Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 17th January, 2019 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

46.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 118 KB

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

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Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2018 be approved as a correct record.

47.

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: Councillors J.P. King, D.T. Powell (substituted for by Cllr R. Absalom), and R.S. Turner (substituted for by Cllr J.M. Ellacott).

 

Others: Louise Round, Chair of the East Surrey Community Safety Partnership

48.

Declarations of interest

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

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Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

49.

Annual Scrutiny of the work of the Community Safety Partnership

To review the work of the East Surrey Community Safety Partnership in 2018/19.

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Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed the following guests to the meeting:

 

·         Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey, David Munro

·         Borough Commander for Reigate and Banstead, Angie Austin

·         Deputy Chair of the East Surrey Community Safety Partnership, Michael Hodder

 

The Committee received a presentation from Councillor J. Durrant, Executive Member for Community Safety, and Sarah Crosbie, Partnerships Team Leader, on the community safety portfolio and the Council’s community safety work. This included information on the work of the Council and the Community Safety Partnership to support the safety of residents and to address matters such as anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse, serious organised crime and the ‘Prevent’ counter-terrorism campaign. Attention was also drawn to the Council’s recent modern slavery awareness campaign and the positive response received. It was also identified that the Council’s direct community safety and enforcement activities now operated on a more distinct basis, and that additional information on the enforcement elements would be provided at a future point.

 

The Committee then received a presentation from the Borough Commander for Reigate and Banstead, Angie Austin, on the work of the police within the borough. This included information on crime rates and reporting practices, priority areas, and recent police initiatives and operations. Information was also provided on some of the approaches utilised by the police to address and disrupt criminal activity, and the role that could be played by the community.

 

The Committee then received a presentation from the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Surrey, David Munro, on the role of the PCC and the police across the county and the borough. This included information on options for policing budgets and officer numbers, headline crime areas (anti-social behaviour, burglary, child sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, drug & alcohol offences, fraud, modern slavery, and unauthorised encampments), and options for community engagement.

 

The Committee considered and discussed the presentations. There were a number of questions and comments, relating to the following topics:

 

·         Unauthorised Encampments. Queries were raised regarding police awareness of unauthorised encampments by groups within the borough and the approaches adopted in response. It was confirmed that the police sought to pursue all such incidents as proactively as possible, within the bounds of legislation. It was identified that information from local residents was important for assessing the community impact of such incidents. It was identified that the Council was developing a report on a range of available responses, including consideration of physical defences for at-risk sites and potential legal options. It was also noted that there was a need to provide appropriate sites for authorised encampments in the area, and that where designated transit sites were available, this increased the options available for responding to unauthorised encampments. It was commented that it was hoped that the government might take account of transit sites when considering requirements for gypsy and traveller accommodation in the borough.

·         Police Overview and Funding. In response to a query, the PCC confirmed that police performance in the borough was considered to be generally good. It was identified that recorded  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.

50.

Commercial Governance Review - Update

To consider an update on the Commercial Governance Review.

 

To consider any Advance Questions submitted.

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Minutes:

Councillor Ellacott, Chair of the Commercial Governance Review Member Task Group, provided a verbal update to the Committee on the work of the group and its forthcoming report to the Committee. It was noted that a full report on the Commercial Governance Review would be considered at the February meeting of the Committee.

 

It was noted that the task group had been considering the Council’s commercial governance arrangements, and reviewing options for the Council’s approach to future commercial activities. The group was noted to have had a cross-party membership, supported by the Monitoring Officer and other officers, and in consultation with the wider Membership and an independent consultant.

 

It was noted that the group had considered matters including identifying where the establishment of a commercial body is appropriate, the committee reporting of commercial matters, the nomination of directors to any commercial bodies, and the approach to performance monitoring of such bodies.

 

It was confirmed that one of the topics considered by the group had been the handling of commercial confidentiality considerations, and ensuring that all Members had appropriate access to information. The importance of ensuring that any commercial partners had awareness of the requirements associated with working with a public sector organisation.

 

RESOLVED that the update on the progress of the Commercial Governance Review be noted.

 

 

 

 

51.

Budget Proposal for 2019/20 - Update pdf icon PDF 642 KB

To note an update on the Budget Proposal for 2019/20.

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Minutes:

The Committee considered an update on the proposed Budget for 2019/20, including additional information on the provisional local government settlement 2019/20 and the Capital Programme, which was introduced by Councillor T. Schofield, Executive Member for Finance. An amendment to the Capital Programme information containing minor updates to the Capital Programme 2019/20 to 2023/24 details was tabled at the meeting.

 

It was noted that the update included information on the proposed establishment of a New Posts Fund to fund new posts that might be required as a result of team restructures during 2019/20.

 

The Committee considered and discussed the report. There were a number of questions and comments relating to the following topics:

 

·         Proposed Budget Adjustments. Observations were made regarding the potential use of income from retained business rates, including the delivery of services and the impact on council tax.

·         Great Workplace Programme. It was confirmed that the Great Workplace Programme covered matters such as office furnishings and related supplies.

·         Capital Programme projected spending. A number of queries were raised regarding the projected spending in the capital plan relating to areas including Priory Park maintenance, play areas improvement programme, commercial investment properties, and cemeteries & chapel. It was confirmed that additional information on the detail surrounding the referenced figures would be provided following the meeting. It was noted that rolling programmes were based on future expectations for capital requirements, and that these were reconsidered on an annual basis as additional information on requirements and available funding became available. It was confirmed that regular maintenance activity did not have a capital requirement and therefore was not included in the programme.

·         ICT replacement programme. It was confirmed that the spending on the ICT replacement programme varied across years due to requirements around the lifespan of devices and licences and associated replacements.

·         New Posts Fund. It was confirmed that the fund was to support new permanent posts where a requirement was identified during the year, prior to their incorporation into the usual section of the budget in following years. It was confirmed that governance and consultation arrangements for the fund would be confirmed following the meeting.

·         Government consultation papers – Fair Funding Review and Business Rates Retention. A query was raised regarding the opportunity for Members to contribute to the consultation on these topics. It was identified that the officers would be working with the Executive Member for Finance to produce a draft response to the consultation, and that this could be made available to Members. It was suggested that any Members who would like to make comments on the consultation contact the Executive Member for Finance.

·         Supporting Commentary. It was remarked that the financial information provided would be made more accessible via the addition of additional supporting information and commentary, and it was confirmed that it would be sought to provide this additional commentary in future.

 

RESOLVED that the updates to the proposed budget for 2019/20 be noted.

52.

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.

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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 Procedure Rules.

53.

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.)

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Minutes:

None.