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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

33.

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:

33.1          The evacuation procedure, as noted on the Agenda, was advised to those present.

33.2          The Chair welcomed the representative from North and West Gloucestershire Citizens’ Advice to the meeting and indicated that he would be giving a presentation at Agenda Item 7 – Citizens’ Advice Bureau Presentation.

34.

Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

To receive apologies for absence and advise of any substitutions. 

Minutes:

34.1          Apologies for absence were received from Councillors H S Munro, P W Ockelton and S A T Stevens.  Councillor S Thomson would be acting as a substitute for the meeting. 

35.

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:

35.1           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.

35.2          There were no declarations made on this occasion.

36.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 173 KB

To approve the Minutes of the meeting held on 23 July 2019 and the Special meeting held on 13 August 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

36.1          The Minutes of the meeting held on 23 July 2019 and the Special meeting held on 13 August 2019, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as correct records and signed by the Chair.

37.

Executive Committee Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 241 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:

37.1          Attention was drawn to the Executive Committee Forward Plan, circulated at Pages No. 19-24.  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.

37.2          It was

RESOLVED          That the Executive Committee Forward Plan be NOTED

38.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 261 KB

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

Minutes:

38.1          Attention was drawn to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2019/20, circulated at Pages No. 25-33, which Members were asked to consider. 

38.2          In response to a query as to whether the Parking Strategy Review Report was on target to be brought to the next meeting of the Committee on 22 October 2019, with a further report being taken to the meeting on 3 December 2019, the Head of Finance and Asset Management advised that these dates were based on the original timings put forward when the Committee agreed to establish a Working Group to undertake the review, with a view to the new strategy taking effect from 1 April 2020.  Unfortunately, the dates were no longer realistic if the Working Group was to fully understand the parking issues and gather the information required to carry out a comprehensive review.  A new timetable had been presented to the Working Group and it was now planned to bring the draft strategy to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 14 January 2020, with a further report to consider the consultation responses being taken to the meeting on 10 March 2020, and the Work Programme would be updated to reflect the new dates.

38.3          It was

RESOLVED          That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2019/20 be NOTED, subject to amendments to reflect the new timetable for the Parking Strategy Review which would mean that the draft strategy would be brought to the meeting on 14 January 2020 with a further report to consider the consultation responses being taken to the meeting on 10 March 2020.

39.

Citizens' Advice Bureau Presentation

To consider the annual update on Citizens’ Advice Bureau activity in the borough.

Minutes:

39.1          The Chair welcomed the representative from North and West Gloucestershire Citizens’ Advice to the meeting. Members were reminded that Tewkesbury Borough Council had a service level agreement with Citizens’ Advice which had been in place for a number of years and it awarded a grant on an annual basis for the services provided to residents. The Committee received an annual presentation which provided Members with information about the work of Citizens’ Advice and quarterly reports giving more detail were provided via the Member Update Sheet with the most recent having been issued the previous week.

39.2          The representative from North and West Gloucestershire Citizens’ Advice explained that things had changed considerably since his last presentation to the Committee and the service had been renamed as ‘North and West Gloucestershire Citizens’ Advice’ to reflect a merge with Forest of Dean District.  The service now covered Cheltenham, Forest of Dean, Gloucester and Tewkesbury which gave more scope for residents to obtain information from different locations, for example, someone who lived in Tewkesbury may work in Cheltenham or Gloucester so they could seek advice in that location during the working day.  It was noted that the reporting structure had also changed for 2019/20 and he advised that 236 Tewkesbury residents had been seen in other districts during the first quarter compared with only 27 in 2018/19.  He went on to give a presentation reflecting the work undertaken in 2018/19 which covered the following key points:

·           Aims – To provide the advice people need for the problems they face; to improve policies and practices that affect people’s lives.

·           Principles - The Citizens’ Advice service provided free, confidential, independent and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities.  It valued diversity, promoted equality and challenged discrimination.

·           Locations – Citizens’ Advice now operated from 15 locations: Tewkesbury Public Services Centre; Prior’s Park; Bishop’s Cleeve; Winchcombe – by appointment; Brockworth – by appointment; Northway – this was a new outreach centre; Churchdown – this was a new outreach centre; Cheltenham (town centre); Up Hatherley; Gloucester (city centre); Cinderford; Coleford; Lydney; Newent; St Briavels. 

·           How advice is requested – Majority still wanted face to face, approximately 80% of all contact, 10/12% via phone, online not popular; face to face was a more expensive method of giving advice but was the preferred option for the people using the service.

·           Employment Status - Employed - 31.6% (33.4% previous year); self-employed – 4.5% (5.1% previous year); carers – 7% (7.7% previous year); retired – 20.5% (21.7% previous year); unemployed – 16.4% (14.7% previous year); and permanently sick – 19.9% (17.4% previous year).  This was fairly consistent with the previous year, albeit with a slight reduction in the number of employed people seeking assistance and a corresponding increase in the number of unemployed people using the service; the types of issues people had tended to reflect the employment profile status.

