Agenda and minutes

Policy Development Panel - Tuesday, 29th April, 2014 6.30 pm

Venue: Meeting Room 1, Council Offices, Priory Road, Spalding

Contact: Shelley French  01775 764451

Items
No. Item

63.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 63 KB

To sign as a correct record the minutes of the following meeting 4 March 2014 (copy enclosed)

Minutes:

The minutes of the Policy Development Panel held on 4 March 2014 were approved as a correct record. 

64.

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.)   

 

Minutes:

There were none.

65.

Questions asked under Council Procedure Rule 10.3.

Minutes:

There were none.

66.

Tracking of recommendations

To consider responses of the Cabinet reports of the Panel. 

Minutes:

There were none.

67.

Items referred from the Performance Monitoring Panel

Minutes:

There were none.

68.

Key Decision Plan pdf icon PDF 92 KB

To note the current Key Decision Plan (copy enclosed).  

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Key Decision Plan published on 4 April 2014.

 

AGREED:

 

That the Key Decision Plan, 4 April 2014 be noted. 

 

69.

Policy Register Update pdf icon PDF 28 KB

To update Members on policy changes that have taken place, or are in progress (Report of the Assistant Director - Democratic Services enclosed).

 

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Assistant Director – Democratic Services on the Policy Register, to bring members up to date on policy changes that have taken place or were in progress. 

 

Members had requested, at the 12 June 2012 meeting of the Policy Development Panel, that a six monthly update report of the Policy Register be provided. 

 

The update report detailed the following changes:

 

Deleted Policies:

 

§         Regulatory Services Enforcement Policy V3;

§         Communications Strategy 2008 – will eventually be replaced by a new Corporate Communications Strategy;

§         AHM: Volunteer Policy;

§         Community Cohesion Policy 2008;

§         Community Engagement Strategy;

§         Food and Water Sampling Policy – this is a plan, not a policy;

§         Car Parking – Charging Policy – no longer relevant, charging details are on the council’s website;

§         Recycling Strategy;

§         Street Scene Strategy;

§         Complaints policy & Customer Feedback Policy– have  been replaced with the Customer Feedback Procedure;

§         Contract Procedure Rules – removed as they are part of the constitution and do not need to be listed separately; and

§         Corporate Procurement Rules Policy / Strategy – never came to fruition as procedure guidance was produced instead

 

New Policies - Implemented: 

 

§         Councillor Development Policy and Strategy – Member Services / Amanda Taylor

 

New Policies – in progress:

 

§         Planning Policies for Waste Management – Emily Spicer / Environmental Services;

§         Environmental Policies – Glen Chapman & Emily Spicer /  Environmental Services; and

§         Freedom Of Information – Mark Stinson & Louisa Clare / Legal & Member Services.

 

Revised Policies:

 

§         Allocations Policy had been replaced by the South Holland Common Housing Allocations Policy.

 

 

 

 

 

Policies being reviewed:

 

§         A number of policies were currently under review for deletion / refresh and were detailed Appendix A

 

Other changes to register:

 

§         Responsibility of the Asbestos Management Policy had been moved to CPBS (HR - Nick Kendrick);

§         Removed Records Management Policy from Member Services as duplicated under IT; and

§         Document Retention Policy – Responsibility had moved from CPBS (IT) to Member Services. 

 

The Chairman thanked the officers for putting the Policy Register in a more user friendly format.

 

Members of the Panel went through the Policy Register attached at Appendix A to the report and noted any amendments that were needed, including typing errors and amendments where contact information was out of date. 

 

Members raised concerns with regard to  Compass Point Business Services (East Coast) Ltd Policies, as mentioned at 1.8 within the report "that work had been done with CPBS to identify policies that were now wholly owned by them, and therefore not of SHDC's concern".  As CPBS was owned in Partnership with East Lindsey District Council and South Holland District Council,  members felt that the Policies were of their concern, as they undertook work on SHDC's and ELDC's behalf.  The Panel requested that the Partnerships and Consultation Officer seek clarification and inform members accordingly. 

 

With reference to the policies listed in the Appendix members requested information on the following policies for possible  ...  view the full minutes text for item 69.

70.

