Venue: held remotely via video-conference
Contact: Nia Jones
Councillors Rowland Rees-Evans and Mark Strong apologised for their inability to attend the meeting.
Disclosure of personal / prejudicial interests
Councillor Catherine Hughes declared a personal and prejudicial interest in relation to minute 13 below, and withdrew from the virtual meeting during discussions.
Councillors Bryan Davies, Euros Davies, Endaf Edwards, Rhodri Evans, Catherine Hughes and Alun Lloyd Jones declared a personal and prejudicial interest in relation to minute 16 below, and withdrew from the virtual meeting during discussions.
Councillors Bryan Davies, Euros Davies, Endaf Edwards, Catherine Hughes, Gwyn James and Alun Lloyd Jones declared a personal and prejudicial interest in relation to minute 17 and 18 below, and withdrew from the virtual meeting during discussions.
The Chief Executive, Eifion Evans declared a personal and prejudicial interest in relation to minute 16 below, in accordance with the Code of Conduct for Local Government Employees and withdrew from the virtual meeting during discussions.
The Chief Executive, on behalf of all Senior Officers present, declared a personal and prejudicial interest in relation to minute 17 and 18 below, in accordance with the Code of Conduct for Local Government Employees. Those members of staff withdrew from the virtual meeting during discussions. Catherine Hutton, HR Officer, the minute taker and translator remained in the meeting during discussions.
a) Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn congratulated ‘Ynyshir Hall’ on being awarded two Michelin stars;
b) Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn congratulated ‘SY23’ on being awarded its first Michelin star;
c) Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn congratulated ‘Y Talbot’ on being included in the Michelin Guide;
d) Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn congratulated Robat and Enid Griffiths, the founders and owners of ‘Y Lolfa’ press, who have been selected to lead the St David’s Day Parade in Aberystwyth this year;
e) Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn congratulated the Women’s Institute who are celebrating their centenary this year;
f) Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn noted that the Minister for Education has announced funding of £5.7m for the creation of a Welsh Language Immersion Centre and a block of new Classrooms at Ysgol Gymraeg, Aberystwyth;
g) Councillor Gareth Lloyd, Panel Member and Trustee on the Dyfed Pension Board noted that the investments with Russia is less than 1%, however it has been agreed to disinvest as soon as possible;
h) Councillor Ellen a Gwynn thanked everyone for their support noting that she would be retiring at the end of this term, thanking fellow Councillors and Officers for their support over her 10 years as Leader of the Council., She paid tribute to those Councillors that would be standing down, including Councillor Alun Lloyd Jones, Councillor John Adams Lewis, Councillor Odwyn Davies, Councillor Lyndon Lloyd MBE, Councillor Lynford Thomas, Councillor Peter Davies MBE, Councillor Ivor Williams and Councillor Matthew Woolfall Jones. The comments were acknowledge by the respective Members;
i) Councillor Ceredig Davies paid tribute to Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn and wished her well on her retirement;
j) Councillor Ray Quant MBE, reflected on Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn’s leadership and paid tribute to all the Members standing down and thanked them all for their contributions;
k) Councillor Dafydd Edwards paid tribute to Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn, and expresses his best wishes to all Members standing down;
l) Eifion Evans, Chief Executive echoed everything said by Members, noting that the retirement of experienced Councillors would have a significant impact in terms of loss of expertise and knowledge. He noted that their contributions have been significant in terms of achieving the £110m Mid Wales Growth Deal, Levelling Up funds, funding for 21st Century Schools etc. He wished them all well in their retirement;
m) Councillor Bryan Davies, who will be stepping into the role of the Leader of Plaid Cymru Group thanked Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn and expressed his best wishes to all the Members that would be standing down;
n) Councillor Bryan Davies noted that following the Notice of Motion at the Council Meeting on 9 December 2021, Members have met with the Ambulance Service and received reassurances that there will not be a reduction to the Ambulance Service that covers Ceredigion;
o) Councillor Bryan Davies noted that Llanarth will be taking part in an experimental road surfacing project made from recycled nappies which is funded by Welsh Government and expected to have twice the life of normal tarmac; ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
A verbal update by the Leader of the Council in relation to COVID-19
Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn gave a verbal update in relation to COVID-19 in Ceredigion.
