Agenda and minutes

Strategic Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Thursday 23rd November 2017 6.00 pm

Venue: Gipping Room, Grafton House

Contact: Trisha Sutton  01473 432512

Items
No. Item

35.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor T Grant.

36.

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Meeting held on 26 October 2017 pdf icon PDF 101 KB

Minutes:

36.1   Minute No: 31.16 – To read ‘Councillor Pope asked for clarification of the 3,000 additional journeys made by Ipswich Buses (when they had the contract)’ ……..

 

36.2   Minute No: 32.10 – To read ‘Councillor Darwin asked whether the area surrounding the bridge and the under bridge access would’ ….

 

Resolved:

 

that the minutes of the meeting held on 26 October 2017, with the amendments above, be signed as a true record.

37.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

38.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the Order of Business be as printed on the agenda.

39.

OS/17/13 Migrants & Looked After Children - Update on Task & Finish Group pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

39.1   Following the meeting of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee on 4 August 2016, when Proposal Form No:18 had been submitted, a Task & Finish Group had been set up to investigate the impact on housing and local hostels in Ipswich, what other services were being accessed and the impact on the community.  In attendance were Suffolk County Councillor Gordon Jones, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education and Skills, Cliff James, SCC Parenting Services and IBC’s Operations Manager, Housing Options.

 

39.2   The Chair circulated further information about the Y:Cube scheme which had been provided by some authorities which had addressed  additional accommodation provision.

 

39.3   Mr James said that a significant amount of accommodation had been provided for 16/17 year olds unaccompanied asylum seekers until they turned 18 years of age.  After this, the Home Office could grant them the right to stay in the country and only from then on would they be eligible to claim benefits.  The current providers of accommodation were the Benjamin Foundation and the YMCA and by working with other organisations including Housing Services at IBC.  There was significant financial pressure at the moment, mainly around supported housing, due to the rising amount of unaccompanied asylum seekers now reaching 18. 

 

39.4   Councillor Pope asked what % of children in care in Suffolk were not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET’s) and Mr James said that for many different reasons and due to a national change in the profile of children in care, 75% were currently NEET’s.  The teen years could be challenging and there was often only a short time to influence their educational needs.  Suffolk County Councillor Gordon Jones said that the Local Government Association were currently concerned about the demands on children’s services and Suffolk County Council had volunteered to be part of a study which would look at how cost effective the services were.     

 

39.5   Councillor Macartney asked whether there were any plans to extend the commissioning contracts to achieve strategic sustainability?  Mr James said that these were awarded over a 3 year period.  Additional Government funding had been granted for the ‘Staying Put’ arrangement, which could be made for those up to 21 or to 24 years of age if an agreed programme of education or training had been undertaken.  This enabled care leavers to remain with their former foster carer/s to provide an ongoing supportive environment, as long as a ‘Pathway Plan’ had been put in place.  Councillor Macartney referred to Paragraph 1.5 of the Task & Finish Group notes which stated that ‘service providers were often only on short term contracts (for 2 years)’ and Mr James said that sustainability was important and the service providers were supported.

 

39.6   Councillor Goonan asked what was being done to ensure that the studies for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students continued?  Mr James said that it was excellent that Suffolk New College were offering these classes and that most unaccompanied asylum seekers were keen to attend. 

 

39.7   Councillor Gage asked what  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.

40.

OS/17/14 S106 Developer Contributions pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

40.1   The` Chair welcomed Neil McManus, Development Contributions Manager from Suffolk County Council, Martyn Fulcher, Head of Development and Councillor C Jones, the Portfolio Holder for Development. Councillor Gage presented this item and drew attention to Proposal Form No: 21 attached at Appendix 1 to report Ref No: OS/17/14 which she had submitted to allow the Committee to discuss whether S106 Developer Contributions were spent as per the planning condition required and within the time limit. 

 

40.2   Mr Fulcher said that mainly S106 contributions were for disbursement by Suffolk County Council however, 3 had been related to pre-defined transport initiatives at IBC, with £20k (for a bus shelter not on a bus route) being returned to the developer as no longer being required.  The IBC Finance Team supplied a detailed breakdown to the Operations Manager and the Corporate Management Team also received regular updates.  There was currently £2m in the S106 budget of which £1.3m contributions were SCC related.  Some contributions were historic, for use over a long period of time and there was a very small amount for which no use had been allocated as yet.

 

40.3   Mr McManus said that he effectively managed and monitored the S106 contributions from start to finish, in line with the legal agreements.  He worked closely with the Development Team at IBC to co-ordinate the trigger points of the infrastructure contributions and no money had yet been returned to any developer.  The Chief Executive said the amount of S106 contribution was dependent on the number of houses completed, the monitoring systems were strong and it was important to use the monies to their greatest impact for the community rather than waiting until just before the 10 year deadline.

 

40.4   Councillor Chisholm asked whether residents had any influence about what the contributions were spent on?  Mr Fulcher said that there were not many schemes which would affect a large number of people however, the public were statutory consultees for larger schemes. 

