Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes



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No. Item

The Corporate Director: Economy & Public Realm, Graham Boase was in attendance as a substitute for the Chief Executive, Judith Greenhalgh, who was unable to attend the meeting.




Additional documents:



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

Additional documents:


No declarations of interest.




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 urgent items.




To receive the minutes of the Performance Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 7 June 2018 (copy attached).

10.05 a.m. – 10.15 a.m.


Additional documents:


The minutes of the meeting of the Performance Scrutiny Committee held on 7 June 2018 were submitted.


Matters Arising:


Page 6 – Item 6 – The Chair, Councillor Huw Jones, confirmed he had attended the meeting in Flintshire County Council at which representatives from Kingdom were in attendance.  A further report was to be presented at the Cabinet meeting due to be held in September.  The Chair confirmed he would attend to update Cabinet members following the meeting in Flintshire.


Councillor Arwel Roberts requested it be noted that he was extremely disappointed Kingdom did not attend the Scrutiny meeting.


RESOLVED that, subject to the above, the minutes of the Performance Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 7 June 2018 be received and approved as a correct record.




To consider a report by the Highways Asset & Risk manager (copy attached) as a follow up to the report submitted to the Performance Scrutiny Committee on 7 December 2017 and to discuss with a representative from Welsh Government highway network capital funding matters.

10.15 a.m. – 11.00 a.m.


Additional documents:


The Lead Member for Highways, Planning and Sustainable Transport introduced the Highways Asset and Risk Manager’s report (previously circulated).  This was a follow-up report to the one presented to the Committee in December 2017 about the County’s Highway Maintenance Strategy.


At the conclusion of the discussion on the Strategy at the December 2017 meeting, the Committee had extended an invitation to the Welsh Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport to attend a future meeting of the Committee to discuss capital funding for highways projects.  Unfortunately, the Cabinet Secretary had not been able to accept the invitation but had offered that one of his officials be invited to discuss the matter with the committee.  Mr Dewi Rowlands, the Welsh Government’s (WG) Head of Transport Planning had accepted the Committee’s invitation and was welcomed to the meeting by the Chair.  The Lead Member expressed his gratitude to Mr Rowlands’ department and the WG for awarding Denbighshire the £1.2m Road Refurbishment Grant, as well as an additional £100K to help address some of the extra maintenance work required on the county’s roads following the severe winter weather.


The Head of Highways and Environmental Services reminded the Committee that highways had been one of the corporate priorities in the 2012-17 Corporate Plan.  This had resulted in some considerable amount of investment being made in the county’s road network which had seen the condition of the roads improve markedly.  The challenge during the current Council term would be to wisely invest continually dwindling financial resources in the road network in an attempt to ensure that the benefits of previous investment was not lost, and that other roads did not deteriorate to a point where they were no longer passable.  He confirmed that the receipt of the additional £1.2m Road Refurbishment Grant had been greatly appreciated and had been earmarked for the four projects detailed in the report.  Nevertheless, due to the costs associated with road maintenance projects whilst the four schemes listed in the report would be realised, there were a number of other schemes which would not benefit from this one-off grant.


The WG’s Head of Transport Planning thanked the Committee for the invitation to attend the meeting to discuss highways capital funding matters and conveyed the Cabinet Secretary’s apologies for not being able to attend.  During his introduction he outlined the WG’s vision for the highways network in Wales emphasising that it was important to reflect on what had happened in the past to understand the context of what was proposed for the future.  A recent Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) survey had indicated positively that the extent of Wales’ highway network in poor condition had been reducing year on year between 2011/12 until 2016/17, which was the latest data available.  There was a recognition within the WLGA’s evidence that the funding injection to local authorities from WG had contributed towards the improvement in the quality of the highways network nationally.  He explained that the Local Government Borrowing Initiative (LGBI), which operated for three financial years between the 2012/13 and 2014/15  represented an added allocation within each local authority’s Revenue Support Grant (RSG) which increased the councils’ potential to borrow money to fund capital projects.  It was stressed that this initiative had not come to an end but that there had been a change in approach with the WG now servicing local authorities’ borrowing costs and would continue do so until the 2034/35 financial year, subject to councils giving a commitment to improve their highway assets.


In respect of the £1.2m Road Refurbishment Grant and the additional funding allocated to address additional  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


At this juncture (11.30 a.m.), there was a 20 minute break.


The meeting reconvened at 11.50 a.m.





To consider a report by the Strategic Planning Team Manager (copy attached) monitoring the Council’s progress in delivering the Corporate Plan 2017-22.

11.00 a.m. – 11.30 a.m.


Additional documents:


The Lead Member for Finance, Performance & Strategic Assets introduced the Strategic Planning Team Manager’s report (previously circulated) which presented Members with the first update report on the delivery of the 2017-22 Corporate Plan. 


