Agenda and draft minutes

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Items
No. Item

67.

Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

The Committee is asked to note any apologies for absence and substitutions received from Members.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Chittock (with Councillor Alexander as a substitute), Councillor Davis (with no substitute), and Councillor Clifton (with Councillor Knowles as substitute).

 

68.

Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 101 KB

To confirm and sign as a correct record, the minutes of the last meeting of the Committee, held on 5 August 2019.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 5 August 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

In respect of the record of the meeting of the Committee on 5 August, Councillor Miles reflected on the need for Overview and Scrutiny Committees to be free to undertake its work free for undue influence from the Cabinet.  She noted the item on the agenda for this meeting in respect of the Statutory Guidance for Councils in relation to Scrutiny and that this Guidance made the important point around the independence of the Scrutiny function.

 

69.

Declarations of Interest

Councillors are invited to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Personal Interest, and the nature of it, in relation to any item on the agenda.

 

Minutes:

There were none on this occasion.

 

70.

Corporate Plan pdf icon PDF 56 KB

To enable the Committee to undertake pre-decision scrutiny of the emerging Corporate Plan 2020/24 and Priorities and Projects 2020/21.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

With the approval of the Committee, the Chairman advised that agenda item 11 would be considered at this point in the meeting. 

 

The Committee had before it a Report of the Deputy Chief Executive – New Corporate Plan 2020-24, which invited the Committee to note the emerging Corporate Plan and determined whether it has any comments or recommendations it wished to put forward to the relevant Portfolio Holder or Cabinet.

 

The report included that considered by the Cabinet at its meeting on 13 September 2019 (minute 34 refers) in respect of the Draft Corporate Plan, Corporate Plan Timetable and Consultation Proposals.

 

With the agreement of the Committee, the relevant Portfolio Holder, Councillor G. Guglielmi (Portfolio Holder for Corporate Finance and Governance), attended the meeting and explained the emerging Corporate Plan and the process of its development to the Committee.

 

The Council’s Head of People, Performance and Projects was also in attendance and presented to the Committee information on; the emerging Corporate Plan, Our Vision, 5 key themes, Our values, Community Engagement, and the Corporate Plan Timetable 2020-24. This presentation was then circulated to the Committee after the meeting.

 

Members of the Committee asked questions of the Portfolio Holder and the Head of People, Performance and Projects including in relation to the consultation with stakeholders.

 

After some deliberation by the Committee it was RESOLVED:

 

(1)  TO RECOMMEND TO THE CABINET that the work put into the comprehensive consultation on the emerging Corporate Plan be commended; and

 

(2)  To note the contents of the emerging Corporate Plan 2020-2024 and the deadline for consultation responses of 21 October 2019.

 

71.

Questions on Notice pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 387

Subject to providing two working days’ notice, a Member of the Committee may ask the Chairman of the Committee a question on any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties which affect the Tendring District and which falls within the terms of reference of the Committee.

 

Minutes:

On this occasion no Councillor had submitted notice of a question.

 

72.

Statutory Guidance pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To receive a report on the recently published revised statutory guidance of Overview and Scrutiny in Councils, to enable the Committee to have regard to the guidance in its work and to determine what recommendations (if any) are required.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee had before it the Report of the Head of Democratic Services and Elections – New Statutory Guidance on Overview and Scrutiny in Local and Combined Authorities, which invited the Committee to note the content of the report and determines whether it has any comments or recommendations it wishes to put forward to Council / The Cabinet and otherwise records it will be mindful of the guidance when it undertakes its work.

 

It was reported that on the 7 May 2019, the Government published new statutory guidance on overview and scrutiny in local and combined authorities. The guidance itself was issued following the report of the House of Commons’ Communities and Local Government Committee of 15 December 2017 into the ‘Effectiveness of Local Authority overview and scrutiny committees’. The Council’s Constitution already sets out its compliance with statutory requirements for overview and scrutiny committees, the appointment of Members of those Committees, the appointment of Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of the same, the procedures for such matters as call-in, and work programming, access to information for Members of the committees and Member-Officer protocols etc. Officers will consider the statutory guidance in their work, through the Monitoring Officer, to ensure that the constitution is kept up-to-date.

 

The Committee were also made aware that training for officers who present or write reports for Committees and Cabinet is being proposed for the forthcoming period and it is intended that this training will also reference the new statutory guidance.

 

The debate on this item referenced the extent to which there was ‘parity of esteem’ between the executive and scrutiny elements of the decision making processes of the Council.  The promotion in the guidance of the development of an Executive-Scrutiny protocol to embed a positive and productive culture of collaborative working that respects the independence of those two elements was commented upon.

