QUESTION BY THE PUBLIC
Ms Gwyneth Ellis, Cynwyd, has submitted the following question:
“Does the Council acknowledge the Charter between Denbighshire’s city, town and community councils and Denbighshire County Council, and strive to cooperate with the local councils in accordance with that Charter?”
At this juncture, Members were informed that there would be three questions put forward as follows:-
(i) Ms Gwyneth Ellis of Cynwyd raised the following question:
“Does the Council acknowledge the Charter between Denbighshire’s City, Town and Community Councils and Denbighshire County Council and strive to co-operate with the local councils in accordance with that Charter?”
Response by the Lead Member for Housing and Communities, Councillor Tony Thomas:
“I have been in touch, last week, with the local member for Cynwyd and am awaiting a response but will be in touch with Cynwyd Community Council as soon as a response has been received.”
Ms Ellis then asked a supplementary question:
“I, as Vice-Chair of Cynwyd Community Council, had sent an email to Councillor Richard Mainon, as it was in his portfolio at the time, but had not received any response. In that email I was asking for support from the County Council because we, as a Community Council, were unable to employ a new Clerk. We have been trying for three years now and nobody is showing an interest in the role. This makes it nearly impossible for us to operate effectively.
I would like to ask Council in the Charter, paragraph 6.1 states that Community Council depend on professional support delivered by others specifically to use, we are dependent on the work of a professional Clerk and somebody to look after our website.
I would like to ask in accordance with 6.1.2 of the Charter, would the County Council provide practical support to us, to appoint a new Clerk, and until we have appointed a new Clerk to ensure accounts are kept correctly and advise us on legal and procedural, to do minutes and set agendas and to publish those minutes in the appropriate places including on the web and to uphold the website.”
Councillor Thomas’ response to the supplemental question was as follows:
“I will liaise with the Lead Officer on this and will respond to you soon.”
(ii) Councillor Rhys Thomas raised the following question on behalf of Councillor Glenn Swingler who was unable to attend the meeting:
“Could the Lead Member please give an update on progress on the second band of the 21st century schools programme? At what stage can we expect detailed outlines of new schools or school revamps.”
Response by the Lead Member for Education, Children’s Services and Public Engagement, Councillor Huw Hilditch-Roberts:
“I will refer to what I said back in March 2019. Full Council will have proposals of scopings that will be undertaken and presented in September 2019. We are still on time to deliver that. It will be shared at Council first before we go out to consult with individual schools affected in the specific area.”
(iii) Councillor Rhys Thomas raised the following question:
“The Welsh Assembly Government published its supplementary budget on June 18th 2019. It appears that about £20 million of new money will be made available to Welsh local authorities. This budget will be debated by the Welsh Assembly on the 9th July 2019. Can you tell us if Denbighshire has plans already in place as to how we would use our share of this extra money and what council services are likely to benefit?”
Response by the Lead Member for Finance, Performance and Strategic Assets, Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill:
“for clarification, the announcement on 18 June 2019 was an additional £85million across Wales of capital funding. The £85million very roughly split in terms of the major ticket issue £50million (All Wales figures) for social housing, £5million – highways maintenance, £10million for some form of earnings futures fund and £20million which is defined as supporting local authority capital schemes. We have not had details yet so do not know what the allocations will be and do not know what the grant conditions may be.
In terms of the £20million to support local authority capital schemes, we would take that to mean it would be an increase in our hypothecated grants in order to meet our block allocations.
There was a caveat to the announcement that the Welsh Government would seek to work with local authorities to develop appropriate methodologies for this which does imply there could be some degree of hypothecation but, again, we don’t know yet. As and when that funding arrives, we go through our normal processes.
In terms of any grants which are specific to a service come through those will be passported to the specific service in the normal fashion.”