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Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Tewkesbury Borough Council Offices, Severn Room

Contact: Democratic Services Tel: 01684 272021  Email:

No. Item



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.   


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


Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

To receive apologies for absence and advise of any substitutions. 


24.1          Apologies for absence were received from Councillors T J Budge and P N Workman.  There were no substitutes for the meeting. 


Declarations of Interest

Pursuant to the adoption by the Council on 24 January 2023 of the Tewkesbury Borough Council Code of Conduct, effective from 1 February 2023, as set out in Minute No. CL.72, Members are invited to declare any interest they may have in the business set out on the Agenda to which the approved Code applies.


25.1          The Committee’s attention was drawn to the Tewkesbury Borough Code of Conduct which was adopted by the Council on 24 January 2023 and took effect on 1 February 2023

25.2          There were no declarations made on this occasion.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 237 KB

To approve the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 July 2023.


26.1          The Minutes of the meeting held on 11 July 2023, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair. 


Executive Committee Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 247 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.


27.1          Attention was drawn to the Executive Committee Forward Plan, circulated at Pages No. 19-35.  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. 

27.2          The Director: Corporate Services advised that the Forward Plan had been updated to incorporate changes requested by the Executive Committee and now included an overview of each Agenda item, a column for the Lead Member and a column for background papers.  The plan itself was reasonably well populated and remained a fluid document, although he acknowledged there were a number of items in the pending section which he would work with Officers to slot into the appropriate meeting.  A Member asked whether it would be possible to produce a summary document showing dates of the Executive Committee meetings and what was being considered at each meeting; she had found it difficult to identify what the Executive Committee was working on and felt this would help members of the public to more easily understand the work of the Committee.  The Director: Corporate Services explained that the Forward Plan was owned by the Executive Committee and the Members of that Committee had expressed a desire to add more detail to the plan which was reflected by the additions he had described; however, he would take this comment away for consideration.

27.3          A Member noted that the Economic Development and Tourism Strategy was due to be considered by the Executive Committee on 18 October 2023 and she sought clarification as to whether that would be postponed given that it was not included for consideration on today’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee Agenda.  The Head of Service: Community and Economic Development explained that, since the last Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting, the Borough Council had been consulted on the countywide Economic Development and Tourism Strategy and it was now intended to hold a Member seminar in relation to the countywide strategy as this would influence the Borough Council’s strategy.  Additionally, the strategy would need to align with the emerging work on the Council Plan and the priorities within that.  The item would therefore be moved to the pending section in the interim.

27.4          In response to a query as to why the Council Tax, Business Rates and Housing Benefits Overpayments Debt Recovery Policy and the Equalities and Diversity Policy had both been deferred, as referenced at Page No. 33 of the report, the Director: Corporate Resources advised that the former had been included in the Forward Plan at the request of the previous Head of Service; it was anticipated that it would be removed follow a refocus of the team.  The Equalities and Diversity Policy was an important policy that required a corporate group to take it forward and the supporting programme needed an action plan in order to demonstrate delivery against the policy so that item would also be removed from the Forward Plan for the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.


Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 151 KB

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


28.1          Attention was drawn to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme, circulated at Pages No. 36-45.  Members were asked to consider the Work Programme and Action List.

28.2          Accordingly, it was

RESOLVED           That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2023/24 be NOTED


Council Plan Performance Tracker - Quarter One 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 206 KB

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

Additional documents:


29.1          The report of the Director: Corporate Resources, circulated at Pages No. 46-99, attached the performance management information for quarter one of 2023/24.  The Overview and Scrutiny Committee was asked to review and scrutinise the information and, where appropriate, identify any issues to refer to the Executive Committee for clarification or further action to be taken.

29.2          Members were informed this was the first quarterly monitoring report for 2023/24 and represented the latest information in terms of the status of the actions set out in the Council Plan.  Progress against delivering the objectives and actions for each of the six Council Plan priorities was reported through the performance tracker, attached at Appendix 1 to the report, which was a combined document that also included a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).  Key financial information was also reported alongside the tracker documents with a revenue budget statement attached at Appendix 2 to the report, a capital monitoring statement attached at Appendix 3 to the report and a reserves position summary attached at Appendix 4 to the report.

