Agenda, decisions and minutes

Virtual Meeting (at present members of the public are unable to attend), Isle of Anglesey County Council
Tuesday, 9th March, 2021 2.00 pm

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Venue: Virtual Meeting (at present members of the public are unable to attend)

Contact: Mrs Mairwen Hughes 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 388 KB

To submit for confirmation, the draft minutes of the meetings of the County Council held on the following dates:-

 

  8 December 2020

  2 February 2021 (Extraordinary)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the following meetings of the County Council were confirmed as correct:-

 

·           8 December, 2020

·           2 February, 2021 (Extraordinary)

2.

Declaration of Interest

To receive any declaration of interest from a Member or Officer in respect of any item of business.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Senior Leadership Team declared a personal and prejudicial interest in Item 13 – Pay Policy Statement and were not present at the meeting during any discussion or voting thereon.

 

Councillor R Meirion Jones declared a personal interest in Item 13 – Pay Policy Statement and was not present at the meeting during any discussion or voting thereon.

 

Councillor Ieuan Williams declared a personal interest in Item 10 – Budget 2021/2022 and was not present at the meeting during any discussion or voting thereon.

 

3.

To receive any announcements from the Chairperson, Leader of the Council or the Chief Executive

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair made the following announcements:-

·           The Chair wished to thank the Council staff for their continued commitment to sustain the Council services during the difficult and challenging period since the pandemic.

·           Congratulations was extended to Mr George North who has now received his 100th cap for Wales.

·           Best wishes was extended to Mrs Judith Thomas, Translation Services Manager, following her recent retirement after many years of service as a translator and part of the team who supports Council Committees.  

 

*          *          *          *          *

 

·           Condolence was extended to Mr Fôn Roberts, Interim Director of Social Services following the death of his father recenlty.

·           Condolences was extended to families and friends of those who have lost family members due to the pandemic.

 

Condolences were extended to any Member of the Council or Staff who had suffered a bereavement.

4.

Questions received pursuant to rule 4.1.12.4 of the Constitution

To submit the following question on notice by Councillor Robert Ll Jones to the Council Leader:-

 

“We are now seeing a big decline in the freight traffic coming and going to Dublin through the Port of Holyhead.

 

There are various reasons being given for this and we as a County Council have to be concerned and be seen to be doing all we can to support the two ferry operators and their workforce.

 

Will you please inform the local Seamen and Women and the residents of Caergybi and Ynys Môn as to exactly what we as a Council have done to engage with our Assembly Member and our Member of Parliament to ensure they are doing all they can to help our Port increase the traffic flow through Holyhead. 

 

This is a very serious situation and make no mistake the other Port Operators in the U.K. and France are doing all they can to take our traffic through their Port and their Local Authorities will be doing all they can to encourage them”.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 Submitted – the following question on notice by Councillor Robert Ll Jones to the Council Leader :-

 

‘We are now seeing a big decline in the freight traffic coming and going to Dublin through the Port of Holyhead.

 

There are various reasons being given for this and we as a County Council have to be concerned and be seen to be doing all we can to support the two ferry operators and their workforce.

 

Will you please inform the local Seamen and Women and the residents of Caergybi and Ynys Môn as to exactly what we as a Council have done to engage with our Assembly Member and our Member of Parliament to ensure they are doing all they can to help our Port increase the traffic flow through Holyhead.

 

This is a very serious situation and make no mistake the other Port Operators in the UK and France are doing all they can to take our traffic through their Port and their Local Authorities will be doing all they can to encourage them.’

 

The Leader of the Council said that regular meetings are conducted with the Assembly Member and the Member of Parliament as regards to issue of concerns on the Island.   She noted that discussions as regard to the Port of Holyhead have been conducted over a number of years and that as Leader she had raised at WLGA meetings that local authorities with Ports within their authority needs to be supported.  She further said that it was expected that traffic delays would have been seen at the Port of Holyhead but it is evident that the traffic flow has decrease.  The Leader said she had requested meetings with Welsh Government Ministers as regards to the Port of Holyhead and discussions had taken place with Mr Jeremey Miles MS, Mr Ken Skates MS, Ms Julie James MS and Ms Leslie Griffiths MS.  She further said that discussion have been undertaken with the Irish Government to share experiences as regards to the Port Authority and Officers from the Council also meet regularly with Welsh Government, UK Government and the Irish Government officials together with the Port Authority.  Discussions are undertaking as regards to a free port designation for the Port of Holyhead and support has been afforded by the other 5 local authorities in North Wales to ensure economic benefit for the whole of North Wales. 