Attached to the report was an Executive Summary which detailed the achievements to date along with the key exceptions (Appendix 1), and the full quarterly performance report for the fourth quarter of the 2017-18 year generated by the Verto Performance Management System (Appendix 2).   During his introduction the Lead Member drew the Committee’s attention to the main difference in the approach taken towards reporting on performance in delivering the new Corporate Plan compared to its predecessor, which was the inclusion of two pieces of commentary:


·         Performance Status :  which provided a narrative and an assessment on what the performance indicators currently implied about the communities; and

·         Programme Progress Status:  which outlined how projects identified in support of each priority were developing


The programme of work to deliver the Corporate Plan was still in its infancy, therefore the ‘programme progress status’ would reflect this.  As projects established to realise the priorities in the Plan started to be delivered the ‘programme progress status’ column in the report would eventually reflect this, with the colour of the column eventually turning to ‘green’.  The ‘performance status’ column indicated the Council’s performance to date against targets set for delivery of each priority.  Whilst  it was possible to have a ‘poor’ performance status, but a strong programme progress status during the timespan of the Corporate Plan, it was anticipated that as the Council’s term progressed that both statuses would match positively to indicate that the Plan would successfully be delivered.  Future Executive Summary reports would be exceptions reports rather than a full narrative on performance against all targets and indicators. 


The Lead Member proceeded to explain that two programme boards, whose membership comprised of Lead Members, a Corporate Director and Heads of Service, had been established for the purpose of progressing the delivery of the five corporate priorities and ultimately the Plan itself.  Both Boards, the Communities and Environment Board and the Young People and Housing Board, were chaired by a Corporate Director with one Board responsible for progressing the delivery of two of the corporate priorities whilst the other was charged with progressing the delivery of three.  Of the five corporate priorities the performance status for two of the priorities had a ‘red’ priority for improvement status at present.  These were the priorities relating to ‘Resilient  Communities’ and ‘Young People’ which entailed the delivery of a broad range of projects, some in partnership with external organisations, if they were to be realised.  Therefore they were not entirely within the Council’s control to deliver.  An overview of the projects which underpinned each corporate priority was given to the Committee by the Lead Member.  Members were advised by the Strategic Planning Team Manager that, in addition to the Verto generated report, the Performance Status and Programme Progress Status commentary were important information for Scrutiny to focus on when examining future Corporate Plan performance reports and deciding on its future work programme.  She also confirmed that if members were not familiar with the Verto system that she would be willing to demonstrate to them how they could use it for their scrutiny work.


The Chair drew to members’ attention to the fact that a number of the topics covered in the Corporate Plan were already on the Committee’s forward programme, these included the draft sustainable travel plan and the draft fleet management strategy.


Responding to members questions the Lead Member, Corporate Director and Strategic Planning  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.



To consider a report by the Principal Manager: Support Services (copy attached) to enable Members to scrutinise the draft annual report prior to it being submitted to the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW).

11.40 a.m. – 12.25 p.m.


Additional documents:


The Corporate Director: Communities introduced the report (previously circulated) which presented the Committee with the Director of Social Services’ Annual Report for 2017-18.  It was explained that it was a statutory requirement for each Director of Social Services in Wales to produce an annual report summarising their assessment of the Service’s effectiveness in delivering social care services during the year and outlining the priorities for improvement identified during the course of the year that would require focus going forward.


During her introduction the Director paid tribute to the commitment of the workforce, both paid, and unpaid volunteers, whose dedication had resulted in the Annual Report being a positive one overall.  She drew members’ attention to the Services’ key achievements during the year and highlighted the areas that required further work.  The guidelines for the presentation of the Annual Reports stipulated that they should not exceed a specified number of words, consequently it had not been possible to include all aspects of adult social care and children services work in the report.  Nevertheless, having reviewed all the evidence, the Director was confident that Denbighshire continued to provide good quality social services for children, adults and carers from cradle to grave, and in doing so had achieved some excellent performance in areas which were important for residents and communities.  The Director advised that whilst legislation relating to social care had changed significantly during the last five years the principles of the legislation were actually what Denbighshire’s social care services aspired to, delivering positive outcomes for individuals based on what mattered to the them and providing early intervention and prevention at the right time to mitigate against the risk of needs escalating to require more intensive services.  Despite the significant pressures faced by adult and children’s social care services during the year the Service had performed well but as always there was more to do, particularly in light of the growing demographic, financial challenges and pressures that lay ahead.


The Chair referred to the excellent Estyn report received earlier in the year on the county’s Education and Children’s Services.  He also referred to the fact that a report on the ‘Provision of Respite Care across Denbighshire’, focussing in particular on the availability of respite facilities to ease the burden on carers in line with the aims of the Council’s Carers Strategy, would be presented to Partnerships Scrutiny Committee in September 2018.


Responding to members’ questions the Director and the Principal Manager:  Support Services:

·         advised that support for carers was provided in a variety of different ways dependent upon their needs i.e. at home, in a residential/nursing home, at a hotel or an alternative location away from their normal environment.  Carers were entitled to receive a carers needs assessment, but were not obliged to have one.  The Authority was working very closely with the North East Wales Carers Information Service (NEWCIS) in a bid to understand carers’ concerns, the types of services they required and how services to carers could be improved;

·         advised that information on the aims and implications of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 had been presented to carers through a variety of different channels e.g. training/workshops, community and voluntary groups information sharing events and communications, as the Council realised that not all carers could attend events held due to their caring duties;

·         confirmed that the Council was working closely with domiciliary care agencies examining the individual outcomes to be achieved when commissioning domiciliary care packages.  The regional framework for commissioning domiciliary care had recently been renewed and the Council now had a list of which domiciliary care agencies  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.



