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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Tewkesbury Borough Council Offices, Severn Room

Contact: Democratic Services Tel: 01684 272021  Email:  democraticservices@tewkesbury.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

51.

Announcements

When the continuous alarm sounds you must evacuate the building by the nearest available fire exit. Members and visitors should proceed to the visitors’ car park at the front of the building and await further instructions (during office hours staff should proceed to their usual assembly point; outside of office hours proceed to the visitors’ car park). Please do not re-enter the building unless instructed to do so.

 

In the event of a fire any person with a disability should be assisted in leaving the building.

Minutes:

51.1     The evacuation procedure, as noted on the Agenda, was taken as read.

51.2     The Chair indicated that the Gloucestershire Constabulary Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for Tewkesbury Borough would be giving a presentation on Agenda Item 7 - Crime Detection Rates, and he would be varying the Agenda to take that item after Agenda Item 8 – Gloucestershire Police and Crime Panel Update, to accommodate her attendance.  He welcomed the Council’s representative on the Gloucestershire Police and Crime Panel to the meeting and indicated that the Lead Members for Organisational Development and Health and Wellbeing were also present as observers.

52.

Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

To receive apologies for absence and advise of any substitutions. 

Minutes:

52.1          Apologies for absence were received from Councillors G J Bocking and J E Day.  There were no substitutions for the meeting. 

53.

Declarations of Interest

Pursuant to the adoption by the Council on 26 June 2012 of the Tewkesbury Borough Council Code of Conduct, effective from 1 July 2012, as set out in Minute No. CL.34, Members are invited to declare any interest they may have in the business set out on the Agenda to which the approved Code applies.

Minutes:

53.1          The Committee’s attention was drawn to the Tewkesbury Borough Council Code of Conduct which was adopted by the Council on 26 June 2012 and took effect from 1 July 2012.

53.2          There were no declarations made on this occasion.

54.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 169 KB

To approve the Minutes of the meeting held on 16 October 2018.

Minutes:

54.1          The Minutes of the meeting held on 16 October 2018, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair. 

55.

Executive Committee Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 231 KB

To determine whether there are any questions for the relevant Lead Members and what support the Overview and Scrutiny Committee can give to work contained within the Plan.

Minutes:

55.1          Attention was drawn to the Executive Committee Forward Plan, circulated at Pages No. 13-17.  Members were asked to determine whether there were any questions for the relevant Lead Members and what support the Overview and Scrutiny Committee could give to the work contained within the plan.

55.2           It was

RESOLVED          That the Executive Committee Forward Plan be NOTED.

56.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 317 KB

To consider the forthcoming work of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Minutes:

56.1          Attention was drawn to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2018/19, circulated at Pages No. 18-25, which Members were asked to consider.

56.2          The Head of Corporate Services pointed out that the Agenda for the meeting on 12 February 2019 was quite substantial and it might be beneficial for Officers to review the Work Programme to see if anything could be moved.  It was noted that external speakers from Gloucestershire Healthwatch had already been invited to attend the February meeting so it would not be appropriate to delay that item.  Members indicated they were happy for Officers to consider what changes could be made to the Work Programme to reduce the amount of Agenda items at the February meeting.

RESOLVED          1. That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2018/19 be NOTED.

2. That Officers review the Work Programme and make changes as necessary to reduce the amount of Agenda Items for the meeting on 12 February 2019.

57.

Gloucestershire Police and Crime Panel Update

To receive an update from the Council’s representative on matters considered at the last meeting. 

Minutes:

57.1          Members received an update from the Council’s representative on the Gloucestershire Police and Crime Panel on matters discussed at the last meeting of the Panel held on 16 November 2018.

57.2          Members were advised that the Panel had considered a lengthy paper from the Police and Crime Commissioner regarding his wish to review his previous decision not to pursue a case for change in fire governance.  The Commissioner said that, in light of a recent internal audit investigation into whistleblowing concerns relating to Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, now was the time to re-consult on the Police and Crime Commissioner taking over governance.  The Council’s representative indicated that little support had been shown towards the Commissioner’s plans but he expected there would be lengthy ongoing discussions and a further briefing was being organised for the Panel.   He noted that this was also an Agenda Item for the Council meeting on 4 December 2018 so Members would have an opportunity to discuss it then.

57.3          The Chief Executive’s report had included the annual report of the Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) and it had been pleasing to note the increase in the number of visits taking place on a Friday and Saturday night, and in the evenings; overall the ICVs had spoken to 65% of detainees in custody which was up from 58% in 2017.  The Panel had also received its usual report on Police and Crime Plan priorities and the Council’s representative advised that 999 calls were 7% higher than the previous year - in the first quarter of the year they had been 25% higher than in 2015 which was concerning.

57.4          It was noted that a copy of the whistleblowing policy, which applied both to Gloucestershire Constabulary and the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office, had been tabled at the meeting.  It had been intended to have a presentation on safe and social driving but that had been deferred to the next meeting.  The Council’s representative advised that the Panel had agreed the request from the newly formed National Association of Police and Crime (Fire) Panels for him to become a member of its Executive.  It was also confirmed that the Gloucestershire Police and Crime Panel would be represented at any regional meetings called by Panels in the South West. 

