Agenda and draft minutes

Economy, Environment & Place Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 17th December, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Lancaster Buildings, Newcastle, Staffs. View directions

Contact: Jayne Briscoe 2250 

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES

Minutes:

An apology was received from the Vice Chair Councillor G Heesom, who was represented by Councillor Parker.

2.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

3.

MINUTES OF 25 SEPTEMBER MEETING OF THE COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 221 KB

To consider the minutes of the 25 September meeting of the Committee.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 25 September 2019 were agreed as a correct record of the proceedings.

4.

CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION pdf icon PDF 373 KB

To approve the minutes of the Climate Change Mitigation meeting held on 25 November 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Following on from the special meeting of the Committee (25/11/2019) at which time members decided to set up a task and finish group to examine climate change mitigation, the Chief Executive set out the draft terms of reference for the group. 

 

Agreed:         That the terms of reference for the task and finish group now submitted to examine climate change mitigation be agreed.

5.

UPDATE FROM CABINET

This item provides an opportunity for the Portfolio Holder to update members of the Scrutiny Committee on the response of Cabinet to the suggestions made by the Committee at their last meeting.

 

 

Nothing to report.

Minutes:

The Cabinet did not submit a specific updates report.

6.

BENCHMARKING EXERCISE pdf icon PDF 221 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

On behalf of the Cabinet the Deputy Leader Councillor S Sweeney presented the Town Centre Benchmarking report.  For each of the 7 towns selected - Nantwich, Wigan, Leek, Warrington, Lancaster, Market Drayton, and Stafford the report compared:-

 

Cost of town centre parking

Standard of town centre parking

Ease of use of town centre car parking

Town Centre attractions

Market offer

Anti-social behaviour

 

In response to questions from members concerning the Midway car park it was stated that new CCTV cameras were being installed, improvements to the lighting would be carried out during the next quarter and discussions would be held with street scene section with a view to manual brushing around the supporting pillars. 

 

Individual shops within the town centre were promoted via Appetite who had organised events and the BID. In addition the markets and town centre offer was now heavily promoted on social media with messages posted daily on both Twitter and Facebook and shared by town centre stakeholders.  The notice board was back in use for the traditional way of gathering/sharing information.

 

 

An electricity supply to the market stalls, initially for lighting, would be completed early in the New Year.

 

Work had started to relocate poorly sited stalls, including a busier location for the Farmers Market.

 

A monthly visiting late market was being explored.

 

A new trader initiative had been successful in attracting a handful of new traders to the general market and specific traders would be targeted.

 

The Antique Forum Group had extended its trading days to include Saturday so that there is both a general market and an antique market offer that day.

 

Councillor Rout asked that the Arts and Heritage Group be included in discussions to relocate a part of the Brampton collection within the Town Centre during works at the Museum building.

 

Agreed:         That the report be noted.

 

 

 

 

7.

STATUTORY GUIDANCE ON OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEES pdf icon PDF 284 KB

Minutes:

The Chief Executive submitted a report and made a presentation which updated members on the recent statutory guidance issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and the Local Government to help Councils carry out their Overview and Scrutiny functions effectively.  This was supported by the launch of the recent Good Scrutiny Guide by the CfPS.   Both papers was to ensure that councils were aware of the purpose of the Overview and Scrutiny, recognise effective Scrutiny and understand how to conduct it together with the benefits it can offer. A link to the report and guidance is attached:-

 

$StatutoryGuidanceOverviewAndScrutinyCommittees3002.doc.pdf

 

In line with the decision of the Finance, Assets and Performance Committee (16/12/2019) members decided to adopt the following recommendations:-

 

Agreed:        1.         That the requirements within the Statutory Guidance and the recommendations within the CfPS Good Scrutiny Guide be noted.

 

2.         That current practice be benchmarked against the Statutory Guidance and the Good Scrutiny Guide.

 

3.         The an Action Plan be developed based on the recommendations within the Statutory Guidance and the Good Scrutiny Guide.

 

4.         That an “Executive-Scrutiny Protocol” be developed in accordance with the guidelines at Appendix A.

 

5.         That focussed and concise in house training relevant to the specific needs of the Scrutiny Committee be programmed throughout the year to enable members to build on their current skills in undertaking effective scrutiny reviews.

 

6.         That the Chief Executive convene a meeting of the Group Leaders together with the Chairs of the Scrutiny Committee.

 

8.

RECYCLING SERVICE UPDATE pdf icon PDF 219 KB

Minutes:

The Executive Director Operational Services reported on the progress on the introduction of the new recycling collection service.  Members viewed a short film of a similar operation in another local authority area and members asked for this to be included on this authority’s website at the appropriate time and commented that the successful introduction of the new scheme was heavily dependent on the work of the communications team. In this connection residents would be informed that the collection services for obsolete household electrical items would be withdrawn on the implementation of the new service and alternative disposal listed.

