Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Ruthin and by video conference


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No. Item



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Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Merfyn Parry and Councillor Delyth Jones.




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

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There were no declarations of interest raised.




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 items of an urgent matter had been raised with the Chair or the Scrutiny Co-ordinator prior to the commencement of the meeting.



MINUTES pdf icon PDF 395 KB

To receive the minutes of the Special Communities Scrutiny Committee held on 11 January 2024 and the Communities Scrutiny Committee held on 01 February 2024 (copy enclosed).



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The minutes of the Special Communities Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 11 January 2024 were submitted.


Matters arising – Councillor Brian Jones asked if there was any update regarding alternative funding streams to support keeping libraries open.

In response the Corporate Director - Economy and Environment informed the Committee a Task and Finish group had been established to look at all the issues and concerns raised by Members, including alternative funding streams. Further updates would be shared with the Committee following that group meeting. The group had not yet met or agreed to terms of reference or planned work including timescales. It was stressed Members would be made aware of the work and timescales once determined.


RESOLVED, that the minutes of the Special Communities Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 11 January 2024 be approved as a true and correct record of the proceedings.


The minutes of the Communities Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 1 February 2024 were submitted.


Matters arising –  Page 18 - Feedback from Committee Representatives - The Scrutiny Co-ordinator confirmed the officer responsible for Adult Social Care and Homelessness had circulated the actions and notes from the service meeting to the representatives.


RESOLVED, that the minutes of the Communities Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 1 February 2024 be approved as a true and correct record of the proceedings.




To consider a report by the Corporate Director: Economy & Environment (copy enclosed) which seeks the Committee’s observations of the report prior to any future Cabinet decision.




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The Lead Member for Environment and Transport along with the Corporate Director: Economy and Environment introduced the report on Public Conveniences Savings Proposal (previously circulated).


The Lead Member reminded Members that this report formed part of the Council’s major savings plan. The report was with regards to the potential transfer or closure of the public toilets within Denbighshire.


The Corporate Director: Economy and Environment continued by introducing Paul Jackson, Head of Highways & Environmental Services and Hayley Jones, Principal Manager - Catering & Cleaning.


The report presented provided Members with the proposal to remove the budget from the pubic conveniences function and in doing so withdraw from operating pubic conveniences in the future. Members were reminded the proposal presented had always been included in the major savings ideas for 2024/25 budget and discussed in the budget workshops held over recent months. It had also been the subject of a specific Member workshop on the 24th January 2024.


It was made clear to Members that no formal decision had reached on this proposal. The proposal would be subject to Cabinet decision, however as it has always formed part of the savings proposals for 2024/25 there was a clear expectation that this saving would be delivered. If the saving did not materialise, it would create an unplanned pressure for the authority to source from alternative areas of the council.


The final decision would be made by Cabinet, prior to the report being presented to Cabinet, Members heard appropriate scrutiny and consultation had to take place. This included corresponding with Members and City, Town and Community Councils to ascertain if there was any appetite for the provision to be taken over by City, Town and Community Councils.


Members heard there were two types of public toilets in Denbighshire, brick building facilities or pod facilities. The majority of the pod facilities were needing attention or replacing which would also cost the authority money. It was therefore mainly the toilet buildings that officers were looking at when discussing transfer of ownership. All options would be discussed and considered.


Members heard the intention was to relaunch the Community Toilet Scheme as a way of mitigating against the impact of any public toilets that’s do have to close. Details of which were included in the report.


It was stressed the service was a non-statutory service that the authority did not have to provide. The net budget taking income into consideration was around £270k. Members also heard there was often an over spend on this budget due to number of different reasons.


Responding to members queries, officers advised that: –

·       City, Town and Community Councils would be provided with information and facts and figures including costing levels when options were discussed with officers. Officers had been collating the data and information as it engaged with councils and would present all the findings to Cabinet once collected.

·       Members suggested that officers could look at alternative solutions such as keeping certain conveniences open in areas of higher tourism such as Rhyl and Llangollen.

·       It was stressed that officers did not find the decision to propose the closure of public conveniences easily. Numerous difficult decisions would have to be reached in order to balance the budget.

