Agenda and minutes

Regeneration, Culture and Environment Overview And Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 18 October 2018 6.30pm

Venue: Meeting Room 9 - Level 3, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham ME4 4TR. View directions

Contact: Ellen Wright, Democratic Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

451.

Chairman's announcements

Minutes:

At the commencement of the meeting, the Chairman informed the Committee that the Portfolio Holder for Planning, Economic Growth and Regulation, Councillor Jane Chitty would not be attending this meeting owing to a recent bereavement.

 

The Committee extended its condolences to Councillor Jane Chitty.

452.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Carr, Mrs Josie Iles, Shaw and Stamp.

453.

Record of Meeting pdf icon PDF 121 KB

To approve the Record of the Meeting held on 16 August 2018.

Minutes:

The record of the meeting held on 16 August 2018 was agreed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

454.

Urgent matters by reason of special circumstances

The Chairman will announce any late items which do not appear on the main agenda but which he has agreed should be considered by reason of special circumstances to be specified in the report.

Minutes:

There were none.

455.

Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Other Significant Interests pdf icon PDF 212 KB

Members are invited to disclose any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Significant Interests in accordance with the Member Code of Conduct.  Guidance on this is set out in agenda item 4.

 

Minutes:

Disclosable pecuniary interests

 

There were none.

 

Other significant interests (OSIs)

 

There were none.

 

Other interests

 

There were none.

 

456.

Petitions pdf icon PDF 210 KB

This report advises the Committee of petitions received by the Council which fall within the remit if this Committee, including a summary of the response sent to the petition organisers by officers. It also provides an update concerning a petition referral considered by the Committee on 16 August 2018.

 

There has been one petition referral to this Committee requesting that the CCTV camera outside the Twydall Post Office be repaired.

 

 

Minutes:

Discussion

 

The Committee received a report advising of petitions received by the Council which fell within the remit of this Committee.

 

Members were advised that the following petition had been referred for discussion by the lead petitioner as he had been dissatisfied with the response received by the Director:

 

i)             Petition for the CCTV camera outside the Twydall post office to be repaired

 

The Chairman welcomed John Lloyd to the meeting and invited him to address the Committee.

 

Mr Lloyd thanked the Committee for inviting him to speak on his petition. He advised that his petition requested the repair of the CCTV camera outside the post office in Twydall. In response to his petition, he had been advised that the Council was in the process of auditing all CCTV camera stock in Medway and that once the audit was complete, a decision would be made as to which cameras required repair or replacement.

 

Mr Lloyd considered this response to be unsatisfactory as no timescale had been given for the conclusion of the audit, nor had there been any guarantee that the CCTV cameras in Twydall shopping parade would be repaired or replaced. He added that the public and shopkeepers in Twydall were now reliant on private CCTV cameras for their safety.

 

Mr Lloyd stated that shopping centres should be priority locations for the provision of CCTV cameras and he requested information as to the date the  audit would be concluded. He also sought an assurance that the CCTV camera outside Twydall post office would be repaired as a matter of urgency.

 

The Assistant Director Front Line Services advised that the CCTV camera outside Twydall post office could not be repaired and therefore required replacement. She was unable to confirm the date by which this work would be undertaken at this meeting but agreed to inform Mr Lloyd direct when this work would be undertaken.

 

Members discussed the CCTV audit and referred to a number of CCTV cameras in Medway which required repair or replacement and stressed the importance of the outcome of the audit being made available as soon as possible. The Committee also discussed the issue of responsibility for the repair, replacement and maintenance of the CCTV cameras.

 

The Assistant Director Front Line Services informed the Committee that the CCTV audit was being undertaken in consultation with the Police and Medway Commercial Group Ltd (MCG) and involved two work streams. The first priority would be the replacement of CCTV cameras in key locations which would include Twydall shopping centre and the second work stream would be the strategic approach going forward. This second stream in consultation with the Police would involve identification of those sites where CCTV cameras were required and an assessment of the latest technology available. She confirmed that work was still underway on the audit and therefore it was not yet possible to identify when this would be completed.

