Agenda and draft minutes

Select Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 28th July 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Rooms 1-2, City Hall. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services - 01522 873439 

Items
No. Item

8.

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.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

9.

Call In of Decision - Public Conveniences-Service Review pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair reported that a decision by the Executive on 24 June 2021 on the Public Conveniences Service Review had been called in by Councillors Tom Dyer, Christopher Reid and Mark Storer, who had cited five reasons for the call in, and had suggested three outcomes, which were set out pages 4 and 5 of the agenda and reports pack.

 

The Chair also referred to the Council's consideration of a petition on the Westgate public conveniences public conveniences on 27 July 2021 and reported that the Council had resolved that this Committee would consider the content of the Council's debate as part of its consideration of the request for the call in.  

 

A.          Reasons for the Call in Request and Suggested Outcomes

 

            Reasons for the Request for the Call In

 

            Councillor Tom Dyer, as the lead call in member, provided detail on each of the grounds for the call in request as follows:

 

(a)   There had been a lack of consultation with the City of Lincoln councillors on the proposals.  In addition, the public consultation exercise had been tendentious in that it had sought the answers which the organisation had wanted and had not sought the views of the public on the detail of final proposals.  Furthermore, the promotion of the consultation was not up to standard, for example more use could have been made of social media and the website.  The consultation could have been promoted more widely in Lincolnshire.  The strength of public feeling was referenced, and this was evidenced by the petition on the closure of Westgate Toilets, which had been presented to the Council on 27 July 2021.

 

(b)   The proposal for the public conveniences would leave a cluster of three facilities at Tentercroft Street, the bus station, and eventually at Lincoln Market, whilst other facilities such as Lucy Tower Street and Westgate would be closed.   This would represent a disproportionate level of public convenience provision.

 

(c)    There was a need for information on the level of income provided by each public convenience.  Whilst the charge of 20p did not cover the full operational costs of public conveniences, it represented a significant contribution to the income.  There could have been consideration of an increase in the charge to say 25p or 30p and how this would impact on the revenue.  A charge for the use of Westgate toilets had not been explored as part of the decision.

 

(d)   There was a need for detailed use analysis of both the public conveniences identified for closure, and any impact on the immediate locality to inform the consultation.

 

(e)   Other than headline figures, no details had been disclosed on how the Council would balance its budget.  The target saving figure of £82,000 was precise.  There was no rationale for this target saving figure.   Whilst the proposals had been discussed by the Policy Scrutiny Committee prior to the decision of the Executive on 24 June 2021, the overall context of these savings proposals within the Council's savings targets were not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Call In of Decision - Performance Targets for 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 140 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair reported that a decision by the Executive on 24 June 2021 on the Performance Targets for 2021/22 had been called in by Councillors Tom Dyer, David Clarkson and Christopher Reid, who had cited one reason for the call in, and had suggested three outcomes, which were set out page 70 the agenda and reports pack.

 

A.          Reasons for the Call in Request and Suggested Outcomes

 

            Reasons for the Request for the Call In

 

            Councillor Tom Dyer, as the lead call in member, provided detail on the  ground for the call in as follows:

 

(a)      The single ground for the call in request was, having regard to the nature of the decision and the circumstances in which it had been made, the decision had been taken on the basis of inappropriate or insufficient consultation.

 

(b)      The process to agree the performance targets, which had been considered by the Performance Scrutiny Committee, had not been transparent.  The Performance Scrutiny Committee on 22 June 2021 did not accept the performance targets.  In most years amendments to the performance targets were relatively minor and agreed through consultation with the portfolio holder.  However, for 2021/22 the changes to the targets were significant, with minimal explanation for these changes included in the report, and neither the portfolio holders nor the relevant senior officers had been present at the meeting of the Performance Scrutiny Committee to provide an explanation for the changes.   

 

(c)       The performance targets set out in the report ranged from business rate collection to the levels of recycling.  Because there had been no rationale presented for amendments to the performance targets, they should remain as they were for 2020/21.  

 

(d)      As a result of the impact of Covid-19, several service areas had not achieved their performance targets for accepted reasons.  However, the Council should be ambitious in its targets, particularly those seeking to support the achievement of net zero.   

 

            Suggested Outcomes

 

            Councillor Tom Dyer also explained the three suggested outcomes; 

 

(i)     The Executive retain the targets from the previous year and report on those targets.

 

(ii)    Before any amendments are made, a further in-depth explanation is provided to the Performance Scrutiny Committee, with senior officers available to directly answer questions for their service areas.

 

(iii)   The reporting and decision making around target setting for the 2022/23 financial year are presented in a clearer and more transparent way for members.

 

            Statement from Councillor David Clarkson in Support of the Call In Request

 

            Councillor David Clarkson, as a signatory to the call in, made a statement in support of the call in request:

 

(a)      Definitions of key performance indicators included one where these indicators were defined as a measurable value that identified how an organisation was achieving key measurable objectives.  Performance targets must be set appropriately and according to the International Organization for Standardization could also be used to measure the effectiveness of an organisation's quality management systems. 

 

(b)      Targets should be set so that they were specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timebound, in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.