12/01/2022

Wales News Online

Local & National News for Wales

Council successfully addressed Audit Wales’ recommendations

Audit Wales has carried out a Follow-up Review of Planning Services by Carmarthenshire County Council and concluded that the council has successfully addressed all its recommendations.

In July 2021, Audit Wales published a report following a review of the council’s planning services, with its findings identifying significant and long-standing performance issues in the planning service that needed to be urgently addressed to help support the delivery of the council’s ambitions.

A total of 17 recommendations were made by Audit Wales for the council to address. All of which the report has confirmed have been met.

In response to the recommendations of the report, Carmarthenshire County Council convened an Intervention Board to provide oversight of a 49 point action plan to respond to the Audit Wales findings that were published in July 2021. Over the past 15 months, progress against the plan has been monitored through the council’s governance framework to provide assurance of progress made against the recommendations.

Audit Wales has been following the council’s progress through regular catch-up meetings with the council, document reviews and observing governance and audit committee meetings. They have also interviewed key council officers during the audit process.

Within the follow up-review, which can be viewed on their website, Audit Wales states that:

“The Council is to be commended for the swift, decisive action it took in response to the findings of our 2021 report, and for the way it has driven improvements in its planning service.

“The constructive way in which the Council received our report and acted on the recommendations is a particularly positive example of a Council demonstrating its commitment to driving improvement in service delivery.

“The Council has learnt lessons from the review that it has also applied more widely, particularly in relation to performance management.

“Overall, we found that the Council has successfully addressed all our recommendations and has responded at pace to deliver significant improvements in its planning service.”

Cabinet member for rural affairs and planning policy, Cllr Ann Davies said:

“I am very pleased with the Audit Wales report which states that Carmarthenshire County Council has succeeded in overcoming challenges within our planning department.

“The report is excellent, it praises the work and the change in systems, procedures and leadership, recognising the significant improvement that has been achieved.

“The issues in question were not due to a lack of work ethic, as I know first-hand of the effort and commitment that is put in by a number of our officers. It was rather the processes which were to blame and needed to be adjusted, as it did not provide officers with the appropriate environment to carry out the work required.

“I would like to thank all council officers that have worked so hard since the Spring of 2021 to achieve the goal of meeting all 17 of the recommendations that were initially set out by Audit Wales.

“The next step, of course, is to keep going, keep moving forward to stay at the forefront as one of the most productive planning authorities in Wales. There is further work to be done and we are committed to continuous improvement, especially in the world of enforcement but we are moving in the right direction with over 1000 enforcement cases having already been resolved in the last year.”

Click here to visit the Audit Wales website and view a full copy of the Follow-up Review of Planning Services.

Cyngor yn ymateb ar gyflymder i gyflawni gwelliannau sylweddol yn ei wasanaeth cynllunio

Mae Archwilio Cymru wedi cynnal Adolygiad Dilynol o Wasanaethau Cynllunio gan Gyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin ac wedi dod i’r casgliad fod y cyngor wedi llwyddo i fynd i’r afael â’i holl argymhellion.

 

 

Ym mis Gorffennaf 2021, cyhoeddodd Archwilio Cymru adroddiad yn dilyn adolygiad o wasanaethau cynllunio’r cyngor, ac roedd ei ganfyddiadau yn nodi materion perfformiad arwyddocaol a hirsefydlog yn y gwasanaeth cynllunio yr oedd angen mynd i’r afael â nhw ar frys er mwyn helpu i gefnogi’r gwaith o gyflawni uchelgeisiau’r cyngor.

 

 

Fe gafodd 17 o argymhellion eu gwneud gan Archwilio Cymru er mwyn i’r cyngor fynd i’r afael â nhw. Mae’r adroddiad wedi cadarnhau eu bod i gyd wedi eu diwallu.

