Agenda and minutes

National Park Authority - Friday, 26th June, 2020 10.00 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

39/20

Correspondence

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed all to the second remote meeting of the Authority.  He advised that the public could watch this live via a link from the website.

 

No apologies for absence were received but Mr Edwards advised he would need to leave at 11am for another meeting, but would rejoin after that.

40/20

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:

Cllr G Thomas declared a personal interest in a report on Penderyn Quarry in the Chief Executive’s announcements, in relation to his role as local member and his ongoing involvement in the site.  The Monitoring Officer confirmed that this was not a decision item.

41/20

Minutes pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A member had advised of minor inaccuracies which would be amended before the minutes were published.

 

RESOLVED:  To approve the minutes of the NPA held on 26 May 2020 as amended and authorise the Chair to sign them as a true record;

 

42/20

Public Speaking

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no requests to speak.

43/20

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 reported that he had been working closely with the Chief Executive and the Welsh Government.

44/20

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.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Executive had circulated his report.

 

A member asked that the remit for a forthcoming meeting with Natural Resources Wales be broadened to include pollution and the impact on Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) in the Park.

 

In response to a question the Chief Executive advised that his announcements were not part of the agenda but an update for members on meetings he had attended; he asked members to liaise directly with officers if they had further questions.

 

Several members asked about the progress with the Change Programme and the need to make a start on reappraisal and engagement, to include recruitment to the Management Team, with the aim of this being in operation by December.  The Chief Executive responded that as the work on COVID-19 reduced he would be able to complete his report to members in the next two weeks.  A member stated that the Chief Executive could not have it both ways, ie it is easy to reduce the spend on the Sustainable Development Fund but a lot less easy to carry out much more difficult, and human, aspects of the Change Programme.  The member argued that SDF funding should only have been reduced in tandem with action on other fronts, but that was a discussion for another day.

45/20

Corporate Plan 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 31 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered the final draft of the Corporate Plan which had benefited from the input they had made at Policy Forum on 19 June.  A member commented that the reference to the Change Programme was still a little vague and that the indicator should be the conclusion of the changes.  The Chief Executive agreed that a completion date would be helpful for all concerned but a member disagreed and said that ways of working were still being discussed and a change in culture and leadership style would take time.

 

Reference was made to the historic landscape ambitions and the potential challenges of delivering that in the current year, given the impact of COVID-19.  There would be reliance on others to help in this delivery. A member felt that further discussion on the definition of historic environment was needed and it was agreed that this should be considered by the Policy Forum.  The review of national positions on heritage by Cadw and others was considered to be timely in this respect

 

The references to working with a wider range of local businesses was welcomed, as was the focus on young people.

 

In response to a question the officer advised that work on the 2021/22 Corporate Plan would commence in the autumn once the retrospective Annual Report had been completed.  The process had differed this year due to the review of the National Park Management Plan.  The Chief Executive added that the routinely last minute notice of funding from Welsh Government was also a challenge.

 

A member highlighted the importance of working with partners who were aware of the culture of the area rather than external bodies who were less empathetic.

 

RESOLVED:  That Members approve the Corporate Plan for 2020/21.

46/20

Amendment to Terms of Reference of Audit and Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 34 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr E Roderick declared a personal interest in this item given his own membership of the committee.

 

Members considered a proposal to change the composition of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee to regularise an appointment made at the last Authority meeting and reflect the reduction in size of the Authority.

 

Some members considered that the composition needed further thought through and that the Governance and Member Development Working Group should be asked to look at this, exploring best practice elsewhere.  Others felt that this was a minor bureaucratic point and should be progressed. 

 

 

RESOLVED: 

 

a)    That the Governance and Member Development Working Group be asked to review the composition of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee;

 

b) That Cllr Edwin Roderick be removed as a member of Audit and Scrutiny Committee pending further recommendations on the composition of the committee.  

 

 

47/20

Amendments to Appointments Committee pdf icon PDF 36 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a proposal to widen the remit of the Appointments Committee to include design and oversight of a performance review process for the Chief Executive.  The Chief Executive advised that he was fully supportive of this.

 

A member asked for the word ‘appraisal’ to be added into the remit, to read ‘performance appraisal framework’.

