Agenda and minutes

National Park Authority - Tuesday, 29th October, 2019 11.30 am

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

Contact: Julia Gruffydd or Angharad Hawkes  01874624337

Media

Items
No. Item

110/19

Correspondence

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

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Minutes:

The Chair welcomed all to the meeting and apologised for the delay in starting, due to a longer than anticipated Planning, Access and Rights of Way Committee.

 

Apologies were noted and he reminded members to send their apologies to the relevant officer in advance of meetings.

111/19

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.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

All members present declared a personal interest in item 14 – Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales report.  The Monitoring Officer signed the declaration on behalf of all members.

 

Mr I Rowat and Mr E Evans declared a personal and prejudicial interest in item 9 – Composition of the Authority.  Mr Evan subsequently left the meeting before this item was addressed.  The Monitoring Officer advised that both members could declare a personal interest and remain in the meeting but both members opted to withdraw.

112/19

Minutes pdf icon PDF 78 KB

To approve the minutes of the National Park Authority held on 3rd September 2019 and authorise the Chair to sign them as a correct record.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 3 September 2019 be approved and the Chair authorised to sign them as a correct record.

113/19

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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Minutes:

There were no requests to speak.

114/19

Chairman's Announcements

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair advised that he had been involved in a lot of work behind the scenes but would be representing the Authority at the forthcoming Remembrance Day Service.  He and the Deputy Chair had attended a very positive meeting with the farming community to discuss Local Development Plan policies relating to agriculture.  He recorded his thanks to those farmers who attended, and to the officers who had arranged the meeting.

 

Cllr A Webb joined the meeting and confirmed she had no declarations of interest.

115/19

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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Minutes:

The Chief Executive had circulated his announcements.  He advised that members heard the RSPB recording of birdsong as they entered the meeting, in support of the its Let Nature Sing Campaign.

116/19

Access to Information

RECOMMENDATION: to exclude the press and public from the meeting during consideration of item 8 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, 14 and 15 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.

 

RECOMMENDATION: to exclude the press and public from the meeting during consideration of item 9 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.

 

RECOMMENDATION: to exclude the press and public from the meeting during consideration of item 9 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.

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: to exclude the press and public from the meeting during consideration of item 8 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, 14 and 15 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.

 

RESOLVED: to exclude the press and public from the meeting during consideration of item 9 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.

 

RESOLVED: to exclude the press and public from the meeting during consideration of item 10 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.

117/19

Future Priorities & Structure Proposals

Minutes:

Cllr M Colbran left the meeting shortly after the start of this item.

 

The Chief Executive and Delivery Director presented future priorities (three work programmes and nine focus areas) proposed as a framework for 2021-25.  They also presented restructure proposals and implications across Delivery, Corporate Services and Planning (including pools of roles at risk) for a 30-day staff consultation.

 

A member asked for the defined focus area ‘ Protecting Lowlands and Freshwater’ to be amended to ‘Enhancing’ which he felt removed the risk to fresh water.  Members also questioned the use of the word’ visitor in ‘Inspiring Visitor Outreach and Experiences’ and preferred the word ‘people’.  These points were noted by officers.

 

There was some discussion about the best way of progressing work with the farming community, which would be continued outside the meeting.

 

There was unanimous support from members for the restructure proposals, both the content and the way in which they had been presented.  They also hoped this would lead to a positive change in culture with the most effective use of skills across the organisation.

 

Mr E Evans expressed his support for the proposals but had to leave the meeting during the debate.

 

Members were unanimously of the opinion that the Chief Executive and Delivery Director be given delegated responsibility for final decisions and implementation of the restructuring proposals.

 

RESOLVED: 

 

a) To approve the future priorities (three work programmes and nine focus areas) proposed as a framework for the National Park Management Plan review for 2021-25 and future reporting;

 

b) To approve the restructure proposals and implications across Delivery, Corporate Services and Planning (including pools of roles at risk) for a 30-day staff consultation;

 

c) To delegate the Chief Executive and Delivery Director to proceed with the restructure proposals as set out in the report above and make final decisions, with a progress report to be made to the Authority in February 2020.

 

 

118/19

Composition of the National Park Authority

Minutes:

Mr I Rowat declared his personal and prejudicial interest in this item and withdrew from the meeting.

 

The Democratic Services Manager advised members of the options open to them regarding the reappointment and recruitment of Welsh Government appointed members on the Authority, subject to the Minister’s approval.  They noted the decision of one member not to stand for reappointment at the end of the first term of office, which created two vacancies following the resignation of Mr Ham.  Members appreciated the willingness of Welsh Government officials to enter into discussion on these matters in the best interest of the Authority.

