Agenda for Overview and Scrutiny Board on Thursday 24th May 2018, 6.00 p.m.

Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Board - Thursday 24th May 2018 6.00 p.m.

Venue: Parkside Suite - Parkside. View directions

Contact: Amanda Scarce  and Jess Bayley

No. Item


Election of Chairman


A nomination for the position of Chairman was received in respect of Councillor L. C. R. Mallett


RESOLVED that Councillor L. C. R. Mallett be appointed as Chairman of the Board for the ensuing municipal year.


Election of Vice Chairman


A nomination for the position of Vice Chairman was received in respect of Councillor S. A. Webb.


RESOLVED that Councillor S. A. Webb be appointed Vice Chairman of the Board for the ensuing municipal year.


Apologies for Absence and Named Substitutes


Apologies were received from Councillor C. Allen-Jones, C. Bloore and C.A Holtham.


The Board was advised that Councillor R. Dent was attending as substitute for Councillor C. Allen-Jones and Councillor M. Thompson was attending as substitute for Councillor C. Bloore.  


Declarations of Interest and Whipping Arrangements

To invite Councillors to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Disclosable Interests they may have in items on the agenda, and to confirm the nature of those interests.


There were no declarations of interest or whipping arrangements.


To confirm the accuracy of the minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Board held on 23 April 2018 pdf icon PDF 171 KB


It was noted that the apologies from the meeting on the 23 April 2018 had been recorded twice in the minutes.


In response to concerns regarding the complexity of the presentation on Safeguarding and Early Help received at the previous meeting it was confirmed that if Members had any outstanding queries regarding the matter, questions could be forwarded to the relevant County Council Officers for a response.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Board held on the 23 April 2018 be approved as an accurate record.  


Sports Hall Options Appraisal - pre scrutiny pdf icon PDF 230 KB

Additional documents:


John Godwin, Head of Leisure and Cultural Services introduced the report which included three recommendations. Members had requested that Officers commission an options appraisal to look at the feasibility of developing a dedicated sports hall offer on School Drive and this report detailed the journey that the Council had been on to date, potential timescales for the various options put forward, and the financial, service/operational and legal implications. The Council had requested that Mace complete the options appraisal.


In response to Members’ queries as to whether it had been agreed that a Sports Hall was required on site or not, the Head of Leisure and Cultural Services explained that the recommendations in the report were all progressive. The recommendations at 2.1.2 and 2.1.3 would both require the same process but if recommendation 2.1.4 was taken forward then none of the options for a Sports Hall would be progressed and the original decision from 2014 would be implemented.


Ms Louise Humphries, a member of the public, was invited to share her views on the matter. She raised concerns about the costs quoted in the Mace report compared to those in the Sports England affordable model report. It was queried if an invitation to tender had been made.


The Head of Leisure and Cultural Services confirmed that there would be a procurement process should the scheme be progressed and that the figures within the MACE report were based on square meter rates and recently commenced schemes. Recommendation 2.1.2 would start the process of detailed design and test the price with the market. For this to take place the Capital Programme would need to increase by £180k.


Ms Humphries expressed concern that, based on the Mace study a decision would be made that the project was too expensive and reassurances were sought that the Council was seeking value for money. She was concerned that a number of high comparative costs were referred to in the Mace study compared to the Sports England report, including the cost of contingencies.


In response Ms Humphries was referred to the answer provided at Full Council on the 24th April which addressed these concerns and overviewed the differences within the documents. The Head of Leisure and Cultural Services clarified that capital funding of £600k would be needed to complete Phase 2 (demolition) and Phase 3 works (car parking) which had been approved by the Council in its 1st June 2014 Dolphin Centre Replacement – Financial Update report.


Members queried the emphasis on soft play in the business case and the Head of Leisure and Cultural Services clarified that soft play provision would make up part of the income stream of up to £50k. There was no other soft play centres in the town and the Council had been looking for something to support the Sports Hall offer which could generate approximately £20k.  


Members raised concerns that by including potential costs in the Mace report this could prejudice the procurement process.


The Head of Leisure and Cultural Services  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6/18


Transport Report - additional information pdf icon PDF 134 KB

The attached report has been provided for Members’ information and will form part of the wider evidence base for the Transport Report which is currently being prepared.



Additional documents:


The Chairman introduced the item and explained that the matter had been discussed at Worcestershire County Council (WCC). It was agreed that County Councillor K. Pollock, Cabinet Member for Economy and Infrastructure and Karen Hanchett, WCC Highways who were in attendance, be invited to join the discussion. Representatives from Whitford Vale Voice were also welcomed to the meeting.


