Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Commission - Wednesday, 9th September, 2020 5.30 p.m.

The Agenda for this meeting will be published 5 clear working days before the scheduled date of the meeting. The Minutes and Decisions for this meeting will normally be published within 9 working days following the date of the meeting.

Note: this does not apply to Scrutiny Working Groups or Scrutiny Commissioners meetings, please contact the relevant Scrutiny Officer for more information on the work programme for these Groups.

Venue: via Zoom

Contact: Linda McBean  0116 272 7708

No. Item


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).


There were no disclosures of interest from Members.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 146 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on                 (enclosed).


The minutes of the meeting held on 5 May 2020 were approved as correct.


The Blaby Plan 2021-24 pdf icon PDF 207 KB

To consider a verbal presentation from the Chief Executive.

The draft Blaby Plan Guiding Principles are attached for information.


The Chairman welcomed the Chief Executive and Leader of the Council to the meeting and invited presentation of the Blaby Plan Guiding Principles. 


The CEO explained the Blaby Plan sets out the Council’s ambitions on delivering our priorities with partners to our communities. 


It is the first step in developing the plan and Members comments are sought on the draft guiding principles:-


The District will:-

·       Adopt a Safety First Approach;

·       Help businesses to recover and thrive;

·       Support the delivery of new place where people want to live, work and visit;

·       Deliver high quality, people centred services which make a difference to our communities;

·       Continue to be a great place to work;

·       Deliver our Green Strategy;

·       Continue to work in partnership to achieve better outcomes for our residents.


While much time this year has been diverted to Covid19 the Blaby Plan is not a Covid plan but will inform Blaby Plan priorities and action plan.


The Leader echoed the CEO’s comments saying it is recognised we have challenging times ahead.  Alongside strong community spirit Covid19 has regenerated the Blaby Plan will be at the heart of all we do in working to deliver what our communities want.


Member comments and questions:-


1.     Want to see a strong emphasise on support for community groups and Parish and Town Councils.


Response: absolutely, this is part of the golden thread running through all the principles.


2.     A great place to work needs to include attracting macro business and industries to the district.


3.     A great place to work is also about looking at need and choice.  It is more important than ever that people have choice as to where they live, work and use green space.


4.     The trend of homeworking is a concern as it doesn’t work for all staff or should be the only delivery approach, more detail on homeworking would be welcomed.


Response: the principle ‘continue to be a great place to work’ links to our People Strategy and the differential being between being good employers, having a healthy workforce, effective school/academy partnerships and strong business links.  Outcomes of homeworking performance may be something for Scrutiny to look at in the future.


5.     Change the title to the Blaby District Plan to avoid confusing it with the place and is for all our communities.


The Chairman thanked the Chief Executive and the Leader for presenting the Blaby Plan draft guiding principles.


Blaby District Council Community Safety Partnership Strategy 2020 -2023 pdf icon PDF 263 KB

To consider the report of the Community Services Manager.


The Community Services Manager presented the report and highlighted:-


·       Opening of the night time economy is a new priority for providers to lead on.


·       Work to tackle fraudulent scams has been enhanced.


·       The strategic assessment was carried out using a Police strategic assessment methodology MoRILE which provides a strong evidence base for the CSP priorities.  Consultation results were the best return to date.


·       Noise is an emerging issue since Covid19, the introduction of the Noise Act will assist Environmental Service teams to respond quickly and smoothly to reported issues.


·       The Blaby CSP Chairman, Cllr Les Phillimore reiterated the CS managers comments on the impact of Covid19, particularly with regard to domestic violence.  He also  confirmed there is a huge amount of positive work being carried out with regard to the night time economy with our partners Hinckley & Bosworth BC and the Police and Crime Commissioner.


Member questions and comments:


1.     More needs to be done to improve public confidence.


Response: improving communication is a key priority and regularly reviewed alongside all priority actions by BDC officers, Police and partners. The CSP Communication Plan has a range of communication methods and the aim is to always improve.  Communication methods include a quarterly CSP newsletter, regular Council and Blaby Police social media posts and police neighbourhood information links. 


Cllr Louise Richardson echoed the CSP Managers comments regarding social media saying a marked improvement in posting nightly twitter feeds has been seen.   


The Chairman thanked the Community Services Manager and the CSP Chairman for their attendance and looked forward to receiving an update on Community Safety Partnership actions at the next Scrutiny Commission meeting.


Workplace Domestic Abuse Policy pdf icon PDF 143 KB

To consider the report of the Community Services Manager.

Additional documents:


The Communities Support Services Team Leader presented the report stating that amid a rise of cases of domestic violence being reported during the Covid19 period this is a timely introduction to the policy.


Domestic abuse is the most prevalent form of abuse and the Council has a commitment to support its staff.  Training is proposed for line managers with a ‘buddy’ scheme planned to mirror the Council’s mental health buddy scheme.  We are confident that line manager volunteers will come forward.


Member comments and questions:-


1.     Asked if line manager training would be provided by an external provider the officer confirmed the Council’s own Domestic Abuse Officer would facilitate the training.


2.     The policy and buddy scheme is to be commended. What if someone didn’t want to use work based support?


Response: we advertise support is available through Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council and we have a reciprocal arrangement.


3.     It can also be very emotional and stressful for support buddies, what support is there for them?


Response: Ongoing support is always available from the Domestic Abuse officer, HR and a 24 hour Counselling helpline.


The Blaby CSP Chairman, Cllr Les Phillimore said the Council should be rightly proud of the policy and support scheme.


The Chairman agreed and thanked the Community Support Services Team Leader.


Scrutiny Task & Finish Review of Complaints - Final Report pdf icon PDF 168 KB

To consider the report of the Complaints Task & Finish Group.


The Chair of the Task & Finish Group, Cllr Louise Richardson presented the report.


In depth examination of complaints is an important annual scrutiny exercise to which the Information & Governance team are helpful and open.


The complaints procedure is clear and improvement was evidenced following implementation of the previous years Audit Review and scrutiny recommendations.


It was explained trend analysis of complaints provides learning which is shared with services to ensure service delivery, customer care and policy improvement.


The importance of positive customer comments being recognised and celebrated was also highlighted.



Annual Complaints Report 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 156 KB

To consider the report of the Information & Governance Officer.

Additional documents:


The Legal & Information Governance Officer presented the report.


Member questions and comments:


1.     Were there any changes to increase the number of Neighbourhood Service complaints, were trends identified and what is being done to improve?


Response: the majority of complaints relate to missed bins following changes to bin collections as well as more people using the complaints procedure.  A new software system fitted to all refuse vehicles will aid communication between the crew and back office staff and help nip issues before they escalate. 


2.     Appendix A Table 5 Determination of Stage 1 complaints, it would be helpful for the annual report to include a breakdown of the number of complaints upheld by department in order to monitor trends.


It was proposed the Scrutiny Task & Finish report back on the number of complaints upheld by department  as part of its annual in depth examination, including the difference made from learning improvements. 


Consideration of Forward Plan Items pdf icon PDF 110 KB


No issues were raised for further information or examination.


Further Actions for Scrutiny arising from Meeting


There were no further actions arising.