Agenda and minutes

Economy and Development Select Committee - Thursday, 24th September, 2020 10.00 am


No. Item


Public Open Forum


No members of the public were present.



Replacement Local Development Plan Sustainable Settlements Report ~ Scrutiny of a background policy report. pdf icon PDF 551 KB

Additional documents:


Officers Craig O’Connor and Jill Edge delivered the report, informing the committee of the Sustainable Settlement Appraisal, which has been prepared to inform the Replacement Local Development Plan.


Should the scoring system used for the diagram on p2 have negative points to reduce scores, if negative issues exist? e.g. in Monmouth we have a lack of sewage capacity, and less car parking than most other large towns.

The items in the diagram came from Welsh Government as a manual for what needs to be considered. This exercise looks at the quantative measures i.e. the facilities that do exist. Going forward, the other elements on the diagram will be considered but that doesn’t form part of this appraisal. There will be that qualitative assessment then, and discussions with the Health Board, Education authority, Welsh Water, etc. We have a meeting in a few weeks’ time about Monmouth’s sewage capacity. We will therefore look at those things, and we will look to get money from developers if sites are promoted to enhance our infrastructure. This current exercise only looks at which settlements in Monmouthshire are considered to be sustainable, based on the quantative information we have at this time.

Broadband penetration can vary across very small areas, given the hilly nature of our county. Is that taken into account?

We didn’t look at broadband penetration. We considered speed, based on the information we were able to acquire at the time of the survey. We will update that. It’s not clear how we would assess penetration, how it would be measured. If members have ideas about that then we can take them on board when we do this work again.

What do these analyses allow us to do? What can we insist that developers do for us, as a result?

This appraisal underpins our replacement Local Development Plan in terms of where we should look for potential growth, and housing and employment opportunities. It is for us as a council to consider where the most sustainable places are for us to develop growth. These developments in growth can enhance areas, potentially improving the negative points we have discussed. In the last development plan a doctors’ surgery was going to close, but thanks to the housing growth in that area it was retained for that community. Housing developments therefore ensure that some services are retained; we want to keep local businesses open and our local areas thriving.

It is good to know which communities are sustainable, and what we would like to build, but unless we have the political will to enforce what we would like to build, is this exercise not about what we can demand of developers?

Yes, what we want from developers – what type of development, and the level of growth we want for Monmouthshire – will come through this Local Development Plan process. This is one stage in a long process of many years developing this plan. We have had many conversations about the housing mix, and sustainable  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.


Flood Management ~ lessons learnt ~ feedback for the Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs and the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committees


Officer Ross Price and Ruth Donovan presented a verbal report:

Welsh Government is holding its own scrutiny session on 8th October with the minister for the environment to review their response to last winter’s flooding. Welsh Local Government Association is leading on a combined response from all local authorities, with their own Flood Officer, Jean-Francois Dulong. He will collate the responses from local governments, to present to the scrutiny session on 8th October. We received an email from Welsh Government with questions, which give a good focus for our response; we are putting that together at the moment. We are in regular contact with the Flood Team from Welsh Government, with whom we have a good relationship.

The first question from Welsh Government is whether the current funding provided by them for flooding and coastal erosion management, and for relevant authorities to provide emergency flood response, is sufficient. We have statutory duties under the Flood and Water Management Act to manage flood risk, which in our case is from ordinary watercourses, and ground and surface water flooding. The risk management authority for main river flooding, which is what affected Monmouthshire most last winter (from the Wye, Monnow and Usk), is Natural Resources Wales. We are therefore quite limited in what we can do, and what schemes we can deliver, regarding main river flooding. We get a revenue fund of £105k a year, to deliver our statutory duties, which include delivering all of our activities that are set out in our Flood Risk Management plan and strategy. We also have statutory duties to undertake assets maintenance, inspection, recording, mapping, investigations, and keeping up with training and software. Most notably, from January 2019, we became an approving body for drainage matters on new developments. We haven’t had additional funding to cover this cost, which has been considerable. The responses to last winter’s flooding has led to a backlog in other workstreams, such as applications in the SAB process, but also delivering our day-to-day duties. Additional funding would help us to deal with this.

The capital element of funding is slightly better than the revenue. It covers all of the flood schemes that we promote. Typically, there is a flood event, we investigate its sources and mechanisms, identify who is affected, then put in an application to Welsh Government to deliver a flood scheme, which might be building flood walls or barriers, etc. In recent years, we’ve been very successful in getting this funding. Last year’s flooding has increased the number of schemes that are required, and brought to the fore longstanding issues. We are developing a five-year forward programme now. Over the last three years we have received about £160k of grant funding to deliver flood schemes; this year, we have £130k alone. The total figure is likely to increase due to last year’s flooding, but we’re in competition with the other local authorities.

Following the winter flooding, Welsh Government made available an emergency flood response grant; we were successful  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Economy and Development Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 491 KB


A Members’ Seminar on budget recovery plans was planned for October, but will now be rescheduled. Towards the end of October, there will be a joint meeting with Strong Communities to discuss car parking. Procurement and Cardiff Capital City Deal need to remain on our agenda – there will be a gateway review of the latter next spring. The chair welcomes opinions from members as to whether this committee could host the wider council seminar on the local government funding formula.



Council and Cabinet Forward Planner pdf icon PDF 799 KB


To confirm the minutes of the previous meetings pdf icon PDF 139 KB

·         30th January 2020

·         21st July 2020 (Joint Select Committee)

Additional documents:


·         30th January 2020

·         21st July 2020 (Joint Select Committee)

The minutes were confirmed and signed as an accurate record, with the following amendment for 30th January: a Member asked about the impact of coronavirus, should the problem escalate, particularly concerning supplies from Chinese manufacturers. An Officer responded that should WHO escalate the problem, Welsh and UK government would make an assessment, with the risk then assessed at a local authority level. The implications of escalation were not known at this stage.



To confirm the date and time of the next meeting as 19 October 2020 (Special Meeting)


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.