Agenda and draft minutes

Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 24th May, 2022 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Suite, Civic Centre, Poole BH15 2RU. View directions

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

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence from Councillors.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllr B Dion and Cllr L Fear

2.

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 J Edwards substituted for Cllr B Dion and Cllr J Butt substituted for Cllr L Fear.

3.

Election of Chairman

To elect a Chairman for the Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee for the 2022/23 municipal year.

Minutes:

In accordance with the Constitution Meeting Procedure Rules the Chairman of the Council presided over the meeting for this item.

 

Nominations were received and seconded for Cllr S Gabriel and Cllr S Bartlett for Chairman. Both nominees addressed the Committee to give reasons why they should be elected Chairman. Following a secret ballot it was:

 

RESOLVED that Cllr S Gabriel be elected Chairman of the Committee for the 2022/23 municipal year.

 

Voting: 6 in favour of Cllr S Gabriel and 5 in favour of Cllr S Bartlett

 

4.

Election of Vice-Chair

To elect a Vice-Chair for the Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee for the 2022/23 municipal year.

Minutes:

Nominations were received and seconded for Cllr B Lawton and Cllr L Dedman for Vice-Chair. Both nominees addressed the Committee to give reasons why they should be elected Chairman. Following a secret ballot it was:

 

RESOLVED that Cllr B Lawton be elected Vice-Chair of the Committee for the 2022/23 municipal year.

 

Voting: 6 in favour of Cllr B Lawton and 5 in favour of Cllr L Dedman

5.

Declarations of Interests

Minutes:

Cllr V Slade declared that she would be making a reference to a planning review undertaken by the company she worked for. However, she worked as an environmental consultant in another section of the company and had nothing to do with the review.

 

Cllr L Dedman declared for transparency, in relation to agenda item 7, that she was on the Planning Committee of Christchurch Town Council.

 

6.

Public Issues

To receive any public questions, statements or petitions submitted in accordance with the Constitution. Further information on the requirements for submitting these 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 public questions 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 petitions or public questions received. There was one public statement received from Mr John Sprackling as follows:

 

The Planning Application APP/22/00538/F - Branksome Chine Cafe (Erect 2 temporary and removable timber decking areas on the beach opposite Branksome Chine Cafe/Restaurant and Shack).  This application was received and validated on 21 Apr 2022, but the Planning Dept did not post the site notice until last Wednesday (18 May), nearly a month later.  I believe this to be an unacceptable delay, in view of the imminent approach of the Summer season.

 

7.

Planning Service Improvement Update pdf icon PDF 331 KB

This report provides an update on measures being implemented to deliver a step change in the reputation and performance of the BCP Planning Service and in order to support the delivery of the Big Plan and other corporate priorities.

It follows a previous report to the Overview and Scrutiny Board in November 21 and provides a 6-month update on progress since and actions for the next 6 months.

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Regulatory Services presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'A' to these minutes in the Minute Book. The report provided an update on the measures being implemented to deliver change in the reputation and performance of the BCP Planning Service. The report followed a previous report received by the O&S Board in November 2021. The Portfolio Holders for Development, Growth and Regeneration; and Community Safety and Regulatory Services provided information about the report to the Committee. A number of issues were raised in the subsequent discussion including:

·     Councillors commented that the service had done a good job getting back on track, especially considering the difficulties in bringing the three legacy systems together.

·     How planning improvement fits in with the overall transformation programme. It was noted that the Council was still working with the three legacy systems but was moving towards a single system using the Mastergov software package which would be more efficient and reduce the risk of providing information which wasn’t up to date.

·     How extensions for applications affected the performance graphs - The report set out both figures. All planning systems across the country used extensions of time. However, the Planning Team wanted to move to a system where this was not needed.

·     The reduction in the number of conditions was due to consolidating conditions which were used by the three preceding authorities but with different wording. It was a case of harmonising rather than reducing to make sure the Council was using the best set of conditions.

·     Recruitment – The planning improvement journey started with 29 vacancies, thirteen of which had been filled and agency staff were covering a number of the other vacancies. There was a national shortage of planners, which was affecting everybody to some degree. The service was looking to invest in graduates and grow its own officers although it was difficult in finding people out there.

·     Target on Major and Minor applications – It was noted that the service wanted to get to the top end of benchmarking authorities, but a specific target had not been set as this fluctuated significantly. However, it was noted as being something which may need to be defined in the service plan going forward.

·     Resilience and staff wellbeing. This issue was linked to the increase in workloads and ensuring that the staff who had been supporting the improvement process were equipped for this. It was acknowledging the fact that work loads were high and supporting staff with this. The Chief Operations Officer advised that the Planning Leadership Team had been impressive in bringing officers together as a team which was being seen in outcomes.

