Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Main Committee Room, Council Offices, Brympton Way, Yeovil. View directions

Contact: Becky Sanders,Case Services Officer (Support Services) - 01935 462596  Email: becky.sanders@southsomerset.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

101.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 83 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting held on 8 January 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 8 January 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

102.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors David Norris, Rob Stickland, Martin Wale and Colin Winder.

103.

Declarations of Interest

In accordance with the Council's current Code of Conduct (as amended 26 February 2015), which includes all the provisions relating to Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPI), personal and prejudicial interests, Members are asked to declare any DPI and also any personal interests (and whether or not such personal interests are also "prejudicial") in relation to any matter on the Agenda for this meeting.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

104.

Public question time

Minutes:

There were no members of public present at the meeting.

105.

Issues arising from previous meetings

This is an opportunity for Members to question the progress on issues arising from previous meetings.  However, this does not allow for the re-opening of a debate on any item not forming part of this agenda.

Minutes:

There were no issues raised from previous meetings.

106.

Chairman's Announcements

Minutes:

The Chairman noted she had been due to attend a meeting of the Somerset Rivers Authority Joint Scrutiny Panel on 1 February, however the meeting had been postponed due to adverse weather.

 

She also informed members and officers present that the meeting was being filmed for training purposes.

107.

Verbal update on reports considered by District Executive on 10 January 2019 pdf icon PDF 28 KB

Minutes:

The Chairman advised that the Scrutiny comments had been noted and were included in the District Executive minutes which had been circulated.

108.

Reports to be considered by District Executive on 7 February 2019 pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Minutes:

Members considered the reports within the District Executive agenda for 7 February 2019 and made comments as detailed below. Responses to comments were provided at the Scrutiny Committee by the relevant officer or Portfolio Holder.

 

Funding For Citizens Advice South Somerset (CASS) (Agenda item 6)

 

·      Page 7, table at para 18 - members sought clarification that the plans mentioned at point 1 and the feedback referred to at point 2a had been received, and queried what actions had been taken as a result, and had the plans influenced this report.

·      Members expressed their disappointment that SCC had cut core funding to CASS.

·      Members acknowledged that CASS do fantastic work to support residents and wished to convey their thanks to the staff and volunteers.

·      Page 8, para 21 – some members queried if other options had been explored in addition to options 1A and 1B detailed in the report, for example if CASS could share with another facility somewhere.

·      Top of page 9, point 3 – short term grant for research – some members noted the timeframes for this were tight and queried if the timescales were realistic given the situation.

·      Some members queried if CASS had considered narrowing the support they provide, and also whether there was any other support that officers or members could provide other than financial.

·      Members noted the impact of the SCC cuts needed to be monitored and there would be a need for CASS to prioritise. Scrutiny requested to be kept informed of progress.

 

Local Plan Review 2016-2036 Preferred Options For Consultation (Agenda item 7)

 

·      Members noted that Appendix 3 was not labelled as Appx 3 in the supplement pack and page numbers on the cover of supplement pack would aid navigation of the reports.

·      Page 14, Para 15a, some members questioned why the ‘villages’ category had been introduced.

·      Members commented this was a very large report and was ideally needed in paper form to digest the information fully. It was acknowledged there had been a slight delay in receiving paper agendas due to recent adverse weather, but many members still felt more time was needed in order to scrutinise all the information.

·      Page 14, para 15a – some members sought clarification about the dwelling figures stated, had these been derived from our own calculations and evidence, prescribed in regulation or via third party, likewise with the proposed loss of employment land.

·      Members sought clarification that the infrastructure associated with 14,510 dwellings had been factored in.

·      Page 17, figure 4 – members felt it would be useful if the table was cross-referenced to the appropriate map(s) in the relevant appendix.

·      Members asked about the concept of a new garden town and whether the idea had been dropped in the review of the Local Plan.

 

SSDC Council Plan Update 2019-20 (Agenda item 8)

 

·      Members commended the way the report was presented, and commented it was very clear and easy to read.

·      Regarding the Priority Projects (pages 28 to 33), members felt it was important that residents  ...  view the full minutes text for item 108.

109.

Verbal update on Task and Finish reviews pdf icon PDF 45 KB

Minutes:

Members noted the updates provided by the Scrutiny Specialist on each of the Task and Finish Groups currently in progress.

 

Homefinder Somerset Plain English Policy – No updates since the last meeting.

 

Customer Accessibility – No updates since last the last meeting.

 

Council Tax Support Scheme 19/20 – The report on the 19/20 scheme had been agreed by Council in January. Task and Finish meetings to consider the 20/21 scheme would commence in the next few months. Officers would be meeting next week to set out a high-level project plan based on the recommendations of the 19/20 Scrutiny Task and Finish report.

110.

Update on matters of interest pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Minutes:

There were no updates on matters of interest.

111.

Scrutiny Work Programme pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Minutes:

The Scrutiny Specialist noted that following the previous meeting she had contacted the Income & Opportunities Manager regarding the Scrutiny Committee offer of help with a fees and charges review. She informed members that the Income & Opportunities Manager had successfully obtained a grant for £7,000 from the Local Government Association (LGA), to bring in consultancy expertise regarding productivity and to support an internal team at SSDC to review the Council’s fees and charges. Therefore at the current time the Scrutiny Specialist was unsure if the Scrutiny Committee would be able to add anything further than the LGA. Members agreed to remove this item from the Work Programme.

 

The Scrutiny Specialist also reminded members that she had circulated two emails - one with an update regarding the Troubled Families Programme, and the other some links to information about the Yeovil Refresh. Members were asked to consider the information circulated and email any further comments or concerns to her to follow up if necessary.

 

Members were content to note the Scrutiny Work Programme.

 

112.

Date of next meeting pdf icon PDF 28 KB

Minutes:

Members noted that the next meeting of the Scrutiny Committee was scheduled for Tuesday 5 March 2019 at 10.00am in the Main Committee Room, Brympton Way, Yeovil.