Agenda and minutes

National Park Authority - Tuesday, 12th February, 2019 12.30 pm

Venue: Conference Room, Plas y Ffynnon, Cambrian Way, Brecon LD3 7HP. View directions

Contact: Julia Gruffydd or Angharad Hawkes  01874624337


No. Item



To receive and consider the attached Schedule of Correspondence and any recommendations thereon (below).

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Apologies were noted.



Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest from Members relating to items on the agenda.  Members’ attention is drawn to the sheet attached to the attendance sheet and the need to record their declarations verbally and in writing, specifying the nature of the interest.


If Members have declared an interest in an item please ensure that you inform the Chair when you are leaving the room, so that this can be recorded in the minutes.


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Cllr G Thomas declared a personal interest in item 14 as he had had correspondence with officers on the problems in the Waterfalls area on behalf of residents.




Minutes pdf icon PDF 89 KB

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Some typographical errors were highlighted and would be corrected before publication.


RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the National Park Authority held on 14 December 2018 be approved and the Chair authorised to sign them as a correct record.




Public Speaking

To give opportunity for members of the public to address the meeting in accordance with the Authority’s Public Speaking Scheme.


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The Chair advised that there were no requests to speak but highlighted the opportunity for the public to apply to speak on any item on the agenda, through the Authority’s public speaking scheme.




Chairman's Announcements

To receive a verbal report on meetings and events attended by the Chairman since the last meeting of the Authority.


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The Chair reported on his recent meeting with local businesses which had led to some constructive discussion and a number of actions.


He advised that he had hoped to bring the revised Planning Protocol to this meeting, which would include a review of planning site visit procedures, but a number of issues were still being resolved, and it would come to the next Authority meeting in March.


In response to a question about whether the Authority actively sought sponsorship the Chair and Chief Executive made reference to National Parks Partnership which had resulted in Columbia providing work clothing for all UK National Park Wardens, with further sponsorship deals pending.




Chief Executive's Announcements

To receive a report from the Chief Executive on meetings attended and progress made on Authority business since the last meeting of the Authority.


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The Chief Executive had circulated his announcements to members.  In response to a question about the opportunities of the status of the Cambrian Mountains he said that National Parks Wales would need to discuss this.


A member asked why some Parks had not signed up to the idea of a national charity and the Chief Executive said that some Parks had their own charitable foundations.  A comment was made about the importance of forging relationships with appropriate sponsors.  The Chief Executive advised that the due diligence process followed by National Parks Partnership was a rigorous one.


Cllr K Laurie-Parry joined the meeting.




Approval of Draft Estimate 2019/2020 and issue of Levy on Constituent Local Authorities pdf icon PDF 75 KB

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Members considered the draft budget for 2019/20 and the two further years.  The Chair advised that an exempt paper later on the agenda would give members the opportunity to see the detail behind the figures.


The Chief Executive advised that the standstill budget for 2019/20, while better than anticipated, was still a cut in reality.  The unfunded pressures bid had not been forthcoming to date and he highlighted other factors such as the uncertainty over future pension contributions.  He and the Chair confirmed that they met regularly with the Minister and her officials to advise on the consequences of reduced funding.  The Deputy Chair reported that he had attended the Welsh Local Government Association meeting recently where it was acknowledged that settlements needed to be confirmed much earlier to facilitate budget setting, but he felt it was helpful that National Parks were now aligned with local government within the Assembly.  Members welcomed the fact that lobbying was taking place but reference was also made to the austerity situation in the UK


A member had discussed with the Finance Manager the possibility of aligning budget lines to the key work areas for transparency and clarity.  The Finance Manager outlined two pieces of work: to align reporting to priorities and also reduce core costs, which would need difficult decisions.





a)  To note the budget forecast for 2020/21 and 2021/22 and work scheduled to address the associated challenges;


b)  To approve the draft Estimate for 2019/20;


c) To authorise officers to issue the Levy Notice to     constituent Authorities for the year in accordance with the Calculation of Levy Requirement attached to the report.




Corporate Plan 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 33 KB

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Members considered the draft Corporate Plan.  A member felt it was a huge improvement on the earlier draft which had been presented to Policy Forum.  However he also highlighted some omissions such as Brexit, climate change, sustainable transport, renewable energy and recycling and officers acknowledged that while some of these were headlined, they needed to be contextualised and some actions linked. 


There was also a comment that there seemed to be no sense of direction with years 1-3 indicators not linking to the ten year strategic indicators and one member felt that there was a lack of vision, with many lists of actions.  A ‘plan of plans’ was still needed.


A member commented that there should be more in the report about using resources more efficiently, under each key work area, by doing things differently, through partners or with volunteers.  She also noted that there was no mention of fundraising. One member wanted to see projects achieved in one year rather than being spread across several years.


The Chair concluded that the forthcoming Communications Strategy would start to bring these issues together.  He stressed that any member could attend any of the Key Work Area meetings even if they weren’t champions.


