Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, The Burys, Godalming. View directions
Contact: Kimberly Soane Email: Kimberly.email@example.com
To approve the Minutes of the meeting of the Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee held on 13 December 2021 and published on the Council’s website.
The minutes of the meeting held on 13 December 2021, and published on the Council’s website, were agreed as a correct record.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS
To receive apologies for absence and note substitutions.
Members who are unable to attend this meeting must submit apologies by the end of Monday 17 January 2022 to enable a substitute to be arranged, if applicable.
Apologies were received from Cllrs Philip Townsend and Michaela Wicks. There were no substitutes for this meeting.
DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS
To receive from Members declarations of interests in relation to any items included on the agenda for this meeting, in accordance with Waverley’s Code of Local Government.
There were no declarations of interest submitted for this meeting.
QUESTIONS BY MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
The Chairman to respond to any questions submitted by members of the public in accordance with Procedure Rule 10.
The deadline for submission of written questions for this meeting is Monday 17 January 2022.
There were no questions submitted.
QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS
The Chairman to respond to any questions received from Members in accordance with Procedure Rule 11.
The deadline for submission of written questions for this meeting is Monday 17 January 2022].
There were no questions submitted.
The Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee is responsible for managing the Committee’s work programme.
The members of Services O&S felt that a new approach was needed for prioritising the items that come to the Committee and the process for handling them at meetings. Therefore a document is attached setting out fresh expectations for participants in Services O&S meetings.
The current work programme (attached) includes items agreed and takes account of items identified on the latest Executive Forward Programme as due to come forward for decision.
Members are invited to consider their work programme and make any comments and/or amendments they consider necessary, including suggestions for any additional topics that the Committee may wish to add to its work programme.
The Chairman raised concerns regarding the number of items listed on the work programme for this and the next meeting. He advised that the agenda had been culled to allow time for appropriate scrutiny, however he felt with the items being quite indepth that there may not be sufficient time. He would endeavour to finish the meeting by 9pm.
Mark Mills outlined the work programme and items scheduled for future meetings. It was agreed that Planning Enforcement was a priority item.
It was suggested that officers be asked to avoid long presentations to allow more time to scrutinise reports and that some items could be scrutinised by means of working groups and then brought back to committee to agree recommendations.
The Service Plans have been prepared by Heads of Service in collaboration with their teams and Portfolio Holders to set out the service objectives for the coming three years in line with the Corporate Strategy 2020-2025 and the Medium Term Financial Plan.
It is recommended that the Overview & Scrutiny Committees consider the Service Plans for 2022-25 as set out at Annexe 1 relevant to their remit and make any observations or comments to the Executive.
Nora Copping, Policy Officer, introduced the item and highlighted there were five service areas for the Committee to consider under their remit.
Commercial Services, Housing Operations, Housing Delivery & Communities, Environmental Services and Planning & Economic Development.
The Committee raised the following queries:
· CS3.1 - Museum – it was felt the wording was misleading and premature as no decision had been taken on the collection as yet. It was also felt the wording could be more positive.
· CS5.1 - Careline – the committee asked if staffing levels were sufficient to meet the expectations set out? They were advised that the service was now fully staffed and further staff would be recruited to meet the service level.
· CS6.1 – Officers were asked to include mention of safety of greenspaces for example maintenance of footpaths. They were advised this is reflected in the management plans.
· CS6.2 – officers were asked why there were two end dates of 31/03/22 and 31/10/2024. They were advised the 2022 date was when the project will start implementation, however the contract was unlikely to be fully implemented until 2024.
· CS8.2 – There should be mention of Green Flag Awards as these contributed positively to parks and open spaces.
· CS10.1 – It was highlighted that the schemes mentioned (HLS, ELS and CS) will have come to an end before 2025 therefore ELM should also be mentioned. It was also highlighted that no target had been given.
· CS10.3 – It was felt there was a lot of action plans for one outcome and no real targets.
· CS11 – It was felt the narrative should be more active on this outcome with further targets and deliverability.
The Committee then proceeded to discuss the Service Plan document as a whole as they felt it was too large a document to scrutinise effectively in the time allocated.
Comments made were:
· Having a ‘How’ column linked to the appropriate action plan.
· More narrative on successes with quantifiable measures and what success looks like.
· It was felt the document tried to be ‘all things to all men’ and did not make much sense to lay persons.
· It was felt the document set us up to fail.
Officers suggested a way forward may be for the committee to set up small working groups to scrutinise each service plan in isolation and then to report back on their recommendations to the committee to agree. It was resolved that this was a good idea to allow comprehensive scrutiny and add value within the tight time constraints.