·           Disposable Monthly Income – Under £999 – 54% (52.7% previous year); £1,000-£1,499 – 24.3% (23.8% previous year); £1,500-£1,999 –  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.

40.

Performance Report - Quarter 1 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 308 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 40.1         The report of the Head of Corporate Services, circulated at Pages No. 34-78, attached performance management information for quarter one of 2019/20.  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.

40.2           Members were advised that this was the first quarterly monitoring report for 2019/20 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 garden waste renewals which were performing strongly and had generated income of £875,780; commencement of a full review of the bulky waste service; roll out of commercial awareness training to senior management and Members; presentation of an options report on Spring Gardens regeneration to Council in July 2019; and refurbishment of the ground floor west wing of the Public Services Centre and occupation by the County Council, which had signed long-term leases for all areas of occupation generating a rental income and securing a valuable partner.  A Member noted the income being generated by garden waste and questioned how much the service cost to deliver.  In response, the Deputy Chief Executive advised that garden waste generated approximately £450,000 net which was put back into the service.  The Head of Corporate Services indicated that, due to the complex nature of the actions being delivered, it was inevitable that some would not progress as smoothly or quickly as envisaged and the details of these were set out at Paragraph 2.4 of the report.  Particular reference was made to disposal of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (MAFF) site which was on hold pending the outcome of the Spring Gardens regeneration project, and the development of Healings Mill which was out of the Council’s direct control and would be discussed in more detail at Agenda Item 10. 

40.3           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 17 indicators with targets, 13 were on target, three were below target but the annual target would be achieved, and one was below target and the target was unlikely to be achieved.  Notwithstanding this, it was to be borne in mind that it was only the first quarter of the year and the second quarter data would give a clearer indication of performance.  Key areas of interest were included at Paragraph 3.3 of the report and particular reference was made to KPIs 12, 13 and 14 which related to determination of ‘major’, ‘minor’ and ‘other’ planning applications respectively and Members were advised that the figures were relatively small therefore it only took one or two applications to be determined outside of the target dates to impact the overall percentage.  It was acknowledged  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.

41.

Review of Water Supply Outage Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 126 KB

To consider the progress made against the remaining actions arising from the review and to determine whether any further action or reports are required. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

41.1          Attention was drawn to the report of the Head of Community Services, circulated at Pages No. 79-89, which provided an update on progress against the action plan arising from the Scrutiny Review of Water Supply Outage.  Members were asked to consider the report and to determine whether any further action or reports were required on this matter.

41.2          The Head of Community Services explained that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee had conducted a review of the significant water supply outage that had affected the borough in December 2017 which had resulted in a number of recommendations contained with an action plan.  The Committee had received a progress update at its meeting in March 2019 where there were six actions outstanding, in progress or complete and a further update had been requested in six months’ time.  It was noted that the outstanding actions had now all been completed with the exception of the work to the pipes on the Severn Ham which was not due to finish until August 2020.  Severn Trent Water had confirmed that operatives would be on site in Spring 2020 with the intention of having the new pipes in place by the target date and had offered to provide a verbal update to the Committee once all works were completed, should Members wish.  It was also noted that a business resilience event was being planned for later in the year - although the date had changed from 13 November as stated in the report and was now likely to be 19 November - which would be hosted at the Public Services Centre and would focus on food businesses and producers, including the agricultural sector, who had been particularly impacted by the water outage.

41.3           A Member drew attention to Page No. 87, Recommendation 16 – Work with Town and Parish Councils to develop emergency plans – and raised concern that this was marked as complete, with a target date of April 2019, but the commentary stated that the work was due to be completed over the next 12-18 months.  The Head of Community Services gave assurance that a programme had been drawn up to work with individual Town and Parish Councils in relation to their emergency plans but this would extend beyond 2019 so, although the action was marked as complete, work would be ongoing.  The Chair indicated that, as there was only one action outstanding which was not due to complete until mid-2020, he felt it would be appropriate to close down the review and for the Committee to receive a presentation from Severn Trent Water once it had finished its work on the Severn Ham.  It was subsequently

RESOLVED          1. That the progress against the action plan arising from the Scrutiny Review of Water Supply Outage be NOTED.

2. That closure of the review be APPROVED and that the invitation from Severn Trent Water to give a presentation to the Committee once all works on the Severn Ham had been completed be accepted.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.

42.

Healings Mill pdf icon PDF 225 KB

To receive an update on progress made in respect of the redevelopment of the Healings Mill site. 

