Agenda and minutes

Council - Tuesday, 26th January, 2021 5.00 pm

Venue: Council Chambers - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Anne Jenkins  Governance Team Leader

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Dudley’s attendance was corrected to show that she was present.

 

Item 12 Council Representation on the Board of Newport Transport

The following sentence was removed:

 

After lengthy discussion by all parties on the matter, Cllr Mayer moved a closure motion in accordance with Standing Order 6.12.

 

And replaced with:

 

There was a discussion on the matter and, in the course of the debate, Councillor Mayer moved a closure motion in accordance with Standing Order 6.12.

 

Resolved: That the Minutes of 24 November 2020 were agreed subject to the above.

 

2.

Appointments pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

 

To consider the proposed appointments set out in the report

 

Councillor Harvey moved the appointments set out in the Report, as agreed by the Business managers, subject to the additional appointments set out below.

 

Resolved: That the following appointments be agreed.

 

Governing Body Appointments

 

Organisation

Nominations Received

Number of Vacancies/Replacements

Llanwern High School

Appointment

Mandy Shide

Glan Usk Primary School

Appointment

Lisa Hodge

Caerleon Comprehensive School

Appointment

Caroline McLachlan

Newport High School

Appointment

 

Janet Cleverly

Paul Cockeram

Lliswerry High School

Appointment

Gaynor Edwards

Maindee Primary School

Appointment

Maddy Cameron

Alway Primary School

Re-appointment

Deborah Harvey

Caerleon Lodge Hill Primary School

Re-appointment

Kailey Pritchard-Parton

Fairoak Nursery

Re-appointment

Appointment

Carmel Townsend

Emma Garland

Lliswerry Primary School

Re-appointment

Maggie Bain

Malpas Park Primary School

Re-appointment

James Clarke

Hazel Allen

St Michael’s RC Primary School

Re-appointment

Michael Allen

YsgolGyfun Gwent Is Coed

Re-appointment

Ibrahim Hayat

Malpas Church Primary School

Re-appointment

Iain Riley

High Cross Primary School

Appointment

Caitlin Woodland

 

In addition to the above appointments, Councillor Harvey informed Council of the need to agree dispensation for Councillor absence, due to ill-health in accordance with section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972:

 

Resolved:

To approve six month’s absence for Councillor M Cornelious.

 

3.

Police Issues (30 minutes)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Superintendent Mike Richards was unable to join the Council Live Event.  The Chief Executive of Newport City Council had been contacted by the Superintendent to advise that they had been attempting to join the meeting but had failed.  The Chief Executive advised the Mayor that she had also tried to contact the Chief Superintendent to arrange a meeting with him to ensure attendance by the Police at February Council as it was important that members had the opportunity to raise matters of concern with the Police.

 

Councillor Al-Nuami referred to a report published on Wales Online recently regarding the Stop and Search numbers in Newport, which were quite high, particularly in the Stow Hill Ward.  As a ward member, this was of some concern and Councillor Al-Nuaimi requested that it be raised at next Council.  Councillor Harvey suggested that Councillor Al-Nuaimi email the Superintendent who will contact the Councillor regarding this issue.  Any other members that so wished to contact the Police were also advised to do the same.

 

4.

Notice of Motion: Questions at Council to the Leader

To amend Council Standing Order 4.2(b) to change the time limit for Questions at Council to the Leader from 15 minutes to 30 minutes.

 

To receive the following motion for which the necessary notice has been provided.

 

The motion is to be proposed by Councillor William Routley and seconded by Councillor Matthew Evans.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the following motion, for which the necessary notice had been given.  The motion was moved by Councillor Routley and seconded by Councillor M Evans.

 

That this Council Resolves:

To amend Council Standing Order 4.2 (b) to change the time limit for Questions at Council to the Leader from 15 minutes to 30 minutes.

 

Speaking to present the motion, Councillor Routley highlighted that the extension from 15 to 30 minutes would afford a greater opportunity for opposition leaders and other members  to ask questions of the Leader in Council as there was currently insufficient time for all questions to be heard. . This was considered to be in the public interest and improve transparency and accountability.

 

The following amendment was moved by Councillor Marshall and seconded by Councillor Hughes.

 

This Council Believes:

The Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021 will effect the way that we as a council operate.

