Agenda and minutes

Strategic Overview & Scrutiny Committee
Thursday 3rd October 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Gipping Room, Grafton House

Contact: Ainsley Gilbert  01473 432510

Items
No. Item

9.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Gibbs, Handley and Maguire. Councillor Armitage attended as a substitute for Councillor Gibbs.

10.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the Minutes of the meeting held on 4 July 2019 be signed as a true record.

11.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

OS/19/03 Annual Portfolio Holder Update - Leader of the Council - Property and Development

Councillor Harsant declared a non-pecuniary interest as she was well acquainted with the founder of the Creative Computing Club.

12.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

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

13.

OS/19/03 Annual Portfolio Holder Update - Leader of the Council - Property and Development pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

13.1      Councillor David Ellesmere introduced Annual Update on the Property and Development portfolio.

 

13.2      Councillor Ellesmere highlighted that since the preparation of the papers the Council had been told that Ipswich had, after a thorough assessment, retained its Purple Flag rating. Councillor Ellesmere also explained that the figures on the number of people claiming out of work benefits were not a true reflection of the picture as the traditional measure of using the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance had been rendered inaccurate by the introduction of Universal Credit.

 

13.3      Councillor Ellesmere reported that the Council had, working with Job Centre Plus, arranged a Jobs Fair on Thursday 10 October at the Town Hall where more than 50 organisations would be present with a large number of jobs available. This was the second such fair and feedback from the first one had been very positive.

 

13.4      Councillor Ellesmere explained that Suffolk County Council had devolved £100,000 to Ipswich Borough Council to spend on measures to tackle youth unemployment. Ipswich Borough Council had decided to fund projects in three areas, these being mentoring, work experience and pre-employment training. In addition to these schemes the Economic Development Team had awarded the Creative Computing Club £10,000 to deliver courses at additional schools.

 

13.5      Councillor Ellesmere spoke about the Council’s efforts to encourage people to use Ipswich’s Town Centre and reported that new footfall sensors, based on mobile technology, had been installed and would provide much better data about the success of these measures than the previous laser beam sensors.

 

13.6      Councillor Ellesmere explained that retail grants of up to £1,000 were available to businesses to make small improvements to their premises and that 5 had been awarded since the launch of the scheme in July 2019. Councillor Ellesmere commented that offers in Crown Car Park had probably significantly contributed to NCPs decision to reduce the prices in their Tower Ramparts Car Park, which he felt was important as those prices had led to visitors regarding Ipswich as an expensive place to park, which was not the reality. Councillor Ellesmere also reported that the market was trading well in its new location and that the stall holders had adapted to the change.

 

13.7      Councillor Ellesmere noted that there had been a number of significant events in Ipswich over the summer, most notably the Elmer’s Big Parade sculpture trail and the Ed Sheeran Concerts, but that there was a wide range of other events such as Windrush Day and the Last Night of the Proms screening on the Cornhill. Councillor Ellesmere explained that the Economic Development Team also considered proposals for subsidised use of the Town Hall / Corn Exchange where these would bring significant numbers of people to the town centre; the SoundCity Ipswich music festival was an example of such an event.

 

13.8      Councillor Ellesmere explained that the Waterfront continued to be an area of focus for the Council and that all of the dilapidated properties at the western end of the quayside  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

OS/19/04 Strategic Overview & Scrutiny Annual Report 2018-2019 and Future Work Programme pdf icon PDF 94 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

14.1      Councillor Harsant introduced the report, explaining that it set out the work of the committee over the past municipal year. There were no comments on the report.

 

14.2      Councillor Harsant asked that Suffolk County Council Councillors West and Evans, and relevant County Council Officers, be invited to the meeting on 24 October to contribute the discussion on the Park and Ride Update.

 

14.3      With regard to the item entitled ‘Highways England – Survey Results’ Councillor Gage commented that the committee was likely to wish to discuss closures of the Orwell Bridge more broadly, for example further advanced signage, and asked that Highways England be made aware that this item would not be restricted to the survey results, although they would be the focus.

 

14.4      Councillor Gage asked that the format of the Annual Report on Police Matters be considered to allow more opportunity for questions.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

a)    that the Strategic Overview & Scrutiny Committee Annual Report 2018-2019, attached at Appendix 1 to report OS/19/04 be approved for submission to Full Council.

 

b)   that the Work Programme for 2019/20, attached at Appendix 2 to report OS/19/04, be approved.