Agenda and minutes

Policy Development Panel - Tuesday, 26th April, 2016 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Priory Road, Spalding

Contact: Christine Morgan  01775 764454

Items
No. Item

56.

Declaration of Interests.

Where a Councillor has a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest the Councillor must declare the interest to the meeting and leave the room without participating in any discussion or making a statement on the item, except where a councillor is permitted to remain as a result of a grant of dispensation.

Minutes:

There were none.

57.

Portfolio Holder update

The Portfolio Holder for Strategy, Governance and Public Protection will be in attendance to provide information on licensing laws and policy relating to licensed premises, and information on the Cumulative Impact Assessment currently being undertaken.

 

The Portfolio Holder is attending following a suggestion at the last Panel meeting that a Task Group be set up to consider a policy to address the number of off-licences in Spalding – Panel members stated that the number of off-licences in the town was an issue that many Spalding residents felt strongly about, and the perception was that the Council was responsible.  The Panel was advised that a Cumulative Impact Assessment was currently being undertaken by the Portfolio Holder for Strategy, Governance and Public Protection, with these issues in mind.  Panel members have received a briefing note explaining actions being undertaken, and the Portfolio Holder will be in attendance to provide further information.

 

Minutes:

At the meeting of the Policy Development Panel on 9 March 2016, it had been suggested that a Task Group be set up to consider a policy to address the number of off-licences in Spalding.  The Panel had been advised that a Cumulative Impact Assessment was currently being undertaken by the Portfolio Holder for Strategy, Governance and Public Protection with these issues in mind.  The Portfolio Holder provided Panel members with a briefing note prior to the meeting, and was in attendance to answer questions.

 

The briefing note provided a background to the Licensing Act 2003, and gave the following information regarding Cumulative Impact and the current position:

 

Cumulative Impact

 

It was possible for the Council to introduce a special policy on the ‘cumulative impact’ of a significant number of licensed premises concentrated within a specific area (sometimes know as a cumulative impact zone).  There would need to be sufficient evidence that the licensed premises within that area were having a detrimental impact on the licensing objectives (the protection of children from harm, public safety, prevention of crime and disorder, prevention of public nuisance).

 

The effect of such a policy if introduced would be to create a rebuttable presumption to refuse a new premises licence application within the cumulative impact zone if relevant representations were received.  This would however apply to all applications including supermarkets and restaurants.  The presumption was rebuttable in that the applicant could put forward arguments which may demonstrate how their application would not add to local problems.  If the panel were satisfied that this had been adequately addressed they could decide to grant the licence.

 

Even where a cumulative impact policy existed, it did not prevent new applications and a licensing authority could not refuse to grant the licence unless it had received a representation from a responsible authority or an interested party.  The special policy therefore did not outlaw all new licensed premises within that area, and each should be considered on a case by case basis.

 

Adoption of a Cumulative Impact Policy

 

Whilst there was no provision for such a policy under the Licensing Act 2003, statutory guidance did suggest that this could be considered within its licensing policy statement.

 

In order for the special policy to be adopted there had to be evidential basis of the effect of the number of licensed premises within that area in relation to the licensing objectives.  This could include:  local crime statistics including type of crime and hotspots; anti-social behaviour incidents; health related statistics such as alcohol related hospital admissions; environmental health complaints; complaints and evidence from residents and councillors.

 

If the Licensing authority determined that there was sufficient evidence to introduce such a policy, this would be introduced into the authority’s Statement of Licensing Policy.  There was a formal consultation process that had to be followed before the new policy could be adopted.

 

Serious consideration had to be given to the nature of the problem, the geographical area to be covered and types of premises, as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 57.

58.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 82 KB

To sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 9 March 2016 (copy enclosed):

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 9 March 2016 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

59.

Questions asked under Standing Order 6

Minutes:

There were none.

60.

Tracking of recommendations

To consider responses of the Cabinet to reports of the Panel. 

Minutes:

There were none.

61.

Items referred from the Performance Monitoring Panel

Minutes:

There were none.

62.

Key Decision Plan pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To note the current Key Decision Plan, published on 24 March 2016 (copy enclosed). 

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Key Decision Plan, published on 24 March 2016.


AGREED:

 

That the Key Decision Plan be noted.

63.

Consultation on the proposed introduction of a Public Space Protection Order in Spalding Town Centre pdf icon PDF 63 KB

To inform the Panel members of the on-going consultation and the process that will follow that consultation (report of the Executive Public Protection Manager enclosed)

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of Executive Public Protection Manager which advised the Panel of the consultation process for the proposed introduction of a Public Space Protection Order in Spalding Town Centre, and the process that would follow that consultation. 

 

South Holland District Council was aware of local concerns regarding some types of behaviour that occurred in and around Spalding Town Centre such as street drinking and associated anti-social behaviour.  Of primary concern was the experience and perception of safety of those that were using this location, as well as reducing crime and disorder.  The existing Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) was therefore being reviewed, and new powers available through The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 were being considered, specifically Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs).

 

The Council had in place a Designated Public Place Order, shown on the map in Appendix B, to deal with the issue of Alcohol related incidents.  This had been an effective tool in assisting the Police to deal with alcohol related incidents and issues however, these orders would cease to be effective from October 2017.  The Council had the option to let the current restriction lapse or to introduce a Public Space Protection Order.  There were a number of requirements and steps to be considered prior to the Authority being in a position to put a PSPO in place, which included consultation with people that could be affected by any decision to establish a PSPO.  Consultation was a pre-requisite to any decision to introduce an Order.

 

As required under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, the Authority had written to a number of stakeholders to undertake consultation on the introduction of a PSPO, prior to a report being prepared.  In addition, the Policy Development Panel and the Licensing Committee had also been informed.