Ruth Bamford, Head of Planning and Regeneration introduced the report by the retained Highways Consultants, Mott MacDonald. The report had been produced in response to the request from the Board to examine the study undertaken by JMP who were commissioned by WCC to examine the need for a Western Distributor/Bypass. The JMP report had concluded that the case for investing in the scheme was ‘uncertain and not capable of being substantiated in the current circumstance.’ The report undertaken by Mott MacDonald had not concluded if the bypass was needed or not but that there were gaps in the JMP report evidence.


The Chairman emphasised the need for the Board not to refer to individual planning applications when discussing the matter.


County Councillor Pollock referred to the delay between the JMP report which was completed in November 2015 and the Mott McDonald report. He did not agree with the conclusions in the Mott McDonald report and highlighted that in the interim the Local Plan and the County Council’s Transport Plan had been agreed.


The Chairman referred to concerns that had been raised in 2016. There had been a consistent view that the review had been flawed as it had not taken the right approach or used the correct methodology and the document had been relied on to make decisions and LTP4 had not been supported, with constant and ongoing debate taking place regarding the matter.


In response to Members’ queries, it was confirmed that Mike Dunphy, Strategic Planning Manager was working on a further report on behalf of the Board, which may take several more months to complete.


Members’ referred to the Local Plan which had been adopted, taking into consideration the information available and expressed concern that it would be irresponsible to ignore the Mott McDonald report. It was felt that the District Plan should be based on valid information and any conflicting evidence needed to be addressed.


The Head of Planning and Regeneration clarified that the Local Plan had been adopted and the key was to ensure that the appropriate highways mitigation was in place. It was important to thoroughly understand the infrastructure as part of that work.


A Member referred to a scenario where by a new development had been agreed despite public concerns about the impact on the highway. In that case, the Member felt that WCC Highways had accepted, without question, the views of consultants which it was understood had been paid for by the developer to consider the mitigation required. The Chairman clarified that the JMP report had been funded by WCC and County Councillor Pollock confirmed that the JMP report was nothing to do with developers.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7/18


AQMA Revocation at Hagley (including costs for additional monitoring and the data requested at Council) pdf icon PDF 244 KB

Additional documents:


Richard Williams, Senior Practitioner (Technical Pollution), Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS), introduced the report which included additional information requested by Members at the Overview and Scrutiny Board, Full Council and Leaders Group meetings, the costing for additional monitoring, and the most up to date Defra information. Key points included that;

·         Defra’s background maps of predicted PM2.5 concentrations based on monitoring across the country indicated that concentrations were well below the annual average EU limit value for PM2.5 (which is 25ug/m3).

·         WRS did not draw conclusions on twelve months of results but considered results over three years. The minimal install period of monitoring equipment would therefore need to be three years and there needed to be continuous recording. The costs of maintaining equipment over this time period had to be considered.

·         The levels had further dropped and there was a continuous improvement trend.


Councillor P. Whittaker, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Leisure and Cultural Services, explained that he concurred with the report and the figures within. The report included the most up to date figures; the costs associated with the new system and the close correlation between particulate levels and nitrate levels. The revocation of the AQMA in Hagley would not lesser monitoring of air quality, and other sites would also be monitored.


Members raised the following points;

·         The methodology used provided no bearing on the air quality at peak times. Particulate matter could be more toxic.

·         Defra had a twenty five year plan and the MP Michael Gove had indicated that the Government was committed to providing funding.

·         A google search had indicated that mobile testing equipment was available.

·         The cost of mobile equipment was queried.


The Senior Practitioner responded that;

·         Defra guidance was clear about the protocol that had to be followed and the equipment that could be used.

·         Diffusion tubes provided good annual information.

·         And continuous analysers provided the detailed information on peak time air quality analysis which members have request.

·         The lack of approved mid-range monitoring systems had been raised at the DEFRA Air Quality Advisory Panel and recommendations made that they explore mid-range devices and the costs of deploying them. Kings College were examining the accuracy of devices. However no approval currently exists for such systems.

·         Concerns had also been raised about the current level of funding for Air Quality Monitoring activities. Defra had been requested to re-open grant funding for monitoring work.

·         Air Quality Monitoring had been undertaken continuously but there were concerns nationally that monitoring systems were not placed correctly and strategically.

·         A paper would be shared by Public Health England on the matter in due course.

·         Mobile equipment is available and accurate portable gas analysis systems that are DEFRA approved cost around £40 - £70k.


Councillor S. Shannon, who was attending as an observer, was invited to contribute to the discussion. He referred to;

·         The change of focus to different types of pollutants over the years.