·     Number of Work Streams – It was confirmed that the Performance and Development Management workstream was sort of divided into two but within an overarching framework which created a total of six workstreams.

·     Applications Backlog – It was confirmed that this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Play in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole pdf icon PDF 3 MB

The Committee will receive a presentation from the Environment Directorate on Play in the BCP area. Following this there will be an opportunity for questions from members of the Committee.

Minutes:

The Director for Environmental Services, the Strategic Lead for Greenspace and Conservation and the Portfolio Holder for Tourism and Active Health (standing in for the Portfolio Holder for Environment and Place), gave a presentation to the Committee a copy of which had been circulated to each member of the Committee and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'B' to these minutes in the Minute Book. Following the presentation, a number of points raised by the Committee were addressed, including:

 

·     Public Consultation – It was suggested that July and August may not be a good time to conduct this as there will be many people away on holiday and in addition there would also be lots of visitors to the area, who may not be best placed to engage on this issue. It was acknowledged that the service would be happy to extend the consultation and also to receive any suggestions which Members may have regarding engagement with communities and partners. It was noted that the consultation would be on a broad basis and the service would liaise with children’s services. It was also suggested that it should be ensured that the consultation was not purely digital.

·     Antisocial Behaviour – A Councillor asked in relation to damage to equipment whether CCTV was in use, in particular whether mobile cameras were deployed in areas with specific problems identified by local communities. Movement through different parks – week by week. with communities. It was noted that whilst CCTV could be of use people would take measures to ensure that they could not be identified through it and there was not a particular team to target this. It was noted that a Strike Camera used in Sherborne skatepark had appeared to address issues there. However, it was understood that this was monitored. The Chairman agreed to follow up on the issue of Mobile CCTV cameras with Cllr Dove. The Chief Operations Officer advised that there were 14 units which could be deployed on request from the police or Anti-Social Behaviour Team based on documented evidence. A document with information around this was due to be released soon.

·     Accessibility – A Councillor commented that there was a need to ensure that play was available for all ages and styles so that nobody would feel that it wasn’t for them. Public spaces needed to be accessible for all and play friendly.

·     Funding – It was noted that there was a strong public health benefit to good play facilities supporting people being active and Sport England should also support initiatives to get people active. It was suggested that there may be areas where additional funding may be found. A Councillor acknowledged that the maintenance budget for play equipment was extremely small and it was amazing that the team managed to keep things going. Whilst play areas do not produce their own income the do help generate income from other areas such as Café’s and this positive relationship should be encouraged. The Board was advised that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Place O&S Work Plan pdf icon PDF 135 KB

The Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee is asked to consider and identify work priorities for its next meeting pending a wider review of its work plan at a future meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'C' to these minutes in the Minute Book. The Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee was asked to consider and identify work priorities for its next meeting pending a wider review of its work plan at a future meeting.

 

The Chairman proposed a date for the next meeting in-line with the next Cabinet date to ensure that those items previously agreed for scrutiny by the Overview and Scrutiny Board could be considered. There was concern raised that this would mean that two of the committee’s five meetings would be very close together.

 

A number of issues from the current list of items were highlighted by Board members including that there were some working groups which were still standing and the status of these would need to be considered.

 

The Chairman suggested that it would be useful for the Committee to meet informally to discuss some of these issues in drawing up a Work Plan for the Committee. Some concerns were raised that this should be done within a formal public meeting to ensure full transparency regarding what is placed on the formal public work plan.

 

The Chairman suggested that the best way to move forward with this was to agree the items for the next meeting from the legacy list and then to move forward with setting items for the remainder of the meetings for the municipal year. There was an issue raised that only looking at two items per meeting may be quite limiting. However, the Chairman explained that scheduling two items in would allow for provision of additional items to be added with shorter notice.

 

RESOLVED: It was agreed that the Future Places Cabinet Report and a report on the Winter Gardens be brought to the next meeting of the Committee. The Committee would agree further items for the work plan for the remainder of the municipal year at a future date.

10.

Future Meeting Dates

The Council at its meeting on 10 May 2022 agreed to delegate authority to the Overview and Scrutiny bodies to agree their own meeting dates for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 municipal years.

 

The Council agreed that there would be 5 meetings scheduled in each municipal year. These will need to be set with reference to the current Council Calendar

 

Minutes:

The date for the next meeting was agreed as Thursday 16 June 2022.

 

Suggested dates for future meetings would be agreed at the next meeting.