Agenda and minutes

Special, Strong Communities Select Committee - Tuesday, 21st May, 2019 2.00 pm

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

Contact: Democratic Services 

No. Item


Election of Chair


We noted the appointment of County Councillor L. Dymock as Chair.


Appointment of Vice Chair


We appointed County Councillor A. Webb as Vice-Chair.


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest raised by Members.


Public Protection 2018/19 Performance Report pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Additional documents:




To scrutinise service delivery across Public Protection services for the financial year 2018/19, with comparison to previous years. The Public Protection division comprises of Environmental Health, Trading Standards & Animal Health and Licensing.


Key Issues:


In January 2015 Cabinet requested that Public Protection performance be reviewed regularly by the Strong Communities Select Committee to assess any negative impacts. As a consequence, six monthly reports have been provided to the Select Committee, together with annual reports to the Licensing & Regulatory Committee. As per recommendation 2.2 of the report, it is suggested this becomes one annual report, noting services are largely compliant with regulatory expectations, and customer satisfaction levels are typically high.


Performance for the twelve month period of 2018/19 highlighted the following:


·         The four service teams, for the vast majority of the services they deliver, meet the Authority’s legal obligations in relation to Public Protection services.


·         Most proactive and reactive work is being carried out professionally within prescribed response times. There are only a few exceptions due to the reactive nature of most of the services.  These being: some slippage in proactive housing visits, private water inspections and animal health visits.


·         Annual reports will continue to be made to the Select Committee to assess performance over time and help inform future priorities noting the competing demands.


·         Services may struggle to take on any new statutory duties that protect the public and the environment, and therefore funding must be sought to support any new work.


·         Future strategies for sustaining Public Protection services will be developed (to include further income generation and collaboration) locally, regionally and nationally.


·         Services will improve linkages to the Authority’s Corporate Business Plan 2017/22 and other key drivers, for example, the Chief Medical Officer Wales’ priorities.


Member Scrutiny:


·         With regard to dog fouling, the Authority currently has four civil enforcement officers. However, it is intended to increase this number up to eight. These officers’ duties will also include traffic enforcement and the authority to issue fixed penalty notices if they encounter dog fouling or litter offences.


·         Work has been undertaken with Network Rail regarding electrification of railway lines in the Chepstow area. It was noted that Network Rail is now emailing local Members regarding this matter.


·         With regard to houses of multiple occupation, the Authority is guided by the Housing, Health and Safety rating system. When a house is inspected, a risk assessment is undertaken. It is not a standard, as there are no housing standards anymore in the private rented sector. Therefore, the Authority has to decide what it can enforce in a court of law. The Planning Department does consult with the Environmental Health Department. Conversion of a house to multiple occupation does require Building Regulations approval.


·         With regard to communicable diseases, it was noted that measles is not a notifiable disease.  Therefore, the Authority is not under a statutory obligation to investigate this matter. However, Public Health Wales coordinates all vaccinations.


·         With regard to air quality, the Environmental Health Department is engaging with stakeholders with regard  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Pre-decision scrutiny of the Monmouthshire Local Toilet Strategy pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Additional documents:




To undertake pre-decision scrutiny of the draft Monmouthshire County Council Local Toilets Strategy.


Key Issues:


Part 8 of the Public Health (Wales) Act 2017 ‘Provision of Toilets’ came into force on 31st May 2018.  It places a duty on each local authority in Wales to prepare and publish a local toilet strategy for its area.


Local authorities in Wales now have the responsibility to:


·         Assess the need for toilet provision for their communities.

·         Plan to meet those needs.

·         Produce a local toilets strategy.

·         Review, update and publicise revisions to the strategy.


Local Authorities must prepare and publish their strategies by 31st May 2019. Due to the ten week consultation process, and Committee diaries, this Authority will be a few days late with the strategy going to an Individual Cabinet Member Decision on 12th June 2019. Welsh Government has been advised of the slight delay and is satisfied to accept. The duty to prepare a local toilets strategy does not require local authorities to provide and maintain public toilets directly. Indeed, further to the work of the ‘Public Convenience Working Group’ in 2009 (a sub-group of the Strong Communities Select Committee), most public toilet blocks were successfully transferred to Town and Community Councils to manage. It is for the County Council to take a strategic view on how publicly accessible toilets can be provided and accessed across the County.


A draft strategy has been prepared. This has incorporated:


·         Opinions expressed via a public survey that was undertaken between 19th December 2018 and 11th January 2019.


·         Comments made during the public consultation period that was undertaken between 22nd February and 3rd May 2019.


·         Comments from Gwent Police and Abergavenny Town Council’s own survey from the summer of 2018.


·         Two surveys of the 18 public toilet blocks, one by Members on 7th February 2019 and the other by the Property Services Department in April 2019.


The statutory guidance (August 2018) from Welsh Government has been followed in preparing the local strategy. One key undertaking was to ‘map out’ all existing publicly accessible toilets in the County. This comprehensive map, identifying locations and opening times, has been shared with Welsh Government to be provided on an all-Wales basis. The map will also be provided via Monmouthshire County Council’s website for open access.


The key actions identified are as follows:


·         Continue to work closely with Town & Community Councils on options for maintaining and improving public toilet provision in the County.


·         Work with partners on how to best utilise the £17,200 Welsh Government grant.


·         Work with the private sector to seek to provide more publicly available toilets that were most needed.


·         Display the national ‘toilet / toiled’ national logo in all participating toilet facilities, including leisure centres and libraries.


·         Improve awareness and information available on publicly accessible toilets by updating information on the Monmouthshire County Council website and Lle open access data held by Welsh Government, together with App development.


·         Regularly review cleaning and maintenance standards, together with Town and Community Councils that manage the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.