Agenda and minutes

Social Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday 4th September 2019 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL8 6AE

Contact: Graham Seal 

Items
No. Item

15.

APOLOGIES

Minutes:

Apologies for absence was received from Councillors L.Brandon and H.Bower.

 

16.

SUBSTITUTION OF MEMBERS

To note any substitution of Committee Members in accordance with Council Procedure Rules.

Minutes:

The following substitution of Committee Members had been made in accordance with Council Procedure Rules:

 

Councillor G.Hayes for L.Brandon, Councillor S.Boulton for H.Bower.

 

17.

MINUTES

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 12 June 2019 (previously circulated).

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 12 June 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

18.

ACTIONS UPDATE pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the status of actions agreed at the last meeting.

Minutes:

The Committee noted the report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) which gave an update on actions from the meeting held on 12 June 2019.

19.

NOTIFICATION OF URGENT BUSINESS TO BE CONSIDERED UNDER ITEM 17

Minutes:

There was none.

20.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST BY MEMBERS

To note declarations of Members’ disclosable pecuniary interests, non-disclosable pecuniary interests and non-pecuniary interests in respect of items on this Agenda.

Minutes:

Councillor L.Chesterman declared a non-pecuniary interest in items on the Agenda as appropriate by virtue of being a Member of Hertfordshire County Council.

 

21.

PUBLIC QUESTION TIME AND PETITIONS

Up to fifteen minutes will be made available for questions from members of the public on issues relating to the work of the Committee and to receive any petitions.

Minutes:

There was none.

22.

PERFORMANCE INDICATOR REPORT pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) and accompanying presentation provides the Committee with the performance indicator data collected for those services that fall within its remit.  It provides Quarter 1 along with comparative information where available.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) and accompanying presentation provided the Committee with key performance indicator data for Quarter One (April 2019 – June 2019) collected for those services that fell within its remit along with comparative information where available.

 

Performance indicators were used to measure how well the Council was performing and improving services over time. Quarter One performance indicators showed that only two areas had failed to reach their target:-

Performance Indicator – 29 - The total number of households living in temporary accommodation in the Borough (where the Council has a duty) and Performance Indicator – 12 – School group visits to, and use of, museums and galleries.

 

Members asked for data on waiting times for permanent housing for people housed in temporary accommodation.

 

A Member asked for a visit to be organised to view the Council’s current provision of temporary accommodation in the Borough. Officers offered to arrange this for any Member who was interested in visiting.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)            That the Performance Indicators for Quarter One for 2019-20 be noted.

 

(ii)           That a visit to temporary accommodation be arranged for Members.

 

23.

MEARS COMMUNITY FUND

A verbal update from Mr Keith Wilkinson (Mears - Senior Finance and Commercial Manager).

Minutes:

Keith Wilkinson, Senior Finance and Commercial Manager, Mears, gave a verbal update and brief overview of the Mears Community Fund.

 

As part of the partnership with the Council, Mears currently committed £12,000 per financial year towards projects in the Community which could be spent on one individual project or various smaller ones.

Applicants could submit an application on the WHBC website which would be reviewed by the Community Fund Panel made up of members from Mears and the Council.

Examples of recent applications included the refurbishment of the reception area in the Citizen Advice Office, Hatfield and improvement of storage facilities at a local playgroup.

 

The community funding initiative was open all year long and any queries should be directed to Peter Gray, Head of Property Services.

 

Members requested the link to the website be circulated as supplementary information.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the verbal update of the Mears Community Fund be noted.

 

 

24.

DOMESTIC ABUSE POLICY pdf icon PDF 127 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Housing and Communities) on the approval and adoption of the updated draft Domestic Abuse Policy as set out in Appendix A.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Housing and Communities) on the approval and adoption of the updated draft Domestic Abuse Policy as set out in Appendix A.

 

The draft policy reflected updated Council branding, revised partnership working arrangements and current definition of domestic abuse.

 

Members were informed that the Council had Domestic Abuse Champions under the Sunflower Network who had been trained and who support tenants and Council staff.

 

Members enquired about safe places for male victims of domestic abuse and Officers assured them that Safer Places had a male hostel where male victims could be housed with their children.

 

Members requested an amendment to point 5.5 of the Draft Domestic Abuse Policy and point 7.1 of the corporate report.

 

Members thanked Officers for a well written updated draft Domestic Abuse Policy.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the draft Domestic Abuse Policy be agreed and recommended to the Cabinet for adoption subject to the following amendments:-

 

(i)            Corporate report – point 7.1 updated to state - there are no obvious implications arising from this policy.

(ii)           Draft Domestic Abuse Policy – point 5.5 – updated to state that consent will not be necessary if there are safeguarding concerns.

 

 

25.

COMMITTEE OVERVIEW WORK PROGRAMME 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 77 KB

The pro-forma which sets out the Committee’s overview work programme has been updated since the last meeting to enable forward planning of items to be considered to take place. Items which the Committee agrees it would like to consider will be scheduled into the work programme.

Minutes:

The pro-forma setting out the Committee’s overview work programme which had been updated since the last meeting to enable the forward planning of items to take place was submitted.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the work programme be noted.

 

26.

RESPONSE FROM CABINET TO RECOMMENDATIONS FROM OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

There are no responses to report to this meeting.

Minutes:

There were no responses from Cabinet to report to this meeting.

27.

CONSIDERATION OF ITEMS FOR SCRUTINY

To consider

 

(1)       whether any Cabinet decisions should be scrutinised post-implementation (Paragraph 14.1 of the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules)

 

(2)       whether any items which relate to areas covered by the Committee which a member of the Committee may wish to raise with a view to deciding whether an issue should be scrutinised.

Minutes:

Members were informed that there was an independent review of the Council’s Scrutiny arrangements currently taking place.

 

Members enquired about the status of the Anti-Social Behaviour Scrutiny Sub-Committee. Officers will report back to Members.

28.

COMMITTEE SCRUTINY WORK PROGRAMME 2019-20

The pro-forma which sets out the Committee’s scrutiny work programme is attached to enable forward planning of items to be considered to take place as appropriate.

Minutes:

The pro-forma setting out the Committee’s scrutiny work programme which had been updated since the last meeting to enable the forward planning of items to take place was submitted.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the work programme be noted.

 

29.

RESPONSE FROM CABINET/COUNCIL TO SCRUTINY RECOMMENDATIONS/ REPORTS

There are no responses to report to this meeting.

Minutes:

There were no responses from Cabinet/Council to report to this meeting.

30.

COUNCILLOR CALL FOR ACTION

To receive any request from a Councillor for a discussion on behalf of residents on an issue affecting a single council ward where local problems have arisen and other methods of resolution have been exhausted.

Minutes:

There was none.

31.

SUCH OTHER BUSINESS AS, IN THE OPINION OF THE CHAIRMAN, IS OF SUFFICIENT URGENCY TO WARRANT IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION

Minutes:

There was none.

32.

EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC

The Committee is asked to resolve:

 

That under Section 100(A)(2) and (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be now excluded from the meeting for item 19 (if any) on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of confidential or exempt information as defined in Section 100A(3) and Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the said Act (as amended).

 

In resolving to exclude the public in respect of the exempt information, it is considered that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

33.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS OF A CONFIDENTIAL OR EXEMPT NATURE AT THE DISCRETION OF THE CHAIRMAN

Minutes:

The Housing Services annual report was discussed.

 

Members enquired regarding the reason that the 100 percent First Time Fix on reactive housing repairs had not been achieved. Officers would investigate and circulate the reasons.