 

Round modelling had been completed and was now moving towards the pilot testing phase which will be carried out over the summer, in advance of the whole service roll out.

 

Procurement of the following items had been completed:-

 

·         Wheeled bins to hold glass, cans and plastic

·         Weighted bags to hold cardboard and paper

·         Vehicles for the supply of at least 7 split body RCV’s and 7 food waste vehicles

·         A recycling material recovery contract with Biffa for the processing of glass and plastic

 

The Chair asked if the authority had a legal obligation to collect the old boxes which would no longer be required by the new service. 

 

Agreed:         That the report be noted.

9.

TOWN CENTRE FUNDING UPDATE pdf icon PDF 388 KB

Minutes:

The Regeneration Manager submitted a report which updated members on the progress and key deadlines in respect of the Future High Street Fund and Town Deal.

 

The key deadlines for the Future High Street Fund phase 2 bid are:-

 

·         Early First Draft Business Case Submission 15 March 2020

·         Full Business Case Submission 30 June 2020

·         Announcement of successful places Autumn 2020

 

A partnership led by Peter Brett Associates had been appointed to lead on completing an options appraisal for the site and developing a business case for investment.

 

The key deadlines for the Town Deal Investment Proposals are:-

 

·         Submission of a Readiness Checklist on 19 December 2019

·         Towns Deal Boards to have been convened and the boundaries of the Town Deal areas published by the end of January 2020

·         Further guidance on the development of Town Deal Investment Plans published in early 2020

·         Town Investment Plans produced in Summer 2020

·         Town Deals agreed 2020-21

 

The Council has been allocated a total of £335,048 capacity funding to develop the two Town Deals - £173029 for Newcastle Town and £162019 for Kidsgrove Town.

 

The Officer reassured that there was sufficient staffing resource to meet the timelines and went on to explain how the bid would be priced to help achieve the objectives.

 

Agreed:         That the report be noted.

 

10.

HOMELESSNESS AND ROUGH SLEEPING STRATEGY pdf icon PDF 1007 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Jill Waring, Portfolio holder for Community Safety and Wellbeing, presented a report which reviewed the Homelessness Strategy 2019.  The Strategy set out how the authority would prevent and reduce homelessness and provide support to those affected by it.

 

Since the last strategy, together with its partners, Newcastle Borough Council had achieved the following:-

 

·         Successful implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 within the Newcastle Housing Advice Service (NHA)

·         Joint commissioning of the rough sleepers outreach service

·         Review of the Housing Allocations Policy

·         New temporary accommodation units

·         Successfully bid to recruit a Rough Sleeper Coordinator for the Borough

·         MHCLG Domestic Abuse funding

·         Recommissioning of a borough wide Welfare Advice Service.

·         Delivery of 188 affordable homes.

 

If a member has any further comments on the strategy these can be submitted to Simon McEneny Executive Director Commercial Development and Economic Growth.

 

Agreed:         That the report be noted.

11.

WALLEYS QUARRY pdf icon PDF 850 KB

Minutes:

Following the request of Council (20/11/2019) the Environmental Health Business Manager submitted a report which provided members with information on the current issues giving the local community cause for concern regarding the operations and impacts of the Walleys Quarry Landfill Site.

 

Members agreed that the scrutiny process provided a structured publicly accessible forum to

 

·         formally acknowledge the issues of community concern

·          to hear factual information about the role and responsibilities of the landfill operator, the roles and responsibilities of the agencies and regulators

·         the impact on the communities surrounding the site

·          current research and understanding of landfill impacts on health, wellbeing and the environment

·         where appropriate make recommendations for further consideration

 

 It was considered that a single, full day task and finish group would be the most appropriate method of scrutiny, with training for task and finish group members on the law of waste management to be undertaken prior to the meeting. Members not appointed to the Group or unable to attend would be able to send in questions. 

 

Agreed:         That the Scrutiny Committee set up a task and finish group to examine evidence from the Agencies and organisations concerned with the landfill site and to hear from representatives of parties affected by the landfill activities. 

 

 

12.

URGENT BUSINESS

To consider any business which is urgent within the meaning of Section 100B (4) of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

 

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business

13.

WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 168 KB

Minutes:

It was noted that there was a special meeting of the Committee to be held on 5 February 2019 to consider the Joint Local Plan.

 

The 12 March meeting would consider the report on Bradwell Crematorium deferred from the December meeting.

14.

PUBLIC QUESTION TIME

Any member of the public wishing to submit a question must serve two clear days’ notice, in writing, of any such question to the Borough Council.

Minutes:

There were no members of the public present at the meeting.