Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room - Town Hall, Station Road, Clacton-on-Sea, CO15 1SE. View directions

Contact: Keith Durran Email: or Telephone  01255 686585

No. Item


Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

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



No apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors on this occasion.


Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To confirm and sign as a correct record, the minutes of the meetings of the Committee, held on 15 November 2022, 11 January 2023 and 1 February 2023.

Additional documents:


It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings of the Committee held on 15 November 2022, 11 January 2023 and 1 February 2023, be approved as a correct record.


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.



There were no declarations of interest by Councillors in relation to any item on the agenda for this meeting.


Questions on Notice pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 38

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.


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


A.1 Review of the Work Programme pdf icon PDF 123 KB

The report provides the Committee with an update on its approved Work Programme for 2022/23 (including progress with enquiries set out in its Work Programme), feedback to the Committee on the decisions in respect of previous recommendations from the Committee in respect of enquiries undertaken and a list of forthcoming decisions for which notice has been given since publication of the agenda for the Committee’s last meeting.

Additional documents:


The Committee heard an update on the Work Programme item from the Head of Democratic Services and Elections (Keith Simmons).


Work Programme


It was reported that there were only 2 outstanding items on the work programme. The first was Waste and Recycling and it was felt that a body of evidence had already been collected that could be put to the Committee for the next years’ work programme, 2023/24.


The second was the Customer Service enquiry through its own Task and Finish group. The Chairman of that Task and Finish Group apologised for the absence of a final report and said he hoped to have it to the Committee for the new municipal year, 20223/24.


Monitoring Report


The Committee heard the Councillor Guglielmi, as Portfolio Holder for Corporate Finance and Governance, said that he would supply the answers raised at that budget scrutiny meeting held on Wednesday 11 January 2023, directly to the Committee at a later date.


The Committee thanked the Officer and NOTED the contents of the report.




A.2 Council Procurement and Contract Management pdf icon PDF 331 KB

To inform the Committee of the outcome of the informal review of procurement and contract management at the Council ensuring it is functioning as it should and is fit for purpose.


Additional documents:


The report to the Committee detailed the outcome of the informal review of procurement and contract management at the Council ensuring it was functioning as it should and was fit for purpose.


The Members heard from Lisa Hastings, Deputy Chief Executive – Assistant Director for Governance and lead officer for the topic presenting the report. The report outlined that Informal meetings of this Committee were held on 17 October and 7 December 2022, where the Members received a range of information around the subject of Council Procurement and Contract Management, most of which was contained within the report to this meeting.  Senior Officers across the Council, involved in the subject area and the specific contracts referred to within the scope supported the first informal meeting in October.


Members also heard that Full Council at its meeting on 12th July 2022 agreed (Minute 29) the Committee’s Work Programme for the 2022-23 Municipal Year, for the Resources and Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee, that included:


Council procurement and Contract Management – using potential exemplars from:


  • “The housing maintenance contract awarded to Rapid, its delivery of work and the management of it.
  • The management of the previous cremator maintenance contract, the need to stop the use of those cremators and the process for securing replacement cremators given the sensitivity around this service and the budgetary implications for the Council while these cremators are out of action.
  • The Leisure Centre Investment – specifications, securing contractors and delivery of those works and maintenance of the equipment at the Centres”.


It was reported to the Committee that the Procurement Team consisted of 2 FTE posts, both vacant (that was increased through the restructure in 2022 by 3 additional posts, all remained vacant – see below).  The budget for those service consisted of salaries and £22,670 for computer software.  At its meeting on 17th September 2021, Cabinet considered in Section 2 of its Financial Performance Update 2021/22 a small number of in-year budget adjustments to the Portfolio Holder’s report, one of which reflected a proposed service level agreement being entered into with Essex County Council (ECC) to enable the Council to ‘buy in’ procurement services from them.


The report outlined that following the last vacancy, discussions commenced with ECC in terms of a shared service / collaborative approach as a way of providing a more comprehensive procurement service to the Councils internal departments.  This approach would involve the Council purchasing a range of procurement services from ECC on a proposed ‘hourly rate’ basis via a service level agreement.  Appendix B to the Cabinet Report set out a proposed adjustment, which would see budgets transferred from direct employee costs to ‘contract’ payments to ECC.   That approach would also support the accelerated delivery programme where the Council would have access to specialist / expert advice along with additional procurement capacity e.g. supporting the procurement of replacement cremators.  That arrangement would be kept under wider review as it may form part of a longer-term solution, where the Council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.


A.3 Task and Finish Group - Planning Enforcement pdf icon PDF 682 KB

To consider the outcome of the enquiry undertaken by the Members who formed the Task and Finish Group into this matter.

Additional documents:


The Committee was reminded that its work programme included an enquiry into the Council’s Planning Enforcement function in relation to current powers, policies, procedures, data on the use of current enforcement powers, effectiveness of approach and assessment of how cases should be prioritised. This enquiry was conducted through a Task and Finish Group established by this Committee.


Members of the Committee heard that effective regulation and enforcement was one of the key priorities in the Council’s Corporate Plan 2020-2024, under the heading of ‘Delivering High Quality Services’. The decision to include Planning Enforcement as a subject for a Scrutiny review function came about following concerns being raised by a number of Councillors in different parts of the District about its effectiveness in responding to a range of different planning enforcement related matters. Having drawn on the key headings within the terms of reference for the Task & Finish Working Group, the aims and objectives of the inquiry were developed through discussion at the group’s inaugural meeting on Monday 3rd October 2022 and evolved as the inquiry proceeded.  


The aims and objectives were summarised as follows: 


Current Powers


  • “To review the full set of powers available to the Council for the carrying out of planning enforcement, having regard to the fact that any action is discretionary on the Council and is always expected to be proportionate and appropriate.
  • To gain a better understanding of the range of tools available to the Council’s enforcement team to resolve complaints – ranging from no action, negotiation or minor interventions, through to formal enforcement action and legal prosecution.
  • To explore how the powers and tool available to the Council can be better communicated to those with an interest, including District Councillors, Town and Parish Councils and members of the public”.




  • “To review the Council’s Planning Enforcement Policy which sets out the available powers and the approach that the Council will take when receiving, investigating and, where appropriate, taking action against alleged breaches of planning control.
  • To review the associated ‘harm risk assessment’ which is used by Officers to prioritise the investigation of cases and to inform decisions about appropriate levels of action going forward.
  • To recommend improvements to the Planning Enforcement Policy and harm risk assessment as deemed necessary to improve the effectiveness of approach”. 









  • “To review the full process of dealing with enforcement complaints including the initial receipt of a complaint, responding to the complainant, visiting the premises, identifying and establishing any breaches, carrying out harm risk assessment, choosing a course of action and formal processes thereafter.
  • To review the approach to communication with complainants, those the subject of action and other interested parties; and how this might vary depending on the nature of the issue.
  • To explore how third parties, such as Town and Parish Councils, might be able to assist the District Council by exchanging information at a local level.
  • To recommend improvements to procedures with the aim of improving the effectiveness of approach”.