·         That the levels of the pollutants were set too low for revocation of AQMA as UK air  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8/18


Finance and Budget Working Group - Update pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Additional documents:


It was agreed that the Finance and Budget Working Group should identify its own Chairman at its first meeting of the new municipal year.



·         that the Board agree the terms of reference as attached;

·         that Membership of the Working Group is to be made up of the following Councillors; Councillor L. Mallett, S. Colella, C. Hotham, R. Laight and P.Thomas; and

that the Chairman of the Group be appointed at the next Working Group meeting.  


Measures Dashboard Working Group - Update pdf icon PDF 93 KB

Additional documents:


It was reported that as Councillor C. Spencer was no longer a Member of the Board she was unable to be a Member of the Working Group.


The Senior Democratic Support Officer explained that the Chief Executive had attended the last meeting of the Group and had made a number of suggestions including broadening the scope of the Group slightly which had resulted in suggested changes to the Group name and terms of reference. It was noted that the Group had a quorum of three Members so it would be helpful to fill the vacancy if possible.


Councillor S. Webb referred to the need to ensure that the Group was cross party and requested that expressions of interest be sent to Officers. 



·         that the revised terms of reference, including the change of name of the Working Group to the Corporate Performance Working Group be agreed;

·         that Membership of the Working Group is made up of the following Councillors; Councillor S. Webb, C.Allen-Jones and R.J. Laight.; and

that the Chairman be determined at the next Group meeting.


Task Group Updates


Topic Proposal pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Additional documents:


The Senior Democratic Services Officer referred to the proposal document.


In the course of the discussion reference was made to the potential legal implications and the Chairman suggested that the item be placed on the Board’s work programme to be picked up again at a later date.


Members’ suggested that;

·         The Board could take no further action.

·         It was important not to make the same mistakes with other projects in the future.

·         The Sports Hall issue was ongoing.

·         Negotiations were ongoing.

·         Legal implications had to be taken into account.

·         The capacity of staff and the Board to take on the additional work also had to be considered.


RESOLVED that the item be placed on the Board’s Work Programme for future consideration.  


Road Safety Around Schools Task and Finish Group Membership pdf icon PDF 73 KB


The Senior Democratic Services Officer confirmed that Councillor Colella had stood down from the Group and Councillor P. McDonald had been appointed in his place.


A Member suggested that those wishing to join a Group should contact the appropriate Democratic Services Officer rather than Group Chairman and it was felt that this approach was sensible.  It was noted that there was a further vacancy as Councillor Spencer had stood down from the Group.


RESOLVED That the Senior Democratic Services Officer would send an invite out to Members for expressions of interest to fill the gap on the Group as a result of Councillor Spencer stepping down.


CCTV Short, Sharp Review


Councillor Colella, reported that the Group had nearly concluded its investigations and would be holding its final meeting on the 30th May 2018.


Hospital Car Parking Board Investigation


The Senior Democratic Services Officer reported that the Group had recently met and discussed a number of issues with a representative from Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust;

·         The parking arrangements at the three hospital sites in Kidderminster, Redditch and Worcester. 

·         The car parking charges set by the Trust.

·         The income from staff and visitor/patient parking charges and the maintenance and running costs of the car parks.

·         The profits generated and

·         How concessions were linked to patient pathways and depended on the frequency of hospital visits.

It had been suggested that the Members could meet again to consider;

·         How car parking profits used by other Hospital Trusts and how hospital car parking was provided elsewhere.

The national picture, including how the model in Scotland worked.


Worcestershire Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Update


It was confirmed by the Senior Democratic Services Officer that the Worcestershire Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee had met since the last Board meeting and that there had been discussions regarding the Neighbourhood Teams.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the Worcestershire Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee be circulated to the Board when available.


Cabinet Work Programme pdf icon PDF 89 KB


The Senior Democratic Services Officer confirmed that;

·         The outcomes of the CCTV Short Sharp Review would be added to the Work Programme to go to the September Cabinet meeting.

·         The Enterprise System Project Business Case could be considered by the Finance and Budget Working Group.

·         The Transport Planning Review and Industrial Units Investment – Outline Business Case items would probably be put back until September 2018.

·         The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 item was already on the Board’s Work Programme.

·         Changes to Procurement Cards could be considered by the Finance and Budget Scrutiny Working Group.


RESOLVED that Bromsgrove Sports and Physical Activity Strategy would be added to the Board’s Work Programme.  


Overview and Scrutiny Board Work Programme pdf icon PDF 272 KB


RESOLVED that the changes to the Work Programme as suggested in the meeting would be made.