 

A member welcomed the proposal and its alignment to JNC procedures.  A view was expressed that the composition of the committee should include the chairs of the Policy Forum and the Governance and Member Development Working Group as the existing remit did not reflect the Authority as it currently operated.  One member felt that those members with appropriate professional skills should be on the Appointments Committee and a suggestion was made that the composition of the committee be discussed by the Governance and Member Development Working Group.

 

The Chair of the Policy Forum declared a personal interest although the Monitoring Officer advised that the Authority was not making a decision on the composition today.

 

RESOLVED:

 

a)     To approve additions to the terms of reference of the Appointments Committee in respect of an appraisal process for the Chief Executive as outlined in the report, subject to the word ‘appraisal’ being added;

 

b)     That the Governance and Member Development Working Group be asked to consider the composition of the Appointments Committee.

48/20

Establishment of an Accommodation Working Group pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr J Evans declared a personal interest in light of his cabinet responsibility on Powys County Council and the potential for conflict of interest on future sites for the Authority.

 

Members considered a proposal to formalise the remit of the Accommodation Working Group to include two current workstreams.

 

Comments were made that the absence of a planning representative on the group was appropriate given that they may be involved in future planning applications, but also that given the potential discussions on funding there should be a finance officer on the group.  The Chief Executive advised that planning advice would be sought at the appropriate stage, and that the financial aspect would be discussed at the Governance and Member Development Working Group on 3 July as part of proposals to establish a projects board.  He said that the Scheme of Delegation applied regardless of the level of the working group/committee.

 

Comments were made that there were too many officers on the group but was advised that officers would attend according to the business of the meeting and the expertise required.  This needed to be made clearer in the composition.

 

Asked about advice on design matters the Chief Executive confirmed that this expertise would need to be bought in.

 

RESOLVED:  To establish the Accommodation Working Group and agree terms of reference as outlined in the report and subject to clarity on the composition.

49/20

Welsh Language Standards Compliance Report pdf icon PDF 39 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr A Edwards rejoined the meeting during this item.

 

The Welsh Language Officer represented a report on the Authority’s compliance with the Welsh Language Standards and set this in the context of other Welsh language workstreams.

 

The Welsh Language Champion acknowledged the work that had gone into compliance and highlighted the importance of staff and members being able to speak some Welsh and understand the culture and history.

 

A member noted the standards in relation to meetings but asked about the role of members. The Democratic Services Manager responded that the Authority had agreed standards on its internal meetings with the Welsh Language Commission and asked members on appointment which would be their preferred language.  She had also worked with the Welsh Government to make one of the two recent member appointments Welsh essential. 

 

A member referred to the work of the Welsh Language Working Group but said that in reality the post of Welsh Language Officer should be full time.  While he was happy to speak in English in meetings he asked for respect for the Welsh language.

 

In response to a question about Welsh speakers viewing the webcasts, officers advised that providing simultaneous translation would require significant resources, both financial and staffing.  The Welsh Language Standards did not require this as a matter of course for Authority meetings but the Authority would provide translation if a member of the public wished to address the meeting in Welsh.  It was agreed that the Welsh Language Working Group would discuss these matters.

 

A member appreciated the support given to the Welsh language which he felt should be reasonable, proportionate and fitted with stakeholder engagement.

 

It was suggested that these issues be considered in the 2021/22 Corporate Plan.  A number of members expressed interest in the online learning modules.

 

RESOLVED:

 

a)    To ratify the annual compliance report before it is published on the Authority’s website.

 

b) To recognise the work which has, and is being undertaken by Officers in relation to the Welsh Language Standards with which the Authority is legally bound to comply.

 

c) To note the accomplishments highlighted at the top of the Compliance Report and the fact that both a Promotion Strategy and Welsh in the Workplace are currently being drafted.

50/20

Member Reports

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr J Evans drew members’ attention to the Shop Local Campaign currently being run by Powys County Council, which encouraged people to shop locally in recognition of shops which had supported local communities during the COVID-19 lockdown.

51/20

Gifts & Hospitality

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No declarations were made.

52/20

Access to Information

RECOMMENDATION: to exclude the press and public from the meeting during consideration of item 13 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 17 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 14 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 17 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.

53/20

Update June 2020 on Foel Deg Boundary Management

Minutes:

Members received an update on the Foel Deg Boundary issue.  It was noted Cooke and Arkwright had prepared a report on asset liability which would need to be reviewed by Audit and Scrutiny Committee.

54/20

Any Other Business

Additional documents: