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Agenda and minutes

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

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Items
No. Item

50.

Announcements

Minutes:

50.1          The Chair advised that the meeting was being held under the emergency provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 and, specifically, the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020.  The meeting was being broadcast live via the internet, it was not being recorded by the Council but, under the usual transparency rules, it may be being recorded by others.  

51.

Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

To receive apologies for absence and advise of any substitutions. 

Minutes:

51.1          There were no apologies for absence but the Chair noted that he would need to leave the meeting at 5.30pm and would hand over to the Vice-Chair to manage the meeting at that point.  

52.

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:

52.1          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.

52.2          There were no declarations of interest on this occasion.

53.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 317 KB

To approve the Minutes of the meeting held on 24 November 2020.

Minutes:

53.1          The Minutes of the meeting held on 24 November 2020, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as a correct record. 

54.

Executive Committee Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 234 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:

54.1          Attention was drawn to the Executive Committee Forward Plan, circulated at Pages No. 21-25. 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.

54.2          It was

RESOLVED          That the Executive Committee Forward Plan be NOTED.

55.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 257 KB

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

Minutes:

55.1          Attention was drawn to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2020/21, circulated at Pages No. 26-34, which Members were asked to consider.

55.2          The Head of Corporate Services apologised for the printing error which had resulted in some of the items being split across two pages and some of the pages duplicated. He advised that he would be taking the Work Programme to Management Team for discussion on Monday to understand if the main items in March and April would be coming forward. In terms of the meeting on 9 March, the Head of Community Services advised that the Private Rented Housing Sector Scheme was in the process of being evaluated but the member of staff doing that work was currently on sickness absence so it may be delayed.

55.3          Referring to the ‘pending items’, a Member questioned whether there was any update on when the presentation from Severn Trent would be received. In response, the Head of Community Services advised that he had not had any contact with Severn Trent to date but he would make contact and invite them to a future meeting.

55.4          A Member noted that the Climate Change and Flood Risk Management Group was due to report back to the Committee in July. He understood there had been some issues in his area with flooding and he had asked those Parishes affected to compile a list of the issues encountered so they could be reported on a multi-agency basis but he felt it important to understand what input the Committee would have to any multi-agency meeting and how Members and Parishes could be more involved in the Climate Change and Flood Risk Management Group when it discussed such issues. In response, the Head of Community Services advised that the Council’s flooding response was not something that was discussed at the Climate Change and Flood Risk Management Group but an Officer review was currently being undertaken and he could bring some learning from that to a future meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. In terms of the report of the Climate Change and Flood Risk Management Group which was due in July, the Head of Development Services and Head of Finance and Asset Management would be discussing the form that would take now they had taken over lead responsibility for it from the Deputy Chief Executive.

55.5          A Member referred to the ‘Planning Committee Overturns’ item which was due to be received in February and questioned why that would no longer be considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. In response, he was advised that planning performance was scrutinised through the Key Performance Indicators. The Minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee made it clear that the framework for the production of the Key Performance Indicators had been endorsed by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and outturn figures would be considered by the Planning Committee on an annual basis thereafter. A report was programmed for consideration by the Planning Committee in February.

55.6  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.

56.

Council Plan Performance Tracker and COVID-19 Recovery Tracker - Quarter Two 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 423 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

56.1          The report of the Head of Corporate Services, circulated at Pages No. 35-119, attached the performance management and recovery information for quarter two of 2020/2021 along with a financial update for the period. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee was asked to review and scrutinise the performance and recovery information and, where appropriate, identify any issues to refer to the Executive Committee for clarification or further action to be taken.

56.2          In presenting the report, the Head of Corporate Services indicated that there were three elements: the Council Plan tracker; the Recovery Plan tracker; and the financial information update. He advised that he would deal with the first two elements and take any questions on those, and then hand over to the Head of Finance and Asset Management to deal with the final element on the Council’s finances.

56.3          Members were advised that the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic had been detrimental to some priorities with resources being redeployed to support staff, residents, businesses and communities whilst maintaining core service delivery. The recovery plan had been established to address those challenges and included a number of objectives and actions. The report presented the second quarter update of the new Council Plan with several key successful activities since the last performance report, which were set out at Paragraph 2.3. However, some actions had been put on hold as staff resources had been deployed to the response and recovery from COVID-19; those had been deferred (greyed out) in the Council Plan and included: introducing and complying with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s (CIPFA’s) new financial management code; updating the Council’s asset management plan; approving a new planned maintenance programme; in-sourcing the management of the homeless property portfolio; working with the Local Enterprise Partnership and other partners to deliver the Local Industrial Strategy; bringing forward plans for the redevelopment of Spring Gardens; continuing to improve the proactive homelessness prevention programme; working with Gloucestershire County Council and other partners to help local residents and businesses take action to reduce their own carbon footprint and to make better use of resources; and improving bio-diversity across the Borough and educating communities on its benefits. Paragraph 4.3 of the report explained how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic was impacting actions within the recovery tracker as some services were operating across response, recovery or business as usual mode or, in some cases, across all three. Unfortunately, since writing the report at the beginning of December, the national picture had changed dramatically again which would impact further on the information to be presented at quarter three. Paragraph 3.2 of the report gave a high level overview of service related Key Performance Indicators which were showing a decline in the direction of travel of performance compared to the previous year or not meeting target in the current year. However, it was noted that performance compared to national figures was still good for a number of the Key Performance Indicators. Paragraph 3.4 set out the new Key Performance  ...  view the full minutes text for item 56.

