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Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber

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

Items
No. Item

118.

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 (staff should proceed to their usual assembly point). 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:

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

119.

Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

To receive apologies for absence and advise of any substitutions. 

Minutes:

119.1         Apologies for absence were received from Councillors J R Mason, D J Waters and Mrs C Wright.  Councillors R E Allen, P W Awford and M Dean would be acting as substitutes for the meeting.

120.

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:

120.1         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.

120.2         The following declarations were made:

Councillor

Application No./Item

Nature of Interest (where disclosed)

Declared Action in respect of Disclosure

P W Awford

Item 10 – Designation of Neighbourhood Plan Areas for Forthampton Parish; and Northway Parish.

Is a Borough and County Councillor for the Forthampton area.

Would speak and vote.

120.3         There were no other declarations made on this occasion.

121.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 57 KB

To approve the Minutes of the meeting held on 2 April 2014.

Minutes:

121.1         The Minutes of the meeting held on 2 April 2014, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.  

122.

Items from Members of the Public

To receive any questions, deputations or petitions submitted under Rule of Procedure 12.

 

(The deadline for public participation submissions for this meeting is 24 April 2014).  

Minutes:

122.1         There were no items from members of the public on this occasion.  

123.

Six Month Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 37 KB

To consider the Committee’s Six Month Forward Plan.  

Subject To Call In:: No - Item to Note.

Decision:

 That the Committee’s Six Month Forward Plan be NOTED.

Minutes:

123.1         Attention was drawn to the Committee’s Six Month Forward Plan, circulated at Pages No. 8-11. Members were asked to consider the Plan.

123.2         There was some concern that the performance information for quarters 1 and 2 was being considered in consecutive months and that this did not seem to make sense. In response, the Policy and Performance Group Manager undertook to check this and make any necessary amendments to the Forward Plan. In addition, the Member questioned when the Community Infrastructure Levy would be considered by Members as it was due for implementation in April 2015 and, as far as she was aware, the Working Group that had been set up to consider the issues had not yet met. In response, the Deputy Chief Executive indicated that there had been a lot of work undertaken in considering whether a Countywide approach could be used. However, it was now understood that this would probably not be acceptable and accordingly it would be a priority for Tewkesbury Borough Council to move this work forward.

123.3         In terms of the Car Parking Strategy, a Member questioned why the new car park at Healings Mill was not being considered. In response, the Deputy Chief Executive explained that the Strategy would look at car parking provision around the Town which would include private car parks as there was a need to understand the implications of such provision. Private car parks, however, were not strictly within the remit of the Working Group that was considering the Car Parking Strategy. Members were advised that the Working Group had now met on two occasions and had been on a tour of the car parking provision in the Borough. Whilst Members had not gone onto the Healings Mill site, they had observed it and at the time of the tour there had been no cars parked there.

123.4         Having considered the Forward Plan, and comments made, it was

124.

High Level Service Plans 2014-15 pdf icon PDF 30 KB

To endorse the high level Service Plans 2014-15.

Subject To Call In:: No - Ongoing Matter.

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the 2014/15 high level service plans be ENDORSED.  

Minutes:

124.1         The report of the Policy and Performance Group Manager, circulated at Pages No. 12-34, attached the high level Service Plans for the Chief Executive’s Unit; the Deputy Chief Executive’s Unit; and the Borough Solicitor’s Unit. Members were asked to consider and endorse the Service Plans for 2014/15.

124.2         In introducing the report, the Policy and Performance Group Manager advised that the high level Service Plans detailed the Council Plan and non-Council Plan actions to be progressed or delivered within the year. There were now eight Service Plans and those had been incorporated into the three high level Service Plans. This process had been considerably streamlined following the introduction of the new management structure where previously there would have been 20 Service Plans. Each Council Plan action was allocated to an individual service and delivery of the actions was monitored through the Council Plan performance tracker.  It was intended that the non-Council Plan actions would be monitored individually by the relevant service through management dialogues such as team meetings, one to one meetings and Lead Member briefings. When finalised the full Service Plans would be placed in the Members’ Lounge and on the intranet.

124.3         The Chief Executive introduced the high level Plan that covered the Policy and Performance; and Business Transformation Services. He explained that the group of services within the Chief Executive’s Unit were a major element of the corporate core of the Council and touched all levels of the organisation. He indicated that a number of actions had been particularly successful over the previous year including: the residents’ survey; website improvements; changes to, and the rationalisation of, the office accommodation – this had included great work by the IT section which had helped to ensure the moves to date had been carried out seamlessly; and the monitoring of complaints which had shown a low level for local complaints to the Council and an extremely low level in terms of ombudsman complaints. Looking forward, the highlights would be the Corporate Peer Review; the work on the Transform Strategy; project management systems; and the review of customer services and the Customer Services Strategy.