·       A needs analysis was currently being undertaken based on the population of every area and visitor numbers to determine how many toilets would be sufficient. That data would provide the information required to analyse how many Community Toilet Scheme / businesses would be required in an area. There was currently one business in Denbighshire that had signed up to the Community Toilet Scheme. It was stressed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

At this juncture (11.20 a.m.) there was a 15 minute comfort break.


The meeting resumed at 11.35. a.m.




To consider a report by the Corporate Director: Economy & Environment (copy enclosed) which seeks the Committee’s observations on the Council’s delivery and governance of the Rhyl Regeneration Programme.



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Lead Member for Economic Growth and Tackling Deprivation and Leader of the Council, Councillor Jason McLellan introduced the report (previously circulated).

He informed the Committee the report was a high level overview of the projects and governance arrangements around the delivery of those projects. He thanked his predecessor Councillor Hugh Evans for having the vision to begin the programme and regenerating Rhyl Town Centre.


The Corporate Director: Economy & Environment echoed the statement by the Lead Member. In addition, he stated the report also included details of future plans to allow Members to debate how the programme would be delivered.


Although each project had individual highly detailed planned programmes the report presented to the committee provided an overview of full programme of works. Appendix 2a provided Members with a copy of the overview dashboard, which detailed the current status of each project.


He advised that the Rhyl Regeneration Programme had focused on the physical regeneration projects in the Town Centre of Rhyl. The overall ambition had been to deliver projects which acted as a tool for economic development and growth in the town. The ambition had been to create the environment for residents to have access to good quality employment and a developing economy.


It was anticipated that the programme had almost reached a point where the Town could stand by itself and not rely on public investment in order to support the economy and regeneration. It was hoped the town would attract ongoing inward investment.


Members were informed that the Authority had been successful recently in securing the Vale of Clwyd Levelling Up bid. Work was on going to secure that funding, a range of projects had been proposed through that funding stream. It was also advised that since the time of writing the report, confirmation had been received that £20million had been allocated to the regeneration of Rhyl from the Levelling Up agenda. The funding would be provided over a 10-year period and would provide officers the opportunity to be strategic with the use of that funding over that time period. The requirements and arrangements of the additional funding was still in its infancy and officers had to work through the details involved in the agreement.


The Chair thanked the Lead Member and Corporate Director: Economy & Environment for the detailed introduction.

During the discussion the following areas were discussed in greater detail:

·       The detailed completed projects should all read as completed. It was stressed if the project was listed as completed there was no outstanding elements that required to be done.

·       The term light touch review referred to officer’s intention to review and offer information on a smaller scale than what had been offered at the initial stages of the scheme. It was felt the themes of the regeneration programme remained the same.

·       The Leader advised that the work of the Board was filtered heavily through all the democratic processes.

·       The Rhyl Vision document was just that, a vision, it did not include detailed design and costs of schemes. It was a long-term strategy of the intention to move Rhyl forward. The detail could only be generated through the process and development of specific schemes. The vision provided a vehicle to lever in the funding.

·       The Board was seen by officers as a delivery mechanism for the schemes to be developed. It was focused and involved key officers responsible for those schemes. It was felt the involvement of local knowledge and the community would be vital in shaping the development of future projects. The Rhyl Reference Group would be used more to receive the projects listed in the dashboard  ...  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.

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The Scrutiny Coordinator guided members through the Communities Scrutiny

Committee Forward Work Programme report (previously circulated).


The next Communities Scrutiny Committee was scheduled for 09 May 2024,

proposed items for that meeting were –


·       Tree Maintenance & Management

·       Second Homes and Short-term Holiday lets

·       Draft Sustainable Transport Plan


Members heard that the Tree Maintenance & Management have had a change in officers and the Second Homes and Short-term Holiday lets report was awaiting further information from Welsh Government, therefore the Committee were awaiting confirmation that they would be ready for the next meeting.


The Scrutiny Co-ordinator encouraged Members if they had concerns on any

matters to complete and return the Members Proposal Form (Appendix 2) for

deliberation at the next Scrutiny Chairs and Vice Chairs meeting on the 18 March 2024.


The Cabinet Forward Work Programme was presented for Members attention (appendix 3). Members were encouraged to raise any issues they felt warranted Scrutiny prior to Cabinet via the completion of a Member proposal form.


RESOLVED: that further to the above that the Communities Scrutiny Forward Work Programme be agreed.




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

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There was no feedback from Member representatives.


The meeting concluded at 12.25 p.m.

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