6TH JANUARY 2014
Councillor K. Madge [Chair]
Councillors: W.K. Davies, T. Devichand, J.S. Edmunds, D.C. Evans, M. Gravell, T.J. Jones, P.A. Palmer, L.M. Stephens and J. Tremlett.
Present as observers – Councillors S.M. Caiach, W.T. Evans and P. Hughes Griffiths.
The following officers were also in attendance: -
Mr M. James
Mr D. Gilbert
Director of Regeneration
Mr R. Jones
Director of Resources
Mr B. McLernon
Director of Social Care, Health & Housing
Mr R. Sully
Director of Education and Children
Mr R. Workman
Director of Technical Services
Ms L. Rees-Jones
Head of Administration and Law
Mr I. Llewelyn
Executive Support Manager
Ms D. Williams
Mrs M. Evans Thomas
Democratic Services Officer
(Council Chamber, County Hall, Carmarthen : 10.00 a.m. – 10.35 a.m.)
There were no apologies for absence.
The Chair referred to the recent adverse weather conditions and the flooding experienced across the county and the Board expressed its appreciation to staff for their tremendous efforts in maintaining service delivery under extremely difficult circumstances.
The Chief Executive referred to the success of the recent Christmas hamper and toybox appeals and paid tribute to Councillor Pam Palmer and all the staff involved for their hard work and dedication to these worthy causes. Many letters of thanks had been received highlighting how invaluable these initiatives are and how much of a difference they make to people’s lives.
The Chair referred in sympathetic terms to the death of Mrs Winifred Doreen Speake, the mother of County Councillor Alan Speake and also the death of Mr Griff Evans, the father of former County Councillor and Executive Board Member Hugh Evans.
The Executive Board was informed that the Environmental and Public Protection Scrutiny Committee had, at its meeting held on 14th November, 2013 (minute 6 refers), received a Public Transport update. Subsequently it had resolved to recommend to the Executive Board that arrangements be made to hold an all-member seminar on public transport in the new year.
Reference was made to proposed changes to the concessionary fares scheme and concern was expressed at the detrimental effect this would have on the vulnerable people in the more isolated communities within the county.
UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that a seminar on public transport be arranged for all members, to which key partners, representatives from Town and Community Councils and local bus companies be invited to attend.
The Executive Board considered a report providing an update on the latest budgetary position as at 31st October, 2013, in respect of 2013/14.
It was noted that overall the report forecast an overspend of £475k on the Authority’s net revenue budget.
It was also noted that the Housing Revenue Account was forecasting that it will be £56k over its approved budget.
3.1. that the budget monitoring report and budgetary position be received;
3.2. that Chief Officers continue to review their budgetary positions carefully and implement appropriate action to keep within allocated resources.
The Executive Board considered a report providing an update on the capital programme spend against budget for 2013-14, as at 31st October, 2013. The report included details of officer approved virements and the main variances.
UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the virements in the capital programme as outlined within the report be approved and the variances noted.
The Executive Board considered the Improvement Assessment letter issued by the Auditor General for Wales, who was required, under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 to give an opinion on whether the Council had discharged its duties in respect of improvement reporting and met the requirements of the Measure.
The Auditor General found that, based on audit work undertaken to date, the Council had discharged its improvement reporting duties under the Measure and had acted in accordance with Welsh Government guidance. He reached this conclusion primarily because the Annual Report evaluated the Council’s success in achieving its improvement objectives and expressed its view clearly in a fair and balanced way.
It was noted that more detailed work on the arrangements that support the Council’s performance management and reporting, as well as a summary of the work of relevant regulators during 2013-14, would be outlined in a fuller Annual Improvement Report which would be presented to Council by the end of March 2014.
Reference was made to the fact that the Auditor General could find nothing wrong and had no new proposals for improvement. It was pointed out that this was testimony to the Council’s excellent performance and the Board congratulated the Chief Executive and all staff for their continued hard work and commitment.
UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL that the report be received.
[NOTE: Mr Mark James, Chief Executive, left the meeting prior to the consideration of this item.]
The Executive Board received an update report on the outcome of Mrs Thompson’s applications to the Court of Appeal to appeal certain findings in the Judgement of Mr. Justice Tugendhat in the proceedings of 15th March, 2013.
UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the report be noted and that a more detailed report be presented to the Executive Board for consideration at a future meeting.
UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Executive Board held on the 16th December, 2013 be signed as a correct record.