Agenda and minutes

Strategic Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Thursday 5th July 2018 6.00 pm

Venue: Gipping Room - Grafton House. View directions

Contact: Trisha Sutton  01473 432512

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chair

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that Councillor L Harsant be elected as Chair of the Strategic Overview & Scrutiny Committee for the municipal year 2018/19.

 

1.1      The Chair welcomed the newly elected Councillors Allen, Handley, Parry and Shaw to the meeting and also newly appointed to the Committee were existing Councillors Ion and Leeder.

2.

Appointment of Vice-Chair

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that Councillor Gage be appointed as Vice-Chair of the Strategic Overview & Scrutiny Committee for the municipal year 2018/19.

3.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Chisholm and Leeder.

4.

Unconfirmed Minutes of Meeting held on 1 February 2018 pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the minutes of the meeting held on 1 February 2018, be signed as a true record.

5.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

6.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

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

7.

OS/18/01 Task & Finish Group Update - Universal Credit pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

7.1      Councillor Goonan presented this item as the Chair of the Task & Finish Group for Universal Credit following its implementation on 25 April 2018.  The brief of the proposal form had been to look at how IBC were prepared to support households through the changes to Universal Credit and meetings of the Task & Finish Group had taken place on 29 November 2017, 29 January 2018 and 18 June 2018.  The notes of the meetings were detailed at Appendix 1 of the report Ref No OS/18/01 for the Committee’s consideration.

 

7.2      200 claimants had applied for Universal Credit to date and quarterly updates would be reviewed by Executive. Updated figures on the amount of claimants would be made available to the Committee in six months to allow for comparisons to be made.

 

7.3      Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) had been used effectively to make up shortfalls due to housing cost elements and those with long term conditions, whose situation would be unlikely to change, had been awarded a DHP for a 12 month period. 

 

7.4      Councillor Holmes asked whether any prediction could be made about how many the total amount of claimants might be and Ms Mayes, Operations Manager, Benefits and Business Support said that at the moment this would be difficult to predict.  By 2023, the benefit caseload would be migrated across to Universal Credit so this was a watching brief.  Councillor Goonan thanked Ms Mayes and the team for their work undertaken to bring about the successful implementation.      

 

            Resolved:

 

1.    that the notes of the Task & Finish Group meetings for Universal Credit, held on 29 November 2017, 29 January 2018 and 18 June 2018, as detailed at Appendix 1 of the report Ref No OS/18/01, be noted.

 

2.    that updated figures on the amount of Universal Credit claimants would be made available to the Strategic Overview & Scrutiny Committee in six months to allow for comparisons to be made.

8.

OS/18/02 Task & Finish Group - Road Closure & Bus Information pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

8.1      The Operations Manager, Commercial Development was unable to attend the meeting, however this item was discussed and Councillor Gage drew attention to the recommendations of the Task & Finish Group held on 20 February 2018.  It was confirmed that the information about the road closures for the Great East Run on Sunday 16 September 2018 had been made available at all the Area Committees.

 

8.2      The Suffolk County Council Officer who had attended the Task & Finish Group had recognised the shortfall of information for residents when the road closures had been set up during the event in 2017.  As a result of the Task & Finish Group, it had been agreed that a review of the application process would be undertaken, that applications would be referred to the Safety Advisory Group and a critical review of the 2018 event would be prepared after the Great East Run event had taken place.  

 

8.3      Discussion took place about the informative information which had been made available, in particular at the North East Area Committee and it was requested that the changes to any bus routes be made available when published.

 

            Resolved:

 

1.    that the notes of the Task & Finish Group meetings for the Impact of Road Closures in Ipswich, held on 8 January 2018, 7 February 2018 and 20 February 2018, as detailed at Appendix 1 of the report Ref No OS/18/02, be noted.

 

2.    that information on the changes to bus routes would be provided to the Strategic Overview & Scrutiny Committee at the meeting on 30 August 2018, be agreed. 

           

 

9.

OS/18/03 Closure of the Orwell Bridge Update pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

9.1      Councillor Gage presented this item which detailed the responses to questions from the Overview & Scrutiny Committee to which the Highways Agency had responded, which were detailed at Appendix 1 to report Ref No: OS/18/03.  Councillor P Smart as Portfolio Holder for Environment & Transport and Michael Newsham, Integrated Traffic Officer of IBC were present.

