Agenda for Overview & Scrutiny Committee. on Monday, 14th July, 2014, 2.00pm

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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3, Brighton Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Giles Rossington  Acting Head of Scrutiny

No. Item


Apologies and Declarations of Interest


    Councillor Gill Mitchell Chair of Overview and Scrutiny Committee welcomed everyone to this meeting, the first of this municipal year, especially members who were new to OSC.


    1.1  Councillor Wakefield was substituting for Councillor Powell.

    1.2  There were no declarations of interest or party whip.


    RESOLVED that the press and public be not excluded from the meeting.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 70 KB

    To consider the minutes of the last meeting held on 29 January 2014 (copy attached).


    2.1 The minutes of the meeting held on 27 January 2014 were agreed and signed by the Chair.


Chairs Communications


    3.1 There were none.


Public and Member Involvement

    To consider petitions, written questions or deputations from members of the public or Members.


    4.1 There was none.


Performance Report Year End 2013 - 2014 pdf icon PDF 89 KB

    Additional documents:


    5.1 Andy Edwards, Senior Performance Analyst introduced the Annual Performance Update 2013/1014. As many as 84% of the results either met or were close to target, shown as green or amber in the report. Where performance was shown to be off-track it was important to know the reason why. Work was in progress to reduce the number of indicators.


    5.2 OSC discussed the report and said the format of the report was clear, giving clear descriptions and trends.  Members asked questions especially about staff equalities issues, fuel poverty, conservation areas at risk, people engaging in the arts, the GCSE achievements of free school meal children, water quality, nitrogen dioxide levels, the use of digital media, looked after children, LGBT hate crimes and household waste. The Senior Performance Analyst would gather written answers from the service teams where necessary.


    5.3 Answering a question the Acting Head of Scrutiny said performance results can be used to inform the scrutiny work plan.


    5.4 RESOLVED: that a report on staffing issues identified in the annual performance update be requested for a future meeting and further information on the above issues be provided.


Traveller Site Provision pdf icon PDF 49 KB


    6.1 Rachel Chasseaud, Head of Tenancy Services and Max Woodford, Projects Manager gave an update on Traveller site provision.


    6.2 Detailed design of the permanent Traveller site was now going ahead, working closely with residents, the South Downs National Park Authority, the Environment Agency and the Patcham and Hollingbury Conservation Association. The 23 planning pre-conditions included water quality, cycle parking and site management. Asked for an idea of timescales, officers estimated that building work would take around a year to complete, starting in spring 2015.


    6.3 The Committee heard that since mid-June, Section 62A of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 was being used, with close involvement of Legal Services, to manage unauthorised encampments in the city. Two groups had decided to leave the city and two groups had been directed to the Horsdean transit site. Travellers had given a lot of positive feedback about the layout, design and landscaping of Horsdean.


    6.4 It was thought that 80% of unauthorised encampments move to different areas of the city and that they attract further unauthorised encampments. The permanent site is anticipated to reduce this possible ‘magnet’ effect.


    6.5 OSC heard that connecting waste water from the transit site to the mains sewerage system would be done by directional drilling under the road.


    6.6 Members were pleased that planning permission has been granted. They praised the scrutiny review and thanked the officers for their work and presentation.


    6.7 RESOLVED: that the report be noted.


Trans Equality Scrutiny - Exceptions Update

    Verbal Update by Nicky Cambridge, People and Places Coordinator


    7.1 Nicky Cambridge, People and Place Coordinator, BHCC, gave an update on progress in implementing the 37 recommendations of the Trans Equalities Scrutiny review. Recommendations relating to Housing and Adult Social Care were largely being dealt with, showing amber or green on the monitoring report.


    7.2 However it was proving difficult to influence most of the health-related actions such as a local clinic, specialist GP services, standards of specialised services, changes to the health care pathway and reducing waiting times. These were all historic issues; some were related to the national review of specialised commissioning that was going on.


    7.3 A second feed-back event with the local trans community was being planned, but it was very disappointing that on the health recommendations, there was little new to report.


    7.3 OSC heard that the Chair of Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Rufus had written to the Chief Executive of NHS England Surrey and Sussex area team but had received no satisfactory reply, merely being referred on to the national organisation, NHS England.


    7.4 Members referred to the ground-breaking scrutiny review and felt strongly that the health–related recommendations should be pursued further.


    7.5 RESOLVED


    a)    That the matter be referred to the next available Health and Well-Being Board.


    b)    That the Chief Executive be asked to write to the Secretary of State for Health.


    c)    That the Chief Executive be asked to write to the Chief Executive of NHS England.



Overview and Scrutiny Committee: Work Planning pdf icon PDF 72 KB

    Additional documents:


    8.1 The Acting Head of Scrutiny introduced the report on OSC work planning.


    8.2 The current and planned overview and scrutiny work plus suggestions for scrutiny as set out in Appendices 1 and 2 were agreed. The number of young people sentenced to custody was put forward as an additional item; however this would be taken into account in the Youth Justice Plan scrutiny.  Further suggestions were made for scrutiny action; air quality, food waste, groundwater, letting agents and the private rented sector.


    8.3 RESOLVED that a scoping report be presented to the next OSC.


Budget Scrutiny 2015 - 16 pdf icon PDF 69 KB


    9.1 The Acting Head of Scrutiny introduced the report on Budget Scrutiny 2015 – 2016. It was recommended that the process be similar to budget scrutiny 2014 – 2015, and giving as much notice as possible to the council’s administration of the likely focus of this year’s budget scrutiny.


    9.2 Members discussed the impact of scrutiny of the budget proposals and agreed that the third sector ought to be involved early in the scrutiny process. A timetable was needed to report back to community groups and Members.


    9.3 RESOLVED that the proposed format for scrutiny of the 2015 – 2016 budget plans be agreed.


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