 

Councillor R Ll Jones thanked the Leader of the Council for the work undertaken as regards to the Port of Holyhead.  He said that it seemed that heavy good traffic are avoiding travelling from Ireland to Holyhead due to documentation and freight hauliers do not wish to carry mix load of goods.  He asked that the Executive should demonstrate that they are working to address the loss of traffic through the Port of Holyhead as a result of Brexit.  The Leader wished to respond that 96% of the freight hauliers paperwork is acceptable that come through the Port of Holyhead and the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Presentation of Petitions

To receive any petition in accordance with Paragraph 4.1.11 of the Constitution.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No petitions received.

6.

Notice of Motion pursuant to Rule 4.1.13.1 of the Constitution

To receive the following Notice of Motion by Councillor Robert Llewelyn Jones:-

 

“Our Council is honour bound by the Dublin Declaration on Age Friendly Cities and Communities in Europe 2013 to promote general public awareness of older people in the community and to ensure their concerns are acted upon and given an opportunity to be listened to.  Ynys Mon has one of the largest elderly communities In Wales and their contributions to the economy of Ynys Mon is very important.

 

We have an Older People’s Forum on Ynys Mon and they have never been given a presentation by the Economic or Planning Department on large developments such as Wylfa, Penrhos Woods, the large Marina development in Holyhead or the Ty Mawr development in Llanfair PG.  

 

I am asking for this to be made mandatory and for a presentation to be made on each and every large development that ensures their voice can be heard when open spaces and possible environmental destruction is to take place.  

 

Open spaces and walks in our towns and countryside are so important to all of us but especially so to the elderly and the disabled residents”.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Submitted – the following Notice of Motion by Councillor Robert Ll Jones:-

 

‘Our Council is honour bound to by the Dublin Declaration of Age Friendly Cities and Communities in Europe 2013 to promote general public awareness of older people in the community and to ensure their concerns are acted upon and given an opportunity to be listened to.  Ynys Môn has one of the largest elderly communities in Wales and their contributions to the economy of Ynys Môn is very important.

 

We have an Older People’s Forum on Ynys Môn and they have never been given a presentation by the Economic or Planning Departments on large developments such as Wylfa, Penrhos Woods, the large Marina development in Holyhead or the Ty Mawr development in Llanfair PG.

 

I am asking for this to be made mandatory and for a presentation to be made on each and every large development that ensures their voice can be heard when open spaces and possible environmental destruction is to take place.

 

Open spaces and walks in our towns and countryside are so important to all of us but especially so to the elderly and the disabled residents’.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Planning responded that the Well-being of Future Generations Act places a duty on public bodies to carry out sustainable development that improves the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales. The planning system contributes by discharging its duties with regard to the ‘five ways of working’ contained in the Act. These require consideration of: involvement; collaboration; integration; prevention; and long term factors. These considerations are an intrinsic part of the planning system and engagement, involvement and consultation with all members of the community is a key and central component of planning practice and procedure. Both, at the strategic level when formulating planning policy and the local level when determining individual planning applications, whatever their scale. This ensures that no particular group or members of society are either favoured or discriminated against so that new development creates cohesive, equitable and resilient communities that meet the needs of all, whatever their age.

 

Statutory requirements for publicity and consultation on planning matters are made by the Welsh Government and the Local Planning Authority has no powers to mandate otherwise. Considerable time, effort and resources are already made to not only meet, but exceed these minimum statutory requirements. Notwithstanding the above, there is no evidence to suggest that the elderly are in any way disenfranchised by current arrangements, indeed it could be argued that specifically focusing on one group of society could be seen as favouritism at the expense of others.  There are also practical difficulties in defining what would constitute a ‘large development’ across the diverse and varying communities on Anglesey e.g. a ‘small development’ in one of the main towns could be construed as a ‘large development’ by the islands smaller communities. This inevitably leads to concerns around consistency and fairness.  The Portfolio Holder for Planning said that he could not support the proposal.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Treasury Management Mid-Year Review 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To submit a report by the Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer, as presented to the Executive on 14 December 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 as presented to the Executive on 14 December, 2020 was presented for the Council’s acceptance.

