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  • Agenda and minutes

    Overview and Scrutiny Committee
    Tuesday, 19 March 2019 7.30 pm

    Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Knowle Green, Staines-upon-Thames

    Contact: Gillian Scott  Email: g.scott@spelthorne.gov.uk

    Items
    No. Item

    78/19

    Minutes pdf icon PDF 87 KB

    To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 15 January 2019 as a correct record.

    Minutes:

    The minutes of the meeting held on 15 January 2019 were approved as a correct record.

     

    79/19

    Disclosures of Interest

    To receive any disclosures of interest from councillors in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct for members.

    Minutes:

    Councillor Mooney declared a non-pecuniary interest in item 8, Fly Tipping, in relation to her role as a County Councillor. 

    80/19

    Call-in of Cabinet decisions

    No Cabinet decisions have been called in.

    Minutes:

    No decisions of Cabinet had been called in.

    81/19

    Cabinet Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 133 KB

    A copy of the latest Forward Plan is attached.

     

    If any members of the Committee have any issues they want to raise in relation to the Cabinet Forward Plan, please inform Terry Collier, Deputy Chief Executive, 24 hours in advance of the meeting with reasons for the request.

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet Forward Plan was noted.

     

    82/19

    9 Month Capital Monitoring (Q3 Oct to Dec) & Projected Outturn pdf icon PDF 103 KB

    To note the current Capital spend to December 2018.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Committee considered a report on capital expenditure covering the period April to December 2018. 

     

    The acquisition of assets scheme had been separated from the other items to provide more clarity.  The underspend in this area was largely due to works on a number of projects being delayed until the next financial year.  An explanation was given of the fluctuations in the corporate management budget figures. 

     

    It was suggested that the Committee may want to keep a watchful eye on the fluctuations over the next 12 months.

     

    Resolved to note the capital spend.

     

    83/19

    9 Month Revenue Monitoring (Q3 Oct to Dec) & Projected Outturn pdf icon PDF 133 KB

    To note the current Revenue spend to December 2018.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Committee considered a report on revenue expenditure covering the period April to December 2018.

     

    Resolved to note the report.

     

    84/19

    Fly Tipping pdf icon PDF 144 KB

    To review the impact of changes to Surrey County Council’s waste services on fly tipping in the Borough.

    Minutes:

    The Group Head of Neighbourhood Services presented a report to the Committee on fly tipping.  The report explained where responsibility lay for the collection and disposal of waste and recycling materials, the management of fly tipping and provided statistics for the period 2016 to 2018.

     

    In 2016, Surrey County Council introduced charges at recycling centres for residents dumping more than one bag of chargeable waste and no longer accepted trade waste at the Charlton Lane site.  Whilst there was no direct evidence to suggest that the charges had directly resulted in the number of fly tips and other factors, such as improved reporting and awareness campaigns needed to be taken into consideration; there had been a significant increase in reported instances of fly tipping since 2016.  The data was as follows:

     

    Spelthorne Fly Tipping Data

    2016

    735 fly tips

    2017

    1007 fly tips

    2018

    1050 fly tips

     

    Members were concerned at the increase in fly tipping and a number of questions were asked about the use of CCTV, where responsibility for costs lay, and the different type of waste that was dumped.  The Group Head of Neighbourhood Services agreed to investigate the possibility of general categorisation of types of fly tipping.

     

    Resolved to note the report.

     

    85/19

    Recycling and Waste collections pdf icon PDF 113 KB

    To consider satisfaction rates for the Council’s waste services.

    Minutes:

    A report was presented to the Committee on the recycling and waste collections detailing the percentage of missed bins reported and collected within 24 hours in Spelthorne.  This information is not required to be reported nationally, however following a number of Freedom of Information requests the results were published in the national media which showed Spelthorne’s results to be significantly lower than many other authorities at 16 bins per 1000, a percentage of less than 1%. 

     

    There is a reduction in the types of plastic being recycled as there is no market for them with resultant higher costs for doing so. 

     

    Jackie Taylor, Group Head of Neighbourhood Services, advised that we are working with Surrey County Council as part of their campaigns and also independently to target areas to reduce waste by making people aware of the benefits of recycling.

     

    The Committee asked a number of questions relating to recycling and rejection rates at the recycling centre.  They were advised that the rejection rate is quite low (no load was rejected in the last six weeks) and in the event of a rejected load, the operators are required to say which vehicle went in and identify the location of the contaminated part of the load.  The area where the waste was collected can then be identified and residents advised of the problem, shown images, and offered assistance to understand what is recyclable. 

     

    The need to reduce residual household waste was emphasised.  Residents are permitted to put additional items alongside their bin on recycling week but not for the household waste. 

     

    The separate collection of food waste from blocks of flats was regarded as a more problematic area.  Some flats are suited to this and residents can be reluctant to participate as they have no control over the waste.  A newly appointed recycling officer who previously worked on the introduction of food waste with Surrey will be working with residents on this issue.

     

    Resolved to note the report.

     

    86/19

    Review of Parking in Ashford - update pdf icon PDF 112 KB

    To receive an update on analysis of parking issues in Ashford town centre and enforcement work.