29.3          Key actions for the quarter were highlighted at Paragraph 2.3 of the report and included approval of the introduction of webcasting, with an Officer project group having been established to take that forward, and the reinvigoration of the Garden Town following a gateway review.  Members were reminded that, due to the complex nature of the actions being delivered, it was inevitable that some would not progress as smoothly or as quickly as envisaged and the details of those actions were set out at Paragraph 2.4 of the report.  In terms of KPIs, the status of each indicator was set out at Paragraph 3.2 of the report.  KPIs where direction of travel was down and/or not on target, were set out at Paragraph 3.3 of the report, with KPIs that were performing well highlighted at Paragraph 3.4 of the report.

29.4          The Chair drew attention to Pages No. 48 and 51 of the report, which highlighted the positive actions achieved during the period, and invited Members to comment.  A Member expressed the view that the new corporate website which had been launched on 21 July was a brilliant piece of work and offered a vastly improved customer experience. 

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

Priority: Finance and Resources

Page No. 57 – Objective 2 – Action a) Ensure our Council Tax remains in the lowest quartile nationally – A Member questioned whether being in the lowest quartile had any correlation to the quality of services that could be provided by the Council.

The Executive Director: Resources advised that this was a target set by the previous Council and the authority had the eighth lowest Council Tax in the country at £40 below the lowest quartile threshold.  Work had not yet commenced in relation to the setting of Council Tax for 2024/25; this was due to be approved in February  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.


Housing and Homelessness Strategy Action Plan Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 86 KB

To consider the progress made against delivery of the Housing and Homelessness Strategy Action Plan. 

Additional documents:


30.1          Attention was drawn to the report of the Head of Service: Housing, circulated at Pages No. 100-131, which asked Members to consider the progress made against delivery of the Housing and Homelessness Strategy Action Plan.

30.2          The Lead Member for Housing, Health and Wellbeing indicated that this was an inherited strategy which had been approved prior to the elections in May and he was keen for the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to look at it in detail to ensure it was fulfilling its aims.  The Head of Service: Housing advised that the Housing and Homelessness Strategy had been approved in 2022/23 and had been developed in consultation with partners, including Members who had attended a workshop session.  The strategy contained three key priorities: increasing the supply of new homes, including affordable homes; regenerating and making best use of existing housing; and meeting the housing needs of homeless households and others with specific needs.  The main achievements against those priorities during the year were set out at Paragraph 2 of the report.  In terms of priority one, this included working with Gloucestershire Rural Community Council (GRCC) to progress the programme of rural housing needs surveys and Members were advised that GRCC had offered to run a session for all Members in relation to rural housing so that would be arranged in due course.  In terms of priority two, it was intended to help customers to understand the level of accessible properties available on the housing register by adding a rating e.g. a property rated A would be fully adaptable and wheelchair accessible whereas a property rated G would be inaccessible.  In addition, the team had supported a project led by Rooftop to secure better standards for customers in terms of tenure, energy efficiency and sizes.  With regard to priority three, there was an ongoing piece of work to improve knowledge within the team in order to support survivors/victims of domestic abuse; hearing from individuals with lived experience had been very impactful and had led to different approaches being adopted in some cases.

30.3          In relation to the introduction at Page No. 106 of the report, a Member noted that paragraph three stated that a key priority was addressing the challenges of climate change and went on to mention that the strategy aimed to reduce reliance on fossil fuels for new and existing homes and he asked if there were any plans to offer retrofitting to existing homes.  Members were informed that the Council did not provide grants directly but this was something offered through the Warm and Well Scheme delivered by the Severn Wye Energy Agency on behalf of the authority.  A Member noted that Page No. 108 of the strategy stated that the average rent per week for a two bedroom property in Tewkesbury Borough was £172 for a private sector property which she felt seemed low given that rising interest rates had reduced property values and increased average rents.  In response, the Head of Service: Housing confirmed that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.


Gloucestershire Police and Crime Panel Update pdf icon PDF 126 KB

To receive an update from the Council’s representative on matters considered at the last meeting (8 September 2023). 


31.1          Attention was drawn to the report from the Council’s representative on the Gloucestershire Police and Crime Panel, circulated separately, which gave an update on matters discussed at the last meeting held on 8 September 2023.