 

After some deliberation It was RESOLVED:

 

(1)  TO RECOMMEND TO THE CABINET that it receives the new Statutory Guidance on Scrutiny in Councils and considers the potential of developing an Executive-Scrutiny Protocol to address the way in which both will work together for the benefit of the Council as a whole while confirming the independence of both elements of the decision making process of the Council. 

 

(2)  To records that the Committee will be mindful of the guidance when it undertakes its work.

 

73.

Recommendations Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 36 KB

To present to the Committee the updated Recommendations Monitoring Report, outlining any recommendations the Committee have sent to Cabinet. The Committee is requested to consider the report and determine whether any further action is required on the recommendations submitted.

Minutes:

The Committee had before it the current Recommendations Monitoring Report. The Committee were aware that this report outlined any recommendations it has made to the Cabinet, the Cabinet’s response and any relevant updates. There were no recommendations nor updates to report on this occasion.

 

The Committee noted the contents of the report.

 

74.

Scrutiny of Proposed Decisions pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Pursuant to the provisions of Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rule 13, the Committee will review any new and/or amended published forthcoming decisions relevant to its terms of reference and decide whether it wishes to enquire into any such decision before it is taken.

 

Matters may only be raised on those forthcoming decisions at Committee meetings where the Member has notified the Committee Services Manager in writing (or by personal email) of the question they wish to ask, no later than Midday, two working days before the day of the meeting.

Minutes:

Pursuant to the Provisions of Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rule 13, the Committee reviewed any new and / or amended published forthcoming decisions relevant to its terms of reference with a view to deciding whether it wished to enquire into any such decision before it was taken. The relevant forthcoming decisions were before the Committee.

 

The Committee was advised that the report referenced the lead Officers rather than the decision maker.  The decision maker for the proposed Creative and Culture Strategy would be the Cabinet and the decision maker for the revised Housing Allocations Policy would be the Portfolio Holder for Housing.

 

It was RESOLVED that the Committee noted the published list of relevant forthcoming decisions with the amendments to the decision maker as reported to it.

 

75.

Performance Report Quarter 1 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To enable the Committee to scrutinise the performance monitoring system and whether it is capturing the right level of data to support delivery of the Corporate Plan and its priorities and projects, and to make recommendations thereon. In addition, to scrutinise whether there is performance, as identified in the monitoring data, that warrants scrutiny of an activity and to determine whether and how that scrutiny should take place; including it as appropriate in the Work Programme.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee had before it a report of the Deputy Chief Executive which presented the Performance Report for Quarter One (April – June 2019) including the Corporate Plan and Priorities and Projects 2018/19. The Committee was invited to scrutinise the performance monitoring system and whether it is capturing the right level of data to support delivery of the Corporate Plan and its priorities and projects, and to make recommendations thereon. In addition, the Committee was requested to scrutinise whether there was performance, as identified in the monitoring data,  that warranted scrutiny of an activity and to determine whether and how that scrutiny should take place; including it as appropriate in the Work Programme.

 

Appendix A to that report contained details of the indicators and projects relevant to the terms of reference of this Committee. Those indicators and projects were deemed ‘non measureable’ as this Council’s role was that of ‘influence only’.

 

Members were informed that the Performance Report for Quarter four had been presented to Cabinet on 14 June 2019. Any feedback from this Committee would be presented to a future meeting of the Cabinet as a separate reference report.

 

After some deliberation by the Committee it was RESOLVED:

 

(1)  That the Deputy Chief Executive be requested to consider what training should be provided to Councillors on the new format of the performance reports once these were finalised for the new Corporate Plan and the priorities under that Plan with a view to securing a wide understanding of the performance data available and improving the capacity of Members to utilise that data in their various roles..

(2)  To note the contents of the report.

 

76.

Review of the Work Programme pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To present to the Committee a draft detailed Work Programme 2019/2020, to consider the detail and ordering of the Work Programme. 

Minutes:

The Committee had before it a updated work programme 2019/20.  It had been expanded from that originally approved following discussions undertaken by the Head of Democratic Services and Elections with officer colleagues and the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Committee.  Scrutiny must be Member led and as such the Committee was asked to consider the detail now submitted and confirm or amend the scope of the reviews in the work programme.  This detail now included whether the relevant Portfolio Holder and others were to be invited to give evidence as part of those reviews and the expectations of this Committee for the scrutiny reviews.  

