Agenda and minutes

South Hams Overview and Scrutiny Panel
Thursday, 16th July, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: via Skype

Contact: Email: Democratic.Services@swdevon.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

O&S.1/20

Minutes pdf icon PDF 337 KB

to approve as a correct record and authorise the Chairman to sign the minutes of the Panel held on 27 February 2020

Minutes:

O&S.1/20       

The minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel held on 27 February 2020 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

 

O&S.2/20

Declarations of Interest

Members are invited to declare any personal or disclosable pecuniary interests, including the nature and extent of such interests they may have in any items to be considered at this meeting;

Minutes:

O&S.2/20       

Members and officers were invited to declare any interests in the items of business to be considered during the course of the meeting but there were none made.

 

O&S.3/20

Public Forum pdf icon PDF 13 KB

A period of up to 15 minutes is available to deal with issues raised by the public;

Minutes:

O&S.3/20       

In accordance with the Public Forum Procedure Rules, the Chairman informed that no questions had been received for consideration but there were none received.

 

O&S.4/20

Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 640 KB

(a)  Homelessness Strategy Action Plan

 

Note: If any Member seeks further clarity, or wishes to raise issues regarding any future Executive agenda item, please contact Member Services before 5.00pm on Monday, 13 July 2020 to ensure that the lead Executive Member(s) and lead officer(s) are aware of this request in advance of the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

O&S.4/20       

The Panel was presented with the most recently published Executive Forward Plan.

 

In response to a request for an update on the ‘Formation of a Wholly Owned Company’ proposal, officers advised that legal advice had been sought on the most appropriate means of structuring such a Company and it was agreed that a more detailed update would be presented to the Panel meeting to be held on 8 October 2020.

 

(a)   Homelessness Strategy Action Plan

 

The Panel considered a report that sought to recommend to the Executive that the Homelessness Strategy Action Plan for 2020-21 be adopted.

 

In the ensuing debate, particular reference was made to:-

 

(i)      the Young Devon project begin particularly well received in local schools;

 

(ii)     the work of lead officers.  A number of Members in attendance paid tribute to the excellent work undertaken by those lead officers working on the homelessness prevention agenda.  As a consequence, an additional recommendation (as below) was PROPOSED and SECONDED and, when put to the vote, was declared CARRIED:

 

That the Panel thank the Housing Team for the production of an excellent report and for all of their hard work.’

 

(iii)       the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  When questioned, officers confirmed that, whilst the service had not seen a significant spike in instances of Domestic Violence, it was already becoming apparent that the impacts on both mental health and financial hardship were proving to be very significant;

 

(iv)      the Action Plan providing focus towards moving rough sleepers into temporary accommodation.  Officers proceeded to assure the Committee that they monitored the rough sleeper situation particularly closely;

 

(v)       widespread support being expressed for the adoption of the Action Plan.

 

 

It was then:

 

RESOLVED

 

1.      That, with effect from 1 April 2020, the Executive be RECOMMENDED to adopt the Homelessness Strategy Action Plan 2020/21 (as attached at Appendix 3 of the presented agenda report); and

 

2.    That the Panel thank the Housing Team for the production of an excellent report and for all of their hard work.

 

O&S.5/20

Waste Service Update - Presentation and Briefing Note pdf icon PDF 411 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

O&S.5/20       

The Head of Commissioning and Contracts conducted a presentation that provided an update on the proposed revisions to the Waste and Recycling Service.

 

During discussion, the following points were raised:-

 

(a)   The importance, as the project evolved, of both regular Member involvement and awareness and a clear Communications Strategy were stressed by a number of Members;

 

(b)   It was confirmed that the new Service was being developed to reflect the public wish to increase recycling provision.  For example, officers advised that the new Service would include the provision for kerbside collection of glass materials;

 

(c)   With regard to the disposal of single use gloves and face masks, it was confirmed that Government guidance was that these could not be recycled at this present time.  In recognising that there was an organisation that was offering to recycle these products, it was requested that officers look to signpost residents to the availability of this service;

 

(d)   In response to a specific staffing matter raised, officers advised that they would report the issue to the contractor and ask that all of their staff be reminded of their Code of Conduct;

 

(e)   The lead Executive Member encouraged his fellow Members to refrain from raising day-to-day operational issues with the lead officers.  Instead, the Member requested that such matters be raised either via the Localities Service or the ‘report online’ functionality on the Council website;

 

(f)     The Committee was assured that all Members would have advanced sight of the proposed round reviews prior to them being implemented.  This assurance was welcomed by a number of Members;

 

(g)   It was hoped that the public confusion over what currently could (and could not) be recycled would be overcome through the new Service;

 

(h)   A Member felt that the cost implications arising from the new Service should be considered at a future meeting of the Audit Committee.  Since the Member was a serving Audit Committee Member, the Chairman encouraged him to raise it a future meeting of that Committee at the time when the future Work Programme was being discussed.

