Agenda and minutes
Venue: Virtual Meeting - Online access
Contact: Shilpa Manek 01628 796310
Video Stream: Click here to watch this meeting on YouTube
ELECTION OF THE CHAIRMAN & VICE CHAIRMAN
To elect a Chairman and Vice Chairman for the Communities Overview and
Scrutiny Panel for the new Municipal Year.
RESOLVED: that the Chairman for the 2021/2022 Municipal year be Councillor John Bowden.
RESOLVED: that the Vice Chairman for the 2021/2022 Municipal year be Councillor Greg Jones.
WELCOME FROM THE CHAIRMAN
The new Chairman welcomed all to the meeting and the virtual meeting notes were read out.
Councillor Price asked why the meeting was not being held face to face. The Clerk informed the Panel that the Overview and Scrutiny Panels were not decision making meetings. These Panels made recommendations to Cabinet.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Parish Councillor Margaret Lenton and Pat MacDonald.
To receive any declarations of interest.
Councillor Bhangra declared a personal interest in item 7. The Boyn Grove library was in his ward and he had actively campaigned to save the library. He was attending the meeting with an open mind.
Councillor Price declared a personal interest in item 7. The Dedworth library was in her ward and she had actively campaigned to save the library. Councillor Price was attending the meeting with an open mind.
To agree the minutes of the last meeting held on 13 April 2021.
Councillor Price highlighted that she would like it noted that both her and Councillor Del Campo did not agree with the Chairman’s Introduction in the Annual Scrutiny Report that was being presented to Full Council.
Actions from the minutes:
Action 1: EQIA update from Councillor Bhangra – update received from Naomi Markham – Action: forward to Panel
Action 2: Completed
Action 3: Add Maidenhead Heritage Centre to Work Programme - ACTION
Action 4: Strategic Priorities – In process
Action 5: Add Community Safety Partnership and Waste Management Strategy to Work Programme – ACTION
Action 6: Find additional meeting date in May 2021 – This was not possible
The Panel were happy with the outcomes of the Actions.
RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the minutes of the meeting on 13 April 2021 were a true and accurate record.
A report to be provided on Embedding Community Response.
Jesal Dhokia, Transformation Project Manager, gave a presentation to the Panel, and showed them the Community Engagement website.
Councillor G Jones commented that it was a great presentation. Councillor Jones asked if work could include the Older People's Community Forum and asked what else could be done to involve other people. Jesal Dhokia advised the Panel that she was already working closely with them.
Councillor Del Campo asked for more information on the independent Chairman's and how they were elected. Jesal Dhokia informed the Panel that the independent Chair’s had been approached, they were from the steering group and were on a rotation basis.
Councillor Stimson commented that the older people would be able to pass on more sustainable skills to the younger generation. It was a great process that surprise commented that not enough people knew of this project.
Councillor Price commented that not enough people knew of the project, especially those not on social media. More communications were needed to be done. Councillor Price suggested that libraries could also be used to advertise the project. Jesal Dhokia commented that she was working closely with the Comms. team and messages were now being sent out weekly. A poster had also been sent out now.
Councillor Price commented that many of the project meetings had been held in the daytime, working people could not attend these meetings. There were many barriers, big lessons have been learnt from Clewer and Dedworth project.
Counsellor Davey commented that there was no ongoing communication about the projects. Jesal Dhokia commented that the Clwer and Dedworth Project was continuing and the Maidenhead project was being brought up to a similar level. Both projects were still running.
Mr Hill, public speaker, addressed the Panel and commented that it was a fascinating presentation, and an excellent project. The formality of the project was great. Mr Hill felt that the focus could be moving to a bigger Maidenhead-wide project and promoting more on the RBWM calendar. It was an idea to look for investment from external sources and have on the website in plain English. Jesal Dhokia commented that all wards had been considered but Clewer and Dedworth ward had a higher need during COVI. Abri were working closely with us and supporting us in this area.
It was suggested that it would be great to work with Maidenhead Town Forum to get ideas.
Councillor Bhangra commented that this was a great project.
An update to be provided on the Library Transformation Strategy.
Louise Freeth, Head of Revenues, Benefits, Library and Resident Services, informed the Panel that the original proposals had been revised and that all four libraries that were due to close would now remain open, some with reduced hours. The mobile library would be retired as it was no longer fit for purpose. There were plenty of volunteers and the team continued to work with partners and stakeholders.
Mr Hill, public speaker, commented that it was great news that Boyn Hill library was not closing and he thanked Councillors Bhangra and Carroll for all of the campaigning. Mr Hill asked the following questions:
· If groups were to hire out Boyn Hill library hall, would the money go to the library to keep open for longer hours.
· Was Boyn Hill ranked to the bottom for deprivation?
· Why had there been any reference to CIL AND S106 monies?
· Would Boyn Hill library be prioritised for monies?
· If volunteers came forward, could the library remain open more than 13 hours?
Louise Freeth informed the Panel that a one off, adhoc hire was not sustainable. A regular income would be considered, this needed to be regular and sustainable with a steady income stream. Other libraries had benefitted from their Parish Council or from trusts not Boyn Hill library.
Adele Taylor, , informed the Panel that the CIL AND S106 monies were linked and funded to particular areas. This had been explored and investigated, revenue had been supported instead of capital.
