Venue: Meeting Room 1, Council Offices, Priory Road, Spalding
Contact: Christine Morgan 01775 764454
To sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 28 May 2013 (copy enclosed).
The minutes of the meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel held on 28 May 2013 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
To note the current Key Decision Plan (copy enclosed)
Consideration was given to the current Key Decision Plan, which had been issued on 8 July 2013.
Members were advised that an updated Key Decision Plan had been published on 22 July 2013 and that there was only the following addition to the version circulated with the agenda - Localism Act (Community Asset Register) - To determine a compensation policy. Members agreed that should any response on this item be required, that the Chairman and/or Vice Chairman provide this on behalf of the Panel.
a) That the current Key Decision Plan be noted; and
b) That should a response on the Localism Act (Community Asset Register) - To determine a compensation policy be required, that the Chairman and/or Vice Chairman provide this on behalf of the Panel.
Crime and Disorder
Verbal update report on community safety and how it is being delivered through the various tiers of Groups and Panels
A verbal update report from the Portfolio Holder for Localism and Big Society had been expected on community safety and how it was being delivered through the various tiers of Groups and Panels. However, members were advised that the Portfolio Holder was unable to attend due to another commitment.
The Panel agreed that the item should be deferred to the next meeting, and that the Portfolio Holder be advised that his attendance would be required for this meeting.
a) That the update report on community safety and how it was being delivered through the various tiers of Groups and Panels be deferred to the next Panel meeting; and
b) That the Portfolio Holder for Localism and Big Society be requested to attend this meeting to provide the update.
To report on the review and to consider the findings (report of the Planning Manager enclosed).
Consideration was given to the report of the Planning Manager which reported on the Review of Implemented Planning Decisions and its findings.
The tour was programmed as one session, taking in the different areas of the district. Seven members took part and were present for the whole day. Sites were chosen to represent a range of types and sizes of development and of the types of decisions, made in accordance with the Protocol on Good Practice in Planning.
Members were asked to submit sites they wished to visit. As only six sites were suggested, additional sites were included by officers. The itinerary for the tour was then drawn up by officers, which included all of the sites proposed by members, even though two of these sites at Postland Road/Cloot Drove and Abbey Walk, Crowland were still under construction and strictly speaking, not yet implemented.
For each site a separate scoring sheet was prepared, and members completed the relevant sheet at each site, placing a tick in one of five boxes ranging from very poor to very good for the quality of the development plus comments. The table appended to the report set out the sites visited together with a summary of comments made. The table also set out how the application was decided i.e. delegated, Committee or on appeal, and when the decision was made. A debriefing was held after the tour to review the day and draw conclusions.
The main conclusions drawn from the exercise were that the choice of sites illustrated a range of development which varied in its quality. As well as good quality schemes, there were still instances of development being let down by a lack of attention to detail and lack of forethought, examples of which were small areas of poorly located and maintained grass/landscaping, plus a number of the schemes were considered to be overdevelopment. It was considered that the range of sites visited was interesting and varied and the tour was of benefit and should continue.
Members discussed the report, and the following issues arose:
· Generally, it was felt that developments viewed were reasonably good.
· The development at Church Lane, Moulton was deemed a very good design, and should be the standard for all developments.
· Design was a subjective matter, and the scoring system did not provide all the information that it should. Comments and scores were diverse, and therefore there needed to be a more consistant way in which to score.
· Future reviews should consider a more structured approach to members’ comments, and members should be aware that comments provided should be written in such a way as they could be reported publicly.
· For the next review, members should suggest more sites themselves.
a) That the conclusions drawn from the tour, as outlined above and detailed more fully within the report, be reported to the Planning Committee;
b) That it be recommended to the Planning Committee that the Review of Implemented Planning Decisions tour continue on a biennial basis; and ... view the full minutes text for item 12.
Provision of Members' IT
The Service Desk Manager (Compass Point Business Services), Mark Starkey, will be in attendance to provide a verbal update on Members’ IT provision.
At its meeting on 11 December 2012, the Panel had raised concerns regarding members’ IT provision, and the IT Director had attended subsequent meetings on 29 January 2013 and 26 March 2013 to answer members’ concerns. The Director of IT was unable to attend this meeting and the Service Desk Manager therefore attended on his behalf.
Members were advised that two Councillors had been trialling the ‘RAP’ solution. This would address one of the members’ concerns around the current practice of signing in via the Juniper 2 Factor Authentication devices, where two passwords were required. The solution consisted of a box which was connected to the members’ home broadband, allowing the laptop to access the SHDC network directly, rather than dialling in and having to input two passwords, as was currently the case.
Councillors S Slade and R Perkins had been trialling the new solution. Councillor Perkins reported that he had had no problems with the single sign on and that the process had worked well. He did comment that the new system allowed for IT officers to access members’ laptops even when they were not signed in. Members raised concerns as to whether this would also allow access to members’ home computers aswell. The Service Desk Manager advised that he did not think this was the case but would report back a definitive answer in due course.
