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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

63.

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:

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

63.2          The Chair welcomed the Managing Director of Ubico to the meeting and indicated that he was present for Agenda Item 8 - Ubico Report. 

64.

Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

To receive apologies for absence and advise of any substitutions. 

Minutes:

64.1          Apologies for absence were received from Councillor P E Stokes.  There were no substitutions for the meeting. 

65.

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:

65.1          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.

65.2          There were no declarations made on this occasion.

66.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 188 KB

To approve the Minutes of the meeting held on 27 November 2018.

Minutes:

66.1          The Minutes of the meeting held on 27 November 2018, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair. 

67.

Executive Committee Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 233 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:

67.1          Attention was drawn to the Executive Committee Forward Plan, circulated at Pages No. 14-18.  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.

67.2          It was

RESOLVED          That the Executive Committee Forward Plan be NOTED.

68.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 307 KB

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

Minutes:

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

68.2          With regard to the pending items listed in the Work Programme, a Member indicated that the West Oxfordshire Visit/Presentation on Grounds Maintenance could be removed as a presentation had been received by the Grass Cutting Improvement Working Group at its first meeting.  The Chair understood that the Working Group had made considerable progress in a short space of time and he looked forward to receiving its report and recommendations at the next meeting.  The Member went on to question what progress had been made in respect of the Single Use Plastic Policy and the Deputy Chief Executive advised that he had asked Officers for an update and would be happy to share that with Members when it was received.

68.3          It was

RESOLVED          That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2018/19 be NOTED and the West Oxfordshire Visit/Presentation on Grounds Maintenance be removed from the list of pending items.

69.

Planning Key Performance Indicators pdf icon PDF 362 KB

To consider the Key Performance Indicators in relation to the Planning service. 

Minutes:

69.1          Attention was drawn to the report of the Head of Development Services, circulated at Pages No. 26-35, which asked Members to consider the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in relation to the planning service.

69.2           The Head of Development Services explained that the Development Services review had been approved at Council in April 2018 and progress against the supporting action plan had been reported to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee in October 2018 where Members had requested that a report on the KPIs for the planning service be brought to the Committee.  The Business Transformation Manager advised that the proposed indicators focused on a number of themes, the first of which related to the validation of planning applications; this was important as it was often the first contact the customer had with the planning team.  The complexity of the process depended upon whether an application was ‘major’ i.e. 10 or more dwellings or 1,000sqm or more, ‘minor’ i.e. one to nine dwellings or less than 1,000sqm, or ‘other’ which were predominantly householder applications but also included advertisement consent, listed building consent or change of use.  Whilst the team was not where it wanted to be in terms of current performance and speed, there had been improvement and a whole suite of actions would ensure that continued.  Page No. 30 related to the speed of decisions on applications which Members would be familiar with as they were presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on a quarterly basis as part of the performance management report.  It should be borne in mind that a national planning performance regime had been introduced in October 2013 in which the government had set minimum standards for the speed and quality of planning decisions on planning applications over a two year rolling period and a local planning authority could be “designated” as underperforming if it did not meet those standards.  If a Council was designated, applicants could apply directly to the Planning Inspectorate for the category of development – major, non-major or both – for which the Council was underperforming.  The threshold for speed of decisions was 60% for major development and 70% for non-major development; as Tewkesbury Borough Council was performing significantly above these thresholds it was recommended that the current local performance indicators - which were divided into major, minor and other - were retained. 

69.3          The Business Transformation Manager explained that the purpose of planning was to achieve the right outcome at the right time and a KPI had been suggested in relation to the number of dwellings and affordable homes permitted which would demonstrate how the authority was contributing to the housing needs of the borough.  In addition, an annual review of Planning Committee decisions was proposed to be undertaken to establish the number of decisions contrary to the Officer recommendation and what issues that might raise, for example, if there was a need for more training, better presentations etc.  It was also proposed to consider the outcome of appeals in line  ...  view the full minutes text for item 69.

70.

Ubico Report pdf icon PDF 148 KB

To consider the Ubico performance report for the first six months of 2018/19.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

70.1          The report of the Head of Community Services, circulated at Pages No. 36-83, provided an update on the performance of the Ubico contract for the waste, recycling, street cleansing and grounds maintenance services for the first six months of 2018/19.  Members were asked to consider the report.

