Venue: Meeting Room 1, Council Offices, Priory Road, Spalding
Contact: Christine Morgan 01775 764454
To sign as a correct record the minutes of the following meeting:
Performance Monitoring Panel – 16 September 2014 (copy enclosed)
The minutes of the Performance Monitoring Panel meeting held on 16 September 2014 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
Declarations of Interest.
(Members are no longer required to declare personal of prejudicial interests but are to declare any new Disclosable Pecuniary Interests that are not currently included in their Register of Interests.
Members are reminded that under the Code of Conduct they are not to participate in the whole of an agenda item to which they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest. In the interests of transparency, members may also wish to declare any other interests that they have, in relation to an agenda item, that supports the Nolan principles detailed within the Code of Conduct.)
In relation to the Planning update at agenda item 10, the Principal Member Services Officer advised that her husband was a planner at Boston Borough Council, working on the South East Lincolnshire Plan. Members did not feel that her interest was significant and she therefore remained in the meeting during discussion of the item.
Questions asked under Council Procedure Rule 10.3.
There were none.
Anti Social Behaviour and CCTV
The Portfolio Holder for Localism, Economic Development and Big Society and the Assistant Director (Community) will be in attendance to discuss the Panel’s concerns regarding Anti Social Behaviour and CCTV, raised at the last meeting held on 16 September 2014 (see minute number 7 at agenda item 2 above).
The Chairman requested that this item (the Anti Social Behaviour and CCTV update), the Crime and Disorder update and the Planning update be moved up the agenda and considered earlier in the meeting. This was agreed by the Panel.
At the meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel held on 16 September 2014, during consideration of the Quarter 1 Cabinet Performance Report, members raised concerns over performance regarding Anti-Social Behaviour and CCTV and in particular the current position regarding CCTV and progress with installation. To this end, the Panel had requested that the Portfolio Holder for Localism, Economic Development and Big Society and the appropriate Director be requested to attend the next meeting to provide this information. In addition to the Portfolio Holder and the Assistant Director Community, the Community Development and Health Manager, the Community Development Team Leader and Inspector J Tyner were also in attendance to answer members’ questions.
· Councillor Worth advised that the East Lincolnshire and the County Community Safety Partnerships were due to meet next week. Consultation would shortly be taking place, asking people what the priorities should be next year. This would be taking place at a local and a County level. He would report back outcomes of this consultation in Spring 2015.
· At the last Panel meeting, members had noted that performance data for Anti Social Behaviour was at amber. Councillor Worth explained that the reduced performance was due to new Anti Social Behaviour legislation coming through, and at the time of the last performance report, a large part of it had not been enacted. Training had taken place and was still underway, and improvements should therefore soon be seen.
· Inspector Tyner confirmed what Councillor Worth had stated with regard to enactment of the new legislation. He stated that it was very beneficial for the Police working together with partners, and that the Police were already using their new powers. It was now much easier to control Anti Social Behaviour, for example Dispersal Orders and Closure Powers were much more straightforward to enact. The new powers were much more responsive.
The following questions were raised:
· Could powers be designated and if so, had they been?
o Inspector Tyner responded that the Chief Constable was currently considering a final decision on this and that once made, it would apply Countywide. He advised that when this decision was made, he would advise the Portfolio Holder to feed down to the Panel.
· There had been a number of incidences of antisocial behaviour that had occurred at Ayscoughfee and the Vista earlier in the year. Were the Police now in control of the situation?
o Inspector Tyner responded that they were. Those members of the public affected had been consulted and feedback had been positive. Powers available had not had to be used but were ready to be used if needed. Additional officers had been allocated for a period, this could not be maintained permanently as manpower was always required elsewhere however, they could be diverted back ... view the full minutes text for item 30.
The Portfolio Holder for Localism, Economic Development and Big Society will be in attendance to provide an update report on community safety and how it is being delivered through the various tiers of Groups and Panels (including the East Lincs CSP and newly formed Lincolnshire CSP). (A copy of the minutes of the Panel meeting of 8 April 2014, where the last update was received, is enclosed).
The Portfolio Holder for Localism, Economic Development and Big Society was in attendance to provide an update report on community safety and how it was being delivered through the various tiers of Groups and Panels (including the East Lincolnshire CSP and Lincolnshire CSP)
Some information had been reported in the previous agenda item, and the Portfolio Holder advised of the following additional issues:
· A Community Safety Survey had been undertaken over the last 6 months involving 500 residents.
