Agenda and minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday 13 November 2018 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

240.

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 Mr Dunn and Mr Shaxson.

241.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 111 KB

To approve the minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 18 September 2018.

 

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

Minutes:

It was noted that the attendance list on the front page of the minutes should indicate Mr Hicks, Mr Galloway and Mr Martin were in attendance at the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) meeting held on 18 September 2018.

 

RESOLVED

 

The minutes of the meeting of 18 September 2018 were approved and signed as a correct record subject to the amendment above.

 

Matters Arising:

 

Re: minute 233 from 18 September 2018 in line with the OSC recommendations the Cabinet on 2 October 2018 agreed to apply the proposed Council Tax discounts for 2019/20 and provided that the Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Bill 2017-2019 is passed, also agreed that the council tax empty homes premium be set at 100% for the 2019-2020 financial year.  

242.

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.

243.

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:

Members of the Committee made the following declarations of interest:

 

Mrs Apel declared a personal interest in respect of agenda item 6 as a member of Chichester City Council

 

Mr Budge declared a personal interest in respect of agenda item 6 as a member of Chichester City Council.

 

Mr Galloway declared a personal interest in respect of agenda item 6 as a member of Chichester City Council.

 

Mrs Dignum declared a personal interest in respect of agenda item 7 as an acquaintance of Mr Gershater.

 

Mrs Dignum also declared a personal interest in respect of agenda item 9 as a CDC appointed trustee of Pallant House Gallery.

244.

Public Question Time

The procedure for submitting public questions in writing no later than 12:00 on 12 November 2018 is available upon request from Democratic Services (the contact details for which appear on the front page of this agenda).

Minutes:

Local resident Linda Boize asked the following public questions (officer responses are indicated in italics). 

 

Question:

 

As required by the new Homelessness Reduction Act, CDC will seek to prevent homelessness by working with people at risk of becoming homeless”. How and when do you or will you measure how you’ve done, and against what criteria of success or failure? In measuring how you’ve done, do you take account of the successes or shortcomings of the efforts of charities and other organisations you signpost to or hand responsibility to?

 

Answer:

 

Under the Homelessness Reduction Act the Council are legally required to assess: the housing needs of the household, identify the cause of homelessness and the support needs of the household.  Once the assessment is complete officers must take reasonable steps to prevent or relieve homelessness which will include working in partnership with other organisations to address the identified needs.  The Council are able to end this legal duty once they have secured suitable accommodation which is available for the household’s occupation and has a reasonable prospect of being available for at least 6 months. 

 

Performance is measured at both a local and a national level. Details of local performance indicators can be found on the Council’s web-site www.chichester.gov.uk/corporateplan, they include a specific indicator on the % of cases where homelessness is threatened and prevented. All Local Authorities are required to record the work they undertake to prevent and relieve homelessness on a government system called HCLIC, the data required for the return is comprehensive so that Local Authorities and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will be able to evaluate performance and the need for future funding using meaningful and quality data. The data recorded does include referrals and support provided by both statutory and voluntary organisations.

 

Question:

 

Regarding the possible £6m cuts to housing support by the County Council, a decision proposed for April 2019 and now delayed until September 2019 – my question is: “how closely are you being kept informed of County’s thinking as their consultations proceed so that you are able to manage your efforts to take timely actions depending on County’s continued funding?

 

Answer:

 

The Council is aware of the proposal for West Sussex County Council to reduce, or cut, it’s budget for housing related support. We have been working closely with other District and Borough Councils across the county, the County Council and providers of the services to fully understand the impacts of any potential reduction in service. As you correctly say the contracts for housing related support have now been extended until September 2019 by the County Council and there is a full consultation underway which closes in early December.  The results of that consultation will be considered by the Health and Adult Social Care Select Committee of the County Council in December and will inform a decision to be taken by the West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Adults and Health on future funding for housing related support following  ...  view the full minutes text for item 244.

245.

