Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 20th February, 2020 7.30 pm

Venue: New Council Chamber - Town Hall, Reigate. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services (01737 276182)  Email: Democratic@reigate-banstead.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

36.

Apologies for absence and substitutions

To receive any apologies for absence and notification of any substitute Members in accordance with the Constitution.

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Minutes:

Committee Members: Councillor K. Sachdeva.

Councillor S. Sinden was substituted for by Councillor S. McKenna.

37.

Election of Vice-Chair

To elect a Vice-Chair for this Committee for the remainder of the Municipal Year 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members elected a Vice-Chair for this Committee for the remainder of the Municipal Year 2019/20. Councillor S. Walsh was nominated for the position of Vice-Chair, proposed by Councillor G. Buttironi and seconded by Councillor M. Blacker. Councillor S. Walsh was duly elected Vice-Chair.

38.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 127 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the previous meeting.

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Minutes:

RESOLVED – the Minutes of the previous meeting on 11 February 2020 were approved as a correct record and signed.

39.

Declarations of interest

To receive any Declarations of Interest (including the existence and nature of any Party Whip).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor J. Essex declared a non-pecuniary interest as a director of Furnistore.

There were no other declarations of interest.

 

 

40.

Progress Update on 2019/2020 Statement of Accounts pdf icon PDF 134 KB

To consider a progress update on Statement of Accounts 2019/20 and preparations.

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Minutes:

Members considered a progress update on the Council’s Statement of Accounts 2019/20 to date following a request from Committee Members in October 2019. Councillor T. Schofield, Portfolio Holder for Finance, gave an overview of preparations for publishing the 2019/20 Statement of Accounts. The report to the Committee included an overview of progress on lessons learnt from the previous financial year and actions planned for the 2019/20 closedown. This included specialist accounting support to develop the valuation information in the property assets register and working with the Council’s external auditors (Deloitte LLP) to improve the quality of the annual Statement of Accounts and supporting information, including establishing a Grants Register.

Members commented on the ongoing valuation of property assets work that included processes to reflect best practice and the CIPFA Code of Practice. The Interim Head of Finance and Assets confirmed that the assets register was being reviewed and updated to ensure compliance with the Code. Further detail would be provided at a future meeting of the Committee.

RESOLVED – that the progress update on Statement of Accounts 2019/20 and the observations of the Committee be noted.

 

 

41.

Portfolio Holder Briefing - Place Portfolios pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To receive a briefing from the Place Portfolio Holders regarding the Place business areas and their portfolios.

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Minutes:

Committee Members received a briefing and presentations from three Executive Members responsible for Place Portfolio areas: Cllr R. Biggs, Portfolio Holder for Planning Policy, Cllr E. Humphreys, Portfolio Holder for Place and Economic Prosperity, and Cllr N. Bramhall, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Services.

The Chair, Cllr N. Harrison, also introduced the Director of Place Services, Luci Mould, and the Head of Planning, Head of Economic Prosperity and Head of Neighbourhood Operations.

Cllr R. Biggs, Portfolio Holder for Planning Policy, gave an overview of achievements during the 2019/20 on planning policy which included the adoption of the Development Management Plan (DMP) on 26 September 2019, following public examination in 2018. Cllr Biggs thanked officers for their work to complete the DMP. The Portfolio Holder gave Members updates on the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), the Core Strategy Review and updated Members on Transport and work with Surrey County Council, Highways England, and Network Rail to improve infrastructure in the Borough. He also gave an update on the work of the Southern Building Control Partnership with Tandridge and Mole Valley District Councils and added that the Partnership’s financial performance had improved year on year.

Members asked questions and discussed the following topics:

·         Permitted development – Members asked about permitted development in relation to office conversions to residential properties and the planning policy position going forward. It was noted that the Council did not agree or control this current central government policy, but they were working hard to influence local MPs to press for a change in national policy.

