Agenda and draft minutes

Policy Development Panel - Tuesday, 4th October, 2022 6.30 pm

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

Contact: Democratic Services  01775 764693

Items
No. Item

27.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 217 KB

To sign as a correct record the minutes of the 12 July 2022 meeting of the Policy Development Panel (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

AGREED:

 

That the minutes of the 12 July 2022 Policy Development Panel meeting be signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

28.

Actions pdf icon PDF 156 KB

An update on actions arising from the 12 July 2022 Policy Development Panel meeting including the tracking of previous outstanding actions (enclosed).

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the actions which arose from the 12 July 2022 Policy Development Panel meeting.

 

Members thanked officers for their responses.

 

The Democratic Services Officer gave the Panel a verbal update on the following actions which had progressed further since the agenda publication:

 

  • Regarding minute item 24: when the SHDC Derelict and Untidy Sites Policy was considered at the 12 July 2022 Policy Development Panel meeting, it had been agreed that the policy be reviewed by the Panel one year from adoption. The policy was approved at Cabinet on 21 September 2022 and had become effective from 1 October 2022. The review of the policy would therefore be added to the Panel’s Work Programme for one year hence. 

 

  • Regarding minute item 10: Member Safeguarding training had been arranged for Monday 14 November 2022. Invitations had been sent to all members.

 

AGREED:

 

That the actions be noted.

29.

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

30.

Questions asked under Standing Order 6

Minutes:

There were none

31.

Tracking of recommendations

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

Minutes:

There were none

32.

Items referred from the Performance Monitoring Panel

Minutes:

There were none

33.

Key Decision Plan pdf icon PDF 215 KB

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

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Key Decision Plan dated 26 September 2022.

 

  • Members requested that relevant Ward Members receive an update on the pending Key Decision ‘Acquisition of S106 affordable housing in Gosberton, from a developer’.
    • The Democratic Services Officer would relay the request to the Head of Delivery.

 

AGREED:

 

That the Key Decision Plan dated 26 September 2022 be noted.

34.

SHDC Policy Register and the S&ELCP Policy Register pdf icon PDF 98 KB

To note the SHDC Policy Register and the S&ELCP Policy Register (enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel gave consideration to the SHDC Policy Register and the S&ELCP Policy Register.

 

Members thanked the Senior Change and Performance Business Partner for the updated registers.

 

  • Members noted that the Asset Management Policy review was overdue and asked when this would come forward to the Panel.
    • The Assistant Director – General Fund Assets responded that the intention was to bring forward a new S&ELCP Asset Management Policy to the 13 December 2022 Policy Development Panel meeting. A verbal update would be presented to the Panel at agenda item 14 of the current meeting.

 

AGREED:

 

That the SHDC Policy Register and the S&ELCP Policy Register be noted.

35.

Charitable Street and House to House Collections Policies pdf icon PDF 193 KB

Consideration of the Draft Charitable Street and House to House Collections Policies (report of the Head of Public Protection enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Public Protection which asked the Panel to consider the Draft Charitable Street Collections Policy and the Draft House to House Collections Policy.

 

The Public Protection Manager introduced the draft report which formalised local requirements and expectations around the application, issue and enforcement of permits under the Police, Factories, etc (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1916; and the House to House Collections Act 1939.

 

Appendix A detailed the Charitable Street Collections Policy; and Appendix B detailed the Charitable House to House Collections Policy.

 

The policies were presented to the Policy Development Panel for consideration during the consultation process and would subsequently move forward to the 24 November 2022 meeting of the Licensing Committee for approval and implementation.

 

The Panel considered the policies, and the following comments were made:

 

  • Members welcomed the policies and thanked the Public Protection Manager and team for their work.
  • Members referred to section 5 of Appendix B which outlined the ‘Reasons for Refusal’ for the granting of a charity collection permit and queried how the Council would establish excessive remuneration as stated in point 2. Would the submission of records be required?
    • The Public Protection Manager responded that:
      • a 10 per cent retention of donations was deemed an acceptable allocation for charities to cover their collection expenses;
      • charities were expected to submit a declaration of anticipated expenses ahead of the collection;
      • repeat collectors could provide a financial return which declared the value retained after the collection had taken place;
      • charitable organisations wishing to retain a much higher value than 10 per cent of donations may not be granted a permit on the basis that this would likely exceed the expectations of the donor;

 

  • Some Members stated a dislike for House to House Collections but acknowledged that the policy was required.

