Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: The Forum, Moat Lane, Towcester, Northants NN12 6AD

Contact: Emma Faulkner / Lesley Farrell, Democratic and Elections  Email: democracy@cherwellandsouthnorthants.gov.uk/01295 221534

Items
No. Item

16.

Declarations of Interest

Members are asked to declare any interest and the nature of that interest which they may have in any of the items under consideration at this meeting.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

17.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 62 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 10 July 2019.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the committee held on 10 July 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

18.

Urgent Business

The Chairman to advise whether they have agreed to any items of urgent business being admitted to the agenda.

 

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

19.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive communications from the Chairman.

Minutes:

The Chairman advised the Committee that further to the resolution of Council at the July meeting to establish a Climate Change working group under the auspices of the Scrutiny Committee, she would be meeting officers the following day to progress arrangements for the working group.

20.

Service Showcase - Environmental Services pdf icon PDF 119 KB

Elly Attwood, Waste and Cleansing Manager will attend the meeting to give an overview of the work of the Environmental Services Team.

 

A briefing note is attached for information.

Decision:

Resolved

 

 (1)      That the presentation be noted.

Minutes:

The Waste and Cleansing Manager presented an overview of the work undertaken by the Environmental Services team.

 

The presentation included information on the structure of the team following the separation from Cherwell District Council and how online services had improved the service for customers.  The Committee was also advised that South Northamptonshire Council had an excellent recycling rate of over 60%, higher than the national average of 45%.

 

In response to the Waste and Cleansing Manager’s explanation of how recycling waste was processed the Chairman suggested a visit to the recycling depot in Leicestershire where recyclable waste collected across the district was processed. Members agreed that a visit would be interesting and beneficial to their understanding of this important front-line service.  The Waste and Cleansing Manager agreed to liaise with the Committee regarding a visit.

 

In response to Members comments regarding the charge for households to have an additional blue bin for recyclable waste whereas providing them free of charge could increase recycling, the Waste and Cleansing Manager explained that larger bins were available depending on household size and residents could leave extra recycling out with their blue bin in a box or bag (not black sack). But the provision of free additional blue bins could be costly for the council if bins were ordered and not used for recycling. 

 

Resolved

 

 (1)      That the presentation be noted.

21.

Monthly Performance, Risk and Finance Report - June 2019 Quarter 1 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Report of Assistant Director: Customers and Corporate Services and Head of Finance and Procurement.

 

Purpose of report

 

This report summarises the Council’s Performance, Risk and Finance monitoring position as at the end of each month.

 

Recommendations

            

The meeting is recommended:

 

 1.1        To note the monthly Performance, Risk and Finance Monitoring Report.

 

1.2       To note that the Performance, Risk and Finance Monitoring Report is considered by Cabinet on a monthly basis.

 

1.3       To review and comment on the performance update for June (Appendix 2)

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)            That the Monthly Performance, Risk and Finance Monitoring report be noted.

 

(2)      That it be noted that the Performance, Risk and Finance Monitoring report is considered monthly by Cabinet.

 

(3)      That no areas be identified for further consideration or comment.

Minutes:

The Assistant Director, Customer and Corporate Services submitted a report and gave a presentation on the Monthly Performance, Risk and Finance report advising that overall business plan performance measures remain positive with 97% of measures on target as at the end of July.

 

In response to Members’ queries regarding the amount of affordable housing completed, which was below target for 2019, the Assistant Director Customers and Corporate Services explained that assurances had been given by developers that the target would be reached by the end of the financial year.

 

In response to Members’ questions regarding Business Rates, the CSN Operations Director offered to give a presentation to a future meeting of the Scrutiny Committee, giving Members an insight into council tax and business rates.  Members agreed this would be useful and should be added to their work programme.

 

In considering the report, Members noted that no applications had been received for the second round of ‘Healthy Places’ grants and suggested better advertising would encourage applications.  Members also suggested that the rural housing needs survey could have questions which were easier to answer, and would give more accurate results.

 

Resolved

 

(1)            That the Monthly Performance, Risk and Finance Monitoring report be noted.

 

(2)      That it be noted that the Performance, Risk and Finance Monitoring report is considered monthly by Cabinet.

 

(3)      That no areas be identified for further consideration or comment.

22.

Universal Credit Update pdf icon PDF 165 KB

Belinda Green, Operations Director for CSN Resources will provide an update on Universal Credit across South Northamptonshire.

 

A briefing note is attached for information.

Decision:

Resolved

 

 (1)      That the presentation be noted.

 

Minutes:

The CSN Operations Director presented a briefing paper which gave an overview of Universal Credit and the impact on residents, landlords and the Council.

 

In response to Members’ queries that all claims needed to be submitted online, the CSN Operations Director explained that the Councils role in providing assistance with Universal Credit and Personal Budgeting Support had been passed to the Citizens Advice Bureau, and that South Northamptonshire Council no longer received any Government Funding for this service.  Help was given with regards claims for Council Tax reduction, which many residents did not realise had to be claimed separately from Universal Credit. It was well publicised that residents should go to Citizens Advice for assistance, but ways to facilitate assistance for residents were being explored and trialled.

 

Resolved

 

 (1)      That the presentation be noted.

 

23.

Update on Corporate Health and Safety pdf icon PDF 162 KB

Andrew Hunkin, Executive Director: Resources will attend the meeting to give an update on the Council’s Health and Safety arrangements.

 

A briefing note and appendices are attached for information.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

 (1)      That the presentation be noted.

Minutes:

The Executive Director Resources submitted a briefing note which provided members with an update on South Northamptonshire Council’s health and safety arrangements.

 

The Executive Director Resources explained that as part of the separation from Cherwell District Council, all health and safety arrangements had been reviewed to ensure they complied with legislation and a new Corporate Health, Safety and Wellbeing Policy had been ratified and signed by the Leader and Chief Executive.  The Policy was supported by a comprehensive action plan, which was reviewed regularly, and it was expected would improve further now a Senior Health and Safety Officer had been appointed.

 

In response to Members’ comments regarding duty of care to elected members, the Executive Director Resources explained that the Council’s duty of care would be the same as that to any person within the Council building.

 

Resolved

 

 (1)      That the presentation be noted.

24.

Committee Work Programme - 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Democratic and Elections Officers will give an update on progress regarding subjects raised at previous Committee meetings (appendix 1, attached).

 

The Committee to consider the work programme (appendix 2, attached).

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)            That subject to Superfast Northants Broadband and Mobile Phone Connectivity remaining on the list of topics for Scrutiny, the progress of the topics for Scrutiny be noted.

 

(2)            That the Economic Growth team be invited to Scrutiny Committee to update the members on policies which encouraged businesses to the area.

 

(3)      That the work programme be noted.

 

Minutes:

The Democratic and Elections Officers gave an update on the status of topics suggested for Scrutiny, and the indicative Committee Work Programme.

 

Members commented that they had not yet received an update on ‘Superfast Northants Broadband’ or ‘Mobile Phone Connectivity’ from the Chief Executive and asked for these items to remain on the list of topics.

 

Members also requested more information from the Economic Growth team on their policies to encourage business to South Northamptonshire.

 

Resolved

 

(1)            That subject to Superfast Northants Broadband and Mobile Phone Connectivity remaining on the list of topics for Scrutiny, the progress of the topics for Scrutiny be noted.

 

(2)            That the Economic Growth team be invited to Scrutiny Committee to update the members on policies which encouraged businesses to the area.

 

(3)      That the work programme be noted.