Minutes:

42.1          Attention was drawn to the report of the Head of Development Services, circulated at Pages No. 90-93, which gave an update on progress being made to secure a suitable development scheme for Healings Mill.  Members were asked to consider the report and to note that further reports would be submitted should there be any significant developments of which Members needed to be advised.

42.2          The Deputy Chief Executive explained that the Tewkesbury Town Centre Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), which was a joint venture between Tewkesbury Borough and Tewkesbury Town Councils, had now been completed and signed-off.  The SPD included direct reference to Healings Mill being a priority in the regeneration proposals which was a step in the right direction and showed the Borough Council’s desire to continue to push the boundaries of what it could influence; however, this influence was limited and there was a reliance on developers and agents bringing forward their own solutions.  The Environment Agency had previously expressed concern about any regeneration on the site as it was known to flood but, following discussions, a joint letter of support in principle had been produced for developers who were looking to bring forward a scheme.  This information was commercially sensitive but he confirmed that conversations were ongoing.  He went on to advise that, following an unsuccessful bid for High Street Funding earlier in the year, the Council had submitted a bid for High Street Heritage Funding, which was thought to be more relevant to Tewkesbury, and the Head of Development Services was working closely with Historic England to shape that.  The Council viewed the redevelopment of Healings Mill as part of the wider regeneration of the town and this would feed into the work on Spring Gardens and Oldbury Road so, although the Council had no direct influence over the project, Members could be assured that conversations were taking place and it was proposed that a further update be provided once information was available to share with the Committee.

42.3          In response to a query regarding the timescales for the High Street Heritage Funding bid, the Deputy Chief Executive indicated that he would report back to Members outside of the meeting.  A Member went on to express the view that the regeneration of Healings Mill was a really important issue for Tewkesbury town and had been ongoing for many years.  As such, he would be reluctant to effectively take this off the agenda and suggested that a further report be provided in three months’ time so that Members could keep abreast of the situation.  In response, the Deputy Chief Executive advised that the Committee needed to be confident that Officers were continuing to have conversations and would provide an update as soon as there was meaningful information that could be shared publicly rather than continuing to include it as an item on future meeting agendas when there was nothing further to report.  If any Member wished to be updated in the interim, he would be more than  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.

43.

Summary of Formal Complaints 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 385 KB

To consider the annual update to provide assurance that complaints are managed effectively. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

43.1          The report of the Head of Corporate Services, circulated at Pages No. 94-108, provided a summary of formal complaints received in 2018/19.  Members were asked to consider the annual update to gain assurance that complaints were managed effectively and to identify any further action required.

43.2          Members were advised that 192 formal complaints had been received within the year, of which 175 related to Council services and 99 of those were in respect of the Council’s waste and recycling service which was one of the highest profile services.  It was noted that 55% of complaints had been upheld i.e. the Council had agreed they were justified, and 22% were partially justified.  The Council aimed to respond to complaints within 20 working days and had achieved 93% against that target in 2018/19.  If complainants were unhappy with the response to a complaint, it was referred to an independent Head of Service for investigation.  A breakdown by service area, nature of complaint and remedy was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.   In comparison to previous years, whilst the number of complaints was slightly higher this was not significant, fewer appeals had been upheld and the response time had remained consistent.  Tewkesbury Borough Council performed well compared to other local authorities and remained in the top quartile nationally.  Quarter one of 2018/19 had seen a spike in the number of complaints which reflected the increase in grass cutting complaints which Members would be well aware of.  This had resulted in the introduction of a Grass Cutting Improvement Plan and it was pleasing to note that only one complaint had been received in relation to grass cutting in 2019/20 so this had made an impact.  Once they had reached the end of the Council’s complaints process, members of the public also had the option to complain to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman and the annual review letter setting out the number of complaints and enquiries received and the decisions made during 2018/19 was attached at Appendix 2 to the report.  It was noted that the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman had received six complaints relating to Tewkesbury Borough Council but only one had been upheld.  As the complaints framework had been in place for three years it was now due to be reviewed and it was intended to work with the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to undertake this review over the coming months.

43.3          A Member queried how the majority of complaints were reported and was informed that they were mainly received online via the ‘Report It’ system.  In response to a query regarding whether people were able to complain verbally, the Corporate Services Manager explained that it was very rare for anyone to request to make a verbal complaint and people were encouraged to make their complaint online or by email as it was important to have a written record in the complainants’ own words; however, she stressed that, if someone was unable to use one of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43.

44.

Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee Update

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

Minutes:

44.1          Members received an update from the Council’s representative on the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee on matters discussed at the last meeting held on 4 September 2019.

