Agenda and draft minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday 15 January 2019 9.30 am

Venue: Committee Room 2, East Pallant House. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services on 01243 534685  Email:  democraticservices@chichester.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

255.

Chairman's Announcements

Any apologies for absence will be noted at this point.

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed all those present and read out the emergency evacuation procedures.

 

Apologies for absence had been received from Graham Hicks.

256.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 142 KB

To approve the minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 13 November 2018.

 

To receive an update on progress against recommendations made to the Cabinet and the Council.

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

The minutes of the meeting of 13 November 2018 were approved and signed as a correct record.

 

Matters Arising:

 

Re: minute 245 from 13 November 2018 Mrs Murphy will be circulating statistics relating to the use of the Christmas Park and Ride service shortly. With reference to Mr Ransley’s proposal an update on the BID will be added to the OSC work programme.

 

Re: minute 248 from 13 November 2018 Mrs Peyman circulated the Novium donation figures to OSC members. On 10 November 2018 Mrs Peyman passed the recommendation onto the Novium TFG.

 

Re: minute 249 from 13 November 2018 the request for a member protocol to explain the SDNPA planning application process and red carding has been noted. The meeting between the SDNPA and members has been delayed until after the District Elections.

 

Re: minute 251 from 13 November 2018 invitations were sent to Chief Inspector Kris Ottery and the Police Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne and policing in Chichester District will be discussed at item six.

257.

Urgent Items

The Chairman will announce any urgent items that due to special circumstances are to be dealt with under the agenda item below relating to late items.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

 

258.

Declarations of Interests

Members and officers are reminded to make any declarations of disclosable pecuniary, personal and/or prejudicial interests they may have in respect of matters on the agenda for this meeting.

Minutes:

Dr O’Kelly declared a personal interest in respect of agenda item six as a Sussex magistrate.

 

The following members declared a personal interest in respect of agenda item seven as friends of Chichester Festival Theatre (CFT):

 

·       Mrs Apel

·       Mrs Dignum

·       Mrs Graves

·       Dr O’Kelly

·       Mrs Plant

 

Mrs Apel also declared a personal interest in respect of agenda item seven as a CFT volunteer chaperone.

259.

Public Question Time

The procedure for submitting public questions in writing no later than 12:00 on 14 January 2019 is available upon request from Democratic Services (the contact details for which appear on the front page of this agenda).

Minutes:

There were no public questions.

260.

Policing in Chichester District

Following the November 2018 meeting the Committee invited the Police Crime Commissioner and Chief Inspector to attend this meeting.

Minutes:

Chief Inspector Kris Ottery introduced himself and his colleague Inspector Sharon Sawyer. It was noted that the Police Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne had responded to the Committee’s invitation but was unable to attend the meeting. Chief Inspector Ottery clarified that the level of crime in the district had increased but this was true of the majority of the country. Due to the current trend for vehicle related crime in beauty spots Sussex Police continue to work with a number of other local Police forces towards making significant arrests. He explained that whilst some arrests had been made catching organised criminals across a wide geographical area presents many challenges.

 

On behalf of the Committee Mrs Apel asked Chief Inspector Ottery and Inspector Sawyer the following questions (answers in italics):

 

·       What is happening regarding the ongoing theft from motor vehicle (TRMV) offences around the car parks in the area? The incidents have been ongoing since early summer last year and there are still reports of more incidents happening. Due to the large number of incidents a lot of Police resource has gone into catching those involved however it can be difficult when the activity spans a wide geographical area.

·       Following the closure of some police stations what are Sussex Police doing to reassure local communities in rural areas that they are going to get a quick response to emergencies? Response teams are still based at Chichester and Bognor Police Stations. When officers arrive on shift they are allocated an area to proactively patrol depending on the day’s events and when required will be deployed to deal with an incident. There are also Police hubs in Midhurst, Petworth and Selsey that can be utilised. With regard to the closure of the custody suite in Chichester a cost analysis exercise took place and it was not deemed cost effective to maintain the service. However, those requiring interview but not custody can still be seen in Chichester.

·       Will the council tax increase and government grant result in 200 more Police in Sussex? There are now four additional people on the Neighbourhood Policing Team taking the numbers from seven to 11. The Missing Persons team has also seen recent investment as has the Community Investigation team.

·       Is the shortage of Police the main reason for the drop in crimes solved across the country? A greater number of Police officers would in turn be likely to make a greater difference to crime however good results are still being achieved.

·       What is the reason for shoplifters not being charged if the value of the theft is under £50? There is no specific cut off value for investigating shoplifting. Whether to investigate is decided on a case by case basis. It often depends on what other criminal activity (if any) an individual has been involved with. Early intervention is taken very seriously with partnership work involving social care and other agencies. The Police also have a good partnership with the council’s own officers.

·       How are the Police tackling cyber-crime?  ...  view the full minutes text for item 260.

261.

Chichester Festival Theatre Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 60 KB

The Committee is requested to receive the annual report from Chichester Festival Theatre and assess performance in line with the monitoring framework.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr Daniel Evans, Artistic Director for CFT and Ms Dale Rooks, Director of Learning for CFT introduced themselves. Mrs Peyman was also present.