31.2          The Council’s representative on the Gloucestershire Police and Crime Panel indicated that he wished to draw particular attention to the increase in shoplifting across the county and advised that the Police and Crime Commissioner would be speaking to local shopkeepers and interested parties to work out what to do.  He also highlighted the antisocial use of e-scooters and advised that the policy was that if a Police Officer saw an illegal scooter they must take action; however, this relied on a Police Officer being present. 

31.3          A Member asked what level of interaction the Police and Crime Panel had with the Police and Crime Commissioner and whether they were able to ask questions and the Council’s representative confirmed that was the case.  With regard to violence against women, the Member asked whether Gloucestershire Constabulary intended to visit youth clubs as raising awareness amongst young people was key in terms of prevention and was something a number of Parish Councils across the county tried to facilitate.  The Council’s representative advised that the Police and Crime Commissioner was looking at going to schools and youth clubs to discuss his priorities with a specific focus on violence against women and girls although he was not aware of the timeframe for that.  Another Member noted that rural crime cost had reduced by 29% and she asked whether that was the cost of theft/damage or the cost to the Police.  The Council’s representative explained that the Minutes of the meeting included a breakdown of how much was spent on crime in Gloucestershire; the cost of crime in rural areas related to cost to society.  The Member asked how it compared to the actual crime rate as rural crime seemed to be increasing in her area.  In response, the Council’s representative undertook to seek a response to this question.  In response to a query regarding the establishment of new Police community hubs, the Council’s representative confirmed that more areas would be receiving a Police station but, for operational reasons, the locations had not been disclosed – it was hoped that all of the previous Police stations would be reopened with more established.

31.4          A Member asked what the Council could actually do in terms of addressing crime at a borough level and the Council’s representative advised that the Community Safety Partnership was the mechanism for tackling crime at a district level.  The Director: Corporate Governance advised that a presentation in relation to the Community Safety Partnership and whether it was delivering against its Terms of Reference was included in the pending items section of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme and he undertook to establish when this could be delivered following the meeting.  Another Member noted that this item was also intended to cover the Aston Project which  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.


Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee Update pdf icon PDF 368 KB

To receive an update from the Council’s representative on matters considered at the last meeting (20 July 2023). 


32.1          Attention was drawn to the report from the Council’s representative on the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee, circulated at Pages No. 132-134, which gave an update on matters discussed at the last meeting held on 20 July 2023. 

32.2          The Council’s representative on the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee advised that the meeting had largely been taken up by transport which was a Gloucestershire County Council competence as opposed to a district one.  His main concern was that the County Council Officers had not known the relevant Officers to engage with at Tewkesbury Borough Council and had subsequently sent the consultation documents to Democratic Services in the hope they would reach the correct person.  He had asked for a meeting with the Interim Planning Policy Manager to check that Tewkesbury Borough Council was engaging when requested as it was important that Councillors at both a Borough and Parish level had a voice and were able to tell people in their communities what was recommended and why it was needed.

32.3          In response to a query regarding funding of the bus improvement plan, the Council’s representative clarified that this would be via Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus (BSIP Plus) funding.  The Member indicated that he was passionate about saving local bus services and had sought the local MPs support in relation to that.  He went on to raise concern that cycleways often had inappropriate surfaces, were full of debris or did not link up with roads in the right way and there was infrastructure in private ownership which was being ignored – there were heritage railways with space at the side for cycleways between different centres and that would not be difficult to achieve.  In his view, that was where engagement should be focused rather than developing new ones alongside roads.  Another Member felt that the bus improvement plan would benefit young people, particularly in rural areas; there were young people in her Ward who chose a college based on whether they could reach it.  The Council’s representative confirmed that the plan aimed to link villages with towns and towns with cities to make it as effective as possible – this was why the role of the Parish and Borough Council was so important to ensure the right messages were being received by the County Council.  A Member pointed out that Brockworth had its own sustainable transport plan and suggested that the Borough Council should look into the needs and wants of residents.  People were scared of using roads for cycling so they avoided them and that should not be the case.  A Member asked what other forms of transport were being considered as part of the Mass Transit Project and was advised that no decisions had been made as yet and consultation was currently underway; however, buses were favoured over trains which were quite expensive.

32.4          It was

RESOLVED           That the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee update be NOTED.