 

This council further believes:

§  The council is committed to improving democracy and believes that any changes must be scrutinised within the terms of reference of the Democratic Services Committee.

§   That this is the opportune time to review the proposed standing order 4.2(b) within the context of the introduction of the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021 and existing procedures including the Newport City Council Remote Meeting Attendance protocol.

 

This council resolves that:

The Democratic Services Committee review both the impacts of the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021, and any proposed changes to the standing orders together in line with the work plan of the said committee within their normal reporting to full council.

 

Comments on the amendment from Councillors:

 

Councillor C Evans supported the amendment, reminding Council that it was the Newport Independents that requested Leaders Questions at Council in 2017 He  felt that opposition Leaders did have the time to question the Leader and considered however that the time ask questions was also at Scrutiny.  This forum would be an ideal opportunity for councillors, within the remit of the relevant Scrutiny Committees to ask more in depth questions as well as hearing from members of the public.

Councillor Whitehead considered that both points were valid. However, he agreed that the amendment would provide a better forum to hear the voice of others and the general public. Councillor Whitehead considered that there was an opportunity for further in depth consideration at Democratic Services Committee with, it was hoped, a satisfactory outcome and therefore he supported the amendment.

 

Councillor J Watkins referred to the original motion and supported extending the time slot allocated to a further 15 minutes and agreed with Councillor Whitehead’s previous comments.  Councillor J Watkins referred to her time in Portsmouth as a Councillor where other members had a 30 minute time slot to put questions to the Leader.  Councillor J Watkins therefore supported the original motion put forward by Councillor Routley.

 

For clarity, the Chief Executive asked whether the debate was for the amendment to the motion, rather than the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Report on Treasury Management for the Period 30 September 2020 pdf icon PDF 254 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader presented the report, which was to inform Council of the Treasury Management activities for the first half of the year to 30 September 2020.  It was a backwards looking report and confirmed that the Council continued to follow its strategy of maintaining investments to a minimum, rather than taking out new long-term borrowing.

 

The report showed in the first half of the year there was a reduction in net borrowing from the end of March from £153.8 million to £121.1 million.  The main reason for this decrease was the reimbursement of the extra borrowing the Council undertook at the end of March to front fund the business grants at the start of the pandemic which was subsequently reimbursed. 

 

Welsh Government also front-loaded the revenue support grant in the first half of the year, meaning there was a positive cash flow.  As Newport City Council moved into the second half of the year, it was anticipated that the level of investments would fall to the minimum level, with a need to undertake more borrowing towards the end of the financial year.

 

The report went to Audit Committee for their noting and comments, and their comments were included within the report for noting and consideration.

 

Overall, the report confirmed that the limits and indicators were met in line with the approved strategies.  Council were therefore recommended to approve the report.

 

Resolved:

That Council noted and approved that the report on treasury management activities for 2020/21 were in line with the agreed Treasury Management Strategy 2020/21. 

The Council also noted the comments from Audit Committee on the report.

 

6.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader presented the report, which referred to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2021/22.  The updated scheme that was introduced on 1st April 2015.  The Council was not required to consult on the proposals of the new scheme as the changes made were in consequence of amendments made to the Prescribed Requirements Regulations.  The local discretions that were available to the Council would remain unchanged. 

 

The proposal set before Council was to approve the Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2021/22 in accordance with the Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements and Default Schemes) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 ("the Prescribed Requirements Regulations") exercising its local discretions as indicated within the report.

 

Resolved:

That Council approved the Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2021/22 in accordance with the Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements and Default Schemes) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 ("the Prescribed Requirements Regulations") exercising its local discretions as indicated within the report.

 

7.

Director of Social Services Annual Report pdf icon PDF 107 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader was pleased to present the report which was delayed due to Covid, and was therefore a look back over the period of 2019/20. 

 

This report was out of timescale with the Cabinet timetabling functions in 2019/20 due to Covid-19 measures imposed in March 2020 when it was due to be presented to Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet. 

 

The Leader invited the Cabinet Member for Social Services, Councillor Paul Cockeram who also seconded the report, to say a few words on behalf of the services.  The Leader also thanked the Cabinet Member for all of his hard work and commitment to the services.

