Agenda and minutes

Venue: Conference Room, Parkside, Chart Way, Horsham

Contact: Email:  Direct line: 01403 215465

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 89 KB

To approve as correct the minutes of the meeting held on 30th January 2017


The Committee agreed two addendums to the minutes of the meeting held on 30th January 2017 item SO/48 Review of the proposed Council Budget:


a)    The Budget’s proposed expansion of the Council’s real estate investment/non-operational portfolio by £3million per annum from 2017/18 to 2020/21 (detailed in the report to Cabinet on 26th January 2017 Appendix E(i)) would be financed solely by the Council’s sale of assets, yet to be identified, that provided minimal or nil financial return

b)    The Council’s Gross Debt and the Capital Financing Requirement (Report to Cabinet on 26th January 2017 Appendix G) provides for the Council’s 2016/17 current external borrowings of £4million, to be repaid by 2019/20 and that no additional external borrowing is proposed to take place before 2019/20




Declarations of Members' Interests

To receive any declarations of interest from Members of the Committee


There were no declarations of interest.



To receive any announcements from the Chairman of the Committee or the Chief Executive


There were no announcements.


Cabinet Member Interview pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Councillor Gordon Lindsay, Cabinet Member for Local Economy

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member for Local Economy was invited to the meeting of the Committee to answer a number of questions prepared by Committee Members in relation to his portfolio, he was also asked to present his portfolio summary.


1.    Strategy for tourism: I note that there are several references to a strategy for tourism through HDC documents. Can the Cabinet Member advise just how such a strategy can be implemented and if there are discussions with neighbouring councils and National Park to develop a coordinated approach tourism? Councillor Coldwell


The Cabinet Member for Local Economy replied as follows:


The work of Acorn Tourism will produce a Visitor Economy Strategy for the District. As part of the development of the strategy they will be talking to WSCC, Coast to Capital and the National Park to ensure that there is a co-ordinated approach. Our neighbouring authorities have a mixture of leisure strategies, visitor guides, cultural strategies. There is also work progressing across Coastal West Sussex to promote the Visitor Economy. We are already liaising with CWS to ensure that there is a co-ordinated approach.  The work will also look at visitor accommodation.


The second part of Acorn’s commission is to establish a new Partnership, which will need to involve our visitor economy businesses. The Partnership will be primarily responsible for implementing the new Strategy.


2.    In the MTFS 2017-21 there appears to be no allocation of Resources for Economic Strategy objectives. This despite the following conclusions presented to Cabinet on 14th January in the Horsham District Economic Strategy- Employment Land:  1.4 “Resources need to be focused to identify new employment opportunities and secure economic growth”

Resources Consequences 7.1 “A review of the Economic Development Team has taken place and the necessary resources will be in place to deliver the new strategy.” Councillor Crosbie


The Cabinet Member for Local Economy replied as follows:


Clare Mangan was appointed Economic Development Manager in 2015 and we are in the process of hiring a research assistant to develop and maintain a business sites DB and to update the web site which at the moment looks more like a visitor’s web site.  We will also produce improved economic reports.


3.    Currently the Cabinet is evaluating future investment opportunities for the Council including launching a housing company; increasing investment in a property portfolio, amongst others.  Are Economic Strategy objectives also included as possible investment options by the Cabinet? Councillor Crosbie


The Cabinet Member for Local Economy replied as follows:


We are currently looking for a suitable site for a Basepoint facility.  When we have done this we will prepare a business case.


4.    The Economic Strategy states the following: ....our economic performance has been poor; we are the worst performing authority in West Sussex; we must create conditions that support the local economy; the visitor economy generates economic and social activity; the market towns .....face significant challenges, in particular the retail sector. A priority must be to support the market town businesses and enhance the vitality of their  ...  view the full minutes text for item SO/58


Storrington Air Pollution Note pdf icon PDF 178 KB

To receive a note on Air Pollution in Storrington.


A report on Storrington Air Pollution was provided for the Committee by the Environmental and Licensing Manager after concerns were raised by Councillor Ben Staines at a previous meeting.


A recent monitoring exercise had recorded Storrington with having the highest levels of air pollution. The Council was working with West Sussex County Council to address this issue and reduce emissions from traffic, as the main cause of the pollution in Storrington was traffic related.


Members of the Committee questioned whether the traffic problems should be included in the upcoming review of the Horsham District Planning Framework, before further development in Storrington and the surrounding area.


