Agenda and minutes

Public Services Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 18th October, 2017 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, The Rhadyr USK. View directions

No. Item


To elect a Chair


County Councillor Martyn Groucutt was elected as Chair of the Committee.


Apologies for absence


County Councillors D. Batrouni, M. Feakins, G. Howard, P. Pavia and F. Taylor.


Declarations of Interest


None received.


Public Open Forum


There were no members of the public wishing to address the committee.


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 187 KB

·         14th March 2017


·         12th July 2017 – New Member training

Additional documents:



The following minutes of the Committee were confirmed and signed by the Chairman.


 14th March 2017

 12th July 2017 New Member training


County Councillor Simon Howarth spoke of his concerns when sending substitutes to the PSB Select Committee. Due to the nature of the work it was felt that member continuity was essential.


Well-being Plan - Process and structure pdf icon PDF 640 KB




To provide members with an overview of the process being followed to produce the wellbeing plan; the structure of the plan and some of the actions that could feature within it.


The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act is about the process of improving the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales, by taking action in accordance with the sustainable development principle aimed at achieving well-being goals.


One of the responsibilities the Act places on the Public Service Board is to prepare and publish a well-being plan and well-being objectives for the county. This will draw on the evidence in the well-being assessment that was approved by the PSB and endorsed by council in March 2017.


Key Issues:


The Well-being of Future Generations Act aims to ensure that public bodies think more about the long term, work better with people and communities and each other, look to prevent problems and take a more joined-up approach. Each PSB must prepare and publish a local well-being plan setting out its local objectives and the steps it proposes to take to meet them. This needs to be published no later than one year after the last council election.


The plan must describe how the board will improve the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of the county by setting local objectives which maximise its contribution to the seven national the well-being goals. There are two elements to the plan, objectives and the steps to meet those objectives.


Work completed between April and July resulted in the PSB adopting four draft well-being objectives at its meeting on 25th July following scrutiny by this committee on 11th July.


These are based on the well-being assessment that was previously scrutinised by this committee and are shown in the table below:





Purpose Building Sustainable and Resilient Communities


Our aspiration is to:


·         Reduce inequalities between communities and within communities

·         Support and protect vulnerable people

·         Consider our impact on the environment


Our (proposed) well-being Objectives are:


·         People / Citizens Place / Communities

·         Provide children and young people with the best possible start in life

·         Protect and enhance the resilience of our natural environment whilst mitigating and adapting to the impact of climate change

·         Respond to the challenges associated with demographic change

·         Develop opportunities for communities and businesses to be part of an economically thriving and well-connected county.


The steps the PSB will take to meet these objectives


A series of workshops will take place in September and October 2017. These will identify and prioritise the initial programmes of work that the Board will consider commissioning to meet its final objectives. More detail will need to be added before the plan is consulted on.


The process used to move from the Well-being Assessment to Well-being Plan is summarised in Appendix 1.


The PSB is now responsible for developing the plan that will articulate these objectives and describe the steps that will be taken to meet them. They will be asked to endorse the plan when they meet  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Feedback from workshop to develop the plan


County Councillor Groucutt who attended the workshop along with County Councillors Taylor and Pavia spoke of this experience of the day, raising the following points;




·         Meeting partner agencies and understanding their desire to work in a collaborative way.


·         Speaking to like-minded people who appreciate the importance of pulling to together to improve the wellbeing of the County.




·         Dominated by County Council affairs, felt Officer heavy.


·         Although the CEO and deputy CEO of MCC were in attendance, the same could not be said of other partner agencies.


·         It showed we have to do some work on asking people to think outside of their own box with many people only interested in their own contribution.






Measuring Well-being: The Happy Communities pdf icon PDF 255 KB




To provide members with an overview of the Happy Communities project and roll out plan for Monmouthshire.


The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act is about the process of improving the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales, by taking action in accordance with the sustainable development principle aimed at achieving well-being goals.


One of the responsibilities the Act places on the Public Service Board is to prepare and publish a local Well-being Plan which will set out how public bodies will work together to improve well-being in Monmouthshire.


The July meeting of this committee received a brief overview of three projects being taken forward at a regional level. One of these is the Happy Communities project which will contribute to the plan by providing an insight into the conditions and experiences of well-being of residents of Monmouthshire.


Key Issues:


The five Public Service Boards within the Gwent region have jointly agreed to utilise the Happy Communities tools in order to better measure, understand and improve the well-being of their populations. Currently measuring the local conditions for wellbeing or the experienced well-being of their local populations is largely restricted to data obtained from the 2011 census which lacks the details of well-being, timeliness and the local granularity needed to really inform decision making.


In using the same tools across Gwent PSBs it will be possible to compare well-being across the region and against other parts of the UK. The frameworks and tools are scalable and can therefore be used to inform decision making at a community, ward, neighbourhood or whole authority scale.


Happy Communities provides two tools, the Happy Communities Index which measures the local conditions for community well-being and the Happiness Pulse which is an adaptable and scalable measure of personal well-being.


The Happy Communities Index draws on a number of indicators from various

sources to understand and assess the local determinants of well-being and where to target interventions to create the conditions for people to thrive. The set of indicators available in Wales is currently being assessed for suitability for inclusion in the Index in Wales. As far as possible, the indicators are the same as, or equivalent to, English indicators so that comparisons can be drawn with areas in England.


The Happiness Pulse measures the detailed reality of personal well-being in

communities and includes a resident survey which is expected to take place in January and February 2018.


Training for relevant officers will take place during November when more information on project details and rollout will be available.


Member Scrutiny:


A Member asked for clarity on the score and rank table index and was told it did not reflect Monmouthshire County Council data.



Committee’s Conclusion:


Members looked forward to the January 2018 launch and future scrutiny of the project.




Developing Regional Well-being Priorities


We were told that earlier in 2017, through the Gwent well-being assessment group, work had been commissioned to look at how we could look at priorities and come to together as a regional group to tackle the challenges.


Extensive research has taken place under the lead of Dr Alan Netherwood with similar themes becoming obvious. These have have been rationalised into four key areas which could be served at a Gwent level.


·         Using natural resources to promote Wellbeing


·         Work towards climate resilience and reducing the region’s carbon emissions


·         Reduce inequalities with an initial focus on cancer inequities


·         Maximise City Deal benefits for Gwent, focusing on improving regional transport.


A paper will follow in 2018.




To consider the Select Committee's forward work programme pdf icon PDF 232 KB


The programme was noted.


To note the date and time of the next meeting as the 16th January 2018