Agenda and minutes

Strong Communities Select Committee - Thursday, 6th June, 2019 10.00 am

Contact: Democratic Services 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


No declarations of interest were made.


Open Public Forum


No members of the public were present.


Crucorney Litter Scheme: Update



To receive an update on the Crucorney Litter Project from the Crucorney Environmental Group (CEG), represented by Peter Jackman, Chairman and Andrea Jackman, Secretary.


Key Issues:

·         CEG is a small group based in Llanvihangel Crucorney focussed on litter picking and litter prevention with the help of 30-40 volunteers.

·         There is an annual Spring Clean event and litter picking is otherwise on an ad hoc basis by the volunteers.

·         A report was presented to the Strong Communities Select Committee in November that contained some challenges for the council to help prevent littering and tackle causes.

·         The project has a purpose of preventing roadside litter through the use of bins and signage, to change behaviour and support the volunteers.

·         Results show that the residents have mainly welcomed or accepted the trial, with a limited number of objections. It is concluded that the trial will continue, removed signs will be replaced and the campaign widened.


Member scrutiny:

Following the presentation, Members were invited to ask questions:


·         A Member asked if there was a community central point (large wheelie bin) where full bags can be stored until collected and was informed that there is no such facility at present.

·         It was questioned if local campsites have you been visited to check their waste disposal arrangements and responded that a community councillor has started this process but it was noted that not all campsites are licensed.

·         A Member raise health and safety concerns about unauthorised campsites and also queried the Council’s responsibility for removing rubbish from them.  The Head of Waste and Street Scene advised that authorised campsites are obliged to provide a point for waste collection.  If an informal campsite is discovered, the landlord is advised of the need for a trade waste agreement.  Campers may drop black bags by bins in laybys believing that is the appropriate place and may encourage further fly tipping.  Campers and campsites can use the Llanfoist Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) to dispose of waste. In response to a question, it was confirmed that the permit system will cause issues but added that businesses should have a trade waste permit.  Changeover days for holiday lets are also problematic as bags can be left out for up to two weeks.  The authority works with businesses to encourage weekly or daily trade waste collection in such cases.

·         A Member confirmed that authorised campsites are regulated and licensed by Environmental Health.  Planning permission is also required. It was agreed that unauthorised sites should be subject to enforcement.

·         The CEG will share its findings with the Community Council as a first step.

·         Whilst commending the Group’s efforts, a Member condemned the concept of having to clear up after people adding that placing bins in rural areas attracts waste from residents of other authorities.

·         The Chair thanked the representatives of the CEG for the update.  It was suggested that this time of year is popular with school leavers camping and that there was a need to change attitudes through more interaction with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Apprentice, Graduate and Intern Strategy pdf icon PDF 2 MB



To present the draft Apprentice, Graduate and Intern (AGI) Strategy (2019-22) and the priorities contained within. To inform members of the proposed creation of an AGI Coordinator post to oversee the implementation of the AGI Strategy.




·         The committee to scrutinise the draft Apprentice, Graduate and Intern Strategy and make recommendations accordingly.

·         Subject to any recommendations made, Committee to endorse the draft Apprentice, Graduate and Intern Strategy for submission to Cabinet for approval on 3rd July 2019.


Key issues:

1. The Council does not currently have a strategy in place to develop and support apprenticeship, graduate jobs and internships across the local authority. Apprentices, Graduates and Interns (AGI) are an asset to any organisation and can bring significant benefits to the business and existing workforce.

2. A need has been identified for a coordination role to support the Youth Enterprise Manager in delivering on the priorities of the Apprentice, Graduate and Intern Strategy (appendix 5 – AGI Coordinator Job Description). The AGI Coordinator will monitor and support delivery of the AGI Strategy and action plan, and will have a responsibility to;

• Support identification and creation of apprentice, graduate and intern opportunities across the organisation to support current and future skills needs.

• set up and manage a comprehensive quality monitoring system for AGI opportunities to ensure a positive experience for all involved

• increase accessibility to higher level and more diverse training opportunities for new and existing employees

• promote the value of apprentice, graduate and intern recruitment opportunities within the local authority

3. There are currently fifteen apprentices (April 2019) within the Council in the following service areas: Schools, Property services, Highways, Partnerships and Community Development, Youth Enterprise. The number of graduate officers or internships is not currently recorded.

4. The variety of apprenticeship posts within the council at present is limited and tend to be in the fields of Business Administration, Information Technology and Teaching Assistants. Expanding training opportunities and the range of higher-level qualifications will support current and future skills needs and succession planning.