She noted that that there has been an additional 8 cases of cases reported today in Ceredigion, contributing to a total of 11,597 cases since the start of the pandemic. The current rate is currently 177.5 per hundred thousand with a positivity rate of 22.2%. However, only PCR tests are currently being reported daily and the Track and Trace Team has stated that considerably more cases are being reported via the LTF tests, therefore this does not give the full picture. The Public Health Wales database suggests that cases in the Rheidol, Ystwyth and Caron area is currently very high, and although cases at the University shot up initially after the examinations the figures are now stabilising.
Three Care Homes in Ceredigion are in restrictions due to COVID-19 cases amongst staff, one of which has cases amongst their residents. There are 2 patients currently at Bronglais Hospital with COVID-19. She expressed her best wishes to Councillor Mark Strong who is currently at Bronglais Hospital following a stroke and noted that he continues to improve.
All Council services are now open, and we are preparing to re-open all offices following the Local Elections in May. Work is ongoing in the Council Chamber to ensure that we meet the new regulations which will allow us to work remotely or face to face.
It was RESOLVED to confirm as a true record the Minutes of the Council meeting held on 27th January 2022.
Joint Report of the Leader, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Financial Services and the Corporate Lead Officer: Finance and Procurement upon the Budget for 2022/23, including the Three-Year Capital Programme and Prudential Indicators for Capital and Treasury Management PDF 1 MB
Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn, Council Leader presented the report noting that the information had been considered by the Cabinet and all Overview and Scrutiny Committees.
Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn noted that the Council received correspondence from Welsh Government on 17th February 2022 regarding additional funding for 2021/22 which can be carried forward to the next year. She noted that Cabinet asked Officers to draft a revised model, based upon a 2.5% increase to the Council Tax which was considered during its meeting on 22 February 2022, together with the feedback received from all Overview and Scrutiny Committees, and agreed to recommend to Council that the draft 2022/23 Base Budget total is £154.843m and that the level of increased Council Tax proposed for 2022/23 is 2.5%, representing a Band D amount of £1,447.90.
Members noted that residents would be glad to hear that the Council Tax increase would be based at 2.5% and attention was also brought to the Council Tax Relief support that’s available. It was noted that a 2.5% increase in Council Tax would enable services to be maintained.
Following a vote, it was RESOLVED to :
a) Note that, in the opinion of the Corporate Lead Officer – Finance and Procurement (Statutory Section 151 Officer), the 2022/23 budget estimates have been prepared in a robust manner.
b) Note that, in the opinion of the Corporate Lead Officer – Finance and Procurement (Statutory Section 151 Officer), the proposed planned levels of reserves, provisions and balances is adequate in respect of the forthcoming financial year.
c) Approve the Updated Net Revenue Estimates for the Council for 2021/22 in the sum of £154.736m;
d) Approve the Net Revenue Estimates for the Council for 2022/23 in the sum of £165.843m;
e) Approve the detailed service budgets for 2022/23 and the updated 2021/22, as set out in Appendix 1 of the report;
f) Levy a Basic Council Tax of £1,447.90 for 2022/23 for Band D properties;
g) Approve the Capital Strategy, as set out in Appendix 2 of the report;
h) Approve the Three-Year Capital Programme, as set out in Appendix 3 of the report;
i) Approve the Prudential Indicators, as set out in the Appendix 4 of the report;
j) Delegate authority to the CLO – Finance and Procurement to effect movement within the total of the authorised limit of external borrowing, and the operational boundary.
Councillor Gareth Lloyd, Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement Services and Public Protection presented the report to the Council relating to the Council Tax Setting for 2022/23.
Following a vote, it was RESOLVED to note the following:
(i) at its meeting on 07 December 2021 the following amounts were approved by the Council’s Cabinet for the year 2022/23 in accordance with regulations made under Section 33(5) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992:
(a) 32,063.08 being the amount calculated by the Council, in accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (Wales) Regulations 1995, as amended by the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) and Council Tax (Prescribed Classes of Dwellings) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2004, as its Council Tax Base for the area.
(b) PART OF THE COUNCIL’S AREA
COUNCIL TAX BASE 32,063.08
being the amounts calculated by the Council, in accordance with Regulation 6 of the 1995 Regulations (as amended by the 2004 Regulations), as the amounts of its Council Tax Base for the year for dwellings in those parts of its area to which one or more special items relate;
(ii) approve the amounts calculated by the Council for the year 2022/23 in accordance with Sections 32 to 36 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 as set out below:-
(a) £251,857,115 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 32(2)(a) to (e) of the Act. This includes £221,000 in respect of National Non-Domestic Rates Relief.
(b) £84,757,000 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 32(3)(a) to (c) of the Act.
