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

25.

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.

26.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 11 September 2019.

 

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 11 September 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

27.

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.

28.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive communications from the Chairman.

Minutes:

The Chairman made the following announcement:

 

1.         A visit for Councillors to the Silverstone Experience had been arranged for Tuesday 22 October. Members wishing to attend needed to confirm their attendance with the Leader of the Council’s PA.

29.

Air Quality in Towcester pdf icon PDF 719 KB

To receive a briefing from the Health and Environmental Protection Manager on Towcester Air Quality.

 

At its meeting on 5 October 2018 Scrutiny asked for an update on Air Quality in the centre of Towcester during the period of closure of Watling Street.

 

Information was provided in February 2019 relating to the road closure and an update on the position regarding the Towcester Relief Road.

 

This Briefing follows on from this and includes information on the ongoing work relating to Air quality and an update relating to the Towcester relief road.

 

A briefing note is attached for information.

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)      That the Briefing note and verbal update be noted.

 

(2)      That it be noted that a further update on Towcester Relief Road was scheduled for the December meeting of the Committee

Minutes:

The Health and Environmental Protection Manager presented a briefing paper which provided an update on Air Quality in Towcester.

 

In response to questions from the Committee, the Health and Environmental Protection Manager agreed to circulate Air Quality readings relating to the centre of Towcester, covering the significant period the road was closed for road works. The Health and Environmental Protection Manager reported that the readings for that period were significantly lower, as had been anticipated.

 

With regards to the new road being built to the south of Towcester, the Executive Director – Resources advised the Committee that the council was in regular contact with Persimmon Homes and Highways England regarding construction of the road. All parties were aware of the issue being high priority for South Northamptonshire Council.

 

Given the high priority and importance, the Committee requested that officers arrange a briefing session with representatives from Highways England, to discuss plans for the road.

 

With regard to future Air Quality monitoring, the Committee expressed a wish for monitoring to be undertaken along the new road once it was constructed. The Health and Environmental Protection Manager advised that the location of the monitoring tubes was reviewed every 12 months, and the comments of the Committee would be actioned at the relevant time.   

 

Resolved

 

(1)       That the Briefing note and verbal update be noted.

 

(2)       That it be noted that a further update on Towcester Relief Road was scheduled for the December meeting of the Committee

30.

Environmental Health Service Showcase

Officers from Environmental Health Services will attend the meeting to give an overview of the service provided by the Environmental Health Services team.

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)      That the presentation be noted.

Minutes:

The Health and Environmental Protection Manager presented an overview of the work undertaken by the Environmental Health team.

 

The presentation included information relating to the number of food premises registered across the district and their hygiene ratings, details on the number of nuisance complaints received during the year to date, and information regarding the team’s role in planning consultations.

 

In response to questions from the Committee regarding food inspections, the Health and Environmental Protection Manager explained that the frequency of visits was linked to the hygiene rating achieved. Those with a higher rating would usually have longer between visits, whilst those with a lower rating would be visited more frequently.

 

The Committee thanked the Health and Environmental Protection Manager for the presentation.   

 

Resolved

 

(1)       That the presentation be noted.

31.

Gypsy and Travellers Policy and Procedures at South Northamptonshire Council pdf icon PDF 182 KB

The Assistant Director Waste and Regulatory Services will attend the meeting to give a briefing on Gypsy and Travellers Policy and Procedures at South Northamptonshire Council.

 

A briefing note is attached for information.

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)      That the briefing note and verbal update be noted.

Minutes:

The Assistant Director – Waste and Regulatory Services presented a briefing note to the Committee which detailed the Gypsy and Travellers Policy and Procedures.

 

The Assistant Director – Waste and Regulatory Services explained that South Northamptonshire Council was part of the Northamptonshire Countywide Traveller Unit Consortium (CTU), which dealt with gypsy and traveller matters across Northamptonshire on behalf of the local authorities. The most recent occurrence of travellers in South Northamptonshire had been 6 caravans arriving in a village. Following discussion and negotiation with the police, they had left the same day.

 

Speaking at the invitation of the Chairman, the Council’s representative on the CTU board, Councillor Dermot Bambridge, explained that a change in procedure at Northamptonshire Police meant that a duty inspector was now involved whenever a report of an unauthorised encampment was received.

 

In response to questions from the Committee, the Assistant Director – Waste and Regulatory Services advised that parish councils looking for advice and guidance relating to gypsies and travellers should contact the CTU directly. The Committee requested that contact details for the CTU be circulated to Councillors.

 

Councillor Allen Walker requested that his thanks to Steve Wilkinson at the CTU and officers at South Northamptonshire Council for the information given to Councillors when unauthorised encampments occurred be recorded.

 

Resolved

 

(1)       That the briefing note and verbal update be noted.

32.

Encouraging Environmentally Friendly Businesses to South Northamptonshire

The Assistant Director Planning Policy and Development will give a presentation on Encouraging Environmentally Friendly Businesses to South Northamptonshire.

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)      That the presentation be noted.

 

(2)      That it be noted that the Business Strategy was due to  be reviewed and officers be requested to submit to the Scrutiny Committee at the appropriate time.

 

Minutes:

The Assistant Director - Planning and Economy and the Senior Economic Growth Officer gave a presentation which explained the work undertaken by the Economic Development team in encouraging businesses into South Northamptonshire. 

 

The Assistant Director – Planning and Economy explained that the team employed a number of approaches to attract inward investment across the District. The team also worked proactively to put businesses seeking employees and job seekers in touch with each other, as had recently been the case with the new branch of ScrewFix in Towcester and the Paisley Pear pub in Brackley.

 

The Assistant Director – Planning and Economy reported that environmentally friendly businesses were included in the general work undertaken to attract business to the district, but they weren’t targeted specifically. However, the information provided by the team could easily be tailored to help existing businesses become more environmentally friendly. 

 

The Executive Director – Operations advised the Committee that the Council’s Business Strategy was due to be reviewed, and could be submitted to Scrutiny Committee for discussion at the appropriate time.

 

Resolved

 

(1)       That the presentation be noted.

 

(2)       That it be noted that the Business Strategy was due to be reviewed and officers be requested to submit it to the Scrutiny Committee at the appropriate time.

 

33.

Review of Committee Work Plan pdf icon PDF 55 KB

To review and note the Committee Work Plan.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)      That subject to the Business Strategy being added to the work programme, the list of topics and 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.

 

With regard to the Silverstone Heritage Experience, an update had been circulated to the Committee by the Executive Director – Finance, who had met with the Chief Executive of the Experience and the Finance Director of Silverstone Circuits.

 

In connection to South Northamptonshire Council being represented on the Board of the Experience, the Chief Executive of the Experience had advised that the role and expertise required by the Board would need to be reviewed before any further appointments were made. The Executive Director – Finance would provide a further update to the Committee in January 2020.

 

With regards to superfast broadband and mobile phone signal across the district, Democratic and Elections Officers advised the Committee that updates had been circulated by the Chief Executive.   

 

The Committee expressed a wish for both subjects to remain on the topic sheet, and for more information to be gathered regarding the current level of Superfast Broadband services across the district.

 

In relation to the item to be scheduled regarding Council Tax and Business Rates, the Committee asked if information could be included regarding how the Council supports local high streets from the perspective of empty shops, and if they are subject to similar rules to empty residential properties.

 

The Committee also requested a follow-up on a previous item regarding existing Council contracts, in advance of the move to a unitary authority. 

 

Resolved

 

(1)       That subject to the Business Strategy being added to the work programme, the list of topics and the work programme be noted.