Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 21st October, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices

Contact: Hanna Taylor, Democratic Services Officer, Ext 3056, Email  Hanna.Taylor@woking.gov.uk 

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Raja and Mohammed.

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 78 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 16 September 2019 as published.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED

That the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on Monday, 16 September 2019 be approved and signed as a true and correct record.

3.

Matters Arising from the Minutes

To review any outstanding items from the previous meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Please note the error made in the previous minutes under item 5 Declarations of Interest.  The declaration was made by the Chief Executive Officer only and not the Deputy Chief Executive.

 

The Chairman addressed the matters arising from the previous minutes, noting an update on the Children Centre Consultation and that Family Centres had been included in the Health & Wellbeing Task Group agenda and included in the Work Programme for an update in 2020.

 

The Chairman also requested that Environmental Health bring an update to the Committee in February 2020 with a written report on the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.

 

The Housing Infrastructure Fund Bid was due to be reviewed in the Finance Task Group once the conditions were made available.

 

Cllr Hussain noted the informative update on Victoria Square provided by Ray Morgan, Chief Executive, at the previous meeting on 16 September.

4.

Urgent Business

To consider any business that the Chairman rules may be dealt with under Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Chrystie put forward an item under urgent business regarding concerns from questions raised at full Council on Thursday 17 October.  The item in particular was referred to in Part II and therefore classed  as confidential information.  Jacqui Hutton, Solicitor, advised that the Constitution deemed the request for call in as inappropriate.  The Chairman stated that there would be a task group that will be set up to review the information regarding the items of scrutiny into the Westfield development.

Councillor Bond also raised an item of urgent business regarding the anti-social behaviour issues in West Byfleet.  Camilla Edmiston, Community Safety Officer, had written a comprehensive response to a question on this topic from the MP for Woking, sections of the email were read out in the meeting and members of the public wanting to make a report were advised to contact Crime Stoppers.  Officers were working with Surrey Police to explore all options to tackle the problem, and this item would be discussed at the Community Safety Task Group on Wednesday 6 November.  It was felt that the lack of development in the area was the root of the problem, and would like this to be addressed also. It was noted that Detective Inspector Andrew Greaves and Camilla were using all the available resources.

It was agreed that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee would put forward questions to the Community Safety Task Group for their meeting on 6 November to see if another working group was required.  The Chairman would send the email from Camilla to all councillors for informational purposes in the meantime.

(Note: The Committee would be reminded of the procedure of urgent business at the next meeting on 25 November 2019.)

5.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of disclosable pecuniary and other interestsfrom Members in respect of any item to be considered at the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

6.

Procurement Process

For the Committee to consider the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) requirements when going to tender and review local examples.

 

Reporting Person: Lara Pereira

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Lara Pereira, Procurement Officer, provided a presentation on the procurement process for the Committee, and included information on the procurement rules and regulations, guidance and training, benefits of procurement and gave examples of procurement projects in Woking Borough Council.

 

The Chairman thanked Lara for the interesting presentation.

 

Following a round of questions from Councillors, Lara confirmed that the process would be similar for companies carrying out procurement work on behalf of the Council, and would follow the government rules and regulations.  The Framework sets out that purchasing organisations can last for four years, and is the recommended length of time for a contract following review of the service after the first year.  It was reported that there had been 25 – 30 contracts procured in 2018/19 with each one aiming to have 2 or more quotes.

7.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 155 KB

Reporting Person: Councillor D Hughes

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman introduced the Work Programme and it was reviewed by the Committee, noting that a Draft Plan for the following municipal year would be useful. 

 

At the next meeting on 25 November the Committee would review any outcomes from Freedom Leisure at the Leisure Partnership Board.   The Chairman also noted a workshop available for Councillors on hate crime, details will be distributed with the minutes.

 

Interest was expressed about the Robin Hood item on the Forward Plan, which saw the recommendation to Council on the provision of Loan Finance to Rutland Woking for the development of the former Pub site for a Community Transport Depot and residential accommodation.

 

Resolved

That the Work Programme be noted.