Review of Business Improvement District (BID) pdf icon PDF 49 KB

The Committee is requested to note the report relating to Chichester Business Improvement District (BID).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mrs Murphy was joined by Mr Colin Hicks, the Chairman of Chichester Business Improvement District (BID).

 

Mr Hicks introduced the report. He explained that since last year a review of the operation of the BID, its team and board had resulted in a greater emphasis being placed on levy payers. He then outlined a number of key projects:

 

·       The Christmas programme of events for 2018.

·       Finding a resolution to the on street parking issues.

·       The introduction of a number of city trails to encourage visitors to the shops and businesses located on the side streets of the city centre.

·       The launch of a Chichester gift card to provide spending money in a number of shops and establishments in the city centre (the gift card is available for purchase internationally with spending restrictions requiring the recipient to visit the city in order to spend the gift card).

 

Mr Hicks confirmed that he had as yet been unable to resolve the problems relating to promotional boards and signage. He explained that the owners of businesses where ‘A’ boards were removed have reported a 40% decline in footfall. Mr Hicks then explained that Chichester’s high street is viewed as resilient due to its profile for culture, heritage and increasingly its cafe culture.

 

Mr Hicks responded to members questions. He clarified that the introduction of parking incentives would be a way to provide support to local businesses to combat the national parking perception problem. He confirmed that the abbreviation (GVA) stands for Gross Value Added and relates to the amount of income coming in to a business, the amount spent and the overall profit made. With regard to the City Rangers, the scheme was established following the change to policing methods and although the City Rangers have no legal powers to enforce the law they have successfully acted as a deterrent to prevent crime on several occasions. The scheme has been extended until 31 March 2019 with additional funding from the City Council but Mr Hicks hoped that funding could be secured further. With regard to the supply of overnight accommodation in the city Mr Hicks confirmed that the BID would welcome initiatives to provide additional hotels in the local area. With regard to investment in local businesses £45,000 has been invested in independent businesses through mentoring and shop front grants. Mr Hicks clarified that the creation of community hubs in empty shops has worked elsewhere but would require support from CDC in order to provide access to the empty buildings. With regard to destination retail shops he confirmed that a number of larger retailers had expressed interest in Chichester if the right site became available. Mr Hicks confirmed that the BID levy is calculated on business rates not business rate relief. With regard to data collection the BID use ‘Noggin’ to run a triangulated mobile phone counter to identify mobile phone signals as they enter the city centre. The software does not record individual telephone numbers or mobile phones that are switched off  ...  view the full minutes text for item 245.

246.

Visit Chichester Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 55 KB

The Committee will receive the six monthly update from Visit Chichester and is requested to assess performance in line with the Service Level Agreement.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mrs Peyman was joined by Mr Craig Gershater the Chairman of Visit Chichester and Mr Hobbs, the CDC appointed representative for Visit Chichester.

 

Mrs Peyman introduced the report and confirmed that section 3.2 should read November 2017 rather than November 2018. She outlined the key points of the report and explained that in February 2017 the Cabinet had agreed to provide Visit Chichester with funding of £50,000 per year for five years following the commencement of a Funding Agreement and Service Level Agreement (SLA). She confirmed that Visit Chichester had entered into both agreements on 1 March 2018. She then outlined the progress to date on the activities required as part of the SLA which included:

 

·       Mr Gershater’s appointment as Chairman in November 2017.

·       The identification of the requirement for two additional private sector Directors for the Visit Chichester Board.

·       The appointment of Go To Places (GTP) to provide Destination Management services.

·       The creation of an Executive Chairman post and a Destination Management Executive post.

·       The review of all Visit Chichester governance documents.

 

Mrs Peyman explained that the Destination Management Plan and subsequent Business Plan are on schedule to be published in January 2019.

