Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee - Wednesday, 19th September, 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: David Hicks 1 - Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham RG40 1BN

Contact: Neil Carr  Democratic & Electoral Services Specialist

No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were submitted by Lindsay Ferris, Kate Haines, Mike Haines, Philip Houldsworth and Ian Pittock.


Clive Jones and Rachelle Shepherd-Dubey attended the meeting as substitutes.


Minutes of Previous Meetings pdf icon PDF 104 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the extraordinary meetings held on 1 August and 3 September 2018.


Additional documents:


The Minutes of the extraordinary meetings of the Committee held on 1 August and 3 September 2018 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


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


There were no public questions.


Member Question Time

To answer any Member questions.


There were no Member questions.


Grounds Maintenance Contract Review pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To consider feedback on the Council’s grass cutting service, consider responses to the Committee’s Key Lines of Enquiry and continue discussions with witnesses.

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report, set out at Agenda pages 27 to 80, which provided further evidence relating to the Scrutiny review of the Council’s Grounds Maintenance contract.


The report reminded Members that the review had commenced at the extraordinary meeting of the Committee on 1 August 2018. At that meeting the Committee had agreed the publication of a “Call for Evidence” in the following terms:


The Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee is undertaking a review of the Council’s grass cutting service. The new service commenced in April 2016 and aimed to provide a more flexible service which responded to local needs and priorities. However, there have been a number of complaints about the quality and effectiveness of the service which has led to the review.


The Committee would like to hear the views of residents, Town and Parish Councils and Community Groups about the frequency and quality of grass cutting across the Borough. This could include the timeliness and frequency of cuts, the quality of the work, disposal of grass cuttings, impact of wildflower areas, information on the Council’s website, complaints handling or any other issues”.


The Call for Evidence had generated a number of responses from residents, community groups and Town and Parish Councils. The detailed submissions were set out in an Annex to the report.


The Committee also received a further report setting out Officer responses to the Key Lines of Enquiry agreed by the Committee at its meeting on 1 August 2018. The Officer feedback included an extract from the current Grounds Maintenance Contract Specification and details of the consultation exercise conducted in 2014.


In addition to the written evidence included in the Agenda, the Committee received submissions from the following witnesses:


·           Councillor Jane Hartley – Charvil Parish Council;

·           Peter Baveystock – WBC Service Manager, Cleaner and Greener Services;

·           Emma Pilgrim – WBC Performance Officer, Cleaner and Greener Services.


Finally, several Members provided feedback to the Committee following a site visit to the following locations on 18 September 2018:

·           Southlake, Woodley;

·           Cantley Park, Wokingham;

·           Winnersh Meadows, Winnersh.

Peter Baveystock provided some background to the operation of the Grounds Maintenance contract since its go-live in 2016. There were a number of problems in 2016 which related to the start-up process for the new contractor. He stated that the situation was much improved in 2017 with appropriate grass cutting frequencies being achieved and there was a low level of complaints. However, as Members were aware, there had been a number of issues in 2018 which related, in part, to the adverse weather conditions at the start of the grass cutting season and operational issues for the contractor.

Members were also reminded that there had been a change of contractor in 2018 following the buy out of ISS Facility Services Landscaping by Tivoli Group Ltd. Tivoli took over the running of the contract in June 2018.  Peter assured Members that lessons had been learnt from the 2018 experience and that discussions were ongoing with Tivoli to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.


Q1 Performance Management Report pdf icon PDF 126 KB

To consider the Quarter 1 2018/19 Council Plan Performance Monitoring Report.

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report, set out at Agenda pages 81 to 128, which gave details of the 2018/19 Council Plan Performance Monitoring for the first quarter of 2018/19 (April to June).


Louise Griffin, Performance and Programme Management Specialist, attended the meeting to provide additional information and answer Member questions on the report.


The report stated that the performance measures, set out in the annex to the report, were designed to indicate progress in delivering the objectives in the Council Plan. For Quarter 1, 2018/19, the majority of measures were achieving the assigned target. The following performance measures were reported as being “Red” as the quarterly target had not been achieved:


·           EA1i – percentage of Wokingham Borough Local Authority maintained primary schools with a current Ofsted rating of Good or better;


·           EA2 – percentage of children who attend a Wokingham Borough school (primary, secondary or special) which is rated Good or better;


·           EA7 – percentage of infants who received a 6-8 week review by the time they were eight weeks old;


·           EA21 (Annual Measure) – Achievement gap between pupils eligible for Free School Meals and all other pupils achieving a strong pass in English and Maths at GCSE;


·           VP8 – percentage of child protection visits due in the period which were completed on time (within 10 days of the previous visit).


The report provided contextual information for each of the Red indicators and a summary of the work being undertaken to bring each indicator back on track.


The report also gave details of an indicator which was performing well and the actions undertaken to generate the improved performance. The indicator reported in the first Quarter was EA9 – percentage of children who received a 2/2.5 year review as part of the Healthy Child Programme. The 2/2.5 year review aimed to optimise child development and emotional wellbeing and reduce inequalities. Responsibility for these reviews had transferred from NHS England to local authorities in 2015. Public Health England had reported a 12% improvement in the proportion of 2/2.5 year reviews completed in the Borough post-transfer compared to pre-transfer.


The report gave details of proposed measures aimed at making the performance management information available to Members earlier in the reporting process. This would be achieved by publishing the detailed performance data on the Member Intranet pages. This would allow Members to consider specific indicators well in advance of the quarterly discussions at the Committee.


Finally, the report reminded Members about the ongoing work and public engagement to develop a new five year Borough Plan. In order to support the new Plan, commencing in April 2019, a detailed review and consultation process would be conducted in order to establish robust performance measures which would underpin the Plan. Progress on the new Borough Plan would be reported to the Committee at its November meeting.


In the ensuing discussion Members raised the following points:


·           EA1i - Percentage of Wokingham Borough Local Authority maintained primary schools with a current Ofsted rating of “Good” or better.

·           EA2 –  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.


Consideration of the current Executive and Individual Executive Member Decision Forward Programmes pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To consider the current published version of the Executive Forward Programme and the Individual Executive Member Forward Programme.

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a copy of the Executive Forward Programme and the Individual Executive Member Decision Forward programme, as set out on Agenda pages 129 to 140.


RESOLVED: That the Executive and Individual Executive Member Decision Forward Programmes be noted.



Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programmes pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To discuss the work programmes of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee and 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 141 to 154.


RESOLVED: That the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee and other Committee Work Programmes be noted.


Update reports from Chairmen or Nominated member of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees

For the Chairman or nominated Member of the Committee to report back in its activities including any requests to undertake reviews.



The Chairmen, or nominated Members from the Overview and Scrutiny Committees provided feedback on recent discussions and presentations received by each Committee.


RESOLVED: That the reports be noted.