 

  • Members asked whether licences would be refused/revoked where charities repeatedly ignored ‘no cold callers’ signage.
    • The Public Protection Manager confirmed that this option would be explored, and the outcome reported to the Licensing Committee on 24 November 2022 when the policies were due to come forward.

 

  • Members who were on the Licensing Committee asked for a list of charities that had applied for permits within the last year.
    • The Public Protection Manager responded that a Public Register would be instated which listed all charities that had applied. A list of charities that had applied within the last 12 months would be shared with members who were on the Licensing Committee.

 

  • Members asked how the requirement of adherence to the policies would be communicated to charities; and what course of action would be taken to encourage compliance should collection activity be reported where a permit had not been sought/granted.
    • The Public Protection Manager responded that:
      • the policies would be published on the Council’s website;
      • complaints would be investigated;
      • a flouting of policy could affect future applications; and
      • ultimately, the Council possessed the power of prosecution.

 

AGREED:

 

a)    That the comments of the Panel be noted;

 

b)    That following consideration of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

36.

Review of HR Policies (Batch 3) pdf icon PDF 216 KB

To seek the Policy Development Panel’s views on the proposed HR Policies (Batch 3) prior to a report to Council (report of the Assistant Director – Corporate enclosed). 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Assistant Director – Corporate to seek the Policy Development Panel’s views on the proposed HR Policies (Batch 3) prior to a report to Council.

 

The Organisational Improvement and Development Service Manager introduced the item by stating that the overall review of HR policies remained on schedule and that Batches 1 and 2 previously considered by the Policy Development Panel had been implemented. Batch 3 would progress to full Council on 23 November 2022 subject to feedback received at the current meeting.

 

In line with Batches 1 and 2, the policies had been drafted by the PSPS HR team for legal checks and subsequently reviewed by an internal Policy Readers Panel which included staff and Union representatives. The policies had also been reviewed and supported by the Senior Leadership Team, recognised regional Union colleagues and the Portfolio Holder.

 

Batch 3 included the following ‘family friendly’ policies:

  • Adoption Policy;
  • Maternity Policy;
  • Paternity Policy; and
  • Shared Parental Leave Policy

The table at page 49 of the report highlighted the key differences between the current policies and the proposed policies.

 

The Panel considered the report and made the following comments:

 

  • Members asked for the formatting and layout of the policies to be reviewed/consistent for ease of reference.
    • The Organisational Improvement and Development Service Manager responded that formatting feedback had been submitted to HR which would be reflected in the final edit going forward to Council.

 

  • Members asked whether the policies had been compared with relevant Local Government Association (LGA) models.
    • The Organisational Improvement and Development Service Manager responded that during the review of HR policies, research had been undertaken with:
      • the Local Government Association (LGA);
      • the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD);
      • UNISON and GMB unions; and
      • latest case law.

 

  • Members asked whether the reviews were progressing at a similar pace at Boston Borough Council (BBC) and East Lindsey District Council (ELDC).
    • The Organisational Improvement and Development Service Manager confirmed the HR policy reviews across the S&ELCP were at the same stage. The schedule of the reviews had considered the varied decision-making processes across sovereign councils of the S&ELCP to ensure simultaneous alignment could be achieved.

 

  • Members sought clarification of a timeline for the review of the remaining HR policies.
    • The Organisational Improvement and Development Service Manager confirmed that Batches 4 and 5 were planned to come forward to the 13 December 2022 Policy Development Panel meeting. A final Batch 6 was scheduled for May 2023 but may be brought forward to be approved during the current administration.
  • Members stated that it would be beneficial for Batch 6 to be implemented during the current administration.

 

  • Members noted that the HR Policies were not yet listed on the policy registers.