57.

Customer Care Strategy pdf icon PDF 145 KB

To consider the Customer Care Strategy and recommend it to the Executive Committee to be approved. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

57.1          The Chair left the meeting and the Vice-Chair took the Chair.  

57.2          The report of the Head of Corporate Services, circulated at Pages No. 120-133, detailed the Customer Care Strategy which Members were asked to recommend to the Executive Committee for approval.

57.3          The Corporate Services Manager explained that the new strategy would help raise the profile of customer care and placed importance on the experience of customers and an understanding of how the standard of care influenced their opinion of the Council.  It looked at who the Council’s customers were, what they were telling the Council, what was meant by customer service and role of the teams within the Council. To ensure the Council was fulfilling its promise to put its customers first, and put them at the heart of what it did, the strategy set out themes and an action plan complemented those themes. The themes highlighted what the Council needed to focus on to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction: introducing a fresh set of customer service standards – this was very useful as it made it clear to customers what they could expect - the main change, identified at Appendix 2 to the report, was that staff were encouraged to take ownership of calls they received as well as the introduction of a reduction in the number of days taken to respond to emails from 10 to five to reflect best practice and meet customer expectations; to make it easier, simpler and more convenient for customers to interact with the Council when requiring a service – the Customer Services Team Leader was supporting changes in the Planning Admin Team to ensure customer care sat at the heart of the service and that first contact resolution was a priority; use feedback from residents to help shape future service delivery – the Citizens’ Panel was a useful tool but an extensive residents satisfaction survey was required; make sure staff are equipped with the skills to deliver high quality customer service – this did not come naturally to some people so there was a need to ensure customer service training was available to all; promote channel shift to provide services in a way that was more convenient for customers and less expensive for the Council – by doing this capacity would be freed up to support customers who needed the more traditional methods of communication; and working with partners in the Public Services Centre to ensure customers had a seamless and worthwhile experience when visiting the offices. The Corporate Services Manager explained that, since the COVID-19 pandemic, the way customers contacted the Council had changed and the impacts of that had been managed really well with very little negative feedback. The demand for the Area Information Centres had been very low as customers had been content with phone calls and virtual meetings and it was felt this success needed to be captured and encouraged but with the recognition that there would always be a need for face-to-face  ...  view the full minutes text for item 57.

58.

Communications Strategy Action Plan Review pdf icon PDF 164 KB

To consider the progress made against the actions within the Communications Strategy during 2020/21 and to endorse the action plan for 2021/22.  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

58.1          The report of the Corporate Services Manager, circulated at Pages No. 134-142, detailed the progress made on the 2020/21 action plan along with the proposed actions for 2021/22 which Members were asked to note.   

58.2          In introducing the report, the Corporate Services Manager explained that the dates in the covering report were wrong and should be 2020/21 and 2021/22. The current strategy set out how to develop communications and ensure the Council was using best practice as well as strengthening the relationship with the public, stakeholders and staff. The action plan had been delivered alongside the day to day work of the Communications Team which included media enquiries, corporate projects, Tewkesbury Borough News, News 4 U, intranet updates and social media. The team was extremely busy and had been instrumental in communicating the Council’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Corporate Services Manager felt it was testament to the team they had managed to complete the majority of actions in the plan. Two actions would miss the end of year deadline and one action had not been started and those were set out at Paragraph 3.2 of the report. The action plan for 2021/22 was attached to the report and contained 27 actions which reflected the additional resource within the team as well as adding a new specific ‘graphic design’ category which would be delivered by the Council’s internal graphic designer. The seven areas of focus for the action plan were: proactive communications; digital communications; training; communicating achievements; internal communications; communicating with partners; and graphic design.  

58.3          A Member advised that the Town and Parish Councils had really appreciated the bulletins that had been provided during the COVID-19 pandemic and asked that her thanks be passed onto the team. Accordingly, it was

                 RESOLVED           That the progress made on the 2020/21 action plan be NOTED                              and that the actions for 2021/22 be APPROVED.