Agenda for Overview & Scrutiny Commission on Tuesday, 1st November, 2011, 4.00pm

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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Hove Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Tom Hook  Head of Scrutiny


No. Item


Procedural Business pdf icon PDF 51 KB

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    39a Declarations of Substitutes

    39.1 Councillor Ollie Sykes was substituting for Councillor Matt Follett. Councillor MacCafferty was substituting for Councillor Sven Rufus.


    39b Declarations of Interests

    There were none.


    39c Declaration of Party Whip

    There were none.


    39d Exclusion of Press and Public

    In accordance with section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, it was considered whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of any items contained in the agenda, having regard to the nature of the business to be transacted and the nature of the proceedings and the likelihood as to whether, if members of the press and public were present, there would be disclosure to them of confidential or exempt information as defined in section 100I (1) of the said Act.


    39. RESOLVED: That the press and public be not excluded from the meeting.





Minutes of the Meeting held on 13 September pdf icon PDF 84 KB


Chairs Communications pdf icon PDF 47 KB

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    41.1 The Chair Councillor Gill Mitchell said that an item on Health and Well-Being Boards was to be reported to 16 November Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee and OSC Members would receive a briefing note shortly.


    41.2 Councillor Mitchell told the meeting the role of Councillor Disability Spokesperson had recently been agreed with the Disabled Workers Forum.  She reminded Members that this was a new position, created following the scrutiny panel on staff disabilities, and congratulated Councillor Stephanie Powell on her appointment.


    41.3 Councillor Powell summarised the many activities and events she was  involved in and links with local organisations, aiming to provide a greater voice for disabled people in the city as a whole, not only Council employees. Members gave their own experiences of disabilities and the importance of disability issues.




Public Questions/ Letters from Councillors/Referrals from Committees/Notices of Motion referred from Council


Brighton & Hove City Plan - Consultation on Policy options (Employment) pdf icon PDF 85 KB

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    43.1 The Local Development Team Manager Liz Hobden introduced the report on the Brighton & Hove City Plan Consultation on Policy Options Paper (Employment). Alongside other options papers, this is out to consultation between 17 October and 2 December. It is based on detailed research including close collaboration with the Economic Development Team. 


    43.2 The Local Development Team Manager summarised the stakeholder events that formed part of the consultation. The Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership was holding an evening workshop for its Members on the employment options.


    43.3 She said the key aim was to safeguard primary office and employment areas and went on to answer questions; on industrial sites on the outskirts of the City, housing demand and the potential impact of relaxing the rules around changes of use from commercial to residential, and provision for infrastructure and leisure & tourism.


    43.4 With regard to the age and reliability of the data underpinning the proposals, she stated that this was a 20-year plan that would take into account recent changes in the economic climate. The City Employment and Skills Plan was launched 3 weeks ago and up to date information would be included in the analysis, she said. In reply to further questions the Local Development Team Manager said Local Authorities were being asked to provide homes, and jobs; and the Housing Delivery Strategy is one of the Policy Options Papers.  An Infrastructure Delivery Plan will be updated as part of the wider City Plan and will be subject to consultation in March and April of next year.


    43.5 The Strategic Director Place said the public sector did not have a direct role in creating jobs but could enable and safeguard employment land. Answering a query on recent reductions in feed-in tariffs he said this was one example of rapid changes that potentially could have a serious impact on the local economy; this would need to be considered. In relation to the need for leisure sites, he said tourism was being encouraged, outside the scope of the City Plan.


    43.6 The Local Development Team Manager confirmed that the internal officer advisory group, who were involved in the options paper, enabled very close working and exchange of information between teams within the council including with the Economic Development Team.


    43.7 There would be a continuing opportunity to comment on the City Plan proposals. A report would be brought to Members early in 2012 following the options consultation.


    43.8 RESOLVED (i) that the report be noted

    (ii) that comments be referred to the Executive



Annual Report on Complaints and Compliments pdf icon PDF 160 KB

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    44.1 The Standards and Complaints Manager Brian Foley introduced the Annual Report and pointed to an overall reduction in the level of complaints. He said there was evidence that responses were helping to identify areas for service improvements and teams are actively learning from complaints and compliments. Training where necessary for individuals/ teams on the use of the formal complaints procedure was one means being used to do this.


    44.2 A consistent theme was communication with the customer; individual cases showed that there is still scope to improve generally in some areas.


    44.3 Members queried the increase in complaints about Housing and Social Inclusion (Table paragraph 3.8). The high numbers of people placed in temporary accommodation (flagged red in the LAA report) was questioned and whether there may be a link with the changes to allocations, where homeless people are now placed in Band C. Further information would be provided (report paragraph 3.21 refers).


    44.3 The Commission asked about complaints from residents regarding meeting the Decent Homes Standard (report paras 3.26, 3.27 and 3.28) and repairs to bathrooms and kitchens in particular; also about the number of compliments received which may appear relatively low. The Standards and Complaints Manager said a helpful leaflet, produced in conjunction with residents was now being used and Members welcomed this. Compliments received from routine feedback – from Housing or for example from the Library Service - would generally not be recorded by the Complaints Team, he stated.