The Senior Change and Performance Business Partner stated that the HR policies would be added to the policy registers at the next update.

 

AGREED:

 

That, following consideration of the Policies, the comments of the Panel be noted. 

37.

South and East Lincolnshire Community Safety Strategy pdf icon PDF 247 KB

To consider the South and East Lincolnshire Community Safety Strategy 2022-25 prior to adoption (report of the Assistant Director – Wellbeing and Community Leadership enclosed). 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Assistant Director – Wellbeing and Community Leadership to seek the Policy Development Panel’s views on the South and East Lincolnshire Community Safety Strategy 2022-25, prior to adoption.

 

The Community Safety and Enforcement Manager introduced the report which set out the duties placed on local authorities and other named statutory agencies in relation to crime and disorder (Section 5-7 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998). The report outlined the current Community Safety Partnership (CSP) arrangements across the South and East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership (S&ELCP) and in Lincolnshire as a whole.

 

The policy provided for a strategic response which was locally owned and covered the following priority areas:

  • Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB);
  • Hate Crime;
  • Safter Street and Night-Time Economy;
  • The Safety of Women and Girls; and
  • Vulnerability and Safeguarding.

The policy would be subject to annual reviews.

 

Members considered the policy and made the following comments.

 

  • Members welcomed the report.

 

  • Members referred to the Safer Street section of the policy which looked at environmental issues such as poor street lighting, blind spots, and hidden areas and asked whether links were being made with the SHDC Planning department to shape improvements. Some new housing developments had faced community safety challenges.
    • The Community Safety and Enforcement Manager confirmed that engagement with Planning was integral to the day-to-day work however some residential developments had presented community safety challenges. The implementation of mitigations, such as Safe Zones and the installation of CCTV, had been put in place to target issues experienced around the night-time economy.
    • The Assistant Director – Wellbeing and Community Leadership welcomed members’ feedback and stated that the consideration of utilising Planning tools to address issues of community safety across the Partnership would be beneficial. It was suggested that the Review of Implemented Planning Decisions tour to be undertaken by Performance Monitoring Panel members on 27 October 2022 could also incorporate this aspect.

 

  • Members stated that police resources were challenging, and reports of safety issues were often made to ward members. Would the implementation of the strategy enable focussed attention on areas which had experienced an increased volume of incidents, and could response activity be communicated to residents? A pro-active approach was needed.
    • The Community Safety and Enforcement Manager responded that:
      • residents did not need to wait for the strategy to be adopted and should report all incidents to the police so that relevant action could be taken, including: targeted patrols; police inspections of the area to investigate development opportunities; and a visible presence by Community Wardens;
      • the Community Safety team met fortnightly with the police to receive case updates; and
      • enquiries would be made with the local Inspector to ascertain whether patrol records were available and could be made public.

 

  • Members requested to be advised when Community Wardens were scheduled to visit their ward. Members also suggested that Community Wardens engage with residents at a neighbourhood/Parish Council level to understand local communities and aid with the sharing of intelligence.

 

38.

Consultation on the draft Lincolnshire Homelessness Strategy 2022-2027 pdf icon PDF 245 KB

To consult on and seek recommendations for the new Lincolnshire Homelessness Strategy 2022 – 2027 ready for adoption by the end of the calendar year (report of the Assistant Director for Wellbeing and Community Leadership enclosed). 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Assistant Director – Wellbeing and Community Leadership to consult on and seek recommendations for the new Lincolnshire Homelessness Strategy 2022-2027 ready for adoption by the end of the calendar year.

 

The Homelessness Reduction and Private Sector Improvement Manager introduced the report by stating that The Homelessness Act 2002 required all housing authorities to publish and maintain a homelessness strategy. The existing strategy covered the period 2017 to 2021, which had been extended by twelve months to enable a post-Covid policy to be drafted.

 

Appendix A detailed the review of the Lincolnshire Homelessness Strategy 2017-2022;

Appendix B outlined the Draft Lincolnshire Homelessness Strategy 2022-2017 which stated the five key priorities as:

  • Prevent;
  • Protect;
  • Partnerships;
  • Place; and
  • Plan.