70.2          The Head of Community Services advised that the level of information provided to monitor the Ubico contract had increased significantly compared to previous years to allow greater oversight of services and he felt this was demonstrated by the openness and transparency of the Ubico performance report, attached at Appendix 1 to the report.  He advised that the amount of residual household waste per household was very similar to the previous year and there had been a small increase in the percentage of household waste reused, recycled and composted from 54.07% to 55.57% which was positive.  In terms of missed bin collections, the Key Performance Indicator had been revised significantly from 1% in previous years - meaning that Ubico would have been well within the target of 42,000 missed collections for the year – to 0.1% as part of the improvement plan and had since been further revised to a 0.05% stretch target.  The graph at Page No. 50 of the report gave a visual representation of the pattern of missed bin collections between April and September 2018 and showed a drop between July and August with a slight increase in September.  It was now possible to track missed bin collections per waste stream and the graph at Page No. 48 of the report showed that recycling and refuse was broadly within target but food caddies, which were often hidden behind large bins, were missed more frequently.  The Managing Director of Ubico advised that a common question he was asked was how Ubico compared with other contractors.  He had investigated the reporting profiles for the South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse District Councils - which had contracts with Biffa and were first and second in the country in terms of recycling with a rate of approximately 61% - and they had a missed bin rate of 0.11% in 2017 which was outside their stretch target of 0.04%.  It was noted that the service was very similar to Tewkesbury Borough Council’s with two weekly refuse and recycling collections, and the most interesting finding was the suggestion that the stretch target had not been attained because of additional food waste, which had been introduced mid-2017, and the fact that rounds were bigger therefore there was a higher level of human error.  The Forest of Dean District Council, which had a kerbside sort service operated by Biffa, had a missed bin rate of 0.06% in the last quarter; the latest available data, for October and November 2017, showed that Tewkesbury Borough Council was comparable with a missed bin rate of 0.07% which was getting closer to its own stretch target.  Biffa was recognised nationally as a good provider in terms of its systems  ...  view the full minutes text for item 70.

71.

Enviro-Crimes Update pdf icon PDF 157 KB

To consider progress being made in tackling enviro-crime across the borough.

Minutes:

71.1          Attention was drawn to the report of the Head of Community Services, circulated at Pages No. 84-90, which set out the progress made in tackling enviro-crime across the borough.

71.2          The Head of Community Services advised that the report before Members was an interim report setting out the actions in respect of enviro-crimes between April and September 2018.  The previous enviro-crimes action plan had been delivered and the team was now in the process of drawing up a new action plan for 2019/20 which would be brought to the Committee as part of the annual report in June 2019.  The Environmental Health Manager drew attention to Page No. 86, Paragraph 2.1 of the report, which set out the metrics currently recorded and the figures for the first two quarters of 2018/19.   With regard to littering, he advised that the number of complaints had been relatively consistent and was generally low; however, it was intended to engage other Officers and Members to act as ‘eyes and ears’ in order to broaden the Council’s presence across the borough and to maximise the chances of catching people littering.  In terms of dog fouling, a Public Space Protection Order had been put in place earlier in the year which increased the fine that could be imposed and required dog walkers to produce, on request, a means for picking up after their dog.  In terms of the latter, he stressed that it was not intended to take enforcement action straight away as it could be that people might have used the bags they had taken with them etc. but was intended to facilitate engagement, particularly with responsible dog owners.  An advertisement had been included in the Tewkesbury Borough News which had received positive feedback and Members were advised that it was intended to target specific hotspots so any suggestions would be welcomed.

71.3          In terms of enforcement action, Members were informed that a case involving a number of waste offences had been taken to court in November 2018 but the individual had not attended, therefore this had not been resolved and a warrant had been issued for their arrest.  A man had appeared in court in September 2018 in connection with a fly-tipping incident but, unfortunately, the Council had been unable to take this to trial as a key witness had no longer been available.  It was difficult to track down individuals when it was not necessarily a high Police priority; however, the Council did have a very good working relationship with the Police and had carried out a joint operation on rural crime in November 2018 which was something the Environmental Health Manager would be looking to repeat.  He went on to advise that a large number of the fixed penalties served in the first six months of the year related to incidents that occurred in and around the recycling centres at Morrison’s in Tewkesbury and Tesco in Bishop’s Cleeve.  Discussions had taken place with the Store Manager of Morrison’s as to whether  ...  view the full minutes text for item 71.