Agenda and minutes

Place Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 1st February, 2024 10.00 am

Venue: The Council Chamber, County Hall, The Rhadyr, Usk, NP15 1GA with remote attendance


No. Item


Declarations of Interest.




Public Open Forum.




Scrutiny of the Budget Proposals - Scrutiny of the budget mandates relating to the committee's remit. pdf icon PDF 127 KB

Additional documents:


Cabinet Member Ben Callard delivered a presentation, introduced the report and answered the members’ questions with Mark Hand, Debra Hill-Howells, Paul Griffiths,Jonathan Davies, Carl Touhig, Peter Davies andCath Fallon. 

Key points raised by Members: 

1.      Is there further information on the residents’ meetings that will take place? 

2.      Is there a shortfall relating to car parks? 

3.      Can we be informed if the trade waste costs will now break even with the proposed increases and how this affects schools? How many schools currently use outside contractors and how do you think that the planned national changes for workforce recycling in April will affect the services and the income that we receive? 

4.      Do we need to provide residents with further information on what they can use as alternatives to plastic bags, such as bread bags and plastic food bags? And is it possible to assess the impact of this? 

5.      Do we receive any cash on saleable waste products as part of the waste incineration process? 

6.      Can we have more information on the drivers of increased costs of school transport? How are we avoiding these and making it cheaper by bringing it in-house? 

7.      Are we planning to electrify our bus services? Has money been set aside to invest in reducing the carbon of our home fleet? 

8.      Are other LAs doing the same with food waste bags? 

9.      How will ALN pupils be affected by the home-to-school transport proposals? 

10.   What will be the knock-on effect of increased parking charges to the use of supermarket car parks? When supermarkets were built the idea was that they wouldn’t take trade away from towns. Are there any planning issues there? 

11.   Which council assets are possibly being used for homelessness? Is accommodation available at Severn View Care home? 

12.   Why have recycling cost pressures increased so much? 

13.   Whyis there a 10% increaseregarding garden waste? 

14.   Can we have more information about the cost pressures related to Council Tax premiums? Why isn’t it cost neutral? 

15.   Have we pushed Welsh Government sufficiently in terms of getting extra funding? What extra consultation have we had to ensure we get the funding level to the Welsh average? 

16.   Are you looking into any other council properties for homelessness? What about county farms? 

17.   Can there be a press release or advertising so people will know that bread bags can be used as food waste bags? 

18.   Why is there no mention or breakdown in the budget of Highways? 

19.   There have been complaints from residents about the early closure of leisure centres on Sunday afternoons, and there are therefore concerns about the impact on the well-being of residents who participate in activities that will now be curtailed e.g.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Public Spaces Protection Order Dog Controls - To scrutinise the latest report. pdf icon PDF 188 KB

Additional documents:


Cabinet Member Paul Griffiths introduced the report and answered the members’ questions with Huw Owen and David Jones. 

Key points raised by Members: 

1.      Why was there a low number of responses from sports clubs? 

2.      What are the practicalities of enforcement, especially where play areas aren’t fenced in? 

3.      Can we assess the effectiveness in 6/12 months time and ask for public feedback about how it’s going? 

4.      We have a high bar to reach for raising awareness: some dog owners are very unhappy about not being able to run their dog on the pitch at Bailey Park, for example. 

5.      Compare with anti-social driving measures, in which a patrol car would visit problem areas – what are the equivalent enforcement options in this case? 

6.      Could the location of the old swimming pool in Bailey Park be a free running area? 

7.      Can you the point about exclusions on school land, and certain exceptions? 

8.      Will the consequence of these measures be an increase in dog fouling on pavements? Will enforcement officers be able to look at that, and is there a fine for that? 

9.      What methods will be used to inform/educate the public on the PSPO and how it affects green spaces? 

10.   We previously had the impression that the red card wouldn’t be used as there was too much dialogue on it – the boards would be more graphic. Do we have more of an idea on that? 

11.   Will the order be printed on the signs – that it’s ‘a designated area etc.? 

12.   Some authorities have dog bag vending machines, which are very cheap – has anything like this been considered? 

13.   In terms of intelligence, how/who do members or residents contact? 

14.   Would town council be able to utilise some of the enforcement officers? 

15.   Can you clarify the exclusion areas in relation to Caldicot Castle Grounds? 

16.   In Caldicot, are the exclusion areas not inconsistent with the active travel routes e.g. the route from Deepweir to the village, and back in front of the cricket club? 

17.   Will this not discourage people from walking with their dogs or children to and from school? 

18.   If there is a tarmacked pavement, will people not naturally assume that they can walk on it with their dog? 

19.   Will there be a FAQs section on the website when this is rolled out? 

20.   We need to be aware of what communities spend e.g. Gilwern spends £14-15k on dog bins, but dog users from other areas come into the community because there hasn’t been sufficient enforcement, so work with town and community councils is crucial 

21.   Can we work with dog owners to find areas for them to use – could they form an organisation or user group to have their own area designated for dog walking and exercising? 

22.   We need to recognise the importance of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Place Scrutiny Committee Forward Work Programme and Action List. pdf icon PDF 477 KB

Additional documents:


The RLDP Deposit Plan will move back from the 10th April meeting to 23rd May, ahead of a council date in June.


Cabinet and Council Work Planner. pdf icon PDF 433 KB


To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting. pdf icon PDF 275 KB


The minutes were confirmed, proposed by Councillor Thomasand seconded by Councillor Strong. 


Next Meeting: Wednesday 6th March 2024 at 10.00am.