Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Board
Monday, 4th January, 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Claire Johnston - 01202 123663  Email: claire.johnston@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

127.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence from Members.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllr L Dedman and Cllr G Farquhar

128.

Substitute Members

To receive information on any changes in the membership of the Committee.

 

Note – When a member of a Committee is unable to attend a meeting of a Committee or Sub-Committee, the relevant Political Group Leader (or their nominated representative) may, by notice to the Monitoring Officer (or their nominated representative) prior to the meeting, appoint a substitute member from within the same Political Group. The contact details on the front of this agenda should be used for notifications. 

 

Minutes:

Cllr P Hilliard substituted for Cllr L Dedman and Cllr L Allison substituted for

129.

Declarations of Interests

Councillors are requested to declare any interests on items included in this agenda. Please refer to the workflow on the preceding page for guidance.

Declarations received will be reported at the meeting.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interests received.

130.

Public Speaking

To receive any public questions, statements or petitions submitted in accordance with the Constitution, which is available to view at the following link:

https://democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CommitteeID=151&Info=1&bcr=1

The deadline for the submission of a public question is 4 clear working days before the meeting.

The deadline for the submission of a statement is midday the working day before the meeting.

The deadline for the submission of a petition is 10 working days before the meeting.

Minutes:

There were no public questions, statements or petitions.

131.

Cabinet Member Report - Regeneration, Economy and Strategic Planning pdf icon PDF 376 KB

To consider an update from the following Cabinet Portfolio Holder on current and proposed priorities within the remit of the Portfolio, including risks, challenges and opportunities:

·       Cllr Philip Broadhead, Deputy Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Economy and Strategic Planning

 

Questions to the Deputy Leader are invited in advance from all non-Executive councillors to inform the Deputy Leader’s discussions with the Board, please submit questions by Wednesday 23 December.

Please note that the areas of the Council covered by this Portfolio are:

·       Regeneration

·       Major Projects

·       Business-sector

·       Employer liaison, jobs and employment

·       Economy

·       Liaison with LGA and other partners

·       Brexit transition

·       Strategic planning and house building

A briefing report from the Portfolio Holder is attached to this agenda for consideration by the Overview and Scrutiny Board

Minutes:

The Chairman introduced the item, a copy of the report had been circulated to the Board members and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'A' to these minutes in the Minute Book. The Chairman advised the Board that the purpose of the item was to help generate ideas for the future and consider those issues which the Overview and Scrutiny Board would want to get involved in or consider further. This was the first time that the Board had undertaken this particular type of scrutiny and the Board was asked to consider its effectiveness for future reports.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Economy and Strategic Planning outlined the key points from the Portfolio, the future projects which were coming forward and areas where the Overview and Scrutiny Board may become involved and add value. There were a number of questions and comments made in the ensuing discussion which included:

 

·       A Councillor raised comments concerning the situation in the Planning department. There was concern that the situation was not improving and it was putting off people wanting to invest in the area. The Planning team was still operating as three separate teams. The Portfolio Holder was asked what he felt should be done. The Portfolio Holder advised that the situation was not acceptable, and it was a priority of the Leader. It was noted that it needed to be seriously resourced as we did not have a planning department of an appropriate size for the area of the Council. There was a need to ensure that the system was harmonised and streamlined. A team was looking at Design and Planning Briefs for certain key areas to help give clarity to investors and developers, which should help speed up the system moving forward.

·       The Portfolio Holder was asked whether consideration had been given to the 11,000 planning applications which had not been turned into builds and whether any consideration had been given to the timeframe that Planning Applications were valid for. The Portfolio Holder commented that that might be something to look into in the future and thanked the Board member for the suggestion.

·       A Board member commented that they were supportive of this inclusive approach particularly more member seminars and the opportunity for the wider input of ward Councillors and the wider input overall. It was suggested that more scrutiny may be useful of the Council owned or part owned Companies and also of the Crime Panel in a more detailed item of scrutiny coming forward to the O&S Board. The Portfolio Holder suggested that the Board may want to look into the value for money that the Council owned companies offer but also to look forward to the future, whether further action could be taken and what further opportunities could be explored.

