Agenda and draft minutes

Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Resources and Economic Growth
Tuesday, 12th March, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber

Contact: Email: committees@midsussex.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

To note Substitutes in Accordance with Council Procedure Rule 4 - Substitutes at Meetings of Committees etc.

Minutes:

None.

2.

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Rawlinson, Councillor Landriani, Councillor Trumble and Councillor Wall.

3.

To receive Declaration of Interests from Members in respect of any matter on the Agenda.

Minutes:

In relation to any discussion on recycling, Councillor Andrew Lea declared that he is a West Sussex County Councillor involved in promoting recycling at County level.

 

Councillor De Mierre declared a personal interest in item 7 as she produces the marketing posters for the Orchards Shopping Centre.

4.

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 16 January 2019. pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 16 January 2019 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

5.

To consider any items that the Chairman agrees to take as urgent business.

Minutes:

None.

6.

Progress to the Sustainability Strategy 2018-23. pdf icon PDF 100 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matthew Bird, Sustainability Officer introduced the report, noting that the Strategy had been in place for a year. It is divided into three main areas: Sustainable Council, Sustainable Environment and Sustainable Community, and he provided a highlight from each one. Of particular note under ‘Sustainable Council’ is the work carried out to reduce single use plastics including a trial with Teracycle for hard to recycle items within the Council and promotion of the Refill campaign. With regards to ‘Sustainable Environment’, there have been upgrades to the electric vehicle charging points in the three main towns within the District and the Council has accessed a free feasibility study for further charging points including rapid charging. Under ‘Sustainable Community’ the Council has been working on affordable warmth initiatives, including a partnership with Agility Eco who provide free home energy visits.

 

The Sustainability Officer noted that there had been technical problems with the gas monitoring which had affected the metrics that underpin the action plan. The target for employees using sustainable transport would also need to be revised.

 

In response to a Member’s query, the Sustainability Officer noted the omission in the report of the upgrade to the Council Office’s windows, which has made the building more heat efficient. He also noted that the energy working group meets quarterly to continue to identify proactive sustainability measures. A Member requested that the success of the green bin campaign be acknowledged when the target of 20,000 green bin subscriptions is reached and it was agreed to raise this with the Cabinet Member for Service Delivery.

 

The Deputy Leader confirmed that this Scrutiny Committee was responsible for reviewing the sustainability policy as it falls under his portfolio and confirmed that following the textile recycling pilot detailed in the Corporate Plan consideration is being given to a District wide service.

 

Sustainable transport was discussed by the Committee with Members in favour of promoting cycling options. It was noted that parishes would be interested in joining the Mid Sussex Cycling Forum as funding is specifically available to identify and establish well connected cycle routes. It was also confirmed that expansion of electric vehicle charging points is connected to a report on the Parking Strategy Refresh being presented to the Scrutiny Committee for Customer Service and Service Delivery on 20 March.

 

Members discussed the benefits and costs of a variety of recycling options and noted that it was the duty of the Council to support the Governments approach to environmental issues. It was requested that a follow-up report be presented to the relevant Scrutiny Committee under the Deputy Leader’s portfolio in order to monitor the progress made on the Strategy.

 

The Chairman took Members to the recommendation which was agreed unanimously.

 

RESOLVED

 

The Committee noted the progress with the implementation of the Council’s Sustainability Strategy 2018-2023.

7.

Performance Monitoring for the Third Quarter of 2018/19. pdf icon PDF 179 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Neal Barton, Policy and Performance Manager introduced the report noting the positive performance for the third quarter with 90% of indicators green compared to 76% at the same point last year. It is also the second consecutive quarter with no red performance indicators.

 

He drew Member’s attention to the additional information on Universal Credit contained in paragraphs 11-19 and highlighted that the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) are now nationally commissioning the Citizens Advice to provide help to applicants. He confirmed that the Council has successfully applied to the DWP’s Flexible Support Fund for a new post of Employment Coordinator to be funded for one year. The project for the Council to procure its own temporary accommodation was progressing, with 7 properties purchased, a further 5 due to be completed by the end of March and one property now let.

 

The Policy and Performance Manager confirmed that the current flagship activities are progressing well, with the new flagship activities for 2019/20 set out in Appendix C of the report.  Changes to the performance indicators to be monitored next year have also been provided following a review by a working group comprised of Members of this committee and the Chairs of the two other Scrutiny Committees.

 

The Committee discussed the work of Citizens Advice and the service level agreement that the Council has with them. Also the type of support being provided for Universal Credit claimants , including help in organising their finances and assistance in making on-line applications.

 

The target for staff turnover was discussed, with Members noting that there are varied reasons for staff to leave. The Policy and Performance Manager confirmed that it is a cumulative target which is expected to be lower this year than in previous years.

 

The subject of anti-social behaviour (ASB) was discussed and the Policy and Performance Manager confirmed that 50 ASB issues had been raised, with 35 dealt with straight away and 15 remaining as ongoing cases. Acceptable Behaviour Contracts have been used in respect of young people in Burgess Hill and whilst the new powers related to ASB have not yet been used, they will be included in future performance reports.

 

With regards to customer service, the Policy and Performance Manager was requested to provide a breakdown of the reasons that people visit the Council Office reception in person. 

 

In relation to economic development, the Deputy Leader spoke about the work of the Economy and Inward Investment Team in implementing the Economic Development Strategy. In terms of resources to conclude the legal agreements to drive development forward, the Council commissions additional resources to ensure complex agreements can be delivered. He also updated on progress with  the Burgess Hill town centre redevelopment and delivery of  the new Lidl store. Further updates will be shared with Members and this committee in due course.

 

The Members noted the new flagship activities and changes to the performance indicators proposed.

 

The Chairman took Members to the recommendations which were agreed unanimously.

 

RESOLVED

 

The Committee:

 

(  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Questions pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 10 due notice of which has been given.

Minutes:

None.