 

40.5   Councillor Riley asked whether, if a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) agreement were in place less money would be received than under a S106 agreement?  Mr Fulcher said that any agreement for monies received under a CIL agreement could be for less, as the S106 agreement allowed for negotiation.

 

40.6   Councillor Pope said that at a recent meeting of the North East Area Committee, it had been stated that a library had been agreed as part of the S106 agreement for the Fire Station development on Colchester Road however, Mr Fulcher confirmed that there had been no S106 request for contributions for a library at this development.

 

40.7   Councillor Debman asked if the developer contribution under S106 agreements represented value for money and Mr Fulcher said that the contributions were index linked and also monetary interest would be gained if they remained unspent.  Councillor Debman also asked how he could find out about any S106 agreements in his ward and Mr Fulcher said that he had information about any spent or unspent money,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.

41.

OS/17/15 Annual Portfolio Holder Update - Development pdf icon PDF 45 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

41.1   Councillor C Jones presented a Portfolio Holder Update for Development, Martyn Fulcher, Head of Development, James Fairclough, Head of Culture and Environment and James Steward from the Museums Service were in attendance.

 

41.2   Councillor Jones explained that there had been a joint Museums Service with Colchester since 2007 with joint governance arrangements and a shared agreement but with individual services.  In Ipswich the sites were the Ipswich Museum, the Art Gallery and Christchurch Mansion and a Museums Working Group had recently been established.  Following a failed bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2015, the Museums Service were developing a new bid to be submitted next year for which £3m had been retained in the last budget.

 

41.3   Visitor numbers at all venues had increased since last year and numbers peaked when big exhibitions were held.  School attendances remained difficult to achieve in volume but work continued to improve contact and offer an exciting events and marketing programme with schools in the area. 

 

41.4   Councillor Pope asked whether the school visitor numbers were children through the door or school visits, whether the service offered curriculum specific opportunities and questioned posts on Facebook?  Councillor Riley confirmed that there were several posts for the Museum on Facebook and Mr Steward said that a review of the KS2 curriculum had been made and that local history remained on the curriculum at primary level. 

 

41.5   Councillor Darwin said that traditional forms of advertising, such as Fairs and School Fetes remained important as did leafletting and Mr Fairclough said that all advertising channels were being covered including adverts on buses, radio announcements and school book bags. 

 

41.6   Councillor Goonan asked how disadvantaged groups would be encouraged to attend and Mr Steward said that from surveys of existing users there was a picture of which areas of Ipswich did not attend the Museum.  Councillor Riley said that areas outside of the Ipswich area should also be encouraged to attend and the Officers said that visitor trends from outside the area were increasing.

 

41.7   Councillor C Smart said that the South West Area Committee had agreed funding to allow primary schools to visit the museums but other revenue streams such as a gift shop or tea rooms or corporate hire could be considered.  Councillor Jones said that Christchurch Mansion was a wedding venue and the Officer said that future increased income was expected from corporate hire and due to the exhibition of collections the income had increased considerably.  The Chair thanked Mr Fairclough and Mr Steward for their attendance.

 

41.8   Councillor Jones said that the Development side of her portfolio comprised of 3 areas, Planning Policy, Building Control and Development Management (which included 2 Conservation Officers).  Ipswich had recently been acknowledged within a Planning Advisory Service document as providing a high performing service.  The Local Plan had been adopted (although it was being constantly reviewed and updated) after co-operation with several other local authorities.  Building Control had taken part in joint working with East Suffolk Council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.

42.

OS/17/16 Quarter 2 Performance Data 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 118 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

42.2   The Chair presented this report which highlighted the performance across all portfolios as at Quarter 2 (September) 2017/18.  Any questions about the performance data could be directed to the Chief Executive or the Chief Operating Officer and as each Portfolio Holder presented to the Committee their data would be included for further debate.

 

          Resolved:

 

          that the performance data at the Quarter 2 point (September) 2017, be noted by the Overview & Scrutiny Committee. 

43.

OS/17/17 Work Programme 2017/18 - Proposal Forms No: 22 Universal Credit & No: 23 Road Closure Impact pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

43.1   The Chair confirmed that a Task & Finish Group for discussion about Proposal Form No: 22 Universal Credit, had been arranged for 29 November 2017 at 6.00pm.

 

43.2   Councillor Debman said that, in respect of Proposal Form No: 23 Road Closure Impact, he hoped that information could be learnt about how to lessen the impact on the local community, businesses and organisations by being better organised.  It was agreed that the members of the Task & Finish Group would be Councillors Debman, Gage and Holmes and members of the events team would also to be invited. 

 

43.3   The Chair had requested that finance training take place before the next meeting by an independent advisor.

 

          Resolved:

 

          that the Strategic Overview & Scrutiny Committee Work programme, attached at report Ref No: OS/17/17, be agreed.