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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

57.

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:

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

58.

Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

To receive apologies for absence and advise of any substitutions. 

Minutes:

58.1          Apologies for absence were received from Councillors J W Murphy (Vice-Chair) and P W Ockelton.  There were no substitutions for the meeting. 

59.

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:

59.1           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.

59.2          There were no declarations made on this occasion.

60.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 175 KB

To approve the Minutes of the meeting held on 22 October 2019.

Minutes:

60.1          The Minutes of the meeting held on 22 October 2019, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair. 

61.

Executive Committee Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 236 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:

61.1          Attention was drawn to the Executive Committee Forward Plan, circulated at Pages No. 11-15.  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.

61.2          The Head of Corporate Services pointed out that, at the Executive Committee meeting the previous week, it had been noted the Agenda for the meeting on 8 January 2020 was very heavy and it had been agreed that Management Team would discuss whether any items could be pushed back.

61.3          It was

RESOLVED          That the Executive Committee Forward Plan be NOTED.

62.

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:

62.1          Attention was drawn to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2019/20, circulated at Pages No. 16-24, which Members were asked to consider.

62.2          A Member questioned when Ubico would next be reporting to the Committee and was reminded that this was an annual report which would be taken to the meeting in July 2020 although it was noted that a separate report on trade waste was due in January 2020.  It was subsequently

RESOLVED          That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2019/20 be NOTED.

63.

Gloucestershire Police and Crime Panel Update

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

Minutes:

63.1          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 12 November 2019.

63.2          The Council’s representative on the Gloucestershire Police and Crime Panel advised that the Police and Crime Commissioner had updated the Panel on recent activity including the new focus on “every crime matters”.  A particular area of emphasis was the retail crime review and a report had been prepared to look at how the Gloucestershire Police had been responding to rising retail crime.  The report was constructively critical of the approach and it was noted that retailers were clearly not satisfied when it had been discussed at a recent conference in Gloucester.  The conference had been attended by a Superintendent who had responded positively to the concerns raised and had committed to producing an action plan to address them within the next month.  The Police and Crime Commissioner had explained that, given scare resources, it was always necessary to consider what response was reasonable. 

63.3           Members were informed that crime had continued to rise over the past year, albeit at a reduced rate, but detection rates had improved.  A rural crime week had recently been held to focus attention and resources on tackling the wide range of crimes across the county’s extensive rural areas.  Finding the people committing these crimes was very difficult and there was a need for greater effort in tackling the disposal of stolen property to stop criminals from making money from it.  The Police and Crime Commissioner had also raised concern about the physical state of the courts in Gloucestershire which were dilapidated with inadequate facilities to segregate witnesses and the public from the accused and a lack of access for the disabled.  It was noted that 80 electric Police vehicles had been ordered and the number of charging points had been significantly increased; the Council’s representative pointed out that the vehicles would be used for dealing with enquiries rather than for frontline incident response.  The annual anti-drink driving campaign would be carried out across the county with a focus on rural areas – the initial focus was on education and prevention changing to enforcement in early December.  The Police and Crime Commissioner had welcomed the extra money for policing promised by the government; however, it could not be spent until it had passed through a budget following the election.  The Panel had also discussed the impact of the “record everything” policy in light of the criticisms discussed at the last meeting - the Police and Crime Commissioner had confirmed this was the approach and that it undoubtedly resulted in additional resources being spent on form filling to ensure compliance.

63.4           The Panel’s representative advised that another key issue discussed at the meeting was the impact of mental health on Gloucestershire Police.  It was noted that only 25% of the annual total of 250,000 calls received by Gloucestershire Police actually related to crimes; 75% related  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.

64.

Performance Report - Quarter 2 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 319 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

64.1          The report of the Head of Corporate Services, circulated at Pages No. 25-75, attached performance management information for quarter two 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.