(c) £167,100,115 being the amount by which the aggregate at (a) above exceeds the aggregate at (b) above, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 32(4) of the Act, as its budget requirement for the year.
(d) £119,418,759 being the aggregate of the sums which the Council estimates will be payable for the year into its Council Fund in respect of redistributed non-domestic rates and its revenue support grant.
(e) £1,487.11 being the amount at (c) above, less the ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
Report of the Corporate Lead Officer: Finance and Procurement upon the Council's Treasury Management Policy Statement, Treasury Management Strategy and Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) Policy for 2022/23 PDF 560 KB
Councillor Gareth Lloyd, Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement Services and Public Protection presented the report to Council noting that the Cabinet decided during its meeting on 22 February 2022 to approve the Treasury Management Strategy, the Investment Schedule and the Minimum Revenue Provision Policy, and to delegate authority to the Section 151 Officer in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance, Procurement and Public Protection to amend the Treasury Management Strategy and Investment Schedule during the course of the year, recommending that Council approve the Treasury Management Strategy for Borrowing and Investments and the Minimum Revenue Provision Policy for 2022/23.
(i) Following a vote, it was RESOLVED to note the report and approve the decisions made by Cabinet to approve the Treasury Management Strategy outlined in the report for Borrowing and Investments;
(ii) (ii) to approve the Investment Schedule as set out in Appendix B; (iii) to approve the Minimum Revenue Provision Policy as set out in Appendix C;
(iii) (iv) to delegate authority to the Section 151 officer in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance, Procurement and Public Protection, to amend the Treasury Management Strategy, and Investment Schedule, during the course of the year.
Following a vote it was RESOLVED to approve:
(a) the Treasury Management Strategy for Borrowing and Investments for 2022/23; and
(b) the Minimum Revenue Provision Policy for 2022/23.
Councillor Gareth Lloyd, Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement Services and Public Protection presented the report to Council noting that the Council as the Licensing Authority is required to adopt a Gambling Policy, under the Gambling Act 2005 and to keep its Policy Statement under general review to be determined at least every 3 years, to include a period of statutory consultation.
Councillor Gareth Lloyd noted that minor changes are recommended, taking into consideration changes to the Codes of Practice, the Fundamental Principles within the Guidance and advice provided directly by representatives of the Commission to Licensing staff. Consultation with relevant parties concluded on 28 November 2021, and consideration given to all responses received.
In addition, the Council reviewed its resolution not to issue casino licences within the County of Ceredigion as provided for in Section 166 of the Gambling Act 2005, and a recommendation by Cabinet to retain the ‘no-casino’ resolution.
Councillor Alun Lloyd Jones, Chair of the Licencing Committee noted that the Committee had considered the report and recommended that the recommendations continue.
Members also noted that the current Government policy on gambling destroys lives, and asked if there have been any appeals against the Council’s policy on Casinos. It was confirmed that the UK Government is currently reviewing their gambling policy, and that Ceredigion have not received any applications or appeals for Casinos however 2 persons noted their objection as part of the consultation process.
Following a vote, it was RESOLVED to:
a) approve the revised Statement of Gambling Policy as the Statement of Gambling Policy for Ceredigion for the period 2022-2025;
follow the recommendation made by Cabinet to retain the “no casino” Resolution and the decision recorded and added to the final policy.
Councillor Catherine Hughes, Cabinet Member for Porth Gofal presented the report to Council noting that in accordance with Part 2 of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act, regional partners are required to produce Population Assessments providing an assessment of need for care and support and support needs of carers in their area. The summary report was presented to Cabinet on 22 February 2022, and the full Population Needs assessment report will be presented to Cabinet and Council when finalised.
Members queried the situation with regards to Bodlondeb, and it was confirmed that the property is currently on the open market. Members also referred to research opportunities in conjunction with Bangor University. Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn confirmed that the research is conducted by the Regional Partnership Board, and that any additional enterprise funding will be provided via this route. She noted her disappointment regarding a lack of dementia nursing within the County, stating that discussions are currently being held with the Hywel Dda University Health Board and private partners as Local Authorities are not legally permitted to provide nursing care and it is hoped that there will be developments in the near future.
The content of the report was noted by Council.
Councillor Alun Williams, Cabinet Member for Porth Cynnal presented the report to Council noting that Welsh Government requires local authorities, acting together with health boards, to produce Market Stability Reports (MSRs) on a regional partnership board basis. The Market Stability Report is set out under 2 specific heading, which consider a Sufficiency assessment, and a Stability Assessment. It was noted that the publication deadline for the report is 30 June 2022.