 

Mr Gershater then responded to members questions. Following one request he also confirmed his experience and qualifications. He clarified his approach to Visit Chichester by explaining that he viewed it as a new business client, considering the problems and deciding how best to resolve them. With regard to the office space that the Novium hires to Visit Chichester he confirmed that a commercial rent agreement is currently in place. With regard to the 600,000 overnight visitor data he explained that visitors to the various caravan parks in the district had been included in the figures. He confirmed the intention to establish an advisory board with a representative from the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) and the author of Sustainable Tourism on the Manhood Peninsular (STOMP). The board will initially be tasked with the creation of a mission statement, strategic intent and outline of the technical delivery. With regard to the Visit Chichester Business Plan (BP) the focus will be on the creation of a marketing strategy to encourage a greater number of visitors to the city. With regard to Visit Chichester funding, £50,000 is provided by CDC and £50,000 by Chichester BID. With regard to the Visit Chichester social media presence Mr Gershater explained that following the appointment of the Destination Management Executive a number of the issues raised by the Committee including social media presence would be addressed.

 

Mr Hobbs then outlined the possibility of a creating an App for visitors (which he had seen work successfully in a number of other locations). The App would enable visitors to view suggestions of places to eat, drink, stay and visit in Chichester.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the six monthly update from Visit Chichester be noted.

 

The Chairman thanked Mr Gershater for attending.

 

The Committee then took a short break.

247.

Pallant House Gallery Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 55 KB

The Committee will receive the six monthly update from Pallant House Gallery and is requested to assess the performance in line with the monitoring framework.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman informed the Committee that this item would be taken prior to the Novium Business Plan update item.

 

Mrs Peyman was joined by Mr Simon Martin the Director of Pallant House Gallery and Mr Andrew Churchill the Deputy Director of Pallant House Gallery.

 

Mrs Peyman introduced the report. She explained that the update followed the Cabinet’s formal review of the cultural grants funding arrangements in 2016. The Cabinet agreed that the OSC should monitor the arrangements. In outlining the report Mrs Peyman highlighted the £300,000 Arts Council England funding for phase one of the gallery renewal project which will enable the refit of the studio, installation of LED lighting, new sculpture plinths in the courtyard garden, signage and improved access to the cafe. On completion of phase one, phase two will create a new gallery, collections centre, expanded library and archive, meeting rooms and administration suite. Mrs Peyman confirmed that a full annual report will be presented to the Committee in April 2019.

 

Mr Martin then responded to members questions. He clarified that although Outside In is a national independent charity the gallery maintains a close relationship by renting office space and providing administrative support. He explained that the gallery also has involvement in a number of local community projects. With regard to the analysis of audience figures for the gallery he explained that there had been a low level of engagement with the 16-35 age group. However, in the last year the gallery introduced art yoga and a number of Thursday late night talks which demonstrated increased participation from the 16-35 age group. Mr Martin explained that it is important to the gallery that it attracts a wide reaching audience by providing a varied and active community engagement programme.  With regard to audience profiling he outlined the galleries ‘Audience Finder’ App (a tablet based survey of visitors). The App was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and in line with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) provides information on the type, length and frequency of visits. The gallery also uses a number of social media platforms to reach new audiences. With regard to the impact of the train strikes Mr Martin confirmed that the gallery had seen a reduction in visitors during the strikes. He explained that the gallery had however still achieved national press coverage which was in part due to the number of touring exhibitions which premiere in Chichester. With regard to the new logo the response had been very positive so far.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the six monthly update from Pallant House Gallery be noted as satisfactory.

 

The Chairman thanked Mr Martin and Mr Churchill for attending.

248.

Novium Business Plan Update pdf icon PDF 52 KB

The Committee is requested to note the progress made to date on the development of a business plan for the Novium Museum and Tourist Information Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mrs Peyman introduced the report relating to the development of the Novium BP and its progress to date. She explained that the BP will focus on income generation and reducing expenditure. She confirmed that staff briefings took place towards the end of July 2018 and a SWOT analysis has also been completed. The member Task and Finish Group (TFG) chaired by Mrs Lintill (with OSC representative Mr Galloway) met in October 2018 to review the initial draft BP. Mrs Peyman explained that in order to review the financials of the BP a member of the finance team would be invited to join the next meeting. She confirmed that the BP would be shared with the TFG towards the end of year and the Committee early in the new year.