8.

Freedom Leisure pdf icon PDF 150 KB

The following documents have been attached for information:

 

·      Halo’s Questionnaire and Report from the Leisure Services Survey (Pages 41 – 59)

·      Chairman’s report on the Pool in the Park site visit (Pages 61 - 64)

·      Current 2019/20 and draft 20/21 Business Plans (Pages 65 - 100)

·      Woking Fees & Charges 2019/20 & Draft 2020/21 (Pages 101 - 118)

 

Reporting Person: Councillor D Hughes / David Loveless / Steve May - Freedom Leisure

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman introduced David Loveless, building Services Manager and the Freedom Leisure representatives – Steve May, Area Manager, Angela Baillie, Contracts Manager and Matt Hunt, Operation Director.  The Committee reviewed all the documents sent out with the agenda.  Following the change of date for the Pool in the Park site visit and those who could not attend, Steve extended the invite to all councillors for a site visit to make contact with himself.

 

The Chairman highlighted to councillors to flag any areas of concern that may affect residents within the fees and charges report as it would be valuable to address at the Leisure Partnership Board on Thursday 24 October.  Cllr Kemp  wondered whether there was a duplication of the work already undertaken and planned for the Partnership Board and the use of officers time. However the request by the Chair was specifically in respect to the fees and charges which supported the Borough’s aspiration of enhancing the use of these facilities by the designated target groups as stated in the Business Plan.

 

Angela provided a presentation on a general update on Freedom Leisure’s performance following recent investment.  Angela addressed the condition of the changing rooms that were due to be refurbished and the contract was currently out to tender.  Other topics covered included Woking Sportsbox, work with disability groups to ensure an inclusive service and the new 3G pitches at the Leisure Centre.  Concerns that were made apparent from the questionnaire results were addressed, such as the pool temperature and flume work – both are now resolved.  It was also reported that the catering outlet had received a five star rating from the Environmental Health Office, Freedom Leisure’s Friday Night Project was a resounding success and the summer camps had received a “Good” rating from Ofsted.  The presentation slides would be circulated with the minutes.

 

It was suggested that future surveys would be presented by facility to see the different areas that require addressing at Pool in the Park and the Leisure Centre individually.  Councillors noted the positive news of the refurbishment and improvements that had been made to date.

 

Feedback was received from users of Pool in the Park, which Freedom Leisure addressed and it was agreed the methods of communication would be looked into and developed to avoid future miscommunication.  Angela had recently been in contact with Andy Denner, Woking Borough Council’s Marketing Manager, in regards to working in sync, utilising the Woking magazine and working on a Communication Action Plan to promote the improvement works.  It was noted by the Vice Chair that he prices she deemed  as good value for money and there were a variety of schemes available for users to achieve a discount.

 

Following a question raised by Councillor Whitehand regarding the impacts of the two new leisure facilities within the borough would have on Pool in the Park.  Steve confirmed that many of their programmes and classes were overprescribed and there is a high demand for leisure facilities in Woking. 

 

The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Performance and Financial Monitoring Information

To consider the current publication of the Performance & Financial Monitoring Information (Green Book).  Members are asked to bring their copy of the Green Book to the meeting.

 

Reporting person: Councillor D Hughes

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee reviewed the September Green Book and noted the following:

 

o   the increasing number of average days lost through sickness

o   the positive number of fly-tipping incidents that had been reported lower than the previous year

o   the increase in the positive forecast outturn for interest expenses compared to the previous month

o   Car parking income number had improved since August

10.

Task Group Updates - Report to follow pdf icon PDF 51 KB

To receive updates following the recent meeting of the Housing Task Group.

 

Reporting person: Councillor D Hughes

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee reviewed the Housing Task Group update, with Councillor Johnson noting that the previous update provided information on the Housing Allocations Policy (Housing Task Group Update that went to the Committee on 16 September 2019).

 

The Committee discussed the Empty Homes Strategy and some of the complications involved with purchasing the properties that appear to be empty.  Louise Strongitharm would be attending the Committee in January to discuss this further.