Member scrutiny:

The report was presented by the Youth Enterprise Manager.  Following presentation of the report, questions were invited from Select Committee Members as follows:


·         A Member asked how many applicants or approaches are made to the Council about Apprentice, Graduate and Internships.  It was responded that numbers can vary and can be in response to adverts or sometimes students make contact via e mail requests e.g. for placements.  This can amount to approximately 30 individual approaches on an annual basis.

·         A Select Committee Member was unaware of internships and expressed concern about the potential for exploitation.  Further concern was expressed that it was not known how many, or where internships are within the organisation.  It was confirmed that Service Managers know but the information is not easy to compile.  The Member was concerned that individuals completing work experience don’t have a formal salary, it is at the discretion of the Manager if travel expenses are paid.  It was suggested  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Welsh Language Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Additional documents:



To provide a performance overview of our compliance and recording systems in relation to the Welsh Language Standards that were allocated in line with the requirements of the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011.



Members are invited to conduct performance monitoring scrutiny, highlighting any areas of concern in relation to performance to the Cabinet Member. The report is a record of the Council’s activities over the last financial year in respect of compliance with its allocated Welsh Language Standards. The report will then be forwarded to the Welsh Language Commissioner’s Office by the 30th June 2019 for their scrutiny, a response and formal approval. It will also be posted on the council’s English and Welsh websites for public scrutiny.


Key issues:


1.  The Monitoring report details information recorded in relation to specific areas of the Welsh Language Standards allocated to this council. The Welsh Language Commissioner requests this information annually in order to be able measure our progress in terms of compliance with the Standards.


2. The report will be forwarded to the Welsh Language Commissioner’s Office by the 30th June 2018. Once the report has been read and analysed by the Commissioner the Council meets with the Commissioners’ Office to discuss any areas of good practice and any areas of concern that require improvement. It will also be posted on the council’s English and Welsh web sites to allow for public scrutiny.


3.  Fundamentally the Council is doing well in terms of compliance with these challenging standards. One continuing area of concern though is the low numbers of fluent Welsh speakers that are employed by the Council (31) potentially making us susceptible to challenge as a result of our inability to provide or proactively offer any kind of frontline services to the Welsh speaking members of the public of Monmouthshire. The Workforce Planning process that was developed and led by the Welsh Language and Equality Officer and Human Resources has been underway for at least 2 years. The process involves auditing the Welsh Language skills that exist in divisions, looking for any gaps and then designating posts as Welsh Essential when they become vacant. This process has worked well and posts have been designated as Welsh Essential. Unfortunately when some of these have been advertised there has been a lack of applicants but it is anticipated that the numbers of fluent Welsh speakers in the council will increase gradually but that will take some time to have the desired effect.


Member Scrutiny:

The Policy Officer Equalities and Welsh Language presented the report and questions were invited.


·         A Member commented that line managers are not always in a position to commit staff to attend or continue courses.  This point was agreed and is common across all authorities.  It was questioned if Learn Welsh courses are given equal priority to other training courses provided to staff.  The authority was requested to regard Welsh Language courses the same as other professional courses. The Officer is working with Coleg Gwent  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


To confirm minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 88 KB


The minutes of the previous meeting were confirmed as an accurate record.


Action list pdf icon PDF 27 KB


The Action List from the last meeting was noted. 


An update was provided that an annual performance report from Registrar service will be scheduled for later in the year.


Strong Communities Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 294 KB


The Forward Work Programme was updated as follows


11th July 2019:

It was estimated that the meeting would be longer to give sufficient time to adequately scrutinise four items to include:

·         Apprentice, Graduate and Intern strategy

·         Modern Day Slavery Protocol

·         Corporate Plan and Annual Report

·         Revenue and Capital Outturn Report


Special meeting in September to be arranged:

·         Road safety and traffic strategy (Reports were requested well in advance of the meeting to facilitate thorough scrutiny)


26th September 2019:

·         Rights of way improvement plan

·         Budget monitoring


Special meeting October:

·         Litter Strategy – invite Crucorney Environmental Group

·         Waste Collections Policy


Suggestion for a Members’ Seminar:

·         Civil Enforcement


Cabinet & Council forward work programme pdf icon PDF 440 KB


The Council and Cabinet Forward Planner was noted.


Regarding burials and cremations, it was confirmed that a working party of Councillors is working on a report.


Date and time of next meeting


11th July 2019 at 10.00am (pre-meeting at 9.30am).