Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 8th February, 2018 6.00 pm

Venue: Wheel Room, Civic Centre, West Paddock, Leyland, PR25 1DH

Contact: Andy Houlker  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors David Howarth, Barbara Nathan and Ian Watkinson.


Declarations of Interest

Members are requested to indicate at this stage in the proceedings any items on the agenda in which they intend to declare an interest. Members are reminded that if the interest is a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest (as defined in the Members’ Code of Conduct) they must leave the room for the whole of that item. If the interest is not a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, but is such that a member of the public could reasonably regard it as being so significant that it is likely that it would prejudice their judgment of the public interest (as explained in the Code of Conduct) then they may make representations, but then must leave the meeting for the remainder of the item.


During consideration of Minute No.39 - Draft Corporate Plan 2018-23, Councillor Michael Green declared a personal interest as a member of Lancashire County Council indicating that he was a member of the City Deal and the Enterprise Board, under the Code of Conduct for Elected Members he was able to remain in the meeting and vote thereon.


Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Held on Monday, 27 November 2017, to be signed as a correct record.


RESOLVED (Unanimously):


That the minutes of the Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 27 November 2017 be approved as a correct record.


Matters Arising from Previous Meetings pdf icon PDF 94 KB

Report attached.


The Committee received updates on outstanding matters from previous meetings. It appeared that with the exception for the recommendation relating to the Cushman & Wakefield report, those had been accepted and acted upon.


RESOLVED (Unanimously): that


1.    with the exception of (2) below, all the responses to the outstanding matters be accepted and they be removed from the list; and

2.    the response relating to Minute No.28(c) be not accepted and the Committee be provided with a copy of the Cushman and Wakefield report along with an explanation of how the report influenced the Council’s current thinking on assets and investment.


Draft Corporate Plan 2018-23 pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Report of the Interim Corporate Improvement Manager attached.

Additional documents:


The Committee received a report from the Interim Corporate Improvement Manager on the Council’s new Corporate Plan for 2018-2023 and Corporate Risk Register for 2018-19.  The Committee was asked for its views before it was considered by the Cabinet on 14 February and submission to Council for approval on 28 February 2018.


The Corporate Plan provided a new Vision for the Council - that ‘South Ribble is and continues to be recognised nationally as the best place in the UK’.  It also included three new corporate priorities for 2018-2023:


·         Excellence and financial sustainability

·         Health and wellbeing

·         Place


The Committee was advised of minor amendments to the Corporate Plan document since the papers were published.  These related to


·         reference to City Deal on page 4 amended to read ‘an initiative developed by partners and supported by central government’

·         on page 10, Regeneration & Leisure added under Lead on Place Promotion and My Neighbourhood Plans

·         the Local Plan and the Investment Strategy added under Policies and Strategies and, Capital Strategy under Resources on page 13


A robust suite of Key Performance Indicators was being developed and future reports would be presented indicating the Council’s performance in the delivery of its Corporate Plan.


During the discussion, the Committee’s comments and matters raised included the following:-


·         the Corporate Plan document was generally welcomed and felt to be easy to read.

·         Vision – the recognition of South Ribble was felt to be by those beyond the locality/neighbouring area.

·         Working in Partnership – there was no reference to Parish & Town Councils who were felt to be important element of partnership/stakeholder working in local communities.

·         Key Outcomes – starting from a baseline the Council aimed to be above the national average and as the average rose, the outcomes would also and be stretched. The associated performance indicators were being developed.

·         Health Inequalities – whilst overall life expectancy in the Borough was above the national average, there were areas where it was lower with poorer general health which needed to be addressed. When the Committee received updates on performance data it would monitor the amount of progress in narrowing the gap.

·         Delivery Plan – whilst this currently had no measurable objectives/milestones an assurance was given that the future performance indicators to be used would provide a measure of success.

·         Surplus Sites – the Committee was informed that there were currently no details but the aim was to make better use of Council assets to support the Corporate Plan and any future detailed proposals would be considered by the Cabinet. The Committee was still keen to receive the earlier Cushman and Wakefield report. Also to understand how that report had been used.

·         Plain English – the Committee sought and received clarification of the Resources statement on page 14 of the Corporate Plan document.  In that the identified capital and revenue resources would be aligned to support the identified projects.  

·         Leisure Contract – the Committee was advised that as the current contract expired in 2021 a review/negotiations needed to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.


Third Quarter's Performance Report pdf icon PDF 305 KB

Report of the Interim Corporate Improvement Manager attached.

