Agenda and minutes

Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 12th June, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Hybrid - Neuadd Cyngor Ceredigion, Penmorfa, Aberaeron / remotely via video conference

No. Item




Councillor Caryl Roberts and Carl Worrall apologised for their inability to attend the meeting.


The Chairman and all Members thanked former Councillor Geraint Hughes for all his work during his time on the committee and wished him well in the future.


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.




Elect a temporary vice-Chair (until the end of July 2023)


It was AGREED that Councillor Elaine Evans be elected as vice-chair until end of July 2023.


Engagement and Participation Policy Annual Report 2022-2023 pdf icon PDF 495 KB


The Ceredigion Engagement and Participation Policy ‘Talking, Listening and Working Together’ was approved by Cabinet on 04/10/2022 and published on 18/10/2022.This was the first Annual Report that outlines our progress in delivering the Policy.


The report provides an update on the progress of the Action Plan contained within the Policy, along with the Engagement Methods utilised by

the Council, some examples of Continuous Engagement and a summary of the Engagement, Consultation and ‘Inform’ exercises undertaken during 2022-23.


At the end of the report a conclusion section has been included to assess the improvements made over the past year and to identify where further progress is required in moving forward.


Following question from the floor, it was AGREED to the content of the Engagement and Participation Policy Annual Report 2022-2023 subject:-

(i) in relation to Aim 2: To ensure that we engage with the people of Ceredigion in the best way, Action: To improve the way that we feedback to those who have participated in our engagement exercises, Progress: A consistent method was currently being developed and would be rolled out across all Council services during 2023-2024, Responsibility: All Corporate Managers - RAG status was Red no progress made,

(ii) that all engagement exercises participants should receive the outcome results,and

(iii) that a 6-month monitoring update report was presented to the Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its December meeting



Digital Connectivity Update pdf icon PDF 634 KB


Consideration was given to the Digital Connectivity Update. The report had been presented in order to provide an overview of the initiatives and projects that Ceredigion County Council were currently undertaking to support the levels of digital connectivity across the County.


An update was provided on Broadband to include Fibre Projects, Project Gigabit, Welsh Government Prior Information Notice (PIN) and Mobile Coverage to include Shared Rural Network, Mid Wales Growth Deal Projects.


Access to enhanced and reliable digital connectivity, and accelerating its deployment was fundamental to transforming the Ceredigion economy and enabling improvements in wellbeing. Digital technologies were transforming communications, services, learning and business opportunities at an ever-increasing pace. New digital technology such as the LoRaWAN network

and access to data analytics have the potential to open new businesses as well as improving the lives of our communities.


While Ceredigion had seen improvements in digital infrastructure over the past 12 months and some areas experience some of the quickest broadband speeds in the UK, there were areas of the County that still fall below the levels of other areas of Wales and the UK for superfast broadband and mobile

10 connectivity. As previously stated, the past 2 - 3 years had seen significant efforts being put into demand stimulation exercises and awareness raising exercises to demonstrate the commercial opportunities that were available to suppliers, with this work now coming to fruition through suppliers

starting to deploy the infrastructure and making connections, which would see an increase in connectivity and access to fibre broadband.

The Council was committed to developments within this sector and action was being taken, with support and funding available through multiple streams. It was hoped that through technologies such as LoRaWAN and initiatives such as the SMART Towns project that Ceredigion would be seen as a place for innovation and would ttract businesses and suppliers to the region to further support the economy and where appropriate for Ceredigion to be seen as a testbed to explore the advantages available through increased use of digital technology.


Following discussion, Members agreed it would be beneficial to invite representatives from the Service Providers to a Full Council meeting/workshop in the future and recommend that this was considered by Cabinet.


Update on SMART Towns pdf icon PDF 3 MB


A Smart Town, as defined by the Welsh Government as an urban area that uses different types of electronic methods and sensors to collect data. Insights gained from that data were used to manage assets, resources, and services efficiently; in return, that data was used to improve operations and future prosperity across the town. It was reported that seven Towns in Ceredigion were taking steps to increase the use of technology to support the development and growth of the towns. The increased use of technology would enable Town Councils and the County Council to access data and analytics which would support future planning and more efficient business operating and growth, as well as the possibility of providing a greater visitor experience. The need to exploit technology had been raised as a key need through the Place Making plan development work that has been undertaken across six of Ceredigion’s towns over the past year (Aberystwyth,Aberaeron, Tregaron, Lampeter, Llandysul and Cardigan).


It was viewed that this technology would support businesses and positively benefit regeneration. This would enable businesses to plan projects which lead to economic growth as well as helping them make the best use of digital technology. This includes utilising data to help businesses better

understand their customer base and trends which would support businesses in their future planning and marketing activities.


It was reported that Ceredigion Wi-Fi Towns support programme was currently that in collaboration with Powys County Council, Ceredigion County Council were successful inreceiving funding to progress a project to enable ‘SMART Towns’ in Ceredigion. The project had involved the installation of wi-fi access points in Aberaeron, Llandysul, Lampeter, New Quayand Tregaron, with Aberystwyth and Cardigan already having systems in place.

As well as providing ‘Town wi-fi’ across each of the Towns, the equipment would provide the ability to collect anonymised data upon footfall, space usage and dwell time, and would enable Town Councils and the County Council to conduct before and after analysis, helping towns identify which approaches were best during the post Covid recovery.


As well as Town centre analysis the project would provide the ability to promote local businesses through targeted marketing campaigns and through a ‘Town Centre App’, replicating much of the positive work that has been carried out in Cardigan around this. As part of this project Town Councils and businesses would be provided with the following support to ensure its success

         Digital resources upon how to effectively make use of the equipment for Town Councils and businesses and would be made available online.

         The identification of a ‘SMART Town Champion’ would ensure the data from the system was collated and shared regularly with relevant businesses in each town.

         The provision of a digital marketing toolkit.

         Businesses and Towns would be assisted through the Welsh Government initiative with Town Councils currently engaging with the project.

         Individual support to businesses to aid in the effective use of data and digital technologies which would act as case  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 167 KB


It was AGREED to note the Forward Work Programme subject to the request previously agreed by Members at the Committee in relation to:-

(i) Two to three businesses users the Wifi/ and LoRaWAN networks in Cardigan be invited to the December meeting or alternatively Members visit Cardigan businesses to seek the benefits of scheme/app;

(ii) that Mr Peter Williams, Digital Infrastructure team at Welsh Government be invited to the December meeting to provide an update on their current work in Ceredigion;

(iii) that a six-month monitoring report on the Engagement and Participation Policy Annual Report 2022-2023 be presented at the December meeting; and

(iv) that work was ongoing on presenting a report on the County Farms following recent visits by Members


To confirm minutes of the previous meeting and to consider any matters arising from those Minutes. pdf icon PDF 73 KB


It was agreed to confirm the minutes of the meeting of the previous meeting as a true record.