To consider a report by the Scrutiny Coordinator (copy attached) seeking a review of the committee’s forward work programme and updating members on relevant issues.

12.15 p.m. – 12.25 p.m.


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


A copy of the “Member’s proposal form” had been included in Appendix 2.  The Scrutiny Co-ordinator requested that any proposals be submitted to herself.  The Cabinet Forward Work Programme had been included as Appendix 3, the table summarising recent Committee resolutions, advising on progress with their implementation, had been attached as Appendix 4.


The Chair and Corporate Director stressed to members the importance of attending all meetings of the Service Challenge Groups to which they had been appointed by the Committee as its representative, and to report back to the Committee on the conclusions of those meetings.  If representatives were unable to attend they should notify the Chair of the Committee immediately to enable another member to be appointed to attend in their absence.  A list of the Committee’s representatives on the Service Challenge Groups along with the schedule of Group meetings for 2018-19 had been included in the “Information Brief” document for members’ information.


RESOLVED that subject to the above, the Forward Work Programme be approved.




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

12.25 p.m. – 12.30 p.m.


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There was no feedback to be presented.



The Chair advised the next item of business contained confidential information and the Committee subsequently:


RESOLVED that under Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, the Press and Public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it would involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 14 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A of the Act.



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To consider a confidential joint report by the Commercial Services Manager and Production Manager (copy attached) of Cefndy Healthcare’s performance in 2017-18 and the 2018-22 Business Plan.

12.30 p.m. – 1.00 p.m.


The Lead Member for Well-being and Independence had been unable to attend the meeting but the Lead Member for Finance, Performance & Strategic Assets attended in her place.


The Lead Member for Finance, Performance & Strategic Assets introduced the confidential report by the Commercial Service Manager – Cefndy and the Operational Services Manager (previously circulated) which presented the Committee with information on Cefndy Healthcare’s performance during 2017-18 and its business plan for 2018-22.


The report was presented to the Committee for it to examine Cefndy Healthcare’s performance and future strategic direction following the disbanding of the Advisory Board which had overseen its work in the past.  Members were advised that the purpose of the business was “to provide meaningful well paid employment to disadvantaged members of the community”.   The loss of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) Work Choice funding on 31 March 2019 would affect Cefndy’s financial standing going forward.  With a view to mitigating the risks associated with the loss of DWP funding the Council’s Community Support Services (CSS) had assumed the management of the Gwent Wide Integrated Community Equipment Services (GWICES), a social enterprise comprising five local authorities and the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) in the Newport area, which operated on a similar basis to Cefndy Healthcare.  By operating both enterprises CSS could reduce unnecessary administration costs whilst expanding its product lines and potential to generate sufficient income to continue to provide valuable, meaningful, well-paid employment to disadvantaged individuals on a cost neutral basis.


Responding to members’ questions the Lead Member, Head of Community Support Services and Cefndy’s Commercial Services Manager:

·         described the competitive market within which Cefndy operated, in particular the difficulties encountered when competing against cheaper imports from developing economies across the world;

·         confirmed that Cefndy’s operating costs were slightly higher than a number of its competitors as its priority was to keep disadvantaged people in productive employment rather than claiming benefits;

·         advised that Cefndy Healthcare was a department within Community Support Services, consequently it was not permitted to make a significant profit nor apply for social enterprise funding/investment;

·         advised that no employees had been made redundant during 2017-18, the reduction in employee numbers were due to retirement, leaving for other employment etc.;

·         confirmed that Cefndy Healthcare was tendering for new contracts on a monthly basis;

·         advised that a number of Cefndy’s employees had been with the ‘company’ for 30 years or more which was a testament to the business’ community value.  Similar to all Council employees those that worked at Cefndy were subject to the local government staff terms and conditions of employment and, therefore, entitled to sickness and pension schemes, which in turn gave them long-term financial security;

·         advised that Cefndy’s involvement with GWICES had opened up new marketing opportunities and access to marketing forums which would hopefully benefit the business in the long-term by enabling it to expand and diversify its business with a view to securing its long-term sustainability; 

·         confirmed that the investment made five years ago in specialist bending machinery had enhanced the business’ manufacturing ability and would benefit the work undertaken in partnership with GWICES;

·         outlined the membership of the former advisory board advising that the business had originally been established by the former Clwyd County Council and transferred to Denbighshire County Council on local government reorganisation due to the location of its factory being in Rhyl.  Denbighshire County Council established the advisory board to monitor the business’ performance etc. because it provided a subsidy to the business.  That subsidy had ceased some years ago therefore a decision was taken by the Head of Service, under powers delegated  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


The meeting concluded at 2.00 p.m.