57.5          The Council’s representative indicated that there had been some discussion around the issue of employer pension contributions. It was noted that the treasury had recalculated a formula which related to all public sector pension schemes but had particularly hit unfunded schemes such as the Police.  There would be an increase in contributions that the employer would have to make which equated to the Police and Crime Commissioner needing to find an extra £1.7M in the coming financial year.

57.6          The Chief Executive advised that an item on the Police and Crime Commissioner consultation in respect of the Fire Service had been included on the Agenda for the Council meeting on 4 December 2018 at the request of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 57.

58.

Crime Detection Rates

To receive an update from Gloucestershire Constabulary on crime detection rates in Tewkesbury Borough. 

Minutes:

58.1          The Chair welcomed the Gloucestershire Constabulary Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for Tewkesbury Borough to the meeting.  She indicated that she had been invited to attend the meeting to discuss crime detection rates but she felt it would firstly be useful to give Members an overview of what neighbourhood policing in Tewkesbury Borough was about.

58.2           The Gloucestershire Constabulary Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for Tewkesbury Borough gave a brief presentation during which the following key points were raised:

·                  Neighbourhood Policing Offer (1) – Launched in January 2018 by Chief Constable who stated that there would be: a dedicated neighbourhood policing team for the Tewkesbury Borough area; a named Police Community Support Officer (PCSO); up-to-date information about policing in each neighbourhood on the Constabulary’s website, social media and in key public spaces in the community; a Police reception in every district that could be accessed at least five days per week; the ability to listen to people’s concerns through meetings in communities and the Police engagement vehicles; invitations to join the new community messaging scheme “Your Community Alerts”; use of mobile technology so local officers and staff could stay out in the community as much as possible; open and approachable officers wearing named epaulettes; new additions to the team including a Rural Crime Officer, Safeguarding Officer and, shortly, a School Beat Officer.

·                  How do we Police Tewkesbury? – Tewkesbury Borough was divided into three areas – North, South and East – each with their own dedicated team.

·                  Police Family – Roads Policing Unit; Mounted Unit; Firearms Officers; Criminal Investigation Department (CID); Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit (RASSO); Divisional Intelligence Unit (DIU); Domestic Abuse Safeguarding Team (DAST); Special Constabulary; Cadets; Custody Investigation Unit; Operations and Planning; Dogs Unit; Professional Standards Department; Force Control Room; Mobile Crisis Intervention Team (MCIT); Intelligence Unit; Crime Operations, and many more.

·                  What have we achieved? – From January to March 2018 dealt with 14 offenders for drug dealing removing cannabis, crack cocaine and heroin from the Tewkesbury Borough area; recovered a stolen quad bike and significant amount of cash linked to criminal activity; convicted an offender for a large number of dwelling burglaries - they had received a four year custodial sentence, which was rare, and so gave an indication of the level of criminality; interviewed prisoners in custody and established their involvement in burglaries in the area; dismantled a number of Dangerous Drug Networks - where drug dealers took over addresses of vulnerable people - at an early stage to ensure they did not become embedded in the community; provided police response to community events such as the Mop Fair, Remembrance Parades etc.; and, engaged with Parish Councils, returning to meetings including Community Safety Partnerships.

58.3          During the debate which ensued, a Member raised concern about the number of break-ins in the Churchdown area.  The Gloucestershire Constabulary Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for Tewkesbury Borough explained that, whilst it was not an epidemic, the Police were aware of several break-ins and were very active in the area in relation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 58.

59.

Gloucestershire Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee Update

To receive an update from the Council’s representative on matters considered at the last meeting. 

Minutes:

59.1          Members received an update from the Council’s reserve representative on the Gloucestershire Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee on matters discussed at its last meeting held on 13 November 2018.

59.2           Members were advised that the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report had been presented to the Committee and it was pleasing to note that the Board was already working closely with the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board.  There was concern regarding those placed out of area – both by Gloucestershire County Council and other local authorities placing people in Gloucestershire – who were more vulnerable to abuse as they were distanced from family and friends.  Although the placing authority should ensure placements were suitable and that the individual was safe, the Committee heard that did not always happen and the County Council had no powers to enforce that duty.  It was also concerning that providers were not required to inform the County Council when a person from out of the area was placed with them and the Committee had therefore agreed to write a letter to the Secretary of State for Health and Care outlining these issues.

59.3           The Committee had shared its concerns regarding drugs and alcohol on previous occasions and additional information on this matter had been included in the Director of Public Health’s report.  It was also stated that the data for Cheltenham in relation to disadvantaged children and the effect on their life chances was stark.  Members had been advised that the Gloucestershire Health and Wellbeing Board was in the process of refreshing the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy and this would be included in the discussion around priorities.  The Board was also leading on the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) work; Gloucestershire County Council was leading on a restorative practice programme and led the Children’s Partnership Framework in Gloucestershire.  With regard to the Adult Social Care performance report, the Committee continued to be concerned about performance against reassessment which was exacerbated by the lack of detail in the comments section about what was being done to address the situation.  It was acknowledged that it was a complex area but a positive shift in performance against those targets was needed. 

