Venue: Anglia Room, The Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Walpole Loke, Dereham
Contact: Committee Services 01362 656870
To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 4 April 2013.
It was noted that Councillor A Joel had been present at the previous meeting and Councillor D Irving had not.
Subject to those amendments the Minutes of the meeting held on 4 April 2013 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
Apologies and Substitutes (Agenda Item 2)
To receive apologies for absence and to note substitute Members in attendance.
Apologies were received from Councillor C Carter and Councillor B Rose. Councillor C Bowes and Councillor G Bambridge were present as Substitutes.
Non-Members wishing to address the Meeting (Agenda Item 5)
To note the names of any non-members or public speakers wishing to address the meeting.
Councillors Canham, Robinson and Turner were in attendance.
Executive Member Portfolio Update (Agenda Item 6)
Councillor Lynda Turner, Executive Member for Localism, Community and Environmental Services, has been invited to attend the meeting to update Members on key ongoing issues and policies within her portfolio and to answer any questions.
Councillor Turner, Executive Member for Localism, Community and Environmental Services presented an update on her Portfolio. She was accompanied by her Executive Support Member, Councillor Robinson and Officers Steve James and Glen Chapman.
The SERCO contract had been extended to 2021 and negotiations continued to maximise best value for the residents of Breckland. The procurement process for a new Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) was in the final stages and the new contract would allow for more materials to be recycled. The total saving for the financial year 2012/13 was £355,233 which included £229,613 in recycling income.
The current programme for grass cutting allowed for regular two to three weekly cutting with larger sites such as Castle Park in Thetford being cut every seven to ten days. There was also an annual grass flail on selected sites such as Neatherd Moor, Dereham to manage biodiversity. There had been recent publicity about conservation groups asking Councils to leave grass longer to allow for greater biodiversity, but that also led to an accumulation of litter and foul matter making grass cutting harder to manage.
In February work with other agencies including Flagship, had started on the Abbey Estate in Thetford to address the fly tipping problem there. Since then the tonnage of fly tipped materials collected by SERCO was down by one third. Offenders were being written to by Flagship reminding them of their tenancy terms and conditions.
Enforcement action was taken where necessary, taking into account the cost, time and likelihood of success of a prosecution. The latest success was a fine of almost £5,000 for the dumping of waste on Forestry Commission land by a resident of Swaffham. The Forestry Commission had written with their grateful thanks for the Councils support in prosecuting the offender.
Since the introduction of the Chargeable Bin Policy in 2012 income of £8494 for 2012/13 and £3038 for the current financial year, had been collected from developers and individual residents.
The Service review was almost complete and savings of £355,233 had been made in 2012/13 with projected savings of £394,000 forecast for 2013/14.
The Vice-Chairman said that there were lots of examples of grass being cut with rubbish in it which was very frustrating because the rubbish then got strewn about. He also noted that an elderly resident in his ward was paying a neighbour to take his bin to the collection point, having been told by the Council that he would be charged for that service.
The Executive Member advised the Vice-Chairman to ring the Council on behalf of his resident because incorrect information had been given and no charge should be made.
Councillor Bambridge asked for grass cutting to be timed to suit village festivals and was advised that successful negotiations with SERCO meant that would be done.
Councillor Joel asked where the MRF would be located and was told that the preferred bidder was local and the contract was due to start on 1 April 2014.
The Chairman was pleased ... view the full minutes text for item 27.
Health & Scrutiny (Standing Item) (Agenda Item 8)
To receive an update from Maureen Orr, Scrutiny Support Manager (Health) Norfolk County Council, on the way the Health Scrutiny process has changed.
Maureen Orr, Scrutiny Support Manager (Health) Norfolk County Council gave Members a presentation on the Health Scrutiny Process.
The Norfolk Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee (NHOSC) was made up of eight Norfolk County Councillors and seven District Councillors (one from each Local Authority). It met every six weeks and examined healthcare issues raised by Councillors, Healthwatch and others as well as responding to consultations.
NHS funded organisations were required to:
The Committee had powers to:
The Health Scrutiny relationships with Providers, NHS Commissioners, Local Authority Commissioners, other scrutiny partners and the public were explained. All NHS funded providers were required to consult NHOSC on any substantial changes they proposed to make. The criteria for referring matters to the Committee were wide ranging and very open.
The current work programme of the Committee included:
• Access to NHS dentistry
• Same day admissions to hospital
• Ambulance turnaround times at the N&N
• Wheelchair provision
• Use of the Liverpool Care Pathway for the dying
• Radical redesign of mental health services
• Dickleburgh branch surgery
The Health and Wellbeing Board was an official Committee of Norfolk County Council with high level membership. It was a mixed Member / Officer Board with voluntary and community sector representatives. The first meeting of the Board would be held on 1 July 2013.
The Board’s operating framework was explained. The Board would produce strategy based on evidence and identify priorities for focus on issues where a difference could be made. A one year strategy for 2013/14 had already been produced and had three strategies:
• Unplanned care/emergency admissions
• Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)
• Creating good developmental/learning outcomes for Children and Young People
The Board would also hold a watching brief over issues already being dealt with by other agencies and receive detailed reports.
