Agenda and minutes

Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 19th December, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: held remotely via video-conference

No. Item




Councillor Endaf Edwards and Paul Hinge apologised for their inability to attend the meeting.



Disclosures of personal interest (including whipping declarations) Members are reminded of their personal responsibility to declare any personal and prejudicial interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act 2000, the Council's Constitution and the Members Code of Conduct. In addition, Members must declare any prohibited party whip which the Member has been given in relation to the meeting as per the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011.




Report on Ceredigion Senior Coroner's 2021 Statistical Return pdf icon PDF 434 KB


Consideration was given to the Ceredigion Senior Coroner’s 2021 Statistical Return. It was reported that the Senior Coroner for Ceredigion prepares an annual report (‘Statistical Return’) on deaths reported to the Coroner, which was sent to the Ministry of Justice for publication as part of the Coroners’ Statistics on the UK Government website.


The Report of the Chief Coroner to the Lord Chancellor (combined Report of the Sixth Annual Report 2018-2019 and Seventh Annual Report: 2019-2020) includes a Model Coroner blueprint.

This recommends that the Senior Coroner also presents a brief annual report (‘Local Authority Report’) to the Chief Coroner and the Council each July, which should be published on the Council’s website, and include relevant statistics on current/concluded cases (with comparison figures for previous years), an update on Coroner work and relevant issues, a summary of the Coroner’s team and staffing arrangements, and any future plans. This report was not presented to the Council by the Senior Coroner for last year due to workload commitments, court sitting availability and a staff vacancy.


At the 14 October 2021 meeting of this committee, it was decided that the Statistical Return should be published on the Council’s website annually, following the publication of the National Statistics publication by the Ministry of Justice.


The Coroner’s Officer was contacted to request an update on when this year’s Senior Coroner’s Local Authority Report to the council would be provided, however the report had not been provided.


Currently, the Statistical Return was published on the Council’s website on 12 July 2022 following the publication of the National Statistics publication by the Ministry of Justice. The return was presented to the committee for information. The committee should note that sensitive personal information has been redacted from the Statistical Return.


An update had been provided from the Coroner’s Office on their work on organ donation:


“A successful multiple organ donation was orchestrated by Mr Steve Lloyd, Coroner’s Officer, Dyfed-Powys Police, who worked with the Welsh Specialist Nurses for Organ Donations and Mr Jason Shannon, Wales’ first Lead Medical Examiner. Mr Lloyd’s exceptional efforts and expertise resulted in multiple lives saved, including that of an 8 month old baby. The experience and knowledge gained from this recent incident places Ceredigion’s coroners on an even better footing for future opportunities to facilitate organ donation and to save lives.”


The Senior Coroner’s Local Authority report would be presented to this committee at the first available opportunity after it is received from the Coroner’s Officer


It was AGREED to note the content of the report.



Report regarding purchase of car park at Cardigan pdf icon PDF 141 KB


It was reported at the Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on the 19th October 2022 Members raised queries about the acquisition of the Feidr Fair site in Cardigan. It was agreed that a report be prepared for the next meeting of the Committee.


In March 2021 the owner of the Feidr Fair site contacted the Council to say that he had received offer of £680k for the land currently used as a car park from another party. The owner asked whether the Council wanted to purchase the site rather than selling it to a private developer. The owner said at the time that the land has been valued at £1.25m given its redevelopment potential.


The site, currently used as a car park, was well located for the town and other uses, so was well used, and contributes to the attractiveness of the town with people using the car park to visit the town. The loss of car parking close to town would undermine efforts to regenerate the town and tackle the impact of economic decline.


The site also provides an important pick-up and drop-off area for Ysgol Gynradd Aberteifi (430 pupils), with no obvious alternatives if the site was lost. Cardigan Primary School was a confined site, with only room for a limited number of spaces for staff car parking. The carpark was key to the safe pick up and drop off of pupils in one of our largest primary schools in the county. The works on the school has compounded the difficulties on the site, these works commenced July 2022.


The land was leased by the Council. It is a 99-year lease that comes to an end in 2053. The current lease payment was a peppercorn in today’s terms.


Income from the use of the site as a car park in the years prior to the request was as follows:


       2019/20        £68,481

       2018/19        £70,259

       2017/18        £68,124

       2016/17        £68,361

       2015/16        £55,315


In simple investment terms, the consistent income level of c£68pa equates to a payback period of 8.8 years and is equivalent to an investment return of 11.3%pa. The income stream already exists, so this was not capital expenditure for the purpose of an outright new commercial return, but it does demonstrate that securing this income stream provides value for money when looked at using these metrics.


In addition, it was recognised that the value of the site would increase as the number of years remaining on the lease reduced, reflecting the increased value of land for development purposes.


Initial responses to the request were positive given the interest from another party but tentative given the length of the remaining lease. Initial discussions focused on teasing out the vendors intentions, whether the offer from another party was a firm offer or not, and the implications to the Council should the site be sold to that party. Initial weighing up of these factors suggested no immediate urgency to proceed but to maintain dialogue in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Development Group and Other Supporting Groups pdf icon PDF 5 MB


Consideration was given to the Development Group and Other Supporting Group report (review of existing arrangements and terms of reference). The report had been requested at the17 October 2022 Committee meeting.


Members received the background information, the reason for reviewing arrangements, the proposed way forward, Membership and Terms of Reference.


Following discussion, Committee Members agreed that Cabinet consider the following recommendations:

  • Membership of the Asset Panel should continue as it was currently, consisting of the relevant Cabinet Members and Chair and vice Chair of the Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee. It was essential to ensure ongoing consultation with relevant Local Member(s). Membership arrangements to be reviewed should the current political balance change.
  • Staffing capacity issues to be reviewed within the Estates Service.  The Authority needs to ensure that each sale/rental of land and property was considered on an individual basis, prior to the asset being deemed surplus to requirements and offered on the open market.  All open market disposals should be widely and actively marketed to ensure that best value is achieved.



Revised Customer Services Charter pdf icon PDF 197 KB


The Charter outlines the different methods of communicating with the Council, Phone, Electronic (Web, Email), letters and Face to Face. The charter gives the customer indication of when they should expect a reply and ensure that the customer is communicated with in the language and method of their preference.


The Charter gives the customer the assurance that the Council will deal with all equally, in a fair and polite way and keep the citizen informed about its services and events. The Charter welcomes both positive and negative comments about its services and how it can improve.

The revised charter is now in line with the Complaints policy for the number of days to respond to any enquiry.


Following discussion, Members agreed to recommend that Cabinet approve the revised Customer Charter as presented.



Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 169 KB


It was AGREED to note the content of the Forward Work Plan 2022/23 as presented subject to noting that Council Tax Second Home Premium had been moved to the March meeting; as the report was not ready to present at this meeting.


It was stated that any land that was available to purchase/rent from the Council should also be advertised in the local press in additional to the Council’s Facebook page; as many did not use social media. Land at Blaen-pant, Llanwenog had recently only been advertised on Facebook, albeit the post had created a successful response for the tender.



To confirm minutes of the previous meeting and to consider any matters arising from those Minutes. pdf icon PDF 95 KB


It was agreed to confirm the minutes of the meeting of the previous meeting as a true record subject to noting that Councillor Paul Hinge was present at the meeting.