59.4           In terms of the Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group’s performance report, the Council’s reserve representative advised that the Committee had previously expressed concerns with regard to the performance of the South Western Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust against category 1 calls and the Trust had been congratulated for achieving this target.  Some Members had continued to express concern at the difference in performance against the four-hour Accident and Emergency target across the two acute hospitals; however, it was important to note that, at the overall Trust level, the target had been consistently met in 2018/19.  In the areas where performance targets were not being met, one of the contributing factors related to the available workforce – this was about shortages at a national level as opposed to finance.  A particular concern related to the two-week wait  ...  view the full minutes text for item 59.

60.

Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee Update

To receive an update from the Council’s representative on matters considered at the last meeting.

Minutes:

60.1          The Chair advised that he was the Council’s representative on the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee but there was no update for the Committee as the last meeting had been cancelled.  Another Member who was also on the Committee indicated that he had brought several copies of the Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership annual report which would be made available in the Members’ Lounge – this may be of interest to Members given that the Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership would be giving a presentation prior to the Council meeting the following week.  A link to the online report had been circulated to the Committee by Democratic Services at his request.

61.

Performance Management - Quarter 2 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 285 KB

To review and scrutinise the performance management information and, where appropriate, to require response or action from the Executive Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

61.1          The report of the Head of Corporate Services, circulated at Pages No. 26-69, attached performance management information for the second quarter of 2018/19.  The Overview and Scrutiny Committee was asked to review and scrutinise the performance information and, where appropriate, identify any issues to refer to the Executive Committee for clarification or further action to be taken.

61.2          Members were advised that this was the second quarterly monitoring report for 2018/19 and progress against delivering the objectives and actions for each of the Council Plan priorities was reported through the Performance Tracker, attached at Appendix 1 to the report.  Key actions for the quarter were highlighted at Paragraph 2.3 of the report and included: purchase of a £3.8M office property in August and a £4.6M retail property in October; appointment of Mace Group Ltd as developer advisor for the next phase of the Spring Gardens project; official launch of the Growth Hub on 21 November 2018; completion of the Public Services Centre refurbishment; appointment of a contractor to carry out works to Lower Lode Depot to increase car parking and improve site facilities; approval of Ashchurch Concept Masterplan for public consultation at Council on 15 October 2018; and, at its meeting on 21 November 2018, Executive Committee approval of a commercial strategy for the Council, and the draft Tewkesbury Town Regeneration Supplementary Planning Document for consultation.  Members were advised that no actions had been reported as having a significant risk in terms of not being achieved, or where there had been significant slippage in the timetable or performance was below target, as such, there were no unhappy faces in the performance tracker.  The Head of Corporate Services indicated that he had taken the performance tracker to management team on two occasions to ensure that target dates were feasible given concerns raised by the Committee previously. 

61.3          In terms of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Members were informed that the status of each indicator was set out at Paragraph 3.2 of the report.  Of the 16 indicators with targets, three had not been achieved as at the end of the second quarter.  It was noted that KPI 20, in relation to the average number of days to process new benefit claims, had increased to 22 days with the target being 15 days - whilst this was not as good as Members would like, it was still below the national average; KPI 27, average number of sick days per full time equivalent, had also increased significantly compared to the previous year but this was due to long term sickness which was out of the Council’s control; KPI 31 and KPI 32 were new indicators relating to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests and formal complaints respectively, and it was noted that 127 FOI requests had been received within the period and that all 49 formal complaints had been answered within the required timescales.

61.4           During the debate which ensued, the following queries and comments were made in relation to the Performance Tracker:  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.

62.

Grass Cutting Improvement Plan Working Group pdf icon PDF 122 KB

To establish a Working Group to oversee delivery of the Grass Cutting Improvement Plan and to approve the proposed Terms of Reference for the Group. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

62.1          Attention was drawn to the report of the Head of Community Services, circulated at Pages No. 70-73, which asked Members to establish a Grass Cutting Improvement Plan Working Group in accordance with the Terms of Reference at Appendix 1.

62.2          Members were reminded that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee had previously had in-depth discussions about the grass cutting service and it was currently monitoring delivery of the Grass Cutting Improvement Plan.  Arising from that, there was a need for some more detailed work to be done, particularly around the future standard of the service, number and level of cuts in certain areas, resources etc.  It was therefore proposed to set up a small Working Group to work with the Head of Community Services in order to report back to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on these matters in February 2019.

62.3          It was

RESOLVED          1. That a Grass Cutting Improvement Plan Working Group be established with the following membership:

                                   Councillors: K J Cromwell, D T Foyle, H C McLain,                                M G Sztymiak, M J Williams and the Lead Member for Clean and Green Environment.

2. That the Terms of Reference for the Working Group be APPROVED as set out at Appendix 1 to the report.