Venue: David Hicks 1 - Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham RG40 1BN
Contact: Neil Carr Democratic & Electoral Services Specialist
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were submitted from Pauline Helliar-Symons and Oliver Whittle.
Emma Hobbs attended the meeting as a substitute.
To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 22 July 2020 and the Call-In meeting held on 26 August 2020.
The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 22 July 2020 and the Call-In meeting held on 26 August 2020 were confirmed as a correct record and would be signed by the Chairman at a later date.
Note: Members sought an update on actions agreed at the meeting on 22 July 2020, as follows:
Minute 18: Unauthorised Encampments
· Member training session to be delivered in August 2020;
· Proposed business case for any future traveller transit sites;
· Updated information on unauthorised encampments on the Council’s website;
· Public leaflet on unauthorised encampments.
Declaration of Interest
To receive any declarations of interest.
There were no declarations of interest.
Public Question Time
To answer any public questions. A period of 30 minutes will be allowed for members of the public to ask questions submitted under notice.
The Council welcomes questions from members of the public about the work of this Committee.
Subject to meeting certain timescales, questions can relate to general issues concerned with the work of the Committee or an item which is on the Agenda for this meeting. For full details of the procedure for submitting questions please contact the Democratic Services Section on the numbers given below or go to www.wokingham.gov.uk/publicquestions
There were no public questions.
Member Question Time
To answer any Member questions.
There were no Member questions.
To consider the report of the Climate Emergency Task & Finish Group.
The Committee considered the report of the Climate Emergency Task and Finish Group set out at Agenda pages 23 to 50.
Alison Swaddle, Chairman of the Task and Finish Group, introduced the report and outlined the work of the Group over the past five months in scrutinising the Council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan. The Group had interviewed the Executive Member and a number of Officers in addition to external experts.
The Group’s overall conclusion was that the Action Plan was an ambitious document underpinned by a significant budget and a clear governance structure. The Action Plan was in line with best practice across the country. However, there were a number of areas where more work was required to strengthen the Action Plan and to ensure that the governance structure delivered rigorous challenge and effective scrutiny.
The Task and Finish Group report contained 13 recommendations as follows:
1) That the Council work with schools, businesses and community stakeholders to develop a Vision for a Net Zero Borough, with indicators and milestones to demonstrate progress;
2) That the annual progress report on the Climate Emergency Action Plan include recognition of the levels of non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions in the Borough and progress achieved in delivering reductions through the sequestration measures in place;
3) That the Council’s key decision reports include a section on Climate Emergency to ensure that the issue is mainstreamed into the decision making process. This must include a transparent, calculated carbon impact assessment of the proposal rather than a generic comment such as “in line with the Climate Emergency Action Plan”;
4) That, as part of the 2021 progress report on the Action Plan, the Council commission an independent carbon accounting audit of the Action Plan’s targets, methodology and underlying assumptions;
5) That the six monthly update of the Action Plan, in January 2021, address the gaps and errors in the current version;
6) That the annual update report on the Action Plan include estimates of consumption emissions, progress of measures aimed at increasing awareness of these emissions and individual responsibilities such as the promotion of local sustainable sourcing options for food, goods and services;
7) That future iterations of the Action Plan set out SMART targets to reduce car usage, thereby tackling traffic congestion, and demonstrate how the Council is working with neighbouring authorities, the Local Enterprise Partnership, bus and rail operators to deliver transport solutions and a transport network and infrastructure which focuses on active travel and public transport;
8) That a further report be submitted to the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee, setting out the business case for the Green Bank Project, including an assessment of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the viability of the project;
9) That the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee scrutinise the impact of the Local Plan Update on the Climate Emergency as part of its review of the new Local Plan later in 2020/21;
10) That the Council establish and publish details of the amount of land available for ... view the full minutes text for item 35.
To consider the approach to future Scrutiny of the Council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan.
The Committee considered a report, set out at Agenda pages 51 to 54, which considered potential options for the future Scrutiny of the Council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan.
The report followed on from the discussion about the report of the Climate Emergency Task and Finish Group. As Climate Emergency would be a major issues for the Borough’s residents for many years to come, the report considered options for future Scrutiny.
The report set out three options for future Scrutiny of the Action Plan, as follows:
Option 1 – establish an additional Climate Emergency Overview and Scrutiny Committee;
Option 2 – maintain the current Overview and Scrutiny structure and scrutinise the Action Plan through regular reports;
Option 3 – maintain or refresh the Climate Emergency Task and Finish Group.
