Cardiff Council Update: 11th September

Welcome to the last update of the week from Cardiff Council, covering: Coronavirus regulations; an update on COVID-19 cases affecting schools; the council's £39m COVID-lockdown bill and £25m budget gap for next year; Welsh Government approves council's Fairwater education campus proposals; Dumballs Road regeneration; and the annual Social Services report.


Coronavirus regulations

From Monday 14 September, all residents in Wales over the age of 11, will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces, such as shops. There will be exemptions and exceptions, which will be set out in guidance.

For the time being the requirement to wear a face covering will not extend to pubs and restaurants,

From Monday 14 September, there will also be a maximum limit of six on the number of people who can meet indoors at any one time. They must be from the same exclusive household group - or bubble - which can be made from four households joining together. Children under 11 will not be included in this rule of six.

This limit will apply to indoor settings, including pubs and restaurants. People should only go to pubs and restaurants with members of their own household or extended household.

There will be exceptions and exemptions, including for a single household with more than six members. There are currently no changes to the rules for meeting outdoors but it is important that social distancing is maintained at all times.

Do your bit to help us slow the spread of infection.



Update on COVID-19 cases affecting schools

Five Year 5 pupils from Bryn Deri Primary School have been advised by Public Health Wales to self-isolate for 14 days after they were identified as close contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case, whilst in a social setting outside of school.  

The safety and welfare of all pupils is priority and schools will continue to follow guidance provided by Public Health Wales in order to reduce the possible spread of the virus to pupils, staff, family, friends and the wider community. Enhanced cleans will be carried out on areas of the schools used by the pupils.

Schools will continue to support any pupil who is required to self-isolate and appropriate online learning provision and regular communication from staff will be provided until they are able to return.


Cardiff Council's £39m COVID-lockdown bill and £25m budget gap for next year

Dealing with COVID-19 has cost Cardiff Council £39m in the first four months of the financial year.

The huge costs are revealed in a report to the Council's Cabinet which will also hear projections for next year's budget, which could see the council having to find ways to bridge a £25.5m budget gap in 2021/22 in order to balance the books.

The £39m cost of COVID-19 is made up of both expenditure and lost income. The council has spent £26m on services related to tackling the effects of the virus and a further £13m has been lost in income.

A breakdown of the estimated £26m cost to the council of responding to the pandemic includes but is not limited to:

  • £6.3m on adult social care;
  • £5.2m spent on personal protective equipment (PPE);
  • £3.3m on providing free school meals to around 12,000 pupils daily
  • £1.9m on housing to support the homeless during the pandemic.
  • £1.6m on bereavement services - (enabling the procurement of a temporary morgue facility);

The council has also revealed the £13m lost in income caused by the pandemic over the same period.

This includes but is not limited to:

  • £3.5m lost in parking fees, parking penalties and Moving Traffic Offences (MTOs);
  • £2.7m lost from cultural services;
  • £1.75m lost from school catering.

Cabinet member for Finance, Modernisation and Performance, Cllr Chris Weaver, said: "Cardiff Council has reacted quickly to the crisis, changing the way we work, putting clear focus on maintaining essential services which deliver for our most vulnerable residents. Welsh Government has also stepped up to the plate and is helping to cover these huge costs to the council. If Welsh Government didn't step in I'd hate to think of the financial black hole we could be facing now.

"As it stands we have so far applied to Welsh Government to reimburse us for around £21.4m of expenditure, which is what we spent up to the end of June, and they have agreed to give us £19.6m of that. We will be applying for all other spend and lost income to be covered too as we look to tackle the virus and to do what we can to keep people safe and save jobs.

"We estimate that if Welsh Government doesn't continue to help the council then a further £34m in lost income and expenses could be generated by year end. It's vital they continue to back local authorities with the money which can help them survive this crisis."

While Cabinet will consider the ongoing cost of dealing with COVID-19 when it meets on Thursday, September 17, it will also receive a report into the Council's financial projections for next year.

The report will reveal an expected budget gap of £25.5m. Money which will have to be found if the council is to balance the books.

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Welsh Government approval of proposals associated with a new education campus in Fairwater

Cardiff Council's Cabinet will note that the Welsh Minister for Education has approved proposals relating to proposals for the redevelopment of Cantonian High School, Riverbank Special School and Woodlands High School when it meets on Thursday 17, September 2020.

In June 2019Cardiff Council's Cabinet noted consultation responses on the redevelopment of Cantonian High School, Riverbank Special School and Woodlands High School and agreed to proceed to the statutory notice stage for the following proposals:

  • Replace the Cantonian High School buildings with new build accommodation on the same site expanding the school from six forms of entry (6FE) to eight forms of entry (8FE) with sixth form provision for up to 250 pupils;
  • Expand the Specialist Resource Base (SRB) for learners with an Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC), hosted at Cantonian High School from 20 to 30 places in purpose built accommodation in the new school buildings;
  • Relocate Woodlands Special School to the Doyle Avenue site from its current site adjacent to Trelai Park and increase the capacity from 140 places to 240 places in new build accommodation;
  • Relocate Riverbank Special School to the Doyle Avenue site from its current site adjacent to Trelai Park, and increase the capacity from 70 to 112 places in new build accommodation.

Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council, and Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry, said: "As part of the Band B 21st Century Schools Programme, the need for additional secondary school places and Additional Learning Needs (ALN) places for children with complex learning needs has been identified."

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Dumballs Road regeneration scheme takes another step forward

The redevelopment of a large strategic brownfield city centre site, which would see more than 2,000 new homes built in the heart of Cardiff, is set to take a major step forward this month.

The Dumballs Road regeneration scheme aims to deliver over 2,000 residential properties alongside commercial and retail space on a 40-acre site in Butetown which strengthens connections between the city centre and the bay along the banks of the river Taff.

Cardiff Council's Cabinet will decide whether to sell 8.5 acres of land off Dumballs Road to the developer - Vastint - in a land deal which would enable the full vision for the development to be delivered.

Cllr Russell Goodway, Cabinet Member for Investment and Development said: "This scheme is a significant investment in the city which will not only provide affordable housing, but a long-awaited connection between the city centre and Cardiff Bay.

"Given its industrial past, the land has proven difficult and expensive to develop. This, along with complex land-ownership issues, has led to a number of failed attempts at redevelopment. The land has remained undeveloped and partially derelict for the last 30 years. The Council decided to get involved, and working alongside the private sector has been able to deliver much needed investment that will deliver homes, jobs and a new vibrant community in an area that's been run down for far too long.This is a real breakthrough and will deliver a quality scheme in the heart of the city. "

As the Council has agreed to sell the land in advance of planning, a contract has been agreed with the developer to guarantee a minimum level of affordable housing contribution. The Council has also secured the option to acquire up to an additional 100 Council homes in a package deal.

Vastint has a track record of delivering high quality developments on difficult urban sites across Europe, including current large-scale mixed use schemes at Aire Park in Leeds and Sugar House Island in London. The company is an investor and developer that retains most of the buildings they build as long-term investments. This means they also stay involved in the schemes long after completion to manage the properties they build and take care to retain their tenants and occupiers.

Cllr Lynda Thorne, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, said: "The Council remains committed to delivering1,000 council homes by 2022 with an additional 1,000 programmed to be built in the following years, with a clear delivery schedule. The redevelopment of Dumballs Road will make a significant contribution towards this goal. The deal with Vastint will guarantee we take a major step forward in delivering more Council houses as part of atenancy neutral developmentsite in an area of high demand."

Read more here:


Cardiff Council's 2019/20 Annual Social Services Report is published

A report which outlines the performance evaluation, feedback and progress of Cardiff's Social Services will be received by the Council's Cabinet when it meets on Thursday 17, September 2020.

The 2019/20 Local Authority's Social Services Annual Report provides feedback on inspection and performance evaluation activity completed by Care Inspectorate Wales, reports on progress made in implementing recommendations from inspections and/or child and adult practice reviews and outlines Cardiff Council's forward work programme.

During a year which has seen all services impacted on by circumstances associated with COVID-19, the report highlights the positive work and achievements which have continued to be delivered before and throughout the global health crisis.

Cardiff Council's Cabinet Member for Social Care, Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Susan Elsmore said: "Social Care has been central to Cardiff's public services response to the pandemic. It's involved an immense effort on the part of the entire social care sector, and services and individuals from across the Council to support the most vulnerable children and adults. It has been truly humbling and a privilege to be part of." 

In adult services, the report highlights the range of new schemes and services which have been successfully delivered including:

  • The launch of the new Carer's Gateway which provides a single point for information, advice and assistance for adult carers in the region
  • New day services for people with dementia was opened in Fairwater, complimenting the services already being delivered in the Ely area of the city
  • Ty Canna has continued to develop outreach services for people with mental ill health, including a new service for young people transitioning to adult services 
  • The ‘pink army' and the new integrated single point of access for hospital discharge have worked in partnership with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board to support more people to be discharged from hospital in a timely way. 

In addition, the Council's day opportunities for people with learning disabilities have been evaluated by independent experts as innovative and pioneering in the way they support people to be independent and live fulfilled lives in the community.

In Children's Services significant new service developments have been delivered over the last year including the launch of the Cardiff Family Advice Service, providing one point of contact for children, young people and their families where they can be signposted to arange of information, advice and assistance as well as the launch of the YMCA Young Carers Service which provided much needed support for young carers during lockdown.

Cabinet Member for Children and Families, Cllr Graham Hinchey said: "Working with and alongside people experiencing illness, disability, extreme stress and challenges, to support positive change and quality of life is a huge privilege. 

"Listening to the individual stories of people who have experienced our services is so important in celebrating and building on what we do well, and being open to improvements when they are needed. The services we provide are important not just because they are the culmination of so much work, but because of the impact they have on the lives of people with care and support needs."

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