·         Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) – Members discussed the plan for preparing SPDs to provide detailed guidance to help implement DMP policies and asked about priorities. The Head of Planning updated Members on the recent public consultation on four SPDs which were due to be adopted by Executive and Council in April. The SPDs were: Affordable Housing, Barn and Farm Conversions, Historic Parks and Gardens and Reigate Shopfront SPDs. The next step was preparing an SPD for Horley Business Park. A Member group (DMAG) would be set up later in the year to look at other potential SPDs. Chair, Cllr N. Harrison, noted that a meeting of the reconvened Local Development Framework Scrutiny Review Panel, a task group of Overview and Scrutiny Committee, had taken place to review the public consultation on the SPDs and was due to be discussed at this Committee at its meeting on 16 April 2020.

·         Building control – Members asked about updated fire safety building controls that were emerging following lessons learned from the Grenfell fire disaster in London and the ongoing Public Inquiry, inspections and public scrutiny. It was noted that there would be a number of recommendations and legislative changes for building inspectors that would have an impact on the work of Southern Building Control Partnership going forward. Members thanked Southern Building Control Partnership inspectors for their work including in the north of the Borough where inspectors had worked at the weekend to prevent potential damage and danger to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.

42.

Draft Key Performance Indicators - 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To receive and note the latest draft Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) 2020/21.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received a report on the Council’s draft Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for 2020/21 from Councillor V. Lewanski, Portfolio Holder for Corporate Direction and Governance. The updated draft KPIs had been reviewed by a cross-party Member working group to ensure that the Council’s performance measures remained robust and fit for purpose for 2020/21. An updated reporting template was ensuring that the indicators included enhanced narrative about each indictor. The KPIs were reported to the Committee on a quarterly basis.

Members welcomed the reviewed and updated KPIs and made observations which included: capturing performance on commercial revenues (KPI 10 – Movement in investment income as a % of the Council’s budget), homelessness prevention (KPI 3 – the % of positive homelessness prevention and relief outcomes), household waste (KPI 8 – the % of household waste that is recycled and composted). It was noted that additional performance on revenue, for example, the Harlequin theatre was captured in budget monitoring reports to the Committee.

Members thanked the Portfolio Holder and officers for their work on the revised draft KPIs which were due to come to Executive on 26 March 2020 for adoption by 1 April 2020. 

RESOLVED – that the draft Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) 2020/21 and the observations of the Committee be noted.

 

43.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee: Proposed Work Programme 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 155 KB

To consider the proposed work programme for the Committee for 2020/21.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered the proposed work programme for the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for the 2020/21 Municipal Year. The programme of activity set out the work to be considered by the Committee from May 2020. It was noted that emerging strategies that could be scrutinised included the Council’s environmental strategy and the Borough’s response to Gatwick Airport’s consultation on the increased use of its existing emergency runway.

RESOLVED – that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee: Proposed Work Programme 2020/21 be approved.

 

44.

Future Work Programme - February 2020 pdf icon PDF 124 KB

To consider updates to the Work Programme for the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for 2020 and to consider the Action Tracker from the previous meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered the Committee’s Future Work Programme for the remainder of the Municipal Year 2019/20. It was noted that a request had been made to the Committee to consider the environmental sustainability strategy item at its 16 April meeting rather than its 19 March 2020 meeting. Members asked for sight of the summary report of the review of procurement and contract management processes which had been noted on the Committee’s action tracker.

Members asked if future scheduling of meetings could try and avoid half term weeks which would help those Councillors with school-age families.

Chair, Councillor N. Harrison, informed Members that a set of monthly theme dashboards on project reporting were now made available to all Councillors via the ModGov intranet library. These contained useful background information on the Council’s programme and project reporting. A direct link to the folder would be sent to Members.

RESOLVED – that the Future Work Programme 2019/20 for the remainder of the Municipal Year be noted.

 

 

 

45.

Executive

To consider any items arising from the Executive which might be subject to the ‘call-in’ procedure in accordance with the provisions of the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules set out in the Constitution.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was reported that there were no items arising from the Executive that might be subject to the ‘call-in’ procedure in accordance with the provisions of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Procedure Rules.

46.

Any other urgent business

To consider any item(s) which, in the opinion of the Chairman, should be considered as a matter of urgency - Local Government Act 1972, Section 100B(4)(b).

(NOTE: Under the Committee and Sub-Committee Procedure Rules set out in the Constitution, items of urgent business must be submitted in writing but may be supplemented by an oral report.)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.