 

They also noted that the Welsh Government had confirmed legislative space for reducing the number of members on the Authority to 18, and the need to recommend a ‘coming into force’ date to the Minister, to align with budget forecasts and appointment issues.

 

While opting for recruitment of new members the importance of succession planning, corporate memory and bringing new and necessary skills into the Authority was highlighted.

 

RESOLVED: 

 

a)    To agree a ‘coming into force date’ for the reduction of the Authority from 24 to 18 members of the 1st April 2020;

 

b) To ask the Welsh Government to recruit two new members through the Public Appointments process.

119/19

Review of New Governance Structures

Minutes:

Mr I Rowat rejoined the meeting.

 

Members noted the key issues arising from the review of the new governance structures.

 

RESOLVED: 

 

a)    To endorse the areas outlined in the report for further consideration by the Governance and Member Development Working Group with a view to bringing firm recommendations to the Authority in December;

 

b) To instruct officers to implement the operational changes suggested in the survey responses in order to improve efficiency, to be overseen by the Governance and Member Development Working Group.

120/19

Annual Report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 26 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The IT and Systems Manager presented the draft Annual Report for 2018/19 and apologised for the delay in this, due to staff resignation and capacity issues.  He reported that the members of Audit and Scrutiny Committee had had no further comments when they considered this on 25 October, apart from typographical errors which would be corrected before publication.

 

RESOLVED:  That members approve the annual report for publication, subject to any amendments they require and pending design work, with final sign off delegated to the CEO.

121/19

Review of the Local Resolution Protocol pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer presented the draft document which had been open to member/senior officer consultation and which would replace the current Local Resolution Protocol.  He read out a supporting statement from the Chair of Standards Committee. Members welcomed the document but hoped that any issues arising could be dealt with informally without redress to this process.

 

The officer was asked to add a review date to the document before publication and arrange a regular review every two years.

 

RESOLVED:

 

a)        to remove the current ‘Procedures for Dealing with Alleged Breaches of a Local Protocol’ and ‘Local  Resolution Protocol’ within the Authority’s constitution and adopt the revised ‘Local Resolution Protocol – Complaints against Members of the Authority under the Code of Conduct’;

 

b)     to authorise the Monitoring Officer to make any consequential changes to other documents within the Constitution to ensure editorial consistency with the new Protocol; and

 

c)     to delegate to the Monitoring Officer the ability to make changes at any time to the ‘Guidance’ sections of the Protocol in consultation with Chair of the Governance and Member Development Working Group.

 

d)     To review the Protocol every two years and advise members of any changes.

122/19

Pay Policy Statement pdf icon PDF 30 KB

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Minutes:

The Finance Manager presented the Pay Policy Statement which was an annual requirement for the Authority and related to the previous year.

 

RESOLVED:  That the Authority approves the Pay Policy Statement for Publication.

123/19

Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales Draft Report 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 94 KB

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Minutes:

Members noted the changes to allowances proposed by the Panel.  The Democratic Services Manager proposed that the Cost of Care Policy be approved in light of amended guidance from the Panel to ensure that any claims were dealt with equitably.

 

RESOLVED:

 

a)        To note the proposals made by the IRPW for increases and changes to the member allowance scheme for 2020/21 but not to send a corporate response;

 

b)     To approve the Cost of Care Policy as a framework for administering the Cost of Care Allowance.

124/19

Planning Protocol pdf icon PDF 36 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Planning and Heritage presented amendments to the protocol.

 

RESOLVED:  To approve the amendments to the Planning Protocol in relation to call in procedures.

 

 

125/19

Consultation Draft Llangattock Conservation Area Review pdf icon PDF 791 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Senior Built Heritage Officer presented the draft document.  Members welcomed this as an excellent report.  The presence of mature trees was highlighted as a strength rather than a weakness but the importance of successor generations of trees was emphasised.

 

The officer thanked members for their comments and advised that her colleague Lindsey Cuddy had provided the text for the document.

 

A member suggested that in future officers be delegated to approve consultation drafts in consultation with the appropriate Chair.  The Chief Executive advised that ad hoc changes to the Scheme of Delegation were not the most efficient way of improving efficiency and suggested that the Monitoring Officer bring a suite of changes at the appropriate time.

 

RESOLVED:  To approve the publication of the Llangattock Conservation Area Appraisal (Consultation draft) for the purposes of an 8 week public consultation

126/19

Member and Member Champion Reports

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Minutes:

The Chair referred to the thought provoking report on the recent National Parks UK Conference which had been published on Modern.gov.  He thanked Mr Coppock for this.

127/19

Gifts & Hospitality

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Minutes:

The Chair reminded members who had attended the NPUK Conference to declare items that they had been given.

 

No other declarations were made.

128/19

Any Other Business

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was no further business.