Members questioned whether similar technology to that provided to Lincolnshire County Councillors could be supplied to South Holland Councillors (County Councillors had been provided with an iPad, and single sign on was very straightforward). The Service Desk Manager responded that the IT department was satisfied that the security provided by members’ current IT provision was in line with government requirements, and that the RAP solution would provide an answer to login issues. He was aware that there had been issues regarding members’ old technology and that there had been low investment in this however, these issues were now being addressed.
With regard to the RAP solution, members questioned whether they would be able to have the single sign-on facility when away from home and their own broadband. The Service Desk Manager reported that the RAP solution would only provide a resolution to single sign-on at home. However, he commented that members could also connect the box to broadband, where available, if they were away from home. Single sign-on could not yet be achieved in this way in WiFi hotspots, and he advised that a solution to this was currently being looked into.
Members questioned how long it would be before a complete solution would be available to all members. The Service Desk Manager responded that a solution with regard to single sign on was available now and if members were willing to progress with this, deployment could move forward. He advised that there were issues currently regarding the lack of standardisation across members’ laptops. The intention was to deploy a single standard with minimal or no customisation required. He commented that a ... view the full minutes text for item 13.
Corporate Communications Strategy
At the meeting of the Panel on 31 May 2012, during consideration of its Work Programme, the Panel expressed its interest in undertaking a piece of work on Communications, in particular communication and consultation by the County Council with the District and Parish Councils and communication by the District Council with Members.
The Joint Communications Team Leader attended a meeting on 10 July 2012 to speak to Members on communications issues and to answer questions. It was agreed at this meeting that the Joint Communications Team Leader provide a further update on proposals of how the Corporate Communications Strategy would be involved. The Joint Communications Team Leader will be in attendance to provide a verbal update in this respect.
The Panel was advised that the Joint Communications Team Leader was unable to attend the meeting due to illness, and that the item on the Corporate Communications Strategy would be considered at the next meeting of the Panel.
The Portfolio Holder for Waste Management, Green Spaces and Operational Planning will be in attendance to provide an update on the progress in actioning the recommendations of the Review of progress of recommendations of Siting and Maintenance of Open Spaces and Play Areas within Residential Developments Task Group. (A copy of a form listing the Cabinet’s response to the Task Group’s recommendations is enclosed).
The Portfolio Holder for Waste Management, Green Spaces and Operational Planning attended the meeting to provide an update on progress of the recommendations of the Siting and Maintenance of Open Spaces and Play Areas within Residential Developments Task Group. The Task Group had presented its findings to the Cabinet on 7 December 2010. At the meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel on 18 January 2011, it was agreed that it could take a while for any progress on recommendations to be made, and that the monitoring of them should therefore next take place as part of the biennial review of implemented planning decisions.
The Portfolio Holder advised that there had been little opportunity to implement any controls on open space since the Task Group had produced its report, due to the downturn in building. Although policy within the Planning Department had changed in that no future open space would become the responsibility of the District Council, there were some areas that historically did continue to cause problems.
Members questioned whether the essential points of the recommendations had been picked up by the Planning Department. The Portfolio Holder commented that if there were weaknesses in the current policies, improvements needed to be fed through to the Local Plan. All issues detailed by the Task Group needed to be picked up and the Planning Department was progressing on this however, historical matters were an issue.
In response to whether it was possible to ensure areas were brought up to a usable standard where the Local Authority had not taken it over, the Portfolio Holder advised this could not be stipulated. It was also unlikely that conditions requiring a standard, regardless of who was responsible for the land, could be enforced.
The Chairman asked how the recommendations that were made in 2010 could be moved on. The Portfolio Holder responded that they should be forwarded through to the Planning Policy Team for inclusion in the Local Plan and subsequent Planning Policies.
a) That the update provided by the Portfolio Holder for Waste Management, Green Spaces and Operational Planning be noted; and
b) That the Task Group’s recommendations be forwarded through to the Planning Policy Team for inclusion in the Local Plan and subsequent Planning Policies.
To set out the Work Programme of the Performance Monitoring Panel (report of the Assistant Director Democratic Services enclosed).
Consideration was given to the report of the Assistant Director (Democratic Services) which set out the Work Programme of the Performance Monitoring Panel. The Work Programme consisted of two separate sections, the first setting out the dates of future Panel meetings along with proposed items for consideration and the second setting out the Task Groups that had been identified by the Panel.
Councillor D Wilkinson advised the Panel that he had hoped to report back further on the Effectiveness of CCTV Task Group. An independent group of consultants, commissioned by the Lincolnshire Community Safety Partnership, had been looking into CCTV across the county, and had produced a report in early July. The Task Group was awaiting receipt of this and would report back to the Panel further once its detail was known.
The Panel was advised that the Chairmen and Vice Chairmen of the Performance Monitoring and Policy Development Panels had met to consider how to take forward the potential joint Task Group looking into the decision to review the position with regard to leisure facilities in two years time, and whether the business plan on which the decision was based was robust. Consideration needed to be given as to whether to undertake a comprehensive review of the topic or whether to focus on a particular area. It had been agreed to discuss the way forward at the forthcoming Overview and Scrutiny Away Day.
That both sections of the Panel’s Work Programme, as set out in the report of the Assistant Director (Democratic Services) be noted.