64.2           Members were advised that this was the second 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 Council approval for an additional £20m towards commercial property investment; extension of the Public Services Centre to let a further 1,000 square feet to Gloucestershire County Council; successful High Street Heritage Action Zone expression of interest for Tewkesbury Town; 1,325 businesses benefiting from Growth Hub support; collation and submission of comments on the Local Industrial Strategy; designation of Woodmancote Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) bringing the total to 16 NDPs across 21 Parishes; proactive approach to enviro-crimes with 12 fixed penalty notices issued, six cases referred to One Legal for prosecution, Officer attendance at Parish Council meetings, four community events and 35 patrols undertaken; and a workshop held in partnership with Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group to support development of a local integrated health partnership.  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.

64.3           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, 10 were on target, three were below target but the annual target would be achieved, two were below target and the target was unlikely to be achieved and two were awaiting data.  Key areas where KPIs were performing particularly well were included at Paragraph 3.3 of the report and particular reference was made to KPI 7 as 706 visitors had entered the Growth Hub during the first two quarters so this action was on track to meet the 1,000 target for the year, and KPIs 21 and 22 which related to processing of new benefits claims and change of circumstances which had both improved due to new ways of working.

64.4           During the debate which ensued, the following queries and comments were made in relation to the Performance Tracker:

Priority: Promoting and Supporting Economic Growth

P41 – Objective 2 – Action a) Deliver employment land through the Joint Core Strategy and Tewkesbury Borough Plan – A Member sought clarification as to the amended target date and whether this was realistic.

The Head of Development Services confirmed that the target date was spring 2020 rather than  ...  view the full minutes text for item 64.

65.

Communications Strategy pdf icon PDF 220 KB

To consider the Communications Strategy 2020-24 and to recommend it to the Executive Committee for approval.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

65.1           Attention was drawn to the report of the Head of Corporate Services, circulated at Pages No. 76-106, and the revised Appendix 2 – Media Protocol, circulated separately.  Members were asked to consider the Communications Strategy 2020-24 and recommend to the Executive Committee that it be approved.

65.2           Members were informed that the previous Communications Strategy had been approved by the Executive Committee in 2017 so it had been necessary to carry out a review to ensure the strategy remained in line with best practice.  Clear communication helped to strengthen relationships with the public, residents, stakeholders, Councillors and employees and to inform them of service changes in response to the challenges facing local government.  The revised Communications Strategy, attached at Appendix 1 to the report, covered a four year period from 2020 to 2024 and would ensure that the Council embraced modern digital communications - such as social media, the Council’s website and email – whilst recognising the need to continue with more traditional methods e.g. face to face meetings and telephone contact.  The strategy identified key communication principles, achievements to date, what people thought of the authority, objectives going forward and how they would be achieved.  This was supported by an action plan which would be monitored by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on an annual basis.  Appendix 2, circulated separately, set out the Council’s media protocol which outlined the approach to dealing with media enquiries, developing press releases and identifying spokespersons.

65.3           A Member questioned how Ward Councillors were contacted if they were required to respond to a media enquiry and the Communications Officer advised that this was dependent on the timescale but would usually be via email, followed up with a telephone call.  A Member pointed out a typographical error on Page No. 9 of Appendix 2 where a reference was made to a Director rather than a Head of Service and the Corporate Services Manager undertook to ensure this was amended prior to consideration by the Executive Committee.

65.4           A Member drew attention to Page No. 84 of the report which stated that 58 members of the Citizens’ Panel had responded to a snapshot survey regarding communications and he questioned how many members were on the Panel in total.  In response, the Corporate Services Manager advised that there were approximately 250 volunteer members so this was a fairly high response rate.  She pointed out that when the wider customer satisfaction survey was carried out, this was promoted on social media and the Council’s website in order to encourage a greater response.  The Panel engaged regularly with the Council on a range of issues and consideration was being given as to how to thank them for their time.  A Member queried what criteria was used to establish the Panel and was advised that the only requirement was for members to be residents of Tewkesbury Borough.  It was noted that there was a link on the Council’s website for anyone who was interested in becoming a member of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 65.