Decision Maker: Overview & Scrutiny Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The Committee considered the report circulated with the agenda.
Mr Hyland introduced the Annual report and provided a brief overview of the process. The previous Chairman, Mrs Apel advised that the Committee had done a large amount of good work during the previous year.
Officers undertook to circulate the results of the annual survey on scrutiny at Chichester District Council sent to members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the wider membership.
Mrs Rudziak undertook to chase up the report requested from the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner for a detailed account of how the precept increase has been spent.
Mr Hyland explained that the draft Work Programme had been agreed at the Committee’s Annual Workshop, which was held to look back at the Committee’s work over the past year and to look at the work to be undertaken this year.
The Chairman asked members for any suggested changes and additional topics they would like added to the work plan, in particular for the next meeting on 10 September 2019.
During the discussion the Committee made the following amendments to the Work Programme received answers to questions including the following:
- Task and Finish Groups (TFGs): The terms of reference for the Corporate Plan TFG presented to the Committee each year were broadly the same and the Committee could amend if they wished. In formulating the TFG it was helpful for the whole Committee to have a broad understanding of the projects being monitored to help direct the TFGs in terms of where they should be scrutiny is best placed. The Corporate Plan was available to all members to view if they wished to view the Council’s priorities. When considering the Terms of reference, members would be able to identify the topics that the TFG should be concentrating on. Officers undertook to provide the Committee with the terms of reference for the three TFGs.
- Sickness Level Report - It was felt that a deeper investigation was required, in particular concerning staff workloads, which were considered a strategic issue: Mrs Rudziak explained that the Committee’s discussions had resulted in the Absence Management procedure being revised and suggested that members wait to see the impact of the revisions before deciding if more work was required. It was noted that sickness levels were already falling. Mr Hyland undertook to circulate the papers previously circulated to the Committee so that members could see the work previously considered. Add update report for six months’ time.
- There should be more communication between the rural Midhurst, Selsey and Petworth vision delivery plans and the City Chichester Vision, with the sharing of ideas as some were relevant to both the rural and city areas, with equal focus on all: Mrs Rudziak suggested that the Committee could add this as a future item in itself for the Committee to consider to see if there were any further particular issues that required further investigation. The issue would be discussed further outside of the meeting, to include input from the Marketing and Communications Team, concerning communication and the perception that the Council was ‘citycentric’ and a paper reported to the Committee at an appropriate time.
- Council’s Temporary Accommodation: The Chairman advised that the project was ongoing and a report would be brought back for the Committee to review the project once the building worked had been completed and was occupied.
- Cabinet Member Presentations:Cabinet Member for Environment and Chichester Contract Services to address the Committee at the same meeting that the report on reducing single use plastics was considered. Mrs Rudziak advised that the Committee would be required to prepare a scope for the Portfolio Holder. Add to November.
- Task and Finish Groups: The Leader of the Council intended to set up a Cabinet task and finish group to look at events and markets.
- Environmental Issues - Single use plastics and recycling officer: A further more focused report on environmental issues that addressed climate change was agreed. The new Waste and Environment Panel’s terms of reference would be considered by Cabinet in July. This Committee would see the terms of reference and would be able to suggest items for inclusion on the agenda. It was agreed that members Add to November.
- Police and Crime Commissioner: A further letter was requested to be written to Katy Bourne asking her to make time to come to attend a meeting of the Committee. It was agreed that this suggestion would be discussed outside of the meeting.
- WSCC Children and Young People’s Services Select Committee: It was agreed that Mrs Apel would resume observing these meetings as a member of public and report back to the Committee.
- WSCC Health and Adults Social Care Select Committee: The Chairman asked Mrs Bangert, the Council’s representative, to report back to the Committee by email.
- Cabinet Members: Invite all Cabinet members to address the Committee over the next two years and give them a clear brief.
- Cabinet Member for Finance, Growth, Place and Regeneration: Mr Dignum. Chichester Vision, Chichester BID, Chichester Retail and Southern Gateway. Add to September.
- Public Attendance at Meetings: It was commented that there were no public in attendance today. The Chairman of the Council, sitting in the audience, advised that she did ‘tweets’ as a way of encouraging more speakers at the Council meeting. She would be happy to do it for other meetings as well. It was suggested that members of the Council could promote items and talk to the parishes. There could also be some involvement from the Communications Team. The Committee would like to encourage the public to see the scrutiny it was undertaking and to ask questions.
- WSCC Highways Infrastructure – Current poor air quality areas and also the effect the planned infrastructure works would have on air quality: Officers advised that West Sussex Highways could be invited to the Committee to contribute to the Air Quality Action Plan item in respect of their WSCC Road Audit, Traffic Plan and the implementation of the different highways schemes. It was noted that the various road traffic audits fed into the County and District Joint Air Quality Working Group. Mrs Purnell addressed the Committee from the audience to advise that observers at the County local area committees were able to raise these issues at the meetings and ask what WSCC could do to alleviate the issues. The Chairman advised that there were two aspects to this topic, the first was the District Council’s Air Quality Action Plan and the second was the air quality that was the responsibility of WSCC. It was agreed that this topic would be worked on outside of the meeting to ensure both the District and County issues were dealt with properly. Add to January.
- Southern Gateway timing of meetings: Daytime public meetings about the project were likely to affect shopkeepers’ attendance. Mrs Rudziak advised that they would be given other opportunities to be provided with the details, including at the Annual business rates meeting, and reports on the High Street would be considered in the next 6 months. It was suggested that members speak to individual shopkeepers and report their views back.
- Evening Meetings: The Chairman advised that, with regard to the involvement of the public and businesses in Committee business, where appropriate meetings should be held in the evenings.
The Chairman suggested that members may wish to think about the proposed Work Programme and anything they wished to change for future months. The amendments and suggestions to the Work Programme would be made outside of the meeting and members would be kept informed.
1) That the Committee’s 2018-2019 Annual Report be agreed.
2) That the Committee’s 2019-2020 Work Programme be agreed.
RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL
That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s 2018-2019 Annual Report be noted.
Publication date: 02/09/2019
Date of decision: 18/06/2019
Decided at meeting: 18/06/2019 - Overview & Scrutiny Committee