 

It was RESOLVED to accept the Treasury Management Mid-Year Review Report 2020/21.

8.

Treasury Management Strategy Statement 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 913 KB

To submit a report by the Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer, as presented to the Executive on 1 March 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer as presented to the Executive on 1 March, 2021 was presented for the Council’s acceptance.

 

Councillor Aled M Jones questioned as to the financial allocation and grants afforded by Welsh Government at the end of every financial year.  The Portfolio Holder for Finance responded that grants is afforded by Welsh Government at the end of every financial year and it is difficult to predict as the amount that will be received.  The Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer said that it is dependent on the financial resources that Welsh Government has available to distribute to local authorities and the money is usually afforded through a formula to the 22 local authorities in Wales.  Some allocation of grants are designated towards specific project within local authorities and Welsh Government invites local authorities to send grant applications for such grants and to spend the grants within the financial year.  He further said that grants were receive over the last two years towards the maintenance of schools which amounted to £1m. 

 

It was RESOLVED to approve the Treasury Management Strategy Statement 2021/22.

 

 

9.

Capital Strategy and Capital Programme 2021/22 to 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To submit a report by the Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer, as presented to the Executive on 1 March 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer as presented to the Executive on 1 March, 2021 was presented for the Council’s acceptance.

 

It was RESOLVED to approve the Capital Strategy and Capital Programme 2021/22 to 2023/24.

10.

Budget 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 738 KB

(a)      Medium Term Financial Strategy and Budget 2021/22

 

         To submit a report by the Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151

         Officer, as presented to the Executive on 1 March 2021.

 

(b)      Capital Budget 2021/22 

 

         To submit a report by the Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151

         Officer, as presented to the Executive on 1 March 2021.

 

(c)      Council Tax Setting

 

         To submit a report by the Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151

         Officer, as presented to the Executive on 1 March 2021.

 

(d)     Amendments to the Budget

 

         To submit the following amendments to the Budget, of which notice

         has been received under Paragraph 4.3.2.2.11 of the Constitution. 

        

         Councillor Bryan Owen, on behalf of the Anglesey Independents Party,

         to propose that the Council Tax rate increase is set at 2% with the

         following amendments to the Budget:-

      

·   £150,000 to come out of the Eco Park (Parc Adfer) currently with

   approximately £911,000 in the account.

 

·   £75,000 from the Wylfa funding that stands at approximately

   £675,000 between 3 accounts.

 

·   £75,000 from the contingency fund that has approximately £365,000

   in the account.

 

  This with the Council Tax Reduction Scheme would provide the

  £308,000 needed so that the 21/22 Council Tax increase could be set at

  2%.

 

(Note:  All the above papers need to be considered as a single package).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer as presented to the Executive on 1 March, 2021 was presented for the Council’s acceptance.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Finance presented the Executive’s proposals for the

Revenue Budget and resulting Council Tax for 2021/22, the Council’s updated

Medium Term Financial Strategy and the use of any one-off funds to support the budget – items 10 (a) to (ch) within the Agenda.  He said that this has been a difficult year due to the pandemic and he wished to thank the Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer and his staff for their work.  He noted that when he was appointed as Portfolio Holder for Finance in 2019 his priority was to address the Council reserves.  He referred to the Welsh Audit Office report in July 2019 which stated that the recent trend in reduction in the general fund balance is unsustainable and increases the need for the Council to deliver recurring savings.  This is recognised as a risk by the Section 151 Officer and the Council and there is an acceptance that over a longer term budget needs to provide for the replenishing of reserves.  As Portfolio Holder he was pleased to report that the reserves of the Council is now in a better situation and it is timely to ensure that the budget of the Council is set prudent manner for the residents of the Island.  The initial proposal was to increase the Council Tax by 3.75% but following consultation with the residents of the Island and receiving further funding from Welsh Government it was recommend that the Council Tax be increased by 2.75% so as to balance the budget of the Council.  The increase in the council tax will be lowest in North Wales and the second lowest in Wales. 

 

Councillor G O Jones raised that Gwynedd Council has also received further funding from Welsh Government recently but has decided not to decrease their intended increase in the council tax due to potential risks.  The Portfolio Holder for Finance responded that grant allocation has been received by Welsh Government towards Information Technology.  The intention was to spend £300k on chrome books for pupils in the financial year 2021/22, however the Executive decided to finance the purchase of the chrome books from the grant allocation by Welsh Government.  He further said that grant allocation has been received by Welsh Government from the Circular Economy Fund to purchase vehicles as part of the Waste Collection Contract and which will result in the Authority having to borrow less in purchasing the vehicles.  These grant allocations equates to a saving of 1% within the council tax.