Spalding Cemetery Extension - Position Statement pdf icon PDF 30 KB

To brief the Panel of the position in respect to the extension of Spalding Cemetery (Report of the Senior Environmental Services Officer enclosed)

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Senior Environmental Services Officer on the Spalding Cemetery Extension.  A statement was provided to brief members of the Panel on the current position in respect to the extension to Spalding Cemetery, which was requested at the 4 March 2014 meeting of the Panel.  

 

There was a need to ensure that adequate grave space existed within Spalding and to avoid grave space in Spalding Cemetery being used up before that provision was sourced. 

 

A number of comments and objections had been received in respect to the proposal to use Chiltern Drive open space for the cemetery extenstion.  The comments/objections that were raised were hopefully easy to accommodate.  Sport England had however raised some points that needed more attention and possible resources to resolve. 

 

Sport England stated that their approval would be given should "equivalent or better replacement facilities which were currently on the site, be provided elsewhere".  Details of the following three new sites were given to Sport England for their consideration, sites which South Holladn District Council was to shortly take full reponsibility for:

 

·        Riverside Park, a 3607m2 large open space and equipped play area;

·        Thistle Gardens, a 594m2 equipped play area; and

·        Wygate Park, a 7520m2 very large open space and equipped play area.

 

Sport England had also been informed of the intention to improve the Park

Close, Spalding open space area, by installing junior goalposts with

appropriate safety surfacing in the goalmouths (to avoid inevitable

depressions).

 

A response from Sport England was hoped to be received prior to the meeting

of the Panel, unfortunately this had not been received. 

 

In order to gain use of the land as burial space a planning application was

needed to be submitted.   As Sport England was one of the statutory

consultees as part of a planning application of that nature, officers were

unsure as to go ahead with the application, prior to receiving comment from

Sport England on SHDC's suggestions. 

 

Members agreed that officers had exhausted all possibilities for the extension

and requested that an update be given at the 8 July 2014 meeting, with the

hope a response from Sport England being received.  In addtion to this,

members agreed that they would give their full support to the submission of a

planning pplication for the areas at Chiltern Drive, Spalding. 

 

AGREED:

 

(a)That the current position be noted with a further update to be provided at the 8 July 2014 meeting of the Panel; and

 

(b)That the Panel supports the submission of a planning application for the site at Chiltern Drive, to be utilised as new burial space, as an extension the Spalding Cemetery. 

 

(The Senior Environmental Services Officer left the meeting at 7.04p.m. after consdieration of the above item).

 

71.

Freedom of Information and Data Protection Policies pdf icon PDF 25 KB

To replace the current policies, dated 2004 to ensure that the Council is fully compliant with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Data Protection Act 1998 (Report of the Assistant Director – Democratic Services enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Assistant Director – Democratic Services on the Freedom of Information and Data Protection Policies.

 

The current policies held were dated 2004 and had been updated to ensure that the Council was fully compliant with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Data Protection Act 1998. 

 

There had been legislative changes and changes in practice guidance since the original policies had been written in 2004.  The policies attached at Appendix A and B to the report, reflected those changes.

 

Members agreed that they were pleased to have receipt of the reports as they felt it was very important  that such policies, needed to be as up to date as possible, in order to avoid any breaches of the Freedom of Information or Data Protection Acts which could have very serious consequences.   

 

AGREED:

 

That the Panel recommends the Freedom of Information and Data Protection Policies to Cabinet, for approval. 

 

72.

Policy Development Panel Work Programme pdf icon PDF 41 KB

To consider the Work Programme of the Policy Development Panel (Report of the Assistant Director - Democratic Services enclosed).

Minutes:

The Chairman requested that the Policy Development Panel Work Programme be considered prior to the Asset Management Strategy.

 

Consideration was given to the report of the Assistant Director, Democratic Services that set out the issues that had been identified by the Panel for inclusion in its work programme.  The first appendix to the report detailed the dates for future meetings and the expected agenda items.  The second appendix gave details of the Task Groups that had been identified by the

Panel.

 

The Chairman of the Panel asked if members wished to consider what South Holland's Policy was with regard to waste fat and oil collection/disposal.  Was there anything currently in place?  As there was currently consultation being undertaken with regard to a garden waste collection, could a waste fat and oil collection be considered.  The Panel agreed that it would be interesting to be advised as to what current policy was and requested that a relevant officer and Portfolio Holder be invited to the 23 September 2014 meeting. 