 

Mrs Peyman then responded to members questions. With regard to the exhibitions programme she confirmed that the Bricks Britannia Lego exhibition had exceeded all expectations in generating visitor footfall to the museum with a 10% increase in donations, 35% increase in retail sales and 173% increase in cafe sales. She clarified that no sponsorship money or donation had been received from Lego for hosting the exhibition. With regard to gathering visitor data she explained that data had been gathered over the last 10 months and therefore it is too soon to provide analysis. With regard to charging an entry fee she clarified that various methods of income generation had been discussed in drafting the BP and the possibility of charging an exhibition fee was part of that discussion. With regard to the museums social media presence she confirmed that staff will be trained in this growing area.

 

Following a request Mrs Peyman agreed to provide the Committee with the museums donation figures after the meeting.

 

Mr Ransley then proposed a recommendation to the Novium Task and Finish Group to ensure that expenditure is addressed in the BP in the short and medium term. Mrs Plant seconded the proposal which was carried.

 

RECOMMENDED TO THE NOVIUM TASK AND FINISH GROUP

 

That in agreeing the draft Novium Business Plan the Group should ensure that the Plan addresses options to reduce expenditure in both the short and medium term.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the progress to date on the development of a business plan for the Novium Museum and Tourist Information Services be noted.  

249.

Communications between CDC and South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) - Review pdf icon PDF 986 KB

The Committee is requested to note and comment on the feedback by CDC Members in relation to communications with the SDNPA since the Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on 14 November 2017 and to accept the invitation of the SDNPA to hold a further meeting to address any outstanding concerns.

Minutes:

Mr Whitty introduced the report. He clarified that in the context of the report the SDNPA are the local planning authority. He explained that following the issues raised by members last year he had been in contact with the members whose wards cover the SDNP to understand whether improvements have been made. He explained that communication remained a concern with some members reporting that the updates they receive about the SDNP come through their parish councils. He outlined a suggested way forward to either request that the SDNPA circulate all information directly to members or through the council’s Democratic Services team.

 

Mr Whitty then responded to members questions. With regard to the role of CDC members in the SDNPA he clarified that Mr Dunn is the CDC appointed representative with the authority to red card SDNPA planning applications. With regard to where members should direct public enquiries relating to SDNPA he explained that the public should be directed to the SDNPA website. He clarified that some CDC planning officers are contracted for SDNPA work. With regard to the level of contact members should receive about planning applications he explained that it should be consistent whether the application is in the SDNP or not although. However, officers do not routinely publish progress updates on applications but will respond to enquiries as required.

 

Members then explained the level of public confusion when SDNPA applications are handled by CDC officers but letters are signed by the SDNPA.

 

Mr Whitty confirmed that the SDNPA had agreed to a meeting where he would relay members concerns.

 

Mr Ransley requested that Mr Whitty arrange for a member protocol to explain the SDNPA planning application process and red carding. 

 

RESOLVED

 

1.     That the feedback in relation to communications between CDC and the SDNPA since the Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 14 November 2017 be noted.

2.     That the invitation made by the SDNPA to hold a further meeting to address any outstanding concerns be agreed.  

250.

Consultation Review Task and Finish Group Update

Officers will provide the Committee with an oral update.

Minutes:

Mr Foord introduced the report and was joined by Mrs Parker. He explained that the TFG had met in September to discuss resident/visitor consultations with a focus on delivery, methodology and assessment. A number of areas have now been developed including the ‘Let’s Talk’ Panel, personalised consultation promotion, a consultation toolkit for service areas and updates to the website to separate completed and ongoing consultations. Mrs Parker explained that ‘frequently asked questions’ for surveys and consultations had been added to the council’s website. She confirmed that pre-launch over 150 people had already signed up to the ‘Let’s Talk’ Panel. Publicity material for the Panel has been sent to parish council’s, village shops and leisure centres. An article has also been placed in the winter Initiatives magazine.

