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Venue: Virtual Meeting (at present members of the public are unable to attend)
Contact: Mrs Mairwen Hughes
As noted above.
Declaration of Interest
To receive any declaration of interest from a Member or Officer in respect of any item of business.
To submit for confirmation, the draft minutes of the meeting held on 21 September, 2020.
The draft minutes of the previous meeting of the Partnership and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee held on 21 September 2020 were confirmed as correct.
Submitted by the Head of Housing Services - a report by the Community Safety Senior Operational Officer for Anglesey and Gwynedd on the Community Safety Partnership’s activities during 2019/20.
The Council Leader reported that the Partnership is a statutory partnership between Anglesey and Gwynedd. She reminded the Committee of the financial cutbacks the Partnership has encountered. She stated that the community safety structures are now set regionally, and efforts are being made to ensure that no duplication occurs. Workshops were held with housing officers to address this issue, and move forward within the Partnership.
The Head of Housing Services reported that a statutory partnership has existed between Anglesey and Gwynedd for 22 years. The Partnership’s commitment and engagement is evident through full attendances at meetings. He stated that although the Partnership has lost several grants and local co-
ordinator posts, the work continues to move forward.
The Partnership is working towards the following priorities:-
· Reducing victim based crimes;
· Reducing anti-social behaviour;
· Supporting vulnerable people to prevent them becoming victims of crime;
· Raising confidence to report incidents of domestic abuse;
· Raising confidence to report sexual abuse;
· Addressing substance misuse in the area;
· Reducing re-offending.
It was noted that the Home Office compares and measures crimes by demographic regions, and results are presented to the Partnership every quarter. During lockdown, figures were presented to the Partnership every 2-3 weeks in order to ensure the availability of current information.
It was further noted that crimes reported to the Police across North Wales were down 29%, and 24.6% in Anglesey and Gwynedd between March and May this year. Increases in crimes were reported during June and July, and by September, the number of offences committed were similar to previous years. Increases in crimes were recorded in stalking and harassment, and hate crime, the latter resulting in verbal abuse.
The Head of Housing Services reported that the Partnership is looking into preparing an awareness campaign for social media platforms. He stated that the main challenges we face today are changes in criminality in our communities. Crime is now far reaching and complex, and technology isenabling a level of exploitative crime. Increases in domestic abuse have been reported, as well as two homicides over the past year.
It was highlighted that the needs of homeless citizens were given priority during the lockdown period, resulting in an increase in the number of meetings held between the Housing Department and Social Services Department.
Discussion focused on the following:-
· A question was raised on how the statutory Partnership is supporting and
contributing to the effectiveness of the Partnership? The Head of Housing Services responded that the Partnership’s commitment is robust, and excellent joint working is taking place within the Partnership. This is evident in financial applications that the Council has submitted recently, as well as in responses received to anti-social matters.
· Concerns were raised as to whether progress has been made in combating County Lines. The Head of Housing Services responded that the Partnership is utilising structures that are ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
To submit a report by the Director of Education, Skills and Young People.
Submitted - a report by the Director of Education, Skills and Young People on
progress made to date in relation to the Schools’ Progress Review Panel’s work.
The Chair reported that this year has been a very challenging time for schools, as they have had to change the way they operate, and adapt to becoming Care Centres for vulnerable children. It was emphasised that no schools had closed during lockdown, and successful outcomes were achieved between the Learning Service, Head Teachers of Anglesey schools, and the Primary and Secondary Schools’ Head Teachers Forum.
The Chair reported that the Panel’s work of monitoring standards in individual schools and convening meetings was put on hold during lockdown. It was noted that the Panel’s meetings reconvened on 24 September 2020.
The Chair reported that it is evident that joint working between the Learning Service, GwE and schools has been successful. He referred to an excellent presentation by Ysgol Gynradd y Fali on Teams, which was well received. Ysgol Gynradd y Fali made use of Teams technology to convene face to face sessions during the national lockdown, in an effort to identify any possible concerns or safeguarding issues, and as a means of keeping in regular contact with the pupils, and support their wellbeing during the challenging period. Positive feedback was received from both parents and pupils, and the sessions provided an opportunity to socialise. It was further noted that since lockdown, there has been a general deterioration in language and numeracy skills, which could have an impact on the children in future.
The Director of Education, Skills and Young People referred to this successful collaboration work as ‘Tȋm Môn’, where all relevant parties pull together and share good practice in order to provide the very best standard of education for pupils.
In response to one of the Panel’s key questions on areas to scrutinise, a member of the Committee questioned how the formula to fund secondary schools is decided? The Chief Executive responded that key aspects decide the formula for each school eg for a child in Key Stage 3, the school gets approximately £3,500 per child, and the formula increases in Key Stage 4. Funding for the 6th Form is provided by Welsh Government. It was noted that additional funding is available for children who have additional needs.
The Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer reported that each school receives a copy of the formula annually. He stated that the formula has to be fair to each school, although some Head Teachers might argue that elements of the formula are unfair to their individual schools, if funding does not meet their expectations. It was noted that it is not the formula that is the issue, but the amount of money that is available. On Anglesey, the formula shares the funds available between the five secondary schools.
Members raised the following points during discussion:-
· The support provided to schools by the Panel during Covid-19 has been
praised by Head Teachers. ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
To submit a joint report by the Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer and the Head of Highways, Waste and Property.
Submitted - a report by the Head of Highways, Waste and Property on the
introduction of a chargeable Green Garden Waste collection service from 1 April 2021.
The Portfolio Holder for Highways, Waste and Property requested that the Committee considers the options presented and comments on the proposal to charge £35 per annum for the first green garden waste wheeled bin collection service, and £30 thereafter for each additional wheeled bin. He stated that the proposal is in-keeping with the Welsh Government’s Waste Collection Blueprint, which recommends that Welsh local authorities should apply a charge for collecting green bin garden waste. It was noted that every County in North Wales is charging for the collection service. The Council has decided that there will be no charge for the service for cemeteries, places of worship or village/community halls. Payment for the service can be made by phone or online. The fee will be a contribution towards the cost of providing the service, and each bin will receive a sticker/address label displaying the current year on it.
The Head of Highways, Waste and Property reported that the Executive on 27 January 2020 agreed on the principle of charging for the green bin collection service. It was noted that not every household will want to sign up to the service, and this has been factored into the plan. With regard to staffing arrangements, two new temporary members of staff will be employed to administer the payments.
Members of the Committee raised the following matters:-
· Have any other North Wales authorities encountered any negative impact from charging to remove green garden waste, and, has fly tipping and people putting green waste in black bins increased due to the changes? The Chief Waste Management Officer responded that there is no evidence that fly tipping has increased, and people put black bins in green bins at present. He stated that the situation is difficult to monitor, without checking the contents of each individual bin.
· A request was made for phone payments to have a separate line for the Service, so that payments can be made directly. The Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer responded that the public will be encouraged to pay online, as the technology is in place, and the system is currently in operation.
· Could the green bin collection payment system be based on Council Tax banding? The Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer responded that the cost the Council would incur would be the same if a bin was full or half-full. If payments were based on Council Tax bandings, the online system would need to check the banding for each property, and this technology is not available in the Council.
· Would it be possible to pay monthly through direct debit for the service in order to be less of a financial burden on families? The Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer responded by noting that this would cause complexities as the public could start paying for the service and then decide not ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
To submit a report by the Scrutiny Manager.
Submitted - a report by the Scrutiny Manager.
RESOLVED to note the Committee’s Forward Work Programme (September 2020 – April 2021).