The Vale of Glamorgan Council HQ in Barry

The Vale of Glamorgan Council HQ in Barry

A new Wales Audit Office four-yearly report – delving into the way the Vale of Glamorgan Council runs itself –  has by-and-large given the council a clean bill of health – but in the detailed sections has also highlighted areas where it needs to pull its collective socks up .

The Wales Audit Office report on the Vale of Glamorgan Council contains some caveats within the fine print

The Wales Audit Office report on the Vale of Glamorgan Council has a front cover featuring Penarth Pier – and  some caveats within the fine print

In compiling the probing report the Wales Audit Office says it undertook a survey of “all 47 councillors”  and 45 senior managers” .

Involving “all 47″ councillors means that amongst those who have contributed their expertise to the survey would have been double-jobbing councillor/MP Chris Elmore and convicted councillor Rob Curtis (prior to his resignation last month).

The Audit Office says the survey results showed  that “a significant majority of respondents”  had told the Audit Office that they were “clear about what the council was trying to achieve” as were the majority of staff spoken to during the assessment. A breakdown of the actual figures is, however, is not included in the Wales Audit Office report.

Amongst the points made by the Wales Audit Office are the following:-

CONTRACT PROCUREMENT : Apart from staff salaries, a significant proportion of council-tax payers’ money is spent on buying goods and services from suppliers.

The Wales Audit Office report says  “In recent years, internal audit reviews have identified some system failures and weaknesses in implementation processes and have made recommendations that have enabled improvement. ” The report says that council has been “strengthening overall contract procurement and management arrangements” but that “While the process for identifying weaknesses in November 2014 worked effectively, and the corporate response in December 2015 has been strong, the service response to findings was slow in this case.”

SCRUTINY: The Vale Council’s internal committee system for checking the performance of its various departments [known as “scrutiny”]  did produce “evidence of members challenging and monitoring performance“. However some activity was limited because not  enough of staff  “scrutiny officers” were available .

On top of that, some councillors appear to be  wondering whether the whole ‘scrutiny’ process is  really worthwhileOn the so-called Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee, the Wales Audit Office says   28% of the members  expressed dissatisfaction with the way topics were selected, –  as well as questioning the value added by ‘scrutiny’ in terms of driving service improvement.”

SAVINGS :  Given how cash-strapped the Vale of Glamorgan Council claims to be, the report makes the surprising revelation that the so-called ‘cabinet’ of the council  [the five-strong junta of senior councillors which actually runs the authority] “only receives a whole-authority report on savings progress on a quarterly basis.”

The Wales Audit Office also found that the council’s internal Scrutiny Budget
Monitoring Reports “lack sufficient detail to enable members to constructively challenge and understand why specific savings cannot be achieved.” 

The Audit Office says the Vale Council should be providing councillors with “detailed information that enables them to identify the achievement and non-achievement
of specific savings” – but isn’t.

STAFF SICKNESS LEVELS :  The Wales Audit Office makes little mention in its report of a major issue within the council – the large and growing levels of staff “sickness”  – which is taken by many as a barometer of staff morale .

The Audit Office report says only  “Incidence of stress related sickness absence has increased and since September 2015 a clear plan of action has been put in place to drive levels down” .

There is no evaluation in the report of what the council-tax paying public thinks of the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s performance.



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  1. I think its time for a penarth independence movement.
    Iv had enough of being part of Wales. Wales is a horrible country and horrible people.
    Iv had enough of the language as swell. Independence for penarth or at least become a part of England.

    • Frank Evans says:

      I agree. But lower penarth only please, those from upper penarth can be such trolls 😀

  2. Christopher David says:

    Ha ha haahah harrr. Well I’m not quite as radical but do wish Penarth could have its own independent council again.

  3. Andrew Worsley says:

    I think that’s a bit of a sweeping statement Yesornodotcom but I will say I have never come across so many bigots in such a small place in all my life its unusual . I was told some time ago by a ‘local’ , “its just a ‘small town mentality” a sort of Hillbilly attitude against ‘strangers’. And I am aware that Penarth has the most Nationalistic pub in Wales at the bottom of Glebe St, if your English think twice before visiting! , the worst thing is it slap bang in the centre of town. Talk about ” We’ll Keep A Welcome” LOL , luckily the friendly people of Penarth have 3 other places to choose from close at hand.

  4. Christopher David says:

    Mr Worsley cmon you can’t have travelled. Who on earth are you mixing with in Penarth? I’m truly amazed at your comments! As an aside, do you mean the Albion? If so I’m even further amazed. Jeez the Alb is a left wing rockers old boys / galls pub! Or do you mean the Lion? Can’t speak for the modern that but I’ve never ever come across an anti English pub in Penarth.

  5. Andrew Worsley says:

    Christopher David work out your geography the Albion is not at the bottom of Glebe St. And what has travelling got to do with it? I was actually responding to the comments of Yesornodotcom and Frank Evans . Are you English at all ???if your Welsh no more needs to be said.