ACTION: Adele Taylor to investigate and explore further.
Angela Huisman informed the Panel that volunteers were there in a supporting role, assistant officers. The opening hours could not be extended with just having volunteers.
Councillor Rayner commented that Dedworth library had income that came in and was a minimal cost to the council, whereas Boyn Hill did not have much income coming in. this could be reviewed again in the future years and she was hopeful that this was what would happen.
Councillor Del Campo
An update to be provided on District Enforcement Pilot.
Simon Dale gave a presentation to the Panel.
Simon Dale informed the panel that he had tried to explain in the covering report that this was an opportunity to utilise the work of Communities Overview and Scrutiny Panel in informing the future going forward. The focus of the presentation was to update on the statistics as far as the pilot contract was concerned but equally focus on the future of the arrangements of the DE as this had been of particular interest to Members and residents. Simon dale commented that the scrutiny of the Panel would assist in a strategy plan emerging which was to people’s satisfaction. The presentation gave an overview of what the pilot was set up to achieve when the pilot was launched and there had been a relatively low activity compared to other councils in terms of environmental crime enforcement, which the borough wanted to increase activity in. The whole point of the pilot was to change people's behaviour and stop them from dropping litter and fly-tipping. The presentation showed the types of offences and what percentages they were. There was a split across the wards slide. The presentation also showed the time patrolled in each ward. There was also a slide showing gender and age of those that had been issued fixed penalty notices.
Simon Dale informed the Panel that the pilot would be coming to an end at the beginning of October 2021 and they wanted to bring it in line with enforcing activities that expired. The NSL contract for parking enforcement expired in November 2022. So far, 14 months between the end of October 2021 and November 2022, another 14 months, between the end of October 2021 and November 2022, taking into consideration member suggestions, It was proposed that to put out a specification that asked three companies under procurement rules to give prices for delivering the service for a 14 month interim period that would take the council to December 2022 when a full specification with member input, in areas of operation. The full specification would include parking enforcement, environmental crime enforcement, and aspects of highway enforcement in one contract. This would amalgamate three separate contracts with a lower price to provide additional revenue to the Council on top of what was already collected through parking enforcement. The presentation considered nine options and gave comments by each of them.
Mr. Webb thanked Simon Dale for the presentation, and asked what safeguards would be in place to ensure that private contractors used by RBWM for enforcement would enforce as per their priorities defined by residents, rather than the priorities with a profit nature and how would RBWM establish the priorities of residents for enforcement? Simon Dale responded to Mr. Webb's question that the borough were embarking on a process that included the members and resident priorities. The borough would take all considerations and with respect to the profit element, this would feature with a private operator but shouldn't be the major issue if ... view the full minutes text for item 166.
The Q4/End of Year Performance Report to be presented to Panel.
David Scott presented the report. David Scott reminded the Panel that the introduction of the council’s interim strategy in July 2020 meant that the performance reports for the last year were refocused to respond to the revised strategy as fully as possible and Appendix A showed the three revised priorities that the interim strategy set out. At a headline figure, the summary at the end of Q4 of last year with respect to the seven performance indicators were that one measure was meeting exceeding targets, one was short of the target but within the expected tolerances, four were off target and one was agreed to be a non-targeted indicator by virtue of the impact of covid.
Councillor Del Campo asked about the environment and climate strategy and the £1.2 million pounds of grants had been received and that this was excellent news. What tangible results had been received from this money?
Councillor Stimson gave a breakdown of the monies, some had been spent on heat mapping, LED lights in school and feasibility studies on carbon footprints and for residential energy efficiency.
Councillor Price asked about fly-tipping and what residents should do when they witness, could this be highlighted to residents.
ACTION: Add what to do if fly-tipping is witnessed by residents in Residents Newsletter.
To consider the Panel’s work programme for the 2021/2022 Municipal year.
To include consideration of items scheduled on the Cabinet Forward Plan.
The Clerk informed the Panel that more needed to be done in the work programme agenda item. The Clerk suggested that the Panel look at the cabinet Forward Plan on a regular basis and bring thought and suggestions to meeting. The Clerk had added Community Safety Partnership, Waste Management Strategy and Maidenhead Heritage Centre to the work programme.
Councillor Bowden suggested added the Tivoli Contract to the work programme and the Panel, all agreed that this was an excellent idea.
Councillor Price suggested putting SERCO on work programme but in the to be programmed table as the date for returning to fortnightly collection had not be announced yet. Simon Dale suggested a briefing note on this to begin. The Panel agreed.
ACTION: Briefing Note to be produced for Panel
Councillor Price suggested added Climate strategy to work programme.
ACTION: Briefing Note to be produced for Panel
ACTION: Add feature in members update on a regular basis.
Councillor Price suggested discussing the actions from the Annual Scrutiny Report. The Clerk suggested discussing at a pre meeting and bring to Panel, twice a year.
ACTON: Place on work programme, twice a year
Councillor Price asked for more detail on items on Cabinet Forward Plan
ACTION: Clerk to discuss with Head of Democratic Services
David Scott suggested that since the Chief Constable was at the meeting in October, the community safety partnership item could be presented at a meeting after that.
Panel Members suggested an additional meeting in September.
ACTION: Clerk to find date in diaries.