 

The Committee discussed this issue and a number of Members referred to other sites in Medway  ...  view the full minutes text for item 456.

457.

Attendance of the Portfolio Holder for Planning, Economic Growth and Regulation pdf icon PDF 443 KB

This report sets out progress made within the areas covered by the Portfolio Holder for Planning, Economic Growth and Regulation which fall within the remit of this Committee.

Minutes:

Decision:

 

The Committee noted that this item had been withdrawn from the agenda.

458.

Employment Opportunities for 18 - 25 year olds (including apprenticeships) - Progress Report pdf icon PDF 222 KB

The recommendations made by the Task Groupaimed to bring together the wide range of national policy initiatives and activities undertaken across the Council and with regional and local partners to develop a more cohesive and collaborative approach to ensure the intended outcomes were achieved. This included securing closer links between education providers and business, supporting young people in the transition from education to employment and to developing effective interventions to bring down the number of young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEETS).

  

This report and attached progress schedule (Appendix 1) summarises progress against each recommendation.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Skills and Employment Programme Manager introduced the report which set out an update on progress made against the recommendations of the Employment Opportunities for 18-25 Year Olds (including apprenticeships) Task Group, which had been agreed by Cabinet on 6 February 2018. He explained that the recommendations would be reflected in the Skills and Employment Plan, which was currently being drafted.

 

The Skills and Employment Programme Manager advised upon the work and membership of the Medway Skills Board, including a summary of the various stakeholders involved.

 

The Committee acknowledged the work that had been undertaken by the Task Group which had involved cross-party working.

 

In response to questions, the Skills and Employment Programme Manager advised that:

 

·         The Medway Trades Council would be added to the list of stakeholders included in the Medway Skills Board.

·         No action had been taken on sending the letter to the Secretary of State for Education referred to at recommendation 9 on page 56 of the agenda as this action was obsolete following the Career Strategy being released in December 2017.

·         He would soon be meeting with the Head of Human Resources to progress recommendation 16 concerning recruitment of graduates.

·         An important part of the Skills and Employment Plan was the interaction with the Government’s Disabled Confident Scheme which encouraged businesses to be disability confident.

 

The Committee also acknowledged the important part that the Innovation Park Medway had in attracting young entrepreneurs and innovative businesses to Medway.

 

Decision:

 

The Committee:

 

a)            thanked the Skills and Employment Programme Manager for the comprehensive update on the recommendations of the Employment Opportunities Task Group;

b)            noted the report and the following actions:

·         the Medway Trades Council will be added to the list of stakeholders for the Medway Skills Board;

·         the Skills and Employment Programme Manager will be meeting with the Head of Human Resources to progress recruitment of graduates;

·         a briefing note will be circulated setting out those Task Group recommendations which are now out of date or have been completed.

459.

Council Plan Performance Monitoring Report Quarter 1 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 292 KB

This report summarises how the Council performed in quarter 1 2018/19 on the delivery of the two priorities relevant for this Committee: ‘Medway: a place to be proud of’ and ‘Maximising regeneration and economic growth’.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Committee received a report setting out performance in Quarter 1 2018/19 for the key measures of success and projects relevant to this Committee.

 

The following was discussed:

 

·         Delivering new homes - Removal of the Housing Revenue Borrowing Cap

 

A Member referred a letter sent by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to local authorities setting out proposals for the removal of the Housing Revenue Borrowing Cap. This was welcome news and would enable Local Authorities to build houses.

 

The Director Regeneration, Culture, Environment and Transformation and Deputy Chief Executive confirmed receipt of the letter and advised that at this stage, the Government was sharing with local authorities the process that it planned to follow for the removal of the Housing Revenue Borrowing Cap.

 

He advised that this would enable the Council to continue its new build programme. He referred to the development at Centenary Gardens which included the largest local authority new build bungalow development in the Country and he suggested that if any Member had not had an opportunity to visit Centenary Gardens, a site visit could be arranged.

