Agenda and minutes
Venue: Scaitcliffe House, Ormerod Street, Accrington
Contact: Policy and Overview & Scrutiny Officer (01254) 380109
Apologies for absence, Substitutions, Declarations of Interest and Dispensations
Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillor Hurn and Councillor Short.
Councillor Britcliffe acted as substitute representative for Councillor Hurn.
The Chair reported that the Labour Members of the Committee had a personal interest in item 4 – Hyndburn Arts Trust, due to Gayle Knight being a member of the Labour Party.
To submit the Minutes of the meeting of the Resources Overview and Scrutiny
Committee held on the 5th September 2019 for approval as a correct record.
Recommended - That the Minutes be received and approved as a correct
The Minutes of the Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on the 5th September 2019 were submitted for approval as a correct record.
Resolved - That the Minutes be received and approved as a correct record.
To update the Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the Council’s new recycling scheme and town centre litter and dog fouling enforcement.
Recommended - That the report be noted and any comments be submitted to the Executive Director (Environment).
The Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services presented a report on the Council’s new recycling scheme and town centre litter and dog fouling enforcement. He reported that recycling rates had increased slightly since the introduction of the new procedures. He informed the Committee of the awards that Hyndburn had won reflecting the success of the schemes.
The Executive Director, Environment explained the difference in the way that figures were recorded for waste reduction and recycling and Members were referred to appendix one which showed comparison figures of the East Lancashire local authorities for residual and recycling waste.
Councillor Aziz requested that the Executive Director, Environment circulated Members of the Committee a copy of data showing how Hyndburn compared with other local authorities across the country. The Executive Director, Environment indicated that he would look into if this was possible.
The Executive Director, Environment and the Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services responded to a number of questions previously submitted by Members as well as further questions at the meeting on the following issues:
· Categories of fixed penalty notices for cigarette butts, general litter and dog fouling.
· Commission and monthly targets for Enforcement Officers.
· Patrolling areas or targeting hotspot areas?
· Training standards for Enforcement Officers.
· The age range of the 4% under 20 years old.
· Body cam footage?
· The cost effectiveness of contracting Enforcement Officers rather than an in-house team.
· An increase in Fixed Penalty Notices compared with last year.
· Concern that funds were being generated by fines rather than efforts being made to educate and prevention.
A summary of the main points were:
- Littering with cigarette butts, littering and dog fouling were common problems across all authorities and required more than one approach to reduce the problems.
- The Executive Director, Environment and the Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services indicated that they would look into reports that the Enforcement Officers had targets for raising funds through fines but pointed out that they were not aware that this was happening.
- The Executive Director, Environment indicated that the renewal of the contract would give consideration to the current success of the scheme.
- The Enforcement Company owned the footage recorded on video cameras and that it was usual to video only when prosecuting a person.
- Areas had been identified as hotspots and Enforcement Officers had been directed to patrol these areas.
- The Council had done all it could to prevent dog fouling including providing free dog bags and the provision of additional dog bins but had accepted that issuing fines was also a deterrent.
- The scheme, so far, had significantly reduced the amount of littering in the borough.
- There was currently no cost to the Council for this service.
- Those categorised as being fined under the age of 20 years would be around 18-19 year olds.
Resolved (1) That the report be noted; and
(2) That Members’ comments, as outlined above, be forwarded onto the Executive Director, Environment.
Hyndburn Arts Trust
To allow the Committee to review its conditions to grant a payment of
£30,000 to Hyndburn Arts Ltd based over three financial instalments.
Recommended - That Cabinet be requested to grant £10,000 (Tranche 2) to be released subject to the resolutions of the Committee being met which were set at the 5th September 2019 meeting of the Resources Overview & Scrutiny Committee.
The Labour Members of the Committee declared personal interests in Hyndburn Arts Trust, due to Gayle Knight being a member of the Labour Party.
The Chair of Hyndburn Arts Limited updated the Committee on the financial situation with Hyndburn Arts Trust. She reported that a meeting had been held with the Executive Director, Finance in relation to the financial management of the Company and that the accounts were due to be signed off at the next Board Meeting which was scheduled to take place soon. She indicated that since her attendance at the last Committee they had complied with all of the recommendations made and referred to a number objectives that had been resolved including staffing issues and the invoicing of schools for pantomime performances. She also explained that extra funding raising events had taken place.
Councillor Aziz requested an explanation for uncategorised income.
The Chair of Hyndburn Arts Limited referred to problems with how this income had been recorded but pointed out that this had now been resolved and the accounts updated.
Councillor Aziz reported that Hyndburn Arts Trust had taken the recommendations on board and that the Committee appreciated the impact of the organisation on the Oswaldtwistle Community.
The Chair of Hyndburn Arts Limited proposed that all new Councillors and Senior Officers visited all local buildings and were given a tour to raise awareness of their significance in the community.
Members expressed gratitude at the significant progress made by the Hyndburn Arts Trust.
Resolved - That the Committee recommend that Cabinet grant the release of the second tranche of funding, of £10,000, subject to the conditions being met as set at the Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 2nd September 2019.
Review of Agency Staff Costs
To inform the Committee of research undertaken in relation to agency staff costs for Hyndburn Borough Council.
The Chair reported on the research undertaken in relation to agency staff costs for Hyndburn Borough Council. He reported that a meeting had been scheduled with Department Heads to discuss this issue and propose different ways of doing things. He invited Members to participate in the process by forwarding on their comments to the Chair and Overview and Scrutiny Officer.
Resolved - That Members’ comments on the use of agency staff and its cost are forwarded onto the Chair and Overview and Scrutiny Officer.
That the Co-Chair (Councillor Stephen Button) of the Hyndburn Green Review- Overview & Scrutiny Panel reported back to the Overview & Scrutiny Resources Committee upon competition of the review.
(1) That the contents of the report be noted.
(2) That the summary and recommendations of the Scrutiny Panel are reported to an upcoming Cabinet meeting.
The Co-Chair of the Hyndburn Green Review (Councillor Stephen Button) reported on the completion of the Green Review – Overview and Scrutiny Panel and pointed out that Members of the Panel had been pleased with the outcomes of the meetings.
The Overview and Scrutiny Officer referred Members to the appendix showing the comments submitted by Panel Members before approval of the final report, as attached to the agenda. He advised that the matter would continue to be looked at by a new Committee formed to progress the issues raised by the Panel.
Councillor Aziz referred to a report released by the Friends of the Earth in which Hyndburn was in the bottom twenty but suggested that this Review would help to address some of these issues.
Members referred to the recommendations relating to woodland coverage and the availability of financial incentives. Councillor Britcliffe reported that Prospects were looking at three Nature Reserves in Oswaldtwistle with the aim to plant more trees.
It was reported that the Green Review report would be submitted to Cabinet for consideration.
Resolved (1) That the report be noted and approved by the Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee; and
(2) That the summary and recommendations of the Scrutiny Panel be reported to the next meeting of Cabinet.