Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Friday, 27 October 2017 2.00 p.m.

Venue: District Council Chamber, South Lakeland House, Kendal. View directions

Contact: Jason Habbershon 

Items
No. Item

O&S/29

Minutes pdf icon PDF 158 KB

To authorise the Chairman to sign, as correct records, the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 18 August and 15 September 2017 (copy attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Chairman be authorised to sign, as correct records, the minutes of the meetings of the Committee held on 18 August and 15 September 2017.

O&S/30

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations by Members of interests in respect of items on this Agenda.

 

Members are reminded that, in accordance with the revised Code of Conduct, they are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests or other registrable interests which have not already been declared in the Council’s Register of Interests.  (It is a criminal offence not to declare a disclosable pecuniary interest either in the Register or at the meeting.)

 

Members may, however, also decide, in the interests of clarity and transparency, to declare at this point in the meeting, any such disclosable pecuniary interests which they have already declared in the Register, as well as any other registrable or other interests.

 

If a Member requires advice on any item involving a possible declaration of interest which could affect his/her ability to speak and/or vote, he/she is advised to contact the Monitoring Officer at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That it be noted that no declarations of interest were raised.

O&S/31

Declaration of the Party Whip

In accordance with Rule 17 of the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules, any Member who is subject to a party whip on any item must declare the existence and nature of the whip.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That it be noted that no declarations of the party whip were raised.

O&S/32

Local Government Act 1972 - Excluded Items

To consider whether the items, if any, in Part II of the Agenda should be considered in the presence of the press and public.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That it be noted that there are no excluded items on the agenda.

O&S/33

Public Participation

After the Overview and Scrutiny Committee has discussed an item on the agenda, but before a decision is taken, there is an opportunity for those present at the meeting who are not Committee Members to ask questions.

 

More information can be found on the South Lakeland District Council website, www.southlakeland.gov.uk , or by contacting Committee Services on 01539 733333.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That it be noted that there was no public participation in respect of this meeting.

O&S/34

Work Programme and Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 159 KB

To consider the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2017/18, and the contents of the latest Forward Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee Services/Scrutiny Officer introduced the latest versions of the Forward Plan and the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s Work Programme.

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        the latest Forward Plan be received; and

 

(2)        the Committee’s current Work Programme be noted.

O&S/35

Corporate Financial Monitoring Quarter 2, 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 156 KB

To note the financial position of the Council at 30 September 2017 and the revised Procurement Schedule, and to consider any recommendations to be made to Cabinet.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader and Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder, on behalf of the Leader and Finance Portfolio Holder, presented the second quarter financial monitoring report of 2017/18, which provided details on the financial position of the Council at 30 September 2017.

 

It was queried how the reported £8,000 overspend had impacted upon on homelessness service delivery. The Deputy Leader and Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder reiterated the increasing pressures upon the Housing Options Team. He explained that this was a national trend involving a number of factors, including new legislation and budgetary pressures resulting from changes to Supporting People funding.

 

Members asked why the future savings from Customer Connect had not been included within the current figures. The Deputy Leader and Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder explained that the savings projected from Customer Connect had been kept within a separate budget line during the project’s early stages. The Assistant Director Resources (Section 151 Officer) confirmed that the projected savings related to future years and would continue to be included within relevant monitoring and budgetary reports.

 

The Director People and Places provided further information on the current situation regarding the Kendal Museum management agreement between the Council and Kendal College. Members stressed the importance of Kendal Museum, not only to the town but to the whole district, and requested that the Council ensure that the museum continued to offer a high quality service.

 

Following a question regarding the reasons for re-profiling of the funds relating to the Rydal Road bridge works, the Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder reported that options were being assessed and discussions were ongoing with the local parish council. The Economy and Assets Portfolio Holder undertook to provide a written response when more information was available.

 

The impact of the revaluation of the rateable value of business properties was queried. The Chief Accountant explained that the values had not been set by the Council, but reassured the Committee that the smallest businesses were likely to be eligible for small business rate relief and, as such, the impact on these organisations was expected to minimal. He confirmed that the issue of properties changing from residential to commercial use had been recognised through reductions to the Council Tax base.

 

Additional information was requested regarding the overspend on direct staff costs within Neighbourhood Services. The Chief Accountant explained that staff costs were set with an expectation that some posts would be vacant throughout the year. Despite this, some teams, for example Waste Collection, would not meet that figure as service continuity required that they be as close to fully staffed as possible. This was a non-controllable budget which was monitored across all services. Therefore this was not taken into account as part of the proposed virement to increase the controllable staffing budgets within the Waste Service. The Director People and Places added that the past year had been a particularly busy year for the service and that residents had responded well to the extension of kerbside recycling, resulting in very high  ...  view the full minutes text for item O&S/35

O&S/36

Council Plan Performance Monitoring Quarter 2 2017/18 and Portfolio Holder Reports for Environment and Culture, Media and Leisure pdf icon PDF 207 KB

To monitor progress against the measures of success as detailed within the Council Plan 2014-2019 and to receive an update from the Environment, and Culture, Media and Leisure Portfolio Holders.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council Organisation and People Portfolio Holder, together with Principal Performance and Intelligence Officer, introduced the Council Plan Performance Monitoring report for quarter two of 2017/18. The report highlighted areas of significantly good or poor performance relating to the measures of success set out in the current Council Plan. The report also included the latest Strategic Risk Register and annual update reports from both the Culture, Media and Leisure Portfolio Holder and Environment Portfolio Holder.