 

Mrs Peyman introduced the annual monitoring report. She drew attention to section 4.1 of the report, in particular the table highlighting the activities and measures for the period April 2017 – March 2018.

 

Mr Evans then explained that CFT are proud of their partnership with the council and the association helps provide leverage for Arts Council funding as CFT is able to demonstrate economic and social impact in the local community. He confirmed that 2017/18 had been a record year with around 230,000 tickets sold, 83% capacity and seven national awards. He explained that people from 29 different countries had seen Fiddler on the Roof. He confirmed that 16-25 year old prologue tickets had been reduced to £5 which had resulted in a 133% rise in take up. He outlined the work of LEAP led by Ms Rooks which provided 3,200 sessions to over 60,000 participants. Mr Evans explained that the work with local schools had extended to over 6000 students with CFT offering relaxed performances aimed at those with autism. He confirmed that CFT had live streamed productions to the children’s wards at St Richards and Worthing hospitals and hoped to continue to develop this over the next year. He explained that CFT operates a buddy scheme to provide a theatre companion for those not wanting to visit alone. He confirmed that CFT were the only theatre in the UK to receive an Arts Award positive practice award for a poetry project in partnership with The Chichester Centre (Graylingwell). He added that the year had also seen a performance for Her Majesty the Queen and the celebration of the Freedom of the City for astronaut Tim Peake.

 

Mr Evans then outlined the main challenges faced by CFT. He explained that there have been difficulties finding space to accommodate the number and diverse range of workshops, community events, rehearsals and performances the theatre offers. As a result CFT has started hiring space from Chichester City Council and also working with Chichester Rugby Club to provide staff parking. Mr Evans confirmed that the other main challenge continued to be transportation in particular the local train infrastructure and theatre parking.

 

Mr Evans and Ms Rooks responded to members questions as follows (answers in italics):

 

·       Have CFT considered the route for staff walking back to the car park at the rugby club in the evening? The path is lit but the area is dark so this is something being considered. The current arrangement is that chaperones and children walk back in groups.

·       Has CFT considered hiring the council’s committee rooms? No, but it is something that would be considered.

·       With reference to page 29 of the agenda pack what are the seven quality principles for children and young people? The seven quality principles provided by the Arts Council are measured in a variety of ways including interviews, filming  ...  view the full minutes text for item 261.

262.

Novium Business Plan Update pdf icon PDF 61 KB

The Committee is requested to receive the business plan for the Novium Museum and Tourist Information Services and recommend to Cabinet for approval.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr Peyman introduced the item. Mrs Hotchkiss and Ms Thorndyke were also present. Mrs Peyman explained that following the initial PID in February 2016 an options appraisal had been carried out and it had been agreed not to pursue the outsourcing of the Novium. Instead, a task and finish group (TFG) was established to review the Novium’s business plan which would ultimately be considered by the Cabinet.

 

Ms Thorndyke then outlined a number of key projects. She explained that elements of the successful Tim Peake exhibition may be incorporated into the permanent displays. She confirmed that the Novium’s security had been upgraded to comply with the requirements for hosting national exhibitions. She outlined the success of the Lego exhibition and explained that a local camera exhibition was due to begin shortly. She then confirmed the five key objectives of the Novium over the next five years:

 

·       Create a leading visitor experience

·       Expand our reach and reputation

·       Collaborate with our community

·       Increase access to our collections

·       Diversity and increase funding streams

 

Ms Thorndyke then explained that the Novium had won a bronze tourism event of the year award and now has a 4* review on Tripadvisor.

 

Mrs Peyman, Ms Thorndyke and Mrs Hotchkiss responded to members questions as follows (answers in italics):

 

·       What is the core purpose of the service? The Novium has a responsibility to act as custodian for the heritage of the district by looking after the collection and building upon it for the future. It is important to ensure that the collection remains as accessible as possible to as many people as possible. The Novium is also a major cultural asset and important facility in the Chichester Vision.

·       What has been spent on digitalising and storing the collection? Estimated at less than 1% of the budget has been used but where there has been investment it has been made on the building to ensuring appropriate climate control for the collection.

·       Has consideration been given to the scale and flexibility of the cafe for the future? The cafe will be considered as part of the wider reconfiguration of the entrance area. It is hoped that any change to the cafe will encourage longer visits and also bring more visitors through the door.

·       Are there plans for the Novium to link with other local cultural events? The Novium has been working with Pallant House Gallery and CFT including running simultaneous open evenings.

·       Is social media being prioritised? Yes, the Communications Officer is focussing on increasing the Novium’s presence on Instagram.

·       With reference to page 91 of the report why was there a sudden change in the number of Tourist Information Centre (TIC) enquiries from 2016/17 to 2017/18? The figures are correct as there has been a noticeable change in the way that people use and interact with the TIC service.

·       Can the number of fixed displays be altered to provide a greater degree of flexibility and change in order to encourage repeat visits? It has been acknowledged that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 262.

