Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Cowdray & Goodwood Room, Parkside, Chart Way, Horsham

Contact: Email: CommitteeServices@horsham.gov.uk  Direct line: 01403 215465

Items
No. Item

SO/25

Minutes pdf icon PDF 245 KB

To approve as correct the minutes of the meeting held on 22nd July 2019

(Note: If any Member wishes to propose an amendment to the minutes they should submit this in writing to committeeservices@horsham.gov.uk at least 24 hours before the meeting.  Where applicable, the audio recording of the meeting will be checked to ensure the accuracy of the proposed amendment.)

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 22nd July were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

SO/26

Declarations of Members' Interests

To receive any declarations of interest from Members of the Committee

Minutes:

Councillor Jupp declared that he was the West Sussex County Councillor for Southwater and Nuthurst.

SO/27

Announcements

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

 

The Chairman has requested that the PowerPoint presentation on the Government’s Scrutiny Guidance be given at the next Council meeting

 

The minutes of all Overview and Scrutiny Committee meetings will be reported to full Council.

Minutes:

The Chairman stated that he had requested that the PowerPoint presentation on the Government’s Scrutiny Guidance be given at the next Council meeting as a large proportion of the Councillors were new.

 

The Chairman stated that henceforth the minutes of all Overview and Scrutiny Committee meetings would be reported to the full Council.

SO/28

Report on the Council's Finance and Performance in 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To receive a report on the Council’s Finance and Performance in 2019/20.

 

Any questions must be submitted to the Scrutiny Officer by 5pm on Wednesday 18th September.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the quarterly report on the Council’s finance and performance for the first quarter of the financial year from the Director of Corporate Resources.

 

During the discussion, the following issues were highlighted:

 

·        That during the early part of the financial year it was common to see a projected overspend

 

·        That the level of contamination of recycling was hard to manage because it was down to the behaviour of the public.

 

·        That no additional running costs had been incurred by handing over the management of the revenues and benefits budget to LGSS.  The Director of Corporate Resources was congratulated regarding the resolution of the transfer of revenues and benefits work to LGSS.

 

·        That Horsham District Council were a customer of LGSS whereas they were partners in the previous arrangement along with other councils.

 

·        The transfer of the Revenues and Benefits computer system from Mid Sussex to LGSS was now complete.

 

The Director of Corporate Resources explained that with the payment of benefits, although the Council’s error rate was currently below the level at which a subsidy loss would occur, if the auditor found a single error they could still extrapolate across the whole district population and decide to withhold money.

 

Councillors requested that in future the finance and performance information should compare one quarter with the same quarter from the previous year rather than the previous quarter from the current year.   It was further noted that an annual total had previously been provided to the Committee.  It was agreed that this should be provided to future meetings.

 

Councillors asked for the number of compliments received by the Council to be reported as well as the number of complaints.

 

The slightly lower proportion of invoices paid on time was noted and officers were asked for a further explanation of this.

 

With regard to the payment of business rates it was noted that Horsham District had a large proportion of small businesses and it is more difficult to get all the business rates collected from a lot of small businesses than to collect large amounts from a few big businesses.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Finance Team provide more detail on those who hadn’t paid invoices resulting in a dropping off in performance.

 

SO/29

Work Programme 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Progress with establishing task and finish groups

 

The proposed task and finish groups are:

 

a)     Cycling protocols and infrastructure

To cover establishing from West Sussex County Council Highways how they will facilitate and build good cycling infrastructure across Horsham District and how they will adopt liveable streets schemes to enable filtering and reduce rat runs, particularly around schools and how they will implement the Government’s Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) Strategy which sets out the Government’s ambition to make walking and cycling the natural choices for shorter journeys or as part of a longer journey.  

 

 

b)    Health provision

It is proposed that the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the GP practices are called to account for how they propose to reduce the waiting times which are known to reach as much as three or four weeks at some surgeries.

 

 

c)    Parking

Proposed task and finish group to review the planning links between Horsham District Council and West Sussex County Council in relation to parking regulations, transport conditions, electric vehicles and other interface aspects of planning applications.

 

Minutes:

i)     Task and Finish Group on Cycling Strategy

 

A document entitled “Horsham’s Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan: Update for Overview and Scrutiny” (LCWIP) was noted in the light of the proposed task and finish group regarding a cycling strategy.

