Agenda, decisions and minutes
Wednesday, 17th March, 2010 5.30 p.m.
Venue: Council Chamber - Council Offices, Narborough. View directions
Contact: Linda McBean 0116 272 7708
Disclosures of Interests from Members
To receive disclosures of interests from Members (ie. The existence and the nature of those interests in respect of items on this agenda).
No disclosures were received.
To approve and sign the minutes of the meetings held on 10 February and 01 March 2010 (enclosed).
The minutes of the meeting held on 10 February and 01 March 2010, as circulated, were approved and signed as a correct record.
To consider the report of the Cabinet Executive (enclosed).
1. That Cabinet Executive be thanked for its considered response to the recommendations of the Scrutiny Commission’s review of Systems Thinking.
2. That the Performance Working Group be tasked to:
1. Scrutiny Commission was pleased with Cabinet Executive’s agreement of all five recommendations made in relation to its review of Systems Thinking.
2. Concern has previously been raised by the Performance Working Group regarding poor performance in relation to Disabled Facilities Grants work.
3. The previous work to embed Systems Thinking in Development Control met with a number of challenges, so further work is required to achieve the desired outcomes.
4. Monitoring the roll out and implementation of the intervention programme will help to support the Council’s aim of being a Systems Thinking Council.
Considered – Report of the Scrutiny Manager (presented by Cllr. D. R. Clements, Customer Focus & Performance Portfolio Holder).
Cllr. Clements introduced the report and raised the following points:
Cllr .Welsh was concerned as to whether money had been made available to provide training for those Council Officers who are leading on Systems Thinking work.
The Director of Performance & People responded that a relevant qualification is offered through the University of Derby, and funding had been made available for an Officer to study for this.
Cllr. P. Fox commented that he was pleased with the positive responses received from Cabinet Executive in relation to this piece of work.
Cllr. Ward commented that whilst there has been improvement in performance across the Council, it does not appear that Development Control is doing much better than it was prior to Systems Thinking intervention.
Cllr. Ward also commented that there is concern over the number of large scale planning applications that have been recently submitted to the Council.
Cllr. Welsh requested that the Commissioners consider setting up a Special Scrutiny Commission meeting with Officers from Planning Policy invited to give members an update on issues regarding large scale housing developments in the District as members feel that the situation has changed from what they previously understood it to be.
Cllr. J. Fox arrived at the meeting during the consideration of this item.
To consider the report of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 2005 – Access to Council Facilities (Review) Working Group (enclosed).
That the Final Report and Recommendations of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 2005 – Access to Council Facilities (Review) Working Group be endorsed and submitted to Cabinet Executive for consideration.
It is a requirement that the Scrutiny Commission considers the reports of its Working Groups prior to submission to Cabinet Executive.
Considered – Report of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 2005 – Access to Council Facilities (Review) Working Group (presented by Cllr. J. Dolby on behalf of the Working Group).
Cllr. Dolby raised the following main points in relation to the report:
Cllr. Welsh commented that the Performance Working Group is looking at access to services and in particular the recruitment of disabled people – whether they are attracted to jobs advertised by the Council, and if so are they taking up offers of employment if such offers are given?
Cllr. Pollard requested to know when the issue regarding the automatic doors in the Civic Reception will be addressed?
Cllr. Welsh responded that the Development & Assets Group Manager has been requested to attend Scrutiny Commission in July to provide an update following the completion of the 2010 access audit, so this query can be raised at that meeting.
Cllr. P. Fox commented that he is pleased with the work undertaken as identified in the Final Report, and pleased with the better working relationship between Officers and Scrutiny.
Cllr. P. Fox then queried whether the Audit Commission look at reports such as this when they are conducting inspections?
The Director of Performance & People responded that Officers and Members who are interviewed by the Audit Commission will highlight areas of good work, but ultimately it is up to the Audit Commission officers as to whether or not they include such information in their inspection reports.
To consider the report of the Scrutiny Manager (enclosed)
That the report of the Scrutiny Manager and progress updates for each of the Working Groups be accepted.
For the Scrutiny Commission to monitor progress of Working Groups in relation to agreed work as set out in review scopes.
Considered – Report of the Scrutiny Manager.
Cllr. Welsh raised that all members are able to attend Working Group meetings if they so wish, to find out more about the work of any particular Group and provide input where relevant.
The Scrutiny Manager commented that the Finance, Partnerships and Performance Working Groups are all undertaking a self-evaluation of work completed in 2009/2010, which will help feed into the 2009/2010 Scrutiny Annual Report, and all members are encouraged to give input into the Report.
Further Actions for Scrutiny arising from Meeting
That a Special Meeting of the Scrutiny Commission be arranged before the end of May to discuss in broad terms issues around large scale planning developments proposed for the District and that Officers from Planning Policy be invited to attend to give members a clearer picture on what is happening.
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