Agenda and decisions

Community Select Committee
Wednesday, 21 October 2020 6.00pm

Venue: Virtual (via Zoom)

Contact: Ian Gourlay (01438) 242703  Email: committees@stevenage.gov.uk

Note: You can view this meeting via the live stream from the Council’s YouTube channel by following this link - https://www.youtube.com/user/SBCComms 

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Decision:

There were no apologies for absence.

 

There were no declarations of interest.

2.

MINUTES - 4 MARCH 2020 pdf icon PDF 67 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Community Select Committee held on 4 March 2020.

Decision:

It was RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting of the Community Select Committee held on 4 March 2020 be approved as a correct record.

3.

TERMS OF REFERENCE pdf icon PDF 49 KB

To note the Terms of Reference for the Select Committee, as agreed at Annual Council on 20 May 2020.

Decision:

The Committee considered a report in respect of its Terms of Reference.

 

It was RESOLVED that the Terms of Reference for the Community Select Committee, as approved at the Annual Council meeting on 20 May 2020, be noted.

4.

WORK PROGRAMME 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 84 KB

To receive an updated version of the Community Select Committee’s Work Programme for 2020/21.

Decision:

The Committee considered a report detailing its proposed Work Programme for 2020/21.

 

It was RESOLVED that the Community Select Committee’s Work Programme for 200/21 be approved.

5.

SPORTS AND LEISURE REVIEW REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS pdf icon PDF 168 KB

To consider the Committee’s final report and recommendations of local Sports and Leisure Opportunities. The review and recommendations were written prior to the Covid-19 pandemic but officers have provided a commentary regarding the impact of the pandemic on the recommendations and the current state of the service.

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Committee considered a report in respect of the final report and recommendations of the Sports and Leisure Scrutiny Review.  Members’ attention was drawn to the revised Officer assessment of the recommendations in the light of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which had been circulated as a supplementary agenda.

 

In response to a Member’s concern regarding the introductory paragraph on the reasoning for the revised Officer assessment of the recommendations, officers confirmed that, whilst a number of these were clearly due to the Covi-19 pandemic, a number of others (such as the cost subsidy items) were within the context of 10 years of Local Government financial cuts and would have been included regardless of the pandemic.

 

The Chair conducted a vote on the above matter, the outcome being that the revised Officer assessment of the Review recommendations, as set out in the supplementary agenda document, was accepted.

 

In relation to Members’ questions, officers responded as follows:

 

·            Recommendation 4.13 – Cycle Hub – it was confirmed that a new Community Interest Company (involving members of Stevenage CTC) had been established and would, at a future date to be determined, take over the running of the Hub; and

·            Recommendation 4.1 – Leisure Management procurement position – it was likely that a Portfolio Holder Advisory Group meeting would be held in early 2021 to commence this process, in order to consider how service would be delivered from 2023.  Wider consultation with a variety of other groups would take place, including the leisure community, young people and other stakeholders.  Part of this would allow consideration to be given to potential capital projects to deliver new leisure facilities.

 

In respect of Recommendation 4.4 – Aqua Park, and following contributions from a number of Members, it was noted that a new Aqua Park had opened in Welwyn Garden City (WGC).  The SBC Aqua Park was currently closed, and so the impact on its use once it re-opened of the new one in WGC would be difficult to forecast.  However, it was acknowledged that the SBC facility had free parking, whilst there was a parking charge associated with the use of the WGC facility.

 

It was RESOLVED that the revised Officer assessment of the Sports and Leisure Scrutiny Review recommendations, as set out in the supplementary agenda document, be accepted.

 

6.

REVIEW OF MEMBER COMPLAINTS YOUR SAY

The Chair has requested that this issue be reviewed following representations made to Business Units throughout the period of the Covid-19 pandemic on behalf of local residents in the community. The Committee will be given the opportunity to explore this issue together to see if there are any common features from business units that are providing slow responses or not being able to resolve the complaint?

Decision:

The Committee was informed that the Chair had requested that this issue be reviewed following representations made to Business Units throughout the period of the Covid-19 pandemic on behalf of local residents in the community.

 

The Chair commented that it would be helpful for Members to be supplied with information regarding the policy for response times to both Member and public complaints.

 

Following a presentation on the matter from the Assistant Director (Digital & Transformation), the following issues were raised:

 

·            Members were not always kept informed of the position with complaints, once the 10 day response time target was passed;

·            It was noted that an improved digital solution for complaints (expected to be in place by April 2021 at the latest) would help to track responses to ensure that target times were met;

·            The Assistant Director (Digital & Transformation) undertook investigate the position with regard to Members being advised when complaints cases were closed.

 

It was RESOLVED that the Assistant Director (Digital & Transformation) arrange for Members of the Community Select Committee and the other Scrutiny Chairs to be provided with data in respect of how the Customer Focus Team operates, including policy response times and relevant statistics on performance.

 

7.

URGENT PART 1 BUSINESS

To consider any Part I business accepted by the Chair as urgent.

Decision:

None.

8.

EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS

To consider the following motions:

 

1. That under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the ground that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as described in paragraphs 1 – 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act as amended by Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006.

 

2. That Members consider the reasons for the following reports being in Part II and determine whether or not maintaining the exemption from disclosure of the information contained therein outweighs the public interest in disclosure.

 

 

Decision:

Not required.

9.

URGENT PART II BUSINESS

To consider any Part II business accepted by the Chair as urgent

Decision:

None.