Venue: Conference Room 1a, County Hall, Ruthin
DECLARATION OF INTERESTS
Members to declare any personal or prejudicial interests in any business identified to be considered at this meeting.
No Members declared any personal or prejudicial interests in any business identified to be considered at the meeting.
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 items were raised 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.
To receive the minutes of the Performance Scrutiny Committee meeting held on the 17th March, 2016 (copy enclosed).
The Minutes of a meeting of the Performance Scrutiny Committee held on Thursday, 17th March, 2016 were submitted.
4. Minutes of Last Meeting, (6) Primary School Transport – Councillor A. Roberts expressed his appreciation for the work undertaken by the Officers form the Education Department in respect of the school transport arrangements for children from Rhuddlan attending Ysgol Dewi Sant, Rhyl. He was of the view that the Department’s staff had made every effort possible to find a solution to the problem.
RESOLVED – that the Minutes be received and approved as a correct record.
SUPERFAST CYMRU ROLLOUT IN DENBIGHSHIRE
A discussion with representatives from BT on the progress to date with rollout of the Superfast Cymru in the county, future rollout plans, service limitations or problems identified during the rollout, and other initiatives available to improve connectivity for businesses and households unable to benefit from the Superfast Cymru programme.
The Chair welcomed BT representatives (BTRs) Mr Martin Jones, BT/NGA Programme Manager Wales, and Mr Geraint Strello, Regional Manager for Wales, to the meeting.
The Chair expressed concern that despite invitation having been extended to Welsh Government representatives to attend the meeting and contribute to the discussion, the invitations had been declined.
BT’s Superfast Cymru Programme Manager gave a presentation detailing the background and progress to date with the Superfast Cymru programme. He:-
· advised that the Superfast Cymru Programme was in addition to BT’s commercial fibre optic roll-out and formed part of a £2.5bn investment in fibre based broadband;
· the Superfast Cymru roll-out priorities had been defined by Welsh Government (WG);
· emphasised that the aim of the programme was to roll out the most cost effective broadband network that would benefit as many people in Wales as possible, in particular those that would not benefit from any commercial fibre optic programme;
· Stated that it was a huge engineering project and on this basis an intervention area had been identified across Wales, mainly in rural areas, within which 750,000 premises could potentially benefit from Superfast fibre optic broadband. To date 600,000 premises had been enabled, with a further 150,000 to be enabled;
· whilst the roll-out programme was designed to benefit the economy, i.e. via roll-outs to Enterprise Zones and Local Growth Zones, it was also designed to improve social/community connectivity and mitigate wherever possible against digital exclusion. Consequently the programme was being deployed to both rural and urban areas at the same time so that both business and consumer customers could benefit;
· detailed both the ‘fibre to the cabinet’ (FTCC) and ‘fibre to the premises’ (FTTP) roll-out work, the number of structures that needed to be built to deliver both services and the number of premises that would benefit from both schemes;
· stated that to date 111 of the 177 planned structures had been built, supporting 22,060 of the 29,720 premises identified to benefit under the programme. This equated to 74% of the programme being completed;
· advised that 66 structures were still to be delivered, supporting 7,660 premises – these figures were broken down as follows FTTC: 19 structures supporting 1068 premises and FTTP: 47 structures supporting 6592 premises. These remaining structures would be delivered by the end of March 2018, with FTTP forming the largest part of the remainder of the work to be carried out;
· stated that 77% of Denbighshire could now access Superfast Fibre Optic Broadband if they wished, accessibility across Wales at present averaged 85.6%. However, the overall aim was for circa 95% of Denbighshire to potentially have access by the end of the rollout programme;
· advised that whilst the ‘green cabinets’ had been installed in most areas by now, they were not all ‘live’ at present. There were issues with wayleave agreements that were holding up ‘go live’ dates in certain areas;
· emphasised that BT installed the infrastructure to bring Superfast Fibre Optic Broadband to communities, however individual householders or businesses would need to apply for a superfast broadband service to their own premises, no premises were automatically connected to the network;
· advised that work was currently underway in relation to planning options for proposed delivery of fibre optic broadband to those areas that even FTTP could not reach at present;
· Stated that BT had a ‘never say no’ policy and would endeavour to work with businesses, communities and individuals in an attempt to meet their needs. Details were given of a number of programmes or initiatives which residents, who could not at present access fibre optic ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
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.
A copy of a report by the Scrutiny Coordinator (SC), which requested the Committee to review and agree its Forward Work Programme and provided an update on relevant issues, had been circulated with the papers for the meeting.
A copy of the ‘Member’s Proposal Form’ had been included in Appendix 2, Cabinet Forward Work Programme at Appendix 3, and a table summarising recent Committee resolutions and advising on progress with their implementation was attached at Appendix 4.
The SC explained that the Scrutiny Chairs and Vice-Chairs Group had met on the 21st April, 2016 and it had been agreed that the Performance Scrutiny Committee be requested to include the following items in its forward work programme:-
- Performance in Re-letting of Council Houses - July, 2016.
- Procurement Strategy and Revised Contract Procedure Rules – December, 2016
The Committee considered its draft Forward Work Programme for future meetings, Appendix 1, and the following amendments and additions were agreed:-
9th June, 2016: The Committee agreed that Lead Members Councillors R.L. Feeley, H.C. Irving and J. Thompson-Hill be invited to attend the meeting.
Appointment of Vice-Chair:- It was explained that the Constitution stated that candidates for the role of Vice-Chair were required to provide a written statement of how they meet the requirements in the role description, Appendix 5, and how they envisaged the Committee operating. As the Committee’s next meeting was scheduled for the 9th June, 2016, after Annual Council, the Committee would be asked to appoint a Vice-Chair for the remainder of the Council term at that meeting. Committee Members wishing to be considered for the role were requested to forward their statements/CVs to the SC by the 1st June, 2016.
In response to concerns raised by Councillor G. Lloyd-Williams, the Chief Executive and Scrutiny Coordinator provided clarification regarding the resolution agreed by the Performance Scrutiny Committee, at the special meeting of the Committee held on the 12th April, 2016, in respect of the business item pertaining to In-house Care Services Review and Consultation. Members were informed that the recommendations made by the Scrutiny Committee would be presented to Cabinet for consideration.
RESOLVED – that, subject to the above amendments and agreements, the Work Programme as set out in Appendix 1 to the report be approved.
FEEDBACK FROM COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVES
To receive any updates from Committee representatives on various Council Boards and Groups
Councillor A. Roberts explained that he had attended a meeting of the Schools Standards Monitoring Group (SSMG) where discussions had taken place with representatives from Ysgol Bodfari, Ysgol Gellifor and Ysgol Bryn Clwyd, Llandyrnog. Councillor Roberts stated that officers were currently monitoring the situation at Ysgol Gellifor and Ysgol Bryn Clwyd, Llandyrnog as both schools currently shared the services of a temporary Headteacher.
RESOLVED – that the report be received and noted.
Meeting ended at 12.20 p.m.