Agenda and minutes

Eastbourne Borough Council Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 5th December, 2016 6.00 pm

Venue: Town Hall, Eastbourne

Contact: Local Democracy on 01323 410000 

Items
No. Item

13.

Minutes of the meeting held on 5 September 2016. pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 5 September 2016 were submitted and approved, and the Chairman was then authorised to sign them as an accurate record.

 

 

14.

Apologies for absence.

Minutes:

There were none.

 

 

15.

Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPIs) by members as required under Section 31 of the Localism Act and of other interests as required by the Code of Conduct.

Minutes:

There were none.

 

 

16.

Eastbourne Community Safety Plan. pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Report of Director of Service Delivery.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Service Delivery regarding the current performance of the Eastbourne Community Safety Partnership (ECSP) under the updated Eastbourne community safety plan.  The report also outlined issues that might potentially impact future crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) performance.

 

Members noted that whilst overall crime had substantially reduced from 2005/06 to 2013/14, due to Sussex Police changing recording procedures in response to national guidelines, a substantial increase in overall crime had been reported in 2014/15 performance year.  However, this increase had now levelled out and performance compared favourably when compared to similar towns.

 

The current plan (2014/17) had been developed in consultation with key partners including the police and other members of the ECSP.  A copy of the action plan was attached as appendix A,   and the priorities for 2016/17 and measurement criteria were attached as appendix C of the report.  Plan targets were reviewed at the end of each performance year and key performance targets had been incorporated into the relevant sections of the Council’s corporate plan.

 

With reference to the Home Office iQuanta data, which compared numerous categories of crime with other towns similar to Eastbourne, appendix B of the report, indicated Eastbourne compared favourably.  June 2016 quarterly data showed:

 

·    3rd lowest – overall crime

·    1st lowest – burglary

·    5th lowest – robbery

·    5th lowest – shoplifting

·    1st lowest – vehicle crime

·    Below median – violent crime

 

In late 2015 the police and crime commissioner for Sussex had recommended that merging options be investigated to reflect the new policing district boundaries and make efficiency savings.  Eastbourne, Lewes and Wealden CSPs had supported establishing a new strategy group encompassing all three whilst enhancing and maintaining the district joint action groups to deliver a local focus.  A soft merger had taken place within performance year 2016/17 with a business case for full merger to be presented in 2017/18.

 

The committee was advised that there would be a focus on cyber crime and scams which was expected to become a major part of the partnership’s work in the future with the particular need to protect the elderly and vulnerable.

 

Members requested further information with regard to the criteria with which authorities were allocated into their Most Similar Group.  The Community Safety Officer agreed to circulate this following the meeting.

 

With regard to cyber crime the committee discussed methods of informing the public to be more aware of the dangers of online crime, given the majority of cyber crime was usually only detected after the fact.  Members noted that whilst it would be difficult for Community Safety teams to investigate cyber crime the appropriate action was to take preventative measures through continued advice and information.

 

The committee was advised that of the £26.3K community safety budget, £17k had been spent this year to date.  The Community Safety Officer advised that it would still be possible to make bids for funding to JAG (Joint Action Group).

 

Councillor Holt expressed his thanks to the team targeting antisocial behaviour  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Corporate Performance - Quarter 2 2016/17. pdf icon PDF 147 KB

Report of Chief Executive and Chief Finance Officer. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Chief Executive and Chief Finance Officer regarding the Council’s performance against Corporate Plan priority actions, performance indicators and targets for Quarter 2 2016/17.

 

Appendix 1 to the report provided an overview of current Corporate Plan performance information for Corporate Projects, Performance Indicators (PIs) and Devolved Budgets.

 

Members were advised that in order to monitor and manage the delivery of the priority aims stated within the Corporate Plan, a performance score card had been created in Covalent to combine corporate projects and their actions and performance indicators.

 

Of the Corporate Plan indicators reported this quarter, 6 were off target (red), 3 were “near miss” (amber) and 8 were on target (green).

 

The PIs currently showing as off target were:

 

·                     CD_156 Number of households living in temporary accommodation

·                     CS_010 Calls to 410000 answered within 30 seconds

·                     CS_011 Telephone call abandonment rate

·                     DE_154 Net additional homes provided

·                     DE_157a Processing of planning applications: Major applications

·                     TL_017a Redoubt visitors – paying visitors

A query was raised regarding the completion date for EBC_PR_033 Parks and open spaces signage.  Members were advised that the scheme was on target to complete by March 2017, with activity being more evident in the Quarter 3 report, in January 2017.

 

A further query was raised regarding the variance in the corporate finance budget of £53K.  The committee was advised that this related to the Council’s responsibility to pay a contribution to MMI (Municipal Mutual Insurance), the council’s former insurers.  Whilst the policy was no longer ‘live’ potential claims could still be raised and Council responsibility had therefore not ended.  In addition, the refurbishment of Princes Park was also highlighted as an overspend.  Members were advised that the scheme had been funded by Costal Community Grant.  Where schemes were showing as overspent, it was possible to divert funding from other schemes funded from this grant, as had happened in this case.  All spending on major schemes were monitored using Covalent and in cases where costs had increased by more than 10%, Cabinet approval would need to be sought to authorise additional funding.

 

Financial performance relating to the General Fund, Housing Revenue Account, Capital Programme, Collection Fund and Treasury Management was also detailed in the report.

 

RESOLVED: (Unanimous)That the following be noted:

i) The performance against national and local Performance Indicators and Actions from the 2016/20 Corporate Plan.

ii) The General Fund, HRA and Collection Fund financial performance for the quarter ended September 2016, as set out in sections 3, 4 & 6.

iii) The transfer from earmarked reserve as set out in paragraph 3.5.

iv) The capital programme as set out in Appendix 3.

v) The Treasury Management performance as set out in section 7.

 

 

18.

Update - A27 Task Group. pdf icon PDF 26 KB

Members will receive an update on the progress of the A27 Task Group.

Minutes:

The committee considered the updated scope for the A27 and agreed the suggested amendments.

 

Members discussed Highways England current consultation exercise regarding the proposed improvements to the section of the A27 east of Lewes.  Members noted that Highways England had not factored Wealden’s emerging Local Plan when conducting their feasibility study and that given the numbers of new houses proposed close to the Polegate section of the A27, Members felt that Highways England should now revisit their initial assessment of the improvements required.

 

The Local Democracy Officer advised Members that she was currently in the process of arranging a presentation by Jon Wheeler, Team Manager for Strategic Economic Infrastructure at East Sussex County Council in January 2017, to advise members of the work of the A27 Reference Group. Members also requested that an invitation be extended to Highways England to attend the same meeting.

 

RESOLVED:  1) That the A27 Task Group scope be amended as set out in the report 2) That Highways England be invited to attend a meeting with Members in January 2017.