· Diversionary activities for young people were taking place around the district. Young people were being encouraged to attend, and attendance levels had been good.
· Over the last 6 months, 32 Anti Social Behaviour cases had been opened. There had been 152 Level 1 warnings, and 20 Level 2 and 3 acceptable behaviour contracts. Engagement was taking place to establish their concerns.
The following questions were raised:
· How could young people’s interest in diversionary activities be maintained?
o Officers were liaising with Youth Support Teams to progress this.
· The issue of dog fouling was highlighted as an increasing problem. There were many responsible dog owners however, there was also a growing number of irresponsible and sometimes aggressive owners. What could be done and what data was there to show action currently taken place against them? This information should be forwarded to Parish Councils.
o The Community Development Team Leader advised that she did not have the figures to hand but these could be found out and passed to members and Parish Councils. Tools and powers available under the new Open Space Powers had been reduced from 19 to 16, which could make taking action easier than the previous system of using bylaws. The Community Development Team Leader advised that she would forward data and information on the new Open Space Powers to Parish Councils.
· What were Inspector Tyner’s views regarding tax disks no longer having to be displayed in vehicles?
o Inspector Tyner commented that technology was now widely used to automatically scan vehicle number plates in many different locations. This told the DVLA immediately if a car was being used illegally, and the DVLA could therefore prosecute with no human intervention taking place.
· In light of the fact that tax discs no longer had to be displayed in vehicles, was there an issue with foreign registered vehicles not being taxed?
o Inspector Tyner responded that these cars could be driven without tax for up to three months after they arrived in the country but it was difficult to monitor these dates, and also the three month period would start again if they left the country and came back. Efforts were being made to set up a link with the Immigration Database to make it easier to check this information. If drivers were suspected of driving without insurance, they could be stopped and required to produce a valid insurance document for the UK. Last year, 95% of those stopped had been able to provide suitable documentation.
· Had any Special Constables been recruited?
The Planning Manager will be in attendance to discuss the following issues:
· Concerns regarding whether the timescale for the delivery of the South Lincs Local Plan is achievable and any consequences for the Council if it is not; and
· A piece of work being undertaken on the delivery of the planning service. The Performance Monitoring Panel has been invited to be involved in that review and the Panel is keen to know what involvement that would be, and timescales.
At the last meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel on 16 September 2014, under consideration of the Quarter 1 Cabinet Performance Report, concerns had been raised with regard to completion of the South East Lincolnshire Local Plan, and delivery of the Planning service. As a result, the Planning Manager was in attendance to discuss the following issues:
· Concerns regarding whether the timescale for the delivery of the South Lincs Local Plan was achievable and any consequences for the Council if it was not; and
· A piece of work being undertaken on the delivery of the planning service. The Performance Monitoring Panel had been invited to be involved in that review and the Panel was keen to know what involvement that would be, and timescales.
Delivery of the South Lincs Local Plan
The Planning Manager stated that he believed that the timescale was achievable. The timetable, which sat alongside the Local Development Framework, had last been revised in March 2013, it had been adhered to and was achievable. Adherence to the timetable was however dependent upon resource remaining within the team. There was currently only one member of staff within the required team of three at South Holland however, both vacant posts had recently been recruited, and staff would start work Christmas 2014.
South Holland District Council was working with Boston Borough Council and there had therefore been no slippage in the timetable. Any potential risk lay with project management, and not resource. Changing legislative frameworks was also a risk. In order to address these risks, dedicated project management was required to control the risks and ensure that the timetable was achieved.
There were consequences to not meeting the timescale however, alongside many other authorities, these consequences were already having to be dealt with. There was a risk of planning decisions being made with no local plan in place. This was mainly in places where there were applications for large scale housing that were felt to be in the wrong place or where there was insufficient infrastructure. Currently, no applications were being put forward that were felt to be in the wrong place, mainly small applications were being received that were on the edge of current sites, linking into bigger settlements. However, if there was no plan in the future, the siting of developments in inappropriate locations would become more of a risk.
The following issues were raised:
· MPs and members of the public needed to be made more aware of what did and what did not constitute permitted development. Not being aware of this could cause problems.
o The Planning Manager commented that the Authority needed to be seen to be following due process. Even if a site was allocated, there could still be objections. There was a difference between the principal and details of applications.