 

Councillor Peter Rogers referred that the David Hughes Estate and the need to financially support young people as was set out in the original intention of establishing the fund.  The Portfolio Holder for Finance responded that the financial support from the David Hughes Estate is distributed within the Island Secondary Schools and a report will  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Replacement of Lay Member on the Audit and Governance Committee pdf icon PDF 132 KB

To submit a report by the Head of Audit and Risk, as presented to the Audit and Governance Committee on 9 February 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Head of Audit and Risk as presented to the Audit and Governance Committee on 9 February, 2021 was presented for the Council’s approval.

 

It was RESOLVED to amend the Council’s Constitution to reduce the number of lay members required on the Audit and Governance Committee from two lay members to one, until such time as the provisions of the new legislation come into effect.

 

12.

Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021 pdf icon PDF 533 KB

To submit a report by the Director of Function (Council Business)/Monitoring Officer.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Director of Function (Council Business)/Monitoring Officer was submitted for the Council’s approval.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Corporate Business said that the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Bill was passed by the Senedd on 18 November, 2020 and received Royal Assent on 20 January, 2021.  The Bill was one of only two Bills in the Welsh Government’s legislative programme to continue during the covid-19 pandemic.  The Bill was prioritised given the timescale required to introduce planned electoral reforms in time for the 2022 local elections.  He noted that the Act is substantial and covers a range of topics from electoral reform, public participation, governance and performance, through to regional working. The Act introduces:-

 

  • Reforming electoral arrangements for local government;
  • Introduction of a general power of competence (Councils may do anything in furtherance of their agenda provided the actions are not legally prohibited);
  • Reforming public participation in local government;
  • Reforms around democratic governance and leadership;
  • Collaborative Working;
  • Reform of the performance and governance regime;
  • Powers to facilitate voluntary mergers of principal councils.

 

He further said that the Council is requested to approve the Action Plan attached to the report so as to ensure that the Council complies with the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021 within the timeframe. 

 

Questions were raised as to the function of the Corporate Joint Committees and the financial resources the Authority is expected to contribute.  The Director of Function (Council Business)/Section 151 Officer responded that there are 4 Corporate Joint Committees in Wales with the Isle of Anglesey County Council forming part of the Corporate Joint Committee for North Wales; which is similar to a Regional County Council structure.  Welsh Government funding will be available to support the establishment of Corporate Joint Committees through the WLGA, however it is uncertain as to the amount of funding that is expected.  She noted that the SLT is to meet to discuss the requirements of the WLGA to support the establishment of the Corporate Joint Committees.  There is an expectation that each County Council contributes to the budget of the establishment of the Corporate Joint Committees from 2022.  The Act states that the Corporate Joint Committees can decide as to the budget they will require to comply with the statutory requirements within the Act and the local authorities will have to fund the budget required by the established body.  Welsh Government has extended the date of the first meeting of the Corporate Joint Committees to meet from September 2021 to end of June 2022.   The Director of Function (Council Business)/Monitoring Officer further said that in the meantime it will be the responsibility of the North Wales Local Authorities to create a framework within the Act in which to transfer the North Wales Economic Ambitions Board to the CJC and to include the statutory duty of the Regional Traffic Management Plan and the Strategic Development Plan. 

 

Councillor A M Jones expressed that this will create a sub-regional body that will require financial resource and legislative powers  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Pay Policy Statement 2021 pdf icon PDF 428 KB

To submit a report by the Head of Profession, HR and Transformation.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Head of Profession – Human Resources was presented to the Council by the Portfolio Holder for Corporate Business.

 

It was RESOLVED to endorse the Council’s Pay Policy Statement for 2021.

14.

Political Balance Arrangements within the Council pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To submit a report by the Head of Democratic Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Submitted – the report of the Head of Democratic Services was presented to the Council by the Leader of the Council.

 

It was RESOLVED that:-

 

·      The Council confirms the political balance arrangements and the number of seats allocated to each of the Groups, as detailed in the matrix, under the Local Government and Housing Act 1989;

·      Group Leaders to advise the Head of Democratic Services as soon as possible of changes to Group Membership on Committees.