This summary report was presented to Cabinet on the 22nd February 2022.
The final report will be presented to Cabinet and Council once completed and finalised.
Members thanked Officers for the excellent services provided during extremely challenging times, noting their concern that the data demonstrated that the figures will increase, resulting in greater pressure upon these services.
The content of the report was noted by Council.
Councillor Rhodri Evans, Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration presented the report to Council noting that the Council is required to establish a Local Access Forum in accordance with the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 and the Countryside Access (Local Access Forums) (Wales) Regulations 2001. The Forum membership is for a 3 year period, and new members will be appointed for the period 2022 to 2025.
The appointment process was widely publicised, receiving 19 applications, of which 2 subsequently withdrew as set out in Appendix 1. One Council Member will be nominated to sit as Member of the Forum, which will occur at the beginning of the new administration.
Following a vote, it was RESOLVED to approve the appointments to the Local Access Forum as listed in Appendix 1 for the period 2022-2025
Councillor Rhodri Evans, Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration presented the report to Council noting that the Independent Group presented a paper to the Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny on 29 November 2021 setting out a vision towards creating a pathway to Home Ownership for the Younger Generation of Ceredigion. The proposals were supported by the Committee where it was requested that Officers work up the viability of the scheme. A further report was subsequently considered by the Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 7 February 2022 and by Cabinet at its meeting dated 22 February 2022.
Councillor Ivor Williams presented verbal feedback from the Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee stating that a robust discussion had taken place and that all Committee Members were supportive of the proposal. He thanked the Independent Group for bringing this report for consideration.
Councillor Elizabeth Evans stated that she was supportive of the proposal, but noted that communities with a high number of second homes also need to be supported.
Councillor Ifan Davies, on behalf of the Independent Group thanked Officers for the work done at short notice, and thanked the Chairman of the Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee for scheduling a special meeting to consider the recommendations. He noted that there are several challenges facing rural areas, and the affordability of homes for young people is one of the most important ones. He noted that the recommendations being considered were a first phase but further work would be required in the new administration to consider and develop the various options available.
Following a vote, it was RESOLVED that:
a) The Council decision 24/03/2016 Minute 12) Report of the Deputy Chief Executive upon the Council Tax Premiums for long-term empty homes and second homes, point 4 be amended as follows:
“4.a) The level of Council Tax Second Homes Premium charged to be set at 25% (with effect from 1 April 2017); and,
b) that all monies raised from the 25% Council Tax Second Homes Premium (net of the Council Tax refunds), be ring -fenced and used to support the Community Housing Scheme.”
b) That all monies raised from the 25% Council Tax Second Homes Premium between the period 01/04/2017 to 31/03/2022 (net of Council Tax refunds), to be ring-fenced and used to support the Community Housing Scheme.
c) That all monies raised from the 25% Council Tax Second Homes Premium from 01/04/2022 (net of the Council Tax refunds), to be ring-fenced and used to support the Community Housing Scheme.
d) That from 01/04/2022, all monies raised from the 25% Council Tax Empty Homes Premium (net of the Council Tax refunds), be ring-fenced and used to support the Community Housing Scheme
e) That Council decision 16/03/2017 minute 8.b) Council Tax Premiums on Second Homes, be revoked
f) That details of a shared equity element of the scheme are prepared and agreed within 12 months of the Council decision and that work continues on the other options.
g) The possibility of ... view the full minutes text for item 13.
Councillor Ray Quant, Cabinet Member for Legal and Governance, People and Organisation and Democratic Services presented the report noting that the proposed changes have been considered and approved by the Cross Party Working Group, to include:
- Adding the Head of Democratic Services to the list of Statutory Officers
- Updating the Cabinet Portfolios in Part 3.4 Table 4 and Part 3 (Appendix 2)
- Including Whistleblowing to the delegations of the CLO Legal & Governance
- Delegations to CLO Policy, Performance and Public Protection, including Civil Contingencies and Business Continuity, and Trading Standards and Licensing Manager
- Delegations to CLO, Porth Cynnal, including a reference to Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act 2014 and reference to role of both CLOs regarding the West Wales Regional Partnership Board and West Wales Care Partnership
- Delegations to CLO, Finance and Procurement including status as Chief Finance Officer Growing Mid Wales Board and Mid Wales Corporate Joint Committee and clarification of status as Ceredigion Chief Finance Officer
- Adding Mid Wales Education Partnership to Section 4 Part 7 (appendix 12)
- Amendments to the Ethics and Standards Committee and Governance and Audit Committee reflecting the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021
- Adding the Welsh in Education function in Part 3.2 Table 2, Part 3
- Adding a New Members Protocol of Good Practice in Planning, the Development Management Committee Operational Procedures, and updated Terms of Reference, Scheme of Delegations, and confirming change of name to Development Management Committee
- An amendment reflecting the agreed reduction of Membership of various committees
- Minor amendments including stylistic / formatting changes.