  6. Christopher David says:

    Geography! what’s geo got to do with it? I’m of mixed race which appears to have benefits. Maybe you mean the Fag which is Glebe despite it’s front door being Windsor. The Fag nationalistic!! Odd- I have e feeling you’ve just upset a few regulars with that attitude ha. Ps- if you post here you address everyone. Do try and just be British and you’ll get along just fine.

  7. Andrew Worsley says:

    Christopher David , geography is the study of maps and locations , here and around the world and being able to identify a chosen location , which you failed to do hence my reference to the subject . Nothing further really needs to be said ,but I will add the following , you couldn’t identify the location and now you find it odd that a certain location is classed as Nationalistic , I would call a pub festooned with the Welsh flag or flags (as their are quite a few on display usually) as being nationalistic , as no other place in the town is draped in Welsh flag/s id call that nationalistic. But as im only English what do I know eh ?????

  8. Christopher David says:

    noun: geography

    the study of the physical features of the earth and its atmosphere, and of human activity as it affects and is affected by these, including the distribution of populations and resources and political and economic activities.
    the nature and relative arrangement of places and physical features.
    plural noun: geographies
    Really- you have a propensity to oversimplify don’t you. Think I’ll have a cigar. Ps- I doubt your English. Yup- whatdayaknow.

    • Lindsay says:

      Christopher, “if you post on here you address everyone”, so it’s ok for me to comment on your spat with Andrew. Do you really think your pugnacious contributions and insistence on the last word are edifying? It really has become a dreadful bore. Just sit back, enjoy the sunshine in your adopted land, quaff your £1.70 plonk and leave we Penarthians in peace. Go on, prove me wrong, desist from the expected stream of abuse.

    • Christopher David says:

      Naw Mr Torrie- I’m lazy when dealing with the insignificant, my secretary tidies up the important stuff. and in any-case figures works far better for me- well sitting here in 36c it appears so ha. I do know you’re jealous 🙂

  9. Christopher David says:

    Ah the yellow streak anonymous coward spouts off, yes fine L gall, comment as you ALWAYS do. Lindsay, that’s just a tactic in the hope I’ll stop beating you up. By the way the £1.70 stuff is for barbies and that. We can purchase Grand Cru (Google it) from c£7 here. Petrus however starts at c £800 a bottle so we mostly avoid that. So, France is not my adopted land. I just spend 5 months here as a cathartic break from the unacceptable, rather stupid and insular side of Wales. Oh and get some sun. I maintain a residence in Penarth and pay tax in the UK, something you avoid by staying on benefits despite being able to walk two miles to the post office. As for abuse- ha you are a one 🙂 There are many reasonable and bright people here, you’re not one. Not all though, the ones I despise most are the hypocrites, especially the cowardly ones. I should ignore you though. Why on earth I bother the beat up a coward that hides behind a name I don’t know. I’ll work on it sweetie.

  10. Lindsay says:


  11. Christopher David says:


    • Graham Breller says:

      Royal Corps of Transport? Rhondda Cynon Taf? Rugby Club Toulonnais? Regimental Combat Team? Root Canal Treatment? Resistor Capacitor Time? Really Childish Trolling….? Yes, that’s it!

  12. Andrew Sarchus says:

    On those that pretend Latin but deny valleys…..yes. 🙂 HBYOP!

  13. Christopher David says:

    On those that pretend Latin but deny valleys….yes 🙂 HBYOP!

  14. Christopher David says:

    QED Mr Breller. We troll in tandem. as were the same person….apparently heh. QED is in RCT but its not Latin. As for trolling its difficult to escape the definition by just about anyone, well except for hypocrites

  15. tomtom says:

    “This sense of the word “troll” and its associated verb trolling are associated with Internet discourse, but have been used more widely. Media attention in recent years has equated trolling with online harassment. For example, mass media has used troll to describe “a person who defaces Internet tribute sites with the aim of causing grief to families.”[4][5] In addition, depictions of trolling have been included in popular fictional works such as the HBO television program The Newsroom, in which a main character encounters harassing individuals online and tries to infiltrate their circles by posting negative sexual comments himself” WIKI
    Yes difficult to escape and easy to use and point the finger. Trolling is I would say is rather more malicious and not just the online equivalent of the pub wind up. A term easy to hide behind though and use as an attack for the likes of Breller nee Doyle. Now that’s irony

    • Donald Ducktape says:

      Considering your name is ‘Tomtom’, you have a poor sense of direction, and if you take Graham Breller seriously, you have obviously just started reading PDN. He’s even funnier in person, but he doesn’t drink, so you’d probably never get to meet him.
      Very defensive about a bit of banter though, aren’t you? An attack? Pass the comb.

    • Graham Breller says:

      Thanks for that analysis. Now, stop stalling and get on with your homework.

  16. tomtom says:

    Yup new to PDN. Crack on with the banter- its fun but I’ll take a break to swot now.

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