Venue: Committee Room 1, City Hall
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RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 05 June 2019 be confirmed.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 17 June 2019 be confirmed.
Declarations of Interest
Please note that, in accordance with the Members' Code of Conduct, when declaring interests members must disclose the existence and nature of the interest, and whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) or personal and/or pecuniary.
No declarations of interest were received.
Toby Forbes-Turner, Planning Policy Manager:
· Presented an annual report to Performance Scrutiny Committee detailing work undertaken by the Central Lincolnshire Joint Strategic Planning Committee (CLJSPC) over the period 1 April 2018 through to 31 March 2019.
· Reported that the work of the Local Plan would include:
- Managing the current consultation and dealing with responses received;
- Assisting with the appointment and management of consultants developing specialist pieces of evidence to support the Local Plan review (including housing needs, infrastructure needs, gypsy and traveller needs, and flood risk and water management;
- Developing evidence directly to support the Local Plan review such as site allocations, Important Open Space designation, Area of Great Landscape Value review, and more;
- Carrying out statutory plan making functions such as fulfilling the Duty to Cooperate and undertaking a Sustainability Appraisal and a Habitats Regulation Assessment; and
- Maintaining existing functions such as responding to neighbouring plan consultations, producing and publishing the five year land supply report, providing planning and appeals support where requested and dealing with queries from the public.
· Explained that CLJSPC agreed a revised budget in January 2017 going forward for the next 3 years covering 2017/18 through to 2019/20 with partner contributions reducing to £98,900 per annum. The additional costs anticipated for 2019/20 can be met from the reserves that had purposely been built up and funded by Partner contributions. It was important to note that overall, the 3 year budgeted cycle agreed back in 2017 secured a reduction in partner financial contributions compared to previous years, whilst at the same time maintaining a contingency that would now support the review of the Local Plan.
· Invited members’ comments and questions.
Question: Members asked whether the Western Growth Corridor was included within the flood alleviation works?
Response: Yes it did. Contact had been made with the drainage boards and this was included in the Local Plan.
Question: Members asked how the Local Plan consultation was going in comparison to other central lincs authorities?
Response: Consultation was open to everyone and closed on Thursday. County Council were going to submit a formal response and NKDC were going through planning. The consultation was higher level which focused on higher principles. Press releases and Social media had been used to try and promote.
Question: Members asked how the response rate compared to the other authorities?
Response: Other authorities had parishes which was useful when collating consultation responses.
Question: Members asked how other authorities incorporated their strategic priorities into the Local Plan?
Response: This was steered by the Chief Executives from all authorities. All authorities were working towards the growth agenda but it was not known how Strategic Priorities were incorporated.
RESOLVED that the Annual Report be noted by members as a fair summary of activity of the CLJSPC during 2018/19.
Pat Jukes, Business Manager – Corporate Policy:
· Presented Performance Scrutiny Committee with contextual information on the corporate environment within the City of Lincoln Council;
- In 2018/19 99.32% of the Towards Financial Sustainability Target was achieved.
- In 2018/19 the Guildhall achieved the ‘Best Told Story’ award from Visit England and the Trip Advisor ‘Certificate of Excellence’ award.
- As of Q4 2018/19 there were 75 active projects in Vision 2020.
- During 2018/19 there were 39 apprentices on our programme, all of which completed on time.
- The number of FTE staff working for the council had increased from 557.9 in 2017/18 to 561.6 in 2018/19.
- The percentage of staff turnover at the end of Q4 2019/19 was 2.64%, an increase of 0.34% on Q3.
- We had invested £28m in commercial investments, generating an overall rental yield of £1.5m with new income of £412k per annum after financing costs.
· Highlighted the following key points:
- The population of Lincoln had risen from 84,016 in 1991 to a 2018 mid-year estimate of 99,039
- Lincoln had a young population compared to the England average, with 36.3% of Lincoln’s population being 15-34 year olds as opposed to 25.4% of that age in England
- the sickness average for council employees (10.35 days per FTE) stood at its lowest in the last 6 years, although work continued to lower the number further
- Lincoln continued to increase its social media following with 5,513 followers on Facebook and 14,946 followers on Twitter as of 25 June 2019
- the Council continued to support local businesses by paying its invoices inside the 30 day target, achieving 97.79% this year.
· Invited members’ comments and questions.
Question: Members asked why HU4 and HU5 from the strategic quarterly measures were not now red due to there being an increase in grievances and disciplinaries over the course of the whole year?
Response: The tolerance set was at 5 per quarter (i.e. it will stay the same if not increased by that amount since the last quarter) and this had not been exceeded which meant the priority stayed at amber (i.e. within tolerances). This would be looked at for future reporting cycles.
RESOLVED that the overview be noted and that the number of grievances that were upheld from the full year 2018/19 be forwarded to members.
Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Portfolio Holder for Our People and Resources:
· Presented a report to highlight the following:
- Key achievements for ‘Let’s Drive Economic Growth’
- Key achievements for ‘Let’s Reduce Inequality’
- Key achievements for ‘Let’s Deliver Quality Housing’
- Key achievements for ‘Let’s Enhance Our Remarkable Place
- Key achievements for ‘High Performing Service Delivery
· Explained in detail the Key achievements for ‘Our People and Resources’ for the following areas:
- Financial Sustainability
- Revenues Shared Service
- Asset Optimisation
- Emergency Planning
- Business Continuity
- Risk Management
- Corporate Health and Safety
- Human Resources
- Work Based Learning – Apprenticeships
- Craft Apprenticeship Scheme
- Corporate Communications and Media Relations
- Annual Report
- Civic and International Partnerships
· Highlighted future projects moving into Phase Two of Vision 2020.
· Invited members’ comments and questions.
Question: Members asked what was happening with the UC Team and whether there were any plans? Had the draft travel plan been taken forward or was there a plan for the staff?
Response: Our UC Team had provided a first class service and had won awards. Citizens Advice Bureau asked for more funding from central government so in return government asked them to carry out UC work. Our UC Team would remain in place until the end of September. A report was going to Executive in September on how this could be moved forward. Expertise that our staff had would be missed with the Citizens Advice Bureau. Our service would be extended as much as it could.
The staff travel survey had been done regularly. The results were going to CMT and then would be passed to members before implementation.
Question: Members asked what had come out of the ‘One Council’ organisational review to make us more streamlined?
Response: Attempts had been made to stop ‘silo’ working. This was in the early stages and had a number of staff working on this. Updates would be received as the review progressed.
Question: Members asked whether any work had been done to reach out to food banks and any other third parties to help UC claimants? Members also stated that it would be a good idea to make larders aware that there could potentially be an increase in footfall when UC transfers to Citizens Advice Bureau.
Response: This work was done through the Benefits Advice Team. Relationships between third parties was well joined up and a lot of effort was being made to work together. Channels of communication with the third sector would be in place in readiness for the transfer of UC.
Question: Members asked whether there were any examples of service withdrawal?
Response: Service withdrawal had been resorted to in the past but was only ever taken up as the last resort. Proposals were yet to be brought forward if needed.
Question: Members asked whether there was anything in the pipeline to close the gap in savings that needed to be made?
Response: This was currently being worked on. Investment ... view the full minutes text for item 18.
RESOLVED that the Performance Scrutiny Committee work programme be approved with the following amendments:
· Asset Management – Disposal of Land (part B) was to be added to the Agenda for October.
· The meeting in January 2021 would be held at Hamilton House.