 

·         Cultural Programme - Chatham Intra

 

A Member referred to Chatham Intra and spoke positively about the development of a creative quarter along the Lower High Street from Star Hill to Sun Pier.

 

In response, the Director Regeneration, Culture, Environment and Transformation and Deputy Chief Executive advised upon work undertaken to develop a creative quarter in this part of Chatham, building on the existing creative companies resident there and attracting new businesses and restaurants.

 

He advised that there was consideration as to whether Medway should make a future bid for City of Culture status, and if such a bid was to be progressed, the creative quarter and Chatham Intra would form an important part of the bid.

 

·         Public Realm and Street Scene - Draft Masterplan for the Esplanade and Jackson’s Recreation Ground

 

In response to a request for clarification, the Director Regeneration, Culture, Environment and Transformation and Deputy Chief Executive confirmed that Victoria Gardens formed part of the Jackson’s Recreation Ground landscape masterplan and he agreed to provide details of the Masterplan in a briefing note to all Members of the Committee.

 

·         Chatham Intra – Concerns regarding the future of Anchorage House

 

A Member referring to Chatham Intra, expressed concerns regarding the future of Anchorage House and sought an update from officers.

 

·         Community Clean-ups

 

A Member sought clarification as to whether the reference to 17 Community Clean-ups on page 66 of the agenda included other clean-ups undertaken by scouting organisations and local businesses, such as McDonalds.

 

In response, the Head of Business Intelligence confirmed this was not the totality of clean-ups and drew attention to the additional, more detailed text on page 68 of the report which referred to 17 community clean-ups and a number of clean-ups by the Payback Team.

 

·         Gateway 1 report – Proposed outsourcing of street scene activity

 

A Member referred to page 68 of the agenda and in particular referred to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 459.

460.

Work programme pdf icon PDF 130 KB

This item advises Members of the current work programme and allows the Committee to adjust it in the light of latest priorities, issues and circumstances. It gives Members the opportunity to shape and direct the Committee’s activities over the year. 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Committee considered its work programme for the remainder of 2018/19.

 

It was noted that under the Petitions item, the Committee had requested that a report on the CCTV audit work stream 1 be reported to the Committee on 6 December 2018.

 

The Chairman requested that in the light of the earlier discussion on CCTV provision, the Six Monthly report on Medway Commercial Group Ltd be referred to this Committee on 6 December 2018 for consideration and that MCG be invited to attend. This was generally supported as it was considered that MCG should be accountable from an operational perspective.

 

A Member referred to the scrutiny of Medway Norse. He stated that whilst this required discussion at another level, he considered that there was merit in Medway Norse being scrutinised across all four Overview and Scrutiny Committees for those elements of their service that fell within the remit of each Committee. However, he recognised that this would be an issue for consideration after the local elections in May 2019.

 

Referring to the Gateway 1 report scheduled to be considered by Cabinet on 23 October 2018 concerning the future provision of Street Scene Enforcement Agent Services, a Member suggested that whilst it was not possible for this Committee to undertake pre-decision scrutiny owing to the timescales involved, prior to any contracts being signed, a report be submitted to this Committee on 6 December 2018 on the letting of this contract, lessons learnt from neighbouring authorities and why this work had to be outsourced.

 

The Director Regeneration, Culture, Environment and Transformation and Deputy Chief Executive advised that Gateway 1 related to the principle of letting this contract and therefore this could be referred to this Committee for consideration before contracts were signed.

 

Decision:

 

The Committee:

 

a)            noted the current work programme and requested that at the next pre-agenda meeting, consideration be given to the work programme and in particular the Committee’s request for the following additional reports to be added to the work programme for the meeting on 6 December 2018:

 

·         A report on the CCTV Audit – work stream 1.

·         The six monthly report from Medway Commercial Group Ltd following its consideration by Cabinet on 20 November 2018.

·         A report on Gateway 1 - Future provision of Street Scene Enforcement Agent Services;

b)            noted that the attendance of the Portfolio Holder for Planning, Economic Growth and Regulation had yet to be re-scheduled for 2018/19.