Agenda and draft minutes

Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Finance and Performance - Wednesday, 10th November, 2021 6.00 pm

As of May 2021, decision making of meetings of the Council have returned to in-person sessions. A number of meetings remain virtual, with appropriate Councillors attending via remote video link. Public access to these meetings is via a live stream video through the Council’s official YouTube channel

Venue: Via Remote Video Link

Contact: Email: 


No. Item


Roll Call and Virtual Meetings Explanation.


The Chairman carried out a roll call to establish attendance at the meeting.


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




To receive apologies for absence.




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




To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 15 September 2021. pdf icon PDF 201 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 15 September 2021 were agreed as a correct record and electronically signed by the Chairman. 


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




Performance Monitoring for the Second Quarter of 2021/22. pdf icon PDF 241 KB

Additional documents:


Neal Barton, Policy, Performance and Partnerships Manager introduced the report noting that 76% of indicators shown are at green and therefore meeting target. He noted that the pandemic still has implications for the delivery of services in areas such as Environmental Health, Housing Services and Revenues and Benefits. He also highlighted areas that have experienced increase in workloads including Land Charges and Planning. 


The Chairman took Members through each section of the report. Members welcomed the employment through the Council’s Wellbeing Team of a dedicated Well Being Health Coach at a surgery in East Grinstead and it was confirmed that other GP practices are interested in the same service.


Discussion was held on the statistics surrounding complaints, compliments and customer services. Simon Hughes, Head of Digital and Customer Service confirmed that data related to the new telephony system and customer satisfaction data will be available into the new year. He confirmed that in the meantime Officers have management information which is regularly reviewed in order to tailor services and ensure that information reaches the correct recipients. The subject of staff retention and flexible working was discussed and it was confirmed that succession planning and training are factors in place to mitigate risk of potential staff shortages.


Members discussed the footfall at the Orchards Shopping centre, which had seen a 2.4% increase compared to the same quarter of last year.  Requests were made to consider a comparison with other similar sized centres and to consider alternative performance measures that reflect the economic situation across the wider District rather than just Council owned properties. Judy Holmes, Assistant Chief Executive confirmed that this latter request is something that the Economic Development team are currently exploring with a view to developing a suite of indicators to improve the provision of data on the health of town centres.


The performance of leisure centres was discussed in detail with clarity sought on the actions being taken to increase attendance, income and monitor performance. The Assistant Chief Executive acknowledged that it was difficult to predict how and when performance may reach pre-pandemic levels but confirmed that income levels are monitored monthly and reconciled by an independent consultant. As the Council has a role in monitoring the contract, the management information is also regularly monitored by Officers to seek opportunities for improvement.


A Member had submitted questions to the Chairman in advance of the meeting regarding electric car charging points. The usage and cost were discussed further with confirmation given that the Council has just entered into a new procurement agreement with West Sussex County Council that will see 26 chargers installed in Mid Sussex, including the replacement of the existing ones that are not currently effective.


Members also discussed the performance of waste going to landfill and the number of planning appeals allowed. The amount of affordable housing being delivered was also discussed in detail with Members seeking clarification on whether there is a correlation between the size of a development and non-compliance with affordable housing policies,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Capital Programme Monitoring. pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Additional documents:


Peter Stuart, Head of Corporate Resources introduced the report which provided a mid-year update on Capital Projects.


A query was raised on the amount remaining to be spent on the Rural Connectivity Programme. The Head of Digital and Customer Service confirmed that the project is on course for the end of the financial year, ahead of target and spend.


Playground improvements and drainage works was discussed, and a Member sought clarification on improvements expected in the Burgess Hill Place and Connectivity Programme. As this specifically related to public realm improvements such as tree replacements and a community garden she was requested to email Officers for confirmation.


Following discussion, the Chairman took Members to the recommendation contained in the report which was agreed.





The Committee noted the update.


Draft Corporate Plan and Budget 2022/23 Consultation Process. pdf icon PDF 197 KB


Peter Stuart, Head of Corporate Resources introduced the report noting that the process is the same as in previous years. He confirmed that the date on which the draft will be issued to Members will be on, or around 17 December 2021.


The Chairman took Members to the recommendation contained in the report which was agreed. 





The Committee agreed the proposed approach.


Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Finance and Performance Work Programme 2021-2022. pdf icon PDF 279 KB


The Solicitor to the Council introduced the report noting the items to be presented at future meetings.


The Chairman took Members to a vote on the recommendation contained in the report which was agreed. 




The Committee agreed the indicative Work Programme as set out at paragraph 5 of the report.


Questions pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 10.2 due notice of which has been given.