 

It was queried whether the quarterly monitoring of Strategic Risk 9, “Essential strategic partnerships required to deliver the Council Plan do not operate effectively,” was adequate in light of the continuous changes within health services. The Director People and Places explained that the Council’s relationship with local health services was always being promoted and that active engagement took place throughout the year. The quarterly monitoring of the risk simply provided an opportunity to assess strategically the current position at that time.

 

Members requested information on the progress made against the recommendations made during consideration of the first quarter’s performance monitoring report. The Deputy Leader and Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder undertook to provide a response at the next meeting of the Committee.

 

The Committee expressed concern at the issue of high living costs within the area. Attention was drawn to the recent Lake District World Heritage Site Inscription and the advantages that this could bring through increasing quality and excellence. Despite this, other issues, particularly around transport, needed to be considered. The Economy and Assets Portfolio Holder, in response to the concerns regarding transport, explained that early stage discussions were ongoing with a number of partners with a view to alleviating some of these problems. The Deputy Leader and Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder undertook to work with officers to provide additional information to the Committee at a future meeting.

 

The Chairman emphasised the need for collaborative working, particularly with the two national park authorities.

 

The Environment Portfolio Holder drew attention to the Council’s ambition for additional affordable houses.

 

RESOLVED – That the following be noted:-

 

(1)        the summary of performance, as detailed within the report;

 

(2)        the detailed risks information, contained within Appendix 1 to the report; and

 

(3)        the two Portfolio Holder reports, contained within Appendix 2 to the report.

O&S/37

Council Plan 2014-2019 (2018 Update) pdf icon PDF 168 KB

To consider the draft Council Plan 2014-2019 (2018 Update).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Economy and Assets Portfolio Holder presented the 2018 update to the Council Plan 2014-2019. The Council Plan set out the vision, underpinned by four priorities, which formed an agenda that would make South Lakeland the best place to live, work and explore.

 

The strategy update provided a summary of progress in the past twelve months and detailed key projects that would contribute to achieving the Council Plan’s four priorities. Measures of success had also been updated and amended as part of the 2018 review.

 

During his presentation of the report, the Economy and Assets Portfolio Holder emphasised the strategic nature of the Council Plan and the varied partnership work that the Council was engaged in.

 

In outlining the key areas of the Council Plan relating to housing, the Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder reminded Members of the £2.36m awarded to the Council as part of the Community Housing Fund. He explained that officers were working with local communities, and emphasised the importance of councillors identifying and facilitating further potential community housing schemes within their areas.

 

The Deputy Leader and Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder also highlighted the collaborative nature of many of the successes listed within the Council Plan and reported that partnership working was embedded throughout the work of the Council.

 

It was queried whether future updates could include tracked changes to allow Members to quickly identify the amendments to the document. The Deputy Leader and Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder agreed to look into this within future updates.

 

Members felt that the issue of gender inequality was not highlighted enough within the Council Plan. The Deputy Leader and Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder suggested that there were a number of areas where this could be further underlined, and undertook to speak to officers regarding small changes in presentation that could help in both projecting a story and influencing others through leading by example. He also suggested that there would be an opportunity within the Annual Report to highlight this by explaining that the Council was an equal opportunities employer and demonstrating the parity within the organisation.

 

It was queried whether the service provision for older people within South Lakeland was sufficient, and whether more could be done through, for example, a special element of the Locally Important Projects grants set aside for such a purpose. The Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder welcomed the question and highlighted that the percentage of older people within South Lakeland was higher than the national average and would continue rising. He undertook to ask officers to look into the current provision for older people within the community, and suggested this as an area that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee could consider reviewing in the future.

 

The Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder confirmed that a complete revision of the Council Plan would take place in 2019.

 

RESOLVED – That Council be recommended to adopt the Council Plan 2014-2019 (2018 Update) as part of the Council’s Policy Framework.

O&S/38

Outcomes of the Review of Active Travel pdf icon PDF 206 KB

To consider the outcomes of the Review of Active Travel Workshop.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report setting out the outcomes of a recent review of the Council’s work regarding Active Travel was presented by the Committee Services/Scrutiny Officer.

 

The Active Travel Position Statement and Action Plan were adopted by Cabinet in June 2016 and sought to ensure that other organisations and residents better understood both why and how the Council promoted walking and cycling. As part of its 2017/18 Work Programme, the Overview and Scrutiny Committee had organised a one-day review of the Active Travel Position Statement and Action Plan which had been held on Friday, 21 July 2017.

 

Members reported that they had found the workshop useful and explained that they had been able to use the information that they had learned elsewhere in their work.

 

Caroline Gilbert, Partnership Manager Cumbria/Lancashire at British Cycling, was welcomed to the meeting. Members expressed their thanks to Caroline for her contribution to the review and explained that they would be keen to hear from her again in the future.

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        the findings of the Review of Active Travel, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report, be noted; and

 

(2)        Cabinet be recommended to endorse the proposals as set out in Appendix 2 to the report.

O&S/39

Scrutiny Recommendations Progress Report pdf icon PDF 169 KB

To consider the progress made by Cabinet in implementing the adopted recommendations of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Minutes:

The Committee Services/Scrutiny Officer presented a report setting out the progress made by Cabinet and officers in implementing recommendations made by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

RESOLVED – That the progress made by Cabinet in implementing the adopted recommendations of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee be noted.

O&S/40

Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee Update

To receive an update on the work of the Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee from the Council’s representative or substitute.

Minutes:

Members were informed that the briefing on the issues and progress made against the new Sustainable Transformation Plans and Integrated Care Communities, previously requested by the Committee (O&S/12), had been held. Further sessions were also being arranged for 2018.

 

RESOLVED – That the update be noted.