Agenda and minutes

Performance and Overview Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 30th January, 2024 10.00 am

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


No. Item


Declarations of Interest


The Chair declared a non-prejudicial interest as chair of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee for the Education Achievement Service. 


Public Open Forum

Scrutiny Committee Public Open Forum ~ Guidance



Our Scrutiny Committee meetings are live streamed and a link to the live stream will be available on the meeting page of the Monmouthshire County Council website



If you would like to share your thoughts on any proposals being discussed by Scrutiny Committees, you can submit your representation in advance via this form

·     Please share your views by uploading a video or audio file (maximum of 4 minutes) or;

·     Please submit a written representation (via Microsoft Word, maximum of 500 words)


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My Monmouthshire account in order to submit the representation or use your log in, if you have registered previously.


The deadline for submitting representations to the Council is 5pm three clear working days in advance of the meeting. 


If representations received exceed 30 minutes, a selection of these based on theme will be shared at the Scrutiny Committee meeting.  All representations received will be made available to councillors prior to the meeting.

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The amount of time afforded to each member of the public to speak is at the chair’s discretion, but to enable us to accommodate multiple speakers, we ask that contributions be no longer than 3 minutes. 

If you would like to suggest future topics for scrutiny by one of our Scrutiny Committees, please do so by emailing







Scrutiny of the Budget Proposals pdf icon PDF 127 KB

Additional documents:


Cabinet Member Ben Callard delivered a presentation, introduced the report and answered the members’ questions with Peter Davies, Cabinet Member Ian Chandler, Jane Rodgers, Tyrone Stokes, Frances O’Brien, Will Mclean, Ian Saunders, Jonathan Davies and Matthew Gatehouse. 


Key Questions from Members: 


·            What are the connotations of using £2.8m of capital receipts to cover revenue costs? 

·            Howhave the Welsh Government settlement and the uncertain nature of grants been factored into the proposals? 

·            Business rate relief reduction is very important for town centres: will we have less footfall and reduced income if there are fewer businesses? How is that addressed in the budget? 

·            Does£2.8m of capital receipts being used mean there will be a shortfall in the capital budget, and we have less expenditure for which that capital would otherwise be or will it increase our borrowing? 

·            Regarding the shortfall from the Welsh average settlement, a difference of 0.8% equates to around £600k? 

·            For clarity, anything coming out of an award to England would flow naturally into a split across all authorities, and wouldn’t require lobbying? 

·            Is the plan to reduce borrowing costs by £1.8m compatible with taking out capital receipts? 

·            Savings being asked of the Social Care Directorate are a concern –how they are expected to do more with less? 

·            Will there be costs associated with making transitional changes? 

·            There are concerns about the assumption that the cap on non-residential care in the community will be lifted. What is the potential impact if the £570k savings are not realised? 

·            What will be the impact of the social services workforce grant and realignment of vacancies on the frontline workforce? 

·            Social Care: how does our meeting statutory requirements marry with there being 853 hours of unmet need? What effect will these savings have on those hours of unmet need? 

·            For complete clarity, there is no assessed need not met for any individual, it’s sometimes delayed 853hours, and therefore we’re meeting our statutory obligations? 

·            What reassurance can be given about savings when the most recent indication showed an increase in the forecast overspend from the previous month? 

·            Under 5.8, waste collections remain the same but given that there are fortnightly black bag collections, have we examined the case for fortnightly collections for the other bags? 

·            Slide 3 of the presentation, is the difference between the figures for the cost pressures a rounding error? 

·            Regarding the reduction in Gwent Music funding, have the implications been considered given the strong correlation between learning music and learning in other subjects? 

·            Could Gwent music be helped in other ways, such as a reduction in hiring rooms in schools? 

·            Museums and Tintern Station one-day closure – will that lead to confusion to visitors? Will it be monitored in some way? 

·            Opening on bank holidays – what about school holidays e.g. the Easter and summer holiday?  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Community & Corporate Plan Q2 Update pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To scrutinise the Council's performance against the Community & Corporate Plan.


Leader Mary Ann Brocklesby introduced the report and answered the members’ questions with Will Mclean and Matthew Gatehouse. 


Key Questions from Members: 


·            Are more pupils from deprived families being encouraged to take up universal free school meals? the council subsidising families with better incomes? 

·            How do we prioritise the needs of those children not in school? What support is being provided to children who have dropped out of formal education due to anxiety and mental ill health? Do we have a comprehensive suite of datasets for those pupils before dropping out of formal education setting? 

·            For clarity, the report identifies the latest position of secondary schools is 1 in not attending? For FSM pupils it’s1 in 5? 

·            The committee would like to remind pupils, parents and guardians that the best place for children is at school. 

·            Other than food schemes and community fridges what else is being done to tackle inequalities in our communities?Are you expecting the budget proposals to exacerbate inequalities? 

·            Are we signposting residents to services or resources to help them back into work? 

·            What is being done to help homeless people to live independently e.g. return to education or employment? 

·            Is it correct that children from age 5-11 are being given the same sized portions at lunch, are not allowed seconds if they are still hungry, but at the end of lunch leftovers are thrown away? 

·            There are concerns about theimpact of placemaking plans on small businesses in Monmouth, particularly in relation to active travel routes, parking costs, and lower footfall. How does the council plan to address these issues?– ACTION (written response about plans to address concerns in Monmouth) 

·            Isolation in rural areas, and the stress and poverty faced by rural dwellers, particularly in relation to increased costs and poor incomes, is a big concern.Can we see something in the Community & Corporate Plan to help to reach these people? 

·            How does MCC compare to other authorities across Wales in terms of reporting outcomes and budget impacts? 

·            Some pupils are not choosing to have school meals does that mean they aren’t having anything? Do we know what they’re having, and should we enlist supervisors? 

·            When will the completed VAWDASV strategy be shared with members, and how? 

·            With reference to active travel funds for quick and effective changes, how easy is it to get small projects done such as pavement repairs and dropped curbs? 

·            How far are we able to influence Aneurin Bevan Health Board on partnership issues? 

·            Is any work being done with schools to make them more sustainable, e.g. installing solar panels, them on their energy costs? 

·            Regarding the Benthyg cafes, is there a risk of volunteer burnout? Will recruitment of secondary economy project officers come through the shared prosperity fund, how is that progressing, and how long will they be in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Performance and Overview Scrutiny Forward Work Programme and Action List pdf icon PDF 427 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Strong requested that a date be sought for scrutinising therecruitment and retention of Social Care workersACTION 


Members will be emailed with proposed changes to meeting dates in March and June. 



Cabinet and Council Work Planner pdf icon PDF 434 KB


To confirm the minutes of the meetings held on: pdf icon PDF 662 KB

·        22nd November 2023

·        15th January 2024 (Special)

Additional documents:


·        22nd November 2023 

·        15th January 2024 (Special) 


The minutes were confirmed, proposed by CouncillorStrong and seconded by Councillor Howells. 



Next Meeting: 20th February 2024