·     A Councillor asked about the relationship between the Portfolio Holder and the lead members responsible for regeneration in the various different areas within BCP and commented that someone had to have a grip on all regenerations.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 131.

132.

Scrutiny of Regeneration, Economy and Strategic Planning Related Cabinet Reports pdf icon PDF 273 KB

To consider the following Regeneration, Economy and Strategic Planning related reports scheduled for Cabinet consideration on 13 January:

 

   Freeport Bid

 

The O&S Board is asked to scrutinise the reports and make recommendations to Cabinet as appropriate.

 

Cabinet member invited to attend for this item: Councillor Philip Broadhead, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Economy and Strategic Planning.

 

The Cabinet report for this item is included with the agenda for consideration by the Overview and Scrutiny Board.

Minutes:

Freeport Bid - The Chairman invited the Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Economy and Strategic Planning to present the report, a copy of which had been circulated to each member and which appears as Appendix 'X' to the Cabinet Minutes of 13 January 2021 in the Minute Book. In the ensuing discussion a number of issues were raised including:

 

·       A Councillor commented, in relation to a reference made by the Portfolio Holder, that they did not think that the Freeport Bid would catch the eye of central government and the BCP area would not be part of the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda as there was not much deprivation in the area and would therefore not be attractive.

·       In reference to a comment made by the Portfolio Holder that there would be a ‘planning bonus’, a Board member commented that this was purely for those wanting to develop as it was restricting rights of objection which would not be beneficial to many.

·       A Board member commented that the BCP bid would be competing against much larger more developed areas such as Southampton and Portsmouth and therefore if the government was looking at scale there would be many preferred bids ahead of BCPs. It was noted that the BCP area scheme was looking to create something different based on the areas’ strengths. For example, the BCP area was developing smart places and smart connectivity and it could demonstrate how things could look into the future. The Portfolio Holder felt that the Council had a very credible pitch.

·       A Councillor commented that in terms of connectivity for transport we struggled as a local authority area. Another member suggested that it might assisted in improving the local transport links into the future, as if the bid was successful the government would be interested in seeing the scheme succeed

·       The Chairman asked if there had been any encouragement from government for BCP to submit the bid. Issues were raised by the Board concerning the contributions being made to the initial £50k cost for submitting the bid and what the involvement was from the Council partners. The Portfolio Holder confirmed that the Council was the sole contributor at present. A Councillor commented that this seemed very speculative and that private enterprises should also be contributing towards the cost of the Bid. The Portfolio Holder advised that this was purely in relation to the first stage and that if we were successful in the first stage there would be further stages when the cost burden could and would be shared. Another member commented that the contribution was fairly small for the first stage and it would have a positive impact and further opportunities moving forward.

·       Councillors questioned the impact that this might have for Poole Harbour in terms of leisure use and as a site of Special Scientific Interest, with increased freight use in the area. It was also noted that the harbour needed to be accessed for the majority of vessels through a very narrow channel.

·       It  ...  view the full minutes text for item 132.

133.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 133 KB

To consider and amend the Board’s Forward Plan as appropriate and to consider the Cabinet Forward Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman presented the Board’s Forward Plan and asked Councillors if they had any further comments. A Councillor advised that they were supportive of the current plan and were pleased that the issues raised by Cllr Trent had been added. The Councillor asked that these, potentially, be moved forward to future meetings to ensure capacity for a good level of scrutiny.

134.

Future Meeting Dates 2020/21 and 21/22

To note the following meeting dates and locations for the 2020/21 municipal year:

·       4 January 2021

·       1 February 2021

·       1 March 2021

·       1 April 2021

To note the following proposed meeting dates and locations for the 2021/22 municipal year (to be agreed by full Council):

·       17 May 2021

·       14 June 2021

·       19 July 2021

·       23 August 2021

·       20 September 2021

·       18 October 2021

·       15 November 2021

·       6 December 2021

·       3 January 2022

·       31 January 2022

·       28 February 2022

·       4 April 2022

 

All meetings will be held via video conferencing until further notice.

Minutes:

The dates for future meetings were noted.