    Minutes:

    The Committee considered a report on parking issues in Ashford town centre.  A study by an independent consultant concluded that:

    ·         The town centre is popular and busy with few vacancies

    ·         Surveys have shown that around 44% of shoppers travel to Ashford by car and so other modes of transport are important

    ·         Most of the existing parking use was for short durations of less than 2 hours

    ·         There was considerable spare parking, excluding the railway station and Tesco car park

    ·         The multi-storey car park was very poorly used

    ·         Evidence of lack of enforcement of restriction on parking length of stay

    ·         Improvements to the landscaping design could create more on-street parking

     

    A three month enforcement exercise to understand underlying parking issues in the area had proved useful and positive feedback was received, particularly from local businesses.  A further 3 month enforcement exercise will start in March 2019 to provide us with further data, the results of which will be used with the information gained from the initial exercise and the independent parking study to identify improvements needed to parking provision in Ashford town centre.

     

    There was discussion about how to engage with local businesses using spaces for employees and visitors who outstayed their allotted time, using different approaches but making them aware of the benefits to Ashford from an environmental and parking perspective.

     

    It was reported that at a recent Economic Development Group businesses in Ashford had expressed concern about parking issues and charges.  The Group Head of Neighbourhood Services gave the background to historic parking charges at the multi-storey car park for local businesses which had been increased but were still very cheap in comparison to the standard charges.

     

    A suggestion of using a clock face card to display in car windows was suggested however this would require significant manpower.  An alternative of on-street parking with a machine allowing the first hour free would need to be initiated by the County Council.

     

    The possibility of changing slip road parking in the main street to a no parking zone area had not been considered at this stage, due to the huge cost involved.

     

    Resolved to note the report and the additional enforcement exercise for Ashford town centre.

     

    87/19

    Exclusion of Press and Public

    To move the exclusion of the Press/Public in relation to items 10 and/or 11 on this agenda, in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985 and by the Local Government (Access to information) (Variation) Order 2006.

     

     

    Minutes:

    Resolved to move the exclusion of the Press and Public for the following item in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985 and by the Local Government (Access to information)

    (Variation) Order 2006.

     

    88/19

    Commercial Investments and management of risks

     

    To consider the rationale for the Council’s property investments and how risks are managed.

     

    It may be necessary to exclude the press and public during consideration of this item due to the fact that Appendices 1 and 2 to the reportcontain exempt information within the meaning of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985 and by the Local Government (Access to information) (Variation) Order 2006, Paragraph 3 – Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information) and in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information because if the markets are aware of the Council’s investment strategies and decision making mechanism, it may well put the Council at a commercial disadvantage against other investors operating in similar markets and may hinder the Council obtaining investments at the best value. 

     

     

     

    Minutes:

    Nick Cummings, Property and Development Manager, presented a report to the Committee on the Council’s commercial investments and outlined the management of associated risks.  An independent report produced by Deloitte had also been made available to the Committee members.

     

    Nick Cummings, the Leader of the Council and Councillor Williams responded to a number of questions raised by members of the Committee.

     

    Resolved to note the report.

    89/19

    Project Management Dashboard

    To receive an update on the status of current Council projects.

     

    A confidential presentation will be given in relation to risks on confidential projects.

     

    It will be necessary to exclude the press and public during consideration of the presentation due to the fact that it willcontain exempt information within the meaning of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985 and by the Local Government (Access to information) (Variation) Order 2006, Paragraph 3 – Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information) and in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information because procurements are due to be or are taking place in relation to these projects and making the public aware of these prior to documentation being finalised may distort competition and may impact on the Council’s ability to obtain best value.

     

    Minutes:

    The Group Head of Commissioning and Transformation presented her report to the Committee.

     

    Updates were provided on a number of development projects.  It was confirmed that alternative sites for the Spelthorne Leisure Centre replacements were still being assessed.

     

    Resolved to note the report.

    90/19

    Task Groups - update

    The Chairman will update the Committee on discussions with officers regarding the setting up of a task group to look at the Council’s consultations with residents.

    Minutes:

    A suggestion had been made at the last meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee in January 2019, that a task group should be set up to look at the Council’s consultation process with residents.  As the membership of the Committee was likely to change following the elections in May it was proposed that a task group was set up following the ACM.

     

    It was resolved that a task group should be set up following the Annual Council Meeting and membership of the task group should be delegated to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Chairman appointed at the Annual Council Meeting on 23 May 2019.

     

     

    91/19

    Committee meeting change of date

    To agree the change from the scheduled date of Wednesday 11 September 2019 to Tuesday 10 September 2019 at 7.30pm.

    Minutes:

    The Committee Members agreed the proposed change from the scheduled date of Wednesday 11 September 2019 to Tuesday 10 September 2019 at 7.30pm.

    92/19

    Work Programme pdf icon PDF 48 KB

    To review the work undertaken by the Committee in the past Municipal year and consider any matters the Committee wishes to add to the work programme for the next Municipal year.

    Minutes:

    The Committee noted the review of the Work Programme over the course of the year.

     

    The Committee was asked to consider including in the work programme matters relating to consultation with residents in regard to Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL).  Concern was expressed that their approach to recording of notes and minutes of consultations with residents was very informal and it was thought it may be helpful for the committee to consider scrutinising HAL’s consultation process and procedures with residents. 

     

    It was agreed that this should be added to the Committee’s work programme.

     

    It was proposed and agreed that Surrey Fire and Rescue Service are invited to attend a meeting with the Committee to discuss the rationale behind the proposed changes to the service detailed in their Making Surrey Safer Plan which was open for consultation.  It was noted that the report refers to Fordbridge Fire Station rather than Ashford Fire Station.  A meeting to be arranged after Annual Council Meeting on 23 May but before the end of the consultation if possible.