Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: via Video Conference


Webcast: View the webcast

No. Item



Additional documents:


Apologies for absence were received from Graham Boase, Corporate Director:  Economy and Public Realm.



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

Additional documents:


No personal or prejudicial interests 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 urgent matters had been raised with the Chair ahead of the meeting.



To consider a joint report by the Strategic Planning and Housing Manager and the Lead Project Manager (copy attached) which:


(i)            presents the Committee with the Task and Finish Group’s initial report on its work to support the development of the statutory Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment; and

(ii)          seeks Members’ endorsement of the Assessment Work Brief along with the proposed Engagement and Communications Plan, as well as the approach adopted with a view to delivering Denbighshire’s Assessment in line with Welsh Government guidance

Additional documents:


The Chair welcomed Councillor Barry Mellor, Chair of the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment Task and Finish Group and other members of the Group to the meeting.


On behalf of the Task and Finish Group Councillor Mellor introduced the report (previously circulated) to Committee members.  During his introduction Councillor Mellor advised that local authorities, under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014, were legally bound to undertake a Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (GTAA) at least every five years.  A current GTAA was also a requirement for the replacement Local Development Plan (LDP) and an approved GTAA required to be submitted by the Council to the WG by 24 February 2022. He reminded the Committee that Scrutiny, in recent years, had requested that councillors and the Council’s scrutiny committees should be consulted on the development of the GTAA at an early stage with a view to securing timely and effective engagement with all stakeholders, in particular members of the Gypsy and Traveller community.


Whilst not a requirement of the Welsh Government’s (WG) statutory guidance ‘Undertaking Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment’, the Authority had decided that it would be prudent to adopt a project management approach to realise the delivery of a GTAA in accordance with the methodology set out in the guidance.  In line with this approach a Project Board, comprising of the Council Leader, the Lead Member for Planning, Public Protection and Safer Communities, along with other senior Council officers, was established to manage the delivery of the project, secure the necessary resources for its delivery and to draw up a communications and engagement plan in relation to the work that was being undertaken.  The Project Board felt that it would be key for the process to be seen to be open and transparent from the outset, hence their request that Communities Scrutiny Committee establish a Task and Finish Group to support and inform the development of the GTAA and ensure that its development complied with all aspects of the WG’s guidance and took into account elected members’ representations.  As detailed in the report and associated appendices Communities Scrutiny Committee at its meeting in May 2021 endorsed the proposal to establish a task and finish group for this purpose and, with a view to ensuring cross county input into the process, it asked each of the Member Area Groups (MAGs) to appoint a representative to serve on the Task and Finish Group.  A copy of the Task and Finish Group’s terms of reference was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.


Councillor Mellor outlined the work undertaken by the Group to date, as detailed in appendices 1 and 2 to the report.  He emphasised that the Group had agreed to take a two stage approach to the work.  The first stage required the group to understand the Welsh Government methodology in order to develop a work brief and stakeholder communication and engagement plan with the Gypsy and Traveller community, elected members and other stakeholders.  Stage two would focus on monitoring the process undertaken and the progress made to ensure compliance with statutory guidance and elected members’ expectations.  During its initial meetings the Task and Finish Group had reviewed the list of potential sources of data as set out within the WG’s methodology, and identified some options for gathering additional qualitative data that may inform the understanding of need i.e. travelling patterns.  This would include reviewing any additional information gathered from welfare visits to unauthorised encampments and an invitation to elected members and city, town and community councils to provide any local knowledge through an online survey. The Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.