Agenda and minutes

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

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

Contact: Andy Houlker  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Keith Martin and Mick Titherington.


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.


Councillor Barbara Nathan declared a personal interest in Minute No. 47 (Licensing Implementation Plan) as she was a member of the General Licensing Committee, but was able under the Code of Conduct for Elected Members, to remain in the meeting and take part in the discussion and voting thereon.


Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Held on Thursday, 8 February 2018, to be signed as a correct record.


RESOLVED (Unanimously):


That the minutes of the Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 8 February 2018 be approved as a correct record.


(The Committee noted that due to the short time since the last meeting, the matters arising update would be provided to the next meeting on 12 April 2018.


The Chair indicated that he was pleased that the Cushman & Wakefield report together with a report as to how that has been used would be submitted as an exempt confidential item at the next meeting.


The Chair referred to the comments of the Committee at the last meeting on the Council’s third quarter’s performance monitoring report and although he acknowledged the Cabinet’s prerogative he was disappointed with the responses.)


Safer Chorley & South Ribble Community Safety Partnership pdf icon PDF 200 KB

Report of the Public Health Manager attached.


The Committee considered the report of the Public Health Manager which provided an update on the progress of the partnership and also progress against the key actions.


The report set out the details of the overall position, areas of significant progress/achievement and areas for further action/monitoring.


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


  • Role with the Partnership – the Council currently chairs the Partnership and we could influence the police on how they work and use funding by Police Crime and Commissioners (PCC) for projects (some of these include the disruption of criminal gangs, domestic violence groups, counter terrorism groups etc).
  • Partnership’s governance structure – the Responsible Authority Group (RAG) would appoint a Chair on an annual basis in April. This would feed into an officers’ group which produces action plans.   
  • Rationale for the Partnership – joined up skills/resources together to deliver community projects in both Chorley/South Ribble.
  • Partnership meetings – The RAG would take place twice a year and special meetings would be arranged if there were any special circumstances arising. Community Safety meetings would take place every month to discuss various issues.
  • Partnership’s engagement with the community – police presence and listening to what people had to say. Surveys would be carried out on which areas of concern people would like to focus on. The Council also carried out a residents’ survey on whether people feel ‘safe in their area’.
  • Measuring success – the priorities were set at the conference and this year it would focus on online crime because this was an upcoming issue. The actions were frequently reviewed at meetings which also considered what funding/impact this funding had. The officers’ group would continue to monitor what had been set out by partners in the action plan. The partners would be very much disjointed if the partnership did not exist.
  • Responsibilities (Crime & Disorder Act 1988) – the main objective was to keep people safe
  • National challenges being mirrored – the main challenges were the reduction of police officers and to mitigate this the Partnership try to work more efficiently and smarter.
  • Increases in all burglary/theft – a lot of hard work goes into the detection of burglaries. Resources were used during night time hours to eradicate this issue some operations deployed include covert operations. This work was very much ongoing and significant results were achieved. Burglaries were split into two categories (residential and commercial businesses).
  • MARAC Conferences – this was where actions (needs/support) were assessed and put in place to enable the victim to feel safe/protected and ensure there was no reoffending from the perpetrator.
  • ‘Target hardening’ – this was where robust targeting takes place were an individual released from prison of domestic violence were continuously being monitored by a team of officers to help keep the victim safe.


Licensing Implementation Plan pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Report of the Revenues Manager attached.

Additional documents:


The Committee considered the report of the Revenues Manager which provided an explanation of the origins of the Implementation Plan; its development over the past year; and a year-end assessment of progress since the inception of the Plan in March 2017. 


The Committee was pleased to note that steady incremental progress had been made in implementing the Implementation Plan over the past 12 months.  Collectively, officers and members had worked hard to arrive at the point where the overwhelming majority of actions could now be identified as complete (76%) with a further 15% in progress.  The 3 items still to be commenced were all resource-intensive and their implementation would require a full-time manager to be in post.  Given resource constraints, this was a commendable effort which had led to the introduction of more robust administrative procedures and a safer environment for local residents. 


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


  • Implementation Plan – the Licensing Service at the time was processing applications on a daily basis but there was very little undertaken in terms of proactive enforcement. Some elements of improvement included the update of the Convictions/Licensing Policies and formal engagement with the taxi trade.
  • Lessons learnt – there was a new robust assertive Convictions Policy which allowed the Council to take into account soft intelligence; the new Licensing Policy enabled the General Licensing Committee to require new applicants to undergo safeguarding training before they were issued with a licence; increased support for vulnerable people using taxis; and the governance process being streamlined to allow separate hearing panels to take place to consider cases and to bring the process in line with best practice.
  • What next after implementation – this was the start of the journey. The Licensing Service could not afford to stay still as it was always evolving. A new full Licensing Manager would be in place shortly and plans were in place for the licensing function to be relocated to Legal Services. Some of the major issues to be addressed in 2018/19 included mandatory cctv in taxis; implementing a wide range of reviews into the Gambling Policy; and implementing an operator’s accreditation scheme.
  • Will there be another peer challenge – there are no plans for this at present however there was a proposal that the Licensing Service should be included on the internal audit plan for 2018/19. There were no National Accreditation for Licensing Service.
  • Resource constraints – the Council was currently in the process of the recruitment of the new licensing manager. Three full time equivalent would be sufficient to move the service forward and to build on the good work.
  • Leading the team – there were only three actions outstanding on the Plan at present and it was envisaged that once the full time Licensing Manager was recruited these actions would be progressed very quickly.


RESOLVED (Unanimously):




1.    the Council assesses the future resource requirements of the service.


2.    the Committee expresses concern about the potential  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47.


Worden Hall Update

Verbal update to be provided by the Planning Manager.


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.


The Planning Manager provided a brief update on the Artizan Market and an outline of the timescale for tenders for consultancy work in respect of the use of Worden Hall and market.


RESOLVED (Unanimously):




  1. the progress be noted.


  1. Looks forward to a timeline at the next scheduled meeting of the Committee on 12 April 2018 on the following:


·         Artizan Market (firm plans)

·         Tender Documents set out



Scrutiny Matters


Review of the Business & Conference Centre (Formerly the Banqueting Suite) pdf icon PDF 438 KB

Report of the Scrutiny & Performance Officer attached.


Further to minute no. 42(a) (8 February 2018), the Committee received a report from the Review of the Business & Conference Centre (Formerly the Banqueting Suite) Task Group.


RESOLVED (Unanimously):


That the Committee endorses the task group’s findings/recommendations.


Verbal update on Lancashire County Council's Health Scrutiny Committee


The Chair had been unable to attend the recent meeting. The minutes had been circulated to members of the Committee for information.


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


The next North West Strategic Scrutiny Network meeting would take place on Monday, 12 March 2018.


Scrutiny Committee Forward Plan


The following were identified as items of interest for the Committee in future meetings –


·         Mental Health

·         Prostate Cancer

·         Reducing Single Use Plastics (SUP) – subject to the decision of the Motion on this matter of Full Council on Wednesday, 21 March 2018


Cabinet Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Forward Plan attached.


The Committee noted the Cabinet’s Forward Plan.