 

The Cabinet Member for Social Services took the opportunity to say that Newport City Council had two excellent Heads of Services in Sally-Ann Jenkins and Chris Humphrey and thanked Chris for taking the role of Interim Director for People during this period of time. Councillor Cockeram made a couple of pertinent points within the report:

 

§  There was an increase of 4038 Adult Assessments by 22% from the previous year.

§  There was an increase of 5944 Children Assessments by 15% from the previous year.

§  There was an increase of 188 Adult Assessments by 71% from the previous year.

§  There was an increase of 3,000 Housing Support Referrals by 10%

 

There was a positive impact on Hospital discharge reflecting a the combined effort of Home First, as well as Reablement, as well as First Contact, Community Connectors and Residential Placement, which would be explained in more detail as Councillor Cockeram invited the Interim Director of Social Services to say a few words on the report.

 

The  Interim Director  of Social Services again highlighted that the annual report was delayed due to the pandemic and that safeguarding progress within the Council continued through the ‘lock down’ period and work that was planned was completed.  For example the safeguarding champions were now embedded across the Council and currently met

virtually.

 

The Scrutiny Committee received the full Annual Report on Corporate Safeguarding on 30 October 2020, with the caveat that progress was made in the intervening months.

 

Further progress was highlighted:

 

In Reach & Home First was continuing to support the development of integrated working practices by improving patient flow within the hospital.  Home First prevented unnecessary admission (1167 safe discharges out of 2714 referrals between April 2019 and Feb 2020) through the offer of Information and Advice (IAA) and In Reach ensured planning for discharge was commenced at the earliest point.

 

Reablement was offered to everyone whether they had a care and support plan or not.  This was an intake model and offered support to all older persons upon discharge in order to improve and maintain independence.

 

Frailty Reablement Specialist Dementia Service which commenced in 2020 and was  operational from September.  Full reporting was available during 2021/22.

 

First Contact provided information and advice to 4,588 citizens in 2019/20 – plans to develop further in with the integration of Falls, Physiotherapy and Reablement to the multi disciplinary team  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Revised Statement of the Licensing Policy pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Licensing and Regulation, Councillor Truman introduced the report.

 

Under the provisions of the Licencing Act 2003 a local authority was required to publish its Licensing Act 2003 Policy every five years. 

 

The revised policy before Council today went out to public consultation from 21September to 30 October 2020, this included a consultation with all Responsible Authorities including Gwent Police.  

 

The Policy was then presented to the Licensing Committee on 15 December 2020, where upon it was agreed by the committee to recommend that Full Council adopted the draft policy, but with some very minor amendments.

 

The minor amendments expanded on the importance for applicants to meet the public nuisance objectives; specifically regarding litter caused by Licenced Premises, and also to enhance engagement by applicants with local residents and communities when making an application.  

 

The Licensing Committee considered the significant impact of Covid 19 on the licensed trade. The committee requested that the policy changes were monitored and that officers report to them after three to six months of the new policy being activated. This request was endorsed by the Cabinet Member.

 

In relation to the policy itself; it remained largely unchanged as served the council and the trade well over the years.

 

The main change however, was the removal of the Cumulative Impact Policy which affected Newport City Centre.

 

Previously, where a Licensing Authority implemented a Cumulative Impact Policy (CIP), there was a presumption that applications for new premises licences in that area would be refused.

 

The Policing and Crime Act 2018, then amended the Licensing Act, and changed the rules.

 

It stated that authorities should only have such restrictions following a Cumulative Impact Assessment. Currently, there was no evidence that the city centre had too many licensed premises and that such an assessment was required. Actually the reverse was true, and the council welcomed applications from responsible businesses. This would help the regeneration of the area and encourage a mix of visitors to the evening and night time economy and improve the variety of premises in the city.

 

The promotion and strict but sensible enforcement of the licensing objectives in Newport, and particularly the city centre, would seek to reduce disorder and nuisance. The city centre would be monitored closely as ever.

 

The Council’s licensing authority were now seeking to adopt a special policy known as the ‘City Centre Stress Area’. This allowed the authority to make decisions about appropriate opening hours and licensing conditions based on the local needs of the area.

 

This led the Council’s licensing authority to propose a maximum “core hour policy” for the city centre, therefore, for new applications for pubs and bars, there would be a condition that all licensing activity must end no later than 2.30 am.

