB had been in existence since 2016, setting a vision for North Wales. Members heard the Board had secured £240m investment into North Wales. With a total investment target of £1billion over a 15 year period, creating 4200 new jobs.  Members were guided through the aims of the Board including building a more vibrant, sustainable and resilient economy in North Wales. Building on strengths to boost productivity whilst tackling long term challenges. It was hoped this would be done in a sustainable way that was in line with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.


Members were provided with information on some of the challenges the Board had faced over the previous 12 months. It was stressed progress in some areas had not been as quick as had first been hoped. A number of project delays had been encountered and a number of challenges around cost inflation had impacted some projects.

Further business cases had initial outline cases approved by the Economic Ambition Board. This allowed projects to complete procurement processes and return to the Board for a final investment decision. These were:

  • Enterprise Engineering and Optics Centre
  • Last few %
  • Smart Local Energy


Members heard funding had been acquired from Welsh Government to deliver Local Area Energy Plans. The team were co-ordinating the delivery of those plans.


A mobile connectivity survey on the quality of 4G connectivity across the region had been conducted, data received would feed into a digital programme in the plan. Members were guided through further highlights detailed in the presentation.

Reallocation of funding had been agreed redirecting monies from projects which had been withdrawn due to a change in Welsh Government (WG) roads infrastructure policy.  This had resulted in an additional £7million being allocated to some mature projects to support them with cost associated inflation. The remainder of the funding available for reallocation was then made available for projects to bid for. A total of 26 project applications had been received, ongoing review of those projects was taking place.


The Digital Programme Manager provided members with further information on the growth deal projects under the Digital Connectivity stream. Within the Growth Deal, there were 3 infrastructure based projects that were to be introduced across all counties. Details of the projects was provided to members. The Digital Signal Processing (DSP) Centre was the first project that had progressed to the delivery stage. A full 12 months of delivery had been observed with a number of jobs being created both at the centre and on a wider range.


The Corporate Director Economy  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.



To consider a report from the Economic & Business Development Lead Officer (copy attached) on the Rhyl Business Improvement District’s (BID) proposed second term re-ballot arrangements.

10.55 – 11.35 am


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Leader of the Council and Lead Member for Economic Growth and Tackling Deprivation, Councillor Jason McLellan introduced the Rhyl Business Improvement District (BID) Re-ballot report (previously circulated).


The report provided an opportunity for members to scrutinise the proposal for a second term of the BID. Members were reminded the Rhyl BID was established in November 2018, following a successful ballot with a mandate to operate for a maximum of 5 years. In order to continue operating, a new set of proposals were required to be put to a ballot. The BID provided a form of local democracy, it gave local businesses the power to collectively raise funds to deliver agreed improvements to the local area. The BID was funded by local businesses contributing a small portion of business rateable value levy. A BID could only be formed following a successful ballot taking place, and any additional monies levied could only be utilised on items or services not provided by the local authority.  Members heard the proposed business plan was attached to the agenda papers as Appendix 1.


It was stressed the BIDs were independent to the Council. Denbighshire County Council were a key stakeholder and had a statutory duty to conduct any BID ballots and to collect and enforce the BID levies. The authority was a significant levy payer in the BID area and therefore had a number of votes within the ballot process.

The Council was represented on the Rhyl BID Board by the Corporate Director Economy and Environment, Tony Ward.


The Corporate Director Economy and Environment thanked the Leader for the overview of the report. He introduced to the Committee Abigail Pilling who was employed by the Rhyl BID as the Rhyl BID manager and Nadeem Ahmed owner of Jean Emporium in Rhyl Town Centre and Chair of the Rhyl BID Board.

The purpose of the report was threefold; firstly, to examine the proposals for a second five-year term for the Rhyl BID, secondly to inform members about the steps involved in arranging and holding a ballot and finally to enable the Committee to raise and ask any questions regarding the BID or the ballot process.

He guided members to paragraph 4.11 and 4.12 of the covering report, which informed members that part of the role of the Council was to decide whether there were any grounds to veto the BID proposals. The Council could veto the proposals if they conflicted with any corporate policy of the Council or if it felt that they placed a significantly disproportionate financial burden upon any person or class of persons. Ultimately Cabinet would ask those questions in September 2023, prior to allowing the BID to take place. Members heard it was officers’ opinion that the proposals did not fall under either area to veto the proposals.  


Abigail Pilling addressed the Committee providing a brief overview of what the BID had been able to facilitate and deliver to date. She stated the original BID identified 4 action areas - safe and welcoming, cleansing and maintenance, marketing and business support. One of the more well-known projects was the Town Ranger Project which crossed over all 4 action areas. She made members aware of the events programme which detailed signature events proposed to take place. Alongside these events a training programme was timetabled to offer in-house training on certain areas for businesses.  The BID was also involved in some community initiatives with a number of partnerships developed.  The Chair of the BID Board, Nadeem Ahmed, added that the proposed new business plan attached to the report built on what had been established during the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

At this juncture the Committee adjourned for a 15 minute comfort break.

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To consider a report (copy attached) by the Safeguarding Team Manager which presents the annual performance report for Safeguarding Adults in compliance with statutory guidance.

11.45 am - 12.25 pm



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The Lead Member for Health and Social Care, Councillor Elen Heaton introduced the annual report on Safeguarding Adults in Denbighshire 2022/23 (previously circulated).  The report provided members with data from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023. The Lead Member highlighted several achievements made by the team over the 12-month period. She stressed the team had maintained excellent performance levels with 99.1% of Section 126 enquiries being completed within the 7 day target period.   Appendix 2 to the report demonstrated the complexity of some of the cases the team dealt with. It also highlighted the challenging nature of the work.