 

Mr Foord and Mrs Parker responded to members questions. With regard to the website Mrs Parker confirmed that a campaign banner and web advertising are used to generate income and promote the council’s own services. With regard to the progress of the project Mr Foord explained that the next TFG meeting is scheduled to take place in early 2019 with a final report to OSC to follow.

 

The Committee noted the update.

251.

Corporate Plan Review Task and Finish Group Final Report pdf icon PDF 57 KB

The Committee is requested to note this report from the Corporate Plan Task and Finish Group and to confirm that it is satisfied that the council is achieving satisfactory levels of performance against the targets and activities in the 2018/19 Corporate Plan mid-year progress report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mrs Dignum introduced the report and was joined by Mr Buckley. She explained that the TFG had met on 1 November 2018 to consider the Corporate Plan mid-year progress report from April to September 2018. The aim was to review the council’s performance and to identify individual areas where performance was below that expected. Mrs Dignum explained that the Group had focussed their attention on the areas marked by a red indicator. Overall the Group were content that the reasons for the red indicators were understandable and where they related to a temporary shortage of staff it was agreed that following recruitment to the relevant teams the indicators would be likely to improve next year. Mrs Dignum confirmed that the Group had requested further information on the recruitment to the Choose Work vacancy which had been provided following the meeting. She explained that the Group also spent some time considering a number of amber indictors which officers were able to provide appropriate clarity on. With regard to reported crime Mrs Dignum outlined members request for further information relating to the increase and explained that an explanation had been provided attributing the rise almost entirely to theft from vehicles organised by gangs from outside of the district. She confirmed that overall the Group considered that there were good explanations for areas of the Corporate Plan where targets had not been met; some were outside the council’s control, others showed great input making a difference, some needed a little more time.

 

With regard to concerns that there may be a problem with recruitment of staff or the recruitment process Mr Buckley explained that each of the teams referenced in the report had reasons for the staff shortages. He outlined the revenues and benefits large scale review and explained that all staff in those teams had been required to apply for a role. With regard to the Pay Review he explained that parameters will be set to ensure equal work is rewarded with equal pay.

 

Members asked Mr Buckley the following questions or made the following comments (the answers to which were provided after the meeting and are indicated in italics below):

 

·       Has the number of thefts from vehicles improved since the Corporate Plan report was published? Pam Bushby, Communities Divisional Manager has advised that for the crime category concerning theft from vehicles the figure for October was 88 incidents, compared to 90 in September.

·       It was suggested that the BID area crime figures should be recorded separately in next year’s report. This will be considered as part of the annual planning cycle where all performance indicators and their associated targets are agreed by Directors and Cabinet Members.

·       Statistics re: staff health and wellbeing – can these include cycling to work/walking to work/bike racks? This will be considered as part of the annual planning cycle where all performance indicators and their associated targets are agreed by Directors and Cabinet Members.   

·       Following the introduction of Universal Credit have the number of benefit enquiries to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 251.

252.

Budget Review Task and Finish Group Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 38 KB

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

Minutes:

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

 

Mrs Apel sought three nominations.

 

RESOLVED

 

That Graham Hicks, Simon Lloyd-Williams and Josef Ransley be appointed to the Budget Task and Finish Group 2018.

253.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Members are requested to consider the latest Forward Plan and whether any items should be added to the Committee’s Work Programme.

Minutes:

The Committee considered the latest Forward Plan.

 

With regard to the ICT strategy officers agreed to follow up the schedule with the newly appointed ICT Manager. (Post meeting note – a draft of the ICT strategy will be considered by a member TFG to be chaired by the Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, Peter Wilding. It is intended that the Group includes at least one OSC representative to provide feedback to the Committee.)

254.

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.