However it was noted that this was a far larger problem which due to a lack of infrastructure to support the development and problems with the roads, it also related to housing and businesses.



Overview and Scrutiny Self Evaluation Exercise - Report to Date pdf icon PDF 119 KB


Councillor David Coldwell, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Self-Evaluation Project Group, presented a report on progress to date.


The Committee was asked to approve the recommendations presented in the report.


The Chairman of the Project Group talked the Committee through the report and the work which had been undertaken so far and the next steps.


The Group had concluded that the Overview and Scrutiny training sessions had been inadequate, more work needed to be done in relation to work programming, the Scrutiny Guide was a valuable document which should be recirculated to Members of the Committee.


Going forward, the Group would be considering the role of the sub-committees and whether task and finish groups would be more appropriate.


The Chairman of the Group asked for support for the Project Group to present their findings to a wider group of Members in a seminar style discussion later in April, this was supported by the Committee.


The Committee discussed the report and the functions of the Committee in terms of its “overview” role and its “scrutiny” role. Members felt that the Council was more transparent in terms of decision making, there was better access to information and therefore the scrutinising  role was not required to the extent that it had been in the past.


The Members also discussed the Policy Development Advisory Groups and were keen to ensure that the Committee did not duplicate the work undertaken by these but were reminded that the role of these were different to that of the sub-committees.


The Committee was reminded that scrutiny was established when the Cabinet system was introduced by the Local Government Act in 2000 and decisions were no longer made at full Council.


The Committee approved the recommendations in the report and agreed that it was a timely and comprehensive report and supported the proposal to set up a seminar to discuss the final report in a wider forum.


The Scrutiny Guide would be circulated to all Councillors.




                                    That the Committee:


(i)            Endorse and support the progress of the self-evaluation project group

(ii)           Note the next steps identified in section 4 of the report and participate in a member seminar in April.





To enact Overview and Scrutiny Committee minute reference SO/53 by participating in the nationally recognised self-evaluation framework for overview and scrutiny, in order to prepare for the function for the forthcoming municipal year.


Sub-Committees - Chairman's Update

a)    Business Improvement Sub-Committee

b)    Crime and Disorder Sub-Committee

c)    Finance and Performance Sub-Committee

d)    Social Inclusion Sub-Committee


a)    The Chairman of the Business Improvement Sub-Committee updated the Committee, the next meeting of the Sub-Committee was on 2nd May 2017 when the Members would review the S106 funding report before presenting it to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.


b)    The Chairman of the Finance and Performance Sub-Committee explained that there had been an informal briefing with the Cabinet Members regarding CenSus Revenues and Benefits, and the reduction in subsidy for Horsham District Council in relation to housing benefits. The Chairman confirmed that a report would be presented to a future Overview and Scrutiny Committee.


c)    The Chairman of the Health and Social Inclusion Sub-Committee explained that Members had met with the doctors from the CCG at the last meeting.


d)     The Chairman of the Crime and Disorder Sub-Committee was not present at the meeting, but the Chairman thanked him for his work over the course of the year as he was stepping down as to become Chairman of the Council for the forthcoming year.


To receive any suggestions for the Overview and Scrutiny Work Programme pdf icon PDF 70 KB

·         Suggestion from Councillor Coldwell for a review into traffic issues and access issues around local primary schools in the District

·         Review Transformation Programme outcomes, personnel numbers, functions coverage


Two suggestions had been raised for the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme:


1.    To examine, with a view towards solving, traffic issues, access issues and other problems at primary schools in the District.


This arose at a meeting with the local member and Upper Beeding Parish Council, however it was considered a district wide problem. Traffic issues around the schools in the residential areas lead to antisocial parking and antisocial behaviour. It was suggested that a sub-committee be set up to look at the particular problems in the village then hopefully, by working with West Sussex County Council, find a solution which could be applied to all schools.


Members noted that some work had already being undertaken by the CLC, so it was suggested that this be looked at in conjunction with this review.


It was noted that this was a nation wide problem.


2.    The second suggestion for the work programme was to review the position to date in terms of the Business Transformation Programme, for example how it delivered, current staff levels and whether financial targets had been achieved.


It was suggested that task and finish groups could be set up to look at these suggestions.


The Committee approved the two suggestions for the work programme. 


Replies from Cabinet/Council Regarding Overview and Scrutiny Recommendations

None to receive.


There were no replies from Cabinet or Council.


Urgent Business

Items not on the agenda which the Chairman of the meeting is of the opinion should be considered as urgent because of the special circumstances


There was no urgent business.