Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Monday 15th June 2020 6.30 pm

Venue: Remote Meeting

Contact: Louise Hollingsworth Email:  01424 787815


No. Item


Election of Chairman

The Head of Paid Service to seek nominations for election of Chairman for the municipal year.  On election, Chairman of Committee to take the Chair.


RESOLVED: That Councillor P.N. Osborne be elected Chairman of the Committee for the ensuing municipal year.


Election of Vice-Chairman

To elect a Vice-Chairman of the Committee for the municipal year. 


RESOLVED: That Councillor Mrs V. Cook be elected Vice-Chairman of the Committee for the ensuing municipal year.



To authorise the Chairman to sign the Minutes of the meeting at a later date of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 16 March 2020 as a correct record of proceedings.


The Chairman was authorised to sign the Minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 16 March 2020 at a later date as a correct record of the proceedings.


Apologies and Substitutes

The Chairman to ask if any Member present is substituting for another Member and, if so, to declare his/her name as substitute Member and the name of the absent Member.


There were no apologies for absence.


Disclosure of Interests

To receive any disclosure by Members of personal and disclosable pecuniary interests in matters on the agenda, the nature of any interest and whether the Member regards the personal interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct. Members are reminded of the need to repeat their declaration immediately prior to the commencement of the item in question.


There were no disclosures of interests.


Draft Annual Report to Council pdf icon PDF 283 KB


Members received the draft Annual Report to Council as submitted by the Chairman, Councillor Osborne.  In accordance with Article 6, Paragraph 6.3 (d) of the Constitution, the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) was required to report annually to the Council on their workings and make recommendations for future work programmes and amend working methods, if appropriate.


The report covered the period from April 2019 through to the end of March 2020 and gave examples of the various subjects that the OSC had considered during this period, as well as the in-depth scrutiny reviews that had been conducted.


The Chairman reported that it had been a very busy and productive year and he had been pleased with the progress made in terms of improved scrutiny processes and comprehensive contributions from outside representatives.  Members were pleased to note that since the recommendations of the SLA Task and Finish Group, the Rother District Citizens Advice Bureau had located new premises.


Members were thanked for their input into the many debates that had taken place. 


RESOLVED: That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s draft Annual Report, be approved and recommended to Council.


Call-in and Urgency Procedures pdf icon PDF 129 KB


The Committee received the report of the Executive Director on the Council’s Call-In and Urgency Procedures.  In accordance with Overview and Scrutiny Rule 17 (b) of the Constitution, the operation of the provisions relating to call-in and urgency was monitored annually through a report submitted to full Council via the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC).


The Call-In procedure was the mechanism by which the Council’s OSC could challenge decisions made by the Executive that were not yet implemented.  11 Executive meetings had been held during the period of the report from 11 March 2019 up until 10 February 2020.  One Executive decision had been called-in during the period to which the report related; one decision of Cabinet, within the approved budget and policy framework, had been deemed and resolved as an urgent decision.


Following discussion, it was agreed that the current arrangements for calling-in an executive decision remained satisfactory. 


RESOLVED: That the report be noted.



Performance Report: Fourth Quarter 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 342 KB


Consideration was given to the report of the Executive Director on the Performance Report of the Fourth Quarter 2019/20.  Members were given the opportunity to scrutinise progress towards the Council’s stated aims, outcomes and actions in the Corporate Plan and make any necessary recommendations to Cabinet for future service delivery.


The Head of Service Acquisition, Transformation and Regeneration led Members through a summary of the Council’s performance against the selected indicators across four key areas (Housing and Homelessness, Benefits Performance, Waste and Recycling and Asset Income), giving the position at the end of the fourth financial quarter (1 January to 31 March 2020) for 2019/20.  Performance was compared to the previous four quarters and the previous quarter result.


March 2020 saw the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. This had adversely affected performance levels in March 2020 for the prevention of homelessness, the numbers in temporary accommodation, number of additional homes provided and the waste collection indicators.


During discussion the following points were noted:


Housing and Homelessness: During Quarter Four, one measure had met or exceeded its target (Affordable Homes Built (gross) Supply Target). Five measures did not meet their target (Affordable Homes Built (gross) Local Plan Target, Net Additional Homes Provided Supply Target, Net Additional Homes Provided Local Plan Target, Weeks in Temporary Accommodation (TA) and Homelessness Prevention Cases per 1,000 homes).  Members were concerned that these indicators were not meeting targets and noted that regenerating the housing market would need to be explored and local MPs contacted.


Benefits Performance: Both of the performance indicators relating to benefits performance had met or exceeded their targets and the service continued to work on improvements in its systems and processes in accordance with the adopted business improvement plan. 


Waste and Recycling: All three of the indicators had not met their targets (Re-use, Recycling, Composting: Contractor and Missed Bins per 100,000 homes and Re-use, Recycling, Composting: East Sussex County Council). The Garden Waste service had been suspended for some time during the period of lockdown and the situation had caused some disruption to all services.  The fourth quarter’s performance had continued to improve under the new Biffa Contract relative to the performance in previous years and officers continued to work closely with Biffa during weekly operational meetings to achieve the targets on a consistent basis and improve performance further.


Asset Income:  The indicator Return on Investment Asset Income was highlighted to Members as a warning, as although the target had been reported as being exceeded throughout the year, during the last quarter the final target had not been met.  A significant investment of just over £3m had taken place late in the financial year and very little income had been derived from that purchase during the last quarter. Income was expected to stabilise over the next financial year to achieve the 6% target. In addition, the property portfolio revaluation had uplifted the overall value of the portfolio, resulting in the reflective incomes showing as a lower percentage of the overall investment. Income targets  ...  view the full minutes text for item OSC20/8


Annual Work Programme pdf icon PDF 243 KB

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the report of the Executive Director detailing the Annual Work Programme for the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.


Members were reminded that any Councillor could make a request for an item to be placed onto the Council’s Scrutiny Committee Work Programme.


The following additions to the Work Programme were noted:


           24.8.20 – meeting not required.

           14.9.20 – Events Strategy and Report of the Economic Recovery Steering Group.

           23.11.20 – Homelessness and Progress on the Housing Strategy.

           15.3.20 – Progress on the Environment Strategy.

           26.4.20 – CPE Task and Finish Group.

           Items for consideration – Regeneration including Leisure Centre, Fountains and Skate Park.

           Items for consideration - Corporate Plan review – referred back by Cabinet.


RESOLVED: That the Work Programme at Appendix A be agreed, as amended.