The Committee members thanked the officers for the work which had gone into the Service Reports. The Committee RECOMMEND to the Executive that Service Plans would be stronger if:
a. they include hyperlinks to any policies or action plans referenced within the plan
b. where possible they include specific targets which will usually be quantitative
c. they state a rationale for the inclusion of an action
d. they included a positive vision of what successfully delivering an action would look like. ... view the full minutes text for item 31.
In December 2020 the Council adopted the Carbon Neutrality Action Plan (CNAP) 2020-2030 which contained a collection of actions that sets us on the path to deliver Waverley’s net zero carbon by 2030 target. This report provides the first annual progress update against the priority areas within the plan.
The plan was adopted as a “live document” that will continually evolve to reflect further funding, policy and technological changes as well as opportunities for new projects. A year on, there has been progress in several areas that this report aims to celebrate. But also highlights the scale of work that is still required.
We have engaged APSE Energy, a carbon consultancy, to review our baseline and trajectory and give us a more accurate indication of the costs of becoming a net zero carbon council.
That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee provides comments and observations to the Executive and Council on the following documents:
a. Carbon Neutrality Action Plan annual update report
b. Annexe 1 – Carbon Neutrality Action Plan working spreadsheet
c. Annexe 2 - CNAP version 2022
Fotini Vickers, Sustainability Manager, introduced the updated Carbon Neutrality Action Plan. The committee were asked to give their observations and comments on the document.
Cllr Steve Williams, Portfolio Holder for Environment & Sustainability, thanked the Sustainability Team and the members of the Climate Emergency Board for their work in developing this plan.
Cllr Richard Seaborne, member of the Climate Emergency Board, advised that page five was the third trajectory drawn up since 2015 and was the first based on actual data and not theory. He advised caution in looking at the graph as it showed a reduction in carbon emissions from Leisure centres but this was due to them being closed so gave a false impression.
It was felt the high level targets on page 109 for car journeys by Waverley staff being reduced by 60% was too crude. It should be the emissions from car journeys that need to be reduced, not the car journeys per se.
The Committee asked why the data being used as a baseline was 2015 when the work towards reduction was not started till 2018. It was explained that 2015 was the last time before 2019 that a complete set of data was available. It was also highlighted that 2020/21 had been an exceptional year and the data could show false successes due to Covid and the differing work practices. It was suggested that a note of explanation as to why 2021 was used should be included.
The committee commented that there was a lot of information in the report but it appeared to focus on heat pumps and there was little mention of other technologies. Officers were asked how this action plan fitted into the government policies? The committee asked for the narrative to include reasons why we are going down this route.
It was suggested that heat pumps were very expensive, grants not substantial enough and the technology not advanced enough. Member recommended a costed business plan be provided.
It was felt that the document used a lot of ‘should and could’ which members felt was not strong enough and should be changed to ‘will and must’.
B5 – Members asked for an update on the review of the Home Improvement Policy to be put in the narrative.
GE3 – Officers were asked if work had been started with Towns & Parishes.
Members asked if the engagement survey had started yet?
The committee next discussed Active Travel and the need for Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIP).
Fotini Vickers advised that Fig 5 of the report only refers to non-domestic properties and the team would be looking at funding opportunities for domestic stock. Peter David in the housing team is working on an Asset Management Strategy and will produce an energy action plan for our housing stock and at business cases for all areas.
Members cautioned the team on the manner of promoting efficiency measures as some residents may perceive it as ‘bullying’. Emphasis on walking and cycling was not appropriate for some. ... view the full minutes text for item 32.
ITEM NOT FOR DISCUSION, FOR NOTING AND FEEDBACK VIA THE CONSULTATION.PROCESS.
Officers are asking the Services O&S Committee to note the proposals in the draft Affordable Homes Delivery Strategy and supporting evidence studies to be published for public consultation between 27 January and 24 February 2022 and give feedback/ comment.
It is recommended that the Services O&S Committee notes the draft Affordable Homes Delivery Strategy and supporting evidence studies to be published for public consultation between 27 January and 24 February 2022 and gives feedback.
The committee NOTED the Affordable Homes Delivery Strategy 2022-25.
It was noted that page 130 (4.5) mentioned the Carbon Neutrality Action Plan and Climate Emergency Action Plan. Members were under the impression these were one and the same.
Members asked that the term ‘Build for Life’ be used with caution as this can encourage people to want to stay in homes that are too big for them instead of downsizing.