 

For new applications for nightclubs, there would be a condition that alcohol sales must end at 3.30 am and all licensed entertainment would end at 4.00 am. Further, patrons of the clubs would not be permitted entry or re-entry after  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Council Schedule of Meetings 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The proposed schedule of meetings attempted to structure the diary with a series of meetings to facilitate the decision making process through the Council, Executive and Regulatory Committees. The schedule of meetings set a pattern of meetings for Scrutiny Committees and other bodies.

 

The diary did not include dates for meetings of individual Cabinet Members as Cabinet Members would take a view on when they needed to meet to make decisions, rather than be bound by a diary of meetings. This would of course, not affect members' opportunities for consultation on proposed decisions or to request to meet the Cabinet Member before decisions were taken.

 

It was suggested that the dates, times and locations of all meetings other than the Council meeting were to be left to each individual committee. It was suggested that the needs of Councillors who had work or other commitments at any time during the day were taken into account by the various committees and groups.

 

The schedule would remain a guide, was subject to change and amended to meet the needs of the work programmes of each committee or other group.

 

Resolved:

That Council adopted the schedule of meetings as the basis for arrangements for May 2021 to May 2021.

 

 

10.

Mayoral Nomination 2021/2022

To receive nominations for the Mayor and Deputy Mayor for 2021/2022

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader took great delight in moving the long serving dedicated ward member for Graig, Councillor David Williams should be Mayor of Newport during 2020/21.

 

This was seconded by Councillor M Evans.

 

Councillor D Williams was pleased to accept the nomination for this period and mentioned that he did not take up the post last year, and thanked Councillor Tom Suller for stepping in at the last minute and doing an outstanding job.  Councillor Williams also thanked Councillor Cornelious who was not present, for initially inviting him to become a ward councillor for Craig.

 

Councillor D Williams declared a personal interest.

 

Resolved:

The Council unanimously resolved that Councillor D Williams be appointed to serve as the Mayor Newport for 2021/22.

 

11.

Questions to the Leader of the Council

To provide an opportunity for Councillors to ask questions to the Leader of the Council in accordance with the Council’s Standing Orders.

 

Process:

 

No more than 15 minutes will be allocated at the Council meeting for questions to the Leader of the Council.

 

The question must be addressed through the Mayor or the person presiding at the meeting and not directly to the person being questioned.

Additional documents:

12.

Questions to the Cabinet Members

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Ray Mogford put the following question to the Deputy Leader/Cabinet Member for City Services:

 

Could the Cabinet member give an update on the recent Flooding Emergency in Newport that took so many by surprise.  In his overall response could the Cabinet member include a response to the specific questions below

·         What lessons have been learnt?

·         What actions are subsequently being taken to avoid repetition of such severe flooding

·         What funding or reserves can NCC tap into to the improve the resilience to these types of emergencies going forward?

 

Response:

Like many other areas across Wales and the UK over the last few years, Newport did experience sudden and heavy rainfall and incidences of flooding at Christmas.  Such major flooding events are subject to a section 19 investigation and those in relation to the recent incidences in Newport have commenced, and the findings will be made public in due course.  Whilst led by Newport City Council, these also involve all other relevant bodies, including NRW and Welsh Water.  In terms of infrastructure, the Council’s 5 year capital funding programme is set out in the Highway Asset Management Plan, on which Members were consulted, but the majority of large scale flood defence work is carried out by NRW.  It is, however, important to be aware that there will always be a limit to the capacity of drainage systems across the country and in instances such as those recently experienced, which are unfortunately likely to become more common due to climate change, it is likely that the sheer volumes of water will be the key issue.

 

Supplementary:

 

Cllr Mogford, asked who was in charge of the emergency over that period, for Newport City Council’s Gold Command and could the Cabinet Member pass on thanks to staff involved on behalf of the ward councillors of Langstone.

 

Councillor Jeavons did not have to hand which senior officer covered Gold Command during this period but would email Councillor Mogford once he was in receipt of this information.  Councillor Jeavons would also pass on the thanks to the staff involved.

 

13.

Date of Next Meeting

To view the webcast, click on the link below:

 

https://youtu.be/3ebFFvDjf9Y

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Wednesday 3 March 2021 at 5pm.