RESOLVED:  To approve the Corporate Plan for 2019/20




IT User Policy revision pdf icon PDF 33 KB

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Members reviewed the updated policy which was cross referenced to a suite of eight policies and which would provide clarity to staff about their rights to privacy and the Authority ‘s rights to information held on its systems.


A member commented on the length of time it has taken to review this policy, given the rapid changes in IT.  He also highlighted the situation for staff and members about personal information being subject to Freedom of Information requests if held on Authority devices or on personal devices used for Authority work.


RESOLVED:  To Approve the revised IT User Policy




Data Protection Policy pdf icon PDF 29 KB

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Members considered a new policy which met the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation. Asked what he considered to be the biggest risk the officer responded that the reputational risks that resulted from a breach were considerable but he was confident that the level of member and officer training was good, although there was no room for complacency.


RESOLVED:  To approve the Data Protection Policy




Sustainable Development Fund Committee: Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 30 KB

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Members considered revised terms of reference for the Sustainable Development Fund and Grants Advisory Panel terms of reference which aimed to provide greater clarity for the public and for applicants.  The Chair of SDF drew attention to standardising the terms of office for GAP panel members.  A member suggested that the use of the word ‘co-create’ be added to the remit and also encouraged further promotion of the fund to ensure all funds were spent.  The Chief Executive confirmed that officers did co-create with applicants in practice but he and the Chair of SDF were supportive of the change.  The Chair of SDF suggested that the Policy Forum should give focus to the type of applications to be encouraged and approved.


The Democratic Services Manager asked members to consider adding clarification to the terms of reference in terms of a quorum, as this had recently been an issue.  It would also be helpful if members of the committee could alert the Chair or officers if they were likely to declare an interest in any applications so that a quorum could be confirmed.  She suggested that the quorum used for the Authority and its committees (with the exception of Planning, Access and Rights of Way Committee) be adopted.


RESOLVED:  To approve the revised terms of Reference for the SDF Committee and Grants Advisory Panel subject to the addition of wording confirmed the quorum for the SDF Committee to be one third with at least one local government appointed and one Welsh Government appointed member present.




Amendment to Scheme of Delegation: landowner matters pdf icon PDF 33 KB

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Members welcome proposed changes to the Terms of Reference and Scheme of Delegationto enable Members to have an input into decisions made by the Authority, as landowner, on long term and permanent leases, licenses, easements and wayleaves on Authority owned land.  A member hoped that the changes would tie in with the recently updated Financial Regulations, and also that this model might be applied to other licences on Authority owned land.  The Chief Executive advised that delegation was already in place for shorter term and temporary agreements with third parties but he was happy to bring back any proposals on those where there was no delegation.


A member agreed that this was prudent but that this recommendation was predicated on the three members not on Planning, Access and Rights of Way Committee agreeing to perform this role.


Cllr Tony Rogers left the meeting.


RESOLVED:  To agree the proposed amendments to the Part VI of the Scheme of Delegation as set out in Enclosure 1 to the report.




Appointment of Independent Member of Standards Committee pdf icon PDF 41 KB

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The Democratic Services Manager and members paid tribute to the Chair of Standards Committee who was about to complete his term of office with the Authority.  This had created a vacancy and the Appointments Committee had reviewed the process which was set out in legislation, and had invited a member of the Brecon Beacons Park Society to be the required ‘lay person’ on the interview panel.


RESOLVED: To agree the recruitment process for an independent

member of Standards Committee as outlined in the report and recommended by the Appointments Committee.



Waterfall Country Car Parking Plan - Report on Consultation pdf icon PDF 55 KB

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Cllr G Thomas declared a personal interest and did not participate or vote on this item, although remained in the meeting.


The Sustainable Tourism Manager presented the consultation responses which had highlighted three issues:  public transport, capacity and the benefit for local communicates, reinforcing the view that the car parking issues was part of a broader picture which would require meetings with a wider range of partners to address.  Members were keen to continue this discussion in Policy Forum. If capacity allowed it would also be worth considering a Place Plan for the area.


A member felt that the member site visit had been an excellent event and had enabled them to speak to local people affected; he hoped that more events like this could be arranged.


Both the officer and members recognised the likelihood of the area growing in popularity and the danger of solving or creating capacity.  A member highlighted the potential for Penderyn to become a gateway to the Waterfalls Country and another put forward his vision for the area which would provide economic benefits.  The idea of extending the railway was also put forward.  These were ideas that could usefully be discussed in the Key Work Area Groups.


A member asked about an integrated impact assessment as an important stage in decision making and said that this should be part of any future plans.


RESOLVED:  To approve the draft Waterfalls Country Car Parking Plan and the conclusions laid out in Section 10 of the report, subject to the following:


a)   That the issues and aspirations of members discussed at this meeting be raised at a meeting with constituent authorities later in the week;

b)   That the Authority set up a Task and Finish Group to consider these in more detail, with input from constituent authorities, with the aim of bringing back proposals to the Authority.