Members considered the pros and cons of the three options.
Sarah Kerr notified Members that the LGA was running Climate Emergency webinars on 17/18 September which may provide further insights for the Scrutiny process.
It was proposed by Guy Grandison and seconded by Emma Hobbs that Option 3 – maintaining/refreshing the Climate Emergency Task and Finish Group, be approved by the Committee.
Upon being put to the vote, the proposal was approved.
1) future Scrutiny of the Climate Emergency Action Plan be carried out by the Climate Emergency Task and Finish Group;
2) feedback from the LGA Climate Emergency webinars be fed into the Scrutiny process;
3) the future Scrutiny process be considered again following the next report of the Task and Finish Group.
To consider progress on the development of Key Performance Indicators and the 2020/21 Q1 Performance Monitoring Report.
The Committee considered a report, set out at Agenda pages 55 to 78, which gave details of progress on the development of the Council’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for 2020/21. The report also gave details of performance during Quarter 1 of the 2020/21 Municipal Year (April to June).
Laura Callan introduced the report and answered Member questions.
Laura began by referring Members to the Overview and Scrutiny Committees’ review of the Council’s response to the pandemic. Laura confirmed that a report on the impact of then pandemic on poverty in the Borough would be submitted to the October meeting of the Committee. Laura outlined the range of evidence that would be used to inform the report, including deprivation and poverty data, unemployment statistics, intervention points across the Council and a summary of contact with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau. Laura confirmed that Simon Price (Housing) and Jake Morrison (CAB) would be invited to attend the meeting of the Committee on 21 October 2020.
The Q1 Performance Report indicated that, despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Council had continued to play a significant role in supporting individuals and businesses by providing help and support, whilst continuing to maintain essential services.
The report stated that the KPIs for Q1 demonstrated improvements in a number of areas with seven KPIs moving from Amber to Green, one KPI moving from Red to Amber and one KPI moving from Red to Green. A number of KPIs had deteriorated but this was largely due to the impact of the pandemic, for example through the closure of premises such as libraries.
In order to align performance management with the new Community Vision, the report stated that 60 KPIs were intended to be monitored during 2020/21. 36 of these KPIs (monitored during 2019/20) were already well aligned with the Vision. In addition, 24 new KPIs were proposed in order to ensure that all the strategic themes in the Vision were covered. The Committee would receive an update once the new KPIs were finalised.
The Committee considered the individual indicators set out in the report and made the following comments:
Appendix A – Key Performance Indicators 2020/21 Summary and Detail (Page 65 of the Agenda) contained a great deal of information and, as a result, used a small font size. Could this Appendix be presented in a different format using a more suitable font size? Laura Callan agreed to look into this issue.
The previous list of indicators include KPIs looking at customer satisfaction and officer feedback relating to WBC processes. Were these indicators being retained? Laura confirmed that consideration was being given to customer satisfaction KPIs and the linkages to staff/resource impacts in relation to on-line services.
In relation to the eight Adult Social care KPIs that were being removed (Page 57 of the Agenda) when would replacement KPIs be in place to ensure that there were no gaps in performance monitoring? Laura confirmed that the service would be contacted to provide an update on the development ... view the full minutes text for item 37.
To consider the current published version of the Executive and Individual Executive Member Decision Forward Programmes.
The Committee considered a copy of the Executive Forward Programme and the Individual Executive Member Decision Forward Programme as set out on Agenda pages 79 to 84.
Members raised the following points:
· Fees and Charges would be considered as part of the Community and Corporate Committee’s review of the Budget.
· An update on the Council’s Covid-19 Outbreak Management Plan was requested for the October meeting of the Committee.
RESOLVED: That the Executive and Individual Executive Member Decision Forward Programmes be noted.
To discuss the work programme of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee and the Overview and Scrutiny Committees.
The Committee considered its forward Work Programme and that of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees, as set out on Agenda pages 85 to 98.
During the discussion, Members raised the following points:
· Guy Grandison reported that the Community and Corporate O&S Committee was reviewing various aspects of the Council’s response to Covid-19 and would shortly be commencing scrutiny of the Budget process for 2021/22.
· Ken Miall reported that HOSC had held a briefing on the Council’s support for care homes during the pandemic. Andy Croy expressed concern that Labour Members had not been invited to attend this briefing. It was confirmed that the relevant presentation slides and notes would be forwarded to Andy.
1) the Overview and Scrutiny Work Programmes be noted;
2) the next meeting of the Committee focus on progress relating to the review of the Council’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.