124.4         There were some concerns raised about the relatively low return on the residents’ survey. In response, the Chief Executive indicated that, although the return numbers were low, the sample had been weighted and as such could be statistically relied upon. The results did not inform policy but were seen as more of a ‘health check’ to ensure the Council was moving in the right direction. One Member expressed agreement with the concerns about the use of the results of the survey and he felt there may be better methods of undertaking the survey which would return more responses, i.e. Councillors could have been asked to deliver and collect the surveys to/from their residents. Referring to the action to ‘improve customer focus through the use of IT’, a Member felt that this would be another way of undertaking residents’ surveys in future. In response, the Chief  ...  view the full minutes text for item 124.

Action By: CE DCE BS

125.

Council Plan Refresh 2014-15 pdf icon PDF 36 KB

To consider the Council Plan update and make a recommendation to Council that it be adopted.

Subject To Call In:: No - Recommendation to Council.

Additional documents:

Decision:

That it be RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL that the Council Plan be ADOPTED.  

Minutes:

125.1         The report of the Policy and Performance Group Manager, circulated at Pages No. 35-71, attached the revised Council Plan which was the key strategic document that established an overarching vision for the Borough and set out, in broad terms, the priorities, objectives and actions that the Council would focus upon to work towards the vision. The Plan was subject to an annual review and this was its second refresh. Members were asked to consider any amendments that they may wish to be made and, subject to those amendments, to recommend the Council Plan to the Council for adoption.

125.2         The original Plan for 2012-16 had been approved by Council in May 2012 and had contained five priority themes which were supported by a number of key objectives and actions. Members were advised that, as with the previous year, it was proposed that the vision, values and priority themes would remain unchanged as would be key objectives. However, the actions, which tended to be of an operational nature, needed to be updated where appropriate to reflect the progress made in the year. All amendments or new actions were shown in bold throughout the Plan and a summary of those was attached to the report at Appendix 2. Any deletions could also be found within that summary. Paragraph 2.3 of the report set out a number of examples of changes to the Plan i.e. ‘production of a 2013 business directory’ had been deleted as this was an in-year action for 2013/14 and had been delivered. The Policy and Performance Group Manager indicated that the Plan had close links to the Business Transformation Strategy and would be monitored through the performance tracker.

125.3         During the discussion which ensued, a Member expressed concern that she had not been consulted about any of the changes that related to her portfolio and she felt that the process would have benefited from consultation with the appropriate Lead Members. Other Members expressed agreement with that view and the Policy and Performance Group Manager indicated that he understood the concerns and agreed that this would have been a helpful part of the process which could be included next time the Plan was refreshed.

125.4         Drawing attention to Page No. 50, Priority: Develop Housing Relevant to Local Needs, a Member questioned whether the Council did anything to encourage registered providers to sell property in high value areas in order to accrue funds for building affordable housing in areas where it was needed. In response, the Deputy Chief Executive advised that the Council set out the priority need areas and the registered providers did not need the Council to support them to provide the housing. Weighing up need against value was difficult but the registered providers would do what they needed to do to address the need identified.

125.5         Accordingly, it was

Action By: CE

126.

Review of Communications Strategy 2014-16 pdf icon PDF 35 KB

To approve the Communications Strategy and action plan.  

Subject To Call In:: Yes - No action to be taken prior to the expiry of the call-in period.

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the Communications Strategy and action plan be APPROVED.  

Minutes:

126.1         The report of the Policy and Performance Group Manager, circulated at Pages No. 72-98, attached a revised Communications Strategy and action plan which Members were asked to approve. Particular attention was drawn to the last Paragraph on Page No. 82 which contained a misprint where the reference to ‘f’ should read ‘features’.

126.2         Members were advised that the previous Communications Strategy had been in place from 2010-13 and therefore now required updating. Communications had a vital role to play in helping the Council to deliver its vision, priorities and objectives to local people and would help support the Council Plan and its other strategies by ensuring they were effectively communicated to relevant audiences. The Communications Strategy currently before Members had been considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, which had met in a workshop format, and then endorsed by the Committee at its meeting on 7 April.

126.3         The Strategy identified key communication principles; what the Council had achieved so far; what people thought of the Council; the six objectives that the Council wanted to achieve; and how they would be achieved. The Strategy was supported by a detailed action plan which pulled out the communications actions that reflected the Council Plan. In terms of how the actions in the Strategy would be achieved there were a number of approaches which were set out within the report and included: embracing digital change; the use of social media; the Council’s ‘Transform Tewkesbury Borough’ programme; the use of media and PR; the creative design service; Tewkesbury Borough News; internal communications; and the production of guidance and provision of training for staff and Members to ensure effective communications at all levels of the organisation.

126.4         During the discussion which ensued, a Member thanked Officers for the thorough Strategy which had been produced. He did, however, feel that there was little within it that made reference to Members. He understood that Members were a vital channel of communication between the Council and its residents and he felt that there should be more specific mention of this within the Strategy otherwise it felt as though Members did not really matter. In response, the Chief Executive indicated that Members were extremely well respected throughout the building at all levels and were absolutely key to communication with the public. He drew attention to the paragraph at Page No. 84 which referenced this.  The Chief Executive understood that there was work to do in bringing Members and Officers together and he planned to do some joint working to help that relationship to improve where needed. In terms of the Member’s concerns that whilst the rest of the building was being refurbished the area for Members was being left behind, it was confirmed by Councillors that a decision had been made previously that the Members’ Lounge etc. would not be part of the refurbishment project as it functioned adequately as it was. This had been a decision made by Members and not Officers.