· Care should be taken where developers were submitting applications while there was no Local Plan in place.
o The Planning Manager responded that sustainability issues still had to be looked at, and the Authority ... view the full minutes text for item 32.
To consider responses of the Cabinet to reports of the Panel.
· Response of the Cabinet to the Interim Report of the Leisure Task Group (joint Task Group of the Performance Monitoring Panel and Policy Development Panel) (report enclosed).
Consideration was given to a report outlining the response of the Cabinet to the recommendations of the Leisure Task Group, detailed within its interim report.
The Chairman of the Task Group, Councillor G Aley, had attended the meeting of the Cabinet on 7 October 2014, and had presented the interim report which contained interim recommendations of the Task Group, as agreed at a special joint meeting of the Performance Monitoring and Policy Development Panels on 19 August 2014.
Councillor Aley commented that the Cabinet had agreed that most of the points raised by the Task Group were relevant. However, one of the main issues that they had had was the use of the phrase ‘not fit for purpose’ in relation to the leisure facilities. Councillor Aley stated that the original wording should have read ‘not fit for future purpose’ and that the misrepresentation of the phrase should not have occurred and may have coloured the Cabinet’s perception of the report.
The Cabinet had noted the work undertaken by the Leisure Task Group but had not accepted the recommendations. It had requested that the Corporate Management Team look at the interim report, and the issues raised within the discussion of it. As a result, the Community Development and Health Manager had been tasked with putting together a business plan which would then be presented to the Performance Monitoring and Policy Development Panels for consideration.
Councillor Aley advised that information gleaned from responses to the questionnaires undertaken in the two local newspapers and on the SHDC website would be included within the business plan. Members commented that the Task Group and Panel should have had more input into the formation of the questionnaires.
The Assistant Director Community advised that this business plan would be completed by early Spring 2015. The Chairman responded that the Panels would require this information at the earliest opportunity, around February/March 2015. A lot of good work had been undertaken by the Task Group which should not be wasted. Members would expect a way forward to be clear before the District Elections in May. The Assistant Director Community confirmed that he would get a date confirmed with regard to completion of the business plan.
a) That the Tracking of Recommendations update be noted;
b) That a date for completion of the Business Plan looking at Leisure Services provision, being drawn together by the Community Development and Health Manager, be confirmed by the Assistant Director Community, and that a joint meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel and Policy Development Panel, for consideration of the document, be arranged.
Items referred from the Policy Development Panel.
There were none.
To note the current Key Decision Plan (Plan dated 3 November 2014 enclosed)
Consideration was given to the Key Decision Plan issued on 3 November 2014.
The Chairman reminded the Panel that item on the Communication Strategy 2014, for consideration by the Cabinet on 9 December 2014, had been withdrawn completely and this was reflected in a more up to date version of the Key Decision Plan.
Members again questioned the delay in awarding the works contract in respect of the Spalding Gypsy and Traveller site. The Panel sought clarification as to the nature of the delay, and any involvement with the Rugby Club that would share the access road.
a) That the Key Decision Plan be noted; and
b) That the Panel be provided with clarification as to the nature of the delay in awarding the works contract in respect of the Spalding Gypsy and Traveller site, and any involvement with the Rugby Club that would share the access road.
To provide an update on the delivery against the 2011-15 Corporate Plan for the Quarter 2 period (1 July 2014 to 30 September 2014) (Report of the Executive Director, Commissioning and Governance enclosed)
Consideration was given to the report of the Executive Director, Commissioning and Governance, which provided an update on the delivery against the 2011-15 Corporate Plan for the Quarter 2 period (1 July 2014 to 30 September 2014).
The covering report had been updated to include summary information on the status of key projects and indicators. It also described at paragraph 1.10 the areas where performance had dropped, as well as areas of success at 1.11, and areas of concern at 1.13, which had been highlighted from the main report (attached at Appendix A) to provide members with additional context and information.
The Panel considered the report and the following issues were raised:
· ‘Average time to re-let SHDC property’ was at amber. In comments, it stated ‘we are continuing to monitor the effect of asbestos inspections/works and are liaising closely with contractors to reduce the numbers of days lost where possible’. Members questioned whether Construction Services were still undertaking this work and why there had been a delay. The Assistant Director Community advised that he would find this information out and feed back to the Panel.
· The report stated that the performance measure ‘Number of Affordable Homes’ had not been updated due to a data lag on the indicator, which caused a one month delay in reporting this data. An action had been agreed to review the timeframe for reporting performance against the indicator. The Panel asked that an up to date figure be ascertained, and the Assistant Director Community advised that he would do this.