Listed in the report were the risks and areas of concern noted by officers, it was stressed the risks listed were not unique to Denbighshire. They were national trends observed by other local authorities.


The Service Manager, Adult Social Care & Homelessness Service provided further summary of the report’s contents. A slight increase had been observed in the number of alleged adults at risk reports that had been reported in the 12 month period. There had been a significant increase in the number of referrals made under Section 5 of the Wales Safeguarding procedures - Allegations/Concerns about Practitioners and Those in a Position of Trust.  The previous year 25 referrals had been made under this process, this had increased to 46 referrals made the 2022/23 year. Officers were of the view that the increase had been due to a better understanding and knowledge of that section of the guidance. Officers when completing referrals under other sections considered if any other concerns under different sections should be raised. 


Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards had also seen an 11% increase in the number of applications received. Only two members of the team could authorise referrals for further investigation. It was hoped that further training and recruitment into roles would allow more team members to authorise applications in due course.  A further 7 applications had been submitted to Court in relation to Deprivation in Domiciliary Settings. This was ongoing work that was incorporated within routine casework in Complex Disability team.


Members were guided through the key performances noted in the report including the high level of performance completing 99.1% of the Section 126 enquiries within 7 working days. Members heard quarterly random audits were carried out to ensure work remained at a high standard. Vacant posts within the team had been filled and the team was currently at its full capacity.


The Section 5 process still proved to be a challenge in many areas, but specifically in relation to the operational element of this process. The section 5 National Task and Finish Group had concluded its work and the team were awaiting to be consulted on the outcome. The initial feedback suggested that additional clarity may not be available and may now require further consideration from the regional boards prior to reviewing the principles to support joint working with partner agencies.


Court proceedings continued to increase and the impact of this work on the capacity of the Council’s operational teams as well as colleagues within the legal team could not be underestimated. Often this was further impacted by requests from the Court to lodge updated information. Updated information was requested where previous documentation had expired whilst awaiting judicial consideration. This was a situation experienced by all Local Authorities and not unique to Denbighshire.


The Chair thanked the Lead Member and officers for the detailed report and introduction. In response to further discussion the following points were discussed in greater detail:



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.

12.25 – 12.40 pm

Additional documents:


The Scrutiny Co-ordinator introduced the report and appendices (previously circulated) seeking Members’ review of the Committee’s work programme and which provided an update on relevant issues.


The next Partnerships Scrutiny Committee meeting was due to be held on the 14 September 2023. There were 3 substantial items listed for the next Partnerships Scrutiny Committee:

  • Community Safety Partnership
  • North Wales Regional Partnership Board Annual Report 2022/23
  • North Denbighshire Community Hospital Project


Confirmation had been received from the Health Board that a representative would be in attendance to discuss the latter item.


Members agreed that the September meeting was at full capacity.  The Scrutiny Chairs and Vice Chairs Group was due to meet the last week of July 2023. Committee members were encouraged to complete a scrutiny proposal form (Appendix 2) in respect of any topic which in their view merited detailed examination by Scrutiny. 


Appendix 3 was the Cabinet’s forward work programme for members’ reference.

Appendix 4 provided the Committee with further information regarding the recommendations from the previous meeting.


Appendix 5 to the report was the table of members who represented the Committee on each of the Service Challenges Groups. The Scrutiny Co-ordinator was seeking nominations to sit on the vacant seats on the Service Challenge Groups in Housing and Communities, Corporate Support Service: Performance, Digital & Assets and Corporate Support Service: People. The Service Challenge Groups meet once a year and the meetings were held remotely. Councillor Butterfield nominated herself to serve on the Housing and Communities Service Challenge Group. Councillor Peter Scott put himself forward to attend the Corporate Support Service: People Service Challenge Group and Councillor Pauline Edwards agreed to attend the Corporate Support Service: Performance, Digital and Assets Service Challenge Group.


The Chair thanked all members for agreeing to attend the Service Challenge Group meetings and emphasised the importance of members attending and reporting back to the Committee.


The Committee:


Resolved:  to –


(i)   confirm its forward work programme as set out in Appendix 1 to the report; and

(ii) to appoint the following representatives to serve on the respective Service Challenge Groups:

·         Councillor Joan Butterfield – Housing & Communities

·         Councillor Pauline Edwards – Corporate Support Service:  Performance, Digital & Assets

·         Councillor Peter Scott – Corporate Support Service:  People





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

12.40 – 12.45 pm

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The following feedback from Committee representatives was received:


Service Challenge Group meetings:


Highways and Environmental Services – Councillor Pauline Edwards reported on the recent meeting of this Group during which recycling, environmental enforcement, repair cafes, Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF) monies and projects had been discussed.  As a result of this meeting improvements to the level and type of information provided to councillors’ enquiries via the C360 system had been realised.  This was proving to be extremely helpful to councillors for the purpose of reporting progress on service-related enquiries to residents.


Planning, Public Protection and Countryside Services – Councillor Peter Scott reported on a recent meeting of this Group, advising the Committee that one of the Service’s biggest concern, similar to other services at present, was staff retention.  Every effort was being made to recruit staff, but consultant periodically had to be engaged particularly in very specialist areas of work.



Bwthyn y Ddôl Sub Regional Children’s Assessment Unit – Councillor Bobby Feeley, Scrutiny’s representative on the Project Board for this specialist unit informed the Committee that the funding for this scheme had now been confirmed and secured by the Welsh Government.  Following a re-tendering process for development of a purpose-built facility the construction contract had been awarded to Wynne Construction.  Work had commenced on site and it was anticipated that the facility would be completed by September 2024.  Despite the delays encountered with the building the Service itself was up and running, with staff operating from temporary accommodation in the Colwyn Bay area.  Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) was expected to certify the service provision by the end of July 2023.



Meeting concluded at 12:55pm