Appendix C summarised the consultation which had taken place with focus groups and one-to-one meetings.

 

The Panel considered the report and made the following comments:

 

  • Members noted points 3 and 4 of the consultation summary (Appendix C) and queried whether the revised draft strategy had been recirculated for feedback. It was important to check whether the changes were considered effective.
    • The Homelessness Reduction and Private Sector Improvement Manager was not aware that the document had been recirculated but would check with the Lincolnshire Housing Partnerships Manager and update the Panel after the meeting.

 

  • Members referred to point 2.2 of the report and asked for details of the plan to tackle rough sleeping.
    • The Homelessness Reduction and Private Sector Improvement Manager stated that the plan to tackle rough sleeping was a key priority within the strategy and was detailed within the ‘pathways’ narratives within the strategy. A pro-active approach which focussed on prevention had continued to prove beneficial. This included partnership working with:
      • the Health Sector;
      • the Change For Lincs project; and
      • the seven district councils within the county.

 

  • Members referred to the ‘homeless and in priority need’ statistics and questioned whether this included people living in temporary accommodation; and how many people were currently living in temporary accommodation?
    • The Homelessness Reduction and Private Sector Improvement Manager would advise the Panel of the ‘number of people living in temporary accommodation’ after the meeting. It was confirmed that the ‘homeless and in priority need statistics’ figures included:
      • people living in temporary accommodation;
      • people who provided their own temporary accommodation;
      • people who had opted not to go into temporary accommodation; and
      • people who were threatened with homelessness.

 

  • Members referred to the current cost of living pressures and the impact this could have on homelessness. How soon would the policy be implemented?
    • The Homelessness Reduction and Private Sector Improvement Manager stated that the strategy would be implemented by the end of December 2022. The anticipated challenges were acknowledged and this had supported the importance of the proactive approached outlined in the strategy.
    • The Assistant Director – Wellbeing and Community Leadership confirmed that S&ELCP authorities were working to the same scrutiny process and timeframe as SHDC.

 

AGREED:

 

That following review by the Panel of the draft Lincolnshire Homelessness Strategy 2022-2027,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.

39.

Draft S&ELCP Asset Management Strategy Policy

The Assistant Director – General Fund Assets to give a verbal update on the Draft S&ELCP Asset Management Strategy Policy.

Minutes:

The Assistant Director – General Fund Assets attended to give a verbal update on the progress of the Draft S&ELCP Asset Management Strategy Policy.

 

The Assistant Director – General Fund Assets introduced the item by confirming that the SHDC Asset Management Policy had been due for review in 2019 but this had been delayed due to the impact of Covid-19, and therefore the Chairman had requested a verbal progress report be presented to the Panel.

 

The Assistant Director – General Fund Assets briefly outlined the following challenges which needed to be considered/addressed, in order to achieve Asset Management Policy alignment across the partnership:

·       the existing SHDC Asset Management Strategy was led by the Corporate Plan and other policies whereas the new S&ELCP Asset Management Strategy would be led by the Partnership Plan and the Corporate Plan and would be underpinned by existing policies: such as the Land Sales Policy; and Industrial Letting Policy; and

·       the new overarching strategy needed to incorporate the diverse needs of all three sovereign councils which incorporated different schemes of delegation.

 

The aim was to present a draft version of the S&ELCP Asset Management Strategy Policy to the Policy Development Panel meeting on 13 December 2022.

 

Members considered the verbal update and made the following comments:

 

  • Members asked whether the schemes of delegation would/could be aligned.
    • The Assistant Director – General Fund Assets stated that schemes of delegation were subject to the Constitution of each sovereign council. The South Holland District Council scheme of delegation enabled a dynamic commercial response. A sharing of skills, knowledge, resources, and IT systems across the partnership would be beneficial.

 

  • The Chairman stated the importance of the draft policy coming forward to the meeting of the Policy Development Panel on 13 December 2022.

 

 

AGREED:

 

a)    That the verbal update be noted: and

 

b)    That the Draft S&ELCP Asset Management Strategy be presented to the Policy Development Panel on 13 December 2022.

40.