 

After some deliberation it was RESOLVED:

 

(1)  That the Committee notes the Work Programme, endorses the new format for it and the detail of the scrutiny work of the Committee as submitted; and

(2)  To encourage Members of the Committee to further consider the detail of the Work Programme and submit comments thereon if the detail needed further refinement. 

 

77.

North Essex Garden Communities Joint Scrutiny Panel

Following from its meeting on 5 August 2019 (Minute 66 refers) the Committee will be presented with an oral update regarding the membership, and any other relevant information, of the North Essex Garden Communities Joint Scrutiny Panel.

Minutes:

The Committee were aware that at its meeting on the 5 August 2019 (minute 66 refers) it was resolved to create a new North Essex Garden Communities (NEGC) Joint Scrutiny Panel with the Resources and Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

At the meeting the Council’s Head of Democratic Services and Elections provided the Committee with a verbal update on the decisions taken by the Chairmen of the two Overview and Scrutiny Committees following a process of considering the membership of the Panel. The two Chairmen proposed that the membership of the Joint Scrutiny Panel should compromise of;

 

Councillor M. Stephenson (Chairman)

Councillor Bush

Councillor Griffiths

Councillor Steady

Councillor Turner

 

Notice of the above had been submitted to the Committee in an email of 3 October 2019 from the Head of Democratic Services and Elections on behalf of the Chairmen of the Council’s two Overview and Scrutiny Committees.

 

It was also updated that the NEGC Joint Scrutiny Panel would be holding its first meeting on 16 October 2019.

 

It was RESOLVED that the Committee endorses the decision of the Chairmen of this Committee and the Resources and Services Committee on the membership of the new NEGC Joint Scrutiny Panel.

 

78.

Scrutiny of elements of Community Safety pdf icon PDF 65 KB

To undertake the scrutiny of the detail as identified in the work programme as item 5 of this agenda.

Minutes:

Further to the concerns raised at the meeting of the Committee on 1 July 2019 (Minute 55 refers), the Committee had sought to examine Community Safety issues at this meeting.  The Committee’s work programme identified several elements of Community Safety that were to be scrutinised at this meeting as follows:

 

(a) An outline of the challenges and priorities over the coming period as identified by the new Divisional Police Commander. An assessment of the issue of County Lines/Cuckooing etc and the proliferation of drugs and the response to it.

 

(b) Anti-Social Behaviour – looking at data on this, hot spots in the District and changes over time.  The outcome of the partnership funding of £10,000 by this Council/Essex Police for additional police patrols in July/August (did it work, how did it compare with 2018, what would be the impact if not repeated in 2020 etc), delivery of the new Anti-Social Patrol Officer (looking at the justification for the post and how it had operated, had it delivered against the rationale for being established), and the arrangements for and work involved in Community and Street Action Days – are their measures of their success?

 

With the agreement of the Committee, the relevant Portfolio Holder, Councillor L. McWilliams (Portfolio Holder for Partnerships) attended the meeting and expressed her appreciation for the Committee’s interest in this matter and the collaborative work being undertaken.

 

The Committee had before it a Report of the Head of People, Performance and Projects – Speaker(s) With a Focus on Community Safety. This report sought that the Committee determines whether it has any comments or recommendations it wishes to put forward to the relevant Portfolio Holder or Cabinet.

 

In addressing the elements identified for scrutiny at this meeting, Tendring Community Policing Team Inspector Darren Deex was present at the meeting.  He provided the Committee with a presentation and outlined the four key challenges and priorities for the Force locally were:

  • Reducing Serious Violence / Knife Crime,
  • Tackling County Lines & Drug Supply,
  • Protecting Vulnerable People,
  • Community Engagement,

The presentation then addressed all of the above separately.  In respect of community engagement it was noted that the Police would producing a regular briefing document that would be sent to all Councillors advising them of key facts and progress against the above key challenges/priorities.  Community engagement by the Police in Jaywick Sands was specifically touched upon at the meeting.

 

Details of Operation Spider were provided to the Committee.  This Operation was put in place with matched funding from this Council and Essex Police to provide £20k towards additional policing of Clacton Town Centre between 1st July and 3rd September 2019. Against the objective of Operation Spider, the Committee was advised that in 2018 there had been a decline in anti-social behaviour in Clacton Town Centre, this had risen in 2019 back to similar levels as there were in 2017.  However, this was mainly originating with one individual.  If that additional presence had not been provided, the response to that spike in criminal  ...  view the full minutes text for item 78.