Developing an inspirational public facing flagship site for the Authority pdf icon PDF 38 KB

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Members considered a proposal to establish a task and finish group to work with officers on one of the proposed corporate objectives in 2019/20.  This would start to define a programme for developing an inspirational public facing site to tell the National Park story.  A member suggested that this should be ‘stories’ rather than story.




a)  That the Authority sets up a task and finish group to work with officers in delivering the corporate objective outlined in the report;


b)  That the following members be appointed to the task and finish group:  Mr C Coppock, Mr I Rowat, Ms D Perkin, Cllr E Roderick, Mr G Ham, Mrs S Holden and Cllr J Hill;


c)  That the task and finish group reports back to the Authority in September 2019.


Cllr E Durrant left the meeting.




Consultation on addendum to Enabling Appropriate Development in the Countryside SPG pdf icon PDF 41 KB

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Members considered an addendum to Supplementary Planning Guidance which would fill a gap in the Authority’s policy framework and address the design and heritage of buildings in the Park. This was based on national guidance.


The Heritage Champion was supportive of this and thanked officers for the work that had gone into this.  In response to questions the Principal Planning Officer explained the consultation process, and also advised that traditional building methods were promoted to best suit the heritage of the building although there had not been consideration yet of sustainable materials.  This could be done when the Supplementary Planning Guidance itself was reviewed.  She assured members that no inappropriate applications had been permitted but some new applications required a lot of officer time to influence an acceptable final version.


The Chair asked how the consultation would be conducted to ensure adequate feedback and that all stakeholders would have a fair opportunity to consider and respond.  Officers advised of the process which would be used.


RESOLVED:  That the proposed addendum to the Enabling Appropriate Development in the Countryside Supplementary Planning Guidance is issued for public consultation for a period of 8 weeks.





Quarterly Update on Data and Information security risks pdf icon PDF 57 KB

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Members received an update on risks, trends and issues relating to cyber security in line with their request when the Data Security Policy was approved.




a)  that Members continue to remain on-guard with respect to cyber security;


b)  that Members contact IT support if they have any concerns or suspicions about cyber security matters;


c) that Members note the contents of the report.




Member Champion and Member Reports

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The Landscape and Biodiversity Champion gave a summary of a paper he had prepared for the Policy Forum regarding the condition of the upland areas of the Park.




Gifts & Hospitality

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The Chair reminded members to declare any gifts or hospitality they had received.




Access to Information

1.    RECOMMENDATION: to exclude the press and public from the meeting during consideration of item 21 in accordance with section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended, on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 12, 13 and 14 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.


2.    RECOMMENDATION: to exclude the press and public from the meeting during consideration of item 22 in accordance with section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended, on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 12, 13 and 14 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.







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The Chair advised that he had asked Mr Bracey, Chair of Standards Committee, to remain in the meeting for item 22 and proposed to take that item first.




a)  To exclude the press and public from the meeting during consideration of item 20 in accordance with section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended, on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 12, 13 and 14 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.


b)  To exclude the press and public from the meeting during consideration of item 22 in accordance with section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended, on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 12, 13 and 14 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.




Recruitment of Monitoring Officer



The Appointments Committee had recommended recruitment on the open market for the post of Monitoring Officer from 1 April 2019 and had prepared a revised job description and person specification.


The Chair of Standards Committee emphasised how important this role was to the smooth running of the Authority and how much work was done behind the scenes to ensure this.  Having an in-house officer facilitated a far greater knowledge of the organisation and culture. The Chair of the Authority endorsed these views.


The Authority’s legal advisor gave specific advice on recommendation e) as the current legislation required the Monitoring Officer to appoint a deputy.  She provided amended wording for members to consider.




a)  To ratify the decision taken under delegated powers to procure the services of Geldards Law Firm to provide legal advice in Authority meetings from 1 January 2019 to 31 March 2019;


b) To agree to recommend the amalgamation of the Monitoring Officer role and the current Service Level Agreement with Powys County Council for governance advice in order to fund additional hours of an in-house Monitoring Officer;


c) To approve the job description and person specification for the Monitoring Officer;


d) To agree the recruitment process, to include advertisement and dates for the interview process as recommended by the Appointments Committee;


e) To agree to extend the appointment of the Chief Executive as Monitoring Officer if a Monitoring Officer is not in post by 31 March 2019 and to recommend to the Monitoring Officer when appointed that he or she nominates a person to act as his or her deputy.




Confidential: Detailed budget strategy and proposals


The Chief Executive presented a paper with details of the savings effected in order to produce a balanced budget for 2019/20 and those which would need to be implemented in years two and three.  Members had a detailed discussion on these and asked for clarity on some issues.




a)  To approve the detailed proposals which achieve a balanced budget for 2019/20;


b)  To approve the programme of work proposed to address the budget challenges for 2020/21 and 2021/22.




Any Other Business

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The Chair reminded members of the chairs and champions session on 15 February and urged them all to attend.  The input from more experienced members would also be welcome.