Additional documents:


The Committee considered the report of the Interim Corporate Improvement

Manager which provided an overview of performance against the Council’s

Corporate Plan 2017/18 for the third quarter ending at the end of December 2017.  This also included details of the corporate risks and controls in place to mitigate risks in the Corporate Risk Register.


The report set out the details of the 34 performance indicators and 27 corporate plan activities and a commentary on the performance made against each indicator and activity. Also for the first time the report included at Appendix 2, the performance of the Council’s current services shared with Chorley Borough Council.


During the discussion, the Committee’s comments/enquiries included the following areas:


·         health and safety (accident reporting) – there had been one reportable accident in Quarter 3, and health and safety was a standing item at Leadership Team meetings

·         increased number of complaints received by the Council – it was felt that following the recent adoption of the Council’s Customer Feedback Policy more complaints (rather than requests for service) were being captured.  However, this did not include the category of complaint

·         housing framework (extra care funding) – the funding from the County Council had stopped and rather than just looking to replace this, South Ribble Council was exploring other ways to provide those facilities in the borough

·         improve the empty property target – whilst not a large issue in South Ribble the revised/refreshed housing framework had been approved with priorities and projects which included reducing the number of empty properties

·         property and investment performance – whilst acknowledging this was disappointing, steps had been taken which included the adoption of the new Investment Strategy, including this as a priority in the Council’s new Corporate Plan, and other types of investment such as commercialisation of the Civic Suite and Worden Park

·         delivery of the Leyland, Lostock Hall and Penwortham Masterplans – it was understood these plans had been adopted by City Deal and had been included in Year 1 of the Council’s new Corporate Plan

·         explanation of the shared services performance information – it was understood the figures related to projected and actual allocation of work but the reason(s) why South Ribble’s performance figures were red was not available at the meeting

·         environmental management  risk – initially it  was thought that there would be an impact on frontline staff due to reduced funding.  However, this had been mitigated with a new business model, management re-structure and proposed changes to shared services

·         welfare reform – pockets of deprivation had been identified in the Council’s new Corporate Plan and the aim was to do what it could to reduce the level of deprivation  


RESOLVED (Unanimously):


That the Committee expresses the following comments for consideration by the Cabinet whilst considering this item on 1 March 2018, that

(a)  in respect of complaints received it would be helpful if these were categorised and indicate how lessons have been learned;

(b)  the Committee strongly requests that it is kept informed with clear timelines on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.


Progress Report on Worden Hall pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Report of the Planning Manager attached.                    


The Planning Manager and the South Ribble Partnership Manager addressed and responded to the Committee’s enquiries relating to an update on the investment into Worden and proposals to bring Worden Hall back into use.


Whilst informed that it was proposed to engage further consultants, the Committee was assured that unlike before, this time there would be a specific brief and they would then inform the Council what it needed to do to make the venue commercially viable.


The Committee was keen for this project (and that for the Civic Suite) to keep moving and not drift. It was informed that for the next meeting, the update would include the Consultants’ Brief, details of the proposed Artisan Market in April and the Council’s approved priorities and budgets.


RESOLVED (Unanimously):


That the Committee looks forward to receiving the next progress report at its next meeting.


Scrutiny Matters


Scrutiny Review of the Banqueting Suite


The Committee was updated on the review of the Banqueting Suite and it was intended to present a report to the meeting of the Committee on 8 March 2018.


RESOLVED (Unanimously): that


1.    the update be noted; and

2.    it was confirmed that the membership of the Committee’s review consisted of: Councillors Susan Jones (Chair), Colin Coulton, Michael Green, Keith Martin, Mick Titherington, Matthew Tomlinson and Karen Walton.


Verbal update on Lancashire County Council's Health Scrutiny Committee


The Chair had been unable to attend the recent meeting due to an engagement clash. The substantive item discussed had been proposals to address delays in hospital discharges.


Member feedback on meeting(s) and training attended on behalf of the committee


The Committee appreciated the recent Member Learning Hour explaining the Council’s Corporate Risk Register.  It was advised that the next session on 21 February 2018 included the use of Councillors’ tablets and ModGov (access to online agendas/minutes).


It was reported that the Council’s involvement in the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment had been submitted to the Local Area Research & Intelligence Association. It was possible it could receive an award for partnership working.


Scrutiny Committee Forward Plan


The Committee was informed that its next meeting would include an update from the Interim Licensing Manager on the Council’s Licensing Function.


Cabinet Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Forward Plan attached.


The Committee noted the Cabinet’s Forward Plan.