 

AGREED:

 

That the following items be added to the Policy Development Panel Work Programme:

 

8 July 2014:

  • Contaminated Land Strategy;
  • Spalding Cemetery Extension – Progress Report;

 

23 September 2014:

  • Taxi Licensing Policy;
  • Caravan Licensing Policy;
  • Unauthorised traveller/gypsies sites Policy (County Wide); and
  • Waste oil and fat collection. 

 

(The Asset and Property Manager and the Estate Management Surveyor joined the meeting at 7.10p.m. during consideration of the above item).  

73.

Asset Management Strategy 2014-2019 pdf icon PDF 34 KB

To consider the Asset Management Strategy 2014-2019 (Report of the Asset and Property Manager enclosed)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Asset and Property Manager on the Asset Management Strategy 2014/2019. 

 

The Council's current Asset Management Plan (which covered both General Fund and Housing Revenue Account (HRA) assets) expired in 2012.  All Housing related assets were now covered by the HRA Asset Management Strategy 2012.

 

The new "non housing" Asset Management Strategy was linked to the vision and priorities of the Council and provided a blueprint for the effective and efficient use of the Council's non-housing property assets for the benefit of the residents of South Holland.  It was a high level summary of the Council's overall approach to the strategic management of its land and building assets.  It was driven by South Holland District Council's Corporate Plan 2011-2015 which took account of local priorities that were established through effective consultation with residents and partners. 

 

The content of the strategy had been produced having regard to the latest guidelines on strategic asset management and local authority asset management best practice, issues by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and had also been developed following best practice from CIPFA Property. 

 

Property assets were inextricably linked to the delivery of the vision and priorities of the Council and the way land was managed and property assets having a direct impact on the quality of services delivered to the public.  It was therefore crucial that efficient and effective use was made of the assets to support the corporate objectives. 

 

The Asset Management Plan provided the following:

 

  • The strategic direction of travel for the use and management of the Council’s assets via Strategic Vision, Aims and Objectives over the next five years;

 

  • Asset Management commitment to the Corporate Values;

 

  • The Council’s approach to managing its assets and the governance arrangements in place to do this;

 

  • How asset data was organised and managed;

 

  • The performance management of the assets and recommended performance indicators;

 

  • In adopting this strategy the Council was  agreeing to the following for the management of all its non-Housing property assets; and

 

  • That the Strategic Vision, Aims and Objectives for Asset Management were agreed for the next 5 years, i.e. setting the future direction for the management of the Council’s assets but subject to review as required.

 

Members queried if a full Asset Register had been put in place, which members could view, should they wish to do so.  It was also suggested that a map be provided to show ward members where the authority’s assets were within each individual ward, which would help ward members try to solve issues.  It was noted that at Appendix A(1) to the report there was a list of assets held by the council. 

 

Members were advised that the full asset register was held by Finance and was currently undergoing a full evaluation, which was hoped to be completed, when the final accounts were audited within the next few months.

 

AGREED:

 

(a)That the Panel supports the draft Asset Management Strategy 2014/2019 and recommends it to full Council for approval;  ...  view the full minutes text for item 73.

74.

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. 

Minutes:

The Principal Member Services Officer reminded members of the Panel that at the Scrutiny Away Day, 16 October 2013 members had discussed possible changes to the names of the Scrutiny Panels; Policy Development Panel and Performance Monitoring Panel.  In addition to this the frequency of meetings that were held. 

 

After discussions with the Chairman of both Panels and at the 8 April 2014 meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel (PMP), it was agreed that PMP should have reference to scrutiny within its name and therefore be known as the Performance Scrutiny Panel.  Members also agreed that they were happy with the amount of meetings scheduled throughout the year, and should the need arise, further meetings could be called to consider matters brought to the Panel's attention.

 

The Chairman of the Policy Development Panel requested that the Panel give consideration to the name and frequency of meetings.  All members present did not feel that the Policy Development Panel needed to be altered in name and also agreed with the thoughts of the Performance Monitoring Panel with reference to number of scheduled meetings. 

 

AGREED:  

 

(a)That the Policy Development Panel remain under its current name; and

 

(b)That the number of scheduled meetings throughout the year remain the same, with the ability to call extra meetings should any information need to be considered by the Panel, outside of the scheduled meeting dates.