Graffiti and Street Art Management Policy 2022 pdf icon PDF 330 KB

To consider the outcome of the piloting phase of the Graffiti and Street Art Management Policy 2022 to establish Street Art in South Holland to provide safe and welcoming public spaces for our local communities (report of the Deputy Chief Executive (Communities) enclosed). 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Deputy Chief Executive – Communities, to consider the outcome of the piloting phase of the Graffiti and Street Art Management Policy 2022 to establish Street Art in South Holland to provide safe and welcoming public spaces for our local communities.

 

The Assistant Director – Leisure and Culture introduced the report which outlined the six-month pilot phase of the policy at section 4.

 

The Graffiti and Street Art Management Policy 2022 was included at Appendix A; and proposed street art concepts for the Castle Sports Complex were included at Appendix B.

 

During the pilot stage, two pieces of work were completed (by one of the artists who had brought the Street Art Wall petition to the Council in November 2021) and had resulted in the following outcomes:

  • the first piece of work was based on a mental health concept – this had been completed and received positive feedback from the public and members of the Task Group who had formed the policy;
  • the second piece of work had been based on an environmental theme - the completed work was based on the cost-of-living crisis which did not meet the agreed concept. Under the terms of the policy, the artwork was designated as graffiti and the boards were removed and stored pending consultation with the artist.

 

The Task Group had convened on 20 September 2022 to undertake a six-month review which established that the policy had been effective.  Following the piloting phase, it was agreed that the policy could be successfully implemented and that the development of a wider educational project would seek engagement with arts-based organisations, artists and young people.

 

Members considered the report and made the following comments:

 

  • Members thanked the Task Group for the work on the Graffiti and Street Art Management Policy and stated that the recent testing of the policy had been positive and had proved that the policy was effective and robust. There was a requirement for policy adherence and whilst the quality of the removed artwork had not been in question, approval to change the agreed artwork concept needed to have been sought by the artist prior to completion. The Task Group’s recommendation to work with arts and education organisations, to show the positive outcome of street art, was supported.

 

  • Regarding the unauthorised artwork and subsequent removal of the boards, Members asked whether this had incurred costs, and if so, had these been recovered. Costs should not be borne by the Council.
    • The Assistant Director – Leisure and Culture stated that the boards were owned by the Council and their removal from the site had borne little cost. The artist had been consulted over the preservation of the artwork and had been offered the opportunity to purchase the boards from the Council. Should this be declined, the Council would retain the boards which could be painted over and reused.
  • Members debated the removal of the boards. Whilst the decision to remove the boards was supported by some  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.

41.

Policy Development Panel Work Programme pdf icon PDF 186 KB

To set out the Work Programme of the Policy Development Panel (report of the Interim Assistant Director – Governance enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel considered a report by the Interim Assistant Director - Governance (Monitoring Officer) which set out the Work Programme of the Panel.

 

The Work Programme consisted of two sections:

 

  • Appendix A set out dates of future Panel meetings along with proposed items for consideration; and
  • Appendix B set out Task Groups that had been identified by the Panel. There were no current Task Groups. The work of the South Holland Centre Task Group and the Street Art Wall Task Group had been completed and would be removed from future iterations of the document.

 

The Panel considered the report and made the following comments:

 

  • Members asked to be advised of SHDC’s Cemetery Policy.
    • The Assistant Director – General Fund Assets stated that the Facilities Management Team managed the cemetery and regular inspections were undertaken. The provision of the cemetery was not a statutory duty but it was expected of district councils.

 

  • The Chairman requested a briefing note be brought to the meeting of the Policy Development Panel on 13 December 2022 which outlined which cemeteries were under the ownership/jurisdiction of SHDC, as opposed to the Parish Councils. It was requested that the briefing referenced any associated policies that were in place. A decision would be made by the Panel as to whether this was an area they wished to review at a future meeting.

 

AGREED:

 

a)    That the Policy Development Panel Work Programme be noted; and

 

b)    That a briefing note in respect of SHDC owned Cemeteries be brought to the 13 December 2022 Policy Development Panel meeting.

42.

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:

There were none.