· Percentage of refuse that goes to recycling - Members asked why performance was at green, in light of recent problems with contamination. The Assistant Director Community responded that there was a different indicator dealing with contamination levels. Quality and quantity had to be looked at together therefore they should be reported together in the next update, with an explanation.
· Members highlighted the continued poor performance of ‘number of missed collections per 100,000 households’. The Assistant Director Community commented that it had originally been believed that incorrect stickering had been the problem however, this had been corrected and still no improvement was being seen. The issue was being looked into.
· A number of indicators stated ‘data not available’. Members wanted to know why this was the case and the Assistant Director Community advised that he would look into this.
· Members raised concerns over poor performance in carrying out a programme of inspections for licensed premises within the district, based on a 10% sample per annum.
a) That the Assistant Director Community confirm the following and pass this information back to the Panel:
i. Average re-let times on SHDC properties (liaison with contractors to reduce the number of days lost relating to the effect of asbestos inspections/works) – to ascertain whether Construction Services was still undertaking this work and why there had been a delay.
ii. Number of affordable homes – An up to date figure to be provided.
iii. Indicators stating ‘data not available’ ... view the full minutes text for item 36.
To set out the Work Programme of the Performance Monitoring Panel (report of the Democratic Services and Legal Manager enclosed).
Consideration was given to the report of the Democratic Services and Legal Manager 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 the future Panel meetings along with proposed items for consideration and the second setting out the Task Groups that had been identified by the Panel.
The following issues were raised:
· The Chairman raised the following issues for consideration under the Work Programme:
o The effectiveness of management companies set up to undertake maintenance on residential estates throughout the district past, present and for the future;
o The efficiency and effectiveness of the service given to the authority by Lincolnshire Legal Services; and
o The value for money and effectiveness of minor procurement through the authority.
Members agreed that all three issues should be added to the Work Programme.
· It was agreed that the Scrutiny of the Authority’s Emergency Plan be the next issue to be considered as a Task Group, once the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field Task Group had produced its Final Report;
· That, as discussed under previous agenda items, the following items be added to the Work Programme:
o That the Portfolio Holder for Localism, Economic Development and Big Society provide the Performance Monitoring Panel with a further update report on community safety and how it was being delivered through the various tiers of Groups and Panels (including the East Lincs CSP and Lincolnshire CSP) at its meeting on 7 April 2015.
o That a report be presented to the meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel on 7 April 2015 updating on the general position regarding the Planning department, and the outcome of the Planning Manager’s proposals.
· Attendance by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire, to answer questions from the Panel - in light of the difficulty in finding a Panel meeting date that the Police and Crime Commissioner could attend, it was agreed that this item be withdrawn from the Work Programme.
· Attendance by Neil Rhodes, Chief Constable, Lincolnshire Police, to answer questions on issues of crime and disorder - the Panel had wished to speak to Chief Constable Rhodes at a meeting following discussions with the Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire. However, in light of the fact that a mutually convenient date could not be found for this discussion, it was felt that the meeting with Chief Constable Rhodes was therefore not required and should be removed from the Work Programme.
· If any Crime and Disorder issues arose in the future which required input from the Police, it was agreed that Inspector Jim Tyner should be asked to attend a meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel.
· At a meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel on 8 April 2014, it had been agreed ‘that Portfolio Holders, including the Leader of the Council, be invited to attend Panel meetings, to provide updates on the work that their departments were undertaking, and that financial issues should also be ... view the full minutes text for item 37.
Any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent
NOTE: No other business is permitted unless by reason of special circumstances, which shall be specified in the minutes, the Chairman is of the opinion that the item(s) should be considered as a matter of urgency.
There were none.
Exclusion of the Press and Public
Members gave consideration to excluding the press and public from the meeting to discuss the exempt minute from the Performance Monitoring Panel meeting held on 16 September 2014, as consideration would be given to information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).
That under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for discussion of the exempt minute of the Performance Monitoring Panel meeting held on 16 September 2014, on the grounds that it would involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph (3) of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.
Performance Monitoring Panel
16 September 2014 (exempt minute enclosed)
Consideration was given to the exempt minute from the Performance Monitoring Panel meeting held on 16 September 2014. The minute was signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
The Assistant Director Community advised that a report would be presented to the Cabinet and Council in the new year, referencing decisions made by the Panel.