 

Central Government have produced a cycling strategy and wish all Councils to do some strategic work in this area.  The work being done within the Council was centred on Horsham town and the surrounding area.  Council Officers were being supported by consultants to do the work.  Councillors with a town ward had been invited to attend a workshop as part of the LCWIP development. The Horsham Town Cycling Group is working towards a deadline of November when draft LCWIPs are required to be submitted to the Department for Transport (DfT).

 

Councillors Haigh and Donnelly who had suggested task and finish groups on cycling reminded the committee of their proposals.  They recommended having one task and finish group which was an amalgamation of their suggestions.

 

It was suggested that the Council needed to engage with neighbouring Crawley Borough regarding cycling.

 

There was a debate around whether to wait until the LCWIP had been completed or whether to run a group concurrently and discover what was planned for the district.  The LCWIP is focussed on Horsham Town Cenre.  There was also concern that work would have to be completed before November 2019 to be in line for government funding.

 

ii)    Task and Finish Group on Public Health

 

With regard to the proposed task and finish group on public health, there was a debate around whether it was a valuable exercise if no money was being given for new surgeries.  It was considered that it would be valuable to generate publicity for the issue and that it would provide an opportunity to call in health representatives.  They would be questioned about issues such as where one group of people have to agree to having a surgery and another have to agree to putting doctors in it.  It was noted that external experts could sit on task and finish groups although they would have no voting rights and that task and finish groups were not politically proportional.

 

iii)  Task and Finish Group on Off-Street Parking

 

It was noted that the issue of off street parking had been raised by a cabinet member at full council and that Reigate and Banstead council had successfully challenged Highway officers.  It was considered a valuable exercise to establish the legal relationship between the District and County when it came to off street parking.

 

The Monitoring Officer’s advice was noted.  One Councillor requested that the Monitoring Officer’s advice be added as an addendum to the minutes of the meeting.  The advice was as followed:

 

The Highways Authority is a statutory consultee with regard to various types of development and these are listed in Schedule 4 of The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015. 

 

The Schedule provides descriptions of development where the Highways Authority  ...  view the full minutes text for item SO/29

SO/30

Cabinet Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 56 KB

To note the Cabinet Forward Plan

Minutes:

The Chairman highlighted the following:

 

·        Affordable homes policy

·        Highwood Community Centre

 

The Chairman was concerned the Committee had not been consulted on the Corporate Plan although all committee members had seen the plan through the consultation with their political groups.  It was agreed that members would submit comments on the Plan through the Scrutiny Officer to the Chairman of Overview and Scrutiny.

 

The Chairman indicated that he would report to Full Council on Overview and Scrutiny’s views on the Corporate Plan if appropriate.

 

RESOLVED

 

That:

 

a)     The Committee would ask for draft reports on the business case regarding the Highwood Community Centre before it went to Cabinet in November.

 

b)     The Committee requested that documents relating to the above be presented as working documents before any decisions were made.

 

SO/31

Discussion of a request by the Overview & Scrutiny Committee for an update on all non statutory expenditure (revenue / capital) since 2015

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That figures updating the committee on all non-statutory expenditure would be provided at the next meeting of the Committee on 25th November 2019.

SO/32

Report on leisure attendance figures and affordable housing provision pdf icon PDF 114 KB

To receive a report from the Head of Leisure & Culture

 

Any questions regarding this report must be submitted to the Scrutiny Officer by 5pm on Wednesday 18th September.

Minutes:

It was noted that the new Everyman Cinema was creating competition for the Capitol.

 

 

SO/33

Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report pdf icon PDF 125 KB

To receive the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report.

 

Any questions regarding this report must be submitted to the Scrutiny Officer by 5pm on 18th September.

Minutes:

The Chairman asked the committee to note section 4.3 of the report which outlined work completed by the committee during 2018/19.

SO/34

Crime and Disorder Annual Update pdf icon PDF 158 KB

To receive a report from the Health & Community Safety Partnership Manager

 

Any questions regarding this report must be submitted to the Scrutiny Officer by 5pm on Wednesday 18th September.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

To ask the Health & Community Safety Partnership Manager whether neighbourhood wardens had reduced anti-social behaviour.