To consider the Council Leader’s Annual Report in accordance with Paragraph 4.1.11 of the Constitution.
The Annual Report of the Leader of the Council for 2020/21 was presented.
The Leader of the Council firstly wished to express her gratitude to the work of the staff of the Council for their commitment and hard work to safeguard local communities on the Island during the covid-19 pandemic.
The Leader of the Council provided highlights of the progress that was achieved in
· Response to the Covid-19 pandemic :-
· Medrwn Môn and Menter Môn supported the Council in order to provide support for local communities with over 900 volunteers offering their time to support with numerous good turn schemes in place;
· The Authority worked closely with the Food Banks on the Island who offered their services throughout the emergency;
· Over the Christmas period all the agencies came together to offer food hampers, gifts and Christmas dinners to residents in need;
· Council employees adapted to working from home and at the beginning of the pandemic a 7 day a week phone-line was set up to support those who are vulnerable in the local communities.
· A track and trace team was established, with Anglesey as a pilot area following discussions with the Welsh Government. This work was crucial in protecting the communities on the Island when the first case of an outbreak emerged in a factory in Llangefni;
· A grant paying system was put in place for businesses, school lunches, self-isolation, and car worker pay;
· Business as Usual:-
· The budget for this year was set out with the second lowest Council increase in Wales;
· Investment in a traineeship scheme has been undertaken together with new climate change schemes and additional funding for tourism;
· As part of the Welsh Government’s plan two childcare centres at Esceifiog Primary School and Tywyn Primary School have been opened to support families in the area;
· Housing developments have continued with 21 new social homes let. 18 former Council houses have been purchased back into the Authority’s housing stock. There are 49 homes currently being built on the Island and plans are in place to revert building into homes;
· The Authority has worked by adopting a corporate strategy as regards to climate change. An investment has been in installation of new boilers and solar panels in schools, libraries and leisure centres
· Regional and National work
· The Leader said that she has ensured that Anglesey has a strong voice in national discussions. Leaders across Wales have met almost weekly since the beginning of the pandemic in order to share concerns and influence the Welsh Government. In addition meetings have been convened with Ministers from Welsh Government together with UK Government in order to ensure that local concerns are recognised and are responded to in a timely manner;
· Regular meeting have been convened with Public Health Wales and the six North Wales Council Leaders have been meeting with the Chair of the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board.
The Council was given the opportunity to ask questions of the Leader on the
contents of the Annual Report.
Councillor Peter Rogers referred to the pandemic and noted that it has had a dire effect especially on young people. He further said that there are problems with the telephone system to allow the public whilst contacting the Council Offices. The Portfolio Holder for Corporate Business responded that he appreciated that there have been problems incurred with the telephone system during the pandemic, however the matter is currently been addressed. Councillor A M Jones ascertained as to the proposed ‘time-frame’ to the upgrade the telephone system as problems with the system has occurred before the pandemic with numerous complaints received by the public regarding this issue. The Leader said that the Authority is addressing the telephone system of the Council with current arrangement in place to enhance the system. She noted that it is uncertain at present, due to the pandemic, as to the period staff will continue to be working at home and it is imperative that the telephone system is able to adapt so that the incoming calls to the Council can be answered in both the Council Offices and to staff who are working from home.
Councillor A M Jones ascertained as to when it is intended for meetings to be re-convened within the Council Offices to resume the democratic process. He further questioned as to when ‘Cyswllt Môn’ is to be opened to the public. The Leader responded that returning to resume the democratic process is currently been monitored as staff also wish to return to work in the Council Offices. She noted that convening meetings has been successful through ZOOM and TEAMS and currently matters are been considered as to the possibility of convening meetings with some Elected Members who wish to continue with the on-line facilities and other Elected Members in the Council Chamber. The Leader further said that opening the facilities at ‘Cyswllt Môn’ is been monitored at present but it must be understood that the previous facilities offered will not be available due to current situation with the pandemic.
It was RESOLVED to receive the Leader of the Council’s report and to note its contents.