 

Where the current DPPO was related to alcohol incidents, the PSPO did allow the Council to include other anti-social behaviour restricts.  Appendix A to the report showed the types of areas that could be included if such an order was approved for example, public nuisance, behaviours and environmental issues.

 

The Panel considered the report and the following issues were raised:

 

·         The current proposed area for a DPPO was good however there were some areas just beyond the boundary that could be included – the area around The Vista and the Coronation Channel were suggested.

·         If moving away from a blanket area to smaller specific areas to be covered, could being in a DPPO area have an effect on house prices?

·         It could be more effective to have DPPOs addressing smaller specific areas than a larger blanket area.

·         Smaller areas could be more difficult to manage.

·         With regard to the time-frame for the process, members were advised that the feedback from councillors and residents would be considered when deciding how to move forward.

·         With regard to how the areas would be ‘policed’, it was felt that additional resources may not be needed, and that this could be undertaken  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.

64.

South Holland District Council Corporate Asbestos Policy 2016 pdf icon PDF 61 KB

To present the revised SHDC Corporate Asbestos Policy 2016 for comment (report of the Executive Public Protection Manager enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Executive Public Protection Manager which presented the revised South Holland District Council Corporate Asbestos Policy 2016 for comment.

 

The existing Corporate Asbestos Policy and Management Plan had been in place since 2013, and given a number of changes in legislation and changes in the Authority’s management structure, it was in need of a complete review.  Following a recent audit by an asbestos consultant, it was felt appropriate to separate the Policy from the Management Plan, which would now sit as a separate operation document alongside individual premises management plans. 

 

Whilst the new policy had not yet been formally approved, officers were adhering to most elements of the new policy and had refined procedures accordingly.  In order that all elements of the policy could be adhered to corporately, it was necessary that the policy be formally approved.

 

AGREED:

 

a)    That the report of the Executive Public Protection Manager be noted; and

 

b)    That the Panel recommended the SHDC Corporate Asbestos Policy 2016 to Cabinet for approval.

65.

Consideration of potential Policy for residual gains from Right to Buy sales

Should the Council have a policy stating that all residual gain from Right to Buy sales be ring fenced for council housing?

 

The Chief Accountant will give a short presentation to provide background information and details on the current position, after which the Panel will decide if it wishes to consider this issue further.  The suggestion was originally put forward as a recommendation at the budget scrutiny meeting on 4 December 2015)

Minutes:

At the Budget Scrutiny meeting held on 4 December 2015, a suggestion had been put forward that the Policy Development Panel give consideration to whether the Council should have a policy stating that all residual gain from Right to Buy sales be ring fenced for council housing. 

 

The Chief Accountant was in attendance to provide the Panel with a short presentation providing background information on the issue. 

 

AGREED:

 

a)    That the Chief Accountant be thanked for his explanation of the subject; and

 

b)    That the Panel support the recommended flexible policy – Usable Capital receipts from National Pooling (the Council would receive £118,000 and could finance any purpose of a capital nature, which included affordable housing or any other asset for growth that could be identified in the future).

 

66.

Policy Register Update pdf icon PDF 64 KB

To update the Policy Development Panel of the continued development of the Organisational Policy Register (report of the Executive Director Strategy and Governance enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Executive Director for Strategy and Governance which updated the Panel on the continued development of the Organisational Policy Register.

 

Statutory pressures contributed greatly to the review and formulation of policy, therefore an evaluation of statutory policies had been conducted.  Policies subsequently identified through this process were being reviewed to ensure that they were fit for purpose.  Current policies of note undergoing review were Human Resources policies governing sickness management.

 

A policy register had been created within the Covalent corporate performance management system.  Since the system went live in September 2015, work had been undertaken to understand the most effective way of utilising this tool for policy management.  This had been completed and the bulk of policies for the Council had been migrated to the system.  An itemised list of policies and owners who were currently being engage with was attached at Appendix A to the report.

 

A register of statutory legislation that linked to policy was in the process of being embedded within Covalent.  The benefit of this was that at statute change would trigger a list of policies that would need to be evaluated for compliance.  The system allowed for the linking of policy to strategic risk, therefore fundamental changes to a particular risk would trigger a list of policies that may need to be evaluated.  The system allowed for timely notification of policies due for review, including an indication of lead time for review and the governance process through which adoption of the policy needed to be sought.  Proactive quarterly meetings between the Corporate Improvement and Performance team and service areas would pick up areas of non-timetabled or legislation triggered reviews.

 

Due to the dynamic nature of policy requirements, a table top exercise would be undertaken as part of the annual refresh work for the corporate plan and performance framework by way of a health check. 

 

The prioritisation for policy management was: (i) policy identified through statutory amendment; (ii) policy identified through risk assessment; and (iii) policy scheduled for review chronologically.  This would ensure that policies were fit for purpose and that the organisation had minimal risk exposure in so far as policies were concerned and that the organisation was ready to act when required.

 

The Panel considered the information and noted that many of the overdue policies related to Human Resources.  The Corporate Improvement and Performance Manager advised that he was overseeing the situation with regard to strategic Human Resources, that there had been a lot of legislative change and that there were currently resource issues within CPBS.  The Executive Director Place stated that it was not acceptable that there were so many overdue policies and he would be looking to get these assigned shortly.  He advised that although review dates had passed, policies were still in place.  Any legislation would always take priority over the Authority’s policies and would always be adhered to.  The Panel agreed that in light of the many outstanding issues on the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 66.

67.

Policy Development Panel Work Programme pdf icon PDF 65 KB

To set out the Work Programme of the Policy Development Panel (report of the Executive Manager Governance enclosed)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Executive Manager Governance, which set out the Work Programme of the Policy Development 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.

 

AGREED:

 

That the Work Programme be noted.