Councillor Gilbert asked whether the Committee’s remit included looking at individual surgeries and was advised that since 1 April 2013 GP surgeries were within the Committee’s remit. However, guidance was awaited and it was expected that the Committee would look at overarching issues such as the appointments systems.
Councillor Kybird asked Members to bear in mind that the NHS was a very large employer with a £1.6 billion budget. The Committee had to focus on high level issues and complaints about surgeries should be made to Health Watch Norfolk in the first instance.
Councillor Bambridge asked if there was a good spread of rural and urban Councillors on the Committee and whether recent changes to the political makeup of the County was reflected on the Committee. He was advised that the majority were Councillors from rural areas and the Committee had four Conservative, two UKIP, one Labour and one Liberal Democrat member. The ... view the full minutes text for item 28.
Report of the Executive Member for Assets and Strategic Planning and the Executive Member for Planning & Environmental Services.
The Joint Deputy Planning Manager and the Environmental Planning Officer were in attendance to present the report.
Consultation had been carried out on the Statement of Community Involvement and 11 respondents had made comments but no substantial issues had been made. All Statutory Bodies were in support of the document. A small number of public consultees had sought clarification. Only four comments had been received from a public perspective.
The amendments to the document were marked in red. They were pointed out to Members individually and the changes were explained. They were all small changes and minor in nature.
Councillor Gilbert was surprised that Anglian Water were not one of the Statutory Consultees and it was explained that they were sent most documents and were consulted on site specific matters.
Councillor Kybird pointed out a minor error in the table on page 21 which should be headed ‘Duty to Co-operate Bodies’ (not Cooperate as printed).
RESOLVED to RECOMMEND TO CABINET that Option 1 and the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI)(2013) including changes made as a result of the public consultation as a Council document is endorsed. The SCI (2013) will replace the current SCI (2006) which will then be defunct.
Report of the Assistant Director for Democratic Services.
The Joint Performance Team Leader was in attendance to present the report.
She advised Members that it had taken two years to get a clear format for quarterly reporting. The report was the first attempt and could be improved in the future.
The foreword explained the vision and provided a key to interpret the report. Two symbols were missing; a purple ? and an orange ! – both of which indicated missing data.
Each priority started with a summary which outlined how the projects were progressing. One concern was that the Corporate Plan covered a four year period and it was not possible to deliver all aims every year.
Rather than go through the report page by page Members were invited to ask questions.
Councillor Kybird noted that an unsatisfactory audit opinion was being discussed at the Audit Committee. He asked if such an issue would appear on the risk register.
The Joint Performance Team Leader said that quarterly meetings were held to discuss risk. She was not aware of the unsatisfactory opinion but it would be dealt with.
Councillor Bambridge commented that the format of the report did not display well on Members’ computers. The multi-column report was not easy to read and so Members would want a paper copy. He could see the advantages of the format but thought that a wide screen was needed to view it electronically.
The Joint Performance Team Leader noted that in pdf format there was a tool which would shrink the layout down, but she agreed that that made it less clear to read. She thought the report might be one exception to a paperless future.
The Chairman noted that there were quite a few downward red arrows.
The Joint Performance Team Leader explained that although it indicated the direction of travel it did not necessarily mean that the target was not being met. It had to be taken in context with the status of the action and would be a bigger issue if the status was orange or red.
She said that there would never be a report which was all green. The challenge was to get accurate information and officers had been asked to be open and honest. The Performance Board looked at all poor performance and questioned the Service Manager to find areas to give support to get the issue back on track.
The Chairman wanted the Commission to receive regular reports to allow them to scrutinise areas of concern and support the process. Lessons could be learned from things that were going well and it was important to pick up on what was going wrong.
The Joint Performance Team Leader explained that the report went to the Programme Board, then CMT, then the Portfolio Briefing before coming to the Commission and finally on to Cabinet.
The Chairman asked Members to go through each page and raise any concerns.
On Page 49 the number of empty properties was a concern. The Joint Performance Team Leader advised that the service ... view the full minutes text for item 30.
(a) A copy of the Commission’s work programme is attached. The Commission is asked to agree any additions, deletions or amendments to the programme as appropriate.
(b) Member Issues: In accordance with the Commission’s protocol for member leadership, which states that members of the Commission will take the lead in selecting topics for overview and scrutiny and in the questioning of witnesses, members are invited to put forward items for selection for future review.
A copy of the Key Decision Plan is attached for Members’ information.
The Chairman referred to Councillor Roger’s concerns and suggested that the Council’s investment in the District could be a Task & Finish Group issue. It would show what was being invested and unearth any areas which needed more attention.
The Dereham Memorial Hall would be added. It had received a very large grant and needed to be scrutinised if it was not delivering benefits as it should.
Capita Symonds would be added to the September agenda as there were two key officers leaving in August.
Next Meeting (Agenda Item 13)
To note the arrangements for the next meeting to be held on 18 July 2013.
The arrangements for the meeting on 18 July 2013 at 2.00pm in the Anglia Room, Elizabeth House, Dereham were noted.