44.2           The Council’s representative on the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee advised that the main aims of the meeting were to gain experience of the Gloucester Growth Hub; to gain an understanding of the Gloucestershire First Local Enterprise Partnership (GFirst LEP); to consider a report on the Local Industrial Strategy (LIS); to receive a report from the Strategic Adviser (Communities and Infrastructure); and to review the Committee’s work plan.  He indicated that the meeting had commenced with a visit to the Growth Hub situated in the Business School of the University of Gloucestershire’s Oxstalls Campus in Gloucester – this was his first visit and he had been very impressed.  A presentation was then given by the Chief Executive of GFirst LEP.  There were 38 LEPs around the country; the GFirst LEP had started in 2011 and was responsible for driving and arranging funding for many projects.  The presentation had provided an overview of several large projects that had been completed in 2018 including a state of the art education and training facility at Gloucester College in the Forest of Dean; opening up a site for development of a hangar at Gloucestershire Airport which had attracted £5M private investment and created 30 jobs which had acted as a catalyst for attracting a further £3.8M funding and 80 additional jobs; a new transport hub for Gloucester; and the Gloucester Growth Hub.  The LEPs five key strategic areas were housing; employment land; mis-match skills i.e. helping ensure training establishments provided the skills businesses needed; growing the whole county; and demographics e.g. attracting more young people to the county.  The LEP had 10 business groupings: economy and tourism; retail and the High Street; energy; cyber-tech; construction and infrastructure; business and professional services; banking and finance; business membership group; agricultural, food and rural; and advanced manufacturing and engineering.  It had an education team that aimed to create sustainable links between schools and businesses; their programmes reached thousands of young people each year and prepared children across Gloucestershire for a future in business.  The LEP delivered mentorships, practice interviews, workplace visits, work simulations, business breakfasts, skills days and careers workshops.  At the end of the presentation a GFirst LEP Assurance Framework flowchart had been introduced which provided an overview of the capital projects selection and funding process.  An action arising from the presentation was to put in place a framework which complemented the existing Assurance Framework in order to assist with scrutiny.

44.3          A further presentation had been given around the Local Industrial Strategy (LIS) which had five priorities: cyber/digital; agri-tech; climate change; opportunity i.e. the City/Region concept; and flexible work time.  A report had also been received from the Strategic Adviser (Communities and Infrastructure) on the links that existed between the environment and economic growth which had included updates on highways, strategic infrastructure, community infrastructure and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44.

45.

Gloucestershire Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee

To receive an update from the Council’s representative on matters considered at the joint meeting with the Adult Social Care and Communities Scrutiny Committee.

Minutes:

45.1           Members received an update from the Council’s representative on the Gloucestershire Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) on matters discussed at the joint meeting with the Adult Social Care and Communities Scrutiny Committee on 30 July 2019.

45.2          The Council’s representative on the HOSC explained that the main topic of discussion at the previous meeting of the HOSC had been in relation to the merge of Gloucestershire Care Services with the 2gether Trust and the joint meeting on 30 July 2019 had been arranged to look at the workforce plan and how implementation would affect staff.  Members had considered recruitment initiatives and it had been noted there was a national shortage of learning disability nurses so consideration was being given to alternatives in adult social care such as apprenticeships, traineeships or joining a sector routeway.  Specific reference had been made to the ‘Proud to Care’ scheme which was being promoted to raise the profile of the caring sector.  It had been emphasised that staff were the major asset to any service and the importance of their health and wellbeing was recognised.  She explained that retention of staff was a significant problem with 55% of qualified nurses starting their careers with the NHS but then moving away very quickly.  It was also noted that the ‘Our Gloucestershire’ leadership programme had been commissioned by the Gloucestershire NHS Strategic Transformation Partnership.  The programme consisted of four bodies - Gloucestershire Hospital Foundation Trust; 2gether NHS Foundation Trust; Gloucestershire Care Services; and Gloucestershire County Council – and aimed to support leaders to work across all four.  The final item of business was in relation to Brexit with particular focus on staff without a British passport who were being asked to have their work status ratified; EU staff were being encouraged to have a “settled” status.

45.3          The Council’s representative went on to explain that a HOSC workshop had been held on 4 September 2019 to give an opportunity to learn more about the effects of merging the two trusts and the care for patients; however, this had been very poorly attended which was disappointing given that the request had come from Members.  Plans for the merger had first been announced in September 2017 and the new organisation would be formed by 1 October 2019.  Benefits to the service user would include improved parity of care, for example, people suffering from bi-polar disorder were likely to die 15-20 years earlier on average largely due to the difficulty in accessing services; an increased understanding of co-morbidity; and increased focus on community health, wellbeing and prevention services.  Examples of some of the Trusts’ work were shared to illustrate the benefits of the new merged service and presentations were given by the four teams which comprised the Intensive Health Outreach Team: the Perinatal Team (for people with mental health issues around pregnancy) which was working more jointly with midwives and health visitors to establish better communication networks; the Integrated Dementia Team – where all professionals were now co-located  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.