 

 

Mewn ymateb i argymhellion yr adroddiad, fe wnaeth Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin alw Bwrdd Ymyrraeth i ddarparu goruchwyliaeth o gynllun gweithredu 49 pwynt er mwyn ymateb i ganfyddiadau Archwilio Cymru a gafodd eu cyhoeddi ym mis Gorffennaf 2021. Dros y 15 mis diwethaf, mae’r cynnydd yn erbyn y cynllun wedi’i fonitro drwy fframwaith llywodraethu’r cyngor i roi sicrwydd o gynnydd a wnaed yn erbyn yr argymhellion.

 

 

Mae Archwilio Cymru wedi bod yn dilyn cynnydd y cyngor trwy gynnal cyfarfodydd dal i fyny’n rheolaidd gyda’r cyngor, adolygu dogfennau a chraffu ar gyfarfodydd pwyllgor llywodraethu ac archwilio. Maent hefyd wedi cyfweld â swyddogion allweddol y cyngor yn ystod y broses archwilio.

 

 

O fewn yr adolygiad dilynol, sydd wedi ei gyhoeddi ar ei gwefan, mae Archwilio Cymru’n dweud:

 

 

“Mae’r Cyngor i’w ganmol am y camau pendant, cyflym a gymerodd mewn ymateb i ganfyddiadau ein hadroddiad yn 2021, ac am y ffordd y mae wedi ysgogi gwelliannau yn ei wasanaeth cynllunio.

 

 

“Mae’r ffordd adeiladol y derbyniodd y Cyngor ein hadroddiad a gweithredu ar yr argymhellion yn enghraifft arbennig o gadarnhaol o Gyngor yn dangos ei ymrwymiad i wella wrth ddarparu gwasanaethau.

 

 

“Mae’r Cyngor wedi dysgu gwersi o’r adolygiad y mae hefyd wedi’i roi ar waith yn ehangach, yn enwedig mewn perthynas â rheoli perfformiad.

 

 

“Ar y cyfan, gwelsom fod y Cyngor wedi llwyddo i fynd i’r afael â’n holl argymhellion ac wedi ymateb ar gyflymder i gyflawni gwelliannau sylweddol yn ei wasanaeth cynllunio.”

 

 

Dywedodd y Cynghorydd Ann Davies, yr Aelod Cabinet dros Faterion Gwledig a Pholisi Cynllunio:

 

 

“Rwy’n falch iawn o adroddiad Archwilio Cymru sydd yn dweud bod Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin wedi llwyddo i oresgyn heriau o fewn ein hadran gynllunio.

 

 

“Mae’r adroddiad yn rhagorol, mae’n canmol y gwaith a’r newid mewn systemau, gweithdrefnau ac arweinyddiaeth, gan gydnabod y gwelliant sylweddol sydd wedi’i gyflawni.

 

 

“Nid diffyg moeseg gwaith oedd yn gyfrifol am y materion dan sylw, gan fy mod yn gwybod o lygad y ffynnon am yr ymdrech a’r ymroddiad sy’n cael eu rhoi i mewn gan nifer o’n swyddogion. Yn hytrach y prosesau oedd ar fai ac roedd angen eu haddasu, gan nad oedd yn rhoi’r amgylchedd priodol i swyddogion gyflawni’r gwaith oedd ei angen.

 

 

“Hoffwn ddiolch i holl swyddogion y cyngor sydd wedi gweithio mor galed ers Gwanwyn 2021 i gyrraedd y nod o gwrdd â phob un o’r 17 o’r argymhellion a gafodd eu nodi yn wreiddiol gan Archwilio Cymru.

 

 

“Y cam nesaf, wrth gwrs, yw dal ati, parhau i symud ymlaen er mwyn aros ar flaen y gad fel un o’r awdurdodau cynllunio mwyaf cynhyrchiol yng Nghymru. Mae gwaith pellach i’w wneud ac rydym wedi ymrwymo i wella’n barhaus, yn enwedig ym myd gorfodi ond rydym yn symud i’r cyfeiriad cywir gyda dros 1000 o achosion gorfodi eisoes wedi’u datrys yn ystod y flwyddyn ddiwethaf.”

 

 

Cliciwch yma i weld copi llawn o’r Adolygiad Dilynol o’r Gwasanaethau Cynllunio ar wefan Archwilio Cymru.

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