 

9.2      Councillor Pope asked whether the amount of closures could be related to the age of the bridge, what would happen should the bridge fail and why there had been a significant amount of overnight bridge closures.  Councillor Gage said that bridges were built to last for 125 years and she expressed her disappointment with the answers to Questions 2 & 4 about the progress of developing an alternative route and the progress made on the Highways England committed projects as no timescales had been given.

 

9.3      Councillor Harsant said that Suffolk County Council were due to undertake a full review of how Suffolk’s Highways were prioritised.

 

9.4      Councillor Holmes expressed concern about the lack of advance information available for residents when planned bridge maintenance was to take place or should the period of maintenance be extended.  The planned diversion route was discussed and Councillor Allen expressed her concern about fatalities occurring when vehicles broke down and the lay-bys could not be accessed.

 

9.5      Councillor P Smart explained that lorry drivers had to be aware of their regulation driving hours when taking alternative diversion routes and had to make the decision whether to wait in a queue or use the diversion route through Ipswich as this could often take longer.  With regards to the bridge requiring replacement he explained that the bridge had been installed as two bridges so each could be replaced separately.              

 

            Action: That Highways England be asked to attend the meeting of the Strategic Overview & Scrutiny Committee in October 2018 to update on the closures.

10.

OS/18/04 Year End Performance Data 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 115 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

10.1    The Chair presented this report which detailed the Year End Performance Data 2017/18 and spoke positively about the value of the Portfolio Holder updates which had successfully taken place during the previous year.  Councillor Rudkin, Portfolio Holder for Culture and Leisure had agreed to attend the meeting in September 2018.

 

10.2    Councillor Goonan asked whether comparisons could be made to previous data which had been presented and this would be considered.

 

10.3    Councillor Pope asked whether more information was available about the 15 RIDDOR incidents reported and expressed concern that there had been 152 Non-RIDDOR incidents.  The Chief Executive said that all incidents were reported quarterly to the Health & Safety Committee to ensure cross party involvement.  In response to these concerns it was suggested that Councillor Meudec, Portfolio Holder for Communities be invited to update the Committee in August 2018 when these concerns could be addressed.

           

 

11.

OS/18/05 Work Programme 2018/19 & Proposal Forms: No 24 and No 25 pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

11.1    In respect of the Proposal Form Ref No: 24 about Taxi Services, Councillor P Smart suggested that a broader body of evidence should be considered as taxis and private hire vehicles were two different services and this could be discussed as part of the scoping meeting.

 

11.2    Councillor Allen said that she was concerned when hired vehicles had obscured back windows and it was agreed that input from the Licensing Officers would need to include any vehicle regulations.

 

11.3    It was agreed that a Task & Finish Group would be set up to consider the Code of Conduct in place for Taxi suppliers and whether the service was being enforced to keep the residents of Ipswich safe.  Councillors O Holmes, C Allen, R Pope and L Harsant agreed to be part of the Task & Finish Group.  It was suggested that Mr George Debman (the original proposer of the form) be invited to attend the Task & Finish Group.

 

11.4    In respect of the Proposal Form Ref No: 25 about how road repair work was prioritised by the Highways Authority, Councillor C Smart said that increased funding had been made available by Suffolk County Council for road repairs and the new Cabinet Member for Highways had requested that a review of how Suffolk’s roads were maintained be undertaken.  It would be beneficial if a Task & Finish Group be established to provide input into the SCC review process (providing the timetable of the review allowed) to achieve a successful outcome for the residents of Ipswich. 

 

11.5    It was acknowledged that if vehicle drivers were swerving to avoid potholes then cyclists could be put in danger of collision and Councillors C Smart, S Ion, J Parry, R Pope and S Gage agreed to be part of the Task & Finish Group to discuss how road repair work was prioritised and what was being done to address the poor state of Ipswich’s roads.

 

11.6    As there were no items on the agenda for the meeting due to be held on 2 August 2018, if no call-in was received from Executive held on 10 July 2018, the next meeting would be cancelled.  Therefore the next meeting of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee would be held on 30 August 2018.    

 

            Resolved: 

 

1.    that the Overview & Scrutiny Committee Work Programme, attached at Appendix 1 to report Ref No: OS/18/05, with the additions as detailed in the minutes, be agreed.

 

2.    that a Task & Finish Group be set up to discuss Proposal Form No 24 about Taxi Services and Councillors O Holmes, C Allen, R Pope and L Harsant to take part.

 

3.    that a Task & Finish Group be set up to discuss Proposal Form No 25 about the Repairs to Road Surfaces and Councillors C Smart, S Ion, J Parry, R Pope, S Gage and L Harsant to take part.