Agenda and minutes

Policy Development Panel - Wednesday, 13th January, 2016 6.30 pm

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

Contact: Christine Morgan  01775 764454

Items
No. Item

37.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 83 KB

To sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 4 November 2015 (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 4 November 2015 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

38.

Declaration of Interests.

(Councillors 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, councillors 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.

39.

Questions asked under Council Procedure Rule 10.3.

Minutes:

There were none.

40.

Tracking of recommendations

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

Minutes:

There were none.

41.

Items referred from the Performance Monitoring Panel

Minutes:

There were none.

42.

Key Decision Plan pdf icon PDF 147 KB

To note the current Key Decision Plan, issued 5 January 2016 (copy enclosed). 

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Key Decision Plan, published on 5 January 2016.

 

AGREED:

That the Key Decision Plan be noted.

43.

Addressing Long Term Empty Homes pdf icon PDF 78 KB

To present an update on the current situation regarding long term empty homes in South Holland (report of the Executive Director Place enclosed)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Executive Director Place which presented an update on the current situation regarding long term empty homes in South Holland.

 

On 22 July 2015, the Policy Development Panel had received a report on addressing long term empty homes, and had requested an update in six months time.  Therefore, a briefing report had been produced, which was attached at Appendix A to the covering report.  The briefing report provided an overview of the following:

 

·         Performance in returning empty homes back into use

·         Empty Homes and the New Homes Bonus scheme

·         South Holland Empty Homes Strategy 2014-16

 

The Executive Director Place concentrated on Appendix A, focussing on progress made against actions, in particular the planned actions which had a status of amber.

 

It was agreed that good progress had been made since the last report however, this had to continue.  The Panel requested that a further progress report be presented in six months time.

 

AGREED:

 

1)    That the report of the Executive Director Place be noted; and

 

2)    That a further update report on the situation regarding long term empty homes in South Holland be provided to the Panel in six months time.

44.

Street Scene Issues pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To respond to issues raised at Policy Development Panel on 4 November 2015 (report of the Executive Director Place enclosed)

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Executive Director Place which addressed street scene issues and responded to matters raised at the last Panel meeting on 4 November 2015. 

 

At that meeting, the following was agreed:

 

·         That a summary of legislation relating to the duties of the local authority with regard to street scene issues, shop frontages and upkeep of public areas be provided;

·         That information be provided on whether the size of conservation area could be expanded or reduced, with regard to how conservation areas affected what was considered as appropriate signage for the areas;

·         That the Panel consider this information to ascertain whether there were any areas not covered by legislation that could be used to formulate a policy to address areas of concern;

·         That officers be requested to liaise with colleagues from the local authority covering Stamford to identify reasons why there was a different approach to street scene/shop frontages in the South Holland and Stamford area;

·         That Councillor McLean’s suggestion of introducing a voluntary code for shopkeepers in order to improve shop frontages be considered;

·         That Councillors be advised on issues around the erection of new signs regarding disposal of chewing gum – their location and cost-effectiveness; and

·         That Councillors be advised of whether the old street cleaner had been leased or purchased, and if it could be used in other towns and villages in the district.

 

The report addressed these points, covering the following areas – planning legislation; conservation areas; Stamford; voluntary code; chewing gum signage; street cleaning machinery; and enforcement issues.

 

The Place Manager made the following points;

 

·         There was a wide range of legislation surrounding street scene issues, and it was sometimes complex.  There was often a tendency to react to negative issues, and because of the difficulty in dealing with them, ultimately they were rarely resolved satisfactorily.

·         Comparisons with Stamford were not realistic, as the towns and villages of South Holland did not contain either a vast range of listed buildings or areas within their cores which had such particular focus that would justify the level of control exercised within Stamford.    

·         The suggestion made previously regarding working with businesses in town was a good one, and had already been raised with the Spalding Town Centre Manager.  Engaging with the Town Centre Manager and various Chambers of Commerce would be the best approach, in order to deal with the issues although it would be difficult to achieve a consensus in view of the fact that there were many different premises owners and more than one Chamber of Commerce.

 

The following issues were raised by Panel members:

 

·         Reference was made to paragraph 1.2.11 within the report which referred to the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) regulations 2007 making provision for the introduction of Orders for Areas of Special Control – could this be done in South Holland?

o   The Place Manager explained the process and advised that to undertake this within the South Holland area would involve a lot or work  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44.

45.

Policy Development Panel Work Programme pdf icon PDF 64 KB

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

 

In addition to the report, the following issues are to be considered by the Panel under this agenda item:

 

i.        At the joint Scrutiny meeting on 14 December 2015 (Budget Scrutiny), it was recommended that the Policy Development Panel gives consideration to examining whether the Council should have a policy that says that all residual gain from Right to Buy sales is ring fenced for council housing and that the outcome of this consideration is recommended to Cabinet in order to assist at future Medium Term Financial Plan setting.  The Panel is asked to consider if it wishes to take this forward and if so, schedule this work into a future meeting.

 

ii.        To consider issues raised at the last meeting of the Panel concerning why companies/the NHS/schools etc had difficulty attracting professionals to the area, and how this linked to community well-being – the Panel had suggested the formation of a Task Group to look at developing a policy to address these issues, and had requested that the Executive Director Place draw together a draft scope for consideration. 

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.

 

With respect to the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field Task Group’s recommendations, Councillor Dark asked for details regarding the 2016 Open Day to be held on the Field.  It was agreed that the relevant officer would contact him regarding this.

 

At the joint Scrutiny meeting held on 14 December 2015 to scrutinise the Budget, it had been recommended that the Panel give consideration to examining whether the Council should have a policy that stated that all residual gain from Right to Buy sales be ring fenced for council housing, and that the outcome of this consideration be recommended to Cabinet in order to assist at future Medium Term Financial Plan setting.  The Panel requested that the Interim Chief Accountant be requested to attend the next Panel meeting to provide background information and the current position on the issue and that the Panel would then decide whether to look at the matter in more detail.

 

At the last meeting of the Panel, issues had been raised regarding why companies/the NHS/schools etc. had difficulty in attracting professionals to the area and how this linked to community well-being.  The Panel had suggested the formation of a Task Group to look at developing a policy to address these issues and had requested that the Executive Director Place draw together a draft scope for consideration.  The Executive Director Place advised that he had done some research on these issues and reported that: 1) Lincolnshire County Council had looked at the Lincolnshire Health and Care Programme and through a piece of work entitled ‘Enablers of Change’,  was considering issues such as workforce supply and retention; 2) the Authority’s Human Resources department would be considering issues, such as recruitment, as part of the Organisational Development arm of the Transformation Programme, and there would therefore be an opportunity to consider the issues at this point. 

 

AGREED:

 

1)    That the Work Programme be noted;

 

2)    That the Communities Manager liaise with Councillor G Dark regarding the Open Day to be held at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field;

 

3)    That with regard to the Panel giving consideration to examining whether the Council should have a policy that states that all residual gain from Right to Buy Sales is ring fenced for council housing, the Interim Chief Accountant be requested to attend the next Panel meeting to provide background information and the current position on this issue, after which a decision be taken by the Panel as to whether to look at the matter in more detail; and

 

4)    That with regard to difficulties experienced by various organisations in attracting professionals to the area, the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.