    44.4 It was suggested that Ward Members, who have been contacted by residents on Decent Homes, should be able to give their views on the main issues raised and that the matter be referred to ASCHOSC. Councillor Ken Norman, ASCHOSC Chair supported the referral and the Commission agreed.  An update would be provided for OSC Members.


    44.5 The Standards and Complaints Manager answered queries on the pattern of complaints about City Infrastructure. He confirmed that complaints during the spells of bad weather in the winter 2010-2011 – amounting to hundreds of e-mails during just a few days - had not been placed on the complaints system, but they were summarised for the ensuing Scrutiny Review.


    44.6 The Chair Councillor Gill Mitchell thanked the officers for a thorough, varied and interesting report.


    44.7 RESOLVED that complaints from residents regarding the Decent Home Standard be referred to ASCHOSC.


Local Area Agreement; Final Report pdf icon PDF 98 KB

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    45.1 The Head of Policy and Performance Richard Tuset introduced the final Report on the Local Area Agreement (LAA) that, having been in place for 3 years was now formally ended. Some data was not yet available and some data was no longer available as a result of changes to national arrangements. The LAA included 35 national indicators from 195 in the National Indicator Set plus local indicators. It was cross-cutting between public, private services and the Community and Voluntary Sector and had been led and managed by the Local Strategic Partnership.


    45.2 The Head of Policy and Performance referred to the strong joint working between the Local Authority, partners and residents across the City.


    45.3 He referred to areas of good progress and some areas denoted ‘Red’ such as NI156 (households in temporary accommodation, affected by change to the definition of ‘temporary,’) NI47 (road traffic accident casualties, where progress had been made although targets had not been met) and L22 (the number of children in organised school visits, where partners had withdrawn but work was on-going.)


    45.4 Members discussed the importance of OSC’s role in accountability and performance monitoring and the need for clarity on demonstrating the reasons for collecting data plus the practical use of the information; for example in evidencing need, planning services, securing resources and monitoring outcomes.


    45.5 The Head of Policy and Performance set out the move to new performance arrangements and told the meeting that an interim report on the City Performance Plan and Organisational Health report were due to be reported to the next OSC meeting; the current target- setting process was in hand and the Brighton & Hove Local Information System (BHLIS) was a key resource for the LSP.


    45.6 Explaining the rationale behind data collection, including areas where direct measurements are not possible, would be looked at for the future together with different approaches to interpretation and analysis such as exception reporting.


    45.7 Some Members stressed the need for equalities data, referring in particular to disability hate crime; this would be checked. [It was later confirmed that disability hate crime is included in the City Performance Plan]


    45.8 RESOLVED (i) that OSC notes the report

    (ii) that the City Performance Plan and Organisational Health report be presented to a future meeting; to include the rationale and approach to data collection  and reporting.


Dual Diagnosis Scrutiny Review pdf icon PDF 106 KB

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    46.1 A monitoring report on the Dual Diagnosis Scrutiny Review was presented to OSC by two representatives of the Brighton & Hove Emerging Clinical Commissioning Group (CGG); Locality Transformation Programme Manager, Anne Foster and Commissioning Manager, Linda Harrington.


    46.2 The Locality Transformation Programme Manager and Commissioning Manager tabled an organisation structure chart with contact details and went on to outline the whole system approach, introducing the Sussex Partnership-Wide Dual Diagnosis Strategy and 5-year Plan, which included clear referral and care pathways; integrated and coordinate care, training and research, children’s services, housing and accommodation, mental health custody and court diversion pilot. They referred to all the recommendations of the scrutiny review including women’s services and parenting/family issues.


    46.3 Summarising, they said there had been good progress in some areas and in the coordination and development of plans. However more focus on implementation work was now needed especially in light of changes in NHS commissioning practices. Progress was needed on needs assessment, ensuring changes to delivery of front-line services and re-focussing on the multi-agency implementation group, chaired by the Director of Public Health.


    46.4 Members discussed the vulnerability of people in need of dual diagnosis support and queried the evidence for such high numbers and heard answers to questions on services for individuals from outside the City


    46.5 On behalf of the Commission the Chair Councillor Gill Mitchell thanked the speakers for a thorough report and wished for a successful change to new NHS Commissioning arrangements


    46.6 RESOLVED that a further implementation update be requested to a future meeting.


Update from O&S Committee Chairs - CTEOSC

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    47.1 Councillor Vanessa Brown, Chair of CTEOSC gave an update on the work of the Committee, for instance on the  2011 Brighton Festival, Withdean Sports Stadium, an update on the recommendations of the Environmental Industries Scrutiny Panel and preparations for 2012 Olympics.


    47.2 Two future Scrutiny Panels had been agreed on Support for the Retail Sector and on Access for Older People to cultural activities.  A scrutiny workshop on the draft Libraries Annual Plan had been held and a workshop on the Seafront Strategy was being arranged.


    47.3 The two Cabinet Members whose portfolios are within the remit of CTEOSC (Cllr Amy Kennedy and Cllr Geoffrey Bowden) had outlined their key ambitions and challenges.


    47.4 The 24 November CTEOSC meeting would include a presentation from the Arts Council and reports on Outdoor Events Policy and Libraries Services.



OSC Draft Work Plan and consultation topics for information pdf icon PDF 53 KB


Items to go Forward to Cabinet Member, Cabinet or Full Council


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