263.

Update on progress relating to the management and levels of sickness within Chichester District Council pdf icon PDF 76 KB

The Committee is requested to note the progress over the last six months and latest sickness absence figures.

Minutes:

Mr Mildred introduced the item. He explained that the wellbeing team had been working alongside a professor from Portsmouth University regarding our approach to managing stress. He then clarified that the results of the anonymous stress survey had been discussed at the Joint Employee Consultative Panel (JECP). The overall results had been good and any areas for improvement had been highlighted for follow up. He confirmed that the sickness figures had improved throughout 2018 and in December had reached a more acceptable level of 7.24 days.

 

Mr Mildred answered members questions. With regard to training he explained that managers will be required to attend mandatory stress management training over the next three months. With regard to recording absence meetings managers will be expected to follow a set procedure to ensure consistency across teams.

 

In discussing further progress updates it was agreed that it would be most appropriate as part of the Corporate Plan TFG as sickness absence is one of the indicators covered.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the progress over the last six months and latest sickness absence figures be noted.

264.

Amendments to the Housing Allocations Scheme pdf icon PDF 55 KB

The Committee is requested to note the amendments to Chichester District Council’s Housing Allocations Scheme which clarify the eligibility of members of the Armed Forces and former Service Personnel to join the Council’s Housing Register.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mrs Reed introduced the report. She explained that following a decision by the Ombudsman an amendment to the Housing Allocations Scheme had been required in order to clarify the criteria for ex Armed Forces personnel joining the housing register. The amendment gives ex Armed Forces personnel a full local connection up to five years after discharge.

 

Mrs Reed also agreed to ensure that parish councils are notified of the amendments.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the amendments to Chichester District Council’s Housing Allocations Scheme which clarifies the eligibility of members of the Armed Forces and former Service Personnel to join the Council’s Housing Register be noted.

265.

Budget Review Task and Finish Group feedback

Mr Lloyd-Williams and Mrs Belenger will provide an oral report on the outcomes from this review.

Minutes:

Mr Lloyd-Williams introduced the report. Mrs Belenger was also present. He explained that the Budget TFG had been asked to consider the budget variations for 2019/20. He outlined key highlights as follows:

 

·       A 2% pay award next year.

·       £16.6 million raised in fees and charges.

·       A potential increase in Council Tax to be agreed by Full Council at its meeting in March.

·       A saving of £102,000 from the transfer of trade waste to Ford.

·       A reduction in recycling credit income due to the new West Sussex County Council (WSCC) regime.

·       An increase in the homeless hostel rental due to a rise in demand for the accommodation.

 

Mr Lloyd-Williams confirmed that the TFG were satisfied with the reasons for the variants. Mrs Belenger added that the Government settlement had arrived later than anticipated but details had been emailed to all members explaining that there were no major surprises as this was the final year of the accepted multi-year funding offer from the government. She clarified that only difference was on the New Homes Bonus figure which had been greater than anticipated.

 

The Committee then discussed requesting a report from the Waste and Recycling Panel on the potential impact to the council following the changes to recycling credits or alternatively setting up a TFG to discuss the issue further. It was also decided that WSCC housing delivery cuts should be investigated further. The Committee then agreed that it would be worthwhile combining both areas in one TFG.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.     That the oral feedback from the Budget Task and Finish Group be noted.

2.     That a Task and Finish Group be established to consider the implication of the WSCC funding cuts to recycling and housing services and the impact this will have on the council’s service delivery and financials.

 

Mr Martin left the meeting.

266.

Community Safety Review Task and Finish Group Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 63 KB

The Committee is requested to note the terms of reference and scoping outline plan for the Community Safety Review Task and Finish Group and agree membership of the Group.

Minutes:

The Committee agreed the terms of reference for the Community Safety Task and Finish Group (TFG).

 

Mrs Apel sought three nominations.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.     That the Community Safety Task and Finish Group terms of reference be agreed.

2.     That Mrs Dignum, Caroline Neville and Mr Potter be appointed to the Community Safety Task and Finish Group 2019.

267.

Revised Joint Scrutiny Terms of Reference and Protocol pdf icon PDF 60 KB

The Committee is requested to note the protocol for joint scrutiny with West Sussex borough and district councils which was recently agreed by the West Sussex Joint Scrutiny Steering Group (JSSG).

Minutes:

Mrs Apel explained that the Joint Scrutiny Terms of Reference and Protocol had been revised by the West Sussex Joint Scrutiny Steering Group (JSSG) and as such each associated Committee had been asked to note the revisions.

 

Mrs Apel then suggested putting forward the idea of joint scrutiny relating to the cuts in housing.

 

The Committee had no further suggestions.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the revision to the Joint Scrutiny Terms of Reference and Protocol be noted.

268.

Late Items

Consideration of any late items as follows:

 

a)    Items added to the agenda papers and made available for public inspection.

b)    Items which the Chairman has agreed should be taken as matters of urgency by reason of special circumstances reported at the meeting.

Minutes:

There were no late items.