126.5         A Member indicated that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 126.

Action By: CE

127.

Designation of Neighbourhood Plan Areas for Forthampton Parish; and Northway Parish pdf icon PDF 59 KB

To agree the designation of Neighbourhood Plan areas for the Parishes of Forthampton and Northway.

Subject To Call In:: Yes - No action to be taken prior to the expiry of the call-in period.

Decision:

That the designation of Neighbourhood Plan areas covering Forthampton Parish; and Northway Parish be APPROVED.  

Minutes:

127.1         The report of the Development Services Group Manager, circulated at Pages No. 99-106, advised Members that applications to designate Neighbourhood Plan areas had been received from Forthampton Parish and Northway Parish. Members were asked to approve the designation of the Neighbourhood Plan areas as requested.

127.2         Members were advised that Local Planning Authorities had a statutory duty to advise or assist communities in the preparation of Neighbourhood Development Plans. The Localism Act 2011 set out the Local Planning Authority’s responsibilities, including designating the Neighbourhood Plan Areas, by inserting provisions into the Town and Country Planning Act 1990; the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004; and the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012.

127.3         The applications received had been assessed against the requirements set out within the legislation and were considered to meet them such as to enable designation of the Neighbourhood Areas. Once this had been established, as required by the legislation, the Council had published the applications for a period of not less than six weeks to invite representations on the proposals. There had been no representations on either of the proposals and as such it was recommended that the designation of Neighbourhood Plan areas covering Forthampton Parish and Northway Parish be approved.

127.4         Accordingly it was

Action By: DCE

128.

Transform Working Group pdf icon PDF 31 KB

To establish a new Task and Finish Working Group named the “Transform” Working Group with the Membership and Terms of Reference set out at Appendix 1 to the report.

Subject To Call In:: No - Procedural Matter.

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.      That a new Task and Finish Working Group named the Transform Working Group be established.

2.      That the Working Group be comprised of the Executive Committee and Councillor Brian Jones plus 2 Conservative Members and 1 Liberal Democrat Member to be nominated by the respective Group Leaders.

3.      That the Terms of Reference of the Working Group be amended at point 2(iii) to read ‘the Chairman of the Working Group shall be the Lead Member for Finance and Asset Management and the Vice-Chairman shall be the Lead Member for Organisational Development.

Minutes:

128.1         The report of the Democratic Services Group Manager, circulated at Pages No. 107-111, sought to establish a new Task and Finish Working Group called the Transform Working Group with the remit of monitoring the implementation of the Business Transformation Strategy and Work Programme; preparing the 2015/16 budget; and reviewing and revising the Medium Term Financial Strategy. Members were asked to establish the Working Group with the Membership and Terms of Reference as set out at Appendix 1 to the report.

128.2         The Borough Solicitor explained that the report suggested the amalgamation of the Budget Working Group; the Income Working Group; and the Business Transformation Working Group into one Group that would deal with all of those matters. Since the work of those Working Groups was all inter-related this seemed to be the sensible way forward. The suggestion was that the new Working Group would meet on a monthly basis starting on 12 May with an all-day session led by the New Local Government Network based around ‘Gaming the Cuts’. The session would aim to develop a dynamic model of where cuts could fall as well as to envisage ways in which Councils, and the places they governed, may look in the future. 

128.3         Members were generally happy with the suggestion to form the Group but the Lead Member for Organisational Development commented that she would have liked to have been involved in the discussions in respect of the setting up of the Working Group. The Chief Executive apologised for this and indicated that there had been discussions about the formation of the Group at the last meeting of the Business Transformation Working Group but he understood that those discussions had not been followed through with the Lead Member. The Lead Member for Finance and Asset Management indicated that, in his view, it would be appropriate for him to be the Chairman of the Transform Working Group and for the Lead Member for Organisational Development to be the Vice-Chairman. Members agreed that this should be amended within the Terms of Reference. In response to a query regarding the number of Members which it was proposed would form the Membership of the Working Group, the Committee was advised that over the past year the Income Working Group had been established and it had been felt that having that alongside the Budget Working Group had not really worked. Previously there had just been a Budget Working Group and the Membership of that Group had not been dissimilar to that proposed for the Transform Working Group. In addition, the Business Transformation Working Group had been formed and had met on only three occasions before it became clear that its work would significantly overlap that of the Budget Working Group. A discussion had been undertaken with the Business Transformation Working Group about how best Officers and Members could work together and it had been felt that a new Working Group would be the best way forward. The Chief Executive advised that Officers were trying  ...  view the full minutes text for item 128.

Action By: BS

129.

Separate Business

The Chairman will move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

That under Section 100(A)(4) Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded for the following items on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

Minutes:

129.1         The Chairman proposed, and it was

RESOLVED:         That, under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items on the grounds that they involve the likely discussion of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act. 

130.

Separate Minutes

To approve the separate Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 2 April 2014.

Minutes:

130.1         The separate Minutes of the meeting held on 2 April 2014, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.