It was then:

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Panel thank lead officers for their presentation and supporting Briefing Note that outlines the delay to the Waste and Recycling Service.

 

O&S.6/20

ICT Update pdf icon PDF 456 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

O&S.6/20       

A report was considered that provided an overview of work that had been completed in the IT service area during the previous twelve months as part of a continuous programme of work designed to further improve its security, resilience, availability and capability.  In addition, the report also highlighted proposed improvements to be implemented over the year ahead.

 

In discussion, the following points were raised:

 

(a)   Officers confirmed that a detailed training programme would be made available to Members during the proposed roll-out of Microsoft Teams and Office365;

 

(b)   Members were advised that, whilst the service had been required to work from home during the Pandemic, this had not resulted in any impact on service delivery or the progress of the Future IT project;

 

(c)   With regard to the constraints arising from regular software and security updates, all Members were encouraged to shut down their IT devices at the end of each day to minimise the impact of any disruption.

It was then:

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Panel note the continuous improvement and evolution of the Council’s IT platform to meet the needs of its ambitious and successful service delivery model.

 

 

 

O&S.7/20

Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report pdf icon PDF 262 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

O&S.7/20       

The Panel considered a report that presented its Annual Report for 2019/20.

 

In debate, Members recognised the impressive amount of work that had been undertaken by the Panel during 2019/20 and the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and lead officers were subsequently thanked for their work in supporting the effectiveness of the Overview and Scrutiny function.

 

It was then:

 

RECOMMENDED

 

That Council be RECOMMENDED that the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report for 2019/20 be approved.

 

O&S.8/20

Task & Finish Group Updates

(a)  Locality Service

Minutes:

O&S.8/20       

(a)  Locality Service

 

The Panel recognised that the Locality Service would be central to the Council’s Recovery Plan to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  As a result, Members noted that the draft Plan was next to be considered at a joint meeting of the Panel and Development Management Committee that was to be held on 3 September 2020.

 

It was therefore considered appropriate for a further update from the Group to be presented to the Panel meeting to be held on 8 October 2020.

 

Finally, the Panel agreed a proposal whereby Cllr Jackson replaced Cllr Birch as a serving Member of the Task and Finish Group.

 

 

O&S.9/20

Annual O+S Work Programme pdf icon PDF 250 KB

                                                                         * * * * * *

N.B.Legal and financial officers will not, as a general rule, be present throughout all meetings, but will be on standby if required.  Members are requested to advise Member Services in advance of the meeting if they require any information of a legal or financial nature.

* * * * * *

 

MEMBERS ARE REQUESTED TO SIGN THE ATTENDANCE REGISTER

THIS AGENDA HAS BEEN PRINTED ON ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY PAPER

 

If you or someone you know would like this publication in a different format, such as large print or a language other than English, please call Darryl White on 01803 861247 or by email at: darryl.white@southhams.gov.uk

 

Minutes:

O&S.9/20       

During consideration of the latest version of the Panel’s Annual Work Programme, the following additions, amendments and deletions were made to the Programme:

 

-        The Chairman put forward a proposal to establish a Task and Finish Group to develop a Consultation and Engagement Strategy.  In discussion, Members were supportive of this suggestion and it was PROPOSED and SECONDED and when put to vote was declared CARRIED that:

‘1. A Consultation and Engagement Strategy Task and Finish Group (comprising of Cllrs Birch, Chown (subject to his availability to partake), Reeve, Rose (Group Chairman), Spencer and Thomas) be established; and

 

2. The Group be tasked with presenting its concluding report to the Panel meeting to be held on 19 November 2020.’

 

-        The Panel was reminded of its earlier request (Minute O&S.4/20 above refers) to receive an update on the proposed formation of a Wholly Owned Company at its meeting to be held on 8 October 2020.