Following a vote, it was RESOLVED to:
a) Change of name of the Development Control Committee to Development Management Committee
b) Note the contents of the report (in particular paras. A-M);
c) Approve the changes to the Constitution (at Appendices 1-12 of the report);
d) Authorise the CLO Legal and Governance / Monitoring Officer to update the Council’s Constitution to reflect the above changes.
Councillor Ray Quant, Cabinet Member for Legal and Governance, People and Organisation and Democratic Services presented the report to Council stating that the Accounts and Audit (Wales) Regulation 2014 requires local authorities to conduct a review of the effectiveness of their governance framework including their systems of internal control at least on an annual basis.
He noted the 7 underpinning principles of the Annual Governance Statement, and gave an overview of the final review scoring completed during the workshop which resulted in actions being identified for 2022/23.
It was noted that the Annual Governance Statement is reported to Audit Wales each year, and that a Member/Officer workshop was held to review existing governance arrangements against the framework which reviewed the scoring, identifying actions for 2022-23. The draft document were approved by Governance and Audit Committee on 19 January 2022.
Following a vote, it was RESOLVED to:
a) Note the contents of the 2021-2022 Governance Framework Document (Appendix 1);
b) Approve the Draft Annual Governance Statement 2021-2022 (Appendix 2);
c) Approve the Local Code of Corporate Governance 2022-2023 for publication (Appendix 3).
Councillor Elizabeth Evans, Chair of Governance and Audit Committee noted that the Committee had considered every item in detail, along with the scores and thanked Officers, Members of the Governance and Audit Committee, and the Lay Member, Professor Ian Roffe for their contributions.
Councillor Catrin Miles, Cabinet Member for Schools and Culture presented the report noting a 1.75% uplift applied to all statutory scale points and allowances, payable from 1 September 2021, the inclusion of a set of mandatory and discretionary principles of pay portability and clarification of the position of head teachers responsible for more than one school, and confirming that as a result of the extra bank holiday to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022, teachers must be available to work for 194 days.
It was noted that following consultation with Local Trade Union Officers, a comprehensive list of relevant equality legislation has also been included
Following a vote, it was RESOLVED to approve:
a) The Model School Pay Policy 2021/22 to commend to Governing Bodies for adoption within schools in Ceredigion
b) The Model Unattached Teacher Pay Policy for centrally employed teachers.
Councillor Ray Quant, Cabinet Member for Legal and Governance, People and Organisation and Democratic Services presented the report noting that since publishing the Council agenda on Thursday 24 February, the 2021/22 Pay Awards for Chief Executive, Chief Officers, Soulbury and NJC staff have been agreed, and a report has been published as an Addendum in order for the Council to consider the most up to date version of the Pay Policy for 2022-23.
It was noted that:
- The NJC Spinal Column Point 1 was increased by 2.75% and all other spinal column points by 1.75% and back-dates to 1 April 2021.
- The national pay award for Chief Executives and Chief Officers has been agreed at 1.5% and backdated to 1 April 2021.
- The national pay award for Soulbury Committee has been agreed at 1.75% and backdated to 1 September 2021.
- Any severance package for a Chief Officer must be approved by Full Council.
- Employees who leave the Council under an efficiency scheme (voluntary redundancy, early retirement or severance) will not be permitted to return to employment with the Council for a period of 2 years, apart from exceptional circumstances and only where approved by the relevant Corporate Director and Corporate Lead Officer - People & Organisation.
- Chief Officers who leave the Council under an efficiency scheme (voluntary redundancy, early retirement or severance) will not normally be permitted to return to employment with the Council, or as an agency worker or on a consultancy basis, apart from exceptional circumstances and only where approved by Chief Executive and Cabinet Member for Legal & Governance, People & Organisation and Democratic Services.
It was also noted that negotiations for 2022-23 have not started yet.
Following a vote, it was RESOLVED to approve the Pay Policy for 2022/23.